Afrikaans is in crisis, and the DA is silent

Politicsweb - 4 hours ago
In the case of the University of the Free State Afrikaans as a medium is being phased out because a court found that parallel medium instruction (separate streams of English and Afrikaans) to represent a form of segregation. Equally strange, given, the...

RSG celebrates 80 years of radio

Media Update - 6 hours ago
The focus will be on the highlights of sport on Afrikaans radio, the development of drama over the years, as well as literature and music movements over the past 80 years. RSG will also play extracts from a few programmes that were popular on...

The Marikana Massacre: Five Years Later

lareviewofbooks - 1 day ago
Calitz, a heavy-set, Afrikaans-speaking white man, exercised his constitutional right to testify in Afrikaans rather than English. I, along with the rest of the spectators who didn't understand Afrikaans, could follow his answers through headphones ...and...

AfriForum posts open quota letter to SuperSport

Sport24 - 1 day ago
SuperSport's spokesperson, Clinton van den Berg, told Netwerk24 that Khobane is currently abroad and will comment on the matter in due course. Hougaard was a regular panellist on Afrikaans weekly rugby show, SuperRugby, which airs on Monday nights.and...

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Cabinet Approves Financial Guarantees For Rugby World Cup 2023 Bid - Sudden Turn About By Government

16 months after the then Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula suspended SA Rugby from bidding for international events due to a lack of transformation, the current Minister has approved the financial guarantees needed for South Africa to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. World Rugby is asking SA Rugby for guarantees of R3.7 billion. The decision by Mbalula in April last year did little to deter SA Rugby from continuing with the bidding process. In September SA Rugby submitted its bid. And by March, even though a decision hadn’t been taken regarding the suspension, Mbalula (still Sports Minister) was already privately supporting the 2023 World Cup bid. A World Cup technical team was in the country to begin its assessment of the SA Rugby bid. It was as if the suspension didn’t exist. But officially a favourable report was needed from the Sports Ministry’s Eminent Persons’ Group which was set up to monitor transformation targets. In May, the EPG report confirmed SA Rugby was meeting the targets, and the suspension was lifted. Now we wait until November to see if South Africa’s bid trumps those of France and Ireland. – David O’Sullivan

SA Rugby on Thursday thanked the South African government and the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Mr Thulas Nxesi, for their support in providing the required financial guarantees to bring the Rugby World Cup tournament back home in 2023.

The Cabinet approved a request for guarantees to the value of R2.7 billion, which was required from World Rugby, as a prerequisite in hosting the showpiece rugby spectacle.

“We could not take this journey alone and we’re delighted to take hands with Government as we bid to bring the Rugby World Cup back to South Africa for the first time since 1995,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.

“They have been supportive of the bid for every step of the process but this is a big moment to share a stand with Government on our shared vision. We’re very grateful to Mr Nxesi, the Director General, his department and the entire Government.

“It would be a marvellous, inspirational nation-building moment to recapture some of the excitement of 1995, but it would also have enormous practical benefits for our country.

“Hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2023 would have an R27 billion direct, indirect and induced economic impact on South Africa; R5.7billion would flow to low-income households; 38 600 temporary or permanent jobs would be sustained and there’d be an estimated R1.4 billion tax benefit to the government.”

In a statement, the Ministry said: “Cabinet has approved the overall proposed package for this tournament which is an economic bid which would minimise the demands on the fiscus as well as stimulate economic activity, employment and empowerment.

Tweet Received:

** RSADepMinofSport @GertCOosthuizen
Today we announce Governments support for the 2023 Rugby World Cup Bid.
11:11 AM - Aug 3, 2017, **

“The tournament will contribute to stimulate our economy by supporting government priorities, especially as it relates to preferential procurement and adherence to the Sport Transformation Charter and the sharing of the profits derived. The event will further boost our tourism and hospitality sector.

Also read: Now more than ever, SA needs to win the 2023 Rugby World Cup

“A successful bid will be a win-win for sport development, for the economy and for the nation as a whole.”

Roux reiterated that the backing from Government is an important step in the country delivering a compelling bid to host the Rugby World Cup, underlining South Africa’s obsession with the delivering a world-class tournament.

“The final decision on hosting rights will be made on 15 November and we’ve now taken a massive step towards what will hopefully be the beginning of six years of preparation to host the biggest and most spectacular Rugby World Cup yet,” said Roux.
Tweet Received:

** RSADepMinofSport @GertCOosthuizen
Today we announce Governments support for the 2023 Rugby World Cup Bid.
11:11 AM - Aug 3, 2017 **

“When it comes to our capacity to host major international sporting events, we can deliver like no-one else on earth. But this bid is about more than what it will mean for South Africa to host the World Cup, but also about what we can do for world rugby.”

