SPORTS DAY: St George’s Park had best work its magic for SA

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SPORTS DAY: St George’s Park had best work its magic for SA

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Journalist


CRICKET
Proteas have no room for mistakes
SA will have added incentive to get one over Sri Lanka when the sides meet in the second Test at St George’s Park on Thursday. The Proteas have never lost a home series against a subcontinent side, having lost only to England and Australia. “We very proud of our record here‚” said skipper Faf du Plessis. “We’ve made sure that we’ve made our home our fortress. We’ve played some excellent cricket for the last two years or so.”
RUGBY
Terry delivers pep talk to England
England’s rugby team got an extra dose of motivation ahead of Saturday’s Six Nations encounter with Wales when they received a pep talk by former soccer captain John Terry. “The players were really engaged by talking to him. He gave some great messages,” said forwards coach Steve Borthwick. “He spoke about the traits in the highly successful teams he has been a part of, which are consistent with the type of thing we talk about: the competitiveness, the drive in training, players taking responsibility.”
Watch the game or have a pint?
When an estimated 400,000 rugby fans descend on Japan later this year for the Rugby World Cup, finding a place to quench their thirst will not be a problem. Finding a bar to watch the game, however, could be. Government figures show that while Tokyo has 217 bars per 100,000 people, the majority are izakayas, informal Japanese-style pubs where customers sit on the floor, at tables or at the bar to eat, drink and chat. Watching live sport at an izakaya is an alien concept.
SOCCER
Chiefs can still win the league, says Maluleka
Kaizer Chiefs midfielder George Maluleka believes the Soweto giants can still challenge for the league title despite being nine points behind with 10 matches to go. “I still think we can do it. It’s going to go down to the last day‚ I think‚ once again‚” the midfielder said. “But we believe we are still there.”
Onyango takes blame
Denis Onyango held up his hand at the end of Mamelodi Sundowns’ draw with Polokwane City and apologised for the goalkeeping clanger which cost his side two vital points in the championship chase. “It was a lapse of concentration. I take the blame because it was not the hardest of balls‚” said the Uganda international. “Look‚ we all make mistakes. I think I’ve struggled since I came back from the knee injury.”
Time for Safa to walk the talk
Fifa have opened the bidding for the 2023 Women’s World Cup‚ which means the SA Football Association almost immediately now have to put words into action. Safa boss Danny Jordaan just two months ago said the country wanted to host the tournament in the wake of Banyana Banyana’s qualification for this year’s finals in France. Pointing to the US and Germany that both hosted the women’s version within five years of the men’s versions, Jordaan said at the time: “SA hosted the 2010 edition and it’s now our time.”
Egypt picks six venues for Nations Cup Egypt has chosen six venues across five cities to host this year’s African Nations Cup finals, local media reported, including the Port Said Stadium where 72 supporters died in the country’s worst violence at a soccer venue in 2012.
TENNIS
Federer to play on clay in Madrid
Roger Federer’s comeback on clay will feature a return to the Madrid Open for the first time since 2015, it was confirmed on Wednesday. For the last two years, the 37-year-old has chosen to skip the clay-court season completely to preserve energy for tournaments on his preferred surfaces of grass and hard. But Federer indicated in January that he would play at the French Open this year while the Madrid Open has announced he will be among those competing at the Caja Magica too.
BOXING
Pacquiao doesn’t want son to box
Philippine boxing legend Manny Pacquiao said he has urged his eldest son to stay out of the ring after the 19-year-old’s forays into fighting made the young man’s mother cry. “It pains me that he is boxing because I know how hard it is. I told him, ‘Daddy only went into boxing because of poverty. You, you don’t need to box’,” Pacquiao said. “But he said: ‘Daddy, like you boxing is my passion also. I want to be a representative of this country as an athlete’.”
GOLF
Stricker named US 2020 Ryder Cup captain
Steve Stricker will captain the US 2020 Ryder Cup team, becoming the first American in the role without a major title to his name, the PGA said on Wednesday. Ireland’s Padraig Harrington was named European captain last month.
MOTOR SPORT
Raikkonen pushes Ferrari off top
Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen produced the fastest lap so far in Formula One’s pre-season testing to push his previous team, Ferrari, off the top of the lunchtime leaderboard on Wednesday. It was the first time since testing started on Monday at the Circuit de Catalunya that Ferrari had not led at the end of a session. The Finn, returning to the Swiss-based team previously known as Sauber, lapped with a best time of one minute 17.762 seconds on the softest, and fastest, C5 tyre compound. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, his team mate last season, was second fastest in 1:18.350.
- AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE

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