Sport

Document Sample
Sport Powered By Docstoc
					G24
                           | pdf edition | Friday February 8 2013                                                         Sport
                                                                                                                          Downloaded 23:32 GMT




Arsenal’s Arsène Wenger calls for football
to get tough on corruption
Arsène Wenger has said that routine blood testing should be
introduced to prevent doping having an impact on football Page 2



Sir Alex Ferguson fined £12,000 for
criticism of linesman Simon Beck
Sir Alex Ferguson has been fined £12,000 after being found guilty
of misconduct by the FA over remarks following Manchester
United’s 1-1 draw at Tottenham Page 3


Tottenham frustrated by Emmanuel
Adebayor’s late return from Africa
Emmanuel Adebayor is a doubt for Tottenham’s lunchtime kick-
off with Newcastle on Saturday after flight problems delayed his
return to England from Africa Page 3



Mark Cavendish wins                          England hoping their                         Channel 4 wins                  Wigan and Warrington
Tour of Qatar after                          Sunday best will be                          television rights               share spoils after early-
sprint finish in final                       good enough against                          to cover two more               season thriller Page 8
stage Page 4                                 Ireland Page 6                               Paralympics Page 7
                                                                                                                          Ireland’s Jonathan
How Stuart Lancaster                         Women’s World Cup:                           Mark Cueto breaks               Sexton and England’s
transformed England                          England hopes hanging                        Premiership try record          Owen Farrell in No10
from flops into a force                      by thread after                              in Sale’s win over              duel Page 9
Page 4                                       Australia loss Page 6                        Exeter Page 8




guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                                     guardian.co.uk
Registered in England and Wales. No. 908396. Registered office: PO Box 68164, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1P 2AP
Page 2 G24 Sport                                                                   Friday February 8 2013              23:32 GMT

                                                                   centre of the Operation Puerto doping ring. The trial has been
                                                                   limited to cycling, even though Fuentes himself has admitted
Arsenal’s Arsène Wenger calls for                                  to working with sportsmen from other fields. The former Real
football to get tough on corruption                                Sociedad president, Inaki Badiola, has said that before he
                                                                   took charge in 2008, the club had made covert payments for
• Frenchman says blood testing should be                           “medicines or products classified as doping” substances and
introduced                                                         that Fuentes “could have been” the supplier. His predecessor as
                                                                   president, José Luis Astiazarán, responded by saying: “I never
• Koscielny should be fit for Arsenal’s
                                                                   had knowledge or suspicion of illegal practices by the club’s
Sunderland trip                                                    medical services, who always worked to the maximum ethical
David Hytner                                                       and professional standards. If I had, I would have taken the
                                                                   necessary action.”
                                                                       “The Spanish doctor is in front of the justice just to see how
                                                                   he did doping,” Wenger said. “They are not interested at all in
                                                                   who he has doped. They have found pockets of blood but they
                                                                   don’t even ask to whom does that belong. The justice should go
                                                                   deeper. When you look at the functions of this doctor, it is quite
                                                                   scary. He was involved in the Olympic team, football team,
                                                                   cycling team.”
                                                                       Wenger has bitter experience of the impact of match-fixing
                                                                   from his time in charge at Monaco, when the club’s main
                                                                   rivals for the French championship, Marseille, were found
                                                                   guilty of corruption in 1993, gu.com/p/32yyd yet Europol’s
                                                                   announcement that they had suspicions about 380 matches
                                                                   across Europe shocked him.
Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger feels the game ‘does not do
                                                                       “For me, it’s a real tsunami,” Wenger said. “I was always a
enough’ to beat the cheats. Photograph: Eddie Keogh/Reuters
                                                                   believer that there’s a lot of cheating going on in our game and
Arsène Wenger has called for the introduction of blood             that we are not strong enough with what happens … not with
tests to combat doping cheats in football, as he voiced his        the doping, not with the corruption of referees, not with the
fears about the extent of corruption in the world game. The        match-fixing.
Arsenal manager likened the scale of the week’s match-fixing           “It’s time that we tackle this problem in a very serious way
revelations, which Europol are investigating, to a tsunami,        and that people who cheat are punished in a very severe way as
although he believes that English football has no problems in      well. You cannot accept that somebody works the whole week
this area or with regard to the bribery of match officials.        to spend his money to go to a game and he is cheated, because
   He is less clear about the issue of doping here and he wants    all is decided before he gets to the stand. But I don’t think at all
the greater transparency that blood tests would provide. At        that cheating or match-fixing is a problem in the English game.”
present, randomly selected players are merely required to              Wenger expects Laurent Koscielny to pass a fitness test for
give urine samples at the training ground or after matches.        Saturday’s visit to Sunderland, which would spare him a central
Wenger said that sport in general was “full of legends who         defensive headache, while he will omit the Ivory Coast winger
are in fact cheats”, with a nod towards the disgraced cyclist      Gervinho, after giving him a post-Africa Cup of Nations break.
Lance Armstrong. He wants football’s reputation to be beyond       The Ivory Coast were knocked out last Sunday.
reproach.                                                              Wenger rushed Gervinho back after last season’s Africa Cup
   “Honestly, I don’t think we do enough [on doping tests],”       of Nations and the player struggled for form. “I put him back
Wenger said. “It is very difficult for me to believe that you      in straight away and that was not a good decision,” Wenger
have 740 players at the World Cup and you come out with            admitted. “I told him before this competition that I would give
zero problems. Mathematically, that happens every time. But        him five days [off].”
statistically, even for social drugs, it looks like we would do
better to go deeper.




