All entries for November 2006

November 28, 2006

RaW Sport Personality of the Year

The voting is now open for RaW Sport Personality of the Year. To cast your vote simply go to Voting will be open until midnight on Tuesday 5th December and the results will be revealed RaW Sport Review of the Year on the 6th. Here is the full list of nominees:

1) Darren Clarke

A top performer in this years Ryder Cup, Clarke contributed three points from three matches to help Europe to victory. Clarke made himself available for selection for the tournament despite the death of his wife only a month previous and was picked as a wild card by European captain Ian Woosnam.

2) Zara Phillips

The current Eventing World Champion, Zara Phillips won individual gold and team silver at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany with her horse Toytown.

3) Andrew Murray

During 2006 Andy Murray has gone from strength to strength beating the likes of Andy Roddick and Leyton Hewitt on the way to claiming his first ATP Tour title at the SAP open. Perhaps even more impressively he also managed to end Roger Federer’s 55 match unbeaten run in North America. He is currently number 17 in the world rankings

4) Beth Tweddle

2006 was a brilliant year for Tweddle who became Britain most decorated gymnast of all time after winning the uneven bars event in both the European and World Championships.

5) Monty Panesar

Putting the spin back into English cricket, Panesar hit the headlines with an exceptional performance against Pakistan over the summer in which he took three wickets in the first innings. He will be hoping to have as greater impact in the Ashes over the coming weeks.

6) Steven Gerrard

Gerrard was the central performer in what has been called the greatest FA Cup final of modern times. His stunning last minute equaliser for Liverpool summed up a truely heroic performance by the England midfield man.

7) Beanie the Horse

The only horse to feature in the RaW Sport Personality of the Year nominations, Beanie has been central to Manchester City’s amazing home form this season. Owned by manager Stuart Pearce’s daughter, and working mainly in a mascot capacity, Beanie has ensured that City have yet to lose at home this season and have conceeded only one goal.

8) Jenson Button

After years of near misses, Jenson finally took his maiden Grand Prix win in Hungary this year. Whilst early form was nothing short of appalling it all came good for Jenson and for Honda later in the season with a further podium in Brazil and fourth place finishes in Japan, China and Germany.

9) Nicole Cooke

On August 1st 2006, Cooke was unveiled as the UCI’s world number one women’s road cyclist and on September 3rd 2006 secured the Women’s World Cup, with a race in hand. In a highly successful year she was also the winner of the 2006 Grande Boucle – the women’s version of the Tour de France – and five other major competitons.

10) David Walliams

Comic David Walliams swam the English Channel for BBC Sport Relief. His time of 10 hours and 34 minutes laced his effort within the top 50 recorded times for an unaided Channel crossing – he also raised over £1,000,000 in donations in he process.

11) Shelley Rudman

Rudman won asilver medal at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in the skeleton bob to become the only British athlete to win a medal the games.

12) Dean Macey

As a result of injuries Macey stopped training for 3 weeks prior to the Commonwealth Games decathlon. He then battled through to win the gold with a total of 8143 points.

13) Joe Calzaghe

In a sensational year Calzaghe became world champion in both the WBO and IBF Super Middleweight competitions. He is currently among the top ten boxers in the world for his weight.

14) Steve McLaren

Every day is an eventful day when you are Steve McLaren. Over the last year the current England boss has suffered consecutive 7-0 and 4-0 defeats whilst managing Middlesbrough and also been central to England’s amazing performance at this years World Cup. He also led England to defeat against Croatia in the recent Euro qualifiers, and developed an influencial new formation.

November 27, 2006

Manchester United v Chelsea – Game of the Season Lives Up to Its Billing

With Manchester United and Chelsea separated by only three points going into yesterdays encounter at Old Trafford we had the prospect of one of the most hotly contested top of the table clashes in quite some time. Often big games fail to live up to their billing, however this game had everything – top goals, committed play, tactical genius – the lot. It was an excellent match with Jose Mourinho proving why he is such a highly rated coach. Anyone can buy a load of £20m+ players, but it takes a talented manager to know how to use them.

Ironically Mourinho was only able to prove himself in such style after picking an entirely illogical starting line-up. In the first half Chelsea were just too square in midfield. Ordinarily Mourinho’s side can simply overpower the opposition whoever they are playing and however they line-up tactically, however Man Utd use Giggs and Ronaldo to such devasting effect on the wings that for 45 minutes yesterday Chelsea barely got a kick. The Chelsea midfield was ripped apart with Lampard and Essien unsure whether to go wide or stay central. As a result Saha, Rooney, Giggs and Ronaldo just saw way to much of the ball.

Where other managers would have been more cautious and stck with their original game plan Mourinho saw his side were being out played and had the confidence to make changes. With Robben coming on for Geremi, Chelsea were immediately improved. Pushing Essien to right back was an inspired move and from halftime until they claimed the equaliser, Chelsea were sublime. Robben kept Gary Neville pegged back in his own half whilst Essien covered the whole right hand side leaving Ballack, who was nominally on the right wing free to roam.

