Subiect: rs having clawed back
CARDIFF -- Wales survived a second-half fightback by Italy to launch the defence of its Six Nations title with an unconvincing 23-15 win at Millennium Stadium on Saturday. First-half tries by Alex Cuthbert and Scott Williams combined with flawless kicking by Leigh Halfpenny to give the Welsh a 17-3 lead at the break. Unlucky to be so far behind, Italy dominated the second half, with Michele Campagnaro scoring two tries to leave his team just five points behind with 11 minutes left. However, another penalty by Halfpenny ensured Wales preserved its unbeaten home record against the Italians and saw the fullback finish the match with a personal haul of 13 points. "It will focus the minds for next week," said Wales coach Warren Gatland, referring to Saturdays match in Ireland. "It wasnt an easy run-out -- it was tough, which was the way we wanted it." The Welsh are seeking an unprecedented third straight title since the tournament expanded in 2000, and have been installed as favourites by most pundits and bookmakers. Yet they were given a real scare by Italy, and with the score at 20-15 after Campagnaros second try, there was a real danger that Wales would lose its opening match -- like it did last year to Ireland. In the end, Wales limped to victory and there were muted celebrations by the players after the final whistle. "We certainly made it hard for ourselves," Wales centre Jamie Roberts said. "We have to tighten up those mistakes in our game. If we dont, then well lose against Ireland." It had all looked so different after just four minutes, when covering winger Angelo Esposito failed to gather a grubber kick by Wales flyhalf Rhys Priestland. The ball slithered through into the in-goal area and the inrushing Cuthbert had the simple task of collecting and diving over for a try that was converted by Halfpenny. The Italians didnt buckle, though. And after Allan and Halfpenny traded penalties to leave the score 10-3 after 29 minutes, Sergio Parisse was denied a try in the 35th by the video referee, who adjudged the Italy captain to have knocked on as he challenged for a high ball with George North. Somewhat against the run of play, Wales scored its second try three minutes later when Roberts broke a tackle in midfield before passing inside to centre partner Williams, who cantered over to ground near the posts. Italys comeback was launched in the 43rd, though, when Campagnaro chased down Leonardo Sartos smart kick down the line and dived over just before the ball went dead. Crucially, Allan missed the conversion, then a penalty in the 50th. Halfpenny booted another penalty in the 67th but blotted his performance by sending over a floated pass that was intercepted by Campagnaro, who raced clear from inside his own half to dive over. Italy couldnt complete the recovery, and remains with just one away win in the Six Nations -- at Scotland. "As a captain, I am very proud of what the youngsters achieved today," Parisse said. "They were facing some of the most talented backs on the international stage, but they showed they can compete at this level." Jacob McQuaide Jersey . - Steve Stricker usually doesnt show up at a tournament on Sunday. John Kelly Jersey . With just under five seconds remaining - the Raptors having clawed back from a 19-point deficit and pulled within one - DeRozan took the handoff from Chuck Hayes. http://www.cheapramsjerseyssale.com/?ta … rsey-sale. -- Fresh off their surprising run in the playoffs, the Portland Trail Blazers have signed head coach Terry Stotts to a multi-year contract extension. Joe Namath Jersey . Lack replaced an injured Roberto Luongo late in the first period then watched defenceman Chris Tanev score the winning goal midway through the third as the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Jets 2-1 in a tight NHL game. Mike Thomas Jersey . -- A 25-year-old freelance journalist from British Columbia was formally charged on Thursday with a felony, five days after she was arrested in the United States over allegations she threatened to kill her hockey player boyfriend.ARLINGTON, Texas -- Robbie Grossman and the Houston Astros finally got to Yu Darvish -- and moved out of last place in the AL West. Grossman snapped an 0-for-28 slide with a career-high four hits as the Astros completed a three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers with an 8-4 victory over the All-Star pitcher who dominated them so many times in the past. "The way we came into here, after losing seven in a row, for our guys to respond the way they responded in this three-game series, Im extremely proud of them," manager Bo Porter said. Grossman and rookie George Springer homered for the Astros, who moved into fourth place by a percentage point over slumping Texas. It is the first time in their two seasons since switching leagues that the Astros have not been in fifth place in the five-team AL West after mid-April. "When you look at where were at today, obviously we feel like we have improved as a ballclub," Porter said. "At the same time, when we get to the end of the year, well see where were at. It definitely feels good to be playing good baseball right now." Springer also made an incredible running catch in the third inning. The centre fielder leaped on the warning track, reached over his head and held onto the ball when he slammed into the wall. Houston had 28 runs and 42 hits in the series against its in-state rival that won 17 of 19 against the Astros last season. The Rangers lost for the 10th time in 11 games and have dropped 18 of 21 overall. At 38-53, their .418 winning percentage is the worst in the majors -- just behind Arizona and Houston, both 39-54 for a .419 mark. "Its been really tough. Its been frustrating," outfielder Alex Rios said. "This is a season that I believe that were all going to remember in a bad way." Dallas Keuchel (9-5), one of five candidates in Internet balloting for the final spot on the AL All-Star team, allowed four runs and eight hits over 6 2-3 innings. While it wasnt his best performance, he was happy to beat the Rangers. "Just bbecause theyve beaten us up the last couple years," Keuchel said.dddddddddddd "Theyve been the big brother, of sort." Darvish (8-5), who had thrown 20 consecutive scoreless innings while winning his last three home starts, gave up a season-high 10 hits and six runs. He struck out eight and needed 109 pitches to get through six innings. Against Houston at home in April, Darvish allowed one hit over eight scoreless innings. The Japanese ace also had two near no-hitters on the road against the Astros last season, one in which he retired the first 26 batters. Carlos Corporan had a two-run double in the sixth to break a 4-all tie. An inning later, Springer hit his 19th homer, a two-run shot off reliever Jason Frasor. Grossmans solo homer, about 329 feet into the right-field corner, made it 4-all with two outs in the fifth. He also had a double in the first inning and an RBI single in the third. Before getting recalled this week by the Astros, Grossman had an 18-game hitting streak at Triple-A Oklahoma City. But he was hitless in a span of 28 at-bats in the majors after going 0 for 4 on Tuesday night to start his third stint with Houston this season. Adrian Beltre extended his hitting streak to 13 games with an RBI single in the Texas first. The All-Star third baseman is batting .494 (38 for 77) in his last 20 home games, and is second in the AL at .336 overall. Houston took a 2-1 lead in the second when Corporan hit a two-out double before Enrique Hernandez tripled and scored on a wild pitch. "The team is in a skid, but Im telling you, theyre playing," Texas manager Ron Washington said. " Were not pitching very well. ... We just dont have a sustainable offence to support whats going on right now." NOTES: Springer also made a running catch in the right-centre gap to end the third. ... Beltre was called out on strike three in the third when he stepped out of the box but wasnt granted time. When he came to bat in the sixth, Beltre had an animated conversation with plate umpire Bill Miller. 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