Cheslin Kolbe and Herschel Jantjies are expected to be fit for South Africa's Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Japan on Sunday.

Livewire wing Kolbe missed the 66-7 rout of Canada last Tuesday after taking a knock to his ankle in the victory over Italy, while scrum-half Jantjies has been nursing a strained hamstring.

Springboks director of rugby Rassie Erasmus on Monday revealed both players should feature at Tokyo Stadium.

"Internally our team has already been announced and they will both be in the team," said Erasmus.

"We will have our first full training session in preparation for Japan tomorrow. We expect them to come through the training session so I would say they are 99 per cent ready."

Erasmus was full of praise for the host nation after the Brave Blossoms reached the last eight for the first time by beating Scotland on a weekend that saw the country hit by the devastating Typhoon Hagibis.

"The first thing is that it's really tough not to like Japanese people," he said.

"The way they have embraced all teams – not just South Africa – on and off the field, and adopting you as a city, putting on South African jerseys and making you feel at home is something special which I have never experienced in my life before.

"The way they have handled the typhoon – and I know there have been lots of losses in terms of lives and in different ways – and we send our condolences from South Africa and the Springboks to those people.

"But, again, it shows the strength of Japanese people to still host a game; play a game and beat a team like Scotland.

"However, while saying that, we are playing for our country and we want to try and win the World Cup and for the next week unfortunately Japan is the enemy for one week.

"We love the country, we love the people, but we have to try and beat them, and we have to play really well to beat them because they are ranked six or seven in the world and they deserve it.

"It's going to be a really, really tough match for us this Sunday."

Johnny Sexton is baffled by "strange" criticism of Ireland and assures they have belief that New Zealand can be dethroned at Tokyo Stadium on Saturday.

Joe Schmidt's side put a shock defeat to Japan behind them to finish second behind the hosts in Pool A with three wins out of four.

Ireland will face defending champions the All Blacks in the quarter-finals this weekend and World Rugby Player of the Year Sexton is surprised with the reaction to their performances in the tournament.

"There's been some negativity around us and we'd feel that's been pretty strange," the fly-half said.

"It's just something that we get a sense of. You get texts saying, 'Keep the head up, we're still behind you.' And you get a feeling that there are some things out there that aren't great. 

"We know things weren't great but it's funny some people trying to compare things to 2007 when they just scraped past Namibia - and we have just beaten Russia 35-0. How there can be comparisons there I'm not quite sure - and in totally different conditions."

Sexton says two victories in the past three encounters with the defending champions have given Ireland confidence they can beat Steve Hansen's men when it matters most.

"We know they're the best team in the world. We can take a little bit of confidence from the fact that we have got that monkey off our back and we've done it a couple of times, which gives us that belief," he added.

"It will be very special if we can get a win because often in a November series they're tired, they've got holidays coming up and maybe they've had a little bit of an excuse.

"But this week they'll be throwing their best at it out there. We've got to concentrate on getting the best version of the Irish team out there and we'll see if that's good enough."

Melbourne Storm officials met Nelson Asofa-Solomona on Monday after launching an investigation into an incident involving the forward in Bali.

Footage on social media appeared to show the New Zealand international being embroiled in a street brawl at the weekend.

The NRL Integrity Unit and the Storm are investigating the incident and Melbourne will establish the facts before deciding whether to take any action.

A Storm statement said: "CEO Dave Donaghy and representatives of the club's football department staff, including a player wellbeing and welfare manager, met with Nelson in Melbourne today [Monday] as part of the club's investigation.

"Storm has provided an update to the NRL Integrity Unit. Storm will be looking at all the facts involved in this incident and will reserve its position on any possible ramifications until every aspect has been properly assessed and considered.

"The RLPA [Rugby League Players Association] has been consulted and will continue to be engaged through the process."

An NRL spokesperson said: "Melbourne Storm advised the NRL Integrity Unit of an incident involving a player on holidays Bali.

"The Integrity Unit is working with both the Storm and the player to determine what has happened. The Integrity Unit takes these matters very seriously."

Michael Cheika believes Australia's poor recent record against England is "irrelevant" and says he has no issue with Eddie Jones ahead of a blockbuster Rugby World Cup quarter-final on Saturday.

