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Benni McCarthy makes early call: AmaZulu will be in the CAF Champions League

May 7th 2021 at 09:06

AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy is confident his charges will secure second position in the DStv Premiership this season and clinch a spot in the CAF Champions League.

READ | NEDBANK CUP FINAL: CHIPPA UNITED AND TTM BATTLE FOR MILLIONS

Usuthu have opened a seven-point lead over third-placed Golden Arrows, and eight points over Orlando Pirates, with only four matches left to play.

The Durban outfit will face Baroka FC, Orlando Pirates, Swallows, Maritzburg United in their remaining games and McCarthy is convinced they will get through them well.

The last time a KwaZulu-Natal team qualified for the Champions League was Manning Rangers in 1998.

READ | AL AHLY V MAMELODI SUNDOWNS: DATES CONFIRMED FOR CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE CLASH

“Believe you me‚ the next four games I can’t see AmaZulu losing those four games‚” said McCarthy, as quoted by Sowetan.

“So CAF Champions League – we will be playing CAF Champions League [next season]‚ so that brings new challenges.

“With new challenges we can’t just expect to bring a whole new team in because the players that work for us have done their duty for the club. We now have to look and scout and see which three‚ four‚ five players we can bring in and make what we already have better.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY WISHES HUGO BROOS AND BAFANA BAFANA WELL

“That’s how it works – it’s not that we’re going to make wholesome changes. We’re not that type of team that goes and recruit a new team for the new challenges.

“We work with what we have – for the players that got us there it will be a reward for their hard work. You can’t up and get rid of them.

“But there will be a few new faces that will come in and assist the good team that we already have so we can be ready and competitive for Caf Champions League.”

EXCLUSIVE | TOP KAIZER CHIEFS DEFENDER FACES BLEAK FUTURE

AMAZULU’S REMAINING DSTV PREMIERSHIP MATCHES:

Tuesday, 11 May v Baroka FC (H) – 15:00

Wednesday, 19 May v Orlando Pirates (A) – 15:00

Wednesday, 26 May v Swallows (H) – 19:30

Saturday, 29 May v Maritzburg United (A) – 15:00

NEW QUIZ | ANSWER THESE 5 EASY SOCCER QUESTIONS AND YOU COULD WIN R1 000!

London Irish: Ollie Hassell-Collins marks 50th appearance in trip to Newcastle

May 7th 2021 at 07:28

Declan Kidney has named his London Irish side to take on Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park in Round 18 of the Gallagher Premiership on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 15:00 local time.

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS SQUAD: BREAKDOWN BY COUNTRY

Ollie Hassell-Collins starts on the wing for what will be his 50th appearance for London Irish.

In the front row, Will Goodrick-Clarke, Agustin Creevy and Lovejoy Chawatama combine, with George Nott and Rob Simmons linking up in the second row.

Matt Rogerson captains the side from blindside flanker and Blair Cowan wears the seven jersey. Albert Tuisue completes the pack from No 8.

Nick Phipps and Paddy Jackson are the halfback duo, and Phil Cokanasiga joins Curtis Rona in the centre partnership.

The milestone man Ollie Hassell-Collins is joined by Ben Loader and Tom Parton in the back three.

If required from the replacements, Nic Groom will make his debut for the Exiles, having joined on a short-term deal for the remainder of the season.

READ | SUPER RUGBY AOTEAROA FINAL: CHANCES SCOTT ROBERTSON BREAKS OUT IN DANCE?

“We are excited to get back on the field after a weekend off,” explained Declan Kidney, Director of Rugby.

“Going to Newcastle has always been a tough challenge, and tomorrow’s trip is no different.

“As always, we will be looking to put our best foot forward, in what has the makings for another good game of rugby.”

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS: 16 PLAYERS TO ENJOY THEIR FIRST TOUR OF SA

London Irish team:

15 Tom Parton, 14 Ben Loader, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Phil Cokanasiga, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Nick Phipps, 1 Will Goodrick-Clarke, 2 Agustin Creevy, 3 Lovejoy Chawatama, 4 George Nott, 5 Rob Simmons, 6 Matt Rogerson (captain), 7 Blair Cowan, 8 Albert Tuisue

Replacements: 16 Motu Matu’u, 17 Facundo Gigena, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 Chunya Munga, 20 Ben Donnell, 21 Nic Groom 22 Jacob Atkins, 23 James Stokes

IN CLOSING | STARS ALIGNED FOR A GREAT BRITISH & IRISH LIONS SERIES SAYS SPRINGBOK COACH

⚠ 𝗧𝗘𝗔𝗠 𝗡𝗘𝗪𝗦 ⚠@OHassellcollins reaches 5⃣0⃣ games for London Irish in tomorrow's trip to Newcastle! 👏

🙌 @GeorgeNott1 in the row
👊 @PhilipCokanasi2 at 12
🆕 Potential debut for @nicgroom

Read more 👉 https://t.co/AJl6uObQhZ
🦅 #NEWvLIR ☘ pic.twitter.com/tZqG5hKZb3

— London Irish (@londonirish) May 7, 2021

British & Irish Lions: Stars aligned for a great series says Springbok coach

May 7th 2021 at 07:16

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber said the stars are aligning for a great series with the British & Irish Lions, after Warren Gatland announced the squad on Thursday for their forthcoming tour to South Africa.

GALLERY | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS SQUAD IN PICTURES

Gatland named a 37-man touring squad with Welshman Alun Wyn Jones as captain.

The Springboks are expected to announce their squad early next month.

“The announcement of the Lions squad was a marker in the ground in terms of international rugby coming back to South Africa, which is phenomenal for us, because we’ve been out of it for a while,” Nienaber said in reaction to the big announcement.

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS SQUAD: BREAKDOWN BY CLUB

Gatland has, during his long stint as coach of Wales, managed to build a successful track record with the Welsh Dragons against South Africa in the past few years with a specific style of play.

“One thing I do know about Warren is that he will do his homework,” added Nienaber.

“If your look into the past, the Welsh were a team that we always struggled against. We had one win (against them) since the 2015 RWC quarter-final, which was the 2019 RWC semi-final in Japan.”

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS: 16 PLAYERS TO ENJOY THEIR FIRST TOUR OF SA

Under the guidance of Gatland, the British & Irish Lions defeated the Wallabies in Australia in 2013, and four years later they managed to draw their three-match series with the All Blacks in New Zealand.

With the British & Irish Lions squad now revealed, the attention shifts to the coming Springbok squad selection.

Locally, the franchise teams started the PRO14 Rainbow Cup SA on a high note last week, making for some extra spice knowing that there are Springbok places up for grabs.

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS SQUAD: BREAKDOWN BY COUNTRY

“If you look at the last weekend’s Rainbow Cup action then you will see that the intensity went up a notch,” said Nienaber.

“I must say we have nice relationships with our franchises, allowing us to meet the players just to align ourselves again.

“And the pleasing thing for me was to see how the players are working on and improving on the things we spoke about during those alignment camps.

“I think we have less than 80 days before we play the Lions and the coaches and players have to utilise every second of that time to make sure we are well prepared for the series.”

Looking forward to the three-Test series against Gatland and his team, Nienaber said: “The Lions series is a special occasion that might come only come once during the career of a professional rugby player.

“I know for a fact there are certain players who have postponed their retirement because the tour was two years down the horizon. So I think all the stars are aligned for a great series.”

READ | SUPER RUGBY AOTEAROA FINAL: CHANCES SCOTT ROBERTSON BREAKS OUT IN DANCE?

Nedbank Cup final: Chippa United and TTM battle for millions

May 7th 2021 at 06:57

Chippa United and Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila will battle for Nedbank Cup honours in the final on Saturday, 8 May.

READ | AL AHLY V MAMELODI SUNDOWNS: DATES CONFIRMED FOR CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE CLASH

Unbelievably, while both sides fully deserve their places in the final, they are both currently involved in a DStv Premiership relegation scrap.

TTM are currently in 14th-place, just one point ahead of 15th-placed Chippa United who have played one more match.

NEW QUIZ | ANSWER THESE 5 EASY SOCCER QUESTIONS AND YOU COULD WIN R1 000!

Chippa United have featured in the top-flight of South African football since 2012, while TTM are enjoying their first season having bought the status of now defunct Bidvest Wits in mid-2020.

According to the respected Transfermarkt website, Vladislav Heric’s Chippa United have a market value of €5.28 million (R91 million), which is slightly more than Dylan Kerr’s TTM market value of €5.15 million (88.7 million).

Chippa United’s most valuable player is on-loan Mamelodi Sundowns defender Nyiko Mobbie, who has a €500 000 (R8.6 million) market value, while for TTM playmaker Thabo Rakhale ranks as their most valuable player at €400 000 (R6.8 million).

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY WISHES HUGO BROOS AND BAFANA BAFANA WELL

TTM have endured a considerably tougher path to the final having eliminated SuperSport United, Swallows FC, Black Leopards and Mamelodi Sundowns.

Meanwhile, Chippa United’s path has been littered with GladAfrica Championship sides as they beat Cape Town City, Free State Stars, Richards Bay and Pretoria Callies.

EXCLUSIVE | TOP KAIZER CHIEFS DEFENDER FACES BLEAK FUTURE

In head-to-head stats, TTM and Chippa have only ever met twice across all competitions.

Their first-ever meeting came in a 2018/19 Nedbank Cup Last 16 match with Chippa United securing a 2-0 win at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in February 2019.

The two teams then drew 1-1 in the DStv Premiership match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in November 2020.

READ | RUSSIAN GIANTS TABLE MASSIVE OFFER FOR MAMELODI SUNDOWNS STAR

Saturday’s final will be the first for both sides as they look to land some silverware at the Free State Stadium.

The winners receive prize money of R7 million and also qualify for the next season’s CAF Confederation Cup.

The losers will walk away R2.5 million richer.

Kick-off is scheduled for 18:00.

READ | DSTV TITLE RACE: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW!

Mamelodi Sundowns to recall Phakamani Mahlambi from rivals AmaZulu

May 7th 2021 at 06:25

Phakamani Mahlambi will return to parent club Mamelodi Sundowns when his loan spell at AmaZulu concludes, according to agent Glyn Binkin.

READ | AL AHLY V MAMELODI SUNDOWNS: DATES CONFIRMED FOR CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE BLOCKBUSTER

The 23-year-old Phakamani Mahlambi was deemed surplus to requirements at Chloorkop at the start of the current season, and was consequently sent out on loan to Usuthu.

The former Bidvest Wits youth player has only made three appearances for AmaZulu across all competitions so far, and Binkin has revealed that he will return to Masandawana ahead of next season.

MUST READ | ORLANDO PIRATES’ WORST FEARS REALISED IN CAF CONFEDERATION CUP LAST 8 DRAW

“He’s got a contract with Sundowns, he’s going back to Sundowns for sure,” Binkin told KickOff.

“Ask AmaZulu what the situation is, the team is doing well… he’s not playing at the moment but the team is doing well, they are second on the log so I fully respect the coach and his decision, and the players that are playing for him are doing very well.

“So Phakamani must be patient. Hopefully he gets a chance soon. But he’s a Sundowns player so he goes back to Sundowns at the end of the season. Find out from AmaZulu if there’s another reason [for his lack of game time]. No, there’s no other reason.”

Mamelodi Sundowns currently lead the DStv Premiership standings with 54 points after 25 matches.

They are four points ahead of second-place AmaZulu and also have a game in hand.

READ | BAFANA BAFANA LEGEND SHOWS OFF NEW R1 MILLION-PLUS RIDE

Red Bull steal another FIVE Mercedes engineers

May 7th 2021 at 06:19

Another five Mercedes engineers have jumped ship and joined Red Bull Powertrains.

READ | MICK SCHUMACHER ON WHAT MAX VERSTAPPEN NEEDS TO DO TO DETHORNE LEWIS HAMILTON

Following Honda’s announcement that they would be walking away from Formula One at the end of this season, Red Bull put into place a new company that would run the Honda engines as their own.

Then came the job of staffing the Red Bull Powertrains division.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner made it clear he wanted only the “best” talent for the new division and promptly announced Mercedes’ head of mechanical engineering Ben Hodgkinson as the new technical director.

READ | ROMAIN GROSJEAN TO HAVE FINAL F1 DRIVE IN LEWIS HAMILTON’S TITLE-WINNING CAR

Hodgkinson is presently on gardening leave that could run until late 2022.

With rumours that Hodgkinson had been speaking with his Mercedes colleagues about the new endeavour, it is not a surprise that Red Bull have now confirmed a further five Mercedes staff members are heading to Milton Keynes.

READ | MONACO GRAND PRIX TO ALLOW 7 500 SPECTATORS

The senior leadership appointments include:

PU Production Director – Steve Blewett, formerly Head of Manufacturing at Mercedes Benz HPE
Head of Powertrains Electronics and ERS – Omid Mostaghimi, formerly F1 Electronics Team Leader at Mercedes AMG HPP
Head of Mechanical Design ERS – Pip Clode, formerly Team Leader – F1 Power Unit Concept at Mercedes AMG HPP
Head of PU Design ICE – Anton Mayo, formerly engineer at Mercedes AMG HPP
Group Leader ICE Operations – Steve Brodie, formerly F1 trackside and final inspection manager at Mercedes AMG HPP

RIP | INDY 500 LEGEND BOBBY UNSER DIES

Red Bull Powertrains will also welcome a new Head of Mechanical Development, although that person’s name has yet to be announced.

Red Bull team principal and powertrains CEO Christian Horner said: “Red Bull’s mission to bring all aspects of its Formula 1 operations in-house through Red Bull Powertrains is an enormously exciting undertaking but also an extremely demanding one, and we know that success will only be achieved by bringing in the best and brightest talent, by providing them with the right tools and by creating the right environment in which they can thrive.

“Today’s key leadership team appointments demonstrate our strong commitment to those goals and we certainly benefit from our campus being located in the UK where we have access to a huge wealth of engineering talent.

“Working with our new technical director, Ben Hodgkinson, and alongside key personnel retained from Honda Racing Development, each of the senior personnel announced today bring a wealth of experience, expertise and innovation to the Red Bull Powertrains programme and provide us with the strongest possible technical platform for the future.

Mick Schumacher has impossible shoes to fill – Nico Rosberg

May 7th 2021 at 05:39

Nico Rosberg believes it’s “quite impossible” for Mick Schumacher to live up to the achievements of his legendary father.

READ | MICK SCHUMACHER ON WHAT MAX VERSTAPPEN NEEDS TO DO TO DETHORNE LEWIS HAMILTON

The younger Schumacher is in his first season in Formula One and already is making positive headlines.

Although he is racing for Haas, which has arguably the slowest car on the grid, Mick Schumacher has kept his mistakes to a minimum and, at the Portuguese Grand Prix, made a sweeping pass on Nicholas Latifi to avoid a Haas 1-2 at the bottom of the classification.

He is, however, perhaps one of the drivers with the most pressure on his shoulders as fans and pundits alike compare him to his father, Michael Schumacher.

READ | ROMAIN GROSJEAN TO HAVE FINAL F1 DRIVE IN LEWIS HAMILTON’S TITLE-WINNING CAR

The former Ferrari driver was, at least until Lewis Hamilton won the title last season, the only driver to ever reach seven world titles.

Winning two with Benetton, Schumacher went a five-season rampage with Ferrari from 2000 to 2004.

While his son hopes to one day add his name to the list of F1 world champions, Rosberg says he faces a “tough” time under the spotlight.

READ | MONACO GRAND PRIX TO ALLOW 7 500 SPECTATORS

“We saw last year, there have been press conferences where there were more journalists around him than around Hamilton,” the former F1 driver told Sky Italia.

“It’s mind-blowing. This gives him a lot of pressure. It’s quite impossible for him to be as good as his father, who is the best ever, but everybody compares him with his father, is he as strong as his father, and this is tough.”

RIP | INDY 500 LEGEND BOBBY UNSER DIES

As for some advice as to what to do to improve his game, Rosberg says when he was racing he would look at his team-mate’s data and see where he was faster.

Rosberg, though, had the likes of Michael Schumacher and Hamilton as his team-mates. Mick Schumacher has Nikita Mazepin.

“I used the data a lot,” he explained.

“You can learn a lot from what the other driver with your same car does.

“Even if you go really fast, there will always be a corner where the other driver is faster. And there you can watch and copy him where he does better than you, seeing if he brakes later or if he uses a different trajectory, you can see everything, so you can use the data to go much faster.”

READ | LEWIS HAMILTON WINS 97TH F1 GP IN PORTUGAL

Pitso Mosimane ‘relaxed’ after Al Ahly get back to winning ways

May 7th 2021 at 05:32

Al Ahly head coach Pitso Mosimane expressed his satisfaction after Thursday’s 2-1 victory against Al Ittihad, but the South African was still left frustrated having conceded a late goal.

READ | AL AHLY V MAMELODI SUNDOWNS: DATES CONFIRMED FOR CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE BLOCKBUSTER

The first half didn’t lead to any goals nor much goal-mouth action, but Mosimane’s men started the second half brightly.

Just five minutes in Marwan Mohsen was brought down inside the box by Damion Lowe and Badr Benoun stepped up to open the scoring from the penalty spot.

And another five minutes after that Al Ahly doubled their lead when Mohamed Magdy nodded in Hussein El-Shahat’s cross.

MUST READ | ORLANDO PIRATES’ WORST FEARS REALISED IN CAF CONFEDERATION CUP LAST 8 DRAW

However, in stoppage time Al Ittihad managed to score a late consolation goal through Mohamed Sabahi, something which spoiled Mosimane’s mood.

Speaking after the match, Mosimane: “We now feel a little relaxed after the victory today. We went through a difficult time. We were playing well but we weren’t winning.

“Sometimes playing well does not help us, and when you do not win, it affects your confidence.

“We scored a goal and followed it with another, then a third goal, unfortunately, was not counted due to offside, and when you lead in result with two goals without a response, this makes you feel confident and there is comfort even in making substitutions.

READ | BAFANA BAFANA LEGEND SHOWS OFF NEW R1 MILLION-PLUS RIDE

Despite their victory Al Ahly remained in second place in the Egyptian Premier League standings with 40 points, four points behind log-leaders Zamalek.

Al Ahly have however played two fewer matches than their bitter rivals who they will meet in their next match on Monday, 10 May at 21:30 SA time.

READ | FORMER BAFANA BAFANA DEFENDER NEW CAPE TOWN SPURS ASSISTANT COACH

Benni McCarthy sends Hugo Broos and Bafana Bafana his best wishes

May 7th 2021 at 04:23

Benni McCarthy has wished new Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos well after speculation had initially linked the AmaZulu boss to the national team post.

NEW QUIZ | ANSWER THESE 5 EASY QUESTIONS AND YOU COULD WIN R1 000!

In the wake of Molefi Ntseki’s departure, rumours were doing the rounds that Benni McCarthy would take over as Bafana boss due to his impressive record at AmaZulu this season.

“The rumours [on Bafana], we try not to let rumours get to us and derail what we want to do as individuals and as a team,” said McCarthy, as quoted by Sowetan.

READ | BAFANA BAFANA LATEST | SAFA CONFIRMS HUGO BROOS CONTRACT DETAILS

In the end it was former Cameroon national team coach Broos who got the nod and Benni McCarthy has wished him and Bafana Bafana all the best.

“We have got a good group of players, so ja, I can’t see why there can’t be success. All I can say to the new guy [Broos] is good luck and all the best,” McCarthy added.

“We know that we’ll be playing qualifiers for the World Cup and ja, we’ll be rooting for Bafana.

“All I can give them is my best wishes, more I can’t do.”

READ | FOUR THINGS THAT COST BENNI MCCARTHY THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

Lleyton Hewitt delays Tennis Hall of Fame entry to 2022

May 7th 2021 at 04:09

Former world number one Lleyton Hewitt of Australia said his induction to the International Tennis Hall of Fame will be delayed until 2022 due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.

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In a video posted on the Hall’s website, the two-time Grand Slam singles champion said he plans to attend next year’s ceremony in July during the ATP Hall of Fame Championship at Newport, Rhode Island.

“Unfortunately, due to the circumstances around Covid this year, my family and I won’t be able to make it over to Newport to celebrate this July,” Lleyton Hewitt said in the video.

“But we are really looking forward to coming back and actually being part of it in 2022 at the Hall of Fame.”

The Hall of Fame will conduct an induction ceremony at this year’s grass-court event on July 17, the day of the tournament semi-finals.

The ceremony will see the enshrinement of 2020 inductees Goran Ivanisevic and Conchita Martinez, whose ceremony was called off last year, and other 2021 inductees, including The Original 9, trailblazing players who launched the women’s pro tour, and the late coach Dennis Van der Meer.

US-Australia travel issues will keep Hewitt from sharing the moment.

“While I’m very much looking forward to the ceremony and the celebration, everyone’s health and safety is the rightful priority for us all to focus on right now,” Hewitt said.

Hewitt, 40, won the 2001 US Open and 2002 Wimbledon singles titles and was runner-up at the 2004 US Open and 2005 Australian Open.

Hewitt captured 30 ATP singles crowns in his career, taking his first in his hometown of Adelaide in 1998 and his last at Newport in 2014.

In November 2001, the Aussie became the youngest player to be ranked ATP world number one at age 20.

SOCCER QUIZ | Answer these 5 easy questions and win R1 000!

May 7th 2021 at 04:00

How much of a soccer fanatic are you? Answer the 5 soccer multiple-choice questions and stand a chance to win R1 000 in cash.

One lucky reader who answers all 5 questions correctly will stand a chance to win the money.

All entrants who score 5 out of 5 will go into a draw where a winner will be chosen and contacted by email.

It’s easy, all the answers can be found on The South African website. This quiz closes on Thursday, 20 May 2021.

Don’t delay, enter TODAY.

Good luck!

British & Irish Lions: Tony Brown leaves Highlanders to help Japan prepare

May 7th 2021 at 03:25

Coach Tony Brown has been forced to skip Highlanders’ Super Rugby Trans-Tasman campaign to help Japan prepare to face the British & Irish Lions, in a situation he conceded on Friday was “not ideal”.

GALLERY | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS SQUAD IN PICTURES

Brown has contracts with both the Highlanders and the rugby union in Japan, where he coached the now defunct Sunwolves and was an assistant with the Brave Blossoms at the 2019 World Cup.

The roles were never supposed to overlap but Brown said rescheduling caused by the pandemic had created a clash that left him unable to fill both roles.

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS SQUAD: BREAKDOWN BY CLUB

“Having to head to Japan earlier than expected is disappointing particularly leaving my (Highlanders) team before the end of the season, it’s not what anyone would have wanted,” he said.

