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Posted on: Wednesday, 16 December 2009

South African Sports News – 16 December

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Mzwandile Stick

Mzwandile Stick

‘Blitsboks’ come up short again
South Africa ended their Emirates Airline George Sevens tournament on a disappointing note, succumbing 21-7 in the Plate final to England in a game they will want to forget in a hurry. Last week the ‘Blitsboks’ lost to Australia in the Plate final of the Dubai Sevens and in front of a partisan home crowd in George, they were again out of sorts as England outplayed them in the critical facets of the game. After this loss, South Africa will need to find a remedy for their weaknesses after being exposed for a lack of speed and flair in both tournaments thus far in the series …

Dan Norton opened the scoring for England and then threw a superb pass to Christian Wade after the English had robbed a South African lineout to extend the flyer’s lead as the top points scorer at this year’s tournament. The South Africans came out firing in the second half, but their tendency to squander ball at crucial times in possession cost them dearly once again, as Wade latched onto a loose pass and ran 60m before feeding Isoa Damu who dotted down.

Shaun Venter scored a consolation try on the stroke of full-time, but it was too late with too little for the South Africans who will now be fully aware of how difficult it is to defend an IRB World Series title.

Earlier, the ‘Blitsboks’ scraped home against Samoa 10-7 in an untidy Plate semi-final after tries by Deon Helberg and Mzwandile Stick (pictured) secured the win for the home side. The South Africans were knocked out of the Cup competition early in the day’s play as they relinquished their second title in as many weeks when they were defeated 22-17 by Fiji in the quarter-final. The loss was their fourth in a row to the Fijians.

South Africa 7 – Try: Shaun Venter. Conversion: Cecil Afrika.
England 21 – Tries: Dan Norton, Christian Wade, Isoa Damu. Conversions: Ben Gollings (3).

Anthony Laffor

Anthony Laffor

SuperSport pull away from the pack
SuperSport United continued their dominance in the Absa Premiership with crushing 3-0 victories over Moroka Swallows last Wednesday and Jomo Cosmos over the weekend. United are simply in awesome form at the moment and are a sure bet to secure yet another PSL championship this season.

The log leaders are nine points clear of nearest rivals Mamelodi Sundowns who have 35 points from 20 outings. Third placed Santos has the same number of points from the same number of outings, but has scored less goals (24) than Sundowns (31).

Anthony Laffor (pictured) had a very successful outing for United against Swallows, scoring two well-taken goals with Glen Salmon netting a third. The goals were more evenly distributed in SuperSport’s weekend match against Cosmos, with defender Morgan Gould, striker Dario Monteiro and midfielder Brent Carelse each finding the back of the net to secure another excellent win.

Results (from left to right)
Last Wednesday
Golden Arrows 0 – Free State Stars 1
Black Aces 1 –  Orlando Pirates 1
Ajax Cape Town 0 – Amazulu 0
Kaizer Chiefs 3 – Platinum Stars 1
Bloem Celtic 0 – Pmb Utd 2
Moroka Swallows 0 – SuperSport Utd 3
Jomo Cosmos vs Santos (washed out)

Over the weekend
Bidvest Wits 0 – Moroka Swallows    0
Free State Stars 2 – Black Aces    0
Platinum Stars 0 – Orlando Pirates 1
SuperSport United 3 – Jomo Cosmos 0
Santos 1 – Golden Arrows 1
Kaizer Chiefs 1 – Bloem Celtic 1
AmaZulu 0 – Mamelodi Sundowns 3
Pmb Utd 2 – Ajax Cape Town 1

Orlando Pirates

Orlando Pirates

Chiefs and Pirates ready to make their move
Kaizer Chiefs, like SuperSport, are another team that have been in good form in the PSL of late, with a good win over Platinum Stars last week and a 1-1 draw against Bloemfontein Celtic over the weekend. The Amakhosi have an intriguing encounter with the always-dangerous Ajax Cape Town at the Orlando Stadium today, and an intense tussle is expected between these two evenly matched teams.

