45th over: England 170-6 (Buttler 62, Curran 1) One off the over again, shoved to cover by Buttler.
“May I humbly suggest a new team song for England in Sri Lanka?” emails Kim Thonger. “The Mary Poppins Dick van Dyke classic... ‘Chim chiminey, chim chiminey, chim chim cher-ee. A sweep is as lucky as lucky can be’.”
44th over: England 169-6 (Buttler 61, Curran 1) So this is the partnership really; England need a hunnert out of these two at the very least ... and that does not seem likely when Perera finds drift, spin, grip and leap. This Test is not long for this world. One from the over, a sweep from Buttles, and the pitch is turning so much the batsmen will feel they’ve no choice but to play shots.Continue reading...
• Returning forward sometimes tried ‘too hard’ for England
• ‘There were times when I didn’t enjoy it as much as I should’
Wayne Rooney, almost for old time’s sake, ended up addressing pressure. This is a player who had grown used to lugging the weight of expectation during an England career that will extend to a 120th cap on Thursday night. Yet the late cameo the DC United striker enjoys against the United States on his first appearance for the national team in 734 days will be different.
For Rooney, this may be a throwback. A chance for the world to recall the tearaway who ripped into Turkey at the Stadium of Light on a first competitive start, or rampaged through all-comers so startlingly en route to the quarter-finals at Euro 2004 in Portugal. At 33, the body will inevitably lack the energy of youth. Time may have dulled some of the zest but the mind will be free. Liberated.Continue reading...
In an extract from his new book, Geoff Lemon recalls the moment Australia’s sporting reputation was scuffed forever
You know it’s serious when Mluleki Ntsabo isn’t smiling. The South African Broadcasting Corporation commentator is small in stature and huge in energy, beaming a high-wattage grin as he booms away in English on the main mics or Xhosa on the update line. But as I walked into the broadcast area on the third afternoon of the Cape Town Test in March 2018, he came bouncing round the doorway behind me like a rubber ball, rebounding off the far wall, his face stern as he rushed along. “Did you see?” he asked with urgency. “Cameron Bancroft has something on the ball.”
We piled into our commentary box where the ABC and SABC were running a joint broadcast. On the gantry outside our window were the three lead Supersport camera operators, adjusting and aiming their artillery-sized lenses, making fine calibrations beyond our understanding. They were chattering away on their walkie-talkies, coordinating with the other cameras all around the ground. There were close to 30 cameras overall, each with a part to play.Continue reading...
• Rank outsiders Japan believe they can beat England
• Eddie Jones says his side need to be aggressive or risk an upset
The Japan captain, Michael Leitch, insists his side are targeting nothing less than victory against England on Saturday, claiming Eddie Jones would not have it any other way.
Leitch, who was Jones’s captain for the stunning win over South Africa at the 2015 World Cup, has revealed his former coach’s greatest legacy with Japan was to change the mindset away from accepting defeat too easily.Continue reading...
The NFL has moved the Los Angeles Rams’ Monday night showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs from Mexico City to LA due to the poor condition of the field at Azteca Stadium.
The league announced the extraordinary decision on Tuesday, six days before one of the most anticipated regular-season games of the year. In a news release, the league said it determined that the recently re-sodded field “does not meet NFL standards for playability and consistency, and will not meet those standards by next Monday.”Continue reading...
• Nicholl to step down after spearheading huge success
• Katherine Grainger praises ‘tireless work, humour, resilience’
For the past eight years Liz Nicholl has been one of the most powerful figures in British sport, the high priestess of UK Sport’s controversial no-compromise approach and a guiding and steady hand behind Team GB’s unparalleled success at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics. But there were tears in the UK Sport office on Tuesday after she announced that she will step down as chief executive next summer after 20 years at the organisation.
Nicholl’s successor will be named in the spring, with the England Hockey chief executive, Sally Munday, seen as an early frontrunner. Andy Parkinson, the highly respected CEO of British rowing, and UK Sport’s current chief operating officer Simon Morton, who some regard as Nicholl’s anointed son, are also expected to throw their hats into the ring. Whoever takes charge, however, will have huge shoes to fill.Continue reading...
