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Sport | The Guardian



Sports news, scores, blogs and opinion on US and world sports from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice



Published: Sun, 25 Sep 2016 02:48:03 GMT2016-09-25T02:48:03Z

Copyright: Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2016
 



College players join in raising fists for anthem as Kaepernick's protest speads

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 22:24:54 GMT2016-09-24T22:24:54Z

  • Michigan and Michigan State players raise fists ahead of games
  • Some 60 to 70 North Carolina students join in protest from stands
  • Latest protest come in wake of Charlotte riots and Tulsa killing

Football players for Michigan and Michigan State along with a group of students at North Carolina raised their fists during the national anthem Saturday.

The gestures at the games come following a week punctuated by riots in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the killing of an unarmed black man in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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Ryder Cup 2016: US face pressure test as Darren Clarke backs young team

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 19:00:13 GMT2016-09-24T19:00:13Z

Davis Love III’s team are favourites at Hazeltine but much will depend on how they cope with the weight of expectation on them to end the US’s losing run

For all that the Ryder Cup involves two sides, it is difficult to deviate from the notion that the narrative of this, the 41st playing of the event, focuses mainly on one.

The desire of the United States to end a dismal run against Europe has taken them from one luminary, Tom Watson, to a taskforce and renaissance man in the form of Davis Love III. The US wildcard process has been modified, Tiger Woods has completed a journey of full circle from Ryder Cup indifference to the heart of the backroom team and an already fevered scenario has been ramped up even further. One is left to wonder what on earth the Americans will do if they have not wrestled back the Ryder Cup when time is called at Hazeltine next Sunday. Abandon all hope, perhaps.

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Mesut Özil strike seals Arsenal’s impressive demolition of Chelsea

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 18:35:13 GMT2016-09-24T18:35:13Z

The din from the majority that greeted the final whistle was an outpouring of joy after five years largely spent dreading this derby. Arsenal, rampant and irrepressible, have become the latest contenders to expose just how far Chelsea have slipped in the period since they claimed the Premier League. On this evidence, it is barely conceivable that those in blue had hoisted the trophy only 16 months ago. Their current, dishevelled selection surrendered meekly here, just as they had to Liverpool the previous week, from the moment they were breached. It ended up as a brutal humiliation to endure.

Arsène Wenger will hardly care, with this an exorcism of sorts of the “inconvenient facts” thrown up by his side’s recent record against these opponents. Even in his wildest dreams, the Frenchman could never have contemplated celebrating two decades in charge in such a wildly authoritative manner. Retreat to 2003 and Chelsea, with their Russian oligarch owner recently in situ, were arguably the club who most undermined Wenger’s original project by shifting the landscape just as the Invincibles were threatening a period of dominance. In that context, the Arsenal manager took particular pleasure in seeing his side inflict this drubbing in such scintillating fashion.

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Liverpool’s Adam Lallana inspires emphatic win over 10-man Hull

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 16:03:08 GMT2016-09-24T16:03:08Z

Jürgen Klopp admonished the Kop for singing his name before the conclusion of Liverpool’s previous home game but this time there were no complaints. It was the 82nd minute when Anfield felt safe to salute their manager: their team were coasting 5-1 against 10-man Hull and all had gone brilliantly, devastatingly to plan. Or so it seemed.

“I don’t want to criticise but ...” said the Liverpool manager with an apologetic grin. “I think we could have done better in the second half. It was good, but not as good as it could have been. I am really happy and usually I am quite a thankful person. I am really thankful for the first half. We have a lot of things to improve and one is that if you are brilliant you need to be brilliant for 95 minutes. But that is my responsibility and my problem.”

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Manchester City keep perfect start as Sergio Agüero punishes Swansea City

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 16:14:39 GMT2016-09-24T16:14:39Z

Manchester City made it a perfect 10 to continue their immaculate start to the season and take their run of successive victories into double figures, with Sergio Agüero carrying on where he left off prior to his suspension. But Pep Guardiola’s side never had everything their own way with Swansea giving as good as they got for an hour.

Related: Liverpool’s Adam Lallana inspires emphatic win over 10-man Hull

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Manchester United thump Leicester after Chris Smalling sparks goal rush

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 13:40:20 GMT2016-09-24T13:40:20Z

It would be harsh, perhaps, to pin this result solely on the fact José Mourinho had decided to remove Wayne Rooney from his starting lineup. If this was the old Manchester United at work, it also looked suspiciously like the old Leicester. Put the two together and it was not just Rooney’s absence that contributed to the reigning champions of England taking such a walloping against a team that would desperately love to go by that title again.

All the same, Mourinho’s team selection was fully justified given the margin of victory and that 20-minute blitz in the first half when his side scored all their goals and looked equipped to add even more. It was an exhilarating burst of attacking football and in those moments it was tempting to wonder what must have been going through Rooney’s mind in the dugout. Sir Alex Ferguson has dropped him in the past. Louis van Gaal did the same at Stoke on Boxing Day but never has there been such a sense that United genuinely look better off without the man who has led their attack for the past 12 years.

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NBA star Kevin Garnett to announce retirement after 21 seasons

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 21:44:50 GMT2016-09-23T21:44:50Z

  • Garnett to retire after 21 NBA seasons, more than 13 in Minnesota
  • Center retires as highest earning player ever with $330m in salary

Kevin Garnett, the first player in two decades to jump directly from high school to the NBA who became one of the league’s most imposing frontcourt presences, will retire after 21 seasons.