The Wallabies have lost six consecutive matches against England since knocking them out of the last World Cup.

England are favourites to win the last-eight showdown at Oita Stadium this weekend, but Australia head coach Cheika has backed his players to defy the odds.

"Call me a sucker. I believe in my lads," Cheika said on Monday. "I know there's other people who won't give us much of a chance, but I believe that when you believe in yourself you are much closer to being able to create history."

Asked about England's recent dominance of his side, he added: "I think it's irrelevant, really. There are reasons, I'm not trying to avoid it, but why go back and talk about all those games?

"I talked about those games in those press conferences after those games. Looking backwards is only going to give you a sore neck."

Cheika and Jones have never needed much encouragement to exchange jibes, but the Australia boss denied they have a frosty relationship.

"I don't see him very much. Yeah fine, it's all good," said Cheika.

Cheika also refused to shed any light on his plans after the tournament.

He told an English journalist: "I know you don't know me very well but I'm only thinking about today. I'm genuine.

"Actually, you'd get on pretty well with my missus, she's always asking what's going on tomorrow or next week or the week after. I never tell her because I want to enjoy today."

American boxer Patrick Day is in an "extremely critical condition" after suffering a traumatic brain injury in his super welterweight fight with Charles Conwell in Chicago on Saturday.

Day was rushed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital after he was knocked out by his compatriot in the 10th round of a bout on the undercard for Oleksandr Usyk's heavyweight debut against Chazz Witherspoon.

The 27-year-old, who was removed from the ring on a stretcher, is in a coma following emergency surgery.

Day's promoter Lou DiBella tweeted: "Pat Day makes any room he is in a better place. I've never met anyone who's met Patrick and not liked him. Never heard him utter a mean word.

"Never saw him greet someone without a big smile. Life doesn't seem fair sometimes. Please keep Pat in your prayers, thoughts, and hearts."

Conwell said after the fight: "I give my blessings and concerns to him and his team. I hope he is okay. I know he is a great person."

British promoter Eddie Hearn tweeted: "Our thoughts and deepest prayers are with Patrick Day and his family right now.

"We have been in constant communication with his promoter who will provide further information at the appropriate time. Please keep Pat in your thoughts."

The Rugby World Cup is headed for the knockout rounds after a dramatic pool stage in which Scotland were the biggest casualties.

Eight teams remain from 20, with hosts Japan – who have four wins from four – progressing as winners of Pool A after defeating Gregor Townsend's men on Sunday.

Japan also stunned Ireland in the same group, but Joe Schmidt's side progressed into the quarters in second.

In Pool B, two-time defending champions New Zealand finished top, with an impressive South Africa side behind them. Italy were frustrated as the impact of Typhoon Hagibis ended their slim chances of progression.

Meanwhile, England topped Pool C with France in second place, with Wales and Australia completing the last-eight line-up.

Using Opta data, we look back at an enthralling tournament so far.

Pool A – Japan, Ireland, Scotland, Tonga, Russia

1 – Japan are into the knockout stage of a World Cup for the first time in their history, becoming the first non-tier one side to do so since Fiji in 2007.

5 – Kirill Golosnitskiy's scored in the fifth minute of the opening match as Russia took the lead against Japan. It is the quickest ever try in a World Cup opener.

2 – Scotland have failed to make it out of the pool stages of the Rugby World Cup for just the second time, after also doing so in 2011.

90 – Rob Kearney crossed for a try after just 90 seconds against Russia, Ireland's fastest World Cup try and the fastest of the tournament so far.

48 – Japan's Yu Tamura has scored 48 points so far, more than any other player. All of his points have come with the boot – 10 penalties and nine conversions.

Pool B – New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Namibia, Canada

4 – Canada had Josh Larsen sent off versus South Africa and have had four players dismissed in the history of the World Cup, more than any other side. There have been seven dismissals so far this tournament – four was the previous highest total in both 1995 and 1999.

17 – New Zealand have won their last 17 World Cup matches, the longest run by any side in the tournament's history.

21 – Against Canada, South Africa's Cobus Reinach scored the earliest hat-trick in a World Cup match, crossing for his third try in the 21st minute.

