{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"sport","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/competitions/premiership/moussa-dembele-reveals-why-he-left-celtic-for-lyon-1-4804442","id":"1.4804442","articleHeadline": "Moussa Dembele reveals why he left Celtic for Lyon","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537788882000 ,"articleLead": "

Moussa Dembele has admitted that the chance to join Lyon and write new history was a major factor in his decision to swap Celtic for the Groupama Stadium.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804440.1537788877!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Moussa Dembele poses with his new jersey at the Groupama Stadium on September 1. Picture: AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

The Frenchman completed a £19.7 million move to the Ligue 1 side on transfer deadline day, returning to his homeland after spells with Fulham and the Scottish champions.

And the France Under-21 forward has admitted that it was difficult to turn down the chance to join Bruno Genesio’s side after the raft of phone calls and messages he got from the Lyon squad ahead of his move.

Speaking to the French side’s website, Dembele said: “Before signing, I received a lot of messages and calls from the club’s players - they made me come. Lyon is a historic club. 
“There were some very great players, especially attackers. I’m proud to represent this club.”

• READ MORE - Reports in France claim Celtic boss told Moussa Dembele to join Brighton

• READ MORE - Moussa Dembele: No regrets over Celtic exit

• READ MORE - Celtic fans react as Moussa Dembele seals transfer to Lyon

Among the great forwards to have pulled on a Lyon jersey in the past few years are six-times capped Brazil international Sonny Anderson, who scored 71 goals in 110 games; Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, who spent 13 years at his hometown club and scored 66 goals in 148 appearances; fellow local lad Alexandre Lacazette (129 goals in 275 games) and Argentinian forward Lisandro Lopez, who scored 82 goals in 166 matches for Lyon.

Dembele, who played the full 90 minutes of Lyon’s 2-2 draw with Caen, and was a 60th minute replacement for Memphis Depay in Les Gones’ 4-2 win over Marseille this weekend, added: “My choice was already made.

“There is no particular pressure [on me]. Everyone has his destiny, his story. My predecessors did a great job. They have made history. It’s now up to me to write my history.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4804440.1537788877!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804440.1537788877!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Moussa Dembele poses with his new jersey at the Groupama Stadium on September 1. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Moussa Dembele poses with his new jersey at the Groupama Stadium on September 1. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4804440.1537788877!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5825835348001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/scottish-football-live-rangers-want-to-make-worrall-s-deal-permanent-former-hibs-ace-makes-wrestling-debut-rangers-title-odds-slashed-1-4804341","id":"1.4804341","articleHeadline": "Scottish Football Live: Rangers want to make Worrall's deal permanent | Former Hibs ace makes wrestling debut | Rangers’ title odds slashed","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537781416091 ,"articleLead": "Follow The Scotsman’s daily blog as we keep you updated with all the latest news, views, rumours and much more from around Scottish football.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804340.1537781524!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Rangers' title odds have been slashed (Photo: SNS)"} ,"articleBody": "

Refresh for updates.

" ,"byline": {"email": "Finlay.Greig@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Finlay Greig"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4804340.1537781524!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804340.1537781524!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Rangers' title odds have been slashed (Photo: SNS)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Rangers' title odds have been slashed (Photo: SNS)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4804340.1537781524!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/hibernian/watch-former-hibs-star-grant-holt-win-40-person-rumble-on-wrestling-debut-1-4804325","id":"1.4804325","articleHeadline": "Watch former Hibs star Grant Holt win 40-person rumble on wrestling debut","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537780647753 ,"articleLead": "Former Hibs striker Grant Holt has made his mark in the wrestling world by winning a 40-person rumble at the weekend.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804324.1537780914!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Grant Holt has won on his wrestling debut."} ,"articleBody": "

READ MORE: Watch ex-Hibs midfielder John McGinn score absolute worldy for Aston Villa

The 37-year-old made a special appearance at the World Association of Wrestling's Crusher Mason Memorial Trophy in Norwich.

One of the key events was the 40-person Crusher Mason memorial rumble where Holt was the surprise 40th entrant.

The forward, who played with Hibs during their Championship winning campaign in 2016-2017, won the rumble with an impressive drop-kick to the delight of the crowd.

He had previously sent another entrant out the ring with a clothesline, while he appeared to have been knocked out but managed to hold onto the ropes and with a little assistance get back into the ring.

Now a coach with Norwich City's academy, Holt wrestled in his jeans, polo shirt and trainers after he raced to the venue following media commitments as the rumble was one man short.

READ MORE: Hibs’ Martin Boyle is ideal for Australia, says team-mate Mark Milligan

He tweeted: "Really pleased to win this tonight . Now off to bed first wrestling match done of many. Follow the journey people #wweimcomingforyou. #futurechamp"

Holt announced in May this year that he would be combining wrestling training while playing for National League side Barrow ahead of appearing at Fightmare 3 in 2019.

Hibs were one of a number of clubs during Holt's career which started in 1999. His most successful spells came with Norwich City who he helped into the Premier League. At Easter Road he scored seven goals in 40 appearances.

READ MORE: Florian Kamberi: Hearts are doing well but they’re no better than Hibs

" ,"byline": {"email": "joel.sked@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Joel Sked"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4804324.1537780914!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804324.1537780914!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Grant Holt has won on his wrestling debut.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Grant Holt has won on his wrestling debut.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4804324.1537780914!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/celtic/rumour-mill-striker-on-celtic-s-radar-rangers-injury-blow-celtic-cancel-deal-for-defender-1-4804245","id":"1.4804245","articleHeadline": "Rumour Mill: Striker on Celtic’s radar? | Rangers injury blow | Celtic cancel deal for defender","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537771391000 ,"articleLead": "

Celtic pull out of deal for defender, Rangers face further injury blow and are Celtic plotting a move for this striker?

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804243.1537771387!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Feeling the heat: Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

Striker on Celtic’s radar?

Celtic have been linked with a move for Red Star Belgrade forward Milan Pavkov, after Hoops scouts took in the Serbian side’s Champions League clash with Napoli last week.

The club are expected to bolster attacking options following Moussa Dembele’s departure. While previous target Richmond Boakye was also involved, the Serbian hitman is thought to be a more realistic target despite netting 23 goals in 33 league games for Radnicki Nis last season. A £270,000 signing for Red Star, the 6ft 4in Pavkov has netted three goals in four league matches for his new club. (Various)

More injury woes for Gers

Rangers are sweating over the fitness of five players ahead of the Betfred Cup clash with Ayr United, it has emerged.

While Graeme Dorrans and Ovie Ejaria have returned to match action, there are still doubts over Eros Grezda, Ryan Jack, Gareth McAuley and Jordan Rossiter, while captain James Tavernier was forced off with an injury during Rangers’ 5-1 win over St Johnstone.

Jack is struggling with a calf knock picked up on international duty while McAuley also sustained an injury while away with Northern Ireland. Rossiter and Grezda are thought to be concerns over fitness. (Various)

Celtic pull out of defender deal

Celtic have pulled out of a deal to sign Canadian defender Emile Legault.

The France-based right back trained with the club during the close season and played in the Northern Ireland Super Cup and the South Shields tournament, and looked set to sign a three-year deal with the Hoops.

However, despite the club going through the process of applying for a work permit, the deal has fallen through and Legault is expected to return to France. (Various)

Hearts ‘no better than Hibs’ claims Kamberi

Florian Kamberi admits envious glances have been shot across the Capital as rivals Hearts have made a turbo-charged start to the season, but the Hibs striker insisted: “They are no better than us.

With back-to-back wins over Kilmarnock and Dundee under their belts, Kamberi believes he and his team-mates can now begin their push to better last season’s fourth-placed finish.

He said: “I think the Hearts team is not better than us if we compare the league. They are doing very well, but we have to focus on ourselves to bring performances every week. If we play like we did in the second half [vs Dundee], then I think we can beat every team.” (Evening News)

Uche doubt for Hearts ahead of Motherwell clash

Hearts striker Uche Ikpeazu is in a race to be fit in time for Wednesday night’s Betfred Cup quarter-final at home to Motherwell. The influential 23-year-old missed Saturday’s goalless draw with Livingston at Tynecastle with a foot injury sustained in the challenge with Well goalkeeper Trevor Carson in the lead-up to Hearts’ winning goal in the Premiership match between the teams at Fir Park nine days ago. Ikpeazu will be monitored this week as Hearts medics seek to establish whether he is equipped to return against the Lanarkshire side this week. (Evening News)

Rodgers accepts heat is on Celtic

Brendan Rodgers has acknowledged the “heat” is on his Celtic side following a defeat at Kilmarnock yesterday that condemned the club to their worst start to a league season in two decades.

Asked if the struggles of his team means this present situation is the biggest challenge of his time in Scotland, he said: “It is. It’s a challenge. We have to accept that. There’s no doubt we need to be better.

“When you’re at the biggest clubs and you don’t win the heat comes on to you. That’s when you show you’re a Celtic player, manager, member of staff. When you lose games the spotlight will always be on you.” (The Scotsman)

McGowan rails at ‘weak-minded’ Dundee

Paul McGowan has launched a scathing attack on “weak-minded” Dundee after a sixth straight loss in the Scottish Premiership.

The midfielder said: “I’m honestly sick of saying the same things over and over. It’ll come, this and that. “We’re f*cking weak-minded as a team. We played good football in the first-half, Hibs rarely threatened us. We looked very good, passing the ball. The goal f*cking kills us. And that’s just the mentality we’ve got now. When we go a goal down, we f*cking crumble. That’s basically it. We crumble. Six games in. A couple of wins and we’re back up.

“But I’m just sick of repeating the same sh*te over and over. I’m banging my head off a brick wall. I’m hammering myself here. I’m hammering everybody.” (The Scotsman)

Souttar: We can handle boo-boys

John Souttar has insisted Hearts won’t let the Tynecastle boo-boys affect their performances after the Jambos’ 100 per cent record was halted by Livingston on Saturday. Some fans jeered at full time, but Souttar says he can live with it.

He said: “It was very frustrating. It was one of those days. They came, sat in and were compact and we didn’t start too well. It was probably our poorest performance of the season.

“It shows the standards we set that the fans are booing. We know when we’re winning that they’ll back us so we’ll take the boos following a draw against a team we think we should be beating at Tynecastle.” (The Scotsman)

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4804243.1537771387!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804243.1537771387!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Feeling the heat: Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Feeling the heat: Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4804243.1537771387!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5798840152001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/golf/tiger-woods-wins-tour-championship-as-justin-rose-claims-fedex-cup-1-4804238","id":"1.4804238","articleHeadline": "Tiger Woods wins Tour Championship as Justin Rose claims FedEx Cup","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537768932000 ,"articleLead": "

Tiger Woods capped his incredible comeback from a career-threatening back injury by winning the season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta, where Justin Rose birdied the last to claim a $10 million pay-day by securing the FedEx Cup.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804264.1537772457!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tiger Woods celebrates making par on the 18th green to win the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Woods, who held a three-shot lead heading into the final round at East Lake, was never challenged after opening with a birdie and carded a closing 71 for an 11-under-par total, winning by two shots from fellow American Billy Horschel.

