FINAL Saturday 7 April 2018 Guardiola bombshell: I was offered Paul Pogba With City out to seal title in today’s derby, coach says y deal for Frenchman and Mkhitaryan was proposed in January Plus Kevin De Bruyne interview Pages 7-11 telegraph.co.uk/sport Sport T H E M A ST E R S McIlroy still in the hunt Brilliant Reed sets the pace but Northern Irishman well placed after taming Amen Corner Pages 2-6 Inside rugby’s boot camp Making England’s next superstar Special report, pages 18-19 2 Saturday 7 April 2018 The Daily Telegraph FINAL Sport Masters 2018 Big names trail as quiet man Reed shows way James Corrigan GOLF CORRESPONDENT DENT at Augusta American’s six-under 66 puts him two shots clear McIlroy and Spieth in pursuit with Johnson Patrick Reed has slipped the field, but such is the quality of the names in the chasing pack – including the likes of Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson – that hopes remain high that all the hype of this being an all-time classic Masters will be justified. European Ryder Cup fans know all about Reed’s tenacity and will be concerned that this great team player will be difficult to see off in the individual arena after his startling second-round 66 which took him to nine-under and into a two-shot lead over the Australian Marc Leishman. The 27-year-old famously held his finger to his lips an told the galleries to “shush” in the heat of the Gleneagles match in 2014 and here he has threatened to mute the superstar roars. The young, belligerent Texan has a chequered history, with whispers of impropriety in his college days, but there can no doubting his candidature. Reed’s credentials were written all over a scorecard featuring nine birdies on a day when Augusta National bared its teeth. Leishman, the 2015 Open runner-up, was the only rival able to keep pace with his 67. Yet these are early days and the thought of Europe’s young fourtime major champion, McIlroy, taking on America’s young three-time major champion, Spieth, is too delicious a thought to avoid. They are in a tie for fourth on four-under, one behind Henrik Stenson, the Swede who affords this leaderboard yet more lustre. The world No 1 and No 2, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas, are one further back on three-under, while on two-under sit Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler and two-time champion Bubba Watson. As Rose said after his 70, “wow, there are big names all over that scoreboard”. Tiger Woods is not one of these, but he did make the cut after a 75. On four-over, it will be a miracle if the 42-year-old wins, but then as he said earlier in the week “I am a walking miracle” and golf should simply to be happy to have him on show on a major weekend after his remarkable comeback from his crippling back problems. Of McIlroy and Spieth, the former obviously has the right to be the more content. The Ulsterman, seeking to become just the sixth player to complete the career grand slam, fired a 71 with a back-nine 34. “I was one over for the front nine so to shoot two under on the back nine, I would have taken that on the 10th tee,” McIlroy said. “But the way I played I hit some good shots and gave myself putts for birdies. It felt like I left a couple out there on 17 and 18 so I could have shot something in the 60s, but overall, I’m pretty pleased with how I played. I’m in a nice position.” Of course, McIlroy is painfully aware how quickly this revered course can taketh away having earlier been so generous and he will have understood Spieth’s predicament as well as eyeing Reed with intent. Better than anyone, Spieth sums up the duplicitous nature of this unique challenge. After 17 holes of his first round, the 2015 champion – who famously blew it a year later when five clear with nine remaining – was on seven-under and in apparent cruise-control, having reeled off Recovery on back nine: Jordan Spieth watches his drive on the 17th Sand and deliver: Leader Patrick Reed blasts out of a bunker on the 10th five birdies in succession. And how did his next three holes pan out? Bogey, double bogey, bogey. After his five on the 18th the previous evening, Spieth looked nervous from the off, slicing his drive off the par-four first into the trees and making a six as a result. On the par-five second, he threeputted for another six and was seemingly in a spiral. Yet Spieth, Reed’s Ryder Cup partner, valiantly calmed himself and played the next 16 holes in two-under for a 74. “I got a little brain-dead to start but to still be in the tournament after two rounds, would I have taken being in this position three or four weeks ago? Absolutely,” Spieth said. “The wheels could have come off but I’ve taken a lot of punches on this course and I told Michael [Greller, his caddie] that I’m good for a double bogey or some bogeys here, so let’s make these the only ones. It was a nice rebound on the back nine.” For England, Rose made six birdies which negated the four bogeys and will still be confident of going one better than 12 months ago. Playing alongside Woods and Leishman, Tommy Fleetwood fared commendably with a second 72 to leave him on level par. Ian Poulter, Tyrrell Hatton and Paul Casey all made it through to the weekend, although only just on five-over. The big loser of this second day was Phil Mickelson who fired a 79 to topple back to five-over. After his first title in five years at last month’s WGC-Mexico, the 47-year-old had hope of becoming the Masters’ oldest ever champion. And when Mickelson moved to three-under with a birdie on the second, the galleries sensed history could indeed be afoot. Alas, it was to go badly awry for the three-time champion, as he took a triple-bogey on the ninth, after hitting a tree, and a double-bogey on the 12th “There’s a fine line between wanting it so bad and then also letting it happen,” Mickelson said. “As you get older you feel a little bit more pressure each one because you don’t feel as though you have an unlimited number of events. I thought this was a great year, a great opportunity.” At least Mickelson made the cut, which was more than defending champion Sergio Garcia could boast. After his record-breaking 13 on the 15th in the first round, the Spaniard slumped to a 78 to finish on 15 under, with only two behind in the 87-man field. Woods survives cut Former champion faces battle after scrappy 75 Poulter survives but now has problem of fatigue By Sam Dean at Augusta Tiger Woods survived the cut on the second day of his much-anticipated Masters comeback despite a disappointing showing in which he all but ruled himself out of contention to win a fifth Green Jacket. Woods made three bogeys and a double bogey in a scrappy second round as he struggled to tame the challenging conditions. The 42-year-old was forced to take a penalty drop in the greenery behind the bunker on the fifth hole, and also hit the water on the parthree 12th for the second consecutive day. “I need a lot of help but I also need to go and do my job,” Woods said. “I need to hit low and see what the weather brings but I am so far back now that I am not in control of my own destiny. “I am so thankful to have this opportunity. Six months ago I did not know if I could play golf again. Here we are at the weekend at the Masters and it feels pretty good, even though I am a few shots back.” Elsewhere, Sergio Garcia, last year’s champion who so spectacularly destroyed his title defence with a first-round 13 on the 15th The Daily Telegraph Saturday 7 April 2018 FINAL 3 The leaderboard Scores from Augusta National US unless stated, (a) denotes amateurs -9 -7 -5 -4 -3 -2 135 P Reed 69; 66 137 M Leishman (Australia) 70 67 139 H Stenson (Sweden) 69 70 140 R McIlroy (GB) 69 71; J Spieth 66 74 141 D Johnson 73 68; J Thomas 74 67 142 T Finau 68 74; J Rose (GB) 72 70; L Oosthuizen (S Africa) 71 71; R Fowler 70 72; B Watson 73 69; C Hoffman 69 73 -1 143 C Smith (Australia) 71 72; J Rahm (Spain) 75 68; M Kuchar 68 75; B Wiesberger (Austria) 70 73 Evs 144 H Matsuyama (Japan) 73 71; Z Johnson 70 74; T Fleetwood (GB) 72 72; J Walker 73 71; A Hadwin (Canada) 69; 75 +1 145 S Kodaira (Japan) 71 74; V Singh (Fji) 71 74; H Li (China) 69 76; R Henley 73 72; R CabreraBello (Spain) 69 76 +2 146 F Molinari (Italy) 72 74; K Stanley 72 74; B Grace (S Africa) 73 73; J Vegas (Venezuela) 77 69; R Moore 74 72; F Couples 72 74; J Day (Australia) 75 71 +3 147 D Berger 73 74; M Kaymer (Germany) 74 73; B Harman 73 74; K Kisner 72 75; C Reavie 76 71 +4 148 B Langer (Germany) 74 74; T Woods 73 75; A Scott (Australia) 75 73; B DeChambeau 74 74; D Ghim (a) 72 76; S Kim (S Korea) 75 73 +5 149 X Schauffele 71 78; W Simpson 76 73; P Mickelson 70 79; K Aphibarnrat (Thailand) 79 70; I Poulter (GB) 74 75; T Hatton (GB) 74 75; P Casey (GB) 74 75; M Fitzpatrick (GB) 75 74 +6 Missed cut 150 J-M Olazabal (Spain) 74 76; J Dufner 73 77; C Schwartzel (S Africa) 72 78; S Lyle (GB) 74 76 +7 151 B Steele 76 75; S Sharma (India) 77 74; D Willett (GB) 75 76; T Potter; Jr. 73 78; P Cantlay 75 76; D Frittelli (S Africa) 77 74; T Pieters (Belgium) 73 78 +8 but admits he needs ‘a lot of help’ hole, moved even further away from the cut on another day to forget at the course where he enjoyed his greatest triumph. Starting the day nine over, Garcia finished with six bogeys and a double bogey to fall to the foot of the leaderboard, where only amateurs Matt Parziale and Harry Ellis had endured a worse two days. Englishman Ellis finished 22 over par. Another former champion, Danny Willett, also found himself out after consecutive bogeys on the final two holes moved him to seven over, two shots beyond the cut line of five over. “We had a lot of decent shots out there,” Willett said. “I just hit one bad one and got really, really screwed. It’s a bummer.” Among the other survivors were Struggle: Tiger Woods is not in control of his own destiny after scrappy round Ian Poulter, who said his breathless exploits over the last few weeks had left him “fatigued” as he produced an erratic round. Poulter’s group, which included former champion Trevor Immelman and American Patrick Cantlay, was twice put on the clock during a second round that ended with the Englishman five over par. Poulter said he was not affected by the time pressures, but added that he has felt underprepared over the past few days after qualifying for the tournament in dramatic circumstances last week. The 42-year-old only secured his place at this year’s Masters thanks to a remarkable play-off victory at last week’s Houston Open. He had mistakenly been told that he had qualified for the tournament the previous week, when he reached the last eight of the World Golf Championship Match Play. “I was always going to be fatigued,” he said. “I am never going to be fresh coming into this week. I am underprepared. I didn’t get many holes in.” Phil Mickelson, the three-time Masters champion, will also feature in the third-round action today despite a horrific set of holes that have surely cost him any real hope of becoming the tournament’s oldest ever champion. The three-time Masters winner shot triple bogey on the par-four ninth after he became lost in the trees, while he also found the water on the 12th. 152 P Perez 73 79; W Bryan 74 78; R Fisher (GB) 78 74; P Kizzire 76 76 +9 153 D Redman (a) 76 77; A Noren (Sweden) 74 79; J Niemann (a) (Chile) 76 77; T Immelman (S Africa) 78 75; Y Ikeda (Japan) 76 77; K Chappell 77 76 +10 154 A Cook 74 80; G Woodland 78 76; Y Miyazato (Japan) 77 77 +11 155 M Weir (Canada) 76 79; I Woosnam (GB) 79 76; B Horschel 76 79 +12 +15 156 L Mize 76 80 159 M O’Meara 78 81; Y Lin (a) (China) 79 80; S Garcia (Spain) 81 78; A Cabrera (Argentina) 76 83 +16 +22 160 M Parziale (a) 81 79 166 H Ellis (a) (GB) 86 80 4 Saturday 7 April 2018 The Daily Telegraph FINAL Sport Masters 2018 It can be pure agony witnessing the Paul Hayward d CHIEF SPORTS WRITER at Augusta Northern Irishman well in contention after a 71 as he tries once again to end his Green Jacket jinx O f all the words to describe a Rory McIlroy round at the Masters, “agonising” works best. First, you load the notebook with “quests” and “destiny”, then walk a course that was made for his game but has kept him out of its winner’s circle. Ernie Els called McIlroy’s mission to win at the Augusta National Club “a matter of how many”. But for nine years “how many” has been stuck on zero. One win – so near, so far – is all anyone is currently asking for. We are not talking Stirling Moss trying to win the drivers’ world championship – or Steven Gerrard struggling to win English football’s league title – but McIlroy and the Masters has become a rite of spring. After rounds of 69 and 71, McIlroy heads into the weekend four under par, with his supporters justifiably hopeful that his turn has come. Missed birdie putts on 17 and 18 irked him but his focus has been good. “I’m constantly having a conversation with myself about staying in the present and just one shot at a time and all the cliche stuff that you hear about,” he said. “But it’s true. You know, that’s all I’m doing.” The longer the wait, the bigger the fuss, the greater the fascination. And while it would be easy to cast this as a media obsession, the thought of McIlroy leaving golf without a Green Jacket is borderline absurd. Only last year, Sergio Garcia became master of the Masters at the 19th attempt, in his 74th major championship. Fifteen holes later, Garcia was posting 13 at the 15th hole on Thursday, in the worst round by a defending champion in Augusta history. If Garcia can win one, surely McIlroy can paint his name on that board. The same thought applies with Angel Cabrera, Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel and Danny Willett – all winners since McIlroy first came here in 2009. For him, at 28, the quest to join Augusta’s pantheon is not an isolated dream. He needs the win to complete his career grand slam of major titles in the Masters era, and thus join Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Gene Sarazen in a small but hallowed club. Yesterday launched McIlroy into Eden from an unusually promising position. His first round three-under-par 69 was only his second sub-70 score for the opening day in 10 visits. The other was in 2011, when he led for three days but finished tied for 15th after a final round of 80 that might have broken a player of lesser ability (instead, McIlroy bounced back to win the 2011 US Open by eight shots to become the youngest champion on that stage since Bobby Jones in 1923). This week’s opening 69 was potentially transformative and there were all sorts of good omens. On the last four occasions McIlroy had ended the first round in the top five of a major, the trophy had ended up going home with him. A slow start for him round Augusta means extra stress, added pressure, and a tendency to lose control of his shots in the rush to make up ground. Thursday – McIlroy birdies the Maybe this time: Rory McIlroy might have looked tense during the second round but he showed his composure with some fine iron play Hole by hole McIlroy’s second round HOLE YARDS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 445 575 350 240 455 180 450 570 460 495 505 155 510 440 530 170 440 465 PAR 4 5 4 3 4 3 4 5 4 4 4 3 5 4 5 3 4 4 72 MCILROY 5 4 3 4 4 4 4 5 4 4 4 3 4 3 5 3 4 4 71 KEY EAGLE/BETTER BIRDIE PAR first for the first time in 10 visits. Yesterday – McIlroy bogeys the first after firing his tee-shot into the crowd left of the fairway and posting his first three-putt of the tournament. Ordinarily, this would be a small detail over 36 holes, but with McIlroy every event, good and bad, is magnified and becomes symbolic of either surge or collapse. Every moment, in other words, becomes melodramatic. Brilliant BOGEY DOUBLE BOGEY/WORSE Brilliant shots are recorded as the ‘real Rory’ starting his run – bad ones unleash fatalism shots are recorded as the “real Rory” starting his run – bad ones unleash fatalism. Here we go again. Up, down, up, down. But McIlroy’s task this week has been to chart a course between those emotional extremes; to let his talent do the work, as it began to again on the back nine, with birdies at 13 and 14. “Sometimes pars might be a little bit boring and you might feel as if you want to get a little bit more out Johnson’s stunning recovery from fluffed putt shows winning mindset World No 1 scrambles par from 40ft on 16th to wow crowds, writes Sam Dean at Augusta D uring a round of startling progress, in which he would have instilled fear into the heavy traffic at the top of the leaderboard, Dustin Johnson still found time to provide a moment that left the galleries shaking their heads in baffled disbelief. On the 16th hole, the world No 1’s near-perfect tee shot took him to within five yards of another birdie and, with it, another ominous step towards the clustered ranks of early contenders. He misjudged the resulting putt so spectacularly that it trickled past the hole and more than 40ft down the slope. For a moment, it almost threatened to disappear into the water. Johnson screwed his face together in a disgusted frown. Then he seized his putter, sized up the considerably more challenging putt with which he was somehow now faced, and simply rolled it home for par. It is not the first time that ch Johnson’s putting, which famously cost him the US Open with three shots on the n, tournament’s final green, rol. has lurched out of control. d But the way he regained his mastery of it here was indicative of his nd in 68, mindset as he went round rnament. three under for the tournament. five An eagle on the par-five second hole, in which he took two shots to travel 558 yards to ole, set within 11 yards of the hole, Putt it there: Dustin Johnson on enjoys an eagle on the second cond the tone before further birdies on eig the eighth, 13th and 18th. Mo Momentum is now on Johns Johnson’s side after a first round of 73. “Even though I was thro through the first 10 holes at thr over on Thursday, I did three no feel I was playing badly,” not he said. H form yesterday was His mad better by the fact that made such low scoring was rendered impo impossible for so many others th challenging conditions. by the w difficult,” he said. “It was “Th “There was a lot more wind tod and it was tough to get today a good read on it. The greens are firm and fast and the pins in difficult places.” There is added impetus to everything the 33-year-old does this year after missing the previous Masters, when he was playing the best golf of his life, because of a back injury he suffered by slipping down his stairs in his socks. “At this point I don’t even think about it,” he said. “But yeah, I am definitely happy to be back here. It’s always a pleasure to come here to Augusta, and to put two pretty good rounds together is even better, going into the weekend.” The Daily Telegraph Saturday 7 April 2018 FINAL 5 Yesterday at Augusta By Daniel Zeqiri McIlroy melodrama Stats of the day Seventeen of the past 19 Masters winners were within four shots of the lead after 36 holes. That looks like bad news for some of the favourites. There were just two rounds under par in the entire 1954 Masters. This year alone 20 players carded under-par scores on the first day at Augusta. Tantrum of the day Hot-headed Jon Rahm let his temper get the better of him at the brutal par-three fourth – slamming his club into a bunker, kicking his golf bag and throwing his ball into a bush. Shot of the day Bubba Watson’s escapology at the 11th. In the woods on the right, he worked a hook that curved past the pines and evaded the water by the green. He finished with his left foot way off the ground. Outfit of the day Yuta Ikeda was a brave man wearing paisley navy blue and white trousers at Augusta National but, to be honest, we cannot see this psychedelic style catching on in Georgia any time soon. Today’s weather and TV A warm day, but a 90 per cent chance of rain. Live on Sky Sports Golf from 7pm and Main Event from 8pm, and on BBC Two from 7.30pm. Masters in brief REUTERS Lyle finds cause to carry on of your round, but as you look up the leaderboard and you’re still there around the lead, that’s taken awhile for me to adjust to,” he said. “I think whenever I first came out here on Tour, I thought all these guys birdied every hole and you just had to hit unbelievable shot after unbelievable shot and hole the putt afterwards. It’s not quite like that. “You know, golf is a game of making your misses not that bad and taking advantage of your good shots. So far this week, I’ve been able to do that.” The Spieth-McIlroy major championship duel has yet to materialise but there could be no better week for McIlroy to affirm that he, not Spieth, is the leader of their generation. McIlroy’s superb final round of 64 in the Arnold Palmer Invitational last month plainly opened the door to a brighter day in Masters golf. It carried him to Augusta with confidence renewed in his capacity to dominate through the finest of all assets: talent, ability. When those precious qualities rush to the head of the parade, “agonising” turns to something more appealing, and the round feels more even. You can feel the breakthrough coming, through the horticulture and the pines. But you can never quite bank on it until the jacket is on. Sandy Lyle is likely to continue competing in the Masters after a highly creditable display on the 30th anniversary of his victory at Augusta National. Lyle was seven over par for the first 12 holes of his second round in tricky conditions, but birdied the 13th, 15th and 16th to post a 76 and halfway total of six over par. The 60-year-old Scot said: “The driver’s cost me a little bit today, I just got off line on a few drives and it’s hard work to recover. But it was pretty good. It was promising. It gives me encouragement for next year to try to come back.” Ellis has a tough start English amateur Harry Ellis began the day in last place and endured a tough start to his second round. The 22-year-old from Southampton recorded a double-bogey six on the opening hole, and followed that up by dropping another two shots on the second. He recovered, though, finishing on an 80 – 22 over par. Garcia sees the funny side Sergio Garcia has joked he may name his next child Firethorn, the name of the 15th hole, despite his nightmare 13 there in his opening round. The Spaniard named his first child Azalea after the signature hole and foliage at the course where he won his maiden Green Jacket. But his struggles on the 15th led some to joke he might not repeat the trick – a suggestion Garcia laughed off. In response to a Twitter user, Garcia joked: “What happened on 15 @TheMasters yesterday was unfortunate for me and it hurt, but I tried to handle it like a Masters champion should That same hole gave me that Green Jacket last year, so we might end up naming our next kid Firethorn after all, funny man!” 6 Saturday 7 April 2018 The Daily Telegraph ** Sport Masters 2018 Mickelson hopes fade with wild swing in woods Sam Dean at Augusta American’s round turns from promising to pitiful after triple-bogey seven ruins his confidence I t was from between the trees at Augusta National that Phil Mickelson produced one of the greatest shots in Masters history, but the wizard of the woods was all out of magic during the most harrowing of second rounds here. A collision with the trees on the ninth hole left a major dent in Mickelson’s hopes of becoming the oldest winner of the Green Jacket, and sparked a catastrophic sequence of events that turned his round from promising to pitiful. Mickelson’s remarkable six-iron from the pine straw in 2010, which set him on his way to his third Masters title, is regarded as one of the finest shots ever played at this venerable course. So the patrons who had followed him over an encouraging first eight holes would have been forgiven for expecting to see more of the same after he skewed his tee shot so far to the right that it was closer to the eighth fairway than the ninth. Mickelson was confronted with a tree to his right and two more to his left. Never one to take the conservative option, he tried to slash his shot through the middle. But instead of emerging into the Georgian sun, his ball cannoned back off the bark, shooting through the patrons and deeper into the dark. “I just hit the tree,” he said. “There was plenty of a gap.” He Danger ahead: Phil Mickelson was going along nicely in round two until it all fell apart at the ninth with a seven eventually tapped in for a triplebogey seven. It got worse from there. A bogey on the 11th soon followed, as did a double bogey on the 12th after the master of the flop shot had plopped his ball into the water. “Poor execution,” as he said, with some understatement. An hour earlier, Mickelson had spurned two birdie opportunities that would have taken him level with the leaders at three shots under par. Now, he was three over. It was the first time in eight Masters tournaments that he had shot two double bogeys or worse in a single round. Two further bogeys, on 16 and 18, completed a damaging, dispiriting day and left him signing for a second-round 79 after starting proceedings at a heartening two under par. He has looked his 47 years at times this week, not least when sporting a bizarre, button-down shirt during an earlier practice round with Tiger Woods, but his game remains as adventurous as ever. Here, that ambition was