for quality writing

Ken Borland

Exceptional co-operation sees Ivan not going to England just yet 0

Posted on July 20, 2021 by Ken

In an exceptional act of co-operation between his current and former clubs, scrumhalf Ivan van Zyl will not be going to England this week to start his new career with Saracens but will instead enjoy the privilege of playing against the British and Irish Lions on Saturday as he makes one last appearance for the Bulls.

The 26-year-old Springbok’s contract with the Bulls ended on June 30 but Saracens and his former employees came to an agreement that Van Zyl can play on Saturday in what many rugby players consider to be one of the highlights of their careers.

“I’m very fortunate to get the opportunity to still play this game because my contract ended last week but an arrangement was made, which is very nice of the Bulls and Saracens. I’m very thankful for the opportunity, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and then I will be leaving. But playing against the Lions, you just want to play well, playing at that level is where you want to be.

“You want to measure yourself against the best in the world and if you perform you hope all the right people see that. It’s also about the confidence you get if you do play well, but we are all going to have to be at the top of our game against the Lions,” Van Zyl confirmed on Monday.

Chasing the game is never a good thing in rugby, and Van Zyl warned that if the Bulls do not match the Lions physically then that’s exactly what they will be doing.

“The big difference between the international and the provincial game is the physical part, that will be the big thing against the Lions. They also want to play quicker, move the ball around more in preparation for the Springboks so they can move the pack around. It’s why they’ve chosen guys like Hamish Watson and Sam Simmonds with their pace. So we must match their intensity as well.

“But we must match them physically first in order to go forward, we must be physical and direct. But we need the complete game – we can’t just run everything but we also can’t just kick everything away either. It’s about finding the balance and kicking at the right time. So we are going to need the complete performance and making the right decisions at the right time,” Van Zyl said.

Focus on semifinal as Steyn & Van Zyl return to starting action 0

Posted on January 18, 2021 by Ken

With the focus firmly on the Currie Cup semifinal next weekend, Bulls coach Jake White has returned the first-choice halfback pairing of Morne Steyn and Ivan van Zyl to starting action against the Pumas on Sunday, but no-one else travelling to Nelspruit is guaranteed to be involved in the team to play the Lions at Loftus Versfeld.

Having beaten the Lions in midweek in Pretoria, the result against the Pumas cannot change the fact that the Bulls will finish top of the log. With three games in 10 days, White on Saturday announced 11 changes to the team that won the Gauteng derby.

Due to the Covid infection that swept through the squad, the in-form Steyn and Van Zyl have not started a match in a month, and White is obviously looking for them to provide the guidance needed to a very inexperienced backline against the hassling strategies of the Pumas, who always look to put the opposition off their game-plan.

White has also increased the pressure on them by choosing a new-look tight five in which lock Jan Uys is the only player to retain his place.

Uys impressed against the Lions and another strong performance against the Pumas could see him force himself into the reckoning for the semi-final, depending on the fitness of Walt Steenkamp and Sintu Manjezi.

Loose forward Arno Botha, who will captain the team in Nelspruit, could also bring his physical presence to the semi-final, while wing Stravino Jacobs certainly improved his chances of playing with his solid showing in midweek.

The Bulls will at least have a more experienced replacement front row on the bench, with hooker Johan Grobbelaar and props Lizo Gqoboka and Marcel van der Merwe trying to ensure they stay in the squad for the semi-final.

Bulls: Clinton Swart, Jade Stighling, Marnus Potgieter, Dawid Kellerman, Stravino Jacobs, Morné Steyn, Ivan van Zyl, Tim Agaba, Arno Botha (capt), WJ Steenkamp, Janko Swanepoel, Jan Uys, Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Joe van Zyl, Gerhard Steenekamp. Bench – Johan Grobbelaar, Lizo Gqoboka, Marcel van der Merwe, Divan Venter, Elrigh Louw, Keagan Johannes, Kabelo Mokoena, Jay-Cee Nel.

Van Zyl warns brilliant win over Sharks is worth nothing if Bulls don’t build on it 0

Posted on October 28, 2020 by Ken

Bulls scrumhalf Ivan van Zyl has warned that their brilliant victory over the Sharks is worth nothing unless they build on it and maintain that momentum in their huge games coming up against the Stormers in Pretoria on Saturday and versus the Lions at Ellis Park the following weekend.

Top spot on the log is their’s at the moment, but the Bulls will need to keep winning to hold off the thus far unbeaten Free State Cheetahs and Stormers, who have won both their matches, because Jake White’s team then have a bye.

“As a team we took a lot of confidence from the Sharks game and that performance couldn’t have come at a better time. Before that we had been a bit stop-start, we didn’t have much flow in our first two games. Every game is important but now it’s really important that we build on that display and move forward, otherwise that win won’t help us.

“We have a couple of massive games coming up, but at least we were more clinical at the right times, there was better decision-making and we identified space better. Better decisions lead to better play, and this time we rounded off our chances. Coach Jake is very good at making sure that it is all about getting the team to win and we all understand our roles every week,” Van Zyl said.

While the Bulls were much more accurate with ball in hand, and also off the boot, their defence was also highly impressive against the Sharks as they conceded just one try.

“We’re very happy with our defence and the combination of scoring six tries and just conceding one is massive for us. The more consistent we are in our defence, the more opportunities we’ll have to win, so it’s something we continue to work on and against the Stormers we’ll come up against different players with different skill-sets. But we take a lot of confidence from the defensive effort against the Sharks.

“Joey Mongalo has been great for us as defence coach, he has great energy and clearly loves what he does, he’s passionate about defence and that rubs off on the team. We are eager to get better every week. The basics of our defensive system haven’t changed that much, but there’s a new energy,” Van Zyl said.

  • 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