142 – After featuring against South Africa, Italy captain Sergio Parisse surpassed Brian O'Driscoll (141) to become the outright second-most capped player in Test rugby history behind Richie McCaw, who played 148 times.

Pool C – England, France, Argentina, Tonga, USA

20 – Against Argentina, Romain Ntamack, aged 20 years and 143 days, became the youngest player to feature for France in a World Cup match.

88 – Agustin Creevy won his 88th cap for Argentina when he played against England, overtaking Felipe Contepomi as Los Puma's most capped player.

6 – George Ford has been involved in six tries for England, more than any other player, scoring two and providing a tournament-high four assists.

Pool D – Wales, Australia, Fiji, Georgia, Uruguay

62 – Fiji's Semi Radradra topped the charts for carries (62), metres (400) and defenders beaten (29) in the pool stage.

94 – James Slipper scored his first try for Australia in his 94th Test when the Wallabies faced Uruguay. No player from any nation has played more matches before scoring their first try.

130 – By playing in Wales' win over Australia, Alun Wyn Jones overtook Gethin Jenkins (129) as the most capped Welshman, going on to make his 131st appearance against Fiji.

35 – At the age of 35 years and 186 days, Adam Ashley-Cooper is the oldest Australia player to make a World Cup appearance. He subsequently became their oldest try scorer in World Cup history, and their oldest in any match since 1966.

100 – Warren Gatland's side have won 100 per cent of their matches so far. It is the first time Wales have won all of their pool games since 1987.

Carlos Correa's walk-off homer in the 11th inning led the Houston Astros past the New York Yankees 3-2 in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series.

Correa broke a tie with the Yankees in extra innings as the Astros levelled the ALCS on Sunday.

 

Here are three takeaways from the Astros' win over the Yankees

Astros found their bats

New York outhit Houston 13-3 in Game 1, but the Astros did a much better job making contact on Sunday. Houston notched seven hits against the Yankees this time. After being held scoreless on Friday, Houston scored two runs, via a George Springer home run and a Carlos Correa RBI through the first nine innings.

But the Astros' biggest hit of the contest came in the 11th inning as Correa drove in the game-winning run with a walk-off solo shot.

Houston only tallied one more hit than the Yankees, but that is a big turnaround from the 10-hit deficit they faced in Game 1.

Verlander bounced back in a big way

Justin Verlander got drilled by the Tampa Bay Rays on three days' rest in the American League Division Series last week. After urging the team to let him start against Tampa Bay, he forked up four runs in 3.6 innings in his team's loss, allowing the Rays to tie the series at 2-2. But he brought much better stuff in Game 2 against the Yankees.

Verlander gave up five hits and two runs in 6.6 innings but had better movement on his pitches, notching seven strikeouts. Only New York's Aaron Judge was able to take him deep with a two-run shot in the fourth inning. The ace's momentum should help his confidence as the postseason progresses. 

Houston could've done a lot more damage

The Astros scored the third-most runs (920) in MLB this season and it is only a matter of time before they capitalise more on their scoring opportunities.

Houston was among the MLB leaders in runners left on base per game in 2019, averaging 7.15 per contest. But they more than tripled that on Sunday, as the Astros left 22 runners on base against New York.

The Astros have consistently struggled to live up to their potential offensively in the postseason, and they cannot afford to continue doing that at this point.

An emotional Efe Obada was able to savour a special moment in his career after helping the Carolina Panthers to victory on home soil in London.

The second-year defensive end – who was born in Nigeria but trafficked to the English capital from the Netherlands at the age of 10 – was named honorary captain for the Week 6 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Obada appreciated the opportunity to mark the occasion, with members of his family inside the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to see him in action following his rapid rise.

Despite being listed as the away team, the Panthers had plenty of support inside the new home of Premier League team Spurs, with the local favourite loudly cheered as he blew kisses to the crowd while leaving the field after a 37-26 triumph on Sunday.

Asked in his post-match news conference if the day was everything he had dreamed it would be, he replied: "Everything and more, honestly. Everything and more.

"I had family in the stands - most of them don't even understand what I'm doing, but they believe in me, have been supporting me for years.

"For me to be in London, just show them, it was really special."

