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Tuesday, July 23, 2024
Submitted By Estea Rademeyer  Sports
16 Aug 2023
Cricket South Africa (CSA) has embraced a more adaptable approach to fitness standards for both male and female athletes, allowing players failing to meet certain criteria to still play at the discretion of national coaches.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) has embraced a more adaptable approach to fitness standards for both male and female athletes, allowing players failing to meet certain criteria to still play at the discretion of national coaches. While CSA no longer rigidly enforces the completion of a two-kilometer run within a specified time or adherence to recommended skinfold measures, a document shared with players underlines the "strong recommendation" that those not meeting minimum fitness levels "should not take the field in an official match."

The authority to determine a player's participation rests with the respective coaches, namely Rob Walter for the men's white-ball team, Shukri Conrad for the men's red-ball team, and Hilton Moreeng for the women's team.

Enoch Nkwe, CSA's Director of Cricket, explained the change as a response to evolving needs. "We had a medical conference in June and we decided to allow the medical team to work out a better way forward," he shared with ESPNcricinfo. The move reflects CSA's recognition of the need for flexibility, placing trust in coaches' decision-making capacities due to their familiarity with the team's environment.

This policy revision follows instances from last year where key players such as former captain Dane van Niekerk, batter Lizelle Lee, and bowler Sisanda Magala were sidelined due to fitness criteria non-compliance. Acknowledging that the selectors have the discretion to assess a player's fitness on a case-by-case basis, the new approach aims to prevent the undue sidelining of players due to strict adherence to metrics.

The "fit-to-play" standards for the 2023-24 season remain unchanged for both men and women. Male players are expected to complete a two-kilometer run within 8.30 minutes and maintain skinfold measurements of 85mm or less. Women have a parallel standard, requiring completion within 9.30 minutes and skinfolds under 100mm. While male provincial players share the international standard, their female counterparts are allowed some leniency, with a time frame of 10.15 minutes and skinfolds below 120mm.

CSA's initiative extends to an "elite standard" where players accomplishing the run in under 7.45 minutes (men) and under 9.00 minutes (women) are recognized. While CSA seeks to encourage players to aim for excellence, there is no information on any accompanying incentives for achieving the elite status.

Players will undergo fitness evaluations twice a season, with one assessment prior to the September commencement and the other mid-season, spanning December to January. The prescribed test recommends a warm-up involving ten minutes of running and dynamic stretching, allowing walking breaks during the trial. The stipulation mandates outdoor completion, preferably on an athletic track, precluding indoor or treadmill running.

The overhaul in CSA's fitness standards underscores a commitment to fostering an environment of growth and performance excellence, setting a fresh precedent in player assessment protocols.
[Submitted by Estea Rademeyer]


Submitted By Kevin Rademeyer  Sports
08 Aug 2023
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber named 21 players with Rugby World Cup experience (nine of whom will be appearing at their third RWC tournament) when he revealed the defending champion’s squad of 33 players for the 2023 edition in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber named 21 players with Rugby World Cup experience (nine of whom will be appearing at their third RWC tournament) when he revealed the defending champion’s squad of 33 players for the 2023 edition in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Nienaber’s squad featured a strong mix of experience and some of the best up-and-coming young players in the country, while there was disappointment for three of the starting XV from the 32-12 victory over England in Japan four years ago, who were ruled out by injury and illness.

Flyhalf Handre Pollard (calf), Lukhanyo Am (knee) and Lood de Jager (chest problem) have been placed on standby with six other players. The Springbok coaches were hopeful that they may return to full training before the start of the tournament and be available for call-up in the event of injury.

Meanwhile props Frans Malherbe and Trevor Nyakane, lock Eben Etzebeth, loose forwards Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi, Duane Vermeulen, centres Damian de Allende and Jesse Kriel and fullback Willie le Roux will feature in their third World Cup tournaments and are among a large group of players who were members of the 2019 Rugby World Cup-winning squad.

Also returning from 2019 are Steven Kitshoff and Vincent Koch (props), Bongi Mbonambi and Malcolm Marx (hookers), RG Snyman (lock), Kwagga Smith, (loose forward), Franco Mostert (utility forward), Faf de Klerk and Cobus Reinach (scrumhalves), Damian Willemse (utility back), Cheslin Kolbe and Makazole Mapimpi (wings).

