Each week, I’ll be putting together a wrap of the weekend’s sporting action, standout moments, and major talking points, with a focus on football, cricket, and rugby.
The Weekend Sports Wrap is sponsored by Hollywoodbets – register now and score a R25 sign-up bonus.
You can also maximise your potential winnings with the ‘Refer a Friend’ bonus – for every successful friend that you refer to Hollywoodbets, they’ll give you a free R50 betting voucher.
Let’s get it out of the way, before we focus on actual sport.
Early this morning, or late Sunday over at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, YouTube ‘star’ Logan Paul took on Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather.
Floyd’s nickname is apt, because the duo both made lots of money, and also fleeced those who paid the $49,99 to watch it on Showtime or Fanmio’s pay-per-view (PPV).
This just about sums it up:
Those who didn’t pay for it… https://t.co/GtXSub35hf
— Double L must Rock The Bells (@LoveThePuck) June 7, 2021
During the eight-round exhibition match, there were a paltry 73 combined punches landed, and nothing close to a knockout.
Mayweather recently boasted that he could make as much as $100 million from the fight, earning around $10 million upfront and 50% of whatever comes in from PPV, with Paul getting $250 000 and 10% of the PPV take.
Most of the ‘highlights’ packages are being yanked from YouTube, so here’s one that won’t be:
I’m glad that is out of the way.
Regarding sporting events that actually matter, the Springbok squad announcement for the two test matches against Georgia, and the test series against the British & Irish Lions, was big news this weekend.
You can find Jacques Nienaber’s full 46-man squad here, which includes the evergreen Lion slayer Morne Steyn.
There were a number of notable omissions, like Marcell Coetzee, Cornal Hendricks, and Lizo Gqoboka, although director of rugby Rassie Erasmus said the door wasn’t fully shut for those who missed out.
Below via SuperSport:
“It is a long season and we can see him [Marcell] playing in the next few games for the Bulls. Just because Marcell is not in the squad does not mean he is not in the frame. If he plays well for the Bulls and they could have two games to go now if they play in the Rainbow Cup final in Italy, then there is no reason we can’t bring him into the squad…
Erasmus mentioned Sharks flyhalf Curwin Bosch and Bulls loosehead prop Lizo Gcqoboko as other players who were close to selection and missed out.
The pick of the local rugby action this weekend was the Friday night PRO14 Rainbow Cup SA clash between the Bull and the Stormers at Loftus Versveld.
It looked as though the away team would come away with a hard-fought win, but a late try by Ruan Nortjé was the decider:
Worryingly, there are major injury concerns for Duane Vermeulen, who limped off early in the match above.
In action from abroad, Raymond Rhule, once much maligned for his total inability to defend, continued his stellar form for French outfit La Rochelle, playing a leading role in this cracking try:
— EK Rugby Analysis (@ek_rugby) June 5, 2021
With Europe’s top leagues done for the season, international football is currently the order of the day, with a number of friendlies taking place ahead of Euro 2020 (which is set to kick off this Friday, but don’t call it Euro 2021).
Sadly for English fans, Trent Alexander-Arnold injured himself in his side’s 1-0 win over Austria. This means there are already in excess of 100 000 Liverpool fans worldwide with a tweet ready, blaming England’s failure to win the tournament on his absence.
Poland will be able to call on the one and only Robert Lewandowski, and he looks to have carried his record-breaking Bundesliga form into training:
Lewandowski makes dabbing look cool in 2021
— 433 (@433) June 4, 2021
I will have to minus a point for the dab, but that is some skill.
As a Newcastle United fan, I feel like I can relate to this 91-year-old man below, reduced to tears after his side, Club Atlético Colón, won their first-ever Argentinan national championship, 116 years after they were founded:
This 91-year-old fan waited his entire life for Club Atlético Colón to win a national championship in Argentina
Look at what it meant to him and his family
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 6, 2021
Back to international footie, and the final of the first CONCACAF Nations League Final.
The footballing rivalry between USA and Mexico remains heated, and it took a 124th minute penalty save from backup goalkeeper Ethan Horvath to secure a 3-2 win for the Yanks.
If you can’t be bothered to watch the full video below, make sure you watch that save, from 13 minutes onwards:
It was all too much for one fan, who charged the post-match studio discussion, rather unsuccessfully:
Is this man alive ? pic.twitter.com/f5nPl4IwLT
— Eric Wynalda (@EricWynalda) June 7, 2021
It’s not known whether or not the man was injured.
Let’s stay with happy Americans, and this cracker of a strike:
— Hartford Athletic (@hfdathletic) June 6, 2021
Reckon you could strike a ball as cleanly as that?
Chances are you could not, and making it at the very top level requires an insane level of skill.
If you’re still unsure how much better than you professional footballers are, watch this video of Thiago and Rodri.
— MUNDIAL (@MundialMag) June 5, 2021
Perhaps, many years from now, this youngster will feature on a similar highlights package:
Letran lets fly for @Cadiz_CFEN!
— LaLigaTV (@LaLigaTV) June 5, 2021
Let’s spare a thought for Spaniard Jon Rahm, who had an almost certain tournament win yanked from his grasp on Saturday evening.
