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Nov 29, 2014

Rugby-Business as usual for Gatland as Wales’ long wait ends

CARDIFF, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Warren Gatland’s hair had already gone grey before he took the Wales head coaching job in late 2007 but the New Zealander has probably had plenty of sleepless nights since, dotted among the triumphs.

Despite delivering three Six Nations titles, including two grand slams, and a World Cup semi-final in 2011, Gatland’s Wales have been unable to consistently trouble the south hemisphere heavyweights of New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

Nov 29, 2014

Wales sink Springboks, end southern hemisphere hoodoo

CARDIFF (Reuters) – Wales ended their long and frustrating wait for victory over a southern hemisphere heavyweight when Leigh Halfpenny kicked them to a 12-6 victory over South Africa on Saturday.

Welsh celebrations were at odds with Springbok gloom. Among the World Cup favourites when they return to these shores next year, their northern hemisphere tour was marred by an apparent serious leg injury suffered by captain and centre Jean de Villiers.

Nov 29, 2014

Rugby-Wales sink Springboks, end southern hemisphere hoodoo

CARDIFF, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Wales ended their long and frustrating wait for victory over a southern hemisphere heavyweight when Leigh Halfpenny kicked them to a 12-6 victory over South Africa on Saturday.

Welsh celebrations were at odds with Springbok gloom. Among the World Cup favourites when they return to these shores next year, their northern hemisphere tour was marred by an apparent serious leg injury suffered by captain and centre Jean de Villiers.

Nov 27, 2014

City face test of resolve at Koeman’s Saints

LONDON (Reuters) – With Premier League leaders Chelsea on top form, Manchester City will be hoping their Champions League win over Bayern Munich boosts confidence and re-ignites their title defence when they visit high-flying Southampton on Sunday.

Third-placed City have fallen eight points behind unbeaten leaders Chelsea after 12 games and face a tough test against a Saints side defying the critics who said they would struggle.

Nov 27, 2014

Soccer-City face test of resolve at Koeman’s Saints

LONDON, Nov 27 (Reuters) – With Premier League leaders Chelsea on top form, Manchester City will be hoping their Champions League win over Bayern Munich boosts confidence and re-ignites their title defence when they visit high-flying Southampton on Sunday.

Third-placed City have fallen eight points behind unbeaten leaders Chelsea after 12 games and face a tough test against a Saints side defying the critics who said they would struggle.

Nov 26, 2014

Toothless Leicester desperately need a fox in the box

LONDON (Reuters) – What Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson would give for a Tony Cottee, Steve Claridge or Emile Heskey right now — the club’s strikers of Premier League yore with a predatory eye for goal.

When Leicester put five goals past a startled Manchester United on a heady Sunday in late September, mounting a barnstorming comeback from 3-1 down for an unlikely 5-3 home triumph, the Foxes looked like they belonged back in the elite.

Nov 26, 2014

Soccer-Toothless Leicester desperately need a fox in the box

LONDON, Nov 26 (Reuters) – What Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson would give for a Tony Cottee, Steve Claridge or Emile Heskey right now — the club’s strikers of Premier League yore with a predatory eye for goal.

When Leicester put five goals past a startled Manchester United on a heady Sunday in late September, mounting a barnstorming comeback from 3-1 down for an unlikely 5-3 home triumph, the Foxes looked like they belonged back in the elite.

Nov 23, 2014

Great year but All Blacks must keep improving – Hansen

CARDIFF (Reuters) – New Zealand must keep improving after a “great year” if they are to become the first side to win back-to-back World Cups in 2015, coach Steve Hansen said.

The All Blacks beat Wales 34-16 on Saturday to cap a year in which they sealed their third successive Rugby Championship, beat World Cup hosts England four times and lost just one of 14 games — against South Africa in Johannesburg in October.

Nov 23, 2014

Rugby-Great year but All Blacks must keep improving – Hansen

CARDIFF, Nov 23 (Reuters) – New Zealand must keep improving after a “great year” if they are to become the first side to win back-to-back World Cups in 2015, coach Steve Hansen said.

The All Blacks beat Wales 34-16 on Saturday to cap a year in which they sealed their third successive Rugby Championship, beat World Cup hosts England four times and lost just one of 14 games — against South Africa in Johannesburg in October.

Nov 22, 2014

Never count out resourceful All Blacks, says Hansen

CARDIFF (Reuters) – Wales defended with such intensity it was inevitable that they wilted late on in falling to a 34-16 defeat by New Zealand on Saturday, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said.

The world champions were matched for 65 minutes by a fired-up Wales at the Millennium Stadium in the final match of their northern hemisphere tour before pulling away.