Brian O’Driscoll is tackled in Leinster’s win over Ulster Leinster gave coach Joe Schmidt the perfect farewell in his final game as they beat Ulster 24-18 to win the RaboDirect PRO12 title.
Jonathan Sexton, playing his final match for Leinster before moving to Racing Metro, scored 14 points as Leinster claimed the crown for the first time since 2008 and ending three successive final defeats.
Kiwi Schmidt, who will take over the Ireland job later this year, departs with a domestic and European double – eight days on from his side’s Amlin Challenge Cup success.
Ulster contributed fully to a tense final, Ruan Pienaar kicking all their point, but tries in each half from Shane Jennings and Jamie Heaslip – and rock solid defence – got Leinster over the finish line.
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Durham’s safety-first approach consigned their LV= County Championship Division One clash against Middlesex to a draw on a sunny final day at Chester-le-Street.
After setting Yorkshire what proved to be an over-generous target of 335 in their previous home match, Durham skipper Paul Collingwood was not going to make the same mistake again.
Resuming on 89-1 in the morning, 152 ahead, Scott Borthwick top-scored on 82 not out as the hosts eventually declared on 240-6, leaving Middlesex to score 304 in 51 overs.
After losing Sam Robson to the 12th ball for seven, the visitors then dug in, with Joe Denly untroubled in making an unbeaten 73 to see out the draw.
Ably assisted by Chris Rogers, the pair took the score to 41-1 at tea, after which Durham tried to keep the visitors interested by bringing on Borthwick’s leg spin.
He conceded 32 in his first four overs, but after edging Mark Wood through the slips for four to reach 50, Rogers fell lbw to the same bowler for 54.
The pacy Wood then knocked out Dawid Malan’s off stump and in a final throw of the dice Durham recalled Graham Onions with 22 overs left.
In his third over he had Neil Dexter caught behind and in his fourth he had John Simpson well taken low down at second slip by Borthwick.
There were 15.3 overs left when Gareth Berg joined Denly and he survived for 11 before Wood returned and had him brilliantly caught by Keaton Jennings, posted in the unusual position of leg gully.
But Jamie Harris helped Denly to see out the remaining overs as the visitors closed on 165-6.
The draw leaves Middlesex one point behind new leaders Sussex, with Durham in third place.
Joe Root hit his maiden Test century on his home ground as England ended day two of the second Test against New Zealand on 337-7 at Headingley.
Right-hander Root continued to grow his already burgeoning reputation as he made 104 for the hosts, including sharing in a crucial fifth-wicket stand of 124 with fellow Yorkshireman Jonny Bairstow (64).
The partnership between the two county colleagues helped England make the most of the chance to bat first on a surface that has spent all of the opening day under cover from the rain.
Skipper Alastair Cook, opening partner Nick Compton and Jonathan Trott all fell in the opening session to leave the hosting wobbling at 65-3.
And although Ian Bell helped add 79 alongside Root, his departure to the part-time off-spin of Kane Williamson for 30 could have let the Kiwis in again.
Instead Bairstow marched out to join Root in an alliance that would lift England into a promising position, despite them losing another clatter of wickets to the second new ball.
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14 View comments While all eyes will be on the ring at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday night as Carl Froch takes on Mikkel Kessler, two women in their respective camps will get their own fair share of attention.
Froch’s partner and mother of his two children Rachael Cordingley is a glamour model while Kessler’s sister Linse is a reality TV star and fetish model.
But the Dane has expressed his regret at his sibling’s choice of career.
Behind every man: Linse Kessler (left) and Rachael Cordingley (right) are models of a different kind ‘I don’t really like it but she is my sister,’ he told The Guardian .
‘These reality programmes are not for me and I was not that happy to be in one of them.
It helps her fame because it was about our family.
‘But she does crazy things with breast enlargements and she’s stabbed people before.
At the same time, she can be a very sensitive person with a big heart.
She is my sister so I love her.And Danish people really like her.
‘She’ll go on TV and say she hates traffic wardens and wants to beat them up.
She once stabbed someone and went to jail and the interesting thing is that she is not afraid to tell people.
She is very honest.
So I know she means it when she says she wants me to stop boxing.
She has this caring side.’ Famous pair: Kessler is well known in Denmark for her rather enlarged pair of breasts Cordingley meanwhile has done numerous photoshoots for men’s magazines, including Zoo and Maxim.