The Brave Blossoms play the Lions in Edinburgh on June 26 in a warm-up for the composite team’s tour of South Africa.

Brown said Japan’s internationals had not spent time together since 2019 and they would undergo a short but intense preparation before heading to Scotland.

The Super Rugby Trans-Tasman competition – which pits Australian and New Zealand clubs against each other for the first time since the pandemic began – runs from May 14 to June 19.

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS SQUAD: BREAKDOWN BY COUNTRY

“The way it has worked out means Brownie’s international obligations suddenly overlap with his Super Rugby duties, which obviously is a situation that doesn’t sit comfortably with anyone,” Highlanders chief executive Roger Clark said.

He said assistant coach Clarke Dermody would take over, with Brown providing regular input remotely.

Brown’s contract with the Highlanders runs until the end of next season.

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS: 16 PLAYERS TO ENJOY THEIR FIRST TOUR OF SA

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George Lebese SENT HOME from Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila!

May 6th 2021 at 08:49

Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila coach Dylan Kerr has explained why former Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs winger George Lebese has been released by the club.

READ | BAFANA BAFANA LATEST | A LOCAL COACH TO ASSIST HUGO BROOS

It comes just a month after George Lebese was announced as a new signing following the termination of his contract with Major Soccer League (MLS) outfit Colorado Switchbacks.

However, it has now transpired that because the 32-year-old cancelled his contract outside of the registered FIFA transfer window, he has been unable to register with the Limpopo-based club.

READ | HOW MUCH WILL HUGO BROOS PROCKET AS BAFANA BAFANA COACH?

“As far as I know George is no longer with us due to his work visa. We can’t get a FIFA clearance for him. So I think George agreed, I don’t know because I’m not seeing him,” Kerr said ahead of the Chippa United showdown this weekend.

“I think George has gone home and I don’t know if he’s still part of TTM, but I can understand his frustration, when he came, he was way off the pace.

“I mean we’d be risking serious injury if we did play him in a competitive game because he’s not been training and he has not played [a match] since November.

“So he was a long way short of the rest of the squad and we tried very very hard to get his ITC, but the legalities of it in America… he was already contracted to that club, he wasn’t really a free agent, so we couldn’t really sign him.”

READ | FOUR THINGS THAT COST BENNI MCCARTHY THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

Proteas to play Tests, T20Is in the West Indies next month!

May 6th 2021 at 08:03

South Africa will tour the West Indies next month at the start of an intensive build-up to the T20 World Cup which is scheduled for India in October, the national federation announced on Thursday.

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Cricket South Africa (CSA) director of cricket Graeme Smith said South Africa would play two Test matches and five Twenty20 internationals in the Caribbean during a tour which will start in early June at venues which had still to be finalised.

The South African white-ball players will then travel directly to Ireland for a previously-announced tour in July. 

READ | KEVIN PIETERSEN WEIGHS IN ON ‘SUFFERING’ INDIA AND POSTPONED IPL

After a short break further white-ball tours are planned to Sri Lanka and India, leading in to the World Cup.

Smith acknowledged that the tour of India in September could clash with a possible resumption of the Indian Premier League (IPL) which was paused in mid-tournament on Tuesday after outbreaks of Covid-19 in three of the franchise camps.

“With what’s happening in India with Covid and the IPL, we need to give the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) time to gather their thoughts,” he said. 

“The challenges India are facing as a country are immense.”

READ | CSA CONFIRMS SA PLAYERS RETURNING FROM IPL WILL QUARANTINE AT HOME

Smith said he wanted South Africa to field their best possible team at the World Cup.

That could include AB de Villiers, if he comes out of international retirement, and free agents such as Imran Tahir and Chris Morris, who are no longer contracted to be available for South Africa.

“We have seen the success the West Indies has had in bringing back free agents,” said Smith. 

“But there are many factors involved, including team dynamics. Our focus has always been on trying to get our best squad together for an extensive time.”

Smith praised the Indian board for their handling of the Covid outbreak. 

“The duty of care they have shown in getting everyone home has been exemplary,” he said adding that all of the South African players and coaching staff involved in the IPL would be back in South Africa by Friday.

British & Irish Lions breaking news: Squad to face Springboks named

May 6th 2021 at 07:21

British & Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland on Thursday named a 37-man squad to tour South Africa.

READ | SIYA KOLISI’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY ON SHELVES IN SEPTEMBER

Gatland has also named Alun Wyn Jones as captain for the tour.

Several players are named in a British & Irish Lions squad for a first time, including Josh Adams, Bundee Aki, Chris Harris, Ali Price, Louis Rees-Zammit, Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Zander Fagerson, Iain Henderson, Jonny Hill, Wyn Jones, Andrew Porter, Sam Simmonds, Rory Sutherland and Hamish Watson.

“We believe we’ve picked a squad capable of winning a Test series in South Africa,” said Gatland.

“Selecting a Lions squad is never easy and, in many ways, this has been the most challenging selection I have been involved in. Over the course of the last three weeks the coaches and I have rigorously debated each position.

“We saw some outstanding performance in the recent Six Nations, so competition for places has been tough with some incredibly tight calls to make.

“However, we are very happy with the squad we have assembled and look forward to meeting up in Jersey in just over a month’s time to start our preparation to take on the world champions. We’ve left out some very talented players which gives an indication to the strength of this squad and we know how important that stand-by list will be.

“Being selected for a Lions Tour is the greatest honour for a British and Irish player and I congratulate everyone named today.”

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS: FIRST LOOK AT THE TROPHY UP FOR GRABS IN SPRINGBOK SERIES

BRITISH & IRISH LIONS SQUAD TO TOUR SA:

Backs

Josh Adams, Bundee Aki, Dan Biggar, Elliot Daly, Gareth Davies, Owen Farrell, Chris Harris, Robbie Henshaw, Stuart Hogg, Conor Murray, Ali Price, Lewis Rees-Zammit, Finn Russell, Duhan van der Merwe, Anthony Watson, Liam Williams

Forwards

Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Zander Fagerson, Taulupe Faletau, Tadhg Furlong, Jamie George, Iain Henderson, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, Alun Wyn Jones (captain), Wyn Jones, Courtney Lawes, Ken Owens, Andrew Porter, Sam Simmonds, Rory Sutherland, Justin Tipuric, Mako Vunipola, Hamish Watson

British & Irish Lions: Has the squad to play the Springboks been LEAKED?

May 6th 2021 at 06:09

Mere hours away from the official announcement of the 36-man British & Irish Lions squad to tour South Africa later this year and it appears the list of players has been LEAKED!

READ | SPRINGBOK BLOW AS RG SNYMAN GOES BACK UNDER THE KNIFE

Coach Warren Gatland is due to name his captain at 13:09 (SA time) and the rest of the squad at 13:28.

But it appears as if we needn’t wait until then if an image doing the rounds on social media is to be believed!

READ | SIYA KOLISI’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY ON SHELVES IN SEPTEMBER

Although the final tour itinerary is still not confirmed only 58 days before the first match is due to be played, it has been reported that all eight matches will be played in just two cities – Cape Town and Johannesburg.

The first three matches – including the first Test – will be played in the Mother City followed by the remaining five clashes – and second and third Tests – in Gauteng.

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS: HOW TO WATCH THE SQUAD ANNOUCEMENT LIVE

See below for who reportedly made the cut – and who didn’t – for the first British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa since 2009.

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS: FIRST LOOK AT THE TROPHY UP FOR GRABS IN SPRINGBOK SERIES

British-Irish-Lions-leaked

Molefi Ntseki will NOT be Hugo Broos’ assistant after parting ways with SAFA

May 6th 2021 at 05:53

New Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos will not be able to count on former national mentor Molefi Ntseki as one of his assistants going forward.

MUST READ | FOUR THINGS THAT COST BENNI MCCARTHY THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

There had been speculation following Broos’ announcement on Wednesday as the new South Africa coach that at least one of his assistants would be Ntseki.

However, on Thursday, the South African Football Association (SAFA) issued a statement confirming they had parted ways with Ntseki.

READ | HUGO BROOS SPEAKS: TAKES A DIG AT MOLEFI NTSEKI

In March SAFA sacked Ntseki just 18 months into his contract after he failed to lead the national side in qualification for next year’s delayed Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament to be held in Cameroon.

Ironically, the only international side that the already 69-year-old Broos has coached to date has been Cameroon.

Ntseki previously acted as an assistant coach to Stuart Baxter during his tenure at the helm of Bafana Bafana.

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS FANS HAVE HAD ENOUGH! PROTEST PLANS REVEALED

SAFA’s statement read:

The South African Football Association (SAFA) together with coach Molefi Ntseki have officially agreed to part ways amicably, following the senior national team’s failure to qualify for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).

Ntseki, who was appointed as Bafana Bafana head coach back in August 2019 after playing an assistant role to previous coach Stuart Baxter for two years where they reached the quarterfinals of the 2019 Afcon, leaves the association after overseeing nine international matches.

Under Ntseki’s watchful eye, Bafana Bafana won four, drew two and lost three of the nine international matches played. 

Prior to being the senior national team coach, the Free-State born coach enjoyed a good stint with South African junior national teams including guiding the SA U17 team (Amajimbos) to the 2015 Fifa World Cup in Chile. He also helped Amajimbos qualify for the 2015 U17 Afcon Tournament, where he finished as runners-up to Mali, thus earning a ticket to Chile. Ntseki was also the U23 assistant coach.

SAFA would like thank Ntseki for his contribution to the association over the years.

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS: THIS INCREDIBLE STAT SUMS UP THEIR WOEFUL SEASON

Manqoba Mngqithi makes a BIG call on Gift Motupa

May 6th 2021 at 05:35

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi hailed Gift Motupa “as one of the best finishers in the country” after his side’s 2-0 victory over Maritzburg United at Loftus Versfeld on Wednesday.

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS: THIS INCREDIBLE STAT SUMS UP THEIR WOEFUL SEASON

Ricardo Nascimento’s penalty gave Mamelodi Sundowns the lead before Motupa wrapped up the three points with a thunderous low drive from the right-hand side of the box into the far corner.

And Mngqithi praised his side’s efficient display as well as hailing the qualities of Gift Motupa, who came in for Kermit Erasmus and was making just his second start of the season after an injury-blighted campaign since joining from the now defunct Bidvest Wits.

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS FANS HAVE HAD ENOUGH! PROTEST PLANS REVEALED

“Not the best but business-like. We wanted to win the match. We had to give ourselves to the team and everybody ran because we knew we were playing against a very complicated team,” Mngqithi told SuperSport TV.

“Maritzburg is not an easy team for anyone, and I always tell people Ernst (Middendorp) is one of the top coaches. He may have been unlucky, but his strategies at times can put you off. We knew it was not going to be an easy one, and we had to take the few chances that we got and we were fortunate on the day to get a penalty.

MUST READ | FOUR THINGS THAT COST BENNI MCCARTHY THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

“Gift’s work and the group to try and give us a high-press and from there we get something it’s always good for the team and also the second goal I think he took it very well. And we’ve always known he is one of the best finishers in the country.

“I even spoke to him before the match (and told him) today is your day to score and when he scored he immediately pointed at me because he knew that I had told him that today is your day and I was very happy for that.

WATCH | GIFT MOTUPA SCORES HIS FIRST EVER GOAL FOR MAMELODI SUNDOWNS

“But more than anything else I want to give credit to my technical team, coach Rhulani (Mokwena), Steve (Komphela), coach Wendell (Robinson) for the clean sheet. The analysts, I think they are always spot on.

“The medical department for getting everybody into the team, the support staff, there’s very good things happening behind the scenes and the management of the team has been very supportive.

“In all our troubles and our journeys, they have been there and once again I want to thank the president and the board of the club because the resources we have sometimes, they make it easier for us to compete on all fronts under circumstances that are very difficult because when you count the number of matches that these players are expected to play. It’s very difficult and I really want to thank them for that.”

Manqoba Mngqithi makes a BIG call on Gift Motupa

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi has hailed Gift Motupa 'as one of the best finishers in the country'.

Mamelodi Sundowns’ Themba Zwane in race against time to be fit for Al Ahly

May 6th 2021 at 04:34

Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Themba Zwane is facing at least a week on the sidelines after suffering a hamstring injury in midweek, according to co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi.

MUST READ | FOUR THINGS THAT COST BENNI MCCARTHY THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

Themba Zwane, the reigning PSL Player of the Year, sustained the injury during Wednesday’s 2-0 triumph over Maritzburg United and is now facing a race against time to be fit for the crunch CAF Champions League clash with Al Ahly next week.

Sphelele Mkhulise also picked up a minor injury in the Maritzburg match, but the prognosis appears to be slightly more positive for the 25-year-old.

Mngqithi told SuperSport TV: “According to the doctors Themba Zwane’s injury never looked like a grade two.

“They are hopeful that maybe in a week or 10 days he might be back.

“Mkhulise’s one we don’t think it is something very heavy. We are hopeful that he will come back.

READ | HUGO BROOS SPEAKS: TAKES A DIG AT MOLEFI NTSEKI

“It is just that it is a very difficult muscle to know what is going to happen. But we are hopeful that they will be able to come back.

“We also took them out early to make sure that we don’t exacerbate the injuries.”

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS FANS HAVE HAD ENOUGH! PROTEST PLANS REVEALED

Themba Zwane has made 31 appearances in all competitions this season, bagging 12 goals and providing five assists in the process.

Mkhulise, meanwhile, has featured in 26 matches, including seven in the CAF Champions League, scoring once.

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS: THIS INCREDIBLE STAT SUMS UP THEIR WOEFUL SEASON

Mamelodi Sundowns' Themba Zwane in race against time to be fit for Al Ahly

Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Themba Zwane faces at least a week on the sidelines after suffering a hamstring injury.

Jake White makes another key signing at the Bulls

May 6th 2021 at 04:24

The Blue Bulls Company has confirmed the signing of centre Harold Vorster who returns to South Africa from Japan.

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS: ARE THESE THE 36 MEN TO TAKE ON THE SPRINGBOKS?

Vorster enjoyed a stellar career across the Jukskei where he represented the Golden Lions and Lions, accumulating 70 caps in Super Rugby and 17 more in the Currie Cup.

In 2018, the hard-running centre made the move to Japan where he turned out for the Panasonic Wild Knights.

READ | SPRINGBOK BLOW AS RG SNYMAN GOES BACK UNDER THE KNIFE

Vorster has established himself as a no-nonsense centre with blistering pace and explosive strength which was rewarded in 2017 as he donned the South Africa ‘A’ jersey against the French Barbarians. 

“Attracting the type of talent Harold possesses is exactly what we are looking for at Loftus Versfeld. His signing adds immense depth to our backs and we are keen to see what he brings to the table,” said Bulls Director of Rugby, Jake White.

IN CLOSING | LONDON IRISH SIGN FORMER STORMERS AND LIONS VETERAN NIC GROOM

🚨 OUR LATEST SIGNING IS A BEAST 😤🚨

Welcome to Loftus Harold Vorster 🔥

Press release here: https://t.co/qij0kOf1h9#TrueToTheBlue pic.twitter.com/3k5C0eGf3q

— Official Blue Bulls (@BlueBullsRugby) May 6, 2021

All Blacks star No 9 names Springbok opponent as the best ever

May 6th 2021 at 04:17

All Blacks scrumhalf Aaron Smith has named former Springbok Fourie du Preez as the greatest No 9 to ever play in a Rugby World Cup.

READ | SIYA KOLISI’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY ON SHELVES IN SEPTEMBER

When the official Rugby World Cup Twitter account recently sent out the question, ‘Best scrumhalf to play at a Rugby World Cup?’, none other than Smith responded with a picture of the legendary Bulls No 9.

The 97-Test veteran posted a pic of Fourie du Preez in his Springbok colours, along with a caption that read, “There can only be one! #FourieDuPreez”

READ | SPRINGBOK BLOW AS RG SNYMAN GOES BACK UNDER THE KNIFE

Du Preez was at the peak of his powers during the 2007 World Cup and was undoubtedly one of the Boks’ star performers at the tournament.

While he was a vital cog in Jake White’s Springbok machine throughout the competition, his masterclass performance in the 36-0 victory over England during the group stages is considered one of the finest individual performances in rugby history.

Du Preez would go on to help the Boks secure the Tri-Nations title and a series victory over the Lions two years later, while also achieving Super Rugby success with the Bulls.

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS: ARE THESE THE 36 MEN TO TAKE ON THE SPRINGBOKS?

LIVE British & Irish Lions squad announcement: How to watch – 6 May 2021

May 6th 2021 at 03:00

Later today, Thursday, 6 May, British & Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland will name his 36-man squad for their 2021 tour of South Africa.

READ | SIYA KOLISI’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY ON SHELVES IN SEPTEMBER

The announcement will be broadcast live from 12:45 SA time with a build-up to the unveiling after which chairperson Jason Leonard will read out the names.

It will be streamed live on the British & Irish Lions’ social media channelsFacebookYouTube and Twitter, as well as on the Official Lions Rugby App and website.

The announcement will also be broadcast on SuperSport.

The 2021 tour captain – to be named on 6 May as well – will also join the the show remotely.

READ | SPRINGBOK BLOW AS RG SNYMAN GOES BACK UNDER THE KNIFE

‘To put on that British & Irish Lions jersey is incredibly special,’ said Gatland.

‘I’ve been lucky enough to be on a number of Lions tours and seeing those players put the jersey on for the first time – you can see the pride in their faces.

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS: ARE THESE THE 36 MEN TO TAKE ON THE SPRINGBOKS?

‘It’s about understanding what has come before you and the famous players who have worn the iconic jersey and those who will come after you. The Lions are regarded as the best of the best and this is the biggest challenge in rugby.

‘Once you’ve been selected, once you’ve played for the Lions, that is something that can never ever be taken away from you.’

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS V SPRINGBOK MATCHES TO BE PLAYED IN JUST TWO CITIES!

The itinerary for the tour still hasn’t been confirmed despite the first match scheduled – at this stage – to be held on July 3, only nine weeks and a day away.

According to reports, all eight matches will be split between just two cities – Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Cape Town is due to hold the first three matches (including the first Test), while Johannesburg will stage the remaining five matches as well as the second and third Tests which are reported to be penciled in for the FNB Stadium to maximise the number of permitted spectators.

IN CLOSING | LONDON IRISH SIGN FORMER STORMERS AND LIONS VETERAN NIC GROOM

Gavin Hunt calls for Kaizer Chiefs to find mental fortitude

May 5th 2021 at 23:00

Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt says his side did well with 10 men, but bemoaned the fact that they could not hold on for a point after the 2-1 defeat to Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday.

MUST READ | FOUR THINGS THAT COST BENNI MCCARTHY THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

Hunt’s side slumped to their ninth defeat of the season, which also meant they failed to break into the top eight and could finish in the bottom half of the table for the second time in three seasons not to mention the seven-year trophy drought and counting.

The Amakhosi were reduced to 10 men when Njabulo Blom received a second yellow card in the 38th minute before Thabo Rakhale opened the scoring four minutes later.

Lebogang Manyama equalised in the 66th minute but Amakhosi hearts were broken not for the first time this season when Thabo Mnyamane’s penalty in the eighth minute of stoppage time gave Vhadau Vha Damani all three points.

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS FANS HAVE HAD ENOUGH! PROTEST PLANS REVEALED

“Ja I thought we were well in the game obviously until the red-card but we stayed in the front foot, made changes at half-time to stay in the front foot,” Hunt told SuperSport TV.

“Tried to get something to play towards and we did well, we got the goal and if we had a little bit of care upfront sometimes we could have done better.

“We didn’t hold it or gave it away cheaply and obviously we got turned over but we were right in the game, obviously they gonna come out with extra numbers, overload us,” he said.

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS: THIS INCREDIBLE STAT SUMS UP THEIR WOEFUL SEASON

“But we did well, the changes were right but then that’s pretty much how it has been, you got to have the mentality and the game toughness to see it out but obviously you never know sometimes with what went on.

“The first goal was the same mistake [to the Bloemfontein Celtic game], pretty much things you can’t understand, that’s just down to certain things, ja but I thought we did well to come back in. We could have had a chance to win at the end but they obviously got the bounce of the ball there.”

READ | HUGO BROOS SPEAKS: TAKES A DIG AT MOLEFI NTSEKI

Gavin Hunt calls for Kaizer Chiefs to find mental fortitude

Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt has bemoaned the fact his side could not hold on for a point in their defeat to Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila.

Benni McCarthy hails AmaZulu team after R1.5m Q-Innovation Q3 windfall

May 5th 2021 at 17:03

AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy has heaped praise on his players after being confirmed as the DStv Premiership Q-Innovation Q3 winners.

MUST READ | FOUR THINGS THAT COST BENNI MCCARTHY THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

Usuthu won six and drew two of their eight league games during the third quarter block to come out on top.

Benni McCarthy was delighted with the recognition and was quick to praise his squad for the hard work they put in to go on their impressive run of results.

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS FANS HAVE HAD ENOUGH! PROTEST PLANS REVEALED

“I would like to thank you, the DStv Premiership officials, and everyone for recognizing us as the Q3 winners. We really appreciate it, we are very excited, and we are very happy to receive this award,” said Benni McCarthy, as quoted by the official AmaZulu website.

“It has been hard work from everyone. We are fully grateful for this. I would like to thank the players first for their hard work, their dedication, their sacrifice, the winning mentality that they have shown.

“To come in every single day working to get better and better, I am grateful and very happy for them that they were able to win this Q3. All their hard work has paid off eventually.

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS: THIS INCREDIBLE STAT SUMS UP THEIR WOEFUL SEASON

“The technical team, the coaches thank you all for every single day, pushing each other, pushing the players to do more.

“I am grateful for you guys and I am very thankful to have you guys as part of my team and then obviously management, the President of the team, Mr Sandile Zungu and Mr Manzini Zungu for the leadership and guiding the team, allowing me to assemble the team that I have and to be able to win this Q3.

“Hopefully, we will win many more to come and we work harder every day. I want to thank them for the incredible leadership that they have shown to AmaZulu and to the fans, I hope they enjoyed it. We miss them a lot and we cannot wait to have them back at the stadiums,” Benni McCarthy concluded.

READ | HUGO BROOS SPEAKS: TAKES A DIG AT MOLEFI NTSEKI

CONGRATULATIONS to @AmaZuluFootball 🥇🎉🎈🎊- The #DStvPrem Q-Innovation Quarter three (Q3) winners. pic.twitter.com/EGJ53xJZei

— Official PSL (@OfficialPSL) May 4, 2021

Does Hugo Broos’ appointment spell the end of the road for Itumeleng Khune?

