The Sport Matrix: Friday 14 November 2014


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Moyes: Sociedad is my biggest test

David Moyes called his move to manage Real Sociedad the biggest challenge of his career. The Scot, who was sacked as Manchester United manager in April after 10 months in charge, said yesterday: “If I can come here and succeed then it will hopefully open the way for others. This is my biggest challenge because it will show that British managers can go abroad and be successful.”

Lancaster faces issues off the field

England head coach Stuart Lancaster heads into tomorrow’s game with South Africa after having to confront several off-field issues. He faced questions about poor crowd behaviour, player welfare and the possibility of a Samoan boycott of next week’s fixture. “I’m assured our game [with Samoa] will go ahead as planned,” Lancaster insisted yesterday, “and none of this is affecting us as a group.”

Keane backed ahead of qualifier

Roy Keane heads into tonight’s European qualifier against Scotland with the full backing of Ireland’s manager Martin O’Neill and the Ireland FA. O’Neill’s assistant Keane was involved in a confrontation with a guest at the team’s hotel. It ended with Keane calling the police and another individual being taken to hospital. The Gardai are investigating. “It’s only a distraction, that’s all it was,” said O’Neill.

Wetherby races run wrongly

A number of races at Wetherby over the last five years – including the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase – have been run over the wrong distance, the British Horseracing Authority has said.

Four of the 12 active starts at the west Yorkshire course were found to be wrongly positioned, meaning the Charlie Hall Chase has been contested over less than the official “three miles and about one furlong” distance.

The issue arose after the Charlie Hall meeting this month when Timeform writer Simon Rowlands outlined his concerns after some notably quick times.

A survey showed the Charlie Hall had been run over 78 yards short of the expected trip, while the three-mile-one-furlong hurdle was actually run  over a greater distance.

‘I had 24 months to live – I’m now at 50’

Joost van der Westhuizen, the revered former South Africa rugby player, is bravely overcoming the odds to raise awareness of his motor neurone disease. “You live as long as you want, as long as you are positive. They told me I had 24 months and I am now at 50.”