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Form vs familiarity – how national football team coaches may choose their starting 11s in Qatar

With national team coaches having just a week to assess their respective players before the 2022 Fifa World Cup kicks off in Qatar, they may well resort to the tried and tested formulas – to the detriment of on-form players.
An unorthodox Fifa World Cup is fast approaching. The technical teams of participating nations have submitted their chosen players for the showpiece in Qatar, which is scheduled to begin on 20 November.
The head coaches of the participating nations have a headache worse than usual.
With only one week for the chosen players to train together before the tournament officially commences, will they stick with the tried and tested? Or will the respective coaches experiment with trusting fringe players who head into the tournament riding high on form?
Falling like flies
The Qatar World Cup has drawn widespread criticism due to the event taking place in November/December – which marks Qatar’s winter time. The showpiece traditionally takes place in the European summer months of June/July.
However, with Qatar’s summer temperatures exceeding the 40°C mark on average, that period would have posed a health hazard to the players. Hence the shift in schedule.
As a result, this particular instalment of one of the most prestigious sports events in the world sees national teams having little to no time to sharpen up.
They would usually gather for a longer period, working on chemistry and combinations in order for the managers to put out their strongest possible 11 from what they’ve seen in training during that period.
The top European leagues, which will provide a large chunk of the participating players in Qatar, only stopped playing this past weekend.
In fact, as the respective leagues (as well the continental Uefa Champions League) rushed to cram fixtures into their calendar before the World Cup-enforced break, many players were victims of injuries – a fact that former England and Liverpool defender-turned-pundit Jamie Carragher lamented recently.
“They campaigned on having it in the summer. It is impossible to have a World Cup in the summer there, with the temperatures. It got moved to the situation where it is now in the middle of the season,” Carragher told CBS Sports.
“Players spend their whole lives dreaming of playing in a World Cup and now could be [out]. As we’ve seen with Son [Heung-min] and other players all around the world. [Raphael] Varane was crying coming off the pitch at Stamford Bridge. That’s how close we are to a World ...

Boks shuffle pack for tough Italian job

The Springboks have made minor tweaks for Saturday’s clash against a dangerous Italy in Genoa. On the back of two Test defeats on this tour, the match has taken on massive significance.
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has shuffled his pack for Saturday’s third Test of the current northern hemisphere tour by including a new lock combination.
The Stormers second-row duo of Marvin Orie, who came off the bench against France last week, and Salmaan Moerat, will start a Test together for the first time.
The rejigging of the locks ends Eben Etzebeth’s 18-match starting streak as he takes a welcome break on the bench. It has been a remarkable sequence of durability, but more importantly, high-quality performances. It’s staggering that he hasn’t been shortlisted for World Player of the Year.
Franco Mostert shifts to blindside flank, with Pieter-Steph du Toit still awaiting the outcome of his disciplinary hearing following a red card against France.
Du Toit is likely to cop a ban of a few weeks, which will be a factor against England on 26 November if there are injuries to any loose forwards against Italy.
No 8 Jasper Wiese returns in place of Kwagga Smith for the Italian clash, following the concussion he sustained against Ireland in the first match of the tour. But this will be Wiese’s last appearance of the year because he must return to English club side Leicester next weekend.
With Wiese gone and Du Toit likely to be suspended, the Boks will start the England match without two of their three first-choice loose forwards. But that is a problem for another day.
Bruising inside centre Andre Esterhuizen also makes a rare start – his first since the second Test against Wales in July and only his second Test start in three years. That means Damian de Allende shifts to outside centre for his first start in the No 13 jersey since the Rugby World Cup 2019 match against Canada.
Read in Daily Maverick: “Courageous Boks see red and come up short against France in Marseille thriller”
The back three of Cheslin Kolbe, Kurt-Lee Arendse and Willie le Roux, from last weeks’ 30-26 defeat in Marseille, are retained.
Stormers loose forward Evan Roos will feature on the replacements bench alongside Etzebeth, Smith and the front row of Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch (both props) and Malcolm Marx (hooker) in a split of six forwards and two backs on the bench.
Cobus Reinach (scrumhalf) and Manie Libbok (utility back), ...

