for quality writing

Ken Borland



You can only feel sorry for the SA women’s hockey side 0

Posted on August 22, 2022 by Ken

Having been one goal away from qualifying for the Women’s Hockey World Cup quarterfinals but then finishing in a share of last place, you can only feel sorry for South Africa’s women’s hockey side as they lost 1-0 to Chile in their final game to finish joint 15th in Amsterdam.

To make matters worse, they had numerous chances against Chile but failed to take their opportunities. The momentum gained from their comeback 3-3 draw with Japan and gutsy 1-0 defeat to Germany that saw the superpowers scrape into the quarterfinals has now been lost as they head for the Commonwealth Games.

Kayla de Waal’s direct running from midfield created problems for Chile in the first quarter, but the final pass kept going astray, with the Diablos only threatening the South African goal a couple of times.

The score was still 0-0 at halftime, as both teams lacked the finishing touch even though the game had opened up.

South Africa dominated possession in the second half, but chances were wasted. This led to frustration and a yellow card for Erin Christie.

Giles Bonnet’s side weathered the storm of being a player short, but will kick themselves that they conceded the matchwinning goal a minute after being restored to 11 on the astro. They will also lament the defensive lap that left Manuela Urroz wide open to a diagonal ball that allowed her plenty of time and space to finish well.

Even though Chile were also reduced to 10 players in the final quarter, South Africa were unable to threaten their opponents’ goal.

While the defence, led by goalkeeper Phumelela Mbande and sweeper Jean-Leigh du Toit, has been outstanding in this World Cup, questions will need to be asked about an attack that was off the mark for much of the tournament.

15th instalment of the IPL will be Rassie’s first 0

Posted on March 24, 2022 by Ken

The 15th instalment of the Indian Premier League will be Rassie van der Dussen’s first as the Proteas batsman has been signed up by the Rajasthan Royals, the team who won the first edition of the T20 tournament and have been the side the 33-year-old has supported since then.

Apart from the R2 million payday, Van der Dussen is delighted to now be able to mix it on the global stage with his international batting peers, having proven his worth with an average of 38 and a strike-rate of 130 in his 31 T20 innings for South Africa.

Rajasthan Royals, who beat the Chennai Super Kings by three wickets in the first IPL final in 2008, have the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, Jos Buttler and Shimron Hetmyer on their roster.

Van der Dussen had just made his first-class debut for Northerns as an opening batsman when the first IPL was played. Just as that tournament has grown and evolved, so too has Van der Dussen’s game, such that he is now one of the most successful middle-order batsmen in the world of white-ball cricket.

“It feels pretty good to now be part of the IPL, but it’s been a long road to get there,” Van der Dussen said on Monday. “It’s good to be acknowledged and it’s another opportunity to do what I do.

“I’ve always been a Rajasthan Royals fan since the early days, with Graeme Smith playing there. So I’m happy and honoured to be playing for a prestigious franchise like that.

“It’s an exciting prospect to be playing with several world-class players,” Van der Dussen said.

The Central Gauteng Lions star, egged on by the need to be adaptable in different situations batsmen face in the middle-order, feels he has the skills to do well in the IPL.

“My move from being an opener into the middle-order meant I had to adjust my game. I feel I have all the bases covered, I’ve shown I can adapt well in challenging conditions.

“I feel I’ve got the skills to adapt to all situations. I can hit sixes in South Africa where the ball comes on nicely; India is more challenging with spin, and it’s more about working the ball around and picking up the ones.

“But that’s what we’ve done lately with the Proteas. And I’ve managed to perform well in Paarl, where conditions are as similar to India as you’ll find anywhere outside of the subcontinent.

“I’ve shown I have the skills to adapt and execute in those conditions,” Van der Dussen said.

Van der Dussen averages 80 in T20s in Paarl, having scored 240 runs in five innings, with two not outs.

Mokuena part of a seismic week for Black African rugby 0

Posted on April 19, 2016 by Ken

 

The 15th week of 2016 could potentially be a seismic one in the history of Black African rugby in this country with Jonathan Mokuena leading Pukke to the Varsity Cup title and Mzwandile Stick being named a Springbok assistant coach.

