premiership away fans attendance 2013/14

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Chelsea look back to history for new yellow 2013-14 away kit

21 May 2014 12:28:56 Football | Mail Online

Travelling Chelsea fans won't find it too hard to pick out their heroes in action next season. Jose Mourinho's side have released their new away kit, an all-yellow tribute to the west London club's history.

Vice Football Time21 May 2014 12:28:56


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Chelsea look back to history for new yellow 2013-14 away kit

21 May 2014 12:04:47 Sport | Mail Online

Travelling Chelsea fans won't find it too hard to pick out their heroes in action next season. Jose Mourinho's side have released their new away kit, an all-yellow tribute to the west London club's history.

Vice Sport Time21 May 2014 12:04:47


Aviva Premiership 2013/14 round four: Leicester recall four Lions for trip to Exeter

27 September 2013 20:15:31 Sport

Premiership preview: Tigers recalled Lions Tom Youngs, Cole, Parling and Salvi for the trip to Exeter.        

Vice Sport Time27 September 2013 20:15:31


Aviva Premiership 2013-14: Will Greenwood's club-by-club guide to the new season

07 September 2013 09:35:49 Sport

Alex Corbisiero and George North will boost Northampton's chances of challenging Leicester, while Saracens still look a serious force.        

Vice Sport Time07 September 2013 09:35:49


Aviva Premiership 2013-14: Will Greenwood's club-by-club guide to the new season

06 September 2013 08:39:40 Sport

Bath are the dark horses, Gloucester have the top four in their sights and Leicester are my tip to top the table again,        

Vice Sport Time06 September 2013 08:39:40


Aviva Premiership 2013-14: England's new generation could make this a classic season

06 September 2013 07:37:22 Sport

England's summer tour suggests emerging stars can make this an Aviva Premiership to remember.        

Vice Sport Time06 September 2013 07:37:22


Everton release yellow and blue away kit for 2013-14 season

06 August 2013 12:38:53 Football | Mail Online

Everton have unveiled their striking new yellow and blue away strip for the forthcoming Premier League season. The kit will be available to purchase from Thursday, August 22.

Vice Football Time06 August 2013 12:38:53


Everton launch new 2013-14 away kit - but fans remain upset by the club's new badge

06 August 2013 12:07:37 mirror - Sport

The Toffees unveiled the smart design on their pre-season tour this morning, featuring all the usual technologies of a modern-day football shirt

Vice Sport Time06 August 2013 12:07:37


Everton release away kit for 2013-14 season

06 August 2013 11:25:51 Sport | Mail Online

Everton have unveiled their striking new yellow and blue away strip for the forthcoming Premier League season. The kit will be available to purchase from Thursday, August 22.

Vice Sport Time06 August 2013 11:25:51


Manchester City launch away kit for 2013/14

23 July 2013 09:27:12 Football | Mail Online

Manchester City have revealed their new away kit for the 2013/14 season, with a sleek design that pays tribute to some of the club's earliest strips.

Vice Football Time23 July 2013 09:27:12


Manchester City launch away kit for 2013/14

23 July 2013 08:13:11 Sport | Mail Online

Manchester City have revealed their new away kit for the 2013/14 season, with a sleek design that pays tribute to some of the club's earliest strips.

Vice Sport Time23 July 2013 08:13:11


Aviva Premiership 2013/14 fixtures announced as Leicester Tigers begin title defence against Worcester

04 July 2013 12:50:16 Sport

Aviva Premiership fixtures announced and four matches on the opening weekend of action will be broadcast live on BT Sport.        

Vice Sport Time04 July 2013 12:50:16


Dodgy kits 2013/14: Swansea reveal purple and yellow away strip

28 June 2013 14:36:39 Football | Mail Online

Fans in the 90's grew accustomed to their players sporting weird and wonderful kits, but Swansea have just added their names to the list of controversial jerseys in 2013/14.

Vice Football Time28 June 2013 14:36:39


Dodgy kits 2013/14: Swansea reveal purple and yellow away strip

28 June 2013 12:46:30 Sport | Mail Online

Fans in the 90's grew accustomed to their players sporting weird and wonderful kits, but Swansea have just added their names to the list of controversial jerseys in 2013/14.

Vice Sport Time28 June 2013 12:46:30


Everton Premier League fixtures 2013-14: Toffees start with Norwich away

19 June 2013 10:15:39 mirror - Sport

Find out who Roberto Martinez faces in his first season as Everton boss in the 2013-14 Premier League season

Vice Sport Time19 June 2013 10:15:39


Is this Manchester United new away kit for 2013/14 in pictures?

