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                           | pdf edition | Sunday October 28 2012                                                         Sport
                                                                                                                          Downloaded 07:16 GMT

Manchester United’s defensive frailties
cause concern for Chelsea game
Sir Alex Ferguson hails transformed Chelsea and Wayne Rooney
acknowledges that United must improve at the back Page 2

David Moyes aims to end Everton’s era of
dismal derby results
Since David Moyes arrived at Everton in 2002 the Blues have won
four Merseyside derbies to Liverpool’s 13 Page 3

Return of Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere provides
positive for Arsène Wenger
Arsenal’s talented midfielder Jack Wilshere returned to the team 17
months after his last home appearance, giving fans something to
cheer Page 4

Micah Richards and                           Sebastian Vettel on                          Saracens’ Chris                 Sean Yates quits as
Michel Vorm blows                            pole for F1 Indian                          Ashton booed on                 Team Sky cycling
hit Manchester City                          Grand Prix Page 7                           victorious return to            coach, say reports
and Swansea Page 5                                                                        Northampton Page 9              Page 10
                                             UCI face fight
Emma Croker,                                 for credibility in                          San Francisco Giants            Sport news in brief
England’s mother of                         damaging Lance                               take 3-0 World Series           Page 11
multi-taskers Page 5                         Armstrong affair                             lead over Detroit
                                             Page 8                                       Tigers Page 10 © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                         
Registered in England and Wales. No. 908396. Registered office: PO Box 68164, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1P 2AP
Page  G24 Sport                                                                    Sunday October 28 2012                07:16 GMT

                                                                         By that logic Avram Grant must be the unluckiest Chelsea
Manchester United’s defensive frailties                              manager in recent seasons, as he was a John Terry penalty slip
cause concern for Chelsea game                                       from delivering the goods to Roman Abramovich against United
                                                                     in Moscow in 2008, though that was still the Stamford Bridge
Sir Alex Ferguson hails transformed Chelsea                          team that Mourinho built. The same could be said of the one
and Wayne Rooney acknowledges that                                   that went out so controversially against Barcelona a year later
                                                                     under Guus Hiddink and, though André Villas-Boas appeared
United must improve at the back
                                                                     to be brought in with a brief to break up an ageing side and
Paul Wilson                                                          rejuvenate Chelsea, it is Di Matteo who has managed it, even if
                                                                     success against Bayern Munich was the last gasp of the Drogba
                                                                         Frank Lampard can no longer rely on starting now that
                                                                     younger midfielders have been recruited, Michael Essien is
                                                                     out on loan at Real Madrid and Terry is suspended for the
                                                                     United game, so only Petr Cech, John Obi Mikel, Hilario and
                                                                     Ashley Cole remain from the Mourinho years. Chelsea had a
                                                                     good record against United even before Mourinho transformed
                                                                     them into a title-winning outfit – uniquely they have won more
                                                                     of their Premier League meetings than Ferguson’s side – and
                                                                     United have not managed a league win at Stamford Bridge in
                                                                     the past decade, although Robin van Persie did score a hat-trick
                                                                     there in Arsenal’s remarkable 5-3 victory a year ago.
                                                                         Now Van Persie is a United player and Javier Hernández
Manchester United defender Jonny Evans, centre, scored his
                                                                     appears to be back to his lethal best, Ferguson probably has the
side’s second goal against Braga, but was part of a defence that
                                                                     best strike force in the Premier League; it is just the midfield
conceded two goals in the first 20 minutes. Photograph: Peter
                                                                     and defence that are causing concern, especially with Shinji
                                                                     Kagawa likely to be missing for a month. Ferguson can always
Manchester United are out on their own when it comes to              withdraw Wayne Rooney to that position and United are always
chasing a game, as they proved once again in coming back             going to be able to create scoring opportunities but Rooney
from two goals down to beat Braga in the Champions League in         himself, who captained the side against Braga, appreciates that
midweek, but Sir Alex Ferguson takes his overgenerous defence        the team cannot keep putting itself under a handicap by going
to Stamford Bridge on Sunday knowing there can be no repeat          behind.
of last season’s drama when they let Chelsea take a three-goal           “We did well to get back in the game and win against Braga
lead before fighting back to claim a point.                          but against the best teams it will be more difficult to get those
    This time United are facing a quite different Chelsea            goals,” Rooney said. “We certainly don’t want to be going one
– different manager, beefed-up midfield, completely new way          or two down against Chelsea. I know we went three down last
of playing and all the confidence that comes from winning the        season and still drew but we can’t afford to do that again.”
Champions League at long last and being unbeaten at the top              Rooney is also full of admiration for the way Chelsea have
of the Premier League going into November. “You have to be           reinvented themselves. “They have started brilliantly and they
impressed,” the Manchester United manager said.                      have brought in some fantastic players,” he said. “I think this
    “They had to change the way they played because they lost        season they have a lot more pace about them and it’s clear that
Didier Drogba. They can’t go long any more so everything goes        having won the Champions League has given them a lot more
through midfield, they have brought in some clever players           confidence.
such as Eden Hazard and Oscar to join Juan Mata and they have            “Mata is a great player, Hazard has settled in really well and
managed to fit them all in. This is possibly not the strongest       those two, along with Fernando Torres, are the biggest threats.
Chelsea side we have come up against – they were a formidable        Torres will always be a threat. I don’t think he gets the credit he
force under José Mourinho, really powerful and ruthless – but        deserves because he works hard for the team and always puts
it is a successful one because they are top of the league and        a shift in. Sometimes the goals go in for him, other times they
champions of Europe.”                                                don’t but he’s always trying.”
    Ferguson not only believes Roberto Di Matteo deserves a lot          While most people are predicting a high-scoring game,
of credit for the transformation; he could not understand why        mainly because United’s defence seems incapable of shutting
Chelsea did not make him their permanent manager the minute          out opponents for 90 minutes, Ryan Giggs would be happy with
he made history by winning the club and the capital’s first          a low-scoring one.
European Cup.                                                            “The secret of winning leagues and trophies is to win games
    “Roberto has shown this season he is bold enough to be a top     1-0 on a consistent basis,” the United veteran said. “Clean
manager but winning the Champions League is the strongest            sheets are very important. You can’t go through a season giving
recommendation,” he said. “I was surprised they didn’t give          opponents one- or two-goal leads, it is something we have got
him the job straight away, because winning the Champions             to address and we will do. We know Chelsea have got off to a
League is not easy; it is an achievement that deserves               good start but it’s a long season. It is still early in terms of where
recognition. Chelsea had never won the competition before            the title ends up but for Chelsea to be four points ahead of us at
and their owner clearly regards the Champions League as a holy © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                
Page  G24 Sport                                                                    Sunday October 28 2012              07:16 GMT

