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SportsDay Live, Friday March 8, 2013


Souths blow Sonny Bill away, the latest on the Sharks' drug drama and news as it happens.

Try time ... George Burgess scores against the Rabbitohs.

Try time ... George Burgess scores against the Rabbitohs. Click here to read more on the match. Photo: Anthony Johnson

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JAMES POLSON: Friday on our minds.  That's it for another week of SportsDay Live, and what a massive one it's been.  We'll be back from 8.30am on Monday morning but until then keep your browser tuned to or pick up a copy of tomorrow's Herald or the Sun-Herald for Australia's best sporting news and analysis.  Don't forget Phil Lutton will be taking the reins tonight from 9pm Sydney time for the live blog as Manly (go the Eags) head north to face the Broncos.  Thanks as always for reading, and we'll leave the last word to Messrs Vanda and Young..

League: Rugby League Players' Association chief David Garnsey says anti-doping authorities shouldn’t punish players for taking performance-enhancing drugs if they were unwittingly sanctioned by their clubs.

Garnsey has weighed in following the ASADA investigation into Cronulla where up to 14 players are believed to be facing action, and offered six-month bans if they plead guilty to using prohibited drugs during the 2011 season.

Garnsey says players place their trust in those who are in positions of knowledge and should not be lablled drug cheats.

Hang time ... Danielle Scott flies high over Norway.

Hang time ... Danielle Scott flies high over Norway. Photo: Reuters

Freestyle skiing: Danielle Scott has claimed Australia’s first medal from the world freestyle skiing championships, edging out her more fancied compatriots to claim third in the aerials event in Voss, Norway.

In a consistent team performance, the Australians managed to get all five of their skiers through to the finals but it was Scott that finished best of the women, the 23-year-old beating defending Olympic champion Lydia Lassila (5th), Samantha Wells (6th) and Laura Peel (8th) to the podium.

Boxing: Bernard Hopkins will try to make history again as he aims to break his own record as the oldest fighter to win a major world title when he faces unbeaten Tavoris Cloud for a light-heavyweight crown on Saturday.

The all-American showdown for Cloud’s International Boxing Federation throne pits the 31-year-old champion, making his fifth title defence against Hopkins, aged 48.

‘‘I’m not counting age. Everybody else is counting it,’’ said Hopkins, who has won only one of his past four bouts.

Hopkins was 46 in 2011 when he beat Canada’s Jean Pascal to win the World Boxing Council light-heavyweight crown, surpassing heavyweight icon George Foreman’s mark of 45.

Cricket: Chris Barrett reports from India ...

Michael Clarke is head and shoulders above Australia’s batsmen, and he’s taken time out away from the team on their two-day break before resuming training before the third Test.

The captain is in Delhi with wife Kyly, trying to forget just how many more runs he will have to score for Australia to be a chance in the third Test in Mohali.

The rest of the squad are near Mohali in Chandigarh, a planned city that happens to be capital of two states and is a bigger subcontinental version of Canberra.

The PlayStations will no doubt get a hammering, as will the hotel gym, which is about half the size of a Fitness First. Seriously.

There was a suggestion of day trips – the foot of the Himalayas are about a six-hour drive north, and the Golden Temple is the about the same distance west.

It is a far cry from Hyderabad, where the players were not even allowed outside the hotel – except to get on the bus to the ground – due to the bombings in the city the week before they arrived.

Quotes of the week: ‘‘Maybe people were expecting me to work some magic.’’ - Sonny Bill Williams talks about his return to rugby league for the Roosters in the season opener against South Sydney.

AFL: Adam Goodes has stepped down as co-captain of the Sydney Swans, with Kieren Jack promoted to partner Jarrad McVeigh in the job.

Goodes will remain in Sydney’s leadership group ... but says it’s time for someone else to step up and grow into the skipper’s role, as he had.

Jack .. the son of rugby league legend Garry Jack ... says it’s a great honour to captain the team he supported as a boy.

The Swans now have two New South Welshmen as co-captains.

Cricket: New Zealand are 7-394 in the first test against England at Dunedin. Brendon McCullum is on 43 and Bruce Martin 10, extending their lead to a healthy 227 runs. Jaimmy Anderson has 4-102.