09 June 2013 20:07:48 Football | Mail Online

Social media was buzzing on Sunday as an image emerged which suggested to show Danny Welbeck in Manchester United's new away kit for the 2013-14 season.

Vice Football Time09 June 2013 20:07:48


Is this Manchester United new away kit for 2013/14 in pictures?

09 June 2013 16:20:38 Sport | Mail Online

Social media was buzzing on Sunday as an image emerged which suggested to show Danny Welbeck in Manchester United's new away kit for the 2013-14 season.

Vice Sport Time09 June 2013 16:20:38


Chelsea new away kit 2013/14 - pictures

06 June 2013 11:16:36 Football | Mail Online

Jose Mourinho is back at Chelsea but there will be a distinct Real Madrid look about his side next season in the form of their new away kit.

Vice Football Time06 June 2013 11:16:36


Chelsea new away kit 2013/14 - pictures

06 June 2013 10:56:01 Sport | Mail Online

Jose Mourinho is back at Chelsea but there will be a distinct Real Madrid look about his side next season in the form of their new away kit.

Vice Sport Time06 June 2013 10:56:01


Liverpool unveil 2013/14 away kit with a garish "modern-retro" design

05 June 2013 11:47:32 mirror - Sport

The club and kit maker Warrior say it was modelled on classic designs of the 1980s and 1990s, but fans may want to look away

Vice Sport Time05 June 2013 11:47:32


Are these the new Liverpool away and third kit designs for the 2013/14 season?

04 June 2013 13:43:23 mirror - Sport

Brace yourself, Liverpool fans, because these 'challenging' designs have reportedly been "accidentally" revealed by kit supplier Warrior Sports

Vice Sport Time04 June 2013 13:43:23


Leicester 37-17 Northampton | Premiership final match report

25 May 2013 18:58:48 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com

Leicester 37-17 Northampton It is not often that the winning of a title is described as incidental, but Leicester's first victory in the play-off final since 2010 was overshadowed by the dismissal of the Northampton and British Lions hooker Dylan Hartley at the end of the first half for swearing at the referee, Wayne Barnes. Hartley's red card, which may end his Lions career before it starts, came at the end of a half that was stuffed with intent and incident. The Northampton hooker, clearly frustrated at the referee's handling of the scrum – only two of the 12 scrums resulted in the ball emerging, with Leicester awarded six free-kicks/penalties – was warned after firing a verbal volley at Barnes on 38 minutes. When Stephen Myler kicked the ball dead at a drop-out to end, as he thought, the half, Barnes, who had told the outside-half he had to keep the ball in play even though time was up, blew for a Leicester scrum and, after Northampton went to ground, awarded the Tigers a penalty. Hartley mouthed the words 'fucking cheat' in the direction of the referee. Barnes heard the remark, saw red and flourished red, leaving Hartley's status as a Lion at the mercy of a disciplinary panel, an institution he is not unfamiliar with. Hartley became the first player to be sent off in a Premiership final and it soured what had been an oscillating encounter between the East Midlands rivals. Leicester had started with a flourish, 10 points ahead after seven minutes through a Toby Flood penalty and a Niall Morris try that was fashioned by Vereniki Goneva, who cut into midfield from his wing and found Anthony Allen with an inside pass. Quick ruck ball and Flood's vision did the rest. Leicester had been eight points behind early on against Harlequins the previous year, only to mount a comeback. Northampton, appearing in their first final, were galvanised rather than demoralised by the early set-back and if they did not achieve their expected superiority up front, they controlled the lineout, content to kick the ball into touch and put the pressure on the Leicester hooker, and Hartley's Lions' rival, Tom Youngs. Northampton had five lineout options and Youngs struggled to find his targets. The Saints had a foothold and when Manu Tuilagi was penalised for not rolling away after a tackle, having got back on his feet without quite letting go of Luther Burrell, Lee Dickson tapped and scuttled away, weaving in and out of defenders who dared not touch him because they were in the 10-metre exclusion zone, before linking with Burrell on his outside. The centre found Myler outside him and the outside-half took Mathew Tait over the line with him. Given the occasion and the derby factor, it was a remarkably open match, but one with an edge. Flood was orchestrating Leicester's attack adroitly until he ran into Courtney Lawes on 20 minutes. The second row lined up his target, but his challenge was late and he was penalised. He hit his England colleague with such force in the midriff that Flood appeared to have lost consciousness before he hit the ground: he was treated for four minutes, but got up as a stretcher arrived only to depart with concussion after another boneshaking Lawes tackle. Tom Croft also spent a long time on the ground after tumbling head first from the top of the lineout. He used Northampton's Tom Wood to break his fall, hitting the ground head first. Leicester were wounded, struggling to overcome Flood's departure, hanging on when Dickson was held up on their line and relieving the pressure when Soane Tonga'uiha was penalised for slipping his binding. It was the start of Hartley's concern about the refereeing. His mood was not improved on 34 minutes after another flowing Northampton move ended with Ben Foden crossing in the corner. Graham Kitchener prevented the full-back from touching the ball down long enough for the full-back's feet to touch the in-goal line and the television match official, Graham Hughes, denied the Saints a try they were confident had been scored. They had just fallen 13-5 behind to a George Ford penalty and went into the interval 11 points adrift after Ford ended the Myler-Hartley saga with another three points. Northampton's rage at Hartley's dismissal and what they felt was intimidation of the officials by the Leicester director of rugby, Richard Cockerill, was controlled: they took off a wing, James Elliott, to bring on the hooker Mike Haywood and keep their complement of forwards to eight. It was to their immense credit that the second half was no more one-way than the first had been. Northampton started it spiritedly, Foden scoring in the corner four minutes in, but when Ford kicked a penalty seven minutes after the second row Kitchener had found himself on the wing and with just enough pace to make the line, it was 24-10 to Leicester. Back came Northampton, Dickson touching down after another burst from the impressive Burrell, whose ability to break tackles was not matched by his handling. The Saints had struggled to create for much of the season, but with 14 minutes to go they were outscoring Leicester on tries and showing more imagination. The one-man deficit told in the end. Tuilagi skipped away from Wood to secure the title for the Tigers. Two Ford penalties either side of a try by Goneva gave the scoreline a flattering hue for Leicester, whose fourth play-off final victory will always be remembered for Hartley's red mist and colourful language. Premiership 2012-13 Leicester Northampton Premiership Rugby union Paul Rees guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds    

