Weekend in sport: Rugby players unite, Real Madrid thrashed, Copa Libertadores chaos

Author : helvetic1996
Publish Date : 2021-04-01

Weekend in sport: Rugby players unite, Real Madrid thrashed, Copa Libertadores chaos

1. All Blacks support for Gareth Thomas

Rugby players united over the weekend in a show of support for Gareth Thomas, the former Wales captain who was a victim of a homophobic attack in Cardiff earlier this month.


For the last weekend of the autumn internationals, New Zealand, France, Wales and USA players wore rainbow laces as a gesture of support for Thomas and the LGBT community.

Before Saturday's Test against Italy, which New Zealand won 66-3, the All Blacks announced they would follow Wales and France in wearing the laces. The 44-year-old Thomas, who came out as gay in 2009, posted on Twitter: 'I wish I could put in words what this means.'

Thomas had chosen to pursue restorative justice -- which organizes mediation between the victim and the offender -- for his 16-year-old attacker rather than press charges.

On the subject of rugby, it would be remiss not to mention Fiji's historic 21-14 win over France in Paris Saturday, the Pacific Islanders' first win over Les Bleus.

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2. Real lose, Ronaldo scores, Man City unbeaten

European club football returned to action after the international break and Real Madrid's nightmare season continued.

In Santiago Solari's first game in charge as permanent manager, Real lost 3-0 away to Eibar, succumbing to a fifth league defeat of the season.

'We were not good and that's on us, we have to work to correct the mistakes. They were good, it went for them and we have to congratulate Eibar,' the Real boss told reporters afterwards.

Ousmane Dembele, meanwhile, spared Barça's blushes with a 90th-minute strike to secure a 1-1 draw with Atlético Madrid. The dropped points proved costly, however, as it allowed Sevilla to move a point ahead of Barca at the top of La Liga.

In England, Liverpool and Manchester City both had comfortable wins, with the Reds strolling to a 3-0 win over Watford and City thumping West Ham 4-0 to maintain their unbeaten starts to the English Premier League season.

Liverpool's win combined with Paris St. Germain's 1-0 victory over Toulouse -- the Parisians' 14th straight league win in Ligue 1 this season -- sets up an intriguing Champions League clash between the two teams Wednesday.

In Italy, Juventus continued its imperious form with a a 2-0 win over SPAL to move nine points clear in Serie A, with Cristiano Ronaldo's 10th goal of the season making him the fastest Juve player ever to reach the milestone.

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3. Copa Libertadores final postponed again

Boca Juniors versus River Plate is arguably Latin America's biggest derby. That the two teams were set to meet in the Copa Libertadores meant that it was no surprise that Saturday's final was being described as the biggest club match in Argentine football history.

But the second leg of the tie was postponed Saturday because the Boca Juniors team bus was attacked by River Plate fans on its way to the game. On Sunday it was postponed again, this time indefinitely, just hours before kickoff.

It's not clear when the game might be rescheduled, but the presidents of the two clubs will meet in Paraguay Tuesday.

Boca Juniors captain Pablo Pérez and midfielder Gonzalo Lamardo were treated at a hospital after Saturday's attack, which led to the arrest of 29 River supporters. You can read more in our full report.

4. Australia claims women's World T20 title

It was a fourth World Twenty20 title for Australia's women as the Southern Stars beat England by an emphatic eight wickets in Antigua.

England were bowled out for 105 with two balls remaining, with teenage leg-spinner Georgia Wareham proving the match winner with figures of 2-11.

Ashleigh Gardner (33 not out) and Meg Lanning (28 not out) shared a 62-run partnership as Australia, defeated finalists two years ago, eased past the total with 29 balls remaining.

5. Texas A&M outlasts rival LSU for marathon win

With a score that more closely resembled a college basketball result, Texas A&M proved football is a game of attrition, playing out an incredible seven-overtime 74-72 win over bitter rivals Louisiana State.

Almost from the moment LSU players prematurely doused coach Ed Orgeron with Gatorade with the seconds ticking down in the final quarter, nothing in this game went to script.

Instead, the college football regular season ended with an instant classic, with Aggies' QB Kellen Mond leading the charge with an incredible -- and lengthy -- shift, passing for 287 yards and six scores while adding 42 rushing yards and another touchdown.

The game was full of heart-stopping moments, with Mond getting the ball with a minute of regulation left, eventually feeding through a 19-yard Quartney Davis touchdown to send the game to overtime -- the first of many.

The drama continued, perhaps most notably with A&M's Kendrick Rogers' 25-yard touchdown reception to force the fourth overtime.

But ultimately it was Mond's night, his two-point conversion pass to Rogers sealing the win, snapping a six-game losing streak against LSU and the Aggies' first win over the Tigers since 1995.


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