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CAPE TOWN. – You know that Novak Djokovic, the number-1 male tennis player in the world, is at his majestic best when he hits a few double-backhand winners down the line early on. You sensed Graeme Smith was in form when you witnessed a splendid off-drive for a boundary in the first two overs.

And you realize the Cape Cobras fast bowler Vernon Philander is rampant when the vociferous leg-before-wicket shouts for a delivery that nipped back into the left-hander and struck him flush on the pads, are heard repeatedly in his first spell.

Philander, though, admits he is not back at his best. He needs more overs and more game time. Justin Ontong, captain of the Cape Cobras for the match against the Sunfoil Dolphins, applauded his excellent holding role in both first and second innings at PPC Newlands during the weekend.

One of the key moments of the match came when he had Vaughn van Jaarsveld caught behind for 29 in his second spell from the Kelvin Grove end. Van Jaarsveld had blasted four boundaries, including two clinical straight drives that whistled past Wayne Parnell, the bowler. Continue reading

Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell believes his team has prepared well for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Hong Kong, due to kick off on Friday 8 April in the Hong Kong Stadium.

The Springbok Sevens team arrived in the city on Monday and Powell expressed his excitement with the tournament a couple of days away.

“Preparation wise it was key for us to get the guys fresh again and almost get that desire back to be successful,” said Powell shortly after their arrival.

“It is a tough season in that we only have two and a half weeks between tournaments. The guys are still struggling to get over the jetlag from the previous tournaments before they had to get on the plane to get to Hong Kong.

“We tried something new by resting the guys a bit more, so hopefully we got the balance right between rest and preparing and conditioning them for the tournament.”

The coach feels that a different focus this time around could also aid in a first ever title at this iconic venue. Continue reading

  • Southern Kings record first win of season in Port Elizabeth
  • Emirates Lions collect vital bonus point in Johannesburg thriller

The Vodacom Bulls did just enough to edge the Toyota Cheetahs 23-18 in a hard-fought local Vodacom Super Rugby derby clash on Saturday evening at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria. The home team led 20-10 at halftime and outscored the visitors by three tries to two.

After several gusty performances in their previous matches, the Southern Kings scored their first win of the season when they outlasted the Sunwolves 33-28 in Port Elizabeth on Saturday afternoon. A strong scrum and 13 kicking points by flyhalf Louis Fouché tipped the scale in favour of the Kings at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium after both sides scored four tries each.

Industrious hooker Edgar Marutlulle had another storming performance for the Kings and he was deservedly presented with the Vodacom Player of the Match award afterwards. Continue reading

Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron on Friday named a provisional 36-man training squad as the preparations begin to take shape for the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Manchester, England, from 7 to 25 June.

Theron invited 56 players to a trials camp in Cape Town this week where they were put through their paces with fitness, skills and medical test to determine if they have what it takes to represent the Junior Springboks at the World Championship.

The trials camp concluded on Friday morning with a high-tempo training session at the City Park Stadium in Crawford. Continue reading

SA Select coach Renfred Dazel on Thursday made six changes to his squad for the Hong Kong Invitational on 7 and 8 April, with senior players Zenay Jordaan, Marithy Pienaar and Jacqueline Kriel back in action among a few new faces.

Jordaan and Pienaar missed the Las Vegas Invitational early in March due to thumb and leg injuries respectively, while Kriel was rested, and they will add leadership and a new dynamic to the squad. Lorinda Brown has retained the captaincy from the Las Vegas Invitational. Continue reading

The Olympic Games is without a doubt the pinnacle of world sport and the peak of any athlete’s career. Powerade, as the official sports drink of the 2016 Olympic Games, will be giving everyday sportsmen and women a taste of what it takes to train like a professional in 2016 through the Powerade Train Like an Olympian campaign. The campaign kicked off at the 2016 Cape Town Cycle Tour and then moved onto the new Cape Argus Sport Show and the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon. Powerade gave all race participants and expo goers at each event the opportunity to experience elements of an Olympic style training assessment from some of the country’s top training specialists.

