South African Sports News – 3 August
Two try Lambie sinks Cheetahs
The Sharks scored their third consecutive victory of the season when they defeated the Vodacom Free State Cheetahs 25-13 in a tense Currie Cup encounter at Vodacom Park in Bloemfontein on Saturday afternoon. Nineteen-year-old centre Patrick Lambie (pictured) turned out to be the hero for the Sharks, scoring two late tries to power the visitors home.
Trailing 13-11 with nine minutes to go, the Sharks looked down and out, but just when it seemed all was lost the inspirational Lambie came to the party and produced some maginificent rugby to send the home side packing and their supporters into the throes of depression.
The Cheetahs, pressing hard for the knockout blow, surged towards the Sharks’ line only to lose the ball going forward. The visitors then lauched a quick counter attack from their 22 where clever interplay between athletic No 8 Ryan Kankowski and left wing Lwazi Mvovo took the Sharks to within metres of their opponents tryline where the ball came free for Lambie to surge forward, reach out and score.
The talented centre made no mistake with the conversion to put the Sharks seven points in front (18-13) and then sealed victory for the KwaZulu-Natal outfit with another excellent converted try two minutes from time. The teenage sensation finished off a move after receiving a pass over the top from Keegan Daniels at the end of another impressive break-out in which Mvovo again featured prominently.
It was a bitterly disappointing defeat for the Cheetahs who ended up without a single log point for their efforts despite enjoying the bulk of the possession. However, the Free Staters will only have themselves to blame for failing to kill off the Sharks who only really started to find their rythmn and gain momentum in the final 10 minutes.
The Cheetahs opened the scoring in the 11th minute when flyhalf Louis Strydom slotted a penalty, but that effort was cancelled out by Lambie who was successful with a penalty kick of his own to level matters at 3-3. Scrumhalf Tewis de Bruyn put the Cheetahs back in front with a clever quick tap that saw him run through a clutch of Sharks tight-forwards to dot down for a valuable five pointer.
Strydom added the extra points to make the half time score 10-3 in favour of the home side. It was a deserved lead for the Cheetahs who dominated proceedings in the opening 40 minutes. However, whereas in the first half the Sharks battled to control possession, after half-time they enjoyed much more of the game by producing a more disciplined and determined display.
The Sharks’ new-found assertiveness nearly earned them a try soon after the re-start as they raced towards the Cheetahs line, but some unlucky bounces and indifferent handling prevented them from finishing off. Flanker Juan Smith and eighthman Ashley Johnson were outstanding for the Cheetahs and the bustling Johnson might well have picked up the man of the match award had it not been for Lambie’s heroics in the final 10 minutes.
Smith’s departure from the field not long after a clash of heads with Sharks lock Ross Skeate was a telling moment, particularly as it coincided with the arrival on the field of the abrasive Jean Deysel. The powerful flanker is an important component in the Sharks machine when he is there, and he proved this again on Saturday by combining effectively with the dangerous Kankowski to put the Cheetahs under pressure.
Another penalty from Strydom increased the home side’s lead to 10 points (13-3) with 36 minutes to go, but Lambie kept the visitors in touch by slotting his second penalty after an infrindgement from the Cheetahs. Kankowski nearly scored for the Sharks in the 52nd minute, but the referee could not award the try after the rangy No 8 was adjudged by the TMO to have knocked the ball on as he dotted down.
However, the Sharks were not to be denied when burly prop Eugene van Staden crashed over the line after some excellent work from Lambie who managed to get the final pass away despite being well tackled. Although he failed to add the extra points, Lambie more than made up for it with his two excellent tries in the closing minutes which propelled the Sharks to victory.
Although the scoreline did flatter the Sharks somewhat, full credit must be given to John Plumtee’s men for raising the tempo of their game when it mattered most. The Sharks remain in second position on the log – two points behind leaders Vodacom Western Province who made it four wins from four starts when they crushed the Barloworld Toyota Pumas in Cape Town on Friday evening.
