■ RUGBY UNION
Wilkinson nurses hangover
England's teetotal fly-half Jonny Wilkinson revealed he broke the habit of a lifetime after the World Cup final defeat to South Africa on Saturday and ended up nursing a hangover. "I suspect that it is widely known that I am teetotal. Well I broke the habit of pretty much a lifetime after the game on Saturday night and had a bit of a blow-out. It was the first time in years and simply seemed the right time and the right thing to do," he wrote in his column in the Times. He also said his injured right ankle troubled him throughout the tournament and he had to have treatment on it almost every day and at half-time during the final. "I haven't been able to kick on the right foot at all," he wrote.
Ponting praises Johnson
Left-arm seamer Mitchell Johnson has advanced his claims for a place in Australia's Test team, captain Ricky Ponting said yesterday. Johnson was Australia's leading bowler in the recent one-day series in India and is likely to join Brett Lee and Stuart Clark in a three-pronged pace attack for the first test against Sri Lanka in Brisbane starting on Nov. 8. "Mitchell Johnson has come along in leaps and bounds," Ponting told reporters after arriving home in Sydney from India. "When we've got young fast bowlers like him it just takes them a few breakout performances to really feel part of the team. He's had a good solid run at it and we've all seen over the last few weeks just how much potential he has got. He's done everything right as far as putting his name up in front of the selectors."
Galaxy miss playoff place
David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy were knocked out of playoff contention on Sunday when the Galaxy fell 1-0 to the Chicago Fire on the final day of Major League Soccer's regular season. The Galaxy, who had mounted a six-game unbeaten streak to keep their playoff hopes alive, needed a victory in order to advance to the eight-team championship playoffs of the 13-team league. Starting the game on the bench, Beckham came on in the 58th minute, but could not add any spark to his team. The Fire only needed a draw but managed to go one better with a 90th-minute goal to claim the last playoff spot, leaving Beckham to lament the club's early season struggles before his July arrival. "We've had a good run, but obviously early season form is what has affected us more than anything," Beckham said after the game.
Torre claim slammed
Departing New York Yankees manager Joe Torre's claim that the club's contract offer to him was an insult prompted an angry response from Hank Steinbrenner on Sunday. "Where was Joe's career in '95 when my dad hired him? My dad was crucified for hiring him," Steinbrenner told the New York Post. "Let's not forget what my dad did in giving him that opportunity -- and the great team he was handed," added Steinbrenner, who with his brother Hal has lately begun taking more responsibility for the franchise. Torre guided the Yankees to four World Series titles and never missed taking them to the playoffs in his 12-year tenure as manager. But he walked away from the club after receiving a one-year offer worth US$5 million with performance-based incentives. Torre, whose US$7.5 salary this year was more than double that of his nearest rival, said he found the incentive bonuses "an insult."
Kamaru Usman put on a Fight Island masterclass yesterday to retain his UFC welterweight world title by grinding down a brave Jorge Masvidal in Abu Dhabi. “I’m at the top of the mountain and everyone’s looking at me,” said the 33-year-old Usman after scoring a unanimous points decision 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46 on the three judges’ cards. The Nigerian-American Usman (17-1) looked the fresher fighter, with Masvidal (35-14) having taken the UFC251 headline bout at just six days’ notice when Brazil’s Gilbert Burns (19-3) tested positive for COVID-19 and was unable to travel. The Las Vegas-based UFC pulled off a power-packed schedule with
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there
Thailand international Pitsamai Sornsai, a new arrival for Inter Taoyuan, is to lead her team against Taipei Bravo tomorrow in the 10th round of the Taiwan Mulan Football League. Sornsai, who is nicknamed Pui, has attracted interest from media and fans as the first foreigner signed to play in Taiwan’s women’s league. Inter are among six teams battling for the title this year. The addition of Sornsai is a boost for the international profile of women’s soccer in Taiwan and elevates the competition. The 31-year-old brings a wealth of experience, including from the Asian Football Confederation’s Women’s Championship, the Southeast Asian Games and
MONKEYS ALSO WIN: The Rakuten Monkeys kept the Brothers from the first-half title as they dominated the Uni-President Lions, scoring four in the fourth The CTBC Brothers still need another win to clinch the first-half CPBL title, despite thrashing the hapless Fubon Guardians 17-0 yesterday, after the Rakuten Monkeys beat the Uni-President Lions 9-2. Fans of CTBC Brothers were hoping to celebrate the first-half title, with a crowd of more than 10,000 packed into the Taichung Intercontinental Stadium for their home game against the Guardians. The figure was an attendance record for this year, when baseball and most other major sports events worldwide have been played in empty venues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Entering the game, CTBC had pushed their magic number down to 2, meaning