Proteas announce squad for maiden voyage under Malibongwe Maketa

Injuries and a new approach resulted in some changes to the Proteas’ Test squad for next month’s three-Test tour of Australia.
South Africa announced its 16-man squad to take on Australia in a three-match Test series next month. The squad contains a few surprises, with batter Theunis de Bruyn earning a recall, seamer Gerald Coetzee earning a first call-up and Aiden Markram dropped.
In 2019 — before Mark Boucher’s appointment as coach of the Proteas — South Africa’s current director of cricket, Enoch Nkwe, took charge of the side on an interim basis to tour India for a three-match Test series.
The Proteas, while in a transitional phase after Ottis Gibson’s reign, unsurprisingly lost the series 3-0.
It is now the turn of Malibongwe Maketa, who has been thrown into a similar situation, as interim coach to lead the side into the cauldron of the No 1 Test team in the world in Australia.
“It doesn’t get any more exciting than that. It’s a great challenge. It’s something we’re really looking forward to as a squad. It doesn’t get any bigger than Australia, in Australia in December,” Maketa said.
“It’s exciting for us as Cricket South Africa to play in this series; we haven’t been there in a while. The past few Tests we played there we did really well. It’s important that with this new group we go out there and showcase our skills under that pressure.”
As excited as Maketa is for his maiden trek as coach of the Proteas, the challenge will be stiff.
Even though South Africa are currently second on the World Test Championship log, the side is coming off a 2-1 series defeat to England in September.
The batters have been battling to score big runs, with only wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne and opener Sarel Erwee scoring centuries this year — both against New Zealand. Australia, on the other hand, have only lost one of their past 10 matches and sit pretty at the top of the World Test Championship standings.
Squad for Down Under
South Africa are on the back foot early, as their second-highest run-scorer for 2022, Keegan Petersen, has been ruled out of the tour Down Under with a torn hamstring.
Maketa and the convenor of selectors, Victor Mpitsang, also confirmed that Markram had been dropped for the tour.
However, there is a middle-order replacement for those players as Theunis de Bruyn makes his return to the Test squad after a three-year hiatus.
De Bruyn averages ...

Mega weekend for Mercedes as Russell clinches maiden win

The Silver Arrows were back on top after dominating in São Paulo, Brazil, with George Russell claiming first place in both Saturday’s sprint race and the Grand Prix on Sunday.
George Russell was the star of the show at this week’s 2022 São Paulo Grand Prix, with the Mercedes driver bringing in the team’s first win of a long, difficult season.
On Saturday, Russell lined up third on the grid for the sprint race, despite spinning out into the gravel during a challenging qualifying session the day before.
“It was definitely a sweet feeling to cross that line in first position. it’s so great to see the progress we’re making as a team. This is a huge result for us,” Russell said.
From lights out, the Brit put champion Max Verstappen under pressure, hot on his tail throughout the race, eventually overtaking and leaving the Red Bull driver to fall down the order.
“At the moment [Mercedes] look unbeatable,” Verstappen said after the sprint.
Russell went on to win the 24-lap sprint, with Carlos Sainz of Ferrari behind and Lewis Hamilton in third. The win meant that Russell would start Sunday’s race from first on the grid, and with Sainz dropping positions due to a grid penalty, Mercedes would be leading the pack.
“It’s crazy to think that [both Mercedes cars are] starting on the front row, Lewis did a great job coming from P8, so it’s going to be exciting. we are in a luxury position that we can maybe split the strategy and go for the win,” Russell said.
And go for the win they did. Russell was the quickest off the line on Sunday, leading the field with Hamilton hanging on closely behind. While Russell clearly had outstanding pace all weekend, it was not an easy win, as he yet again faced pressure from the Ferrari of Sainz and the Mercedes of his teammate. On lap 55, Russell was heard on the radio asking if there would be team orders for him and Hamilton, perhaps hoping the seven-time champion would be told to stay behind.
“You are racing, just be respectful,” came the response from Mercedes, making for a nail-biting race to the checkered flag. Ultimately, Russell finished 1.5 seconds ahead of his teammate, bringing home his maiden victory. After the race, his team revealed that his car had suffered a water leak throughout the entire session, and there were moments Mercedes feared Russell would not ...

