WEEKLY SPORTS DIGEST: Stoner completes sixth win, Wallabies improve
15/08/11 Executive sport summary – An overview of the major sporting events – Results, key moments and talking points – Everything you need to know to foot it at the water cooler this week.
By Jonathan McKeown
MOTOGP: Australian Casey Stoner led a Honda 1-2-3 in the Czech motorcycling Grand Prix. Italian rider Andrea Dovizioso finished second with another Italian Marco Simoncelli following in third.
Stoner has now claimed victory in six of the 11 races so far with seven more to come this season. Stoner’s win has extended his lead in the MotoGP championship race to 32 points as World Champion Jorge Lorenzo took fourth spot to limit the damage and retain second on the ladder.
FOOTBALL: The English Premier League stuttered to a start as most of the big guns failed to fire. Arsenal played out a scoreless draw at Newcastle after their new import, striker Gervinho, was sent off for raising his hands.
Liverpool launched their season with a 1-1 draw at home to Sunderland and new Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas started with a nil-all draw at Stoke City. Manchester United was able to claim maximum points with a 2-1 win at West Bromwich Albion.
BOXING: There was no redemption for David Tua as he lost his rematch with Monte Barrett. Tua’s plan to conserve energy during the early rounds was a risky gamble though it appeared to pay off when a thundering right hand floored Barrett in the final round.
The American veteran was able to get back up and held on to win a unanimous points decision. Tua was still cheered as ‘the people’s champion’ by the hometown crowd in Manukau but it is now unclear where his future lies in professional boxing.
INTERNATIONAL RUGBY: The Wallabies beat South Africa 14-9 to revive their Tri-Nations campaign, Australia were too good for the Springboks beating them on home soil in Durban. Pat McCabe scored the only try of the match with James O'Connor landing three penalties.
Australia matched the South African physicality and showed their brute force as they began to dominate in the scrum. An away victory is like gold in the Tri-Nations and the Wallabies are now in the box seat. The All Blacks now face a Bok team without a win in 2011 when they meet in Port Elizabeth this weekend.
International teams continued their Rugby World Cup build-up with just over three weeks to go until kick-off. France scored the game’s only try to down Ireland 19-12 in Bordeaux. Wales reversed the tables on England with a 19-9 victory at Millennium Stadium.
Italy were pushed hard but finally overcame a determined looking Japan 31-24 while Pacific based teams continued their strong form with Fiji beating Tonga 27-12.
PROVINCIAL RUGBY: Hawke's Bay won the battle of the Bay beating Bay of Plenty 32-13. As tradition states it’s now the Magpies who have won the right to be called ‘The Bay’ for another year. Waikato shot to the top of the provincial premiership with a 25-10 win over Otago in Hamilton.
Canterbury has beaten Northland 28-13 in Christchurch to lift themselves to mid-table. Wellington is wallowing on the bottom as Manawatu ended a 124 year hoodoo beating Wellington 31-25 on home ground. Southland retained the Ranfurly Shield with an overtime try to beat North Harbour 25-23 in Invercargill.
RUGBY LEAGUE: The Warriors have cemented a place in the NRL play-offs after beating the Knights at Mt Smart. Newcastle led 12-4 at the break after a sluggish start by the Kiwi franchise. After oranges the Warriors were a different side scoring 16 unanswered points to win 20-12.
Elsewhere, Manly are back on track after running down the Parramatta Eels 26-20 while Wayne Bennett said he has no confidence in the Dragons after being upset 20-12 by the Roosters.
The Melbourne Storm have all but sealed the minor premiership after beating the Titans 40-16 and Brisbane beat the Cowboys 34-16 as Darren Lockyer celebrated his record-breaking 350th game.
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