Posts Tagged ‘leave’

Australia vs New Zealand: All Blacks leave out Aaron Cruden but Steve Hansen stresses fly-half is no longer being punished

Barrett remained at flyhalf and Colin Slade was preferred to Cruden for the bench because of his ability to cover more positions in the backline, coach Steve Hansen said.

So Cruden will remain a spectator despite his return to the extending training group following a team suspension for missing a flight to a Rugby Championship game against Argentina after a drinking session.

“(Cruden) is definitely not getting punished,” Hansen said. “He’s back in the group because we want him in the group.

“He hasn’t made the 23 simply because we think Barratt has been playing well enough to get another go.”

The Brisbane test doesn’t have any trophies riding on it, because New Zealand already retained the bilateral Bledisloe Cup with a win and a draw during its Rugby Championship-winning campaign.

But there’s plenty at stake in the trans-Tasman clash. The All Blacks are coming off a rare loss against South Africa, while the Wallabies want to draw a line under a couple of troubled weeks.

Australia suffered back-to-back losses in South Africa and Argentina amid turmoil as backline star Kurtley Beale was suspended pending a hearing into his verbal confrontation with the team business manager and alleged distribution of offensive emails about her. The business manager subsequently resigned, citing stress.

“They’ve certainly got their backs against the wall and they’ve got nowhere to go but to come out and try to show their fans, their public, themselves, they’re good rugby players,” Hansen said.

“I see them as being a very dangerous beast this week.”

The All Blacks have made five changes to the team that lost to South Africa in the last weekend of the Rugby Championship, ending New Zealand’s 22-test unbeaten run.

Wyatt Crockett was recalled at prop and Brodie Retallick at lock — both returning from injuries — while hooker Dane Coles and flanker Liam Messam regain their starting positions. Coles displaces Keven Mealamu, who will now play his 120th test from the bench.

Corey Jane was selected on the right wing in place of Ben Smith, who is being rested after playing in all of the All Blacks’ previous tests this season.

Lock Patrick Tuipulotu, flanker Sam Cane, scrumhalf T.J. Perenara and outside back Charles Piutau join the squad as reserves.

Australia held New Zealand to a 12-12 draw in Sydney to open the Bledisloe Cup series, but the All Blacks recorded an emphatic 51-20 victory in Auckland the following weekend to retain the trophy.

They also retained the Rugby Championship, though the loss against the Springboks tarnished the trophy.

“We’re going to win every game — there’s an expectation that we do, and we don’t walk away from that,” Hansen said. “We’ve just come off a loss, which is a bit agitating for the group. And we want to rectify that.”

Places on the All Blacks tour to the United States and Europe are on the line, too, although Hansen conceded that Cruden and injured flyhalf Dan Carter were already penciled in. Carter was to have returned from a broken leg with his New Zealand province this weekend but it was decided he was not quite ready for a game.

“He’ll get named on Monday, then we’ll have to make assessments,” Hansen said. “We want to take him on the tour if he’s right.

“He’s able to train — he just can’t take a knock on it. The nerves haven’t settled down enough for him to be able to respond to a knock on it.”

New Zealand team to face Australia:

New Zealand: Israel Dagg, Corey Jane, Conrad Smith, Malakai Fekitoa, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith, Keiran Read, Richie McCaw (captain), Liam Messam, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Owen Franks, Dane Coles, Wyatt Crockett. 

Reserves: Keven Mealamu, Ben Franks, Charlie Faumuina, Patrick Tuipulotu, Sam Cane, TJ Perenara, Colin Slade, Charles Piutau.

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Portugal leave it late, beat Mexico 1-0

Bruno Alves headed a classy late winner as Portugal beat Mexico 1-0 in Foxborough to step up preparations for the World Cup.

In the third minute of second-half stoppage time, the defender darted into space to meet a free-kick delivered from a deep position on the right by Joao Moutinho and directed the ball inches inside the right post.