Chiefs will want to build on their recent momentum and move up the log to challenge SuperSport for this year’s title and a win over Ajax will be just what the doctor ordered.

The pick of the weekend matches is likely to be the clash between Santos and Orlando Pirates (pictured), at the Coetzenburg Stadium on Friday evening. Both teams earned draws over the weekend and will be aiming to emerge with a full haul of points rather than a share of the spoils, which could mean plenty of goals for spectators.

Black Aces vs Santos
Orlando Pirates vs Free State Stars

Kaizer Chiefs vs Ajax Cape Town – Orlando Stadium:  1.30pm
Jomo Cosmos vs Bidvest Wits – Rand Stadium: 7.30pm
Moroka Swallows vs AmaZulu – Dobsonville Stadium: 7.30pm
Golden Arrows vs SuperSport Utd – Chatsworth Stadium: 7.30pm
Mamelodi Sundowns vs Pmb Utd – Super Stadium: 7.30pm
Bloem Celtic vs Platinum Stars – Seisa Ramabodu Stadium: 7.30pm

Santos vs Orlando Pirates – Coetzenburg Stadium: 8.00pm

Kaizer Chiefs vs Mamelodi Sundowns – Orlando Stadium: 3.30pm
Bidvest Wits vs Golden Arrows – Bidvest Stadium: 8.00pm
Pmb Utd vs Moroka Swallows – Woodburn Stadium: 8.00pm
SuperSport Utd vs Black Aces – Super Stadium: 8.15pm
Platinum Stars vs Free State Stars – Royal Bafokeng Stadium: 8.15pm

Bloem Celtic vs Ajax Cape Town – Seisa Ramadodu Stadium: 3.30pm
AmaZulu vs Jomo Cosmos – Chatsworth Stadium: 3.30pm

Justin Kemp

Justin Kemp

Kemp the hero for Cobras
The Cape Cobras made short of the Nashua Titans at Boland Bank Park in Paarl in their SuperSport Series match over the weekend, with all-rounders Justin Kemp (pictured) and Robin Peterson doing most of the damage for the home side.

Kemp weighed in with 93 runs and Peterson scored 100 to help the Cobras to an impressive 420 all out in reply to the Titans’ first innings total of 240. Gulam Bodi (64), Heino Kuhn (48) and Albie Morkel (43) were the only visiting batsmen to offer any sort of resistance. Things went from bad to worse for the Titans as they were rolled over for a paltry 108 in their second innings with only Jacques Rudolf (31) managing to post a decent score.

Charl Langeveldt (4/45 off 15 overs) and Francois Plaatjies (4/27 off 10 overs) were the destroyers in chief for the Cobras as the Titans suffered a crushing defeat by an innings and 72 runs. In addition to his outstanding knock, Kemp grabbed four first innings wickets to spur his side to victory. The Cobras’ next outing is against the bizhub Highveld Lions at the Wanderers in Johannesburg while the Titans square off against the Chevrolet Warriors at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth. Both games begin today.

The match between the Lions and the Diamond Eagles at the Wanderers looked like yielding a result, but bad light put a premature end to the contest meaning both sides had to settle for a draw.

The Lions scored 368 all out in their first innings to which the Eagles replied with 337 all out, leaving the match nicely poised. The Lions carried on where they left off in their first innings as they notched up an impressive 301/6 declared in their second innings to set the Free Staters a victory target of 333.

The Eagles tried to get the runs, but it was ultimately to no avail as the failing light forced the umpires to call a halt to proceedings with the visitors on 114/3, still needing 219 runs for victory. The Eagles’ next outing is against the Nashua Dolphins at the De Beers Diamond Oval in Kimberley today.

Garnett Kruger

Garnett Kruger

Kruger and Tsotsobe skittle Dolphins
In another SuperSport match that finished over the weekend, the Warriors got the better of the Dolphins by 88 runs at Kingsmead in Durban. The visitors scored 248 all out in their first innings to which the Dolphins replied with 70/0 declared.

