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Showing posts from April 28, 2013

Harrison ready to hang up his gloves after being knocked

Audley Harrison admitted the end may finally be nigh after he was stopped by knockout artist Deontay Wilder inside 70 seconds in Sheffield on Saturday night. The London heavyweight's latest comeback ended in farcical scenes reminiscent of his defeat to David Price last year. The 41-year-old accepted that his world title dream is over and it could be time to hang up his gloves. Furious: American Deontay Wilder gave Audley Harrison a barage of punches Flurry: Once Harrison was down there was no stopping Wilder who kept coming Harrison said: 'I think this time it is probably the end. 'There are only so many times I go knocking on doors. I've smashed those doors down in the past and shown tremendous fortitude. 'But this comeback took everything I had and I've been knocked out in the first round again. 'I will go away and think about it and talk to my family, but I don't know if I can put myself through it, or put my family through it. 'I have to

Warrington 32 Bradford 4: Grix and Monaghan extend Bulls' miserable run

Bradford coach Francis Cummins admits his opposite number Tony Smith has been a big influence on his career--first as a player then in grooming him for his first role in management. Clearly, he is still learning from his mentor as Smith’s Warrington, strongly fancied for honours again this season, blunted Bradford’s ambitions with a strong finish. Three tries in the last eight minutes ended whatever hope Bradford had of underlining their splendid progress under Cummins by beating one of the top clubs for the first time in Super League XVIII. Winners again: Warrington extended their victorious run over Bradford at the Halliwell Jones Stadium to nine matches with a 32-4 win today Touchdown: Ben Curries prepares to slam the ball down to score Warrington's second try of the afternoon Match Facts Warrington Wolves: Hodgson, C. Riley, Grix, Atkins, J. Monaghan, Ratchford, Myler, Cooper, Higham, Hill, Waterhouse, Westwood, Currie Replacements: M. Monaghan, Wood, D. Bridge, G. Rile

Wilkinson backs Farrell for Lions despite kicking Toulon into Heineken Cup final

Jonny Wilkinson admitted it would be ‘fabulous’ to make the Lions squad in Australia after another match-winning display. But after kicking Toulon to victory over Saracens at Twickenham, he once more played down his chances of going on a third tour. Wilkinson said: ‘It’s fabulous. It’s the most amazing experience you can possibly get in rugby, but I watch fellas like Owen Farrell, Johnny Sexton, Dan Biggar and others and perhaps they are the guys who should be driving the tour forward.’ Head to head: Jonny Wilkinson (right) and Owen Farrell met at Twickenham Wilkinson’s afternoon included a drop goal six minutes from time which he landed despite a desperate tackle from Farrell. Wilkinson was flattened but still consoled his opposite number by patting him on his back as the two got up. Wilkinson added: ‘I said, “Listen mate, that’s a bit lucky. I apologise for that one”. He smashed me as well.’ Kicking king: Wilkinson was in fine form as Toulon beat Saracens Toulon coach Bernard

Eight is great! Nadal the king in Barcelona once more

Rafael Nadal won the Barcelona Open for the eighth time Sunday after seeing off Nicolas Almagro 6-4, 6-3 in the final. Almagro played aggressively early on and built a 3-0 lead, but Nadal found his form and broke his fellow Spaniard in three of his next four service games to take the initiative - and he held it for good. It was Nadal's 54th career title and fourth this year, having made six straight finals after returning from a knee injury that had kept him off the courts since last summer. Taste of glory: Rafael Nadal won his eighth Barcelona title after beating Nicolas Almagro in the final Silverware: Nadal won his fourth title of the year Strong: Nadal has reached six finals since his return The title came one week after Nadal's eight-year reign at Monte Carlo ended in a loss to World No 1 Novak Djokovic. 'I am very happy,' Nadal said. 'It has been an important week for me to win here again and a great source of joy after everything I have been th

Wilkinson: I'd rather be in young pretender Owen's boots than mine

Jonny Wilkinson admitted last night that he envies Owen Farrell for having ahead of him what the former superstar of English rugby experienced in his career. The 33-year-old and the 21-year-old pretender will eyeball each other today at Twickenham as pivotal fly-halves for Toulon and Saracens in the Heineken Cup semi-final. Talisman: Wilkinson has done it all in his career Wilkinson, despite a World Cup and Grand Slam on his way to becoming the second highest points scorer of all time in international rugby, would rather have the chance to do it all over again. 'I'd love to be in Owen's boots, not mine,' admitted Wilkinson. 'I have enormous pride in what I've done in rugby. But what's so exciting for Owen is that he's got years and years ahead of him and I'm so excited to see just how far he can go and how much he can achieve. 'He's already there in terms of having played a key role for his country for a while, as well as for one of th

