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Ken Borland

Dawson cleans up her game after rocky start to move 2 clear 0

Posted on March 12, 2024 by Ken

GEORGE, Western Cape – Ana Dawson moved two shots clear at the top of the leaderboard after the second round of the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am at Fancourt on Saturday, managing to clean up her game after a rocky start, posting an excellent three-under-par 69 to move to four-under overall.

With the terrible weather of the opening round clearing, scores were lower at both the Montague and Outeniqua courses on Saturday. Alexandra Swayne also shot a 69 to move to two-under-par alongside Scotland’s Kylie Henry (70) in second place.

Dawson, who led by one after a 71 in the first round, began her round on Montague on Saturday with two bogeys in the first three holes, although she did birdie the par-three second.

The 22-year-old from the Isle of Man was much tidier thereafter, however, not dropping another shot until the par-four 15th. In between, Dawson birdied the sixth, ninth and 11th holes. She then brought a big finish as she birdied the par-four 16th and par-five 18th holes to end the day in prime position going into the final round.

South Africans Kiera Floyd (70) and Cara Gorlei (69) also did well on the Montague course to be tied for fourth on one-under, but there is a new local challenger in contention in veteran Lee-Anne Pace, who won this tournament in 2014 when it was down the road at George Golf Club.

Pace fired a fine 69, with six birdies and three bogeys to join her compatriots on one-under-par. The highlight of her round was an eagle-three on the ninth hole, while she also birdied the sixth and 10th holes. Her only bogey came on the par-four 14th.

If there was any doubt cricket is captured by Big 3, FTP makes it clear 0

Posted on October 03, 2022 by Ken

If ever there was any doubt that cricket is being captured by a greedy Big Three, the release of the Future Tours Programme by the International Cricket Council makes it abundantly clear.

Between 2023 and 2027, 777 international matches will be played by the various nations recognised as Full Members by the ICC. Of those, 173 will be Tests, but 121 of those will be played by just three countries – England (43), Australia (40) and India (38).

And that Big Three are not playing more Test cricket out of some altruistic concern for its future. It is simply because they are the only countries who can afford to play so much Test cricket, largely because they have screwed over the other nine Full Members of the ICC by hogging most of the financial returns of the game for themselves.

Because Tests are expensive to put on and don’t generate as much broadcasting revenue, the poorer nations are forced to play more white-ball cricket – ODIs and T20s.

And it is clear South Africa – whatever the wonderful impact they bring to international cricket – have now been relegated by the Big Three into the pauper category.

Over the next five years, the Proteas will play just 28 Tests and only two of those will be three-Test series. So that means 11 two-match series, which are thoroughly underwhelming and unsatisfactory.

In terms of white-ball cricket, they will play 39 ODIs, the least of all, and 46 T20s. Only Zimbabwe and Ireland will play less international bilateral cricket in the next FTP, and that sums up South Africa’s standing in the international game – with the dogs trying to get scraps from the big table.

And that big table has become even more of a banquet because the number of international matches has actually increased in total across all formats.

The fact that India can pretty much do as they please is borne out by the IPL window being increased to cover April, May and June – months in which other countries now dare not schedule any international cricket, and they will not play Pakistan in any bilateral series.

And England get another bonus because the next three World Test Championship finals will all be played at Lord’s.

Sponsors are also disappointed in Currie Cup losing prestige 0

Posted on August 08, 2022 by Ken

Bulls Currie Cup coach Gert Smal has made clear how disappointed he is in how the once-great competition has been “devalued” and it seems sponsors Carling Black Label are also concerned about the “loss of prestige” in what was once one of the strongest brands in South African rugby.

The Bulls, trying to contend in two tournaments at the same time, made it to the semi-finals with their mix-and-match squads, but eventually the URC had to take priority and they went down 30-19 to Griquas last weekend at Loftus Versfeld.

Smal’s point was that unless the top players in the country are involved, the Currie Cup becomes devalued. And next year it is likely to be even worse because the top five franchises will have an extra European competition to contend with.

Arne Rust, the Carling Black Label Brand Director, told The Citizen the situation with the URC and the Currie Cup taking place concurrently was not ideal.

“It’s been hard to manage and it seems the Currie Cup has lost a bit of prestige. We would love to get that back,” Rust said.

“We would like to see the importance of the Currie Cup heightened rather than it becoming a development tournament.

“We’re not worried there aren’t any Springboks, but we would like the premier local players to take part, we want to see the next generation of Springboks in the Currie Cup.

“The possibility of it becoming an U23 competition is a question we’re not sure about, we want the Currie Cup to be a showcase, to still feature the premier players,” Rust said.

With the European season running from September to June, and with 2023 World Cup arrangements also coming into the reckoning, there is a growing groundswell of opinion that perhaps the Currie Cup should be played at a different time.

With the Springboks usually off-limits for the Currie Cup anyway, there should be a way that SA Rugby can fit the famous event into the second half of the year.

“If SA Rugby can create more daylight for the Currie Cup then that is always good for us,” Rust said. “We are going to have some detailed calendar conversations in future.

“We would like to see the Currie Cup come into its own, it has such a rich heritage and history. We would love it to be more esteemed and prestigious,” Rust said.

With Smal using words such as “sacred” to describe the Currie Cup, and suggesting SA rugby should “rather put the famous trophy away in a glass box or a museum unless they restore its respect”, it is clear there is still a strong emotional connection to the tournament.

*Rugby fans wishing to select their team for the Carling Champions Match against Italy A on July 2 in Gqeberha can still do so by buying a 750ml quart or 500ml can of Black Label and follow the instructions on the pack, or go to or use Facebook Messenger.

Matfield says Bulls are clear favourites for him 0

Posted on July 06, 2022 by Ken

Victor Matfield’s love for the Bulls is well-known given his legendary career at Loftus Versfeld and so it was no surprise to hear the former Springbok captain say that Jake White’s team are clear favourites for him when it comes to their United Rugby Championship quarterfinal against the Sharks in Pretoria on Saturday.

And the presence of White, who was coach of the Springboks when they won the 2007 World Cup with Matfield the man of the match in the final, is one of the differences between the two teams for the former lock, who backed him to get the better of Sharks coach Sean Everitt, whose ability to get the best out of a star-studded Sharks team has been questioned in some quarters.

“The Bulls must be favourites,” Matfield said. “They are better coached at the moment, they know how they want to play and how to win.

“The Sharks are a fantastic team on paper, it’s just that they don’t always play the way we know they can.

“Playing at Loftus Versfeld will also definitely be an advantage for the Bulls, they know how to play there and have had a very good record there for the last two-to-three years.

“But the Bulls scrum will need to stand up because the Sharks have won a lot of penalties there. The Sharks scrum very well,” Matfield said.

The lineout maestro also said he wanted to see the Bulls really pile on the pressure in the opening exchanges, using their powerful forwards to batter the Sharks and have them crying for mom early on in the quarterfinal.

“The Bulls struggle when they start games too loose, they are very good when they start by getting that forward dominance.

“In some games we’ve seen them not employ a drive at the first three lineouts, instead going to the midfield and trying to play ball-in-hand rugby.

“But I think once they get that momentum, that forward dominance, then they can spread the ball and really test the defences.

“I would like to see them build first, really squeeze the Sharks, and then they can throw the ball around,” Matfield said.

If the Bulls do beat the Sharks, however, then Matfield said a likely semi-final against Leinster at Aviva Stadium in Dublin would be a daunting prospect.

“Once they get over to Europe for the semi-finals then it becomes much more difficult. To beat Leinster you have to be at your best.

“But I believe the Bulls and Stormers can compete against them if they get their packs of forwards really up for the game,” Matfield said.

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    John 15:16 – “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

    Our Christian experience begins when the Holy Spirit starts working in our imperfect lives. An inexplicable restlessness and a feeling that nothing can give you the satisfaction you yearn for, could be the Spirit working in you.

    Even when God calls you and chooses you to serve him, there may be inner conflict and confusion because you are not always willing to do what God is asking of you.

    But this inner struggle is part of spiritual life … Commit yourself to God and open yourself to the inflowing of the Holy Spirit.

    It is by great grace that you were chosen by God to serve him and to live to the honour and glory of his name. Surrender unconditionally to the Lord and you will discover that your life gains new meaning and purpose.

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