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Ken Borland



SA rugby needs decency more than anything else 0

Posted on January 12, 2017 by Ken

 

In terms of rugby, the New Year is all about finding answers to the question “What is wrong with South African rugby?”, but two incidents in the last month show that, perhaps more than anything else, some of our players and administrators have to ditch their self-serving attitudes and get back to the old values of the game that were rooted in common decency and humility.

The recent actions of the Western Province Rugby Football Union and current Springbok player Johan Goosen suggest the problems are more about individuals being rotten to the core rather than structural issues.

Let’s start with Goosen and I’m not going to say anything more about his on-field performance than my feeling he has flattered to deceive, although the fact that he never had a start at flyhalf is a mitigating factor.

But his tawdry actions in trying to get out of a lucrative contract with Racing Metro, that he only signed a few months ago and that netted him €500 000 a year until 2020, indicate this is a man of scant integrity and someone who clearly does not put team ahead of self.

A couple of weeks ago Goosen announced his retirement from rugby at the age of just 24, following one of his more injury-free years and his return to international rugby, saying he was going to become commercial director of a Free State based agricultural company.

Of course no one is really going to believe that and his name has since appeared on a Cheetahs training squad list and it has since been said that Goosen is ultimately going to Gloucester, once Montpellier owner Mohed Altrad becomes the English club’s majority shareholder.

With flagrant disregard for any ethical considerations, Goosen has taken advantage of a loophole in French labour law which makes all fixed-term rugby contracts temporary. Hence a player can be released from his contract without penalty if he finds fulltime employment – ostensibly Goosen’s dubious “commercial director” job.

The actions of Western Province rugby are just as cynical and what little faith their loyal supporters had in their administrators must now have almost totally dissipated.

They had applied for liquidation of the business arm of WP Rugby and then, just a day after that was granted by the Cape High Court, the Western Province Rugby Football Union announced that the insolvent company had been bought by one of their other companies.

Having put Western Province rugby into financial strife, the likes of president Thelo Wakefield and CEO Paul Zacks are glibly trying to slip through a loophole in thoroughly dishonourable fashion to evade their creditors, most notably with sponsorship company Aerios.

And these are the calibre of administrators that have been put in charge of one of the most legendary brands in rugby?!

Goosen has surely played his last game in the Green and Gold because people of such deviousness really should not be representing our country. He should also not be allowed to play Super Rugby and the Springbok coach must ensure his players will make the nation proud, not embarrass us on an international stage; the good of the game must come before the avaricious accumulation of individual wealth.

Wakefield must also surely fall on his sword. This is not some village rugby team he is mishandling, but one of the proudest rugby legacies in the world, whose fans should be feeling deeply humiliated.

Titans lose by an innings but still top of log 0

Posted on March 05, 2015 by Ken

The Unlimited Titans were hammered by an innings by the Dolphins in the latest round of Sunfoil Series matches, but the log at the bottom of this article is not incorrect, the northern/eastern Gauteng side are indeed top of the standings as the four-day competition enters the new year.

While the Titans succumbed by an innings and 54 runs to the Dolphins at Kingsmead, coach Rob Walter believes he has the material to mount a serious title challenge in the premier domestic competition.

“It was disappointing the way we played in Durban, but specifically the way we played the week before when we thrashed the Knights in Bloemfontein has put us in a good position with two wins in four games. This competition is more about the games you win than the games you lose and the bowlers were outstanding in Bloemfontein, while Farhaan Behardien has certainly been one of the standout batsmen in the competition,” Walter told The Citizen.

The inconsistency of the Titans is what is threatening their title ambitions, however, with the bowlers performing poorly in Durban as they bowled the wrong lengths, and the batting also looking vulnerable at times.

The Titans’ next match, against the Highveld Lions, who are second, just 1.72 points behind them with a game in hand, is shaping up as a crucial encounter. That game only starts on January 15 though, with the Titans having a break as the Lions take on the Cape Cobras and the Warriors host the Dolphins from January 8.

Walter warned that the Dolphins, who have 27.08 points from two matches compared to the Titans’ 46.18 from four, will also be a big factor in the competition.

“That attack of theirs is very good, Kyle Abbott and Ryan McLaren are two international bowlers and their quality shone through against us. Their greater ability to execute their skills, in terms of landing the ball in the right area over and over again, makes them very good bowlers,” Walter said.

The Titans bowlers were nowhere near as accurate, although speedster Marchant de Lange and left-arm swing bowler Rowan Richards are both enjoying good campaigns.

De Lange has taken nine wickets in his last two innings and Walter says he is a much-improved bowler.

“Marchant’s done a helluva lot of work. He’s had patches of success before, but I’ve seen steady growth this season in him as a strike bowler. His pace is a trumpcard and as he goes up through the levels, he’ll have to become more consistent and better at executing his plans because top batsmen on good pitches deal with pace. But his skills have improved,” Walter said.

 

LOG

 

  P W L Tied Drawn Bat Bowl Penalty
The Unlimited Titans 4 2 2 0 0 14.18 12 0 46.18
bizhub Highveld Lions 3 2 1 0 0 12.46 12 0 44.46
Chevrolet Knights 4 2 1 0 1 9.52 13 0 42.52
Sunfoil Dolphins 2 1 0 0 1 11.08 6 0 27.08
Chevrolet Warriors 3 0 2 0 1 7.74 10 0 17.74
Nashua Cape Cobras 2 0 1 0 1 7.66 3 1 9.66

 

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  • Thought of the Day

    1 Corinthians 3:3 - "For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?"

    One of my favourite U2 songs is a collaboration with Johnny Cash called The Wanderer, and it features the line "they say they want the kingdom, but they don't want God in it".
    Many people say they believe in God, but they don't experience his loving presence. They may be active in Christian work, but only if they have their way. If they cannot be leaders, they refuse to be involved.
    Because they refuse to allow God to fill their lives with his love, they remain weak and powerless.
    Spiritual maturity means developing a greater love for others.

    "When the love of Christ saturates you, immature attitudes such as pettiness, jealousy and strife are dissolved.
    "It is only when you have an intimate relationship with the Lord that you receive sufficient grace to rise above this immaturity and enjoy the solid food that the Holy Spirit gives you." - Solly Ozrovech, A Shelter From The Storm



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