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Pic: sacricketmag.com

Pic: sacricketmag.com

Wayne Parnell claimed four major prizes including the ultimate accolade as Cape Cobras’ player of the year at the awards-ceremony of the Western Province Cricket Association on Monday at the WPCC in Claremont.

Parnell was also named the Cape Cobras Momentum One-day Player of the Year, the Ram Slam T20 Challenge player of the year and the Cape Cobras players’ player of the year.

“I have not seen Wayne play this well for many summers. It is a just reward for good, consistent performances,” said Paul Adams, the Cape Cobras coach.

Parnell ended with 16 wickets at an economy-rate of 4.83 in the Momentum One Day Cup series, slammed 437 runs at an average of 47.40 as Ram Slam T20 Challenge opener and also took eight wickets in the T20-format.

Although he did not claim the SuperSport series player of the year award, he did average 48.14 with the bat and captured 23 wickets in five matches, including three consecutive five-wicket hauls. He claimed 12 wickets in the penultimate match of the season against the Sunfoil Dolphins, and ripped through the visitors with 7-51 in the first innings. Continue reading

Pieter-Steph du Toit has been withdrawn from the Springbok squad after a scan revealed on Monday that he has suffered a grade two hamstring tear over the weekend, with Franco Mostert being called up as replacement.

Du Toit was sent for a scan on Monday, which confirmed the extent of the injury. He has been ruled out of action for between two and six weeks.

Mostert, of the Emirates Lions, is set to join the squad on Tuesday in Stellenbosch. He was initially was named in the SA ‘A’ squad for the two-match series against the England Saxons.

Cell C Sharks lock Stephan Lewies, who has one Test cap to his name, will replace Mostert in the SA A squad.

Other players who did not participate in Monday afternoon’s first field session in Stellenbosch were centre Jesse Kriel and prop Trevor Nyakane. Kriel has a bruised sternum and will be managed accordingly during the week, while Nyakane will undergo a scan to his shoulder.

The Springboks have a full training programme on Tuesday, which includes a gym session in the morning as well as two field sessions.

Adriaan Strauss will become the 57th Springbok captain after the Vodacom Bulls hooker was named to lead South Africa in the Castle Lager Incoming Series against Ireland, which starts on 11 June in Cape Town.

Springbok coach, Allister Coetzee, made the announcement on Monday afternoon in Stellenbosch, where the Boks are preparing for the first Test.

The popular Strauss hooker follows in the footsteps of long-serving Springbok captain, Jean de Villiers as well as Victor Matfield, Schalk Burger and Fourie du Preez.

Coetzee said he decided to appoint the captain before the first training session.

“Adriaan’s leadership qualities are impressive and well-established and he has the respect of his team mates on and off the field,” said Springbok coach Allister Coetzee.

“He enjoys the respect of all the players and he has always fulfilled a leadership role wherever he played, since coming through the junior national structures. Continue reading

Johan Ackermann has been appointed as head coach of a strong SA ‘A’ team, featuring six players with Springbok Test experience, for their two-match series against the England Saxons next month. He will be assisted by Chumani Booi and Abe Davids.

Five of the six players with Test experience are in the pack. They are Oupa Mohoje, Nizaam Carr, Coenie Oosthuizen, Vincent Koch and Marcel van der Merwe. At the back, Piet van Zyl will provide knowledge of international rugby.

The national selectors also picked seven players who had their first taste of Vodacom Super Rugby this year. They are Lukhanyo Am, Jean-Luc du Preez, Lizo Gqoboka, Ntando Kebe, JD Schickerling, RG Snyman and Leolin Zas.

“Many of the players in the SA ‘A’ squad were considered for the Springboks and will obviously come into consideration in the event of injuries, but we could only select a certain number of players and it will be good to see them get international exposure against a strong England Saxons team,” said Springbok coach Allister Coetzee. Continue reading

The Emirates Lions consolidated their position at the top of the South African Vodacom Super Rugby group with a thrilling 56-20 victory over their neighbours, the Vodacom Bulls, in Pretoria on Saturday evening.

In doing so, the Johannesburg side went seven points clear of the Cell C Sharks in their Africa 2 conference and six points clear of the DHL Stormers in the collated South African group. It was also the first home loss for the Pretoria side this year.

And in Cape Town, the DHL Stormers edged the Toyota Cheetahs 31-24 in a close-fought encounter to register their first win in four matches, following two losses and a draw. The home side led the visitors 14-9 and scored three tries to two in the early Saturday fixture at DHL Newlands.

