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Ken Borland



Floyd’s game and mentality keep improving as she claims the lead 0

Posted on July 08, 2024 by Ken

KEMPTON PARK, Ekurhuleni – Young Kiera Floyd’s game and mentality seemingly improves with every event as she fired a wonderful five-under-par 67 on Thursday to claim the lead after the first round of the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s Absa Ladies Invitational at Serengeti Estates.

Floyd has produced back-to-back top-10 finishes in her last two tournaments and also contended strongly in the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am at Fancourt before an 84 in the final round saw her slip down to a tie for 15th place. The 19-year-old is also playing at her home course at Serengeti and there is certainly a lot of expectation that the prodigy can notch up her breakthrough professional win this week.

She successfully managed that external pressure, and also composed herself brilliantly after an unfortunate double-bogey at the 122m par-three fifth hole, not dropping another shot as she finished with seven birdies in all. Three of those came in her first four holes, before her mishap on the first par-three, and then a birdie on the par-five eighth was followed by three more on the back nine.

“I know there is a lot of expectation on me this week and I know there are a lot of people who want me to do well here, but I put all that to the side. I just played like I had not played the course before, I started like it was a fresh round on a new course this morning,” Floyd said.

“And I was very happy with the way I played. The double-bogey was a bit unlucky because I hit my tee shot into a bunker where there was no sand, and then played a bit of ping-pong over the green.

“But I came back nicely and I am really happy with my performance. Off the tee and my putting were the best parts of my game, I sank a few nice ones, which definitely helps. It was not easy out there, but I gave myself a lot more opportunities to make birdie. But it is just the first round and I need to keep going,” Floyd said.

The 2022 SA Women’s Strokeplay champion is one stroke ahead of fellow South African Casandra Alexander, who provided the sort of birdie-birdie finish to her round that had the spectators recording the action on their cellular phones.

The 24-year-old Alexander’s 68 also included a double-bogey, at the par-five eighth, but she immediately pulled a stroke back by making a birdie at the par-three ninth. She was level-par at the turn, but birdies at the 11th and 15th holes, and then her two threes to finish saw Alexander soar up the leaderboard.

In a momentous day in this season’s Sunshine Ladies Tour, every place in the top-five is filled by a South African, breaking the overseas dominance that has been apparent in the previous four events.

Perennial winner Lee-Anne Pace, Tara Griebenow and Stacy Bregman all shot 70s on Thursday to share third place. Another South African, Nicole Garcia, was leading on four-under through 10 holes, but she struggled to a 39 coming home, finishing her round on the front nine, to join a dozen other golfers on level-par 72.

‘New Bulls’ march into quarterfinals by thumping Olympique Lyon 0

Posted on April 06, 2024 by Ken

Willie le Roux celebrates his try against Olympique Lyon.

The Bulls marched into the quarterfinals of the Champions Cup on Saturday with a thumping 59-19 win over Olympique Lyon at Loftus Versfeld, and it was the ‘New Bulls’ who did it, playing with wonderful attacking spark and really keeping the ball alive.

The traditional way of winning knockout games for the Bulls has been through subduing the opposition through power – using their physicality to dominate the gainline, scrum and maul to win penalties and then play off a traditionally brilliant lineout.

But on Saturday, kicking off at 1.30pm at altitude on a sunny day, they used the conditions to their advantage and unlocked the ball-playing, attacking skills that are also prevalent in their squad. Make no mistake, the physicality was still there, bossing the gainline and using aggressive defence to force turnovers, which they were impressive in turning into attacking opportunities.

The Bulls scored nine tries and the inventiveness and skill of the backline was marvellous to behold, even if at times some over-ambitious play led to the match being scrappy.

“We scored some outstanding tries and we’ve seen the Bulls go from a scrumming and mauling team to the type of rugby we played today,” coach Jake White said. “I’m very pleased that we are able to interchange the way we play, today we used playing on the Highveld and the playing surface to our advantage.

“We wanted to move them around and the French teams do tend to play scrappy rugby, but we also wanted to do it with control, use the altitude and their travel against them. There probably were times when we were a bit too loose.