this stage makes it an important game.”                              in with a chance of winning these days; to reach the final at
                                                                     Liverpool’s expense would have been the stuff of supporters’
                                                                     dreams and Moyes’s team were in better form than their rivals
David Moyes aims to end Everton’s era                                back in April. Yet no sooner had blue Merseyside dared to
of dismal derby results                                              dream than the big day out foundered on an unrecognisably
                                                                     timid display.
                                                                         So the question has to be, as Everton go into the first derby
Since the manager arrived at Goodison in                             of this season at home, in form and well above Liverpool in
2002 the Blues have won four derbies to                              the table: are they ever going to make superiority count in this
Liverpool’s 13                                                      fixture? Will it be vibrant blues or shrinking violets?
                                                                         When Moyes first arrived on Merseyside Liverpool had all
Paul Wilson
                                                                     the best players, plus the tradition and the more recent success.
                                                                     The roles have not exactly reversed in 10 years but there are
                                                                     quite a few Everton players that Liverpool might fancy now, and
                                                                     not as many Anfield names that would automatically get a game
                                                                     across Stanley Park.
                                                                         “There have been occasions when we have fluffed our lines
                                                                     in the past,” Moyes says. “We have been the team in better
                                                                     form and we have not managed to produce it in derby matches,
                                                                     I accept that. The difference from 10 years ago is that now we
                                                                     have a few game-changing players of our own. Liverpool used
                                                                     to have so many good players it was hard to work out how to
                                                                     stop them. And maybe that’s still how we see them but the two
                                                                     teams are much closer now.
                                                                         “We have always managed to compete in derby matches. We
Jack Rodwell reacts to being shown the red card by the               have never suffered a really heavy defeat even when playing
referee Martin Atkinson during the Merseyside derby against         really strong Liverpool sides but I accept we probably haven’t
Liverpool at Goodison Park in October 2011. Photograph: Ian          won as many as we should have done. We are improving all
Kington/AFP/Getty Images                                             the time, though. We are stronger this season than last and,
Phil Neville knows what it takes to win a derby when there is        when opponents look at us, they can see we’ve got some good
not much to choose, football-wise, between the neighbouring          players.”
teams. “It takes balls” is the Everton captain’s pithy assessment,       Moyes came to England with first-hand experience of Old
by which he means your senior, most experienced players              Firm derbies in Glasgow and recognises that the Merseyside
have to stand up and be counted and not be intimidated by the        version is neither as intense nor as all-consuming. “You are
occasion or the opponents.                                           looking to give your fans the result they want but the derby
   As far as cojones go, Everton under David Moyes are up            result isn’t going to define our season,” he says. “Finishing
there with the best the Premier League has to offer. Feisty,         above Liverpool in the league doesn’t count for anything in the
combative and hard-working, everyone admires the spirit in the       long run either. I would far rather finish in Europe. Trying to
Everton side and the reputation they have deservedly gained          finish above Liverpool is a big ask and, if we are favourites going
for punching above their weight, although club officials have        into this game because we are currently higher in the table than
recently been at pains to point out that with the ninth highest      Liverpool, I am happy to take the compliment, but we can’t
wage bill in the division the commonly held view that they are       just judge ourselves by our rivals. I would like to finish above
as poor as church mice is a little outdated.                         Manchester United and Manchester City too and I very much
   While money is still tight at Goodison there appear to be 11      doubt if Liverpool set out every year hoping they will be able to
clubs where it is tighter and each of them would envy Everton’s      finish above Everton.”
ability to find value in the transfer market, bring through              Last season’s Goodison derby was marred,
quality players of their own and open the season with a victory      from an Everton point of view, by the harsh dismissal of Jack
over Manchester United.                                              Rodwell, a red card that was later rescinded
   The only weakness in Everton’s bold facade, the one               when it became clear that Luis Suárez had somewhat over-
that keeps showing the view from the back of the film set            dramatised a ball-winning tackle. Still fuming at the injustice
rather than the front, is a recurrent loss of nerve against          even now, Moyes has warned that football will drive away its
their neighbours. Far too often the fight and conviction that        supporters if it does not do something to stamp out cheating,
have characterised Moyes’s 10 years at the club have been            diving and going to ground too easily, and he personally
conspicuous by their absence against Liverpool.                      supports a system where incidents could be reviewed
   Last season was a case in point. Everton finished higher in       retrospectively and bans handed out to players who attempt to
the table than their Merseyside rivals, yet did not manage to        con referees.
beat them in three meetings; and the last of those encounters,           “People want to see the game being played correctly, they
the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley , produced           won’t stand for players going down too easily,” he says. “I
such a limp, lifeless performance that people began to suspect       think players should stay on their feet and, if I had a player who
some sort of collective inferiority complex was at work.             was diving regularly, I would have a word. It’s not the way to
   The FA Cup is one of the few trophies that Everton are            play, though I must be honest and admit this is a tricky area. A © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                             
Page  G24 Sport                                                                   Sunday October 28 2012              07:16 GMT

