South African Sports News – 4 November
Bulls tame Cheetahs to take Currie Cup
It was all smiles for the Loftus Versfeld faithful in Pretoria Accommodation on Saturday night when their darlings, the mighty Blue Bulls, defeated a stubborn Cheetahs outfit 36-24 to become 2009 Absa Currie Cup Premier Division champions. The Bulls stormed to a 24-0 lead after just 25 minutes courtesy of a try from right wing Francois Hougaard (pictured with ball in hand) and a brace from left wing Bryan Habana, but the Cheetahs, as always, staged a spirited fight back to close the gap to just six points after 48 minutes.
Tries by Frans Viljoen, Corné Uys and Nico Breedt got the Free Staters back into the match as the Bulls were forced to make a large number of tackles against a team that were running the ball with confidence. However, ill discipline by the visitors let them down at crucial times and this, combined with the superiority of flyhalf Morné Steyn over his opposite number Jacques-Louis Potgieter, proved to be the difference between the sides.
Steyn slotted eight of his nine kicks at goal to record a personal tally of 21 points via three conversions, a drop goal and four penalties while Potgieter could only contribute nine points via three conversions and a drop goal. With 30 minutes left on the clock it looked like the determined Free Staters might pull off a huge upset against their more illustrious rivals, but the concession of two penalties squashed their chances of victory – the first when Potgieter was forced to hold the ball on the ground at a 22m kick-off and the second when Richardt Strauss lost his cool and interfered with Deon Stegmann, man-handling the Bulls flanker even though he was already in touch.
Steyn added the extra points and suddenly, with the final 10 minutes approaching, the home side were back into a 12-point lead and the Cheetahs were facing the virtually impossible task of having to score two tries against one of the best defensive sides in world rugby.
Any chance of that happening was dealt a death blow by referee Jonathan Kaplan who yellow carded the impetuous Strauss after the burly Free Stater objected to the match officials not allowing a short throw to the front of the lineout. And that as they say was that as the Bulls closed out the match to claim their fifth Currie Cup title in the first decade of the 21st century. The men in blue also had the honour of becoming the first side ever to win both the Super 14 and the Currie Cup in the same year.
Bulls 36 – Tries: Francois Hougaard, Bryan Habana (2). Conversions: Morné Steyn (3). Penalties: Steyn (4). Dropped goal: Steyn.
Cheetahs 24 – Tries: Frans Viljoen, Corne Uys, Nico Breedt. Conversions: Jacques-Louis Potgieter (3). Dropped goal: Potgieter.
Pumas go through while Eagles lose out
While the chief focus in local rugby action this weekend was the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division final, there were still other matters to be decided on the domestic front – namely who was going to remain in the Premier Division next year and who was not.
Those matters were resolved on Friday evening when the Pumas easily defeated the Boland Cavaliers 40-3 (aggregate 75-39) in Witbank while the Leopards went down 18-17 to the SWD Eagles in George in their respective Promotion/Relegation matches.
The Pumas were utterly ruthless against their Premier Division opposition, running in six tries without reply as they completely dominated all facets of the game. The Cavaliers’ defeat means that they will compete with the likes of the Eagles, Might Elephants, Griffons, Bulldogs and Valke in the less glamorous First Division next season.
Despite their loss to the Eagles, the Leopards will remain in the top-flight competition next season after managing to secure a bonus point in the match. The Leopards won the first Promotion/Regulation fixture 47-42 in Potchefstroom the previous Friday.
Pumas vs Cavaliers: Pumas 40 – Tries: Jaco Bouwer, Marius Coetzer, Pieter Meyer, MJ Mentz, Shaun Venter, Tiaan Marx. Conversions: Braam Pretorius (5). Cavaliers 3 – Penalty: Justin Peach.
SWD vs Leopards: SWD 18 – Tries: Bevin Fortuin, Norman Nelson. Conversion: Ricardo Croy. Penalty: Croy. Drop Goal: Croy. Leopards 17 – Tries: Basil de Doncker, Deon van Rensburg. Conversions: Cecil Dumond (pictured in green jersey), Clayton Durand. Penalty: Durand.
United too clever for Students
SuperSport United defeated Bidvest Wits 2-1 in an Absa Premiership match played at Bidvest Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday and in so doing maintained their top spot on the standings. Goals from Brian Umony and Glen Salmon were enough to give United the victory as the Students could only muster a loan score from Mark Haskins in reply.
