All Blacks, England set up blockbuster World Cup semifinal

England’s prop Kyle Sinckler runs past Australia’s full back Kurtley Beale to score a try during Saturday’s quarterfinal match. (AFP)
Updated 20 October 2019

All Blacks, England set up blockbuster World Cup semifinal

TOKYO: The All Blacks overwhelmed Ireland 46-14 and England thumped their old enemy Australia to set up a blockbuster semifinal at the Rugby World Cup on Saturday.
Aaron Smith scored the first two of seven tries by the All Blacks, who kept Ireland scoreless for 70 minutes in a one-sided victory at Tokyo Stadium.
Earlier England beat Australia 40-16, equalling their record margin of victory over their fierce rivals, following Jonny May’s quickfire try double in the
first half.
It sets up a mouth-watering showdown next Saturday in Yokohama, where top-ranked New Zealand will put their 18-match World Cup winning streak on the line against Eddie Jones’s formidable English.
On Sunday, Wales face France in Oita and hosts Japan, the tournament’s surprise package, play the first World Cup quarter-final in their history against South Africa in Tokyo.
New Zealand are going for their third straight title and they brutally dismissed a misfiring Ireland side who have now lost in the quarter-finals seven times.
Smith’s early double was followed by a score to man-of-the-match Beauden Barrett, who ran on to his own grubber kick, before the All Blacks repulsed an Irish charge to turn 22-0 ahead.
Kieran Read’s off-the-deck offload put Codie Taylor over for New Zealand’s fourth try before Matt Todd grabbed their fifth.
Robbie Henshaw finally put Ireland on the board before hooker Dane Coles gave a one-handed offload for George Bridge’s try as New Zealand went 41-7 ahead.
A penalty try doubled Ireland’s score before Beauden Barrett fed his brother Jordie for their seventh and final try.
It was a night of raw emotions for the three Barrett brothers, also including second-row Scott, after they lost their grandfather Ted earlier in the week.
“It’s been an emotional week for my family,” Beauden said, tearing up, as he collected his man-of-the-match award.

FASTFACT

On Sunday, Wales face France in Oita and hosts Japan play the first World Cup quarterfinal in their history against South Africa in Tokyo.

“All we wanted to do was play well for him tonight. We’re thinking of you up there, we love you Grandad Ted.”
Earlier in Oita, May scored the first two of England’s four tries in three first-half minutes as the Red Roses reached their first semifinal since 2007.
Kyle Sinckler and Anthony Watson crossed in the second half and 20 points flowed from Owen Farrell’s perfect kicking as Jones’s men throttled the Wallabies’ attempts to claw their way back into it.
“We did what’s needed. We had the lead and obviously Australia were throwing everything at us,” said Farrell. “We wanted to play the game at our pace not theirs, and we did that in the second half.”
With his contract up after the World Cup, the defeat appears to have ended Michael Cheika’s five-year stint as Wallabies coach whose highlight was reaching the World Cup final in 2015.
“I was supposed to get this done for the people here and the Australians. It’s so disappointing,” said a disconsolate Cheika, a former team-mate of Jones at Sydney’s Randwick club.
Australia looked dangerous early on but England seized the advantage with May’s rapid try double.
England stretched the Australian defense as they attacked right and then left, before man of the match Tom Curry drew the final defender to give the left wing an easy score in the corner.
Henry Slade then intercepted the ball on halfway and raced toward the try-line before chipping into space with a kick that was deftly gathered by the England wing.
Three Christian Lealiifano penalties kept Australia in touch at 17-9 at half-time, and they came storming back after the restart when Marika Koroibete skinned Elliot Daly to cross for the Wallabies.
But England hit back almost immediately when Farrell picked out Sinckler with a bullet pass and the prop burst through a gap for his first international try.
Watson’s late intercept try completed the job for England, who equalled their record margin of victory against Australia — and beat them for a third time in the World Cup quarter-finals.


Spurs sack Pochettino amid results slump

Updated 6 min 49 sec ago

Spurs sack Pochettino amid results slump

  • Tottenham statement: The club can today announce that Mauricio Pochettino and his coaching staff Jesus Perez, Miguel D’Agostino and Antoni Jimenez have been relieved of their duties
  • Tottenham sit 14th in England’s top flight after picking up just three wins from their opening 12 games, and were eliminated from the League Cup in September by fourth-tier Colchester United

LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur sacked manager Mauricio Pochettino on Tuesday following a miserable start to the campaign that has seen last season’s Champions League finalists slide down the Premier League table.
Tottenham sit 14th in England’s top flight after picking up just three wins from their opening 12 games, and were eliminated from the League Cup in September by fourth-tier Colchester United.
“The club can today announce that Mauricio Pochettino and his coaching staff Jesus Perez, Miguel D’Agostino and Antoni Jimenez have been relieved of their duties,” Tottenham said in a statement.
Pochettino, 47, joined Spurs from Southampton in 2014 and transformed the club’s fortunes despite failing to win a trophy in his five-and-a-half years in charge.
His side have become Champions League regulars over the past four seasons, culminating in a dramatic run to the club’s first ever European Cup final in June, which they lost 2-0 to Liverpool in Madrid.
However, domestically results have been on the decline since February.
Only the faltering form of Arsenal and Manchester United allowed Spurs to cling onto a top-four finish last season as they won just three of their final 12 league games.
That form has continued at the start of this season with Pochettino leaving the club already 11 points outside the Premier League top four and 20 behind leaders Liverpool.
“We were extremely reluctant to make this change and it is not a decision the board has taken lightly, nor in haste,” said Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.
“Regrettably domestic results at the end of last season and beginning of this season have been extremely disappointing.
“It falls to the board to make the difficult decisions — this one made more so given the many memorable moments we have had with Mauricio and his coaching staff — but we do so in the club’s best interests.”
The job done by Pochettino was all the more remarkable given the tight budget he was afforded by Levy for transfers and wages in comparison to Tottenham’s Premier League rivals, as the club built a new stadium at a cost of over £1 billion.
Spurs were forced to play at temporary home Wembley for the entirety of the 2017/18 campaign and most of last season before moving into their new 62,000 capacity ground in April.
After 18 months without signing a single player, Levy finally loosened the purse strings to buy Tanguy Ndombele for a club record £63 million ($79 million) in July and added Giovani lo Celso on loan and Ryan Sessegnon in the summer transfer window.
However, injuries have prevented that trio making an instant impact, while Pochettino bemoaned the disruptive effect of Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen all entering the final year of their contracts.
“Mauricio and his coaching staff will always be part of our history,” added Levy.
“I have the utmost admiration for the manner in which he dealt with the difficult times away from a home ground whilst we built the new stadium and for the warmth and positivity he brought to us. I should like to thank him and his coaching staff for all they have contributed. They will always be welcome here.
“We have a talented squad. We need to re-energise and look to deliver a positive season for our supporters.”