SPORTS DAY: Boks far from perfect, says Rassie
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
RUGBY‘There is a lot of work to do’ – Rassie
A thunderous contribution by the Springbok forwards helped set up an opening 34-21 Rugby Championship win over Argentina on Saturday‚ but coach Rassie Erasmus conceded it was far from a complete performance. His team huffed and puffed with some intent in the first half‚ but struggled to break down the resilient Pumas defence. It was only in the second half that their creative force came to the fore. He lamented some technical and tactical errors but was satisfied with “a dominant performance‚ but not a crisp performance”. “With Flo (Francois Louw) not being with us in June‚ Damian (Willemse) making his debut‚ Eben (Etzebeth) returning from injury and Warren (Whiteley) playing with us for the first time‚ I was expecting not fluent display‚” the coach said.
Celtic inflict pain on Pirates
Bloemfontein Celtic delivered a strong first-half performance to beat Orlando Pirates 1-0 in an exciting Absa Premiership clash at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Sunday afternoon. Coach Steve Komphela’s charges breached the Pirates rearguard early in the game thanks to Bongani Sam’s beautifully executed 17th-minute overheard kick. Sam’s strike proved to be enough for Celtic to secure the full three points against a Bucs team who paid the price for a mistake in the back. Pirates should have pulled a goal back in the 72nd minute as a fine free kick delivery to the far post presented Thamsanga Gabuza with what would have been a free header.
Van Zyl in dramatic Pietermaritzburg leg win
Race organisers declared Irvette van Zyl of Nedbank Running Club the winner of the Pietermaritzburg leg of the Spar Grand Prix after initial confusion that was created by some athletes who took the wrong route on Sunday. Van Zyl‚ who took the lead‚ completed her race in a time of 34.26 and was followed by Jenet Mbhele (34.47)‚ Rutendo Nyahora (34.56)‚ Portia Ngwenya (35.16) and Rudo Mhonderwa (35.38). The athletes who were disqualified for taking the wrong route just before the halfway mark were Keso Moletsane‚ Glenrose Xaba‚ Neheng Khatala‚ Mamorallo Tjoka and Lebohang Phalula. They have lost Grand Prix points. The rest of the top 10 athletes who followed the correct route are Patience Murowe (36:16)‚ Nobukhosi Tshuma (36:28)‚ Cornelia Joubert (36:37)‚ Cherise Sims (36:52) and Mokulubete Makatisi (36:59).
Indonesian leader gets lift from motorbike skit
President Joko Widodo found himself flavour of the month on social media on Sunday as Indonesians lapped up his motorbike stunt skit at the Asian Games opening ceremony. A motorbike stuntman posing as Widodo, known as Jokowi, leapt off a ramp and pulled other tricks on Jakarta’s streets before riding into the Gelora Bung Karno stadium and disappearing into the basement. Widodo then walked out of a lift and took his seat in the VIP section, prompting laughter and cheers in the stadium.
SOCCERGuardiola hails hat-trick hero Aguero
Pep Guardiola claimed Sergio Aguero has never been better after the Manchester City striker’s hat-trick inspired a 6-1 rout of Huddersfield on Sunday. Aguero became City’s record goalscorer during their Premier League title-winning campaign last season and the Argentina forward enjoyed another memorable moment at Etihad Stadium on Sunday. The 30-year-old’s latest goal spree took him to nine Premier League trebles in his City career, just behind record holder Alan Shearer’s 11. City manager Guardiola was thrilled by Aguero’s lethal display and admitted his forward is hitting new heights.
Bring on Wilder: Fury ready for title bout
Tyson Fury insists he will be motivated by pride rather than prize money when the controversial British fighter faces Deontay Wilder. Fury will travel to Las Vegas in November to meet WBC heavyweight champion Wilder for the third fight of his comeback. The 30-year-old eased to victory against Francesco Pianeta at Belfast’s Windsor Park on Saturday, setting the stage for the biggest payday of his career in the US. But, Fury says: “I’m not going into this for a pay cheque. I wouldn’t lose for £100m; you can’t pay any amount of money for me to go to Vegas to get sparked out. If I didn’t believe I could win I’d pack up and retire.”
ASIAN GAMESSun Yang completes ‘golden slam’
Chinese giant Sun Yang swept to Asian Games 200m freestyle gold on Sunday to add to his Olympic and world titles – then had his national anthem played twice after a flagpole malfunction. The triple Olympic champion produced a blistering last two laps to clock one minute, 45.43 seconds and successfully launch his quest to win five gold medals in Jakarta. Victory was twice as sweet for Sun, who was stunned by Japan’s Kosuke Hagino at the last Asian Games in 2014 and also took silver behind Korean rival Park Tae-hwan in 2010. The 26-year-old favourite smashed the final, finishing more than a second clear of Japan’s Katsuhiro Matsumoto.
Tanak wins Rally of Germany
Estonian driver Ott Tanak won the Rally of Germany on Sunday as championship leader Thierry Neuville and closest challenger Sebastien Ogier remained locked in the race for the title. Neuville, who started the race with a 21-point lead at the top, finished second in his Hyundai to pick up 19 points while reigning world champion and Ogier was fourth in his Ford Fiesta and collected 17 points, including five as a bonus for winning the final Power Stage. It was Tanak’s third victory of the season after the rallies of Argentina and Finland.
I dropped ball in racism debacle: FA boss
The under-fire president of the German Football Association admitted on Sunday that he should have given Mesut Ozil more support when the midfielder was the target of “racist attacks”. “I should have positioned myself more clearly, given the racist attacks from some corners, and should have put myself in front of Mesut Ozil,” Reinhard Grindel told German daily Bild. “Such attacks are unacceptable. I should have found clear words.” Arsenal midfielder Ozil, 29, announced his shock retirement from international duty last month in the wake of Germany’s World Cup debacle. He complained of facing “racism and disrespect“, due to his Turkish roots, and specifically took aim at Grindel in a three-page statement. After Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan, who also has Turkish family, met Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May, questions were raised about the pair’s loyalty to Germany.
Aussie commentator lashed for ‘golliwog’ call
A veteran Australian rugby broadcaster said on Sunday he regrets describing a Wallabies player as having a “golliwog” haircut during the first Bledisloe Test in Sydney. The word “golliwog” (a black rag doll that became a symbol of racial stereotyping) was once widely used, including for chocolate biscuits manufactured by Arnott’s that were renamed in the 1990s. Gordon Bray was calling the Rugby Championship opener between Australia and New Zealand for commercial broadcaster Channel Ten when he commented on hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau’s haircut. He said he could not recognise the 33-year-old, who is of Tongan heritage, “with that short back and sides”, adding: “What happened to the golliwog haircut?” The TV station said Bray had spoken to Polota-Nau about the incident and “Tatafu has assured Gordon he took no offence to the comments whatsoever”. Bray told the Sydney Morning Herald he used the term “in an affectionate manner” and it was not intended to be offensive.
AFP, Reuters and TimesLIVE