Boks ‘huff and puff’ their way to defeat in Brisbane
Boks ‘huff and puff’ their way to defeat in Brisbane
The Springboks suffered a disappointing 21-6 defeat to the Wallabies at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday and although they remain at the top of the Tri-Nations log and nine points clear of nearest rivals New Zealand, the Boks still need at least a bonus point from their last match against the All Blacks in Hamilton on Saturday, to clinch the championship.
Old habits die hard, and the Boks’ inability to keep playing the full 80 minutes cost them dearly as the Wallabies pulled away and cruised to a comfortable victory. The Boks haven’t won at the Suncorp Stadium since 1971 and the trend continued on Saturday as the Aussies outplayed their Southern Hemisphere rivals to record their first victory in this year’s competition.
The match was played at a frenetic pace with the Boks initially tying to match the Wallabies blow for blow. However, the Australians took everything the Boks dished out and gave more in return as they outscored their more fancied rivals by two tries to nil for a well deserved victory.
Indeed, the writing was on the wall for the Boks as they changed ends 9-6 in arrears after referee Wayne Barnes judged a pass to be forward when the Boks were set to score a try just before the break. With a possible seven points out the window and star wing Bryan Habana out of the game as a result of “a cut mouth and a tight hamstring”, the Boks seemed to lose momentum and never recovered. Second half tries by centre Adam Ashley Cooper and fullback James O’ Connor extended the Wallabies’ lead and put the result beyond doubt as the Boks simply never had an answer to a determined display by the Australians, which must be a concern to coach Peter de Villiers (pictured).
The Boks now go into Saturday’s game against the All Blacks in Hamilton needing at least a bonus point to secure a Tri-Nations win, which had earlier seemed a foregone conclusion. However, after their comprehensive defeat to the Wallabies, John Smit’s men won’t be taking any chances and will be doing everything in their power to ensure they take home the trophy. It should be a cracking game.
Tries – Adam Ashley Cooper, James O’ Connor.
Conversions – Matt Giteau.
Penalty goals – Giteau (2).
Drop goal – Giteau.
Penalty goal – Morné Steyn.
Drop goal – Steyn.
Province outlast Bulls, but drop to second on log
Western Province got the better of the Blue Bulls at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday evening with Luke Watson’s men prevailing 25-19 over the Pretoria visitors in a tight and absorbing Currie Cup Premier Division encounter. Trailing 16-12 at the break, Province mounted an effective fight back to hand the Bulls their second consecutive defeat of the season, which must be a cause of concern for the men in blue who seem to be losing momentum at a critical point in the competition. It was a courageous performance by the Capetonians who managed to claw their way back from a 13-3 deficit to clinch victory.
Province owe their victory to their tight five who dominated the scrums and their only try was a direct result of that dominance when they smashed the Bulls pack, allowing No 8 Watson (pictured) to crash over in the 60th minute. Livewire fullback Joe Pietersen contributed 20 points via his deadly boot, slotting six penalties and a conversion, to help sink the visitors. The Province No 15 has really impressed all and sundry this season with his excellent all round play and he is quickly becoming a valuable asset to the Cape outfit in their quest for Currie Cup honours.
For the Bulls, however, things don’t look nearly as good, and they will have to tighten up their play considerably if they hope to mount a serious challenge for the title. Their only consolation was scoring a bonus point for finishing within seven points, courtesy of a late penalty by flyhalf Burton Francis who contributed 14 points with the boot.
Despite their win, which lifted them to 32 points on the standings, Province actually dropped to second place behind the Sharks on points difference. Nevertheless, it was a great win for Province who will be brimming with confidence when they face the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday. The Bulls’ next outing is against the Sharks in Pretoria on Saturday, but although they will have home ground advantage, the Bulls are likely to be unsure of themselves after two successive defeats.
Province 25 – Try: Luke Watson. Conversion: Joe Pietersen. Penalties: Pietersen (6).
Bulls 19 – Try: Jaco Pretorius. Conversion: Burton Francis. Penalties: Francis (4).
Cheetahs, Leopards, Sharks record good wins
The Cheetahs continued their recent resurgence when they defeated the Lions 20-16 (halftime 13-6) in Bloemfontein on Saturday to record their fifth win in a row in this year’s Currie Cup Premier Division. It has been a remarkable reversal of fortune for the Free Staters, who made a disastrous start to the season; losing their opening four games and looking nothing like the successful team of previous years. However, their victory over the Lions has made it possible for the Cheetahs to contend for a semi-final berth with just five rounds remaining in the competition.
