SPORTS DAY: Be afraid, Crusaders, here comes Aphiwe
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Dyantyi and Brink fit for Super rugby final
The Lions received a huge boost with the news that wing Aphiwe Dyantyi and flank Cyle Brink were declared fit to tour with the team for next Saturday’s Super Rugby final in Christchurch. Dyantyi tweaked his hamstring on his way to one of the tries of the season during last weekend’s 44-26 semifinal win over the Waratahs at Ellis Park and didn’t appear after halftime. But after scans‚ he has been declared fit and should start against the Crusaders in the final. Brink missed the semifinal after sustaining a “stinger” when making a tackle in the quarterfinal against the Jaguares two weeks ago. But after 10 days of rehab and rest‚ he is also ready to take his place in the biggest game of the season.
Ball-tampering a ‘cry for help’ in unbalanced sport
Paceman Dale Steyn believes this year’s Australian ball-tampering scandal could be a “cry for help” because the balance between bat and ball has become so skewed in favour of the batsmen. “We need to do something,” said Steyn. “There’s so much in favour of batsmen these days. Fields are small, two new balls, powerplays, bats have got bigger than they used to be, the list can go on. “You bowl a ‘no ball’ and it’s a free hit. But I have never seen a rule change that favours the bowler.” Steyn, who is tied on 421 wickets with Shaun Pollock as South Africa’s highest wicket-taker in Tests, felt the desperation to get the ball to swing was forcing cricketers to flirt with regulations.
Mphahlele all smiles about former Downs playersRamahlwe Mphahlele had a mischievous twinkle in his eye on Monday as the Kaizer Chiefs defender considered the number of former Mamelodi Sundowns players who have crossed over to the Naturena-based side in recent months. Mphahlele‚ who himself joined Chiefs from Sundowns in a sensational transfer in June 2016‚ quipped that contrary to popular belief he played no part in convincing former Brazilians Khama Billiat and Leonardo Castro to join AmaKhosi. ‘‘Sundowns fans think that I’m the one who is fetching them (Downs players) from Chloorkop‚” he said. ‘‘Guys it is not me‚ it is football. Players move when they feel they want to move and it is good for football.”
Neymar blames behaviour on his inner child
Neymar has tackled critics who derided his play-acting at the World Cup, admitting he “overreacts”. The Brazilian superstar was lambasted in Russia for his theatrical reactions to challenges which often left the world’s most expensive footballer wincing and rolling on the ground. “Boot studs on the shins, kick in the spine, stomp on the foot, you may think I overreact, and sometimes I do, but for real? When I act like a brat, it isn’t because I’m a spoiled child, but because I still haven’t learned to deal with my frustrations.”
Chiefs unsure if Solinas will be on the bench
Kaizer Chiefs remain unsure if they will have Italian coach Giovanni Solinas on the bench for Saturday’s high-profile Absa Premiership opener against Mamelodi Sundowns but maintain his absence from the dugout has not been disruptive to their preseason plans. Solinas has yet to receive his permit that would allow him to officially start work as Chiefs coach‚ but the club are hopeful that he will get the required documentation by the weekend.
No beach for Hamilton as he plans to turn heat upChampionship leader Lewis Hamilton has no intention of lazing on a beach as Formula One takes its annual European summer break following his resounding triumph in Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix. Instead, he plans to fine-tune his physical and mental fitness in readiness to turn up the heat in his closely-fought title duel with Sebastian Vettel next month. The defending champion, who opened up a 24-point lead over his fellow four-time title-holder by winning Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix for a record sixth time, said he wants to come back stronger and ready to apply more pressure. After his epic success in the rain in Germany, where he won from 14th on the grid, his Hungarian victory was another blow to Vettel, and Ferrari, after two race weekends they may prefer to forget.
DeChambeau apologises after European Open
US golfer Bryson DeChambeau has apologised after being rebuked for his behaviour at the end of European Open in Germany on Sunday. DeChambeau threw away any chance of victory with an error-strewn meltdown as he played the final four holes in five over par, including a triple bogey at the last on the Green Eagle course in Hamburg. He exchanged only the briefest of handshakes with the winner, journeyman Richard McEvoy, before striding rapidly off the green to sign his card. It did not take long for DeChambeau to realise it had not been his finest moment. “I apologise to Richard McEvoy and the fans for my brevity on 18,” world number 23 wrote on Instagram.
Murray feels like he’s starting from scratch
Former world number one Andy Murray feels in some ways like he will be starting his career all over again when he makes his return to hardcourt tennis in Washington this week. The tournament will be Murray’s third since hip surgery in January and mark his return to the hard courts for the first time since March 2017 at Indian Wells. “It sort of feels like I am starting from scratch again. I haven’t been in that position since I was kind of 18 so I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be hard but it should be fun.”
- AFP, Reuters and TimesLIVE