penalty to win a tight game once in a while might be a different     into a team that appear, despite this victory, to have lost their
matter.”                                                             creative mojo with the stifling of Cazorla in recent matches.
                                                                     Worse, English football’s most preciously coveted young
                                                                     talent is no more than 80-85% fit. This is not the way Arsenal’s
Return of Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere                                    manager likes to do these things.
provides positive for Arsène Wenger                                     “You could see technically he’s there, he handled the ball
                                                                     well, he gave absolutely everything,” Wenger said. “What is
                                                                     missing now is competition. He’s been out for 17 months and
• ‘I made the decision to play him without                           what he misses is a bit of the pace and rhythm of the game. But
telling him, basically’                                              overall, what he did, you could see his class.”
• Youngster’s passing in the first half was                             If Wenger was careful in his praise of a young player who
the high point                                                       remains chasteningly central to the ambitions of both Arsenal
                                                                     and England, there was also encouragement to be taken.
Barney Ronay at the Emirates Stadium
                                                                     Wilshere was, if not his old self, then a recognisable facsimile
                                                                     on his comeback. Starting in central midfield alongside Arteta,
                                                                     the neatness of his passing in the first half was among the
                                                                     high points of a stodgy performance. At times he was harried
                                                                     by the Rangers midfield and in the second half there was an
                                                                     unpleasant stamp on that rehabilitated left ankle by Esteban
                                                                     Granero. “The QPR midfield has good players in [Samba] Diakité
                                                                     and Granero, I don’t think they wanted to kick him,” was
                                                                     Wenger’s verdict.
                                                                        But by the end of his 67 minutes on the pitch, latterly
                                                                     playing in a more advanced position, Wilshere had begun to
                                                                     drive between opponents and succeed at times in quickening
                                                                     his team-mates’s passing near goal. He will now have his eyes
                                                                     on renewing his partnership with Arteta next weekend against
Arsenal fans have their hearts in their mouths as Jack              Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Wilshere lies on the ground injured during the game against             “We have to see how he responds,” Wenger said. “When you
QPR. Photograph: Alan Walter/Action Images                           come back after such a long time out it goes a bit up and down.
                                                                     Medically, he got kicked today and he had no problems and
Arriving here, Jack Wilshere could be seen giving the green-
                                                                     that’s the most important thing. The rest will come with games.
skinned Arsenal mascot Gunnersaurus a particularly energetic
                                                                     Will I play him next week? I don’t know.”
high five on his way through the players’ entrance. If it was
                                                                        The trip to Old Trafford is the start of a run of seven matches
tempting to read something into this at the time – Andrey
                                                                     in November that offers an opportunity to reverse the recent
Arshavin, incidentally, enjoyed a protracted hug – Wilshere
                                                                     momentum of a patchy season. With this in mind, there was
may well have still been celebrating news of his recall to the
                                                                     further encouragement for Wenger in the successful return of
first team. The 20-year-old only found out that he would
                                                                     Bacary Sagna, who showed no ill effects on his own comeback
start against Queens Park Rangers at 10.30am: an oft-delayed
                                                                     after five months out with a broken leg.
return to the Premier League, 17 months on from his last home
appearance, announced with the bare minimum of fanfare.
    “I made the decision without telling him, basically,” Arsène
Wenger said after a scrappy and rather fortunate 1-0 home win in which Wilshere completed 67 encouraging
minutes before being replaced by Theo Walcott. “When you
have not played for such a long time it’s not always easy to

come back, there is a lot of expectation. Sometimes I think it’s
better you don’t have too much time to think about it.”
    Wilshere appeared to agree. “I was shocked, to be honest.
But it’s great to be back, especially with this new team. Last
time I played it was with [Cesc] Fábregas and Nasri and now
there’s [Mikel] Arteta and [Santi] Cazorla so it’s like a new team     From Beirut to Big Brother,
and a new me.                                                          Murdoch to Millionaire,
    “It’s been very tough for me, for any player who’s been            discuss the hot topics in the media
injured it’s tough. Luckily for me I’ve got my family. I’ve got
my son now who’s helped me through it. You question yourself
                                                                       on not one, but two blogs Organ
every day are you going to get back to that level? You have up         Grinder and Greenslade
days and you have down days. But the fans have been great,   
they’ve been so positive. Even through the darkest times they
really helped me.”
    In the event Wilshere returned in deeply unpromising
circumstances: propelled with more hope than expectation © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                            
Page  G24 Sport                                                                    Sunday October 28 2012               07:16 GMT

Micah Richards and Michel Vorm blows                                 Emma Croker, England’s mother of
hit Manchester City and Swansea                                      multi-taskers