The match itself never lived up to any great heights, but the Free Staters led from start to finish after flyhalf Jacques-Louis Potgieter (pictured) had opened the scoring in the sixth minute courtesy of a long-range penalty. The Cheetahs did have to withstand a torrid final quarter where the Lions pressured them at every turn, but they managed to hold out for the win, which could be crucial in determining which teams secure semi-final berths in five weeks’ time.
Cheetahs 20 – Tries: WP Nel, Frans Viljoen. Conversions: Jacques-Louis Potgieter (2). Penalties: Potgieter (2).
Lions 16 – Try: Derick Minnie. Conversion: Herkie Kruger. Penalties: Kruger (3).
In other ninth round matches, which took place on Friday, Griquas squeaked home 34-33 against the vastly improved Leopards in a thriller in Potchefstroom, while the Sharks crushed the hapless Boland Cavaliers 48-3 in Wellington. Griquas’ next outing is against Boland in Wellington on Friday afternoon while the Leopards battle the Lions on the same evening in Johannesburg.
Leopards 33 – Tries: Shuaib Samaai, Danie Dames. Conversion: Cecil Dumond. Penalties: Dumond (7).
Griquas 34 – Tries: Trompie Nontshinga, Ryno Barnes, Barry Geel, Bjorn Basson. Conversions: Naas Olivier (4). Penalties: Riaan Viljoen, Olivier
Boland 3 – Penalty: Elgar Watts.
Sharks 48 – Tries: Jacques Botes (3), Keegan Daniel, Craig Burden, Charl McLeod, Lwazi Mvovo, Monty Dumond. Conversions: Juan Hernandez (3), Riaan Swanepoel.
Irish eyes are smiling as Bafana lose again
Despite dominating the match for large periods, Bafana Bafana somehow contrived to lose a friendly international against Ireland in Limerick last night. Bafana’s 1-0 defeat was their second in four days after they succumbed 2-0 to Germany on Saturday evening and their sixth straight loss overall. Granted, these defeats have come against top quality opposition, but they are still losses which can’t be good for morale at a time when Bafana are preparing for next year’s vital World Cup.
The South Africans enjoyed plenty of possession and territorial advantage, but were unable to convert that into the goals they needed for a win. Indeed, having no less than 11 shots on goal and failing to convert a single one of them is inexcusable, and Bafana will have to do some serious soul searching to try and find out why they just can’t seem to hit the back of the net when it counts. Ireland right wing Liam Lawrence scored the only goal of the match when he curled a free kick past Bafana goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez (pictured) in the 37th minute.
Bafana did threaten to score on numerous occasions, but in the end they sprayed most of their shots wide with Ireland goalkeeper Kevin Westwood only been tested on one occasion. Bafana Coach Joel Santana defended his side’s performance saying that the chief aim of these friendlies is to build experience with the results not being that important. Indeed, Santana does have a point, but at the end of the day everyone loves a winning team rather than a losing one, and it’s doubtful if the nation will want to get behind a team that doesn’t seem to know how to win. Hopefully, Bafana’s fortunes will change soon.
The Absa Premier Soccer League (PSL) continues as usual with a host of matches being played this weekend. The pick of the bunch is likely to be the clash between log leaders Orlando Pirates and third placed Golden Arrows at the Chatsworth Stadium in Durban on Saturday afternoon.
Proteas cruise to victory against Highveld Lions
With their first ICC Champions’ Trophy match just weeks away the Proteas are preparing well for the tournament if their comfortable five wicket win over the Highveld Lions at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Friday is anything to go by. Chasing a challenging 252 for victory off their allotted 40 overs, the Proteas required more than a run a ball from the outset and they duly obliged with Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis (pictured) making valuable contributions at the top of the order.
Amla scored 79 runs off 73 deliveries while Kallis weighed in with 114 of just 92 balls to set up the Proteas’ victory. Kallis’ knock included 16 sparkling fours and he was only prevented from batting through to the end of the innings by a photo finish run out. Amla’s innings was equally impressive, with the KwaZulu-Natalian stroking eight fours in a second wicket partnership with Kallis that took the Proteas to within 100 runs of victory after the early departure of opener Herschelle Gibbs. The Proteas begin their ICC Champions’ Trophy campaign against Sri Lanka on September 22 at SuperSport Park in Centurion.
