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Ken Borland

Enza Construction Pink Day incentive will have Proteas building a strategy for the short boundary 0

Posted on March 31, 2023 by Ken

The Wanderers Stadium – scene of the Pink Day ODI against the Netherlands

Sunday’s Betway Pink Day ODI between the Proteas and the Netherlands at the DP World Wanderers Stadium will be played on the same pitch that was used for the high-scoring final T20 between South Africa and the West Indies, and building a suitable strategy for the short boundary on the scoreboard side will be a key factor in the game.

The boundary on the eastern side of the Wanderers will be just 57 metres away from the pitch and, if targeting the short side was not a priority already, Enza Construction have added their own incentive for the two teams, while also demonstrating their passion for serving the communities they help develop.

Enza Construction have placed a billboard to the left of the scoreboard and the first batsman to hit this on the full will earn himself R250 000 with the company donating another R250 000 in celebration to the Pink Day charities that support breast cancer awareness, education, early detection, treatment and research. If no-one manages to hit a six into the target, then Enza Construction will still make a R100 000 donation to the Pink Day cause.

“Being a proud contributor to our community is a core value at Enza Construction and we are passionate about the health and wellbeing of the people within those communities. We want to give our support to those people who are working tirelessly to overcome breast cancer.

“To that end we fully support the Pink Day cause and want to do our bit to promote and boost their efforts to encourage routine screening for early detection for what is now the most common cancer diagnosed globally,” Clinton Crowie, the executive director of Enza Construction, said.

The Proteas were not able to come up with the goods in the third and final T20 against the West Indies, but they will be banking on better execution of what they believe is a suitable plan for the short boundary.

“That short side really is quite small and logic tells you to try and stay away from there if you’re the bowler. It’s a test of our skills and it comes down to execution,” Aiden Markram, captain in the T20 series, said.

“You try and play the percentages, but a team like the West Indies were mishitting sixes on the long side! When bowling, you just try and bowl really wide outside off-stump, and you also have to use slower-ball bouncers and balls at the batsmen’s heels. We’re happy with our plans,” Markram said.

While Enza are leaders in construction, the Proteas have a master of destruction in their team in opener Quinton de Kock. The left-hander will certainly be targeting the short boundary and the Enza billboard when he is batting at the Corlett Drive End at the Wanderers on Sunday.

The former Proteas captain, as ever, simplified his approach when it comes to unusual field dimensions.

“Certain situations demand different ways of going about things, but as a batter, you’re just trying to target that boundary in any way possible. As a bowler, you’re just trying your best not to get hit there,” De Kock said.

“But on the Highveld, as we saw at Centurion in the T20s against the West Indies, a short boundary is not always relevant because the ball travels so far up here.”

The more sixes there are the better, of course, as various sponsors are lining up to add their bit to the sponsorship of the fight against breast cancer.

Jake proud of the way Bulls stuck together like a family to beat Benetton 0

Posted on January 11, 2023 by Ken

The scoreboard shows a 44-22 triumph for the Bulls over Benetton in Treviso, but they had to work extremely hard for the win, with coach Jake White saying how proud he was of the way they stuck together like a family to end their two-match losing streak overseas.

The Bulls were fortunate to only be 9-3 down at halftime, and even though they were much-improved after the break, Benetton were still leading 22-20 on the hour mark. It was a titanic tussle, but the Bulls finished superbly with three tries in the last 10 minutes to not only snatch a hard-fought win, but also claim an unlikely bonus point.

“It’s a massive relief and I’m really proud of the players for the way they stuck together and got the reward for the work they put in at training,” White said. “And it’s wonderful that it’s a bonus point win, I’m really happy.

“The second half was fantastic, after the first half when we did not finish our chances and gave them a couple of soft penalties through silly mistakes. I had a feeling that we would finish well because Benetton looked dead on their feet.

“The talk at halftime was that we’ve got them on the ropes, every time we got down their end, we could feel the ascendancy. We just had to keep going and bashing at the wall, and it did eventually break.

“From a game that could have gone either way, we won with forty points. Not many teams come here and win, so a bonus point win is really good,” White said.

