On the back of a starring effort from Sam Burgess and a cameo role from Luke Keary, South Sydney have recalibrated their NRL finals push with a 32-12 win over Parramatta.
A game after one of their worst performances during coach Michael Maguire’s three-season reign – a 14-10 round-17 loss to Gold Coast – the Rabbitohs controlled the game better in the back end for the six-tries-to-two win at Pirtek Stadium on Friday before 16,125 fans.
Burgess bustled his way over just before halftime and again minutes before the final whistle, constantly surging forward all night and tackling stoutly on the edges.
With the game in the balance and Souths leading 16-12, on his first touch of the ball, a Keary high ball found Kyle Turner for a four-pointer to put the Rabbitohs further ahead in the 65th minute.
Winger Alex Johnston burned Vai Toutai on the outside in the 74th minute with the match-sealing try, before Burgess claimed his double from dummy half four minutes from time.
Parramatta toiled away conscientiously all night and responded well to their 48-0 thrashing to the Warriors but fell apart somewhat towards the end of the game.
The home side failed to make the most of their chances with Toutai dropping the ball over the line in the 45th minute and a Dylan Walker intercept after a Chris Sandow 40/20 just before halftime costing them dearly.
Underdogs Parramatta struck first in the 10th minute when Tepai Moeroa – the man dubbed “the next Nathan Hindmarsh” – crashed over off a Corey Norman short ball and Chris Sandow converted for the early 6-0 lead despite Souths enjoying the better of field position.
Weight of possession told when Souths scored their first try in the 27th minute. After repeated sets on the Eels’ line, winger Lote Tuqiri strolled over untouched after Souths created numbers on their left side to leave winger Semi Radradra stranded.
Burgess then scored his first try just before halftime for the visitors to lead 10-6.
Weight of possession also told late in the contest when Souths scored 16 points in the last 15 minutes.
Tuqiri was put on report by referee Jared Maxwell for a 22nd-minute ‘crusher’ tackle on Willie Tonga.
Eels halfback Chris Sandow was put on report for striking Souths centre Dylan Walker and Joseph Paulo for a 62nd-minute high shot on Tom Burgess.
Fullback Greg Inglis, who had a relatively quiet game, wore No.16 for Souths as a tribute to Alex McKinnon as part of the Rise for Alex Round.
Parramatta rival fullback Jarryd Hayne, who tried hard but failed to break the game open, also wore jumper No.16.
Souths coach Michael Maguire was pleased with his side’s strong effort in finishing off the match.
“That is something we have been talking about for quite some time,” he said.
“We probably set that game up in the first half the way we built a lot of pressure and, in the second half, we pulled them apart with our big men and our men on the edges.
“I have a big belief in this team and how they are applying themselves and we just have to stick to it.
“That’s not how we hold our standards, that last game, and we looked pretty deep into what we are doing.”
Parramatta coach Brad Arthur bemoaned the Eels’ lack of polish.
“I thought we tried really hard tonight; we were beaten by a better team,” he said.
“They probably just controlled the game a bit better than us in the second half.
“We lacked a bit of polish and some finishing touches.
“I was really happy with their effort but that’s what we have to learn is that, while we tried hard, it is not good enough. We have to find a way to execute better and make the most of our opportunities.”
England captain Alastair Cook suffered another failure with the bat as India seized control of the second Test at Lord’s on Friday.
England were 2-51 in their first innings, in reply to India’s 295, at lunch on day two – still facing a deficit of 244 runs with eight wickets in hand.
Cook’s miserable trot continued, caught by wicketkeeper MS Dhoni for 10 off Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s bowling to leave England at 1-22.
Fellow opener Sam Robson fell to Kumar in identical fashion for 17, putting England in an uncomfortable position at 2-31.
Robson had been dropped by Ajinkya Rahane two balls before Cook’s dismissal.
Gary Ballance, seven not out, and Ian Bell (11no) managed to get through safely to the lunch break.
Cook has gone 26 innings since scoring the last of his England record 25 Test hundreds, with his tally for the calendar year standing at a meagre 107 runs in eight Test innings.
