From left, deputy sports minister Gert Oosthuizen, Springbok Trevor Nyakane and new minister of sport Thulas Nxesi. Photo: Samuel Shivambu, BackpagePix
Nxesi shuffles in

Newly reshuffled Minister of Sport Thulas Nxesi had his first public outing at the SuperSport Rugby Challenge launch this week. In an attempt to make everyone comfortable, he was late. His predecessor was a master of being late.

However, unlike Bra Fiks, who would be late because he needed to buy new takkies, Nxesi had a novel excuse. Instead of heading to the Bill Jardine Stadium, where the event was being held, he’d gone to the SuperSport Studios in Randburg.

But unlike Mbalula, Nxesi had the good grace to apologise. He then got on with his speech, which, well, showed that the new sports minister may have to hit the books and study up on his new portfolio.

Nxesi wasn’t sure if there were any Springboks around. Except there were, in the front row, right in front of Nxesi. It’s hard to miss Damian de Allende, Jan Serfontein, Jamba Ulengo, Ruan Combrinck, Rudy Paige and Trevor Nyakane. Maybe Nxesi thought they were his bodyguards.

A new front row?

As is customary at these affairs, SA Rugby donated a Springbok jersey to the new minister, with Nyakane handing over a top with No 1 on the back. At least Nyakane knows his own spot is not under threat as he’s moved from loosehead to tighthead.

Silence not so golden

Nyakane had just returned with the rest of the Bulls from the overseas leg of their Super Rugby campaign, which did not go too well. Naturally, the media wanted to know why things hadn’t gone as well for the Bulls, but Nyakane wasn’t answering.

An SA Rugby media manager then managed the media by saying questions had to be Springbok-related. That’s the Springboks, who lost eight out of 12 Test matches last year. SA Rugby just don’t know how to create a good image for themselves and Nyakane walked away sheepishly, avoiding confrontation – it’s something the Bulls have been very good at on the field, too.

Smell the coffee

Given their problems this season, perhaps it was the wrong time to launch their own brand of coffee, but that’s exactly what the Bulls have done. Coffee follows on from a line of foodie products the Loftus franchise have put their name to over the years – Blou Bul spare ribs, braai spice and more recently, Blou Bul pap.

The coffee carries the slogan: “THE FRESHEST AFRICAN COFFEE ON THE PLANET.” Perhaps, though, it is the Bulls who could do with a warm cuppa themselves. After all, given the way they’ve been playing, you could say they need to catch a wake-up.

Quiz win

SuperSport hosted the Gauteng leg of their annual media quiz at their plush offices in Randburg this week, and Injury Time is pleased to announce that its representatives won. There was as usual plenty of good chat, food and drink.

A big thank you must be extended to Clinton, Sandile and quiz master Neil Andrews. The national finals are still to come and Injury Time is confident its team will pull off another win.

Button blitz

Jenson Button was disqualified from a triathlon after it was adjudged that the former world champion racing driver had gone too fast in the cycling section. Button, who is currently McLaren’s reserve driver, is a keen triathlete and was competing in the Ironman 70.3 competition in Oceanside, California, on April 1.

He finished third, but had not slowed in a part of the 56-mile cycling section where competitors were required to check their speed for safety reasons, and as a result his times were annulled and he was stripped of his podium finish.

Button, 37, posted a film of himself taking part in the competition to Instagram, accompanied with a caption explaining his unfortunate error, saying: “Well, that was a pretty interesting 70.3 Ironman! Swim went well, then I jumped on my awesome new bike to find that I hadn’t charged the battery for the gears, so I was stuck in the toughest gear with 900 metres of climbing.

“Ran a 1hr23min off the bike which I was pretty happy with, finished 3rd in age group so qualified for the World champs, only to be disqualified for speeding in a go slow zone.”

Sunday Independent