Making their first appearance at a Rugby World Cup are Ox Nche (prop), Jean Kleyn and Marvin Orie (locks), Marco van Staden and Jasper Wiese (loose forwards), Deon Fourie (utility forward), Jaden Hendrikse and Grant Williams (scrumhalves), Manie Libbok (flyhalf), Andre Esterhuizen (centre), Kurt-Lee Arendse and Canan Moodie (outside backs).

The squad comprises 19 forwards and 14 backline players.

“This was one of the hardest selections we have ever had to make,” said Nienaber.

“Any of the 42-man training squad would do a great job but injuries have played a part in the final selection and time unfortunately ran out for some real champions.

“However, we said from the outset that we wanted to name the best 33 players for the World Cup, and after giving 38 players a run in the last four Tests we are pleased with the make-up of the group, and we know we have proper depth in each position.

“We’ve picked a squad with a bunch of the players who can also cover alternative positions, which we’ll need in a very tough World Cup.

“We were in a great position this year to have so many players knocking on the door for selection but unfortunately, we could only select 33. Injuries have had a hand in the final selection, but they are part of the game, and we are excited about the quality of the players who can step in and perform at World Cup level – as many of the players who featured against Argentina showed last weekend.”

Nienaber also announced that nine players would be placed on standby – five of whom will travel with the team to Cardiff and London for their last two RWC warm-up matches against Wales (19 August) and New Zealand (25 August).

The nine players are Am (centre), De Jager (lock), Jean-Luc du Preez (utility forward), Thomas du Toit (prop), Joseph Dweba (hooker), Herschel Jantjies (scrumhalf), Pollard (flyhalf), Evan Roos (No 8) and Gerhard Steenekamp (prop). The five travelling to the UK on Saturday are Du Toit, Du Preez, Dweba, Pollard and Am.

Nienaber said: “Since Rassie (Erasmus – SA Rugby Director of Rugby) and I returned to South Africa in 2018 we’ve been building to the 2023 World Cup, and we are pleased with where we are, going into this World Cup.

“The coaches and players have put in a helluva lot work in the last few years, and we have the luxury of naming a squad that features a big group of players who know what it takes to win a World Cup and who will enter the tournament with vast international experience.

“The younger players have also showed in the last two seasons that they can match some of the top players in the world, so we believe we are better prepared as a team going into this tournament.

“We still have two warm-up games left and a road to travel to build player combinations and fine tune the areas of our game that we feel we need to improve on, so we are by no means the final product at this stage.”

Kolisi, who is expected to be back in action against Wales in two weeks, will captain the Springbok team for the second time at the Rugby World Cup when they take the field in France. Nche and Hendrikse – who have not appeared for the Boks in the past four matches – are also expected to return in the final two warm-up matches.

Am suffered a knee injury in the team’s 24-13 victory against Argentina in Buenos Aires and is expected to be out of action for four weeks, while De Jager is undergoing specialist evaluation for a chest problem. Pollard, meanwhile, has been on the sidelines with a calf injury since joining the team in June and will continue to work with the Bok medical team to return to full fitness.

South Africa will launch their Rugby World Cup title defence on Sunday, 10 September, against Scotland in Marseille, which will be followed by pool matches against Romania in Bordeaux (17 September), Ireland in Paris (23 September) and Tonga in Marseille (1 October).

The Rugby World Cup quarter-finals will be played on the weekend of 14/15 October, with the semi-finals on 20/21 October and the final on Saturday, 28 October.

Springbok Rugby World Cup squad:


Props: Steven Kitshoff (Ulster – 74 caps, 10 points), Vincent Koch (Cell C Sharks – 45 caps, 0 points), Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers – 61 caps, 5 points), Ox Nche (Cell C Sharks – 19 caps, 0 points), Trevor Nyakane (Racing 92 – 61 caps, 5 points).

Hookers: Bongi Mbonambi (Cell C Sharks – 60 caps, 60 points), Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears – 61 caps, 75 points).