The 29-year-old left-hander’s poor form has coincided with an England slump in which the team have not won in nine Tests – their worst streak for more than 20 years.
As if conscious he had often been caught in the slips while struggling for runs, Cook met Kumar’s first ball of the innings with an exaggerated straight forward defensive shot.
But having looked assured for 40 minutes, Cook’s 29-ball knock including two fours, came to an end.
Not moving his feet, Cook nicked a good-length ball just outside off stump that swung away from Kumar through to Dhoni.
Early on day two, it took England just 10 balls to wrap up India’s innings after they resumed at 9-290, with Cook holding a juggled catch at first slip to dismiss Mohammed Shami (19) off Ben Stokes.
India had been in dire straits at 7-145 after being sent in to bat on a green, seaming pitch that was the opposite of the bare, lifeless track in last week’s drawn first Test at Trent Bridge.
But England let India off the hook, the tourists doubling their total before stumps, with Rahane making a superb 103 in his maiden Test innings at Lord’s.
James Anderson led England’s attack with 4-60 in 23 overs in his first match since both he and Indian allrounder Ravindra Jadeja were charged with disciplinary offences under the International Cricket Council’s code of conduct for an alleged clash at Trent Bridge.
Both players must wait on the verdict of ICC judicial commissioner Gordon Lewis, a retired Australian judge, to discover if they will be banned from any matches in the rest of the five-Test series.
Adam Scott’s British Open prospects have taken a hit during a blustery second round at Royal Liverpool.
The Australian world No.1 started on Friday two shots adrift of Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, who opened with a six-under-par 66 on Thursday.
But Scott steadily dropped back through the field as many of the morning starters on day two struggled with increasingly tricky conditions.
Late in his second round, Scott had dropped three shots to be five behind McIlroy, who was due to resume his campaign in the afternoon.
Scott started his second round solidly enough with a par on the first hole, however his broomstick putter then went cold.
He missed two short putts to make back-to-back bogeys on the second and third holes.
Scott steadied to pick up a birdie on the par-5 fifth and claw back to within three shots of the lead but, as the wind picked up, he again made back-to-back bogeys at holes 12 and 13.
Scott said after his opening-round 68 he was determined to keep world No.8 McIlroy in his sights.
“You’ve got to keep pace with a guy like Rory,” he said.
“He has the potential to really put his foot down. I’ve seen him shoot lots of low rounds and there’s nothing stopping him from doing that tomorrow either.
“I don’t want him running away. We’ve seen that happen.
“He wins majors by eight.”
Meanwhile, Jason Day was fighting just to extend his campaign into the weekend.
The Australian, who is still being plagued by a left thumb injury, was three-over-par with one hole to play, right on the early projected cut line.
Young Australian Bryden Macpherson completed one of the tournament’s worst performances after carding a second-round 80 on Friday to be a distant last – 26-over-par for the tournament.
It came after the former British Amateur champion shot an 18-over-par 90 on Thursday – the highest single-round score at the British Open in 15 years.
“I think it’s just character-building,” a philosophical Macpherson said afterwards.
Marc Leishman (-3), Matt Jones (-1), John Senden (-1) and Rhein Gibson (even) were among those teeing off in the afternoon, along with the returning Tiger Woods (-3).
South African George Coetzee was the best of the morning starters, carding a two-under 69 to move into tied second, a shot behind McIlroy.
Speed bowler Dale Steyn took five wickets as South Africa seized control on the third day of the first Test against Sri Lanka on Friday.
Steyn, 31, unleashed some fiery bowling without much help from a dry and flat Galle track to finish with figures of 5-50, his 23rd five-wicket haul in Tests.
At stumps, Sri Lanka were 9-283, still trailing the visitors by 172 runs with just one wicket in hand.
Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews fought back valiantly with 89 before being bowled by leg-spinner Imran Tahir.
Mathews, who missed scoring his third Test ton on the trot, also shared 71 runs with Rangana Herath for the eighth wicket, the highest partnership of the innings.
His effort was especially commendable since Sri Lanka’s two big hitters – Mahela Jayawardene (three) and Kumar Sangakkara (24) – failed with the bat.