The 40-year-old post man and the Minnesota Timberwolves came to an agreement Friday and a retirement announcement from Garnett is expected shortly, an Associated Press source confirmed.

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Patriots could be down to fourth-string quarterback after Brissett injury

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 21:09:45 GMT2016-09-23T21:09:45Z

  • Jacoby Brissett reportedly injured his right thumb in Thursday’s win
  • Brady (suspension), Garoppolo (shoulder) were unavailable to play

The New England Patriots could be down to their fourth-string quarterback after third-stringer Jacoby Brissett reportedly injured his right thumb in Thursday night’s win over the Houston Texans.

Related: Patriots make light of Brady and Garoppolo absences to beat Texans

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Unpredictable and unmanly: baseball's fear of the knuckleball

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 09:00:00 GMT2016-09-23T09:00:00Z

The knuckleball can be almost impossible to hit, and can extend a player’s career by years. So why do so many in the major and minor leagues distrust the pitch?

When Kevin Pucetas, a minor-league baseball player in the Texas Rangers organization, converted from a conventional pitcher into a knuckleballer, his biggest problem wasn’t one typically associated with the macho culture of professional sports: he needed to find a good manicurist. “I couldn’t keep nails on,” he said.

As Pucetas first began to throw the knuckleball, he developed a bad habit of splitting nails in the middle of games. Since a knuckleball pitcher’s grip is dependent upon the length and strength of his nails, this was no small matter. “It would hurt like hell,” Pucetas said. The day after it would happen, “I would have to go into nail salons and get acrylics, and it would always be a battle for me, especially on the road, because I would have to find a nail salon, and certain people do better stuff with nails.” But grooming is just one aspect of a pitch that in almost every way puts its practitioners at odds with baseball’s accepted conventions.

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Mike Ditka to Colin Kaepernick: 'Get the hell out' if you don't like America

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 16:48:28 GMT2016-09-23T16:48:28Z

Hall of Fame coach Mike Ditka has leveled blistering criticism at Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem, saying he has “no respect” for the San Francisco 49ers quarterback whose protest has sparked a national discussion over racial injustice, inspired dozens of NFL players to follow suit and landed him on the cover of Time magazine.

“I think it’s a problem, anybody who disrespects this country and the flag,” the longtime NFL coach said in a radio interview on KRLD-FM in Dallas. “If they don’t like the country, if they don’t like our flag, get the hell out. That’s what I think.

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Tyson Fury v Wladimir Klitschko rematch set to be called off again – reports

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 19:41:30 GMT2016-09-23T19:41:30Z

• British fighter declared medically unfit to fight
• First attempt at rematch was called off in June

Tyson Fury’s rematch with Wladimir Klitschko will be called off for a second time after the world champion was declared medically unfit to fight.

The pair had been due to meet in Manchester on 29 October, with Fury defending the WBA and WBO heavyweight belts he took off Klitschko last November.

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NFL Week 3 predictions: will Trevor Siemian grind out another win?

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 08:30:00 GMT2016-09-23T08:30:00Z

The Broncos look to continue their flawless title defense, while the Falcons look to soar in the Superdome. Plus, take part in our tipping contest

What a week it has been in the NFL. First we learned that the Vikings might not have been crazy to trade for Sam Bradford, then that Matt Forte does an alarmingly good Arnold Schwarzenegger impression. I would ask who could ever have predicted such a thing, but in fact I already know the answer - grafhamboy - the one and only person to call every game correctly in week two.

Related: Patriots make light of Brady and Garoppolo absences to beat Texans

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Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 07:30:03 GMT2016-09-23T07:30:03Z

A crunch London derby as Arsenal host Chelsea, Michael Carrick could be key for Manchester United, and Vincent Janssen gets his chance to shine

On a weekend when much will be made of Arsène Wenger’s 20th anniversary as Arsenal manager, the Frenchman would not be human if he didn’t recall the manner in which Chelsea ruined the occasion of his 1,000th game in charge. It was March 2014 and on a strange afternoon at Stamford Bridge, Andre Marriner sent off Kieran Gibbs in a case of mistaken identity, as José Mourinho’s side hit their visitors for six without reply. Arsenal had already lost 6-3 at Manchester City and 5-1 at Liverpool that season, capitulations that rendered Wenger’s team and any aspirations they had towards a title win a laughing stock. With apologies to Leicester fans, this is the second big test of Arsenal’s credentials as potential title winners in six games. They have already failed the first, against Liverpool. Should they fail this one, against likely fellow contenders for a top four spot, the weekend airwaves will echo to the sound of seething Gooners repeating their forlorn and familiar lament that it’s once again time for Wenger to go. BG

Barney Ronay: Wenger should have won more but English football owes him
Amy Lawrence: Wenger at Arsenal – a journey of joy and frustration
Wenger’s 20 years at Arsenal – in pictures and his own words

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MLS weekend previews: New York City FC on the verge of history

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 09:00:00 GMT2016-09-23T09:00:00Z

If results go their way, NYC FC could secure a postseason spot for the first time. Plus, DC and Orlando go at it, and Seattle are desperate for a win in LA

In 2002, the New York Yankees outbid the Boston Red Sox for star Cuban pitcher Jose Contreras, forcing Red Sox president Larry Lucchino (who retired last year) to vent his frustration. “The evil empire extends its tentacles even into Latin America,” he told the New York Times, and from that precise moment the Yankees had a new nickname. How fitting then, that 14 years later the evil empire could see their soccer club clinch their first ever playoff spot on Star Wars night in the Bronx tonight.