It was Woods’s first title triumph since 2013 and 80th PGA Tour victory, with the enormity of the success being illustrated as thousands of excited fans spilled out on to the fairway as he made his way towards the 18th green in the company of Rory McIlroy.

“It’s just hard to believe I’ve won the Tour Championship,” admitted Woods afterwards.

“I was having a hard time not crying on that last hole. After Rory tapped in I started tearing up a little bit. I just can’t believe I’ve pulled this off. It’s been tough.

“I’ve had it not so easy the last couple of years and worked my way back and couldn’t have done it without the help of everyone around me.

“Some of the players I saw after on the 18th green knew what I was struggling with and it was really special to see them there.

Only a birdie on the 72nd hole from Rose prevented Woods from claiming the overall FedEx Cup title as well.

After a back-nine wobble, the Englisman two-putted from 25 feet on the par-5 18th to claim the massive bonus in nerve-racking fashion.

“I guess it all boiled down to the 18th and I had the swing of the week off the tee there,” Rose told Sky Sports.

“I had a jumpy 7-iron lie and it caught a break, killed it in the top of the bunker and bobbled on to the green. I was waiting for a break all day and to get it on the last was great timing.

“I felt more pressure as I was throwing it away, but when I got back to knowing what I had to do I clicked into gear in the nick of time.”

On Woods, he added: “We’re all delighted for Tiger, this is crazy scenes and I’m sure I’m not the most popular guy for making birdie on the last but, hey, he’s got enough money.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4804264.1537772457!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804264.1537772457!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Tiger Woods celebrates making par on the 18th green to win the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tiger Woods celebrates making par on the 18th green to win the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4804264.1537772457!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/aberdeen/aberdeen-hoping-goal-hero-james-wilson-is-the-missing-link-1-4804207","id":"1.4804207","articleHeadline": "Aberdeen hoping goal hero James Wilson is the missing link","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537765200000 ,"articleLead": "

Aberdeen assistant boss Tony Docherty sang the praises of striker James Wilson after the on-loan Manchester United striker hit the winning goal just six minutes into his full Aberdeen debut.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804206.1537733984!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "James Wilson celebrates his first goal for Aberdeen. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

It proved enough for the Dons to claim just a second league win of the season and catapult them – albeit it temporarily – into the top five after a slow start to the season.

Manager Derek McInnes has struggled to find goals up front in recent seasons and, after 
losing Adam Rooney in the summer, the capture of Wilson was seen as something of a coup for the club. The early part of his Aberdeen career has been hampered by injury, though, and Saturday was his first start for the club.

“The one moment of quality
was the goal from James 
Wilson. It was a great through ball from Niall McGinn and we’re pleased to see James score on his full debut,” said Docherty.

“It’s a great feeling to see a striker one-on-one and you have so much confidence he’ll score. We see him in training and he does that regularly. He’s been struggling a bit with injury while we’ve been trying to get him in the side.

“He just needs to get a bit fitter, a bit of game time, and he’ll be up to speed. We’ve not scored too many goals from open play so it might be what we’ve been missing.

“It’s been frustrating for him and us as he’s had niggling injury after niggling injury, but we’re pleased for him to get off to a good start on his home debut.”

Wilson was given an early
touch with a header in the opening minute and was on the prowl soon after, scoring the decisive goal in the sixth minute. The Old Trafford striker latched on to a delightful reverse pass from Niall McGinn, took a neat touch and then drilled the ball across Trevor Carson from eight yards.

It was another frustrating afternoon for Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson, whose side have struggled to get going so far this season.

Robinson, however, felt his side were lacking only in luck but hopes to rectify that when they face Hearts at Tynecastle on Betfred Cup duty on Wednesday night.

He said “We created chances at a hard place to come but we’re missing that little bit of luck at the moment. We need to get back to doing that, being physical and getting that bit of luck. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves.

“I’ve told people what I think. All of our forwards today, there’s a lot better to come from them. You can defend as well as you want, you can be solid in midfield but if you’re not creating opportunities and, more to the point, taking them, you’re always on the back foot.

“We see the positives and there’s no time to dwell on it. We have to prepare for Hearts and it’s a massive game for us.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ALASDAIR LAWRIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4804206.1537733984!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804206.1537733984!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "James Wilson celebrates his first goal for Aberdeen. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "James Wilson celebrates his first goal for Aberdeen. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4804206.1537733984!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/hearts/john-souttar-says-hearts-players-will-accept-the-boo-boys-1-4804202","id":"1.4804202","articleHeadline": "John Souttar says Hearts players will accept the boo boys","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537765200000 ,"articleLead": "

It is all about perspective. Hearts dropped points for the first time in this league campaign but, according to the stand-in captain, they have not lost their grip on reality.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804200.1537771385!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Goalkeeper Liam Kelly challenges Steven MacLean, conceding a penalty which he then saved. Picture: Alan Harvey/SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

John Souttar did not dispute that this was arguably the side’s worst showing of the fledgling Premiership campaign but he also insisted it was not going to make or break their season.

“It was never going to be the case that we would win every game and there are going to be days like this but it’s important when we do get days like this that we don’t concede goals.”

Thanks in particular to solid performances from Souttar, his central defensive partner Jimmy Dunne and the capital goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal, who pulled off a cracking second-half save when Scott Pittman was through on goal, the side were able to foil Livingston’s hopes of anything beyond a stalemate but, at the other end, the absence of a cutting edge meant that the home side wouldn’t fare any better.

As well as a missed penalty
and two efforts crashing off the bar, there were poorly weighted passes, sloppy crosses and a standard of decision-making that did not impress the Hearts fans who have been feeding off the positivity generated by a bright start to the season, which sees them still sitting five points clear in the league and eagerly anticipating Wednesday’s Betfred League Cup quarter-final against Motherwell.

Sections of the Gorgie support showered their team with boos at the final whistle, disappointed by the way standards had slipped against an organised and combative Livingston side who had contributed hugely to just how much the home side struggled. They have now conjured up four clean sheets from their opening six league games.

“It was very frustrating,” said the Scotland international, pictured inset. “It was one of those days. They came, sat in and were compact and we didn’t start too well. It was probably our poorest performance of the season.

“It shows the standards we set that the fans are booing. We know when we’re winning that they’ll back us so we’ll take the boos following a draw against a team we think we should be beating at Tynecastle.

“It is a harsh lesson but 
we’re unbeaten and you don’t want to be too negative. We’ve won the first five of the season and we’ve started really well and it’s important we don’t let the heads drop after one game.

“It’s not the end of the world and it’s important we go again on Wednesday and get the win that will take us to Hampden.” By then manager Craig Levein hopes to have Uche Ikpeazu back. The imposing striker was missing on Saturday after sustaining a knock in the clash with Fir Park keeper Trevor Carson a week earlier and whether he would have created more than the likes of Craig Wighton or Steven MacLean against Livingston with so many of the men around him well-shy of their usual standards is simply conjecture but his physical presence would have made life a little less 
comfortable for the visitors.

Wighton was profligate when he spearheaded a breakaway move. He had options to his left and right but another
loose pass denied veteran strike partner MacLean the quality chance he should have had.

Steven Naismith, who has been in a rich seam of form in recent weeks, was also left to rue his missed penalty, on the stroke of half-time, as Liam Kelly dived to his right to block the spot kick and Jimmy Dunne and MacLean were denied by the crossbar, while, for Livingston, Dolly Menga was sloppy when he tried to play Pittman in as the two broke two on one and that allowed Zlamal to dart off his line and block Pittman’s strike.

But Hearts are determined to up their game for the knockout match with Stephen Robinson’s men on Wednesday. Souttar says they are keeping a lid on title ambitions but is less coy about the desire to win silverware.

“I think everyone else was speaking about titles. I don’t think anyone in our changing room was mentioning that. But a club like Hearts has to win cups, it’s as simple as that. It’s a great chance for us. It would be brilliant to get a cup run, this club and the fans would thrive off it. The full focus is on Wednesday and they’re no pushovers.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MOIRA GORDON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4804200.1537771385!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804200.1537771385!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Goalkeeper Liam Kelly challenges Steven MacLean, conceding a penalty which he then saved. Picture: Alan Harvey/SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Goalkeeper Liam Kelly challenges Steven MacLean, conceding a penalty which he then saved. Picture: Alan Harvey/SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4804200.1537771385!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5795246155001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/rangers/steven-gerrard-stays-grounded-as-rangers-move-ahead-of-celtic-1-4804217","id":"1.4804217","articleHeadline": "Steven Gerrard stays grounded as Rangers move ahead of Celtic","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537765200000 ,"articleLead": "

Steven Gerrard insists no one is 
getting carried away at Ibrox after Rangers enjoyed their biggest home top-flight win in five years to overwhelm St Johnstone and rise to 
second in the league.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804216.1537736235!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scott Arfield celebrates after scoring in Rangers' 5-1 rout of St Johnstone but Steven Gerrard, below, is not getting carried away. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The Rangers manager said his side had relished the situation where they knew they could go above Celtic, who had fallen 2-1 to Kilmarnock earlier in the afternoon.

Rangers certainly showed no signs of being under pressure as they brushed aside St Johnstone. The 5-1 win came courtesy of five different scorers, with the Ibrox side moving into second, five points behind leaders Hearts.

They were four points adrift of Celtic after a 1-0 defeat by their rivals earlier this month in what was Rangers’ worst opening to a league campaign since 1989.

High-scoring wins over Dundee and St Johnstone means the side’s league start has now been granted a different perspective. We won’t be getting carried away,” said Gerrard. “I knew the opening four games of the season would be tough the way the fixtures fell.

“I looked at these two home games against Dundee and

St Johnstone and with all due respect I was looking to take maximum points and we have delivered on that.

“Now it’s about getting into a semi-final of a cup [against Ayr United] and then getting ready to go to a different kind of test at Livingston and making sure we are strong. We will do everything we can do to get another three points.”

Gerrard said knowledge of

Celtic’s defeat at Rugby Park, combined with Hearts dropping points a day earlier against Livingston, only encouraged his side.

“The results over the weekend – not just Celtic, but Hearts as well – gave us a bit of a spring in our step,” he said. “When we are presented with opportunities like that we have to make sure we’re ready to pounce. That’s especially if we’re off the top.

“Any time someone above us drops points we have to capitalise on that and I thought we did. We were very strong and played some really good stuff.

“When I took over I knew it would take time.