Vice All News Time25 May 2013 18:58:48


London Welsh 33-22 Worcester | Premiership report

04 May 2013 19:19:55 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com

London Welsh 33-22 Worcester London Welsh yesterday waved goodbye to the Premiership, a decent slice of their playing staff and probably their home of only eight months, the Kassam Stadium, Oxford. After 22 games in the top flight, they at last managed a bonus point win although it came three games too late to save their season. Already relegated they scored four tries — the best a 75-yard dash along the left touchline by winger Nick Scott — to beat a side which had suffered an equally dire second half of the season and whose new coach, Dean Ryan, takes over on Tuesday. A club with bags of tradition, beating one desperate to acquire one. After yesterday's performance there were plenty of optimistic Welsh voices talking about bouncing back immediately, but having lost the benefactor who paid the bills for a couple of decades and with a limited fan base – only 3,600 turned up yesterday and plenty were from Worcester – the reality is probably a club less well-placed now than when it fought and beat Twickenham in the courts to take the fruits of triumph in last season's play-offs. Yesterday's fifth win ended a run of losses which has dogged London Welsh since the start of December, confirming relegation three games ago and prompting the general exodus. Gavin Henson, who has rebuild a tottering career at the Kassam, is talking to Bath, Sale have bagged full-back Tom Arscott, wing Phil Mackenzie and the Russian lock Kirill Kulemin, while prop Paulica Ion has gone to Perpignan. With wing Ed Jackson heading for Wasps and the chairman saying he quite understands if coach Lyn Jones also wants away, little is certain. "I certainly hope I will be," said Jones when asked whether he would be around next season. "But there has to be vision and ambition or we're all wasting our time. "I came to London Welsh because there was a vision and ambition. Maybe the plan wasn't as accurate as it could have been and it cost us this year. But as long a the board has the vision and the ambition and takes on board the lessons learned from playing with the big boys of English rugby. "I've enjoyed the Premiership. It's been a real challenge. I just hope we can come back." Especially murky is where they will play. The chairman, Bleddyn Phillips, says part of the club wants to build on the new support found at the Kassam, while others want to return "to our roots" in Richmond, but "either case does not present an easy solution". Phillips says the club is "not obligated" to stay at the Kassam and could not without a cut in rent, especially as Kelvin Bryan, principal shareholder and benefactor, is pulling the financial plug as the end of next month. So far the club has not found a replacement with pockets deep enough and the only bright spot on the horizon is Jones's nomination – alongside Richard Cockerill of Leicester, Mark McCall of Saracens and that other Welshman Dai Young of London Wasps – as coach of the year. A win would mean a lot more than a mere sympathy vote. The obstacles thrown in Jones's path gave the former Ospreys coach precious time to pull a side together and as the season progressed it proved pockets were not deep enough either. As the wear and tear on a small squad – more than 20 were in the sick bay for yesterday's game – told, so dreams of safety ebbed away. From the relative safety of a 13-point lead over Sale after the first half of the season, the fall off in form left Welsh short even without without the five points deducted for playing an illegible player for half the season. "We targeted six wins and we got five," said Jones. "We leave the Premiership with our heads high; we've been competitive and I like to think we've brought something to the league even if it's just democracy and the right to get promoted." Premiership 2012-13 London Welsh Worcester Premiership Rugby union Mike Averis guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds        

