PITTSBURGH (AP) — Forget the communication issues in the secondary. The lack of a consistent pass rush. The inability to get off the field. Forget the eye-popping statistics the Pittsburgh Steelers gave up in a 42-37 loss to Kansas City on Sunday that left the two-time defending AFC North champions at an early season crossroads. Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) makes a catch past Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Artie Burns (25) and takes it in for a touchdown in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Pittsburgh. The Kansas City Chiefs won 42-37. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) All the mistakes and missed opportunities — and there were plenty to go around — came down to one very obvious problem.“We didn’t kick enough (tail),” defensive end Cam Heyward said. “It’s as simple as that. I’m not going to sit up here and sugarcoat it. As a leader I have to be better.”Heyward is hardly the only one.A week after racking up seven sacks and helping the Steelers salvage a tie in Cleveland they perhaps didn’t deserve, Pittsburgh’s revamped defense wilted under the mid-September sun and the steady onslaught of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.The Steelers have been in the NFL for 86 seasons and played nearly 1,200 regular-season games. Mahomes became only the second player ever to throw for six touchdowns against Pittsburgh. Hall of Famer Jim Kelly did it for Buffalo in 1991.Mahomes did it in his third career start.Ouch.“We just didn’t cover well enough,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “We didn’t rush well enough. It is always collective when they are making plays in the passing game. We didn’t get after them.”Not by a long shot.Mahomes had more touchdown passes than incompletions, finishing 23 of 28 for 326 yards. The Steelers (0-1-1) only forced Kansas City to punt twice, failed to prevent a touchdown in four red-zone trips by the Chiefs and seemed completely overmatched at times.Pittsburgh played without veteran cornerback Joe Haden, nursing a hamstring injury. The Steelers started Cam Sutton in Haden’s place, but the experiment lasted barely a quarter. By then Mahomes had already thrown for three scores as Kansas City built a quick 21-point lead.On the surface, it looked much like Pittsburgh’s 45-42 loss to Jacksonville in the divisional round of the playoffs.“We felt like we gave them the 21 points,” cornerback Mike Hilton said. “They didn’t really go down and earn it on us. We had a lot of miscommunications and blown coverages that led to the 21 from the start.”The Steelers rallied behind quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, drawing to a 21-all tie by halftime. Their momentum stalled in the second half. The Chiefs (2-0), meanwhile, just kept on coming.Kansas City found the end zone on its first three possessions in each half. Rather than exploit one matchup, the Chiefs spread the ball around. Seven different Kansas City players caught passes. Five different Chiefs scored.“Those guys were getting open today,” Mahomes said. “The offensive line was blocking great, so it was making my job a lot easier.”Not that the Chiefs met with much resistance. The Steelers only forced Kansas City into five third downs all afternoon.“Every category for the defense we was below average, and you can’t beat a good team like that,” safety Sean Davis said. “We missed tackles. We gave up plays. Too many penalties.”Things won’t get any easier for Pittsburgh next week. The Steelers travel to Tampa Bay to take on the surprising Buccaneers, who are off to a 2-0 start behind resurgent Ryan Fitzpatrick. All the 35-year-old Fitzpatrick has done is go over 400 yards in each of the first two week while filling in for suspended starter Jameis Winston.Still, the Steelers (0-1-1) preached patience, not panic.“The locker room I don’t think is going to break apart,” defensive end Stephon Tuitt said. “A lot of guys are close. We just have to keep continuing to push each other. We’re going to get better. We’re going to get over this hump but we just have to continue to build and push.”Might want to hurry.“You look at the glass half full and say we’re 0-1-1, not 0-2,” Heyward said. “I’m not going to over judge. I just say we have got to get the job done.”___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