Sharks 25 – Tries: Patrick Lambie (2) and Eugene van Staden. Conversions: Lambie (2). Penalties: Lambie (2).
Cheetahs 13 – Try: Tewis de Bruyn. Conversion: Louis Strydom. Penalties: Strydom (2).
Other results (from left to right)
GWK Griquas 41 – Platinum Leopards 27
Vodacom Western Province 54 – Barloworld Toyota Pumas 13
Vodacom Blue Bulls 32 – Xerox Lions 18
Pumas vs Cheetahs – Puma Stadium, Witbank
Bulls vs Leopards – Loftus Versveld – 7.10pm
Griquas vs Western Province – GWK Park, Kimberley – 3pm
Sharks vs Lions – The Absa Stadium, Durban – 5.05pm
Currie Cup log (After four rounds)
Pos Team Points
1. WP 18
2. Sharks 16
3. Griquas 15
4. Bulls 11
5. Cheetahs 9
6. Lions 6
7. Pumas 5
8. Leopards 2
Nongqayi suffers shock defeat in Mexico
Simphiwe ‘The Golden Master’ Nongqayi (pictured right) had an evening he’d rather forget when he lost his International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight title to Mexican Juan Alberto Rosas in Tepic, Mexico on Saturday night. The 38-year-old South African, making the second defence of the title he won from Mexican legend Jorge Arce in September last year, was simply overpowered by the hard hitting Rosas who dominated proceedings from the opening bell.
The highly motivated 25-year-old Mexican had been taunted by the South African veteran at the weigh-in, which had almost resulted in a pre-fight brawl. When it came to fight time however, Nongqayi couldn’t back up his loud mouth and was totally outgunned by the younger, hungrier Rosas.
After being punished to both head and body from the opening bell, Nongqayi eventually took a knee early in the sixth round. While the clearly distressed champion was pondering his next move, referee Ray Corona decided he had seen enough and waved proceedings over with one minute having elapsed in the round. It was a good stoppage as Nongqayi was clearly on a hiding to nothing and would have eventually been knocked out by the challenger.
Rosas, a veteran of tough fights against Fernando Montiel, Jose Lopez, Aj Banal and Everardo Morales, recorded his 32nd win against five defeats with 26 of those wins coming via the short route. Nongqayi’s defeat was the first of his professional career against 16 wins (6 KO’s) and a draw.
The ex-champion blamed the defeat on weight problems, claiming he had outgrown the super-flyweight division. However, a more likely explanation for the loss was that he simply got old overnight – a scenario that plays itself out over and over again in the fight game.
There were signs that Nongqayi was starting to slip after being held to a draw by lightly regarded Frenchman Malik Bouziane in a previous title defence in April, and those signs were confirmed when the champion came apart at the seams against Rosas. Nongqayi’s resounding defeat left himi facing an uncertain future, but perhaps a rest and a move up to bantamweight would be just what the doctor ordered for ‘The Golden Master’.
Meanwhile, another title changed hands over the weekend when challenger Phumzile ‘Sweet Chocalate’ Matyila dethroned defending South African bantamweight champion Nkqubela ‘The Destroyer’ Gwazela (pictured) via split decision at the Orient Theatre in East London on Sunday afternoon. Two judges scored the bout 115-114 and 116-115 in favour of Matyila with a third judge giving Gwazela the nod by a similarly narrow margin of 115-113.
In an action packed contest Gwazela made a fast start, landing some powerful punches on the challenger in the first half of the fight. However, Matyila managed to stay competitive by keeping the champion at bay with an educated left jab and good movement.
The heavy fisted Gwazela, who had set a torrid pace in the early going, began to slow down dramatically in rounds seven and eight and Matyila was now able to control the fight from a distance, out boxing the champion and avoiding his wild punches. Round nine was a dominant one for Matyila who peppered Gwazela with combinations, splitting his lip and leaving him gasping for air.
