for quality writing

Ken Borland

Sharks clinical & dominant in 1st half; last 45 minutes the opposite 0

Posted on November 08, 2022 by Ken

The Sharks were clinical and dominant in the first half of their opening United Rugby Championship match against Zebre in Parma, racing into a 28-3 lead after half-an-hour, but the last 45 minutes saw them display the opposite characteristics as they were fortunate to escape with a 42-37 win.

Zebre looked to have snatched a stunning comeback victory in the 77th minute when replacement wing Jacopo Trulla went over the line for the second time in two minutes, slickly finishing brilliant counter-attacks, but the officials spotted an offence on the opposite side of the field that gave the Sharks a massive reprieve.

Replacement prop Juan Manuel Pitanari had taken out Werner Kok off the ball as he chased the kickoff, and instead of potentially trailing 41-39 in the dying stages, flyhalf Boeta Chamberlain was able to kick a penalty that put the Sharks 42-34 up.

Skilful Zebre flyhalf Tiff Eden then kicked a penalty at the other end in the final minute to ensure the home side at least took home two well-deserved bonus points.

Having produced such compelling rugby in the first half, dominant forwards laying the platform and the backline rushing up in sturdy defence, it was inexplicable that the Sharks were so stuck on the back foot in the second half. The vagaries of momentum will be blamed, but there is no doubt the visitors surrendered the initiative.

The early momentum was squarely the Sharks’ as Zebre made a wild start to the game, conceding two yellow cards, one of which could easily have been a red, and a number of penalties.

Through good, cohesive team play, the Sharks capitalised and they had scored four tries by the 27th minute, two by forwards and two by backs, which summed up the balance in their game, which would certainly have impressed independent observers.

Rohan Janse van Rensburg, playing at outside centre, looks a fine acquisition by the Sharks. He carried strongly, along with prop Thomas du Toit, for the opening try by lock Reniel Hugo, and he grabbed the fourth try with a powerful finish after his midfield partner Ben Tapuai had sent Chamberlain, who had a good game at flyhalf, slicing through with a slick inside ball.

But Zebre again made a game of it in the second half, their comeback starting in first-half injury time as they finally controlled the ball long enough to create some pressure.

The Sharks briefly managed to break free of Zebre’s second-half dominance as the arrival of replacement tighthead prop Carlu Sadie led to a penalty at his first scrum by Chamberlain, and then big front-foot ball at the second that saw flank James Venter score.

But the Sharks defence allowed the dangerous Zebre runners far too much time and space on the ball in the second half.


Zebre: Tries – Luca Bigi, Simone Gesi, Taina Fox-Matamua, Gabriele Venditti, Jacopo Trulla. Conversions – Tiff Eden (3). Penalties – Eden (2).

Sharks: Tries – Reniel Hugo, Kerron van Vuuren, Werner Kok, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, James Venter. Conversions – Boeta Chamberlain (4). Penalties – Chamberlain (3).

Mashimbyi not far from having kittens as Northerns waited anxiously for EP result 0

Posted on April 11, 2022 by Ken

Despite the Northerns Titans having eventually seen off a determined second innings by the Central Gauteng Lions half-an-hour before tea on the final day, coach Mandla Mashimbyi was not far from having kittens in the changeroom for the next two-and-a-half hours as they waited anxiously for the result of the Eastern Province Warriors match against the Free State Knights in Bloemfontein on Monday.

The Titans eventually bowled the Lions out for 273 in their second innings, Mitchell van Buuren leading the resistance with a tremendously defiant 107, remarkably, his second century of the match. He was ably supported by Reeza Hendricks, who denied Northerns for more than four hours in scoring 89.

But off-spinner Simon Harmer kept chipping away for the Titans and his 6/84 in 33.2 overs took his season tally to 44 wickets at an average of just 19.29.

Northerns were left with just 62 to win and they did that in 13.1 overs with seven wickets in hand.

But Free State were busy collapsing in Bloemfontein, slumping to 82/8, a lead of just 143, against the EP Warriors, who had declared on their overnight score of 166/3, still 61 runs behind. With the Titans winning at Centurion, Eastern Province had to win their game to claim the title.

It was a tactic that very nearly paid off as they bowled superbly in swing-friendly conditions, Mthiwekhaya Nabe leading the way with 4/26 in 12 overs, while Akhona Mnyaka removed Paballo Mogoera (4) and Raynard van Tonder (0) with successive deliveries.

Patrick Botha is being released by the Knights, but the Northerns Titans may be inclined to look kindly on him as his 38 on Monday, following up his first-innings century, was crucial in keeping the Warriors in the field until the rain came shortly before the tea break.

The weather never improved and the umpires finally called off play in Bloemfontein at 5pm, much to the delight of the Titans team at Centurion.

A new-look Titans side triumphed thanks to an impressive all-round effort in the competition. The whole batting unit all averaged over 40 through the season – nine of them in total – while Harmer was well-supported by seamers Lizaad Williams (10 wickets @ 12.60), Aya Gqamane (14 @ 28.57), Corbin Bosch (18 @ 33.22) and Junior Dala (11 @ 35.81).

It would seem all is on track with the rebuild at SuperSport Park, the Titans having also finished runners-up in the CSA T20 Challenge last week.

Scores in brief of other games

KZN Dolphins 422 v Boland 422/8 declared (Pieter Malan 219*, Stiaan van Zyl 48, Shaun von Berg 40; Eathan Bosch 3/56, Prenelan Subrayen 3/124). Match drawn.