“You come at the king,” declared The Wire’s beloved Omar Little when addressing a failed assassin, “you best not miss.” Replace king with queen, and that’s just what Amelia Kerr did when putting down the easiest of chances to dismiss Alyssa Healy in the third over of Australia’s innings. The red-hot opener needed no further invitation to smash yet another half-century, laying the foundation for a 33-run win to sew up the three-times champions’ World Twenty20 semi-final berth.
The White Ferns rallied commendably with the ball and later with the bat after slumping to 13-3 in pursuit of 153-7, but Healy’s sharp gloves – with a rapid stumping then a brilliant catch – killed off the resistance to all-but end the Kiwis’ campaign in straight sets.Continue reading...
Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana are no closer to a verdict in their world championship match after playing to a straightforward 34-move draw in Game 4 on Tuesday afternoon in London. There was added spice away from the board, though, as a clip that appeared to reveal tightly held secrets of the American challenger’s preparation was uploaded to YouTube and into the public domain.Continue reading...
• England’s wicketkeeper impressed against Bangladesh
• ‘This is a great opportunity for me to show what I can do’
Wicketkeeper Amy Jones says England are relieved to have finally got their World Twenty20 campaign under way and said their seven-wicket victory against Bangladesh on Monday had been “convincing”.
“It’s been very frustrating with all the rain around and we’ve had to be a bit creative with training – batting under the stands and stuff like that,” Jones said. “I’m glad we managed to stay confident and wait for our chance.”Continue reading...
Racing at Chelmsford was abandoned after a power failure caused a virtual blackout during the running of the third race
Racing at Chelmsford on Tuesday night was abandoned after a power failure caused a virtual blackout during the running of the third race. The floodlights at the Essex circuit went out with about two and a half furlongs to run of the feature race on the card. That seven-furlong event was declared void and the rest of the meeting called off, as the course remained in darkness.Continue reading...
• Susanna Dinnage to replace Richard Scudamore in January
• Head of Discovery’s Animal Planet will be new chief executive
The television executive Susanna Dinnage is to become one of the most powerful women in professional sport after being named Richard Scudamore’s successor at the Premier League.
Dinnage will take up her role as chief executive at the beginning of next year. She is currently the global president of Animal Planet, part of the Discovery group of TV channels. She replaces Scudamore, who will step down from his position as executive chairman after nearly 20 years in charge.Continue reading...
• Federer beats Thiem 6-2, 6-3 in just over one hour
• World No 3 refutes allegations of preferential treatment
It doesn’t do to prod the sleeping lion. Roger Federer, who played as if he had been tranquillised in a desultory opening defeat by Kei Nishikori, swept away the limp challenge of Dominic Thiem in little over an hour on Tuesday night, and looks in the mood to prove a few people wrong in the 2018 ATP World Tour Finals.
However, allegations this week by the semi-retired French player Julien Benneteau that Federer has often received preferential treatment over scheduling, and had undermined the integrity of the Davis Cup with his company’s promotion of the exhibition Laver Cup, met with a cool reception afterwards.Continue reading...
Eddie Jones is so disillusioned about inconsistent decisions in Tests he plans to boycott all official meetings relating to the game’s laws. England’s coach believes a failure to stick to agreed protocols is undermining rugby and that attending talks on such issues is now “a waste of time.”Continue reading...
Australian bowler John Hastings has retired from cricket after doctors warned him he could bleed to death while out in the middle.
The popular 33-year-old, who represented Australia across all three formats, pulled the pin after extensive testing could not determine the cause of him coughing up blood whenever he bowls.Continue reading...
• McIlroy set to play only two European Tour events in 2019
• Unbroken membership needed for future Ryder Cup captains
Rory McIlroy’s decision to focus on the United States from the start of 2019 marks a significant blow to the European Tour as it prepares for its season-ending event in Dubai. McIlroy has left the prospect he will not become a full European Tour member for a year as a live one.Continue reading...
• Comments come after Gary Graham switched to Scotland
• ‘We are providing players to Scotland, Wales, Ireland’
Scotland, Ireland and Wales should be grateful to England for supplying them with ready-made Test players, according to Eddie Jones, following the decision of the Newcastle flanker Gary Graham to abandon his quest for a red rose cap and instead pursue an international career north of Hadrian’s Wall.Continue reading...
Major League Baseball is investigating claims made against the Seattle Mariners by the team’s recently fired training and conditioning director, who said team management had disparaged Latino players.
