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SportsDay Live, Tuesday February, 5 2013

Essendon CEO Ian Robson, left, president David Evans and coach James Hird announce that the club will be investigated over supplements given to players as part of their controversial fitness program last year.

Bombshell ... Essendon CEO Ian Robson, left, president David Evans and coach James Hird announce that the club will be investigated over supplements given to players as part of their controversial fitness program last year. Click here to read more. Photo: Wayne Taylor

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JAMES POLSON: That's all folks.  Thanks for your company today and we'll be back as always from 8.30am on Wednesday.  We'll have all the latest on the Essendon supplements revelations, as well as the unfolding football match fixing scandal in Europe.  Until then keep your browser logged to for all the best sporting news, views and analysis.

GEORGINA ROBINSON: Rugby. In Waratahland they're very big on branding. It's blue, blue and a thin red line everywhere you look at Moore Park and a Waratah out of team kit is a rare bird indeed.  So we had to wonder, when coach Michael Cheika turned up to training today in a bright yellow t-shirt, whether it was a cheeky reference to the yellow card handed to new recruit Israel Folau during his debut game for the club in Hobart at the weekend.

We didn't get the chance to ask the big man, but Cheika's assistant Alan Gaffney weighed in on the incident, which saw a bemused Folau hesitate on field before being told son, in this game, yellow means you're gone.

"If anyone goes through that video it was a pretty tough yellow," Gaffney told SportsDay. "It's very hard to tell Izzy what not to do from there, obviously he's got to roll away and do certain things but generally speaking [the call] was very tough ... The breakdown is something the boys are working on but he's okay there at the present time."

Secret message? ... Waratahs coach Michael Cheika on Tuesday.

Secret message? ... Waratahs coach Michael Cheika on Tuesday. Photo: Anthony Johnson

Top ten. And the greatest Super Bowl half-time show ever is......

1. U2 (Super Bowl XXXVI, New Orleans, 2002):
Setlist: Beautiful Day, MLK, Where The Streets Have No Name
U2 were scheduled to announce a third North American leg of their Elevation tour on September 11, 2001.  The Super Bowl performance five months later came after they had been the first major band to return to New York since the attacks, and concluded with a rousing rendition of Where The Streets Have No Name during which the names of victims were projected to the heavens on a tall backdrop. On a bad night this song is unforgettable.  In this context, it’s transcendental.

Basketball.  The Los Angeles Clippers failed to fire without injured All-Star forward Blake Griffin as they lost their third game in a row, falling 98-90 at Washington on Monday.  Griffin had started 197 consecutive games before missing the contest with a hamstring strain.  The Clippers have already been without All-Star guard Chris Paul for the past eight games due to a knee injury.  Martell Webster made five of six three-pointers to lead the Wizards with 21 points while Brazil’s Nene and Garrett Temple each scored 15 points and John Wall added 13 points and eight assists for Washington (12-35).  It was the first victory for the Wizards over the Clippers since January 31, 2008.

Football.  Young Melbourne Victory defender Nick Ansell could miss the start of his side’s A-League finals campaign after scans revealed a serious groin injury.  Ansell suffered the injury in the derby clash with Melbourne Heart last Saturday night and will be sidelined for six to eight weeks.  His tendon has pulled part of the bone attachment away, however he doesn’t require surgery.  The 19-year-old last week signed a three-year deal with the club.

‘‘Obviously this is disappointing as Nick has been really good for us since he made his debut back in round 11 against Brisbane Roar,’’ said coach Ange Postecoglou.  ‘‘It’s always hard for those guys who didn’t have the benefit of a full pre-season to get through an entire campaign unscathed and unfortunately that’s the case with Nick.’’

Cricket.  Tim Paine will miss out on a head-to-head battle with Brad Haddin, but he is determined not to miss the chance to reclaim his place in the pecking order of Australia’s wicketkeepers.Haddin will be resting when Paine captains Tasmania in the Sheffield Shield match against NSW at Bellerive from Wednesday.  Paine had been mooted as the replacement for Matt Wade when Australia’s No.1 gloveman was rested during the one-day series against Sri Lanka but selectors went for Haddin, the man dropped for Wade to get a gig.

‘‘I’ve got a head-to-head with (Haddin’s replacement) Peter Nevill who’s probably not as good a player as Brad but I suppose in years down the track he may well be,’’ Paine said.  ‘‘It’s a big game for both of us with a few things coming up around the corner.’’

League.  No prizes for guessing who'll be in the next Lowes commercials then?


Top ten. We're down to the last two of James Polson's greatest half-time shows ever.  And the runner-up is....

2. Michael Jackson (Super Bowl XXVII, Pasadena, 1993):
Setlist: Jam, Billie Jean, Black or White, We Are The World, Heal The World
The King of Pop’s spectacle set the standard for half-time entertainment. Still at the peak of his powers, ratings were actually higher during the break than the match, the first time that had ever happened.   Jackson’s performance and reception resulted in a deliberate attempt to pursue top-tier talent for the shows.

