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Ken Borland



Bulls will be without unsung hero Paige 0

Posted on June 27, 2016 by Ken

 

Scrumhalf Rudy Paige has probably been the unsung hero of the Bulls’ climb to the top of the South African SuperRugby Conference, but now they are going to have to do without the man who has become their attacking heartbeat for the crunch encounter with the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday.

Paige suffered a grade 1 medial ligament tear of his knee in the impressive win over the Sharks and will be out of action for at least two weeks, coach Frans Ludeke admitting that it is a major blow to his team.

“Rudy’s a very busy player and he gets a lot going for us, especially in terms of go-forward on attack. He brings a lot to our game,” Ludeke said.

The 25-year-old has not only provided a crisp, clean service from the base, but has also impressed with excellent decision-making in terms of who to pass to and when to probe gaps on his own.

Ludeke has two options when it comes to replacing Paige.

Francois Hougaard has played more rugby for the Springboks at scrumhalf than at wing, but the mercurial Paul Roos Gymnasium product has become an integral part of a Bulls back three that has produced some exceptional rugby and Ludeke could well decide not to potentially create two problems by moving him to halfback.

Piet van Zyl’s rugby has gone backwards since he moved to Pretoria, but he is likely to get a chance to shine now, at least for a couple of weeks, in the number nine jersey.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee is keeping his cards very close to his chest this week, but he will be well aware of some Bulls’ weaknesses this season.

The Bulls are not a side that deals in offloads so the Stormers defence don’t need to worry about that, while, despite upstaging the Sharks last weekend at the breakdown, their record in the rucks has been far inferior to that of the Stormers’ this year.

You know what you’re going to get with the Bulls – the blunt instrument of forwards monotonously carrying the ball up – but it works for them and they have actually scored two more tries than the Stormers thus far in the campaign, even though the Capetonians boast the attacking abilities of Damian de Allende, Cheslin Kolbe, Juan de Jongh and Dillyn Leyds.

 

 

Paige not surprised by his World Cup selection 0

Posted on September 02, 2015 by Ken

 

“The coach told me from the beginning that I was in his plans and I knew where I stood, so it wasn’t a total surprise,” debutant scrumhalf Rudy Paige said of his inclusion in the Springboks’ World Cup squad despite not featuring at all in the Rugby Championship.

Paige was chosen as one of three scrumhalves along with veterans Fourie du Preez and Ruan Pienaar, and seemingly leapfrogged Cobus Reinach, who was Pienaar’s understudy throughout the Rugby Championship.

But in a dismal tournament for the Springboks, Reinach’s decision-making was often exposed, most notably against the All Blacks when he took a free kick from the wrong place and had his try disallowed, lost possession by going on a solo attack, and also spread the ball wide when the gap had opened up for him to go through.

“The Bulls had an indifferent season, but I felt my energy and consistency were still good and I wanted to take that to the Springbok squad. Obviously I had to lift it at the Springboks and I was very happy just to observe Fourie du Preez at training, how he goes about things. He’s probably still the best scrumhalf in the world and I was learning every day,” Paige said.

The 26-year-old enjoyed an outstanding Super Rugby campaign and is an efficient, quick passer of the ball as well as having an immaculate kicking game.

“Cobus Reinach was injured for a lot of Super Rugby and I tried to give him game time but he never quite recaptured his form. Rudy provides really good service and he’s more or less like Fourie du Preez as a player. He has an unbelievable kicking game in the wet and great service, and unfortunately he got injured on the end-of-year tour,” coach Heyneke Meyer said when explaining his selection.

As for allowing a situation where Paige will go to the World Cup without having played any Test rugby, Meyer defended his management of the new cap.

“I wanted to play him in Buenos Aires, but the guys who let the country down in Durban had to go and fix it. Even the Australian squad has guys who haven’t played at all and I don’t think playing one Test will make that much difference,” Meyer said.

“That end-of-year tour opened my eyes to what I’m capable of and it made me hungry to be part of the Springbok team, I saw what the blazer means to them. I want to be part of that for most of my career and I need to improve my defence and adapt to international rugby as quickly as possible. My quick service and my kicking game are the things I back myself on,” Paige, the son of a delighted Congregational Church priest in Oudtshoorn, said.

 

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    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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