May 5th 2021 at 17:01

Newly-appointed Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos is eager to build a young, hungry national team squad, but warned it will take time.

MUST READ | FOUR THINGS THAT COST BENNI MCCARTHY THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

That could well spell bad news and the end of the road for veteran goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune.

Khune, who turns 34 next month, will be one of several 30-something players who will have noted with concern the comments made by the 69-year-old Belgian following the announcement of his 5-year contract at the helm of the South African national side on Wednesday.

A new broom sweeps clean after all and Broos will surely want to make changes to the current underperforming squad, especially if they fail to qualify for next year’s Soccer World Cup in Qatar.

WATCH | GIFT MOTUPA SCORES HIS FIRST EVER GOAL FOR MAMELODI SUNDOWNS!

Broos has experience coaching at international level in Africa, having previously worked as Cameroon’s mentor between February 2016 and December 2017.

Hugo Broos says he was surprised with the recent Bafana Bafana team selections as he would be more focused on giving young players opportunities, as they are more motivated to perform on the international stage.

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS FANS HAVE HAD ENOUGH! PROTEST PLANS REVEALED

“We watched some (Bafana) matches last week, and made an analysis, I was a bit surprised when I saw the selections for the last games,” Hugo Broos told the media via a Zoom call following his appointment.

“I take the example of Cameroon, I did the same there, when I worked with young players, who were motivated and hungry to show themselves.

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS: THIS INCREDIBLE STAT SUMS UP THEIR WOEFUL SEASON

“I was a player and I know when you are 30 years or older, the motivation is less. You are happy to be in the national team, but your hunger is less.

“After South Africa did not qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations next year, this has to be the moment to build a younger team.”

READ | HUGO BROOS SPEAKS: TAKES A DIG AT MOLEFI NTSEKI

On the mission to qualify for the 2022 Soccer World Cup, he added: “We will do everything to qualify for the World Cup next year, but it can’t be a deception if we don’t.

“To build a team takes time, it is a good opportunity for these players to play games and to see what it is to play at this level. For me, what is most important is what happens after the World Cup (2022).”

READ | HUGO BROOS: 10 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE NEW BAFANA BAFANA COACH

Yurav Premlall goes wire-to-wire at Nedbank Junior Challenge

May 5th 2021 at 15:16

Glendower’s Yurav Premlall walked in the footsteps of giants when held on for a wire-to-wire win in the inaugural Nedbank Junior Challenge on a score of three-under-par at the Gary Player Country Club on Wednesday.

READ | DEAN BURMESTER TURNS ON THE MAGIC TO WIN TENERIFE OPEN

The 17-year-old GolfRSA National Squad member led by two strokes after the first round and carried a single shot lead into the final round, which soon became a two-horse race between Premlall and nearest challenger Jordan Duminy.

Duminy, the 2021 Boland Amateur champion and a fellow member of the National Squad, got off to a fast start and drew level with Premlall after seven holes.

READ | JC RITCHIE WINS CAPE TOWN OPEN IN A PLAYOFF

“I was playing really solidly to begin with, hitting fairways and greens and not making too many mistakes,” said Yurav Premlall.

“Then came the blunder of a three-putt on the seventh hole. It threw the tournament wide open, because Jordy hit it to about three feet and tapped in for birdie.”

A blocked tee shot on the difficult eighth hole saw Duminy sign for an unfortunate double bogey and Premlall carried a two-shot lead into the closing nine.

Duminy trimmed the gap to one shot again with a birdie on the par-five 10th, but the Louis Oosthuizen Academy member made costly bogeys on 12 and 13 to hand the advantage back to Premlall.

As they reached the closing stretch, Premlall looked to have the tournament sewn up.

“I knew that, with a one-shot lead, pars on the last three holes would give me a great chance at winning,” he said.

“I really put a lot of effort into my iron shots and although I didn’t make the putts, it was good enough at the end.”

Reigning South African Amateur champion Christiaan Maas put in a late charge, firing birdies at the 16th and 17th holes, but his hat-trick birdie attempt on the closing hole rolled past and the GolfRSA No 1-ranked junior finished two back, tied with Duminy in second on 1-under.

Premlall, who is ranked third in the SAGA Junior Ranking – behind Maas and Duminy – was happy to make amends for his last outing at the Gary Player Country Club layout, where he missed the cut in the South African Open in December.

“To get the win at a golf course like this means so much,” said Yurav Premlall.

“In the SA Open I hit a couple of loose tee shots and paid the price, so it feels good to get a little bit of sweet revenge on the course.”

Premlall not only got to take home the replica of the famous Nedbank Golf Challenge trophy, but the Glendower golfer landed a once in a lifetime behind-the-scenes experience at the next Nedbank Golf Challenge with his victory.

“I can’t wait to experience Africa’s Major’s from the other side of the ropes,” said the excited young champion.

“I don’t have all the details yet, but I’ll get to meet players, watch them on the driving range up close and I get to walk the golf course during the Pro-Am. It’s going to be epic.”

It has been some months since Yurav Premlall ended in the winner’s circle since his Harry Oppenheimer Trophy and Central Gauteng Open triumphs in November last year.

Although he won the ProShop Northern Amateur match play title, the teenager was delighted with his performance. He also sounded a warning that the best is yet to come from the new champion, who has been hard at work tightening up his swing and putting with his coach, Grant Veenstra.

“It’s a real confidence booster that I could get the job done in stroke play,” said Yurav Premlall.

“I had a couple of good results since the start of the season, but I just couldn’t pull it through. I’ve been making changes every week to my game so I’ve accepted that it’s going to be hot and cold.

“But I know that when it all comes together and I start to play consistently, it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

New GolfRSA National Squad member Daniel Bennett, who finished runner up in the Nomads SA Boys Under-19 Match Play Championship last week, finished alone in fourth on a score of 2-over par, with Hannes Strooh, who beat him in last week’s 36-hole final, finishing in fifth on 3-over.

TJ Sandys led the 20-strong South African Golf Development Board squad with a top 20 finish.

Although the 16-year-old Klerksdorp junior struggled to navigate the typically tough final round course set-up, he was just five over for the day when he suffered a costly a triple on the par-4 15th. Sandys also dropped on 17, but still managed to seal a joint 16th finish on 13-over.

“This was an incredible experience; not just for me, but for the entire squad,” the North West junior said.

“To play one of the best courses in the country with the best juniors in the country was a huge opportunity.

“We talked about last night at dinner. Everyone us will leave here having learned something from playing with these juniors. We especially liked watching the top guys. How they handle themselves, their course management and how they adjust their strategy when they get into trouble.

“This week was a massive learning curve, and we are leaving motivated to raise our games. We all want to be back here again next year.”

CMR Golf Club’s Rezario Adams was the next best in, tied for 31st on 18-over, and Alric Rooi from Theewaterskloof Golf Club finished 34th on his own, just a further stroke adrift.

Yurav Premlall
Glendower’s Yurav Premlall walked in the footsteps of giants when held on for a wire-to-wire win in the inaugural Nedbank Junior Challenge. Photo: GolfRSA

Final result

213 – Yurav Premlall 68 72 73

215 – Christiaan Maas 72 73 70; Jordan Duminy 70 71 74

218 – Daniel Bennett 75 72 71

219 – Hannes Strooh 75 75 69

221 – Christopher Bagnall 73 74 74

223 – Morris Schiefner 73 78 72

225 – Behn Heyns 79 68 78; Ivan Verster 76 75 74

226 – Amilkar Bhana 76 77 73; Malan Potgieter 73 77 76

227 – Jaden Deltel 80 72 75; John-William Blomerus 79 71 77; Fabrizio de Abreu 77 76 74; Nash de Klerk 70 77 80

229 – Jack Brugman 77 74 78; Nico Booyens 76 77 76; Joshua Koekemoer 76 75 78; Hanro Kriel 75 82 72; TJ Sandys 73 75 81

230 – Herman du Plessis 82 73 75; Werner Potgieter 79 74 77

231 – Damian Osner 80 74 77; Dean Wilken 78 78 75; Janko van der Merwe 78 74 79; Divan Mostert 76 77 78; Stefan Delport 76 76 79

233 – Reinhardt Uys 85 72 76; Marno Lange 80 76 77; Jaime Clive Lewis 77 78 78

234 – Rezario Adams 82 75 77; Jonathan Wilsenach 79 77 78; Josh De Aguiar 75 81 78

235 – Alric Rowaan Rooi 80 78 77

237 – C.J van Wyk 82 80 75; Christian Lewis 78 76 83; Keagan Crosbie 75 82 80

238 – Julian Daws 80 81 77

239 – Jordan Wessels 82 73 84; Sean Tsipa 81 79 79; Caden Sanders 80 79 80; Dino Thobela 80 77 82; Matthew Lotz 77 76 86; Stefan Jacobs 75 80 84

240 – Devon Valentine 78 79 83

241 – Nico Els 77 78 86

242 – Zinan Maimane 89 74 79; Filip Sakota 79 82 81; Tristan Leonard 79 77 86

243 – Matthew Dippenaar 83 80 80; Vuyisani Makhama 81 83 79; Kyle Conradie 76 85 82

244 – Hezron Frieslaar 90 78 76; Dylan Melville 81 82 81; Hayden Morgan-Evens 81 80 83; Jacob Joseph 80 80 84; Michael Ferreira 76 84 84

246 – Ethan Govender 85 80 81; Jayden Hoskins 85 74 87

247 – Luc Gavagnin 90 82 75; Tobias Jan de Flamingh 85 78 84; Timothy Daniels 81 83 83; Thami Ngobeni 72 94 81

248 – JC Schutte 78 87 83

249 – Bernhard Köster 87 83 79; Luka Stanisavljevic 87 80 82; Tiaan Hugo 86 82 81

251 – Angelo Keffers 90 79 82

252 – Mitch Phigeland 78 87 87

254 – Eric Ncube 83 86 85

256 – Kairav Maduray 85 90 81

258 – Kushal Bugareth 82 88 88

263 – Mihlali Tom 88 89 86

267 – Thobelani Magwaza 89 92 86

282 – Ronan Nortje 92 86 104

302 – Matthew Dennis 99 98 105

WD – Andrew Long 88 87 WD

DQ – Johndre Ludick 81 DQ

Your 2021 #NGCJUnior champion Yurav Premlall

A wire-to-wire performance at the Gary Player Country Club earns the @GolfRSA No 3 junior a 2-shot victory on 3-under 213 AND a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the Nedbank Golf Challenge 👏👏#golfrsa #ItStartsHere #RaiseYourGame pic.twitter.com/qLsk3QPjvM

— GolfRSA (@GolfRSA) May 5, 2021

Yurav Premlall

Glendower’s Yurav Premlall walked in the footsteps of giants when held on for a wire-to-wire win in the inaugural Nedbank Junior Challenge. Photo: GolfRSA

British & Irish Lions: Joe Marler ‘gutted’ after revealing he’s NOT part of squad

May 5th 2021 at 14:43

England prop Joe Marler admits he is a “bit gutted” at being overlooked for the British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa later this year.

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS: HOW TO WATCH THE SQUAD ANNOUCEMENT LIVE

Marler’s name will be missing when Warren Gatland announces his 36-man squad to take on the Springboks on Thursday after he revealed he was not among those to be contacted by the Kiwi in advance.

Gatland wrote to in excess of 50 players to inform them they are in contention in the belief that some might not want to travel to South Africa because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Marler missed the Six Nations for family reasons and the Harlequins prop is disappointed that he will not be touring with the British & Irish Lions for a second time having been present in New Zealand four years ago.

READ | SIYA KOLISI’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY ON SHELVES IN SEPTEMBER

“I didn’t get an email. Bit gutted. I’m not surprised, but I’d have loved to have gone. I’d love to have gone with a different approach to it than I did in 2017,” Marler said.

“I remember sitting down talking to (former Ireland hooker) Rory Best on that tour. He said he regretted the way he’d approached 2013 and the memories he had of it.

“It was pretty obvious from the start that he wasn’t going to make the Test team and he let those feelings become bitter and cloud his enjoyment of the whole experience.

READ | SPRINGBOK BLOW AS RG SNYMAN GOES BACK UNDER THE KNIFE

“And he wanted to make sure that in 2017, the midweekers didn’t make the same mistake that he did. And there was part of that for me in 2017.

“It was pretty obvious from the start that I wasn’t going to get a sniff of the Tests and I was a bit of a s*** at times. I regret having those feelings towards it.

“I still had an unbelievable experience and the friends I made for life, but I’d have liked to have gone back this time around and would have tried to help out.”

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS: ARE THESE THE 36 MEN TO TAKE ON THE SPRINGBOKS?

Marler was selected in England’s Six Nations squad but withdrew to be with his pregnant wife Daisy rather than in the squad’s bubble in south west London.

The 30-year-old, who has openly discussed his mental health issues, pulled out of the 2016 tour to Australia and in 2018 announced his international retirement only to reverse the decision.

“If you are Warren Gatland, would you go: ‘It’s a pretty tight bubble, nine weeks away, it’s already tough enough as it is, do I need someone who’s got form of struggling mentally and away from home?’,” Marler said.

“Is that the right person to have on that tour? Probably not. Who knows? Maybe it’s because there are better players than me.

“There are pretty good players in the loosehead position before having to consider someone who hasn’t played international rugby for 12 months and has got form of not being that good at not being away from home.”

IN CLOSING | LONDON IRISH SIGN FORMER STORMERS AND LIONS VETERAN NIC GROOM

Hugo Broos hints at radical shake-up of Bafana Bafana squad

May 5th 2021 at 13:54

Newly-appointed Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos is eager to build a young, hungry national team squad but warns it will take time.

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The 69-year-old Belgian has experience coaching at international level in Africa, having previously worked as Cameroon’s mentor between February 2016 and December 2017.

Hugo Broos says he was surprised with the recent Bafana Bafana team selections as he would be more focused on giving young players opportunities, as they are more motivated to perform on the international stage.

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“We watched some (Bafana) matches last week, and made an analysis, I was a bit surprised when I saw the selections for the last games,” Hugo Broos told the media via a Zoom call following his appointment on Wednesday.

“I take the example of Cameroon, I did the same there, when I worked with young players, who were motivated and hungry to show themselves.

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“I was a player and I know when you are 30 years or older, the motivation is less. You are happy to be in the national team, but your hunger is less.

“After South Africa did not qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations next year, this has to be the moment to build a younger team.”

READ | HUGO BROOS SPEAKS: TAKES A DIG AT MOLEFI NTSEKI

On the mission to qualify for the 2022 Soccer World Cup, he added: “We will do everything to qualify for the World Cup next year, but it can’t be a deception if we don’t.

“To build a team takes time, it is a good opportunity for these players to play games and to see what it is to play at this level. For me, what is most important is what happens after the World Cup (2022).”

READ | HUGO BROOS: 10 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE NEW BAFANA BAFANA COACH

SA-born Kyle Steyn sets sights on Scotland spot after injury return

May 5th 2021 at 13:44

Glasgow back Kyle Steyn aims to resurrect his fledgling Scotland career after making his comeback following more than a year out of action.

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS: HOW TO WATCH THE SQUAD ANNOUCEMENT LIVE

Kyle Steyn made his first appearance of the season in Glasgow’s opening Rainbow Cup defeat by Benetton and is hoping to face Edinburgh at Scotstoun on Friday night.

The centre/wing had not played since making his Scotland debut against France in March last year in the final game before the first lockdown.

The Johannesburg-born player tore his hamstring off the bone in early August and suffered a recurrence of the injury well into his rehab.

But he is setting high targets for his comeback as he eyes Scotland’s July tour to Georgia and Romania following a Scotland A game that is yet to be arranged.

READ | SIYA KOLISI’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY ON SHELVES IN SEPTEMBER

“I don’t want to shy away from it – at the end of the day that is my goal,” the 27-year-old said.

“I would absolutely love to be on the summer tour.

“I’m very aware of the circumstances I’m in and I think it’s just really important for me to put my head down in these next few games and play as well as I can and help Glasgow play as well as they can and see what comes off the back of that.”

READ | SPRINGBOK BLOW AS RG SNYMAN GOES BACK UNDER THE KNIFE

Kyle Steyn is grateful for the opportunity that the PRO14’s new tournament has afforded him.

“The Rainbow Cup is the best tournament in the world if you ask me,” he said.

“Every time there were reports coming out that the South African teams weren’t coming I thought it was going to be canned, and I was thinking, ‘please, please do not let that happen’.

“It’s come at a good time. It’s the end of a long season and I feel I’ve got an important role to play. I’ve got a lot of fresh, bundled up energy that needs to be spent so I’m trying my best to drive that forward.”

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS: ARE THESE THE 36 MEN TO TAKE ON THE SPRINGBOKS?

Kyle Steyn believes he can quickly push himself forward after making his comeback late last month.

“With an injury like that the medical team is really good in making sure you are as close to having experienced match conditions before you get out there,” he said.

“Before I went out on the pitch I had probably done six or seven weeks of contact by then.

“Having said that, nothing compares to the game stage, nothing is as full on in training as it is in a game.

“To be honest the toughest part of it was my lungs, getting acclimatised. It felt like I hadn’t played a game in a year. It felt like I was running around with a trailer of lead behind me.

“Mentally I felt good and definitely the first time I carried I felt, ‘thank goodness, that was a relief’. I was just excited to be honest.”

IN CLOSING | LONDON IRISH SIGN FORMER STORMERS AND LIONS VETERAN NIC GROOM

British & Irish Lions news: Manu Tuilagi backed for call-up

May 5th 2021 at 13:37

Manu Tuilagi remains on course to return for Sale this month and director of rugby Alex Sanderson says if it was down to him, he would select the centre for the upcoming British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa.

READ | LONDON IRISH SIGN FORMER STORMERS AND LIONS VETERAN NIC GROOM

Lions head coach Warren Gatland is set to name his 36-man squad and captain on Thursday and England international Manu Tuilagi could be included despite being out since September due to an Achilles injury.

“Yeah I would (take him) if I was picking it,” Sanderson said ahead of Friday’s Premiership game with Leicester.

“Manu understands more than most how to come back from an injury because he has had more than most.

“And I think he wants to come back and be brilliant again. If I could back anyone to come back and be at their best, I’d back him.”

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS: ARE THESE THE 36 MEN TO TAKE ON THE SPRINGBOKS?

Sanderson revealed Manu Tuilagi may have been available for the Champions Cup on May 22 had La Rochelle not knocked Sale out at the quarter-final stage.

The Samoan-born back has not been ruled out of their fixture with Bath next weekend either, but a more realistic target is the visit of Premiership leaders Bristol on May 28.

An appearance against the Bears would potentially give the 29-year-old three regular season games.

READ | SPRINGBOK BLOW AS RG SNYMAN GOES BACK UNDER THE KNIFE

Sale are also hopeful of making the play-offs which could give the England international another two matches to prove his fitness before the Lions depart for South Africa.

On Manu Tuilagi’s return, Sanderson added: “All being well and hitting all his markers, some time around the European Cup final.

“It is a shame we are not playing in it because he could be making his (second) debut in that. Some time around that, so two to three weeks.

“What we are guarding against isn’t his Achilles, his Achilles is fine. It’s making sure he doesn’t reinjure himself through a soft tissue.”

READ | SIYA KOLISI’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY ON SHELVES IN SEPTEMBER

Tuilagi, who went with the Lions squad to Australia in 2013, has suffered with hamstring, groin and knee problems in the past and Sanderson still feels it will not take him long to get back up to top speed.

The Sharks director of rugby is cautious about putting the former Leicester Tigers player back into the mix too early, but he has been involved in leadership meetings over the team’s attacking structure with his return in mind.

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS: HOW TO WATCH THE SQUAD ANNOUCEMENT LIVE

“It is our job to get him up to game fitness before he plays, that’s why I am very tentative to say when he is coming back and him hitting his marks because I don’t want to throw him in there at 80 per cent, he will reinjure,” Sanderson said of Tuilagi, who recently signed a new two-year deal at Sale.

“I can only talk for myself, I can’t talk for the legend that is Warren Gatland’s perspective, but it is not a leap of faith for us to sign him again, it is a calculated risk and a good one.

“I have no doubt he will get back to playing his best rugby. He is very happy here, very motivated and a very good player. You get those three things together and you end up finding form.

“I think he will find form, whether or not Warren wants to take Manu Tuilagi with the Lions, that is his choice.”

Sanderson has not spoken with Gatland about the return of the Sale man but, with centre rival George North ruled out last month, Tuilagi will hope to be included in Thursday’s 36-man list.

Mika Hakkinen on what Max Verstappen needs to do to dethrone Lewis Hamilton

May 5th 2021 at 13:30

Two-time former world champion Mika Hakkinen believes Max Verstappen cannot afford to make mistakes if he wants to pip Lewis Hamilton to the 2021 drivers’ title.

READ | ROMAIN GROSJEAN TO HAVE FINAL F1 DRIVE IN LEWIS HAMILTON’S TITLE-WINNING CAR

Red Bull came away from the Portuguese Grand Prix frustrated after track limits again cost them dear.

Max Verstappen missed out on pole position and the fastest lap of the race, along with the bonus point for setting it, after failing to stay within bounds as Lewis Hamilton departed Portimao with an eight-point lead over Verstappen in the Championship.

At the season-opener in Bahrain, Verstappen was ordered to return the lead to Hamilton for a breach of track limits when making the overtake, and Hakkinen has made it clear these errors must stop if Verstappen wants to become world champion in 2021.

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“One area of frustration for Max has been track-limit penalties. He should have won in Bahrain and could have taken pole position and set the fastest lap in Portugal,” Hakkinen wrote in his Unibet column.

“But each time, he put all four wheels over the line at some point on the circuit. It’s so easy to do, but you cannot afford to make small mistakes like that. To beat Lewis, Max needs to do a perfect job each weekend.”

After the Portuguese GP, Hamilton’s former team-mate Nico Rosberg said Max Verstappen was understanding more and more just how good the Briton is.

And Hakkinen sees that Hamilton is “loving” this challenge.

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“It only took Lewis four laps to recover his position from Max. He then chased Valtteri down, moving into the lead on lap 20. Lewis loves that kind of challenge,” Hakkinen explained.

“Red Bull and Honda have done a fantastic job, but Mercedes have recovered quickly after a less competitive start to the year. One of the strengths of Mercedes is their ability to react, so although I think the Portimao circuit suited their cars slightly more than the Red Bulls, Lewis and Valtteri really have an exceptionally strong technical team supporting them.”

Behind this title battle, Lando Norris is making waves with McLaren.

