McCaw named top player
New Zealand captain Richie McCaw has been named the International Rugby Board (IRB) Player of the Year, the IRB announced on Sunday. The All Blacks captain scooped the top individual accolade at the IRB Awards held in Glasgow, Scotland. McCaw's award topped a successful year and night for New Zealand, with the All Blacks named IRB Team of the Year for the second consecutive year and head coach Graham Henry winning the IRB Coach of the Year award. New Zealand are unbeaten in the autumn internationals and will finish the year as the world's No. 1 team.
Ireland defeat Islanders
Ireland brought the curtain down on "old" Lansdowne Road by thumping the Pacific Islanders 61-17 on Sunday. Flyhalf Paddy Wallace, making his first start, scored 26 points, and flanker Simon Easterby scored two of Ireland's eight tries in the last match at Europe's oldest rugby stadium. Renovation will start next year and the stadium will reopen in 2009. The Islanders completed their first tour of Europe without a victory and finished with their heaviest defeat. Tries by center Seru Rabeni and winger Lome Fa'atau helped the Islanders to be competitive in the first half, unlike previous losses to Wales and Scotland.
US downs Canada 2-1
Kristine Lilly scored on a penalty kick in the final seconds of overtime on Sunday to give the US a 2-1 victory over Canada in the final of the Women's Gold Cup, North America's qualifier for the 2007 Women's World Cup in China. Lilly's winner came beyond the 120th minute in the second of two 15-minute overtimes after a scoreless second half. Leslie Osborne scored in the seventh minute for the US while Randee Hermus scored in first-half injury time to equalize for Canada, which like the US qualified for next year's global football showdown. Mexico defeated Jamaica 3-0 in the third-place game to reach a two-game series with Japan to decide one of the last vacant berths in the Women's World Cup field.
Yousuf leads Pakistan
In-form batsman Mohammad Yousuf hit an unbeaten half century yesterday to lead Pakistan's charge on the first day of the third and final cricket Test against the West Indies. Yousuf smashed 12 fours to sit on 67 not out at tea as Pakistan made steady progress to 174-3 on a grassless National Stadium wicket. Captain Inzamam ul-Haq was not out on 17. Wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin failed to catch a thin edge off Yousuf's bat from a Chris Gayle ball in the last over before tea. The West Indies bowlers could get only one wicket in the second session when Dwayne Bravo enticed Imran Farhat (47) to drive a wide delivery.
Mexican women take third
Monica Ocampo scored two goals to lead Mexico to a 3-0 victory over Jamaica in the third-place game of the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Sunday in Carson, California. Mexico will play Japan in a two-game series for one of the two remaining berths in next year's Women's World Cup, which will take place in September in China. Ocampo scored on a penalty kick in the 20th minute after being tripped in the penalty area by Jamaica's Alicia Wilson. Maribel Dominguez gave Mexico a 2-0 lead in the 23rd minute, when she took a pass from Iris Mora, beat Wilson, drew goalkeeper Paula Jackson away from the goal and converted inside the left post from 15 yards.