Rugby World Cup: South Africa hopes for fairness in clash with New Zealand

Both teams are in Pool B, along with defending champions New Zealand, Italy and Canada. Hosts Japan will open the World Cup against Russia on Sept. 20 in Tokyo before South Africa face old rivals New

South Africa calls for fairness



South Africa’s Springboks on Monday called on the French referee Jerome Garces to treat them as equals during this weekend’s opening Pool B blockbuster clash with defending champions New Zealand.



Assistant South Africa coach Mzwandile Stick said that with the gap between the All Blacks and their potential rivals for the Webb Ellis Cup closing, match officials need to be consistent in how they applied the laws to all teams.



In the past, World Cup-winning All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, a wizard in the loose, was often accused of influencing referees to rule in his favour at the breakdown.



“The fans are excited by this one and looking forward to it,” former South Africa sevens specialist Stick said of the Saturday’s showdown in Yokohama.



“Hopefully the officials maybe will treat everything equally and respect the game and also respect the fans.”



South Africa topped New Zealand in this year’s Rugby Championship and Ireland are currently ranked world number one but Stick said the All Blacks remain the team to beat.



“If you look at previous history when it comes to the All Blacks, they’ve been dominating at Test level and it’s always the case that whenever they go to the World Cup they are favourites,” he said.



Recent history between the Boks, who are blooming under coach Rassie Erasmus, and Steve Hansen’s All Blacks promises to make for a tight encounter on Saturday.



“Things are a lot more balanced between us an New Zealand right now,” Stick said.



“We can’t ask for any better build-up towards the World Cup: if you look at the last three games we played against the All Blacks, in Wellington last year we won by two points, they came to Pretoria and won by two points, and then we drew against them again this year in Wellington.



“We’re looking forward to this challenge, it’s going to be a tough one… against one of the best teams in the world and given the history between the two teams.”



AFP



South Africa defeats Japan



South Africa cruised to a comfortable 41-7 victory over Japan on Friday in their final World Cup warm-up match, thanks to a hat-trick of tries from Makazole Mapimpi.



Winger Cheslin Kolbe opened the scoring with a neat finish on seven minutes, before Mapimpi ran in two easy tries from the other flank as the Springboks built a 22-0 lead at halftime in Kumagaya.



Further tries from Mapimpi and Kolbe either side of Kotaro Matsushima’s consolation and a final flourish from Herschel Jantjies secured victory for South Africa and helped soothe the memory of Japan’s famous win at the 2015 World Cup.



With this victory, South Africa laid down a tournament marker and gained revenge for defeat four years ago, while Japan must look for improvement in their World Cup opener against Russia on Sept. 20.



Africa’s representatives



South Africa and Namibia, who will be representing the African continent at this month’s Rugby World Cup, are finalising preparations that they hope will be sufficient to secure glory.



Both teams are in Pool B, along with defending champions New Zealand, Italy and Canada. Hosts Japan will open the World Cup against Russia on Sept. 20 in Tokyo before South Africa face old rivals New Zealand in Yokohama. Namibia play their first match against Italy on Sunday 22.



South Africa raring to go



South Africa, who have won the World Cup twice, are set to play their final warm-up match against hosts, Japan.



The Springboks will be wary of Japan who caused one of the biggest upsets in tournament history with their 34-32 victory over them at the 2015 World Cup in England.



“You can definitely see this is a much different team, much more fitter, much more stronger. Their systems are working and they know exactly what they are about, they know their strengths and weaknesses,’‘ said Siya Kolisi, South Africa’s captain ahead of the match.



Namibia seeks maiden victory



Namibia will be seeking their first ever World Cup victory, 20 years after they debuted at the prestigious tournament.



They are banking on the experience of their Welsh coaches to end a 19-match losing streak.



Former Wales forward Phil Davies has been in charge of a team known as the Welwitschias, a sturdy desert plant, since just before the last World Cup in 2015.



Davies works with compatriots Mark Jones (backs) and Dale McIntosh (forwards) as assistant coaches, while another Welshman, Wayne Proctor, is responsible for strength and conditioning.



“This is not a case of jobs for the ‘boyos’,” Davies stressed. “They are used to working with full-time and part-time professionals and that is what we have in the Namibian squad.”



Scrum-half Eugene Jantjies is set to play at a fourth consecutive World Cup and says the Welwitschias’ aim continues to be finding a winning formula.



“This is the best squad we have had for many years and after coming so close to winning four years ago, I believe we can create history in Japan,” he said.



READ MORE: South Africa names squad for 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan
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Kenya's David Rudisha undergoes ankle surgery

Since 2016, Rudisha has competed sporadically. He only raced four times in 2017, and did not compete in 2018, 2019 or 2020. He hopes to compete at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

Two-time Olympic 800-meter champion David Rudisha underwent surgery on his left ankle on Thursday after fracturing it while walking on uneven ground at his home in Kilgoris in rural Narok County, Kenya, last week.