However, just when it seemed the champion was a beaten man, he staged a surprising rally at the beginning of the next round, landed some useful punches on the challenger who began to retreat. Gwazela kept up the pressure in the last two rounds against a back-pedalling Matyila who, judging by his lack of urgency, must have felt he had done enough to win the fight.
His calculations proved to be correct after the judges had tallied up their scorecards, but in reality, Matyila can consider himself somewhat lucky to have been awarded the verdict against Gwazela. The ex-champion’s efforts certainly warrant a rematch against Matyila whose record improved to 17-1-2 (9 KO’s) while Gwazela slipped to 19-8 (14 KO’s).
Other results from the Eyethu Promotions bill
(W=points victory, TKO = technical knockout victory)
Luzuko Siyo W6 Motswaki Moselesele (junior flyweights)
Unathi Qgokomo W6 Mangaliso Dyantyi (junior bantamweights)
Takalani Dangani TKO 3 Vusumzi Bokolo (lightweights)
Thembelani Centhani W6 Thulani Mkwanazi (junior welterweights)
Local fight action continues this weekend with the big clash between junior lightweight veterans Cassius ‘Mr Shy Guy’ Baloyi and Mzonke ‘The Rose of Khayelitsha’ Fana in Johannesburg on Friday night. At stake will be the vacant IBF junior lightweight title and with Baloyi already having beaten Fana on points just over two years ago, he will fancy his chances of repeating the feat against the ring rusty Fana.
The 35-year-old Baloyi boasts a record of 37-4-1 (19 KO’s) and has held numerous world titles in various weight divisions while the 36-year-old Fana (29-4; 12 KO’s) is also a former world champion. Both fighters are essentially boxers rather than punchers and a closely contested technical bout is likely to be on the cards for Friday evening. The fight will be televised live on SABC 2 from 10pm.
Teagan comes up trumps in Pietermaritzburg
South Africans Sharlene McGilvray and Teagan O’Keefe (pictured) did their country proud at the BMX World Championships in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday when they emerged victorious in their respective categories.
O’Keefe, under intense pressure to perform, did not disappoint her fans as she put up a superb display of world class riding to come away with the honours in the junior girls category. Hometown rider McGillvray produced a staggering charge through the field in the final heat to claim the women’s 45-and-over title with Jennifer Strachan of New Zealand and Liesbeth van Jagt of The Netherlands hot on her heels.
“It was great to win in my hometown, but the pressure was not easy to handle,” said McGilvray afterwards. “I took the decision on the start ramp not to touch my brakes,” she added.
Local hospitals were busy throughout the four day event, treating injuries suffered during the practice sessions and the motos, including one leg fracture, and a Japanese competitor who broke both ankles when he misjudged his landing while attempting the tricky jump over the second berm.
At the closing of the championships, the International Cycling Union (UCI) was quick to label the event “the best ever” BMX World Champs. “We often say that after a world champs, but this time we can say it honestly and truthfully,” said the UCI head of gravity disciplines Johan Lindstrom.
“It has been fantastic for BMX, and we are all on a high. All of the riders have had a great time in Pietermaritzburg,” he added. The competition ended with the formal presentation of the UCI flag to representatives of the city of Stockholm, where the 2011 BMX World Championships will be hosted.
Walters the hero as United down Usuthu
Maritzburg United were crowned Uthukela Mayoral Cup champions when they defeated Premier Soccer League (PSL) rivals AmaZulu 3-2 on penalties at Settler’s Park Stadium in Ladysmith on Sunday afternoon. United’s Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Shuaib Walters (pictured) played a significant part in his team’s victory when he saved three spot kicks after the match ended 1-1 after 90 minutes of regulation time.
Walters saved spot-kicks from Ayanda Dlamini, Litha Ngxabi and Zahuwano Ramson with only Pere Ariwerayi and Tsweu Mokoro managing to beat the agile United goalkeeper. The Pietermaritzburg based team’s kicks were converted by Rudolf Bester, Mor Diouf and Byrone Hendricks. United’s win would have given them a lot of confidence ahead of their opening PSL clash against AmaZulu on August 29.