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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...

Rugby

Scotland 10 Ireland 40: Scots’ miserable 6 Nations ends with Irish hammering

March 21 2015

Just when you thought it couldn’t get much worse, it did. Scotland were roundly thrashed by a far superior Ireland to end a miserable RBS 6 Nations. But for a short ten minute spell before half-time, Ireland had complete control as they sought a big margin of victory to keep alive their hopes of the title and they duly it got it, scoring four tries to one. Sean O’Brien bagged two in a man of the match performance as the Irish attack, under wraps for most of the championship, came alive against a porous Scottish defence. For the third time in five matches, Scotland didn’t register a point in the second half. The home side were under the cosh almost from the off as Ireland attacked on the left and Dougie Fife slipped, Stuart Hogg’s desperate saving tackle saving a certain try. However Ireland retained possession, kept the pressure on and skipper Paul O’Connell went over for the opening score with just seven minutes played, Jonny Sexton converting. It didn’t get much better for Scotland as Laidlaw was caught obstructing at a kick and Sexton booted a penalty, and although the Scotland skipper reduced the margin from close range in 18 minutes, the Scots gifted a second try on 25 minutes. A routine lineout on the 22 saw O’Brien burst from the tail and through Fife’s ineffectual tackle to score easily, Sexton stretching Ireland out to 17-3 ahead. Only a timely Hogg interception prevented Ireland going further ahead after another missed tackle on O’Brien, but the Scots hauled themselves back into contention with the full-back prominently involved. Tommy Seymour neat kick up the line caused confusion in the Irish defence and Hogg regathered, almost putting Seymour in but the Scots regrouped and Russell scored his first international try on a big overlap. However from the restart a penalty against replacement prop Geoff Cross allowed Sexton to take Ireland to ten ahead again and despite a couple of bright moves, they reached ha;f-time with that margin. In the second half, however, Ireland were completely on top as a blizzard of penalties against the home side gave them field position. Sexton and replacement Ian Madigan even missed three simple penalties as the Irish poured forward, Jarrod Payne and O’Brien scoring their second half counters. Scotland’s dreadful afternoon in the Murrayfield sunshine was complete when Hogg fumbled the ball over the line after a rare moment of resistance from the home side. Scotland: S Hogg; D Fife, M Bennett (T Visser 71), M Scott (G Tonks 70), T Seymour; F Russell, G Laidlaw (capt, Hidalgo-Clyne 56); R Grant (A Dickinson 31), R Ford (F Brown 53), E Murray (G Cross 12); J Hamilton (T Swinson 53), J Gray; A Ashe (R Harley 57), B Cowan, D Denton. Ireland: R Kearney; T Bowe, J Payne, R Henshaw, L Fitzgerald; J Sexton (I Madigan 71), C Murray (E Reddan 80); C Healy (J McGRath 53), R Best (S Cronin 61), M Ross (M Moore 46); D Toner (I Henderson 61), P O’Connell; P O’Mahony, S O’Brien (J Murphy 73), J Heaslip. Ref J Garces (Fra)