Vice All News Time04 May 2013 19:19:55


Saracens 23-14 Bath | Premiership match report

04 May 2013 18:48:11 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com

Saracens 23-14 Bath Saracens already had their home semi-final assured, so there was only the small matter of finishing top of the league to play for, not that you get anything for that these days. They needed just a point to be sure of it, and there was never any danger of not managing that. The win, though, was not quite assured until the last 10 minutes, and that was because Bath felt they sort of had something to play for themselves. And play for it they did, without ever quite convincing they would succeed. Had Bath won and Exeter lost at home to Gloucester, Bath would have secured a place in the Heineken Cup at the Chiefs' expense. There is a big screen in one corner of Saracens' new stadium, which flashed up news from "around the grounds" throughout the game. Whether Bath players had an eye on that would be difficult to prove, but when Exeter tries were being flashed up at the start, so too did Saracens enjoy their most dominant period. The Lions props were having a ball, Mako Vunipola in particular. He crashed over at the start of the second quarter for Saracens' second try and moments later flicked a centre's pass out of the back of his hand for what looked like Saracens' third, and Chris Ashton's second. The TMO decreed, however, that the pass was forward – it was mighty close. So the score remained at 13-0, and Ashton had to make do with just the one try, scored in the 12th minute off the back of a line-out and drive. Vunipola's try had come from the same. Saracens looked the only winners in town, shaking off the dispiriting defeat Toulon six days earlier with seeming ease. Then we saw a Gloucester try on the big screen, and Exeter's 15-point lead had suddenly evaporated to three, and then to minus four. Sure enough, Bath pulled themselves together. They played most of the last 10 minutes of the first half with an extra man, after Owen Farrell saw yellow for a high tackle on the jinking Tom Heathcote. When Ollie Devoto broke from deep Bath were on the attack. From an attacking line-out, they showed that they, too, could drive a maul, and Rob Webber's try brought them to within six at the break. We didn't hear from Sandy Park for a while, and Neil de Kock's break round the fringes, not for the first time, created havoc among Bath's defence early in the second half. Farrell was on hand to take the try-scoring pass. Both goal-kickers, Farrell and Heathcote, were missing repeatedly in a brisk wind, but Bath put together their most threatening period of pressure yet, either side of the hour mark. Five minutes before it, they sent a penalty to the corner, and instead of driving it Michael Claassens sent out a long pass to Horacio Agulla, now playing in the centre, who picked a great line with some feeling. He crashed through four or five tackles to make it to the line. Bath were within a score once more. Gloucester and Exeter were still locked in mortal combat. Europe was conceivably just a try away. But it never came. Tom Biggs, on at half-time, made full use of his searing pace to force David Strettle and Duncan Taylor into carrying the ball over. Bath had a scrum in front of the posts, but Paul James was accused of going straight to ground (as if he knowingly would under those circumstances), and Saracens cleared their lines. The last 15 minutes was a muted affair. Farrell kicked a penalty to put the game just out of Bath's reach, and Saracens looked half-heartedly for the bonus point that would have meant the highest tally of points at the end of the regular season in Premiership history. To no avail. Bath were no doubt relieved that Exeter ended up beating Gloucester. Knowing that they could have made Europe might have hurt far more than failing to take this win. Saracens, meanwhile, are delighted to have finished top of the league for the first time in their history. Quite some achievement over the past eight months and 22 games. But that was just to sort out their seeding. Now the real competition begins. Premiership Rugby union Premiership 2012-13 Saracens Bath Michael Aylwin guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds        

Vice All News Time04 May 2013 18:48:11


Former Manchester United winger Bojan Djordjic to pay for away support to attend game

30 April 2013 13:49:40 Sport | Mail Online

One former Manchester United player has promised to pay for his current club's entire away support to attend a home game of their choice - but that amounts to just ONE fan.