Locks: Eben Etzebeth (Cell C Sharks – 112 caps, 25 points), Jean Kleyn (Munster – 2 caps, 0 points), Marvin Orie (Perpignan – 14 caps, 0 points), RG Snyman (Munster – 26 caps, 5 points).

Loose Forwards: Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz – 69 caps, 30 points), Siya Kolisi (captain – Racing 92 – 75 caps, 45 points), Kwagga Smith (Shizuoka Blue Revs – 33 caps, 25 points), Marco van Staden (Vodacom Bulls – 12 caps, 0 points), Duane Vermeulen (SA Rugby – 68 caps, 15 points), Jasper Wiese (Leicester – 22 caps, 5 points).

Utility Forwards: Deon Fourie (DHL Stormers – 7 caps, 0 points), Franco Mostert (Honda Heat – 65 caps, 15 points).


Scrumhalves: Faf de Klerk (Canon Eagles – 48 caps, 44 points), Jaden Hendrikse (Cell C Sharks – 12 caps, 12 points), Cobus Reinach (Montpelllier – 25 caps, 45 points), Grant Williams (Cell C Sharks – 4 caps, 0 points).

Flyhalves: Manie Libbok (DHL Stormers – 7 caps, 45 points), Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers – 31 caps, 36 points).

Centres: Damian de Allende (Panasonic Wild Knights – 72 caps, 50 points), Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins – 13 caps, 0 points), Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles – 61 caps, 60 points).

Outside Backs: Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls – 9 caps, 50 points), Cheslin Kolbe (Suntory Sungoliath – 25 caps, 81 points), Willie le Roux (Vodacom Bulls – 86 caps, 65 points), Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks – 38 caps, 115 points), Canan Moodie (Vodacom Bulls – 6 caps, 10 points).

[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]

Submitted By Kevin Rademeyer  Sports
03 Aug 2023
Johannesburg, 2 August 2023 – The DP World Lions are thrilled to welcome former Protea Captain, batsman and multiple record holder, Hashim Amla as the teams batting coach.

Johannesburg, 2 August 2023 – The DP World Lions are thrilled to welcome former Protea Captain, batsman and multiple record holder, Hashim Amla as the teams batting coach.
Commencing immediately, the three-year partnership will see Amla work alongside DP World Lions Head Coach Russell Domingo in all three formats of the game.

40-year-old Amla was a run scoring machine with multiple records to his name including
being named as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 2013. Having played in all three formats of the game, Amla holds the record for the fastest ever player to score 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000 and 7000 ODI runs. He also became the fastest cricketer to reach 10 ODI centuries and in January 2018, breaking Virat Kohli’s record for being the fastest cricketer to reach 27 centuries in ODI cricket.

Lions Cricket CEO Jono Leaf-Wright comments on the second significant coach signing this season; “Our intentions were clear when we secured the services of the brains trust of Russell
Domingo. We’ve now further stamped our authority on our quest for domestic dominance with one of the country’s greatest ever cricketers in Hashim Amla joining our family. I cannot adequately express my gratitude to him, Sumaiyah and his greater family for agreeing to walk this journey with us. The impact that this mastermind leader will make on our talents, is
immeasurable and we are both thankful and thrilled to have him join us.”

Having retired from all forms of cricket in January 2023, the Durban born former Protea captain says that he’s relishing the opportunity that lies ahead;
“I am truly delighted to work with Lions Cricket. They are one of the largest Protea producing teams in the country and to work with their players is an honour. The head coach Russel
Domingo and I go back many years: I had him as a coach whilst with the Proteas and his
experience as an international coach is something I am eager to team up with and share in. A sincere appreciation must go to the Lions Cricket CEO Jono and to my manager Ismail for bringing this together seamlessly. The domestic game is the base for all quality cricketers who desire longevity in their careers and to be a part of that excites me.”

DP World Lions Head Coach Russell Domingo says;
“I am ecstatic that Hashim has joined us. His record speaks for itself and being able to tap into that experience will be massively beneficial for our players. He is a legend of our game and I am sure he will make a significant impact within our Pride.”