Sir Alex had no response to what Chelsea had to offer and in the end United were lucky to hold on for the draw. And who would have believed that after the first half? Well done Jose. Overall though credit must go to both teams for playing at such a high pace, with such quality for such a long period of time. Only after Chelsea equalised did either side take their foot of the pedal. It really was top of the league stuff.

Ashes First Test – Brisbane

Australia 602-9 dec & 202-1 dec beat England 157 & 370 by 277 runs

I’m sure Olly will do a far more complete review at some point, but here are my thoughts of someone who has only been watching the highlights!

Day 1

What a first ball. Probably safe to say that Harmison was a little tense! Didn’t get any better after that. Flintoff was the pick for England bowling Langer and Hayden.

Man of the day: Ricky Ponting – for staying still being in at close of play

Moment of the day: That unbelievable first ball from Harmison

Day 2

Australia kept racking up the score, eventually declaring on 602-9 and putting the tiring England side in for some late batting. It worked – we lost three wickets.

Man of the day: Hussey – his catch to get Strauss for 12 was awesomely brave

Moment of the day: Hoggard bowling Ponting and Gilchrist on consecutive balls

Day 3

Glen McGrath skittled out the England lower order in time for Australia to rack up 181 runs before the close. Ponting’s decision not to enforce the follow-on seems to reflect their confidence (or should that be arrogance). At least Ian Bell put in a decent performance for a half century.

Man of the day: Glen McGrath

Moment of the day: Flintoff goes to Brett Lee for a duck.

Day 4

The day began with Australia declaring on 202-1. England came out looking for the draw. Strauss went early, but Cook, Pietersen and Collingwood did well. Flintoff again disappointed.

Man of the day: Paul Collingwood – almost reached a century

Moment of the day: Warne and Pietersen’s little moment of ‘friendly’ rivalry

Day 5

England drop to defeat with a bit of a whimper. Pietersen goes early leaving Jones to provide the highlight of a very short days play.

Overall then Australia were better in every area of their play and deservedly gave us a thrashing. Seemingly Brisbane was a batting wicket and this handed the initiative to the Aussies from the start with the England top order looking very weak without Tres or Vaughan. If England are going to get anything from the Ashes, Flintoff in particular will need to step forward. But who knows, four tests left and anything could happen. Well almost.

November 26, 2006

RaW Sport's 'Punt the Pundit' – Week 8 Nominations

Follow-up to RaW Sport’s Punt the Pundit from RaW Sport Blog

With only one eviction left before the grand final, there was a shock turn of events in the RaW Sport studio yesterday. It seemed impossible that newcomer Big Ron would escape nomination, and yet that is exactly what he did. Alan Green and Andy Gray are up for evicition this week, with Gray nominated for the fourth week in a row. This means that Alan Hansen and Ron Atkinson will definitely make the final, but who will join them?

For the penultimate time it is up to you. Green or Gray? Who is the better pundit? Somehow, though, I can’t help feeling that this weeks vote is somewhat academic. Given that Alan Hansen has survived 8 weeks without evening being nominated, surely he is a shoe-in for victory. Still, as Ron’s appearance in the final shows, you can’t take anything for granted in the world of ‘Punt the Pundit’. Get voting now. Results will be announced, as always, on Wednesday’s show.

November 25, 2006

Today's Show

Tune in at 2pm to hear what just could be the biggest show of the year thus far. We’ll have live updates from both our local sides, Aston Villa and Coventry City as they take on Middlesbrough and QPR respectively. We’ll also have bonus Midlands Championship action in the form of live reports from Stoke v West Brom and Derby v Leicester. In additon to all of that we will, of course, be keeping you in touch with all the rest of the Premiership and Championship action and building up to the ‘Big One’ between Manchester Utd and Chelsea tomorrow.

Away from football we will be bringing news from England encounter with South Africa in the rugby as well as discussing England’s disastrous progress in the first Ashes test. As always we will have yet another installment of the RaW Sport Quiz (this week with a special Ashes theme) as well as the latest nominations in ‘Punt the Pundit’ and another round of ‘Beat Lawro’.

Tune in to RaW Sport Not Out from 2pm.

November 24, 2006

RaW Sport's 'Punt the Pundit' – Stelling gets the boot.

Follow-up to RaW Sport’s Punt the Pundit from RaW Sport Blog

Sadly there will be no more verbal gymnastics in the ‘Punt the Pundit’ house following Jeff Stelling’s eviction on Wednesday night. Much like Gary Lineker, Stelling is very popular, but has suffered in this competition from not being a true pundit. Does being able to recite Blackpool’s recent league form off the top of your head, whilst making banter with Paul Merson qualify as top punditry? It certainly makes you super human, but in this competition its gritty analysis that counts.

