Tahiti beat New Caledonia
Lorenzo Tehau scored his fifth goal in two matches as Tahiti held off a brave rally from nine-man New Caledonia to win 4-3 in Honiara, Solomon Islands, on Saturday and stay unbeaten atop Group A at the Oceania Nations Cup tournament. Tehau scored four goals in Tahiti’s 10-1 opening-round win over Samoa and was again joined by brother Alvin Tehau among the goalscorers as Tahiti stayed on track for the semi-finals. However, they had to battle hard for their second win of the tournament as New Caledonia, who won their opening match 5-2 over Vanuatu, rallied strongly after trailing 3-0 in the 54th minute when they lost a second player to a yellow card. Georges Gope-Fenepej was sent off in the 28th minute for a deliberate handball and Jean-Patrick Wakanumune in the 54th minute for a dangerous challenge.
Honduras defeat El Salvador
Carlo Costly and Allan Lalin scored in the second half as Honduras beat El Salvador 3-0 at RFK Memorial Stadium in Washington on Saturday in the final tuneup for both teams before resuming World Cup qualifying. Victor Bernardez also scored early for Honduras. Emilio Izaguirre set up two of the goals with crosses from the wing. Honduras’ Brayan Beckles was sent off for a reckless challenge in the 84th minute, moments before Lalin’s goal.
Weepu named an All Black
New All Blacks coach Steve Hansen made his first major team announcement a contentious one when he included scrumhalf Piri Weepu in his 30-man squad for Tests against Ireland, despite Weepu’s recent lack of fitness or form. Hansen, who took over from Graham Henry after New Zealand’s World Cup victory in October last year, had previously named 35 players to attend training camps in preparation for the three-Test series, which begins in Auckland on Saturday. In refining that squad, including seven new caps, Hansen gave the first clear sign of the player he believes will take New Zealand on from the World Cup success.
Barath, Bravo save Windies
Adrian Barath and Darren Bravo both made 50s against Leicestershire as they rescued the West Indies from yet another top-order collapse on their tour of England on Saturday. The West Indies are already 2-0 down in the three-match Test series heading into this week’s climax at Edgbaston, with their top order having repeatedly slumped during the series. It looked like the tourists were set to suffer yet more embarrassment when the struggling Kieran Powell and Kirk Edwards both fell in the same over at Grace Road in Leicester from seamer Nadeem Malik to leave the Windies 25 for two. However, a third-wicket stand of 111 between opener Barath (53 not out) and Bravo (66) helped propel their side to 150 for three at the close of the first day of this two-day match. Edwards, the Windies’ acting captain, opted to bat after winning the toss. Powell had managed just nine when he was caught behind by Ned Eckersley off Malik’s first ball. However, Barath, who has looked the most promising member of a weak top four, got the tourists going again with his favored cover-drive and Bravo followed suit to bring up the West Indies’ 100 off Malik. Barath’s 50 took 136 balls, but was no less valuable for that, before bad light ended play for the day with Assad Fudadin 7 not out.