Boks must show mettle against NZ
OR decades, football in this country have been dominated and perhaps controlled by Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, or if you like, Kaizer Motuang and Irvin Khosa, the two respective bosses of the Mighty Amakhosi and The Buccaneers.
So when lesser teams; and I say this with the utmost respect to all other teams in the PSL, start to achieve Championship glory and win cups, it is always good for the sport.
Sponsors fall over themselves and wait in line for years to throw their money behind these two teams. Granted, both brands, like the Sharks, are well marketed, but ‘lesser’ teams also need a chance to prove themselves?
Let me remind you that the inaugural PSL title was was won by Manning Rangers. Many of our readers will have vivid memories of that. Coach Gordon Igesund did what no other coach had done, up to that point, by taking a team who did not really boast any stars, and by sheer dedication and simple play, he led Manning Rangers to arguably, their greatest moment in the club’s history.
But despite winning the championship, the Mighty Maulers struggled to find sponsorship.
Cape Town City won the 2016/17 Telkom Knockout title and on this past Saturday night, SuperSport United taught Pirates a football lesson, to lift the Nedbank Cup.
Pirates gave enough funds to their new coach Kjell Jonevret, and he has yet to prove his worth. Granted, Pirates got to the final but it was not all Jonevret’s doing. He arrived at the club some months back and struggled to find consistency with Buccaneers.
Unless he can really turn things around at the Buccaneers, I reckon that his days will be numbered. Despite having huge sponsorships, star players, excellent training facilities and the like, Pirates failed in their quest for glory.
Take nothing away from Stuart Baxter who, in his last game as coach at United, leaves with his head held high and now leaves a capable squad in the hands of Eric Tinkler, who assumes the coaching duties.
GLORY days seem to be back for the Springboks with a three nil whitewash of France. Just look at the scores against France: 35-12, 37-15, 37-14. Coach Alistair Coetzee seems to be a transformed man with a spring in his step, a far cry from the forlorn figure he cut when the Boks were being hammered abroad last year.
But let's not get carried away Mr Coetzee. Well done on the 3 wins against France on home soil. Now this same consistency needs to be applied when the Boks face their strongest opponents in Australia and New Zealand in the upcoming Rugby Championships, which should be the real treat and separate the men from the boys. Momentum is the key word here and something that is certainly with the Boks.
Coetzee’s selection seems to be spot on. Eben Etzebeth as captain is paying dividends. The real test will be against the All Blacks and a win will be the icing on the cake. Should that happen, Coetzee has every reason to believe he has a solid foundation to build on.
WHAT did you make of Anil Kumble’s resignation as coach of India?
Certain sections of the Indian media were quite vehement that his days as coach were numbered, after a rumoured fall-out with skipper Virat Kohli who was not happy with Kumble, despite the latter's success over a reasonable period of time.
Despite losing the Champions Trophy final to Pakistan, I believe that Kumble should have been allowed to stay on, but the lanky leg-spinner decided that working with Kohli was not possible.
Kumble was elected into the coach's role by the brains trust of Indian cricket, most notably Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman. Whilst Kohli was said to be fuming about that sloppy no ball from Jasprit Bumrah, he had no alternative but to contain his outburst. While Bumrah’s mishap, amongst others, allowed Pakistan into the game, take nothing away from the “Green Machine”. They out-played, outclassed and out-witted India in every aspect of the game.
The South African connection to the Pakistan win was of course, Mickey Arthur, who, as coach, must also be lauded for the way he has shaped the Pakistan team.
In any sport, you never can be too sure of outright favourites and you can never write off underdogs. It now remains to be seen who replaces Kumble in what can only be described as a damned if you do, damned if you don’t job. Some names that have already been mentioned are Rahul Dravid, Ravi Shastri, Virender Sehwag and even Australian Tom Moody.
It's going to be a very interesting to see who gets the nod for this highly pressurized job.
@Naresh Maharaj is Sports Editor/ Presenter on DYR 105.1fm.
He is also an MC, International Sports Correspondent, Voice-over artist and Freelance Motoring Journalist. Email: maharaj@
The Springboks celebrate their 3-0 victory over France. Columnist Naresh Maharaj believes the true test will be against the All Blacks.