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Ken Borland

Jake says whether his decision was right or wrong is only going to be decided at the end of the season 0

Posted on July 20, 2023 by Ken

Bulls coach Jake White said whether he was right or wrong to rest his first-choice players from European Champions Cup action and then they still lost to the Stormers in their United Rugby Championship derby in Cape Town is only going to be decided at the end of the season.

Despite bringing a fresh, best-available team to Cape Town to tackle the defending champions, the Bulls were humbled 37-27, allowing critics to wonder whether it was worth sending the second-stringers to Devon last weekend and being soundly beaten by Exeter Chiefs.

“We have five points from two games in the Champions Cup, both us and the Stormers do,” White pointed out. “The decision had nothing to do about today, it was not a measure of whether I was right or wrong.

“We will only measure that by June next year. There was no way the same team could play today after flying 26 hours in economy and only arriving back Monday lunchtime.

“We’ve lost four times in a row now to the Stormers, but we will see in June when we have three competitions on the go. If I was only concerned with European competition then maybe I would have done things differently.

“But my brief as director of rugby comes from a decision made by the board. Next year’s Currie Cup will be played Wednesday-Saturday-Saturday, which is a helluva ask. Plus we only have eight training days in January because of the travel,” White said.

The former Springbok coach said the naivety of his team was a concern, putting it down to inexperience.

“It didn’t help playing 20 minutes with 14 guys, but we showed moments of inexperience, which was disappointing,” White said. “There were four minutes of madness when they scored three of their four tries.

“You can’t say you should have won when you’ve conceded four tries, but our attack was held up on the Stormers’ line a couple of times. The Stormers really stormed the breakdown.

“They would rather concede penalties than the try, and defence coach Norman Laker has been there a long time. In fact their whole coaching staff has been there a long time, so they are much more fluent.

“I don’t enjoy losing, but it’s a complete and utter juggling act at the moment. We are still young, every player in the Stormers pack is older than his Bulls counterpart. We have six guys who are 23 or younger,” White said.

Elgar believes he has a great attack, but pressure on the batsmen 0

Posted on March 08, 2023 by Ken

Proteas captain Dean Elgar believes he has a great attack for Australian conditions, but at the moment the pressure is on his batsmen to put enough runs on the board for them to be effective in their three-Test series that starts on December 17.

The South Africans departed for Australia on Thursday night and Elgar admitted the focus would be on their embattled batsmen.

“The style of cricket we play is tailor-made for over there, we have great fast bowlers. It’s bad enough facing them in the nets, I’m really glad I don’t have to do it in a match,” Elgar said at the Wanderers on Thursday morning.

“But runs on the board is key in Australia and our attack needs those scores to be most effective. Our batting has not been good enough in the last year, there is no shying away from it.

“It’s up to the batsmen to take accountability and responsibility. There are a lot of guys on the fringes who are champing on the bit and eager to play,” Elgar said.

There has been some criticism aimed at the recalling of Theunis de Bruyn and Heinrich Klaasen to the squad, both of whom are over 30 and last played Test cricket on the ill-fated tour of India in October 2019. But Elgar backed them as both having the experience and ability to dominate the strong Australian attack.

“Heinrich is a good, experienced international cricketer now and he has immense ability and a lot of character,” Elgar said.

“I’ve always thought that Theunis is one of the most talented batsmen in the country, he just has that extra gear which not a lot of guys have. He can really take an attack apart.

“I think he’s also in a really good space for Test cricket now, he has come a long way as a cricketer and person since his last international encounter and he will definitely be part of the selection discussion.”

Elgar is also fully expecting the Australians to try and bait his team with verbals, but said the Proteas must not back down when things get fiery.

“Australia is a tough place to play because there are a lot of external pressures and in their home conditions they are always pretty feisty. It’s the nature of them as individuals – brash and bold and in your face.

“But we enjoy that confrontation and we’ve shown the ability to keep calm heads. I would encourage the players not to shy away from it because that’s when South Africans show their best character,” Elgar said.

Grace & Walters the leading South Africans; can count themselves lucky to be in NGC 0

Posted on February 10, 2023 by Ken

Branden Grace and Justin Walters are the leading South Africans after the first round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge and both can probably count themselves as being fortunate to be in the tournament.

Grace and Walters both shot two-under-par 70s to be in share of 12th place, and six shots off Ryan Fox’s lead, alongside Max Kieffer, Romain Langasque, David Law, Paul Waring, Dale Whitnell, Matthew Jordan and defending champion and highest-ranked golfer, Tommy Fleetwood.

