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South Africa

Cricket BallNew Zealand and South Africa battled each other in 1 of the 2 Semi-Final games of the Cricket World Cup, at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand.

The match started at 03:00 SA Time (14:00 NZ Time).

As expected, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and India made the Semi-Finals.

The Other Semi-Final, between Australia vs India take place on Thursday 26 March at 05:30 SA Time (14:30 Sydney Time) at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

South Africa won the toss and elected to bat first.

The South African Innnings was interrupted by rain and the game was reduced to a 43 Over per side game.

South Africa reached a total of 281 / 5 in their allotted 43 Overs, with Faf du Plessis (82), AB de Villiers (65 not out) and David Miller (49 off just 18 balls) doing the damage.

New Zealand started like a house on fire, with Brendan McCullum racing to 59 off only 26 balls… till he eventually perished. Kane Williamson perished on 6 runs, off 11 balls. Martin Guptill eventually perished on 34, from 38 balls and then Taylor departed for 30 off 39 balls. At this stage, New Zealand was still just above the required run-rate.

2 More wickets followed but it was not enough for South Africa.

New Zealand won with 1 ball spare, a 6 off the last ball by Grant Elliott, an Ex-South African himself!

 

 

South Africa: 281 / 5 (43 / 43 Overs)

New Zealand: 299 / 6 (42.5 / 43 Overs, 298 required due to D/L)

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Cricket BallSouth Africa and Sri Lanka battled each other in a Quarter-Final game of the Cricket World Cup, at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney, Australia.

The match started at 05:30 SA Time (14:30 Sydney Time).

As expected, the traditionally BIG Cricket Nations, bar England, made the Quarter-Finals.

It was South Africa vs Sri Lanka in the 1st Quarter-Final, and will be Bangladesh vs India in the 2nd Quarter-Final, Australia vs Pakistan in the 3rd Quarter-Final and New Zealand vs West Indies in the 4th Quarter-Final.

Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat first.

South Africa Bowled and fielded with dicipline, aggression and passion, to dismiss Sri Lanka for a paltry 133, after only 37.2 Overs.

South Africa started their batting innings on a solid footing, only losing the first and only wicket, that of Hashim Amla, with the score already on 40 runs.

The Dinner Break was taken at the fall of the Amla wicket… so it was all to play for, for South Africa after Dinner!

South Africa cruised to victory in 18 Overs, with Quinton de Kock not out on 78 off 57 balls and Faf du Plessis not out on 21 off 31 balls.

South Africa becomes the 1st side to advance to the Semi-Finals.

 

Sri Lanka: 133 All Out (37.2 Overs)

South Africa: 134 / 1 (18 Overs)

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Cricket BallSouth Africa and Zimbabwe battled each other in their opening game of the Cricket World Cup, at Seddon Park, Hamilton, New Zealand.

Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to field and bowl first.

South Africa was initially in early trouble, losing 4 rather quick wickets, till David Miller and JP Duminy pulled them out of the fire with good tons each, Miller not out for 138 and Duminy not out for 115… when the 50 overs concluded.

Zimbabwe seemed to be going steadily towards the target, only 2 wickets down at the 25 over mark.

Wickets kept falling at regular intervals though and at 44 overs Zimbabwe were reeling at 8 wickets down.

Zimbabwe were all out after 48.2 overs, South Africa winning by 62 runs.

 

South Africa: 339 / 4 (50 Overs)

Zimbabwe: 277 All Out (48.2 Overs)

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Cricket BallSouth Africa and the West Indies battled each other, with both innings reduced to 42 overs a side due to the inclement weather, in the 5th and last ODI of the Series, at SuperSport Park, Centurion.

The inclement weather and lots of rain during the night and morning already delayed the Toss and accordingly the match, which was due to start at 13:30 SA Time on Wednesday 28 January 2015, but started quite a while later.

