Liverpool sack manager Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool will be on the hunt for a new manager from tonight onwards after the club announced the sacking of Brendan Rodgers with immediate effect, just a few hours after their 1-1 draw with rivals Everton.

Rodgers took Liverpool to within a whisker of the Premier League title in the 2013/14 season, but having lost Luis Suarez to Barcelona, and then Daniel Sturridge to injury for large parts of last season, the club failed to live up to the hype they built the previous season.

Liverpool sit 10th in the league after today’s draw, with the club statement stating the decision had been a difficult one.

“Although this has been a difficult decision, we believe it provides us with the best opportunity for success on the pitch.

“The search for a new manager is underway and we hope to make an appointment in a decisive and timely manner.”

The Northern Irish manager was told just under an hour after the final whistle had gone at Goodison Park that he would be leaving the club.

Principal owner John W Henry, President Mike Gordon and Chairman Tom Werner released a press statement of their own following the dismissal.

“We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Brendan Rodgers for the significant contribution he has made to the club and express our gratitude for his hard work and commitment.

“All of us have experienced some wonderful moments with Brendan as manager and we are confident he will enjoy a long career in the game.”

“Ambition and winning are at the heart of what we want to bring to Liverpool and we believe this change gives us the best opportunity to deliver it.”

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Speedway: British ace Tai Woffinden becomes the new World Speedway Champion

Team Great Britain star Tai Woffinden is back on top of the world after securing his second FIM Speedway World Championship title at the Marian Rose Motoarena in Torun, Poland on Saturday night.

25-year-old Woffinden now has an unassailable lead going into the final round of the season, the DON Smallgoods Australian FIM Speedway Grand Prix, at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium on October 24, where he will also be presented with the World Championship trophy.

The 2015 Championship is Woffinden’s second world title in three seasons and the Scunthorpe-born racer becomes only the third Brit to win speedway’s biggest prize twice, following in the footsteps of both Freddie Williams and Peter Craven.

He also joins Swedish legend Tony Rickardsson, Aussie star Jason Crump, Danish racer Nicki Pedersen and American icon Greg Hancock in the elite band of riders who have won multiple titles since the World Championship series was established in 1995 and is the 16th multi-time world champion in speedway history.

Super League Semi Final: Leeds Rhinos vs St Helens

Photo courtesy of BBC sport

Leeds Rhinos defeated St Helens in a tight affair on Friday night to book their place in the Super League Grand final, taking a 20-13 victory at Headingley Carnigie stadium.

The win gives the Rhinos a chance of completing the treble in the Grand final next week, after having already secured this seasons Challenge Cup final and Super League Leaders’ Shield.

Leeds didn’t win the easy way, and went into the half time interval with St Helens leading 9-8. James Roby opened the scoring before the Rhinos’ Zak Hardaker hit back with a try of his own – but St Helens went into the break with their lead courtesy of a drop goal from Luke Walsh.

The Rhinos then found themselves five points behind when Mark Percival scored a try, which seemed to ignite the fight in the hearts of the Leeds players.

Ryan Hall’s try took the Rhinos into the lead, before Kallum Watkins scored a late try to put the match out of sight, breaking the hearts of the St Helens’ players and fans at the same time.

St Helens coach Keiron Cummingham told the press after the loss he was proud of every single one of his players.

“I really feel for my boys, for large points we were the better team. People really hung in there and we fought for each other. I’m proud of every one of those players.”

Whilst winning Leeds prop Jamie Peacock praised the battling spirit of his successful teammates.

“What a group to play with. We never know when we’re beaten or when to quit. It’s a pleasure to play with such a tough bunch of blokes.

“Saints are a great side, tenacious and tough, and they should take a lot of heart from that.

“It’s the big one next week and anything can happen.”

Leeds will now face Wigan Warriors in the Grand Final on October 10th at Old Trafford, after the Warriors defeated the Huddersfield Giants 32-8, ensuring they reached their third successive final.

Speedway: Three in a row for Poole as they win thrilling Elite League Grand Final

The Poole ‘Readypower’ Pirates have made history by winning their third Elite League title in as many seasons on Wednesday night  – becoming the first club in more than 40 years to do so.

It has been 43 years since the Pirates’ Grand Final opponents, the Belle Vue Aces achieved the treble and 2015 marks the 7th time that the Pirates have won the title.

It wasn’t all plain sailing for Poole though as they were made to sweat by a resilient Belle Vue team at Wimborne Road, before the dream of that third title became reality.

The Dorset club got off to the best possible start, banging in two consecutive 5-1s in the opening two heats, courtesy of Australian duo Davey Watt and Chris Holder, along with the fast track reserve pairing of Paul Starke and Kyle Newman.

Watt and his partner, Grand Prix star, Holder saw off both fellow countryman Max Fricke and Holder’s GP rival Matej Zagar, while Starke and Newman managed to fend off the challenge from opposite numbers Steve Worrall and Stefan Nielsen.

