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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dogs edged

SYDNEY - Canterbury coach Des Hasler was put to the sword by his former assistant Geoff Toovey as Manly edged out the Bulldogs 12-10 in an absorbing NRL encounter on Friday night. Manly's last visit to the home of the Sydney Olympics ended with them lifting the premiership last October, just a month before Hasler's acrimonious departure from Brookvale to take the helm at Belmore. The billing of a grudge match enticed a crowd of 24,743 on Friday night.

First out

STUTTGART, Germany - French Open winner Li Na of China was the first quarter-final casualty of Stuttgart's WTA clay-court tournament on Friday following her three-sets defeat to Agnieszka Radwanska. Li, the 2011 winner at Roland Garros, was beaten 3-6 6-2 6-3 by Polish fourth-seed Radwanska, who will play either world No.1 Victoria Azarenka or wildcard Mona Barthel. After dominating the first set, Li struggled to cope as Radwanska raised her game with a series of drop shots and strong returns.

Goalline test

PARIS - Goalline technology will go under the microscope in the humble surroundings of the Hampshire Senior Cup final between Eastleigh and Totton in southern England next month, FIFA said on Friday. The governing body announced a series of tests will take place in live match action as well as under laboratory conditions in May and June with the game in England representing the first live trial. Tests will be carried out by Hawk-Eye and GoalRef, the two companies nominated by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) in March to test their systems.

Stosur beaten

STUTTGART, Germany - Australian Samantha Stosur was beaten in a marathon three-set match by world No.2 Maria Sharapova in the quarter-finals of the the Stuttgart WTA claycourt tournament. Sharapova needed more than three hours to complete the comeback 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 victory against US Open winner Stosur to reach Saturday's semi-finals. Having won the first set tie-breaker, world No.5 Stosur served for the match at 5-4 in the second only for Sharapova to hit back and claim the win after three hours, one minute on court.

Kiwis desperate

WELLINGTON - New Zealand rugby is "desperately keen" to keep former All Blacks coach Wayne Smith from England's clutches and is preparing a counter-bid to retain the master tactician, its top official said. Smith - the All Blacks' assistant coach for their World Cup win last year - is expected to decide in the next week whether to accept England coach Stuart Lancaster's offer to join his staff through to the 2015 tournament. Smith is currently working with the Waikato Chiefs in the Super Rugby competition and Lancaster was in Durban last week with the Chiefs.

Worst season

NEW YORK - Two years after Michael Jordan purchased the Charlotte Bobcats, they have suffered the worst season in the history of the NBA by going 7-59 after losing their final 23 regular-season games. The Bobcats managed only a .106 winning percentage in a campaign that was cut from 82 to 66 games by a money dispute between club owners and players last year.





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