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The Sunday Times Sport - 18 March 2018

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March 18, 2018
England coach forced to
eat humble pie as rampant
Ireland run out 24-15
winners to take Grand Slam
Not bad for a
Green party: Johnny
Sexton, left, and
skipper Rory Best
lead Ireland’s
celebrations with
the Triple Crown
and Six Nations
eh Eddie?
Stephen Jones
Rugby correspondent
Ireland claimed their third Grand Slam,
and their second in nine years, as they
swept aside England at Twickenham yesterday. The visitors were on the scoreboard after five minutes when Garry
Ringrose touched down and were 21-5
ahead at half-time. Though England
showed more purpose in the second half,
the result never looked in doubt and Ireland ran out 24-15 winners.
It was England’s first home defeat
under coach Eddie Jones and the first
time since 2006 that they have lost three
consecutive Six Nations matches. The
loss is particularly embarrassing for the
Australian, after the controversy that last
week surrounded his past comments on
Wales (“a s**** little place)” and Ireland
Mourinho accuses
players of ‘lacking
class, personality
and desire’
Jose Mourinho: critical
of his victorious team
The glorious optimism of the early stages of Jones’s tenure had long ago dissipated and long before the end at Twickenham yesterday, in a stadium alive with
Irish songs and celebrations, it had been
replaced by glum resignation and even a
rising panic that they appear to have
fallen behind their rivals. Ireland gave a
performance that was always too powerful and organised for England, and also,
in parts, touched by magic.
Tadhg Furlong, the Irish prop, was
man of the match. Jacob Stockdale’s
touchdown on the stroke of half-time
meant he became the first player to score
seven tries in a Six Nations campaign.
England finished an embarrassing fifth,
after Wales and Scotland claimed victory
over France and Italy respectively.
Jones was part-resigned and part-defiant afterwards. “Ireland played well and
we just weren’t good enough,” he said.
Ian Whittell
Old Trafford
was substituted at half-time, was one
name picked out to bear the brunt of
Mourinho’s harsh words, although the
majority of his teammates were also
clearly in their manager’s sights.
“I didn’t like the game,” said Mourinho. “I think we deserved to win because
the game was more or less in control the
majority of the time but we didn’t play
the way I wanted the players to play.
“I didn’t have the reaction from all of
them. I had the reaction from some of
them. Some of them were mentally
strong enough with the football quality to
play — that was the reason we won.
“But a team of 11, when you have a minimum of six or seven players performing
and wanting to play, who want the
responsibility to have the ball, who have
the desire really to play — it is difficult to
have a good performance. So I am not
happy with the performance all all. But I
am happy with the result.”
Mourinho’s main tactical complaint
centred around his full-backs Shaw and
Antonio Valencia, with the United manager admitting he wanted to replace both
at the interval. But, more than a tactical
issue, Mourinho also clearly felt there
Jose Mourinho saw Manchester United
reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup at Old
Trafford last night and then launched an
extraordinary, no-holds-barred critique
of his squad. The United manager
accused his players of “a lack of personality, lack of class and lack of desire” in an
astonishing outburst following the 2-0
victory over Brighton.
Mourinho even went as far as to claim
that a number of his under-achieving
stars lacked the “personality” to be “a
Manchester United player”. Only man of
the match Nemanja Matic, who scored
one of the goals, and his young midfield
partner Scott McTominay were spared
their manager’s merciless analysis.
On Friday, Mourinho had launched an
impassioned defence of his record and a
retort to his growing army of critics after
United’s disappointing exit from the
Champions League at the hands of Sevilla. But last night, not even the prospect
of an FA Cup semi-final date at Wembley
could improve Mourinho’s mood.
England defender Luke Shaw, who
“We gave them avoidable penalties and
allowed them to skip away too far by halftime, and were chasing our tails
“Every team I have had that has been a
champion team has had these runs,
which have been instrumental in how
you remake a team. Unless you fix them
they catch up with you when you get to
the big tournaments such as the World
Cup. Some guys have come into the team
and have done really well and some will
maybe struggle to participate in the
Joe Schmidt, the Ireland coach, said:
“It’s fantastic for the group of players we
have. They’ve worked hard and their
class and courage merited this achievement. These players demonstrated their
character from start to finish.”
was a lack of character from his team in
the wake of the midweek European debacle against Sevilla.
“That was a decision to change one
player for another player in the same
position,” Mourinho said of his decision
to replace Shaw at the interval. “I wanted
to defend better, I wanted my defensive
line to be more solid in relation to a few,
not many, offensive movements from the
“And I wanted more personality in the
team because many, many times I felt
that Matic was an island of personality,
desire and control surrounded by lack of
personality, lack of class and lack of
desire. I have to say that for example
McTominay lost more passes today in all
the matches he played put together but
he was a Manchester United player.
“And for me a Manchester United
player is one who, when he plays badly,
still gives to the team. That is a question of
personality, that is a Manchester United
player for me. And that is what some of
the others did not have.”
Winning goal: Nemanja Matic’s
header doubled United’s advantage
Rugby correspondent, Twickenham
hen the record books
turn dog-eared it will
appear as if the third
Grand Slam in Ireland’s
history was won in a
nerve-shredding close
game, but all those at
Twickenham yesterday will know differently. The gap in performance and aspiration between these
two teams was all it should have been —
England finished fifth and Ireland are
champions and the run of play bore
brutal testimony to the differences.
The last Ireland Grand Slam team
included Brian O’Driscoll and Paul
O’Connell, two of the greatest Irish
sportsmen. But this Irish team is appreciably better, it has the perfect mix of rampage and clinical play, of rhythm and dexterity, and anyone with a euro to spare
may even put it on Ireland to win the
World Cup. They are way ahead as the
world’s second-best team and all the hiss
and fury of a courageous rally by an outplayed England could not hide it.
This was supposed to be a match
between freedom and systems. Eddie
Jones, the England coach, declared that
England could not play the ultra-systems
style attributed to Joe Schmidt. Yet here
what was meant to be an Irish machine
played with dramatically more freedom
and flare and class that England could
only dream of.
Perhaps it was typified by the burgeoning young men who came on — Joey
Carbery and Jordan Larmour expressed
sidestepped and looked as if they were
enjoying themselves. England, meanwhile, played as if in chains, out of line in
the backs, dithering and relying in the
end on Anglo-Saxon resistance.
Much of the late action and the last-act
England try could therefore be seen as
the flap of a fish already passed away. But
to be fair, though, there was admirable
resistance. James Haskell was still slowing down the ball, driving in to suck in the
defence and competing everywhere,
until the very end. There was no lack of
heart in Mako Vunipola and Maro Itoje,
and Owen Farrell played marvellously
under pressure.
But the team is bewildered, lacking
pace and energy. It became shambolic
after a few phases. This bunch was
slightly better selected but to play Sam
Simmonds at No 8 among all the Irish
power athletes was not fair.
The two tries they scored in the second
half were to their credit, but they never
came close enough to put on the pressure, they never had remotely the skills
and vision. The man of the match was
Tadhg Furlong, the massive prop who
can flick away passes. Rob Kearney had a
sensational game at full-back, Garry Ringrose has dazzling feet for a big lad and
Conor Murray is playing with such confidence that he must feel infallible. But
above all Ireland know what they are
doing, and they have the raw materials
and the licence to carry it out. They are a
reasonably young side, and they are
European champions going into the last
few laps before the World Cup. Tasty.
Encouraging. Almost awesome.
England always had to play so much
rugby to score or even to look dangerous
while Ireland played some beautiful
Farrell at
fly-half is
a mistake
Jones can’t
gloss over
B Pts
5 5 0 0 160 82 3
5 3 0 2 119 83 3
5 3 0 2 101 128 1
5 2 0 3 108 94 3
5 2 0 3 102 92 2
5 0 0 5 92 203 1
Four points are awarded for a win and two points for a draw.
A bonus point is awarded to a team scoring four or more tries
or a team losing by seven points or fewer
Three and easy: CJ Stander
touches down for Ireland’s second
try in a whirlwind first half in
which they scored three times
Six Nations highlights
11.15pm ITV
February 3
Wales 34
Scotland 7
France 13 Ireland 15
February 4
Italy 15 England 46
February 10
Ireland 56 Italy 19
England 12 Wales 6
February 11
Scotland 32
France 26
February 23
France 34 Italy 17
February 24
Ireland 37
Wales 27
Scotland 25
England 13
March 10
Ireland 28
Scotland 8
France 22
England 16
March 11
Wales 38 Italy 14
March 17
Italy 27
Scotland 29
England 15
Ireland 24
Wales 14 France 13
rugby in short bursts to maximum effect,
notably when they scored three memorable tries in the first half, each of which
said an awful lot about the performance
of their team.
England needed a start, but they blundered early on when Farrell took out
Kearney when the Irish full-back was in
the air. Ireland made big ground with the
kick and soon afterwards Johnny Sexton
isolated Anthony Watson under a monster kick. Watson just managed to reach it
before Kearney but lost it under the pressure and Ringrose beat him to score a try
that settled any Irish nerves.
There was better to come. Sexton is
famous for the wrap around and when he
found Furlong after a lineout, Furlong
shaped as if to pass to Sexton and
England’s defence followed. But Bundee
Aki came up to the left, took the pass
from Furlong and found CJ Stander on his
left for the try. Quite beautifully done.
England’s try followed a courageous
period of pressure after about eight
attempts to get a driving maul on the
move. The try came when Ireland were
reduced to 14 men after Peter O’Mahony
killed the ball once too often. Incidentally, before this Aki had hit Elliot Daly
with a sickening shoulder crunch. The
fact that he made some attempt to lift an
arm to make a tackle seemed to save him
as the referee only gave a penalty, but
frankly Aki could well have been sent to
the bin and you have seen red cards given
for less.
The third Irish try came just before
half-time. Ireland’s forwards again made
ground on the burst, and when they ran it
to the left, Murray gave a delightful pop
pass to Jacob Stockdale, who chipped
ahead. England had asked that the in-goal
area be extended by two metres and
Stockdale duly scored in the extra yards.
The ball bounced forward from his knee
and he scored in the deepest part of the
dead-ball area.
England persevered but could not get
over from their driving attempts. Some of
their back alignment was shoddy but
eventually Farrell made a break where no
space seemed to exist, and chipped
ahead for Daly to run on and score. But it
was an imposing and richly deserved 21-5
at half-time and although England tried
to thunder at Ireland in the third quarter,
there was no real sign of the try they desperately needed as Ireland resumed
There was just a chance that England
might come back into it when Keith Earls
was sucked in by a beautiful pass from
Farrell which set Daly free, but Earls managed to bring down his man with an ankle
tap. In fact, Ireland did not score another
Metres made
Kicking conversion %
Clean breaks
Possession %
Territory %
Tackles made
Scrums won %
Tackles missed
Lineouts won %
Turnovers won
try, but they absorbed pretty well with
the defensive line punching its weight.
When it was too late, George Ford and
Mike Brown made an excellent try for
Daly down the left, and then Jonny May
scored down the right in the last act of the
match. By then the stadium sounded as if
it had been transported to Dublin, and
the soaring hopes of England in 2016
have been shot through with vast holes.
Star man: Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)
England: Tries: Daly 32, 65, May 80
Ireland: Tries: Ringrose 6, Stander 24, Stockdale 40
Cons: Sexton (2), Carbery Pen: Murray
Yellow card: Ireland: O’Mahony
Referee: A Gardner (Australia)
England: Watson (Brown 34min); May, Joseph (Ford
56min), Te’o, Daly; Farrell, Wigglesworth (Care 61min);
Vunipola (Marler 53min), Hartley (capt) (George
58min), Sinckler (Cole 53min), Itoje, Kruis (Launchbury
71min), Robshaw, Haskell, Simmonds (Armand 67min)
Ireland: Kearney; Earls (Marmion 74min), Ringrose, Aki
(Larmour 56min), Stockdale; Sexton (Carbery 3441min; 67min), Murray; Healy (McGrath 51min), Best
(capt) (Cronin 65min), Furlong (Porter 65min), Ryan
(Toner 67min), Henderson, O’Mahony (Murphy 74min),
Leavy, Stander
This was an England
performance full of flaws. Not
so much outclassed by an
excellent Ireland Grand Slam
team as clinically outthought. It started in
selection and continued on
the field.
Central to the story was
England’s most esteemed
player, Owen Farrell. Eddie
Jones got his selection
horribly wrong when he
agreed with the majority of
Her Majesty’s Press and the
English public to opt for
Farrell in his favoured club
position of fly-half.
It was a massive mistake.
Farrell had his moments,
good and bad, but all the
good ones could have
occurred at inside centre. The
break and the strong fend
that gave England the
position which turned into a
try from a fine chip behind
the onrushing Ireland
defence. The sort of stuff he
does with regularity in the 12
There was no gain in
switching him one position
infield. If it was perceived
that George Ford was offform, few considered the fact
that the decision would leave
England even more exposed
in the centre. Ben Te’o is a
work in progress, Jonathan
Joseph no more than a
shadow of his former self.
England lost so much more
than they gained.
Much, if not most, of
England’s attacking play has
emanated from the passing
skills of Ford and Farrell. It
was not so long ago that Jones
waxed lyrical. But a couple of
below-par performances in a
team set up for conservative
England, in a
state of confusion,
are making the
journey from
rugby’s heights to
the depths as the
defeats mount
territorial rugby ended the
most dangerous passing
partnership in the northern
It saved England from
defeat in Cardiff last year with
two of the finest passes you
will ever see. An inch out and
Wales would have snuffed out
the threat of Elliot Daly and
beaten them. The margin in
international matches
between being a Grand Slam
team and also-rans is a fine
one. England, in a state of
evident confusion, are
making the journey from
rugby’s heights to the depths
as the defeats mount.
Nothing encapsulated it
more than the inaccuracy of
the distribution from the
England centres. Joseph in
particular was dreadful. Just
about every time he passed,
the ball was slightly behind
and inevitably over the
shoulder of either Daly or
Johnny May. Te’o wasn’t quite
as sloppy but he showed
nowhere near the quality one
would expect.
Attention to detail is
everything in the mindset of
the England manager but his
failure to see how savagely
the fly-half selection would
set back any hopes of the sort
of back play that is such a
highlight when England click
(think the poetry of the
passing against Scotland last
year) was some mark against
his reputation as a selector.
There was a cameo of
clumsiness in the 45th and
46th minutes. First of all May
was stopped in his tracks
close to the try line by a pass
that checked the Tiger. That
was right to left. To prove the
partnership weren’t up to it
off either hand Joseph threw
another pass behind the
hard-working May going left
to right. With Mike Brown on
for the injured Anthony
Watson, England had three
average to poor passers on
the field.
Behind by some distance,
England had to chase the
game. Ford was introduced
and England looked another
team altogether. The dual
passing threat caused Ireland
as many problems as the
previous centre pairing
caused their own wide men.
Daly scored, May finally
stretched his legs, running
onto the ball, as England
rediscovered a slickness that
eluded them for 55 minutes.
It was an act of panicky
vandalism on the part of
Jones not to trust instincts
often so accurate. Ford hasn’t
been the problem in the past
two games so much as a
tactical plan that didn’t play
to the strengths of England’s
greatest asset.
The decision to disrupt the
familiar Ford/Farrell
partnership wouldn’t have
been quite as bad had
England a pair of in-form
centres. Joseph, out of it in
recent months, compounded
the selection mess with his
defending. Rob Kearney kept
Right man,
wrong place:
England’s Owen
Farrell, playing in
his favoured
fly-half position,
makes a break
against Ireland
bouncing off hapless tackles.
Like England and the Paul
Simon song, he spent most of
the match slip-sliding away.
Ford’s appearance resulted
in two England tries to the
one Ireland penalty. Farrell,
playing wider, fired out a
fantastic pass. The two of
them began to weave their
intricate patterns, causing the
best team in Europe
problems where previously
there had only been answers.
After this third straight
defeat the questions will
inevitably be aimed in the
direction of Jones. When
England lose he has a habit of
taking the blame for the side’s
preparation. In the week
ahead he should hold up his
hands once more for what
went wrong off the field.
Right now there is no
option other than Ford and
Farrell. If the public and press
don’t get it, Jones should.
The Sunday Times March 18, 2018
All that England needed was to
lose their bright spark full-back
to what appeared to be a nasty
leg injury
Has suffered so much injury but
he’s been the full-back of the
tournament. Absolutely
pugnacious and clever
Caps 67 Age 29 Ht 1.78m Wt 86kg
He still manages to score tries
which is some feat, probably
slightly unconventional but has
become a weapon for England
Produced one brilliant tap tackle,
but otherwise was probably not
the most dangerous Irishman on
the day
Chief sports writer
Chris Jones
Captain Rory Best
celebrated “the biggest
highlight” of his career after
leading Ireland to Grand
Slam glory. Best was a Slam
winner in 2009 but rated
this an even sweeter
moment because he was
captain, and he started
every game.
“Every kid growing up
dreams of playing for
Ireland and to win
something like this is
the biggest highlight
of my career,” he
said. “This is a
special bunch of
guys. We looked
dead and buried
in Paris after 75
minutes against
France and we had to
make sure that magic
moments like that don’t go
“Words can’t describe
how delighted we are. We
just had to make every
tackle count, every single
one, because we knew the
reward would be worth it. It
was one of those days when
things came off. We knew
we would have to play
incredibly well to win.”
Ireland’s triumph has left
England to deal with three
successive defeats and a
fifth-place finish at the end
Biggest Ireland win
Croke Park, Feb 2007
Ireland ended England’s
run of 15 consecutive home
wins, while extending their
own record winning run
to 12 consecutive Tests
Biggest England win
Lansdowne Road, Feb 1997
Match stats
England have lost
three games in the
championship for the
first time since 2006
Caps 13 Age 23 Ht 1.85m Wt 94kg
He has talents but there must
now be pressure to bring in a
footballer such as Daly to the
centre position
Highly promising. Has good feet
in tight corners — given the right
men around him, he could
become a Lion next time round
Caps 13 Age 31 Ht 1.88m Wt 104kg
Caps 7 Age 27 Ht 1.83m Wt 101kg
He looked unhappy through most
of the game, a shame because he
does have some talents of which
England should make use
Probably keeping a jersey warm
for Robbie Henshaw, but his
strength and war-like spirit are
Caps 18 Age 25 Ht 1.84m Wt 94kg
Caps 9 Age 21 Ht 1.91m Wt 102kg
His talents are wasted on the
wing, but his footballing brain is
useful if England can find a
better way of using it
Apparently, he has to work on his
defence. No doubt Ireland feel
they can wait for him to do that
as he scores tries at a fierce rate
Caps 58 Age 26 Ht 1.88m Wt 92kg
Caps 73 Age 32 Ht 1.88m Wt 92kg
You can only imagine his feelings
as he was faced with a superior
opposition and rather chaotic
scenes around him
The master controller was on
form despite taking a few
knocks. Some beautiful plays, his
confidence seems to be back
Not the time to make a deserved
comeback, but at least he tried
to impose something of a pattern
on which to build
Arguably now the best there is in
his position. So confident and
composed, and so intuitive in his
selection of plays
Ireland captain
enjoys career high
while Jones talks
of remaking team
Caps 40 Age 26 Ht 1.83m Wt 90kg
Caps 31 Age 34 Ht 1.75m Wt 84kg
of a championship that
started with them chasing a
third title in a row. Head
coach Eddie Jones, inset,
paid tribute to the Irish
before claiming England’s
long run of success hid
weaknesses he needs to
address and warned that
some players may not be up
to the job.
Jones said: “Ireland
played exceptionally well
and we just weren’t good
enough. We gave them
avoidable penalties and
allowed them to skip away
too far by half-time and
were chasing our tails the
whole game. We knew that
even though we had won 23
of 24 games we weren’t
good enough to get where
we want to get and we
knew we had to
change the team
and sometimes
that hurts.
“Every team I
have had that has
been a champion
team has had these
runs, which has been
instrumental in how you
remake a team. Unless you
fix them they catch up with
you at the big tournaments
such as the World Cup.
Some guys have come in and
done really well and some
will maybe struggle to
participate in the future.”
Ireland’s Joe Schmidt
said: “The feeling is more
relief because you are
willing so much for the
players to deliver. There is
sense of pride. The guys are
exuberant and the team is
getting better all the time.”
There should now
be no debate as to
who will coach the
next Lions team
Caps 34 Age 27 Ht 1.88m Wt 90kg
It all went to plan,
says proud Best
Caps 83 Age 31 Ht 1.88m Wt 95kg
On the stroke of half-time, Jacob Stockdale chases
down his kick. England had extended the in-goal area by
a couple of metres and that made all the difference as
the Ireland wing touched down inches from the dead
ball line for his team’s third try
Caps 33 Age 24 Ht 1.85m Wt 93kg
With less than five minutes gone, Anthony Watson spills
a high ball after a challenge from Rob Kearney. Garry
Ringrose pounces on it for a try but there is a suspicion
that Kearney knocked the ball on
Schmidt’s men were better
prepared and more clinical
by Stephen Jones
Caps 64 Age 28 Ht 1.88m Wt 94kg
Caps 49 Age 27 Ht 1.8m Wt 121kg
Caps 78 Age 30 Ht 1.85m Wt 115kg
Clearly spoiling for a huge effort,
never took a backwards step and
at least England just managed to
hold on up front
Possibly not quite as prominent
here as he can be but his
aggression is something to
behold. Just indomitable
Caps 93 Age 31 Ht 1.85m Wt 108kg
Caps 111 Age 35 Ht 1.8m Wt 105kg
We must accept Eddie Jones’
view that Hartley is an excellent
leader but he simply does not
have enough impact on games
A far more obvious leader than
Hartley, probably playing some
of the best rugby of his career in
recent seasons. Excellent
Caps 10 Age 24 Ht 1.83m Wt 113kg
Caps 23 Age 25 Ht 1.85m Wt 126k
Was up against a tough pack and
while he did not dominate at
least he was respectable. Needs
more in the loose
It’s been said before, but he’s an
unholy combination of grandest
old Irish forwards and something
huge but ultra-modern
Caps 19 Age 23 Ht 1.95m Wt 115kg
Another man to give it
everything, and cannot be held
responsible when he has given
so much to the cause
Caps 8 Age 21 Ht 2.03m Wt 108kg
Another one of next generation
to make a mark this season, it
was something for Ireland to
leave out Toner in his favour
Caps 25 Age 28 Ht 1.98m Wt 113kg
Caps 38 Age 26 Ht 2.01m Wt 117kg
His recall was welcome,
England’s lineout was not perfect
but as lineout leader he should
be an automatic selection
Began the Lions tour too slowly
but was a core figure yesterday,
and is surely going to win a ton
of caps
Caps 64 Age 31 Ht 1.88m Wt 109kg
Caps 47 Age 28 Ht 1.91m Wt 107kg
All much of a muchness, one
good burst in the second half but
there must be a back row with
more devil and balance
Departed for the bin in the first
half, otherwise a useful lineout
threat to England and still going
Caps 77 Age 32 Ht 1.94m Wt 114kg
Caps 9 Age 23 Ht 1.91m Wt 106kg
England’s outstanding player.
Some of the old Red Rose pride
was under the red helmet, and he
was good for waning morale
Another man meant to have
weaknesses, and another man to
hide them quite superbly here.
Was massively influential
Exeter Chiefs
Caps 7 Age 23 Ht 1.83m Wt 93kg
Caps 23 Age 27 Ht 1.85m Wt 114kg
Received no favours by being
played out of position and
was outweighed in such a
massive match
Scored the first try and while
lacking a few dimensions, his
charges always seemed to
make ground
Replacements: A little energy from
here, with Dan Cole contributing
well and Mike Brown working off
some of his frustrations. But the
match was already too far gone
Replacements: Probably not as
impressive as they might have
been, but Carbery and Larmour
were bright as buttons. Ireland
have forward power to spare
Over the years the few good
Irish rugby teams who came
along were variously
described. Mostly their worth
was in their belligerence,
their spirit, their savvy. Not
until this season would the
word “clinical” have been
used in relation to an Irish
team but that is what this, the
greatest of all Irish rugby
teams, undoubtedly is. And
skilful too.
They did a job on England
at Twickenham yesterday, as
they had on Scotland in
Dublin a week ago. This was
no backs-to-the-wall victory,
no toughing-it-out-andgetting-the-result victory.
Three first-half tries turned
the game Ireland’s way and
then, like a fighter who knows
he’s only got to stay standing
to win, they soaked up the
pressure in the second half
while keeping England at a
safe distance.
In the last play of the game
Jonny May skipped through
for the home team’s second
try but that seemed almost a
gift from the contented
winners, a polite way to end
the Test match. They shook
hands, embraced and no one
felt wronged by the result.
England understood they had
gotten what they deserved.
Ireland were the betterprepared team, the one who
clearly understood how it
wished to play. They were the
more disciplined team and
the one with the less forgiving
defence. But it’s the clinical
side of the team’s nature that
defines them. Three minutes
into the game Owen Farrell
chased his own grubber kick
and carried on with his tackle
as Rob Kearney cleared.
Farrell should have hung
back because the full-back’s
feet were both off the ground
when Farrell collided with
him. For that slight lapse in
discipline, England would
pay seven points, for Garry
Ringrose’s try came from the
Irish stand
— and All
Blacks will
be wary
Stephen Jones
Ireland had the most
stupendous stroke of luck
when the game went
professional and every other
rugby nation in the world was
trying to work out what to do.
Which professional teams to
form, what silly names to call
them, whether they should
be representative of
communities or chunks of the
country. Then there was the
question of who would pay
them, who would own them,
the whole panoply of frightful
decisions that had to be
Ireland did nothing. There
was nothing to be done. They
already had four provincial
teams, not random chunks of
the nation but institutions
that had been in existence for
donkey’s years and even
before that. Leinster,
Munster, Connacht and Ulster
did not need silly names,
people understood their
concept and who they were
and the communities
believed in them. You go to
watch Munster play in
Limerick and tell me they do
not act like a community
The other stroke of luck is
that given the traditional pace
and vision of the Irish Rugby
Football Union, the most selfserving and inward-looking of
all the major unions, there is
no way they would have
made the correct call or
formed the correct vision in a
thousand years had they
On the charge: Ireland prop Tadhg Furlong leaves Chris Robshaw trailing in his wake
position created by the
penalty award. Then,
crucially, just before halftime, Kyle Sinckler and Maro
Itoje gave away penalties that
would give Ireland the
position to get their third try.
It’s a quality so often
central to All Black victories.
They get into the scoring zone
and they score. Clinical.
That’s how Ireland have been
this campaign, getting scores
just before half-time, just
before full-time. And 21-5
ahead at half-time, they
showed that when
momentum swings the
opposition way, they can
batten down the hatches.
“First eight minutes of the
second half,” said head coach
Joe Schmidt afterwards, “you
can’t let them get a score.”
“Thanks Dad,” Owen
Farrell would have been
thinking about his father
Andy’s contribution to the
course of the match. Andy
Farrell is Ireland’s defence
coach and time after time his
adopted boys knocked
England back in the tackle.
This was at Twickenham,
where England had not lost in
the Six Nations for six years.
Ireland were leaking tries
out wide in earlier matches
and Schmidt was asked about
that. “Andy Farrell,” he said,
“is a world-class coach.” As
for Schmidt, world-class
barely describes his ability to
get the best from a group of
rugby footballers.
He was in his mid-20s
when he turned up at
Wilson’s Hospital school in
County Westmeath, a Kiwi
English teacher getting his
overseas experience in rural
Ireland. That was 1990 and
this blond-haired Kiwi had
stumbled into a world that
would become his second
home. He returned to New
Zealand after coaching
Wilson’s Hospital to victory in
the Leinster Schools Section
A final, a competition they
had never previously won.
There has been talk of the
Lions turning to Eddie Jones
for their 2021 tour to South
Africa. This has always been a
stretch, for even if the
Australian made an
impressive start with England
last season, his winning run
didn’t have anything like the
longevity of achievement that
Schmidt has achieved first
with Leinster (two European
Cups) and now with Ireland —
three Six Nations
Championships and just the
third Grand Slam in Ireland’s
“That was one of Joe’s
moves,” said man-of-thematch Tadhg Furlong when
asked which was the best of
Ireland’s three tries, the
second one by No 8 CJ
Stander but created by the
been called upon to make
profound changes. Even now,
you sense that their
officialdom would not know
the modern world if it bit
You also must applaud the
Irish togetherness. Clearly,
when Munster play Leinster,
nobody is thinking about the
all-Ireland feeling or national
togetherness. But even the
most grudging and most
parochial supporters always
unite in the wider cause. Can
Welsh rugby say that? Really?
At Cheltenham last week,
to have an Irish horse win
seemed to some as important
as to be on the winner with
the bookies. Again, this is an
intensity of purpose that
other nations cannot match.
Take the Irish bid for the
2023 Rugby World Cup. Every
Irishman was affronted that
they were not chosen, as if
their bid was some kind of
heady vision of cutting-edge
technology and universal
spectator experience. It was
actually, in relation to the
other bids, a pie and a pint
affair, but you will never find
an Irishman to this day who is
not still affronted.
And what about the hands
of fate? The unity of purpose
is such that there are still
people who believe Neil Back
cost Munster a European final
against Leicester by tipping
the ball out of Peter Stringer’s
hands at the put-in. It was a
minor offence that made no
difference, but as in the case
of the hand of Thierry Henry,
which apparently cost Ireland
a World Cup winner’s medal,
the whole nation is still
But bless them. They are
now one of the two best
teams in the world, no
question whatsoever. And
how wonderfully the system
has served them, while so
much of the rest of the world
is still distracted and fighting.
This season, as well as the
during this tremendous Six
Nations, Ireland could easily
add the European Champions
Cup to their cabinet. Leinster
are arguably the most
impressive team in the
tournament to date and
Munster the most fervent,
and both could well emerge
into the semi-finals and
But even this structure was
never good enough on its
own to produce a Grand Slam
team. You must hand it to the
technical side in Ireland, now
led by Joe Schmidt. He may
have little idea of coping with
the demands of the media,
but he can be close to inch
perfect; his teams clearly
know what they are about.
Ireland have been superb
in bringing through young
players, in identifying their
weaknesses — it is only six
Many thought
Kearney’s best
days were over,
not Schmidt.
The full-back
was outstanding
Master tactician: Joe Schmidt has been key for Ireland
cleverest midfield move
which used the tighthead
prop as the pivot in midfield,
disguising his pass before
putting centre Bundee Aki
through a yawning gap in
England’s defence. Aki had
Ringrose free on his right,
Stander free on his left.
It’s not just the technical
proficiency because there are
many good coaches who
master that bit. Schmidt is a
masterful selector and a
clever man-manager. So
many people thought Rob
Kearney’s best days were
over, not Schmidt. Over these
two weekends the full-back
has been outstanding and the
coach has again been
With older and younger,
Schmidt has that precious gift
of instilling belief but lacing it
with enough caveats that no
one gets complacent. What
has astonished the Irish
rugby public is that he has
somehow built a squad with
genuine depth. This is the
team who lost centre Robbie
Henshaw in the second game,
then his replacement in the
third game and Ringrose, the
third choice, has been one of
Ireland’s top performers over
the last two weekends.
But this is how it is in a
good team, players find it
relatively easy to produce
their best. That is down to Joe
Schmidt. There should be no
debate about who will coach
the next Lions team, nor will
there be.
Ireland has been fortunate
to have him in the team.
Six Nations
Grand Slams
years since their propping
contingent were on the
shocking side of
embarrassing. Now they have
props coming out of their
cauliflower ears.
This season alone they
have blooded three
tremendous new young
forwards into the Six Nations
— Andrew Porter, James Ryan,
Dan Leavy — and by this I do
not mean that they have
blooded them in the English
way, throwing them in way
too early. Ireland’s trio are
already big and testy and
mature, a tribute to them and
their coaches and system.
But all the while, Ireland
seem to be improving, they
are now ranked second in the
world. They have a concretehard core, bearded growlers,
fixers. Love them. That’s a
Test pack. Johnny Sexton also
now has somebody outside
him. Once, it was a void out
there, but now there is Garry
They are one of the few
teams New Zealand would
respect and who could beat
them — and we know that
because they already have.
The World Cup in Japan next
year could see the Irish
momentum become
something history-making,
astonishing, possibly even
Not bad for a team based
squarely in the past, but who
have burst past the others
into a glittering emerald
Scotland back from brink to leave Italy with unwanted record
Mark Palmer
Stadio Olimpico
A 5,000-strong army of
headband-sporting Scotland
fans forced police to close
roads between the Piazza del
Popolo and the Stadio
Olimpico as they marched in
support of Doddie Weir and
his struggle with motor
neurone disease.
So much for the pre-match.
Any thought that the game
might be a procession proved
horribly misplaced. Scotland
avoided humiliation but in
many respects they were
embarrassed, and the
scoreline stands as a wholly
unreliable witness to how the
match actually went. For long
spells, it was not close.
And for even longer spells,
it was not remotely pretty, at
least not from the perspective
of a visiting side who saw a
campaign of progress
threaten to crumble about
their ears. Somehow they dug
themselves back out, but only
Sean Maitland’s try and the
subsequent conversion from
Greig Laidlaw inside the final
quarter — at the end of a rare
passage of concerted
pressure — brought the Scots
to within five points. They
then went ahead for the first
time since the 14th minute
when Stuart Hogg crossed in
the 71st minute to go past
Gregor Townsend, Alan Tait
and Gavin Hastings on
Scotland’s all-time try-scoring
Even then they toyed with
throwing it away, the terrific
Tommaso Allan kicking Italy
back in front with a penalty
five minutes from the end.
But Laidlaw’s own typically
ice-cool three-pointer, which
crept just inside the left-hand
post with two minutes
remaining, sprang the visitors
from jail. It was undeserved,
but they will take it, much like
when the pain subsides, there
will be plenty for Conor
O’Shea and his men to carry
It felt impossibly cruel that
the day ended with the hosts
having equalled France’s
century-old record for
consecutive championship
defeats (17) while the
immense Sergio Parisse had
become the first player to
lose 100 Tests.
Italy did most of the
running and did it in straight
lines, charging head-first both
at the Scots and any
preconception this was to be
an easy afternoon.
O’Shea’s side brought
passion, purpose and, for
once, precision. If that last
quality has been a far too
infrequent part of their
campaign, the fact it was
Allan doing much of the
damage should have come as
no surprise.
The 24-year-old has
history, both with Scotland,
gewhom he represented at agegrade level before
committing to the land of his
and his mother’s birth, and
this fixture. Allan’s only
previous try at the Olimpico
had come in the 2014 meeting
between these teams, a day
when, like yesterday, he
seemed particularly keen to
make a point.
But it was Fraser Brown
who scored the first try after
scooping up a long pass on
the right wing from Hamish
Watson to score. That even
scoring pass should be so
unconvincing said everything
Laidlaw: kicked the
winning penalty late on
about the Scots’
performance. Allan hit back
a g t away, stepping
between Huw Jones and
Willem Nel
N to pocket quick
ball from Marcello Violi and
canter a
across. Nick Grigg,
Jones’ centre
partner, had
committed to the breakdown,
exposed, but
leaving Scotland
even allo
allowing for this lead-in,
the invitation
Allan accepted
with ala
Even better was Allan’s
grubber that took out Ryan
Wilson and
a set up a race
between Watson and Matteo
Minozzi. As with just about
other aspect of the
every ot
game at this stage, Italy won
the race and deserved their
12-point lead.
Townsend’s side were
— and
largely desperate
desperately fortunate to turn
only five points
round o
behind. That was thanks to
the lineout
lineo drive that ended
with John Barclay touching
down, but either side of halftime Italy could have had
two, three, even four more
Sebastian Negri did get
himself across but play was
pulled back for an earlier
knock-on. Undeterred, Italy
went straight down the
middle once more. Jake
Polledri made roadkill of
Wilson before giving the fleetfooted Allan a run under the
posts. The Azzurri sniffed a
bonus point; Scotland,
meanwhile, just had to stop
stinking the place out.
Their driving game, the
area where so many previous
Roman ventures have run
aground, was one of the few
things that went well,
contributing heavily to them
finally getting to play in the
right areas. That was even
after Finn Russell was forced
off and Laidlaw went to fly-
half, Jones having been
replaced by Peter Horne.
They did just enough to
win, most improbably of all
with a bonus point of their
own. But if there is such a
thing as a moral victory, Italy
do not end the championship
with nothing.
Star man: Tommasso Allan (Italy)
Italy: Tries: Allan 14, 45, Minozzi 21
Cons: Allan (3) Pens: Allan (2)
Scotland: Tries: Brown 10, Barclay 25,
Maitland 61, Hogg 71 Cons: Laidlaw (3)
Pen: Laidlaw
Referee: P Gauzere (France)
Attendance: 65,000
Italy: Minozzi; Benvenuti (Hayward
59min), Bisegni, Castello (Canna
74min), Bellini; Allan, Violi (Palazzani
67min); Lovotti (Quaglio 59min),
Ghiraldini (Fabiani 77min), Ferrari
(Pasquali 60min), Zanni (Steyn 53min),
Budd, Negri, Polledri (Licata 67min),
Parisse (capt)
Scotland: Hogg; Seymour, Jones
(Horne 53min), Grigg, Maitland; Russell
(Price 54min), Laidlaw; Reid (Bhatti
41min), Brown (McInally 41min), Nel
(Fagerson 41min), Swinson (R Gray
53min), J Gray, Barclay (capt), Watson,
Wilson (Denton 67min)
Wales edge past France to take second
Heading down:
the France
Couilloud is taken
to ground
Sam Peters
Principality stadium
his was a game which promised much but ultimately
delivered precious little as the
Six Nations ended with an
unconvincing whimper at the
Principality stadium. Wales’
narrow win, built on the back
of Alun Wyn Jones’ latest towering display, earned Warren
Gatland’s men second place
in the table, and well done to them for
that, but this was a Test match which left
much to be desired.
Liam Williams scored the home side’s
only try when he latched on to Scott Williams’ first-half kick as Wales did just
enough to pip Scotland for the runner’s
up spot but were bitterly frustrated by
their lack of precision here against
After Williams’ early try and Gael
Fickou’s magnificent response, the first
half deteriorated rapidly and the pattern
continued in what was, in truth, a woeful
second 40 minutes. If France’s infuriatingly inconsistent fly-half Francois TrinhDuc had kicked a simple penalty on 70
minutes, this result could so easily have
gone the other way.
Wales captain Jones, winning his 117th
cap, returned to the side to produce a
man-of-the-match performance. But the
32-year-old’s latest herculean effort
proved a rare highlight in a game which
began in bright and breezy fashion but
faded badly as both sides struggled for
Leigh Halfpenny kicked three penalties and produced an excellent defensive
display and while Wales will rightly cheer
their third win of the tournament, Gatland knows they have much work to do.
The Wales head coach made seven
changes to the side which beat Italy 38-14
at the Principality stadium six days previously.
With Halfpenny returning at full-back
and Liam Williams moving to the leftwing in place of Steff Evans, Wales fielded
an all British & Irish Lions back three with
the resurgent George North on the rightwing. Sadly, their latent attacking threat
failed to materialise in a game lacking
shape, structure and almost any accurate
passing whatsoever.
With England down and out at Twickenham, both sides kicked off knowing a
bonus-point win would secure second
place in the championship while a defeat
by more than eight points would see
France finish fifth. In the end, fourth
place was a fair reflection of where Jacques Brunel’s men sit.
France struck first when Trinh-Duc
dropped back into the pocket and struck
a crisp drop goal from just outside
Wales’s 22. But Wales hit back immediately when Jones gathered Biggar’s short
restart just over the 10-metre line and the
ball was worked to Scott Williams, who
weighted his grubber kick perfectly for
Liam Williams to gather and score.
Halfpenny missed the conversion but
succeeded with his next effort when
Fickou was penalised for a deliberate
knock on. The Scarlets full-back successfully struck again on 16 minutes with his
second penalty after France infringed at a
But just as it seemed Wales would have
things their own way, Adrien Pelissie
made a bullocking charge down the right
before the ball was shipped into the midfield where Fickou cut a wonderful line
which saw him cross untouched as the
Unsung Navidi
the way
Josh Navidi: was
given his 11th cap
against France
Welsh cover defence was outpaced and
Maxime Machenaud added the conversion to make it 11-10 but Halfpenny hit
back with his third penalty on the halfhour mark as Wales’ pack began to assert
itself. Machenaud had a chance to narrow the gap to one point but his penalty
attempt on 40 minutes drifted wide.
Taulupe Faletau, showing no ill effects
from his third knee surgery in 17 months
last December, made a searing break
early in the second half but his inside
pass to scrum-half Gareth Davies was
high and hard and the chance went begging. It summed up the second 40 minutes.
Wales threatened but lacked accuracy
when it mattered and they were made to
Wales flanker
impresses in
contest against the
France back row
David Hands
The make-up of the
breakdown has been
overcome by every team
in this season’s Six
Nations bar one:
England. Why is that?
Surely not a lack of
talent, with 12 clubs to
choose from rather than
two, as with Scotland and
Italy, or Ireland’s and Wales’
Nothing to do with central
contracts. After all, there are
14 top clubs in France who
have provided Jacques
Brunel, France’s coach, with
no need to choose the
outstanding No 8, Louis
Picamoles, in his first-choice
back row.
There was an inclination
on this side of La Manche, at
the start of the
championship, to be
dismissive of Wenceslas
Lauret, Yacouba Camara and
Marco Tauleigne, possibly
because we had seen or heard
so little of them.
Camara has since proved
one of the outstanding
individuals of the
tournament, though sadly he
left prematurely here with a
damaged left leg. Lauret has
worked impressively, and
Tauleigne is rapidly growing
into the international game.
These are players who
have established themselves
in the Top 14; they are not
fresh out of the under-20
team, they have a body of
work behind them, as with
They have explored
Biggest Wales win
Feb 1909
Biggest France win
Apr 1998
alternatives this season, in
the absence of Sam
Warburton and, for a long
period, Taulupe Faletau, and
come up with Josh Navidi and
Aaron Shingler.
Neither is in the first flush
of youth but how much have
they added to Welsh efforts?
The same could be said of
James Davies, who made his
debut against Italy at
Navidi, 27, and capped first
in Japan in 2013, did not
reappear on the international
stage until last year but
yesterday was his 11th cap
and his form has been so
good it has pushed a British
and Irish Lion, Justin Tipuric,
into the No 6 jersey.
The fascination of the
back-row contest was in how
the respective teams
disposed their impressive
resources: the French trio
was far more physically
engaged, Lauret a valuable
pay when France strung 21 phases
together and earned a penalty when Hadleigh Parkes failed to roll away. Machenaud kicked a simple three points to close
the gap to one point with half an hour left.
Wales grew increasingly shapeless,
making a string of handling errors before
France looked sure to score only for Biggar to intervene with a crucial turnover
five metres from the Welsh try-line. With
Rabah Slimani on, a questionable penalty
awarded at the next scrum allowed Wales
to clear their lines.
But France’s threat hadn’t passed and
a powerful run by No 8 Marco Tauleigne
should have led to France taking the lead
when Liam Williams, warned by Gatland
about his hot-headedness last week,
needlessly infringed only for Trinh-Duc,
lineout asset too, as all three
carried strongly. If you lost
sight of Navidi’s dreadlocks,
the eye needed only to switch
to midfield. His was a
masterclass in where and
when to become involved,
and perhaps significantly, his
first contribution was a pass
rather than a tackle.
Before the interval he had
made half-a-dozen tackles,
not an outstanding figure but
part of an all-round
contribution as support
runner, as carrier, and as
competitor at the breakdown.
One of those tackles led to
a turnover, one of five to
Wales in the first half-hour,
He had none of
the stand-out
moments but he
would argue he
does not do flash
kicking in place of the substituted
Machenaud, to miss the simplest of penalty attempts on 70 minutes.
Wales held on, just. They take second
place. But there is much to do.
Star man: Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
Wales: Try: L Williams 4 Pens: Halfpenny (3)
France: Try: Fickou 21 Con: Machenaud
Pen: Machenaud Drop goal: Trinh-Duc
Referee: B O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Attendance: 74,169
Wales: Halfpenny; North, S Williams, Parkes, L
Williams; Biggar, G Davies; R Evans (Smith 64min),
Owens (Dee 69min), Francis, Hill (B Davies 69min),
Jones (capt), Tipuric (Shingler 56min), Navidi, Faletau
France: Fall; Fickou, Bastareaud (capt), Doumayrou,
Grosso; Trinh-Duc (Beauxis 71min), Machenaud
(Couilloud 62min); Poirot (Priso 60min), Pelissie (Chat
51min), Gomes Sa (Slimani 51min), Gabrillagues (Le
Roux 71min), Vahaamahina, Lauret (Gabrillagues
77min), Camara (Babillot 26min), Tauleigne
and another drew a penalty.
It was not all roses: Navidi
slipped off a tackle on
Mathieu Bastareaud — not
that he was alone in that
regard — but instantly
compensated by halting the
next French ball-carrier. He
brought none of the stand-out
moments, such as Faletau’s
long-striding break past
Mathieu Babillot just after the
interval, but Navidi, who had
to double his money in terms
of tackles in the second half,
would no doubt argue he
does not do ‘flash’.
So where, this question
arises, is England’s Navidi?
True, Eddie Jones has not had
the best of luck with his openside flankers: injury has
robbed him of Sam Underhill,
Tom Curry, Jack Clifford and
the unfortunate Sam Jones,
sadly forced into premature
The coach has glanced at
the other Curry twin, Ben, at
Mark Wilson, Teimana
Harrison and again Don
Armand without, apparently,
being over-impressed.
Yet if the Aviva
Premiership has one
experienced individual who
seldom fails to deliver,
regardless of where along the
back row he is deployed, it is
the under-appreciated
Jackson Wray of Saracens.
Perhaps the issue is
philosophical: building a side
for the long-term rather than
next week’s fixture, but next
week’s is always the bedrock
for the future.
Warren Gatland, Wales’
head coach, made no apology
last week for placing a
premium on second place in
this year’s Six Nations as a
springboard to this summer’s
clashes with South Africa and
Argentina, and beyond. It is
also a truism, but nothing is
more important than the next
The Sunday Times March 18, 2018
Eddie Jones must ditch
men who failed him
and start all over again
— in time for summer
tour of South Africa
Only one England
player manages to
make my team of
the tournament
Rugby correspondent
ell, that’s that for
Eddie’s Mark One
team. Their time came
to an end yesterday,
when they fell victim in
part to a sorry lack of
players with Ireland’s
power and nous, and
also to the effects of
Jones’ over-loyal selections, odd pronouncements, and his
(praiseworthy) attempts to produce a
team who can play with some sort of
Jones must urgently reassess his
squad, his coaching staff, the lack of an
attack coach, the lack of true Test forwards of the modern era — even a scaleddown version of the rampaging Tadhg
Furlong would do — the unbalanced back
row, and the baby players in the squad
who are four years away from Test class
yet still parade at Pennyhill Park.
He could even review the cook and the
coach driver. The inquest must be as
sweeping as that and Jones should delve
way outside his inner council and seek
out trusted mates who can be guaranteed
to be brutal. Or even libellous.
Frankly, he may even have to go back
to coaching England as they like to be
coached — by giving them a steel structure and asking them to stick within it. In
the hoary old story, it was an old-lag Irish
prop who said that his biggest nightmare
was to get the ball in his hands in the middle of Twickenham. Frankly, there are
some England backs who are very
uncomfortable in the same situation.
Natural decision-making was not the
least of the Irish advantages.
It was permissible, of course, to be
entranced by the excellent results of the
Early Eddie Era, and to drool over the
thrashing of Australia in 2016. I did.
Three Tests. Boom. Boom. Boom. Those
of us whose suspicions began to grow last
season — suspicions which crystallised in
a major way this season — have been
castigated as doomsayers. Ah well. Popularity is overrated.
But to greet the awful slump of this
team into fifth position in the NatWest Six
Nations, the sheer embarrassment, the
ponderous confusion of the past three
games and the fact that only the Italians
keep them off the bottom, as anything
other than a total disaster is dangerous.
Unless England, and all involved with the
team, realise how bad they have become,
then the revival will be postponed until
long into the future.
Injuries are a factor. A small one, Billy
Vunipola, would have sorted something
yesterday, would not have been bullied as
were the rest of the pack. But England
probably have fewer first-rankers absent
than any of the other teams, and frankly,
even Billy at his best would have been
unlikely to reverse the power tide of
affairs against Joe Schmidt’s superb
Ireland side.
And the new future must come in a
hurry because as we explain elsewhere
today, the tour of South Africa in June has
suddenly gone from a reasonably testing
but eminently winnable affair to a savage
confrontation against a reinforced
Springboks team.
It is so sad that in the past 15 years
England have been suckered into the
down-under view that their natural
power players are old-hat. Too many
teams have been ruined by listening too
closely to that rubbish, but for England to
fall for it too is simply ridiculous. They
need far more effort and poundage to
fulfil Jones’ promise of a powerhouse
pack — it would be a start to produce a
team who can drive a maul more than
two metres without it ending in a scuffling heap.
Their scrum could do with real power
and skill and menace, and be based on
something other than complaints to
referees, resetting and chicanery. Which
of England’s forwards would be selected
in the current Ireland team? Go on, name
one. The lineout needs to be based
around George Kruis, and it would be
marvellous for them to revive Dave
Attwood or any genuine powerful lock so
that Maro Itoje could either start on the
flank or move there on occasions. Don
Armand must stay in the squad. There
must be prayers for Billy.
Elliot Daly must also be brought closer
to the action rather than waiting for random and even token opportunities to
show his skills. People seem to panic
about his defence but at outside-centre,
surely, nous and reading of the game is
Men in green
show quality
Understandably, my team of
the tournament has a streak
of green through it. I would
have hoped for a few more
England players to have been
in contention. However, I
come back to the point I
made before the tournament
that, because they invariably
contribute a large contingent
to the squad, England often
struggle in the year after a
Lions tour. Their win
percentage in Six Nations
campaigns following the
Lions is 58, compared with
74% for all the other
tournaments. I take nothing
away, however, from
champions Ireland and the
team I’ve picked here...
Full-back: Stuart Hogg
After his injury setback on the
Lions tour, the Scot is back to
terrorising defences. It’s not
just his pace, it’s the angles he
runs — and the desire to
attack is always there. If one
or two more passes from
those inside him had gone to
his hands, he would have had
a few more tries to his name.
Wings: Keith Earls, Jacob
Stockdale is the tournament’s
top try-scorer and the
breakthrough player of the
season — 11 tries in his first
nine Tests — but the other
Irish wing caught my eye just
as much. Earls is skilful and
reads the game so well. He’s
also fiery and that gives his
team an edge in attack.
Under pressure:
Elliot Daly gets
squeezed against
Ireland but
scored two tries
and is a player
that Eddie Jones
needs to move
closer to the
Players of the tournament
1 Johnny Sexton (Ireland)
2 Guilhem Guirado (France)
3 Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)
Team of the tournament
1 Ireland
2 French referees - Messrs
Gauzere, Poite, Raynal &
Garces. Outstanding, and all
3 Press box stewards at the
riotous Principality stadium
— by comparison, General
Custer had it easy during his
last stand
just as important as megatonnage in the
tackle. He is way more creative that your
average England crasher.
But if there are personnel matters to
adjust then there are also procedural
changes needed. Please England, stop
taking kids to do the jobs of men until
they become men; do not stick silly labels
like “apprentice” on players in the main
England squad, because that means that
you have to leave out the real undercard
and who knows, if you chose the wrong
thrusters originally, then it can all look
very embarrassing.
England must be more grown up,
bigger, older, nastier, more naturally
confident. And they need to be more
natural as leaders. Leaders? Try Sam
Warburton, Rory Best, Martin Johnson.
They all led in different ways but their
influence is unmistakeable.
He should loosen
the reins on some
of his coaches,
give them more of
the spotlight
Most disappointing
1 Stuart Barnes on Twitter.
Polite, reasoned, avuncular.
What’s happened to him?
2 Bernard Manning tribute
act by Eddie Jones
3 Glenn Newman, TMO
from New Zealand for
England v Wales match.
One decision, one huge
error, 24,000 miles. Thanks
for coming
Top tries
1 Teddy Thomas’s run
South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus is
to overturn national selection rules to
undertake a massive reinforcement of
the Springboks team to meet England
in the three-Test series in June. The
Boks won only two of the final eight
games of the disastrous reign of excoach Allister Coetzee and have not
been helped by the rule that only
Springboks who have won more than
30 caps are eligible to be brought
back from overseas rugby for the
We are still waiting for England’s inner
core to start leading and roaring. The
Rugby Football Union can help Jones no
end. First they could bring back the
England A team so that a proper sifting of
talent can take place and not the inadvertent perversion of the current process.
The RFU and Premiership Rugby
should also tear up the onerous requirement for Jones to be restricted in his
squad to a certain number of players and
then to have to go through a bizarre
process of replacement when some of the
chosen are injured. Pick who you like,
match by match.
against Ireland in Paris with
eight minutes left
2 Huw Jones’s first for
Scotland against England
at Murrayfield, inset
3 Gareth Davies’s 65m
charge for the opening
try of the tournament
against Scotland
Kick of the
Johnny Sexton,
nerveless drop goal,
83rd minute, 42nd phase,
for Ireland in Paris
national team. Coetzee refused even
to bring back some of those who were
qualified. Erasmus will not only look to
bring back the eligible players for the
England series but could even ignore
the 30-cap rule. Among those he
could recall are the Wasps pair Willie
Le Roux and Juan De Jongh; Frans
Steyn, Bismarck du Plessis and Jan
Serfontein of Montpellier; Toulon’s
Duane Vermeulen and JP Pietersen;
and Pat Lambie of Racing 92.
Perhaps Jones needs to review himself.
The Australian is a remarkably devoted
and busy man. Sometimes you feel that
he should change simply to give himself a
break, to smell the roses of England’s
And perhaps Jones could even loosen
the reins on some of his coaches, to allow
them to bask in a little more of the
spotlight, and to feel less like they are
trying to please the headmaster.
But England’s aim every season should
be a Grand Slam. They are mammoth as a
rugby nation. Second is failure, or certainly should be.
Fifth? That is rubbish.
Same, no matter what
Owen Farrell. Composed
and consistent and dignified.
England’s finest
Biggest winners (allegedly)
1 Wales – easily the worst hit
by injury, but strong
tournament and they have 11
players to return to the
Smuggest faction
Mediocre old guard Welsh
Rugby Union board
members who refused to
Centres: Huw Jones, Owen
Jones’ performance against
England alone compels his
selection. His two tries at
Murrayfield were largely
individual efforts as he ripped
through the heart of the
English defence and ripped
the heart out of England in
general. There was also that
wonderful break against
Ireland which sadly he
couldn’t round off with the
pass for Hogg to score.
Farrell has been his
country’s stand-out player —
admittedly the bar for that
has not been as high as it
should. There were times at
Murrayfield when I thought
he was fighting a one-man
battle to get his side back into
the game.
Half-backs: Johnny Sexton,
Conor Murray
The best 9-10 combination in
the world. His stats from the
kicking tee might not be as
high as he would like but
Sexton is the player of the
tournament as well as the
man who provided its most
compelling moment — the
drop goal against France.
The breakdown battle has
been a recurring theme in
this campaign and it’s easy to
overlook how important it is
to have a scrum-half who has
the physique, temperament
and intelligence to ensure
that he and his team are not
disrupted by a few
opposition forwards
making nuisances of
Murray fits that
His boxkicking is as
effective as
ever and, as
we saw with
tries for the
Lions in the second
Shingler: produced
wonderful moments
with ball in hand
allow chairman Gareth
Davies to drag them into the
20th century (with a view to
the 21st later) through a
dynamic and leaner
Biggest morons
1 Half-wits who verbally
and physically abused
Eddie Jones after
Murrayfield defeat
2 Keyboard warriors
who trolled Nigel Owens
after England’s Calcutta
Cup loss
Test and last week against
Scotland, he has a keen eye
for the tryline.
Back row: CJ Stander,
Hamish Watson, Aaron
No Billy Vunipola and no
Taulupe Faletau until last
weekend so Stander gets the
nod at No 8. He might have
hoped for better things on the
Lions tour, yet he has shown
in the Tests since then that he
can lead from the front.
Six months ago, Shingler
would not have made a Wales
XV never mind a team of the
tournament. In the absence
of more illustrious backrowers, though, he has
become a handy lineout
option and produced some
wonderful moments with the
ball in hand, most notably
against England when his
50m break deserved to be
finished off with a try.
Watson too has looked
good in possession, whether
as link man between pack
and backs or as a ball-carrier.
He is not the biggest forward
around yet he gets his body
into a position that means he
always gets over the gainline.
His breakdown work is
another asset — as any
England fan at Murrayfield
can vouch.
Second row: Jonny Gray,
James Ryan
With the abundance of
talented locks in British and
Irish rugby, you wouldn’t
Stephen Jones
15 R Kearney (Ire) 14 S
Maitland (S) 13 G Ringrose
(Ire) 12 H Jones (S) 11 E
Daly (E) 10 J Sexton (Ire) 9
G Davies (W) 8 T Faletau
(W) 7 Y Camara (F) 6 S
Negri (Ita) 5 M Itoje (E) 4 C
Hill (W) 3 T Furlong (Ire) 2
G Guirado (F) 1 C Healy
Stuart Barnes
15 R Kearney (Ire) 14 T
Thomas (F) 13 H Jones (S)
12 H Parkes (W) 11 J
Stockdale (Ire) 10 J Sexton
(Ire) 9 C Murray (Ire) 8 CJ
Stander (Ire) 7 Y Camara
(F) 6 S Negri (Ita) 5 A W
Jones (W) 4 J Ryan (Ire) 3 T
Furlong (Ire) 2 G Guirado
(F) 1 C Healy (Ire)
have thought at the start of
February that these two
would make the teamsheet
but they are the form men.
Gray has raised his game after
missing out on Lions
selection. Some doubted
whether he had the strength
of character to come through
an arm-wrestle. Scotland’s
victories over France and
England showed he did.
Ryan’s ability to take his
form at provincial level into
the international arena is
extraordinary for a man of
just 21. Reliability at the
lineout, strong carrier, high
tackle count — what more
could you ask for?
Front row: Tadhg Furlong,
Guilhem Guirado, Cian
Furlong has raised the bar for
what is expected of tighthead
props. His compatriot Healy
props down on the other
side. After injury problems
and the dip in form that
saw him slip behind Jack
McGrath in the pecking
order, the Leinster man
has been
them I’ve gone
for the France
hooker. If Les
Bleus had
another 22 with
his workrate,
selflessness and
appetite for the
big occasion they
might actually
be Grand Slam
3 Beer-throwing beast who
drowned a journalist’s laptop
at the Principality stadium
Sad farewells
1 The great mic-man Ian
Robertson, with his last Six
Nations commentary in a
brilliant broadcasting career
2 Gus Black, at 92, one of the
last survivors of the first
post-War Five Nations
3 Shenkin III, regimental goat
who always led Band of the
Royal Welsh in Cardiff’s prematch entertainment
Lukaku and Matic send
United to Wembley
Lukaku 37, Matic 83
Football correspondent
Old Trafford
uddled in their winter jackets, with 10 minutes remaining Jose Mourinho chatted to
Chris Hughton. For Mourinho this was respite, a fleeting moment of warmth. It
was a biting night, snowflakes swirled, and cold,
bleak fury was building
Two-nil. Clean sheet, decent goals.
Into the FA Cup semi-finals and onward
to Wembley. None of these elements
comforted Mourinho. He liked the result
but hated the game: players had hid, he
said, the response to Tuesday’s debacle
against Sevilla was inadquate. Nemanja
Matic was an “island of personality” in
his side, and when asked what was to be
achieved by lambasting players, Mourinho asked: “What can I lose?”
It was remarkable: a second time in
two days when one of his press conferences had all the pyrotecnics his Manchester United stubbornly fail to deliver on
the pitch, and also classic, Jose-in-crisis.
We’ve seen this at Chelsea: the playerhating stage.
That comes when he feels cornered
and disrespected by the “Einsteins”, the
pundits, who are criticising him rather
than going for the real culprits, those
snowflakes out on the field who are not
hardy enough to bear the pressures he
has spent a career shouldering. How will
it end? It needn’t go the Chelsea way.
Winning the FA Cup and finishing second
in the league would be a fair yield from
this season, and even in the midst of yesterday’s nervy toils United showed they
can go on and win the trophy.
Matic was superb, a leader who kept
the whole operation functioning with his
strong presence and calm, consistent
covering and passing. He coaxed Scott
McTominay through. “The kid”, accurately contended Mourinho, had a bit of a
shocker with his distribution, but he still
contributed, demonstrating the mentality that has underpinned his sudden rise.
The rest? Romelu Lukaku did what
Lukaku does, muscularly dispatching a
chance to establish United’s lead in the
38th minute. Ashley Young was decent
when he came on and Eric Bailly and Sergio Romero were redoubtable. Luke
Shaw was once again Mourinho’s punchbag, hooked at half-time. The attackers
supporting Lukaku — Jesse Lingard, Juan
Mata and Anthony Martial — have all had
better games but whether they deserved
to be the focus of quite so much Mourinho ire was debatable, especially Mata.
Brighton are brilliantly drilled, and
highly competitive, and United are not
the first to find them hard to play against.
“We’re going to Wembley,” yelled the
noisy singing area at Old Trafford and it
also chanted “Jose Mourinho”. The supporters weren’t so bothered by the performance.
Matic, shortly after the MourinhoHughton conflab, scored the tie-killing
second goal, having also provided
Lukaku’s assist. Marcus Rashford won a
free kick 30 yards out and Young, Rashford’s fellow substitute, sent it to the back
post with an expert, outswinging, delivery. Matic and Lewis Dunk grappled and
Dunk was tugged over, perhaps illegally,
but Andre Marriner did not intervene
and nor did the video assistant referee
(VAR). Matic headed back across Tim
Krul and in.
By the time Mourinho was in the press
room for his latest rant, earlier questions
were forgotten. He dropped Alexis Sanchez and also kept Paul Pogba on the
bench. This, at the very moment United
needed a big and exciting performance,
to chase the Sevilla hangover away: so
what did such selection decisions say?
The homegrown Lingard and McTominay played in their places and if they were
reminders of United’s heritage so was the
opening goal. Shaw drove down the left,
getting outside Solly March before playing an astute pass to Matic, who then
curled a casual cross to the back pos
where Lukaku outmuscled Dunk to plant
the header past Krul.
It extended Lukaku’s remarkable FA
Cup record to 12 goals in 11 games but
Shaw’s intervention was out-of-context
with an otherwise flaky performance,
that had Mourinho angrily gesturing.
Lukaku didn’t get enough possession.
Brighton were hard to penetrate down
the middle and their breakaways were
bright. Dunk missed a great chance, after
30 minutes, when he moved off McTominay to meet Pascal Gross’ corner, but
despite time he headed too close to
Romero, who made a plunging save.
Just before then, Mata and Martial cut
through the opposition with nimble onetwos, leading to a corner from which
Chris Smalling missed from close range,
but that Mata-Martial moment was an isolated good combination. Mata was the
one removed when Rashford came on in
the 74th minute and the Spaniard looked
Brighton breaks continued. Jurgen
Locadia, strong and lively, went close
three times in quick succession in the second half. His first near miss was a low,
firm shot that skimmed wide. He second
a fine, bending effort on the turn which
Romero touched away. His third when he
headed just past the far post.
The fact Hughton had started with Jose
Izquierdo and Glenn Murray on the
bench showed the FA Cup did not top his
priorities but both came on at 1-0 and
Brighton trying to force an equaliser.
Instead, Matic scored for 2-0 and it was
what United deserved following an
improved second period where their
passing was better, and speedier. So, job
done, and Jose is going to Wembley — but
in what mood, who knows?
Finishing touch:
Romelu Lukaku’s
goal was his 12th
in 11 games in the
FA Cup
Jose gives his
team the cold
shoulder on
icy night at
Old Trafford
Referee: A Marriner Attendance: 74,241
Manchester United: Romero, Valencia, Bailly,
Smalling, Shaw (Young h-t), McTominay, Matic, Mata
(Rashford 75min), Lingard (Fellaini 89min), Martial,
Lukaku Substitutes: De Gea, Lindelof, Pogba,
Sanchez, Fellaini
Brighton: Krul, Schelotto, Duffy, Dunk, Suttner, Gross,
Propper, Kayal, March (Izquierdo 68min), Ulloa (Murray
76min), Locadia Substitutes: Bruno, Baldock,
Goldson, Maenpaa, Sanders
Sawyers sees red in a hurry
MacLeod 34
Traore 21
Barry Flatman
Griffin Park
Romaine Sawyers will
remember his 16 minutes.
Introduced from the bench
with orders to win the match,
he almost did just that with a
wickedly swerving shots that
was foiled by a sensational
save from Middlesbrough
goalkeeper Darren Randolph.
He then earned a yellow
card for a body check on the
visitors’ goalscorer Adama
Traore. And six minutes later
he was adjudged guilty of the
same offence that merited the
red card coming out of
referee Simon Hooper’s
Common consensus had it
that Sawyers was unlucky on
the second offence and
according to Brentford
manager Dean Smith, the
gang of Middlesbrough
players who surrounded the
official seemed to influence
the decision.
“It was unfortunate for
Romaine,” said Smith, who
pointed out that FA directives
forbid more than three
players from one side to
approach the referee at one
time to voice a complaint.
Smith maintained his team
were unfortunate not to
collect all three points and
Middlesbrough’s Tony Pulis
agreed. Randolph was under
siege for much of the second
half as Brentford pushed
forward and Pulis said: “In
the end I was very pleased
with a point.”
Middesbrough’s point was
enough for them to maintain
their playoff position, even
though the chasing Bristol
City won against Ipswich
Town. Traore enhanced his
reputation with a second goal
in as many matches after
receiving a pass from Stuart
Downing and shooting low
and hard past Daniel Bentley.
Brentford, heavily beaten
at home five days earlier by
Cardiff City, were determined
not to be overrun again and
Lewis Macleod, the former
Rangers player, stepped up to
equalise with his first goal for
the club. First he tried a right
footed drive from the edge of
the box but saw him effort
blocked. Then he hit the ball
with his left foot when
awarded a second chance and
this time he hit the target.
Star man: Darren Randolph
Yellow cards: Brentford: Woods,
Sawyers, Mepham Middlesbrough:
Clayton, Gibson, Friend, Besic
Red card: Brentford: Sawyers
Referee: S Hooper
Attendance: 11,134
Brentford: Bentley 7, Dalsgaard 6, Egan
7, Mepham 7, Clarke 6, Woods 7,
Mokotjo 5 (Judge 84min, 5), Jozefzoon
4, Macloed 6 (Sawyers 75min, 3),
Watkins 5 (Canos 67min, 6), Maupay 5
Substitutes: Yennaris, Marcondes,
Daniels, Barbet
Middlesbrough: Randolph 8, Shotton 6,
Gibson 7, Ayala 6 (Fry 60min, 5), Friend
6, Howson 6 (Leadbitter 65min, 7),
Clayton 7, Besic 6 (Assambalonga
75min, 5) , Traore 7, Bamford 6,
Downing 7 Substitutes:
Konstantopoulos, Cranie, Harrison,
Ian Whittell
Old Trafford
Barely 24 hours after Jose
Mourinho had produced
one of the most memorable
press conference
performances in recent
Premier League history, the
Manchester United manager
outdid himself at Old
Trafford last night.
Despite a comfortable 2-0
win over Brighton in the FA
Cup quarter-final,
Mourinho was furious at
the display of most of his
players as he looked for a
response to the midweek
Champions League
exit to Sevilla.
On Friday,
Mourinho had
defended his
performance in 20
months as United
manager while
responding to
critics. Last night, only
Nemanja Matic and Scott
McTominay, inset, were
spared the brutal analysis of
their manager as he turned
his sights within.