“But at times today we looked really dangerous going forward and could have scored a couple more goals. We rattled the woodwork a few times but that’s the way we’ve got to be at home. When teams come here we’ve got to give them a difficult 90 minutes.

“Out of possession, we were good too – we weren’t lazy with everyone buying into the fact we had to match St Johnstone early on. We had to fight and battle and once we won that we knew our quality would take over.”

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright, pictured, bemoaned that his side made it tough for themselves. “I thought Rangers played really well but a lot of the goals we could have defended better,” he said. “Strangely, we’ve been here before when we created less chances and won,” he added. “They were clinical this time but we could have helped ourselves with how we defended.”

St Johnstone now host Celtic in the Betfred Cup last eight on Wednesday. Wright said: “Wednesday night gives us an opportunity to get to a semi-final. It’s a cup game, a one-off. Celtic will be hurting after today but we’re hurting as well and we’ll be looking for a better performance.”


" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ALAN PATTULLO"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4804216.1537736235!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804216.1537736235!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scott Arfield celebrates after scoring in Rangers' 5-1 rout of St Johnstone but Steven Gerrard, below, is not getting carried away. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scott Arfield celebrates after scoring in Rangers' 5-1 rout of St Johnstone but Steven Gerrard, below, is not getting carried away. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4804216.1537736235!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5780309549001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/dundee/paul-mcgowan-slams-weak-minded-dundee-after-3-0-defeat-by-hibs-1-4804195","id":"1.4804195","articleHeadline": "Paul McGowan slams ‘weak-minded’ Dundee after 3-0 defeat by Hibs","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537765200000 ,"articleLead": "

It’s not recorded how Jock Thomson, a stalwart member
of the last Dundee side to lose their opening six league games, viewed such a dire situation when meeting reporters at Dens Park following a 1-0 loss to Hamilton Accies.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804194.1537771806!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs' Thomas Agyepong scores against Dundee to make it 3-0. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

This was, after all, September 1928. The main stand was a new, state-of-the-art structure, freshly designed by Archibald Leitch. But it’s unlikely Thomson, or whoever else drew the short straw to explain what was going wrong to fans via the gentlemen of the press (in those times it almost certainly would have been gentlemen), will have spoken with the same passion shown by midfielder Paul McGowan on Saturday evening. The player in question probably would not have included so many swear words either.

McGowan was speaking from the heart. The time for minding his Ps and Qs was gone. This is getting beyond serious. Six league games, six defeats, the latest an appalling second-half capitulation to Hibs. Just two goals scored. Throw in a 3-0 home reversal
against Ayr United in the 
Betfred Cup.

It’s not even October and Dundee’s goal difference is minus 12. Unsurprisingly this wretched start, their equal-worst stretching back to 1893, has deposited Dundee at the bottom of the league. They are at risk of becoming detached already.

Livingston are 11 points ahead, St Mirren and Motherwell four. Hamilton Accies, where they head this weekend, could stretch their lead over Neil McCann’s side to a very healthy nine points.

And it is Neil McCann’s side – for now. As with McGowan, the manager did not hide afterwards. But the time must be getting near when there’s a reckoning, because Dundee’s poor home form has dogged McCann’s reign. Fans are in revolt. More worryingly, many are simply staying away. As for the dressing room, McGowan provided a peek inside. Despite an attempt at togetherness, when the players gathered in a huddle on the pitch before being picked apart by Hibs, it’s not a happy place.

“I’m honestly sick of saying the same things over and over,” said McGowan. “It’ll come, this and that.

“We’re f*cking weak-minded as a team, we’re weak-minded. We played good football in the first-half, Hibs rarely threatened us. We looked very good, passing the ball. The goal f*cking kills us. And that’s just the mentality we’ve got now.

“When we go a goal down, we f*cking crumble,” he added. “That’s basically it. We crumble. OK, that’s maybe just the situation we’re in. Six games in. A couple of wins and we’re back up. But I’m just sick of repeating the same sh*te over and over. I’m banging my head off a brick wall.”

He included himself in this criticism. “I’m hammering myself here,” he said. “I’m hammering everybody.”

McCann was spared. According to McGowan, there is not much more the manager can do. “The manager is drilling it into us, he can’t do any more,” he said. “You can’t physically
put guts and bravery into 
players.”

This is the kind of emotional,
heart-on-sleeve outpouring we might expect from Neil Lennon, the Hibs manager. Instead, he was purring – rightly so. He described his side’s second half, when they scored three times, including a burst of two goals inside four minutes shortly after half-time, as up there with the best Hibs have played under him.

Florian Kamberi’s opening strike precipitated Dundee’s collapse. But Hibs’ game management was excellent. Martin Boyle’s strike after 54 minutes was the real sickener for Dundee – Boyle, of course, was allowed to leave by the Dens Park club. Lennon gave him an extra long cuddle when he came off after 72 minutes, work done, three points secured. Boyle’s replacement, on-loan Manchester City winger Thomas Agyepong, rounded things off with a quality strike near the end.

With Hearts dropping points, the win edges Hibs closer to their rivals. Craig Levein’s side have rightly received plaudits for the way they have started the season, but Kamberi believes there’s not much between Edinburgh’s top-flight teams. Hibs are five points and only two places behind their league-leading rivals.

“I think the Hearts team is not better than us if we compare the teams,” said Kamberi, who has five goals in five games this season. “They are doing very well. We have to accept that. We have to focus on ourselves to bring performances every week, not look to other teams.

“If we play like we did in the second half I think we can beat every team. But we have to bring this performance every week – that is the challenge.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ALAN PATTULLO"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4804194.1537771806!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804194.1537771806!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs' Thomas Agyepong scores against Dundee to make it 3-0. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs' Thomas Agyepong scores against Dundee to make it 3-0. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4804194.1537771806!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5795237598001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby-union/guinness-pro14/glasgow-warriors-bow-before-rampant-southern-kings-1-4804188","id":"1.4804188","articleHeadline": "Glasgow Warriors bow before rampant Southern Kings","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537765200000 ,"articleLead": "

It’s nice to see that sport still retains the capacity to surprise even if Dave Rennie may not agree. The lowly Southern Kings, without a win this season, bested the unbeaten league leaders and they did so in some style.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804187.1537771807!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "DTH Van der Merwe, who scored two tries for Glasgow Warriors against Southern Kings, is thwarted on this occasion. Picture: Getty."} ,"articleBody": "

The Kings scored five tries, the fourth of which was a length-of-the-field piece of individual brilliance by centre Harlon Klaasen. Glasgow finally found their feet in the final quarter when they managed four tries of their own, two of which fell to South African-born DTH van der Merwe. But it was too late to salvage anything other than a solitary bonus point from the ruins of this game.

“We were just far too loose, a lot of dropped balls and really slow to react to them,” said full-back Ruaridh Jackson. “They were obviously fired up, physical and pounced on anything loose and severely punished us. It will be a painful one to look back on, that’s for sure.”

From the sidelines the multitude of mistakes suggested complacency?

“With all the dropped balls and stuff it maybe looks that way,” said Jackson. “Certainly, from a personal point of view, there was no taking these guys lightly.

“We saw last week against the Cheetahs how punished we were in the first half and we spoke about it this week and it was frustrating to see out on the pitch that when we dropped balls we were slow to react again. It’s going to take a few honest looks in the 
mirror.”

Trailing 24-0 at the break you could still see Glasgow’s try-scoring ability digging them out of a hole in the second half but Klaasen scored his wonder try on 52 minutes and stand-off du Toit grabbed his second in the middle of the Warriors scoring spree to take the game out of the visitors’ reach.

Glasgow finished the stronger of the two teams and Rennie had selected a largely second-string team for this fixture but all that will count for nothing.

The Warriors were hapless and hopeless, falling off tackles, turning the ball over and practically escorting the Kings towards the try line in an embarrassing defensive display.

Things improved in that final quarter. Adam Hastings, pictured, made an immediate impact when he replaced the out of sorts Peter Horne on 53 minutes but even the youngster was guilty of not taking care of the ball.

After making a sublime break up the middle of the field, he threw a wayward pass that Ali Price could not hold. Hastings’ cut-out pass for van der Merwe’s first try was a cut above most of this morass and the young stand-off at least brought some much-needed urgency to proceedings. Is the club already becoming reliant on Hastings just as it looked to Finn Russell in the past?

“I think we see it time and time again. You get young guys coming through and he’s one that I don’t think will shy away from the pressure of the limelight,” replied Jackson who was that young stand-off a decade back.

“I think it was a team thing more than any purely individual, everyone clicking together and the game really opened up and really suited his game. I think we’ve got enough talent throughout this squad that I don’t think we’ll become 100 per cent reliant on him. But I think he’s the type of character that I think could handle that anyway, so it’s not something we need to worry about too much.”

Rennie isn’t short of things to worry about. Yaw Penxe found space on the right flank to score the Kings’ opening try after five minutes and he was quickly followed over the line by du Toit four minutes later. With this early success, the Kings grew another arm and on 18 minutes they claimed a third through scrum-half Rudi van Rooysten.

Both teams had tries wiped off by the TMO and Glasgow failed to take advantage of a yellow card for winger Penxe who had upturned DTH van der Merwe in an ugly looking tackle that could have resulted in red on another occasion.

Following a second-half yellow for flanker Henry Brown, Glasgow finally broke their duck with quickfire tries by Grigg, van der Merwe (twice) and Fraser Brown. But du Toit’s second try split the Glasgow scores and the Kings had their second Pro14 win.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "IAIN MORRISON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4804187.1537771807!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804187.1537771807!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "DTH Van der Merwe, who scored two tries for Glasgow Warriors against Southern Kings, is thwarted on this occasion. Picture: Getty.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "DTH Van der Merwe, who scored two tries for Glasgow Warriors against Southern Kings, is thwarted on this occasion. Picture: Getty.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4804187.1537771807!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5788492296001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/celtic/brendan-rodgers-feeling-the-heat-following-celtic-defeat-1-4804203","id":"1.4804203","articleHeadline": "Brendan Rodgers feeling the heat following Celtic defeat","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537765200000 ,"articleLead": "

Brendan Rodgers has acknowledged the “heat” is on his Celtic side following a defeat at Kilmarnock yesterday that condemned the club to their worst start to a league season in two decades.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804201.1537734029!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Brendan Rodgers accepts that Celtic's current predicament offers him a big challenge. Picture: SNS."} ,"articleBody": "

A 93rd-minute glancing header from Stuart Findlay secured a 2-1 victory for Steve Clarke’s side that leaves the champions in sixth place with only one point from three away fixtures. It is a slump in fortunes for the double-treble winners that Rodgers has conceded places him in new and unwelcome territory across his two-and-a-bit years in charge.

Asked if the struggles of his team means this present situation is the biggest challenge of his time in Scotland, he said: “It is. It’s a challenge. We have to accept that.