Steyn struck early in the final session, removing Lahiru Thirimanne (38) with an away-moving delivery which the batsman edged behind to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.
The lanky fast bowler struck again soon to dismiss Dinesh Chandimal and Dilruwan Perera off his consecutive overs to cap a fiery three-wicket burst.
Chandimal (six) was caught at midwicket while Perera snicked to de Kock without opening his account.
Mathews tried to hit back, smacking Morne Morkel (2-45) for five fours in one over to race to his fifties but that was a rare show of dominance on an otherwise disappointing day for the home team.
Earlier, Tharanga, making a Test comeback after more than six years, stood out with his doughty 83 that contained 14 fours and a six.
Tharanga defied the hostile fast bowling for some three hours but he was finally undone by part-time spinner Jean-Paul Duminy who had him stumped by de Kock.
Cronulla captain Wade Graham branded NRL referees as poor as the hapless Sharks after his bottom-placed side handed North Queensland their first away win of the season on Friday night.
A 20-point haul from champion playmaker Johnathan Thurston lifted the Cowboys to a 36-18 victory and into the top eight in arctic conditions at Remondis Stadium.
But Graham reluctantly stole the spotlight from the Golden Boot winner with his post-match attack on the league’s standard of refereeing in 2014.
After a stop-start affair blighted by 19 penalties – including 11 to the Sharks – Graham was left bewildered by some of the decisions.
“I hate to say it. Like, there’s no shying away from the fact that we’re struggling as a team – we’ve had not the best season – but, mate, the men in the middle are on par with us,” he said.
“The ruck was all over the shop. It was very frustrating.
“We can’t use that as an excuse. At the end of the day, we weren’t good enough. We didn’t win, but I tell you what, we’re struggling and so are they (the referees).”
Deputising for injured captain Paul Gallen, Graham was most frustrated by Thurston being awarded his second try of the night after he stripped Cronulla fullback Michael Gordon in an apparent two-man tackle.
“We see that decision tonight and we’ll probably see it maybe in another game over the weekend when the same thing will come up and it will be a different decision come up,” he said.
“There’s no use harping on it because, at the end of the day, what’s happened has happened.
“But we review ourselves every week and for it to be round 20 and (the referees are) still struggling … it happens in every game. Every game, you hear a captain talking about it.
“It’s just frustrating and the game deserves better than talking about this.
“We should be talking about JT playing well, or something else about the game.”
Cowboys fans will be talking about their team climbing back into the eight and about Thurston’s latest masterful display.
After swapping his No.7 jumper for No.16, in honour of injured Newcastle star Alex McKinnon in the opening game of Rise For Alex Round, Thurston’s signed jersey will no doubt fetch top price after he put the Sharks to the sword with two tries, six goals and endless torment.
Winless in Sydney since their last visit to Cronulla in round 25 last season – and anywhere outside of Townsville all year – the Cowboys were up 16-0 after just 22 minutes.
Aided by a glut of penalties, Cronulla briefly threatened another fightback win after going to halftime only trailing by four points thanks to quickfire tries to Jonathan Wright and Luke Lewis.
But it was one-way traffic after the break.
“It’s good to get the monkey off the back,” said Cowboys coach Paul Green.
“Really pleased with the result.”
The only concerns for the Cowboys were forward Ashton Sims and five-eighth Robert Lui being placed on report for first-half high tackles on Sharks pair Jacob Gagan and Andrew Fifita.
But what he means by that depends on who he is talking to, and where.
The 48-year-old, ranked fifth on the list of highest paid actors on U.S. television last year with estimated earnings of $13 million, is preparing for an 11th season as Dr Derek Shepherd in the popular ABC network medical drama.
The first “table-read” of the script starts on the 22nd, next Tuesday, but first he has other lines to figure out – racing lines – and his own dreams to realise.
This weekend, the fictional white-coated surgeon from Seattle is getting up to speed around Germany’s Hockenheim circuit where he competes in the Porsche Supercup series against professional drivers.
Motor racing, as he told Reuters in the German Grand Prix support paddock, is not just a hobby. It has become as much a part of who he is as acting.
“It’s all consuming in many ways,” he said. “I couldn’t imagine not racing right now. It really keeps me motivated. It’s all I think about on a daily basis.