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Clevenger: Black Lives Matter protesters should be 'behind bars like animals'

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 13:53:14 GMT2016-09-23T13:53:14Z

  • Seattle Mariners backup catcher deletes inflammatory tweets
  • Team says it will review “all internal options that are available”

The Mariners say they are reviewing “all internal options that are available” after tweets from the account of reserve catcher Steve Clevenger regarding a recent police shooting in Charlotte, North Carolina and the Black Lives Matter movement.

General manager Jerry Dipoto issued a brief statement on Thursday night, saying the club is “very disappointed” and that while Clevenger is free to express himself, “his tweets do not in any way represent the opinions of the Seattle Mariners. We strongly disagree with the language and tone of his comments.”

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Patriots make light of Brady and Garoppolo absences to beat Texans

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 03:52:37 GMT2016-09-23T03:52:37Z

  • Houston Texans 0-27 New England Patriots
  • Jacoby Brissett helps New England to 3-0 record

Another week, another new quarterback, another win for the New England Patriots.

Jacoby Brissett had a 27-yard touchdown run in his first NFL start at quarterback, LeGarrette Blount added scoring runs of one and 41 yards, and the Patriots beat the Houston Texans 27-0 on Thursday night.

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José Mourinho’s criticism of Luke Shaw was justified but at what cost? | Paul MacInnes

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 19:03:47 GMT2016-09-23T19:03:47Z

Managers must accept that modern footballers are delicate commodities but they are also valuable and public humiliations could prove expensive

We’re all human resources executives now. Or perhaps it’s just felt that way this week as the argument over whether José Mourinho was right to criticise Luke Shaw in public ran on longer than your average employment tribunal.

The young defender was singled out following Manchester United’s insipid 3-1 defeat to Watford last weekend. He was not the first individual to be treated in such a way by his manager this season: Eric Bailly, Daley Blind and Jesse Lingard have already felt the edge of Mourinho’s tongue. But the Portuguese was certainly unsparing. “Our left-back is 25 metres away instead of five,” he said of Shaw’s involvement in Watford’s crucial second goal. “Give him 25 metres and you have to press. But no, we wait. It is a tactical but also mental attitude.”

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LA finds itself a contender in an Olympic lottery most cities want to lose

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 09:00:00 GMT2016-09-23T09:00:00Z

With Rome all but out of the bidding for the 2024 Games, Los Angeles is one of the few places in the world that could easily hosts an Olympics

So now that another city has all but dropped out of the running for the 2024 Olympics it is becoming more likely the Games will come back to Los Angeles (Paris still remains the favorite with the bookmakers). Maybe that’s just as well. LA may be one of the few places in the world capable of hosting an Olympics anymore.

Earlier this week, Rome became the latest major municipality burdened with debt and failing infrastructure to distance itself from the 2024 competition. Its mayor Virginia Raggi called a press conference and declared: “Our city is unlivable, we need to focus on that.” Rome now joins Hamburg, Boston and Oslo as cities that have decided that hosting an Olympics is a waste of money and resources. Who can afford to build stadiums that become irrelevant after the party has moved on? Rio built a whole Olympic park that has a dubious future and a train that connects a tourist enclave with a well-to-do suburb where residents live behind gates and travel in SUVs. It’s not surprising that most cities see little value in being hijacked in return for a few months of being a hashtag.

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Arsène Wenger’s gift arrives wrapped in a majestic Arsenal first half | Barney Ronay

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 21:03:45 GMT2016-09-24T21:03:45Z

The Premier League does not do anniversary awards. But if it did, Arsenal could have designed this defeat of Chelsea as a perfect homage to their manager

Close your eyes, Arsène. Now … Open them. Happy 20th anniversary! Yes, that’s right. It’s exactly what you’ve always wanted. For one perfect half at the Emirates Arsenal produced something sublime, 45 minutes that contained pretty much the full set of Wenger-isms entwined in a relentless performance of sinuous passing football.

This was Wengerball in excelsis on a muggy, grey north London late afternoon, the footballing equivalent of one of those Evening-With-Ronnie-Corbett-style affairs, where some garlanded old ham gets to stand centre-stage and beam munificently while his favourite anecdotes, his most wonderful personal qualities are paraded beneath the studio lights.

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Vincent Kompany’s fragility leaves him facing game’s cruel reality | Daniel Taylor

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 21:00:15 GMT2016-09-24T21:00:15Z

Given how Pep Guardiola has treated Yaya Touré and Joe Hart, the news could soon be worse for the Manchester City defender after his 34th injury

There is a wonderful old sketch in The Goon Show when Throat, Neddie Seagoon and Justin Eidelburger, played by Spike Milligan and his partners in anarchy, Harry Secombe and Peter Sellers, intend to steal Napoleon’s piano and arrange to meet outside the Louvre on the second stroke of midnight. Except Seagoon arrives on the third stroke. “You’re late,” Eidelburger says. And the explanation is a thing of beauty. “Sorry,” Seagoon says, “my legs were slow.”

Vincent Kompany, one imagines, knows the feeling. It’s just not so funny in his case when his legs are not what they were and he is at a stage of his professional life when, to borrow an old line from Paul Gascoigne, the injuries no longer come in threes, they come in 33s. Or more, to be precise: Kompany’s latest setback is his 34th in Manchester City’s colours, and potentially the most damaging when the club have a new regime that gives the impression there is no place for sentimentality.

