Moon Rugby Union – Six Nations B Round 3 & Americas Rugby Championship Round 5

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Rugby Union Internationals

Six Nations B – Round 3

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Six Nations B – Round 3 Round Up

Georgia were looking at a potential shock defeat as Spain led 10-3 at half time in Medina Del Campo. Tries from Giorgi Tkhilaishvili and test debutante Soso Matiashvili eventually saw the Six nations B Champions home 20-10. Romania comfortably saw off Russia 30-10 with the pick of the tries being Jody Rose’s interception try going 40 yards to complete the score. Belgium found themselves 21-0 down against Germany but threatened an unlikely comeback when Andy Williams went over to close the gap to just 5, however a try from Jaco Otto secured the victory for Germany who have two wins out of three.

Reports (Rugbyworldcup.com)

Americas Rugby Championship – Round 5

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Americas Rugby Championship – Round 5 Round Up

The USA are the Americas Rugby Champions for the first time in a thrilling decider against Argentina. David Tameilau went over from a driving maul to give the USA a surprise 15-3 lead. However two penalty tries brought Argentina back into it and when full back Gabriel Ascarte went over in the corner Argentina had a 12 point lead. Cam Dolan got a try six minutes from time to bring the American back within a score it but they still needed a converted try to level and take the title. Tameilau was the hero breaking a tackle to score from close range for his second try, Ben Cima nailed the conversion for a 27-27 draw and due to previous bonus points it was enough for the USA to win the title for the first time.

In the other final games Freitas Alleges and Leivas Ballestrino got two tires each as Uruguay comfortably thrashed Chile 45-14, Chile finish bottom of the table. Finally Brazil scored an impressive upset win over Canada 24-23 in another tight finish. Winger Ze Tranqez got the winning score in the very last minute to give Brazil victory in Sao Paulo.

Reports – Bra v Can  Uru v Chile Arg v USA (Americas Rugby News)

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Blue_Moon2

MOON OF LIBERTY SCOREBOARD

Rugby Union Results

Six Nations B – Round 1

Russia 10Romania 30At The Sochi Central Stadium, Sochi, Russia

Germany 34Belgium 29At The Sparda Bank Hessen Stadium, Offenbach, Germany

Spain 10 Georgia 20At The Estadio Municipal, Medina Del Campo, Spain

MOON OF LIBERTY STAR MANSoso Matiashvili (Georgia) 

Americas Rugby Championship – Round 5

Brazil 24Canada 23At The Pacaembu Stadium, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Uruguay 45Chile 14At The Estadio Charrua, Montivideo, Uruguay

Argentina 27USA 27At The Estadio Municipal, Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina

USA Win the 2017 Americas Rugby Championship

 MOON OF LIBERTY STAR MANDavid Tameilau (USA)

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Moon Of Liberty Rugby Union – Six Nations B Round 1 & Americas Rugby Championship Round 2

Elitist

Rugby Union

Six Nations B – Round 1

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Six Nations B – Round 1 Round Up

*Georgia get defense off to a great start

*Germany score historic win over Romania

*Spain edge past Russia in Madrid

Georgia began the defense of their Six Nations B title with a comfortable 31-6 victory over newly promoted Belgium. Giorgi Tkhilashvili and Giorgi Koshadze went over to give the defending champions a commanding 17-0 lead at half time, two more second half tries saw Georgia easisy home. Germany scored an upset victory over Romania in a thrilling contest. Romania lead 38-27 going into the final 10 minutes but tries from Dash Barber, his second of the game, and Marcel Cotezee six minutes from time completed the comeback for Germany to claim their first win against the Romanians for 70 years. Finally Spain got off to a winning start against Russia. Mathieu Belie got the only try of the game for the Spanish as they won the game 16-6.

Reports – Georgia v Belgium (Agenda.ge)   Germany v Romania (Wide World of sport)

Game breakdown – Spain v Russia (Ultimate Rugby)

Americas Rugby Championship – Round 2

argentinausacanada

Americas Rugby Championship – Round 2 Round up

*Argentina in nine try demolition of Uruguay

*USA thrash Brazil

*Paris hat trick sees Canada to victory

Favourites Argentina got their second bonus point victory of the Championshp with an easy 57-12 thrashing of Uruguay. Sebastan Cancellier got a hat trick in a nine try demolition in Bahia Blanca. The USA also made it two out of two with Lock Tony Lamborn going over twice as part of eight tries in a 51-3 thrashing of Brazil. The final game saw Canada get their first win of the championship over Chile. Left winger Taylor Paris got a hat trick of tries to help Canada to a 36-15 victory.

