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Aussie super-horse Black Caviar to retire after 25-race unbeaten run

We want her to bow out at the top! Aussie super-horse Black Caviar to retire after 25-race unbeaten run

PUBLISHED:

06:21 GMT, 17 April 2013

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UPDATED:

06:53 GMT, 17 April 2013

Unbeaten Australian mare Black Caviar will retire after winning 25 consecutive races, with her trainer Peter Moody admitting that the super sprinter 'has done everything we asked her to do.'

Moody, appearing at a news conference in front of Caulfield race track on Wednesday, where the six-year-old mare will make a farewell appearance for race patrons on Saturday, said he and the ownership group led by Neil Werrett had discussed Black Caviar's future over the past few days and 'we decided at lunch today' to announce her retirement.

Fond farewell: Black Caviar is paraded in front of the media with strapper Donna Fisher

Fond farewell: Black Caviar is paraded in front of the media with strapper Donna Fisher

Emotional: Trainer Peter Moody announces retirement of Black Caviar

Emotional: Trainer Peter Moody announces retirement of Black Caviar

Race team: Black Caviar and her connections at the press conference

Race team: Black Caviar and her connections at the press conference

'She has done everything we have asked her to do,' trainer Peter Moody said.

'We
thought long and hard about racing on but believe she has done
everything we asked of her and felt it was the right time to call time
on her wonderful career.

'She's in great shape and that's the way we wanted her to bow out. We just thought the time was right – it was a hard decision.

'She brought interest to our sport that hasn't been there for decades.'

Final flourish: Black Caviar, ridden by Luke Nolen, wins the TJ Smith Stakes

Final flourish: Black Caviar, ridden by Luke Nolen, wins the TJ Smith Stakes

Stunner: Black Caviar (left) wins the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2012

Impressive: Black Caviar (left) wins the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2012

Black Caviar, purchased by Moody for
$225,000, won $8 million in prize money, including an Australian-record
15 Group One wins, most over distances around 1,200 meters.

She'll now have some time being spelled in a paddock before being bred.

'We hope that in three years, Peter
Moody will be training a progeny of Black Caviar,' said Werrett, his
voice breaking at times during the retirement announcement.

Black Caviar, ridden by her regular
jockey Luke Nolen, won her 25th race last Friday in the T.J. Smith
Stakes at Royal Randwick by two lengths. It was the sprinter's third win
since coming back in February from an eight-month injury layoff.

Storming finish: Luke Nolen rides Black Caviar to victory in the TJ Smith Stakes at Royal Randwick

Super horse: Black Caviar claimed a Australian-record
15 Group One wins

No stopping her: Black Caviar again showed who's boss in the Sydney showdown

Money spinner: Black Caviar won $8 million in prize money

Black Caviar narrowly won the Diamond
Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, England last June and faced possible
retirement after tearing a quadriceps muscle at Ascot.

But laser therapy and exercise
enabled her to return to the track for another – and what turned out her
final – abbreviated season.

There were suggestions as recently as
the weekend that she'd race again at tracks in Brisbane or Adelaide, or
perhaps return to Royal Ascot.

'Black Caviars don't come along every day,' said Moody. 'It's time to call it a day.'

Triumph: Jockey Nolen celebrates the win - making it 25 out of 25 victories

Triumph: Jockey Nolen celebrates making it 25 out of 25 victories

That's my girl! Black Caviar trainer Peter Moody celebrates with and strapper Donna Fisher

That's my girl! Black Caviar trainer Peter Moody (centre)

BLACK CAVIAR'S VICTORIES

2yo Hcp Restricted, Flemington (18 Apr 2009)

Blue Sapphire Stakes, Caulfield (2 May 2009)

Crockett Stakes, Moonee Valley (22 Aug 2009)

Daneholl Stakes, Flemington (5 Sep 2009)

Australia Stakes, Moonee Valley (22 Jan 2010)

Schillaci Stakes, Caulfield (9 Oct 2010)

Schweppes Stakes, Moonee Valley (23 Oct 2010)

Patinack Farm Classic, Flemington (6 Nov 2010)

Lightning Stakes, Flemington (19 Feb 2011)

Newmarket Handicap, Flemington (12 Mar 2011)

William Reid Stakes, Moonee Valley (25 Mar 2011)

T J Smith Stakes, Randwick (9 Apr 2011)

BTC Cup, Doomben (14 May 2011)

Schillaci Stakes, Caulfield (8 Oct 2011)