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José Mourinho insists there is no problem with Wayne Rooney

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 17:26:51 GMT2016-09-24T17:26:51Z

• Manchester United captain was dropped for 4-1 win over Leicester
• ‘We won the game so he is happy’

José Mourinho must have been expecting questions about Wayne Rooney – he has been fielding them for several weeks – and the fact that Manchester United won so handsomely with their captain watching from the bench was never going to go unnoticed.

“There is not a problem with Wayne Rooney,” he explained. “My captain is my captain whether he is on the pitch or at home. We won the game so he is happy.”

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West Ham's Mark Noble: 'Sometimes everything that could go wrong goes wrong'

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 21:30:16 GMT2016-09-24T21:30:16Z

It has been an unpleasant start to the season on and off the pitch for Slaven Bilic’s side but the captain has stated complete belief in those around him

If Mark Noble is right, then the latest demonstration of Dimitri Payet’s prowess with a dead ball will be a defining moment for West Ham after a fractious start to the new campaign that has so far featured a premature exit from the Europa League and fan trouble in the stands of their new stadium. Yet Payet’s stoppage-time free-kick against Accrington Stanley in the EFL Cup on Wednesday night only papered over the cracks.

West Ham were desperately uninspired for long spells against their League Two opponents and Slaven Bilic, whose partner gave birth to their second child last week, is worried enough to warn his players that there is a fine line between a sticky run of results and an irreversible slide down the table.

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Arsène Wenger says he’s hungrier now for Arsenal success than in 1996

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 20:25:57 GMT2016-09-24T20:25:57Z

• Arsenal manager calls first half against Chelsea ‘nearly perfect’
• Wenger praises Theo Walcott’s renewed desire this season

Arsène Wenger is hungrier for success than when he arrived at Arsenal two decades ago after watching his team dismantle Chelsea with a first-half performance he suggested bordered on perfection.

The Frenchman oversaw his side’s first league success against these opponents in five years with a flawless opening half which in effect settled the derby. It was a fitting way for Wenger to celebrate 20 years at the north London club, and left him convinced that, if these standards are maintained, his side can compete for the title.

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Benteke strikes in injury time to give Crystal Palace win at Sunderland

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 16:16:48 GMT2016-09-24T16:16:48Z

David Moyes has likened managing Sunderland variously to fighting a series of raging bush fires and captaining a ship navigating stormy seas. The flames have just become significantly more ferocious and the waters appreciably choppier. At the end of an afternoon in which his side squandered a two-goal lead, Christian Benteke’s headed stoppage-time winner for Crystal Palace ensured Sam Allardyce’s successor has taken only one point from six Premier League games.

Presented with an awful hand by Ellis Short, Sunderland’s owner who failed to properly address long-standing recruitment needs this summer, it is not Moyes’s fault that his squad is sub-standard and his team already look Championship bound.

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Aston Villa rescue point against Newcastle with Aaron Tshibola strike

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 18:49:13 GMT2016-09-24T18:49:13Z

To say it has not been an easy start to life in the Championship for Aston Villa would be something of an understatement, but Aaron Tshibola’s late goal rescued a point from what threatened to be another bleak afternoon for Roberto Di Matteo’s side.

Problems with Jack Grealish, who was left out here and has been fined by the club after reports of excessive partying in the wake of last weekend’s draw at Ipswich Town – “He needs to learn,” said Di Matteo – have added to the general miasma when this campaign was supposed to be a blast of fresh air. Villa remain without a win in seven, and with just one all season, but their revival here at least offers hope for the future. “It was great to see the spirit of the team,” said Di Matteo.

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Tottenham edge out Middlesbrough as in-form Son Heung-min hits double

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 16:09:02 GMT2016-09-24T16:09:02Z

Tottenham have begun this season as they played much of the last. All talk of a potential hangover from the latter days of the previous campaign can surely be eviscerated after a fourth Premier League win, and another stellar display from Son Heung-min, maintained their unbeaten start.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side outclassed Middlesbrough before a significant week that includes a trip to CSKA Moscow and home game against Manchester City. They have conceded three times in the league and with Son in a patch of deep purple concerns about the length of Harry Kane’s potential absence are perhaps not so pressing.

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Jorge Linares goes distance to claim Anthony Crolla’s WBA lightweight title

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 23:39:36 GMT2016-09-24T23:39:36Z

• Venezuelan challenger wins unanimous points decision in Manchester
• Crolla fails to build on impressive opening round in defeat on home turf

Anthony “Million Dollar” Crolla failed to offer up a display to match his moniker as the Manchester fighter lost his WBA lightweight title to Jorge Linares, the 31-year-old Venezuelan, whose triumph gave him a fourth world crown across three different divisions, nine years after his first.

After an intriguing contest which went the distance, the score was a unanimous verdict of 115-114, 117-111, 115-113 to Linares. It felt the right result and margin of victory as Crolla won barely three rounds of the 12.

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Bradley Wiggins tells Andrew Marr ‘I did not seek an unfair advantage’

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 23:02:18 GMT2016-09-24T23:02:18Z

• Under-fire cyclist to appear on BBC1 on Sunday in prerecorded interview
• Bradley Wiggins’s move follows criticism from doctor with his former team

Sir Bradley Wiggins has broken his silence surrounding the use of powerful banned substances taken with permission for medical reasons before some of his biggest races, insisting that he never sought to gain an unfair advantage.