Pereira stuns Adesanya to become new middleweight champion at UFC 281

UFC 281 threw up a big surprise as highly favoured Israel Adesanya lost his middleweight crown.
Alex Pereira has become the new UFC middleweight champion, claiming a fifth-round knockout win over Nigerian-born Israel Adesanya in the main event at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York on Sunday morning.
The 35-year-old sensationally stopped Adesanya in the fifth round with a flurry of punches which led to the referee calling a halt to the contest.
The Brazilian secured the title, which Adesanya had held since 2019, in only his fourth fight in the UFC and eighth in mixed martial arts.
“I’ve trained my whole life for this. I’ve worked so hard,” Pereira said.
A great rivalry is developing between the two fighters as, prior to the epic five-round battle on Sunday morning, Adesanya had never lost a fight in the middleweight division.
This is the third time Pereira has beaten Adesanya — more than any other fighter — although the other two wins (in 2016 and 2017) were in kickboxing.
“What’s the emotion? I’m grateful — what a life, what a moment,” Adesanya said after the gruelling fight.
The flurry of late punches thrown by Pereira had Adesanya wobbly and left him unable to defend himself, forcing the referee to end the fight.
“F—ing crazy ending. Similar to the last time, same story. It’s crazy. But yeah, I was fine. The first thing I said to Eugene [Bareman, his coach] or the ref was I was fine. I was lucid, I was in there. But yeah, s— happens. I talked to my coaches and I trust them [that the stoppage was legit], but I was fine. I could see everything, my eyes might have rolled back a little bit, but I was lucid,” said Adesanya.
“I’m grateful, I’m proud, my team’s proud of me,” he added. “Respectfully, f— all this s—, f— everybody else, it’s all about my team.”
The Last Stylebender had mounted five successful defences since unifying the middleweight title more than three years ago, but he was simply blitzed by Pereira on Sunday.
“I’ve been doing this, this is my third fight in 10 months,” Adesanya said.
Had Adesanya beaten Pereira, he would have equalled Anderson Silva’s long-held 13-fight win streak in the middleweight division.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
“Every time I fight, I risk losing what you guys deem as the prestigious — which it is — the belt and all that s—. But, ...

‘I feel betrayed’ — Ronaldo accuses Manchester United of forcing him off the team

Fading Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo has levelled some startling accusations at his club and manager Erik ten Hag in an explosive interview with Piers Morgan.
Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo says that the club have betrayed him and that he is being forced out, while he has no respect for manager Erik ten Hag.
Ronaldo rejoined United from Juventus for a second spell at Old Trafford in August 2021 on a two-year deal, returning to the club where he won eight major trophies from 2003-2009.
In an interview with Piers Morgan for TalkTV, released on Sunday, Ronaldo was asked whether United’s hierarchy were trying to push him out of the club.
“Yes, not only the coach [Ten Hag], but another two or three guys around the club. I felt betrayed,” Ronaldo said.
“Yes I feel betrayed, and I felt some people don’t want me here, not just this year, but last year too.”
Last month, Ten Hag said Ronaldo refused to come on as a substitute against Tottenham Hotspur when the forward walked down the tunnel with a few minutes of the match remaining after being left on the bench.
He was then not part of the squad that faced Chelsea the following Saturday.
The 37-year-old forward, who will captain Portugal at the World Cup in Qatar, said of Ten Hag: “I don’t have respect for him because he doesn’t show respect for me. If you don’t respect me, I’m never gonna have respect for you.”
United did not immediately respond when contacted by Reuters for comment. After the Tottenham game, Ten Hag said that Ronaldo remained “an important player in the squad.”
Ronaldo said Manchester United did not support him when his daughter was taken to hospital in July. He said the club doubted him and showed a lack of empathy when he did not arrive on time for pre-season training.
“I think the fans should know the truth,” he said.
“I want the best for the club. This is why I came to Manchester United.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
“But you have some things inside that don’t help (us) reach the top level as City, Liverpool and even now Arsenal. a club with this dimension should be top of the tree in my opinion and they are not, unfortunately.”
Ronaldo’s first spell was under former United manager Alex Ferguson, who retired in 2013. The Portuguese said his view of the club is shared by Ferguson.
“The progress was ...