“There’s no doubt we need to be better. When you’re at the biggest clubs and you don’t win the heat comes on to you. That’s when you show you’re a Celtic player, manager, member of staff. You come together. When you lose games the spotlight will always be on you.”

With the defeat at Rugby Park, which came after a 33rd-minute Leigh Griffths opener was cancelled out by a long-range effort from Chris Burke in the 63rd minute, following an early reverse at Tynecastle and the recent scoreless draw at St Mirren, Celtic have now dropped as many points at this early stage of the season as they did in the entirety
of Rodgers’ opening-season 
invincibles campaign.

The Irishman maintains the blows now being landed regularly by domestic opponents aren’t simply down to the untouchable aura that once surrounded them having disintegrated.

“I think teams have got better,” he said. “I also think there’s a new- found respect playing against Celtic. At St Mirren we saw it. You saw Rangers come and sit deep, 
Kilmarnock did that too. It’s up to us, we have to find the answers to that. That’s the job. We have to 
analyse the game and build the mentality to win your next game.”

That comes on Wednesday when they travel to Perth to take on 
St Johnstone in the quarter-final of the Betfred Cup. The halting of their run of domestic trophies would bring furnace-levels of heat on to Rodgers and his side but he sought to play down any concerns over the fact they sit sixth in the Premiership table – a point behind second-placed Rangers. No team from Ibrox has been higher in the league pecking order than Celtic for six years.

“Not at this point [is the table a concern],” said the Celtic manager, who revealed that Leicester City loan Filip Benkovic will have a scan on an Achilles problem that forced him out of the starting line-up after he felt it during the warm-up. “We look at it after ten games. We 
never get too carried away when winning and we won’t get carried away when we’re in the position we are. There’s no doubt we have to be better.”

Meanwhile, Steve Clarke could hardly fare better against Celtic than he has since taking over at Kilmarnock last October. The only Scottish top flight manager that Rodgers has yet to get the better of, yesterday was his second victory over Celtic in a four-game unbeaten run against them. For Clarke there is no secret in holding such 
a whip hand over the Scottish champions.

“It’s about hard work and 
good players. We think we’ve got a decent squad here. We think we’ve improved a bit,” said Kilmarnock manager Clarke, pictured, after his side moved above Celtic on goal difference.

“They listen to the advice we give them and they try to put it into practice. Sometimes you get your rewards. We’d have been happy with a point but we’ve left some points behind in other games and feel we should be higher so that tells us where our ambition is.

“When you score so late there’s no time for a reaction. I was pleased for Stuart Findlay. He didn’t train all week but he put his body on the line. He was struggling at half-time but those are some of the rewards the footballing gods give you.

“We were competitive. I was a

little bit disappointed to be down at half-time because I didn’t think

we deserved to be after we started really well.

“We spoke at half-time about believing. We’ve shown we can compete with the big teams. Second half we competed well and deserved to get back in. You’ve got to respond.

“It’s never easy chasing a game against a team like Celtic because of counter-attacks but we handled

that well. At 1-1 I thought that was the least we’d get and I couldn’t see them opening us up.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANDREW SMITH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4804201.1537734029!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804201.1537734029!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Brendan Rodgers accepts that Celtic's current predicament offers him a big challenge. Picture: SNS.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Brendan Rodgers accepts that Celtic's current predicament offers him a big challenge. Picture: SNS.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4804201.1537734029!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5801470690001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby-union/chances-go-begging-as-edinburgh-lose-to-best-team-in-europe-1-4804186","id":"1.4804186","articleHeadline": "Chances go begging as Edinburgh lose to ‘best team in Europe’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537732742000 ,"articleLead": "

Despite a fourth impressive performance of the season Richard Cockerill’s Edinburgh find themselves on the bottom of the Conference B standings.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804189.1537732737!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Richard Cockerill agreed with Pierre Schoeman's dismissal. Picture: SNS/SRU"} ,"articleBody": "

Yet again the side from the capital went toe-to-toe with their hosts, but failed to capitalise on long stretches of possession and territory, while Leinster took five chances and ran out bonus point winners.

To add further woe to the mix, Edinburgh’s stand-out player of the season to date, new South African prop Pierre Schoeman, below, was sent off in the 71st minute when he carried powerfully, but led the way with his elbow. He will face an anxious wait to find out what punishment his hearing deals out this week.

Afterwards Cockerill described Leinster as “the best team in Europe” but, even so, after Magnus Bradbury’s try on 45 minutes they trailed by only five points. But Leinster ran in three more tries thereafter and Edinburgh got to ponder the what-ifs.

“Physically and tactically, we put our game out there, we were just unlucky to come out with only seven points,” said try scorer Bradbury.

“It’s frustrating but you can see why they are double champions. They are a good side to play against. They combated us quite well.

“It’s always good to get on the scoresheet. It’s frustrating to score and then not have won the game. But it is what it is.

“It’s a long old season – as we showed last year. If we get a good run of games we can define our season. Bounce back from this and see where it takes us.

“We’ve a big couple of weeks coming up. We have got Treviso at home and Cheetahs at home after that. It’s a couple of games that we would hope to get a couple of points off at least.”

This time last year we had referees clamping down hard on any high tackles while yellow and red cards were dished out generously. This season the directive is clearly there to stop the ball carrier leading into the tackle with his free arm as a battering ram. After reviewing the incident with his TMO, referee Dan Jones was correct to send off Schoeman, whose blow on Dan Leavy led to the Irish international exiting for a head injury assessment.

Afterwards both Cockerill and Bradbury conceded the players need to heed the new style of officiating.

“It’s a tough one for the referee to call but it’s what they are hot on at the moment,” said Bradbury. “We should know better. We have to be cleaner than clean.”

Cockerill accepted the referee’s call too: “It is (a red card) these days. You have got to protect people. I don’t think it was malicious from our guy. It happens it is an accident more than anything. We know the consequences if it happens.”

For long stretches of that first half Edinburgh were outstanding in defence and were only picked apart from a blocked box-kick and a blistering first-phase set play. Crucially, Cockerill’s side could not impact the scoreboard in their dominant phase in the second quarter.

“We had opportunities and we had advantage and we kicked the ball away. We had advantage and we just dropped the ball. Those are the key parts,” said Cockerill.

“You only get a few opportunities against the good teams. We started the second half well. Then we had opportunities to strike. There was a poor pass from the nine and we turned the ball over and they score. Then we have a poor scrum and they score and the game gets away from you. If you have to come here and win you have got to be really accurate and really good. We battled hard. We are developing as a team. We are not a soft touch anymore. Which is a good starting point and we have got to keep developing that.”

So what now for Edinburgh? They deserved so much more than the six match points they have accumulated to date, and as a result the pressure is on them to add to that tally at home to Treviso on Friday. Expect to see Blair Kinghorn, Stuart McInally, Matt Scott and Henry Pyrgos come back into the team as Cockerill seeks win number two.

“They are the best team in Europe, they are the best team in the Pro14. You could bring your best team here, batter them to death and still get nothing. We chose to make changes,” said the coach.

“We have got Benetton and Cheetahs in the next two weeks and then we get Montpellier and then we get a Toulon. We chose to rotate and look after some of the international guys. We have to do that.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "JOHN FALLON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4804189.1537732737!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804189.1537732737!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Richard Cockerill agreed with Pierre Schoeman's dismissal. Picture: SNS/SRU","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Richard Cockerill agreed with Pierre Schoeman's dismissal. Picture: SNS/SRU","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4804189.1537732737!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/competitions/premiership/kilmarnock-2-1-celtic-champions-sunk-in-injury-time-1-4804154","id":"1.4804154","articleHeadline": "Kilmarnock 2 - 1 Celtic: Champions sunk in injury time","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537734963000 ,"articleLead": "

It was more than just a dramatic victory that Kilmarnock claimed over Celtic in the closing seconds yesterday, courtesy of Stuart Findlay’s glancing header from a corner.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804275.1537772982!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stuart Findlay celebrates with Jamie MacDonald. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

The climax offered up irrefutable evidence of the dramatic collapse being witnessed in the standards hitherto taken for granted from a Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic side.

The Scottish champions aren’t merely a pale imitation of the team that swept all before them on the home front these past two seasons. They aren’t even living up to good, bad and indifferent Celtic iterations of the past 20 years in harvesting only ten points from their first six games. Not since Josef Venglos’ side took only nine points from the same number of matches in 1998-99 have Celtic

proved so fallible in the opening

stages of a league campaign.

Their vanquishing at Rugby Park leaves them with only one win in

seven games on the road. Celtic’s aura of invincibility built up across two years under Rodgers is being rubbled. Opponents don’t just think they have a chance of shooting down the champions... they are shooting them down.

There is a lack of invention and ingenuity within Celtic’s forward areas that means they simply cannot put teams away. Rodgers attempted to address that by changing the whole front-end of the team from the one that squeezed out a win over Rosenborg on Thursday night. They never looked like doing that even after Leigh Griffiths, against the run of play, put them one-up following a tousy opening half hour.

As Rodgers said afterwards, the encounter was “scrappy”. Neither side made many inroads into the other’s penalty area. But Steve

Clarke’s team, as they now

consistently do against Rodgers’ men, proved more at one with scrapping it out in fashioning the coup de grace.

Clarke considered the football gods were with his club over the fact that Chris Burke was rejected when screaming at team-mates to come to him so that he could play the corner short and run down the clock. And that those gods were with them, too, in the fact that Findlay was there to glance Burke’s swung-in corner beyond Craig Gordon when he was playing in pain from a knock that ought to have forced him off.

Ryan Christie, one of six Celtic changes from Thursday evening that included on-loan Leicester City defender Filip Benkovic being lost in the warm-up, bemoaned the fact that Celtic contrived to lose a game in which the opposition had so few shots on target.

Yet, that was true of the visitors also. Celtic’s goal was not the result of a deep-lying Kilmarnock being carved open but of their two centre-backs committing calamities. A

Kieran Tierney ball in from the left saw first Kirk Broadfoot have a swipe that led to the ball bouncing at the feet of Greg Taylor. His clearance was then sliced to knock the ball on to junction between bar and upright, with the rebound leading to a

scramble in which Griffiths nicked in ahead of Scott Sinclair to head in from close range.

There was more needle than would be witnessed at a sewing bee across the afternoon in which Youssouf Mulumbu had an eventful return to the club he graced on loan last season. He ended up being the subject of the home supporters’ rage after a series of ill-tempered tussles with Aaron Tshibola that led to both men being booked by referee Craig Thomson on the hour as he struggled to retain control.

