Sport by MahmoudAlmasri


                           | pdf edition | Saturday November 10 2012                                                      Sport
                                                                                                                          Downloaded 15:32 GMT

South Africa’s Tendai Mtawarira misses
Ireland match after heart scare
The South Africa prop Tendai Mtawarira has been treated in
hospital in Dublin after suffering mild heart palpitations Page 2

Tim Bresnan and Stuart Meaker share six
wickets but England are made to toil
England’s bowlers were made to work extremely hard before
dismissing Haryana for 333 in their tour match Page 2

Andy Murray sweeps aside Jo-Wilfried
Tsonga in World Tour Finals
Andy Murray moved safely through to the semi-finals of the ATP
World Tour Finals in London with victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Page 3

LA Lakers follow                             Becky James fully                            Rugby’s minnows                 Manu Tuilagi’s road
Mike Brown firing by                         operational and                              get chance to shine             leads from Samoa
beating Golden State                         ready to grab world                          in revolutionary IRB            to stardom with
Warriors Page 4                              of opportunity Page 6                        fixtures Page 7                 England Page 8

England set to put                           Australia and South                          Surprise collapse by            Bradley Wiggins
faith in Gareth Hock’s                       Africa suffer washout                        Wood Green hands                crash: woman
hands as France                              on second day of first                       league initiative to            reported for
await Page 5                                 Test Page 7                                  Guildford Page 8                summons Page 9 © 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 2 G24 Sport                                                            Saturday November 10 2012                  15:32 GMT

South Africa’s Tendai Mtawarira misses                             Tim Bresnan and Stuart Meaker share
Ireland match after heart scare                                    six wickets but England are made to toil

• Prop treated in hospital for mild heart                          • Rahul Dewan carries bat in Haryana’s total
palpitations                                                       of 333
• Twenty-seven-year-old out of game as                             • Nick Compton makes another half-
precaution                                                         century for England
Press Association                                                  Mike Selvey in Ahmedabad

Tendai Mtawarira, right, with Gurthrö Steenkamp at a South         Stuart Meaker celebrates one of his three wickets. Photograph:
Africa training session in Ireland on Wednesday. Photograph:       Punit Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images
Patrick Bolger/Getty Images                                        On the first floor of the main stand of the Sardar Patel stadium,
The South Africa prop Tendai Mtawarira has been treated in         adjacent to the area where they have been serving media
hospital on Saturday after suffering mild heart palpitations.      lunches during the final warm-up match on the nearby B
   Mtawarira has pulled out of this teatime match against          ground, there is a small room from which there is a view of the
Ireland in Dublin and will be replaced by CJ van der Linde, the    ground. Preparations for Thursday’s first Test are going well.
Springboks have announced.                                             There in the middle is the strip, not red soil similar to that
   Heinke van der Merwe, who has played in one Test for South      of Mumbai’s Wankhede dustbowls, as some have postulated
Africa in 2007, will take Van der Linde’s place on the bench.      it might be, but beige, not unlike the colour of the unyielding
   A statement on South Africa’s official website said: “The       pitch on which two sets of bowlers have been toiling for three
decision to withdraw Mtawarira is a precautionary measure          days. Surrounding it is an outfield of verdant green, as near lush
after he had a recurrence of mild heart palpitations on Saturday   in appearance as it gets in these parts.
morning.                                                               No one as yet, not even the England management who plan
   “Mtawarira has been admitted to hospital for observation on     on a first glance on the final day of this game, have seen the
Saturday morning. A decision on his continued participation on     surface close up but all the suggestions are that it will play in a
the tour will be taken at a later stage.”                          fashion not unlike the Nursery ground on which England made
   A further update said the 27-year-old was later discharged      521 and Haryana, bowled out for 55 last week, replied with
from hospital.                                                     333. Furthermore, the nature of the outfield suggests that any
                                                                   attempts by England to get the ball into a condition to reverse
                                                                   swing, a fundamental part of their game plan, will be down to

                                                                   abrasion from the pitch and little else. It might just prove to be
                                                                   tough work for the bowlers of both sides.
                                                                       In three days of this game, the ball has scarcely deviated
                                                                   from the straight and narrow. Humidity levels are very low,
  From Beirut to Big Brother,                                      and the new ball has neither swung nor seamed. Spinners
                                                                   have found no purchase and have had to rely on attrition and
  Murdoch to Millionaire,                                          patience as their main weapons. Throughout there was only
  discuss the hot topics in the media                              the merest hint of reverse swing for the England pace trio
  on not one, but two blogs Organ                                  of Tim Bresnan, Graham Onions and Stuart Meaker, the first
  Grinder and Greenslade                                           two of whom shared six wickets while Onions, who certainly
                                                                   appears to hit the deck harder than Bresnan, went wicketless as                               England, fielding for a further two sessions before they took the                                 final Haryana wicket, worked their way through the innings.
                                                                       In this they were thwarted for the most part by the
                                                                   opener Rahul Dewan, who batted with infinite patience and
                                                                   commendable technique for around eight hours to score 144 © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                           
Page 3 G24 Sport                                                                Saturday November 10 2012                 15:32 GMT