Three races into the season and he has yet to be beaten by a non-Mercedes or Red Bull driver on Sundays, and Hakkinen believes Norris is one of the “biggest stories” of the season, as are his McLaren team.

“Lando Norris has finished the first three grands prix in the top five, a very impressive run for the McLaren driver, particularly when considering the strengths of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo,” Hakkinen stated.

“For Norris to be third in the World Championship for Drivers, and McLaren third in front of Ferrari in the teams’ World Championship, is incredible. One of the biggest stories of this season so far.”

READ | LEWIS HAMILTON WINS 97TH F1 GP IN PORTUGAL

Rory McIlroy calls breakaway golf circuit proposal a ‘money grab’

May 5th 2021 at 13:21

Rory McIlroy has re-iterated his opposition to proposals for a breakaway golf circuit, labelling it a transparent “money grab” similar to football’s European Super League, which swiftly collapsed following a wide-ranging backlash.

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World No 1 Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Justin Rose are among the players to have been offered lucrative contracts by Saudi Arabian investors to join the new league, according to The Daily Telegraph.

The European Tour told the PA news agency it opposed the plans “in the strongest possible terms”, while a representative for Rose declined to comment.

Under the PGL’s proposals outlined in January last year, 48 players would compete in an 18-event season offering a total prize fund of £183 million, but Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka – at the time the top three ranked players in the world – all ruled themselves out.

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Speaking ahead of the Wells Fargo Championship, Rory McIlroy said he had first been contacted about the idea in 2014 and that nothing had come to fruition, also noting that the latest story emerged on the day of the PGA Tour’s annual player meeting.

“You go back to what happened last week with the European Super League in football and people can see it for what it is, which is a money grab,” McIlroy said.

“Which is fine if that’s what you are playing golf for, to make as much money as possible, then go and do that if that makes you happy.

“But I think the top players in the game – I’m playing this game to try to cement my place in history and my legacy and to win major championships.

“Golf has been very good to me over the years and I honestly don’t think there is a better structure in place in golf and I don’t think there will be.

“You have the strategic partnership as well between Europe and the PGA Tour and that’s only going to strengthen the structure of golf going forward as well in terms of scheduling and all sorts of other stuff and working together a little bit more.

“I’m very much against it (the breakaway) and I don’t see why anyone would be for it.”

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PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan addressed the player meeting at Quail Hollow on Tuesday and said any player signing up to the new league would face suspension and possible expulsion from the Tour.

That could have consequences for eligibility for major championships and the Ryder Cup, but Rory McIlroy agrees with Monahan’s stance.

“You have to protect your product, right? You have to protect what you have,” the four-time major winner added.

“And Jay took us through it last night. It’s in the by-laws that were written by the members. If I were in charge of the PGA Tour, I would do the same thing.

“You saw what happened with the European Super League. The top 12 clubs got together and said, ‘Let’s keep more of the money for ourselves,’ and people didn’t like that.

“It affects competition, it affects the integrity of competition. I just can’t see how it works.”

READ | GARY PLAYER’S SON BANNED FROM THE MASTERS AFTER GOLF BALL MARKETING STUNT

McIlroy has also previously said he “didn’t really like where the money was coming from” and Amnesty International has again urged players to consider their role in Saudi Arabia’s attempts at “sportswashing”.

Felix Jakens, head of priority campaigns and individuals at risk at Amnesty International UK, said: “The authorities in Riyadh clearly hope that a glitzy Saudi-backed golf tournament will help shift attention away from their jailing of peaceful activists like Loujain al-Hathloul, the grisly state-sanctioned murder of Jamal Khashoggi and the indiscriminate bombing of civilians in neighbouring Yemen.

“Any golfer tempted by a lucrative Saudi-backed tournament ought to be ready to speak out about human rights in Saudi Arabia as a means of counteracting its intended sportswashing effect.”

Former Proteas batting coach signs deal with English county Lancashire

May 5th 2021 at 13:12

Former Proteas batting coach Dale Benkenstein has joined English county side Lancashire on a short-term contract.

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Benkenstein played 23 ODIs for the Proteas between 1998 and 2002 and served as the national team’s batting mentor under head coach Ottis Gibson until after the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

The 46-year-old Benkenstein has scored over 16 000 runs in first-class cricket and was prolific with the willow in English county cricket with Durham, who he captained to their maiden County Championship title in 2008.

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He also previously served as head coach at Hampshire, leading them to two T20 Blast Finals Days and securing promotion back to the top tier of the County Championship.

Lancashire director of cricket, Paul Allott, said: “We were looking to add some additional expertise to the coaching team and Dale brings a wealth of experience to the changing room.

“He is highly respected in county cricket following his time as a player at Durham and then coaching at Hampshire.

“To add that knowledge into our dressing room can only be a good thing as we look to build on our positive start to the season.”

READ | CSA CONFIRMS SA PLAYERS RETURNING FROM IPL WILL QUARANTINE AT HOME

Dylan Kerr fumes at decision to award Kaizer Chiefs penalty – watch

May 5th 2021 at 12:29

Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila head coach Dylan Kerr was disappointed in the refereeing decision that led to Kaizer Chiefs equalising from the penalty spot in his side’s 2-1 victory over the Amakhosi at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday.

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TTM took the lead through Thabo Rakhale in the 42nd minute, four minutes after Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Njabulo Blom picked up a second yellow card.

And then in the 66th minute, Samir Nurkovic fell to the turf under Ayanda Nkili’s challenge with the referee initially not pointing to the spot but after consulting with his linesman, he then decided to award the penalty.

And Dylan Kerr said it didn’t make any sense for the referee to overturn his decision as he was 10 metres away from the incident as opposed to the linesman, who was much further away.

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“We got the winner in the end but I’m disappointed with the penalty decisions, because the referee is the one making decisions in the game of football, to come all the way here to speak to the linesman and the fourth official and ask an opinion when he’s the boss in the park, that’s just totally wrong,” vented Dylan Kerr.

“I know Gavin [Hunt], if it was a penalty fair enough but the referee has to make that judgement, he’s the man in charge, not the fourth official, not the linesman, they are there to assist him.

“But if you look at the distance from the fourth official to the linesman, they are so far away, the referee is ten metres away and he’s given the call, goalkick but great character, we kept on going and that’s the pleasing thing for me.”

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The decision ultimately did not come back to haunt Vhadau Vha Damani as they would claim all three points courtesy of Thabo Mnyamane’s spot-kick deep into stoppage time.

“The players dug in deep, even with ten men. When you’re playing [against] ten men, as we found out against Cape Town City, we kept on going unfortunately the result didn’t go for us,” said the Malta-born English tactician.

“We’re playing against ten men but ten men is always a tough game to beat, credit to the players we kept forcing it, we made too many wrong decisions in and around the penalty area.

“I think ‘Zizou’ our number ten [Celimpilo Ngema] he could have scored two goals but you gotta be confident and have that special belief to shoot, one is across the face of goal and one it’s on the side-netting.

“But credit to everybody, my staff, the chairman is gonna be happy and on the personal note that’s my first win against Gavin Hunt, he’s a very good friend of mine, football is about three points and we got three points today, I’m pleased for the players,” Dylan Kerr concluded.

READ | HUGO BROOS NAMED NEW BAFANA BAFANA COACH!

Dylan Kerr fumes at decision to award Kaizer Chiefs penalty - watch

TTM head coach Dylan Kerr was disappointed in the refereeing decision that led to Kaizer Chiefs equalising from the penalty spot.

London Irish sign former Stormers and Lions veteran Nic Groom

May 5th 2021 at 11:08

London Irish have completed the short-term signing of scrumhalf Nic Groom.

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS: ARE THESE THE 36 MEN TO TAKE ON THE SPRINGBOKS?

Nic Groom arrives on a short-term contract until the end of the 2020/21 season, following his recent departure from Edinburgh.

Director of Rugby, Declan Kidney, said: “We’re really pleased to add Nic to the squad for the remainder of the season.

“His experience in the Premiership will be invaluable for what’s to come over the course of the remaining fixtures.”

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Nic Groom joined former club, Edinburgh, from the Lions in 2019, and made 22 appearances for the Scottish side, scoring six tries.

The South African is no stranger to Premiership rugby, of course, having made 49 appearances for Northampton Saints between 2016 and 2018.

Prior to that, Groom spent five years at Stormers and a similar spell with Western Province in his homeland in the early stages of his career.

The 5-foot-8 playmaker has one South Africa ‘A’ cap and one Barbarians appearance to his name.

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Speaking on his arrival at the club, Groom said: “I’m really glad it’s happened – it’s the right opportunity at the right time for me.

“I’ve been keeping an eye on things ever since it became a possibility to come here, and it seems like the Club is really moving forward in the right direction.

“I like the way the team plays, and you can see how much it means to the group every time they pull on the London Irish jersey, so that was a big attraction for me in coming here.”

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS: HOW TO WATCH THE SQUAD ANNOUCEMENT LIVE

Mamelodi Sundowns veteran set to say goodbye to Chloorkop

May 4th 2021 at 16:38

Mamelodi Sundowns veteran Tiyani Mabunda will reportedly be released by the defending PSL champions at the end of the season.

READ | SAFA CATCHES A MASSIVE BREAK AS BAFANA BAFANA’S 2022 SWC QUALIFIERS POSTPONED

The 33-year-old has been a Mamelodi Sundowns player since 2013 when he signed from Black Leopards and has since racked up 145 appearances across all competitions.

However, the midfielder has fallen out of favour at Chloorkop as co-coaches Manqoba Mngqithi, Rhulani Mokwena and Steve Komphela have preferred to play Rivaldo Coetzee, Andile Jali and Mothobi Mvala in the middle of the park.

READ | AL AHLY SLUMP TO SHOCK LOSS ON EVE OF MAMELODI SUNDOWNS SHOWDOWN

According to Phakaaathi, Mabunda will not be given a new contract at the end of the current campaign and will be free to pursue other opportunities.

His last league appearance for the Brazilians came in February 2020 when he came on as a substitute against Polokwane City.

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Orlando Pirates latest: Soweto giants give injury update on star trio

May 4th 2021 at 15:44

Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer admits the club have a few injury problems with the likes of Thembinkosi Lorch still a doubt for their upcoming matches.

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Orlando Pirates’ next game is a DStv Premiership clash against Black Leopards on Thursday, 6 May (17:00) before another league encounter next week on Tuesday, 11 May when they travel to Stellenbosch.

Lorch won’t be fit in time for the Black Leopards tie, but could start training next Monday or Tuesday, while Happy Jele and Terrence Dzvukamanja are also sidelined.

READ | SAFA CATCHES A MASSIVE BREAK AS BAFANA BAFANA’S 2022 SWC QUALIFIERS POSTPONED

“I think Lorch can start [on Monday] or after [on Tuesday], maybe with a training session with the team. I hope‚ I don’t know‚” said the German tactician, as quoted by the Sowetan.

“Hopefully he is available for us in the next game or next games.

“I hope Happy Jele is also ready‚ but he can’t make the long ball and that is the problem. He feels the pain but he is also my club captain‚ and we need the experience he has.”

READ | AL AHLY SLUMP TO SHOCK LOSS ON EVE OF MAMELODI SUNDOWNS SHOWDOWN

He added: “We have a long list of problems.

“Dzvukamanja has now seen a second doctor‚ a specialist. He always has pain in an ankle.

“He got a kick against Al Ahli Benghazi in the other leg and now we have to wait. He is an experienced player and we need him.”

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Orlando Pirates are currently fifth in the standings with 39 points after 24 matches.

Rafael Nadal shows off INSANE football skills on the tennis court – watch

May 4th 2021 at 15:18

Is there anything Spanish superstar Rafael Nadal cannot do on a clay court?

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Seems not!

Not only is the 34-year-old looking in sublime form as he takes aim at a staggering 14th French Open title at Roland Garros from 30 May, he’s given a reminder of his footballing skills as well.

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Rafael Nadal is taking part in this week’s Madrid Open and during a practice session for his opening match he put in yet another Grand Slam title-worthy performance.

Watch and enjoy!

We bet you’ll watch over and over!

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Just another impressive performance by Rafa on clay 🙃#MMOPEN pic.twitter.com/Qnwq6fcTh9

— ATP Tour (@atptour) May 4, 2021

Lloyd Harris retires from Round 2 match at Madrid Open

May 4th 2021 at 15:07

South Africa’s No 1-ranked tennis player, Lloyd Harris, has had to withdraw from his second round match at the Madrid Open.

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Harris, 24, had struggled with a lower back injury in his opening round clash against Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov.

Unfortunately for the Capetonian the injury came back to haunt him as he went down 6-2, 3-0 against Australia’s Alex de Minaur in a match which lasted just 43 minutes.

READ | WIMBLEDON TO SCRAP ‘MIDDLE SUNDAY’ REST DAY

Lloyd Harris entered the tournament ranked 54th in the world and will be hoping for a speedy recovery as the year’s second Grand Slam, the French Open at Roland Garros, kicks off on 30 May.

READ | ROGER FEDERER CONFIRMS VIA TWITTER THAN HE WILL PLAY FRENCH OPEN

Lloyd Harris was unable to complete the match due to injury. 🇦🇺 @alexdeminaur advances to the third round.

Next opponent: 🇦🇹 @ThiemDomi
#MMOPEN pic.twitter.com/KS3fKMQdW7

— #MMOPEN (@MutuaMadridOpen) May 4, 2021

The future is bright – maybe golden – for Team SA’s relay squads

May 4th 2021 at 14:18

The future is bright for South Africa’s relay squads. So bright it might even be coloured in gold, silver and bronze.

READ | TOP SA REFEREE VICTOR GOMES IS GOING TO THE TOKYO OLYMPICS

There was great excitement when Akani Simbine dipped at the line to help win the gold medal for South Africa in the 4x100m final at the World Relay Championships in Poland at the weekend and Team SA’s relay manager Danie Cornelius reckons there is more to come.

‘This is without the most professional group of athletes I have ever had the privilege to work with. From day one, we were one team with one goal. That is to be the best we can, to win a medal and qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games. It is mission accomplished,’ said Cornelius,.

‘We had three teams at the World Relay Championships. The men’s 4x100m relay won gold. Their performance is a first for South African athletics. The men’s 4x400m relay team qualified for the Tokyo Olympics and finished fifth in the final. Our 4x400m mixed relay team set a South African record (3:19.18).

‘What excited me was the camaraderie. Emile Erasmus was only a reserve for the men’s 4x100m relay team. He did not get to run, but on Sunday, the moment Akani Simbine sprinted across the finish line to secure the gold medal, he was ecstatic. His team had won. It was all that mattered.

‘Our performance in the 4x100m relay was far from faultless. Mistakes were made, and still, we won. Just imagine what can happen the day the team executes the perfect race. Nobody is going to beat South Africa even if they got athletes, the likes of Usain Bolt in their team.’

Cornelius could not resist joking that Sunday was the first time a university team won gold at a World Relay Championship. All five of the 4x100m-relay athletes are based at Tuks, as is Paul Gorries, the national relay coach.

Cornelius continued saying that at first, the 4x400m team’s only goal was to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

‘But they surprised everyone truly stepping up. It could be reasoned that it is sad that the 4x400m team missed out on not medalling. The reality is that a year ago, we would have been happy with a fifth-place finish in a world championship final.

‘What changed is the attitude of our athletes. They believed they were good enough, and they went for it. That is the type of athletes you want running for South Africa-athletes who are not scared to put their bodies on the line.’

According to Cornelius, it is Gorries who making the difference.

‘Paul has got away to get athletes to believe nothing is impossible and that it should always be what is best for the team. Aleck Skhosana (ASA president) also deserves credit. He initiated the partnership between TuksSport and ASA to help national teams prepare for major championships. It makes sense as most of South Africa’s top sprinters are at Tuks. It is easier to have regular camps working on the small things that end up making a difference between winning and losing.’

Kevin Pietersen weighs in on ‘suffering’ India and decision to postpone IPL

May 4th 2021 at 14:06

South Africa-born former England batsman Kevin Pietersen has commented on the decision to postpone this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL).

READ | CSA CONFIRMS SA PLAYERS RETURNING FROM IPL WILL QUARANTINE AT HOME

Pietersen, who has been commentating on the IPL, tweeted after the announcement that it was “heartbreaking to see a country I love so much suffering”.

“You WILL get through this! You WILL be stronger coming out of this! Your kindness & generosity NEVER goes unnoticed even during this crisis! #IncredibleIndia,” he wrote.

READ | RASSIE VAN DER DUSSEN’S IPL DREAM OVER BEFORE IT EVEN STARTED

Pietermaritzburg-born Kevin Pietersen, now 40, played 104 Tests, 136 ODIs and 37 T20Is for England between 2004 and 2014.

India – it’s heartbreaking to see a country I love so much suffering! 😢

You WILL get through this!
You WILL be stronger coming out of this!
Your kindness & generosity NEVER goes unnoticed even during this crisis! 🙏🏽#IncredibleIndia ❤

— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) May 4, 2021

Kaizer Chiefs result: 10-man Amakhosi beaten by extra-time TTM penalty

May 4th 2021 at 13:01

Kaizer Chiefs were stunned by a late Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila penalty in their DStv Premiership clash at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday.

AS IT HAPPENED | KAIZER CHIEFS V TTM

Amakhosi coach Gavin Hunt was forced to make a number of changes with as many as SIX players unavailable through injury or suspension.

READ | JOSE MOURINHO NAMED NEW ROMA COACH

To add insult to injury (pardon the pun), Kaizer Chiefs were reduced to 10 men in the 38th minute after midfielder Njabulo Blom was shown a second yellow card.

TTM capitalised on their numerical advantage shortly thereafter when striker Thabo Rakhale scored the opener, giving the home side a 1-0 half-time lead.

READ | SAFA CATCHES A MASSIVE BREAK AS BAFANA BAFANA’S 2022 SWC QUALIFIERS POSTPONED

To their credit, Kaizer Chiefs fought hard and were rewarded for their efforts in the 66th minute when midfielder Lebogang Manyama scored the equaliser from the penalty spot.

READ | AL AHLY SLUMP TO SHOCK LOSS ON EVE OF MAMELODI SUNDOWNS SHOWDOWN

With the match seemingly heading for a stalemate, Thabo Mnyamane scored the winner from the penalty spot in the 97th minute.

Despite their defeat, Kaizer Chiefs remained in ninth place in the standings with just four matches remaining. Their hopes of a top-8 finish are dwindling as each match passes.

They will next be in action in a tough-looking match at home against Swallows on Wednesday, 12 May at 17:00.

READ | DRAMA AS CAPE TOWN CITY PLACE COACH JAN OLDE RIEKERINK ON ‘ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE’

Meanwhile, TTM jumped to 14th place and out of the relegation zone.

They will next play in Saturday’s Nedbank Cup final against Chippa United at the Free State Stadium at 18:00.

READ | ORLANDO PIRATES | IT TOOK 991 DAYS FOR BUCS TO LOSE AT ORLANDO STADIUM!

TEAMS

TTM

Arubi, Thopola, Nkili, Nonyane, Ravhuhali, Ndlondlo, Rakhale, Timm, Ngema, Mnyamane, Lamola

Substitutes: Mamudzidi, Lukhubeni, Nevhulamba, Manaka, Molongoane, Thangwane, Madhanaga, Rantie, Theron

Kaizer Chiefs

Bvuma, Zulu, Mphahlele, Ngezana, Frosler, Blom, Parker, Baccus, Mashiane, Manyama, Nurkovic

Substitutes: Petersen, Katsande, Castro, Kambole, Agay, Sasman, Ngcobo, Ntiya-Ntiya, Zuma

Springbok blow as RG Snyman goes back under the knife

May 4th 2021 at 12:03

Munster and Springbok lock RG Snyman’s hopes of making a return to action have been hampered after he suffered a setback that will require further surgery.

READ | SIYA KOLISI’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY ON SHELVES IN SEPTEMBER

The South African was forced off the field after rupturing his ACL on his Munster debut against Leinster in Dublin last August and was entering the last block of his rehabilitation.

But Munster revealed on Tuesday that the 26-year-old’s spell on the sidelines is set to continue after the latest disappointment.

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS: FIRST LOOK AT THE TROPHY UP FOR GRABS IN SPRINGBOK SERIES

“He will see a knee specialist this week and will undergo a minor procedure on his knee after suffering an unrelated injury,” read a press statement on the PRO14 side’s official website.

“This will delay his return to training for a number of weeks.”

The news will also concern the Springboks coaching team as they continue their preparations for the upcoming British & Irish Lions series, with RG Snyman having proved to be a real workhorse and towering presence in their engine room in recent internationals.

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS: HOW TO WATCH THE SQUAD ANNOUCEMENT LIVE

SAFA catches MASSIVE break after Bafana’s SWC 2022 qualifiers delayed

May 4th 2021 at 10:47

Next month’s opening 2022 Soccer World Cup qualifiers for Africa are set to be delayed because a host of stadiums lack Confederation of African Football approval, sources told AFP on Tuesday. 

READ | JOSE MOURINHO NAMED NEW ROMA COACH

According to sources at several football federations in Africa, CAF is planning to postpone the first two days of qualifying from June to September. 

“The CAF emergency committee validated the decision on Monday, we are awaiting the validation of the executive committee” on May 15, a federation president told AFP.

Other leading figures within African football have confirmed the decision. 

READ | AL AHLY SLUMP TO SHOCK LOSS ON EVE OF MAMELODI SUNDOWNS SHOWDOWN

When questioned, CAF did not confirm the postponement and announced that it would communicate on the subject “during the day”.

The six qualifying matchdays would be staggered two-by-two in September, October and November.

According to the same sources the playoffs will take place in March after the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in Cameroon, itself initially scheduled for 2021 but pushed back to 2022 by the coronavirus pandemic.

READ | DRAMA AS CAPE TOWN CITY PLACE COACH JAN OLDE RIEKERINK ON ‘ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE’

The last-minute postponement has been prompted by the absence of stadiums approved by CAF in 22 of the confederation’s 54 member countries.

Countries including Mali, Burkina Faso and Senegal would not be able to play their home matches in June.

There is also no approved stadium in Sierra Leone, who are due to play a delayed AFCON qualifier against Benin in June.

The news will come as music to the ears of the South African Football Association (SAFA) who have still not named the new coach to lead Bafana Bafana into those qualifiers which were, until the delay, due to kick off in the first week in June.

READ | ORLANDO PIRATES | IT TOOK 991 DAYS FOR BUCS TO LOSE AT ORLANDO STADIUM!

