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Post-match Report: South Africa vs Italy

Post-match Report: South Africa vs Italy

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Match Preview: South Africa vs Japan

Match Preview: South Africa vs Japan

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Earthquakes, typhoons and unbelievable rugby

Earthquakes, typhoons and unbelievable rugby

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Post-match Report: South Africa vs Italy

Dunlop Tyres SA 22/10/2019

Before I look at The Boks I need to mention the Japanese and the joy and excitement they have brought not only to this particular game but to the whole Rugby World Cup. I have no doubt that for the game to grow internationally, more teams need to be able to compete consistently against the top tier rugby playing nations-its just good for the game. Japan have done that during this tournament and with the excellent hosting thereof, they have inspired a whole new generation of young kids across the country to play the game. Well done for being such wonderful hosts and welcoming all rugby supporters to your friendly country.

The Boks got the job done and even though they had an early scare and potential red card review for The Beast, referee Wane Barnes got this particular call 100% correct in my view. Looking at the incident it all pointed to a red card for the big man, right until the point of contact to the ground for the opposition player. It was a split second between yellow and red and in saying this I am also very grateful that I don’t have to get tackled by Beast anymore. Luckily for The Boks the first point of contact was not the head and Beast only spent 10 minutes in the “sin bin”

The Japanese came out as expected very well organized in attack and playing the game at a 100 kilometres per hour. It of course makes for a very entertaining game to watch but the organization of The Boks defence, not letting in a single try in 80 minutes and the brutality in some of their tackles eventually wore The Japanese down and The Boks got the better of them. Together with a very strong scrummaging performance by the pack along with valuable metres made from lineout drives, the big South African pack had just too much firepower for their counterparts.

At lot has been said about the man of the match, Faf De Klerk and his kicking tactics during this game and tournament. He`s been heavily criticized by the South African rugby public but I think rather unfairly so. I am not saying that I approve of kicking the ball so often but these instructions and kicking of the ball will be direct orders from the coaching staff and part of Bok game plan. The management and coaching staff believe that by kicking the ball and using these tactics you can win the Rugby World Cup and I have no doubt that they will stick to those right till then- whenever that may be.

Damian De Allende had a huge game for The Boks at inside centre and it`s wonderful to see him play so well again. During The 2015 Rugby World Cup in England he was one of our best players along with Lood De Jager and he certainly enjoys playing in Rugby World Cups.

We take on The Welsh in the second semi-final of the weekend on Sunday and The All Blacks who demolished Ireland, will take on an English team who totally outplayed an under performing Wallabies side. We have another fantastic weekend of rugby to look forward to and I will give my predictions and previews on all these games later this week.

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Match Preview: South Africa vs Japan

Dunlop Tyres SA 21/10/2019

During the pool stages most games went according to plan and the biggest upset and surprise package has undoubtedly been the host nation, Japan. Full value for their victory over Ireland many thought that it might have been a Springbok Brighton 2015 Rugby World Cup moment but again they delivered again against Scotland during the game of the tournament....SO FAR!!

This weekend we see the top 8 going head to head and again most fans and spectators agree that the results should go according to the bookies and the Favourites, New Zealand, Wales, England and South Africa should progress to the semi- final. Now I would not necessarily disagree with their predictions and after all they are the professionals and to be fair, they are bloody good at it. I just have this strange ,I cant quite put a finger on it feeling that there will be one upset this weekend and that a BIG team or favourite`s tournament will be over- in saying this I do however have absolutely no idea which game and which team will go home on Sunday or Monday night.

Just as a matter of interest and World Rugby only allow the teams knocked out of the tournament a day or 2 grace and then they have to leave the hotel and tournament. I remember beating England in France during the 1999 World Cup quarter finals and as we cross the English Channel back to England for the semis, on arrival we check into the Petersham Hotel waiting at the door for the England team to check out-cruel but part of professional sport.

If we look ahead to the game that most of South Africa will be watching tomorrow (Please ESKOM) most people I talk to seem pretty confident that it will be a comfortable Bok victory. Many believe that Japan played their final last week against Scotland and there is off course merit in saying that. I am of the impression and argument that we should win the game but not entirely confident that it will be comfortable and with a big winning margin. As mentioned previously I attended the Japan vs Scotland game and was blown away with the organization and speed with which the Japanese play. What they might lack in size compared to the traditional rugby playing nations they certainly make up for in speed and what they do with the ball when they get their hands on it.

The Springbok team selection is pretty good and I agree with Rassie`s philosophy of not changing too much in a winning team. A massive pack of forwards that should have enough control of the Japanese 8 and to some degree dominance to allow for good ball to the backs, always on the front foot. What the backline decides to do with that ball is entirely up to them but let`s hope for not too much aimless kicking and a weak kick chase onto an electric Japanese back three.

Hometown advantage will play a massive part come kick off tomorrow night and the 52 000 seater Tokyo Stadium will be packed to the rafters with mostly Japanese fans. Rumour has it that 1 Million Japanese jerseys has been sold so far and I can well believe that as I can`t find one left in the whole of Tokyo to buy for a friend.

As always it`s time to make a call and I think that The Boks will win by just more than one score or less……let`s say by 9 points.

Out of interest I will also say The All Blacks (comfortably), France and England to be the other semi-finalist.

GO BOKKE!

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Earthquakes, typhoons and unbelievable rugby

Dunlop Tyres SA 16/10/2019

For me even the flight to a new country and destination is an experience in itself and too see new places and meet new people is indeed an honour and privilege. Its all been part of my life for a long time but never something like I will ever take for granted.

Japan is an amazing place and I am still trying to find my feet but more importantly trying to get into a sleeping pattern. People often asked if jet lag really affects professional rugby teams and I guess travellers in general -well it certainly does and I am feeling it big time this time round with the 7- hour time difference.

Over the last weekend I also experienced my first and hopefully last typhoon which is a really strong wind that leaves devastation in it`s wake. When we were warned on a number of occasions by authorities and World Rugby not to leave the hotel on Saturday ,I didn’t take too much notice of it and thought to myself as to how bad can it really be. I also thought it would be a great idea to go outside and experience a bit of strong wind and rain. To be the only person in the streets in the centre of Tokyo on a Saturday was unreal and quite spooky, almost like a scene out of a horror movie.

Well needless to say that I was soaked in 2 minutes flat and back in my room in no time. Fortunately for me, we missed the epicentre or eye of the typhoon and on Sunday we had the most beautiful sunny day with millions running and taking kids to the park again. To top the whole extreme weather scenario off we also had an earthquake while in the hotel on Saturday night. I didn’t feel a thing but it was certainly felt by the rest of my team mates and other hotel guests- again I am not quite sure whether to be grateful or not for not having to go through another first , all in one day.

I am off course in Japan for Rugby World Cup 2019 as part of World Rugby Disciplinary panel and we are involved when players are issued with a red card on the field or get cited by the Citing Commissioner for possible foul play after the game. Yes, we are here to watch and to analyse the games in depth but we don’t have to attend all the games and most the reviews are done after the games with the latest technology and a hundred different views and camera angles-quite astonishing.

On Sunday I did attend the must win game for both Scotland and the host nation Japan, at the Yokohama Stadium a short train ride outside of Tokyo and I can honestly say that it was the most amazing and one of the most enjoyable rugby experiences I have ever had the privilege to attend.

Going to any 72 000 seater stadium and feeling the energy and buzz of the crowd is quite something around any rugby stadium in the world but this time it was more than just energy and buzz. It was passion, it was respect for other fans, for the kickers and players on the field, the appreciation of the small things on the field that makes rugby unique, the national anthem and off course the last 30 seconds when the crowd was on its feet counting down the last few seconds together and then the endless cheering and celebration at the final whistle, 28-21 to Japan and their 1st ever qualification for the play-offs in Rugby World Cup history.