The DP World Lions batting coach will commence his duties with immediate effect, with the pre-season already underway for the current CSA One Day Cup champions.

The season is fast approaching, and we are excited to have our fans and friends pack out the DP World Wanderers stadium to support our Teams and help the Lion roar loud and proud!

[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]


Submitted By Kevin Rademeyer  Sports
16 Jul 2023
The Springboks fought back with three tries in the second half – after falling 17-0 down in the opening quarter hour – but two scores in the final 10 minutes by the home team, blew out the score once again to leave the tourists bitterly disappointed.

The Springboks fought back with three tries in the second half – after falling 17-0 down in the opening quarter hour – but two scores in the final 10 minutes by the home team, blew out the score once again to leave the tourists bitterly disappointed.

The second of the Boks’ tries had closed the gap to eight points at 23-15 midway through the second half as they stormed back into contention, fueled by the energy of the Bomb Squad, but that was the high-point for the visitors as the All Blacks once again converted the sniff of a chance into seven points from wing Will Jordan try to restore the home team’s cushion with 11 minutes to go.

A fast and furious start by the All Blacks – keeping the tempo high with a short-passing game and a punishing kicking game – had set the Boks well and truly on their heels as the home team surged into a 17-0 lead in 15 minutes as the Springboks chased shadows in the opening quarter.

Scrumhalf Aaron Smith was untouched for the first of New Zealand’s two tries in that period, given a scoring run in by Jordan who regained his feet from Bok fullback Wille le Roux’s tackle to curve infield from 30 metres and supply his supporting halfback on the inside.

Powerful loose foward Shannon Frizell thundered through a couple of tackles in the left-hand corner for the second against the back-pedaling defence and, with Richie Mo’unga (flyhalf) converting both and adding a penalty from in front for offside, the Springboks had a mountain to climb.

It had appeared the first steps were taken in the opening half as first Cheslin Kolbe (wing) and then Eben Etzebeth (lock) crossed the line for TMO referrals. Kolbe was ruled not to have grounded the ball as it bobbled between his legs after Beauden Barrett (fullback) fumbled a high ball on the goal-line. Etzebeth’s referral was halted for an earlier neck roll by his lock partner, Lood de Jager.

The entry of the Bomb Squad at the start of the second half began to properly turn the tide as the Boks’ energy levels lifted and their swarming defence and eager carrying drove back the All Blacks.

In the 53rd minute a powerful maul saw replacement hooker Malcolm Marx get what all hoped was the crucial first score of the half.

That was followed by an absolute beauty from Kolbe, swallow-diving in from five metres after a beautiful floated cut-out pass from Le Roux took out the All Blacks’ defence.

But a cross-kick from Beauden Barrett to Jordan for his try (69th minute) and then Mo’unga (77th minute) cruising in down the blindside of an attacking scrum shattered the Boks’ hopes of what would have been a miraculous recovery.

There was time for the livewire flanker Kwagga Smith to strip a ruck and power over from ten metres just before the final siren, which came as Kolbe ran back the kick off and was taken into touch deep in the home team’s half. It summed up the Boks’ evening, promising at times but ultimately falling short.


Springboks 20 (3) – Tries: Malcolm Marx, Cheslin Kolbe, Kwagga Smith. Conversion: Kolbe. Penalty goal: Faf de Klerk.

New Zealand 35 (20) – Tries: Aaron Smith, Shannon Frizell, Will Jordan, Richie Mo’unga. Conversions: Mo’unga (3). Penalty goals: Mo’unga (3).
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]


Submitted By Kevin Rademeyer  Sports
30 May 2023

The story of Luton Town Football Club is one that captures the essence of romance and underdog triumph in the world of football. Rising from non-league football to the Premier League in just over a decade is a remarkable achievement that showcases the club's resilience and determination. With limited financial resources, a modest fan base, and a historic past, Luton Town's ascent into the top flight is a testament to the magic of the beautiful game.

A Humble Background:
Luton Town's journey to the Premier League is all the more impressive considering their modest resources. With one of the lowest wage bills in the Championship and an average attendance of less than 10,000, the club operates on a much smaller scale compared to football giants like Manchester United or Manchester City. Despite these challenges, Luton Town has embraced the role of David against a room full of Goliaths, defying the odds and capturing the imagination of football fans across the country.

