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Posted on: Wednesday, 10 March 2010

South African Sports News – 10 March

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Schalk Burger

Schalk Burger

Schalk leads Stormers to impressive victory
The Vodacom Stormers looked very much like potential Super 14 semi-finalists when they demolished the Highlanders 33-0 at Newlands on Saturday evening. The Cape outfit ran in four tries without reply and earned a bonus point in the last minute of the game when they dotted down for the final try to make up for the log point that was missed when they failed to hold on for the draw against the Brumbies the previous week.

It was a commanding performance from the Stormers, who were brilliantly led by Schalk Burger (pictured) until he was replaced late in the game. They were 16-0 up at half time, and although they had to wait until the 60th minute before scoring their second try, they more than deserved their bonus point and could easily have scored more tries had they not been let down by poor finishing …

Twenty-three-year-old replacement Deon Fourie scored the first Stormers try in the 14th minute. By then the Stormers had managed to turn back an intense opening attack from the Highlanders with the type of rock solid defence that has seen them yield just two tries in their four games thus far in the competition.

Fullback Joe Pietersen had earlier opened the scoring with two penalties to put the Stormers 6-0 to the good, which became 13-0 once Fourie had barged over from a quick recycle near the Highlanders line. Pietersen added another penalty just before half time to stretch the Stormers’ lead to 16 points at the interval.

The Highlanders came out smoking in the early stages of the second half, obviously intent on fighting their way back into the match, however they failed to penetrate the Stormers well-organised defence and it wasn’t long before they found themselves on the rack once again. The Stormers bagged their second try 20 minutes into the half after winning a lineout 25 metres from the Highlanders line and driving the opposition back before Burger reached down for the score.

With the Stormers now 21-0 up with 20 minutes still to play, the floodgates were threatening to open, but although that never happened the Stormers still did enough to secure the bonus point. Pieter Louw came on as a replacement for Burger, and off a five-metre lineout the Stormers once again drove the Highlanders back, allowing Louw to dot down.

That left the Stormers 12 minutes to score the final try and Springbok wing Bryan Habana duly obliged by latching onto the ball after a clearance kicked was charged down, to score in the corner. It was the Stormers’ first four-try bonus of the season, and will stand them in good stead ahead of their upcoming home games against the Hurricanes and Cheetahs over the next two weeks.

Scorers
Stormers: 33 – Tries: Deon Fourie, Schalk Burger, Pieter Louw, Bryan Habana. Conversions: Joe Pietersen, Peter Grant. Penalties: Pietersen (3).
Highlanders: 0

With most teams having already played four games in the competition thus far, the Bulls are sitting pretty in first place on 15 points with a game in hand, while the Chiefs are second and the Stormers, Hurricanes and Crusaders in third, fourth and fifth places respectively. This year’s competition hasn’t been very kind to South African teams, with only the Bulls and the Stormers having anything to show for their efforts. Both the Sharks and the Lions are winless and struggling (along with Australian outfit, the Western Force) at the bottom of the log while the Cheetahs have two wins from four outings and find themselves in eighth position on nine points.

Results (from left to right; SA teams in bold)
Friday
Chiefs 18 – Reds 23 – Hamilton
Brumbies 24 – Lions 13 Canberra
Saturday
Crusaders 33 – Blues 20 – Christchurch
Waratahs 25 – Sharks 21 – Sydney
Stormers 33 – Highlanders 0 – Newlands, Cape Town
Cheetahs 28 – Hurricanes 12 – Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein

The pick of this weekend’s games involving South African teams could well between the encounter between the high-riding Stormers and the Hurricanes at Newlands on Saturday evening, although the Sharks showed glimpses of their old form against the Waratahs over the weekend and could well be poised to spring a surprise against the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday morning.

Fixtures (SA teams in bold)
Friday
Chiefs vs Crusaders – Hamilton – =08.35am
Waratahs vs Lions Sydney – 10.40am
Saturday
Brumbies vs Sharks Canberra – 10.40am
Bulls vs Highlanders – Loftus Versveld – 05.05pm
Stormers vs Hurricanes – Newlands, Cape Town – 07.10pm
Sunday
Reds vs Western Force – Brisbane – 08.30am

Carlos plays it safe
Bafana Bafana head coach Carlos Alberto Parreira will prepare the team for the rigours of the 2010 World Cup by taking the 29 man squad for a month long training camp in Brazil followed immediately by another one of the same duration in Germany. Parreira made few surprises by opting for his tried and trusted players when naming his squad in Durban last Thursday.

