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Ken Borland

Coach Pretorius not hitting the roof as Lions hope for sun 0

Posted on May 10, 2024 by Ken

The DP World Lions ladies team will be hoping for two days of sun and better basics as they take on the Six Gun Grill Garden Route Badgers in Johannesburg this weekend, following their disappointing trip to Durban three weeks ago.

The Lions were frustrated to have their one-day match against the Dolphins abandoned due to rain, seeing them slip to fifth in the standings, and they then suffered a 10-wicket defeat in the T20 game.

But it’s not like coach Shaun Pretorius hit the roof or anything, he knows our DP World Lions ladies are not far off from winning form. Just one win in the One-Day Cup will lift them back up to third.

“Things didn’t go according to plan in Durban, and there were small things that we can learn from; the only way you’re going to learn those lessons is on the park,” Pretorius said.

“I’m quite confident actually that if we stick to the basics and follow our game-plans, then we have got enough ability to win this weekend. There are still good things happening around the team, there’s no stress.

“If we execute in the right phases of the game, if we get a grip on the game and then hang on to it, then we are capable of a bonus point win which has a massive effect on the log. It’s about handling situations, not overthinking things. We must focus on the ball being delivered now and not look too far ahead. One ball can change the game,” Pretorius said.

They may be feeling a little blue after recent results, but Pretorius has been reminding our #PrideOfJozi of past successes and epic performances like chasing 250 twice at the DP World Wanderers Stadium before.

Our Pride will be without Chloe Tryon and Shabnim Ismail, who are in India for the IPL, and young stars Karabo Meso and Jenna Evans, who are representing South Africa at the Africa Games in Ghana.

But the DP World Lions are not about individuals, but the system, and Pretorius backs the squad for this weekend to put their hands up in the key phases of the game.

Proteas star Tazmin Brits battered a century off the Lions in their meeting in Oudtshoorn in November, but our Pride will not be overly focused on her. Besides, the DP World Lions have experienced, quality Proteas batters of their own in Kirstie Thomson, Sunette Viljoen-Louw and Nonkululeko Thabethe.

Fans’ cellphones were previously full of images of sandpaper & changeroom confrontations, but Elgar hopes for less spiciness in Oz 0

Posted on April 13, 2023 by Ken

The last time South Africa and Australia met in a Test series, cricket fans’ cellphones were full of images of sandpaper and changeroom confrontations with the captain only wearing a towel, but Proteas skipper Dean Elgar is hoping that this time the spiciness stays on the field and does not cross the line into illegality.

The infamous “Sandpapergate” tour of 2017/18 was the last Test series between the two great rivals, with South Africa winning 3-1 as Australian captain Steven Smith and batsmen David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were banned for their ball-tampering shenanigans in the third Test.

“I have no animosity at all for any of the players or Australian cricket,” Elgar said in Brisbane on Monday. “It was a tough time for all of us and obviously they were sad events, it was unfortunate.

“We have moved forward as a group, although we wish things could have happened differently because there is a rich history of cricket between us and we have a similarly competitive nature.

“It was extremely juicy out in the middle, they were interesting times, but hopefully that has all been put to bed. There’s always a bit of spice on the field when we play Australia, but hopefully none of those antics.

“We love playing against Australia, we have heaps of respect for them, and hopefully this series will be a good spectacle,” Elgar said.

With Australia having plenty of depth when it comes to pacemen, the series should be a fast bowling extravaganza. Although he can be a bit of an enigma, notably in the T20 World Cup in Australia a month ago, Kagiso Rabada is still South Africa’s leading Test bowler. And Elgar is excited by the quick bowlers he has to support him – Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Marco Jansen, Gerald Coetzee and Lizaad Williams.

“KG’s career and repertoire speaks for itself in terms of what he can bring to the table,” Elgar said. “But it’s good to have options and all our bowlers bring something unique.

“It’s exciting to have raw pace in the changeroom and, facing them in the nets, I’m happy that they are part of our squad. Their skillsets are up there and they can bring the heat as well.

“In Australian conditions, you want a balance of skill and raw pace. You get a lot of value on these pitches if you can execute and hit the right areas,” Elgar said.

South Africa begin their tour with a warm-up match against a Cricket Australia XI at Allan Border Field in Brisbane from Friday to next Monday.

The first Test starts at the Gabba in Brisbane on December 17.

After coming a cropper in Bloem, Smal hopes for a more cohesive Bulls display 0

Posted on July 29, 2022 by Ken

Having come a cropper last weekend in Bloemfontein, Bulls Currie Cup coach Gert Smal is hoping for a more cohesive, disciplined display as a side boasting some additional players with URC experience was named for their semifinal against Griquas at Loftus Versfeld on Friday night.

The Bulls went to Bloemfontein last weekend to try and finish top of the log, but they were heavily beaten. Needing just two bonus points to clinch No.1 spot, they were demolished 35-5.

But for the semi-final, inspirational captain Lizo Gqoboka is back after his father’s sad passing and funeral, and he will join a powerful front row alongside the exciting Jan-Hendrik Wessels and the seasoned Jacques van Rooyen.