The Glory Days and the Fall:
Luton Town's last taste of top-flight football came in 1992, the same year the Premier League was born. During their heyday, the club enjoyed an extended period in the first tier, nurturing talented players who went on to have successful careers. Their crowning achievement came in 1988 when they lifted the Football League Cup, defeating Arsenal 3-2 in a thrilling final. However, a decline in fortunes saw Luton Town slide down the leagues, eventually facing a harsh points deduction and the prospect of non-league football.

The Battle for Progress:
One of the challenges Luton Town faces is the outdated Kenilworth Road, their beloved home ground. The club has been striving for decades to secure a new stadium, and plans for the Power Court, a 23,000-seat arena near Luton railway station, are currently underway, set to be completed by 2026. While their current stadium restricts revenue growth, the potential move to a new venue offers exciting possibilities for the club's future.

The Financial Impact of Promotion:
The allure of Premier League football lies not only in the on-field success but also in the substantial financial benefits it brings. The broadcasting money alone can amount to over £170 million over three years. Even if Luton Town were to face relegation, the club would still enjoy significant financial rewards. Their earnings of £17.7 million in 2022 could potentially exceed £120 million in the 2023-24 season. The financial windfall can provide a much-needed boost and place the club on a stronger financial footing for the future.

The Challenges of Staying in the Premier League:
While the road to the Premier League is challenging, the journey doesn't end there. The real test lies in staying among the elite clubs. History shows that the majority of promoted teams struggle to retain their top-flight status beyond their first season. However, Luton Town's well-managed approach, pragmatism, and realistic aspirations position them well for the challenges that lie ahead. The club has learned from past mistakes and understands the importance of smart strategies, including player trading, community engagement, and youth development, to sustain their progress.

A Source of Pride and Inspiration:
Luton Town's return to the top of English football is not only a source of pride for the club and its fans but also a morale-boosting moment for the entire town. With a population of over a quarter of a million people and a growing airport, hosting a Premier League club should have a positive impact on the local community. Luton's industrial decline, though in close proximity to London, has made the club a symbol

[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]

Submitted By Kevin Rademeyer  Sports
26 May 2023
Luton Town and Coventry City are just one game away from completing miracle promotion campaigns from the Championship to the riches of the English Premier League.

Luton Town and Coventry City are just one game away from completing miracle promotion campaigns from the Championship to the riches of the English Premier League.

On Saturday the two clubs will meet at Wembley in the so-called richest game in football, the Championship Play-Off Final, aiming to join Burnley and Sheffield United at the top of the English footballing pyramid.

Coventry boss Mark Robins told reporters after his side's victory over Middlesbrough that this year's Play-off final was "one for the romantics" — and he has good reason.

Just five years ago Luton vs Coventry was a fixture you could find in England's fourth tier. Both clubs have overcome significant hurdles to get to this position, beating existence-threatening financial issues as well as more fancied — and far better backed — clubs to the play-off spots in one of the most competitive leagues in world football.

Winning the Play-offs could be worth as much as 135 million pounds over the next three seasons, according to analysis by Deloitte. If that club stays up the following year, the riches could blow out to as much as 265 million pounds over five years. hat is almost all down to TV broadcast money which goes up from around 8 million pounds per season to 100 million.

"It's wonderful for the town. If we can get promotion, we always know the town does better when the club does better, so fingers crossed," chairman David Wilkinson told the BBC. "The Premier League means everything. Financially it means we can move on quicker with all of our plans so it would be tremendous, but, [we're keeping our] feet on the ground." Luton boss Rob Edwards said it was "surreal" to be so close to the top flight. "We're one game away from the Premier League. It sounds special, it sounds surreal saying it," Edwards told the BBC after their 3-2 aggregate victory over Sunderland.
Those were sentiments echoed by Coventry boss Robins.

"We're playing Luton who have been through a fair amount themselves, but this is a special club with special fans and the fact they've got behind us so much is testament to everything we do," he told the BBC.

