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Posted on: Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Boks down Wallabies to keep unbeaten record – and other sporting news

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Victor Matfield

Victor Matfield

Boks down Wallabies to keep unbeaten record
The Springboks continued their rich vein of form in this year’s Tri-Nations competition when they defeated Australia 29-17 at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday afternoon. Bok flyhalf Morné Steyn once again had an outstanding game, slotting seven penalties and a drop goal for a personal tally of 24 points. The Bok win was set up by another dominant display by their pack of forwards with the lock pairing of Victor Matfield (pictured left) and Bakkies Botha proving particularly detrimental to the Wallabies. The towering duo dominated the lineouts securing ample possession for their team and starving the Wallabies of this critical commodity in the process …

The Wallabies struck first with a quick fire second minute try from fullback Adam Ashley-Cooper, which was converted by flyhalf Matt Giteau to put the visitors 7-0 in front. However, the Boks remained calm under pressure and responded soon afterwards with a well-taken try from ‘Man of the Match’ Matfield who chased a superb left footed grubber kick from captain John Smit and collected to dot down. From that point on the Boks stamped their authority on the game and never looked back as flyhalf Steyn produced another superb kicking display to help sink the Wallabies. Granted, Giteau did manage to score a superb second half try under the posts to give his side a glimmer of hope, but it was ultimately to no avail as the Bok pack maintained their stronghold on the game to shut out the Wallabies. The Boks have now won all three of their Tri-Nations games and must be firm favourites to with the competition with the All Blacks and Wallabies searching for answers but not finding them.

The Boks enjoy a three-week break before taking on the Wallabies in the return clash at the Subiaco Oval in Perth on August 29. Flyhalf Giteau could be forced to miss that game for his shocking forearm charge on Fourie du Preez, which felled the Bok scrumhalf heavily late in the first half. It is unclear whether the Bok management will cite the Wallaby flyhalf for his indiscretion, but it is a distinct possibility and certainly not unjustifiable. Giteau was sin-binned for his efforts, but the nature of the challenge smacked of premeditation and could have resulted in a serious injury for Du Preez. One hopes that the return game in Perth will not herald such unsavoury incidents.

Scoring:
South Africa – Try: Victor Matfield. Penalties: Morné Steyn (7). Drop Goal: Steyn.
Australia – Tries: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Matt Giteau. Conversions: Giteau (2). Drop Goal: Berrick Barnes.

Cheetahs shock Bulls as Griquas remain on top

WP Nel

WP Nel

The Free State Cheetahs produced the upset of the Currie Cup season thus far when they shocked the mighty Blue Bulls 24-15 at Vodacom Park in Bloemfontein on Friday evening. The Cheetahs, who, until this encounter, were having a disastrous season having lost all four of their previous games, produced a solid all round display to stun the Bulls who struggled to find their rhythm in the match. Prop WP Nel (pictured with No 17 jersey) had an outstanding game for the home side and won the ‘Man of the Match’ award courtesy of his powerful performance in the scrum and a superb 48th minute try.

Frans Viljoen and captain Adrian Strauss added further tries for the Free Staters with flyhalf Jacques-Louis Potgieter completing the scoring for the home side with three conversions and a drop. The Bulls replied with five penalties from the accurate boot of Francois Brummer, but a try tally of three tries to nil told the story as the Bulls slumped to a disappointing defeat against their less fancied opponents.

The Bulls’ next outing will be against high-flying Griquas in Kimberley on Saturday afternoon. Griquas remain top of the log after recording a narrow 33-32 victory against visitors Western Province in Kimberley on Friday evening. In a pulsating encounter, Griquas prevailed by the narrowest of margins in a game that could have gone either way. Nevertheless, the home side came away with the win to remain unbeaten in this year’s competition, while Province will be disappointed with their defeat, especially as they managed to outscore their opponents four tries to three.

Griquas remain well on top of the log with 28 points with the Sharks, who crushed the Leopards 44-15 in Rustenburg on Friday, in second place on 18 points. The Lions narrowly defeated the Boland Kavaliers 19-13 at the Boland Stadium in Wellington in another fifth round clash and their next game will be against the Sharks in Johannesburg on Saturday. In other upcoming sixth round action, Western Province take on Boland in Wellington while the Leopards do battle with the rejuvenated Cheetahs in Potchefstroom.

Records galore at SA Swim champs

Neil Versfeld

Neil Versfeld

A myriad of records were broken at the SA Short Course Championships, which finished yesterday at the GC Jolliffe Swimming Pool in Pietermaritzburg. Neil Versfeld (pictured) stole the show on the final day by winning the men’s 200m breaststroke final in a brilliant 2:04.88 for a new national record. Versfeld shaved 1.90 secs off William Diering’s record of 2:06.78 and forced his rival into second position on the day with Diering only managing 2:07.51. Ronwyn Roper was just a little too good for Keri Plumstead in the women’s 100m breaststroke, edging out her rival by a mere 0.22 secs to take the win. Roper’s time was a quick 1:08.90.

