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Ken Borland

Henry keeps her round on track to win as crosswinds whizz around Fancourt 0

Posted on March 13, 2024 by Ken

GEORGE, Western Cape – With crosswinds whizzing over the Montagu fairways on the back nine, Kylie Henry was best able to keep her round on track as she sealed a two-stroke victory in the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am at Fancourt on Sunday.

Henry was two strokes off the lead at the start of the final round, but the other leading contenders spluttered along on the third day. Even though the Scotswoman went out in one-over-par 37, a string of six successive pars on the back nine saw her claim a share of the lead with Ana Dawson, who had led after both the first and second rounds.

And then, as the pressure mounted and Dawson missed some crucial putts, Henry pounced with key birdies on the par-four 16th and 18th holes. It was her first professional win since 2014, when she won twice on the Ladies European Tour, and the 37-year-old said she was delighted to get back on the winner’s podium after a couple of tough years.

“It means so much to me, I have been playing for a long time, this is my 15th season on tour. But the last couple of seasons have been really tough. I broke my elbow and then last year was just very difficult for me personally and my golf suffered as a result,” Henry said.

“To get my golf game back makes me so happy. It was tricky out there today, there were a lot of crosswinds on the back nine, and I knew I just had to commit to my shots. I managed to keep doing that and I sank some good putts as well.”

Henry was tied for second with Alexandra Swayne going into the final round, and Swayne had a level-par front nine on Sunday, but her back nine was a car-crash with a run of double-bogey, bogey, bogey from the 11th hole. She finished tied for ninth on six-over-par after an 80.

Dawson, despite dropping shots on the 11th and 12th holes, was just one shot behind Henry when she teed off on the final hole. But she drove into the trees, and then ricocheted off another tree trying to come out with her second. Eventually she had to settle for a bogey-six, which left her in a tie for third on level-par with Romy Meekers, who fired an outstanding 67, the best round of the day by four shots.

There were birdie chances available for Dawson in the middle of the back nine, but she had struggles with her putter.

Local stalwart Lee-Anne Pace stepped up on the final day by shooting a level-par 72 and getting herself into contention. She once again eagled the par-five ninth and also birdied the 18th, but Henry did not give her an opening and Pace had to settle for second place on her own, on one-under-par.

Bulls house in order & campaign back on track – Jake 0

Posted on January 24, 2023 by Ken

Following their impressive victory over the Sharks in their United Rugby Championship derby at the weekend, the Bulls house is in order and the campaign is back on track, coach Jake White says.

The 40-27, bonus point win over the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld was the Bulls’ second in a row after a couple of defeats on tour, and it lifted them back into third place on the log.

“It’s a tough competition and we’ve toured and had a couple of injury problems, but we’ve done well the last couple of weeks,” White said. “The campaign is back on track.

“We’ve played seven games, we’ve got five wins, scored lots of tries, got a handful of bonus points and we’re third on the log. That’s fantastic for us, one-third of the way into the competition.

“And there’s no reason we can’t get better, with 14 games left until the final. Hopefully it’s a well-timed break for the players now, and we come back on November 9.

“Then we’ll switch on for two home games and wait and see who we get back from the national squads,” White said.

The coach did admit to some frustration at the Bulls’ performance against the Sharks, however, with the home side sometimes their own worst enemy.

“At times we shot ourselves in the foot. We couldn’t get out of our half and we had two kicks direct into touch. We were outstanding in the first 20 minutes but just didn’t finish,” White said.

“We knocked on in their 22 twice and chose the wrong lineout play once. We should have stayed with the maul, they had two warnings, but we moved away from the maul when the Sharks probably would’ve got a card.

“So there are a lot of things still to look at, we let them score three tries after all. We can’t give teams those soft moments like we did just before halftime.

“We practised defending against that Aphelele Fassi move the whole week, but he scored anyway because we get narrow.

“But when they led 17-16, no-one was thinking about a bonus point win, so there is a lot of excitement and energy in the changeroom. Now it’s time to recharge and it will be nice to have that same energy when we come back from the break,” White said.

Springboks v Argentina: Work-ons ahead of Kings Park decider 0

Posted on November 02, 2022 by Ken

The Springboks are still on track to win the Rugby Championship following a bonus point win over Argentina in Buenos Aires.

They are now level on points (14) with New Zealand ahead of their final fixture, again versus Argentina, but this time in Durban next Saturday.

So the Springboks need to better whatever the All Blacks result is against the Wallabies, while they also have a 13-point deficit in points difference to make up.

As impressive as their composure and finishing was in Buenos Aires, these are the work-ons the Springboks need to focus on ahead of the Kings Park decider.

Not allowing themselves to be trapped on the back foot

The Springboks were so dominant both in terms of territory and possession in the first half that it was a major surprise when the momentum shifted so thoroughly in the third quarter, which the visitors spent mostly on defence.

Argentina undoubtedly raised their intensity in a last-ditch effort to stay in contention for their maiden Sanzar title, and a passionate crowd added to the sense of mania, but the Springboks contributed to their torrid time by perhaps relying too much on the 22-6 lead they had built up in the first half.

These dips in intensity from the Springboks have been a feature of their campaign, and captain Siya Kolisi was quite right when he said they will need an 80-minute performance of high intensity in Durban if they are to get their hands on the trophy.

Wednesday is flyhalf D-Day

With Damian Willemse almost certainly concussed and unavailable for the decider, we will know on Wednesday how coach Jacques Nienaber is going to solve his flyhalf conundrum, with Handre Pollard injured and Elton Jantjies out of the public eye after his out-of-wedlock activities.

The only real options remaining in the squad are Willie le Roux and Francois Steyn.

Le Roux has great attacking instincts, his timing of passes being superb, while Steyn is a powerful presence in defence, carrying the ball and with the boot. Whoever is chosen needs to wed those strengths with the game-management demands of the game, which will be intricate depending on what the Springboks have to do to overhaul the All Blacks.

Don’t let ill-discipline end in tears

While the Springboks covered themselves in glory by showing great composure and character to weather a massive storm and seal victory after Argentina had pulled to within two points, they can still improve on their discipline.

They conceded two yellow cards and 16 penalties, and were it not for poor finishing by the Pumas, they would have been punished for it. If Argentina are as abrasive again but more clinical in Durban, then South Africa will need to show incredible composure.

Missed tackles feed the momentum

While the Springboks scrambled well in Buenos Aires, they missed 22 tackles, which just feeds the momentum of a team like the Pumas, who rely so much on emotion and are dangerous when allowed to attack on the front foot.

It is a concentration thing more than anything.

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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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