The Mariners denied the allegations in a statement on Monday following Twitter and Instagram posts from Lorena Martin in which she claimed general manager Jerry Dipoto, manager Scott Servais and director of player development Andy McKay had called Latino players “lazy, dumb and stupid, especially the Dominicans.”Continue reading...
Four of England’s winning Test team in Galle were on a successful Lions tour to Sri Lanka two years ago and this is one part of ECB planning that should be praised
As the projected costs of The Hundred mount, tripling from the original estimate of £13m up to £40m – and counting – budgets are being slashed at ECB Towers. Gone is Andrew Strauss’s pet North-South series, gone is the not-so-mourned Pace Programme, gone are the Overseas Placements that so benefited Ollie Pope and Mason Crane in consecutive winters in Sydney.
But still hanging on, whether by thread or rope, is the Lions Programme, perhaps English cricket’s most secret and deadly weapon. The first part of this winter’s tour starts on Sunday against Pakistan A, with a four-day match at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. Five one day and two Twenty20 games follow over the next three weeks, ricocheting between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Pope has been dispatched from the main England tour to get more match practice than he would twiddling his thumbs on the sidelines in Sri Lanka. Then, after Christmas, the Lions head to India.Continue reading...
Golden State games will be sold out for the foreseeable future, but they’ve discovered a new way to sell the experience: offering fans passes that don’t include a view of the court
They say things are expensive in the Bay Area, but this is officially out of hand. The Golden State Warriors are now charging $100 for the privilege to not actually attend games. OK, technically you can watch the court with the team’s new “In the Building Pass”, but only from the television sets in the club areas at Oracle Arena. In the long line of Silicon Valley “innovations” that are just expensive variations on things that already exist, the Warriors have essentially reinvented the concept of “going to a sports bar”.
Here’s how the “offer” works: fans get the opportunity to pay $100 for the ability to get into the arena for every home game. That’s basically all they get. They do not get a seat and they don’t even get a chance to see the game in person. Instead they can watch the action unfold on the various televisions at Oracle and, if they want, enjoy some ridiculously priced food and drink at the various bars and restaurants within. Yes, those who have a (non-transferable) pass are eligible for promotional giveaways. No, the offer doesn’t extend to the postseason.Continue reading...
Underrated they may be but from the Premier League’s unsung heroes are quietly going about their business
Nomination for the October player of the month award (well, one of them – he made the PFA’s shortlist, but not the official Premier League-endorsed version) showed that Duffy’s sterling performances are being noticed. Since being named man of the match in the 3-2 win over Manchester United in August, the 6ft 3in centre-back has been vital to Brighton’s good form, scoring vital goals against United and Southampton and being responsible for more clearances (96) and more clearances off the line (two) than any other top-flight player. The five-year contract he signed last month was reward for his efforts. “We’re conscious of how well he’s done for us,” said Chris Hughton, “and it’s a good opportunity for this club to protect an asset.”Continue reading...
A beloved NHL franchise has drifted away from its fans and into another reality as the team’s owner has alienated fans
Earlier this month, a handful of players from the NHL’s Ottawa Senators were recorded surreptitiously during an Uber ride in Phoenix. The video of their conversation was later published online, reportedly by the driver who was unhappy about the tip they left him, tweeting they were “cheap, entitled kids”.
The leak was bad enough as an invasion of privacy. Worse, was what the players were caught saying: trashing members of their coaching staff and lamenting some of their on-ice play. “Do you notice that when [assistant coach Martin Raymond] runs the video, if you actually do pay attention, he doesn’t ever teach you anything?” defenseman Chris Wideman asked the group.Continue reading...
• Callum Wilson and Lewis Dunk in line for first caps against US
• England may field different team for Croatia tie three days later
Jadon Sancho is expected to make his first start for England against the USA on Thursday , with Gareth Southgate considering selecting completely different teams for the friendly and the Nations League match against Croatia three days later.Continue reading...
• Solari handed contract until June 2021
• Argentinian oversaw four wins as interim coach
Real Madrid have confirmed the appointment of Santiago Solari as their permanent manager after his successful spell in caretaker charge.
Solari oversaw four consecutive victories in all competitions, with 15 goals scored, as Real’s interim manager after the departure of Julen Lopetegui last month and has now been handed the reins full-time until June 2021. Last season’s Champions League winners are four points behind the leaders Barcelona in La Liga.Continue reading...
