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November 27, 2009

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Weekends round up 23/11/09

November 23, 2009

Rugby, Cricket , Football and Golf all had some action to enjoy this past weekend . There were some interesting results in many areas, sadly for South African cricket, it was just plain depressing.

Cricket

Let’s start with cricket then and get it out of the way. After pasting the Poms last Sunday in a 20/20 match hopes were high going into the One Day series on Friday. The weather however had other ideas as Johannesburg experienced weather fit for a wet Cape winter. It was a wash out which moved things on to game two at Centurion, scene of last Sundays demolition.
The outcome was sadly a very different one as after losing the toss the home side stuttered to 250/9 after their 50 overs. If it wasn’t for Andrew Strauss having feet for hands and dropping 3 catches and Sajid Mahmood bowling like a drunk with a groin strain, it could have been far worse.
It was never enough though and England quite methodically ticked off the runs to canter home with 4 overs to go and just 3 wickets down.
Collingwood played well for a century and was ably supported by Trott with 87.

Chokers tag has gone to a new level for the Proteas players

Once again we failed to take wickets and though Steyn looked like he was back to his best at moments, we just lacked penetration and Bar-rash van der Merwe was woeful in the spin department when the ineffectual seamers had a rest.
This is a shadow of the side that wholloped the Aussies last summer. What is most worrying is that with Wayne Parnell injured, Johan Botha not even picked as he is unable to bowl his deadly variation and Jacques Kallis sitting out with a broken rib, this attack isn’t going to get any better.
We need then to score in the 300 run region and beyond in each game and that hardly looks likely as our batting line-up still doesn’t seem to be that adventurous. Taking nothing away from Hashim Amla (who actually played brilliantly yesterday) but why can’t Loots Bosman get an extended run in the 50 over format? He looked untroubled in the two 20/20 games and surely with the absence of Kallis it’s something to consider.

Next game is on Friday in Cape Town, big big week for the bowlers to get their shit together for that one.

Rugby

With a big sigh and a fair amount of relief, the Boks had a much better day on Saturday with a pleasing 32-10 win over Italy. Scoring 2 tries in either half, the Boks played with a lot more purpose this weekend and can take some positives out of this match before this weekends big showdown against Ireland.
The Springbok scrum is still an issue but once John Smit was moved to hooker in the second half things did look a lot better.
Zane Kirschner continued to do well at fullback and Jaque Fourie and Bryan Habana were at their best keeping the Italians busy all afternoon on attack. Adi Jacobs though once again showed that he is not the man for the job at inside center letting his opposite number straight through for Italy’s only try. His defensive frailties are becoming more and more apparent and against Brian O’Driscol on Saturday, we just can’t afford to have him on the field.

'Coming through' the Jacobs canal

In other matches, France with 12 new faces from the team that beat the Springboks, thrashed Samoa 43-5, Wales had a commanding 33-16 victory over Argentina , England predictably didn’t have enough against New Zealand going down 6-19 , Ireland showed Fiji who was boss with a 41-6 victory and in the surprise of the weekend Scotland edged out Australia 9-8 as Matt Giteau missed a relatively easy conversion in injury time.

Football

After the International break, the English Premiership was back to full flow with Champions Man United back to winning ways with a comprehensive drubbing of Everton 3-0. Chelsea also put 4 unanswered goals past Wolves but not such good news for Liverpool and Man City who finished deadlocked after 90 minutes 2-2, and even worse for Arsenal who went down 1-0 away to Sunderland.
Game of the weekend was without doubt the Spurs 9 goal demolition of Wigan. England striker Jermaine Dufoe scoring 5 goals in the 9-1 result which sees Spurs climb to fourth on the log.

Golf

Ending off with golf and the Race to Dubai with the Dubai World Championships which is the European tours big money answer to the big money USPGA Fed-Ex cup.

It was a 3 horse race going into the tournament between money leader Rory Mcilroy , Lee Westwood in second and Martin Kaymer in third.
Kaymer had a pretty average tournament which left it down to Mcilroy and Westwood to slug it out. They were neck and neck right into the third round but sadly the 20 year old Mcilroy bogied the last three holes on Saturday allowing Westwood to create some breathing space going into the final round.
Not that he needed it however as he blew everyone away with a final round course record of 64 with Mciloy only able to finish in third place despite a decent closing 67.

Lee Westwood could do this if he wanted to.

Nice to see Westwood win something big finally as for the past two year he has been up there in some big events only to fail at the final hurdle.

Weekend previews and predictions 20/11/09

November 20, 2009

The weather may be dreadful up here in Joburg, and the Springbok tour may be teetering on the edge of disaster, (well not really, but this opening paragraph needs some drama) but there is plenty sport to look forward to this weekend.

Rugby
Right so we have Italy on Saturday, they simply could not have come at a better time and are just the opponents that the Boks need right now.
In all fairness this tour doesn’t mean that much especially after the year we have had and successes that we have enjoyed. Our players are tired and you can see the okes aren’t playing with the same intensity. Still, when the Springboks run on to a field they are expected to win and that hasn’t happened in 240 minutes on this tour.

