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Ken Borland

Rostron to double up as coach of both women’s & men’s teams 0

Posted on August 31, 2017 by Ken


In a first for South African hockey, Sheldon Rostron will double up as the head coach of both the women’s and men’s teams at the African Cup of Nations in Egypt in October, the South African Hockey Association (Saha) announced on their website on Friday.

Rostron has enjoyed success as the head coach of the women’s national team since 2014 and has already qualified them for the next World Cup, thanks to their fifth-place finish in the recent Hockey World League Semifinals. But the underperforming men are under pressure to qualify and only the winners of the Africa Cup tournament go through to the World Cup.

“Obviously the double role brings with it some logistical issues like making sure both teams are together so we can prepare and alternating training sessions, but I really just wanted to assist the process of finding a new permanent head coach for the men and make sure they qualify for the World Cup,” Rostron told Saturday Citizen on Friday.

“There will be a sharing of resources, with a joint management team, and obviously the assistant coaches will have to step up. But it’s a good opportunity for them to grow and some of them are in the running for the head coach position.”

It is a move not without precedent in the world of hockey, as Carlos Retegui steered both the Argentina men’s and women’s teams to bronze medals at the 2014 World Cup.

“It’s difficult to apply the same processes that have been successful with the women, but as someone who works with men as well it’s not a major concern. We can adapt one or two things, there don’t need to be massive changes, and some of the philosophies we can take across. Because women’s hockey usually goes the same way as the men’s game, I study men’s hockey as well and I know the trends. But the main thing is to make sure that we are all focused towards qualifying our men’s side for the World Cup,” Rostron said.

Saha are hoping to appoint someone as a permanent new men’s head coach by the end of the year, the Africa Cup being the team’s last engagement of 2017.



Du Toit looks to Stormers after turning back on Sharks 0

Posted on August 10, 2017 by Ken


Springbok lock Pieter-Steph du Toit looks set to become a Stormers player after announcing his decision on Tuesday to leave the Sharks at the end of October.

Du Toit was scouted by the Sharks while still at school at Swartland High School in Malmesbury, but the highly-promising 22-year-old has proven injury-prone with two serious knee injuries in the last two years.

Having earlier said he owed loyalty to the Sharks for looking after him during these tough times, it now seems he is going to Cape Town. The Stormers have not officially confirmed his signing but did reveal two weeks ago that they were negotiating with him.

“Our medical team has invested immense time and effort into Pieter-Steph’s rehabilitation and recovery process and we are saddened to lose him, but I guess we cannot hold the player back if he has made up his mind,” Sharks CEO John Smit said.

Du Toit is believed to be in a relationship with a physiotherapist that works with the Stormers.

On the plus side for the Sharks, they have confirmed powerhouse flank Marcell Coetzee has signed for another two years.

Proteas selectors have some tough decisions to make 0

Posted on August 31, 2015 by Ken


South Africa have only really done what was expected of them in beating an under-strength New Zealand team in their one-day series and their selectors still have some tough decisions to make for their tour of India in October.

Sure, South Africa were missing players as well, but only a trio – JP Duminy, Morne Morkel and Faf du Plessis – compared to the half-dozen stars the Black Caps were without, including tone-setting batsman Brendon McCullum, middle-order kingpin Ross Taylor and strike bowlers Trent Boult and Tim Southee.

So, playing at home, one would have expected the Proteas to win the series, which they did with an impressive performance in Durban.

But with Duminy, Morkel and Du Plessis all set to return for the five ODIs in India, the selectors have to decide how to fit them back into the squad.

Their most pressing issue is that they still have not solved the all-rounder problem.

David Wiese was unable to have any impact with the bat, scoring just 34 runs in three innings at a strike-rate of 72, and he also met his match in the New Zealand batsmen, conceding over seven runs an over, although he did make an improved contribution with the ball in the win in Durban, taking three wickets.

He bowled 20 overs in those three games and whether he met the expectations of the selectors remains to be seen … their deliberations for the India tour squad will surely also involve Duminy taking Wiese’s place or maybe even giving Ryan McLaren or Chris Morris another go.