Vice Sport Time30 April 2013 13:49:40


Wasps 24-37 Exeter | Premiership match report

21 April 2013 22:12:38 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com

• Wasps 24-37 Exeter Each and every Premiership season is an arduous marathon but Exeter Chiefs would suddenly love this one to continue for several more weeks. This was their fifth victory in their past six league games and a bonus-point flattening of Wasps has seriously refreshed their prospects of Heineken Cup rugby next season. One further win over Gloucester on Saturday week and a cherished top-six finish will become reality. On this evidence Exeter will be quietly confident of completing the job in style, although they were helped here by a defensive effort from Wasps that, on occasions, would have shamed a sieve. Through the myriad gaps poured the highly-motivated visitors, with Damian Welch and Gareth Steenson both enjoying hugely productive games. Those who damn the Chiefs with faint praise are failing to recognise their continuing improvement under the shrewd guidance of Rob Baxter and Ali Hepher. The only way they can now be denied a top-six finish is if Bath can win at the leaders Saracens, and Baxter is not alone in wondering what might have been had only one of a clutch of narrow league defeats this season been reversed. "One more win would have made the end of this season really exciting for us because we are finishing strongly," sighed the head coach. "We just needed it to become drier about a month earlier." For Wasps, in contrast, the final weekend of the campaign cannot come quickly enough. Considering they avoided relegation by a single point last season, a final placing of eighth in the table this time represents a relative improvement but Dai Young, their director of rugby, was suitably dismayed by the number of missed tackles that helped the Chiefs establish a 20-3 lead inside the first 25 minute thanks to tries from the two Jacks, Yeandle and Nowell. When the galloping Welch breezed through the air-clutching tackles of Phil Swainston and the full-back Elliot Daly just 80 seconds after the restart, Young's instant substitution of his tight-head prop sent an unmistakable message and the former Wales and Lions prop did not mince his words afterwards. "I felt a lot of senior players fell off a lot of tackles which you'd expect them to make," said Young curtly. "We've finished the season dreadfully which is something we're going to have to look at. Credit to Exeter, who I thought were really good, but they didn't bring anything we didn't expect. " It would have been good to have finished in the top six but, if we had done, I think I'd have been concerned. I don't think we're ready for Heineken Cup rugby. There are certain areas in our teams which are not strong enough to compete with the top four in the Premiership, let alone the top sides in Europe." The outstanding Christian Wade, who scored another scorching second-half try to add to his eye-catching portfolio, and Tom Varndell, a try-scorer on his 100th club appearance, are clearly exempt and Joe Launchbury is another around whom Wasps will look to build as they contemplate the future under their new backer, Derek Richardson. This, however, was a chastening last home appearance for the retiring former Wales fly-half Stephen Jones, while Billy Vunipola is off to Saracens. Until Wasps rediscover the consistent power and mental sharpness that characterised them in their glory years they will remain a team who delight and frustrate in pretty equal measure. Perhaps they should start by studying the Chiefs a little closer and asking why so many visiting players seemed hungrier for victory on a day that should have motivated both teams to a similar degree. With Brett Sturgess back fit, the Exeter scrum was never under much pressure and it was hard to spot a single visiting player who did not look energised by the challenge of producing high-calibre, pacy, off-loading rugby away from home in the ninth month of a demanding campaign. Some interesting new signings are heading west for next season but, first and foremost, they will be required to fit into a proactive structure epitomised by the likes of the enthusiastic Welch, the consistent Luke Arscott at full-back and the relentlessly tough Richie Baxter. "We showed an endeavour and an enthusiasm which we've sometimes lacked when we've been points up," confirmed Rob Baxter. "We kept at them regardless of what else was happening." Gloucester, already assured of Heineken Cup rugby, will do well to resist the Chiefs' collective sprint finish. London Wasps Daly; Wade, Masi (Southwell, 44), C Bell (capt), Varndell; Stephen Jones (T Bell, 61), Simpson (Davies, 70); Taulafo (McIntyre, 58), T R Thomas, Swainston (Taylor, 43), Launchbury, Palmer (Wentzel, 64), Johnson, Haskell (Sam Jones, 61), Vunipola. Tries Wade, Southwell, Varndell. Cons Stephen Jones 2, Bell. Pen Daly. Exeter Chiefs Arscott; Nowell, Dollman, Shoemark (Whitten, 63), Jess; Steenson, Thomas (Chudley, 64); Sturgess (Rimmer, 75), Yeandle (Whitehead, 64), Tui (Mitchell, 64), Mumm, Welch, White (Ewers, 58), Scaysbrook (Muldowney, 75, Baxter (capt). Tries Yeandle, Nowell, Welch, Steenson. Cons Steenson 4. Pens : Steenson 3. Sin-bin Scaysbrook 49. Referee W Barnes. Attendance 7,197. Premiership 2012-13 Wasps Exeter Premiership Rugby union Robert Kitson guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds      