and become only the second Haryana batsman to carry his bat
through all 10 wickets of a completed innings.
    It may well be that the manner in which Bresnan, almost
                                                                      Andy Murray sweeps aside Jo-Wilfried
unobtrusively at times, seems to be able to conjure up decent         Tsonga in World Tour Finals
figures will propel him into the first Test should England’s
preferred pace attack of Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad and             • Dazzling first set powers British No1 into
Steve Finn not materialise.                                           last four in London
    The news about Broad and Finn is still good, although
                                                                      • Tsonga fights back but Murray shows
after his first bowl since his thigh injury — he sent down three
overs in the nets on the second evening, at around 80 percent
                                                                      Frenchman no mercy
pace – Finn felt just sufficient niggle in the injury to make him     Kevin Mitchell at the O2 Arena
wary. There will still be pressure for him to play but if the pitch
is indeed flat, he could expect a heavy workload: prudence
may keep him back for the second Test in Mumbai. Broad
meanwhile, is coming on well enough and will start bowling
again as this match comes to what will be a merciful end.
    Before play began, England may have had ambition to
dismiss Haryana first time around with sufficient rapidity
to enable them to enforce a follow on and give the bowlers a
second run out.
    By the time the innings finished, that idea had firmly gone
by the board and instead, with Alastair Cook sitting things out,
Nick Compton and Jonathan Trott opened the second innings,
with Compton in particular unveiling some thumping cover
drives against the new ball. By the close, both openers had
                                                                      Andy Murray proved too strong for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the
reached unbeaten half centuries in England’s 118 without loss.
                                                                      ATP World Tour Finals in London. Photograph: Kerim Okten/
                                                                      It took Andy Murray 33 minutes to reach the semi-finals of
                                                                      the Barclay’s ATP World Tour Finals and, despite a spirited
                                                                      fightback in the remaining hour or so, there was not a thing Jo-
                                                                      Wilfried Tsonga could do to stop his progress.
                                                                          Given the labyrinthine arithmetic attached to the round-
                                                                      robin format, Murray needed only to take the first set of
                                                                      Friday’s match to join Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in
                                                                      the weekend’s programme and he did it so convincingly in a
                                                                      dazzling first half-hour that he gave substance to the conviction
                                                                      he can win this finale to the season, a fitting garland to an
                                                                      Olympic gold medal and the US Open title.
                                                                          That he spoiled the canvas with minor lapses when Tsonga
                                                                      came to life, leading him to have to save a set point to force a
                                                                      tie-break for victory, signalled only that perhaps he fell victim
                                                                      to complacency, knowing his place was secure.
                                                                          Murray is likely to meet Federer in Sunday’s semi-finals

                                                                      unless Juan Martín del Potro does to the Swiss in Group B on
                                                                      Saturday what he did to him in the final in Basel two weeks ago.
                                                                          In brushing away Tsonga’s edgy challenge in front of an
                                                                      enthralled audience, Murray produced tennis of the highest
                                                                      quality in the first set while for some of the second, it was subtle
                                                                      and clever in its conception, near-perfect in its execution.
  Compare and buy                                                         It took him a little over an hour and a half to win 6-2,

  Use our free independent                                            7-6 after holding four match points and he finished with as
                                                                      lovely a flourish as he began, his third ace piercing the still
  comparison services to switch                                       night air, Tsonga, rooted to the spot, able only to smile in
  suppliers and save money on                                         acknowledgment.
                                                                          “Ivan [Lendl] said before the match to just forget I only
  all your household bills.                                           needed to win one set,” Murray said, “but that is what I was                                               thinking about. It was quite a tough scenario to know that, if he
                                                                      won two sets, I was out. I was lucky to get off to a good start and
  compareandbuy                                                       that helped.”
                                                                          So another chapter was written in the intriguing relationship
                                                                      between Lendl and Murray, as the old master continues to © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                               
Page  G24 Sport                                                              Saturday November 10 2012                 15:32 GMT