Siya Kolisi’s autobiography ‘Rise’ on shelves in September

May 4th 2021 at 10:21

Springbok skipper Siya Kolisi has confirmed on his social media pages that his autobiography entitled “Rise” will be available from September 2021.

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS: FIRST LOOK AT THE TROPHY UP FOR GRABS IN SPRINGBOK SERIES

In 2018 Siya Kolisi became the first black captain in the Springboks’ 128-year history and he led the side to the 2019 Rugby World Cup title in Japan.

Siya Kolisi confirmed on his Instagram page on Tuesday that:

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS: HOW TO WATCH THE SQUAD ANNOUCEMENT LIVE

I’m excited and delighted to announce my book, Rise, will be launching in September. 
 
It is rare for a player to release their autobiography during their career but someone else had other ideas and released a book about me without my consent and so I wanted to give you all the opportunity to read my real story. 
 
You can pre-order it now. Links in my bio. If you are based in the UK, you can also order signed copies exclusively from Waterstones.com. 

 
South African signed copies will be announced in due course – keep an eye out!
 
I believe in lifting as you rise, and will be donating a portion of the proceeds towards community development around the country.
 
Thanks for all your support, and god bless.
 
#RISE #RISEBOOK #BEREADY

All Blacks write to WSU: No more haka before matches!

May 4th 2021 at 10:12

Walter Sisulu University (WSU) captain Litha Nkula has explained why the team is not performing the All Blacks’ haka during the second Varsity Shield bubble.

READ | FORMER UCT COACH KEVIN FOOTE THE NEW MELBOURNE REBELS BOSS

WSU were accused by some on social media of ‘cultural appropriation’ after performing a mix of ‘Ka Mate’ and ‘Kapa o Pango’ before their first match of the tournament against DUT at Loftus Versfeld.

Afterwards, Nkula explained why the team performed the haka and they continued to do it for the remainder of the first bubble.

However, last Sunday, WSU’s haka was noticeable by its absence before their first match of the second bubble, against Rhodes at Tuks Stadium, which they went on to win 63-10. 

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS: FIRST LOOK AT THE TROPHY UP FOR GRABS IN SPRINGBOK SERIES

Nkula says their decision to stop performing the haka came after the university received a letter from New Zealand Rugby last Saturday.

“New Zealand Rugby asked us not to do the haka for now,” the fullback told the Varsity Cup official website.

“They said they can maybe help us to do it in another way or form, because “Kapa O Panga” has deep and meaningful roots in New Zealand.”

On Tuesday, FWSU will take on CPUT in a top-of-the-log clash at Tuks Stadium at 19:00.

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS: HOW TO WATCH THE SQUAD ANNOUCEMENT LIVE

Lloyd Harris’ giant-killing act continues at Madrid Open

May 3rd 2021 at 09:06

South Africa’s top-seeded ATP Tour player, Lloyd Harris, continued his fine run of form in 2021 with a marathon victory in the opening round of the Madrid Open.

READ | YOUR CHANCE TO OWN SOME ROGER FEDERER MEMORABILIA

The 24-year-old Capetonian edged Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/5) in a match which lasted two hours and 28 minutes.

Harris, who struggled with a lower back injury from the second set onwards, ultimately prevailed on his sixth match point.

READ | WIMBLEDON TO SCRAP ‘MIDDLE SUNDAY’ REST DAY

Lloyd Harris entered the tournament ranked 54th in the world.

Harris will face Australia’s Alex de Minaur in the next round.

Meanwhile, neither Kevin Anderson nor Raven Klaasen are entered in this week’s clay-court tournament.

READ | ROGER FEDERER CONFIRMS VIA TWITTER THAN HE WILL PLAY FRENCH OPEN

Harris survives but only just… 😅

🇿🇦 @lloydharris63 beats Dimitrov on his sixth match point to win 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 at the #MMOPEN. pic.twitter.com/YZeGPYdF2d

— ATP Tour (@atptour) May 3, 2021

Cape Town City place coach Jan Olde Riekerink on ‘administrative leave’

May 3rd 2021 at 08:52

There’s drama down in the Cape after Cape Town City FC placed head coach Jan Olde Riekerink on “administrative leave” with “immediate effect”.

READ | ZINNBAUER: ORLANDO PIRATES DIDN’T TRAIN FOR THE MAMELODI SUNDOWNS GAME

The DStv Premiership confirmed the news on their Twitter account on Monday, adding that assistant coach Diogo Peral will take charge of the team until further notice.

Riekerink, 58, was named Cape Town City coach in November 2019 following Benni McCarthy’s departure.

READ | ORLANDO PIRATES | IT TOOK 991 DAYS FOR BUCS TO LOSE AT ORLANDO STADIUM!

Despite their struggles in recent weeks – which included a 5-1 home defeat against AmaZulu and a 1-0 loss to strugglers TTM – Cape Town City find themselves in seventh place in the DStv Premiership standings and virtually assured of their place in next season’s MTN8.

They will next be in action away to Bloemfontein Celtic on Wednesday, 12 May at 19:30.

READ | SAFA GRUMPY AT MEDIA LEAK LINKING BENNI MCCARTHY TO BAFANA BAFANA JOB

The club can confirm that it has placed coach Jan Olde Riekerink on administrative leave, with immediate effect.

Club assistant coach Diogo Peral will take charge of the team until further notice. pic.twitter.com/A4LYgR4OdK

— Cape Town City FC (@CapeTownCityFC) May 3, 2021

Vladislav Heric delighted with Chippa United’s fighting spirit

May 3rd 2021 at 08:13

Chippa United coach Vladislav Heric was impressed by the mental toughness of his players in their 1-0 win over Stellenbosch FC and will give them time off to recuperate.

READ | JOSEF ZINNBAUER DEFENDS SELFLESS LEADERS THULANI HLATSHWAYO

The Chilli Boys gave their DStv Premiership survival chances a much-needed boost with the win over Stellies – their second league win in succession.

Heric also revealed after the match that his charges are struggling with fatigue and will be given a few days off before returning to training refreshed.

READ | MANQOBA MNGQITHI SAYS MAMELODI SUNDOWNS PLAYED WELL BUT SHOWED ARROGANCE

“We are going to take two days off,” said Heric, according to Sowetan.

“I have to rest the players for two days and then we will come back on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and see how it goes.

“Friday we’ll train.”

On the match itself, he added: “We left everything on this field to win these three points which are vital to us.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY WILL BE NAMED NEW BAFANA BAFANA COACH ON WEDNESDAY

“We did not play an attractive game today, but we got the three points which is very crucial to us, especially in the second half.

“After the 1-0 lead we went into defensive mode completely and we waited on counters.

“We tried to refresh the front line and the sides.

“However we have to understand that the players played three games and it was very difficult for us.

READ | HUGE TRANSFER NEWS: PITSO MOSIMANE ISSUES INSTRUCTION: GET ME PETER SHALULILE!

“Especially for our left and right backs. I couldn’t replace them because I had to press on the middle of the park.

“I put fresh and young players in that position and I am happy with those engagements.

“I am very happy to see the commitment of the players and the fighting spirit. I do believe we are going to have the same fighting spirit for the next game, which is the cup final.”

The win against Stellenbosch FC moved Chippa United to 14th place in the standings with 24 points after 26 matches.

They are two points ahead of TTM and the relegation zone, but have played two more matches.

They will next be in action in the Nedbank Cup final against, co-incidentally, TTM, on Saturday, 8 May at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.

Kick-off is at 18:00.

James O’Connor bags top Super Rugby AU honour

May 3rd 2021 at 08:00

Reds star James O’Connor has clinched the 2021 Super Rugby AU MVP award, as voted by fans.

READ | NEW RAINBOW CUP LAWS BAFFLE FANS – AND COACHES!

More than 8 000 supporters voted for their favourite Super Rugby AU player.

James O’Connor claimed 30 percent of all fan votes, followed by Reds team-mates Taniela Tupou and Hunter Paisami, who came in second and third position, respectively.

READ | JOHN DOBSON REMAINS LOYAL TO STORMERS BY SIGNING NEW CONTRACT

James O’Connor has captured the hearts of Australian fans this season and starred as interim captain while Liam Wight sat out with injury.

The 30-year-old finished the regular season as joint top point scorer alongside Melbourne Rebels playmaker Matt To’omua.

The Reds flyhalf has his sights set on the upcoming Super Rugby AU final, with the Reds hosting defending champions, the Brumbies, at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday.

READ | ROSKO SPECMAN A SPRINGBOK BOLTER FOR BRITISH & IRISH LIONS SERIES?

Josef Zinnbauer defends selfless leader Thulani Hlatshwayo

May 3rd 2021 at 07:55

Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer has leapt to the defence of Thulani Hlatshwayo following their 3-0 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns.

READ | MANQOBA MNGQITHI SAYS MAMELODI SUNDOWNS PLAYED WELL BUT SHOWED ARROGANCE

The Bafana Bafana captain has experienced a dip in form in recent games, having scored an own-goal in the 1-1 draw with Swallows before a blunder which led to Mamelodi Sundowns’ second goal on Sunday.

However, Josef Zinnbauer has emphasised the positive impact Thulani Hlatshwayo has had at the club both on and off the pitch and called for patience as the former Wits defender is also still settling in at the Buccaneers.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY WILL BE NAMED NEW BAFANA BAFANA COACH ON WEDNESDAY

“I don’t want to talk a lot about mistakes by my players, we do this internally. But I can say that it is always in a situation where players have bad times and good times,” said Josef Zinnbauer, as quoted by Soccer Laduma.

“When we talk about the start of the season, he was very strong for us, he is a leader and he fights.

“At the moment, you can see he is a bit unlucky, but he played a lot of games without breaks, he is always on the field fighting. He is always training 100 percent, he goes forward, he leads the team.

READ | HUGE TRANSFER NEWS: PITSO MOSIMANE ISSUES INSTRUCTION: GET ME PETER SHALULILE!

“It is not so easy when we speak about a leader, when we speak about a captain. He is not alone on the field and after training sessions, he doesn’t say it’s finished for me, no. During training, before training and after training he has talks with the young players.

“He leads the guys, he gives them motivation and he gives the young players and others who have some problems, he gives them direction in the squad.

“He is everywhere and it’s not easy for us to say he can focus on himself. We need to give him a bit more time and maybe he can rest and recover. He is a big player and a national team player,” Josef Zinnbauer concluded.

Massive transfer news: Pitso Mosimane issues instruction: Get me Peter Shalulile!

May 3rd 2021 at 07:14

Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane has reportedly told the club to pursue the signing of Mamelodi Sundowns striker Peter Shalulile.

READ | MANQOBA MNGQITHI SAYS MAMELODI SUNDOWNS PLAYED WELL BUT SHOWED ARROGANCE

An unnamed source, quoted by Phakaaathi, claims that the Namibia international has shot to the top of Pitso Mosimane’s list of transfer targets.

The former Masandawana mentor is looking to build his own team at the Egyptian giants and is seemingly eager to make Shalulile one of his first signings.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY WILL BE NAMED NEW BAFANA BAFANA COACH ON WEDNESDAY

The former Highlands Park star joined the Brazilians at the start of the season and has been a revelation, scoring 17 goals and providing eight assists in 32 games across all competitions.

Thanks to his heroics in the Mamelodi Sundowns shirt, Peter Shalulile is said to have also attracted interest from an unspecified club in France.

READ | SAFA GRUMPY AT MEDIA LEAK LINKING BENNI MCCARTHY TO BAFANA BAFANA JOB

Rainbow Cup’s new laws baffle spectators – and coaches!

May 3rd 2021 at 06:46

South African rugby coaches had mixed reactions to the new trial laws being implemented in the PRO14 Rainbow Cup SA.

READ | JOHN DOBSON REMAINS LOYAL TO STORMERS BY SIGNING NEW CONTRACT

Among the new set of laws adopted in this Rainbow Cup, teams can now replace players who have received a red card 20 minutes after the infringement, while captains are each allowed to challenge one call and send it upstairs to the TMO for a referral if they think the on-field official may have gotten it wrong.

The new red card rule saw plenty of action in the match between the Sharks and the Stormers in Cape Town, as the home side twice found themselves reduced to 14 men, ultimately spending a full 40 minutes of the match with a man down.

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS: WARREN GATLAND SENDS SAVE-THE-DATE LETTERS TO PLAYERS

Had the Stormers not been able to replace both red card recipients, Seabelo Senatla and Willie Engelbrecht, after 20 minutes, the Sharks would surely have run away with the contest.

As it happened, the men from Durban only just managed to hold on to a 33-30 win, but Sharks coach Sean Everitt nevertheless gave the rule change the thumbs up after the match.

READ | ROSKO SPECMAN A SPRINGBOK BOLTER FOR BRITISH & IRISH LIONS SERIES?

“Especially early in the game when you concede a red card, it’s always going to be tough to try and make a spectacle out of the game,” said Everitt.

“I don’t think those players [Senatla and Engelbrecht] intentionally went in.

“With Seabelo Senatla, I don’t think that was intentional from him. It was probably careless, and he’ll learn from that. We know he’s a good rugby player and he’s not a malicious person at all.

“At the end of the day the rules are there and the fact that a team can make do and change on a red card after 20 minutes I think is a good idea in hindsight.”

Meanwhile, Bulls coach Jake White admitted he was not entirely convinced by the new captain’s call rule, which saw Morne Steyn’s cross-kick which led to a “try” for Madosh Tambwe in the 70th minute ruled out due to a wayward lineout throw in the build-up.

Lions captain Dan Kriel sent up the referral and successfully got the try chalked off – although it made no difference to the final result as the Bulls held on for a 22-9 victory in Pretoria.

“It’s going to be one of those things you have to get used to,” White said after the Rainbow Cup match.

“I haven’t particularly enjoyed the captain’s referrals all the time or things like when you carry over the ball you get a goal-line dropout. But again, that’s maybe because we’ve just been used to the previous laws over time. It hasn’t been like that before.

“I don’t believe it’s ideal.”

White also acknowledged that the new red card rule will make it easier for referees to send players off and enforce the laws.

“The red card rule is to be expected. There’s a massive push overall for players to abide to the laws, change their height when they go into contact, defensively and on attack,” said White.

“I suppose today’s round of action provided evidence that if you’re not going to do it, you’re going to be found out. It’s something we’re working on hard, breakdown wise, carrying low, defensively making sure you’re body position is fine.

“If it’s going to speed up the game and make it safer then fine. We want young boys to play rugby, not mums say that it’s too dangerous. We want to grow the game and if these nuances and laws are going to help, then we’re for it.”

Double injury scare for Mamelodi Sundowns ahead of Al Ahly showdown

May 3rd 2021 at 05:44

Mamelodi Sundowns received a double injury scare ahead of their CAF Champions League quarter-final against Egyptian giants Al Ahly.

READ | MANQOBA MNGQITHI SAYS MAMELODI SUNDOWNS PLAYED WELL BUT SHOWED ARROGANCE

After a three-match winless run in the DStv Premiership, Mamelodi Sundowns beat Orlando Pirates 3-0 in a convincing performance.

All three goals came in the second half at the Orlando Stadium courtesy of Ricardo Nascimento from the penalty spot (58th minute), Peter Shalulile (76th) and Lyle Lakay (80th minute).

The victory moved the Brazilians back to the top of the log.

However, their afternoon wasn’t all positive after both striker Kermit Erasmus and midfielder Aubrey Modiba picked up injuries.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY WILL BE NAMED NEW BAFANA BAFANA COACH ON WEDNESDAY

Kermit Erasmus fell to the ground after a collision at the end of the first half left him with an injury to his left foot.

The 30-year-old was unable to continue and was substituted at half-time by Gift Motupa.

Then in the 63rd minute Mamelodi Sundowns were hit by another injury to Aubrey Modiba who was brought off for Lyle Lakay.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY: I COULDN’T BE PROUDER OF MY AMAZULU TEAM

The quarter-final draw of the CAF Champions League saw Mamelodi Sundowns pitted against Al Ahly in the stand-out tie of the playoffs.

Al Ahly will host Mamelodi Sundowns in the first leg in Egypt on the weekend of 14-16 May, with the second leg match will be held in South Africa on 21-23 May.

Masandawana will be holding thumbs their star duo will be fit to board the plane to Cairo next week.

READ | SAFA GRUMPY AT MEDIA LEAK LINKING BENNI MCCARTHY TO BAFANA BAFANA JOB

Rassie van der Dussen’s IPL dream over before it even started

May 3rd 2021 at 05:09

South Africa batsman Rassie van der Dussen, it appears, is not going to join the Rajasthan Royals in India for the remainder of IPL 2021.

READ | AB DE VILLIERS’ BANGALORE V KOLKATA IPL CLASH RESCHEDULED OVER COVID

ESPNcricinfo understands that Rassie van der Dussen got a visa to fly to India but failed to obtain a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from Cricket South Africa (CSA), who cited injury as the reason for this.

He was meant to replace the injured Ben Stokes.

READ | HASHIM AMLA ROLLS BACKS THE YEARS WITH MAJESTIC TON FOR ENGLISH COUNTY

Meanwhile, the Rajasthan Royals named 20-year-old South African fast bowler Gerald Coetzee as a replacement for England batter Liam Livingstone.

Coetzee has landed in India and finished his quarantine and trained with the Royals squad over the weekend.

READ | SOUTH AFRICA TO BID TO HOST 2027 CRICKET WORLD CUP

Coetzee represents the Knights in South Africa’s domestic circuit and has also played two Under-19 World Cups. He has nine wickets and an economy rate of 7.68 in eight T20s.

READ | SUNRISERS HYDERABAD DITCH DAVID WARNER AS IPL SKIPPER

Lloyd Harris faces tough assignment in Round 1 of Madrid Open

May 3rd 2021 at 05:03

Top-ranked South African tennis star Lloyd Harris faces a tough assignment in the opening round of the Madrid Open on Monday.

READ | YOUR CHANCE TO OWN SOME ROGER FEDERER MEMORABILIA

Lloyd Harris, currently ranked 51st in the live ATP rankings, will face Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov, the world No 16.

Dimitrov is seeded 13th this week.

The pair have never met before at ATP tour level.

READ | WIMBLEDON TO SCRAP ‘MIDDLE SUNDAY’ REST DAY

Harris is coming off a month-long wrist injury break as well as a first round defeat at the Estoril Open last week.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic is skipping the tournament.

Meanwhile, both Kevin Anderson and Raven Klaasen will skip the latest clay-court stop on the calendar as both look to build up to the year’s second Grand Slam, the French Open at Roland Garros, starting on 30 May.

READ | ROGER FEDERER CONFIRMS VIA TWITTER THAN HE WILL PLAY FRENCH OPEN

Manqoba Mngqithi says Mamelodi Sundowns played well but showed arrogance

May 3rd 2021 at 04:52

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi was pleased with his side’s performance against Orlando Pirates, but also noted that there were signs of arrogance creeping in.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY WILL BE NAMED NEW BAFANA BAFANA COACH ON WEDNESDAY

Masandawana fell to second place in the DStv Premiership standings after AmaZulu beat Golden Arrows 1-0 on Saturday, but reclaimed the spot thanks to a 3-0 hammering of Orlando Pirates.

Although Manqoba Mngqithi was impressed by his players, he was also somewhat disappointed that they lacked humility.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY: I COULDN’T BE PROUDER OF MY AMAZULU TEAM

They really fought. They knew how important it was. And I said it before the match that Sundowns is going to play,” he told SuperSport TV.

“And I knew we are ready psychologically. And we are ready physically to really fight. We could have done better. I still believe there were some opportunities that ended up not being utilised properly. But credit to be given to the boys. They put in a really good fight and we are happy that they stuck to the plan and the tactics on the day.

Manqoba Mngqithi added: “When we win we must always win with a lot of humility.

READ | SAFA GRUMPY AT MEDIA LEAK LINKING BENNI MCCARTHY TO BAFANA BAFANA JOB

“And I was not happy with the sounds the players were making when we were keeping possession. That is a sign of arrogance and personally I am someone who doesn’t like people that are arrogant.

“We are playing against a very respectable brand and a team that really plays well. They have not lost too many matches. And it’s not by chance and now when you happen to beat them don’t think now you must embarrass and make them to look like they are amateurish.

“They have got some of their key players injured. Lorch was not here and you know what Lorch can do to us.

“But credit must be given to my boys.”

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY: THREE PROS AND CONS FOR TAKING THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

AB de Villiers’ Bangalore v Kolkata IPL clash rescheduled due to Covid

May 3rd 2021 at 04:36

Monday’s IPL clash between the Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore has been rescheduled after two players tested positive for Covid-19.

READ | HASHIM AMLA ROLLS BACKS THE YEARS WITH MAJESTIC TON FOR ENGLISH COUNTY

KKR bowlers Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier both failed their Covid-19 tests, the first players of the 2021 season to do so.

Despite the rest of the team testing negative, ESPN reports that the IPL has asked the KKR team to isolate for three days.

READ | SOUTH AFRICA TO BID TO HOST 2027 CRICKET WORLD CUP

Spinner Chakravarthy recently left the bio-bubble of the IPL through official channels to get a scan on his shoulder at a local hospital, where he may have been exposed.

The news comes after the BCCI reassured all IPL players that they were safe in the bio-bubble despite the nation going through a deadly second wave of the pandemic.

READ | SUNRISERS HYDERABAD DITCH DAVID WARNER AS IPL SKIPPER

SAFA upset at media leak linking Benni McCarthy to Bafana Bafana job

May 3rd 2021 at 03:38

The South African Football Association (SAFA) has moved to end speculation around who will become the next Bafana Bafana coach.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY WILL BE NAMED NEW BAFANA BAFANA COACH ON WEDNESDAY

AmaZulu boss Benni McCarthy has been hotly tipped to take up the role at the end of the current season.

AmaZulu are fighting for league honours and are currently in first place with 50 points, two clear of Mamelodi Sundows, albeit with having played three more matches.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY: THREE PROS AND CONS FOR TAKING THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

A SAFA media release on Sunday, read: ‘We have noted that various publications over the last week have reported the appointment of new Bafana Bafana coach as having been concluded.

‘Firstly, it was Carlos Queiroz then Pitso Mosimane and most recently AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy.

‘SAFA has always stated that the Technical Committee will submit their final recommendations to the SAFA NEC, the highest decision-making body, which will finally make the announcement once the process is concluded.

‘We note that the Benni McCarthy’s name comes at a time when AmaZulu are top of the log standings and it might appear that SAFA wants to derail the club’s good run.

‘We are happy with AmaZulu’s current good run but SAFA will announce the new incoming coach once the issue is dealt with by the NEC.’

