Defending champions Leinster thrashed Bath 52-27 on Saturday to go six points clear at the top of their group after four rounds of Heineken Cup pool matches.
Leinster’s classy display, which included seven tries, saw the Irish side collect a four-try bonus point and effectively put one foot into the knockout stages. Leinster now top Pool 3 with 16 points, while Bath are at the bottom with six.
It was the second time in a space of a week that Leinster had beaten the English side, though their performance was a huge improvement over their scrappy 18-13 win on Dec. 11.
The race to be the best-placed runners-up from the pool stages is already heating up and the Glasgow Warriors battled hard to finish level with Montpellier after a pulsating game that ended 13-13. However, it was the Scottish team that was fortunate in the end, with the French side missing a last-gasp penalty.
Glasgow’s forwards coach Shade Munro felt that with 10 points already to their name, they could progress to the knockout stages.
Glasgow face Leinster in Pool 3’s fifth round fixture and Munro believes it is fair to label the clash as the “biggest game in the history of Glasgow Warriors.”
In Pool 2, a hat-trick of drop-goals by Jonathan Wisniewski earned Racing Metro 92 their first win in the Heineken Cup, defeating the London Irish 25-19.
The French side’s revival might have come too late, but it has also made life difficult for the London Irish, who are now five points adrift of joint-leaders the Cardiff Blues and Edinburgh, both on 13 points. The London Irish will have to beat the two leaders in their remaining games to have a chance of progressing.
A late try by Jonny May also saw Gloucester claim a narrow victory over Connacht. The 23-19 win pushed the English side up to second in Pool 6 with nine points, three behind group leaders Toulouse.
Earlier in the day, Ulster fought off a spirited fightback from Aironi to go top of Pool 4 with 14 points after a 46-20 success. Ulster established a 27-3 lead in the first half, before tries by Sinoti Sinoti and Roberto Quarteroli gave the Italian side a ray of hope.
However, in the end Ulster’s quality showed as Craig Gilroy, Robbie Diack and Adam Macklin added to the scoreline and elevated Brian McLaughlin’s men to the top of their group, two points ahead of the Leicester Tigers.
The Tigers also showed grit in an early Saturday kickoff to overturn a nine-point deficit against ASM Clermont Auvergnand during a gripping 23-19 win, ensuring qualification from Pool 4 remains a three-horse race.
Leicester are now in second place with 12 points, one ahead of their French rivals. However, Clermont picked up a losing bonus point during the game and have a better head-to-head record.
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