Rugby

Edinburgh 16 Leinster 31: Visser injury scare as Edinburgh woes go on

January 5 2013

NEW Scotland hero Tim Visser was at the centre of an injury scare last night, just a month before the start of the Six Nations campaign. The Dutch-born winger was taken off with a shoulder problem just after half-time as Edinburgh crashed to another Pro12 defeat at Murrayfield. The Visser situation will be a major concern to national supremo Scott Johnson, who was watching from the stand. He lay motionless for at least two minutes after a collision with Leinster’s Fionn Carr, and though he was able to walk off, he looked dazed and in pain. Despite ideal conditions, the opening exchanges were jittery and mistake-ridden. The strength of the Leinster pack was underlined when the home scrum disintegrated, allowing the Irishmen to set up the first meaningful raid. But a heroic tackle by Greg Tonks handed Edinburgh the opportunity to clear the danger. Having weathered the storm, the hosts seemed to grow in confidence and they were rewarded with a Greig Laidlaw penalty after the Leinster front row offended 30 metres from their posts. It took the Dublin outfit only one minute to level with a strike by Jonny Sexton when Allan Jacobsen felled Brian O’Driscoll with a high challenge. Sexton was back in the spotlight to line up another shot at goal, but this time he sent it wide. The half ended in disastrous fashion for Edinburgh and for Scotland break-away forward Dave Denton in particular. Not only was he yellow-carded for collapsing a maul in the shadow of his own posts, Leinster were gifted a penalty try, goaled by Sexton. Two minutes later centre Gordon D’Arcy capitalised on the stretched home defence to score again. Sexton added the extras to put his side firmly in control, although Laidlaw repaired some of the damage with his second penalty. Piers Francis slotted a fine drop-goal to give the home side fresh hope as Visser departed. But when Sexton converted his own try, the contest was over. Substitute Ian Madigan bagged the bonus-point touchdown, but Edinburgh refused to buckle and prop Willem Nel powered over for a consolation effort, Francis converting. Attendance: 3,821 Edinburgh: Tonks, Fife, Scott, Atiga (King 41), T Visser (Rees 47), Francis, Laidlaw, Jacobsen (Hislop 61), Titterrell (Lawrie 61), Nel (Cross 74), Gilchrist, Cox, McInally (Grant 46), Basilaia (Parker 55), Denton. Replacement: S Visser. Leinster: R Kearney (Conway 61), Carr, O’Driscoll, D’Arcy (Boss 68), Fitzgerald (Madigan 62), J Sexton, Reddan, Healy (van der Merwe 61), Cronin (Dundon 68), Ross (Bent 62), Cullen, Toner (Denton 58), McLaughlin (Jennings 47), O’Brien, J Heaslip. Ref: I Davies (WRFU).

Perth & Kinross

Drunk driver crashed into wall with children in back of car

March 3 2016

A car delivery driver who spun off the road and crashed into a wall with two children in the rear seats was found to be more than four times over the limit. George Sexton claimed he had been drink-driving after being asked to deliver a new car to a street his parents had lived on before they passed away. Perth Sheriff Court was told that the two children were not hurt in the crash but were extremely distressed and crying when police arrived at the scene. Sexton, 33, was told he had narrowly escaped being jailed, as Sheriff Fiona Tait ordered him to carry out 300 hours’ unpaid work as part of a community payback order. He was also banned from driving for three years and ordered to attend a drink- driving project. Depute fiscal Stuart Richardson told the court Sexton’s driving was so erratic that other motorists followed him before taking the keys from his ignition when he rammed into the wall. The two young children aged six and seven were found crying hysterically in the back of the car, which Sexton had kept driving despite bursting a tyre. Sexton, of Kinloch Terrace, Perth, admitted driving drunk around several streets in Perth on December 20 last year. The court was told he has since lost his job. He also admitted wilfully exposing children to unnecessary suffering or injury to health by driving a car under the influence of alcohol while they were passengers. He admitted driving with a deflated tyre and colliding with a wall. Mr Richardson said: “Other motorists became aware of the accused’s vehicle swerving about and driving very slowly. Sexton almost collided with safety barriers at a pedestrian crossing and then he blew out a tyre by colliding with a traffic island at a mini roundabout. “He kept driving despite the flat tyre and swerved into the oncoming carriageway, causing another motorist to take evasive action to avoid a head-on collision.” Solicitor Linda Clark, defending, said Sexton had a problem with alcohol previously but had never been in trouble with the police before.

Rugby

Ireland 35 Scotland 25: Irish precision overpowers Scots in Dublin

March 19 2016

Scotland’s recent revival was blunted by a powerful Irish performance in Dublin as the home side continued their nine-match unbeaten streak at hokme in the RBS Six Nations by a ten-point margin. Three of Ireland’s four tries came when Scotland were reduced to 14 men by yellow cards but that was as a result of intense pressure exerted by the clincial home side, especially in the first half as they owned almost all the ball. The Scots looked a little jaded, didn’t manage to exert their scrum dominance and couldn’t prevent the flow of quick Irish ball. The maul defence that was so prominent against France was also absent, three of Ireland’s four tries coming via that route. Scotland never gave up, with three impressive tries of their own and Stuart Hogg’s blistering solo score possibly the pick of the championship, but they were always playing catch up and got a sharp reality check about the physical game required to compete at this level. Ireland made an impressive statement in a first half where they monopolised possession and shrugged off Hogg’s brilliant solo try to take full command. It’s hard to play international rugby without the ball and with the Irish retaining phase after phase efficiently and dominating the breakdown, there were precious few opportunities for the Scots to build a foundation. Two early penalties by Jonny Sexton came as Scotland barely had a touch and John Barclay and WP Nel were penalised for contesting possession on the deck. Laidlaw finally got them on the board, passing 500 points in tests in his 51st international with a penalty after 14 minutes, but Richie Gray gave away a penalty almost immediately and Sexton struck again for a 9-3 lead. Ireland’s only real wayward play of the entire half was punished by Hogg on the 20th minute, when Conor Murray was too long with a box kick and gave the Scotland full back room to see his options. He carried forward and spotted front rowers Rory Best and Mike Ross manning midfield, splitting them with a blistering turn of pace and then turning on the afterburners to evade the cover to the line on a thrilling 60 metre run. Laidlaw converted but it was a brief lapse to Ireland’s dominance, and Scotland surrendered three successive penalties in their 22, Barclay seeing a yellow-card after he tried to turn over ball. Ireland pushed again and after desperate defending by Scotland and a long discussion with the TMO, got the try to retake the lead when CJ Spander leapt over the top of a goal-line ruck. Sexton converted and then the Lions stand-off’s probing kick on Ireland’s next attack brought a calamity for Scotland, Hogg and Seymour colliding going for the ball leaving Keith Earls a simple run in for the try unchallenged. Sexton missed that conversion, and when Barclay returned the Scots finally won some turnover ball late in the half. Laidlaw booted a long penalty to get them back to a more manageable 21-13 at the break. The Scots needed the first score of the second half to force a contest but Tommy Seymour knock on after a good attacking series and instead it was Ireland who drove home their advantage. Heshaw made good ground down the right and Weir was forced to concede an attacking lineout, and once more the Irish maul caused havoc, Murray darting over after they pushed for the line, and Sexton adding the conversion. Scotland did hit back quickly by kicking a penalty to the corner and although Visser and Taylor were held up, Gray strolled in under the posts as the defence were sucked in, Laidlaw converting. Scotland had a foot hold in the game and the penalty count began to equalise, but the second yellow card for the Scots, after Alex Dunbar hauled Sexton out of a ruck, allowed Ireland the chance to put the game away. Another attacking maul and man of the match Jamie Heaslip’s offload allowed Devin Toner to reach over, Sexton again converting. Scotland never gave up and with Sexton sin binned as the Irish infringed continually towards the end, Dunbar marked his return by taking Taylor’s flicked pass for an unconverted score. Ireland: S Zebo; A Trimble (F McFadden 78), J Payne, R Henshaw, K Earls; J Sexton, C Murray (E Reddan 79); J McGrath (C Healy 68), R Best (capt, R Strauss 68), M Ross (N White 60); D Ryan (U Dillane 70), D Toner; CJ Spander, T O’Donnell (R Ruddock 70), J Heaslip. E Reddan, I Madigan, F McFadden. Scotland: S Hogg; T Seymour, D Taylor, A Dunbar, T Visser (S Lamont 69); D Weir (P Horne 60), G Laidlaw (capt); A Dickinson (R Sutherland 67), R Ford (S McInally 51), WP Nel (M Low 68); R Gray, T Swinson (R Harley 63); J Barclay, J Hardie (J Strauss 53), R Wilson. H Pyrgos Ref: P Gauzere (IRFU)

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.

