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Ken Borland



Coach Pretorius not hitting the roof as Lions hope for sun 0

Posted on May 10, 2024 by Ken

The DP World Lions ladies team will be hoping for two days of sun and better basics as they take on the Six Gun Grill Garden Route Badgers in Johannesburg this weekend, following their disappointing trip to Durban three weeks ago.

The Lions were frustrated to have their one-day match against the Dolphins abandoned due to rain, seeing them slip to fifth in the standings, and they then suffered a 10-wicket defeat in the T20 game.

But it’s not like coach Shaun Pretorius hit the roof or anything, he knows our DP World Lions ladies are not far off from winning form. Just one win in the One-Day Cup will lift them back up to third.

“Things didn’t go according to plan in Durban, and there were small things that we can learn from; the only way you’re going to learn those lessons is on the park,” Pretorius said.

“I’m quite confident actually that if we stick to the basics and follow our game-plans, then we have got enough ability to win this weekend. There are still good things happening around the team, there’s no stress.

“If we execute in the right phases of the game, if we get a grip on the game and then hang on to it, then we are capable of a bonus point win which has a massive effect on the log. It’s about handling situations, not overthinking things. We must focus on the ball being delivered now and not look too far ahead. One ball can change the game,” Pretorius said.

They may be feeling a little blue after recent results, but Pretorius has been reminding our #PrideOfJozi of past successes and epic performances like chasing 250 twice at the DP World Wanderers Stadium before.

Our Pride will be without Chloe Tryon and Shabnim Ismail, who are in India for the IPL, and young stars Karabo Meso and Jenna Evans, who are representing South Africa at the Africa Games in Ghana.

But the DP World Lions are not about individuals, but the system, and Pretorius backs the squad for this weekend to put their hands up in the key phases of the game.

Proteas star Tazmin Brits battered a century off the Lions in their meeting in Oudtshoorn in November, but our Pride will not be overly focused on her. Besides, the DP World Lions have experienced, quality Proteas batters of their own in Kirstie Thomson, Sunette Viljoen-Louw and Nonkululeko Thabethe.

Lions Ladies return to the field with great glee after 3 months out of action 0

Posted on February 26, 2024 by Ken

After being out of action for three months, it is with great glee that the DP World Lions Ladies team will return to the field this weekend, as they travel to Durban to take on the HollywoodBets Dolphins in both a one-day and a T20 match.

The Dolphins will be tough opponents in the 50-over contest, where they are top of the log, three points ahead of the Titans with a game in hand, and nine points better off than the Lions.

But those tables are reversed in the T20 league. Western Province may be 12 points clear of the DP World Lions at the top of the standings at the moment, but our Pride are second with a game in hand and if they beat the Dolphins and also win their remaining three matches then it is possible for them to defend their title.

Their hosts this weekend have only won two of their six T20 matches this season and are languishing second-from-bottom on the log.

DP World Lions Ladies coach Shaun Pretorius says his team are ready and keen to get the second half of their season going, their last match having been their T20 visit to the Titans on November 19.

“All the hard work has been done in the last few weeks, the ladies have really been grafting and we have had good preparation for this weekend. They are excited to now just go out and jol,” Pretorius said.

“The T20 match is particularly vital for us because we are in a really good position in that competition. In the 50-over league, it’s about making sure we climb the log in our remaining matches, even if it’s just inches at a time. We are still going out to compete, not just to participate.”

The KwaZulu-Natal Coastal side’s reliance on spin at Kingsmead is no longer original and Pretorius said our DP World Lions Ladies are forewarned and well-prepared for the challenge.

“We have worked on plans to combat each of their bowlers and we think they’re going to have their best line-up without their Proteas. That means they will be without their formidable left-arm spinner Nonkululeko Mlaba, so that’s one threat that is away.

“We are aware that spin is their main threat down there and we are also looking at lots of spin-bowling options, depending on what the pitch looks like. The games will be all about those crucial small phases in the game and how we conduct ourselves in them will be the key,” Pretorius said.

The Dolphins will also be missing pace bowler Ayanda Hlubi, while the only member of the Lions Pride on duty for the Proteas Test squad is wicketkeeper/batter Sinalo Jafta. But the highly-promising Karabo Meso is most able to step into her shoes.

SA rugby forever bonded with Kitch’s ‘high or low road’, but Jake says it’s too early for that 0

Posted on September 05, 2023 by Ken

South African rugby will forever be bonded with Kitch Christie’s famous ‘high road or the low road’ scenario before the 1995 World Cup triumph, but Bulls coach Jake White says it is still too early to consider his team as being at a similar crossroads ahead of their crunch United Rugby Championship match against the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

Coach Christie said it was crucial that the Springboks beat defending champions and favourites Australia in the opening match of the 1995 World Cup and take the “high road” through the tournament; defeat would mean the “low road” requiring victories over England and New Zealand before the final. South Africa pulled off a sensational 28-18 win, setting them up for an unbeaten run through the tournament they hosted.