shape his young charge in the ways of the game’s weird mental
challenges. They are a good fit.
    Murray could hardly have started more menacingly, with
                                                                     LA Lakers follow Mike Brown firing by
two break points in two minutes, and he built on it with             beating Golden State Warriors
growing self-belief.
    It was a delight (for Murray and his supporters, at least) to    Kobe Bryant has 27 points as Lakers hit
see his devilish under-cut backhands slide and fade so low that      form; LeBron James leads Heat past Hawks;
the Frenchman could not have hauled them over the net with a
                                                                     Knicks go 4-0 against Mavericks
butterfly net.
    So comfortable was Murray against even the most                  Associated Press
thunderous of Tsonga’s serves that he some times crept a foot
or two inside the court to take them on the rise, returning with
much interest, either flat and powerful or with angled cut and
    Bewilderment induces desperation and Tsonga’s response
to humiliation on a par with that which Murray inflicted on
him at Queen’s two years ago was to belt the cover off the
ball. They were tactics that took no heed of the boundaries of
the court and only deepened his crisis. It was power without
    In the earlier Group A match Djokovic beat a fragile Tomas
Berdych 6-2, 7-6 in a curious mixture of brilliance and lassitude.
He almost blew it in the tie-break, falling behind 5-1 and had to
scramble back from 6-3 as the Czech collapsed.
                                                                     Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant puts up a shot as Golden
    Despite Djokovic’s protestation that this and the other
                                                                     State Warriors guard Klay Thompson defends. Photograph:
matches in this end-of-season tournament satisfied the high
                                                                     Mark J Terrill/AP
standards set throughout the year, it was an uneven contest.
    “I don’t agree,” the Serb said, mustering full politeness when   The Los Angeles Lakers responded to coach Mike Brown’s firing
it was suggested a certain weariness had invaded some of the         earlier Friday with an emphatic 101-77 victory over the Golden
performances. “I think the quality of tennis has been really         State Warriors. Kobe Bryant scored 27 points and Pau Gasol
good this week.” Other witnesses read it a little differently.       added 14 points and 16 rebounds for the Lakers, who had just
    Berdych, for one, observed, “It wasn’t one of my best            a few hours to absorb Brown’s dismissal after just 18 months in
matches against him.”                                                the job.
    Janko Tipsarevic, after losing badly to Federer the night            Following a bumpy first half under interim coach Bernie
before, described his own tennis as “horrible”.                      Bickerstaff, they pulled away in the third quarter with a 25-9 run
    There were further lapses here and there – understandable        led by Bryant, who also had nine rebounds and seven assists.
ones after 11 months of intense competition – which were not         Stephen Curry scored 18 points for the Warriors, who have lost
so prevalent in the big tournaments earlier in the year and with     five straight to the Lakers overall.
good reason.                                                             The comfortable victory doubled the Lakers’ victory total
    This was Djokovic’s 73rd win in 85 matches, nine more            for the season and capped one of the most tumultuous days
outings than he had in 2011, his year of years. He is, by any        in recent history for a franchise that is never short on drama.
standards in any era, a remarkable player, and ought to be           General manager Mitch Kupchak and owner Jim Buss abruptly
allowed the odd ordinary performance – even if he does not see       dismissed Brown, informing the players during their morning
it that way.                                                         shootaround.
    Only the Spanish grinder David Ferrer, with 88 matches,              LeBron James scored 21 points, including the clinching
has played more often; Tipsarevic posted 84 for the season,          jump shot with 13.6 seconds remaining, as the Miami Heat
followed by Berdych (82), then Federer and Del Potro (both 80).      earned their fourth straight win with a 95-89 victory over the
    Murray, meanwhile, was playing only his 71st match and,          Atlanta Hawks. Jeff Teague hit consecutive three-pointers as
although he has suffered physically with a chronic back injury       the Hawks rallied from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
that briefly threatened to bring him to ground at Roland Garros,     But Josh Smith missed two free throws with just over a minute
he was as fresh as a spring lamb in eventually mastering Tsonga.     remaining, and James finished off Atlanta after the teams
                                                                     traded turnovers. Chris Bosh led Miami with 24 points. James
                                                                     just missed a triple-double, adding 11 rebounds and nine assists.

  The Guardian digital edition
                                                                     Teague paced the Hawks with 20 points and 11 assists.
                                                                         Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points as the New York Knicks
                                                                     improved their best start in nearly two decades to four wins
                                                                     and no losses in a 104-94 home win over the Dallas Mavericks.
                                                                     Reserve JR Smith added 22 points for the Knicks, the only
  Read the Guardian on the web exactly the                           unbeaten team in the NBA. They hadn’t been perfect after four
  way it was printed.                                                games since the 1993-94 team started 7-0 en route to the NBA
  With award-winning Guardian                                        Finals. OJ Mayo scored 23 points for the Mavericks, who had
                                                                     their three-game winning streak snapped and lost to the Knicks © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                            
Page 5 G24 Sport                                                              Saturday November 10 2012                  15:32 GMT

for just the fourth time in the last 22 meetings.                      “Gareth knew straight after the game,” reflected the
   Anthony Davis had 23 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks in      England coach, Steve McNamara. “He was frustrated and I was
his first game back after a concussion to lead the New Orleans      frustrated. I know he picked up the man of the match award
Hornets past the Charlotte Bobcats 107-99, while Shannon            because he did so many good things but there’s a couple of
Brown scored 12 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and          elements to his game that we need to fix up for us to move
helped key a late 14-4 run as the Phoenix Suns rallied from a 26-   forward as a country as well and Gareth is aware of that.
point deficit to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 107-105.                 “He’s got incredible ability – people underestimate the fact
   Evan Turner scored 25 points and Jrue Holiday added 21 as        that he is very skilful, as well as the way he puts that fear factor
the Philadelphia 76ers held off several fourth-quarter rallies to   into the opposition. But quite often those people who can do
hold out the Boston Celtics 106-100.                                things other people can’t, do have a natural weakness. He walks
   In other games; the Minnesota Timberwolves edged the             that fine line at times between aggression and just going over
Indiana Pacers 96-94, the Brooklyn Nets downed the Orlando          the top. It’s keeping that balance right for Gareth and at times
Magic 107-68, the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Sacramento         he tipped it the wrong way at the weekend.”
Kings 97-86, the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Detroit                Yet, as McNamara added: “I’d rather have him with us than
Pistons 105-94, the Denver Nuggets earned a 104-85 home win         against us, put it that way.”
over the Utah Jazz, the Memphis Grizzlies were 93-85 winners           England are not so well blessed in the pack that they can
over the Houston Rockets and the Milwaukee Bucks rallied for        afford to ignore the raw talent of a player who first showed the
a 101-91 win over the Washington Wizards.                           ability to trouble the Australians playing loose forward for the
                                                                    Under-19s against the formidable Junior Kangaroos a decade
England set to put faith in Gareth Hock’s                              The Aussies have sufficient respect for that talent to want to
hands as France await                                               sign him themselves: Parramatta, the western Sydney club who
                                                                    have persuaded Israel Folau to return from Australian Rules,
                                                                    have been in talks for weeks to buy out the remaining three
Steve McNamara praised Hock’s ‘incredible                           years of Hock’s contract with Wigan.
ability’ after his performance last week but                           That really would be make or break for the 29-year-old. The
his future remains unclear                                          prospect of this huge hulk of a man, who has already served a
                                                                    two-year suspension after testing positive for cocaine in 2009
Andy Wilson
                                                           , living in Sydney, away from any support
                                                                    network, and being tested on the field every week in the
                                                                    furnace of the National Rugby League has made many wince.
                                                                    Others argue that the support network has not done him much
                                                                    good so far and that the discipline that would be demanded by
                                                                    Parramatta’s famously no-nonsense new coach, Ricky Stuart,
                                                                    would force him to clean up his act – allowing England to
                                                                    benefit in next year’s World Cup.
                                                                       This article was updated on 10 November with a new picture
                                                                    because of an incorrect caption given by the agency on the orginal