I didn’t want to leave the stadium as I just wanted that moment to continue for a while but when we eventually did it was again an experience like no other. I can honestly say that it was the first time ever that stadium staff and volunteers, all perfectly dressed and neat in their Rugby World Cup attire “highfived” me and all the other spectators, saying thank you for watching rugby at their stadium, quite unreal to be honest.

To think that the stadium was only cleared to host the game at 10AM that morning once the weather situation was cleared is indeed amazing and truly remarkable.

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Match Preview: South Africa vs Canada

Dunlop Tyres SA 07/10/2019

I almost got it right in my prediction in one of my last columns as I suggested that Rassie selects his best team for some more game time and fine tuning for the Canada game, get the job done and then bring on the whole bench in the last 25 minutes. He just did it the other way around and I have no doubt that the result and a comfortable win for the Boks will be the same outcome.

At the start of the Rugby World Cup and when Rassie selected his team, most supporters and fans agree on the make- up of the 31man squad bar one or 2 players who could count themselves really unlucky. The young and exciting Western Province flyhalf come fullback, Damian Willemse was one of those players.

Last week Jesse Kriel`s tournament came to an abrupt end with a hamstring injury. The team called up Damian, on loan to Saracens in England and Rassie wasted no time in selecting Damian at fullback and giving him a start against Canada. This will more than likely be his only start but what an opportunity for this talented youngster to play in a World Cup.

I am also super excited but not only about this game but the fact that I am on my way to Japan on Tuesday morning. I have never ever been to that side of the world and for someone who was hyper critical and cautiously nervous about a “non-traditional” rugby playing country hosting a Rugby World Cup, I firstly eat my words and secondly congratulate Japan on a tournament exceeding all expectations up to now.

The Boks will play again tomorrow after a quick 4 day turnaround and demolition job done on Italy albeit against 14 men for more than half hour. After Canada The Boks will have 11 days to recover and get everything and everyone 100% for whoever they will face come the quarter finals on the 19th October. They still don’t know who they will play in that game but that will all be revealed this week.

There are certain things as a rugby team and coach you have some sort of control over and you try to eliminate as many hick-ups and nasty surprises with the way you prepare in the build up to any game.

Right now I believe that The Boks must focus on Canada, get the job done, have a bit of fun along the way, give the whole bench a run and play with some freedom and expression-something you don’t always get in a test match and certainly not at a World Cup. After that the team can rest, forget about rugby for a few days, get some proper recovery and rest under the belt and then start their preparation for whoever awaits them in the quarters.

Prediction time again and I have no doubt that The Boks will win by about 45 points.

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Post-match Report: South Africa vs Italy

Dunlop Tyres SA 07/10/2019

If The Boks lose to Canada on Tuesday, which we WON`T, we honestly don’t deserve to advance through the pool stages of rugby`s biggest showpiece at all- so yes we have qualified for the last 8 and it will be in 2nd position behind the All Blacks.

A lot`s been said about where The Boks will finish in the pool and if The Boks finished second it will be an easier route to the final. Let me tell you two things for certain and that’s the fact that no one has any clue as to who will finish first or second in Pool A and no one has a clue either, as to who out of Ireland, Scotland and the host nation Japan will even make it through to the quarter-finals.

This off course doesn’t help The Boks or The All Blacks who will face team 1 or 2 out of Pool A but hey I have said if before and I will say it again- you want to win The Rugby World Cup you have to beat whatever and whoever is in front of you on any given Saturday.

The Boks had a comfortable 14 points cushion when the referee, Mr Wayne Barnes who had an excellent game, blew the final whistle after just 47 minutes. Yes, you know that a rugby game is 80 minutes long but this game was over with just 47 minutes on the clock. I am of course referring to the red card issued to the Italian Number one or loose head, Andrea Lovotti. Again ,I have to congratulate the TMO and match officials who got it absolutely spot on according to the letter of the law and gave Lovotti his marching orders and by doing so declaring it-GAME OVER.

We often talk about red cards in test matches but I am sorry and I will always protect and stand up for the players but in this instance and incident, it was just plain and I quote Italian Coach, Connor O Shea “crash stupidity.” In all test matches we want to see a fair 15 vs 15 men contest but players also know the rules and at some stage must take responsibility for their actions.

I have no doubt that The Boks would have won even if Lovotti stayed on. The game started in the most bizarre fashion with uncontested scrums declared with less than 20minutes played on the clock. I do believe that with a strong Bok scrum and forward pack selected it played into the hands of The Italians but with 2 specialists tight heads injured the referee had no choice but to call for it.

Up until then The Boks did enough to win the game but still there are one or 2 players not hitting their straps. They have one more game against one of the weaker teams in the competition, Canada to rectify this and to make sure they firing on all cylinders come quarter finals time. I have to again mention the play and form of Cheslin Kolbe.

The little maestro is an absolute jewel on the rugby field and certainly put the naysayers about “too small” once and for all to bed. He was lethal on attack scoring 2 tries and defended every time he made a tackle, like his life depended on it.

Italian Mission accomplished, lets have some fun against Canada and go into the quarters brimming with confidence.

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Match Preview: South Africa vs Italy

Dunlop Tyres SA 03/10/2019

For me it is not the end of the world but referring back to my previous views and columns let`s not make any bones and beat around the bush with the enormity of the task at hand, not just for possibly winning the tournament but even making it through to the final on the 2nd of November.

When you lose your opening game of the tournament like The Boks did against the current world champion All Blacks, I am sure Rassie had to reassess the situation and tweaked his plans accordingly-again not a major train smash but change and different approach and in my book mostly to team selection..

In The Boks’ current situation and I don’t refer to this particular situation in a bad way, the one thing that would change for me personally, is team selection. I think it`s clear to see that the team selected by Bok management suggests that The Boks will not take Italy lightly at all and please remember that not so long ago The Boks lost to Italy in Italy. I know The Boks have come a long way as a team since then and again without sounding arrogant but The Boks and Italy should not be mentioned in the same rugby conversation, no disrespect though. When I say this, I merely refer to the fact that with our pool of rugby talent and tradition of rugby in our country, The Boks should always be in the top 3 positions of World Rugby Rankings and a loss to Italy should not even be discussed.

The Bok team selection see Bongi Mbonambi take the place of one of the best players, not only in South Africa but in the world, Malcolm Marx. I agree that he has worked really hard and played well and fully deserves his start, relegating Marx to the bench. The rest of the team and certainly the backline is pretty straightforward even though we would like to see a big improvement in Willie le Roux`s all round skill and play and I would love to see Willie at his best and hitting his straps come quarter final time.

With the Canada game coming up next week I don’t think The Boks can afford to play around with team selection anymore and if this is the best team selected to play Italy, and I believe Rassie should know his best team by now, the same team should be selected come Canada. With the team selection against Italy we see one or 2 changes to the starting line-up compared to the opening game and I don’t believe that the one game against Italy will be enough time for this team to get it 100% right. I would select the same starting team against Canada, give them 60 minutes and with the job hopefully done after 60 minutes, bring on the whole bench and give the reserves a run.

As always, I have to put my you know what on the line and predict a score. I have no doubt that The Boks will win and win by about 20 points. If The Boks win by any bigger margin, it would have been an extremely good performance and excellent result.

P.S. I have a former Team mate and good friend from my Boland playing days, Marius Goosen coaching the Italians along with head coach, Connor O Shea. Expect Marius to pass on some strong words of encouragement and inside info on The Boks to give the Italians some much needed motivation.

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Post-match report: South Africa vs Namibia

Dunlop Tyres SA 01/10/2019

With only 900 registered rugby players in Namibia compared to over 600 000 in South Africa and who knows how many more playing abroad, it should never have been a contest at all. You win the game by 50 or 60 points and supporters and fans agree with my opening statement and if you don’t you just take flack and criticism for not playing and winning better.

If we look at the game we could say and I think agree that we did enough to win and win reasonably well. At one stage early in the 2nd half I honestly thought that The Boks are going to put 80 points passed our neighbours but I guess all the changes, bringing on the whole bench slowed The Boks momentum down , broke their rhythm and forced some errors, typical of the scenario with players coming in and off the bench. We got the bonus point and come the end of the pool stages after 2 more games against Italy and Canada hardly anyone will even remember the score..

Schalk Brits played out of position at eighth man for The Boks and even though I am no supporter and fan of playing any player out of position, let alone at a Rugby World Cup you have to stop and look past that and take into consideration what talented rugby player he really is. Not only did he lead the team but at his age one just have to smile and say well done to the man, not only for his playing ability but also for the manner in which he plays the game-always with a smile on his face even after a punch up with Akker a few months ago.

Rugby is game with some written and some unwritten rules and traditions. Often during the modern and professional games players and even administrators often neglect some of these. Rugby at professional level is very result driven and YES, we have to agree that most fans, sponsors and supporters like to follow and support a winning team.

The point I`m trying to make is that characters and “older” players like Schalk is a rarity but a crucial necessity to pass on these older traditions to a younger professional player. I think Schalk is just the guy to do that and very much like a Bob Skinstad during the successful 2007 campaign in France – every team needs one.

The Bok coach, Rassie Erasmus made plenty of changes for the Namibia game and rightly so. He also welcomed to the team Thomas du Toit, after the tournament ending injury to Trevor Nyankane and wasted no time by sticking him on the bench and giving him a good 25 minutes off the bench to blast out the cobwebs and lack of game time from no rugby in the last 3 weeks.

The Boks are still on target to reach the Quarters and the Irish who we assumed would be their opposition slipped up against Japan, the host nation throwing their pool wide open. The Boks can now face one of three teams, Ireland, Scotland or Japan come Quarter final time. We will still finish second in our pool behind the All Blacks.

All on target for at least 3 more games for now!

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Match Preview: South Africa vs Namibia

Stefan Terblanche 26/09/2019

Let`s all take a long ,deep and soothing breath of fresh air and let`s look ahead of what needs to be done for South Africa to bring the William Webb Ellis back to our country for the third time since 1995.

A lot`s been said over the last few days about the referee and even World Rugby, the governing body worldwide of the game released a statement in which they stated that the referees performances during the opening round of the Rugby World Cup were below par and I quote.

“Following the usual review of matches, the match officials team recognise that performances over the opening weekend of Rugby World Cup 2019 were not consistently of the standards set by World Rugby and themselves”

There are always certain elements on a rugby field, players can control to the best of their ability and preparation and the off course there are certain elements players have absolutely no control over- the bounce of the oval ball and the weather.

The referee falls within a category that is really hard to classify when it comes to how much control players and especially the captain of a team have over. Knowing the referee and how much they allow on the field is crucial in the preparation for any test and even more so come Rugby World Cup. We had to mention the referee and some of his questionable decisions during our opening game of Rugby World Cup against the world champion All Blacks as we now look forward to playing our neighbours, Namibia.

World Cup Rugby is all about winning 7 games in a row, or is it? One thing is for sure and that is the fact that every single game is now a knock out fixtures for South Africa-it`s simple and if you Lose you are out.

Without being arrogant and with the utmost respect to our neighbours, The Boks should have no issue winning and winning comfortably against Namibia. We have seen a good few changes and rightly so as all payers will get some game time during the campaign but it will also keep them sharp and match fit should any players suffer any injury during the pool stages.

Namibia will improve their game as it`s not even a written rule but a given that on any matchday when you play against a team ranked so much higher than yourself, you will raise your game by at least 20%. That’s the beauty about the game of rugby and should Namibia lose by 50 points on Saturday they could and I have no doubt they would have given a very good account of themselves. My prediction is that South Africa will be too strong and by 43-50 points.

The importance about this game for South Africa is way more than just a big winning margin. It is about winning and winning well with a very structured approach while creating opportunities and playing what`s in front of you on the rugby field. Good players will play the same whether they are in the own half of the field or on the opposition try line should opportunities present itself.

I again look forward to the game but I am more interested in how the team will bounce back after a very disappointing loss in the opening round.

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The Start to the Rugby World Cup Campaign

Stefan Terblanche 23/09/2019

It wasn’t the best start to the Rugby World Cup campaign and dreams and hopes for The Bok team and the South African rugby public in general. History and historical facts will now have to be made and rewritten for The Bok team to go on and win The William Webb Ellis Trophy. The one fact and significant bit of history I am referring to is the fact that NO team in the history of the 32 -year old Rugby World Cup competition has ever gone on to win the Cup after losing a pool game. England reached the finals twice, in 1991 and 2007 after losing a pool game but lost in the final to Australia and South Africa respectively.

The Boks started really well and had territorial and possessional advantage in the first 20 minutes. Unfortunately they only had 3 points to show for it and a very easy kick ( if such a thing in test rugby) from Pollard hit the upright and within a couple of minutes the All Blacks had a breakaway, Mapimpi made a try saving tackle , conceded the penalty in the tackle for not releasing and the All Blacks were on the score board. After that it was really one- way traffic till halftime and the All Blacks had the 17-3 lead to show for it.

The All Blacks are just one of those teams who can be absolutely nowhere during a game with regards to territory and possession but they find a way of keeping in touch. They play exceptionally well on turnovers have great skill and awareness of space, make good decisions and can score tries from anywhere on the field-they did just that yesterday again. That’s why they are the only team in the world to have won the World Cup three times and won back to back trophies in 2011 and 2015. If we have any doubt about their ability and credentials as serious Rugby World Cup contenders, think again!

Where to for The Boks after a defeat in a game that promised so much in the build up not only this year but ever since the draw was done months back?

The Boks had their opportunities and that’s the encouraging part. The game plan, well is their game plan and not one of us can change it and make them change it, whether we agree with it or not. Game plan is one thing but the most important is the execution thereof. Even when a poor game plan is executed correctly and with believe and conviction it can be effective.

The Boks will have to make history in the next 6 weeks to have any chance of winning the Cup. Many would say that losing will give them an easier route to the final but I don’t agree at all and I`m saying that without even looking at the possible opposition they might face in the next few weeks. Rugby is a sport of confidence for individuals and ultimately the team. You don’t want to lose any games during a tournament as its just breaks your rhythm and confidence. I will rather win all the games in the pool stages and beat whoever I need to beat to lift the Cup come the 2nd of November-most teams and coaches would agree with this.

That said and done I have had a great weekend watching the opening round of games and I am sure we will see and experience some more wonderful rugby and a few upsets along the way.

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Let the Games Begin!

Stefan Terblanche 19/09/2019

I can`t believe that I am actually writing this column with only a few hours to go before the opening of the Rugby World Cup 2019. I can`t believe it for a number of reasons and I will elaborate on that shortly. I have to single out one particular reason and that’s the fact that for the first time ever The Rugby World Cup will be hosted in a non-traditional rugby playing country-that’s right the first time ever since the first Rugby World Cup was hosted in New Zealand in 1987.

