Tag Archives: inaccuracy

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Leicester 16 Northampton 12

Leicester 16 Northampton 12: Tigers fail to impress as Ford misfires in front of posts

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UPDATED:

19:56 GMT, 3 November 2012

Leicester managed to grind out an unspectacular victory over their fierce local rivals at Welford Road.

Tigers could afford for young fly-half George Ford to miss five penalties and still triumph, courtesy of centre Matt Smith's second half try and 11 points by the young number 10.

On another day, Ford's inaccuracy might have proved costly, but Northampton, who were restricted to four Ryan Lamb penalties, lacked the firepower and tactical acumen to punish Leicester.

Main man: Matt Smith helped Leicester to a narrow win

Main man: Matt Smith helped Leicester to a narrow win

Saints led 6-3 just before half-time, but Leicester then scored 10 unanswered points – highlighted by Smith's 53rd minute touchdown – and Northampton could find no way back.

The game, shorn of several England players through a combination of unavailability a week before the autumn Test series opener against Fiji and injuries, never moved out of second gear.

Despite the game's derby status, it lacked aggression for the large part, and once Leicester edged in front they were able to close out the game reasonably comfortably.

Australian flanker Julian Salvi, back in action following a hand injury, was easily the most effective performer on either side, and his workaholic efforts were ultimately rewarded with victory.

Although Leicester's stay at the Premiership summit is likely to prove short-lived, it was a victory they desperately needed following last weekend's narrow loss at Gloucester, and Northampton remain without a win at Welford Road since 2007.

Off form: George Ford

Off form: George Ford

Leicester were without six players on England duty ahead of the forthcoming autumn Tests, but scrum-half Ben Youngs and centre Anthony Allen started after being released by red rose boss Stuart Lancaster.

Injured England forwards Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes highlighted Northampton's list of absentees, but Calum Clark made an immediate return to action in Saints' back-row after completing a 32-week suspension.

Clark was cited and banned for hyper-extending Leicester hooker Rob Hawkins' arm in the LV= Cup final last season, and a quirk of the fixture list meant he made his return to action at the Tigers' lair.

Lamb nudged Northampton into a fourth minute lead through an angled penalty, and Saints dominated early territorial exchanges, culminating in Lamb finding his range again for a 6-0 advantage.

In contrast, Tigers' 19-year-old playmaker Ford – starting instead of an unavailable Toby Flood – missed two penalty chances in two minutes, although he did find his range with a third attempt that cut Northampton's lead.

But Ford missed another penalty seven minutes later, snatching badly at a strike that was well within his range, and Saints stayed in the ascendancy as they chased a rare victory on Leicester soil.

Tigers suffered an injury blow six minutes before the break when their former England lock Louis Deacon's injury-ravaged run continued as he was forced off nursing a shoulder problem that saw him replaced by Ed Slater.

Lamb rifled a drop-goal attempt wide from Saints' next attack, yet for a derby clash often associated with a white-hot atmosphere, the opening 40 minutes proved strangely tepid.

Tussle: Vereniki Goneva of Leicester is tackled by Samu Manoa

Tussle: Vereniki Goneva of Leicester is tackled by Samu Manoa

Ford landed an equalising penalty with the final kick of the half, but entertainment value had been a premium as the teams trooped off level at 6-6.

It took Leicester less than two minutes of the second period to go ahead for the first time, with Saints unable to free themselves from trouble just outside their 22.

Youngs' slick service from the scrum base gave Tigers time and space, and Smith was worked over cleverly from close range by substitute Vereniki Goneva for a try that Ford converted.

Leicester had visibly increased the tempo, and although Lamb completed his penalty hat-trick shortly afterwards, Tigers looked capable for the first time of taking charge.

Ford made it 16-9 in the 53rd minute when Saints hooker Mike Haywood was penalised for a high and late tackle on home skipper Geordan Murphy, which underlined a slow turning of the screw by Leicester.

There was much greater urgency about Leicester than there had been before the break, and with Ford also growing in confidence, Tigers were able to pin their opponents back.

Lamb booted a fourth penalty with six minutes left to set a few nerves jangling in the Leicester camp, but they held on to claim the victory their supremacy in key areas deserved, helped when Lamb was sin-binned three minutes from time for barging Allen off the ball.

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MASTERS 2012: BBC criticised for using Michael Vaughan for golf coverage

Vaughan admits having Masters stinker as BBC face backlash for bumbling Woods interview

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UPDATED:

10:23 GMT, 9 April 2012

The BBC have come under fire from golf fans for having former England cricket captain as one of their reporters in Augusta for the Masters.

Vaughan admitted he had a stinker on the final day and suffered a backlash from fans, in particular for the handling of his interview with Tiger Woods.

The former cricketer – who adds expert analysis to BBC Radio's Test Match Special – was used as the corporation’s interviewer to the stars as they came off the course during the four days.

Different ball game: Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan interviews Masters winner Bubba Watson on the BBC

Different ball game: Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan interviews Masters winner Bubba Watson on the BBC

But he has been heavily criticised by viewers after mentioning in his chat with Woods that the American had only won three Masters titles.

‘Four actually,’ was Woods’ response to Vaughan’s inaccuracy and the 37-year-old Ashes-winning hero later took to Twitter to write: ‘Poor day at the office #hadastinker’

Lee Westwood, who finished tied for third at Augusta, aimed a friendly jibe at his pal, saying: ‘So how many masters has tiger won Heard about your mistake already Vaughny!’

Vaughan replied: 'Ha ha.. School boy error… What is one major among friends Nice play today.'