• Micah Richards and Michel Vorm carried                             The hooker has made a swift recovery after
off with injuries                                                    an emergency caesarean and feels even
• Injuries lead to longest game in Premier                           better equipped to take on France
League history                                                       Anna Kessel
Paul Wilson at the Etihad Stadium

                                                                     ‘I think being a mum makes you more focused,’ says England’s
The fourth official indicates there will be a minimum of 12        Emma Croker. ‘I used to think I trained at 110%, but I know
minutes additional time at the Etihad Stadium. Photograph:           now that I didn’t. Now I am much more intense.’ Photograph:
Ed Sykes/Action Images                                               Richard Saker/Richard Saker for the Observer

Second-half injuries to Michel Vorm of Swansea City and              After having a baby daughter by emergency caesarean last year,
Micah Richards of Manchester City produced 12 minutes and            the England hooker Emma Croker spent a lot of time prodding
40 seconds of injury time, making the match the longest in           the scar on her abdomen, and worrying. In the heat of the
Premier League history at almost 105 minutes.                        battle, with the opposition bearing down on her full throttle,
   Vorm, the Swansea goalkeeper, tore a groin muscle when            ramming into the wound, would it hurt? Would she be able to
diving to try and keep out Carlos Tevez’s winning goal, and will     cope? There was only one way to find out. A week before her
be out for between four and six weeks, according to Michael          first return to competitive club action, for Richmond – four
Laudrup.                                                             months after giving birth – Croker asked a friend and team-
   Roberto Mancini did not know the extent of Richards’ knee         mate, the England lock Becky Essex, to test her torso.
injury, though he feared it may be serious. “I hope it’s not too         “That first training session back, with contact, was mentally
bad but it looked as if it might be,” he said. Richards collapsed    very difficult to handle. With an injury you know when you’re
in his own penalty area late in the game, going to ground            ready. But with this the wound was internal so I didn’t know
clutching his knee without an opponent near him.                     how it was going to feel on impact. There’s only so much you
   Having been knocked out of the Capital One Cup,                   can prod yourself to see if it hurts, as opposed to someone
Manchester City do not have a midweek game, whereas                  physically tackling you. It was the not knowing more than
Swansea face Liverpool on Wednesday then Chelsea in the              anything.”
league on Saturday. “It’s a tough week but if we play like we just       “So I said to Becky: ‘Right, come on, just hit me full pelt,’ and
have done there might be something there for us,” Laudrup            she did.” Croker grins at the memory, before confirming that
said. The Swansea manager will have to make at least two             her pain threshold has definitely increased since having a baby.
changes for the cup game, for in addition to Vorm he will be         “Actually, though, it was fine. For me that was it, that was the
without Angel Rangel, who picked up his fifth yellow card of the     confidence I needed to go to a game and not be worried about it
season for a dive.                                                   while I was playing.”
   Replays seemed to suggest referee Martin Atkinson had                 The 30-year-old’s day job is head of PE at Swakeleys school
made the correct decision. Rangel was clearly looking to win a       in Hillingdon in west London – she trains in the school gym in
free-kick, yet Laudrup was unimpressed. “If that’s diving, it is a   her lunchbreak – and, having begun playing rugby a decade ago,
new form of diving, we have invented something new,” he said.        Croker was always in a hurry to make up for lost time. Having
“To get a yellow card for that was something special. I can’t say    a caesarean was the last thing she wanted. “Every time we
too much more.”                                                      went to appointments [during the pregnancy] I would say: ‘I
   After only the second clean sheet of the season, Mancini was      definitely don’t want a c-section.’ I was willing to try everything
in more jocular mood. Asked if he had read the riot act to his       possible not to have one. Because it’s difficult to come back, it
under-performing and allegedly mutinous players at half-time,        takes longer, you’re more restricted in what you can and can’t
the Manchester City manager shrugged and said no. “I was             do afterwards.”
calm,” he said. “This time I only shot three players.”                   To make matters worse she was belatedly diagnosed with
                                                                     pre-eclampsia, a dangerous condition for mother and unborn © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                               
Page 6 G24 Sport                                                                      Sunday October 28 2012              07:16 GMT