Perth & Kinross

Drink-driver crashed car, leaving children terrified in back seat

February 3 2016

A motorist admitted endangering children by driving while he was more than four times over the limit before losing control and crashing into a wall. George Sexton’s driving was so erratic that other motorists followed him before taking the keys from his ignition when he rammed into the wall. The two young children aged six and seven were found crying hysterically in the back of the car which Sexton had kept driving despite bursting a tyre. Sexton, 33, of Kinloch Terrace, Perth, admitted driving drunk around several streets in Perth on December 20 last year and he was given an interim disqualification. He also admitted wilfully exposing children to unnecessary suffering or injury to health by driving a car under the influence of alcohol while they were passengers. He also admitted driving with a deflated tyre and colliding with a wall. Fiscal depute Bill Kermode told Perth Sheriff Court yesterday: “Other motorists became aware of the accused’s vehicle swerving about and driving very slowly. “He continued to drive erratically and almost collided with safety barriers at a pedestrian crossing. Witnesses noticed there were two children in the rear of the vehicle. “As he approached a mini roundabout the front offside wheel collided with a traffic island and caused the tyre to deflate. He crossed into the opposing lane causing a car coming in the opposite direction to take evasive action to avoid a collision. “One witness stopped to report him to police while another continued to follow him. They tried to signal him to stop by flashing their headlights but he continued to drive. “As he tried to turn right he stalled the vehicle due to the deflated front tyre. As he restarted it the car lunged forward, left the road and collided with a garden wall.” When the pursuing witness approached Sexton he admitted he had been drinking so they removed the keys from his ignition to prevent him driving off. “The two children were in the rear of the car. Both were uninjured but they were extremely upset and crying,” Mr Kermode said. Officers who spoke to Sexton noticed a strong smell of alcohol from his breath and he was unable to speak without slurring his words. Sheriff William Wood deferred sentence for the preparation of reports and banned Sexton from driving on an interim basis.

Murray believes dramatic victory will be huge for Ireland’s self-belief

February 4 2018

Ireland’s self-belief will hit new heights after Saturday’s last-gasp triumph over France in Paris, according to Conor Murray.Johnny Sexton’s nerveless added-time drop-goal sealed Ireland’s 15-13 NatWest 6 Nations victory at the Stade de France, leaving Murray heaping the plaudits on his half-back partner.Ireland ploughed through near-on 40 phases when Sexton landed the winning goal in the third minute of added time at the death, after Teddy Thomas’ converted try had stunned the visitors and stolen Les Bleus the late 13-12 lead.Sexton kept his cool to dispatch his long-range drop-goal however, sparking jubilant Irish celebrations – but also, according to Murray, cranking up the never-say-die attitude in Joe Schmidt’s men.Asked how the nature of the win would boost Ireland psychologically, Murray replied: “It’s huge; it’s going to be a completely different Monday now.“Doubts do creep into your head and you’re trying to stay positive throughout all that.“It was so important for us to get a win here, and it means we can refocus on the next game against Italy on Monday now.“If we were to lose it would change the complexion of our entire Six Nations, everyone knows that.”Ireland can roll into three successive home matches now, with Italy, Wales and Scotland all heading to Dublin, before the Twickenham showdown with England on March 17.As Ireland nudged upfield, inching further into French territory at the death on Saturday, Murray admitted he and Sexton exchanged no words in setting up the drop-goal attempt.Instead Murray revealed a simple flick of Sexton’s eyebrows proved enough for both British and Irish Lions half-backs to know what was coming next.And after a slow-motion age for the ball to land over the posts, Murray conceded Ireland’s giddy stars “celebrated like footballers” on the Stade de France turf.“You’ve got a rough idea of the distance he needs for a drop-goal, and then you’re communicating with the forwards but also keeping an eye on him,” said Murray, recalling the set-up for that winning goal.“I think it was just a look really. You can judge by his body language, and then he just gave me a flick of the eyebrows to know he needed it, we got a bit of momentum and a quick ruck, and that was perfect for us.“Sometimes it doesn’t work. It’s a really difficult thing to do, so as a team I thought it was a really clinical way to close out the game.“After Johnny had struck it when I turned around he was all the way down the other end of the field in the 22.“He claims he was going down to look at the other screen but there was one right in front of him. I knew when he struck it it looked like it had the legs.“They are the moments you’ll remember forever, when you’re just ecstatic.“I’m sure we’ll get a bit of stick for it in the review, for celebrating like footballers, but it was natural. They are the moments you really enjoy.“It happened in slow-motion, it was a surreal moment, but great.”