However, Wits did have their chances in this game but couldn’t convert them into goals. Rene Richards could have opened the scoring for the Students in the 11th minute but was denied by some top-notch work from Emille Baron (pictured) in United’s goal when the ‘keeper parried his well-taken free kick for a corner.
After 15 minutes had elapsed, United were starting to come back into the game and it was Umony who put them on the board with a well-taken strike. Going a goal behind so early in the match seemed to galvanise Wits into action and they quickly responded with some attacking moves only to be let down by poor finishing.
However, with just a minute gone in the second half, Haskins headed home a Sifiso Myeni cross to level matters for Wits. He was then denied a second goal two minutes later when he connected well with another cross from Myeni only to see his shot whistle over the crossbar. Sniping runs by the fleet-footed Myeni on the right flank kept United’s defenders very busy, but his team-mates failed to make contact with his well-placed crosses letting SuperSport off the hook once again.
The Students suffered a significant blow after 70 minutes when their captain, Tefu Mashamaite, was sent off for dissent and United wasted little time in capitalising on their numerical advantage. Dane Klate unleashed a powerful 78th minute strike which, although blocked by Wits ‘keeper Darren Keet, rebounded into the path of Salmon who was on hand to score the visitors’ second goal.
United were now 2-1 up with 12 minutes left to play and that’s the way things stayed giving SuperSport an excellent win. United are now three points clear of nearest rivals Santos who comfortably despatched lowly AmaZulu 2-0 at the Ulundi Stadium on Sunday.
Mamelodi Sundowns 0 Platinum Stars 2
Maritzburg Utd 1 Black Aces 0
Moroka Swallows 0 Ajax Cape Town 2
Kaizer Chiefs 2 Golden Arrows 0
Bloem Celtic 3 Jomo Cosmos 3
Orlando Pirates 1 AmaZulu 2
Bidvest Wits 1 Free State Stars 1
Over the weekend
Moroka Swallows 1 Platinum Stars 0
Kaizer Chiefs 0 Orlando Pirates 0
SuperSport United 2 Bidvest Wits 1
Maritzburg Utd 1 Free State Stars 1
Ajax Cape Town 0 Golden Arrows 0
Jomo Cosmos 1 Mamelodi Sundowns 3
AmaZulu 0 Santos 2
Bloem Celtic 2 Black Aces 0
Another very busy week lies ahead for all the PSL teams with 16 fixtures taking place over the next couple of days. The pick of today’s games is likely to be the clash between second placed Santos and seventh placed Wits at the Coetzenberg Stadium at 7.30pm with the encounter between Orlando Pirates and Bloem Celtic at the Orlando Stadium on Sunday, promising to be the match to watch as far as weekend action is concerned.
Free State Stars vs AmaZulu
Golden Arrows vs Bloem Celtic
Jomo Cosmos vs Ajax Cape Town
Santos vs Bidvest Wits
Black Aces vs Kaizer Chiefs
Moroka Swallows vs Mamelodi Sundowns
SuperSport United vs Platinum Stars
Orlando Pirates vs Maritzburg Utd
Golden Arrows vs Mamelodi Sundowns
Platinum Stars vs Bidvest Wits
SuperSport United vs AmaZulu
Santos vs Maritzburg Utd
Jomo Cosmos vs Moroka Swallows
Free State Stars vs Kaizer Chiefs
Orlando Pirates vs Bloem Celtic
Black Aces vs Ajax Cape Town
Tsotsobe and Boje defang Cobras
Some top quality bowling from Lonwabo Tsotsobe (pictured) and Nicky Boje helped the Chevrolet Warriors defeat the Nashua Cape Cobras by 59 runs in their MTN40 match at Buffalo Park in East London on Sunday.
The Warriors batted first and scored 214 all out while the Cobras could only muster 155 all out in reply. Man of the match Tsotsobe returned figures of 3/36 and was well supported by left-arm spinner Boje who claimed 2/36. The Cobras were on course for victory at 118/5 after 25.1 overs but when Herschelle Gibbs was dismissed for 60 runs off 54 balls, their challenge came to an end. Gibbs, who recorded ten fours and a six during his innings, was batting superbly until he sliced an attempted drive off Boje and was caught by Justin Kreusch at a wide long off.
The Cape franchise had got off to a shocking start as they crumbled to 51/5 after 13.2 overs. Left-arm swing bowler Tsotsobe was the destroyer in chief as his first spell, with the new ball, produced figures of 3/16 off six overs. Gibbs and Justin Kemp then restored some respectability to the Cobras’ innings with a sixth-wicket stand of 67 runs, but when Gibbs lost his wicket the Cobras lost their way once again. The remaining four wickets yielded just 37 runs with Kemp the last man out for a run of the mill 29 off 63 deliveries.
