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Lakeside condemn World Hope, Flames Sparkle

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CAXTON APOLLO

By CAXTON APOLLO
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Kisumu-based Lakeside on Saturday revived their hopes of qualifying for the men’s Kenya Basketball Federation Premier League play-offs with a 70-66 win over World Hope at Nyayo National Stadium Gymnasium.

Lakeside had forwards Collins Wataka, Dennis Wekesa and Justus Okitoyi leading them to a deserved 22-19 run at end of first quarter. World Hope, who must win their remaining three matches and pray other results go their way to evade the chop, re-organised their offense to outscore the visitors 17-15 at the end of second quarter. Lakeside’s good start saw them squeeze a narrow 37-36 lead at the breather.

World Hope, who are second bottom on the standings with 21 points with only two wins and 17 losses, had forward Erick Kayiere giving them a short lived 45-44 lead in the third quarter. On sensing danger, Lakeside coach John Ogilo effectively used his time out that seemingly changed the tide.

It was Wekesa, Trevor Gari, Wataka who inspired Lakeside with big shots in the fourth quarter as they raced a 58-47 lead. World Hope never recovered to catch up.

“Watch our steps for the play-offs. We are determined to win the remaining three matches against Umoja, Eldonets and USIU-A Tigers
at our backyard to be assured of finishing in top eight teams,” Ogilo said.

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“We lost because of biased officiating but with three matches to go, we cannot afford to be relegated,” World Hope coach George Namake said.

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In the women’s Premier League, Jemima Night scored game-high 23 points, Linnsey Wanyonyi hit 17 and Frida Yagomba added 18 as former champions USIU-A Flames beat Tangit Sparks 72-67.

Flames had a bright start leading 17-14 in the first quarter and continued to pill pressure on their opponents before both teams locked the scores 32-32 at half-time. Flames outscored Sparks 21-14 in the third quarter. Sparks, who had Michelle Otinda sinking 24 points, took home the fourth quarter 21-19.

USIU-A coach Cliff Owuor said: “We are left with 10 matches and we just need to win three to survive relegation.”

Coach Ben Oluoch of Tangit Sparks had only nine players, who failed to utilise the referee’s decision to eject two of USIU-A players Frida Yagomba
and Lisa Mayienga on five fouls at the critical moment of the showdown.

In the women’s Division One League, Riara University had Diana Wafula sinking 16 points, Ashley Minayo scoring 15 and Susy Teresia adding 11 to defeat visiting Kenya Ports Authority Youth 66-61.

Men’s Premier League: Lakeside 70-66 World Hope. Women’s Premier League: USIU-A Flames 72-67 Tangit Sparks. Women’s Division One: Riara University 66-61 KPA Youth.

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Europe beckons for South African rugby after Kiwi snub

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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Jul 20World Cup-winning Springbok Schalk Brits believes the future of South African rugby lies in Europe after New Zealand said there was no room for sides from the republic in Super Rugby.

“All of this jet lag and flying across different time zones just does not work,” said the hooker who retired after the triumphant 2019 World Cup campaign.

“We have got so many South Africans playing in Europe and it would be awesome to see them in action here for European clubs.”

With New Zealand favouring a trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition, South Africa Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux will address the media Tuesday about the way forward.

There has been no rugby in South Africa since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, which claimed 5,033 lives by late Sunday, the most in an African country.

Here, AFP Sport looks at the possibilities for the world champions Springboks and Super Rugby teams the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers.

Rugby Championship

There has been speculation that the six-round annual tournament will be cut to four matches with New Zealand and Australia playing in South Africa only every second year.

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That would be a huge blow for SA Rugby coffers as the century-old rivalry with the All Blacks makes them a huge drawcard.

South Africa might consider abandoning the Championship and pursuing a suggestion by former All Blacks Justin Marshall and Jeff Wilson for three-Test tours between the great rivals.

“British and Irish Lions tours are so successful because we look forward to them,” noted another ex-All Black, John Kirwan. The same could be said of an All Blacks-Springboks series.

‘Seven Nations’

Should South African franchises move north, would the Springboks follow suit and apply to join England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales in a ‘Seven Nations’ championship?

Having the world champions on board would surely excite the organisers and costs would be greatly reduced if the Springboks played their three away matches on consecutive weekends.

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England, Ireland, France and Wales, in particular, would bring freshness for rugby followers, who have not rushed to the turnstiles for Championship visits by Australia and Argentina.

Ask the SA Rugby treasurer for his ‘dream’ line-up and he would surely say a multi-Test tour by the All Blacks and participation in the ‘Seven Nations’.

Super Rugby

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Although not official yet, the reality is that New Zealand want to play some Australian sides and the Pacific Islands in a new competition while excluding South Africa and Argentina.

The original version, a Super 10 between 1993 and 1995, was a superb competition, but constant tinkering and expansion has led to waning interest in a difficult-to-follow event.

Even those supporting the Golden Lions of South Africa could not have derived too much satisfaction from a 94-7 thrashing of Japanese visitors the Sunwolves three years ago.

South Africa sides often battled with time differences in Australasia — New Zealand is 11 hours ahead of the republic — and were weary after four-match tours.

‘Pro16’

Pro14 chief executive Martin Anayi says he would welcome Super Rugby ‘rejects’ the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers into an expanded edition.

“The tournament works well but could be even better if we added some South African teams,” he said, referring to a competition that also includes Irish, Italian, Scottish and Welsh teams.

But there may be no room for the two current South African Pro14 participants, the Cheetahs and Kings, who have experienced very different fortunes.

While the Cheetahs have been competitive, the Kings won just four of 55 matches in three seasons with some of the losing margins embarrassing.

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Currie Cup

The domestic competition has survived constant format changes to remain the vital ‘nursery’ from which Springboks emerge.

First staged in 1892, it was the bedrock of South African rugby until the dawn of professionalism after the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

As Test and Super Rugby fixtures took up an increasing amount of the season, the Currie Cup often battled for calendar space.

But it survived and this year could feature the four Super Rugby sides plus the Cheetahs, Kings, Griquas and Pumas, if play is possible amid the coronavirus.

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Kenya records highest number of deaths from Covid-19

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Kenya records highest number of deaths from Covid-19

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Kenya’s coronavirus cases rise to 13,771 after 418 more infections

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By NATION REPORTER

Kenya on Monday reported 418 more Covid-19 infections, raising the country’s tally to 13,771 since the virus was first confirmed on March 13.

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Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Rashid Aman also reported four more deaths, raising the toll to 238. He rectified an earlier report about 19 deaths in a single day, which would have been the highest number ever recorded in Kenya.

The 418 new patients were found following the testing of 2,474 samples in the last 24 hours.

Four hundred and eight of them were Kenyans and 10 foreigners while male patients numbered 263 and female patients 155.

Dr Aman also announced that 494 patients had been discharged, raising the country’s total number of recoveries to 5,616.

Of the recovered patients, 465 were under home care and the rest in hospitals.

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