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London Welsh 23 Saracens 28: Gavin Henson debut ends in defeat

London Welsh 23 Saracens 28: Henson debut ends in defeat but Exiles pick up bonus point

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UPDATED:

16:33 GMT, 7 October 2012

Sticking the boot in: Hodgson scored 28 points

Sticking the boot in: Hodgson scored 28 points

Gavin Henson was denied a winning debut for London Welsh by former England fly-half Charlie Hodgson who scored all 28 points for Saracens.

Hodgson grabbed a first-half try, added the conversion and landed seven penalties from eight attempts in this Aviva Premiership encounter at the Kassam Stadium.

Despite soaking up Saracens pressure for most of the match, Welsh had Sarries hanging on at the end after producing two breakaway tries from Canada wing Phil MacKenzie and full-back Tom Arscott.

Henson's boot contributed their other 13 points as they collected a losing bonus point.

The
30-year-old double Grand Slam-winning Welshman's first Premiership
appearance for the newly-promoted Exiles had been delayed after he
fractured his cheekbone in a pre-season match against former club
Scarlets.

But Henson,
called up in place of former Scotland international Gordon Ross, made
his mark with an assured performance for Welsh.

They were dealt an early blow when
lock Matt Corker was yellow-carded in the fourth minute as their pack
desperately tried to disrupt a series of forward drives by Saracens.

But, three minutes later, they broke out of defence to take the lead, totally against the run of the early play.

Just
inside the opposing half, MacKenzie kicked a loose ball deep into
Saracens territory and won the race to collect and cross the line,
leaving Henson a simple first conversion for his new club.

Debut: Henson appeared in a London Welsh shirt for the first time

Debut: Henson appeared in a London Welsh shirt for the first time

Debut: Henson appeared in a London Welsh shirt for the first time

The fly-half attempted to capitalise with a penalty kick from inside his own half but his effort fell just short.

Welsh were conceding a serious number of penalties and Hodgson, after striking the post from 50 metres in the 10th minute, pulled back three points with a straightforward kick from the 22-metre line five minutes later.

The almost constant pressure of the visitors finally forced the hard-pressed Welsh defence to crack in the 18th minute when Hodgson took a short pass from scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth, stepped inside and raced over between the posts before adding the conversion.

Hodgson stretched the lead with a penalty from 48 metres but, within two minutes, Henson cancelled it out when Sarries strayed offside 40 metres from their posts.

Bonus point: Welsh moved nine points clear of bottom-placed side Sale

Bonus point: Welsh moved nine points clear of bottom-placed side Sale

Bonus point: Welsh moved nine points clear of bottom-placed side Sale

But Hodgson struck two more penalties before half-time, with Henson pulling another back to restrict the visitors to a 19-13 lead at the interval.

Another burst through the Welsh defence by Hodgson should have resulted in a second try for Saracens but Andy Saull let the ball slip from his grasp as he stretched for the line.

Two more penalties from Hodgson increased Saracens' lead to 25-13 before Henson kicked his third penalty in the 60th minute.

But Welsh never gave up and they scored a second try when left-wing Nick Scott made a superb break from the halfway line before passing inside to full-back Arscott, who raced clear of the Saracens defence, cut inside and touched down behind the posts to leave Henson a simple conversion.

Kicking on: Saracens occupy the fourth play-off place

Kicking on: Saracens occupy the fourth play-off place

Kicking on: Saracens occupy the fourth play-off place

Hodgson landed his seventh penalty four minutes from time but it was not enough to deny the Exiles the hard-fought consolation point they deserved for their never-say-die efforts.

They finished the match driving the Saracens pack back towards their own line to force a penalty.

They elected to pack down and scrum-half Tyson Keats tried a burst down the short side but was dragged down just short of the line.

Saracens were forced to defend desperately but, despite conceding three penalties, they survived a series of late drives by the home forwards to hang on to their lead.

London Welsh 25 Gloucester 31

London Welsh 25 Gloucester 31: Burns bites back to settle thrilling encounter

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UPDATED:

16:52 GMT, 30 September 2012

Freddie Burns boosted his England hopes as his attacking spark helped Gloucester avoid becoming London Welsh's latest Aviva Premiership scalp in a Kassam Stadium thriller.

The visitors appeared in control as they opened up an 18-9 interval lead thanks to tries from Shane Monahan and Tom Savage, with Burns involved in the creation of both scores.

But the boot of Gordon Ross, who ended the game with 20 points to his name, kept Welsh in it and Franck Montanella's try looked to have set Lyn Jones' men up for a third-straight win.

Stopped: Daniel Browne of London Welsh is tackled by Mike Tindall of Gloucester

Stopped: Daniel Browne of London Welsh is tackled by Mike Tindall of Gloucester

Match facts

London Welsh: Jewell, Arscott, Parker, Tonga'uiha, Scott, Ross, Keats, Montanella, Briggs, Ion, Mills, Corker, Browne, Hills,
Jackson.