The highlights of
Mourinho’s latest outburst
— some might less kindly
describe it as a “meltdown”
— included the following . . .
Which players played
“I prefer to name the
good ones. Matic was an
island of personality and
quality and reaction to the
defeat of last Tuesday. Of
course he was not
surrounded by water, but
surrounded by other people
who did a positive job and,
for example, Scott played on
[his] inside.
“Scott played the worst
match since he played with
me in the first team but he is
a Manchester United player
for sure because he is the
player that made mistakes,
passed the ball so bad
tonight, lost so many passes
but has the big personality
to cope with the mistake.
“A big personality to say
and to think, ‘I am not
playing well but at least I am
going to do the basic things
of the game.’ And the basic
things are to keep position,
give balance to the team,
recover balls and don’t
make defensive mistakes.
“But a few of the other
guys, I saw them scared to
play. Look, I cannot say
much more. I think it is in
relation with personality, in
relation to trust, in relation
to class.
“And you know when the
sun is shining — and in
football the sun is shining
when everything goes well,
you win matches, you score
goals, everything goes in
your direction — every
player is a good player and
every player wants to play
and every player wants the
ball and every player is
confident to play and every
player looks amazing.
“When it is dark and cold
and that in football means a
period of bad results or a
bad result like what
happened to us a couple of
days ago, not everybody has
the confidence and the
personality to play really.
“Because to be on the
pitch and touch the ball
every five minutes, anybody
can do it but to be on the
pitch and say, ‘Give me the
ball because I want to play.’
That is a little bit more
difficult. Not all of them
were able to do it.”
Why take Luke Shaw off at
“It is my decision. My
reason behind it is that we
Woe for 10-man Sunderland
Maguire 50, Robinson 63
Ron Clarke
Stadium of Light
All that was missing from a
desolate Stadium of Light was
tumbleweed blowing across
the banks of empty seats as
the desperate decline of
Sunderland continues.
The only surprise of
another hapless afternoon
was that it took until a
calamitous second half before
the white flag was unfurled in
surrender. With just eight
games to go, a second
successive relegation for the
Wearsiders looks a safe bet.
Sunderland manager Chris
Coleman said: “We need to
defend and we didn’t defend.
We are not going to get out of
this if we keep doing what we
are doing. Before we kick a
ball we are up against it. It is
self-induced. The
(international) break has
come at the best time for us.
The pressure is off. We would
have liked to have gone into it
on a positive note but that is
not the case.”
As for Preston this easiest
of three points leaves them
still gambling on promotion
and nestled neatly just
behind the play-off positions.
By contrast this latest
Sunderland defeat came after
the club announced that
dwindling support means
sections of the top tier of the
ground will be closed next
season. Some of that support
has already suggested they
might be better closing the
ground and ending the
suffering once and for all.
Even the club shop has a
mega sale of posters.
The bleak weather was a
suitable backdrop as Preston
were gifted two goals after the
break and to add insult to
injury they came either side
of the hosts being reduced to
ten men with a second yellow
card for Jake Clarke-Salter,
back in the side after a threematch suspension.
First, Sean Maguire was left
unmarked to head home Paul
Gallagher’s free kick and then
Callum Robinson nodded
home the second 13 minutes
later. Preston manager Alex
Neil said: “This (Sunderland)
is an enormous club and it is a
real shame to see them in the
position they are in.
“Everyone wants to see the
big clubs doing well but for
some reason that is not the
case here.”
Star man: Sean Maguire (Preston)
Yellow cards: Sunderland: ClarkeSalter Preston: Earl
Red card: Sunderland: Clarke-Salter
Referee: D Bond
Attendance: 28,543
Sunderland: Camp 6, Kone 5, O’Shea 5,
Clarke-Salter 4, Matthews 4, Cattermole
4, Honeyman 4 (Lua Lua 68min, 4),
Cattermole 4, Ejaria 4 (McNair 64min),
Maja 4 (Fletcher 68min, 4), Asoro 4
Substitutes: McManaman, McGeady,
Robson, Stryjek
Preston: Maxwell 6, Fisher 6,
Huntington 6, Davies 6, Earl 6, Pearson
7, Gallagher 8 (Johnson 72min, 6),
Robinson 7 (Harrop 85min, 6), Browne
7, Barkhuizen 7 (Bodin 85min, 6),
Maguire 8 Substitutes: Clarke, Woods,
Moult, Hudson
The Sunday Times March 18, 2018
6 The draw for the FA Cup semifinals will take place live on BBC1
after today’s quarter-final tie
between Leicester City and Chelsea.
The draw will be conducted by
Gianfranco Zola, who won the
competition with Chelsea in 1997
and 2000, and Petr Cech, the
Arsenal goalkeeper, who has five FA
Cup winners’ medals
Semi-final draw numbers
1 Tottenham
2 Man United
3 Leicester City/Chelsea
4 Wigan/Southampton
The semi-finals will take place over
the weekend of April 21-22
by Ian Whittell
Old Trafford
David de Gea’s FA Cup stand-in
made good saves from a Lewis
Dunk header and a Jurgen
Locadia’s curler
work on the pitch with
certain kinds of movements,
where, for me, it was really
important for the two fullbacks to be aggressive and
to be always in front, to
create space for Matic and
Scott to play in front of the
two central defenders.
“And I didn’t have that
with Luke and Antonio
Valencia, with both of them.
“I didn’t change both
because it was too
aggressive to do it and then I
only have one more change
in the 90 minutes and then,
only if we went to extratime, would I have the
possibility of a fourth
change. And to try and
improve our offensive
football and be more
aggressive, I had to change
one of them and I chose
Luke because at least
Antonio defensively was
capable of some good
positionings. And Luke in
the first half every time they
went in his corridor, the
cross was coming and a
dangerous situation was
coming. So I was not happy
with the performance.”
“You have been very
honest about your players.
Could that backfire, could
you lose the players?
So why do it? What’s the
“My calculation is that
without pressure, they don’t
perform well. What can I
lose? And the ones that are
always there are the ones
that will always be there.
And that is an example of
personality. You have the
kid that didn’t play well at
all [McTominay]. I told him
already, he was the first one
I spoke to individually in the
dressing room.
“And instead of being
critical with him, I was
positive with him because
‘you played very bad but
you did the basic things that
one player has to do.’ The
basic thing is to keep the
emotional balance to play
with that red shirt, which is
a heavy shirt to wear. And
the kid, in his worst
performance by far, he was
there and he had the body to
wear that shirt. He was not
afraid to play. He played
bad, and every player can
play bad.
“But to feel not
comfortable to play, ‘Please
mister, take me from the
pitch.’ I felt that. So I have
nothing to lose in relation to
“The strong ones will be
always the strong ones. The
young ones, under pressure
and under criticism, will
improve or will not
Le Fondre 19
Marc Iles
Macron stadium
Aston Villa blew a chance to
put some pressure on Cardiff
City in the Championship
promotion chase with a tame
defeat at lowly Bolton.
Adam Le Fondre’s first-half
strike leaves Steve Bruce’s
side seven points behind
Cardiff — a gap which they
could extend to 10 this
afternoon at Derby County.
It was no less than Bolton
deserved for a thoroughly
gutsy performance,
exemplifying the fighting
qualities Phil Parkinson has
instilled in his side since
promotion from League One.
Bolton move a step closer
to survival, which was hardly
imaginable when defeat at
Villa Park in September left
them with just two points
from their opening 11 games.
Bolton seized the
advantage on 19 minutes
when Sammy Ameobi’s
corner was flicked on
inventively at the near post by
Darren Pratley, leaving Le
Fondre a simple tap-in.
Villa tried to muster a swift
response in swirling
snowstorms. Jack Grealish
produced an impudent 25yard volley tipped over the
top by Ben Alnwick, who then
made a fine stop at the feet of
Lewis Grabban.
Villa had only failed to
score once in 20 previous
meetings with Bolton, and on
the stroke of half-time they
had a penalty appeal turned
down by referee Robert Jones
when West Ham loanee Reece
Burke appeared to handle a
cross from Albert Adomah.
Bolton, sensing a shock
was on the cards, dropped
deeper to protect their lead in
the second half. Their
defensive efforts may have
been on the agricultural side,
but Villa’s multi-million
pound attack found it hard to
cut through.
As the snow continued to
pile down, Bolton’s Jon
Flanagan made a miraculous
Couple of probing runs and shots
soon after the restart set the
tone for an improved second half
from the visitors
Strong start to the game down
the left with some probing action
but, too often, the final pass or
decision was the wrong one
Lone striker never enjoyed the
service to show what he could
do. Linked well with Locadia on
occasion, however
Substitutes: Unclear why Shaw
was replaced by Ashley Young at
the interval. Withdrawing Mata,
with Marcus Rashford taking his
place, was not popular with United
fans but it seemed a logical move
Substitutes: Brighton were much
stronger in the second half and
Chris Hughton made his
replacements in an effort to
capitalise. Solly worked hard and
Ulloa suffered from lack of service
Le Fondre dents Villa push
Only a second start for
Brighton’s record signing, who
burst into life in the second half
with couple of decent shots
Little wonder Mourinho exempts
him, along with Matic, from any
criticism. Great workrate and a
lethal finish for his goal
Sat in front of the back four to try
and mop up United’s midfield
runners, which was no easy task
given their mobility
Struggling to find consistency
that would make him a regular
starter. Link-up play with Mata
and Martial was promising
Out of possession, dropped to
join Propper in front of his back
four, limiting his impact on the
6/10 DAVY
Struggled a little against
Brighton’s physical, but legal,
play. Got into promising
positions but no end product
Caused Shaw a few first-half
headaches — possibly hastening
the starting left-backs’ exit — but
found Young a tougher customer
9/10 BARAM
Mourinho’s pet player kept
things tight in front of his back
four and covered acres of
ground. His goal was deserved
Up against Mata more often than
not and did a decent job in that
particular tussle, using his
strength well
Hugely promising but still a work
in progress, as he proved by
losing Dunk to present the
defender with a free header
Beaten by Lukaku for the United
opener, moments after his own
effort had been well saved. Might
have expected to score
Replaced at the interval —
whether that was due to injury or
tactics was not clear. Hardly set
the tie alight in the first half
Clearly relished physical nature
of his clash with Lukaku and also
coped well with the more agile
and mobile United forwards
7/10 LEWIS
Superb tackle on Locadia denied
Brighton a scoring opportunity at
0-0, after he struck the post at
the other end
Early foray saw him unleash a
shot that skidded wide but had
his hands full the rest of the way
trying to chaperon Martial
6/10 SHANE
A couple of important blocks and
interceptions to show no illeffects from that disastrous own
goal against Liverpool
A dropped early cross did not
look like a confidence boost but
got his angles right to deny
Smalling and looked steady
Caught out of position, and in
possession, a couple of times in
defence although he remained
an attacking threat
goal-line clearance to prevent
substitute Scott Hogan from
grabbing an equaliser,
hooking the ball into
Alnwick’s hands.
Finally, Alnwick pulled off
yet more heroics with a
superb point-blank save to
stop James Bree’s header.
Star man: Ben Alnwick (Bolton)
Yellow cards: Bolton: Henry Aston
Villa: Chester, Snodgrass
Referee: R Jones
Attendance: 19,304
Bolton: Alnwick 8, Flanagan, 7, Burke 7,
Beevers 7, A Taylor 6, Henry 6, Derik 6,
Ameobi 7, Pratley 7 (Vela 27min, 6),
Buckley 6 (Robinson 81min, 5), Le
Fondre 7 Substitutes: Noone,
Wilbraham, Wheater, Howard, Clough
Aston Villa: Johnstone 7, El Mohamady
6, Chester 6, Terry 6, Bree 7, Bjarnason
7, Snodgrass 6 (Davis 82min, 5),
Hourihane 5 (Hepburn-Murphy 54min,
6), Grealish 7, Adomah 6 (Hogan 72min,
5), Grabban 6 Substitutes: Lansbury,
Jedinak, Onomah, Bunn
Back of the net: Christian Eriksen gave Tottenham the lead as early as the 11th minute
Peerless Eriksen steers
Spurs to semi-finals
Eriksen 11, 62, Lamela 45+1
Paul Rowan
Liberty stadium
Spurs are on their way to
Wembley,” sang the away fans
with a degree of irony, and
they will return to what has
become something of a
fortress for them of late with
a spring in their step and
justifiably confident of
winning their first trophy in
10 years.
This was a stroll against a
sorry Swansea side who
hoisted the white flag fairly
early on and then started
frantically waving it after
Christian Eriksen scored his
second goal just after the
hour mark to put the game
out of their reach.
Eriksen’s two goals came
either side of another
excellent finish from Erik
Lamela. There might even
have been a fourth, but Son
Heung-min’s effort was ruled
offside by the narrowest of
margins, a decision by the
assistant referee which was
backed up by the Video
Assistant Referee (VAR)
system, and which
Tottenham manager Mauricio
Pochettino described as a
The feelgood factor
remained strong for
Tottenham, however; not just
for reaching a semi-final, but
the way the victory
demonstrated the strength in
depth which Pochettino has
at his disposal. Harry Kane
was out injured, but
Pochettino still made six
further changes from the side
who easily defeated
Bournemouth in the Premier
League last weekend.
“In the last three games,
with different starting XIs,
everyone has been trying to
help the team to help us
achieve. I’m so happy and
proud because we’ve kept the
same level and performance,”
said Pochettino, whose
attitude to the FA Cup has
been lukewarm at best, but
he is clearly looking forward
to another game at Wembley,
saying: “The feeling and
perception. It was
horrendous seven months
ago; now we feel comfortable
and happy to play there.”
Certainly, any idea that
Swansea had to unsettle
Spurs at the Liberty was left
in the dressing room. At the
opposite end of the Premier
League with plenty still to
fight for, Carvalhal was even
more ambivalent about his
side’s cup run than
Pochettino and this time it
showed in technicolour. The
Swansea manager made five
changes to the side who drew
0-0 with Huddersfield in the
Premier League last Saturday,
but there was nothing in
there to surprise Pochettino,
save the realisation that the
opposition were prepared to
surrender the competition all
too meekly.
From the first whistle
Tottenham were dominant,
and after only 11 minutes
Eriksen had put them ahead.
Lamela played the ball into
his path and he was given far
too much space, and was able
to pick his spot with a
trademark curling shot from
his left foot which left
Kristoffer Nordfeldt with no
It was a stroll for the
visitors, with Swansea
dropping deep yet still giving
their opponents plenty of
space, and when they tried to
move up, Eriksen played the
ball over the top and Son
finished decisively on 23
minutes. The offside flag then
went up as the Spurs fans at
the other end celebrated, and
VAR backed up referee Kevin
Friend’s decision to rule the
goal out after a delay of
around three minutes, the
freezing conditions making it
feel even longer.
It was one-way traffic
directed by Eriksen. The
home side were probably
6 Christian Eriksen enjoys
playing against Swansea.
The Dane has had a hand
in 13 goals in 10 games in
all competitions (eight
goals, five assists) against
the side from south Wales,
more than he has against
any other opponent for
Tottenham. Four of his
past six goals for Spurs in
all competitions have
been from outside the box
6 The London side have
reached the FA Cup semifinals in consecutive
seasons for the first time
since the 1980-1 and
1981-2 campaigns. They
won the competition in
both those seasons
counting their blessings that
they had restricted Spurs to a
solitary goal, but on the
stroke of half-time they were
caught cold again when
Moussa Sissoko gave Lamela
the chance to emulate
Eriksen. The Argentinian
produced an even nicer finish
when dragging the ball past a
couple of defenders and,
having feinted to go the other
way, sidefooted in with
Nordfeldt rooted to the spot.
From Swansea there was
little or nothing in return, bar
a chance for Nathan Dyer
which was well snuffed out by
Michel Vorm in the opening
minutes. The second half had
hardly resumed when they
got another chance but Vorm
was again alert, producing a
fine double save from Martin
Olsson and Tammy Abraham.
Nordfeldt again came to
Swansea’s rescue when he got
a strong hand to an Eric Dier
piledriver, but Tottenham
made the game safe on 63
minutes when Tom Carroll
lost the ball near his own area
and Lucas Moura set up
Eriksen, who scored his
second from the edge of the
area, this time through
several pairs of legs which left
Nordfeldt partially sighted
and slightly embarrassed, as
the ball just evaded his grasp
and ended up in the net.
The victory didn’t cool
Pochettino’s annoyance
about Son’s disallowed strike.
“It’s a nightmare,” he said. “I
am so sorry for the people
who try to sell that system.
Sonny wasn’t offside. I would
have preferred if the referee
had just made a mistake: it
took three minutes. We need
to see the reality: how it will
affect the game, the player
and the referees. The
coaching staff were asking,
‘Was it a foul? What’s this?
Why not see the VAR to see if
it is or not?’ It’s so complex
and what is worse is how it
will affect the fans. We’re
going to have a massive
problem for the future.”
Carvalhal said: “A storm
came, but good weather will
follow for us. We have eight
cup finals but they all come
for us in the league.”
Star man: Christian Eriksen
Yellow card: Tottenham: Sanchez
Referee: K Friend
Swansea City: Nordfeldt, Naughton
(Narsingh 45min), Van der Hoorn
(Roberts 81min), Bartley, Mawson,
Olsson, Dyer (Routledge 86min), Ki,
Carroll, Clucas, Abraham Substitutes:
Britton, Mulder, Fernandez, Byers
Tottenham Hotspur: Vorm, Trippier,
Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier,
Sissoko, Moura (Llorente 73min),
Lamela (Alli 81min), Eriksen, Son
Substitutes: Lloris, Alderweireld,
Dembele, Foyth, Aurier
QPR fightback frustrates Fulham
Cairney 32, Piazon 45
Luongo 45+3, Wszolek 81
Brian Glanville
Craven Cottage
London derbies have laws of
their own and few of late can
have been so surprising as
this one. A week ago QPR had
laboured horribly at home to
beat Sunderland by one goal.
In midweek, revitalised, they
went to Aston Villa, who had
just beaten league leaders
Wolves, and won 3-1.
Fulham, on a unbeaten
streak, might easily have lost
in the last minute when QPR’s
left-back Jake Bidwell had a
shot saved by Fulham keeper
Marcus Bettinelli.
Victory would not have
been undeserved. QPR got
better as the game went on,
even though their equaliser
was a gift from Fulham
centre-back Denis Odoi, who
ineptly lost possession, with
Pawel Wszolek scoring easily.
For much of the first half,
Fulham had at least territorial
superiority, and they took the
lead after 31 minutes through
Tom Cairney. A minute later,
Ryan Fredericks’ shot flew
across the face of goal, and
five minutes later Aleksandar
Mitrovic shot just wide. The
second goal went in just
before half-time. Ryan
Sessegnon controlled
Fredericks’ cross before
playing it to Lucas Piazon,
and he beat Alex Smithies.
Yet there was an almost
immediate response by QPR.
Luke Freeman found Matt
Smith’s head from a free kick,
enabling the Australia
international Massimo
Luongo to beat Bettinelli.
After half-time, it was QPR
who began to dictate play,
with Matt Smith and Luke
Freeman forcing saves from
Bettinelli. Fulham briefly
revived and Smithies had to
rush out of goal to frustrate
Mitrovic, but by the time of
Odoi’s error, they had lost
their way and Bidwell’s
90th-minute cross was well
saved once more by
It was an extraordinary
second-half recovery by QPR.
Their defence was well
marshalled by Nedum
Onuoha, Darnell Furlong was
a progressive right-back and
Smith was dangerous up
Star man: Jake Bidwell (QPR)
Yellow cards: Fulham: Targett,
Mitrovic Queens Park Rangers:
Luongo, Cousins, Lynch
Referee: C Kavanagh
Attendance: 23,347
Fulham: Bettinelli 8, Fredericks 5, Ream
6, Odoi 4, Targett 5, McDonald 6,
Cairney 6 (Fonte 79min, 5), Johansen 7,
Sessegnon 6 (Ojo 79min, 5), Piazon 4
(Ayite 68min, 5), Mitrovic 6
Substitutes: Button, Christie, Norwood,
Queens Park Rangers: Smithies 7,
Furlong 7, Onuoha 7, Lynch 6, Bidwell 7,
Wszolek 7, Luongo 7, Manning 6
(Cousins 74min, 6), Freeman 7, Eze 6
(Smyth 69min, 6), Smith 7 (Washington
69min, 6) Substitutes: Ingram,
Baptiste, Perch, Osayi-Samuel
Palace in better heart after Zaha inspires priceless win
Tomkins 23, Milivojevic 68 pen
Tim Abraham
John Smith’s stadium
Roy Hodgson had his heart in
his mouth in the dying
minutes in West Yorkshire,
even though the result was in
the bag for the Crystal Palace
manager as his side ended a
run of four consecutive
defeats with a victory that
took them out of the
relegation zone.
Hodgson’s focus instead
turned to Wilfried Zaha as he
was substituted late on and
appeared to be limping.
However, a quick exchange of
words with the 25-year-old
winger put Hodgson’s mind at
The previous 89 minutes
had been a lesson in why
Zaha is integral to Palace’s
hopes of beating the drop as
he injected a confidence and
swagger into a team that
struggled without him.
Palace have not picked up
a solitary Premier League
point this season without
Zaha in the team. Not one.
You have to go back to
September 2016, and a 3-2
victory over Sunderland, for
the last time the Eagles won a
game without Zaha in the
“He took a few knocks and
there is an element of
fatigue,” said Hodgson. “It’s
his first full game for seven
weeks. I haven’t been given
an indication he has a serious
“He is so good at carrying
the ball and we noticed that.
He is an outlet for us. He got
past people and drew fouls,
and that put us in their part of
the field and gave our
defenders a rest.” Zaha
showed his early intent with a
deflected shot that looped
over the crossbar, then sent
Christian Benteke clear with a
defence-splitting pass. The
Belgian striker’s shot was
Then, on 23 minutes, Zaha
showed a moment of
ambition to force a corner,
and Palace profited.
Huddersfield allowed Luka
Milivojevic’s flag kick to
bounce inside the six-yard
box and defender James
Tomkins reacted quickly,
after his initial shot was
blocked by Jonas Lossl, to
prod the ball home.
Moments later Milivojevic
made a crucial
tackle to deny Alex
Pritchard a clear
shot on goal after
Collin Quaner had
cut the ball back.
Palace had an
appeal for a
down 10
into the
second half,
Benteke, the Belgian going to
ground too easily for referee
Mike Dean’s liking.
Jorgensen was given the
benefit of the doubt, but
there could be few arguments
when he scythed down
Andros Townsend 13
minutes later. The
dispatched the
resulting spot-kick
past Lossl to wrap
up the three
scored from
close range
“It is a vitally important
win,” said Hodgson. “All the
points teams get against those
down near the bottom are
vitally important.”
David Wagner’s Terriers
snapped at the heels of
Palace’s players but they
lacked their opponents’
quality and rarely
threatened. “We were below
par and deserved this defeat,”
Wagner said of his side, who
managed just two shots on
target. “It was a disappointing
performance. I know what
went wrong and we have
given the ball away too easily.
We were not calm enough.
“We have to rally and win
the ball back and this was
why we were not able to
create moments or shots.”
Star man: Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
Yellow cards: Huddersfield: Hogg,
Mooy, Schindler Crystal Palace:
Cabaye, Wan-Bissaka
Referee: M Dean
Attendance: 23,918
Huddersfield: Lossl 6, Hadergjonaj 5,
Jorgensen 5, Schindler 6, Malone 5
(Lowe h-t, 6), Hogg 7, Mooy 6, Quaner
5, Pritchard 7 (Kachunga 71min, 5) Ince
5 (Van La Parra 61min, 7 ), Mounie 6
Substitutes: Smith, Billing, Coleman,
Crystal Palace: Hennessey 6, WanBissaka 6, Tomkins 7, Sakho 7, Van
Aanholt 6, Townsend 7, Milivojevic 8,
McArthur 6, Schlupp 6 (Cabaye 21min,
6), Benteke 6, Zaha 8 (Loftus-Cheek
89min, 5) Substitutes: Lee Chungyong, Cavalieri, Fosu-Mensah, Kelly,
S Cook
A Smith
L Cook
Millwall stretched their
unbeaten run to eight
games with a comfortable
win against Barnsley at
Oakwell. The hosts
remain just a place
above the relegation
Lee Gregory
opened the scoring in
the first half before a
stunner from Ben Marshall,
inset, secured the points
midway through the
second period, keeping
Ibe 77, Stanislas 89
Rodriguez 49
Cherries leave it late
Basement battle:
West Bromwich
Albion’s Claudio
Yacob and
Joshua King
battle for the ball.
Inset, Junior
celebrates his
just recovered from illness, had to be
replaced 15 minutes from time and
Bournemouth profited from the absence
of Albion’s most commanding defender.
“In terms of delivering our game plan I
couldn’t have asked for more,” said Pardew. “Even our harshest critic would say
that there was good belief in the team and
the performance deserved the win.”
Albion had the best of the first half,
with Allan Nyom pushing forward to good
effect down the right and testing the
home defence with a series of crosses.
Bournemouth’s approach play, in contrast, was laboured and predictable. Foster was tested by a couple of long-range
shots and a low free kick by Stanislas, but
for a team on the verge of relegation
Albion played with surprising freedom.
Salomon Rondon, who bullied Nathan
Ake all afternoon, came close with a
header midway through the half and was
inches away from connecting with
another Nyom cross. Howe reshuffled his
defence as early as the 17th minute as
Steve Francis pulled up with a hamstring
problem and was replaced by Charlie
Daniels, with Adam Smith, who later also
was forced off, switching to right-back.
Albion took the lead just after half-time
when Kieran Gibbs crossed to the far
post, where Rondon headed back across
goal for Rodriguez to turn and fire past
Asmir Begovic. The goal prodded
Bournemouth into life and roused the
nervous tension in Albion, who have now
conceded 24 points from winning positions. Still Albion seemed in control until
Ibe’s 25-yard shot dipped beyond Foster’s
dive. Even Howe was surprised that the
ball crept in; less so perhaps when Stanislas, who has been in good goal-scoring
form in recent weeks, clipped a free kick
past Foster from 20 yards. Even then,
Albion almost equalised, Daniels hacking
Matt Phillips’ header off the line in the last
minute. “It was a galling way to end the
game,” said Pardew. Galling but depressingly predictable for Albion fans.
Star man: Salomon Rondon (West Brom)
Yellow cards: Bournemouth: Smith West Bromwich
Albion: Livermore, Dawson
Referee: G Scott Attendance: 23,918
Bournemouth: Begovic 6, Francis 6 (Daniels 17min, 6),
S Cook 6, Ake 6, A Smith 5 (Mousset 57min, 6), L Cook
6, Gosling 6, Stanislas 7, Ibe 7, Wilson 6 (Defoe 73min,
5), King 6 Substitutes: Boruc, Surman, Pugh, Fraser
West Bromwich Albion: Foster 5, Nyom 7, Dawson 6,
Hegazi 6, Evans 6 (Phillips 77min, 6), Gibbs 7,
Livermore 6, Yacob 5, Brunt 6 (Field 82min, 6),
Rodriguez 7 (Robson-Kanu 86min, 5), Rondon 8
Substitutes: Myhill, Burke, Krychowiak, McClean
Afobe strikes twice for Wolves to underline gulf in class
Costa 15, Afobe 41, 56
Dyer 44
Tim Nash
Wolverhampton Wanderers
have spent £50m turning
themselves into a team fit for
the Premier League and it has
led to a gulf in class that made
Burton Albion look like
paupers on the pitch.
Nigel Clough, the Burton
James Maddison’s 14th goal
of the season helped
Norwich get back to
winnings way with a welldeserved victory that piled
the pressure on Jaap Stam’s
Reading. Andries Ulderink,
Reading’s assistant
manager, pulled no
punches: ‘100%, we are
very much in a relegation
battle,’ said Ulderink, who
was standing in for underpressure manager Stam at
the post-match press
Andrew Longmore
Vitality stadium
betting man could have
made a fortune on this
result, given that West Bromwich Albion had conceded
more points from a winning
position than any other team
in the Premier League and
Bournemouth, in recent
months at least, have been
kings of the comeback. The
plan was simple enough: wait for Albion
to score and then put the money down on
the opposition. And so it turned out.
Albion took the lead with a neatly
worked goal by Jay Rodriguez three minutes into the second half and duly went
into retreat, only to concede two late
goals which all but confirmed their relegation. On the touchline, Alan Pardew cut
a forlorn figure as Albion slumped to their
seventh straight defeat, but no manager
can legislate for the sort of basic error
that Ben Foster made to let Bournemouth
back in the game or for the beautifully
struck free kick by Junior Stanislas which
secured Bournemouth a fortunate, but
vital, late win. Albion are now 10 points
adrift of safety with seven games remaining. “We’re running out of time,” said the
Albion manager, who refused to clarify
his own position after the game.
One more win — and Watford are next
up — should ensure a fourth straight
season in the Premier League for the
home side, but they will need to improve
if their next campaign is to bring mid-table security rather than another long
flirtation with relegation. Bournemouth
have strong financial backing, but they
defy the odds in not only staying in the
division year after year in the smallest
ground in the League but in providing
decent entertainment.
Yesterday was not one of their vintage
footballing afternoons, partly due to an
understandable lack of confidence after a
poor run, in part to a well-organised and,
until the last quarter at least, refreshingly
positive display by Albion. “It’s another
comeback,” said Eddie Howe, the
Bournemouth manager. “It’s the hardest
way to win, but we’ll take any win at this
stage. We didn’t play well and we had to
dig very deep.” Bournemouth have now
taken 16 points from losing positions.
Pardew will wonder how on earth his
side let the game slip but luck is like the
tide down on the south coast – when it’s
out, it’s out. Jonny Evans, who had only
manager who was without
eight players, called this “the
biggest mismatch in English
football today” after Benik
Afobe’s brace and one from
Helder Costa clinched victory
for the Championship
leaders. Given the difference
in budgets and Wolves’
overwhelming dominance, it
was hard to believe the
scoreline wasn’t even more
Wolves were without Diogo
Jota, their 14-goal forward on
loan from Atletico Madrid,
but in Costa they had a man
who skipped across the
snowbound Molineux turf
like a turbo-charged gazelle.
He scored the opening
goal, casually sidefooting the
ball into the net after an
outrageous pass from Ruben
Neves gave the Portuguese
winger time and space to pick
his spot.
Geoff Eltringham, the
referee, failed to spot a shove
by Barry Douglas, the Wolves
left-back, on Tom Flanagan,
and that ended any realistic
hope Burton may have
entertained of getting
anything from the game.
Ivan Cavaleiro, the Wolves
forward, forced a falling save
from Stephen Bywater before
Afobe made it 2-0 after
another sumptuous pass
from Neves split the Brewers’
Burton did pull one back
against the run of play when
Lloyd Dyer’s drive took a
deflection to wrongfoot John
Ruddy, the Wolves
goalkeeper, a minute before
half-time. It was Burton’s first
goal in 449 minutes of play.
But normal service was
resumed in the second half as
Wolves sniffed blood once
again. Cavaleiro curled one
effort just wide before Afobe
neatly sidefooted into the
corner of the net from seven
yards after Costa’s reverse
pass had put Cavaleiro
through on the right.
Afobe’s double made it
four goals in his last four
games and Nuno Espirito
Santo, the Wolves head
coach, believes the on-loan
Bournemouth striker is
reaching his sharpest.
“Benik is getting to his best
now — like the team,” he said.
“This time it was him, before
it was Diogo Jota, Helder
Costa, Ivan Cavaleiro, Morgan
“All these players are
important. All the things
we’re doing with them is
focused on building a team.”
For Clough, it was a
damage limitation exercise.
“They have spent £15m in one
transfer fee (Neves) and our
whole budget is less than half
of that. They might well
spend another £50m next
season,” he said.
Star man: Ruben Neves (Wolves)
Yellow card: Burton: Sbarra
Referee: G Eltringham
Attendance: 29,977
Wolverhampton: Ruddy 7, Bennett 7,
Coady 7, Boly 7, Doherty 6, Saiss 7,
Neves 8 (N’Diaye 90min, 5), Douglas 7,
Costa 8, Afobe 7 (Bonatini 82min, 5),
Cavaleiro 8 (Gibbs-White 76min, 5)
Substitutes: Batth, Mir Vicente,
Miranda, Norris
Burton: Bywater 6, Flanagan 5, Naylor
5, Buxton 4, McFadzean 5 (Varney h-t,
5), McCrory 6, Sordell 5 (Sbarra h-t, 5),
Davenport 5, Akpan 5, Dyer 6, Boyce 5
(Egert 82min, 5)
Substitutes: Murphy, Bent, Campbell,
Atdhe Nuhiu scored a
stoppage-time winner to
give Sheffield Wednesday
victory over Yorkshire rivals
Leeds United.
Substitute JayRoy Grot appeared
to have earned
Leeds a share of the
spoils with his first
goal for the club late on
but there was still time for
Nuhiu, inset, to snatch
Wednesday’s first win at
Elland Road since 2007.
Nuhiu had earlier broken
the deadlock after a
goalless first half that
Garry Monk had every
reason to have a wide smile
on his face after guiding
Birmingham to a vital home
win over below-par Hull
City. Although they remain
in the bottom three,
Birmingham’s survival
hopes have improved after
a runaway victory which
was completed in bright
sunshine after a blizzard
chilled much of the game.
After his first victory as
Birmingham’s manager,
Millwall in the playoff hunt.
The visitors broke the
deadlock after 24 minutes.
Jed Wallace played in
Gregory, who found space
inside the area and rolled
the ball under Nick
Up until that point it
had been all
Barnsley, with the
in-form Oli
McBurnie coming
close. Millwall
scored their second
after 63 minutes, Marshall
cutting inside from the left
and hitting a spectacular
effort from 25 yards that
curled into the far corner.
The hosts scored three
times in an exciting first half
in a victory that came after
a run of just six points from
seven games.
Mario Vrancic and Grant
Hanley both headed in from
corners to put Norwich 2-0
up before Liam Kelly pulled
one back for the visitors,
only for Maddison to
restore Norwich’s two-goal
advantage from the spot
after 37 minutes.
