Tue, Oct 23, 2007 - Page 18 News List



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.

■ Cricket

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.

■ Baseball

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."

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