The Sport Matrix: Tuesday 24 February 2015


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Chelsea fury at Barnes decision

Chelsea are understood to be angry at the FA’s decision not to punish Burnley’s Ashley Barnes retrospectively for his foul on Nemanja Matic, with the club hierarchy fully behind Jose Mourinho’s verdict on Sky Sports on Sunday. There will be no further action against Barnes, whose studs-up foul on Matic prompted the reaction that led to the Serbian midfielder being dismissed on Saturday.

Ireland aim to seal second victory

Ireland resume their World Cup campaign against United Arab Emirates in Brisbane early tomorrow, nine days since they signalled their intent with an opening win over West Indies. Ireland’s short-term aim is to reach the knockout stages, and victory over UAE is a must. But their big ambition is to earn a place at the next World Cup and become a future Test-playing nation.

Italy prop out as dog bites his nose

Italy prop Martin Castrogiovanni is set to miss Saturday’s Six Nations match against Scotland at Murrayfield after being bitten on the nose by a friend’s dog. The Italy Rugby Federation said he had suffered a “slight domestic incident” and been left out of the provisional squad. News agency Ansa said he had been playing with the dog which turned on him and caused a wound requiring 14 stitches.

Alonso on the mend after testing crash

Fernando Alonso is making a “solid recovery” following a heavy crash during testing on Sunday, McLaren said yesterday.

The Spaniard spent the night in hospital after his McLaren-Honda left the track and hit a wall side-on at the Circuit de Catalunya, near Barcelona. He remained conscious and able to speak to doctors after the incident but he was concussed and airlifted to hospital for precautionary checks, including CT and MRI scans.

McLaren have carried out tests on Alonso’s car and insist the crash was not caused by mechanical failure. “Our findings indicate that the accident was caused by the unpredictably gusty winds at that part of the circuit at that time, and which had affected other drivers similarly,” McLaren said.

The driver’s manager Luis Garcia Abad posted at photo of Alonso (above) in his hospital bed on social media yesterday, with the message: “Lunch time! Thank you for your support!”

England unveil coach Middleton

Simon Middleton has been appointed as head coach of the England Women’s side, taking over from Gary Street, the Rugby Football Union said. Middleton, the current England Women’s Sevens head coach, will hold both roles simultaneously in a change from the previous structure.