Celtic appeared to have a grip of proceedings during this period but it laid bare their shortcomings that it was during this spell Kilmarnock found their way back into the contest. One of the many middle-of-the-park melees wherein ball and bodies bounced around resulted in Alan Power emerging in possession and feeding the ball to Burke. A full 25 yards from goal in the right channel, the winger surprised all including Gordon by lashing a low effort in at the Celtic keeper’s right-hand post.

The title holders’ response was as tame as has been their displays across a Premiership season in which they have only found the net six times in as many games. A burst through the middle from Christie forced Jamie MacDonald to save smartly down to his right but Kilmarnock never thereafter appeared unduly troubled by Celtic’s pedestrian probings.

The tables are firmly being turned on the Scottish champions and the fact they suffered that rarity of losing to a last-gasp goal is just one more example of the mounting issues for Rodgers.

That Clarke was able to do a number on him again will matter less to the former West Bromwich Albion manager than the fact that the victory allowed his team to move above Celtic on goal difference. Kilmarnock won’t exactly be dusting down the bunting over that, mind you, when the two clubs sit mid-table. A status firmly in keeping with the previously inconceivable buffettings befalling Rodgers’ side.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANDREW SMITH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4804275.1537772982!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804275.1537772982!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Stuart Findlay celebrates with Jamie MacDonald. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stuart Findlay celebrates with Jamie MacDonald. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4804275.1537772982!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4804276.1537772987!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804276.1537772987!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Dejection is written on the faces of the Celtic players at full time. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dejection is written on the faces of the Celtic players at full time. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4804276.1537772987!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/golf/tom-lewis-wins-second-portugal-masters-1-4804213","id":"1.4804213","articleHeadline": "Tom Lewis wins second Portugal Masters","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537734782000 ,"articleLead": "

Tom Lewis won the Portugal Masters for a second time as Sergio Garcia handed himself a massive Ryder Cup boost with a strong finish in Villamoura, writes Martin Dempster.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804212.1537734779!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tom Lewis of England celebrates after winning the Portugal Masters in Albufeira. Picture: Warren Little/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Lewis, who won the same event in just his third professional start in 2011, closed with a 66 at Dom Pedro Victoria for a 22-under-par 262 total, winning by three shots from fellow Englishman Eddie Pepperell (67) and Australian Lucas Herbert (71).

“It’s unbelievable, I’m so happy,” said Lewis, who has been playing in a mix of European Tour and Challenge Tour events over the past few seasons, winning the Bridgestone Challenge on the second-tier circuit a fortnight before this latest success.

“It’s been a rough ride, but this week I played hard, I got off to a bad start and to finish the way I have has been brilliant.”

Garcia, who added the event to his schedule to try and find some form for the Ryder Cup, carded an eagle and five birdies as he signed off with a bogey-free 65 to finish joint seventh on 15-under. That was his best performance since claming a share of eighth spot in the French Open at Le Golf National in July.

Scott Jamieson closed with an equally impressive 66 for 12-under to finish as top Scot in joint 20th, followed by Stephen Gallacher (44th), Sam Locke (60th) and Marc Warren (63rd).

Elsewhere, home player Romain Langasque finished strongly to win the Hopps Open de Provence on the Challenge Tour in France, where David Law and Grant Forrest both cemented their top-15 positions in the Road to Ras Al Khaimah Rankings.

On the Ladies European Tour, Dutchwoman Anne Van Dam lay down a marker for next year’s Solheim Cup by storming to an eight-shot success in the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open in Spain.The 22-year-old carded a closing 65 at Club de Golf Terramar in Stiges for a 26-under-par total in claiming her second LET title.

Catriona Matthew, the Solheim Cup captain, was top Scot, closing with a 67 to finish joint 13th on 11-under, a shot ahead of Carly Booth (70), with Michele Thomson (72) four shots further back.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MARTIN DEMPSTER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4804212.1537734779!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804212.1537734779!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Tom Lewis of England celebrates after winning the Portugal Masters in Albufeira. Picture: Warren Little/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tom Lewis of England celebrates after winning the Portugal Masters in Albufeira. Picture: Warren Little/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4804212.1537734779!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/competitions/premiership/rangers-5-1-st-johnstone-gerrard-s-side-click-into-gear-1-4804176","id":"1.4804176","articleHeadline": "Rangers 5 - 1 St Johnstone: Gerrard’s side click into gear","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537734562000 ,"articleLead": "

Steven Gerrard had challenged his side to continue rectifying matters on the domestic front following an underwhelming start in terms of points gathered. This ruthless treatment of St Johnstone was further proof Rangers are clicking into gear.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804175.1537734558!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Daniel Candeias scores Rangers' fifth goal in their 5-1 victory over St Johnstone. Picture: PA."} ,"articleBody": "

James Tavernier clearly felt it was incumbent on him to lead the charge. The skipper was inspirational in the time he was on, scoring the first goal with a 20-yard free-kick after nine minutes and playing a part in the second, claimed by Alfredo Morelos.

Tavernier has clearly not interpreted Gerrard’s observation that Andy Halliday is the unofficial skipper at Ibrox as a slight on him, and rightly so.

Tavernier was at his best here, lapping up the applause of the home fans as he relished being allowed to play in the forward area of the pitch he prefers. He was taken off ten minutes into the second-half after Scott Arfield had scored Rangers’ third to make the points safe.

The Ibrox side are now second in the league, one point ahead of Celtic after being four adrift of their rivals following a 1-0 loss at the beginning of this month.

This was when statistics were being bandied about as evidence that Gerrard had overseen Rangers’ worst league start for nearly 30 years. The Ibrox side are now second after posting their latest statement of intent – a 5-1 win courtesy of five different scorers. Kyle Lafferty added a fourth shortly after replacing Ryan Kent, pictured, who did everything else apart from score. Daniel Candeias wrapped things up with the fifth.

Another Ibrox assignment, another powerful performance producing a winning margin of four goals. The only blight was a penalty dispatched with ferocious intent by Blair Alston, who had been barged in the box by Arfield.

Gerrard has spoken about desiring “90-minute performances”, where there is no letting-up. He certainly got near to one here. After Candeias had scored Rangers’ fifth of the afternoon, a minute or so after Alston gave the small band of away fans something to cheer, the winger rushed to try to get the ball back from St Johnstone goalkeeper Zander Clark. Rangers were intent on hitting six, perhaps more. They had the time and they had the opportunities, Morelos especially.

There was only one minor charge of unprofessionalism: Ovie Ejaria tried to come on as a substitute despite not wearing any shin pads. Tavernier, who he was replacing, whipped out his from his socks in order to prevent any further delay. “I’ve never seen anything like that,” Gerrard later smiled. He could afford to be sanguine after the biggest home top-flight victory since a 5-0 win over Dundee United in May 2012.

The stadium was a vast, content bowl even before the match ball had been delivered ahead of kick-off by a pair of abseiling soldiers on what was Armed Forces’ Day at Ibrox. News of Celtic’s defeat at Kilmarnock set the tone for a day of celebration.

St Johnstone started brightly, creating an opening that should have been converted by David Wotherspoon rather than hit over the bar after Drey Wright’s near-post cross. Tavernier opened the scoring two minutes later and the visitors spent much of the rest of the half pinned back.

Europe is all well and good. But Gerrard also wants Rangers to engage with domestic matters. Like Dundee eight days earlier, St Johnstone were left to chase the game after going behind so early. It’s an unenviable position to be in at a packed, expectant Ibrox.

The hosts tightened up after permitting that early chance for Wotherspoon, seemingly mindful of the criticism Gerrard felt their first-half performance against Dundee, when they were leading 3-0, warranted.

Rangers were razor sharp in the way St Johnstone were not. Tony Watt rolled an opportunity past the post in the second-half after a short backpass from Nicola Katic. There was another chance, identified by manager Tommy Wright as a defining moment, following an Alston burst forward five minutes after the interval. But Watt found himself crowded out and Allan McGregor made the block.

There was little evidence to suggest St Johnstone would have managed to profit had they succeeded in making it 2-1 at this point.

Rangers seemed able to score almost at will. Tavernier got the ball rolling, taking advantage of the yawning gap left by Clark at the far post at a free-kick after the Rangers skipper had been felled by Scott Tanser.

Tavernier hit the bar with a similar curling effort from the other side of the box just a few minutes later. He then played an integral part as Morelos put Rangers two ahead after 34 minutes, interchanging passes with the striker who then left Joe Shaughnessy on the turf with a masterful drag-back The left-foot finish into the roof of the net was every bit as good.

Arfield extinguished any St Johnstone hopes of a comeback six minutes into the second-half when sweeping in the rebound after Kent rifled an effort against the bar.

Lafferty helped himself to his fourth goal since returning to Rangers, side-footing into the corner after being teed up by Arfield. Candeias completed the rout with a neat finish 11 minutes from time after drifting across the box.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ALAN PATTULLO"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4804175.1537734558!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804175.1537734558!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Daniel Candeias scores Rangers' fifth goal in their 5-1 victory over St Johnstone. Picture: PA.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Daniel Candeias scores Rangers' fifth goal in their 5-1 victory over St Johnstone. Picture: PA.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4804175.1537734558!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5780309549001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/golf/ryder-cup-paul-lawrie-backs-justin-rose-to-lift-home-team-1-4804209","id":"1.4804209","articleHeadline": "Ryder Cup: Paul Lawrie backs Justin Rose to lift home team","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537734311000 ,"articleLead": "

Paul Lawrie believes Justin Rose’s rise to world No 1 is a “big boost”, not just for the Englishman but all his European team-mates heading into this week’s Ryder Cup at Le Golf National outside Paris.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804208.1537734307!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "World No1 Justin Rose hits a drive during the weekend's Tour Championship in the US. Picture: Sam Greenwood/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Boasting 12 players sitting inside the world’s top 25 and also being the holders, the Americans are favourites for the match, which starts on Friday, as they bid to record a first win on European soil in the biennial bout since 1993.

However, two-time Ryder Cup player Lawrie reckons Europe can just shade things in the eagerly-awaited tussle in France and believes Rose can help inspire that success on the back of his recent ascent to the top of the golfing world.

“I think both teams are really strong, I think they’re pretty even. I heard someone say a few weeks ago that the average world ranking of each team is 12 – if that’s the case then it’s probably the closest the teams have ever been on paper,” said the Aberdonian, who was one of Darren Clarke’s vice-captains at Hazeltine two years ago.

“America are slight favourites probably, but only slightly. I have Europe down to win it, but it will be close.

“The European team is looking strong, a lot of guys on the team are winning – and having Justin Rose as world No 1 will be a big boost for everyone.

“His rise to the top of the rankings will help the rest of the guys to know they have the best player in the world on their team.”

Rose overcame a nightmare start to his professional career, missing 21 cuts in a row, to secure a foothold before winning the 2013 US Open then claiming Olympic gold two years ago. A whole host of 
other successes included a Scottish Open triumph in 2014 in Lawrie’s home city.

