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Bad day now over for Ricciardo

Written By Unknown on Minggu, 17 Maret 2013 | 23.01

Bad day ... a poor start and a broken exhaust left Ricciardo with little to smile about. Source: William West / AFP

It's an understatement to say Sunday's Australian Grand Prix wasn't the home race Daniel Ricciardo was looking for.

Following hopes of a top-10 starting spot and a high finish, the Perth-born racer endured several problems from the start of the race, ending his day in the garage instead of on the podium.

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"In the end I had to retire with a problem linked to the exhaust," Ricciardo said. "I reported back to the pit wall that I could hear strange noises and I tried to fix it by changing a few functions, but it was not to be."

But, like fellow Red Bull-backed Australian Mark Webber, the 23-year-old's problems had began before the race had even started.

On the formation lap prior to gridding up for the start, Ricciardo struggled to get any temperature into his tyres or brakes, leaving him floundering in last by the end of the first lap.

"At the start of the race, I struggled to find grip and it felt like I was driving on ice, as it took a very long time to warm up the tyres.

"But afterwards, after about ten laps, I got up to speed and my lap times were not too bad, but by then I had lost too much time in the early stages."

It marked a disappointing race for the Toro Rosso squad, who were looking to put a disappointing 2012 season behind them with a solid result in Australia.

Unfortunately, Ricciardo believes the poor result has left them with more work to do before the championship heads to Malaysia next weekend.

"I think we have more homework to do when it comes to the tyres. Not the ending I wanted for the first Grand Prix of the season, especially here in my home race."

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Kimi Raikkonen wins F1 opener

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Winner ... Raikkonen conserves his rubber to outlast his F1 rivals at Albert Park. Source: Joe Castro / AAP

Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen has taken a shock win in the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix, outlasting his rivals as their tyres full apart under them.

The fun-loving Finn beat Ferrari's Fernando Alonso by 12 seconds, with reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel completing the podium in third.

It was a poor day for the Aussies on home soil, Mark Webber finishing sixth with a fighting drive with no KERS and a poor start, while Daniel Ricciardo retired his Toro Rosso with a broken exhaust after he too endured a horror start.

Re-live all the action and excitement of the Australian Grand Prix with our live blog HERE.

Raikkonen wasn't thought to be a contender pre-race, but Lotus's two-stop strategy proved crucial to their success.

"It was a pretty nice race, not so difficult," the enigmatic Finn said on the podium. "[Two stops] was our plan before the race and I was pretty confident that the tyres would be okay."

Second-placed Alonso conceded he was disappointed not to be standing on the top step of the podium, but is happy to finally start a season on a positive note.

"We had a very difficult start to the year two years ago and last year, but this year is different," he said. It was a fantastic race for us, fighting all through the race.

"The race was action every lap. I personally enjoy, but at the end I was a bit sad not to win the race."

Vettel's lack of pace was the big surprise. After dominating virtually all of the running throughout the weekend, he simply didn't have the speed to challenge for victory.

"I'm not worried, we have to admit sometimes people are faster," Vettel said post-race. "It's a long season, long way ahead of us. Good points to start."

Webber's hopes took an early blow, making another poor start to drop from second on the grid to be in seventh into the first corner.

New Sauber signing Nico Hulkenberg didn't even make the start, the team withdrawing the German's car just before the start with fuel system problems.

The tale of the early laps was one of tyre woes, with none of the leading contenders able to keep Pirelli's supersoft compound alive for much longer than a handful of laps.

Webber was the first of the frontrunners to blink, enduring a slow stop to change to medium compound tyres on lap five.

Left trapped behind Jenson Button's struggling McLaren, Red Bull switched his strategy and brought him in for an early second stop on lap 17.

Vettel led the early running with Massa and Alonso in hot pursuit, before they too were all hit with graining issues. Vettel pitted on lap seven, followed by Massa on lap eight, then Alonso and the flying Raikkonen on lap nine.

This left Hamilton and Rosberg in front, stretching the maximum laps out of their soft tyres before relenting on laps 14 and 15 respectively.

The Mercedes stops handed the lead to returning Force India driver Adrian Sutil. The German, starting on medium tyres, ran all the way until lap 21 before pitting.

Vettel flew up to the back of Sutil soon after his pitstop but that was as far as he got. The charge wore out his new rubber, forcing him to follow the Force India into the pits.

The pair emerged in the same order but behind Alonso's Ferrari, the Spaniard having made an early second stop to undercut the pair.

As the leaders all started to make their second round of stops Raikkonen started to show the Lotus team's hand, staying out on his second set of tyres until lap 34.

From there, the Finn would make it to the end of the race without stopping again, setting up a surprising victory in the championship's opening round.

Alonso fought valiantly, though, stringing together a sequence of fast laps on either side of his third and final pitstop in pursuit of the black Lotus.

But Raikkonen put a late exclamation mark on his team's strategy, illustrating just how comfortably his tyres were lasting by posting the fastest lap of the race on lap 56 of 58.

Vettel was powerless to do anything but cruise to third, after fighting his way past Sutil soon after their second stops.

Massa, who at one point looked a dark horse to win the race, faded to fourth, the Ferrari team's strategy of running a short middle stint for the Brazilian backfiring.

Fifth on his Mercedes debut was Lewis Hamilton, who held off Webber for sixth, while mid-race hero Sutil salvaged seventh ahead of teammate Paul di Resta.

Rounding out the pointscorers were McLaren's Jenson Button and Raikkonen's teammate Romain Grosjean.

The other Australian in the race Daniel Ricciardo, had a fraught day, dropping to last place on the opening lap, eventually retiring with 19 laps to go.

The threat of rain through the race failed to materialise, with little spits of water hitting falling on parts of the track mid-race.

Raikkonen's win could be a good omen for the season ahead. It's the first time the Lotus team has won the opening race since 2006 - when they were known as Renault - and the first time a Lotus has won the opening race of the season since 1978. On both occasions, they won the title.

The championship's next stop is in just one week's time at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia.

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Queensland sneak into Shield final

Match-winner ... James Hopes took four wickets for Queensland. Source: Kerris Berrington / News Limited

Veteran all-rounder James Hopes has ripped through West Australia's middle and lower order to help secure Queensland a spot in next week's Sheffield Shield final.

SHEF - WACA Ground

14 March 2013 - Day 3, Session 3

Western Australia 2nd Innings

R. Duffield 6 7 1 0 85.71

With the match slightly in Queensland's favour going into the last session, Hopes (4-42) put the result beyond doubt with three quick wickets to wrap up the innings.

The Warriors had been some kind of show of meeting Tasmania in the final when requiring 171 runs off a minimum of 37 overs in the last session with five wickets in hand.

But when top-scorer Mike Hussey departed for 37 off the bowling of Ryan Harris the writing was on the wall for the home side, who meekly surrendered thereafter to finish 120 runs shy of the victory target.

Earlier the Bulls put themselves in with a good chance of claiming the win when they moved from 6-179 and a lead of just 116 runs at the start of the day to 9-336 before declaring heading into lunch.

Fast bowlers Michael Neser (77) and Harris (54 no) combined brilliantly for a quick-fire wicket 86-run partnership;  Harris remaining undefeated after clubbing six fours and two sixes in his electrifying knock.

Harris was man of the match for his important innings and eight wickets for the fixture.

Hopes was suitably delighted with the result and was positive about heading down to Hobart.

"We asked ourselves this morning whether we had one more trick up our sleeves and just talking amongst the boys we said to ourselves we think we owe it to ourselves to have one last crack at this,'' Hopes said.

"It's going to be flat (the wicket) and I think the weather down there is forecast to be pretty good for the week and we will get a couple of our bowlers back which will make selection interesting.''

The home side will lament the missed opportunity to have chased a far more modest target, an abject day ending in poor fashion when Burt Cockley stepped on his wicket for the final dismissal.

"It's obviously a disappointing day, we've been outplayed today in every way," said Warriors captain Adam Voges.

"We will look at every area now and just assess where everyone is."

Watch the Sheffield Shield final LIVE on Fox Sports, starting on Friday 22 March.

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Phoenix stall Glory's finals charge

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Wellington Phoenix ... halt Perth Glory's finals charge. Source: Theron Kirkman / AAP

Perth Glory's finals chances are hanging by a thread after suffering a shock 2-1 loss to A-League cellar dwellers Wellington Phoenix at nib Stadium on Sunday.

Glory would have soared into fifth spot with victory over the last-placed Phoenix.

P W D L GD Pts
1 Western Sydney 25 17 2 6 17 53
2 Central Coast 25 14 6 5 23 48
3 Victory 25 12 5 8 3 41
4 Adelaide 25 12 4 9 3 40
5 Sydney 25 9 4 12 -8 31
6 Newcastle 26 8 7 11 -12 31
7 Brisbane 25 8 5 12 0 29
8 Perth 25 8 4 13 -3 28
9 Heart 25 8 3 14 -6 27
10 Wellington 26 7 6 13 -17 27

Instead, it was Wellington who took the spoils, with goals to Paul Ifill and Stein Huysegems consigning Glory to just their second loss under interim coach Alistair Edwards.

"The other results this weekend went our way. But we couldn't capitalise on the fact we had a chance to get into the six, which is disappointing,'' Alistair Edwards said.

"But there's still six points up for grabs, so it's still game on.''

Glory's Japanese recruit Ryo Nagai pulled a goal back in the 75th minute, but Phoenix custodian Glen Moss pulled off a crucial save in the 94th minute to deny Perth an equaliser.

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With just two rounds remaining, Perth trail sixth-placed Newcastle by three points, although the Jets only have one game to play.

Perth round out the season with tough matches against Melbourne Victory (away) and Adelaide United (home).

Star striker Shane Smeltz and defender Michael Thwaite will miss Saturday's clash with the Victory due to international duties, but their opponents will be without Socceroos trio Archie Thompson, Marco Rojas and Mark Milligan.

Re-live the action in our A-League Match Centre, featuring video highlights of key moments.

Glory couldn't find a way past Moss in the opening half, with the Phoenix goalkeeper pulling off a string of fine saves to deny goalward-bound strikes from Matias Cordoba, Shane Smeltz and Liam Miller.

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Wellington struggled to create clear-cut opportunities, but a penetrating run down the right from in-form striker Jeremy Brockie led to the first goal in the 35th minute.

Although Brockie's shot from a tough angle was deflected away off the boot of Glory goalkeeper Danny Vukovic, Ifill pounced on the rebound to tap home the goal.

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Wellington doubled their lead in the 67th minute courtesy of a beautifully-timed header from Huysegems.
But there was hope for Perth when Nagai rose above Manny Muscat to score a header of his own.

However, Moss saved the day for Wellington at the death, blocking a desperate strike from Travis Dodd in the fourth minute of extra time to secure a rare away win for Wellington.

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Interim Phoenix coach Chris Greenacre praised the efforts of Moss, and said the result was sweet revenge for Wellington.

"Perth ended our playoff run last year, so we had a little bit of something on the game,'' Greenacre said.

"Even though we have nothing to play for, it was important we came in and gave a real performance. The boys certainly did that.''

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Hughes, Aussies hold on in Mohali

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Resurgent ... Hughes made his highest score of the series on day four. Source: Manan Vatsyayana / AAP

Australia crashed to 3-75 in their second innings on Sunday and face an uphill task to avoid another massive defeat in the third Test against India with one day's play remaining.

3rd Test - Punjab Cricket Association Stadium

14 March 2013 - Day 4, Session 3

Australia 2nd Innings

P. Hughes 53 68 9 1 77.94
N. Lyon 4 17 1 0 23.53
R. Ashwin 7 2 25 0 3.57

Trailing 2-0 and needing to win the last two matches to square the series and retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Michael Clarke's side look like sitting ducks against India's bowling attack, especially with the skipper Clarke yet to bat because of a sore back.

Australia trail India by 16 runs, with Phillip Hughes the unlikely saviour late on day four.

David Warner played a loose cut shot and was caught behind for two to paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar on the third delivery of the innings.

Kumar (3-25) also removed Ed Cowan lbw for eight at 2-35 and Steve Smith was bowled by Kumar for five.

Hughes, with just 27 runs in his first five knocks in the series and clinging desperately to his place in the side, was sent in at No.3 and has smashed a defiant 53 not out off 68 balls.

Nightwatchman Nathan Lyon is unbeaten on four.

Team physio Alex Kountouris said Clarke had injured his back during the warm-up on Sunday morning.

"He'll undergo further treatment overnight," Kountouris said.

"We'll assess that and see how it settles in the morning to determine when he's able to bat."

Earlier, India claimed a first-innings lead of 91 after tea with a total of 499.

Paceman Peter Siddle showed his trademark grit on a flat Mohali pitch to claim 5-71 off 29.1 back-breaking overs.

Spinners Lyon (1-124) and Xavier Doherty (0-87) had little impact while occasional leggie Smith (1-63) served up plenty of half-trackers in his 10 overs, although he did pick up the crucial wicket of Sachin Tendulkar.

Shikhar Dhawan (187) and Murali Vijay (153) hit centuries in a 289-run stand, having resumed on Sunday on 0-283.

India went to lunch at 3-384 and moved ahead of Australia's 408 in the 101st over, which was the last with the old ball.

Mitchell Starc's inswingers claimed two lbws to remove Vijay and MS Dhoni (four) in the first five balls with the new cherry.

Siddle dismissed Ravindra Jadeja (eight) and Ravi Ashwin (four) in consecutive overs as India slumped to 7-431.

Kumar (18) was caught behind to Moises Henriques shortly after tea, ending a 61-run partnership with Virat Kohli (67 not out).

Siddle took the last two wickets to fall to move to 148 from 40 Tests.

Follow all the day five action LIVE with our Match Centre, and watch the drama unfold LIVE, EXCLUSIVE and in HIGH DEFINITION from 2.20pm (EDT) Monday on Fox Sports 2.

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'Storm cloud ruins JT's night'

Melbourne Storm ... too clinical for the Cowboys. Source: Colin Whelan / AAP

In his weekly column, Fox Sports expert and Canberra assistant coach Brett Kimmorley offers his thoughts and predictions of round two of the 2013 NRL Premiership season.

Eels vs Bulldogs, ANZ Stadium

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This was an intense, back and fourth game for the full 80 minutes. Parramatta should be enormously proud of the effort. They were competitive but crucial errors early in the tackle count hurt them. However, they will take a lot out of the game while it was a gutsy win for the Bulldogs. With Ben Barba missing the 'Dogs are yet to reach their full potential in attack. Josh Jackson was outstanding and pushing for a regular place in the starting side while Josh Reynolds is maturing as a genuine ball player.

Dragons vs Broncos, WIN Stadium

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The Dragons had plenty of ball and opportunities to score in the first half but superhuman defensive efforts from the Broncos frustrated the opposition, causing them to stray from their game plan. Justin Hodges and Matt Gillett were outstanding for Brisbane, while returning playmaker Scott Prince and Peter Wallace combination is slowly starting to click. The Dragons showed a lot of character in the first half. Trent Merrin has found his position at lock. He asked a lot of questions of the Broncos defence and would be feeling confident facing the Raiders in Canberra.

Warriors vs Roosters, Eden Park

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The Roosters had the game wrapped up but a little spark from Shaun Johnson had the Warriors back in the contest, revealing some holes in Sydney Roosters defence. Big Ben Matalino was outstanding for the Warriors, taking it to the Roosters pack like a one man army. Sonny Bill Williams showed improvement in his first game as a starter. Trent Robisnon will be happy to get his first win as a coach regardless of how ugly the win might have been. The Roosters discipline improved from the previous week, but they let the Warriors back into the game.

Cowboys vs Storm, 1300SMILES Stadium

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Melbourne sent a massive reminder that they should be the favourites in this competition. They blew away the Cowboys in the middle of the park which isn't easy considering North Queensland's arsenal of big men. The Storm's guard was up all night. They are so disciplined and play an up-tempo game that is very hard to compete with. Cooper Cronk was magical, executing the game plan with surgical precision. Billy Slater and Cameron Smith were brilliant in attack as well but it was defence that won them the game. They also ruined Jonathan Thurston's celebration at 1300SMILES Stadium.

Titans vs Raiders, Skilled Park

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Canberra made a lot of mistakes and the game was over at halftime. In the end you can't be that poor in such a close competition. If you make a lot of tackles against a team like the Titans who are a large side with pace around the ruck you are going to let in points. Ultimately the Raiders conceded too many soft tries and were out-enthused by the Titans. It's a big year for John Cartwright – he has been there for some time and has the players he wants. Expectations are high and they give the competition a shake this season.

Tigers vs Panthers, Campbelltown Sports Stadium

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Tigers coach Mick Potter copped criticism following last Monday's loss to Newcastle but will be relieved following Sunday's win.  It will give him belief that what he is working on is right and vice versa with the players. Benji Marshall showed touches of his brilliance after a quiet game last week.  The Panthers will be competitive this year but it came down to a touch more class with Marshall out pointing Luke Walsh. He knew when to make the big plays and when to settle the side. It wasn't pretty or flashy but it was a starting point for the Tigers.

Sea Eagles vs Knights, Brookvale Oval

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Manly sent the competition a reminder of just how good they are - especially at Brookvale. Their key individuals in Kite, Stewart and their halves lead and guide the side around the park. The Manly halves were relentless, while Watmough was at his damaging best around the ruck. They love playing the bully and they play it extremely well. They are a side who like to dominate and they do in attack and defence. They would have been more excited by keeping Newcastle to zero than the 32 points they scored. Newcastle were ambushed at the start of the game.

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Video: Goal of the Week R25

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Stunning strikes ... Marcelo Carrusca, Golgol Mebrahtu and Iacopo La Rocca netted fine goals. Source:AAP

This week's A-League Goal of the Week contenders include a fine finish made in Argentina, a two-touch masterclass from the Wanderers and an absolute rocket from the aptly-named Golgol Mebrahtu.

Entrants must be 18 or over and hold a current full Australian driver's licence.

The competition commences on, 27 January 2013 at 8:30pm AEDT and closes on 5 April 2013 at 5:00pm AEDT and is divided into 10 weekly periods.

Each weekly period opens on Sunday at 8:30pm AEDT and closes on the following Friday at 5:00pm AEDT.

One entry per weekly entry period.

This competition is authorised under NSW Permit No. LTPS/13/00440, ACT TP13/00141, Victorian Permit No. 13/117 & SA Licence No. T13/61.

Adelaide import Marcelo Carusca netted a crucial left-footed goal against the Jets on Friday night that ensured the Reds will finish in the top four and host an all-important home final.

The man with the coolest name in the A-League - Golgol Mebrahtu - is known to pull off the spectacular, as the Wanderers found out at a wet AAMI Park on Saturday.

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His rocket from outside the box wasn't enough as the Wanderers prevailed 3-1, but it does earn him a nomination for our Goal of the Week.

Rounding out this week's efforts is Iacopo La Rocca and his two touches straight out of the top drawer.

In tricky conditions, the Italian cushioned the ball perfectly before curling it past the outstretched Andrew Redmayne and into the bottom corner, killing of the Heart's hopes.

Which was the best? Watch them all above and vote right here.

Fox Sports and Hyundai are giving fans the chance to win by voting in the Goal of the Week competition.

The major prize winner will drive home the all-new Hyundai Veloster SR Turbo. Delivering both street presence and dynamic performance, with 150kW of grunt and 265Nm of torque delivered by a twin-scroll turbocharged engine, you'll be the envy of all of your friends.

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The runner-up prize winner will win tickets to a corporate box at the Hyundai A-League grand final including return economy flights, transfers and two nights' accommodation to enjoy with three friends.

There is also a weekly cash prize of $300 up for grabs.

To enter, simply visit our competition page here each week to vote for your favourite goal and submit your details below.

Enjoy the video, good luck, and don't forget to return weekly from 830pm (EDT) each Sunday for your feast of great goals and chance to win!

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Sachin only Indian without hundred

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Trouble in paradise ... Tendulkar's powers appear to be on the wane. Source: Rob Griffith / AAP

The superb performances by India's batsmen this series have had one negative effect for the hosts - they've shown how much Sachin Tendulkar's powers are on the way down.

Murali Vijay
Innings': 4
Runs: 336
High Score: 167
Average: 84

MS Dhoni
Innings': 3
Runs: 272
High score: 224
Average: 90.66

Cheteshwar Pujara
Innings': 4
Runs: 257
High score: 204
Average: 85.66

Shikhar Dhawan
Innings: 1
Runs: 187
High score: 187
Average: 187

Virat Kohli
Innings': 3
Runs: 174
High score: 107
Average: 87

Sachin Tendulkar
Innings': 4
Runs: 138
High score: 81
Average: 46

Tendulkar has the lowest average and has scored the least runs of India's full-time batsmen who are playing in this match*, having hit 138 runs at an average of 46 over the three Tests thus far.

Admittedly, this is not a poor performance - far from it - but it doesn't look good when compared to some of his teammates.

Murali Vijay tops the charts with a whopping 336 runs at an average of 84, closely followed by India skipper MS Dhoni who has brought up 272 runs, most of which came in his stunning innings of 224 in the first Test.

Even four of Australia's batsman, who have been under fire from go to woe in this series, have outscored Tendulkar, although admittedly they've had one more innings than him.

Again, the Little Master's stats are still fairly good in isolation, but given he is the only one of the hosts' full-time batsmen who hasn't made a hundred in the series, he may be feeling like he hasn't contributed enough.

The worrying sign for Indian fans is that Tendulkar has been getting out after seemingly looking set for a big total.

In the first Test, he cruised to 81 before being bowled through the gate by Nathan Lyon, and in Mohali he looked in fine touch until he edged a ball from part-time spinner Steve Smith.

He'd rather not remember his dismissal in the second Test, when he gloved an innocuous deliery down the leg side from Peter Siddle.

It would be unfair to compare Tendulkar's predicament to that of Ricky Ponting immediately before he retired - their form and their likelihood of being dropped are vastly different - but if ever evidence was needed that the Little Master's powers were waning, this is it.

*Ravindra Jadeja was not included as a full-time batsman, as he was picked as an all-rounder. Virender Sehwag was not included as he is not playing in the current Test.

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