Williams scores hat-trick
Code-swapping star Sonny Bill Williams scored a hat-trick as defending champions New Zealand steamrollered Papua New Guinea 56-10 on Friday in their final Rugby League World Cup Pool B match. In an ominous broadside ahead of next weekend’s quarter-finals, the Kiwis scored 10 tries in total, half-back Shaun Johnson following up on his 24 points in the previous 48-0 victory over France with 16 more from the boot. Man-of-the-match Williams, who as a center won the Rugby World Cup with the All Blacks on home soil in 2011 and is bidding to become the first player to win Cups in both codes, scored three tries in a total of seven in the first half. “There’s a lot of improvements for us to work on. We’ve just got to keep on working and step it up another level,” Williams said after his ninth league Test appearance, with 19 All Blacks games also to his credit.
Kirk seizes one-shot lead
Chris Kirk fired a second-round 66 to seize a one-shot lead in the PGA Tour McGladrey Classic, where darkness halted play on Friday for a second straight day. Kirk’s eight-under total of 132 put him one ahead of former US Open champion Webb Simpson, fellow Americans Briny Baird and Kevin Chappell, and Australian John Senden. Kirk played in the worst of the windy conditions, but managed to nab five birdies on the back nine, which included a 40-foot putt from off the green at the 11th and a chip-in from 60 feet at 14.
Scott extends his lead
Adam Scott shot an even-par 71 yesterday and extended his lead to three strokes at the Australian PGA going into today’s final round at a wind-swept Royal Pines. Scott, playing the first of four consecutive tournaments in Australia and for the first time since his US Masters triumph in April, had a three-round total of 10-under 203. He led by two shots after the second round. He plays in today’s final group with American Rickie Fowler, who also shot 71 and was tied for second with Australian David McKenzie, who shot a 72.
Panthers fire Kevin Dineen
The Florida Panthers, mired in a seven-game NHL losing streak, sacked head coach Kevin Dineen and two assistant coaches on Friday. Executive vice president and general manager Dale Tallon said Peter Horachek would take over the coaching duties on an interim basis, assisted by Brian Skrudland and John Madden. “After 16 games it was clear that our team needed a change in philosophy and direction,” Tallon said on Friday, a day after a 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins dropped the Panthers to 3-9-4.
Silva out with calf injury
Manchester City playmaker David Silva could be out of action for up to a month with a calf injury, manager Manuel Pellegrini said on Friday. The Spain international, who had already missed a month of this season with a thigh injury before returning in early October, came off midway through the second half of Tuesday’s 5-2 UEFA Champions League victory over CSKA Moscow. “Silva has a problem with his calf, so he could miss three or four weeks,” Pellegrini told a press conference ahead of today’s trip to Sunderland in the Premier League. Pellegrini said midfielder Fernandinho and defender Matija Nastasic face late fitness tests.
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
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
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
Preparing to complete a ninth Serie A campaign without winning the scudetto, AC Milan decided that returning to the pinnacle of club soccer required a new approach. Roc Nation, the entertainment agency of US rapper Jay-Z is at the center of it, linking up with Milan to scour the world for sponsors, and use concerts and other high-profile events to attract new fans. And who better to ask about how to end a title drought than the team who just won their league for the first time in 30 years? “We have been talking to Liverpool, because they’ve been through the same path