Portugal, who were without injured captain Cristiano Ronaldo, wrap up their tournament warm-up schedule with a game against the Republic of Ireland in Boston on Tuesday.

The Irish, who have missed out on World Cup qualification, achieved a 1-1 draw with Brazil-bound Costa Rica in Philadelphia.

Costa Rica’s Giancarlo Gonzalez was sent off after an ugly altercation with Ireland striker Kevin Doyle, who was left with blood pouring down his face, four minutes before the break at PPL Park.

It proved to be an eventful evening as Kevin Doyle handed Ireland an early lead with his 13th international goal before Gonzalez lost his head, only for Celso Borges to level from the penalty spot after the break.

Republic captain Robbie Keane could have restored his side’s lead almost immediately, but saw his spot-kick saved by substitute goalkeeper Patrick Pemberton.

Zambia gave Japan a fright in Tampa before sliding to a 4-3 defeat.

Japan fell 2-0 behind during the first half, conceding a close-range header from Christopher Katongo and a sweetly-struck 20-yard strike from Nathan Sinkala.

Keisuke Honda’s penalty cut the deficit and Shinji Kagawa had a stroke of luck for an equaliser when his apparent cross bypassed everyone on its way into the net.

Honda prodded Japan in front, only for Zambia’s Lubambo Musanda to strike a 25-yard effort that deflected over Shusaku Nishikawa to haul Zambia back to 3-3.

Yoshito Okubo pinched a last-gasp winner, showing sharp control to bring down a long pass and composing himself before producing a powerful left-footed finish.

Croatia and Australia are both heading to the finals, and it took a Nikica Jelavic strike to separate them in Salvador. Croatia’s 1-0 victory came courtesy of Jelavic’s strike off the underside of the crossbar in the 58th minute.

Greece beat non-qualifiers Bolivia 2-1 in New Jersey with goals from Panagiotis Kone and Kostas Katsouranis. Rudy Cardozo replied from long range for Bolivia.

Fredy Guarin’s late 30-yard strike capped a 3-0 win for Colombia over Jordan in Buenos Aires. Colombia had led through a pair of penalties, converted by James Rodriguez and Juan Cuadrado.

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Fabregas set to leave Barcelona

Reports state that Cesc Fabregas is set to leave Barcelona this summer, with a return to the Premier League his preferred option.

Barcelona are willing to sell the Spain midfielder as he does not figure in their plans for next season.

It is understood that Fabregas has a £30million release clause written into his contract.

The 27-year-old is expected to interest a number of top Premier League teams, including his former club Arsenal.

Manchester United could be another destination following the attempts of executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward to sign him last summer.

Fabregas signed a five-year contract at Barcelona in 2011, the club from which Arsenal snared him as a 16-year-old, describing the move back home as the “greatest challenge of his life”.

He scored nine goals in 48 appearances last term but Barcelona endured a rare trophyless campaign.

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Sexton opts to leave Ireland

January 26, 2013 15:37:43 United kingdom

Jonathan Sexton appears set to join Racing Metro.

Ireland global Jonathan Sexton will be leaving Leinster at the finish of this season and appears set to make a rewarding move to France.

The fly-half has been linked with a massive-income move to Racing Metro just a week after Ireland coach Declan Kidney had stated he was hopeful the 27-year-old would be staying with Leinster, who are 126.00 to win this season’s Heineken Cup.

“We remained in the fight up until the final possible second to maintain Johnny in Ireland with a quite robust provide,” said IRFU chief executive Philip Browne.

“But, ultimately, following negotiations with the player’s agent, we had no selection but to take the determination that it would not be in the very best interest of Irish rugby to chase the reported monetary incentives becoming presented.

“The IRFU has made a commitment to, and been largely productive in, maintaining as several Irish players as attainable taking part in complete-time in Ireland. Even so, we have constantly recognised that some of our players will be targeted by overseas clubs with offers which, very just, are not inside our orbit.”