The under-fire Wiggins, the first Briton to win the Tour de France, was one of dozens of athletes who had their anti-doping records leaked by the hacking group Fancy Bears, believed to be linked to Russia and seeking revenge for the revelations on state-sponsored doping in that country. In an interview to be broadcast on Sunday’s Andrew Marr Show on BBC1, Wiggins denied seeking an unfair advantage and insisted that he was suffering from breathing issues in the run-up to his Tour de France triumph in 2012 that required treatment.

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Northampton’s Jim Mallinder demands more consistent use of TV officials

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 20:53:17 GMT2016-09-24T20:53:17Z

• Director of rugby questions why Chris Ashton’s bite not referred to TMO
• Saints’ Alex Waller sent to sin-bin in same game after TV official was involved

Jim Mallinder has called for greater consistency in how television match officials (TMOs) are used by referees after Chris Ashton’s citing and 13-week suspension for biting the Northampton prop Alex Waller.

The Northampton director of rugby said he could not understand why Ashton, the Saracens wing, was not dealt with immediately once the referee, Greg Garner, had been made aware of the 24th-minute incident by Waller.

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Chelsea's Antonio Conte: ‘We are a great team on paper, not on the pitch’ – video

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 20:20:52 GMT2016-09-24T20:20:52Z

The Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has lambasted his players for being a great team ‘only on paper’, failing to live up to the expectations set for them on the pitch. His side went down 3-0 to Arsenal on Saturday evening and the Italian warned that there cannot be a repeat of last season, when the Blues finished in tenth place, stating that he must find a solution for his club

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Liverpool’s Jürgen Klopp promises to deal with Mamadou Sakho outburst

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 19:29:30 GMT2016-09-24T19:29:30Z

Manager says following a 3am social media message from the defender: ‘I will address the situation at the right moment’

Jürgen Klopp has promised to deal with an outburst on social media from Mamadou Sakho that has cast fresh doubt on the defender’s future at Liverpool. The France international, who has not featured for his club since April, risked inflaming an already strained relationship with Klopp by claiming fans had been deceived about his absence from the first-team squad this season.

Writing on Snapchat at 3.05am on Saturday, just hours before Liverpool beat Hull City 5-1 at Anfield, the £19m defender (right) said: “I accept my situation but I can’t accept the lie. The fans deserve to know the truth. Now it’s three weeks since I am fit to play games. I finish all my rehabilitation work. They don’t want me to play also with second team lol! Why, I don’t know.”

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Scottish roundup: Greg Tansey scores in clinical victory for Inverness

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 18:56:00 GMT2016-09-24T18:56:00Z

• Lonsana Doumbouya scores first for Caley
• Ross County hold Hearts to draw

A powerful display by Inverness resulted in them comprehensively beating Dundee 3-1 at the Caledonian Stadium. Goals from Lonsana Doumbouya, Greg Tansey and Liam Polworth put them in control before Nicky Low’s late consolation free-kick.

It was a dominant performance from the hosts against an under-par Dundee team who have not won since the opening day of the season. The victory puts Caley Thistle within touching distance of the top half of the table, a point behind Ross County and Rangers.

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Jürgen Klopp wants brilliant Liverpool performance for entire match – video

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 18:33:15 GMT2016-09-24T18:33:15Z

The Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp hailed his side’s first-half performance as ‘brilliant’ in their 5-1 dismantling of Hull City, but said if his team want to be considered brilliant overall then they have to perform like that for an entire match. The win sent Liverpool back into the top four

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David Moyes strongly criticises Sunderland’s defensive errors – video

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 18:12:56 GMT2016-09-24T18:12:56Z

The Sunderland manager David Moyes has berated his side’s inability to defend even the basics in his side’s 3-2 defeat at home to Crystal Palace, despite leading 2-0 in the second half. The Black Cats conceded a last-minute Christian Benteke header and Moyes admitted his side do not stand a chance if they continue to defend as they have been

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Pep Guardiola wants to help Sergio Agüero get better for Manchester City – video

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 17:59:38 GMT2016-09-24T17:59:38Z

The Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was asked how Sergio Agüero could help the team more after his side’s 3-1 victory at Swansea City. Having answered that his striker could get more involved with the ‘process’, Guardiola admitted the Argentine could get even better. City have now won all six of their league games this season

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Rory McIlroy making timely pursuit of Dustin Johnson and FedEx Cup title

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 21:18:21 GMT2016-09-24T21:18:21Z

• Northern Irishman shoots third-round 66 to lie two shots off the lead
• World No2 Johnson must cling on to top spot to claim $10m bounty

The identity of the man looking to halt a Dustin Johnson procession to the FedEx Cup and $10m prize is more fascinating than the fact a battle has ensued in the first place. Rory McIlroy’s third round of 66 at the Tour Championship, combined with an unforeseen late stumble by Johnson, has set up a thrilling finale on the outskirts of Atlanta.

McIlroy will claim the FedEx Cup if he wins here and Johnson finishes in a share of second or worse. Even a runners-up place for McIlroy may do for the aggregate prize if Johnson capitulates entirely over the closing 18 holes. For now, Johnson and Kevin Chappell lead the Tour Championship at eight under par with McIlroy just two adrift. The element of intrigue was provided by Johnson’s double bogey on the 17th hole of his third round, just as he was threatening to speed away from the field.

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Ian Poulter: ‘I’m not giving up the ghost – I still have a couple of Ryder Cups in me’

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 19:41:41 GMT2016-09-24T19:41:41Z

The Ryder Cup vice-captain feels revived after a year beset by injury but does not see his role assisting Darren Clarke as a winding-down of his playing career

There was a spell last winter during which the one event that has afforded Ian Poulter such joy, such revered status, was the basis for intense physical pain. Now, just days before the 41st Ryder Cup gets under way at Hazeltine, a meeting of the United States and Europe has reinvigorated the charismatic Englishman.

Poulter would, of course, never lack passion in the context of a Ryder Cup. He would be affronted at the suggestion of manufactured incentive. Still, in piecing together the journey that will see him form part of Darren Clarke’s backroom team as a vice-captain, it is clear this role has relit a competitive fire.

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Reversal of East Lake course a big step forward before FedEx Cup finale

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 16:43:04 GMT2016-09-23T16:43:04Z

Switching the outward and inward stretches has added interest and excitement in Atlanta as leading players race for the prize

On face value, the reversing of outward and inward stretches on a golf course makes no difference. Players still have to complete 18, with the holes themselves subject to no alteration. Closer inspection, though, reveals a change for the better at East Lake.

One of the most symbolic venues in the United States and the vehicle for positive change in an area which for so long took dangerous towards extreme levels, has clearly benefited from the 1st becoming the 10th, 9th turning into 18th and so on. That alteration has been evident to the watching world during this week’s Tour Championship. What a simple but effective ploy.

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The gifs that keep on giving: Neymar, Luka Modric and handstand skating

Sat, 17 Sep 2016 09:00:44 GMT2016-09-17T09:00:44Z

Featuring Lionel Messi, a creative way to take a skateboard down a hill, a midfield terrier with bite, a long nosegrind, a slick turn and a stray baseball

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The forgotten story of … Britain’s first floodlit cricket match | The Spin

Tue, 23 Aug 2016 10:21:32 GMT2016-08-23T10:21:32Z

Cricket versus football at this time of year has long been an annual British turf war but there was a time when the sports went hand-in-hand rather nicely

It’s that time of year when football traipses its muddy boots into cricket’s freshly vacuumed deep pile. We still have five ODIs and a T20 remaining in Pakistan’s tour not to mention five rounds of County Championship fixtures to play before the final day of the season on 23 September, by which stage the Champions League will be in full swing, the Premier League will be reasserting its dominance in the sporting consciousness and any optimism surrounding the future of the England national side will presumably be a fading memory on the back of Sam Allardyce’s first match in charge.

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The Fiver | As if it were actually news

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 14:56:13 GMT2016-09-23T14:56:13Z

In today’s Fiver: Emmanuel Adebayor, a knack special, and more Fiver thanks

These, reader, are puzzling times. One minute Britain is declaring that it has had enough of experts, and then the next minute it’s decided that, actually, it loves experts and can’t bear the thought of losing them from its lives, but only so long as the subject they’re expert in is baking. Celebrities fall in love, accumulate six children, hold hands a lot and then call the police on each other. Political parties that hold leadership elections don’t change their leader while parties that don’t, do. It is hard to know where we all stand. And of course, if you’re a fan of putting a bit too much whisky in your coffee, it can be hard to know how to stand as well.

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The Joy of Six: footballers who voluntarily retired in their 20s | Michael Butler

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 09:55:40 GMT2016-09-23T09:55:40Z

From Mário de Castro protesting against a murder to Carlos Roa trying to avoid the apocalypse, here’s half-a-dozen footballers who quit in their prime

You can tell a lot about a player in Italy from their nickname. Javier Zanetti was labelled “El Tractor” while Alessandro Del Piero was “Pinturicchio” – “The Little Painter”. With his everchanging crop of hair, Hidetoshi Nakata always stood out on the football pitch, and his obscene amount of talent quickly won over fans at Perugia and Roma (with whom he won a Serie A title), who all referred to him as “The Little Jewel”. Off the field, he was a marketing dream and on the day his £18m transfer to Parma was announced in 2001, an estimated four million people tried to access his homepage. But those that make a greater mark leave a bigger void and when Nakata announced his retirement at the age of 29 after the final match of Japan’s World Cup in 2006 against Croatia, in which the three-time Ballon d’Or nominee had been named man of the match, the world was stunned.

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Breaking the Law: punish football teams for negative play | Beau Dure

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 09:00:38 GMT2016-09-15T09:00:38Z

Sick of players parking the bus and playing for a draw? Then maybe it’s time to start making sure they feel the wrath of the referee for sitting back

Cristiano Ronaldo and Hope Solo are – how shall we say this politely? – divisive characters in world football. Both attracted ire this summer when they attacked their opponents for a lack of adventure. Solo called Sweden “a bunch of cowards” after they ground their way to a penalty shoot-out victory against the defending champions, USA, at the women’s Olympic football tournament. And at Euro 2016, Ronaldo launched the biggest attack on Iceland since the Cod Wars when he disparaged the tactics of everyone’s favorite plucky underdogs. “When [Iceland] don’t try to play and just defend, defend, defend, this in my opinion shows a small mentality and they are not going to do anything in the competition,” fumed Ronaldo after Portugal drew with Iceland. Ronaldo was proved right too, as long as you don’t include beating England in the last 16 as “anything”. Which many people wouldn’t.

But cheap gags at Roy Hodgson aside, did Ronaldo and Solo - which sounds a bit like an 80s cover band – have a point? Are today’s football games too easily destroyed by parking the bus and counter-attacking? The answer is simple: yes. The solution, though, is more difficult.

