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Ken Borland



Steyn looking to impose his management on game 0

Posted on June 17, 2016 by Ken

 

Springbok backline coach Mzwandile Stick said if you ever wanted to ‘cut-and-paste’ game-management into a side then Morne Steyn is as good a template as you can find, and the veteran flyhalf is hoping to bring some much-needed tactical prowess with the boot to the team for their crucial second Test against Ireland at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Steyn has completed his season with Stade Francais and was back in South Africa preparing to go on holiday when he answered the S.O.S. from the Springbok camp, with Pat Lambie and Handre Pollard both injured. The 31-year-old is likely to be named on the bench as back-up for Elton Jantjies and has every chance of adding to his 60 caps if the home side finds itself in trouble.

“Last Saturday our kicking wasn’t at the usual top standard, and what we’re trying to bring is more kicking into our game and that’s one of my strengths, so hopefully I can bring that to the team. All the teams we play against in Europe are quality, they all have good kicking games, but they’re all trying to run the ball a bit more as well. You can see the standard has improved a lot and England and Ireland were able to show it last weekend. At Stade Francais I’ve been able to gain more experience of playing in that weather, as well as relaxing and enjoying my rugby more,” Steyn said.

The former Bulls star’s international hopes seemed to have suffered a terminal blow last year when he played only 24 minutes of Test rugby, coming off the bench against the USA in the World Cup. But it’s not the first time Steyn has been discarded and returned as his mastery of the basic skills of international flyhalf play don’t go out of fashion.

“I watched a lot of SuperRugby and guys like Elton Jantjies, Pat Lambie and Garth April were all doing so well, and I knew I was a bit older than those guys … plus it’s a new era, which is good for South African rugby. So I guess I wasn’t really expecting to be called up … a guy like Handre Pollard, who is injured now, is in the picture as well so you never know what will happen.

“But rugby certainly is a strange game! Just when you think you’re out of it, you’re back in the thick of it. But I’m here now and determined to make a positive contribution. I spoke to my wife about it as well. We just said we’re going to see how it goes. It’s great to be back and I’m enjoying playing with all the new guys in the Springbok squad, only three or four guys have more than 50 caps. I had four weeks holiday planned, but it’s great to be back on the field!

“Family time is great, but I will give it my all for the Springboks. In every training session, every game I play from here I’m going to give it 100%. Maybe I can keep going for another two or three years,” Steyn said.

Sharks expect & train for physicality & high tempo from Jaguares 0

Posted on March 02, 2016 by Ken

 

Physicality and a high tempo from the Jaguares is what the Sharks are expecting and have trained for ahead of their SuperRugby clash against the tournament newcomers at Kings Park in Durban on Saturday, according to veteran wing Odwa Ndungane.

After the Sharks hammered the Kings in Port Elizabeth and the Jaguares staged a dramatic comeback to pip the Cheetahs in the opening round of matches, the KwaZulu-Natal franchise are one point ahead of the Argentinians in their conference and intend to stay ahead of their dangerous opponents.

“Watching the Jaguares in the World Cup and the Rugby Championship, and then again against the Cheetahs, it’s definitely going to be a tough game, they are physical and play at a fast tempo, they showed they like to throw the ball around last weekend.

“But that’s what we’ve been exposed to in SuperRugby. Although we beat Toulon and Toulouse on our pre-season tour and they were a good test, we knew that it wasn’t really SuperRugby level. We always knew we would have to make a step up and it will be no different this weekend. We’ll have to be really tight and not give them a sniff,” Ndungane said on Tuesday.

When they managed to get quick ball against the tenacious Kings, the Sharks were able to play some daring rugby, with Ndungane scoring twice in a typically busy-bee performance by the evergreen 35-year-old.

“To score six tries in Port Elizabeth is not easy to achieve, but it’s what we set out to do and it’s wonderful to achieve that in the first game. So there were a lot of good things we take out of that performance, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement and we’ll work hard again this week to get those things right,” Ndungane said.

Defence coach Omar Mouneimne said he was pleased the team had been tested by the hard-hitting Kings as warm-up games don’t quite have the same buzz and intensity.

“We hadn’t had physical contact for two weeks, so we needed a physical hit-out in a real game and get the nerves bled out, to feel like we’re really in the tournament. We needed real bullets fired under real pressure after two warm-up games. We were a bit messy and could have been a little more accurate. But in saying that, I think it was down to nerves. You’re not going to do things perfectly in the first game and, at half-time, the talk was about lifting the intensity, about playing at another level and to outpace and outmuscle them, and there were signs of that,” Mouneimne said.

62 came ‘out of the blue’ for Henning 0

Posted on September 15, 2015 by Ken

South African veteran Nic Henning has not finished in the top 100 of the Sunshine Tour order of merit since 2009 and he readily admitted that his record-equalling nine-under-par 62 in the first round of the Joburg Open at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club on Thursday had come out of the blue.

“I have no idea where today’s round came from, the last couple of years I’ve been playing horrible golf and you can see that in my results. But I’ve been playing a lot recently and it feels fantastic, it’s been a long time since I’ve had such a good round,” Henning said.

The 45-year-old reached the milestone of 300 Sunshine Tour tournaments in September 2010, having turned pro in 1992, and Thursday’s glorious round was perhaps reward for his sheer determination to keep going through many lean years.

“You’ve just got to keep on going, fortunately I did well enough earlier in my career to qualify for this tournament through the career money-list, because pre-qualifying, which I had to do a couple of years ago, is really hit-and-miss. But you’ve got to just keep grinding away and believing you can do it,” Henning, the nephew of South African golfing great Harold, said.