In this Aug. 30, 2017, file photo, Minnesota Lynx’s Maya Moore, left, shoots against Indiana Fever’s Jazmon Gwathmey during the first half of a WNBA basketball game in Indianapolis. Minnesota Lynx star Maya Moore has decided to skip the upcoming WNBA season. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File) Moore announced Tuesday on The Players’ Tribune website that she’ll sit out in 2019. She already had taken the fall and winter off from international competition. The five-time first-team All-WNBA honoree has helped the Lynx win four championships since her rookie year, 2011.“The success that I’ve been a part of in basketball truly blows my mind every time I think about it,” Moore said in her post. “But the main way I measure success in life is something I don’t often get to emphasize explicitly through pro ball.”Raised by a single mother with strong Christian beliefs, Moore has spoken often about her desire for a well-rounded life steered by biblical principles . She quoted from scripture in her brief essay and, without citing specifics, said she plans to invest time in “some ministry dreams that have been stirring in my heart for many years.”Reforming the justice system has been a particular passion of hers , including a personal interest she has taken in the case of Jonathan Irons , who was imprisoned in Missouri in 1997 by what his supporters contend was a wrongful burglary conviction at age 16.“I’m sure this year will be hard in ways that I don’t even know yet, but it will also be rewarding in ways I’ve yet to see, too,” Moore wrote. “I’m thankful to my Lynx family and others close to me who have been walking with me during this shift, and I’m excited to see what the future holds.”Last season was only the second time since Moore was drafted first overall that the Lynx didn’t reach the WNBA Finals. Moore was eighth in the league in minutes and seventh in points in 2018. She has missed one game in eight seasons, with career averages of 18.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.“We support her in this exploration and will continue to provide her the love and care she has always known from her Lynx family,” general manager and head coach Cheryl Reeve said in a statement distributed by the team.Moore, who went to high school in the Atlanta area she now calls home, was given the franchise tag last month by the Lynx, preventing her from becoming a free agent. Hours before announcing her decision to sit out, Moore signed a contract with the Lynx on Tuesday.The 29-year-old, who won the WNBA Most Valuable Player award in 2014, expressed her fatigue — and her eagerness for some extended rest — near the end of the 2018 season, which saw the Lynx ousted in the first round of the playoffs. The league compressed the 34-game schedule by three weeks from the 2017 slate.Moore was the top vote-getter for the All-Star game last summer in Minnesota, but she passed on the team captain responsibility that would have required her to draft from the 22-player pool. Candace Parker of the Los Angeles Sparks took her place, joining Elena Delle Donne of the Washington Mystics in assembling the sides. Moore had 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists in the exhibition to earn her third straight All-Star Game MVP award.Moore also opted out of the Women’s Basketball World Cup, the first major event she wasn’t on the U.S. national team for since the 2008 Summer Olympics, which took place before the start of her sophomore season at powerhouse Connecticut.The Lynx, too, are in flux following the retirement of five-time All-Star point guard Lindsay Whalen, who became coach at her alma mater, Minnesota. They start their season May 25 against Chicago. MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Lynx star Maya Moore has decided to skip the upcoming WNBA season, seeking more time to devote to her family and her faith.
Listen back to some of the highlights of another top week on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.Here’s another chance to hear Lennox Lewis’ visit to talkSPORT towers with Alan and Dominic Cork, and the Moose’s EXCLUSIVE interview with Ronaldo’s moth!PLUS, has Ian Abrahams really got 197,000 ‘very good friends’?Find out in the latest Breakfast best bits podcast!
Here are some opportunities to help those who are less fortunate during the holidays in the Santa Clarita Valley. Castaic Lions Club: The Lion’s Club Santa’s Float will make an appearance betwen 5 and 9 p.m. at various sites in Castaic through Dec. 12 to collect canned food donations for the needy. The float’s first appearance will be today at the Winter Magic Boat Parade at Castaic Lake. For a complete schedule of sites and dates, visit www.castaiclionsclub.org or call Century 21 Americas at (661) 257-0344. Santa Clarita Valley sheriff’s station: The sheriff’s station is conducting its annual Toy Drive to collect new, unwrapped toys for needy children living in the Santa Clarita Valley area. Toys can be dropped off at the sheriff’s station, 23740 Magic Mountain Parkway, Valencia, or at participating businesses through Dec. 18. A storefront in the former Chamber of Commerce building will be open for weekend drop-offs. For information, call Deputy Gerri McCorkle at (661) 799-5164. Hunger Defense Fund: This food pantry facility is in need of canned food items to provide for the more than 650 families that depend on it during the holidays and throughout the year. The organization is also in need of new, unwrapped toys. They hope to provide a toy for every child whose parents pick up food at the facility. Food, toys and monetary donations can be dropped off from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays or 9 to 11:30 a.m. Saturdays through Dec. 24 at Hunger Defense Fund, 26450 Ruether Ave., Suite 208, Canyon Country. For information, call Wendi Lancy at (661) 299-9273. Southern California firefighters: The Holiday Toy Express will pull into the Newhall Metrolink Station at 8:15 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Via Princessa station to collect unwrapped toys on behalf of the Spark of Love Toy Drive. Toys collected will be distributed to local children. The train, decorated with 50,000 sparkling lights and carrying Santa and his helpers, will host entertainment for families who turn out to participate in the drive. For information, call (800) 371-5465. Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry: The Food Pantry is collecting grocery store gift cards so that needy families can purchase the food necessary for a traditional holiday meal. The goal is to collect enough gift cards to provide $10 per family member. Mail gift cards to, or drop them off at, 24133 Railroad Ave., Newhall, CA 91321. For information, call Executive Director Belinda Crawford at (661) 255-9078. S.C.V.-Newhall Optimist Club: This is the 19th year for the Optimist Club’s Toy and Food Drive. Covered boxes bearing the club name have been placed at local retail outlets as receptacles for nonperishable foods and unwrapped toys. Donations of turkeys and gift certificates are also needed. To donate a perishable item, make a cash donation or learn receptacle locations, call Dee Gadbury at (661) 252-7313. Domino’s Pizza: Domino’s is participating in the Thanks and Giving Campaign to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Customers are asked to add a dollar to their order payment throughout the holidays to benefit the kids at St. Jude. For information, visit www.stjude.org. Automobile Club of Southern California: The Santa Clarita Auto Club office, 23770 Valencia Blvd., Valencia, is accepting donations through the end of the year to benefit Orthopaedic Hospital in Los Angeles and its affiliated Southern California clinics. Those who donate $5 or more will receive a stuffed bird, and those who donate $1 or more will receive a red wristband printed with the words “Helping Others” (while supplies last). For information, call Kelly Clark at (661) 288-5500. Prayer Angels for the Military: The Prayer Angels are collecting items to include in holiday packages to be sent for Christmas and care packages that are sent throughout the year to troops overseas. For information about items that are needed or a list of drop-off sites, call Sharon Ventrice at (661) 755-8629. If your organization has a project designed to help the needy during the holiday season, contact Sharon Cotal at (661) 257-5256, fax her at (661) 257-5262, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to her at 24800 Avenue Rockefeller, Valencia, CA, 91355. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Northeast Valley Health Corp.: Nonprofit health centers in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys are collecting toys to distribute to young patients. Toys for children through 3 years and 8-10 years are especially needed. Toys will be accepted locally until 5 p.m. Wednesday at Valencia Health Center, 23763 Valencia Blvd., Valencia. For information, call Abel Sedillo at (818) 898-1388, Ext. 41602. City of Santa Clarita Community Center: The Community Center is accepting new toys to be distributed at its annual holiday party Dec. 20. Unwrapped toys for children through 17 years can be dropped off through Friday at the Community Center, 24406 San Fernando Road, Newhall, or State Farm Insurance, 28048 Bouquet Canyon Road, Suite 1, Saugus. For information, call Yolanda Calderon at (661) 284-1476. Michael Hoefflin Foundation for Children’s Cancer: This organization is in need of gift cards to put in holiday baskets – or to be distributed throughout the year – to families who have children with cancer. Gift cards of all denominations and vendors (including gas and groceries) are welcome. Gift cards can be mailed or delivered to the Michael Hoefflin Foundation for Children’s Cancer, 28405 Sand Canyon Road, Suite A, Canyon Country, CA, 91387. For information, call (661) 250-4100 or visit www.mhf.org. SCV Senior Center: The Senior Center has begun its annual “10 Bucks to a Better Future” campaign, which asks all Santa Clarita residents to contribute a minimum of $10 yearly to assure the center will be available to meet every resident’s needs. Checks made payable to “SCVSC Annual Campaign” can be dropped off at or mailed to the SCV Senior Center, 22900 Market St., Newhall, 91321 through February. For information, call (661) 259-9444. Santa Clarita Valley Jaycees: Members of the local Jaycees have placed boxes in businesses encouraging people to donate new, unwrapped toys for children of all ages through Friday. The gifts will be presented to selected children from Single Mothers Outreach and the Santa Clarita Valley Boys & Girls Club as part of the club’s annual Santa’s Helpers project. For information, call Dawn Abasta at (661) 607-6886. For a complete list of drop-off sites, or to make a cash donation, visit www.scvjaycees.com.
