for quality writing

Ken Borland



Lions Ladies return to the field with great glee after 3 months out of action 0

Posted on February 26, 2024 by Ken

After being out of action for three months, it is with great glee that the DP World Lions Ladies team will return to the field this weekend, as they travel to Durban to take on the HollywoodBets Dolphins in both a one-day and a T20 match.

The Dolphins will be tough opponents in the 50-over contest, where they are top of the log, three points ahead of the Titans with a game in hand, and nine points better off than the Lions.

But those tables are reversed in the T20 league. Western Province may be 12 points clear of the DP World Lions at the top of the standings at the moment, but our Pride are second with a game in hand and if they beat the Dolphins and also win their remaining three matches then it is possible for them to defend their title.

Their hosts this weekend have only won two of their six T20 matches this season and are languishing second-from-bottom on the log.

DP World Lions Ladies coach Shaun Pretorius says his team are ready and keen to get the second half of their season going, their last match having been their T20 visit to the Titans on November 19.

“All the hard work has been done in the last few weeks, the ladies have really been grafting and we have had good preparation for this weekend. They are excited to now just go out and jol,” Pretorius said.

“The T20 match is particularly vital for us because we are in a really good position in that competition. In the 50-over league, it’s about making sure we climb the log in our remaining matches, even if it’s just inches at a time. We are still going out to compete, not just to participate.”

The KwaZulu-Natal Coastal side’s reliance on spin at Kingsmead is no longer original and Pretorius said our DP World Lions Ladies are forewarned and well-prepared for the challenge.

“We have worked on plans to combat each of their bowlers and we think they’re going to have their best line-up without their Proteas. That means they will be without their formidable left-arm spinner Nonkululeko Mlaba, so that’s one threat that is away.

“We are aware that spin is their main threat down there and we are also looking at lots of spin-bowling options, depending on what the pitch looks like. The games will be all about those crucial small phases in the game and how we conduct ourselves in them will be the key,” Pretorius said.

The Dolphins will also be missing pace bowler Ayanda Hlubi, while the only member of the Lions Pride on duty for the Proteas Test squad is wicketkeeper/batter Sinalo Jafta. But the highly-promising Karabo Meso is most able to step into her shoes.

Buccaneering SA20 trio return to 4-day action for Lions 0

Posted on February 21, 2024 by Ken

Ryan Rickelton, Wiaan Mulder and Mitchell van Buuren will all return to four-day action for the DP World Lions on Wednesday, fresh from their buccaneering batting exploits in the SA20, but the Pride will also welcome back two vital backroom members of the triumphant Sunrisers Eastern Cape to the team for their meeting with the Gbets Rocks in Johannesburg.

DP World Lions head coach Russell Domingo played a key role, as batting coach, in the Sunrisers claiming back-to-back SA20 titles at the weekend, and now he is eager for our Pride to seal a place in the four-day final.

Also returning to the DP World Wanderers Stadium is national Test captain Temba Bavuma, who is over his injury problems and, even though he played just the one game for the Sunrisers, scoring 33, he had an important effect on the happy mood and outstanding culture of the champions’ camp.

Bavuma’s addition nicely makes up for the absence of our Lions’ leading run-scorer in the four-day competition this season, Zubayr Hamza, who is with the Proteas in New Zealand.

The Lions’ two strike bowlers, Tshepo Moreki and Duanne Olivier, are also involved in that Test series.

With Rickelton, Mulder and Van Buuren all consistently amongst the runs in the SA20, it is an in-form and confident home batting line-up that will take the field at the DP World Wanderers.

Rickelton was the leading run-scorer in the SA20 with 530 in just 10 innings for MI Cape Town, who were eliminated before the playoffs. The left-hander was at his best as he scored at a phenomenal strike-rate of 173.77.

Mulder was one of the main reasons the Durban Super Giants reached the final, his 297 runs putting him in the top-10. His tally included three half-centuries, while he scored at a blazing strike-rate of 157.14.

Van Buuren had a solid campaign with the Paarl Royals, making 221 runs at 31.57.