The Southern Kings beat a 13-man Jaguares side 29-22 in their clash in Port Elizabeth on Friday night at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

In Friday’s other matches, the Hurricanes won 27-20 over the Highlanders in Wellington and the Waratahs outscored the Chiefs 45-25 in Sydney. On Saturday, the Blues lost 21-26 to the Crusaders in Wellington while the Brumbies overpowered the Sunwolves 66-5 in Canberra. In the final Round 15 fixture played on Sunday morning in Melbourne, the Rebels edged the Force 27-22.

The competition will resume after the June internationals.

 

Vodacom Bulls 20, Emirates Lions 56

Continue reading

· DHL Stormers host Toyota Cheetahs; Southern Kings meet Jaguares in PE

· Career milestone for South African referee Craig Joubert

Gauteng rivals the Vodacom Bulls and the Emirates Lions go head to head on Saturday afternoon in a mouth-watering Vodacom Super Rugby encounter at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria. This Round 14 fixture will be the last local match before the break for the June internationals.

In the other fixture featuring local teams on Saturday, the DHL Stormers host the Toyota Cheetahs in the early 15h00 kick-off at DHL Newlands in Cape Town, while the injury-hit Southern Kings entertain the visiting Jaguares on Friday evening at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s Craig Joubert will on Saturday become only the third referee in history to officiate his 100th Vodacom Super Rugby match when he takes charge of the clash in Pretoria.

The Loftus match will add another highlight to Joubert’s illustrious career, which includes officiating the 2011 Rugby World Cup final in New Zealand, as well as three Vodacom Super Rugby finals, in 2010, 2013 and 2014. Continue reading

DHL Western Province coach John Dobson has been forced to make two changes to his starting line-up for their clash with ORC Griquas at DHL Newlands on Saturday.

Dobson has lost the services of centre Daniel du Plessis and lock JD Schickerling who have been called up to the DHL Stormers team for their Vodacom Super Rugby match against the Toyota Cheetahs.

As a result EW Viljoen makes his first start of the season at outside centre with Tim Whitehead moving to inside centre, while Jurie van Vuuren fills the vacancy in the second row for the clash against the unbeaten ORC Griquas which kicks off at 12h00 on Saturday and not 12h15 as originally scheduled.

There are a few new faces on the replacements bench as well with Tygerberg star Dale Wilson set to make his senior DHL Western Province debut, while Eital Bredenkamp, Ryan Oosthuizen and Grant Hermanus, returning from injury, are all back in the mix. Continue reading

Daniel du Plessis will make his DHL Stormers debut in the Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Toyota Cheetahs at DHL Newlands on Saturday.

The talented young midfielder, who has been in excellent form for DHL Western Province, comes into the team at outside centre with Juan de Jongh still sidelined with a back strain, while Johnny Kotze moves to the replacements bench in place of the injured Huw Jones.

In the forward pack Sikhumbuzo Notshe will start at No.8 in place of Schalk Burger who has not recovered from a foot injury, with JD Schickerling providing lock cover from the bench.

DHL Stormers coach Robbie Fleck said that his team is fully focused on returning to winning ways back on home turf at DHL Newlands.

“The last few weeks have been quite frustrating for us, so we are focused on delivering a convincing performance for our faithful supporters at DHL Newlands. Continue reading

The Ireland national coaching group have selected a squad of 32 players – including South African born Richardt Strauss, CJ Stander and the uncapped Quinn Roux – to travel to South Africa in June for a three Test series against the Springboks.

The squad will depart for South Africa on Sunday 5th June and will be based in Cape Town ahead of the first Test at the DHL Newlands Stadium before moving to Johannesburg for the second Test at Emirates Airline Park. The third and final Test will take place in Port Elizabeth at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Ireland Head Coach Joe Schmidt commented: “Touring South Africa will be arduous to say the least so we’ve attempted to prioritise players who are currently as close to full fitness as possible. In what is always a difficult balancing act, we’ve taken a long term view with a number of players who need a rest or will benefit from a full pre-season.” Continue reading

Coca-Cola, official race partner to the Comrades Marathon, is calling on all South Africans to show their support of the world’s greatest ultra-marathon by sharing their Comrades #GoldMoment. Race enthusiasts who share their Comrades #GoldMoment on social media, either in the run up to the race or on race day, stand the chance to win one of twenty Coca-Cola hampers.

The Comrades Marathon isn’t just about the top ten race finishers who receive a gold medal. It’s about the excitement and anticipation experienced by a first time Comrades runner standing on the starting line, the feeling of satisfaction when reaching your goal time, the rush of relief as you spot your loved ones on route or the comradery when helping a fellow runner over the finish line. These are the gold moments that celebrate the human spirit on which the Comrades Marathon is built. Continue reading

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