Obada spent time on the practice squads with the Dallas Cowboys, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Atlanta Falcons before eventually getting the opportunity to play in Carolina.

The first player from the International Pathway program to make a 53-man NFL roster, the 27-year-old featured in 10 games in the 2018 season and has been an ever-present member of the defense so far in this campaign.

Rivera revealed he opted to make Obada captain after discussing the idea with some of Carolina's players.

"I wasn't even expecting that," Obada admitted. "I had the number jersey on in the beginning. I came in, everybody was waiting for me for pre-game rituals.

"He [Rivera] pulled out the jersey with the 'C' on it. I still have it - I'm not giving it back, either!"

Carolina's head coach described the trip to London as a "cool experience", having told his squad to make the most of the opportunity to travel overseas.

"One of the things we talked to our guys about was embracing it," Rivera said.

"I've been around players and coaches who really don't embrace coming over. I think that's a huge mistake because this really is a neat atmosphere. The fans, first of all, they come cheer to appreciate the athleticism. That's probably the biggest thing.

"When you get a group of your own fans that come in droves like they did, not just to enjoy the UK, but to enjoy an opportunity to watch a football game. That was pretty cool, very special.

"This is my third time here as a player, coach and now as a head coach. It's been a cool experience, it really has."

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said he prefers Adam Silver's leadership to that of United States president Donald Trump.

Popovich was responding to criticism from Trump, who blasted the Spurs coach and Golden State Warriors counterpart Steve Kerr last week for their responses to questions about the NBA-China controversy.

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey issued an apology for a now-deleted tweet, that read "Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong" amid the ongoing protests in the region.

While Popovich and Kerr unwilling to discuss the matter, NBA president Silver drew praise for his response after saying the league was "apologetic" but added that "we are not apologising for Daryl exercising his freedom of expression".

Popovich – who has been critical of Trump in the past – told reporters prior to the Spurs' 123-114 preseason loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday: "[Silver] stood by our nation and its principles. That's pretty huge in these days.

"Sometimes, it's kind of Orwellian. You think we're living in a place where, 'Is this really happening?' But that comparison was pretty stark when you put our president up against those leaders when he's with them or talking to him and how he reacts compared to the way Adam Silver reacted. I was proud of him. It was great."

Asked about Trump's comments, Popovich added: "All I did was make a comparison between Adam Silver's show of principle and courage in a tough situation, as opposed to how our president reacts when in the company of authoritarian figures, whether it's Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Russia or Turkey, whatever it is.

"It comes off as really feckless, impotent, cowardly by comparison."

The Pittsburgh Steelers overcame the Los Angeles Chargers 24-17 in Week 6 of the NFL on Sunday.

The Steelers (2-4) shocked many with a solid performance as they posted just their second win of the season.

After a scary hit knocked Steelers' quarterback Mason Rudolph out of last week's game, Pittsburgh were forced to turn to Devlin Hodges to line up under center.

The undrafted rookie out of Samford performed admirably, completing 15 of 20 throws for 132 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

With the loss, the Chargers fell to 2-4 and are off to a disappointing start after many experts pegged them as contenders in the AFC before the start of the season.

Pittsburgh head into their bye week, while the Chargers travel to Tennessee to take on the Titans (2-4) in Week 7.

 

Three takeaways from the Steelers' win over the Chargers

Chargers' early miscues cost them

After the two teams traded punts to start the game, things got off the rails for Los Angeles.

A backward pass from Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers went over the head of running back Melvin Gordon. That is when Steelers linebacker Devin Bush scooped up the live ball and took it to the house to get Pittsburgh on the board just under four minutes into the game. 

Four plays later, it was Bush again who intercepted a tipped pass from Rivers that set up another touchdown by the Steelers' offense on the ensuing drive. 

At the end of the first quarter, Pittsburgh were ahead 14-0 and they never looked back.

Steelers' defense was relentless

While Bush was all over the Chargers early forcing two turnovers, the Steelers' defensive unit were stifling all night.

Pittsburgh's defense held LA's offense to two punts, a fumble, an interception and a missed field goal on their first five drives of the night. The Chargers' rushing attack were also non-existent as the Steelers allowed just 32 yards on the ground. 