One player who most certainly proved himself in the series against New Zealand was Farhaan Behardien.

The 31-year-old has been one of the best finishers in domestic cricket for the last few years and showed that ability with his calm knocks of 70 off 87 balls in Potchefstroom and 40 off 28 deliveries in Durban.

Behardien is seemingly one of those sportsmen that has to work doubly hard to win over the demanding South African public; I’m reminded of Springbok fullback Zane Kirchner in that respect.

The strength of Behardien is his ability to play a dual role – he can play the role of supporting batsman, rotating the strike, for a top-order player who is set, and he can clear the boundary himself in the closing stages. Throw in a couple of overs of medium-pace and his fielding skills and it is clear Behardien is a useful limited-overs package.

Obviously the returns of Duminy and Du Plessis will put his place in the starting XI in danger, but Behardien is the type of player the Proteas should be very happy to have in their squad.

The other big selection decision is whether to persevere with Morne van Wyk after his half-century in Durban. Although the conditions were testing, Van Wyk’s 58 was on the slow side, coming off 100 deliveries and the way he struggled against the slower bowlers, when the ball was not coming on to the bat, suggests the Indian tour could also be a tough one for him.

There seems little point in delaying the return of Quinton de Kock, who went away and did everything the selectors would have asked of him by scoring three centuries for SA A in those same Indian conditions.

While he is certain to be in the squad, the place of David Miller in the starting team could also be on the table after the left-hander continued his run without a half-century to 11 innings, going back to the unbeaten century he scored against Zimbabwe in the opening game of the World Cup. In his defence though, there have been two 49s, a 46 not out and a 44 in that run.


Titans claim 1st franchise trophy of new season 0

Posted on September 15, 2014 by Ken

The Unlimited Titans already have a franchise trophy in their cabinet and it’s not even October as they claimed the inaugural Global Softech Sixes title in a thrilling final at SuperSport Park yesterday.

The Titans, having won all three of their games on the first day, were knocked over by both the Knights and Cape Cobras yesterday and, with three teams ending on six points, they had to rely on the Highveld Lions beating the Knights in the last round-robin match in order for them to sneak into the final against the Dolphins.

The Titans batsmen were utterly clinical after being sent into bat in the final with captain Henry Davids setting the tone by hitting spinner Keshav Maharaj’s first three balls for six.

Mangaliso Mosehle then hammered off-spinner Thandi Tshabalala for four successive sixes in the second over and retired on 33 off just seven balls, with Farhaan Behardien (36 not out off 10 balls, 5x6s) and David Wiese (35 retired off seven balls, 5x6s) then picking up the cudgels as the Titans posted 126 for one, the highest total in the Franchise Challenge.

The Titans bowlers were considerably less focused, however, and the Dolphins raced to 94 for one in the first three overs of their chase, Wiese conceding 25 runs, Davids 33 and Dean Elgar 36 in an over that included six sixes and a no-ball.

Morne van Wyk, farcically omitted from the South African team to play in the Africa Challenge over the weekend because it was chosen before this tournament even started, was again the chief destroyer, belting five sixes in his 35 retired off just seven deliveries.

But left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe then produced a magnificent over, firing the ball into the blockhole, conceding just eight runs and removing Khaya Zondo and the dangerous Robbie Frylinck (28 off six balls).

That left the Dolphins with 23 to score in the final over to win and Behardien contrived to bowl them back into the game with two wides and conceding a six. With 14 needed off three balls, Sibonelo Makhanya pulled the medium-pacer to the square-leg boundary where captain Davids deliberately put down the catch to ensure Van Wyk had to stay in the dugout and could not return to the crease.

Tshabalala’s six off the last ball brought the Dolphins within a tantalising run of victory, but the clear-thinking of the Titans in the final over – as well as Van der Merwe’s brilliance – is what won them the match, with Behardien also bowling outside off stump so the batsman could not shoulder arms and be bowled.

In their first game of the day, the Titans lost by five runs to the resurgent Knights, despite Behardien taking two for eight and scoring 31 not out.