Sam Smith reduced the
arrears early in the second
period but it was not
enough to prevent Reading
slipping closer to the drop
zone after a run of just one
win in 18 matches.
underlined how far the two
sides have fallen in the past
Paul Heckingbottom has
endured a tough start to life
at Leeds, winning only one
of his first eight league
games in charge.
’I sound like a broken
record,’ said the
former Barnsley
manager. ’The last
couple of games I
should be
highlighting to the
players why we’ve won.
Instead, I’m going mad at
the reasons why we
haven’t. They’re both goals
we should stop.’
The teams went into the
derby with only one win
each in 2018.
Monk was full of admiration
for the impressive attacking
performance of his team,
which produced an
outstanding victory and
ended a run of seven
successive league defeats.
Jota, who had previously
failed to score at St
Andrew’s since his record
signing at the start of the
season, was twice on the
mark, including a 12thminute opener. Che
Adams, who also had an
outstanding game, was
rewarded with a 48thminute goal while a
rejuvenated Jota settled the
game in the 59th minute.
Milan Djuric’s header put
Bristol City’s playoff bid
back on track as it secured
a 1-0 victory over Ipswich
Town at Ashton Gate.
Introduced as a substitute
for Famara Diedhiou, the
Bosnian striker missed one
chance before he stooped
in the 64th minute to head
in Lloyd Kelly’s cross from
the left.
The visitors created
precious little going
forward and could have few
complaints at the end of a
game played in arctic
conditions. For City it was a
welcome return to winning
form at a time when their
challenge for the top six
appeared to be faltering.
Lee Johnson’s team were
not at their best but edged
a contest of few thrills. The
weather was hardly
conducive to good football,
with a swirling wind and
driving sleet and snow
creating problems.
Sheffield United failed to
close the gap on the playoff
places as they were held to
a 0-0 draw by Nottingham
Forest at Bramall Lane. The
hosts were in good form,
having lost only once in
their past five games at
home, but failed to take
their chances.
The Sunday Times March 18, 2018
Man City
30 26
1 65 81
Man Utd
30 20
5 35 65
31 18
4 39 63
30 18
5 34 61
30 17
8 25 56
30 14
6 10 14 48
30 11
10 9
30 10 10 10 2 40
31 11
31 9
L GD Pts
7 13 -13 40
9 13 -12 36
31 10
6 15 -16 36
30 8
10 12 -12 34
Newcastle Utd 30 8
8 14 -10 32
30 8
31 8
Crystal Palace 31
West Ham
15 -17 31
7 16 -27 31
9 15 -18 30
30 7
9 14 -21 30
Southampton 30 5
13 12 -15 28
31 6
9 16 -29 27
West Brom
31 3
11 17 -25 20
Snow ball: Xherdan Shaqiri, left, tackles Leighton Baines
Tosun piles on
agony for Stoke
Choupo-Moting 77
Tosun 69, 84
Martin Hardy
Bet365 stadium
Smiles better: Mo
Salah celebrates his
first goal after four
minutes last night.
He has scored 28
Premier League
goals this season
Four more for super Salah
Salah 4, 43, 77, 85
Firmino 49
Van Dijk
John Aizlewood
now fell, temperatures plummeted, Siberian winds blew,
but from Mohamed Salah,
magnificent Mohamed Salah,
there was only warmth. In
snowglobe conditions, Liverpool strolled past Watford
with insouciant glee, as Salah
scored four goals — each of
them sprinkled with sunshine — and created another for the outstanding performance of his outstanding
“The conditions were very difficult,”
noted Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager. “Everyone suffered, but not Mo. He
was exceptional, he was special and he
was outstanding. Performances like that
are why we come into football. Obviously,
I was pleased about the result, but also
the performance. Look at Sadio Mane,
look how cool he was on the ball, look
how mature he was.”
With Champions League qualification
for next season likely but still far from certain, Klopp had neither the option nor
the inclination to tempt fate ahead of next
month’s Manchester City double-header.
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s torrid afternoon at the other Manchester team last
week meant the teenager was benched
for the less taxing visit of Watford, along-
side fellow Old Trafford starters Alex
Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner.
Untroubled by relegation fears, yet
with no prospect of sneaking into the
European places, Watford froze in the
sub-zero temperatures. After just four
minutes, they were behind. Georginio
Wijnaldum threaded a crafty through ball
into Salah’s path. As Salah charged into
the penalty area, Watford’s defenders
knew what was coming as surely as the
expectant Kop, but what was foreseen
could not be prevented. Salah danced
with such twinkle-toed daintiness that
the bamboozled Miguel Britos was left on
his backside. The Egyptian drew Orestis
Kanzezis and slotted home his 25th Liver-
Neymar has asked Paris Saint-Germain
for a pay rise as a condition for staying
at the Qatar-owned club for a second
season, writes Duncan Castles. The
player’s father is understood to have
proposed the French club improve his
son’s financial terms amid Real Madrid’s
efforts to take him back to Spain. PSG
president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and
sporting director Antero Henrique flew
to Brazil last week, ostensibly to attend a
presentation at Neymar’s charitable
institute. According to a PSG source,
the pair held discussions about the
forward’s future at the club he joined
just eight months ago for a record
transfer fee of £198m, and a basic
salary of more than £264.5m over
five years. Neymar’s debut season
ended last month when he
fractured a metatarsal.
wanted by
Real Madrid
Zinedine Zidane has dismissed
suggestions that Gareth Bale is
unhappy at Real Madrid. The
Welshman’s former club Tottenham, as
well as Manchester United, have been
linked with a possible move for Bale,
whose injury troubles have seen his
game time restricted this season. But
Zidane said, ’Bale is not a sad player at
Real Madrid. Everyone can have their
pool league goal. By the end of the evening he was on 28. “This was not the best
performance from us,” understated Javier Gracia, the Watford manager. “Before
the match I thought the passion was
there. After conceding five goals, I’m not
so sure. We are more comfortable at
home than away: we must improve.”
Ahead, Liverpool could strut. Their
glistening front three, Salah, Mane and
Roberto Firmino, were in mischief-making mood; caviar musketeers tormenting
a bread’n’butter defence. Wijnaldum and
Jordan Henderson brought the gap-plugging midfield solidity so lacking in Manchester and their defence was untroubled until Roberto Pereyra crossed low and
Yet, for all Klopp’s urgings from the
technical area, the atmosphere was lowkey and that strutting sunk into coasting.
Prompted by Pereyra, Watford began to
make inroads and when the Argentine
crossed to the back post in the 36th minute for Richarlison, Loris Karius was
called into action at last. Aura of invincibility pricked, Liverpool roused themselves and the game was settled after 43
minutes when Mane spotted Robertson’s
overlap long before the Watford defence.
The full-back crossed to the back post
where Salah nipped in to tap home.
The snow was more insistent after the
break and so too were Liverpool. Soon
they were three ahead and this time Salah
was maker rather than taker. Again, he
got the better of Britos, whose half-tackle
was neither firm enough nor smart
enough. Salah ran to the goalline to cross
low and the unmarked Firmino backheeled home. Alone in his refusal to be
cowed, Pereyra rattled Karius’s crossbar
with a fine free kick in the 54th minute
but as the snow turned blizzard-like,
6 Liverpool supporter groups have joined forces to urge
their club and Manchester City to cap away ticket prices at
£30 for next month’s Champions League quarter-final. The
Spirit Of Shankly group and Spion Kop 1906 have called on
both clubs ’to do the right thing’. A statement posted on read: ‘Given the escalated ticket prices
for travelling supporters so far in this season’s competition,
there is an opportunity here to send a strong statement on
the value of supporters beyond money. Both Liverpool and
City will receive significantly large sums of revenue for
reaching this stage of the Champions League, and we ask
this be shared with supporters. We ask that both clubs look
at their pricing for this fixture.’ It reminded the clubs that
away tickets for Premier League games are ‘capped at a
maximum of £30’. Liverpool host City in the first leg on
Wednesday April 4, with the return fixture taking place the
following Tuesday
Mane found Salah, who twisted this way
and that, dropped a shoulder and poked
the ball round Karnezis for his first hattrick in English football. And there was
one more to come. This time Salah made
it — passing to Danny Ings, whose shot
was stopped by Karnezis — then scored it,
tapping in the rebound. A day to remember for him; one to forget for Watford.
Star man: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Yellow card: Liverpool: Gomez
Referee: A Taylor Attendance: 53,287
Liverpool: Karius 6, Gomez 6, Matip 6, Van Dijk 6,
Robertson 6, Henderson 7, Can 5 (Milner 27min, 6),
Wijnaldum 6 (Oxlade-Chamberlain 70min, 5), Salah 9,
Firmino 8 (Ings 79min, 6), Mane 7 Substitutes:
Mignolet, Klavan, Moreno, Alexander-Arnold
Watford: Karnezis 6, Mariappa 5, Prodl 5, Britos 4
(Janmaat 81min, 4), Holebas 6, Doucoure 6, Capoue 6,
Femenia 5, Pereyra 7, Richarlison 5 (Hughes 65min,6),
Deeney 5 (Okaka 70min, 5) Substitutes: Gomes,
Cathcart, Gray, Carrillo
opinion, but I believe he is here and
happy to be at this club.’ Zidane was
speaking before today’s meeting with
Girona, who are hoping to do the league
double over the European champions.
being questioned by police after the
incident, in which four stationary
vehicles were damaged. Sunderland
said that they were aware of the
Wales manager Ryan Giggs has lost four
players from his China Cup squad,
including Chelsea teenager Ethan
Ampadu. Neil Taylor, Tom
Lawrence and Joe Ledley
have also dropped out of
the 26-man squad, while
Sunderland defender
Adam Matthews has
been drafted in.
Midfielder Ampadu, 17,
who made his
international debut
against France in
November, was forced off
during the final minutes of
Chelsea’s 4-2 Uefa Youth League win at
Real Madrid last Wednesday.
Darron Gibson, inset, the Sunderland
midfielder, has been arrested on
suspicion of drink-driving after being
involved in a car crash on Roker
seafront. The former Manchester United
player, who has been missing from the
struggling Championship side since the
new year with a groin injury, was seen
Paul Cook, the Wigan manager, has
spoken out against football’s blame
culture ahead of today’s FA Cup quarterfinal against Southampton, who
have Mark Hughes in charge
for the first time. Hughes
replaced Mauricio
Pellegrino last week, just
over two months after he
was sacked by Stoke City.
Cook said: ’Managers and
coaches are getting
assassinated after every
game, which I think is an
absolute disgrace.’
The team coach of Evo-Stik Premier
League side Marine caught fire on their
way to Hednesford yesterday. The
dramatic incident happened close to
the end of their 90-mile journey. The
club reported that all passengers were
safe after a woman driving behind the
coach called the fire brigade. The
players and staff made it to the match
on time, but that was where the good
news ended: they lost 3-2.
There was a little high-five
with assistant Sammy Lee, he
took his frozen fingers out of
a glove to shake hands with
Paul Lambert and then Sam
Allardyce slipped away at the
side of the pitch, towards the
tunnel in front of the Everton
fans, and no one even noticed
him go.
That, for now, will feel like
Instead, his players were
championed by the 3,000
Everton supporters tucked
away in the corner of the
snow at the Britannia
stadium, none more so than
Cenk Tosun, who scored
twice and would probably
have grabbed a hat-trick but
for a bit more intelligent play
from his teammates Theo
Walcott and Dominic CalvertLewin.
Allardyce had revealed
during the week that he has
had his players spending time
with the psychologist who
has for so long been a key
ingredient of his
management philosophy.
Perhaps it was that which
led Everton to only their
second away victory in the
Premier League this season,
or their sixth in the last two.
Perhaps it was the fine,
predatory finishing of a
player signed for £27m in
January, or, as Lambert
argued, the key dismissal of
Charlie Adam, with just half
an hour of the game gone.
There should have been no
protestations, despite the
catcalls and jeers that came
Wayne Rooney’s way for the
rest of the afternoon from
home supporters. Adam, in
attempting to drive from the
heart of the Stoke midfield,
clipped the ball too far, and in
his desire to regain control,
left the ground with a lunging
tackle on Rooney.
Martin Atkinson went
straight for red and from
there it was a question of
whether Everton had the
intelligence to see the game
through with a man
advantage, which they did,
Credit to Lambert, who
kept his forwards high and
made Stoke dangerous, and it
took until the 69th minute for
Everton to take the lead. A
Yannick Bolasie cross was
headed goalwards by Tosun,
Jack Butland saved, Calvert-
Lewin attempted to prod in
the rebound but that was
blocked by Kostas Stafylidis
before Tosun reacted quickly
to smash a left-foot shot into
the Stoke goal.
Bravely Stoke fought back,
and within eight minutes they
were level. Joe Allen sent over
a right-footed free kick from
the left and although the
substitute Eric Maxim
Choupo-Moting didn’t look
like he fancied the challenge,
he stuck out a foot that took
the ball past Jordan Pickford.
In doing so, the forward took
a kick and limped off, seven
minutes after he had been
brought on.
It could have been a crucial
point, but Everton regrouped
and after Walcott had missed
a glorious chance, set up by a
fine ball from Tosun, the
former Arsenal man returned
the favour and the Turkish
forward was more clinical.
Tosun’s diving header had
the power to get past
Butland, despite a fingertip
from the goalkeeper.
“You want the top-quality
marksman to turn the game
in your favour and Cenk has
done that,” said Allardyce.
“He is adapting a lot quicker
than a lot of frontmen who
have come to the Premier
League from abroad.
“We capitalised on Stoke
going down to 10 men and we
got three points, gladly, away
from home.”
It leaves Stoke mired deep
in relegation trouble, three
points from safety with an
inferior goal difference to
West Ham and Crystal Palace,
in 17th and 16th places
“We needed the points,”
said Lambert. “We needed to
win. I saw the sending-off on
the monitor and I understand
why Martin has given it. He
has put himself in the
position to be red-carded. It
was a massive blow.
“Their first goal was
offside. The linesman needs
to see that but I can’t ask for
anything more than the effort
and the commitment the
players showed. We got
ourselves back into the game
and it was a poor second
Star man: Cenk Tosun (Everton)
Yellow cards: Stoke: Shawcross
Everton: Jagielka
Red card: Stoke: Adam
Referee: M Atkinson
Attendance: 30,022
Stoke: Butland 6, Johnson 5,
Shawcross 6, Zouma 6, Stafylidis 7,
Adam 4, Shaqiri 7 (Berahino 76min, 5),
Allen 7, Ndiaye 6, Sobhi 7 (ChoupoMoting 72min, 5, Jese 79min, 3), Crouch
6 Substitutes: Bauer, Martins Indi,
Fletcher, Haugaard
Everton: Pickford 7, Coleman 6,
Jagielka 7, Keane 7, Baines 7, Rooney 7
(Schneiderlin 87min, 4), Gueye 8,
Davies 6 (Calvert-Lewin 53min, 6),
Walcott 7, Tosun 8, Bolasie 6 (Holgate
90+2min, 4) Substitutes: Martina,
Niasse, Klaassen, Joel
Shrewsbury moved just two points
behind League One leaders Blackburn,
with a game in hand, after they came
from behind to win 2-1 at Scunthorpe.
Second-half goals from Jon Nolan and
Stefan Payne, with a penalty, helped
Shrewsbury to victory after Josh Morris’
first-half free kick put the hosts in front.
Blackburn’s match at Gillingham was
postponed on safety grounds after
snow in Kent.
Three goals in eight minutes late in the
first half were enough for Lincoln City to
beat Grimsby 3-1 in the Lincolnshire
derby. Lee Frecklington, Matt Green and
Scott Wharton were all on target to
demoralise Grimsby, who have gone 17
games without a win, before Ben Davies
pulled a goal back before the break with
a penalty. Accrington increased their
lead at the top to three points by
beating Forest Green 3-1 and Luton
were held 1-1 at Newport.
Notts County were so desperate for
their derby against Mansfield to go
ahead that chairman Alan Hardy got out
his broom to help clear the touchlines of
snow. But they were cruelly denied for
their efforts, with Mansfield’s Kane
Hemmings’ converting a penalty in the
Boyd: scored winner for Kilmarnock
ninth minute of stoppage time to
equalise after Terry Hawkridge put the
hosts in front.
Kris Boyd’s goal gave Kilmarnock a 1-0
victory over his former club Rangers at
Ibrox. The striker’s 20th goal of the
season, above, gave Steve Clarke’s side,
who beat Rangers 2-1 at Rugby Park in
December, another impressive result.
Gareth Southgate must use friendlies
to identify the goalkeeper to replace
Joe Hart, writes Jonathan Northcroft
ob Green, Fabio Capello’s
most contentious selection,
was rated the worst England
player at the 2010 World Cup
in South Africa . . . by Fabio
Capello. The manager’s infamous commercial sideline,
the “Capello Index”, gave
Green a spectacularly low
mark and ranked him his
country’s lowest performer despite
Capello blithely defending the keeper in
Like most of England’s 2010 debacle, it
would have been funny had it not been so
excruciating. Green’s handling by
Capello cost not just the nation but the
player. Green arrived in South Africa at
the prime age for a goalie (30), having
ended first choice in a successful qualifying campaign and a standout in his final
warm-up game. However, Capello
refused to confirm him as No 1 for the
finals — keeping media guessing and
rotating his keepers in training. Green
only knew he was playing two hours
before England’s opening match
The result was a brain freeze and a
clanger against USA in Rustenburg, and
Green’s career was never quite the same.
He only played for England once more, in
a 2012 friendly under Roy Hodgson. He is
not alone. Scott Carson, Paul Robinson,
David Seaman, David James . . . all damaged by howlers as England No 1s. It is a
jersey and set of gloves that hangs heavy.
England goalkeepers need help, and a
priority for Gareth Southgate in friendlies with Holland and Italy has to be nailing down his No 1 for the World Cup.
Clearly identifying the player, cleansing
him — and the defenders who will be
working with him — of doubt. There are
only 360 minutes of England football
before a World Cup opener against
Tunisia, not long to build understandings
and confidence. There can be no repeat
of the indecision that did for Green.
As it stands, by accident rather than
Southgate’s design, there is no “England
No 1” as such. Joe Hart lost that status as
his club form nosedived and is in such
shaky fettle that when he was brought
back into West Ham’s line-up against
Burnley eight days ago, playing did his
cause more harm than good. Another
error was a reminder of how far Hart has
fallen. He is highly fortunate to be in the
current 27-man squad. What has kept his
World Cup chances alive is probably two
decent second-half saves in England’s last
friendly against Brazil, helping him to a
clean sheet. In the friendly before that,
Jordan Pickford excelled on debut, keeping a clean sheet against Germany, but
Pickford’s club displays, while better
than Hart’s, have been variable too.
Jack Butland has also made mistakes
for Stoke. A broken finger stopped him
playing in the Germany and Brazil double-header and having been a sound performer for Southgate at under-21 level,
with the best all-round package of attributes, he seems the safest bet to be World
Cup No 1. He took over from Hart for
England’s last qualifier, in Lithuania, in
October, and acquitted himself confidently. “The only thing going through my
mind is making sure it’s me,” he said of
the battle for the spot, and that is the right
The left-field candidate is Burnley’s
Nick Pope. Up until the last minute,
Southgate was unsure about calling him
up — which was not a reflection on his
ability, rather on Southgate’s uncertainty
over whether a player who has not been
part of an England camp, at any age level,
could be parachuted into the set-up so
close to a tournament. Yet Pope’s outstanding season makes it the right call
and what a story Pope is — a 25-year-old
who has played in every tier of English
football down to the seventh one, where
Gareth Southgate will defy mounting
concerns for safety at the World Cup,
caused by the UK’s deteriorating
relations with Russia, by taking his
own family out to attend the
tournament. The Foreign Office has
warned Britons travelling to the
World Cup of ’the possibility of antiBritish sentiment or harassment’.
Nonetheless, Southgate is inviting
his wife and teenaged children, Mia
and Flynn, to watch England. ‘At the
moment they’re planning to do that.
We’re like everybody else, we have to
see what the advice is and if things
change, but that is their intention,’
said the England manager. Alexei
Sorokin, head of the World Cup
organising committee, has told
Arsenal fans they have nothing to
fear if they travel to watch their side
play CSKA Moscow in the Europa
League next month
he represented Harrow Borough in the
Isthmian Premier Division. His inclusion
cements Sean Dyche as the most prolific
producer of England internationals outside of Mauricio Pochettino.
A challenge for Pope might be Southgate’s desire to build from the back, using
a three-man defence. Has he ever played
behind a back three? And Dyche asks
goalkeepers to distribute the ball long,
not make short passes. Butland, Pickford, Pope would be my pecking order.
Southgate’s should probably already be
established. Pope is one of four
uncapped players in the squad. Holland
have five in theirs and will be experimenting under their new manager, Ronald
Koeman. In their forwards department
there are intriguing choices: Justin Kluivert, the exciting 18-year-old son of Patrick and scorer of an extraordinary hattrick for Ajax against Roda in November,
and Wout Weghorst, a 6ft 5in target man
who divides compatriots’ opinion but has
21 goals this season for AZ Alkmaar.
It is a time of renewal for the Dutch,
who have failed to reach consecutive
tournaments for the first time since 1980.
Southgate wants it remembered that
England are also in a rebuilding process.
“We know what we are — a team ranked
16th in the world. We’re a team that we
know is developing, and somebody asked
me about ‘wouldn’t you like a more settled team moving into a World Cup?’ But
we’re not at the stage of development
that Brazil have been and Germany have
been,” he said.
“They have had a consistency of selection. But that’s mainly because we feel
our young players are so exciting that we
should push them ahead, because we feel
in the mid to long-term that’s going to
give us a better chance of winning things.
That’s not to limit what we think is possible from them this summer, but I’ve got
to be realistic about the number of caps
and the ages of the team and what our
expectations of that should be.”
Southgate said he will consider using
Lewis Cook in one of the friendlies. But
the newcomers with the best chance of
World Cup berths are Alfie Mawson and
James Tarkowski, ball-playing young centre-backs in the Southgate mode.
Yesterday’s man:
Joe Hart’s England
stock has fallen and
he is highly
fortunate to be in
the 27-man squad
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Holland v England
7.30pm ITV, kick-off 7.45pm
Bronze hoping to strike gold
English player
closes in on her
League dream
Rebecca Myers
When Lucy Bronze signed for
French club Olympique
Lyonnais last summer, she
made clear she saw it as a
stepping stone to her dream
of winning the Champions
Defending champions
Lyons, one of the best
women’s club sides in the
world, have won the Uefa title
four times, and come second
twice in the past decade. No
English team has progressed
past the semi-finals since
2007, when Arsenal lifted the
On Thursday at the club’s
main, 59,000-capacity
stadium, Bronze will be able
to sink her teeth into Lyons’
campaign for the 2018 crown
when they meet Barcelona in
the first leg of the quarterfinals. Barça may have
reached the semi-finals only
once, but Bronze will not be
underestimating the Spanish
“The pressure is probably
a little bit more with Lyons
because Lyons have been
dominant for so long,” says
the England international.
“But being in the club and
around the girls you can see
how much they thrive off it.
All season, that’s what their
mindset is: we need to win
the Champions League,
we’ve got to win the
Champions League. The club
know how important it is and
so do all the girls, but that
makes it exciting. It’s getting
harder each year to maintain
that No 1 spot.”
While the English league
will be represented in the last
eight of the competition by
Chelsea and Manchester City,
who play on Wednesday night
against Montpellier and
Linkoping respectively, there
will also be eyes on the game
in France as Bronze comes up
against a Lionesses
teammate, striker Toni
Duggan, who has played for
Barcelona since last summer.
Wolfsburg host Slavia Praha
on Thursday.
Bronze notes that Duggan
will be a key player for the
opposition — “a lot of the
goals come from Toni” — as
well as the Dutch forward
Lieke Martens, whom Bronze
considers “the best player in
the world.”
In another world, she and
Martens are fantasy
teammates: the Fifpro
Women’s World XI was
announced this month and
Bronze became the first
English player to make the
cut, voted for by more than
4,000 female footballers in
45 countries. She received
the second highest number of
votes after Martens.
It was hailed as a landmark
moment for the English
game, as she acknowledges:
“I think it was probably a big
moment for English football.
There were a lot of players
like Millie Bright edging in
close to it as well, which was
really good to see. Obviously
the standard is rising and I’m
delighted to be part of it —
long may it continue.”
While Bronze says the
quality of football at Lyons is
“definitely next level . . . I’ve
never played on a team like
this before”, she praises the
training set-ups within the
English league, which reflect
French polish: Lucy Bronze, left, is aiming high with Lyons
the strength of the Premier
League and the fact that the
top teams share facilities with
their men’s sides.
“But all you need is a
football and a football pitch to
play. I have everything that I
need here. The things that are
most important to me are the
highest standards I know I’ll
ever get. No team is perfect,
every team has positives and
negatives; you’ve just got to
pick which positives mean
the most to you.”
Bronze found much more
égalité across the Channel
than she had known at home;
Lyons is said to be the best
paid women’s team in the
world, with an average salary
of £145,000 — the English
league average is £26,752.
Bronze says it’s important
that female players feel they
“get what they’re worth” and
that the gap between the
wages at top teams and lower
teams in every country needs
to be addressed. “You need
money to live and to have a
life and, to be able to play fulltime, you need to be getting a
good wage.
“The gap needs to be
bridged but at the same time
in the English league they
don’t want to cap the top
teams too much or they are
going to struggle to catch up
with the Germans and French
teams that are doing so well
in the Champions League.
“You need your good
players to stay, perform, be
happy and have a good life.”
The pitch on Thursday will
host some of the most
expensive players in the
world, as well as the best.
Bronze is doing great things
for the English game by being
among them.
The Sunday Times March 18, 2018
‘I didn’t
was as
as this’
6 Chelsea and Leicester City have
been drawn against each other five
times in the FA Cup and on the past
three occasions the sides have met
the Londoners have gone on to win
the competition — 1997, 2000 and
2012. Leicester have never beaten
Chelsea in the Cup. Chelsea won
their only previous quarter-final
meeting, in 2012, 5-2
6 Leicester have appeared in the
quarter-finals on three previous
occasions this century, and have lost
them all. Other than Chelsea,
Wycombe beat them in 2001 and
Blackburn Rovers in 2005
6 Claude Puel’s side are unbeaten in
their past eight home games in all
competitions, while Antonio Conte’s
have lost their past five on the road
Claude Puel hopes his star
striker can make an impact
for Leicester City against
Chelsea in the FA Cup today
Football correspondent
hen the weather’s nice
— which isn’t often,
jokes this man from
southern France — his
wife Corinne runs in
Bradgate Park. It’s a
lovely spot, 20 minutes
out of Leicester, with
deer, wild swans, a
ruined castle.
Good tourist info always helps and the
Puels received theirs from an Englishwoman Claude befriended; he’s a keen
runner himself and she’d flash by when
he was pounding the clifftop routes
around Monaco.
Paula Radcliffe. Now resident in Monte
Carlo, she went to university in Loughborough, which is near Bradgate. Their
friendship had a false start because
Claude went running with his dog and
she was wary until discovering its soft
nature. She’d run the whole, long, clifftop circuit while he’d take a secret short
cut so he looked not too off her pace.
“When I go running or do anything,
always for me it is competition,” Puel
That nature may have come from his
father, Jean, a welder in a Renault garage
in Castres whose passion was rugby. Jean
played hooker. “He had not the attributes,” says Puel. “He was skinny but he
had vitality, strength, big forearms. He
used his fighting spirit.” Puel reckons he
inherited “the strength of my father and
solidity of my mother ... a good balance”.
He’s bringing it to Leicester. His own
fighting spirit ( Jamie Vardy reports that at
56, the boss still smashes people in training) gels with their underdog values while
solidity is needed, too, by a club where
life has been turbulent since winning the
title in 2016. Southampton, for some reason, after he finished eighth and reached
a cup final, craved more excitement but
Puel’s quiet yet determined building feels
exactly what Leicester need.
They were one point above the relegation zone upon his appointment in October and now they’re eighth and hosting
Chelsea in an FA Cup quarter-final.
Beyond proven ability, at Monaco, Lille,
Lyons, Nice then Saints, to achieve good
results, his development record is formidable. He leads Mauricio Pochettino (second) and Jurgen Klopp (third) as the man-
I’ve been saying it
all season but I’ll
say it again —
were utterly
to get
rid of
Strong values: Claude
Puel, a hard-working
midfielder as a player,
has instilled the same
qualities into his
Leicester squad
ager in Europe’s top five leagues to give
the most minutes to Under-23s since
2008 and this attracted Leicester, who
are looking for legacy from their success
and plan a new training ground,
enhanced academy and stadium
“I cannot train without giving opportunity for players,” he says. “I was a worker-
player [for Monaco]. I was in midfield, un
porteur d’eau, a water-carrier working for
the more technical ones. I like technical
An example of his coaching is Hatem
Ben Arfa. The mercurial No 10 was out of
football after being dumped by Newcastle and going AWOL at Hull when Puel
took him to Nice. What ensued was
incredible: Ben Arfa, having never scored
more than six goals in a league campaign,
scored 17 and won a France recall and
transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.
“Players sometimes can have a bad
reputation. I want to know the player. I
want to discuss with them, try to understand. The most important thing for me is
to feel this player is honest,” Puel says.
With eight games to play last season
Southampton, who had narrowly lost a
League Cup final to Manchester United,
were sitting quite comfortably in ninth
place in the Premier League with 40
points on the board and a goal difference
of zero. They were to finish a very
respectable eighth, albeit 30 points
below fourth place.
The powers that be at St Mary’s took a
good long look at this achievement and
decided that the best thing to do would
be to sack the manager, Claude
Puel. There was no great
opposition from the fans: Puel
was regarded as inculcating in
the Saints a certain
continental boredom, the
ball passed around in
anodyne fashion in the
middle of the park, the
opposing goalkeeper rarely
Indeed, under Puel
scored only 41
goals in 38
games. When
you are a fan,
and perhaps
a chairman,
then you are
apt to
believe that
Living in
Puel found
an unlikely
partner —
‘Hazard is
the only
player I
never had
to teach, no
one had to
Radcliffe: fellow
Monaco resident
Hazard: coached
by Puel at Lille
any change must be for the better. And
so boring Puel was evicted and in his
place came the more flamboyant
Mauricio Pellegrino. What a
transformation he effected!
Southampton are now scoring less
than one goal per game and have a
negative goal difference of 15. They have
12 fewer points than at this stage last year
and, at start of play yesterday, sat one
place and one point above the relegation
I wonder if those fans now yearn for a
bit of boredom. They may well get it,
because Pellegrino has been sacked and,
via the increasingly absurd managerial
merry-go-round of the Premier League,
in comes Mark Hughes, whose teams are
of course noted more for their obduracy
than their flair. It may just save them — in
which case, Sparky will get a bonus of
£2m. (I wonder what amount of money
Southampton and
Everton must wake up
to the fact that no team
are too big to go down
Rod Liddle’s column of
November 26, 2017 warned of
the danger facing the Saints
would be an acceptable bonus to save
West Brom?) Meanwhile, Puel is at
Leicester City, safe from relegation in
eighth place and with, yes, 40 points.
There is a symmetry in all things.
I wrote at the start of the season that I
thought Southampton might go down
this year, based largely on their
extraordinarily low level of shots on
target. In November I suggested that
while they were sitting in mid-table their
trajectory was inescapably downward. I
mention them again because I find it
more satisfying to draw attention to
things I’ve said that were right than
things I’ve said which turned out wrong
(such as tipping Brentford as dark horses
for relegation from the Championship
when they were, by common assent, the
best team seen at The Den this season).
Today the Saints contest a nasty FA
Cup quarter-final at Wigan as a prelude
to a league run-in that might not be more
taxing than those of their relegation
rivals but, nonetheless, includes games
against Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester
City and a crunch clash with — yes, of
course — Leicester City. Symmetry, you
The arrival of old Sparky did not quite
electrify the good people of Hampshire.
There was some good gallows humour
on one of the fans’ forums in which they
voted on which underperforming player
“With Ben Arfa it was a good moment
because he didn’t succeed in England
and was without a club. He trained alone.
He was ready — ready to listen and
improve. We were not a good team and I
could put him in the middle of the play
and made a system that gave him opportunities to use his qualities.”
Puel devised a training exercise involving dribbling through mannequins
before bending home shots, near and far
post. Difficult, but Ben Arfa was brilliant
and Puel then asked him “why, in games,
do you do a strong shot? For the fans?
When you have these feet and don’t use
them?” Productivity beats show: Ben
Arfa absorbed the lesson and began delivering in games.
Puel has managed Riyad Mahrez
humanely — and very successfully — after
Mahrez’s “strike” when denied a move to
Manchester City. “It was the same with
Eric Abidal. I started him with Monaco
and took him to Lille. He wanted to go to
Paris. It was impatience, a young player
without respect. I refused and he was
angry and left the club for one month.
But I said to him you need respect, to give
one more season because this club took
It makes you wonder
why chairmen keep
recycling managers
who hop from one
failure to the next
would be first to get lamped by Hughes
in the dressing room. Ryan Bertrand
won. There was a feeling among some
that Hughes was the right kind of person
to get them out of the mess they are in,
while some visiting Stoke City
supporters suggested that this view
might well be misplaced.
It does make you wonder why the
same old names keep being recycled,
with middle-aged managers hopping
from one failure to the next and yet still
somehow valued by chairmen — Moyes,
Allardyce, Pardew, Hughes, Hodgson,
Pulis. For example, what made West
Brom think that Alan Pardew, who was
truly awful at Crystal Palace, could do a
better job than Tony Pulis and strike fire
into a side who have had relegation
certainties stamped all over them since
Bonfire Night? Did the trio of clowns
who run West Ham not have the
imagination to think of a manager
beyond the one who had failed
you as a young player when you had no
profile. After, he went to Lyons then Barcelona and became not just fantastic on
the pitch but a great man.
“Riyad? People, journalists, give a bad
reputation to the player because they
didn’t know all the situation. And we
need to understand the player,” Puel
says. “For Riyad it was a mistake to miss
training sessions and two or three games
but important to remember it was the
first time he had an offer like this.”
