WEEKLY SPORTS DIGEST: Adam Scott wins golf’s WGC-Bridgestone
08/08/11 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
GOLF: Adam Scott shot a final-round 65 to win the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. The Australian finished four shots ahead of young gun Rickie Fowler and Englishman Luke Donald.
Tiger Woods failed to make an Impact on his return after dumping his long-time caddie Steve Williams. The New Zealand born caddied made a winning start to his new trans-Tasman pairing with the victorious Adam Scott. Scott's eighth-career victory on the PGA Tour came at the Firestone Country Club in Ohio.
New Zealand golfer Danny Lee finished in a tie for second at the Nationwide Tour event in Nebraska. Lee shot a 5 under par 66 in the final round jumping to 10th on the Nationwide Tour money list.
BASKETBALL: The Tall Blacks achieved a massive result upsetting China 89-69 at the Stankovic Cup. New Zealand beat the internationally renowned side on their home court in Beijing. The Kiwis led from the outset going into half-time ahead 45-38 before pulling clear.
FOOTBALL: Manchester United and Manchester City played out a Community Shield thriller at Wembley Stadium. United came from two goals down to beat their City rivals 3-2 in stoppage time as the big spending City went up 2-0 before half-time. United clawed two goals back before Nani’s searching run ended in the back of the net.
The Premier League champions traditionally play the FA Cup winners in the season curtain-raiser. The English Premier League gets underway this weekend.
ALL BLACKS: The All Blacks have sent Australia back to the drawing board with a comprehensive 30-14 win in Auckland. New Zealand retained the Bledisloe Cup and picked up vital Tri-Nations points but perhaps more importantly handed Australia their 12th straight loss at Eden Park, the venue for this year’s Rugby World Cup final.
Fanatic defence led by a grizzled forward pack had the All Black up 17-0 at half-time a lead that proved too great. The former Hurricanes midfield pairing of Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith were incisive, with Nonu having a hand in each try. Daniel Carter was outstanding on attack and defence kicking six goals from six attempts.
It wasn’t all bad news for the Wallabies as the result could have been much tighter with accurate kicking. Their talented backline created plenty of chances but could not convert them in the first half, as coach Robbie Deans lamented “leaving plenty of points on the ground''.
INTERNATIONAL RUGBY: Rugby World Cup warm-up matches are being played around the globe in the lead-up to the marquee event that is now just weeks away. England, dressed in all black, withstood a late comeback to beat Wales 23-19 at Twickenham. England was strong at set-piece as Jonny Wilkinson calmly slotted drop-goals.
Scotland continued their resurgence with a 10-6 win over Ireland at Murrayfield while Argentina trounced a South American selection XV 78-15 in San Juan.
PROVINCIAL RUGBY: ITM Cup rivalry round played out a host of derby matches. Auckland won the Battle of the Bridge beating North Harbour 29-13 while Waikato moved off the bottom of the Premiership table beating Counties Manukau 22-15.
Manawatu remain unbeaten after toppling their Premiership neighbours Taranaki 15-10 and Hawke's Bay dealt Wellington another heavy loss upsetting their Hurricanes partners 40-20. Southland claimed the last win on Carisbrook beating Otago 19-12 in their local derby.
RUGBY LEAGUE: The Warriors lost 21-20 to the Brisbane Broncos in the dying minutes at Suncorp Stadium. With the scores locked at 20-all James Maloney and Shaun Johnson missed their field goal attempts. Brisbane halfback Peter Wallace was on target kicking a field goal with 90 seconds left to play and Darren Lockyer celebrated victory in his record-equalling 349th NRL game.
Manly bounced back to take apart the Sydney Roosters 36-8 at Brookvale Oval while Newcastle came out of nowhere to crush Canberra 40-8 victory. Gold Coast's 20-16 win over Cronulla may cost their playmaker Scott Prince broken arm.
Billy ‘the kid’ Slater was outstanding as he inspired Melbourne to a 26-6 win over Penrith and the Wests Tigers pulled off another Houdini act beating the Dragons 16-14 in the dying minutes.
TALKING POINT: Sonny Bill Williams has decided to leave the Crusaders Super Rugby franchise in 2012. The All Blacks midfielder told his teammates he will sign for either the Blues or Chiefs and play what is expected to be his final season in New Zealand. It was obviously a tough decision for the Rugby League convert with a host of factors to consider, not least the unstable ground in Christchurch.
The greatest risk for SBW is that his game will suffer after having flourished in the Crusaders environment. Giving up the all-important front-foot ball the Crusaders pack so eagerly provide and an imposing partnership with Dan Carter and Robbie Fruean is a big call. However there is the possibility of forming other strong backline combinations; Aaron Cruden – SBW – Richard Kahui at the Chiefs or Piri Weepu – SBW – Ma’a Nonu at the Blues.
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