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The Daily Telegraph Sport - April 7, 2018

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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 [1998] 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 [2002] 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”.
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