ST. LOUIS — Drake University senior Summer Brills was named Missouri Valley Conference Singles Player of the Week, the league announced Tuesday. Brills led the Bulldogs to wins over Missouri-St. Louis and SIUE with a pair of straight set wins at No. 1 singles. She defeated UMSL’s Kristine Lindal, 6-4, 6-2 and the topped SIUE’s Lara Tupper, 6-2, 7-5. Brills improved to 8-1 as the Bulldogs’ top singles player. The Bulldogs return to the Roger Knapp Tennis Center this weekend as they host Montana State on Friday and Grand Canyon on Sunday. Print Friendly Version
Smalling (center) scored what proved to be the winner against Watford on SaturdayLiverpool and Chelsea continued their fine start to the 2018/19 Premier League season with victories over Tottenham Hotspurs and Cardiff City respectively. Week five also saw Arsenal, Manchester United and defending champions Man City win their respective fixtures to move up the table.Elsewhere, Everton suffered their first loss of the season, going down 3-1 at home to West Ham United who registered their first points of the campaign. It is still early days but Burnely are already looking a good bet for relegation as they succumbed to a 1-0 loss at Wolves, their fourth of the season.Here are the 11 players that stood out for me in game week four:GK: David Da Gea (Manchester United). Tottenham’s Michel Vorm may have made the most saves this weekend but after two costly errors, i thought i should go for United’s David De Gea.It has not been the best of starts for the Spaniard this season, conceding in four of his first five games but it was down to his reflexes that United managed to win all three points in a fairly hard fixture away to Watford. The save to deny Christian Kabasele deep into injury time was the deal breaker for me and De Gea makes it into my team of the week for the first time this campaign.CB: Chris Smalling (Manchester United). Let’s forget his hair cut as it is a bit over exaggerated to me, Chris Smalling had an outstanding display as United scrapped past Watford on Saturday evening. Solid at the back against two powerful and fairly quick strikers in Troy Deeney and Andre Grey, he looked a class apart and scored the all important second goal that proved to be the winner.At a period when Jose Mourinho looks for stability and continuity, he can surely back on Smalling for the meantime, at least.The Englishman has now ended up on the winning side in all 11 Premier League games in which he has scored, the joint-best such record (with former Liverpool forward-Ryan Babel).CB: Joseph Gomez (Liverpool).Dejan Lovren must be cursing the day he got injured in the build up to this season because it will be extremely difficult for him to get back into the Reds’ starting line-up and it is all down to a certain 21 year old by the names of Joseph Gomez.The young Englishman continues to impress as Van Dirjk’s partner at the heart of Liverpool’s defence and on Saturday, he almost but sealed his spot in the starting line-up.Against arguably the best striker in the League-Harry Kane, Gomes marked his fellow Englishman out of the game as the Spurs forward resorted to speculative efforts and also bailed out his senior-Van Dirjk on several occasion.CB: Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace).What a player Wan-Bissaka is turning out to be for Palace this season! Already some pundits’ revelation of the season and he continues to impress.Yes Wilfred Zaha scored the winner against Huddesfield on Saturday but i couldn’t help but admire the industriousness and tenacity of 20 year old Bissaka because after all, he layed the bench mark for his team’s success as he ran up and down the pitch, making vital interceptions and if it wasn’t for some poor finishing from those in front of him, he could have easily walked home with an assist or two to his name.MF: Granit Xhaka (Arsenal).One of the players who have faced the ruth of the post Arsene Wenger error. Xhaka has already come under scrutiny despite playing only five games in the new season but on Saturday, he scored a beauty of a free-kick to set the tone for Arsenal’s 2-1 victory at Newcastle United.It may not be his finest performance in a Gunners’ shirt but one his new manager will surely be proud of and one that breathes a sigh of relief in Xhaka too.MF: Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool).Wijnaldum has benefited immensely in Klopp’s decision to bench team captain Jordan Henderson and he keeps on vindicating his manager’s choice of starters.Against Spurs on Saturday, he was all over Mauricio Pochetino’s men en route to scoring the first of Liverpool’s two goals. He is clearly not surrendering his starting role easily at Anfiled and both Henderson and new signing-Fabinho will have to work hard to displace the Dutchman.MF: Ryan Fraser (AFC Bournemouth).Ryan Fraser had a hand in three goals in a single Premier League game for the first time-against Leicester on Saturday. Apart from Hazard, the 24 year old Scot was the only other player to be involved in three goals this past weekend and that places him in my team of the week automatically.If he can replicate Saturday’s form in 10 or more games for his side this season, relegation may be least of their worries.MF: David Silva (Manchester City).When Kevin de Bryne got injured last month, everyone knew that it was now down to David Silva to pull the string for City and he