Recaps of Rugby, Soccer, Cricket, and F1

Ian TaitCorrespondent IApril 27, 2009

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 27:  Jarrod Sammut of the Panthers makes a break on the way to scoring a try during the round seven NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Gold Coast Titans at CUA Stadium on April 27, 2009 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Firstly, I would like to apologize for missing last week. I went away to Underberg for a trout fishing competition.



The Super 14 this past weekend has had a whole lot of surprises. The Cheetahs pulled off a Hail Mary and beat the Crusaders 22-10. Nobody saw that coming.

The Stormers had no wins throughout the tour and pulled off a fantastic win without Captain Marvell Juan De Villiers. They beat the Highlanders 11-18 in Dunedin.

The Hurricanes look to be in fine form for a semifinal finish by thumping the Brumbies 56-7. It was a fantastic display of rugby.

The Reds caused the weekend's other upset by beating their opponents 24-31 in a game that was sewn up 10 minutes into the second half.

The Lions got blown away by the Western Force in Perth, getting thumped 55-14.

In a top-of-the-table clash, the Bulls beat the Chiefs 33-27 in a close encounter in Pretoria.

The results leave the top six still in close contention with all teams having played 10 games.

The Canes are on top with 34 points, followed by the Bulls on 33, the Chiefs on 32, and the Sharks on 31. The Blues have 30 and even the Western Force, at 28, have a chance.

For my Sharks to ensure a home semifinal, they will need to take 15 points from their last three games. Bonus points look like it will come back to haunt the Sharks. The Sharks take on the Highlanders, the Tahs, and the Bulls, all at home.

The Canes play the Blues at home, then the Chiefs away, followed by the Reds away.

The Chiefs play the Stormers away, the Canes at home, and then the Brumbies at home.

The Bulls have the Western Force, the Cheetahs at home, and the Sharks away.

It is going to be very close to call, but a betting man should go Hanes, Bulls, Chiefs, and Sharks for the semifinals.



Firstly, the Liverpool Arsenal game on Tuesday night must go down as one of the best games in the 11 year history of the English premiership. 4-4 was the final scores but, with the score at 3-3 in injury time, these two giants of the game just revived the faith of any soccer fan who thought that the game was getting boring.

Manchester United pulled off the great train robbery by coming from a 2-0 half time deficit to thump Tottenham Hot Spurs 5-2 at Old Trafford. United are still three points clear at the top and should now be considered the title champions for this season. Liverpool and Chelsea will take the next two places and Arsenal seem sure to be in the fourth spot.

The local soccer scene saw the Pirates drop two points to log leader Super Sport in a 1-1 draw. Although Pirates had their chances, they were their own worst enemies by not capitalising.

Chiefs are still in third place but behind on goal difference.

Bay United from PE look like they will be knocked back down to the first division. Bloem, Celtic, and Thanda Royal are also in the bottom three and winning results is the only thing that could save these two side.



The DFL IPL Pro 20 Series has started in South Africa and, judging by the crowds and response from the public, it is a great success. England will not be happy with Andrew Flintoff doing in a knee, as he will spend the next five weeks out of action.  Ab De Villiers thumped a 105 not out of 54 balls on Wednesday and Mathew Hayden looks like he has never left professional cricket. Last year, champions were not doing well, but it is still early. This is just what South African cricket required to inject some life into it. With the World Cup Pro 20 within a few months, packed stadiums will be the order of the day.


Formula 1

F1 has been turned upside down. The team that was nowhere last year won three of the first four Grand Prix. Jenson Button took it for the third time on Sunday. McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton came in fourth and Ferrari picked up their fist points of the season with Kimi Räikkönen finishing sixth.

Both McLaren and Ferrari will have new packages in Spain in two weeks time. I don’t think that this can come soon enough for what should be the top two teams this year.

But, to Ross Braun and his team, kudos to you.