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Posted on: Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Boks subdue Wallabies and other Sporting News from South Africa

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Bryan Habana

Bryan Habana

Boks subdue Wallabies to inch closer to Tri-Nations glory
The Springbok rugby team are riding the crest of a wave at the moment and it seems at though nothing short of the Apocalypse can stop the Boks from winning this year’s Tri-Nations competition after they defeated the Wallabies 32-25 at the Subaico Oval in Perth, Australia on Saturday. The Boks outscored their opponents by four tries to three with flyhalf Morné Steyn contributing a valuable 10 points with the boot.

The South Africans got stuck into the Australians from the get go and were already 12-0 up after just 10 minutes courtesy of tries from scrumhalf Fourie Du Preez (converted by Steyn) and centre Jaque Fourie. Steyn then added three more points six minutes later when the Wallabies were penalised for an infringement, pushing the score to 15 without reply …

Tough-as-teak Wallaby flyhalf Matt Giteau put his side on the scoreboard in the 27th minute with a well-taken penalty, but Bok wing Bryan Habana (pictured) increased his teams lead even further, when he scored an excellent opportunistic try after chasing and gathering an up and under from Du Preez that Australian right wing Lachie Turner failed to control. Steyn added the conversion to put the visitors 22-3 ahead only for Giteau to close the gap to 16 points with a penalty on the stroke of half time.

The Wallabies made an excellent start to the second stanza when the fiery Giteau scurried over the line after a quickly taken tap penalty by scrumhalf Luke Burgess. The Australian No 10 banged over the conversion to close the gap to 13-22 and the Springboks seemed to have lost some intensity. However, the Boks struck a killer blow in the 52nd minute after centre Jean de Villiers bamboozled the Aussie defence with a decoy run allowing Du Preez to slip the ball inside to Habana who burst over for his second try of the match. Steyn stroked over the conversion and added another penalty 14 minutes later to put the Boks ahead 32-13 ahead with 12 minutes to play.

However, a sloppy lineout by the Boks allowed the never-say-die Giteau to crash over for his second try of the match to close the gap to 14 points with just five minutes remaining on the clock. Turner then added a third try for the home side on the stroke of full-time and Giteau slotted the conversion to complete the scoring and give some respectability to the scoreline, although the Boks did undoubtedly have the better of proceedings for the vast majority of the match. In fact they dominated every aspect of the game, except the scrums where they were will need to make a significant improvement if they want to become a consummate all round team.

The result means the Boks only need a bonus point from Saturday’s test in Brisbane to win this year’s Tri-Nations as New Zealand would then require bonus point wins in their last two matches (one against the Wallabies and one against the Boks) while also having to erase a points difference of 54 points. “I am happy with the win,” was all that captain John Smit had to say on his side’s victory and, indeed, a win is a win, but it must be said that the Wallabies late resurgence took some gloss off the Bok win and prevented what could have been a record away victory.

Vodacom Tri-Nations Log
Pos Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA BPts Pts
1 South Africa 4 4 0 0 120 80 40 8 7 1 17
2 New Zealand 4 2 0 2 79 93 -14 4 4 0 8
3 Australia 4 0 0 4 76 102 -26 6 7 3 3
Joe Pietersen

Joe Pietersen

Province down Sharks to top Currie Cup log
Western Province produced the better rugby on the day to hand the Sharks their second defeat of the 2009 Absa Currie Cup season as the men from the Cape ran out deserved 21-9 (half-time 8-6) winners at the Absa Stadium in Durban on Saturday afternoon. The Sharks started the match positioned at the top of the Currie Cup log, with Province in second place, but at the end of 80 minutes the shoe was on the other foot as Province edged into first place with 28 points with the Sharks one point adrift on 27. However, the match was a scrappy affair and failed to live up to its billing as a top-of-the-table clash although Province were full value for their victory, outscoring their opponents by three tries to nil.

Province fullback Joe Pietersen (pictured) contributed 11 points via his trusty boot to help sink the Sharks who came into this match on a six game winning streak. The KwaZulu-Natalians could not get into the match as they committed numerous handling errors throughout the 80 minutes, which prevented them from mounting an effective challenge against Province.