                                                                     *
   “I hope England is immune from doping but I don’t know.
When you have a doping control at Uefa [matches], they do
not take blood, they take only urine. I have asked many times
in Geneva [for that to be changed]. Sometimes, you have to
wait for two hours after the game, so blood could also be a lot      From Beirut to Big Brother, Murdoch to
quicker.                                                             Millionaire,
   “I hope we do not have a big problem with doping but we           discuss the hot topics in the media on
have to try to find out and see how deep we can go into control.
                                                                     not one, but two blogs Organ Grinder and
I would support blood testing. Uefa are ready to do it but it
poses some ethical problems because everyone has to accept
                                                                     Greenslade
that they will check the blood and not everybody is ready to do      blogs.guardian.co.uk/organgrinder/
that.”                                                               blogs.guardian.co.uk/greenslade/
   Wenger also spoke of his frustration at the ongoing trial in
Madrid of Dr Eufemiano Fuentes, who was allegedly at the
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                      guardian.co.uk
Page 3 G24 Sport                                                                 Friday February 8 2013               23:32 GMT


Sir Alex Ferguson fined £12,000 for                              Tottenham frustrated by Emmanuel
criticism of linesman Simon Beck                                 Adebayor’s late return from Africa

• Manchester United manager angry after                          • André Villas-Boas had expected striker
draw at Spurs                                                    back sooner
• ‘Comments implied match official was                           • Adebayor a doubt for home clash with
motivated by bias’                                               Newcastle
Press Association                                                David Hytner




Sir Alex Ferguson during Manchester United’s 1-1 draw at         Togo’s Emmanuel Adebayor in action against Burkina Faso.
Tottenham Hotspur, which led to £12,000 FA fine. Photograph:     The striker was initially due back in England on Thursday but
Tom Jenkins for the Guardian                                     was delayed. Photograph: Themba Hadebe/AP
Sir Alex Ferguson has been fined £12,000 after being found       Emmanuel Adebayor’s return from the Africa Cup of Nations
guilty of misconduct by the Football Association.                took a farcical twist on Friday when he was unable to make it
    The FA brought the charge following the Manchester United    back in time for Tottenham Hotspur’s training session at three
manager’s outspoken attack on the assistant referee Simon        o’clock, to leave him as a selection doubt for the Saturday
Beck gu.com/p/3d7pt following the 1-1 draw at Tottenham          lunchtime kick-off against Newcastle United at White Hart
Hotspur last month.                                              Lane.
    Ferguson appealed against the charge and requested a paper       André Villas-Boas, the Tottenham manager, was left
hearing. However, the verdict, which has been released by the    frustrated as Adebayor encountered problems with his flights
FA, has gone against the Scot.                                   from Africa, where he had remained since Togo’s elimination
    “Following an independent regulatory commission hearing      from the mid-season tournament by Burkina Faso on Sunday.
today, Sir Alex Ferguson has been fined £12,000 in relation      The striker had been granted three days off by Villas-Boas after
to media comments made after Manchester United’s game at         the defeat in the hope that he could return for training at 3pm
Tottenham Hotspur on 20 January 2013,” said an FA statement.     on Thursday. The schedule came to be readjusted but the player
    “It was alleged that the Manchester United manager’s post-   still could not make it.
match media comments implied that the match official was             He did touch down in London on Friday afternoon but not in
motivated by bias.                                               time for the session at the club’s base in Enfield, leaving Villas-
    “Ferguson had denied the misconduct charge and               Boas to decide whether to name him as a substitute for the visit
requested a paper hearing at which the independent regulatory    of Newcastle. Villas-Boas has kept his options open by including
commission found proven the breach of FA Rule E3.”               Adebayor in the 19-man matchday squad.
                                                                     Villas-Boas insisted on Thursday that he was “extremely
                                                                 calm over the situation”, but that was because he believed
                                                                 there ought to be no problem for a multi-millionaire footballer
                                                                 making a long-distance flight in the 21st century to arrive at




  *
                                                                 his destination on time. Villas-Boas made his comments at
                                                                 9am on Thursday but more than 24 hours later, his mood had
                                                                 understandably changed.
                                                                     The manager already knew that he would be without his
                                                                 other senior striker, Jermain Defoe, who has a worrying ankle
  Compare and buy
                                                                 ligament injury, and he had made it clear that he intended to
  Use our free independent comparison                            rely on Adebayor, even though he accepted he would “not be
  services to switch suppliers and save                          100%” after his exertions at the Africa Cup of Nations and the
  money on all your household bills.                             travel.
  guardian.co.uk/money/compareandbuy                                 “The player is fit,” Villas-Boas said. “If he is able to be ready
                                                                 physically, we will select him and he will be in contention for
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                     guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                    Friday February 8 2013             23:32 GMT

the team.”                                                             Cavendish, 27, who has few overall triumphs given that he is
   Clint Dempsey, who played for the United States in               an out-and-out sprinter, started his Omega Pharma career at the
Honduras on Wednesday, is expected to lead the line against         Tour of San Luis in Argentina with one stage victory and he has
Newcastle, with Villas-Boas’s selection for the role in behind      been showering his team-mates with praise all week in Qatar.
him likely to come down to a choice between the in-form                Cavendish was little more than a domestique in 2012 at
Gareth Bale and the new signing Lewis Holtby, who is in line for    Sky, who put all their efforts into securing a first British win at
his home debut.                                                     the Tour de France when Bradley Wiggins topped the podium
   Adebayor has endured a difficult season at White Hart            ahead of his compatriot, Chris Froome.
Lane, since his return on a permanent £5.5m transfer from
Manchester City last August. He scored 18 goals during his
season’s loan last time out but he has three in this campaign.      How Stuart Lancaster transformed
                                                                    England from flops into a force
Mark Cavendish wins Tour of Qatar after
                                                                    Unheralded coach has introduced a far more
sprint finish in final stage                                        sophisticated approach to England’s rugby
                                                                    than many yet appreciate
• British rider won sixth and final stage
                                                                    Robert Kitson
• Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider wins in
sprint finish
Agencies




