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Ken Borland

Phepsi will miss WP game but should be okay to meet touring Lions 0

Posted on July 12, 2021 by Ken

Captain Phepsi Buthelezi suffered a head knock against Griquas and will miss the Sharks’ Currie Cup game against Western Province in Cape Town on Wednesday, but coach Sean Everitt is confident the eighthman will have recovered in time to join the squad in Johannesburg as they go into lockdown ahead of their match against the British and Irish Lions on July 7 at Ellis Park.

The focus of the Sharks is facing a testing time because they have the crucial match against Western Province to concentrate on, but also the excitement of the game against the British and Irish Lions and all the Covid protocol palaver that goes with that fixture.

“I presume Phepsi will be ready for the Lions, he feels 100% but just didn’t pass all his tests. So he’s nearly there and it wasn’t a serious concussion. Hopefully he’ll be able to join us on Friday when we fly to Johannesburg and go into a six-day quarantine. We are allowed to train on Friday, Monday and Tuesday, and we’ll have PCR tests on Friday, Monday and Wednesday before the game.

“We’ve had no clarification yet on our kickoff time in Cape Town, but I presume it will be moved from 7pm, but that will have no impact on our preparation. Our message to the players this morning was that we need to be squeaky clean and we would like them to treat it as if they are in self-isolation, just coming to the stadium and going home. Otherwise they could miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime against the Lions,” Everitt said on Monday.

The weather in Cape Town is expected to be poor, so it is excellent news for the Sharks that the booming boot of flyhalf Curwin Bosch is back.

“It’s great to have Curwin back. Everyone goes through disappointments in sport, it’s not the first time he’s had it and he’s over what happened with the Springboks. But he’ll want to make sure he puts in a good performance to show Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber that he can step up if needed. He has a huge boot and that could be a deciding factor.

“It’s beautiful weather in Durban today – 28⁰ – so it’s going to be a bit of a change in Cape Town. I see the Junior Boks were playing in torrential rain on a muddy pitch in Stellenbosch, but we have the game-plan for those conditions and we are able to do the kicking game if needed. But we don’t want to bring a one-dimensional approach either,” Everitt said.

Sharks team: Manie Libbok, Werner Kok, Jeremy Ward (c), Marius Louw, Thaakir Abrahams, Curwin Bosch, Jaden Hendrikse, Mpilo Gumede, Thembelani Bholi, James Venter, Hyron Andrews, Ruben van Heerden, Khutha Mchunu, Fez Mbatha, Khwezi Mona. Bench – Dan Jooste, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Wiehahn Herbst, JJ van der Mescht, Reniel Hugo, Dylan Richardson, Grant Williams, Boeta Chamberlain.

Rehabilitated Hawken soaring at Titans & national academy 0

Posted on June 03, 2016 by Ken


Up-and-coming Titans fast bowler Eldred Hawken had his promising first season of franchise cricket interrupted by a back injury, but he has managed to rehabilitate himself in time to take up a place at the prestigious national academy at Cricket South Africa’s Centre of Excellence, an indication of what a talent he is.

Hawken only played four of the champion Titans’ Sunfoil Series games, but showed enough in taking nine wickets at an average of 30.44 to suggest he has a bright future. He may be 27 already, but there is something reminiscent of Dale Steyn in him in the way he is able to swing the ball at high pace and in his physique.

“I’m pretty excited moving forward. My back seized up during last season so I was helluva surprised to be called up for the academy. I thought maybe I was past it in terms of age, but it’s nice to know my good work paid off,” Hawken told The Citizen.

“The Titans side made me feel very comfortable, even though my first over went for 14 runs! But I felt comfortable after that [a change of ends helped!] and I got settled in for cricket at that level, although I still have a lot of work to do, especially on my conditioning. I can bowl 20 overs in a day in amateur cricket, but it’s harder to bowl 15 in franchise cricket because there’s more intensity.”

The similarities with Steyn don’t end with just the physical, however, as Hawken is from Tzaneen and also attended Merensky High School. The lithe Titans prospect admits that the great fast bowler was his role-model growing up as a cricketer in the Limpopo province.

“Dale was my hero. My dad, who was president of Limpopo Cricket, coached both of us at the Hornbills club in Tzaneen and when I was 12 or 13 I would go and watch them play. I would bring my whites just in case and often I would be standing at mid-off watching Dale bowl or watching clips of him on TV.

“I was actually an off-spinner until I was 16 and then when I changed, I envisaged in my mind his action as the basis for what I was trying to do. Those days were a big influence for me, I had the structures to flourish. The area has produced quite a few fast bowlers including Dale, Ethy Mbhalati and Marchant de Lange,” Hawken said.

The expert attention Hawken gets at the national academy means he has a good chance of following in the footsteps of those bowlers and becoming the leader of the Titans attack.


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