The NMMU Madibaz held NWU to a hard-fought 2-2 draw in their opening game of the Varsity Football campaign in Port Elizabeth on Monday night. Madibaz coach Graeme Harrison said his team gave a good account of themselves in front of an enthusiastic home crowd at the Madibaz Stadium. "Naturally we would have wanted a win but I was satisfied with the team's performance and happy to come away with one point for the draw," said Harrison. The visitors' Sandile Mbatha drew first blood in the 28th minute when he got a direct shot past goalkeeper Lyndsay Jennings. Madibaz striker Kieran Koert fired back four minutes later with an equaliser, followed swiftly by a second goal, to take a 2-1 lead at halftime. "The boys showed a lot of character," said Harrison. "They went from a goal down to scoring two goals in quick succession." He said it was a particularly welcome return to form for Koert, who earned the Samsung Super Striker award. "He's really come back strongly after being injured last season. We've been looking after him and nurturing him to ensure that he was ready for this competition." In the second half, a motivated NWU took the game to their hosts, who responded strongly in defence. "Our players really showed tenacity in holding NWU at bay. Our opponents were losing, so they had to throw caution to the wind and go on the attack." Harrison said Madibaz captain and FNB Man of the Match Kurt Duff had led by example to rally his team. "As defensive midfielder he's a solid rock. He's an excellent leader and organiser and has earned the guys' respect." He attributed Sifiso Ngwenya's equaliser in the 77th minute to a possible lapse in concentration towards the end by the home team. "We have a lot of new players in the side and after this first game I think they'll understand the rigours of this competition better and also what is expected of them." The Port Elizabeth-based team were unbeaten on their march to last year's final, . . .
JC Nel showed his all-round climbing and sprinting ability to claim his maiden classic victory in the 32nd Bestmed Jock Cycle Classique in the Mpumalanga Lowveld on Saturday. Nel, 22, also claimed the king of the mountains title in what is billed as South Africa's toughest one-day road race. The young Westvaal-BMC rider gritted his teeth in the finishing sprints on stage one and two to hang on to the runner-up spot behind the winners. On stage three, he finished safely in the bunch at the Mbombela Stadium near Nelspruit to secure the overall win in the 151km race in a time of 3:58:41. James Fourie of Europcar SA and Willie Smit of Vini Fantini-Nippo were second and third respectively in the same time of 3:59:04. "This is one of the toughest races on the South African calendar and to win this is something I always wanted to do growing up," said Nel. "So to come out here and win this today was something of a dream come true." The Johannesburg resident said it was a welcome return to form for him after a disappointing early season and that it was a promising precursor to the upcoming Clover Lowveld Cycle Tour. "I'm really happy to have my form back. The team did a superb job of keeping everything together for me on the last stage and I'm really happy that I could manage the win for them today." Nel and Smit were the first to go on the attack on the 43km opening stage from Nelspruit to White River. Fourie, Peter-Lee Jeffries of Inter-Active and Clint Hendricks of Bonitas immediately gave chase and quickly reeled them in. The five-man breakaway then worked together to open up a minute lead over the chasing bunch, which they maintained throughout the stage. On the Heidel Eggs climb at the 40km mark, Nel claimed the first king of the mountains hotspot and then it all came down to a sprint finish at Rob Ferreira High School. There was drama in the closing metres as early leader Smit broke his cleat to put him out of contention in the . . .