child, but only after her husband, James, an RAF rugby coach,          and also competed in weightlifting and wrestling at successive
insisted she needed to be examined. “I was extremely swollen           Commonwealth Games, while the Canada wing Heather Moyse
but because I was seeing a different midwife every week they           won Olympic gold in the bobsleigh in Vancouver. Croker
didn’t notice the extent of my swelling. It got to the point where     considered pursuing an Olympic place, competing alongside
my husband decided to bring in a photo of me and said: ‘My             the British weightlifting record-holder, Zoe Smith, but
wife’s an international rugby player, this is what she normally        eventually chose to have a baby instead.
looks like.’ That’s when they decided to do the scan, and they             Returning to a world-class training regime after almost a
discovered that Lucy was extended breech and I would need an           year of inactivity was excruciatingly painful. “If you have an
emergency caesarean.”                                                  ankle injury you can still work the rest of the body and then
    “I was quite upset about the c-section at first. They tell you     just wait for the ankle to come back. But after having a baby my
in such a matter of fact way, inside I was devastated. I really        whole body was deconditioned. It was very, very tough.” Still,
didn’t want to have one. But you don’t have a choice. They             she managed it. Incredibly, after four months Croker was back
came in and said: ‘Right your blood pressure’s hit whatever            playing club rugby; after five months she was in the England
[reading], we’re going in.’ But by then all I could think about        side selected for the European Championships. Croker says her
was what was best for Lucy.” After giving birth Croker’s blood         team-mates were shocked by the speed of her return. “One day
pressure went through the roof and mother and baby remained            I was there and pregnant, then the next I’m on the field next to
in hospital for the first week.                                        them.”
    It was a difficult time. “When I talk to sportspeople about            While the debate around working mothers remains fraught,
having a caesarean I tell them it’s like having a complete tear in     Croker and her employers seem to have found an exemplary
your muscle – and then being asked to run on it. Because you           arrangement in integrating the two. When, two months ago,
can’t just lay still you have to sit up, you have to feed the baby,    Croker had to cover a lesson at school at short notice she simply
no one does this for you, especially the first week when I was in      strapped Lucy to her chest and took the class, with her eight-
hospital and my husband would have to go home every night.             month-old waving her arms at the schoolchildren. Meanwhile,
At first you are still in the bubble of having a newborn baby,         the England set-up were so supportive of Croker’s situation
up all night feeding them, but the longer it went on the more          as a new mother that they allowed her to bring Lucy on tour
frustrating it got. After a few weeks I felt like I should have been   to the European Championships in Italy in May. “She was
able to do stuff but I was still reliant on other people running       allowed to sit with me on the plane – because it was her first
me around because you are not supposed to drive or lift things.        time on a plane – and they were very respectful of the fact that
It is all very restrictive.”                                           she was only five months old. She wasn’t allowed in our hotel,
    Croker was banned from any form of training for the first          which was perfect because I could concentrate on what I was
three months after giving birth. Having already spent months           supposed to concentrate on – at the end of the day I was there to
on the sofa, during her pregnancy, watching her team-mates             play international rugby. But then when we had downtime I was
beat the triple World Cup winners New Zealand – England’s              able to see her. They balanced it fantastically.”
nemesis – in last year’s autumn internationals, an extra 12                Croker believes that in some ways becoming a mum has
weeks away from the sport felt cruel. “In my head I thought I          improved her as a player. “I think being a mum makes you more
would probably be all right to do some training. But my coach          focused. I used to think I trained at 110%, but I know now that I
said to me if you train now you’ll put yourself back.”                 didn’t. Now I am much more intense – because every minute in
    In her absence England grew stronger. Having recorded              the gym is time away from Lucy.”
two wins and a draw against New Zealand, the team went on                  She is already a role model to the girls she teaches – they
to claim a seventh successive Six Nations title. Young talent          watch her on TV, while she says she still faces a battle to engage
blossomed and competition for a place was fierce. Back at home         them in sports where they are at risk of “getting their hair wet
all Croker could do was watch on TV. “In the last few months I         or ruining their make-up” – but she is also a role model for
could hardly walk. I would be watching the girls play rugby on         sportswomen in general. She nods. “We have a young squad,
the TV and thinking: ‘Oh my God that used to be me, how on             there are people who have got engaged recently or married.
earth am I ever going to get back in that physical shape again?’       Hopefully it will show them that becoming a mum is a viable
A lot of people do find it hard to get back after pregnancy. I was     option. It doesn’t have to be that you stop what you’re doing.”
quite fearful of how long it would take me.”                               England face close rivals France on Saturday. The two sides
    Her role model was the marathon world record holder, Paula         last met in the European Cup final, when Croker helped the
Radcliffe. “She has children and runs marathons. I thought if          nation to a closely fought 29-25 victory, and are evenly matched
she can get back to marathon fitness I can definitely get back on      with two wins apiece over each other last season. The game
my feet in rugby.”                                                     will provide the platform to prove a case for selection against
    As soon as she was cleared by the doctors to train, Croker         New Zealand in the autumn internationals, the match that
threw herself back into things. As Lucy napped, Croker’s mum           everybody wants to play in. It will mean two weeks away from
watched over her granddaughter, and she raced to the gym.              Lucy, as the world’s top two sides fight it out, but Croker has all
Women rugby stars have always had to excel at multi-tasking,           the arrangements in place to balance playing and parenting.
most work in a full or part-time capacity – there are teachers,
police and a farm animal vet in the squad – while in 2009
Croker also embarked on an additional career as a weightlifter,
winning the national title the following year. She is not the
first rugby international to diversify: the Wales full-back Non
Evans won two Commonwealth Games silver medals in judo, © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                               
Page 7 G24 Sport                                                                    Sunday October 28 2012              07:16 GMT