On this day in 1984 … Black Caps captain, oh no he’s not any more but probably will be again soon, Ross Taylor was born. A dashing middle-order batsman, he has 3268 Test runs from 43 matches at 43.57 and recently returned to the national side following his messy removal from the captaincy late last year.

Ice hockey.  Terrible news out of Switzerland with the Associated Press and Huffington Post reporting that Swiss player Ronny Keller has suffered 'permanent spiral paralysis' after copping a devastating hit on Tuesday night. 
WARNING: Link contains a video, and it's not pleasant.

League.  Exciting young Canterbury prop David Klemmer has signed a new three-year deal with the club.
The 19-year-old, named player of the year in the NYC under-20s competition in 2012, had come through the club’s development system and is set to make his first-grade debut against North Queensland in Gosford on Saturday.
‘‘I’ve been at the club for a number of years now and I couldn’t see myself anywhere else in this next period of my career,’’ Klemmer said.
‘‘I’ve learnt so much and I enjoy every day that I come here, I’ll keep working hard and learning from Des and the other players here and hopefully I will get my chance at some stage to play NRL.’’

AFL.  Big news out of Moore Park from David Sygall.  Adam Goodes has stepped down as captain of the Sydney Swans with Kieren Jack the new co-captain with Jarrad McVeigh.

DOMINIC BOSSI: Football. The scene of Italian football fans scaling dividing barriers inside stadiums is usually a sign of impending violence, but not on Wednesday night at the Juventus Arena in Turin. Celtic and Juventus fans were seen trying to scale the perspex dividers to swap scarves as tokens of friendship after their UEFA Champions League clash. The two fans trading attire and went on their way after a graceful tap on the glass and thumbs up.

More cricket.  Victoria are in trouble early in the second innings of their Sheffield Shield clash with NSW at the MCG.  After being dismissed for just 128 yesterday, the Bushrangers bowled the Blues out for 268 and are now 1/13 in the fourth over of their second innings.  Michael Hill (jeweller) was trapped in front by Josh Hazlewood for four, leaving Rob 'Cloud Nine' Quiney and Chris Rogers at the crease.

Did you know: Despite playing only the one Test, Rogers has nearly 19,000 first-class runs.  No bad, no bad at all...

Cricket.  The Kiwis are now 200 runs ahead of England in the first Test in Dunedin.  After bowling the Poms out for 167 yesterday the hosts are now 6/368, thanks in no small part to Hamish Rutherford's 171.  At the crease at the moment are Brendon McCullum and Tim Southee, on 28 and 24 respectively.  Jimmy Anderson has been the best of the bowlers, taking four wickets.

BRAD WALTER: Golf.  Ladies and gentlemen, we are within but a few miles of greatness ... Golfing legend Jack Nicklaus still knows how to wow the fans. The 73-year-old, who was considered the greatest golfer of his era, is in Sydney to open a new course at The Australian Golf Club. The hardened golf official who sent this photo to Sports Day Live said he felt like a school kid again after meeting the Golden Bear.  If anyone can get the great man's ear, tell him we'll be at the Point Hotel later on tonight.  We'll shout.

We've been sent a photo of Nicklaus but it doesn't seem to be working for us.  Will endeavour to get it up as the afternoon progresses.

As promised, here's some rock for your Friday.  It's the Black Keys giving the Beatles a crack.  Gotta love that.

That's it from me. James Polson is taking over the wheel for the post-lunch session. Have a great weekend.

Football: Nature abhors a vacuum, so in the absence of any comment from Alex Ferguson after Manchester United’s exit from the Champions League others have been happy to fill the void.

Ex-United player Paul Pogba, 19, now at Juventus, feels no sympathy for his former club.

Speaking after Juve’s 2-0 win over Celtic, the Frenchman said: ‘‘Was I sad to see Manchester United lose to Real? No!’’

Fergie and the club face fines from UEFA for failing to front the media after the 2-1 defeat. The Scot is a serial offender, regularly sending his 2IC Mike Phelan to do the talking.

Managers really show what they’re made of when they face the music after a defeat. It’s a tough part of the job, granted, but can send the right message to the players and supporters, or the reverse if it all goes wrong. Just ask Kevin Keegan.

