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Ken Borland

Kolisi ditching his 5yr Sharks contract is all kosher – Eduard 0

Posted on October 13, 2023 by Ken

Current captain Siya Kolisi will be leaving the Sharks at the end of the season, even though he signed a five-year contract renewal last May, to join Racing 92 in France, and it’s all kosher according to the local franchise’s CEO Eduard Coetzee.

Kolisi’s three-year deal with Racing, a Parisian club, was announced on Tuesday and, while it will no doubt shock Sharks fans and cause consternation in terms of those wondering what happens to the Springbok captaincy after the World Cup, Coetzee said he was leaving Kings Park early with their full blessing.

“Siya’s move to France is a new and exciting opportunity and we could not be happier for him. We are blessed to have him don the black-and-white jersey and we know that over the next few months, he will continue to give back to the team and our fans,” Coetzee said in a Sharks statement, which also said the move was “part of a broader long-term collaboration between the Sharks and Racing 92, with the two clubs having come to an amicable agreement, while they also look forward to continuing to build a mutually-beneficial relationship in the future.”

Kolisi expressed his gratitude to the Sharks for their willingness to part with their most iconic player.

“It has been an incredible collaborative effort between the Sharks and Racing 92 that has enabled me to start a new chapter in my career after the 2023 World Cup.

“I want to give a massive thanks to the Sharks for welcoming me with open arms in 2021, and for making me feel so at home in Durban, while their support over the last couple of years has been hugely influential during a key period in my career.

“I am immensely appreciative that the Sharks have given me their blessing to make this move, and it goes without saying that I will continue to give my all for the team over the next few months,” Kolisi said.

“The signing of Siya Kolisi reinforces the ambitions of Racing 92 and will offer our supporters a high-level of performance,” said Jack Lorenzetti, the owner of Racing.

“His winning ambition and natural leadership makes him a great player, but he’s also a deep humanist. He will bring additional positive energy to Racing 92.”

The 31-year-old’s departure to France, for what is probably hundreds of thousands of euro a year, certainly spices up the debate about how the Springboks should approach the post-2023 World Cup era.

Kolisi will only be 32 at the end of this year’s World Cup, and 36 at the 2027 event in Australia, which he will presumably still be available for given that his Sharks contract was going to run until then.

Whoever is in charge of the Springboks at the end of this year may want to keep Kolisi as captain, perhaps with a handover period to his successor.

Proteas back in Australia – this time in white clothing 0

Posted on April 24, 2023 by Ken

The Proteas are back in Australia, but this time they will be in white clothing as they prepare for their crucial three-Test series, their shock exit from the T20 World Cup a month ago in Adelaide put behind them, according to interim head coach Malibongwe Maketa.

Seven of the crestfallen T20 squad are also in the Test group, including players such as Temba Bavuma and Kagiso Rabada, who had poor World Cups, and a player like Marco Jansen who did not get to play a game.

“It’s a totally different format and we made sure the T20 players had a longer break both mentally and physically,” Maketa said in Brisbane on Tuesday.

“The players who were here during the World Cup have been able to contribute in terms of conditions and I have challenged them to bring energy to the team.

“In terms of their mental space, the turnaround has happened sooner than expected, so that is really positive. And some guys are coming off good performances at home.

“We have one warm-up game and it’s important for us, we will get all the batsmen to have a chance and monitor our bowlers. It’s crucial for us to get exposed to the pitches,” Maketa said.

The Proteas have already been tested with questions about the acrimonious previous Test series between the two teams – the Sandpapergate Tests of 2017/18 – with the Australian media hoping someone will put their foot in their mouth, but the South Africans have so far brushed off the controversy as something in the past.

“It’s most definitely not an issue for this group. There were only a handful of us involved and it changed people’s careers because it was an unfortunate incident. But that was way back then,” Maketa said.

The 42-year-old, seasoned coach also seems to have been wearing his drill sergeant cap since the Proteas arrived in Australia.

“It’s important as a coach to remember that the only way I can affect the game is through preparation. I know some of the guys are not liking me at the moment because I have put them through some really hard sessions.

“But when the Test starts, I hand over to Dean Elgar and the players. Then it’s about how we support them as coaching staff, constantly thinking how we can turn things around or stay ahead in the game.

“We give that info to the players and it’s down to them. We must never get in the way of the players, we have to trust the work we’ve done and ensure the environment is conducive for them to perform,” Maketa said.

Blair Atholl the longest course in Euro Tour history & a ‘Driver-fest’ according to Frittelli 0

Posted on March 08, 2023 by Ken

The Blair Atholl Golf and Country Estate course will play at 7462 metres for the South African Open starting on Thursday, the longest in DP World Tour history, and it will be a “Driver-fest” according to leading local contender Dylan Frittelli.

The 32-year-old Frittelli is one of a host of South Africans who generally compete abroad who have returned for the national open, the second oldest in the game, and still considered a hugely prestigious title.

