Durban - There was a bright start to the weekend for Durban sports fans as the Sharks held on to record a nail-biting 31-25 win against the Lions at Ellis Park on Friday night.
All will be hoping that the trend continues as the Boks take on the Aussies at Newlands on Saturday, and Orlando Pirates and Platinum Stars battle it out at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night in the MTN8 final.
But the weather won’t be playing ball and Durbanites are in for a cool, cloudy and rainy weekend. Durban and Pietermaritzburg have a 60-percent chance of rain, according to the weather office. Temperatures are expected to be between 16°C and 20°C in Durban today, and between 13°C and 19°C tomorrow.
If you don’t already have a ticket for tonight’s MTN8 final, the best chance to catch the game might be on TV. Yesterday, only 3 000 tickets were left to be sold via Computicket and Shoprite Checkers outlets, according to the Premier Soccer League. The match kicks off at 8.15pm and brings together two form teams to decide the season’s first cup competition, which offers the winner R8 million. This will be Pirates’ 15th appearance in the final, and they will attempt to win their third MTN8 trophy out of the past four editions. Stars are the underdogs, with this being their first appearance in the final. Pirates received a boost as midfielder Andile Jali’s shoulder injury was declared not as serious as suspected, and he can resume training.
In Cape Town, the Springboks run out at Newlands this evening with Australia firmly in their sights and the chance of setting up a grudge Rugby Championship decider against world champions New Zealand on the horizon.
Flyhalf Morné Steyn and prop Jannie du Plessis are both playing their 50th Test matches, and it will be the 50th time the Springboks have played a Test at Newlands.
Proteas skipper Graeme Smith handed out the Springbok match-day jerseys yesterday.
Australia will mark the death this week of ex-Wallaby scrumhalf and captain John Hipwell, 65, by wearing black armbands.
Independent on Saturday