Lyndon Ferns capitalised on Roland Schoeman’s decision not to compete in the 100m freestyle final to win the event in 46.88 secs, with Hermanus Botha finishing second. World 50m freestyle record holder Schoeman broke the world record at the championships on Saturday night and was probably still quite drained after his monumental effort and thus decided to give the longer event a miss. Super-star Cameron van der Burgh was also among the records on Saturday night, breaking his own world marks in the 50m and 100m breaststroke.

Olympic gold medallist Darian Townsend emerged victorious in the men’s 200m individual medley in 1:53.22, comfortably beating Jay-Cee Thompson (2:02.48) into second place. Mandy Loots easily won the women’s 100m butterfly, but was tested by 20-year-old Bianca Meyer in the 200m individual medley. Nevertheless, the 31-year-old prevailed to take the event and capped off a great afternoon with another victory – this time in the 200m backstroke.

The championships were a great success, yielding no fewer than four world records as well as a plethora of world firsts in a host of multi-disability categories.

SA fighters make it three out of three

Bongani Mwelase

Bongani Mwelase

Mlungisi Dlamini, William Gare and Bongani Mwelase (pictured), all did South Africa proud in Bloemfontein on Friday night when the three pugilists defeated international opponents to secure World Boxing Foundation (WBF) belts.

Twenty-seven-year-old KwaZulu-Natalian Dlamini was too slick for Franciso Lorenzo of the Dominican Republic and prevailed by scores of 117-111, 117-113 and 117-112 to retain the lightweight title over 12 rounds. Although Dlamini clearly deserved the win courtesy of his higher work rate and superior boxing skills, he did not look particularly impressive against the 37-year-old veteran Lorenzo, who has exchanged leather with top-notch fighters such as Gary St Clair, Humberto Soto, Cristobel Cruz and Nate Campbell. Lorenzo was never visibly hurt by Dlamini and made his younger opponent miss on several occasions using body sway and deft movements of the head. With the win Dlamini remained unbeaten, upping his record to 20-0-1 with 12 wins inside the distance while Lorenzo dropped to 33-6 with 14 victories via the short route.

William Gare chalked up another win in his long career when he outpointed tough as teak Mexican Rigoberto Alvarez to retain the super-middleweight belt for the third time. Gare was proclaimed the victor by scores of 115-113, 115-112 and a most unreasonable 118-110 in a closely fought battle over 12 rounds, which saw the Mexican fight back strongly after being dropped in the opening round. Gare improved to 25-14 with 14 KO’s while Alvarez suffered his first loss to slip to 22-1 with 17 victories inside the distance.

In the third world title fight on the bill, unbeaten Bongani Mwelase improved his log to 14-0 with 12 KO’s when he outpointed 35-year-old Hungarian veteran Attila Kovacs in another 12-rounder to capture the vacant junior middleweight belt. Mwelase prevailed by scores of 116-111,115-112 and 117-111 in a close fought battle despite two trips to the canvas for Kovacs. Granted, Mwelase did remain unbeaten and is now the proud owner of a world title belt, but he will need to improve his leaky defence if he ever hopes to take on the best in the division. Mwelase got hit with too many punches and is lucky that the Hungarian doesn’t carry the kind of punching power a Miguel Cotto or a Manny Pacquiao does, otherwise he could have found himself out for the count against the wily Kovacs, who suffered his fourth defeat in 29 outings with 17 wins via the short route.

In another bout, Tshepang Mohale became the South African super middleweight champion when he defeated Kgotso Motau on points over 12 rounds in an action packed bout which saw both fighters hit the canvas. Mohale improved his record to 7-2 with 6 KO’s and gained revenge for a previous TKO loss to Motau in May of last year. The hard punching Motau fell to 15-3 with 13 KO’s (eight of them in the first round), but a rubber match between these two evenly matched fighters should be a real crowd puller.

Sunette shines in Germany

Sunette Viljoen

Sunette Viljoen

African record holder Sunette Viljoen (pictured) produced a sparkling performance in the women’s javelin throw at the 20th Lausitzer International Athletics meeting in Cottbus, Germany on Saturday. The 25-year-old South African recorded a superb throw of 63.02m to win her event ahead of Germany’s Steffi Nerius who defeated Viljoen in Leverkusen a week ago. It was sweet revenge for Viljoen as Nerius could only manage a throw of 62.21m for second place. Viljoen has peaked just at the right time with the World Championships in Berlin just around the corner and she must be confident of taking home a medal for South Africa in this year championships.

Other South African athletes did not fair as well as Viljoen at the Cottbus meeting. Janice Josephs claimed fourth place in the women’s long jump with a leap of 6.45m with former South African athlete Karin Mey Melis, now competing for Turkey, clinching victory with a distance of 6.66m. Peter van der Westhuizen finished seventh in the 1 000m race in a disappointing 2:22.33 after clocking a personal best of 2:17.81 a week earlier in Stockholm. Van der Westhuizen will compete in the 1500m in Berlin, but will have to run very close to his best times if he is to pose a real threat to the competition.

