SPORTS DAY: All Blacks have point to prove, says Du Toit
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
All Blacks will throw everything at us: Du Toit
Defence and physicality are key to the Springbok power game and both elements played their part in the team’s rousing victory over Australia in Port Elizabeth‚ Bok loose forward Pieter-Steph du Toit said. Thanks to his towering display‚ Du Toit was named man of the match after the Boks’ hard-earned 23-12 win over the Wallabies at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. “The Boks pride themselves on their defence‚” Du Toit said. “This is specially true now with the South African team trying to get that physicality back and to put the opposition on the back foot.” The tough-tackling loose forward says the Boks will have to up their game when they play the All Blacks in Pretoria on Saturday. “We are going to have to fix a few things before our home game against New Zealand. We did not play well against Australia. The Boks made a few mistakes in the exit zone and we did not finish off well. “The All Blacks are going to come with everything they have got. We beat them there so they will try and prove a point in Pretoria.”
Unpretty SA beat Zim in first ODI
That SA would win the first one-day international in Kimberley on Sunday was as close to guaranteed as sport gets. Win they duly did‚ though nowhere near as convincing as they should have – by five wickets with a ball short of 24 overs remaining. Having bowled and fielded as if they were determined to ignore the fact that their opponents were a poor excuse for a team‚ they batted as if nothing could possibly derail their victory. They were proved correct‚ though they would surely not take that attitude into a proper contest. The visitors were in danger of being dismissed in the first half of their innings: they were six down inside 22 overs. They were dispatched for 117‚ their lowest total in the 39 ODIs they have played against SA.
Molinari bags Ryder Cup glory for Europe
Francesco Molinari fittingly took the glory as Europe regained the Ryder Cup from the US in dominant style on Sunday, the Italian beating Phil Mickelson on the 16th to post the point needed to reach the magic tally of 14.5. Mickelson conceded the hole after firing his tee shot into the water with Molinari on the green to leave the Italian as the first European to win all five matches in a week, having not won any of his previous six. Europe were effectively already assured victory when he teed off as the Italian, Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia were all dormie and guaranteed at least half a point from their games – with Europe at that stage needing one. “They’ve been amazing; all 12 of them have been unbelievable,” said emotional European captain Thomas Bjorn. “They were so determined. They set out to do a job, so it was easy for me to guide them in that direction. They stood up to it.”
Safa chief loses out on Fifa council bid
South African Football Association president Danny Jordaan lost out on his bid for a seat on the Fifa Council on Sunday‚ beaten by a rogue candidate after a second round of voting at the special Confederation of African football congress in Sharm-El-Sheikh‚ Egypt. Football Association of Malawi president Walter Nyamilandu won the vacant seat for Anglophone African countries on the all-powerful cabinet of world football’s governing body with a majority 35 votes to Jordaan’s 18 in a second round of voting. Jordan had been the preferred candidates of the southern African region but Nyamilandu did not stand down as had been hoped. Instead he became an alternative anti-Jordaan candidate for CAF president Ahmad‚ who has received a significant boost to his own re-election hopes with the victory of his preferred candidate amid speculation that he was beginning to lose support.
Hamilton wins in Russia to extend title race lead
Lewis Hamilton increased his lead in this year’s drivers’ world championship to 50 points when he claimed an accomplished victory, aided by Mercedes team tactics, in Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix. The defending four-time champion, who started second on the grid, was helped again by Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who allowed him to overtake and then defended him from attack by title rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, as he battled to finish second. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who sat next to former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone after a late arrival at the Sochi Autodrom, saw the Briton make the most of Mercedes’ strategy and a thrilling passing move on Vettel in what was an intriguing contest. Vettel finished third in the race and the German saw Hamilton extend his lead over him in the standings. It was Hamilton’s third win in Russia, his fifth in six races and the 70th of his career.
Are Man United, Mourinho nearing end of the road?
Manchester United are a club in crisis and Jose Mourinho is seemingly powerless to prevent a slide into mid-table mediocrity for the 20-time English champions. The Old Trafford hierarchy preened this week after the latest financial results showed the club had earned revenue of more than half a billion pounds for the third year running. But United, who finished a distant second behind Manchester City last season, are going backwards on the pitch, licking their wounds after their worst start to a league campaign for 29 years. Mourinho’s men travelled to the London Stadium on Saturday boasting an enviable record against West Ham but came away chastened after a 3-1 defeat killed off any realistic hopes of a Premier League challenge before the end of September.
‘Worried now’: Halep retires from China Open
World No 1 Simona Halep said she was “worried now” after a persistent back problem forced her out of the China Open after just 31 miserable minutes on Sunday. The Romanian never looked comfortable against Tunisian qualifier Ons Jabeur, losing the opening set of their first-round match 6-1 before calling it quits. Halep, 27, suffered a back injury a week ago in Wuhan and she cut a forlorn figure after it ended her Beijing adventure prematurely. “There is a pain, I couldn’t move properly so that’s why I stopped,” Halep, who suffered a shock early exit from the recent US Open, said. “I don’t know exactly what it is. I will go home, I will have an MRI (scan) and I will see. I’m just worried now, I feel sad that I couldn’t finish.”
Italy prop Panico arrested for ‘drug trafficking’
Italy international rugby player Sami Panico has been arrested for alleged “possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking”, according to Italian press reports on Sunday. Gazzetta Dello Sport reported that Italian police seized 1.5kg of marijuana, 330 grams of hashish and €10,000 in cash stashed in the garden of the 25-year-old’s house at Torvajanica, south of Rome. Prop Panico, 25, plays for Italian club Zebre Rugby and has 10 caps for the Italian national side. According to the police, this sum of money discovered “comes from illegal activities”, writes La Gazzetta. Panico was placed under house arrest pending further proceedings.
Infantino has ‘support of Africa’
African nations would support Gianni Infantino for re-election as Fifa president, head of the continental football federation Ahmad Ahmad said on Sunday. “I feel it is my duty ... to announce this support from Africa,” Ahmad said at a special meeting of the Confederation of African Football Executive Committee, which Infantino attended, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Infantino, a former deputy head of UEFA, was first elected in 2016 to succeed Sepp Blatter, when the scandal that engulfed the governing body of world football was at its height. The next presidential election will be held in Paris in June 2019 and Infantino has said he will stand.
All Blacks show ominous form
New Zealand’s 35-17 win over Argentina on Saturday sealed not only a third consecutive Rugby Championship, and a sixth in seven years, but also gave the world another ominous reminder of their strength in depth a year from the next World Cup. The world champions were missing several regulars in Buenos Aires, particularly in the pack, with Joe Moody, Owen Franks, and captain Kieran Read among those absent and Luke Whitelock replaced by Ardie Savea shortly before kick-off after taking ill. It made little difference as the visitors recovered from a shaky first five minutes to dominate a team who have still to record a win against them in 28 games. “We got better game management,” New Zealand coach Steve Hansen said. “I don’t know if we’re the finished product yet. They are a young team that were out there for large parts of tonight so it was pretty pleasing.”
AFP, Reuters and TimesLIVE