Grace was one-over-par at the turn and picked up three birdies on the back nine to turn his round around, and Walters started his round on the 10th and struggled initially, with a double-bogey and a bogey before his turn, but then he picked up four birdies on the front nine and did not drop another shot.

Grace is one of the golfers who has joined the controversial LIV Tour and is 207th on the DP World Tour rankings, well out of the qualifying spaces, and the last South African winner of the Nedbank Golf Challenge, in 2017, relied on an invitation to be in the tournament.

Walters is 72st on the order of merit and relied on a few top golfers not coming to Sun City for his place.

“It’s very nice to be here and I’m just grateful to the DP World Tour, Nedbank and Sun International for the invite,” Grace said. “I love coming back here. It’s really nice to see your name on the walkway on the ninth and your trophy photo on the 18th. It helps your self-belief.”

Perhaps not coincidentally, Grace’s resurgence began shortly after the turn.

“I was my familiar couple-over-par after the first couple of holes, I don’t know what it is about the front nine here. I always seem to be on the back foot, but I managed to get it together.

“My first goal was to just be level-par after the ninth, and in the end I’m very happy to be two-under. The back nine was an opportunity for me to go after things a bit.

“With my shape and length off the tee, I just have more opportunities on the back nine. But especially on a golf course like this, you are never too far away from falling,” Grace said.

For Walters, his Nedbank Golf Challenge debut is enough of a highlight for the 42-year-old, who has won twice on the Sunshine Tour.

“It’s my first Nedbank Golf Challenge. I’ve been a pro for 20 years, I’ve been around and I always wanted to play in it, so I’m just trying to put my best foot forward.

“When I was 21, I played with my Dad at Country Club Johannesburg and I shot 61. He said if I keep playing like that then I will play in the Nedbank Golf Challenge in a couple of years.

“It’s taken twenty years, but I am here now. Unfortunately I made a pretty bad start, I was rattled a bit. But then I made a few putts, starting with a 30-footer on the third, and I felt the switch of momentum,” Walters said.

“I hit some great shots coming in and golf is all about momentum – you get it going in your direction and then you must just ride the wave.”

Shaun Norris and Richard Sterne were the other South Africans under par, sneaking in with 71s, while Oliver Bekker, JC Ritchie and George Coetzee finished level-par.

It was not such a great day for Christiaan Bezuidenhout (+1) or Thriston Lawrence (+2), who could both only register one birdie, while Zander Lombard shot a 76.

SA obviously favoured v qualifier, but threat of the weather raises the stakes 0

Posted on January 05, 2023 by Ken

South Africa would obviously back themselves to beat any of the qualifiers in the T20 World Cup, but the stakes are going to be raised even higher on Monday with their opening match in Hobart under threat of the weather.

The Proteas will play the team that tops Group B in the qualifying tournament that ends on Friday, with Scotland, Zimbabwe, the West Indies and Ireland all on two points after playing two of their matches.

But there is an 80% chance of rain on the island of Tasmania on Monday, so South Africa will be anxious not to drop points in their opening match, considering their opponents in the rest of Group II are Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.

Unfortunately, the flood rains that are sweeping over the east coast of Australia are showing no signs of abating, and South Africa’s last warm-up match, against Bangladesh in Brisbane on Wednesday, was abandoned, the seventh preparation game to be lost to the rain.

That washout meant Proteas captain Temba Bavuma has not played a match since October 6 and his return to Proteas action since an elbow injury kept him out for two-and-a-half months has seen him score just 11 runs in four innings. That form will also be a cause of anxiety for the squad.

Bavuma is undoubtedly a top-class batsman in the longer formats, but a snub in the SA20 Auction has cast a harsh light on his T20 record, especially a strike-rate of just 116 at international level.

With Reeza Hendricks a wonderfully in-form and ready-made replacement for Bavuma, and a couple of able captaincy options in Keshav Maharaj and David Miller, it is a dilemma for coach Mark Boucher and the selectors.

Does one leave out the appointed captain, a respected man who enjoys a great standing amongst the Black community, but is going through a slump, backing the batsmen who are in form right now? Or does one give Bavuma a vote of confidence in the hope that he will find a way to score runs, and briskly?

A decision to drop the captain can often have a destructive effect on team dynamics, but what would a World Cup be without South Africa supplying a healthy dose of drama?

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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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