                                                                    England coach Stuart Lancaster has turned the England set
                                                                    up around since taking over one year ago. Photograph: Paul
                                                                    Harding/Action Images
Mark Cavendish has won the Tour of Qatar. Photograph: Bryn          Here’s a question ahead of another gripping Six Nations
Lennon/Getty Images                                                 weekend: what do English rugby, Manchester United,
The former road race world champion Mark Cavendish won              Nottingham Forest and English basketball have in common?
his fourth-straight stage of the Tour of Qatar on Friday to wrap    And what does the answer have to do with something called
up a rare overall victory in his second race for the Belgian team   a sigmoid curve? Or the San Francisco 49ers? Welcome to the
Omega Pharma-Quick Step.                                            hidden detail of Stuart Lancaster’s England regime, a far more
    The 2011 world champion, who has 23 Tour de France stage        sophisticated operation than many appreciate.
wins to his name, clinched another sprint finish in the sixth and       Even now, a year into his tenure and with England playing
final stage in the Qatar capital to show he is enjoying life with   their most positive rugby for a decade or more, Lancaster is still
his new team, having left Team Sky last year.                       perceived in some quarters as a PE teacher who got lucky. Few
    The British rider beat Belarus’s Yauheni Hutarovich and         have stopped to examine precisely how the modest Cumbrian
Barry Markus of the Netherlands in the sprint that concluded        has prompted such a sea-change in attitudes – both inside
the 116km (72 miles) stage from Sealine Beach to Doha.              and outside the dressing-room – from a virtual standing start.
    Cavendish beat Brent Bookwalter, who came second, by 25         New Zealand have been beaten by a record margin, Scotland
seconds in the general classification. Adam Blythe, another         impressively dispatched, 18 new players have been blooded.
British rider, finished fourth, 30 seconds behind the winner.           “What he’s done in the last year is remarkable,” says Kevin
    “I’m over the moon,” Cavendish said. “We come here every        Bowring, the Rugby Football Union’s head of elite coach
year almost guaranteed an overall victory with Tom Boonen,          development. Win or lose in Dublin this weekend – and nothing
but he’s recovering from an injury. So it put a little bit of       is remotely guaranteed – England already have their self-respect
pressure on me and I was a bit nervous.                             back. A long-term plan is evident, too; by common consent.
    “But I’m really happy to get the win. The guys worked           None of this has unfolded by accident.
incredible here. They really looked after me so well here and           The story should probably start at a coaching conference
delivered every single day. I am so happy and proud I can bring     in the summer of 2005. Lancaster, newly appointed as
it home again for the team.                                         director of rugby at Leeds, was invited as one of England’s
    “We’ve won the Tour of Qatar six times, and I don’t know        six representatives to a get-together for all the Six Nations
how many stages, so I am happy to be a part of that.”               countries. Bill Beswick, the sports psychologist who is a long-

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                      guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                      Friday February 8 2013             23:32 GMT

