Monthly Archives: October 2013

2013 Rugby League World Cup Overview

RLWC

By Justin Davies ( @DragonPunk12 )

It might have snuck under the radar for those who aren’t ardent rugby league fans but there is a world cup on currently and you know what it has been quite fun. Both group A amd B have completed their first round fixtures.

While there has been the status quo with Australia and New Zealand starting off with victories but looking at these victories on surface value belies the effort of both England and Samoa who pushed both sides to their limits.

If you are looking for enjoyment in the world cup through the bigger nations you will be disappointed although there is tremendous skill from the likes of Thurston and Sonny Bill Williams – there is a sense of inevitability about watching Australia/England and New Zealand compete to see who between them will contest the final.

That is why during world cups the early rounds hold such charm and intrigue for fans because you get moments like Papua New Guinea getting within a penalty goal of France or Samoa bringing the Warrington crowd to their feet during the second half against the reigning champions.

Yes these sides are composed of NRL and ESL players who take advantage of the eligibility rules that are lackadaisical to be kind. I’ll leave discussing the madness and absurd nature of these rules for another article though.

These rules don’t take away the pride and honour these players have representing smaller nations – the whole Fijian side this morning was singing their national anthem with gusto alongside their hymn circle that followed before getting their campaign off to a win against Ireland.

Rugby league is often accused of being short-sighted with how they go about things like eligibility rules but the the organisers have got the format of the 2013 edition of the world cup right. They have struck that balance so can’t have that accusation thrown at them. Three teams will progress from both group A and B alongside the two winners of group C and D.

This format allows the lower seeds in group A and B to compete and not be disheartened by thrashings they may incur from Australia, England and New Zealand. Group C and D aren’t given a participation sticker rather get a chance to make the semi-finals.

2013 has been a year of turmoil for rugby league – both in Australia and abroad so the world cup will hopefully be a positive note to sign off on with some entertaining rugby league thrown into the mix.

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Sebastian Vettel Triumphs And Becomes Four-Time World Champion

Sebastian Vettel

By Karen Touma ( @KarenTouma )

Sebastian Vettel joins Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher to become Formula One’s youngest four-time champion after an outstanding win on Sunday at the Indian Grand Prix.

The German pitted early to change his soft tyres but managed to scream past the field to cross the line 29.8 seconds in front of Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg and Romain Grosjean in the Lotus third.

‘‘Unbelievable day…‘We did it! Yes! Yes!’’ Vettel said over the team radio.

‘‘You’ve done it in style…‘Brilliant drive – you join the greats.’’ Red Bull team principal Christian Horner responded back.

Vettel celebrated in true style adding some tyre smoke to the already thick smog hanging over the circuit, spinning the car and putting on a show of ‘donuts’ for the fans. He then got out and stood up on the car before crouching to kiss the front in a gesture of worship. He threw his gloves into the grandstand before embracing Horner and designer Adrian Newey.

‘‘First of all I want to thank the crowd for an unbelievable reception. I am speechless. I spent ages thinking what to say; there is so much you want to say at a time like that.

‘‘It is a pleasure to jump in the car and go out and drive for the guys and give it all I have. The car was phenomenal today and has been phenomenal all season, to be honest.

‘‘I want to say a big thank you to everyone who is behind the team. It has not been an easy season. From the outside, people will think it was easy but it wasn’t.’’

Vettel was appreciative of the support and applause from the Indian crowd particularly after being heckled at his wins in Belgium, Italy and Singapore.

‘‘It has been hard for me in particular. To be booed when I have not done anything wrong was hard, but I think I answered the things on the track which I am very pleased about.

‘‘I am overwhelmed, I don’t know what to say but it is the best day of my life so far.’’

Despite Mark Webber’s shock retirement due to an issue with the alternator, Red Bull also won their fourth consecutive the Constructors’ title.

‘‘Disappointing, but there’s not much I can do,’’ Webber said. ‘‘There was something wrong with the car, so we had to stop straight away.’’

“I still have a smile on my face, there’s nothing more I could do today,”

Fernando Alonso was the the only man who could put Vettel’s celebrations on hold needing to finish in the top two but all hopes disappeared at the start when he made contact with the rear of Webber’s Red Bull and then also made contact with Jenson Button’s McLaren.

The Spaniard, had to pit for a new front wing but re-joined the race in 20th place and finished out of point contention in 11th.

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa finished fourth and Sergio Perez picked up his best result of the season finishing in fifth in the McLaren.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton was sixth with Kimi Raikkonen in seventh, who struggled  with overheating brakes for much of the race. Both Paul Di Resta and Adrian Sutil were eighth and ninth for Force India.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo, handed Toro Rosso the final point.