"The biggest achievement I think we've managed to do is reconnect with the fans — because there was a huge disconnect with the club. "They've come back together, and it's been phenomenal. It's changed beyond all recognition since I walked through the door in 2017 and hopefully, we can take the next step."

The action kicks off at 17:45 SA time and can be watched on DSTV.


[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]


Submitted By Kevin Rademeyer  Sports
26 May 2023
The DHL Stormers will channel all their energy into Saturday’s Vodacom United Rugby Championship decider with the hope of winning back-to-back titles when they host Irish giants, Munster, in the Grand Final in Cape Town.

The DHL Stormers will channel all their energy into Saturday’s Vodacom United Rugby Championship decider with the hope of winning back-to-back titles when they host Irish giants, Munster, in the Grand Final in Cape Town.

The spectacle, which will be hosted at DHL Stadium for the second season in a row, will kick off at 18h30 and will be broadcast live on SuperSport.

The DHL Stormers will enter the match as favourites with home ground advantage and a fantastic home win record giving them a mental edge, but they will be mindful of the fact that Munster registered confidence-boosting away wins in the quarter-final and semi-final respectively – the latter being against tournament favourites Leinster in Dublin a fortnight ago – to earn their ticket to Cape Town for the Grand Final.

The DHL Stormers won 12 of their 18 pool matches, to Munster’s 10, and while they will look to build on their superior attacking display which has seen them score 607 points to the visitors’ 500 this season, it could prove to be an epic battle as the Irish team boast a better defensive record by 60 points and they won both encounters between the sides in the competition up to now.

Munster will also draw confidence from the fact that they were the only team to defeat the DHL Stormers at home in 11 outings this season, with the Irish side edging a tense match by 26-24 just over a month ago. That defeat was one of only two home losses for the Capetonians in the last two seasons.

Bolstering the visitors’ confidence, their victory against the DHL Stormers was followed up by a 22-22 draw against the Cell C Sharks in Durban in their final league match, which means they will enter the Grand final on a four-match unbeaten run.

Fueling their motivation, Munster have only won twice in seven appearances in the competition’s Grand Final – in 2003 and 2011 – a track record they will be desperate to change, especially after bouncing back from defeats in their opening four away games to remain unbeaten on the road since.

DHL Stormers head coach John Dobson has included Springbok forwards Marvin Orie (lock) and Deon Fourie (flanker) in his starting team after both missed out on the semi-final a fortnight ago.

The backline that started in the semi-final against Connacht is unchanged, with Clayton Blommetjies on the bench in place of the injured Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu.

Fourie and Orie’s return means that Joseph Dweba (hooker) and Ruben van Heerden (lock) are the only starting forwards that did not feature in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship Grand Final at DHL Stadium last season.

“Both Deon and Marvin have been outstanding for us this season and they will add a lot both in terms of their ability and leadership on Saturday,” said Dobson.

“We have a lot of respect for Munster, the truth is that we have never beaten them, so while we are thrilled to be playing at home we know it will be a big challenge against a good team.

"This will be the biggest crowd for any DHL Stormers match and it should be an amazing occasion for the team, our passionate supporters and the city of Cape Town. We are so grateful for the support that we enjoy and what this team means to so many people. We will do our best to soak up the atmosphere, enjoy every moment and play the kind of rugby that got us here.”

In the event of the scores being level after 80 minutes, extra-time consisting of two periods of 10 minutes each will be played, and if the scores are still tied after extra-time, the team that has scored the most tries in the match will be deemed the winner.

Should the teams still be tied on points and tries at the end of extra-time then the winner will be determined by a place-kick competition in which each team will nominate three goal kickers who will take six place kicks between them from different positions along the 22m and 10m lines.

The team with the most successful place-kicks will be the winner. If the teams are still tied at the end of their six kicks, then sudden death will apply.

Vodacom United Rugby Championship Grand Final Teams:

DHL Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Angelo Davids, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Hacjivah Dayimani, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain). Replacements: 16 JJ Kotze, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Ben-Jason Dixon, 20 Willie Engelbrecht, 21 Marcel Theunissen, 22 Paul de Wet, 23 Clayton Blommetjies.