Italians will be ready for the Boks

With 4 changes to the starting line-up in the forward pack, this team may have a bit more wind in its sails and should produce the kind of rugby we have come to expect against slightly more accommodating opponents.
Not to say Italy are going to be a walk over, they are a much improved unit and coached by Nick Mallet who will certainly have a few tricks up his sleeve come game time.

England host the All Blacks which is certainly a mile too far for them right now. They may have beaten a surprisingly lackluster Argentina last week, but this current side is very average and the All Blacks will expose them in all areas.
Wales take on Argentina in what should be a tightly contested match, France play Samoa which should be a brutal encounter, Scotland host Australia who will still be a bit upset after their draw to Ireland and finally Fiji travel to the self-same Irish who will certainly be to strong for them.

Cricket

If you live in Joburg and you look out the window you would be hard pressed to think it’s summer, but it is and today sees a big game taking place. After the savaging that England got last Sunday in the second 20/20 match, it’s very much advantage South Africa going into the first ODI today. Our batsmen look menacing and our bowlers are starting to settle a bit better.

English Summer - now seen in S.A

England on the other hand haven’t got an Englishman that can bat other than Collingwood, but he is carrying a niggle. Their bowler attack looks thinner than Amy Winehouse and the decent players they have all seem to be carrying an injury of sorts.
Their International players Morgan , Trott and Pietersen hold the key to their batting success but if they don’t fire then they are very much up a smelly creek with no rowing device.
Great chance for the Proteas to get a good couple of punches in this weekend and take this tour by the scruff of the neck early.
Just hope the weather plays along

Golf

The hotly contested European Order of Merit is drawing to a close and its very much a 3 horse race between Rory Mcilroy, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer. Along with these three chaps there is a world class field playing at a great new golf course in Dubai. It’s going to be a cracking event to watch over the weekend and one where we just my see the coming of age of golfs next superstar, Rory Mcilroy.

Football

With world cup qualifiers an international friendlies out of the way, The English Premiership gets back on track this weekend with a range of interesting fixtures. Liverpool will be looking to scoop their season out of the toilet as they host Man City, Arsenal travel to the Stadium of Light to hopefully keep their goal scoring streak going against Sunderland, Chelsea host Wolves, Man Utd welcome Everton and Tottenham will be keen to stay with the top three by collecting all three points against Wigan.

You bet it is!

Weekends Predictions

Cricket
SA vs England ODI’s
Friday – SA
Sunday – SA

Rugby
Italy 13 – South Africa 28
England 12 – New Zealand 25
Wales 18 – Argentina 14
France 27 – Samoa 11
Scotland 15 – Austrlia 22
Ireland 32 – Fiji 11

Golf
Dubai World Champs
Rory Macilroy

Football
Liverpool 2 – Man City 1

Springbok team to take on Italy

November 19, 2009

It’s been another disappointing week for the travelling Boks as the mid week team went down by a single point to Saracens.

No matter though, Saturday is a new game and it comes in the shape of the Italians. Peter De Villiers has made four changes to the starting line-up that went down to France last Friday.

Italian flag - nice

The backline stays the same , but in the forward pack Schalk and Bismarck are injured so Danie Rossouw comes in at no.7 and Adriaan Strauss at hooker. Then the Beast drops to the bench as does Victor meaning a debut test cap for the Cheetah’s prop Wian du Preez and a well earned starting place for Andries Bekker.

New faces on the bench include B.J Botha after fielding an S.O.S from the Springbok management, Jean Deysel and Francois Hougaard.

The Italians coached by Nick Mallet had an impressive showing against the All Blacks and will be far from push overs for the Boks. Gone are the days of the 100-0 scorelines of the late 90’s, these casanova’s can play a bit nowadays.

As always with the tests in this part of the world, the battle up front will be vital. Hopefully the fresh legs in the front row will make all the difference in at least lowering the volume of the hoards of critics that the Bok scrum has at the moment.

Upon a solid base our backs should have too much class and we should be able to comfortably secure our first win of the tour in this one.

Prediction: 28 – 13

Team: 15-Zane Kirchner, 14-JP Pietersen, 13-Jaque Fourie, 12-Adrian Jacobs, 11-Bryan Habana, 10-Morne Steyn, 9-Fourie du Preez; 8-Ryan Kankowski, 7-Danie Rossouw, 6-Heinrich Brussow, 5-Andries Bekker, 4-Bakkies Botha, 3-John Smit (captain), 2-Adriaan Strauss, 1-Wian du Preez.

Replacements: 16-Tendai Mtawarira, 17-BJ Botha, 18-Victor Matfield, 19-Jean Deysel, 20-Francois Hougaard, 21-Ruan Pienaar, 22-Wynand Olivier.

Top 10 sports to get your son into

November 18, 2009

When we were kids, nearly all of us dreamed of being big time sports stars when we grew up. We all imagined hitting the winning runs off a feared fast bowler, scoring a try in the corner against the All Blacks or netting that winning goal in a World Cup final. If you are reading this right now it’s safe to say that sadly none of those things ever materialized, still it was fun to think about it though.

