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Soccer

Banyana set off on long road to Rio

First leg of the first-round tie will be followed next weekend by the return match in SA

Rugby

Bulls must beat Chiefs to secure home play-off spot

Pierre Spies.  File Picture: GALLO IMAGES, LEE WARREN

Pretoria side has indicated through captain Pierre Spies they have their eyes set on securing a home play-off spot

Rugby

Lions remain wary of Cheetahs’ attack

Robbie Coetzee of the Lions during the training session on Thursday. Picture: LEE WARREN/GALLO IMAGES

Captain Warren Whiteley, one of the players coach Johan Ackermann cannot do without, also expects rivals will be dangerous on attack

Soccer

Xavi’s magic will be missed by all

Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez, left, and teammate Andres Iniesta celebrate winning the championship and the game after the La Liga match against Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon Stadium on Sunday. Picture: AFP PHOTO/CESAR MANSO

Midfield maestro Xavi Hernandez announces he is leaving Barca after more than two decades with the Catalan club he joined at the age of 11

Soccer

Swallows claw Leopards

Picture: THINKSTOCK

Dube Birds produce rare strong performance in last-ditch effort to avoid relegation

Soccer

Hummels opts to stay at Dortmund

Mats Hummels. Picture: AFP PHOTO/ODD ANDERSEN

No transfer for Germany defender Mats Hummels after he turns down approach from English league giants Manchester United

Other Sport

New studs to keep Summerhill on top

ON THE HOOF:  Fewer mustangs run wild than are held in corrals. Picture: THINKSTOCK

Champion thoroughbreds Capetown Noir and Linngari, who probably earned more air miles than Gary Player during his career, on stud duty

Picture: THINKSTOCK

More ruthless approach to referee efficiency required

It is no surprise that there are only four referees from the southern hemisphere at the Rugby World Cup — they are generally not good enough, writes Jonathan Kaplan

Opinion

Bok fans can expect a ‘brand new’ Fourie du Preez at the World Cup

Not only has Fourie du Preez’s stint at Suntory Goliath taught him a new approach to the game, being immersed in a foreign culture has revitalised him

Rugby

Senatla part of Stormers heavy artillery

UP AND RUNNING: Seabelo Senatla trains at Newlands on Thursday. He will earn his third Stormers cap when he plays tomorrow against the Rebels. Picture: ASHLEY VLOTMAN/GALLO IMAGES

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee picks all his heavy artillery to give team best chance of victory against dangerous Melbourne Rebels at Newlands

Soccer

Mobara plans to stay at Ajax ‘unless European club calls’

Picture: GALLO IMAGES

A number of Ajax players have attracted interest from PSL rivals after their impressive campaign, but Mobara intends turning down offers should any local club come knocking

Other Sport

Makabu ‘can take Drozd’s WBC title’

Picture: THINKSTOCK

Trainer Alex Mchunu tips Ilunga ‘Junior’ Makabu to win WBC cruiserweight title held by Grigory ‘Pretty Boy’ Drozd

Opinion

Something fishy about Birds and AmaZulu accusing Stars

AmaZulu and Swallows wanted Stars to be expelled from the top flight and the two clubs would swap positions

Rugby

Cheetahs hope new pack will defeat Lions

Boom Prinsloo of the Cheetahs during the training session at Old Greys College in Bloemfontein on Wednesday. Picture: JOHAN PRETORIUS / GALLO IMAGES

Pack will no doubt be bolstered by the return of captain Francois Uys, but Tienie Burger is out

Rugby

Mapoe mulls his future … Springboks or overseas move

Lionel Mapoe trains with the Emirates Lions at Johannesburg Stadium in Johannesburg on Tuesday. Picture:  GALLO IMAGES/DUIF DU TOIT

Lions high-performance manager Bart Schoeman expects star player Lionel Mapoe to achieve higher honours should he decide to stay at the union

Other Sport

Elley’s Punta Arenas set for third tilt at a Durban July finish

Picture: THINKSTOCK

Big guns will be waiting to take on Punta Arenas at Greyville on July 4, including last season’s Queen’s Plate and J&B Met hero, Futura

Other Sport

Rafael Nadal may have feet of clay at the French Open

Robin Soderling. Picture: REUTERS

Robin Soderling may reap reward of Spaniard Rafael Nadal vulnerability on clay at the French Open

Soccer

Van Heerden’s Bafana call-up takes his mind off relegation

AmaZulu leftback Marc van Heerden says their fate is still in their own hands. File Picture: ANESH DEBIKY/GALLO IMAGES

AmaZulu stand to lose R18m in PSL grants alone following their automatic relegation to the National First Division

Rugby

Nothing left for Sharks to play for but pride

Picture: THINKSTOCK

Sharks’ worst Super Rugby campaign since a decade ago when even the Cats finished ahead of them on the log

Other Sport

Donald needs home magic at Wentworth

Luke Donald addresses a press conference in England on Monday. Picture: REUTERS

Former world No 1 is now rated the 60th best player in the world, and is in danger of missing the US Open and the British Open

Soccer

Messi-Ronaldo rivalry boosts Barca

FC Barcelona's Argentinian striker Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring the 4-0 lead from the penalty spot during the Spanish Primera Division soccer match between FC Barcelona and Levante UD at Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain,  on Sunday.  Picture: EPA/ALBERTO ESTEVEZ

Barcelona’s victory in the La Liga is all pinned on their strength when it matters most as they eye another title in three weeks

Rugby

Bulls tweak lineup for tough away game against Chiefs this weekend

Bulls player Francois Hougaard reacts during the Super 15 rugby match against the Blues at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday. Picture: AFP PHOTO/MICHAEL BRADLEY

Bulls team includes Callie Visagie at hooker for his first start of the season at the expense of Adriaan Strauss

Rugby

US Sevens win puts majors on Olympic notice

Picture: THINKSTOCK

Olympic medals next year will not be the preserve of traditional rugby powers after the US's shock win at World Sevens Series

Soccer

Ayew leaves Marseille on a high

Ghana's midfielder Andre Ayew, right, challenges Guinea's midfielder Ibrahima Traore during the 2015 African Cup of Nations quarterfinal  match between Ghana and Guinea in Malabo on February 1.  Picture: AFP PHOTO/ISSOUF SANOGO

Ghana midfielder Andre Ayew named the best African player in France’s Ligue 1

Rugby

Stormers keen to put Senatla into training

Louis Schreeder at the Stormers training session in Cape Town on Monday. The team has welcomed back wing Seabelo Senatla. Picture: PETRI OESCHGER/GALLO IMAGES

Lightning-fast wing Seabelo Senatla named one of the three World Sevens Player of the Year nominees

Tefu Mashamaite of Kaizer Chiefs won the Premier Soccer League’s footballer of the year award at the Sandton Convention Centre last night. He was also named defender of the year, and player’s player of the year. File Picture: LEE WARREN/GALLO IMAGES

Awards keep rolling in for Chiefs’ Mashamaite

No new clean sweep, but Tefu Mashamaite adds a further R160,000 to the R450,000 he racked up at the PSL awards

Cricket

Cook denies ‘him or me’ Pietersen ultimatum

Alastair Cook in the nets during a practice session at Lord’s in London yesterday. Picture: AFP PHOTO/JUSTIN TALLIS

England skipper Alastair Cook says there's no ultimatum involving exiled batsman Kevin Pietersen

Cricket

India command Proteas tour of four Tests, three T20s and five one-dayers

Picture: THINKSTOCK

When Cricket SA announced unilaterally — according to the BCCI — the fixtures for India’s tour in December 2013, the world ended

Soccer

Bafana set for Botswana

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

Match practice top of the agenda as coaching staff prime SA ahead of Cosafa quarterfinal

Cricket

Pakistan welcome African isolation busters

Pakistani security officials escort a bus carrying Zimbabwe's Cricket team in Lahore, Pakistan, on Monday. Picture: EPA/RAHAT DAR

Ozias Bvute likens Pakistan’s six years without top-flight cricket at home to the removal of Zimbabwe’s Test status from 2005 to 2011

Rugby

Sithole’s attitude can help turn Sharks season around

Picture: THINKSTOCK

Sharks’ back three one of the few highlights of the team’s dreadful overseas tour

Soccer

Portia Modise retires from Banyana

Portia Modise. Picture: SOWETAN

Striker scored 101 goals in 120 games for Banyana, becoming one of the top performers in African women’s football in a generation

Soccer

Masha proud resolve led to Kaizer Chiefs Mashamaite’s awards haul

Tefu Mashamaite. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/LEFTY SHIVAMBU

Having lost from and confidence three years ago, transfer-listed, but narrowly survived the chop, Tefu Mashamaite’s recovery this season played in his favour at the PSL Awards

Soccer

History points to victory for The Birds in play-off

Picture: THINKSTOCK

Leopards arrive in Soweto having never beaten Swallows at their home base

Other Sport

Tete keen to defend IBF junior title, despite puny purse money

Picture: THINKSTOCK

Zolani ‘Last Born’ Tete says there is still a chance he will vacate his title, but for a different reason

Soccer

Little cheer as Nkili scores first in Sweden

Picture: THINKSTOCK

Team’s dismal form this year continues as they lose to IFK Goteborg in the Swedish Cup final

Other Sport

Marussia to race for Bianchi at Monaco

Jules Bianchi. Picture:  AFP/ TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA

Since his horrific accident at Suzuka in October, French driver Jule Bianchi’s absence will be felt more in Monoaco where he stood out a year ago

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