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SCOOP 72 - Sports roundup

SCOOP 72 - Sports roundup

.........a review of 72 hours of international and domestic sport.

In this edition: ALL BLACKS beaten as "Nobody" nails last second penalty - England in powerful position against West Indies in the cricket test at Old Trafford - Lee Westwood dominating Scandinavian Open - Sprint queen Marion Jones at British Grand Prix - Canberra, Penrith and Parramatta win but reigning NRL champs Melbourne are knocked out - Legendary hardman Wayne Pearce quits as Western Tigers coach - South Africa drops challenge for 2006 soccer World Cup - Rivaldo resigns with Barcelona - Brazil celebrates soccer win over Argentina - Manchester United makes final and spends up to keep David Beckham - Kournikova close to first WTA championship - Sampras out in Toronto - Nicki Lauda warns Williams to keep Button - Tyson and Golota may fight in Hong Kong - China claims success in drug fight - SCOOP asks why the All Blacks lost.

ALL BLACKS beaten as "Nobody" nails last second penalty: "Nobody" as in 'Nobody's perfect' is the ideal moniker for heroic Aussie captain John Eales. With his team staring defeat in the face with a minute remaining Eales led his pack to two crucial lineout wins on All Black ball and then when the resulting possession was used to earn a last second penalty he calmly stepped up and kicked a the Bledisloe Cup winning goal. It was as George Gregan described it a "scripted" finish to a pulsating contest between two outstanding teams and New Zealand can stand tall in the knowledge they were beaten the world champs who were better on the day.

England in powerful position against West Indies in the cricket test at Old Trafford: A superb unbeaten knock of 105 by Alex Stewart, in his 100th test, saw England in commanding position in the third test at OId Trafford. Stewart and debutant Marcus Trescothick combined for 179-run partnership to resurrect England after they were hurt early by some wicked Courtney Walsh pace bowling.

Lee Westwood dominating Scandinavian Open: World No 5 Lee Westwood play sensational golf to lead the field by 6 shots as they enter the final day.

Sprint Queen Marion Jones at British Grand Prix: With her eyes firmly set on winning an unprecedented five gold medals at Sydney 2000 sprint star Marion Jones warmed up this weekend at the British Grand Prix at the historic Crystal Palace.

Canberra, Newcastle and Parramatta win but reigning NRL champs Melbourne knocked out: In an action-packed weekend of league the Raiders beat Penrith 34-16; Newcastle humbled the Storm 30-16 at Marathon Stadium and the Parramatta Eels slipped into the next round with an awesome underdog victory 32-8 over star-studded Sydney City. Melbourne is knocked out and next weeks draw and the other eliminated team depends on today's contest between minor premiers Brisbane and what are sure to be a fired and desperate Sharks outfit.

Legendary hardman Wayne Pearce quits as Western Tigers coach: Test and Balmain legend Wayne Pearce - renowned as one of the games hardest hitters and trainers - cited personal reason for his reason for leaving a career in premier league which began as a player in 1980 and continued as a coach in 1994.

South Africa drops challenge for 2006 soccer World Cup: The Rainbow Nation has abandoned it's challenge over the controversial awarding of the 2006 World Cup to Germany, it's bid committee president said on Friday.

Rivaldo resigns with Barcelona: World player of the year Brazilian Rivaldo has resigned with Barcelona and is looking forward to linking with new signings Emmanuel Petit, Marc Overmars and Gerard to help the Catalan giants to European soccer glory.

Brazil celebrates win over Argentina: With a thrilling 3-1 victory over arch-rival Argentina Brazil and leap-frogged to second in the cut-throat South American qualifying group for 2002 Japan/South Korea soccer World Cup. Dynamic, innovative and aggressive the 'samba stars' found their first form of the qualifiers and discovered a new playmaker in 22-year-old Alex. He was aided by sensationaLperformances from Vampeta (who scored a brace) and 20-year-old striker Ronaldinho.

Manchester United makes final and spends up to keep Beckham: Ole Gunnar Skolskjaer scored the only goal to earn Man U a berth in the final of the Bayern Munich centenary tournament and in other good news for United fans it is understood the Red Devils have dug deep to keep David Beckham.

Kournikova close to first WTA championship: Anna Kournikova maintained her consistent recent form to beat France's Nathalie Tauziat 2-6, 6-5, 7-5 to make the semi-finals of the Acura Classic and move one step closer to her first WTA title.

Sampras out in Toronto: Wimbledon champ and Grand Slam legend Pete Sampras was brought down to earth by rising Russian star Marat Safin who beat 'Pistol Pete' 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 at the Tennis Masters Series in Toronto.

Nicki Lauda has warned Williams to keep Jensen Button: Formula 1 great Nicki Lauda has warned the Williams team to keep precocious English driving talent Jensen Button on their team.

Tyson and Golota may fight in HK: There is talk of a Mike Tyson-Andrew Golota bout scheduled to occur in Hong Kong in early November. However while the prospect of these two psychos getting it on is mouth-watering to fans who love manic controversy rather than sublime ringcraft it remains a dream to be realised. This is especially so if one remembers the farcical 'ding dong in Hong Kong' when Tommy Morrison and Frank Bruno abandoned their proposed bout at the weigh in when it was realised the promoter had done a runner with the purse.

China claims success in drug fight: Seeking to counter allegations that it's athletes are drug cheats China issued a statement on Friday claiming their doping record was superior to international norms.

SCOOP asks why the All Blacks lost?

WE LOST because we aren't as good as the Aussies. All NZers who are miserable about yesterday's result and busy blaming the timekeeping of the outstanding young South African referee Jonathan Kaplan should wake up and realise we did as well as can be realistically expected against a high class team who also happen to be the reigning world champions.

Remember that tournament? It was only last year and we came fourth...FOURTH not f.........ing first.

However despite the fact our current team is only two players different from the fourth place-getters of a year ago and the coach was there too, us Kiwis remain steadfast in our daydream that our rugby players are the world's best and our team is unbeatable.

It really is a case of not seeing the wood for the trees. The trees being our life-long belief in the invincibility of the men in black - the wood being the AVERAGE performance of our national team.

I mean it is obvious we only have three truly world class players Andrew Mehrtens, Christian Cullen and Josh Kronfeld ( add Tana at a push) while the Aussies have at least six - George Gregan, John Eales, Stephen Larkham, Anthony Herbert, David Wilson, Ben Tune ( and on recent form Jim Williams makes seven). Those players, plus the fact the Aussies are a more experienced unit with a ,proven World Cup winning coach gives them an advantage which surely only the blind (ie the TAB who gave NZ ridiculously short odds) couldn't see clearly.

Ask any of yesterday's Wallabies and they'll tell you they played poorly as a team and let New Zealand back into a game they should have won convincingly. We have a long way to go. But we continue to expect victory and cry in disbelief when we lose.

We should get real and look around at the potential and players we have....look after them, coach them, motivate them and then with a bit of luck we may get our hands on the Bledisloe that was won with such style by team's led by the likes of Mourie, Shelford, Dalton and Lochore.

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