The Warriors then responded in kind by declaring their second innings on 96/6 leaving the Dolphins a victory target of 275 runs. However, it was not to be for the KwaZulu-Natalians as they were bowled out for just 186 in their second innings with none of their batsmen making any noteworthy contributions. Garnett Kruger (pictured) with 5/71 off 15.3 overs and Lonwabe Tsotsobe (3/37 off 16 overs) were the destroyers in chief for the visitors.

Both captains must be commended for their sporting declarations, which made a result possible after time was lost on each of the opening three days due to inclement weather.

The weekend’s results mean that the Cobras top the log on 76.52 points with the Warriors (66.10), Lions (65.66) and Titans (62.22) in second, third and fourth place respectively. The Eagles (54.08) and Dolphins (50.42) are somewhat off the pace, but are most certainly not out of the running with three rounds still remaining in the competition.

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that Jacques Kallis will take the field for South Africa against England in the opening game of a four match test series, which begins today at SuperSport Park in Centurion. The star all-rounder has been battling a rib injury for the past two months, which has kept him out of the one-day series against the visitors.

However, Kallis will only play as a batsman after not bowling a single delivery during the Proteas’ training camp at Senwas Park. Dependable middle order batsmen Ashwell Prince will also take his place in the side after an absence of almost nine months, while fast bowler Makhaya Ntini will play his 100th test match for South Africa. Prince, Ntini and spinner Paul Harris last played for the Proteas in March in the test series against Australia.

England warmed up for today’s test match by drawing with an SA Invitational XI at Buffalo Park in East London over the weekend. The English batsmen got in some much needed batting practice and looked in good form against the SA XI bowlers.

Isaac Hlatshwayo

Isaac Hlatshwayo

Isaac’s world falls apart
Jan Zaveck from Slovenia is the new International Boxing Federation (IBF) welterweight champion. The unheralded and relatively unknown Zaveck shocked the crowd (and the boxing world for that matter) at the Wembley Indoor Arena in Johannesburg on Friday night when he crushed defending champion Isaac Hlatshwayo (pictured right) of South Africa inside three one sided rounds.

The stocky visitor was the aggressor from the opening bell, unleashing hard combinations on a tentative Hlatshwayo who could only muster a few token jabs in reply. A hard left hook soon had the local man on rubbery legs and sensing his opponent was ripe for the taking, Zaveck kept up the pressure and knocked Hlatshwayo down in the second round.

The local man somehow managed to drag himself to his feet and beat the count, but it was only delaying the inevitable. The ferocious assault continued in the third round and Hlatshwayo soon found himself on the canvas twice more before American referee Kenny Chevalier stepped in at 2 mins, 55 secs to save the defending champion from further punishment.

It was a very disappointing performance by Hlatshwayo who seemed ill at ease, both in the build up to the fight and during the bout itself. Something was clearly amiss with the normally durable South African who was making the first defence of the title he won by outpointing Delvin Rodriguez of the Dominican Republic in August.

Hlatshwayo seemed intimidated by his lightly regarded opponent from the outset and fought without any drive or determination. Whatever the cause of his poor performance on the night, it is hoped that 32-year-old from Soweto can rebound from this shocking loss and recapture the form which has seen him outbox accomplished fighters such as Rodriguez, Nate Campbell, Cassius Baloyi and Phillip Ndou.

The 33-year-old Zaveck improved to 28-1 (16 KOs) with the win while Hlatshwayo fell to 29-2-1 (10 KOs) with the loss. The South African’s only previous defeat was a point’s loss to highly regarded American Kendall Holt in November 2006. Zaveck’s sole defeat came at the hands of Polish fighter Rafal Jackiewicz, who narrowly outpointed the Slovenian in Katowice, Poland in November last year.

