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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.

Better-backed SA women’s team off to Sri Lanka 0

Posted on November 06, 2014 by Ken

The South African women’s cricket team’s rise from sixth to third in the international rankings is undoubtedly rooted in the better opportunities they now have since being sponsored by Momentum and Mignon du Preez’s side is off on tour again this weekend as they head to Sri Lanka for four ODIs and three T20s.

The women’s Proteas are battle-hardened from their tough tour of world number ones England last month and will want to show how far they have advanced from this time last year when they hosted Sri Lanka and won both the ODI and T20 series.

“We played brilliantly against them here at home, but it’s going to be a different ball game playing them now in their home conditions. Ideally, we want to make sure we improve on those results because it’s the start of the ICC Women’s Challenge and the points are important for us to finish in the top four and automatically qualify for the 2017 World Cup. So it’s one of our most important tours,” captain Du Preez told The Citizen yesterday.

Talented all-rounder Sune Luus has withdrawn from the South African squad because she will be writing her matric exams, but off-spinner Yolani Fourie, the captain of the SA Emerging Players team, has been called up for the first time by the senior side.

The responsibility will now fall on young Dane’ van Niekerk to be the main leg-spinner in the team, but Du Preez believes the pace bowlers will be the strength of the South Africans.

“The Sri Lankans are used to spin, they’ve often played two seamers and five spinners against us, so spin is what they know. But they’re not so used to the speed we can produce and I think our amazing seamers can do something special against them, plus we have swing bowlers too who can move the ball both ways,” Du Preez said.

The women’s Proteas arrive on the sub-continental island on Sunday and the first ODI is on Wednesday at the Sinhalese Sports Club.

Squad: Bernadine Bezuidenhout, Trisha Chetty, Moseline Daniels, Mignon du Preez, Yolani Fourie, Shabnim Ismail, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Lizelle Lee, Matshipi Letsoalo, Nadine Moodley, Andrie Steyn, Chloe Tryon, Dane’ van Niekerk.

 

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    James 1:5 - "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him."

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