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  • 02 Aug
    Englands Chris Robshaw insists the abuse the team suffered at the hands of the Australian media during the summer made them tighter as a group as Saturdays clash at Twickenham approaches.England will draw level with the triumphant run established by Sir Clive Woodwards World Cup winners if they add Australia to a collection of autumn scalps that already includes South Africa, Fiji and Argentina.Among the results that comprise their current run is a 3-0 series whitewash of the Wallabies that was completed on their summer tour in June.From the moment of their arrival Down Under, the Grand Slam champions faced a sneering home media with Robshaw enduring the worst of the hostility when targeted in a disparaging promotional video aired by the host broadcaster that has since been removed from the internet.The Harlequins flanker, who marked his 50th cap with a man of the match performance in the second Test in Melbourne, is pleased to have had the last laugh.That is quite satisfying. We went down there and had a fair bit of abuse come our way, he said. I think as a group that makes you tighter together, especially when youre on the other side of the world.Theres a huge amount of respect between England and Australia because we know how dangerous they can be. The battles weve had have been pretty even over the years.That England-Australian rivalry is huge and has been in all sports over the years. As a player its great to be a part of because you know what it means. Youve been brought up on how fierce that rivalry is.Spectators love being part of it as well and you can sense the atmosphere. Whenever I have played Australia - eight times - they have been an extremely dangerous side. They can hurt you from anywhere.Every time weve played them theyve always been close games. No matter if theyve been high or low scoring, theres always been only a couple of points between us. As a player you have to play for the full 80 and leave everything out there. 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President of baseball operations Larry Beinfest was fired Friday after 12 years with the Marlins. The move came as the team neared the end of its third consecutive last-place season in the NL East. RIO DE JANEIRO -- Usain Bolt finally got his party started at the Olympics on Saturday. He put his finger to his lips to ask for quiet at the starting block, rubbed his closely shaved head, crouched down for the start and grinded through an opening round in the 100 meters that was as routine as making the bed.Its always to win, he said. Thats what Im here for.Bolt did just that in a first-round heat that was, typically, entertaining, given the low-pressure semi-sprint that it was.The two-time defending gold medalist got his customary slow start and lumbered out of the blocks -- seventh out of eight in his heat. He trailed heading into the final 25 meters then glanced to his left and measured up Andrew Fisher, a Jamaican who competes for Bahrain and was a body length ahead of him, three lanes over.Not a problem. Bolt put it into third gear -- hes got more for later -- and cruised past Fisher to win the heat in 10.07 seconds.Fisher also made it through to the semifinals and was anything but upset.You know that when youre in line with him, youre in front of others, Fisher said.Typical of an opening day in the 100, there were no real surprises.Justin Gatlin, considered the biggest threat to derail Bolts quest for nine total Olympic golds, won his heat easily and finished with the days best time, 10.01 seconds.Went out there and executed my race in the first round, the American sprinter said. Cruised to the finish line.Bolts Jamaican buddy Yohan Blaake made it through easily, as did Americans Marvin Bracy and Trayvon Bromell and Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre.ddddddddddddTheres going to be some stacked semifinals, but its good, Bolt said of the three races that precede Sunday nights main event. It gets you running and gets you up to speed to go out and run the final.Bolt is a 1-2 favorite to take his unprecedented third straight Olympic title in the 100. His chances of doing that would seem to have as much to do with his health as they do with Gatlin or anyone else lining up against him. Bolt pulled out of his national championships last month with a sore hamstring. Although earlier in the week he conceded he wished hed had more real races under his belt this year, on Saturday he said hes in good form.I felt OK. It wasnt the best start. Felt kind of sluggish. Its the fact that its the morning, said Bolt, who was called to the line at 12:42 p.m. Im not used to running this early at any championship.He saves his best for prime time, and the rest of the field left the stadium with a bit more than 24 hours to ponder what has not been possible: beating Bolt at the Olympics.Once hes in a tight position, he might tense up, said veteran sprinter Churandy Martina. But you never know, because he always shows up at the right time and the right moment, which is these Games. ' ' '