Ryan Hall stormed back to the top of the Rugby League World Cup try-scoring chart as England defeated France 34-6 on Saturday to book a semi-final clash with New Zealand.


Hall had Brett Morris and Jarryd Hayne pull level with him on six prior to kick off at the DW Stadium in Wigan after both scored four in Australia’s own quarter-final rout of the United States.

However Hall was to go back top as he dotted down twice in the first half of England’s comfortable win over France, Josh Charnley matching the 25-year-old with a double of his own.

Sean O’Loughlin and Brett Ferres scored in the second half as France stood firm for the most part while Sam Tomkins’ farewell to Wigan ended with a sin-binning in the dying moments.

England now go on to Wembley to face defending champions New Zealand, who are yet to be beaten at the World Cup so far and beat Scotland 40-4 in their quarter-final.

France lost New Zealand-born hooker Kane Bentley to an injury to his left calf inside three minutes but took a shock lead through Vincent Duport.

Sebastien Raguin set up the 25-year-old with a fine offload and Duport powered his way over with Thomas Bosc kicking from the touchline to make it 6-0.

The lead lasted just six minutes though as, from a scrum, Tomkins dazzled the France defence, skipping across three, and feeding Charnley in the corner.

Kevin Sinfield slotted a fine kick to level the score before a break from Rangi Chase in the 18th minute allowed England to build a lead that they wouldn’t surrender.

Chase set off on an initial break before another moment of brilliance from Tomkins, as he danced around again and picked out red-hot Hall for England’s second try.

Sinfield again converted excellently from the touchline before Charnley grabbed his second in a repeat of his first – Kallum Watkins the provider this time instead of Tomkins.

But Hall wasn’t to be outdone by Charnley and grabbed his second and eighth of the tournament after James Graham and James Roby combined to launch England swiftly up the field.

Sinfield converted having missed after Charnley’s try and did the honours again as it took England seven minutes of the second half to score their fifth of the match.

Chase kicked into the left corner on the last tackle, Hall did superbly to flick backwards with Leroy Cudjoe sweeping up and allowing O’Loughlin to cross to make it 26-6.

However, for all their free-flowing attacks in the first half, England were forced to defend for much of the second as France probed to add to their solitary try.

Damien Cardace almost lit up the final 10 minutes after capitalising on poor handling from Charnley however England hauled him in to keep France at bay.

However there was a regrettable moment as Tomkins, saying his farewell to Wigan as he joins New Zealand Warriors after the World Cup, was sent to the bin for a professional foul in the aftermath.

Ferres had the final say of the match, however, with Sinfield slotting a kick from right in front of the posts, his fifth from six, as it ended 34-6 to England.

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Western Sydney Wanderers maintained their unbeaten start to the A-League season with a 1-0 win over Melbourne Victory at Parramatta Stadium on Saturday night.


An 82nd minute strike from Mark Bridge was the difference between the two sides after Labinot Haliti had sent a pinpoint cross over the face of goal.

The Victory looked the better side for significant periods of the round six fixture, but couldn’t make the most of their chances when they came, with Archie Thompson a chief offender.

The win moves the Wanderers to the top of the A-League table, but Brisbane Roar can reclaim top spot with a win over the Newcastle Jets on Sunday.

Before a crowd of 15,854 in persistent rain the Victory pressed well early with the Wanderers having to rely on counter attack to force their way into the game.

But the home side again showed persistence and self belief are two of their key characteristics.

The hosts dominated the last half hour of the game in forcing their fourth win of the season with the Socceroos squad watching on ahead of their friendly against Costa Rica in Sydney on Tuesday.

The visitors enjoyed the better of the first half and would have gone to the break ahead if Thompson had made the most of his chances.

He made a meal of a shot from point-blank range in the 13th minute and as the half wound down sent a shot across the face of goal in the 42nd minute.

Connor Pain, who like Thompson consistently troubled the Wanderers defence in the opening 45 minutes, had a shot blocked by Ante Covic in the 38th minute in the Victory’s other good chance for a goal.

The Wanderers had to wait until two minutes from the break for their best opportunity when Nathan Coe parried a brilliant strike from Bridge over the top of the goal and the teams went to halftime at 0-0.

The Victory had a chance to claim a point with a corner in time added on but the Wanderers defence had little trouble in getting the ball clear.

Western Sydney’s Jerome Polenz earned a yellow card for a challenge on James Troisi in the 10th minute, while Troisi earned one himself for a clumsy effort on Shannon Cole in the 61st minute.

Wanderers coach Tony Popovic paid credit to an impressive effort from his team across the park in securing their fourth successive win.

“I think all-round it was a very good performance against a very good team,” he said.

“It was another good result in difficult conditions.

“The patches were a bit longer in regard to our good play.”

Victory boss Kevin Muscat bemoaned the second straight week his team would return home from Sydney without a win, on the back of last week’s 3-2 loss to Sydney FC.

“The performance was good but obviously we go away with nothing,” he said.

“We should have got something out of the game.

“We were on top for big parts of the first half but we just needed a bit more patience in the final third.

“But they defended well. They make it hard for you, especially up here … everyone takes responsibility.

“It got to the last 10 minutes there and we couldn’t hold them out.

“If we had have scored a goal in the first half it might have been a different story.”

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An Islamist coalition led by the Muslim Brotherhood on Saturday offered negotiations to end the deadly tumult since Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi’s overthrow, without explicitly insisting on his reinstatement.


The coalition “calls on all revolutionary forces and political parties and patriotic figures to enter a deep dialogue on exiting the current crisis,” it said in a statement.