University of Johannesburg head coach Bradley Carnell was cautiously optimistic ahead of his team's debut performance at the national Varsity Football tournament on Monday night. Carnell said he was delighted that his institution was among the eight qualifying universities for the second edition of the nine-week competition. UJ has jumped nine places to seventh on the University Sport South Africa (Ussa) rankings since the former Bafana Bafana defender took the helm in early 2013. Carnell, who also made his name in the German Bundesliga, said if his team stuck to their strengths they had the ability to be competitive. "At this point in time, our aim is to do the best we can. At the end of the campaign, we'll reflect and see where the road is taking UJ Football." As the new kids on the block, UJ will take on the University of the Western Cape in their first game of the tournament. Carnell said the onus was on his squad to give a good account of themselves in their first fixture and to build their reputation and be good representatives of UJ Football. "We are relishing the fact that we've qualified in such a short space of time," said Carnell. "It has always been a long-term plan to build something sustainable in the next three to five years." As the proverbial new broom, Carnell has made sweeping changes in line with this vision. "We only have about three players left from the squad I inherited. It's been a huge clean-up, which was long overdue." One season on and his efforts appear to have paid off. UJ are the current Ussa Gauteng league champions and have gained promotion to the Castle League, where they finished in the top three in their debut season. As a talent identification platform, he said, the televised Varsity Football format filled an important gap in the development of South African soccer. "From what we saw last year, some PSL teams would love the attendance that was registered on a regular basis. "It has been . . .
DF Malan High School got off to a great start to the 2014 Spur School Mountain Bike League and accumulated an impressive 384 points at the first Western Cape league race of the 2014 season hosted recently at Willowbridge to put them top of the log. Attendance figures were up 35% on last year with a total of 365 riders taking to track for the first event of the season. Parel Vallei High School is sitting in a close second with 371 points, with Paul Roos Gimnasium in third position overall, but comfortably leading the boys’ category with 339 points followed by Montana High School in fourth with a total of 326 points. Primary schools making their mark in the Nipper’s and Sprog’s races hosted as part of the league meetings, were Kenridge Primary School with a total of 251 points followed by Totius Primary School with 242 points and Kinetic in third with 116 points. In a tight sub-junior boy’s race it was Michard Meets of Parel Vallei High School who finished first with Calla De Vos of Paul Roos Gimnasium second and Daniel Van der Walt of Kenridge Primary in third place. Andrew Sparks of Reddam House won the youth men 16 division with Matthew Keyser of Parel Vallei in second place and Edward Boshoff of Montana in third. The yougth men 15 was won by Johann Trotzky of Montana with Rossouw Bekker of Paul Roos Gimnasium second and Joshua De Freitas of Parel Vallei High School in third position. The sub-junior girls’ was won by Sonique Louw of D F Malan High School followed by Juarnett West of Montana second and Carla Hollander of Kenridge Primary School in third place. Allison Mortonof Westerford High finished first in the youth women category, followed by Petra Lategan of BBloemhof second and Jessi Nixon of Fishhoek High School in third place. In a tightly contested youth women’s race it was Marga Janse van Rensburg of Montana who took first place with Mire Herbst of Durbanville High School second, Lieze Van Heerden of Parel Vallei third and Sune Van Zyl . . .
The University of Johannesburg is gearing up to host its first ever fixtures in the national Varsity Football tournament in the wake of the Fifa World Cup. The second edition of the nine-week tournament, which starts on July 21, will see the top eight footballing universities do battle on grounds across the country. UJ will host three home games on July 28, August 18 and September 1. The first and last of these will be played at the AW Muller Stadium on the Auckland Park Bunting Road campus, while the second match will be televised live from the Soweto Campus sports complex. According to UJ's sports marketing co-ordinator Tanya Naude, football played a critical role in uniting the institution's diverse student population. "We're particularly excited to see the football culture unwrapping among the students as the tournament draws closer. "With the soccer world cup atmosphere still in the air, we cannot ask for a better time to take on Varsity Football." The UJ women's team – featuring Banyana stars like Amanda Dlamini, Noko Matlou and Disebo Mametja – won last year's inaugural tournament, while the men's side are currently ranked seventh overall after qualifying at the University Sport South Africa (Ussa) championships last year. Naude said organisers were looking forward to capacity home crowds at each of the 2 000-seater stadiums. "We will do what UJ does best – create an amazing atmosphere, with the UJ Samsung cheerleaders, fireworks, halftime giveaways, music and emcees. We continuously strive to create the ultimate student sporting experience!" She said the institution had successfully hosted various other codes in the Varsity Sports stable, including hockey and athletics, as well as the high-profile Varsity Cup rugby competition. UJ sports events manager Niamh Faherty added that the university had previously also held the Ussa tournament, which acts as the qualifying event for Varsity Football. "That was a week long and there . . .
Two-time Momentum 94.7 Mountain Bike Challenge winner Kallen Williams showed himself to be one of South Africa's rising young talents when he claimed his first ever win at the Bestmed Walkerville Mountain Bike Classic in Gauteng on Sunday. The former Toyota Cycle Lab rider slew mentor Andrew Mclean in a finishing sprint battle to take the 60km title by a single second in 2:20:20. Greg Anderson was third across the line at the Walkerville Showgrounds in 2:20:42. Williams, who is currently in his third year of optometry studies at the University of Johannesburg, said racing conditions were far milder than he had anticipated for what was billed as Gauteng's coldest off-road race. "That certainly made things a lot easier on the body. Today I was feeling pretty good, so I went hard from the beginning." The 21-year-old pushed the pace from the start, opening up a gap of at least a minute over the Platberg climb. He held the chasers at bay until the halfway mark, when he saw a breakaway group of three riders attempting to reel him in. "The last half of the race is quite flat and windy, so to stay away by yourself is a lot harder," said the Alberton resident, who trains regularly in the area. "So I just backed off and waited for the other three to catch up." The four riders worked together over the remaining kilometres until Williams launched a series of attacks in the closing stretch. "I started making a couple of moves about 5km out and eventually there was just the two of us (Williams and Mclean). I've raced against Andrew before, so I was confident that I could take him in the sprint." As a former roadie, Williams said he knew he could respond quickly in the sprint and that his background in competitive motocross would stand him in good stead on the speedway circuit leading up to the finish. "Overall, it's a very technical course – lots of rocks and lots of climbing. It's a very tough race." While his studies remained his primary . . .
The SASKA East coast karate open (SECKO) championship will be hosted at the Fish River Sun Hotel and Country Club in August. This is the eighth year that Fish will be hosting the SECKO championship, which draws karate competitors and experts from all over. The championship has grown to become one of the largest annual by invitation only all-style karate events in the Eastern Cape, attracting more than 400 competitors. As an official event it is run under the auspices of the South African Shotokan Karate Academy (SASKA) and East Cape Shotokan-Ryu (ECSR). The event is open for all styles, all ages, all grades and all categories will be held on tatami mats says ECSR organiser Gary Grapentin. The SECKO Championship will take place on Saturday, August 2. Participants expected to take part in this championship come from Uitenhage, Despatch, Somerset West, Port Alfred/Kenton, Grahamstown, King William’s Town, Fort Beaufort, Somerset East, Port Elizabeth, Cradock, and East London. The official opening of the championship will start at eight in the morning. Special weekend packages are being offered by the Fish River Sun to support the championships. For single occupancy the rate is R1 033.00 per person per night including dinner, bed and breakfast. Double occupancy R646.50 per person, per night and includes dinner, bed and breakfast. There will also be a family package for R1 495.00 per room per night. This includes dinner, bed and breakfast for two adults and two children under the age of twelve. “In addition, the championship experience will provide the opportunity for participants, officials, families and supporters of karate to enjoy an unforgettable holiday at the Fish River Sun Hotel and Country Club Resort,” says Stefan Ferreira of the Fish River Sun. Contact Stefan Ferreira on 041 583 1968 for more information. Author: Christena Crause from Siyathetha Communications. Facebook: . . .
The Mecer Madibaz men's team put on a solid display of attacking hockey to finish second overall at the University Sport South Africa tournament in Pretoria last week. The team from NMMU dropped just one of their three pool games – against favourites UKZN – en route to the final, where they went down 1-3 to defending champions the University of Johannesburg. UJ were unbeaten throughout the five-day Ussa tournament and fielded an experienced team of seasoned campaigners that included Protea players Brendon and Clinton Panther and Taylor Dart. According to Madibaz hockey coach Cheslyn Gie, his men had been determined to reach the playoff rounds after narrowly losing to UJ in the 2012 final and finishing seventh overall last year. "After the Varsity Hockey competition in May, we knew we had the ability to make a semi-final and that was our objective. So we achieved our goal and making the final was a bonus." The Port Elizabeth-based side romped to a 4-0 win over Maties in their opening match before going on to trounce Wits 4-1. Having already qualified on points for the semis, their 1-4 loss to UKZN was merely an unfortunate blot on their record. "In the semi-final, we put Kovsies under pressure with our press and scored early on. After relaxing our grip and allowing them back into the match, we played a more controlled second half to run out 2-0 winners." In the final clash, Gie said the Madibaz had started out strongly and pressed UJ into some unforced errors to take a 1-0 lead. "Unfortunately we made two bad defensive errors that led to bad tackles and UJ was awarded penalty strokes, scoring from both. This put us on the back foot and we had to chase the game." Disaster struck when centre back Devon Clarke retired injured after running down the flick during a penalty corner and fracturing his right thumb in four places. His ability to make tackles and set the tempo for the Madibaz's attacking play was sorely missed. "In the second half . . .