Prior to the start of the game, South Africa had already won 3 of the ODI’s and the West Indies 1, in the series of 5 ODI’s.

The West Indies won the toss and elected to bowl first.

South Africa notched up a massive 361 runs for the loss of only 5 wickets, with both Rilee Rossouw and Hashim Amla getting their tons (Rossouw – 132, off 98 balls & Amla – 133, off 105 balls).

The West Indies never looked like getting to the target, with wickets falling regularly, Marlin Samuels top-scoring for them (50 runs, off 47 balls).

South Africa won the match by 131 runs, hauling the West Indies all out, after 37.4 overs.

South Africa took the Series by 4 games to 1.

 

South Africa: 361 / 5 (42 Overs)

West Indies: 227 / 9 (37 Overs)

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Cricket BallSouth Africa and the West Indies battled each other in the 3rd ODI, at Buffalo Park, East London.

Prior to the start of the game, South Africa had already won the 1st two ODI’s in the series of 5 ODI’s.

The West Indies won the toss and elected to bat.

South Africa struck early TWICE, dismissing both dangerous openers, Chris Gayle and Dwayne Smith, with only 6 runs on the board, Vernon Philander doing the damage on the bowling side and AB de Villiers taking both catches behind the stumps.

The West Indies lost their 3rd wicket, that of Deonarine, with the score on 33. Ramdin’s wicket fell with the tally on only 43 and Samuels went for 26, with the West Indies reeling on 52 / 5 after 16.5 overs.

A further wicket lost, with the West Indies on 83 / 6 after 24.2 overs, then another on 87 runs, and another 2 wickets on 95 and 96 runs… leaving only 1 wicket standing after 29.2 overs.

The last West Indies wicket fell, with only 33.4 overs bowled, West Indies ALL OUT for 122 runs.

South Africa started the chase and lost the wicket of Riley Rossouw (7), with the score on 27 / 1 after 5.4 overs, then consolidated andd started batting down the small target. South Africa’s 50 came on the scoreboard after 12 overs. South Africa’s score was 93 / 1 after 20 overs, needing 30 runs to win, off the 30 remaining overs.

South Africa hit the winning runs on 24.4 overs and won by 9 wickets (with 152 balls remaining).

 

West Indies: 122 All Out (33.4 Overs)

South Africa: 124 / 1 (24.4 Overs)

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Cricket BallSouth Africa and the West Indies battle each other in the 2nd ODI, at Wandrers in Johannesburg.

South Africa has already won the 1st ODI, a couple of days ago.

The West Indies won the toss and elected to bowl first.

South Africa posted a mammoth total in their 50 overs, their highest ever of 439 / 2.

Hashim Amla scored 153, his highest ever ODI total without perishing. Rilee Rossouw scored 128 runs off 115 balls and AB de Villiers came in and demolished the West Indies bowlers, scoring 149 runs off just 44 balls… yeah you read correctly before perishing, with 2 balls remaining.

In the process AB de Villiers became the batsman to score the fastest ever 50 (off 16 balls) as well as the fastest ever batsman to score 100 (31 balls – previous record was 36 balls).

The West Indies knew they would have to go full-out from ball one to get to the winning score!

Chris Gayle got out cheaply for only 19 and Leon Johnson fell for 1 run. Dwayne Smith was eventually out for 64 and Marvin Samuals perished on 40. The West Indies lost 3 more wickets and never upped the run-rate, leaving them well short.

South Africa comfortably won by 148 runs.

 

South Africa: 439 (50 Overs)

West Indies: 291 / 7 (50 Overs)

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Cricket BallSouth Africa and the West Indies battle each other in the 2nd 5-Day Cricket Test at St Georges Park, Port Elizabeth. The Test is supposed to run from  26 to 30 December 2014.

Overcast weather is expected for all 5 days of the Test.

Play started on schedule on Day 1, at 10:30 SA Time (08:30 GMT).