It was not until the fourth quarter when the Chargers managed to put their first points on the board on a 38-yard field goal by kicker Chase McLaughlin. The defense then sealed the win after intercepting Rivers with 41 seconds remaining in the game.

James Conner was Mr. Reliable for Pittsburgh

Whether it was in the air or on the ground, Conner came up big for the Steelers when they needed some yards.

Almost half of Hodges' completions on the night were to Conner, who caught seven passes for 78 yards and one touchdown. Conner finished with 119 total yards of offense and two touchdowns for Pittsburgh.

After a solid performance last season as the Steelers' primary back during Le'Veon Bell's holdout, Conner seems to be picking up right where he left off.

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said superstar Stephen Curry is ready to have a great season in the NBA.

Following the departure of Kevin Durant in free agency and Klay Thompson's knee injury in the NBA Finals in June, all eyes are on Curry for the 2019-20 campaign.

Kerr spoke with media after Golden State's practice on Sunday and was asked if Curry will be tasked to do more this season in the wake of Durant's departure and Thompson's injury.

"Just the usual," Kerr said. "I'm not looking for anything different than what he's done for five years, but what he's done is pretty special: two MVPs and a perennial top-five player."

Kerr went on to say Curry's had an "incredible camp" so far and thinks the two-time MVP is in position for a special season.

"To me, he's at his peak physically, mentally," Kerr said. "He's seen every defense that people have thrown at him now during his career, and he's ready to have a great year.

"He's in his prime age-wise, strength and conditioning-wise and defensively he's seen everything that's come his way... So he's kind of in his sweet spot right now, and he has been the last couple years. And hopefully that continues for the next few years."

While Thompson is not expected to return to the team until at least February or March, Curry will not need to bear too much of a burden as the Warriors signed former Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell to a four-year, $117million contract during free agency.

"It's just the natural way of our offense and how we play," Curry said. "I'm going to have the ball in my hands a lot more. Just got to make the right plays, be confident, aggressive, assertive every possession." 

"Steph's smart," Kerr added. "And he realises what we've lost in the last couple of years from a veteran leadership standpoint. So he understands he's got more responsibility in that regard now."

The Warriors visit the Los Angeles Lakers for a preseason matchup on Monday, before Golden State open the regular season against the Los Angeles Clippers on October 24.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said his hip feels "tender" after suffering an injury in the NFL loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

During Cleveland's 32-28 defeat against the Seahawks, Mayfield injured his hip on a scramble in the first half on Sunday.

A few plays later, Mayfield was seen down on one knee in pain. He was evaluated in the locker room between series and remained in the game. 

After the game, Mayfield said his hip felt "tender," but that it was no excuse for the way he played.

"It hurts," Mayfield said. "But it's a physical game of football."

Mayfield completed 22 of his 37 passes for 249 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. He also rushed four times for 35 yards and one score. 

The Browns (2-4) head into their bye week before visiting reigning Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots (6-0) in Week 8.

A quarterback duel erupted in Kansas City on Sunday and Deshaun Watson was the signal-caller to come out on top.

The matchup between Watson and the Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes pitted two of the NFL's most dynamic quarterbacks against each other and it made for an exciting matchup featuring some big throws and big carries. But ultimately Watson and the Houston Texans came away with a 31-24 win at Arrowhead Stadium.

Thanks, in part, to 21 unanswered points from the Texans in the second quarter. Watson continued to roll and helped put Houston ahead for good with a short one-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth.

Watson finished 30-of-42 passing for 280 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He also had 42 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries.

Reigning MVP Mahomes finished 19-of-35 passing for 273 yards, three touchdowns and one interception for his first pick of the year. 

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, the San Francisco 49ers shut down the Rams offense and had a solid game from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to win 20-7 and move to 5-0 for the season.

Quarterback Sam Darnold made a successful return to the line-up as the New York Jets upset the Dallas Cowboys 24-22 for their first victory of the year.

Injury report

Texans first-round lineman Tytus Howard had to be carted off the field after going down with a knee injury in the second half of the game against the Chiefs.

Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly was carted the field in the first half against the Cleveland Browns with an Achilles injury that could cost him the rest of the season.

Wide receiver Amari Cooper appeared to have reinjured his quadriceps on the Cowboys' opening offensive possession early in the first quarter. He did not return.

Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick left the game against the Baltimore Ravens with a left knee injury and did not return. Offensive lineman John Miller was also ruled out after suffering a left groin injury.

Denver Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders was ruled out against the Tennessee Titans due to a knee injury.

Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham exited the matchup with the Minnesota Vikings after suffering an ankle injury. Tackle Jason Peters (knee) also sustained an injury and never returned.

By the numbers

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson became the first quarterback to rush for 150-plus yards in a game since Colin Kaepernick ran for 151 yards in 2014.

Kyler Murray is the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to have 20-plus completions in each of his first six career games.

Seahawks' Russell Wilson finished the win over the Browns with a 117.6 passer rating. He now has a 100-plus passer rating in all six games this season. The only two other players with more 100-plus games to start a season in the Super Bowl era were Tom Brady (eight) in 2007 and Aaron Rodgers (12) in 2011 — both won NFL MVP that season.

Quotables

Eagles linebacker Zach Brown was mum's the word on Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins after Philadelphia's 38-20 loss — and Brown called Cousins the "weakest link" earlier in the week: "I'm here to talk about the game. Is there any other questions besides about Kirk Cousins?" 

Ron Rivera addressed quarterback Cam Newton's absence, which has seemed less daunting with the success of Kyle Allen, who led the Carolina Panthers to a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London on Sunday: "I'm not going to speculate on anything until I have to address that. So until then, we're going to stay in the now, stay in the focus of what we're doing right now. As far as I'm concerned, we're not going to deal with the question until it is time... Our quarterback right now playing for us is Kyle. So we're not going to address it."

Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston struggled across the pond, with five interceptions and a lost fumble, and head coach Bruce Arians wanted to make one thing clear: "Throw the damn ball away. You avoided one, you might've avoided two. You ain't throwing it anywhere — to a receiver. Throw it away."

Week 6 NFL scores

Teams on bye week

Bills, Bears, Colts and Raiders

Thursday's game

Patriots 35, Giants 14

Sunday's games

Panthers 37, Buccaneers 26 Seahawks 32, Browns 28 Texans 31, Chiefs 24 Redskins 17, Dolphins 16 Vikings 38, Eagles 20 Saints 13, Jaguars 6 Ravens 23, Bengals 17 49ers 20, Rams 7 Cardinals 34, Falcons 33 Broncos 16, Titans 0 Jets 24, Cowboys 22

Lanto Griffin captured his first PGA Tour title after winning the Houston Open by one stroke.

Griffin carded a three-under-par 69 to pip fellow Americans Scott Harrington (67) and Mark Hubbard (69) to the trophy on Sunday.

It was an eventful finish at the Golf Club of Houston, where there was a three-way tie atop the leaderboard heading into the final few holes.

Griffin – the 54-hole leader – carried a one-shot advantage into the fourth round but he was level with Hubbard at 14 under after the turn on Sunday.

A bogey at the 11th handed Hubbard the lead but Harrington capitulated himself into the mix to make it a three-way tie.

Harrington made four birdies over the final seven holes to take the clubhouse lead at 13 under, though Griffin eventually jumped ahead thanks to a birdie at the 16th.

Griffin was not to be denied his maiden Tour title after the 31-year-old two-putted to finish ahead of Harrington and Hubbard at 14 under.

Harris English (66), Xinjun Zhang (66), Talor Gooch (69), Carlos Ortiz (69) and Sepp Straka (69) ended the tournament two shots off the pace in a tie for fourth.

Meanwhile, Bud Cauley (67), Chad Campbell (68), Stewart Cink (69) and Denny McCarthy (69) rounded out the top 10.

Rain halted NASCAR's 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway after the first stage on Sunday.

William Bryon was leading when the race was stopped with 57 of the scheduled 188 laps completed.

The race will now be completed in Alabama on Monday.

NASCAR red-flagged the race with Byron leading. Byron, who entered the playoff race eighth in the standings, won the first stage.

Dryers were brought out in an attempt to dry the track, but more rain was forecast, forcing the decision to postpone the event's finish.

The Tennessee Titans benched starting quarterback Marcus Mariota in favour of veteran backup Ryan Tannehill against the Denver Broncos.