Replacements: Runciman for Jewell (76),
Mackenzie for Parker (20), To'oala for Ross (76), Bristow for Montanella (66), George for Briggs (11), Jolly for Ion (52), Kulemin for Browne (75).

Not Used: Davis.

Tries: Montanella.

Cons: Ross.

Pens: Ross 6.

Gloucester: Cook, Monahan, Twelvetrees, Tindall, Simpson-Daniel, Burns, Robson, Wood, D'Apice, Harden, Savage, Hamilton, Buxton, Qera, Kalamafoni.

Replacements: Lewis for Tindall (63), Trinder for Robson (63), Murphy for Wood (64).

Not Used: Britton, Knight, James, Evans, M. Thomas.

Sin Bin: Burns (42).

Tries: Monahan, Savage, Knight.

Cons: Burns 2.

Pens: Burns 3, Twelvetrees.

Att: 3,072

Ref: Llyr Apgeraint-Roberts (RFU).

However, a thrilling counter-attack instigated and supported by Burns, back after a spell in the sin bin, saw replacement prop Shaun Knight barrel over for the clinching score.

Burns and Ross had traded early penalties before the visitors landed the first telling blow.

Welsh had lost hooker Neil Briggs and centre Sonny Parker to injury when Burns struck his second penalty before producing two moments of brilliance to create the opening try.

The fly-half launched a break from deep with a lovely sidestep and only Nick Scott's deliberate batting down of the scoring pass prevented a try.

The Exiles wing was sent to the sin bin for his trouble and Burns caught the hosts sleeping as he took a quick tap to allow the powerful Monahan to get over on the right.

Ross responded with a penalty for Welsh but they were fortunate not to concede a second try to Monahan when the winger brilliantly swerved his way out of the grasps of the Exiles cover, only to be denied a memorable score by a superb covering tackle from Tyson Keats.

It proved a brief reprieve as more
good work from Monahan and wing partner James Simpson-Daniel laid the
platform for Savage to barge over after Burns had gone close.

Ross
again responded with a penalty but Welsh were being forced into
ill-discipline as they struggled to contain Gloucester's desire to put
tempo on the game.

They
were also guilty of failing to convert two excellent tryscoring chances.
Lock Matt Corker sparked a thrilling counter from deep during the dying
embers of the first half, but repeated battering at the Gloucester line
yielded no reward.

And moments into the second half Ross
failed to get his pass away with several men free outside him as Burns
stepped in and was adjudged to have deliberately knocked on.

That
saw the Gloucester man binned and Ross kicked his fourth penalty, but
Welsh infringed moments later after failing to secure their own line-out
ball to let Billy Twelvetrees reinstate the nine-point gap between the
sides.

Give that to me: Paulica Ion tackles Tom Savage

Give that to me: Paulica Ion tackles Tom Savage

Denied: Hudson Tonga'uiha of London Welsh is tackled by Tindall

Denied: Hudson Tonga'uiha of London Welsh is tackled by Tindall

When the Exiles did manage to win set-piece ball their rolling maul was proving a handful for Gloucester, and one such surge led to Ross' fifth penalty.

The hosts then took the lead after more strong work from their pack. Several drives took them close to the line before Montanella was adjudged to have grounded the ball beneath a pile of bodies.

Ross converted for a one-point advantage and quickly added yet another penalty after Sione Kalamafoni was penalised for attempting to hurdle a pair of London Welsh defenders.

But Burns replied with his third penalty and then superbly created Knight's winning try to give Stuart Lancaster a glimpse of what he could offer come the autumn internationals.

The Open 2012: Live coverage of day three

THE OPEN LIVE: All the action as it happens from the third round at Royal Lytham

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UPDATED:

13:09 GMT, 21 July 2012

THE OPEN ESSENTIALS

Click here for Saturday's tee times

Click here for a hole-by-hole guide

Click here for the live leaderboard

Welcome to Sportsmail's live coverage of The Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

Seve Ballesteros won the Claret Jug twice here and David Duval triumphed the last time the oldest major was played on this stretch of the Fylde coast (2001).

Tiger Woods is the bookies' favourite this week, and has put himself in contention after the opening two rounds of the tournament.

Brandt Snedeker and Adam Scott were leading the play ahead of what should be a thrilling weekend at Lytham.

Stick with us and we'll bring you the latest news, live scores and all the best pictures. And if you want to get in touch, leave a comment on the section at the bottom of the page or email [email protected]

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

2.07 Ah, a corker from Padraig Harrington on the last. A soaring, fading mid-iron taking on the dangerous pin location at the back of the green, spinning back towards the cup and leaving him eight feet or so for a closing birdie.