His round of 62 equals the course record for the West Course set by Desvonde Botes in 2007, but the more challenging East Course lies in wait in Friday’s second round. Except for the 66s shot on the East Course by another South African veteran, Wallie Coetsee, and Englishman Sam Hutsby, all the other golfers in the top-10 on the leaderboard played on the West Course.

“My confidence is okay but I’m a bit apprehensive because the East Course is much tougher, but the secret is driving the ball nicely. Fortunately, throughout my 24 years on tour my driving has been very good.

“But today was only one round and I hope tomorrow brings a decent round as well. I’m just thinking about that first tee shot,” Henning said.

Two other seasoned local golfers, Titch Moore and Tjaart van der Walt, as well as Thomas Pieters of Belgium, also tamed the West Course with eight-under-par 63s.

Pieters eagled the par-five 15th, but then dropped shots on the 16th and 18th holes to leave him a little irritated.

Scoring is usually low on the West Course, but there is still plenty of timber to ensnare the errant golfer. Nevertheless, there were a host of cheerful golfers coming off that side of Royal Johannesburg and Kensington, with South Africans Dean Burmester and Garth Mulroy, as well as Australian Jason Scrivener, shooting 64s, and Joachim B. Hansen, Scott Henry, Byeong-hun An, Jorge Campillo, Andrew Curlewis and Simon Dyson carding 65s to join Coetsee and Hutsby on six-under.

Defending champion George Coetzee is sitting comfortably a stroke further back after a 66 on the West Course, while Thomas Aiken is also on five-under-par after a 67 on the East Course.

Two-time champion Richard Sterne is on three-under, while newly-announced European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke is on level-par.

Apart from Henning’s heroics, the other highlight of the day was the hole-in-one Moore registered on the 98-metre par-three fifth hole.

“I got off to a nice start and was a couple-under. I got up to the fifth and it was a perfect yardage for my 58-degree wedge, I pitched it a little behind the flag and it spun in. It never looked like it was going to miss. To make a one on the card is always special. It was awesome,” Moore said.

While the ace obviously helped catapult Moore up the leaderboard, it was a top-class round in general by the 39-year-old.

“I’m pleased with the round and to shoot eight-under on the West is always a good start. I played nicely and hit a lot of greens. I gave myself a lot of chances and putted solid,” Moore said.

Van der Walt was also delighted with his round after his comeback from a fatigue-inducing illness which now has him on a strict diet.

“It’s a lengthy process, but I’m getting fitter and stronger. I only had 25-26 putts today and that’s what it’s all about, as well as confidence. Golf is a sport we tend to over-complicate, but you play better when you simplify things,” Van der Walt said.

http://citizen.co.za/334504/henning-feels-fantastic-about-first-round/

Frustrated Henning gets a 62 out of the blue 0

Posted on September 14, 2015 by Ken

 

Veteran South African golfer Nic Henning has been tearing his hair out over the last few years as his game has steadily declined and then suddenly, out of the blue, came a record-equaling nine-under-par 62 yesterday in the first round of the Joburg Open at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club.

The 45-year-old Henning, the nephew of Harold, turned pro in 1992 and finished in the top 10 on the order of merit in 1997/98, 1999/2000 and 2004/5, but there have been many lean years since then and the last time he was in the top 100 on the money-list was back in 2009.

“The last couple of years I’ve been playing horrible golf and you can see that in my results. I have no idea where today’s round came from, but I’ve been playing a lot recently and it feels fantastic, it’s been a long time since I’ve had such a good round,” Henning said after the best round in his lengthy pro career.

There were seven birdies and an eagle in Henning’s round, which equalled the West Course record set by fellow South African Desvonde Botes in 2007, and he went out in a phenomenal 29 strokes.

“My iron play was really good today, the best it’s been for many years, and I got off to a flyer to settle the nerves with birdies on the first two holes and then the eagle on the third when I hit a seven-iron from 169 metres exactly as I wanted to and it went in the hole!” Henning explained.

There are three golfers one stroke behind Henning on eight-under – fellow South African veterans Titch Moore and Tjaart van der Walt, as well as Thomas Pieters from Belgium.

Dean Burmester, Garth Mulroy and Australian Jason Scrivener are on seven-under, while another seasoned local, Wallie Coetsee, had the best round on the tougher East Course and is in the group on six-under.

Henning has been through the mills in recent years and his amazing round on Thursday was perhaps reward for his determination to keep going.

“You’ve just got to keep on going, fortunately I did well enough earlier in my career to qualify for this tournament through the career money-list, because pre-qualifying, which I had to do a couple of years ago, is really hit-and-miss. But you’ve got to just keep grinding away and believing you can do it,” Henning said.

It was either feast or famine for newly-announced European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke as he collected six birdies, two double-bogeys and two bogeys on his way to a level-par 72 on the East Course, while defending champion George Coetzee was in touch with the leaders after a five-under-par 66 on the West Course.

Thomas Aiken is in the same group after a 67 on the East Course, while two-time champion Richard Sterne is in a tie for 43rd after a 69.

Moore made an incredible start, going five-under-par through five holes after a hole-in-one on the very short 98m par-three.

“I got off to a nice start and was a couple-under. I got up to the fifth and it was a perfect yardage for my 58-degree wedge, I pitched it a little behind the flag and it spun in. It never looked like it was going to miss. To make a one on the card is always special. It was awesome,” Moore said.

 

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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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