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Ken Borland

Boucher acknowledges worst result of his tenure, implies players to blame 0

Posted on February 06, 2023 by Ken

Mark Boucher finished his tenure as Proteas coach with what he acknowledged was the worst result of his three-year term, but he absolved the coaching staff of any blame in the shock T20 World Cup loss to the Netherlands, implying the fault was squarely with the players.

“As coach, yes, it is the worst of the lot. It’s frustrating because as a player you still have a say, but as coach you leave it up to others to perform. Looking at the coaching staff, we ticked every box and we thought the guys were in a very good space,” Boucher said.

“At the start of the tournament, we would have taken having to beat the Netherlands to get into the semi-finals. We’ve got a good team and we believe on a given day we can beat anyone.

“That’s why the loss is so disappointing and we only have ourselves to blame. We were never really in the game, the Netherlands could come out and play brave cricket and we just weren’t able to get the momentum back on our side.

“We mustn’t look at one or two players, we need to look at the whole squad and they simply were not good enough today. The bottom line is we did not play well enough,” Boucher said.

Many articles have been devoted to why the Proteas consistently under-perform at World Cups, but Boucher said the team had shown their mettle in tight wins before, like over India in their third match of the tournament.

“I believe each world cup exit has been an individual event, although I know there is a lot of history. We have really played some good cricket in the T20 format, but we lost to Pakistan and looked flat today.

“The energy just did not seem to be there and we did not bowl or bat the way we should have. We certainly should have been better, but it just didn’t happen.

“But it’s not the only upset in this tournament, some very good sides have been beaten by so-called ‘lesser’ teams. The more we don’t do well at World Cups, it does start to play on your mind.

“But we’ve played tight games and won. I’m gutted, to be honest. The players really deserved to give themselves a better chance,” Boucher said.

Moreeng ready to reap rich harvest from his patient care of his ‘vegetables’ 0

Posted on July 09, 2020 by Ken

Like any good farmer who has planted his vegetables, cared for them carefully and patiently and then waits for a rich harvest, Hilton Moreeng believes the Proteas Women’s side is now ready to blossom as he begins another three-year stint in charge of the team.

Moreeng’s reappointment was confirmed on Wednesday, allowing the 42-year-old to continue the fine work he has done since 2012 in building a squad of talented youngsters into one of the best international teams. Under the former Free State wicketkeeper/batsman’s guidance, the Proteas have reached the semi-finals of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in 2014 and 2020 and the ICC Women’s World Cup in 2017. And in those last two final-four appearances they have come perilously close to beating both England and Australia, the powerhouses of the women’s game.

“It’s a great privilege for me to be reappointed, it shows the confidence Cricket South Africa has in the work I’ve done. This team is coming of age and it’s time we started challenging for ICC silverware. I hope to improve the team further and as a coach I am learning every day and no two days are alike. We want to be a top-three team and we are making strides towards that.

“But we cannot be complacent because the international cricket environment changes every day and we have to keep working extremely hard. But the building blocks we have are very good and in terms of skills we are now one of the best teams. We’ve had to be very patient, we want to be number one in the world one day, that’s everyone’s ambition but it doesn’t happen overnight,” Moreeng said on Wednesday.

The Proteas Women’s first assignment once they return to action will hopefully be a triangular series in England with India in September, but the 50-over World Cup in New Zealand starting next February is their priority in the short-term.

“We knew our tour of New Zealand earlier this year would be crucial in our preparation and whitewashing them on home soil shows our skills and character. Now we are seven months from the World Cup and we will focus on that. But it will be a very important series in England because it might be our only chance for competitive cricket before the World Cup. We will be working hard on what we can improve as a team and CSA are making sure we have everything we need,” Moreeng said.

Part of that is investigating the feasibility of a professional domestic women’s league. But in the meantime CSA are focusing on beefing up the women’s high performance and academy programmes.

“We believe the Momentum Proteas can now challenge the top three regularly and the results in New Zealand and Australia earlier this year show the top leadership of Hilton and Dane van Niekerk [captain]. It’s very important to CSA that this team now moves forward over the next three years and I’m very confident we’ve made the right decision in reappointing Hilton.

“We need to grow and enhance the environment. Hilton has put in a lot of hard work to grow the team to where they are, and now he has the opportunity to take them even further. He can grow them to another level and having a proper women’s league is an area of focus for us. A lot more investment has been put into the women’s pipeline and we are looking to strengthen that,” director of cricket Graeme Smith said.