While both former Springbok Sevens stars have quickly risen to coaching prominence, it is Mokuena who is perhaps accelerating even faster than former flyer Stick.

The 34-year-old Mokuena claimed the highly-competitive Varsity Cup title in his first year as a 15s coach and will now be guiding the Leopards in the Currie Cup as the doors slowly open for Black Africans at senior coaching level.

Speed and intensity will always be vital in rugby and, as a former Springbok Sevens captain, Mokuena’s coaching focuses on that.

“Coming from Sevens has been kind of an advantage because there’s a certain work ethic in Sevens. Coming to 15s, I try to train and operate at that same level, to introduce the same mental attitude. We train at a greater intensity and pace and under more pressure. In Sevens, because there are less guys on the field, one missed tackle can mean you lose the game,” Mokuena told The Saturday Citizen.

Mokuena was born in Cape Town in 1981 and received a bursary while at Prince George Primary to attend Voortrekker High School, an Afrikaans school.

“There was no soccer or volleyball, which I had been playing, at Voortrekker, I had to play cricket and rugby. It was just post-1994, so it was a bit uncomfortable, but I think having that challenge has allowed me to fit in well in small towns. I played my best rugby in Potchefstroom and Kimberley,” Mokuena said.

Having made his provincial debut for Western Province in 2002, Mokuena, a tough loose forward, relocated to Potchefstroom in 2004, playing 55 matches for the Leopards. From there he had stints with the Cheetahs and Griffons in the Free State, before joining Griquas, who he captained to the Vodacom Cup title in 2009, being named the player of the tournament.

He then joined the Lions, in the years before they were the slick, settled and reasonably happy outfit they are now.

“In my two years at the Lions, the coaching staff changed four times – from Jake White to Dick Muir to John Mitchell and then Johan Ackermann. So it was never consistent, which you need to fit in as a player. But I wanted to play SuperRugby. I wasn’t helped by a knee injury and then I missed a tour when my first child was born,” Mokuena recalls.

Before taking up coaching, Mokuena spent three years in the corporate world and, coupled with some bad experiences of how coaching should not be done at the Lions, it has helped shape his own coaching philosophy.

“You see what works in the corporate world and there are a lot of similarities with sport. You learn how to work better with people and how to manage people. Not everyone dances to the same music, you have got to discover what works in your set-up and figure out what sort of people your players are.

“A coach will impact more young people in a year than most people do in a lifetime, so it’s about those person-to-person relationships and creating an environment to grow people, a family environment,” Mokuena said.

The married father of three, who says his biggest playing highlight was winning the man of the match award for the Royal XV against the British and Irish Lions in 2009, says the future goal is the Springboks, but the now is his focus.

“The ultimate goal is to be Springbok coach, but at the moment I’m just focusing on getting the structures right for the Leopards, the Currie Cup is my immediate goal. The Varsity Cup has gone, we’ve ticked that box, and the Currie Cup is next, I want everyone to see we are going about things the right way here.

“The Black coaches have always been there, it’s just about opportunity. It’s slowly opening up but we don’t want to be appointed because of our colour,” Mokuena said.

The stately Varsity Cup trophy sitting in his office in Potchefstroom proves the waves Mokuena is making have nothing to do with window-dressing.

http://www.citizen.co.za/1077177/mokuena-making-waves/

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Thought of the Day

    Don’t be so busy – even working for God – that you don’t have regular quiet time. Don’t let your activities become more important than your time with the Father. You can be alive ‘for’ God without experiencing the presence and power of the living Christ.

    “Attempting to serve the Lord without the strength of the Holy Spirit results in frustration and ultimate disaster.

    “If your vision of him grows dim, your service will become powerless and ineffective. This will happen if your spiritual reserves are not regularly replenished through prayer and meditation.

    “You must put him first in all your activities. Your service for him must be the result of your intimate knowledge of him. Only when he enjoys priority in all things, can you understand life from his perspective. Putting Christ first in your life and work makes you a more capable servant of God.” – A Shelter From The Storm, Solly Ozrovech



↑ Top