NFL championship round predictions: Saints slay Rams, Patriots stumble

19-01-2019 The four best teams in the NFL play each other on Sunday. And both games are likely to be decided by the finest of marginsLos Angeles Rams (No2 seed) @ New Orleans Saints (No1 seed). Sunday, 3.05pm EST/8.05pm GMT Continue reading...

Stuart Lancaster: ‘I haven’t decided if I’ll go to watch England play Ireland’

19-01-2019 The Leinster coach on the bruising aftermath of his 2015 England exit, finding fulfilment in Dublin and the pain of his father’s death‘Pretty much everything has been given to Leinster and, indirectly, to Ireland,” Stuart Lancaster says when he considers how the knowledge he gained during seven years at the heart of English rugby has been jettisoned by his own country. The Leinster coach speaks without bitterness and, having reflected movingly on the recent death of his father and the bruising aftermath of being sacked by England after the 2015 World Cup, he sounds philosophical. Related: England’s Six Nations squad has tools to be hard, direct and ruthless Continue reading...

Roger Federer: Son Lenny steals the show after win at Australian Open

19-01-2019 Roger Federer's son Lenny steals the show on court after the 20-time Grand Slam champion beats Taylor Fritz at the Australian Open.

Wasps face the might of Leinster and then another player exodus

19-01-2019 • Leinster hammered Wasps 52-3 in Dublin in October• Hughes, Le Roux, Cooper-Woolley all set to leaveWhen Wasps last entertained Leinster in Europe, they won 51-10 on their way to the Champions Cup semi-finals. It was only three years ago and completed an 84-16 season’s double, but when the sides meet at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday it is the Premiership side who are facing the hiding.Wasps have not won a match in Europe this season, conceding a half-century of points in Dublin in the opening round and doubled by Toulouse with only a draw at home to Bath offering any solace. “We do not want a repeat of what happened in Leinster,” said their coach, Dai Young. “We are facing what is effectively the Ireland team just before the Six Nations and if we are not near our best it will be a tough day.” At least they will not have to worry about Jonathan Sexton, who is again absent with a knee injury. Continue reading...

Wolves 4-3 Leicester City: Diogo Jota hat-trick as hosts snatch win in thriller

19-01-2019 Diogo Jota completes his hat-trick in injury time to earn Wolves a thrilling victory over Leicester at Molineux.

Arsenal v Chelsea: 'Gulf in class so big' - Fans have their say

19-01-2019 Arsenal fans Poet and Joel Beya discuss the London rivalry with Chelsea fans Sophie Rose and Rory Jennings.

Manny Pacquiao takes on Adrien Broner amid Mayweather rematch speculation

19-01-2019 Even at 40, the Filipino senator is still one of the world’s best welterweights entering his title defense against Adrien BronerManny Pacquiao finds himself in a bit of an unusual spot entering Saturday’s welterweight showdown with the profane underachiever Adrien Broner on the Las Vegas strip.The Filipino senator, who celebrated his 40th birthday in December, may well be a silhouette of the hyperkinetic force of nature that captured world titles in a record eight weight classes (from 112 to 154lbs) over the last two decades, catapulting from fringe curiosity to global brand. Yet even the reduced present-day iteration set to climb through the ropes at the MGM Grand Garden Arena for his 70th professional bout continues to fight at a high level and is no worse than a top-five welterweight in the world. Continue reading...

Supercoppa controversy rages over Saudi Arabia’s treatment of women

19-01-2019 Protests over the decision to hold the Italian Super Cup in Jeddah have grown since murder of Jamal Khashoggi in OctoberWhen, early last June, the Italian football league agreed a €20m deal to play three of the next five Italian super cups in Saudi Arabia, it provoked very little controversy. This is, after all, a trophy that has frequently been decided on foreign soil, sometimes in quite unlikely locations.In 2002, the year that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi bought 6.4m shares in Juventus, the Supercoppa brought the Turin side to play Parma in Tripoli. Since then the match has been hosted once by the United States, twice by Qatar and four times by China. Wednesday’s game between Milan and Juve in Jeddah will be the sixth time in 10 years that the Supercoppa has been decided outside Europe. Continue reading...

Australian Open 2019: Serena Williams comforts teenager after third-round victory

19-01-2019 Seven-time champion Serena Williams comforts opponent Dayana Yastremska after powering past the teenager into the Australian Open fourth round.

Which football teams doctored their playing surface to hinder opponents? | The Knowledge

19-01-2019 Plus: top-scoring defenders, non-league double delight and strange middle names. Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU“Pep Guardiola says he didn’t leave the Etihad grass long against Liverpool. But which teams or managers have used this tactic to help their own side or hinder an opponent?” asks George Jones.Let’s start with the Poundland Machiavelli, former Cambridge and Lincoln innovator John Beck. Everyone in football knows about the infamous Beck and the stunts he used to pull at Cambridge. He brought in statisticians to lecture his players about how few passes were needed to score. He had the grass grown several inches long in the corners to hold up the ball when his players knocked it over the top. During the week they would rough up the pitch so anybody who tried to play football against them was at a disadvantage. “We just used to boot it upfield, so it didn’t really matter to us,” Steve Claridge recalls in his autobiography. Continue reading...

Durham's 'accidental manager' sets sights on promotion to WSL

19-01-2019 Buoyed by recent victory over Manchester United, Durham are thriving without the need for attachment to a men’s clubIt is a clear, crisp, good-to-be-alive January day in a green, wooded Durham valley and Lee Sanders has a bright future to map out.Beneath an unbroken blue sky and illuminated by low winter sunshine, reconstruction work on the £31m overhaul of Maiden Castle, Durham University’s sports centre, continues apace but the builders have still to reach the ordered chaos of Sanders’s cluttered upstairs office. Continue reading...