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New Zealand ‘All Blacks’ winner of the Rugby World Cup 2011 – first time to claim the title in 24 years

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New Zealand win Rugby World Cup 2011

New Zealand win Rugby World Cup 2011

BY CORINNE GUBBA

New Zealand were the favourites to win the Rugby World Cup 2011 and they have finally done it, with a magnificent match against France in the Final at Eden Park in Auckland. The final score was 8-7 to New Zealand.

“The people have been outstanding . . . the people who have supported this team and have supported this World Cup – I am so proud to be a New Zealander standing here,” Quote from All Blacks coach Graham Henry just before the Webb Ellis Cup was lifted by captain Richie McCaw. “There was bit of turmoil up there . . . but reflect over the last seven weeks what these people have done throughout the country . . . and Richie and the boys just hanging in there right through the match for 80 minutes to win this match is superb.

“As a day this is something we have dreamed of for a while – we can rest in peace.”

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Stephen Donald goes from zero to hero as All Blacks win the Rugby World Cup – and Richie McCaw gets the last laugh

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A fairytale World Cup debut for Stephen Donald

A fairytale Rugby World Cup debut for fourth choice fly-half Stephen Donald

BY JOHN GUBBA

There was a touch of French farce about the way the All Blacks ended 24 years of hurt to win the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Not for the first time since New Zealand claimed the first World Cup on home soil back in 1987, it looked like the Blacks were going to choke again and leave their fanatical fans frustrated by an unlikely defeat at the hands of the rank outsiders France.

For Stephen Donald, previously the most unpopular fly-half in New Zealand, to come off the bench and kick the penalty that turned out to be the match winner was  the most unlikely scenario you could possibly imagine.

Rugby Masterclass DVD

Rugby Masterclass DVD

Fourth-choice Donald, who has at least three Facebook pages dedicated to condemning his performances as an All Black, was only on the pitch because the injury curse that previously ruled out Dan Carter and Colin Slade claimed Aaron Cruden at the end of the first half. Not only was he making his World Cup debut, he confidently took over the goalkicking duty from misfiring Piri Weepu and landed the 46th-minute penalty that turned out to be the winning points, following the first half try by Tony Woodcock.

France stormed back with a converted try from by their inspirational captain Thierry Dusautoir that left the hosts desperately holding on by a single point at 8-7. But All Blacks weathered wave after wave of attacks to seal victory and spark scenes of wild jubilation at Eden Park.

When All Blacks’ captain Richie McCaw – the most popular man in New Zealand – told a live TV audience the encounter had left him “absolutely shagged” it was hard not to smile.

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Tribute to England's greatest try-scorer

Tribute to England's greatest try-scorer

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‘Freak’ Manu Tuilagi excites Mike Tindall – but will he ever catch England’s greatest ever try scorer Rory Underwood?

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Manu Tuilagi flattens his England team-mate Chris Ashton

Flashback: Tuilagi flattens England team-mate Ashton

BY JOHN GUBBA

Just as Will Carling famously described Jonah Lomu as a ‘freak’ at the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa – Mike Tindall has paid the same ‘accolade’ to his England team-mate Manu Tuilagi after his devastating display in the 67-3 rout of Romania.

Tuilagi may not have yet trampled over his opposition in quite the way the former All Black wing did against England in the semi-final 16 years ago, but the Samoa-born midfielder is making his presence felt.

Intriguingly, Tuilagi is a completely different beast from England’s greatest ever try scorer Rory Underwood – one of the backs demolished by Lomu all those years ago – but there is already the belief that the 20-year-old can break all records.

 Tuilagi, who has four brothers that have represented Samoa, has only been a Test player for five matches. But he has already scored four tries, including one of England’s 10 in their Pool B romp against Romania at the Otago Stadium on Saturday.

The Official Tribute to Rory Underwood - click to buy

The Official Tribute to Rory Underwood - click to buy

Qualified to play for England on residency grounds, Tuilagi only made his Premiership debut in September last year but went on to score seven tries in 20 league matches for Underwood’s former team Leicester Tigers.

As Tindall, moved from outside to inside centre to accommodate Tuilagi in England’s World Cup team, said after his display against Romania: “Manu is getting better and better so it will take something to go wrong to knock him out of that spot.

“He’s a freak to be honest, in the nicest possible way. The power he’s got and his feet and that little change of pace…He’s got a massive fend and it just makes it difficult for people to tackle him.

“Even if people do tackle him he’s always half-through and we can play off quick ball. He’s a handful.”


Manu Tuilagi is an awesome talent who can make his mark on the 2011 Rugby World Cup . . .

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Novak Djokovic wins his First US Open in an epic final beating defending champion Rafael Nadal!

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Novak Djokovic celebrates winning the US Open 2011

Novak Djokovic celebrates winning the US Open 2011

BY VISIONSPORT.TV

Novak Djokovic has taken tennis to a new high and his breathtaking 4 sets win over Rafa Nadal in the US Open Final is another unbelievable high! Djokovic becomes the US Open champion after four hours and 10 minutes making this his third Grand Slam title of 2011.

“It really seems unreal,” Djokovic said of his victory. “I think most of the strokes are the same that they were in last two, three years. I’m going for it, I’m more aggressive, and I have just a different approach to the semifinals and finals of major events, especially when I’m playing two great champions, Rafa and Roger.

“In last couple of years that wasn’t the case,” he added. “I was always kind of trying to wait for their mistakes or being out there and playing my best tennis and not really having the positive attitude and kind of believing that I can win.”

Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal

Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal

“Right now I’m all over positive emotions.  It’s really hard to find the words that can describe the feeling that I had and that I have still.  But I know this couldn’t come overnight.  It’s a long process,” he said. “Throughout all my life I’ve been working, being committed to this sport 100 percent. That’s the only the way you can really succeed:  the right balance between private life and life on tour, which is very requiring, demanding.

“But this is something that I love to do, and it brings me joy every single time I step on the court and make a win,” he added. “Nothing can replace that feeling.”

Final score  6-2, 6-4, 6-7, 6-1.

 

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DREAMS ARE MADE OF THIS AS INDIAN SKIPPER SMASHES WORLD CUP WINNING STRIKE FOR SIX TO END 28 YEAR WAIT

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It's party time in Mumbai - India celebrate winning their first Cricket World Cup since 1983

It's party time in Mumbai - India celebrate winning their first Cricket World Cup since 1983

BY JOHN GUBBA

It’s been a great Cricket World Cup – and what a cool finish when India’s skipper Mahendra Dhoni smashed a massive six into the celebrating fans at Mumbai to claim the victory in majestic style.

Gautam Gambhir hit 97 and captain Dhoni an unbeaten 91 to steer India to an emphatic six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka – who set their rivals a massive target of 275 – in an absorbing World Cup final.

It seems a long time ago since England shocked the Indians earlier in the tournament to grab a sensational tie in my favorite match of the tournament. And England can be proud of the part they played before going out to beaten finalists Sri Lanka in the quarter-finals.

Hard luck on Mahela Jayawardene , who became the first player to score a hundred in the final and finish on the losing side.

But full credit to India – the best team in the tournament who finally retained the title they last won way back in 1983. One in six people on the planet is an Indian, so it’s going to be a huge party tonight. What great scenes at the end of the match. And no one deserves this honour more than Sachin Tendulkar, one of the greatest cricketers ever to play the game.

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