So if you were to be a kid again, or better yet, if you have big aspirations for little Johnny to one day be the next big thing in sports, what would be the best sport for a kid to dedicate his life to?

A potential star - just 298 477 hours of hard work once you have chosen the sport

We have all had this conversation in the bar before, but let’s lay it down and really assess this properly here. With sport being the amazingly diverse thing that it is, it’s a discussion that needs a fair amount of evaluation and I have chosen the following criteria to get to the best conclusion. The following is drawn up to apply to your son being South African of course and of him getting to the top of his game, ie. Being a Springbok, teeing it up in the Majors, going to the Olympics etc etc

Money: First up we need to consider the money in the sport. All that ‘blood, sweat and tears’ has to pay off and when it does, to what extent?

Longevity: What will the lifespan in the sport be? It’s an important consideration as the longer it goes on the less chance of him ever needing to get a real job like a Lion tamer, Radio Dj or an Undertaker.

Pulling power: With Pro sport comes the perks of the adoring fans, but how much your sport assists you with the ladies is a rather vital consideration for all guys. Especially when you are out of form, it’s good to know you can still score off the field to keep the moral up so to speak.

Travel: Sport can take you all around the world and when looking back on a successful careers, top sportsman often reflect on how lucky they were for sport to have helped them travel far and wide.

Fame: In the words of Nickleback, ‘we all want to be a rock star’ , so how much fame you get from being on top of your game is important.

Camaraderie: The social interaction aspect, sport is often rewarding through learning about teamwork and building strong manly but completely heterosexual bonds with other sportsmen. Team sports exhibit this the best and provides a great deal of satisfaction for the individual.

Legend rating: This last aspect is basically the reaction you get from just entering a room. Different to fame, legend rating comes from doing something that people have the utmost respect for and in doing so you command a certain sort of respect from your fans.

1 – Golf


Money: 10

Longevity: 10

Pulling power: 6

Travel: 10

Fame: 7

Camaraderie: 5

Legend rating: 6

Total: 54

Tiger is an unrealistic role model, but he has gotten loads of kids into the game of golf

Golf tops the list with a pretty impressive list of scores. If you are in the business of breeding children for sporting profit, then golf is a good place to start because if your little one makes it here, he is pretty much sorted. Sure his legend rating may not be that high and some girls (the dumb ones) won’t be too impressed at what he does, but with the amount of money he can make over a lengthy period of time, this sport is a sure fire winner to throw your kid into.

2 – Cricket


Money: 6

Longevity: 6

Pulling power: 7

Travel: 8

Fame: 8

Camaraderie: 9

Legend rating: 9

Total: 53

He may be a doos but he went from Natal B to International Superstar. Your kid could do the same

In a competitive battle for second place, Cricket just sneaks in ahead of Rugby on a count out purely because more lighties get badly hurt in rugby than in Cricket. It’s a well balanced Pro sport and one that is great for kids to get involved with as it’s a team sport with great touring opportunities. With the advent of 20/20 cricket on the international stage, there is now more to be had in the fame and fortune stakes, making it a great sport if your kid rejects the putter on his 1st birthday.

3 – Rugby

Money: 5

Longevity: 5

Pulling power: 8

Travel: 7

Fame: 8

Camaraderie: 10

Legend rating: 10

Total: 53

Pierre Spies - 9 out 10 women that you know will want to sleep with him.

Slightly less money than cricket and a lot more dangerous, Rugby is nudged into the third place. But where it falls short in those two categories, it more than makes up for in others. The legend rating alone is makes this a great sport to invest your little one into, so if your kid is big and strong or has the ability to kick the cat over the lounge suite, you just may want to get him into this game early. Fantastic school sport and lets face it, you won’t have a wuse for a kid if you chose this route.

4 – Football


Money: 7

Longevity: 6

Pulling power: 6

Travel: 8

Fame: 7

Camaraderie: 7

Legend rating: 7

Total: 48

Slim chance your boy will be the next Ronaldo, but try anyway.

In fourth spot is Football. If this were Europe or South America than it would of course be much higher but down in S.A, it’s got some room for improvement. A good team sport, Football is after all the most popular game in the world meaning your boy could play just about anywhere. He will though probably end up with tattoos, develop a general lack of respect for authority and if he plays for Bafana Bafana, chances are he will not really know how to score a goal. Still with 2010 approaching, Football could be a good move for the little one, especially if aforementioned cat sails over the couch again.

5 – Swimming


Money: 4

Longevity: 6

Pulling power: 10

Travel: 6

Fame: 7

Camaraderie: 4

Legend rating: 8

Total: 45

No matter what the interview, swimmers are always forced into showing their 6 packs

Money is not so great, it’s hugely anti-social as you are underwater and the training is a bit extreme, but who cares when you have a swimmers body. Ryk Neethling has to leave the house with a tennis racket, not because he likes the odd set in his spare time, but he literally has to swot off the women. They go crazy for the oke and I’m sure they have done since he started doing tumble turns at junior school. There is of course also the Olympic glory that comes with swimming making it a worthy consideration at number 5 on the list.

