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Ken Borland

England’s aggressive approach an obvious factor; Proteas need lift of intensity 0

Posted on August 24, 2022 by Ken

The aggressive approach of the English is an obvious factor the Proteas are going to have to deal with when their ODI series gets underway at Chester-le-Street on Tuesday and paceman Lungi Ngidi says South Africa will need to bring a lift of intensity to counter the home side.

England’s approach to batting seems to be to go all-out attack from the outset and 350 seems to be the par score they have in mind whatever the conditions.

“England are definitely going to put us under pressure,” Ngidi said on Sunday. “They do put bowling line-ups under pressure and we have to play with a tempo and in the way we need. Our batsmen have had to tune in and shift their mindset and they will attempt to do the same.

“Everyone is pretty much mentally ready, we know what England will bring and we’ve got to lift our intensity. As bowlers, if we can get early wickets and put their batting line-up under pressure then anything can happen.

“We played here in the World Cup and we’ve seen the conditions this week – lots of cloud cover overhead and the ball moves around a bit. That gives confidence to the bowlers,” Ngidi said.

With the batsmen coming full tilt at you as the bowler, the 26-year-old Ngidi knows he is going to have to bring all his variations to the party.

“We’ll take any assistance we can get. You try to assess the conditions and after the first two overs you know what the pitch will give you and you’ve delivered pretty much all your balls.

“If you bowl at just one pace then the batsmen get used to it, they can free their arms and get that free-flowing momentum. You play a mental game with the batsmen, especially if you can disguise your cutters well.

“I’ve practised them well and I’m confident I can use them in the powerplay. I have a senior role with the ball, I would love to lead the attack and hopefully lots of wickets will come my way,” Ngidi said.

Coetzee checks in, Agaba checks out 0

Posted on May 03, 2021 by Ken

Loftus Versfeld has been a busy check-in, check out counter this week as Springbok flank Marcell Coetzee arrived for duty with the Bulls, on the same day that the departure of loose forward Tim Agaba, the former Springbok Sevens representative, was confirmed.

Coetzee has been a phenomenal performer for Ulster, when fit, over the last five years and was recently named the Pro14 Players’ Player of the Season. The 29-year-old is currently recovering from a hamstring injury but will certainly have his eye on a return to the Springbok loose trio for the series against the British and Irish Lions.

The fact that the owner of 30 Springbok caps is considered one of the star signings amongst a host of big names being lured to Loftus Versfeld was shown by the brand new Bulls bakkie that was waiting for Coetzee upon his arrival at his new home.

The 31-year-old Agaba will be playing in the black-and-yellow of the French Second Division side U.S. Carcassonne. He will join the South African contingent of locks – Claude Dry, Rynard ‘Ligtoring’ Landman and Christiaan van der Merwe – at the 122-year-old club that is languishing in the lower reaches of the Pro D2 division in France.

Bulls bring in pace & battering rams to counter Frans Steyn 0

Posted on October 15, 2020 by Ken

Embrose Papier and Jade Stighling have been brought into the Bulls team to counter the pace of the Free State Cheetahs in Friday night’s Super Rugby Unlocked match in Bloemfontein, with Duane Vermeulen returning and Clinton Swart called up for his debut in an effort to negate the battering ram play of Francois Steyn at inside centre.

Johan Grobbelaar, starting at hooker, is the other player brought into the starting line-up which was announced on Wednesday afternoon. Coach Jake White has also shifted Cornal Hendricks from inside to outside centre and shuffled his bench with U21 star Joe van Zyl called up to cover hooker, Gerhard Steenekamp replacing injured loosehead prop Lizo Gqoboka, and Nizaam Carr coming in as the replacement loose forward instead of Elrigh Louw.

Here’s why the changes fit in specifically with the Cheetahs in mind:

Jade Stighling – White called winger Stighling “one of the quickest players in the squad” and his selection in the number 11 jersey, with the lanky and elusive David Kriel moving to right wing and Travis Ismaiel left out, is aimed to counter the Cheetahs getting too much space and time out wide.

“The Cheetahs make quite a few line-breaks and Jade has massive pace, he’s one of the quickest players in the squad. But they also concede quite a lot of line-breaks, so if we can make some then we will have the pace to get up in support and create a few nice opportunities,” White said.

Embrose Papier – While White has committed himself to rotating his two Springbok scrumhalves, he admitted Papier’s game is better suited to the pace and expansiveness of the Cheetahs.

“I always said Embrose would get game time, it’s not like he’s our No.2 scrumhalf, and he’s also one of our quickest players, which comes back to those line-breaks the Cheetahs both make and concede. I’m looking forward to seeing how he combines with that backline and Free State rely on lots of pace, so we need to see if we can counter that,” White said.

Duane Vermeulen – The looming figure of the Springbok eighthman and colossus is likely to spend plenty of time in the inside centre channel to make sure Francois Steyn’s forays end before the gain-line. Captain Vermeulen, for his part, said the swelling on his knee has gone down and he is looking forward to ensuring that the Bulls execute their plans better than they did last weekend against Griquas.

Clinton Swart – The 1.84m, 105kg Swart played under White at Toyota Verblitz and may not be a flashy centre in the mould of Cornal Hendricks, but he is very direct and ideally suited to countering the sort of game Steyn plays. He also has a very handy boot and there’s little doubt one of White’s major tactics against the Cheetahs will be to pin them in their own half and make them run from deep and he now has three accomplished kickers in Morne Steyn, Gio Aplon and Swart to achieve this.

“I know what Frans Steyn can offer and if you give him lots of gain-line then the Cheetahs will play around him, so his presence was a big influence in our selection. Clinton came from Free State so he knows them well. We’re not going to be able to get away with playing Hendricks and Gans in midfield every week and I would also like to see Cornal at outside centre – that might also be a stroke of genius and he has been running well with Clinton,” White said.

Nizaam Carr – While Elrigh Louw enjoyed himself with hall-in-hand when he came off the bench against Griquas, that role can now be fulfilled by Vermeulen. Against a team as pacy as the Cheetahs, the Bulls are going to need a more openside type flank and Carr fits the bill perfectly to come off the bench and lift the tempo.

Bulls team: Gio Aplon, David Kriel, Cornal Hendricks, Clinton Swart, Jade Stighling, Morné Steyn, Embrose Papier, Duane Vermeulen (C), Arno Botha, Marco van Staden, Ruan Nortje, Jason Jenkins, Trevor Nyakane, Johan Grobbelaar, Jacques van Rooyen. Replacements – Joe van Zyl, Gerhard Steenekamp, Mornay Smith, Sintu Manjezi, Nizaam Carr, Ivan van Zyl, Chris Smith, Stedman Gans.

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    Philemon 1:7 – “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”

    “Every disciple of Jesus has a capacity for love. The most effective way to serve the Master is to share his love with others. Love can comfort, save the lost, and offer hope to those who need it. It can break down barriers, build bridges, establish relationships and heal wounds.” – A Shelter From The Storm, Solly Ozrovech

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