I was very pessimistic about the host nation Japan and its ability, not to host an event but to host a Rugby World Cup. In 2015 I attended the Ruby World Cup in the country where rugby was born, England and it just felt right for obvious reasons. Now with the World Cup just around the corner I can hardly contain my excitement firstly about Japan the host nation but also about the most important part, the participating teams.

We have never and I repeat never before seen a Rugby World Cup with so many teams in with a real shout and chance of actually lifting the William Web Ellis Trophy. Usually going into this tournament and especially with The All Blacks dominance and reign as the number one team in the world for the last decade it was The All Blacks and whoever could get a decent draw, the bounce of the ball in the play-offs and some divine intervention along the way as to who would lose to The All Blacks in the final. This year it can end up and any one 7 maybe even 8 teams who could be facing one another come the 2nd of November in Yokohama.

Ireland is Number 1 in the world ,again a first time ever for the country where religion still divides many but not in rugby. Wales spent a few weeks at the top knocking the All Blacks off the top. The All Blacks, well they are the All Blacks and the 3 -time winners certainly knows how to play winning rugby. England is performing well at the right time under Eddie Jones after a very poor 6 Nations showing earlier this year. The Wallabies had their worst year in test rugby history since the 1950`s in 2018 but managed to secure and inflict the biggest ever test defeat of The All Blacks earlier this year during The Rugby Championship. France one can never say anything about and it`s impossible to predict who will arrive on the day and I have no doubt that not even The French can answer that. Argentina been improving constantly over the last few years and will once again cause an upset or 2 on the day at this year`s Rugby World Cup. Scotland can play some decent rugby but just don’t have enough depth to perform any further than just the quarter finals.

We now get to The Boks and what a year WE and I speak on behalf of all Bok Supporters when I say we and wow, what a year the boys and green and gold have had. I have hardly seen such depth, such aggression and urgency on defence and so many players finding form at the right time as what we are seeing right now.

To predict an outright winner right now is almost impossible but I will go with an England, All Blacks and South African flavour in Japan.

To make a prediction for the opening thriller Boks vs All Blacks is just as hard but I believe The Boks will take it by about 5-7 points!

Let the games begin.

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‘Beyond Expeditions’ Team goes Local

19/06/2019

Two inspirational BEYOND EXPEDITIONS adventures in the bag, with three more to go! Following on from their BEYOND THE DESERT EDGE (2017) and BEYOND THE RIFT VALLEY (2018) Expeditions, Peter Van Kets and Jacques Marais have their sights set on something brand new and close to their hearts …

“Every year we set of on incredible journeys into far-flung corners of the Mother Continent and the world, but it isn’t often that we get to share these experiences with those closest to us”, explains Van Kets. The two BEYOND EXPEDITION partners both share close bonds with their families, and on both the previous expeditions, they tried very hard to get their partners and children to join them, but logistics and finances made it difficult.

“This year, we made it our priority, and fortunately it plays right into the marketing focus of our key sponsor, ISUZU (SA)”, says Jacques Marais, taking up the story. “Their vehicles, especially the new m-UX and DMAX models, are specifically created to take you safely and efficiently into the great outdoors, and this is where our families come into their own” …

Our XRIDER bakkies – Treva and Noah – underscore a key ISUZU Tag Line: ‘With You For The Long Run’, and as such we can utterly trust them to get us to our destination after two previous successful trips. These trips include their original mission - conjured up over a few beers around a bush fire – BEYOND THE DESERT EDGE.

This world-first desert crank saw the inspirational Van Kets mountain bike all the way from the Angolan border to Swakopmund in Namibia, with adventure photo-journalist Marais joining him on much of the ride while documenting some of Africa’s most remote places.

Their route crossed the uncharted wilderness between the Cunene River up against Angola and the Namibian coast, and they used both fat-bikes and GIANT mountain bikes on their pedal via the inhospitable Skeleton Coast, Kaokoland and Damaraland regions.

Continued sponsorship from DUNLOP and ISUZU – as well as a range of respected outdoor brands – saw them take on BEYOND THE RIFT VALLEY in 2018. This second expedition – in a five-part series of African adventures aimed at highlighting remote African regions under environmental threat took them on a 16 000km road trip into deepest Africa.

Untamed roads and hectic traffic tested their trusty Isuzu X-riders along the edge of Lake Tanganyika and the DRC border, before the ‘Beyond Expeditions’ team took on a number of adventures in remarkable Rwanda. In Nyungwe Forest National Park’s ancient rainforest they tracked chimpanzees and summitted Bigugu Peak, the highest point in the park.

This montane rainforest - set within the watershed between the basins of two river giants - the Nile to the east and the Congo to the west, proved an adventure playground of note. Van Kets bagged a tough 300km MTB ride along the Nile-Congo Trail, conquering steep ascents via the ‘Thousand Hills’ region of Rwanda, before they set course for the renowned Volcanoes National Park, also the setting for the imposing Virunga Mountain ranges. From the park HQ, #BTRV Team set off to summit two volcanic peaks: Bisoke (a caldera peak at 3, 711 m) and Karisimbi (the highest of the Virunga volcanoes at 4,507m.

The latter peak marks the intersection of the border with Democratic Republic of Congo, with legendary views across still active volcanoes bristling within Virunga Nation Park. Severe altitude headaches meant only Van Kets and Marais managed the ascent via the other-worldly giant lobelia forests of Karisimbi and to the inhospitable peak.

Three days of aqua adventure awaited on Kivu, a pristine indigo lake separating Rwanda from the DRC, with the two adventurers paddling the bulk of the 150km shores, rated as one of the ten deepest lakes in the world, all while camping wild on remote islands and surviving epic lightning storms threatening to drive them into dangerous Congo waters.

The final ‘cherry on top’ was an unforgettable trek to interact with the endangered gorillas in northern Rwanda, indeed a Bucket List adventure if ever there was one. The land-locked country of Rwanda proved a revelation to the BEYOND EXPEDITIONS Team. “It’s without a doubt the country with the least crime or corruption anywhere in Africa” ...

All of this may be pretty tough to top, but there is a region in southern Africa that rates as one of the continent’s most exhilarating adventure playgrounds, and this is where the third expeditions will head. The journey will once again take the ISUZU Xriders into challenging desert terrain, but this time, there will be five deserts for the price of one!

That’s not technically true, but here’s the first peek at our BEYOND AUKOEREBIS plan … The Marais and Van Kets clans will meet on the Namaqua West Coast on June 18th, in the process ticking of their first arid paradise. A meandering trip up the coast from Koiingnaas will take them to Port Nolloth for an icy surf before they mission into Richtersveld Proper.

This SANparks national park rates as the oldest mountain desert on the planet, and for the next six days, the two families will set off in search of some of the exhilarating adventures on offer in Desert #2. Fly-fishing for giant yellows, scaling the remote Vandersterr Peak, SUPing the ‘Great River’, white-water kayaking, and billion-star MTB rides under the desert night sky are just a few of the activities lined up.

The Namib-Naukluft (Desert #3) is next on the cards as the BEYOND EXPEDITIONS team travels into Namibia for a few days. A quick trip to the Kolmanskop ghost town and quirky Luderitz Bay is on the itinerary, as is the Fish River Canyon, before the convoy rolls up to Mata-Mata and the vast Kgalagadi National Park.

This ‘Place of Great Thirst’ makes up part of the expansive Kalahari Basin, and will be our ‘4th Desert. Our key destination is the incredible !Xaus Lodge, home to a large swathe of land belonging to the Khomani San people. At !Xaus, we will get to interact with these ancient hunter-gatherer people, tracking the dunescapes, finding medicinal plants, and camping wild on vast desert pans.

Desert #5 is Augrabies, again one of the SANparks Arid Parks’ premier destinations, also known as ‘Aukoerebis’ – or the ‘Place of Great Noise’ – in the Khoi language. One of our key adventures will take place here as we abseil into the granite gorge, and then descend the thundering white-water below South Africa’s biggest waterfall.

The ISUZU Vehicles will once again be equipped by FRONTRUNNER, one of the leading outdoor outfitters, with a full range of vehicle fittings. “We’ve been using FRONTRUNNER tents, hammocks, awnings and #Slimline roof-racks, together with a full range of bomb-proof fittings since our “Beyond the Rift Valley’ Expedition, and nothing comes close to their equipment when you need peace of mind on an adventure into the world’s wildest places”, says Marais, a FRONTRUNNER Ambassador.

Both Kim Van Kets and Karyn Marais are adventurers in their own right, as well, and this adds a fantastic dimension to the BEYOND AUKOEREBIS Expedition. “The fact that they – and of course Beth, Hannah, Robert and Grace - will be able to share in this adventure, really is a dream come true for us”. Feel free to follow the adventures of the Van Kets and Marais families as they set off from the wild Namaqua West Coast on June 18th. They will be tracked by expedition partner SPOT AFRICA, with Live Tracking on their web site www.beyondexpeditions.co.za

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New Engen Polo Cup Racing Car Unveiled

30/01/2018

This year, the 24 competitors will compete for the championship in the sixth-generation Polo GTI


A few weeks before the official start of the 2018 South African circuit racing season, the new Engen Polo Cup racing car was unveiled in Port Elizabeth.

For the first time in the Engen Polo Cup’s 22 year history, the sixth generation Polo will be a GTI.

The highly competitive Engen Polo Cup Series is a one-make series where performance is kept equal to provide entertaining and close motor racing, teams are limited to chassis setup and tyre pressures and the engine power is also limited.

“We are very excited for the start of the 2018 racing season,” says Mike Rowe, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport. “I am sure that all the Engen Polo Cup competitors are raring to go.”

“The series, which has become known as the School of Champions, is a special one in South Africa and has crowned 16 different national champions. It also an immensely competitive one as only five people have managed to win it more than once,” added Rowe.

The official 2018 South African circuit racing season will kick off on March 24th, when a full field of more than 24 Polo drivers line up for the start of the 2018 Engen Polo Cup at Johannesburg’s Kyalami Race Track.

“New to the line-up of Volkswagen drivers is Raais Asmal, the winner of the 2017 Driver Search competition who will be joining team mate Jonathan Mogotsi, winner of the Rookie of the Year Award last year, in only his first year of racing,” said Rowe.

Competitors will be gunning for victory in eight rounds of the racing season and using a car based on the Polo GTI which will be launched in the second quarter of this year. The car has 2.0L Turbo Charged engine delivering 150KW and 340 NM Torque at 1 bar boost. Transmission is 6 speed manual MQ350 using the same as that of the Golf 7 GTI.

A new feature of the racing cars is Push to Pass, which will give the drivers an extra 20KW for 10 seconds. The Shock absorbers are locally produced SAX units which are sealed and controlled, while coil springs are specified and controlled front and rear. The car is shod with Dunlop semi slicks.

“Volkswagen Motorsport would like to thank Engen for their on-going sponsorship and commitment to what we see as South Africa’s most successful racing formula as well as the competitors who have the confidence in the series to make the change to the all-new car,” concluded Mike Rowe.


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How to #Daycation like a seasoned pro in stunning Cape Town these holidays

14/12/2017

Well done! You’ve survived another tough year, and now it’s time to kick back and enjoy your thoroughly deserved holiday. And what better way to take in the wonderful summer air than by treating your family to an exciting day out in Africa’s most beautiful city?

To help readers make the most of their precious free time, we’ve partnered with the #SaferThanSafe team at Dunlop to craft a list of #Daycation tips that’ll have you exploring the southern tip of the continent like a seasoned pro.

OK, let’s go!


An Aerial View of Cape Town Stadium

Tip #1: Cape Town is the crown-jewel of SA tourism for good reason, and with so much on offer, you’ll have to be highly selective when it comes to choosing your top #Daycation spots. Word of mouth is always a great source of information, but so are tourism offices and, of course, the Internet. The more info you have, the more informed your destination choices will be.

Tip #2: Sticking to a budget is about as easy as explaining calculus to your neighbour’s cat. But it can be done. Do your research and enquire about entrance fees and other costs ahead of time. If a particular destination isn’t easy on your pocket, you’re guaranteed to find another option that’s just as awesome.

The Company’s Gardens, the Cable Way and Elegant Cape Dutch Architecture. Images: David Stanely @flickr.com

Tip #3: Ensure that you’re properly informed about operating hours. This one may seem obvious, but if you neglect it, you may find yourself uttering some pretty impolite words through clenched teeth.

Tip #4: Wear sunscreen, and make sure the little ones are well lathered up, too. Speak to your pharmacist about your best options, but remember that even a high SPF (e.g. SPF 50) doesn’t eliminate all UV radiation – which damages the DNA in your one-and-only skin.

Water Sports in Falsebay and Colourful Muizenberg

Tip #5: Driving with rowdy children can be distracting and dangerous. With a constant eye on road safety, Dunlop suggests keeping them well behaved and entertained by playing verbal car games. For example, there’s the classic “I spy with my little eye…” or even the alphabet game. Check out this useful list of tips for keeping kids busy and calm while travelling in the car.

Tip #6: Cape Town is, unfortunately, a highly congested city, so expect that there may be hold ups on your journey. The trick, however, is to research and plan your route well in advance. Google maps’ traffic volume function is exceptionally useful, but advice from locals can also be massively beneficial.

A Sunset View of Cape Town CBD and the Harbour

Tip #7: Whether using your own vehicle or a rental, never assume that everything is in working order. The crew at Dunlop point out that you should always personally check (amongst others): the water and oil levels; that the spare is inflated and that the jack is working; that the tyres are properly inflated and that the tread is safe; that the brakes, brake lights, headlights, reverse lights and indicators are working; that there is petrol in the car, and; that the windscreen wipers are adequate.


Do you have any top notch Mother City #Daycation ideas yet? We certainly hope so. Wherever they may take you, please ensure that you’ll be #SaferThanSafe on our dangerous roads these holidays by visiting your nearest Dunlop Zone, Requesting an Online Quote or by taking advantage of the super awesome Red Hot Rubber Sale.

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Experience Cape Town’s astonishing history on a #Daycation like no other!

14/12/2017

Trevor (the hero of our story) has finally decided to treat his wife, Thandi, and young daughter, Luleka, to a whirlwind tour of the beautiful and historically rich Mother City. But with so many important historical landmarks, monuments and museums on offer, where should our travellers begin? Being 100% behind local tourism, and with an eye on the necessity of road safety over the holiday season, Dunlop has asked us to help Trevor out with some fantastic #Daycation ideas.

Here we go!


The Cultural Heritage of an Ancient People

Rock Art at the Iziko South African Museum. Image: Heribert Bechen @ flickr.com

The San and Khoi are the original Capetonians, but unfortunately their intricate and complex culture was tragically marginalised once the first Cape Colony was established. Today, however, much is being done to ensure that these early South Africans have a place in contemporary society. For an unparalleled learning experience, Trevor could either travel 90km north of the city to the !Khwa Ttu, San Culture and Education Centre in Yzerfontein, or visit the Iziko South African Museum, where the fascinating tale of these original peoples is exquisitely exhibited.


