Reigning league MVP Jackson tests positive for COVID-19: NFL report

FILE PHOTO: Nov 22, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) warms up prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

November 27, 2020

(Reuters) – Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson, the NFL’s reigning Most Valuable Player, has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the Ravens rescheduled game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, a report on the league’s website said.

The Ravens had been due to face the Steelers on Thursday but the game was postponed with several Baltimore players and staff members having tested positive this week or deemed to have been in close contact.

The report said the NFL would monitor developments but that there had been no change as yet to the status of Sunday’s game between the Ravens (6-4) and undefeated Steelers (10-0).

The latest outbreak has seen the Ravens place 10 players, including eight starters, on the reserve/COVID-19 list, it added.

ESPN on Thursday said Jackson was among four more Ravens players to test positive as part of one of the biggest outbreaks in the NFL and one that could threaten Sunday’s game.

“No way it can be played,” an unnamed source told ESPN Senior NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

ESPN also said Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh confirmed he had told the team that players would not be allowed to go into the Ravens’ training facility until Monday at the earliest.

The Ravens did not immediately respond when asked to comment.

In a statement on Wednesday they said they had disciplined a staff member for conduct surrounding the recent COVID-19 cases that have affected the team.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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Reigning champs Richmond overwhelm St Kilda to book Prelim berth

Richmond has won through to their fourth consecutive Preliminary Final, holding a gallant St Kilda at arm’s length in the 31-point win.

The Tigers kicked nine goals to three in the first half and appeared the clear stronger team, but the Saints fought hard and never dropped their head.

St Kilda had 16 shots to their name at three quarter time to Richmond’s 14, but trailed by 23 points. This summed up the game as Richmond, particularly Shai Bolton, took every 50-50 chance that came their way while the Saints had the yips in front of goal.

The Tigers’ accuracy was especially impressive, given Tom Lynch kicked five of their eight behinds.

The 2020 season will still go down as a success for St Kilda, but they will rue those missed opportunities.

Here’s everything you need to know!

The Talking Point: Tiger MRO concern

While it’s unlikely they will be ruled out of a Preliminary Final for these indiscretions, key Richmond duo Trent Cotchin and Tom Lynch will come under scrutiny nonetheless.

The Tigers skipper laid a high tackle on Zak Jones and dragged him to ground long after the ball was out of the area.

Gerard Whateley and Garry Lyon were highly critical of Tom Lynch, who pushed his knee into the face of Dougal Howard after giving away a 50 metre penalty.

“It won’t draw scrutiny other than it’s a dud act,” Whateley told AFL Nation.

“He’ll write another cheque for a fine,” Lyon added.

Watch the incident below.

The Moment: More score review controversy

At a crucial stage before half time, Jack Sinclair had a shot on goal to give the Saints some momentum.

The kick dropped short and Nick Vlastuin tracked it to the goal line, but misjudged it in the air.

It remains unclear whether he got a fist to the ball, but the goal umpire deemed he did and the score review system came up inconclusive thanks to the fuzzy quality.

Whateley and Lyon’s flinch reaction was that Vlastuin had missed it and both were surprised when the decision was not overturned.

A few passionate Saints have their say:

And a passionate Tiger in the crowd

Richmond: 5.1, 9.1, 10.4, 12.8. (80)
St Kilda: 2.2, 3.6, 5.11, 6.13. (49)

Richmond: Battle, Butler, Kent, Ross, Savage, Steele
St Kilda: Bolton 3, Lynch 2, Edwards 2, Castagna, Martin, McIntosh, Prestia, Rioli

Richmond: Edwards, Bolton, Lynch, Martin, Houli, Baker
St Kilda: Steele, Coffield, Clark, Marshall, Ross

Reports: Nil

Richmond: Nil
St Kilda: Membrey (leg)

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West Coast Fever battle past reigning Super Netball champions NSW Swifts in tense minor semi-final

A bruised Courtney Bruce and a sparkling Sunday Aryang cameo have launched West Coast Fever into the preliminary final and bundled the NSW Swifts out of the Suncorp Super Netball title race.

The Fever’s 67-62 minor semi-final triumph at Sunshine Coast’s USC stadium kept alive the Perth outfit’s dream of a maiden premiership after a stunning fightback from nine goals down at the end of the third quarter.

West Coast star Jhaniele Fowler shot a flawless 55-from-55 in her 100th national league outing, but it was Aryang who produced the match-turning impact.

Aryang with defensive circle partner Bruce wrenched the contest out of the defending champion Swifts’ hands.

Bruce will likely wake on Monday with a black eye after having the final say in a brutal battle with the Swifts’ Sam Wallace (40-from-44).

But, playing in her first final, Aryang played with the chill of a veteran, grabbing five second-half intercepts to turn the contest on its head.

“The first half it was nervous but we have an amazing team who brought it back at the end,” Aryang said.


The Fever will meet Sunshine Coast Lightning in the preliminary final on Sunday, after last year’s minor premiers lost to Melbourne Vixens in Saturday’s major semi-final.

The game had all the elements of a sudden death final.

High-quality shooting at each end — Fowler and Wallace shot at 100 per cent accuracy throughout the first half — combined with fierce one-on-one match-ups to drive up the intensity.

Fever centre Verity Charles had the edge in her showdown with Paige Hadley and Bruce put her body on the line repeatedly in her clash with Wallace.

Bruce finished the half behind on the scoreboard and with a swollen eye after two accidental blows from the Swifts’ goal shooter.

It was the Swifts who first grabbed the upper hand when Wallace and Helen Housby sank a trio of super shots in the final throes of the second quarter.