6 – Athletics


Money: 5

Longevity: 5

Pulling power: 6

Travel: 6

Fame: 6

Camaraderie: 5

Legend rating: 8

Total: 41

Sprinting - good jol if you can do it

Athletics is a tough one to consider as there are so many disciplines that go into it. But you are essentially an athlete at the end of the day and therefore rather elite. Olympic glory is again a huge carrot here and Usain Bolt has shown that there is money and the fame in it too. So if your boy isn’t that good at getting the cat airborne but can run faster than the family dog, Athletics could be the choice for you here.

7 – Tennis


Money: 7

Longevity: 6

Pulling power: 5

Travel: 7

Fame: 5

Camaraderie: 5

Legend rating: 4

Total: 39

Tennis is cool but having one arm that much bigger than the other can be problematic

At number 8 is Tennis. Why it is that we haven’t had any good modern tennis players since that obnoxious ginger Wayne Ferriera I have no idea. Perhaps I should hype this sport up just so that more kids are forced into it. Sadly though it is number 8 for a reason as tennis players don’t get that many chicks and it’s a sport that people aren’t really that in awe of. That said though it’s a great sport if your boy doesn’t kick the cat or run faster than the dog but can swat the living daylights out of the pesky houseflies in the summer.

8 – Motorsport


Money: 5

Longevity: 8

Pulling power: 7

Travel: 5

Fame: 4

Camaraderie: 3

Legend rating: 6

Total: 38

Formula 1 drivers have it good - tough gig to get into though

Motorsport is a bit of a specialist thing and generally requires a fair amount of capital from the beginning just to get started. Money isn’t all that flash when he does achieve compared to the other sports and he will hate and be hated by his fellow drivers. (Formula 1 is hardly a hot bed of sporting friendships) Chicks dig fast cars and bad boys though so all is not lost here, and because he won’t be that famous in sporting circles, he can play the field with a bit more ease than someone of a higher profile.

9 – Boxing


Money: 5

Longevity: 3

Pulling power: 7

Travel: 7

Fame: 4

Camaraderie: 3

Legend rating: 4

Total: 33

Boxing - you need to love yourself as there is no guarantee anyone else will

Getting to the foot of the table here and a sport generally gotten into due to poverty, Boxing fights its way into number 9. Local boxing is a rough affair and the chances of getting onto the international stage and making the big bucks is often something that can’t be guaranteed, no matter what the ability. Your boy will be in great shape though and generally wont come off second best when the school bully wants his last Rolo. Once again, chicks dig the bad boys but when his face looks like a dropped pizza, this could back fire somewhat. Great sport if you have no intentions of loving your kid or if he is just a naturally aggressive little bugger.

10 – Cycling


Money: 4

Longevity: 5

Pulling power: 3

Travel: 6

Fame: 4

Camaraderie: 6

Legend rating 3

Total: 31

10th best sport , just ask Lance, it's not easy

Rounding off the top ten sports to get your little boy into, is cycling. Sure Lance is a legend and even at his ripe old age he can still bag the hot Olsen twin, but this is a tough sport with limited rewards. Firstly the training is grueling and unlike in swimming, you aren’t going to be attracting chicks with your Adonis physique as all you will be is ribs and quads. The tan marks from the cycling shorts are pretty kak but you do get to travel to some cool places and meet similar okes with two-tone thighs. Great sport for kids who are hyperactive with bad knees, they can channel their energies into this wonderful non-impact sport.

'he smells funny, can i get a pony instead?'

If you have a girl , buy her a tennis racket. Don’t even think about a pony, it will only end in tears!

Springboks vs Saracens Preview 17/11/09

November 17, 2009

The tour that is being seen as a disas-tour by the fickle media has a chance to redeem itself tonight. The ‘dirt-trackers’ side, which looks a great deal stronger than the last one, take on English league leaders Saracens. It is a match which has some interesting elements to it and will hopefully be more of a spectacle than the previous two matches played so far.

Ras Dumisani - looking forward to a more expansive game tonight

This match is the last chance for the fringe players to shine and with Saturdays test being against Italy, you get the feeling that P Divy just may rest some of the top line players and give an extended chance to anyone who delivers tonight.

One player in particular will be the colossal Ashley Johnson. He was a lone stand out in the Tigers mauling and with Kankowski going missing on Friday against France, he could well get a run at no.8 in the big time Springbok team.

Wynand Olivier is another that could use this game to justify a call up. Adi Jacobs is well past his best and did nothing to prove otherwise during Fridays loss, highlighting further the massive gap left by Jean De Villiers.

Bismarck and Schalk are carrying some injuries going into Saturday meaning Adriaan Strauss and one of the starting loosies also have a chance to get into the mix.

Fair to say then , our okes will have more than enough motivation to play their hearts out tonight.

Rock star setting for tonights game

On the Saracens side, well its a familiar team with 9 of them having played their rugby previously in South Africa. Coached by Brenden Venter, Saracens have been the top side in England thus far in 2009 and will employ a similar game plan to that of the Springboks.