The Warriors’ innings was built on the efforts of Colin Ingram (53 runs off 53 balls), Arno Jacobs (42 off 57) and Johan Botha (42 off 52) as the hosts were dismissed with five balls of their innings remaining. Speedsters Monde Zondeki, with 3/37, and Francois Plaatjies, with 2/26, caused the most problems for the home batsmen.
The Warriors’ next MTN40 outing is against the bizhub Highveld Lions at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on December 26, while the Cobras will face the Dolphins at Newlands in Cape Town on Friday. The Warriors are currently in first position in the championship standings with nine points, while the Cobras find themselves in third place on six points.
Although the championship has hardly got under way, the Warriors will stand an excellent chance of lifting the trophy this season if they can maintain their recent good form, while the Cobras remain a class act and can never be discounted.
Steyn sends Eagles packing
Paceman Dale Steyn (pictured) grabbed four wickets to lead the Nashua Titans to a 14-run victory over the Diamond Eagles in their MTN40 match at SuperSport Park on Sunday. Steyn recorded figures of 4/36 in eight overs to restrict the Eagles to 240/7, twice claiming a crucial wicket in the opening over of a return spell. The Titans had earlier notched up 254/8 in their allotted 40 overs.
The Eagles were well on course for victory on 130/1, but Steyn, who had earlier dispensed with Morne van Wyk for 12, put a spanner in the works when he removed opener Reeza Hendricks for a well-played 73 off 72 balls, which included 12 boundaries. Next man in Dean Elgar didn’t last long when he edged a nasty lifter from Steyn to a wide slip and the Eagles had suddenly slipped to 136/3.
The rot continued as Boeta Dippenaar (five), Johan van der Wath (12) and Alan Kruger (11) all fell trying over ambitious strokes, while Rilee Rossouw (52 off 70), having laid the foundation to bat through the innings, then hit Steyn straight to long-off to give Faf du Plessis the third of his set of four catches, a record for the Titans in limited-overs cricket.
Ryan McLaren batted well to finish with an unbeaten 39 off 33 balls, but in the end it was not enough to get the Eagles home as they finished just short of their target. Spin bowlers Roelof van der Merwe (2/47) and Paul Harris (1/31) snared the other wickets to fall in a well co-ordinated effort by the Titans’ bowlers.
The Titans’ innings was built around the efforts of Jacques Rudolph (76 off 83) and AB de Villiers (65 off 67) with support from Du Plessis (34 off 20) and Albie Morkel (22 off 17). The Eagles’ bowling was dominated by their speedsters, with McLaren standing out with 2/32 in eight overs.
The Eagles’ next outing in the competition is against the Nashua Dolphins on Sunday at Kingsmead in Durban, while the Titans face the bizhub Highveld Lions on Friday. The Eagles are currently in fourth place in the standings with five points while the Titans are in second position with six points.
Chevrolet Warriors beat Nashua Dolphins by 13 runs
Diamond Eagles beat bizhub Highveld Lions by 104 runs
Nashua Titans vs Nashua Cape Cobras (Match washed out)
Nashua Cape Cobras beat bizhub Highveld Lions by seven wickets
Plenty of action in Kempton Park KO feast
Mlungisi ‘The Killer Shark’ Dlamini (21-0-1, 13 KO’s) became a duel world boxing champion at Emperor’s Palace in Kempton Park on Saturday night when he sensationally knocked out former International Boxing Organisation (IBO) junior lightweight champion Zolani ‘Untouchable’ Marali (20-4, 13 KO’s) to capture the vacant IBO lightweight title.
The 27-year-old Dlamini, who hails from Esakawini in KwaZulu-Natal, looked strangely lethargic as he followed his 32-year-old foe around the ring rather than jab his way in to land effective body punches as he normally does. The KwaZulu-Natalian clearly lost the opening three rounds and was losing the fourth when he all of a sudden unleashed a hellish right cross which exploded off Marali’s jaw to send the veteran crashing head first to the canvas.
Marali, to his credit, tried to rise from the knockdown, but his legs weren’t up to the job and he sank back to the canvass. Scottish referee Victor Loughlin reached the count of ten at 2 min, 59 secs of the round and Dlamini found himself the proud owner of an IBO belt to go with his World Boxing Foundation (WBF) lightweight strap.
The win has potentially put Dlamini in line for some big money fights against the holders of some of the more recognised world titles. However, for Marali, the loss has possibly spelt the end of his career as a top-level fighter, as he has now lost three of his last four fights, two of them by knockout.