Ruthless Asfar dethrone Sundowns Ladies as African Champions after royal thumping

The Moroccan club were crowned the new African champions on home soil after thrashing Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies 4-0 in the final of the Caf Women’s Champions League second edition.
Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies are not used to losing. Never mind losing 4-0. However, that’s what happened when the 2021 African champions were dethroned by Morocco’s Asfar in the final of this year’s Caf Women’s Champions League on Sunday night.
The hosts of the second-ever edition of the premier club competition for Africa’s female footballers went into the final as slight favourites over the defending champions, boasting home advantage and support.
They didn’t disappoint, helped by Sundowns Ladies’ ill-discipline — which resulted in a converted penalty as early as the 13th minute.
Sundowns’ comeback efforts would take a further knock after forward Rhoda Mulaudzi was handed a red card on the half-hour mark.
With seven minutes played in the second half and the score at 1-0, the misery of the South Africa side was compounded as skipper Zanele Nhlapho received her second caution of the match and was subsequently sent off.
It helped hat-trick heroine on the night Ibtissam Jraïdi, as well as electric winger Fatima Tagnaout, run rings around the outgoing champions, before the Moroccans eventually sealed the tie with a comfortable 4-0 triumph.
“They deserve it. They played better than us today. I can’t falter my girls. We gave everything. It’s all in the game of football, which has three results. It’s either you win, lose or draw. Unfortunately, today wasn’t our day. But we lost with pride and to a better team,” said Sundowns coach Jerry Tshabalala after the humbling defeat.
The loss ended Masandawana’s nine-match unbeaten run since the inception of the tournament a year ago, which had seen them win seven and draw two.
Ironically one of the two sides they had failed to beat was Asfar, who they were grouped with last season. During that draw, they also failed to break the Moroccan team’s defence as the contest ended nil-all.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
However, Tshabalala said there wasn’t much to read into the two clashes, as they represented two different goals for the team, at different times.
“The previous match we were not at a point where we needed to fight as hard as we could. We just wanted a point. Today it was a different game, whereby we needed to give it our all — which we did. It’s ...

England’s Ben Stokes redeems himself six years after West Indies nightmare

Ben Stokes inspired England to the 2022 T20 World Cup title in a tense battle against Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
England 138/5 (19) Pakistan 137/8 (20)
Ben Stokes earned redemption six years after his horror show at the 2016 World Cup final with an unbeaten half-century that secured England’s second global title in T20 with victory over Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.
While famous for his heroics at the 50-over World Cup final against New Zealand in 2019, Stokes’s previous T20 decider ended in ignominy as Carlos Brathwaite smashed him for four successive sixes in a final over onslaught to fire West Indies to victory.
While not “eaten up” by the memory, Stokes spoke of using it as motivation in the lead-up to this World Cup. And he duly delivered on Sunday as he scored 52 not out, a personal best in T20Is, to guide England to victory with six balls to spare.
It was neither the 31-year-old all-rounder’s fastest knock nor his most fluent as batting partners fell away, and he had to grind his way through some testing fast bowling.
But at the end of the night, Stokes shifted up the gears and smashed a string of boundaries in tandem with Moeen Ali (19) to ensure England would chase down a modest target of 138.
Stokes had already carved his place in English cricket folklore three years ago with his unbeaten 84 at Lord’s in the nerve-jangling final win over New Zealand at the 2019 World Cup.
If not the greatest English player of all-time, Stokes showed again on Sunday that he is certainly among them, his captain Jos Buttler said.
“He always stands up in the biggest moments,” Buttler told reporters.
“He can take a lot of pressure on his shoulders and perform. Absolutely with him in the middle, you know you have a good chance. [I’m] just so proud of him.
“He’s been on an amazing journey.”
Hard work
While England teammate Sam Curran was Player of the Match, taking three for 12 with brilliant death bowling, Stokes also chipped in a wicket when he bowled the dangerous Iftikhar Ahmed for a duck.
Yet Stokes was quick to deflect the praise on to his bowling teammates for setting up the win by restricting Pakistan to 137 for eight.
“In finals, especially chasing, you forgot all the hard work that came first,” he said. “To restrict them to 130, the bowlers have to take a lot of ...