Leicester are a strong dressing room.
How is managing it? “I don’t say easy.
Because it is not easy. But they are good
men.” Puel admires the players’ “courage” in accepting his change of playing
style, to a more possession approach —
essential, he says, because opponents
had sussed the breakaway style that won
the title and were shutting it down. “For
example, [Danny] Simpson and [Wes]
Morgan were not players at the beginning
with the qualities to start with the ball but
they improve a lot. Now we see Simpson
give crosses. Next time an assist perhaps!” Puel laughs.
And Vardy? “Jamie, I like his character,
his fighting spirit. I think it was crazy all
the influence he could make on the game
before. Always long balls, battles, difficult, and every time he came back for the
“But I didn’t know he has all this quality with the ball. He is comfortable with it,
he can combine with his teammates,
have good touches. [At West Brom] he
scored a fantastic goal and you cannot
score that goal without high technical
The youngsters developed by Puel
include Eden Hazard. At Lille, Puel gave
Hazard his debut aged 16. “He was the
same. Just the same. Same quality. Same
ability. First thing, he played a friendly
against Bruges and dribbled past four or
five players. Most players in this situation
then lose their idea of what to do but him,
he kept calm, stopped the ball in the box
and surrounded by players gave a fantastic assist. On the bench I didn’t even see
the pass. He was the one player I didn’t
teach anything; no manager could
change him.”
Leicester fans feel like Southampton’s,
that they don’t know him, but they will
appreciate him once they do: he fits the
understated local character. Outside
football? He follows politics (“Brexit…”
he says wryly), he lives in town and likes
restaurants, meals with friends. Corinne
enjoys Leicester. Recently they went to
the cinema and it was good, a comedy —
though it was in English and he cannot
remember the title or the plot.
It’s football that occupies his brain,
you sense. No, it’s sport. For leisure, he
still goes running and has a good route
near Leicester’s training ground. Brought
up, by his dad, as a rugby fan he is interested in Leicester Tigers and went when
his club, Castres, visited Welford Road.
“I like the competition,” Puel smiles. “I
like the story. I like the efforts of the athlete to prepare the competition, how
they live, their success, their defeats,
their comebacks. All this, it is fantastic.”
Leicester City v Chelsea
4.05pm BBC1, kick-off 4.30pm
spectacularly at Manchester United, Real
Sociedad and Sunderland? What,
exactly, in Roy Hodgson’s recent
managerial record made Crystal Palace
think that’s the man for us?
The answer the chairmen would give,
I suppose, is that the only names
available to struggling sides are those
who are already mired in failure, having
recently been sacked for either
relegating a team or dragging them too
far towards the bottom for anyone’s
liking. The only exception is Sam
Allardyce, who does have a decent and
recent track record of salvaging teams
from self-destruction, even if this is
rarely, if ever, translated into a formula
for actual success. It is true, too, that the
aforementioned chairmen begin their
machinations by making overtures in the
direction of Sean Dyche and Eddie
Howe, both of whom are far too sussed
to be deposited at the wheel of a sinking
ship. But I do wonder if there might be
alternatives options from down below
the Premier League. Gary Rowett at
Derby County, Dean Smith at Brentford?
So long as they keep their hands off
Millwall’s Neil Harris.
Wigan Athletic v Southampton
1.15pm BBC1, kick-off 1.30pm
The Sunday Times March 18, 2018
scared of anybody or anything. Well, except for the
life-size cardboard cutout of his father Jos in full
racing regalia that used to
stand in the corner of his
“Sometimes it scared
me in the middle of the
night. I would wake up and see somebody in the corner of the room, so I
would get up and turn him around to face
the wall,” Verstappen said of the only
motor racing adornment in his life. There
was a map and some flags on the walls of
his bedroom as he grew up, but nothing
from the world of Formula One in which
he was destined to become a star. Just
that cardboard cut-out looming out of the
When the new grand prix season starts
in Australia at the weekend, Verstappen
will come onto the Melbourne grid like a
trapped animal suddenly released from
its cage. He has not raced for almost four
months since the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
finale of 2017, a new year detox that has
left him straining at the leash to revive a
career that many believe could border on
greatness. Last week he was in the Red
Bull simulator in Milton Keynes reminding himself of the twists and turns of the
Albert Park circuit that will confront him
on Sunday. That will be no digital exercise but the real thing and the chance to
dethrone four-time world champion
Lewis Hamilton, the driver who rules the
modern era of F1.
As always in F1, it will be the quality of
his Red Bull car that will determine
whether Verstappen can challenge Britain’s world champion, but there is no
doubting the scale of his talent and the
sport yearns for the arrival of a charismatic new driver who can challenge the
dominance of Hamilton and Mercedes.
Since the introduction of hybrid engines
— which link conventional petrol engines
to battery power — in 2014, Hamilton has
won 40 of 79 grands prix, an incredible
strike rate.
Verstappen is F1’s biggest hope to
break that sequence — the boy who would
be king, according to Bernie Ecclestone,
the former ringmaster of the sport who
was deposed by Liberty Media when they
bought it in 2016. Ecclestone knows a
thing or two about the greatest drivers
after 50 years in F1. He puts Verstappen
in the line with Ayrton Senna, Michael
Schumacher and Hamilton. “Max is the
best thing to come into Formula One
since Lewis. He is going to be a massive
star,” he said.
Verstappen is so precocious that Formula One introduced rules to curb his
extraordinary brilliance, first bringing in
regulations to prevent other teenagers
moving into the top level at such a tender
age — he was just 17 years old when he
took part in the 2015 Australian Grand
Prix — and then a quickly abandoned
attempt to clamp down on his occasionally brutal overtaking; it was nicknamed
the “Verstappen rule”. Like Senna, Schumacher and Hamilton, Verstappen is not
just the possessor of talent from God but
he is box office, too.
Verstappen was Formula One’s youngest driver when he joined Toro Rosso,
Red Bull’s junior team, and was still only
18 when the call came out of the blue to
step up to the senior squad alongside
Daniel Ricciardo, a proven winner. His
debut for the team at the 2016 Spanish
Grand Prix must have been written in the
stars because the Mercedes of Hamilton
and Nico Rosberg crashed and Verstap-
Dutch driver
wants winning
start to F1 season
on Sunday.
By Kevin Eason
Sergey Sirotkin
Williams’ controversial Felipe Massa
replacement is the 22-year-old
Russian rookie who was previously
Renault’s third driver and who
finished third in the GP2 feeder
category in 2016. A multimillionpound backing from his Russian bank
sponsors secured his place
Charles Leclerc
Ferrari’s junior driver has been
guided to a place in the Ferrariassociated Sauber team. An
outstanding prospect at 20 years old
Boy racer: Max
Verstappen goes into
the new season with
Red Bull full of
I thought I might
never win. It
happened to Dad
and I wondered
if it would
happen to me
pen cruised to a maiden victory and a
place in the sport’s history as F1’s youngest winner.
Strangely, that was the only time fear
revealed itself: Verstappen admits that he
went into F1 worrying that, like his father,
he might never win. Aside from one year
as teammate to Schumacher at Benetton
in 1994, Jos Verstappen’s F1 career was
pretty undistinguished, starting 106
times with six teams and with only two
podium finishes. “I thought that I might
never win,” Verstappen said. “It happened to my Dad and I wondered
whether it might happen to me. When I
crossed the line in Spain, it was a huge
weight off my shoulders.”
The fear has never left his mother,
Sophie, who rarely attends races but
before each grand prix went to church to
light a candle for her son. “It was ridiculous going to the church and I said that
she had to stop,” Verstappen, now a
three-time grands prix winner, said with
a chuckle. “I told her to sit still, watch the
race and enjoy it instead of jumping up
and down, going to the toilet about five
times during a race. I guess I would be the
same if it was my son. When you are not
in control, it is very different.”
Verstappen always appears to be in
control. He is never in awe of the senior
drivers, such as Hamilton and Ferrari’s
Sebastian Vettel. He grew up around
Russian GP
not an option
for F1 teams
At the races:
Chase Carey with
Vladimir Putin
It was the pet project of
Russian president Vladimir
Putin as he brought one of
the world’s richest sports to
his home nation as a
showcase for his favourite
holiday resort and a display
of Western glitz and
glamour, writes Kevin Eason.
But now Formula One is
bracing itself for a storm of
criticism as the row over the
Salisbury poisonings
threatens to overshadow
Russia’s summer of sport.
The World Cup has already
become embroiled in the
diplomatic argument, with
Britain warning that no
government ministers or
royalty will follow the
England team to Russia.
Wolves tame timid Dragons
Chris Irvine
Stade Gilbert Brutus
Ailing Catalans, two points
adrift at the bottom of the
Betfred Super League after
being “nilled” at home for the
first time, were meat and
drink for a Warrington side in
search of a restorative win.
Wolves were as persistent
as the driving rain in
Perpignan, inflicting a fifth
defeat on Steve McNamara’s
rudderless Dragons and
raising more questions about
the former England coach’s
Car changes
The biggest visible change is the
compulsory fitment of the cockpit
halo, a cage-like device designed to
protect the driver’s head from flying
debris, writes Mark Hughes. It’s been
a controversial addition, with many
fans and drivers decrying the looks
and the ‘health and safety’ ethic
behind it. It can withstand the
equivalent load of a London bus
perched upon it. The big engine
cover ‘shark fins’ of last year have
been trimmed and the spindly Twings between engine cover and
rear wing have been banished.
There has been a further
restriction on the number of engines
and associated components allowed
in a season. Each driver must now do
the whole season on three engines
(previously four) before incurring
grid penalties, meaning an average
of seven races per engine in the
21-race championship.
The associated grid penalties have
been simplified and no longer will
there be meaningless theoretical
multiple grid drops. Any more than 15
places and the driver automatically
starts at the back. If more than one
driver has 15 or more grid-place
penalties, the order between them
will be decided by when the engine
or component change was made.
Wet races will now begin from a
standing start rather than behind the
safety car – but only after some
reconnaissance laps behind the
safety car which do not count as part
of the race distance.
There are seven tyre compounds
in Pirelli’s range (previously five), the
intention being to widen the
performance gap between the three
compounds on any given weekend.
future at Stade Gilbert Brutus.
Whoever succeeded Tony
Smith at Warrington faced a
daunting task. Going into
their seventh game of 2018,
almost a third of the way
through the regular season,
Wolves had dropped into the
bottom four — their fate in
Smith’s farewell season —
after Hull KR’s 38-6 victory at
Huddersfield last Thursday.
Warrington comfortably
avoided relegation in the
qualifiers, but their sights
were set far higher under
Steve Price, who watched his
side lose four of six, often at
their own hands. In calling
for a different mentality,
Price knew his side had to
improve discipline and
decision-making. Compliant
opponents certainly helped.
Catalans were awful in all
departments and trailed 14-0
after 26 minutes. The ease
with which Warrington
created an overlap for Mitch
Brown’s opening try hinted at
their vulnerability.
Daryl Clark, a persistent
thorn in Dragons’ side, drove
over from dummy half,
before Ben Murdoch-Masila
was the beneficiary of Mitch
Brown tapping back Kevin
Brown’s crossfield kick.
Catalans contrived just one
first-half try opportunity,
which eluded Fouad Yaha,
who was then sin-binned
along with opposite wing
Tom Lineham after a spat.
Two tacklers stood little
chance against MurdochMasila for the Tonga
forward’s second touchdown
and Harvey Livett also
scored. Catalans could have
played until midnight and not
produced a worthy chance.
McNamara spared his and
the club’s blushes by beating
Leigh in last year’s “millionpound game” to avoid
relegation, but their famously
impatient chairman, Bernard
Guasch, is unlikely to stay
quiet much longer.
6Wakefield’s game against
Widnes was abandoned after
26 minutes last night because
of a snowstorm.
Star man: Daryl Clark (Warrington)
Warrington Wolves: Tries: M Brown 4,
Clark 17, Murdoch-Masila 25, 43, Livett
78 Goals: Goodwin (3)
Referee: C Kendall (RFL)
Attendance: 7,500
Catalans Dragons: Mead; Yaha, Gigot,
Thornley, Tierney; Bird, Albert; Casty
(capt), McIlorum, Moa, Anderson,
Wiliame, Garcia. Replacements: Aiton,
Bousquet, Simon, Jullien
Warrington Wolves: Ratchford;
Lineham, Goodwin, T King, M Brown; K
Brown, Roberts; Hill (capt), Clark,
Cooper, Westwood, Hughes, G King
Replacements: Murdoch-Masila,
Akauola, Philbin, Livett
greatness, holidaying with the Schumacher family as Jos and Michael became
great friends after their year as
He was introduced to Formula One as a
child, hanging around motorhomes
while his dad chatted to the superstars of
the sport. “I have never thought of anybody as a God. These guys are normal
people. They might have had success and
you can be respectful, but that’s it,” he
said. “I talk to them like anyone I meet in
the supermarket. I treat Lewis and Seb no
higher than anyone else.”
If anything, the established stars have
been taken aback. Vettel, particularly,
seems to suffer an attack of the collywobbles whenever he sees Verstappen’s Red
Bull in his mirrors, as he did in Singapore
last season when the German triggered a
spectacular first-corner crash and crippled his world titles hopes.
The expectation should be a burden
on such young shoulders, but it is often
But Liberty Media, the
new owners of Formula One
based in London, could face
embarrassment when Putin
attends the grand prix and
sits in his personal box to
watch the 10 teams — seven
from Britain — racing.
Pictures from the 2017
Russian Grand Prix showed
Chase Carey, F1’s chief
executive, sitting next to
Putin and exchanging
pleasantries about the race,
which was won by Valtteri
Bottas in a Mercedes
designed and built at
Brackley in
F1 has a six-month buffer
until the grand prix on
September 30 and will hope
difficult to remember that Verstappen is
barely 20 years old as he speaks quickly
and fluently. His father spent the winter
sending cuttings from newspapers and
website links, but Verstappen has refused
to read the usual catcalling and wild predictions that have filled the empty
months of pre-season. “I told him, ‘Dad,
just chill’. I don’t need anything to fire me
up,” Verstappen said. “I know what I have
to do and that is what I will do when I get
into the car. I don’t like to play mind
games or play things through the media
to set things up.”
The set-up for the new season really
will be mouthwatering if the Boy Wonder
of F1 can challenge Hamilton to become
the new king.
Australian Grand Prix qualifying
6am Sky Sports F1
the furore has died down.
Boris Johnson, the foreign
secretary, has also made it
clear that he does not want
British fans to be penalised
by sanctions against the
World Cup, and the grand
prix is likely to fall into the
same category. Putin arrives
minutes before the start to
be ushered into his personal
box and has awarded the
winners’ prizes.
Human rights groups are
only too familiar with F1’s
cavalier attitude to
dictatorships and have
criticised its association
with countries such as
Azerbaijan, Bahrain and
China. There was an outcry
before the first grand prix in
Mar 25 Australia, Melbourne
Apr 8 Bahrain, Sakhir
Apr 15 China, Shanghai
Apr 29 Azerbaijan, Baku
May 13 Spain, Barcelona
May 27 Monaco, Monte Carlo
Jun 10 Canada, Montreal
Jun 24 France, Le Castellet
Jul 1 Austria, Spielberg
Jul 8 Britain, Silverstone
Jul 22 Germany, Hockenheim
Jul 29 Hungary, Budapest
Aug 26 Belgium, Spa
Sep 2 Italy, Monza
Sep 16 Singapore, Marina Bay
Sep 30 Russia, Sochi
Oct 7 Japan, Suzuka
Oct 21 United States, Austin
Oct 28 Mexico, Mexico City
Nov 11 Brazil, Sao Paulo
Nov 25 Abu Dhabi, Yas Marina
Sochi, which came after
Russia’s moves into Ukraine
and the downing of a
Malaysian airliner with the
loss of 298 lives.
Kate Allen, director of
Amnesty International UK,
said: “In hosting F1, the
Russian authorities need to
understand their dismal
human rights record will
receive a lot of attention in
September. F1 fans heading
to Russia should be aware
that some of the rights they
take for granted in Britain
cannot be freely exercised
in Russia and . . . they may
face this themselves.”
Teams are contracted to
race wherever F1 decides or
face heavy fines or exclusion
from the championship.
There is little Russian
money in the sport after the
Marussia Manor team went
bust and only one driver,
Sergey Sirotkin, who is to
start his maiden season with
Williams. Ferrari are also
sponsored by Kaspersky
Lab, the controversial antivirus software business.
Bernie Ecclestone, the
former F1 chief executive
and an admirer of the
Russian president, tried to
stage a grand prix in
Moscow and St Petersburg,
Putin’s home city. But Sochi
was chosen after Russia
spent $40bn creating a
sports park for the 2014
Winter Olympics.
Youngsters bridge generation gap
Two 20-year-olds
upset established
stars to reach today’s
Indian Wells final
Barry Flatman
Tennis correspondent
The BNP Paribas Open at
Indian Wells is revered as the
most important male and
female tennis tournament
outside the four Grand Slam
events and the new
generation of the women’s
game is certainly making its
mark this year.
Two 20-year-old standard
bearers produced
phenomenal victories to
reach today’s final. First,
Daria Kasatkina, a Russian
talent with a game more
exciting than any of her
major-winning predecessors,
came from a set down to beat
Venus Williams 4-6 6-4 7-5.
Then Japan’s Naomi Osaka,
who is 44th in the WTA
rankings, annihilated world
No 1 Simona Halep 6-3 6-0.
“What does this mean? It
means that we, the
youngsters, are coming. And
very soon,” said Kasatkina.
Osaka was in a similar frame
of mind after her victory,
saying: “I feel like there is a
new generation and we’re
trying to push through.’’
Over the past two weeks in
California the pair have
together beaten six current or
former world No 1s. Osaka
proved too strong for Maria
Sharapova, Karolina Pliskova
and Halep, while Kasatkina
outplayed Caroline Wozniacki
and Angelique Kerber before
her win over Williams.
Kasatkina was a finalist at
last month’s Dubai Duty Free
Championships, losing to
world No3 Elina Svitolina,
while Osaka’s only previous
final experience came in
Tokyo 18 months ago, when
Wozniacki beat her. In the
past 12 months she has beaten
all four current Grand Slam
Osaka dominated Halep
until anxiety took hold. “I
was kind of nervous that
entire last game because it
kept going back and forth,”
said the Japanese player, who
has appointed Sacha Bajin,
former hitting partner to
Serena Williams and
Wozniacki, as a fully-fledged
head coach for the first time.
6Roger Federer has
experienced his best ever
start to the tennis year. After
17 successive victories, the
top seed goes into today’s
BNP Paribas Open final
targeting a sixth Indian Wells
title when he plays Juan
Martin del Potro.
Federer was not at his best
in the 5-7 6-4 6-4 win against
the unseeded Borna Coric.
Had the Croatian not missed a
relatively straightforward
backhand, he would have led
5-4 in the deciding set with
his own serve to come.
Federer snatched control
and won the concluding 11
points of the match before
admitting: “It was very
difficult for me and I won
simply by fighting.”
Del Potro, who is seeded
sixth, beat Milos Raonic 6-2
6-3 in 1hr 5min last night.
The Sunday Times March 18, 2018
Dawid Malan has
come a long way in 12
months and can’t wait
to face New Zealand,
writes Simon Wilde
Rising star: Dawid
Malan heads into a
Test series in New
Zealand as England’s
one unqualified
success from their
Ashes expedition
welve months ago, Dawid
Malan was scoring a century
in the annual North v South
series in Dubai, an audition
for aspiring ODI players, capping off a winter of white-ball
cricket that also took him to
the Bangladesh Premier
League (BPL) and Pakistan
Super League (PSL). He was
29 years old and Test cricket seemed to
have passed him by, another ageing cricketer exchanging dreams for dollars.
How dramatically things change. This
week, Malan heads into a Test series in
New Zealand as England’s one unqualified success from their Ashes expedition
and somebody sufficiently trusted that if
the batting line-up is reconfigured to
accommodate an extra bowler he could
move from No 5 to swim the treacherous
waters of No 3.
Malan views last winter as crucial to
what has happened to him since. “The
first time I came into the England squad
in 2016 [for a Twenty20 against Sri
Lanka] I didn’t play but felt anxious
around the team and doubted myself.
Then I went to the BPL and PSL, where
you’ve got 30-40,000 people watching.
In county cricket, you might get a full
house at Lord’s every now and again. And
I played the way I [normally] play. People
talk about these T20 tournaments being
bad for cricket but for a players’ development they’re massive.
“Nothing prepares you for the pressure of international cricket [but] to be an
overseas player in these tournaments the
owners have invested a lot of money and
want results, the coaches want results,
and it’s ruthless if you don’t score runs.
You get dropped. And that’s the same as
international cricket. That helped me
when I got into the England team.” It is
the reason Andrew Strauss is encouraging the country’s best talent to head to
the Twenty20 leagues.
There was nothing uncertain about
Malan’s first appearance in a national
shirt as he struck 78 from 44 balls in a
Twenty20 in Cardiff, and when, on the
back of that, head coach Trevor Bayliss
brought him into the Test team midway
through the series against South Africa he
was soon putting a high price on his
wicket. In the Ashes, he scored more runs
and faced more balls than anybody else
in the side.
Not that he was satisfied. “If I’m hard
on myself, I left at least 100 runs out
there. They were good pitches and there
were four or five times when I felt I was
getting on top and found a way to get out.
That was the big learning curve from
Perth, being 140 not out and trying something I hadn’t done before. You make a
mistake in Test cricket and the opposition pounce. Stick to your disciplines.
“Careers are not long and you’re
always a few knocks away from being
dropped. Alastair Cook at the MCG
showed that a hundred is not enough. It
was a good lesson for me, Rocky [Mark
Stoneman] and [ James] Vince, maybe Joe
Root as well. Get in, score big. My aim is to
score as many runs as I can and if it takes
me two days to score them it takes two
days. I know I’ve got the game to score
quickly if needed.”
Malan’s late development has its
advantages. He brings mature views and
a willingness to express them, which is
why Middlesex recently made him their
new captain. His thoughts on England’s
Test team are that they need to improve
at being front-runners.
“Don’t sit back and let things happen,”
he said. “There were times in the Ashes
when we weren’t aggressive enough in
our approach to keep Australia under the
pump. We let them dictate terms and
that’s when games change. If you’re on
top, make sure you put your foot on their
throat and keep it there.”
He concedes that had he been given an
earlier chance by England he probably
wouldn’t have been ready. He only
turned round his career after a woeful
year of championship cricket in 2013
when he mustered 387 runs at 21.5. He
went to Cape Town — his father is South
African and he spent much of his formative years there — and contacted
former South Africa opener Gary Kirsten, who had reopened his academy
after stepping down as India coach.
“I was in a strange place,” Malan
said. “I needed to do something different. Batting against club bowlers
in the nets wasn’t making me better. I did about 10 sessions with
Gary. He got me to change my
Team GB
for late
to hit
Fitzpatrick: the Team
GB skier has won
three medals so far
Flashpoint: Rabada confronts Smith after taking his wicket
Rabada’s fate
in the balance
Ill-tempered series
could be over for
South Africa’s
classy fast bowler
Simon Wilde
New Zealand v
Midnight, Sky
Sports Cricket
training, look at my scoring areas, be
tighter in defence. The things he helped
me with make up the foundations of my
game now.”
Kirsten remains a regular point of contact and the pair exchanged messages
during the Ashes. “After Perth, he sent
me a nice message saying something
along the lines of my going over to
England as an 18-year-old, and then waiting as long as I did for an opportunity in
international cricket, was a lesson to all
those trying to make it: to not give up.”
For the forthcoming Tests, Malan has
picked the brains of Middlesex teammate James Franklin, a former New Zealand Test left-arm seamer, about conditions and the new-ball partnership of
Trent Boult and Tim Southee. Malan
has only ever faced one ball from
Auckland will be
Malan’s third taste of
cricket, so he knows
how tricky the twilight
period can be, as well as the
vibrancy of the atmosphere
under lights. “I’m hoping to walk
out during the day-time,” he
said. “I’ve found it easier starting
during the day, then going through
the twilight. The fourth evening in Adelaide was one of the best, most intense
sessions of cricket I’ve been involved
with. The Aussies were throwing everything at us, the crowd was getting up, and
Pressure on skiers
to deliver on final
day of competition
in Pyeongchang
Rebecca Myers
The Winter Paralympics draw
to a close today but there are
hopes of further, last-minute
medals in the final hours of
competition for Team GB.
Great Britain have won five
medals so far, four silver and
one bronze, all taken by two
visually impaired teenagers
and their guides across
different alpine skiing
Ben Stokes is likely to play in the first
Test in Auckland on Thursday primarily
as a batsman, because of a back injury
he sustained during the one-day series
in New Zealand. Stokes’ batting looked
in good working order yesterday on
the final day of England’s game against
a local New Zealand XI at Seddon Park.
He stroked his way to 27 off 32 balls
before being caught by Glenn Phillips
off a miscued pull.
Without a win in 11 Tests away from
home, England are unlikely to be in the
mood for risk-taking and will want five
fully fit bowlers. Unless Stokes makes
we were edging our way back into the
game. Unfortunately I got out three overs
before stumps, or it might have been a
different game.
“I’d like to stay in the middle order to
establish myself a bit more before moving, but if the team needs me to bat No 3
I’ll do it. Hopefully I can be successful
there and help England win games. I’ll
bat wherever. It depends on the balance
of the side and who is scoring runs.”
While Malan has established himself in
England’s Test and Twenty20 teams, he
has yet to find a way into the ODI side,
even though 50-overs cricket is his
disciplines. Menna
Fitzpatrick has three medals
so far, two silver and one
bronze, with her guide
Jennifer Kehoe, and world
champion Millie Knight and
her guide Brett Wild have two
silvers. Both are 19 years old
and have 3-5% vision.
Skier Kelly Gallagher, who
became the first British
athlete to win a Winter
Paralympics gold medal
when she triumphed at Sochi
in 2014, has had a difficult
Games after recovering from
a serious crash last year that
saw her dislocate her elbow
and break several ribs. With
her guide Gary Smith she
finished eighth in the
women’s Super-G, the race in
which she was defending
champion, and fifth in the
giant slalom on Wednesday.
She said that although the
a remarkable recovery, James Vince,
who was out for only five yesterday,
will vacate No 3 and the position will
be filled by Joe Root, who scored a
century off 135 balls, or Dawid Malan.
Stokes and Jonny Bairstow would
then occupy five and six. The choice of
fourth seamer rests between Craig
Overton and Mark Wood, both of
whom had extensive bowls over the
past few days. Overton, who batted
briefly yesterday, is favourite given the
concerns over Wood’s fitness and
Overton having already experienced a
day-night Test in Adelaide.
strongest suit. “I’d love to play all three
formats. It is challenging changing formats but the way I play doesn’t change in
terms of technique. I just have different
game-plans and take different risks.
“It’s a tough [ODI] team to get into at
the moment. Every base is covered. You
just want to know that if you’re performing you can find a way in. Jonny Bairstow
sat on the bench for three years but has
come in and been even more consistent
than the players that were playing before.
It shows that if people get the opportunity they can make you a better team.” He
remains a man on a mission.
race “didn’t quite go to plan”,
she had felt “enjoyment and
satisfaction” at making it
through the start gate.
All three pairs of skiers will
compete today in the
women’s slalom. Unless they
can win more medals, Team
GB will miss their target
medal haul of seven. They
won six medals at Sochi, one
gold, three silvers and two
Ahead of the Games, chef
de mission Penny Briscoe had
conceded that the target was
“really tough” but added that
Team GB should not be
daunted, saying: “Investment
is linked to performance.”
About £3.9m of lottery and
government funding was
invested in the Winter
Paralympic sports, dwarfing
the £750,000 provided for
the alpine skiers and
wheelchair curling teams for
the Sochi cycle.
The British wheelchair
curling team, who took
bronze at Sochi, had a
disappointing end to their
medal hopes earlier this week
when they lost 9-3 to China.
They had a strong start to
their campaign, beating
world champions Norway 5-2
in their opening match, but
they finished sixth, failing to
reach the semi-finals. Skipper
Aileen Neilson, who was part
of the bronze medal team at
Sochi said: “We’re all gutted
but we have to learn from it.
Our story is one of ups and
downs. We’ve been in this
position before and bounced
back, we’re very resilient so
we’ll learn from this and
hopefully we’ll come back
fighting stronger.”
This was the first
South Africa and Australia
appear to be putting as
much energy into their
disciplinary skirmishes as
the cricket in a taut Test
series which resumes in
Cape Town this week. The
outcome on the pitch could
rest on the success — or
otherwise — of Kagiso
Rabada’s appeal against a
two-match ban which will
rule him out of the final two
contests if it is upheld.
Rabada’s hearing is due to
be heard tomorrow and
Michael Heron, the ICC’s
judicial commissioner, has
just 48 hours to decide
whether or not the ban
should stand. If he is
cleared, Rabada will be free
to play in the third Test on
Thursday. Given his starring
role in South Africa’s serieslevelling victory in Port
Elizabeth, this could be vital
to their future chances.
Some terrific cricket has
been unnecessarily
overshadowed by
disciplinary shenanigans
which highlight a
fundamental inability on
the part of umpires and
match officials to maintain
law and order. Convincing
an ICC commissioner or
match referee has become
the overwhelming priority,
as neither side wants to lose
a player to suspension,
especially one of Rabada’s
Two South Africans and
three Australians have been
punished so far, with
Australia’s vice-captain
David Warner escaping a
suspension after a pavilion
fracas with Quinton de Kock
during the first Test in
Dale Steyn, who might
have been a handy
substitute for Rabada given
his stellar Test record, has
already ruled himself out,
saying that he fears failing
his team if his long-standing
ankle problem flares up
again in the middle of a
“I cannot let my
teammates down, or my
country. It has happened a
couple of times now,” he
said, before adding that he
hoped to be available for the
final Test in Johannesburg.
This leaves Morne Morkel
as the likeliest replacement
should one be needed, but
Morkel made little impact
on the first Test before
missing the second. It is
clear that South Africa need
Rabada back in the side.
His appeal is set to
depend on the accusation
that Steve Smith, whom
Rabada is accused of
shoulder-barging after he
had dismissed the Australia
captain, was partially to
blame for the incident by
not doing more to avoid
Paralympics at which Great
Britain had representation in
snowboarding, with James
Barnes-Miller, Owen Pick and
Ben Moore competing across
the men’s banked slalom and
snowboard cross. Moore had
the best finish of the three,
ending seventh in the banked
slalom. Pick, who was ninth
after falling on his second
run, said he would aim for
Beijing 2022: “I’m glad we’ve
shown Britain we can do this.
I’m just sad we couldn’t do
better,” he added.
Scott Meenagh, the first
British athlete to compete in
the Paralympic Nordic skiing
disciplines for two decades,
finished 18th and 14th in his
races. Nordic skier James
Whitley, who was just 16
when he competed at Sochi,
managed two top-10 finishes,
while Chris Lloyd, competing
contact between the
players. South Africa are
expected to argue that
Smith’s role in the incident
was also “inappropriate and
deliberate”, insofar as he
knew he was walking into
Rabada’s line and could
have changed path. Smith
was heading up the pitch to
consult his batting partner
after been given out lbw.
“I believe this is an
important case for all South
Africans and has
implications for our shared
project of nation-building,”
said Dali Mpofu, a highprofile South African
advocate who is
representing Rabada. “We
should all wish Kagiso luck
for Monday.”
Far from a 10-day gap
between second and third
Tests allowing the
protagonists to cool down,
the Rabada hearing is likely
to keep the atmosphere at
fever pitch.
Rabada has conceded
that he needs to learn to rein
himself in but has also
maintained that he did not
feel any contact and would
not have contested the
charge if he had. Faf du
Former England captain
Kevin Pietersen has
announced his retirement.
‘Boots up! Feet up!
Family, animals, golf...!
HOME,’ wrote the South
Africa-born batsman, 37,
on social media. ‘Time to
move on.’ He played 104
Tests for England from
2005, and added: ‘Ciao,
cricket! I love this game!’
Plessis, the South Africa
captain, has pleaded for
leniency on the grounds
that when Rabada gets big
wickets “that’s celebration,
energy; he shows
passion... he’s got to show
that or we might as well just
put a bowling machine out
there, and a robot to bat.”
Vernon Philander,
Rabada’s fellow fast bowler,
appeared to post a tweet in
support of his colleague
only for him to claim his
account had been hacked
and the tweet was not his.
The tweet suggested that
Smith — who has had a
relatively quiet series by his
own high standards — had
faked the bump to his
shoulder, close to the
argument that Rabada’s
defence is now putting
Even if Rabada does miss
the rest of the series,
Australia need to find ways
to counter AB de Villiers,
whose brilliant century
turned the Port Elizabeth
Test South Africa’s way.
Their bowlers have so far
shown little idea about how
they can keep him quiet.
South Africa v Australia
8.30am Sky Sports Cricket
in the men’s skiing at his first
Paralympics, finished 20th
and 25th.
The USA look sure to finish
top of the table, with 35
medals so far, including 12
golds, followed by the Neutral
Paralympic Athletes (from
Russia) and Canada, both
with 24 medals. GB are 21st in
the medals table.
The closing ceremony will
take place today, and it is
understood the International
Paralympic Committee will
be using the occasion to pay
tribute to Professor Stephen
Hawking, who died on
Wednesday aged 76.
A spokesman for the IPC
said: “Stephen Hawking
showed that, despite the fact
he had motor neurone
disease, he could still excel in
his field of work. He is an
inspiration for all of us.”
The Sunday Times March 18, 2018
Premier League
Ibe 77, Stanislas 89
HT: 0-0 Att: 23,918
HT: 0-1 Att: 23,918
Salah 4, 43, 77, 85
Firmino 49
HT: 2-0 Att: 53,287
Choupo-Moting 77
HT: 0-0 Att: 30,022
Sent off: Adam (Stoke) 30
Rodriguez 49
Tomkins 23
Milivojevic 68 (pen)
Tosun 69, 84
Leading goalscorers
28: Salah (Liverpool). 24: Kane (Tottenham).
