Rio delays frustrate Kiwi rowers ahead of Olympics

The New Zealand rowing team in Rio is the largest they've sent to an Olympics and they were some of the first to arrive in Brazil.

Unlike in the past, the full team is staying in the village but that's already having a negative impact on their buildup.

"The worst case we've had up to two hours on a bus so that's the worst trip," Mahe Drysdale said of their ride from the village to the Olympic venue.

While it is getting better it's still taking much longer that it should to cover the 30 kilometres from the village to Lagoa Stadium where the Olympic rowing is being held, Rio's traffic slowing down even accredited transport.

At Karapiro, a trip to the lake is just down the road.

Perhaps fortuitously, Rowing New Zealand has hired a day house in Rio just five minutes from the venue.

"It's actually used as a yoga retreat I think and there's a duck and ducklings which I really appreciate and there was a monkey watching us eat lunch the other day so it's a cool place to get a bit of healthy distraction," said Zoe Stevenson of the women's double sculls.

It also means that instead of four trips a day between the village and training, there's only two, which can make all the difference when you're trying to beat your competitors by the smallest of margins.

"We have an advantage over a lot of other countries. Personally in my field all my main competitors are staying in the village so I feel like we have an advantage over them," said Emma Twigg.

Mahe Drysdale says it sometimes takes two hours to travel 30 kilometres on the team bus.


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Inter Milan star fires home brilliant volley as Tottenham snatch Champions League defeat from jaws of victory

Inter Milan scored two late goals, including a stoppage-time winner, to mark their return to the Champions League with a 2-1 comeback victory against Tottenham this morning.

Inter's first game in the competition since 2012 looked set to end in disappointment when Tottenham playmaker Christian Eriksen's shot took a lucky deflection and looped into the net in the 53rd minute.

But Mauro Icardi equalised with a perfectly struck volley in the 86th and Vecino headed in the winner in injury time to send the San Siro wild.

Tottenham fell to their third straight loss in all competitions despite taking the lead somewhat against the run of play.

Eriksen's initial shot was parried by Samir Handanovic but the Inter defense failed to clear the danger.

The ball came back to the Denmark international and his second attempt took a huge deflection off Joao Miranda and floated over Handanovic.

However, Icardi pounced four minutes from time with a powerful volley into the bottom corner from 20 yards out.

That inspired Inter and they poured forward. After earlier chances to snatch the winner, a corner was nodded on to Vecino who headed in in the second minute of stoppage time.

Meanwhile, Harry Kane's post-World Cup struggles continued.

Kane was the top scorer at the tournament in Russia with six goals in England's run to the semifinals, but the 25-year-old has not found the back of the net since a 3-0 victory over Manchester United last month.

He went closest in the 37th minute as he sprung the offside trap to meet Eriksen's ball over the top but Handanovic forced the England forward wide and he couldn't find the angle to shoot.

Mauro Icardi’s 86th minute stunner helped Inter stun Spurs 2-1. Source: SKY


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Lionel Messi scores exquisite free-kick in hat-trick heroics for Barcelona over PSV

Lionel Messi scored a hat trick to help Barcelona open their Champions League campaign with a 4-0 win over PSV Eindhoven this morning.

Ousmane Dembele also scored for Barcelona, who were already 3-0 up when they were reduced to 10 men as defender Samuel Umtiti was sent off with a second yellow card for a hard foul in the 79th.

Messi's first goal came with a beautiful free kick in the 32nd minute at Camp Nou Stadium.

He curled the ball over the PSV wall from 25 metres out into the top corner beyond the reach of goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet.

Dembele added to the lead with a well-placed shot from outside the area in the 75th, and Messi sealed the victory with goals in the 77th and 87th minutes.

Umtiti was sent off after a foul on PSV forward Hirving Lozano while trying to stop a breakaway.

The Group B result extended Barcelona's unbeaten run at home to 27 matches in UEFA competitions.

The Catalan club has won 25 matches and drawn only two during the streak.

PSV, back in the Champions League after a one-year absence, is winless in seven matches at the group stage of the European competition.

Messi's team cruised to a 4-0 win in their Champions League match against PSV Eindhoven. Source: SKY


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'I just want to protect my family' - Sam Burgess hopeful NRL finalises investigation into sexting scandal soon

An emotional Sam Burgess thanked his wife, family and club for their support during the NRL's investigation into a sexting scandal, suggesting the truth will come out before South Sydney's preliminary final on Saturday.

Burgess addressed reporters on Tuesday, speaking publicly for the first time about allegations lewd images were sent to a young woman from one of his social media accounts earlier this year.

The Englishman refused to discuss specifics, reiterating throughout the 12-minute press conference he is "happy for the truth to come out" but unable to comment publicly because the league's integrity unit is still probing the matter.

Burgess expects the NRL will finalise its investigation within 24-48 hours.

The 29-year-old possess some of the broadest shoulders in the league but it was clear on Tuesday the allegations, made public on the eve of the Rabbitohs' semi- final against St George Illawarra, have taken some toll.

Burgess struggled to speak at the start of Tuesday's interview then became deeply emotional when discussing his heavily-pregnant wife Phoebe.

"I just want to protect my family in this whole thing," Burgess said.

"I just want them to be safe and happy and with my current situation at home (photographers and TV cameras camped outside), there's no chance of that.

"I'm not angry. What hurts me the most is seeing my wife upset about what's out there.

"I've been in situations before, dealt with much harder things in my life ... and football has always been great for me.

"My poor family, they don't have the distraction I do. I will be fine come game time."

The league is in the final stages of its investigation.

Burgess could yet be suspended but Souths' talismanic forward, who won the Clive Churchill medal in their 2014 grand-final victory, is very much preparing to play the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium.

"There's a lot of important things going on at the moment. I've got some serious football games in front of me, this process we're going through," he said.

"It's been a tough process to go through ... as someone said earlier, a bit of a circus.

"Fortunately I've got a strong wife.

"My teammates have been fantastic. We all have challenges at times. We get through them, we grow. It's brought us together.

"I'm grateful that two of my brothers are in the team ... I've got plenty of support around me."

Asked about the timing of the story about the incident in May, Burgess replied "you can make your own assumptions".

Burgess insisted he wasn't "running away and hiding from what's out there" but had to respect the integrity unit's process.

"I'm not going to put myself into a position that's going to get me into trouble," he said.

Burgess hopes the issue will be solved in the next two days. Source: 9 NEWS Sydney


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Young NRL star Nathan Cleary to sign big contract extension to stay with Panthers - report

NRL star Nathan Cleary is reportedly poised to sign a contract extension to stay with Penrith until at least the end of the 2023 season.

Clearly, who has previously said he would wait until November 1 to engage in contract discussions, will pen a new deal with the club in next 48 hours, reported NRL.com.

The four-year extension will reportedly make him the Panthers' highest paid player, and bump up his salary for the final season of his existing contract.

Panthers supremo Phil Gould hinted on Monday night that the 20-year-old halfback intended to commit his long-term future to the club sooner rather than later.

"It'll get done shortly," he told Nine's 100% Footy.

Off contract at the end of next season, Cleary has seemingly turned his back on fielding offers from rival NRL clubs who were unable to come negotiating table before November.

The NSW State of Origin series winner has spoken openly about his career ambition to one day play under his father, Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary.

The Panthers' season, sidetracked by the sacking of coach Anthony Griffin just four weeks out from the finals, came to an end with a one-point loss to Cronulla on Friday.

Cleary could have levelled the semi-final with a late field goal but his attempt sailed wide.

Nathan Cleary
Nathan Cleary Source: Getty


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