“I’ve always been a massive fan of Justin,” he added. “He’s a great guy to spend time with, down to earth and someone who speaks to everybody. It’s great to see someone like that get to the top of the world rankings.

“If you look at the stats, the last four or five years Justin has always been outside the top 100 when it comes to putting. But this year I think he’s 11th in a stat for holing putts from four to six feet or something similar.

“Even though Justin has always been a great ball-striker, he used to miss a lot from that distance but he’s really improved and, for me, that’s been the big difference for him. We’ve all known about [putting guru] Phil Kenyon for a long time, but he really does get players putting better and, as everyone knows, that’s a major part of the game.”

Both Lawrie’s appearances in the event at Brookline in 1999 then Medinah 13 years later – were in teams that included Sergio Garcia, a controversial wildcard pick by Thomas Bjorn on this occasion after the Spaniard had been out of form this season.

“He’s proved that he wins points and we all hope he does,” said Lawrie of the 2017 Masters champion. “He’s such a consistent player and his form has not been how he normally plays. Missing the cuts in all the majors is not like him at all.

“I suppose he was a slightly controversial pick but Thomas has obviously spoken to Sergio and Sergio must have said he wasn’t playing as badly as his form suggests.

“Sometimes that happens. But the Ryder Cup will bring it out of him. There are not many players who can go to a Ryder Cup out of form and produce it that week, but I think he is one. I hope Thomas has got that right.

“To see Sergio in the team room is phenomenal. It’s a thing to see. The two I played in, he was young in 1999, and in 2012 he was phenomenal in the team room, by far the best we have in Europe. I think it’s a good pick. I would have put him in.

“He’s one of these guys who goes round the room and speaks to everyone and keeps everyone going. He’s good fun, he’s in the middle of all the mischief that goes on. He’s a livewire, he gets everyone up in the room, phenomenal. Thomas mentioned that when he made the pick.”

Lawrie will be watching the event on TV with his feet up at home in Aberdeen as he recovers from a foot operation, having decided to shut down his 2018 season in the summer to give himself a chance of being ready to start his Champions Tour campaign after turning 50 on 1 January.

“The surgeon is happy with how it went,” he reported. “He repaired the tendon that he said was ruptured and I had a torn ligament in there as well. He also shaved away some bone spurs that I had at the top of my mid-foot.

“So I had quite a bit done but he’s happy with it and now I’ve just got a few weeks of sitting watching daytime TV, which, if you’ve ever watched, you’ll know is not the best!

“I’m looking forward to watching the Ryder Cup, though.

“It’s always a highlight for anyone, whether you’ve played it before or a fan sitting back home.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MARTIN DEMPSTER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4804208.1537734307!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804208.1537734307!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "World No1 Justin Rose hits a drive during the weekend's Tour Championship in the US. Picture: Sam Greenwood/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "World No1 Justin Rose hits a drive during the weekend's Tour Championship in the US. Picture: Sam Greenwood/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4804208.1537734307!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby-union/heriots/ayr-capitalise-on-a-first-half-blitz-to-stretch-unbeaten-run-1-4804205","id":"1.4804205","articleHeadline": "Ayr capitalise on a first-half blitz to stretch unbeaten run","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537733792000 ,"articleLead": "

The battle of the unbeaten was won convincingly by Ayr after Heriot’s gave them too much of a start before twice clawing their way back to within a point.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804204.1537733787!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kyle Rowe scored two tries in Ayr's win. Picture: SNS/SRU"} ,"articleBody": "

The first half was a disaster for the home side, a triumph for the visitors. In the second half, Heriot’s redeemed themselves to score three tries but an unshakeable Ayr did enough to stay ahead, take the bonus point and stretch their unbeaten record to four games.

Heriot’s coach Phil Smith said: “It was an absolutely appalling first half by us. I think we didn’t actually touch the ball for the first 18 minutes. There were a few choice words at half-time, a few fingers pointed, and then we had a great second half.”

Ayr coach Peter Murchie said: “We played very well in the first half, there is absolutely no doubt about that. It was a role reversal from our last few games when we have been poor in the first half but the main chat at half-time was that Heriot’s would come out firing at us and we had to raise our game so as not to let them back into it. We managed to find a way and stretch ahead in the end.”

Ayr stormed into an 18-point lead. Stand-off Frazier Climo opened the scoring with an early penalty in front of the posts and ended it after 80 minutes with the bonus-point try behind the posts.

Academy winger Kyle Rowe scored in both halves and prop Steven Longwell got the other. Climo rounded it all off, his last kick for the conversion denying Heriot’s even a losing bonus point.

Heriot’s barely turned up for the first 40 and Ayr’s defence easily soaked up what little pressure there was. Home frustration was demonstrated not only in the murmuring of the crowd but on the pitch where Heriot’s lock Adam Sinclair got himself needlessly sin binned after a stramash between the packs on the touchline.

Heriot’s did finally have something to show for their efforts when centre Ross Jones kicked a penalty just before half-time.

The players listened to the choice words in the dressing room and responded by sending winger Craig Robertson, scorer of six tries against Edinburgh Accies the previous week, clear to touch down.

Soon afterwards, scrum-half Andrew Simmonds found himself in space with the try-line beckoning. Jones’ conversion brought Heriot’s to within a point.

Ayr were not fazed by the 
rapid erosion of their lead, however, and when Rowe claimed his second try it looked as if the wind had been well and truly knocked out of home sails.

However, Heriot’s didn’t let their heads go down and got lucky when stand-off Stewart Edwards’ speculative chip kick over the top was fumbled by Ayr defenders and replacement Dougie Steel was first to the loose ball. Jones’ conversion closed the gap to one point again.

But Ayr’s resilience was sound and the final flourish from Climo prised the gap open once more and ensured the victory.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "WILLIAM PAUL"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4804204.1537733787!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804204.1537733787!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Kyle Rowe scored two tries in Ayr's win. Picture: SNS/SRU","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kyle Rowe scored two tries in Ayr's win. Picture: SNS/SRU","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4804204.1537733787!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/boxing/anthony-joshua-deontay-wilder-deal-must-be-agreed-by-december-1-4804197","id":"1.4804197","articleHeadline": "Anthony Joshua-Deontay Wilder deal must be agreed by December","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537733405000 ,"articleLead": "

Terms for a unification fight between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder must be agreed by December if the American is to be his next opponent, insists Joshua’s 
promoter Eddie Hearn.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804196.1537733401!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Anthony Joshua celebrates retaining his titles at Wembley. Picture: Getty."} ,"articleBody": "

The WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion furthered his reputation with Saturday’s clinical seventh-round stoppage of Russian Alexander Povetkin at Wembley, where he is already scheduled to fight again on 13 April.

Joshua has repeatedly said that Wilder would be his chosen opponent, even with the WBC champion scheduled to fight Tyson Fury in America on 1 December.

Previous negotiations for a lucrative fight between them for all four titles have ended in frustration, and Joshua’s domestic rival Dillian Whyte is on standby should they do so again, contributing to Hearn’s demand that they are soon finalised.

Should Fury defeat Wilder, then the American’s rematch clause with Fury would almost certainly be activated and regardless rule both fighters out. The victory they expect for Wilder would also give Fury little immediate appeal, so Hearn said: “Being British, we’d like Fury to win, but for April, Wilder must win if that’s going to happen.

“We’re not willing to wait until December to see. A deal must be done in advance of that, subject to him winning. The offer that was made to us [previously, by the Wilder
camp] will look like absolute peanuts when this fight is made.

“That is the biggest fight in boxing; Wilder-Fury is a really good fight to see who’s the second best heavyweight in the world. Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko was the biggest fight in British boxing history, and Joshua-Wilder would eclipse that. We want that now.

“We’re not waiting for timewasters; we understand if they lose we’ll have to find another opponent, but if you win, we’re not waiting until December. These aren’t negotiations that will take 24 hours, and Joshua’s career’s not being slowed down. If they don’t want to do that, we’ll fight someone else.

“Tyson Fury is the least entertaining fighter I’ve ever seen. He’s never been in a good fight, apart from against Steve Cunningham [in 2013], when he got knocked down.”

The 28-year-old Joshua confirmed he had not broken his nose despite it bleeding heavily after Povetkin hurt him with a big left hand in the opening round.

Fury has already said on social media that Joshua will never fight him, and the champion added of Wilder: “I don’t want to wait until December. For him to finish his fight, have his rest and then start negotiating. I’ll start training again in early January, so I want to get it pencilled in as soon as possible, and those negotiations take a long time. Good luck to them both [Wilder and Fury] – boxing needs it. I’ve had the burden of the heavyweight division on my back for some years, because it was all about me fighting Wilder, Fury, Klitschko, Dillian, Povetkin. That’s all they were interested in – me fighting them all.

“So I’m happy those two are fighting. April 13 is booked, so whichever heavyweight is serious, we can look at making a deal. I have no interest in who wins; I’m not fussed.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DECLAN WARRINGTON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4804196.1537733401!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804196.1537733401!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Anthony Joshua celebrates retaining his titles at Wembley. Picture: Getty.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Anthony Joshua celebrates retaining his titles at Wembley. Picture: Getty.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4804196.1537733401!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/watch-ex-hibs-midfielder-john-mcginn-score-absolute-worldy-for-aston-villa-1-4804020","id":"1.4804020","articleHeadline": "Watch ex-Hibs midfielder John McGinn score absolute worldy for Aston Villa","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537690690000 ,"articleLead": "

If you’re going to score your first goal for your new club in front of more than 33,000 home fans, you want it to be a bit special...

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804018.1537641935!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John McGinn opened his account for Aston Villa with a ludicrous finish. File picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4804018.1537641935!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804018.1537641935!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "John McGinn opened his account for Aston Villa with a ludicrous finish. File picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John McGinn opened his account for Aston Villa with a ludicrous finish. File picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4804018.1537641935!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/competitions/premiership/rumour-mill-steven-gerrard-desperate-to-close-these-four-signings-brendan-rodgers-backs-top-class-celtic-star-rangers-boss-loves-his-unofficial-captain-1-4804100","id":"1.4804100","articleHeadline": "Rumour Mill: Steven Gerrard desperate to close these four signings | Brendan Rodgers backs ‘top class’ Celtic star |Rangers boss ‘loves’ his ‘unofficial captain’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537689878000 ,"articleLead": "

Steven Gerrard is trying to die up deals for four players, Brendan Rodgers backs his star player and more news from Scottish football.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804099.1537689874!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Rangers manager Steven Gerrard on the touchline. Picture: SNS/Craig Williamson"} ,"articleBody": "

Steven Gerrard keen to sign Liverpool duo as he bids to close deals with loan stars

Steven Gerrard has revealed he is seeking to tie-up four on-loan Rangers players on permanent deals. The quartet – Ryan Kent, Ovie Ejaria, Lassana Coulibaly and newest recruit Joe Worrall – have all shone so far this season.