Hlatshwayo, a former South African and International Boxing Organisation (IBO) lightweight champion and IBO welterweight champion, recently rejoined trainer Manny Fernandes after leaving Nick Durandt’s stable. However, the move seems to have done Hlatshwayo more harm than good after arguably the worst performance of his career, which saw the South African lose the fight, his title, his confidence and his status as one of the best welterweights in world boxing.

In another let down, the fight between former South African featherweight and World Boxing Union (WBU) junior lightweight champion Philip Ndou and journeyman Ali Phiri was cancelled, after the Zimbabwean was declared unfit to box.

Other results on the Branco Sports Productions bill
Jackson Chauke KO 2 Sandile Mxabaniso (flyweights)
Oscar Chauke KO 1 Tendai Sanyarukova (junior featherweights)
Warren Joubert KO 3 Patrick Masango (junior lightweights)
Nthuthuko Memela TKO 4 Masande Kakaza (junior welterweights)

Hekkie Budler

Hekkie Budler

Otieno robbed by the judges
Nick Otieno must be very wary of returning to the Orient Theatre in East London after he suffered his second controversial points defeat to a South African boxer there in the space of five months. On this occasion it was former South African and World Boxing Council (WBC) International flyweight champion Nkqubela Gwazela who triumphed over the Kenyan with a majority point’s decision.

Gwazela got the win with verdicts of 96-95 and 97-95 with the third judge giving the South African the nod with a score of 96-96 after 10 rounds of bantamweight action. However, Otieno had every reason to feel disappointed with the verdict after suffering his fourth loss against 19 wins (8 KOs).

The wily Kenyan had the better of the exchanges against the heavy-handed Gwazela (18-7; 14 KOs) and left his mark on the South African whose face was a bloody mess at the finish. The visitor clearly deserved the decision, but for some unknown reason the judge’s saw otherwise. Truth be told, the verdict smacked of a hometown decision, which is always a black eye for boxing.

Otieno also lost a close decision to Lubabalo Msuthu whom he challenged for the World Boxing Foundation (WBF) bantamweight belt in August; with many feeling he had done enough to get that verdict as well. After his experiences in South Africa over the past five months, it’s doubtful if the Kenyan would ever want to visit these shores again, and few, if anyone, could blame him.

Other results on the Eyethu Promotions bill
Bongani Mfundisi W6 Siviwe Mqakamba (mini flyweights)
Maxolise Mbexeshi TKO 1 Siyanda Ngange (junior featherweights)
Luyanda Mrawuli W6 Dumisani Tose (featherweights)
Ayanda Yaphi TKO 1 Wandile Mseleku (junior lightweights)

Meanwhile, it has been announced that Hekkie ‘The Hexecutioner’ Budler (pictured left) will take on Juanito Rubillar of the Phillipines for the vacant International Boxing Organisation (IBO) junior flyweight title on February 27 next year. Budler’s title shot will form part of a Golden Gloves tournament to be held at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park.

The diminutive South African (13-0; 5 KO’s) will have a tough nut to crack in Rubillar (48-13-7; 23 KO’s) who turned professional way back in July 1994 and who has shared a ring with many of the world’s top junior flyweights.
However, the 32-year-old Phillipino has been unable to capture a major title and has been thwarted in bids for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) mini-flyweight title, the World Boxing Council (WBC) junior flyweight title (twice) and for the World Boxing Association (WBA) junior flyweight title. The 21-year-old Budler has enlisted the services of former world champion Baby Jake Matlala to help him prepare for his bout with Rubillar.

In other bouts on the bill, promising youngster Thomas ‘Tommy Gun’ Oosthuizen (9-0; 7 KO’s) squares off against Zambian John Chibuta (8-3; 1 KO) for the vacant WBA International super middleweight title while former Commonwealth bantamweight champion Tshifhiwa ‘The Atomic Spider’ Munyai (18-1-1; 9 KO’s) swaps leather with Carlo Magali (12-5-2; 6 KO’s) of the Philippines.

