Weekly Sports Wrap, South African sports news – 21 September
Sharks in the driving seat after win over Cheetahs
The Sharks cemented their position at the top of the Absa Currie Cup standings with a convincing 30-16 victory over bogey team the Free State Cheetahs at Absa Stadium in Durban on Saturday afternoon. The Durban outfit bagged a full house of log points with an 80-minute performance that would have greatly pleased coach John Plumtree.
Although the coastal team never quite hit top-gear, they nonetheless dominated the game and wrapped up the four-try bonus point with a 78th-minute touch down from reserve scrumhalf Rory Kockott. Livewire eighthman Ryan Kankowski (pictured), who won the ‘Man of the Match’ award, was instrumental in setting up Kockott’s try and the Sharks’ second five pointer – scored in the 29th minute by right wing Odwa Ndungane.
That try enabled the home side to surge to an 18-9 lead at the break forcing the visitors to come back at the KwaZulu-Natalians with everything they had early in the second half. The Free Staters were rewarded for their efforts when the Sharks’ lead was reduced to just two points (18-16) within four minutes of the restart.
Things stayed that way until 13 minutes from time when a moment of inspiration from nippy scrumhalf Charl McLeod helped the home side to seize the initiative. The Sharks were awarded a penalty close to the posts, and McLeod, sensing the visitors were expecting a kick at goal, quickly took a tap to race through a host of bewildered Cheetahs defenders and go over untouched.
Patrick Lambie’s conversion increased the Sharks’ lead to nine points (25-16), and after that it was just really a question of who would secure the extra bonus points on offer. Thanks to the brilliance of Kankowski, it turned out to be the Sharks, and that leaves the Cheetahs with plenty of work to do if they want to get into the top two and secure home-ground advantage in next month’s semi-finals.
After second-placed Western Province’s demolition of the Pumas in Nelspruit the evening before, the Sharks needed to make a statement against the Cheetahs on Saturday, and although the match was a lot closer than the scoreline suggests, Plumtree’s outfit should surely feel they achieved their objective.
Thanks to some strong scrumming from the Sharks, the Cheetahs were unable to lauch any meaningful attacks off the side of the scrum and with the homeside also excelling in the battle on the ground and in the recycles, the Cheetahs were prevented from attaining anything resembling either continuity or momentum. In fact, given the way the Sharks dominated possession, it was amazing that the Cheetahs were in the game for most of the way.
Indeed, it was the visitors who opened the scoring through a Louis Strydom penalty before the homeside crossed the line when their big lock Willem Alberts crashed over after receivingthe ball just metres from the Cheetahs line. Two further penalties, one a long range effort from inside centre Meyer Bosman, put the Cheetahs back in front before Lambie regained the lead for the Sharks with an angled penalty.
Then followed the Ndungane try and another Lambie penalty before the Cheetahs hit back with a try from lock Francois Uys, who forced his way over near the posts after 44 minutes. But McCleod’s 67th minute try knocked the stuffing out of the visitors opening the way for Kockott to apply the finishing touches two minutes from time.
Sharks captain Stefan Terblanche (pictured with ball in hand) was a happy man at the post-match interviews. “We really had to work hard for the win, but we played an entertaining game and it’s nice to be scoring tries again,” said the skipper. Kankowski was equally pleased with his team’s efforts. “It’s awesome for us to win and it’s always good to beat the Cheetahs, whether at home or away,” said the Sharks No 8.
The loss means the Cheetahs trail Western Province by six points with three matches to go, and the Bloemfontein outfit are now going to have to rely on other results going their way to lift themselves back into the top bracket. The Sharks, by contrast, now enjoy an eight-point cushion over WP, and a victory over the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday should be sufficient to ensure they top the final standings.
Sharks 30 – Tries: Willem Alberts, Odwa Ndungane, Charl McLeod and Rory Kockott. Conversions: Patrick Lambie (2). Penalties: Lambie (2).
Cheetahs 16 – Try: Francois Uys. Conversion: Louis Strydom. Penalties: Strydom (2) and Meyer Bosman.
Other results (from left to right)
Griquas 29 – Leopards 20 – GWK Park, Kimberley
Western Province 62 – Pumas 10 – Puma Stadium, Witbank
Bulls 24 – Lions 21 – Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria Accommodation
Cheetahs vs Pumas – Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein – 7pm
Western Province vs Griquas – Newlands Stadium, Cape Town – 7.10pm
Leopards vs Bulls – Profert Olen Park, Potchefstroom – 3pm
Lions vs Sharks – Coca-Cola Park Stadium, Johannesburg – 5.05pm
Currie Cup log (After 11 games)
Pos Team Pts
1. Sharks 46
2. WP 38
3. Bulls 33
4. Cheetahs 32
5. Lions 31
6. Griquas 30
7. Pumas 17
8. Leopards 5
Papi’s late header sinks SuperSport
A late goal from Papi Zothwane (pictured) earned Mamelodi Sundowns a dramatic 2-1 victory over Tshwane rivals SuperSport United at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday evening. The result means Sundowns maintain their unbeaten record in the 2009/10 Absa Premiership (PSL) competition and join Ajax Cape Town at the top of the standings.
Both teams have won all three of their matches so far while United suffered their second defeat from three starts to leave the defending champions in 12th position on the standings. Matsatsantsa looked like securing all three points on offer after Dipsy Selolwane’s 35th minute header, but a 86th minute equaliser from Mabhuti Khenyeza and a looping header from Zothwane five minutes into injury time sent the Brazilians into raptures of delight.
SuperSport should have gone ahead early when Fikru Tefera penetrated the Sundowns backline and held off Esrom Nyandoro but, with only ‘keeper Calvin Marlin to beat, he put his shot wide of the near post. Tefera had another chance to score on 10 minutes when he latched onto a well-placed cross from Jabu Maluleke but fired his shot straight at the grateful Marlin.
Sundowns then began to dominate possession but their strikers Katlego Mphela and Surprise Moriri simply weren’t getting good enough ball to give them a chance of penetrating the excellent defences of Morgan Gould and Bongani Khumalo. Matsatsantsa, however, looked threatening whenever they went forward and on 25 minutes, some slick passing gave Maluleke space for an effort on goal but his attempted chip looped over the crossbar.
United opened the scoring 10 minutes later when left winger Lyle Lakay floating a cross into the Sundowns penalty area that was expertly headed home by the unmarked Selolwane. The Brazilians almost equalised just before half-time with Moriri heading on target only for David Kannemeyer to clear the ball off the goal-line.
For much of the second half it looked as though SuperSport would maintain their lead or even add to it, as Sundowns seemed unable to breach the champions’ defence. However, the Brazilians’ strength in depth paid off in the end as Khenyeza’s 79th minute introduction proved to be the turning point.
The powerful Khenyeza (pictured) netted the equaliser four minutes from regulation time, finding space on the outside of Jeffrey Ntuka and finishing superbly into the far corner with a low, right-footed shot that gave ‘keeper Wayne Brown absolutely no chance. Khenyeza almost put Sundowns ahead on a couple of occasions as the game moved into injury time, but it was another substitute, Zothwane, who netted the dramatic 95th-minute winner to seal United’s fate.
Maritzburg Utd 0 – Golden Arrows 3
Ajax Cape Town 2 – Platinum Stars 0
Free State Stars 1 – Vasco Da Gama 1
Bidvest Wits 1 – Orlando Pirates 1
Kaizer Chiefs 1 – Bloem Celtic 0
AmaZulu 2 – Moroka Swallows 2
Black Aces 0 – Santos 1
Golden Arrows vs Free State Stars – Chatsworth Stadium – 3.30pm
Santos vs Mamelodi Sundowns – Athlone Stadium – 7.30pm
SuperSport Utd vs Ajax Cape Town – Super Stadium – 7.30pm
Bloem Celtic vs Maritzburg Utd – Seisa Ramabodu Stadium – 7.30pm
Platinum Stars vs AmaZulu – Royal Bafokeng Stadium – 7.30pm
Vasco Da Gama vs Wits – Bellville Stadium – 7.30pm
Moroka Swallows vs Kaizer Chiefs – Dobsonville Stadium – 8pm
Orlando Pirates vs Black Aces – Orlando Stadium – 8pm
Guyana no match for hungry Lions
An unbeaten second-wicket stand of 133 between Alviro Petersen (pictured) and Richard Cameron propelled the bizhub Highveld Lions to an easy nine-wicket victory over Guyana in their Champions League T20 match at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Sunday. The Lions, currently sitting in second place in Group B, chased down a target of 149 with consumate ease and the victory means they can still make the semi-finals.
