Rob’s Round Up

Hosts and favourites New Zealand will play France in the Rugby Union World Cup final after respectively beating Australia and Wales in the semi-finals. Les Bleus were fortunate to sneak a 9-8 win over Wales, who had captain Sam Warburton harshly sent off for a dangerous tackle in the 19th minute. Despite their numerical disadvantage, the Welsh had several chances to win the game: James Hook missed two first-half penalties, Stephen Jones hit the post attempting to convert Mike Phillips’ second-half try and Leigh Halfpenny was agonisingly short with a late penalty. The All Blacks’ straightforward 20-6 victory was built on Ma’a Nonu’s early try. Piru Weepu converted it, kicked four penalties and Aaron Cruden landed a drop-goal.

Domestically, there were Anglo-Welsh Cup wins for Bath, Exeter, Gloucester, Harlequins, Newcastle, Northampton, Scarlets and Worcester.

In Rugby League, England Knights won their inaugural fixture, beating France 38-18.

Manchester City usurped rivals Manchester United at the top of Football’s Premier League. City thumped Aston Villa 4-1 after United were held 1-1 by Liverpool. Third-placed Chelsea beat Everton 3-1 and Newcastle remained fourth thanks to a 2-2 draw with Tottenham. Stoke defeated Fulham 2-0, Norwich saw off Swansea 3-1, Arsenal beat Sunderland 3-1 and West Brom were 2-0 winners over Wolves. Bolton moved off the foot of the table with a 3-1 victory over Wigan. Blackburn, who drew 1-1 with QPR, went bottom.

Andy Murray won his third tournament in as many weekends in Asia, beating David Ferrer 7-5, 6-4 in the final of the Shanghai Masters. Murray’s fifth title of the year moved him ahead of Roger Federer to third in Tennis’ world rankings.

Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel secured a second successive constructors’ championship for Red Bull with victory in the Korean Grand Prix.
Vettel, who retained the world title the previous weekend in Japan, overtook Lewis Hamilton on the first lap and held onto the lead. Hamilton finished second, immediately ahead of Mark Webber.

British IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon was killed in a 15-car accident at the Las Vegas 300. The 33-year-old, who began IndyCar racing in 2002, was series champion in 2005 and won the Indy 500 in 2005 and 2011.

England’s Tom Lewis won his first professional Golf title, by two shots at the Portugal Masters. Lewis, who shot to fame in July by leading The Open as an amateur and turned pro only last month, birdied five of the last seven holes to claim victory.

England’s Cricketers lost the first of five one-day internationals with India by 126 runs in Hyderabad. Home captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni smashed 87 not out to propel his side to 300 for seven before spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin took three wickets each.