arguably his downfall. “As you get older you feel a little bit more pressure at each one, because you don’t feel as though you have an unlimited number of events,” he said. “I certainly put a lot of pressure on myself to perform this week.” They love “Lefty” in this part of the golfing world, and the patrons delighted in following his all- ‘I felt if you played well you could get after it today. I just did not play well’ How ‘Lefty’ lost his way on the ninth American group, which also featured Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar. All three are American favourites, but Mickelson remains the star attraction. He was the man who garnered the most excitable whoops, even at ever-conservative Augusta, and the biggest yelps when his ball hit the hole. How the crowds gushed when he strolled towards the trees following a wayward tee shot on the first. “Morning guys,” he said in his sprightly Californian tones before calmly swerving a 137-yard shot around a tree and on to the cusp of the green. All in a hole’s work for Mickelson, who ambled down the opening fairways here with the calm nonchalance of a man who knows these slopes and curves as if they were his back garden. High-fives with Fowler and some club-twirling on the first tee were followed by an amiable chat with Kuchar as they sauntered towards the second green. There, a typically measured chip from the bunker allowed Mickelson to knock in his first birdie of the day. Ranked as the world’s 18th-best player, Mickelson came into this week on a fine run of form. He has chalked up four top-six finishes in 2018, and he finally brought an end to his five-year title drought with victory at last month’s WGCMexico Championship. “I thought this was a great year,” he said. “A great opportunity.” A missed 10-footer on the fourth set him back, yet he was still creating opportunities with his approach play on those opening few holes. This was where the frustration began to seep through, as Mickelson misjudged two consecutive birdie putts, on the seventh and eighth holes, when a gained shot would have given him a share of the lead. From there, he strode up to the tee box on the ninth, and the implosion truly began in the shade of the Augusta leaves. He was so rattled, so out of sync with his swing, that he later duffed a chip to such an extent that it barely travelled beyond his reach. “I thought if you played well you could get after it today,” he said. “I just did not play well.” The Daily Telegraph Saturday 7 April 2018 ** 7 Sport Premier League Guardiola lights the fuse As Manchester City aim to clinch title with victory over rivals, coach claims he was offered Pogba and Mkhitaryan in January window, reports Jason Burt Pep Guardiola has claimed that only a few weeks ago he was offered the chance to sign Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitarayan from Manchester United by their powerful agent, Mino Raiola. The Manchester City manager sarcastically added that he was shocked Raiola, given the bitter feud between the pair, wanted to move two of his star clients to play for a “dog”. “I’m surprised because I am a dog,” Guardiola said in reference to the agent’s derogatory description of him. Guardiola’s revelations, on the eve of the Manchester derby, a highly-charged fixture in which City can win the Premier League title, are extraordinary and will re-open his sulphurous dispute with United manager Jose Mourinho. Guardiola lit the blue and red touchpaper. Suggesting that Pogba wants out of United will infuriate Mourinho, Allegation: Pep Guardiola G says agent Mino Raiola offered offer City Paul Pogba (left) and Henrikh Mkhitaryan who has been d dealing with constant questions ove over the £89 million record signing’s performances, signin state of mind and, above all, their relationship. Guardiola made his amazing claim, which Raiola did not whi deny when subsequently wh asked about it, after being ab asked whether the United w manager, manage given the fierce history between the two, was still st his “big rival”. “I have many [rivals] s ... especially agents,” Gu Guardiola responded. “I have a lot. I am a big b boss. I’ll give you a huge list of my big rivalries, believe me.” He was then Turn to page 8 8 Saturday 7 April 2018 The Daily Telegraph ** Sport Premier League Continued from P7 asked directly whether Raiola was on that list. Raiola recently attacked the Spaniard by saying: “Pep Guardiola, the coach, is fantastic. As a person he’s an absolute zero. He’s a coward, a dog.” The pair have been involved in a long-running feud which erupted in 2011 when another of Raiola’s clients, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, was forced out of Barcelona after disputes with Guardiola which denied the striker the chance of winning the Champions League, a prize that always eluded him. “I will answer him, come on. OK,” Guardiola said before making his incendiary claim: “Finally, the people discover my secrets; I am a bad guy. I’m a coward. I don’t understand why I am a so bad guy. I never speak with him [Raiola], so, I don’t know, maybe Ibra explain many things about me. But two months ago, he offered me Mkhitaryan and Pogba to play with us. Why? “Why he offer? He was interested in Mkhitaryan and Pogba to play with us? So, he has to protect his players and he has to know. So, he cannot bring the players to a guy like me, like a dog. And comparing a dog is bad. It’s not good. He has to respect the dogs.” Asked what his reaction was to being offered Pogba, Guardiola added: “Pogba is an incredible player. A top, top player. I said no. We don’t have the money to buy Pogba because he is so expensive.” Guardiola then reiterated his shock. “I’m surprised because I am a dog,” ‘[Raiola] offered me Henrikh and Pogba. Why? He cannot bring his players to a guy like me, a dog’ he said. “So that’s why… so like a dog, he comes to want his players to come to here. So, no. No way.” Asked whether he would ever sign a Raiola client, Guardiola, again sarcastically, said: “I am not a good guy. He deserves his players to play with better guys. But, he knows as well, I am a top manager. Thank you.” When questioned about Guardiola’s claim, Raiola did not deny he had offered the pair to City in January. He said he had never spoken to Guardiola about the players but did little to downplay the suggestion he had discussed the matter with City. Pogba reacted to hearing Guardiola’s remarks by tweeting: “Say what?” next to an ear emoji, the United midfielder appearing to infer the City manager’s claims were news to him. “I never spoke to him [Guardiola],” Raiola said. “And that I offer players not to him but to Manchester City, which is a fantastic club with a fantastic manager. Who I talk about I will not comment. That I leave to the club’s responsibility.” Neither United nor Mourinho have yet to comment publicly on the claims, but it is understood the club had no intention of selling Pogba in January and would not have done business with City over Mkhitaryan. Given the timing, the stakes, the clubs and personalities involved, it was one of the most explosive claims a manager could ever make, although it was also, clearly, a coldly calculated one by Guardiola. Maybe, it was also targeted at Pot shots Rival managers’ bitter war of words “Last season it was the same. We won here and the comments [from Jose Mourinho] were about the referee, and today the referee as well. In all the statistics we were better, in the way we play we were better. The other [manager] can do whatever he wants. But my players want to play and attack.” Pep Guardiola takes aim at his rival after City’s 2-1 win at Old Trafford in December. “If we offended United – not just one player, not Jose – Manchester United, then I apologise. Sometimes United made a lot of celebrations in the past over City. All the managers celebrate sometimes and exceed. But it didn’t happen.” The Spaniard attempts an apology after the Old Trafford tunnel bust-up that followed that derby in December. “My opinion about what he has done will never change. I respect my colleagues a lot, Jose as well. He knows and I know we want to beat each other.” On their long-standing rivalry. “Before, we were not civil? No, I understand. Of course it’s much better.” On improved relations with Mourinho in Manchester after their toxic rivalry in Spain. Mourinho: Not end of the world if City win tonight By James Ducker NORTHERN FOOTBALL CORRESPONDENT Jose Mourinho told Manchester United supporters it would not be “the end of the world” if Manchester City beat them to clinch the Premier League title at the Etihad Stadium tonight and insisted the club have bounced back from similar disappointments. Mourinho’s Chelsea defeated United 3-0 at Stamford Bridge in April 2006 to secure a second successive championship, but Sir Alex Ferguson’s side reacted by winning the first of three consecutive titles the following season. Asked if he had a message for United fans desperate to avoid the embarrassment of watching City win the title this evening, Mourinho said: “Look, I won the title at Chelsea against Manchester United. We beat United 3-0 and we won the title at Stamford Bridge in 2005-06. But it was not the end of the world. Manchester United didn’t finish. It was just football. “The only thing I can say is that we want to win, we don’t want to offer them the game. We want to go there and want to compete and win the match. “It is normal that you want to delay the champions becoming champions. We would like to beat them, we would like Tottenham Hotspur to beat them. ‘When they win the title, I will react the way people reacted when I won three titles’ “I think Chelsea would feel the same because they would like to be [reigning] champions for as long as possible. That is normal in football but, in this case, [City] are going to be champions because there is a very significant difference.” Although City can win the title tonight, they would not be presented with the trophy until the home game against Huddersfield Town on May 6. Mourinho – who cut a truculent figure as he fielded questions about City’s supremacy – said the table did not lie and that City’s 16-point advantage over United was an accurate reflection of the gulf between the sides. “The table is always a fair reflection,” the United manager said. “In the end, what matters is what happens in the reality of the points and City will be champions because they deserve to be. “I think they are going to beat Chelsea’s [record] total from 200405 [of 95 points] and that does not make it easy for the other teams. In our case, I think we have eight points more than last season, more goals scored and less goals conceded, but Manchester City made it impossible for the others. “What do you want me to say? Congratulations for the great Premier League season they are having? The moment they become champions, which will be sooner rather than later, I will react the way that other people reacted when I won three titles in this country.” The Daily Telegraph Saturday 7 April 2018 ** “I think I know how Pep feels about his country. But I am not sure if the rules allow us to have any political message on the pitch. I think I wouldn’t be allowed to do [it].” Mourinho questions Guardiola wearing a yellow ribbon during matches in support of imprisoned Catalan proindependence politicians. “If you ask me one thing that I don’t like a lot, it’s that they lose their balance very easily. A little bit of wind and they fall.” The Portuguese suggests City players are divers ahead of December’s derby. “The only thing I can say is that, for me, it was just a question of diversity – diversity in behaviour, diversity in education. Just that. And nothing more than that. Diversity of behaviour, of opinion, of education.” Taking aim at City’s raucous dressing-room celebrations after the derby. “Can we invest £600 million to £700 million? No. The market is going in such a direction that you belong to one of these clubs where there is no limit and you just buy what you want, no Financial Fair Play, there is nothing, you do what you want, or it’s hard.” Criticising City’s spending. Mourinho, given the United manager’s inflammatory statement, before the last Manchester derby in December, that he was surprised Guardiola had not been disciplined for wearing a yellow ribbon in support of the Catalan right to independence. Guardiola was eventually punished by the Football Association. Mkhitaryan did, of course, leave United in the January window as part of the deal that took Alexis Sanchez – who had been wanted by City before they backed off – to Old Trafford but it is Guardiola’s suggestion that Pogba wants out that will fan the flames given there has been tension between the midfielder and Mourinho which has led to suggestions that Raiola has been looking to secure a move away for the 25-year-old and has been contacting leading clubs in Europe. And what of the football? City can secure a third title in seven years, and a first under Guardiola, if they beat United at home, which is the most delicious prospect for their supporters and not least after the shock of losing the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal to Liverpool 3-0 on Wednesday. The second leg is at the Etihad on Tuesday and it is clearly consuming Guardiola’s thoughts more than beating United. “Nothing can compare. Nothing can compare to the win in the last minute, the last second, the last chance,” he said of City’s first Premier League title in 2012, when Sergio Aguero scored in the final moments, to come back against Queens Park Rangers and deny ‘Nothing that happens in the club will be more exciting than the Aguero goal, but we are so happy to win the title’ 9 United the crown. Guardiola has watched the goals on YouTube. “From 1-2 down … then 2-2, 3-2 in two or three minutes for the first Premier League title since 45 years. You cannot compare with that. Football is emotion. And emotion is when something unexpected [happens] in the last seconds, when the time is over, the time is finishing,” Guardiola said. “Go here [this season] or go to the Man United side with Alex Ferguson and win that, no way. Nothing that happens in the club will be more exciting than what happened with the Aguero goal. Of course, we are so happy to win the title.” Guardiola said it would be “impossible” for City to dominate the league by as great a margin – they could be 19 points clear if they beat United with just six games to go, the earliest the title has ever been won – next season. “In the future? No way. Never is it going to happen again that,” he said. Injury blow Mkhitaryan may be out for season Arsenal could be without Henrikh Mkhitaryan for the rest of the season after it was revealed that the midfielder had suffered a medial knee ligament injury during Thursday’s 4-1 Europa League first-leg win against CSKA Moscow. After a scan, manager Arsene Wenger said “the first impression is not positive”. 10 Saturday 7 April 2018 The Daily Telegraph ** Sport Premier League INTERVIEW Midfielder and City will party hard if they win the title today – even if it upsets Mourinho, he tells James Ducker ‘Like Salah, I have found somebody who suits me more than it was before. Everyone needs to find a system and playing style’ De Bruyne: United must suck up our celebrations T here will be no attempt to placate Jose Mourinho by keeping the music down should Manchester City be crowned Premier League champions at the Etihad Stadium tonight. If anything, the volume will be turned all the way up. The Manchester United manager told City’s players to “show some f-----respect” after reacting angrily to the noise blaring out of the away-team dressing room following his side’s 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford in December, scenes that sparked a 25-man tunnel bust-up and a Football Association investigation that ultimately spared both clubs any punishment. But Kevin De Bruyne expects his old manager to be big enough to suck up the raucous celebrations should City claim the victory against their bitter rivals that would clinch the title. “You have to take it, you know,” the City midfielder says. “If you lose, you lose. You have to take that people mock you, that people do things on social media, say things about you. “We put music on for us, not to do anything bad to other people. It’s our thing to relax and have fun, and if people take it that it’s bad for them then I’m sorry, but it’s just for us. I don’t think it’s disrespectful. It’s not to mock anybody.” City have certainly mocked the rest of the Premier League, United included, on the pitch this season. Wednesday’s chastening 3-0 defeat by Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final at Anfield was a sobering affair for Pep Guardiola and his players and the second leg on Tuesday will take precedence for everyone over the visit of United, bar perhaps those City supporters desperate to rub their bitter rivals’ noses in it. But, domestically, no one has been able to hold a candle to City and, figuratively at least, De Bruyne has been rubbing Mourinho’s nose in it for nine months, the Portuguese’s dismay at the sight of his great adversary, Guardiola, disappearing over the horizon, compounded by glaring weekly reminders that City’s driving force has been a player he sold at Chelsea. De Bruyne says he would take no personal satisfaction from winning the title in front of Mourinho and, if anything, the experience at Chelsea, whom he left for Wolfsburg in January 2014 after a lack of first-team chances under Mourinho, helped to shape him. “I really don’t care, honestly, I really don’t,” De Bruyne says when asked about the prospect of making a statement to his former manager. “In the 10 years I’ve been playing, 9½ years have been up, and a half year has been a bit down. “I can be really happy with the way it’s gone for me because a lot of people go up and down, up and down. That [at Chelsea] was an experience where I learnt the most out of how football goes. I was only 22 at the time – no one is going to play all the time at that age.” Nonetheless, it is an intriguing subplot to the season that the two front-runners for the footballer of the year awards are players cast off by Mourinho. Mohamed Salah claimed his 38th goal of an extraordinary campaign in Liverpool’s Champions League victory over City and the Egyptian, who made just 13 league outings under Mourinho at Chelsea following a move from Basel in 2014, appears to be the main rival to De Bruyne for the individual gongs. Like himself with Guardiola, De Bruyne believes Salah has found the right fit in Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool. “I think it shows our strength,” De Bruyne says. “If somebody comes up to you and it’s not enough and you make a decision to go to play football and you have confidence in yourself that you can do well, you can make it either way. Obviously everyone needs to find a system and playing style that suits you more. Now we’ve found Brilliant Belgian Why midfielder is City’s key man How De Bruyne has performed in the Premier League this season Goals per 90min Chances created 0.38 0.2 v top six v others 0.6 0.25 75 Christian Eriksen 74 Pascal Gross 71 Eden Hazard 70 v others 15 Kevin De Bruyne David Silva 11 Leroy Sane 11 Dele Alli 9 Xherdan Shaqiri 66 Mo Salah 9 Alexis Sanchez 62 Henrikh Mkhitaryan 9 Dele Alli v top six 84 Mesut Ozil Cesc Fabregas Assists per 90min Assists 98 Kevin De Bruyne Mo Salah 60 55 Paul Pogba 9 somebody who suits us both more than it was before. But that’s the same for a lot of players. “I think it’s just because it’s the same manager and it’s both of us in the same season who are going well that people are talking about it. But I think every manager will have had a lot of players where they were not suited to each other who went away and did well afterwards. I’m not really that type of person who thinks about that.” De Bruyne is talking at City’s CFA training base on Thursday morning, the disappointment from the difficult night before at Anfield still raw. With so much to contend with over the coming days, De Bruyne is understandably reluctant to look beyond the next two games. But, while City could smash a host of records en route to winning the championship, he also recognises that to be considered a truly great side they will need to retain it. It proved beyond the club after their title successes in 2012 and 2014, but De Bruyne is excited by what the future holds, not only because of the squad’s talent and age profile, but also because of the bond between the players. “The The Daily Telegraph Saturday 7 April 2018 *** FIVE FEELING PEP EFFECT James Ducker explains how manager er has improved key players at City 1 EDERSON Ederson has been a revelation in his debut season in England, banishing memories of City’s failed experiment with Claudio Bravo and perfectly executing Pep Guardiola’s vision of a goalkeeper as a creative outlet, not just a safe pair of hands. The £35 million Brazilian is an excellent shotstopper, brave and, most notably, has the composure and passing range of a premium midfielder, with a left foot that has the force of a sledgehammer and finesse of a paintbrush. 2 OTAMENDI Pep Guardiola has not let up in his quest to make a pedigree centre-back of Nicolas Otamendi. Watching the 30-year-old now, it is hard to equate the defender with the reckless figure who frequently went to ground and exasperated coaching staff with his lazy positioning, regular lapses in concentration and misplaced passes. The improvement in his passing has been remarkable. So, too, is the way Otamendi has assumed responsibility during Vincent Kompany’s prolonged absences. 3 SILVA Guardiola has not just turned good players into very good ones, he has helped to elevate some very good ones into great ones. David Silva’s grace and guile have long carried a bewitching quality but, even en route to helping City win two s, the league titles, team has clicked like a relationship, where you find somebody with whom it clicks,” he says. “It’s never happened like that before [for me]. I think it’s very difficult to find that with a team. “I have the feeling this time we can go on. I had that feeling even this year when we won the first 10 games or so, we wanted to win more and more. What can we do next year? I don’t know. We don’t know what is going to happen with injuries, transfers, how the chemistry is but we have a lot of young guys, so I think this team can still grow.” Victory over United would take City 19 points clear of their local rivals. Is he surprised just how big the gulf is? “I don’t think Man United did badly,” De Bruyne says. “We just did really well. We’ve only lost nine points – that almost never happens – so I think in a normal season the title would be much closer. I think they did really well but I also think a lot of people have criticised them because they’re comparing them to us and that makes it more difficult for them.” De Bruyne has delivered many exceptional performances in the Sticking together: Kevin De Bruyne says the bond within the City squad is stronger than he has experienced anywhere before league, from Chelsea away to Tottenham at home, but he was probably at the point of maximum expression in the 7-2 victory over Stoke in October, when he obliterated his opponents with an extraordinary array of passing. Take the sublime raking pass, speared through four Stoke players, to tee up Leroy Sane to score, for example. Was it framed in his mind? “You can’t train for st that kind of ball because it’s almost never going to happen,” he says. “II had a feeling I could play it and n when it comes off it’s obviously an unbelievable pass, but it’s not something you can train. “I try to look up as quickly as st possible, read the situation, it’s just e. a split-second and then you decide. I never have regrets about what I try to do. If it comes off, great, if e. you miss it then try it another time. se “I try to manage the ball because it can help your players a lot. I justt try to pass it in a way that teammates can take the ball quicker in n their path, so they have more of an advantage when they try to do something.” Music, no doubt, to City ears, just not Mourinho’s. diminutive playmaker gave the impression of a man with more to offer. Guardiola has unlocked the full spectrum of Silva’s talent and the results have been dizzying. At 32, he is playing the best football of his career, scoring more and creating more. 4 STERLING Guardiola challenged Raheem Sterling last summer to “show me you really want this” after an up- and-down first season under him. He has certainly done that. The erratic player of past years has been replaced by a free freescoring forward whose decision-making and e positional sense have improved almost immeasurably. ent Sterling’s commitment to self-improvementt has been assisted by the work that Mikel one Arteta has done to hone l, the forward’s control, last movement and “last action” in the final three or fourr metres metres.. 