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Jittery Japan make winning World Cup start

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Winger Kotaro Matsushima scored a hat-trick as Japan overcame a severe case of opening-night nerves to give the host nation a winning start to the Rugby World Cup with a 30-10 victory over a spirited Russia side on Friday.

After an opening ceremony featuring a dazzling laser light show and appearances by Japan’s Crown Prince Akishino and All Blacks great Richie McCaw, there were quickly a few fireworks on the pitch.

The Russians, laid on as sacrificial lambs for the opening party, stunned the noisy crowd of 48,745 into silence when they pounced on a Japanese error and scored the tournament’s first try through winger Kirill Golosnitskiy in the fourth minute.

Man of the Match Matsushima replied with Japan’s first try seven minutes later but it was not until he went over for his second just before the break that the error-prone home side took the lead at 12-7.

Japan looked more direct after the break and flanker Pieter Labuschagne soon extended the lead with an individual effort, stripping the ball from an opponent and then running a third of the pitch to touchdown under the posts.

Russia kept coming at the home side but 12 minutes from time Matsushima again showed his pace on the outside to secure the bonus point that might be key to Japan’s hopes of advancing from Pool A, which also includes Ireland, Scotland and Samoa.

“You get out there and realise just how much pressure there is on the night,” Japan coach Jamie Joseph told reporters.

“Our kicking game was pretty poor tonight so we’re going to fix that up quickly,” he added, conceding that his team made a lot of unforced errors.

Russia, who only qualified when Romania and Spain were disqualified for using ineligible players, impressed throughout with their hard tackling and a willingness to take the game to their opponents.

The Bears also bullied Japan’s scrum on more than one occasion and troubled the hosts with their direct running, a tactic Japan’s other Pool A opponents will look to emulate with greater efficiency.

The home side looked a different proposition on the few occasions they managed to get the ball through hands out to the wings and South Africa-born Matsushima cashed in with the first World Cup hat-trick for a Japan player.

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He could have had a fourth only for the TMO to adjudge that he had not grounded the ball properly but a further inflated scoreline would have been unfair on the Russians, who put their bodies on the line for the full 80 minutes.

“It is playing at an intensity and focus our players aren’t used to. They kept the ball in play as much as they could. Our boys are just not used to that,” Russia’s Welsh coach Lyn Jones said.

“Tier one just isn’t what we are used to – it’s a different sport. We have prepared for a year for it to be as close as possible.”

The Russians next take on Samoa on Sept 24, while Japan go up against the number one-ranked Irish in Fukuroi City on Sept 28 in a match the hosts will be desperate to win if they wish to progress to the quarter-finals for the first time.

They will need a much-improved performance to get anywhere close to what would be a stunning upset to rank with their win over South Africa at the 2015 World Cup.




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Fury knocks out Wilder to win WBC heavyweight title

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AFP

By AFP
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Tyson Fury reigns again as a heavyweight world champion after battering Deontay Wilder on the way to a stunning seventh-round stoppage in their World Boxing Council title rematch.

Fourteen months after their dramatic split-decision draw, Britain’s Fury dominated the American champion — who had blood streaming from his left ear and leaking from his mouth when referee Kenny Bayless called a halt at the behest of Wilder’s corner.

“The king has returned to the top of the throne,” said Fury, who had dropped Wilder in the third and fifth rounds as he remained unbeaten — and handed Wilder the first defeat of his career.

The self-styled “Gypsy King” from northern England — who was borne to the ring on a golden throne — had put on a boxing masterclass in their first fight, but he was clearly ready to brawl from the opening bell on Saturday.

A massive right from Fury knocked down Wilder in the third and Wilder struggled to regain his legs — although when he went down again moments later it was ruled a slip.

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A left to the body had Wilder down again in the fifth, and Fury was raining blows on Wilder when Bayless called a halt at 1:39 of the seventh round after Wilder’s corner threw in the towel.

Wilder, 34, suffered his first defeat in 44 fights, falling to 42-1 with 1 drawn and 41 knockouts.

The “Bronze Bomber” was unable to surpass Muhammad Ali’s record of 10 successful heavyweight title defences.