On the undercard, Thomas ‘Tommy Gun’ Oosthuizen (10-0, 8 KO’s) unleashed a smashing left cross in the fourth round of his scheduled 12 round contest with Tshepang Mohale (7-3, 6 KO’s) to record a knockout victory over the reigning South African super-middleweight champion.
However, the 6’2’ Oosthuizen didn’t have it all his own way against the equally tall Mohale, who landed some heavy jabs and punishing right crosses, which reddened his the face of his opponent. Indeed, Mohale actually exposed Oosthuizen’s somewhat leaky defence as he connected with hurtful punches throughout the opening three rounds. However, it was Oosthuizen, fighting from his tricky southpaw stance, who had the last laugh.
After a furious exchange of blows in the opening seconds of the fourth round, Mohale pulled away from his foe but forgot to keep his hands up allowing Oosthuizen to land a pulverising left cross on his unguarded chin. The 30-year-old Mohale crashed to the canvas as if he’d been shot and, although he made a determined effort to rise, it was ultimately to no avail as the referee counted him out at 0:48 of the round.
The victory earned Oosthuizen the World Boxing Association (WBA) Pan African super middleweight title to go with his IBO Youth super-middleweight and light-heavyweight titles. The lanky 22-year-old from Gauteng is now undoubtedly one of South Africa’s best young prospects and it will surely not be long before he brings home a legitimate world title belt to these sunny shores.
For Mohale, who incidentally remains the South African super-middleweight champion as his title was not at stake in this fight, the future also looks pretty promising. Although he lost by knockout, he was by no means disgraced as he landed some hurtful punches on Oosthuizen and kept him guessing at all times. It was possibly the southpaw prospect’s toughest professional outing to date and Mohale can take comfort in the knowledge that he was holding his own until a split second lapse in concentration gave Oosthuizen the opportunity to end matters.
The World Boxing Council (WBC) International light-heavyweight title fight between challenger Isaac Chilemba (14-1, 8 KO’s) and champion Doudou Ngumbu (20-1, 9 KO’s) resembled more of a chess match than a boxing match as both fighters probed for openings and found very few during the course of the 12 round bout.
Chilemba, a Malawian who is based in South Africa and trained by Colin Nathan, definitely deserved the decision against Ngumbu, who is based in France but hails from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He landed the more effective blows against his shorter opponent and used his superior strength and size to back Ngumbu up on the ropes.
However, it was not all plain sailing for Chilemba who occasionally got tagged by some hard right crosses from Ngumbu and seemed a little confused at times by his awkward and slippery opponent. In the end though Chilemba’s higher work rate paid dividends, as the judges awarded him the decision by scores of 117-112, 115-113 and 118-113. Besides winning the WBC International belt, Chilemba also captured the less prestigious African Boxing Union (ABU) light heavyweight strap and can now look forward to bigger and better things on the international scene.
Gauteng based fighter Hekkie Budler (13-0, 5 KO’s) went into his fight with Motswaki Moselesele (5-2, 2 KO’s) having only scored four stoppages in 12 fights, but that didn’t stop him from making short work of Moselesele, whom he despatched in the opening round to retain his IBO All-Africa junior flyweight title.
Two powerful right crosses had the Free Stater on the canvas halfway through the opening round and when Budler landed a hard left hook a few seconds later, referee Lulama Mtya decided he had seen enough and waved proceedings off at 2:23 of the round. Although Budler’s victory looked impressive, it must be said that Moselesele did not have much to offer and the time has now surely come for ‘The Hexecutioner’ to face sterner competition if he hopes to make an impact on the world scene.
In the opening bout of the Golden Gloves promoted tournament, 20-year-old Flo Simba made short work of an inept Bernard Vance in a scheduled four round cruiserweight contest. Vance, who entered the ring with a black eye and probably left with even an bigger one, was quickly overwhelmed by the powerfully built Simba, prompting referee Alfred Buqwane to wisely call a halt to proceedings at 2:26 of the opening round. Both fighters were making their professional debuts.
At the Wembley Arena in Johannesburg the previous night, former International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior lightweight champion Cassius Baloyi (pictured) comprehensively out pointed Argentinian Roberto Arrieta (34-15-4, 16 KO’s) over 12 rounds in their IBF junior lightweight title eliminator.