However that is met or countered, this match played in front of a packed Wembley crowd filled with Souf Efricans, is sure to be a cracker as we finally field a team with a strong tight five which will hopefully allow our exciting backs some room to move.

Prediction: Saracens 20 – Springboks 26

Teams

Saracens: Michael Horak, Noah Cato, Kamell Ratuvo, Brad Barritt, Michael Tagicackibau, Derick Hougaard, Neil de Kock, Ernst Joubert, Justin Melck, Wikus van Heerden (captain), Hugh Vyvyan, Mouritz Botha, Richard Skuse, Ethienne Reynecke, Rhys Gill.

Reserves: Schalk Brits, Carlos Neito, George Kruis, Andy Saul, Kevin Barrett, Alex Goode, Rodd Penney.

Springboks: Earl Rose, Odwa Ndungane, Juan de Jongh, Wynand Olivier, Jongi Nokwe, Ruan Pienaar, Heini Adams, Ashley Johnson, Dewald Potgieter (captain), Jean Deysel, Andries Bekker, Danie Rossouw, CJ van der Linde, Adriaan Strauss, Wian du Preez.

Reserves: Bandise Maku, Heinke van der Merwe, Alistair Hargreaves, Davon Raubenheimer, Francois Hougaard, Meyer Bosman, Riaan Viljoen.

Wembley Stadium, coverage starts 9pm SS1

Weekends sports round up 16/11/09

November 16, 2009

It was a sporting weekend of epic proportions. If you missed a beat you can get it all right here on repeat.

Rugby

Getting the bad news out of the way first, it was certainly a Friday the 13th that the Springboks would like to forget in a hurry.
Everything about the game in Toulouse was dreadful for the Boks, starting even before the kick-off. The two teams lined up as is customary in International matches, and the away teams (ours) national anthem started to play.

What followed was an utter disgrace as a two bit reggae outfit set about butchering our beloved anthem to the disgust of our players. Now if our national anthem was Buffalo Soldier then fine, by all means, round up the local dread-locked variety and crack on. But our anthem is a proud musical composition consisting of 4 languages and an unexplainable amount of history.
WTF were the French thinking? Of course after our fiasco they had an accomplished tenor on hand to deliver a rousing rendition of their anthem, leaving their players suitably pumped up.
Then just when you thought we could perhaps get focused on the match, they drag out some handicapped child to ‘kick off’ in a baseball ‘opening pitch’ style. He predictably falls flat on his face and the ball rolls 5 meters.
Seriously, if the All Blacks had performed a naked Haka with large carrots in their mouths, our guys would have looked less surprised.

ghettocode

P.O.C , booked for the French National Anthem when they tour S.A

The game that followed was a brutal affair and the French were hardly subtle in their physical approach.
They were brutal at the break downs and though living legend Heinrich Brussow often had the better of his opponents at the break down, the French were simply to strong for us on the night. The score-line of 20-13 seemed close but in all fairness we were never going to win this one.
Morne Steyn and Ryan Kankowski were both shown yellow which didn’t help, and the swirling wind and wet conditions were certainly capitalized on by the home side that much better.

In other rugby over the weekend ; Wales had to fight really hard to secure a tight 17-13 win over Samoa, New Zealand in front of an 80 000 strong Italian crowd hardly had it easy as they managed a far from devastating 20-6 victory, Scotland put away Fiji 23-10, England and Argentina played a pretty messy error ridden match where the home side sneaked ahead right at the end to win 16-9 and then finally yesterday saw another tight match as Ireland drew 20-20 with Australia.
In his 100th match for Ireland, Brain O’Driscol scored a try in the final minute to level the score, but once again, not the most amazing of matches.

I have decided that I don’t really like northern hemisphere rugby. The conditions, the style, the lack of tries, the choice in anthem singers…

Cricket

The England tour got underway this past weekend with two 20/20 matches against our boys in green. In front of a dreadfully sparse crowd at the Wanderers on Friday, Graham Smith won the toss and decided to go brain dead. With the predictable evening highveld thundershowers looming, our captain said he would like to chase. (perhaps he was referring to the skirt at Manhattan later that night)  Ah , Graham, didn’t you mean you want them to chase (bat second)? Has the Duckworth-Lewis not forked us up enough in the past?
Anyway we shined up the ball and got set into the Poms. First ball and Joe Denly was walking back to the showers as Charl Langeveld stuck him leg before. With that the highlights of our bowling attack sort of fizzled out. Collingwood blasted a 50 and Irishman Eoin Morgan did what he did against us in the Champions Trophy by pummeling our bowlers to all parts of the ground. This kid can sure hit it and will be a real threat in the ODI’s. They notched up a hugely impressive 202/6.

Graham Smith as he planned strode to the crease with Loots Bosman to chase. They were spectacular in their response with Bosman in particular savaging the English bowling on route to a superb 50. Sadly they both perished and with rain (fancy that Graham) building, our batsmen were batting and applying complex multiplication at the same time.
We had it under control really but sadly the loss of JP Duminy put the dreaded DL rate just out of reach for us and we were 1 run behind when the rain eventually ended the game.

