South African Sports News – 2 December
Up and down weekend leaves Proteas in perilous position
England hardly worked up a sweat in cruising to a comfortable seven-wicket victory over South Africa in the fourth MTN one-day international (ODI) at Axxess DSL St George’s in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.
James Anderson produced an outstanding display of swing bowling, which helped England grab the initiative against the tentative Proteas batsmen. Anderson destroyed the South African innings by taking 5/23 off 10 overs as the Proteas recorded a dismal 119 all out, their lowest total in an ODI at home …
England openers Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Trott put on 74 runs to give their side the best possible platform to win the game. Johan Botha claimed 2/22 in eight overs, but Trott batted through to the end to record his second half-century in three innings as England attained their target with 18 overs and four balls to spare.
Opening bowlers Anderson and Stuart Broad set the stage for an England victory when they combined superbly to reduce South Africa to 40/3 in the first 12 overs. Broad started the rot in his opening over by trapping opener Graeme Smith leg-before for two with fellow opener Hashim Amla (11) perishing shortly thereafter, offering a sharp catch to Graeme Swann at short midwicket off the bowling of Anderson.
JP Duminy contributed just six runs before he was caught behind off a short ball from Anderson, which heralded a brief rally from the South African batsmen as they punished a wayward Luke Wright after the medium pacer had been introduced into the England attack.
However, Tim Bresnan then struck a vital blow for the visitors when he trapped AB De Villiers leg-before for 22 and one got the feeling that this just wasn’t going to be South Africa’s day. Alviro Petersen (pictured) and Mark Boucher (13) responded fairly positively to De Villiers’ dismissal by putting on 23 for the fifth wicket, only for the irrepressible Anderson to knock over Boucher’s stumps with a virtually unplayable delivery.
The England swing wizard then recorded figures of 3/6 in four overs in his second spell (no pun intended), which ensured there was no comeback from the South Africans. Petersen was the last man out for a defiant 51 off 79 balls, but, in the context of the match, it was ultimately a futile effort as Anderson’s brilliant achievements had effectively won the match for England.
The victory enabled England to take a 2-1 lead in the five match series, with the decider being played at Kingsmead in Durban on Friday night. The Proteas will be hoping for a repeat of their performance in the third ODI last Friday, which saw them record a crushing 112 run win at Newlands in Cape Town, to save the series in Durban.
Boks lose their way in the mist
The Springboks’ dismal tour of Europe ended the way it began, namely with a loss, when they were defeated 15-10 by Ireland at Croke Park in Dublin on Saturday afternoon.
The Boks, who have not recorded a win in the Emerald Isle since 2000, produced a lethargic and unfocussed performance despite scoring the only try of the game through flanker Schalk Burger (pictured) in the 15th minute. In the end it was the accurate boot of Ireland’s new flyhalf Jonathan Sexton, which proved to be the difference between the two teams.
The Ireland No 10 calmly slotted five out of seven penalty attempts to score all his team’s points. In stark contrast, the normally accurate boot of opposite number Morné Steyn let the Boks down as he produced arguably his worst performance in a Springbok jersey, missing no less than four penalty attempts and a drop goal. Ruan Pienaar added insult to injury by missing another three pointer, which meant that the Boks had squandered a potential 18 points. In spite of bitterly cold conditions and a pitch that was shrouded in mist, the Springboks made a promising start to the game as their powerful scrum obtained a clear advantage against their Irish counterparts.
Although Sexton banged over an early penalty to put Ireland 3-0 to the good, the Boks looked as though they had the measure of their opponents when centre Jaque Fourie popped the ball up to Burger who burst through a couple of half hearted tackles to crash over.
Steyn added the extra points and a 23rd minute drop goal to put the Boks 10-3 in front, but that was about as good as it was going to get for the Bok flyhalf as he proved that he is human after all with a string of subsequent failures at the posts.
Sexton slotted his second penalty in the 29th minute to close the gap to four points as Ireland began to claw their way back into the game on the back of numerous unforced errors by the Boks. Steyn squandered a penalty attempt in the 38th minute and attempted another from deep in his own half two minutes later, but just didn’t have the distance. He failed again in the 43rd minute, which must have had Bok coach Pieter de Villiers tearing his hair out.
The missed attempts at goal clearly unnerved the Boks who began to allow ill discipline to get the better of them as they conceded a number of penalties. First, Steyn committed a high tackle on Brian O’Driscoll with Sexton duly punishing the error to make it 9-10; then Andries Bekker stupidly drove a knee into the back of David Wallace which paved the way for another three pointer from the Ireland flyhalf to give his side the lead in the 51st minute.
Sexton made it 15-10 in the 65th minute with another well-taken penalty and, although the Boks tried extremely hard to pull the match out of the fire with a try, they just could not do it as they failed to break through the rock solid Irish defence.
Granted, Beast Mtawarira did come desperately close to scoring as he drove for the line in the right-hand corner in the dying minutes, but the Boks clearly lacked the depth and the variation to strike the blow, which would have evened matters.
And so, 15-10 was how things ended, but truth be told it was a Test the Boks could and should have won. However, as the Boks and their coach will know, you just can’t expect to win an international test match after throwing away 18 points. Point aside, the Boks also seemed to lack the intensity, vitality and passion required to pull off a win against a well-organised and well-drilled Irish side, who must be thrilled with their performance on the day.
The result left the Boks with four losses from five matches on their European tour – a poor way to end a successful year, which saw the men in green and gold defeat the British and Irish Lions and lift the Tri-Nations trophy.
Ireland 15 – Penalties: Jonathan Sexton (5).
South Africa 10 – Try: Schalk Burger. Conversion: Morné Steyn. Dropped goal: Steyn.
Pirates and Swallows battle to a draw
Despite two goals from Shaun Haschick (pictured) Moroka Swallows were unable to secure a win against Orlando Pirates in an Absa Premiership match at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday evening. In the end both teams had to settle for a 2-2 draw with Rooi Mahamutsa unquestionably the hero for Pirates having scored the equaliser just four minutes from the whistle.
Despite being on the defensive for the majority of the opening half, Swallows still went into the half-time break a goal to the good courtesy of Haschick who took advantage of a miss-communication in the Pirates’ defence.
A cross from the left came into the box and instead of clearing the danger; Mzondi Mthombeni tried to play the ball back to his goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs, unaware that Haschick was lurking behind him. Consequently, the Swallows striker was able to step in between Josephs and Mthombeni and stab the ball into the back of the net to put his side 1-0 up.
Thereafter, Pirates applied the pressure as they launched attack after attack on the Swallows goal. The pace of the game was fierce and although Pirates had numerous opportunities to level matters, they just couldn’t finish off.
Shortly after half-time, Haschick once again dismayed the Bucs fans when he scored the Birds’ second goal just nine minutes after the restart. Haschick demonstrated tremendous composure to control a long ball from the back before turning and stylishly firing the ball past a despairing Josephs from just inside the box, to make it 2-0.
However, far from being deflated, the Bucs struck back almost immediately with Phenyo Mongala scored his side’s opening goal just two minutes later. Goalkeeper Greg Etafia, who otherwise had an outstanding game, was the culprit as he parried a cross straight onto the head of Mongala, who headed into an empty net to make it 2-1 to the Birds.
Although Swallows defended their lead like Trojans from that point on, it failed to produce the desired result as Rooi Mahamutsa slotted the equaliser four minutes from time after a goalmouth scramble inside the Swallows box.
Mahamutsa rifled the ball home when it fell at his feet just 12 yards out to make it 2-2, which is the way matters remained until the final whistle. Pirates undoubtedly deserved the draw after dictating proceedings for the majority of the match, while Swallows have Etafia to thank for keeping them in the match with some brilliant saves.
Results (left to right)
AmaZulu 2 – Platinum Stars 1
Kaizer Chiefs 0 – SuperSport United 2
Moroka Swallows 1 – Black Aces 1
Bloem Celtic 1 – Santos 1
Pmb United 1 – Bidvest Wits 1
Ajax Cape Town 0 – Free State Stars 0
Mamelodi Sundowns 2 – Orlando Pirates 0
Over the weekend
SuperSport United 0 – Bloem Celtic 0
Free State Stars 2 – Mamelodi Sundowns 2
Platinum Stars 2 – Golden Arrows 1
Black Aces 0 – Jomo Cosmos 0
Orlando Pirates 2 – Moroka Swallows 2
Santos 1 – Ajax Cape Town 0
AmaZulu 0 – Pmb United 1
Bidvest Wits 0 – Kaizer Chiefs 3
Ajax Cape Town 1 SuperSport United 1
SuperSport stay in front
SuperSport United stayed on top of the Absa Premiership when they drew 1-1 with third placed Ajax Cape Town at the Newlands Stadium in Cape Town last night. United’s goal came from a powerful free-kick from Daine Klate (pictured right) in the 16th minute while Ajax equalised with a thunderous 34th minute strike from Franklin Cale.
SuperSport have a seven point lead over second placed Santos (31 points) who are just one point in front of Ajax, with Mamelodi Sundowns (29), Kaizer Chiefs (28) and Orlando Pirates (28) in fourth, fifth and sixth places respectively. Although Chiefs and Pirates have the same number of points, Chiefs have scored more goals this season, which earns them a higher position on the log.
The pick of today’s matches is likely to be the encounter between Santos and Sundowns at the Super Stadium this evening. Santos defeated Ajax 1-0 at Newlands on Saturday and will want to keep up the good work against Sundowns who struggled to a 2-2 draw with Free State Stars at Goble Park on Saturday.