And she is also well known for her animated ringside antics during Froch’s fights.
‘I’m not shouting advice, just encouragement,’ she insists.
‘I love him so much, and I know what time and effort he puts in.’
Ben Foakes and James Foster rescued a draw for Essex in their LV=County Championship Division Two contest with Kent at Chelmsford.
The pair put on an unbroken 142-run partnership for the sixth wicket in 48 overs to lead Essex to 166-5 after they had seemed odds-on to give Kent their first win of the four-day season.
Kent’s hopes were hit by Foakes’ unbeaten 86 and Essex captain James Foster was a more than capable foil as he finished on 52 not out at the close, with the pair gradually wearing down the visitors’ attack.
Mark Davies had set up hopes of a Kent success when he produced a wonderful spell of medium-pace bowling that brought him four top-order wickets at a personal cost of six runs as the home side started their second innings in disastrous fashion.
Five wickets fell in 22 balls as they capitulated to a perilous 24-5 – still 60 runs short of making Kent bat again and with 61 overs minimum still to be bowled.
But Foakes and Foster rebuilt the wreck of the innings with sound technique and resourceful application before the captains eventually shook hands on a draw with 13 overs still available as Kent took eight points from the clash, with Essex settling for seven.
At the start of the day, Kent’s Darren Stevens soon added the nine runs he required to reach his hundred, the fourth time in his last five championship innings at Chelmsford that the all-rounder has recorded a century.
The visitors added a further 82 runs to their overnight total to reach 296 all out, with Stevens reaching 136 before he fell to Ravi Bopara.
Hull scored three tries in the space of four minutes to stun city rivals Hull KR 22-16 at Magic Weekend in Manchester.
The Robins looked set to clinch a second win of the season over their neighbours when they led 16-6 with just seven minutes remaining at the Etihad Stadium.
Tries from Greg Eden, former Hull man Craig Hall and Alex Brown opened up a comfortable cushion for Rovers, despite them losing both Luke George and Rhys Lovegrove to injury.
However Hull had other ideas, gaining revenge for their controversial defeat to the same opponents at the event last year thanks to a stunning comeback.
Yet just as the Black and Whites felt wronged by David Hodgson’s match-winner 12 months ago, Rovers will be smarting at the award of Chris Green’s try at the death as it seemed the forward was offside in the build-up.
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A sheepish Bergin returns to the weighing room Apprentice David Bergin was banned for 28 days after briefly dropping his hands on Classic Colori with victory in sight in the opening race on an eight-race card at Haydock.
The 5lb-claimer appeared to mistake the half-furlong marker for the winning post in the Betfred “Still Treble Odds” Handicap.
Classic Colori made smooth progress to challenge the 7/2 favourite Albaqaa a furlong out and looked as though he could hit the front whenever he wanted.
However, Bergin eased off when he was alongside Robert Tart on Albaqaa, trained by P J O’Gorman.
Bergin asked his mount for an effort in the last few strides once he realised his error but it was not enough and he was a head down at the line.
The first two pulled four and a half lengths clear of Restaurateur in third.
Stipendiary steward Simon Cowley said: “The stewards have banned him for 28 days for failing to ride out in the closing stages on a horse that otherwise would have been placed first.” Bergin’s suspension begins on June 8.
Sergio Aguero: New deal with Manchester City Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Sergio Aguero has signed a new contract which keeps him at Manchester City until 2017.
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Tom Sykes: Topped qualifying at Donington Park Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Tom Sykes claimed the 15th pole position of his career after topping qualifying for the European round of the World Superbike Championship at Donington Park.
The Kawasaki rider was quickest in the first and second qualifying sessions and underlined his dominance with the fastest time in superpole ahead of Sunday’s two races.
Sykes was fastest in all three phases of superpole and broke his own lap record on three occasions as he claimed the advantage with a best lap of one minute 27.378 seconds.
Sykes will line up on the front row alongside Sylvain Guintoli, the rider who heads him in the championship standings by 18 points.
Guintoli’s Aprilia team-mate Eugene Laverty completes the front row, while the second row is headed by Honda’s Jonathan Rea, who finished ahead of Leon Camier (Suzuki) and the BMW of Marco Melandri.
Chaz Davies (BMW) heads row three from Davide Guigliano (Aprilia) and Niccolo Canepa (Ducati), with row four featuring Carlos Checa (Ducati), Jules Cluzel (Suzuki) and Loris Baz (Kawasaki).