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Ken Borland

Coetzee has been through the mill as he seeks 1st win over Leinster 0

Posted on July 20, 2022 by Ken

Bulls captain Marcell Coetzee has been put through the mill a few times by Leinster in his marvellous career and he is still seeking his first victory against the Irish giants.

And to do that with his team on Friday night in Dublin in the United Rugby Championship semi-finals would cap what Coetzee says has been a magnificent year with his new club.

Given how integral the 31-year-old has become to the Bulls set-up, it is hard to believe the former Sharks and Ulster star has only been at Loftus Versfeld since April 2021.

Playing for Ulster for five years from 2016 has given Coetzee a first-hand view of Leinster’s rise to the top of European rugby, and the Springbok ruefully admitted that although his Irish club were the Dublin side’s archrivals, he never managed to be on the winning side against them.

“The key to Leinster’s strength is the amount of players they have representing their country and their strong leadership. And they have continuously grown,” Coetzee said.

“I have personally never won against them, which just shows the success of their system. It’s going to be a tough battle and Leinster are a side you always measure yourself against.

“They are the juggernauts of European rugby and we are all trying to catch-up to them. But our system at the Bulls is also pretty good, which is why we are in playoffs for both the URC and the Currie Cup.

“I call it a system, but basically the Bulls are a family. In fact, sometimes you see your team-mates and coaches more than you see your wife! But it has been one of the best years of my life,” Coetzee said.

Apart from being the king of offloads in the URC, Coetzee has also been a tower of strength in terms of carrying and defending, but it is his smuts-work at the breakdown that could be most valuable against Leinster.

“Leinster have great poachers and not just Josh van der Flier. Our whole pack has the mindset that we have to stop them because it’s a key area. Both teams like to play with tempo,” Coetzee said.

Although coach Jake White specifically mentioned the height of his back three, with Canan Moodie retaining his place at fullback and Kurt-Lee Arendse on the bench, as being important because he expects a lot of kicking from Leinster, he also singled out their tempo of play as being a key strength.

“Leinster can really punish you, they do the little things really well and they play at such a high tempo. They have incredible talent around the park, so all 23 of our players have to play well.

“Generally Leinster don’t have anything to target, they are well-balanced with no real weaknesses. But all our players believe we have a chance,” White said.

Titans change captain in quest for 1st victory 0

Posted on December 14, 2014 by Ken

The Unlimited Titans have changed their captain in their increasingly-desperate quest for their first victory in the RamSlam T20 Challenge, which continues against the Chevrolet Knights in Bloemfontein tonight.

West Indies T20 skipper Darren Sammy will take over the captaincy from Henry Davids, with coach Rob Walter saying he hoped the change would lift the team and allow the opener to produce match-winning performances with the bat.

“It’s never an easy decision, especially since Henry is a quality guy who always puts the team first, but the reasons are two-fold. Firstly, I’d like Henry just to focus on winning games with the bat. As a coach, I want him to fulfil his potential as a stand-out cricketer, and he can be devastating against any attack.

“Secondly, it’s probably a good time for new energy and new insights, Darren will bring something different – the way West Indians play. Hopefully the change will bring some freshness to the team,” Walter told The Citizen yesterday.

Although some sideline critics have questioned certain quaint tactical decisions by Davids, Walter said this was not the reason for the change.

“There’ve always been plausible reasons for the decisions and a captain needs to back his gut-feelings. I may have done some things differently, but that doesn’t mean to say Henry wasn’t right. The game is very different on the field, under that immense pressure, than it is sitting on the side. It’s on a knife-edge,” the coach said.

A much bigger problem for the Titans has been their bowling at the start of the innings, with them only able to capture a single wicket in the six powerplay overs in each of their three matches thus far, while conceding 79 runs against the Cape Cobras, 59 versus the Knights at Centurion and 75 against the Dolphins.

David Wiese, who took three for 21 in Sydney last weekend in the only match he played against Australia, has returned to the Titans squad and will sharpen their attack, while Junior Dala has been added to the party but has only an outside chance of displacing the experienced Ethy Mbhalati.

“We have struggled in the first six overs, there’s no doubt, but it’s not only us. The pitches have been really good and the batsmen’s skills seem to have improved, but taking wickets is the key. Not being able to do that has been the stand-out reason we’ve been under pressure, trying to pull the game back every time. David can potentially help with that and he can stop the run-rate,” Walter said.

The Knights go into the game after an extraordinary tie with the Highveld Lions and a tied Super-Over still saw them return from Potchefstroom with zero points, and then a washed out match in Paarl.

“It’s hampered us a little bit, but we haven’t had much time to ponder about it and I still feel we have momentum. We’ve bowled very well, they’ve worked out great plans and executed well and our batsmen just need to set up the innings, make sure we go into the back end with wickets in hand and can use every ball to set up a winning total,” Knights coach Sarel Cilliers said.

One of the Knights’ best bowlers, veteran Dillon du Preez (bruised foot), will go into the match under an injury cloud, but the home side have plenty of pace bowling back-up in Quinton Friend, Duanne Olivier and Corne Dry.

Opening batsman Reeza Hendricks has returned from national duty for the Knights, who are second on the log.


Knights: Gerhardt Abrahams, Reeza Hendricks, Rudi Second, Tumelo Bodibe, Diego Rosier, Andre Russell, Obus Pienaar, Werner Coetsee, Dillon du Preez, Shadley van Schalkwyk, Malusi Siboto, Quinton Friend, Patrick Botha, Corne Dry, Duanne Olivier.

Titans: Henry Davids, Dean Elgar, Theunis de Bruyn, Darren Sammy, Qaasim Adams, Mangaliso Mosehle, David Wiese, Roelof van der Merwe, Corbin Bosch, Tabraiz Shamsi, Ethy Mbhalati, Junior Dala, Cobus Pienaar, JP de Villiers, Heino Kuhn.

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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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