Schweapped Stakes, Moonee Valley (22 Oct 2011)

Patinack Farm Classic, Flemington (5 Nov 2011)

Australia Stakes, Moonee Valley (27 Jan 2012)

C F Orr Stakes, Caulfield (11 Feb 2012)

Lightning Stakes, Flemington (18 Feb 2012)

Robert Sangster, Morphettville (28 Apr 2012)

Goodwood Handicap, Morphettville (12 May 2012)

Diamond Jubilee Stakes, Ascot (23 Jun 2012)

Lightning Stakes, Flemington (16 Feb 2013)

William Reid Stakes, Moonee Valley (22 Mar 2013)

TJ Smith Stakes, Royal Randwick (13 April 2013)

Golf: Richard Sterne and Trevor Fischer Jnr are tied for the lead at the Johannesburg open

South African duo Sterne and Fischer Jnr tied for the lead in Johannesburg

PUBLISHED:

17:26 GMT, 8 February 2013

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UPDATED:

17:26 GMT, 8 February 2013

South Africa's Richard Sterne and Trevor Fisher Jnr are tied for the lead at the halfway stage of the Joburg Open, three shots clear of the chasing pack.

Sterne followed up his opening-day 63 with another blemish-free round of 65 today on the east course to join early leader Fisher Jnr on 15 under par for the tournament.

Fisher Jnr had looked set to take a comfortable lead into the third day after he shot a blistering 62 on the west course, just one stroke outside Charl Schwartzel's course record.

Faultless: Richard Sterne followed up his opening day 63 with a high quality 65

Faultless: Richard Sterne followed up his opening day 63 with a high quality 65

Faultless: Richard Sterne followed up his opening day 63 with a high quality 65

However, Sterne, who was runner-up to Stephen Gallacher in the Dubai Classic last week, continued his good run of form to stay in contention for his sixth European Tour title at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Course.

A birdie on the opening hole and gains at the fourth and seventh saw him quickly close ground on his compatriot before an eight-foot putt at the ninth saw him claim an outward score of 33.

Sterne then added birdies on three of the last four holes which saw him catch up with Fisher Jnr and repeat his effort from the opening day of finishing the round joint top.

'I did the right things and putted well. It's nice to not be behind going into the weekend,' Sterne told europeantour.com.

Man on a mission: Trevor Fisher Jnr shot a round of 62 to climb to the top of the leader-board

Man on a mission: Trevor Fisher Jnr shot a round of 62 to climb to the top of the leader-board

'It won't be easy on the weekend. The players that are five or six back can catch us as well. Charl's there, George (Coetzee) is due a win, so it's a long way from over.'

Fisher Jnr, who was named Sunshine Tour Players' Player of the Year two days ago, shot an eagle and seven birdies on the way to a nine-under-par round of 62 on day two.

'It was a great day out there,' Fisher Jnr said. 'Everything just happened for me and I sank the putts I needed to sink.

On song: Fisher Jnr shot an eagle and seven birdies

On song: Fisher Jnr shot an eagle and seven birdies

On song: Fisher Jnr shot an eagle and seven birdies

'I was happy and patient with myself – walked slow and did everything slow – and it was just a good day.'

Coetzee completed the all-South African top three on 12 under par while home favourite Schwartzel fired 65 on the west course to tie for fourth place alongside compatriot Keith Horne and Felipe Aguilar of Chile.

And Schwartzel was not surprised with Fisher Jnr's strong performance so far in the tournament.
He said: 'We played foursomes for South Africa Under-23s – I know how good he can be.'

England's Tommy Fleetwood finished on nine under par for the first two rounds after he carded 66 today to lie in a four-way tie for seventh while Scotland's David Drysdale and England's Richard Finch were another shot back in a cluster of nine players.

Australian Open 2013: Jeremy Chardy beat Andreas Seppi 5-7 6-3 6-2 6-2

Chardy fights back from a set down to see off Seppi and make his first quarter-final

By
Jon Fisher, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

05:42 GMT, 21 January 2013

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UPDATED:

05:42 GMT, 21 January 2013

Frenchman Jeremy Chardy made it through to his first grand slam quarter-final – and a possible crack at Andy Murray – after seeing off Andreas Seppi at the Australian Open.

Chardy dropped the first set to the 21st-seeded Italian but hit back to win 5-7 6-3 6-2 6-2.