time confidant of the former England football coach Steve                  Sitting in a hotel on the outskirts of Bristol, Bowring offers
McLaren, was chairing the session. Lancaster remembers it as a         further thought-provoking insight. The former Wales national
formative experience, even though Beswick was better known             coach dislikes the word “mentor” – he prefers “thinking
in football circles (he has worked at United, Forest and Derby         partner” while Lancaster opts for “sounding board”– but he
County) than oval-shaped ones.                                         has been encouraging better coaching practice within English
    “He asked questions about people’s coaching philosophies.          rugby since 2002. “The RFU were the first sport to say: ‘How do
I subsequently volunteered to talk about what I believed in            we make our best coaches better?’ When you become national
– in front of the coaches. At that point Bill was working with         coach everyone thinks you know everything, but sustaining a
England football but we started chatting and I’d go and see him        career in elite coaching is about constantly renewing yourself.
maybe three times a year.”                                             Sir Alex Ferguson renews himself with a new assistant coach
    Fast forward a few years and Beswick, who was head coach           every five years and refreshes his team with a couple of players
of the England men’s basketball team that won the 1982                 virtually every season.”
Commonwealth Championship, is now one of two influential                   This, it emerges, is the principle of the sigmoid curve, where
advisers to Lancaster, along with Bowring.                             you make changes before things start to decline rather than
    “Those are the two people who would know me most,”                 when it is too late, as English rugby has too often done. “There’s
admits Lancaster, who has seen them more than his wife, Nina,          never an occasion where a team gets so old it drops off its perch
over the past fortnight.                                               and you have to start again,” says Bowring. “The time to change
    Beswick, without public fanfare, visits the camp twice a           is at the top of the curve. Doing the same thing repeatedly
week and Lancaster has long enjoyed talking through problems           doesn’t get the same results. Peter Moores wins the county
and possible solutions with him, not least in terms of the vast        cricket championship with Lancashire, does the same things
difference between club and international coaching. “We’d              again the following season and gets relegated. You have to stay
talk about what I was up to and what challenges had presented          open to learning.”
themselves. He’d give me some ideas about what to do or just               Bowring does not find everyone receptive – “What I’ve
have a chat about what makes high-performing teams. These              learnt in my job is that you can lead a horse to water but you
days he’s got a relationship with a few of the management and          can’t make them drink” – but the 43-year-old Lancaster has an
will also give some of the players support if they need it.”           unquenchable thirst. The book The Score Takes Care of Itself by
    So far, so normal. Alongside their own-brand structures,           Bill Walsh, the famous San Francisco 49ers coach, is a particular
past England coaches have all had their gurus, mentors and             favourite and his teaching background also helps whether he
muses: Sir Clive Woodward, who was in charge the last time             is coaching, leading or managing – the three cornerstones of
England won in Dublin in 2003, had Humphrey Walters, while             elite sport decision-making. “The modern coach needs to be a
an Australian named Gerard Murphy was attached to Martin               relationship manager,” Bowring says. “The modern player is
Johnson’s setup. But Lancaster’s relationship with Beswick is          different; his self-esteem is up one moment, down the next.
different. This is a more modern, go-ahead England setup than          It’s a challenge to get the best out of him. Stuart is terrific
people, as yet, appreciate. Once Matt Parker, formerly British         with his staff and his players. He has a one-on-one meeting
cycling’s head of marginal gains – who has recently been hired         with every player at the start of every camp. They each take 15
to be another of Lancaster’s go-to men – gets his bike-clips fully     minutes minimum for all 32 players. His work ethic is voracious.
under the table it will become even more evident.                      Sometimes we have to tell him to go back and see the family.
    To a greater extent than most other coaches, Lancaster             Sometimes these guys still need to refresh their batteries.”
believes that a culture of self-improvement should apply                   Lancaster could certainly never be accused of sloth. To
as much to him as to his players. His regular brainstorming            him a busy man is a far more effective operator. It is also about
sessions with cycling’s Dave Brailsford and other sporting             ensuring a consistency and clarity of message, rather than
experts are not window-dressing but genuine attempts to                myriad different voices. “People have said: ‘You need a team
broaden his mind for the betterment of his squad. Mike                 manager,’” he says, faintly mystified. “Because of the way I
Catt, England’s skills coach, speaks of a constant quest for           operate I’ve never understood why that would be necessary.
improvement. “We spend a hell of a lot of time together                I’ve always been the coordinator of the schedule as well as the
watching copious amounts of rugby. While we’re doing it, ideas         coach and whatever else. There’s a minimum number you need
will get thrown in and we’ll debate it. But if we try out an idea in   to have to make sure you give the players what they deserve
training and the players don’t like it then it’ll be dropped. The      in terms of a professional environment. But I wouldn’t want to
players drive it all. That’s the relationship Stuart and we have       grow it any more than it is now.
with them at the moment. There’s a massive amount of trust.”               “Fundamentally my belief is that the culture is set by
    The outside speakers brought in to address the squad,              the head coach. It’s important for a head coach to feel
including Andrew Strauss and Bradley Wiggins, also encourage           supported and have people to go to, but the high-performance
a broader perspective. “The nature of the job means you’ve got         environments which have won consistently have all been
to rely on your own gut instincts and personal beliefs when you        driven by the head coach, rather than anyone else. If you
make decisions as the England coach,” Lancaster stresses. “But         subcontract someone to operate your culture, it’s going to break
often it’s good to sit down at the end of a series or tournament       down fundamentally. It becomes hard to control the message
and reflect on how I handled this or that. It’s not a case of:         if you’ve got too many people there hanging around.”
‘Right, something’s happened, I need to ring someone up for                For some tastes this may all sound a little too corporate or
some advice.’ Generally I trust my instincts and judgment, but         business school. If it were not allied to good selection, decent
in between camps is a good time to share ideas with coaches            players, sharp instincts, smart man-management and the
from other sports and plan for the next campaign.”                     competitive edge of a former back-row forward who became

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                        guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                      Friday February 8 2013             23:32 GMT