1-0 England. Moving on to Sunday.

Graham won the toss again at Centurion and miraculously decided to bat first.
And bat we sure did, he and Bosman again got stuck into the English bowler’s but unlike Friday, they just didn’t let go. They put on a record breaking 170 runs for the first wicket which effectively ended the game as a contest. Sadly neither went on to the elusive three figure mark, Bosman top scored with 94, but the fired up Proteas posted a pants soiling 241/6.
In strode England to the crease but they were always behind the game with Alistair Cook being the only Englishmen offering resistance with 26. Trott top scored with a good 51 runs but 157 was all the guys in blue could muster.

bangladesh460

Protea batsmen were brutal against the English on Sunday

So we are just going to say that first blood is ours then. Bring on the One-Days!

Football

Apart from the main attractions there was of course some football to watch over the weekend, if that’s what you are in to.
It was all about the crucial world cup qualifiers with Nigeria, Cameroon and New Zealand managing to get into the 2010 Finals to the relief of their huge fan bases. (okay not so much New Zealand, their support base consists of 4 hair dressers and an Albanian immigrant taxi driver)

Bafana Bafana held Japan to a scintillating 0-0 draw in a friendly. Obviously nobody gave Benni a chance as he only needs ONE to score.

Golf

Tiger won in Australia, had a feeling that was going to happen.

So that was the weekend in sport, tomorrow sees the Springbok mid-week team take on Saracens.
Pre-game build up and preview will be posted tomorrow morning to get you ready for it.

Weekends previews and predictions – 13/11/09

November 13, 2009

Rugby and cricket take center stage this weekend as the top 12 international rugby teams play in matches in the Northern Hemisphere, and the much anticipated England cricket tour to South Africa kicks off with two 20/20 matches.
Strap on your boots, it’s game time.

loose brooks

Sports stars - panty droppers

Rugby

Friday the 13th and boy is it a big day for the Springboks. We may have conquered all comers this year and in the World Cup played two years ago, but none of these meteoric feats included France.
They have been a bit of a bogey side against us in the past and the last time we won on French soil against them was in 1997. Okay we gave them a proper 50 point klap back then, but I can assure you that this game tonight is going to be one of the hardest, if not the hardest of the year.

Everyone wants to beat the best which makes all Springbok opponents that much more motivated nowadays. Playing at home is also a huge plus for the French but the fact that this game is being played in the rugby stronghold of Toulouse, makes this that much more difficult for John Smit and the boys.
It’s going to be a titanic battle upfront which the French will be more than ready for, from there you can just never be too sure what the French are going to bring on the day. Every time you watch these guys you seldom recognize the players, but you just know the backs will be full of running and if the game opens up, we could certainly be in some trouble.

That said we should have the all round capabilities to take this one. Morne Steyn is untested in European conditions, but he has shown he is something special this year so should be the pivot that we need him to be.

Kick off is at 21h45 which means that you should have a couple of drinks in you by then from watching the cricket and be raring to go for this one!

talking shit

The game kicks off at 21h45, tune in earlier and this is what you will get.

Cricket

Speaking of which, England square up against us at the Wanderers today in the first of two 20/20 matches which starts a 3 month tour which is going to be a cracker.

The 20/20 matches are the standard kick starts to all international tours nowadays and though seen as a warm up in the beginning, they have become deadly serious and both teams will be looking to strike first blood.
Loots Bosman joins Graham Smith at the top of the order which should be dynamite. Follow that up with A.B , Duminy and Albie Morkel and this side should have some runs on the board before you get your hands on your second draught. McLaren makes his 20/20 International debut after a good showing against Zimbabwe and along with Boucher can certainly give it some tap to round off the batting.
In the bowling stakes, Wayne Parnell is unfortunately still nursing a dodgy ankle so Charl Langeveld comes in and along with Dale Steyn will spearhead our attack. McLaren and Morkel will provide support and then Johan Botha and Roelof ‘Bar Rash’ van der Merwe, fill the roles of specialist spinners in the side.

England will be wearing blue and sporting hairdos with more highlights than a WHAM tribute band. That’s about all you need to know about them in this form of the game as they have probably been the slowest of the nations to embrace 20/20, and though anything can and does happen in this form of the game, the Proteas should have the depth in all areas to bring it home.

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Graham Swann & Stuart Broad - Something for the ladies

Second match is at Centurion on Sunday where we can hopefully make it 2 from 2 and put the pressure on the Poms going into the ODI’s and Test matches.

