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Ken Borland



Bulls show they have the stubborn refusal to concede defeat in their genes 0

Posted on July 11, 2022 by Ken

A stubborn refusal to ever concede defeat has been in the genes of several Bulls sides, but the current group showed extraordinary determination and perseverance as an 84th-minute drop goal by flyhalf Chris Smith snatched them a 30-27 victory over the Sharks in a thrilling United Rugby Championship quarterfinal at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

The Sharks had fully matched the Bulls in an enthralling and feisty first half which ended with the scores locked at 13-13. But the visitors seemed to have let the genie out the bottle when they conceded two tries in the opening 10 minutes of the second half.

Bulls captain Marcell Coetzee rounded off a period of concerted pressure for the first try, and then great work by outstanding fullback Canan Moodie and scrumhalf Zak Burger down the blindside earned the home side a lineout inside the Sharks’ 22. After a maul and some big carries, the Bulls went wide and centre Cornal Hendricks cut back inside to score.

But far from being brought to their knees by scoreboard pressure and altitude, the Sharks fought back superbly and finished strongly, a wonderful try by replacement loose forward Sikhumbuzo Notshe, and Curwin Bosch’s brilliant angled conversion, levelling the scores at 27-27 with five minutes remaining.

But Coetzee then won a vital turnover penalty deep inside the Bulls half. The lineout was set after Smith’s lengthy touchfinder, and the Bulls marched inexorably forward until they were under the Sharks’ poles. Tired bodies were smashing against each other at close range, neither side willing to give up, but then the ball was sent back to Smith, who slotted the winning drop goal to go with three conversions and two penalties in a perfect kicking display.

Before that, the Sharks had looked the more likely winners in the final quarter, their outside backs flourishing as they made the game more loose. Notshe’s try was a sublime effort as Lukhanyo Am, Ben Tapuai, Phepsi Buthelezi and Henco Venter had somehow kept the ball alive down the left touchline without much seeming to be on, and the Springbok then snaking over as the Bulls defence was caught offguard.

Earlier, the ever-threatening Makazole Mapimpi had taken the Sharks to the Bulls line with his magic basically disappearing three defenders, and scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse then dummied and dived over from the ruck to begin the remarkable Sharks comeback. A storming run by brilliant eighthman Buthelezi had put them on the front foot.

The Bulls started the first half slowly as they made soft mistakes, but the second quarter would see them start to get into their game.

They scored the first try, very much against the run of play, through Madosh Tambwe, rounding off a spectacular intercept by Moodie, but the Sharks soon replied with a rolling maul try by hooker Bongi Mbonambi.

Scorers

BullsTries: Madosh Tambwe, Marcell Coetzee, Cornal Hendricks. Conversions: Chris Smith (3). Penalties: Smith (2). Drop goal: Smith.

SharksTries: Bongi Mbonambi, Jaden Hendrikse, Sikhumbuzo Notshe. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (3). Penalties: Bosch (2).

Adams’ loss of nerve an unfortunate development 0

Posted on June 10, 2022 by Ken

Paul Adams’ refusal to testify in Mark Boucher’s disciplinary hearing is an unfortunate development that will not only considerably weaken Cricket South Africa’s case, but also reflects badly on the former spin bowler and makes it harder for the current Proteas coach to clear his name in an unambiguous fashion.

Having showed an admirable level of courage in testifying at the Social Justice and Nation-Building hearings about an offensive team song the Proteas used in fines meetings in the late 1990s, Adams now seems to have lost his nerve when it comes to presenting and justifying the same evidence, but this time with Boucher’s representatives being able to cross-examine and test his claims.

It shows again that for SJN Ombudsman Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza to err so badly in allowing inflammatory allegations to be publicly aired without being properly subjected to legal processes has only created more headaches for Cricket South Africa.

Adams was also disingenuous in his weekend statement announcing his decision when he claimed he never meant to single out Boucher in his SJN testimony. While Boucher’s name was admittedly brought into the conversation by one of Ntsebeza’s legal assistants, Adams went on to say that Boucher “should come and say sorry, if that’s enough, but we can’t brush this under the carpet”.

Adams also went on to target Boucher’s appointment as Titans coach in 2016.

No amount of “sorry”s can fully cleanse the stain of being unjustifiably called a racist and Adams’ refusal to further discuss his allegations has denied Boucher the chance of properly exonerating himself if he is innocent of the offences his former team-mate accuses him of doing.

With Enoch Nkwe also not expected to testify, CSA’s entire case could quickly disintegrate. But the public may not be as quick to forget the allegations that were made against Boucher but which have never actually been disproven.