Courageous Boks see red and come up short against France in Marseille thriller

If there is such a thing as glory in defeat, this was it by the Springboks. But in the cold light of day, the result — France 30 (16), South Africa 26 (10) — means that the tour is turning into a rugby disaster.
The Springboks played against France with 14 men for 67 minutes and with 13 for a further 10 of those minutes. They came back from 13-0 down to lead, only to fall short to a dubious try in the final five minutes of this captivating, courageous and utterly brilliant contest.
If this is what the World Cup has in store 11 months from now, it can’t come soon enough.
France were, as expected, excellent. The Springboks were, slightly surprisingly, excellent in most of the areas where they were so poor a week before when losing 19-16 to Ireland. They landed six out of six goal kicks with three different kickers, and the rolling maul caused France problems.
They did lose three of their own lineouts in the first half, as hooker Bongi Mbonambi seemed to be out of sync with his jumpers. It didn’t help that lineout linchpin Lood de Jager was out through injury.
Even the Boks’ execution of chances was better, because they had fewer opportunities at a frothing Stade Vélodrome in Marseille than a week earlier, and converted two of them into fine tries.
Captain Siya Kolisi emerged from the centre of a maul close to the line to score on the half-hour, which dragged the Boks back into the match after it looked as if it might dissolve into a damage-limitation exercise after Pieter-Steph du Toit was red-carded in the 13th minute.
Du Toit entered a ruck dangerously and made direct head-to-head contact with France centre Jonathan Danty. There was no intended malice, but it was reckless and referee Wayne Barnes had no other option but to issue a red card.
Poor Du Toit cut a distraught figure on the touchline, knowing that an already tough assignment — to stop France’s 11-match winning streak reaching 12 — had just become almost impossible.
French fullback Thomas Ramos had already put the home side 3-0 up with a penalty early on. He landed another soon after Du Toit’s exit, before prop Cyril Baille smashed over for a try on 20 minutes. At 13-0 down, the Boks looked to be in serious trouble.
Collective effort
But they showed tenacity and no shortage of nous to stay ...

Meet the 32 nations vying for Fifa World Cup glory in Qatar

It’s nearly time for kick-off in the biggest showpiece in world sport, with 64 pulsating matches whittling down the global line-up to a sole winner of the 2022 Fifa World Cup.
Since 1998, the Fifa World Cup has averaged three billion people watching parts of each tournament. An estimated four billion are expected to tune in to the Qatar 2022 edition.
More than 180 territories have bought the live-action TV rights, generating over $4.6-billion for Fifa. Close to $800-million will be dished out in prize money.
To say Qatar 2022 will be a huge event is an understatement.
However, where it really matters for the players is on the patches of green grass in the newly built stadiums, with 32 countries fighting for the biggest trophy in soccer.
Here is a brief look at the 32 teams participating:
Group A
When Qatar plays Ecuador in the showpiece opener on 20 November, an 18-year, multi-billion-dollar national project to build a respectable – and possibly competitive – football team will be put to the test.
Qatar played a string of friendlies in September, losing to Canada and Croatia’s Under-23s and drawing with Chile. In recent weeks, they have won friendlies against Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras.
The mixed results suggest that the Gulf Arab state are no heavyweights and might not stand much chance against their other Group A opponents, Senegal and the Netherlands.
Ecuador may be big outsiders at the World Cup but their young team cannot wait for the world’s eyes to be on them when they face hosts Qatar in the first match.
“La Tri” are making an impressive fourth World Cup appearance from the last six.
They will be confident of beating even more unfancied Qatar and inflicting a first defeat on hosts in a World Cup opener.
The Netherlands hope to turn their status as World Cup “nearly” men into champions as they take a 15-match unbeaten run to Qatar.
The Dutch have been runners-up three times and, though they missed out on the last tournament in Russia four years ago, are one of the form teams in 2022.
African champions Senegal carry the continent’s best prospect of breaking barriers.
Senegal are one of three African nations to have reached the World Cup quarterfinals.
The team is boosted by a contingent of French-born players, including goalkeeper Édouard Mendy, defender Abdou Diallo and midfielders Pape Gueye and Nampalys Mendy.
But stalwarts such as captain Kalildou Koulibaly, Sadio Mané and Idrissa Gana Gueye will provide the driving force.
Group ...

