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SportsDay Live, Thursday March 28

Date

Ashley Harrison ruled out for Titans, Jesse Ryder bashed in bar brawl and more fallout from the Red Bull team orders fiasco.

Jesse Ryder: was due to fly out to India to compete in the IPL.

New Zealand Test batsman Jesse Ryder has a a fractured skull after a late night attack in Christchurch. READ MORE. Photo: Getty Images

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That's it from us at Sportsday Live for today. We'll be back at noon on Tuesday refreshed after an action-packed Easter break.

In the meantime, follow all the latest sporting news and our live blogs including tonight's Tigers-Manly clash at smh.com.au and grab the bumper Easter weekend editions of the Herald and Sun-Herald for all the best sports news and analysis. Until then.

Muz in his heyday.

Muz in his heyday.

League: From the vault comes today's classic footy card of a former NSW Origin coach.

If you have any lurking in a shoebox under the bed, hit us on Twitter @smhsport.

Basketball: The Chicago Bulls ended the Miami Heat’s epic 27-game NBA winning streak on Wednesday with a 101-97 triumph over the reigning league champions.

The Heat’s streak was the second-best winning run in major North American professional sport, trailing only the 33-game NBA winning streak of the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers.

In an occasionally spiteful clash, the Bulls had strong performances from forwards Luol Deng (26 points) and Carlos Boozer (21 points, 17 rebounds), while young guard Jimmy Butler added 17 points and came up with crucial plays late in the game.

The Heat had not lost since February 1 at Indiana, while the winning streak started on Super Bowl Sunday, on February 3.

AFL: He overcame an injury-plagued pre-season to end 2012 on a high, and now a fully-fit Dan Hannebery says he’s ready to do it again for reigning premiers Sydney.

Knee surgery and shoulder concerns overshadowed the 21-year-old’s start to last year’s campaign, but that didn’t stop him from running riot in the Swans’ midfield.

Hannebery just missed out on the Norm Smith Medal, finishing second behind teammate Ryan O’Keefe as best on ground in their grand final win over Hawthorn.

The young Swans midfielder says he’s keen to build on that performance in 2013, starting with this weekend’s opener against Greater Western Sydney.

‘‘There’s no doubt that I’ve had interrupted pre-seasons since I’ve started and so far, touch wood, I’ve been injury-free and everything’s been going really well,’’ he said.

Athletics: This is gold ... watch Ilmari Koppinen of Finland and Emiel Pauwels of Belgium take part in a thrilling 100m 'sprint' at a veterans' athletics meet.

They're both in their mid 90s. Just goes to show you that the competitve spirit never dies.

Basketball: The Perth Wildcats will be aiming to extend their 13-match winning streak at home when they take on the Wollongong Hawks in tonight’s NBL semi-final clash at Perth Arena.

The Wildcats are hot favourites to win the best-of-three series, but will be sweating on the fitness of star guard Damian Martin, who is battling an Achilles injury.

League: Canterbury great Hazem El Masri insists he bears no ill will towards Sydney Roosters back-rower Sonny Bill Williams but he doesn’t expect Bulldogs fans to share that sentiment when the two NRL sides clash in two weeks’ time.

Prior to Williams’ return to rugby league this season, El Masri famously said the dual international should not be allowed back in the game he walked away from mid-season in acrimonious circumstances in 2008.

‘‘I hold no grudges. I have no animosity against anyone but it is about what happened and that has been well documented,’’ El Masri said.

‘‘It’s not just me [who thought he shouldn’t be allowed back] but a lot of senior guys who were there at Canterbury, especially the way he went about it, especially when you really need someone at that time."

Surfing: Reigning world junior champion Nikki Van Dijk of Australia has scored an upset heat win over world rankings leader Tyler Wright at the women’s Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach.

The teenager from Phillip Island in Victoria advanced straight to the third round after edging past fellow Australian Wright and Hawaii’s Malia Manuel.

Defending world champion Steph Gilmore has been pitched straight into a cut-throat second-round encounter after finishing last in her heat on a cold, windy day at Bells Beach.

Football: Montenegro face FIFA sanctions following crowd trouble during the 1-1 draw with England in Podgorica.

