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Ken Borland

Sunshine Tour give up trying to ram SunBet Challenge into an ever-decreasing window of good weather 0

Posted on November 04, 2021 by Ken

PORT EDWARD, KwaZulu-Natal (7 October) – Rain continued to fall on the already waterlogged Wild Coast Sun Country Club course overnight and with no play possible on Thursday, the Sunshine Tour took the decision to cancel the SunBet Challenge instead of trying to ram the tournament into an ever-decreasing window of better weather.

The event was originally scheduled to run from Wednesday to Friday, but the first round was postponed to Thursday due to heavy rain on the Wild Coast causing the course to be waterlogged and the tournament extended to Saturday.

At least five holes were still unplayable on Thursday and, with more rain forecast, playing a shortened tournament would amount to an unfair contest for certain golfers.

“There’s been no improvement since yesterday, there is still standing water on the course, the bunkers are full of water despite us pumping it out and in some fairways there is nowhere to drop the ball. So it’s unplayable for the same reasons as Wednesday and it would not be golf if we were to play. The rain just has nowhere to go because the water table is so high,” tournament director Gary Todd said on Thursday morning.

Bulls bring in pace & battering rams to counter Frans Steyn 0

Posted on October 15, 2020 by Ken

Embrose Papier and Jade Stighling have been brought into the Bulls team to counter the pace of the Free State Cheetahs in Friday night’s Super Rugby Unlocked match in Bloemfontein, with Duane Vermeulen returning and Clinton Swart called up for his debut in an effort to negate the battering ram play of Francois Steyn at inside centre.

Johan Grobbelaar, starting at hooker, is the other player brought into the starting line-up which was announced on Wednesday afternoon. Coach Jake White has also shifted Cornal Hendricks from inside to outside centre and shuffled his bench with U21 star Joe van Zyl called up to cover hooker, Gerhard Steenekamp replacing injured loosehead prop Lizo Gqoboka, and Nizaam Carr coming in as the replacement loose forward instead of Elrigh Louw.

Here’s why the changes fit in specifically with the Cheetahs in mind:

Jade Stighling – White called winger Stighling “one of the quickest players in the squad” and his selection in the number 11 jersey, with the lanky and elusive David Kriel moving to right wing and Travis Ismaiel left out, is aimed to counter the Cheetahs getting too much space and time out wide.

“The Cheetahs make quite a few line-breaks and Jade has massive pace, he’s one of the quickest players in the squad. But they also concede quite a lot of line-breaks, so if we can make some then we will have the pace to get up in support and create a few nice opportunities,” White said.

Embrose Papier – While White has committed himself to rotating his two Springbok scrumhalves, he admitted Papier’s game is better suited to the pace and expansiveness of the Cheetahs.

“I always said Embrose would get game time, it’s not like he’s our No.2 scrumhalf, and he’s also one of our quickest players, which comes back to those line-breaks the Cheetahs both make and concede. I’m looking forward to seeing how he combines with that backline and Free State rely on lots of pace, so we need to see if we can counter that,” White said.

Duane Vermeulen – The looming figure of the Springbok eighthman and colossus is likely to spend plenty of time in the inside centre channel to make sure Francois Steyn’s forays end before the gain-line. Captain Vermeulen, for his part, said the swelling on his knee has gone down and he is looking forward to ensuring that the Bulls execute their plans better than they did last weekend against Griquas.

Clinton Swart – The 1.84m, 105kg Swart played under White at Toyota Verblitz and may not be a flashy centre in the mould of Cornal Hendricks, but he is very direct and ideally suited to countering the sort of game Steyn plays. He also has a very handy boot and there’s little doubt one of White’s major tactics against the Cheetahs will be to pin them in their own half and make them run from deep and he now has three accomplished kickers in Morne Steyn, Gio Aplon and Swart to achieve this.

“I know what Frans Steyn can offer and if you give him lots of gain-line then the Cheetahs will play around him, so his presence was a big influence in our selection. Clinton came from Free State so he knows them well. We’re not going to be able to get away with playing Hendricks and Gans in midfield every week and I would also like to see Cornal at outside centre – that might also be a stroke of genius and he has been running well with Clinton,” White said.