                                                                      about him these days which suggests he will carry it off with
                                                                      aplomb. The title could be sewn up in Abu Dhabi next week,
Sebastian Vettel on pole for F1 Indian                                although the celebrations are more likely to take place in the
Grand Prix                                                            penultimate round in Austin, Texas next month.
                                                                          Yet Vettel did not seem acutely aware of any pressure when
• Front row lockout for Red Bull for third                            he put his championships into perspective. “I don’t like to
race in a row                                                         think that 2010 was more satisfying than in 2011 because the
                                                                      championship was closer,” he said. “Last year stands out in
• Vettel pips team-mate Webber by
                                                                      many ways while 2010 was special because it was my first
4/100ths of a second                                                  championship. If it happens again this year, it will stand out for
Paul Weaver in New Delhi                                              other reasons because it would be very nice to do it three times
                                                                      in a row.”
                                                                          He added: “The championship is now closing in, and when
                                                                      you are in a situation like I am, then the last races become very
                                                                      interesting. The pressure and mind-set is different from the first
                                                                      few races.”
                                                                          The only surprise in his qualifying performance on Saturday
                                                                      was that he did not dominate as expected, after he had topped
                                                                      the timings in all three practice sessions. Vettel was only
                                                                      slightly faster than Webber, just as he had only narrowly beaten
                                                                      Jenson Button in Q2.
                                                                          “It was a tight session, especially having made a mistake on
                                                                      my first run on Turn Four,” he said.
                                                                          Vettel and Red Bull have timed their run this year like a 1500
                                                                      metres runner taking the bell. Without taking anything away
McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, left, will start from third on the
                                                                      from the German, the constant upgrades – and there have been
grid in New Delhi. Photograph: Greg Baker/AP
                                                                      more here – has restored Red Bull’s old authority. While it has
The greatest achievement in the admittedly short history of Red       taken them a dozen or so races to get there, they are top bulls
Bull has not been celebrated – and it is not locking out the front    once more. The key improvement was probably the new front
row of the grid for the third time in a row, with Sebastian Vettel    wing unveiled in Singapore, although the new double DRS
qualifying on pole ahead of Mark Webber for Sunday’s Indian           system has also been significant.
Grand Prix.                                                               Two Red Bulls, two McLarens and two Ferraris will lead
    It is Red Bull’s winning of the constructors’ championship        Sunday’s parade. Lewis Hamilton, out-performed by Button
that is their finest accomplishment. Granted, they are not quite      for much of the session, pipped his team-mate in the end. He
there yet, but with a lead of 77 points and four races to go, and     remains confident of a strong race performance despite being
with the best motor in the business, it is hardly the bravest         beaten by Vettel and Webber. “We’re not quick enough to finish
piece of crystal ball gazing to predict they will walk off with the   in front of these guys [in qualifying] but our race pace is good
title with something of a swagger.                                    and the team has done a great job. I just want to get some good
    It will be their finest hour because some of this season’s rule   points,” Hamilton said.
changes, specifically those relating to the exhaust and the flexi         It was a disappointing qualifying session for Force India
wing, were deliberately made to emasculate the bulls from             in their home fixture. Both drivers failed to make the top 10
Milton Keynes who had stampeded all over the previous two             shootout, with Nico Hülkenberg finishing 12th and Paul Di Resta
campaigns.                                                            16th.
    Now Vettel, too, stands on the brink of his greatest
championship. For if he nipped in to pickpocket the 2010 title,
and bestrode last year like some motorised Gulliver in Lilliput,

this year has posed altogether different challenges.
    The young German driver is the supreme favourite to win a
hat-trick of titles, to become only the third Formula One driver
to do so after Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher.
Still, with a lead over Ferrarri’s Fernando Alonso of only six          Eat right
points there is much to be done.
    That pressure did not exist two years ago. Then, Vettel
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went into the final race of the season 15 points behind the             dieting club, Eat Right and we’ll
Spaniard, who has rarely smiled since, and was seven points             design you a personalised healthy
behind his team-mate Webber. He won in Abu Dhabi to lead                eating plan from just £2.99 a week.
the championship for the first time that year and become the
youngest of all champions at the age of 23.
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    There was no such drama in his success last year. With              lists, menus, expert advice and 24
11 wins, 15 poles and 17 podiums from 19 races, it was an               hour support to help you achieve
imperious procession to victory. This season he has had to cope
with the pressure of expectation, though there is a serenity © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                             
Page  G24 Sport                                                                   Sunday October 28 2012              07:16 GMT