Gareth Hock was surprisingly named man of the match against
France in the Autumn International Series at Craven Park.
Photograph: Chris Brunskill/Getty Images
Man of the match one week, dropped the next? Gareth Hock
will probably hang on to his place in the England pack for            Eat right
Sunday’s final of the Autumn International Series against             Join the Guardian’s health and
France but it is typical of the way in which the Wigan forward
has polarised opinions throughout a chequered career that
                                                                      dieting club, Eat Right and we’ll
there could even be any doubt.                                        design you a personalised healthy
   He did a few good things in last Saturday’s 44-6 cruise            eating plan from just £2.99 a week.
against the same opposition and was a
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thoroughly unpleasant handful for the French forwards
throughout – “all knees and elbows” as the England prop Adrian        lists, menus, expert advice and 24
Morley had commented beforehand. But Hock’s use of those              hour support to help you achieve
knees and elbows conceded four penalties and he was also              your health and fitness goals.
responsible for four of England’s 16 handling errors – statistics
that made his selection as the game’s outstanding player
eccentric even by the unpredictable standards of Ian Millward,
the Castleford coach who was summarising for the BBC. © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                             
Page  G24 Sport                                                                   Saturday November 10 2012                    15:32 GMT

                                                                         she was always talking about it. It was upsetting not to be there
                                                                         but it was so good to see everyone do so well. I went to watch
Becky James fully operational and                                        the racing in the velodrome one day and I spoke to Chris Hoy.
ready to grab world of opportunity                                       He made me realise how young I am. I’m only 20 and I hope I’ve
                                                                         got a long career ahead. I just hope I can enjoy an Olympics of
Road to Rio starts at Glasgow World Cup                                  my own in Rio.
for sprinter whose training has been                                         “Since those two junior titles I’ve struggled with illness
                                                                         and injury. I’ve seen progress but I’ve never managed to put a
transformed by removal of her appendix
                                                                         long block of training like this together before. As a junior I was
William Fotheringham                                                     always ill, tonsillitis, chest infections. It’s nice to see that, when
                                                                         you get consistent training, you get the results.”
                                                                             For James the key appears to have been the removal of a
                                                                         grumbling appendix in February. “I’ve been so healthy since
                                                                         then. I’d been getting nasty stomach cramps every time I raced,
                                                                         it happened perhaps eight times, but the appendix is out and
                                                                         gone now.”
                                                                             Varnish and James are a classic team sprint combination:
                                                                         Varnish the starter capable of immense speed out of the blocks,
                                                                         James able to put “length” into her racing, as the jargon has
                                                                         it. “Jess is more explosive and has outstanding ability for the
                                                                         standing-start lap while Becky has a longer turn of speed, for
                                                                         either the team sprint or the match sprint,” the sprint coach,
                                                                         Jan van Eijden, told the Observer. “Becky has more of a sprint
                                                                         head on her. She is able to make the best of what she has
Britain’s Becky James will ride at the World Cup in Glasgow
having enjoyed a long block of training for the first time.
                                                                             At the first World Cup of the winter, Cali in Colombia, they
Photograph: PA/PA Archive
                                                                         experimented with James at starter but they will revert to the
It is only three months since those heady, medal-rich August             more obvious order in Glasgow. There James will ride all three
days in the Pringle in London’s Olympic Park but already the             sprint events and, while she has power to burn in the match
march to Rio has begun for Great Britain’s Olympic track cycling         sprint, she says the keirin – where the riders are paced by a
team. A wide-ranging independent review, headed by the                   small motorbike before the final burst to the line – is the race
former British Cycling chief executive Peter King, is expected to        that fascinates her the most, because of its infinite tactical
report in a couple of weeks and could result in some surprising          variations.
changes, meaning that next weekend’s Glasgow World Cup has                   “I love racing them. So much can go wrong but so much can
a transitional look about it.                                            go right as well. There is so much to learn there. Every time
    Further down the ladder the Glasgow team have the                    you race one you take so much from it. In Colombia I made a
experimental look about them that exemplifies the beginning of           mistake in the final and said that the next time I will have to get
a new Olympic cycle. The sprint queen Victoria Pendleton has             it right, do it differently. It’s hard to say which is the best for me.
moved seamlessly into the world of Strictly Come Dancing. Sir            Maybe I will have an idea after Glasgow.”
Chris Hoy will sit out the first international on the velodrome              James’s World Cup campaign is not the only event on her
that bears his name as he ponders his long-term future. The              mind this week. Her boyfriend George North, the Wales wing,
men’s team pursuit squad have been eviscerated, with Ed                  will be in action for their country in the autumn internationals.
Clancy experimenting with the team sprint in Hoy’s stead and             “It’s a big time for both of us and we will hardly see each
Geraint Thomas and Peter Kennaugh focusing on their road                 other this side of Christmas. We have one night together after
careers.                                                                 Glasgow, then I’m off to Australia for a month’s training. We just
    In contrast to the men’s side Great Britain’s women look             make it work between us. It’s really good.”
comparatively settled. The team pursuiters Laura Trott, Dani                 With the Commonwealth Games less than two years away,
King and Joanna Rowsell march on. Among the sprinters                    Glasgow has other resonances, particularly for a Welsh athlete
Pendleton had announced her retirement so emphatically and               at a time when cycling in that country is enjoying a boom, with
so early that her possible successors have known for many                a host of performers at international level. In that context the
months what would be available post-London. As it stands,                James family are set to make their mark, with Becky’s elder
Pendleton’s team sprint partner, Jess Varnish, and the London            sister, Rachel, pushing for a slot in the Welsh squad as a sprinter
reserve, Becky James, are in pole position for the team sprint           and her younger sibling, Ffion, entering the GB mix in mountain
in Rio and look set to battle it out for places in the keirin and        biking at junior level.
match sprint.                                                                If James sometimes forgets how many years she has ahead of
    Of the two James went unnoticed this year until she landed           her, that is understandable, because she has been in the Great
a clean sweep of all four national sprint titles in late September.      Britain system since her mid-teens. “I remember seeing Becky
Tipped for stardom at an early age after taking two junior world         race at the age of 13 or 14 and I knew she would be special,” the
titles in 2009, the Abergavenny rider says she found London              GB sprint head coach, Iain Dyer, said as James prepared to make
“both frustrating and inspiring” to watch.                               her international debut at senior level in the 2009 Manchester
    “It was tough the day I found out I wasn’t going to race there.      World Cup. “Her head was screwed on, she was mature, she
I just had to accept it. It’s hard to explain, I lived with Dani King, © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                     
Page  G24 Sport                                                                   Saturday November 10 2012             15:32 GMT

