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Ken Borland



In the sort of heat that could lead to medical attention, Strydom & Jamieson keep their cool 0

Posted on December 10, 2022 by Ken

On the sort of day when those unaccustomed to Lowveld heat could have ended up needing medical attention, South Africa’s Ockie Strydom stormed up the leaderboard in the third round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship, his 63 giving him a share of the lead as Scotsman Scott Jamieson stubbornly refused to let first place go.

Strydom ended the second round tied for 21st place on six-under, seven strokes behind Jamieson, but he produced an amazing round, eight birdies and an eagle taking him to 10-under through 15 holes.

He bogeyed the par-three 16th though, three-putting from the far reaches of the green, and then parred his way home to equal the course record set the previous day by Jamieson.

With 15-under now the target, Jamieson got to that mark with three successive birdies from the 11th hole and then ensured he made no mistakes and did not drop any shots coming in.

“I played the same golf as the first two days,” Strydom said as he improved greatly on scores of 68 and 70. “I made a few putts though, I holed a chip, hit my wedges closer and did not take any risks.

“The eagle on two, when I chipped in, was my shot of the day because I was in an impossible spot, short and right of the green, with a steep bunker to clear.

“There were quite tough flags and subtle breaks in the greens, which I saw were running at 13.7 at the start of my round. If they make them any quicker they’re going to kill us, but I managed to hit the ball in the right places.

“I made the right decisions out there and you can’t attack this course, you have to let it come to you, otherwise you’ll be done,” Strydom said.

Jamieson was happy with his performance, as firmer greens made for a tougher day for the 39-year-old. And that’s not mentioning the 35° heat.

“It was a solid day, I’ll take two-under especially after my front nine. As expected it was tougher today, the green speeds were right up. I hit poor shots on four and five that killed my momentum, but to be one-over at the turn was not a disaster,” Jamieson said.

“I knew there would be chances on the back nine and I was able to take three of them in a row. I was really disciplined, there were only two shots I was really not happy about, on four and five. I stuck to my game-plan and eventually got reward. I was proud of myself,” Jamieson said.

Both Strydom and Jamieson believe they have the equipment, both mentally and in terms of ball-striking, to get the job done in Sunday’s final round and claim the biggest victories of their career.

“I will do the same I’ve been doing every day, just play the golf and if it works out then it does, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t,” the phlegmatic Strydom said.

“We are all the same out there, we are all people, no different to each other. They are just names and we will have to see how good they do it in the final round.

“I’ve been there contending quite a few times and I will just keep doing what I’m doing,” Strydom, who has one Sunshine Tour win and 19 runners-up finishes, said.

“The tournament begins on the back nine tomorrow,” Jamieson said. “So far we’ve all just been jockeying for position, but tomorrow the game-plan could change.

“Tomorrow will be all about who plays the best golf and there are some good names up there on the leaderboard. So it’s going to take a good round to win, if I can get to 20-under I will be happy and hopefully that will be good enough. But you can’t control what others do,” Jamieson added.

One of those prime ‘others’ is Dean Burmester (68), who is tied for third alongside fellow South African Oliver Bekker (68) and in-form Englishman Dale Whitnell (66) on 13-under, two behind.

“I’m happy where I’m at. Leading is harder than chasing and Scott Jamieson won once years ago [2013] and Ockie has won once too. We will just have to wait and see what they do in the final round,” Burmester, who won his second DP World Tour title last year in Tenerife and has eight other Sunshine Tour wins, said.

Having grown up in the humid, subtropical climate of Mutare in eastern Zimbabwe, and with the confidence he has gained playing in America, Burmester is unlikely to wilt in the heat.

Bulls looked set for old domestics dominance, but Griquas refused to be subservient 0

Posted on June 07, 2022 by Ken

The Bulls, with numerous URC players in their squad, looked set to impose their old dominance of domestics rugby with a commanding first half against Griquas in their Currie Cup match at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday evening, but the visitors refused to accept a subservient role and nearly overthrew the form book in the second half.

The Bulls, having led 36-5 at halftime, eventually won 48-38 but Griquas were clearly the better team in the second half as they outscored the defending champions 33-12 in the second forty.

Tempo the chief difference for the Bulls

The Bulls’ experience of playing against European opposition in the URC served them well in the first half as Griquas just could not cope with the pace and intensity of the game. The visitors were properly dominated as the Bulls ran in six tries to roar into a commanding lead at halftime.

It was clinical from the Bulls as just about every pass stuck, the forwards gave them a wonderful platform and they played with quite some adventure.

Yellow cards lethal for Bulls & momentum for Griquas

The Bulls picked up where they left off in the early stages of the second half as a rolling maul try for hooker Jan-Hendrik Wessels took their lead to 41-5. But then two yellow cards – for prop Lizo Gqoboka, for collapsing a maul, and wing Madosh Tambwe, for a deliberate knock-on – in the space of three minutes were a massive blow for the Bulls. Playing against 13 men provided momentum and confidence for Griquas and they played tremendously well to provide a proper, competitive match for the crowd.

Tambwe’s sale price should go up

Wing Madosh Tambwe’s move to Europe has now been confirmed, but the new Loftus Versfeld star would have impressed his future employers with a dazzling first-half display. He started with a crunching tackle in defence, made excellent takes in the air and he looked lethal every time he ran with the ball. He would pop up all over the backline with an injection of raw pace, a perfectly-timed pass to wing Stravino Jacobs setting up the opening try in the third minute. His power game was also on display and he also set up the last try of the first half, by fullback Canan Moodie, by bumping off a couple of tackles and then breaking through the defensive line.

