Month: May 2020

PNG Defeat Cooks in 9s

first_imgPNG won all four matches today.When the heavens opened, handling errors plagued both teams in the first half.The game was tight but a dropped ball by the Cook Islanders gave PNG fullback Stargroth Amean a gift four pointer.And Adex Wera, gave PNG a buffer zone with his try locking the half time score at 10-0.In the second half, the Cook Islanders turned up for the occasion Chedyn Mani controlled play with his ball and kicking skills.But PNG captain Isreal Eliab had other plans, bulldozing twice to score and Noel Zeming sealed the win on the stroke of full time.The Cook Islands only try came from John Masters out wide.Defending champions Fiji is the other undefeated country.Fiji and PNG will play tomorrow in what could be the rehearsal for the gold medal play off.last_img

Haye leaves hospital after op

first_imgHaye was forced to fight on one leg after sustaining the injury in the sixth round on Saturday night and the fight was eventually stopped in the 11th when the former heavyweight champion’s corner threw in the towel after he had been knocked through the ropes.A statement from the fighter’s representatives on Sunday night read: “David underwent surgery to his right Achilles this afternoon, after completely rupturing the tendon during Saturday night’s fight with Tony Bellew.”David would like to thank everyone for their many messages of support, as well as the staff at the hospital.”It was an unfortunate ending for Haye, who had been embroiled in a bitter war of words with Bellew – who broke his hand during the fight – in the build-up.To his credit, Haye refused to use his debilitating injury as an excuse in the ring afterwards as he expressed hopes of a rematch in Bellew’s home city of Liverpool.Haye told Sky Sports: “Tony is a great fighter, that’s what went wrong. I trained great, I felt good going into this fight. I wanted to do a demolition job but this guy has got the heart of a lion.”I did not expect him to have the chin and durability he has. You took my best shots and got back up and put me down.”I’d love to do it again. I loved it, the fans loved it. I’ve never been in a fight like that before. He beat me now fair and square. I can’t think about world honours, I need to get past this guy.”I’m at his mercy, there is no rematch clause. That’s the best fight I have ever had. It felt like a ‘Rocky’ film. He won the fight fair and square and if he would oblige with a rematch, I’d love that.”last_img read more

Real to take on Atletico in Champions League semi-final

first_imgEleven-times champions Real Madrid will take on neighbours Atletico Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals, after a draw made on Friday.The other semi-final will feature Monaco v Juventus – Real and Monaco will play the first leg at home, on May 2-3.Real Madrid beat Atletico in the final in 2014 and 2016 but playing the second leg away could favour their bitter rivals.The second semi-final pitches a freescoring Monaco side, who have scored 24 goals since reaching the group phase, against the steely Juventus defence, the Italian side having conceded two goals in the campaign.“Monaco ! Strong team with many talented players and an impressive run this season. We have to be careful, but the goal is clear,” Juve midfielder Sami Khedira said on Twitter.Monaco, who were knocked out by two-time champions Juve in the 1997-98 Champions League semi-finals, have never won the competition but reached the final in 2004last_img read more

Klopp calls Ancelotti praise ‘tactics’ ahead of Napoli clash

first_imgLiverpool manager Jurgen Klopp described the pre-match praise he received from Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti as “tactics” before the teams play each other in the Champions League on Wednesday.Liverpool have carried their fine domestic form into Europe and beat Paris St Germain 3-2 in their Group C opener.Ancelotti hailed last year’s finalists as one of the strongest teams in Europe in his news conference, but Klopp suggested the Italian was playing mind games.“I like Carlo Ancelotti. In Germany we say he’s a smart fox. He’s said very positive things about us and nice things about me before a game. It’s nice… but it’s tactics. Carlo is so long in the business,” Klopp told reporters on Tuesday.“We’re ready for a real battle. I don’t care too much for what people say about us, how they see our situation… tomorrow we need to step up. This is a fantastic manager, a fantastic team and an emotional crowd so that will be a real challenge.”Liverpool thrashed Napoli 5-0 in a pre-season friendly in August but Klopp said he would tell his side to forget that result and focus on the challenge ahead at the San Paolo stadium.“It was a pre-season friendly, in Dublin, nothing else,” The German said. “It was very Liverpool-orientated, and we scored with each shot pretty much. Napoli had a lot of chances and didn’t score. That’s absolutely not important.“We didn’t talk about that game. It has nothing to do with the preparation for this game. Napoli is really organised with quality in all departments and that makes it a really good team.“The good news for us is that we’re not too bad as well, that’s why we’re looking forward to the game, but it will be difficult for both.”last_img read more

