The Sport Matrix: Wednesday 14 January 2015


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The Independent Online

Original Ronaldo has his chips

In a week when Cristiano Ronaldo retained his title as best player in the world, his namesake succeeded in another “sport”.

Former Brazilian forward Ronaldo, latterly more used to another kind of chip, took to the table at the PokerStars Caribbean poker event, where he managed to finish 25th in the 800-strong competition and take home almost £28,000.

“The field was 816,” the 38-year-old World Cup winner, said. “I got in 25th. Congrats to all who made this happen!”

McIlroy: Court case not a distraction

Rory McIlroy insists the looming court battle with his former management company will not derail his Masters challenge.

“I’ve literally not thought about it,” McIlroy said ahead of his Dublin court date next month. “I just go with the lawyers and they tell me to sit tight. It’s no big deal.” McIlroy alleges he was coaxed into signing an “unconscionable contract” stipulating “excessive commissions”.

Kruis banned for three weeks

Saracens received a significant setback last night when George Kruis was banned until next month. The England lock admitted a charge of dangerous tackling during last week’s loss at Gloucester and was given a 21-day ban, ruling him out of games against Munster and Clermont.

Spurs ring changes amid hectic month

The Tottenham Hotspur manager, Mauricio Pochettino, intends to utilise his squad fully as the club chase glory on four fronts amid a daunting schedule. “We are the team who has played more than anyone,” he said ahead of tonight’s FA Cup third-round replay with Burnley. “We need to give the opportunity to all players. We have a strong squad. We have to be clever with how we manage the squad.”

‘Incredible’ Wiggins hard to replace

Sir Dave Brailsford has admitted Team Sky will struggle to replace the departing Bradley Wiggins. “As soon as you think about trying to replace Bradley, you back yourself into a corner,” he said. “His contribution has been phenomenal, remarkable. We set out to win the Tour with a clean, British rider and that’s what he did. He’s an incredible athlete, one of the most versatile the sport has ever seen.”