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REWARDED:  Johan Ackermann will swop his Lions coaching cap for that of the SA A team. Picture: BACKPAGEPIX

Ackermann says Lions’ historic semifinal feels like ‘just another game’

The Lions face defending champions the Highlanders on Saturday afternoon at Ellis Park, with an eye on making their first Super Rugby final

Rugby

Young Ackermann set to step into the breach

Ruan Ackermann replaces the injured Warren Whiteley for Saturday’s semifinal. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

Flawless Ruan Ackermann has proved himself capable at lock and at the back of the scrum

Rugby

Hurricanes hope Coles will be fit for Chiefs semifinal

Dane Coles. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/HAGEN HOPKINS

Coach Chris Boyd is in no hurry to make a ruling on whether Hurricanes captain Dane Coles will play

Other Sport

Meintjes ready for Rio after superb Tour

Louis Meintjes. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/DINO LLOYD

Ace rider Louis Meintjes focuses on the Olympics after riding into SA’s cycling history books

Soccer

Keagan Dolly off to Olympics on a high note

Keagan Dolly. Picture: BACKPAGE PIX/SAMUEL SHIVAMBU

Brazilians’ success in reaching the semifinals of the African Champions League a booster for the Olympic under-23 soccer captain

Soccer

Pirates footballer seeks cocaine retest

Picture: THINKSTOCK

The club says it will stand by its player as he tries to clear his name in ‘judicial process’

Other Sport

Jockey to fish for Greyville retirement prize

Jockey and horse. Picture: THINKSTOCK

It is hard to look beyond legendary trainer Mike Bass’s Marinaresco for the R1m grade 1 race ahead of his retirement

Soccer

Bucs player ‘tests positive for cocaine’

BEAUTIFUL BUCS:  Orlando Pirates players celebrate after scoring against Egypt’s Al Ahly during their African Confederation Cup semifinal in Suez on Sunday night. Picture: REUTERS/AMR ABDALLAH DALSH

Orlando Pirates player is set to be hauled before a South African Institute for Drug Free Sport disciplinary hearing after allegedly testing positive for cocaine

Rugby

Jantjies and Sopoaga in titanic clash

GAME BREAKERS: Lima Sopoaga, and Elton Jantjies have the ability to turn Saturday’s semifinal in a flash. Pictures: GETTY IMAGES/GALLO IMAGES

De Klerk will test himself against the original version on Saturday

Soccer

Sundowns make the semis after nailing Zamalek

WINNER:  Khama Billiat, second right, celebrates his goal with Sundowns teammates Leonardo Castro, third right, and Keagan Dolly during the  Confederation Cup match against Medeama of Ghana at Lucas Moripe Stadium in Pretoria. Picture: SAMUEL SHIVAMBU/BACKPAGEPIX

Zamalek opened up a bit in the second half and entered the Sundowns box a few more times than they did in the first

Cricket

New era to start for Black Caps in Zimbabwe Tests

Kane Williamson. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Williamson will become New Zealand’s 29th Test captain when he leads the Black Caps after taking over from Brendon McCullum

Opinion

Two more big hurdles and the Lions have that champion look about them

Hard road ahead as Lions face New Zealand’s best three teams in three successive matches

Other Sport

More Russians banned in mounting Olympic toll

Yulia Efimova. Picture: REUTERS/STEFAN WERMUTH

It remains to be seen how many will actually take part in the Games because several federations have yet to weigh in

Cricket

Rabada to keep his focus on game

SILVER STAR:  Although Kagiso Rabada won six awards, including cricketer of the year, he wants to improve his game for the upcoming season. Picture: LEFTY SHIVAMBU/GALLO IMAGES

Cricketer nonplussed by slew of awards

Other Sport

Sensations last year, McIlroy and Spieth are now underdogs

TEE-OFF:  Rory McIlroy gets in some practice ahead of Thursday’s PGA Championship. Picture: EPA/JASON SZENES

The champion golfers’ status as longshots at Baltusrol underlines how quickly the sporting landscape can change

Other Sport

Rosberg hopes to get back on top ‘at home’

Nico Rosberg. Picture: EPA/ATTILA KOVACS

The German wants a home win to close the gap between him and rival Lewis Hamilton at the halfway point of the Grand Prix season

Other Sport

A good run could turn Mick Goss’s year around

Jockey and horse. Picture: THINKSTOCK

A win by Summerhill-bred runners means the stud supremo has won the Breeders Championship for the 10th time

FUN:  Percy Tau, left, celebrates Sundowns’s goal against Zamalek with coach Pitso Mosimane. Picture: BACKPAGE/SAMUEL SHIVAMBU

Relaxed Sundowns are having a blast

‘The message is all South African clubs — Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs and Wits — can go to the semifinals of African tournaments,’ says Bafana Bafana coach

Opinion

Johan Ackermann must keep the shackles off the Lions

REWARDED:  Johan Ackermann will swop his Lions coaching cap for that of the SA A team. Picture: BACKPAGEPIX

Fickle fans should admit the coach was right to trust his gut about the trip to Buenos Aires — and now a full-strength squad will face the Crusaders

Other Sport

Yellow to gold, Froome eyes road to more glory

UNDER ATTACK: Chris Froome at the start of Monday’s 16th stage after which he retained the yellow jersey. Picture: REUTERS/JEAN-PAUL PELISSIER

British rider Chris Froome missed out on gold at London 2012, but looks almost unbeatable in the Rio road races

Other Sport

Bubba out to have a ball at the Olympics

Picture: THINKSTOCK

Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson in full swing for golf’s return to the Olympic line-up after a 112-year absence