The action continues when rising lightweight star Jason Bedeman (10-0-1; 8 KO’s) takes on Bilal Mohammed (14-3; 11 KO’s) of Zambia and Florante Simba (2-0; 2 KO’s) tackles debutant Devi Jose in a four round cruiserweight contest.
In upcoming action this week, Tando Vukuza (6-4-1; 0 KO’s) will make the first defence of his South African featherweight title when he takes on Sabelo Jubatha (4-0; 3 KO’s) in East London on Friday evening.

Charl Schwartzel

Charl Schwartzel

Charl just misses out
Spaniard Pablo Martin won the Alfred Dunhill Championship at the Leopard Creek Country Club in Malelane on Sunday by a single shot from South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel (pictured). It was the 23-year-old’s first victory as a professional and it came in the opening event of the European Tour’s 2010 Race to Dubai, which is co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour.

Schwartzel made a strong bid for the title, but in the end, Martin displayed remarkable patience for a young man, after surviving a roller-coaster third round with Ernie Els to maintain the lead he took after his second-round 63. Els’ challenge evaporated as the South African struggled to a five-over par 77 and a share of 17th place.

Sunshine Tour Order of Merit leader Anders Hansen consolidated his position, with Schwartzel leap frogging into second place behind him. The South African is now the only player with a mathematical chance of overhauling the Dane in the season-ending SA Open, which begins on Thursday.

Defending champion Richard Sterne (who also triumphed in last year’s SA Open) crowned a week in which he seemed to have regained some of his remarkable 2008 form. The South African earned a share of fourth with England’s Robert Rock and Dale Whitnell and the man he beat for last year’s SA Open title, Northern Ireland’s Gareth Maybin.

Sterne will be looking to continue his rich vein of form with a successful defence of his SA Open title, but will be up against some very good competition at the Pearl Valley Golf Estate.

Scoreboard (Top 10 finishers only)
271 – Pablo Martin (ESP) 68-63-71-69
272 – Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 67-69-68-68
274 – Anders Hansen (DEN) 68-70-68-68
276 – Richard Sterne (RSA) 72-66-72-66, Dale Whitnell (ENG) 70-68-72-66, Robert Rock (ENG) 69-68-70-69, Gareth Maybin (NIR) 68-70-67-71
277 – Shiv Kapur (IND) 68-71-68-70, Michael Lorenzo-Vera (FRA) 71-69-66-71, Damien McGrane (IRL) 67-70-68-72

Austin Smith

Austin Smith

SA whip China in Argentina
The South African men’s hockey team walloped China 5-0 after leading 2-0 at half-time in their Champions Challenge fifth place play-off in Salta, Argentina on Monday.

The number 15 ranked South Africans had an easy time of it against the 13th ranked Chinese, who never got going in the match. Goals from Thornton McDade, Julian Hykes, Justine Reid Ross, Gareth Carr and captain Austin Smith (pictured) did the trick for the South Africans as their opponents failed to get on the score sheet.

The tournament was won by New Zealand, who beat Pakistan 4-2 in the final.

Photo Credits:
‘Blitsboks’ come up short again – Photo – Mzwandile Stick: Source – zimbio.com
SuperSport pull away from the pack – Photo – Anthony Laffor: Source – mtn8.mtnfootball.com
Chiefs and Pirates ready to make their move – Photo – Orlando Pirates: Source – africatower.com
Kemp the hero for Cobras – Photo – Justin Kemp: Source – cricinfo.com
Kruger and Tsotsobe skittle Dolphins – Photo – Garnett Kruger: Source – cricinfo.com
Isaac’s world falls apart – Photo – Isaac Hlatshwayo: Source – fightography.com
Otieno robbed by the judges – Photo – Hekkie Budler: Source – gvgatchalian.blogspot.com
Charl just misses out – Photo – Charl Schwartzel: Source – edition.cnn.com
SA whip China in Argentina – Photo – Austin Smith: Source – zimbio.com

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