Kent, who scored his first goal for the club last weekend against Dundee, and Ejaria are on loan from Gerrard’s former club Liverpool. (The Scotsman)

Steven Gerrard: ‘I love Andy Halliday’

Rangers manager Steven Gerrad has told of his delight by midfielder’s Andy Halliday’s ‘magnificent’ displays.

“I love Andy Halliday,” Gerrard said yesterday when asked to review the player’s season so far. No one has impressed Gerrard more since he arrived at Ibrox to the extent that he describes Halliday as the unofficial captain of the club. (The Scotsman)

Brendan Rodgers backs Celtic and Odsonne Edouard to rediscover form

The Celtic manager has backed misfiring frontman Odsonne Edouard as “top class” and insisted the club will find its form. (The Scotsman)

Rangers defender Borna Barisic says he needs to adapt

Borna Barisic admits he’s still finding his feet at Ibrox as he adapts to the demands of Scottish football. The Croatian said: “It is very different.

“I need to adapt to things. I need to adapt like everyone. I will try to learn as much as possible.” (Scottish Sun)

Brendan Rodgers praises Celtic winger Lewis Morgan

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has suggested to The Scottish Sun that Lewis Morgan could feature against St. Johnstone this coming Wednesday evening.

The Hoops will take on St. Johnstone in the quarter-finals of the Scottish League Cup. Rodgers has suggested that Morgan could play in the tie and has also praised the 21-year-old’s attitude. (Scottish Sun)

Celtic transfer chief reveals how Arsenal missed out on signing Virgil van Dijk for a bargain



Arsenal turned down the chance to sign Virgil van Dijk for less than £12million according to former Celtic assistant manager John Collins. (football.london)

‘I can still turn Dundee around’ says Neil McCann amid anger from fans

Neil McCann says he is still the man to turn Dundee around and will not be seeking assurances over his job from Dens Park chief John Nelms. (The Scotsman)

Gerrard confirms Barisic a big doubt to face St Johnstone today

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has confirmed that Borna Barisic is a big doubt for today’s clash against St Johnstone.

Barisic was one of the stars of the show against Villarreal on Thursday night. The Croatian international provided a terrific cross for Kyle Lafferty’s stunning equaliser in Spain. That goal was enough to mark Rangers’ return to Europe with a point in their toughest group match on paper. (Rangersnews.uk)

Craig Levein left directors’ box in bid to lift Hearts temp


Craig Levein was back in the dug-out at Tynecastle on Saturday - but only because he was too frustrated sitting in the stand. (The Scotsman)

Sir Alex Ferguson: Manchester United legend ‘nervous’ as he returns to Old Trafford

Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he felt nervous ahead of his emotional return to Manchester United yesterday afternoon. (The Express)

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4804099.1537689874!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804099.1537689874!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Rangers manager Steven Gerrard on the touchline. Picture: SNS/Craig Williamson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Rangers manager Steven Gerrard on the touchline. Picture: SNS/Craig Williamson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4804099.1537689874!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5780309549001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/competitions/premiership/kilmarnock-s-jamie-macdonald-seeks-end-to-jargon-of-rule-changes-1-4804060","id":"1.4804060","articleHeadline": "Kilmarnock’s Jamie MacDonald seeks end to ‘jargon’ of rule changes","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537678855000 ,"articleLead": "

Kilmarnock goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald wants players to be offered a simplified and more personal explanation on rule changes.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804059.1537647191!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jamie MacDonald says clarity is needed on rule changes. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

Controversy around refereeing decisions and interpretations has dogged the start of the season in Scotland, with Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke charged by the Scottish Football Association for criticising the governing body’s disciplinary process.

Clarke has subsequently claimed that refereeing decisions have influenced three of the five Ladbrokes Premiership games his side have played this season, and ahead of today’s visit by Celtic MacDonald said: “There is a captain’s meeting at the beginning of the season and you go to see the officials about the rule changes.

“In years to come it would be better if they went to the clubs individually because you are relying on one person who goes to those meetings to relay the information.

“I remember going a couple of years ago and in all honesty, there is a lot you don’t take in because it is a lot of jargon.

“It may be helpful in the future, when there are these rule changes, that maybe an official comes to each club and explains it to all the boys, break it down into simple language as well.

“That would help everybody so we could get a clearer idea of the rules for that season.

“It seems the wording of the rules seems to cause the bother more than anything and at the end of the day, it is down to interpretation.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4804059.1537647191!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804059.1537647191!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jamie MacDonald says clarity is needed on rule changes. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jamie MacDonald says clarity is needed on rule changes. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4804059.1537647191!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/competitions/premiership/hard-to-please-steven-gerrard-wouldn-t-change-rangers-start-1-4803783","id":"1.4803783","articleHeadline": "Hard to please Steven Gerrard ‘wouldn’t change’ Rangers’ start","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537678800000 ,"articleLead": "

After some of his pronouncements in recent weeks, including following Thursday’s excellent draw in Villarreal, it might have been apt had Shania Twain dedicated her song That Don’t Impress Me Much to Steven Gerrard when she played Glasgow last night.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4803782.1537562192!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Back on the training ground the day after Rangers' 2-2 draw in Villarreal, Steven Gerrard is 'very happy' with life in Glasgow. Picture: SNS."} ,"articleBody": "

The Rangers manager was in the audience, having been “bullied” into taking time out from a hectic itinerary that he admits has taken its toll on the Ibrox side’s league form.

Even last weekend’s resounding 4-0 win over Dundee did not wholly please Gerrard. Indeed, some of Rangers’ play angered him. There were even aspects of Thursday’s Europa League display which irked him as he reviewed the action.

“It’s a great result but watching the game back on the flight home there are still some things within it, if you’re ultra-critical, we need to address and try to learn and grow from,” said Gerrard yesterday.

Rangers must now get used to the Thursday-Sunday routine since it is a feature of their pre-Christmas schedule. It helps make Gerrard’s managerial baptism seem even more intense. He watched the whole 90-plus minutes of the draw with Villarreal on the flight home because “it’s difficult when there’s not much time between games”. As of yesterday morning, tomorrow’s home clash with St Johnstone became the priority.

Despite the criticism, specifically about the way Rangers started and when switching off after scoring, he liked a lot of what he saw. He believes a key ingredient, belief, is building all the time, as is synergy between certain 
players.

“You saw Borna [Barisic, right] and Glenn [Middleton] for the goal,” said Gerrard. “They’ve been working on that in training for a short space of time. I’m hoping that, with time, becomes two or three times in a game, rather than just once. They will improve the more they play together.”

Eight points from a possible 15 doesn’t represent a dynamic opening to a league campaign. But throw in negotiating four difficult European knock-out ties while marvelling at Thursday’s 2-2 draw in Spain, one of the finest Scottish results of recent times in Europe, and it is clear to see why Gerrard, despite some complaints, would gladly accept this start in terms of results had it been offered on his arrival in May.

About to embark on a week when he will taste domestic Scottish cup action, he does concede there is work to be done. A Betfred Cup quarter-final clash with Ayr United on Wednesday is bookended by league appointments with St Johnstone and Livingston. As satisfied as he is now, he is targeting six points and a place in the last four.

“I would definitely have taken this position before we started, 100 per cent,” said Gerrard. “It’s difficult to gauge right now because obviously with Europe everything is fantastic, where we sit right now. But in the league I would like a few more points on the board. I’m not one to use any excuses, ‘we could have’, ‘we should have’, ‘maybe’…

“It is what it is,” he added. “I would like a few more points on the board.”

The team remains a work in progress. The same applies to Gerrard as he continues adapting to living in an unfamiliar city. As if to illustrate his point, just as he is explaining how a manager’s existence is “24/7”, his mobile phone goes off. “Nice timing,” he grinned.

“I’m loving it. I’m loving it,” he added. “I’m really lucky to be in this position, to manage this fantastic club. I’m enjoying it, it’s a rollercoaster, it’s emotional. I wouldn’t change it for anything but it’s full on and it’s difficult to switch off.”

Family life has not been completely sacrificed.“I’m not away from my family,” he said. “They are down south but I see them a lot. They are up every single weekend and I get down the road at night, sometimes twice a week. Nothing has changed. I am probably seeing more of them now than I did as a player so I’m happy.

“I have no complaints off the pitch. I have settled into Glasgow really well. It’s similar to Liverpool in many ways. I am very happy.”

Only the Twain obligation provoked some conflict. He revealed he was “reeled in” to see the country star by his family, who were keen to take advantage of a rare break in his schedule before another packed fortnight is rounded off by a visit from league leaders Hearts.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ALAN PATTULLO"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4803782.1537562192!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4803782.1537562192!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Back on the training ground the day after Rangers' 2-2 draw in Villarreal, Steven Gerrard is 'very happy' with life in Glasgow. Picture: SNS.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Back on the training ground the day after Rangers' 2-2 draw in Villarreal, Steven Gerrard is 'very happy' with life in Glasgow. Picture: SNS.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4803782.1537562192!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby-union/guinness-pro14/blair-kinghorn-on-juggling-rugby-with-studying-for-a-university-degree-1-4804048","id":"1.4804048","articleHeadline": "Blair Kinghorn on juggling rugby with studying for a university degree","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537678800000 ,"articleLead": "

Edinburgh full-back Blair Kinghorn and his team-mate Magnus Bradbury are combining Pro14 duties with a university degree, writes Iain Morrison

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804045.1537646715!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Blair Kinghorn is juggling rugby and studying business management at Edinburgh Napier. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

Like any ambitious young player, Blair Kinghorn is an avid student of the game that gives him his living but it turns out that the star Scot to emerge from last season has also become a student of business management at Edinburgh’s Napier University.

It seems a long time since any player was able to get an academic qualification whilst pursuing a professional rugby career. Geoff Cross was a doctor, Euan Murray a qualified vet and Simon Taylor earned a law degree but all three have long since retired, a different generation and one with considerably less pressure upon them.

Somehow full-back Kinghorn and his Edinburgh breakaway buddy Magnus Bradbury have carved out enough time from Richard Cockerill’s notoriously tough training schedule to start a degree together, as the leggy full-back confirmed.

“I have just started uni, taking my mind off rugby when I am away from training and games. I am studying business management at Napier. I will just take it in small chunks and see how we go.

“I have been putting it off since school a little bit, so I just thought it was the right time. Magnus Bradbury has also started with me so we are looking forward to it.”

The pair are doing the same course and, while they have yet to start, “we will find out who copies whose notes!” quips Kinghorn.

Such was Kinghorn’s success last season that his coach, Cockerill, when asked if he was tempted to poach Stuart Hogg from Glasgow along with a scrum-half, replied in the negative since he already had the best full-back in the land!

