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Ken Borland

Rapid recycles & direct rugby sees Sharks motor into early lead, before splutter & then running rampant again 0

Posted on July 17, 2023 by Ken

The Sharks motored into a 12-0 lead after just 16 minutes, thanks to rapid recycles of the ball and tremendous direct rugby, but they then spluttered and allowed the Lions back into the game before eventually running rampant from the hour mark to win 37-10 in their United Rugby Championship match at Kings Park on Friday evening.

It was all smooth sailing for the Sharks at the start of the derby and, in the ninth minute, they kept possession through nine phases, after a strong carry by eighthman Phepsi Buthelezi, going right and then left before inside centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg broke the defensive line and passed inside for wing Makazole Mapimpi to score.

With 67% possession in the first half, the Sharks were soon back on attack and, after bashing away on the line against the stout Lions defence, they went wide, two short loop passes being followed by fullback Boeta Chamberlain knifing through for the try.

But the shift in momentum perhaps came straight afterwards as flank Jeandre Labuschagne misjudged the restart, dropping the ball, and Lions wing Edwill van der Merwe was on hand to kick through and score the try.

The Lions gained belief to go with their tireless efforts on defence, and despite making just 35 tackles to the visitors’ 105 in the first half, the Sharks went into halftime just 12-7 up.

Flyhalves Curwin Bosch and Jordan Hendrikse traded scrum penalties in the first six minutes of the second half, but the Sharks eventually showed why they were top of the log in southern hemisphere competition when SuperRugby was killed by Covid and remain one of the most highly-rated teams in Europe.

The turnaround came out of the blue as Chamberlain charged down a clearance by Lions fullback Andries Coetzee, centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg gathered and his pop pass found just the right player in scrumhalf Grant Williams, whose sheer speed from just outside the 22 made his try impossible to stop.

Having defended so much, perhaps fatigue set in for the Lions in the final quarter and they began to make basic errors. Centre Marius Louw strayed in front of the kicker, Jaden Hendrikse took a quick tap for the Sharks, Sikhumbuzo Notshe burst clear and Siya Kolisi rounded off the try.

The ever-busy Mapimpi then kicked through a dropped ball in the Lions backline, his second kick being a touch of Messi-like class, as he grabbed his second try at the death.


SharksTries: Makazole Mapimpi (2), Boeta Chamberlain, Grant Williams, Siya Kolisi. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (2), Jaden Hendrikse. Penalties: Bosch, Lionel Cronje.

LionsTry: Edwill van der Merwe. Conversion: Jordan Hendrikse. Penalty: Hendrikse.

Consistent Fisher Jnr motors to victory with precision golf 0

Posted on November 13, 2015 by Ken

Trevor Fisher Junior played consistent precision golf as he motored to victory by five shots in the Africa Open at East London Golf Club on Sunday, shooting a superb eight-under-par 64 in the final round.

The South African had started the day two shots ahead of Englishman Matt Ford, and he pulled away with a brilliant display that included nine birdies.

And it’s not as if Ford, a European Tour rookie, spluttered in the final round either: He shot an admirable five-under-par 67, but Fisher Junior’s dazzling effort consigned him to second.

Fisher Junior is one of the most popular golfers on the Sunshine Tour and there was a flood of congratulatory messages on social media after a triumph that means he will now be part of the European Tour until the end of 2016.

And the 35-year-old certainly showed that he has the game to win again on the European Tour, simply overwhelming the tricky coastal course to finish on 24-under-par for the tournament.

“I only had three bogeys for the week which is quite an achievement, that’s how you win tournaments by keeping bogeys off your card. My mindset was great, I didn’t let anything faze me, and I hit my long irons very well. All you want to do is give yourself a chance,” Fisher Junior said after a remarkable round that took his weekend tally to 17-under-par after a 63 on the third day.

Ford initially matched Fisher Junior with birdies at the first and third holes and actually closed to within one stroke when the Modderfontein golfer bogeyed the par-four fifth hole. Fisher Junior’s tee-shot found the fairway bunker just before the crest of the hill, and was close to the lip so he could only chip out short of the green, from where he three-putted.

But the response was swift as Fisher Junior matched Ford’s birdies at six and seven and then engineered a three-shot lead on the ninth hole.

Fisher Junior fired a four-iron to within 10 feet of the flag and nailed the birdie putt, while Ford missed a six-footer for par. From there the South African cruised to victory with further birdies on the 10th, 15th, 16th and 18th holes, finishing with a suitably spectacular 45-foot putt.

“The ninth-hole was a nice swing, I was suddenly three ahead. I hit a two-iron off the tee and then the four-iron was probably my shot of the week,” Fisher Junior said.

He has contended before in co-sanctioned tournaments, having tied for third in the 2012 Joburg Open and for fourth in the 2010 Africa Open, and has five other top-10 finishes, and admitted that he had perhaps tried too hard to win those tournaments.

Now, as a more mature man and a father of two, who has gone through the pain of losing his father to cancer two years ago, Fisher Junior knows there is much to life beyond golf and it helps him on the course.

“I don’t want to define myself through my golf, so I tried to be myself whether I’d played a good shot or a bad shot, just be a happy guy. I actually felt very comfortable out there, although I was a bit nervous towards the end,” Fisher Junior said.

He admitted that his imagination did start running wild at stages and he began preparing victory speeches in his head, but he was able to nip them in the bud and regain his focus on fairways and greens.

Fisher-Junior has now expanded his golfing horizons to the world stage and there are no doubt many exciting times ahead for him.

“I’ve tried so hard to get that European Tour card, for so many years. Obviously it’s a massive step for my career because that’s where all South African golfers want to be,” Fisher Junior said.

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    John 15:16 – “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

    Our Christian experience begins when the Holy Spirit starts working in our imperfect lives. An inexplicable restlessness and a feeling that nothing can give you the satisfaction you yearn for, could be the Spirit working in you.

    Even when God calls you and chooses you to serve him, there may be inner conflict and confusion because you are not always willing to do what God is asking of you.

    But this inner struggle is part of spiritual life … Commit yourself to God and open yourself to the inflowing of the Holy Spirit.

    It is by great grace that you were chosen by God to serve him and to live to the honour and glory of his name. Surrender unconditionally to the Lord and you will discover that your life gains new meaning and purpose.

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