The Sharks’ points came via the boot of scrumhalf Rory Kockott who slotted two penalties and Argentinean flyhalf Juan Hernandez, who fired over a 30m drop-goal in the 45th minute. Province replied with tries from Zimbabwean born right wing Tonderai Chavhanga and New Zealand lock Chris Jack, who seems to be thoroughly enjoying his rugby in the fairest Cape.

Pietersen added a conversion, two penalties and a well-taken drop goal to round off the scoring for Province who square off against the always-dangerous Blue Bulls at Newlands on Saturday evening in their next outing. The Sharks face the struggling Boland Cavaliers in Wellington on Friday afternoon and a win should surely be on the cards for the KwaZulu-Natalians.

Herkie Kruger

Herkie Kruger

Lions shock Bulls while Leopards, Cheetahs win convincingly
The Blue Bulls suffered their third defeat in this year’s Currie Cup competition when they were comprehensively outplayed by a motivated Lions outfit at the Coca-Cola Park Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday evening. The Lions outscored the Bulls by two tries to one as they ran out deserved 20-13 winners against their more fancied opponents, who looked strangely out of sorts for the duration of this encounter.

Flyhalf Herkie Kruger (pictured) had an excellent game for the Lions contributing 10 points via two conversions and two penalties with centre Alwyn Hollenback and scrumhalf Jano Vermaak scoring a try apiece to secure the win for the home side. Kruger’s opposite number, Burton Francis, replied with a 57th minute penalty with centre Jaco Pretorius dotting down on 79 minutes and replacement Francois Brummer adding an injury time penalty for the Bulls.

These late scores earned the men from Pretoria Accommodation an all-important bonus-point for finishing within seven points enabling them to climb to third position on the Currie Cup ladder after beginning the weekend in fourth place. The Lions next outing will be against the Cheetahs on Saturday afternoon in Bloemfontein.

In other matches over the weekend, the aforementioned Cheetahs crushed early front-runners Griquas 58-13 in Kimberley with winger Jongi Nokwe scoring a hat trick in a seven tries to two drubbing. The Leopards recorded their first win of the season when they hammered fellow minnows the Boland Cavaliers 50-16 in Potchefstroom and will face Griquas in their next outing.

ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division Log
Pos Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA BPts Pts
1 Western Province 8 6 0 2 234 134 100 24 10 4 28
2 Sharks 8 6 0 2 225 125 100 22 10 3 27
3 Blue Bulls 8 5 0 3 209 151 58 24 14 5 25
4 Griquas 8 5 0 3 243 211 32 30 25 4 24
5 Free State Cheetahs 8 4 0 4 277 152 125 34 13 4 20
6 Lions 8 4 0 4 181 164 17 17 14 4 20
7 Leopards 8 1 0 7 148 325 -177 17 42 1 5
8 Boland 8 1 0 7 105 360 -255 10 50 1 5

Meanwhile, in Johannesburg on Saturday, the South African Under 18 team defeated their French counterparts 39-6 at Florida Park in Ravensmead. The Bok teens were full value for their victory, scoring six unanswered tries to run out comfortable winners.

Thulasiwe Mbuyane

Thulasiwe Mbuyane

Pirates thrash Cosmos to extend PSL lead
Orlando Pirates thumped a hapless Jomo Cosmos 4-0 at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday evening to extend their lead at the top of the league table to three points. Thulasiwe Mbuyane (pictured) scored a hat trick in the 13th, 51st and 61st minutes with Thembinkosi ‘Terror’ Fanteni added a fourth goal on 87 minutes to seal Cosmos’ fate. The Buccaneers have now established themselves as the early favourites for the Absa Premiership title.

There were also good wins for Platinum Stars, Ajax Cape Town, Santos, Moroka Swallows and Kaizer Chiefs over the weekend with Black Aces, Golden Arrows, Bidvest Wits and Bloemfontein Celtic having to settle for draws in their matches. All the teams will have a break for the next nine days with the next round of fixtures only scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 12.