Mark Alexander, president of SA Rugby, said that he was convinced that at the fourth time of asking (having Bid for the 2011, 2015 and 2019 tournaments), South Africa had produced on unarguable case: “We believe our bid is technically the strongest of the three, with our world-class venues and training facilities, tourism infrastructure and wonderful climate.

“We will maximise the commercial benefit for World Rugby with a low-cost, high-return event in a country that has the infrastructure and major event experience to turn on a colossal event with 2.9 million match tickets available for the showpiece.”

World Rugby will announce the host nation for the 2023 Rugby World Cup on 15 November 2017. Also in contention are Ireland and France.

From SARugby
... Sien MeerSien Minder

Geplaas: 1 week terug  ·  

Who Played It Better – 1993 Transvaal (Francois Pienaar) versus 2017 Lions (Jaco Kriel)?

The stage is set for an epic Super Rugby final between the two teams with the best record – one defeat each for the Lions and the Crusaders. With both sides keeping something of a low media profile (only Ruan Ackermann has been rolled out for interviews for the Lions), the media have been kept busy with Jaco Peyper’s appointment as referee for the big game. The New Zealand journalists and rugby pundits are still bleating about Peyper handing Beauden Barrett a yellow card in the semi-final which was a contributing factor to the Lions’ impressive second-half fightback. Now that the referee issue has been dealt with – what else can we talk about while we wait for the teams to be announced? The Lions will surely be unchanged, but the Crusaders might be without their key player, captain Kieran Read, through injury. Sport24’s Rob Houwing has found the discussion that will keep die-hard Lions fans occupied through the next few days as they wait for kickoff on Saturday: which Super Rugby side was better – Francois Pienaar’s 1993 side or Jaco Kriel’s 2017 team? Surely Andries Coetzee is better than Theo van Rensburg? You decide… – David O’Sullivan

Twenty-four years … it’s a lot of water under rugby’s bridge.

The game has changed enormously in the period since the Transvaal provincial team of 1993 and Lions franchise outfit of 2017 – gearing up for sold-out Saturday against the Crusaders — graced respective Ellis Park finals of Super Rugby.

For one thing, the 20-17 triumph of Francois Pienaar’s charges over Auckland all those years ago came in the very earliest, rawest and most experimental era of the competition, when it was limited to a Super 10 and included such teams as then-Western Samoa, North Harbour, Queensland and Natal.

It was also two years prior to “proper” professionalism taking hold – hence there was considerably less cross-continent travel in the two-group competition – and the playing style and tempo is ever more noticeably different when games from 1993 and 2017 are compared as well.

But we thought it might be an interesting, slightly fun-geared exercise, nevertheless, to weigh up the relative strength in aura terms, across the positions, of the 1993 and 2017 teams (on the assumption that the Lions starting side for Saturday’s showpiece will be unchanged from the semis XV).

Tweet Received:

** Rob van den Heuvel @Rob_blogging
Crusaders are a quality outfit, Lions will have to put in an error free, 80 min performance if they are to win. Lions!!
7:24 AM - Aug 3, 2017 **

When it came to picking a combined side from the two vintages, we were unashamedly swayed just a tad by the fact that several of the ’93 personnel – they also won the Currie Cup that year, with Kitch Christie as coach – would go on to become members of arguably the most iconic side in Springbok history, the World Cup winners of 1995.

Also, let’s not lose sight of the fact that the Lions class of 2017 haven’t actually won the Super Rugby title just yet…

The back threes

Andries Coetzee, Ruan Combrinck, Courtnall Skosan (2017) v Theo van Rensburg, Pieter Hendriks, Chris Dirks (1993)

Comment: Plenty of penetrative ability and some twinkle toes amidst both trios. At fullback, it is the steadiness of recent Springbok Coetzee against the possibly more elusive running of Van Rensburg, capped seven times for SA in the immediate post-isolation era; both have strong boots and the latter used to snap over handy dropped goals at times. Arguably the most appealing of the wings would be Hendriks, who famously waltzed around “Campo” for a classic try in the RWC ’95 opener at Newlands and Combrinck with his all-round skills and versatility.

The centres

Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster (2017) v Bernard Fourie, Japie Mulder (1993)

Comment: The current pair are building an increasingly more convincing synergy since being linked as a result of (just fit again) Rohan Janse van Rensburg’s fairly long-term injury; Vorster has been running some particularly lovely lines of late. Strapping Mulder was the dominant figure of the ’93 midfield duo, and later to be among the morale-boosting Lomu-stoppers in the 1995 RWC showpiece…

Tweet Received:

** EWN Sport ✔ @EWNsport
#SuperRugbyFinal Today, Johan Ackermann will make his last team announcement as Lions coach. Saturday's game vs Crusaders will be his last.
8:11 AM - Aug 3, 2017 **

Elton Jantjies, Ross Cronje (2017) v Hennie le Roux, Johan Roux (1993)

Comment: Two very good, all-international alliances here. Jantjies and Cronje have shone all season, so it was no surprise they were first-choice Boks in the clean-swept June series against France. Jantjies has been instrumental in so much of the Lions’ competitiveness and guile over the past two seasons. But Roux, remember, was the great Joost van der Westhuizen’s understudy at World Cup ’95, and Le Roux was an adaptable, scheming footballer who shifted into centre partnership with Mulder in that RWC.