CIMB CLASSIC 2013/14 PREVIEW

 

By Michael McGill ( @MickSportsNews )

Capture

The action this week heads to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the fourth edition of the CIMB Classic. This years tournament is being played on the West Course at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

This is the first time the course has hosted the event as the last three years it has been played at The Mines Resort and Golf Club.

Nestled amongst a wonderful hilltop setting of lush greenery and gently undulating hills the course is a Par 72, measuring 6,951 yards. The Purse this week is US$7 million with the winner taking home US$1.3 million.

There is a field of 78 players teeing it up this week with no cut this week which will allow you to watch your favourite golfer for the full 4 days. Expect to see low scoring with players enjoying the surroundings. Putting on the greens should not cause to many issues as they will be nice and moist due to the constant humidity that can be expected in Malaysia. This will allow for aggressive play when going for the green.

The Top 5 in betting this week are: 9/1 Phil Mickelson, 12/1 Sergio Garcia, 16/1 Keegan Bradley, 16/1 Hideki Matsuyama and 22/1 Nick Watney.

Also in the field this week are Americans Jimmy Walker, Ryan Moore, Bill Haas and Bo Van Pelt. The internationals are well represented this week with players such as Matt Jones, David Lynn, Shiv Kapur, Martin Laird and Tim Clark teeing it up.

The two players to follow this week are:

Brendon De Jonge 40/1

The big man is ready show the goods this week. He had a very encouraging 2013 season on the PGA Tour making 25 cuts from 30 starts.

Brendon managed thirteen Top 25’s and four Top 10’s. What I like about him is the way he finished the season off. In his last four tournaments he posted results of T19th The Barclays, T9th Deutsche Bank Championship, T18th BMW Championship and T18th Tour Championship.

It is also worth noting that he finished T4th at the CIMB Classic last year on -19, just 3 shots from the winner Nick Watney, so we knock he likes playing in Malaysia.

There is another stat to look at thanks to Rob Bolton from pgatour.com pointing out that the greens at Kuala Lumpur Golf Course are seashore paspalum. These are the same greens as the Puerto Rico Open. When you look at De Jonge’s results there he was T14th in 2013 and T5th in 2012.

Stats wise on the PGA Tour in 2013 Brendon was ranked 29th in driving accuracy, 10th in greens in regulation, 26th in scoring average. 11th in ball striking and 16th in scrambling.

Expect to see him enjoying the conditions this week.

Matt Jones 66/1

This will be Matt’s first start at the CIMB Classic. The Aussie had a good 2013 season the PGA Tour. 24 starts for 18 made cuts. He managed nine Top 25’s and five Top 10’s.

Like De Jonge he had a great finish to the season. Two starts in July saw T2nd Greenbrier Classic and T7th John Deere Classic. Three starts in August had a best result of T5th Wyndham Championship and two starts in September saw a T8th BMW Championship.

At the Puerto Rico Open Jones was T14th in 2013 and T5th in 2012.

The World No.96 finished 2013 ranked 45th in driving accuracy, 47th in birdie average, 29th in scoring average, 30th in ball striking and 8th n scrambling.

Good luck and good punting.

 

Cahill Scores Fastest Goal In MLS History (Video)

Screen shot 2013-10-21 at 8.27.37 AM

Australian Tim Cahill has scored the fastest goal in Major League Soccer history for the New York Red Bulls against the Huston Dynamo in just 7 seconds Sunday evening.

Cahill took one touch to to control a Dax McCarty’s them blasted a half-volley into the top right corner past goalkeeper Tally Hall for the new record.

Click the link below to witness the Cahill magic thanks to mlssoccer.com

Fastest Goal in MSL History – Tim Cahill

Lorenzo Wins At Phillip Island

By Brad Eveleigh ( @Brad_Eveleigh )

Screen shot 2013-10-20 at 10.40.39 PM

Jorge Lorenzo has won the 2013 Australian MotoGP at Phillip Island is controversial fashion as Championship leader Marc Marquez was disqualified.

The factory Yamaha rider is now trailing Marquez by just 18 points with 2 rounds to go. Marquez was Black-Flagged for failing to execute a mandatory pit stop on laps 9 or 10.

The race was cut to just 19 laps from the scheduled 26 for safety reasons by Bridgestone warning that tyre degradation from the new tarmac Phillip Island circuit would endanger the riders.

The MotoGP race officials set a bike change rule that was to be taken by lap 10 of the race, Marquez instead road his Repsol Honda for an extra lap, which incurred a Black-Flag and the end of his race resulting in zero points for the round.

Lorenzo took full advantage of Marquez’s absence and collected the win along with the precious 25 Championship points to blow the title race wide open again.

After the race Lorenzo said: “Today was a crazy race and much different than a normal race with the change of bikes in the middle of the race,”

“Twenty five points, the best result possible, and we now have opened the world championship, but it is still very tough.”

Marquez’s Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa was second with Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi completing the podium in third place.

Next round: Motegi.

 

pic: sport panorama