Good week/Bad week: Best and worst from the sporting world in the past seven days

Last Updated: 22/02/14 8:30pm

  • Share:
Mitchell Johnson: Australia seamer lets it fly at Centurion

Mitchell Johnson: Australia seamer lets it fly at Centurion

Sky Bet

Another busy period of action has thrown up plenty of contenders for our weekly pick of the winners and losers.

There was a fiery performance from a moustachioed paceman in South Africa, a new British ice queen in Sochi and some wildly contrasting opening-round performances in the Super League.

You can add your own suggestions by using the form at the bottom.

Good week

Lizzy Yarnold

Britain appears to have found its winter sports niche in the women's skeleton with Lizzy Yarnold succeeding Amy Williams as the Olympic champion.

Yarnold, a 25-year-old from Kent, was a dominant force in Sochi, setting a track record on her opening slide and holding her lead throughout the four runs to claim the gold medal by 0.97 seconds.

The event - which involves sliding head first down an ice track on a small sled - was only added to the Olympic programme in 2002.

Britain have won a medal in every edition; Alex Coomber took bronze in Salt Lake City, Shelley Rudman silver four years later in Turin in 2006, Williams gold in Vancouver in 2010 and, to that list, we can now add the name of Yarnold.

Mitchell Johnson

Johnson continued his career renaissance with 12 wickets in Australia's 281-run, first-Test victory over South Africa at Centurion.

The raw statistics are impressive; match figures of 12-127 and a fourth man-of-the-match award in his last six Tests (all of which Australia have won).

But they barely do justice to the fear and panic the left-armer's bowling spread among the ranks of the much-vaunted South Africa batting line-up. It was almost like being transported back to the 1970s and 1980s when pace bowling - particularly the West Indian variety - ruled world cricket and batting was a dangerous occupation.

Johnson wasn't just picking up regular wickets, he was also hitting people on the body and head, including drawing blood from somewhere near Ryan McLaren's ear. England had no answer to the raw pace on show during their 5-0 Ashes defeat and it also appeared a shock to the system for the world No 1 South Africans, who still have two more Tests of this to come. Strap on those chest pads!

Bubba Watson

Watson came on strong over the weekend to claim his first victory since the 2012 Masters at the Northern Trust Open.

The American left-hander carded a pair of 64s on Saturday and Sunday to close out a two-shot win from Dustin Johnson at the iconic Riviera Country Club layout within the Los Angeles city limits.

He had started the final round four shots behind William McGirt but birdied five of his first eight holes to storm into contention.

And, a couple of weeks after finishing a shot shy of Kevin Stadler in Phoenix, Watson closed it out in style with a birdie - his 14th of a blemish-free final two rounds - at the 18th.

Tom Briscoe

Competition for places in the outside backs at Leeds Rhinos is fierce but new signing Briscoe made a strong first impression with a hat-trick on his Super League debut for the club.

Signed from Hull, the England international touched down three times in 14 second-half minutes as the Rhinos opened their season with a 34-6 road win at Hull KR.

Leeds coach Brian McDermott was impressed: "He was hard to contain. He's a strong fellow and very robust winger with speed.

"He punched holes in the KR defence in the first half and we value that as highly as the tries. His strength is his strength."

Bad week


Jose Mourinho's 'little horse' missed the chance to pull clear at the top of the Premier League table and were knocked out of the FA Cup.

Victor Anichebe's equaliser three minutes from time earned West Brom a 1-1 draw in midweek, ensuring Chelsea's Premier League advantage is only one point from Arsenal, while Manchester City - who have a superior goal difference - can draw level by winning their game in hand.

In such a tight title race, those two dropped points at the Hawthorns could prove costly in the final calculations.

And Sunday's 2-0 defeat at Manchester City in the fifth round of the FA Cup means Chelsea's fight for silverware is now limited to two fronts.

London Broncos

The fact Super League's London franchise even made it to the start line should probably be considered an achievement in itself after it looked liked they might fold throughout much of the off-season.

But shipping 11 tries in a 64-10 defeat to Widnes Vikings on the opening day of their new campaign suggests it will be another long season for the small band of league enthusiasts in the capital.

Broncos coach Tony Rea said: "We clearly weren't ready, but need to move on from here.

"I will take a fair lump of the blame, but there has been a lot of chopping and changing. We will be adding to the squad, but these players can do better."

Phil Taylor

A second heavy Premier League defeat in as many weeks leaves Taylor contemplating some difficult questions.

The 53-year-old was thrashed 7-0 by reigning world champion Michael van Gerwen on the opening night in Liverpool and fared little better in week two, going down 7-3 to another of his young rivals, Adrian Lewis, in Bournemouth.

Taylor's recent weight loss and change of darts have been talking points and there are even some starting to doubt if he can recapture the old magic that brought him 16 world titles.

He gets another chance to answer his critics in week three of the Premier League on Thursday (Feb 20) when Peter Wright provides the opposition in Belfast.

Tomas O'Leary

London Irish's scrum-half is facing a lengthy ban after being sent off after appearing to stamp on the head of James Haskell during the Exiles' 23-20 Aviva Premiership victory over Wasps.

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young played down the incident as 'reckless rather than vicious'.

Young said: "It is one of those that you go to clear the ball and things happen quickly. There is no rugby player who goes out there to catch somebody on the head."

But O'Leary, who has won 24 caps for Ireland, will serve a three-week suspension.

  • Share:

Most Popular


Rory McIlroy's Year

Rory McIlroy's Year

Rory McIlroy's Year in pictures

High altitude sport in Dubai

High altitude sport in Dubai

As Cheyenne Woods emulates her uncle Tiger, we look back at other stunning images from the Burj Al Arab helipad

Science behind the swing

Science behind the swing

Simon Holmes has been analysing the type of equipment that Tiger Woods has been working with under new coach Chris Como.