Doing what he does best: Michael Vaughan winning the Ashes

Winner: Woods with one of his four Masters titles

Winners in their field: Vaughan lifting the Ashes and Woods with one of his FOUR Masters titles

Viewers also cringed when the 37-year-old made Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia repeat their on-course hug live on TV.

The BBC, which is battling to keep hold of its sports rights, is under pressure for its heavy use of former sports stars in place of experienced journalists.

On Twitter, Masters fan Chris Lindley said: ‘Michael Vaughan doesn’t deserve to do golf, a golf EXPERT should.’

In his natural environment: Vaughan with Jonathan Agnew on Test Match Special

In his natural environment: Vaughan with Jonathan Agnew on Test Match Special

Mark Sugden added: ‘Still can’t quite get why michael vaughan was on the masters If he was quirky or asked good questions fair enough. But he did neither.’

And Graham Thomas joked: 'Don’t worry Michael Vaughan, Tiger Woods is probably unsure of how many Test hundreds you scored.'

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Warren Gatland frustrated by referee

Gatland frustrated by referee despite Wales victory that keeps Grand Slam alive

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UPDATED:

18:56 GMT, 10 March 2012

Wales head coach Warren Gatland was
left frustrated by referee George Clancy's interpretation at the
breakdown, despite seeing his side move to within a win of another Grand
Slam with a 24-3 Millennium Stadium victory over Italy.

Second-half tries from centre Jamie
Roberts and wing Alex Cuthbert helped Wales to set up a shot at a third
clean sweep in eight seasons against France next Saturday, while Leigh
Halfpenny contributed 11 points with the boot and Rhys Priestland added a
penalty.

But the scoreline barely reflected the dominance Wales enjoyed throughout the contest.

Criticism: Wales coach Warren Gatland unhappy with referee

Criticism: Wales coach Warren Gatland unhappy with referee

The hosts had led just 9-3 at the break but the writing was on the wall as they had made just 14 tackles to Italy's 76.

The game continued in much the same vein after the break but Wales' efforts to cut loose were frustrated by their own inaccuracy, a determined Italian rearguard and the lack of flow as Clancy whistled for 25 penalties in total.

Whistle happy: Referee George Clancy was in the spotlight more than Gatland would have wished

Whistle happy: Referee George Clancy was in the spotlight more than Gatland would have wished

Even though they were the dominant side Wales ended on the wrong end of the penalty count, conceding 13 to 12, and Gatland could not hide his disappointment that Wales' positive approach had not reaped greater dividends against their limited opponents.

Penalty king: Leigh Halfpenny was on the mark for Wales

Penalty king: Leigh Halfpenny was on the mark for Wales

'I thought there was a lot of intent by us but it was a bit frustrating because the flow of the game was not there,' he said.

'We were not allowed to get quick ball and the breakdown was a bit of a mess.

'We will take the win but if a team has that much possession and territory and loses the penalty count 13-12 you have got to be frustrated about that. We weren't allowed to get the momentum going.

'It's probably just about trying to get the message through to referees, let's be positive to the team that is trying to play positively and let's reward them for that.

Going south: George North break free of the Italian defence

Going south: George North break free of the Italian defence

'I don't think everything has to be 100 per cent to the letter of the law because there is so much interpretation.

'That's why I am personally pretty frustrated because it was difficult for us.

'They came with a limited game and didn't allow us to function.

'That's what rugby is about and there is nothing illegal about doing it. You just hope that too many teams don't win by doing that.'

Despite his frustrations Wales will face France at the Millennium Stadium looking to once again claim the crown of the best side in Europe.

Rising star: Wales' Toby Faletau (red No 8) knocks the ball down from a lineout

Rising star: Wales' Toby Faletau (red No 8) knocks the ball down from a lineout

For many of Gatland's young squad it will represent a first shot at a Grand Slam, but the New Zealander has every confidence that his players will be able to cope with the hype they will experience in the principality ahead of next weekend's meeting with the side who ended their World Cup ambitions in heartbreaking fashion last October.

'It won't be difficult for us to get through this week at all,' he said. 'The guys have got their heads on. These young players are just taking these things in their stride.

'The players are well aware about the huge amount of hype but I would like to think they are in a good place and that the Welsh public are pretty happy with them.'

On the run: Rhys Priestland spreads the attack for Wales

On the run: Rhys Priestland spreads the attack for Wales

Assistant coach Rob Howley added: 'The next week will be the same as the last three weeks. We have to get our preperation right.

'We have trained particularly well over the last three or four weeks and the word Grand Slam hasn't been mentioned up until this point.

'It will be interesting to see how France go against England tomorrow but to be honest we will concentrate on ourselves.'

Going nowhere: Priestland (left) takes on Leonardo Ghiraldini of Italy

Going nowhere: Priestland (left) takes on Leonardo Ghiraldini of Italy

For Italy, whose only points came from Mirco Bergamasco's early penalty, it was a fourth-straight defeat under coach Jacques Brunel.

But the former Perpignan boss, who revealed that replacement half-back Tobias Botes had suffered a dislocated shoulder, was pleased with the Azzurri's defensive display.

He said: 'The spirit we have shown today was completely different than against Ireland in Dublin, especially in our defensive performance against what is a very powerful Welsh side and we kept ourselves in the game almost throughout.

In the grasp: Mike Phillips is tackled by Italy's Luke McLean

In the grasp: Mike Phillips is tackled by Italy's Luke McLean

'But it was a weaker game from an attacking point of view especially with the line-out as we made too many mistakes there to launch any good attacks.'