21: Aguero (Man City). 15: Sterling (Man City).
14: Firmino (Liverpool); Lukaku (Man Utd);
Vardy (Leicester). 12: Son (Tottenham)
West Ham
6 Arsenal
West Brom
30 17 5 8 52 27
5 Chelsea
7: Grigg (Wigan). 6: Henderson (Rochdale).
5: Lukaku (Man Utd); Marriott (Peterborough);
Stockley (Exeter); Lukaku (Man Utd). 4: Doidge
(Forest Green); Godden (Stevenage); Iheanacho
(Leicester); Kane (Tottenham); Midson
(Leatherhead); Rowe (Fylde); Rowe (Doncaster);
Stead (Notts Co)
15 8 3 4 28 16 +34 61
15 10 2 3 26 11
15 7 3 5 26 16 +25 56
30 14 6 10 55 41
15 11 2 2 39 17
15 3 4 8 16 24 +14 48
7 Burnley
30 11 10 9 27 26
15 6 4 5 12 12
15 5 6 4 15 14
+1 43
Crystal Palace
8 Leicester
30 10 10 10 45 43
15 6 5 4 21 17
15 4 5 6 24 26
+2 40
9 Everton
Man City
Man Utd
31 11 7 13 37 50
15 9 2 4 25 18
16 2 5 9 12 32 -13 40
10 Bournemouth 31 9 9 13 37 49
16 6 4 6 23 26
15 3 5 7 14 23 -12 36
11 Watford
31 10 6 15 39 55
15 6 4 5 22 26
16 4 2 10 17 29 -16 36
12 Brighton
30 8 10 12 28 40 15 6 6 3 21 21
15 2 4 9 7 19
-12 34
13 Newcastle 30 8 8 14 30 40 15 5 4 6 15 15
15 3 4 8 15 25 -10 32
14 Swansea
Newcastle Utd
30 8 7 15 25 42
15 6 2 7 15 19
15 2 5 8 10 23 -17 31
15 Huddersfield 31 8 7 16 25 52
16 5 5 6 15 22
15 3 2 10 10 30 -27 31
Gregory 24
Marshall 63
HT: 0-1 Att: 13,041
Barnsley: Townsend, Yiadom, Jackson, Lindsay
(Isgrove 81), Pinillos, Mallan (Moncur 46), Gardner,
Potts (Bradshaw 66), Thiam, Moore, McBurnie.
Subs not used: Cavare, Mahoney, Pearson, Walton
Millwall: Archer, Romeo, Hutchinson, Cooper,
Meredith, Wallace, Williams, Saville, Marshall
(Onyedinma 79), Morison (Cahill 90), Gregory
(Shackell 75). Subs not used: Martin, Tunnicliffe,
Elliott, O’Brien
Referee: P Bankes (Merseyside)
Jota 12, 59
Adams 48
HT: 1-0 Att: 22,970
Birmingham: Stockdale, Harding, Morrison, Dean,
Colin, Jota, Gardner (N’Doye 28), Kieftenbeld,
Maghoma (Boga 76), Adams, Jutkiewicz (Davis 83).
Subs not used: Roberts, Lowe, Kuszczak, Seddon.
Booked: Harding
Hull: McGregor, Aina, Dawson, Mazuch, Clark, Larsson,
Henriksen, Bowen, Irvine (Campbell 57), Wilson
(Grosicki 76), Hernandez (Toral 73). Subs not used:
Meyler, Marshall, Tomori, Hector
Referee: T Harrington (Cleveland)
Le Fondre 19
HT: 1-0 Att: 19,304
Bolton: Alnwick, Flanagan, Burke, Beevers, Andrew
Taylor, Henry, Osede, Ameobi, Pratley (Vela 27),
Buckley (Robinson 81), Le Fondre. Subs not used:
Noone, Wilbraham, Wheater, Howard, Clough. Booked:
Aston Villa: Johnstone, Elmohamady, Chester, Terry,
Bree, Bjarnason, Snodgrass (Davis 82), Hourihane
(Hepburn-Murphy 54), Grealish, Adomah (Hogan 72),
Grabban. Subs not used: Lansbury, Jedinak, Onomah,
Bunn. Booked: Chester, Snodgrass
Referee: R Jones (Merseyside)
MacLeod 34
Traore 21
HT: 1-1 Att: 11,134
Sent off: Sawyers (Brentford) 90+1
Brentford: Bentley, Dalsgaard, Egan, Mepham, Clarke,
Woods, Mokotjo (Judge 84), Jozefzoon, Macleod
(Sawyers 75), Watkins (Canos 67), Maupay. Subs not
used: Yennaris, Marcondes, Daniels, Barbet. Booked:
Woods, Sawyers, Mepham
Middlesbrough: Randolph, Shotton, Ayala (Fry 60),
31 7 9 15 30 48
15 4 5 6 18 23
16 3 4 9 12 25 -18 30
17 West Ham
30 7 9 14 36 57
14 5 4 5 16 20
16 2 5 9 20 37 -21 30
18 Southampton 30 5 13 12 29 44 16 3 7 6 16 21
14 2 6 6 13 23 -15 28
Match postponed due to a frozen pitch
Aneke 11, 57 (both pens)
G Miller 76
HT: 1-0 Att: 9,247
MK Dons: Nicholls, Wootton, Ward, Lewington,
B Williams, Brittain, Upson, Muirhead, Pawlett
(McGrandles 71), Sow (Thomas-Asante 54),
Aneke (Ebanks-Landell 84). Subs not used:
Cisse, Sietsma, Agard, Ugbo. Booked: Aneke,
Bury: Ripley, Edwards (Maguire 58), Cameron,
Clarke, Leigh, O'Shea, Ince (Danns 46), Bunn
(Dawson 46), Mayor, Miller, Hanson. Subs not
used: Murphy, Tutte, Thompson, Styles.
Booked: Clarke, Cameron, Dawson
Referee: G Ward (Surrey)
16 5 4 7 17 25
15 1 5 9 12 33 -29 27
West Brom
15 2 7 6 16 24
16 1 4 11 8 25 -25 20
West Ham
Djuric 64
HT: 0-0 Att: 21,509
Bristol C: Fielding, Pisano, Wright, Magnusson
(Hegeler 71), Kelly, Brownhill, Pack, Smith, Paterson
(O’Neil 83), Reid, Diedhiou (Djuric 56). Subs not used:
Walsh, Wollacott, Diony, Kent. Booked: Smith
Ipswich: Bialkowski, Spence, Carter-Vickers,
Chambers, Webster, Knudsen, Ward (Celina 83),
Skuse, Connolly, Sears (Morris 90), Waghorn. Subs
not used: Hyam, Crowe, Gleeson, Drinan, Kenlock.
Booked: Knudsen
Referee: D England (South Yorkshire)
Cairney 32
Luongo 45+3
Piazon 45+3
Wszolek 81
HT: 2-1 Att: 23,347
Fulham: Bettinelli, Fredericks, Odoi, Ream, Targett,
Cairney (Rui Fonte 79), McDonald, Johansen, Piazon
(Ayite 68), Mitrovic, Ryan Sessegnon (Ojo 79). Subs
not used: Norwood, Christie, Button, Kamara.
Booked: Targett, Mitrovic
QPR: Smithies, Furlong, Onuoha, Lynch, Bidwell,
Manning (Cousins 74), Luongo, Freeman, Wszolek, Eze
(Smyth 69), Smith (Washington 69). Subs not used:
Ingram, Baptiste, Perch, Samuel. Booked: Luongo,
Cousins, Lynch
Referee: C Kavanagh (Lancashire)
Grot 86
Nuhiu 71, 90+1
HT: 0-0 Att: 31,638
Leeds Utd: Peacock-Farrell, Berardi, Jansson,
Pennington, Pearce (Grot 77), Forshaw, O’Kane
(Phillips 78), Alioski, Hernandez, Dallas, Ekuban
(Lasogga 70). Subs not used: Anita, Wiedwald, Sacko,
Ronaldo Vieira
Sheff Wed: Wildsmith, Hunt, Frederico Venancio,
Lees, Pudil, Boyd, Pelupessy (Fox 90), Hutchinson
(Bannan 66), Reach, Lucas Joao, Nuhiu.
Subs not used: Jones, Rhodes, Butterfield, Palmer,
Dawson. Booked: Nuhiu, Hutchinson, Reach,
Referee: K Stroud (Hampshire)
Vrancic 14
Hanley 26, Maddison 37 (pen)
HT: 3-1 Att: 25,098
Kelly 32
Smith 51
Smith 17, Ball 62, Towell 81
Norwich: Gunn, Ivo Pinto, Hanley, Klose, Lewis, Reed,
Vrancic, Hernandez (Zimmermann 90), Maddison,
Murphy (Hoolahan 90), Srbeny (Watkins 90). Subs not
used: Husband, Oliveira, Edwards, McGovern.
Booked: Hernandez, Hanley
Reading: Jaakkola, Gunter, Tiago Ilori, Moore, Blackett,
Aluko (Swift 52), Kelly (van den Berg 62), Clement,
Edwards (Kermorgant 82), Smith, Barrow. Subs not
used: Mannone, Evans, Bacuna, Holmes. Booked:
Jaakkola, Clement, Barrow, Blackett, Kermorgant.
Referee: O Langford (W Midlands)
HT: 0-0 Att: 28,095
Sheff Utd: Blackman, Leonard (Holmes 71), Stearman,
O’Connell, Baldock, Lee Evans, Duffy (Donaldson 81),
Fleck, Stevens, Clarke, Sharp (Brooks 60). Subs not
used: Moore, Lundstram, Wright, Lafferty. Booked:
Nottm Forest: Pantilimon, Darikwa, Tobias Figueiredo,
Fox, Osborn, Cash, Colback, Watson, Dowell (Lolley
62), Murphy (Tomlin 74), Brereton. Subs not used:
Mancienne, Guedioura, Kapino, Worrall. Booked: Fox,
Watson, Colback
Referee: P Tierney (Lancashire)
Maguire 50
C Robinson 63
HT: 0-0 Att: 28,543
Sent off: Clarke-Salter (Sunderland) 60
Sunderland: Camp, Matthews, Kone, O’Shea, ClarkeSalter, Oviedo, Honeyman (LuaLua 69), Cattermole,
Ejaria (McNair 76), Asoro, Maja (Fletcher 64). Subs not
used: McManaman, McGeady, Robson, Max Stryjek.
Booked: Clarke-Salter
Preston: Maxwell, Fisher, Huntington, Davies, Earl,
Pearson, Gallagher (Johnson 72), Barkhuizen (Bodin
86), Browne, Robinson (Harrop 86), Sean Maguire.
Subs not used: Clarke, Woods, Moult, Hudson.
Booked: Earl.
Referee: D Bond (Lancashire)
Costa 15, Afobe 41, 56
Dyer 44
HT: 2-1 Att: 29,977
Wolves: Ruddy, Bennett, Coady, Boly, Doherty, Saiss,
Neves (N’Diaye 90), Douglas, Helder Costa, Afobe (Leo
Bonatini 82), Ivan Cavaleiro (Gibbs-White 76). Subs
not used: Batth, Mir, Roderick Miranda, Norris
Burton Alb: Bywater, Flanagan, Naylor, Buxton,
McFadzean (Varney 46), McCrory, Sordell (Sbarra 46),
Davenport, Akpan, Dyer, Boyce (Egert 82). Subs not
used: Murphy, Bent, Campbell, Barker. Booked: Sbarra
Referee: G Eltringham (Tyne & Wear)
HT: 0-1 Att: 5,882
Northampton: O'Donnell, Moloney, Taylor,
Turnbull, Bunney, O'Toole (van Veen 70),
Grimes, Hoskins (Ariyibi 59), Hildeberto,
Powell, Luckassen (Mathis 79). Subs not used:
Cornell, Barnett, Shaun McWilliams, Facey.
Booked: van Veen
Rotherham: Rodak, Emmanuel, Vaulks, Ajayi,
Mattock (Ihiekwe 67), Taylor (Forde 66),
Palmer, Towell, Williams, Ball (Newell 84),
Smith. Subs not used: Wood, Price, Yates,
Lavery. Booked: Taylor, Ajayi, Mattock
Referee: B Toner (Lancashire)
Pitman 29, 42
HT: 0-2 Att: 4,306
Oldham: Placide, Dummigan, Wilson, Bryan,
Moimbe (Nazon 80), Jack Byrne, Gardner, Fane,
McLaughlin (McEleney 56), Doyle, Davies
(Holloway 59). Subs not used: de la Paz, Sam
Edmundson, Pringle, Hunt
Portsmouth: McGee, Walkes, Whatmough,
Clarke, Haunstrup, Close, Donohue, Lowe,
Ronan, Naismith, Pitman. Subs not used:
Burgess, Kennedy, Chaplin, Deslandes, May,
Bass, Widdrington. Booked: Clarke, Donohue,
Referee: S Stockbridge (Tyne & Wear)
Dickie 6, Henry 61
Marriott 62
HT: 1-0 Att: 6,804
Sent off: Baldwin (Peterborough) 90+3
Oxford Utd: Eastwood, Kane, Dickie,
Mousinho, Smith-Brown, Henry, Ledson,
Brannagan, Mowatt (Ricardinho 88), Obika (Van
Kessel 46), Thomas (Napa 69). Subs not used:
Martin, Shearer, Ruffels, Buckley-Rickett.
Booked: Ledson
Peterborough: Bond, Shephard, Baldwin,
Taylor, Hughes, Da Silva Lopes, Doughty,
Anderson (Bogle 38), Ward (Forrester 46),
Maddison, Marriott, Forrester (Lloyd 54). Subs
not used: Tafazolli, Morias, O'Malley, Cooper.
Booked: Baldwin, Maddison
Referee: R Lewis (Shropshire)
Ness 34, 48
Lines 12
Carey 85 (pen)
Harrison 36
HT: 1-2 Att: 13,466
Plymouth: Matthews, Threlkeld, Vyner,
Songo'o, Sawyer, Makasi (Paton 90), Fox,
Ness, Carey, Taylor, Lameiras (Taylor-Sinclair
90). Subs not used: Ainsworth, Grant,
Letheren, Fletcher, Sangster. Booked: Carey,
Bristol Rov: Slocombe, Partington (Bola 71),
Lockyer, Craig, James Clarke, Ollie Clarke
(Nichols 87), Lines, Sinclair, Sercombe,
Harrison (Gaffney 87), Bennett. Subs not used:
Sweeney, Broadbent, Smith, Mensah. Booked:
Partington, Lockyer, Bennett
Referee: J Brooks (Leics)
Cannon 25
Oshilaja 7
HT: 1-1 Att: 2,667
Rochdale: Lillis, McGahey, McNulty, Delaney,
Wiseman, Inman (Davies 74), Camps, Cannon
(Kitching 74), Done, Humphrys, Henderson.
Subs not used: Rathbone, Moore, Hart,
Alexandru Dobre, Gillam. Booked: Henderson
AFC Wimbledon: Long, Fuller, Nightingale,
Oshilaja, Meades, Trotter, Soares, Abdou
(Forrester 63), Francomb, Pigott (Barcham 63),
Taylor. Subs not used: Robinson, Parrett,
Sibbick, Kaja, McDonnell
Referee: S Oldham (Lancashire)
Morris 8
Nolan 51
Payne 59 (pen)
HT: 1-0 Att: 3,824
Scunthorpe: Gilks, Bishop (Clarke 68),
McArdle, Burgess, Wallace, Holmes (Adelakun
68), Ojo, Yates, Morris, Toney (Wootton 78),
Hopper. Subs not used: Townsend, Goode,
McGeehan, Watson. Booked: McArdle, Toney
Shrewsbury: Henderson, Hendrie, Nsiala,
Sadler, Beckles, Godfrey (Payne 32), Whalley,
Nolan, Ogogo, Rodman, Carlton Morris (JohnLewis 87). Subs not used: Lowe, Thomas,
MacGillivray, Bryn Morris, Jones. Booked:
Nsiala, Carlton Morris, Nolan
Referee: M Salisbury (Lancashire)
FA Trophy semi-finals first leg
Southern Amateur League
Third Division: Weirside 1 Cambridge Heath 3
+25 69
Gudger 86
HT: 0-0 Att: 1,250
Hanlan 15 (pen), Dennis 51, 82
HT: 1-2 Att: 1,254
19 9 3 7 25 19
+24 69
Vanarama National League
19 7 9 3 26 20
+21 62
Bond 46, 55
Tunnicliffe (og) 39
Hardy 77
Cassidy 88, Rodney 90+3
HT: 0-1 Att: 1,753
Balanta 45, Carvalho 79
Norwood 66
HT: 1-0 Att: 801
HT: 0-0 Att: 1,612
Marsh-Brown 2, 36
HT: 2-0 Att: 837
HT: 0-0 Att: 2,013
Odejayi 13
Tomlinson 68
HT: 1-0 Att: 1,106
Sent off: Rooney (Guiseley) 41
L James 49
HT: 0-0 Att: 1,030
Sent off: Gomis (Barrow) 79
Lewis 75
HT: 0-0 Att: 2,065
Yussuf 82
Williams 41 (pen)
HT: 0-1 Att: 781
Staunton 12, Jones 80
Staunton (og) 33, Kelly 60
HT: 1-1 Att: 1,458
P W D L F A GD Pts
37 21 8 8 51 39 12
Sutton Utd
38 20 9 9 57 40 17 69
Boreham Wood
38 17 14 7 53 35 18 65
38 18 10 10 62 39 23 64
38 16 16 6 45 30 15 64
38 17 13 8 58 45 13 64
Dover Ath
38 17 12 9 52 33 19 63
AFC Fylde
38 16 11 11 71 49 22 59
Ebbsfleet Utd
37 14 14 9 48 42 6 56
35 15 10 10 58 42 16 55
Dagenham & R
37 14 9 14 55 51 4
36 11 15 10 51 39 12 48
Maidenhead Utd
38 12 12 14 51 57 -6 48
37 10 16 11 53 58 -5 46
Halifax Tn
38 11 13 14 42 49 -7 46
Maidstone Utd
37 11 12 14 44 55 -11 45
Leyton Orient
38 11 11 16 43 50 -7 44
38 12 8 18 47 60 -13 44
35 9 12 14 42 48 -6 39
37 9 12 16 42 55 -13 39
Solihull Moors
37 9 9 19 38 53 -15 36
38 7 10 21 34 62 -28 31
38 6 13 19 32 61 -29 31
37 5 11 21 32 69 -37 26
GD Pts
1 Wolves
38 25 7 6 69 33
19 14 3 2 41 16
19 11 4 4 28 17
+36 82
2 Cardiff
37 23 7 7 58 31
19 14 3 2 35 13
18 9 4 5 23 18
+27 76
3 Fulham
38 19 12 7 66 41
19 10 7 2 34 15
19 9 5 5 32 26
4 Aston Villa
38 20 9 9 61 37
19 11 6 2 36 18
5 Derby
37 16 14 7 55 34
18 9 5 4 29 14
6 Middlesbrough 38 18 8 12 54 36
19 11 3 5 26 14
19 7 5 7 28 22
+18 62
7 Bristol C
38 16 13 9 54 42
19 10 5 4 31 18
19 6 8 5 23 24
+12 61
8 Preston
38 15 15 8 48 37
19 7 7 5 22 19
19 8 8 3 26 18
+11 60
9 Sheff Utd
38 18 6 14 51 43
19 11 3 5 29 16
19 7 3 9 22 27
+8 60
10 Millwall
38 15 13 10 46 37
19 9 7 3 28 18
19 6 6 7 18 19
+9 58
11 Brentford
38 14 12 12 54 46
19 7 9 3 32 21
19 7 3 9 22 25
+8 54
12 Ipswich
38 15 7 16 47 48
19 8 4 7 24 19
19 7 3 9 23 29
-3 52
13 Norwich
38 13 13 12 41 44
19 6 8 5 20 19
19 7 5 7 21 25
14 Leeds Utd
38 14 8 16 50 53
19 7 5 7 25 24
19 7 3 9 25 29
-3 50
15 QPR
38 12 11 15 45 55
19 9 5 5 26 25
19 3 6 10 19 30
-10 47
16 Nottm Forest
38 13 7 18 43 54
19 8 2 9 20 25
19 5 5 9 23 29
-11 46
17 Sheff Wed
38 9 14 15 41 52
19 5 7 7 25 28
19 4 7 8 16 24
-11 41
18 Hull
38 9 12 17 53 59
19 6 7 6 37 29
19 3 5 11 16 30
-6 39
19 Bolton
38 9 12 17 33 56
19 8 4 7 22 24
19 1 8 10 11 32
-23 39
20 Reading
38 8 12 18 44 57
19 3 7 9 21 29
19 5 5 9 23 28
-13 36
21 Barnsley
38 7 12 19 37 56
19 3 7 9 16 26
19 4 5 10 21 30
-19 33
22 Birmingham
38 9 6 23 28 57
19 7 2 10 14 21
19 2 4 13 14 36
-29 33
23 Burton Alb
38 7 9 22 27 67
19 2 4 13 13 36
19 5 5 9 14 31
-40 30
24 Sunderland
38 5 13 20 38 68
19 2 6 11 17 33
19 3 7 9 21 35
-30 28
Leading goalscorers: 17: Reid (Bristol C); Vydra (Derby). 16: Grabban (Aston Villa). 15: Clarke (Sheff Utd).
14: Adomah (Aston Villa); K Sessegnon (Fulham). 13: Bowen (Hull); Maddison (Norwich); Jota (Wolves).
12: Assombalonga (Middlesbrough); Bonatini (Wolves); Sharp (Sheff Utd); Waghorn (Ipswich). 10: Diedhiou
(Bristol C); Garner (Ipswich); Hooper (Sheff Wed); Lasogga (Leeds Utd); Madine (Cardiff); Watkins
(Brentford). 9: Bamford (Middlesbrough); Barrow (Reading); Dowell (Nottm Forest); Gregory (Millwall);
Hourihane (Aston Villa); Maguire (Preston); Maupay (Brentford); Roofe (Leeds Utd); Saville (Millwall)
GD Pts
1 Blackburn
37 22 10 5 70 35
19 11 6 2 38 18
18 11 4 3 32 17
+35 76
2 Shrewsbury
36 22 8 6 49 27
17 11 3 3 24 10
19 11 5 3 25 17
+22 74
3 Wigan
34 21 8 5 63 23
18 10 6 2 27 9
16 11 2 3 36 14
+40 71
4 Rotherham
37 20 5 12 63 43
19 12 2 5 38 20
18 8 3 7 25 23
+20 65
5 Scunthorpe
38 15 13 10 55 46
19 7 6 6 23 21
19 8 7 4 32 25
+9 58
6 Plymouth
37 16 9 12 47 45
19 10 2 7 29 28
18 6 7 5 18 17
+2 57
7 Peterborough
37 15 11 11 59 47
19 10 3 6 32 24
18 5 8 5 27 23
+12 56
8 Portsmouth
37 16 4 17 45 47
19 9 3 7 26 19
18 7 1 10 19 28
-2 52
Ikpeazu 73
Norris 16
Richards 62, 84 (pen)
HT: 0-1 Att: 5,123
Cambridge Utd: Forde, Halliday, Taft, Taylor, Dunk,
Deegan, O'Neil (Ibehre 72), Waters, Maris (Amoo 58),
Jevani Brown, Ikpeazu. Subs not used: Carroll, Legge,
Mitov, Elito, Lewis
Swindon: Moore, Purkiss, Robertson, Menayese,
Hussey (McGivern 78), Mullin (Gordon 86), Dunne,
Elsnik, Taylor, Norris (Woolery 59), Richards. Subs not
used: Knoyle, Twine, Anderson, Henry
Referee: L Swabey (Devon)
Bennett 38
Ahearne-Grant 56, 81
Hope 47
HT: 1-0 Att: 4,097
Carlisle: Bonham, Liddle, Ellis, Hill, Parkes, Lambe,
Devitt (Joyce 64), Jones, Hope, Bennett (O'Sullivan 70),
Nadesan (Twardek 77). Subs not used: Grainger, Gray,
Brown, Stockton. Booked: Hill, Parkes, Hope
Crawley Tn: Morris, Young, McNerney, Connolly,
Evina, Bulman, Payne (Tajbakhsh 70), Ahearne-Grant,
Smith, Boldewijn, Randall (Camara 54). Subs not
used: Cox, Mersin, Djalo, Lelan, Sanoh. Booked:
Referee: M Coy (Co Durham)
Att: 1,250
Peniket 1, Johnson 35
Shinnie 35
HT: 1-0 Att: 15,208
Lafferty 17, Naismith 21, Souttar 44
HT: 3-0 Att: 17,179
K Boyd 54
HT: 0-0 Att: 49,396
Lindsay 23, Davies 76
Imrie 49 (pen), Ogboe 52
HT: 1-0 Att: 3,586
Played Friday
Kane 83
Ambrose Emuobo 2
HT: 0-1 Att: 3,652
Sent off: Marciano (Hibernian) 14
P W D L F A GD Pts
29 20 7 2 59 20 39 67
31 18 4 9 61 36 25 58
30 17 5 8 44 33 11 56
30 14 10 6 43 33 10 52
30 12 10 8 40 38 2 46
31 10 12 9 32 29 3 42
29 10 5 14 34 39 -5 35
St Johnstone
30 9 7 14 30 43 -13 34
28 8 6 14 40 50 -10 30
30 8 4 18 30 48 -18 28
30 6 7 17 26 50 -24 25
Ross Co
30 5 7 18 33 53 -20 22
Ladbrokes Scottish Championship
Brechin 1 Dumbarton 3; Dundee Utd 1 Inverness CT 1;
Dunfermline 0 Morton 0; Livingston 0 Falkirk 0;
Queen of South 1 St Mirren 3. Leading standings: 1 St
Mirren 28-63; 2 Livingston 28-51; 3 Dundee Utd 25-44
League One
Albion 1 Arbroath 2; Alloa 2 Airdrieonians 2; Forfar 0
Ayr 2; Stranraer 2 Queen’s Park 3. Leading standings:
1 Ayr 29-61; 2 Raith 29-58; 3 Arbroath 29-49
League Two
Annan 1 Clyde 1; Cowdenbeath 3 Elgin 1; Edinburgh
C 2 Stirling Alb 2; Montrose 3 Peterhead 2. Leading
standings: 1 Montrose 29-61; 2 Peterhead 30-58; 3
Stirling Alb 28-48
Press & Journal Highland League
Cove 1 Wick 1; Forres 1 Buckie 0; Inverurie 9
Lossiemouth 1; Nairn 1 Formartine 2; Turriff 1
Clachnacuddin 0
Ferrari Packaging Lowland League
Civil Service 0 East Kilbride 3; East Stirling 2 Vale of
Leithen 1; Edinburgh Univ 1 Gala Fairydean 0; Hawick
Royal Albert 1 Edusport 1; Stirling Univ 2 Dalbeattie 4
Danske Bank Premiership
Ards 1 Coleraine 3; Ballymena 1 Warrenpoint 3;
Carrick 0 Cliftonville 1; Crusaders 3 Dungannon 0;
Glenavon 0 Ballinamallard 0; Linfield 1 Glentoran 1
Bluefin Northern Ireland League
Boston 4 FC United of Manchester 4; Darlington 6
North Ferriby 0; Gainsborough 2 Stockport 3;
Leamington 1 Nuneaton 0; Salford 3 Spennymoor 2;
Tamworth 1 Harrogate 1. Leading standings: 1
Salford 33-71; 2 Harrogate 33-69; 3 Brackley 32-64
First Division: Institute 1 H&W 2; Knockbreda 3
Larne 3; Lurgan 1 Dergview 4; PSNI 3 Limavady 0
9 Charlton
36 14 10 12 44 46
19 8 6 5 25 22
17 6 4 7 19 24
-2 52
10 Bristol Rov
37 15 5 17 53 56
18 10 2 6 32 25
19 5 3 11 21 31
-3 50
11 Bradford C
35 15 5 15 48 52
17 6 2 9 21 28
18 9 3 6 27 24
-4 50
12 Gillingham
36 12 13 11 42 40
17 4 9 4 20 18
19 8 4 7 22 22
+2 49
13 Southend
37 12 11 14 43 55
19 9 6 4 28 21
18 3 5 10 15 34
-12 47
14 Blackpool
37 11 13 13 44 48
18 6 7 5 25 25
19 5 6 8 19 23
-4 46
15 Oxford Utd
36 12 9 15 52 54
18 7 4 7 29 29
18 5 5 8 23 25
-2 45
16 Walsall
37 11 11 15 47 54
18 7 6 5 26 24
19 4 5 10 21 30
-7 44
17 Doncaster
36 10 13 13 43 44
17 6 7 4 25 19
19 4 6 9 18 25
-1 43
18 AFC Wimbledon 37 11 9 17 37 48
18 7 3 8 19 24
19 4 6 9 18 24
-11 42
19 Oldham
36 10 10 16 50 62
18 7 3 8 27 27
18 3 7 8 23 35
-12 40
20 Fleetwood Tn
36 10 9 17 46 57
19 4 6 9 26 31
17 6 3 8 20 26
-11 39
Premier Division: Altrincham 1 Stalybridge 2;
Hednesford 3 Marine 2; Matlock 1 Farsley 2;
Nantwich 1 Halesowen 3; Stafford 4 Coalville 1;
Stourbridge 2 Ashton 3; Sutton Coldfield 2
Mickleover 1; Warrington 2 Grantham 1; Witton 4
Shaw Lane 0; Workington 1 Buxton 2
21 Northampton
37 10 9 18 35 60
19 6 3 10 15 28
18 4 6 8 20 32
-25 39
Evo-Stik League Southern
22 MK Dons
37 9 11 17 37 51
19 6 7 6 22 24
18 3 4 11 15 27
-14 38
23 Rochdale
34 7 13 14 34 42
15 4 8 3 14 12
19 3 5 11 20 30
-8 34
24 Bury
37 7 9 21 31 55
19 6 4 9 17 23
18 1 5 12 14 32
-24 30
Premier Division: Basingstoke 3 Hereford 1;
Bishop’s Stortford 2 Slough 2; Frome 2 Kings
Langley 1; Gosport 2 Redditch 5; Kings Lynn 3
Farnborough 1; Merthyr Tn 1 St Neots 0; Stratford Tn
0 Kettering 4; Weymouth 2 Dunstable 0
League of Ireland
First Division: Cobh Ramblers 0 Finn Harps 2
0 All other matches postponed
Bognor Regis 0 East Thurrock 2; Chippenham 2
Weston-s-Mare 0; Concord 1 St Albans 2; Dartford 3
Hemel Hempstead 2; Gloucester 4 Hungerford 0;
Havant & Waterlooville 0 Hampton & Richmond 0;
Poole 0 Bath 4; Truro 2 Chelmsford 0; Welling 1
Oxford 3. Leading standings: 1 Havant &
Waterlooville 33-64; 2 Dartford 34-62; 3 Hampton &
Richmond 33-59
Deportivo La Coruna 1 Las Palmas 1; Real Betis 3
Espanyol 0; Real Sociedad 1 Getafe 2; Valencia 3
Alaves 1. Played Friday: Levante 2 Eibar 1. Today:
Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao (3.15pm); Celta Vigo v
Malaga (5.30pm); Leganes v Sevilla (11am); Real
Madrid v Girona (7.45pm); Villarreal v Atletico
Madrid (5.30pm)
Evo-Stik League Northern
Bostik League
Leading goalscorers: 23: Marriott (Peterborough). 16: Pitman (Portsmouth). 15: Dack (Blackburn).
14: Oztumer (Walsall). 13: Doyle (Oldham); Eaves (Gillingham); Moore (Barnsley). 12: Graham
(Blackburn); Harrison (Bristol Rov); Mulgrew (Blackburn); Powell (Wigan); Taylor (AFC Wimbledon);
Wyke (Bradford C). 11: Davies (Oldham); Grigg (Wigan); Morris (Scunthorpe). 10: Cole (Wigan).
9: Bodin (Preston); Carey (Plymouth); Henderson (Rochdale); Jacobs (Wigan); Long (Northampton);
Marquis (Doncaster); Parker (Gillingham); Payne (Shrewsbury); Thomas (Oxford Utd); Vassell
(Blackpool). 8: Aneke (MK Dons); Ball (Rotherham); Beckford (Bury); Demetriou (Southend); Maddison
(Peterborough); Magennis (Charlton)
Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership
Premier Division: Burgess Hill 1 Brightlingsea 2;
Enfield Tn 3 Staines 4; Leatherhead 1 Dorking 0;
Leiston 4 Wingate & Finchley 0; Merstham 2 Harlow
0; Met Police 2 Margate 2; Tonbridge 3 Kingstonian
1; Tooting & Mitcham 0 Hendon 2
FA Vase
Semi-finals, first leg: Marske 0 Stockton 2;
Thatcham 1 1874 Northwich 0
SPAL 0 Juventus 0; Udinese 1 Sassuolo 2. Today
(2pm unless stated): AC Milan v Chievo; Benevento v
Cagliari; Crotone v Roma; Lazio v Bologna (7.45pm);
Napoli v Genoa (7.45pm); Sampdoria v Inter Milan
(11.30am); Torino v Fiorentina; Verona v Atalanta
Augsburg 1 Werder Bremen 3; Borussia M’gladbach
3 Hoffenheim 3; Eintracht Frankfurt 3 Mainz 0;
Hamburg 1 Hertha Berlin 2; Wolfsburg 0 Schalke 1.
