Rovers-toti clash today
THE Castle Murray Cup qualifying round today sees the eight Fidelity Security Moor Cup Premier Division teams travelling to the home venues of their allotted opponents, the KZN First Division’s top eight sides.
What should be an intriguing match-up is the clash between College Rovers, the KZN Premier Division winners, and KZN First Division champions Amanzimtoti on Toti’s home turf.
Toti edged Piet Retief 26-20 last Friday to retain the First Division title and have given notice that they will be challenging Premier Division wooden spoonists Harlequins in a promotion/relegation battle at the end of the season.
Rovers will certainly give Toti a runaround and the experience will stand the South Coast men in good stead come the crunch clash with Quins.
The other Murray Cup qualifying matches will see Varsity College tackling home side Vryheid, Crusaders facing Hillcrest in Shongweni, Zululand Rhinos meeting hosts Ballito Dolphins, Durban Collegians going up the North Coast to lock horns with Richards Bay, Maritzburg Collegians trekking all the way to Piet Retief’s home base, University of KwaZulu-Natal Impi away to Westville Old Boys, and Quins taking to the road to go head-to-head with Newcastle Highlanders.
All matches today kick off at 2.30 pm. PRETORIA — Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund says he and his players are honoured to be taking part in the inaugural Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day at FNB Stadium today.
“We as a team feel very proud and we’re very honoured that we are able to contribute,” Igesund said ahead of their friendly fixture against Burkina Faso.
“We’re not only contributing by being there and supporting the event, we’re actually playing a part. Mandela is the greatest statesman of all time, I don’t think there will ever be a statesman like him again.”
The day’s events, in recognition of the former president’s contribution to sport in South Africa, will comprise three major matches at the stadium.
First up would be a South African “Legends” soccer team taking on an Italian “Masters” outfit, followed by the Bafana game.
In an unprecedented initiative, the Springboks then host Argentina, in their 2013 Rugby Championship opener, at the same venue.
Bafana will have to pick themselves up for the game, which comes just three days after their disappointing 2-0 defeat to Nigeria in Durban on Wednesday.
Although Igesund’s men created a few promising goal-scoring opportunities, the hosts were ultimately outclassed by a superior side.
For Bafana Bafana, the match served as preparation for the crucial 2014 World Cup qualifier against Botswana next month.
Burkina Faso, meanwhile, re- turn to the ground where they finished runners-up in this year’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament, narrowly going down to Nigeria in the final.
Since their stellar run in the continental showpiece, the Burkinabe have continued their good form under coach Paul Put, and head into today’s encounter on the back of a 2-1 win over Morocco midweek.
Igesund hinted he could give both young and fringe players an opportunity to show their worth in the national setup.
“They need to get used to playing with the [Siphiwe] Tshabalalas and the [Itumeleng] Khunes of this team,” Igesund said.
“When you’re a young player, you do get intimidated. I want them to get out there and the only way for them to do that is for them to be with us.
“They have to keep playing and continuously performing. Tomorrow, one or two of them could be on the field and I’m hoping they can go out there and express themselves.”
He wanted the youngsters to grab the opportunity with both hands and express their styles, free of fear from the opposition, he said.
“I want them to have the exuberance of a youngster, the arrogance of a youngster. I don’t want to see them being scared.
“We as a country need to support these players. Any opportunity I get, I’m going to try and get the young players to come into the squad and be around these guys [senior players].” — Sapa.