SuperSport United defender Morgan Gould will miss the camp as he is sidelined for six weeks with an injury while Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder, Matthew Pattison, was the only notable player axed. Parreira has instead opted for Golden Arrows’ Thanduyise Khuboni who was named man of the match during last Wednesday’s disappointing 1-1 draw against minnows Namibia at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

It was also announced that Bafana would play three big friendly matches before their opening World Cup game against Mexico at Soccer City on June 11. The South Africans take on Paraguay on March 31 at the end of their South American tour, before tackling former World Cup champions Argentina at Soccer City on May 27 and Denmark at home on June 5. The venue for the Denmark encounter is still to be decided, but it will definitely be somewhere in Gauteng.

“I do not want to be disrespectful to small sides (like Namibia) but we badly need to play the big sides like Denmark and Argentina to gauge our progress,” said Parreira. “After Brazil and the camp in Germany next month, we will have a stronger base, be fitter and much better prepared than we were against Namibia where I had one day to work with the squad,” he added. Bafana will play four training games against Brazilian club sides before they meet Paraguay.

Parreira said the four training matches in Brazil and the friendly against Paraguay would play a vital part of his World Cup preparations. “You cannot walk into a supermarket and buy experience. This is the only way – going to Brazil and Germany and learning,” he explained.

The squad:
Goalkeepers: Emile Baron (SuperSport United), Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates), Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs).
Defenders: Matthew Booth, Siboniso Gaxa, Siyanda Xulu, Innocent Mdledle (all Sundowns), Bongani Khumalo (SuperSport), Thabo Nthethe (Bloemfontein Celtic), Siyabonga Sangweni, Lucas Thwala (Pirates).
Midfielders: Franklyn Cale, Surprise Moriri, Lebohang Mokoena (all Sundowns), Daylon Claasen (Ajax Amsterdam, Holland), Lance Davids (Ajax Cape Town), Andile Jali, Teko Modise (both Pirates), Thanduyise Khuboni (Golden Arrows), Daine Klate (SuperSport), Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Siphiwe Tshabalala (both Chiefs), Tlou Segolela (Celtic).

Strikers: Kermit Erasmus (Excelsior Rotterdam, Holland), Thulasizwe Mbuyane, Gert Schalkwyk (both Pirates), Katlego Mphela (Sundowns), Richard Henyekane (Arrows) and Thulani Serero (Ajax CT).

Meanwhile, in domestic action, the Telkom Knockout competition gets underway this weekend when Golden Arrows take on Platinum Stars at the Charles Mopeli Stadium on Saturday at 3pm while Orlando Pirates square off against Bloemfontein Celtic at the Orlando Stadium a few hours later. In matches taking place on Sunday, Ajax Cape Town lock horns with Moroka Swallows at Newlands Stadium while Black Aces do battle with PSL champions SuperSport United at the Puma Rugby Stadium. Both matches begin at 3pm.

Jomo Sono

Jomo Sono

Birds banish Cosmos from PSL
Moroka Swallows’ 1-0 Absa Premiership victory over Jomo Cosmos at the Dobsonville Stadium on Saturday afternoon has resulted in Jomo Sono’s team being relegated from the competition. Cosmos will now ply their trade in the National First Division in the 2010/11 season.

Old habits die hard and Cosmos’ inability to score goals continued to plague them against the Birds as they lacked the teeth up front to pose any serious danger to their opponents. Swallows came into the match needing only a draw to secure a top eight finish and quickly established control against their less fancied opponents.

In fact, had it not been for some excellent goalkeeping from Cosmos’ Avril Phali, the Birds could have won the match by a much wider margin. Swallows enjoyed no less than seven corner kicks in the opening 45 minutes but Phali was on hand on each occasion to thwart their efforts and keep the score 0-0.

Ezenkosi created very few chances in the half as most of their attacks broke down around the Swallows box in the face of some solid defending. Birds’ striker Siyabonga Nomvete missed a great opportunity to score just before the interval when he dispossessed Thapelo Tshilo and then attempted to chip Phali, only to be let down by poor finishing.

Cosmos demonstrated more purpose after the restart, but continued to be thwarted by the well organised Swallows defence who hardly missed a trick all afternoon. When Cosmos did threaten to score, their execution let them down badly and to add insult to injury they ended up losing the match, when Morgan Shivambu breached their defences to guide a shot past Phali with just one minute of normal time remaining.

Despite his side’s dismal showing this season and their subsequent relegation to the nether regions of South African soccer, team owner Sono (pictured) was upbeat about his team’s chances of making it back into the PSL. “I’m in high spirits and know that we will be back in the PSL soon. I plan to retire at the end of 2010, so I want to lead Cosmos back to the PSL before I do this,” he said.