Played Friday: Freiburg 1 Stuttgart 2. Today:
Borussia Dortmund v Hanover (12.30pm); Cologne v
Bayer Leverkusen (2.30pm); Leipzig v Bayern
Munich (5pm)
Amiens 1 Troyes 1; Angers 3 Caen 0; Bordeaux 0
Rennes 2; Montpellier 2 Dijon 2; Toulouse 2
Strasbourg 2
Heerenveen 2 Utrecht 2; PSV Eindhoven 3 VVVVenlo 0; Twente 2 Willem II Tilburg 2; Vitesse
Arnhem 0 Heracles Almelo 0
Graham 79
Dennis 74
HT: 0-0 Att: 2,822
Cheltenham: Flinders, Moore, Grimes (Joe Rodon 76),
Boyle, Chatzitheodoridis, Atangana, Dawson (Graham
78), Winchester, Morrell, Andrews (Pell 54), Eisa. Subs
not used: Cranston, Lovett, Odelusi, Lloyd. Booked:
Chesterfield: Ramsdale, Barry, Whitmore, Nelson,
George Smith, Brown (Dodds 73), Weir, Talbot, Kay
(Binnom-Williams 82), Kellett, Dennis. Subs not used:
O'Grady, Anyon, Maguire, McCourt, Hines. Booked:
Weir, Binnom-Williams
Referee: O Yates (Staffordshire)
Jacobson 52 (pen)
O’Nien 72
HT: 0-0 Att: 2,103
Barnet: Ross, Vilhete (Brindley 42), Sweeney, Santos,
Tutonda, Watson, Weston, Ruben Bover (Jack Taylor
65), Coulthirst (Clough 75), Akinde, Nicholls. Subs not
used: Akinola, Akpa Akpro, Renell McKenzie-Lyle,
Nicholson. Booked: Weston, Jack Taylor
Wycombe: Brown, Moore, El-Abd, Jombati, Jacobson,
Bloomfield (Thompson 85), Gape, O'Nien, MackailSmith (Tyson 57), Akinfenwa, Freeman (Kashket 79).
Subs not used: Bean, Cowan-Hall, McGinley, MakabuMakalamby
Referee: L Collins (Surrey)
Gibson, Friend, Howson (Leadbitter 65), Clayton,
Besic (Assombalonga 75), Traore, Bamford, Downing.
Subs not used: Konstantopoulos, Cranie, Harrison,
Baker. Booked: Clayton, Gibson, Besic, Friend
Referee: S Hooper (Wiltshire)
Johnson 3
Reid 64
Clark 81
Jackson 90+2
HT: 1-0 Att: 2,313
Accrington: Chapman, Johnson, Hughes, Dunne,
Donacien, Clark, Brown, Conneely, McConville,
Jackson, Kee. Subs not used: Richards-Everton, Nolan,
Zanzala, Williams, Maxted, Sousa, Rodgers
Forest Green: Bradley Collins, Charlie Cooper (Grubb
89), Gunning, Rawson, Hollis, Osbourne, Lee Collins,
Clements, Campbell, Reid, Wishart (Brown 85). Subs
not used: Bennett, Laird, Simpson, Belford, Bray
Referee: D Webb (Co Durham)
31 6 9 16 29 58
19 Stoke
20 West Brom 31 3 11 17 24 49
Robertson 45+2
Fortune 11
HT: 1-1 Att: 3,213
Blackpool: Lumley, Turton, Tilt, Robertson,
Daniel, Ryan, Spearing, Solomon-Otabor,
Longstaff (Gnanduillet 78), Philliskirk, Vassell
(Agyei 78). Subs not used: Aimson, D'Almeida,
Clayton, Cooke, Mafoumbi. Booked: Philliskirk
Southend: Oxley, Demetriou, White, Turner,
Coker, McLaughlin, Yearwood, Timlin,
Wordsworth, Fortune (Mantom 74), Cox
(Robinson 46). Subs not used: Kightly, Bishop,
Cotton, Ladapo, Harrison. Booked: Cox,
Turner, Timlin, Coker
Referee: A Haines (Tyne & Wear)
HT: 0-0 Att: 9,865
Charlton: Amos, Konsa, Bauer, Pearce, Sarr,
Aribo, Forster-Caskey, Marshall (KaiKai 66),
Reeves (Ajose 60), Fosu, Magennis (Zyro 60).
Subs not used: Jackson, Lennon, Dijksteel,
Maynard-Brewer. Booked: KaiKai
Fleetwood Tn: Cairns, Coyle, Eastham, Bolger,
Jones, Sowerby, Dempsey, Diagouraga, Hunter,
Madden (Hiwula 87), Burns (McAleny 75). Subs
not used: Neal, Pond, Grant, Maguire, Glendon.
Booked: Diagouraga
Referee: M Heywood (Cheshire)
16 C Palace
15 10 4 1 31 9
4 Tottenham 30 18 7 5 59 25
Leading goalscorers
TV Matches
Newcastle Utd
15 8 3 4 35 24 +39 63
Man Utd
16 10 6 0 38 10
Man City
31 18 9 4 73 34
15 8 3 4 25 16 +35 65
3 Liverpool
15 12 2 1 34 10 +65 81
15 12 2 1 33 7
15 14 1 0 51 10
30 20 5 5 58 23
30 26 3 1 85 20
2 Man Utd
Crystal Palace
1 Man City
HT: 0-2
Lukaku 37, Matic 83
HT: 1-0
Eriksen 11, 62,
Lamela 45+1
Fisher 21
HT: 0-1 Att: 2,772
Colchester: Walker, Eastman, Prosser, Kent, VincentYoung, Lapslie, Comley (Senior 46), Wright, Szmodics,
Mandeville (Shodipo 71), Guthrie (Mandron 65). Subs
not used: Rooney, Murray, Stevenson, Dillon Barnes.
Booked: Comley
Yeovil: Nelson, James, Sowunmi, Donnellan, Dickson
(Mugabi 40), Green, Wing, Bird, Browne, Zoko (Barnes
82), Fisher (Surridge 65). Subs not used: Khan,
Maddison, Seager, Santos
Referee: T Nield (West Yorkshire)
Bowery 33
Ray (og) 5
Bayliss 43
HT: 1-2 Att: 4,666
Crewe: Garratt, Ng, Ray, Nolan, Bakayogo (Ainley 21),
Kirk, Pickering, Green, Sterry, Miller (McKirdy 72),
Bowery (Dagnall 80). Subs not used: Raynes,
Richards, Lowery, Barlaser. Booked: Ray, Nolan
Coventry: O'Brien, Grimmer, Hyam, McDonald,
Haynes, Vincenti (Ponticelli 88), Doyle, Bayliss (Kelly
48), Shipley (Reid 77), Clarke-Harris, McNulty. Subs
not used: Stokes, Biamou, Barrett, Bilson
Referee: A Coggins (Oxfordshire)
Frecklington 31
B Davies 45+2 (pen)
Green 34
Wharton 39
HT: 3-1 Att: 9,774
Lincoln C: Allsop, Eardley, Bostwick, Wharton,
Habergham, Whitehouse, Woodyard, Frecklington
(Wilson 81), Green (Anderson 65), Rhead (Palmer 59),
Williams. Subs not used: Farman, Long, Pett, Rowe.
Booked: Palmer
Grimsby: McKeown, Hall-Johnson (Mitchell Rose 56),
Clarke, Collins, Fox, Clifton, Berrett, Ben Davies,
Woolford (Jaiyesimi 66), Cardwell (McSheffrey 46),
Matt. Subs not used: Mills, Vernon, Dembele, Killip.
Booked: Clifton
Referee: D Coote (Notts)
Lavelle 43
Sweeney 37
Rose 78
HT: 1-1 Att: 1,056
Morecambe: Roche, McGowan, Lavelle, Winnard,
Conlan, Kenyon, Rose, McGurk (Oliver 80), Thompson,
Wylde (Campbell 80), Lang (Wildig 85). Subs not
used: Brough, Nizic, Lund, Fleming. Booked:
Exeter: Pym, Sweeney, Brown, Archibald-Henville
(Simpson 83), Moxey, Boateng, James (Tillson 60),
Harley (Jay 82), Taylor, Stockley, Edwards. Subs
not used: Jones, McAlinden, Wilson, Croll. Booked:
Referee: C Boyeson (E Yorkshire)
Sheehan 2
Potts 23
HT: 1-1 Att: 3,512
Newport Co: Day, White, Demetriou, O'Brien, Butler,
Sheehan (Nouble 70), Dolan, Tozer, Aaron Collins,
Amond (McCoulsky 86), Willmott. Subs not used: Pipe,
Jackson, Bennett, Reid, Bittner. Booked: Dolan,
Luton: Stech, Stacey, Cuthbert, Sheehan, Potts,
Gambin (McCormack 88), Rea, Berry, Elliot Lee
(Cornick 68), Collins, Hylton (Jervis 84). Subs not
used: Justin, Mullins, Olly Lee, Shea
Referee: C Hicks (Surrey)
Hawkridge 35
Hemmings 90+9 (pen)
HT: 1-0 Att: 12,563
Notts Co: Collin, Tootle, Duffy, Hall, Dickinson,
Hawkridge (Alessandra 82), Hewitt, Noble (Smith 90),
Grant, Stead, Ameobi. Subs not used: Virtue, Brisley,
Husin, Jones, Fitzsimons. Booked: Hewitt
Mansfield: Logan, Anderson (Digby 90), Bennett,
Pearce, Benning, Atkinson, King (Angol 61),
MacDonald, Hamilton, Hemmings, Rose. Subs not
used: Olejnik, White, Sterling-James, Byrom, Miller.
Booked: Atkinson, Benning, MacDonald
Referee: A Woolmer (Northamptonshire)
Wilson 65
Amos 10
Hannant 77
Kennedy 48
HT: 0-1 Att: 3,462
Port Vale: Boot, Davis (Gibbons 46), Raglan, Smith,
Montano, Worrall, Pugh, Tonge, Hannant, Harness
(Wilson 46), Forrester. Subs not used: Howe, Hornby,
Barnett, Whitfield, Howkins. Booked: Raglan
Stevenage: Tom King, Vancooten (Franks 46), Jack
King, Wilkinson, Martin, Goddard, Sheaf, Jonathan
Smith, Amos (Gorman 87), Kennedy, Newton, Franks
(Whelpdale 72). Subs not used: Fryer, White, WadeSlater, O'Donnell. Booked: Jonathan Smith, Newton,
Referee: A Backhouse (Cumbria)
GD Pts
FA Cup: Quarter-finals: Leicester v Chelsea
(4.30pm); Wigan v Southampton (1.30pm)
1 Accrington
37 23 5 9 64 40
19 14 2 3 37 18
18 9 3 6 27 22
+24 74
2 Luton
38 20 11 7 79 40
19 13 2 4 52 21
19 7 9 3 27 19
+39 71
Premier League: Man City v Brighton (4pm); West
Ham v Man Utd (1.30pm)
3 Notts Co
38 18 12 8 60 39
19 12 5 2 37 17
19 6 7 6 23 22
+21 66
Sky Bet Championship: Derby v Cardiff (noon)
4 Wycombe
37 19 9 9 70 52
19 10 4 5 40 30
18 9 5 4 30 22
+18 66
5 Mansfield
37 16 15 6 56 38
19 10 8 1 37 19
18 6 7 5 19 19
+18 63
Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership: Motherwell v
Celtic (2.15pm)
6 Coventry
37 18 7 12 43 31
18 11 3 4 25 13
19 7 4 8 18 18
+12 61
Ladbrokes Scottish League One: Raith v East Fife
7 Lincoln C
37 16 12 9 53 40
19 10 6 3 32 19
18 6 6 6 21 21
+13 60
Kick-off 7.45pm unless stated
8 Exeter
36 18 6 12 46 40
18 11 3 4 24 14
18 7 3 8 22 26
+6 60
9 Swindon
37 19 3 15 58 55
18 8 2 8 23 32
19 11 1 7 35 23
+3 60
Sky Bet League One: Doncaster v Bradford C
10 Carlisle
38 15 11 12 55 48
19 7 7 5 28 19
19 8 4 7 27 29
+7 56
11 Newport Co
37 13 14 10 47 47
17 6 9 2 24 17
20 7 5 8 23 30
12 Crawley Tn
37 15 8 14 44 46
18 8 3 7 22 17
19 7 5 7 22 29
-2 53
13 Colchester
37 13 12 12 46 43
19 8 6 5 27 18
18 5 6 7 19 25
+3 51
Sky Bet League One: Northampton v Shrewsbury;
Rochdale v Fleetwood Tn. League Two: Crewe v
Forest Green; Morecambe v Colchester; Port Vale v
14 Cambridge Utd 38 13 11 14 38 50
19 10 5 4 24 16
19 3 6 10 14 34
-12 50
15 Cheltenham
19 7 6 6 27 23
19 4 6 9 26 31
-1 45
38 11 12 15 53 54
Vanarama National League: Solihull Moors v
Ladbrokes Scottish Championship: Brechin v
Dunfermline; Dundee Utd v Queen of South.
League One: Airdrieonians v Alloa; Albion v
Ayr. League Two: Edinburgh C v Clyde; Elgin v
Stirling Alb; Stenhousemuir v Cowdenbeath
16 Stevenage
37 11 11 15 50 55
18 7 8 3 34 21
19 4 3 12 16 34
-5 44
17 Yeovil
37 11 9 17 47 57
19 8 4 7 27 19
18 3 5 10 20 38
-10 42
18 Morecambe
36 9 12 15 37 47
17 6 4 7 19 23
19 3 8 8 18 24
-10 39
19 Port Vale
37 9 11 17 41 53
18 5 6 7 21 23
19 4 5 10 20 30
-12 38
20 Crewe
37 11 4 22 44 61
19 7 3 9 24 28
18 4 1 13 20 33
-17 37
21 Forest Green
37 10 7 20 44 64
19 8 2 9 28 30
18 2 5 11 16 34
-20 37
22 Grimsby
38 9 10 19 32 57
19 4 7 8 15 23
19 5 3 11 17 34
-25 37
23 Chesterfield
36 8 7 21 37 65
19 6 3 10 22 29
17 2 4 11 15 36
-28 31
Vanarama National League: Barrow v Hartlepool;
Maidstone v Macclesfield
24 Barnet
38 7 9 22 34 56
19 4 6 9 16 24
19 3 3 13 18 32
-22 30
Leading goalscorers: 21: Kee (Accrington). 18: Eisa (Cheltenham). 17: Collins (Luton). 16: Akinfenwa
(Wycombe); Doidge (Forest Green). 15: Dennis (Chesterfield); Grant (Notts Co); Hylton (Luton); McNulty
(Coventry). 14: Jackson (Accrington); Pope (Port Vale); Rose (Mansfield). 13: Ikpeazu (Cambridge Utd).
12: Norris (Swindon); Stockley (Exeter); Szmodics (Colchester). 11: Green (Lincoln C); Hemmings (Mansfield);
McConville (Accrington); Newton (Stevenage); Reid (Forest Green). 10: Amond (Newport Co); Godden
(Stevenage); Zoko (Yeovil). 9: Boldewijn (Crawley Tn); Ellison (Morecambe); Mandron (Colchester); Porter
(Crewe); Richards (Swindon); Stead (Notts Co). 8: Coulthirst (Barnet); Cowan-Hall (Wycombe); Devitt
(Carlisle); E Lee (Luton); Hope (Carlisle); Mackail-Smith (Wycombe); O'Nien (Wycombe); Smith (Crawley Tn)
Sky Bet League One: Walsall v Wigan. League Two:
Crawley Tn v Wycombe
International matches: China v Wales (11.35);
Denmark v Panama (7pm); Faroe Islands v Latvia
(7pm); Malta v Luxembourg (5pm); Slovakia v UAE
(09.30); South Africa v Angola (1pm)
International matches: Argentina v Italy; Austria v
Slovenia; Azerbaijan v Belarus (4pm); Bulgaria v
Bosnia-Herzegovina (5pm); Cyprus v Montenegro
(4pm); Finland v Macedonia (7pm); France v
Colombia (8pm); Germany v Spain; Greece v
Switzerland (8pm); Hungary v Kazakhstan; Holland v
England; Norway v Australia (5pm); Poland v
Nigeria; Portugal v Egypt; Russia v Brazil (4pm);
Saudi Arabia v Ukraine (7pm); Scotland v Costa Rica
(midnight); Senegal v Uzbekistan (4pm); Serbia v
Morocco (7.30pm); Tunisia v Iran; Turkey v Rep of
Ireland (5.30pm)
Kick-off 3pm unless stated
International matches: Armenia v Estonia (2pm);
Canada v New Zealand; Georgia v Lithuania; Israel v
Romania (6.30pm); Kosovo v Madagascar; Mexico v
Iceland (2.30am); Northern Ireland v South Korea
(2pm); Peru v Croatia (midnight); Sweden v Chile
(5pm); Togo v Ivory Coast (7pm)
Sky Bet League One: Bradford C v Gillingham; Bury
v Wigan; Charlton v Plymouth; Fleetwood Tn v
Northampton; MK Dons v Blackpool; Oldham v
Walsall; Peterborough v Bristol Rov; Scunthorpe v
Rochdale; Shrewsbury v AFC Wimbledon; Southend
v Rotherham. League Two: Carlisle v Cambridge
Utd; Coventry v Grimsby; Crawley Tn v Cheltenham;
Exeter v Swindon; Forest Green v Mansfield; Luton v
Barnet (5.15pm); Morecambe v Lincoln C; Newport
Co v Crewe; Stevenage v Colchester; Wycombe v
Port Vale
Vanarama National League: Aldershot v Boreham
Wood; Barrow v Dover Ath; Dagenham & Redbridge
v AFC Fylde; Ebbsfleet Utd v Maidenhead Utd;
Halifax Tn v Solihull Moors; Leyton Orient v
Woking; Sutton Utd v Chester; Torquay v Guiseley;
Tranmere v Eastleigh (12.15pm); Wrexham v
Maidstone Utd
Ladbrokes Scottish Championship: Dundee Utd v
Dunfermline; Morton v Brechin; Queen of South v
Livingston. League One: Airdrieonians v Raith;
Albion v Alloa; Arbroath v Stranraer; Ayr v Queen’s
Park; Forfar v East Fife. League Two: Berwick v
Edinburgh C; Clyde v Montrose; Peterhead v
Annan; Stenhousemuir v Elgin; Stirling Alb v
International matches: Faroe Islands v
Liechtenstein (5pm); Gibraltar v Latvia; Kuwait v
Cameroon (2pm)
Sky Bet League One: Portsmouth v Oxford Utd
(4pm). League Two: Chesterfield v Notts Co
The Sunday Times March 18, 2018
up to the
talent of
Female jockeys ride four
winners at Cheltenham
as top trainers finally
judge them on ability
Andrew Longmore
acha Du Polder is becoming
one of the great scene-stealers in Cheltenham Festival
history. Two years ago, the
hunter-chaser conveyed the
Olympic cycling champion,
Victoria Pendleton, safely
round Cheltenham, earning
nearly as many headlines as
Don Cossack, who had won
the Gold Cup less than an hour before.
Last year he swept Bryony Frost, a onewoman force of nature, to prominence by
winning the same Foxhunter Chase. And,
on Friday, he brought Harriet Tucker her
first festival winner on only her second
ride under National Hunt rules, along
with a slot on the BBC evening news.
More significantly, Tucker’s win,
gained despite dislocating her shoulder
on the run-in, was the fourth by a female
jockey during the week — a record for the
festival — and the seventh in the past two
festivals. It is a far cry from the day back
in 1987 when Gee Armytage became the
second woman to ride a winner at the festival (the first was Caroline Beasley in
1983) and was pelted with plastic bottles
and paper cups for her courage.
After riding her first festival winner,
Coo Star Sivola, to victory on the opening
day of the festival, Lizzie Kelly suggested
that the distinction between a female and
a male jockey was starting to become
The ride that Kelly, the first woman to
steer a Grade One winner over jumps in
Britain, gave the 5-1 favourite could not
have been improved by any jockey. It was
also a tribute to the 24-year-old’s mental
strength in coming back from the despair
of missing a winner and falling after just
two fences in the Gold Cup a year ago. A
visit to the top sports psychologist, Michael Caulfield, had helped her relax in the
days before the festival and, as she said,
“to grow up five years”.
The real glimmer for Kelly’s future
came the day after her first festival win
when Rich Ricci, Willie Mullins’ main
owner, asked her to ride one of his horses
in the conditional jockeys’ race on the
last day. “I have no problem putting girls
on my horses,” said Mullins. “Just as long
as they know where the winning post is.”
Kelly rides mainly for her stepfather,
Nick Williams. Bryony Frost, who has
taken the racing world by storm this season, has also yet to attract many rides
from outside her main employment with
Paul Nicholls. “Last year was a good year
[for women jockeys at the festival] and
this one is even better,” said Kelly. “This is
the biggest stage of all, but I’m not sure
how much we should read into it. Maybe
in five years’ time we won’t be talking
about the issue at all.”
Dan Skelton, whose conditional
jockey, Bridget Andrews, rode Mohaayed
to win the County Handicap Hurdle, also
sounded a note of caution in predicting a
further storming of the gender barricades. “I don’t think that this will necessarily open the floodgates for Bridget,”
said the trainer. “It just means she can
hold her head high in the professional
Going: Soft - Heavy in places
£3,899: 2M 1F (10)
Hardrock Davis 46
1 /505-5
K Dalgleish7-11-12.........................C Bewley (3)
Hear The Chimes 24 (S)
2 -24305
Shaun Harris9-11-11............................J Quinlan
Alfiboy 109 (W)
3 /P-FP0
Mrs S Smith8-11-10...............................D Cook
Suprise Vendor 20 (D,F,G,S)
4 43P300
W S Coltherd12-11-9....................S Coltherd (5)
Budarri 10 (H)
5 0-3645
W S Coltherd5-11-7 ............................ H Brooke
Perseid 44 (D,F,G,S)
6 433033
Mrs B Butterworth8-11-6 ................ S W Quinlan
Pc Dixon 3 (D,S)
7 024221
V Thompson5-11-6.......................T Dowson (3)
Hartside 26 (V,T,CD,S)
8 F34415
P Winks9-11-5...........................Ryan Winks (5)
Bingo D’Olivate 20 (D,S)
9 03306F
G Anderson7-11-3..............................B Hughes
100P/3-0 Bill D’Aron 47 (H) J Ewart7-11-1....Steven Fox (5)
Betting: 11-4 Pc Dixon, 7-2 Hardrock Davis, 7-1 Hartside,
8-1 Hear The Chimes, 9-1 Alfiboy, Bill D’Aron, 10-1 Perseid,
12-1 Bingo D’Olivate, 14-1 Suprise Vendor, 16-1 Budarri
£9,747: 1M 7F 207Y (4)
Bollin Ace 9 (P,D,S)
T Easterby7-11-4................................H Brooke
Derintoher Yank 32 (H,CD,G,S)
2 112223
D McCain7-11-4..............................W Kennedy
Beau Sancy 5 (B,T)
3 064006
K Johnson6-10-12 .......................... A Clarke (7)
Kelka 22 (D,S)
4 514-23
R Jefferson6-10-5.............................B Hughes
Betting: 6-4 Bollin Ace, 15-8 Kelka, 2-1 Derintoher Yank,
100-1 Beau Sancy
1 2-F421
£6,498: 2M 3F 61Y (6)
Donna’s Delight 47 (CD,S)
A Thomson7-11-6..............................B Hughes
Point Of Principle 29 (D,S)
2 0-2421
T Vaughan5-11-6..............................R Johnson
Haasab 13
3 643253
L Morgan5-11-1.............................P Cowley (5)
Mankala 46 (W)
4 3/56
J Candlish8-11-1 ............................ S W Quinlan
Montydarkdestroyer 698
5 05/
John Davies7-11-1............................W Kennedy
Sting In His Tail 26
T Easterby5-11-1................................H Brooke
Betting: 8-11 Point Of Principle, 9-4 Donna’s Delight, 8-1
Mankala, 16-1 Haasab, 25-1 Montydarkdestroyer, Sting In
His Tail
1 0-1423
£18,768: 3M 110Y (6)
Nendrum 2 (T,BF,S)
A Thomson9-11-3.............Rachael McDonald (7)
Graystown 9
4 245506
W S Coltherd6-11-0.....................S Coltherd (5)
Inniscastle Lad 15
5 234043
D McCain6-10-11.........................L Murtagh (5)
War Joey 27 (T)
6 -05P04
Mrs A Hamilton5-10-6 ....................... B Hughes
Instingtive 10 (CD,S)
7 004311
Miss L Harrison7-10-0...........Ross Chapman (3)
Betting: 9-4 Instingtive, 3-1 The New Pharaoh, 12-1
Inniscastle Lad, War Joey, 20-1 Graystown
3 031210
Ffos Las (Jackpot meeting)
1 -P1222
Going: Heavy
£4,159: 1M 7F 182Y (7)
Bonne Question 34 (D,S)
Miss V Williams9-12-0.........................J Bowen
Jack Bear 11F (BF)
2 U35-05
R Teal7-11-12.....................................H Teal (3)
Great Tempo 99 (P,D,S)
3 000-00
D Pipe5-11-12 ................................ M Heard (3)
Radical Archie 31
4 66-0PP
E Williams7-11-9..........................M Bastyan (3)
Under The Woods 36
5 033
E Williams6-11-7...............................C Ring (3)
Matts Legacy 82
6 -603RR
T Vaughan6-11-1 ................................ R Patrick
Flanagans Field 28 (T,P,CD,F,S)
7 234443
B Llewellyn10-10-13 .................... R Williams (3)
Betting: 5-2 Flanagans Field, 3-1 Under The Woods, 4-1
Jack Bear, 8-1 Bonne Question, Great Tempo, Matts
Legacy, 12-1 Radical Archie
1 22/1-0
£4,159: 2M 4F (7)
£6,498: 2M 1F (7)
£6,758: 2M 4F (9)
Cultram Abbey 10 (C,BF,G,S)
N Richards11-12-6...........................J Wright (5)
My Friend George 28P (T,P,BF,S)
2 2-PPPP
L Humphrey12-12-2...............Solomon Wood (7)
Numbercruncher 9 (G,S)
3 1-P31P
D O’Brien(Ire) 12-12-2..............David O’Brien (7)
Bambi Du Noyer 10 (G,S)
4 140534
S Conway7-11-12 ........................... L Stones (5)
Milano Magic 672P (P,BF,G,S)
5 222/0D Bourke12-11-12................Cameron Wadge (7)
Quel Elite 21P (B,C,D,S)
6 15-445
Miss G Walton14-11-12.....................T Gillard (7)
Third Of The Third 31 (V,F,G)
7 043-43
Miss S Whitehead11-11-12............A Ferguson (3)
Betting: 1-8 Cultram Abbey, 9-1 Numbercruncher, 14-1
Bambi Du Noyer, 16-1 Third Of The Third, 33-1 Milano
Magic, Quel Elite, 66-1 My Friend George
Seeyouatmidnight 358 (W,C,D,BF,G,S)
A Thomson10-11-12 ........................... B Hughes
Houblon Des Obeaux 22 (B,D,G,S)
2 -1663P
Miss V Williams11-11-7.......................C Deutsch
Seldom Inn 31 (P,G,S)
3 P-5323
A Thomson10-11-2 ........... Rachael McDonald (7)
Firth Of The Clyde 41 (B,CD,S)
4 6/2-44
R Jefferson13-11-0.............................H Brooke
Blakemount 330 (C,G,S)
5 41256Mrs S Smith10-10-8..............................D Cook
Scotswell 52 (D,F,G,S)
6 301-0P
Mrs H Graham12-10-0 .................. T Dowson (3)
Betting: 5-2 Seeyouatmidnight, 100-30 Blakemount, 4-1
Firth Of The Clyde, 9-2 Houblon Des Obeaux, 11-2 Seldom
Inn, 12-1 Scotswell
The New Pharaoh 49 (H,P,S)
1 315
L Morgan7-11-12 ........................... P Cowley (5)
Clash Of D Titans 27
2 2-532
W Greatrex5-11-9 ...........................................
One Style 13
Miss V Williams8-11-11...................H Nugent (7)
Cawdor House Bert 28 (C,D,G,S)
4 PP2P-1
D Rees11-11-5.....................................S Bowen
Magical Man 45 (V,CD,S)
5 5-4146
Mrs D Hamer11-11-1............................T Whelan
Betting: 9-4 Cawdor House Bert, 7-2 Alf ‘N’ Dor,
Nansaroy, 4-1 One Style, 6-1 Magical Man
3 422/43
Lady Karina 92 (BF,S)
Miss V Williams7-12-0 ................... H Nugent (7)
Ruby Yeats 23 (P,S)
2 20-02P
H Whittington7-11-12.......................H Bannister
Sergeant Brody 38 (S)
3 31/4-2
S Drinkwater7-11-7..............................R Dunne
Corzeam 27
4 R-PPP3
N Twiston-Davies6-11-5..................J Savage (7)
Take Em Out 36 (T)
5 5-04F2
T Vaughan6-11-4 ................................. A Johns
Fly Du Charmil 28 (P,C,S)
6 55/4P1
W Greatrex7-11-2.............................A P Heskin
Tudors Treasure 28 (P,C,S)
7 16-0P2
R Stephens7-10-11.............................T O’Brien
Dark Invader 46
8 42-344
E Williams6-10-10..............................A Wedge
Hillary View 7 (P,CD,S)
9 104616
P Bowen6-10-9..................................S Bowen
Betting: 3-1 Fly Du Charmil, 7-2 Lady Karina, 6-1 Dark
Invader, Sergeant Brody, 8-1 Tudors Treasure, 10-1 Ruby
Yeats, Take Em Out, 16-1 Corzeam, Hillary View
£2,870: 3M 110Y (7)
Carole’s Vigilante 61 (D,S)
N Mulholland7-11-7 .............................. N Fehily
Baby Ted 37
N Twiston-Davies5-11-1............S Twiston-Davies
Big Fred 28
3 5053
B Llewellyn7-11-1 ............................... D Crosse
Garran City 22 (S)
4 1/3
D Pipe7-11-1 ................................ T Scudamore
Lapford Lad 23
5 40P00
S Gardner6-11-1..........................S Houlihan (5)
Mon Eldorado 74
6 63-630
P Bowen6-11-1...............................J Bowen (3)
Pacofilha 36
7 650
J Flint4-10-0......................................B Powell
Betting: 4-7 Garran City, 3-1 Carole’s Vigilante, 8-1 Mon
Eldorado, 12-1 Baby Ted, 33-1 Big Fred, 50-1 Pacofilha,
100-1 Lapford Lad
1 3/1P2-
The British Horseracing Authority will
carry out a review after six horses
died at the Cheltenham Festival.
Jamie Stier, chief regulatory officer
for the BHA, said: ‘We will examine
the evidence from the past week
before deciding how we will pursue
the review.’
Moment of glory: Harriet Tucker enjoys Cheltenham win on Pacha Du Polder
ranks and give out a message to other
girls, ‘Hey, you can do this’.
“Maybe it is time that we stopped talking about lady riders and talked about
riders in general. Not every girl is going to
make it, just as not every lad is going to
make it. But the more winners they have
the less of an issue it becomes. Fewer
people are coming into racing now with
aspirations to become a jockey and a few
more girls are sensing that there may be
some opportunities. Fair play, crack on.”
Josephine Gordon was the second
woman after Hayley Turner to ride 100
winners in a year on the Flat but the fact
that she was a retained jockey for Hugo
Palmer, one of the main stables in Newmarket, and attracted a host of outside
rides was a breakthrough in perception.
While Nina Carberry and Katie Walsh,
who also won at the festival this year,
have shown what a survey by the University of Liverpool confirmed — that women
riders are as effective as men — the stum-
bling block for jump jockeys is getting
enough rides to earn a decent living.
With the gender balance at least 50:50
in most yards, it is only a matter of time
before the number of professional licences held by women — it stands at 11% — is
reflected on the track. “Understanding
why there are fewer female jockeys than
men and why they get fewer rides [just
5%] is something we are determined to
address,” said Nick Rust, chief executive
of the British Horseracing Authority.
Trainers just have to be sensible, says
Skelton. “More female riders will come
through,” he says. “Taking Bridget as an
example, I discuss things with her. I say, ‘I
don’t think this is a horse for you to ride,
some 17-hands horse round Chepstow in
the mud.’ It’s not fair on her, the horse or
the owners. But it would be the same with
the young amateur lad I have in the yard.”
Tucker, 22, was thrilled to be part of
the festival. Not long ago, she was persuaded to stay with Nicholls by the promise of the ride on Pacha Du Polder. “We
are just as good as the men,” she says. “As
long as you put in the hard work, it will
pay off in the end.”
l Forget Ladies Day — that was Ladies
Week, David Walsh, page 16
Carlisle (8am inspection)
£4,614: 2M 4F 199Y (5)
Alf ‘N’ Dor 44 (V,T,C,D,BF,S)
1 3U33P3
P Bowen7-12-0..............................J Bowen (3)
Nansaroy 28 (V,C,S)
2 4U0634
E Williams8-11-12...............................A Wedge
1 631-1F
£3,119: 2M 5F 192Y (7)
Abbeygrey 112 (P,D,G,S)
1 514PP0
E Williams9-11-13 .................. Miss I Williams (7)
Steel Native 28 (C,G,S)
2 151PF5
D Rees7-11-12 .................................... S Bowen
Royal Claret 82
3 45-44P
T Symonds6-11-12................................B Poste
Howaboutnever 29 (P,G,S)
4 -051P0
R Teal10-11-11 ................................... H Teal (7)
Fraser Canyon 58 (V,T,G)
5 3-5P12
T Vaughan6-11-9 ................................. A Johns
Snazz Man 58
6 00P5
S Gardner8-10-10...................Lucy Gardner (3)
Filatore 13 (B,C,S)
7 304505
B Llewellyn9-10-5 ...................... S Houlihan (5)
Betting: 7-4 Fraser Canyon, 3-1 Filatore, 5-1 Steel Native,
7-1 Royal Claret, 8-1 Abbeygrey, 16-1 Howaboutnever, 20-1
Snazz Man
£8,058: 2M 7F 177Y (8)
Souriyan 44 (V,D,G,S)
P Bowen7-11-12..............................J Bowen (3)
Misty Mai 8 (C,G,S)
2 521651
D Rees8-11-5.....................................S Bowen
Bassarabad 54 (T,D,S)
3 45-P41
T Vaughan7-11-4..................................A Johns
Firebird Flyer 28 (P,CD,G,S)
4 P-3F00
E Williams11-11-4..............................C Ring (3)
Saint John Henry 27 (B,D,S)
5 1P3PPP
D Pipe8-11-4 ...............................T Scudamore
Ceann Sibheal 32 (B,T,D,G,S)
6 -44313
W Greatrex9-11-1............................H Bannister
Pink Gin 87 (T,D,S)
7 35-22F
N Twiston-Davies10-10-12..................M D Grant
Lac Sacre 28 (B,T,C,D,S)
8 P66322
J Flint9-10-7.......................................R Dunne
Betting: 3-1 Bassarabad, 7-2 Ceann Sibheal, 5-1 Misty
Mai, 6-1 Lac Sacre, Pink Gin, 8-1 Saint John Henry, 14-1
Souriyan, 20-1 Firebird Flyer
1 110425
£2,274: 1M 7F 182Y (3)
Al Dancer 114 (BF)
N Twiston-Davies5-11-0...........S Twiston-Davies
22 Gwalia 71 E Williams5-11-0.................A Wedge
Landofsmiles 70P
P Bowen5-11-0...................................S Bowen
Betting: Evens Al Dancer, 6-4 Gwalia, 5-1 Landofsmiles
Kempton Park
Going: Good to soft (soft in places)
1.30 (2m hdle) 1 Distingo (Joshua Moore,
6-1); 2 Lord Duveen (11-4); 3 Going Gold (91). Also ran: Grapevine 7-4 fav. 8 ran. NR:
Mere Ironmonger. 3¾l, 3l. G L Moore. Tote:
£7.70; £1.90, £1.20, £2.70. Exacta: £26.40.
