SPORTS DAY: Mapimpi urges his Sharks to pimp their ride
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Sharks must perform at home: Mapimpi
Makazole Mapimpi, one of the few constants in the Sharks’ topsy-turvy season, says they have to improve their home performance against the Jaguares on Saturday. “The Jaguares are a very good side and they have plenty of internationals so it’s going to be tough‚” Mapimpi said. “We spoke about the home games and how we need to focus on them because we lost two home games. We’ve spoken about them and we need to win them.”
Stormers opt for backline continuity
Stormers coach Robbie Fleck has resisted calls to play Damian Willemse at flyhalf‚ preferring Jean-Luc du Plessis over the Springbok for the team’s final tour match against the Rebels in Melbourne on Friday. The only change to the backline from the side that lost 24-12 to the Reds last week is the return of scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies to the starting XV. Former Blitzbok superstar Seabelo Senatla is set for his first 2019 Super Rugby appearance if he comes off the bench after being included among the reserves.
Bulls bring in six Boks
Bulls coach Pote Human has called on six Springboks for the home Super Rugby clash against the Queensland Reds at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, but will rest powerful No 8 Duane Vermeulen. Handre Pollard and Jesse Kriel return at flyhalf and centre respectively. Ivan van Zyl is back at scrumhalf, while Warrick Gelant returns to the fullback position after overcoming injury. There will also be first appearances this season for Marco van Staden and RG Snyman.
Folau says ‘hell awaits’ homosexuals
Wallabies superstar Israel Folau was blasted by Rugby Australia on Wednesday for showing disrespect after an “unacceptable” post on social media that said “hell awaits” homosexuals. RA’s integrity unit would look into the matter.
Nike makes teenager a millionaire
Borussia Dortmund’s 14-year-old prodigy Youssoufa Moukoko has signed a $1m sponsorship deal with Nike. The striker has made waves in Dortmund’s youth system, scoring 36 goals in 21 games for the under-17 team this season.
Spurs wait nervously for Kane update
Tottenham Hotspur face an anxious wait to discover the full extent of Harry Kane’s latest ankle injury after manager Mauricio Pochettino voiced concerns the forward could be out for the rest of the season. Kane limped off the pitch after a challenge with England teammate Fabian Delph during Tuesday’s Champions League quarterfinal first-leg win over Manchester City in London.
Neville wanted England to ‘suffer’
Manager Phil Neville said he deliberately disrupted the rhythm of his England women’s team with a double substitution in Tuesday’s 2-1 friendly international win over Spain to test his players’ defensive resolve ahead of the World Cup. “I made two substitutions because I wanted the team to suffer. I wanted to show how our back four would cope.”
Warner must rein in attitude: Biff
David Warner will be driven to prove his worth to Australia when he returns to the side but will need to check his ego at the door as he is no longer an indispensable part of the team, former SA captain Graeme Smith has said. “I think at the moment he needs Australian cricket more than they need him,” Smith said. “Guys like [coach Justin] Langer and whoever is captaining the side going forward need to ensure they stay on top of that and manage that space and that ego well going forward.”
Wisden hat-trick for Kohli
India captain Virat Kohli was named the Leading Cricketer in the World for the third time in a row in this year’s edition of the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, the publication said on Wednesday.BASKETBALLMagic Johnson steps down as Lakers chiefMagic Johnson stunned the basketball world on Tuesday, abruptly resigning from his management role with the Los Angeles Lakers and plunging the ailing NBA franchise into fresh turmoil. The 59-year-old Lakers legend’s decision followed a disappointing campaign which saw the once-mighty Los Angeles franchise fail to make the playoffs for a sixth consecutive year.Nowitzki confirms retirement Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki confirmed his retirement from the NBA on Tuesday, calling time on a 21-season career that saw him become the greatest European player ever to grace the league.OLYMPICSMinister steps down after gaffes Japan’s minister in charge of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics stepped down on Wednesday after the latest in a series of gaffes. Yoshitaka Sakurada “requested to resign after he hurt the feelings of victims” of the 2011 quake and tsunami, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters. Sakurada said at a gathering of members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party from the disaster-hit northern region that the lawmaker was more important than the recovery of the region.
Indian shot-putter handed four-year ban
India’s Manpreet Kaur, who won women’s shot put gold at the 2017 Asian athletics championships, has received a four-year ban after testing positive for banned substances. Kaur failed doping tests four times in 2017, including at the Asian championships in Bhubaneswar, where she won with a throw of 18.28m, and in the first leg of the Asian grand prix in China, where her winning throw of 18.86m was a national record.
– AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE