The Sport Matrix: Wednesday 15 October 2014


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Flower handed  six-month ban

Wigan prop Ben Flower was last night suspended for six months for his assault on St Helens’ Lance Hohaia last weekend. The player was sent off after two minutes of Saturday’s Grand final at Old Trafford after landing two punches on Hohaia, the second of them whilst the player was lying on the ground. Flower’s fate was decided yesterday by a four-man panel in Leeds. Wigan will not appeal the verdict.

Suarez: I inspired Liverpool title run

Uruguay forward Luis Suarez believes Liverpool only came close to a first league title in 24 years last season because of his form. The Reds finished two points behind winners Manchester City, having led the table for the majority of the run-in. “If I hadn’t had the attitude and mentality to want to lead the team, Liverpool would [not] have done as well,” the forward, who left for Barcelona in the summer, said.

I’m not trouble, insists Phillips

Wales international Mike Phillips has hit back at claims he is a troublemaker. “Everything you do now, even if doing nothing wrong, can be interpreted any way you want with a picture,” he said. “That thing with the bouncer was nothing. It was blown up by that picture. A couple of beers is a chance to release. Unfortunately I’ve had to learn the hard way but I’ve never done anything too bad.”

Gutierrez runs a marathon despite illness

Newcastle United midfielder Jonas Gutierrez has completed a marathon in his home country of Argentina, despite an ongoing battle with testicular cancer.

The 31-year-old, who is still on the books of the North-east club, completed the marathon on Sunday, raising money for cancer charity Fuca.

“Thank you very much to all the participants of the Buenos Aires Marathon 42k for the support and encouragement during the race,” the midfielder wrote on Twitter.

Gutierrez also saw the Argentina national team unveil a banner that read “Strength Jonas” ahead of the friendly against Brazil at the weekend.

Bianchi dad tells of ‘living a nightmare’

Jules Bianchi’s father has spoken of the family’s nightmare awaiting improvements on the driver’s condition. The driver collided with a tractor during this month’s Japanese Grand Prix, suffering serious head injuries. “One day he seems a bit better, other days a bit worse,” Philippe said.