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Ken Borland



Kolisi ditching his 5yr Sharks contract is all kosher – Eduard 0

Posted on October 13, 2023 by Ken

Current captain Siya Kolisi will be leaving the Sharks at the end of the season, even though he signed a five-year contract renewal last May, to join Racing 92 in France, and it’s all kosher according to the local franchise’s CEO Eduard Coetzee.

Kolisi’s three-year deal with Racing, a Parisian club, was announced on Tuesday and, while it will no doubt shock Sharks fans and cause consternation in terms of those wondering what happens to the Springbok captaincy after the World Cup, Coetzee said he was leaving Kings Park early with their full blessing.

“Siya’s move to France is a new and exciting opportunity and we could not be happier for him. We are blessed to have him don the black-and-white jersey and we know that over the next few months, he will continue to give back to the team and our fans,” Coetzee said in a Sharks statement, which also said the move was “part of a broader long-term collaboration between the Sharks and Racing 92, with the two clubs having come to an amicable agreement, while they also look forward to continuing to build a mutually-beneficial relationship in the future.”

Kolisi expressed his gratitude to the Sharks for their willingness to part with their most iconic player.

“It has been an incredible collaborative effort between the Sharks and Racing 92 that has enabled me to start a new chapter in my career after the 2023 World Cup.

“I want to give a massive thanks to the Sharks for welcoming me with open arms in 2021, and for making me feel so at home in Durban, while their support over the last couple of years has been hugely influential during a key period in my career.

“I am immensely appreciative that the Sharks have given me their blessing to make this move, and it goes without saying that I will continue to give my all for the team over the next few months,” Kolisi said.

“The signing of Siya Kolisi reinforces the ambitions of Racing 92 and will offer our supporters a high-level of performance,” said Jack Lorenzetti, the owner of Racing.

“His winning ambition and natural leadership makes him a great player, but he’s also a deep humanist. He will bring additional positive energy to Racing 92.”

The 31-year-old’s departure to France, for what is probably hundreds of thousands of euro a year, certainly spices up the debate about how the Springboks should approach the post-2023 World Cup era.

Kolisi will only be 32 at the end of this year’s World Cup, and 36 at the 2027 event in Australia, which he will presumably still be available for given that his Sharks contract was going to run until then.

Whoever is in charge of the Springboks at the end of this year may want to keep Kolisi as captain, perhaps with a handover period to his successor.

Bordeaux-Begles may be languishing, but they are no mugs – Powell 0

Posted on May 23, 2023 by Ken

Bordeaux-Begles may have lost to Gloucester last weekend and may be languishing mid-table in the French Top 14 league, but they are no mugs and Sharks coach Neil Powell knows his team have to improve on their impressive display against Harlequins if they are to win their second Champions Cup match at Stade Chaban-Delmas on Friday night.

Although Powell rated the 39-31 victory last weekend against Quins as the Sharks’ “best performance so far this season”, taking on a French team, who can pack more than half of their side with internationals, at home, is going to require something even better in order to get the victory.

“It was our best performance so far this season, we were fully in control at 32-14, but then the cards made it challenging,” Powell said on Thursday. “We showed amazing character to hold on with 13 men for 10 minutes and for seven minutes with 14 players.

“But we do want to improve. Maybe we could be a bit more physical and dominant in the tackle area, that’s definitely going to be important against Bordeaux.

“We kicked pretty well last weekend, but we have to make sure we stick to our plan in terms of the kicking game, we will have to adapt the plan against Harlequins a bit because Bordeaux kick more long balls than contestables.

“It’s about looking at who the opposition are and the weather forecast, and working out how we want to play. We need to adapt week-to-week, but it’s not about changing the whole game-plan, just doing one or two things a bit differently,” Powell said.

Much of the Sharks’ strategy will once again be about disrupting the opposition set-pieces, and although loosehead Ox Nche is out due to the three-week suspension he received for his red card against Quins, tighthead Thomas du Toit is back after his ban picked up on Springbok duty.

“It’s going to be important that we have a strong scrum against Bordeaux, that could be one area for us to target,” Powell smiled.

“It’s a pity Ox is not available because he adds a lot, but we all believe in Ntuthuko Mchunu and it’s a great opportunity for him.”

If the Sharks do get dominance up front, then the last quarter could see some attacking flair being sparked by none other than World Player of the Year nominee Lukhanyo Am, who will return to play off the bench after knee surgery in early September.

“It’s important to get Luke back on the field and give him a fair bit of time off the bench. He’s a quality player with x-factor who can create opportunities out of nothing.

“He might be a bit rusty, but I am keen to see what sort of form he is in and hopefully he enjoys his 20 minutes or so off the bench,” Powell said.

Sharks Boeta Chamberlain, Werner Kok, Francois Venter, Ben Tapuai, Makazole Mapimpi, Curwin Bosch, Jaden Hendrikse, Phepsi Buthelezi, Vincent Tshituka, Siya Kolisi (c), Gerbrandt Grobler, Eben Etzebeth, Thomas du Toit, Bongi Mbonambi, Ntuthuko Mchunu. Bench: Dan Jooste, Dian Bleuler, Hanro Jacobs, Hyron Andrews, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Grant Williams, Lionel Cronje, Lukhanyo Am.