Munster: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Calvin Nash, 13 Antoine Frisch, 12 Malakai Fekitoa, 11 Shane Daly, 10 Jack Crowley, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Gavin Coombes, 7 John Hodnett, 6 Peter O’Mahony (captain), 5 Tadhg Beirne, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Diarmuid Barron, 1 Jeremy Loughman. Replacements: 16 Niall Scannell, 17 Josh Wycherley, 18 Roman Salanoa, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Alex Kendellen, 21 Craig Casey, 22 Ben Healy, 23 Keith Earls.

Match information: DHL Stormers v Munster
Date: Saturday, 27 May
Venue: DHL Stadium, Cape Town
SA Time: 18h30
Referee: Andrea Piardi
TV: SuperSport

[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]


Submitted By Kevin Rademeyer  Sports
06 May 2023
SA Rugby and the Blue Bulls Company (BBCo.) have announced that the Springboks will enjoy a full house once again when they play at Loftus Versfeld.

SA Rugby and the Blue Bulls Company (BBCo.) have announced that the Springboks will enjoy a full house once again when they play at Loftus Versfeld. The three-time world champions will welcome Australia to Tshwane for the opening Test in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship on Saturday, 8 July.

Chief Executive Officer of SA Rugby, Rian Oberholzer said: “To see the ‘sold out’ signs go up two months before the Test, is very exciting for SA Rugby and the Springboks, and we are grateful to see the support for the team as we start our preparations for the Rugby World Cup in France later this year,”

“This shows there is excitement in the country and support for the Springboks ahead of the southern hemisphere showpiece and the Rugby World Cup, and we’d like to thank our faithful supporters for uniting behind the team,”

“Our slogan for the last few years has been #StrongerTogether, and this excitement ahead of the international season certainly sets the tone for the rest of the year.”

BBCo. Operations Manager, Hugo Kemp, commended rugby fans for buying their tickets early, cementing Loftus as the sporting destination for International rugby.

“It is a remarkable feat for us to be able to sell out a test match with two months to go before the actual event. Another stamp of approval for our venue as a preferred test match destination in South Africa,”

“It is also special for us as a sportainment venue to be able to sell out consecutive test matches and we are excited to be able to host the Springboks in our backyard again. Fans across Gauteng have voted by buying tickets to keep international rugby in our city and we know the national team will reward them with something special on the field,”

“All our attention now shifts towards ensuring that we create a memorable experience for all those who will be in the bowl, to reward them for being loyal supporters of our national team and for making Loftus their chosen destination to watch the Boks in a year where we are essentially sending them off to defend their crown.”

Fans are reminded that there are no third-party channels that are accredited to sell or resell tickets and those who do purchase from such channels, do so at the risk of not being able to gain entry into the venue.

“We only have one official ticketing agent and that is TicketPros, anyone else is falsely claiming to be accredited and the only way fans can safeguard their money is to avoid purchasing tickets through these channels otherwise we cannot help them on the day of the event when they do not have entry into the stadium and most importantly, we cannot mediate in the refund processes they would need to engage thereafter,”

IMAGE CREDITS: © Vodacom Bulls

[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]


Submitted By Kevin Rademeyer  Sports
04 May 2023
After a successful 2022/2023 season, the Momentum Multiply Titans have finalised their squad for 2023/2024 and are looking ahead to another successful campaign.
After a successful 2022/2023 season, the Momentum Multiply Titans have finalised their squad for 2023/2024 and are looking ahead to another successful campaign.

The contracting period saw a number of player movements with some players saying their goodbyes while others join the Sky Blues.

The most notable additions to the Titans squad are Gerald Coetzee who joins from Itec Knights and Rivaldo Moonsamy, the wicket-keeper batter who re-joins from Northern Cape Heat.

Left-handed batter, Matthew Kleinveldt makes the trip to Centurion from Free State while Joshua van Heerden enrols from East London and Tladi Bokako takes a short journey across the Jukskei joining the Titans from the Lions.

The promise shown by young right-arm seamer, Matthew Boast, has earned him a rookie contract with the Titans.

Titans head coach Mandla Mashimbyi had this to say on the new acquisitions, “I’m very pleased with the guys we’ve brought in, they are highly skilled and have proven themselves and I have no doubts that they will add value to the squad.”