Cricket.  Western Australia internationals Adam Voges and Shaun Marsh have pulled their team out of the mire at tea on day two of their Sheffield Shield clash with Queensland at the Gabba.The Warriors were looking shaky at 3-62 in their second innings, before Marsh (48 not out) and Voges (40 not out) steadied the ship with an unbeaten 94-run partnership to hand their team a 99-run lead going into the final session on Tuesday.The bottom-placed Warriors headed to the tea break at 3-156 on a seam-friendly wicket under grey skies in Brisbane.

Netball: Silver Ferns coach Waimarama Taumaunu isn’t getting too carried away by New Zealand’s elevation to No.1 in the world netball rankings.  World champions Australia have dipped down to second after a disappointing three-match series loss to England late last month. 

‘‘One of our goals is to be ranked No.1, but through our own results, rather than the losses of others,’’ she said.

AFL. Essendon says it has asked the AFL to investigate possible inappropriate use of supplements among its playing group in the 2012 pre-season.

‘‘I believe we followed processes, we put in place the right sort of processes, my understanding was that we worked within the framework that was given to us by the AFL and by WADA, and I’m shocked to be sitting here, to be honest,’’ said Bombers coach James Hird.

‘‘If there have been goings-one within our football club that are not right, we want to know. My belief, though, is that we have done everything right and our players have done everything right as well.’’

Read the full story here.

League. Robert Lui will make play his first game for North Queensland since round one last year when he runs out for Saturday’s NRL trial clash against Brisbane in Mount Isa.

The talented halfback was sacked by Wests Tigers after being charged with assaulting his partner following a Mad Monday drinking session in 2011. He was then stood down by former ARL Commission chief David Gallop after pleading guilty to the offence in court. He had hoped to make a return to action midway through last season, after the couple underwent counselling in Townsville, only for Gallop to extend the ban until the end of the year.

Top ten. On that note, we're into the top three in our countdown of Super Bowl half-time shows, from SportsDay's self-styled music doyen James Polson.

No.3: Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band (Super Bowl  XLIII, Tampa, 2009):
Setlist:  Tenth-Avenue Freeze Out, Born To Run, Working On A Dream, Glory Days

America’s favourite rocker had turned down the opportunity to perform at the Super Bowl on several occasions before finally relenting. The highlight of this one comes at 3:54 when an overexuberant Boss slides straight into a camera, giving birth to the site, which has seemingly since disappeared into the darkness (on the edge of town).

Super Bowl.  NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has denied Beyoncé's half-time show triggered the power outage that halted Sunday's showpiece in New Orleans.

"There is one other point that I guess I have seen a little speculation about," Goodell admitted. "There is no indication at all that this was caused by the half-time show. Absolutely none. There is nothing here to say that Beyonce's half-time show had something to do with it. That is not the case."

Fairly emphatic, then.

League. Good to see David "the Wolfman" Williams and his Manly teammates are knuckling down to some hard graft at pre-season training.

Sonny Bill Williams faces the stiffest test of his fledgling boxing career when he meets the White Buffalo, Francois Botha, on Friday. The Kiwi code-hopper was sparring this afternoon at the Corporate Box gym in Brisbane.

Sonny Bill Williams faces the stiffest test of his fledgling boxing career when he meets the White Buffalo, Francois Botha, on Friday. The Kiwi code-hopper was sparring this afternoon at the Corporate Box gym in Brisbane. Photo: Brad Walter

AFL. The Age's online editor Daniel Sankey tweets from the Essendon presser:

Cricket. Western Australia are slowly rebuilding their second innings in the Sheffield Shield clash with Queensland at the Gabba thanks to internationals Adam Voges and Shaun Marsh.The Warriors are three for 110 on day two, a lead of 53 runs, with Voges and Marsh building an unbeaten partnership of 48 runs.

AFL. Essendon will host a media conference at AFL headquarters where it is expected the club will address rumours surrounding the club's controversial fitness program last year.

A former Essendon official has confirmed to Fairfax Media that players were asked to sign waiver forms pertaining to treatment they received. Fairfax Media has known for at least a month some players had concerns about the forms.

Read more here.

AFL. Stand by for a "major" announcement from Essendon. The Bombers are set to convene a news conference any minute, at which it is expected the club will address rumours surrounding its controversial fitness program last year.

A former Essendon official has confirmed to Fairfax Media that players were asked to sign waiver forms pertaining to treatment they received. Fairfax Media has known for at least a month some players had concerns about the forms. Former fitness boss Stephen Dank has since left the club.

For more news as it comes to hand, click here ....

Boxing. Sam Soliman says IBF middleweight world champion Daniel Geale has agreed to their title fight.

Soliman said the fellow Australian’s camp had given the fight the green light, with just the date to be finalised.

‘‘We’re going to get the shot, and we’ve locked it in on contract,’’ the Victorian said.‘‘We’re just waiting for the date and we’ll be fighting.’’

AFL. Sydney co-captain Adam Goodes says there is ‘‘no doubt’’ he’ll be ready for the start of the AFL season despite being restricted over summer due to a knee injury.

Goodes suffered a partial posterior cruciate ligament tear in the Swans’ grand final win last year, making rehabilitation the chief focus of his 16th AFL pre-season. But the 319-game veteran rejoined the club’s main group during a four-day training camp in Coffs Harbour last week and says his knee is feeling great.

‘‘I think the best thing that has happened out of all of it is that I’d gone through the same process with my other knee,’’ Goodes said on the club’s website.

James Polson: Top 10. We're counting down the Top 10 Super Bowl half-time shows.

4. The Rolling Stones (Super Bowl XL, Detroit, 2006): Setlist: Start Me Up, Rough Justice, (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.
Sir Mick gave a rare nod to the Stones’ longevity when he introduces Satisfaction as a song that could have been played at Super Bowl I. Also humorous was the pre-game interview where, when asked had the Super Bowl always been something the Stones had wanted to do, Jagger responds with a deadpan ‘‘Not really, no.’’

White Buffalo ... former world champion Francois Botha (right) meets Austalian heavyweight champion Alex leupai at a training session in Brisbane ahead of his fight with Sonny Bill Williams on Friday night.

White Buffalo ... former world champion Francois Botha (right) meets Austalian heavyweight champion Alex leupai at a training session in Brisbane ahead of his fight with Sonny Bill Williams on Friday night. Photo: Brad Walter

Brad Walter: Boxing. The Francois 'White Buffalo' Botha packs some power into his punches, as he just knocked one of his trainers gloves out of the ring.

"The more you look the less you see," he told onlookers at The Corporate Box gym where Quade Cooper and Sonny Bill Williams will also train later today.

Cricket. The West Indies say they’re unlikely to tinker with their top order despite the early havoc wreaked by Australian paceman Mitchell Starc.

The West Indies are already staring down the barrel of a series loss in Wednesday’s third one-day international at Canberra’s Manuka Oval after going 0-2 down in the five-match series in Perth.

Of the eight wickets the West Indies have lost while struggling during the opening 10 overs in both matches, young left-armer Starc has taken seven of them.

‘‘He (Starc) is bowling well at the moment but he’s not unplayable,’’ said Windies captain Darren Sammy on Tuesday.

Football. Next Sydney FC signing Kevin Muscat? Stats reveal that the Sky Blues head the offenders in the A-League with Sydney FC heading the list of bad boys with 58 yellow and 4 red cards this season.

Melbourne Victory are next (55 and 2) with the Wellington Phoenix the cleanskins of the competition (38 and 3).


League. Brad Walter reported earlier that an agreement between the players and the NRL was on track and Australian captain Cameron Smith has made a dramatic backflip, recanting his claim earlier on Tuesday that NRL players will not accept the Collective Bargaining Agreement on offer.

The Australian captain raised eyebrows when he told Sky Sports Radio that the CBA tabled by the ARL Commission ‘‘is going to get knocked back’’.

But just hours later when he arrived for the official All Stars team photo at Suncorp Stadium ahead of Saturday night’s season opener, Smith sang a different tune after receiving fresh information from RLPA CEO David Garnsey.

‘‘I obviously spoke on radio this morning about that. Since then I have had a chat with David Garnsey and he has given me an update and we are a lot closer to agreeing,’’ he said. ‘‘My comments were based on discussions we had around just before the break.‘‘I had not had the chance to speak to David or anyone from the RLPA (before the radio interview) but he has informed me that we are a lot closer to a deal.’’

League. No need for us to be smart, Robbie says it all ...

Tennis. Former Davis Cup coach Wally Masur has been appointed Tennis Australia's Sydney national academy head coach.

Masur will oversee coaching some of NSW's top junior tennis players, aged 10 to 17-years-old, after taking over the role at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre from Liam Smith.

C'mon, Wally - An Australian Open finalist next year please.

Swimming. The NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) will host the February Finals meeting on Saturday and Sunday at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre.

Olympic silver medallist and reigning men's 100m freestyle world champion James Magnussen will headline the competition, with fellow world champion Matthew Abood also taking to the pool.

Football. Here's the always excellent, and ridiculously clever, David Conn from The Guardian on the huge match-fixing scandal engulfing the world game.

Top 10. We're counting down the Top 10 Super Bowl half-time shows.

5. Prince (Super Bowl XLI, Miami Gardens, 2007):

Setlist: We Will Rock You, Let's Go Crazy, Baby I'm A Star, Proud Mary, All Along The Watchtower, Best Of You, Purple Rain

Only The Artist Formerly Known As The Artist Formerly Known as Prince could manage to sneak seven songs, including four covers, into a half-time show.

The Purple One gives a shout-out to the Foo Fighters (who'd bet against them getting the gig within the next five years?) before some well-timed precipitation provides the perfect accompaniment for Purple Rain.

Cricket. Western Australia were 3-62 at lunch on the second day of the four-day clash against Queensland at Gabba today.

Motor sport. Good news for F1 fans, with the Victorian state government set to swallow the mounting costs of the Australian Grand Prix and negotiate for an extension of the race.

''There are three more races under the current contracts and we will see out those and commence discussions at an appropriate time,'' Victorian Premier Ted  Baillieu said.

''We intend to do whatever we can to ensure our major events calendar remains strong and the grand prix has been a part of that and we look forward to it being a part in the future.''

Asked whether the race could continue at a cost of $50million a year, Baillieu said: ''The benefits are very substantial. We need to weigh up the benefits and we will endeavour to get the best possible deal we can.''

Football. Some more Gazza magic ... so sad to see the great man struggling now ...

Cricket. Western Australia aren’t wasting any time trying to build a healthy lead in their Sheffield Shield match against Queensland at the Gabba.

The Warriors are 2-60 - a lead of just three runs - in their second innings on day two, with former Test batsman Mike Hussey at the crease.

WA took less than 10 overs to erase their 57-run deficit after earlier dismissing the Bulls for 168.

Top 10. We're counting down the Top 10 Super Bowl half-time shows.

6.  Beyonce (Super Bowl XLVII, New Orleans, 2013):

Setlist: Run The World (Girls) (instrumental), Love On Top (a capella), Crazy In Love, End of Time, Baby Boy, Bootylicious, Independent Women Pt.1, Single Ladies (Put A Ring On it), Halo

Would she sing live after the recent national anthem debacle?  Would superstar husband Jay-Z make an appearance?  Would former Destiny’s Child bandmates Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland get a gig?  Yes, no and yes. Did any of it matter one bit? No.

Those spoilsports at the NFL won't let us share the video with you so you'll have to go to the official website to check it out.

Rugby. Chiefs halfback Brendon Leonard is set to miss the start of his side’s Super Rugby title defence after suffering a cheekbone injury during their pre-season match against the Highlanders.

The former All Blacks No.9 is believed to have suffered a fracture and an initial diagnosis suggests he will be sidelined for four to six weeks, meaning he will miss at least the first two games of the season.

Rugby (stink). The boys got carried away with an all-in brawl during the Belgium v Georgia Rugby World Cup qualifier in Brussels. For the record Georgia won 17-13.

Golf. World leading amateur Lydia Ko is feeling a weight of expectation at playing golf on home soil this week. Despite the presence of a strong field at the New Zealand Women’s Open teeing off at Clearwater Golf Club on Friday, 15-year-old Ko is the biggest drawcard.

She admits it will be one of her few appearances in New Zealand this year and she is hungry to become the first Kiwi winner of the event.

Last year she blew a lead heading into the final round at the Pegasus Golf Club, also on the outskirts of Christchurch, to finish 17th. She was trailed by huge galleries then and expects the same again this week, particularly after her triumph at the Canadian Open last year when she became the youngest ever winner of an LPGA Tour event. ‘‘I do feel a bit of pressure as I know people are expecting a whole lot more from me,’’ she said.

Brad Walter: League. Fears that negotiations between the NRL and players over a collective bargaining agreement have broken down are unfounded and a deal remains imminent.

Australian captain Cameron Smith sparked concerns about the talks this morning when he told Sky Sports Radio that clubs had voted against the proposal. However, Fairfax Media has been told that Smith's comments were based on a misunderstanding arising from some conversations that he had at around Christmas time.

RLPA boas David Garnsey has now updated him on the current position. Smith is due to hold a press conference in Briabane

Rugby. Skipper James Horwill make his long awaited return for the Queensland Reds in their final pre-season hit-out against the Chiefs on the Sunshine Coast on Friday.

Horwill has not been sighted since tearing tearing his hamstring against the ACT Brumbies last May.

He will be welcomed back into the Reds line-up along with fellow new faces Saia Faingaa, Jake Schatz, Dom Shipperly and Chris F’Sautia while lock Rob Simmons is back after serving a five-game ban.

Reds trial squad: Luke Morahan, Rod Davies, Ben Tapuai, Mike Harris, Digby Ioane, Jono Lance, Ben Lucas, Jake Schatz, Liam Gill, Eddie Quirk, Rob Simmons, James Horwill (capt), James Slipper, Saia Faingaa, Greg Holmes. Reserves: Albert Anae, James Hanson, Jono Owen, Ed O’Donaghue, Adam Wallace-Harrison, Nigel Ah Wong, Curtis Browning, Jarrad Butler, Nick Frisby, Dion Taumata, Chris F’Sautia, Aidan Toua, Dom Shipperly.

James Polson: Top 10. We're counting down the Top 10 Super Bowl half-time shows.

7. Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, P. Diddy, Kid Rock, Nelly (Super Bowl XXXVIII, Houston, 2004):
Setlist: All For You, Diddy, Hot In Herre, Mo Money Mo Problems, Bawitdaba, Cowboy, Rhythm Nation, Rock Your Body

The most infamous half-time show in Super Bowl history has to get a guernsey.  Rarely has one wardrobe malfunction generated so much hysteria.  It resulted in MTV being banned from producing half-time shows and the seven-second delay being introduced. (PARTIAL NUDITY WARNING! But you might have to press pause to see it ...) 

Cricket. Western Australia have hit back in their Sheffield Shield clash at the Gabba, dismissing Queensland for 168 in their first innings.

The Bulls lead by 57 runs after resuming day two on five for 144 in response to WA’s 111.

Warriors quick Michael Hogan has taken four wickets, including the prized scalp of Bulls skipper James Hopes for 43.

Cricket. Is this why Australia’s skipper was tearing up at cricket’s night of nights last night?

Just hours after collecting his fourth AB gong, Michael Clarke was usurped as the No.1-ranked Test batsman by prolific South African Hashim Amla.

Proteas quick Dale Steyn remains at the top of the bowling list, while teammate Jacques Kallis is still the game’s top all-rounder.

Clarke is the only Australian ranked amongst the top 20 Test batsmen, while Peter Siddle has moved up one spot to No.4 in the bowling ratings.

Tennis. Former Australian Davis Cup coach Wally Masur has been appointed head coach of Tennis Australia’s National Academy (Sydney).

Masur will take over the coaching role from Liam Smith, who will move to Melbourne to work as a National Academy Coach alongside Tennis Australia Developmental Manager Scott Draper.

Masur, a former world No. 15 and coach of Australia’s Davis Cup team from 2001 to 2005, will work with NSW’s most talented junior tennis players in his role.

AFL. GWS co-captain Callan Ward is backing the Giants to vastly improve on this year, saying they have learnt valuable lessons from their rookie year and will no longer be the whipping boys.

''You can tell on the track that everyone understands it now - what it takes to play AFL - whereas last year they were just excited to play their first game, or be pulling on a Giants jersey."

But Ward isn't getting too excited with his benchmark for the club.

"I know we only won two last year. This year, hopefully more."

Come on Callan, stick your neck out. We want finals footy at Blacktown.

Football. British boffins are at it again, publishing a study that says  Lionel "look-at-me" Messi may owe his trademark feints and body swerves to the fact his brain is busier than that of a less gifted player.

In a study into footballers' minds, researchers at Brunel University found that highly skilled players were able to activate more areas of their brain than novices when an opposing player approached, enabling them to react to their moves more successfully.

SportsDay Live's own inconclusive study suggests footballers' grey matter is concentrated solely on lager, women, poker and horses. What a waste of money.

Georgina Robinson: Rugby. The excited man of Australian rugby, James "Kevin" Horwill, makes his long-awaited return to competition this weekend.

The former Wallabies and Reds skipper, famous for wearing his heart on his sleeve on the rugby field has been given the all-clear after tearing his hamstring last May.

It's been a long time coming for Kevin.

He was hoping to make it back for the Wallabies spring tour but had to rule himself out to play it safe and ensure he was fit for the Reds' Super Rugby campaign this year. The Reds play last year's champions the Chiefs at the Sunny Coast on Friday. In the words of the original Big Kev.

Georgina Robinson: Rugby. The Lions are coming, baby! The first tranche of tickets for the combined British and Irish dream team's month-long tour of Australia go on sale today at midday - but only if you're an over-achiever and registered for the early-bird release at a couple of months ago. If you missed that memo, you have to wait til 9am February 18. Boo.

Details here.

Football. Wycombe goalkeeper Jordan Archer has became the second goalkeeper in England this season to be attacked by a fan.

Archer was assaulted in the closing stages of his side's 1-0 victory against Gillingham in a League Two clash at the Priestfield Stadium on Monday.

Archer, on loan at Wycombe from Tottenham, had placed the ball down prior to taking a goal kick when a Gillingham supporter entered the field and leapt towards the 19-year-old keeper, knocking him to the ground.

The fan was quickly apprehended by a steward and Archer, while clearly stunned, was unhurt and able to continue playing.

In October, Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland was attacked by a Leeds United fan during a 1-1 Yorkshire derby draw. The fan was later jailed for 16 weeks.

Must be something they put in the pies.

Football. Very sad vision of Paul Gascoigne clearly doing it tough in his battle with alcoholism earlier in today's blog so let's cheer ourselves up (or maybe make ourselves even sadder) with footage of what the great man could do in his prime.

Gotta love the first youtube user comment - "I could barely do that on FIFA 12."

League. Warriors coach Matthew Elliott has named a mix of experienced campaigners, new signings and young up-and-comers in his team for Saturday’s opening NRL trial match against the Gold Coast Titans at Burleigh Heads.

Prop Steve Rapira will captain a line-up which features new signings Dominique Peyroux in the centres and former Penrith half Harry Siejka.

Warriors: Carlos Tuimavave, Glen Fisiiahi, Dominique Peyroux, Malakai Watene-Zelezniak, Ngani Laumape, Pita Godinet, Harry Siejka, Steve Rapira (captain), Alehana Mara, Suaia Matagi, John Palavi, Sam Lousi, Sebastine Ikahihifo. Interchange: Atelea Nafetalai, Sione Lousi, David Fusitua, Aaron Nootai, Nathaniel Peteru, Siliva Havili, Konrad Hurrell, Sio Siiua Taukeiaho, Trent Bishop, David Bhana.

James Polson: Top 10. We're counting down the Top 10 Super Bowl half-time shows.

8. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (Super Bowl XLII, Phoenix, 2008):
Setlist: American Girl, I Won’t Back Down, Free Fallin’, Runnin’ Down A Dream
A healthy dose of Americana for this most American of sporting events.  Petty, his trusty Rickenbacker and a couple of the best rock songs ever written.  What more do you want?

League. Penrith have named their squad for Friday’s trial match against the Wests Tigers in Bathurst.



Rugby. It's British and Irish Lions tour year and each week Paul Cully, the angriest tomato grower in rugby, will select his form team after the Six Nations matches.

Here's his team and column after week one.

Golf. Most of the talk from the Phoenix Open was Phil Mickelson just missing out on a 59. Call us shallow, but for us the caddy races on the 16th hole were the highlight.

Rugby. Melbourne Rebels winger Cooper Vuna is out for the next six weeks after injuring his shoulder in Saturday's trial.

Further scans late Monday afternoon have confirmed Vuna fractured his scapula in the early stages of the North Hobart trial against the Waratahs.

At this stage, the fracture will not require surgery - only rest, and should see him return to the field in six weeks.

Rugby. Thierry Dusautoir will captain France in Saturday’s Six Nations clash against Wales after coach Philippe Saint-Andre named his squad on Monday.

The 31-year-old Dusautoir - capped 56 times with 33 of those as captain - returns to the captaincy as the man who replaced him as skipper, Pascal Pape, has been ruled out because of a back injury.

Saint-Andre explained that Dusautoir had not been originally named captain because he was battling back after injury.‘‘We wanted to give him time to prepare properly, to return to his best level and not place any extra pressure on him,’’ the 45-year-old Saint-Andre said.

Super Bowl. There was plenty of talk about the commercials that screened in the US during the Super Bowl yesterday. Hard to top this one featuring Will Ferrell.

Cricket. Australia’s captain Michael Clarke has warned Shane Watson that the injury-plagued allrounder’s decision to return to international cricket as a batsman exposes him to a much bigger fight for a Test berth.

Clarke said that at his best Watson - who will make his latest injury comeback as an opener in the one-day international against the West Indies in Canberra on Wednesday - was as good as any player in the world.

But he also warned his vice-captain that he would need to perform to earn back his Test spot for the upcoming tour of India. ‘‘As I’ve said to Watto, while he’s not bowling he goes into a much bigger pool of players,’’ Clarke said, while sitting next to Watson at a press conference in Melbourne on Monday night, after winning the Allan Border Medal for a fourth time.

Cricket. Cricket Australia's board has emphatically endorsed the architects of its contentious rotation selection policy, Pat Howard and John Inverarity, but conceded the public explanation of the policy had been flawed.

Chris 'Back-Page' Barrett reported on the confusion of the policy back on December 26.

Football/golf. We love a good 'Separated at Birth'. The Daily Mail spotted a good one with Tiger Woods and Fulham's Urby Emanuelson.

See the twins here.


Cycling. US team BMC won the second stage of the Tour of Qatar, a 14-kilometre team time-trial on a desert road to the west of the tiny Gulf state’s capital, Doha.

The victory, clocked in 16min 7.21sec, brought the team home five seconds ahead of Britain’s Team Sky and 10 seconds in front of Omega Pharma, led by former world champion Mark Cavendish.

BMC’s win means that Brent Bookwalter keeps the leader’s golden jersey in the overall classification, ahead of his compatriot Taylor Phinney and Britain’s Adam Blythe. In all, BMC occupies the first five places.

Brendan Esposito:

Blue wall ... Sydney FC coach Frank Farina talks to his team before training at Macquarie University on Tuesday morning.

Blue wall ... Sydney FC coach Frank Farina talks to his team before training at Macquarie University on Tuesday morning.

NFL.  Joe Flacco has his Super Bowl MVP trophy and his first NFL championship ring and now the Baltimore Ravens quarterback says it is time to negotiate a new contract.

‘‘I’m pretty optimistic,’’ Flacco said. ‘‘There’s all kinds of crazy things that can happen with these contracts that we’ve all seen before, but this is a great organisation.’’ Flacco, whose contract expired Sunday, won the Pete Rozelle Trophy as he led the Ravens to their second Super Bowl title in franchise history with a 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

Understandably, Flacco said he didn’t get much sleep after the game but it was worth it.‘‘I got about a hour and a half (sleep),’’ Flacco said Monday morning. ‘‘I’m pretty tired right now. No, it hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s just a surreal moment, and hopefully in about a week we can wind down and start to enjoy it a little bit.’’

James Polson: Top 10. We're counting down the Top 10 Super Bowl half-time shows.

9. The Who (Super Bowl XLIV, Miami Gardens, 2010): Setlist: Pinball Wizard, Baba O’Riley, Who Are You, See Me, Feel Me, Won’t Get Fooled Again
Hope I die before I get old?  Forget it.  They may not have played My Generation but Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend and hangers-on showed that age hasn’t wearied these most legendary of rockers.  The Who performed on a massive circular stage surrounded by lasers and their setlist included Baba O’Riley.  If that was the only song played, it would still be ranked this high.

Michael Carayannis: Boxing. IBF world champion Billy Dib is on the lookout for a new challenger after Luis Franco withdrew from their featherweight title bout due on March 1.

Dib's promoter, 50 Cent, informed the Dib camp of Franco's decision not to fight just days ago. Now the US rapper is searching for a top-15 ranked fighter to take the place of Franco, who was Dib's mandatory challenger.

The fight represented Dib's long-awaited return to the US market he has long craved to crack since losing a WBO featherweight world title bout to Steve Luevano in 2008. The Sydneysider is still expected to headline ESPN's Friday night fight card, in what is 50 Cents' first official boxing promotion with Dib's camp hoping to announce a new challenger this week.

Sebastian Hassett: Football. Australian midfielder Tom Rogic might not be in Marbella with the Socceroos but it surely won't be long until he's a fixture in Holger Osieck's squad.

Osieck has allowed the ex-Central Coast star to settle into life with new club Celtic rather than calling him up and it seems to have paid early dividends. In his unofficial debut - albeit in an under-20 match - Rogic took just nine minutes to score his first goal for the Hoops in a 4-1 win over Hamilton.
Lewis and the sideburns ... Lewis Hamilton during the Mercedes GP F1 W04 Launch at Circuito de Jerez.

Lewis and the sideburns ... Lewis Hamilton during the Mercedes GP F1 W04 Launch at Circuito de Jerez. Photo: Justin Davies

Formula One. Behind the wheel of his new Mercedes car, Lewis Hamilton felt right at home.The 28-year-old British driver, who left McLaren for Formula One rival Mercedes this season, drove his new team’s new wheels on Monday and wasn’t disappointed.

‘‘I’m happy, that’s what I can tell you,’’ said Hamilton, the 2008 world champion.‘‘It’s still got a Mercedes engine, so it has all the power I used to have.’’

Hamilton will be driving with Nico Rosberg this season, and Mercedes is hoping to rekindle the fiercely competitive spirit that they shared as go-kart rivals 13 years ago. ‘‘I’ve known him longer than any other driver here,’’ he said of the German driver. ‘‘It’s a real privilege to work alongside him.’’

But the question SportsDay Live wants answered is 'What's doing with the sideburns, Lewis?"

Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal serves during a training session in Vina del Mar, Chile. Nadal, an 11-time Grand Slam winner, is preparing to take part in the ATP event in Vina del Mar.

Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal serves during a training session in Vina del Mar, Chile. Nadal, an 11-time Grand Slam winner, is preparing to take part in the ATP event in Vina del Mar. Photo: AFP

Tennis. Rafael Nadal’s ailing left knee may continue to bother him until the end of the month, his coach said on Monday.

Nadal practiced for 90 minutes with Nicolas Massu of Chile on Monday, his fourth straight day of training since arriving in the country for his first match in more than seven months.

Nadal opens play on Tuesday in the VTR Open, playing doubles with Argentina’s Juan Monaco. On Wednesday, he will play singles in the second round.

‘‘The knee is much better, but they’ve told us he will feel some discomfort and lack of mobility until the end of the month,’’ said Toni Nadal, the seven-time French Open champion’s coach and uncle. ‘‘But it’s definitely getting better.’’

Cricket. Owners of Indian Premier League side Rajasthan Royals have been slapped with a fine of one billion rupees ($A18.12 million) for alleged foreign exchange violations, media reports said on Monday.

The enforcement directorate of the ministry of finance has given the owners, who include Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty and her businessman husband Raj Kundra, 45 days to pay the fine or file an appeal.

Football. Paul Gascoigne’s appearance at a charity event has sparked renewed fears about the health of one of England’s most talented and popular footballers, with some are even saying his life is in danger.

‘‘He sounds as if he needs almost a 24-hour watching brief at the moment,’’ Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballer’s Association, said Monday.

Gascoigne has been plagued by alcohol and mental-health problems since quitting the game in 2005. But he had been keeping a relatively low profile over the past two years until he made a public appearance at an event in Northampton, central England.

In a question-and-answer session in front of what appeared to be a raucous crowd, the 45-year-old Gascoigne struggled to hold onto the microphone and slurred his words. The audience cheered every answer but the sadness soon hit home as he began to sob.‘‘I’ve had a (expletive) hard month - (expletive) hell,’’ said Gascoigne, who later added that he had been on a ‘‘whisky diet.’’

James Polson: Top 10. Beyonce got positive reviews for her half-time Super Bowl performance yesterday, but where does she rate in best ever list? James Polson got out of his early-morning milking shift on the farm to produce his Top 10.

10. Diana Ross (Super Bowl XXX, Tempe, 1995):
Setlist: Stop In The Name Of Love/You Keep Me Hangin’ On/Baby Love/You Can’t Hurry Love/Why Do Fools Fall In Love/Chain Reaction/Reach Out And Touch (Somebody’s Hand)/Ain’t No Mountain High Enough/I Will Survive/Take Me Higher.
In lieu of 1998’s Motown 40th anniversary show, which is conspicuously absent from the world of YouTube, the Motor City’s leading lady will do nicely.  The former Supreme delivered a medley of hits before departing in a helicopter ... while still singing.

AFL. Collingwood has announced Nick Maxwell as its captain for the 2013 season, with Scott Pendlebury his vice-captain and Dayne Beams elevated to the leadership group for the first time.

Frocks. We don't know much about fashion - although in our opinion a Newtown Jets jumper can been worn on any occasion - so we'll leave it up to Jenna Clarke to discuss the red carpet from last night's Allan Border Medal event.

Read her report here.


kyly-and-michael Clarke 620x414 Click for more photos

2013 Allan Border Medal red carpet

kyly-and-michael Clarke 620x414

  • Kyly Clarke in J'Aton and Michael in Tom Ford.
  • Kyly Clarke in her J'Aton gown at the 2013 Allan Border Medal.
  • Rianna Ponting in Steven Khalil at the 2013 Allan Border Medal.
  • Matthew Wade's partner Julia Barry in J'Aton at the 2013 Allan Border Medal.
  • Shane and Lee Watson in Johanna Johnson.
  • Lee Watson accessorised her 8-month bump with bespoke jewels by Johanna Johnson.
  • Glenn  McGrath and Sara Leonardi-McGrath.
  • Kayla Dickson in Julie Simonelli and James Pattinson.
  • Jessica Johnson in Zhivago and husband Mitchell at the 2012 Allan Border Medal.
  • Peter Siddle and Anna Weatherlake in Silvana Tedesco.
  • James Pattinson and Peter Siddle.
  • Xavier and Emma Doherty wearing Rachel Gilbert at the 2013 Allan Border Medal.
  • Meredith, in Lisa Ho, and Ben Hilfenhaus.

Dominic Bossi: Football. Melbourne Victory's Mark Milligan has been drafted into the Socceroos squad for the friendly against Romania in Spain as a late injury replacement for Mile Jedinak. The Crystal Palace midfielder sustained an eye injury and missed their match against Charlton over the

Tommy Oar has also withdrawn from the Australia squad due to injury. No replacement has been made.

Jesse Hogan: Cricket. Michael Clarke is well placed to finish his career with more Allan Border Medal victories than anyone after equalling Ricky Ponting's record of four wins on Monday night.

A dominant year in Tests and a solid year in one-dayers were the basis for the 31-year-old claiming the top award ahead of joint runners-up Mike Hussey, the recent retiree, and Shane Watson, captain Clarke's deputy in Tests and one-dayers.

New boy ... Israel Folau

New boy ... Israel Folau Photo: Getty Images

Georgina Robinson: Rugby. NSW should sacrifice Test centre Rob Horne to make room for Israel Folau in the Waratahs starting line-up this season, according to Wallabies greats.

World Cup-winning Australian coach Bob Dwyer and Wallabies and Waratahs legend Mark Ella agreed Horne would be the obvious casualty should Folau continue to impress coach Michael Cheika in the Waratahs' final two trial matches against the Blues and Crusaders over the next 10 days.

Football. European police warned that the integrity of football was at stake, as they revealed they had smashed a criminal network fixing hundreds of matches, including in the Champions League and World Cup qualifiers.

Europol said a five-country probe had identified 380 suspicious matches targeted by a Singapore-based betting cartel, whose illegal activities stretched to players, referees and officials across the world at all levels of the game.

Global soccer fixing scam exposed (Video Thumbnail) Click to play video

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Global soccer fixing scam exposed

RAW VIDEO: Investigators from across Europe say they've identified a total of some 380 suspicious matches from around the world.

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Welcome to SportsDay Live. We'll be covering what's doing in the world of sport during the day, plus analysis, comment, polls and countdown a Top 10 on Super Bowl's halftime shows. Log on to comment and use the Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down to rate the posts.

Sort comments by:
  • Has to be U2 in 2002 for mine.

    Date and time
    February 05, 2013, 4:24PM
  • If number 1 isn't New Kids on the Block in 1991, I call shenanigans.

    Date and time
    February 05, 2013, 4:16PM
  • Georgian and Belgium rugby players fighting - haha .... looks more like a soccer fight - lots of swinging, not much connecting

    Date and time
    February 05, 2013, 1:18PM
  • The Beyonce youtube link is wrong

    Date and time
    February 05, 2013, 1:12PM
    • Cheers. Should be fixed now. You're the second one to point that out - Beyonce was not happy!

      Date and time
      February 05, 2013, 1:25PM

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