SPORTS DAY: Brawling hookers make up, but too late
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Akker suspended for three weeks
Sharks hooker Akker van der Merwe has been suspended for three weeks after punching opposite number Schalk Brits last weekend. The two Bok hookers were involved in an unsightly brawl late in the match between the Sharks and the Bulls at King’s Park‚ forcing New Zealand referee Mike Fraser to red card both players after Brits retaliated.
SA teams view Aussie forwards as ‘soft’: Smith
SA forwards see their Australian counterparts in Super Rugby as “soft” and ripe for physical intimidation, Queensland Reds prop JP Smith said on Monday. South African Smith gave the blunt assessment as his team prepared to host the Stormers on Friday. The Reds will then head off for a two-match tour of SA. “I know what they think of Australian forwards generally,” Smith, a former Stormer, said. “Soft. That’s my honest opinion, that’s what SA [forwards think] because they try and bully us. “If you take that aspect away from them, they don’t know what to do.”
Stormers lose two Boks
The Stormers are losing experienced Springbok forwards Pieter-Steph du Toit and Eben Etzebeth for the remaining two matches of their month-long Super Rugby trip to Australia and New Zealand. Du Toit is returning to Cape Town for the birth of his first child while a calf injury has ruled Etzebeth out of Friday’s match against the Queensland Reds in Brisbane and the April 12 clash at the Melbourne Rebels.
Pote takes another year at Bulls
The Bulls confirmed on Monday that coach Pote Human had extended his contract by one year‚ with an option to renew. “It’s been a good start so far‚ and I firmly believe that we are heading in the right direction as a team. However‚ there is a long season ahead with lots of work to be done‚ and I am excited to get on with things.” The Bulls also confirmed the signing of Ulster prop Wiehahn Herbst.
Sundowns’ Champions League showdown changed
Having initially set Sundowns down for another 9pm kick off time‚ the Confederation of African Football have changed the date and kick off time of the Brazilians’ tie against Egyptian giants Al Ahly. The quarterfinal first leg match-up now takes place at 3pm on Saturday afternoon – at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville. This is the second year now that CAF are determining the dates and kick off times of Champions League ties, instead of the home club.
Middendorp cautious about Chippa
Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp was quick to put the lid on any excessive expectation about his side’s chances of finally ending their trophy drought and winning the Nedbank Cup against Chippa in Port Elizabeth on the Easter weekend. “I watched their game against Wits on Saturday night and Chippa were very impressive to come back. There were some fantastic goals‚” said Middendorp of the 4-4 draw against Wits in the quarterfinal tie at the Bidvest stadium after which Chippa won on post-match penalties.
Man Utd director takes charge at ICC
India-born media executive Manu Sawhney has taken over as chief executive of the International Cricket Council, the world body said Monday as it started a new era aiming to boost the sport’s television revenues and profile. Sawhney, who has been managing director of broadcaster ESPN Star Sports and is a non-executive director of football giants Manchester United, succeeds former SA Test wicketkeeper Dave Richardson.
Sri Lanka captain apologises for behaviour
Sri Lanka’s Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne apologised Monday for his “unbecoming behaviour” after being arrested for drink-driving in an accident that left a taxi driver injured. Police said that while driving under the influence of liquor, Karunaratne went through a red light and hit a taxi whose driver was hospitalised for minor injuries after the pre-dawn crash on Sunday.
Federer goes fourth in rankings
Roger Federer jumped up one spot to fourth in the ATP rankings released on Monday after capturing his 101st career title with his victory over John Isner in Miami. Kevin Anderson remains seventh.
– AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE