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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.

CEO says it’s irrelevant whether BBCo houses Nkosi’s rugby career in future as Bok wing is found 0

Posted on April 13, 2023 by Ken

Whether the Blue Bulls Company houses Sbu Nkosi’s rugby career in future is irrelevant right now, CEO Edgar Rathbone said on Tuesday, because their focus is on making sure the Springbok wing gets the help he needs to solve his personal issues.

Nkosi had been missing from Loftus Versfeld for three weeks, raising fears for his wellbeing and safety, before he was found at his father’s house in Emalahleni (Witbank) on Monday afternoon. Rathbone was among the search party and he had a 40-minute talk with the 26-year-old.

“It was important for me to establish he was okay, safe and unharmed, and to find out where he is at. I was thrilled he was alive but sad to see the state he was in,” Rathbone said on Tuesday.

“We will provide the support he needs, but it’s difficult to put a timeline on his recovery, we need to give him space and get him back to full health. We need to follow the process, for some people it takes one month, for others six months, it depends on the depth they have to go.

“Our goal is to get him back on the rugby field and feeling like the champion he is again. Even if that’s not at the Bulls, it’s our job to get him ready. It’s irrelevant right now whether he plays for the Bulls again or some other team, it’s about Sbu Nkosi the person.

“Our concern is not for Sbu Nkosi the rugby player but for him as a person. He is an employee of the company and being absent without leave for three weeks does have consequences. But at this stage, we’re missing the point if we’re worrying about whether he still has a contract or not,” Rathbone said.

In terms of how the Bulls handled the disappearance of one of their star players, Rathbone said they had to cut their cloth according to the circumstances at the time, but he added “I’m sure mistakes were made along the way, but the player’s reputation also needed to be managed and his safety was a concern as well”.

While both the Bulls and MyPlayers, the players’ organisation to look after their interests, have mental health support measures in place, Rathbone said they would review the overall efficiency of these systems.

The CEO added that he hoped the general public would cotton on to the fact that coarse messaging on social media can lead struggling players into the dumps.

“I would ask everyone to be kind and not to make any remarks that may be harmful to Sbu. If you look at the comments and articles on social media, it’s quite frightening how stones are thrown at people.

“Everyone is going through stuff, no-one is immune to it. I would ask people to have a bit of respect for their fellow human beings.

“Unlike other jobs, our employees win or lose every Saturday and that’s pressure. I know it’s what they signed up for, but if they need help handling it then that support needs to be there,” Rathbone said.

Howling wind not in his control, but Jake won’t risk Goosen on Glasgow artificial pitch 0

Posted on December 19, 2022 by Ken

Facing a tough away match at Scotstoun, Bulls coach Jake White does not know whether the wind will howl or not, but one thing that is within his control is team selection and he revealed on Friday that he will not risk flyhalf Johan Goosen against Glasgow Warriors on their artificial pitch.

Goosen, who will probably be on the Springboks’ end-of-year tour, has started just one game at flyhalf since rupturing his knee three games into last season on the artificial pitch in Cardiff. But even though the 30-year-old needs game time and White has also been robbed of backline stars Canan Moodie and Sbu Nkosi due to injury, Goosen will not feature for the Bulls in their United Rugby Championship match against Glasgow Warriors on Saturday night.

“I’m not going to risk Johan on a 4G pitch. They don’t play any Test rugby on those pitches for a reason, it’s because more players get injured on that surface,” White stated on Friday.

“He has just come back from 11 months out after an horrific injury on that sort of pitch. I took the decision myself, I did not ask him. If you look at the history of those 4G pitches, there have been a lot of injuries and I don’t want to take the risk.

“I have confidence in Chris Smith and Morne Steyn, they have done exceptionally well the times we have called on them,” White said.

While there is expected to be a low chance of rain in Glasgow on Saturday night, and just a gentle breeze, White did say he was concerned about the wind strengthening.

“Scotstoun can be very windy, which can be a massive factor in the way we want to play, sometimes it makes it very difficult to play too much rugby,” White said.

“We will have to see how the weather is, it is very influential here, and we might have to kick more. That’s also a skill and creating pressure points is a part of attack too.

“Rain will not be so much of a problem, but a massive amount of wind will be, whether you’re playing against it or with it. It’s a very open stadium and our stadiums at home are closed in.

“If you’re against the wind at the back end of the match and chasing the game, then it becomes very difficult. We also have to learn to use the wind when it is in our favour,” White said.

Added to the change in conditions from back in Pretoria, White pointed out that Glasgow Warriors are always a formidable challenge at home.

“They only lost once at home last year and their one game at home this season they have won convincingly. Coach Franco Smith has lots of experience and he has done well with the Free State Cheetahs and Italy.

“Plus Glasgow have a couple of injured players coming back, which is going to make their forward pack more staunch. Last week was obviously a rebound result for them, and I have no doubt they will want another,” White said.

Bulls: Kurt-Lee Arendse, Cornal Hendricks, Lionel Mapoe, David Kriel, Stedman Gans, Chris Smith, Zak Burger, Elrigh Louw, Marco Van Staden, Marcell Coetzee (capt), Ruan Nortjé, Walt Steenkamp, Francois Klopper, Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Gerhard Steenekamp. Bench – Bismarck du Plessis, Simphiwe Matanzima, Mornay Smith, Janko Swanepoel, Reinhardt Ludwig, Embrose Papier, Morné Steyn, Wandisile Simelane.

2nd day cancelled in mark of respect, but Test may be robbed of another day 0

Posted on October 24, 2022 by Ken

Following the cancellation of Friday’s second day of play in a mark of respect for the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the decisive third Test between England and South Africa at The Oval will resume on Saturday, but there is no confirmation yet over whether the match will be robbed of another day’s play.

The first day of action was completely washed out after England had won the toss and sent the Proteas in to bat, meaning Saturday would be the third day’s play unless the Test is extended until Tuesday. If the extra day is not added then the deciding Test, with the series locked at 1-1, becomes a de facto three-day match. Although both of the previous Tests at Lord’s and Old Trafford were completed inside three days, the Oval has been a much friendlier batting venue in the past.

The England and Wales Cricket Board announced on Friday afternoon the decision to resume all cricket activities on Saturday, saying it is in line with the Official National Mourning guidelines and the advice they have received from the UK government’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

With the United Kingdom suffering the loss of their longest-serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II having reigned for 70 years, cricket will be paying its respects with a minute’s silence being observed and then the national anthem being played before the start of play.

All players and coaches will wear black armbands and branded inventory will be replaced with messaging paying respects to the Queen, according to the ECB statement.

A Cricket South Africa spokesperson told The Citizen on Friday that whether the Test will be extended through to Tuesday is “still to be determined with discussions ongoing between the ECB and CSA”.

A further update is expected later on Friday.

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    Don’t be so busy – even working for God – that you don’t have regular quiet time. Don’t let your activities become more important than your time with the Father. You can be alive ‘for’ God without experiencing the presence and power of the living Christ.

    “Attempting to serve the Lord without the strength of the Holy Spirit results in frustration and ultimate disaster.

    “If your vision of him grows dim, your service will become powerless and ineffective. This will happen if your spiritual reserves are not regularly replenished through prayer and meditation.

    “You must put him first in all your activities. Your service for him must be the result of your intimate knowledge of him. Only when he enjoys priority in all things, can you understand life from his perspective. Putting Christ first in your life and work makes you a more capable servant of God.” – A Shelter From The Storm, Solly Ozrovech



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