In other noteworthy games played on Saturday, Black Aces drew with Ajax Cape Town at the Athlone Stadium to finish one spot above Cosmos in the final standings, while recently crowned champions SuperSport United were thumped 3-0 by AmaZulu at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. Aces will now play a series of promotion / relegation matches to determine whether or not they will be relegated to the National First Division or remain in the PSL in the upcoming 2010/11 season. AmaZulu’s shock win over United secured them a ninth place finish on 39 points.

Final round results (from left to right)
Saturday
Maritzburg Utd 0 – Santos 1 – Harry Gwala Stadium
Kaizer Chiefs 2 – Free State Stars 1 – Loftus Stadium
Mamelodi Sundowns 3 – Golden Arrows 0 – Super Stadium
Bidvest Wits 2 – Platinum Stars 0 – Bidvest Stadium
Bloem Celtic 1 – Orlando Pirates 1 – Seisa Ramabodu Stadium
Moroka Swallows 1 – Jomo Cosmos 0 – Dobsonville Stadium
AmaZulu 3 – SuperSport United 0 – Moses Mabhida Stadium
Ajax Cape Town 1 – Black Aces 1 – Athlone Stadium

How they finished
Posistion / Team / Points
1 SuperSport United – 57
2 Mamelodi Sundowns – 56
3 Kaizer Chiefs – 51
4 Santos – 47
5 Orlando Pirates – 44
6 Bloem Celtic – 42
7 Ajax Cape Town – 42
8 Moroka Swallows – 42
9 Amazulu – 39
10 Bidvest Wits – 35
11 Maritzburg United – 35
12 Golden Arrows – 32
13 Free State Stars – 31
14 Platinum Stars – 31
15 Black Aces – 26
16 Jomo Cosmos – 24

Jonathan Vandiar

Jonathan Vandiar

Vandiar’s blitzkrieg helps Lions into final
Richard Cameron grabbed four wickets as the bizhub Highveld Lions cruised into the Standard Bank Pro20 final courtesy of a 10-run win over the Nashua Titans in the second leg of their semi-final at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday. The Lions, after winning the first leg by four wickets, notched up 186/5 before medium-pacer Cameron snared 4/23 off four overs, as the Titans were restricted to 176/6.

The home side made an excellent start to their run chase thanks to an opening stand of 83 in 8.1 overs between Blake Snijman (55) and Gulam Bodi (26). Right-hander Snijman sped to the season’s fastest half-century, off 24 balls, before he was run out by keeper Thami Tsolekile when he set off from his crease in search of a quick single.

Seven runs later Bodi was trapped leg-before by Cameron to halt the Titans’ run flow. The Lions bagged a further four wickets for the addition of just 44 runs before Dale Steyn gave the home side a glimmer of hope with a swashbuckling 22 off just 11 balls. However, when Steyn was caught at long on off a delivery from seamer Robbie Frylinck off the first ball of the penultimate over, the Titans’ challenge disintegrated.

Earlier, opener Jonathan Vandiar (pictured) blazed his way to an impressive half-century as the Lions plundered the highest team total of this season’s Pro 20 series. The left-handed Vandiar smashed six fours and three sixes as he sped to 68 off just 43 balls before he was trapped in front by seamer Basheer Walters in the 15th over.

After being put into bat the Lions made an excellent start as Vandiar and Neil McKenzie (34) put on 70 runs for the first wicket before McKenzie was stumped by keeper Heino Kuhn off a delivery from Proteas spinner Paul Harris. Vandiar and Vaughn van Jaarsveld (16) kept up the good work as they established a third-wicket partnership of 53 before Van Jaarsveld was caught at midwicket to give Harris his third wicket of the match. Zander de Bruyn then slammed 32 not out of 21 balls towards the end of the innings to steer the Lions to their imposing total.

The result means that the Lions will meet the Chevrolet Warriors in the Pro 20 final at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Friday after the Warriors defeated the Cobras by 10 runs in the second leg of their semi-final at Newlands in Cape Town last Wednesday. The Lions surprising win also earned them a place in the upcoming IPL Champions League competition.

Singh’s late strike earns India a draw against South Africa
India and South Africa played to a nail-biting 3-3 draw at the National Hockey Stadium in Delhi on Monday night and the result means that the South Africans will play for ninth place on Friday, likely against eighth-ranked New Zealand, and the opportunity for their best ever World Cup placing. World number 13 ranked SA have never finished higher than 10th in a hockey World Cup and were unlucky to not have beaten the 12th ranked Indians who salvaged a draw with a late goal from Shivendra Singh.