J Symes c De Villiers b Morkel – .82
A Petersen c Ntini b Morkel – 47
N McKenzie c De Villiers b Botha – .3
V Van Jaarsveld c Gibbs b Peterson – 19
D Vilas c De Villiers b Morkel – 74
J Vandiar not out – 5
R Frylinck b Morkel – 4
W Deacon not out – .7
Extras 10 (3b, 1lb, 1nb, 5w)
Did not bat: W Coetsee, T Tsolekile, F de Wet
Falls: 1/69 2/79 3/112 4/222 5/236 6/243
Bowling: Steyn 8-1-59-0 (2w), Ntini 7-0-46-0, Morkel 6-0-54-4 (1nb), Kallis 3-0-8-0, Van der Merwe
4-0-24-0, Botha 4-0-20-1, Duminy 5-0-17-0 (1w), Peterson 3-0-19-1 (2w)
H Amla c Govender b Coetsee – .79
H Gibbs b Deacon – .1
J Kallis run out (De Wet/Coetsee) – 114
AB de Villiers lbw b De Wet – .14
JP Duminy not out – .27
M Boucher run out (De Wet) – .5
A Morkel not out – .5
Extras 7 (2lb, 1nb, 4w)
Total 252/5 (47.3 overs)
Did not bat: J Botha, R van der Merwe, R Peterson, D Steyn
Bowling: De Wet 8-0-47-1 (1w), Deacon 6-0-50-1 (1nb), Frylinck 7-0-55-0 (3w), Govender 4-0-23-0, Coetsee 8-0-46-1, Symes 4-0-28-0, Vandiar 0.3-0-1-0
Result: Proteas won by 5 wickets (with 2.5 overs to spare)
Mbulaeni gets career best
Mbulaeni Mulaudzi (pictured) just seems to be getting better and better with age. The 28-year-old South African track star recorded a personal 800m best of 1 min 42.86 secs at the Rieti International Grand Prix meeting in Italy on Sunday night to better his previous mark set in 2003 by three-hundredths of a second.
The world champion finished third in an extremely fast race behind Kenyans Davis Rudisha and Alfred Yego who clocked 1:42.01 and 1:42.67 respectively. The winning trio’s times were the fastest this year with Rudisha now having the distinction of being the fourth fastest 800m runner ever with only Wilson Kipketer (1:41.11), Sebastien Coe (1:41.73) and Joaquim Cruz (1:41.77) having run faster. Mulaudzi is now almost certain of a place in the IAAF/World Athletics Final meeting in Greece next weekend. SA record holder Hezekial Sepeng is the only South African to boast a quicker time than Mulaudzi. Sepeng clocked 1:42.69 in Brussels in 1999.
Meanwhile, in upcoming road running action, the Pietermaritzburg leg of the 2009 Spar Women’s 10km Challenge takes place on Sunday, September 13 with KwaZulu-Natal runner Tanith Maxwell the favourite to take honours in an event likely to attract a large field.
Ryan tips over the applecart to clinch maiden win
Twenty-eight-year-old Ryan Tipping (pictured) won his first professional tournament when he defeated Chris Swanepoel on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff at the 54-hole SAA Pro-Am Invitational on Saturday. The slender Tipping, a Johannesburg resident who turned professional five years ago, carded a final round 69 for an overall score of 208 to tie with Swanepoel for first place, forcing the playoff, which was decided on their third trip of the day up the 18th. Jbe’ Kruger, who won the Zambian Open last weekend, finished on 209 with rounds of 71, 73 and 65 to share third place with Brandon Pieters and Tyrone Mordt.
Selected scores (RSA unless specified)
208 – Ryan Tipping 69 70 69; Chris Swanepoel 71 73 64. (Tipping won on the second hole of a sudden death playoff).
209 – Jbe’ Kruger 71 73 65
Brandon Pieters 71 69 69
Tyrone Mordt 73 64 72
Meanwhile, Retief Goosen shot a final round 71 to finish in joint eighth position at the Bank Championship in Norton, Massachusetts, USA on Monday. The South African finished on 271 to tie with Americans Jim Furyk and Sean O’ Hair with their countrymen Tiger Woods one shot adrift after the golfing ace carded a scorching final round 63.
