In brief - 2004-06-17

  • 2004-06-17
Rugby world champions England were thrashed 36-3 by New Zealand in the first of a two-game series on June 12. Graham Henry, the All Blacks new coach, effusively praised his players for the way they tore England apart in the first half. However, Henry also conceded that England looked tired after " a very, very long season." England coach Sir Clive Woodward said that it wasn't time to panic yet. "It was a tough test. You can see why they call it the "House of Pain," he said of the Dunedin stadium, which has seen many a massacre by the All Blacks.

Tennis legend John McEnroe criticized the lackluster personalities that dominate tennis by likening them to robots in an interview with the BBC's Radio Times magazine. "OK, so they are great athletes, but where's the passion, the feeling?" he said. In his heyday in the 1980s, McEnroe was as famous for his volatile on-court temper as he was for his scintillating tennis. He's perhaps best remembered for his outburst against a Wimbledon referee who judged a shot to be out. "You cannot be serious," McEnroe disgustedly told him.

The International Skating Union has decided to replace the controversial, century-old 6.0 scoring system that caused such controversy at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics two years ago. Delegates at an ISU conference voted heavily in favor of replacing it with the code of points, a complex computerized protocol that tallies points according to every aspect of a competitor's performance. There was an international outcry at the Salt Lake City games when a French judge gave Russia first place over a clearly superior performance by the Canadians.

England's shock, last minute 2-1 defeat by France in their opening game at Euro 2004 on June 13 led to minor, nationwide disturbances throughout England. The worst trouble was in Croydon, South London, where some 400 people attacked the police. Much to the relief of many, the English fans in Portugal were comparatively well-behaved after the match, although 11 Britons were detained in the Algrave after clashing with police the following night.