Vice All News Time21 April 2013 22:12:38


Leicester 35-16 Wasps | Premiership match report

14 April 2013 21:20:51 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com

• Leicester 35-16 Wasps • Underpowered Wasps 'picked a side not to win' Leicester are cantering to a home semi-final and probably a ninth consecutive Twickenham final after a forgettable five-try beating of an underpowered Wasps side who looked to have their minds elsewhere. After Wasps European labours last week their coach, Dai Young, made seven changes, Leicester responding just before the kick-off by giving three England internationals the day off and still pocketing a try bonus point four minutes into the second half when Ben Youngs darted in for his second. Adam Thompstone completed the job before Elliot Daly scooted home from 60 metres to show the sell-out 24,000 crowd what they were missing. Wasps, once the big thorn in Tigers' paw, have not won at Leicester in five seasons and have an away record showing 23 defeats in 25 games. "They picked a side not to win," said the Leicester director of rugby, Richard Cockerill, "but we'll accept the result." Having lost their last five Premiership matches, Wasps remain eighth, like Bath losers in the weekend race for a Heineken Cup spot. They are now three points behind Exeter in sixth spot with Bath sandwiched between them. Leicester are not yet guaranteed a home semi-final but, with Bath to visit before a final game at home to London Irish, it is in touching distance. Cockerill clearly thought so when he rested Geoff Parling, Tom Croft and Tom Youngs, all of whom trained on Saturday. But after all the energy and passion expended in a losing European cause at Toulon last weekend, the game took a while getting started, the first quarter a colourless affair marked only by a couple of Toby Flood penalties and one or two breaks from Anthony Allen that suggested the Wasps midfield might not be as secure as the Bank of England. Then, from the second scrum of the game, the Leicester pack got up their first head of steam, Manu Tuilagi took the Allen route through the middle and the hooker Rob Hawkins came within a whisker before Youngs dived through a hole conveniently close to the ruck. Flood missed the conversion but Leicester were under way and next it was the forwards who took their reward for previous hard work. Niall Morris, Allen and the backs took the ball up the right and, when the switch came, it was the back-row pair of Jordan Crane and Steve Mafi who worked the second-row, Graham Kitchener, into the corner. Again Flood missed the kick, as he had done a couple of penalties, but with the fly-half Nicky Robinson and high-scoring wing Christian Wade already back in the Wasps sick bay, things were starting to look ominous. The replacement Tommy Bell landed a wind-assisted penalty to make it 16-3 but then the video referee took an age denying Thompstone a third Leicester try after some deft work from Hawkins and the wing Morris looked to be heading for the right corner until the Wasps lock James Cannon hauled him down. Twice denied, Leicester took a more certain route – the driven lineout – Mafi taking the ball at the front before the pack crowded round to rumble over the Wasps line at a canter. Hawkins came up with the ball, some reward for earlier close shaves. Again Flood missed the conversion but, with Young's side unable to hang on to the ball, the England fly-half's kicking hardly looked like undermining the outcome and four minutes into the second half a game that had been over for a while as a contest was put to bed with Leicester's bonus point try. "We couldn't handle the physicality the Tigers brought to the game. We were well beaten," Young said. "You don't have to be a rugby expert to know we have to improve. The top three or four are in a different place from where we are. Even when we were in fourth place I said I didn't think we had the squad to maintain that." Leicester Tait; Morris, Tuilagi, Allen, Thompstone; Flood (capt Ford, 69), B Youngs (Harrison, 45); Mulipola (Balmain, 61), Hawkins (Chuter, 69), Cole (Castrogiovanni, h-t), Slater, Kitchener, Mafi (Waldron, h-t), Salvi, Crane. Tries Youngs 2, Kitchener, Hawkins, Thompstone Cons Flood 2 Pens Flood 2 Wasps Daly; Wade (Wallace, 29), C Bell (capt), Hayter, Varndell; N Robinson (T Bell, 23), Davies (Simpson, 58); Taulafo (McIntyre, 59), Lindsay (N Morris, 52), Taylor (Romano, 58) Cannon, Palmer, Johnson (Everard, 58), Poff , Vunipola. Try Daly Con Bell Pens Bell 2, Daly Sin-bin T Bell 45 Referee J P Doyle (London) Attendance 24,000 Premiership 2012-13 Premiership Leicester Wasps Rugby union Mike Averis guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds        