Chelsea legend Zola urges Morata to step up

first_imgAlvaro Morata has been told to relish the responsibility of being Chelsea’s frontline striker and not be burdened by the role.Chelsea assistant boss Gianfranco Zola says Blues boss Maurizio Sarri thought Morata could be the “perfect number nine”.But after Morata failed to score in Wednesday’s draw with Southampton, Sarri appeared to lose patience, suggesting the Blues need to recruit a striker this month.Zola was asked about Morata, who has seven goals this season, ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup third-round tie with Nottingham Forest and said the Spain striker should embrace his role.Zola said: “People expect a lot from the number nine of Chelsea, they expect a lot of goals and a lot of performances. This is normal and Alvaro has to get used to it.“It should be a motivational thing. You are at Chelsea, you’re not playing for Southampton, or Brighton, with all due respect for those clubs.“If he goes to another big club it’s going to be the same. There is no way you can avoid your responsibilities, it’s part of your job and the better you can handle those situations the better you’re going to be.“I know he feels he doesn’t score enough and he feels a lot of responsibility on that.“He has to learn to leave everything behind because these are burdens you only take on the pitch and they won’t help you to perform better.”Morata arrived from Real Madrid in July 2017 for a fee in the region of £60million and immediately started showing promise. But he endured a difficult 2018 and his future at Stamford Bridge is rumoured to be in doubt.The goalscoring burden appears to weigh heavily on his shoulders and his Blues boss Sarri and Zola have spoken of the 26-year-old’s lack of confidence.Morata changed his shirt number from nine to 29 ahead of the 2018-19 season, saying it was due to his wish to acknowledge his newborn twins’ birth date.Zola added: “We invested a lot in him this year; we thought he was the perfect number nine for us. Maurizio has always said that.“Technically he is without doubt one of the best in his position. I think he has to improve a bit tactically because nowadays, football is so organised you need to get better tactically, your ability itself is not enough.”last_img read more

Robben picks Anfield as his ‘worst stadium’ ahead of return

first_imgBayern Munich winger Arjen Robben has described Anfield as his “worst stadium” as he prepares for a return to face Liverpool in the Champions League last-16 clash on Tuesday.Dutchman Robben has some unhappy memories at the home of Liverpool, having suffered elimination from the European competition twice with Chelsea in 2005 and 2007, and with Real Madrid in 2009.“I think, if you ask about the worst stadium for me, it’s probably Liverpool,” the 35-year-old told The Guardian.“You always have your favourite opponent and there always has to be a negative one.”Robben, who is battling to overcome a thigh injury ahead of the fixture, said he remembers Liverpool as a “cup fighter team” but during his time at Chelsea were never seen as one of the contenders for the Premier League title.That has changed this season as Juergen Klopp’s side are level on points with league leaders and defending champions Manchester City with a game in hand.“In one or two games they could really live up to it and perform; just not the whole season, which was maybe too much,” Robben added.“Now I think it changed and they developed really well. The manager has done a great job.“Last year they were in the Champions League final and at the moment they are top (of the Premier League). It’s a long, long time ago that they won the league and that’s the one they’re dreaming of.”last_img read more

Solid and smart Bayern hold Liverpool at Anfield

first_imgBayern Munich showed all their Champions League experience and quality organisation as they held Liverpool to a goalless draw in the first leg of their last 16 match at Anfield on Tuesday.The result leaves it all to play for in the second leg in Munich on March 13, although the German side will be without defender Joshua Kimmich who will be suspended after picking up a yellow card.There were few clear-cut chances in the game although Liverpool created several openings in the first half, while at the other end their goalkeeper Alisson Becker had to be alert to keep out a mis-hit clearance from Joel Matip.The closest Juergen Klopp’s side came in the second half was a diving header from Sadio Mane in the 86th minute which Manuel Neuer pushed around the post.last_img

Vettel seeks Ferrari boost in Bahrain

first_imgSebastian Vettel will be aiming for his third successive Bahrain Grand Prix win on Sunday as Ferrari seek to show their lack of pace in Formula One’s Australian season opener was a one-off.Tipped as pre-season favourites, the German and new team-mate Charles Leclerc finished fourth and fifth in Melbourne, nearly a minute behind the dominant race-winning Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.Albert Park can be seen as something of an outlier but Ferrari hope the more traditional layout of Bahrain’s 5.4-km Sakhir desert track will allow them to unlock the full potential of the SF90 car.The most successful team in Bahrain, with six wins overall, can draw encouragement from last year when Mercedes were faster in Australia only for Ferrari to turn the tables with a front-row lockout and victory for Vettel.That also started a streak of three straight pole positions for the German.“In Bahrain, we expect to see the effect of the corrections we have made,” said principal Mattia Binotto, who replaced Maurizio Arrivabene at the helm before the start of the season.“We are well aware that our competitors will once again be very strong. With that in mind, we are keen to get back on track and face up to them.”Bottas, having driven what he described as the race of his life in Australia to finish more than 20 seconds ahead of team mate Lewis Hamilton in second place, will be keen to serve up a thriller under the floodlights.Having come within a second of snatching victory from Vettel last year, Bottas has some unfinished business on Sunday while Hamilton, who has taken two of Mercedes’ three wins in Bahrain, will be keen to reassert his supremacy.Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said nothing was won or lost at Albert Park.“Whatever the Melbourne result says, our mindset hasn’t changed since then,” he said.“We’ve seen the potential of Ferrari’s package in Barcelona (testing), so we expect them to come back strong in Bahrain, with Red Bull in the mix as well.”Max Verstappen finished third for Red Bull in Australia, the Milton Keynes-based team’s first race with new engine partners Honda.Frenchman Pierre Gasly, now driving alongside Verstappen, finished fourth for Honda-powered Toro Rosso in Bahrain last year and will be hoping to do even better on Sunday.McLaren, which counts Bahrain’s Mumtalakat Holding Company among its major shareholders, will be looking for their first points after Lando Norris finished 12th and Carlos Sainz retired in Australia.Bahrain will also mark the start of the Formula Two Championship with Mick Schumacher, son of seven-times Formula One champion Michael and nephew of Ralf, making his debut in the support category.Schumacher, a part of Ferrari’s young driver academy, is also scheduled to take part in a post-race test with Ferrari and Alfa Romeo.last_img read more