• Club confirms sudden death of key staff member
• Rowan was appointed to new role in February
Brentford have announced the death of Robert Rowan, the club’s technical director, at the age of 28.
Rowan, who was born in Fife and started his career as a scout for Celtic, had been with Brentford since late 2014 and was appointed as the head of football operations in the summer of 2015. He oversaw the establishment of the club’s ‘B’ side following the decision to close their youth academy as a response to the restrictions imposed on them by the Premier League’s elite player performance plan. The Scot was appointed technical director in February.Continue reading...
A first professional league has changed the women’s game but how stable are the foundations of the pyramid?
The first fully professional women’s league in the world, with a semi-professional second tier, is a huge step forward. For the first time, girls playing in playgrounds and schools, no matter the obstacles they may face, can see a pathway to a career in the game. The quality of the product is getting better and better. With Women’s Super League players not needing a job to make ends meet, technical and fitness levels are only going to continue to improve.
But how stable are the foundations of this restructured pyramid which marks a new era for the domestic game? What are the commercial prospects? And what is needed to steady the ship?Continue reading...
• City were fined £49m for breaching rules
• Uefa says case could be reopened in light of recent allegations
Uefa has warned Manchester City it may reopen its 2014 Financial Fair Play (FFP) investigation into the club. Citing documents and emails provided by the whistleblowing platform Football Leaks, German magazine Der Spiegel has published a series of articles over the past 10 days accusing City’s Abu Dhabi owners of trying to circumvent European football’s FFP rules.Continue reading...
Premier Sports Network was founded to address off-field player welfare. Its latest conference drew a capacity audience
The lineup invited up on stage carried considerable clout. The Premier Sports Network offered a platform to figures as wide-ranging as the former England midfielder Ryan Mason, on coping with premature retirement, to Mauricio Sulaiman, the president of the World Boxing Council. Jermaine Pennant and David Cotterill spoke eloquently about careers touched by controversy and depression, while Nicky Butt, Manchester United’s academy manager, talked of Sir Alex Ferguson “the forward thinker” and addressed the pressures placed on the next generation.
Yet it was arguably the make-up of the audience, crammed into the ballroom at the Corinthia hotel on London’s embankment, which demonstrated sport’s increasing commitment to off-field player welfare. There were representatives of 17 top-flight clubs and 25 from further down the pyramid, alongside administrative figures from the Football Association and Johan Cruyff Institute, Premier League and RFU, NFL and Premiership Rugby.Continue reading...
• Former Australia forward dismissed after 10 weeks at helm
• AFC Wimbledon, Swindon and Shrewsbury all sack managers
Harry Kewell has been sacked by Notts County after just over two months at the helm. The former Australia forward was appointed to replace Kevin Nolan at the end of August but saw his side win just three out of 14 matches under his stewardship.
With County 22nd in League Two after last week’s 2-2 draw with Oldham, a statement from chairman Alan Hardy on Tuesday confirmed that Kewell, assistant manager Warren Feeney and first-team analyst Paul Murphy have all left with immediate effect: “Harry’s passion and commitment as a coach is unquestionable. I enjoyed seeing first-hand his love for the job and it gives me absolutely no pleasure to take that away from him.Continue reading...
• Striker insists he has ‘never gambled on football’
• Charge believed to relate to loan move to West Brom
Daniel Sturridge has been charged with misconduct in relation to alleged breaches of the Football Association betting rules in January, although the Liverpool striker insists that he has “never gambled on football”.
Even if this is found to be true a guilty verdict could still be returned due to the rules Sturridge is alleged to have contravened being wider than directly betting on the sport.Continue reading...
The England defender, who has regularly been picked out for his mistakes in the past, often goes unnoticed when at his best
John Stones didn’t make much of an impression in the Manchester derby: didn’t register on the headline stats, wasn’t singled out in the post-match montage, didn’t come steaming across to launch a heroic goal-bound siege-tackle, or head the ball away with a conical white bandage twined around his bloodstained brow.
This is usually a good sign when it comes to Stones, a player who only ever seems to get picked out when he makes a mistake, and whose recent run of form in a reconfigured defence provides another convincing argument City may just be ready to reach down and hit a deeper gear this season.Continue reading...