the first person to play more than 100 times for Leeds, it would      battle.
certainly be harder to sell. There can be no disputing, however,          England, having played so fluently against Scotland, also
the transformation in English rugby’s self-image. “To change          know a different type of game looms. Assuming the Irish
the reputational damage after the World Cup, to invest in             forwards still have any energy left after their sapping second
young players … he’s done a terrific job player-wise and team-        half in Cardiff, they will tear into the visitors at the breakdown
wise,” says Bowring. “Simplicity, clarity, media, sponsors,           in a way the Scots could not do at Twickenham. If Stuart
relationships, clarity of direction, vision … he has addressed        Lancaster’s side win even half the amount of quick ball they
them all.”                                                            obtained last week they will be doing well.
   The big question, of course, is what will happen next. Time            In a game of limited opportunities, too, there is no one better
will tell, but those close to Lancaster are optimistic that, this     than Brian O’Driscoll. Billy Twelvetrees, retained at inside-
time, England are getting it right. “I think Stuart feels there       centre with Manu Tuilagi on the bench, was an open-mouthed
is massive scope for improvement with the team and the                kid when the Irish centre scored his brilliant try for the Lions in
management,” Bowring says. “I also think he is gaining self-          the first Test against Australia and is having to remind himself
belief and confidence that he can do the job. You don’t know          not to be star-struck. “You always want to model yourself
until you go in there, do you? Things are always challenged by        on the best players in the world and he’s one of them,” the
media pundits but in the end you have to have the faith to go         Gloucester centre said. “He’s a star in his own right but we can’t
in a certain direction in the belief it’s the best for everyone. He   get caught up in that. There are threats everywhere.”
may have a dip but the trend is moving in the right direction.            Twelvetrees and his centre partner, Brad Barritt, will have
That’s down to his future planning, his vision, his leadership,       to be on their defensive mettle in the first 20 minutes, the most
his understanding and belief in the process and the players.”         dangerous stage of the game as far as England are concerned. As
   There is more to England’s re-emergence under Lancaster            the Springboks underlined in Johannesburg last June, there is
than close-cropped, old-school northern grit.                         no lonelier place in sport than an international rugby stadium
                                                                      with the home side 20 points up inside half an hour.
                                                                          “Ireland are a very good side and we’ve got to be wary of
England hoping their Sunday best will                                 them but we’ll concentrate on sticking together as a team,”
be good enough against Ireland                                        pledged Twelvetrees.
                                                                          “You can’t be too naive and go in thinking it’s going to be
                                                                      easy. It’s a Six Nations game and the winner takes all. I’m
The English have regularly seen off Six                               looking forward to the challenge.”
Nations opponents on the sabbath and their                                Other English concerns will be the quality of the home back
supporters pray they maintain that habit                              row and the ability of Jonny Sexton to ask searching questions
                                                                      with his kicking out of hand. Declan Kidney’s side have become
Robert Kitson
                                                                      synonymous with the choke-tackle, the dark art of keeping the
                                                                      tackled player up off the ground, but a load of high balls are
                                                                      also certain to rain down on Chris Ashton, in particular. If Rob
                                                                      Kearney, perhaps the best aerial regatherer in the world, is in
                                                                      the vicinity, Irish fans will make even more noise.
                                                                          On the flip side England’s team spirit is excellent and there
                                                                      will be none of the complacency that crept in two years ago.
                                                                      Among the reasons why Tuilagi has been restricted to the bench
                                                                      is that Lancaster wants no one to feel they have a starting place
                                                                      by divine right. He is also demanding England strike the correct
                                                                      balance between emotion and clear-headed discipline. “If
                                                                      you’re not up for it enough it’s all over,” he mused. “If you’re
                                                                      too up for it, it’s all over too.”
                                                                          If England are level or ahead with�15 minutes left, they will
England’s Billy Twelvetrees is having to remind himself not           win. If not, it�will spell a decade of disappointment in�Dublin.
to be star-struck about playing against Irish centre Brian
O’Driscoll. Photograph: Paul Harding/Action Images
Sunday trading often works out well for England. Over the past        Women’s World Cup: England hopes
decade the English have regularly seen off their Six Nations          hanging by thread after Australia loss
opponents on the sabbath and their supporters will pray they
maintain that habit this weekend. The alternative is to slip back
                                                                      • Australia 147; England 145
into the suffocating coils of recent history in Dublin, where
England have not managed a tournament victory since 2003.
                                                                      • Australia win by two runs
   That grand slam winning triumph in which Ireland                   Andy Wilson
were brushed aside 42-6 has never come remotely close to
                                                                      England squandered control over their World Cup destiny with
being repeated, and this clash of two unbeaten sides will be
                                                                      a slapdash batting display in Mumbai that was so nearly rescued
significantly tighter. Apart from the injured Ben Morgan, both
                                                                      by a defiant last-wicket stand. Holly Colvin and Anya Shrubsole
coaches have stuck with the starting XVs they fielded on the
                                                                      came together with an unlikely 34 still required but followed
opening weekend, a sure sign they anticipate a heavy-duty
                                                                      their excellent bowling performances with enough shrewd
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                        guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                   Friday February 8 2013             23:32 GMT

