Sky Sports Sky Sports British Mercer Zach Lions Malins, watch: and 2021 Max Irish … tour
Mon, 19 Apr 2021 12:00:00 +0100
We take a look at who impressed from the weekend's club scene, viewing players through the spectre of potential British and Irish Lions tour selection
British and Irish Lions News Last Updated: 19/04/21 12:15pmWe take a look at who impressed from the weekend’s club scene, viewing players through the spectre of potential British and Irish Lions tour selection…In the absence of the superb Charles Piutau for Bristol, Malins has stepped up for the Bears at full-back during his loan spell from Saracens and excelled.Indeed, the 24-year-old – who has picked up seven caps for England since November 2020, including a Six Nations start vs France – has been one of the form Premiership players in 2020/21, and was eye-catching again in Bristol’s 34-17 victory over Newcastle Falcons on Saturday.Though Bristol fell 10-0 behind at Kingston Park, Pat Lam’s Bears stuck to their game-plan and method of playing, which was to keep the ball in hand and attack from deep.Within this system, Malins thrives, particularly against tiring bodies, and on the half-hour mark he showed his ability: picking up the ball within his own half, he sprinted forward before selling Toby Flood with a dummy, and then also selling Falcons full-back Tom Penny with another dummy before running under the posts.In the second period, Malins notched a second try as he claimed a bouncing ball within the Newcastle half and demonstrated his deceptive pace by searing through the Falcons defenders and over.In all, Malins finished with 13 carries – no one on the pitch made more – 186 metres with ball in hand – by far the most of any other player – five defenders beaten, two clean breaks, two tries and the man of the match award.In the likes of Stuart Hogg, Liam Williams and Anthony Watson, Gatland already has three top-class potential full-backs – albeit those three could also quite easily combine as a back-three in their own right – but Malins will have caught the eye for sure.Malins is a player of versatility too, which could help his cause considerably.It is perhaps due to the plethora of options and talent at Eddie Jones’ disposal in terms of back-row stocks, but for whatever reason, Mercer’s face hasn’t seemed to fit with the England picture over the last few years.Despite routinely impressing for Bath at No 8 and blindside flanker, Mercer has just two Test caps and one start, both dating back to November 2018, in his career so far.Still just 23, it is likely for the above reasons that Mercer is departing Bath for the Top 14 and Montpellier this summer, which will put his Test career with England on hold in any case.That decision does not preclude him from representing the Lions, however.For Bath vs the Leicester Tigers at the Rec on Sunday, Mercer and co were likely heading towards defeat, being six points down with less than two minutes to play.
A late Will Muir try and fabulous Ben Spencer conversion stole a 21-20 victory for them, however.If Bath as a collective were not at their best, the win was a just reward for the effort Mercer put in, with the No 8 fantastic.Mercer made some 21 carries and 102 metres going forward – both statistics the most of anyone in the game.
He also contributed eight tackles and beat a phenomenal eight defenders.
He also claimed the man of the match award.A true dynamic all-rounder, if Mercer can continue to try and fire Bath into the playoffs, he will further his cause to impress.If there is one position in which Gatland is not blessed with a load of options of players in their best form, then it is at scrum-half.Wales have had injuries to Tomos Williams, Gareth Davies and Kieran Hardy, Scotland’s Ali Price has been in and out, while England’s Ben Youngs and Ireland’s Conor Murray have both lacked consistency at times.Though he may not have played for England since November 2018, experienced Harlequins scrum-half Danny Care has been in very good form this season.The 34-year-old has developed into a leader, and has been a key man on the pitch as Quins have made a run for the Premiership play-offs.Against Worcester at the Stoop on Saturday, Care ran the show as Quins put 50 past the Warriors.The half-back scored the first try on four minutes, as he instinctively exploited a blindside that had been deserted by the Worcester defence, and the game was one-way traffic from there.Still exciting, still pacy, and still more than capable of nailing the essentials.
Care would be far from the worst option this summer based on form.