“I just truly love it. I love the sport, I love the people around the sport, I love the technical aspect of it, I love the mental exercise of it and the constant learning of how to perfect the setup of the car.”
Big screen legends Steve McQueen, Paul Newman and James Garner were all similarly smitten by the racing bug in their time and Dempsey can understand why.
As someone who earns big money playing fictional characters in fantasy worlds, racing is real and dangerous with challenges lacking elsewhere.
“I think it’s important for me to do both (acting and racing),” said the married father of three when asked which mattered most to him.
“I don’t dislike acting. There’s just certain challenges I’d like to have in my acting profession and I haven’t found those roles that have really made it worthwhile for me to give up a racing season to go do.”
Last month Dempsey competed at the Le Mans 24 Hours race, finishing fifth in his GTE-AM class after fourth in 2013. He made his debut there back in 2009.
The owner of Dempsey Racing has taken part in the gruelling Baja 1,000 off-road race, driven at Daytona and will be at Indianapolis the week after he meets up with the rest of the Grey’s cast.
“I’ve always loved racing since I was a kid, I used to ski race. I grew up in a small town in Maine. And ski racing in many ways is very similar to road racing,” said the Lewiston-born actor.
“I think it brings me back to that part of my life as a child. I have just always loved cars and racing. My father was a big fan of it, I used to collect Matchbox cars and on a Friday night my dad would always bring me one home.
“I was a huge fan of racing and then slowly just got deeper and deeper into it,” added Dempsey.
The real commitment started some six or seven years ago, when Dempsey did a course and obtained his racing licence before attending the Panoz Racing school at Road Atlanta.
With the money from television, and movies like “Enchanted”, “Made of Honor” and “Valentine’s Day”, the screen idol can indulge his love – or obsession – with speed.
“My focus is primarily Le Mans. I want to win Le Mans. One step at a time,” he said.
“It takes a lot of commitment and a lot of drive and a lot of things have to go our way but that’s my primary focus, to get back to Le Mans.”
Fortunately, those who pay his wages are understanding.
“They have been very kind to allow me to go racing when most shows wouldn’t,” he said. “They understand the importance of it and I think it helps them as much as it helps me.
“The good thing is, it’s an ensemble so evidently I’m not that important,” he laughed, accepting that might not be the case for his many admirers.
“They’ve been very gracious about allowing me out and they really work on the scheduling so that the stuff we are wanting to do next year they will schedule around me.
“I’m sure if I missed an episode they’d like saving the money. So I’m sure it would work nicely.”
Profoundly dyslexic, Dempsey said racing and acting require similar mental discipline and the ability to compartmentalise.
“I process things very quickly and sometimes I think when one is dyslexic I am processing the word too fast and can’t allow it to get to my mouth,” he explained.
“It does teach me to stay calm and work on the mental side of things, and that then translates into the car. The slower you are the faster you are.”
Learning a script, like studying a technical manual, has its challenges. But the outcome can be all the more satisfying.
“You just learn a different way. I can’t sit down and read from a text book. I would never comprehend it. It’s taken me a long time to be OK with that and not be down on myself,” he said.
“A lot of actors don’t learn their lines until the very last minute. I have to put in far more time…but when I do I know my lines inside and out. So if something is distracting me to my left, I can incorporate that and add it to the scene.
“I think that also applies into racing, as situational awareness. The more you are aware of what your surroundings are, the better off you are in the car.”
Inside the closeted motor racing bubble, Dempsey is a racer first and foremost – some in the pitlane even unaware of his celebrity status – and that works just fine for him.
“What is success in Hollywood? I don’t know what that means really,” he mused. “What’s a hit movie? What’s a hit show? What’s a good performance?
“A good performance on the track shows in the time. You can’t lie.”
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Tony Goodson)
Carlton have responded to a tough week of scrutiny on coach Mick Malthouse with a stunning 23-point upset of North Melbourne.
While the 16.13 (109) to 13.8 (86) win at Etihad Stadium on Friday night could come at the cost of young guns Troy Menzel and Andrejs Everitt to knee injuries, this was Carlton’s best AFL win of the season and one to savour.