Marching on: Jeremy Chardy celebrates beating Italian Andreas Seppi

Marching on: Jeremy Chardy celebrates beating Italian Andreas Seppi

Over and out: Seppi reacts to going out despite taking the first set

Over and out: Seppi reacts to going out despite taking the first set

Seppi claimed the opener after breaking for a 6-5 lead but was then pushed around by Chardy with his big serve allowing his opponent few chances to plot a route back into the contest.

Murray plays Chardy's compatriot Gilles Simon in the fourth round later today. He has a 4-1 record against Chardy but the defeat came in their last match, at the Cincinnati Masters last year.

In control: Chardy fought back from a set down to make the quarter finals

In control: Chardy fought back from a set down to make the quarter finals

Showboating: Seppi plays a shot through his legs

Showboating: Seppi plays a shot through his legs

Australian Open 2013: Ekaterina Makarova beats Angelique Kerber 7-5, 6-4

More Melbourne magic from Makarova as she dumps out fifth seed Kerber

By
Jon Fisher, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

03:30 GMT, 20 January 2013

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UPDATED:

03:30 GMT, 20 January 2013

Ekaterina Makarova's love affair with Melbourne continued today as she made it through to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open with an impressive defeat of fifth seed Angelique Kerber.

Makarova's best run at a grand slam came here 12 months ago when she reached the last eight with a stunning upset of Serena Williams.

And she matched that achievement by playing the role of giantkiller once again on Rod Laver Arena, knocking out the German 7-5 6-4.

She's done it! Russia's Ekaterina Makarova celebrates after beating Germany's Angelique Kerber

She's done it! Russia's Ekaterina Makarova celebrates after beating Germany's Angelique Kerber

On top form: Makarova was at her best to see off Kerber in two sets

On top form: Makarova was at her best to see off Kerber in two sets

'It's an unbelievable feeling, I really like playing here,' the Russian said.

'I lost three times to Angelique last year, she is so good so I am very happy.'

Makarova went out to Maria Sharapova last year and the pair will clash again should the second seed beat Kirsten Flipkens later today.

Time for treatment: Kerber receives treatment during her defeat

Time for treatment: Kerber receives treatment during her defeat

Down and out: Kerber shows her emotion as she loses to Makarova

Down and out: Kerber shows her emotion as she loses to Makarova

'I hope I play Maria,' said Makarova. 'Last year I was surprised to reach that stage and I had so many thoughts in my mind. This year I will be ready to play a good game.'

Makarova was the more positive player throughout and held herself together after squandering a 5-2 first-set lead.

She broke for 6-5 and then served it out to edge ahead.

Kerber's chances of finding a route back into the contest were hampered by a back injury and a solitary break in the ninth game proved decisive.

Australian Open 2013: Victoria Azarenka wins first round

Azarenka not firing on all cylinders but world No 1 battles through opening test

By
Jon Fisher, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

04:01 GMT, 15 January 2013

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UPDATED:

04:37 GMT, 15 January 2013

Top seed Victoria Azarenka survived a second-set scare to see off Monica Niculescu in the first round of the Australian Open.

Having cruised through the opener Azarenka's game inexplicably came off the rails in the second before she reasserted her superiority to win 6-1 6-4.

It seemed plain sailing for the defending champion on Rod Laver Arena as she raced into a 4-0 lead, seemingly at ease with her own game and that of her opponent, whose quirky sliced forehand marks her out from the rest of the crowd in the women's game.

Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka

Defending champion: Victoria Azarenka survived a wobble in the second set to beat Monica Niculescu

A minor blip saw Niculescu break back but the Belarusian simply raised her level once again to take the first set in 31 minutes.

There appeared little chance of a Niculescu comeback but the Romanian surprised everyone inside Rod Laver Arena by swiftly establishing a 3-0 advantage. It almost became 4-0 but Azarenka clung grimly on to her serve by staving off two break points.

It proved a turning point as the world No 1, roared on by close friend Redfoo from the band LMFAO, hit back.

Watching brief: Stefan 'Redfoo' Gordy of LMFAO watches Azarenka and Niculescu in Melbourne

Watching brief: Stefan 'Redfoo' Gordy of LMFAO watches Azarenka and Niculescu in Melbourne

She drew level at 3-3, prompting a frustrated Niculescu to crack her racket into the court – an act which earned her a warning from the chair umpire.

Azarenka then broke again for 5-4 as Niculescu's challenge waned and she served it out to advance.

It was her first appearance on RLA since her thrashing of Maria Sharapova in last year's final and Azarenka admitted she was pleased to have avoided an embarrassing return.

