The Fiver | Lovren v Ramos, bad looks and the sense of box office

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!During the Ethics World Cup, Dejan Lovren was the darling among those grubbing for a sentence, a word, a mere arching of the eyebrow from footballers as they traipsed past hacks taking urgent phone calls or struggling with a particularly troublesome earbud. Lovren would stand in front of the massed quote-seekers, shooting from the hip and giving the impression that he’d happily come along for a post-match loosener if there wasn’t a bus to catch. Continue reading...

17-11-2018



Wales v Tonga: Aled Davies scores 'try of the autumn'

Aled Davies scores a superb second-half try as Wales thump Tonga 74-24 in their autumn international at the Principality Stadium.

17-11-2018



Wales’ Liam Williams helps turn scramble into a frolic against Tonga

• Wales 74-24 Tonga• Tonga level early in second half but Wales then launch try spreeWarren Gatland praised the strength in depth of the Wales squad after his side claimed an eighth consecutive win by crushing Tonga. Wales’ winning sequence is their longest since the 2004-05 season, and victory over South Africa next Saturday would complete a first autumn Tests clean sweep. Related: Jacob Stockdale scores only try as Ireland earn historic win over All Blacks Continue reading...

17-11-2018



Women's World Twenty20 highlights: England and West Indies make semi-finals

Watch the best moments from day eight of the ICC Women's World Twenty20 as England and hosts West Indies make the semi-finals.

17-11-2018



Wayne Rooney: some ex-players cannot come to terms with this England team

• Rooney says some ex-teammates bitter about successes• ‘That is wrong. I’m not like that. I’m a fan now’Wayne Rooney believes some of his former international teammates are struggling to embrace England’s success under Gareth Southgate. The former captain made sure not to cause any embarrassment by revealing who he was talking about, though the DC United forward stressed that he has not been weighed down by any bitterness since his retirement from international football last year.“I know there are some ex-players who I’ve spoken to who can’t come to terms with England doing well,” Rooney said. “That is wrong. I’m not like that. I’m a fan now. I want England to do well. I am proud to have played for England so many times and I always have been. I’ve had my time. I am happy with what I’ve contributed to the national team and I look forward now to the next few years and watching this team progress.” Continue reading...

17-11-2018



Danny Willett challenging for redemptive victory with lead in Dubai

• Patrick Reed shares lead at DP World Tour Championship • Willett aiming to enjoy chance for first win since 2016 MastersThe European Tour has turned into a backdrop for redemption stories. A week after Lee Westwood was reduced to tears, after securing a first victory in more than three years, Danny Willett and Patrick Reed are on the verge of bouncing back in a similar manner.With 18 holes of the DP World Tour Championship to play, Willett and Reed have set the pace at 14 under par. Willett’s slide in the aftermath of winning the Masters in 2016 was such that many feared it could prove inexorable. He has had an upturn in fortunes this season – to the point where he qualified for the European Tour’s season finale – but winning for the first time since Augusta National would represent a significant achievement. Willett has battled injury as well as form loss over the past two years, with an association with Sean Foley – the former coach of Tiger Woods – apparently fruitful. Continue reading...

17-11-2018



Hamilton would be world champion in a Mercedes or a Ferrari - Palmer column

In his latest column, former Renault driver Jolyon Palmer looks at the brilliance of five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

17-11-2018



Joe Cokanasiga scores debut try to help spare England’s blushes against Japan

• England 35-15 Japan• Home side run in three second-half tries having trailed 15-10Eddie Jones promised his side would smash Japan but England were more toothless than ruthless for the first 50 minutes against resourceful and cunning opponents who revelled in broken play and were durable in contact. There was far less for the hosts to harvest from victory than there had been in defeat to New Zealand the week before, forced to go back to basics against tier two opponents after trailing at the interval. Related: Eddie Jones: ‘In the second half we finally got stuck in – that’s pleasing’ Continue reading...

17-11-2018



Ryan Fraser fires Scotland close to Nations League promotion

• Albania 0-4 Scotland• Fraser 14, Fletcher 45pen, Forrest 55 67Scotland are within 90 minutes of promotion from the third tier of the Nations League after an emphatic 4-0 win over 10-man Albania at the Loro Borici Stadium in Shkoder.Ryan Fraser’s first international goal after 14 minutes gave the visitors the lead before home skipper Mergim Mavraj was sent off six minutes later by the referee, Vladislav Bezborodov, for a headbutt on Ryan Christie. Continue reading...