The DP World Lions go into the penultimate CSA 4-Day Series match in third place on the log, but they are just 0.12 points behind the second-placed Warriors and 11.48 points adrift of the leaders, the Titans. So a place in the final and even hosting that five-day match is well on the cards for our Pride.

“It was a great time with the Sunrisers and obviously wonderful to win the trophy again, but now my full attention is on the four-day prize,” Domingo said. “There are two big games ahead for the Lions and we’re obviously missing a few players in New Zealand.

“But it’s very lucky for us to have Temba back, he’s fit and ready to play again and very keen to score lots of runs. Wiaan Mulder is also back after he missed our last game. Both he and Ryan Rickelton had fantastic SA20 tournaments, Mitchell van Buuren did really well and Codi Yusuf bowled nicely too.

“Any cricket played ahead of the four-day restart is good and we’re lucky that we have a few players who have been involved in very intense cricket. They will certainly come in match-ready and I’m really pleased that the Lions guys mostly played very well in the SA20,” Domingo said.

Although the Boland team will be without key players in Shaun von Berg, Clyde Fortuin and Keegan Petersen, who are in New Zealand with the Proteas, most of the rest of their squad would have been able to plan with much forethought ahead of their trip to Johannesburg for the return of red-ball cricket. Fast bowler Hardus Viljoen is the only member of their squad who saw much SA20 action.

“The Malan brothers [Janneman and Pieter], Stiaan van Zyl and Hardus Viljoen – those are all players with international experience and we know the Rocks are a tough unit. They would have worked hard on their skills these last few weeks and they have a lot to play for too, it’s a big game for them as well,” Domingo said, referring to their log-position of sixth, which could leave them flirting with the relegation zone.

Paceman Lutho Sipamla, who has not played a four-day game for the Lions this season due to injury, has been named in the squad and seems almost ready to play, pending the outcome of nets and a fitness test on Tuesday.

DP World Lions squad – Dominic Hendricks (capt), Josh Richards, Temba Bavuma, Ryan Rickelton, Wiaan Mulder, Mitchell van Buuren, Wandile Makwetu, Bjorn Fortuin, Delano Potgieter, Malusi Siboto, Codi Yusuf, Muhammad Manack, Connor Esterhuizen, Lutho Sipamla.

Powell stays at Kings Park base but optimistic Sharks stand-ins will return from Galway with the points 0

Posted on November 08, 2023 by Ken

Sharks head coach Neil Powell has stayed behind at the team’s Kings Park base but is optimistic that his stand-in, Currie Cup mentor Joey Mongalo, will be able to return from Galway with the points although they are taking on tricky Connacht with a second-string side.

While Powell and most of the first-choice stars in the Sharks squad are focusing on the crucial Champions Cup match against Bordeaux-Begles next week, just three Springboks are in the squad to play Connacht, with three potential URC debutants on the bench.

Ntuthuko Mchunu will anchor the scrum (with Carlu Sadie), Rohan Janse van Rensburg will bring plenty of punch to the midfield, and scrumhalf Grant Williams is a potentially lethal substitute.

Former Free State Cheetahs lock Ockie Barnard, Currie Cup utility forward Corne Rahl and former Westville Boys High centre Ethan Hooker could be thrown into the deep end, with The Sports Ground being a daunting venue to play, especially in midwinter. Young Nevaldo Fleurs is the starting flyhalf, with Lionel Cronje on the bench.

“We see this as an all-round opportunity to develop and Joey has the chance to show what he is capable of. He’s been at that level before as the Bulls’ defence coach,” director of rugby Powell said on Friday.

“Joey is a great person and coach, he’s full of energy and I know he will definitely motivate and fire up the guys. We have tasked them with coming back with the points.

“It’s important for us to manage our squad well, this selection is part of our rotation policy. If I look at our travel schedule over the next few weeks then I cannot imagine one team playing all those games.

“We want as much as energy as possible when we get to games 10 and 11 of this block, this is number seven, so we’re in the middle of it. We also want to create squad depth,” Powell said.