Game over: In the end,, world No 1 Azarenka had too much in her locker for Niculescu

Game over: In the end,, world No 1 Azarenka had too much in her locker for Niculescu

Monica Niculescu

'It's great to be back, there were a lot of overwhelming emotions out there,' she said.

'I started really well but the second set was a struggle. I am pleased to get through.'

Azarenka had to pull out of the warm-up event in Brisbane due to an infected toe but she insists the injury is now behind her.

She added: 'I am running without pain and am just trying to focus on the next two weeks.'

Coventry City ready to leave the Ricoh Arena amid rent row with stadium owners

Coventry ready to leave the Ricoh Arena after rent row

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UPDATED:

18:47 GMT, 6 December 2012

Coventry City is refusing to back down in its' rent row – saying the Sky Blues must be masters of their own destiny.

Tim Fisher, the club's chief executive, has re-affirmed his stance that
the League One side will not pay the current rate to stay at the Ricoh
Arena.

Empty: Coventry City have 21 days to pay their 1.1million unpaid rent

Empty: Coventry City have 21 days to pay their 1.1million unpaid rent

The Sky Blues are in a stand-off with Arena Coventry Ltd, the company charged with managing the site, and who issued the club with a Statutory Demand on Thursday.

That formal request is aimed at putting pressure on the club, and owners SISU, to pay monies owed in back rent. If no compromise is reached a winding order could be issued with Coventry City forced into administration.

Coventry are hamstrung by an agreement, struck seven years ago, which does not take into account the club's League One status and the loss of revenue brought about by relegation earlier this year.

The club claims it is being asked to pay over the odds – around 1.28m per year – to their landlords and has asked for that to be reduced to the average for League One of around 170,000.

Ceased: The club stopped making payments to the Ricoh Arena bosses 10 months ago

Ceased: The club stopped making payments to the Ricoh Arena bosses 10 months ago

According to reports, ACL have agreed
to accept half of that figure in settlement – around 650,000 – but
Fisher says that figure remains unacceptable in the current climate.

'We were disappointed to be issued with the Statutory Demand but our position remains unchanged.' he said.

'We are a League One club and should pay League One rent. We also need access to matchday revenues at the stadium.

'SISU want to build a sustainable football club. But they also want the Sky Blues to be the masters of their own destiny.'

Jacky Isaacs, chief executive of
Arena Coventry Ltd, said that issuing the Statutory Demand was not 'a
course of action that we wanted to take.'

If no satisfactory resolution can be
found, the club could be put into administration, leading to a points
deduction and the possibility that a new venue should be found for the
club to fulfil their remaining fixtures.

'We want to avoid administration, absolutely, we do,' added Fisher.

'And we have a commitment to fulfil our fixtures – which we fully intend to honour.

'But if the gates at the Ricoh are locked, there may be no alternative but to find another venue.

'If turns out that we don't end up playing at the Ricoh Arena, so be it.'

Women"s rugby: England beat New Zealand 32-23 at Twickenham to complete series whitewash

Delight for England women as 32-23 win completes series whitewash over New Zealand and caps memorable day at Twickenham

PUBLISHED:

20:52 GMT, 1 December 2012

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UPDATED:

20:52 GMT, 1 December 2012

England's women emulated their male counterparts by beating New Zealand today, completing a 3-0 series win in the process.

Less than three hours after Stuart Lancaster's men completed a stunning 38-21 win, Gary Street's team triumphed 32-23 to send those who remained at Twickenham home happier still.

Early tries from Katherine Merchant and Emily Scarratt put England 12-0 up before Rawina Everitt cut the deficit.

Series whitewash: England's players celebrate after they beat New Zealand 32-23 at Twickenham to complete a 3-0 series win

Series whitewash: England's players celebrate after they beat New Zealand 32-23 at Twickenham to complete a 3-0 series win

Try time: Emily Scarratt (No.15) is congratulated by teammate Joanne Watmore after scoring England's second try of the game

Try time: Emily Scarratt (No.15) is congratulated by teammate Joanne Watmore after scoring England's second try of the game

In the clear: Heather Fisher breaks through the New Zealand lines

In the clear: Heather Fisher breaks through the New Zealand lines

Flying: England's Joanne Watmore jumps over a despairing tackle from New Zealand's Shakira Baker

Flying: England's Joanne Watmore jumps over a despairing tackle from New Zealand's Shakira Baker

Merchant's second touchdown and one from Roz Crowley saw England lead 24-15 at half-time, Selica Winiata with the score for New Zealand.

