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Ken Borland

Ante raised by Boks as Kolisi says he was disrespected by officials & Stick says all they want is to be treated equitably by authorities 0

Posted on July 30, 2021 by Ken

South Africa have to win the second Test against the British and Irish Lions in Cape Town on Saturday to stay in the series and the ante was raised even further by captain Siya Kolisi on Friday when he confirmed he felt disrespected by the match officials in the first Test last weekend and assistant coach Mzwandile Stick said all the Springboks want is to be treated equitably by the authorities.

The now infamous hour-long video released this week by director of rugby Rassie Erasmus shows how Kolisi battled to be heard by the referee, while Lions captain Alun-Wyn Jones seemed to have a hotline to Nic Berry.

Erasmus is now reportedly going to be sanctioned by WorldRugby, but as Stick pointed out, the first person to disrespect the match officials was Lions coach Warren Gatland last week when he questioned the integrity of TMO Marius Jonker. The South African was appointed at late notice after New Zealander Brendon Pickerill was unable to fly over for the tour due to Covid travel restrictions.

“I didn’t feel respected, I didn’t feel like I got a fair opportunity to talk to the referee. I wasn’t given the same access to the referee. The man must give a fair opportunity to both captains, that’s all I’ve asked for. But I’m looking forward to a new game and I trust Ben O’Keeffe [Saturday’s referee] will be well-prepared,” Kolisi said on Friday.

Stick went further and said the integrity of both the series and WorldRugby had been ‘destroyed’ by Gatland’s actions last week, which had the predictable outcome of putting Jonker in an impossible position.

“The challenge came when Marius Jonker was appointed because the original TMO could not travel because of Covid. We did not appoint him, that was out of our control. But first things first, when the Lions started questioning the appointment made by WorldRugby, that’s when the problems started.

“No apology was made for questioning his integrity and then everyone goes crazy when we ask questions about decisions that were made on the field. What is right for one side must be the same for the other team, otherwise one team is playing on grass and the other is on mud.

“We would not love it if the series, which only happens once every 12 years, was all about the decisions of the officials. We just want fairness, if Rassie is in trouble then the person who challenged the integrity of the TMO, who destroyed the integrity of the series and WorldRugby, must also be,” Stick fumed.

In terms of what the players will be focusing on on the field of play, Stick said they expect the Lions to once again lean on the kicking game that served them so well in the second half of the first Test, while the Springboks will again be trusting their physicality.

“We think the Lions will come again with a massive kicking game and I must compliment them because things weren’t working for them in the first half last week, so they decided to not play much rugby and instead challenge us in the aerial contest. The first half was going well for us, we had the clinical kicking game, but then in the second half, whatever the Lions coaches said at halftime, it worked for them.

“We know the set-pieces are also crucial at this level and Northern Hemisphere sides are always very physical. The scrums and lineouts are still key because that gives you a platform to attack from. The Lions also scored one try from the driving maul, but we did not get much opportunity to drive. But it’s going to be tough and physical again on Saturday and if we can execute our plan very well then we will have a chance to win,” Stick said.

“We are not doing anything different, we have prepared the same way and we will play the same rugby as last week but better. We need to make sure we maul better and handle their kicks better. There’s a lot of pressure, but we are focused on what we can control and that’s making sure we fixed the mistakes we made. We’ve worked hard on where the Lions attacked us and gained the most benefit,” Kolisi added.


Springboks: 15-Willie le Roux, 14-Cheslin Kolbe, 13-Lukhanyo Am, 12-Damian de Allende, 11-Makazole Mapimpi, 10-Handré Pollard (vice-captain), 9-Faf de Klerk, 8-Jasper Wiese, 7-Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6-Siya Kolisi (captain), 5-Franco Mostert, 4-Eben Etzebeth, 3-Frans Malherbe, 2-Bongi Mbonambi, 1-Steven Kitshoff. Replacements– 16-Malcolm Marx, 17-Trevor Nyakane, 18-Vincent Koch, 19-Lood de Jager, 20-Marco van Staden, 21-Kwagga Smith, 22-Herschel Jantjies, 23-Damian Willemse.

British & Irish Lions: 15-Stuart Hogg, 14-Anthony Watson, 13-Chris Harris, 12-Robbie Henshaw, 11-Duhan van der Merwe, 10-Dan Biggar, 9-Conor Murray, 8-Jack Conan, 7-Tom Curry, 6- Courtney Lawes, 5-Alun Wyn Jones, 4-Maro Itoje, 3-Tadhg Furlong, 2-Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1-Mako Vunipola. Replacements -16-Ken Owens, 17-Rory Sutherland, 18-Kyle Sinckler, 19-Tadhg Beirne, 20-Taulupe Faletau, 21-Ali Price, 22-Owen Farrell, 23-Elliot Daly.

SA cricket has lost its position of influence in the ICC 0

Posted on February 19, 2021 by Ken

South African cricket has lost its position of influence in the global game according to both the Cricket South Africa (CSA) Interim Board and the minister of sport, which is part of the reason they have been treated with such disdain by Cricket Australia (CA).

CSA have lodged an official complaint against CA with the International Cricket Council (ICC) over Australia’s failure to honour their commitment to a Test tour that was meant to start on February 24, ostensibly due to fears over Covid-19. But South African cricket, now represented by the acting president of the Members Council, Rihan Richards, have reportedly lost their voice in the ICC hallways of power so it would be no surprise if their calls for compensation fall on deaf ears.

“South Africa have always enjoyed a position of prominence in international cricket, but of late it seems their standing is the opposite of that,” sports minister Nathi Mthethwa said in his opening comments during a virtual report-back session with the Interim Board on Friday.

