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Super Rugby & African balance restored…

Super Rugby Round 2 – Will some Fallacies be Exposed? by Paul
Despite rigorous pre-season training, the walking wounded, after the warm-up matches and last week’s first round bouts, must delight the medical profession far more than it does rugby fans.

Stormers Vs Sharks
The contest between the centres, and particularly JP Pietersen and Juan de Jongh, will be very interesting, as will that between the ex-WP Tim Whitehead and Springbok stalwart, Jean de Villiers.

My fatter friends will be very eager to see if the Province front row will be able to hold its own against far stronger opponents than last week. The line-outs should be a strength for the Stormers, and a basis from which to build their fearsome rolling mauls.

Both sides have been seriously depleted in the loose forward ranks and, depending on whether Willem Alberts starts, could also be a fascinating contest.

Pat Lambie has been a bit of a nemesis for the men from the Cape over the last two years, and it will be interesting to see how long the Stormers coaching staff will leave Peter Grant on the bench.

Cheetahs Vs Bulls
Nog ‘n wedstryd vir die fynproewer tussen die span wat moes gewen het, en die een wat verras het. Wedstryde tussen hierdie twee het oor die afgelope jare dieselfde intensiteit begin kry as wat vroeër jare gegeld het wanneer die WP en Noord-Transvaal mekaar gepak het.

Daar was soveel hoogtepunte en verrassings, veral in eindstryde tussen hierdie twee, dat enige voorspelling oor die uitslag voortydig en voorbarig sal wees. Waar die Bulls met groter ondervinding kan spog, het die Cheetahs die tuisveld voordeel.

Een ding is seker: dit gaan ‘n riller wees.

Lions Vs Hurricanes
Someone said last week, after what for some was an unexpected win by the Lions, that the sign of a good side is that they win when should not have, and make use of their opportunities.

Facing the potential wooden spoon winners in their second match is a huge bonus for the Lions. Their resurgence is to a large extent based on confidence, and starting with two wins, albeit at home, will stand them in good stead as the series progresses, and they start playing away from home.

As long as they do not underestimate the NZ team. With a Kiwi at their helm, perhaps they will avoid that trap

All in all, an enjoyable feast of sport awaits: Cricket as entreé in the morning, followed by full blooded steak and chips.

As jy dan moet slaai of groente eet, slag sommer ‘n hoender of speenvarkie as bykossie.

Pitched online – by Bobby
The Proteas, the proverbial big brother of Zimbabwe cricket, reclaimed some African pride by winning the 2nd ODI against the Black caps to take an unassailable 2 – 0 lead in the 3 match series. New Zealand, after bullying the Zimbabwe side last month, was expected to put up a much harder fight in the much talked about series against South Africa.

The New Zealanders were convincingly beaten by AB de Villliers’s T20 & ODI teams. With only one ODI remaining, effectively a dead rubber, much is expected of Graeme Smith’s Test side to complete the hat trick and win the test series too, to claim all three titles!

Man of the Match Morne Morkel

The key so far has been consistency. The bowlers have performed at every opportunity. In the last ODI Lopsy and the sublime Morne Morkel proved to be too much for the Kiwi’s with the latter destroying the lower order of the Black Caps by claiming 5 wickets for 8 runs in his last spell. He finished with figures of 5 for 38. De Villiers led and supported well in his batting, and Duminy’s form returned to the kind of form we got to know him for. Faf has so far shown his worth and he is going to be one of our BMT (Big Match Temperament) players of the future!

It was pleasing to see Amla return to form and hopefully Kallis, too, will have a decent run in the remaining ODI. Although a dead rubber, winning the last ODI could carry lots of momentum and psychological advantages into the test series.

At the risk of jinxing the Proteas, and sounding too confident, the possibility of a 3 – 0 * series win to claim the number 1 test spot in world cricket seem far more possible than what it did when I mentioned the possibility in January.

*the Proteas need to win the series 3-0 to edge current number 1 side, England from the top spot.

 

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