17-11-2018



Portugal into Nations League semi-finals after goalless draw at wasteful Italy

Portugal seal top spot in Group A3 and a place in the Nations League semi-finals with a hard-fought point against a wasteful Italy.

17-11-2018



Baron Alco and Jamie Moore grind Cheltenham rivals into submission

• BetVictor Gold Cup winners lead from the front• Sara Bradstock praises third-placed ConeygreeWhen six of the 18 runners in a handicap chase make it across the line, up front is generally the best place to be. So it proved here on Saturday as Baron Alco and Jamie Moore made all the running to win a BetVictor Gold Cup that was strewn with incident from the first fence to the last.Four horses fell, two more were brought down and four unseated their riders over the course of two-and-a-half miles, but the drama passed Baron Alco by as he jumped quickly and accurately at the head of the field. Frodon, under top weight, kept him company for much of the way but his burden started to tell on the turn for home and Baron Alco stayed on strongly close home to register a comfortable success. Continue reading...

17-11-2018



Portugal hold Italy to become first team to reach Nations League semi-finals

• Rui Patrício the Portugal hero in goalless draw at San Siro • Mitrovic scores and misses Panenka-style penalty in Serbia winPortugal became the first team to qualify for the Nations League semi-finals when they held on for a goalless draw away to Italy to make sure of top spot in Group Three in the competition’s top tier.Italy dominated the first hour and Portugal were rescued by the Wolverhampton Wanderers keeper Rui Patrício, who twice denied Ciro Immobile when the forward looked set to score. He also saved Lorenzo Pellegrini’s header from close range in stoppage time. Continue reading...

17-11-2018



Will anyone prevent Manchester City from retaining their title? | Paul Wilson

Only 11 teams have done it, and only Manchester United and Liverpool have done it more than a couple of times, but Pep Guardiola’s men look a good bet to join the club this seasonOnly 11 clubs have ever done it, and one of the first was called the Wednesday. The official retitling of Sheffield Wednesday only happened in 1929, just in time to see it achieved again in 1930. Aston Villa managed it during the Boer war, Huddersfield between the wars and Portsmouth and Wolves during the cold war. The first time it occurred was in 1890, when Vincent van Gogh was still alive, just, and the most recent occasion was in 2009, when a frustrated Rafa Benítez famously came up with a list of “facts” about Sir Alex Ferguson’s supposed influence over referees.The subject under discussion is the retention of the English title, which has happened on 25 occasions in the 130-year history of organised league football. Manchester United can claim a record seven of those feats, six coming under Ferguson’s stewardship, and with five, mainly in the 70s and 80s, Liverpool are the only other team with more than a couple of back-to-back wins. Continue reading...

17-11-2018



Ben Ryan: ‘If rugby were a company people would be comparing it to an Enron’

Fiji’s gold-medal winning sevens coach is unhappy with the direction he believes the game is moving in – from the treatment of tier-two nations to laws being overlooked by refereesIf you love rugby union what follows will be a tough read. According to one of the world’s leading coaches, however, the time has come for the sport to get real. “If rugby were a company people would be comparing it to an Enron,” says Ben Ryan, Fiji’s Olympic gold-medal winning sevens mastermind. “It’s completely dysfunctional.”Ryan’s charge sheet is long and chilling. With Japan set to visit Twickenham this weekend he says tier-two nations continue to be treated with almost feudal disregard, that the sport’s law-book is being wilfully ignored and that skilful players are becoming disillusioned with where 15-a-side rugby is heading. Central to it all, he believes, is the selfish decision-making of certain stakeholders which is steering the global game into deeply worrying territory. Continue reading...

17-11-2018



The Breakdown | It was tough on Sam Underhill, but England try was rightly disallowed

Courtney Lawes took a gamble and lost when he charged down TJ Perenara’s kick against the All Blacks. The referee was correctSam Underhill may be one of England’s youngest, least experienced players but he reacted to one of the biggest disappointments of his senior career with a mature detachment. “If the referee says the grass is pink, then the grass is pink,” he said when asked about his disallowed try five minutes from time against New Zealand when Courtney Lawes was ruled to have been offside when he charged down a kick. Related: Japan captain Leitch says his side will not bow down at Twickenham Continue reading...

17-11-2018