The score cards will be updated at regular intervals here on Rugby-Talk.com.

The West Indies won the toss and elected to bowl, to exploit the weather conditions.

The South Africans started fast and the first wicket fell on 47 runs. At Lunch on Day 1 the Proteas had only lost one wicket but the West Indies bowling attack were pegging them back and many maiden overs were bowled. The Proteas went on to punish the Windies on Day 1, for the loss of only 1 more wicket.

At Stumps on Day 1, Faf du Plessis was on 99 not out and Hashim Amla on 17 not out and the New Ball had been taken for just 1 over.

Day 2 was delayed for an hour due to early morning rain and Faf du Plessis got his TON, but persihed on 103, early in the day. After only 6 Overs in Day 2 the rain came down and delayed the match for the rest of Day 2.

Day 2 was meant to start half an hour early due to time lost on Day 2, but rain also forced a delay on Day 3, with play only starting at 11:00 SA Time. The Proteas steadily lost wickets and started accellerating run scoring before Lunch on Day 3, so that a declaration can be made, with enough runs on the board. At Lunch on Day 3, the Proteas were 369 / 7 with 117 Overs bowled in the Test. South Africa declared for 418 / 8 off 122 Overs. At Stumps on Day 3 the West Indies were 147 / 2 afyer 44 Overs.

The start of Day 4 once again rain delayed, in this wet-weather Test! It certainly looks like a result in the Test is unlikely. Play eventually started, then rain delayed play again… and the pace of the game seems to be like watching paint dry on Day 4. Later in Day 4, 7 quick wickets fell and suddenly all life seemed to be back in the match. Another rain interruption followed and no more play ensued on Day 4.

On Day 5 the match was eventually abandoned and called a draw after a wet outfield nver recovered sufficiently to warrent further play on Day 5.

All in all a very disapointing Test, considering the first innings of the West Indies were not even done and dusted, by the time the match was called.

 

South Africa: First Innings – 417 / 8 declared (122 Overs)

West Indies: First Innings – 275 / 9 (79 Overs)

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Cricket BallSouth Africa and the West Indies battled each other in the 1st 5-Day Cricket Test at SuperSport Park, Centurion. The Test was supposed to run from 17 to 21 December 2014, but ended a day and a half early. Play was weather delayed on Day 1 due to a wet outfield, with the Test due to start at 10:30 SA Time (08:30 GMT). The delay was only 30 minutes and play started at 11:00 SA Time on Day 1. The weather was quite overcast in Centurion on Day 1.

The score cards were updated at regular intervals here on Rugby-Talk.com.

The West Indies won the toss and elected to bowl, to exploit the weather conditions.

The South Africans started fast and the first wicket only fell on 57 runs… but then 2 more wickets fell on the same score. At 57 / 3 Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers steadied the ship and batted the whole day, stringing up the runs till close of play on Day 1.

On Day 2 both AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla quickly went over 150 runs each, before AB de Villiers perished on 152. Hashim Amla reached a landmark 208 before being caught in the deep, right near the boundary markers. Stiaan van Zyl started nervously on debut… but then reached his 101 not out, when Captain Amla declared with the Proteas on 552 / 5, after 140.3 Overs. Quinton de Kock ended on 18 not out in the process.

During the Innings Break, Tea was also called… and then rain delayed play from resuming… and further play on Day 2 was eventually abandoned and Stumps was called very early after heavy rains had fallen in Centurion.

On Day 3 the Proteas dismissed the West Indies with ease in their First Innings, still 351 runs behind. The follow-on was enforced. At Stumps on Day 3 the West Indies were already reeling at 76 / 2.

On Day 4, the Proteas did not fool around, dismissing the rest of the West Indies batting lineup, only 3 balls into the 2nd Session of the day, for a measly 131. Dale Steyn took 6 wickets on Day 4 and South Africa easily wins with an Innings and 220 runs.

Seriously back to the drawing board for the West Indies, I suggest!

 

South Africa:

First Innings – 552 / 5 declared (140.3 Overs)

 

West Indies:

First Innings – 201 All Out (60.2 Overs)
Second Innings – 131 All Out (42.3 Overs)

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CricketA selection of Springboks will take on the Proteas in a T20 match at the Wanderers stadium in Johannesburg on 5 December for the Nelson Mandela Legacy Cup.

National captain Jean de Villiers and vice-captain Victor Matfield have both been included in the star-studded Springbok T20 cricket team.

Matfield scored 23 runs from 23 balls and hit four fours against the Proteas in Cape Town earlier this year.

The two Springbok centurions will be joined by Willem Alberts, who took two wickets in as many balls at Newlands, as well as Willie le Roux, who scored 16 from eight balls including a big six.

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AustraliaAustralia have slipped another place to fifth in the latest World Rugby Rankings with France, Japan, Tonga, Canada and Namibia also falling after defeats.

Australia’s 26-23 loss to Ireland on Saturday has seen the Wallabies slip another place to fifth – equalling their lowest ever position since the World Rugby Rankings were introduced in October 2003.

The Wallabies headed into the match in Dublin sitting just one hundredth of a rating point above England, but will now travel to Twickenham to face Stuart Lancaster’s men this weekend behind two northern hemisphere nations with Ireland strengthening their hold on third place with the win.

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Welcome To Hell

A former high-ranking Australian rugby union official once remarked: ‘that the best thing about South Africa was QF 64′. In other words, the flight home!

The comment, which was made within the earshot of several players, drew a laugh at the time; but it also probably served to sum up why the Wallabies haven’t been as successful in the Republic during the professional era as they should have been.

Simply, the country intimidates.

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Premiership clubs

Premiership Clubs have been given dispensation by the IRB to start playing on 17 October next year, during the World Cup’s knockout stages.

The Rugby Football Union and Premiership Rugby have settled their dispute over World Cup compensation, the governing bodies have announced.

England’s 12 clubs are likely to share £13 million provided by the RFU and have been cleared to play matches during the knockout stage of the tournament.

“It’s a reflection of the strength of the partnership that once again we have managed to come to an arrangement that benefits both the RFU and clubs,” RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie said.

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Heyneke Meyer

Heyneke Meyer, the coach of the team with the most “character” in the world.

South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer hailed the character of his team Sunday in the wake of a lucky 33-31 Rugby Championship victory over Argentina in Salta.

Serial match-winner Morne Steyn ignored whistling and booing to slot a penalty three minutes from time and give the Springboks a second win over the Pumas within eight days.

It was the climax of a stirring last-quarter comeback by the visitors as tries from right-wing Cornal Hendricks and flank Marcell Coetzee wiped out a 12-point deficit.

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Jean de Villiers

Jean de Villiers

Jean de Villiers has said that he is hoping that his team can dominate in the forwards like they are used to ahead of Saturday’s game against Argentina in Salta.

The Springboks have been famed for the physicality since the inception of the game in the Republic with the forwards often being the heroes on game day.

The Springbok captain is calling for that famed physicality to take centre stage again on the weekend so that the Boks can play their natural game.

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South AfricaThe Springboks have landed in Argentina with no injury concerns, but Meyer will be forced to ponder the likes of fit-again Pat Lambie and Juan Smith.

Having come away from the wet and wild Loftus Versfeld with only an injury before the game to Willem Alberts, Meyer will have a full compliment to pick from when they play Argentina in Salta.

Meyer has now picked up Lions captain Warren Whiteley as cover for Alberts who is staying at home alongside Victor Matfield.

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IRBThere has been no change in the Top 12 of the IRB world rankings following the opening round of The Rugby Championship.

Despite seeing their 17-Test win streak end in Sydney thanks to a 12-12 draw with the Wallabies, New Zealand continue to lead the way on 93.42 points.

The Wallabies, courageous in their efforts – and perhaps a little unlucky – remain in third position on 87.32.

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South AfricaContrary to the expected dry conditions on the Highveld, the Springboks had to adapt to hail and torrential rain in their narrow 13-6 Rugby Championship opener against Argentina in Pretoria on Saturday.

“We really wanted to play exciting rugby. We picked an exciting backline as we thought we would have an open, running game on the Highveld,” Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said after the nail-biting match.

“I am very proud of the team. That game could have gone either way. A lot of the Argentineans play in Europe, where they are used to the conditions, and they forced us into a kicking battle.”

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New Zealand haka 1916

New Zealand side perform the haka before taking on South Africa in Richmond, Surrey, reportedly in April 1916. No further details of the match exist, with the All Blacks’ last official Test coming in August 1914.

Rugby Union did not shut down completely with the declaration of war in August 1914.

Australia and New Zealand were, as dominions of the British Empire, included in Britain’s declaration on 4 August, but inevitably the matter was less urgent.

The machinery of military recruitment clicked into action and the Wellington Rugby Union cancelled its programme of second, third and fourth grade matches on the following Saturday to enable players to attend volunteer parades. But war caught both countries in mid-season and with the All Blacks part way through a tour of Australia.

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South AfricaIf South Africa are to win this year’s Castle Lager Rugby Championship, then quick ball from the breakdown is non-negotiable.

The Boks have made it clear that they want to speed up their play during this year’s competition, not slow it down as they have in the past.

The biggest problem is that their catalyst, their general in exercising their play in this regard, talisman Fourie du Preez, is injured and unavailable, bringing a heavy burden on the three halfbacks in the squad to produce the goods.

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Women's Rugby World Cup 2014There will be a new name on the Women’s Rugby World Cup as New Zealand are the high profile absentee in the final four of the competition.

In the last round of the pool stages in Marcoussis, England’s draw with Canada saw both into the semi-finals where they will be joined by Australia and Ireland.

New Zealand, who have triumphed in the past four World Cups, won their last game of the pools but they went into their game against the USA already knowing they were out of the competition.

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Jacques Kallis

Jacques Kallis has acknowledged on Wednesday that his dream of playing in next year’s Cricket World Cup was “a bridge too far”.

Kallis, 38, scored just five runs in three innings in a recent one-day international series in Sri Lanka

“I just knew on that tour that I was done,” Kallis said in a statement.

“The squad that was in Sri Lanka is an amazing one and I believe they have a good chance of bringing the trophy home in March.”

It always seemed a long shot for Kallis to remain competitive through to the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next February and March.

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Cricket BallSri-Lanka and South Africa battle each other in the 2nd 5-Day Cricket Test at Colombo in Sri-Lanka from 24 to 28 July 2014. Play starts early for SA viewers, as Sri-Lanka is a few hours ahead of South Africa in the time zones, so it is daly from about 06:00 SA Time every day.

South Africa won the 1st Test and lead the Test Series by 1 / 0 after also taking the ODI Series by 2 – 1, their first ever ODI Series win in Sri-Lanka.

The score cards will be updated at regular intervals here on Rugby-Talk.

Sri-Lanka won the toss and elected to bat.

Sri-Lanka started Day 1 well and at the Close of play on Day 1 were on 305 / 5 after 86 Overs.

It was a slow Day initially on Day 2, both from bat and ball, but the Day started heating up after about 30 Overs done for the Day. Sri-Lanka were all out for 421 in their 1st Innings. South Africa started terribly in their 1st Innings, losing 2 wickets with just 13 on the board. South Africa ended with 98 /  after 52 Overs at Stumps, Day 2.

On Day 3 the South African wickets kept falling at regular intervals, SA reaching 234 / 7 after 111 Overs at Tea of Day 3 and then South Africa were eventually all out for 282 from 134.5 Overs, trailing by 139 rins at the Innings break.

Sri-Lanka started their 2nd Innings and at Stumps on Day 3 were 11 / 0 after 5 Overs.

On Day 4 Sri Lanka kept the pressure on and eventually declared at 229 / 8 after 53.4 Overs, leaving South Africa to chase 369 runs for a win. At Stumps, Day 4 South Africa was on 38 / 1 after 17 Overs, still 331 shy of a win with 9 wickets still in tact.

South Africa were in to bat the whole of Day 5, but there was no attempt to chase a win, it was block, block, block to save the Test! After 102.5 Overs bowled it was 148 / 8, which was then still 221 runs short of the win, with 2 wickets in hand. Rain delayed the Final Session of play on Day 5 for a while, but play resumed again.

South Africa managed to stand their ground, eecking out a DRAW, ending with 159 / 8 after 111 Overs. The result, or non-result, means South Africa moves up to TOP Test spot in the world Cricket Test rankings.

 

Sri-Lanka:
  • First Innings – 421 (121.4 Overs)
  • Second Innings – 229 / 8 Declared (53.4 Overs)
South Africa:
  • First Innings – 282 (134.5 Overs)
  • Second Innings – 159 / 8 (111 Overs)

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Glasgow 2014There is a palpable level of excitement in the country ahead of the Commonwealth Games which will be held in Glasgow this year. Driving up the road over the weekend one was reminded by overhead sign boards long before reaching Glasgow of the need to plan ahead  and potential difficulties in travelling as a result of the Games.

The online search engine Google has the theme of the games on its page, there is a lot of coverage in the media both online, in print and of course in audio and visual. Radio schedules have already been changed on some stations providing coverage already ahead of the Games which are due to get kick started with the opening ceremony tonight. In advertising it’s radio coverage the national broadcaster has even made a pledge to bring all the action of Scotland’s medal winning events live to the public. Colleagues have members of their family involved on a voluntary basis as ambassadors for Glasgow 2014 with some having already been helping out in the Athletes Village for the last two weeks.

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Cricket BallSri-Lanka and South Africa battle each other in the 1st 5-Day Cricket Test at Galle International Stadium in Sri-Lanka from 16 to 20 July 2014. Play starts early for SA viewers, as Sri-Lanka is a few hours ahead of South Africa in the time zones, so it is daly from about 06:00 SA Time every day.

South Africa have just won the ODI Series by 2 – 1, their first ever in Sri-Lanka.

The score cards will be updated at regular intervals here on Rugby-Talk.

South Africa won the toss and elected to bat first.

South Africa started well on Day 1 and then slightly lost their way towards the end of Day 1. At Stumps on Day 1, South Africa were 268 / 5, after 91 overs. On Day 2 South Africa continued their strong form and declared with 9 wickets down on 455 / 9 after 166.2 overs, leaving Sri-Lanka to field 12 uncomfortable overs before the close of play on Day 2 and with Sri-Lanka ending on 30 / 0 (12 Overs).

On Day 3 Sri-Lanka was steadily losing wickets and after 60 Overs bowled in the Sri-Lankan 1st Innings they were 165 / 4 (60 Overs). At close of play on Day 3 they were reeling at 283 / 9 after 100 Overs.

On Day 4 the Sri-Lankans were all out for 292 after 104.5 Overs and South Africa in their 2nd Innings declared at 206 / 6 (50.2 Overs). The Sri-Lankan 2nd Innings is underway, a target of 370 set.

At Stumps, Day 4, Sri-Lanka was 110 / 1 (32 Overs), 260 runs needed to win the game. One now wonders whether the South Adrican captain, Hashim Amla, declared the South African 2nd Innings too early!

On Day 5 the South African bowling attack and specifically the pace attack, obliterated the Sri-Lankans.

South Africa won the Test comfortably, by 153 runs.

 

South Africa:

  • First Innings – 455 / 9 Declared (166.2 Overs)

  • Second Innings – 206 / 6 Declared (50.2 Overs)

Sri-Lanka:

  • First Innings – 292 (104.5 Overs)

  • Second Innings – 216 (71.3 Overs)

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ScotlandAdam Ashe, the 20-year-old Glasgow Warriors No 8, will become the seventh new cap of Scotland’s summer tour when he takes to the field against South Africa in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

Ashe, a product of the Hillfoots and Stirling County clubs, was preparing for club training at Lincoln University in Christchurch one week ago, having been domiciled for a couple of months in New Zealand’s South Island as recipient of the John Macphail Scholarship.

Others have graduated to full international honours and have cited the “invaluable” experience the scholarship has bequeathed them, for example, John Barclay, Grant Gilchrist, Jonny Gray and Kevin Bryce.

The match is played at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth at 17:00 SA Time, 16:00 BST, 15:00 GMT.

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Junior World Championship 2014 - New ZealandThe Semi-Final Play-off Round of the IRB Junior World Championship is a thing of the past, with South Africa Under 20 and England Under 20 advancing to contest the FINAL and leaving Ireland Under 20 and New Zealand Under 20 to contest for 3rd place.

South Africa, the top seeds, beat New Zealand by 32 / 25 in a hard-fought game, socring the winning try with 2 minutes left on the clock.

England trounced Ireland by 42 / 15 and of course is the defending champions, looking to successfully defend their title.

 

 

Other results:

  • France beat Wales 19 / 18
  • Australia demolished Samoa by 53 / 16
  • Scotland narrowly beat Italy by 21 / 18
  • Argentina saw off Fiji by 38 / 12

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WalesLock Bradley Davies will miss Wales’ two-Test tour to South Africa in June because of a hamstring injury.

The Cardiff Blues lock, 27, who is heading to Wasps, suffered the problem in training and has undergone surgery.

Meanwhile, Racing Metro flanker Dan Lydiate is out of Friday’s Wales Probables v Possibles trial in Swansea.

But Lydiate’s hamstring strain is not expected to rule him out of the tour, which starts with a warm-up against Eastern Province Kings on 10 June.

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HughMcLeodScottish Rugby is immensely saddened to learn of the death on Monday night of the former Hawick, Scotland and Lions internationalist Hughie McLeod. He was 81.

Hugh Ferns McLeod was a pioneer, ahead of his time. His achievements as a player were the stuff of legend but, arguably, it was the manner in which he moulded future success in Hawick that marked him as a truly special character.

Hugh drove himself very hard as a player. He set high standards and expected the same of others. Into retirement he still followed a fitness regime which might have proved – no, would have proved too onerous for younger folk. Whether it was cycling, swimming up in Edinburgh or walking, Hughie loved to be active.

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WalesWales coach Warren Gatland has warned that he might consider not selecting England-based players in future.

The Premiership clubs have said they may not release Welsh players for a trial game on 30 May in Swansea as it is not a Test match.

Negotiations are ongoing, but Gatland remains concerned by the continuing uncertainty over player availability for Wales duties.

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Nick MallettSouth AfricaFormer Springbok coach Nick Mallett believes the players selected for his World XV squad are in top form for their match against South Africa in Cape Town on Saturday 7 June.

The squad of 23 players, comprising of Test stars from New Zealand, France, Australia, Ireland, Samoa, Tonga, Georgia and South Africa, boasts a total of 707 caps between them.

“The group of players who have been selected for this match are not only very experienced, but are all in very good form at the moment,” said Mallett.

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WalesEngland’s leading clubs will not allow players to take part in the Wales trial on Friday, 30 May.  The availability of some Wales stars was in any case in doubt because the Aviva Premiership final takes place a day later.

A spokesman said Premiership Rugby’s Wales players would not be free for the trial as it falls outside the International Rugby Board (IRB) window.

But Wales remain hopeful of reaching a deal over England-based players.

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