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Battles of Britain, table-tennis trickery and the brilliant Lamar Jackson | Classic YouTube

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 09:05:34 GMT2016-09-22T09:05:34Z

This week’s roundup also features drone surfing, hardcore whiff-whaff, and the best way to overtake a peloton

1) It doesn’t get easier for Brendan Rodgers. A fortnight after his side took a pasting in Spain, it’s ‘Battle’ of Britain week: Celtic versus Manchester City on Wednesday. He can take heart, though, from some notable BoB classics – including Celtic’s 2-1 1970 European Cup semi-final win over Don Revie’s Leeds in front of 136,000 at Hampden Park; Rangers winning both legs of 1992’s clash with Leeds; Alex Ferguson’s Aberdeen undoing Uefa Cup holders Ipswich in 1981; and Celtic beating Liverpool on the way to the 2003 Uefa Cup final.

2) Life’s good right now for Lamar Jackson – Louisville Cardinals’ Heisman Trophy favourite and teen Sports Illustrated coverstar. Here’s a flavour: an Eminem backed showreel, a high-school highlight, some more high-school highlights, an engaging post-game chat, and this: HE HAS THE JETS, AND HE TURNS THEM ON. He’s the American football version of this kid.

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Chelsea v Arsenal, EFL Cup thrills and Valencia's woes – Football Weekly Extra

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 14:43:41 GMT2016-09-22T14:43:41Z

The podders look back on the EFL Cup third round. Plus, Valencia in turmoil (again), and will Diego Costa ruin Arsène Wenger’s 20th anniversary party?

Subscribe and review: iTunes, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast

On today’s Football Weekly Extraaaa, AC Jimbo is joined by Barry Glendenning, Simon Burnton and Paul MacInnes to reflect on a cracking midweek of EFL Cup action.

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José Mourinho on Wayne Rooney: ‘My captain is my captain’ – video

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 15:35:57 GMT2016-09-24T15:35:57Z

Manchester United manager José Mourinho dropped captain Wayne Rooney to the bench against champions Leicester City after his recent poor form, and his side responded with a 4-1 victory at Old Trafford. Mourinho says Rooney is his captain whether he plays or not, but on this day it was Chris Smalling who wore the armband and scored as United put four past Leicester inside 20 first-half minutes

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County cricket: Middlesex beat Yorkshire to win championship – video

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 21:04:36 GMT2016-09-23T21:04:36Z

Middlesex have beaten Yorkshire to win the county cricket title for the first time in 23 years. Toby Roland-Jones secured a 61-run win with a hat-trick at Lord’s. The result also knocked rivals Somerset out of the running – a draw would have seen them crowned

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Mourinho: I help many people, I will help feed the Einsteins – video

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 17:00:32 GMT2016-09-23T17:00:32Z

Manchester United manager José Mourinho says he has no problem with Einsteins who criticise the club on Friday ahead of the club’s Premier League fixture against Leicester City this weekend. Speaking at a news conference in Carrington, Mourinho says he will continue to help feed the Einsteins following two straight losses in the league and also defends the form of Wayne Rooney

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Bath to host Leicester Tigers at Twickenham in April 2017 – video

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 13:52:49 GMT2016-09-23T13:52:49Z

Bath Rugby announce that the club will host Leicester Tigers at the home of English rugby, Twickenham, in April 2017. Bath plan on staging a fixture at Twickenham for each of the next five years and will become the first non-London club to host a game at the stadium. Jonathan Joseph,Anthony Watson and Dave Attwood all welcome the idea

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Wenger: I don't plan on reading book about José Mourinho – video

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 13:25:27 GMT2016-09-23T13:25:27Z

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger says he isn’t planning on reading a new book about José Mourinho. Speaking at a news conference at London Colney on Friday, Wenger, whose Arsenal side face Chelsea this weekend, says he has no interest in discussing Mourinho or his threat to “break his face”. Wenger’s side haven’t beaten Chelsea in the last nine league meetings between the two clubs

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Premier League preview: looking ahead to the weekend's action – video

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 16:56:49 GMT2016-09-22T16:56:49Z

We take a look ahead to this weekend’s Premier League games: Manchester United look to avoid a third straight loss, Everton take their good form to Bournemouth, Manchester City aim to make it six wins from six games and Tottenham travel to Middlesbrough without the injured Harry Kane

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Richard Sherman on anthem protests: 'People are still missing the point'

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 13:48:19 GMT2016-09-22T13:48:19Z

Richard Sherman, the Seattle Seahawks cornerback, says “people are missing the point” of Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest, as NFL players continue to wrestle with the debate that has made headlines around the league over the past few weeks.

Sherman, who declined to take questions at a news conference on Wednesday, said the protest’s aim was to bring people together to forge a better America, and that critics were mistaken if they thought Kaepernick and others were being unpatriotic. “The reason these guys are kneeling, the reason we’re locking arms, is to bring people together to make people aware that this is not right. It’s not right for people to get killed in the street,” he said.

