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Ken Borland

Ill-discipline in Bulls team an evil, but Jake full of praise for inspired defensive display 0

Posted on December 05, 2022 by Ken

Ill-discipline in a rugby team is a great evil for coaches and Jake White was firm on the Bulls team’s failings in that regard in their 28-14 victory over Connacht in their United Rugby Championship match in Pretoria at the weekend.

The Bulls were incredible in defence and at times inspired in attack as they surged into a 28-0 lead after 46 minutes, but they felt the wrath of referee Andrea Piardi in the second half as Connacht finished strongly with two converted tries. In the end the home side conceded 20 penalties, and Connacht 15, while the Bulls were also given three yellow cards.

“I’m not going to justify the discipline,” coach White said afterwards. “I’m not going to sugarcoat it, we shot ourselves in the foot doing some stupid things.

“Johan Goosen was a bit unlucky, but head-to-head contact is a yellow card these days. I just hope the referees make sure they blow it that way for the whole competition.

“We play against Glasgow Warriors in Scotland next weekend and you’re not going to win too many games when you’re playing 14 against 15 men for 30 minutes, especially on tour. We spoke about the discipline after the match, but it’s no use just talking about it, there needs to be action.

“That should be driven by the players, not the coaches, and they will do that, Marcell Coetzee already told the team in the changeroom now that they have to sharpen up their discipline,” White said.

White was full of praise, however, for a top-class defensive display that held at bay a Connacht side that showed a willingness to play expansive, ball-in-hand rugby. The Bulls did not concede a single point until the 68th minute, and that was after they had been sapped by three yellow cards and were playing with 13 men due to replacement hooker Jan-Hendrik Wessels being in the sin-bin, necessitating uncontested scrums and the loss of another player.

“The defence was outstanding, considering we played eight minutes with 13 men and 30 minutes with 14,” White said. “Last week it was poor, but we spoke honestly about it and had a better shape today.

“We stopped them carrying around us and then we stopped them carrying through us. It shows me that we can defend, which is a massive bonus.

“The defence also really understood the breakdown, we were a lot smarter there, we didn’t just go in.

“Defence is not always just about line-speed, sometimes we had to be patient because they had the numbers. There was a recognition of when you need to buy time,” White said.

The smart, physical and untiring defence of the Bulls made it an uphill struggle for Connacht as they were already 14-0 down after 10 minutes and captain Jarrad Butler credited the home side for the pressure they exerted.

“It was a really good job by the Bulls defence, they forced us back inside and we had to keep resetting. Credit to them for forcing the individual errors that would keep creeping in, that meant we just could not finish off, we kept just giving them the ball,” Butler said.

Many regard Gayle & McCullum as the best T20 batsmen ever; now Hendricks joins them 0

Posted on September 14, 2022 by Ken

Many people regard Chris Gayle as the greatest T20 batsman ever and Brendon McCullum did so much to popularise the format with his record-breaking feats in the early days, and now Reeza Hendricks has joined that illustrious pair as the only batsmen to score four successive half-centuries in internationals between Test-playing nations.

McCullum did it first against the West Indies, Australia and India (two) in 2008/9, followed by Gayle, who passed fifty in four consecutive innings against New Zealand (twice), Australia and England in 2012.

Hendricks will have the chance to claim the record for himself when South Africa play Ireland in the second T20 in Bristol on Friday night, having added to his 57, 53 and 70 against England with a brisk 74 off 53 balls against Ireland in Bristol on Wednesday evening, earning himself another Man of the Match award.

“I wasn’t aware of the record, but those are big names to rub shoulders with, to be mentioned in the same group as them is really special,” Hendricks said after his innings, which set up a 21-run win.

“A lot of work has gone into the run. I’ve seen how T20 has evolved and it’s a mindset shift as well. That’s the way the coach wants us to play.

“Starting the tour well gave me confidence and you just take that forward with you. There’s no secret to how it happens, I just go about my business and try and follow my process.

“It’s the nature of the game, how it goes sometimes. I’ve got on a good run and momentum is on my side. Hopefully that can continue in the next game against Ireland,” Hendricks said.

Aiden Markram lashed 56 not out off 27 balls in partnership with Hendricks, bringing up three successive half-centuries for the second time in his career (he first did it against Pakistan in Gauteng last year), so he can also join Gayle and McCullum on Friday.

The other South Africans to have scored a hat-trick of T20 fifties are Quinton de Kock, in the West Indies last year, and Hashim Amla, against England (two) and Australia in 2016.

De Kock has, of course, scored many T20 runs for South Africa – his 1887 runs is second only to JP Duminy’s 1934. But he has made just 129 runs in his last 10 innings; he was run out for just seven on Wednesday night, the second time he has suffered that dismissal in recent times.

Just has Hendricks has hit a wave, so De Kock is in a trough and the in-form opener can sympathise.

“The game can quickly turn and then you’re in the dark side,” Hendricks said. “Unfortunately Quinny is on the other side of things, but he just needs one good innings and things will turn.

“We know what quality he has and it’s just a matter of time before it all clicks for him.”

With the rest of the South African batsmen making merry in the UK, Friday night in Bristol would be a good time for De Kock to break his run of low scores.

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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.

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