There is some real quality in the backline as well, with Springbok Lionel Mapoe now joined by Marco Jansen van Vuren in midfield and the elusive Stedman Gans on the wing.

“It’s very important to have that extra experience in the playoffs and we expect them to bring their best in the heat of the battle,” Smal said on Thursday.

“A game like the one in Bloem shows you a lot. But it was that team’s first time playing together and there were a lot of youngsters. We have put that match behind us, and the second time they play together will hopefully be much better.

“No matter how young you are, these are the type of matches you work so hard for, and the players are very hungry, both the youngsters and the seniors.

“We obviously missed Lizo, he was at his Dad’s funeral and we commiserate with him. But he has had a good week now, he’s very inspirational and it’s nice to have him back,” Smal said.

Griquas have had an uncanny ability this season to shock teams by coming back from large deficits, and Smal knows the Bulls have an 80-minute tussle on their hands.

“Griquas are well-coached and they will throw their maul at us, it is something we have worked hard on because we were not good there last weekend,” Smal said.

“Once they set the lineout, they either maul or the ball comes out from their hooker or No.6 to the scrumhalf and they play from there. We have a really good idea of how they play.

“But they also play for the full 80 minutes, so we have to really play for the full duration of the match. Good defence wins you trophies, so we have to get that right.

“Griquas can also pick up the tempo, especially in the last part of the game, so that’s another challenge. We will have to be accurate in everything we do,” Smal said.

Bulls team:Richard Kriel, Tharquinn Manuel, Lionel Mapoe, Marco Jansen van Vuren, Stedman Gans, Juan Mostert, Keagan Johannes, Muller Uys, Ruan Delport, Jaco Labuschagne, Reinhardt Ludwig, Raynard Roets, Jacques van Rooyen, Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Lizo Gqoboka. Impact -Sidney Tobias, Dylan Smith, Francois Klopper, Willie Potgieter, Stephan Smit, Bernard van der Linde, Niel Beukes, Quewin Nortje.

Kick-off: 7pm.

Bulls crave Leinster pedigree; it’s crucial they absorb the early blows 0

Posted on July 18, 2022 by Ken

There is no doubt the Bulls players and management crave the sort of pedigree and success in European rugby that Leinster enjoy, and coach Jake White is hoping upsetting the Irish giants in their United Rugby Championship semi-final in Dublin on Friday is the first step on that path.

Leinster have won the European Champions Cup four times, second only to Toulouse (5), and the Pro14 competition (the URC’s predecessor) eight times including the last four tournaments in a row. They also topped the final URC log by six points.

But while it’s obvious how much White respects Leinster, it’s also one of the great joys of sport that hot favourites are sometimes upset by the underdogs in knockout matches. It’s those games the fans live for, and the former World Cup winning coach is hoping Friday night is one of those days for the Bulls.

“Leinster are an incredible team, to put it in perspective, Sean Cronin, their reserve hooker, has played 206 games for them and Jonny Sexton has played 183. Together they have probably played more matches than our entire squad and they are both on the bench.

“We all want to become like Leinster in terms of our structures and we have massive respect for them. Who else has players like Cronin, Sexton, Cian Healy and Ciaran Frawley on the bench?

“Leinster used 60 players in this season’s URC, which is 16 more than us. Those learnings mean you will be so much better next year and after that. For us it’s about building a team over the next couple of years so we can be one of the strongest clubs in world rugby.

“But people follow sport because there’s always a chance, the players believe they can do it and I want them to give it a real crack. We’ve got confidence that on our day we can win,” White said.

For the upset to happen though, it’s going to be crucial for the Bulls to absorb the early blows Leinster, at their formidable RDS Arena, are going to rain down on them.

“We have to start well, Leinster score most of their points in the first 25 minutes,” White said. “It’s very difficult to play catch-up against them, especially at their home ground.

“La Rochelle stayed in the game well in the Champions Cup final a fortnight ago, but the last time we were here, we looked again and we were 15 points down.

“But it will be different this time because we won’t be overawed, we are more controlled now and we have more settled combinations.”

Having bished-and-bashed their way into the last four, there is no pressure on the Bulls, and whatever they get out of Friday night’s game will be a bonus.

“I think we have surpassed everything we were meant to do already,” White said after naming an unchanged starting XV on Thursday. “Now we see if we can live with the best standard of European clubs.”

Bulls: Canan Moodie, David Kriel, Cornal Hendricks, Harold Vorster, Madosh Tambwe, Chris Smith, Zak Burger; Elrigh Louw, Arno Botha, Marcell Coetzee, Ruan Nortje, Walt Steenkamp, Mornay Smith, Johan Grobbelaar, Gerhard Steenekamp. Replacements -Bismarck du Plessis, Simphiwe Matanzima, Robert Hunt, Janko Swanepoel, WJ Steenkamp; Embrose Papier, Morne Steyn, Kurt-Lee Arendse.

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    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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