“But we did what Leinster did to us last weekend and that’s go up a gear in the second half, we definitely replicated that. Sometimes we kicked the ball away too much in the first half, but in the second half you see the tries we scored because we kept the ball in hand. That try from our own line, where practically everyone touched the ball and we scored under the poles, was probably the try of the season and it showed we can play in different ways,” White said.

New talent was also to the fore with wing Sebastian de Klerk scoring twice, 21-year-old Reinhardt Ludwig having a strong game at blindside flank and 19-year-old JF van Heerden starting with aplomb at lock, Ruan Nortje being pulled 10 minutes before the start due to injury.

The 54th-minute try the Bulls scored to stretch their lead to 38-14 was probably the finished article in terms of how White wanted his team to play in favourable conditions.

Eighthman Elrigh Louw ran from his own five-metre line, Kurt-Lee Arendse typically provided a proper counter-attacking spark, there was great support from replacement hooker Akker van der Merwe, props Mornay Smith and Gerhard Steenekamp were involved too, there was a strong run from Ludwig and then scrumhalf Embrose Papier rounded off.

Despite the emphatic win, White said the Bulls, as a team, are not the finished article just yet.

“Last season we were knocked over away from home by Toulouse in the last 16, and then a year later we are hosting that game, which is already an improvement, and we won so now we’ve reached another level: the top eight.

“I’m very happy and proud, but I’m also fully aware what sort of teams have won this competition. If we play the top team in England next – Northampton Saints – then it will be there at 8pm, it might be rainy and cold, very different to the sun shining at Loftus at 1.30pm.

“But it’s teams that can adapt that win this competition. We are not there yet and I’m not saying we have the recipe. It’s a learning and growing path and the quicker we complete it the better,” White said.

Scorers

Bulls – Tries: Sebastian de Klerk (2), Embrose Papier (2), Marcell Coetzee, Ruan Vermaak, Willie le Roux, David Kriel, Chris Smith. Conversions: Johan Goosen (5), Smith (2).

Olympique Lyon – Tries: Martin Page-Relo, penalty try, Thaakir Abrahams. Conversion: Paddy Jackson.

Kwinana thrilled the most by development clinic 0

Posted on October 27, 2022 by Ken

SOUTHBROOM, KwaZulu-Natal – For Vodacom’s Eleni Kwinana, the Executive Head of Department for Vodacom Business Marketing KZN, the Vodacom Origins of Golf Series is a wonderful chance for their amateur clients to connect with Sunshine Tour professionals, but what thrilled her the most on the pro-am’s opening day at San Lameer Country Club on Tuesday was the development clinic.

Around 20 kids from disadvantaged areas on the KZN South Coast attended the development clinic, and Kwinana was delighted to see some of the same boys and girls who had attended the corresponding event at Selborne Park Golf Club in 2020.

“To give young kids from areas where they would never be exposed to golf the chance to get some coaching is very heartwarming, and I even recognised some of the boys and girls from two years ago at Selborne. They have sprung up, and it was brilliant to see them again,” Kwinana said.

“Youth education is one of our key pillars at Vodacom and helping communities has almost become a way of life for us, we don’t see CSI programmes as being something separate from our day-to-day work.

“Where we see a need, we help or we find someone who can help. Like our zero-rated Vodacom e-School which allows pupils to access their curriculum and test themselves. My own daughter went from a D aggregate to an A for maths, and it doesn’t cost a cent if you’re a Vodacom customer.

“There’s also our Code Like a Girl programme, where we find girls nationally who have never touched a tech device, we teach them during the June holidays, and by the time school starts again they are able to sort out their own website,” Kwinana said.

While Vodacom’s grand plan is to allow people from every district and rural area to also Connect For Good in this digital age, sometimes disaster strikes, whether it be in the form of the civil unrest that plagued KwaZulu-Natal in July 2021 or the massive floods that engulfed the province in April/May this year. And then Vodacom spring into action with a range of emergency relief measures.

“Vodacom is investing R1 billion of infrastructure into KZN, which is the biggest investment in the province. We find working with communities leads to much better longevity and protection of our assets, and so we never ever neglect our communities.