The man to benefit from Stelling’s misfortune was Andy Gray who broke Garth’s record for surviving evcition nights. Gray has now been nominated three weeks running. Surely he can’t win on this kind of form? Tune in from 2pm on Saturday to find out which of our remaining pundits will be up for eviction next week. With the arrivial of Big Ron last week we have four pundits, three of which can make the final. Who will fall at the last hurdle?

November 23, 2006

Typical English Reaction

Only one day of the latest Ashes series has been played and already England are being written off. Okay, so clearly we have got a very tough job on our hands to beat the Aussies in Australia, but lets keep a sense of perspective. We may not be that great, but equally we’re not that bad either. One bad day of play doesn’t really effect our overall chances and everyone agrees that the Brisbane wicket favours the batters. So lets just reserve our judgment.

November 21, 2006

RaW Sport Review of the Year 2005

I was having a root around the RaW Sport archives and came across the results from our Review of 2005, and being as it will not be long until we have to start putting the 2006 show together I thought I’d post last year’s results on the blog.

Taken from original notes by Steve Hoon.

Premiership/European Moment of the Year – Liverpool winning the European Cup
Premiership/European Personality of the Year – Frank Lampard
Premiership/European Team of the Year – Chelsea

Tennis Moment of the Year – Kim Clijsters winning the US Open
Tennis Personalities of the Year – Mary Pierce and Andy Murray

Rugby Moment of the Year – Wales winning the Six

Rugby Team of the Year – Wales
Rugby Personality of the Year – Gavin Henson, as much for his exploits off the field as on

Championship Moment of the Year – Coventry’s last ever match at Highfield Road – thrashing Derby
Championship Personality of the Year – David Nugent and Ade Akinbyi shared this
Championship Team of the Year – Reading, only lost a couple of times this calender year!

Athletics Moment of the Year – Paula Radcliffe winning the World Championships
Athletics Personality of the Year- Paula Radcliffe

Cricket Moment of the Year – England beating the Aussies by 3 runs at Edgbasten
Cricket Personality of the Year- Andy Flintoff
Cricket Team of the Year – England (of course!)

International Football Moment of the Year – England beating the Argies
International Football Personality of the Year – Michael Owen
International Team of the Year -Trinidad and Tobago

Formula One Moment of the Year – Some crash
Formula One Personality of the Year – Fernando Alonso
Forumla One Team of the Year – Renault

Moment of the Year – England beating the Aussies by 3 runs at Edgbasten
Personality of the Year – Andy Flintoff
Team of the Year – England

As Steve used to say RaW Sport Review of the Year is like RaW Music’s Single of the Year but much, much better. RaW Sport Review of the Year 2006 will be on the 6th Dec and 8.30pm.

November 20, 2006

RaW Sport's 'Punt the Pundit' – Week 7 Nominations

Follow-up to RaW Sport’s Punt the Pundit from RaW Sport Blog

We promised big news on ‘Punt the Pundit’ this week and ‘big’ is exactly what you got with the arrival of Ron Atkinson into the house. In the interests of fairness Ron was made immune from eviction for this week only, however from next Saturday he will be in the firing line like all the others.

After the departure of Gary Lineker last week we only had four pundits left in the house; Alan Green, Jeff Stelling, Andy Gray and Alan Hansen. And this week we have an all Sky Sports lineup up for eviction with Jeff Stelling joining Andy Gray. I have a feeling that Jeff may suffer like Gary in so far as he is not a pure pundit, however he can speak very fast so this may compensate. If Gray survives again he will break Garth’s record for survivng nominations.

Right, it’s now over to you. Time to get voting. Gray or Stelling?

November 17, 2006

RaW Sport's 'Punt the Pundit' – Lineker leaves

Follow-up to RaW Sport’s Punt the Pundit from RaW Sport Blog

Gary Lineker became the sixth pundit to be evicted from the ‘Punt the Pundit’ house after a landslide result found in favour of Mr Andrew Gray. Whilst Gary remains a relatively popular personality, most people felt that as a pure pundit, the cheeky BBC sports anchor was just not quite up to the job. However, Gary’s loss was Andy’s gain, as he became the first pundit since Garth Crooks back in Week 2 of the competition to survive two consecutive nominations.

Just to remind you this is how the competiton has panned out so far:

Week 1 – Andy Townsend
Week 2 – John Motson
Week 3 – Garth Crooks
Week 4 – Chris Kamara
Week 5 – Mark Lawrenson
Week 6 – Gary Lineker

Which leaves us with Alan Green, Jeff Stelling, Andy Gray and Alan Hansen. However, in true Big Brother style expect some big news tomorrow as rumour has it that some new pundits may be entering the house, or shock-horror, some old ones returning. Tune in from 2pm tomorrow to hear it all first.

November 2006

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