Frittelli, who competes on the PGA Tour, is known as a solid and lengthy driver of the ball, so he was looking forward to tackling Blair Atholl for the first time.

“It’s what I expected – a long course with wide fairways,” Frittelli said after his pro-am round on Wednesday. “It will be a Driver-fest and I’m just going to try and hit the ball as long and as straight as I can.

“It’s a cliche but that and making some putts, on greens that have a lot more character than I was expecting, literally defines this course.

“I think we will be hitting a lot more shots from 140-190 metres on the par-fours, but if it stays dry and hot then we’ll still be hitting the ball 340 off the tee.

“So I think it’s going to be a good mix and I would urge the organisers not to push the tees forward. We don’t want 23-under winning the SA Open. And I’ve got to win the SA Open before my career is over,” Frittelli said.

Charl Schwartzel is another who is extremely determined to win the SA Open for the first time after some near misses, and he used to live on the Blair Atholl Estate, so he knows the course intimately. He and other returning South Africans like Branden Grace, George Coetzee, Thriston Lawrence and Shaun Norris are always a threat in these co-sanctioned events.

Defending champion Danie van Tonder looked in good form in last week’s Joburg Open but his putter just refused to play along, but a new host course for the SA Open could well throw up a new champion.

Dean Burmester seems to always be contending somewhere in the world these days and he is back, hungry and equipped with one of the biggest drives in the field.

“Blair Atholl is loooong, that was my first impression,” Burmester said. “There will be some positional stuff required and it lends itself to good mid and long iron play, but a lot of it is going to come down to long-hitting.

“The bunkers are often 300-310 metres from the tee and you need to be able to cover that in your game or it’s going to be a long week for you. If you’re short of that, then you better pack your fairway woods and metal hybrids.”

Wilco Nienaber is always up there with the longest drivers on tour and was in contention at the Joburg Open, but Louis de Jager is perhaps the dark horse to watch. He is a quality driver of the ball and his fifth place in the Joburg Open was his fourth top-10 finish since August.

Retribution v Ulster not on the Sharks’ minds – Janse van Rensburg 0

Posted on February 21, 2023 by Ken

Rohan Janse van Rensburg

Retribution for their defeat at the hands of Ulster last season that condemned them to an away quarterfinal will not be on the Sharks’ minds, according to centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg, when they take on the Irish powerhouses in their United Rugby Championship clash at Kings Park on Saturday.

Ulster beat the Sharks 24-21 at the Kingspan Stadium last May, which meant they pushed the Sharks down to fifth in the standings and forced them into playing their quarterfinal against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld, where they went down 30-27, beaten by an 83rd minute drop goal by Chris Smith.

But instead of reflecting on that pain, Janse van Rensburg says the Sharks are instead focusing on the positive benefits that could come from beating Ulster in Durban this weekend: a bonus point win and other results going their way could see them climb into the top five on the log.

“We haven’t spoken about what happened last season at all,” Janse van Rensburg said on Tuesday. “Our conversations have purely been based on what we can do to beat Ulster.

“It’s a massive game for us, especially with the current log positions being a great motivation for us. Every point matters at this stage of the season as we try and get closer to the top five. We have the potential to get there already this weekend, so we just want to take our next steps forward.

“We have to use the climate and the heat to our advantage, it’s huge to be able to capitalise on those at home. But most importantly, we need to make sure we pitch up.

“Ulster are always a strong team to face, regardless of them losing a few players to Ireland, so it’s important for us to be really on it from the start,” Janse van Rensburg said.

Playing 81 times for the Sale Sharks between 2017 and 2022 furnished Janse van Rensburg with the ability to adapt to different conditions and match situations, and the 28-year-old sees himself as a senior player with the Natal Sharks, lending his experience to the rest of the team.

“It was definitely a great experience being there overseas for five years, especially playing in the wet conditions, you have to adapt. Sometimes it would be snowing and then it gets really hard.

“But having to adapt to whatever the conditions are on match-day definitely helped me in my game-management. With that experience I just try and help the other boys in the midst of a tough game, but it also helps me in terms of how I think about the game.

“Ulster are coming from their winter so it’s going to be a massive adjustment for them, especially with how hot the weather gets this time of year around 2pm.

“But it’s a really, really big game for us. Confidence is everything and we have quality players who want to perform and achieve higher honours. There’s a big onus on us, even though we are missing a lot of players, to take responsibility for every game now,” Janse van Rensburg said.

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    Mark 7:8 – “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”

    Our foundation must be absolute surrender, devotion and obedience to God, rising from pure love for him. Jesus Christ must be central in all things and his will must take precedence over the will of people, regardless of how well-meaning they may be.

    Surrender yourself unconditionally to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then you will be able to identify what is of man with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Then you will be able to serve – in love! – according to God’s will.

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