The loosies

Ruan Ackermann, Kwagga Smith, Jaco Kriel (2017) v Deon Lotter, Ian Macdonald, Francois Pienaar (1993)

Comment: A slight clash of styles, really, with greater collective “grunt” (Messrs Smith and Kriel would romp to the tape in a sprint race, mind) in the 1993 bunch: Macdonald was a hard, what-you-see-is-what-you-get blindsider who graced the Bok jersey a handful times from 1992. The immortal name of Pienaar barely requires discussion, of course, whilst at No 8 both the 1993 and 2017 teams coincidentally had “acting” figures in that jersey: versatile Lotter was more suited to lock or blindside flank, and Ackermann, of course, is also a rugged “seven” temporarily filling Warren Whiteley’s shoes.

The locks

Franco Mostert, Andries Ferreira (2017) v Hannes Strydom, Kobus Wiese (1993)

Comment: What’s in common here is that both teams have serious oak trees at No 4! Wiese was a behemoth character in the role, and one of the most recognisable frames at RWC 1995, and current front jumper Ferreira is a beefy unit too, tipping the scales at 121kg. But there’s also healthy value amidst the two men who occupy the slightly more rangy No 5 slot: Strydom was Wiese’s lock partner in the World Cup final, whilst Mostert is playing some of the rugby of his life (at all levels), with ceaseless energy, physical commitment and unerring work ethic.

Tweet Received:

** SuperSport ✔ @SuperSportTV
Only the Crusaders have ever won more consecutive games than in #SuperRugby history than the Lions current streak (14).
8:15 AM - Aug 1, 2017 **

The front rows

Ruan Dreyer, Malcolm Marx, Jacques van Rooyen (2017) v Johan le Roux, Uli Schmidt, Balie Swart (1993)

Comment: Only burly loose-head prop Van Rooyen of the six “cauliflower men” isn’t a Springbok … but with the sort of go-forward he provided in last Saturday’s semi-final, he might yet have a shot at it? Interestingly, Swart operated at No 1 against Auckland in ’93 — with infamous (later) ear-biter Le Roux the tighthead — despite going on to win a World Cup winning medal on the other side of the scrum. Choosing between the hookers is tough: now 56, the ex-Blue Bull Schmidt was fabulously mobile and industrious while remaining a relative meanie. The emerging Marx, of course, is more of a powerhouse figure in the boiler room and becoming a decent ball-pilfering element too.

Our combined side (with certain positional-switch liberties):

15 Theo van Rensburg, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Japie Mulder, 12 Hennie le Roux (played flyhalf in 1993 final), 11 Pieter Hendriks, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Johan Roux, 8 Jaco Kriel (yes, slight gamble in this berth, as open side is more his speciality), 7 Ian Macdonald, 6 Francois Pienaar (capt), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Kobus Wiese, 3 Balie Swart (albeit loose-head in 1993 final), 2 Uli Schmidt, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.

By Rob Houwing/Sport24
... Sien MeerSien Minder

Geplaas: 2 weke terug  ·  

The Lions’ Long Journey To The Final

Five years ago, in June 2012, John Mitchell was suspended from coaching the Lions. It took a gang of lawyers and six months for the union to sever ties with the former All Black coach. Johan Ackermann, Mitchell’s assistant, was left holding the baby. He was put in charge of a crumbling union that had lost its Super Rugby status for 2013 to the Kings.

Sponsors, marquee players and supporters all fled. Without a competition to play in for the first half of 2013, the Lions were forced to organise a series of friendlies against French and British teams.

In February that year, Ackermann called Swys de Bruin and asked whether he would be interested in helping to rebuild the union. De Bruin said yes and, after Saturday’s Super Rugby final against the Crusaders, he will take over from Ackermann as head coach.

De Bruin remembers the early months. “When I arrived, we got hammered by the Bulls in a friendly in Soweto and it felt like the union had been hit by a tsunami. So many players had left that Ackers and I had to start again from scratch. We didn’t have the big players who could run over opponents, so we decided to play a brand of rugby that would suit the players we had. In short, we put the boot away.”