Reports – Argentina v Uruguay (Americas Rugby News)   USA v Brazil (ESPN)   Canada v Chile (Americas Rugby News)

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Blue_Moon2

MOON OF LIBERTY SCOREBOARD

Rugby Union Results

Six Nations B – Round 1

Germany 41Romania 38At The Sparda Bank Hessen Stadium, Offenbach, Germany

Belgium 6Georgia 31At The King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels, Belgium

Spain 16Russia 6At The Estadio Nacional Compultense, Madrid, Spain

MOON OF LIBERTY STAR MAN Dash Barber (Germany)

Americas Rugby Championship – Round 2

Argentina 57Uruguay 12At The Estadio Villa Mitre, Bahir Blanca, Argentina

USA 51 Brazil 3At Dell Diamond, Round Rock, Texas, USA

Canada 36Chile 15At Westhills Stadium, Langford, British Colombia, Canada

MOON OF LIBERTY STAR MANTaylor Paris (Canada)

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Moon Of Liberty Tennis – WTA Tour

Elitist

WTA Tour Finals

Sydney International Final – Konta v Radwanska

uk

Konta powers to victory in Sydney

Johanna Konta served a warning to competitors that she is bang in form dismantling Agneiszka Radwanska in the final of the Sydney International. The most trouble Konta was in was 0-30 down on her first service game, she turned that around and then broke in the third game serving out the remainder of the set and showing an array of power shots and fine serving including a second serve ace to take the first set 6-4. Konta then dominated the second set breaking twice to lead 4-0 and serving it out to take it 6-2 and win her second WTA title, securing her place in the top 10 and going into the Australian Open in fine form where she reached the Semi-Finals last year.

Full Report (BBC Sport)

Hobart International Final – Mertens v Niculescu

belgium

Mertens big decision pays off

Elise Mertens was a qualifier for the Hobart International but came through a champion as she easily dispatched Monica Niculescu of Romania. Mertens had to win eight matches to take the title including beating top seed and fellow Belgian Kiki Bertens along the way. In the final itself she gave an impressive display dropping only four games. She choose to forgo Australian Open qualifying to concentrate on Hobart and it will pay off as the title will move her into the top 100.

Full Report (Tennis.com)

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Blue_Moon2

MOON OF LIBERTY SCOREBOARD

WTA TOUR RESULTS

Sydney International Final – At The New South Wales Tennis Center, Sydney, New South Wales

Johanna Konta (GB) Beat Agneiszka Radwanska (Poland)2-0 (6-4 6-2)

Hobart International Final – At The Hobart International Tennis Center, Hobart, Tasmania

Elise Mertens (Belgium) Beat Monica Niculescu (Romania)2-0 (6-3 6-1)

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Moon Of Liberty Formula 1 – Belgian Grand Prix

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Formula 1

Belgian Grand Prix

While Nico Rosberg took advantage of the penalty that left Lewis Hamilton starting at the back of the grid to win the Belgian Grand Prix, it was Hamilton who came out the moral victor, coming from the back to finish third and maintain a nine point gap over Rosberg in the title race. Rosberg won from pole while Hamilton had started at the back with Fernando Alonso, who had to use too many engines due to engine failure in qualifying. Hamilton worked himself up to 13th early on a moved through the field to end up third. Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull was second after holding off Hamilton’s late challenge.

The race was sullied somewhat by a crash that left Kevin Magnussen of Renault in hospital Thankfully his ankle is not as badly injured as first thought and he will be clear to race next week In Italy. It was also a good weekend for Force India, whose drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez were 4th and 5th respectively beating the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettle into 6th. Hamilton will feel he has dodged a dangerous situation to still have the Championship lead going into next week.

Full Report (BBC Sport)

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Blue_Moon2

MOON OF LIBERTY SCOREBOARD

FORMULA 1

Belgian Grand PrixAt Spa, Stavelot, Belgium

1st WINNER Nico Rosberg (Germany) (Mercedes)

2nd Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) (Red Bull)

3rd Lewis Hamilton (GB) (Mercedes)

4th Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) (Force India)

5th Sergio Perez (Mexico) (Force India)

6th Sebastian Vettle (Germany) (Ferrari)

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1956 Eurovision Song Contest

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As part of the Eurovision element of this blog, I intend over time to trace the history of the contest by watching, or listening to old contests and reviewing them here.