SAFA on media speculation of new Bafana Bafana coach https://t.co/VyJYcziHEV

— SAFA.net (@SAFA_net) May 2, 2021

Benni McCarthy: I couldn’t be prouder of my AmaZulu team

May 3rd 2021 at 03:34

AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy says he is proud of his players after they clinched a 1-0 win over Golden Arrows on Saturday.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY WILL BE NAMED NEW BAFANA BAFANA COACH ON WEDNESDAY

Usuthu beat Arrows at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium to move to the top of the DStv Premiership standings, before losing the position on Sunday when Mamelodi Sundowns thrashed Orlando Pirates 3-0 to reclaim first place.

McCarthy was delighted with the effort put in by his charges and backed them to challenge for the league title.

READ | SAFA GRUMPY AT MEDIA LEAK LINKING BENNI MCCARTHY TO BAFANA BAFANA JOB

“The AmaZulu of Benni McCarthy do the talking on the field. I can’t be more proud of this group of players. They have proven themselves to be exceptionally equipped, useful, hardworking, determined, and they have abilities that you have not seen,” McCarthy told the Usuthu media department after the game.

“To do what they have been doing and they continue to do is just exceptional. I think maybe some of these guys need to go to the history books of AmaZulu because you are never going to have another exceptional season what these guys have done.”

He added: “Happy for the players and happy for the team, we march on. We came from the 13th place to do the impossible, and we are right up there on the table.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY: THREE PROS AND CONS FOR TAKING THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

“This is a reward for the players for their hard work, the determination, the drive and willingness and having the winning mentality, just like the coach. I’m super proud. I even love these players.

“It was a tough game for us and the field didn’t help us because of the rain a day before, and we were not allowed to play the good football that we wanted to. It was exceptionally hard, controlling and playing.

“First half, I think we were by far the best team. We were good in every aspect of the game. We were first to every ball.

“It was unfortunate that we only scored in the last minute of the half to go up because we had two fantastic chances to score.”

Police investigate after Old Trafford officer requires emergency treatment

May 3rd 2021 at 03:26

Greater Manchester Police have launched an investigation after an officer was left needing emergency hospital treatment following disturbances which led to the postponement of Manchester United’s Premier League clash with Liverpool at Old Trafford.

WATCH | MANCHESTER UNITED FANS STORM OLD TRAFFORD

Fans broke into the stadium and invaded the pitch in protest at club owners the Glazer family, while outside the ground bottles and barriers were thrown at police officers and horses.

Two officers were injured, with one “attacked with a bottle and sustaining a significant slash wound to his face, requiring emergency hospital treatment”, GMP said.

Assistant chief constable Russ Jackson said it was clear many demonstrators had no intention of protesting peacefully as he condemned their “reckless and dangerous” behaviour.

READ | SAFA GRUMPY AT MEDIA LEAK LINKING BENNI MCCARTHY TO BAFANA BAFANA JOB

He added: “The actions of those today required us to take officers from front-line policing and call in support from neighbouring forces to prevent the disorder getting worse. At different points, bottles and barriers were thrown, officers assaulted and people scaled the stadium structure creating risk for themselves and officers.”

The Red Devils were among 12 clubs that last month signed up for the breakaway European Super League, which collapsed within 48 hours due to huge, unrelenting pressure.

Those plans brought anger against the already despised Glazer family to a new level, with fans congregating at both Old Trafford and the Lowry, the team hotel in the city centre, to demand change ahead of Sunday’s clash with Liverpool.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY WILL BE NAMED NEW BAFANA BAFANA COACH ON WEDNESDAY

Police said that by late afternoon around 200 protesters had gathered outside the Lowry and over 1 000 at the stadium.

There was an initial unspecified delay to the scheduled 16:30 kick-off before confirmation came through from United at 17:35 that the match had been postponed “due to safety and security considerations around the protest”.

A club statement read: “Our fans are passionate about Manchester United, and we completely acknowledge the right to free expression and peaceful protest.

“However, we regret the disruption to the team and actions which put other fans, staff, and the police in danger.

“We thank the police for their support and will assist them in any subsequent investigations.”

The Premier League said it understood the fans’ “strength of feeling”, but condemned “all acts of violence, criminal damage and trespass, especially given the associated Covid-19 breaches”.

It added: “Fans have many channels by which to make their views known, but the actions of a minority seen today have no justification.

“We sympathise with the police and stewards who had to deal with a dangerous situation that should have no place in football. The rearrangement of the fixture will be communicated in due course.”

Liverpool, another founding member of the Super League, said they were in “full agreement” with the postponement.

Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, said on Twitter: “It is important to make clear that the majority of supporters made their protest peacefully today. However, there is no excuse for the actions of a minority who injured police officers and endangered the safety of others.

“This could be an important moment to change football for the better. We should all condemn violence of any kind and keep the focus on the behaviour of those at the top of the game.”

Manchester United Supporters Trust wants the Government to act to prevent single private shareholders holding majority ownerships in football clubs.

It said in a statement: “On the back of the indefensible ESL proposals, and an ‘apology’ from the Glazers which we do not accept, we need to give fans a meaningful share in the ownership of United and a meaningful voice in how it is run.

“The Government now needs to act. That has to mean a process which results in fans having the opportunity to buy shares in their club and more to the point no single private shareholder holding a majority ownership of our football clubs which allows them to abuse that ownership.”

Timely boost for the Springboks as Handre Pollard returns to the fray

May 3rd 2021 at 03:13

Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard made his return from a serious knee injury on Saturday as he came off the bench for French outfit Montpellier.

READ | JOHN DOBSON REMAINS LOYAL TO STORMERS BY SIGNING NEW CONTRACT

Pollard was brought on with 22 minutes to go and landed a late penalty to help the mega-rich Top 14 giants in booking a place in the European Challenge Cup final with a 19-10 win over Bath.

Handre Pollard tore his anterior cruciate ligament while playing for Montpellier in a French Top 14 clash against Racing 92 last October.

It is great news for the Boks ahead of the upcoming British and Irish Lions series in July with Pieter-Steph du Toit and RG Snyman also returning to action after injuries.

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS: WARREN GATLAND SENDS SAVE-THE-DATE LETTERS TO PLAYERS

And Montpellier scrumhalf Benoit Paillaugue said Handre Pollard will have “a very big role to play” for the rest of the season.

“He’s a very important part of our team. He”s got a lot of experience and will help us a lot at the end of the season. He has a very big role to play,” Paillaugue said.

READ | ROSKO SPECMAN A SPRINGBOK BOLTER FOR BRITISH & IRISH LIONS SERIES?

Montpellier will face Leicester Tigers in the final on May 21 at Twickenham, where 10 000 fans will be allowed to attend.

READ | HANDRE POLLARD IS BACK! HELPS MONTPELLIER REACH CHALLENGE CUP FINAL

All Blacks lock leaves France to join Hurricanes in Super Rugby

May 3rd 2021 at 03:03

All Blacks lock Dominic Bird is returning to New Zealand following a successful stint in France to link up with the Hurricanes for the 2022 Super Rugby season.

READ | JOHN DOBSON STAYS LOYAL TO THE STORMERS BY SIGNING NEW CONTRACT

The 30-year-old former Canterbury, Crusaders and Chiefs representative will line up for the Wellington Lions for this year’s NPC before joining the Hurricanes for next year’s Super Rugby competition.

“I’m excited to be getting back into Super Rugby next year and returning to NZ with my family to live,” the two-Test All Black told the Hurricanes’ official website.

“We’ve enjoyed our time with Racing Metro in France, and I feel like I’ve been playing some of my best rugby up there, but now is the right time to return home. I’m looking forward to testing myself again in Super Rugby and adding huge value to the Hurricanes in 2022.”

READ | ROSKO SPECMAN A SPRINGBOK BOLTER FOR BRITISH & IRISH LIONS SERIES?

A World U20 Championship winner with New Zealand, in what is considered one of the best junior sides ever produced in the country, Bird made his mark in Canterbury after studying at Lincoln University before forging a successful start to his Super Rugby career at the Crusaders.

The 2.06m second-rower then made the move north to the Chiefs where he was one of the most consistent forwards through three campaigns before he signed with Racing 92 to play in the Top 14.

READ | HANDRE POLLARD IS BACK! HELPS MONTPELLIER REACH CHALLENGE CUP FINAL

“We’re really looking forward to seeing Dom turn up and show his experience for the Wellington Lions before he comes into our group,” said Hurricanes head coach Jason Holland.

“Speaking with him, we know how much he wants to prove himself again in New Zealand rugby and you can’t beat the sort of experience he will bring to us. He’s a big man who has shown he can match it with some of the toughest forwards in a really challenging competition and we think he will bring real value to the club.”

READ | SIYA KOLISI HAS THE LAST LAUGH ON SHARKS RETURN TO CAPE TOWN

Wellington Lions head coach Leo Crowley was also delighted to have the opportunity to bring a player with Bird’s experience join the squad.

“It’s probably understated just how important it is to bring guys with true international experience into an environment that contains a lot of guys who are eager to learn,” he said.

“We know how much Dom is looking forward to stepping back into New Zealand rugby and we will look to him to fill a vital leadership role amongst an exciting squad.”

Kaizer Chiefs get vote as best team in SA from unlikely source

May 2nd 2021 at 08:53

Man of the match Neo Maema says Kaizer Chiefs are still the best club in South Africa after his Bloemfontein Celtic side held the Soweto giants to a 2-2 draw on Saturday.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY WILL BE NAMED THE NEXT BAFANA BAFANA COACH

Maema pulled the first goal back for Phunya Sele Sele after receiving a backheel from Ndumiso Mabena to side-foot past Amakhosi goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi.

And the 25-year-old said that despite Kaizer Chiefs’ woes and six-year trophy drought, they are still the best team in the country.

“First of all, I want to thank the Lord Jesus Christ for this opportunity,” Maema told SuperSport TV.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY: THREE PROS AND CONS FOR TAKING THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

“Without him we wouldn’t have been here. It was not an easy game to play against the best team in the country despite what they are going through. They’re still the best.

“It was tough going 2-0 down in the first 20 minutes. It wasn’t easy for us to come back. But I’m glad that we got a point.

“It’s like the 26th game of the season so it wasn’t easy. The muscles. Especially going towards the end of the game.”

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY CALLS ON A FAVOUR FROM ORLANDO PIRATES

Kaizer Chiefs get vote as best team in SA from unlikely source

Man of the match Neo Maema says Kaizer Chiefs are still the best club in SA after his Bloemfontein Celtic side held the Soweto giants to a draw.

Just in | Benni McCarthy will be the next Bafana Bafana coach

May 2nd 2021 at 07:35

Benni McCarthy’s meteoric rise in the coaching ranks is set to be complete when he is named as the next Bafana Bafana coach on Wednesday, 5 May.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY: THREE PROS AND CONS FOR TAKING THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

Former Bafana Bafana striker McCarthy cut his teeth at Cape Town City FC in his first managerial role before being fired by the Cape Town side.

He then took over at KwaZulu-Natal side AmaZulu and has led them to the top of the DStv Premiership standings with just five matches remaining in the season.

McCarthy has reportedly agreed to take over as South Africa coach at the conclusion of the season (May 29) which leaves him just a WEEK to prepare the side for their first 2022 Soccer World Cup qualifier away from home against neighbours Zimbabwe.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY CALLS ON A FAVOUR FROM ORLANDO PIRATES

According to Sunday’s City Press, McCarthy will take his AmaZulu lieutenants – assistant coach Siyabonga Nomvethe and goalkeeper coach Moeneeb Josephs – as part of his negotiated package with SAFA.

That obviously doesn’t leave AmaZulu in a favourable position heading into the next season.

It must also be mentioned that McCarthy was not SAFA’s first choice – nor second choice for that matter.

Despite what the national body might say, Carlos Queiroz was their No 1 for the role and when that fell through they moved heaven and earth to land Pitso Mosimane – which also failed embarrassingly.

Good luck Benni!

READ | FORMER BAFANA BAFANA COACH BACKS BENNI MCCARTHY FOR THE JOB

Benni McCarthy calls on a favour from Orlando Pirates

May 2nd 2021 at 07:20

AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy has called on Orlando Pirates to do the country and his side a favour and make the title race more interesting by beating Mamelodi Sundowns at the Orlando Stadium on Sunday.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY: THREE PROS AND CONS FOR TAKING THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

Kick-off is at 15:00.

Usuthu claimed a 1-0 win over Golden Arrows in the Durban derby at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Saturday which took them two points ahead of former league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, but crucially having played two more games.

It might just be the perfect time for the Buccaneers to face the Brazilians, who are on a four-match winless run.

READ | BAFANA BAFANA COACH LATEST: DEAL STRUCK, ANNOUNCEMENT THIS WEEK!

And Benni McCarty wants an Orlando Pirates win not just for his side but for the fans, whom he says deserve an exciting finish to the season after being restricted from attending matches for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Now we’ll see how the magic unfolds (today), hoping Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns provide a very good game. We’ll see what happens in that match and we are hoping it becomes interesting,” said Benni McCarthy.

“In the year that we’ve had, with Covid-19 and the new Dstv Premiership title and all the excitement that it provides, you want it to go to the last day of the season.

“I hope that Pirates do the country and everyone a favor, by doing what they should be doing. They can’t be hammered three times in a row by one team.

“So I’m backing my boys in black, hopefully they come through for us and then we take it further down to the wire with Sundowns, because that’s what the fans need.

“That’s what the fans need, because they are not allowed to come to the stadium. So if they can’t be here let’s give them something to really sit on the edge of the seat until the last match of the season.”

READ | FORMER BAFANA BAFANA COACH BACKS BENNI MCCARTHY FOR THE JOB

Stormers suffer flyhalf blow as Kade Wolhuter ruled out for the season

May 2nd 2021 at 04:37

The Stormers face a flyhalf poser just one match into their Rainbow Cup season with confirmation that youngster Kade Wolhuter ruptured his knee ligaments against the Sharks on Saturday.

READ | PIETER-STEPH DU TOIT SAYS GOODBYE TO THE STORMERS

Kade Wolhuter, who looked assured during his time on the field, had to be stretchered off after sustaining the nasty injury.

The Sharks went on to win the match 33-30.

On Sunday the 19-year-old former Paul Roos pupil confirmed via his Instagram account that he will miss the rest of the season.

READ | SIYA KOLISI HAS THE LAST LAUGH ON SHARKS RETURN TO CAPE TOWN

‘The game we love so much is full of the most extreme ups and downs,’ Kade Wolhuter wrote.

‘Unfortunately yesterday afternoons opening game of the Rainbow Cup SA vs the Sharks will be my last for the season after tearing my ACL during the match.

‘Really gutted to be leaving the boys @dhlstormers so early on in the season but at the same time looking forward to the adventure to getting back out on the pitch.

‘Thank you so much for all the messages of support, they don’t go unnoticed!’

Pieter-Steph du Toit says goodbye to the Stormers

May 2nd 2021 at 04:24

Pieter-Steph du Toit is reportedly set for a lucrative departure from the Stormers to Japan later this year.

READ | HANDRE POLLARD IS BACK! HELPS MONTPELLIER REACH CHALLENGE CUP FINAL

The 2019 World Rugby Player of the Year has long been linked with a move from the Cape.

The 28-year-old made his return from injury on Saturday for the Stormers in their 33-30 defeat to the Sharks in their Rainbow Cup opener at the Cape Town Stadium – a full 398 days after last representing the union.

However, according to Netwerk24, the 2019 Rugby World Cup winner will not be plying his trade for the Cape side for much longer.

READ | SIYA KOLISI HAS THE LAST LAUGH ON SHARKS RETURN TO CAPE TOWN

His swansong in South Africa is set to be the British & Irish Lions’ three-Test tour in July-August.

Du Toit was set to sign a deal with Munster, but his high-profile move was blocked by the Irish Rugby Football Union who instead controversially signed Jason Jenkins.

It is now believed Pieter-Steph du Toit will join Japanese Top League side Toyota Verblitz after deciding against renewing his existing contract with the Stormers and Western Province.

No details of what will no doubt be a mega contract have been revealed.

Du Toit will be the third Springbok to depart the union after Siya Kolisi who now plays for the Sharks and Bongi Mbonambi who is heading to Durban as well.

READ | BULLS FAR TOO STRONG FOR LIONS IN RAINBOW CUP OPENER

Sunrisers Hyderabad ditch David Warner as IPL skipper

May 2nd 2021 at 04:11

The Sunrisers Hyderabad team management has confirmed that Kane Williamson will take over the captaincy from David Warner for the remainder of the IPL season.

READ | HASHIM AMLA ROLLS BACKS THE YEARS WITH MAJESTIC TON FOR ENGLISH COUNTY

Sunrisers have lost five out of their first six games this campaign with David Warner saying after the last defeat against Chennai he took “full responsibility”.

Losing hurts and things may not be going our way but what I do know is we are fighters. We will never give up. #sunrisers #orangearmy @sunrisershyd https://t.co/EjB9XzexQG

— David Warner (@davidwarner31) April 29, 2021

Warner might not be part of the starting line-up for Sunday’s clash against the Rajasthan Royals with the Sunrisers also saying in the statement that a different overseas combination will be tried.

READ | SOUTH AFRICA TO BID TO HOST 2027 CRICKET WORLD CUP

Williamson had captained the Sunrisers in the 2018 season when Warner was barred from the IPL for his involvement in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal.

The Sunrisers’ statement said: “The decision has not come lightly as the management respects the enormous impact David Warner has had for the franchise over a number of years.

“As we face the remainder of the season, we are sure David will continue to help us strive for success both on and off the field.”

Overall, Williamson’s captaincy record in the IPL reads 14 wins and 12 losses in 26 matches.

READ | RASSIE VAN DER DUSSEN TO MAKE IPL DEBUT SOON

Gavin Hunt: We created enough chances to win THREE matches!

May 2nd 2021 at 03:03

Gavin Hunt was left ruing two dropped points as Kaizer Chiefs drew 2-2 with Bloemfontein Celtic on Saturday.

READ | WE HAVE NEW LEADERS IN THE DSTV PREMIERSHIP!

Happy Mashiane opened the scoring at the Seisa Ramabodu Stadium after just three minutes before Eric Mathoho added a second 10 minutes later.

Bloemfontein Celtic though were back in the tie when Neo Maema netted on 22 minutes, while Sepana Letsoalo ensured a share of the spoils with his 54th minute penalty.

READ | MAMELODI SUNDOWNS DUO GET BEHIND THE WHEEL OF LUXURY SUVS

The result left Amakhosi in ninth place on the DStv Premiership standings with 29 points from 25 games – three adrift of TS Galaxy in eighth spot.

Speaking after the game, Gavin Hunt told SuperSport: “Well it’s the story of our season. It’s the old adage – strikers win you games and defenders win you leagues. Not that we try to defend but we concede goals every week. It’s been poor.

“We have to get better. We work on it all the time. Lot of individual stuff.”

READ | GAVIN HUNT COMMENTS ON KAIZER CHIEFS’ CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW

Despite the result, Gavin Hunt still felt his side played ‘well’.

“But I’m proud of the players. They played well today. We’ve been playing well this whole season. Even the games we’ve lost or drawn we’ve played well, created chances.

“I mean we created enough chances today to win three games of football. First half could have been 4-0. We had so many opportunities.

“But I mean I’m proud of the players. I can’t ask for more. They give me everything they’ve got.”

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS MAMELODI SUNDOWNS CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL? IT COULD HAPPEN!

Gavin Hunt: We created enough chances to win THREE matches!

Gavin Hunt was left ruing two dropped points as Kaizer Chiefs drew 2-2 with Bloemfontein Celtic on Saturday.

British & Irish Lions news: England scrumhalf Ben Youngs pulls out for family reasons

May 2nd 2021 at 02:56

England scrumhalf Ben Youngs has ruled himself out of contention for the British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa for family reasons.

READ | SIYA KOLISI HAS THE LAST LAUGH ON SHARKS RETURN TO CAPE TOWN

The 31-year-old was reportedly one of more than 50 players to have been sent a ‘save-the-date’ letter from British & Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland.

However, Youngs has opted to remove himself from consideration.

READ | SHARKS HAVE A FORMER US PRESIDENT IN THEIR CAMP FOR STORMERS CLASH

“Whether or not I would have made the final cut, I’ll never know,” Youngs told the Daily Mail.

“I’ve got two young children and my wife is heavily pregnant with the third. This summer I’ve got an opportunity to be with my family and my kids.

“I have always loved the Lions. I’ll be cheering them on, and I wish everyone involved a healthy and successful tour. It’s not a decision that I’ve taken lightly, but it’s the best decision for my family.”

READ | BULLS FAR TOO STRONG FOR LIONS IN RAINBOW CUP OPENER

Gatland is set to name his 36-man squad and captain on Thursday, 6 May but a revised itinerary for South Africa made necessary by the coronavirus pandemic has yet to be published.

The British & Irish Lions have a historic warm-up match against Japan scheduled at Murrayfield on June 26.

Precious Mashele wins SA Half Marathon champs as foreigners dominate women’s race

May 1st 2021 at 17:57

Precious Mashele showcased his world-class potential with an impressive performance in the men’s race on Saturday, while the foreign contingent ensured fast times in the women’s contest at the Nelson Mandela Bay Half-Marathon, incorporating the ASA Half Marathon Championships in Gqeberha.

For the latest athletics news please visit The South African website

While the pace was not lightning quick in the early stages, Stephen Mokoka turned it up in the second half of the men’s event, repeatedly breaking up the lead group.

Just when it looked like Mokoka had the race in the bag in the closing stages after producing another strong surge, Precious Mashele fought back until he drew clear in the race for the finishing line.

Mashele completed the race in 1:01:17, adding the title to the national 5 000m conquest he won at the ASA Track and Field Championships in Tshwane last month.

Mokoka clocked 1:01:24 to grab the silver medal, holding off a charge from Mbuleli Mathanga who was awarded the bronze medal after clocking 1:01:25.

“It was difficult because of the lockdown last year, but my coach (Hendrick Ramaala) motivated me to keep training hard, so I am grateful to win here and I am so happy with this result,” Mashele said.

“I want to thank my coach and my training partners for helping me achieve my goal today.”

Meanwhile, Brillian Jepkor Kipkoech of Kenya dominated the women’s overall battle, tearing the rest of the field apart to win in 1:07:32, with Sisay Alemaddis of Ethiopia taking second place in the open race in 1:08:04.

In the national championship, Glenrose Xaba was the best of the local athletes, earning the gold medal in 1:09:30 by taking fifth position overall.