shots to move to the brink of a first World Cup win against
Australia for 20 years.
    However, Colvin’s dismissal, caught behind cutting at Erin
                                                                    Channel 4 wins television rights to
Osborne’s off-spin, left England needing a perfect storm of         cover two more Paralympics
results from the remaining six matches in the Super Six if they
are to earn another crack at Australia in next Sunday’s final.      • Contract is reward for acclaimed London
    They carried only two points through from the qualifying        2012 coverage
group as a result of their shock opening defeat by Sri Lanka,
                                                                    • Broadcaster will show Rio 2016 and 2014
meaning that even victories over South Africa and New Zealand
in their remaining Super Six matches would leave them with
                                                                    Winter Paralympics
six points. Australia already have that many, meaning they          Press Association
now seem certain to reach the final, and New Zealand and West
Indies have four after winning their opening Super Six fixtures
against Sri Lanka and South Africa respectively.
    What is certain is that if England fail to beat either South
Africa in Cuttack on Sunday, or New Zealand back in Mumbai
next Wednesday, they will be out. That would represent
a second successive crushing disappointment in a major
tournament, after their defeat by Australia in the final of the
World Twenty20 in Colombo last September.
    Charlotte Edwards, their long-serving captain, is not yet
prepared to concede defeat. “The way this tournament works
we’ve got to forget this now and move on to win our next two
games,” she said. “We are disappointed, to get so close and not
be able to get over the line. But the reason we lost this game is
                                                                    Channel 4’s coverage of Oscar Pistorius winning gold in the
poor shots and a couple of bad decisions which really cost us.”
                                                                    men’s 400-m T44 final at the 2012 Paralympics attracted 4.2
    Edwards was the victim of one of those decisions, adjudged
                                                                    milion viewers. Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP
lbw to a big inswinger that would clearly have missed leg
stump. That may have started the rot in England’s innings, but      Channel 4 has been rewarded for its acclaimed coverage of the
provided no excuse for the succession of tame dismissals that       London 2012 Paralympics by being granted the UK television
followed.                                                           rights to the Rio 2016 Paralympics and the Sochi Winter
    Sarah Taylor, after the first golden duck of her career in      Paralympics in 2014.
England’s game against West Indies, lasted one delivery longer         As part of the deal – the first two-Games TV deal agreed
here – and that was a wide – before chasing an outswinging half-    by the International Paralympic Committee – Channel 4 has
volley and edging to slip. Danni Wyatt and Arran Brindle were       committed to broadcasting more than 45 hours of coverage
equally culpable, and when Jenny Gunn was yorked by Holly           from the Sochi Games, and 500 hours from Rio.
Ferling – a tall Queensland seamer who turned 17 in December           The IPC president Sir Philip Craven said: “With London 2012,
– England were on the brink at 39 for six.                          Channel 4 created a blueprint for how a commercial broadcaster
    Laura Marsh then joined Lydia Greenway to rebuild the           can raise the profile of Paralympic sport and its athletes to
innings with admirable patience and restraint. They put on 57 in    new levels. They reached record audiences, in particular of
26 overs before Marsh received the second dodgy lbw decision        young people, identified and developed some fantastic new
of the day, with the ball again shown by replays to be sliding      presenting talent, and played a significant role in delivering
down the leg-side – although the all-rounder from Kent had          seismic shifts in attitudes and perceptions towards people with
seemed lucky to survive a much better lbw appeal early in her       an impairment in the UK.”
innings.                                                               Channel 4’s audience during the London 2012 Paralympics
    When Greenway was dismissed for an admirable 49 on              peaked at 4.2 million for Oscar Pistorius’s gold medal in the T44
her 100th ODI appearance, and Katherine Brunt fell from the         400m and retained a regular peak-time audience of more than
first ball of the next over, England were surely doomed at 114      two million.
for nine. But Shrubsole again proved herself an unusually              The popular The Last Leg programme featuring Adam Hills,
accomplished No 11 in a valiant attempt to salvage a game that      Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker, which also attracted more
the Somerset seamer must have thought was won when she              than one million views for its end-of-Games hour-long special,
took three early wickets as Australia slumped to 32 for five.       will return for Sochi and Rio.
    Perhaps England allowed Australia off the hook slightly from       Channel 4 will cover a number of major international para-
there, although Sarah Coyte and the India-born veteran Lisa         sport events in the buildup to the Games, including the IPC
Sthalekar deserved credit for sharing a sensible sixth-wicket       world athletics championships in Lyon, and the IPC swimming
stand of 82. Sthalekar, a 33-year-old who was adopted from an       world championships in Montreal.
orphanage in Pune as an infant by parents who went on to settle
in Sydney, later took one for 19 from 10 overs with her off-spin.




guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                     guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                               Friday February 8 2013             23:32 GMT


Mark Cueto breaks Premiership try                               Wigan and Warrington share spoils after
record in Sale’s win over Exeter                                early-season thriller

• Sale 21-16 Exeter                                             Wigan 17-17 Warrington
• Mark Cueto scores his 76th Premiership                        Andy Wilson at the DW Stadium
try
Press Association




                                                                Warrington’s Ryan Atkins bursts in between Wigan’s Matty
                                                                Smith, right, and Jack Hughes in their Super League clash.
Sale’s Mark Cueto scores a try against Exeter to break Steve    Photograph: Carl Recine/Action Images
Hanley’s Premiership try-scoring record. Photograph: Paul       The first heavyweight contest of the Super League season
Currie/Action Images                                            comfortably lived up to its billing but ended in stalemate as
Mark Cueto broke former team-mate Steve Hanley’s                Matty Smith and Lee Briers exchanged drop goals in the last
Premiership try-scoring record as Sale staged a superb          eight minutes.
comeback to defeat Exeter at the Salford City Stadium.              These two fierce local rivals slugged it out as though
   The 33-year-old Cueto, who has won 55 caps for England,      they were contesting a cup final rather than a comparatively
touched down for his 76th domestic try in the second half.      inconsequential early-season match, with an intriguing contrast
   Sale are scrapping for their Premiership survival and were   between the greater pedigree of the Wolves and a youthful
outplayed in the opening period as Exeter dominated. A try      Wigan team including 11 products of the academy ranks.
from Watisoni Votu and eight points from the boot of Gareth         Ultimately they could not be separated, with Smith nudging
Steenson eased them into a 13-5 half-time lead.                 Wigan ahead in the 72nd minute only for the wily old schemer
   A try from Dan Braid gave Sale hope but Steenson extended    Briers to bring Warrington level with little more than three
the advantage early in the second half. But the home team       minutes remaining, his wobbly kick deflecting over off the left-
fought back and Cueto went over before Rob Miller kicked a      hand upright.
penalty. Sale gained a vital victory through Danny Cipriani’s       Smith, a scrum-half who started his sporting career on
three-pointer and Nick Macleod’s drop-goal.                     Everton’s books with Wayne Rooney and who has played for
                                                                St Helens and Salford, played for most of the match with a
                                                                deep gash in his head that needed seven stitches at half-time.
                                                                “Matty’s being stitched in there again now,” said Wigan’s coach,
                                                                Shaun Wane. “That’s why I like him. He’s tough and he doesn’t
                                                                mind taking on the line even if it means getting belted every




