SPORTS DAY: Zwane as good as Iniesta? Pitso thinks so

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SPORTS DAY: Zwane as good as Iniesta? Pitso thinks so

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

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SOCCER
Pitso likens Zwane to Iniesta
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has likened midfielder Themba Zwane to former Barcelona midfield maestro Andrés Iniesta. “He was just brilliant‚ you can’t trace or track him. He is in different space‚ always find himself in different areas on the field and he helped us to control the midfield. Never mind the goal he scored‚ he is skating and they can’t find him. He reminds me of Iniesta.”
Hunt expects more PSL plot twists
Disappointed in losing the top-of the-table clash 1-0 at home to Orlando Pirates on Saturday‚ Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt believes there are still going to be more twist and turns in the remaining few weeks of the Absa Premiership race. “Yeah‚ we are a couple of points behind now‚ still five games to go. Anything can happen‚” said Hunt‚ who saw his team losing their sixth match at home this season.
Dembele named in Barcelona squad
Barcelona have named French winger Ousmane Dembele in their squad for the Champions League quarterfinal first leg against Manchester United on Wednesday.
Sydney FC match moved from SCG
Sydney FC’s A-League clash against Perth Glory has been moved away from the Sydney Cricket Ground after a furore over the “dangerous” pitch at the iconic stadium. Australia’s players’ union joined Melbourne Victory boss Kevin Muscat in slamming the SCG pitch after visiting midfielder Terry Antonis suffered a knee injury during a match against Sydney FC on Saturday night.
RUGBY
Kolisi flies home
Stormers captain Siya Kolisi flew home as part of Springbok resting protocols to leave the beleaguered Super Rugby tourists thin on experience as a result of injuries. Lock Chris van Zyl‚ who captained WP to the Currie Cup title in 2017‚ sustained a back injury during last Friday’s 24-12 loss to the Reds and is also ruled out. Utility back SP Marais is also out of the last leg of the tour after suffering a hip flexor injury.
Get ready for blue cards
Rugby has yellow and red cards‚ and white cards were trialled before – now prepare yourself for the blue card. The latest initiative by SA Rugby is aimed at targeting and managing the scourge of concussion in rugby. The Blue Card‚ which signals players who need to be removed from the field due to a concussion or suspected concussion‚ will be rolled out across SA in the next few weeks at all levels of the game. The only exception will be elite adult tournaments or matches where World Rugby have approved the use of head injury assessments.
MLR a significant boost, says Gold 
Coach Gary Gold says Major League Rugby will help the US be more competitive at the World Cup in Japan, but conceded we might only see the best of his side in four years’ time. “It is critical, there is no doubt that it was a contributor to our wins over Scotland, Samoa and Canada recently,” said Gold, assistant Bok coach at the 2011 World Cup. “In years gone by, we might have had players who would come to camp without having even trained in four months, let alone played matches. So it is massive for us.” 
French must pay Noves €1m
Former France coach Guy Noves is entitled to €1m in compensation for wrongful dismissal by the national rugby federation, a French court said on Monday. The FFR alleged Noves was guilty of serious misconduct, but a Toulouse labour tribunal decided otherwise. Noves was asking for €2.88m. Both parties have the right to appeal.
Aussies post a surplus
Rugby Australia returned to profit last year after controversially axing one of its Super Rugby sides, and despite a horror season by the Wallabies. The governing body recorded a A$5.2m surplus in 2018, a big turnaround from a A$3.7m loss the previous year.
CRICKET
‘Hot summer to aid subcontinent teams’
The English weather will play a major role during the World Cup and teams from the Indian subcontinent stand to gain if hot and dry conditions prevail during the May 30 to July 14 tournament, former captain Kevin Pietersen has said. England has witnessed more batsmen-friendly conditions in recent past with scores of 300 regularly posted in ODIs held in the country. A hot English summer will translate into dry pitches on which the batsmen and spinners from the subcontinent teams are expected to thrive.MOUNTAINEERINGExpedition to remeasure height of EverestNepal is sending a team of government-appointed climbers up Mount Everest to remeasure its height, hoping to quash persistent speculation that the world’s tallest mountain has shrunk. Its official height is 8,848m, but a heated debate erupted in the aftermath of a massive earthquake in Nepal in 2015, with suggestions the powerful tremor had knocked height off the lofty peak.SURFINGTeenager leads surfing into equal-pay eraUS teenager Caroline Marks became the first woman to earn the same prize money as the men’s champion after winning the season-opening World Surf League event in Australia on Monday. With surfing making its Olympic debut in 2020, the sport’s authorities decided last year to close the gender pay gap and better promote the women’s tour after a growing social media backlash. Marks, 17, was the first to benefit, pocketing $100,000, the same as Brazilian men’s winner Italo Ferreira.
TENNISDjokovic heads into clay season as No 1Novak Djokovic moves into his 20th week as world No 1 on Monday as the clay season gets under way. The Serb is almost 2,500 points ahead of Rafael Nadal while third-placed Alexander Zverev will hope to pick up points at the Marrakech claycourt event this week.– AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE

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