Full PSL results (left to right)

Wednesday 26 August
Arrows 1 – Platinum Stars 1
Jomo Cosmos 2 – Black Aces 1
Maritzburg Utd 2 – AmaZulu 0
Kaizer Chiefs 0 – Bidvest Wits 1
Sundowns 1 – Stars 1
Swallows 0 – Orlando Pirates 1
Bloem Celtic 1 – SuperSport 1
Ajax 0 – Santos 2

Saturday 29 August
Black Aces 0 – Golden Arrows 0
SuperSport 0 – Ajax 1
Platinum Stars 1 – Maritzburg Utd 0
Bidvest Wits 1 – Bloem Celtic 1
Orlando Pirates 4 – Jomo Cosmos 0
Santos 1 – Sundowns 0

Sunday 30 August
AmaZulu 2 – Kaizer Chiefs 3
Stars 0 – Swallows 1

Pos Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Pirates 4 3 1 0 6 0 6 10
2 Santos 4 2 1 1 3 1 2 7
3 Arrows 4 1 3 0 3 1 2 6
4 Wits 4 1 3 0 5 4 1 6
5 Celtic 4 1 3 0 5 4 1 6
6 Pmb Utd 4 1 2 1 4 3 1 5
7 Sundowns 4 1 2 1 3 2 1 5
8 SuperSport 4 1 2 1 3 3 0 5
9 Stars 4 1 2 1 2 2 0 5
10 Chiefs 4 1 1 2 3 4 -1 4
11 Swallows 4 1 1 2 2 3 -1 4
12 AmaZulu 4 1 1 2 5 7 -2 4
13 Black Aces 4 1 1 2 3 5 -2 4
14 Ajax 4 1 1 2 2 4 -2 4
15 Cosmos 4 1 1 2 2 7 -5 4
16 Free State Stars 4 0 3 1 4 5 -1 3
Caster Semenya

Caster Semenya

Golden girl Caster to get a house
South African track and field sensation Caster Semenya (pictured) is to receive a house in recognition of her outstanding achievement at the recent World Athletics championships in Berlin where she won a gold medal for her country in the 800m event.

The powerfully built Semenya has swept all before her this season causing many (including the IAAF) to question her gender. Nevertheless, her achievements have been remarkable prompting the provincial government of Limpopo to make arrangements to have a house built for the 18-year-old star.

Given what professional track athletes earn in comparison to their counterparts in other more lucrative sports such as soccer and golf, getting a free house will remove a great financial burden from Semenya’s broad shoulders as property, as we all know, is frightfully expensive these days.

Meanwhile, in Letzigrund, Switzerland on Friday night, Semenya’s fellow Berlin gold medal winner Mbulaeni Mulaudzi finished third in the 800m event at the Weltklasse Zurich meeting. The 28-year-old Mulaudzi clocked a season’s best of 1 min 44.03 secs, but was out sprinted to the line by Kenyans Davis Rudisha (1:43.52) and Alfred Yego (1:43.66) who both recorded personal bests. Another South African, Ruben Ramolefi finished 12th in the men’s 3 000m steeplechase in 8:36.38.

Msutu edges Otieno to keep ‘world title’
South African fighter Lubabalo ‘Fire Blows’ Msutu successfully defended his World Boxing Foundation (WBF) bantamweight title against Kenyan Nick ‘Kanyankole’ Otieno (52.70kg) at the Orient Theatre in East London on Friday night. The fight did not live up to its world title status as both combatants clearly did not resemble anything remotely world class. Nevertheless, it was a spirited affair with the 26-year-old southpaw carving out a 12-round unanimous points victory over the gritty Otieno, who remained competitive throughout the bout.

Two scores of 116-113 and 116-114 were an accurate reflection of the evening’s proceedings, but judge Alan Matakane’s score of 119-109 was grossly unfair, and did not do justice to Otieno’s efforts during the bout. How Matakane could have made Msutu (53.30kg) a 10-point winner was incredulous, and an investigation needs to be conducted as to how Matakane could have arrived at such a ridiculous verdict.

Msuthu’s higher work rate and educated right jab earned him the win against an opponent who simply did not possess the fire power to get the knockout or score the knockdowns that would have salvaged the fight for him. Msuthu’s record improved to 11-2 with nine KO’s with the win, while Otieno dropped to 18-3 with just seven wins via the short route. However, despite his victory, the 2002 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist still has a long way to go if he ever hopes to capture a legitimate world title belt.

On the undercard, southpaw Themba Joyi retained his South African junior bantamweight title by winning a split decision over Miniyakhe Sityatha. Two of the three judges gave Joyi the nod with scores of 116-114 and 116-112, while another gave the fight to the challenger by a narrow 115-114. Joyi was making the first defence of the title he won by stopping Thembelani Maphuma in six rounds in East London in November last year.

