You are browsing the archive for 2012 October.

Sharks Looking to win Super Rugby Trophy

October 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

Having reached three consecutive finals ( 2 Currie Cups and 1 Super Rugby Final) but failing in all three of the show pieces one feels that the Sharks will need to brake the shackles soon and what better stage to do it than the Southern Hemisphere Super Rugby Event. According to the Sharks website, The Sharks do not feel as if they have been successful and want to win the finals they play in

Time for the Sharks to start winning the Finals they often get themselves into

It has been a roller-coaster of a year as The Sharks pulled off the almost unthinkable to reach the Vodacom Super Rugby Final after playing two away knock-out matches, and then getting their Absa Currie Cup campaign off to a winning start when the team had lost so many players.

However, the youngsters have delivered all season and on them, plenty of praise is heaped.

“It’s been a great group of players to lead,” Keegan Daniel said after the Absa Currie Cup Final at Mr Price KINGS PARK on Saturday.

“I have a really good support system with the senior players around me and I’ve worked well with Plum [coach John Plumtree] and the management; I’m willing to learn every week.

“You’d think with the squad we have and what we’ve done to reach three finals is pretty successful for the union, but you want to be winning those finals.”

Despite the success of reaching the finals but losing at the final hurdle, he believes the season isn’t a failure when one examines some other aspects of their campaign.

“We’ve built quite a bit and some young players have grown and this will be a big learning experience for them to mature going forward and with next year’s Super Rugby tournament in mind.”

He also paid respect to Western Province for their 11 year drought-ending accomplishment.

“They have shown a lot of character over the last couple of games, in their semi-final especially when they were down and out against the Lions. We knew they would never go away and would keep fighting and at the end of the day, they built enough pressure and converted it to points.”

The Sharks lineout didn’t function as well as they would have liked and he explained that there wasn’t a simple explanation. “There were a number of factors, it’s quite a complicated thing. I think hats off to Province, they contested really well and put us under pressure. I’m not going to point fingers at any individual, we just have to take this loss and our mistakes on the chin.

“The lineout not functioning comes down to eight players, they’ve all got do their job. We’ll have a look at it, but we‘ll be really disappointed because we came up with a few plans to win good lineout ball and unfortunately we couldn’t execute.”

 

www.sharksrugby.co.za

 

 

Aus Vs SA – Another Cracker

October 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

From the 9th of November to the 4th of December one of the most eagerly awaited battles begins in the cricketing world. It’s the Test series between Australia and South Africa. Earlier this year South Africa put in a sublime and thrilling performance to down the Poms 2-0 in their own back yard and claimed stake to the Test mace and became the best Test side on the planet. Australia on the other hand last played test cricket during the Month of April where they too beat their hosts, West Indies 2-0 in a three match series. The Proteas however cannot afford to relax as their number one status is on the line against the Aussies, as South Africa did to England Australia will now try to do to the Proteas. The winner of the series will walk away the number 1 Test side. It’s an enthralling battle, one which advertises why Test cricket is the pinnacle format of the sport.

 

South Africa are a team in form, ESPNcricinfo describes them as “Road Warriors” simply because they have not lost an away Test series in 6 years,  a proud record which they will want to still have in place by the time they leave Australian shores. Their “big 5” batsmen seem to be in form presently with perhaps only AB de Villiers and Jacques Kallis not quite getting it right in England, Smith scored a century in his 100th and chipped in two 50’s against England and who can forget Amla’s triple and Alviro’s century?  There are still questions on whether AB will keep or not and if not then the Proteas might find themselves one batsmen short as Thami Tsolekile would come in and is not know for his Test batting abilities.

