Tag Archives: killing

Lionel Messi proves he is human after being foiled by a Japanese moving robot

Man v Machine: Messi proves he is human after all… as he is foiled by a Japanese moving robot

Andy James


11:25 GMT, 8 April 2013



02:48 GMT, 9 April 2013

This might be the only way for managers to stop Lionel Messi in his tracks – by signing a Japanese goalkeeping robot.

Messi has been branded a killing machine after rattling in 57 goals this season.

His exploits have left managers in La Liga and throughout Europe tearing their hair out as just how to halt the Argentine striker.

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Man v machine: Messi prepares to step up against the robot

Man v machine: Messi prepares to step up against the robot goalkeeper

Not spot on: Messi steps up for his penalty (above) and sees his spot-kick saved (below)

Not spot on: Messi steps up for his penalty (above) and sees his spot-kick saved (below)

Messi pen:

But the Barcelona frontman, considered by many as the game's greatest ever player, struggled when the man took on the machine in a game show broadcast on Japanese TV.

Messi took three penalties against the moving piece of cardboard – but missed his first two spot-kicks.

He is human after all then.

VIDEO Messi goes head-to-head with a robot in a penalty shoot-out

Messi takes on robot in penalty shoot-out

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Northampton 30 Harlequins 31: Ben Botica strikes in last minute

Northampton 30 Harlequins 31: Botica strikes late to seal LV= Cup win


17:57 GMT, 10 November 2012



17:57 GMT, 10 November 2012

A Ben Botica try from the last play of the game won a thrilling LV=Cup clash for Harlequins at Northampton.

It was Northampton's fourth defeat in a row, but they looked to be heading for victory at Franklin's Gardens after coming back from 21-6 down to lead 30-24 with the clock dead.

But on his Saints debut prop Ethan Waller was yellow-carded for killing the ball in his 22 and Quins tapped it for Botica to barge over under the posts.

Late show: Ben Botica of Harlequins scores the match-winning try

Late show: Ben Botica of Harlequins scores the match-winning try

The Kiwi knocked over the simple conversion to secure a win that they could scarcely believe.

Northampton dominated the scrum all
game winning plenty of penalties from it, but they gifted Quins three
first half tries and ultimately paid the price.

Ryan Lamb started the scoring after
three minutes with a penalty, but a wild pass from the fly-half set up
the visitors for the opening try.

Quins moved the ball to wing Sam
Smith who stepped inside the disorganised Saints defence to scoot under
the posts from halfway.

Saviour: Ben Botica of Harlequins (third from left) celebrates

Saviour: Ben Botica of Harlequins (third from left) celebrates

Botica converted to give the Premiership champions a 7-3 lead after nine minutes.

Northampton's second choice front
row, with England tighthead Paul Doran Jones at tighthead, drove a scrum
seven metres to win a penalty and Lamb reduced the arrears to one

The home side had plenty of territory, but they could not take advantage and instead Quins profited from another wayward throw.

This time Mike Haywood's lineout
throw 10 metres from his try-line over-shot and Harlequins scooped up
the loose ball for centre Harry Sloan to score under the posts. Botica
made it 14-6 after 28 minutes.

Lamb hit the post with a 42 metre
penalty, but Quins were gifted a third try from another poor pass from
the Saints fly-half, which was intercepted by Smith on halfway to race
under the posts.

On a high: Saints' Mark Sorenson claims the ball from a line-out

On a high: Saints' Mark Sorenson claims the ball from a line-out

Saints again came back putting
pressure on Quins in the red zone, but they had to rely again on their
scrum to gain three more points as they won a penalty in front of the

Quins went in at half-time 21-9 in front with Northampton still searching for their first try for nearly three-and-a-half hours.

The home scrum again got Northampton
going after the break, powering out a penalty for Lamb to add another
three points, and from the re-start Saints finally broke their
try-drought through Luther Burrell.

Jamie Elliott picked up the bouncing
ball and his pass to Tom May saw the veteran full-back sprint clear of a
tap tackle and pass to Burrell 20 metres out.

The former Leeds centre held off two and slid over in the left corner. Lamb missed the conversion and Botica immediately made it 24-17 with a penalty, but the home side had now got a taste for tries.

