DURBAN - Finally, it’s game day. The most anticipated Rugby World Cup has arrived. This tournament has taken the game beyond its traditional boundaries to the Land of the Rising Sun. Konnichiwa!
The competition kicked off izolo with the opening ceremony, which was a complete treat. The opening fixture, in front of a bustling crowd, saw hosts Japan take on a Russian team that wilted like cabbage in a wok!
Australia face Fiji early bells namhlanje, followed by France and Argentina which could decide who makes the quarter-finals. Both these match-ups should be cracking, running games and I’m reluctant to go out on a limb and say who is going to win. But, if forced to, I say Aussies by 15 and Argentina at their outsider and upset price of 1/1.
Today’s big game is the Boks versus the All Blacks, an absolute cracker. It’s a tough one to call; mara I haven’t believed like this for a while. I’m going with my heart and not my head and calling a close three-point win for the Green and Gold.
There is also a full roster of footie games on the go. A handful of the PSL sides are still seeking their first win of this season, and all have a chance to break their duck this weekend.
Today Polokwane take on SuperSport, Stellenbosch play Black Leopards, Chippa meet Bloem Celtic and Sundowns are up against Maritzburg. All these should be tightly contested - even the Sundowns game given their recent schedule, but they will still be expecting to win at home.
The marquee game is Wits and Pirates who have had an average start to this campaign but are only one point behind Wits who sit third on the log. Stalemate rings out to me here.
Tomorrow Cape Town City host Golden Arrows, and Baroka play Highlands Park. Arrows are better placed on the log and I reckon they will maintain this with a win or draw. Then Highlands will look to back up their MTN 8 performance, and make it a great week in the Vaal.
In the EPL, the weekend kicks off with the cracking fixture between Leicester and Spurs. The visiting Spurs go in as slight favourites at 14/10 versus Leicester at 19/10, and the draw pays 5/2.
Burnley, City, Everton and Newcastle are expected to all win at home. It’s a Super Sunday too with four belters to be played - the highlight being Chelsea hosting Liverpool with Lampard looking for his first home win of the season against an unbeaten Klopp side.
The main course is hors d’oeuvred by West Ham taking on Man United in London. This a great game for the Hammers to get one over the Mancunian puzzlers. The question is, can they repeat the 3-2 result from last season?
I reckon Ole and his boys will be up for this one, so don’t count on it.
Motorheads will be happy to see Grand Prix back this weekend, in Singapore. The glitz and glam of a night Grand Prix is something to behold, and
the youngster Charles Le Clerc is after some record breaking stuff this weekend, looking to back up his past two racing performances. Lewis Hamilton will want to show why he is the leader and Max and Seb will be up to spoil the party. It should be a spectacular show.
This race is all about team tactics and maintaining those tyres, and on days like this I always back Max 'The Man' Verstappen!
I have however loved Charlie since his introduction to the big leagues. If Max can chow Charles with Lewis to follow, that would be a hat-trick of fun for me.
To the great weather and the green lawns of the UK, watch out for the BMW PGA at Wentworth, a place which one KP of Maritzburg now calls home.
This is a course redesigned by our very own Ernie Els, so the Saffer blood rubs thick in those waters. Have a dip, but I like a bit of George Coetzee and Christiaan Bezuidenhout. That’s if that Spanish bull Jon doesn’t Rahm the party...