5 AGUERO The improvement improvemen in the Argentine’s g game under the Catalan proves player and manager do not h have to get on to flourish flourish. Their relationship has been b strained but Serg Sergio Aguero’s success is testament as muc much to his application and an mindset as the ch changes Guardiola has ma made and encouraged in i the forward’s game, not to mention the motivational impact of the signing of Gabriel Jesus. Aguero is more dangerous than ever in the big games. He is more involved and effective in build-up play and has learned to press defenders in more controlled, concentrated bursts closer to goal. 11 12 Saturday 7 April 2018 The Daily Telegraph ** Sport Football By Chris Bascombe Jurgen Klopp says he feels ashamed and embarrassed by the ugly scenes that marred his side’s Champions League win over Manchester City. Despite a triumphant week on the pitch, the Liverpool manager was in a solemn mood because of what occurred off it, his usual exuberance sapped by the footage he has seen of supporters throwing missiles at the Manchester City team coach. He described those responsible as “idiots” and said he would ban fans from being allowed to greet the team bus. “I feel really embarrassed, ashamed,” he said. “I cannot understand how you give this opportunity to the people to create something wonderful – like this usually is. It was already on the edge with the flares, which are not legal. “But the people do not understand the rules and, if I was to make the decision, I’d say it [greeting the bus] is not allowed any more. It is not possible. You had the chance, didn’t use it, sorry.” Ahead of the quarter-final first leg, Klopp had suggested such REUTERS Klopp ashamed of ‘idiots’ who attacked coach Ugly scene: Jurgen Klopp (below) has apologised for the assault on the Manchester City team coach greetings were part of the theatre of the Anfield atmosphere on Champions League nights, but he has changed his view in a grim appraisal of events. He claimed the assault on the City coach ruined the night. He added: “I don’t have the words. It is idiots in this situation. How can you do that? It is not a little bit funny. It is dangerous. It feels bad.” Klopp says he has been in similar situations as a visiting manager and could empathise with how unsettled the City players and staff felt. “I was on a bus once and a rock was thrown and we had a hole. It is not [a bit of a joke]. You feel it,” he said. “It was against Cologne and someone threw it through the window. You think if that hits my head, what happens? It is not funny. It is the complete opposite and I’m really angry about it. I have to say, again, apologies for what happened. “It is so strange because you go with your own bus through the crowd and it feels fantastic, it is passion. Then you come into the stadium and the first thing I heard is they smashed the bus of Man City and it kills everything in that moment for us. “You cannot be happy. You give people an opportunity to do something good and because of a few idiots it will maybe never happen again. It changed everything.” Liverpool have been charged by Uefa ‘How can you do that? It’s not a little bit funny. It feels bad’ and will discover their punishment at the end of next month. The club have acknowledged the incident’s seriousness from the outset. Klopp intends to reiterate his apologies to Pep Guardiola. “We haven’t spoken, but I will when we meet again on Tuesday,” he said. Back on the field, Klopp’s mood is not helped by the selection issues ahead of today’s Merseyside derby. Mohamed Salah is unlikely to play having been injured against City. Emre Can, Joel Matip, Adam Lallana and Joe Gomez are out. Danny Ings, Dominic Solanke, Alberto Moreno and Nathaniel Clyne are all expected to feature. Liverpool registered six youngsters with Premier League shirt numbers yesterday, with Liam Millar, Herbie Kane, Rafa Camacho, Curtis Jones, Adam Lewis and Nathaniel Phillips drafted into the squad. Klopp, who expects another intense fixture against Everton at Goodison Park, says he despises the overly aggressive nature of derby matches. “It is a derby and there are a lot of people out there who love this part of the game,” he said. “I hated it my whole life. It is a fact that I never understood it. As silly as throwing something at a bus.” Asked if sensible refereeing was especially important in this fixture, Klopp replied: “If I say it now then we will have someone not too far from here saying that I am a soft German.” That is a reference to an observation from Everton manager Sam Allardyce while he was still at Sunderland, when Klopp took exception to a late challenge by Jermaine Lens on Mamadou Sakho. Although Klopp says he wants his players to forget the impending return leg with City, it will dictate his plans. “I cannot make Mo available because it is the derby. I would never do that, it is not possible,” said Klopp. “You cannot push a player through a game. I don’t think any of our supporters would want us to do that. If he is a doubt, he will not be involved – that is how it is. That is how it is with all of them. If they are not 100-per-cent fit they cannot be involved.” Allardyce tackles Everton ‘fears’ By Timothy Abraham Everton manager Sam Allardyce claims his players “won’t freeze” in today’s Merseyside derby but plans to adopt a more defensive mindset against Liverpool. Allardyce has acknowledged some of his players were frightened during last weekend’s 3-1 defeat by Manchester City at Goodison. And with in-form Liverpool heading into the match on the back of a 3-0 success over City in the Champions League, Allardyce will look to contain them. “They were scared, our players, by City’s talents and the fluency of their football,” he said. “They won’t freeze by doing their job correctly. Really the approach has to be about nullifying Liverpool’s attacking options because they are exceptional. The scoring On the defensive: Sam Allardyce wants Everton to neutralise the Liverpool attack at Goodison Park ability of Liverpool is their main strength and we have to snuff that out. All across the front line – not just Mo Salah – we have to shut that off. If we are to win, that’s where we have to succeed first.” Allardyce believes that, even though the game is at Goodison, the club’s supporters will understand the reason for a more pragmatic approach against Jurgen Klopp’s side. “I think so,” he added. “They are extremely patient and supportive of the players.” Allardyce revealed he would “trust” Wayne Rooney in midfield even though the former England captain looked out of his depth there against City. “He wants to play in a deeper role,” he said. “What Wayne has to realise is the other side of that – the closing-down – because there’s more of it than when he was a frontman. With the experience that he has, I trust him.” The Daily Telegraph Saturday 7 April 2018 ** 13 Sport Premier League ‘Derbies here are calm compared to Istanbul’ Battle-hardened: Cenk Tosun looks forward to the derby at Goodison and (below) in scoring form for Besiktas I N T E RV I EW Striker Cenk Tosun tells Chris Bascombe why today’s Merseyside clash holds no fear for him GETTY IMAGES E verton’s Cenk Tosun can be forgiven for believing the Merseyside derby is a sedate early-afternoon kickabout among friends. Consider his meetings with city rivals while playing in Istanbul. When former club Besiktas met Fenerbahce last September, it proved so combustible a fixture that Tosun lost count of the red cards. “Three or four,” says the 26-year-old, before being reminded there were actually five. “Really?” replies the Turkish striker, offering a wry smile as if this was standard procedure. “Life stops when there is a derby in Istanbul. Everyone wants to watch, everyone concentrates on the game above everything else. “Everyone has that ambition to win and players sometimes forget that it is sport. You have many, many red cards. There are bad injuries and the games can stop for long periods. You do not have that here. In comparison, the English derbies are calm. “They break decibel records [in Istanbul]. When we played at home against Red Bull Leipzig in the Champions League, one of the Leipzig players [Timo Werner] had to stop after the 30th minute because of the noise. I also spoke to Mario Balotelli about it. He said e. He could not hear the same. y the night after he played properly rpool in a Europa League for Liverpool n 2015].” game [in rbies are identical in All derbies ect – their habit of one aspect alising goalscorers. immortalising ifficult start After a difficult g a £20 million following January move, Tosun’s orm has been recent form he few one of the ging aspects encouraging iriting of a dispiriting Everton n. campaign. He hass fty some lofty ns. ambitions. “I want to become a legend here, he says. “God willing, I will score kend and become this weekend vertonian. I know a true Evertonian. ortance of this the importance d I know what it game and o the supporters. I means to ery special bond. I have a very m and I think that love them e me too. they love re-forwards are “Centre-forwards nt to any team. I important at at Everton it is know that nt for the centre-forward important to score goals and have a bond with the supporters. I want to build that.” at.” He is seeking advice from the ideal confidant, Duncan Ferguson, Ferg who forged his reputation with derby goals, playi playing with aggress the aggressive intent Tosun want to bring wants h own to his gam – game wit within rea reasonable bou boundaries. “I heard tha he that he headbutted f a few. Is th right?” that as Tosun. asks There is a moment of am amusement suspici as suspicions are confirmed confirmed. t “I like that. I like wh give players who everything for the t team and the supporters He is a supporters. legend. He proved himself. He was a of player, crazy kind o but I am not sure that I am that crazy crazy! “It is not ju just Duncan I have spoken tto. I used to derby games watch the derb on TV and I alr already ‘God willing, I will score and become a true Evertonian. I know what it means to the supporters’ know the impact and the meaning of the game. Since I have been here, I understand that meaning even better. “Every time I am in the city and I come across Everton supporters, they ask me for a photograph. The last thing they always say is, ‘You have to score against Liverpool’.” The yearning is increasing with each meeting. Everton are in the midst of their worst run in the fixture, last victorious in 2010 in Fenway Sports Group’s first game in charge, when Roy Hodgson was Liverpool manager. Sam Allardyce needs a significant win today to convince supporters he is worthy of being in charge at the start of next season. With Jurgen Klopp forced to consider changes prior to the Champions League tie with Manchester City, there has never been a better opportunity to reverse the trend. “It has been a few years since we have beaten our opponent. It is time that we did it,” says Tosun. “They will be more tired and we Local trouble Everton’s record winless streak 15 In the 1970s, Everton failed to win in 15 consecutive derbies. They beat Liverpool 1-0 at Goodison Park on Nov 13, 1971, and by the same result on Oct 28, 1978. Their winless drought was two weeks shy of seven years. 16 The current winless streak against their rivals is 16 games. They beat Liverpool 2-0 at Goodison Park on Oct 17, 2010, with Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta (below) scoring, seven years and five months ago. have had some time to recover. They have had some injuries and I am not sure if some of them will play. They are a good team, no question, but we have been playing well at home. “OK, we did not play well against Manchester City. They dominated the game. Liverpool showed everyone how they can be beaten. They pressed them hard and it showed everyone that they are vulnerable. But the same Liverpool team played against Crystal Palace and they showed they could be beaten as well.” Goals against Burnley and Brighton plus a brace against Stoke City have eased fears that Tosun is unsuited to English football. Did he have his own doubts? “Never. Never. It was a difficult time when I signed, as maybe some people saw me as a saviour. I was trying doing my best and take that role. “I believe in myself, always. The only disadvantage I had when I came here was that I had a 10-day break when I had to stop training. That was when I struggled. The Dubai [training] camp and extra sessions really helped me.” Goodison Park fans are seeking further reassurance, not only about Tosun’s long-term credentials, but that of their side. A win over Liverpool will be some consolation. “I accept that you can say that we did not meet expectations this season,” says Tosun. “We got knocked out of Europe early and it looks like it is quite impossible to qualify for Europe next year. God willing, this will be the game that is the highlight for the supporters, players and for the club. For everyone.” 14 Saturday 7 April 2018 The Daily Telegraph *** Sport Football Promotion will win the Accrington manager laser transplant surgery, reports Jim White A s seasonal bonuses go, John Coleman is poised on the brink of a rather unusual one. If he gains promotion to League One with his high-flying Accrington Stanley side, a local hair replacement clinic has promised to give him a celebratory new thatch. “I thought it was a joke, but apparently they mean it,” the long-time entirely hair-free Coleman says of the incentive. “Not sure what the lads will make of it, mind, if I suddenly go full [Antonio] Conte on them.” Before he emerges with a luxuriant new coiffure, Coleman, however, might be wise to check with the Football League that he is not breaching any of its regulations on undisclosed rewards. After all, the governing body has just demanded the club’s chairman, Andy Holt, explain what he was doing after he revealed this week that he had been buying the team a round of McDonald’s after every victory this season. Which, given they have won 16 of their past 18 League Two matches, has come to quite a burger bill. The EFL’s prissy intervention has been roundly mocked, with many wondering how a body that has allowed all sorts of charlatans and frauds to take control of its clubs can apparently sniff impropriety in the purchase of a few Big Macs. Not that Coleman seems remotely perturbed by the official inquiry. “If they’ve won, they can eat pizza, chicken whatever they want as far as I’m concerned,” he says of his players. “If the lads want to eat McDonald’s and the chairman wants to buy it for them, I’m certainly not going to stop them.” But there is something wonderfully Accrington about the story. Of all the clubs that might choose to celebrate a win in fast food, Stanley is the one. This is not a place that exudes wealth. This is not a club that wallows in privilege. This is a club where everything is modest, from the cramped board room in which Coleman sits, to the fact the players have to warm up before training on a gravel patch behind the car park. This is a club, after all, whose two most renowned ex-players became famous doing something else: cricketer David “Bumble” Lloyd and Jon Anderson, the lead singer of prog-rockers Yes, played together in Stanley’s amateur Northern League days. But all that may well be about to change. Since the club – or at least its previous incarnation – entered the league in 1921, before resigning midway through the 1962 season, going bust and then reforming in 1968, it has never played above the fourth tier of English football. Coleman is thus on the verge of achieving a remarkable first. The prospect of creating history, however, is not being discussed in the Wham Stadium (named after Holt’s plastics company, not George Michael’s first band). Here in this former pub pitch behind the Crown public house, despite the fact the team has embarked on a winning league run which is the third best in Europe after Juventus and Paris St Germain, caution is at all times the manager’s watchword. “I’ll believe it when and only when it’s mathematically certain,” says Coleman. His restraint is understandable. PAUL COOPER FOR THE TELEGRAPH Run-in could be hair-raiser for Coleman In the driving seat: Accrington Stanley are well placed for promotion from League Two under John Coleman but he will never take success for granted ‘I thought it [hair replacement] was a joke, but apparently they mean it. Not sure what the lads will make of it if I go full (Antonio) Conte on them suddenly’ After all he has first-hand knowledge of disappointment. After steering the club to three promotions through the nonleagues in his two spells in charge, in 2016 he looked as if he were about to hit the big time. Right up until the last moment of the final fixture of that season, his Accrington side appeared to be in line for automatic promotion to League One. “In the 93rd minute we’re up, in the 94th we hit the crossbar,” Coleman recalls. “Then in the 95th minute Bristol Rovers score in their game and that’s it we’re not going up, they are. It was the only game all season we didn’t score at home.” An exhausted Accrington subsequently stumbled in the play-offs. And that seemed to be that. The club with the lowest playing budget and lowest gates in the league appeared to have blown a once-in-a-generation chance to progress. Particularly when finances dictated that its best two players – Josh Windass and Matt Crooks – were sold to Rangers. But Coleman regrouped. “The pain of that day has driven me on,” he says. “I still haven’t got over it to be honest.” And after finishing 16th last season, he has turned his team this year into a rolling victory machine, three points clear at the top of the table with two games in hand over second-placed Luton Town. It has been done, he says, not as a result of any magical increase in the budget, but by recruiting hungry young players keen to use Accrington as a staging post to a more substantial career. “If our chairman said go sign five players tomorrow on five grand a week, it wouldn’t fit my model. They wouldn’t be signing for The Daily Telegraph Saturday 7 April 2018 ** 15 Cardiff waste two added-time penalties to gift Wolves victory Cardiff City Wolves Neves 67 0 1 Att: 29,317 By James Candy at the Cardiff City Stadium Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock branded Wolves counterpart Nuno Espirito Santo a “disgrace” for celebrating after the home side missed two injury-time penalties. Cardiff all but conceded the Championship title in dramatic fashion when John Ruddy stretched to stop Gary Madine’s injury-time spot-kick, before they were handed an unexpected second chance. Junior Hoilett stepped up and crashed the ball against the bar, meaning Ruben Neves’s inchperfect free-kick was enough to put Wolves a maximum of five points away from promotion. Although Nuno later apologised, Warnock refused to accept it. “I won’t accept his apology. He’s totally out of order,” he said. “In British football you shake the manager’s hand after. It showed a Dramatic finish: Nuno Espirito Santo and his players celebrate victory lack of class if I’m honest. You don’t have to run off like that and rub your nose in it. Disgrace.” Cardiff had the first opportunity to land an early blow in front of the club’s largest home attendance since 1976. Wolves bared their teeth after an entertaining, but goalless first period and were only denied the ad- vantage by a post. Benik Afobe steered the ball around the corner for Leo Bonatini to beat the offside trap and take it around Etheridge, but his effort struck the upright. The table-toppers began to assert their dominance and forced Cardiff into a pair of costly fouls. Lee Peltier pulled Afobe back to go into the book, but Neves sent his free-kick flying high and wide. But it proved to be the sighter he needed. Morrison proceeded to scythe Diogo Jota down and the Portugal international curled the set-piece into the back of the net. The game looked to have gone until Madine was shoved in the back by Connor Coady, but Ruddy was equal to his low shot. There was still time for Aron Gunnarsson to charge into the box and be brought down by Ivan Cavaleiro, but Hoilett hit the bar. “I’m sorry for my actions, I want Neil to know that,” said Nuno. “Football can be cruel.” Cardiff City (4-3-3): Etheridge 7; Peltier 6, Morrison 7, Bamba 7, Bennett 6; Gunnarsson 6, Bryson 5, Paterson 7 (Mendez-Laing 50 5); Hoilett 7, Wildschut 6 (Madine 71 5), Zohore 6 (Pilkington 83 5). Booked Peltier, Morrison. Wolverhampton (3-4-3): Ruddy 6; Bennet 6, Coady 8, Boly 8; Doherty 7, Neves 9, Saiss 6, Douglas 7; Afobe 7 (N’Diaye 77 6), Bonatini 7 (Costa 58 5); Jota 7 (Cavaleiro 66 5). Booked Saiss, Costa, Neves. Referee Mike Dean. England are left frustrated by Welsh Accrington, they’d be signing for the money, not to further their careers. I want players who eventually want to earn £20,000 but not with me. “Too many League Two teams pay ridiculous money they don’t need to. They’re spending money that’s killing the hunger.” And when players – such as the division’s leading scorer Billy Kee, or the fluent midfielder Sean McConville – arrive in east Lancashire, they find Coleman drives them hard. “I think we’re the fittest team in the division,” he says. “But we have fun doing it. It’s not a holiday camp, but I’m of the view you’ll do the job better if you’re enjoying it.” The evidence for their stamina is evident, he adds, in the fact he has not made a substitution in the last six league games. “I’m of the opinion if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” he says. “Course it helps if you’re winning. Don’t need to change anything do you?” And as he prepares to play Colchester in what could be another huge step towards history, the ebullient Scouser takes a moment to consider what promotion would mean to the club. “Even before I came I always had a fascination with this club, the milk advert and all that. I’ve been here nearly 20 years, it’s been like watching a child grow. We were in the first division of the Unibond when I started. Now we could soon be in League One.” Though he immediately checks himself at the very thought. “But I won’t count my chickens until we’re there. I’ve been here before. We got to 94 minutes of the last game thinking we were there. And we weren’t. Worth remembering that.” England Women Wales Women 0 0 Att: 25,603 By Tom Prentki at St Mary’s More than 25,000 supporters made their way to Southampton anticipating an impressive England win in Phil Neville’s first home game as manager but left disappointed after seeing their team frustrated by a resolute Wales. “A draw was what they came for and what they got, said despondent Neville. “It went how I thought it would, we didn’t play well in the first half and showed no patience. “It felt like a defeat, the looks on the girls’ faces. “We expected to win. But no- body knocks on your door and hands you a World Cup medal.” Neville took charge of this qualifier with his team newly installed as No 2 in the world rankings. Only USA, who defeated the Lionesses 1-0 at last month’s SheBelieves Cup, are above them, with Neville and his players now targeting the top berth. Of more immediate concern is qualifying for next year’s World Cup in France as Group 1 winners. They failed to top the group after this draw, despite having more than 75 per cent of possession. Wales manager Jayne Ludlow hailed the result as “probably the best” in the history of Welsh women’s football. “It was Welshness,” she said. “That’s what we needed tonight. We’re a small nation, very small nation in terms of women’s football, but when we’ve got everyone fit, we’re a good team.” It was a frustrating night for Eng- land, with nine Welsh players standing between them and the goal as Ludlow’s team stuck rigidly to their defensive formation. Despite that, Wales came closest to scoring when Natasha Harding’s shot deflected off Steph Houghton and was swept off the line by Lucia Bronze, with replays suggesting the ball may have crossed. At the other end, Barcelona’s Toni Duggan twice went close from distance while Jordan Nobbs rattled the crossbar from 25 yards after Wales keeper Laura O’Sullivan had got her fingertips to the ball. England’s next qualifier is away to Bosnia on Tuesday. England (4-1-4-1) Telford; Bronze, Houghton, McManus, Stokes; Walsh; Parris (Lawley 54), Nobbs, Kirby, Duggan (Mead 80); Taylor (White 54). Subs Bardsley, Daly, George, Christiansen. Booked Houghton, McManus Wales (5-4-1) O’Sullivan; Roberts, Ladd, Dykes, Ingle, Estcourt; Rowe, James, Fishlock, Harding; Green. Subs Skinner, Griffiths, Lawrence, Hughes, Fletcher, Miles, Ward. Booked Harding, Ingle Referee Pernilla Larsson (Sweden). 16 Saturday 7 April 2018 The Daily Telegraph *** Sport Premier League Match details and possible teams Everton v Liverpool Today 12.30pm 1 Pickford 23 4 6 3 Coleman Keane Jagielka Baines 2 17 Schneiderlin Gueye 11 10 7 Walcott Rooney Bolasie 14 WWWLWW Out Holgate (ankle), Sigurdsson, Mangala (both knee), McCarthy (leg), Stekelenburg (groin). Test (Gueye (hamstring). Out Lallana (hamstring), Matip (thigh), Gomez (ankle), Woodburn (knock). Tests Can (back), Salah (groin), Klavan (knock). 19 9 28 Mane Firmino Ings 14 Milner 26 4 6 66 Robertson Van Dijk Lovren AlexanderArnold 1 Karius 1 Schmeichel 2 5 15 3 Simpson Morgan Maguire Chilwell 21 14 Iborra Silva 26 20 11 Mahrez Okazaki Albrighton 9 9 Gayle 17 Perez 15 10 8 11 Kenedy Diame Shelvey Ritchie 3 20 6 22 Dummett Lejeune Lascelles Yedlin 12 Dubravka Top scorers 77 Goals scored by Salah, Mane and Firmino this term TV 29 24 21 16 15 Today 3pm DWDLWW Out James (Achilles), Ndidi (ban), Amartey (hamstring). Out Gamez (ankle). Tests Diame (knock), Elliot (back), Joselu (ankle). 15 Jamie Vardy is five off the magic figure of 20 goals 369 356 351 339 334 West Brom Tottenham Hotspur Chelsea Man Utd Arsenal Cards red/yellow 2/66 4/55 3/56 1/59 0/58 TV Chelsea Arsenal Tottenham Hotspur Liverpool Man City 18 Koscielny Mustafi Monreal 10 29 17 Xhaka Iwobi 11 10 Gabbiadini Austin 11 19 18 23 Tadic Boufal Lemina Hojbjerg Bertrand Stephens 42 Zaha Benteke Townsend 4 7 3 12 34 29 Van Aanholt Sakho Kelly Wan-Bissaka Hennessey 6 2 Hoedt Cedric 13 McCarthy 30 Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur 8 6 17 3 Johnson Zouma Shawcross Pieters 22 27 4 11 Shaqiri Ndiaye Allen Jese 25 18 Crouch Diouf 37 31 24 17 17 23 20 Son Eriksen Alli 15 19 Dier Dembele 6 5 Man City Liverpool Man Utd Arsenal Tottenham Hotspur 40 33 33 29 26 1 Lloris 1 Foster 25 2 5 Arsenal Leicester West Brom Liverpool Chelsea 7 5 5 5 5 14 12 11 11 11 Man City Man Utd Watford Tottenham Hotspur Arsenal 17 14 11 11 11 Yacob Today 3pm DDDLLL DWWWWW Out ChoupoMoting (groin), Adam (ban), Stafylidis (rib), Grant (wrist). Tests Zouma (knee), Diouf (calf). Out Winks (ankle). 19 Goals scored by Spurs in last five against Stoke 9 Rondon 4 14 Ki 33 26 Olsson V D Hoorn Fernandez Mawson Naughton Fabianski Chelsea v West Ham United 13 28 2 27 Rudiger Christensen 15 7 4 3 Moses Kante Fabregas Alonso TV Live, Sky Sports Highlights MOTD Today 3pm DWLWDL Out Barry (knee), Field (calf), Morrison (Achilles). Tests Sturridge (hamstring), Chadli (thigh). Out Fer (Achilles), Bony (knee), Rangel (groin), Sanches (hamstring), J Ayew (ban). 24 19 Propper Izquierdo Hazard TV 17 LWLLWL LWLLLW Out Ampadu, Luiz (both ankle), Barkley (fitness), Pedro (knock), Zappacosta (muscle). Tests Courtois (hamstring). Out Antonio (hamstring), Hernandez (illness), Reid, Obiang (both knee), Carroll (foot). Tests Lanzini (knee), Collins (hamstring). Match notes This will be a test for Morata Out Kachunga (ankle), Williams (leg), Hefele (knee). Test Stankovic (knee). Match notes Chris Hughton admits a Murray run-in that includes meetings with each of the top four increases the pressure on his Brighton side to secure victory against Huddersfield. Their visitors have failed to score and collected just one point in their past four games. Prediction 2-0 Ian Winrow 20 Depoitre 22 21 Ince 5 Kongolo 17 Pritchard Van La Parra 10 6 Mooy Hogg 26 25 Referee A Taylor Cheshire 394 2 Schindler Jorgensen Smith Minutes without a goal for visitors Huddersfield 1 Lossl Watford v Burnley Karnezis 2 6 5 25 Janmaat Mariappa Prodl Holebas 19 29 Hughes Capoue TV Highlights MOTD Today 3pm 30 16 37 11 Doucoure Pereyra Richarlison 9 LWWLLD DLDWWW Out Deulofeu, Kaboul (both foot), Cleverley (hamstring), Hoban, Chalobah (both knee). Tests Britos (illness), Kabasele (hamstring). Out Gudmundsson (calf), Arfield, Defour, Walters, Brady (all knee). Tests Heaton (fitness), Mee (knock). Match notes Burnley’s push for a Deeney 11 10 Wood Barnes 25 18 4 7 Lennon Westwood Cork Nkoudou shock place in Europe is gathering momentum with three wins in a row. Ashley Barnes is in form, scoring in four successive games. Sean Dyche, their manager, returns to former club Watford, who are close to safety. Prediction 1-2 Arindam Rej Referee P Tierney Lancashire 23 6 5 2 Ward Mee Tarkowski Lowton 21 29 Burnley players to have had League starts this season Pope TV Highlights MOTD Manchester City v Manchester United Today 5.30pm 31 Ederson 2 4 30 3 Walker Kompany Otamendi Danilo 25 Fernandinho 8 Out Romero (knee). Gundogan 33 Match notes City and Pep Guardiola have the opportunity to rub United and Jose Mourinho’s noses in it by clinching the title today. Guardiola’s team is likely to be influenced by the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final at home to Liverpool three days later. Prediction 1-1 James Ducker 9 Lukaku 8 14 Sanchez WLWWWW Out Mendy (knee). Tests Aguero (knee), Delph (muscle), Laporte (foot). B Silva Jesus 7 DWWWWW 20 7 Mata Lingard 6 31 Pogba Matic 18 12 2 25 Young Smalling Lindelof Valencia Referee M Atkinson County 175 Games between these two sides since 1894 1 Highlights MOTD Tomorrow 4.30pm WWLDLL Out Skalak (ankle), Brown (knee), Sidwell (back), Knockaert (ban). Test Stephens (thigh). 13 Referee R East Wiltshire 9 WDWWLL Gross 17 predict a Swansea win given their improvement and Albion’s run of nine straight defeats, but sometimes the upheaval of a managerial sacking provokes a reaction and Albion might respond to Alan Pardew’s exit well. Prediction 1-1 Jon Culley 10 9 Willian 7 Kayal Highlights MOTD LLLLLL West Brom have lost their past nine matches 1 Azpilicueta Referee A Marriner West Midlands Goals scored by Arsenal in past four home wins Dyer 6 Courtois seems inevitable given the growing irrelevance of Arsenal’s league campaign in relation to their Europa League exploits. Southampton are also still in two competitions, but Premier League survival is their clear priority. Prediction 1-1 Jeremy Wilson 13 12 Carroll 5 11 Knockaert Match notes It would be easy to A Ayew Clucas 3 Bong De Bruyne 19 16 5 Dunk Sterling 19 Rodriguez 17 TV Brunt WLDDLL Out Cazorla (foot), Ospina (ankle), Mkhitaryan (knee). Tests Kolasinac, (knee). 3 Gibbs 11 Livermore Goals in first 10 mins 5 5 5 5 5 26 Hegazi 8 Nyom 22 Duffy Highlights MOTD Referee G Scott Oxfordshire 2 Davinson Vertonghen Trippier McAuley Dawson TV three wins from their final six games to stand a chance of avoiding relegation. Given they have won once this year, it seems unlikely they will start with a victory against a Tottenham side looking to cement a top-four spot. Prediction 0-3 Matt Law Kane 7 23 21 Schelotto Match notes Stoke need at least 10 Davies Ryan Referee J Moss West Yorkshire Years since Bournemouth last won this fixture 13 Today 3pm 1 the Cherries to the magical ’40 points mark’, but Palace are still perilously positioned outside the relegation zone. There is plenty of reason for the visitors to be optimistic however – not least the form of Wilfried Zaha. Prediction 1-2 Tom Prentki Cabaye 22 20 5 17 18 Match notes Another low crowd Lacazette 21 11 McArthur Milivojevic Ozil 9 Out Wickham (groin), Schlupp, Sako (both ankle), Ward (muscle), Speroni, Dann, Puncheon (all knee). Test Benteke (groin). Brighton v Huddersfield Match notes One more win will lift Wilson Highlights MOTD Right-foot goals 10 10 9 9 9 WLLLWW 20 Out Stanislas, A Smith (both knee), Mings (back). Tests Mousset (illness), Francis (hamstring). 17 33 Tomorrow 2.15pm 33 LLLLWL King Butland Goals in last 10 mins Arsenal v Southampton Wilshere 7 Pugh 1 Man City Liverpool Tottenham Hotspur Man Utd Arsenal Headed goals Ramsey 8 Arter Left-foot goals 377 354 352 349 337 Set-piece goals 8 16 L Cook Today 3pm LDDLWD West Bromwich Albion v Swansea City Liverpool Arsenal AFC Bournemouth Tottenham Hotspur Southampton Fouls won Bellerin 33 Ibe Referee S Attwell Warwickshire Hit the woodwork 543 537 525 496 494 Cech 11 Daniels inching closer to Premier League survival, Leicester are dreaming of another European excursion. The Europa League is firmly in Leicester’s sights and it appears a straight battle between Leicester and Burnley to finish seventh. Everton Watford West Brom Crystal Palace Man Utd Total shots 6 3 S Cook Live, Sky Sports Highlights MOTD DLDDWW Fouls committed 24 5 Ake 13 Premier League statistics West Ham Watford Huddersfield West Brom Burnley 2 Francis Match notes While Rafa Benitez is Vardy West Ham AFC Bournemouth Man Utd Burnley Chelsea Begovic Referee M Oliver Durham Leicester City v Newcastle United Liverpool Man City Tottenham Hotspur Chelsea Arsenal 27 better chance to end their incredible winless streak. Liverpool have several absentees, with Mo Salah likely to be the most significant. The Champions League second leg is Liverpool’s priority. Will Everton take advantage? Prediction 1-0 Chris Bascombe 7 Oxlade- Henderson Chamberlain Salah (Liverpool) Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) Aguero (Man City) Sterling (Man City) Lukaku (Man Utd) Bournemouth v Crystal Palace Match notes Everton will not get a Tosun 29 WLLWWL De Gea TV Live, Sky Sports Highlights MOTD Table HOME AWAY Next games P W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts 1 Man City 31 14 1 0 51 10 13 2 1 37 11 67 84 Tottenham (A), Swansea (H) 2 Man Utd 31 13 2 1 35 7 8 3 4 25 16 37 68 West Brom (H), Bournemouth (A) 3 Liverpool 32 10 6 0 38 10 9 3 4 37 25 40 66 Bournemouth (H), West Brom (A) 4 Tottenham 31 10 4 1 31 9 9 3 4 31 17 36 64 Man City (H), Brighton (A) 5 Chelsea 31 10 2 4 27 14 7 3 5 26 16 23 56 Southampton (A), Burnley (A) 6 Arsenal 31 12 2 2 42 17 3 4 8 16 24 17 51 Newcastle (A), West Ham (H) 7 Burnley 31 6 4 5 12 12 6 6 4 17 15 2 46 Leicester (H), Chelsea (H) 8 Leicester 31 6 5 4 21 17 5 5 6 26 26 4 43 Burnley (A), Southampton (H) 9 Everton 32 9 2 5 26 21 2 5 9 12 32 -15 40 Swansea (A), Newcastle (H) Liverpool (A), Man Utd (H) 10 Bournemouth 32 6 4 6 23 26 3 6 7 16 25 -12 37 26 41 Chelsea. A test of how motivated they remain with the top four gone and with manager Antonio Conte appearing to be on his way, also, while West Ham arrive after producing their best performance of the season. Prediction 1-1 Jason Burt 2 5 Masuaku Rice Referee K Friend Leicestershire 16 Huddersfield 32 5 5 6 15 22 3 2 11 10 31 -28 31 Watford (H), Everton (H) 2,161 17 Crystal Pal 32 4 5 7 19 25 3 4 9 12 25 -19 30 Brighton (H), Watford (A) 18 Southampton 31 19 Stoke 32 3 5 7 4 6 16 21 7 17 25 2 1 6 7 13 26 -18 28 5 10 12 36 -32 27 West Ham (A), Burnley (H) 32 2 7 7 17 26 1 4 11 8 25 -26 20 Man Utd (A), Liverpool (H) 7 18 Arnautovic Joao Mario 31 16 8 Edmilson Noble Kouyate 5 21 3 Zabaleta Ogbonna Cresswell 25 Hart Minutes since N’Golo Kante last scored a goal TV Live, Sky Sports Highlights MOTD 11 Watford 12 Newcastle 13 Brighton 32 31 31 6 6 6 5 4 6 5 24 28 6 16 15 4 21 23 4 3 2 14 West Ham 31 6 4 5 19 20 2 2 10 17 29 -16 37 Huddersfield (A), Crystal P (H) Arsenal (H), Everton (A) 4 8 15 25 -9 35 4 9 7 19 -14 34 Crystal P (A), Tottenham (H) Stoke (H), Arsenal (A) 5 9 20 37 -18 33 15 Swansea 31 6 2 7 15 19 20 West Brom 9 10 25 -19 31 Everton (H), Man City (A) Chelsea (H), Leicester (A) The Daily Telegraph Saturday 7 April 2018 ** 17 Sport Football JIM WHITE Fixtures Kick-off 3pm unless stated Sky Bet Championship P Wolves 41 Cardiff 40 Fulham 40 Aston Villa 40 Derby 39 Middlesbro 40 Bristol City 40 Millwall 40 Sheff Utd 40 Preston 40 Brentford 40 Ipswich 40 Leeds Utd 40 Norwich 40 QPR 40 Sheff Wed 40 N Forest 39 Hull 40 Reading 40 Bolton 40 Birmingham 40 Barnsley 39 Sunderland 40 Burton 40 HOME W D L 14 4 2 15 3 3 11 7 2 12 6 2 9 5 5 11 3 6 10 5 5 10 7 3 11 4 5 7 7 6 7 10 3 8 5 7 8 5 7 6 8 6 10 5 5 6 7 7 8 2 9 6 8 6 4 7 9 8 4 8 8 2 10 3 8 9 2 6 12 2 5 13 F 43 38 36 39 30 27 31 30 30 22 33 26 27 20 30 29 20 37 22 22 15 18 18 14 A 18 15 15 18 18 16 19 18 17 20 22 21 25 21 26 29 25 29 29 25 21 28 36 37 AWAY W D L 13 4 4 9 5 5 10 5 5 9 4 7 8 9 3 7 6 7 6 9 5 6 7 7 7 4 9 8 8 4 8 3 9 7 3 10 7 3 10 7 5 8 3 6 11 5 7 8 5 5 10 3 6 11 5 5 10 1 8 11 3 4 13 4 5 10 4 7 9 5 5 10 F 31 24 34 25 27 29 25 20 23 27 23 23 25 22 19 19 23 18 23 12 15 21 25 15 Barnsley v Sheffield Utd Birmingham v Burton Brentford v Ipswich Derby v Bolton Hull v QPR Leeds v Sunderland Middlesbrough v Nottingham Forest Millwall v Bristol City Norwich v Aston Villa Reading v Preston North End Sheffield Wednesday v Fulham A GD Pts 18 38 89 19 28 80 26 29 75 19 27 73 20 19 65 23 17 63 26 11 62 21 11 62 28 8 62 22 7 60 25 9 58 30 -2 53 31 -4 53 29 -8 52 31 -8 50 25 -6 47 31 -13 46 32 -6 41 31 -15 39 34 -25 39 36 -27 39 30 -19 34 36 -29 31 34 -42 31 (12.15) Blackburn Shrewsbury Wigan Rotherham Peterboro’ Charlton Portsmouth Scunthorpe Plymouth Bristol Rvs Bradford Southend Fleetwood Doncaster Gillingham Blackpool Oxford Utd Walsall Oldham AFC W’don MK Dons Rochdale Northamptn Bury HOME W D L 12 6 2 13 3 3 11 6 2 12 3 5 11 4 6 10 6 5 11 3 7 7 7 6 11 2 7 11 2 6 7 2 9 11 6 4 6 6 9 7 7 4 4 9 5 6 7 6 7 5 7 7 6 7 8 3 8 7 3 9 6 8 7 5 8 4 6 4 11 6 4 11 F 40 28 30 39 35 30 31 24 33 34 22 34 30 27 21 26 30 26 29 19 23 17 16 17 (12.30) AWAY W D L 12 4 3 11 6 4 13 2 4 8 3 9 5 9 5 7 4 7 8 1 10 8 8 4 6 7 6 5 4 12 9 3 8 3 5 11 8 3 8 5 6 9 8 4 9 5 7 9 5 5 10 4 5 10 3 7 9 4 6 10 4 4 11 4 6 11 4 6 10 1 5 13 F 34 27 42 26 28 23 20 33 18 22 27 15 23 20 22 20 25 21 23 18 17 23 20 15 A GD Pts 18 38 82 21 22 81 16 47 80 28 16 66 24 14 61 24 6 61 28 3 61 26 9 60 19 4 60 34 -4 54 28 -7 53 38 -10 53 26 -4 51 26 2 49 27 -4 49 25 -6 47 31 -6 46 30 -11 44 38 -14 43 25 -13 42 28 -14 42 31 -6 41 36 -33 40 34 -29 30 Sky Bet League Two Accrington Luton Wycombe Exeter Notts Cnty Lincoln City Coventry Mansfield Swindon Colchester Carlisle Newport Co Crawley Cambridge Cheltenham Stevenage Yeovil Crewe Port Vale Morecambe Forest Green Grimsby Chesterfield Barnet P 39 41 41 40 41 40 40 40 40 41 41 39 41 40 41 40 38 41 41 39 40 41 38 41 Barnet v Forest Green Cambridge Utd v Exeter Cheltenham v Morecambe F 38 56 42 29 37 35 31 37 24 29 29 26 28 27 27 38 27 29 23 19 31 15 25 18 Tomorrow Lincoln City v Shrewsbury (Wembley) Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership P Celtic 32 Aberdeen 32 Rangers 32 Hibernian 32 Kilmarnock 31 Hearts 32 Motherwell 32 St Johnstone 32 Hamilton 31 Dundee 32 Ross County 32 Partick 32 HOME W D 10 6 10 2 7 2 9 3 8 3 6 7 6 5 5 4 4 3 4 3 3 5 5 3 L 0 4 7 4 6 2 6 7 8 9 8 7 F 33 27 25 27 26 18 20 15 21 15 22 17 A 8 15 19 18 24 9 16 25 29 25 27 20 AWAY W D L 11 3 2 9 3 4 11 3 2 7 7 2 5 7 2 4 6 7 4 2 9 5 3 8 4 3 9 4 3 9 3 2 11 1 4 12 F 29 23 38 21 16 15 16 17 20 16 15 9 Hearts v Aberdeen Partick v Kilmarnock Rangers v Dundee Ross County v Hibernian St Johnstone v Motherwell Tomorrow Hamilton v Celtic A GD Pts 12 42 72 19 16 62 19 25 59 16 14 58 14 4 49 21 3 43 27 -7 37 22 -15 37 27 -15 30 24 -18 30 29 -19 25 36 -30 25 (12.30) Brechin v St Mirren Dumbarton v Dundee Utd Falkirk v Dunfermline Livingston v Morton Queen of the South v Inverness CT Ladbrokes Scottish League One A 18 12 9 21 25 23 20 22 28 26 28 21 31 19 20 27 30 28 28 25 26 15 33 27 AFC Wimbledon v Scunthorpe Blackburn v Southend Blackpool v Bradford Bristol Rovers v Charlton Gillingham v Doncaster Oxford Utd v Oldham Plymouth v Peterborough Rochdale v Portsmouth Rotherham v Fleetwood Walsall v Bury Wigan v Milton Keynes Dons HOME W D L 15 2 3 15 2 4 11 5 5 13 3 4 12 6 2 11 6 3 12 3 5 10 8 2 8 3 8 9 6 5 7 8 6 6 10 3 8 4 9 11 5 4 7 6 7 8 8 4 8 4 7 8 4 9 6 6 8 6 6 7 9 2 10 4 8 8 7 3 10 5 6 9 Checkatrade Trophy final Ladbrokes Scottish Championship Sky Bet League One P 39 40 38 40 40 39 40 40 39 40 38 40 40 38 39 40 39 39 38 39 40 38 41 40 WEEKEND LOWDOWN Colchester v Accrington Grimsby v Chesterfield Mansfield v Crewe Newport Co v Stevenage Notts County v Coventry Port Vale v Crawley Swindon v Carlisle Yeovil v Luton A 18 22 31 16 17 21 19 20 33 19 21 20 26 17 24 23 19 31 25 23 32 23 30 25 AWAY W D L 10 3 6 7 9 4 10 6 4 8 3 9 6 7 8 7 7 6 7 5 8 6 7 7 11 2 8 7 7 7 9 4 7 7 5 8 7 5 8 3 7 10 5 6 10 4 4 12 4 5 10 5 1 14 4 7 10 3 9 8 2 5 12 5 3 13 2 4 12 3 3 15 F 28 28 33 25 24 22 19 20 37 22 28 23 23 15 32 16 26 23 22 19 17 18 16 19 A GD Pts 22 26 80 21 41 77 24 20 74 29 9 69 26 18 67 21 15 67 19 12 65 23 14 63 27 1 62 26 6 61 29 7 60 30 -1 54 32 -7 54 35 -10 54 36 -1 48 34 -3 48 40 -6 45 36 -15 44 32 -12 43 25 -10 42 37 -21 40 40 -30 38 38 -27 34 38 -26 33 Airdrieonians v Ayr Albion v Forfar Alloa v Stranraer Arbroath v Raith Queen’s Park v East Fife LADBROKES SCOTTISH LEAGUE TWO: Annan Athletic v Elgin, Berwick v Peterhead, Cowdenbeath v Clyde, Edinburgh City v Stenhousemuir, Stirling v Montrose. VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE: AFC Fylde v Sutton Utd, Aldershot v Maidenhead Utd, Bromley v Gateshead, Chester FC v Tranmere, Dagenham & Redbridge v Woking, Dover v Torquay, Eastleigh v Wrexham, Ebbsfleet Utd v Macclesfield (12.15), FC Halifax v Boreham Wood, Guiseley v Maidstone Utd, Hartlepool v Solihull Moors, Leyton Orient v Barrow. North: AFC Telford v Chorley, Alfreton Tn v Spennymoor Tn, Blyth Spartans v Kidderminster, Bradford P A v Leamington, Curzon Ashton v Brackley, Darlington v Boston Utd, North Ferriby Utd v Stockport Co, Salford City v Gainsborough, Southport v Nuneaton, Tamworth v FC United of Manchester, York v Harrogate Tn. South: Chelmsford v Poole Tn, Concord Rangers v Hampton & Richmond, Dartford v Weston-S-Mare, Gloucester v Bognor Regis Tn, Hemel Hempstead v Chippenham, Hungerford Tn v Braintree Tn, Oxford City v Eastbourne Borough, St Albans v Whitehawk, Truro City v East Thurrock, Wealdstone v Bath City, Welling v Havant and W. EVO-STIK NORTHERN PREMIER.-Prem: Ashton Utd v Whitby, Barwell v Sutton Coldfield Tn, Buxton v Workington, Grantham v Mickleover Sports, Hednesford v Stourbridge, Lancaster City v Altrincham, Marine v Witton Albion, Matlock Tn v Coalville Tn, Nantwich Tn v Warrington Tn, Rushall Olympic v Shaw Lane, Stafford Rangers v Halesowen, Stalybridge v Farsley Celtic. EVO-STIK SOUTHERN.-Prem: Banbury v Biggleswade Tn, Dorchester v Bishop’s Stortford, Dunstable v Kettering, Farnborough v Tiverton, Gosport Borough v St Ives Tn, Hereford FC v Chesham, Hitchin v Frome Tn, Kings Langley v St Neots Tn, Kings Lynn Tn v Merthyr Tn, Redditch v Weymouth, Royston Tn v Basingstoke, Stratford Tn v Slough. BOSTIK.-Prem: Brightlingsea Regent v Harrow Borough, Burgess Hill Tn v Dulwich, Enfield Tn v Billericay, Folkestone Invicta v Leiston, Hendon v Worthing, Leatherhead v Staines Tn, Margate v Harlow, Needham Market v Dorking Wanderers, Thurrock v Met Police, Tooting & Mitcham v Tonbridge Angels, Wingate & Finchley v Kingstonian. DANSKE BANK IRISH PREMIERSHIP: Ards v Glentoran, Ballinamallard Utd v Warrenpoint Tn, Coleraine v Cliftonville, Crusaders v Glenavon, Dungannon Swifts v Carrick, Linfield v Ballymena. JD WELSH PREMIER: Prestatyn Tn v Barry Tn (2.30). WELSH CUP.-Semi-finals: Connah’s Quay Nomads v Bangor City (7.35). Tomorrow: Aberystwyth v Newtown (12) SSE AIRTRICITY LGE.-Prem: Sligo v Derry City (7.45). PRESS & JOURNAL HIGHLAND: Brora v Deveronvale, Cove Rangers v Clachnacuddin, Forres Mechanics v Strathspey Thistle, Fort William v Keith, Huntly v Formartine United, Rothes v Nairn County, Turriff United v Inverurie Loco Works, Wick Academy v Fraserburgh. FERRARI PACKAGING LOWLAND: Civil Service Strollers v Vale Of Leithen, Cumbernauld Colts v Dalbeattie Star, East Stirling v Whitehill Welfare, Gala Fairydean v Stirling University, Gretna 2008 v Spartans, Hawick Royal Albert v Edinburgh Univ, Selkirk v Edusport Academy. PREMIER LEAGUE 2.-Div 1: Tottenham Hotspur v Derby (12). Div 1: Tottenham Hotspur v Derby (12). Results Sky Bet Championship Cardiff (0) 0 Wolves (0) 1 Neves 67 29,317 SSE AIRTRICITY LGE.-Prem: Bohemians 0 Limerick FC 0-Dundalk 2 Shamrock Rovers 1-St Patricks 5 Bray 0-Waterford 2 Cork City 1. PREMIER LGE 2.-Div 1: Liverpool 1 Arsenal 1-Man Utd 4 Sunderland 0. BARCLAYS U21 PREMIER LGE CUP.-Qtr-finals: Sheff Utd 2 Newcastle 1-Swansea L Brighton L. FRANCE: St Etienne 1 PSG 1. GERMANY: Hannover 96 2 W Bremen 1. SPAIN: Deportivo La Coruna 3 Malaga 2. WOMEN’S WORLD CUP Q’FIER: England 0 Wales 0. Top-flight stalwarts pay for arrogant recruitment A t the beginning of the season, no one saw this coming. Nobody predicted that, with a month to go, the bottom three in the Premier League would consist of Southampton, Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion. These were model Premier League clubs, providing a pertinent example to aspiring Championship sides of how to survive in the self-styled most competitive league in Europe. Apparently sensibly led, shrewdly operated, they seemed to have anchored themselves in the division, wisely using the bounty of sustained membership to buff up their infrastructure and improve the quality of their playing staff. How deceptive appearances can be. Sure, as the season began, there were grumbles among the supporters at the Hawthorns and the bet365 Stadium about unambitious playing styles. But inal. nobody thought them terminal. No one imagined it was ing remotely a threat to remaining attached to the hosepipe of Premier League television cash. All that was needed, it ng seemed, was a bit of tinkering and a couple of changes. Mainly in the dugout. For a while, this season’s d relegation battle had looked Bleak: Darren Moore faces a tough task at West Brom the tightest in years, involving as to have followed the economic many as 10 clubs. But over the past model of the pre-crash banking couple of weeks, the picture has system, splurging the booty changed. As others have coming their way on hapless, discovered form at the right time, sub-prime assets. Saido Berahino, the threesome have found Daniel Sturridge, Mauricio themselves drifting. Now they are Pellegrino: the list of worthless all deep in the mire; West Brom, investments is not short. barring a Darren Moore-inspired And while clubs like Swansea miracle, already gone. and Palace have benefited from This weekend’s fixtures suggest managerial change, there has little hope of imminent recovery. been no new-guy upswing at the Stoke are at home to Tottenham, bottom three. But then, when the Southampton visit Arsenal, while new guys are Mark Hughes, Paul West Brom face Swansea. A Lambert and the now point between them jettisoned but still My seems a generous perpetually mistake prediction. To self-satisfied Alan On Tuesday I voted for the make matters Pardew, that is Football Writers’ Association even less palatable no surprise. Footballer of the Year. It is a for their followers, The real worry secret ballot and there is no above them, for the three requirement to reveal my Crystal Palace – clubs’ endorsement. But let’s just say, away at supporters, given what happened at Anfield, Bournemouth however, is what I wish I had waited until – and happens next Wednesday night to Huddersfield should the table cast it. – away at Brighton remain as it is for – appear to have been another month. favourabl blessed by more favourably Looking at the position of com the fixture computer. others who were once Quite how it came to this considered Premier League leng requires lengthier analysis than stalwarts will send a chill down is available here. But all three many a spine. Coventry are in see to have clubs seem League Two; Charlton, Blackburn convin convinced themselves and Wigan scrabbling to leave w they were permanent League One; Sunderland fixtur in the division, fixtures apparently anxious to join them. beha behaving with an The fact is, football – as any Leeds arrog arrogant certainty they fan recalling the days of David s had somehow cracked O’Leary will tell you – has a most Be it. Beneath a surface of brutal way of dealing with those ration rationality, they appear who think they have made it. Best way to honour Wilkins is to act like the man himself Premier League strugglers could do worse than Cowley O T f all the stories of Ray It was the time Wilkins took to Wilkins’s warmth and engage him in conversation, to kindness that filled the find out his story, to treat him as a newspapers and airwaves human being. For someone as following his horribly premature celebrated as he was to show death this week, the most such consideration was telling came from a something the man Still former soldier who would never forget. got it rang Talksport to As those of us Even in semi-retirement, no remember an who recall what one could suggest Zlatan encounter with he delivered on Ibrahimovic lacks confidence. the great man. the pitch make After his remarkable debut volley our way to football At the time they for LA Galaxy he said “the fans met, the caller was this weekend, were demanding something and I maybe the best homeless and gave them Zlatan”. No doubt he begging outside a way to will deliver something equally Tube station near acknowledge magnificent on Stamford Bridge. what Ray Wilkins Monday. Wilkins, hurrying on delivered to us all his way to work there, would be this: instead of had stopped and sat down passing by as we normally do, with him on his blanket. The man to stop for a moment and talk to recognised him immediately. But one of those marooned on our city Wilkins was not seeking streets. You get the feeling that, as recognition. And it was not just the tributes go, it would be the one £20 he gave that left its mark. Wilkins would most appreciate. his time last year Danny Cowley was preparing to play at the Emirates in the sixth round of the FA Cup. His Lincoln City side were the first non-league club ever to reach the quarter-final. And 12 months on, he has produced another bit of history, taking Lincoln to Wembley for the first time when the now-League Two side play Shrewsbury in the Checkatrade Trophy final tomorrow. Though he presents a constant threat to the hind limbs of donkeys, the shrewd and progressive Cowley has proved far more than just relentlessly chatty. His tactical nous and man-management have steered the club to nosebleed-inducing heights. When searching for their next manager, as all three will surely be doing imminently, West Brom, Stoke or Southampton might well be wise to look east. 18 Saturday 7 April 2018 The Daily Telegraph ** Sport Rugby Union Inside Wellington’s teenage boot camp Charlie Morgan n How an under-16 rugby festival is moulding the next generation of stars both on and off the field E xeter Chiefs scored the first try of a drizzly but action-packed Tuesday afternoon at Wellington College. Hooker Nathan Karea swiped an interception in midfield and scampered clear, before turning to find prop Harry Davies, who took a neat pass and slid over close to the posts. The combination between two skilful front-row colleagues encapsulated how the Rugby Football Union Under-16 Festival has shifted its focus. In the past, four divisional teams – North, London and South East, Midlands and South West – took part. Since 2016, all 14 Premiership academies, the dozen top-tier ol and Yorkshire, clubs plus Bristol have sent squadss of 30. A fleet of 420 players, rather reviously, stay than 100 or so previously, pendent school at the vast independent in Berkshire. ays, Tuesday Two match-days, ature and Saturday, feature uch as law variations such ions mauling restrictions and time limits on penalties. These are partly based on a calculated prediction of future trends. However, heightening ball-in-play time also increases scope for decision-making. Don Barrell, the RFU’s head of regional academies, puts it best: “The more the kids touch the ball, the more they can review.” One difference this year is that subsequent England Under-16 fixtures have been scrapped. Barrell, a former Saracens and Bedford Blues back-rower, who played in the same age-grade side as Danny Cipriani and Dylan Hartley, stresses that nobody benefits from becoming an international player at this age. At the festival itself, talent identification is not a priority. Exploring boundaries and capabilities takes precedence. “No expert in the world is going to make an assured call on a 16-year-old,” explains Barrell. “The earlier you narrow the pathway, the less likely you are to be right. It’s not all about the rugby, it’s about the opportunities they get. That’s where the Premiership and international players will be made. “We’ve broadened because we want those kids to get an experience. If it was just about the rugby, we could chop all the days out between the games and just run two wee weekends of games.” On Mo Monday, England Sevens trained in front of the yo youngsters and head coach Simon Amor addressed them to outline alternativ alternative routes in the game. Fresh from takchar ing charge Sun of Sunday’s Cham Champions Cup quarterq final between Cle Clermont Au Auvergne an and Racing 92 92, Wayne B Barnes then spoke about moving into refereeing and how being on the same wavelength as officials can provide an edge. Barrell’s welcome presentation began with a stark statistic. On average, only 65 under-18s per season are signed to professional contracts. The message is repeated in a talk for parents the next morning, which also relayed the concussion policy – 23 days is the earliest an under-16 can return to play. “If you want to judge the pathway, you judge it by the kids that exit,” says Barrell, who took up his position 10 months ago. “That’s an emotive thing, but one of the things I am accountable for is working with the clubs to make sure people feel there is added value. “By being part of an academy, you should have had an enriched life, whether you make it or not. A parent doesn’t stand at a barbecue and answer the question ‘how’s your kid?’ by saying: ‘He’s really compliant. He follows every instruction.’ They’d love to say: ‘Well he’s resilient, he’s creative, he works really hard’.” Barrell describes himself as “relatively restless”. He completed an undergraduate degree in anthropology at University College London during his early years at Saracens. Later, he acquired some bees and still produces honey from his garden. Learning is his chief passion. One of the slides on his presentation to the players contained a spelling mistake. The next slide asked if the players spotted it and whether they would have told him. While Barrell oversaw the Saracens Academy between 2012 and 2017, hugely gifted individuals came through. Some have become British and Irish Lions. Their former mentor says a common thread running through the Wellington College festival Law variations this year Scrums All infringements, except for foul play, are sanctioned by a free-kick rather than a penalty. Line-outs All infringements, except for foul play, are sanctioned by a free-kick rather than a penalty. Time limit of 20 seconds to throw the ball in from the assistant referee marking the lineout (sanction: free-kick). Limit of one maul, moving past the line of touch, per half in Tuesday’s 30-minute games and two per half in Saturday’s full game (sanction: free-kick). Quick throw can be taken with a different ball if the ball hits the crowd or stand. Restarts Team that has conceded a try has the choice of kicking or receiving. All kick-offs must land between 10-metre line and 22 (sanction: free-kick from the centre). General play Time limit of 10 seconds to play from a penalty or free-kick (sanction is a reverse free-kick). Rolling subs allowed. All squad players must start at least one game. Skateboarding sideline is Harrison’s stress-buster as he tries to keep Tigers’ Loyal scrum-half aims to maintain club’s play-off record against Bath, writes Daniel Schofield A s a one-club man who has represented his boyhood team for the past 10 years, Leicester scrum-half Sam Harrison is already something of a rarity in the modern game, which is even before you consider his sidelines in DJing and custom-made skateboards. No club takes quite as much pride in seeing a local boy made good as the Tigers. That was brought home to Harrison when he attended a dinner celebrating the 125th anniversary of Welford Road last month. All the great and the good were there, from the ABC club of Graham Rowntree, Richard Cockerill and Darren Garforth, to generations of players who represented Leicester through the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties. “I thought I was pretty clued up on the history but when you hear stats and stories from past players, it makes you realise how small a part you are of the bigger picture,” Harrison, who turns 28 today, says. “The big thing was David Matthews and Dosser Smith were saying Tigers is like a big wheel and everyone is a big part of that wheel. It is our responsibility as the current generation to make sure it keeps on turning.” That starts at Twickenham today against Bath as Leicester look to maintain their record of being ever-present in the end-of-season Premiership play-offs. Currently, they trail fourth-placed Newcastle, whom they face in the penultimate round of games, by three points. “We know we can’t afford any slip-ups,” Harrison says. “We have that traditional rivalry with Bath and to have it at Twickenham is extra special, but for us the most important thing is the win. We have been in this situation before and pulled through, so that experience is important, but you can’t rely on history.” Harrison’s turn as first-choice scrum-half is likely to be at an end, with Ben Youngs nearing his return to fitness. He accepts this pecking order without complaint. “I like to think I give Ben that competition you need if you want a successful squad. I often get asked, ‘Why haven’t you gone somewhere else to get a first-choice slot?’ I might get more game time elsewhere but I have always been happy here. I’m born and bred here. I grew up watching them and came through the academy. I have never wanted to play for another team.” Despite coming through the academy, rugby was not Harrison’s first love. He was seriously into boxing for a time and then there was skateboarding, which he tried to continue as long as possible onger explain until he could no longer away all the bumps and bruises to os, which is the Leicester physios, dustry began. how his cottage industry assionate about “Because I am passionate ought, well, if I skateboarding, I thought, ll try to make can’t do it then I will ys. “It is them,” Harrison says. more just a hobby I y enjoy and hopefully might develop into .” something one day.” Each skateboard is es handmade and takes 2 hours between two and 12 ster to complete. Leicester omua has team-mate Matt Toomua ouple to take already ordered a couple back to Australia. m between The Venn diagram The Daily Telegraph Saturday 7 April 2018 *** JULIAN SIMMONDS being appointed as the RFU’s head of international player development under professional rugby director Nigel Melville, watched Tuesday’s 30-minute matches at Wellington. “This is a great initiative,” he says of the expanded programme. “We’re a late maturation sport but, in the past, we have been desperate to put our finger on who we think is the right person, which is in complete conflict with how development works.” Coordinating a pathway that feeds into the senior international team, Ryan admits patience has been required. Decisions were im- Pathway: The RFU’s Under-16 Premiership Rugby Academy Finals provide young rugby players with the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of (left) coach Don Barrell highest achievers was a willingness to be different, to question the behaviour of their friends in order to improve them. Barrell also remembers Maro Itoje organising his own meetings with coaches via text message at 16. The edge, he says, is not found in physical attributes. Among other off-field activities over the week at Wellington are seminars on psychology, nutrition, anti-doping and social media. Daily skills challenges are staged inside a blue inflatable ring with a leaderboard standing close by. England head coach Eddie Jones visited on Wednesday, first for a players’ Q and A and then to sit on a panel in front of the academy coaches. Indeed, coach development is a concurrent objective. Dean Ryan, 18 months on from ‘big wheel’ turning Along for the ride: Sam Harrsion skateboards as a hobby makes sk skateboa skateboarders and professional rugby players pl must be pretty small. Add in h house music producer who once pe performed on Radio 1 and Harri Harrison is almost certainly in a grou of one. group ““I am not that much of a typ typical rugby player, but you would be surprised y what a lot of lads are into,” Harrison says. “You need an interest otherwise you are going to stress yourself out. As soon as I leave the training ground I will be doing trainin something else. That’s the way somet I have kept sane.” Initiative: The RFU’s Dean Ryan has hailed the Wellington Festival concept plemented quickly in previous jobs as a Premiership director of rugby. However, those experiences also give him acute insight into juggling development and performance, while working for “independent businesses that make judgments on what success looks like”. Ryan recognises the need to solidify a second-tier competition structure to help players transitioning between age-group rugby and the Premiership, providing viable reference points rather than seeing them “go up, get judged and come back down. That second tier can be whatever, we’ve never really got it right,” he admits. 19 “There are lots of things, the A League, the Championship. We’ve got to find the right structure that supports development. That’s my responsibility and other people’s responsibility to find that answer.” Ireland’s achievements this season, at international and provincial level, have been underscored by the emergence of James Ryan and Jacob Stockdale. While they acknowledge a system that is working nicely, neither Ryan nor Barrell are in the mood to panic. Both of them value the Wellington Festival as an excellent foundation for England’s healthy production line. 20 Saturday 7 April 2018 The Daily Telegraph ** Sport Rugby Union Game zone Yarde grabs victory at the death Sale Wasps 28 27 Att: 6,817 Today, 2pm Northampton recall Teimana Harrison after suspension, while Reece Marshall makes his first appearance for the club. Blair Cowan makes his first start for Saracens, while Liam Williams moves to full-back and Chris Wyles starts. Bath v Leicester By Paul Bolton at AJ Bell Stadium Sale pulled off a superb fightback to beat Wasps in a pulsating contest that showed the Premiership in its best light. Sale had named wing Denny Solomona in their starting XV but withdrew the England international after an RFU disciplinary panel suspended him for four weeks by for verbally abusing Worcester fly-half Jamie Shillcock two weeks ago. Solomona, who had been accused of making homophobic comments, denied the charge but he has decided not to appeal against the RFU’s panel’s decision. Steve Diamond, Sale’s director of rugby, said Solomona’s hearing had been a distraction in the build-up to this match but that his players were firmly behind their team-mate. “We have had a rough week behind the scenes with what’s happened to Denny, WillGriff John pulling out in the warm-up and James O’Connor coming off after just 12 minutes,” Diamond said. “The Denny situation was a distraction. It’s taken up most of my time this week but the squad are 100 per cent behind him. We are disappointed with the outcome but we move on. If we keep playing like that, maybe Denny will be able to play for us again in the play-offs. “When accusations like that are made, it affects everybody because we are a close club.” Sale demonstrated their togetherness by recovering from going 17 points down in the first 20 minutes to snatch victory with the final play of a dramatic contest, with Marland Yarde going over for the bonuspoint try on the overlap. By that stage Wasps were down to 14 men, with James Haskell in the Northampton v Saracens Today, 2pm TV: Live on Channel 5 and BT Sport 3 Francois Louw starts at flanker for Bath at Twickenham, while Rhys Priestland is given the nod at fly-half. Leicester recall Ellis Genge, Tatafu Polota-Nau and Mathew Tait. Harlequins v London Irish Today, 3pm Harlequins have made eight changes to the side who lost to Saracens, with England back row Jack Clifford making his first start since October after shoulder surgery. Irish are without Arno Botha (calf) and Conor Gilsenan (ankle). Worcester v Newcastle Power play: Marland Yarde tries to break his way through the Wasps’ defence during a pulsating contest last night sin-bin, and in defensive disarray as Danny Cipriani had been knocked out and carried off on a stretcher after Sale scrum-half Faf de Klerk clattered into him. “When we went 17 points down, I thought we were dead and buried,” admitted Diamond. With their captain Jono Ross leading from the front, Sale recovered from conceding tries to Josh Bassett and reduced Wasps’ lead to two points by the break. Rob Webber rumbled over from close range and AJ MacGinty then set up Byron McGuigan, who was promoted from the bench to re- place Solomona, with a pinpointaccurate crossfield kick. A minute into the second half, Sale were in front when Bryn Evans charged down an attempted clearance by Dan Robson and followed up to score. By that time Wasps had lost their composure. “We did everything really well for the first 25 minutes. We controlled the game, we had two opportunities and created two really good tries and got ourselves in a commanding position,” said Dai Young, the Wasps director of rugby. “Then we started to lose our discipline. We gave away three or four penalties which invited Sale back into the game and you don’t invite them back into the game.” Wasps had regained their composure when Elliot Daly went over for a try created by Christian Wade and Jimmy Gopperth banged over a penalty. It looked like Gopperth’s accuracy would prove decisive as MacGinty was off target with two conversions and a penalty. But Sale held their nerve to make it three consecutive-bonus point wins in a row and are now firmly in contention for a play-off place, with a trip to Newcastle Falcons on Friday. Today, 3pm Chris Pennell and Sam Lewis both return for the hosts after injury, while prop Ryan Bower is recalled for Ethan Waller and new signing Dorian Jones is on the bench. Wings Vereniki Goneva and Sinoti Sinoti both start for Newcastle. Exeter v Gloucester Tomorrow, 3pm TV: Live on BT Sport 1 Only Joe Simmonds and Dave Dennis are retained from the Exeter side who won the AngloWelsh Cup Final. The visitors make four changes, Tom Savage, Josh Hohneck, Tom Hudson and Ruan Ackermann all starting. Rugby fixtures Aviva Premiership Guinness Pro14 Sale 28 Wasps 27 Sale: M Haley, B McGuigan, S James, J O’Connor (L James 12), M Yarde, A MacGinty, F de Klerk, R Harrison (J Flynn 72), R Webber (M Jones 62), A Tarus (H Aulika 52), B Evans, A Ostrikov (J Beaumont 57), J Ross, B Curry (T Ioane 65), J Strauss (T Curry 54). Wasps: W le Roux, C Wade, E Daly, J Gopperth, J Bassett (J de Jongh 80), D Cipriani (G Armitage 80), D Robson (J Simpson 80), M Mullan (S McIntyre 52), T Cruse (T Taylor 62), J CooperWoolley (M Moore 75), J Launchbury, K Myall (W Rowlands 62), J Willis (J Haskell 69), T Young, G Thompson. Scores: 0-3 Cruse pen (8 mins); 0-8 Bassett try (11); 0-10 Gopperth con (11); 0-15 Bassett try (20); 0-17 Gopperth con (20); 3-17 MacGinty pen (25); 8-17 Webber try (37); 10-17 MacGinty con (37); 15-17 McGuigan try (40); 20-17 Evans try (41); 23-17 MacGinty pen (46); 23-22 Daly try (50); 23-24 Gopperth con (50); 23-27 Gopperth pen (65); 28-27 Yarde try (80). HT: 15-17. Referee: JP Doyle. P W D L B F A Pts Exeter 18 13 0 5 13 452 303 65 Saracens 18 12 0 6 9 514 305 57 Wasps 19 11 1 7 10 510 435 56 Newcastle 18 12 0 6 6 360 387 54 Sale 19 10 0 9 13 494 427 53 Leicester 18 11 0 7 7 424 388 51 Gloucester 18 10 1 7 9 411 437 51 Bath 18 9 0 9 10 441 417 46 Harlequins 18 7 0 11 8 435 483 36 North’pton 18 6 0 12 8 408 501 32 Worcester 18 5 0 13 7 322 513 27 London Irish 18 2 0 16 9 312 487 17 Edinburgh 20 Ulster 32 Edinburgh—T: Weir. C: Weir. P: Weir (2). Ulster—T: Cave, Piutau, Cooney, Henderson. C: Cooney (3). P: Cooney (2). HT: 13-19. Ospreys 39 Connacht 10 Ospreys—T: Hassler, D. Evans, Otten, Beck, Dirkson. C: Biggar (4). P: Biggar (2). Connacht—T: Ronaldson. C: Ronaldson. P: Carty. HT: 20-10. P W D L B F A Pts Glasgow 17 14 1 2 12 537 258 70 Munster 18 11 0 7 14 486 298 58 Cheetahs 18 10 0 8 12 534 488 52 Cardiff Blues 18 10 0 8 7 407 415 47 Ospreys 18 8 0 10 8 350 419 40 Connacht 19 6 0 13 10 376 432 34 Zebre 17 4 0 13 6 309 489 22 P Leinster 18 Scarlets 18 Edinburgh 19 Ulster 18 B Treviso 18 New Gwent 18 Southern Kings 18 W 13 12 13 10 9 2 1 D 1 1 0 1 0 2 0 L 4 5 6 7 9 14 17 B 10 11 7 9 9 5 7 F 535 455 418 470 352 311 324 A 304 297 342 443 387 576 716 Pts 64 61 59 51 45 17 11 Greene King IPA Championship Nottingham 17 Bristol 60 Nottingham—T: West, Stevens. C: Lyons (2). P: Lyons. Bristol—T: Morahan (2), Harris-Wright, Crane, Leiua, Fenton-Wells (2), Pisi. C: Madigan (7). P: Madigan (2). HT: 10-27. SUPER 15: Hurricanes 38 Sharks 37. Fixtures 3pm unless stated AVIVA PREMIERSHIP Bath v Leicester (2) Harlequins v London Irish Northampton v Saracens (2) Worcester v Newcastle GUINNESS PRO14 Benetton Treviso v Newport Gwent D’gons (5) Cheetahs v Cardiff Blues (2) Leinster v Zebre (2) Scarlets v Glasgow (4.15) Southern Kings v Munster (6.35) GREENE KING IPA CH'SHIP: Doncaster v Ealing Trailfinders (2.30), Hartpury RFC v Bedford (2.30), London Scottish v Rotherham Titans. P W D L B F A Pts Bristol 20 19 0 1 17 820 383 93 Ealing 18 15 0 3 15 645 374 75 Bedford 18 9 2 7 16 550 468 56 Jersey 19 11 1 7 8 441 399 54 Cornish P’s 19 9 0 10 16 557 503 52 Yorkshire 18 10 1 7 8 416 454 50 Doncaster 19 8 1 10 16 496 498 50 Richmond 19 9 0 10 8 383 488 44 Nottingham 19 8 1 10 7 439 543 41 Hartpury RFC 19 6 1 12 13 399 482 39 Lon Scottish 19 4 1 14 12 423 637 30 Rotherham 19 1 0 18 6 327 667 10 NATIONAL LGE.-1: Ampthill & District v Darlington Mowden Park, Birmingham Moseley v Old Elthamians, Bishop’s Stortford v Fylde, Blackheath v Cambridge, Coventry v Rosslyn Park, Esher v Loughborough Students, Hull Ionians v Plymouth Albion, Old Albanians v Caldy. P W D L B F A Pts Coventry 26 25 0 1 231097 379 123 Darlington 26 19 1 6 19 711 562 97 Ampthill & Dist 26 16 4 6 19 682 492 91 Plymouth A 24 15 2 7 20 663 433 84 Blackheath 26 15 2 9 15 690 530 79 Old Elthamians 26 14 1 11 14 630 589 72 Birmingham 26 13 2 11 14 589 655 70 Bishop’s St 26 13 1 12 14 610 606 68 Cambridge 26 12 0 14 14 517 511 62 Caldy 26 11 0 15 18 613 612 62 Esher 26 8 2 16 22 647 752 58 Rosslyn Pk 25 9 2 14 17 615 693 57 Hull Ionians 26 8 1 17 16 578 811 50 Loughboro S 25 7 3 15 13 582 767 47 Old Alb’s 26 7 1 18 13 508 808 43 Fylde 26 3 0 23 6 334 866 18 2, North: Hinckley v Stourbridge, Leicester Lions v Sheffield (2), Macclesfield v Otley, Sale v Chester, Sedgley Park v Huddersfield (2.30), Sheffield Tigers v Blaydon, South Leicester v Wharfedale, Tynedale v Luctonians. TOP 8 P W D L B F A Pts Sale 25 22 1 2 18 840 268 108 Sedgley Park 26 20 0 6 26 863 602 106 Tynedale 25 19 0 6 22 880 553 98 Stourbridge 26 18 1 7 22 810 608 96 Hinckley 25 17 0 8 22 752 449 90 Huddersfield 26 13 1 12 13 640 627 67 Chester 26 14 0 12 9 513 543 65 South Leicester 26 10 3 13 12 636 743 58 South: Barnstaple v Broadstreet (2.30), Bury St Edmunds v Redingensians, Canterbury v London Irish Wild Geese, Clifton v Henley (2.30), Old Redcliffians v Worthing, Redruth v Cinderford, Taunton Titans v Chinnor, Wimbledon v Tonbridge. TOP 8 P W D L B F A Pts Cinderford 26 25 0 1 24 947 431 124 Chinnor 26 23 1 2 21 845 543 115 Redingensians 26 18 1 7 22 802 551 96 Taunton Titans 26 19 0 7 18 869 561 94 Redruth 26 15 0 11 23 765 592 83 Henley 26 12 2 12 19 673 711 71 Tonbridge 26 14 1 11 12 594 549 70 Bury St Ed 26 13 0 13 17 704 672 69 BT PREMIERSHIP: Melrose v Ayr. P W D L B F A Pts Melrose 18 15 0 3 13 623 331 73 Currie 18 13 0 5 12 498 378 64 Ayr 18 13 0 5 9 472 387 61 Watsonians 18 11 1 6 11 582 402 57 Heriot’s RC 18 10 0 8 12 477 441 52 Boroughmuir 18 5 0 13 15 442 489 35 Stirling C 18 6 0 12 11 429 526 35 Hawick 18 6 0 12 10 398 593 34 Glasgow H 18 5 0 13 10 358 505 30 Marr 18 5 1 12 7 325 552 29 BT NATIONAL LGE.-Div 1: Aberdeen Grammar v Falkirk, Cartha Q P v Dundee HSFP, GHA v Edinburgh Acads, Jed-Forest v Selkirk, Musselburgh v Gala, Stewart’s Melville FP v Kelso. Div 2: GHK v Dumfries, Kirkcaldy v Hamilton, Lasswade v Howe of Fife, Preston Lodge FP v Peebles, West of Scotland v Biggar. Div 3: Dalziel v Gordonians, Glasgow Acads v Newton Stewart, Hillhead/Jordanhill v Haddington, Orkney v Murrayfield Wanderers (2), Perthshire v Highland, St Boswells v Ardrossan Acads. PRINCIPALITY BUILDING SOCIETY PREMIERSHIP: Bedwas v Cardiff Rugby (2.30), Bridgend v Carmarthen Quins (2.30), Pontypridd v RGC 1404 (2.30), Swansea v Neath (2.30). WRU NATIONAL CUP.-Semi-finals: Ebbw Vale v Merthyr (5.15), Newport v Llandovery (2.30). WRU NATIONAL CH’SHIP: Beddau v Trebanos (2.30), Bedlinog v Rhydyfelin (2.30), Narberth v Tata Steel (2.30), Newbridge v Glynneath (2.30), Pontypool v Newcastle Emlyn (2.30), Skewen v Cardiff Met (2.30). WRU NATIONAL.-Div 1, West: Aberystwyth v Dunvant (2.30), Gorseinon v Felinfoel (2.30), Gowerton v Llanelli Wanderers (2.30), Llangennech v Crymych (2.30), Penclawdd v Kidwelly (2.30), Tenby Utd v Tycroes (2.30). North: Bro Ffestiniog v Mold (2.30), Colwyn Bay v Bethesda (2.30), Llandudno v Caernarfon (2.30), Llangefni v Nant Conwy (2.30), Pwllheli v Dolgellau (2.30), Ruthin v Bala (2.30). East: Blaenavon v Ynysybwl (2.30), Caerleon v Brynmawr (2.30), Croesyceiliog v Brecon (2.30), Nelson v Abertillery B G (2.30), Penallta v Pontypool Utd (2.30), Risca v Dowlais (2.30). ULSTER BANK LEAGUE.-Div 1, Section A: Buccaneers v Garryowen (2.30), Cork Constitution v Terenure College (2.30), St Mary’s College v Clontarf (2.30), Young Munster v Lansdowne (2.30). Section B: Dolphin v Ballymena (2.30), Old Belvedere v Shannon (2.30), Old Wesley v Ballynahinch (2.30), UCC v Banbridge, UL Bohemian v Naas (2.30). WOMEN'S TYRRELLS PREMIER 15S: Wasps FC Ladies v Harlequins Ladies (1), GloucesterHartpury Women's RFC v Hartpury College Saracens Women (4.15). Tomorrow AVIVA PREMIERSHIP Exeter v Gloucester GREENE KING IPA CH'SHIP: Cornish Pirates v Richmond (2.30), Yorkshire Carnegie v Jersey. The Daily Telegraph Saturday 7 April 2018 WILL GREENWOOD ** 21 Sport Subject Defenders at the ruck drop theatrically, demanding help from referees. It is no different to diving in football Appeal: Wales’ Justin Tipuric (scrum cap) looks for a penalty as Italy legally clear out a ruck – a trick that must be punished by referees How players use the dark arts to their advantage Referees must be aware of the tricks of the trade to ensure a thrilling spectacle – but not all of the new strategies are bad news THE NEGATIVE Players are blatantly pinning players into rucks We want fast, high-tempo rugby, and therefore anyone loitering around the ruck, trying to stall this entertainment, should be penalised. There are increasing incidents of attacking players “milking” the situation and pinning the tackler into the ruck and it is not being refereed. In a crazy piece of reverse logic, attacking players are willingly slowing down their own ball by placing a knee on a chest of a defender, holding a shirt of a tackler close to the ball to prevent them rolling away, and pinning an arm of their nearest opponent around the ball to simulate ruck manipulation/tampering. It is getting out of hand. So, here is my request. If there is legitimate slowing of the ball, be harsh. If it is obvious a player is milking it then action must be taken and a penalty awarded. Ultimately, they are trying to take the referee for a fool. Yellow cards for intercepts This is a little harder to judge, but still one size does not fit all. Defending players can be unscrupulous in their desire to stop a try, and well done World Rugby for being brutally harsh on those who would flail an arm or attack the ball with only a view to knocking it down. However, not everyone is so clumsy and many players down the years built reputations as Burglar Bills: Daren O’Leary, Mike Harrison and, just last week, Dan Robson of Wasps. Robson’s perfect timing to intercept a Tigers’ pass for Wasps was sheer class. He was only stopped by Mathew Tait some 60 metres later in one of the finest cover tackles you are likely to see. These types of players understand the space-time continuum, acceleration, ball-flight and likely outcomes. They make educated guesses and show incredible skill. Their palms are face up, ready to flick the ball skywards in case they don’t take the intercept first time. It is class to watch. Yet referees do not quite see it like that and we have seen some trigger-happy yellow cards. Not all defensive knock-ons should result in yellows. And while it is not easy to judge, we are getting more wrong than right. Referees should take their time, use the screen, and they should do it before the scrum would be set or the penalty taken. Players have spotted another irregularity and a new law In the past, attacking players used to cheat at the ruck by driving defenders who were anywhere near it one of two ways: firstly, into the ruck to create space on the fringes; secondly, attackers would clear out defenders way beyond the ruck to create space through the middle or again around the fringes. The second of these infringements was known as “shepherding” or “taking for a walk”. Referees, though, have cottoned on to this and laws have been amended. Referees now penalise players for driving defenders beyond the vicinity of the ruck. So the defenders have got smart. Now, if they realise they cannot impact the ball or the ruck, and they feel contact from one of the attacking team, they often start to “ride” the impact and go with it, allowing the contact to drive them backwards clear of the ruck. They then drop theatrically, demanding help from touch judges and referees. Cue – penalty. It is no different to diving in football, and referees need to be alert to it. THE POSITIVE Restarts Here is the first of two great examples of how you can use the laws beautifully. The key is understanding that if a player is in the air then they have absolute protection from opposing players. For years, restarts were a version of aerial murder ball ( just ask Doddie Weir about his ear). It is difficult to monitor contact in the air, with bodies flying everywhere. So defensive sides have decided to put some space into it and have been using four lots of two-man pods. It has been around for a while, but is still great to see. Spread across the 10-metre line, there are four pairs: one tall guy, one shorter guy with massive muscles. Often, they pre-engage, and the man in behind will grab hold of the shorts of his jumping partner. They then dance Standing tall: Joe Launchbury fires the starting gun on a ‘bounce out’ line-out against Ireland the light fandango as the ball is kicked. The players that are nowhere near the ball split up, and only the pair in the spotlight are under the incoming ball. The marauding chasers hunt them down, looking to disrupt, but now, like a pair of ballerinas, the tall partner jumps, all the time connected to his dump-truck friend, who then powerlifts his pal over his head, holding him high in the sky, taking a clean catch. The chasers cannot go anywhere near this and they will be penalised if they do. It is a scary thing to be launched into the skies, supported by your pal as one ton of flesh runs towards you. But the crash mat is the knowledge that they cannot touch you in the air. Know the rules, remove chaos. ‘Bounce out’ plays in line-outs When line-outs start, defenders and attackers who are not in the line-out must both be 10 metres away. They cannot encroach until the line-out has gone beyond the 15-metre line or the line-out moves off the point where it started. The referee, placing an arm in the air, uses it to signal that the line-out is still on its original mark. The problem with this is that if you want quick ball and look to go off the top, then the jumper has to deliver the ball to the scrum-half while they are still in the air. This means defenders and attackers can see the flight of the ball, break from their 10-metre starting position and charge forward simultaneously, reaching the gain line at the same time. Simply put, there is little to no competitive advantage to the attacking side, even though they are the only ones who know the call. So what do you do? You look to hide. Attacking teams throw the ball in, but let the jumper come back to earth. At this stage the line-out has not moved, and attackers and defenders are still 10 metres away. The attacking side now put a ball-handling forward straight in on the ball. It looks like a drive and defenders are still stuck 10 metres away. But rather than drive, the ball-handling forward bounces out of the line-out, attacks around the corner and handles like a scrum-half. The defence cannot anticipate because they do not know for certain that the forward will attack and the ball is hidden from them for a split-second. They hesitate and the attacking side are charging forward and on to the ball a fraction of a second before the defence. Advantage gained. 22 Saturday 7 April 2018 The Daily Telegraph ** Sport Commonwealth Games Bowlers are married to the sport in Niue Tiny atoll’s 10-strong team includes four couples, writes Oliver Brown in Gold Coast HEATHCLIFF O’MALLEY FOR THE TELEGRAPH E ven by the zany standards of the Commonwealth Games, the composition of the 19-strong delegation from Niue, a surf-battered lump of coral in the South Pacific, is stunningly far-fetched. Ten of the competitors are here for lawn bowls, a sport for which the island has just one active club. Of these bowlers, all but two are married to team-mates. It is less a serious athletic endeavour than a couples’ retreat on the sun-kissed Queensland grass. Take Mark Blumsky, an expat Kiwi who, it would be fair to say, has lived a little. In his time, this ebullient, weather-beaten 61-yearold has been a shoemaker, a horticulturalist, an MP for New Zealand’s National Party and the mayor of Wellington. Most recently, he was High Commissioner to Niue, until he decided that his story would not be complete without an improbable sporting postscript. Having served as manager of the bowls team in Glasgow four years ago, Blumsky, an avowed “competitive animal”, could not quell an urge to grace the green himself. At last here he is, accompanied by wife Pauline, a native Niuean – not to mention fixture of her family-run Falala Fa restaurant in the capital, Alofi – as a newly-minted athlete. Pauline, also helplessly converted to the bowling craze, won a silver medal in triples at the Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea, an honour so profound for her island that she was chosen as the flag-bearer. Together, they are staying in the Gold Coast athletes’ village, dispensing with the usual platonic Paving the way: Flag-bearer Pauline Blumsky, a native Niuean, won a silver medal in the triples at the Pacific Games protocols. “We’re sleeping there as a couple,” says Blumsky, without prompting, describing their lodgings less as functional, camp-like living, and more as an exotic resort. “It’s like Club Med down there,” he gushes. “Manicures, pedicures, massages, free lattes. You need to remind yourself you’re here to play bowls.” His playing partner in the pairs, Dalton Tagelagi, just happens to be Niue’s minister of infrastructure. It is that type of place: a distant, self-governing rocky atoll, a 3½ hour-flight from Auckland, where the population of 1,600 are uncommonly close-knit. Before Blumsky could ask for Pauline’s hand in marriage, he had to receive the blessing of her uncle and even that of the Niuean premier, since it was deemed exceptionally unusual for a diplomat to date a local woman. Part of the attraction, he says, lay in her feistiness in an argument. “Oh, I don’t hold back,” she says, grinning. There is, however, a higher purpose behind their quest. Niue, like many of the Polynesian islands, adores the concept of the Commonwealth Games, which bestow a cachet and exposure it would never otherwise enjoy. When the Queen’s baton relay alighted there last November, local villagers performed their traditional takalo war dance to greet it. Blumsky, a proud adopted Niuean who needed no second invitation to swap a politician’s suit for the local tropical dress – “go and live there, mate,” he says, “you’ll see what I mean” – is now looking to bowls, still struggling to shake off its geriatric image, to galvanise the younger islanders. “The association with bowls back in Niue is, ‘That’s for old people,’” says Christine Hipa, a stalwart of the women’s four, whose husband Des is also on the team. “We have to change the mindset, and we’re slowly managing to do that. “The whole point of being here in Australia is to test ourselves against the best, to see where we are internationally.” Early signs have been, shall we say, chastening. Hipa and her compatriots were marmalised 44-1 by Scotland, before a 30-7 trouncing by Wales. Part of the problem is that the Niueans practise on a green that falls far below international standards, with the dry, shallow topsoil scarcely conducive to a slick, rolled-out surface. “You can’t compare,” says Blumsky, who, with Tagelagi, succumbed 25-9 to Norfolk Island yesterday. “In Niue, you can be three inches offline and still get quite close to the jack. Here, you can be three inches off and end up six feet away.” Niue desperately needs a benefactor, he acknowledges, who can fund training forays to New Zealand, although he is playing his own role as the resident fairy godfather. Blumsky has acquired expertise in hydroponics, the practice of growing crops above ground in water, to enrich the native diet. “I grow the veggies,” he says, proudly. “I was getting frustrated that I was eating cabbage every time I ordered a salad – it came in by boat, because it was the only vegetable that wouldn’t spoil. Now, we’re changing the health of a nation.” It was never his intention, he admits, to be a bowler. “Every so often, when I was mayor of Wellington, I would open a bowling green and do the first roll,” he reflects. “I enjoyed it, but the whisky-and-milks in the clubhouse afterwards almost killed me.” Even today, as he chomps on a large post-match sandwich at Broadbeach Bowls Club, his comfortably-upholstered figure hardly suggests a life of scrupulous restraint. And why should it, as he and his fellow Niueans savour the ultimate couples’ adventure? “The women joined because they wanted to make sure the guys behaved,” he jokes. “I’m the only single one,” Tagelagi reminds him, deadpan. “Yeah,” Blumsky says, “and I’m keeping my eye on him.” Database Commonwealth Games (Gold Coast, Queensland) GYMNASTICS.-Women’s Team Final: 1 Canada 163.075pts; 2 England 162.650; 3 Australia 157.450. TRACK CYCLING.-Men, 4000m Individual Pursuit - Gold Race: 1 C Tanfield (England) 4m 15.952s; 2 J Archibald (Scotland) 4:16.656. Bronze Race: 3 D Kennett (NZ) 4m 18.373s; 4 J Kerby (Australia) 4:22.462. Keirin Final 1-6: 1 M Glaetzer (Australia), 2 L Oliva (Wales) +00.35, 3 E Dawkins (NZ) +0.168. Women, 3000m Individual Pursuit - Gold Race: 1 K Archibald (Scotland) 3m 26.088s; 2 R Wiasak (Australia) 3:27.548. Bronze Race: 3 A Edmondson (Australia) 3m 30.922s; 2 A Ankudinoff (Australia) 3:31.093. SWIMMING,-Men, 200m Freestyle Final: 1 K Chalmers (Australia) 1m 45.56s; 2 M Horton (Australia) 1:45.89, 3 D Scott (Scotland) 1:46.30. S9 100m Freestyle Final: 1 T Disken (Australia) 56.07s; 2 L White (England) 56.77; 3 B Hall (Australia) 57.90. 400m Individual Medeley Final: 1 C Lewis (Australia) 4m 13.12s; 2 M Szarek (Scotland) 4:13.72; 3 L Clareburt (NZ) 4:14.42. 4x100m Freestyle Relay Final: 1 Australia 3mins 12.96; 2 England 3:15.25; 3 Scotland 3:15.86. Women, 50m Breaststroke Final: 1 S Vasey (England) 30.60s; 2 A Atkinson (Jamaica) 30.76; 3 L Pickett (Australia) 30.78 S8. 100m Backstroke Final: 1 A Tai (England) 1min 08.77secs, 2 E Cole (Australia) 1:11.51, 3 A Mcconnell (Australia) 1:15.93. WEIGHTLIFTING.-Men, 69kg: 1 G Evans (Wales) 299kg; 2 Indika C. Dissanayake Mudiyanselage (Sri Lanka) 297; 3 D Lather (India) 295. Baseball MLB: Boston 3 Tampa Bay 2-Chicago White Sox 7 Detroit 9-Milwaukee 0 Chicago Cubs 8-Minnesota 4 Seattle 2-NY Yankees 2 Baltimore 5-Oakland 3 Texas 6-Philadelphia 5 Miami 0-Pittsburgh 5 Cincinnati 2-San Diego 1 Colorado 3-St Louis 1 Arizona 3-Washington 2 NY Mets 8. Basketball NBA: Cleveland 119 Washington 115-Denver 100 Minnesota 96-Houston 96 Portland 94-Indiana 126 Golden State 106-Milwaukee 111 Brooklyn 119-Utah 117 LA Clippers 95. BBL CH'SHIP: Bristol 78 Manchester 66-Leeds 76 Glasgow 100-Newcastle 82 Worcester 58. Cricket WOMEN'S ONE-DAY TOUR MATCH.-Nagpur: England 207; India 208-9. India win by 1 wkt. Cycling TOUR OF THE BASQUE COUNTRY (Spain).-Stage 5 (Gasteiz to Eibar, 164.7km): 1 O Fraile (Spain) Astana Pro Team 3h 53m 49s; 2 P Roglic (Slovenia) LottoNL-Jumbo +4s; 3 I Izagirre (Spain) Bahrain-Merida +6; 4 C Verona (Spain) Mitchelton-Scott +10; 5 J Herrada (Spain) Cofidis, Solutions Credits; 6 M Landa (Spain) Movistar Team both at same time; 74 T Geoghegan Hart (GB) Team Sky +19m 15s; 100 J Knox (GB) QuickStep Floors; 114 S Cummings (GB) Dimension Data both at same time; 143 H Carthy (GB) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale +19m 57s. Overall: 1 Roglic 17h 12m 53s; 2 Landa +01m 57s; 3 Izagirre +02-13; 4 J Alaphilippe (France) Quick-Step Floors +02-55; 5 B Mollema (Holland) Trek-Segafredo +03-06; 6 E Buchmann (Germany) Bora-Hansgrohe +03-21; Carthy +2344; 96 Geoghegan Hart +35-00; 108 Cummings +38-10; 123 Knox +44-27. Formula One BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX (Sakhir).-1st practice: 1 D Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull 1m 31.060s; 2 V Bottas (Finland) Mercedes GP 1:31.364; 3 K Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1:31.458; 4 S Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 1:31.470; 5 L Hamilton (GB) Mercedes GP 1:32.272; 6 R Grosjean (France) Haas F1 1:32.516; 7 P Gasly (France) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:32.779; 8 C Sainz (Spain) Renault 1:32.885; 9 K Magnussen (Denmark) Haas F1 1:32.971; 10 N Hulkenberg (Germany) Renault 1:33.104; 11 F Alonso (Spain) McLaren 1:33.223; 12 C Leclerc (Monaco) Sauber-Ferrari 1:33.278; 13 S Vandoorne (Belgium) McLaren 1:33.364; 14 L Stroll (Canada) Williams 1:33.379; 15 S Sirotkin (Russia) Williams 1:33.467; 16 B Hartley (NZ) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:33.497; 17 M Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber-Ferrari 1:33.508; 18 S Perez (Mexico) Force India 1:33.662; 19 E Ocon (France) Force India 1:33.794; 20 M Verstappen (Holland) Red Bull no time. 2nd practice: 1 Raikkonen 1m 29.817s; 2 Vettel 1:29.828; 3 Bottas 1:30.380; 4 Hamilton 1:30.472; 5 Verstappen 1:30.745; 6 Ricciardo 1:30.751; 7 Hulkenberg 1:31.220; 8 Gasly 1:31.232; 9 Alonso 1:31.282; 10 Vandoorne 1:31.422; 11 Grosjean 1:31.591; 12 Sainz 1:31.601; 13 Ocon 1:31.809; 14 Perez 1:31.868; 15 Magnussen 1:31.969; 16 Leclerc 1:32.372; 17 Stroll 1:32.382; 18 Sirotkin 1:32.474; 19 Ericsson 1:32.733; 20 Hartley (1:32.908. Ice Hockey NHL: Columbus 4 Pittsburgh 5 (OT)-Detroit 3 Montreal 4-Edmonton 4 Vegas 3-Florida 3 Boston 2-Los Angeles 5 Minnesota 4 (OT)-New Jersey 2 Toronto 1-NY Islanders 2 NY Rangers 1-Philadelphia 4 Carolina 3-San Jose 4 Colorado 2-Vancouver 4 Arizona 3 (OT)-Washington 3 Nashville 4-Winnipeg 2 Calgary 1. Rugby League Tennis Betfred Super League DAVIS CUP.-World group qtr-finals: Italy 1 France 1 (L Pouille (France) bt A Seppi (Italy) 6-3 6-2 4-6 3-6 6-1; F Fognini (Italy) bt J Chardy (France) 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 6-2 6-3). Spain 1 Germany 1 (A Zverev (Germany) bt D Ferrer (Spain) 6-4 6-2 6-2; R Nadal (Spain) bt P Kohlschreiber (Germany) 6-2 6-2 6-3). Croatia 1 Kazakhstan 1 (M Cilic (Croatia) bt D Popko (Kazakhstan) 6-2 6-1 6-2; M Kukushkin (Kazakhstan) bt B Coric (Croatia) 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 6-2. WTA T’MENT (Charleston, South Carolina).-Qtrfinals: M Keys (US) bt B Pera (US) 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 7-5; J Goerges (Germany) bt D Kasatkina (Russia) 6-4 6-3; A Sevastova (Latvia) bt Kristyna Pliskova (Czech Rep) 6-4 6-0 WTA T’MENT (Monterrey, Mexico).-Qtr-final: S Vickery (US) bt M Rybarikova (Slovakia) 6-0 6-3. St Helens 26 Hull 12 St Helens—T: Taia (2), Percival, Thompson. G: Richardson (5). Hull—T: Kelly, Green. G: Sneyd (2). HT: 6-0. P W D L F A Pts St Helens 10 9 0 1 282 114 18 Wigan 8 6 0 2 246 109 12 Warrington 10 6 0 4 186 155 12 Leeds 8 5 1 2 156 129 11 Hull 10 5 0 5 222 210 10 Castleford 7 5 0 2 111 132 10 Wakefield 8 4 0 4 154 138 8 Widnes 9 3 0 6 165 185 6 Salford 9 3 0 6 142 190 6 Huddersfield 9 2 1 6 120 243 5 Hull K R 9 2 0 7 140 216 4 Catalans 9 2 0 7 119 222 4 Snooker CHINA OPEN (Beijing).-Qtr-finals: M Selby (England) bt M Williams (Wales) 6-2; B Hawkins (England) bt T Ford (England) 6-5; N Robertson (Australia) bt S Bingham (England) 6-0; K Wilson (England) bt J Lisowski (England) 6-5. Rallying RALLY OF FRANCE (FIA World Rally Ch'ship, Bastia, Corsica).-Stage 4: 1 S Ogier (France) Ford 1h 19m 39.0s; 2 T Neuville (Belgium) Hyundai 1:20:12.6; 3 K Meeke (GB) Citroen 1:20:17.7. Speedway CH'SHIP SHIELD: Lakeside 50 Peterborough 40Scunthorpe 58 Redcar 32. ANNIVERSARY CHALLENGE: Edinburgh 48 Monarchs Champions 40. Fixtures 3pm unless stated Cricket MCC UNIVERSITY MATCHES (day 1 of 3, 11am).Fenner’s: Cambridge MCCU v Essex. The Ageas Bowl: Hampshire v Cardiff MCCU. Loughborough: Loughborough MCCU v Lancashire. TBC: Middlesex v Durham MCCU. The Parks: Oxford MCCU v Northamptonshire. Emerald Headingley: Yorkshire v Leeds/Bradford MCCU. IPL.-Mumbai: Mumbai v Chennai (3.30). Rugby League BETFRED SUPER LEAGUE Catalans Dragons v Wigan (5.15) Hull K R v Widnes (6) Salford v Warrington (3.15). BETFRED.-Ch'ship: Toulouse v Barrow (2). League 1: London Skolars v West Wales. Tomorrow Cricket MCC UNIVERSITY MATCHES (day 2 of 3, 11am).Fenner’s: Cambridge MCCU v Essex. The Ageas Bowl: Hampshire v Cardiff MCCU. Loughborough: Loughborough MCCU v Lancashire. TBC: Middlesex v Durham MCCU. The Parks: Oxford MCCU v Northamptonshire. Emerald Headingley: Yorkshire v Leeds/Bradford MCCU. IPL.-Mohali: Kings Xl Punjab v Delhi daredevils (11.30). Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders v Royal Challengers Bangalore (3.30). Rugby League BETFRED SUPER LEAGUE Huddersfield v Castleford Wakefield v Leeds BETFRED.-Ch'ship: Batley v Toronto Wolfpack, Featherstone v Dewsbury, Halifax v London B's, Leigh v Rochdale, Swinton v Sheffield (4.30). P W D L F A Pts Toronto 9 7 1 1 240 150 15 Toulouse 9 7 0 2 336 154 14 Featherstone 9 7 0 2 306 166 14 London Broncos 8 6 0 2 325 149 12 Leigh 9 4 0 5 247 200 8 Halifax 7 4 0 3 140 130 8 Batley 7 4 0 3 158 206 8 Dewsbury 7 3 0 4 108 130 6 Barrow 8 2 2 4 124 208 6 Rochdale 7 1 0 6 93 228 2 Sheffield 8 1 0 7 132 286 2 Swinton 8 0 1 7 116 318 1 League 1: Coventry v Whitehaven, Doncaster v North Wales Crusaders, Keighley v Hemel Stags, Newcastle v York, Oldham v Hunslet, Workington v Bradford. The Daily Telegraph Saturday 7 April 2018 Five to watch Today’s highlights Track star Tanfield powers to victory on a student loan By Ben Bloom in Gold Coast A Commonwealth Games gold medal is almost certainly not what the Student Loans Company envisaged their cash being used for, but Charlie Tanfield is not one to do things the conventional way. Technically, the mechanical engineering student is still an amateur cyclist. While most of his England team-mates here enjoy funding from British Cycling’s not insignificant £30 million budget, Tanfield operates almost wholly outside the system. It was only 18 months ago that the 21-year-old started contemplating competing at this level, when he moved into a flat in Derby with his three cyclist friends and they formed their own team, KGF. The plan was to see how far they could get if they dedicated themselves to their craft, despite operating on an annual budget of around £15,000 between the four. “We’re a group of mates from around the country,” Tanfield said. “I get by on my student loan. Most of it comes out of our own back pocket, which is a small sacrifice to pay.” The success relative to such a meagre financial outlay has been staggering. Victory in a World Cup race in January forced the British selectors to take notice and select Tanfield for the World Championships last month. A team pursuit gold medal followed there and a narrow miss in (all times BST) 7.30am, hockey, men’s pool A Relations between the Australia and South Africa cricket teams have been stretched to the limit by a ball-tampering controversy in recent weeks. Now their hockey teams clash. 10.16am, track cycling, women’s points race Scotland’s Katie Archibald and Elinor Barker, of Wales, won Olympic team pursuit gold for Britain at Rio 2016 but face each other here. Barker was world champion in 2017. 10.48am, swimming, men’s 100m breaststroke final Something would have to go seriously wrong for England’s Adam Peaty not to triumph. He is unbeaten in major championships since the 2014 Commonwealth Games. 11.47am, track cycling, men’s individual sprint final Australia’s Matthew Glaetzer won the world title last month in Holland and is a strong favourite to follow up here, but Scottish duo Jack Carlin and Callum Skinner will be out to stop him. AP Amateur, 21, takes gold in the individual pursuit England’s Vasey and Tai claim wins in the pool the individual pursuit – where he finished fourth – suggested he was on track for something special at the Commonwealth Games. That was evident from the outset yesterday. Having smashed the Commonwealth individual pursuit record by a full 1.6 seconds in qualification, Tanfield lined up in an allBritish final against Scotland’s John Archibald, who has also recently joined Team KGF. A lightning-fast few laps saw Tanfield build a lead of almost two seconds after just a quarter of the race and that advantage remained until the pair entered the final kilometre. With shoulders rocking, fatigue kicking in and technique crumbling away with every turn of the wheel, his lead diminished in the closing stages, before he was saved by the finish line to triumph by 0.7 sec. The early damage had been enough. “It was absolutely epic,” said Tanfield “I knew I was in a good place after qualifying, but towards the end of the final, I thought I almost messed it up. I managed to hold on until the finish, so I’m absolutely ecstatic with the result. The results just keep on coming and it’s so good to keep on proving myself on the world stage. “Two years ago, when I went to the national championships, it was my first time round a track since I was 15 and my goal was to get to a Commonwealth Games. I just want to keep on going. Hopefully, the ultimate goal is the Olympics.” Tanfield’s success denied a historic moment for the Archibald family, with John’s silver medal coming less than an hour after his sister Katie, the Olympic champion, had won gold in the women’s event. Having only switched from the road to the track last summer, John 23 *** Jubilant: Charlie Tanfield celebrates after winning the men’s individual pursuit was simply relieved to live up to the billing that his surname decrees with a first major career medal. “I’ve got serious pressure on me,” he joked. “They all sit at the dinner table at night listing off Katie’s achievements and I’m like, ‘Oh no’, so I’m pleased to get that out of the bag. You just watch her and you’re like, ‘I wish I could do that too’.” Katie, who is contesting five events across track and road at these Games, broke the Commonwealth record in qualification, before beating Australia’s Rebecca Wiasak to gold. “The Archibalds aren’t known for parties, but this is going to be the biggest Friday night we’ve had in a while,” she said. There was plenty of other success for the home nations away from the velodrome, with England claiming two gold medals in the swimming pool, courtesy of Sarah Vasey in the 50 metres breaststroke and Alice Tai in the S9 100m backstroke. There were emotional scenes in the Carrara Sports Arena when weightlifter Gareth Evans held his coach aloft in celebration of Wales’ first gold medal of these Games, after he had triumphed in the men’s 69kg. Evans lost all funding after the London Olympics and has toured Britain doing demonstration events to keep his sports career going during the past few years. “It was hard not to get a bit teary, if I’m being completely honest,” he said. “I missed out on a medal at Glasgow 2014 and vowed I would never miss a medal again.” 10pm, athletics, men’s 20km race walk The first athletics event of these Games sees England’s Tom Bosworth bid to win the first major medal of his career, up against Australian favourite Dane Bird-Smith. Medal table GOLD SILVER BRONZE TOTAL Australia 14 9 13 36 England 9 6 3 18 Canada Scotland India 2 2 2 4 4 1 5 4 1 11 10 4 South Africa Malaysia 2 2 0 0 1 0 3 2 New Zealand Wales Bermuda 1 1 1 3 2 0 3 0 0 7 3 1 24 Saturday 7 April 2018 The Daily Telegraph ** Sport Sagan can expect rough ride to Roubaix Slovakian faces attack from Quickstep armada In-form Terpstra one of favourites after Flanders By Tom Cary There is a memorable moment in Jorgen Leth’s classic 1976 documentary A Sunday In Hell about that year’s Paris-Roubaix cycle race, in which Eddy Merckx – then in the autumn of his career but still one of the main favourites – sets off after Brooklyn’s Johan De Muynck and Marcello Osler, the duo having been sent up the road by their team leader Roger De Vlaeminck. “Merckx, as usual, has assumed the role all the others are keen to see him in… the lead position,” intones David Saunders, the English narrator and former Daily Telegraph cycling correspondent, in wonderfully clipped tones. “Once in front, he heads the pursuit like a locomotive… It falls into place for De Vlaeminck. Merckx has to ride hard behind the breakaway which De Vlaeminck has organised.” Thirty-two years on, cycling has changed beyond recognition from that sepia-tinted age; changes which author William Fotheringham has chronicled beautifully in his new book Sunday in Hell: Behind the Lens of the Greatest Cycling Film of All Time. But Paris-Roubaix, at its heart, remains the same. The 116th edition of cycling’s most brutal one-day race, which takes place tomorrow, may no longer start in Paris (by the time Leth made his film, it had already moved to Chantilly, and now starts GETTY IMAGES CYCLING CORRESPONDENT Leading the way: Ian Stannard (left) and Geraint Thomas ride out with the Sky team during training in Arenberg yesterday from Compiegne); it may feature a slightly different route; the riders may not all head off to the famous concrete shower blocks in the Roubaix velodrome after the race. But it is still a 260km slog through the dusty back roads of northern France, across extensive sections of pave, or cobblestones. It is still The Hell of the North, the name given to it in 1919 after organisers and journalists set off from Paris to see how much of the route had survived four years of shelling and trench warfare. And it still presents riders with the same challenge; how best to negotiate the hellish route and make the Roubaix velodrome in the front group? When to burn your matches? For Merckx in 1976, read Peter Sagan tomorrow. The Slovakian may not be in the autumn of his career, being just 28 and the world champion. And he may not have the classics pedigree of Merckx, having a solitary Tour of Flanders title. But he is the strongest rider, the one to whom everyone will look when Quick-Step Floors attack tomorrow, as they undoubtedly will. The Belgian team have swept all before them this classics season and boast a number of potential winners. Niki Terpstra, who won the Tour of Flanders last weekend and will be looking to repeat his ParisRoubaix victory from 2014 and become the first rider since Fabian Cancellara in 2013 to win both of the cobbled Monuments in a single year; Czech champion Zdenek Stybar who has twice finished runnerup; Philippe Gilbert, who looks in excellent nick having skipped this race for many years to focus on the Ardennes classics, and Dwars Door Vlaanderen winner Yves Lampaert. Faced with such a formidable armada, a bit of tetchiness broke out in the sport this week. Sagan bemoaned what he perceived as a lack of willingness from other riders to shoulder responsibility in chasing Terpstra in Flanders last Sunday. “The other teams didn’t respect the situation and collaborate,” Sagan said. “It’s not just me that they need to beat.” Those complaints were given short shrift by Tom Boonen, the four-time Roubaix champion and Quick-Step legend, whose retirement last year has, ironically, only cemented Quick-Step’s dominance, giving other riders their head. “A lack of cooperation? He is always in the wheel,” Boonen said of Sagan. “He’s like the cat in the tree, sitting there and then all at once, coming forward and waving his paw [for the others to work].” Whether fair or not, what is clear is that Sagan and other potential winners, such as Greg van Avermaet (BMC), Sep Vanmarcke (Cannondale – Drapac), John Degenkolb (Trek – Segafredo) and Arnaud Demare (FDJ), must work out how to stop the Quick-Step train. They can take heart from that 1976 edition. In the end, it was not De Vlaeminck who won it, despite the trap he set for Merckx, but Flandria’s Marc Demeyer who took full advantage when a crash to his team leader Freddy Maertens relieved him of domestique duties, winning a sprint in the velodrome. DeGale preparing to quit the ring if he loses revenge bout against Truax B OX I N G Gareth A Davies in Las Vegas James DeGale will retire if he fails to win his rematch with Caleb Truax and reclaim the super-middleweight world title. The Briton suffered a shock points loss to the American last De- cember in London. “It’s harsh, but I think it’s true: If I can’t beat Truax, then I’m going to have to call it a day,” admitted DeGale, 32. The Londoner was No 1 in the world at super-middleweight when outpointed by 34-year-old Truax, then ranked No 15 by the International Boxing Federation sanctioning body. DeGale was a ghost of the clever southpaw who had put to- gether a fine career. The caveat was that he was returning from surgery to his right shoulder after nine months out and had previously been in a brutal, 12-round draw with Badou Jack in New York. “I know for a fact what I’ve got left,” DeGale, an Olympic gold medallist, said. “I’m 32, I have had two hard fights in my life. But last time out I embarrassed myself; it was horrendous, shocking. But I have proved people wrong all my life and I am ready to do it again. “Truax is not on my level. It was one of the biggest upsets in boxing in the last 20 years. I’m not going to make excuses about my shoulder and what went wrong. I’ve had a grey cloud above my head for the last couple of months, and it won’t go away until I’m a world champion again. This fight isn’t just about me getting my title back, it’s about me putting on a performance. I have no choice. If I can’t, it’s over.” Truax, though, has steeled himself for the return. Once more, the bookmakers have him as the underdog. “I just want to go out there and silence people who said it was a fluke,” he said. “DeGale is going to be hungry so I have to be ready.” The Daily Telegraph Saturday 7 April 2018 ** Hamilton hit by five-place grid penalty Champion punished for illegal gearbox change Raikkonen sets pace on first day of practice By Philip Duncan in Bahrain Lewis Hamilton’s hopes of winning the Bahrain Grand Prix have taken a major dent after he was hit with a five-place grid penalty. The defending champion was bidding to get his title charge back on track this weekend after losing out to Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel at the season opener in Australia a fortnight ago. But he will now be bumped down the order following an unscheduled gearbox change on his Mercedes. It means Hamilton will start only sixth even if he manages to post the quickest time in qualifying today. Hamilton’s Mercedes team revealed that the British driver suffered a hydraulics leak at the curtain-raiser in Melbourne, adding that he was even fortunate to finish the race. Hamilton had been poised to win at Albert Park only for a timing error on the Mercedes pit wall during a virtual safety car period to gift the victory to his rival Sebastian Vettel. Hamilton is using a new gearbox here but even before news broke of Hamilton’s penalty late into the night, the 33-year-old already appeared to be playing catch-up. Hamilton was only fifth and fourth respectively in yesterday’s two practice sessions with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen setting the overall pace. Vettel was second for Ferrari with the Italian team seeming to have the advantage over Mercedes in the hotter temperatures. Speaking before his grid penalty was revealed, Hamilton said: “It looks very close between all the teams and we definitely have got Losing Ferrari and Mercedes is serious risk David Coulthard some work to do to try and see if we can eke out to be ahead of the others. “Practice has shown that it’s incredibly close between the three teams. It will be a tough weekend.” Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas will also take on a new gearbox, but, under the sport’s rules, avoids a penalty as he is permitted a free change after his qualifying crash in Australia. Raikkonen and Vettel finished half-a-second clear of their Mercedes rivals in practice, and Vettel, while pleased with his team’s progress, expressed caution over yesterday’s times. “It looked as though we were a bit quicker than the rest but at this point I wouldn’t draw any conclusions,” Vettel said. Meanwhile, Christian Horner, the Red Bull team principal, urged Formula One’s rulers to risk the wrath of Ferrari and Mercedes by rubber-stamping their “ambitious” blueprint for the sport following yesterday’s summit here. Liberty Media has tabled a $150 million [£106 million] cost cap, a cheaper, simpler engine, and redistribution of the prize pot to enable greater competition, as it presented its post-2020 vision in an hour-long summit led by chairman F Caption italic caption Punished: Lewis Hamilton needs a quick practice run today even to start sixth Chase Carey and technical boss Ross Brawn. The verdict among the majority of teams was one of optimism. But the same cheer was not shared by the sport’s big-spending two: Mercedes and Ferrari, who even before yesterday expressed deep reservations. Under Liberty’s proposal, Ferrari will keep their heritage payment – a one-off annual fee paid to the famous Italian team for being the only constructor to have contested Bahrain Grand Prix Sakhir, 51 laps 4 Tomorrow 4.10pm TV Sky Sports F1 13 5 6 DRS detection point 1 3 1 12 DRS detection point 1 7 9 8 10 2 25 DRS activation zone 1 11 DRS activation zone 2 15 14 every single F1 season – but their financial award could be significantly reduced. Indeed the number in the paddock was reported to be nearer to $50 million last night than the $100 million they currently pocket every year. Mercedes will also be unsettled by proposed cost-cutting measures. Both are bound to F1 until the expiration of the Concorde Agreement in 2020, but whether they stay beyond the next three years could be determined in a series of individual meetings which Liberty plans to hold with all of the 10 teams. For now, Horner, who has seen Red Bull starved of glory since the sport’s last engine overhaul in 2014, believes Liberty must deliver on their proposal. “It needs to be done within the next couple of months,” Horner said. “It is ambitious but they have got to go for it. The bottom line of their vision is going to have a much bigger effect on three or four teams running at the front of the grid. “The guys from fourth downwards are potentially going to get a lot of upside, so you should see some fairly happy faces down that end of the paddock.” ormula One can survive without Ferrari, but their threat to leave must be taken seriously. Ferrari, and indeed Mercedes, have a huge history within the sport, and they should be treated as assets to it. They have both been as responsible, as someone such as Bernie Ecclestone, for the growth of F1 into its global platform, and that has to be respected. You can’t just wipe the slate clean and say we are all back on the same level. Following yesterday’s presentation by Liberty Media, there will, of course, be bargaining from all parties, and given that we are talking new regulations coming into effect from 2021, it gives those involved plenty of time to look at whether they want to continue to invest in the sport, or decide that they have reaped the benefits and choose to do something else. Formula One is all the better for having Mercedes and Ferrari on board, while both teams’ success has been amplified by being in the sport, so, there is common interest and desire to work together. A compromise is likely, but this is not a negotiation with Liberty and all the teams, but one between Liberty, Ferrari and Mercedes. The rest will be largely aligned because of the dominance Mercedes have had for the past four years. You should not be able to shake the wheel of success because someone has done a better job, but the long-term entertainment value of F1 has to be the main objective and it needs as many twists and turns in the sport as there are corners on a racetrack. Formula One is not a science project, or about sending a car into space, but having fast, compelling races, so a cheaper, cost-effective technology could provide that. The introduction of a cost cap may result in the loss of jobs, but as long as the money is set at a level that respects the employees, and is also achievable for smaller teams, then it can only be a good thing. 26 Saturday 7 April 2018 The Daily Telegraph ** Sport Racing Fakenham Perfect Candidate for National service Marlborough 2.15 - Walsingham Grange 2.50 - Heresmynumber 3.25 - Oistrakh Le Noir 4.00 - Iconic Sky 4.35 - Step Back 5.10 - Movie Legend 5.40 - Before Midnight Going: Good to soft TV: Sky 415 [B] Blinkers [V] Visor [E] Eyeshield [T] Tongue Strap [P] Cheekpieces 2.15 Dunton Handicap Hurdle (4) 2m £4,159 Marcus Armytage gets up close and personal with an Aintree outsider at Fergal O’Brien’s yard H aving worked for Nigel Twiston-Davies when he trained Earth Summit and Bindaree, Fergal O’Brien is no stranger to Grand National winners. Indeed, he now rents the Naunton yard where that pair of Aintree heroes were stabled. But, having saddled Alvarado to finish fourth in 2014 and 2015, O’Brien is hoping to cap his best season yet by winning the race in which he will be represented by Perfect Candidate and, provided the ground remains testing, last year’s Midlands National winner, Chase The Spud. The high point of Perfect Candidate’s season so far was when he demonstrated true grit to beat dual Scottish National winner Vicente by a neck in the 3½-mile handicap chase at Cheltenham’s November meeting. Yesterday the 11-year-old, owned by Donna and Geoff Keeys, who live in a neighbouring village, was lumbered with me for a couple of canters up the steep all-weather gallop O’Brien shares with his former boss. Perfect Candidate, an 80-1 chance for Aintree, certainly lives up to his name – an armchair ride, plenty of size and with a long neck – always a comfort to a jockey approaching Becher’s Brook when you know your feet will be somewhere around his ears at some stage of the descent. “He’s been a stalwart for the yard,” said O’Brien. “He’s better in small fields but, ironically, despite there being 40 runners you can get pockets of room in the National. He’s a bit like Bindaree – he looks after himself and he’s built like a National type. That November race at Cheltenham summed him up – Paddy Brennan fired him up and made a man of him. “Next time out he was done by the standing start and beaten going to the first behind a wall of horses. Three weeks later, he led the Cotswold Chase until he got outclassed. He’s in great form.” It is his third go at the National. The first time he failed to make the cut and last year he had a poisoned foot 2½ weeks before the race. “It was the worst timing – not long enough to take the shoe off and give him a break, but not close enough to crack on with it,” said O’Brien. “He pulled up four out. “Chase The Spud needs proper soft and he’s not as straightforward, which is why Paddy [Brennan] would ride him if he runs. He takes more riding and knowing 1 215 Ashkoul [T] (61) D Skelton 5 12 4 Fergus Gregory (7) 2 2F1 Gregarious [H] (23) (D) Mrs L Wadham 5 11 12 Maxime Tissier (5) 3 660 Capitoul (86) (D) Dr R Newland 6 11 11 S Twiston-Davies 4 153 Walsingham Grange [V] (23) (D) Mrs P Sly 5 11 11 Kielan Woods 5 835 Polly’s Pursuit [H] (43) (D) (BF) N Henderson 6 11 10 N De Boinville 6 P74 Dinsdale [P,T] (123) (D) (WS) M Scudamore 5 11 8 J Kington (3) 7 713 Ardmayle (33) (D) Ali Stronge 6 11 7 G Sheehan 8 57P Excellent Team [T] (26) (D) D Skelton 6 11 6 H Skelton S.P. f’cast: 5-2 Ashkoul, 7-2 Walsingham Grange, 11-2 Ardmayle, Polly’s Pursuit, Gregarious, 10-1 Dinsdale, 14-1 Others. 2.50 Handicap Chase (4) 2m 5f £5,458 Position of trust: Marcus Armytage and Perfect Candidate get acquainted and I don’t think many others would have won the Midlands National on him.” Tipperary-born O’Brien, 45, who took seven runners to last month’s Cheltenham Festival and saw four of them placed, is four winners short of his best season numerically, but has already won more prize money than any since he started in 2011. His last five runners have all been second. “Better than five thirds,” he pointed out pragmatically. Recalling Twiston-Davies’s National winners he said: “Earth Summit  was great. The yard was flying. He’d won the Welsh National after two years off and we probably didn’t appreciate it at the time. When Bindaree  won we’d had an appalling season and Nigel had already decided to give up training. It’s thanks to Bindaree, really, that we’re all still here. It’s all about timing and since then none of us have looked back. ” Owner’s £1 m Aintree bet 3.25 Novices’ Hurdle (4) 2m £4,549 Owner John Neild’s chance of landing a £1 million bet has come a lot closer following a number of withdrawals from next Saturday’s Randox Health Grand National. Neild, who owns the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Splash Of Ginge, placed £1,000 at 1,000-1 on the horse to win a Grand National when he bought him as a four-year-old. At the last forfeit stage, Splash Of Ginge needed 15 to pull out to make the final field of 40. Since then a number have done just that and his prospects are a lot brighter. “It was throwing money away really,” said Neild yesterday. “A few days ago he was 1,000-1 to get a run, but now he’s a 9-4 shot to get in. By my reckoning we only need another four to come out.” Kelso JACKPOT MEETING Going: Heavy TV: ITV4 1.50, 2.25, 3.00 & 3.35 / Sky 432 & Virgin 536 6 1U1 Taxmeifyoucan [P] (51) (CD)(D) K Dalgleish 4 10 11 B Hughes 7 -32 Card Game (294) Ruth Jefferson 9 10 10 J Hamilton 8 430 Gassin Golf [B,T] (28) (D) Kerry Lee 9 10 9 R Patrick (5) 9 317 Treshnish (48) (D) Mrs S Smith 5 10 9 D Cook 10612 Reverant Cust [T] (42) (D) P Atkinson 7 10 8 F O’Toole (3) 11333 Monfass [H] (18) (BF) Mrs R Dobbin 7 10 4 Craig Nichol S.P. f’cast: 11-4 Taxmeifyoucan, 13-2 Nietzsche, 7-1 Reverant Cust, Gassin Golf, 10-1 Card Game, Monfass, Ubaltique, Mirsaale, 12-1 [B] Blinkers [V] Visor [E] Eyeshield [T] Tongue Strap [P] Cheekpieces Others. 1.50 Sue And Harvey Smith Chase (3) 2m 7f £8,837 3.00 Liz Adam Memorial Handicap Chase (2) 3m 2f £31,280 Marlborough 1.50 - Hills Of Dubai 2.25 - Treshnish 3.00 - Lake View Lad 3.35 - Landecker 4.10 - Vengeur De Guye (nb) 4.45 - Haul Us In 5.20 - Duhallow Tornado 1 322 Teddy Tee (40) (BF) N Richards 9 11 8 R Day (3) 2 112 Hills Of Dubai (17) D McCain 9 11 5 B Hughes 3 613 Just Georgie (17) Mrs S Smith 8 11 4 D Cook 4 1U2 Acdc [H,T] (29) (C) (BF) C Grant 8 11 3 Mr L Quinlan (7) S.P. f’cast: 15-8 Just Georgie, 2-1 Teddy Tee, 10-3 Hills Of Dubai, 9-2 Acdc. 2.25 totescoop6 Handicap Hurdle (2) 2m £25,024 1 163 Mirsaale (F7) (CD)(D) K Dalgleish 8 11 12 C Bewley (3) 2 413 Keyboard Gangster [H,T] (17) (D) D Whillans 7 11 3 C Whillans (3) 3 600 Nietzsche (56) (D) B Ellison 5 11 2 H Brooke 4 134 Ubaltique [B,T] (28) (C)(D) D McCain 10 10 13 Will Kennedy 5 506 Golden Jeffrey [B] (13) (CD)(D) I Jardine 5 10 12 Mr B Lynn (7) 1 2 3 4 Yala Enki (25) (CD) Miss V Williams 8 11 12 C Deutsch Baywing (42) N Richards 9 11 9 R Day (3) Wild West Wind [T] (23) T R George 9 11 4 A P Heskin Lake View Lad (29) (BF) N Alexander 8 10 13 S Mulqueen (3) 5 323 Seldom Inn [B] (51) (C) A M Thomson 10 10 13 B Hughes 6 216 Smooth Stepper (42) Mrs S Smith 9 10 12 D Cook 7 6P/ Samstown (1085) (C) (WS) A Whillans 11 10 6 Craig Nichol 8 -35 Chic Name [H] (24) Richard Hobson 6 10 4 J Bowen (3) 9 6-6 Blakemount (9) (D) Mrs S Smith 10 10 3 S Quinlan 10 -13 Harry The Viking [P] (98) (C)(D) A M Thomson 13 10 1 Rachel McDonald (7) S.P. f’cast: 7-2 Baywing, 4-1 Yala Enki, 5-1 Wild West Wind, 13-2 Chic Name, 8-1 Lake View Lad, 10-1 Seldom Inn, Smooth Stepper, 12-1 Harry The Viking, Blakemount, 25-1 Samstown. F16 531 FRU 212 3.35 Edinburgh Gin Handicap Hurdle (2) 3m 2f £25,024 4.45 Belhaven Best Handicap Hurdle (4) 2m 5f £4,289 1 110 Donna’s Diamond (23) (C)(D) C Grant 9 11 12 C Bewley (3) 2 601 Kris Spin (21) (D) Kerry Lee 10 11 6 R Patrick (5) 3 761 Eminent Poet (18) Miss V Williams 7 11 3 C Deutsch B Hughes 4 P13 Lastbutnotleast (74) (BF) D McCain 8 11 1 5 421 Takingrisks (28) (C) N Richards 9 10 6 R Day (3) 6 421 Western Rules [P] (29) N Richards 8 10 2 Craig Nichol 7 532 Total Assets (51) (CD)(C) S Waugh 10 10 2 Miss A Waugh (7) 8 722 Arthurs Secret [P] (22) A M Thomson 8 10 0 Rachel McDonald (7) 9 615 Landecker (51) (CD)(C) N Alexander 10 10 0 Lucy Alexander 10 11U Letemgo (7) (CD) A B Hamilton 10 10 0 Ross Chapman (3) S.P. f’cast: 7-2 Donna’s Diamond, 11-2 Western Rules, 7-1 Kris Spin, Eminent Poet, 15-2 Lastbutnotleast, 8-1 Others. 1 2 3 4 4.10 Handicap Chase (4) 2m 1f £4,614 1 232 Caraline [P,T] (9) (CD)(D) M Hammond 7 12 2 Miss Becky Smith (5) 2 126 Bobbie’s Diamond (29) (D) A B Hamilton 8 11 12 Mr B Lynn (7) 3 625 Vengeur De Guye [T] (46) (CD)(D) Miss L Russell 9 11 8 B Campbell (5) 4 U23 Martiloo [T] (63) Miss P Robson 8 11 2 B Hughes 5 24P Halcyon Days [P] (77) Rebecca Menzies 9 11 2 T Kelly 6 -45 Craiganboy [H,T] (106) N Alexander 9 10 13 G Cockburn (3) 7 131 Oak Vintage (15) (CD) Mrs A Hamilton 8 10 7 Ross Chapman (3) 8 51P Charlie Snow Angel [T] (15) Miss S Forster 9 10 2 J Hamilton S.P. f’cast: 3-1 Martiloo, 7-2 Caraline, 9-2 Oak Vintage, 13-2 Vengeur De Guye, 8-1 Craiganboy, Bobbie’s Diamond, 10-1 Others. 1 P63 Ckalco Des Loges (21) D Skelton 6 11 12 H Skelton 2 733 Royals And Rebels [B,T] (33) C Mann 8 11 11 H Bannister 3 1P2 Little Windmill [P,T] (40) (CD) N King 8 11 9 T Whelan 4 331 Heresmynumber [P,T] (22) (CD) Ali Stronge 8 11 3 G Sheehan 5 232 Global Domination [P,T] (24) (CD) Mrs C Bailey 10 10 5 S Bowen S.P. f’cast: 9-4 Heresmynumber, 3-1 Global Domination, 4-1 Ckalco Des Loges, 9-2 Royals And Rebels, 5-1 Little Windmill. Road To Gold (47) (C) N Alexander 9 11 12 Lucy Alexander Barrys Jack (47) (D) B Ellison 8 11 9 D Cook Champagne To Go (110) Rebecca Menzies 8 11 8 N Moscrop (5) Another Mattie [T] (29) (C)(D) N Alexander 11 11 7 Mr K Alexander (5) 5 506 Graystown (29) W Coltherd 6 11 5 Sam Coltherd (5) 6 534 Only Orvieto [P] (27) Ruth Jefferson 7 11 4 J Hamilton 7 211 Haul Us In (23) (D) Miss L Russell 6 11 3 B Campbell (5) 8 4P3 Xpo Universel [P] (25) Rebecca Menzies 9 10 9 B Hughes 9 95P Maraweh [P] (110) Miss L Russell 8 10 5 S Mulqueen (3) 10552 Lastin’ Memories [P] (18) (BF) Miss S Forster 6 10 0 T Willmott (7) S.P. f’cast: 7-4 Haul Us In, 5-1 Another Mattie, 7-1 Lastin’ Memories, 8-1 Xpo Universel, 10-1 Road To Gold, 12-1 Barrys Jack, Only Orvieto, 14-1 Graystown, Champagne To Go, 16-1 Maraweh. -P5 FP6 2PP 743 5.20 totesport.com Open Hunters’ Chase (5) 3m 2f £2,808 1 111 Duhallow Tornado (31) C C Pimlott 6 12 0 Mr Tom Strawson (7) 2 222 Cultram Abbey (30) (BF) N Richards 11 11 12 Mr J Dawson 3 F12 Leavethelighton (41) John Dawson 11 11 12 Miss C R Crane (7) 4 431 Nine Altars (14) Mrs E J Dun 9 11 12 Miss C Dun (7) 5 83P Play Practice (7) J Walton 8 11 5 Miss C Walton S.P. f’cast: Evens Cultram Abbey, 5-2 Duhallow Tornado, 10-3 Leavethelighton, 14-1 Nine Altars, 33-1 Play Practice. 1 171 Pacific De Baune (14) (D) N Henderson 5 11 11 N De Boinville 2 212 Oistrakh Le Noir (14) (BF) B Pauling 4 11 5 D Jacob 3 529 Act Of Valour (24) (D) P Nicholls 4 10 13 S Twiston-Davies 4 750 Chimes Of Dylan (57) N King 5 10 13 T Whelan 5 P-9 Relight The Fire (12) D P Quinn 7 10 13 B J Powell J Quinlan 6 70 By Rail [H] (44) N Littmoden 4 10 7 S.P. f’cast: 6-5 Act Of Valour, 13-8 Pacific De Baune, 3-1 Oistrakh Le Noir, 33-1 By Rail, 66-1 Chimes Of Dylan, 100-1 Relight The Fire. 4.00 At The Races Handicap Hurdle (3) 2m 4f £7,213 1 520 Le Breuil (24) (D) B Pauling 6 11 12 N De Boinville 2 81P Indian Hawk (28) N Henderson 6 11 8 D Jacob Bridget Andrews (3) 3 P66 Sir Mangan (13) (D) D Skelton 10 11 5 4 07- Ordo Ab Chao (385) (D) Olly Murphy 9 11 3 D England 5 1-2 Theatrebar [T] (164) (D) (BF) D Skelton 10 11 2 H Skelton 6 512 Iconic Sky [P] (26) (C) Mrs L Wadham 5 10 4 Maxime Tissier (5) 7 12- Nikki Steel (584) (BF) Dr R Newland 8 10 0 S Bowen S.P. f’cast: 9-4 Le Breuil, 11-4 Indian Hawk, 4-1 Theatrebar, 6-1 Nikki Steel, 7-1 Iconic Sky, 14-1 Ordo Ab Chao, 25-1 Sir Mangan. 4.35 Racing Partnership Novices’ Chase (4) 3m £5,458 1 2P5 Sam Red [P,T] (41) (CD) D Skelton 7 11 10 H Skelton 2 513 Remind Me Later (133) (D) G L Moore 9 11 4 Joshua Moore 3 220 Captain Buck’s [P,T] (23) P Nicholls 6 10 12 S Twiston-Davies 4 1/P Iskrabob (135) (D) Mrs D Grissell 8 10 12 Mr O Wedmore (7) 5 -33 Native Gamut (29) (D) A Ralph 8 10 12 L Edwards 6 -23 Step Back (50) (D) (BF) M Bradstock 8 10 12 N De Boinville S.P. f’cast: 6-4 Captain Buck’s, 5-2 Sam Red, 3-1 Step Back, 13-2 Remind Me Later, 20-1 Native Gamut, 100-1 Iskrabob. 5.10 David Keith Memorial Handicap Chase (3) 2m 5f £8,187 1 -24 Templehills [H,T] (56) (CD)(D) N Twiston-Davies 7 11 12 S Twiston-Davies S Bowen 2 P44 Crosspark (51) (BF) Mrs C Bailey 8 11 12 H Cobden 3 5F3 Monsieur Co (102) P Nicholls 5 11 6 4 322 Princeton Royale [B] (50) (D) (BF) N King 9 11 6 T Whelan 5 62P Movie Legend [P] (28) (C) Mrs L Wadham 8 11 6 R T Dunne S.P. f’cast: 15-8 Princeton Royale, 5-2 Crosspark, 4-1 Monsieur Co, 11-2 Templehills, 7-1 Movie Legend. 