According to witnesses, missiles, including a lighter, a bottle of water and toilet roll, were hurled at goalkeeper Joe Hart while Ashley Cole was spat at during the in the 1-1 draw on Tuesday night.

A photographer reportedly had a cup of urine poured on him, a flare was also thrown into a section of fans and there was a mass brawl among Montenegro supporters even before the match began.

Here they are warming up ...

AFL: Saturday represents the beginning of the end for Kevin Sheedy, but also the start of the future for AFL club Greater Western Sydney.

The coaching transition from Sheedy to successor Leon Cameron is well underway at the Giants.

It is no great secret Cameron, who will officially take the reins from veteran coach Sheedy at season’s end, has been at the forefront of a new attacking game plan - wanting the youngsters to play through the corridor and take the game on more.

That may be on display in the Giants’ season-opening derby clash with premiers Sydney on Saturday, reflecting work done since Cameron’s off-season arrival from Hawthorn.

Basketball: Not looking good for the Miami Heat in their quest for a 28th straight NBA win - they’re down 90-82 to the Bulls in Chicago with 4.02 on the clock.

Football: Football Federation Australia boss David Gallop has declined to guarantee the job security of under-fire Socceroos coach Holger Osieck.

Australia’s lame 2-2 draw with Oman in Sydney on Tuesday left the Socceroos facing a desperately tight battle to qualify for the World Cup in Brazil next year.

Asked if Osieck still enjoyed FFA’s full support, Gallop said only. ‘‘The Socceroos have the full support of the FFA but it goes without saying that we are under pressure to make it to Brazil, and the coach and the staff know that.

Pressed if Osieck’s position would be reviewed before the Japan game in June, Gallop said: ‘‘No one needs to remind Holger and indeed his staff and indeed the team that they’re under pressure.’’

At least he didn't get the dreaded vote of confidence.

The Top 10. For those straining to remember what happened to the softball ring-ins in Homer At The Bat, here's a list of their fates ... 

Pitcher Roger Clemens couldn’t play because he thinks he’s a chicken after being treated by Mr Burns’s hypnotist.

First baseman Don Mattingly was kicked off the team by Mr Burns because of his sideburns … His memorable line while walking off the field was “I still like him better than Steinbrenner”.

Second baseman Steve Sax was given six life sentences because “some guy got killed in New York City and they never solved the case”.

Third baseman Wade Boggs was beaten up by Barney Gumble after a bar-room debate over England’s greatest prime minister … “Looooord Palmerston”.

Left-fielder Jose Canseco was busy being heroic at a burning house.Centre-fielder Ken Griffey jnr ended up in a wheelchair after overdosing on Mr Burns’s special nerve tonic.

Shortstop Ozzie Smith vanished after visiting the Springfield Mystery Spot.

Catcher Mike Scioscia was hospitalised after coming into contact with toxic waste while doing a late shift at Mr Burns’s nuclear power plant.….

And right-fielder Darryl Strawberry was benched after hitting nine home runs because Mr Burns wanted to “play the percentages” for the match-winning at bat and replace him with Homer.

AFL: Geelong coach Chris Scott has pledged to take no risks with the fitness of noted fast healer Steve Johnson, whose knee injury will keep him out of the first few rounds of the AFL season.

Johnson, 29, was always going to miss Monday’s opening-round clash against Hawthorn due to a one-game suspension incurred during the pre-season Cup.

But the star utility is now set to sit out most of the opening month after undergoing an arthroscopy earlier this week.

Football: Embattled Central Coast have received a boost with midfielder Oliver Bozanic signing on for another season.

Coach Graham Arnold said Bozanic had knocked back a number of offers from other A-league clubs to stay loyal to the second-placed Mariners.

The former Australian U23 skipper returned to Australia after a stint with Reading in England and has played 77 matches since he signed with the Mariners in mid-2010.

Winter Olympics: Russia has started to stockpile hundreds of thousands of cubic metres of snow to ensure next year's Winter Olympics in Sochi is not hit by unpredictable weather conditions.