Jo Watmore's try and Scarratt's penalty ensured a comfortable win despite Kendra Cocksedge's try for the Black Ferns 10 minutes from time.

England's Michaela Staniford was today named the IRB Women's Player of the Year – and the 25-year-old wing picked up the award after the match.

Best player: Heather Fisher collected the Man of the Match champagne for her performance, which included a number of break through the New Zealand defence (below)

Best player: Heather Fisher collected the Man of the Match champagne for her performance, which included a number of break through the New Zealand defence (below)

Heather Fisher of England evades a tackle from Emma Jensen of New Zealand

Conversion: Emily Scarratt adds the extras after one of England's tries in the 32-23 win

Conversion: Emily Scarratt adds the extras after one of England's tries in the 32-23 win

Shane Lowry wins Portugal Masters

Lowry holds nerve to edge out Fisher and clinch maiden Tour title in Portugal

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UPDATED:

18:01 GMT, 14 October 2012

Irishman Shane Lowry became only the second player to win on the European Tour as both an amateur and a professional.

The 25-year-old, who captured the Irish Open in an amazing Tour debut three years ago, lifted the Portugal Masters by a stroke in Vilamoura when England's Ross Fisher three-putted the final hole.

Lowry joins Spaniard Pablo Martin, who won the 2007 Portuguese Open in his amateur days and then the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa two years later.

Winning feeling: Shane Lowry poses with his trophy after his victory in the Portugal Masters

Winning feeling: Shane Lowry poses with his trophy after his victory in the Portugal Masters

Shot of the day from Rory McIlroy's stablemate was a seven-iron into the hole for an eagle two at the 11th.

Lowry was one ahead after adding birdies at the 15th and 17th, but prepared himself for a play-off after driving into sand and bogeying the last for a 66 and 14 under par total.

Former Ryder Cup star Fisher was in the group behind and from the fringe of the green left his long birdie attempt – a putt to win the title – five feet short and then lipped out.

Unlike his maiden victory, which earned him nothing because of his amateur status, Lowry this time picked up a cheque for just over 300,000 in addition to the trophy.

'I cannot believe this,' he said after coming from four behind Austrian Bernd Wiesberger in the final round.

'I can't explain how I feel really. It's a dream come true – I'm over the moon.

Lowry added: 'Everyone was referring
to me as the fella who won the Irish Open as an amateur, but now I've
won such a prestigious event I don't know what to say.'

Holding his nerve: Lowry won his first Tour title in Portugal

Holding his nerve: Lowry won his first Tour title in Portugal

Nothing might match the atmosphere in
torrential rain on the day he triumphed at County Louth, but he still
had plenty of vocal support at Oceanico Victoria.

'It was like playing in Ireland,' he said. 'It was crazy. It was great.'

Lowry was still three behind at the turn, but birdied the 10th and then saw his approach to the next land a foot short of the flag and hop in.

'I thought then this could be my day and thankfully it is,' he said.

'We had a long wait on the 12th tee which was good, I had time to compose myself.'

He went ahead for the first time when Wiesberger drove into the lake and dropped a shot on the 11th, but Fisher then produced three birdies in a row to take over at the top.

Missing out: Ross Fisher finished one shot behind

Missing out: Ross Fisher finished one shot behind

The 31-year-old was chasing his first success for more than two years, but bogeyed the short 16th to fall behind again and could not get back on terms.

Wiesberger found more water on the long 17th and by bogeying the last as well allowed New Zealander Michael Campbell to take third place on his own.

The 2005 US Open champion has suffered an horrendous slump since beating Tiger Woods at Pinehurst. He fell outside the world's top 1,300 at one point and only two seasons ago made just one cut in 19 starts.

This was his best finish for four years and the last time he had four rounds in the 60s was nine years ago.

Fisher finished runner-up just as he did behind Lee Westwood in Sweden in June.

Wiesberger shoots low again to take Masters lead in Portugal

Wiesberger shoots low again to take Masters lead in Portugal

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UPDATED:

17:30 GMT, 13 October 2012

Austrian Bernd Wiesberger shot his
second successive 65 and leads the Portugal Masters by one with a round
to play in Vilamoura.

England's Ross Fisher had been three
clear at halfway, but could not keep the 27-year-old from Vienna at bay
as he continued his search for a third victory of the season.