                                                                        The commission, to be appointed by an independent sports
                                                                    body, must translate those words into action. In addition to
UCI face fight for credibility in damaging                          looking at how to clean up the sport and rebuild its reputation,
Lance Armstrong affair                                              it must also examine the claims made by Floyd Landis and
                                                                    Tyler Hamilton, and fervently denied by the UCI, that $100,000
The key questions as cycling’s ruling body                          donated by Armstrong was tied to a cover-up of suspicious
attempt to pick up the pieces of their                              tests.
                                                                        Why has the UCI taken this action now?
shattered sport
                                                                        There is a disparity between the tone of some of the
Owen Gibson                                                         defensive material posted on the UCI website on Monday when
                                                                    they agreed to ratify the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s
                                                                    damning report and the more strident measures revealed on
                                                                    Friday. Without the need to defend the reputations of McQuaid
                                                                    and the honorary president, Hein Verbruggen it may be that the
                                                                    UCI recognised the need to go further. Partly, it was a response
                                                                    to pressure from within the sport. The International Association
                                                                    of Professional Cycling Teams and Association of Professional
                                                                    Cyclists called for independent reviews.
                                                                        Yet a nagging suspicion remains that the UCI was only
                                                                    bowing to pressure. McQuaid almost said as much. “We have
                                                                    listened to the world’s reaction to the Lance Armstrong affair
                                                                    and have taken these additional decisive steps in response to
                                                                    the grave concerns raised.” They will have to prove that the
                                                                    measures are more than an attempt to buy some time.
Pat McQuaid, the UCI president, will not step aside despite the
                                                                        Why has no one resigned?
intense pressure. Photograph: Salvatore Di Nolfi/AP
                                                                        There have been loud calls for McQuaid and Verbruggen to
Is the UCI calling on Lance Armstrong to hand back his $3m          step aside if the sport is to move on but they have foundered.
prize money an empty gesture?                                       As with other global sporting bodies, personal loyalties still
    The International Cycling Union did not go into detail about    appear to count for much and the pair feel they have done
whether the governing body would take any legal action against      nothing wrong. Both will almost certainly remain in post until
Armstrong or what its next steps might be. Given that the           the commission reports next year, but that will not ease the
president, Pat McQuaid, has already said that Armstrong should      pressure on them in the meantime.
be forgotten and cast from the sport, it is hard to see what            McQuaid feels he has not been granted enough credit for
leverage they have over the Texan should he refuse to hand          the steps that cycling has taken to combat doping – from
back his prize money. Armstrong’s more immediate concern            introducing biological passports to developing new testing
will be SCA’s efforts to recover the £6.9m bonus it paid out in     techniques. He makes a distinction between the pre-2005 era
2005 after Armstrong took the prize money insurance company         – before he became president during which Armstrong won his
to a tribunal over its refusal to forward the money. Success        seven Tour de France titles, now made void from the record
for SCA could open the floodgates for other sponsors to make        books – and the seven years since.
claims on Armstrong.                                                    Not only does the Usada report contain compelling evidence
    How independent will the UCI tribunal be?                       that Armstrong was doping on his comeback in 2009 but
    The key question. In 2005, when L’Equipe published “The         McQuaid has other questions to answer about the extent
Armstrong Lie”, a revelatory report on a French Anti-Doping         to which the UCI failed to consider evidence not based on
Laboratory research project to re-test six samples from the         analytical findings, such as riders’ testimony.
1999 Tour that linked the Texan to EPO use, the UCI responded           Why have the UCI suspended their legal action against the
to pressure from the International Olympic Committee and            former Sunday Times writer Paul Kimmage?
World Anti-Doping Agency and launched an independent                    This, too, seems to chip away at McQuaid’s personal
investigation. Headed by the Dutch lawyer Emile Vrijman,            authority. On Monday, he said continuing the action was a
his report concentrated on the extent to which the French           “straightforward defamation case” unrelated to the Armstrong
lab had followed the correct protocol at the expense of             affair, only to “suspend” it on Friday. Yet the independent
whether it could be used to corroborate other evidence and          commission will look into the very claims that McQuaid,
was criticised by Wada. To some, it appeared to be more an          Verbruggen and the UCI had sued over. The case was due to be
attempt to knock down the evidence than to get to the truth.        heard in Switzerland in December and supporters of Kimmage’s
The new commission must be the opposite – wide-ranging in           position had already contributed $83,000 (£51,000) to a fighting
its remit and with the power to make recommendations in             fund. Suspending the action was the only sensible course of
the knowledge they will be acted upon. The composition of           action if the UCI wanted their claim that the commission would
the panel will be crucial. The British Cycling president, Brian     have free rein to investigate all allegations against it to have any
Cookson, a member of the UCI committee, insisted they were          credibility.
“unanimous in our determination that this independent
commission will just be the start of the process and nothing will
be off the agenda –cycling must and will learn the lessons of the
Armstrong era.” © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                             
Page  G24 Sport                                                                    Sunday October 28 2012            07:16 GMT

                                                                      footwork took him through one challenge before a dummy saw
                                                                      off another.
Saracens’ Chris Ashton booed on                                           Northampton were playing up the slope and into the wind.
victorious return to Northampton                                      The score was 3-3, Myler’s penalty nullifying Owen Farrell’s
                                                                      early kick, and they looked as if they would consolidate their
Northampton 6-16 Saracens                                             position at the head of the table. Only in the scrum, where the
                                                                      England newcomer Mako Vunipola was tucking into Paul Doran
Paul Rees at Franklin’s Gardens
                                                                      Jones with some relish before being given more to chew on by
                                                                      Brian Mujati, were the Saints showing any discomfort: they
                                                                      even snaffled a lineout throw to Steve Borthwick.
                                                                          What they needed was a try and one came after 25 minutes
                                                                      when the Pisi brothers again combined down the right.
                                                                      Defenders were strewn along the touchline as Northampton
                                                                      attacked from deep, but it was Saracens who profited. Neil de
                                                                      Kock intercepted and freed Vunipola who set up a ruck near
                                                                      halfway. The ball was moved quickly right, Farrell feeding
                                                                      Schalk Brits, who timed his pass to Joel Tomkins, who was on
                                                                      Ashton’s wing and had a prop, Soane Tonga’uiha, in front of
                                                                          He got round the Tongan and into the 22 before passing
                                                                      inside to the full-back Alex Goode who had an unopposed run
Alex Goode of Saracens dives over for the match-winning try        to the line. It was against the run of play, but it was typical
during against Northampton. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty            Saracens, absorbing pressure and striking with a counter punch
Images                                                                to lead 10-3 at the interval.
                                                                          Northampton could not find a response. Ryan Lamb’s 45th-
Chris Ashton’s return to Northampton for the first time since
                                                                      minute penalty gave them false hope and Saracens dominated
he left the club last season was as eventful as his departure
                                                                      possession after the break, two Farrell penalties denying the
was acrimonious. The England wing was booed loudly, blew a
                                                                      home side the consolation of a bonus point.
prime try-scoring opportunity in a match disfigured by a long-
                                                                          Sarries created most of the few opportunities, Ashton
standing rivalry between the two sides and the deteriorating
                                                                      missing out when his hack to the line went more sideways than
weather, earned a lecture from the referee, and a potential
                                                                      forward before Goode mistimed a pass to Tomkins, while in
citing, for a dangerous challenge and also made the tackle that
                                                                      Northampton’s final salvo Vasily Artemyev was hauled down
left Dylan Hartley with a knee injury that threatens the hooker’s
                                                                      by Charlie Hodgson. The crowd had stopped booing Ashton by
availability for the start of the autumn internationals.
                                                                      then; largely because spectators were piling out of the exits.
    And Saracens won their second notable victory on the
road this season after winning at Harlequins. Hartley, who
left the field at half-time, 13 minutes after another England
international, the second-row Courtney Lawes, had limped
off, returned after the final whistle to shake hands with his
opponents and he shared a joke with Ashton, whose tackle on
the hooker had been legitimate.
    Hartley refused attention initially, as if not wanting to
show Ashton that he was in any discomfort, but, after walking
uncertainly for some 50 metres with the Northampton