The 24-year-old Cameron’s unbeaten 78 off 42 balls with five fours and six sixes was an excellent knock while Petersen was also in top form, scoring 57 not out off 38 balls, with six fours and two sixes. After losing fellow opener Jonathan Vandiar for just eight in the third over, Petersen brought up the 50 off 43 balls as he played freely from the crease.
Petersen upped the tempo in the ninth over as he pulled medium-pacer Christopher Barnwell for six in an over that leaked 11 runs. Eleven more came in the 10th over and 12 in the 11th, after which Cameron opened his shoulders, bringing up his maiden Twenty20 half-century off 35 balls with his last 51 runs coming off just 20 deliveries.
Earlier, excellent performances with the ball from paceman Ethan O’Reilly and left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso helped the Lions take control of the match. ‘Man of the Match’ O’Reilly bagged 4/27 and Phangiso 1/15 as Guyana spluttered to 148/9 in their 20 overs. Only captain Ramnaresh Sarwan and Steven Jacobs posed any serious threat with the bat although Christopher Barnwell and lower-order batsmen Royston Crandon (15), Derwin Christian (11) and Lennox Cush (19 not out) all weighed in with useful contributions. O’Reilly trapped opener Travis Dowlin (seven) leg-before with his opening delivery, but Sarwan provided some hope for Guyana as he thumped four fours in his 21 off 16 balls.
However, quick bowler Craig Alexander put an end to Sarwan’s antics, having the skipper brilliantly caught by Jean Symes at backward point with his first ball. O’Reilly (pictured) then removed Sewnarine Chattergoon for just four after the mistimed a drive to deep mid-on.
With Guyana 53/3 after seven overs, left-arm spinner Phangiso went about his business of strangling the batsmen, sending down his four overs for just 15 runs and dismissing Jacobs, caught at long-off, for 34 (37 balls). Some poor running between the wickets saw the demise of Barnwell (11) and Esaun Crandon for three as Guyana slid from 79/3 to 88/6. In fact, had it not been for the efforts of Crandon, Christian and Cush towards the end of the innings the Guyana attack would have had nothing to bowl at.
The Lions take on the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Johannesburg today in their next outing and a win will put them in the semi-finals, which take place on Friday and Saturday. Today’s match get underway at 5.30pm.
The other South African team in the tournament, the Chevrolet Warriors, play their final pool game against the Chennai Super Kings in Port Elizabeth tomorrow. Davey Jacobs’ men top the standings in Group A and are almost certain of a place in the semi-finals regardless of the outcome of tomorrow’s match.
Other results (SA teams in bold)
South Australian Redbacks beat the Mumbai Indians by five wickets
Victorian Bushrangers beat the Central Stags by seven wickets
Chennai Super Kings beat the Wayamba Elevens by 97 runs
Mumbai Indians beat Guyana by 31 runs
South Australian Redbacks beat the Royal Challengers Bangalore by eight wickets
Chevrolet Warriors beat the Central Stags by six wickets
Victorian Bushrangers beat the Chennai Super Kings on a super-over after the match was tied
Mumbai Indians beat the Royal Challengers Bangalore by two runs
Victorian Bushrangers beat the Wayamba Elevens by eight wickets
Upcoming fixtures (SA teams in bold)
South Australian Redbacks vs Guyana – Johannesburg – 1.30pm
Bizhub Highveld Lions vs Royal Challengers Bangalore – Johannesburg – 5.30pm
Wayamba Elevens vs Central Stags – Port Elizabeth – 1.30pm
Chevrolet Warriors vs Chennai Super Kings – Port Elizabeth – 5.30pm
‘Black Panther’ defies age to retain IBO title
Experience prevailed over youth at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park on Saturday night when 39-year-old ring veteran Lovemore ‘The Black Panther’ Ndou (pictured) outhustled 28-year-old challenger Bongani ‘Cyclone’ Mwelase to retain his International Boxing Organisation (IBO) welterweight title. In the main event of the Golden Gloves Promotions bill, the cagey Ndou got the nod on two of the three judges’ scorecards (115-113 and 117-112) with a third official inexplicably seeing it 115-113 in favour of the challenger.
I had the champion a clear four-point winner (116-112) as he piled up the points courtesy of his superior workrate and punch output. The heavy-handed Mwelase, although always competitive, lacked the necessary urgency and intensity to win the title and will have to up his workrate considerably if he ever hopes to emerge victorious against the big names in the division.