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Horse racing tips: Sunday 25 September

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 22:16:00 GMT2016-09-24T22:16:00Z

Senza Una Donna (4.20 Epsom) is the nap; Arrowzone (3.15 Epsom) is next best

2.10 Trading Punches 2.40 Medieval 3.15 Arrowzone (nb) 3.45 Lorelina 4.20 Senza Una Donna (nap) 4.55 Aldrin 5.25 First Experience

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Anthony Joshua could face Wladimir Klitschko if Tyson Fury loses belts

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 13:27:40 GMT2016-09-24T13:27:40Z

• Joshua ready to step in after Fury declared unfit for Klitschko rematch
• Second cancellation by Fury could prompt WBA and WBO to strip him of belts

Anthony Joshua is ready and willing to take on Wladimir Klitschko this year if Tyson Fury is stripped of his title belts, his promoter, Eddie Hearn, has said.

The heavyweight title rematch between Fury and Klitschko was cancelled for a second time on Friday night after the Briton was declared “medically unfit to fight”.

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Sport picture of the day: there's only one Zlatan Ibrahimovic?

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 16:02:24 GMT2016-09-24T16:02:24Z

The fans at Old Trafford could be forgiven for thinking they were seeing double when a pitch invader ran up on to the pitch to say hello to Zlatan Ibrahimovic during United’s 4-1 thumping of Leicester City

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Saracens unbeaten start to season ended by rejuvenated Harlequins

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 16:51:31 GMT2016-09-24T16:51:31Z

• Harlequins 17-10 Saracens
• Eddie Jones in attendance to watch several of his England squad

Maro Itoje may just have found his kryptonite. Having last tasted defeat here in January as a replacement, a run of 31 straight victories when starting for the man who can seemingly do no wrong was brought to an abrupt end by a Harlequins side hellbent on breathing life into their 150th anniversary season.

That Saracens suffered their first defeat since March may come as a major surprise, but it was a fully warranted victory for Harlequins, who scored tries through their wings Tim Visser and Charlie Walker and made light work of their mounting injury problems.

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College football explained

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 13:00:00 GMT2012-10-10T13:00:00Z

College football is an American love affair that can baffle outsiders. Here is a beginner's guide to BCS, bowls and more

Trying to explain college football to the uninitiated often produces more questions than answers: Why do people root so fervently for teams that represent schools they never attended? Why are there 12 teams in the Big 10 and 10 teams in the Big XII? What the hell is a Hokie?

The fact of the matter is, very little about college football makes a whole lot of sense. But in an effort to bring order to chaos, we have selected five frequently asked questions to answer as a beginner's guide to America's second-favorite sport.

Continue reading...Darius Hanks of the Alabama Crimson Tide has his jersey grabbed by Tyrann Mathieu of the Louisiana State University Tigers during the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game. Photograph: Chris Graythen/GettyDarius Hanks of the Alabama Crimson Tide has his jersey grabbed by Tyrann Mathieu of the Louisiana State University Tigers during the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game. Photograph: Chris Graythen/Getty


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Truth, beauty and annihilation: my quest for chess mastery | Stephen Moss

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 05:00:04 GMT2016-09-14T05:00:04Z

When I hit a slump in middle age, I set out on a quest to see if playing better chess would make me a better person. I was unprepared for the pain of defeat

I was probably the most average chess player in the world. But there came a point where being average was no longer enough. I had become good enough to know how bad I was. I was attached to two clubs in south-west London, Surbiton and Kingston, and was mixing with players who were very good, who had international master titles, one notch below the coveted grandmaster title. I wanted to be like them. I wanted to feel at home on the 64 squares.

I was a middle-aged man who had done OK in life, but there was something missing. I hadn’t created anything substantial; hadn’t mastered a discipline. I craved substance, and saw in chess a possible way of laying down a marker. I would become an expert, demonstrate that I wasn’t just a dilettante. After a lifetime of chess mediocrity, I set out to achieve excellence, for the first time in my life to truly master a world, to become good – not just good at chess, but at living. To get really expert I would have to be focused, disciplined, ruthless even – all the things I had found it difficult to sustain in an often rackety life.

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Ben Youngs urges Leicester Tigers to show their teeth against Bath

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 21:00:15 GMT2016-09-24T21:00:15Z

The scrum-half has returned from a summer of triumph with England and now wants to help his club side perform to the high level expected of them

The Tigers have been sharpening their claws for Sunday’s visit of Bath after a scratchy start to the season. They may have started the weekend in fourth place, but their two victories came through a last-minute try at Gloucester and a missed drop goal in front of the posts by the Newcastle outside-half Joel Hodgson last weekend.

Bath have only won once at Leicester in the Premiership, back in 2003, but when they travelled to another East Midlands club, Northampton, on the opening weekend of the season, their single victory there in the tournament had been in 2000. They won 18-14 and home victories over Newcastle and Worcester took them to the top of the table after three rounds.

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The Agenda: Europa League dream for Dundalk and NFL Wembley party starts

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 21:00:15 GMT2016-09-24T21:00:15Z

Europa League history beckons, Regent Street comes to a standstill for NFL and England’s cricketers set out for Bangladesh

Dundalk became the first Irish club to take a point in the Europa League group stage when they drew at AZ Alkmaar, so it follows that they fancy being the first to record a win when Maccabi Tel Aviv visit on Thursday. They must host the tie at Tallaght Stadium in Dublin, 50 miles from home, and victory could put them top of Group D.

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Sport picture of the day: tough tackle for Cowboys' Gavin Cooper

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 12:36:50 GMT2016-09-23T12:36:50Z

Gavin Cooper is tackled during the NRL preliminary final match between the Cronulla Sharks and the North Queensland Cowboys at Allianz Stadium in Sydney. The Sharks won the game 32-20

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