A spirited Bestmed-Shukuma Madibaz cycling team had their rival universities in a spin as they took a convincing win in the team classification at the national student championships at the University of Pretoria on Friday. With the stage times of the top three finishers from each institution added together, the team from Port Elizabeth showed incredible consistency to podium in all five stages. Their combined time of 20:24:17 was more than eight minutes faster than that of defending champions Tuks (20:32:23), with NWU-Pukke placing third in 20:35:51. Madibaz captain Gerrit Nel said he was overwhelmed by his team's success after finishing second at last year's University Sport South Africa (Ussa) event. "We went into the tour with the sole objective to win or, as the team said during preparation, 'bring back the flowers to PE'. We did just that. "It is a team event and our aim was to prove ourselves as the best cycling university out there." The Madibaz also dominated the individual podium, with all-rounder Marinus Prinsloo and sprinter Waldo Gronum claiming second and third respectively. Their teammate Henno Cronjé finished just off the podium in fourth. Nel said Prinsloo, who was third overall last year, had been their strongest contender and that Gronum had also impressed and improved with every stage. The yellow jersey however went to the host institution's Kevin Patten, who rides professionally for Westvaal-BMC. "Kevin is an outstanding sportsman with great sportsmanship and deserved the yellow jersey," said Nel. "He had a strong team to support him through the longer stages. He also delivered superb rides to win the time-trial, hill climb and criterium." Although Tuks had pre-existing route knowledge, a number of pro riders and the largest team in the tour, they could not capitalise on their competitive advantage. On the opening day, the Madibaz went out all guns blazing in the first stage over 76km. Nel and Sean Bos put in . . .
Billabong Madibaz's Jean du Plessis was on the crest of the wave after winning the men's title at the University Sport South Africa surfing competition at Victoria Bay near George recently. The 21-year-old quantity surveying student's performance also helped the Port Elizabeth-based campus to the overall men's crown in the three-day Surfing South Africa sanctioned event, which culminated on June 27. The University of Cape Town's Daniel Wilson and Varsity College's Wade Simkiss made up the rest of the podium. Du Plessis, who grew up in East London and surfed his way to third place at the national championships as an under-16, said he was stoked with the victory. "We enjoyed some big waves, between four and six feet, and, although the competition was quite tight, it all came together for me in the final." Defending women's champion Roxy Giles, from NMMU's George campus, bested Varsity College's Nicole Pallet in the final while UCT's Jessica Lee took third. The Madibaz's success was made even sweeter when Du Plessis, teammate Dane van Greunen and Giles were selected for the Ussa national team that will participate in various international university surfing competitions. NMMU George sport manager Hugo Loubser said he was very proud of the team, especially the men who had reached all of their objectives. "Our PE campus did really well, especially after losing Josh Saunders (the team's number one) very early on. The George men's team have less experience and exceeded our expectations by beating Stellenbosch for fifth." Overall victory across the men's and women's categories went to defending champions UCT with NMMU PE second and Varsity College third. For more information, visit www.sport.nmmu.ac.za or find Madibaz4U on Facebook and Twitter. Author: Coetzee Gouws from Full Stop Communications. More Info link: http://sport.nmmu.ac.za Twitter: https://twitter.com/fullstop Images: For high res version/s of One image/s please contact: Full . . .