England and France secured their expected Six Nations victories on Saturday but both sides looked disjointed as the world champions beat Scotland 35-13 in Edinburgh while the French overcame Italy 25-0 in Paris. \nEngland made it 15 wins from their last 16 games against the Scots to retain the Calcutta Cup but even though they scored four tries it was one of their least convincing performances of the last few years. \nIt was a similar story in a stuttering French display at the Stade de France where tries in either half by Imanol Harinordoquy and a late one from Pepito Elhorga secured victory over an Italian side who defended well all match. \nEngland and France both have four points from two wins but Wales could join them on Sunday with a win over Ireland in Dublin in what is likely to be the tightest game of the weekend. \nThe Murrayfield clash started messily and remained so for almost the entire 80 minutes as Scotland produced a much-improved performance after last week's poor 23-10 defeat by Wales. \nBen Cohen scored the opening try after a lucky bounce and Iain Balshaw added a second with the Scots appealing in vain for a knock-on in the build-up. \nFlyhalf Paul Grayson, again covering smoothly for the absent Jonny Wilkinson, converted both and added two penalties and with Chris Paterson landing two penalties for the hosts, England led 20-6 at the break. \nThe scruffy nature of the match continued in the second half, Josh Lewsey claiming England's third try after charging down a Chris Paterson kick and Simon Danielli replying for Scotland after another fortunate bounce. \nIt was Scotland's first try against England since Duncan Hodge scored in their 2000 victory but it counted for little as, with the hosts down to 10 men after a yellow card for Simon Taylor, lock Danny Grewcock charged over for England's fourth. \nIt was England's highest score in 133 years of playing in Scotland. \nIn Paris, rushed passes, dropped ball and a general impatience put paid to much of France's early dominance, though Harinordoquy finally found a way through on the left wing after 24 minutes. \nJean-Baptiste Elissalde, who scored an early penalty, converted for a 10-0 halftime lead, increased to 13-0 with a long-range penalty by Damien Traille early in the second. \nThe crowd were then treated to one of the biggest blunders of recent seasons when Christophe Dominici dropped the ball when trying to touch down one-handed after crossing the line unopposed. \nHarinordoquy was more secure when he dived over for his second try on the hour while Elhorga ran 50m down the right touchline for the third eight minutes from time.
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on