Before the Sharks eventually disband on February 4 for a one-week break, they host Bordeaux in the Champions Cup in Durban next weekend, and then travel to Harlequins. They return to URC action against Edinburgh on January 28, before returning home for a vital home derby against the Stormers on February 3.

Connacht are up first though and they are a difficult team to break down, especially at home.

“It’s a tough place to play, a lot of teams go there with strong teams, hoping for a win, but they don’t get it,” Powell said. “You have to battle it out for the full 80 minutes against Connacht.

“In a lot of games they have come back to win in the last 20 minutes, so we have to make sure we don’t tap out before the final whistle.

“They are very physical and really direct and they don’t go away. They manage the game well, especially with their kicking, and they are familiar with their own conditions and play towards that.”

Sharks: Anthony Volmink, Yaw Penxe, Murray Koster, Rohan Janse Van Rensburg, Marnus Pogieter, Nevaldo Fleurs, Cameron Wright, Celimpilo Gumede, Henco Venter, James Venter, Reniel Hugo (c), Thembelani Bholi, Carlu Sadie, Fez Mbatha, Ntuthuko Mchunu. Bench – Kerron van Vuuren, Dian Bleuler, Khutha Mchunu, Ockie Barnard, Corne Rahl, Grant Williams, Lionel Cronje, Ethan Hooker.

Jake delighted by Carr’s man-of-the-match return to the Bulls 0

Posted on February 28, 2023 by Ken

Coach Jake White was not only delighted by Nizaam Carr’s man-of-the-match return to the Bulls team because of the way it led them to a convincing 43-26 victory in their United Rugby Championship match against Ospreys, but also for the relief it brought after a very difficult time for the Springbok flanker and his wife and family.

Carr left the Bulls last year to rejoin Wasps, but the English club went into administration last month and the 31-year-old former Stormers star suffered the trauma of suddenly being without a job. But then the Bulls allowed him to be one of the dozen Wasps players who have found new clubs when they offered him a contract through to June 2024.

Carr has previously expressed his gratitude to White and Bulls CEO Edgar Rathbone for coming to his rescue, and he rewarded their faith with an outstanding display against Ospreys, linking superbly with the backline on attack.

“I’m very happy for Nizaam after what happened at Wasps. He has told us he is very thankful to be here and said he would repay us on the field, and what better way to do that by being man of the match in his first game back?” White said.

“The way Nizaam was running in the backline with Harold Vorster and Lionel Mapoe, linking on the outside, was great. That’s why I sign these older players, guys who’ve got experience, who have played SuperRugby before.”

Apart from some soft moments in defence that did mar the win and the way the Bulls went off the boil in the second half, after leading 31-14 at the break, White was very pleased with the display. He said some of the second-half struggles were down to him bringing on the bench early, but then he did not want to sell the replacements short in terms of game-time.

“We played really well in the first half and we should’ve scored quickly again in the second half. But instead we allowed them to get more confidence,” White said.

“We were a bit soft on defence, but then attack has been our focus, we love having the ball. But we need the same intensity, energy and excitement in defence. We need to catch them at halfway rather than five metres from our line.

“But I made some substitutions and we lost some rhythm, but I wanted to give the guys on the bench decent game-time. If you’re not going to bring guys on when you’re 31-14 up, then when are you?

“We were far ahead and it would not have been fair to not give the subs a decent run. But we lost a bit of cohesion and we didn’t gel as much as we did in the first half,” White said.

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Thought of the Day

    Every day offers the opportunity for doing a kind deed or speaking an encouraging word to someone who feels overwhelmed.

    Our exuberant joy about God’s goodness to us should cause us to throw ourselves enthusiastically into serving others.

    But be sensitive to the needs of others, enrich their lives through love and kindness. Giving yourself in love and service to others is the duty of all those who love Christ and serve him with sincere hearts.

    Don’t brood over lost opportunities, instead make a definite decision to do better today and tomorrow. Use every opportunity in his strength!

    You will find God’s purpose for your life as you serve others!



↑ Top