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NO MISTAKES: Springbok scrumhalf and captain Fourie du Preez passes the ball during a training session in Teddington, west London on Tuesday. The skipper wants the Boks to have a healthy halftime lead against the USA on Wednesday. Picture: AFP

Boks’ decline to mediocre Test team almost complete

Boks first ever defeat in Argentina shows they are just another mediocre Test team capable of the odd upset, writes Craig Ray

Cricket

Duminy falls‚ but Du Plessis still standing

VITAL: JP Duminy carried the water in a warm-up match before the first Test … on Saturday he will likely carry his bat. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/PUNIT PARANJPE

JP Duminy wastes a chance to score what would have been his first century in 14 completed innings in the second test against New Zealand at Centurion

Sport

SA looking strong despite New Zealand’s bowling comeback

The visitors fought back after lunch, but the 133-run opening partnership of Quinton de Kock and Stephen Cook has set the hosts up well

Sport

Bucs release banned midfielder Thandani Ntshumayelo

Orlando Pirates midfielder Thandani Ntshumayelo. Picture: ANTONIO MUCHAVE/SOWETAN

The Orlando Pirates player’s contract has been terminated and he has been handed a four-year ban after testing positive for cocaine

Rugby

Boks crying out for big performance from key players in Salta

TAKING IT EASY: Morné Steyn, right, and Faf de Klerk chill at a Bok training session. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

Flyhalf Elton Jantjies needs to dictate the game with the same authority he displays at Super Rugby level, and to help him his pack will have to be better

Sport

Kaizer Chiefs are in need of finishing school

Itumeleng Khune. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/LEFTY SHIVAMBU

Captain Itumeleng Khune attributes the worst run of poor form in the club’s history to their inability to score goals when it matters

Other Sport

Ryan Lochte lands new sponsor, even as Brazilian police recommend charges

Ryan Lochte. Picture: REUTERS

The disgraced US swimmer’s new backer — after losing the endorsement of big names like Speedo — is Pine Bros Softish Throat Drops

Opinion

Mediocrity par for the Boks so far this season

The hard questions must be asked if the Boks are to once again seek excellence and not be content with mere survival

Other Sport

Big grid penalty for Hamilton

Briton Lewis Hamilton. Picture: REUTERS/LASZLO BALGOGH

The Mercedes driver is set to take a hefty penalty for exceeding his allowed allocation of engine components

Soccer

Another season of Bayern’s uber dominance beckons

CHERRY PICKED:  Renato Sanches, left, and Mats Hummels are Bayern’s two marquee signings for the new season. Picture: REUTERS/MICHAELA REHLE

Bayern’s spending power makes the German football club favourite to lift the Bundesliga trophy

Soccer

Zesco pose threat to Sundowns

Picture: THINKSTOCK

The steely Zambian champions from Ndola are not to be underestimated as African Champions League contenders

Other Sport

Feted Caster ‘does not need protecting’

Cameron Van der Burgh and Caster Semenya take a selfie at the welcoming ceremony for the Rio 2016 Olympics Team SA at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on Tuesday. Picture: SYDNEY SESHIBEDI/GALLO IMAGES

The IAAF resumes its witch-hunt against gold medalist Caster Semenya and other hyperandrogenic athletes

Soccer

Farmer to play two matches for Bafana

Bafana Bafana assistant coach Owen da Gama takes the squad at a training session at the AW Muller Stadium in Johannesburg earlier this week. Picture: LEFTY SHIVAMBU/GALLO IMAGES

SuperSport United’s 19-year-old centreback, Denwin Farmer, will no doubt be delighted at his Bafana Bafana call-ups for matches against Mauritania and Egypt

Cricket

Pakistan’s incredible journey to top spot

THINK-TANK: Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur, right, with captain Misbah-ul-Haq during net practice at Edgbaston in early August. Picture: REUTERS/PAUL CHILDS

Pakistan caps a remarkable rise under skipper Misbah-ul-Haq to supplant archrivals India as the world’s best Test side