5.40 Standard Open NH Flat Race (5) 2m £2,274 1 13 Before Midnight (45) N Henderson 5 11 7 N De Boinville 2 380 Tankerton Boy (57) N King 5 11 0 T Whelan Earlofthecotswolds N Twiston-Davies 4 10 8 S Twiston-Davies 3 4 Eclair De Guye Mrs L Wadham 4 10 8 Maxime Tissier (5) 5 Espalion T Vaughan 4 10 8 A Johns Risk And Co J Snowden 4 10 8 G Sheehan 6 Smackwater Jack Olly Murphy 4 10 8 D England 7 8 6 Midnight Monsoon (50) B Case 5 10 7 Kielan Woods S.P. f’cast: 6-5 Before Midnight, 4-1 Earlofthecotswolds, 5-1 Smackwater Jack, 10-1 Risk And Co, Espalion, 12-1 Others. Whistler’s Nap Taxmeifyoucan (2.25 Kelso today) and Fin and Game (3.25 Carlisle tomorrow) are naps this weekend for Whistler (Marcus Armytage), of The Sunday Telegraph. Scoop6 Today's Scoop6 races are: 2.05 Kempton Park; 2.25 Kelso; 3.00 Kelso; 3.15 Kempton Park; 3.35 Kelso; 5.00 Kempton Park. Tomorrow's Meetings Carlisle 1.50 to 5.30 (RUK, Sky 432); Exeter 2.05 to 5.15 (RUK, Sky 432). The Daily Telegraph Saturday 7 April 2018 ** 27 Sport Kempton Park Uttoxeter Wolverhampton Marlborough Marlborough Marlborough 1.30 - John Betjeman 2.05 - Tomily 2.40 - Raven’s Lady 3.15 - Shenanigans 1.55 - Flanagans Field 2.30 - Secret Legacy 3.05 - Commodore 3.40 - Town Parks 5.45 - Grecian Divine 6.15 - Precious Silk 6.45 - Masaarr 7.15 - Tuscany (nap) 3.50 - Dathanna 4.25 - Kings Shield 5.00 - Inn The Bull 4.15 - I’m Always Trying 4.50 - Lunar Flow 5.25 - Dunstall Dolly Going: Standard TV: ITV4 2.05, 2.40 & 3.15 / Sky 432 & Virgin 536 Going: Heavy TV: Sky 415 1.30 EBF Novice Stakes (Plus 10) (4) 2YO 5f £5,822 [B] Blinkers [V] Visor [E] Eyeshield [T] Tongue Strap [P] Cheekpieces 1 6 Arbuckle (8) M Madgwick 9 2 L Keniry 3 Disruptor P Evans 9 2 J F Egan 2 2 3 Dixieland R Hannon 9 2 T Marquand 5 4 9 Gingersdunthelot (14) David Loughnane 9 2 Rossa Ryan (5) 7 5 2 John Betjeman (8) W G M Turner 9 2 J Watson (7) 4 Kinks M Channon 9 2 C Bishop 8 6 7 4 Lihou (14) P Evans 9 2 Fran Berry 6 8 Sir Ox R Cowell 9 2 L Morris 9 9 Luchador Archie Watson 8 11 O Murphy 1 Vena d’Amore D Ivory 8 11 J Duern (3) 10 10 S.P. f’cast: 3-1 Dixieland, 9-2 Lihou, 5-1 John Betjeman, Luchador, 6-1 Kinks, 8-1 Disruptor, 12-1 Sir Ox, 20-1 Vena d’Amore, 25-1 Others. 2.05 Betfred Mobile Handicap (2) 5f £15,562 1 311 Tomily (7) (C)(D) R Hannon 4 9 7 Hollie Doyle 4 2 28- Jumira Bridge (172) (D) R Cowell 4 9 0 J Crowley 2 3 5-3 A Momentofmadness [H] (14) (CD)(C)(D) (BF) C Hills 5 8 12 W Buick 3 4 02- Evergate (182) (D) R Cowell 4 8 12 T Marquand 8 5 37- Green Door [P] (135) (D) R Cowell 7 8 10 Jonathan Fisher (7) 1 6 3-7 Bowson Fred (56) (D) M W Easterby 6 8 10 Nathan Evans 9 7 13- Tarboosh (189) (C)(D) P Midgley 5 8 9 O Murphy 5 L Morris 10 8 136 George Dryden (14) (D) C Wallis 6 8 8 9 332 Compas Scoobie [H,T,V] (23) (C)(D) (BF) S C Williams 5 8 6 P J McDonald 7 10571 Dynamo Walt [V] (8) (CD)(D11) D Shaw 7 8 4 P Mathers 6 S.P. f’cast: 11-4 A Momentofmadness, 5-1 Tomily, 6-1 Others. 2.40 Betfred Handicap (2) 6f £15,562 1 141 Tropics [H] (23) (C)(D9) D Ivory 10 9 7 R Winston 7 2 06- Mazzini [P] (129) (CD)(D) J Fanshawe 5 9 3 G Wood (3) 5 B McHugh 2 3 07- Pipers Note (172) (D) Mrs R Carr 8 9 2 4 00- Raucous (175) (D) R Cowell 5 8 13 J Crowley 6 5 056 Swift Approval [E] (8) (D) S C Williams 6 8 11 P J McDonald 1 6 4-2 Raven’s Lady (93) (C)(D) M Botti 4 8 9 A Atzeni 8 P Hanagan 3 7 13- Boundsy (161) (D) R Fahey 4 8 8 8 421 Hammer Gun [V] (11) (D) D Shaw 5 8 6 P Mathers 4 S.P. f’cast: 3-1 Tropics, 4-1 Boundsy, 9-2 Mazzini, 5-1 Others. 3.15 Betfred Snowdrop Fillies’ Stakes (Listed) (1) 1m £25,520 1 142 Carolinae (8) (C)(D) C Fellowes 6 9 0 S Donohoe 9 2 -31 Hunaina [T] (32) (D) H F Devin (Fr) 4 9 0 Alexis Badel 5 3 24- La Figlia (190) J Noseda 4 9 0 James Doyle 2 J Duern 1 4 153 Lucymai (8) (C) D Ivory 5 9 0 5 35- Paco’s Angel (273) R Hughes 4 9 0 S W Kelly 7 6 27- Peak Princess [B] (162) (C) R Hannon 4 9 0 S Levey 8 7 12- Shenanigans (182) (D) (BF) R Varian 4 9 0 A Atzeni 4 J Crowley 10 8 67- Smart Call (118) (D) Sir M Stoute 7 9 0 9 215 Soul Silver (8) (C)(D) D M Simcock 4 9 0 O Murphy 6 10226 Summer Icon (8) M Channon 5 9 0 C Bishop 3 S.P. f’cast: 5-2 Smart Call, 4-1 La Figlia, 11-2 Hunaina, 6-1 Shenanigans, 10-1 Paco’s Angel, 12-1 Lucymai, Carolinae, 14-1 Others. 3.50 Fillies’ Conditions Stakes (Plus 10) (2) 3YO 1m £15,562 1 12- Dathanna [H] (191) (BF) C Appleby 9 5 W Buick 2 P J McDonald 1 2 28- Crown Vallary (189) K Burke 9 2 3 80- Model (161) R Hannon 9 2 T Marquand 3 4 23- Dance Me (113) (BF) S Kirk 8 12 O Murphy 4 S.P. f’cast: 13-8 Dathanna, 2-1 Crown Vallary, 9-4 Model, 14-1 Dance Me. 4.25 Betfred Conditions Stakes (Plus 10) (2) 3YO 1m £15,562 1 -21 Jellmood [H] (35) M Botti 9 5 D Muscutt 3 2 1- Kings Shield (143) J Gosden 9 2 O Murphy 4 K Fox 1 3 -22 Lawn Ranger (31) (D) M Attwater 9 2 4 1 One Cool Daddy (17) (CD) D Ivory 9 2 R Winston 5 5 1- Rajaam [H] (137) (D) R Hannon 9 2 J Crowley 2 S.P. f’cast: 10-11 Kings Shield, 4-1 Jellmood, 9-2 Rajaam, 7-1 Lawn Ranger, 12-1 One Cool Daddy. 5.00 Betfred Queen’s Prize Handicap (2) 2m £15,562 1 226 Curbyourenthusiasm (8) D M Simcock 7 9 10 J P Spencer 8 2 6-5 Port Douglas (33) P Cole 5 9 5 D Probert 1 3 49- Ooty Hill (161) C Fellowes 6 9 4 S Donohoe 5 4 0-7 First Mohican [H] (J26) (D) A King 10 9 3 Hollie Doyle 13 5 84/ Cayirli (537) S Durack 6 9 2 S W Kelly 9 DOUBTFUL 4 6 -62 Gwafa (54) P Webber 7 9 0 7 91- Dominating (166) (C)(D) M Johnston 4 8 13 DOUBTFUL 11 8 1-3 Sunblazer [T] (91) (CD)(C)(D) K Bailey 8 8 12 J Crowley 12 9 111 Author’s Dream [V] (35) (D) W Knight 5 8 11 L Morris 3 10 22- Champagne Champ (J21) (D) B Millman 6 8 11 O Murphy 7 11111 Inn The Bull (7) (C) A King 5 8 10 T Marquand 2 12 35- Gavlar (183) (CD)(D) W Knight 7 8 7 C Shepherd 6 13 46- See Of Rome (200) R Hughes 4 8 5 Nicola Currie (5) 10 S.P. f’cast: 7-2 Author’s Dream, 4-1 Inn The Bull, 5-1 Sunblazer, 8-1 Champagne Champ, Curbyourenthusiasm, 10-1 Others. 1.55 Handicap Hurdle (5) 2m £3,119 1 7PP Radical Archie (51) E Williams 7 12 1 C Ring (3) 2 24P Jaunty Thor (42) (CD)(D) Oliver Greenall 8 12 1 R Hawker (3) 3 9P7 Dartagnan Le Dun [T] (14) A Hales 5 12 1 C Gethings 4 2P3 Whispering Harry [T] (23) (D) Henry Oliver 9 11 12 Jason Dixon (10) 5 364 Akula [P,T] (9) (CD)(D) B Leavy 11 11 10 Sean Houlihan 6 5UP Glimpse Of Gold [T] (71) (CD)(D) T Vaughan 7 11 9 H Reed 7 153 Hartside [T,V] (13) (D) P Winks 9 11 6 T Broughton (7) 8 745 Catchin Time [P,T] (9) (CD)(D) Miss L Hurley 10 11 6 C Hammond (3) 9 443 Flanagans Field [P,T] (48) (D) B J Llewellyn 10 11 5 Rob Williams (3) 10 5/5 Helamis (24) (D) B Leavy 8 10 6 H Teal (3) S.P. f’cast: 5-2 Flanagans Field, 3-1 Whispering Harry, 5-1 Hartside, 10-1 Glimpse Of Gold, Jaunty Thor, Catchin Time, 14-1 Dartagnan Le Dun, Akula, 16-1 Others. 2.30 Maiden Hurdle (5) 2m 4f £2,599 1 422 Always On The Ball (69) C Longsdon 5 11 2 Jonathan Burke 2 412 Emerald Chieftan (15) Rebecca Menzies 8 11 2 C O’Farrell 3 P33 Hangard (23) P Kirby 6 11 2 T Dowson (3) 4 /53 Hurricane Dylan (27) Kevin Frost 7 11 2 A Coleman J Bargary (3) 5 8 Larch Hill (45) N Twiston-Davies 5 11 2 6 350 Lookforarainbow [H] (140) (WS) Sarah Hollinshead 5 11 2 N P Madden 7 /55 My Liege (24) E Williams 7 11 2 A Wedge 8 -04 Powerstown Park (31) (D) Sam Thomas 5 11 2 J M Davies 9 232 Scottshill (85) Jonjo O’Neill 6 11 2 N Scholfield 10 F33 Secret Legacy (17) (D) (BF) I Williams 7 11 2 T J O’Brien S.P. f’cast: 10-3 Secret Legacy, 9-2 Hurricane Dylan, 11-2 Hangard, 6-1 Scottshill, 13-2 Emerald Chieftan, 7-1 Others 3.05 Betfred Handicap Hurdle (4) 2m 4f £4,094 1 P1P Transient Bay [P] (40) (CD)(D) P Kirby 8 11 12 A Nicol 2 264 Billy Hicks (23) (BF) S Drinkwater 7 11 11 Mr J Drinkwater (7) 3 FU7 Mr Fitzroy [T] (17) Miss J Davis 8 11 10 J M Davies A Coleman 4 842 Commodore (23) Miss V Williams 6 11 10 5 135 Lord County [P] (17) Oliver Greenall 4 11 8 Mr Ed Glassonbury (7) 6 321 Sackett (11) (D) N King 7 11 6 H Teal (7) S.P. f’cast: 7-4 Commodore, 5-2 Billy Hicks, 10-3 Sackett, 15-2 Lord County, 10-1 Transient Bay, 25-1 Mr Fitzroy. 3.40 Betfred Chase (Novices’ Limited H'cap) (3) 2m 4f £7,408 1 -1P Allysson Monterg [T] (24) (D) Richard Hobson 8 11 8 Jonathan Burke 2 11F Town Parks (45) (CD) Kerry Lee 7 11 3 Jamie Moore T J O’Brien 3 342 War Sound (49) (BF) P Hobbs 9 11 0 4 P23 Ballyarthur [T] (66) (D) (BF) N Twiston-Davies 8 10 9 J Bargary (3) S.P. f’cast: 11-8 War Sound, 9-4 Town Parks, 4-1 Allysson Monterg, 5-1 Ballyarthur. Sport in brief 7.15 Handicap (5) 7f £3,752 7.45 - Hussar Ballad 8.15 - Stonific 8.45 - Scribner Creek Going: Standard TV: Sky 415 Draw: No advantage in the draw [B] Blinkers [V] Visor [E] Eyeshield [T] Tongue Strap [P] Cheekpieces 5.45 Apprentice Handicap (6) 6f £3,105 1 933 Madrinho (15) (D) (BF) A Carroll 5 9 9 Poppy Bridgwater (3) 4 2 8-5 Miami Sunset (33) (D) P McBride 4 9 9 Alice Bond (7) 6 3 434 Met By Moonlight (22) R Hodges 4 9 7 William Carver (5) 3 4 0-1 Grecian Divine (26) (D) J Tuite 4 9 6 Pierre-Louis Jamin 1 T Ladd 5 5 728 Berlios (10) Rebecca Bastiman 5 9 5 6 00- Perfect Words [P] (155) (C) Mrs M Fife 8 9 4 Faye McManoman (3) 2 7 835 Thorntoun Lady [P] (10) (CD) J Goldie 8 9 0 Andrew Breslin 7 S.P. f’cast: 15-8 Madrinho, 11-4 Grecian Divine, 5-1 Met By Moonlight, 6-1 Thorntoun Lady, 8-1 Berlios, 16-1 Miami Sunset, 20-1 Perfect Words. 6.15 Fillies’ Handicap (5) 3YO 7f £3,752 1 75- Miss Dd (239) I Jardine 9 8 G Lee 6 2 -22 I Was Only Joking [P] (39) (BF) R Fahey 9 7 P Hanagan 7 3 53- Zahraa (168) M Dods 9 6 C Rodriguez (3) 3 R Da Silva 2 4 166 Precious Silk [V] (16) J Santos 9 5 A Kirby 9 5 837 Miss Milla B (22) E Vaughan 9 5 6 20- Onefootinparadise (182) P McBride 9 5 S De Sousa 1 C Hardie 5 7 26- Puchita (171) (BF) A Brittain 9 3 L Keniry 8 8 66- Isabella Mayson (194) W Kittow 9 3 Fran Berry 4 9 -21 Porrima (35) B Haslam 9 2 S.P. f’cast: 11-4 I Was Only Joking, 4-1 Porrima, 5-1 Onefootinparadise, 11-2 Zahraa, 8-1 Precious Silk, 10-1 Puchita, 12-1 Miss Dd, 14-1 Miss Milla B, 20-1 Isabella Mayson. 6.45 fclgf.com Novice Stakes (5) 7f £3,752 1 Qatar Glory M Botti 4 10 0 M Monaghan (3) 5 2 31- Masaarr (140) R Varian 3 9 7 A Atzeni 8 3 5-2 Glorious Army (23) Ed Walker 3 9 0 L Keniry 3 Honey Man [H] S Crisford 3 9 0 S De Sousa 2 4 5 62- Sha La La La Lee [H] (204) T Dascombe 3 9 0 R Kingscote 7 6 Timssaah G Peckham 3 9 0 K O’Neill 1 P Hanagan 6 7 13 Swiss Belle (33) (C) R Fahey 3 8 13 8 9-6 Can Can Sixty Two (10) M Channon 3 8 9 G Downing 4 S.P. f’cast: 5-4 Masaarr, 7-2 Glorious Army, 6-1 Sha La La La Lee, 8-1 Swiss Belle, 10-1 Honey Man, 14-1 Qatar Glory, 20-1 Timssaah, 25-1 Can Can Sixty Two. 1 162 Baltic Prince (17) (CD)(C)(D) A Carroll 8 9 8 Rossa Ryan (5) 6 2 -82 Fire Diamond [P] (22) (CD)(C)(D) T Dascombe 5 9 7 M Harley 8 3 723 Energia Flavio [P] (10) (C)(D) P Morris 8 9 6 Fran Berry 3 4 -22 Nick Vedder [B] (25) (BF) M Wigham 4 9 6 F Norton 2 5 48- Rock Warbler [H,T] (102) (D) Oliver Greenall 5 9 5 K Stott 4 6 314 Sayesse (19) (D) M Channon 4 9 5 A Atzeni 9 7 11- Tuscany (133) (CD)(D) P Cole 4 9 4 R Da Silva 7 8 358 Mr Christopher [P] (44) (CD)(C) (BF) T Dascombe 6 9 1 R Kingscote 1 9 558 Lucky Lodge [V] (24) (CD)(C) A Brittain 8 8 9 C Hardie 5 S.P. f’cast: 3-1 Nick Vedder, 7-2 Tuscany, 5-1 Baltic Prince, 7-1 Sayesse, 8-1 Fire Diamond, 10-1 Others. 7.45 Contact Us At fclgf.com Handicap (5) 1m 4f £3,752 1 172 Dream Magic (24) (CD) D Loughnane 4 9 8 A Mullen 5 2 216 Luv U Whatever (11) (C)(D) Mrs M Fife 8 9 8 Hollie Doyle 3 3 03- Crushed (J86) (BF) A King 4 9 7 M Harley 9 4 061 Cape Banjo (21) (CD) N Mulholland 5 9 5 A Kirby 2 5 2-8 Broadway Dreams (45) M Blake 4 9 5 M Godwin (3) 7 6 461 Star Ascending [V] (11) (CD)(D) Jennie Candlish 6 9 5 J Fanning 1 7 -52 Tidal Watch (21) Jonjo O’Neill 4 9 4 Fran Berry 8 8 76/ Blenheim Warrior (J24) (D) P Webber 6 8 13 A Atzeni 6 9 -63 Hussar Ballad (10) (CD)(C)(D) A Brittain 9 8 13 C Hardie 4 S.P. f’cast: 7-2 Crushed, 4-1 Tidal Watch, 5-1 Dream Magic, Star Ascending, 6-1 Cape Banjo, 8-1 Luv U Whatever, 12-1 Others. 8.15 FCL Global Forwarding Handicap (5) 1m 1f 104yds £3,752 1 3-1 Seven Clans [B] (5) (CD) N Mulholland 6 9 10(6ex) A Kirby 7 2 662 Stonific (13) D O’Meara 5 9 9 Daniel Tudhope 4 3 111 Arlecchino’s Leap (16) (CD)(C) M Usher 6 9 8 DOUBTFUL 8 4 315 Derek Duval [H,T] (17) (CD)(C) (BF) S C Williams 4 9 7 D Muscutt 5 5 3-4 Saxo Jack [T] (J25) Mrs S Leech 8 9 4 J Fanning 6 6 -63 Roman De Brut (26) (CD) I Furtado 6 9 2 C Bennett (3) 1 7 317 Broughtons Story (28) P McBride 4 9 0 S Donohoe 3 8 -98 Spes Nostra [B] (46) (CD)(C) R M Smith 10 9 0 Fran Berry 2 S.P. f’cast: 15-8 Seven Clans, 10-3 Stonific, 4-1 Derek Duval, 5-1 Roman De Brut, 8-1 Broughtons Story, 16-1 Saxo Jack, 33-1 Spes Nostra. 8.45 Handicap (5) 1m 1f £3,752 1 -37 Ebbisham (56) (C) J Mackie 5 9 7 J Fanning 6 2 -06 Zeshov [P] (25) Rebecca Bastiman 7 9 7 Daniel Tudhope 5 3 0-7 Caramuru [P] (17) J Santos 4 9 7 R Da Silva 2 4 0-8 Tee It Up Tommo (17) (CD) D Steele 9 9 6 Hollie Doyle 1 5 3-6 Prancing Oscar (42) (CD) B Haslam 4 9 5 T Marquand 7 6 /49 The Third Man (42) (CD) H Spiller 7 9 3 Nicola Currie (5) 9 7 0-4 Foie Gras [B] (16) (C) C Dwyer 8 9 2 S De Sousa 3 8 522 Scribner Creek (16) (CD) (BF) I Furtado 5 9 1 C Bennett (3) 8 9 801 Man Of Verve [H] (30) P Kirby 4 9 0 S Gray 4 S.P. f’cast: 9-4 Scribner Creek, 4-1 Man Of Verve, 9-2 Prancing Oscar, 6-1 Foie Gras, 8-1 Ebbisham, 12-1 Zeshov, 14-1 The Third Man, Caramuru, 25-1 Tee It Up Tommo. Racing results 4.15 Betfred Handicap Hurdle (4) 2m 7f £4,094 1 -62 Loch Linnhe [P,T] (12) M Walford 6 11 13 A Coleman 2 U11 Late Romantic [T] (27) Oliver Greenall 8 11 12 Mr Ed Glassonbury (7) 3 625 Allthegear No Idea [P] (23) N Twiston-Davies 11 11 12 J Bargary (3) 4 532 I’m Always Trying [P] (66) D Pipe 5 11 11 T Scudamore 5 P0P Kayf Moss [B,T] (23) J Flint 10 11 9 Jamie Moore 6 293 Fille Des Champs [T] (27) E Williams 7 11 7 A Wedge N Fehily 7 273 Arden Denis (28) (C) N Mulholland 9 11 7 J M Davies 8 834 Frankly Speaking (33) T Symonds 8 11 6 T Cannon 9 -21 Fizzlestix (21) C Gordon 6 11 5 A Nicol 10 67F Aniknam [H] (25) P Kirby 8 10 10 B Poste 11224 Scartare (11) Mrs R Gasson 7 10 0 12704 Silver Dragon [B] (96) (C) M Sowersby 10 10 0 L Murtagh (5) S.P. f’cast: 7-2 Late Romantic, 4-1 Fizzlestix, 6-1 Loch Linnhe, 13-2 Scartare, 10-1 Aniknam, I’m Always Trying, Allthegear No Idea, Arden Denis, 14-1 Others. 4.50 Betfred Super League Handicap Chase (4) 3m £4,494 1 1P3 Big Meadow [P] (21) (CD)(D) N King 7 12 3 H Teal (7) 2 132 Newberry New [P] (18) (C) Harriet Bethell 6 11 12 A Coleman 3 PPP Saint John Henry [B] (47) (D) D Pipe 8 11 11 T Scudamore 4 6-P Katenko (17) (D) Miss V Williams 12 11 9 Mr H Nugent (7) 5 825 Lunar Flow [B,T] (46) (CD) (BF) J Snowden 7 11 1 T J O’Brien 6 152 Clondaw Rigger [T] (30) (D) Katy Price 6 10 6 B Poste S.P. f’cast: 5-2 Big Meadow, 3-1 Newberry New, 4-1 Clondaw Rigger, 6-1 Lunar Flow, 7-1 Saint John Henry, Katenko. 5.25 Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (5) 2m £2,274 1 Dunstall Dolly T R George 5 11 0 C Gethings Orchard Moon N Twiston-Davies 5 11 0 M Grant 2 3 23 Rosy World (26) (BF) Miss S Smith 5 11 0 J Sherwood (3) 4 Blue Ballerina Oliver Greenall 4 10 8 T J O’Brien Easter Gold Mrs L Wadham 4 10 8 A Coleman 5 Slaine G C Maundrell 4 10 8 H Reed (5) 6 S.P. f’cast: 13-8 Rosy World, 9-4 Dunstall Dolly, 6-1 Orchard Moon, 8-1 Blue Ballerina, Easter Gold, 12-1 Slaine. Chelmsford City Going: Standard 6.10 (1m2f h’cap): Miniature Daffodil (Rossa Ryan 6-4F) 1; Arlecchino’s Arc (7-4) 2; Banjo’s Voice (20-1) 3. 6 ran. nk, 13/4l. (P Evans). 6.40 (1m2f h’cap): Rustang (J P Spencer 6-4F) 1; Finisher (6-1) 2; Dream Point (10-3) 3. 5 ran. 3/4l, 11/2l. (R Hughes). NR: Verstappen. 7.10 (1m2f h’cap): Oasis Charm (W Buick 5-4F) 1; Maratha (9-4) 2; Fire Fighting (7-2) 3. 6 ran. 1l, 7l. (C Appleby). NR: Rock Icon. 7.45 (1m h’cap): Andalusite (P J McDonald 20-1) 1; Satchville Flyer (4-1CF) 2; Freddy With A Y (8-1) 3. Mr Potter 4-1CF, Magicinthemaking 4-1CF. 8 ran. 3/4l, 3l. (J Gallagher). 8.15 (7f nov): Mosalim (James Doyle 13-8JF) 1; Lord Vetinari (4-1) 2; Mont Kinabalu (10-1) 3. Irish Minister 13-8JF. 10 ran. 11/4l, 21/2l. (W Haggas). NR: Motajaasid. Fontwell Going: Soft-heavy in places 2.05 (2m1f162yds h’cap hdle): Hollywood Ken (Mr M Legg 20-1) 1; Be Daring (7-2F) 2; Goldslinger (13-2) 3. 11 ran. 12l, 5l. (Mrs F M Shaw). 2.35 (3m1f210yds h’cap ch): Wizards Bridge (H Cobden 3-1JF) 1; Leo Luna (7-2) 2; Morney Wing (3-1JF) 3. 5 ran. hd, 22l. (C Tizzard). 3.10 (2m3f49yds nov hdle): Larry (Jamie Moore 6-4) 1; Duke Of Kilcorral (11-8F) 2; Illtellmema (7-2) 3. 8 ran. 2l, 40l. (G L Moore). 3.40 (2m1f165yds h’cap ch): Clondaw Westie (A Coleman 11-10F) 1; Atlantic Roller (9-4) 2; 3 ran. 26l. (Mrs L Hill). 4.15 (2m5f164yds h’cap hdle): Norman The Red (M Batchelor 6-1) 1; Hit The Highway (6-1) 2; Camron De Chaillac (8-1) 3. Norse Legend 7-2F. 11 ran. 1l, ns. (J Long). 4.50 (2m3f104yds h’cap ch): Burgess Dream (P Brennan evs F) 1; Very Live (9-2) 2; Wish In A Well (7-1) 3. 6 ran. 1/2l, 46l. (Miss A N-Smith). 5.20 (1m5f159yds nh flat): Dandolo Du Gite (N Fehily 13-8JF) 1; Gwalia (4-1) 2; Helioblu Bareliere (25-1) 3. Donnytwobuckets 13-8JF. 5 ran. 6l, 14l. (N Mulholland). NR: Corsecombe. Placepot: £36.90. Quadpot: £9.80. Lingfield Going: Standard 2.20 (1m1yds h’cap): Accomplice (C Bishop 13-2) 1; Bold Prediction (2-1F) 2; Presence Process (9-2) 3. 8 ran. 1l, shd. (M Blanshard). 2.50 (6f1yds h’cap): Spring Romance (J Duern 3-1JF) 1; Royal Household (3-1JF) 2; Naval Officer (5-1) 3. 7 ran. shd, 21/4l. (D Ivory). NR: Jaalboot. 3.25 (1m5f): Cayuga (Rossa Ryan 6-4F) 1; Ceyhan (7-1) 2; Fanoulpifer (5-2) 3. 7 ran. 1l, 3/4l. (B Johnson). NR: Yes Daddy. 3.55 (5f6yds h’cap): Just That Lord (L Morris 3-1JF) 1; Zac Brown (3-1JF) 2; September Issue (10-1) 3. 7 ran. 23/4l, 1l. (M Attwater). 4.30 (7f1yds h’cap): Poet’s Society (J Fanning 6-1) 1; Pepita (6-1) 2; Medici Banchiere (8-1) 3. Six Strings 15-8F. 9 ran. 3/4l, 3/4l. (M Johnston). NRs: Arnarson, Sea Fox, Siege Of Boston. 5.05 (6f1yds h’cap): Zamjar (S De Sousa 5-2F) 1; Jashma (6-1) 2; Aguerooo (9-2) 3. 9 ran. 11/2l, nk. (R Cowell). 5.35 (1m2f nov): Albizzia (R Kingscote 15-8F) 1; Juneau (13-2) 2; Qaswarah (8-1) 3. 7 ran. 1/2l, 1/2l. (R Beckett). Jackpot: £8,107.10. Placepot: £31.50. Quadpot: £12.60. Cricket England’s women suffered a one-wicket defeat in their opening one-day international against India in Nagpur. Chasing 208, India got home in the final over after 18-yearold spinner Sophie Ecclestone had brought England hope with four wickets. Hampshire have signed South African pace bowler Dale Steyn, 34, who will join in June. Boxing Anthony Joshua’s next fight is ‘very likely’ to be against either Deontay Wilder or Alexander Povetkin, his promoter Eddie Hearn said. Although negotiations have begun for a world title fight against Wilder, the WBA has ordered Joshua to negotiate a mandatory title defence against the Russian within 30 days, putting pressure on the camps to make the Joshua-Wilder fight soon. Rugby League St Helens overcame the absence of talismanic full-back Ben Barba with a virus to beat Hull 26-12. It was their ninth win out of 10 and leaves them six points clear at the top of the Betfred Super League. Best of sport on TV Today COMMONWEALTH GAMES: BBC2 6am and BBC1 11pm. CURLING: World Championships - Eurosport 1 9.30pm. CYCLING: Basque Tour - Eurosport 2 2.30. CRICKET: Indian Premier League, Mumbai Indians v Chennai Super Kings - Sky Sports Cricket 1500. FOOTBALL: Premier League, Everton v Liverpool - Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League 12.30, Manchester City v Manchester United - Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League 5.30; National League, Ebbsfleet v Macclesfield - BT Sport 1 12.00. FORMULA ONE: Bahrain Grand Prix practice - Sky Sports F1 12.45, eir Sport 1 12.55 and Channel 4 1pm, Qualifying Channel 4 2.55, Sky Sports F1 3pm and eir Sport 1 .355. GOLF: Masters - Sky Sports Golf 7pm and Sky Sports Main Event 10pm, BBC2 7.30, eir Sport 1 8pm. RUGBY LEAGUE: Super League, Salford v Warrington - Sky Sports Arena 3.10. RUGBY UNION: Aviva Premiership, Bath v Leicester Channel 5 1.30; PRO14, Scarlets v Glasgow - Sky Sports Action 4pm; Hong Kong Sevens - Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Action 6am, Sky Sports Action 8.10am. RALLYING: World Rally Ch'ship, France - BT Sport 1 10am. SNOOKER: China Open - Eurosport 1 1225. TENNIS: WTA, Charleston Open - BT Sport/ESPN 6pm. Tomorrow CURLING: World Championships - Eurosport 2 10pm. CRICKET: IPL, Delhi Daredevils v Kings XI Punjab - Sky Sports Cricket 11.25am, Kolkata Knight Riders v Royal Challengers Bangalore - Sky Sports Cricket 3pm. CYCLING: Paris-Roubaix - Eurosport 2 10am. FOOTBALL: Premier League, Arsenal v Southampton - Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League 1.30, Chelsea v West Ham - Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League 4.15; Scottish Premiership, Hamilton v Celtic - BT Sport 1 12.00. FORMULA ONE: Bahrain Grand prix race - Channel 4 1345, Sky Sports F1 and eir Sport 1 4.05. GOLF: US Masters - Sky Sports Golf 6pm, BBC2 6.30, Sky Sports Main Event and eir Sport 1 7pm MOTORSPORT: World Rally Championship, France - BT Sport 2 11am; World Touring Cars, Morocco - Eurosport 1 10.30, British Touring Cars, Brands Hatch - ITV4 10.15. MOTORCYCLING: Argentinian MotoGP - BT Sport 2 3.15. RUGBY UNION: Aviva Premiership, Exeter v Gloucester - BT Sport 1 2.45; Hong Kong Sevens - Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Action 6am. SNOOKER: China Open - Eurosport 1 12.30. TENNIS: WTA, Charleston Open - BT Sport/ESPN 6pm. 28 Saturday 7 April 2018 The Daily Telegraph *** Final whistle Uganda’s netball star is living the dream – with a little help from Loughborough Lightning, writes Simon Briggs How Peace is sending a message of hope to all women t has been another busy I week for our regular headlinemakers, from Rory McIlroy to Jurgen Klopp. In among the usual 24-hour intrigue, the latest developments at the Commonwealth Games – cruelly dubbed “school sports day” by sceptical locals – have slipped past almost unnoticed. One can only hope that in Uganda – a country where professional athletes are almost unknown – Gold Coast’s visibility level is higher. Because there is a true trailblazer leading the 70-strong Ugandan delegation, in the 6ft 4in shape of flag-bearer Peace Proscovia. Proscovia’s story recalls the recent Disney docu-drama Queen of Katwe – in which the young Phiona Mutesi (played by Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o) escapes the slums of Kampala by becoming a chess master. As Mutesi comments at one point in the film, while queening a pawn: “In chess, the small one can become the big one. That’s why I like it.” For Proscovia, a similar transformation was enabled by netball. Now 28, this “big one” was just 16 when she left her parents and six siblings in remote Arua province. Forging out on her own, she took up a sporting scholarship in Entebbe, in central Uganda, where her work ethic extended to notching 700 successful shots at goal every day. By the age of 23 she was national captain and e for the past four years she has played in the British h league for Loughborough Lightning, where she wass named player of the y season last year. Asked by the club’s programme to offer a “random fact” about herself, she replied: “When I first came to Loughborough, I did not know how to use a microwave!” The contrast must have been dramatic. Uganda is a strongly Big player: Uganda’s Peace Proscovia, 6ft 4in, is to face England tomorrow ‘Where I come from, girls are looked at as marriage material – and that’s not just in my village’ Christian country, but also a hugely unequal one, where homosexuality is punishable by life imprisonment. A friend who visited a decade ago recalls huge frustration among the female population at their inability to access schools and universities. Even the lucky few who achieve an education face legal restrictions if they want to own a passport. Proscovia has somehow overcome all these barriers. Articulate and charismatic, she already has two degrees, and is now studying for a third at Loughborough University. “Where I come from, girls are looked at as marriage material,” Proscovia told the 2017 International Netball Federation congress. “And I don’t think that is only in my village, it’s in many developing countries. My family said, if you go to the city, you will get spoilt. I had to tell my dad, ‘I respect you and the community, but I have to disobey you for the sake of achieving my dream’. And when the community looked at my achievement, they were able to freely allow girls to come to the city and play netball.” The next stage of Proscovia’s dream would be a place in the Commonwealth Games semi-finals. It is not impossible, as her shooting skills have carried the She-Cranes – named after the bird on the Ugandan flag – to No 7 in the world. Unfortunately they were edged out in Thursday’s opening match against netball superpower New Zealand, despite Proscovia’s 37 goals from 42 attempts. To progress, Uganda will almost certainly now have to beat England tomorrow, in a match that will bring Proscovia up against Loughborough team-mate Beth Cobden. The seedings, not to mention Sport England’s £3 million investment, are pointing in the wrong direction. But then Proscovia is used to defying the odds. As she likes to say: “Anything below the sun is possible”.