Even when Fisher, without a win since
his Ryder Cup debut two years ago, had four birdies in five holes
around the turn Wiesberger matched them all to stay one behind.

Leading the pack: Bernd Wiesberger (left) leads Ross Fisher in Portugal

Leading the pack: Bernd Wiesberger (left) leads Ross Fisher in Portugal

He then drew level with an 18-foot putt on the 14th – his sixth birdie in seven holes – and moved in front for the first time when Fisher could not get up and down after missing the final green.

Wiesberger, who stands 13 under par, said: 'After seven holes (all pars) I was not thinking about a 65, but then I played beautifully.

'It could have been a bit lower, but I'm very happy with that.'

On form: Bernd Wiesberger shot a second successive 65

On form: Bernd Wiesberger shot a second successive 65

Fisher, playing on with a strained ligament in his left foot suffered when he slipped coming off the first tee in his second round, said after his 69: 'It's challenging, but it was a lot easier than yesterday.

'It was heavily bandaged and I tried to take the weight off it as much as I could. It's quite bruised, but the swelling is not as bad as I told it might be.

'I'm disappointed to drop a shot on the last. I tried to keep my neck out in front, but there's still a lot of golf to play.'

Joint third on nine under are Irishman Shane Lowry, England's Richard Finch and, in a sudden return to form, New Zealander Michael Campbell.

The 2006 US Open champion has had a wretched time since that memorable week at Pinehurst and is down at 607th in the world.

Campbell has not had a top-10 finish on the European Tour since 2008 and two seasons ago made only one cut in 19 starts.

'It's seven years since my last win and I was surprised I was calm out there, but I've won enough around the world to know what to do and I'm pretty excited about tomorrow,' he said.

'The last three or four years I've put too much pressure on myself to perform. I've gone back to basics and it's fun once again.'

Return to form: New Zealander Michael Campbell

Return to form: New Zealander Michael Campbell

He and playing partner Lowry were both five under for the day before bogeying the last for 67s, while Finch – like Lowry a former Irish Open winner – did not drop a shot in his 66.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, at 48 trying to become the oldest winner in Tour history, finished with a 30-foot birdie putt for a 68 and is joint sixth with England's Mark Foster.

Padraig Harrington also birdied the difficult last, but that was for a 71 as he slipped from fourth to 12th.

Nick Easter in frame for England recall – the Gainline

The Gainline: Veteran Easter in frame for England recall after Harlequins masterclass

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 23 September 2012

In form: Nick Easter

In form: Nick Easter

Harlequins’ champion-like 22-9 win at Leicester has put No 8 Nick Easter back in the frame for an England recall at the age of 34.

‘He’s on fire,’ was how England scrum-half Danny Care described his part in a victory which leaves Quins top of the Aviva Premiership by a point from Northampton.

Care’s first-half drop goal was one piece of supreme skill, but Easter’s off-loading and running power earned him the man-of-the-match award in front of watching England head coach Stuart Lancaster.

Easter has refused to retire from international rugby, despite losing his place after last season’s World Cup.

‘I know he’s desperate to play for England and, if he keeps playing like that then there is no reason why not,’ Care added.

Sale take action

Troubled times at Sale where players were ordered into extra training on Saturday morning following Friday’s 19-23 defeat by London Welsh.

‘Unacceptable,’ was how head coach Bryan Redpath described a fourth successive loss which leaves his team bottom. Forwards coach Steve Scott was also sacked on Sunday with chief executive Steve Diamond set to step in until a replacement is found.

Down and out: Sale's struggles continued on Friday

Down and out: Sale's struggles continued on Friday

Slicing and dicing

London Irish substitute flanker Jonathan Fisher was blunt about a pending operation after he broke his forearm in the 29-22 win over Bath. He tweeted: ‘Morning people. Off to be sliced and diced with a little bit of metal thrown in…’

Player of the week

Gloucester’s James Simpson-Daniel. His 22nd-minute try fired his team on to a 29-22 win, stunned Wasps and reminded England of his pace and power.

Power: James Simpson Daniel has impressed for Gloucester

Power: James Simpson Daniel has impressed for Gloucester

Coach of the week

London Welsh’s Lyn Jones. The win at Sale, following last Sunday’s success over Exeter, was a triumph for a simple game-plan well executed.

Quote of the week

Worcester’s director of rugby Richard Hill after his team came back to lose only 37-31 at Northampton after being 37-3 down. ‘If it had gone for another five minutes I think we’d have sneaked the win.’