Sexton created his Ireland debut in November 2009, soon following he became a typical in the Leinster side. He was 1 of the top rated earners in Ireland immediately after gaining an worldwide contract with the IRFU.

Ireland open their 6 Nations campaign with a match against Wales subsequent weekend. Ireland can be backed at 2.25 to win the match whilst Wales are accessible at 1.61 to make a winning start to their Six Nations campaign.

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Tags: Bet on Ireland, Bet on Leinster, bet on Rugby Union, Bet on the 6 Nations, Bet on Wales

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So You Consider limps out of farewell Eclipse to leave Farhh as favourite

Common. Having eventually commenced to win above individuals who had been treating his profession in the northern hemisphere as an anti-climax, So You Believe yesterday let them down the moment and for all. As ever, it was by means of no fault of his personal.

Hot favourite to win the Coral Eclipse Stakes for the 2nd year running, at Sandown tomorrow, So You Think was found to be lame shortly just before last declarations were manufactured. His imminent repatriation to start a stud occupation in Australia – exactly where he first produced his name – signifies that we have now witnessed the final of the huge horse.

In the event, then, his parting shot has turned out to be that achievement in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot final month. That day Aidan O’Brien, who took custody of So You Think immediately after his patrons at Coolmore bought a controlling interest late in 2010, appeared at embarrassing pains to reproach himself for being slow to modify to the imported champion’s needs.

“I’d like to say sorry to all the Australian people that I’ve produced this kind of a mess of it for so prolonged,” he mentioned. Only now could So You Consider display why he had been preceded from Australia by this kind of extravagant billing, was the message.

Nevertheless Timeform gave his overall performance nearly specifically the very same rating as individuals he had achieved in two starts more than course and distance final year – when run down late by Rewilding at the royal meeting, and when narrowly outgunned by Cirrus Des Aigles in the Champion Stakes. The reality is that So You Think’s record right here does not require any exoneration, of horse or trainer.

He established himself as prime class, challenging and reliable. Yes, he was beaten in 5 of his ten Group A single begins from Ballydoyle, but these reverses were hardly mystifying or disgraceful. One particular was on dirt yet another on a synthetic surface, immediately after a lengthy lay-off another when left with an unattainable process in the Arc, dropped correct out from a broad draw. And the other two may well legitimately be handled as proof that Australian racing is instead significantly less aggressive above middle distances than, say, in sprints. Its chronic lack of depth at the staying finish of the spectrum, as established in latest Melbourne Cups, does not specifically discourage that suspicion.

In his absence, the sponsors make Farhh 9-4 favourite to seal his status as an emerging force for Godolphin, having suffered his initial defeat when 3rd to So You Believe at Ascot, and then only following a extremely troubled run.

Saeed bin Suroor, Farhh’s trainer, has somewhat forfeited his seniority at Godolphin considering that the successful promotion of his former assistant, Mahmood al Zarooni, to supervise his very own yard. But the latter – who tomorrow saddles his Dubai World Cup winner, Monterosso, in the Eclipse – faces an embarrassing British Horseracing Authority inquiry subsequent month right after two of his runners at Newmarket had been yesterday revealed to have examined beneficial to a prohibited discomfort-killer, propoxyphene.

The horses in query are Mariner’s Cross, right after his results at the Craven meeting in April, and Lyric Of Light, when tailed off in the one,000 Guineas.

Turf account

Chris McGrath’s Nap

Violent Velocity (six.30 Beverley) Reliable old soldier has won twice this season when dropped in grade and, equal to all going, should prove also very good for these platers.

Next very best

Jocasta Dawn (three.45 Warwick) Looked nicely treated going into handicaps at Sandown final time in which her late rally justifies return to a sixth furlong.

In which the money’s going

Nathaniel is 100-30 from 7-2 with William Hill for tomorrow’s Coral Eclipse Stakes.

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