Cricket

Kagiso Rabada scores record double hat-trick at Cricket SA awards

Kagiso Rabada. Picture: LEE WARREN/GALLO IMAGES

The fast bowler is SA’s youngest cricketer of the year, and with his haul of six awards has beaten AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla’s tallies of five each

Companies

Puma sponsorship could still have legs even after Usain Bolt retires

FLEET-FOOTED: Usain Bolt reacts after winning the 200m final at the world championships in Beijing, China in August. Picture: REUTERS/DAVID GRAY

Athletes’ careers are finite — but what Puma can learn from rivals Nike and Adidas, is that leaving the field need not mean leaving the advertising arena

Soccer

Nthethe flags Sundowns defence against Zamalek

Thabo Nthethe. Picture: LEFTY SHIVAMBU/GALLO IMAGES

Sundowns are on a three-game winning streak since receiving a Caf reprieve two months ago

Rugby

Stellar Rohan central to Lions’ semis chances

RIGHT MOVE: Rohan Janse van Rensburg of the Lions. Picture: LEE WARREN/GALLO IMAGES

Rohan Janse van Rensburg is one of the major reasons the Lions find themselves in a good position for Super Rugby glory this year

Rugby

Blitzboks ready for Rio showdown

GOOD FIT: Tim Agaba manages to combine physicality with  speed and skill. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

Only De Jongh made the final 12-man cut with Hougaard on standby as one of two formal reserves

Cricket

Cricket’s quota transformation muddles on

Cricket SA president Chris Nenzani. Picture: GALLO IMAGES, ASHLEY VLOTMAN

Cricket SA says organisation will also try to revitalise its Twenty20 tournament from the 2017-18 season

Other Sport

Can Grace win to break SA’s four-year Majors drought?

Branden Grace during the first round of the SA Open Championship at Glendower Golf Club in Johannesburg last month. He withdrew from next week’s Joburg Open as he has qualified to play in the WGC-Cadillac Championship in the US. Picture: GALLO IMAGES, LUKE WALKER

If first-time Major winner emerges this week‚ it would be fifth time in history there have been four new Major champions in single season

Soccer

Chiefs and Pirates’ pulling power fills stadium

Muhsin Ertugral. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/DIRK COTZEE

The exhibition match has its critics‚ but ticket sales show fans of the two clubs cannot get enough of the off-season friendly

Cricket

Aussies grab advantage in rain-hit Test

Australia's Usman Khawaja in action. Picture: REUTERS/DAVID GRAY

Sri Lankans skittled out for 117

Other Sport

Defending champion Day confident at stormy PGA

Henrik Stenson. Picture: REUTERS/PAUL CHILDS

World No1 Jason Day of Australia will try to defend his first Major title secured at Whistling Straits last year

Other Sport

Lethargic Kyrgios crashes out to junior in Toronto

SUPERIOR:  Canadian junior Denis Shapovalov beat  Nick Kyrgios. Picture: REUTERS/TOBY MELVILLE

Patchy performance by Nick Kyrgios gives Wimbledon junior champion Denis Shapovalov the edge

Soccer

Hunt’s players in for a rude awakening

Soccer ball. Picture: THINKSTOCK

Gavin Hunt’s legendary annual preseason trip to the Western Cape set to shake up players

Soccer

Cape Town City squad takes shape

NEW SIGNING:  Tshepo Gumede has joined Cape Town City from Orlando Pirates. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/LEFTY SHIVAMBU

Defender Tshepo Gumede joins the new club from Orlando Pirates, with one more player expected from the Bucs

Other Sport

Champion Russian canoeists banned from Olympics

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach gestures during an interview with Reuters on the death of Nelson Mandela at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Friday.  Picture: REUTERS

They are the latest Russian athletes to be banned after revelations of state-run doping that affected more than 30 sports

Soccer

Heat is on Brazil for opener, says Da Gama

Keagan Dolly. Picture: BACKPAGE PIX/SAMUEL SHIVAMBU

The U-23 coach hopes pressure on the hosts — always heightened in an opening game — can help his side

Rugby

Why WP rugby bosses should face axe and not coach Fleck

Robbie Fleck (Interim Coach)  during the DHL Stormers press conference at High Performance Centre, Bellville on January 19, 2016 in Cape Town. Picture: GRANT PITCHER/GALLO IMAGES

Future of Stormers interim coach Robbie Fleck remains uncertain after disclosing that he’s had no discussions to remove "interim" from his title

Cricket

High praise for India after crushing win

JOB DONE:  India captain Virat Kohli, left, leads his team off after their innings victory over the West Indies. Picture: AFP

India captain Virat Kohli thrilled his five-pronged bowling attack against West Indies secured a convincing win

Petra Kvitova. Picture: REUTERS

Kvitova and Stosur advance in the wet

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova sails through rainy opening-day challenge in less than an hour

Other Sport

Vegas rolls dice to win by a stroke

Picture: THINKSTOCK

Venezuelan Jhonattan Vegas puts an embarrassing setback behind him to close in style at the Canadian Open

Soccer

‘Vila’ will fight for his spot at Downs

Sibusiso Vilakazi. Picture: SAMUEL SHIVAMBU/BACKPAGEPIX

Vilakazi is the kind of player who enjoys being in the box and being on the end of a killer pass, if he is not providing it himself

Cricket

Will Donald’s coaching give Australia the edge?

Former South African cricketer Allan Donald. Picture: SHAUN ROY/GALLO IMAGES

Australia are the only measuring stick who matter in SA cricket‚ and if Donald is in their dugout when the teams clash, a compelling subplot will unfold

Other Sport

Now Vettel joins Rosberg row

Sebastian Vettel. Picture: EPA, VALDRIN XHEMAJ

Vettel reiterates view of race winner Lewis Hamilton saying Nico Rosberg’s driving through yellow flags in qualifying is a bad example to other drivers

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