enjoyed the sport and had all the physical components of a
sprinter. She was already in a class of her own.”
   To those ingredients James has finally added what could
                                                                       Rugby’s minnows get chance to shine in
be the most important of all: a decent run of good health and a        revolutionary IRB fixtures
long, consistent spell of training. “It’s all up for grabs now,” she
says. And she is well placed to make her mark.                         • Canada, Samoa, Russia and US among
                                                                       teams taking part
Australia and South Africa suffer                                      • Matches are ‘crucial to ensuring increased
washout on second day of first Test
                                                                       Paul Rees

• No play possible because of rain in
• South Africa will start day three on 255-2
Press Association

                                                                       The Romanian side are among the tier-two sides in action this
                                                                       month. Photograph: Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images
                                                                       The start of the four home unions’ autumn international series
                                                                       this weekend has overshadowed an event that the International
                                                                       Rugby Board hopes will revolutionise the world game.
No play was possible at the Gabba. Photograph: Greg Wood/                  Four, tier-two nations on Friday night played a double-
AFP/Getty Images                                                       header at Parc Eirias in Colwyn Bay, where USA beat Russia
No play was possible on the second day of the first Test between       40-26 and Samoa defeated Canada 42-12. The exercise will be
Australia and South Africa because of rain in Brisbane.                repeated next Saturday, when Tonga will replace Samoa.
   Bad light brought an early end to day one with South Africa             The teams are being looked after by clubs in north Wales
255 for two and the weather worsened overnight meaning                 and the initiative is being funded by the International Rugby
the covers stayed on all day, with any hope of play finally            Board, which is screening all the matches live and for free on
abandoned shortly after 4pm local time.                                its website, , and Conway County
   Play will start half on hour early on day three, weather            borough council.
permitting, with Hashim Amla 10 runs short of his century and              The aim is to provide countries outside those who take part
Jacques Kallis alongside him on 84.                                    in the Six Nations and the Rugby Championship with regular
   While South Africa remained in a strong position, they              matches in between World Cups with the aim of making them
suffered a blow after the first day’s play with the news that          more competitive in the tournament. It is one reason why the
JP Duminy ruptured an Achilles tendon in the warm-down,                IRB is clamping down on clubs who are reluctant to release
leaving them with only 10 batsmen.                                     players for tier-two countries.
   The Proteas’ 12th man, Francois du Plessis, will field in               “These matches are crucial to ensuring that there is
Duminy’s place at the Gabba. Duminy is expected to be out for          increased competitiveness on the global stage and at the World
up to six months.                                                      Cup in 2015,” said the IRB’s chairman, Bernard Lapasset. “There
                                                                       will be an unprecedented number of international matches
                                                                       across Europe this month which will give sports fans a taste

                                                                       of what to expect in three years when England host the World
                                                                           “The IRB is committed to facilitating an annual international
                                                                       competition schedule for our tier-two unions which will
  Fantasy League Classic                                               meet their strategic high performance needs and deliver
                                                                       opportunities to climb up the world rankings.”
  Manage a squad of 16 players and a budget
                                                                           As well as the five countries in north Wales and Fiji, who
  of £75 million. £75,000 worth of prizes to                           are at Twickenham on Saturday afternoon, Romania, Japan,
  be won in weekly, monthly and overall                                Uruguay, Portugal, Georgia and Chile are also in action this
  competitions. Beat your nearest and                                  month.
  dearest in a friends league.                                             The programme for the tier-two nations�complements the
                                                                       overhaul of the way pool matches are arranged during a World © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                              
Page  G24 Sport                                                               Saturday November 10 2012                 15:32 GMT

