SPORTS DAY: Kolbe cracks the nod for wing on Saturday


SPORTS DAY: Kolbe cracks the nod for wing on Saturday

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Sunday Times sports editor

Kolbe‚ Notshe to start for Boks against Oz in PE
Flying wing Cheslin Kolbe and solid No 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe will start for SA against Australia in their Rugby Championship clash at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday. They are among four changes to the Bok starting lineup that sprung a surprise victory over the All Blacks in Wellington. Kolbe‚ who made his debut against Australia earlier this month‚ replaces Jesse Kriel on the right wing. Kriel has been moved to outside centre and will partner the strong-running Andre Esterhuizen in an adjusted Bok midfield brought about by injuries to Damian de Allende and Lukhanyo Am. Among the forwards‚ there is a rotational switch at loosehead prop with Tendai Mtawarira coming in for Steven Kitshoff‚ who moves to the bench. Marco van Staden enters the match-day squad as a replacement for Francois Louw on the bench and Embrose Papier is second scrumhalf in place of Ross Cronje. Utility back Damian Willemse is also on the bench.
NBA legend Jordan advising US Ryder Cup side
Basketball great Michael Jordan has been passing on his wisdom to help the US Ryder Cup side in their bid to win the trophy on European soil for the first time in 25 years. The US have turned to avid golf fan Jordan, a six-time NBA champion, for advice on how to deal with vocal home fans ahead of Friday’s opening matches, which will tee off in front of an imposing 6,900-capacity grandstand. “He talked about how he didn’t hear the crowd. It’s kind of the same thing,” said three-time major champion Brooks Koepka. “He couldn’t wait to shut them up, and the second he would go off ... you might hear a few boos, whatever it is, but the quieter they are, you’re kind of laughing inside. You’ve done what you wanted to do, and I thought that was pretty cool.” As a basketball player, Jordan won 13 of the 18 away games he played in NBA Finals. The US Ryder Cup outfit have not won in Europe since 1993 at the Belfry, suffering a miserable run of five straight defeats.
TV blackout danger for Bafana’s Afcon qualifier
The crucial Afcon qualifier between Bafana Bafana and Seychelles at FNB Stadium on October 13 is in danger of public television blackout as the SABC and Safa are yet to agree on a broadcast deal for that match. A last-minute deal was struck between the SABC and Safa earlier this month to televise the Afcon qualifier between Bafana and Libya at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban‚ and it remains to be seen if the parties will again come to an agreement. The contract between Safa and the SABC has expired and a new deal is yet to be agreed upon. At the centre of the dispute is an amount believed to be in the region of R50-million that the football body is claiming that the public broadcaster still owes them from the previous agreement.
‘City have improved from last year’s final’
Cape Town City are a better team now than the one SuperSport United beat in last year’s MTN8 final‚ Matsantsantsa coach Kaitano Tembo said ahead of Saturday’s decider at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. SuperSport and City meet again in the final of the MTN8 (kickoff 7pm) in a replay of 2018’s last match. Matsantsantsa won 4-2 on penalties last year‚ also in Durban‚ after a 1-1 draw by the end of extra time. “It’s always hard to prepare against Cape Town City. City have improved from last year’s final. I think [City coach] Benni McCarthy has done a wonderful job. They are a good team now,” said Tembo.
No MTN8 final chance for Rantie
There is almost no chance that Tokelo Rantie will emerge as a surprise package for Cape Town City in Saturday’s MTN8 final as his intensive training preparations hit a snag this week. The former Bafana Bafana striker has been handed a career lifeline by City coach Benni McCarthy and been working hard in his bid to get fit again and make a return to professional football for the first time in almost a year since he walked out on his club in Turkey. There were even suggestions that McCarthy might surprise opponents SuperSport United with the inclusion of the nuggety forward in his starting line-up for the final at Moses Mabhida Stadium (kickoff 7pm). But that idea is now a non-starter after Rantie pulled a hamstring in training this week. 
Germany beat Turkey for right to host Euro 2024
Germany on Thursday won the race 12-4 to host the 2024 European Championship as Uefa backed a bid seen as safer than a rival proposal from Turkey. Politics, national unity and respect for human rights in Turkey emerged as key themes in the campaign to host Europe’s premier international football event. Germany hosted the World Cup in 2006, but has never staged the Euro as a unified country; West Germany hosted the competition in 1988. 
‘Wanderers facilities are dodgy’ says Dale Steyn
The Proteas’ premier fast bowler Dale Steyn has labelled the Wanderers Stadium facilities as “dodgy”. The 35-year old Steyn‚ who is expected to make his first ODI appearance for the Proteas since October 2016 against Zimbabwe on Sunday in Kimberley‚ hit captain Faf du Plessis on the hand with a ball at a practice session on Thursday. “These nets are just a bit dodgy‚” he said after training. “I hope that Faf is okay – I don’t think there is serious damage.” Du Plessis‚ Hashim Amla‚ Quinton de Kock‚ David Miller have been left out of the squad to face Zimbabwe in the three-match ODI series as coach Ottis Gibson wants to have a another look at Reeza Hendricks‚ Christiaan Jonker‚ Heinrich Klaasen‚ Khaya Zondo and Dean Elgar.
Determined Murray eyes return to glory
There were flashes of the glory days for Britain’s former world number one Andy Murray on Thursday as he dumped top seed David Goffin of Belgium out of the ATP Shenzhen Open 6-3, 6-4 in round-of-16 action. The 31-year-old dug deep when it mattered, like the Murray of old, brushing off 70% of break points faced and firing down 15 aces against a player ranked 11th in the world. 
Vettel shrugs off mind games in title pursuit
Sebastian Vettel has rejected the idea of using a sports psychologist to help him in his title fight with Lewis Hamilton and said on Thursday that he and Ferrari plan an unchanged approach. The four-time world champion German lies 40 points adrift of Mercedes’ Hamilton ahead of this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix after being swept aside by the dominant Briton in Italy and Singapore. But, he said, he and his team will not give up. “I think we have a fair chance. We had races in the past that we should have won and we didn’t. And we had others that we won (when) we shouldn’t have. You never know what happens, but anything is possible.”
- Reuters, AFP, TimesLive

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