SPORTS DAY: Lions coach Swys snarls at Kiwi media

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SPORTS DAY: Lions coach Swys snarls at Kiwi media

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Sports editor and columnist: Sunday Times

RUGBY
Lions coach Swys de Bruin lashes back at Kiwi media
His guard is usually up when fronting the media. When on Thursday‚ however‚ he was asked about how the Lions’ Super Rugby credentials had been questioned in the New Zealand media‚ Lions coach Swys de Bruin roared to life. The Kiwis had been stridently arguing the Lions have no business being at the‚ well … business end of the competition. “That is their perception. All I can tell you is that we never moan about travelling four weeks. They travel two. It makes a helluva difference. Go look at our results in week three and week four overseas. Just get on with the job‚” he ranted.
CRICKET
‘Fresh energy’ will do SA good in ODIsIf you didn’t know better you might have thought JP Duminy had happened on a calamity before he spoke to reporters in Colombo. “The guys seem in good spirits‚” Duminy said. “You want to try and dust it off as quickly as possible and take out of it what you need to add value to the ODIs and the T20 and see how you can improve. These are the kinds of experiences you go through in your career — it certainly won’t be the last.” In a cricket sense Duminy — along with Junior Dala‚ Reeza Hendricks‚ David Miller‚ Wiaan Mulder and Andile Phehlukwayo — had indeed happened on a calamity. They have travelled to Sri Lanka to join the remnants of a South Africa squad who were hammered 2-0 in the Test series‚ and the visitors might have to count on the new blood to lift them out of their funk.
Vaughan slams ‘ridiculous’ Rashid recall
Michael Vaughan has labelled the controversial recall of Adil Rashid to England’s Test squad as “ridiculous”. Yorkshire leg-spinner Rashid was included in a 13-man party announced on Thursday for next week’s first Test against India at Edgbaston. It was a controversial move given Rashid signed a contract with Yorkshire where he opted out of playing red-ball County Championship cricket this season. Playing in the Championship has long been the traditional pathway to Test selection but Rashid has been recalled on the basis of his recent impressive one-day international performances against Australia and India.
SOCCER
Sundowns face early Champions League exitMamelodi Sundowns must rediscover their form for Friday night’s African Champions League home clash with AS Togo-Port or face the embarrassment of an early exit from the competition they won two years ago. Sundowns have just two points from their opening three games in the pool‚ which include a surprise draw at Guinea side Horoya and a feeble performance in a 1-0 loss to Togo-Port in Lome last time out. Just a single victory in their last seven competitive matches in all competitions paints the picture of a side that has lost its efficiency and failure to get a win on Friday would add to the pressure on coach Pitso Mosimane.
SA close to qualifying for 2019 African U17 Champs
South Africa are a step closer to qualifying for the 2019 African Under-17 Championships and their ultimate goal of the Fifa Under-17 World Cup in Peru next year‚ but face a difficult next hurdle on Friday. Amajimbos face hosts Mauritius in the semifinals of the Cosafa Under-17 Championships and need to lift the trophy if they are to qualify for the continental finals in Tanzania next year. Mauritius beat coach Molefi Ntseki’s side 2-0 at the semifinal stage last year‚ so there will be an element of revenge in the minds of the South Africans.
OLYMPICS
IOC hits back at US anti-doping chief
The International Olympic Committee hit back Thursday at the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after its chief accused the IOC of failing to hold Russia accountable for doping in sports. In a rebuke directed at USADA CEO Travis Tygart, the IOC chastised the US over its struggles in tackling doping in its domestic leagues and for refusing to join the international fight against corruption in sport. Tygart had said that in allowing Russian athletes to take part in the Rio and Pyeongchang Olympic games, the IOC “chose not to stand up for clean athletes and against institutionalised doping”.
MIXED MARTIAL ARTS
McGregor makes plea deal to avoid jail timeIrish mixed martial arts superstar Conor McGregor pleaded guilty in a Brooklyn criminal court on Thursday to disorderly conduct, cutting a deal that allows him to avoid prison time over a New York brawl. The 30-year-old, who is nicknamed “The Notorious”, had been charged with multiple counts of assault and criminal mischief after attacking a bus filled with Ultimate Fighting Championship contenders at the Barclays Center in April. The frenzied attack injured two athletes.
Fan saved by bucket after tile falls off stadium
A Chicago baseball fan attending a game at a historic stadium in the midwestern US city has a plastic bucket to thank for saving him from serious injury. The 19-year-old fan of the city’s Cubs was wearing the bucket on his head on Tuesday at a night game against the visiting Arizona team when a metal tile fell off of the manually operated scoreboard at Wrigley Field. The fan was mostly shielded by the bucket, though he needed five staples to close a gash on his head.  A team spokesman said this was the first known instance of such an accident involving the 81-year-old scoreboard, which is something of a relic at a time when most parks have huge high-definition video scoreboards.
Perez fears Force India’s ‘critical’ financial situation
Sergio Perez on Thursday acknowledged that Force India faces a “critical” financial situation that has forced him to consider his future in Formula One. The popular Mexican driver said the Silverstone-based outfit remains one of his favoured options, but he feels he must consider other offers and hopes to clarify his thinking during Formula One’s upcoming European summer break.
AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE

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