Griquas show they should not be underestimated

Scoring six tries gave Griquas a bonus point, keeping them in the top four on the log and maintaining their semi-final challenge. One of the premises of being in the semi-finals is that you are a highly competitive side and Griquas showed in the second half that they certainly belong.

Flank Hanru Sirgel led the way with two barnstorming tries as the Griquas pack began bossing affairs.

Scorers

Bulls: Tries – Stravino Jacobs (2), Cyle Brink, Reinhardt Ludwig, Canan Moodie, Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Harold Vorster. Conversions – Chris Smith (5). Penalty – Smith.

Griquas: Tries – Sango Xamlashe, penalty try, Munier Hartzenberg, Hanru Sirgel (2). Christopher Hollis. Conversions – Zander du Plessis (3).

Bulls hoping they don’t need a dromedary race to attract a crowd to Loftus 0

Posted on May 24, 2022 by Ken

The Saracens rugby club – the one in London with such strong South African connections – once famously organised a camel race as part of the entertainment before a match they were holding at Wembley Stadium, but venue officials refused to allow it for any number of bureaucratic reasons. Perhaps if they had staged a dromedary race it would have been okay.

The Bulls are hoping such drastic measures to attract a crowd to Loftus Versfeld are not necessary for their last home game of the United Rugby Championship regular season, against Glasgow Warriors on Friday night. Amidst the drama of trying to nail down both a URC playoff spot and a place in the lucrative European Champions Cup next season, Bulls captain Marcell Coetzee spoke on Tuesday of the lift spectators have given the team over the last few weeks. He even dared to suggest the Bulls are going to embrace the pressure of two must-win games to end the round-robin phase.

“The last few weeks have really been must-win games and we’ve had phenomenal support at Loftus. The team has fed off that,” Coetzee said.

“We put ourselves into this position where we now have to fight for a playoff place, but we embrace it. At one stage we were bottom of the log, and the fightback just shows the quality and culture in our squad.

“Anything can still happen and Glasgow are a dangerous team. We’re not reading too much into their scoreline last weekend, but the Stormers showed how to break them down by being patient.

“The Stormers knew that sticking to their system would pay off, they created opportunities and then took them. We’ve created a few opportunities ourselves, but we have to make sure we take them,” Coetzee said.

Glasgow Warriors are the leading Scottish side in the competition, but they were hammered 32-7 last weekend by the Stormers in Cape Town.

Coetzee is only 30 years old so the star loose forward is still far too young to be pensioned off when it comes to international aspirations, but he says his focus at the moment is forming a tight-knit unit with Elrigh Louw and Cyle Brink.

“At the moment I just want to plough back into the Bulls team, helping guys like Elrigh, and enjoy my rugby,” Coetzee said. “We have a very good loose trio group, it’s lovely to be here and have all those guys behind you.

“Cyle has come into the system very well too, although he struggles a bit with the Afrikaans! He has added a lot of value and is growing every game, he also helps a lot at the breakdown. We are all busy making each other better,” Coetzee said.

Cold weather & stubborn pitch no antiseptic to Rabada’s debilitating bowling 0

Posted on March 31, 2022 by Ken

Cold weather and a Hagley Oval pitch that stubbornly refused to quicken up was no antiseptic for the debilitating fast bowling of Kagiso Rabada as he reduced New Zealand to 157/5 at stumps on the second day of the second Test against South Africa in Christchurch on Saturday.

Rabada had bowled superbly to take 3/37 in 12 overs, leaving the Black Caps still 207 runs behind on first innings and extremely grateful for the unbeaten sixth-wicket stand of 66 between Daryl Mitchell (29*) and Colin de Grandhomme (54*) that took them to the close.

It took Rabada just four deliveries to strike, although there was an element of good fortune for the bowler as NZ skipper Tom Latham (0) edged a delivery down the leg-side and was brilliantly caught by diving wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne.

Rabada’s second wicket came in his third over as he removed the other Kiwi opener, Will Young (3), caught behind with a delivery that climbed steeply outside off-stump.

The ace fast bower’s best wicket was his third and last as he jagged a delivery back into the off-stump of Tom Blundell, who was bowled shouldering arms for six.

With Marco Jansen claiming the key wickets of Devon Conway, also caught behind down the leg-side, for 16 and Henry Nicholls, who was caught by a well-placed deep backward point on 39, New Zealand slumped to 91/5.

But some clean striking by De Grandhomme and Mitchell provided a defiant end to the day for the home side.

South Africa, resuming on 238/3, had earlier posted 364 all out, their best total since scoring 621 against Sri Lanka in the 2020 Boxing Day Test at Centurion.

After the heroics of the first day and Sarel Erwee’s century, they did not make the best start to the second day, however, as their middle-order became bogged down and they crashed to 302/8.

But momentum was regained by a marvellous partnership of 62 off just 79 balls, South Africa’s record for the ninth wicket against New Zealand, between Jansen (37*) and Keshav Maharaj (36).

Left-arm quick Neil Wagner caused most of the damage on Saturday as he took 4/102 in 31 overs, while first Test destroyer Matt Henry claimed 3/90 in 35 overs.

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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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