Fergie might have been trying to avoid a fine for blowing up deluxe but looks like he’ll cop one anyway. About time he manned up, we reckon.

Meanwhile, here is Keegan losing it - and subsequently the title race - after some mind games from ... Fergie, who else?

GLENN JACKSON: League. Souths forward Sam Burgess is facing a one-match suspension for a high tackle on Sydney Roosters halfback Mitchell Pearce in Thursday night’s season opener.
Burgess was handed a grade-one careless high tackle charge on Friday morning, adding a slightly sour footnote to the Rabbitohs’ 28-10 win.
The Englishman, who along with his brother George was the pick of the Rabbitohs forwards in the first-up victory, is facing a one-match ban regardless of whether he pleads guilty or not because of the addition of 43 carry-over points from a prior offence.

Football.  Marseille midfielder Joey Barton, the champion tweeter who occasionally threatens an outburst of football, is no fan of Justin Bieber it seems.  It all came about when Barton began bragging about cracking the two-million follower mark, only to find the popstar boasts around 35 million.  This was only a few weeks after Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney changed his name to Bieber and felt the wrath of Beliebers worldwide.  A tenuous link, sure, but one that gives me the opportunity to play a tune.  It is Friday after all...


Quotes of the week: ‘‘What the players need to realise is that this is a house of cards and, if they are involved in doping, there’ll be someone who will break ranks and people who break ranks are going to get the credit and the reduced penalty.’’ - Former ASADA boss Richard Ings urges Cronulla Sharks players to own up to drug cheating and accept a six-month ban.

On this day ... in 1981: Dennis Lillee was caught by Dennis Lillie. The little-known Queensland leg spinner was acting as a substitute fielder after being 12th man for a Sheffield Shield match in Perth, and produced a moment for cricketing trainspotters to remember forever when he took a catch of his much more famous near-namesake. Here's Dennis the menace during one of his more memorable innings with the bat ...


Golf: Australian Geoff Ogilvy’s resurgence continues as the world’s best tamed the TPC Blue Monster course in Miami during the opening round of the World Golf Championships Cadillac Championship.

Tiger Woods joined fellow major winners Bubba Watson and Graeme McDowell plus Swede Fredrik Jacobson and Spain’s Sergio Garcia with a six-under 66 to co-share the lead.

American’s Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker and Hunter Mahan plus Swede Peter Hanson share sixth just a shot back after rounds of 67.

Ogilvy and John Senden were the best of the Australians just three off the pace in a tie for 16th at three-under.

Searching for further top results to secure a US Masters berth, Ogilvy rallied from an early bogey to continue his form from his runner-up finish last week.

Cricket: The Kiwis have passed 300 but just lost Ross Taylor, out for 31, caught Jonathan Trott off Jimmy Anderson.

NZ are 4-310 with Dean Brownlie on 21. Big hitting Brendon McCullum is next man in. Anderson has 3-87.

Football: Rumours are swirling in England about the future of Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney after he was left on the bench for Tuesday’s Champions League defeat by Real Madrid.

Fans might remember the fractious negotiations that went on during Rooney’s last contract negotiations, which nearly resulted in the star leaving Old Trafford.

United reportedly are willing to listen to offers for Rooney in the off-season, with an asking price of £20-£35 million, depending on the source.

Manager Alex Ferguson no longer views the striker as indispensable amid ongoing concerns over the 27-year-old’s fitness.

Chelsea’s Frank Lampard might know how he feels.

Football: Unlike his first return to Suncorp Stadium in October, the Brisbane Roar will welcome back former coach Ange Postecoglou with open arms tomorrow night.

Postecoglou guided Brisbane to back-to-back championships before defecting to the Melbourne Victory.

He was incensed by the Roar’s prickly reception in their 5-0 round-two win but new Brisbane coach Mike Mulvey says Postecoglou will forever be remembered for his role in the club’s success.

Tennis: Bernard Tomic scored a comfortable first-round win over Thomaz Bellucci at the Indian Wells hardcourt tournament in California.

Tomic, the world No.45, swept aside the Brazilian ranked seven places above him 6-4 6-3 in just over an hour on Thursday.

The 20-year-old’s victory set up a second-round clash against world No.10 Richard Gasquet from France.

The young Australian clubbed five aces and won 80 per cent of points on his first serve with the victory, taking his record for 2013 to 10-4.

Football: More bad news for Richard Hinds’  team QPR ...
Queens Park Rangers lost £22.6 million during their first season back in the English Premier League, while their debt is up from £56m to £89m.

Cricket: NSW have extended their first-innings lead over Victoria beyond 100 runs on the second day of the Sheffield Shield match at the MCG.

The Blues are 6-241, leading by 113 runs, with Trent Copeland on 49 and Steve O'Keefe 22.

NSW skittled Victoria for 128 on the first day.

Weighing in ... the other Ronaldo.

Weighing in ... the other Ronaldo. Photo: Getty Images

Football: Former Brazil striker Ronaldo has called Alex Ferguson ‘‘disrespectful’’ after the Manchester United manager referred to him as ‘‘the fat one’’ to distinguish him from Real Madrid winger Cristiano Ronaldo.

Cricket: Hamish Rutherford has fallen short of a famous double ton in Dunedin, caught by sub fielder Chris Woakes at mid-wicket for 171 off Jimmy Anderson. The Black Caps are 3-287, 120 runs ahead of England in the first Test and counting.

Rutherford scored more the entire Poms side. Just thought we'd add that in.

On this day ... in 1992: Arguably the greatest of the great generation of West Indies pacemen, Malcolm Marshall, made his last appearance for the Calypso Kings.

Marshall, who died only seven years later from cancer, scored five and went wicketless as the Windies lost to New Zealand in Auckland to miss the World Cup semi-finals.

Here he is in his pomp ...

Cricket: India have dropped veteran opener Virender Sehwag for the two remaining Tests of the series against Australia.

The hard-hitting 34-year-old has scored nought, two, 39 and six in his [ast four Test innings.

Skipper M.S. Dhoni leads an otherwise unchanged 14-man squad, with Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan battling to take Sehwag’s place.

Football: Rio Ferdinand will not be punished by UEFA for his conduct at the end of Manchester United's Champions League loss to Real Madrid.

Ferdinand applauded sarcastically in the face of Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir after full-time following the controversial decision to send off Nani.

He later shook hands with the ref, which might have spared him a ban.

Cricket: Ex-England captain Michael Vaughan reckons the Poms have been having too much fun in New Zealand ...

The last thing you want to be tagged as a team is complacent. I was never involved in a complacent England side but I was involved in teams that failed to switch on mentally and we saw that again here.

It is a skill to switch on and off. Last week England spent time in Queenstown, taking a helicopter ride to the top of The Remarkables mountain range for a team meeting. A few indulged in adrenalin sports.

Read the full piece here

League: Sam Burgess of the Rabbitohs has been charged with a grade 1 high tackle on Mitchell Pearce during last night's win over the Roosters.

League: Former Sharks coach Ricky Stuart on the doping scandal surrounding his former club ...

"I've had about seven or eight years working with Shane Flanagan. Four or five with Trent Elkin and a lot of years with a number of the players concerned. I feel very sorry for them, they are all good people.

"I know Shane and Trent would not codone anything that is illegal for those players. Those players are going through a tough time at the moment, and I hope we can clear this all up as quickly as possible. Trent is a mate of mine and I don't want anyone to question his integrity.

"I am a rugby league tragic, and I am feeling for the game at the moment. It's something we don't want to keep talking about as we have a great product."

Former Sharks trainer Elkin has been accused of being the whistleblower that prompted the to ASADA investigation.

Football: World governing body FIFA has written to the Nigerian Football Association over claims lesbians are banned from playing football there.

Dilichukwu Onyedinma, chair of the Nigeria Women Football League, was quoted as saying: ‘‘Any player associated with it will be disqualified.’’

While contravening Fifa's anti-discrimination policies, the situation is complicated because homosexuality is illegal in Nigeria.

A Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill outlawing same-sex unions is awaiting a signature from President Goodluck Jonathan to go in to law.


On this day ... in 1930: The New York Yankees sign Babe Ruth on a two-year contract on what was then an astronomical figure of $160,000. Talk about biggest wrong calls in history, Yankees general manager Ed Barrow predicted, “No one will ever be paid more than Ruth.” Alex Rodriquez now holds the record for biggest Major League contract at a slightly higher figure of $275 million over 10 years. Here he is ...

Quotes of the week: "I’m clearly not an angel. I suppose I probably go out a little bit more socially than the normal footballer.’’ - Collingwood midfield star Dane Swan admits he enjoys life away from the AFL bubble.

Athletics: Hilton Botha, the former lead detective in the Oscar Pistorius investigation, has quit the South African force.

Botha was dropped from the case after it emerged that he was facing attempted murder charges in another case.

He has also been heavily criticised for giving contradictory evidence at Pistorius’s bail hearing.

The Paralympic champion is accused of murdering his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp – a charge he denies.

He says he mistook her for a burglar when he shot her dead on Valentine’s Day.

Quotes of the week: ‘‘What do you call a great Australian cricketer??? Retired.....’’ - Former England captain Michael Vaughan puts the slipper in on Twitter after Australia’s second Test defeat in India.

Look at the scoreboard ...

Football: A Lebanese referee shows why it pays for officials to keep fit ...
The ref had shown a player a second yellow card and before he could pull out the red ticket from his back pocket, he was punched, kicked and chased around the field. But he showed the players a clean pair of heels as he outrunned his attackers to make it to the tunnel unscathed. Cue Benny Hill music ...

Cricket: It’s lunch in Dunedin, where the Kiwis lost Kane Williamson for 24 just before the break, clean bowled by Monty Panesar. The Black Caps are 2-255, 88 runs ahead of England on day three of the rain-shortened first Test.
Hamish Rutherford is going strong on 167 no. Ross Taylor is on 1.

Quotes of the week: ‘‘That is the miracle of Hyderabad. If he was wearing a white shirt he would be a sight screen.’’ - Commentator Allan Border after Merv Hughes caught a David Warner six in the stands during the second Test in India.

AFL: With the season bounce-off looming ...

Cynics may argue the Brisbane Lions will find it hard to turn heads in 2013 when even an alleged drug scandal could not make the AFL sit up and take notice.

But Lions coach Michael Voss reckons he finally has the makings of a squad that will give the AFL public something to talk about this year, for all the right reasons.

Newspaper allegations that a ‘‘self-confessed drug dealer’’ had threatened to expose match-fixing, illegal gambling and drug use allegations involving the Lions between 2002 and 2009 didn’t warrant an investigation by the AFL in the pre-season.

Neither did a follow-up report that claimed a Brisbane player sat out some games last decade - also under then captain Voss’ reign - in a bid to cover up an illicit drug issue.

Golf: World No. 2 Tiger Woods fired a six-under-par 66 to seize a share of the lead on Thursday with four other players after the first round of the $US8.5 million World Golf Championships Cadillac Championship.

Reigning Masters champion Bubba Watson, Sweden's Fredrik Jacobson, Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell and Spain's Sergio Garcia matched Woods over Doral's Blue Monster layout.

Read the full report here

League: Warrior Thomas Leuluai expects decision-making time to be at a premium when he makes his return to the NRL against Parramatta on Saturday.

The reason isn’t so much the quicker pace of the game compared with the English Super League, where he spent the past eight years before coming back to his native Auckland. It’s more that the 27-year-old is pretty certain the Ricky Stuart-coached Eels will come up fast on defence.‘

‘They look very aggressive on D,’’ Leuluai said.‘‘They look like they get off the line pretty hard, a bit like the Roosters, when Ricky was there. Good line speed, so we’re going to have to be aware of that.’’

Football: Sebastian Hassett reports ...

There have been few more convincing performances in Europe this season than Tottenham's 3-0 demolition job of Inter Milan at White Hart Lane this morning.

While the temptation is there to say the rock-star performances of Gareth Bale are leading the way, the bigger truth is that most credit must go to Spurs' manager, Andre Villas-Boas.

His side battered Inter in all the key metrics - most notably possession (57 to 43 per cent) and shots on goal (12 to 2).

It's a managerial triumph for Villas-Boas, who spent a year in the back room at Inter under the guidance of Jose Mourinho. How Chelsea must wish they had him back.

As for us, we think Gareth is an inspiration to Klingons everywhere.


Cricket: In Dunedin, Hamish Rutherford has passed 150 as the Kiwis pile on the runs against England in the first Test. The Black Caps are 1-244 with Rutherford 161no on debut and Kane Williamson 20.

Meanwhile, the Poms back home have turned on their own after dining out on the Aussies as an entree.

Read the full report here

Football: From Brazil ... Palmeiras goalkeeper Fernando Prass was injured when fans frustrated by a defeat in the Copa Libertadores confronted players from the Brazilian club at an airport in Argentina on Thursday.

Prass had to be treated for cuts to his head and ear, but no one was seriously hurt in the altercation before the team’s return to Brazil.The supporters confronted the players while they were waiting to board their flight back to Sao Paulo after a 1-0 loss to Argentinian side Tigre.

Midfielder Wesley said: ‘‘They threw a cup at Valdivia and it hit me,’’ Prass said through his Twitter account. ‘‘I got three stitches in the head and a cut in my ear.’’Let’s just hope Brazil, languishing outside the world top 10, do all right at the World Cup next year.

Golf: Australia's Cameron Percy and Argentina’s Andres Romero each fired a seven-under par 65 on Thursday to seize the lead after the first round of the US PGA Puerto Rico Open.

Percy, seeking his first US PGA title, made nine birdies against two bogeys at the Trump International resort, while Romero, whose only PGA crown came in 2008 at New Orleans, fired seven birdies and an eagle against a pair of bogeys in the $US3.5 million tournament.

Read the report here

Morning all, Shane Brady here putting in 110 per cent to bring you all the one per centers to help you across the line to a big weekend of sport.

Boxing (sort of). Iron Mike Tyson is supposed to be in the Hangover III, reprising his cameo role. But why isn't he in the trailer which was released today? (Someone forgot to tell the giraffe to duck).


The Hangover Part III - Trailer (Video Thumbnail) Click to play video

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The Hangover Part III - Trailer

This time, there's no wedding. No bachelor party. What could go wrong, right? But when the Wolfpack hits the road, all bets are off.

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Football. Gareth Bale boosted his sky-rocketing profile with one of the goals which helped Tottenham shock Inter Milan 3-0 on Thursday and help lift Britain's European gloom.

Rupert Guinness: Rugby. Just got a please explain memo from sports editor, Ben Coady reading: 'Rupert ... How the hell have you got 15/15 for the Super Rugby tips after three rounds? What's your secret? Is this an honest result? Confess now and as part a plea bargain, you can have the weekend off - with full pay."
 Well ... here's the secret.It has nothing to so with me reading tea leaves. Nothing about looking at my old moggy mate Misfit's ashes. Nothing about a pet octopus picking my winners.
The truth? I forget to put my tips in, get a late call from the sports desk asking why, then without any thought I pick a winner after being told who is playing who.
It a stress free process, even if it frustrates the hell out of some at SMH who live by the tip panel and spend countless hours analysing every team's chances.
For the record, here are my tips for this round, get around me.
Crusaders, Reds, Highlanders, Brumbies, Stormers, Sharks, Blues.

League. Go on, have your say about SBW, you know you want to.

Poll: What did you think of Sonny Bill William's first game back in rugby league?

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Fail - should have stayed with the leather-patch brigade.


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Long memories ... a group of Bulldogs fans at Allianz Stadium last night.

Long memories ... a group of Bulldogs fans at Allianz Stadium last night. Photo: Anthony Johnson

League. Bulldogs fans have long memories. This group turned up last night to welcome back Sonny Bill Williams. Apparently they have similiar posters about Dean Pay, Jarrod McCracken, Jim Dymock and Jason Smith in their garages.

Cricket. Kiwi batsman Hamish Rutherford has bought up his century against England this morning (currently 115 not out), but this poor fan copped more damage than the Poms when he collected  one in the melon from Rutherford yesterday.


Cycling. Australian Matthew Goss of Orica-GreenEDGE won the second stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico over 232km from San Vincenzo to Indicatore in a sprint finish on Thursday.

Brad Walter: League. The NRL match review committee is currently meeting to consider charges from last night's match between South Sydney and Sydney Roosters.

Rabbitohs forward Sam Burgess and Roosters centre Michael Jennings are the players with the most to worry about.

Jennings was placed on report for a high shot on Beau Champion, while Burgess was reported for a high tackle on Mitchell Pearce.

If any Souths or Roosters players are charged and plead not guilty, they will face the judiciary next Tuesday night. All other matches will be reviewed on Monday, with hearings scheduled for Wednesday night if needed.

Brad Walter: Rugby. Unbelievable story about a London Welsh official providing Rugby Football Union with a fake UK passport so an ineligible Kiwi could play.

Read it here.

Georgina Robinson: Rugby. Michael Cheika isn't easily baited.

In a response to claims by Brumbies coach Jake White that the Waratahs were not delivering on their running-rugby promise this season, Cheika turned a rare shade of deferential, claiming White ''must know''.

AFL. Seems like it will be good news for Swans fans today with a report in the Daily Telegraph that Adam Goodes and Kieren Jack will announce new deals with Sydney today.

Dominic Bossi: Football. The A-League is preparing to follow in the footsteps of the UEFA Champions League and implement the use of goal-line referees as early as next season.

Rough return ... Sonny Bill Williams after the game
last night.

Rough return ... Sonny Bill Williams after the game last night. Photo: Anthony Johnson

Brad Walter: League. After a debut he described as ''disappointing'', Sonny Bill Williams declared: ''It is good to be back in the game I grew up playing.''

Surfing. Organisers have called a lay day for the men’s and women’s world surfing events on the Gold Coast.

Poor wave conditions forced the early decision to call off action on Friday, with bigger swells anticipated over the weekend.

The Roxy Pro has reached the semi-final stage with three Australians, Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright and Sally Fitzgibbons, all into the final four but it’s the men’s event which is lagging due to the conditions.

League. Here's the highlight's package from last night's Sydney Roosters-South Sydney match.


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Bunnies thump Roosters, sour SBW's NRL return

The Rabbitohs thump Roosters 28-10 in season opener to sour Sonny Bill William's return to NRL.

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Football. Chelsea have slumped to a 1-0 loss at Steaua Bucharest while Newcastle carved out a 0-0 draw against Anzhi Makhachkala in this morning’s Europa League last-16, first-leg ties.

Italian title-chasers Lazio took a huge step towards the quarter-finals with a 2-0 win in Germany against Stuttgart while Turkish club Fenerbahce scored a 1-0 win at Viktoria Plzen in the Czech Republic.

Today's back page of the Sydney Morning Herald

Today's back page of the Sydney Morning Herald

Here’s today’s back page of the Sydney Morning Herald. Glenn Jackson reported on South Sydney’s dismantling of the Sydney Roosters in round 1 and there is Adrian Proszenko’s story on former Cronulla trainer Trent Elkin and his involvement with the ASADA investigation

Ben Coady: Welcome to SportsDay Live. I’m happy to report I’m leading the footy iipping competition (well co-leader with about 146,987 others) after selecting the Rabbitohs last night. We’ll keep you up to date with news as it happens today, especially any developments of the ASADA investigation into Cronulla.

Sort comments by:
  • have to agree with Garnsey that the inadvertent use of drugs shouldnt get you labelled a cheat, however, people who have used drugs (inadvertently or otherwise) hold an unfair advantage over those that have not, therefore they should not be allowed to go through unsanctioned.
    People cannot hide behind the "i trusted them" defence, they should not abdicate their common sense and expect to use that as an excuse.

    up north
    Date and time
    March 08, 2013, 3:32PM
  • What ASADA needs to realise is that to be classified as drug cheating, the drugs need to be, well you know, against the rules!

    Mj D
    Date and time
    March 08, 2013, 12:23PM
    • They were captured under WADA's rules that prevent the use of any substance that promotes growth hormones and Thymosin Beta 4 wasnt specifically on the list because it is horse medicine...

      So its not correct to say they were not banned, they simply were not specifically listed.

      If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck and quacks, treat it as a duck....same goes for miracle chemicals that make you bigger stronger faster - treat as banned.

      Up North
      Date and time
      March 08, 2013, 1:43PM
  • Love the photo of George Burgess scoring - Bonds undies and all - no compression garments for big George. Old school!

    Date and time
    March 08, 2013, 9:25AM

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