“CSA has lost its place of prestige in the ICC, which is no surprise because there has been so much internal struggle in South African cricket and therefore a lack of focus on affairs at the ICC. That has allowed an imbalance in world cricket and we have a long way to restore our reputation.

“CA has been referred by us, but there are hints that The Big Three might reform themselves. CSA needs to get their house in order in order to return to a position of influence,” Interim Board member Haroon Lorgat, a former CEO of the ICC, added.

Dr Stavros Nicolaou, the chairman of the Interim Board, said the likely complete cancellation of the Australian tour showed CSA needed to work on establishing stronger relationships with countries like India.

“I’m not sure we’re going to be able to postpone the Australian tour to a suitable date even though we consulted widely with their medical team and their medical experts. The balance of power in international cricket has been brought into question. We need to strengthen our strategic position and we ned to tap into our other relationships with India, for example through BRICS.

“There was extensive consultation with CA and we made significant upgrades to our biosecure bubble, acceded to all of their demands. Then at the beginning of the month they advised us the tour would not proceed which was extremely disappointing. They said we had hit the peak of our second wave and our strain was more virulent, but on the day they notified us, we had a 75% reduction in cases and our strain is not more virulent but more contagious,” Nicolaou said.

Mthethwa also said he has full confidence in the Interim Board and their ability to deliver the AGM in the next couple of months.

“The Interim Board has not disappointed us, their initial appointment was for three months from October but we made provision to extend that and we are satisfied with the work they have done. The Interim Board understands the importance of transformation and they are not compromising on that. Some delays in their work have not been in their control, such as disciplinary processes.

“But I have full confidence in the Interim Board, they have been reporting to me and I am confident that the stance they have taken in disciplinary matters is according to the book, I have no fears about that. It is concerning though that there are these distractions that are trying to take our eyes off the ball. But I am glad that the Interim Board is consistently focused on the task at hand,” Mthethwa said.

Nicolaou committed the Interim Board to completing their work in the next two months.

“The implementation of the Nicholson recommendations are our most important task, to modernise, strengthen and enhance CSA’s governance. Professor Michael Katz, the foremost expert on that, has been given the mandate for that and has shared an amended MoI with us. That needs to be agreed to by the Members Council at a special general meeting which we envisage happening in the first two weeks of March.

“That will provide the platform for us to go to the AGM, which we anticipate happening between April 10-17, when a new permanent board, and an appropriate gap between them and the Members Council, and a new era for cricket will be inaugurated. But we have no control over the timing of disciplinary processes, they are both objective and independent, and postponements and delays are not unexpected,” Nicolaou said.

Financial powerhouse’s backing a big vote of confidence for CSA 0

Posted on May 23, 2016 by Ken


It can only be a vote of confidence when one of South Africa’s financial powerhouses agrees to become your national team sponsor – across all three formats – particularly when they parted ways with you just six years previously because of misgovernance and the way they were treated, so Cricket South Africa had reason to celebrate this week and reflect on how far they have come in terms of corporate governance.

It’s the first time one sponsor has been found for all three teams, the Test, ODI and T20 outfits, and the four-year deal will allow just one name on all the replica shirts CSA sells. The fact that it is no longer an alcoholic brand on the shirt also allows huge numbers of people to now buy them whereas in the past their religious beliefs precluded them from wearing that logo, so there will be a sizeable financial benefit there as well.

It’s some much-needed good news for the Proteas in what has been a tough year for them. CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat optimistically said at the sponsorship announcement that he believes the slide down the international rankings is only temporary.

“These have been tough times but I’m sure the team will provide the desired returns for Standard Bank. I believe they are still a world-class team despite the poor recent results. I think it’s just a blip for a team that is still in transition.

“We believe the system will still provide great players, especially after the three reviews we are currently running – into the domestic structure, a relaunched T20 league and the national team set-up, especially why the Proteas keep falling short at the final hurdle in major global tournaments,” Lorgat said.

Transformation is still a major issue for CSA – some of my sources tell me that the reason for the sudden postponement of the initial Standard Bank announcement was that the sponsor wanted a transformation clause inserted into the contract, others have denied this – and the dissatisfaction of sports minister Fikile Mbalula, however obxnoxious he is being, is a threat to their future plans.

There is a meeting on Saturday between CSA and Mbalula, and this is going to be a crucial sit-down to see if they can iron out the differences that were exposed by the minister’s shock announcement on April 25 that he was implementing punitive measures against the union.

“The unparalelled support that we enjoy – as Temba Bavuma approached his debut Test century at Newlands there were 10 million TV viewers for the first time – shows that we can be very proud of our transformation initiatives that are bearing fruit. We know the minister of sport is not satisfied with certain areas, but we will engage him. We strongly believe that transformation has to happen from the bottom up and we firmly believe that we need it for strategic reasons.

“It’s fair to say that we were caught by surprise by what the minister had to say, but we will meet this Saturday and I’m confident we will come to an understanding. Transformation is about more than targets, it covers our entire business. We are clear that it must be from the bottom up, but we need resources and support from government, in particular the departments of sport and recreation and basic education. It will be the only way to sustain our business into the future, never mind our moral obligations,” Lorgat said.

Apart from the poor corporate governance of the previous CSA administration, Standard Bank were also chased away in 2010 by the frustrating fashion in which they were treated by certain CSA staff, who did not seem to care that these were the people investing in their sport and paying a large proportion of their salaries at the end of the day. Fortunately that culture is long gone at CSA.

From the media’s perspective, we had some rip-roaring times with Standard Bank and it is with delight that we welcome them back into the pressboxes around the country.

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