The proposal comes after more than 1,000 people, mostly Morsi supporters, were killed in clashes with police and thousands more arrested following his overthrow by the military on July 3.

The coalition, which has organised weekly protests despite the crackdown, insisted in its statement on keeping up “peaceful opposition”, but said it wanted a “consensus for the public good of the country”.

Much of the Brotherhood’s leadership has been put on trial, including Morsi himself.

“We have no conditions, and neither should they,” Imam Youssef, a leader of the Islamist coalition member the Asala party, told AFP.

But he said the talks must lead to a “democratic” solution, and the coalition wanted them to start within two weeks.

The Islamists were prepared to respect the demands of the millions of protesters who called for Morsi’s ouster, Youssef said.

“We want a democratic solution, and it does not necessarily mean we have to be in power,” he added.

Asked if the coalition would insist on Morsi’s return to office, he replied: “We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves.”

A senior member of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) said the statement did not mean the Islamists dropped their demand on Morsi’s reinstatement, but were open to discussing how he could constitutionally resign.

“The range is there and there are disagreeing visions,” he said, adding some insist Morsi must complete his term, while others would accept he resign immediately and give his powers to a prime minister.

“As for the details, if they are in accordance with legitimacy and the constitution, the (solution) would be okay,” said the official, who requested anonymity.

The talks proposed Saturday were aimed at political parties, he added.

“We can have a conversation with the coup authorities, but only if they accept the framework.”

The coalition statement said Islamist prisoners must be released and Islamist broadcasters closed after Morsi’s overthrow must be reopened.

They also insisted that the military, which has formally handed power to an interim civilian government, must “return to the barracks”.

Unlike previous offers, which all hinged on Morsi’s return to power before negotiations, the Islamists were pointedly vague on their goals.

They demanded “a return to constitutional legitimacy and the democratic process with the participation of all political groups, without one group monopolising the process or excluding any group”.

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Perth Glory coach Alistair Edwards has launched a scathing attack on Football Federation Australia after his A-League team had to face Adelaide United in scorching heat on Saturday.


FFA oversees the running of the A-League and despite the temperature in Perth rising to 37C by midday and still being 33C by kick-off at 2.30pm (local time), the Glory’s game went ahead and ended in a 1-1 draw.

Both clubs wanted the game shifted to a later start time to avoid their players having to be out in the middle of the afternoon sun, but FFA and A-League administrators did not grant the request.

Both Edwards and his Adelaide counterpart Josep Gombau were concerned for the welfare of their players in the conditions, making for a sour start to Perth marquee recruit William Gallas’ A-League stint.

After the match, Edwards revealed the two-time French World Cup representative and English Premier League star defender would have started on Saturday had it not been so hot.

“Gallas would have started the game but there was no way that we can play a player like that, who just hopped off the plane, and it ruins it for everyone,” Edwards said.

“He was set to start and we still hoped the fixture would be changed so he could, but there’s no way that I’m going to do that to a player like Gallas.

“He would have started and everyone has missed out. We are trying to grow the game in this country by bringing world-class players here, but the timing of the game meant he couldn’t start.”

In the post-match press conference, Edwards suggested whoever decided the game had to be played at 2.30pm had no interest in the safety of players.

“We ask for a simple request to have the game at a reasonable time so that it doesn’t affect the players’ welfare and they still don’t listen so it’s very frustrating from that point of view,” Edwards said.

“Whoever made the decision that it had to be played at this time is clearly not acting in the best interests of the players.

“As a coach, to make the players play under those conditions is totally unacceptable for me.

“I just thought that surely sanity and commonsense would prevail but it’s just wrong. I hope we don’t ever have to put our elite athletes under that duress ever again.”

Gombau agreed the game should not have been played in the afternoon heat.

“For us to play under these conditions is difficult for everybody and it’s not just about football, it’s also not healthy for the players to play in this weather,” Gombau said.

“I think this game should have been played at about 5 o’clock and everybody would have enjoyed it more – the fans, the players and the football would have been better if they didn’t play on this hot day.”

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US authorities believe they have found the body of a Florida man who they say fell out of a private plane, three days into a land and sea search that included parts of the Atlantic Ocean near Miami.


“Even though we presume that the body found is that of Gerardo Nales, investigators are pending official identification from the Medical Examiner’s Office,” Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said in a statement.

The presumed body of 42-year-old Nales was found in an area of mangroves on Saturday, Zabaleta said. A day earlier, police air and water units were scouring the sea and had expanded their search area because of currents and wind.

The pilot’s identity has not been released, nor has the intended destination of the plane. Authorities said there were only two people on board.

The pilot of the Piper PA 46 called for help on Thursday afternoon, radioing “mayday, mayday, mayday” and telling an air traffic controller that a door was open and a passenger had fallen from the plane.

Police said the aircraft had just taken off from Tamiami Executive Airport, south of Miami.

Federal Aviation Administration officials said the plane was flying about 600 metres, 13 kilometres southeast of the Tamiami airport.

Police said investigators had no evidence of foul play.

According to a report on the website Live ATC.Net, the pilot calmly radioed the air traffic controller. LiveATC.Net provides live air traffic-control broadcasts from control towers and radar facilities around the world.

“I have a door ajar and a passenger that fell down. I’m six miles from Tamiami,” the pilot said.

“You said you’ve got a passenger that fell out of your plane?” the air traffic controller responds.

“That’s correct, sir,” the pilot said. “He opened the back door and he just fell out the plane.”

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