2.05 Louis lets a shot go at the fifth after sliding his par putt from 15 feet past the cup.

2.02 Now I could watch this all day: Ernie Els hitting balls on the practice range. How does he hit the ball so far with such little effort Magic. The three-time major champion and 2002 Open winner tees off at 2.40.

2.00 Poulter completes a fine front nine by rattling in his first birdie putt of the day from 15 feet. Eight consecutive pars followed by a bird. The Englishman is into the red numbers and is not yet out of the running.

1.59 Oosthuizen continues to creep into contention, his second birdie in the opening four holes drags him to two under par and up the leaderboard again.

1.55 A few more birdies keep things bubbling nicely just under the first page of the leaderboard. Kyle Stanley is one under through two holes, while Calcavecchia takes advantage of a superb tee shot by holing out from five feet on the first. Both Americans are two under for the tournament.

1.51 Watson putting down the hill on the eighth green from 20 feet… and he makes it! Good ol' Bubba from Bagdad is enjoying a fine afternoon, his third birdie of the day taking him to two under for the round and the tournament. A few fireworks on the back nine and he's right in this.

1.45 Right, things are about to get serious. The boys under par are now starting their rounds, beginning with 1989 winner Mark Calcavecchia and Argentina's Andres Romero. Argentine golfers are rare beasts, and it's a stinker of a first shot for this one as he stuffs his tee shot into a deep greenside bunker.

1.39 The pin position on the 357-yard 13th is rather inviting today for the longest hitters, and one man not afraid to have a dash with the big stick is McIlroy. He may be a wee lad but the Ulsterman gives his ball an almighty crack – this one's off line though and he finds the rough to the right of the green.

1.30 Vijay Singh, the former Masters and US PGA champion, is another who has reason to be cheerful about his day's work. The big Fijian comes home in 68 blows to sit level par overall. But that's only good enough for a tie for 28th right now.

1.17 Marvellous blue skies and beaming sunshine at Lytham this afternoon, a fine day for the Blackpool beach I dare say. The British seaside in the sun – is there any better place to be Playing links golf by the British seaside in the sun, perhaps.

Big-hitter: Bubba Watson in action during day three at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club

Big hitter: Bubba Watson in action during day three at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club

1.10 King Louis Oosthuizen is reckoned by many to be the king of the swingers, but he proves his putting stroke is just as silky smooth as his long game by holing a beautiful 30-footer to kick-start his third round with a birdie on the first. The 2010 champion is one under overall.

1.08 Birdie for Bubba! Well that's a real bonus for Watson, holing from off the green on the short fifth after coming up short with his eight-iron approach. More steady stuff from Poulter, a fifth consecutive par.

1.04 A sprinkling of Spanish magic from Miguel Angel Jimenez in the best spirit of Seve, twice champion at Lytham. The wily old so-and-so somehow sticks his ball six feet from the pin despite hacking out of some seriously thick rough way back on the fourth hole.

12.59 Ach, Bubba drops back to level for the day after missing his par putt from five feet. Poulter's birdie putt whistles past the cup.

12.55 They may just be a little too far back to seriously contend this weekend – and note that I said 'may' there – but you could do worse than following Poulter and Watson round today. Poulter has already made one miraculous par scramble from a fairway bunker on the third and is now pin high, 20 feet from the pin with his approach to the fourth. Bubba, meanwhile, finds sand with his short iron.

12.45 Rory McIlroy's woes are showing no signs of easing – the Northern Irishman has covered the front nine in 37 strokes – three over par – after bogeys at the fourth, fifth and eighth. Rory is five over par for the championship. Not what he had in mind after a fine opening 67.

Another who has flattered to deceive with a barn-storming opening round is big-hitting Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts, who also sits at five over par having shot a brilliant five-under 65 to start. Funny old game, isn't it

Keep out of that thick stuff: Englishman Greg Owen in action amid the fearsome rough

Keep out of that thick stuff: Englishman Greg Owen in action amid the fearsome rough

12.40 A fine third round comes to an end for another reigning major champion – US PGA winner Keegan Bradley firing a 68 to sit at one over par.

12.35 Big Bubba Watson, the reigning Masters champion, is making an early move. A towering, 190-yard seven-iron off the first tee sets up a simple birdie and the American bomber leaps into red numbers for both his round and the championship. His playing partner today is Ian Poulter, and the pair exchange pleasantries on the way to the green, Bubba asking Poulter where he lives. How quaint.

12.25 Here's a run-down of the day's most significant tee times as we get down to the meat of the third day at Royal Lytham. You can full list of tee times at the top of this article.