Our panel of 169 experts from 63 nations compile a list of the greatest male players in 2017. Click on an individual to read more about their year.Continue reading...
A young jockey has narrowly avoided injury after running on to a track in front of a pack of oncoming racehorses. Evan Daly, 18, was preparing for a race later in the meeting at Navan, in the Republic of Ireland and said he had not noticed the horses because he was wearing headphonesContinue reading...
United fought back for a 2-1 victory against the Italian champions Juventus in Turin on Wednesday while City cruised through a home game against Ukrainians Shakhtar Donetsk 6-0.
'Everybody has to agree - it is one thing to go to Juventus and play against one of the best teams in the world for 90 minutes and another thing to beat Shakhtar Donetsk at home 6-0 and be very relaxed. We arrived in different circumstances,' said the Portuguese coach.
But in contrast with some defeats this season, Mourinho was unwilling to criticise his team's attitude and effort, saying 'for me zero words against my players, everything is positive. I am with them and they are with me.'Continue reading...
Thousands of Leicester City fans marched on Saturday to honour former owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others, who were killed when their helicopter crashed following Leicester's previous home match against West Ham.
Fans gathered in Jubilee Square and marched towards the team's King Power Stadium ahead of their match with Burnley waving Leicester City and Thai flags, with others holding up banners.
For the first time ever city rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate will meet in the final of the Copa Libertadores, South America's most prestigious club trophy. The derby, referred to as the Superclásico, is renowned for its drama, bitterness and the sheer hatred between the two Argentinian sides. The first leg ended in a 2-2 draw at La Bombonera, the home of Boca. The second leg takes place at River's home stadium El Monumental on 24 NovemberContinue reading...
South Africa's head coach has been filmed 'teaching' his players a new tackling technique after Owen Farrell's controversial challenge on André Esterhuizen went unpunished during England’s 12-11 victory over the Springboks.
During training for their next match against France, Rassie Erasmus was seen repeatedly instructing Esterhuizen to tackle higher and higher, finally applauding the full-back when he did so.
Many fans on social media have called this 'comic genius' and the 'ultimate trolling' of World Rugby, who have been criticised for confusion over how referees interpret the laws of the game, particularly Farrell's challenge last Saturday.Continue reading...
Leicester City manager Claude Puel and his players have been paying their respects to the club's late owner at his funeral in Bangkok.
Thai billionaire Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha died, along with four others, when his helicopter came down in a car park at the King Power Stadium on 27 October.
Members of the Leicester City team, including the striker Jamie Vardy, goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and captain Wes Morgan, as well as club officials flew to Thailand after their match against Cardiff.Continue reading...
Today’s fluff has freedom of movement
Today’s Mill is jam-packed with players poised to swap the continent for Britain, and vice versa. That could all change after Brexit – with some reports suggesting Premier League sides would be restricted to just 12 (twelve!) overseas players. If it comes to pass, we can surely expect plenty of last-ditch passport applications and searches for British grandparents.
One man who could be boarding the last plane out of Luton is Aaron Ramsey. Milan have been linked with everyone from Arsène Wenger to Gunnersaurus since boardroom big cheese Ivan Gazidis rocked up at the San Siro, but with the Welsh midfielder out of contract in the summer, this could be a goer. Milan also like the look of Southampton’s Manolo Gabbiadini while Arsenal, who haven’t read the Brexit memo, want Lille’s Nicolas Pépé to cover for the crocked Danny Welbeck.Continue reading...
When José Mourinho faced the ladies and gentlemen of the Fourth Estate in the wake of his side’s humiliation at Manchester City on Sunday evening, The Fiver was curious to see how he’d spin the horrors of what he’d just seen unfold. It being too soon after the game for him to have gone full White House press secretary and show doctored footage that made it look as if Manchester United had actually won, Mourinho was left with little option but to rubbish the lack of knowledge of those rat-a-tatting statistics his way, by pointing out that things like match results and league positions don’t really amount to much in the cosmic scheme of things.Continue reading...
Who scored? Who stripped? Who is out of action?
Wayne Rooney is likely to win his final England cap later this month. His first game for England ended in a 3-1 defeat to Australia. Which other young striker made his international debut that night, scored England’s only goal of the game and never played for his country again?
