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Ken Borland



The car’s most definitely back on the road for the Sharks 0

Posted on July 17, 2023 by Ken

If we think of the Sharks team as being a motor vehicle then the car’s most definitely back on the road and starting to gain speed in the fast lane, following their 37-10 victory over the Lions in their United Rugby Championship derby at Kings Park.

That’s not to say the Sharks did not have spluttering moments. They raced into an early 12-0 lead but then did not score another point in nearly half-an-hour, as the Lions were only down 10-15 as the hour-mark loomed. But the home team then put their foot down in the final quarter and roared away to a five-try, bonus point victory.

Sevens legend Frankie Horne once said that Neil Powell took the Blitzboks car for performance enhancements after previous national coach Paul Treu built the car, and Powell seems to be having a similar effect as director of rugby at the Sharks. They have now won four matches in a row since he took over the head coaching duties, and they played some great rugby against the Lions, their ball-retention and direct attacking style being superb at times.

“We’re obviously always pushing for the perfect game and we had glimpses this evening, but unfortunately we couldn’t keep it up for 80 minutes,” Powell said after the win which lifted the Sharks to sixth on the URC log, but with at least one game in hand over all the teams above them.

“The first 15-20 minutes were exhilarating, but then a couple of soft moments let the Lions back in. Once you give away momentum, it’s difficult to get back.

“But it was another step in the right direction and we know where we can improve. But it’s been great to see the improvement over the last four games, especially the effort in defence.

“At times we were really good, we definitely respected the ball a lot more and asked questions of the opposition defence. Getting through phases was definitely one of our work-ons,” Powell said.

The things Powell said the Sharks could improve on were the stupid mistakes just as they had seized control of the match and being even more patient on attack.

“There were three individual errors after we went 12-0 up and at times the players went out of the structure,” Powell said.

“We can also be a lot more patient on attack inside the 22, it feels as if we’re almost rushing ourselves.

“But we managed the game well in general and only conceded one try. We’re starting to believe that we can be successful in the URC and the EPCR,” Powell said.

Morris: Incredibly admired in the IPL, not wanted in the Proteas 0

Posted on February 25, 2021 by Ken

The incredible fee of around R32 million Rajasthan Royals paid last week for Chris Morris shows just how highly the 33-year-old all-rounder is rated in the Indian Premier League, but it is a level of admiration he has battled to gain in South Africa and Morris said on Thursday that he has had no contact from Proteas management over a role in the national side.

In a World Cup year – the ICC World T20 will be held in India in October/November – that is strange. Not just because he is the most expensive player ever sold at auction in cricket’s premier T20 tournament but also because of his extensive knowledge of conditions in India and the fact that South Africa have battled to fill the matchwinning all-rounder berth in their team.

And Morris has been in outstanding form with the ball for the Titans in the ongoing T20 Challenge, conceding just 67 runs in 14.2 overs, his economy rate of 4.67 being second only to that of Keshav Maharaj. And he has taken five wickets, having figures that compare very favourably with those of Kagiso Rabada.

“I have no answer as to why I’m maybe not rated as highly back at home, it’s a difficult question, but I have had a few good tournaments in the IPL and consistency is a big thing over there. My focus at the moment is 100% on the Titans and then the IPL is coming up, but I would have a conversation with the Proteas if it happens. The thing is no-one has come to speak to me.

“We had many conversations in the past and just after the World Cup [50-overs in England in 2019] I sat down with Ottis Gibson [the then coach] and the decision was made that I should play in the leagues around the world. We agreed I was going to move on and that was a while ago. But the Proteas all-rounder spot has obviously been spoken about for a long time,” Morris said on Thursday.

Morris described the IPL bidding war that resulted in him securing the record fee as a “lottery” and “a very big surprise”. It’s a viewpoint supported by him being passed over for The Hundred in the United Kingdom this week.

“What happened in the IPL auction was a very big surprise. I’m not being funny but I was just happy to get a gig and being back in the IPL is special. The auction is out of our control as players, it’s an absolute lottery and as cricketers we don’t go into it thinking we’re going to get this amount. It’s an emotional rollercoaster. It does add a bit of pressure, but you always need to perform in the IPL.

“All sports is about big money now and cricket is actually a bit behind. These are professional sportsmen who are the best at what they do. But I don’t think anyone thought cricket would get to this level so soon and we are eternally grateful for that. My older team-mates from the start of my career are all working corporate now because cricket could not set you up for life like it does now,” Morris said.

A CSA Board with better practitioners of corporate governance now looms after resignations 0

Posted on October 26, 2020 by Ken

The death knell sounded for the existing Cricket South Africa Board on Sunday with the resignation of five non-independent directors and the move to appoint a Board with much better practitioners of corporate governance can now gain pace, according a Members Council insider.

The resignations of acting president Beresford Williams and fellow directors Angelo Carolissen (Boland), Donovan May (Eastern Province), John Mogodi (Limpopo) and Tebogo Siko (Northerns) has left the Board with just one non-independent director in Zola Thamae and three independents – Dr Eugenia Kula-Ameyaw, Marius Schoeman and Vuyokazi Memani-Sedile.

But they are expected to also stand down before Tuesday’s deadline set for CSA by sports minister Nathi Mthethwa, opening the way for an interim board to be appointed, which will complete the adjustments to the Memorandum of Incorporation that will change the composition of the Board. The major changes will see a majority of independent directors and non-independent directors will no longer also have a seat on the Members Council, as per the recommendations of the Nicholson Commission of Enquiry in 2012.

