RUGBY WORLD CUP – It wasn’t the greatest of tournaments – too many one-sided games in my view – but the hosts New Zealand prevailed in the end, repeating their 1987 victory over France by winning a tightly-contested final 8-7 at EdenPark to lift the trophy for the first time since that inaugural tournament 24 years ago.
The total of 15 points in the final was the lowest count ever and I give credit to France for a battling performance.
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Australia took bronze ahead of Wales, England’s Chris Ashton and Frenchman Le Clerc scored most tries and Kiwi captain Richie McCaw and Welshman Jamie Roberts were my ‘Players of the Tournament.’
The next World Cup will take place in England in 2015.
FOOTBALL – There were Champions League wins for Manchester United in Galati, Arsenal in Marseille, Chelsea 5-0 v Genk (two for Torres) and Manchester City v Villareal, while in the laborious Europa League, victories went to Spurs v Rubin Kazan (Pavlachenko netted a cracker), Stoke over Maccabi Tel Aviv and Birmingham 2-1 in Brugge (with Wood’s 100th minute winner).
Celtic drew and Fulham and Shamrock Rovers both lost.
Last weekend, City won the Manchester derby in magnificent style, battering 10-man United 6-1. This was United’s heaviest home ‘League’ defeat for 81 years and their biggest anywhere since 1980, as City equalled their best-ever win over their arch rivals. The last time the Blues scored six at Old Trafford was in 1926, although City did beat United 5-0 in 1955. Has the tide turned!
There were also away wins for Everton, Spurs, Sunderland and WBA. It was the latter’s first League victory at Villa Park since 1979. The nine men of Chelsea with Frank Lampard making his 500th Premiership appearance, lost 1-0 at QPR
Fifteen year-old Mason Bennett made his League debut for Derby in last Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Middlesbrough. However, he’s not the youngest player in world football. Mauricio Baldivieso, aged 12, played for Aurora v La Paz in Bolivia in 2009.
Liverpool want to negotiate their own TV deals and arrange coverage of home games with the 98 overseas broadcasting companies who cover 212 countries.
Euro 2012’s qualifying play-offs (in mid-November) are: Republic of Ireland v Estonia, Portugal v Bosnia, Croatia v Turkey and Montenegro v Czech Republic. The draw for the competition proper will be in December.
And FIFA will investigate some ‘dodgy dealings’ involving Thailand soccer chief Worawi Makudi.
MOTO GP – Grisini Honda rider Marco Simonelli, 24, was killed in the Malaysian MotorGP on Sunday. He crashed into fellow Italian Valentino Rossi and Brit Colin Edwards on turn 11. The race was subsequently abandoned.
Photo credit: Nick Little
England’s cricketers have lost their ODI series in India (they were thumped really). In fact, by the time you read this they could have suffered a whitewash!
Twelve jockeys were suspended in week one of the new ‘whipping’ law. Belgium’s Christophe Soulimon had his £50,000 race fee withdrawn (then handed back) after guiding Cirrus Des Aigles to victory Ascot’s £1.3m Champion Stakes.
Anita Adams became Britain’s first boxing champion – winning the flyweight gold in Rotterdam.
England’s Rugby League team warmed up for the Four Nations tournament with a 32-18 win over France.
World number one Luke Donald has topped the 2011 PGA Tour money list.
And ‘congrats’ to England Rugby star Phil Vickery – BBC TV’s Celebrity Master Chef for 2011
DID YOU KNOW?
Worcestershire’s New Road ground has the smallest capacity of all county cricket clubs – just 4,500. And they said it would never happen but it did, in the Australia-England Test Match in December 1979 – Lillee ct Willey b Dilley 19.
THANK YOU…. everyone who attended last week’s quiz at Valle de Este’s Hole-in-One Venues Bar when €280 was raised for PAWS. Next quiz, at the same venue: 17 November ().