The first contest was held in Lugano in Switzerland. Sadly there is no Televised recording of the contest still available. A radio recording of the contest in full can be found here. The contest was created after a meeting of the European Broadcasting Union to take it’s inspiration from the Sanremo Music Festival in Italy that still exists today, only a Europe wide version. Lugano is an Italian speaking area the south of Switzerland which was a key aspect of why it was chosen to host the first contest.

The recording is fairly easy to follow despite the whole thing being broadcast in Italian, with the exception of the songs of course. The honour of hosting the first contest was given to Lohengrin Filipello, a known TV host in both Switzerland and Italy. 7 countries entered the contest, this did not include the United Kingdom who would not enter for the first time until the following year, however the contest was broadcast on the BBC with Wilfrid Thomas providing the commentary. The show was also broadcast in all seven competing nations as well as Denmark and Austria.

The format, which was never repeated, was all nations would submit two songs and two judges. In the first contest each judge would simply pick their favourite song, their was no restriction on voting for your own country, that did not come in until the following year. The fact Luxembourg could only afford to send one judge gave the hosts the advantage as the host broadcaster picked an additional third Swiss judge as a replacement. It is therefore no surprise that one of the Swiss songs was declared the winner. No voting details were ever revealed, just the winner announced.

Jetty Paerl will forever be the first to perform, representing the Netherlands with a bright and breasy song capturing the essence of the title “De Vogels Vam Holland” (The Birds of Holland) title. The hosts were next with Lys Assia performing her weaker song, she along with Michele Arnaud for Luxembourg performed both of the songs their countries has entered. Fud Leclerc for Belgium then dampened the mood with his rather depressing number “Messieurs les noyes de al Seine” (The Drowned Gentleman of the Seine”)

Walter Andreas Schwarz was next for Germany. There was a lot of dramatic talking over the music, we later found out why, to hide the fact his voice was not that great. France and Luxembourg’s first songs were classic Vera Lynn style numbers which were rather nice and of the time but had nothing special about them. Italy completed the first half of the contest with Franca Raimondi and “Aprite le Finestre” (Open The Windows). Slightly more upbeat but still very much of the time, Franca without doubt has the best voice of anyone we had heard so far, a great combination and for me in the lead heading for the second set of songs.

The Netherlands second song was sung by Cory Brokken, a young inexperienced at that point female singer, the song was nothing special and the nerves showed but this would not be Cory’s only appearance in the contest as the Netherland’s would bring her back again in later years. Lys Assia’s second song for the hosts “Refrain” (Chorus) had a touch of Hollywood about it and it’s clear why it had appeal. It could easily be the soundtrack to a film of the era. Mony Marc’s second song for Belgium was standard fare, but was notable for the contests first and certainly not use of ‘Ding Dong.’

Would the 1950’s contests provide a ‘You what?’ moment as today’s contest always does every year? Yes. Provided by Germany and Freddie Quinn who clearly fancied himself as a bit of a German Elvis, who of course was big at the time. This combined with a swing sound with hints of ‘Rock Around The Clock’ was simply horrible to listen to. Dany Dauberson’s second offering for France may have worked with someone with a more powerful voice, Dauberson though sadly did not have it. Luxembourg with another appearance from Michele Arnoud, and Italy finished the contest in forgettable style.

After a short musical interlude the host announced Lys Assia with “Refrain” as the winner to polite applause. The recording of the reprise does exist and can be found here. My top 3, which will be known as ‘The Moon Of Liberty Jury’ can be found below.

MOON OF LIBERTY EUROVISION SCOREBOARD

1056 Eurovsion Song Contest At The Teatro Kursall, Lugano. Switzerland

MOON OF LIBERTY JURY

8 Points – Netherlands – Jetty Paerl – “De Vogels Van Holland (The Birds Of Holland)

10 Points – Switzerland – Lys Assia – “Refrain” (Chorus)

12 POINTS

ITALY

Italy

Franca Raimondi – “Aprite Le Finestre” (Open The Windows)

ACTUAL RESULT

WINNER

SWITZERLAND 

Switzerland

Lys Assia “Refrain” (Chorus)

No 2nd or 3rd Place information

Sunday Sportsround – Cycling, Cricket, Tennis, Snooker & Boxing

Elitist

Cycling – Froome in control of the tour

German sprinters dominated the 15th stage of the Tour De France today. The stage was won by Andre Griepel who won his third stage of the tour in the French town of Valance.Compatriot John Degenklob came second. Chris Froom who took a big lead in the mountain stages of the Pyrenees earlier in the week has maintained a 3 minute lead over his nearest contenders and is now red hot favourite to win his second tour in three years, which would be a third British victory in four years if he is successful.