Other matches

As mentioned in the intro, everyone is playing International rugby this weekend. Wales host Samoa which should be a sure thing for the solid Welsh. They sadly didn’t take their chances against the All Blacks last week but against a Samoan side who aren’t what they used to be, the home faithful will have more to cheer about Friday night. Kick off 21h30 Friday.
Italy host New Zealand which will be just what you expect it to be. Dan Carter is serving a one-match suspension after trying to behead a Welsh player last week but that will not change the inevitable score line. Kick off 16h00 Saturday
England, or that make shift side that where white jerseys, will take on Argentina in a great match for all concerned. England have had a dreadful run of injuries recently and did well to just be competitive against the Wallabies last week. Argentina with all their European based players are always a tough prospect and should be too strong and too cohesive on the day. Kick off 16h30 Saturday.
Scotland play Fiji. Kick off 16h30 Saturday
Then in the game of the day, Ireland vs Australia. Ireland are the head honchos up in that part of the world right now and are going to be a sizable challenge for Australia. If Australia take all their chances they might run them close, but as everyone knows, it’s not the best Wallaby side at the moment and after only beating a depleted England by 9 points last week, Ireland will almost certainly bury them in this one.

No football worth mentioning this weekend, womens college olive oil wrestling is still in pre-season training which just leaves a bit of golf as an alternative to Rugby and Cricket.
It’s the Australian Masters where a so-so field is teeing it up. The big money winner of course won’t be the champion at the end of it, but rather it is already Tiger Woods who pockets a larger cheque in the form of an appearance fee than that of the 1st place purse.
Just for that reason I hope all his putts lip out, the beer swilling Aussie crowd jeer him endlessly and South Africa’s young Branden Grace has the week of his life and flicks Tiger the bird when he lifts the trophy.
No im not jealous of Tiger with his super hot wife, private jets, amazing sporting ability, endless pits of money…no , not the slightest.

Weekends Predictions

Cricket
SA vs England 20/20
Friday – SA
Sunday – SA
Rugby
Wales 38 – 13 Samoa
France 24 – SA 27
England 17 – Argentina 25
Italy 15 – New Zealand 43
Scotland 26 – Fiji 18
Ireland 23 – Austrlia 12

The England Tour Of South Africa

November 10, 2009

After whipping the Aussies in their own back yard last summer, we get to host the Poms at home this time round, meaning there will be some sizzling cricket action for us to watch during the silly season.

There are few better sporting things really; long hot days, a smoking braai and numerous opportunities to shout four letter words at English cricketers. Brilliant!

So with a full fixture list of 20/20 , ODI and Tests we should really get to know who our opposition is for the next couple of months.

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Glamour Models- England players sometimes date them

Starting with the ODI squad.

One-day squad:

Andrew Strauss (Middlesex, captain)
James Anderson (Lancashire)
Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire)
Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)
Paul Collingwood (Durham)
Alastair Cook (Essex)
Joe Denly (Kent)
Sajid Mahmood (Lancashire)
Eoin Morgan (Middlesex)
Graham Onions (Durham)
Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire)
Matt Prior (Sussex)
Adil Rashid (Yorkshire)
Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire)
Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire)
Luke Wright (Sussex)

Captained by Andrew “F&uck off Graham you can’t have a runner’ Strauss this one day side is pretty much the same side that kicked us in the nuts in the Champions Trophy. Interestingly the star batsman for that match, Owais Shar, has not been included for the tour as he makes way for the return of the ‘prodigal doos’ Kevin Pietersen.
I don’t want to sound like one of those thick-skinned die hard fans here, but these guys were lucky in the Champions Trophy. We were terribly out of sorts and practice and they clicked in all departments.

Apart from Pietersen hitting his straps, which may be unlikely when you consider his recent injury lay-off, I don’t see too many dangers here.
Jonathan Trott has deservedly been included in the squad and will certainly bolster the middle order along with Pietersen, Strauss, Cook and Collingwood make a decent top order.
Eoin Morgan showed us he can bat a bit but it’s the lack of experience and performance of players like Luke Wright which makes this team look a little light.
James Anderson is a formidable strike bowler but will he be able to get the support he needs from players like Broad, Swann and Mahmood?

Test squad:

Andrew Strauss (Middlesex, captain)
Alastair Cook (Essex, vice-captain)
James Anderson (Lancashire)
Ian Bell (Warwickshire)
Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)
Paul Collingwood (Durham)
Steven Davies (Surrey)
Graham Onions (Durham)
Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire)
Liam Plunkett (Durham)
Matt Prior (Sussex)
Adil Rashid (Yorkshire)
Ryan Sidebottom (Nottinghamshire)
Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire)
Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire)
Luke Wright (Sussex)

In the Tests Strauss leads the way here too and along with vice captain Alastair Cook they have a pretty decent opening pair which has done well in the past.
Much like in the One day side, the top order should be completed with Collingwood, Pietersen and Trott with Bell also in the mix for the top 5.
With Flintoff deciding to throw in the towel with the tests, Luke Wright looks set to try and pick up Freddies mantle but once again, like I mentioned in the One Day set up he is perhaps a bit light on talent and experience. Especially in the bowling department but here he will be ably supported by some decent seamers.
Anderson once again spearheads the attack along with Graham Onions who will more than likely be the other bowler to share the new ball. Ryan Sidetrousers will have something to say about that though, with Stuart Broad slotting in as a first change option.
On the spin front, young leg-spinner Adil Rashid has been included in the squad who along with Graeme Swann offer the slow bowling options.
Liam Plunkett was favoured over the explosive Steve Harmison in the squad and offers England some decent back-up with the ball as well as a little with the bat.