Rugby

NSW-Queensland v Lions: Andy Farrell dismisses talk of spying paranoia

June 11 2013

Andy Farrell has dismissed any suggestion of paranoia in the Lions camp regarding apparent Australian surveillance of their playing movements. Farrell’s comments echoed those of head coach Warren Gatland, who said “there was no allegation of spying” aimed at the Australian camp and that he had “no issue” with the Australians videoing last week’s Western Force game in Perth. The Australian Rugby Union subsequently issued a statement, “flatly denying that anyone connected to the Wallabies has been involved in filming or watching the Lions at training”. Wallabies head coach Robbie Deans claimed the whole affair was “just a sideshow,” and Lions assistant coach Farrell said: “We are not paranoid. “If we are paranoid about getting things right then yes, we are. You’ve got to get things right. We are leaving nothing to chance. “It is important we have everything covered on and off the field. We are trying to do our best on the field, and off the field we have to make sure that nothing gets in the way of the on-field stuff as well.” Security is evident at the training venues in Australia, although some of the work-outs have seen members of the public permitted to be in attendance, such as for a session at a Brisbane school last week. Fly-halves Jonathan Sexton and Owen Farrell both missed training in Newcastle, but Farrell moved to allay any fears over their fitness. “Like every game of rugby, guys have got little knocks and tweaks, but there is nothing serious,” Farrell said. “Owen has just got a bit of a dead leg, that’s all, so that is precautionary. Jonny was just a little bit tight (hamstring), but he’s fine as well. “They’ve got to recover properly, especially with the flights, so they had training off today, but they are fine. “Rob (Kearney) trained this morning and he ran very well. He will be back with the boys, the non 23, tomorrow morning, and he will be looking to be fit for the weekend.” Assessing the Combined Country team’s challenge, Farrell said: “For the 23 that are going to come against us, it’s probably going to be the biggest game of their lives. “You can play against anyone and for the first 20-25 minutes it’s always going to be a battle. “They will bring a lot of intensity and guts to the game.”

Sport

Mark McCall takes little comfort from past glories after defeat to Leinster

April 2 2018

Mark McCall insists Saracens can take only limited consolation from their two-year reign over Europe knowing it will come to an end next month.The Champions Cup holders were dispatched 30-19 by Leinster in Sunday’s quarter-final in Dublin and must now switch attention to regaining the Aviva Premiership crown lost to Exeter last season.Winning successive European titles has secured Saracens a place among the continent’s heavyweights, but for McCall the pain of a conclusive defeat at the Aviva Stadium casts a cloud over past achievements.“It’s such a difficult competition that it’s hard enough to get out of your pool,” director of rugby McCall said.“For us to go two years and 20 games in a row unbeaten in the competition is something that we should be rightly proud of.“But you want to forget about the past and move on with the present, so it’s been a very mixed campaign for us.“In the pool stages we’ve had a lot of stuff to contend with injury wise, but no excuses against Leinster, we were beaten by the better side.“We’re a good club and a good side and hopefully we can bounce back from this.”Saracens trailed 13-12 at half-time but a flurry of 10 points underpinned by Dan Leavy’s marauding 46th-minute try ultimately swept the tournament favourites out of sight.Leinster head coach Leo Cullen insisted the Irish province – and particularly their rampaging openside Dan Leavy – benefited from what he felt was a deliberate tactic by the champions to target Johnny Sexton.“There was definitely space on some of the short sides. Saracens defended very hard on Johnny, particularly in the first half,” Cullen said.“They were playing him … which is the best way to describe it. They were going aggressively at him, so there was going to be space for somebody else.”Sexton conceded a petulant penalty by kicking the ball away when they were due to take a restart, but Cullen refused to condemn his fly-half.“It’s tough on Johnny because he was played off the ball a few times during the first half. It’s hard for him to not get frustrated,” Cullen said.“I’ll have a look back at the game, but there are three or four instances when he’s been hit, played late off the ball.“I will have to see how that unfolds because it’s important to take that in the context of the game.”

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