“We are there for their benefit, which is why when the floods came, we donated R3 million worth of relief aid through the Gift of the Givers, but we also went out to communities that had not been assisted yet and brought them blankets and food.

“During the riots we restored cellphone coverage a lot quicker than usual for those suppliers that the economy depends on, we gave them makeshift satellite dishes. We do these things so we can thrive as a province.

“We helped keep suburbs safe and restored businesses’ connectivity so the economy could bounce back as quickly as possible,” Kwinana said.

So helping people from all walks of life is par for the course for Vodacom. And golf has enjoyed their patronage and support for longer than most sports, with the Vodacom Origins of Golf Series running since 2004. It is the longest-running series of events on the Sunshine Tour.

“We really enjoy seeing the professionals and amateurs connect at our tournaments. Especially in this post-Covid time because people have been starved of human contact,” Kwinana said.

But with Vodacom involved so massively in the entire golf ecosystem , that human touch will always be around.

Time for the Springboks to ‘ruk reg!’ 0

Posted on October 18, 2022 by Ken

There is a wonderful saying in Afrikaans that is often used on the recalcitrant or the idle: they are told to ‘ruk julle reg!’.

It can be roughly translated as meaning ‘Shape up or ship out’ and fans watching the slide of the Springbok team towards mediocrity will no doubt be using it ahead of South Africa’s Rugby Championship match against Australia in Sydney on Saturday.

While the wretched display in Adelaide last weekend means the players desperately need to take a big step up in terms of executing basic skills and decision-making, it is also the management who need to up their game and thereby elevate the standard of rugby the Springboks are producing on the pitch.

While there are critics who say they rick their necks watching the Springboks kick the ball sky-high all game, or fall asleep while watching them scrum or maul for penalties, these are valid tactics. But they should be used as a means to an end, and not an end in themselves.

Much as coach Jacques Nienaber may hate it, penalties are only worth three points and tries are worth five, seven if converted. Which is why Australia, despite conceding 16 penalties against just nine given away by South Africa, won comfortably last weekend, scoring three tries to two.

And it’s not as if these Springboks can’t play attacking rugby or can’t score tries. It’s just that they hide that ability away behind an ultra-conservative game-plan that puts so much emphasis on the build-up and the process that there is very little room for the sort of instinctive, opportunistic rugby that can actually create tries against a defence that is as good as the Wallabies’ shifting line was last weekend.

While it is scary to go into a Test in Sydney without such key injured players as Lukhanyo Am, Handre Pollard, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Elton Jantjies, I am actually excited to see how their replacements go.

Damian Willemse was so positive with ball-in-hand last weekend, but his team-mates were often on a different wavelength. Let’s hope he can bring control and direction to the game at flyhalf, as well as some of that offensive brilliance.

Jesse Kriel will be chomping at the bit to start at outside centre again, while Canan Moodie’s Test debut is a dream story for someone who wasn’t even in the Bulls’ URC squad at the start of last season.

What was especially disappointing last weekend was the number of Springbok attacks that ran aground on the Great Barrier that was Australia’s defensive reef, mostly due to poor execution or naïve strategies.

Better attacking plans need to be put in place in order to fully utilise the talent in this Springbok side. The Wallabies’ slingshot defence is well-known, they give teams space on the outside and usher them into touch, so it was especially disappointing to see the Springboks crabbing across the field like they did when Du Toit passed into touch. At the start of the move, from turnover ball, there had been a clear overlap.

An excellent show to watch when it comes to dissecting the Springboks’ performances is Owen Nkumane’s Final Whistle. Both Swys de Bruin and Nick Mallett, two great attacking coaches of previous South African teams, were in agreement that the current side’s offensive efforts have not passed muster.

Mostly because they seem to be waiting for the perfect moment to attack, instead of trying to engineer those opportunities with more ambitious play. So many chances were not used in the 22 perhaps because the players are not in a suitably positive, attacking mindset?

Beating the Wallabies in Australia has always been a torrid Test for the Springboks, and now they need to do it under pressure and with key injuries. They will need to show massive character.

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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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