“The surgery was carried out by Kenyan team doctor and orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Victor Bargoria,” reported Rudisha’s manager, Michel Boeting of one4one Sports in the Netherlands.

He continued: “During a walk on the compound the 31-year-old stepped on uneven ground, and initially believed it was not a serious injury. He continued with exercises that wouldn’t cause further harm to his ankle but after a lack of improvement over the weekend, he underwent an examination and was diagnosed with an ankle fracture at St. Luke’s hospital in Eldoret.”

Boeting says that Rudisha will be out of training for 12 to 16 weeks.

Rudisha won his first Olympic title in London in 2012 in what many consider to be the greatest 800-meter race ever held. Running from the front, he set a new world record of 1:40.91, a mark which still stands nearly eight years later.

Rudisha was able to defend his title in Rio in 2016, running his fastest time of the year of 1:42.15, beating Algeria’s Taoufik Makhloufi by nearly half a second.

Since 2016, Rudisha has competed sporadically. He only raced four times in 2017, and did not compete in 2018, 2019 or 2020. He hopes to compete at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

Agencies

Rwanda, Gambia quit as Burundi resumes [Football Planet]

End of the season on mainland with the list getting longer.

End of the season on mainland with the list getting longer. The Gambia and Rwanda quit after more than two months. Meanwhile, Burundi has resumed and Tanzania is expected to follow soon.

The African transfer market is under threat over COVID-19 and fears of a financial crisis. The stoppage of competitions is a hard blow for clubs, footballers and player representatives. We speak to a players’ agent, Adama Ndiaye.

And will the 2022 Worlc Cup in Qatar be as attractive as hoped? Qatari authorities are trying to reassure the world. They’ve promised an affordable World Cup, despite the high cost of living in the emirate.

Our Wahany Johnson Sambou has the details of these and more on this week’s edition of Football Planet.

CAF begins early payments to 32 clubs featuring on continental fixtures

Good news to the clubs featuring this season in African interclub. CAF decided to pay the quotas earlier than expected

Caf release funds to respective clubs

Good news to the clubs featuring this season in African interclub. CAF decided to pay the quotas earlier than expected. A great relief to the teams facing uncertainty linked to the Covid-19.

CAF will soon meet to discuss precisely on the possibility of a continuation of the season.

Senegalese league to resume in November

Senegal is determined to continue the already suspend league to the end of the season. The Federation has scheduled a return to competition in November after a unanimous decision.

Ajax crowned player of the year

The Moroccan striker has been named the Ajax player of the season for the third consecutive year. A nice farewell gift before joining Chelsea this summer.

Libyan golf flourishes with no equipment

Amid the global coronavirus pandemic, Libya, like many other countries, has suspended sport activities, such as golf, to limit the spread of the outbreak.

Despite the ongoing conflict in Libya, golf enthusiasts in the country have tried to revive the neglected sport.

At the Juliana Golf Course of Benghazi, local tournaments are held on a wasteland, covered with wild grass and stagnant water ponds.

Despite its poor condition, this course is considered one of the oldest in the African continent.

The nine-hole course, which was established by British individuals in the late 1940s, is one of only three golf courses in the country.

But the field suffered negligence when dictator Muammar Gaddafi seized power in 1969, and stopped the support for golf, which had been a very popular sport at the time.

Despite those cutbacks, the love for golf still exists and some Libyans have returned to practice after a decades-long absence.

Abdelhalim Al-Hwiti was a professional golfer before he became a coach and represented Libya in several world championships, from 1983 to 2015.

He believes that the younger generation has good potential, but the lack of equipment and negligence for this sport makes it difficult for them to achieve their aspirations.

The head of the Libyan Golf Federation in the eastern region, Mabrouk Mohamed, said that, among the biggest problems faced by the federation, are the lack of resources and support from the state.

Mohamed revealed that, although the country is considered rich because of its oil production, the Libyan governments and the Ministry of Sports show no interest in golf.

Amid the global coronavirus pandemic, Libya, like many other countries, has suspended sport activities, such as golf, to limit the spread of the outbreak.

AP

IFF election: Jacques Anouma eases tensions

Ivorian Football Federation former president has stepped up to try and ease tensions.

As the race to the Ivorian Football Federation presidency heats up, the association’s former president has stepped up to try and ease tensions

In a special message, Jacques Anouma the former head of the federal body FIF drew everyone’s attention to the need for peaceful elections.

He reminded people that sport in general and football in particular rests on the noble value of fair play.

And In Guinea, the Pro League season comes to an end. A decision that could have an impact on the African campaign of Horoya AC, which is due to play in the semi-final of the CAF Cup of Nations. The team’s coach, Lamine Ndiaye, gave more details.