has done exactly that.Against Fulham on Saturday, Silva scored his 50th Premier League goal, becoming the fifth player to do so for Manchester City, the others being Sergio Aguero, Yaya Touré, Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko.FW: Edin Hazard (Chelsea).With Hazard in such form, everyone in the Premier league should be worried because once he is on song, Chelsea always win the league.Five games into the season, Hazard has already scored as many goals and assisted two goals and already the most outstanding players in the eyes of the majority. Three of those goals came against Cardiff on Saturday as Mourizio Sarri’s men were required to come from a goal down to win 4-1 at the Bridge.FW: Andre Yamalenko (West Ham United).West Ham had endured their worst start to the Premier League in their history until Manuel Pellegrini decided to hand Andre Yamalenko his first start in a Hammers’ shirt. 90 minutes later, the Ukranian had scored two of West Ham’s three goals as they registered their first points in the league.His place in my team was not safe though as another Hammer in Marko Arnoutivic had a scintillating display but had to go for Yamalenko in the end.FW: Joshua King (AFC Bournemouth).Struggled to find a suitable out and out striker to shape my team and in the end, decided to settle for Bournemouth’s Norwagian international-Joshua King.His goal may have come from a penalty but the 26 year old also managed to assist one of Ryan Fraser’s two strikes in the 4-2 win over Leicester City.Comments Tags: Premeir League Team of the Week 5top
Three Sinn Féin Deputies have brought forward the Island Fisheries Bill in Dáil Éireann today in a bid to protect the livelihoods of offshore island fishermen. Martin Kenny TD, Martin Ferris TD and Pearse Doherty TD are proposing the Island Fisheries (Heritage Licence) Bill 2017, while representatives of island fishers watch from the public gallery.Sligo–Leitrim representative Deputy Kenny said: “I am delighted to be speaking today on this Bill which is an attempt to address the depopulation of our offshore islands by giving local fishermen and women back the ability to make a living as they have traditionally done. “It was a recommendation of the joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine that legislation to protect traditional fishing practices on the islands be introduced and I am delighted that Sinn Féin has done this.“This Bill sets out to fulfil that recommendation, paving the way for a special licence to be available only to island fishers.“It is intended to make life on our offshore islands more sustainable and help reverse the decline in island populations that has been ongoing over the decades.“This legislation aims to ensure that offshore island based fishing communities have their rights to practice long established traditional fishing methods and practices protected and recognised in law. “Island communities and small island fishermen are unable to make a living from fishing, as existing Common Fisheries Policy rules and quota restrictions often prevent them from fishing their own coastal waters.“Working with the Irish Islands Marine Resource Organisation (IIMRO), we have developed this Heritage Licence Bill. The Bill allows for the allocation of a portion of appropriate quota to the island fishers specifically to fish within the six mile territorial limit including the baseline.“The Bill seeks to facilitate the continuation of traditional fishing practices on our offshore islands and provide for the issuing of licences to island fishermen which will be confined to those who are habitually resident on an island and who are engaged in small-scale coastal fishing to earn a living.“The term ‘small scale coastal fishing’ is defined as, fishing carried out by fishing vessels of an overall length of less than 12 metres and not using towed fishing gear.”Island Fisheries Bill to protect island heritage debated today was last modified: February 1st, 2018 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:island fisheries billPearse Doherty TDSinn Fein
The Human Factor, a movie about South Africa winning the Rugby World Cup in 1995, will commence production soon. Based on the book The Human Factor: Nelson Mandela and the game that changed the world, the film will be directed by Clint Eastwood and star Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. 2009 promises to be a watershed year for the film industry in Cape Town and the Western Cape as the Cape Film Commission pushes ahead with its strategy to turn the city and the province into a globally competitive film industry destination. 