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.
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.
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.
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.
Zvarev upsets the home crowd to end Gasquet’s Montpellier reign
Germany’s Alexander Zvarev upset Richard Gasquet and the crowd hoping to see the Frenchman win in Montpellier for the third straight year. Both men got one break each in the first set but the German held his nerve to take the lead in the tie break. Zvarev then broke again in the eight game of the second set to take a 5-3 lead. Zvarev then served out the final game to take his second ATP title after winning in ST Petersburg in September.
Grigor Dimitrov has continued his excellent start to the season with victory on home soil in Sofia in his native Bulgaria. He broke opponent David Goffin in second game to take an early 3-0 lead. Goffin fought back to break but at 5-6 Goffin made a series of errors on his service game allowing Dimitrov to take the first set with his first set point. The second set followed a similar pattern as Dimitrov raced into a 5-1 lead and had 0-40, Goffin saved all three match points then broke back in the next game. However at 5-4 he could not break again as Dimitrov finished the contest at the second attempt. Dimitrov has two titles this year and a grand slam semi final to his name in what is looking a potentially big year.
Victor Estrella Burgos from the Dominican Republic won his third straight title in Ecuador winning a tight contest against Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi. Lorenzi took the first set on a tie break but Burgos hit back to break at the key moment to take the second set 7-5. There were no breaks in the final set went all the way to a tie break which itself went all the way. At 6-6 Burgos got the key mini break and took his match point to continue an extraordinary run of 15 straight wins on the clay courts of Quito. Burgos returns to the top 100 in the World rankings as a result
German Masters Final in Berlin – Hamilton v Carter
Nottingham’s Hamilton takes first ranking title in Germany
Anthony Hamilton came from behind against Ali Carter to win his first ranking title of his 26 year career in Berlin.Carter dominated the early stages after defeating defending champion Martin Gould in the semi-final. Carter came out with that confidence flowing and raced into a 5-2 lead. Key to the comeback was Hamilton winning the final frame of the first session to go it only two down out the break.
He stormed forward at the start second session taking the opening frame and hitting a 118 break to level at 5-5. He then took the next two and took advantage of Carter missing a black off the spot to clear up and make it 8-5. Carter did stop Hamilton’s run of six straight frames by winning the 14th frame, but only one away, Hamilton was able to finish the job in the 15th frame Hamilton trapped Carter in a tough snooker from which came the mistake allowing Hamilton to make a break of 57, enough to claim the frame and title in his first ranking final for 15 years. A triumph for perseverance.
With many of the big names absent or seeming feeling the jet lag after coming back from the Australian tour, some new faces stepped up at the Riesa Darts Open as part of the European Tour. Austrian Mensur Suljovic defeated England’s James Wilson 6-1 in the semi final to reach his first ranking final. His opponent was Belgian Kim Huybrechts who had got past Dutchman Benito Van de Pas. Huybrechts started the best of 11 final in fine form, a 132 finish but Suljovic hit back to back 13 and 14 dart legs to take a 4-2 lead. Huybrechts struck with another 132 finish and taking three straight legs to move 5-4 up and one away. The Austrian was not finished though taking the 10th leg and the final into a decider. A nervy finish saw both men miss doubles but it was Suljovic who took it to claim his first ranking event victory. The Austrian is up to 14th in the Order of Merit and within touching distance of a Grand Slam of Darts place in November if he can continue top 16 form.
World Champion Mark Selby has won his first ranking tournament of the Season winning the Paul Hunter Classic in Germany.It was an all Leicester affair as World number 40 Tom Ford had played some superb snooker to get to his first ranking final. It was nip and tuck early on the the best of seven final. Selby took the first with a break of 85 but Ford settled and hit back to level in the second. They took one more each to go into the mid session at 2-2. Selby then took control with a break of 72 to make it 3-2, and after a scrappy opening Selby scored 58 in the decisive frame to take the trophy. It is his eight career ranking title and his first since winning at the Crucible. For Ford it was his first final, but surely not his last.
Michael Van Gerwin won his 13th title of the season on a last leg decider against Peter Wright in the final of the European Open, the 6th leg of the PDC European Tour. Wright broke early on to take a 3-1 lead in the best of 11 contest but Van Gerwin hit back with a break to level at 3-3 and then broke again to take the lead for the first time. Wright showed real character to break back to force a final deciding leg but when the pressure is on Might Mike steps up. The final leg was won in 11 darts with a 98 checkout to take the title with an average of over 104.