Froome’s control has not been without controversy however. Some of the French media have cast aspersions of doping against Team Sky, which includes Froome, Sir Dave Brailsford the team boss has even complained of equipment being stolen by those desperate to try and find something on the team. It should be said there is not a shred of serious evidence to back up the accusations and jealousy may be part of this as Brailsford as head of Team Sky and Previously the British Olympic Team has led many to unprecedented success. This blog believes in innocent until proven guilty, and does not believe the allegations.

Tennis – Britain makes first Semi since 1981

Great Britain defeated 2014 finalists France in their Davis Cup Quarter Final at Queen’s Club in London. The first singles went to plan as Gilles Simon defeated James Ward and Andy Murray beat Joe-Wilfred Tsonga in straight sets on the opening Friday. Captain Leon Smith decided to play Andy Murray alongside his brother Jamie in the doubles on the Saturday and this was where the crowd really got involved in the battle. Nicholas Mahut and Joe-Wilfred Tsonga won the first set but the Murray’s battled back to take the second and then win an epic third set tie-break to take control. They went on to win the third to take a 2-1 lead into the Sunday.

A very tired Andy Murray struggled early on against Gilles Simon with Simon winning the first set and going up a break in the second. However Murray fought back to win the second on the tie-break and going on to defeat his French opponent in four sets including a 6-0 victory in the fourth As Simon wilted towards the end. Britain will play Australia after they came back from 2-0 down in Darwin against Kazakhstan, Veteran Leyton Hewitt won the final rubber to secure a 3-2 win. elsewhere Belgium will face Argentina, Belgium beat Canada and Argentina got the better of Serbia who were without World Number 1 Novak Djokovic.

Cricket – Australia hit back thrashing England at Lords

Australia won a crucial toss on a very good batting wicket at Lords and made England pay by racking up a huge score. Steven Smith scored 215 and opener Rogers got 173. Broad was the only bowler who put up any fight taking four wickets as Austtralia declared on a score of 588. The England response under big scoreboard pressure began badly losing four wickets quickly before Captain Alaistair Cook and Ben Stokes recovered the position. Cook fell just short of a century with 96 and that failure for anyone to get a big score left England well over 200 behind from the first innings.

Australia decided not to enforce the follow on and smith got another half century as did David Warner who top scored with 83. Scoring at speed Australia added another 254 before declaring leaving England with an unlikely target of over 500. However the English batting line up collapsed, summed up by a ridiculous run out of Stokes. Broad top scored with a mere 25 as Johnson took three wickets and Australia bowled England out for 103 to level the Ashes series at 1-1 and take all the momentum into the third game in Birmingham in two weeks time.

Snooker – John Higgins wins the Australian Open

John Higgins has won his 27th ranking title in Bendigo, Australia beating Martin Gould in a final frame decider. The match was close throughout with the game locked at 4-4 at the mid interval and then 7-7 after Gould had come back from 7-4 down. Higgins took a scrappy frame to take an 8-7 lead but Gould hit back to level again and take the final into a final frame. Higgins took his first chance in that final frame with a break of 89 to take the title. With Higgins 13th on the ranking list, the win should help him retain a top 16 place with his first win since the Welsh Open in February.

Boxing – Two new champions crowned

In a big night of Boxing all around the world Puerto Rican Mcjoe Arroyo became the new IBF Super Flyweight champion in Texas defeating Arthur Villanueva of Mexico after the fight went to the scorecards after the referee called a halt to proceedings after a cut to the Mexican. Arroyo was comfortably ahead on all three cards. On the same card Northern Ireland’s Carl Frampton recovered from two knock downs early to defeat Alenjandro Gonzalez Jr by a comfortable unanimous decision to defend his Super Bantamweight title.

Two Manchester fighters had differing fortunes as they got home town World Title fight opportunities at the MEN Arena in Manchester. Scott Quigg defended his version of the Super Bantamweight title knocking out Kiko Martinez of Spain in two rounds and a unification fight with Carl Frampton remains a possibility. Meanwhile Anthony Crolla took on Colombian Lightweight champion Darleys Perez. Many thought the challenger had done enough to win the fight, especially given Perez had two points deducted for low blows.However the judges delivered a verdict of a split decision draw meaning Perez retains his title. A rematch is certainly a possibility.

