Your Guide To a Busy Sports Weekend

June 11, 2021

Cricket: Two Test matches continue through the weekend. England and New Zealand drew their first game and the second one looks to be evenly-poised as well. But it’s the Proteas who were mightily impressive on the opening day of their Test against West Indies in the Caribbean, bowling out the hosts for just 97 runs on the opening day. Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje starred with the ball, taking five and four wickets, respectively. They’ll be looking to end this match within the five days.

Euro 2020: The biggest soccer event outside of the Fifa World Cup starts today. The opening match kicks off in Group A between Turkey and Italy. Italy have been impressive in the build-up and are one of the tournament favourites.

There are three matches on Saturday: Wales vs Switzerland, Denmark vs Finland and Belgium vs Russia.

Sunday’s games are: England vs Croatia, Austria vs North Macedonia and Netherlands vs Ukraine.

Rainbow Cup Pro 14: There are two matches in the South African part of the Rainbow Cup this weekend. The Stormers take to the field in the huge Cape Town Stadium where they face off against the Lions at 4pm on Sunday, while the Sharks host the Bulls at 6.15pm on Sunday in Durban.

There is also action in Europe. Friday’s matches: Zebre vs Munster, Leinster vs Dragons

Sunday’s match: Scarlets vs Edinburgh

Super Rugby: There are four games in the Antipodean Super Rugby competition this weekend. Friday sees the Brumbies host the Highlanders, while Saturday sees a busy three matches. The Rebels are at home to the Crusaders, the Blues entertain the Force and The Waratahs take on the Chiefs. All four NZ sides are strong favourites to continue the domination over the Australian teams.

Tennis: We’ll know after today’s men’s singles semi-finals whether Rafael Nadal has a chance of winning a 14th French Open title on the Roland Garros clay, after he meets top seeded world No1 Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals. The Spaniard has a total of 20 Grand Slams with those 13 (and counting) coming in Paris. The other semi-final pits the next generation of Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas against one another. To many, the Djokjovic vs Nadal semi-final will feel like the real final.

The women’s section will see a new champion crowned on Saturday. Barbora Krejcikova will take on the 31st seed 

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. It’s a fascinating matchup with the Russian (Pavlyuchenkova) favourite. But the unseeded Czech has only dropped two sets in reaching the final and could spring the upset.

Racing: There’s more Grade One action on the cards at Greyville on Saturday where Cape Town Met hero Rainbow Bridge is odds-on favourite to win the Gold Challenge over 1600m. Rainbow Bridge is also entered for the Vodacom July where he is the ‘older’ horse taking on the ‘youngsters’ – a brilliant crop of three-year-olds headed by Linebacker and of course there’s still last year’s winner, the five-year-old Belgarion. Still, the six-year-old Rainbow Bridge should be able to have the opposition running for second place prize money on Saturday. There’s also a Grade Two and Grade Three event on the card, giving it another feature race feel, and it’s in the Grade Two Tibouchina Stakes where Bass Racing – sponsored by GGGaming – could come away with the spoils. They send out the talented three-year-old filly Zarina, who finished fourth in the SA Fillies Guineas in her KZN debut. The fourth race is the Listed Gatecrasher Stakes and here we make Cosmic Highway (5/2) our best bet of the day. 

Golf: South Africans are in action on both sides of the Atlantic in European Tour and PGA Tour action this weekend. We have to wait until later on Friday to see who makes the weekend’s cut in the Scandinavian Mixed event, which features men and women’s golfers in the same field. Over in the US the eyes are on the younger crop of quality SA golfers, Erik van Rooyen, Wilco Nienaber and Garrick Higgo.

UFC: UFC star Nate Diaz smoked a joint (weed/marijuana) at the UFC 263 press conference. Marijuana is legal in the state of Arizona.He is a big underdog against Leon Edwards this weekend. The main event sees middleweight champ Israel Adesanya fight challenger Marvin Vettori The co-main event is the flyweight match-up between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Morena.


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