SYDNEY - Desperation is the key to NRL success. That's the unorthodox proverb for Canterbury players heading into a finals campaign looking to go one better than last year's grand final berth. Forced to settle for sixth spot on the ladder, they face Newcastle in an eliminator at ANZ Stadium tomorrow.
GOLD COAST - North Queensland are wary Todd Carney's presence will ensure they face a different Cronulla in today's NRL elimination final to the one they beat a fortnight ago. The Sharks were without their key playmaker in the round 25 loss to the Cowboys at Remondis Stadium, part of North Queensland's remarkable six-match winning run to reach the finals.
LONDON - Wollongong triathlete Charlotte McShane timed her run to perfection to become Australia's latest triathlon world champion in London yesterday. Scottish-born McShane, who emigrated with her family when she was 15 to live in Bairnsdale in country Victoria, broke away from a group of five others to clinch the gold medal in the Women's ITU Under 23 World Triathlon Championship.
GLASGOW - Rangers midfielder Ian Black was handed an immediate three-match ban yesterday for breaching rules on gambling, with a further seven games suspended until the end of the season. The Scottish Football Association (SFA) also fined Black STG7,500 ($F22,097) following a hearing at Hampden Park in Glasgow.
MILAN, Italy - Defiant Inter Milan host champions Juventus for their first major home game of the season while Serie A leaders Napoli look to tighten their grip against visitors Atalanta. AC Milan, the only major team in Italy's top flight to drop points so far, visit Torino in tomorrow's other fixture hoping the recent signing of Brazilian Kaka pays dividends.
LONDON - Premier League clubs will be looking for their late additions to make an instant impact this weekend. Arsenal will pin hopes on record-signing Mesut Ozil, the only transfer fee paid out by the club in the recent market window. The Germany playmaker is in line to make his debut at Sunderland tomorrow after joining from Real Madrid on September 2.
ZANDVOORT, Netherlands - Nearly two decades after winning the European PGA's Dutch event, Miguel Angel Jimenez has the first-round lead of the 2013 edition of the KLM Open. The Spaniard took advantage of relatively benign conditions to shoot a 6-under-par 64 yesterday.
Nibali clings on
MADRID - Italian Vincenzo Nibali clung on to his narrow lead of the Tour of Spain after a gruelling 18th stage yesterday. Sky's Belarusian rider Vasil Kiryienka won the stage after breaking away at the end of the 186.5km ride from Burgos to Pena Cabarga that featured five categorised climbs, including a tricky final ascent.