The most outstanding area of the Bulls game was at the breakdown and, were it not for numerous steals in the first half, Benetton would surely have been much further ahead and the mountain to climb away from home would have been too much for the visitors.

“Having Bismarck du Plessis, Marco van Staden and Marcell Coetzee together really helps at the breakdown, they are masters of understanding when to go in and what to do,” White said.

“I was very pleased with the defensive breakdown and we were also able to get quick ball, unlike the last two weeks. When we get go-forward ball, we play so much better.

“It’s a credit to the captain [the man of the match Coetzee] and the belief in the team. Sometimes these sort of wins can be a catalyst to jumpstart the season, turn it around.

“Coming off two losses in a row, 9-3 down away from home, how much more character can the team show? And it gets rid of what happened here last year in the Rainbow Cup final,” a delighted White said.

So near and yet so far for Boks 0

Posted on December 01, 2022 by Ken

So near and yet so far is probably an apt summation of the Springboks’ Rugby Championship campaign, and there is a lingering feeling that Jacques Nienaber’s team are still not playing to their true potential and are still not ruthless enough when it comes to translating dominance to points on the scoreboard.

And their next opponents, on November 5 and 12 respectively, are Ireland in Dublin and France in Marseille. Those are the top two sides in the world rankings and then we will have a better idea of whether South Africa are genuine World Cup contenders or just also-rans in a southern hemisphere competition that is no longer the gold standard of international rugby.

Having hammered the All Blacks in Nelspruit on the opening weekend, the Springboks really only have themselves to blame for not winning the Rugby Championship for just the fifth time.

Their first misjudgement lies squarely on Nienaber (and maybe director of rugby Rassie Erasmus) for not choosing the best XV to play New Zealand the following weekend at Ellis Park. The All Blacks were in disarray and ripe for the taking after their 26-10 defeat at Mbombela Stadium. When your greatest rivals are on their knees, you don’t experiment and give them a helping hand, you ruthlessly turn the knife and ensure they sack their coach mid-competition.

Instead, Ian Foster’s men bounced back with an impressive win, the ship was steadied and, despite an historic first loss at home to Argentina, they were worthy winners of the Rugby Championship.

Having lost to the Pumas 25-18 in Christchurch, New Zealand then thrashed them 53-3 the following weekend in Hamilton, the result that ultimately won them the title, because it left the Springboks needing a bonus point and turning around a big points differential in the final round to claim the silverware.

It is that kind of ruthlessness, the ability to really put opposition away, that the Springboks lack. The last time they scored 40 points in the Rugby Championship, never mind winning by a margin of 39, was back in August 2019 against Argentina.

I get that Test matches cannot always be like a commercial for open, running rugby, but the great sides are able to leverage dominance and make it reflect on the scoreboard. And there have been periods when the Springboks have enjoyed an absolute monopoly on momentum, but just did not have the execution or intent to make it count.

In the last match against Argentina, I would have liked to have seen the Springboks try and play some expansive rugby. They had nothing to lose – even if they lost, they still would have finished second.

But with crash-ball centres at numbers 10 and 12 and the creativity of Lukhanyo Am missed at outside centre, the Springboks still just relied on their usual formula of scoring from set-pieces and rolling mauls.

They were not helped by a referee, Damon Murphy, who was determined to be in the middle of the limelight. If you are going to steal the show, at least make sure you are competent, but Murphy and his officiating team made a series of terrible decisions that robbed South Africa of momentum.

From winning the World Cup in 2019, the Springboks no longer seem to be the leaders of the pack. I don’t see much growth, especially in terms of their attacking play, since those heady days in Japan. The opposition will have had four years to work out how to blunt South Africa’s forward-based, strangling game of stout defence and contestable kicking, and the Boks better have more strings to their bow if they hope to defend their title.

Perhaps Nienaber, an inexperienced head coach maybe in Erasmus’s shadow, has tried too hard to prove he is the man and is too prescriptive in terms of the style of play. While throttling the opposition has worked, one wonders if the Springboks are not strangling their own potential in the process?

Let’s hope they express themselves more in Europe.

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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.

    It is by great grace that you were chosen by God to serve him and to live to the honour and glory of his name. Surrender unconditionally to the Lord and you will discover that your life gains new meaning and purpose.

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