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Ken Borland

Lions hunting intensity like a dieter trying to increase metabolism 0

Posted on July 08, 2024 by Ken

Like a dieter trying to increase their metabolism, our DP World Lions men’s team have been hunting increased intensity in the field in the CSA T20 Challenge and the Pride certainly reached their goal in the Western Cape over the last week.

An impressive and commanding nine-wicket win over the Boland Rocks last weekend in Paarl was followed on Wednesday night by an even more tremendous, record-breaking triumph over Western Province at Newlands.

On a memorable evening for the #PrideOfJozi, they hammered WP by 132 runs, the biggest ever victory margin in the history of the competition. Having scored 213 for two, their highest ever T20 total against their traditional rivals, the DP World Lions then bundled the home side out for just 81. The record-breaking effort erases the Lions’ own previous mark for the heaviest defeat, having been beaten by 130 runs by the Eagles in Potchefstroom in 2004/5.

Having now secured second place with a five-point lead over Western Province, it all sets the DP World Lions up beautifully for their clash with the HollywoodBets Dolphins in Johannesburg on Friday night.

While there were superb individual performances from Ryan Rickelton (73 off 46), Reeza Hendricks (90 off 49), Lutho Sipamla (3-1-14-3) and Nqaba Peter (2.3-1-7-4 – the third-best figures ever for the Lions) in Cape Town, coach Russell Domingo was delighted by the lift in intensity by the team as a whole.

“We’ve been wanting to play to our standards and intensity. We have a lot of internationals in our team and with small crowds it can be challenging for them because they’re used to thousands of spectators. So we’ve tried to match our intensity to our own standards and we were crazy good with both bat and ball at Newlands and the fielding was really superb,” Domingo said.

“But the Dolphins have a formidable side with in-form batsmen, pace bowlers and spinners. They beat us in Durban and we’re going to have to be on top of our game, focusing on how we control the game.”

Rickelton and Hendricks, who put on an outstanding 151 for the first wicket – a record for Newlands, have now both climbed into the top six of the batting averages with over 250 runs to their names; only Rubin Hermann of the Dragons has scored more.

Rassie van der Dussen (29* off 18) and Delano Potgieter (14* off 7) then provided the finishing touches to the record total.

“It was good to see the batting fire after what has been a strange campaign with us not batting first a lot and having to chase several low scores. Reeza and Ryan batted superbly and they are both quality batsmen. They are finding a way to get substantial scores now that we’re in the crucial stages of the competition,” Domingo said.

Lutho Sipamla and Tshepo Moreki then backed up the batting effort by bowling superbly with the new ball, reducing WP to 38 for four in the powerplay, Sipamla being rewarded with career-best figures.

“Lutho and Tshepo were fantastic and they bowled really good Test lengths, they were aggressive and the pitch did a bit at night. I anticipate the DP World Wanderers wicket also doing a bit against the Dolphins, there’s a bit of rain around, it’s late in the season and there’s a chill in the air. We’ll have to assess and adapt to that as well,” Domingo said.

With the increased pressure, Peter ripped through the remaining batsmen, baffling them with his flat leg-spin and changes of pace. Following on from his three for 14 against the Rocks, the 22-year-old has now taken seven wickets for 38 runs in eight-and-a-half overs and is top of the bowling averages.

“Nqaba bowled brilliantly, his discipline and control was really good,” Domingo said. “He only took up leg-spin a couple of years ago, so it is still a new art for him and he has a long way to go, but he is a really promising talent. He has coaches around him who have learnt from the very best leg-spinners, they give Nqaba feedback in terms of how they were set up as batsmen and he is understanding the nuances of the skill,” Domingo said.

Having kept Western Province in third place on the log, the DP World Lions will now be out to ensure the Dolphins stay fourth, currently 11 points behind them. A third victory in a row for our Pride will also close the gap on the log-leading Warriors to just a handful of points.

Keeping their fine Champions Cup form going is the Sharks’ goal 0

Posted on June 26, 2023 by Ken

Keeping the momentum of their fine Champions Cup form going is the goal of the Sharks on Friday night as they tackle the Lions in a United Rugby Championship match at Kings Park, but whether they can do that having rested a few key Springboks will be the question on coach Neil Powell’s mind.

Having been instrumental in the impressive wins over Harlequins and then Bordeaux-Begles in France, Springboks Eben Etzebeth, Bongi Mbonambi and Ntuthuko Mchunu have all been rested this weekend, while Siya Kolisi, Jaden Hendrikse, Gerbrandt Grobler and Ben Tapuai will play off the bench.

“We’ve had two good EPCR games and we would love to keep the momentum going,” Powell said on Thursday. “So we will keep going with continuity in selection as well.

“We always want to do well, no matter which competition it is, but every home game is especially important. It’s obviously going to be a physical battle looking at the forwards the Lions have selected.

“So we obviously have to match that and we’ve selected a team that will give us the best energy. Some of the changes are part of our rotational policy, maybe giving guys a break.