On form alone he may have had a point but, with the autumn internationals looming large in the headlights, the question of who is Scotland’s best full-back is a moot one with Hogg sitting out the November Tests thanks to surgery on an ankle he injured two weeks back against Munster. Ruaridh Jackson might not necessarily concur, and Sean Maitland can put in a shift at 15 if needs be, but Kinghorn looks a shoo-in to fill that famous 15 shirt against Fiji, a rejuvenated South Africa following their win in New Zealand and Argentina, who are thriving under the management of Mario Ledesma and won’t be the same pushover they were in the summer.

Kinghorn has a rare turn of pace, which you’d probably expect for such a leggy athlete standing 6ft 5in tall, but he also accelerates remarkably quickly given those long levers, which you wouldn’t.

Just ask Nick Evans because the Edinburgh 15 rounded him in a Challenge Cup tie two years ago like the former All Black fly-half had put down roots.

Comparisons with Hogg are inevitable but ultimately not hugely revealing. Suffice to say that both men have the beating of a man 
one-on-one. Kinghorn proved as much so regularly against Munster in last season’s quarter-final at Thomond Park that his stats that day were off the chart, with one Irish pundit imagining the damage he could do in the 13 channel. The 157 metres that he carried was only matched by the opposition if you total the top six Munstermen with ball in hand together, including the illustrious Keith Earls and Simon Zebo.

In an Edinburgh team who dominate possession but find tries hard to come by, Kinghorn’s is one of the few blades with a cutting edge in Cockerill’s tool drawer. After a difficult start to the season Edinburgh face a Benetton side next weekend who continue to improve, as the young full-back acknowledges after sitting out yesterday’s trip to Dublin.

“I think everyone has upped their game in the whole Pro14,” says Kinghorn. “Benetton and Zebre have both got significantly better, I think all the teams have got significantly better and there are no easy fixtures. Anyone can beat anyone and you have to be on your game the whole time.”

When he is not studying his business books Kinghorn likes watching golf on TV, while admitting he isn’t much cop on the actual course, admires the NFL, where he supports the New York Giants, and is something of a 
Hearts fan, which is only to be expected from someone who 
briefly appeared as a junior on their books.

“I was quite a big Hearts fan,” he says, “I still follow them, but not so closely now and obviously they have had a good start. I need to try and get back down to a couple of games. I think a couple of the boys have season tickets.”

But for now the focus is on three things, rugby, rugby and rugby. Kinghorn has already proved himself flexible, shifting from fly-half to full-back to wing... so where next?

“Wherever the coach needs me,” is his obvious if honest response. “I wouldn’t tell Cockers where to pick me! Just wherever he sees fit, I trust the coaches.

“I like playing full-back at Edinburgh and I have to work hard to keep the starting jersey.

“I have played on the wing for Scotland, back three positions are pretty inter-linked. I got caught out a couple of times on the summer tour with knowing where to be, but full-back and wing are fairly interchangeable.”

So they are but Kinghorn must be itching for a chance to show what he can do in his preferred full-back shirt at international level come November. The rest of us are itching to see.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4804045.1537646715!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804045.1537646715!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Blair Kinghorn is juggling rugby and studying business management at Edinburgh Napier. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Blair Kinghorn is juggling rugby and studying business management at Edinburgh Napier. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4804045.1537646715!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4804046.1537646721!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804046.1537646721!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Kinghorn has put in some fine performances for Richard Cockerill's side since making the breakthrough. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kinghorn has put in some fine performances for Richard Cockerill's side since making the breakthrough. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4804046.1537646721!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4804047.1537646727!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804047.1537646727!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Magnus Bradbury is also combining Edinburgh duties with studying. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Magnus Bradbury is also combining Edinburgh duties with studying. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4804047.1537646727!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/golf/ryder-cup-bernard-gallacher-s-guide-to-team-usa-1-4804066","id":"1.4804066","articleHeadline": "Ryder Cup: Bernard Gallacher’s guide to Team USA","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537678800000 ,"articleLead": "

Bernard Gallacher, who played in eight Ryder Cups and was also captain on three occasions, runs the rule over Jim Furyk’s side

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804063.1537647791!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jim Furyk, captain of Team USA. Picture: AP"} ,"articleBody": "

Bryson DeChambeau

A new guy on the block, he’s confident about the Ryder Cup and says he wants to play with Tiger Woods. Whether or not the captain wants him to play with Tiger is more important. He’s got an unusual game. He’s a bit eccentric, but he certainly deserves to be on the team.

Tony Finau

He’s got in through his sheer consistency this year. He’s had 11 top-tens and it was difficult for Jim not to pick him. They think he is going to be the ideal guy for a Ryder Cup due to the fact he’s long off the tee and also a straight-hitter. He’s got the game for foursomes and fourballs.

Rickie Fowler

I’ve always admired Rickie and I think he’s a major champion in the making. I remember him playing in his first Ryder Cup in 2010 at Celtic Manor, where I was working for Radio Five Live, and he’s a real fighter in this event. He’s got a good temperament and is a strong player.

Dustin Johnson

He’s got a superb singles record, winning all three of his matches, and that’s because he’s tough to beat. There’s an intimidation factor about Dustin due to the fact he hits it so long. He’s a major threat to the European team, that’s for sure.

Brooks Koepka

You can see him and Johnson being a pairing somewhere along the line and they look like a very strong fourball pairing to me as 
they play a similar game. Brooks has a great temperament, as he showed at the US Open this year. You also have to admire how he’s come back from a serious injury that forced him to miss the Masters this year.

Phil Mickelson

He’s obviously still got a very strong appetite for the game at 48. The amount of money he’s won you’d think he might be taking it a bit easy, but he isn’t. He’s driven by trying to beat records. We’ll just have to wait and see if this is a Ryder Cup too far for Phil, but for most of the season he’s been leading the putting stats on the PGA Tour.

Patrick Reed

He’s a very tough competitor and it didn’t surprise me that he became a major winner in The Masters this year. I suppose it’s understandable that he’s not had a great season since then but they don’t call him “Captain 
America” for nothing.

Jordan Spieth

There’s always a bad swing in his game but you have to admire his temperament. If you are a captain, you’d want him on your team but his current play is not great. However, he’ll probably rise to the occasion because of the fact he’s so competitive.

Webb Simpson

He’s not a long hitter but he’s very accurate and also a very good hybrid wood player. We know he’s got a good temperament, as he showed when he virtually spreadeagled the field in The Players’ Championship this year at Sawgrass. He’s also got Ryder Cup experience.

Justin Thomas

He’s a great player and I have a lot of admiration for Justin. He’s been well coached by his father, a PGA pro as was his grandfather. Golf is in his blood. There doesn’t seem to be a weakness in his game. He’s a very strong player.

Bubba Watson

A lot of his best play was at the start of the year when he won at Riviera. But he’s a tough player to play against because you never know quite what to expect from him apart from the fact he’s going to be long off the tee. He also has a good touch around the greens.

Tiger Woods

You’ve got to admire the way he’s come back from all his back surgeries. He doesn’t putt as well as he used to, but he’s getting closer all the time to winning again. In the past, he wasn’t really a team player. But I think we are seeing a new Tiger Woods.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4804063.1537647791!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804063.1537647791!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jim Furyk, captain of Team USA. Picture: AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jim Furyk, captain of Team USA. Picture: AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4804063.1537647791!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/sport/golf/ryder-cup-stephen-gallacher-s-guide-to-team-europe-1-4804068","id":"1.4804068","articleHeadline": "Ryder Cup: Stephen Gallacher’s guide to Team Europe","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1537678800000 ,"articleLead": "

Stephen Gallacher, a member of the winning side at Gleneagles in 2014, runs the rule over Thomas Bjorn’s side

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4804065.1537647792!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Europe's Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn. Picture: AP"} ,"articleBody": "

Paul Casey

I was delighted when Thomas went to him and asked him to rejoin the European Tour this season as he’s a big-time player. He’s played in the Ryder Cup before and it was great when he rejoined the Tour as he’s too good not to be playing in this event.

Tommy Fleetwood

He’s a good mate of mine and he’s a fantastic guy with a great sense of humour. He’s turned into a global player and will thrive in this environment. It will be interesting to see who they play him with, but I think he is going to do really well. I think he’s the complete player.

Sergio Garcia

He’s a massive figure off the course and a quality player, too. His form has not been fantastic this year, but he brings a wealth of experience. Thomas might have it in mind for him to play with someone. Hopefully the decision to go for his experience will pay off.

Tyrrell Hatton

He can be a bit volatile but, if that works for you, then that’s brilliant as match-play is all about emotion and determination. He’ll be really tough to beat as he’s a straight-hitter, a fantastic iron player. He seems to play his best in big events, which suggests to me that he will handle this.

Rory McIlroy

He’s brilliant and you will be looking for him to play all five matches. He’s hitting a bit of form and he knows exactly what this is all about now. You see Rory showing emotions in this event unlike any other week. It’s an event he really gets up for.

Francesco Molinari

Who would not want to partner him in the foursomes? He’s one of the straightest hitters and he’s now added some good putting to his game, which was the bit that had been lacking. The way he closed out The Open with the quality of the guys breathing down his neck at Carnoustie was very impressive.

Alex Noren

What a player he’s turned into after totally rebuilding his swing. He’s an absolute grafter. It’s a good course for him, as he showed when winning the French Open there this year. You’ve got to shape it and he’s a really good iron player. I was delighted for him to make the team.

Thorbjorn Olesen

What a summer he had and no one was more delighted when he made the team – his caddie, Dom, too – than me as I knew what it meant for him to get on this one under his mentor, Thomas Bjorn. He’s one of these streaky players and, if he gets on his game, he’ll be hard to beat.

Ian Poulter

You want him in the Ryder Cup, especially when he is playing well, as has been the case this year. He lives for this event. He’s a big figure in the team room. He’s very vocal there and is great when it comes to getting people geed up. He’s a great team man as he’s a born winner.

Jon Rahm

I don’t know much about him, to be honest, other than the fact he’s a hell of a player. He’s got a wee bit of a temperament – there’s definitely Spanish blood in there – and that’s a good thing, especially in match play. You can’t really class him as a rookie when you look at the tournaments he’s won.

Justin Rose

The world No 1, Olympic champion and one of the nicest guys on the Tour. I think he’ll play five times as he’s the backbone of the team. He and Henrik Stenson have a great partnership and he’s turned into an awesome player. You’d look for him to get most of the points, I’d say.

Henrik Stenson

He’s brilliant in this event. A really nice guy, he’s got a really dry sense of humour and is a big personality in the team room. He’s always playing pranks and never takes things too seriously – you need guys like that in a pressure situation like the Ryder Cup. He’s great for that.

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