CSA have to mull a different legal strategy v Boucher 0

Posted on June 10, 2022 by Ken

With the disciplinary hearing just a week away, Cricket South Africa’s legal team may have to mull a completely different strategy to try and get rid of Proteas head coach Mark Boucher following Paul Adams’ decision to not testify against his erstwhile team-mate and the likelihood that former national team assistant coach Enoch Nkwe is also not going to participate.

Adams issued a statement at the weekend in which he said he was not willing to be cross-examined over the allegations of racism he made at the Social Justice and Nation-Building hearings, which have been a central pillar of CSA’s case against Boucher.

CSA have also charged Boucher over his treatment of Nkwe, who resigned from his post in August last year, using the reasons he gave to the board as ammunition. But informed sources say Nkwe is not willing to present evidence, believing the disciplinary hearing is a matter between CSA and the head coach.

Boucher is facing charges of gross misconduct, with CSA seeking his dismissal, and, in terms of labour law, he has the right to have any witnesses against him cross-examined. If neither Adams nor Nkwe are there, his lawyers are bound to insist their statements cannot be included in the hearing.

Even though his accusers’ case would now seem to have gone to pot in a dirty pickle-jar bong, Boucher’s legal team say nothing has changed from their point of view.

“Mark Boucher said up front that all he was interested in was clearing his name, which has been tarnished,” Mohammed Chavoos told The Citizen on Monday.

“He welcomed the opportunity to do that at the hearing and that still remains the case. Our position has never changed.

“It’s up to CSA to deal with their witnesses, they were the ones who embarked on this process. All we want to do is exonerate Mark.

“It’s why labour law is there, the principle of letting the other side be heard, that’s what’s important. Mark has welcomed the chance to clear his name of these allegations,” Chavoos said.

In his statement at the weekend, Adams said he never intended to single out Boucher in the SJN hearings, where he revealed the existence of the “Brown Shit” fines meeting song, but the former Proteas spinner did say the wicketkeeper/batsman “should come and say sorry, if that’s enough” and also targeted Boucher’s appointment as Titans coach in 2016.

“We want to put South African cricket first and take the Proteas back to number one. In my view, Mark Boucher is the best coach for South Africa, that’s where he belongs,” Chavoos added.

Boucher’s disciplinary hearing on charges of racism is scheduled for May 16-20, with senior counsel Terry Motau presiding.

The SJN report has already been partially discredited by former director of cricket Graeme Smith winning his arbitration hearing, with costs, against CSA.

Northerns may yet pay for dropped catches & not getting Hendricks & Van Buuren out 0

Posted on April 08, 2022 by Ken

With the surprise windfall of the CSA 4-Day Series title beckoning, the Northerns Titans may yet pay a heavy price for dropping four catches in the space of four overs bowled by ace off-spinner Simon Harmer on the third day of their match against the Central Gauteng Lions at Centurion on Sunday.

With a massive first-innings lead of 212 secured thanks to Theunis de Bruyn’s commanding 143, Northerns had reduced the Lions to a parlous 46/4 in their second innings, still 166 behind. But Reeza Hendricks and Mitchell van Buuren were then dropped twice each close to the bat off Harmer. De Bruyn missed both batsmen at slip, and Gihahn Cloete also gave them each a life at short-leg. Both fielders would have felt one of their misses was a half-chance.

But not getting them out then nevertheless proved extremely costly for the Titans, as Hendricks (73*) and Van Buuren (31*) batted the Lions through to stumps on 130/4 with an unbeaten stand of 84.

Lizaad Williams was outstanding with the new ball for Northerns, taking 2/5 in 11 overs that included six maidens.

With the Eastern Province Warriors unable to get on the field in Bloemfontein due to rain, Northerns gave themselves a great chance of stealing the four-day crown as they piled up 482 in their first innings.

The innings was built around De Bruyn’s epic six-hour knock, in which he faced 228 balls and played numerous great strokes to collect 14 fours and four sixes.

The Titans resumed the third day on 261/3 and there was solid batting all the way down the order with Sibonelo Makhanya scoring 35, Cloete 34, Jiveshan Pillay 21 and Aya Gqamane 17. But Corbin Bosch rather stole the show in the afternoon as he lashed a fiery 57 off just 65 balls.

Paceman Codi Yusuf put in an impressive, skilful effort with the ball, taking 5/91 in 28.5 overs.

From a Warriors point of view, it was a great pity that no play was possible on the third day of their match against the Free State Knights, with Eastern Province stranded on 166/3 in reply to the hosts’ first innings of 227.

Eastern Province already have more points (116.14) on the log than either the Lions (115.70) or Titans (113.56), but with Northerns eyeing victory at Centurion, the Warriors may need to pit themselves against the Knights in some sort of limited-overs contest within the match on the final day if they are to win the title.

In the other matches, a top-class 198 not out by opener Pieter Malan has led the Boland Rocks to 389/7 in reply to the KZN Dolphins’ total of 422, with a draw beckoning in Paarl.

At Newlands, it was a productive day for Western Province spinners George Linde (29-8-69-5) and Kyle Simmonds (14-5-24-4) as they bowled North-West out for 202 and enforced the follow-on.

North-West were 175/6 in their second innings at stumps, still facing a deficit of 199 runs. A pair of half-centuries by Wesley Marshall (58) and Senuran Muthusamy (67*) was keeping them barely afloat. Linde and Simmonds have each picked up another wicket.

Muthusamy also scored 53 in the North-West first innings, sharing a partnership of 58 for the fourth wicket with opener Lesego Senokwane (66), the biggest of the innings.

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