The match against the Cape Cobras was another nailbiter, with Mosehle seemingly having secured victory as his off-drive was heading for six, before it was intercepted by a leaping Stiaan van Zyl, who parried the ball back infield. The Cobras coach, Paul Adams, playing because of the injuries to Justin Ontong and Justin Kemp, dived to catch the ball one-handed to dismiss Mosehle and leave the Titans still needing four to win off the last delivery.

Wiese, who had excelled with the ball, dismissing Rory Kleinveldt and Dane Vilas with the first two deliveries of the Cobras innings, couldn’t find the boundary and the Titans lost by three runs.

But the Cobras were edged out of the final by the Lions’ victory and there was further celebration in the Titans camp when Mosehle, Wiese and Behardien, who will captain the team, were named in the South Africa squad for the weekend’s Africa Challenge.

Titans assistant coach Mandla Mashimbyi will be the head coach of the national side.

Scores in brief

Cape Cobras 91-1 (Stiaan van Zyl 32*, Dane Vilas 31*, Qaasim Adams 20*). Dolphins 96-0 (Morne van Wyk 31*, Keshav Maharaj 31*, Robbie Frylinck 31*). Dolphins won by six wickets.

Knights 99-0 (Reeza Hendricks 32*, Werner Coetsee 26*, Dillon du Preez 37*). Warriors 95-3 (Colin Ingram 42*, Jon-Jon Smuts 36*). Knights won by four runs.

Knights 102-3 (Reeza Hendricks 32*, Werner Coetsee 30, Tumelo Bodibe 33 not out; Farhaan Behardien 2-8). Titans 97-3 (Henry Davids 20, Theunis de Bruyn 28, Farhaan Behardien 31 not out; Werner Coetsee 2-16). Knights won by five runs.

Lions 78-1 (Brian Barnard 33*, Chris Morris 28, Basheer Walters 1-3). Warriors 81-2 (Colin Ingram 30, Jon-Jon Smuts 24*). Warriors won by four wickets.

Cape Cobras 97-2 (Stiaan van Zyl 32*, Qaasim Adams 32, Aviwe Mgijima 31*; David Wiese 2-6). Titans 94-2 (Farhaan Behardien 36*, Henry Davids 32*; Stiaan van Zyl 1-10). Cape Cobras won by three runs.

Warriors  112-1 (Jon-Jon Smuts 35*, Christiaan Jonker 36*, Rusty Theron 24*). Dolphins 113-0 (Morne van Wyk 31*, Robbie Frylinck 34*, Keshav Maharaj 24*, Khaya Zondo 24*). Dolphins won by six wickets.

Knights 82-1 (Reeza Hendricks 32*, Werner Coetsee 29, Dillon du Preez 20*). Highveld Lions 84-0 (Dwaine Pretorius 36*, Chris Morris 28*). Highveld Lions won by six wickets.

Titans 126-1 (Mangaliso Mosehle 33*, Farhaan Behardien 36*, David Wiese 35*). Dolphins 125-3 (Morne van Wyk 35*, Keshav Maharaj 29, Robbie Frylinck 28; Roelof van der Merwe 2-8). Titans won by one run.

South Africa team: Chris Morris (Highveld Lions), Mangaliso Mosehle (Titans), Khaya Zondi (Dolphins), Robbie Frylinck (Dolphins), Cameron Delport (Dolphins), David Wiese (Titans), Farhaan Behardien (Titans).

Weekend fixtures

Saturday10h00 Kenya v Namibia; 10h50 Uganda v Tanzania; 11h40 South Africa v Zimbabwe; 12h30 Tanzania v Kenya; 13h20 Zimbabwe v Uganda; 14h10 Namibia v South Africa; 15h00 Kenya v Zimbabwe; 15h50 Uganda v South Africa.

Sunday10h00 Tanzania v Namibia; 10h50 South Africa v Kenya;11h40 Namibia v Uganda; 12h30 Tanzania v Zimbabwe; 13h20 Uganda v Kenya; 14h10 Tanzania v South Africa; 15h00 Namibia v Zimbabwe; 16h10 Africa Sixes final.




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