The match likely to attract the most attention on the weekend is the fixture between SuperSport and Sundowns at the Super Stadium on Saturday evening. Sundowns will be looking to spring a surprise on their more fancied rivals and an intense tussle is expected between these two well-balanced sides.
Golden Arrows vs Black Aces Chatsworth Stadium 3.30pm
Mamelodi Sundowns vs Santos Super Stadium 7.30pm
Kaizer Cheifs vs AmaZulu Orlando Stadium 7.30pm
Bloem Celtic vs Bidvest Wits Seisa Ramabodu Stadium 7.30pm
Maritzburg United vs Platinum Stars Woodburn Stadium 7.30pm
Moroka Swallows vs Free State Stars Dobsonville Stadium 7.30pm
Jomo Cosmos vs Orlando Pirates Rand Stadium 7.30pm
Bidvest Wits vs Ajax Cape Town Bidvest Stadium 3.30pm
Free State Stars vs Jomo Cosmos Goble Park 3.30pm
Platinum Stars vs Black Aces Royal Bafokeng Stadium 3.30pm
Orlando Pirates vs Golden Arrows Orlando Stadium 6.00pm
Santos vs Moroka Swallows Coetzenburg Stadium 8.00pm
SuperSport vs Mamelodi Sundowns Super Stadium 8.15pm
Maritzburg United vs Kaizer Chiefs Woodburn Stadium 3.30pm
AmaZulu vs Bloem Celtic Ulundi Stadium 3.30pm
Funeka foiled by the judges in world title bid
Ali Funeka’s bid for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) lightweight title ended in failure in Quebec City, Canada on Saturday night, when Joan Guzman of the Dominican Republic held the lanky South African to a controversial draw.
Judge Joseph Pasquale from the U.S. had Funeka a justifiable winner with a score of 116-112, but judges Benoit Roussel from Quebec and Allan Davis of Toronto ruined things for the South African with both officials handing in scorecards of 114-114. Their verdicts meant that the title will remain vacant, although Funeka (pictured right) definitely has a case for a rematch.
The South African was clearly in command for most of the fight and undoubtedly deserved the decision. However, instead of adding another win to his record, Funeka’s log now stands at 30-2-3 (25 KO’s), while Guzman remains unbeaten with a record of 29-0-1 (17 KO’s).
It was a second North American disappointment for Funeka, who squared off against Nate Campbell for the IBF and World Boxing Association (WBA) lightweight titles in February. The American failed to make weight and was forced to relinquish the belts. He then defeated Funeka to prevent the South African from capturing the vacant titles.
“I travelled a long way from South Africa to prove I’m the best in the lightweight division,” a frustrated Funeka said. “What can I do? I don’t even know what I can say,” he added grimly.
Meanwhile, in local fight action, unbeaten prospect Johnny Muller (91.26kg) easily outpointed the much larger Mongezi Ndzamela (117.10kg) over six rounds in a scrappy encounter at the Wembley Indoor Arena in Johannesburg on Friday night.
Both combatants came out swinging for the fences from the opening bell and demonstrated very few boxing skills in the process. This amateurish approach was the pattern throughout the contest, with Muller mainly intent on landing his big right cross against Ndzamela, who spent most of his time ducking and clutching his younger opponent.
Judges Boitumelo Madiba and Phillip du Randt scored it 60-54 and Phumeza Zinakile had it 59-55 for the 19-year-old Muller who was coming off a first-round knockout over Sean Santana, who had ended the career of former World Boxing Union (WBU) and International Boxing Organisation (IBO) cruiserweight champion Sebastiaan Rothmann. Muller improved his record to 5-0 (4 KO’s) with the win while Ndzamela fell to a dismal 1-6 (1 KO).
Muleki Fukile W6 Charity Mokondeleli (junior flyweights)
Marcel Japhta W6 Vusumzi Manyoni (featherweights)
Thompson Mokwana TKO 3 Takalani Dangale (lightweights)
Kgotla Baeti TKO 3 Amosa Nhlapho (lightweights)
Nkululeko Mhlongo KO 2 John Mokgotsa (junior middleweights)
Sylvester Zacky W4 Solomon Letsoale (middleweights)
Earl Strydom TKO 2 Benjamin Wessel (super middleweights)
Gonorenda Sting W4 Kally Kelembe (heavyweights)
‘White Buffalo’ to get a crack at the ‘Real Deal’
Former International Boxing Federation (IBF) and current World Boxing Foundation (WBF) heavyweight champion Francois ‘The White Buffalo’ Botha will take on former undisputed heavyweight champion Evander ‘The Real Deal’ Holyfield in a 12 round bout on January 16 next year. The contest between the two boxing dinosaurs will be for the vacant World Boxing Federation (also WBF) heavyweight title and will be held at the Nelson Mandela Memorial Stadium in Kampala, Uganda.
