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Ken Borland

Elgar wonders if Proteas should arrange to lose 1st match every time 0

Posted on February 11, 2022 by Ken

Given the Proteas’ history of being slow starters in series, there are those who would be tempted to arrange that they always lose the first match of a rubber like they did against India, before rebounding superbly to claim the spoils 2-1.

Even captain Dean Elgar admitted in the wake of the epic seven-wicket win in the decisive third Test at Newlands that he was aware, and rather bemused by, the trend. South Africa were well-beaten in the first Test against India at Centurion, going down by 113 runs. But they then staged a remarkable comeback, winning by seven wickets at both the Wanderers and in Cape Town, chasing down daunting targets of more than 200 on pitches with plenty of movement on both occasions.

“There were so many lows in that first game and losing first-up is never ideal at home,” Elgar said. “But it’s almost a trait of the Proteas that we need to be 1-0 down to realise that our backs are against the wall.

“So after losing the first Test we really knew we were up against it, but the guys really stood up from a character point of view. It worked to bring the best out of the players.

“I’m very relieved the guys responded the way they did and it was a proper squad effort, and a few individuals did exceptional things as well.

“Those were the highlights – the individual performances of players like Keegan Petersen, Marco Jansen, KG Rabada, Temba Bavuma and Lungi Ngidi. It boils down to the mutual respect we have in the squad,” Elgar said.

After all the turmoil over the last couple of years, the sensational victory over the world’s No.1-ranked side is evidence that things are stabilising in South African cricket. Under-fire coach Mark Boucher is comfortable that his national team are doing okay whatever his strident critics might be saying.

“I believe we turned the corner quite a while ago, actually. We’ve had pretty solid results for the last six months to a year,” Boucher said. “We’ve tried out a few players and they are coming good now.

“So we are getting some depth, but we are keeping our feet firmly on the ground because we know we are not the finished product. But I liked the intensity we showed, especially in the run-chases when we were looking to score,” Boucher said.

Everitt brings 5 new starters into the Sharks conversation – & 2 more on the bench 0

Posted on November 02, 2020 by Ken

Sharks coach Sean Everitt on Thursday brought five new starters into the conversation – and two more on the bench – for their SuperRugby Unlocked match against the Pumas in Nelspruit.

Three of the changes were forced by injury, with openside flank James Venter (ankle), tighthead prop Thomas du Toit (calf) and eighthman Sikhumbuzo Notshe (slight hamstring strain) all not available this weekend.

The new faces

Dan Jooste – Everitt has been talking all season about hooker Dylan Richardson adapting to his new position in the front row, but now the 21-year-old former junior international gets the chance to show how interchangeable he is with openside flank as he replaces James Venter in the No.6 jersey.

Jooste is a Paarl Boys’ High product and former Stormers representative who is of similar physical dimensions to Richardson and, according to Everitt, “needs game time after coming off the bench on SuperFan day and against the Lions following a considerable length of time out with a shoulder injury”.

John-Hubert Meyer – The absence of World Cup winner Du Toit will leave the Sharks a bit bereft of leadership and grunt up front, but the Sharks have managed to locate an experienced replacement in Meyer, also born and educated in the Western Cape. The 27-year-old is a seasoned scrummager and knows his way around the gainline.

JJ van der Mescht – The Sharks second row has not been particularly good at either dominating the lineouts or making their presence felt in the collisions, and Everitt has made a change to try and generate more momentum from the tight five. Van der Mescht replaces Ruben van Heerden in the starting line-up, and while both Pretoria products are two metres tall, the 21-year-old Van der Mescht weighs 130kg (14kg more) and is a big force with ball in hand.

Henco Venter – Everitt has been at pains to point out how well his loose trio have actually been playing, but in private he must be concerned over how they have been bullied twice by the Bulls. Former Free Stater Henco Venter, at 1.93 metres and 107kg, will add a harder edge in the loose.

Madosh Tambwe – The exciting speed merchant has been nursing a hamstring strain since the start of the season, but Tambwe is now ready to go and Everitt is eager to give him game time despite the energy brought to the back three by Werner Kok.

Michael Kumbirai – According to Everitt, tighthead prop Kumbirai has worked really hard since his arrival from Western Province and there is excitement at Kings Park over getting him in the mix. “Michael is so keen to get on the field and add value, he’s got the ability to shine and hopefully he takes this opportunity. He’s a physical specimen, well-built and athletic,” Everitt said.

Thembelani Bholi – Bholi has recently moved to Durban from the Bulls, having first made his name with the Southern Kings. A loose forward with a hard edge, Bholi is well-versed at making a physical statement at the gain-line, having spent much of his career at Loftus Versfeld. He is also growing his skills and is able to turn out at eighthman as well.

Sharks team: Manie Libbok, Sbu Nkosi, Lukhanyo Am (c), Marius Louw, Madosh Tambwe, Curwin Bosch, Sanele Nohamba, Phendulani Buthelezi, Henco Venter, Dylan Richardson, Hyron Andrews, JJ van der Mescht, John-Hubert Meyer, Dan Jooste, Ox Nche. Replacements – Kerron van Vuuren, Mzamo Majola, Michael Kumbirai, Ruben van Heerden, Thembelani Bholi, Grant Williams, Jeremy Ward, Yaw Penxe.

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    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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