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RECAP: Catch up on all you missed this past weekend.

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Another historic weekend has come and gone in the world of sports. A weekend that saw Team SA add more medals to their tally in the current edition of the Commonwealth games to the Proteas clinching a T20 series win against England. Formula 1 was also in full force, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen reigning supreme in Hungary. And how can we forget one of our own joining one of the biggest clubs in the world? Come on now! Let’s relive it all!

Commonwealth Games Action: Team South Africa

Rugby:

Women’s sevens: The action kicked off on Friday morning in Birmingham, where the Springbok women’s sevens side took to the field against Australia in their opening Pool B game. Playing against arguably the in-form team when it comes to women’s sevens rugby, it was clear from the get go that it was going to be a long day for the South Africans.

Australia dominated the match, scoring a total of 38 unanswered points, to see the ladies from the South suffer their first defeat. Their next 2 fixtures, which were against Fiji and Scotland respectively, were also bound to test the Springbok ladies.

The Fijian ladies were too strong, as the ladies from the Pacific Ocean scored a total of 7 tries to hand the Boks their second defeat. The game against Scotland was more of a tightly contested affair, but a lack of execution from the Springboks sevens saw them lose 33-12 in their closing pool game.

It was not all doom and gloom for the South Africans as an opportunity to play for the 7th spot against Sri Lanka presented itself. The ladies produced an outstanding performance, beating their opponents 52-0 to finish 7th in this year’s edition of the Commonwealth Games.

Blitzboks:

For the Blitzboks, it was more a case of rectifying some of the mistakes they made in their last Commonwealth Games edition in 2018 at the Gold Coast, where they finished in 4th position.

One could argue that the men from South Africa were drawn into a fairly less competitive pool, but Neil Powell’s men still had to grind out some of the results during the weekend.

The four-time World Rugby Sevens Series champions started their campaign brightly on day 1. They defeated Malaysia 46-0 in the opening game. Their 2 matches which followed were against Tonga and Scotland respectively. The Blitzboks proved too strong for both teams, as scores of 36-5 (against Tonga), and 34-0 (against Scotland) saw the Boks book their spot in the quarterfinals, where they would face Canada.

Neil Powell’s men were fired up in the quarterfinals. Sniffing an opportunity to take it all the way, they brushed off Canada 33-0 and went on to beat a resilient Australian side 24-12 in the semi-finals to book their spot in the final against Fiji.

The final was a different story for the BlitzBoks. They came out firing in all cylinders giving Fiji no chance of having a say in the game. The South Africans led 17-0 at halftime courtesy of three tries by Muller du Plessis, JC Pretorious and Shawn Williams. A further two tries in the second half by du Plessis and Ndlovu secured the game and the Gold Medal for Powell’s man. 31-7 the score, the Blitzboks are Commonwealth champions!!

Cricket:

Team South Africa’s women’s cricket team took to the field on Saturday, in their first Pool B match against fierce rivals New Zealand.

It was always going to be a tough encounter for Moreeng’s troops as they came out of a T20 series loss against England, a few days before the Commonwealth games began.

Team South Africa won the toss and decided to bowl first. It was a decision that proved to be costly for the South Africans as the Kiwis registered a total of 167 in their allocated 20 overs.

The South Africans started their chase in a poor manner by losing both opening batters within the first 10 overs. Vice-captain Chloe Tryon and captain Sune Luus tried to steady the ship, but the fall of wickets in quick succession saw them reach their full 20 overs with just 13 runs short of the total.

Moreeng’s team will play against England tomorrow before taking on Sri Lanka on Thursday.

Netball:

The South African netball team, which is captained by Bongiwe Msomi, kicked off their campaign on Friday afternoon against fierce competitors from Jamaica. Going into the game, the South Africans had only beaten Jamaica 3 times out of 16 games played.

It was utter dominance from the start by the Jamaicans as they went into halftime leading 37-19. A further 31 points were added by Jamaica as they defeated the South Africans 68-49.

The Spar Proteas did, however, redeem themselves in their second game on Sunday afternoon. They hammered Barbados 91-36 to secure a very much needed result going into Monday’s clash against Australia.

Hockey:

Team South Africa’s women’s hockey team kicked off proceedings in their first encounter against Scotland on Friday. Looking to build some confidence going into the games, the South Africans missed crucial opportunities to take the game by the scruff of its neck. That allowed the Scottish ladies to score 4 goals, in the end defeating SA 4-2.

On the men’s side, they opened their campaign against Pakistan. The South Africans led for most of the game, but a late goal by the Pakistanis saw them level the game for a 2-2 draw.

Swimming: 

The first Gold medals for Team SA came from the Pool. Lara van Niekerk and Pieter Coetze both made history by winning Gold in the men’s 100m backstroke and women’s 50m breaststroke heat.

In the 50m breaststroke, Van Niekerk set a new Commonwealth record in a time of 29.82. On the other hand, 18-year-old Coetze won his race with a time of 53.78 seconds, beating England’s Brodie Williams and Australian Bradely Woodward in the process.

On Sunday, the legendary Chad Le Clos added to his medal tally. He won Silver in the Men’s 200m Butterfly heat. Le Clos has now won four silver medals in the Commonwealth Games, dating back to Delhi, in 2010.

Another 2 medals, Gold and Bronze were added to Team SA’s tally when the sensational Tatjana Schoenmaker and Kaylene Corbett claimed first and third place in the women’s 200m breaststroke in times of 2:21.92 and 2:23.67 respectively.

Breaking away from the Commonwealth Games and bringing you other sport updates across the globe:

Cricket:

The Proteas defeated England in the third and final Vitality IT20 game in the Ageas Bowl, Southampton. The game was David Miller’s 100th T20 match. A great bowling display by the South Africans, particularly by Tabraiz Shamsi, saw the Proteas claim a 90-run victory to seal the series 2-1.

Rugby: The Springboks women’s team defeated Japan 20-10 in their second test match in Kumagaya Rugby Stadium on Saturday. It was their first ever win on foreign soil. Indeed, laying a good foundation ahead of the World Cup.

Formula 1:

Max Verstappen extended his lead at the top of the championship standings by winning this past Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

Verstappen, who started the race P10, worked his way up the track to claim the victory and also the driver of the day title. The Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and George Russel finished P2 and P3, respectively, taking home very much needed points in the championship battle.

The drivers will now assemble in Belgium from August 26-28.

Football news:

Manchester United announced Benni McCarthy as part of their coaching staff (attacking coach). The former Bafana Bafana striker landed in Manchester ahead of their friendly game against Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

United lost the game 1-0.

Staying on the note of friendlies Liverpool grabbed the bragging rights after defeating Erling Haaland’s Manchester City 3-1 in the Community Shield match at King Power stadium on Saturday.

Haaland missed a sitter, with the net wide open, failing to level things off for City. Whereas Darwin Nunez made an immediate impact and scored a beautifully headed goal, meaning that Liverpool will enter the new Premier League season with silverware in their cabinet.

Avuyile Sawula
Avuyile Sawula
Avuyile Sawula is a young passion-driven Sports Writer and Blogger. I am also an aspiring sports commentator and broadcaster looking to use my knowledge, skills and insights both digitally and on mainstream media. I have worked as a news writer for various news organizations covering both hard and soft news. My reporting beats include Rugby (Internationally and locally), Formula 1 and Cricket (both men and women's cricket.) However, I don't restrict myself to those only as I always try to cover other interesting beats within the sports fraternity.

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