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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 paints Bulls as underdogs as they face Munster side trying to get their season going 0

Posted on January 02, 2023 by Ken

The Bulls know it would be stupid to expect any leniency from Munster, as the famous Irish club tries to get their season going, in their United Rugby Championship clash at Thomond Park on Saturday night, with coach Jake White almost painting his side as underdogs.

Based just on the URC log, then the Bulls would clearly be considered as favourites, sitting nicely in fifth place after just one loss in four matches, compared to Munster languishing in 12th spot after just one win in four fixtures.

But White says there is far too much quality and history behind this Munster line-up for them to be taken lightly.

“Everyone in Ireland has been reminding us how tough it is to play at Thomond Park, from breakfast to dinner time. We are getting the whole vibe and hopefully that will help us make sure we’re ready.

“We played poorly last weekend, I’ll be the first to admit, and Munster are a good team, they have massive Test experience in their group. I’m sure they will get themselves up because they’re such a big club.

“They’re like the Liverpool, Man United or Barcelona of rugby because they have won European cups; they are one of the biggest clubs in the world. We’re under no illusions that it will be easy.

“We lost one game and we were rightly hammered as being poor on the night, they have lost three games, so imagine how they are feeling. I’m sure they’re disappointed with where they are at the moment,” White said.

Still, the Bulls must have a reasonable chance of repeating their 29-24 win over Munster at Loftus Versfeld last season, especially with Johan Goosen, Embrose Papier, Harold Vorster and Wandisile Simelane returning to a star-studded backline, and plenty of physicality up front.

“After a loss like ours against Glasgow, the players tend to rally around and are more focused anyway,” White said. “We had a good training week and we know it’s a massive game.

‘I think we could have some really good combinations with Johan and Embrose both Springboks trying to get back there, and Harold and Lionel Mapoe having played three Super Rugby finals together.

Bulls: Kurt-lee Arendse, Cornel Hendricks, Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster, Wandisile Simelane, Johan Goosen, Embrose Papier, Elrigh Louw, WJ Steenkamp, Marcell Coetzee (CAPT), Ruan Nortje, Walt Steenkamp, Mornay Smith, Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Simphiwe Matanzima. Bench – Bismarck du Plessis, Dylan Smith, Jacques van Rooyen, Ruan Vermaak, Marco van Staden, Zak Burger, Chris Smith, David Kriel.

Sharks win in the end … after letting the air out of their own tyres 0

Posted on December 05, 2022 by Ken

The Sharks found themselves on the winning side in the end, by the narrowest of margins, but for the vast majority of their United Rugby Championship match against the Dragons in Newport, they huffed and puffed, generally without accuracy, before a handling error or turnover would let the air out of their tyres.

The Sharks snuck home 20-19 thanks to a 75th-minute try by wing Thaakir Abrahams, who was sent to the line by replacement back Marnus Potgieter, after substitute flank Sikhumbuzo Notshe had broken the line to create the space. Flyhalf Boeta Chamberlain then slotted an excellent conversion to give the visitors the lead for the first time since the 11th minute.

Apart from their tendency to lose possession on attack, the Sharks were also not helped by a wayward lineout and the fact that the Dragons beat them in the kicking game. They were also outworked at the breakdown, although unlucky at times that referee Ben Blain did not seem to enjoy their efforts there, or in the scrums, where they won a few penalties but were also on the wrong side of a couple of momentum-breaking decisions.

The first scrum allowed the Sharks to land the first blow with a Chamberlain penalty, but their problems at the ruck, lineout and then, in the second quarter, at scrum time, began to hurt them as Dragons flyhalf Will Reed kicked four penalties.

Chamberlain was able to kick one more scrum penalty, but the Sharks would have been relieved that they went into the break 12-6 down, the Dragons opting for their fourth penalty after the hooter instead of pushing for the try that would have made that lead even more formidable.

But the Dragons went 19-6 up early in the second half when hooker Elliot Dee scored from a rolling maul, the Sharks having been deep on attack inside the 22 after a Rohan Janse van Rensburg charge was wasted by a pass going astray.

It’s a long way back from there away from home at an intimate, boisterous venue like Rodney Parade, but it’s to the Sharks’ credit that they did not panic and kept soldiering on.

An intercept try by scrumhalf Grant Williams was a massive blow for the Dragons, but the Sharks, on the ropes for so long, finally landed a knockout blow with just five minutes remaining, thanks to the strike-running of Notshe and sheer pace of Abrahams.

It’s surprising that the Sharks were so outplayed at ruck time given that their loose trio contained two flanks who play to the ball in James Venter and Dylan Richardson. Then again, Notshe is in the same mould as eighthman Phepsi Buthelezi, one of their few successes on a difficult evening.

It’s becoming apparent that the big-spending Sharks need less flash and more players willing to put in the big hits and do the dirty work around the rucks.


Dragons: Try – Elliot Dee. Conversion – Will Reed. Penalties – Reed (4).

Sharks: Tries – Grant Williams, Thaakir Abrahams. Conversions – Boeta Chamberlain (2). Penalties – Chamberlain (2).

Jake grateful his team didn’t just resort to terrible kicks straight down the field 0

Posted on November 01, 2022 by Ken

The Lions are a really tough side to break down at home, so Bulls coach Jake White was understanding of his team’s problems in managing their attacking ball, and grateful that they didn’t just resort to terrible kicks straight down the field from their own half in their United Rugby Championship opener at Ellis Park at the weekend.

The Bulls eventually won comfortably enough, 31-15, but that scoreline does not reflect how competitive the Lions were. The scores were level at 15-15 with half-an-hour to go, and the Bulls needed a trio of Chris Smith penalties to keep the home side at bay, before a late maul try by replacement hooker Jan-Hendrik Wessels bumped up their score even further.

One could argue that the Bulls allowed the Lions back into the game through some ambitious game-management that saw them largely spurn kicking from the back. But White was pleased with the attacking intent shown by his new-look backline.

“I have no doubt the Lions targeted this game and we always knew it would be tough, it is always tough to win here,” White said after the match. “The Lions have their own style, they are a difficult side to break down and get rhythm on attack against.

“Our attack started well and the cohesion looked good enough, but as the game unfolded we left a few points out there. We conceded six penalties in the last eight minutes of the first half.

“In some cases we over-played, forced things, in our own half, but I don’t want them to just kick the ball down the field. I want us to feel comfortable keeping the ball.

“It was the first time this backline had played together and over time it will come right, the ability to transfer pressure into points, the understanding of the space at the back at times,” White said.

In any case, an away win when a team like Munster lost on the road and Leinster very nearly suffered an upset at lowly Zebre, will sooth any concerns White has.

“An away win is a massive bonus, you have to get a couple to do well in this competition. I enjoyed the way we showed composure.

“At 15-3 up you think you can let your hair down and play a bit, and then suddenly it’s 15-15 with 30 minutes to go. You don’t really want to bring your bench on when you’re up against it.

“But the bench came on, they were able to get cohesive, and they won that area this afternoon. You’re obviously not going to be that cohesive from Day One.

“But once we understand how to create pressure, wave-after-wave of it, then we can create that uncertainty in the opposition,” White said.

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