A grudge match was settled in Halle, Germany where veteran German based Armenian Arthur Abraham knocked out Richard Steiglitz in six rounds to defend his Super Middleweight title. There has been a long war of words going into the fight but Abraham gave a vintage performance kncoking his Russian opponent down in the fourth before finishing the job in the sixth. Finally In Macao, China Argentinian Cesar Cuenta was crowned the new IBF Light-Welterweight title. The belt was vacant and hometown favourite the unbeaten Ik Yang was out of his depth at world level. Cuenta knocked Ik Yang down in the first round and dominated the fight, winning an easy unanimous decision to take the title.

MOON OF LIBERTY SCOREBOARD

CYCLING

Tour De France (Reigning Champion Vincenzo Niebly)

Stage 15 – Mende to Valance

Stage result

1st Andre Greipel (Germany)

2nd John Degenklob (Germany)

3rd Alexander Kristoff (Norway)

Overall Positions

1st Chris Froome (GB)

2nd Nairo Quintana (Colombia) +3 Mins 10 Secs

3rd Teejay Van Garderen (USA) +3 Mins 32 Secs

TENNIS

At Queen’s Tennis Club, West Kensington, London

Davis Cup Quarter Final (Current David Cup Holders Switzerland)

Great Britain V France

Game 1 – G Simon Beat J Ward 3-0 (6-4, 6-4, 6-1)

Game 2 – A Murray Beat J-W Tsonga 3-0 (7-5, 7-6, 6-2)

Game 3 (Doubles) – A Murray & J Murray Beat N Mahut & J-W Tsonga 3-1 (4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-1)

Game 4 – A Murray Beat G Simon 3-1 (4-6, 7-6, 6-3, 6-0)

Game 5 – Not Played by agreement

FINAL SCORE – Great Britain 3 France 1

CRICKET

At Lords Cricket Ground, ST John’s Wood, London

2nd Ashes Test (Current Ashes Holders Australia)

England V Australia

Australia 1st Inns – 588-8 Declared (Smith 215, Rogers 173, Broad 4-83)

England 1st Inns – 312 ALL OUT (Cook 96, Stokes 87 Johnson 3-53)

Australia 2nd Inns – 254-2 Declared (Warner 83, Smith 58)

England 2nd Inns – 103 ALL OUT (Broad 25, Johnson 3-27)

Australia win by 405 runs

MOON OF LIBERTY STAR MAN – Steven Smith (Australia)

Series Level at 1-1

BOXING

At The Manchester Evening News Arena, Manchester

WBA Super Bantamweight Title (Champion Scott Quigg)

Scott Quigg (England) Beat Kiko Martinez (Spain) by KO in Round 2

STILL WBA Super bantamweight Champion … Scot Quigg

WBA Lightweight Title (Champion Darleys Perez)

Darleys Perez (Colombia) drew with Anthony Crolla (England) after split decision (114-113, 111-116, 113-113)

STILL WBA Lightweight Champion … Darleys Perez

At The Don Haskins Convention Center, El Paso, Texas

IBF Super Bantamweight Title (Champion Carl Frampton)

Carl Frampton (N Ireland) Beat Alejandro Gonzalez Jr (Mexico) by Unanimous decision (116-108, 116-108, 115-109)

STILL IBF Super Bantamweight Champion … Carl Frampton

IBF Super Flyweight Title (Vacant)

McJoe Arroyo (Puerto Rico) Beat Arthur Villanueva (Philippines) by Unanimous decision (On Scorecards after fight stopped due to a cut after 10 rounds) (97-92, 98-91, 98-91)

NEW IBF Super Flyweight Champion … McJoe Arroyo

At The Gerry Webber Stadium, Halle, Germany

WBO Super Middleweight Title (Champion Arthur Abraham)

Arthur Abraham (Armenia) Beat Robert Stieglitz (Russia) by KO in Round 6

STILL WBO Super Middleweight champion … Arthur Abraham

At The Venetian Casino, Macao, China

IBF Light Welterweight Title (Vacant)

Cesar Cuenca (Argentina) Beat Ik Yang (China) By Unanimous Decision (117-108, 115-110, 116-109)

NEW IBF Light Welterweight Champion … Cesar Cuenca

SNOOKER

At the Bendigo Stadium, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia

Austrlian Open Snooker Final (Best of 17) (Reigning Champion Judd Trump)

John Higgins (Scotland) 9 Martin Gould (England) 8

John Higgins Wins the Australian Open Snooker Title