“It was important that the players joining us would slot into our plans for the coming season and add to what we’ve been working on here for the last couple of years.” Mashimbyi explained.

Comradery is always a key consideration when assembling a squad and Mashimbyi will be satisfied that the chemistry in the Titans changeroom will not be upset.

Just 3 players will be parting the company of the Sky Blues, the first being Okuhle Cele who is returning to play at Kingsmead in Durban and the second is Jiveshen Pillay who will ply his trade for the Warriors in Gqeberha. Smangaliso Nhlebela who was on a high-performance contract will be joining the Tuskers from KZN.

“I know how much of a stressful period this can be for Mandla and the players and I have to commend him for how well he handles it. The team has done some good work on the field and produced important results so it was important that the players coming in buy into the bigger picture that we have for the team.” Titans CEO Dr Jacques Faul.

Titans Cricket is happy to welcome our new recruits and wishes them all the best for the 2023/2024 season.

Titans contracted squad 2023/24 season: Sibonelo Makhanya, Dayyaan Galiem, Gerald Coetzee, Aaron Phangiso, Junior Dala, Neil Brand, Dewald Brevis, Matthew Kleinveldt, Musa Twala, Donovan Ferreira, Aya Gqamane, Corbin Bosch, Tladi Bokako, Lizaad Williams, Rivaldo Moonsamy, Joshua van Heerden.

Rookie Contract: Matthew Boast.

Nationally contracted players: Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi, Quinton De Kock, Heinrich Klaasen.

Support Staff: Mandla Mashimbyi (Head coach), Richard Das Neves (Assistant coach), Mojalefa Sebetlela (Physiotherapist), Keagan Moore (Team analyst), Laden Gamiet (Strength and conditioning coach), Karen Smithies (Team manager), Paseka Molebale (Logistics assistant).

[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]

Submitted By Kevin Rademeyer  Sports
24 Apr 2023
The details for the quarter-finals of the Vodacom United Rugby Championship have been confirmed, featuring three teams from South Africa.

The details for the quarter-finals of the Vodacom United Rugby Championship have been confirmed, featuring three teams from South Africa. The matches will take place on Friday, May 5 and Saturday, May 6.

The playoffs will begin in Belfast with Ulster hosting an Irish derby against Connacht on May 5 at 20h35 (SA time). The following day, DHL Stormers will take on the Vodacom Bulls at DHL Stadium in Cape Town at 15h30. Leinster will host the Cell C Sharks at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin at 18h00 (SA time), and Glasgow Warriors will face Munster at Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow at 20h35 (SA time).

The games will be broadcast live in various markets, and the semi-finals will take place on the weekend of May 12/13. The semi-final winners will meet on Saturday, May 27 at the venue of the highest-ranked team to have qualified for the Vodacom United Rugby Championship Grand Final.

Vodacom URC quarter-finals:

Friday 5 May:

Quarter-Final 2: Ulster (2) v Connacht (7)
Venue: Kingspan Stadium, Belfast
SA Time: 20h35

Saturday, 6 May:

Quarter-Final 3: DHL Stormers (3) v Vodacom Bulls (6)
Venue: DHL Stadium, Cape Town
SA Time: 15h30 SA

Quarter-Final 1: Leinster (1) v Cell C Sharks (8)
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
SA Ttime: 18h00

Quarter-Final 4: Glasgow Warriors (4) v Munster (5)
Venue: Scotstoun Stadium, Glasgow
SA Time: 20h35

Semi-Final path

In the semi-finals, to be played the weekend of May 12/13, the winner of QF1 will play the winner of QF4 and the winner of QF2 will play the winner of QF3.

In a change to last season’s rules, the teams with the highest seeding in each semi-final will have home venue rights. Previously, the winners of QF1 and QF2 were guaranteed home draws no matter their ranking.

SF1: Leinster (1) / Cell C Sharks (8) v Glasgow Warriors (4) / Munster (5)
SF2: Ulster (2) / Connacht (7) v DHL Stormers (3) / Vodacom Bulls (6)

[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]




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