10 February 2009 The Cape Film Commission plans to launch South Africa’s first online location service in March. It will also work closely with the City of Cape Town’s film permit office in supporting their roll-out of an online location permitting system over the next six months. Twenty-two features films and series were filmed in Cape Town in 2008, including the Bollywood films Seasons Greetings, Life Partner and 8 by 10 (Tasveer). Numerous top international commercials were also filmed in the city, including adverts for Peugeot, BMW, Nivea, Oreo, Coke and Hansa. Pierce Brosnan will soon join the growing list of Hollywood stars who have made films in South Africa when he starts filming Heaven and Earth, a romantic drama set in the Cape Colony in the 1800s. An economic impact assessment carried out three years ago found that the Western Cape film industry contributed an estimated R3.5-billion to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP). Cape Film Commission head Laurence Mitchell believes this contribution has now grown to more than R5-billion. Other initiatives to be launched by the commission in 2009 include the Cape Film Industry’s Green Campaign, and the Animation Industry Development Initiative, which will include the establishment of an Animation Satellite Film Resource Centre in the Khayelitsha/Mitchells Plain area. According to the commission, deals are being put together to bring seven major film productions, including a number of Bollywood productions, to Cape Town in the first quarter of 2009, while another animated feature film is also scheduled to go into production in the next few months. The commission has also embarked on a broad plan to train more than 1 000 people in various services disciplines related to High Definition (HD) broadcasting and production, to make sure the industry is ready for the opportunities presented by the 2010 Fifa World Cup and the country’s migration from Standard Definition (SD) to HD broadcasting. SAinfo reporter South Africa’s first full length CGI film, Lion of Judah, was also produced in Cape Town and is set for international release later in the year. And negotiations are under way for another CGI animated film to be made in the province, the commission said in a statement last week. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
Join Dr. Barbara O’Neill on Wednesday, December 4 at 11 a.m. ET for How Are You Doing: A Financial Check Up.Just in time to develop some 2014 New Year’s resolutions, this 90-minute webinar will discuss 20 ways people can assess their financial progress and identify areas of their financial life that need improvement. Topics covered include financial quizzes, financial goal-setting, income and expense statements, net worth, debt ratios, marginal tax brackets, retirement planning, investment performance metrics, investment risk tolerance, insurance needs, estate planning, and more. The webinar will include time for interactive chatting and links to online resources.View the slides for this presentation on Slideshare. Financial check up from milfamlnFor more information about this free webinar, visit the event page.This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network Blog on November 13, 2013
Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. Madrid: Australia retired one game into their doubles dead rubber against Belgium at the Davis Cup Finals, placing the revamped tournament under further scrutiny a day after Canada forfeited a doubles rubber against the United States.With a scheduling logjam pushing matches past midnight for a second successive day, Australia won both their singles against Belgium to seal a quarter-final clash against Canada but had little motivation to try for a sweep in the early hours of Thursday. Australia’s John Peers and Jordan Thompson did take the court for the Group D doubles rubber but walked off after claiming the opening game.Belgium, knocked out of the tournament, were given a 6-0 6-0 win by organisers.Tennis Australia tweeted that Peers had “wrist injury concerns” but captain Lleyton Hewitt later said the doubles specialist had a sore elbow.”It was an easy decision for me because I’m not risking him before we have a quarter-final match tomorrow,” Hewitt told reporters.”He’ll be getting treatment tonight and icing it. Hopefully it pulls up well for tomorrow night.”Canada forfeited their doubles rubber in Tuesday’s Group F clash against the United States, also after winning both singles rubbers.”Three of the Canadian players were passed unfit to the play the doubles,” organisers the ITF said at the time.With the two best runners-up in the six groups joining the group winners in the quarter-finals, the United States stood to benefit from being effectively gifted the two 6-0 sets.But the Americans were ultimately knocked out despite beating Italy 2-1, with their three-set victory in the deciding doubles rubber finishing after 4 a.m. local time (0300 GMT).Before the United States-Italy match, world No. 2 Novak Djokovic said it was unfair the Americans had been awarded a 6-0 6-0 win by forfeit.”I think everyone should be obliged to come out and play, at least play,” he said after Serbia beat Japan 3-0.Britain’s Andy Murray agreed.”I don’t think that’s good. I was saying I felt like one of the positive things to the way the group stages work is that all of the matches are live, there isn’t any dead rubbers.”So where Canada may have felt that that was a dead rubber in theory for them because they were already through, that could have implications to all of the teams potentially that might finish in second place.”Also they would have had two days off as well after that so I think they should have played the tie.”Canada will face Australia in the first quarter-final later on Thursday, with the benefit of an extra day’s rest compared to their opponents.”Yeah, there’s not a lot we can do, really,” said Hewitt.”At least they’re on a night schedule, they should be used to it.”The best second-placed nations are decided first on matches won, then individual rubbers, then sets and then games. andy murrayaustraliabelgiumcanada First Published: November 21, 2019, 7:15 PM IST