Between East and West – The Cape of Storms

The Castle and a Memorial in the Company’s Garden. Images: Heribert Bechen @flickr.com

As is well-known, the Cape Colony first served as a halfway stop for Dutch ships on their way to the “East Indies”. From our present perspective, the project of colonisation is mired in extreme controversy, but knowing that it nonetheless forms an integral part of the South African saga, Trevor is keen to visit the numerous landmarks in Cape Town’s CBD.

The Houses of Parliament near the Company’s Gardens

The Castle of Good Hope dates back to 1666, and is today SA’s oldest functioning building. Within striking distance of the Castle are the Company’s Gardens, replete with colonial statues and even the most ancient pear tree in the country (it has survived since 1652!). Situated close to the gardens are our Parliament buildings, the Slave Lodge Museum, the National Library and the Iziko South African Museum and Planetarium.


Slavery, Oppression, Struggle and Freedom

The (now) Colourful Bo-Kaap. Image: SkyPixels

In stark contrast to the above-mentioned colonial statues are the histories of South Africa’s disregarded and oppressed populations (something close to Trevor’s heart). Going back several centuries, the marks of slavery can be found in the Castle, the Slave Lodge Museum and, indeed, in the (now) colourful and exceptionally vibrant neighbourhood of the Bo-Kaap. As the slave population was imported from Islamic South-East Asia, the Bo-Kaap hosts SA’s oldest and first Mosque (dating back to 1794). The Bo-Kaap Museum is also a must-see as it documents the history of the enslaved Cape Malay population.

The Iziko Slave Lodge Museum. Image: Helen Online

Jumping forward in time to the Apartheid years, the renowned District 6 Museum is a testament to the devastating effects of property dispossession. Of course, no historical Cape Town #Daycation is complete without a ferry trip to Robben Island – perhaps the most iconic representation of Apartheid’s brutal suppression of political opposition.

The Entrance to Robben Island


Enjoy Your #Daycation – And be #SaferThanSafe on the Roads these Hoildays

Wherever his family’s #Daycation may lead, Trevor has ensured that they’ll be #SaferThanSafe on SA’s dangerous roads over the holiday season. Follow in Trev’s sensible footsteps and visit your nearest Dunlop Zone, Request an Online Quote, or check out Dunlop’s phenomenal Red Hot Rubber Sale. Safe travels adventurers!

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A couple’s guide to the most romantic Jozi #Daycation ever!

07/12/2017

Meet Dumi. Like so many of us, she’s had a long and difficult year, and the demands on her are ever increasing. Moreover, quality time with her partner, James, has been extremely difficult to come by. But with the festive season nearing, Dumi knows that a romantic day out is just what she needs to escape her everyday stresses and reignite the flame of their relationship.

To help readers like Dumi and James create the perfect setting for their very own #Daycation love story, the sentimental (and always #SaferThanSafe) crew at Dunlop have asked us to put together a short list of Jozi’s most romantic destinations.


A champagne breakfast at the Johannesburg Botanical Garden

The Rose Garden @ Johannesburg Botanical Garden. Image: NJR ZA

Beautiful gardens around the world have seen their fair share of first kisses, first loves, proposals, weddings, and many other blissful moments. In this regard, the Johannesburg Botanical Garden is no different, and it’s an ideal place for our couple to unpack a picnic basket and enjoy a relaxing champagne breakfast in simply gorgeous surrounds.


A gentle trot through the plush hillsides of Muldersdrift

There’s no better way to explore our beautiful Highveld

Next, we’d like to send our couple to the wonderfully green and expansive landscape of Muldersdrift. Whereas romantic horse-rides are usually pictured on a stretch of pristine beach, our gently rolling bushveld will certainly do the trick. If a guided tour on horseback doesn’t excite your imagination, the Hartbeespoort Dam and its much lauded Aerial Cableway are just a stone’s throw away.


Hand-in-hand at the Top of Africa

The night time view from the viewing deck. Image: Roger Gordan @flickr.com

Incredible views of city skylines have long been considered an indispensable motif in romantic films. For our 3rd destination, Dumi and James have travelled into the heart of Jo’burg to experience the buzzing metropolis from an elevated perspective (and by fitting Dunlop tyres they arrived safe and sound). At 50 stories high, and towering above the cityscape below, the Carlton Centre’s glass-encased panoramic viewing deck is without peer on the African Continent. Dumi and James stand hand-in-hand, watching the sun set over Africa’s greatest city.


Dinner and a show – the Jozi way

Images: Adamina and CCFoodTravel @flickr.com

In the evening, our couple’s date night begins in earnest. Dumi and James are perfectly poised to enjoy a magical dinner and catch a movie in true Jozi style. The Maboneng Precinct is an absolute treat on a warm evening, and there are a variety of dazzlingly scrumptious dishes on offer – each of which would impress even the harshest of critics. At our last stop, we’re brought to the culturally vibrant Maboneng Bioscope. Loving the summer night, Dumi and James have opted for an open air screening, relaxing in each other’s arms under the city’s night sky after their best #Daycation yet. (Go ahead James – it’s definitely time for that kiss!)


Be safe on your Jo’burg #Daycation

What are your romantic #Daycation ideas? Wherever they may take you, be #SaferThanSafe on the roads these holidays with Dunlop’s Red Hot Rubber Sale. Alternatively, Request an Online Quote or visit your nearest Dunlop Zone.

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Explore some fantastic Jozi #Daycation spots for the kids these holidays

07/12/2017

The sun is out, the excitement of the festive season is in the air, and, being an awesome parent, you’re probably thinking about your family’s next thrilling escapade in the City of Gold. Fortunately, Jozi is a spectacular playground just waiting to be discovered by little adventurers.

But, before progressing to our top Jozi #Daycations, the team at Dunlop have asked us to highlight the importance of road safety over this dangerous period. To ensure that your tyres are #SaferThanSafe these holidays, Request an Online Quote or check out Dunlop’s Red Hot Rubber Sale.

OK, let’s jump into it!


Entertaining and educational – Our Arts ‘n Culture #Daycation

Forging a strong connection between fun and learning can be a tricky exercise, but this #Daycation does just that. We start off in Braamfontein, at the People’s Theatre. The theatre specialises in high quality theatrical productions for children, and their colourful current offering, Shrek Jr – the Musical, is guaranteed to mesmerise the little ones.

From Braamfontein, we move to the James Hall Museum of Transport in Newtown, where kids will get a first-hand look at bright red fire engines, shiny busses, beautifully crafted trams, vintage cars and remarkable horse drawn carriages, all from the distant past.

Last on this list is the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre. The centre, also in Newtown, is the largest of its kind in Southern Africa. Sci-Bono hosts an incredible variety of tech and science related exhibits, and should definitely inspire your children’s curiosity.


Animal planet – a #Daycation with furry (and some not-so-furry!) friends

The first leg of this #Daycation takes us to the west of the city (Chartwell). The drive will be well worth it, but please bear Dunlop’s request for road safety in mind.

Croc City Crocodile and Reptile Park is home to a large number of jaw-dropping reptile species, including 3m long crocs and 10 of SA’s most venomous snakes. For the brave, there’s also a zip-line over the croc enclosures!

Next we move to Zoo Lake – the perfect spot for a relaxed afternoon picnic. When you have a moment, feed the vocal ducks and chatty geese, or consider taking a gentle row over the lake.

The cherry on top of this #Daycation is its evening offering. The Moonlight Tour at the JHB Zoo is designed to ignite young imaginations, and children can immerse themselves in the exotic and magical species that come to life as the sun sets.


CAn out of city experience – Maropeng #Daycation

It’s not just any 47 000ha of our beloved Highveld landscape that becomes a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so if you’re in GP, The Cradle of Humankind is simply a must-see for children and adults alike.

