Briefs

Wigan wins

WIGAN, England – Wigan were grateful for two early tries from hooker Michael McIlorum as they ground out an opening 12-6 Super League win over Catalans Dragons in dreadful conditions at the DW Stadium. Last year’s grand final runners-up were far from their fluent best but hardly needed to be against a Dragons side that couldn’t get to grips with the greasy ball on a glue-pot of a pitch playing host to a third game in a week.

Cricket auction

WELLINGTON – Shane Watson has been snapped up for an incredible $A1.98 million in the Indian Premier League auction. Watson was signed by Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday, with a bidding frenzy ensuring the Australian allrounder was sold for almost four times his reserve price of $417,000.

Share the lead

OCALA, Florida – Lydia Ko hit the ball only 22 times in a span of 11 hours Friday in the Coates Golf Championship and finished where she started — with a share of the lead, and still a long way from the finish line. Ko three-putted from 15 feet for bogey in freezing conditions to finish the rain-delayed second round in the morning.

Losing sterak

BERLIN- Danish defender Andreas Christensen has scored twice as Borussia Moenchengladbach, ending their losing streak with a 5-1 rout of Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga.

Lars Stindl put the home side in front in the 12th minute after being picked out from the right by Thorgan Hazard.

Angry players

WELLINGTON – Skipper Andrew Durante admits there are some angry players in the Wellington Phoenix squad. Being winless since early December and sitting eighth on the A-League ladder doesn’t do a lot for a team’s good nature. Durante himself cut a frustrated figure last week, sitting out Wellington’s 3-1 loss to Central Coast Mariners.

NFL dream

SANTA CLARA, California – It’s the perfect scenario, a Hollywood-type script: Peyton Manning emulates John Elway and rides off into the sunset with the Super Bowl trophy in his grip. Will it happen? For Manning to take the Denver Broncos to their first NFL title on tomorrow since the team’s current general manager, Elway, did in 1999 before retiring, seems the sentimental choice.

Stosur ready

LONDON – Samantha Stosur says she’s ready and willing to shoulder the burden of spearheading Australia’s return to the Fed Cup World Group. Australia face Slovakia in Bratislava this weekend with world No.27 Stosur featuring in two singles rubbers and the doubles with Casey Dellacqua.

Tomic out

QUITO, Ecuador – Top seed Bernard Tomic has lost his quarter-final with Italian Paolo Lorenzi at the Ecuador Open. The Australian world No.20 Tomic went down to the sixth seed 6-7 (5) 7-5 6-3.

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