Vice All News Time14 April 2013 21:20:51


Saracens 47-17 Worcester | Premiership match report

14 April 2013 21:00:21 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com

Saracens 47-17 Worcester Saracens' director of rugby, Mark McCall, was unhappy with a late challenge on his scrum-half Neil de Kock after seeing his side defeat Worcester to claim a bonus point win that secured a home semi-final in the Premiership play-offs. The Worcester centre Josh Matavesi made the challenge on De Kock that prompted an incensed McCall to remonstrate with his Worcester counterpart, Richard Hill. De Kock was led from the field but soon returned, though he was taken off at half-time. "It was a horrendous challenge; we could have lost our scrum-half with a broken jaw or cheekbone," said McCall. "Fortunately he seems to be OK but it looked pretty deliberate to me; I leapt up as I felt it could have been a deliberate game ploy from Worcester." Hill, who accepted that the tackle was bad, said: "It was a very clumsy challenge from Josh but he's not a malicious player. It was badly mistimed and a citing seems likely. Josh has apologised and I fully understand Mark's reaction to protect his player." Saracens were able to record a convincing win that secured their home semi-final spot despite resting a number of key players. Owen Farrell, Schalk Brits, Steve Borthwick and Ernst Joubert were given a break but Jacques Burger made a welcome return after an 18-month absence following knee surgery. McCall said: "It showed the depth of our squad as we backed up well after a testing European quarter-final at Twickenham. We took our chances. David Strettle's second try was as good a finish as you will see but, though we are happy with the win, we played well below our standard." Worcester continued their disastrous away record in the Premiership and could not recover from being 23-3 down after only 25 minutes. Strettle was the star performer, scoring a hat-trick of tries in that time. The opening one had come from Saracens' first attack. John Smit softened up the visitors' defence with a couple of bursts before the ball was transferred sweetly along the line for Strettle to force his way over in the corner. That was followed by a brilliant solo effort from the wing. From halfway he spotted a gap in the Worcester defence, raced away and easily evaded the Warriors full-back Chris Pennell for a try which Charlie Hodgson converted. When Strettle got his third try – a simple run-in – a huge victory looked likely for Saracens. But Worcester, without an away league win this season, showed some spirit to contest the remainder of the match. A strong run from Alex Grove created a try for Josh Drauniniu that was converted by Gray and, after the interval, Saracens conceded a second try. Drauniniu and David Lemi combined cleverly to take Worcester deep into the home 22 and from the resulting lineout Matt Kvesic was driven over for a try that Gray converted. Saracens, stunned by the reverse, resumed control with a driving lineout try of their own, with Carlos Nieto the scorer. Charlie Hodgson converted and added his third penalty of the afternoon before late tries from Chris Ashton and Jackson Wray, both converted by Hodgson, ensured that the final score line was an accurate reflection of the game. Not that Hill saw it that way. "We had a very poor slow start but got our second wind just before half-time and they were a bit rattled when we got it back to 27-17," he said. "We didn't deserve to lose by such a big margin as we gave away two soft tries at the end, trying to run from an impossible position." Hill said that he was not in favour of the artificial pitch at Allianz Park. "It is very fast and takes some getting used to. I'm not a fan of it as it creates a different type of game and I'm definitely a grass man." Saracens Wyles (Goode, 70); Ashton, J Tomkins (Taylor, 50), Barritt, Strettle; Hodgson, De Kock (Wigglesworth, 41); Gill (Vunipola, 50), Smit (George, 50), Stevens (Nieto, 50), Kruis, Botha (Sheriff, 63), Brown, Burger (Melck, 65), Wray. Tries Strettle 3, Nieto, Ashton, Wray. Cons Hodgson 4. Pens Hodgson 3. Worcester Pennell; Drauniniu, Grove, Matavesi (Clarke, 70), Lemi; Gray (Carlisle, 64), Arr (Hodgson, 64); Mullan (Ceri Jones, 55), Shervington (Lutui, 55), Andress (O'Donnell, 55), Percival (Schofield, 67), Chris Jones, Best, Kvesic (Abbott, 64), Taulava. Tries Drauniniu, Kvesic. Cons Gray 2. Pens Gray. Attendance 9,995. Referee Tim Wigglesworth (RFU). Premiership Premiership 2012-13 Saracens Worcester Rugby union guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds        