Lachie Henderson’s six goals, including four in the last quarter, and a bag of four to the returning Jarrad Waite ensured Carlton’s lead earned in the first term would never be headed.
Taken to task by club officials during the week for his perennially grumpy outlook, Malthouse’s men responded on the field with a bright first-half showing.
The Blues took the lead with four straight goals in a frenetic first term, with veteran Chris Judd and the lively Chris Yarran getting the Blues on top.
It was direct, incisive football – and it was cutting North Melbourne to pieces.
A last-minute decision to throw in Waite paid dividends for Malthouse, with Carlton’s tall forwards causing headaches for the `Roos.
Henderson, Levi Casboult, Waite and reborn ruck Cameron Wood were dominating the air and contributing on the scoreboard.
But the Blues were unable to kick away as North Melbourne stubbornly remained in the contest.
Runners Levi Greenwood, Ben Cunnington and Brent Harvey stepped up their game to keep Carlton’s half-time lead to 15 points.
North Melbourne’s third term had them back in the hunt, kicking 4.0 to 1.6 in the third term as Carlton’s wayward forwards threatened to kick themselves into trouble.
But the Blues responded to settle the contest with six straight final-term goals.
While Henderson had four of those six, there was none better than Waite’s, who first took a crucial defensive mark before streaming forward to finish a flowing move.
The loss leaves North Melbourne’s top-four ambitions in serious doubt with a crunch meeting against Geelong next round.
Malthouse said he most happy with playing out four quarters.
“What we’re trying to do is just take it a quarter at a time,” he said.
While he was happy to talk up Cameron Wood’s contribution, he was not keen to talk about his pair of knee injuries.
“Anyone who hurts a knee, I don’t want to speculate because I don’t know and the doctors don’t know,” he said.
The 30th year coach will be frustrated with Mitch Robinson, who was reported for a high bump on Leigh Adams less than 20 minutes into his return from a two-week suspension.
Scott lamented his inconsistent side.
“Footy games are hard to win and to win them you’ve got to pay the price,” he said.
“I felt tonight there was a stink… that we were hoping the opposition would lose it.”
“That just doesn’t work.”
Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes was the fastest driver in Friday practice for Sunday’s German Grand Prix, topping the timesheets from team-mate Nico Rosberg.
Hamilton posted the quickest lap of the day in 1 minute 18.341 seconds around the 4.574-kilometre Hockenheim track, with Rosberg 0.024 seconds behind.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was an impressive third, just 0.102 seconds off the pace of Hamilton, but reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel was ninth.
The teams will hope to learn from the sessions after a number of drivers went wide on turn one, while Kamui Kobayashi had to make a sharp exit from his Caterham with smoke pouring from the car.
Marshals were soon on hand to extinguish the fire.
Rosberg currently leads the world championship but, with Hamilton only four points behind, the Briton could overtake him with his sixth win of the season on Sunday.
Williams development driver Susie Wolff was given another chance in the first practice session, having been stopped by engine failure in a similar session at the British Grand Prix.
The 31-year-old Scot ended in 15th place after a first lap scare when her car could not change gear. She posted a best time of 1:20.769.
“It was so nice to be out on track every lap, going quicker and getting more feel in the car. I’m just really happy to have completed a successful FP1 session,” Wolff told BBC radio.
“The team did a good job of preparing me – I knew what to do on every lap of the session. It feels so good to be driving a race weekend.”
Wolff’s entry at Silverstone made her the first woman to take part in a Formula One race weekend in 22 years. The last female driver to enter a race was Lella Lombardi in 1976.
Third practice and qualifying is on Saturday before the race on Sunday.
“The welcome will be on Sunday,” Argentinos Juniors said on Friday of the 36-year-old’s official unveiling with coach Claudio Borghi thrilled to get the talented player for the fight to earn promotion straight back to the first division.
“Revolution has come to La Paternal,” they said on their website referring to the Buenos Aires barrio, or neighbourhood, where the club that also launched Diego Maradona’s career is based.
“Roman is a box of surprises and there was always that hope for us (of his return),” Borghi, a former Boca and Chile national team coach, told Fox Sports.