De Bruin was fortunate in that he was aware of a number of talented players on the fringes of provincial representation who had not been given a fair opportunity. Having worked for nine years at the Sharks Academy, De Bruin developed an acute eye for potential. So, where others saw the Lions squad as a depository for those who couldn’t make it at a major union, Ackermann and De Bruin saw unrealised potential.

The captaincy passed to Warren Whiteley, whose game responded to the challenge and propelled him into the Springbok squad. Franco Mostert, Marnitz Boshoff and Warwick Tecklenburg were important signings from the Bulls, with Robbie and Andries Coetzee coming from Tuks. Ross Cronjé, Howard Mnisi, MB Lusaseni, Mark Richards and Julian Redelinghuys came through the Sharks Academy during De Bruin’s time at the helm.

A desperately close and hard-fought promotion/relegation series with the Kings meant that the Lions regained their Super Rugby status in 2014, and the rest is history. They won seven games that year and nine in 2015, and lost in last year’s final to the Hurricanes. This year they topped the log and on Saturday they will host the final.

It is the end of an era, with Ackermann heading off to coach Gloucester next week, but De Bruin says: “I’m excited and sad in a way that such a great five years is coming to an end with such a great friend. But it’s not a case of starting afresh with new faces; it’s a case of carrying on, you know.

“In the first year or so, we lost guys like Franco van der Merwe and JC Janse van Rensburg, then Warwick Tecklenburg retired, Dylan des Fountain got injured and Marnitz Boshoff moved to Connacht. Harold Vorster and Ruan Ackermann joined us in the last two years from the junior ranks. But from the last four years we’ve had wonderful continuity.”

So much so that the Lions tried to make this Saturday one big party for the extended squad. The Bulls were asked whether they would like to move their Currie Cup fixture across the Jukskei and play it as the curtain-raiser. The Cheetahs were also asked whether they might consider moving their U-19 fixture to the home of the Lions. Both provinces said no.

Undaunted, the Lions will play their Currie Cup fixture at Loftus with what De Bruin describes as “a combined third/fourth team”. That’s because 31 players, including the match-day squad of 23, will be otherwise engaged — “because even the guys who are not playing, we want them to be at the final. We’ve worked for this for the last four years and they deserve to be there.”

It is little details like these that make these Lions what they are. Win or lose against the Crusaders, the strength of the team environment is paramount. That was particularly evident at last week’s semifinal, which the Hurricanes led 22-3 five minutes before half-time and the prophets of doom were saying that the Lions had reaped the whirlwind of not facing Kiwi opposition in log play.

The game changed when prop forward Jacques van Rooyen picked up the ball and the defender and drove both over the line for the Lions’ first try. It was 22-10 at the break and Ackermann said he thought the Crusaders looked tired. De Bruin says: “Jacques van Rooyen is an unreal human being in our team. He leads the Thursday morning prayer meeting and he’s an inspirational guy. When he scored that try, coming from one of the leaders, there was a big injection in the team.

“We felt in the changing room that we were fitter and stronger than them. The modern scoring system means that 12 points down is not a lot; it’s just two tries. We started a few years back with a very process-driven method, where you break the 80 minutes up into 10-minute sections. The players know that at the beginning of each 10 minutes you start again, whether you’re up or down on the scoreboard.

“Even if they have a big score already, at half-time we would try and convince them that it’s still 0-0 and that the process starts again with the next scrum, the next line-out. We find the team responds to that and so, against the Hurricanes, that was what we talked about at half-time.”

The Lions won the second half 34-7 and only the Crusaders stand between them and the realisation of a dream. De Bruin says: “It sounds like a cliché, but it’s really a case of less is more now. We’ve done our homework; we know how to play. The New Zealand sides mostly play a similar style; maybe the Hurricanes have a more flamboyant backline, while the Crusaders’ defence and discipline is a bit better.

“They use a folding system as part of the rush defence and they hit your breakdown harder. What singles out the Crusaders, I think, is that they’ve got the best set pieces of all the New Zealand sides. Their sides have had the same tactic for a long time now when they play at altitude. They try to out-skill you and outrun you, and they hope to break you down that way.

“Once they’ve got you and the knife is in, they know how to turn it. That’s what the Hurricanes tried last week, but the way to beat them is to take them on at the arm wrestle and not let them break you down.”

That rather sums up the Ackermann/De Bruin era. They inherited a damaged vehicle, but instead of calling the Automobile Association, they rolled up their sleeves and found a way to get it back on the road. They hit a speed bump against the Sharks in the quarterfinal and needed to draw on hidden reserves of fuel against the Hurricanes.

The vehicle that crosses the line against the Crusaders might not be in showroom condition, but to the players, it will feel like a Formula One car.

By: Andy Capostagno/M&G
... Sien MeerSien Minder

Geplaas: 2 weke terug  ·  

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