Leinster win fourth title
Leinster shrugged off the injury absence of star center Brian O’Driscoll to beat Stade Francais 34-13 on Friday to clinch the European Challenge Cup. It was the Irish side’s fourth continental title to add to their 2009, 2011 and last year’s European Cup triumphs. For Stade, it was another story of final heartbreak, having lost the 2011 Challenge Cup title match as well as suffering the agony of European Cup final losses in 2001 and 2005. Leinster, who scored four tries, also became just the fourth team to complete the European Cup-Challenge Cup double. British Lion Jonny Sexton shone brightly, being named man of the match for his perfect kicking and game control in a final where the French enjoyed the lions’ share of possession.
Clarett tests sevens skills
Former collegiate gridiron star Maurice Clarett, who went to prison on robbery and weapons charges, is testing his skills at rugby sevens with an eye toward the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. The Columbus Dispatch newspaper reported on Friday that the former Ohio State star running back, who never made it in the National Football League, will play in the eight-team Ohio Rugby Sevens Invitational on Saturday at Mechanicsburg. Clarett is to play for the Columbus affiliate of Tiger Rugby, the development program to select US players for the 2016 Olympics. As an American football star, Clarett ran for 1,237 yards and scored 18 touchdowns in powering the Buckeyes to the 2002 US national college title. He was a 2005 NFL Draft pick by Denver, but did not make the squad.
Warner’s tweets probed
Cricket Australia is to investigate an extraordinary Twitter outburst by opening batsman David Warner that attacked two senior Australian cricket journalists. The 26-year-old Warner criticized News Limited journalists Robert Craddock and Malcolm Conn in an expletive-filled tirade, which has created headlines. A series of fiery rants were yesterday morning posted on Warner’s Twitter account in response to Craddock’s article on the perils of the rich and corrupt Indian Premier League. Warner is currently competing in the IPL as vice-captain of the Delhi Daredevils. His Twitter account has almost 190,000 followers. Among the tweets, which started at approximately 4am Indian time, Warner called Craddock a “prick,” and said they “talk shit” and branded Conn an “old fart” in an unprecedented attack. To Craddock, one tweet said: “Shock me @crashcraddock1 talking shit about ipl jealous prick. Get a real job. All you do is bag people. #getalife.” “Cricket Australia is attempting to contact Warner and will continue to investigate the matter,” Cricket Australia said in a statement yesterday. It was unclear whether Warner’s Twitter account had been hacked.
Ranadive group buys Kings
A group led by software magnate Vivek Ranadive of India has purchased the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Sacramento Kings and will keep the team in the California capital, according to several media reports. The Maloof family had made a deal to sell the club to a group that would have moved it to Seattle, but league owners voted 22-8 to reject that deal on Wednesday, setting the stage for the sale to Ranadive’s group for a record sum. Ranadive becomes the first NBA owner of Indian heritage at a time when the league has made moves to try and grow interest in basketball among the 1.2 billion people of cricket-loving India.