  *
                                                                now and then. He’s my sort of half-back.”
                                                                    The Warrington scrum-half Richie Myler also made a notable
                                                                contribution with a glorious individual try that nudged the
                                                                Wolves 16-12 ahead early in the second half, stepping twice off
                                                                his left foot – first to break through the Wigan defence and then
  Fantasy League Classic                                        to leave Sam Tomkins grasping at air. “He’s adding things to his
  Manage a squad of 16 players and                              game all the time and it’s good to see him with the confidence
  a budget of £75 million. £75,000                              to take on the line,” said the Wolves coach, Tony Smith,
                                                                who was happier with the intensity than the quality of the
  worth of prizes to be won in weekly,                          performance – although he has always been a perfectionist.
  monthly and overall competitions.                                 Rarely can Wigan have started their first home match of
  Beat your nearest and dearest in a                            a season as outsiders, but with three first-choice forwards
                                                                missing and a lack of high-profile signings to replace a string
  friends league.
                                                                of senior departures, there was a callow look to their team.
  guardian.co.uk/fantasyleague                                  In contrast Warrington have stuck with the squad who
                                                                reached, and lost, the club’s first Super League Grand Final last
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                 guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                  Friday February 8 2013              23:32 GMT

October, and they made an ominously efficient start, with Joel
Monaghan catching Pat Richards out of position to squeeze in at
the right corner.
                                                                   Ireland’s Jonathan Sexton and
   Wigan’s young pack were admirably unaffected by that            England’s Owen Farrell in No10 duel
early setback, and laid the platform for two tries inside seven
minutes, the first finished in the right corner by Josh Charnley   Fly-halves in battle to be top dog on Lions
after Darrell Goulding’s excellent pass under pressure, and the    tour to Australia this summer as Dublin
second a powerful effort from Ben Flower, one of two Welsh
                                                                   stages potential Six Nations decider
forwards in their 17.
   A fascinating, fluctuating game then swung in Warrington’s      Andy Bull
favour either side of half-time, as Brett Hodgson put Monaghan
over for his second try before Myler scored his sparkler. Wigan
pulled level again at 16-16 when Blake Green, an Australian
stand-off who has joined them from Hull KR, threw a lovely
dummy then sent the supporting Liam Farrell over.
   But Richards sliced a conversion attempt, that was
straightforward by the standards he has set in recent years, and
the scores stayed level for 21 minutes, with Warrington twice
choosing to tap kickable penalties only to be thwarted on each
occasion by the quality and commitment of Wigan’s defence.
   The night’s other match between Hull and Bradford was
postponed until Sunday afternoon because of a serious accident
on the M62. Bradford’s team bus eventually made it to the KC
Stadium, and for a while the game was due to kick off at 9.15pm,
                                                                   Ireland’s fly-half Jonathan Sexton is rated one of ‘the top
but several Hull players who are based in West Yorkshire
                                                                   three in the world’ by England head coach Stuart Lancaster.
remained stranded, as well as hundreds of Bulls supporters.
                                                                   Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
   Wigan Tomkins; Charnley, Goulding, Thornley, Richards;
Green,                                                             Sometimes it takes on old hand to give an honest answer. Most
   Smith; Dudson, McIlorum, Mossop, Hughes, Farrell,               players, trained as they are to talk in platitudes, prefer to play
O’Loughlin.                                                        down speculation about the Lions while they are still in the
   Interchange Flower, Taylor, Powell, Burke.                      thick of the Six Nations, insisting that the next match is the only
   Warrington Hodgson; Riley, Evans, Atkins, J Monaghan;           thing on their minds. Brian O’Driscoll is not one of them. He
Briers,                                                            said “it’s impossible” not to think about the Lions, just because
   Myler; Morley, M Monaghan, Hill, Waterhouse, Westwood,          there is “so much chat, so many column inches” being written
Grix.                                                              about the tour. And there is going to be plenty more in the days
   Interchange Carvell, Cooper, Higham, Ratchford.                 ahead, with the two men who most reckon will be contesting
   Referee P Bentham (Warrington)                                  the Lions’ No10 shirt going head-to-head against each other on
                                                                   Sunday.
                                                                        Right now, Jonathan Sexton would be most people’s pick.
                                                                   Even England’s head coach, Stuart Lancaster, singled him out
                                                                   as “the best in Europe”, and one of the “top three in the world”
                                                                   when he was asked to give his opinion of Ireland’s fly-half on
                                                                   Friday. And Owen Farrell has been similarly complimentary:
                                                                   “Sexton is an outstanding player,” he said after England’s win




  *
                                                                   against Scotland. “His controlling of a game is really good.
                                                                   He does a lot of little things that other people don’t do. I’ve
                                                                   watched him for a while now. You can take a lot from him. He
                                                                   has a lot of experience of big games and knows exactly what he
                                                                   is doing. That is where you want to be.”
                                                                        Sean O’Brien, who plays alongside Sexton for Leinster and
  Are you getting the best deal on                                 Ireland, describes him as a “crank” with has an unforgiving
                                                                   perfectionist streak. “He keeps everyone on their toes. He keeps
  your mortgage?                                                   his own standards high and he expects the same from everyone
  Compare over 8500 mortgages                                      else.”