Western Province 576 v North-West 202 and 242 (Wesley Marshall 58, Senuran Muthusamy 101; George Linde 3-48). Western Province won by an innings and 132 runs.

Life-changing 1st title has Lawrence shaking with excitement & release of nervous tension 0

Posted on January 04, 2022 by Ken

Thriston Lawrence was still shaking with excitement and the release of nervous tension half-an-hour after being told he was the winner of the weather-disrupted Joburg Open at Randpark Golf Club on Saturday, giving the 24-year-old South African a life-changing first international title.

Saturday was meant to be the final round of the co-sanctioned tournament with the DP World (formerly European) Tour, after the organisers decided to cut the event to 54 holes due to the terrible weather and the turmoil caused by travel restrictions overseas due to the announcement of a new Covid variant discovered in South Africa.

But the thundershowers returned just after midday and did not let-up in time to avoid the tournament being called off at 3pm. With the second round first needing to be completed on Saturday morning, none of the 69 golfers who made the cut were able to complete their third round.

The final placings were therefore decided based on the completed second-round scores and Lawrence, who had bogeyed the first hole and parred the second just before play stopped, was declared the winner by virtue of his four-shot lead over Zander Lombard after back-to-back 65s.

“I’m still shaking and it hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Lawrence said after receiving the crystal trophy. “It’s always been a goal of mine to win on the European Tour, but I didn’t see it coming so quickly and you never think it would come out like this.

“But the whole week has been strange weather and my mentality was just to finish the tournament. It wasn’t nice waiting today because you hear a lot of talk about what might or might not happen.

“But I’m just thankful for the way it turned out, it’s a life-changing moment and a lot of things are going to change in my schedule. It’s an unbelievable feeling. Being me a week ago to now is two worlds apart.

“You want to see yourself up there winning tournaments, but there have been a lot of knocks in the last year-and-a-half and it’s been tough,” Lawrence said.

The winner of one previous Sunshine Tour event – the 2019 Vodacom Origins Stellenbosch – was a trifle disappointed to not have his winning moment on the 18th green, but even that did not stop his perpetual smile.

“I would have liked to get the win on the 18th, have a winning putt, so it was not the perfect way to finish,” Lawrence said.

“But I played unbelievable golf over the last two days to take a four-shot lead into the weekend.

“Then the tournament was cut short amid a lot of confusion. The weather prediction was actually fine for today with a zero percent chance of lightning. But that only lasted 45 minutes.

“But I just stayed patient and I will take a lot of confidence from this win. And I don’t have to worry about invites anymore,” the Nelspruit golfer said.

1-0 series lead now Proteas’ property after innings win 0

Posted on January 05, 2021 by Ken

South Africa had a 1-0 series lead safely tucked away in their property as they completed an innings-and-45-runs victory over Sri Lanka half-an-hour after lunch on the fourth day of the first Test at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Tuesday.

With this being just a two-match series, it means the Proteas are assured of not losing their fourth successive Test series.

The injury-decimated Sri Lankans were eventually put out of their misery on 180 with Dhananjaya de Silva the only batsman who eventually did not come to the crease.

Fast bowlers Lutho Sipamla and Anrich Nortje claimed the last two wickets as South Africa’s four pacemen took two wickets apiece and there was a run out.

The Proteas began the post-lunch session with two spinners in an attempt to lift their lagging over-rate, but once Sipamla returned, he had Wanindu Hasaranga caught as the plucky debutant tried to drive him down the ground. Hasaranga had belted 59 off just 53 balls, with 12 fours and a six.

Nortje then induced a catch in the gully from Kasun Rajitha (0) and South Africa will go into the second Test at the Wanderers with much to build on.

South Africa put themselves on the verge of victory in the morning session as they were able to tear through the visitors’ batting line-up, taking five wickets as Sri Lanka limped to lunch on 148 for seven, still trailing by 77 runs.

While Lungi Ngidi had been the wicket-taker on the third evening as Sri Lanka went to 65 for two overnight, it was seamer Wiaan Mulder who did most of the damage on the fourth morning with a fine spell of nine overs, two for 29.

He made the first breakthrough of the day when he jagged a delivery back through Dinesh Chandimal’s gate, hitting the top of off stump and bowling him for 25. Mulder bowled particularly well to the left-handers and then had Niroshan Dickwella caught behind for 10, using the natural angle from over the wicket to good effect.

Opener Kusal Perera was still there, however, and landed some tremendous blows as he belted 64 off 87 balls, taking on the Proteas pacemen with the same belligerent attitude as in his famous matchwinning innings in Durban in 2019.

It was Nortje who removed the dangerman, however, winning a caught-behind decision against the left-hander with umpire Adrian Holdstock’s not out decision being overturned on review as a thin edge was picked up on UltraEdge.

Sipamla, who has just been getting better and better after a tough first day at the office, then produced a superb delivery to dismiss first-innings fifty-maker Dasun Shanaka for just 6. The fast bowler angled a nice and full delivery into the right-hander and it then nipped away, finding the edge as the batsman went on a big flatfooted drive, wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock pouncing on the catch.

A chaotic run out, Vishwa Fernando (0) showing poor awareness of the situation as he went for a quick single with the injured Hasaranga, then completed another poor session for the Sri Lankans.

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • 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.


↑ Top