But it didn’t last. Fever coach Stacey Marinkovich made four changes to her line-up at halftime and the team responded by erasing a nine-goal deficit to give themselves a shot at the championship.


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Reigning Tour de France champion Egan Bernal pulls out of race ahead of 17th stage

Defending Tour de France champion Egan Bernal has withdrawn from the race just hours before a mammoth stage in the Alps.

Bernal had been struggling since Sunday’s stage in the Jura mountains, where he dropped more than seven minutes on the main contenders and slipped out of contention.

After Monday’s rest day, Bernal suffered again on Tuesday’s 16th stage to Villard-de-Lans.

Hampered by back pain and subsequently knee concerns, the 23-year-old indicated afterwards he hoped to continue out of respect for the race.

But on the morning of Wednesday’s queen stage to the Col de la Loze above Meribel, his team Ineos Grenadiers announced the Colombian was withdrawing from the race, although it did not specify the reason for the decision.

“This is obviously not how I wanted my Tour de France to end, but I agree that it is the right decision for me in the circumstances,” Bernal said.

Bernal was in 16th place overall, 19 minutes and four seconds behind race leader Primoz Roglic.

The decision comes five days short of the race’s concluding stage in Paris.

“We have taken this decision with Egan’s best interests at heart,” Ineos Grenadiers team principal Dave Brailsford said.

“Egan is a true champion who loves to race, but he is also a young rider, with many Tours ahead of him and at this point, on balance, we feel it is wiser for him to stop racing.”

Bernal had pulled out of the Criterium du Dauphine with back pains last month.

Bernal, at 22, was the youngest Tour de France winner since 1909 last year.(AP: Christophe Ena)

In 2019 he became the youngest rider to win the Tour de France in 110 years.

Stage 17, arguably the toughest of the race, features the Col de la Madeleine and the Col de la Loze, the Tour’s highest point this year at 2,304 metres.

The traffic-free pass between the ski resorts of Meribel and Courchevel was opened to cyclists this year after a forest track was paved by local authorities.

The last six kilometres of the climb are particularly difficult, with very steep sections and sharp turns.


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Reigning champs Richmond remind the field who the top dog still is

The reigning champs have reminded the pack who holds still the title, with Richmond dominating Geelong to put themselves into top four contention.

The Tigers led from start to finish with inaccurate goal kicking leading to a scoreboard that favoured the Cats in the 26-point win.

Ultimately, Jack Riewoldt kicking four goals up one end and Dylan Grimes controlling the air up the other proved the difference in the game.

Here’s everything you need to know!

The Talking Point: The Tigers clamp Tom Hawkins

Richmond locked the ball in their forward half for the vast majority of the game, but even when Geelong got it forward the Tigers had a clear plan for the man leading the Coleman Medal.

Noah Balta had the Tom Hawkins match-up and held his own in a few one-on-one situations, but the returning Dylan Grimes was mighty with his intercept work, cutting off forward thrusts and taking contested marks.

Grimes and Nick Vlastuin broke off from their own opponents and did everything in their power to make sure Hawkins had no space to work with and couldn’t fly unopposed in contests.

In the fourth quarter, the Cats moved Mark Blicavs into the ruck, Esava Ratugolea deep and Tom Hawkins further up the ground. This caused a few headaches for the Richmond defence, with both key forwards hitting the scoreboard.

It will be interesting to see if Chris Scott turns to this again come finals, if these teams meet again.

The Medical Room: Tigers lose Lynch and Soldo

The big win game at a cost for Richmond, with star forward Tom Lynch and ruckman Ivan Soldo suffering injuries. Soldo was helped from the ground before half-time with a knee injury, while Lynch was seen with ice on his hamstring in the third term.

For Lynch, a hamstring injury this close to finals likely puts him in doubt for the first week, despite the pre-finals bye. Even with the boost of a returning Shane Edwards and, at a stretch, Dion Prestia to come, the Tigers will be worried about their forward setup without one of their twin towers.

Mabior Chol looms as the likely replacement for both Lynch and Soldo, able to play key forward and spell Toby Nankervis in the ruck.

David Astbury is set to return next week, providing relief in defence.

Geelong: 0.3, 1.4, 1.5, 4.7. (31)
Richmond: 2.5, 3.5, 5.13, 7.15. (57)

Geelong: Ratugolea 2, Hawkins, Close
Richmond: Riewoldt 4, Castagna, Lynch, Rioli

Geelong: Stewart, Parfitt, Guthrie, O’Connor, Menegola
Richmond: Grimes, Riewoldt, Short, Vlastuin, Balta, Cotchin

Reports: Nil

Geelong: Nil
Richmond: Soldo (knee), Lynch (hamstring)

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Reigning champion Shibuno set to miss cut at women’s Open

FILE PHOTO: Golf – Women’s British Open – Woburn Golf Club, Milton Keynes, Britain – August 4, 2019 Japan’s Hinako Shibuno in action during the final round Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

August 21, 2020

(Reuters) – Defending champion Hinako Shibuno suffered a nightmare second round at the women’s British Open on Friday and looks certain to miss the cut after slipping to 12 over par for her two rounds.

The 21-year-old Japanese player was blown off course in wet and windy conditions at Troon and carded a 78.

The projected cut is six over.

Sweden’s Dani Holmqvist was sharing the lead on one-under after 13 holes of her second round.

Joint leader Sophia Popov of Germany, one of only three players to go under par on Thursday, was set to resume her second round in the later groups.

Overnight leader Amy Olson of the United States was in danger of missing the cut after following up her opening-day 67 with a bogey-strewn 81 as the weather played havoc with scoring.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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