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Jy moet konsentreer my Kind!

Die groot verskil tussen die Bulle en die ander SA spanne die naweek was hul vermoë om vir 80 minute te konsentreer. Dalk kan mens ook die Lions hiervoor krediet gee. Hulle het so byna die WP se tjank afgetrap in ’n wedstryd wat die verloorders baie langer sal onthou as die wenners.

Die Reds kaptein se opmerking dat hulle swak was, maar die Bulls baie, baie goed, is waarskynlik akkuraat, maar weerspieël nie presies hoe goed die Bulls was nie. Mens het amper weer terugflitse gekry na die wedstryd in 2007 tussen dieselfde twee spanne wat die Bulls 92 – 3 gewen het om die halfeind rondte te haal. Ek was al krities oor die Bulls wat net ’n plan A het, maar as dit so uitgevoer word teen die vorige jaar se kampioen, wonder mens waarvoor hulle dan ’n plan B moet hê?

Josh Strauss
Josh Strauss

Die Lions se vertoning was hopelik ’n wekroep vir die Stormers om nooit hul teenstanders te onderskat nie. Dit sal hulle ook help om in die toekoms nie net die opponente se spankeuse en die skeidsregter te kyk nie, maar ook wie die afrigter is. John Mitchell bly daarin slaag om die heel beste uit onderskatte spelers te haal. Rassie Erasmus het met sy bedanking by WP genoem dat hulle altyd oorweeg het of ‘n speler hulle kan seermaak as hy na ‘n ander provinsie vertrek. Hy voel dat hulle net een keer fouteer het en dis toe hulle vir Josh Strauss verloor het. Say no more. Nogtans geld “amper mis” eerder as “amper raak” wat die Stormers betref en is hulle bo-aan die punteleer. Hoewel die kroon dalk bietjie skeef sit, sit hy. Dit sal nodig wees vir iemand om dit af te klap. Saterdag se stryd teen die Bulls is nou nog meer intens as voor die naweek.

Het die Cheetahs en die Haaie in die doodsnikke verloor omdat hulle konsentrasie verloor het, of omdat hulle moeg was? Dalk beide, maar my vermoede is dat hulle van die wedstrydplan afgewyk het wat hulle voorgekry het, en die verdediging van die voorsprong toe nie so effektief uitgevoer het soos plan A nie.

A reader in my local paper this morning commented on Naas Botha‘s famous quote about the Currie Cup not being won early in the season, except that he misquotes Naas. Naas did not say the cup is not won in March, he said May. But, with the long season already well on its way, this misquote is actually correct today.

Vanaand se Varsity Cup halfeindstryde is rugby op sy kook warmste. Stellenbosch verwag groot verkeersprobleme, want benewens die rugby is daar ook nog ’n gradeplegtigheid naby die stadion. Dat daar in al vier wedstryde graad gevang gaan word in die gee en uitdeel van pyn, staan soos ’n paal bo water.

Bone breaking cricket! – by Bobby

A poetic display of fast bowling has the Black Caps staring down the barrel as the Proteas maneuvered themselves into a strong position to win the third and final test. The pressure of an aggressive bowling approach paid dividends as Morkel and Steyn bullied the top order into survival mode early on.

Alan Donald
Allan Donald

I once listened to a talk by Allan Donald in the 90’s, where he described his role to “remove” batsmen. It sounded obvious, but once he explained that “removal” included all modes of dismissals as well as the possibility of the batsmen retiring hurt, it took on a different meaning and became quite a fearful thought for a batsman!

Morne Morkel
Morne Morkel

In the early parts of Morkel’s career, he was often criticised for being too “nice”. It may only be coincidence that Donald is now the Protea bowling coach, and Morkel a much improved aggressive bowler, but somehow I doubt that! He intimidated, bruised and winded the Black Caps throughout the series as he regularly passed the 150km/h mark with his bouncers in this test, the most notable bouncer being the one which managed to “remove” skipper Taylor with a high impact blow to the wrist The end result? A golf-ball sized lump on the end of Taylor’s forearm which hid a fracture to his ulna! Taylor, arguably their best batsman, is unlikely to bat again.

The sublime Vernon Philander once again proved too much to handle as he claimed another 5 wicket hall and also reached 50 wickets – the fastest in 116 years (in only 7 tests)!

With a lead of 275 and one day of play remaining, the approach and timing of the declaration to win the final test is vital. It could be very easy just to bat the Black Caps out of the game and still claim the series victory. The intent shown by Smith and Peterson, batting at a run rate of 5 an over, proves otherwise and the Black Caps might be in for some fiery stuff from Morkel and company come tomorrow morning!

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