for quality writing

Ken Borland



WP have come to that point of the season when it’s squeaky-bum time 0

Posted on January 07, 2021 by Ken

It’s been a tough year for Western Province rugby and they have now come to the point of the season when they can either mount a strong challenge for the Currie Cup title or finish among the also-rans.

It is certainly squeaky-bum time and Saturday’s match against the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein is probably the one that will determine whether they can remember the last 12 months with at least some fondness. Win with a bonus point and they go top of the log heading into the last round of fixtures; lose and they could find themselves struggling just to make the semi-finals.

Western Province coach John Dobson is not satisfied, however, just to be in contention; their extraordinary defeats to the Bulls and Lions on successive weekends and recent growth in the number of penalties his team is conceding are weighing on his mind.

“We’re in the curious position of finishing anywhere from first to fifth, which is great for the competition. We always knew one of the so-called bigger franchises would lose out on the semi-finals, but I’m not thrilled that it might still be us. Those 22-20 and 22-19 losses to the Bulls and Lions in successive weeks have been a real knock for us.

“We don’t want to have to win next week against the Sharks so this weekend against the Cheetahs is an opportunity for us to wrap up a semi-final place, then we can talk about where we want to be playing that semi-final. So Saturday in Bloem is not quite a quarterfinal but it is still a game of massive importance for us,” Dobson said on Wednesday.

Those selfsame Sharks, who just a couple of weeks ago were the pacesetters after their impressive win over the Bulls, are now the big city team most in danger of missing out on the semi-finals as they are currently in fourth place, just two points ahead of Free State.

They host Griquas in Durban on Saturday and while they would normally be expected to easily overcome the team from Kimberley, the Sharks are currently sitting with Covid problems and have suffered heavy defeats in their last two matches against the Lions and Cheetahs.

Assistant coach Brent Janse van Rensburg said he was not willing to use the health problems as an excuse.

“The Covid disruptions aren’t ideal, it affects your training programme in the week and then affects the availability of players. But it doesn’t help to make excuses, we don’t have an excuses mentality. We embrace the challenges as they come and how you apply your mind to those challenges will determine how you come out on the other end,” Janse van Rensburg said.

The Lions, third on the log, two points behind Western Province, travel to Nelspruit on Saturday to take on neighbours the Pumas. Their big Boxing Day clash with their other neighbours, the Bulls, was postponed, so they will be hoping to carry on the momentum that saw them beat Western Province, Free State and the Sharks on successive weekends.

Top two T20 teams lose to the also-rans 0

Posted on January 01, 2015 by Ken

The top two teams on the RamSlam T20 Challenge log lost to the also-rans on Friday night as the bizhub Highveld Lions went down to the Unlimited Titans at Willowmoore Park and the Chevrolet Warriors beat the Knights in East London.

In Durban, the Nashua Cape Cobras beat the Sunfoil Dolphins by seven wickets with three balls to spare in a match reduced to 10 overs a side by rain.

Jon-Jon Smuts was the hero of the Warriors’ eight-wicket win with three balls remaining over the Knights, taking one for 21 in four overs as the visitors were restricted to 146 for four and then also excelling with the bat as he breezed to 73 not out off 56 balls to anchor the successful run-chase.

The Titans were also triumphant in a rain-affected match, beating the high-riding Lions by 27 runs on the Duckworth/Lewis method for their first victory in six attempts.

The inclement weather around Benoni no doubt caused the Lions to decide to bowl first, but the Titans were off to a blazing start thanks to Henry Davids stroking 75 off 42 balls. The umpires took the players off the field when the Titans were cruising on 117 for two in the 12th over and then again on 132 for four in the 14th over, leaving the home side with just 2.1 overs to bat when they returned to complete their innings.

Heinrich Klaasen, replacing regular wicketkeeper Mangaliso Mosehle, hit successive sixes off Lonwabo Tsotsobe but the Titans were not able to substantially add to the good work of Davids and Theunis de Bruyn (30) up front, finishing on 161 for six.

The unorthodox Eddie Leie was not easy to handle, taking two for 17 in his three overs, and fellow spinners Chris Gayle (2-0-19-1) and Jean Symes (1-0-5-1) were also good.

Ethy Mbhalati bowled superbly up front to remove Alviro Petersen (1) and Chris Gayle (11) and with fast bowler Junior Dala coming into the side and also impressing, the Lions were unable to keep up with the required rate of 10.50 after the Duckworth/Lewis recalculation.

Symes went to a 30-ball half-century but it was not enough to deny the Titans as the Lions finished on 140 for five.

Richard Levi’s bold 54 off 27 balls carried the Cobras to their target of 85 in 10 overs against the Dolphins, who succumbed to the clever bowling of George Linde and Ferisco Adams.

 

 

 

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Thought of the Day

    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.



↑ Top