Keba’s weekend sport picks

JOBURG - A lot of dreams will either be realised or left in tatters all over the sporting world this coming weekend.

Take your pick: Super Rugby playoffs, Hungarian F1 Grand Prix, the Proteas vs Sri Lanka, and pre-season football will hopefully live up to the billing.

What to watch (26, 27 and 28 July)


Friday, 26 July, Vodacom Super Rugby relegation/promotion playoff match 1, Southern Kings vs Lions, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth, 6.15pm (SS1)

Saturday, 27 July, Super Rugby semifinal 1, Chiefs vs Crusaders, Waikato Stadium, Waikato, 9am (SS1)

27 July, Super Rugby semifinal 2, Bulls vs Brumbies, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria, 4.15pm (SS1)

27 July, Mutual & Federal Premier Interschools Rugby, Grey College (Bloem) v Grey High School (PE), Bloemfontein, 12.55pm (SS1)

Ooooh, boy! Heartbreak, regret, acrimony, could-haves, should-haves, glory, vindication and gloating stand to be a part of the fall-out from this weekend’s rugby action. And that’s just the Kings-Lions clash! A politically-charged and financially critical relegation home-and-away series is the perfect start to proceedings in the Gentleman’s Game Played By Hooligans, with an intricate and complex history of the contest dating back to 2005. That aside, fact remains: Joburg needs a rugby team back in Super Rugby and the rugby-mad-but-starved Eastern Cape deserves a side playing at the top level. Myopic political meddling and impatience means that either way, one must die. And there’s just the small matter of the Bulls being the last South African hope in the competition against Jake White’s ACT Brumbies. Those who enjoy school rugby can also catch a load of a potential earth rumbler op die platteland between the Greys. Get in!


27 July, Carling Black Label Cup, Orlando Pirates vs Kaizer Chiefs, FNB Stadium, Soweto, 2.30pm (SABC 1, SS4)

Up the Bucs! Amakhosi for Life! Ayeye, boss! A glorified pre-season ‘friendly’ this might be, but when it’s between the two biggest soccer teams south of the equator never willing to give up an inch to the other, the cynicism dissipates as quickly as it is formed. Kaizer Chiefs are the League and Cup Double champions of the land, having stopped a consecutive Double Treble run by Orlando Pirates over the last two seasons. The Buccaneers are yet to lose to their bitter rivals in this unique competition – in which supporters can make substitutions via text message, while two lucky fans each become a guest coach of their favourite team on the bench. Truthfully, these matches have been a little dull in front of goals, but with the likes of the speedy Kermit Erasmus and aptly-named Knowledge Musona having been recently acquired by Pirates and Chiefs respectively, this should be good. It’s the perfect opportunity to gain early bragging rights and a psychological advantage going into the season.


Sunday, 28 July, Hungarian F1 Grand Prix, Hungaroring, Mogyoród, 1.30pm (SS6)

Germany’s Sebastian Vettel of Red Bulls is safely snug at the top of the drivers’ standings on 157 points, a comfortable 34 ahead of Spaniard and Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso. A mini-logjam has developed between Alonso, Finnish Kimi Räikkönen (3rd, Lotus), Briton Lewis Hamilton (4th, Mercedes) and Australian Mark Webber (5th, Red Bull), which is more entertaining than the push for first place. This is because of the indisputable surety that the pre-eminent Vettel (hoping to emulate his hometown hero Michael Shumacher one day) is headed towards his fourth consecutive world title bar a catastrophic run of races, which can leave the back door open for the chasing pack. While we would not wish disaster on him, hopefully those in his wake can make a fist of the title run-in starting this weekend in the Hungarian county of Pest. Small chance, though. Vettel will claim a podium finish at least, such is his imperious form.

Others to watch

29 July, South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, Fourth One Day International, Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele, 10.25am (SS2)

29 July, Concacaf Gold Cup Final, tbc vs tbc, Soldier Field, Chicago (SS3)

This is my last column. Thank you very much, sport fans and interested readers, for all the support. It was a pleasure and honour writing for you, and please do continue supporting your local newspaper.

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