Vice All News Time14 April 2013 21:00:21


London Welsh 14-31 Northampton | Premiership match report

14 April 2013 20:50:05 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com

• Relegation all but certain after defeat by Northampton • Club rocked by a series of blows before the game London Welsh's relegation is all but signed and sealed now. On the field, they can do no more. Off it, their only hope is the kind of political impasse that nearly denied them their own promotion last summer. The bad news is, the principal contenders for the Championship title fully intend, and are equipped, to come up. And, even if they did not, Welsh's administration is falling apart at the seams. Their majority shareholder, Kelvin Bryon, is withdrawing his support and this weekend launched a bitter attack on the authorities of the English game, accusing them of "breaking competition law in the way clubs are funded". John Taylor, the former chief executive and vice-chairman, is said to have stood down as well, and there were rumours that Tony Copsey, the chief executive, since the beginning of the year, has resigned. Welsh would not confirm either development but Taylor's name was removed on Saturday, along with Bryon's, from the club's list of directors with Companies House. As preparation for a key match, all of the above was hardly ideal, and, sure enough, on the day, their captain, Jonathan Mills, withdrew from this home fixture against play-off-chasing Northampton. It was a hideous series of blows. One marvels that they were able to make a game at all of this, a match they had to win to have any hope of moving off the bottom before the season is out in two rounds' time. They gave it a lash, not just doing the old backs-against-the-wall thing so often characteristic of the underdog, but by trying to play their way out of the predicament. They had a scrum that at least matched the mighty set piece of Northampton, and some of their approach work was dazzling, even if the final ball was lacking. They were up against a side of far greater resource and pedigree who were on something of a mission themselves, but the final, fateful result here did not do them justice. Credit must go to Lyn Jones, the coach who has moulded performances like this from the kind of meagre resources that Bryon had railed against in his parting shot. Jones spoke of a tearful changing room, but he, at least, was upbeat about his experience in the Premiership. "It's definitely been worthwhile," he said. "What our directors have got to do is take this positive experience away with them, understand what it's all about and come back with a better plan." But what kind of a board of directors will be left after this latest fall-out? What kind of a club? Welsh are intent on staying at the Kassam Stadium but crowds have been disappointing. Bryon's hope before the season had been of attracting gates of seven or eight thousand but the reality ended up being three or four. This was only their fourth crowd in excess offive thousand, and most of the noise was made by the visiting fans. This will be an even emptier home in the Championship, and when they get there they will not have happy tales to tell about the way they were treated in the top flight. The five-point penalty they received over the Mike Scott affair appears to have been the final blow, not only to their hopes of survival but to the enthusiasm of such key figures in the boardroom. "I don't think that episode was a big boost," said Jones in his understated way. "It took a lot of energy away from the club, a lot of time and effort." The process that must be endured by any new side seeking promotion to the Premiership is a treacherous affair, which puts the promoted club at a severe disadvantage, even if they have everything in place off the field. London Welsh did not, because their promotion caught everyone by surprise, themselves included. However much bureaucracy has contributed to their subsequent relegation, their season in the Premiership leaves them with an uncertain future. "What happens at board level is not for me to comment upon," said Jones, "but what the club has to do is hold its nerve. Obviously, we've known what's going on for several days, weeks, so there's already a plan. For me, it's about bouncing back up next year. I have ambition. I want to be a winner, and I hope my directors do too. And they do. "The club will be strong and we will be taking on Bristol to win the Championship next year. I can't guarantee that, though, because we don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. You never know with London Welsh. It's a very exciting club. But there's a steely focus." What is not at question is the contribution Jones's players have made towards matters on the field. They took the lead with a length-of-the-field try by Nick Scott, sparked by Sonny Parker's interception, on the half-hour, but two tries by Tom May in as many minutes, the second a long-range beauty, established the Saints a 19-7 lead at the break, which was never really threatened thereafter, for all Welsh's spirit and acumen. Two late Northampton tries earned Northampton the bonus point that all but earns them a place in the play-offs. By then, though, London Welsh's fate had long since been sealed. It is dearly to be hoped that this setback has limited repercussions for their future. London Welsh Arscott; Stegmann, Parker, Jewell (J Lewis, 28), Scott (Voyce, 76); Ross (capt), Davies (R Lewis, 61); Bristow (Joly, 76), Bateman (George, 76), Ion (Tideswell, 61), Corker, Kulemin (Brown, 76), Cabello Farias, Hills, Browne (Balding, 71) Tries Scott, Browne. Cons Davies, Ross. Northampton Foden; K Pisi, G Pisi (May, 20), Burrell, Elliott; Myler (Lamb, 66), Dickson (Roberts, 60); Tonga'uiha (Waller, 60), Hartley (capt; Haywood, 72), Mujati (Doran Jones, 55), Lawes, Day, Wood, Dowson (Clark, 55), Manoa (Van Velze, h-t) Tries May 2, Burrell, G Pisi. Con Lamb Pens Myler 3. Attendance 5,621. Referee Greg Garner. Premiership 2012-13 Premiership Northampton London Welsh Rugby union Michael Aylwin guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

Vice All News Time14 April 2013 20:50:05