Fresh off her SA record marathon performance in Italy earlier this month, Gerda Steyn took the silver medal in ninth place overall (1:12:13) and Irvette van Zyl also recovered sufficiently from her sub-2:30 marathon to earn bronze in 10th overall (1:12:54).

Displaying impressive depth across the board, the top nine men ran under 1:02:00 and the top five women dipped under 1:10:00.

”This has been a befitting way to return to road running, after many races opted to halt their normal annual races due to Covid related decisions,” said an overjoyed Aleck Skhosana, President of Athletics South Africa. 

“We hope that other organisers will find a viable away to host races under these difficult times of the pandemic.

“It’s another cap for Eastern Province Athletics and its partners in successfully hosting events, especially when the Corona virus has stopped others. We applaud the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan for their continued partnership with athletics over the years and look forward to working with then in the future.”

KwaZulu Natal Athletics won gold in the men’s team competition, followed by Central Gauteng Athletics who took silver and Athletics Gauteng North who walked away with the bronze medal. In the women’s team competition, CGA took gold, with AGN at second, while KZNA took bronze.

Matt Beers, Yolande de Villiers win SA Cross-Country Championships titles

May 1st 2021 at 17:43

Matt Beers and Yolande de Villiers won the 2021 South African Cross-Country Marathon Championships in Paarl on Saturday, 1 May.

READ | SA’S TOP MOUNTAIN BIKERS CAN’T WAIT TO GO RACING AT KAP SANI2C

Beers, riding for Type{DEV} NanoTime, dominated the race virtually from the gun to win by 5 minutes and 21 seconds.

The women’s race had more drama as the Cycling South Africa commissaires had to adjudicate the winner following a protest after Robyn de Groot had crossed the finish line first.

The challenging 85km route featured 2 100m of climbing, most of it coming within the first 50km.

Hosted by the Paarl Adventure Trails a great deal of the course was made up of singletrack, including the Spice Route, Diamante Estate and Rhebokskloof cross-country loops.

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As such the strongest riders were always likely to emerge victorious.

In the elite men’s race the field was stacked with South Africa’s top marathon mountain bikers.

Alongside the pre-race favourite, Beers, were PYGA EuroSteel’s Matthys Beukes, Philip Buys and Gert Heyns; Insect Science’s Arno du Toit and Keagan Bontekoning; DSV Pro Cycling’s Nicol Carstens and Jacques Janse van Rensburg; and Imbuko Giant’s Tristan Nortje and Rudi Koen. Alfa Body Works rider and Paarl local, HB Kruger was also one to watch.

READ | THE 2021 CAPE TOWN CYCLE TOUR IS BACK ON!

A fast start loop hardly spread the field as the leading men blitzed the first 6km of dual track. Then a steep climb towards the first singletrack of the day, the infamous Wall climb, stretched the group. Beers lead into the singletrack and rode it at a pace which had his rivals on the back foot. The Type{DEV} NanoTime star summited with the embryo of an advantage, which he would incubate into an unassailable lead over the next 70km.

“I made my move on The Wall,” Beers recounted.

“Then tried to hold a pace which I thought the group behind would probably be riding. The route, with so much singletrack, did not really lend itself to groups working together, so I did not feel being on my own was much of a disadvantage. I saw Arno [du Toit] was chasing me initially; but when he dropped back, I just had to keep up my tempo.”

“The last 5km or so were really though,” Beers added.

“I was cramping so badly. But I’m so happy to win the South African Marathon title. It’s been a big goal of mine for years, especially after missing the 2019 race, with a broken collar bone, and the 2020 race because of its Covid cancellation.”

Behind Beers, as Du Toit’s challenge for victory faded he was swallowed up by a chase group which constantly changed its composition. PYGA EuroSteel were represented throughout though as Heyns, Buys and Beukes all contributed to the pursuit of Beers. Du Toit’s Insect Science team-mate Bontekoning, and the Imbuko Giant pair of Nortje and Koen also assisted in the chase.

Eventually it was the experience of Beukes that prevailed. He and Du Toit distanced their companions, one-by-one, until they were able to contest a two-up sprint for second. Beukes pipped his former team-mate to the line, in so doing securing his best South African Marathon Championships result.

“I tried to ride my own race today” the PYGA EuroSteel rider reflected.

“I started steady and rode my way into contention. But even if I could have gone with Matt [Beers] earlier I do not think I would have been able to stay with him throughout the race. He was the worthy winner today.”

Yolande de Villiers was adjudged the 2021 South African XCM Champion, after the first woman across the finish line – Robyn de Groot – was disqualified for taking a wrong turn and missing a section of the route. Photo by Chris Hitchcock.

In the women’s race De Groot, Amy McDougall and De Villiers distanced the rest of the field within the first 30km. The six-time champion then pulled away from her breakaway companions, quickly establishing a 4-minute advantage over the next 10km. However disaster struck for the dormakaba rider in the Rhebokskloof singletracks. She inadvertently followed the wrong trail and cut 5km from her race distance.

Alhough De Groot crossed the finish line first; the victory, upon a careful examination of the leading women’s GPS files, was awarded to De Villiers. Having come back from a potentially career ending leg break, in 2019, the victory represents a remarkable return for the Mad Macs rider. De Villiers’ persistence and tenacity are an example to all young riders and an illustration of the rewards reaped from years of dedication.

With De Villiers moving up to first, South African road champion, Hayley Preen, inherited second and McDougall stepped up onto the final podium place.

“It was an incredible race” McDougall stated from the podium.

Her sentiments were echoed by many a rider, as praise for the route was a common theme of the post-race interviews.

Given the change in UCI rules, the marathon champions will now be able to wear their national colours in stage races. This means that Type{DEV} NanoTime will need to design Beers a new jersey, to incorporate the South African flag into their white and blue kit, before KAP sani2c. The three-day stage race from Underberg to Scottburgh, in KwaZulu-Natal, starts on Friday, 14 May.

South African Cross-Country Marathon Championships results

Elite Men:

1. Matthew Beers, Type{DEV} NanoTime (3:36:44)

2. Matthys Beukes, PYGA EuroSteel (3:42:06 | +05:21)

3. Arno du Toit, Insect Science (3:42:07 | +05:22)

4. Gert Heyns, PYGA EuroSteel (3:43:40 | +06:55)

5. Nicol Carstens, DSV Pro Cycling (3:45:47 | +09:02)

Elite Women:

1. Yolande de Villiers, Team Mad Macs (4:27:46)               

2. Hayley Preen, Team Reach for Rainbows (4:32:33 | +4:46)       

3. Amy Mcdougall, Perigon Property Motor Lease (4:35:39 | +7:52)

4. Sarah Hill, Liv Racing (4:44:12 | +16:25)

5. Shauna Esmeyer (4:46:35 | +18:48)

For the full results from the SA XCM Championships please click here.

Yolande de Villiers was adjudged the 2021 South African XCM Champion, after the first woman across the finish line – Robyn de Groot – was disqualified for taking a wrong turn and missing a section of the route. Photo by Chris Hitchcock.

Yolande de Villiers was adjudged the 2021 South African XCM Champion, after the first woman across the finish line – Robyn de Groot – was disqualified for taking a wrong turn and missing a section of the route. Photo by Chris Hitchcock.

Neil Schietekat joins 3-way Cape Town Open lead with 18 holes to play

May 1st 2021 at 17:28

Neil Schietekat went bogey-free on Saturday to card a five-under-par 67 and move into a three-way share of the lead after the third round of the Cape Town Open at Royal Cape Golf Club.

READ | STORMERS HEAVIES WHITEWASH SUNSHINE TOUR PROS IN PAR-3 CONTEST

That moved him to 11-under through 54 holes ahead of the final round, and he joined the 36-hole leader Jacques Blaauw, who had a double-bogey five in his two-under 70, and the Spaniard Santiago Tarrio, who, like Schietekat, had a third-round 67.

The three had a two-stroke edge over Spain’s Emilio Cuarterto Blanco, Swede Mikael Lindberg and Daniel Hillier of New Zealand.

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“Always good to keep drops off the card,” said Neil Schietekat.

“The conditions were really good today. There was a little bit of wind for me on the front nine, but it died away for most of the back nine. I’ve been hitting the ball really nicely, and I’m especially happy with my short game right now. I’m in a good position right now.”

Schietekat has been on something of a roll recently, with five top-10s in his last five tournaments, including a two third-place finishes at the Gauteng Championship and the Serengeti Pro-Am Invitational. He finished in a share of ninth in last week’s Limpopo Championship. This round will give him belief that the good form can turn into a victory on Sunday.

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“I don’t like to think like that,” he said.

“Obviously, if I keep doing what I’m doing, then I have to believe a win will come. But it’s no good trying to force things. I have a number in mind – 16-under – that I believe is good enough to win the tournament, and it feels as if I’m on track for that right now.”

It was a good putting display on the front nine, as Schietekat turned in three-under 33. He had five one-putts on that nine, even with missing two greens in regulation.

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“I’ve putted well the whole tournament actually,” he said.

“On my front nine in the first round, when I started on the 10th, the putting was particularly good, and it felt pretty much the same today.”

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For Blaauw, it was a case of one poor shot spoiling what could have been a round which saw him go into the final day at least two ahead. He pushed his tee shot on the short par-three 15th right into the water, and ended up making a double-bogey there. It ended up being the only blemish on his scorecard.

Tarrio had an eagle-three on the 11th on his card, but that only made up for the two bogeys he made on the outward nine, on the first and the sixth.

There are two other South Africans inside the top 10: Good friends JC Ritchie and Jaco Prinsloo are on eight-under with four other players, and very much within striking distance of victory.

Minnows Namibia put SA Emerging team to shame in winning one-day series

May 1st 2021 at 17:19

A century by Matthew Breetzke was not enough for the South Africa Emerging men’s team as they went down by 19 runs in an entertaining series decider against Namibia in Windhoek on Saturday.

READ | HASHIM AMLA ROLLS BACK THE YEARS WITH MAJESTIC DOUBLE TON FOR ENGLISH COUNTY

The right-hander was in excellent form, striking three sixes and eight fours in a 127-ball 114, which helped the visitors end on 319 for nine in a high-scoring chase of 339 at the Wanderers.

There was also an attacking half-century by Delano Potgieter (52 off 54 balls, 2 fours, 2 sixes) and an even more explosive 63 off 41 balls (7 fours, 2 sixes) by Jason Smith that took the tourists close – although it was still in vain after a powerful batting display by the home side.

READ | HOW EMBARRASSING! MINNOWS NAMIBIA BEAT SA EMERGING SIDE IN T20 SERIES

Craig Williams was their stand-out batsman after he plundered 11 sixes in an unbeaten 139 off 119 balls (5 fours), with the dangerous JJ Smit thumping 61 off 48 balls (3 fours, 4 sixes).

Their performances ultimately proved to be the difference between the two sides, with the Namibians going on to take the series 2-1. The Eagles also won the T20 series by the same margin.

READ | SOUTH AFRICA TO BID TO HOST 2027 CRICKET WORLD CUP

The host won the toss and batted first in match three, with Stephan Baard (33) and Zane Green (26) again getting them off to a good start.

After both fell to Tshepo Ntuli (2/37) and then captain Gerhard Erasmus followed for 20, Williams and Smit dominated.

The pair put on 139 for the fourth wicket, with Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton (23*) then helping the centurion deliver a flying finish thanks to an unbeaten 87 in the last 6.1 overs.

Also helped by 36 extras, Namibia eventually finished on 338 for four.

READ | HASHIM AMLA RETURNS TO SOUTH AFRICA TO PLAY FOR WP

Grant Roelofsen (26) and Breetzke gave the SA Emerging team a bright start to the reply with 61 for the first wicket, but four quick wickets thereafter left Malibongwe Maketa’s team in trouble on 98 for four.

But Breetzke kept going, and, after finding a foil in Potgieter, added 85 for the fifth wicket.

The latter then fell with the score on 183, before the former followed when the score was 224.

Dayyaan Galiem’s dismissal for six looked like it had ended the clash as a contest, but Smith and Bryce Parsons (32) then combined for a 77-run partnership to bring the equation down to 30 from the last two overs.

However, that was when the stand was broken, effectively settling the tie as the visitors finished short.

South Africa Emerging men’s squad

Stefan Tait, Thando Ntini, Grant Roelofsen, Joshua Richards, Jonathan Bird, Jason Smith, Tshepo Ntuli, Kabelo Sekhukhune, Lifa Ntanzi, Matthew Breetzke, Dayyaan Galiem, Bryce Parsons, Sinethemba Qeshile, Wandile Makwetu, Gregory Mahlokwana, Delano Potgieter.

Support Staff: Malibongwe Maketa (Head Coach), Imraan Khan (Assistant Coach), Piet Botha (Bowling Coach), Brent Gerard Martin (Physiotherapist), Nandile Nelson Tyali (Strength and Conditioning Coach), Kyle Southgate (Video Analyst)

Schedule: South Africa Emerging men’s tour to Namibia

Friday, 23 April

1st T20 – Namibia lost to SA Emerging Men by 5 wickets – Wanderers

Saturday, 24 April

2nd T20 – Namibia beat SA Emerging Men by 5 wickets – Wanderers

Sunday, 25 April

3rd T20 – Namibia beat SA Emerging Men by 91 runs – Wanderers

Tuesday, 27 April

1st OD – Namibia beat SA Emerging Men by 5 wickets – Wanderers

Thursday, 29 April

2nd OD – Namibia lost to SA Emerging Men by 57 runs – Wanderers

Saturday, 1 May

3rd OD – Namibia beat SA Emerging Men by 19 runs – Wanderers

RESULT | 🇳🇦 Namibia won by 19 runs

Namibia take the series with a nervy finish to the final ODI

🇳🇦 338/4 (Craig Williams 139)
🇿🇦 319/9 (Matthew Breetzke 114) #ThatsOurGame pic.twitter.com/KADwrZaVpz

— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) May 1, 2021

Hashim Amla rolls back the years with majestic double ton for English county

May 1st 2021 at 17:09

Proteas legend Hashim Amla has rolled back the years with a typically majestic knock of 215 for his Surrey side in their English County Championship match against Hampshire.

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Amla, now 38-years-old, posted his seventh double century of his career.

Amla, who will return to South Africa to play for Western Province next season, faced 367 deliveries in his 491-minute stay at the crease before retiring injured.

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His knock helped Surrey record a thumping innings and 259-run victory.

Amla retired from the international area after 124 Tests, 181 ODIs and 44 T20Is for the Proteas.

READ | HASHIM AMLA RETURNS TO SOUTH AFRICA TO PLAY FOR WP

Bulls far too strong for Lions in Rainbow Cup opener at Loftus Versfeld

May 1st 2021 at 16:46

The Bulls made a winning start to their PRO14 Rainbow Cup campaign after clinching a deserved 22-9 victory over the Lions at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

READ | SIYA KOLISI HAS THE LAST LAUGH ON SHARKS RETURN TO CAPE TOWN

The Bulls started on the front foot and opened their account after just two minutes of play, Chris Smith avoiding several attempted tackles before racing over the line for the try and calmly slotting the conversion.

The Lions didn’t take long to respond, though, reducing the deficit in the 12th minute as Fred Zeilinga converted a penalty from 50 metres out after Janko Swanepoel had conceded a penalty for a ruck infringement.

The Lions further reduced the deficit just a few minutes later as Zeilinga converted another penalty to bring his side within one point of the Bulls.

READ | SHARKS HAVE A FORMER US PRESIDENT IN THEIR CAMP FOR STORMERS CLASH

After a brief lull in play, with the teams battling back and forth, the Bulls were celebrating just after the half-hour mark after a well-worked move from a lineout resulted in Swanepoel getting in for the try. However, the referee called for the TMO to review the play leading up to the try and it was subsequently chalked off after Embrose Papier was shown knocking the ball on at a breakdown.

The Bulls managed to put a further three points on the board just one minute later, though, as Smith converted a penalty after a scrum infringement by du Plessis.

And with neither side able to forge another breakthrough in the remainder of the first half, the scoreline would remain unchanged with the Bulls leading 10-6.

The Lions were counting on Zeilinga’s kicking to keep them in the game and he did not disappoint in the 44th minute as he slotted another penalty to bring his side within one point of the Bulls.

There was further drama just after the hour mark as the Bulls were again celebrating another try before the ref called for a review, with the TMO subsequently spotting an infringement at the maul, leading to Stavino Jacobs’ try being chalked off and a penalty being awarded to the Lions.

That decision only served to fire up the Bulls, who went on to stretch further ahead just a few minutes later, Zak Burger bagging the try after a well-timed offload from substitute Lizo Gqoboka.

Morné Steyn stepped up to take the conversion and made no mistake, adding two more points to make it 17-9 to the Bulls.

The Bulls kept up the pressure after bagging their second try and very nearly added a third as the Lions managed to escape unscathed following a captain’s challenge. The lineout throw in the build-up was not straight from the Bulls, letting the Bulls off the hook.

That being said, the decision to overturn the try did little to alter the complexion of the game as the Bulls eventually added a third try at the death, Elrigh Louw powering over the line with the Lions defence trying in vain to halt his charge.

Steyn opted to attempt a drop kick for the conversion and but failed to hit the target as the Bulls clinched a deserved home win in their Rainbow Cup opener.

SCORERS:

Bulls

Tries: Chris Smith, Zak Burger, Elrigh Louw

Conversions: Smith, Morne Steyn

Penalty: Smith

Lions

Penalties: Fred Zeilinga (3)

Pitso Mosimane lays first brick in Al Ahly’s new mega stadium – PICTURE

May 1st 2021 at 16:37

Pitso Mosimane was given the honour of laying the first brick in the construction of Al Ahly’s new 60 000 seater stadium.

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The 56-year-old coach of the Egyptian giants did so on Saturday, 1 May.

One of Mahmoud El-Khatib’s first promises to Al Ahly supporters after his 2017 election as club president was the construction of the first independent stadium for the club at El-Sheikh Zayed city in Cairo.

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When he announced the project El-Khatib confirmed that the stadium will have 60 000 seats, which would make it the third largest stadium in Egypt after Borg El-Arab (86 000) and the Cairo International Stadium (74 100).

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It is set to be designed by Populous, the same architecture company that designed Arsenal’s stadium The Emirates and Wembley Stadium.

DStv Premiership: Fixtures, results and kick-off times – 1 May 2021

May 1st 2021 at 13:15

With the 2020/21 DStv Premiership season rapidly reaching its conclusion, another bumper round of fixtures will take place over the upcoming weekend.

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Everyone is still chasing Mamelodi Sundowns atop the standings with the chasing pack looking for some favours from the Brazilians’ opponents.

At the bottom, Black Leopards have it all to do.

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DSTV PREMIERSHIP FIXTURES AND RESULTS:

FRIDAY, 30 APRIL

Maritzburg United 1-1 Swallows

SATURDAY, 1 MAY

TS Galaxy 1-0 Cape Town City

Chippa United 1-0 Stellenbosch FC

Bloemfontein Celtic 2-2 Kaizer Chiefs

Golden Arrows 0-1 AmaZulu

Tshakhuma FC 1-2 Black Leopards

SuperSport United 1-1 Baroka FC

SUNDAY, 2 MAY

Orlando Pirates v Mamelodi Sundowns – 15:00

Kaizer Chiefs v Bloemfontein Celtic result: Amakhosi blow handy lead

May 1st 2021 at 10:55

Kaizer Chiefs took a 2-1 lead into the half-time break in their DStv Premiership match against Bloemfontein Celtic on Saturday.

AS IT HAPPENED | KAIZER CHIEFS V BLOEMFONTEIN CELTIC

Amakhosi took the lead as early as the third minute thanks to a goal from Happy Mashiane.

Eric Mathoho then doubled Kaizer Chiefs’ advantage with a goal in the 13th minute.

READ | GAVIN HUNT COMMENTS ON KAIZER CHIEFS’ CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW

Credit to Bloemfontein Celtic for not rolling over as they cut the deficit with a goal in the 22nd minute by Neo Maema.

Early in the second half Bloemfontein Celtic completed their comeback from the penalty spot thanks to Sepana Letsoalo.

Despite their defeat, Kaizer Chiefs remained ninth in the standings with 29 points after 25 matches.

They will next be in action away to TTM on Tuesday, 4 May at 17:00.

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS MAMELODI SUNDOWNS CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL? IT COULD HAPPEN!

TEAMS:

Bloemfontein Celtic

Mabokgwane, Baloyi, Ngobeni, Chabalala, Rikhotso, Phalane, Mahashe, Maema, Kobedi, Mabena, Letsoalo

Substitues: Chaine, Van Der Ross, Lingwati, Potsane, Mashikinya, Ncobeni, Fikizolo, Mangweni, Sera

Kaizer Chiefs

Akpeyi, Zulu, Cardoso, Mathoho, Ngezana, Mashiane, Blom, Parker, Baccus, Manyama, Nurkovic

Substitutes: Bvuma, Katsande, Mphahlele, Castro, Kambole, Agay, Frosler, Sasman, Zuma

Incredible scenes as AmaZulu overtake Mamelodi Sundowns in DStv Premiership log!

May 1st 2021 at 10:55

Mamelodi Sundowns unbelievably are no longer the log leaders in the 2020/21 DStv Premiership standings!

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS MAMELODI SUNDOWNS CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL? IT COULD HAPPEN!

Not so long ago the Brazilians were coasting to a fourth consecutive – and 11th overall – PSL title.

But coupled with their own dip in form and the stellar play of AmaZulu in particular, Mamelodi Sundowns’ advantage atop the log was just ONE point heading into this weekend’s matches.

READ | GAVIN HUNT COMMENTS ON KAIZER CHIEFS’ CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW

And thanks to AmaZulu’s 1-0 away win over Golden Arrows in the KwaZulu-Natal derby, Benni McCarthy’s men now LEAD the standings by two points.

Luvuyo Memela grabbed the only goal of the match in first-half stoppage time.

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Usuthu’s lead may only last 24 hours, however.

Mamelodi Sundowns are in action on Sunday, 2 May when they travel to play Orlando Pirates (15:00).

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But that won’t be an easy clash and even though they will have three matches in hand prior to kick-off, the pressure is now squarely on Mamelodi Sundowns’ shoulders as the season rapidly draws to a close.

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AmaZulu now have 50 points after 26 matches.

They will next be in domestic action at home against Baroka FC on Tuesday, 11 May at 15:00.

Siya Kolisi has the last laugh on Sharks return to Cape Town

May 1st 2021 at 10:32

Siya Kolisi has helped his new team, the Sharks, beat his previous employers, the Stormers, in Saturday’s opening match of the Rainbow Cup at the Cape Town Stadium.