Other Sport

Luvo Manyonga vows to keep world record focus

The silver medallist says being blocked from competing in the London Olympics saved his life

Rugby

Steyn to keep Elton on edge

TAKING IT EASY: Morné Steyn, right, and Faf de Klerk chill at a Bok training session. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

Steyn’s presence is both a warning and an inspiration to Jantjies to up his game

Soccer

Ancelotti brushes aside Ribery criticism

Coach Carlo Ancelotti. Picture: REUTERS

Ribery, was not sent off for any of the fouls, and only booked for the incidents with Melo and Passlack

Rugby

Alexander throws his hat into the rugby hot-seat ring

Oregan Hoskins.  Picture: THE TIMES

Alexander had been Hoskins’s deputy since the departed president beat the late Mike Stofile to the post in 2008

TALISMAN:  Sadio Mane is fit to face Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Saturday. Picture: REUTERS

Liverpool will look to their Mane man

Senegalese winger Sadio Mane is fit for the Premier League clash with Spurs

Opinion

Cricket seems impervious to that thing called common sense

The Durban Test match is the latest casualty as umpires alone rule on surface safety

Sport

Quinton de Kock revels in his opening turn as second Test gets going

He and opening partner Stephen Cook have reached lunch with a century between them on the first day of the second Test against New Zealand

Cricket

Winner takes all at Centurion showdown

Vernon Philander not keen on one-Test series. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/ANESH DEBIKY

Black Caps ‘excited’ about the winner-takes-all shootout at the Centurion corral against Proteas

Rugby

New players sign of Boks’ lack of cohesion

Picture: THINKSTOCK

The Springboks squad against Argentina lacks the experience that secured the national side’s victory in 2014

Cricket

Kingsmead’s outfield leads to financial knock

Cricket supporters watch as the covers are put on to the wicket at Kingsmead stadium in Durban. Picture: REUTERS

Cricket SA say they opted to decompact the outfield at Kingsmead and Centurion after feedback from the players involved in last season’s one-day series between SA and New Zealand

Other Sport

All the statistics for Belgian race

UNPOPULAR:  Lewis Hamilton of Britain leads the pack during Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix. Pictures: REUTERS

Here are all the stats ahead of Sunday’s Belgian Formula One Grand Prix, the 13th race of the 21-round season

Soccer

Komphela already feeling the pressure

Steve Komphela. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/LEFTY SHIVAMBU

Coach Steve Komphela struggles to explain to aghast Amakhosi fans the Glamour Boys’ horrible start

Soccer

Chiefs under the cosh, says Tinkler

Soccer ball. Picture: THINKSTOCK

New Premier Soccer League franchise Cape Town City poses a major threat to coach Steve Komphela charges

Other Sport

How top medical team revived Schoeman’s dream in Rio

BRONZE: Henri Schoeman beats the odds to realise his dream of an Olympic medal. Picture: REUTERS

A chest infection nearly robs bronze medalist Henri Schoeman the chance to compete in the Olympics, but Team SA’s doctor saves the day

Soccer

Sport scientist Ertugral lauds his boys and technical team

Muhsin Ertugral. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

Cologne-educated Muhsin Ertugral brings the science of sport to the Buccaneers’ table

Rugby

Hansen’s eye on World Cup as he bloods Lienert-Brown

ROOKIE: Anton Lienert-Brown is due to make his debut for the All Blacks against Australia on Saturday. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

All Blacks coach’s long-term planning will come into focus when they face Australia in the Rugby Championship

Cricket

Smith takes a break ahead of visit to SA

Steve Smith.   Picture: REUTERS

Australia captain to leave tour of Sri Lanka and return home to rest ahead of limited-overs series in SA

Other Sport

Rejuvenated Hamilton aims for 50th

Briton Lewis Hamilton. Picture: REUTERS/LASZLO BALGOGH

Triple world champion Lewis Hamilton ‘refreshed, re-energised and ready to go’ for a rare 50 grands prix prize

Cricket

Kiwis forgot who they were playing

Cricket supporters watch as the covers are put on to the wicket at Kingsmead stadium in Durban. Picture: REUTERS

