Boks must show met­tle against NZ

Post - - Sport -

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@

telkomsa.net

The Spring­boks cel­e­brate their 3-0 vic­tory over France. Colum­nist Naresh Ma­haraj be­lieves the true test will be against the All Blacks.

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