The Organising Committee has constructed a huge snow storage facility at the Rosa Khutor ski resort, which will host the alpine skiing and snowboarding at next year’s Games.

The organisers are set to conserve a colossal 450,000 cubic metres of snow before April 15 when the thaw sets in to prevent any shortages of powder at the outdoor Olympic venues in case of unfavourable weather conditions next February.

Scotland and Ireland might be able to pitch in with a few cubic metres.

No shortage here ... Scotland and Ireland have plenty of snow to go around.

No shortage here ... Scotland and Ireland have plenty of snow to go around. Photo: Reuters

The Top 10. Today we are counting down the Top 10 sporting cameos, as judged by Sun-Herald sports editor and certified old-school Simpsons tragic Paul Suttor ... and without further ado, here is unquestionably the greatest sporting Simpsons episode of them all & one of the best ever from the four-fingered funnies of Springfield.

1 Homer at the Bat … Daryl Strawberry, Don Mattingly, Ozzie Smith, Jose Canseco, Mike Scioscia, Steve Sax, Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs & Ken Griffey jnr. Oh, where to start … this episode had it all. In a nutshell, Mr Burns brings in professional players to win a bet over a game of softball with a rival nuclear power plant owner and apart from the one star who plays Homer’s rightfield position, Darryl Strawberry, each of the players “fall victim to separate misfortunes”. Can you name the fate suffered by all the other star players? We’ll post their unfortunate tales soon … 

League: Gold Coast will call on the cavalry for Sunday’s clash against Penrith after three weeks with an unchanged line-up.

The Titans confirmed on Thursday lock Ashley Harrison will miss the trip with concussionsuffered in last week’s two-point win over Manly.

Recruit Brad Takairangi also appears set to be ruled out, failing to train with the team on Thursday as he battles a hamstring injury.

Utility Luke O’Dwyer will come into the squad, although it’s unclear whether he’ll be a straight swap for Harrison or start from the bench.

If Takairangi is ruled out, Steve Michaels will come into the centres.

Basketball. Miami's hopes of breaking the NBA winning streak record are under threat - they trail 75-71 with 8 minutes left in the fourth quarter against the Bulls in Chicago. The Heat have won 27 straight and are within sight of the all-time record of 33 set in 1971-72 by the LA Lakers.

Football: Bad boy Luis Suarez is in trouble again. FIFA is looking into an altercation involving the Liverpool striker during Uruguay’s World Cup qualifier against Chile on Tuesday.

Chile's Gonzalo Jara tangled with him at a corner and footage appears to show Suarez aiming a subtle punch at Jara, who plays for Nottingham Forest.

The referee took no action.

Chile won the match in Santiago 2-0.

SJ Frazier & B Gumble at Moe's Tavern

SJ Frazier & B Gumble at Moe's Tavern

The Top 10. Today we are counting down the Top 10 sporting cameos, as judged by Sun-Herald sports editor and certified old-school Simpsons tragic Paul Suttor

2 Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes? Joe Frazier. When Homer’s drowning his sorrows at Moe’s Tavern about losing his favourite couch, Frazier tries to empathise with him by saying he lost the heavyweight championship. Unimpressed, Homer replies “Pfft. Heavyweight championship, there’s like three of those. That couch was one of a kind.” Frazier is then told to shut up by Barney and says “Barney, youve been riding my ass all night”. Barney fires up and asks him “You wanna take this outside?”. Wails are heard off camera and when Homer walks outside, Smokin Joe is walking away and Barney is upside down in a garbage bin.

The Top 10. Today we are counting down the Top 10 sporting cameos, as judged by Sun-Herald sports editor and certified old-school Simpsons tragic Paul Suttor

3 Bart Star … Joe Namath. The NFL legend pokes fun at himself and many of his fellow former sports stars who appear in TV advertising promoting everything under the sun. Namath appears before the closing credits with a warning to viewers about the dangers of “vapour lock” for your car. 

The Top 10. Today we are counting down the Top 10 sporting cameos, as judged by Sun-Herald sports editor and certified old-school Simpsons tragic Paul Suttor

4 Scenes from the Class Struggle in Springfield … Tom Kite. The veteran golfer while teaching Homer how to play tells him not to overthink, which he is told is “not an issue”. After going through the basics of a golf swing, Kite says “All you need is your own set of clubs, and stay the hell out of my locker!...you can keep the shoes!” as he grabs his gear from Homer.

Football: Worries for the Wanderers as they try to wrap up the Premier's Plate this weekend.

Marquee star Shinji Ono and at least three other Western Sydney players will miss Friday’s final-round A-League clash at Newcastle.

A point from the game against a Newcastle team desperate for a win to boost their own play-off hopes would be sufficient for the debutants to seal top spot ahead of Central Coast, who host Melbourne Heart on Saturday.

Ono has a groin injury while defenders Adam D’Apuzzo (foot) and Jerome Polenz (quad) have also been ruled out while midfielder Iacopo La Rocca begins a four-match suspension and won’t play again this year.

Central defender Michael Beauchamp (quad) and midfielder Aaron Mooy (knee) are also battling to recover in time for the match.

League: More team news ... Newcastle coach Wayne Bennett hasn’t ruled out the prospect of skipper Kurt Gidley returning for the Knights’ clash with Canberra on Sunday evening.

Gidley missed the impressive 34-6 win over North Queensland with a calf injury but young halfback Tyrone Roberts was a more than able deputy, leaving Bennett with a potential selection headache.

The seven-time premiership-winning coach refused to be drawn on whether Gidley, who sat out training on Thursday, would be restored to the starting line-up ahead of Roberts should he be passed fit.

‘‘Kurt is going good, he may be right,’’ Bennett said. ‘‘But at this point in time he’s not playing. We’ll just have to wait and see. If he’s ready he’ll play.’’

 

Gerry Cooney, no match for Otto Mann.

Gerry Cooney, no match for Otto Mann.

The Top 10. Today we are counting down the Top 10 sporting cameos, as judged by Sun-Herald sports editor and certified old-school Simpsons tragic Paul Suttor

5 Gerry Cooney. The former heavyweight boxer, best known for being dubbed the Great White Hope by Don King and then losing his shot at a world title to Larry Holmes, meets and greets guests at Mr Burns’ casino but he is too overbearing for Springfield bus driver Otto Mann, who punches him out.

Snooker: Mark Selby was unlucky to miss the final black on his attempt at a maximum 147 break at the China Open.

The British and Masters champion, leading 2-0, appeared set for only the second competitive 147 of his career after a superb positional shot on the last red. But the black lipped out and he missed a $30,000 bonus.

"It wasn't nerves, it was just a tough shot and I missed," he said.

He still won 5-1 to breeze through to the second round. Watch it here ...

 

Lisa Leslie

Lisa Leslie

The Top 10. Today we are counting down the Top 10 sporting cameos, as judged by Sun-Herald sports editor and certified old-school Simpsons tragic Paul Suttor

6 Pray Anything … Lisa Leslie. Ned Flanders is chosen to take the half-time shot at a WNBA game and when Leslie thanks him for supporting the competition he says it’s a nice change from the male sports he watches such as speed walking, ballroom dancing, rhythmic gymnastics and extreme choir. Leslie cuts him off and says “Just hurry up and miss” but Ned makes the shot and donates his winnings to charity, much to Homer’s chagrin.

Olympics: Brazil’s preparations for the World Cup and Olympic Games have run into further difficulties after the authorities indefinitely closed a Rio de Janeiro stadium because of roof problems.

The Joao Havelange stadium, home to the Botafogo football club and due to host the athletics competition during the 2016 Games, will be shut down until the matter is resolved, Mayor Eduardo Paes said.

The stadium has been used as the city's main football venue while the iconic, crumbling Maracana undergoes refurbishment for the World Cup next year.

Cycling: Former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich says he played a role in ‘‘what happened in cycling’’ but did not offer a clear confession to doping like some other leading riders, including his long-time rival Lance Armstrong.

Ullrich wrote in his blog on Eurosport that ‘‘everyone can make his own opinion about what happened in cycling and I also contributed my role in that’’, but added he would not make any public confessions like Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour titles.

The German won the Tour in 1997 and finished runner-up five times, three times behind Armstrong.

Ullrich was suspended in 2006 in the fallout from Operation Puerto in Spain. He retired a year later.

The Top 10. Today we are counting down the Top 10 sporting cameos, as judged by Sun-Herald sports editor and certified old-school Simpsons tragic Paul Suttor

7 Barting Over … Tony Hawk. Bart moves out of home and happens to find a cool apartment where Hawk happens to live and hangs out with Blink 182. Hawk gives Homer a modified trick skateboard so he can show Bart he’s cool and they end up going head to head on a halfpipe. Hawk tells Homer “he’s going down, then back up again, then down. That’s how the game is played.”

Football: Soccer Mom and Dads roll up ... Manchester City have revealed plans to create a series of international coaching centres across the world following the success of their football school in Abu Dhabi.

The Premier League champions’ coaching centre in Abu Dhabi, named the MCFC School of Football, has doubled in size since it opened a year ago and now caters for 550 boys and girls aged between five and 18 and is run by five coaches on weekday evenings and Saturdays.

The success of the centre will become the blueprint for further international projects as City’s Abu Dhabi-based owners look to expand their club’s global brand.

He got name ... LA Lakers' Metta World Peace is injured.

He got name ... LA Lakers' Metta World Peace is injured. Photo: AP

Basketball: Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace will undergo left knee surgery on Thursday and be sidelined for a minimum of six weeks.

World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, suffered a torn lateral meniscus in the knee in a 109-103 loss Monday at Golden State.

‘‘I can’t wait to get back,’’ World Peace said on his Twitter page. ‘‘But our team is so good we will win and get into the playoffs.’’

Johnny Unitas.

Johnny Unitas.

The Top 10. Today we are counting down the Top 10 sporting cameos, as judged by Sun-Herald sports editor and certified old-school Simpsons tragic Paul Suttor

8 Homie the Clown … Johnny Unitas. The former American football star, who according to Grandpa Simpson had “a haircut you could set your watch to”, appears in a promotion for Krusty the Clown. When he asks the model what she thinks of the Lady Krusty Moustache Removal system, she replies by asking if her upper lip is supposed to bleed like this? “Probably” says Unitas. Another fine Krusty product.

League: More news for those sweating over fantasy teams and tips ... Gold Coast forward Ashley Harrison will miss Sunday's clash with Penrith after failing to sufficiently recover from a concussion suffered last week.

Harrison was stretchered off in last week's 16-14 victory over Manly after being left heavily concussed by a late shoulder from Sea Eagles prop Richie Fa'aoso.

Fa'aoso was handed a grade-three dangerous contact charge which was downgraded at a judiciary hearing on Wednesday night.

Now it appears both players will miss just the one week, with the Titans hopeful Queensland Origin representative Harrison will return for their round five clash against Brisbane.

Read the full story here

 

Agassi, Sampras, Venus & Serena ... and Homer

Agassi, Sampras, Venus & Serena ... and Homer

The Top 10. Today we are counting down the Top 10 sporting cameos, as judged by Sun-Herald sports editor and certified old-school Simpsons tragic Paul Suttor

9 Tennis the MenacePete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Serena Williams & Venus Williams. Homer installs a tennis court in the forever malleable backyard at Evergreen Terrace and the family enters a tournament. Homer drops Lisa as his doubles partner, replacing her with Venus. Marge punts Bart for Serena. The Williams sisters then punt Homer and Marge for Sampras and Agassi, who also just happen to be watching the Springfield tournament.

Baseball: From the nosebleed section ... Major League Baseball teams have jumped in value 23 per cent to an average of $US744 million ($716 million) according to Forbes magazine, the biggest one-year jump in value in its 15 years of tracking club values.

Forbes' annual list of team values ranked the New York Yankees atop the 30-team league for the 16th year in a row at $US2.3 billion, making them the most valuable club in North American pro sports.

League: Brisbane centre Justin Hodges has passed a late fitness test on his injured hamstring and will take his place against Melbourne in their Good Friday NRL clash at Suncorp Stadium.

And in a late twist, the Queensland and Australian centre could play some of the match from fullback.

Hodges has been dogged by a hamstring injury but ran freely at training at Red Hill on Thursday morning, indicating he will line up against the unbeaten Storm.

Read the full story here

Football: Superstar Lionel Messi was sick on the pitch at half-time during Argentina's 1-1 draw away to Bolivia in a match played 4000m above sea level.

To make matters worse the flea with the golden boot missed a sitter and failed to hit the back of the net in a game for the first time in ages.

Argentina’s players needed oxygen in the breaks due to the high altitude.

Golf: The Australian Open is returning to Royal Sydney after a five-year absence and will be played from November 28 to December 1.

Golf Australia confirmed the venue and dates for the country’s premier golf tournament on Thursday, avoiding a direct clash with the Ashes cricket series by slotting in between the first Test in Brisbane and second Test in Adelaide.

The Open is on the move after three years at The Lakes course and, thanks to an on-going multi-million deal with the NSW government, Sydney is guaranteed to continue hosting the tournament until 2015.

Next year it will switch to The Australian, which recently underwent another revamp by Jack Nicklaus.

The Top 10. Today we are counting down the Top 10 sporting cameos, as judged by Sun-Herald sports editor and certified old-school Simpsons tragic Paul Suttor

10 Brother’s Little Helper … Mark McGwire. The former home run king of Major League Baseball appeared during the height of his fame in an episode where Bart is being controlled by a drug called Focusyn, an obvious parody of Ritalin. Perhaps it wasn’t the best choice of plots for McGwire, who confessed to using steroids after he retired. 

Super Rugby: Two 21-year-olds will make their starting debuts as the Melbourne Rebels attempt to get back on track in their clash with the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein this weekend.

Young openside breakaway Jordy Reid, who modelled his game - and dreadlocked hairstyle - on Wallabies great George Smith, replaces New Zealander Scott Fuglistaller in the run-on team following the record 64-7 loss to the Sharks in Durban last Sunday.

Fellow 21-year-old Paul Alo-Emile, a 120kg prop, also gets his first start.

With Wallabies five-eighth Kurtley Beale and winger Cooper Vuna unavailable after being sent home following a fracas in the hours after that loss, the Rebels’ selection options were limited.

Read the full story here

AFL: After the strange staggered start to the season, traditional rivals Carlton and Richmond will kick off their campaigns in front of what is expected to be a huge crowd at the MCG tonight.

It’s veteran coach Mick Malthouse’s first premiership season game in charge of the Blues.

Ex-Port Adelaide defender Troy Chaplin will play his first game for the Tigers, who are looking to break a nine-game losing streak against Carlton. 

AFL: David Sygall reports ... the Sydney Swans will announce the team about 6pm for their round one clash with GWS on Saturday. Defender and local boy Dane Rampe was elevated from the rookie list yesterday and is being discussed as a likely inclusion. FWIW Rampe would be flying the flag for my suburb, Clovelly. #welikelattes

Mmmm ... how a pie with sauce should look.

Mmmm ... how a pie with sauce should look. Photo: Dallas Kilponen

Shane Brady here with you until 2pm as we count down to tonight’s cracker in the NRL between Manly and Wests Tigers. We’ll bring all the latest news and views and tackle all the big issues in sport, such as which sauce to have on your pie this weekend ...
Since when did barbecue sauce become the default condiment in this country? We must have missed that memo. Bring back Tommy we say.

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Today's back page of The Sydney Morning Herald features another exclusive story from Roy Masters on how AFL club the Essendon Bombers were being offered preferential treatment by ASADA in the on-going drugs investigation.

And it pays to have winning genes. Chris Roots on the $3 million a relative of Black Caviar may fetch at the upcoming yearling sales.

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  • Hi, I'm from overseas but I'd love to live in Australia. I'm a pretty good opener and don't mind batting 1st or 2nd position. Is there any way I can get your immigration minister to throw down a few at me in the nets so he can decide whether to fast track me as a citizen. My best score is 24, but it took me 2 hours to get, so clearly I don't throw my wicket away cheaply.

    Commenter
    Not Warner
    Date and time
    March 28, 2013, 1:31PM

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