Just like Olympians, all sportsmen and women have the desire to continually improve their performance and to achieve their personal goals. However, average sportsmen and sportswomen only have limited access to professional training information and the exercise science which could take their performance to the next level. Continue reading

 

STELLENBOSCH, SOUTH AFRICA - JANUARY 20: Siviwe Sonwabile Soyizwapi during the Springbok Sevens Steinhoff Sponsorship Launch at Markotter Indoor Facility on January 20, 2016 in Stellenbosch, South Africa. (Photo by Luke Walker/Gallo Images)

Siviwe Sonwabile Soyizwapi (Photo by Luke Walker/Gallo Images)

Former Southern Kings wing Siviwe Soyizwapi will make his Springbok Sevens debut next weekend as the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series moves to the Far East for tournaments in Hong Kong (8-10 April) and Singapore (16-17 April).

The inclusion of the 24 year-old, who attended Dale College in King William’s Town, is one of four changes to the side that contested the Cup final at the Canada Sevens in Vancouver earlier this month. The other changes see the inclusion of Ryan Kankowski, Philip Snyman and Stephan Dippenaar.

Kankowski was a late withdrawal from Vancouver (ankle strain) and takes over from Chris Dry, while Snyman replaces Dylan Sage and Soyizwapi comes in for Bryan Habana, who has returned to his club duties for Toulon in France.

Snyman missed the North American leg of the series due to injury, while Dippenaar receives an opportunity to boost his Rio 2016 chances having last played in the London Sevens at the back end of the 2015/16 series. He replaces Rosko Specman, who is rested, along with Dry. Continue reading

Four top South African referees, Stuart Berry, Craig Joubert, Jaco Peyper and Marius van der Westhuizen, were on Wednesday named on World Rugby’s match-official panel for the June Internationals.

The referees for the Springboks’ three Test matches against Ireland in the Castle Lager Incoming Tour in June were also named. They are Mathieu Raynal of France, Angus Gardner of Australia and New Zealand’s Glen Jackson.

Raynal has been tasked with officiating the first of the three Tests between the Springboks and Ireland, in Cape Town on 11 June, with Gardner and England’s Matthew Carley named as his assistants. Continue reading

Pic: sport24.co.za

Pic: sport24.co.za

CAPE TOWN. – Robin Peterson and Justin Kemp, two names intimately associated with a golden period in the rich history of the Cape Cobras, will leave the franchise at the end of the season. Kemp will retire from first-class cricket at the end of the 2015/2016-season after a splendid career in which he featured in four tests and 85 One Day Internationals for South Africa.

He was a major factor in assisting the Cobras to lift ten trophies in the past eight seasons as belligerent middle-order batsman, dependable and probing medium-pacer and one of the best poachers of a cricket ball ever produced by Western Province and the Cobras. In 58 domestic one-day cup matches, he struck 1246 runs at an average of 31.94, while capturing 38 wickets. He also assembled 1691 four-day runs and captured 83 wickets at an average of 27.45.

As a slip-fielder, his name is mentioned in the same breath as Brian McMillan and Neil Johnson as three of the finest who ever played the game under the Oaks. He was a devastating finisher in one-day cricket. Kemp’s 89-ball unbeaten century against India at PPC Newlands for South Africa in 2006 is still fondly remembered. Continue reading

SA Rugby President, Mr Oregan Hoskins, paid tribute to Springbok scrumhalf Fourie du Preez, who called time on his illustrious rugby career on Thursday.

The 34-year-old Du Preez represented South Africa in 76 Tests between 2004 and 2015, captaining the Springboks in four Tests at the Rugby World Cup in England last year. He also won 164 caps for the Vodacom Bulls and Vodacom Blue Bulls from 2001 to 2011, and played 55 times for Suntory Sungoliath in Japan.

Du Preez played his last match in the green and gold in the Rugby World Cup semi-final against New Zealand, where he picked up an injury which ruled him out of the third-place play-off. He has subsequently finished his career with Suntory. Continue reading

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