SPORTS DAY: Stormers roll out Trokkies for Jaguares
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Trokkies, Kitshoff return for Stormers
Exciting 21-year-old No 8 Juarno Augustus, known as Trokkies, will make his first Super Rugby start of the year when the Stormers meet the Jaguares at Newlands on Friday. Bok loosehead Steven Kitshoff will also make his first appearance of the campaign after recovering from a hamstring tear. Augustus‚ the 2017 World Junior Player of the Year‚ comes into the starting lineup for Jaco Coetzee.
Rebels want to emulate Lions
He has looked at the Lions admiringly from a distance. Now for the first time as Melbourne Rebels coach‚ Dave Wessels has to get up close and personal when the teams lock horns at Ellis Park on Saturday. “Everything they have achieved is pretty special. We’d like to emulate what they did‚” said the coach about the Lions’ consistency that has carried them to three consecutive finals.
Women’s sevens tournament for Cape Town
After four wildly successful years as SA host of the men’s leg of the HSBC World Sevens Series‚ Cape Town will also host a women’s tournament this year. World Rugby announced a new look men’s and women’s World Rugby Sevens Series for 2019 to 2023 on Wednesday‚ confirming there would be six combined men’s and women’s rounds, including the Cape Town leg.
English TMOs among worst paid: report Television match officials (TMOs) employed by England’s Rugby Football Union (RFU) earn far less than their counterparts in other rugby unions around the world, The Times reported on Wednesday. The RFU has three TMOs working in the men’s Six Nations and pays them a match fee of £500 (R9,500), the report said. Even that figure compares unfavourably with TMOs who work for other unions, with the Irish Rugby Football Union paying its official the equivalent of $1,580 per game and TMOs for Rugby Australia earning more than £1,000 per international game.
Ireland confident of halting Wales
Ireland will show Wales the respect they deserve in their final Six Nations game but believe they can snap their 13-match unbeaten run and deny them a Grand Slam in Cardiff on Saturday, flyhalf Johnny Sexton has said. “I don’t know if Wales feel like they are invincible. They’re saying they have forgotten how to lose and all that,” Sexton said. “We’ve played well against teams that have been on runs before when you talk about England, New Zealand and stopping their runs.”
‘Middendorp’s Chiefs are tough’
SuperSport United coach Kaitano Tembo has said it is difficult to plan for Kaizer Chiefs under Ernst Middendorp because they change their playing style on a regular basis. United host Chiefs in a high-profile Absa Premiership encounter at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Friday night and Tembo said Amakhosi’s ability to adapt to different formations is their strongest point. “Their strongest point is that they are unpredictable under coach Ernst as they can adapt to different ways of playing.”
Sandilands disappointed with Bafana snub
Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands has opened up about the disappointment of his exclusion from the Bafana Bafana squad to face Libya in a decisive African Nations Cup qualifier in Tunisia on March 24. “I don’t think there’s any player that sits there whose name isn’t called and is happy about it‚” said 35-year-old Sandilands. “But for me I’m now focusing on the task at hand [Pirates playing against Horoya SC in the African Champions League in Conakry at the weekend].”
Neymar faces disciplinary action
Uefa have opened disciplinary proceedings on Neymar after his foul-mouthed rant about referees following Paris Saint-Germain’s controversial Champions League exit at the hands of Manchester United last week, the governing body announced on Wednesday. “A disciplinary investigation has been initiated ... in connection with the comments made on social media by the Paris Saint-Germain player Neymar following the above-mentioned match,” Uefa said.
Mercedes look to burst Ferrari bubble
High hopes of a meaningful F1 title race will face their first test at the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday as five-times champion Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team seek to crush the pre-season optimism surrounding Ferrari. Under different management and after a positive winter testing, Ferrari have arrived in Melbourne with a fast car and plenty of buzz, raising expectation of a genuine challenge to five years of Mercedes dominance. “Last year, we had to give it absolutely everything to come out on top,” said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff. “From what we have learned so far, this year will be even tougher.”
Alaskan wins his first Iditarod
The 1,600km Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race ended in a pre-dawn close finish on the snow-covered streets of Nome on Wednesday, with Alaskan Pete Kaiser and his dogs barely holding off defending champion Joar Leifseth Ulsom of Norway. Kaiser, 31, reached the finish line just 12 minutes ahead of second-placed Leifseth Ulsom, 32, in one of the closest finishes in Iditarod history.
Osaka shrugs off Indian Wells upset Naomi Osaka downplayed her straight-sets loss to Belinda Bencic at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells on Tuesday, saying she was learning to stay positive as she wrestles with the perils of being the world’s top player. “I think at a time like this with that scoreline, I would usually feel very depressed and sad. “But I feel pretty good right now because I think, given the circumstances, I tried my best and I don’t really have any regrets,” said Osaka, the reigning US and Australian Open champion.
– AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE