It is the first Saturday of January and many of our favourite pastimes are back already, here we bring you all the lastest sports news and fixtures for SA sports fans.
Latest sports news and fixtures
Zebre vs Toyota Cheetahs Sergio Lanfranchi, Parma 17:00
The Cheetahs will be looking to consolidate their two-point lead over the Glasgow Warriors and to make up some ground on Ulster on the standings as they head into their clash against Zebre in Parma.
Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie expressed concerns that their travel schedule may be a setback for his charges, but he hoped that some strong forward play could serve a key role in starting the year on a positive note.
“Our journey to Parma wasn’t easy as we had to travel in two groups, which saw a number of us arriving a day earlier than others, and this made our preparation a bit challenging,” said Fourie. “That said we come off a three-week break, so we need to shake off the rust very quickly.
“It will be vital to execute our game plan well from the outset and avoid mistakes.
“We know that the hosts will be ready and sharp after two derby games against Treviso. Luckily the field is not as muddy as it was a few weeks ago when they played, although it is soft underfoot.”
Edinburgh vs Isuzu Southern Kings Murrayfield, Edinburgh 21:40
On their return to Pro14 after a festive season break the Southern Kings face the in-form Edinburgh, who have won six of their nine matches so far this season.
The Kings currently occupy bottom spot in Conference B of the Pro14 with just one win in seven matches.
South Africa vs England – World Test Championship
Second Test Day Two South Africa vs England Newlands, Cape Town 10:30
Ollie Pope gave the Barmy Army something to cheer about late on an otherwise disappointing first day of the second Test for England against South Africa at Newlands on Friday.
“I’ve never had that many people chant my name like that,” said Pope.
Pope made 56 not out in an England total of 262 for nine on a day when the tourists, 1-0 down in the four-match series, failed to take advantage of what looked like a good batting pitch. He gave the total some respectability – and earned the cheers of English supporters, who probably made up half of a capacity crowd.
But South African seam bowler Dwaine Pretorius said he felt England were around 70 runs short of a par total after day one.
Premier Soccer League
Stellenbosch vs Bidvest Wits Cape Town Stadium 15:30
Stellenbosch FC chance their second win in a row when they host Wits at Cape Town Stadium.
Stellies head into the fixture having beaten Baroka FC 1-0 in their last outing of 2019 and head into the match well-rested after the festive break.
Wits, meanwhile, had to stretch their legs in the CAF Confederations Cup just before the year ended.
Bloemfontein Celtic vs Orlando Pirates Dr Molomela Stadium 15:30
Celtic are on a two-match losing streak and sit ninth on the league standings – three points behind fifth-placed Pirates. Both sides have played 14 matches.
Lehlohonolo Seema, the Phunya Sele Sele head coach, has raised concerns about his side’s defensive efforts.
“There is nothing we can do accept work hard and hope that we have a full squad,” Seema said.
“Maybe the break will help our injured players. We have been struggling especially in defence.”
Polokwane City vs Chippa United Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:30
Polokwane City will hope to avoid a record 11th consecutive defeat when they host Chippa United at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.
Polokwane coach Clinton Larsen will be hoping his team can fire from the get-go after the festive season break, rather than continue the slump.
Rise and Shine made a solid start to the season, but they have now lost ten games in a row, leaving them rooted at the bottom of the PSL log.
Supersport United vs Kaizer Chiefs Mbombela Stadium 18:00
SuperSport United and Kaizer Chiefs will square off at Lucas Moripe Stadium.
Matsatsantsa’s eight-match unbeaten league run was ended when they lost 1-0 to Chippa United in their last fixture of 2019.
United, however, are still sitting pretty in third spot on the PSL log with 24 points – some way behind league leaders Kaizer Chiefs on 35 points.
But, pressure can do strange things and United coach Kaitano Tembo, still believes that his side can mount a late title challenge.
Amazulu vs Mamelodi Sundowns Moses Mabhida Stadium 20:15
AmaZulu FC will fancy their chances when they clash with Mamelodi Sundowns at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Usuthu extended their unbeaten run to three matches in the league when they secured a 2-1 win over Bloemfontein Celtic away in their last fixture. They now sit 12th on the PSL log.
Milos Lacny, a new Usuthu recruit, said he is looking forward to the challenge.
“I cannot wait to get out on the pitch and show everybody what I am capable of doing,” he said. “I have been training with the team and familiarized myself with the players,” Lacny said.
Serbia vs South Africa Brisbane 09:30
eam South Africa will get its campaign underway at the ATP Cup on Saturday, as first-time captain and renowned ATP coach Jeff Coetzee leads a young, exciting team in the inaugural team event.
The international men’s event is currently being staged in three different Australian cities (Perth, Brisbane and Sydney) from 3-10 January, in the lead-up to the year’s first Grand Slam, the Australian Open, and will feature teams from 24 countries.
Coetzee said that his team were feeling comfortable, confident and working hard in their preparation. “It has been a great few days of preparations. Everyone in the team is feeling good and ready to go. The whole team has prepared well thus far, and we are all just very excited about the event and cannot wait to compete.”
“I absolutely love team competitions. The whole team is in good spirits and it is so fitting to start the year in a team competition,” added the 42-year-old Coetzee.
South Africa will play their opener on Saturday in Group A against Serbia in Brisbane.
Latest sports news
At the close of play on day one of the second Test between South Africa and England, the tourists were 262 for 9 at stumps.
ATP Cup results
Belgium 3 Moldova 0
Steve Darcis (BEL) bt Alexander Cozbinov (MDV) 6-4, 6-7 (4/7), 7-5
David Goffin (BEL) bt Radu Albot (MDV) 6-4, 6-1
Sander Gille/Joran Vliegen (BEL) bt Radu Albot/Alexander Cozbinov (MDV) 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/4), 11-9
Bulgaria 2 Britain 1
Cameron Norrie (GBR) bt Dimitar Kuzmanov (BUL) 6-2, 3-6, 6-2
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) bt Dan Evans (GBR) 2-6, 6-4, 6-1
Adrian Andreev/Alexandar Lazarov (BUL) bt Jamie Murray/Joe Salisbury (GBR) 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (2/7), 11-9
Canada 3 Greece 0
Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) bt Michail Pervolarakis (GRE) 6-1, 6-3
Denis Shapovalov (CAN) bt Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7/4)
Denis Shapovalov/Felix Auger (CAN) bt Petros Tsitsipas/Michail Pervolarakis (GRE) 6-2, 6-3
Australia 3 Germany 0
Nick Kyrgios (AUS) bt Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 6-4, 7-6 (7/4)
Alex de Minaur (AUS) bt Alexander Zverev (GER) 4-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-2
Chris Guccione/John Peers bt Kevin Krawietz/Andreas Miles (GER) 6-3, 6-4
Norway 2 USA 1
Taylor Fritz (USA) bt Viktor Durasovic (NOR) 6-2, 6-2
Casper Ruud (NOR) bt John Isner (USA) 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (12/10), 7-5
Casper Ruud/Viktor Durasovic (NOR) bt Rajeev Ram/Austin Krajicek (USA) 4-6, 6-3, 10-5
Russia 3 Italy 0
Karen Khachanov (RUS) bt Stefano Travaglia (ITA) 7-5, 6-3
Daniil Medvedev (RUS) bt Fabio Fognini (ITA) 1-6, 6-1, 6-3
Karen Khachanov/Daniil Medvedev (RUS) bt Simone Bolelli/Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) 6-4, 6-3
A move to Europe could be on the cards for Orlando Pirates star Thembinkosi Lorch.
Eben Etzebeth showed off his more relaxed side in footage of a NYE party hosted by All Black Liam Messam in Toulon, France