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Lions made to sweat for slender win over Pumas at Ellis Park

Ruwellyn Isbell of the Steval Pumas and Cyle Brink of the Golden Lions during the Currie Cup match between Xerox Golden Lions and Steval Pumas at Emirates Airline Park on September 02, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.



At least the bleeding has stopped for the Lions but their mission to qualify for the knockout stages of this season’s Currie Cup remains up in the air.

The Lions went into this match on the back of a four match losing streak at the hands of bitter rivals Bulls, Sharks, Western Province and Cheetahs and they desperately needed this victory which was achieved by the narrowest of margins.

They managed to score five tries against this stubborn Pumas side but coach Swys de Bruin and his think tank will agree that they were far from their best and their knockout credentials are going to be tested in the coming weeks of the second round.

They are left with five round robin matches that continue with a tricky trip to the Griquas in Kimberley on Friday before turning their attention to traditionally bruising encounters against Bulls, Sharks, Western Province and Cheetahs.

The only positive for the Lions is that the Bulls, Western Province and Cheetahs will be travelling to Johannesburg and they will only be on the road to the Griquas and the Sharks.

Lions got going with the opening try of the match as early as the second minute from the effort of veteran eightman Ryan Kankowski on the corner following a line-break by Ashlon Davids who failed to convert.

Three minutes later, Pumas replied with a try of their own that was scored by Stefan Ungerer under the posts which was converted by Kobus Marias.

The Lions continued to surge forward in search of more points and they got their reward after 13 minutes when Ruan Dreyer powered home but Davids’ conversion could not find the middle of the poles.

It was proving to be a try fest as Lambert Groenewald touched down for the Pumas’ second try and the fourth of the match after 17 minutes which was easily converted by Marias who made it two kicks out of two.

The Lions retook the lead on the half hour mark through a try by Marco janse van Vuuren after they dominated the scrum and Davids finally got his kicking spot on from the resultant conversion.

Lions went to the break with a healthy eight point lead after Madosh Tambwe touched down on the corner after he received a well-taken cross field pass from Davids shortly before the half time hooter sounded.

Six minutes after restart, Lions received a numerical boost after Jerome Pretorius was sent to the sin bin for a dangerous tackle but the home side failed to take advantage as they conceded another try from Groenewald to move within one pint of the Lions.

The Pumas’ momentum was halted a few minutes later when Lions pulled away again on the score-sheet after Rohan Janse van Vuuren scored the fifth try for the home side which was easily converted by Davids.

The Pumas did not lie down as they moved back to within one point of the Lions after 67 minutes through a try by Ruwellyn Isbell which was converted by Marias but the home side held on to in the closing stages to win by just one point.

 – TimesLIVE

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Jordan Ayew tops English Premier League sprint chart after 16 matches



Ghana forward Jordan Ayew has been rated as the player with most sprints in the English Premier League after 16 round of games.

The Swansea City attacker has always been faced with criticisms for his lack of work ethos when playing for the Ghana’s senior national team.

But the former Olympique Marseille man appears to have had the best statistics in arguably the world’s best championship in terms of a player that has made the most sprints in the league after 16 matches

The 25-year-old heads the list of the 10 players ahead of speedsters including Hector Bellerin of Arsenal, Delle Alli of Tottenham and Richarlison of Watford.

According to the, with their high intensity and counter-attacking football, Manchester City have wracked up the most sprints so far this season with a whopping 6198.

However, relegation-threatened West Ham have managed a measly 4942.

Surprisingly, Manchester United only have the 15th highest amount of sprints with 5210.

Even though Manchester City have wracked up the most sprints as a team, no individual star of Pep Guardiola’s side makes the top 10.

So which Premier League ace has sprinted the most times?

1. Jordan Ayew (Swansea) – 796 sprints

2. Delle Alli (Tottenham) – 742 sprints

3. Jay Rodriguez (Burnley) – 715 sprints

4. Hector Bellerin (Arsenal)- 695 sprints

5. Tom Cleverley (Watford) – 695 sprints

6. Tom Ince (Huddersfield) – 683 sprints

7. Abdoulaye Doucore (Watford) – 682 sprints

8. Richarlison (Watford) – 677 sprints

9. Erik Pieters (Stoke) – 669 sprints

10. Pascal Gross (Brighton) – 662 sprints

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Pots announced for Final Draw



With Peru completing the line-up of 32 teams for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, we now know the seeding pots for the Final Draw on 1 December.

It was confirmed in September, by the Organising Committee for FIFA Competitions, that all teams will be allocated to (eight-team) pots 1 to 4 based on sporting principles. The October 2017 edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be used to allocate all qualified teams to the four pots according to their ranking in descending order, after hosts Russia who take the top seeding spot.

With those factors in mind, here are the final pots for the Final Draw:

POT 1 Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France
POT 2 Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia
POT 3 Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran
POT 4 Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia

It is worth remembering that the principle of drawing the teams into the groups will remain unchanged. This means that no teams from the same confederation, with the exception of UEFA, which could have up to two teams in the same group, will be drawn into the same group.

The Final Draw will take place on Friday 1 December at Moscow’s State Kremlin Palace.

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« We do not want him at Real Madrid anymore »



Real Madrid are in a bad situation in the league, the club of Casa Blanca is currently third in Liga behind Valencia and Barça, the Catalans have taken a big lead, and this could definitely make them lose the championship in the winter. And a Madrid club player is highlighted in these poor results.

101 million euros for his transfer, 23 injuries since, 73 matches missed or 55% of the matches of his team. Statistics that would drive any coach and / or leaders crazy. You have it ?

These are the figures of Gareth Bale since his arrival at Real Madrid in the summer of 2013 from Tottenham. Whoever has played only nine games in the year 2017/2018 seems to have seriously undermined the patience of its leaders. Just back from a calf injury, he was summoned by the Welsh side to face France in a friendly last Friday, but made the choice to stay in Madrid to prepare for the derby against Atletico Madrid. But, the blow, the Welsh injured during training last Thursday and will be absent about a month.

What continue to fuel the rumors of transfers but especially what cause irritation of the board leader. The latter, tired of not being able to align their triplet « BBC », have made a decision that should be irrevocable, according to the Madrid newspaper AS: It must leave this summer. And the Spanish media also explains that the president of the Madrilenian club, Florentino Perez, added:

« We do not want him at Real Madrid anymore »
Yet strongly criticized last season, Bale had managed to avoid a departure last summer, claiming to want to win at Real Madrid. This year, his start to the season does not plead in his favor and he seems to have exhausted all his jokers in the Spanish capital. The departure of the Welsh international therefore seems to have been recorded.

The rumor of a return to the Premier League, Manchester United in particular, has been reactivated but the number of contenders could quickly evolve in view of the quality of the player. Be careful though, the Welsh is signed until 2022, and Florentino Perez is determined not to sell his player.

Unless a return to its best level, it is difficult to see how the Welsh international could reverse the situation. Zinedine Zidane even found his replacement for 100 million euros.

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