SPORTS DAY: Rassie prunes six from squad for Pumas trip
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Rassie trims squad by six
Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus trimmed six players from his squad for this week’s tour to Argentina to play the Pumas in round two of the 2018 Rugby Championship. Lock Marvin Orie‚ and loose forwards Jean-Luc du Preez and Sikhumbuzo Notshe‚ scrumhalf Ross Cronje‚ centre Jesse Kriel and wing Lwazi Mvovo will stay behind. Only Orie featured in the squad against Argentina last Saturday‚ but failed to take the field to add to his one cap earned against Wales in Washington earlier in the season. “We’re expecting a massive onslaught next week‚ and it will be a very different kind of challenge. I expect there will be four or five changes to our side‚” Erasmus said after the win in Durban.
‘Boks are the most physical team in the world’
Pumas coach Mario Ledesma called the Springboks the most physical team in the world following his team’s 34-21 defeat in their opening Rugby Championship Test on Saturday. “They are the most physical team in the world‚ by far. We knew what was coming and we couldn’t handle some of that stuff‚” said Ledesma. But his South African counterpart, Rassie Erasmus, was not taking too much from the compliment, calling the All Blacks the pacesetters. “We are all chasing them‚” Erasmus said of their 38-13 win over the Wallabies in Sydney. “It is just unbelievable.”
Benni set to use Modise against DownsBenni McCarthy has hinted that he could select veteran Teko Modise against Mamelodi Sundowns when the teams clash in the MTN8 semifinal first leg at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday. The 35-year-old has not featured for City since the opening game of the season and was an unused substitute in Saturday’s 0-0 home draw with Lamontville Golden Arrows. “We will look how we can mix things up and get Teko back in there‚” McCarthy said‚ adding that he was not saving Modise for Saturday’s semifinal.
Luc could be in a spot of bother
Controversial Free State Stars coach Luc Eymael is set to incur the wrath of the Premier Soccer League’s Disciplinary Committee after he failed to attend the post match press briefing for print journalists after his club’s 2-1 defeat to AmaZulu in Durban on Sunday afternoon. The Belgian was said to have been so frustrated after his side’s second successive defeat away from home in three Absa Premiership matches that he stormed out of the King Zwelithini Stadium immediately after honouring his interview obligations with the television stations.
Ronaldo arrives as Serie A returns in video game
Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival in Italy has boosted the international popularity of Serie A which will return in the Fifa 19 video game to be launched next month, the Lega Serie A confirmed Monday. Lega Serie A chairman Gaetano Micciche said they had agreed a partnership with EA Sports that will see the league feature in the new edition of the world’s most famous football simulator.
Nigeria says it recognises Fifa-approved chief
Nigeria acknowledged a FIFA-approved appointee as the sole head of its national soccer federation on Monday, minutes before the world body was due to ban the country from international matches over political interference in filling the post. Fifa had said it would suspend Nigeria at 1100 GMT — thereby excluding the team from next month’s African Nations Cup qualifiers — over alleged state meddling in the running of the Nigerian Football Federation.
Djokovic wins title to complete Masters setNovak Djokovic ended a career-long jinx, lifting the trophy in Cincinnati at last to complete a matched set of Masters 1000 titles. Djokovic, who came up empty in five prior Cincinnati finals, defeated seven-time winner Roger Federer 6-4, 6-4 in the final. The former world number one became the first man to win all nine of the ATP’s Masters 1000 events in the elite series’ current configuration.
Norwegian wins US Amateur Championship
Viktor Hovland of Norway described his week as “flawless” after becoming the first Scandinavian man to win the US Amateur Championship on Sunday. Hovland never trailed en route to a comprehensive 6&5 win over American Devon Bling in the 36-hole title decider at Pebble Beach adjacent to the California coast. The 20-year-old, who plays at Oklahoma State University, entered the championship ranked the number five amateur in the world and trailed for only one hole in his six matches.
Hot air balloons go to battle
The northern Austrian sky was filled with colourful hot air balloons early on Monday morning as the sport’s world championship sailed into view. Around 100 teams from more than 38 countries are taking part in the biennial event, which is being held in Gross-Siegharts near the Czech border. Competitive ballooning test pilots’ skills in distance, speed and navigational precision.
The US sport coming to a beach near you
For a game still in its infancy Spikeball — a beach sport which looks like the love child of volleyball and tennis — is already making global waves. The rules are simple: each team of two must bounce a ball slightly larger than a tennis ball on a flat trampoline-type net 91cm in diameter — about the size of a hula hoop — without their opponents returning it. Like in volleyball, a side can touch the ball a maximum of three times. Last fall the manufacturer of Spikeball, entrepreneur Chris Ruder, said he sold his millionth net and claims the company, which generated $15m in sales in 2017, has since sold hundreds of thousands more.
Four Japan athletes booted in prostitute scandal
Four Japanese basketball players have been sent home from the Asian Games in disgrace for allegedly paying prostitutes for sex, the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) said on Monday. The players were spotted in a notorious red light district of Jakarta in their national jerseys on Wednesday night, JOC officials told a press conference, saying the quartet had been sent packing immediately.
- AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE