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The sports wrap 19 November 2018

LanguedocLiving, Nov 18

Ireland beat the mighty All Blacks for first win on home soil.

Ireland beat the mighty All Blacks on home soil for the first time as north edged south in a thrilling weekend of international rugby where France ended a five-match losing streak by beating Argentina, England got a fright before overcoming Japan, Scotland went down to South Africa in a nail-biter, Wales thrashed Tonga and Australia beat Italy. At the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland beat world champions New Zealand with a frenzied 16-9 win. Jacob Stockdale's superb second-half chip-and-gather try decided an absorbing contest between the top two sides in the world. Fly-half Johnny Sexton advanced his claims for the world player of the year award with the rest of Ireland’s points. The Grand Slam champions added to their historic first win over the All Blacks in 2016 in Chicago as they sent out a warning before next year's Rugby World Cup in Japan. Stockdale's try pushed his side into a 10-point lead in the 49th minute and they produced a heroic defensive display, led by man-of-the-match Peter O'Mahony, to repel the inevitable New Zealand fightback. In Lille, Teddy Thomas scored a try in each half as France ended a five-match losing streak by coming from behind to beat Argentina 28-13. Jacques Brunel's side got off to a shocking start, Ramiro Moyano scoring inside two minutes. A Thomas five-pointer and two Baptiste Serin penalties put France 11-10 up at the break, but Nicolas Sanchez's second penalty early in the second half edged the Pumas back in front. Les Bleus raised their game to stop the rot, though, influential recalled centre Gael Fickou conjuring up a moment of brilliance to lay on a second score for Thomas and Guilhem Guirado made sure with a third try. At Twickenham, England ran in three second-half tries to come from behind and beat an inspired Japan. Japan had been in front 15-10 at half-time and only late in the game, after debut international tries for Mark Wilson and Joe Cokanasiga and two penalties from George Ford, did England take control. At Murrayfield, South Africa got the better of Scotland 26-20 for a sixth straight Test after an absorbing match. The Springboks led 20-17 after a pulsating first half, Jesse Kriel crashing over early on and Handre Pollard adding a second try. But Peter Horne finished off an epic Scotland move and Hamish Watson waltzed over after a clever line-out call. But the Springboks held out impressively to inflict Scotland's first home defeat in a year, and the second of their autumn series. In Cardiff, Wales ran in 10 tries in a record 74-24 victory over Tonga, while in Padua, Australia beat Italy 26-7 to take some pressure off coach Michael Cheika.

England make it to finals while France wait on Germany result

England staged a brilliant late comeback to beat Croatia 2-1 at Wembley on Sunday to reach the four-nation finals of the inaugural UEFA Nations League next June while France went down 2-0 to The Netherlands on Friday and will now have to wait on the Dutch game against Germany to see if they join the English. Croatia, England's World Cup semi-final conquerors in Moscow in July, looked set to inflict their curse once more and relegate Gareth Southgate's side from the elite group when Andrej Kramaric's twisting finish put them ahead via a deflection off Eric Dier after 57 minutes. But England responded brilliantly to get the win their performance deserved at Wembley and secure qualification for the next stage of the tournament as substitute Jesse Lingard scored from almost on the line with 12 minutes left. With five minutes to go and England facing relegation from Group A, captain Harry Kane slid in Ben Chilwell's free-kick to send England through and relegate Croatia. The Netherlands deservedly beat France to end the world champions' 15-game unbeaten run and relegate Germany from the elite group. Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum struck from close range after Hugo Lloris parried a Ryan Babel shot. Lloris made a host of top saves to stop a thrashing - but Memphis Depay's dinked penalty in injury time made sure of the win. A Dutch draw in Germany on Monday would see them win the group. That would take Ronald Koeman's side into the finals - at the expense of France, who had only needed a point in Rotterdam to seal top spot. The winners of each group are also guaranteed a Euro 2020 play-off place if they fail to progress from qualification next year. France can still win the group if the Germans beat the Dutch. Portugal became the first team to qualify for the Nations League semi-finals when they held Italy 0-0 on Saturday, and were later joined on Sunday night by Switzerland who stunned the FIFA top-ranked nation Belgium 5-2 at home after going 2-0 down. For a full rundown on all the weekend UEFA Nations League results go to:

England win 2nd Test to claim first series win in Sri Lanka for 17 years

England claimed their first series win in Sri Lanka since 2001 with a 57-run victory in the second Test on Sunday. The hosts started day five in Pallekele on 226 for seven wickets, needing 75 more, and calmly added 14 in 28 balls. But spinner Moeen Ali drew Niroshan Dickwella into edging to first slip for 35, before bowling captain Suranga Lakmal two balls later for a duck. Jack Leach removed Malinda Pushpakumara to bowl Sri Lanka out for 243 and claim his maiden Test five-wicket haul. England lead the three-match series 2-0, with the final Test in Colombo starting on Friday. It is England's first away series win since beating South Africa in 2016 and first series victory away from home under captain Joe Root whose brilliant century was the highlight of the match. Spinners took 38 wickets in the match, a record in Test cricket.

Zverev stuns Djokovic in straight sets to win ATP Finals in London

Young German Alexander Zverev turned in a stunning performance to beat world No.1 Novak Djokovic 6-4 6-3 to win the ATP Finals at the 02 Arena in London on Sunday evening and earn the biggest title of his career. The 21-year-old German third seed broke for 5-4 in the first set and then served three aces to take control of the final. Three successive breaks at the start of the second set put Zverev in control and he held his serve again to complete a memorable victory. Zverev lost to the Serb in straight sets in the round-robin stage at the season-ending event but, after beating Swiss legend Roger Federer in Saturday's semi-finals, produced a more confident performance to stop Djokovic winning a record-equalling sixth title. Zverev missed his first championship point before hitting a sensational backhand down the line for victory, falling to the court in a mixture of disbelief and celebration as Djokovic jumped over the net to congratulate him. In the doubles final, Mike Bryan claimed his fifth title, but the first without his injured twin brother Bob, as he and Jack Sock beat French pair Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut in a thriller.The American duo won 5-7 6-1 13-11 as they added the season-ending crown to the Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles.

Willett wins DP World Tour Championship as Molinari snares Race to Dubai

Italy's Francesco Molinari won the Race to Dubai after defending champion Tommy Fleetwood failed to take the season-ending DP World Tour Championship which was won by Danny Willett – his first title since the 2016 Masters. Needing victory in Dubai to overhaul Molinari, Englishman Fleetwood carded a 68 to finish on 10 under - eight shots behind Willett. Molinari, who won The Open this summer, was confirmed as European No.1 during the final round. Willett shot a four-under 68 in the final round to beat fellow Englishman Matt Wallace and American Patrick Reed by two strokes at Jumeirah Golf Estates.The Race to Dubai victory caps a memorable year for Molinari, who won his first major at Carnoustie in July and became the first European player to seal a perfect 5-0 record in the Ryder Cup in September. He is the first Italian to become the European Tour's top player.

Italian Dovizioso wins season-ending Valencia MotoGP

Italian Andrea Dovizioso mastered wet conditions in a dramatic two-part race to win the MotoGP season finale at the Valencia Grand Prix on Sunday as world champion Mark Marquez went down with 21 laps to go. The Ducati rider twice passed Suzuki’s Alex Rins, the long-time leader, before and after a 40-minute red-flag stoppage to record his fourth victory of the season. A crash for seven-times champion Valentino Rossi with five laps to go handed Pol Espargaro and KTM their first podium in the premier class. Rossi still secured third place in the championship ahead of Yamaha team-mate and pole-sitter Maverick Vinales, who was one of several riders to crash out as conditions took a turn for the worse. Spain’s Marquez, who wrapped up his fifth world title with three races to spare in Japan last month, went down with 21 laps to go after starting fifth. The red flags were out on lap 15, and the race order was rolled back to lap 13. Spaniard Rins held the lead off the line but Dovizioso passed him on the main straight on the next lap, before pulling away to take the chequered flag with a healthy advantage of 2.75 seconds.

Frenchman Ogier wins sixth straight world rally championship title

France’s Sebastien Ogier secured his sixth consecutive world rally championship title when his two remaining rivals failed to finish stages on the third day of the season-ending Rally Australia at Coffs Harbour in New South Wales on Sunday. The M-Sport Ford driver’s nearest rival Thierry Neuville of Belgium, who came into the rally three points behind Ogier in the title race, was forced to retire from stage 22 after tearing the left wheel off his Hyundai. Toyota’s overnight leader Ott Tanak also had a mathematical chance of taking the title but the Estonian’s chances were scuppered when he slid off a gravel track made slippery by rain and hit a tree in the penultimate stage. “It’s been an incredible season, so close, with ups and downs,” said Ogier, who has won all six titles with co-driver Julien Ingrassia.

Trump beats O’Sullivan to win Northern Ireland Open final

Judd Trump secured his first world ranking title for 13 months by beating Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-7 in the Northern Ireland Open final in Belfast. The players were level at 4-4 after a first session which saw Trump knock in three centuries at the Waterfront Hall. A break of 134 helped O'Sullivan lead 7-6 but Trump took three frames in succession to win the £70,000 first prize and the Alex Higgins Trophy. Former UK Championship winner Trump has now won nine ranking titles. O'Sullivan had won last week's Champion of Champions in Coventry and also another invitation event, the Shanghai Masters, this season, but was unable to get the better of his world-ranked No.5 opponent.

For full reports on all the weekend sporting events go to:,,,,,

Calendar Keynotes: 19-25 November 

Monday, 19 November

Football: UEFA Nations League, Group A1 – Germany v The Netherlands, Group B1 – Czech Republic v Slovakia, Group B4 – Denmark v Republic of Ireland. 

Tuesday, 20 November

Football: UEFA Nations League, Group A3 – Portugal v Poland, Group B2 – Sweden v Russia. International friendlies – Italy v USA, France v Uruguay. 

Wednesday, 21 November

Football: International friendly – Argentina v Mexico.

Thursday, 22 November

Formula One: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, UAE (till 25 November).

Golf: USPGA Tour, ISPS Handa Melbourne World Cup of Golf, Metrolopolitan GC, Australia (till 25 November), PGA European Tour, Honma Hong Kong Open, Hong Kong GC, HK (till 25 November). 

Friday, 23 November

Football: French Ligue 1 – Lyon v Saint-Etienne, Spanish La Liga – Leganes v Alaves.

Formula One: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, UAE (till 25 November)

Rugby Union: Gallagher Premiership – Newcastle v Bath, Worcester v Harlequins.

Cricket: Sri Lanka v England, 3rd Test, Colombo (till 27 November).

Tennis: Davis Cup World Group Final, Lille – France v Croatia (till 25 November).

Golf: USPGA Tour, ISPS Handa Melbourne World Cup of Golf, Metrolopolitan GC, Australia (till 25 November), PGA European Tour, Honma Hong Kong Open, Hong Kong GC, HK (till 25 November).

Darts: PDC Players Championship Finals, Minehead, England (till 25 November). 

Saturday, 24 November

Football: English Premier League – Manchester United v Crystal Palace, Watford v Liverpool, West Ham United v Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea, Scottish Premiership – Hamilton Academical v Celtic, Motherwell v Aberdeen, Rangers v Livingston. St. Johnstone v Kilmarnock, St Mirren v Hearts, French Ligue 1 – Paris Saint Germain v Toulouse, Caen v Monaco, Dijon v Bordeaux, Strasbourg v Nimes, Spanish La Liga – Real Madrid v Eibar, Atletico Madrid v Barcelona, Italian Serie A – Udinese v Roma, Juventus v SPAL, Inter Milan v Frosinone, German Bundesliga – Mainz 05 v Borussia Dortmund, FC Augsburg v Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayern Munich v Fortuna Dusseldorf, Hertha Berlin v 1899 Hoffenheim, VfL Wolfsburg v RB Leipzig, Borussia Monchengladbach v Hannover 96.

Formula One: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, UAE (till 25 November).

Rugby Union: Internationals – Italy v New Zealand, Scotland v Argentina, England v Australia, Wales v South Africa, Ireland v United States, France v Fiji, Gallagher Premiership – Exeter v Gloucester, Sale v Northampton, Wasps v Bristol, French Top 14 – Bordeaux Begles v Toulon, Agen v Montpellier, Pau v Toulouse, Perpignan v Castres, Racing 92 v Grenoble.

Cricket: Sri Lanka v England, 3rd Test, Colombo (till 27 November). 

Tennis: Davis Cup World Group Final, Lille – France v Croatia (till 25 November).

Golf: USPGA Tour, ISPS Handa Melbourne World Cup of Golf, Metrolopolitan GC, Australia (till 25 November), PGA European Tour, Honma Hong Kong Open, Hong Kong GC, HK (till 25 November).

Darts: PDC Players Championship Finals, Minehead, England (till 25 November). 

Sunday, 25 November

Football: English Premier League – AFC Bournemouth v Arsenal, French Ligue 1 – Montpellier v Rennes, Nice v Lille, Amiens v Marseille, Spanish La Liga – Sevilla v Villadolid, Espanyol v Girona, Italian Serie A – Parma v Sassuolo, Napoli v Chievo, Lazio v AC Milan, German Bundesliga – SC Freiburg v Werder Bremen,

Formula One: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, UAE (race day).

Rugby Union: Gallagher Premiership – Leicester v Saracens, French Top 14 – Stade Francais v La Rochelle, Clermont Auvergne v Lyon.

Cricket: Sri Lanka v England, 3rd Test, Colombo (till 27 November), Women's World Twenty20 Final, North Sound, Antigua.  

Tennis: Davis Cup World Group Final, Lille – France v Croatia (final day).

Golf: USPGA Tour, ISPS Handa Melbourne World Cup of Golf, Metrolopolitan GC, Australia (till 25 November), PGA European Tour, Honma Hong Kong Open, Hong Kong GC, HK (till 25 November).

Darts: PDC Players Championship Finals, Minehead, England (final day).











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