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Ken Borland



For all their work in the gym, Matfield says it was the Bulls’ heart that won them the Currie Cup 0

Posted on February 04, 2021 by Ken

The Bulls have obviously done plenty of work honing their bodies in the gym and on their skills, but for Victor Matfield, one of their great former players, it was their heart that stood out as they clinched the Currie Cup final with a thrilling comeback and an extra-time try.

Matfield was a driving force behind the last great era of Bulls rugby when they won three SuperRugby and five Currie Cup titles between 2002 and 2010, and he sees a similar sort of belief building in this current Bulls side.

“It was a great final and the Bulls had to adjust to a lot – coming off the field for lightning, having to play extra time … They showed a lot of character because they were deep in trouble. In normal time they managed to defend that lineout right at the end on their line and get the turnover, and then in extra time they really took control.

“But they have shown that character before – that victory over Western Province at Newlands with 14 men, and again in the semi-final when the momentum had gone completely the Lions’ way after they scored two tries. Again this weekend they kept calm and went back to what works for them, they started to maul the Sharks,” Matfield told The Citizen on Monday.

It seems likely that there will be several more tightly-contested clashes between the Bulls and Sharks in the near future as well, what with MVM Holdings now investing millions in the Durban franchise and the Bulls also having healthy financial resources as well as a wealth of young talent.

“They are the two best sides at the moment, the Sharks were at the top of the Super Rugby competition before the Covid break and the Bulls did really well all through Super Rugby Unlocked and the Currie Cup. And the Bulls have a lot of great youngsters, they are the U19 and U21 champions as well so there is a lot of talent coming through.

“But you can’t take away from the influence of experienced guys like Duane Vermeulen, Trevor Nyakane and Morne Steyn. We don’t know how much longer Morne and Duane are going to play for, so the Bulls will need to replace them. The guys in like the middle stages of their careers will need to step up and become Springboks. Hopefully a few of them who did well in the Currie Cup will get that opportunity soon,” Matfield said.

Daily gym work has paid off for Fichardt 0

Posted on September 23, 2020 by Ken

So far Darren Fichardt’s daily gym work during Lockdown has paid off and now the 45-year-old order of merit leader is looking to sharpen up his short game as the Sunshine Tour’s Rise Up Series goes into its penultimate event, the Vodacom Championship Unlocked, at ERPM Golf Club in Boksburg from Wednesday.

Fichardt is on top of the order of merit after the first three tournaments thanks to his great consistency: after winning the Betway Championship at Killarney Country Club, the first tournament after Lockdown, he finished in a tie for sixth in the African Bank Championship at Glendower and then fourth in the Titleist Championship at Pretoria Country Club. That has given him earnings of R148 757.14, just over R2000 more than George Coetzee, who is not playing this week because he is campaigning – with great success – in Europe.

That leaves Danie van Tonder, on R120 650, as his chief challenger to win the Rise Up Series, but the likes of young Tristen Strydom and veterans Adilson da Silva, Ulrich van den Berg and Jaco Ahlers, all of whom have won more than R70 000, cannot be discounted either if they win in Boksburg.

“My golf has been pretty good so far, in the long Lockdown I was able to work on quite a few things I really wanted to, like getting fitter and stronger and that has paid off. Being on top of the order of merit, ahead of all the youngsters is exactly where you want to be, it’s always lekker. It’s also nice to have been able to play at home and sleep in my own bed for more than two weeks.

“It would mean a lot for me to win the order of merit, to win any of those is always awesome. To perform like I am, so consistently, is very satisfying. But I definitely need to sharpen up my putting and chipping, I’ve been working hard on that in this two-week break. I just feel I haven’t made enough putts and there have been soft bogeys when I have just missed the green but have not been able to get up-and-down,” Fichardt told The Citizen on Tuesday.

Although the 117-year-old ERPM Golf Club is one of South Africa’s top courses, Fichardt is yet to compete there as a professional, but he believes the eighth, ninth and 10th holes will be key to the outcome of the event. A water hazard makes for an intimidating tee-shot on the eighth and the 396-metre ninth features a long carry over the same large body of water for the approach shot, while the 10th is a short par-four of 342 yards and driveable as long as one is willing to take on the oak tree, as John Bland famously did in 1981 in scoring one of his remarkable 32 career holes-in-one.

“I’ve only played there as an amateur, never as a pro. It’s a pretty short course with really good greens. In the final round, those three holes around the turn could provide a big turnaround when you’re in the thick of things and in contention. But the fun of playing is back now for me and I’m really looking forward to teeing it up again,” Fichardt said.

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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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