READ | SHARKS HAVE A FORMER US PRESIDENT IN THEIR CAMP FOR STORMERS CLASH

The Stormers blew a sizeable first-half lead as the Sharks came storming back via a hat-trick from Reniel Hugo to snatch a dramatic 33-30 victory on Saturday.

Playing their first match in their new home, the Cape Town Stadium, things were looking good for the hosts as they opened up a 23-7 lead in the first half, but they surrendered 26 unanswered points thanks in no small part to Hugo’s heroics – a deficit they were unable to overcome despite threatening to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat with the final kick of the game.

The Capetonians also did themselves no favours by being forced to play 40 minutes of the match with 14 men after receiving two separate red cards – the first to Seabelo Senatla in the first half for playing an opponent in the air, and the second to debutant Willie Engelbrecht after the break for two dangerous tackles.

Though they could replace those two players after 20 minutes according to a new law being trialled in the competition, it was still a lengthy period spent with a man down, and it cost them dearly.

The Stormers led 17-0 after just 12 minutes thanks to tries from scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies and centre Rikus Pretorius, with flyhalf Kade Wolhuter looking solid as he slotted two conversions and a penalty goal to leave the Sharks staring down the barrel.

But the visitors kept themselves in the picture thanks to two first-half tries from clever lineout moves – the first by Springbok prop Thomas du Toit in the 16th minute and the second by hooker Fez Mbatha just before half-time to ensure they stayed within touching distance after Wolhuter had extended the Stormers’ lead via two more penalties.

After the break, the Stormers were left stunned by a hat-trick of tries from none other than Sharks lock Reniel Hugo – as the visitors took full advantage of their opponents being a man down for the second time in the match.

The big man’s first try came from a quick-tap penalty, while the second arrived three minutes later from quick attacking play close to the try-line. And against all odds, he crashed over for his hat-trick in the 53rd minute as the Sharks totally turned the tables on their opponents.

That left the Stormers with a 10-point deficit, but Springbok fullback Damian Willemse gave them hope of forcing a result when he latched onto a crossfield kick from Abner van Reenen and scored a crucial try with just seven minutes to play.

The hosts had a chance to snatch the victory in injury time when Van Reenen kicked a grubber through a rushed Sharks defence, but though the ball sat up perfectly for Ruhan Nel, the centre lost his composure and made a hash of his attempt to dot the ball down and the Sharks hung on for victory.

The DHL Stormers fought hard until the bitter end and had the ball over the line to win it, but could not finish it off and come up just short as the Cell C Sharks claim a tense 33-30 win at Cape Town Stadium in the PRO14 Rainbow Cup SA opener. #STOvSHA pic.twitter.com/OHQdnpFV1H

— DHL Stormers (@THESTORMERS) May 1, 2021

SCORERS:

Stormers

Tries: Herschel Jantjies, Rikus Pretorius, Damian Willemse

Conversions: Kade Wolhuter (2), Abner van Reenen

Penalties: Wolhuter (3)

Sharks

Tries: Thomas du Toit, Fez Mbatha, Reniel Hugo (3)

Conversions: Curwin Bosch (4)

READ | NECK INJURY FORCES ANOTHER SA PLAYER INTO EARLY RETIREMENT

TEAMS:

Stormers

15 Damian Willemse, 14 Edwill van der Merwe, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Kade Wolhuter, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Nama Xaba, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain)

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Ernst van Rhyn, 20 Evan Roos, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Abner van Reenen, 23 Dan du Plessis

Sharks

15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (c), 12 Jeremy Ward, 11 Yaw Penxe, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Grant Williams, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Fez Mbatha, 1 Ox Nche

Substitutes: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 JJ van der Mescht, 20 Phepsi Buthelezi, 21 Sanele Nohamba, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Werner Kok

Kaizer Chiefs v Mamelodi Sundowns in CAF Champions League final? It could happen!

May 1st 2021 at 05:58

It will take a couple of victories from both sides over some formidable opposition, but Kaizer Chiefs could face Mamelodi Sundowns in an all-South African CAF Champions League final!

READ | GAVIN HUNT COMMENTS ON KAIZER CHIEFS’ CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW

The two Mzansi teams were drawn on opposite sides of the draw on Friday.

Kaizer Chiefs would’ve been happy enough with their quarter-final opponents Simba SC.

Amakhosi will host the first leg on 14-15 May and will look to take a handy lead into the second leg a week later in Tanzania.

Should Gavin Hunt’s men emerged victorious, they will take on either MC Alger or Wydad Athletic Club in the semi-finals.

READ | ORLANDO PIRATES’ WORST FEARS REALISED IN CAF CONFEDERATION CUP LAST 8 DRAW

Meanwhile, Mamelodi Sundowns face a blockbuster last 8 tie against former coach Pitso Mosimane’s new side, Egypt’s Al Ahly.

Al Ahly have blown hot and cold in recent weeks and if the Brazilians can pick up a goal – or more – in the opening leg in Cairo, they will fancy their chances of progressing to the semi-finals after the second leg in Pretoria.

MUST READ | MAMELODI SUNDOWNS DRAW PITSO MOSIMANE’S AL AHLY IN CAF CL QUARTER-FINALS!

Should that be the case, in the last 4 Masandawana will take on either CR Belouizdad or Esperance de Tunis in what looks on paper like a winnable match.

Mamelodi Sundowns won the title back in 2016, while Kaizer Chiefs have never reached the quarter-finals in their history, let alone the final.

The final is scheduled for Saturday, 17 July.

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Sharks have a former US President in their corner for Stormers match!

May 1st 2021 at 05:19

The Sharks will be able to count on the support of none other than former US President Bill Clinton in their Rainbow Cup match against the Stormers on Saturday, 1 May.

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Thanks to their recent takeover by the Jay-Z founded Roc Nation, the Sharks’ brand awareness has sky-rocketed with support for the team having gone global.

Top basketballers, footballers, musicians – and even the 42nd President of the United States – are all in Camp Sharks.

Kick-off at the Cape Town Stadium is at 14:00.

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Next level support for #OurSharks from around the globe 🦈🔥#OurSharksForever #RainbowCupSA #STOvSHA #RocNation pic.twitter.com/jRo8dEM492

— The Sharks (@TheSharksZA) May 1, 2021

Gavin Hunt comments on Kaizer Chiefs’ CAF Champions League draw

May 1st 2021 at 04:54

Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt learnt of his team’s CAF Champions League quarter-final draw en route to Bloemfontein.

READ | ORLANDO PIRATES’ WORST FEARS REALISED IN CAF CONFEDERATION CUP LAST 8 DRAW

Amakhosi were drawn to face Tanzanian side Simba SC in the last 8 at Friday’s much-anticipated draw in Cairo.

Gavin Hunt was quick to point out that Simba SC would provide a stern test for Kaizer Chiefs, saying: “Any team you draw now is a tough draw. Simba had a good group stage, they beat Al Ahly. They are certainly a side we can’t take lightly. It will be a very tough game either way and we will just concentrate on our next game and we will take it from there.”

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Kaizer Chiefs will host Simba SC in the first leg on 14-15 May followed by the second leg a week later in Tanzania (21-22 May).

The winner of the tie will face either MC Alger or Wydad Athletic Club in the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, Kaizer Chiefs will next be in action on Saturday, 1 May in a DStv Premiership match against Bloemfontein Celtic at 15:00.

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Kaizer Chiefs v Bloemfontein Celtic preview: Amakhosi gunning for 3 points

May 1st 2021 at 04:40

Kaizer Chiefs will be gunning for all three points from their DStv Premiership clash with Bloemfontein Celtic on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 15:00.

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Buoyed by their CAF Champions League quarter-final qualification, it took two games for the Glamour Boys to display their full potential in a 2-1 defeat of Mamelodi Sundowns after drawing with Baroka FC and losing to Cape Town City.

But a 1-0 loss to Chippa United knocked Gavin Hunt’s side back down to earth, leaving them in ninth place on 28 points with six games of the season left to play.

MUST READ | MAMELODI SUNDOWNS DRAW PITSO MOSIMANE’S AL AHLY IN CAF CL QUARTER-FINALS!

Bloemfontein Celtic, meanwhile, are three places and just two points worse off in 12 position, having recorded just one win in five, over TS Galaxy in April before three successive 1-1 draws and a 1-0 defeat to Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila last time out.

Ahead of the game, Bloemfontein Celtic defender Justice Chabalala said on SuperSport: “We are looking forward to the match because we lost our previous game which was against Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila. So, this game is very important for us.

“We will give our all against Kaizer Chiefs. Plus this one is at home. So, we have to do everything possible to get the maximum points at home.”

READ | ORLANDO PIRATES’ WORST FEARS REALISED IN CAF CONFEDERATION CUP LAST 8 DRAW

Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Nkosingiphile Ngcobo added: “I came back in our game against Chippa United, but things didn’t go our way – we lost the game. But we should have scored a few goals in the first 30 minutes, but we didn’t.

“So now we just have to focus on our next game which is against Bloemfontein Celtic. It won’t be easy, but we are prepared and we are going to make sure that we go there and get maximum points.”

Jose Mourinho in no rush to return to football following Tottenham sacking

May 1st 2021 at 04:25

Jose Mourinho insisted he will “wait to be back in football” after being sacked by Tottenham on April 19.

READ | ORLANDO PIRATES’ WORST FEARS REALISED IN CAF CONFEDERATION CUP LAST 8 DRAW

The 58-year-old lost his job following a disappointing second half of the season where Spurs dropped from the top of the Premier League to outside the European places.

Jose Mourinho left the north London club just six days before their Carabao Cup final at Wembley, which Manchester City won 1-0.

MUST READ | MAMELODI SUNDOWNS DRAW PITSO MOSIMANE’S AL AHLY IN CAF CL QUARTER-FINALS!

“I have no plans,” Jose Mourinho told the Times Magazine.

“I am going on with my normal life. I feel fresh. I feel calm. I am on holiday.

“I have more time to be doing my homework and analysis. I’ll wait to be back in football.

“Not just for the right club, but for the right culture. Maybe next season is premature, we will see.”

READ | BAFANA BAFANA COACH NEWS: DEAL STRUCK, ANNOUNCEMENT NEXT WEEK

Kaizer Chiefs could soon have a Hungarian striker on their books

May 1st 2021 at 02:59

Kaizer Chiefs could soon have a Hungarian striker on their books.

READ | ORLANDO PIRATES’ WORST FEARS REALISED IN CAF CONFEDERATION CUP LAST 8 DRAW

According to Kickoff, 26-year-old Filip Holender, who is is currently on loan at Partizan Belgrade in Serbia from Swiss club FC Lugano, could be making his way to Naturena as soon as Kaizer Chiefs’ FIFA transfer ban ends.

Holender has scored eight league goals in 21 matches in the Serbian SuperLiga this season.

He has also played 14 matches for his country, scoring a single goal.

Following the success of Serbian forward Samir Nurkovic has enjoyed in his first year at Kaizer Chiefs, more and more players from Central and Eastern Europe have become targets of PSL clubs.

MUST READ | MAMELODI SUNDOWNS DRAW PITSO MOSIMANE’S AL AHLY IN CAF CL QUARTER-FINALS!

Should he put pen to paper, the Soweto giants would need to offload another foreign player to balance the number of non-South Africans at the club.

The man most likely to make way is reportedly Zambian forward Lazarous Kambole.

READ | BAFANA BAFANA COACH NEWS: DEAL STRUCK, ANNOUNCEMENT NEXT WEEK

Pitso Mosimane in fiery press conference after latest Al Ahly setback

May 1st 2021 at 02:45

Pitso Mosimane has reacted angrily to some of the questions posed in the post-match press conference following Al Ahly’s draw with El Gouna on Friday, 30 April.

READ | ORLANDO PIRATES’ WORST FEARS REALISED IN CAF CONFEDERATION CUP LAST 8 DRAW

After a poor performance and a waste of the possession advantage they enjoyed in the first half, the substitutions Mosimane made at half-time bore fruit when Taher Mohamed’s stunner gave them the lead after 57 minutes.

However, his goal wasn’t enough as a late header from former Al Ahly star Mohamed Naguib ensured the spoils were shared.

The draw with El Gouna was the fourth for Al Ahly this season with the setback keeping the defending champions in second place in the league table with 37 points and two games in hand over log leaders Zamalek on 40 points.

MUST READ | MAMELODI SUNDOWNS DRAW PITSO MOSIMANE’S AL AHLY IN CAF CL QUARTER-FINALS!

According to the KingFut website, Pitso Mosimane started the press conference following the match by saying: “We lost two new points.

“Among the matches we played recently, this match was by far our lowest performance. We did not perform with the intensity required for a match like that.

“The first half was like training. We possessed the ball. We did not try to score. We were supposed to go forward and try to score goals, and in the second half we tried.

“Against Zamalek, we did not give them a chance to play, today we gave El Gouna the chance.

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“I cannot talk about fatigue because we made substitutions. Four new players participated in the match.

“But with the participation of the fatigued players, the intensity of our performance increased.

“I do not make excuses, the match today was like training, it was not like a match, we tied and we were punished.”

Regarding the accusation of retreating into a defensive mode, Pitso Mosimane angrily replied: “I have involved Salah Mohsen and Afsha. Are these defensive substitutions? The only defensive substitution was Mohamed Hany.

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When asked about resting Afsha and Amr El-Sulya, he replied: “Some will ask why I rested this player or that player, but I rested them because they feel very tired and I have given the opportunity to other players such as Kahraba and Nasser Maher.”

“Any technical failure, I bear, and we were supposed to end the match in the first half, but we did not do it,” he added.

Al Ahly will next be in action away to 11th-placed Ghazi El Mahalla on Monday, 3 May at 21:30 SA time.

Al Ahly’s title push dented with Egypt Premier League stalemate

May 1st 2021 at 02:34

Pitso Mosimane’s Al Ahly failed to move within a point of Egyptian Premier League leaders Zamalek after playing out to a 1-1 draw against El Gouna on Friday.

READ | BAFANA BAFANA COACH NEWS: DEAL STRUCK, ANNOUNCEMENT NEXT WEEK

Al Ahly started the match four points behind log leaders Zamalek and began the clash in fine form.

However they weren’t able to find an opener despite enjoying the vast majority of possession.

The match was deadlocked at 0-0 at half-time.

MUST READ | MAMELODI SUNDOWNS DRAW PITSO MOSIMANE’S AL AHLY IN CAF CL QUARTER-FINALS!

However, Al Ahly’s substitutions and fresh legs helped fashion the first goal after 57 minutes when Taher Mohamed scored the opener from a ball by Akram Tawfik.

Al Ahly were made to pay for squandering several opportunities with just four minutes to go when Mohamed Nagieb headed home the equaliser to deny Pitso Mosimane’s men the full three points.

READ | ORLANDO PIRATES’ WORST FEARS REALISED IN CAF CONFEDERATION CUP LAST 8 DRAW

Al Ahly now trail Zamalek by three points, but do have two matches in hand.

Al Ahly will next be in action away to 11th-placed Ghazi El Mahalla on Monday, 3 May at 21:30 SA time.

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Lewis Hamilton takes to Instagram to confirm social media boycott protest

April 30th 2021 at 13:59

World champion Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in second practice for the Portuguese Grand Prix on Friday before heading off the social media grid to protest online abuse.

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The British driver clocked 1:19.837 in the Mercedes to edge out Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on 1:19.980 with Valtteri Bottas, in the second Mercedes, in third on 1:20.181.

Bottas had set the fastest time in the morning session with 1:19.648.

The afternoon session at Portimao was delayed by 10 minutes to fix a faulty manhole cover before Hamilton set the pace, topping practice for the first time this season.

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Seven-time world champion Hamilton leads the season standings by one point from Verstappen after he won the opener in Bahrain before his Dutch rival hit back in the Emilia Romagna GP at Imola.

Hamilton, meanwhile, said he was joining the weekend-long social media blackout featuring a host of international sports bodies as well as individuals in a protest over online abuse.

“While a boycott might not solve this issue overnight, we have to call for change when needed even when it seems like an impossible task,” Hamilton wrote on Instagram where he has 22 million followers.

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As he looked ahead to the weekend on the track, Hamilton predicted another tense tussle with Red Bull.

“We look very close, I think it will be tight,” he said.

“I don’t know how Max’s lap went, but mine wasn’t perfect. The car can be even faster and there are improvements possible.”

READ | LEWIS HAMILTON WELCOMES GEORGE FLOYD MURDER VERDICT

A third practice session takes place on Saturday at 11:00 GMT before a 14:00 GMT start for qualifying.

Verstappen, who was also second fastest in the morning, insisted there was little to separate Red Bull and Mercedes.

However, he was wary of the track conditions.

“The conditions are very similar to last year and the tarmac is super slippery,” said Verstappen.

“It seems tight with Mercedes this weekend again and the car felt alright but we still have some work to do ahead of tomorrow, that’s for sure.”

Second practice session times:

Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) 1:19.837 (33 laps), Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull-Honda) 1:19.980 (26), Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Mercedes) 1:20.181 (28), Carlos Sainz (ESP/Ferrari) 1:20.197 (33), Fernando Alonso (ESP/Alpine-Renault) 1:20.220 (32), Esteban Ocon (FRA/Alpine-Renault) 1:20.235 (31), Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari) 1:20.360 (33), Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/McLaren-Mercedes) 1:20.418 (31), Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1:20.427 (31), Sergio Pérez (MEX/Red Bull-Honda) 1:20.516 (28), Pierre Gasly (FRA/AlphaTauri-Honda) 1:20.558 (34), Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes) 1:20.757 (28), George Russell (GBR/Williams-Mercedes) 1:20.976 (32), Yuki Tsunoda (JPN/AlphaTauri-Honda) 1:21.053 (33), Sebastian Vettel (GER/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1:21.074 (32), Kimi Räikkönen (FIN/Alfa Romeo-Ferrari) 1:21.225 (22), Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA/Alfa Romeo-Ferrari) 1:21.238 (32), Mick Schumacher (GER/Haas-Ferrari) 1:21.537 (29), Nicholas Latifi (CAN/Williams-Mercedes) 1:21.855 (31), Nikita Mazepin (RUS/Haas-Ferrari) 1:22.638 (28)

Swallows in stalemate for a staggering 16th time v Maritzburg United

April 30th 2021 at 13:44

Swallows FC recorded their 13th 1-1 draw of the season against Maritzburg United after Sifiso Hlanti’s strike cancelled out Travis Graham’s opener at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday.

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With four minutes gone Swallows centre-back Njabulo Ngcobo miscontrolled the ball allowing Bongokuhle Hlongwane to pounce and feed in Thabiso Kutumela on the left and he cut back inside before curling a decent effort narrowly over the bar.

In the 20th minute, Givemore Khupe was shown a yellow card for a foul on Hlongwane on the edge of the box however Kutumela’s free-kick lacked the direction. Soon after, Maritzburg midfielder Daylon Claasen’s flick-on found Hlongwane, who struck from range but it went wide of the left-hand upright.

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Hlongwane and Kutumela combined again as the former played in the latter down the left and he squared the ball back into the box to Claasen, who scuffed his shot and it fell into the path of Hlongwane, whose left-footed effort on the turn was straight at Swallows shot-stopper Virgil Vries.

Maritzburg took the lead in the 49th minute. Graham intercepted a sloppy pass from Swallows central defender Wandisile Letlabika and some neat one-touch football saw the ball returned to Graham and he struck a fierce shot into the corner from a tight angle on the right-hand side of the box from close-range.

READ | ORLANDO PIRATES’ WORST FEARS REALISED IN CAF CONFEDERATION CUP LAST 8 DRAW

The Birds equalised 10 minutes later. Musa Nyatama released Zaphaniah Mbokoma down the right and he delivered into the box to Hlanti, who side-footed the ball as it came across him into the bottom left corner for a superb finish.

The Team of Choice had a good opportunity to double the lead soon after. Bandile Shandu played an excellent one-two with Hlongwane and surged into the box but his effort missed slightly to the left.

In the 73rd minute, Dan Morgan raced around Ngcobo and fed in Kutumela and his shot was saved in the bottom right corner.

The last clear-cut chance of the encounter fell to the Team of Choice. The ball was delivered into the box and centre-back Clayton Daniels rose highest but it went over the bar as the sides had to settle for the share of the spoils.

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Bafana Bafana coach latest | Deal struck, announcement ‘next week’

April 30th 2021 at 13:15

The South African Football Association (SAFA) has finalised outstanding matters with the new incoming Bafana Bafana coach and the announcement will be made next week.

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“We have concluded and finalised all the outstanding matters and we will announce the new coach next week,” said SAFA CEO Advocate Tebogo Motlanthe.

“The two parties (SAFA and new coach) have resolved all matters and what remains now is to officially announce him next week,” added Motlanthe.

READ | ORLANDO PIRATES’ WORST FEARS REALISED IN CAF CONFEDERATION CUP LAST 8 DRAW

South Africa are drawn in Group G for the 2022 Soccer World Cup qualifiers, together with Ghana, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe.

Bafana Bafana kick off their World Cup campaign with an away match against Zimbabwe in the first week of June 2021.

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DStv Premiership top goal scorers latest | Updated Top 10 list

May 3rd 2021 at 00:00

We’re now well into the second half of the 2020/21 season’s DStv Premiership and it’s tight at the top – and bottom – of the table.

READ | DOUBLE INJURY SCARE FOR MAMELODI SUNDOWNS AHEAD OF AL AHLY CLASH

There’s also a close battle for the Lesley Manyathela Golden Boot award.

Defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns lead the way from AmaZulu and Golden Arrows, while at the foot of the log Black Leopards face a battle to avoid relegation.

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Meanwhile, SuperSport United’s Bradley Grobler is the man to catch in the leading goal-scorers list.

The Matsatsantsa striker has 13 goals to date and is followed by Swallows FC’s Ruzaigh Gamildien and Thabiso Kutumela (Maritzburg United) on 11.

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LEADING GOAL SCORERS IN THE DSTV PREMIERSHIP SEASON

1. Bradley Grobler (SuperSport United) – 13

T2. Ruzaigh Gamildien (Swallows) – 11

T2. Thabiso Kutumela (Maritzburg United) – 11

4. Peter Shalulile (Mamelodi Sundowns) – 10

T5. Mduduzi Mdantsane (Cape Town City) – 9

T5. Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns) – 9

T7. Fagrie Lakay (Cape Town City) – 8

T7. Lehlohonolo Majoro (AmaZulu) – 8

T7. Sepana Letsoalo (Bloemfontein Celtic) – 8

T7. Luvuyo Memela (AmaZulu) – 8

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