“I just want to say a big shout out Deontay Wilder,” said Fury, who improved his own unbeaten record to 30-0 with one drawn and 21 knockouts. “He manned up. he really did show heart of a champion.

“I hit him with a clean right hand and dropped him, and he got back up and battled on into round seven.

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“He is a warrior, he will be back, he will be champion again.”

As a pro-Fury crowd at the MGM Grand cheered, Wilder briefly protested the stoppage.

“I just wish that my corner would have let me went out on my shield,” he said. “I’m a warrior.”

Wilder had knocked Fury down twice in their first fight in Los Angeles — the Briton miraculously climbing off the canvas in the 12th round to hang on for a share of the spoils.

With new trainer Javan “Sugarhill” Steward in his corner, and with more than 16 additional pounds on his 273-pound frame, Fury was on the attack early, backing Wilder up with his jab and landing several hard shots in the opening round.

He didn’t produce the second-round knockout he’d predicted, but he was clearly in control.

The fight, the biggest heavyweight collision since Lennox Lewis bludgeoned Mike Tyson into submission on the banks of the Mississippi River in 2002, drew a star-studded crowd.

Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Patrick Mahomes was ringside, so were Mark Davis, owner of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders and Raiders coach John Gruden.

Retired NBA greats Magic Johnson and Jerry West were on hand, as was current Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green.

With the rematch in the books, fight fans will be hoping to see Fury take on compatriot Anthony Joshua — holder of the IBF, WBA and WBO belts — in a heavyweight unification bout.

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Furry batters Wilder in TKO to win world heavyweight title

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LAS VEGAS, United States, Feb 23 – Tyson Fury dominated Deontay Wilder on the way to a seventh-round technical knockout, seizing the World Boxing Council heavyweight title as he handed the American his first defeat.

Fourteen months after their dramatic split-decision
draw, Britain’s Fury battered the American champion — who had blood streaming
from his left ear and leaking from his mouth when referee Kenny Bayless called
a halt.

Fury had dropped Wilder in the third and fifth
rounds and was landing blows at will — Fury’s corner finally throwing in the
towel and Bayless stopping it at 1:39 of the round.

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German Business Association visits Ngong

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DEJA VU

By DEJA VU
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How kind of the German Business Association to sponsor our whole meeting at Ngong this afternoon.

Included in this package of amusement, is a horse versus D.T. Dobie car race, Military Band, traditional children’s activities, different culinary kiosks, and, tempting rewards for best dressed patrons.

Did we fail to mention the the Kenya GBA Fillies Guineas Classicas well?

Nothing particularly has a ball in their court, but touchdown could emanate from Moonlight Shadow, Lady Eccles, Grey’s Moet, or Coralline. Can’t get a grip on Wind Rose.

The DB Shenker Handicap seems to be more combative where Dusha, The Bar, Firing Line, and, Caen, are on similar footing.

It is like pushing a rock upstream trying to decipher an outright winner. Pick Six, Place Accumulators, Jackpot, and, Exacta’s, should pay out handsomely, as a result.

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Public Hero must have some advantage in the Spencer Tryon Trophy, having gained access to extra strength in his seventh year.