Mouflons pull off big win in Malta in 50th international fixture

first_imgOn the occasion of the 50th international for the Cyprus national rugby side, the Mouflons pulled off a superb 18-16 win at group favourites Malta over the weekend in the Conference South 1 division of the Rugby Europe International League.Cyprus started the stronger, forcing the Maltese back and in the fifth minute Malta gave away the first penalty. Marcus Holden successfully made the kick giving Cyprus an early three-point lead.Cyprus continued the early pressure, winning a lineout five metres out from the Maltese try line. Mario Zakakiotis, the Cyprus hooker, overthrew the ball which allowed Malta the chance to win the ball and defend the line. Cyprus however stood firm and forced the ball forward once again, and after a few moves via the forwards, the ball was deftly moved out and then kicked over the Maltese defence.Sam Burns reading the ball well, quickly slipped through the Maltese defence but unfortunately dropped the ball over the dead ball line. It was a great opportunity to increase the lead, but with the sun beaming directly down on him, it was very difficult to see the ball.Malta’s response from the kick-off saw them forcing their way through into the Cypriot half. They managed to force a lineout five metres out and from the throw in, Harry Collins dinked his way past his marker to touch the ball home.The Maltese kicker Dudman missed the conversion to leave Malta 5-3 ahead.The Mouflons were proving to be a handful, with the Maltese using all their experience and resilience to deny their opponents from scoring the first try of the match.However, following a handling mistake from Malta’s Richard Gum, it paved the way for the Mouflons to break through the Malta defence. Dom Georgiou, brother of Chris, in his second international, scored underneath the posts and Holden successfully converted the kick to put Cyprus 10-5 ahead.More woes followed for Malta, as further pressure from Cyprus resulted in an infringement just inside the Malta half. Referee Ethan Glass of Switzerland awarded a penalty to Cyprus, with Holden again finding the posts to extend Cyprus’ lead to 13-3. The Maltese players kept their calm and R Gum made amends for his earlier mistake when he whizzed his way past three players to touch home. Dudman again missed the conversion to leave Cyprus 13-10 ahead at the interval. It was all to play for in the second half and similar to the previous Croatia match this result could have gone either way.After the break, Malta successfully put themselves back in the game, applying pressure and forcing Cyprus into a mistake, which resulted in a penalty kick. Dudman restored parity from inside the Cyprus half, successfully converting the kick to level the score at 13-13.It was anyone’s game now with both sides giving everything to pick up valuable points that would put them in the driving seat.Midway through the second half Malta won a penalty and again Dudman made no mistake, to give the home side a precious three-point lead – 16-13. The 3,000 strong crowd became more vociferous, sensing another Maltese victory.Dudman could have further extended Malta’s lead from another penalty but this time he missed the target to leave the match wide open. This was to prove costly.With five minutes of normal time remaining, the Mouflons showed great resilience and an undying belief and confidence; they orchestrated a swift counter-attack through Chris Georgiou who set up George Agathocleous to touch home and give Cyprus the win.The final whistle came over six minutes later to the jubilation of the players, coaches and travelling fans at the Hibs stadium, Paola.Cyprus Rugby Federation President Constantinos Constantinou who was at the game stated: “I could not have asked for anything more on this momentous occasion of our 50th game. The foundations built by our coaches Andrew Binikos and Andrew Barnett over the past few years with the impetus of a new team manager are starting to show the fruits of their labour.”The teams:Malta: M. Stoker, D. Holliday, T. Galdes, B. Borg, M. Davey, D. Deguara, H. Collins 5, D. Apsee, T. Holloway, R. Holloway, R. Gum 5, D. Busuttil, C. Dudman 6, L. Matthews, J. O’Brien.Subs used: G. Scicluna, M. Barbara, D. Cerketa.Cyprus: G. Cosma, M. Zakakiotis, E. Faulder, S. Yarrow, B. Cosma, J. Goodwin, M. Mladenovich, C. Joannou, A. Pantechis, M. Holden 8, G. Agathokleous 5, D. Georgiou 5, C. Georgiou, V. Antoniou, S. Burns.Subs used: P. Pouroullis.last_img read more

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