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21 September 2015

Weekend Sport Round-Up: RWC begins, Singapore GP, Murray at the Davis Cup & Solheim Cup

Shock for Springboks in opening Rugby World Cup clash as Japan take the victory 

Japan pulled off the biggest upset in RWC history on Saturday, defeating two-time World Cup champions South Africa 34-32 at Brighton Community Stadium. Replacement Karne Hesketh snatched the victory in the 84th minute in the Pool B opener. South Africa were considered genuine World Cup contenders but their credentials and pride took a real beating as Japan were deserved winners. It was the first time these sides have ever played each other and on this result, South Africa will be hoping it will be a long time before they meet each other again.

Hosts, England get the RWC underway with a win against Fiji

England got their World Cup underway with a 35-11 win over Fiji on the opening night at Twickenham. A pair of tries from Mike Brown as well as a penalty try and eight points from the boot of George Ford set up victory, while a last-minute score from Billy Vunipola awarded England the bonus point. Fiji fought for large periods of the match, and with 12 minutes remaining were only seven points down, but did not have the legs as England scored twice in the final ten minutes to secure a more comfortable win than was initially promised. England face Wales next in a highly important clash at Twickenham on Saturday, one that will go a long way in shaping the final make-up of Pool A, while Fiji head to Cardiff to take on Australia on Wednesday.

Vettel lead from lights to flag as he wins Singapore GP 

Vettel, the polesitter, led the race from lights out to the finish to take the chequered flag for the 42nd time in his career, moving the 28-year-old ahead of Ayrton Senna to third in the all-time winners’ list behind Michael Schumacher and Alain Prost. He finished narrowly ahead of Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull, with Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari finishing third after a race that nudged the two-hour mark. Nico Rosberg finished fourth and therefore closes the gap on Hamilton in the battle for the world championship to 41 points following the latter’s retirement on lap 34. Hamilton was himself hoping to equal Senna’s tally of 41 wins from 161 starts but with Mercedes struggling for pace this weekend, lined up only fifth on the grid. He had run fourth ahead of his Mercedes team-mate in the race but started dropping through the field after his car developed a turbo boost problem. Hamilton fell down to 17th place and eventually suggested retirement in order to save his car’s engine for next weekend’s Japanese GP.

Murray brings Team GB to the Davis Cup Final

Andy Murray took Great Britain through to a first Davis Cup final since Fred Murray led them to victory in 1978, over Australia’s Bernard Tomic in Glasgow. The British number one secured his third point of the match, and an unassailable 3-1 lead, with a comprehensive 7-5 6-3 6-2 win. They will face Belgium away in November’s final. There is a high likelihood that the home side will choose a slow clay surface to try and neutralise Murray’s strengths. There had been some concerns Murray might struggle a little after Saturday’s doubles, but he revealed afterwards that it was actually his back which was the worry.The 28-year-old had surgery in 2013 to correct a long-standing problem, and he explained that this was not a recurrence of that issue. “I was more concerned about my back, which has given me a lot of trouble this week, the few days before the tie as well,” said Murray. “I felt fine through all of New York and then took a break for five or six days. Sometimes after you’ve played a lot of tennis, when you do then take a break, the muscles and everything tighten up. “When you come back, you can have some issues, so maybe it was to do with that.”

Tears at the Solheim Cup 

Australia’s Jason Day may have toppled Rory McIlroy at the summit of golf’s world rankings with his victory at the BMW Championship, but it was the confusion, emotion and confrontation of the Solheim Cup that everybody was talking about. The USA produced a superb display in the singles to beat Europe 14½-13½ in Germany. It was on the 17th hole in the fourballs that America’s Alison Lee thought her 18-inch putt had been conceded by the Europe pairing of Charley Hull and Suzann Pettersen. While it was Lee who technically broke a rule, it was Pettersen who was lambasted for a perceived lack of sportsmanship. And the confrontation that followed on that 17th green left Lee and Hull in tears.Norwegian Pettersen has since issued an apology and explanation, saying: “I feel like I let my team down and I am sorry.”

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Written By Tom