Bulls rectify lack of ball-carrying loosie with Potgieter signing 0

Posted on May 19, 2016 by Ken


The Bulls have looked to rectify their lack of big ball-carrying loose forwards by signing Springbok flank Jacques Potgieter on a three-year contract, the union confirmed at Loftus Versfeld on Wednesday.

The 30-year-old Potgieter, who is 6’4 and weighs 115kg, starred previously for the Bulls in 22 SuperRugby games in 2012-13, before becoming a high-profile player for the Waratahs. He joined the Sharks at the beginning of the year, but an ankle injury meant he never actually played a game for them, and John Smit, the CEO of the KwaZulu-Natal franchise, confirmed on Wednesday that they had released him from his contract. Potgieter is engaged to actress Angelique Gerber, whose career would be better served by them living in Gauteng.

“We always knew SuperRugby was going to be a battle on the gain-line, so we need good ball-carriers. We know what Jacques can do, we’ve seen how he’s played for the Bulls previously and for the Waratahs, so he’s definitely a good signing. At the beginning of the season we lost three loose forwards to injury at the same time, and Jacques also played four and seven for the Waratahs. Jannes Kirsten can do that too, and they both can really carry the ball,” coach Nollis Marais said.

High performance manager Xander Janse van Rensburg said Potgieter, who has been seen at practice this week already, will probably be ready to train in a week’s time. He will probably play in all three SuperRugby rounds after the June break.

The acquisition of Potgieter offsets the disappointment of losing hard-working flank Lappies Labuschagne to Japanese club Kubota at the end of the SuperRugby season.

Janse van Rensburg told The Citizen they are hopeful, however, that Labuschagne will be able to return to play for the Bulls in the 2017 SuperRugby campaign at the end of the Japanese season. The fact that Frans Ludeke is coach of Kubota means the Bulls obviously have a negotiating platform, but they did fire Ludeke last year.

Van Rensburg also announced the signing of Southern Kings tighthead prop Jacobie Adriaanse, who Marais described as “a very competitive scrummager who stood his ground against the Crusaders”.

Isuzu & Blue Bulls finally united in partnership 0

Posted on December 22, 2014 by Ken

The announcement on Thursday of a three-year deal between Isuzu and the Blue Bulls will ensure that the union now has the bakkies that suit their image and that they will be behind the wheel of what most people would expect them to be driving.

Isuzu have been making bakkies since 1980 and the quintessential KB is now in its sixth generation and more than half-a-million buyers have the security of knowing they have bought a product that is built to withstand tough conditions. The Blue Bulls, too, pride themselves on being tough and reliable.

“The two most iconic brands in South Africa are probably bakkies and rugby and both the Isuzu and Blue Bulls brands are known to be as tough as nails, so it’s an ideal fit. The Bulls are an undeniable force in South African rugby with their unbridled determination, which is valued by Isuzu because we make the toughest, most durable bakkies,” Mlungisi Nonkonyana, the brand manager, said at the Gerotek testing facility outside Pretoria on Thursday.

While the partnership with Isuzu is a fabulous tie-in for the Bulls, they know that they are going to have to lift their own performance on the field in 2015 after failing to make the SuperRugby playoffs and being knocked out in the semi-finals of the Currie Cup.

“The performance standards have been set by the previous teams in our 76-year history, so our supporters obviously did not look favourably on us not winning any trophies this year. The pressure is on to rectify that in 2015,” Bulls CEO Barend van Graan admitted.

“There’ve been a couple of hiccups, but we have a terribly proud history and, with the squad we have, I think 2015 is going to be a good year. The Blue Bulls are not good losers, it hurts like hell,” John Newbury, the chairman of the Bulls board, said.

Isuzu bakkies are renown for being hard workers and Bulls coach Frans Ludeke, an Isuzu owner himself, will be hoping his team will replicate many of the same characteristics in the coming year.

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    Mark 7:8 – “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”

    Our foundation must be absolute surrender, devotion and obedience to God, rising from pure love for him. Jesus Christ must be central in all things and his will must take precedence over the will of people, regardless of how well-meaning they may be.

    Surrender yourself unconditionally to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then you will be able to identify what is of man with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Then you will be able to serve – in love! – according to God’s will.

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