The Bulls, having lost last weekend to the Stormers in Cape Town, are now five points behind the defending champions in the South African Shield, having played an extra game. If the Sharks beat the Bulls with a bonus point at Kings Park, then they could be within another bonus-point win of the Pretoria side, with a game in hand.

But White, who has called the late Christie his mentor, is not stressing about the log at this stage.

“We’re not at the high road or low road point yet and it’s not a do-or-die game,” White said on Friday. “It’s still so open, although we do know Leinster are the pace-setters, they always have been.

“We beat the Sharks with a bonus point at Loftus, and if the Sharks beat the Stormers twice and we win this weekend, then we would be favourites again to win the conference.

“There are still a lot of permutations between now and the end of the tournament, and not every team will win every game at home. Winning a couple of matches away is the premium.

“But we will be up against one of the strongest provincial sides, although one thing I enjoy about the URC is that a team can beat anyone on any given Saturday. That’s exciting,” White said.

Nine current Springboks is what the Bulls, who will field Johan Goosen at fullback and Chris Smith at flyhalf, are up against. The combination of Smith and Goosen played in the pivotal game-management positions when the Bulls beat the Sharks 40-27 at Loftus Versfeld at the end of October, which is why White has made that selection again.

“The last time we played the Sharks we did that and it worked well, and we didn’t have Kurt-Lee Arendse and Canan Moodie then,” White said. “It means we have two kickers and two passers and can move the ball away from flyhalf.

“I’ve heard it might rain in Durban too and the Sharks don’t play much in their own half, they have a good kicking game and Makazole Mapimpi is very good in the air.

“But it’s not just a reaction to them, it worked for us at home and it gives us two guys who understand how we want to play. It’s important that Bernard van der Linde can also kick with both feet at scrumhalf,” White said.

Bulls:Johan Goosen, Canan Moodie, Cornal Hendricks, Harold Vorster, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Chris Smith, Bernard van der Linde, Elrigh Louw, Cyle Brink, Marco Van Staden, Ruan Nortje (c), Ruan Vermaak, Mornay Smith, Johan Grobbelaar, Simphiwe Matanzima. Bench -Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Gerhard Steenekamp, Sebastian Lombard, Janko Swanepoel, Nizaam Carr, Embrose Papier, Lionel Mapoe, David Kriel.

Phepsi eager to be a seller of the Sharks brand 0

Posted on June 22, 2023 by Ken

Eighthman and sometime captain Phepsi Buthelezi knows that as a leading player for the franchise he is a seller of the Sharks brand and he says the team are eager to showcase their true capabilities when the United Rugby Championship resumes with a derby clash against the Lions in Durban on Friday night.

The Sharks have certainly made a superb start to the Champions Cup, victories over Harlequins and then Bordeaux-Begles in France lifting them into fourth place in Pool A. But their URC form has been less compelling – they are currently lying in 10th position after four wins and three defeats.

“We feel we’ve been very inconsistent in the URC,” Buthelezi acknowledged. “We haven’t shown yet what we can really do and we want to make our fans proud. We’re targeting the Lions game and the next few, to get to where we want to be.

“Improving our consistency is our aim and I feel we are getting it right. But the Lions have been on a good run, they’re just off a win against Stade Francais, and we know they are on the up and up.

“I’ve been privileged to play in many South African derbies and we know it will be very physical because it means a lot to the teams. Plus we are not where we want to be on the log.

“But we are in a really good space at the moment, on a good run having won three in a row. So the mood in the camp is very good,” Buthelezi said.

The turnaround in the Sharks’ form has, of course, come since director of rugby Neil Powell took over the coaching reins from the axed Sean Everitt. Buthelezi said the last few weeks had seen the team re-look how they go into matches.

“The big thing has been our process during the week, changing how we go into games physically, emotionally and mentally. We feel it will give us more results and we are still carrying those changes into this week.

“The travel has been really tough. But we have embraced it and we’ve enjoyed spending time with one another. We’ve shown true spirit and taken on our challenges.

“I feel fortunate to be part of this amazing squad, with amazing coaches, and I’m just trying to work hard and be consistent as a player and a leader.

“It’s going to be a massive game against the Lions, but we have a few tricks up our sleeves … ” Buthelezi said.

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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

    If there’s a frustrating vacuum in your spiritual life and you fervently desire to serve the Lord but don’t know how you’re meant to do that, then start by loving others in his name.

     



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