12.50 pm Cashing In, Supreme Rock

  1.25 pm Bulawayo, Istanbul

  2.00 pm Comic Star, Winter Comet

  2.35 pm Firing Line, Dusha

  3.10 pm Anjoli, Fast Five

  3.45 pm Moonlight Shadow, Lady Eccles

  4.20 pm Public Hero, Quickfire

Runners for the Jockey Club Meeting on 23/02/2020

12:50 Race 1 The Allianz Maiden

Distance 2060m. A maiden race for three year olds and over

at starting. To carry 58.5kg.Mares and fillies 57kg. First time

1 ( 6- 6-w) Heavenly Gift (SSL) S. Mwangi (5.0) 58.5 H 1

2 ( 3- 2- 6) Cashing In Le. Sercombe 57.0 3

3 ( 4) Rainbow Moon D. Tanui 57.0 5

4 ( 3- 3- 4) Statuette H. Muya 57.0 4

5 ( 2- 4- 4) Supreme Rock P. Kiarie 57.0 2

1:25 Race 2 The JW Seagon Handicap

Distance 1400m. A handicap for three year olds and over

rated 10 and below at closing.Un-rated maidens will be eligible

and will be handicapped level with the top weight.First time

1 ( 2- 3- 7) Grace O’Malley P. Kinuthia (5.0) 59.0 3

2 (w) Quickfoot K. Nganga (5.0) 57.0 6

3 ( 4- 6- 5) Gwen D. Miri 55.0 5

4 ( 4- 8- 2) Risque J. Muhindi 55.0 8

5 ( 2- 3- 5) Tenacious R. Kibet 55.0 1

6 ( 5-w- 9) Chyulu Hills H. Muya 54.0 2

7 ( 4- 4- 3) Istanbul P. Mungai 54.0 9

8 ( 3- 7- 5) Santorini M. Kiilu 53.0 H 4

9 ( 4- 8- 4) Bulawayo (ZIM) P. Kiarie 52.0 T 7

2:00 Race 3 The Alibhai Shariff Trophy

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Distance 2400m. A handicap for three year olds and over

rated 22 and below at closing.Un-rated maidens will be eligible

and will be handicapped 5kg less than the top weight. First time

1 ( 2- 2- 3) Comic Star Le. Sercombe 59.0 5

2 ( 1- 2- 2) Grace Kelly (SAF) J. Muhindi 59.0 3

3 ( 3-w-w) Winter Comet (ZIM) P. Kiarie 59.0 1

4 ( 1- 5- 5) Karowe R. Kibet 56.0 2

5 ( 3- 3- 3) Miss Zuri H. Muya 52.0 4

2:35 Race 4 The DB Schenker Handicap

Distance 1200m. A handicap for three year olds and over

rated 26 and below at closing.

1 ( 4- 2- 8) Caen (SAF) O. Chaba (5.0) 62.0 3

2 ( 2- 1- 2) Dusha (ZIM) P. Kinuthia (5.0) 60.0 2

3 ( 2- 4- 3) The Bar (SAF) J. Muhindi 56.0 H 7

4 ( 1- 2- 8) Angel’s Voice (SAF) R. Kibet 53.0 8

5 ( 5- 6- 1) Crixus P. Kiarie 53.0 H 6

6 ( 1) Firing Line Le. Sercombe 53.0 5

7 ( 4- 6- 6) Sir Judsun (SAF) D. Miri 52.0 4

8 ( 2- 3- 8) Compadre P. Mungai 51.0 1

3:10 Race 5 The DT Dobie Nakuru Race Club Cup

Distance 1600m. A handicap for three year olds and over

rated 27 and below at closing.

1 ( 2- 4- 5) Fast Five (SAF) Le. Sercombe 61.0 6

2 ( 1- 2- 1) Anjoli (SAF) J. Muhindi 59.0 H 4

3 ( 4- 3- 1) Piece of Cake R. Kibet 59.0 3

4 ( 3- 2- 6) Forewarned H. Muya 57.0 1

5 ( 3- 3- 3) Macushla (ZIM) P. Kiarie 57.0 2

6 ( 2- 2- 1) Romeo Foxtrot (SAF) M. Kiilu55.0 H 5

3:45 Race 6 The GBA Fillies Guineas

Distance 1600m. A terms race for three year old fillies only.

To carry 57 kg. There will be a parade before this race. NO

1 ( 4- 1- 5) Coralline J. Muhindi 57.0 1

2 ( 2- 7- 1) Greys Moet (SAF) P. Mungai 57.0 3

3 ( 4-w- 3) Lady Eccles R. Kibet 57.0 4

4 ( 5- 3- 2) Moonlight Shadow Le. Sercombe 57.0 5

5 ( 1- 5- 5) Wind Rose (SAF) H. Muya 57.0 2

4:20 Race 7 The KHS Spencer Tryon Trophy

Distance 1400m. A open handicap race for three year olds and

1 ( 1- 2-w) Public Hero (SAF) M. Micino (2.0) 62.0 2

2 ( 1- 1- 3) Lettfot J. Muhindi 55.0 3

3 ( 3- 1- 1) King of Oxted P. Kiarie 54.0 4

4 ( 1- 5- 3) Quickfire P. Mungai 52.0 5

5 ( 6- 5- 7) Impala M. Ki

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