He was leading the PGA’s Memorial Tournament by a full six strokes, having dominated the field for three days, only to find out that he had tested positive for COVID-19.
For some reason, this was done in full view of the public and watching cameras, with commentators trying to figure out what was going on:
Surreal TV moment as six-stroke leader Jon Rahm learns he tested positive for COVID and Jim Nantz tries to make sense of it without knowing what Rahm’s been told pic.twitter.com/WvD6LmAlxs
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) June 5, 2021
Couldn’t somebody have told him to put a mask on and make his way inside, where the news could be delivered?
29-year-old Patrick Cantlay took advantage of Rahm’s absence to win, via a playoff with Collin Morikawa, and netted a $1,674 million payday for his troubles.
Rahm won exactly zero dollars.
The rivalry between Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau shows no sign of slowing down. Following on from that leaked video, Koepka fans taunted DeChambeau during the Memorial Championship’s second round, before some were eventually evicted.
DeChambeau has been accused of encouraging the eviction of the fans, and Koepka responded by offering free beer for any fan evicted for jeering DeChambeau.
In the decorum-laden world of golf, this is about as wild as it gets.
Ever feel like the whole world is against you? Ozzie Scott Hend, who plays professionally on the European Tour, can relate:
Nominee for interview of the year pic.twitter.com/4dQn47cTBr
— GOLFTV (@GOLFTV) June 6, 2021
His 79 on day one of the Porsche European Open was followed by a 76 on day two, and he missed the cut by some distance.
Sunday was a dramatic day for F1 fans, with Sergio Perez winning the Azerbaijan GP. Max Verstappen crashed just five laps from the finish, whilst in the lead, and Lewis Hamilton dropped from second to finish in 15th.
Here’s the moment Verstappen crashed out:
— Formula 1 (@F1) June 6, 2021
To watch the full race highlights, click on ‘Watch on YouTube’ below:
The French Open tennis tournament has now reached the men’s fourth-round stage, although Roger Federer is no more, having withdrawn after winning his third-round match.
The Swiss maestro said he was doing so to focus on his primary objective, winning a ninth Wimbledon title, with the tournament starting on June 28.
Hopefully, this means that Rafa Nadal will go on to claim victory, or anyone but Novak Djokovic, really.
One of the biggest tennis stories of the weekend was the arrest of Russian Yana Sizikova by French police, as part of a match-fixing investigation related to last year’s tournament.
This from The Guardian:
Sizikova was arrested while leaving a massage session after her match and her hotel room was searched before her arrest.
The arrest relates to last year’s tournament when bookmakers issued alerts for abnormal betting patterns during Sizikova’s first-round women’s doubles match alongside Madison Brengle of the United States, which they lost 7-6 (8), 6-4 to the Romanian duo of Andreea Mitu and Patricia Maria Tig.
During that encounter, hundreds of thousands of euros were reportedly wagered on a break of serve at 2-2 in set two. Sizikova was culpable for three of the points conceded during her service game, including two double faults as she lost her serve to love.
That’s pretty hard to argue your way out of, although Sizikova’s lawyer says she is denying all charges.
I would like to finish with my favourite video from the weekend, which comes from the England versus New Zealand test match at Lord’s.
With the match headed towards a day five draw, the crowd was looking for a hero to get behind, and they found just the man:
I DARE YOU TO WATCH ALL 90 SECONDS OF THIS AND NOT SMILE
— Runningflyhalf (@Runningflyhalf) June 6, 2021
Total redemption, in 90 seconds flat.
The other big news out of that match involved a double century on debut from South African-born Devon Conway, opening the innings for New Zealand.
Conway left South Africa in 2017, at the age of 26, having failed to cement a place in the Lions side, but has gone from strength to strength since.
Finally, one of England’s debutants, 27-year-old quick bowler Ollie Robinson, has now been suspended from international cricket, after a series of racist and sexist tweets he sent when he was 18 and 19 came to light.
Having shone in the match, claiming seven wickets and scoring a vital 42 in England’s first innings, he will miss the second test starting this Thursday, pending a disciplinary investigation.
The Proteas will finally return to test cricket action on Thursday, taking on the West Indies. Keegan Petersen looks set to debut, which means that Kyle Verreynne could once again miss out.
With a first-class average in excess of 56, he must be wondering what he has to do in order to earn a prolonged spell in our starting eleven across any of the three formats.
Let’s hope our quicks, along with Keshav Maharaj, can help out a batting unit that is in serious need of some runs.
A reminder that if you place a bet of R20 or more on horse racing through Hollywoodbets, you stand the chance to win a brand-new Golf 8 GTI, as well as a share of R200 000 in betting vouchers.
[imagesource: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post] The town of Lonaconing, in Maryland, ...
[imagesource:here] On June 30, 2021, South Africans can wave the Section 12J tax incent...
[imagesource: The Late Late Show with James Corden/Youtube] It has been close to a mont...
[imagesource: Saving The Wild] A video from the parking lot of a Pick n Pay shopping co...
[imagesource: BBC] Visit The Telegraph's home page at any given time, and you're guaran...