Israel Adesanya in search of the promised land at UFC 281

Undisputed middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will face perhaps his toughest task yet in defending his title when he comes up against Alex Pereira at UFC 281 on Sunday morning, 13 November.
Brazilian Alex Pereira (6-1) has defeated Nigerian Israel Adesanya (23-1) twice, albeit in kickboxing, early in both their careers and remains the only person to have knocked Adesanya out in combat sport.
“This is the fight everybody wanted to see, and now they got the fight,” Pereira said on Tuesday.
Despite their fight history dating back to 2016, Pereira maintains the fight is not personal.
“What made me want this fight is the belt. It’s not personal; I just want to have the belt,” he said.
Pereira is relatively new to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) arena, making his debut in the Octagon only 12 months ago.
His first fight was at UFC 268 where he knocked out Andreas Michailidis in the second round. At a UFC Fight Night in March this year, he defeated compatriot Bruno Silva in a gruelling encounter.
The Brazilian then went on to knock out veteran middleweight Sean Strickland at UFC 276 to cement his place as a title contender.
“It’s been a perfect year,” Pereira said. “Three wins and a chance to fight for the title; you can’t ask for anything else.”
While Pereira is a rookie in the UFC, Adesanya, despite only being 33, is as experienced as they come.
Nicknamed ‘The Last Stylebender’, he has dominated the middleweight division, currently boasting a 12-fight win-streak – the second longest streak in the division’s history after Anderson Silva’s 13.
“The one who laughs the last laughs the best,” said the middleweight champ about his UFC 281 opponent.
“When I fought him, I thought I won the first fight. In the second fight, he was honestly on skates, the referee saved his ass because I was about to drop him. The third round he knocks me out in his own country – that’s a beautiful story for him, but I’m still here.”
Adesanya has already defended his title twice this year, against Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
However, he has recently come under fire for his fighting style. Adesanya rose through the middleweight ranks as a fighter who displayed impressive finishes and won thrilling battles. More recently he has logged unanimous decision victories in four of his five title defences.
Nonetheless, Adesanya is still one of the trickiest fighters ...

Munster surprise SA ‘A’ with a determined win

Munster 28 (21) SA ‘A’ 14 (7).
The South African northern hemisphere tour suffered another blow in Cork on Thursday night when Munster beat a Springbok-laden SA “A” side 28-14.
The SA “A” side, despite fielding 14 capped Boks, were a patchwork collection of talent. They only had two full training sessions together, but it was largely a woeful performance.
Besides some scrum dominance, South Africa looked sloth-like and cumbersome at a sold-out Pairc Ui Chaoimh as Munster added another southern hemisphere scalp to their collection of famous victories.
It was a weakened Munster side, which included three academy players. Yet they outscored the tourists by four tries to two after leading 21-7 at halftime.
Shane Daly went over early for the home side and Munster’s other tries came from veteran winger Simon Zebo, hooker Diarmuid Barron and fullback Mike Haley. Flyhalf Ben Healey kicked four conversions.
South Africa A, with several players looking to stake claims for places in next year’s World Cup squad, were lifted by tries from Aphelele Fassi and Sikhumbuzo Notshe.
Munster have had past success over both touring All Blacks and Wallaby teams, but this was their first victory over a South African side.
For the Springbok management that scheduled this match as a way to grow depth and perhaps find answers to some problems areas, they might be no wiser.
The halfbacks – Johan Goosen and Herschel Jantjies – were poor throughout. Goosen regularly fluffed his lines and failed to provide spark while Jantjies’ service was plodding at best. It was only when reserve scrumhalf Grant Williams entered the contest that SA “A” displayed more threat thanks to his fast service.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
Williams showed his ability to lift the tempo and give SA “A” momentum behind a pack that laid a more than satisfactory foundation.
The reality though, was that the fringe players expected to demonstrate why they should be in the Springbok set-up, failed to make an impression.
This was a Munster side staffed by academy players and fringe campaigners against 14 Test capped players. SA “A” that should have won this match comfortably if previous accolades were the measure of success.
But it took only four minutes for Munster fullback Shane Daly to rock SA “A” back with a try that started with a strong rolling maul.
Their second try, scored by veteran wing Simon Zebo also had its genesis from a lineout. Hooker Diarmuid Barron scored ...

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