SPORTS DAY: Rabada in trouble but SA come good

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SPORTS DAY: Rabada in trouble but SA come good

Your roundup of the day's sporting news

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CRICKET
Rabada takes centre stage as SA level series
Fast bowler Kagiso Rabada took 11 wickets in the match but may yet turn from hero to villain as South Africa beat Australia by six wickets in the second Test on Monday to level the four-match series. The victory, however, is likely to be overshadowed by a ban for Rabada who was handed a new charge from the International Cricket Council on Monday after already having a disciplinary hearing on Sunday. His presence in the remainder of the series remains under threat with match referee Jeff Crowe due to announce the outcome of a hearing into a level two charge against the seamer for brushing against Steve Smith after dismissing the Australian captain in the first innings. If found guilty, Rabada, who has 15 wickets at an average of 16.80 in the series, will miss the final two games after accumulating eight demerit points to trigger an automatic suspension.
SOCCER
TV pundit sorry for spitting at girl
TV pundit and ex-Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher apologised and admitted he was “totally out of order” after he was caught on camera spitting towards a 14-year-old girl in a moving car. In footage which was widely shown on British media, Carragher is shown winding down the window of his car and spitting at another vehicle following Liverpool’s 2-1 loss to Manchester United on Saturday. Reports said that some of Carragher’s spit hit the face of the girl, who was sitting in the passenger seat. A male voice can be heard saying “Unlucky Jamie lad, 2-1!” before Carragher spits. Carragher, 40, said he had apologised to the family, admitting he “lost (his) rag”.
Greek league suspended after gun controversy
Greece’s top-flight football championship was suspended indefinitely on Monday, a minister said, hours after the owner of the PAOK team invaded the pitch with a gun strapped to his belt. “We have decided to suspend the championship,” deputy minister for sport Yiorgos Vassiliadis told reporters after an emergency meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. “It will not start again without a new framework agreed by all,”  Vassiliadis said, adding that the government was in close contact with European football body Uefa. Police have issued a warrant for the arrest of PAOK owner, Greek-Russian businessman Ivan Savvidis, after he invaded the pitch, accompanied by bodyguards, to confront the referee in protest at a 90th-minute disallowed goal in a top-of-the-table clash against AEK Athens.
RUGBY
Blitzboks cling to lead
Despite their third place finish in Vancouver on Sunday — the sixth legs of the 2017/18 HSBC World Sevens Series — the Blitzboks are still clinging to top of the overall standings.Olympic champions Fiji have closed the gap on South Africa to eight points with four rounds of the series to play after winning in Vancouver‚ but Neil Powell’s team proved their fighting qualities. The Blitzboks were ousted by Fiji 15-12 in the Vancouver semis but rallied to thrash the US — winners in Las Vegas the previous week — 29-7 to take the bronze medal.
Cautious approach on pro women’s league
Rugby powerhouse New Zealand is keen to leverage the success of its all-conquering Black Ferns to create an opportunity for women to make a living from the game but will not rush into the creation of a professional league until due diligence is done. New Zealand players hailed Monday’s announcement of a landmark pay deal for the nation’s top women which will award playing retainers to 30 members of the world champion Black Ferns squad for the first time. Although the deal does little to bridge the huge gender pay gap with the All Blacks, the global titans of the men’s game, it will give the country’s amateur women more hope of carving out a professional career in the rugby-mad country.
O’Driscoll betting on Ireland to seal Grand Slam
Ireland great Brian O’Driscoll is not a betting man but the captain of the last Irish side to win the Six Nations Grand Slam is backing the 2018 version to emulate them. But the 39-year-old former centre — Ireland’s most capped player — admitted it won’t be easy toppling an England side unbeaten at Twickenham since Eddie Jones took over after their 2015 World Cup debacle. “I do think they will beat England,” O’Driscoll said. “I liked the look of them at the start of the year. I am not a punter but I had a small punt on them for the Slam.”
WINTER PARALYMPICS
Watch wheelchair curling, fools
Curling-mad Mr T swung back into action Monday to support his favourite sport — firing off a volley of tweets urging his followers to watch wheelchair curling at the Paralympics. Mr T, who made his name playing big-hearted toughman BA Baracus in 1980s TV hit The A-Team, tweeted about his love of unfashionable curling throughout February’s Winter Olympics. The American retired wrestler is also following this month’s Paralympics in Pyeongchang closely, in particular the version of curling adapted for disabled athletes. “Wheelchair curling! This is my first time ever watching wheelchairs curling!” tweeted the retired wrestler, known for his gold chains and Mohican haircut. “I said it before and I’ll say it again ... curling is cool fool! But wheelchairs curling, more cooler!” Wheelchair curling is similar to curling with one major difference — no sweeping is allowed.GOLF
Woods produces old magic at 17th hole
Tiger Woods fell short of an 80th PGA Tour title on Sunday but still gave adoring fans a thrill late in the final round at the Valspar Championship. With victory apparently out of his grasp, Woods stroked a 43-foot birdie putt that broke perfectly into the middle of the 17th hole and took him to the last with a chance of a playoff. The old-time roar faded, though, and his bid to force eventual winner Paul Casey to extra holes also petered out when his long birdie putt stopped a couple of feet short at the par-four 18th. Still, finishing joint second will further fuel belief that the 14-times major champion is back in business.

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