physiotherapist alongside him, he gave up and accepted
treatment. He and Lawes will join up with the England squad on
Sunday with Northampton’s director of rugby, Jim Mallinder,
saying the pair’s injuries were not the sort that would see them
gambolling about after a night’s sleep.
    The injuries disrupted Northampton, who also lost their full-
back Stephen Myler after 27 minutes. Lawes, who was making
his sixth consecutive start after returning from a long-term
                                                                        Are you getting the best deal on
injury, damaged his knee in the opening minutes but refused             your mortgage?
to come off for a while. The pace of the game would not have
tested his knee initially, but there came a point in the first half
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when Northampton started to unpick the meanest defence in               online to find the best deal for
the Premiership.                                                        you.
    The Pisi brothers were primarily responsible, stepping out
of challenges, and in a period of 10 minutes Saracens missed  
more first-up tackles than they probably had all campaign. One          compareandbuy
home attack saw the No 8, GJ van Velze, storm out of his 22
and link up with the second row Mark Sorenson, whose nifty © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                           
Page 10 G24 Sport                                                                   Sunday October 28 2012            07:16 GMT

                                                                   effort from the Tigers to stop the Giants’ bandwagon: San
                                                                   Francisco have not been behind in their last 54 innings.
San Francisco Giants take 3-0 World                                   Box score San Francisco Giants 2, Detroit
Series lead over Detroit Tigers                                    Tigers 0 — as it happened

San Francisco Giants became first team
since 1966 to post back-to-back World Series                       Sean Yates quits as Team Sky cycling
shutouts, beating Detroit Tigers 2-0 to take                       coach, say reports
3-0 World Series lead
Steve Busfield
                                                                   • Bradley Wiggins’s coach goes after
                                                                   interview on doping
                                                                   • Team Sky reaffirm policy of zero tolerance
                                                                   on drugs
                                                                   Observer staff

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong kept
the Detroit Tigers scoreless again in Game 3 of the MLB World
Series baseball championship in Detroit, Michigan, October 27,
2012. Photograph: Mark Blinch/Reuters
The Detroit Tigers will now have to make some serious history      Sean Yates wore the yellow jersey in the 1994 Tour de France
in the 2012 World Series after being shutout again by another      and later went on to coach. Photograph: Pascal Rondeau/Getty
dominating performance by the San Francisco Giants’ pitchers.      Images
    No team has ever come back from 0-3 in the World Series,
                                                                   Sean Yates has resigned from his job as directeur sportif with
but that is what the Tigers must do after losing Game Three 2-0
                                                                   Team Sky after being interviewed as part of the team’s zero
in Detroit. Indeed, only one team has ever come back from 0-3
                                                                   tolerance policy on doping, according to reports.
in a best-of-seven baseball playoff series — the Boston Red Sox
                                                                      Yates coached Bradley Wiggins to victory in this year’s Tour
stunning the New York Yankees in the 2004 ALCS.
                                                                   de France, but in his career as a rider he tested positive in 1989.
    The Tigers were shutout just twice in 162 regular season
                                                                   He rode alongside Lance Armstrong in the Motorola team in the
games; now Detroit has failed to score in two of the three 2012
                                                                   1990s and coached the American in 2005 and 2009.
World Series games. The last team to be shutout in consecutive
                                                                      The British team’s general manager Dave Brailsford
World Series games were the LA Dodgers against the Baltimore
                                                                   interviewed Yates and asked him about any involvement in
Orioles in 1966.
                                                                   doping as part of a series of discussions with all members of
    Ryan Vogelsong became the third Giants starting pitcher to
                                                                   staff and it was after this that Yates resigned, according to the
dominate the much-vaunted Tigers batting lineup, featuring
                                                                   Sunday Telegraph. Yates has denied any involvement in doping
Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera and big-hitting Prince
                                                                   programmes and was at no point mentioned in the US Anti-
                                                                   Doping Agency report that revealed the extent of Armstrong’s
    The Tigers’ big moment to break the Giants’ stranglehold
came in the fifth inning when Cabrera came to the plate with
the bases loaded, but the Venezualan popped out, threw down

his bat and helmet in frustration, and Detroit failed to create
another serious attacking situation.
    Vogelsong pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings and was backed up
by Tim Lincecum and Sergio Romo out of the bullpen. Madison
Bumgarner pitched seven scoreless innings in Game Two                Mystified by mortgages? , while Barry Zito only gave up a run at the end      Perplexes by pensions? Confused about
of his 5 2/3 inning shift in Game One .
                                                                     your consumer rights?
    Gregor Blanco’s RBI triple and Brandon Crawford’s RBI single
in the second inning were enough to quieten the Comerica Park
                                                                     Our experts are on hand to answer all
crowd and earn the road victory.                                     kinds of financial and legal questions, so
    The Giants can clinch the 2012 World Series in Game Four in      you don’t need to be baffled any more.
Detroit on Sunday (8pm ET), with Giants pitching ace Matt Cain       Read their advice, or put a question to
facing Max Scherzer for the Tigers. It will need a monumental © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                            

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