Where are England playing New Zealand at rugby this weekend?
Bradford and Bath
London and Leeds
Manchester and Cardiff
Wigan and Sheffield
When it comes to the Manchester derby, what makes Ernest Mangnall unique?
He scored for both sides in the derby in 1935 (a fine header for United and a scrappy own goal for City)
He is the only man to have managed both clubs
He is the only player to have been sold from one club to the other
He is the only United player who has gone on to manage City
If it was Singapore in 2008, United Arab Emirates in 2009, South Korea in 2010 and India in 2011, where will it be in 2020?
Why will Aldershot Town have to do without midfielder James Rowe for the next few months?
After winning Britain’s Got Talent with his ukulele playing, he "wants to concentrate on music for a while"
He has stepped away from football for a few months to star in a pantomime
He has gone to Buenos Aires “to watch the Copa Libertadores final and check out Argentina”
He was injured by a bottle of Ribena
The Women’s World Twenty20 begins this weekend. Who are the hosts and reigning champions?
Bradley Stoke Town FC signed a new player this week. What is he called?
Huddersfield's victory on Monday night means that every team in the Premier League has won a game this season. Who scored Huddersfield's winner?
A Huddersfield player
A Newcastle player (on loan from Chelsea)
A Cardiff City player (on loan from Liverpool )
A Fulham player (on loan from Manchester United)
Fernando Ovelar scored a goal for Cerro Porteño against Club Olimpia in the Paraguayan Superclásico this week. What is unusual about Ovelar’s goal?
He was the referee
He is also the club’s owner
He is just 14 years old
He played the first half for Olimpia but was signed for Cerro Porteño at half-time
Who is the only player to have scored at Anfield and the Etihad this season?
Zeki Celik was shown a yellow card for stripping Neymar of which item of clothing in Lille’s defeat to PSG?
Who said: "I wanted to do something different. I want to give the people what they want – blood, sweat and tears. I can do it all"?
12 and above.
You are a true credit to yourself. Have a cracking weekend. You've earned it
1 and above.
That's not very good.
2 and above.
That's not a great score but it's something to build on next week
3 and above.
That's not a great score but it's something to build on next week
4 and above.
You've done OK there. Not great but not embarrassing either
5 and above.
You've done well there. Give yourself a thumbs up
6 and above.
You've done well there. Give yourself a thumbs up
7 and above.
You've done well there. Give yourself a thumbs up. Enjoy the weekend
8 and above.
You've done very well there. Enjoy the weekend
9 and above.
You've done very, very well there. Enjoy the weekend
10 and above.
You've done very, very, very well there. Have a cracking weekend
0 and above.
That's not very good.
11 and above.
You are a credit to yourself. Have a cracking weekend. You've earned itContinue reading...
Kurtley Beale’s expression said it all when he was asked about the controversial hit, and his incredulity is shared by many
When Kurtley Beale was asked this week about Owen Farrell’s challenge on André Esterhuizen, his first thought was to glance in the direction of Australia’s media officer. The Wallabies’ playmaker clearly had a view, but with Twickenham their final destination this month, it needed to be placed in a diplomatic bag.
Beale, like other players, coaches and fans, was confused. He pointed out that a few years ago Farrell’s tackle was unlikely to have been deemed fair as the outside-half led with his shoulder and made a cursory effort at best to wrap his left arm around the Springbok replacement. It would have merited a penalty at least with a card of either colour an option.Continue reading...
This week’s roundup also features a monumental high school football comeback and vintage Australian motorsport mayhem
1) It’s England against the All Blacks at Twickenham this weekend, which is a rivalry of sorts … albeit deeply one-sided as New Zealand have won 16 of the 23 contests there since 1925. The Red Rose’s last victory was in 2012, featuring three tries in eight minutes and a show-stopping performance from Manu Tuilagi; for balance, witness Joe Rokocoko in his pomp in 2006 as the hosts were thrashed 41-20, the highlight being Carl Hayman scoring one of his two international tries, and what a try it was. Perhaps the greatest ever contest between the two teams, at least on English shores, was this try-fest from 2002; or maybe it’s this 26-26 humdinger from 1997. The opening match of the 1991 World Cup included a big hit by Peter Winterbottom on Graeme Bachop; the great No 7 had also been in action eight years earlier as England claimed their first win over New Zealand at Twickenham for 47 years.
