Tag Archives: England

IRB World Rugby 7s Results – Round 6 – Tokyo

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GROUP STANDINGS

POOL A
9 – New Zealand
6 – Canada
6 – Wales
3 – Portugal

POOL B
9 – South Africa
7 – Kenya
4 – Argentina
4 – Japan

POOL C
8 – Fiji
6 – United States
5 – Samoa
5 – France

POOL D
9 – England
7 – Australia
5 – Scotland
3 – Spain

SHIELD FINAL
Argentina 28 def. Samoa 0

BOWL FINAL
Wales 28 def. Scotland 21

PLATE FINAL
Australia 17 def. United States 12

THIRD PLACE
England 21 def. New Zealand 12

FINAL
Fiji 33 def. South Africa 26

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Pic: veooz

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Sol Campbell blasts The FA and Fans for being Racist

By Brad Eveleigh ( @Brad_Eveleigh )

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Former England football international, Sulzeer Jeremiah “Sol” Campbell, has launched a controversial attack towards the English Football Association (The FA) accusing them of being racist.

The 39-year-old, who played for Arsenal, Tottenham, Portsmouth and Newcastle United, has said the FA and the England fans were and are unfavorable towards a Black or mixed-race Captain for the National team.

Campbell, who earned 79 caps for England, has said in his biography “If I was White, I would have been Captain for 10 years. It’s as simple as that”.

“ I think The FA wished I was White. I had the credibility, performance-wise, to be Captain.”

“I don’t think it will change because they don’t want it to, and probably the majority of the fans don’t want it, either.”

“It’s alright to have Black Captains and mixed-race in the under-18s and under-21s but not dot the full national side.”

“There is a ceiling and although no one has ever said it, I believe it’s made of glass.”

Campbell did in fact captain the national side however only in friendly matches against Belgium, Czech Republic and United States.

He also went on to criticise the selection of Michael Owen as Captain ahead of himself saying “Michael Owen was made Captain ahead of me. I thought ‘What is going on here?’ I think The FA didn’t want me to have a voice.”

“Owen was a fantastic Forward but nowhere near being a Captain.”

“I’ve asked myself many times why I wasn’t [named Captain]. I keep coming up with the same answer. It was the colour of my skin.”

 

pic: Independent UK

Ashes Second Test Review

By Justin Davies ( @DragonPunk12 )

“He bowls to the left, he bowls to the right, Mitchell Johnson destroys English alright..” was reverberating around social media after once again, the mercurical fast bowler tore through England like a chain saw to put Australia 2-0 up and on the precipice of an Ashes victory.

In this blockbuster ten match Ashes series, the toss of the coin has usually given a fair indication of where the result. In the winter series, Australia’s two best results (two draws) came from winning the toss. Once again in front of a newly renovated Adelaide oval, Michael Clarke won the toss and duly elected to bat on a sedate pitch.

Australia gave their best impression of a Sydney train with the stop start nature of the innings highlighted by David Warner who blasted his way to 29 runs off 36 balls before getting out to a daft shot. Several Australian batsmen followed his example as Bailey, Rogers and Watson threw away good starts.

Outside of these efforts, Michael Clarke glided effortlessly like a cloud on his way to a second consecutive century in this series leading once again from the front and forcing writers to consult their thesauruses for new adjectives to describe his performance. Brad Haddin chipped in with a good vice captain’s knock to help Australia post an imposing 9/570 declared.

The South Australian RTA did their best work in producing the road used in Adelaide but England must have been thinking it was Brisbane again, as they collapsed under the weight of Mitchell Johnson’s mustache (and his bowling). This effort was more impressive than his demonic spell in Brisbane as the pitch wasn’t conducive to fast bowling but he was producing balls regularly around 145-150km/h.

The Aussie captain had a choice to make after the English were rolled by 172 with a deficit of 398 runs. Michael Clarke decided to give his bowlers a rest while piling on the misery for the tourists who were dreaming of a white Christmas back home.  The message was simple, look for quick runs to put the English out of the match and be forced to play for the draw. David Warner heeded the call despite the rain, making an unbeaten 83 before Michael Clarke declared on the morning of day four.

England had two days to save the contest and their morale before heading to Perth but by the end of day four, they were hanging precariously over a second straight loss to the Australians. They started brightly after the regulation Johnson dismissal of Cook who is quickly becoming the largest bunny in a herd of them for Mitchell.

Besides Cook, most of the English batsmen showed some grit in putting together an innings, three batsmen past the half century and as a team, England made over 200! Depsite this resistance they still were dismissed by a combination of daft shots (Ian Bell), falling into a predictable trap (Carberry and Pietersen) and just tight bowling by the Australians.

They extended the game into the fifth day which was a win in itself but on the scoreboard, England were beaten once again – this time by 218 runs with the daunting prospect of the WACA pitch looming large in the third test. Australia have already named an unchanged team once again while England are contemplating dropping a spinner to play of their tall quicks (Bresnan, Finn and Rankin).

First Ashes Test Review

By Justin Davies ( @DragonPunk12 )

Victories rarely do come sweeter – Australia after nine tests without a victory secured a 381 run demolition of the English side on pacey ‘Gabba wicket which withstood several bouts of hail and rain over the course of the test match.

