In City Press Sport: Sizing up SA’s Super Rugby sides; Where’s the young cricket talent?

2020-01-26 06:57

What you can expect in the Sport section this week:

Gordinho adapts to new environment

It’s been nearly two weeks since Lorenzo Gordinho left Kaizer Chiefs for Bidvest Wits.

Adaptation has been the buzzword for the 25-year-old defender, especially as his move ended his decade-long stay at Amakhosi.

Gordinho joked that he had even adjusted to the new route to training as he’s made Kaizer Chiefs Village in Naturena, southern Johannesburg, his home over the past decade.

It’s a strange, strange season, Jürgen Klopp

A hard-earned 2-1 victory at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Thursday saw Liverpool open a 16-point lead at the top of the league table with a game in hand, and the German finds himself in the enviable position of pretty much being able to keep his strongest side for cup matches, as anything but a Liverpool league triumph would be a footballing miracle on a par with Leicester City winning the league in 2016.

Media-shy Nienaber thrust into spotlight as Springbok coach

While his appointment was expected – the speculation began as early as October, when his rush defence was presenting opposition attacks with nothing but blind alleys en route to helping the Boks become world champions – it has still been an improbable rise for Jacques Nienaber.

His previous roles in rugby teams included being a physiotherapist, and a strength, conditioning and defence coach.

His lack of head coaching credentials, as well as the fact that the post was not advertised to see what big-name international coaches the newly minted world champions might attract, have rankled in some quarters.

Side Entry column: Rassie has past deeds to thank for unusual Bok coach appointment

About the strangest thing SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus said at the coronation of his friend and long-time collaborator Jacques Nienaber as his replacement as the Springboks’ head coach was that the buck stops with him when it comes to the team’s performance.

If that’s the case, why hire a head coach?

And, if that is indeed the case, were things to go seriously pear-shaped for the world champions during the course of Nienaber’s four-year contract, who would be first to go – the head coach or the director of rugby? asks Simnikiwe Xabanisa 

‘Stop tinkering with the Proteas’

Former Proteas coach Eric Simons would prefer to see the current coaching team choose a team of players and show faith in them, rather than tinker every time  they falter when it comes to results.

Regardless of the outcome of the ongoing fourth and final test against England (it is scheduled to finish on Tuesday), the rebuilding Proteas have become a team so low on confidence that they might be terrified of their own shadow.

Sizing up SA’s Super Rugby sides

It’s been 10 long years since a South African side won the Super Rugby title.

With the Springboks having won the World Cup last year, hope springs eternal that the franchises – Sharks, Stomers, Bulls and the Lions – could emulate them, but can they?

Hanging Judge column: These referees were off-mark

I was appalled to witness referees being verbally and physically abused in soccer matches in South Africa and in the English Premier League recently.

I thought this behaviour was something that was consigned to the past.

During my time refereeing in South Africa, the referees were subjected to such abuse on a regular basis and, were it not for the excellent support and protection of the NSL and PSL referee security personnel, someone would have surely been injured or even killed, writes Dr Errol Sweeney.

‘Tower’ Anderson returns  home for Soweto clash

Dubbed the ‘Twin Towers’, Kevin Anderson and  Lloyd Harris – South Africa’s most  talked-about tennis stars – are heading  to Soweto.

Daniel Mothowagae hooked up with Anderson ahead of the exhibition showdown at Arthur Ashe Tennis Centre in Jabavu next Sunday.

Where’s the young cricket talent?

Former South African Under-19 cricket coach Ray Jennings feels that administrators need to take a long, hard look at youth structures in the sport.

South Africa won their maiden Under-19 World Cup in 2014 with Jennings at the helm.

Since then, it has been a  topsy-turvy time for the team.

In the two global championships prior to the ongoing edition, Team SA were knocked out in the group stages in 2016 and finished fifth in 2018.

Speaking to City Press before the junior Proteas’ second match against Canada this week, Jennings said South Africa needed to look at building big partnerships and have an all-winning mentality if they were to go deep.

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March 29 2020