2) No matter what transpires on Saturday afternoon, though, it’s unlikely to top Auguy Slowik’s 80m try for Jersey against London Irish in the Championship last weekend.Continue reading...
National selector is doing a brilliant job by using rotation to craft bespoke XIs as the former Man Utd manager once did
It’s often said that selectors, like wicketkeepers and umpires, are doing their best work when you don’t notice them. Since taking over as national selector, Ed Smith has been in the news more than many of the players he has picked – yet he’s doing a brilliant job.
There are two main reasons for Smith’s profile. The first, a slightly cringeworthy media obsession with his education, is not his fault. And the second is a virtue – a series of selections that have managed to be innovative and eye-catching without being ostentatious.Continue reading...
“I have a memory from an old childhood annual that Manchester United are the only team to have fielded three Ballon d’Or winners on the same pitch, back when Charlton, Law and Best were playing,” notes Dan Wardle. “Is this right? And which match featured the most winners at the same time?”
Dara O’Reilly kicks off with an excellent answer. “While Dan Wardle’s annual was probably correct at the time of going to press, I’m sure I won’t be the only person to point out that, when Michael Owen joined Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane and Original Ronaldo at Real Madrid in 2004, that meant the club were able to, on numerous occasions over that season, field four players who had won football’s most prestigious individual prize.Continue reading...
England take heart from All Blacks defeat, Springboks’ power will test Scotland’s growing optimism and Italy prove a point
In 2012 England also went 15-0 up on New Zealand at Twickenham and went on to win 38-21. This time they could not score a point after the 25th minute, instead allowing the All Blacks to snatch a 16-15 victory in a classic encounter of its type. Which team, though, is on the steeper upward curve? If the heavy rain was a leveller, there was no disguising the fact England, after a tough year, are on the way back. They now know they can ruffle the All Blacks, even with a patched-up pack, and South Africa’s two shuddering recent games against New Zealand also showed the world’s No 1 side are not invincible. Brodie Retallick may have had the last laugh at Twickenham but the All Black pack will have to dig deep again to avoid being ambushed in Dublin on Saturday. Robert KitsonContinue reading...
He may have won five Ballons d’Or since he made his debut 15 years ago this week but the Argentinian is underappreciated
In his new book, Nothing is Real, a collection of essays that stretch and soar across a career spanning five decades, the acclaimed music journalist David Hepworth starts with an essay that tickles and provokes. The Beatles, he suggests, were underrated. Yes, you read that right. Underrated.
You may have raised an eyebrow, given that barely a month goes by without the Fab Four topping some poll or other. But Hepworth maintains that “the richness of their golden period has never been equalled”, with “listeners ricocheting from one hook to another like a metal ball in one of Bally’s machines”. And he insists that for all the “garlands that posterity has placed upon their brow” their genius is underappreciated.Continue reading...
After the Test win over Sri Lanka in Galle, England have the chance to polish a tarnished record while for Root the new-look side look easier to lead
Show England’s Test team to the top of a ladder and they will look around for the nearest snake. But this tendency may just be fading: the victory in Galle was their fourth in a row, or, as cricketers are now contractually required to say, on the bounce. It took Joe Root’s record as captain to 11-9, still not great but getting there. If you’re an England fan any optimism has to be of the cautious variety but the next six Tests – two more in Sri Lanka, three in West Indies, one at home against Ireland – do look relatively comfy. For England, they are an invitation to polish an ugly record (only seven wins in the seven winters before this one, against 24 defeats). For Root they are an opportunity to make the captaincy, and the team, his own. A three-Test series can be brutal, allowing one side to prevail in about seven days flat. England have that chance and will seldom get a better one.Continue reading...
After Oleksandr Usyk brought his 34-fight career to an end in Manchester, the Liverpool boxer is aiming to ‘lead a normal life’
Tony Bellew, beaten but not bowed by one of the best fighters in the world, Oleksandr Usyk, is determined to seek peace and quiet in retirement, the dividend of his loud endeavours, as “plain Anthony, my real name”.
Whether that is what appears on any Hollywood billboards the 35‑year‑old former world champion is likely to grace in years to come will be up to the movie people he worked with two years ago in Creed. Whatever they want to call him, Bellew brings authenticity to everything he says and does.Continue reading...