A 4-2 from Australian ace Dakota North and Pirates’ captain Maciej Janowski meant that there was a danger of the meeting becoming a no-contest, however, the Aces responded with three straight heat advantages of their own to stop the Pirates in their tracks.

Despite looking far from comfortable in his early rides, following a crash in the first leg of this meeting in Manchester on Monday night, Polish star Kacper Gomolski kept out of the gate in heat number eight and with reserve rider Kyle Newman providing excellent support, the Pirates were able extend their lead even more with a crucial 5-1 over the Aces pairing of Fricke and Worrall.

Heat number 10 saw an intense battle which was worthy of a Grand Final, between GP riders Janowski and Zagar, with the Pole coming out on top. That increased Belle Vue’s deficit to eight points, and it took a brilliant ride from Holder to deny an Aces 5-1 in the 11th race as the meeting remained delicately poised.

Newman then took victory in the second of the reserves races, however is partner Starke, who was on his second machine, couldn’t add to the Pirates tally.

Despite this, a dominant ride by his skipper Janowski in heat 13 held the Pirates’ advantage at six points, leaving them tantalisingly close to winning the title, but also leaving the chance for the Aces to win it themselves.

That was about to change in Heat 14 though, as Gomolski made an excellent gate to hold off a battling Josh Grajczonek. But tensions rose when North fell, however, he managed to get to his feet and clear the track in order to avoid the stoppage – an effort which was duly applauded by the huge crowd.

The applause continued to echo around the packed Wimborne Road circuit as the injured Gomolski stuck to his task of holing off former Pirate  to seal the most important of victories and realise the dream.

However, the Aces, inspired by the British pair of Craig Cook and Scott Nicholls, managed to close the meeting out with a consolation 5-1, and went home knowing that they had well and truly played a part in this thrilling title race after holding the Pirates to a 46-46 draw in the first leg at Kirkmanshulme Lane two days ago.

But, the Pirates managed to find that extra edge and consequently were the team that now find themselves celebrating long into the night after another fantastic title defence.

ELITE LEAGUE GRAND FINAL RESULT…
1st leg (28/09/2015): Belle Vue Aces 46-46 Poole Pirates
Rider scores…
Belle Vue Aces: Matej Zagar 14+1, Craig Cook 12, Scott Nicholls 8+1, Josh Grajczonek 5, Max Fricke 4+2, Steve Worrall 2, Stefan Nielsen 1

Poole Pirates: Chris Holder 10+1, Kyle Newman 9+2, Paul Starke 9+2, Dakota North 7, Davey Watt 5, Maciej Janowski 4+1, Kacper Gomolski 2+2

2nd leg (30/09/2015): Poole Pirates 46-44 Belle Vue Aces (Poole win 92-90 on aggregate)
Rider scores…
Poole Pirates: Chris Holder 4+1, Davey Watt 7, Dakota North 6, Kacper Gomolski 7, Maciej Janowski 11, Paul Starke 4+1, Kyle Newman 7+2

Belle Vue Aces: Matej Zagar 5+1, Max Fricke 4, Josh Grajczonek 5, Scott Nicholls 10+3, Craig Cook 13, Steve Worrall 3+1, Stefan Nielsen 4+1

Rugby World Cup 2015: Wales vs Fiji first half as it happened

The Millennium stadium was at full capacity as the Welsh side took on the Fijian’s in both nations third matches of this years World Cup.

It was a frantic start to the match, as Wales looked to gain the early advantage. And the Welsh faithful wouldn’t have to wait long to get their first try, as on six minutes scrum-half Gareth Davies smashed through the Fiji backline to open the scoring. Giving great credit to Wales, it had been coming. Dan Biggar converted too, to take Wales into a 7-0 lead.

You could have been forgiven for thinking the game could have swung massively in Wales’ favour now they’d got their first try, but in fact what happened was the Fijians rallied – and were rewarded with their first points of the game on 13 minutes as Ben Volavola kicked home a superb penalty to reduce the deficit to 7-3.

Volavola was then awarded another chance four minutes later, but this time he cannoned the ball well wide of the posts.

That missed penalty kick would have reduced Wales’ advantage even further, but instead the Welsh would get a penalty of their own a couple of minutes later – and Davies couldn’t miss, meaning Wales went back into a seven point lead at 10-3.

Wales should have had their second try of the game on 23 minutes as they broke following a turnover deep in the Wales half. The Welsh had men over and should have scored had it not been for a wonderful last ditch tackle just before the try line. Fiji were then awarded a penalty, and had escaped.

Wales were then awarded their second try as Scott Baldwin picked up on the line and tapped down, before Biggar nailed the conversion taking Wales to 17-3 with six minutes to go before half time.

As half time approached Fiji were awarded a penalty for the scrum collapsing, and this time Volavola made no mistake scoring three important points just before the break, and leaving things at 17-6 at half time.

Sadly the University had organised a student lock-in for tonight so the writer of this article had to head to that to buy some new clothes with some glorious discount.