Nizaam Carr – While Elrigh Louw enjoyed himself with hall-in-hand when he came off the bench against Griquas, that role can now be fulfilled by Vermeulen. Against a team as pacy as the Cheetahs, the Bulls are going to need a more openside type flank and Carr fits the bill perfectly to come off the bench and lift the tempo.

Bulls team: Gio Aplon, David Kriel, Cornal Hendricks, Clinton Swart, Jade Stighling, Morné Steyn, Embrose Papier, Duane Vermeulen (C), Arno Botha, Marco van Staden, Ruan Nortje, Jason Jenkins, Trevor Nyakane, Johan Grobbelaar, Jacques van Rooyen. Replacements – Joe van Zyl, Gerhard Steenekamp, Mornay Smith, Sintu Manjezi, Nizaam Carr, Ivan van Zyl, Chris Smith, Stedman Gans.

Sharks take Louw road in response to Lions employing services of Odendaal at 13 0

Posted on October 08, 2020 by Ken

With the Lions springing a surprise by employing the battering ram services of Burger Odendaal at outside centre, forming a bulky midfield pairing with Dan Kriel, much attention was focused on the Sharks’ selection on Wednesday and who they will play in the No.12 jersey when they meet the Gauteng side in Durban on Friday night.

With captain Lukhanyo Am assured of his outside centre spot, Sharks coach Sean Everitt has gone for the stockier option at No.12, preferring Marius Louw to Jeremy Ward. Although Louw is six centimetres shorter than Ward at 1.81m, he weighs eight kilogrammes more at 94kg. Of course neither Louw nor Ward have the physical presence of the Sharks’ long-time inside centre Andre Esterhuizen, the 110kg Springbok who has joined English club Harlequins, but they both have much to add, with Ward warming the bench on Friday night.

“The competition between Marius and Jeremy is always close and we had lengthy selection discussions about it. We just felt that when Marius came on against the Bulls on SuperFan Saturday he played particularly well and brought a lot of energy. But they are both very good players and leaders, and Marius just pipped Jeremy this week.

“Playing Odendaal at 13 means the Lions will have a big centre combination with Kriel at 12. We’re expecting something different from them, they may have moved away from their DNA a bit, away from continuity and ball-in-hand rugby a bit,” Everitt said.

Facing off against Odendaal as his direct opponent and not seeing him at inside centre is also going to be different for Am, who locked horns with the new Lions signing many times while he was up the road at the Bulls.

“I’ve never gone head-to-head with Burger but I have huge respect for him having played against him several times. He will bring experience and leadership to the Lions, and probably the same game he had at the Bulls – he takes on defenders and he carries the ball pretty hard. That’s what I expect from him, the Lions have quite a big centre pairing now and we expect a physical battle,” Am said.

Springbok Sevens star Werner Kok, making his official Sharks debut, has been paired with veteran JP Pietersen as the wings, with Madosh Tambwe expected to be fit for their next Super Rugby Unlocked game, away at the Bulls after next week’s bye, and Yaw Penje, signed on a short-term contract, still assimilating into the squad.

Ox Nche forms a powerful propping partnership with World Cup winner Thomas du Toit, and Everitt said he is really happy with the improvement shown in the Sharks’ scrummaging since the start of the year.

“Their great form really started early on in Super Rugby. We had a few issues at the start of the year in our scrum and there were plenty of critics. But since then the scrum has gone from strength to strength. I thought they stood up well against the Bulls two weeks ago and Ox and Thomas carried that through to last weekend’s Green and Gold game. Ox getting one over Ruan Dreyer of the Lions last weekend will add some spice to Friday night and it will be an interesting battle,” Everitt said.

Sharks team: Manie Libbok, JP Pietersen, Lukhanyo Am, Marius Louw, Werner Kok, Curwin Bosch, Sanele Nohamba, Sikumbuzo Notshe, Phendulani Buthelezi, James Venter, Hyron Andrews, Ruben van Heerden, Thomas du Toit, Dylan Richardson, Ox Nche. Replacements – Dan Jooste, Mzamo Majola, John-Hubert Meyer, JJ van der Mescht, Mpilo Gumede, Grant Williams, Jeremy Ward, Thaakir Abrahams.

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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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