Riquelme’s former Boca team mate, central defender Matias Caruso, has also returned to Argentinos, with whom he won the league title under Borghi in 2010, following a season at Universidad de Chile.
Former Barcelona and Villarreal midfielder Riquelme rose through the junior ranks at Argentinos, noted for a youth scheme that also produced the likes of Fernando Redondo and Esteban Cambiasso, but made his first division debut at 18 with Boca, who snapped him up in 1996.
Riquelme, one of Argentina’s greatest talents who played for his country at the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany, helped Boca win five league titles, the South American Libertadores Cup twice and the Intercontinental Cup club crown in 2000.
Argentinos, nicknamed Bichos (bugs), were relegated in May at the end of the Final championship, second of two in the season won by Boca’s arch rivals River Plate.
They will play in the Primera B Nacional second tier championship from next month.
(Writing by Rex Gowar; Editing by Tony Goodson)
With track temperatures soaring, Hamilton set a sizzling pace with a quickest lap of one minute 18.
341 seconds in the afternoon session.
Formula One world championship leader Rosberg, who had been fastest before lunch with a best of 1:19.131, was second on the timesheets a mere 0.024 off Hamilton’s pace.
Dominant Mercedes, seeking their first German Grand Prix victory as a works team since Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio triumphed 60 years ago at the Nuerburgring, finished one-two in both sessions.
Friday was the first chance to assess the performance of cars since the governing body ruled against a front and rear interconnected suspension (FRIC) system.
All teams had presented their cars for scrutineering without the systems on Thursday but the times showed no seismic change in the pecking order even if champions Red Bull appeared to have edged slightly closer.
“It was quite difficult to find the balance with the track being so hot and it is a tricky circuit to drive in general,” said Hamilton.
“The car is a bit different now as everyone made some setup changes in a different direction to what we’ve had in the past, but it’s still fun to drive.”
Mercedes also made a rare pitlane bungle when they had the wrong tyres ready for Hamilton during a race simulation and Rosberg had to wait behind him with overheating brakes.
“We had a bit of a situation in the pit lane when my team mate came in suddenly just before I was called in too,” said the German. “But the boys reacted quickly and cooled my car and brought his tyres out.”
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who has won the last two races at the southern circuit which alternates with the Nuerburgring, was third fastest in the morning – and 0.292 off the pace – and then ninth in the afternoon.
“I don’t think going away with FRIC changed much in terms ofdriving style…but running without it, we just have to adapt and be as well prepared as possible with what we have,” said the Spaniard.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, the only driver other than the Mercedes pair to win a race this season, was fourth and third fastest respectively.
The Australian’s quadruple champion team mate and last year’s German GP winner Sebastian Vettel was sixth and eighth.
Further back, Susie Wolff had a second chance to make her mark among the men after her involvement at Silverstone two weeks ago was cut short due to an engine problem with the Williams.
The first woman to take part in a grand prix weekend in 22 years managed 22 laps in the morning session and ended up an impressive 15th fastest, only a fraction slower than the Force India of 14th placed Mexican Sergio Perez.
Perez had made headlines in Britain when he jokingly told a Spanish television reporter that he would not want to be beaten by a woman driver. His time on Friday of 1:20.598 compared to Wolff’s 1:20.769.
Brazilian Felipe Massa, the team’s race regular, was only 11th fastest with a best time of 1:20.542 but was sixth after lunch with team mate Valtteri Bottas taking back his car from Wolff and ending 10th quickest.
Wolff’s session was not without stress, and she hit trouble on her opening lap out of the garage when the car suffered a sensor problem.
Whether she gets a chance to progress further remains uncertain and Wolff was under no illusions.
“The next step is obviously to do more and that’s the difficult part, to get more opportunities,” she said.
“I was incredibly lucky to get the chance with this team this season and of course I have to try to get more opportunities, but as we know that’s not easy. So I need to start fighting for that now.”
Caterham, under new ownership following the departure of Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes, had a torrid day with Kamui Kobayashi’s car catching fire. The Japanese joined marshals in extinguishing the flames.
(Editing by John O’Brien/Tony Goodson)