Cup. No longer will the smaller nations have to play their three      opposing team’s none, yet all eight games ended up as draws for
games in little more than a week: fixtures are being�arranged to      a 4-4 total, meaning that Guildford has a significant edge even
give all countries, regardless of ranking, broadly the same rest      at this early stage of the season. It was one of the biggest upsets
period.                                                               in 4NCL history.
    The general manager of Gogledd Cymru (north Wales),                   The British champion finished with a double rook offer in
Rupert Moon, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for north         this Guildford v Barbican�B game. Black was only slightly worse
Wales to grab the rugby spotlight and showcase the depth of           until 25 .�.�. Bxc3? after which the opposite coloured bishops
feeling and support there is in the area for Wales’s national         helped the attacker. After 34 Qd1! Kxe4 fails to 35 Qf3+ Kg6 36
game.                                                                 Qh5+ Kf5 and now 37 Qxf7 wins simply while 37 Rf3+ Ke4 38
    “What the WRU and IRB have be able to do in bringing              Rf2! leads to mate.
Russia, USA, Samoa, Tonga and Canada to play up here in north             G Jones v C Dorrington
Wales is simply fantastic.                                                1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Qc2 d5 5 cxd5 exd5 6�Bg5 h6 7
    “What we aim to do is put on a show to prove beyond               Bh4 Nbd7 8 e3 0-0 9 Bd3 c5 10 dxc5 Nxc5 11 Nge2 Be6 12 0-0 Rc8
all doubt that there is�a�home�for international rugby in             13 Rad1 Qe7 14 Bh7+ Kh8 15 Bf5 g5 16 Bg3 Nce4 17 Bxe4 Nxe4 18
north�Wales.”                                                         Be5+ f6 19 Bd4 a6 20 f3 Nxc3 21 Nxc3 Kg7 22 f4 b5 23 fxg5 hxg5
                                                                      24 Rf5 Kh6 25 Rf2 Bxc3? 26 bxc3 Rc6 27 Rdf1 Bc8 28 Qb3 Qd8 29
                                                                      a4 bxa4 30 Qxa4 Re6 31 Rf3 Rf7 32 Rh3+ Kg7 33 Rf5 Kg6 34 Qd1!
Surprise collapse by Wood Green hands                                 Re4 35 Rxg5+! fxg5 36 Qh5+ 1-0
league initiative to Guildford                                            3279 1 e4 dxe4 2 Rd5+! Kxd5 3 Kb5 e3 4 Nf6 mate.

Leonard Barden
                                                                      Manu Tuilagi’s road leads from Samoa
                                  England’s national league, the      to stardom with England
                                  4NCL, has often proved a two-
                                  king race and it seemed that
                                  the 2012-13 programme, which        The England centre has come a long way
                                  started last week, would be even    from scuffs in the schoolyard and faces Fiji
                                  more of a duopoly than�usual.       on Saturday with the world at his feet
                                      Last season Wood Green
                                                                      Robert Kitson
                                  retained the title after holding
                                  off a prolonged challenge from
                                  Guildford, so the Surrey team
3279: White mates in four         have further strengthened their
moves. White carries out          squad for this year. Guildford
a surprising and unique           had already enlisted the former
sequence, to which all            world No3 Nigel Short and now
Black’s replies are forced.       its managers have added the
Illustration: Graphic             reigning British champion,
                                  Gawain Jones, and the
experienced veteran Mark Hebden, plus a highly rated Dutch
    Wood Green, meanwhile, are led, at least on paper, by
England’s top pair Michael Adams and Luke McShane, with the
internationals David Howell and Nick Pert plus the Scotland           Manu Tuilagi will be a formidable foe for Fiji on Saturday
No1, Jonathan Rowson, in support, so that between them the            afternoon. Photograph: Paul Childs/Action Images
rival contenders have soaked up all the best talent. Think of it as   Manu Tuilagi sounds wistful as he reflects on his formative
if the Premiership had one team merged from the three leading         years as a kid in Samoa. Day after day he and his friends would
London clubs and another a blend of both Manchesters and              play bare-chested games of rugby, using a plastic bottle filled
both Merseysiders. You would not bet against them.                    with dried grass as a makeshift ball. Even at the age of 11, the
    The 4NCL format is that Division One has two sections             village of Fatausi was no place for wimps. “In school we always
of equal strength, with the top four clubs from each group            played full-on. Barefoot, just in our shorts. We’d get a hiding
qualifying for the final pool whose outcome will only be              from the teacher if our shirts got dirty so we’d take them off,
decided on the last league weekend of the season in May�2013.         remove our sarongs and just wear shorts. The ground was really
    Given that a 4-4 tie in the crunch match would be no              hard. If you fell on it, all your skin would go. Great memories.”
surprise, the logic was that both superteams would maximise               When he went home life was no softer. “One night my two
their game points tiebreaks by crushing the opposition in their       older brothers, Andy and Vavae, decided they were going to
other matches. And so it proved in round one, when both Wood          teach me how to tackle. They were massive compared to me but
Green and Guildford won 7-1, while in round two Guildford             they were running at me full-on, even though we were inside
scored 6.5-1.5.                                                       the house at night-time. I remember being hit in the chest and
    Then the wheels came off Wood Green in a remarkable and           not being able to go to school the next day because my eye and
bizarre way. They outrated their second-round opponents e2e4          nose were so painful. Luckily my mum and dad were away on
by a massive 271 points per board and fielded seven GMs to the © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                              
Page  G24 Sport                                                                 Saturday November 10 2012                  15:32 GMT