“The number of game minutes that Siya and Eben have had, not just for the Sharks but the Springboks too, means it is crucially important to manage them well. This was an opportunity for a bit of a break,” Powell said.

Apart from the actual game time, the Sharks have also had a punishing schedule of short weeks and overseas travel, which is a major concern and they will be relying on Alan Temple-Jones being a real conditioning guru to ensure the players can still perform at peak levels.

“The travelling has been tough,” Powell admitted. “We played Friday to Friday and then we only flew back from France on Sunday. So this is a short week again, it makes it difficult.

“The Lions have not done a lot of travel, so we felt the guys coming in for us could bring some extra energy. We have a block of 11 consecutive weeks of games and we are only on game five now.”

Twist on old joke about Sharks staying with family in Bloem as Cheetahs visit Durban to make sure Powell’s team ready for Cardiff 0

Posted on February 28, 2023 by Ken

There was a twist last weekend on the old joke about where do the Sharks team stay when they play Free State in Bloemfontein (Answer: With their family) when the Cheetahs visited Durban for a friendly match, but the goal was very serious – making sure they are ready to fire when they return to United Rugby Championship action against the Cardiff Blues at Kings Park on Sunday.

The Sharks last played on October 30 in a disappointing defeat to the Bulls in Pretoria, which leaves them eighth on the log, so it is important they hit the ground running and maintain their five-match unbeaten home run against a tough and highly capable Cardiff team.

“Three weeks off without being in a game situation would maybe have caused us to be rusty this weekend, but fortunately we were able to organise a friendly against the Cheetahs,” director of rugby Neil Powell explained on Friday.

“It was a very good exercise, playing three halves of 30 minutes each, with full-out contact. A guy like Lionel Cronje, who could move into flyhalf on Sunday, was able to get some game-time, as did other guys who have not played a lot.

“Hopefully that means we have more flow and momentum on Sunday and we have to make sure we are up and ready against a really good, quality Cardiff team, who are defensively very strong and have lots of experience.

“We will have to make sure we manage our game well and are very disciplined, because Cardiff score the majority of their tries from the lineout and maul and we can’t be giving penalties away,” Powell said.

The new head honcho at Kings Park acknowledged that the Sharks always seem to be well-prepared for games but then for some reason don’t deliver the same clinical execution come match day. It is something they have identified as needing to be put right so they do not suffer two defeats in a row.

“The whole week we prepared so well for the Bulls but it did not carry over on to the field on match day. So the big focus is that: Carrying what we have done in our training sessions on to the playing field.

“We need the same effort, execution and consistency. I believe it’s a focus thing and we need to get the individual roles right in the structure.

“That wasn’t great against the Bulls, for some reason we didn’t focus enough on getting those basics done. We need to be present in the moment and firstly, understand all our roles and responsibilities,” Powell said.

Sharks: Anthony Volmink, Marnus Potgieter, Francois Venter, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Werner Kok, Boeta Chamberlain, Cameron Wright, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Vincent Tshituka,

James Venter (CAPT), Gerbrandt Grobler, Justin Basson, Carlu Sadie, Kerron van Vuuren, Dian Bleuler. Bench – Dan Jooste, Khwezi Mona, Khutha Mchunu, Hyron Andrews, Phepsi Buthelezi, Bradley Davids, Lionel Cronje, Ben Tapuai.

SA scrape through to knockouts, only a single goal in it 0

Posted on August 17, 2022 by Ken

South Africa scraped through to the knockout round of the Women’s Hockey World Cup by a single goal on Wednesday night as pool-toppers Australia only managed to beat them 2-1 in Terrassa.

The phenomenal defensive effort by South Africa meant they finished with a goal-difference of minus-four, compared to Japan’s minus-five after they had earlier lost 3-0 to Belgium.

Although South Africa conceded a seventh-minute penalty corner goal, they were relieved to finish the first quarter on level terms at 1-1 thanks to some fine saves by goalkeeper Phumelela Mbande and a superb short-corner drag-flick goal by Lilian du Plessis.

The African champions had few opportunities in the second quarter and conceded another penalty corner goal to go 2-1 down at halftime.

Australia started the second half well but fired wide at a penalty stroke, a massive moment that seemed to disconnect the world’s number three ranked side, despite their dominance of possession and being awarded several penalty corners.

This scrappiness was advantageous for South Africa and they created a couple of chances early in the final quarter. Knowing that as things stood they were in the crossover playoffs, they showed excellent game-management to close out the match with a pleasing result, considering the last time they played Australia they lost 7-1.

South Africa will now take on Germany on Saturday at 5pm in Amsterdam for a place in the quarterfinals for the first time since finishing seventh in 1998 in Utrecht, Netherlands.

As pool winners, Australia and the Netherlands have both qualified directly for the quarterfinals. Fellow Pool D qualifiers Belgium will face Chile in the knockout round.

Pool B is wide open with New Zealand, China and India all able to finish first and go straight into the final eight, while Argentina will seal top spot in Pool C if they beat winless Canada.

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    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.

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