“Not all of the directors were happy to go, but they were basically told they had to, we forced them. We will now wait for the independents to resign, and if they don’t do that then we will deal with them quickly. An interim board will then be set up and we will take a suggestion as to how that should happen to the sports minister on Tuesday. And Sascoc will assist us with that.

“There may be one or two current members of the Members Council on that interim board, but we have decided that nobody who was in office in the four years between 2016 and December 2019 will be eligible,” the Members Council insider told The Citizen on Sunday.

It seems Anne Vilas of Central Gauteng cricket and KZN president Ben Dladla, two of the stars in the Members Council’s efforts to flex their muscle against the board, could be involved in that interim board because they have only recently been elected.

There are some doubts, however, that the interim board will be able to get the new MOI formalised before the AGM on December 5, leading to a possible delay in elections for the permanent new board.

It will be interesting to see how the new independent directors, who should make up the majority of the board, are elected because there have been some far-from-stellar appointments in the last few years. The independent directors that have been there have largely failed to intervene in the governance scandals that have plagued CSA and in some instances have actually made them worse.

Mouthwatering clash in prospect as both Bulls & Sharks seek momentum 0

Posted on October 24, 2020 by Ken

The Bulls take on the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday night in what should be a mouthwatering Super Rugby Unlocked game as both teams strive to gain momentum in the competition.

The Bulls struggled to victory in Pretoria over lowly Griquas and then lost to the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, while the Sharks, who were magnificent at the start of the year, have battlled to reach the same heights, losing badly to Jake White’s team on SuperFan Saturday at Loftus Versfeld and then meandering to a narrow win over the Lions in Durban.

Here are the areas to marvel over as Captain America takes on Black Panther:

The Sharks are out for revenge after losing 49-28 to the Bulls a month ago & have promised a different mindset – “We’re going with a totally different mindset. We took a squad of 30 that day and we wanted to look at combinations and youngsters who had shown progress to measure where they were. But it’s back to business now, we have a settled squad and a much more experienced team, with lessons learnt on that SuperFan day. It will certainly be a different ball game,” coach Sean Everitt said.

There will be pace & power aplenty in the loose forward battle as Vermeulen, Louw & Van Staden clash with Notshe, Buthelezi & Venter – “I’ve seen Elrigh Louw train for a while now and as soon as he arrived with us he showed such good energy. He’s young but confident, he loves to carry the ball and defend. Plus he’s like a sponge with how much he has picked up already. He’s an exciting player and I’m looking forward to playing alongside him.

“I played together for a couple of seasons with Sikhumbuzo Notshe at the Stormers and he has grown a lot as an eighthman. He was one of the star players in Super Rugby before Lockdown and I know what he can give, I’m looking forward to a really good match-up,” Duane Vermeulen said.

Both coaches, White & Everitt, are expecting their sides to find some rhythm on Saturday – “I would like to see more cohesion, but the guys have not played much together and we have been making changes to the team. I would just like to see more rhythm in attack and defence and the team that gets that right the quickest, that hits their straps first, will create the most problems. So far this competition has been very stop-start with lots of mistakes slowing everything down,” White said.

“Getting one’s rhythm back sometimes takes time and we were unfortunate that after SuperFan Saturday we had a bye with the Green and Gold game, we played the Lions and then we had another bye. It did not help our continuity, but I expect this weekend to see a performance from Super Rugby level. There’s no more time to hang around and wait to hit form, and I hope to see a spectacle on Saturday night,” Evertt said.

A tremendous tussle in the scrums with Marcel van der Merwe starting at tighthead for the Bulls for the first time since 2016, with Trevor Nyakane on the bench – “Marcel had surgery on his ankle but he has responded really well and now is his opportunity to showcase what he can do, he’s also a Springbok. Having played abroad he would have picked up different things and as a scrummager you learn quickly in the French league. Plus we have Trevor coming off the bench and everyone knows what he can provide,” Vermeulen said.

“When I coached Montpellier, Marcel played for Toulon and they had one of the strongest packs. He’s now had three or four weeks of practice, the conditioning team have worked hard on him and he’ll be right for Saturday. I’ve also been very impressed with Jacques van Rooyen at loosehead, Springbok scrum coach Daan Human was here this week to see him scrum and I think he was impressed too. I thought Lizo Gqoboka and Trevor Nyakane would be away with the Springboks and Jacques can scrum both sides and is an unbelievable team man,” White said.

Teams

Bulls:  David Kriel, Travis Ismaiel, Stedman Gans, Cornal Hendricks, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Morné Steyn, Ivan van Zyl, Duane Vermeulen (C), Elrigh Louw, Marco van Staden, Ruan Nortje, Jason Jenkins, Marcel van der Merwe, Johan Grobbelaar, Jacques van Rooyen. Replacements – Joe van Zyl, Gerhard Steenekamp, Trevor Nyakane, Sintu Manjezi, Arno Botha, Embrose Papier, Chris Smith, Marco Jansen van Vuren.

Sharks: Manie Libbok, Sbu Nkosi, Lukhanyo Am (c), Marius Louw, Werner Kok, Curwin Bosch, Sanele Nohamba, Sikumbuzo Notshe, Phendulani Buthelezi, James Venter, Hyron Andrews, Ruben van Heerden, Thomas du Toit, Dylan Richardson, Ox Nche. Replacements – Kerron van Vuuren, Mzamo Majola, John-Hubert Meyer, JJ van der Mescht, Henco Venter, Grant Williams, Jeremy Ward, Yaw Penxe.

Kickoff: 7pm.

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  • Thought of the Day

    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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