The first day of any test series brings a sense of excitement and mystery but when it is an ashes series back in Australia the senses are heightened just a bit more. There is a well worn rule that you always bat first at Brisbane (a rule Nasser Hussain fell foul of in watching Australia pile on runs in the 2002/03 series)

So there was a sense of relief when Clarke called correctly and elected to bat – not only because of the Hussain gaff but also because Australia needed some early runs to help dispel some of the doubts following their numerous collapses in the winter over in England. The home side made a steady start once again before those doubts crept in.

Stuart Broad who was the centrepiece of a black-out campaign by the Courier Mail in Queensland but it was Broad who turned off the lights on Australia’s top order. He bowled with a fervent rhythm and pace that surprised the Australian batsmen. Only Brad Haddin, David Warner and Mitchell Johnson provided a resistance against the 26YEMP (Young English Medium Pacer) as they struggled to 295 all out.

It was beginning to sound like the same old story for the Aussies dismissed for a below par scoreline leaving perfect conditions for their opponent to pile on the runs and the pain. For the crowing Barmy Army in the Brisbane sunshine it was looking plausible at 3 for 82 but enter Mitchell Johnson.

Johnson is who an enigmatic or ridiculed figure depending on which side of the hemisphere you reside in but he gave a glimpse of his talent with some help from dodgy English shots to restrict them to 136 all out. Nathan Lyon deserves a mention for the control and bounce he provided to squeeze the runs English were allowed.

The roles reversed, Australia strolled back in with the English pacers not having sufficient rest to recover their pace (only 52 overs) and it showed in their speeds. Australia made them feel every ache and pain through piling on the runs in amassing a monolithic 560 run lead for England to chase down.

To gloss over the Australian second innings would be remiss to mention the two centurions who overcame some demons – both mental and physical to raise the three figures. David Warner was on the outer of the Australian team with his behavourial issues over the last few months but had been plundering run at state level. He continued this glut of run scoring against the burnt out English bowlers also showing some patience waiting for the bad delivery.

For Michael Clarke, he was bounced out by the English in the first innings for a solitary run and was in line for more of the same punishment. Stuart Broad was immediately brought on, field set but Clarke rose to the challenge, slamming the ball to the boundary, as he would throughout his innings to add another century in his achievements including going past 1000 runs at the ‘GABBA.

The task was set for the tourists, 560 runs to win and two days to get them but more likely was hoping for the rain to intervene to deny Australia. Thunder and lightning did descent on the ‘GABBA in two forms – the weather and Mitchell Johnson.

Johnson who might have had bohemian rhapsody bouncing his head during his furious speed during this particular spell had the English very, very frightening to me. His pace putting England on the back foot not just in this test also the series, as Australia regained that killer instinct. They bounced out some capable English batsmen and getting pantomime villain Stuart Broad out with a rip snorter of a delivery and Michael Clarke endeared himself to the country telling James Anderson to face up to Mitchell “Bohemian Rhapsody” Johnson.

While I singled out Johnson – much like the first innings, Nathan Lyon chipped in with some vital wickets to help the victory along including the English captain, Alastair Cook two balls after a rain delay.  England once again have come from the ‘GABBA empty with Australian tails high in the air – Bring on Adelaide.

Final 32 Qualifying Countries for the 2014 FIFA World Cup

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AFRICA

Algeria

Cameroon

Côte d’Ivoire

Ghana

Nigeria

 

ASIA

Australia

Iran

Japan

Korea Republic

 

EUROPE

Belgium

Bosnia – Herzegovina

Croatia

England

France

Germany

Greece

Italy

Netherlands

Portugal

Russia

Spain

Switzerland

 

NORTH, CENTRAL AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN

Costa Rica

Honduras

Mexico

USA

 

SOUTH AMERICA

Argentina

Brazil

Chile

Colombia

Ecuador

Uruguay

 

Group Stage configurations will be drawn December 6, 5pm GMT at the World Cup finals ceremony.

FIFA World Cup 2014 begins on Thursday, June 12, 2014.

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.

FIFA World Football Rankings

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RANK TEAM POS + / – POINTS
1 Spain <> 0 1514
2 Argentina 2 1263
3 Germany -1 1261
4 Italy 2 1199
5 Columbia -2 1180
6 Belgium 4 1159
7 Uruguay 5 1126
8 Brazil 1 1067
9 Netherlands -4 1058
10 Croatia -2 1051
11 Potugal -4 1029
12 Greece -1 1016
13 USA 6 996
14 Switzerland 1 992
15 Russia 1 968
16 Chile 5 967
17 England -3 947
18 Boznia-Herzegovina -5 934
19 Côte d’Ivoire -1 902
20 Ecuador -3 851
21 Mexico -1 837
22 Sweden 8 836
23 Denmark 4 825
24 Ghana <> 0 815
25 France -2 812
26 Ukraine 2 799
27 Montenegro 1 766
28 Algeria 6 762
29 Slovenia 16 754
30 Hungary 1 744