After falling behind in the first half of the fight the lanky challenger began to get his jab working from the seventh round onwards and for a while it seemed as though he might be able to claw his way back into the fight. However, he was unable to maintain any meaningful pressure on the superfit champion who fought with the intensity of a man 15 years younger.
Using all the experience obtained in a 17-year career which has seen him compete favourably with some of the best fighters in the business, the 5’8’ Ndou shrewdly cut the distance between himself and the 6’0’ Mwelase, counter-punching in masterly fashion and doing just enough to shade the rounds against his bigger foe.
The nature of the fight was summed up in the 12th and final round when Mwelase, a southpaw, began to showboat and backpeddle instead of throwing everything into the attack. Put it down to inexperience but it was a stupid move to say the least and probably cost him at least a draw.
Ndou upped his record to 48 wins (31 KO’s) against 11 defeats and two draws while Mwelase slid to 14-1 (12 KO’s) although he would have gained valuable experience against one of the best welterweights in the world. The champion, who left South Africa in 1996 to campaign in Australia, could face former IBO and International Boxing Federation (IBF) welterweight title holder Isaac ‘The Angel’ Hlatshwayo in his next fight.
Heavyweight prospect Flo Simba (pictured right) provided some fireworks when he dispatched Ghanain Isaac Paakwesi Ankrah (1-4; 1 KO) at 2 min, 51 secs of the first round to move to 7-0 (6 KO’s). The 20-year-old Simba is a powerful puncher with quick hands but his handlers will have to start matching him with better quality opposition.
Lightweight Jason ‘Badman’ Bedeman improved to 13-0-2 (10 KO’s) when he outpointed Ghanaian Sam Amoako (6-3; 2 KO’s) over 10 rounds, but although the 21-year-old banger from Johannesburg is making steady progress in his career, any thoughts of a proposed fight with former IBO junior lightweight champion Ji-Hoon Kim must surely be out of the question.
The Korean slugger has won 13 of his last 14 fights, including knockout victories over accomplished fighters such as Zolani Marali and Tyrone Harris and would make mincement of the young Bedeman at this early stage of his career. Bedeman’s handlers would be well advised to match their charge against more modest competition before throwing him in with a hitter like Kim who is capable of knocking out almost anyone on his day.
Earlier, southpaw Gideon Buthelezi moved his record to 11-2 (4 KO’s) with a comfortable points victory over the diminutive Julius Alcos (15-8; 3 KO’s) of the Philippines in a 10-round catchweight contest, while another undefeated heavyweight prospect Johnny Muller (7-0-2; 5 KO’s) laboured to a six round draw with Elvis Moyo (0-3-1; 0 KO’s).
Germany claim whitewash despite fightback from De Voest
Rik de Voest (pictured) extended Florian Mayer to three sets, after putting up a determined fight, but South Africa still went down 5-0 to Germany on the final day of the Davis Cup World Group playoff in Stuttgart on Sunday. The Germans had already secured victory after Saturday’s doubles rubber, but still came out firing on Sunday with Mayer notching up a 6-3, 6-7 (10/8), 6-2 win over a plucky De Voest while Andreas Beck eased to a 7-5, 6-2 win over Izak van der Merwe.
World No 45 Mayer, ranked 160 places ahead of De Voest, broke as early as the first game of the match and looked set to run away with proceedings. And while the German No 2 won the first set, De Voest put up an impressive fight in the second.
With Mayer at match point, leading 40-15 in the game and 5-4 in the set, the 30-year-old De Voest came roaring back and stretched it to a tie-break, which he won after a tremendous battle. Mayer broke twice, however, in the final set to secure the whitewash for the hosts.
“He’s not your standard, orthodox claycourt player, and when he hits the ball well, he’s just too good. He had the beating of me in the first set, but then I started swinging a lot more and I managed to make a match of it,” said De Voest.
Beck had earlier given Germany a 4-0 lead going into the final match, defeating Van der Merwe, the visiting team’s No 1, in straight sets. Van der Merwe was initially expected to square off against German No 1 Philipp Kohlschreiber, but with the tie already decided, the latter was replaced by Beck.
Van der Merwe took control early on when he broke serve in the second game of the first set, which involved some lengthy rallies. But the South African became visibly frustrated, initially with a line call and then with a restless cameraman, and Beck broke twice to win the set.
The German broke twice again in the second and went on to win the match convincingly. Germany will play in the World Group in 2011 for the sixth year in succession while South Africa will play again in Group 1 of the Europe/Africa Zone.