SPORTS DAY: Attack, attack cry Bafana’s Baxter and Lorch
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
‘We can’t park the bus against Libya’
Bafana Bafana need to try to take their qualifier against Libya in Tunisia on Sunday by the scruff of the neck with an aggressive gameplan‚ imposing themselves rather than trying to defend‚ national coach Stuart Baxter has said. SA need a draw in Sfax to reach Egypt 2019‚ and third-placed Libya (seven points) need a win. “I think we can go there and defend‚ but I don’t think we can go there and park the bus and think we’re going to stay in our own defending zone for 90 minutes‚” the coach said.”
Lorch keen to use Champions League experience
Thembinkosi Lorch believes his experience playing in the Caf Champions League puts him in a good place to play a starring role for Bafana Bafana in a make-or-break Africa Cup of Nations final qualifier against Libya on Sunday. “I have had a good run of late at club level‚ and have gained a lot of international experience through the Caf Champions League. “I now know the best and worst circumstances on the continent‚” Lorch told the official national team website from Tunis where Bafana have set up camp.
Etzebeth boost for Stormers
Stormers coach Robbie Fleck received a boost upon arrival in New Zealand with the news that lock Eben Etzebeth could be ready to face the Hurricanes in Wellington this weekend. Etzebeth was withdrawn at halftime during the Stormers’ 35-8 win over the Jaguares on Friday after a clash of heads against the Jaguares. On Tuesday defence coach Norman Laker revealed from New Zealand that Etzebeth had made faster than expected progress. “Eben obviously had the concussion on Friday‚ but he has passed his stage one of his HIA protocols.”
Lions limping with injuries
The Lions’ superb second-half effort that helped reel in the Melbourne Rebels has taken its toll with Kwagga Smith‚ Dylan Smith‚ Vincent Tshituka and Andries Coetzee all joining the injured list. Kwagga Smith (groin) is out for six weeks‚ Dylan Smith (broken cheekbone) is out for eight weeks‚ Tshituka (ankle) six weeks and fullback Coetzee will only miss this week’s fixture. The injuries to the loose forwards are particularly untimely as regular captain Warren Whiteley and flank Cyle Brink still count among the convalescing.
Gqoboka hopes tide has turned at Bulls
The Bulls may have underachieved in recent years, but prop Lizo Gqoboka believes they are finally reaping the rewards of the hard work they have been putting in behind the scenes. “We have been pushing very hard for a couple of years now as a group and I am glad that things are finally coming together‚” he said at Loftus as they prepared to host the struggling Chiefs on Saturday. “We are starting to see the things that we have been doing for the past few years clicking.”
Hurricanes cut SA lock who never played
Lock Andries Ferreira will return home after being released by the Wellington Hurricanes without having played a game after he aggravated an old knee injury. The 28-year-old only joined the Hurricanes three weeks ago as a replacement for Sam Lousi, who had to have surgery on a pectoral muscle injury. “He had a recurrence of an injury that he had last year,” Hurricanes coach John Plumtree said on Tuesday of Ferreira, who previously played for the Lions. “We thought that he was all good, but he’s come out here and tweaked it again at training.
Team Sky confirms Ineos as new owner
Britain’s hugely successful Team Sky has been bought out by chemicals giant Ineos and will change its name to Team Ineos from May this year. Ineos is owned by Britain’s richest man, Jim Ratcliffe.
‘Bring on World Cup, we fear no one’
Trailblazing bowler Rashid Khan said Afghanistan will fear no one when the World Cup starts in May after a maiden Test win enhanced the reputation of the rising cricket nation. “The only thing is to believe in your skills. Just to be relaxed in big matches and enjoy your game,” he said. “And that’s how we should be in the World Cup.” SWIMMING
Olympic hopeful dies at 26 Kenneth To, a record-breaking Hong Kong-Australian swimmer who had his sights on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, died suddenly after a training session in the US. He was 26. To, who won a silver medal as part of Australia’s 4x100 metre medley relay squad at the 2013 world championships, was in the US for a three-month training programme at the University of Florida.
Japan chief stepping down after term ends
Japanese Olympic Committee chief Tsunekazu Takeda, who is under investigation for suspected corruption, said on Tuesday he will step down when his term ends in June and resign from the International Olympic Committee. French prosecutors have questioned Takeda in Paris and placed him under formal investigation in December for suspected corruption in Tokyo’s successful bid to host the 2020 Summer Games.
- AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE