7 September 2015
Weekend Sport Round-Up: Hamilton, World Cup Warm-Up, Ben Stokes, Rooney & Murray
Hamilton took a major step towards securing his third world title with a commanding triumph at the Italian Grand Prix, although he had to wait two and a half hours before having his victory confirmed – about twice the time of the race itself. He dominated the race from the start, sitting it out with Vettel going into the tight first corner, then steadily pulling away from Ferrari with complete control en route to his 40th victory. He has now increased his points tally to 252 to Rosberg’s 199 and Vettel’s 178, putting him in a very good position with seven races left.
Hamilton was in imperious form. The 30-year-old built a 1.5-second lead on the first lap after concerns about an aggressive start from Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. Hamilton blasted away from Vettel in second place, building a 12-second lead in 20 laps, sometimes pulling away at as much as a second a lap. His lead over Vettel was out to well over 20 seconds when suddenly there was a scare in the closing laps as he was asked to start producing flat-out laps. His engineer Peter Bonnington told him “don’t ask questions, just execute”, adding: “we will explain later. “It emerged that the reason for this was to build a gap in case Mercedes were given a time penalty for lower-than-permitted tyre temperatures on the grid. But the stewards ruled that the tyres were at the correct temperature when fitted to the car and that the blankets which keep them warm were unplugged and at a lower temperature than the maximum permitted.
A fantastic win for England Rugby this weekend with the final score ending 21-13. A fully deserved one too, as they were the only side who really turned up. Ireland won’t be too worried by the defeat as there are still five weeks to go before they play France, but they were very poor and, for the second match in a row, looked blunt in attack with their only option being to bludgeon away.
The hosts started in explosive fashion, dominating territory and possession and playing with a pace that Ireland just couldn’t keep up with. May, in electric attacking form all afternoon, opened the scoring as he took Ben Youngs’ classy pass, blasted through Tommy Bowe and dismissed the tackle of Simon Zebo on his way to the line. Soon after, Ford’s hanging kick gave Watson the chance to win an aerial duel and with Ford converting the first score, England led 12-3. Ireland’s fightback consisted of a 50th-minute penalty by Sexton, with England’s forwards sucked offside, reinforced by O’Connell ‘s try – just his eighth in 104 Tests – converted by Sexton after Jamie Heaslip caught the home pack napping on the fringe of a line-out maul. Rory Best’s clearout helped too. England needed to win here given the toughness of their pool and their status as hosts, while Ireland have more time to grow into the World Cup and their need wasn’t as great. There is time to fix what’s wrong, but there is a lot to mend.
England fell 2-0 behind in the one-day series as Australia won at Lord’s in a contest overshadowed by Ben Stokes’s obstructing the field dismissal.
Midway into England’s reply, Stokes was given out for 10 after the ball hit his hand as he took evasive action. Steve Smith struck 70 and Mitchell Marsh 64 from 31 balls as Australia made 309-7 from 49 overs. England skipper Eoin Morgan fired four sixes in a defiant 85 but they were all out for 245 to lose by 64 runs.It was only the sixth dismissal for obstructing the field in the 3,861-match history of one-day internationals and the first for an England player.
The third game of the five-match series takes place at Old Trafford on Tuesday. England captain Eoin Morgan, at the non-striker’s end when the incident happened, said he would have called the batsman back if England were fielding. “A guy throws the ball in your direction and all you can do is flinch,” said Morgan, who made 85 as England were bowled out for 245 chasing 310 to win. “You don’t have time to think. It was a natural reaction to avoid the ball. Mitchell Starc was about five yards away from Ben Stokes. The decision was made. It would have been a lot different if we were fielding.”
A routine dismissal of San Marino – but captain Wayne Rooney must wait to eclipse Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time goals tally. Rooney scored a record-equalling 49th goal with an early penalty but was surprisingly substituted by England’s football manager Roy Hodgson with history beckoning and the San Marino defence out on its feet. He must now try again against Switzerland at Wembley on Tuesday. There was still plenty for England to celebrate, though, as they made it seven wins out of seven in qualifying to ensure they will be in France next summer. England were never under threat and it was another damage limitation exercise for San Marino, especially after Cristian Brolli headed into his own net before half-time. Ross Barkley nodded in his first England goal after the break and England romped clear with two goals from substitute Theo Walcott and Harry Kane’s clever lofted finish.
Britain’s Andy Murray made swift progress into the tennis US Open fourth round as he swept past Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci in straight sets. Murray had needed five sets to win his previous round but saw off 30th seed Bellucci 6-3 6-2 7-5 in the New York night session. The third seed goes on to face South African 14th seed Kevin Anderson in the last 16 on Monday.
Murray leads the head-to-head 5-1 and won when they met at Queen’s in June. If there were any question marks hanging over Murray after his gruelling comeback against Adrian Mannarino on Thursday, the Scot answered them comprehensively. He took two hours and 11 minutes – 66 minutes shorter than against Mannarino – as he denied the night crowd another thriller. “It was very important today,” Murray said of his three-set win. “My last match was extremely tough physically and mentally. It was a lot cooler today, which helps, and to get the win in three sets. “I get a day to recover now and get ready for the next one.”
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