On the run: Matt Hopper on the attack

On the run: Matt Hopper on the attack

More good work by Burrell saw him
send over May in the same corner and from the same touchline Lamb
converted to draw Northampton level.

The Northampton pack won their
umpteenth scrum penalty and Lamb obliged seven metres in from the
touchline to put Jim Mallinder's team in front for the first time with
15 minutes left.

Northampton scrum-half Martin
Roberts was held up over the line and with Lamb on the upside of his
rollercoaster performance he landed a drop goal with three minutes to

But with 42 second left Lamb kicked
clear instead of holding on to the ball and when Waller was sin-binned
with time up Quins and Botica took advantage.

Going down: Saints' Luther Burrell is tackled by Tom Guest

Going down: Saints' Luther Burrell is tackled by Tom Guest

Jamie Donaldson up against Anthony Wall in Irish Open

Donaldson up against the Wall in last round Irish Open shoot-out


17:28 GMT, 30 June 2012



17:31 GMT, 30 June 2012

Welshman Jamie Donaldson, winless in
244 European Tour starts, takes a one-stroke lead over England's Anthony
Wall, winless in his last 364, into the final round of the Irish Open
at Royal Portrush.

The pair have the same aim, but have taken a very different approach to the week.

While Donaldson is staying in a
boutique hotel which, according to the local tourist board, is 'a unique
accommodation experience' that 'sets a new standard' for the area, Wall
is in a caravan park.

Out in front: Jamie Donaldson heads the Irish Open

Out in front: Jamie Donaldson heads the Irish Open

'It's quite a posh caravan – it's got running water, it's got gas,' said the 37-year-old Londoner after battling wind and heavy rain for a brilliant 67 he described as 'probably the best round I've ever played'.

Wall is sharing with fellow player Andrew Marshall and explained: 'I didn't want to stay in town because it was going to be quite boisterous.

'I knew we would have a bit of fun and it's been nice to relax. Half the time you seem to be on your own and you're sort of killing time.'

With overnight leader Gregory Bourdy crashing to an 80 – it included a triple bogey eight on the 17th – Donaldson took over at the top with a 69.

In contention: Anthony Wall in action

In contention: Anthony Wall in action

Their records, though, still leave three-major winner Padraig Harrington as the title favourite.

The 2007 champion's 72 left him sharing third spot with Englishman Mark Foster, two behind, while Rory McIlroy is six back, Graeme McDowell eight behind and Open champion Darren Clarke nine adrift.

Donaldson has had no fewer than 32 top-10 finishes in his Tour career, but hopes his first-ever hole-in-one on the opening day was a sign of things to come.

'I've had a few chances, but at the end of the day I've not been good enough so far to stand on the last green holding the trophy,' said the 36-year-old.

'You've got to keep trying and it's one shot at a time, one hole at a time.

'The only person I am playing against, I suppose, is myself. I've got to stay out of my own way.

'Obviously Padraig is a class player, but it's me versus me really.'

While James Morrison won an 80,000 for his ace at the 14th Donaldson had to be content with a bottle of whisky and a ride-on plastic car for his baby son.

He could have the last laugh, however. First prize is over 267,000 and the title would mean the world to him.

Still favourite: Padraig Harrington is two shots back

Still favourite: Padraig Harrington is two shots back

After an opening bogey he eagled the long second from 10 feet, saved par from 20 feet at the fourth, then made birdie putts of 10 and 25 feet on the following two greens.

With conditions really tough – amazingly there was still a crowd in excess of 30,000 for the first Irish Open north of the border since 1953 – Wall caught him, but Donaldson edged back in front with another birdie at the 16th.

Wall had birdied three of the first four holes and then on the long ninth into the wind struck 'the best drive and three-wood I've ever hit'.

He found the elevated green, two-putted to turn in 32 and after running up a six on the 478-yard next added further birdies at the 11th and 17th.

There was a real danger the last might spoil his day when his drive bounced off a spectator into a bush, but after taking a penalty drop his seven-iron third shot finished just six inches from the flag and allowed him to escape with a par.

Wall's one Tour victory came in South Africa 12 years ago. He had only two full seasons on the circuit behind him at the time, but although he has earned over 5million and comfortably kept his card every year since then, 40 more top-10 finishes have not included any titles.