Matt Prior will be the keeper and all in all it’s a fairly balanced side. A side though that should really not be strong enough against the settled Proteas line up who on hard fast tracks should have the better of them.

Our One-Day squad might be a little underdone at the moment so there could be an upset in that form of the game, but our Test side is still no.1 at the moment in my eyes and should do well in the 4 Test series.

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Swimsuit models- South African cricketers often date them

Key Battles

Steyn vs Strauss
Since Andrew Strauss told Graham Smith he couldn’t get a runner in the last match between these two sides, it was clear that the rivalry for the summer had started.
Strauss is a key figure in their batting line-up and his duel with Dale Steyn will be crucial to the outcome of the tests.
Sure every time our main strike bowler has the new ball in hand you would think it’s a key moment, but if Dale is able to get that late in swing to the left handed Strauss, the English captain could be found wanting.

Harris vs Pietersen

Paul Harris is often unfairly criticized for his lack of spin or inability to dominate as a slow bowler. Against the Aussies however he often got the crucial break through and was never blasted out of the attack.
He has the ability to work on a batsman and though he may lack the ripping turn of other top class spinners, he is a presence at the crease and mixes up his flight brilliantly.
KP on the other hand is a blaster of the ball and will look to target Harris to unsettle our attack. Coming back from injury he may not be at his best but this will be an encounter that could go either way.

Smith vs Anderson

James Anderson has come along tremendously in the past 18 months and is a genuine strike bowler in all forms of the game. His ability to swing the new ball combined with good pace and great direction, make him a big threat to the South African captain at the top of the innings.
Graham showed against the Aussies that he relishes the big stage every time and this home series will certainly be just that.
Anderson has a heavy workload for this tour and though and his battle with our entire top order will be a tough one, this particular match up though, just like the Smith vs Hougard of the last home tour, will have a large bearing in the tests.

All things considered it’s going to  cracking summer, so get on down to your nearest ground and support our boys in green and gold. Oh and wish Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott, Andrew Strauss and the rest of the South Africans in the blue team the best of luck in any way you like.

England in South Africa 2009/10

Fixtures

November 2009

13 South Africa v England Pro20 , Johannesburg 18:00

15 South Africa v England Pro20 , Centurion 14:30

20 South Africa v England ODI    , Johannesburg 14:30

22 South Africa v England ODI    , Centurion 10:00

27 South Africa v England ODI    , Cape Town 14:30

29 South Africa v England ODI    , Port Elizabeth 10:00

December 2009

4 South Africa v England    ODI    , Durban     14:30

16 South Africa v England Test    , Centurion     10:30

26 South Africa v England Test    , Durban     10:30

January 2010

3 South Africa v England    Test    , Cape Town    10:30

14 South Africa v England Test    , Johannesburg 10:30

Springbok team for Fridays Test against France

November 10, 2009

Peter De Villiers has made 4 changes from the last run-on team that won the try nations in New Zealand.

Francois Steyn and Jean De Villiers who are no longer eligible for selection as they now ply their trade in the Northern Hemisphere, making way for Zane Kirchner and Adi Jacobs respectively.
Ryan Kankowski comes in for Pierre Spies who is at home with an injured finger and JP Pietersen comes back after the injury he sustained in the first away game of the Tri-Nations.

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Big game for Kankowski

The bench has a whole host of fresh faces with Adriaan Strauss, Wian du Preez and CJ van der Linde providing possible the strongest replacement front row in world rubgy. Wian du Preez is the only uncapped player in the squad, with the rest of the bench being made up of familiar faces covering the other key positions.

It is an especially big game for Kankowski, as he knows full well that Pierre Spies is most probably the most formidable no.8 in world rugby at the moment, so his chances in the starting line-up are few and far between. If that isn’t enough motivation to have a big game then the thought of the extremely impressive Ashley Johnson breathing down his neck will surely drive the nail home.

Zane Kirchner in the absence of Steyn and the fragility of Pienaar at the back, has a real chance to claim the number 15 jersey as his own and will no doubt be looking to carry his impressive form for the Bulls into the big time.

The rest of the team has that familiar strong look to it and Schalk Burger will be relishing his chance to get back in the thick of International rugby again.

Springbok Team (test caps in brackets):

15 Zane Kirchner (1)
14 JP Pietersen (30)
13 Jaque Fourie (51)
12 Adi Jacobs (28)
11 Bryan Habana (54)
10 Morné Steyn (9)
9 Fourie du Preez (52)
8 Ryan Kankowski (9)
7 Schalk Burger (53)
6 Heinrich Brüssow (10)
5 Victor Matfield (89)
4 Bakkies Botha (63)
3 John Smit – captain (90)
2 Bismarck du Plessis (30)
1 Tendai Mtawarira (19)

Reserves:

16 Adriaan Strauss (5)
17 Wian du Preez (0)
18 CJ van der Linde (56)
19 Andries Bekker (18)
20 Danie Rossouw (43)
21 Ruan Pienaar (34)
22 Wynand Olivier (24)

GO BOKKE

Game kicks off at 21h45 Supersport 1