Contracts for the fight between the 41-year-old South African and legendary four-time world heavyweight champion Holyfield have been signed and promoters Eddie Bazira and Baltic Pro Box Promotions, in association with Real Deal Events and other parties, will present the fight that could attract up to 80 000 spectators.
The 47-year-old Holyfield boasts a record of 42-10-2 (27 KO’s) while Botha’s log stands at 47-4-3 with 28 wins occurring inside the distance. The American legend lost a controversial decision to Russian giant Nikolay Valuev for the World Boxing Association (WBA) belt in December last year, but hopes a victory over Botha will put him in line to fight for one of the more recognised heavyweight titles. ‘The White Buffalo’ failed to impress in his most recent fight when he struggled to a draw against novice Pedro Carrion of Cuba, in October.
Meanwhile, highly touted lightweight Jason Bedeman crushed Joseph Modise in the opening round of their highly anticipated rematch at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park, Gauteng on Monday night. The bout, an all South African affair, was scheduled for eight rounds, but it was all over after just two and a half minutes of action.
Bedeman and Modise fought to a draw over six rounds earlier this year in a contest that ended with both camps claiming victory. However, in the rematch, Bedeman (61.02 kg) was all business as he unleashed a brutal two-fisted attack from the opening bell, which had the bewildered Modise at sixes and sevens.
Modise (60.88 kg) soon found himself on the canvas after being walloped by a pulverising left hook to the jaw. Clearly hurt, Modise nevertheless managed to drag himself to his feet and beat the count, only to be met with a blizzard of punches from the aggressive Bedeman prompting referee David van Nieuwenhuizen to wisely call a halt to proceedings. The impressive Bedeman improved to 10-0-2 (8 KO’s) with the win, while Modise fell to 5-5-2 with two of those wins coming via the short route.
Morne Bothma W4 Nhlanhla Mnguni (bantamweights)
Ashley Dlamini TKO 3 Balangani Ndou (featherweights)
Joey Stiglingh W4 Stephen Ntshingila, (junior lightweights)
Grant Fourie W6 Thulani Mbatha (lightweights)
Mbuso Ndlela TKO 2 Kyle Smith (junior welterweights)
Stephen Castle TKO 3 Khayeni Hlungwane (heavyweights)
Florante Simba KO 1 Thato Tholano (heavyweights)
Jeff Ellis of African Ring presented the tournament in conjunction with Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves Promotions.
In upcoming warfare, former South African flyweight champion Nkqubela Gwazela will take on Kenyan Nick Otieno in an international bantamweight contest in East London on Friday night. Gwazela, 17-7 (14 KO’s), is a hard-hitting fighter with wins over the likes of current IBF flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane and former national flyweight champion Ncedo Cecane to his credit. However, he will have his work cut out for him if he hopes to defeat Otieno, 18-3 (7 KO’s), a clever boxer who has never been stopped as a professional.
Cobras and Dolphins win while Eagles and Titans settle for draw
The Cape Cobras (pictured) and Dolphins will certainly be pleased with their achievements over the weekend with both sides recording excellent victories in their respective SuperSport Series matches.
The Dolphins got the better of the Highveld Lions by five wickets at the Wanderers while the Cobras had too much venom for the Warriors as the Cape team romped to a crushing nine-wicket victory in Paarl. In another SuperSport Series match played at the OUTsurance Oval, the Diamond Eagles and the Titans played to a draw in a high scoring encounter.
Scores in brief
Highveld Lions versus Dolphins
Result: Dolphins win by five wickets.
Diamond Eagles versus Titans
Result: Match drawn
Cape Cobras versus Warriors
Cape Cobras: 240&47/1
Result: Cape Cobras won by nine wickets
The weekend’s results means the Titans regain their spot at the top of the log with 56.42 points, closely followed by the Warriors (53.14) with the Dolphins (46.42) lying in third spot. The Cape Cobras (42.38), Diamond Eagles (40.22) and the Highveld Lions (37.60) find themselves in fourth, fifth and sixth place respectively.
The Warriors and the Dolphins have already played six matches this season with the rest of the teams having only five games under their belt. Upcoming fixtures pit the Lions against the Titans at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom while the Cobras entertain the Eagles at Newlands in Cape Town. Both matches start tomorrow.
‘Goose’ looking to lay a golden egg
The biggest event on the South African golfing calendar gets underway tomorrow when some of the best players in the world tea off at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City to contest the R4 385 000 Nedbank Golf Challenge.
The annual tournament is always a huge crowd puller and defending champion Henrik Stenson of Sweden will have to be in top form as he tries to stave off the likes of local boy Retief Goosen (pictured), Argentine Angel Cabrera and American Hunter Mahan.