Penguins begin defense
Pittsburgh began their defense of the Stanley Cup with a 3-2 victory over Washington on Thursday, with Phil Kessel beating Braden Holtby in the fourth round of a shootout for the winning tally. Kessel’s wrist shot over Holtby’s glove was initially ruled no goal, but was overturned on replay. Marc-Andre Fleury then saved Alex Ovechkin’s attempt from in close to help the Penguins improve to 5-0 against Washington in season openers. Patric Hornqvist and Evgeni Malkin scored as the Penguins capped a celebratory night in which they lifted their latest Stanley Cup banner to the rafters. Andre Burakovsky scored twice for Washington. Holtby made 28 stops, but allowed three goals in the shootout.
Fiji team to play in NRC
A Fiji team are to join Australia’s National Rugby Championship (NRC) next year, laying the platform for a potential future push for a Pacific island team in Super Rugby. Fiji provided one of the feel-good stories in Rio de Janeiro in August when their men’s side won the first rugby sevens Olympic title, securing the nation’s first-ever medal in the process. While being frontrunners in the abbreviated sevens format, Fiji have never progressed beyond the World Cup quarter-finals in the traditional 15-a-side game. Because of a lack of infrastructure and funding, talented rugby players have tended to go abroad to Europe, New Zealand or Australia to seek professional opportunities. The momentum of the exodus has recently been increasing. To help Fiji keep some homegrown talent at home, World Rugby is underwriting the participation of the Fiji Warriors in Australia’s NRC. “The Fiji brand of rugby is arguably the most exciting brand of rugby in the world and their inclusion in the NRC will enhance the competition both in terms of the quality of rugby and by adding a huge amount of support and interest from the Fijian communities both in Fiji and here in Australia,” Australian Rugby Union chief executive Bill Pulver said at the official announcement yesterday.
Tahir, South Africa fined
Spinner Imran Tahir has been fined 30 percent of his match fee for his heated exchange with Australia batsman David Warner, while South Africa were penalized for maintaining a slow over-rate in Wednesday’s fifth ODI against Australia in Cape Town. Tahir showed a lack of respect toward the umpires when he ignored them during his verbal spat with Warner and the behavior was deemed “contrary to the spirit of the game,” the International Cricket Council (ICC) said. South Africa captain Faf du Plessis was docked 20 percent of his match fee and the rest of the team 10 percent for the slow over rate. Both Du Plessis and Tahir pleaded guilty and accepted the sanctions.
Pakistan take control
Pakistan moved into a commanding position against the West Indies in the day-night Test in Dubai last night. At press time, Pakistan had moved to 406-2 against the pink-ball attack in the United Arab Emirates, who dismissed Sami Aslam for 90 on Thursday and Asad Shafiq for 67 yesterday. Azhar Ali was on 207 not out, batting with Babar Azam on 25 not out.
Japanese couple Rikiya and Ayumi Kataoka had their honeymoon wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic, but their resourcefulness in enforced exile in Cape Verde has won them appointments as ambassadors for its Olympic team. The Kataokas had completed a third of their round-the-world trip when a suspension in long-haul flights stranded them for five months in the archipelago of 10 tiny islands off the coast of West Africa. Unable to resume their journey to Europe and then home to Japan, and unwilling to head to the African mainland, where virus cases are spiking, they had to trade their skills with domestic businesses to
WEEKEND MATCHES: While Tatung FC made good on their chances early on, Taiwan Steel rallied to win the game 2-3 and move to the top with Taichung Futuro Sunday’s action saw Taichung Futuro, Taipower FC and Taiwan Steel tied for first place on 30 points in the Taiwan Football Premier League, while Hang Yuan FC picked up a point to take the No. 4 spot on 25 points after holding Taipower to a scoreless draw. In Taoyuan, Tatung FC hosted Taiwan Steel. It was an exciting matchup, as the visitors rallied from 2-0 down to take the game with three goals. Tatung made good on their chances early on. Honduran midfielder Elias Argueta opened the account 15 minutes into the game with a low shot from the right. Three minutes
Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a scathing attack on the next generation of snooker players after he made the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship on Sunday, ending Chinese star Ding Junhui’s world championship dream. The mercurial 44-year-old Englishman won an enthralling high-quality second-round encounter 13-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with three-time champion Mark Williams. When asked by the BBC whether he thought he would remain at the top of the game for this long, the Briton, who turned professional in 1992, said the poor quality of younger players had secured his position and that something drastic would have to happen
Max Verstappen informed his Red Bull team that he would not be driving “like a grandma” in Formula One’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday — and he was as good as his word. The Dutch 22-year-old seized his opportunity at Silverstone, ending dominant Mercedes’ run of four successive wins this season and moving up to second place overall, 30 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen’s confidence shone through early on, after slotting into third place behind the two Mercedes, when he was told by race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase to take care of his tires. “Mate, this is the only chance of being