That could only have happened if Adams had availed himself to answer such probing questions as what other songs were sung, what songs did he participate in and who actually wrote the offensive lyrics?

Having provided the matches to those who are looking to burn down Boucher’s career, Adams has now slipped out of being held accountable for what he said.

De Kock apologises but points out he comes from a mixed-race home 0

Posted on December 06, 2021 by Ken

Proteas star Quinton de Kock on Thursday morning apologised to his team-mates and South African fans for his withdrawal from the T20 World Cup match against the West Indies, but said his refusal to take the knee in support of the BLM initiative was not because he is racist, pointing out that he comes from a mixed-race home.

De Kock said his issue with being forced to take the knee was that it infringed on his own rights and the directive was imposed without any discussion with the team, on the morning of a vital World Cup game.

“For those who don’t know, I come from a mixed-race family. My half-sisters are Coloured and my step-mom is Black,” De Kock revealed in a statement. “For me, Black lives have mattered since I was born. Not just because there was an international movement.

“I was raised to understand that we all have rights, and they are important. I felt like my rights were taken away when I was told what we had to do in the way that we were told.

“We were previously told we had the choice to do what we felt we wanted to do. … I didn’t understand why I had to prove it with a gesture, when I live and learn and love people from all walks of life every day.

“When you are told what to do, with no discussion, I felt like it takes away the meaning. If I was racist, I could easily have taken the knee and lied, which is wrong and doesn’t build a better society,” De Kock said. 

De Kock criticised the CSA Board in his statement for what their directive did to the team on the morning of a crunch game. A seemingly distracted Proteas team started poorly against the West Indies, but recovered superbly to avoid a defeat which would have been their second in a row and would have made it extremely unlikely that they would qualify for the semi-finals.

De Kock revealed that the team had discussions with the Board on Wednesday night.

“Since our chat with the board last night, which was very emotional, I think we all have a better understanding of their intentions as well. I wish this had happened sooner, because what happened on match day could have been avoided.

“I was shocked that we were told on the way to an important match that there was an instruction that we had to follow, with a perceived ‘or else.’ I don’t think I was the only one.

“We have had camps … sessions … Zoom meetings. We know where we all stand. And that is together. I love every one of my team-mates, and I love nothing more than playing cricket for South Africa.

“It would have been better for everyone concerned if we had sorted this out before the tournament started. Then we could have focused on our job, to win cricket matches for our country. There always seems to be a drama when we go to World Cups. That isn’t fair,” De Kock said.

The 28-year-old ended his statement by praising Temba Bavuma for being “a flipping amazing leader” and made a plea to be allowed to play for his country again. Although he made no mention of whether he would now be willing to take a knee.

England cricket tour set to go ahead 0

Posted on October 23, 2020 by Ken

Despite Cricket South Africa and government currently being at loggerheads over the refusal of their Board to step down, England’s tour next month looks set to go ahead following a magnanimous gesture by government.

England is one of the designated high-risk countries when it comes to Covid-19, but reports overseas on Tuesday suggested the South African government have not only allowed their contingent of more than 40 people to enter the country but have also waived the usual quarantine requirements as long as the 50-over world champions remain in a biosecure bubble.

That means England will be allowed to train at the Western Province Cricket Club for the 10 days between their arrival on November 17 and the first match against the Proteas. The tourists are apparently going to stay at The Vineyard Hotel, along with the South African squad.

Three ODIs and three T20 internationals are on the schedule for England, with all the matches on tour being played either at Newlands in Cape Town or Boland Park in Paarl, without spectators.

The series will follow hot on the heels of the Indian Premier League, but both England captain Eoin Morgan and Proteas skipper Quinton de Kock expressed their enthusiasm for the series on Monday night when they spoke at a Chance to Shine charity event.

“There is a huge responsibility not just to get your home country’s fixtures underway, but a huge responsibility to facilitate other countries around the world. We will do what we can to try and get cricket back on, because it means a huge amount for people in Lockdown in their own countries, and also for Cricket South Africa financially.

“I know the worry we had about potentially not bowling a ball all summer and the detrimental impact that would have, probably to grassroots cricket more than any other part of the game. If the tour goes ahead, we’d love to come down, as the series we played last time was incredible,” Morgan said.

“If the boys do come over I’m sure it’ll be a good series once again,” De Kock said. “The world saw the last series between us, even though we lost, we still played unbelievable cricket, so did England. We are hoping it will go on, but with the pandemic, who knows?”

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  • 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.

     



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