South African sprinting has been tepid for some time now and so it wasn’t surprising that none of our sprinters produced a performance that is likely to make the Americans and Jamaicans sit up and take notice. Isabel le Roux, who will compete in the 200m in Berlin, did not participate in this event in Cottbus, but instead competed in the 100m and finished a disappointing sixth in her heat in an ordinary 11.89 secs.

Ofentse Mogowane did clock a respectable 20.98 secs in the 200m but all the other South Africans in the event struggled to record times that could threaten the opposition in Berlin. The 4x100m relay team of Hannes Dreyer, Leigh Julius, Kagisho Kumbane and Thuso Mpuang finished fourth in 39.83 secs well behind the United States (37.85 secs), Brazil (38.91 secs) and Australia (39.16 secs).

Rosy future in store for Hodge

Rosy Hodge

Rosy Hodge

Costa Rica was the venue for this year’s Billabong ISA World Surfing Games and it proved to be a happy hunting ground for East London’s Rosy Hodge (pictured) who finished in second position in the final to secure a silver medal for her country. The 21-year-old South African surfed superbly to push American Sage Ericson of the U.S. and Frenchwomen Pauline Ado into third and fourth position respectively.

Hodge defeated former ISA and ASP women’s world champion Sofia Mulanovich of Peru en route to the final and her silver medal achievement confirms her standing as one of the world’s best surfers. American Courtney Conlogue won the gold medal in perfect conditions while Durbanite Brandon Jackson placed fifth overall in the men’s repechage event.

Maritzburg draw with Supersport in season opener

Noah Chivute

Noah Chivute

A 42nd minute strike by Noah Chivute (pictured) earned Maritzburg United a 1-1 draw with SuperSport United in the opening fixture of the 2009/10 Premier Soccer League (PSL) season at Woodburn Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Friday evening. Chivute’s goal cancelled out Morgan Gould’s header in the 24th minute and enabled Maritzburg to earn a share of the spoils in an entertaining clash with both sides demonstrating plenty of promise for the long season that lies ahead.

SuperSport’s new signing Petrus Mahlatsi had an unfortunate start to the season when he collided in mid air with Maritzburg’s Byrone Hendricks and was knocked unconscious, resulting in him being carried off on a stretcher towards the end of the match. It is not known how serious Mahlatsi’s injury is but television replay’s highlighted the intensity of the collision and it seems doubtful that Mahalstsi will take the field for Maritzburg’s next outing against Bidvest Wits at the Bidvest Stadium on Wednesday, August 19. SuperSport’s next clash will be against Kaizer Chiefs at the Super Stadium on Tuesday, August 18.

Other PSL results
Moroka Swallows 0
Golden Arrows 0
Jomo Cosmos 0
Platinum Stars 0
Kaizer Chiefs 0
Santos 0
Mamelodi Sundowns 2
Black Aces 0
Amazulu 2
Bidvest Wits 2
Bloem Celtic 2
Free State Stars 2
Ajax Cape Town 0
Orlando Pirates 1

The draw for the two-leg MTN8 semi-finals has been finalised. Kaizer Chiefs will square off against Ajax Cape Town while AmaZulu will do battle with Golden Arrows at the Chatsworth Stadium in Durban for both legs. The first leg between AmaZulu and Arrows will take place on Sunday at 3pm and the second leg will happen the following Saturday night at 8.15pm. Ajax will host Chiefs in their first leg encounter at Newlands on Saturday night at 8.15pm and play the return leg at the Orlando Stadium on Sunday, August 23 at 3pm.

Louis takes Suncoast title by two strokes

Louis de Jager

Louis de Jager

Louis de Jager (pictured) kept his cool on the final hole of the Suncoast Classic in Durban on Saturday to win the tournament by two strokes from Chris Swanepoel. De Jager’s tee shot landed against a building in an unplayable position, but rather than succumbing to obvious nerves, he retained his composure to capture his first tournament win.

De Jager obtained relief from his treacherous position, but his free drop was unplayable and he was forced to take another drop with a penalty to get onto the green in three. However, with Swanepoel three shots behind him in second position, de Jager had the assurance of knowing he could make a double bogey and still achieve victory. And so, he made sure of his two-putt bogey and punched the air in triumph. De Jager finished on nine-under 207, two strokes clear of Swanepoel and three ahead of Adilson da Silva, Titch Moore, TC Charamba and Jean Hugo.

The next event in the Sunshine Tour is the Vodacom Business Origins of Golf Tour, which takes place at the Erinvale Gold Estate in Somerset West from August 12-14.

Scoreboard (Top 8 finishers only. RSA unless specified)
207 – Louis de Jager 68 68 71
209 – Chris Swanepoel 67 71 71
210 – Adilson da Silva (BRA) 70 71 69, Titch Moore 69 70 71, TC Charamba (ZIM) 65 74 71, Jean Hugo 71 66 73
211 – Lindani Ndwandwe 75 68 68, Hendrik Buhrmann 67 75 69

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