All three judges scored the fight 120-107 in the South African’s favour. The 35-year-old Baloyi (37-4-1, 19 KO’s) is now in line to take on the winner of a fight between another South African, Mzonke Fana, and the champion, Robert Guerrero of the United States. Baloyi lost the IBF belt when fellow South African Malcolm Klassen stopped him in the seventh round of a bout that took place in April. Klassen then surrended the belt to Guerrero who out pointed him over 12 rounds in August. The 33-year-old Arrieta lost on points to Fana in 2006.
Other results on the Branco Sports Productions bill
Michael Schultz TKO 3 Samuel Mathebula (super middleweights)
Bongani Mlotshwa TKO 1 Selo Sebothoma (junior middleweights)
Zola Thunyawa TKO 4 Emmanuel Ndou (lightweights)
Jason Kinnear TKO 4 Albert Mudau (bantamweights)
Michael van Heerden KO 7 Theophilus Mpakane (junior middleweights)
Meanwhile, it has been announced that the result of the WBF heavyweight title bout between South African Francois Botha and Cuban Pedro Carrion has been changed to a majority draw. Botha was declared the winner by majority decision after the fight in Dessau, Germany, last Saturday night.
However, WBF officials later verified the scorecards and discovered that the result was actually a draw. Judges Matteo Fratini and Tonio Tiberi handed in scores of 114-114 and 115-115 and Jean-Marcel Nartz had Botha ahead by 115-114. The South African still retains his title but may be required to give Carrion a rematch.
Ramaala finishes sixth in New York
South Africa marathon runner Hendrick Ramaala (pictured) recorded a respectable time of two hours, 12 mins and 31 secs to finish sixth in Sunday’s New York City Marathon. The 37-year-old Ramaala ran well, but didn’t have enough left in the tank to close the gap on the top runners.
Meb Keflezighi became the first American to win the event since 1982 when he took the men’s title in 2:09:15. thiopia’s former world and Olympic 10 000m champion Derartu Tulu won the women’s race in 2:28.52 after running away from Russia’s Ludmila Petrova in the last quarter of a mile.
Keflezighi broke away from Kenyan Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot with just a few miles to go to take the win. Cheruiyot finished 41 seconds behind the American, while former world champion Jaouad Gharib of Morocco was third in 2:10:25. Keflezighi is one of 11 children who moved as a boy from Eritrea to Italy where he went to high school before relocating to San Diego to pursue his tertiary education.
Meanwhile, local runners Tshidiso Bosiu and Rene Kalmer ran away with the honours at the 2009 Nedbank Soweto Marathon on Sunday. Kalmer won the women’s event in a quick 2:44:06 while Bosiu clocked 2:18:10 to take victory in the men’s category. Kalmer’s time also beat the race record of 2:45:37, which was set in 2001. Poppy Mlambo finished second while four-time winner Mamoroallo Tjoka was third in 2:53:13.
The 27-year-old Bosiu took the lead just after the half way mark and was closely followed by two-time winner Mabuthile Lebopo with Tsotang Maine third in 2:19:49. A record entry of 4 923 runners completed the event with another 6 300 participants competing in the 10km walk and run events.
Fichardt pips Moore at the post
Darren Fichardt (pictured) produced some solid all round golf to win the Platinum Classic tournament at the 6 250m par 72 Mooinooi Golf Club course on Saturday. Fichardt birdied the 18th hole and shot a final round 66 for a 15-under 201 to defeat Titch Moore by one shot.
Moore was three strokes ahead going into the 16th, but was too strong with his nine-iron from 147 yards out and overshot the green. He took a further two shots to get onto the green and two putted from there, which allowed Fichardt to draw level after the latter birdied the 17th.
Fichardt then struck a superb approach to the 18th, landing just off the green, and sank his putt to make life difficult for Moore unless the latter was able to birdie the 17th. He wasn’t, and consequently needed to sink a 25-footer for a birdie on the 18th to force a playoff. Again, he wasn’t successful, giving Fichardt his third title on the 2009 Sunshine Tour. Defending champion Thomas Aiken finished on 11-under for a share of 10th position.
Top 14 finishers (South African unless specified)
201 – Darren Fichardt 70 65 66
202 – Titch Moore 65 68 69
203 – Grant Muller 66 70 67
Alan McLean (SCO) 65 66 72
204 – Steve Basson 71 67 66
Adilson da Silva (BRA) 67 70 67
Ryan Cairns (ZIM) 67 70 67
Teboho Sefatsa 68 67 69
Branden Grace 66 67 71
205 – Trevor Fisher Jnr 67 70 68
Warren Abery 65 72 68
Jbe’ Kruger 63 73 69
Thomas Aiken 67 69 69
Doug McGuigan 66 69 70