  online to find the best deal for                                      Sexton, 27, was not always so demanding. He spent a long
                                                                   time in the shadow cast by Ronan O’Gara. “I found it hard when
  you.                                                             I first came in because Ronan had been the fly-half in that team

  guardian.co.uk/money/                                            for 10 years,” he said. “And I wasn’t sure whether the guys
                                                                   would listen to me in the same way they’d listened to him.”
  compareandbuy                                                    But in the last 18 months, according to O’Brien, he has begun to
                                                                   blossom. “He’s certainly grown into a leader as well, within this
                                                                   set-up, and within our provincial set-up. He doesn’t speak too
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                     guardian.co.uk
Page 10 G24 Sport                                                                      Friday February 8 2013            23:32 GMT

often, because he is more of an action man. But when he does
speak people listen. He’s become a massive cog in the wheel
here, one of the key players in the team.”
                                                                        Snowstorm delays Boston Bruins
    O’Driscoll says that Ireland have turned into a “very different     hockey and national sledding race
team” in that same period of time. “I’d like to think we are in a
better place from an understanding point of view and an attack          • Sports schedules hit by massive snowfall
game point of view,” he said. Sexton has been instrumental in           in eastern US
that, starting every game the team have played since the 2011
                                                                        • Follow the Guardian’s live storm coverage
World Cup. At the start of the tournament he announced that it
was “up to people like me to take charge of the team”, and told
                                                                        here
the younger players that they had to “take charge of the side”.         Associated Press
He has started talking, and acting, like a man who reckons he
is worth every cent of the €750,000 (£635,000) a year he has
reportedly been offered by Racing Métro, a deal which will
make him the highest-paid Irish player in history.
    Before Sexton turns to all that, he is hellbent on playing
for the Lions too. Earlier this season he said he had become
so obsessed with the idea that it was distracting him from the
game in hand. He has long-since worn out his VHS copy of
Living with the Lions, the documentary made about the 1997
series against South Africa. “I must have watched that about
a hundred times.” The Lions tour this summer “is something
I desperately want to go on. People say it’s the pinnacle – and
it is. But every player will have that as a goal. It is going to be a
tough thing to do, to get on that tour.”
                                                                        Snow falls in Boston. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images
    With several candidates for the No10 spot having fallen away
– Toby Flood has been overtaken by Farrell in the England set-          A delayed start to a NHL game between the Boston Bruins and
up while Rhys Priestland, the Wales fly-half is out for the rest        Tampa Bay Lightning was among a flurry of changes to the
of the season after snapping his achilles tendon – Farrell is one       weekend’s sporting schedule as the northeastern United States
of those remaining who is standing in his way. “Owen is a class         braced for a major blizzard on Friday. The game, originally
player,” says O’Brien. “It’ll be a good battle between the two of       scheduled for 1pm ET on Saturday, will now start at 7pm, the
them.” O’Brien thinks that if Sexton has an edge, it’s because          Bruins and National Hockey League said in a statement.
his experience means that “he’s adaptable and he’s learned to               The Boston area is expected to be one of the hardest hit by
play all sorts of different types of games. But that’s not to take      the weather, with some meteorologists forecasting 24in to 30in
anything away from Farrell.”                                            of snow by the time the storm ends on Saturday morning. From
    Far from it. The fly-half has been so central to England’s          New York to Maine officials have urged residents to stay home,
high-tempo approach in their last two wins against New                  rather than risk getting stuck in deep drifts when the storm
Zealand and Scotland that the Ireland squad have been paying            kicks up later on Friday.
him especially close attention when they pick over the footage              The NHL’s New Jersey Devils currently have a 1 pm ET game
of the two performances. “The first thing is that he is obviously       schedule for Saturday, against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
a very good goal-kicker, very consistent, so we can’t give away             Organizers of the country’s championship sledding race,
silly penalties in stupid areas of the field,” O’Brien said. “Our       which was scheduled to get begin in Camden, Maine, on
discipline is going to have to be spot on, first and foremost.”         Saturday, postponed the event by one day. Horse racing in New
    O’Brien plans to stop Farrell getting as “much space to work        York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania was also canceled while a
in” as he had against Scotland last weekend but he and his two          slew of collegiate events in the affected areas were postponed.
fellow back-rowers Jamie Heaslip and Peter O’Mahoney are                    With the worst of the storm yet to come, the governors
wary about getting suckered into a “manhunt” for England’s              of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut declared
fly-half.                                                               states of emergency and issued bans on driving by early Friday
    Do that and it creates gaps for Billy Twelvetrees and               afternoon. Mario Cuomo, the governor of New York state, later
England’s other backs to work in. “If we start going after him          followed suit gu.com/p/3dk6p .
then holes will open up around him and he’ll know that just as




                                                                          *
well as we do.”
    England will have been doing just as much planning and
preparation to deal with Sexton. It is going to be an absorbing
duel and there could not be much more at stake for the winner.
                                                                          Follow the ups and downs of the housing
                                                                          market
                                                                          and get details of the latest mortgage
                                                                          deals in our Property section.
                                                                          guardian.co.uk/money
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                       guardian.co.uk

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:0
posted:2/8/2013
language:
pages:10