another island and didn’t see me the next morning.”                     be genuinely charming, if slightly off the wall. At his local
    Welcome to the gentle rhythms of Polynesia. Tuilagi may             Starbucks they know him, bizarrely, as James Bond. “I go there
now live in Leicester but, despite the red rose on his jersey, he       quite a lot. I’m a loyal customer. It’s their job to ask your name
remains an islander at heart. You can take the youngest of seven        so that’s what I told them. There was a new guy in the other
Tuilagi boys out of Fatausi but the tattoo on his arm, with its         day who said: ‘Hello Manu.’ And the girl behind him says: ‘No,
Pacific star right on the point of the right elbow, still betrays       that’s James Bond.’”
split loyalties. Incredibly, he had it done just prior to last year’s       He laughs fit to burst, tickled by the whole 007 impersonator
ill-fated World Cup. “At one stage they were tattooing straight         thing. Even now he has ceased ferry-jumping into Auckland
on to bone. You could hear and feel them smashing it; it was so         Harbour, the man-child still has some maturing to do. His
swollen I couldn’t bend it.” Pain seems a constant presence in          autograph-signing demeanour certainly needs work. Rarely has
Tuilagi’s life, whether voluntarily administered or not.                any sportsman looked as disinterested, or attempted less eye
    All this has relevance to the sort of player England want him       contact. Pass him a ball, however, and he becomes irresistible.
to become, not just against Fiji on Saturday but for the next           No other midfield back out there has the same low-slung thrust,
decade. His director of rugby, Richard Cockerill, reckons the           the acceleration into contact or the arched-back ability to leave
21-year-old will become the best outside centre in the world.           would-be tacklers sprawling out wide. Should he ever learn to
The public want to believe it but cannot quite shed the image           offload like Sonny Bill Williams, manipulate space as cleverly as
of a big kid who jumps off ferries and has his           Conrad Smith or pass like Charlie Hodgson, England really will
elbow chiselled three months before a major tournament. Some            have a world-beater, regardless of the number on his back.
wonder aloud whether Manusamoa (to use his full name) is the                Next year’s Lions tour is also on his radar. “I definitely feel
man to out-think world-class defences and query the patriotic           there’s a lot more to come from me,” confides the hard man,
instincts of someone who has watched four of his brothers               softly. A gathering force of nature is heading Fiji’s way on
capped by Samoa.                                                        Saturday afternoon.
    The sceptics could be routed on both counts as early as this
autumn. Those who play alongside him reckon he has better
tactical judgment than people appreciate. “It’s a fallacy that he       Bradley Wiggins crash: woman reported
doesn’t talk … every time I’ve played with him I’ve loved it,”          for summons
insists his centre partner Brad Barritt. As for patriotic fervour,
he makes John Bull sound positively Lithuanian. “It’s emotional
every time. The first time it just felt amazing. For me, having
                                                                        Lancashire police interview Cath Burrows,
grown up here, England’s the home of the game. I’ve lived here          44, after collision in which Tour de France
and played all my rugby career here. For me playing for England         winner suffered a bruised hand and ribs
is an honour and I’m proud to do it.” Not much ambivalence
                                                                        Press Association
there. After 13 caps – and five tries – he has represented England
more often than his captain Chris Robshaw.
    Among his other vivid childhood memories was watching
the 2003 Rugby World Cup final on television in his home
village – “It’s quiet, mate, less than 300 people” – along with his
retired-politician father and his mother, who ran the local shop.
When he first played alongside Jonny Wilkinson for England it
practically blew his mind. “I watched Jonny drop that goal and,
suddenly, I’m playing with him. Luckily there had been a three
or four week camp to get used to the idea, but still …”
    To underline his allegiance, Tuilagi will trot out on Saturday
alongside a mascot from Hinckley RFC, as part of the Rugby
Football Union’s admirable initiative to connect the team’s stars
with their first grassroots club; the East Midlands has been his
home ever since he arrived on a six-month holiday visa in 2004.         Scene of Bradley Wiggins’s collision in Wrightington,
He also has an English girlfriend, Chantelle, whom he met on            Lancashire, when he was thrown off his bike by a white
a night out in Leicester. He sounds shyly smitten: “I’ve known          Vauxhall Astra Envoy van. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA
her for a long time. We’ve been going out for two months. She’s         A woman who allegedly knocked champion cyclist Bradley
a nice girl.”                                                           Wiggins off his bike with a van has been reported for summons
    Rather than sharing accommodation with his siblings,                by police.
furthermore, he now lives with an old friend from                          After a formal interview, Cath Burrows, 44, has been
Leicestershire’s Mount Grace high school. “Since my brothers            summoned by Lancashire police over driving without due care
have gone I live with my best mate Ryan. He was my first friend         and attention.
in England. When I arrived I didn’t really know how to speak               Wiggins, who this summer became the first Briton to win
English and he helped me a lot. My dad knew his dad and he              the Tour de France, was taken to hospital with a bruised hand
looked after me. He sympathised. You remember people like               and ribs after the collision near his home in Lancashire on
that.”                                                                  Wednesday.
    Beneath the macho exterior, suddenly, a small window                   The 32-year-old is now recuperating at home.
of sensitivity opens. When the mood takes him, he can also                 In a statement on Friday night, a police spokesman © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                
Page 10 G24 Sport                                                            Saturday November 10 2012                 15:32 GMT