Mon, 19 Apr 2021 12:00:00 +0100
The London Lions moved within six points of the league-leading Leicester Riders with a game in hand, while the Surrey Scorchers kept their playoff hopes alive
Basketball News Last Updated: 19/04/21 8:31amThe London Lions moved within six points of the league-leading Leicester Riders with a game in hand, while the Surrey Scorchers kept their playoff hopes alive as the BBL Championship entered the final two weeks of the season.
Elsewhere on Sunday the Plymouth Raiders continued their fine form with their 11th win in the last 12 outings, and the Sheffield Sharks consolidated fifth place.The Lions maintained their outside shot at the BBL Championship title with an 85-74 victory over Bristol Flyers at the Copper Box Arena behind 19 points from Dirk Williams to make it eight straight wins.After Bristol held a narrow lead for much of the first half, Lions established an advantage with a 12-5 opening to the third quarter as Orlando Parker scored six of those points to make it 52-44 before draining a three-pointer to take the lead into double-figures.
DeAndre Liggins and Williams were instrumental in their side’s victory over the latter as they finished on 33 and 25 points, respectively.The Flyers’ other game of the week had seen them suffer a 96-91 defeat at the hands of the Sheffield Sharks.Just behind the Lions, the fourth-placed Eagles survived a scare at the Emirates Arena to beat bottom-placed Glasgow Rocks 85-83 as Justin Gordon scored five of his 19 points in the final 20 seconds to make it back-to-back wins for Newcastle.Despite Eagles leading by double-figures in the first half, the game saw 14 lead changes and Rocks looked as though they might take it when Jonny Bunyan hit a three-pointer with a minute and a half to play.
David Mpondo top scored for Glasgow with 15 points.The victory followed up the Eagles’ 90-80 win over leaders Leicester, during which Gordon had 24 points, eight rebounds and five assists alongside 23 points and nine assists from Fletcher.It was also a day of significant implications for the play-off chase and mid-table positioning.
Scorchers moved level with Flyers and Manchester Giants on 10 wins after beating the latter 77-73 at Surrey Sports Park to take the head-to-head and make it three straight home wins, with Martelle McLemore scoring 17 points on 7-10 shooting.Take a bow Cameron Hildreth! Here's this afternoon's @robinsonbuckley Play of the Game
A 14-5 opening to the decisive stanza put them up 67-61 as they held their visitors scoreless for more than four minutes, with an ‘and-one’ play from Tayo Ogedengbe sparking a run of nine unanswered points.From there they kept Giants at arm’s length as they could not get back to within one shot, largely due to some big plays at both ends from Evan Walshe as his three made it 73-66 with one minute to play after a steal.Surrey finished the weekend in ninth, sitting level on 20 points with eighth-placed Flyers and 10th-placed Giants in the race for a top-eight finish.In the middle of the table, the day’s most exciting game saw the Sharks prevail through double overtime to beat Worcester Wolves 91-88 on Antwon Lillard’s buzzer-beater, as he led all scorers with 20 points.Sharks trailed by double-figures in the second half and were down seven with a minute and a half to play when Lamarr Kimble hit a three-pointer.
But they finished the game with a 9-2 burst and forced overtime when Kipper Nichols hit his first basket of the game, a triple with 2.7 seconds remaining.
Then midway through the period they held their hosts scoreless for four and a half minutes as Hamilton and Neighbour added more points, before a Mike Morsell triple capped a run of nine straight at 42-25.
Hamilton led all scorers on the night as he missed just once on his way to 25 points, shooting 7-8 from the field and 8-8 at the line.Raiders have won 11 of their last 12 games, while that result leaves Cheshire with six defeats in their last seven.Plymouth were also victorious on Wednesday, beating the Scorchers 106-82 behind 23 points from Morsell, 20 from Rickey McGill and a 14-point, 14-rebound double-double from Michael Ochereobia.Your sport.
– April 19, 2021
Sky Sports British and Irish Lions 2021 tour watch Max Malins Zach Mercer