Besides being in a position for their best ever World Cup placing, another bonus for the South Africans is that Monday night’s result fulfils Sascoc’s (SA Sports Congress and Olympic Committee) requirements of a top-five finish among the seven Commonwealth Games countries at the World Cup, as SA cannot finish lower than fifth, with Australia, England, India and possibly New Zealand ending above them.

Lloyd Norris-Jones, Justin Reid-Ross and captain Austin Smith scored goals for SA who were 3-2 up with five minutes to go before Singh’s late strike levelled matters for the host nation. Nevertheless it was a good result for SA who suffered a horrendous 12-0 thrashing from tournament favourites Australia in one of their earlier pool games. The Aussies struggled to a 2-1 win over Pakistan on Monday to join England in the semi-finals from group B.

Osborne Machimana

Osborne Machimana

‘Big Daddy’ too strong for ‘Bulldozer’
Osborne ‘Big Daddy’ Machimana (pictured left next to former world heavyweight champions ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson and Corrie ‘The Sniper’ Sanders) made heavy weather of retaining his South African heavyweight title when he stopped the inexperienced Bull ‘Bulldozer’ Muravha in the eighth round of their scheduled 12-round contest at the Nasrec Indoor Arena in Johannesburg on Sunday. Machimana (18-6-1; 13 KOs) certainly looked like a ‘Big Daddy’ as he came into the ring at a flabby 122 kg compared to Muravha (4-5-1; 1 KO) who tipped the scales at a trim 98.02 kg.

However, Muravha, who was giving up 24 kg in weight and four inches in height to his opponent, was simply never going to pose a real threat to the huge Machimana who, at nearly 6’4, is an imposing figure in the ring. The light-hitting challenger’s strategy was to try and wear out the champion by beating him to the punch and avoiding getting hit in return. The plan was working well for the challenger as his superior hand and foot-speed kept him ahead on points through the first five rounds.

However, when the lumbering Machimana eventually started to connect with his powerful left jab in the sixth round, Muravha began to look decidedly uncomfortable. Worse was to come for the challenger in the next round as Machimana followed up those jabs with a series of heavy right crosses that shook Muravha right down to his bootlaces.

By the conclusion of the round it was clear that the writing was on the wall for the challenger and the end eventually came towards the end of the eighth round after a Machimana onslaught sent the brave, but hopelessly outgunned challenger to the canvas for the second time in the round. Although Muravha beat referee Sazi Xamlashe’s count he wisely turned his back on his tormentor to save himself from further abuse, prompting the official to wave proceedings over at 2 min, 47 secs of the round.

It was an unimpressive performance from the champion who has the size, power and skill to really go far in the division, but clearly lacks the dedication necessary to consistently get himself into decent shape for a fight. The 31-year-old Machimana has come in significantly overweight for three of his last four fights and a June 2008 stoppage loss to the then 41-year-old Zambian veteran Joseph Chingangu should have been the wake up call he needed to start taking his career seriously.

However, its clear from Machimana’s uninspiring performance against the lightly regarded Muravha that his career is going nowhere fast – sad when one considers that ‘Big Daddy’ owns a first round knockout victory (in February 2008) over former World Boxing Union (WBU) and World Boxing Organisation (WBO) heavyweight champion Sanders.

Undercard results
*Jason Kinnear beat Nhlanhla Nguni on points over four rounds (junior bantamweights)
*Sipho Nkadimeng drew with Phumzile Matyila over six rounds (junior bantamweights)
*Luyanda Jako beat Sifiso Mthethwa on points over four rounds (junior welterweights)
*Hanson Baloyi beat Emmanuel Dumaon on a second round TKO (super-middleweights)
*Illunga Makuba beat Ben Moakamela on a second round TKO (cruiserweights)

Promoter Pat Molefe, of Rainbow Promotions, presented the tournament.

Hekkie Budler

Hekkie Budler

Rubillar may get rematch against Hekkie
A rematch between South African Hekkie ‘The Hexecutioner’ Budler (pictured left) and Filipino Juanito Rubillar seems likely after the controversial result of their International Boxing Organisation (IBO) title fight last weekend. Budler was given the verdict by the three South African judges, even though most experts thought Rubillar had won the bout and the IBO junior flyweight title at Emperors Palace.

It has now been revealed that an Australian judge had failed to arrive to officiate in the bout, which resulted in three local judges doing the scoring. Lulama Mtya and Deon Dwarte gave Budler the nod with scores of 117-113 and 115-113 while Isaac Tshabalala had the fight dead even at 114-114. Their scoring has been severely criticised.

Although a number of obstacles had to be overcome to make a return bout possible, if a rematch does happen it is likely to be a huge sell out as the first fight was a real war with both fighters giving their all over 12 rounds of intense action.

 

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