Start your archaeological expedition by exploring the quiet and tranquil Sterkfontein Caves. Next, get ready to wonder at the fantastic tale of ancient Africa by viewing the absorbing fossil exhibits at the visitors’ centre.

End the day on a breath-taking high by catching a lift on the Hartbeespoortdam Cable Way. There is no doubt that for the little ones, this #Daycation will be the stuff of many happy memories for years to come (and they’ll have a great story to tell the grandparents).


Travel safely – always

Now that we’ve sparked some #Daycation ideas of your own, go out and enjoy a memorable break with your family. Wherever your travels may take your family, please ensure that your tyres are always #SaferThanSafe. For expert advice that you can rely on, visit your nearest Dunlop Zone.

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OUR TOP 5 AWESOME CHILD-FRIENDLY #DAYCATION SPOTS IN DURBAN

01/12/2017

Have no doubt: our beloved city of Durban is fantastically geared towards accommodating children of all ages in an abundance of enjoyable activities. To ensure that your child-friendly Durbs #Daycation is every bit as awesome as it should be, we’ve partnered with the #SaferThanSafe folks at Dunlop to create a list of amazing destinations that are guaranteed to make you the most popular parent in town!


Travel back in time on the Umgeni Steam Railway

“Maureen” – Transporting South African Travellers Since 1912

Disconnect from the digital overload for a few hours and treat the little ones to a gentle trip on a steam train that dates back more than 100 years. The idea of boarding an old steam train at the Kloof Station and slowly puffing along to the Inchanga Station should sell itself, but so few take advantage of this unbelievable opportunity. Sit back and take in the spectacular views of the Valley of a Thousand Hills.


Enthralling and educational – The KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board

Sand Sharks Have Made Waters Just South West of Durban Their Mating Ground

Situated in uMhlanga, the Sharks Board centre is the headquarters of the province’s shark safety and research efforts. The Board is the only institution of its kind in the world, and if this claim to fame isn’t enough, the visitors’ centre houses life size replicas and skeletons of terrifying sharks, graceful rays and other exciting sea life. Kids will be fascinated by the centre’s truly informative audio-visual display and the one-of-a-kind live dissection of a real shark.


Durban at a child-friendly scale – Mini Town

Leave the larger than life urban landscape of this harbour city behind and explore Durban at a more manageable size. Mini Town is certainly worth a visit and has proven to be a fun and popular attraction, especially amongst children. The area is quite exposed to the sun, so take the necessary precautions. Kids are certain to become absorbed by the scale models of well-known Durban landmarks, aeroplanes, and working ships and trains.


Always a winner – Funworld Amusement Park

For kids, no Golden Mile beach #Daycation is complete without a visit to the very affordable Funworld Amusement Park. The park has a variety of exhilarating rides for tiny tots as well as older children. And don’t miss out on the cable car: On a clear day, few views can compare with the sight of endless sun-kissed sands and the astonishingly blue Indian Ocean.


The best ocean side wonderland of them all – uShaka Marine World

A Diver and a Short Tail Ray at uShaka Marine World

This one hardly needs further explanation, and although it isn’t the cheapest destination on our list, the experience is worth every hard-earned Rand. From the brilliant and colourful aquarium, to the dumbfounding acrobatics of Dolphins, to nerve-wracking waterslides, uShaka Marine World is sure to captivate the whole family.


In all the excitement, keep a firm eye on road safety

To be #SaferThanSafe on our dangerous South African roads these holidays, visit your nearest Dunlop Zone, Request a Quote Online or check out Dunlop’s Red Hot Rubber Sale – knowing your options is always empowering. Finally, enjoy your spectacular #Daycation, wherever it may take you!

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4 GAUTENG #DAYCATION DESTINATIONS TEEMING WITH THE BRILLIANCE OF THE AFRICAN WILD

30/11/2017

Gauteng is less concrete jungle and more African bush than almost any other major metropolitan region on earth, and with the immense range of truly fantastic wildlife #Daycation destinations to choose from, we thought we’d highlight a few popular favourites. Before jumping into our top 4 picks, we’d just like to remind everyone about the importance of road safety over the festive season. To be #SaferThanSafe these holidays, get some expert advice from your nearest Dunlop Zone or check out Dunlop’s Red Hot Rubber Sale.


The Jewel of Gauteng Wildlife – The Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve

Situated on an expanse of 16 000 hectares of untamed Highveld bush, the Rhino and Lion park is widely regarded as a reserve that competes with the best in the country in terms of its mesmerising wildlife. The list of animal attractions is as long as it is impressive: along with lions, white rhinos, rare white and Siberian tigers, cheetahs and wild dogs, one may also spot black wildebeest, gemsbok, springbok, black eagles and Cape vultures. The reserve also offers a chance for children to interact with cubs in an animal crèche. And then there are the simply adorable pygmy hippos…


Walk with nature’s gentlest giants – Elephant Sanctuary Hartebeespoortdam

Elephants have long been an object of hypnotic mystery. Their bodies are colossal and their tusks menacing; but, despite their power, these mammoths are rarely aggressive and seem as inwardly tranquil as they are tender. A chance to walk hand-in-trunk with these majestic creatures should be grabbed with grateful hands. Situated just outside Gauteng to the west of Pretoria, the Elephant Sanctuary specialises in respectful and kind interactions with these gentle giants.


Concentrated brilliance – Pretoria’s Dinokeng Game Reserve

Perfect for a #Daycation, the Dinokeng Game Reserve packs an entire week’s worth of game viewing into just a few breath-taking hours. Situated about 30 minutes’ drive to the north of the capital, the reserve is designed to offer those of us who can’t afford a Kruger trip, a chance to marvel at members of the Big 5. As the game ranges freely across the reserve, there is, unfortunately, no guarantee that you’ll spot all 5 on a given day – but you certainly won’t leave feeling disappointed!


Animal Cities – The Johannesburg and Pretoria Zoos

Viewing animals in a zoo is undoubtedly very different from the game reserve experience. But, for a sheer variety of fauna (including exceptionally rare species viewed in close quarters) there are very few places in South Africa that can compare with the Johannesburg and Pretoria zoos. Of particular note are the evening/night tours conducted by both. At the Jozi zoo, children can observe exotic creatures like glowing scorpions on the Moonlight Tour, while adults on the Night Tour can immerse themselves in magical nocturnal species.


Wherever your #Daycation takes you – drive safely

Once again, road safety over the festive season is of paramount importance, so ensure that you fit only high quality tyres. Take a moment to Request an Online Quote from Dunlop – it’s quick, easy and completely free.

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TAKE AN AMAZING #DAYCATION IN DURBAN AND WALK ON THE WILD SIDE OF LIFE!

23/11/2017

Durban has a windfall of destinations that offer adventurers the whole package – bright exotic and indigenous bird species, warm Indian Ocean waters teeming with striking fish of all sizes, lushly green reserves replete with a buzzing natural ecology, sun-kissed beaches hosting a truly astounding variety of maritime creatures, and so much more!

So, in the spirit of all things #Daycation, the mad-about-Durban team at Dunlop have asked us to put together a short list of remarkable places that’ll undoubtedly make your day out with the family an absolute winner.


A diamond in the rough – The Umgeni River Bird Park

Witness the artistry of nature at the Umgeni River Bird Park

The bird park is a peerless haven of spectacular avian life. Situated on 3.5 hectares of emerald green sub-tropical landscape in an area that started life as a quarry, the Umgeni River Bird Park has been cultivated over 33 years to house a collection of more than 800 birds from over 200 species. Many of these aeronautical wonders can’t be found anywhere else on the African continent, and, as a cherry on top of everything else, the park presents an exciting free-flight show from Tuesday to Sunday every week.