13:05 Louis Oosthuizen (SA), Martin Laird (Sco)
13:35 Simon Khan (Eng)
14:10 Simon Dyson (Eng)
14:30 Luke Donald (Eng)
14:40 Ernie Els (SA)
14:50 Graeme McDowell (NIre)
15:00 Paul Lawrie (Sco)
15:10 Tiger Woods (US),
15:20 Adam Scott (Aus), Brandt Snedeker (US)

12.15 The action has been underway since eight this morning, albeit featuring players who have left themselves with far too much to do to catch the leaders. Still, some of the game's big guns already have their feet up in the clubhouse having completed their third rounds.

Lee Westwood, much fancied this week yet again but sadly well off his usual best, shot a one-over-par 71 and lies four over for the championship. His playing partner, five-time champion Tom Watson, could only manage a 76 and is close to propping up the field on nine over. John Daly, the 1995 champion, is doing precisely that on 10 over after a 77.

Great American hope Rickie Fowler is level par after a 70, while Dutchman Joost Luiten broke par with a 69 and is the current clubhouse leader on two under. Expect that to change very soon.

Old master: Tom Watson tees off on the 14th during his third round at Lytham on Saturday

Old master: Tom Watson tees off on the 14th during his third round at Lytham on Saturday

12.00 Afternoon all… and what an afternoon. The sun is shining at long last, just in time for moving day at the 141st Open Championship.

American Brandt Snedeker leads Aussie Adam Scott by one at 10 under par – he hasn't carded a five in two rounds, for goodness' sake – but there's a Tiger on the prowl. Woods' quest for a 15th major title is gathering pace and he lies just four strokes adrift.

There's also plenty to keep the home fans interested too, with Scot Paul Lawrie, the 1999 champion, level with Tiger and former US Open champion Graeme McDowell also in the hunt. The Ulsterman is six adrift on four under par.


Leading the way: Brandt Snedeker went into the weekend leading The Open at Lytham

Leading the way: Brandt Snedeker went into the weekend leading The Open at Lytham

Brad Barritt tweets first photo after operation on lacerated eyeball from Springboks clash

What a corker! Barritt tweets grizzly first photo after operation on lacerated eyeball from Springboks clash

PUBLISHED:

08:21 GMT, 11 June 2012

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UPDATED:

08:21 GMT, 11 June 2012

So this is what happens when you come up against the new-look South Africa team…

Shiner! Brad Barritt tweeted this photograph of his eye after a 'minor' operation

Shiner! Brad Barritt tweeted this photograph of his eye after a 'minor' operation

England back Brad Barritt had to leave the field in the second half of his side's 22-17 defeat at the hands of the Springboks in Durban following a collision in the 54th minute.

The South Africa-born centre underwent surgery on Sunday on a lacerated eyeball, but seemed in high spirits on Monday morning.

On Twitter, he posted the grizzly looking photograph of his eye, which is a deep purple in colour and appears to be completely swollen shut, along with a thank you to the well-wishers who hoping for his speedy return to the England set up.

He tweeted: 'Good morning Everyone!!! Thanks for all the messages I'm on the mend…'

Barritt will miss England's second match against the Springboks in Johannesburg on Saturday, which may force a reshuffle in England's backs.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster will also be without the 25-year-old for England's mid-week outing against the Southern Barbarians in Kimberley on Wednesday.

Mike Brown is also a blow for Lancaster's back-line, as he too was unable to continue against South Africa after sustaining a thumb injury.

Lancaster looks set to tinker with his side ahead of the Barbarians game in a hope to rebuild a formidable attack to avenge England's defeat.

Upended: Barritt is halted by two South African players

Upended: Barritt is halted by two South African players

Treatment: Barritt had to come off during England's test defeat to South Africa

Treatment: Barritt had to come off during England's test defeat to South Africa

Just after his operation, Barritt tweeted: 'Thanks for all the messages! Had a small op this morning to repair a laceration of the conjunctiva in my eye. Will heal very quickly!'

Despite his eye's bulbous appearance, it is believed the Saracens player could be back in contention as early as June 23, just in time for the third test.

Live Spanish Grand Prix: Follow all the F1 drama from Barcelona

Live Spanish Grand Prix: Follow the Formula One drama from the Circuit de Catalunya

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UPDATED:

09:49 GMT, 13 May 2012

Phil Duncan F1 blog

Pastor Maldonado will start from pole position for today's Spanish Grand Prix after Lewis Hamilton's lap was sensationally scrapped by the stewards following a fuel infringement.

The 2008 world champion will start from last place, with home favourite Fernando Alonso in P2, Sebastian Vettel in seventh, and Jenson Button in 10th. Today's race promises to be a corker, and you can follow all the drama here. Get involved by dropping me a line at [email protected] or on Twitter @PhilDuncanF1

Click here to follow our dedicated Formula One service on Twitter

*****Race coverage begins at 12pm*****

Penalty: Hamilton has been sent to the back of the grid after running out of fuel

Penalty: Hamilton has been sent to the back of the grid after running out of fuel