CSF: £23.24. Trifecta: £208.40
2.05 (2m ch) 1 Vocaliser (C Poste, 7-1); 2
Kayf Blanco (15-8); 3 Free Stone Hill (16-1).
Also ran: Copain De Classe 11-10 fav. 5 ran.
2¼l, 2¾l. R Dickin. Tote: £6.90; £2.00, £1.20.
Exacta: £20.10. CSF: £21.17. Trifecta:
2.40 (2m 5f hdle) 1 Kildisart (D A Jacob,
5-1); 2 Zubayr (17-2); 3 Monbeg Theatre (141). Also ran: Just A Sting 9-2 fav. 11 ran. 2¼l,
3½l. B Pauling. Tote: £6.30; £1.70, £3.00,
£4.90. Exacta: £50.90. CSF: £46.34.
Tricast: £557.83. Trifecta: £803.10
3.15 (2m 4f 110yd ch) 1 Cepage (Charlie
Deutsch, 14-1); 2 Cobra De Mai (14-1); 3 Bun
Doran (11-2). Also ran: Kilcrea Vale 3-1 fav.
10 ran. 1½l, 2¼l. Miss V Williams. Tote:
£13.30; £4.00, £3.10, £2.00. Exacta:
£163.90. CSF: £180.79. Tricast: £1,210.43.
Trifecta: £1,151.10
3.50 (2m 5f hdle) 1 Chosen Path (Wayne
Hutchinson, 4-6 fav); 2 Champagne Champ
(5-2); 3 Gosheven (25-1). 8 ran. 5l, 2¼l. A
King. Tote: £1.70; £1.02, £1.20, £6.20.
Exacta: £3.60. CSF: £3.28. Trifecta: £37.30
4.25 (3m ch) 1 Abracadabra Sivola (David
Noonan, 7-2); 2 Invicta Lake (7-1); 3 Ckalco
Des Loges (8-1). Also ran: Allee Bleue 11-4
fav. 9 ran. NR: Royale Django. 2l, 6l. D Pipe.
Tote: £5.00; £2.00, £1.80, £2.00. Exacta:
£27.50. CSF: £28.32. Tricast: £182.53.
Trifecta: £181.50
5.00 (2m) 1 Mister Fisher (Ned Curtis, 5-4
fav); 2 Manvers House (25-1); 3 Oakley (101). 11 ran. NR: Sebastopol. 1¼l, 3¼. N J
Henderson. Tote: £2.20; £1.10, £7.80, £2.50.
Exacta: £39.40. CSF: £47.61. Trifecta:
Placepot: £153.30
Fontwell Park
Going: Heavy
1.40 (2m 5f 164yd hdle) 1 Belle Empress
(Nick Scholfield, 7-2); 2 Illtellmema (13-2);
3 Big Robin (13-8 fav). 10 ran. 12l, 2¾l. Miss E
C Lavelle. Tote: £4.40; £1.40, £1.90, £1.10.
Exacta: £28.50. CSF: £24.81. Trifecta:
2.15 (2m 1f 165yd ch) 1 Clondaw Westie
(David Bass, 6-4 fav); 2 Rothman (2-1); 3
Bredon Hill Lad (9-2). 5 ran. 1½l, 11l. Mrs L
Hill. Tote: £2.70; £1.40, £1.50. Exacta:
£5.30. CSF: £5.23. Trifecta: £10.30
2.50 (2m 1f 162yd hdle) 1 Banjo Girl
(Maxime Tissier, 11-8 fav); 2 Coillte Lass
(16-1); 3 Naranja (9-4). 6 ran. 11l, 17l. Mrs L
Wadham. Tote: £2.20; £1.50, £5.10. Exacta:
£11.20. CSF: £19.99. Trifecta: £36.70
3.25 (3m 1f 166yd hdle) 1 Kris Spin
(Mitchell Bastyan, 9-2); 2 Oh Land Abloom
(16-1); 3 King Uther (11-10 fav). 6 ran. 14l, 1½l.
Kerry Lee. Tote: £5.70; £3.70, £6.20.
Exacta: £81.70. CSF: £59.06. Trifecta:
4.00 (3m 1f 210yd ch) 1 Canyouhearmenow
(M Goldstein, 14-1); 2 What Larks (3-1). Also
ran: Itoldyou 15-8 fav. 5 ran. 3l, Mrs D
Grissell. Tote: £12.90; £3.10, £2.10. Exacta:
£54.90. CSF: £55.62. Trifecta: £52.10
4.35 (2m 3f 49yd hdle) 1 Magoo (Alexander
Thorne, 5-1); 2 Duke Of Kilcorral (11-1); 3
Miss Adventure (4-1). 8 ran. NR: Burst Ya
Bubble. Sh hd, 6l. P F Nicholls. Tote: £3.80;
£2.00, £3.60, £1.80. Exacta: £64.10.
CSF: £56.39. Tricast: £241.75. Trifecta:
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5.10 (3m 1f 166yd hdle) 1 Fizzlestix (Harry
Reed, evens fav); 2 Point N Shoot (5-2); 3
Shoofly Milly (5-2). NR: Good News. 3l, 62l. C
Gordon. Tote: £1.70. Exacta: £3.00. CSF:
£3.62. Trifecta: £4.30
Placepot: £685.50
Quadpot: £236.50
Going: Heavy
1.50 (2m 7f 70yd hdle) 1 Agent Louise
(Ryan Day, 11-1); 2 Tara Well (9-2); 3 Hollow
Park (10-1). Also ran: Mozo 15-8 fav. 7 ran.
11l, 16l. M E Sowersby. Tote: £11.80; £4.60,
£2.30. Exacta: £61.50. CSF: £57.09.
Trifecta: £481.20
2.25 (3m 2yd ch) 1 Behind Time (N P
Madden, 3-1); 2 Big River (2-1 fav); 3 Big
Meadow (6-1). 5 ran. NR: Looksnowtlikebrian.
4l, 7l. H Fry. Tote: £3.80; £1.70, £1.60.
Exacta: £9.70. CSF: £9.93. Trifecta: £42.70
3.00 (2m 3f 207yd hdle) 1 Clyne (Adam
Wedge, 10-1); 2 Hitherjacques Lady (5-1); 3
Applesandpierres (8-1). 11 ran. NR: Solstice
Star. 2l, 4½l. Evan Williams. Tote: £10.10;
£3.10, £2.30, £2.10. Exacta: £75.90. CSF:
£60.92. Tricast: £428.95. Trifecta: £570.60
3.35 (4m 2f 8yd ch) 1 Regal Flow (Sean
Houlihan, 16-1); 2 Milansbar (16-1); 3
Ballymalin (14-1); 4 Silsol (10-1). Also ran:
The Artful Cobbler 7-1 fav. 18 ran. 10l, 4½l. R
H Buckler. Tote: £18.30; £3.80, £5.00,
£3.90, £3.20. Exacta: £258.10. CSF:
£252.22. Tricast: £3,684.30. Trifecta:
4.10 (2m 7f 70yd hdle) 1 Cadeyrn (T
Scudamore, 100-30); 2 I Just Know (11-8
fav); 3 Piri Massini (7-2). 4 ran. 3l, 6l. M
Scudamore. Tote: £3.80. Exacta: £8.60.
CSF: £8.41. Trifecta: £14.60
4.45 (2m 4f ch) 1 Jaune Et Bleue (B
Hughes, 8-1); 2 Alf ‘n’ Dor (5-2); 3 Wings Of
Smoke (16-1). 5 ran. NR: Maguire’s Glen. 7l,
2¼l. David Dennis. Tote: £9.60; £3.30,
£1.70. Exacta: £30.70. CSF: £28.69.
Trifecta: £106.40. Jackpot: Not won - pool
of £287,446.75 c/f to Ffos Las today
5.20 (2m 3f 207yd hdle) 1 Just Don’t Ask (B
Hughes, 7-4); 2 Whiskey In The Jar (4-6 fav);
3 Iron Horse (25-1). 7 ran. 2¾l, 11l. C E
Longsdon. Tote: £3.10; £1.40, £1.10. Exacta:
£3.30. CSF: £3.37. Trifecta: £17.10
5.55 (1m 7f 168yd) 1 Smiths Cross (T
Scudamore, 5-2); 2 Champagnendiamonds
(5-1); 3 Lechlade Magician (8-11 fav). 4 ran.
21l, 25l. M Scudamore. Tote: £3.40. Exacta:
£11.60. CSF: £13.56. Trifecta: £24.50
Placepot: £3,280.20
Quadpot: £296.00
7 ran. Nk, 1¼l. K R Burke. Tote: £3.30; £2.10,
£6.20. Exacta: £47.40. CSF: £49.58.
Trifecta: £201.90
8.15 (1m 142yd) 1 The King’s Steed (Kieran
Shoemark, 15-2); 2 Joys Delight (6-1); 3
Lesanti (20-1). 9 ran. 1½l, nk. S Lycett. Tote:
£7.70; £2.50, £1.90, £4.20. Exacta: £52.90.
CSF: £51.22. Tricast: £863.97. Trifecta:
8.45 (1m 142yd) 1 Emigrated (P Mathers,
10-1); 2 Lord Murphy ( 2-1 fav); 3 Multiviz (94). 9 ran. 1l, ½l. D Shaw. Tote: £13.90;
£3.00, £1.30, £1.40. Exacta: £33.10. CSF:
£31.57. Tricast: £64.20. Trifecta: £145.60
Placepot: £3,191.70
Quadpot: £59.40
Going: Heavy
1.55 (2m hdle) 1 Msassa (P Townend, 1-4
fav); 2 Park Paddocks (13-2); 3 Freedom
Chimes (33-1). 9 ran. 2¾l, 5l. W P Mullins.
Tote: €1.20; €1.10, €1.60, €5.60. Exacta:
€3.80. CSF: €3.84. Trio: €45.10
2.30 (2m hdle) 1 Speaker Connolly (D F
O’Regan, 5-1); 2 Play At Midnight (8-1); 3
Teddy’s Acre (50-1). Also ran: Plouios 5-6
fav. 10 ran. NR: Murder Mile. 2¾l, 4l. Alan
Fleming. Tote: €6.50; €1.50, €2.10, €14.30.
Exacta: €39.60. CSF: €44.36. Trio: €832.70
3.05 (2m hdle) 1 Quamino (B J Cooper, 141); 2 Soul Season (7-1); 3 Pound A Stroke (81). Also ran: Thereisnodoubt 4-1 fav. 12 ran.
½l, 8l. P Nolan. Tote: €17.70; €4.70, €3.20,
€2.50. Exacta: €222.60. CSF: €112.70.
Tricast: €857.28. Trio: €626.80
3.40 (2m 4f 60yd hdle) 1 Brave Out (D F
O’Regan, 5-1); 2 Admiral Brian (7-1); 3
Seskinane (12-1). Also ran: Cerealice 3-1 fav.
10 ran. Sh hd, 1¼l. J E Kiely. Tote: €6.10;
€1.90, €2.30, €2.90. Exacta: €47.80. CSF:
€41.23. Tricast: €405.36. Trio: €395.80
4.15 (2m 6f ch) 1 Sumos Novios (R M
Power, 3-1 jt-fav); 2 Undressed (7-1); 3
Toushan (9-2). Also ran: Toubaloo 3-1 jt-fav.
9 ran. ¾l, 2¼l. W J Burke. Tote: €3.90; €1.30,
€2.20, €1.30. Exacta: €21.70. CSF: €23.26.
Tricast: €92.34. Trio: €87.60
4.50 (2m ch) 1 Crosshue Boy (H D Dunne,
6-4 fav); 2 Consharon Boy (9-2); 3
Getoutwhenyoucan (100-30). 5 ran. 2¾l, 1½l.
Sean Thomas Doyle. Tote: €1.90; €1.30, €2.30.
Exacta: €10.10. CSF: €8.18. Trio: €20.70
5.25 (2m 4f) 1 Thosedaysaregone (R
Deegan, 9-2); 2 Moratorium (9-1); 3 The
Shunter (13-2). Also ran: Small Farm, evens
fav. 9 ran. 1¼l, 2¾l. C Byrnes. Tote: €5.30;
€1.90, €3.90, €1.70. Exacta: €85.70. CSF:
€47.19. Trio: €366.10
This week
Going: Standard
5.45 (1m 1f 104yd) 1 C Note (L Morris, 10-1);
2 Mythical Madness (10-1); 3 Abe Lincoln
(10-11 fav). 7 ran. Hd, nk. Mrs H Main. Tote:
£10.10; £3.90, £3.60. Exacta: £116.30. CSF:
£98.22. Trifecta: £326.70
6.15 (1m 4f 51yd) 1 Cape Banjo (A Kirby, 101); 2 Tidal Watch (6-1); 3 Theglasgowwarrior
(5-2 fav). 10 ran. Nk, 3½l. N P Mulholland.
Tote: £11.40; £3.30, £1.90, £1.30. Exacta:
£54.60. CSF: £69.57. Tricast: £200.51.
Trifecta: £583.70
6.45 (1m 5f 219yd) 1 Leoro (S W Kelly, 3-1);
2 Dance Rock (11-4 fav); 3 Captain Swift (161). 12 ran. NR: Volturnus. ½l, hd. C J Mann.
Tote: £3.40; £1.90, £1.50, £5.30. Exacta:
£18.70. CSF: £12.00. Tricast: £117.03.
Trifecta: £192.00
7.15 (6f 20yd) 1 Breathless Times (Adam J
McNamara, 4-6 fav); 2 Kion (11-8); 3 Jack
Taylor (10-1). 4 ran. 2¼l, 2¾l. R Charlton.
Tote: £1.40. Exacta: £1.70. CSF: £1.97.
Trifecta: £2.60
7.45 (7f 36yd) 1 Made Of Honour (Ben Curtis,
100-30); 2 Pattie (16-1); 3 Rose Berry (9-2).
Today: Carlisle (2.05pm, 8am inspection);
Ffos Las (2.15pm); Limerick (2pm); Navan
(1.50pm, 8am inspection)
Tomorrow: Kelso (2.10pm); Lingfield Park
(A/W, 2.20pm); Southwell (2pm); Limerick
(2.15pm); Down Royal (2.25pm)
Tuesday: Exeter (2.20pm); Newcastle (A/W,
5.35pm); Wetherby (2pm); Clonmel (2.10pm)
Wednesday: Chepstow (2.20pm); Haydock
Park (2.10pm); Kempton Park (A/W,
5.45pm); Southwell (A/W, 2pm)
Thursday: Chepstow (2.20pm); Ludlow
(2.30pm); Wolverhampton (A/W, 2.10pm);
Chelmsford City (A/W, 5.45pm); Cork (2pm)
Friday: Kempton Park (A/W, 5.45pm);
Lingfield Park, A/W, 2.10pm); Newbury
(2pm); Sedgefield (1.50pm); Dundalk
Rugby union
Natwest Six Nations
Aviva Premiership
London Irish
5 432
5 468
6 490
6 335
7 408
7 378
8 423
9 408
10 424
11 386
12 297
15 283
285 13
391 8
294 9
365 6
373 7
408 8
397 9
375 11
459 8
476 7
455 7
454 7
Green King IPA Championship
Hartpury RFC
Rotherham Titans 3
Cornish Pirates
National League One: Caldy 12 Coventry 55;
Cambridge 15 Darlington Mowden Park 25;
Plymouth Albion 17 Bishop’s Stortford 10.
League Two: North: Blaydon 15 Huddersfield
26; Macclesfield 28 Luctonians 12; Sedgley
Park 24 Otley 21; Stourbridge 26 Sheffield
Tigers 28; Wharfedale 14 Tynedale 33. South:
Chinnor 41 Barnstaple 10; Cinderford 40 Old
Redcliffians 12; Clifton 29 Bury St Edmunds 7;
London Irish Wild Geese 39 Redruth 32;
Tonbridge Juddians 22 Broadstreet 14;
Worthing 22 Canterbury 17
Principality Building Society
Welsh Premiership
Carmarthen Quins 10
Cardiff Rugby
Ebbw Vale
Swalec Welsh National Championship: Cardiff
Met 42 Beddau 15. Swalec Welsh National
League: Division One: North: Bro Ffestiniog 89
Colwyn Bay 12; Dolgellau 3 Bethesda 12
BT Scottish Premiership
Glasgow Hawks
Stirling County
BT Scottish National League: Division One:
Cartha Q P 42 Falkirk 12; GHA 45 Aberdeen
Grammar 12; Jed-Forest 22 Edinburgh Acads 6;
Selkirk 28 Stewart’s Melville 5. Division Two:
Kirkcaldy 15 Peebles 8; Preston Lodge FP 12
Dumfries 50. Division Three: Dalziel 24
Hillhead/Jordanhill 3; Glasgow Acads 38
Perthshire 12; Gordonians 7 Highland 45;
Murrayfield Wanderers 61 Haddington 10
Rugby league
Betfred Super League
Catalans Dragons
St Helens
Hull K R
Catalans Dragons
A Pts
72 10
Ladbrokes Challenge Cup:
Round four
Normanton Knights 8
Rochdale Hornets 20
Saturday: Bangor-on-Dee (1.40pm);
Doncaster (1.50pm); Lingfield Park (A/W,
2pm); Newbury (2.05pm); Wolverhampton
(A/W, 5.45pm); Thurles (2.10pm)
National Conference: Premier Division:
Hunslet Club Parkside 14 Thatto Heath
Crusaders 10; Siddal 16 Rochdale Mayfield 14;
Wath Brow Hornets 28 Underbank Rangers 14;
Wigan St Patricks 16 Egremont Rangers 44.
Division One: Thornhill Trojans 18 Milford
Marlins 18; Lock Lane 8 Featherstone Lions 18
Flat meetings in bold
0 All other matches postponed
The Sunday Times March 18, 2018
David Walsh
The disaster for Jose Mourinho and everyone at
Old Trafford is that Pep Guardiola’s Manchester
City have become the new Manchester United
n Friday a film reviewer in
The Times used the French
word “jouissance”, meaning
“an eruption of the real”.
That same day at
Manchester United’s
training ground, Jose
Mourinho was being
questioned about his team’s
timid exit from the
Champions League three nights before.
The manager decided the moment was
right for a little jouissance.
He listed the details of Manchester
United’s experience of the Champions
League since they last won it 10 years
ago. They told a largely grim story. A
journalist tried to intervene. “Jose,” he
said, “those stats . . .” But before he
could ask the question Mourinho rolled
on, carrying all before him.
“They are real, they are real. Do you
want other real? I’ll give you a couple
more real. In the past seven years, the
worst position of Manchester City in the
Premier League was fourth. In the past
seven years, Manchester City was
champions twice and if you want to say
three times because they will be in one
more week, two, three or four [weeks].”
This eruption followed on from
Mourinho’s descent into pathos on
Tuesday evening. Then he said he did
not want to make a drama out of the 2-1
defeat by Sevilla because it was now
customary for Manchester United to exit
the Champions League at the point
when Europe’s top clubs begin to take it
seriously. The pathos came in his
recalling the 2004 and 2013 exits, as
United were beaten by teams managed
by Mourinho in those years. Manchester
United may no longer have the
performance pedigree of a top European
club but their manager is a serial winner,
even if he says so himself.
Last time you heard a man so
reluctant to face up to the significance of
a defeat, Greg Norman was talking about
the $30m he had in the bank after a
crushing loss to Nick Faldo at the 1996
Masters. Norman led Faldo by six shots
at the start of the final day’s play but lost
the tournament by five strokes to his
rival. Expectation shackled Norman, as
it did United on Tuesday. The feeling
persists that Mourinho stifles the
players. He sets up the team in a way that
says: “At this level, we’re not very good.”
Then the team play with a lack of belief
and the manager says: “See, I told you
so, but let me remind you of how good I
Mourinho will make United stronger.
That is not the concern. Pep Guardiola
is. The United fear is that City may be on
their way to somewhere unreachable for
Mourinho’s team. Had Mourinho
watched Guardiola’s team ease to
victory against Stoke on Monday
evening? Had he admired that beautiful
first goal? Ederson well outside his area,
passing to Vincent Kompany, who rolls it
wide to Kyle Walker, and all at a snail’s
pace. Then Walker plays a ball down the
right-hand touchline to Raheem Sterling,
and suddenly the tempo changes.
Sterling quickly plays the ball infield to
Fernandinho, who fizzes it forward to
On the charge: Rory McIlroy on the way to a round of 67
McIlroy finds
his touch to
outshine Woods
Late burst puts
brilliant Northern
Irishman back in
the hunt for title
Nick Pitt
Work in progress:
Leroy Sane is still
developing under
Gabriel Jesus. With his back to goal, Jesus
knows Sterling is already sprinting and
plays the ball into his path. The winger’s
only touch is a wonderfully accurate
pass to David Silva, who flashes the ball
into the corner of the net.
With the Premier League already
over, there is no reason to watch
Manchester City other than to be
enthralled by moves as exquisite as the
one that delivered Silva’s goal. Had he
watched on Monday evening, Mourinho
would have noticed the cameo involving
Guardiola and Leroy Sane at the end of
the game. After shaking the hand of
Stoke’s manager Paul Lambert,
Guardiola went straight to Sane and
though the exchange was brief, it was
The probability was that Guardiola
was unhappy with something in Sane’s
performance and could not wait for the
sanctuary of the changing room. Three
weeks before, on another Monday
evening, this one in Wigan, the manager
replaced Sane at half-time. “I don’t have
doubts about how important he [Sane] is
to us,” the manager said. “He has a
special talent but he has a lot of things to
improve. Simple things.”
Sane is the most exciting dribbler of
the ball in the Premier League and
Guardiola cherishes that gift above all
others. At the time he was thinking of
signing for Manchester City, Sane spoke
to his friend in the German national
team, Joshua Kimmich, who had worked
with Guardiola at Bayern Munich.
“Leroy, if Guardiola calls you and tells
you that he wants you on his team, do
it,” Kimmich said.
Sane is not like Kimmich, who is a
straightforward and narrow-focused
central defender. “To play with freedom,
I mainly need fun,” Sane said in January.
“I don’t think and I don’t set specific
goals for a game. I just let things happen.
If I clear my mind, everything else just
happens.” At times Sane can seem
disconnected from the team, as though
he is half there, half somewhere else.
Then there are the moments,
irresistible, when he is the most
exhilarating attacker in the league.
Guardiola tells him what he must do
when the other team have the ball, gives
him pictures of the position he must take
Mourinho can
rediscover his
younger self
but it needs to
happen soon
on the pitch and the need for tactical
discipline. Sane likes to dribble from out
to in, to make a beeline for the goal, but
Guardiola does not like his wingers
coming infield as it brings them into
traffic. He loves Sane but knows it must
be tough love. Getting the best out of
him is what makes the manager get out
of bed. Mourinho will understand the
relationships Guardiola is forging with
his players. He enjoyed the same thing
with Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard,
John Terry, Ashley Cole and others when
he first came to Chelsea. Does he look at
Guardiola now and see reflections of his
younger self? The battles then were on
the training ground, not in the postmatch press conference. Too often now
it is about what Jose says, not what he’s
He can rediscover his younger self but
it needs to happen soon. The
insurmountable bit relates to the
football his team play. It is Mourinho’s
game, not Manchester United’s, and for
the most part it is unexciting. This is the
cross that United’s supporters will not
silently carry. Especially as they look
across at their City neighbours and find
themselves admiring the speed and skill
and attacking flair of Guardiola’s team.
The killer for Mourinho and everyone
at Old Trafford is that Manchester City
have become the new Manchester
Forget Ladies’ Day — this was Ladies’ Week
At virtually all of the bigger
horse racing festivals they
have a “ladies’ day”, a
harmless little pageant to
determine the most
elegantly dressed lady
present. It wouldn’t work in
football or rugby but in the
sport of kings, someone
decided it would be a way of
getting women more
involved. Another way for
men to pigeonhole women.
Wednesday was Ladies’
Day at Cheltenham but,
famously, what happened
inside the white railings was
a vastly superior way of
Send your letters to:
The Sports Editor,
The Sunday Times,
1 London Bridge St
London SE1 9GF
email: sportletters
allowing women to feel part
of the week. There were 28
races at Cheltenham and
four of the winners were
ridden by women. Not
women competing in races
for women, but women
against men; no quarter
given, none asked.
And how the four women
contributed to the tapestry
of the Cheltenham story.
Lizzie Kelly’s victory on Coo
Star Sivola in the Ultima
Handicap Chase on the
opening day may have been
the most important because
the six-year-old gelding was
Eddie Jones may have
apologised for his unsavoury
remarks about Ireland and
Wales but the fact remains
that he was stupid enough to
make them and to goad Rhys
Patchell, the young stand-in
Welsh fly-half, before the
England v Wales match.
Maybe his tenure as England
coach is drawing to a close.
Paul Barker, Shrewsbury
Eddie Jones’ disgraceful
jests show his true nature.
Let all proposals for him to
manage the 2021 Lions now
end — a Lions manager has
to exhibit class, not crass.
Phillip Griffiths,
Guildford RFC
the 5-1 favourite. Trainers
give women riders
opportunities but are slow
to put them up on their wellfancied charges. Coo Star
Sivola’s trainer, Nick
Williams, is Kelly’s
stepfather. Would she have
been given the ride without
the connection? Maybe not.
As the trainer Paul
Nicholls says: “These aren’t
good women riders, they’re
just good riders.” Katie
Walsh rode the coolest race
imaginable on Relegate in
the Weatherbys Bumper,
coming from last to first
while making it seem
routine. It was Walsh’s third
winner at the festival.
Relegate was 25-1, ranked
Clearly Stephen Jones
watched a different game to
everyone else. Awarding
Chris Robshaw 5/10 in the
game against France was an
insult. He was the most
consistent player in the
Stafford Ford, via email
suggests something is awry
with the coaching at the
Alex Petschi, London
Eddie Jones is not a genius,
he is a good international
coach who has achieved
what he should have done
given the wealth of talent
available to him. But for
probably the fastest back
three England has ever put
on a rugby pitch to get only
the merest sniff of the ball in
the match against France
Kelly: festival success
The West Ham ‘fans’ must be
fit to invade the pitch — they
have done nothing but moan
about how far away the seats
are since they moved to the
London stadium. After
shouting abuse they still
managed to run all that way.
Richard Reddicliffe,
The memory of West Ham
hero and World Cup-winning
captain Bobby Moore was
soured by the action of a few
boneheads. Moore’s class
fourth of trainer Willie
Mullins’ five in the race.
Then there was Harriet
Tucker hunting around on
Pacha Du Polder in the
Foxhunter Chase,
improving her position only
when the moment was right
and then getting the most
brilliant leap from her
partner at the final fence.
Somewhere in those closing
stages she felt her dodgy
shoulder slipping from its
socket but yanked it back
into place. The weaker sex,
did you say?
The greatest moment was
the prolonged kiss bestowed
on Bridget Andrews by her
boyfriend, the jockey Harry
Skelton. Skelton could have
ridden Mohaayed in the
County Hurdle but chose a
more fancied stablemate,
leaving Andrews to ride the
33-1 shot. Skelton was
punching the air in triumph
as he crossed the line in a
dead-heat for fifth, more
pleased for Bridget than he
could have been for himself.
The glory of Cheltenham
was that their Ladies’ Day
was overwhelmed by what
you could call Ladies’ Week.
adorned the beautiful game
but his old club have serious
problems. They must act
swiftly and give a minimum
of 20-year bans to the
morons who invaded the
pitch in their match against
Burnley. And those who
chanted abuse at David
Sullivan and co-owner David
Gold deserve five-year bans.
David Rimmer,
Hertford Heath
alone actually doing so.
Bob Watson, Baildon
It’s all very well, following his
revolting spitting incident,
for Jamie Carragher to say
it’s not something he will do
again. Surely most people,
even if provoked, would not
even consider spitting, let
Can anybody explain why
footballers appear to spit
incessantly while rugby
players and cricketers do
Roger Foord, via email
How can Joe Crowley
(letters, last week) say ‘a true
football fan knows history
counts for nothing’? For
some of us it counts for
everything. As a Sunderland
supporter, our six league
championships are the only
thing we can cling to these
Sandy Phillips, via email
Rory McIlroy produced a
burst of late brilliance in his
third round to put himself in
firm contention yesterday at
the Arnold Palmer
International at Bay Hill.
Henrik Stenson and Bryson
DeChambeau, who began the
day jointly in the lead,
maintained their challenge,
but the threats to them were
obvious as McIlroy, Justin
Rose and several others
surged to almost join them.
As dusk fell at Bay Hill,
Stenson held the advantage at
12 under par, with
DeChambeau one behind,
and McIlroy two behind.
A thrilling finish is all but
guaranteed today. Stenson,
with a 71, was steady, but can
be an iron-willed competitor
and he is never afraid of
holding and extending a lead.
A week ago, McIlroy was
out of sorts and missed the
cut at the Valspar
championship. He also had a
faltering start at Bay Hill but
has grown stronger as his
ball-striking has improved
round by round.
A steady opening half of
34, with two birdies, was
somewhat tarnished when
McIlroy made a bogey on the
11th hole. At that point the
leaders, Henrik Stenson and
Bryson DeChambeau,
seemed to be out of range.
But McIlroy made a fine eagle
on the 12th, a birdie on the
16th and another on the final
hole to reach 10 under par
and complete his charge up
the leaderboard.
The highlight was his
soaring approach to the 18th,
which left him with a tap-in
for his birdie. McIlroy was
understandably thrilled to
have found his form,
including his putting, after a
wretched few weeks.
Not far behind, at seven
under par after a round of 69,
was Tiger Woods. After
Woods finished joint second
at the Valspar last week and
strode into contention in the
first round at Bay Hill, some
observers took it for granted
that he would challenge for a
victory that would be his
ninth at the event, in 18
But even for Woods, the
ultimate competitor, great
expectations can be a
burden. He was at pains to
stress before the first round
If sportsmen and women are
so ill that they have to take
medication to help them
perform, would they not be
better off in bed
recuperating rather than
AD Scofield, Glastonbury
On the subject of the
slowness of golf and what
could be done to speed up
play, may I make what I
consider three obvious
suggestions. First, allow the
use of GPS to determine the
distance from the ball to the
hole. This should avoid all
the pacing from the ball to
the various distance markers
scattered about the course
that he was making steady
but incremental progress,
with a long way to go.
As if to prove the point,
Woods had a moderate round
on Friday, when he laboured
to a round of 72, and was not
quite firing on all cylinders in
his third round yesterday. As
ever, though, with a
combination of tenacity and
superb putting and chipping,
Woods was able to hold his
score together. His 69 left him
at seven under par, on the
edge of contention.
Woods made regular
mistakes and regular
amends, most typically when
he made a bogey on the parthree 17th after a wayward tee
shot saw his ball plugged in a
greenside bunker — and he
followed that up by holing a
sliding 12-footer for a birdie
on the final hole. As usual,
Woods could not resist
playing to the gallery.
With two of the hardest
holes on the course to begin
with, Bay Hill presents a
tricky opening and Woods fell
foul of it with a bogey on the
second hole. His response
was to bring out his
marvellous, restored short
His first birdie came on the
third hole when he drained a
putt from 38 feet. On the parfive fourth, his long-iron
approach leaked to the right
and ended in a deep
greenside hollow. Getting the
next shot close to the hole
seemed well nigh impossible,
but of course Woods
managed to find a way by
chipping the ball hard into
the bank in front of him so
that it bounced softly to finish
six feet past the hole.
Having holed that one for
his second birdie, he
produced a wonderful
bunker shot to save par on
the par-three fifth. Wayward
shots from the tee halted his
momentum but Woods
reached the turn in 35
strokes, one under par.
Woods’ playing
companion, Rose, was more
solid and less adventurous, as
you would expect, but he
more than matched his
scoring early on with birdies
on the first and fifth and no
dropped shots to the turn.
Rose outplayed Woods
throughout the day in every
area except putting. As a
result, the Englishman was
only two strokes better with a
67 and a nine-under-par total
for three rounds.
“That’s the best I’ve played
this year,” Rose said. “I felt it
could have been a lot better
than a 67.”
Arnold Palmer Invitational,
final day
4.30pm Sky Sports Golf
and should be least
controversial. Second, and
probably too controversial,
increase the diameter of the
holes to revert to the ratio of
golf ball diameter to hole
diameter which existed
when the smaller ‘British’
ball, 1.62in, was used.
The ’American’ ball used now
is 1.6in. Third would be to use
some form of ‘within the
leather’ to save time for
holing the very near-misses.
Wilf Anderson, via email
Oh dear Nick Pitt (last week),
‘Casey will not be winning
today after a miserable run
on the back nine . . . ’
Jacques Paul, via email
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