Saracens warm up for Heineken Cup clash with Jonny by declaring

Saracens have dubbed themselves the 'Crocodiles of Chaos' after their preparations for today's Heineken Cup semi-final against Jonny Wilkinson's Toulon featured a crocodile and a tarantula. It was the latest animal-related ruse by coaches Paul Gustard and Alex Sanderson, who this season have brought wolves to Allianz Park to turn his hard tacklers into a 'wolf pack', as well as a mouse-eating anaconda and frogs, all designed to relax the team before a big game and get some key messages across. Crocodile rock: Mako Vunipola (left), Owen Farrell (centre) and Steve Borthwick (right) are ready for Toulon The latest animal tale employed the services of TV nature personality 'Safari Pete', who went to the club's training ground in St Albans where, first, former Springbok captain John Smit, on the bench today, gave a presentation holding a small crocodile. 'It was a baby crocodile about a metre long with sharp teeth,' said England and Saracens

It will be a baptism of fire... but this could be a great success story

Lawrence Okoye was wooed by several NFL franchises, but it turns out he couldn’t resist the advances of the San Francisco 49ers. Coach Jim Harbaugh went as far to call the 21-year-old 'a beautiful man'– and the Olympic discus finalist appeared smitten while discussing his move to the NFC champions in free agency. ‘The 49ers are the best fit in the league for what I’m trying to do. They have the same vision as me. This could be a great success story,’ said Okoye from his current base in Macon, Georgia. ‘It’s amazing for me, I'm absolutely delighted how things have worked out.’ And while he would not discuss specifics of the deal, the Olympic discus finalist joins the Niners on a ‘long-term commitment’. New path: Lawrence Okoye has signed for the San Francisco 49ers in free agency He was in constant contact with the 49ers and other franchises during the draft, but admitted it was the pedigree and persistence of defensive line coach Jim Tomsula which proved decisive. ‘It&

Saracens 12 Toulon 24: Wilkinson upstages Farrell by kicking ALL team's points to win

Of all he memorable images depicting Jonny Wilkinson’s glorious deeds at Twickenham, few — if any — can rival the snapshot which defined his Heineken Cup semi-final masterclass. With six minutes remaining in a tense, disjointed encounter, the one-time golden boy of English rugby showed that his match-winning powers remain as strong as ever. It was a poignant, symbolic moment. Toulon were pounding the ramparts of the Saracens defence, then the ball was transferred back to the No 10, standing deep. Under pressure, Wilkinson stepped to his left and hurriedly dispatched a low drop-goal shot just as his opposite number, Owen Farrell, crashed into him. As the pair fell to earth, they watched the ball fly just high enough to clear the bar, narrowly inside the right-hand post. Main man: Jonny Wilkinson kicked all of Toulon's points as they beat Saracens at Twickenham Side by side: Jonny Wilkinson and Owen Farrell after the former had dispatched a drop kick Once he knew he ha

Clarke insists referee was right to send off trio in West Brom

West Brom manager Steve Clarke hopes his side's almost perfect away performance does not get overshadowed by the three red cards dished out at Southampton today. The Baggies headed to St Mary's with just three wins in 14 league games but returned to form in style, with Marc-Antoine Fortune, Romelu Lukaku and Shane Long all scoring in a 3-0 win. Early strike: Marc-Antoine Fortune opens the scoring at the second attempt after Artur Boruc fumbles the first shot The three points saw them set a new club record for Premier League points (48) and wins (14), although it is referee Robert Madley's top-flight debut that stole the show. The Yorkshireman sent off Saints pair Gaston Ramirez and Danny Fox as well as West Brom's Fortune - something manager Clarke hopes does not draw attention away from his side's fine performance. Off: Marc-Antoine-Fortune is sent off after striking Gaston Ramirez 'I think the win is the most important topic,' he said. 'We'

Even in his moment of glory, Ferguson has his sights on title No 14

Within an hour of becoming a Premier League champion for the 13th time, Sir Alex Ferguson was deep in conversation with one of his greatest-ever players about winning title No 14 and chasing European glory. As far as Captain Marvel, Bryan Robson, could tell, Ferguson had moved on from this season's triumph, even before Manchester United fans had stopped singing in celebration outside Old Trafford. Confidant: Bryan Robson with Sir Alex Ferguson on the training ground 'He wasn't talking about how well they had played to win the title,' said Robson, who was allowed into Fergie's inner sanctum deep below the South Stand following Monday night's win against Aston Villa. 'He was talking about next season and how to improve. The planning has already started. It doesn't matter what he achieves, it's about what he's going to do next year.' With Manchester City seen off in spectacular style, Ferguson is free to spend the remainder of the campa