said: “Following a voluntary attendance for interview with          a remarkable season which elevated his official rating from
Lancashire police, a 44-year-old woman from west Lancashire         a humdrum 69 to a high-class 159. He is also trained several
has been reported for summons for driving without due care          counties away in Somerset.
and attention.                                                          But there were still red and yellow gold ribbons draped over
   “However an investigation into the full circumstances of the     the bushes at Fontwell and a large cake iced in red and yellow
incident is still under way.”                                       stripes. There was a Hunt Ball-themed skiffle band singing a
   Wiggins was taken by ambulance to Royal Preston hospital         song called “Lump On” and, when Hunt Ball himself paraded
after the crash in Crow Orchard Road, Wrightington, shortly         in front of the stands before the first race, there was a generous
after 6pm on Wednesday.                                             round of applause from punters wearing the free red and yellow
   The incident happened when a white Vauxhall Astra Envoy          scarves which had been handed to the first 500 through the
drove out of a garage forecourt.                                    gate.
   It was reported that Wiggins was riding a mountain bike to           And there was also Anthony Knott, the dairy farmer who
meet a group of local cyclists near his home in Eccleston.          owns Hunt Ball and still seems every bit as startled by the
   In a separate road accident, British cycling head coach          gelding’s rapid ascent to join jumping’s premier league as he
Shane Sutton was also admitted to hospital on Thursday with a       was when it began this time last year.
fractured cheek bone.                                                   “I can’t really take it in,” Knott said. “We’re only tinpot
   Sutton, 55, was in a collision with a blue Peugeot 206 driven    people and to actually have a racecourse put a whole shebang
by a 61-year-old man on the A6 Stockport Road in Levenshulme        on like this, I was pinching myself this morning. I wish my dad
while riding a bike shortly before 8.55am.                          was alive to see it but he wouldn’t be able to take it in either
   He was part of the management team which helped Wiggins          really.
to many successes, including the world’s toughest bike race and         “Kauto Star won five King George and two Gold Cup
the time trial gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics.              and all those other races in between and that’s a hell of an
                                                                    achievement. We’re just trying to think whether he might take
                                                                    out just one of those big races this year. We’re lucky that there’s
Anthony Knott believes there is plenty                              no horse in history that has gone up the ratings like Hunt Ball
more to come from Hunt Ball                                         has and we’re thankful for that history but, if he could take out
                                                                    one of the big races this year, he could start to make his own
                                                                    mark a little bit.”
Owner says last season’s improvement is                                 Before Hunt Ball started his climb through the chasing ranks,
not finished yet as he aims his chaser at next                      Knott enjoyed a memorable 15 minutes of fame in 2008 when
week’s Paddy Power Gold Cup                                         he rode his first winner under Rules at Wincanton after 28
                                                                    years of regular failure. Knott was up in the irons and waving
Greg Wood at Fontwell
                                                                    at the crowd with almost a furlong to run and announced his
                                                                    retirement from riding in public as soon as he returned to the
                                                                    winner’s enclosure. Until last January, that is, when he climbed
                                                                    aboard Hunt Ball, behind his regular jockey Nick Scholfield, as
                                                                    he returned to be unsaddled after winning a race at Wincanton.
                                                                        Knott was fined £100 by the stewards for doing so and
                                                                    celebrated in more conventional – but still unrestrained
                                                                    – fashion when Hunt Ball won at the Cheltenham Festival
                                                                    in March. His winning ride in 2008, which eventually made
                                                                    the main national news bulletins, perhaps did more to
                                                                    communicate the sheer fun of the sport to a wider audience as
                                                                    an entire year of televised racing on Saturday afternoons, and
                                                                    his enthusiasm, for racing and Hunt Ball, remains infectious.
                                                                        “This is just sheer luck,” Knott said. “There’s no rocket
Anthony Knott, owner of the remarkbale Hunt Ball, enjoying          science. I bought him so that Keiran could have a runner
the raceday devoted to his steeplechaser at Fontwell on             basically, that’s the story and it’s turned into a fairy tale.
Friday. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst                                      “He’s stronger and more powerful this season and there’s no
When Kauto Star officially retired from racing last week he         reason why he shouldn’t go and win next week. If you look back
left a hole – and created a vacancy. There may not be a better      at his figures [at the Cheltenham Festival], he was the fastest
steeplechaser for decades but National Hunt racing will always      horse from the last to the winning post by two seconds, so
need its “most popular horse in training” and, as the jumps         that’s some turn of foot.
prepares for its four months at centre stage, the credentials of        “It doesn’t matter who we’re going to take on, they’re going
the seven-year-old Hunt Ball seem more persuasive than most.        to have to go some to match his turn of foot. I said to Nick, just
    The Keiran Burke-trained chaser will not make his first start   hold on to him and turn him loose at the last couple of fences
of the new campaign until next Saturday in the Paddy Power          and he took off like a balloon going down.”
Gold Cup at Cheltenham but that did not stop Fontwell Park              A good horse needs a good owner and the remarkable Hunt
staging a card here in his honour on Friday. Hunt Ball’s links      Ball has one in the colourful man who uses racing to put the
to the small Sussex track are slightly tenuous, though he won       uncertainty and struggle of the dairy industry to one side and
his only race here off a mark of 75 in December 2011, during        is certainly enjoying every moment of his journey to the top of © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                            
Page 11 G24 Sport                                                 Saturday November 10 2012   15:32 GMT

the sport.
   “I’m known as the world’s worst jockey, the one who took 28
years to ride a winner,” he says, “and it shows you must never,
ever give up. The crowd started roaring, so I thought that I’d
give them a wave on the run-in, but every race feels like the
Festival to me.
   “I’ve got hassles with my work and I’ve always bought
horses for pleasure. That’s how it will always be, win lose or
draw.” © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                 

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