Tennessee withdrew Mariota late in the third quarter of Sunday's NFL clash against Denver, with Tannehill his replacement.

Mariota completed only seven-of-18 passes for 63 yards with two interceptions before getting the hook. The Broncos were leading 13-0 at the time.

The 25-year-old was also sacked three times, highlighting one of the big criticisms against him as he often holds onto the ball too long.

Mariota has never lived up to the huge expectations that came when he was drafted with the second pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. 

The Titans acquired Tannehill from the Miami Dolphins via trade in the offseason to back up Mariota, but it now appears he will challenge him for playing time moving forward.

Giancarlo Stanton is considered day-to-day with a strained right quad, New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone announced.

Cameron Maybin will replace Stanton in the starting line-up for Game 2 of the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros on Sunday.

Stanton suffered the injury as the Yankees won the ALCS opener 7-0 on Saturday.

"He kind of injured his quad last night … he didn't feel like he was good to start," Boone said. "We hope it's something that with today and the off day, he would be back to play for Game 3."

Stanton, who played only 18 games this MLB season because of injuries, suffered the strain running to first base on his first hit against the Astros.

He later homered off Astros starter Zack Greinke in the Yankees' dominant win over the Astros.

Boone said Stanton would be available as a pinch hitter or in an emergency situation for Game 2.

If the Yankees opt to replace Stanton on their ALCS roster, he would be ineligible for the World Series should the team advance.

Carolina head coach Ron Rivera is not going to address who will be the Panthers' starting quarterback until Cam Newton is fit to return, despite Kyle Allen remaining unbeaten since taking over the job.

Newton played in defeats to the San Francisco 49ers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the start of the NFL season but struggled, with the team then announcing he would be out of action with a foot injury.

In his absence, Allen has led the team to four straight victories, including a 37-26 triumph over the Bucs in London on Sunday.

He became the seventh quarterback in the past 25 years to win his first five career starts, with his run including a game at the end of the previous season, meaning Rivera will eventually face a tough choice whenever Newton is fit to play again.

"I'm not going to worry, speculate on anything until I have to address that," he told the media after the victory at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

"Until then, we're going to stay in the now, focus on what we're doing right now. Again, as far as I'm concerned, we're just not going to deal with the question until it's time.

"When the time comes, I will address it. As far as I'm concerned, he [Newton] is in his rehab program. Our quarterback right now who has been playing for us is Kyle."

Newton - the face of the franchise since his selection with the first pick in the 2011 draft - appeared at practice on a scooter in midweek, though he did not make the trip to England.

Allen is the first quarterback in NFL history to win his first five games without throwing an interception. He passed for 227 yards and two scores against Tampa Bay.

"He's been very consistent for us," Rivera said of the undrafted 23-year-old. "He's made the plays we needed."

Top 14 strugglers Stade Francais earned a hard-fought 33-30 victory over European hopefuls Toulon in Paris on Sunday.

Morne Steyn and Anthony Belleau were both in fine form with the boot in a frenetic contest which was settled by Kylan Hamdaoui in the closing stages.

Three successful Belleau penalties put Toulon into a 9-3 lead, but Stade Francais struck back through Steyn's pinpoint kicking and Sekou Macalou's try.

Julian Savea's try early in the second half put Toulon back in front, but their lead was short-lived when Macalou crossed for a second time five minutes later.

The match seemed to have slipped away from Stade Francais when Raphael Lakafia went over but, with seven minutes remaining, Hamdaoui found his way through.

Steyn added the extras, with Toulon unable to mount another comeback as lowly Stade Francais claimed a morale-boosting win.

Bordeaux-Begles, meanwhile, made a statement with a 42-15 demolition of defending Challenge Cup champions Clermont Auvergne.

Having lost 25-23 to league leaders Lyon last time out, Bordeaux returned to winning ways in convincing fashion.

With Ben Botica in superb form with the boot, second-placed Bordeaux ran in five tries as Clermont were twice reduced to 14 men.

Thierry Paiva, Seta Tamanivalu, Santiago Cordero, Yann Lesgourgues and Jean-Baptiste Dubie all got themselves on the scoresheet to make light work of last season's runners up Clermont – who had won their previous two outings.

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