Sport in brief

The Guardian Weekly - - Sport -

• Ire­land pro­duced the most eye­catch­ing re­sult in the first week­end of rugby union’s north­ern hemi­sphere au­tumn in­ter­na­tion­als, thrash­ing South Africa 38-3 in Dublin. Three Ir­ish tries in the last nine min­utes un­der­lined their su­pe­ri­or­ity over op­po­nents who still looked jet­lagged from the flight. In Cardiff, Aus­tralia came through a tricky test against an in­jury-weak­ened Wales side to win 29-21, while at Twick­en­ham, Eng­land dis­patched Ar­gentina 21-8 with­out ever get­ting out of first gear. In Paris, New Zealand made a com­fort­able start with a 38-18 win over France, while Scot­land edged out Samoa in Ed­in­burgh, 44-38.

Italy have failed to reach the foot­ball World Cup for the first time since 1958 af­ter Swe­den held them 0-0 in a play-off sec­ond leg, hav­ing gone in with a one-goal ad­van­tage. Af­ter the match Italy’s Gian­luigi Buf­fon, An­drea Barza­gli and Daniele De Rossi all an­nounced their in­ter­na­tional re­tire­ments. Italy won their fourth ti­tle in 2006, which was also Swe­den’s last ap­pear­ance in a World Cup fi­nals. Switzer­land and Croa­tia were oth­ers to qual­ify for next year’s tour­na­ment in Rus­sia via the play-off route.

Bri­tish Gym­nas­tics is fac­ing a cri­sis with its big­gest stars, in­clud­ing the dou­ble Olympic cham­pion Max Whit­lock, re­fus­ing to sign World Class Per­for­mance Pro­gramme con­tracts and be­ing threat­ened with hav­ing their fund­ing with­drawn. An in­ter­nal power strug­gle be­tween the per­for­mance, com­mer­cial and man­age­ment teams about the con­tent of the con­tract has led to a re­bel­lion among the ath­letes. The Guardian un­der­stands al­most all of the team, which won a record seven medals at the Rio Olympics last sum­mer, have re­fused to sign the con­tract. Bri­tish Gym­nas­tics said in a state­ment that it was cur­rently “in­volved in con­sul­ta­tion” with the ath­letes re­gard­ing the World Class Per­for­mance Pro­gramme agree­ments.

Andy Mur­ray came through his first match in four months, a char­ity ex­hi­bi­tion event against Roger Fed­erer in Glas­gow, and con­firmed he hopes to re­turn from a hip in­jury to play­ing top-level ten­nis in Jan­uary, first at a Bris­bane ATP tour­na­ment and then at the Aus­tralian Open. “I felt bet­ter than I ex­pected,” he said, around a year af­ter he rose to No 1 in the world. “I thought I did OK. I’ve re­ally missed it and I’m just so happy to be back.”

The big guns all made it through safely to the knock­out quar­ter-fi­nals at the Rugby League World Cup, where Aus­tralia face Samoa, New Zealand take on Fiji, Tonga play Le­banon and Eng­land meet Pa­pua New Guinea. The shock of the group stages came with Tonga’s 28-22 win over New Zealand, a re­sult that puts them on course for a pos­si­ble semi­fi­nal against Eng­land.

Char­ity come­back … Andy Mur­ray

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.