Steve Stricker, also of the U.S., who has now replaced Woods atop the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoff standings, won the tournament. Stricker birdied the last two holes for a final round 67 which put him a shot clear of countrymen Jason Dufner and Scott Verplank who carded final rounds of 65 and 67 respectively. It was Stricker’s third victory of the current PGA Tour season.
Selected scores (U.S. unless specified)
267 – Steve Stricker 63 72 65 67
268 – Jason Dufner 66 69 68 65
Scott Verplank 65 68 68 67
269 – Angel Cabrera (Argentina) 65 69 70 65
Dustin Johnson 68 65 70 66
Padraig Harrington (Ireland) 67 67 67 68
270 – Geoff Ogilvy (Australia) 66 68 70 66
271 – Jim Furyk 63 67 73 68
Sean O’Hair 66 64 70 71
Retief Goosen (South Africa) 65 67 68 71
Wesley edges into U.S. Open quarters
Durban born Wesley Moodie (pictured) and his Belgium partner, Dick Norman, continued their winning form in grand slam doubles this year by defeating Czech Martin Damm and Swede Robert Robert Lindstedt 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-5) to reach the quarter-finals of the U.S. Open on Sunday.
The towering duo (Moodie stands 1.96m and Norman a very imposing 2.03m) managed to carve out a win against opponents who provided stubborn resistance, holding out for almost three hours during the three tiebreaker sets. In the end, though, the experience of Moodie and Norman paid off as they kept up the pressure to force the win in a very tight encounter.
The seventh seeded pair had previously reached the final of the French Open and the Wimbledon semi-finals, with the former South African number one singles player now ranked ninth in the world in doubles. It will be very interesting to see if Moodie and Norman can go on to win the tournament. Watch this space next week to see if they succeeded.
SA gladiators plan to steal the show in Kempton Park
Capable South African boxer Zolani ‘Untouchable’ Marali defends his International Boxing Organisation (IBO) super featherweight title against Korea’s Ji Hoon Kim (18-5, 15 KO’s) at the ‘Night of the Gladiators’ tournament at Emperor’s Palace in Kempton Park on Saturday night. Marali will be making the first defence of the title he won by defeating Mexican Gamaliel Diaz on points at the same venue earlier this year.
The 32-year-old southpaw from Mdatsane in the Eastern Cape has an excellent record of 20-2 with 13 of those 20 victories coming via knockout, while the 22-year-old Kim has stopped nine of his last ten opponents. Marali will clearly have to avoid dropping his hands against the hard-hitting Korean in what promises to be a thrilling contest.
In other match ups on the bill, exciting Grant Fourie (10-0-1, 7 KO’s) faces fellow unbeaten South African Jason Bedeman (8-0-2, 6 KO’s) for the IBO continental lightweight belt, while lanky Thomas Oosthuizen (pictured in white trunks) (7-0, 6 KO’s) will trade blows with power punching Brazilian Cleber Alves (5-1, 4 KO’s) in a bout for the IBO youth super middleweight title. In another interesting contest, Kenya’s Douglas Otieno (20-3, 10 KO’s) challenges Malawian Isaac Chilembe (13-1, 8 KO’s) for the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Africa light-heavyweight title. Former world light welterweight and welterweight champion Ricky Hatton will attend the tournament as a TV commentator.
In another fight taking place this weekend, ferocious punching Patrick Malinga (25-6, 22 KO’s) defends his South African lightweight title against inexperienced Vusumzi Tyatyeka (5-0, 4 KO’s) in Lenasia on Friday night.
Minnaar takes second in Canberra
Pietermaritzburg born Greg Minnaar (pictured) rode an aggressive race to finish second in the men’s downhill at the world mountain bike championships in Canberra, Australia, on Sunday. The 28-year-old Minnaar was beaten into second place by 35-year-old Britain Steve Peat, who blitzed the 2.1km Stromlo Forest Park course in two min, 30.33 secs with Australian Michael Hannah taking third position. Peat had finished second in the downhill at the world championships four times and had been trying for a long time to win an event, scoring a string of second places before clinching his first victory on Sunday – definitely an advertisement for perseverance. Emmeline Ragot of France won the women’s event in 2:50.05.