As we bid farewell to 2018, now is the best time to reflect on some of the great sporting moments in South Africa. We’ve seen the resurgence of the Springboks under new leadership, a few Test cricket crackers, a stellar year from Kevin Anderson and a great showing from South African golfers at one of the oldest Open in the sport.
With three major tournaments coming up next year (Rugby and Cricket World Cup as well as the AFCON), 2019 promises to be a big year for our national teams.
Bok’s shock All Blacks in Wellington
Siya kolisi became the first black man to captain the Springboks when he led them out in their first Test against England in June. In September, the Boks traveled to take on the All Blacks in Wellington, where the Boks hadn't won since 2009.
A gutsy display from the Springboks saw them narrowly win 36-34 over the champions. This sweet victory against South Africa’s bitter rivals signaled a new Bok era was well underway.
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King Louis’ Open win
Louis Oosthuizen shot up the world golf rankings after winning the South African Open at Randpark Golf Club. King Louis finished on 18-under for the tournament cruising to victory in Johannesburg.
What makes this achievement more special is the fact that he became only the sixth golfer to achieve “the double”, winning two of the oldest golf tournaments in the world – the SA Open and the Open Championship.
Baroka Fc win maiden major title
Once again, Orlando Pirates are runners up in the Telkom Knockout competition following another defeat in the final, this time to Baroka FC. Despite playing with 10-men for the majority of the game following Marshall Munetsi’s red card, the Buccaneers held on and scored a late equaliser deep into extra-time to take the game into penalties.
Baroka FC became the first team from Limpopo to win a topflight cup competition in PSL history and have now won as many TKO cups as Pirates has in the last 8 years.
Kevin Anderson rallies on at Wimbledon
Kevin Anderson had another great year which was highlighted by his performance at Wimbledon. Anderson beat Federer in the quarter-finals, winning 13-11 in a thrilling fifth set. He went on to beat the big-hitting American John Isner in the fifth set of the semi-finals.
Although he eventually lost to Novak Djokovic in the final, this was undoubtedly the best showing for any South African at a major tennis tournament.
Aussie’s collapse in Test match
The ball tampering scandal not only rocked the third Test match at Newlands but shook Cricket Australia in general. The unfortunate event overshadowed a clash between two great cricket rivals and Australia never played at the heights we expected from them for some time.
Individual duals included Rabada v Smith and De Kock v Warner, the 3-1 victory capped what was a dominant and memorable Proteas display.
Team SA excelled at Commonwealth Games
Team SA finished 6th
in the overall standings with 37 medals. The standout performances were as follows:
- Akani Simbine won the men’s 100m
- Henricho claimed silver in the same race
- Chad le Clos won 3 gold medals
- Tatjana Schoenmaker won two medals
- Caster Semenya won two
Percy Tau breaks SA transfer record
Following a successful breakthrough season with PSL Champions Mamelodi Sundowns, Brighton & Albion Hove came in and swooped the 24-year-old from Pitso’s grasp with an offer neither the coach nor the player could refuse. Percy Tau was loaned out to Belgium shortly after his transfer, however if he plays anything like he did in the Brazilians title winning season, it will be a success story.
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