The win improved the champions record to 8-1 with six KO’s while Sityatha suffered his first loss against one win. Indeed, the fact that Sityatha was challenging for a national title in only his second professional outing was remarkable, and must be something of a record.

Jbe’ Kruger

Jbe’ Kruger

Jbe’ scorches to victory in Zambia Open
Red-hot Jbe’ Kruger (pictured) shot a superb final round six-under-par 67 to clinch victory (and pocket a satisfying R800 000) in the Zambia Open played at the 6 474m par-73 Ndola Golf Club over the weekend. The towering Bloemfontein resident finished three strokes clear of Titch Moore to claim his first title on the Sunshine tour after finishing in the top 10 on 16 occasions.

Kruger shot a modest even par 37 on the outward nine, but tore away from the rest of the pack with four birdies and a superb eagle three over the last nine holes. Kruger’s eagle came on the 471m par-five 13th, which he also managed to eagle in the opening round. The 23-year-old’s 67 was the best round of the day and it ended the challenge of overnight leader Neil Schietekat, who began the day two shots ahead of Kruger, but struggled to a four-over-par 77 for a share of tenth position.

The next event in the Sunshine Tour is the SAA Pro-Am Invitational, which will be held at the Randpark Golf Club from Sept 3-5 and there’s no doubt Kruger will be looking to continue his winning ways and to pocket another fistful of cash in the process.

Meanwhile, in New Jersey USA, South African golfing star Ernie Els shot a final round 66 to finish in joint second position at The Barclays tournament played at Liberty National. Els’ overall total of 276 was good enough to share second with Irishman Padraig Harrington, and Americans Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker.

U.S. player Heath Slocum won the event by one stroke with an overall score of 275 after carding a 67 in his final round. It was the 197th ranked Slocum’s third career PGA Tour victory, and his first in four years, earning him a cool $1.35 million (R9.8 million) – not too shabby for just four days at the office.

Other South African scores
283 – Tim Clark 71-70-71-71
292 – Retief Goosen 70-74-74-74

Western Province upset by Blues
Home province Northerns Blues defeated champions Western Province 1-0 at the Spar Women’s Inter-provincial Hockey Tournament at the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria last Wednesday. A penalty corner by captain Kim Hubach (pictured) gave Northerns the win and a chance to make the semi-finals after their 3-0 loss to KZN Coastals the previous day.

Meanwhile, SA Hockey Association vice-president Sheila Brown has announced the names of the Spar South Africa women’s hockey team that will represent their country in the Champions Challenge tournament in Cape Town in October. The captain of the team will be announced at a later date.

The SA team
Cindy Botha – KZN Raiders
Tarryn Bright – Western Province
Cindy Brown – Western Province
Lisa Deetlefs – Southern Gauteng
Farah Fredericks – Western Province
Hanli Hattingh – Western Province
Kim Hubach – Northerns Blues
Loreen Irvine – North West
Kelly Madsen – KZN Raiders
Lenise Marais – Western Province
Marsha Marescia – Southern Gauteng
Mariette Rix – Western Province
Shelly Russel – Western Province
Vidette Ryan – Western Province
Kathleen Taylor – Western Province
Roxy Turner – Southern Gauteng
Jen Wilson – KZN Raiders
KateWoods – Western Province

Duncan Vos and Ralph Pitchford

Duncan Vos and Ralph Pitchford

Vos and Pitchford are champs once again
The Nissan Navara duo of Duncan Vos and Ralph Pitchford (pictured) secured the 2009 SA national off-road racing titles by finishing eighth overall in the Highveld 400 race, which ended at Carnival City near Brakpan, Gauteng on Saturday afternoon.

Vos and Pitchford won their driver and co-driver titles with two full rounds of the competition remaining, such has been their domination in this year’s championship. Gary Bertholdt and Andre Vermeulen in a Toyota Hilux won the race. Former champions Neil Woolridge and Kenny Skjöldhammer were second in a Ford Ranger with Terence Marsh and Pieter Gronewald third in another Nissan Navara.

The next race in the series is the Toyota dealer 400, which will be held from October 2-3.

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