There was so much time between balls during the rain-hit Test New Zealand’s coach Mike Hesson forgot who the Kiwis are playing

Soccer

Reborn Sterling leads City’s charge in Europe

Raheem Sterling. Picture: REUTERS/ADAM HOLT

Maligned winger Raheem Sterling is thriving under Pep Guardiola and inspired City’s 5-0 win at the Champions League first round play-off

Cricket

Pink ball makes first-class debut in India

Suresh Raina. Picture: REUTERS/DANISH SIDDIQUI

India’s cricket board will be watching closely for signs the controversial but lucrative day-night format works for the players and millions of fans

Other Sport

Russia Paralympics ban stands

Picture: THINKSTOCK

The ruling means Russia’s 260 Paralympics competitors will have to stay at home after state-sponsored doping scandal

Other Sport

No medals, so sports chief faces sack

Flag-bearers hold their national flags as they take part in the Olympics closing ceremony in Rio de Janeiro at the weekend. Picture: REUTERS

Turkmenistan’s president threatens to fire his sports minister after the country fails to win a single medal

Soccer

Meet the 16 coaches

Gavin Hunt. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/LEFTY SHIVAMBU

Mark Gleeson lists the 16 coaches who will be on the bench when PSL kicks off on Tuesday

Other Sport

‘Mr Christmas’ Mbalula showers Rio medallists with more money

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula. Picture: GALLO IMAGES, ZIYAAD DOUGLAS

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula says he woke up ‘so happy’ he decided to increase the prize money for SA’s Rio Olympic Games medallists

Soccer

Sundowns favourites to retain title, but can Pitso juggle it?

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

With one eye off the ball‚ Sundowns face a bevy of other contenders: Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits and Supersport United

Rugby

De Klerk and Jantjies need to polish up

NEW BOK ON THE BLOCK:  Faf de Klerk has received some high praise for his performances in the two Tests against Ireland. Picture: BACKPAGEPIX/RYAN WILKISKY

The Lions duo have got the cosmetic stuff down to a tee but were often undecided on when to kick or run in 30-23 win over Argentina, writes Sibusiso Mjikeliso

Rugby

Springboks can expect Pumas backlash in Argentina

Argentina's Agustin Creevy in action with Georgia's Davit Zirakashvili last year during the Rugby World Cup. Picture: REUTERS

The Pumas will spend the next week‚ stewing‚ plotting and scheming how to avenge their 30-23 Rugby Championship loss in Nelspruit

Caster Semenya. Picture: ROGER SEDRES/GALLO IMAGES

Golden girl Caster Semenya thanks South Africans for ‘fantastic support’

Semenya and the South African Olympic team returned home on Tuesday morning to a warm welcome after the Rio Games

Rugby

Hiring and firing crunch time looms for Coetzee

Allister Coetzee. Picture: RYAN WILKISKY/BACKPAGEPIX

The Springbok coach is unlikely to make major changes against Argentina, but if key players do not show dramatic improvement, he will need to wield the axe

Soccer

China firm makes move to take over Liverpool

Picture: THINKSTOCK

China Everbright leads the £800m takeover bid backed by CIC sovereign wealth fund

Rugby

Springboks No 7 jersey looks good on Mohoje

Teboho ‘Oupa’ Mohoje. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/LUKE WALKER

Mohoje made an impressive 13 tackles‚ including two superb efforts chasing down players after linebreaks

Other Sport

In spite of everything, Rio pulled it off

Caster Semenya of South Africa celebrates winning the women's 800m Final race of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Athletics, Track and Field events at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 22 August 2016.  Picture: EPA/FRANCK ROBICHON

The power of sport — from first golds and breakout stars to retiring legend — propels South America’s first Olympics to a resounding success

African News

Ethiopia says protesting Olympian Feyisa Lilesa will be safe

Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia celebrates winning the silver medal. Picture: REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

But human rights groups say the silver medallist in the Olympic marathon is right to fear for his safety, and that of his family

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