On the bowling front South Africa seem pretty settled, with Steyn, Morkel and Philander making up the pace side of the attack, Imran Tahir the leggy and Jacques Kallis also able to chip in (although we might start seeing less and less of Kallis with ball in hand)

 

Australia have some danger men of their own. They are captained by a brilliant batsmen and an extremely positive leader who can sometimes cause confusion and panic in the opposition, but don’t count on that happening to SA. Ricky Ponting is another man who can and knows how to punish bowlers, the most experienced player in the Aussie side. He struggled against Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel the last time he was in South Africa but if sources are to be believed he has been training his socks off! And then theres the dominating Shane Watson who could turn out to be the surprise package for Australia this series. The only question is, can he take his T20 form and replicate it in the Test arena? Time will tell.

Much has been spoken about Australia’s bowlers with Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle and Mitchell Starc getting most of the attention. South Africa will need to be patient with the bat and make sure their openers see off the new ball, these Aussie bowlers not only have pace but are deadly accurate too.

 

Unfortunately if you are South African and plan on watching these matches your days are about to get a whole lot longer as matches are broadcasted from 2am SAT. so you’ll want to hit the deck straight after work get your 6 or 7 hours sleep and then wake up and tune in to Supersport because this is going to be a cracker of a series and you don’t want to miss one bit!

Why the Proteas failed. . . .again

October 4, 2012 in cricket

Ok so where do I start? Another big tournament, another disappointment. Different team, different captain, different coach, same result. More of the “choke” word spat around, more of the same of this and that, South Africa are clueless in these events and to say it needs to stop is an understatement. In Previous world cups and international tournaments we have mostly done well until the knockout stages of the competition, not this time, this time we were fully and comprehensively slaughtered in front of the rest of the world.Ab de Villiers

 

The purpose of this post is not to call South Africa chokers, No, I don’t like that word in fact I hate it, whether it’s true or not is irrelevant I just don’t use the word when describing the Proteas, maybe I should but I don’t.

 

Looking at the table of the group 2 super eights stage of the World T20, any South African supporter will get a tightened cringe in the stomach, a nervous feeling that something has gone terribly wrong. After all we were the team that hammered Zimbabwe by 10 wickets, we were the team that swept away the host nation and semi finalist Sri Lanka in a 7 over a side game and we were the team that commentators referred to when using phrases such as “the team to beat” “best balanced side” “number 1 team in the world” “red hot at the moment”. Yes we were, that is until the Super 8’s started.

 

It started in Colombo against Pakistan where out batting line up flopped to spin it took a cautious 48 from JP Duminy to make sure we got to a just about defendable total of 133, surprisingly South Africa’s bowling attack managed to take the game to the final over of Pakistan innings, but some bizarre calls from AB de Villiers lost us that match. The same happened against both Australia and India, our batting flopped and we were kicked out of the competition, bottom of our group with not one win. A new low for South African cricket indeed.

 

Take Graeme Smith out of the equation and it must be frustrating for Protea supporters to hear the same old lines we have heard from Smith and previous captains throughout the years; “I cannot put my finger on what went wrong”, “We’ve let the country down and that’s what hurts the most”, “we tried our hardest”. It simply just isn’t good enough from South Africa anymore.

 

A few areas I thought cost us the tournament or at least a Semi final spot:

 

Richard Levi – Certainly Levi’s international career is over now, or if not over put on hold until he improves, he has been horrible since his hundred in New Zealand, since then he has scored one 50 against minnows Zimbabwe. If we are going to drop our leading run scorer in T20’s (Graeme Smith) at least replace him with someone better than him in the format.

 

AB de Villiers – Poor tournament for de Villiers, not only with the bat (lets face it, all our batsmen were poor) but his decision making at pressure moments were poor, all in all AB has been found wanting in the captaincy department and he needs a big rethink to his approach. I remember the shocking sight in the England ODI series, where, in the group huddle it was Smith doing all the talking to the boys and not AB. It’s a tough old job but AB needs to stand up.

 

Seniors – Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers. These three just did not play their part with the bat, if they had of we might have been posting scores near the 160, 170 region and judging by the way our bowlers went those type of score would have been enough.

 

Focus will now turn to the CLT20 but in my case I’ll be focusing on South Africa’s tour to Australia, when the real cricket starts.

 

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