Discover the pearl of Westville – Palmiet Nature Reserve

The king of the skies – an African Fish Eagle

At 90 hectares, the Palmiet Nature Reserve is, by South African standards, not at all large. But, quality always trumps size, and if you haven’t heard of the reserve before it’s because people keep the best things in life well hidden from others. On self-guided trails, you may hear the clear calls of majestic Fish Eagles or spot playful vervet monkeys, genets, duikers, bushbuck or even porcupines. The stage may be small, but the cast of characters will keep you thoroughly enthralled.


Africa’s oldest surviving botanical gardens

Paradise on earth. Durban Botanic Gardens

Founded in 1849, the Durban Botanic Gardens has survived tough times, and is today a corner of natural bliss that has managed to keep the urban jungle at bay. With a myriad of indigenous and exotic plant species, and proud trees that are over a hundred years old, the Durban Botanic Gardens is ideally suited to those up for an enchanting stroll before sitting down to lunch in the city’s premier picnic spot.


Durban’s one and only – Mitchell Park Zoo

A cotton-top tamarin and suricate at the Mitchell Park Zoos

Zoos aren’t for everyone; animals in cages can be a difficult sight. But, the Mitchell Park Zoo is leaps ahead in this regard, and the animals are well kept. Spurning the tradition of keeping large animals in small enclosures, the park has instead opted for diminutive faunas like flamingos, cranes, wallabies, small buck, raccoons, suricates, and cotton-top tamarins. Not to be missed are the truly astonishing Aldabra Giant Tortoises.


Be safe on your adventures

Have you made up your mind up about your ideal #Daycation in Durbs? Whatever you decide on, remember to be #SaferThanSafe on the roads these holidays and visit your nearest Dunlop Zone. Alternatively, check out Dunlop’s Red Hot Rubber Deal or Request a Quote Online easily and quickly. You may be glad you did!

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IT'S NOT JUST A #DAYCATION IN DURBAN - IT'S AN EXPEDITION ACROSS THE GLOBE

22/11/2017

Summer in Durbs is undoubtedly a treat. Its world class beaches are a Shangri-La for sun worshippers, and after a hard day relaxing on the Golden Mile, you can reward yourself with a chilled sun-downer at your favourite restaurant. But there is so much more on offer. Having made beautiful KZN their home, and being mad about all things Durban, the road safety experts at Dunlop ask, “why not take an awe-inspiring tour of several exceptional world cultures by simply visiting some of KZN’s most iconic landmarks on your #Daycation?”


Eastern vibrancy – The Indian Quarter

Don’t Miss Durban’s Indian Quarter!

Better known by Durbanites as “Grey Street”, this area of Durban Central houses one of the oldest markets on the continent, and is an awakening of the senses like no other. The Juma Masjid Mosque is the largest mosque in the Southern Hemisphere, and with its majestic minarets, is surely the most beautiful. In close quarters with it are the Madressa Arcade Bazaar and the Victoria Street Market. These bustling commercial centres bring the wares of India, Pakistan, China and even Somalia to our shores, showcasing the colourful and fragrant vigour of each country to the full.


Nkwaleni Valley – The proud heritage of the isiZulu

The Passionate War Dance

Take a #Daycation to a destination that unabashedly celebrates life, as it would have been, in a traditional and untouched kraal in precolonial times. Nkwaleni Valley is situated in the heart of Zululand, and interestingly enough, found its genesis in the much-lauded TV biopic, Shaka Zulu. Learn more about how hut building was a sophisticated exercise in sustainable design, how beer was brewed and the role it plays in rituals, and the incredibly rich spiritual beliefs Zulu tribes held (including, crucially, the person of the Sangoma). Before setting out on the drive, though, ensure that your tyres are family-safe with this Red Hot Rubber Deal.


Empire and conquest – insights into colonial times

Detail from “Defense de Rorke’s Drift” by Alphonse de Neuville

The colonial project is, and will always be, a controversial topic. However, it is a part of our history, and the many museums and sites marking its past provide a fascinating picture of the life and struggles of the settler populations. The Durban City Hall is a stunning example of neo-classical architecture, and hosts both the Natural Science Museum and an Art Gallery. The museum is a treat for kids (and curious adults!), and houses a life-size T-Rex, the mummified Peten-Amen, a Dodo skeleton, wildlife displays and the 3rd largest collection of bird specimens in the world. The Art Gallery contains emotive work by Black artists dating back to the turbulent 1970s. In close proximity is the Old Courthouse Museum, which provides another look into colonial life. And not to be missed, if you’re in the area, is the KwaMuhle Museum, which provides a sobering look into more recent South African history.


But remember, safety isn’t just a word

Your Durbs #Daycation should be an awesome experience, and there’s no doubt you’ll want to bring back only the very best of memories from your travels. To ensure that you’re #SaferThanSafe this holiday season, visit your nearest Dunlop Zone or Request a Quote Online – you may be pleasantly surprised!

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DUNLOP, A WINNING BRAND

SUMITOMO RUBBER SOUTH AFRICA (PTY) LTD 07/08/2017

Dunlop, long regarded as one of the most iconic and recognisable tyre brands in the world has done it once again, emerging as the winner of the tyres category in the 2017/2018 Ask Afrika Icon Brands Survey. The win comes as the fifth triumph since 2011 and is testimony to the loyalty inherent in the South African market in Dunlop as a brand of choice.

 The Ask Afrika Icon Brands Survey sources its data from the Target Group Index (TGI), the largest of its kind in South African with 19 consumer sectors, across 163 product categories. Thousands of brands across hundreds of product categories were included in the initial analysis with only 28 Icon Brands identified for 2017/2018.

 Dunlop, which has a strong heritage dating back to over 120 years, has been at the forefront of developing quality products, setting new motorsport milestones, and pioneering ground breaking innovations in vehicle safety and performance.

 The company hopes to retain this status through the support of its retailers - Dunlop Zones and independent distributors alike – who continue to act as the custodians of the brand and drive its success in the marketplace.  

 Maria Petousis, Director of Target Group Index Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd, which runs the Ask Afrika Icon Brands Survey, said an enumerated area sampling design was employed and the universe includes all communities with more than 8 000 inhabitants over the age of 15.  Over 15 000 consumers were surveyed representing over 25 million adult South African consumers.

“South African consumers vote with their hearts and wallets to select their Icon brands. These are brands that have established a durable and timeless relationship with South African consumers, irrespective of background or living standard.

 “Icon brands are celebrated as they have mastered the complexities inherent in serving emerging and polarised markets. By doing so, these brands have expanded their horizons and in the process have attracted a broad and diverse consumer base,” said Petousis. 

 Yvette Govender, Director Marketing and Business Development at Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Pty) Ltd (SRSA), parent company of the iconic brand, said it was uplifting to have Dunlop - already a world tyre brand icon – reaffirmed as the winner in the 2017/2018 Icon Brands Survey.

“Earning a nation’s trust is not easy. High standards of quality, affordability and availability have clearly combined to endear the Dunlop brand to South Africans. At a time when cash-strapped consumers are showing less commitment to brands, it is indeed inspiring to see that Dunlop has been able to build loyalty with consumers.” said Govender.

About SRSA

SRSA is owned by Japanese listed company Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd (SRI), situated in Kobe, Japan, and is ranked the world’s sixth-largest producer of automotive tyres and industrial rubber products and has tyre manufacturing plants in Japan, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil, Turkey, USA and South Africa. The existing South African plant in Ladysmith (founded in 1973) currently produces passenger car, sport utility vehicle and light truck tyres only, which are sold in South Africa and exported across Africa and other countries.

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