SPORTS DAY: Chiefs manager plays down coach ‘negativity’
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Motaung brushes off Middendorp criticism
Kaizer Chiefs football manager Bobby Motaung has brushed off the sharp criticism that greeted the club’s decision to reappoint coach Ernst Middendorp. The German’s unexpected return to the coaching seat he unceremoniously vacated in March 2007 sent social media into meltdown on Friday, but Motaung insisted there would have been some negativity even if they had appointed José Mourinho or Sir Alex Ferguson. ‘‘I always (prefer) to focus on the positives‚” he said. ‘‘If it was not going to be negative‚ we would not be alive and we would not be running this business. We expect negativity and this puts us properly in line with what we want to achieve.”
How Oosthuizen exorcised ghosts at SA Open
Louis Oosthuizen exorcised a few ghosts with his maiden win at the SA Open on Sunday. His final-round misadventure at last month’s Nedbank Golf Challenge‚ as well as his last appearance at this course‚ left him with haunting memories. At Sun City last month he looked set to put a difficult year behind him‚ but England’s Lee Westwood shot a miraculous eight-under final round to win the tournament. “I played really well there‚” said Oosthuizen. “I did everything to win but was outplayed by a brilliant last round by Lee and that hurt. You could see my last hole there when everything was drained out if me‚” said Oosthuizen about his errant drive and botched recovery shot that almost hit him. “I was not happy with the result. I made sure this week I was focused.”
Extra Bok Test in 2019 confirmed
SA Rugby confirmed on Monday the Springboks will have two home Tests in 2019 instead of the scheduled one. An extra Test against Argentina‚ to be played at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on August 10, was added‚ to take the Springboks pre-World Cup tally to four Tests. The Rugby Championship has been cut short because of the World Cup. As a result the Boks will play three matches‚ two away against New Zealand and Argentina and one at home against Australia. The Wallabies will meet the Boks at Ellis Park while the Boks will play the All Blacks in Wellington‚ scene of their famous 36-34 victory this year‚ which is also a precursor to their World Cup clash in Yokohama on September 21 2019. The Boks’ third Rugby Championship match is away to the Pumas at a venue still to be decided. The second clash against Argentina falls outside the Rugby Championship. CRICKET
Go big or go home‚ Inzi tells Pakistan’s players
Inzamam-ul-Haq wasn’t to be messed with as a player‚ and nothing’s changed now that he is Pakistan’s selection boss. “All the players have to realise their responsibilities and perform their roles in the team otherwise they will go home now and there will be changes in the team‚” he said in Lahore at the weekend. In short‚ go big or go home. Inzamam spoke in the wake of Pakistan’s 2-1 Test series defeat by New Zealand in the Emirates‚ where they were dismissed for fewer than 200 twice and reached 400 just once. And that despite the fact that six of the nine 50s in a series that featured no centuries – but four efforts of at least 80 – were scored by Pakistanis. That cut no ice with Inzamam: “Players are not selected for Pakistan to not cope with pressure. This is their job as professionals.” Pakistan beging their Test series in SA in Centurion on December 26.
‘India were too good’: Legends toast rare Oz win
Indian cricket legends including VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar hailed the current Test team on Monday after they ended a 10-year victory drought in Australia with a thrilling win in Adelaide. Virat Kohli’s team won by 31 runs on day five, prompting praise and celebrations as India clinched only their sixth victory in 71 years of tours to Australia. “Amazing grit displayed by the Australian lower order, but this is a moment to savour for a long time for Team India,” Laxman tweeted. “The bowlers gave it everything and let’s just enjoy this and carry the momentum into the Perth Test,” he added. RUGBY
Blitzboks happy with Cape Town showing
Despite finishing third at their home tournament in Cape Town‚ the second stop on the 2018/19 HSBC World Series‚ there was an air of satisfaction about the Blitzbok camp. The Blitzboks lost 17-12 to Fiji in the semifinals but rallied to beat New Zealand 10-5 in the bronze-medal match to close some ground on the overall standings. It was an improvement on the previous week’s sixth place in Dubai but SA still lost two matches – Fiji in the semi and their final pool match against New Zealand. Fiji went on to win the Cape Town leg with a 29-16 victory over the US in the final‚ but the Americans head the overall World Series standings after making the final in Dubai and Cape Town.
Australia to decide on Cheika future by Christmas
A decision on the future of Wallabies coach Michael Cheika should be “wrapped up” by Christmas after he presented his end-of-year review at a Rugby Australia (RA) board meeting on Monday, said chairman Cameron Clyne. The 51-year-old Cheika’s future was clouded after a tumultuous year for the Wallabies, who won just four of 13 Tests and showed little sign of improvement a year out from the World Cup. Pundits and fans had expected the coach to be sacked following the meeting, with RA chief executive Raelene Castle stating before their end-of-season tour that they expected the side to win all three games in Europe. They managed to achieve just one, a 26-7 victory against a limited Italian side in Padova, to cap a year when they lost a home series to Ireland, were swept 3-0 by the All Blacks and won just two games in the Rugby Championship.
Lee to seek cancer all-clear before training again
Malaysian badminton great Lee Chong Wei is to seek the all-clear from his doctors in Taiwan after treatment for nose cancer, and probably won’t be back on the courts until next month, reports said on Monday. Despite earlier comments from Malaysia’s badminton chief that Lee’s return to the training courts was imminent, the 36-year-old said he still needed the green light from his specialists. The three-time Olympic silver-medallist has spent nearly five months on the sidelines after being diagnosed with early-stage nose cancer and undergoing proton therapy and chemotherapy in Taiwan. The former long-time world No 1 also cast doubt on whether he will make good on his plan to make a competitive comeback at the All England Open in March: “My target is the All England, but I can’t really be sure I will come back by then.”
PFA backs Sterling after alleged racist abuse
The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) said on Monday it stood “shoulder to shoulder” with Raheem Sterling after the Manchester City player suffered alleged racial abuse during his side’s defeat against Chelsea. Chelsea and the police are investigating the incident at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, which was highlighted on social media. In an Instagram post on Sunday, Sterling accused British newspapers of helping to “fuel racism” with the way they portray young black footballers. Simone Pound, PFA head of equality and diversity, said: “Football is a microcosm of society and incidents such as this highlight the current political climate. Raheem has made a stand by speaking out and we stand shoulder to shoulder with him against the discrimination of which he speaks.”
– AFP, Reuters and TimesLIVE