SPORT

The week that was in SA sport

Finweek English Edition - - LIFESTYLE - BY GRAEME JOFFE

1 CAN MASHABA ‘SHAKE’ THINGS UP?

THE SOUTH AFRICAN na­tional foot­ball team has seen 24 coach­ing changes in 22 years – no won­der the play­ers al­ways look con­fused.

Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba is once again the Bafana Bafana coach.

Give credit to the South Africa Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (Safa) for ap­point­ing a lo­cal coach, but was it not time to ap­point some­body new with no Safa his­tory? This will be Mashaba’s fourth stint as Bafana coach. Gavin Hunt, cur­rent coach of Pre­mier Soc­cer League club Bid­vest Wits, would have been my first choice, but maybe that’s why I’m not on the Safa tech­ni­cal com­mit­tee, which voted unan­i­mously for Mashaba. Can we now qual­ify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup? A for­mer Bafana Bafana player re­cently said that the na­tion- al team shouldn’t even worry about 2018 and should re­ally be fo­cus­ing on 2022. I would be in­clined to agree. From 2010 to 2014, SA foot­ball has gone back­wards.

It could take eight years to fix the dam­age and see the fruits of any devel­op­ment.

Let’s hope we’re wrong and t hat Mashaba is able to ‘shake’ things up quickly.

2 PROTEAS BACK TO NUM­BER ONE

A NEW MEN­TAL char­ac­ter and tough­ness was ev­i­dent in the Proteas again in the sec­ond test against Sri Lanka – the first time be­ing af­ter the ODI se­ries.

For a team to bat out 94 overs on the fi­nal day and hold on for a draw says a lot.

The Proteas ac­com­plished a dual ob­jec­tive of win­ning a Test se­ries in Sri Lanka for the first time since 1993 and re­gained the sta­tus as the No 1 ICC World Test ranked side – a dream start for new South African cap­tain Hashim Amla.

3 TWO FOR TIM

TIM CLARK WON his sec­ond PGA tour ti­tle with a one-shot vic­tory over Jim Furyk at the Cana­dian Open.

Furyk started the fi­nal round with a three-shot lead but Clark reeled him in with a back nine of 30 to fin­ish on 17 un­der par for the tour­na­ment.

South Africans Ernie Els and Retief Goosen fin­ished tied for 12th, nine shots be­hind the win­ner.

The win is a big con­fi­dence boost for Clark, who pre­vi­ously made just 10 cuts in 20 events.

“It’s cer­tainly one I’ve wanted to win for a long time. Any na­tional cham­pi­onship to me is spe­cial, par­tic­u­larly to the peo­ple from that coun­try. It’s an hon­our for me to be the Open cham­pion,” said Clark.

4 NO SHARK BITE

IT WAS AL­WAYS go­ing to be a tall order to win in Christchurch, New Zealand, again but the Sharks lacked any bite in the Su­per 15 semi-fi­nal against the Cru­saders. The fi­nal score of 38-6 tells the whole story. The Sharks will be the first to ad­mit they didn’t play well and let them­selves down.

But there will be a South African in the fi­nal as Craig Jou­bert gets to ref­eree the big game again when the Waratahs host the Cru­saders.

Over­all, a very dis­ap­point­ing cam­paign for the SA sides with four of them fin­ish­ing in the bot­tom seven on the com­bined log.

5 BL­ITZBOKKE GOLD

HOW­EVER, THAT RUGBY dis­ap­point­ment was quickly for­got­ten on Sun­day night as the Bl­itzbokke won Com­mon­wealth Games gold in Glas­gow, Scot­land.

They beat the four time cham­pi­ons New Zealand 17-12 in the fi­nal.

It’s also great to see sport­ing codes like bowls and judo adding to SA’s gold medal tally at the Com­mon­wealth Games.

These are sports that live on scraps when it comes to fund­ing, so one won­ders what they could do if given ap­pro­pri­ate re­sources.

6 DIS­GUST AND ANGER

MEAN­WHILE, THERE’S DIS­GUST and anger as to why SA had no com­peti­tors in the marathon and the men’s 5 000m in Glas­gow.

The South African Sports Con­fed­er­a­tion and Olympic Com­mit­tee’s (Sas­coc’s) so-called se­lec­tion cri­te­ria of hav­ing to be ranked in the top five of the Com­mon­wealth Games is an ab­so­lute joke.

So, if the Aus­tralian win­ner of the men’s Com­mon­wealth marathon was South African, he wouldn’t have been there.

Just as well Josiah Thug­wane, the first black ath­lete to win an Olympic gold medal for SA at the 1996 Summer Olympics, wasn’t run­ning in this Sas­coc era.

I would have put my head on the block that El­roy Ge­lant would have won a medal for SA in the 5 000m.

Shakes Mashaba

Hashim

Amla

Tim Clark

The Bl­itzbokke

Celtic Park, Glas­gow

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