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3 in the first game of a back

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    January 31, 2018 9:02 AM +0330

    LONDON -- After a year of speculation over whether seasoned internationals from the 15-a-side code would make the transition across to Sevens in time for the Olympics, just one made the Team GB cut: Scotlands Mark Bennett. Andrew Luck Jersey .It seems to keep the status quo after South Africa included Juan de Jongh, Fiji brought in Leone Nakarawa, the U.S. plucked Chris Wyles out at the last minute and New Zealand had their experienced cross-code superstar Sonny Bill Williams.The message from the Team GB mens head coach is he is envious of no one, but there is still a sense of what if? about the 12-man selection for Rio.What if the Rugby Football Union had struck a deal with the clubs allowing Amor to get access to players like Christian Wade during the Sevens World Series?What if Wade and other interested parties, Jack Clifford included, had been given time to run out on the Sevens scene and prove their worth ahead of the Olympics??What if George North or Danny Cipriani had been given time to state their claim? What if ... what if?Such questions will probably be loudly if Team GB falls short in Rio de Janeiro, and the mens side is the most competitive of tournaments with any one of six teams capable of lifting gold.But as last seasons Sevens Series showed with Scotlands incredible triumph at Twickenham, explosions of unpredictability and laughter in the face of form are rife in Sevens.The closest Team GB boast to a box office name is Bennett, but the Scotland international has been named in the 12-man party alongside Ollie Lindsay-Hague and Marcus Watson, and those two have played on numerous legs of the global Sevens series despite being contracted to Aviva Premiership clubs.Amor has largely gone for the tried and tested instead of rolling the dice. It is an England-dominated selection, too, with eight making the cut alongside two from Scotland and a Welsh duo.Fiji are the team to beat and they pack the most potent cocktail of power, pace, prowess and precision; Team GB perhaps lack in physicality and may struggle in the aerial battle.James Rodwell, Mark Robertson and Sam Cross inclusions are key in the latter area but if they get injured then they will lack replacements in the camp. Similarly, they will struggle in the attritional areas and will look to Phil Burgess for over-the-ball pinching to counter physicality.?Of those omitted, Luke Treharne will feel the most hard done by. Then theres Cory Allen, the Wales centre, who attempted to force his way into contention but left his charge too late, and Joe Simpson, who was ruled out through injury.There is an element of uneasiness about Team GBs prospects -- the poor form of England and Wales in last seasons Sevens Series saw them fall off the crowded pedestal of favourites -- but in skipper Tom Mitchell, there is hope.He is fiercely talented and one of the best playmakers gracing the circuit. His ability to spot space will give Team GB a point of difference. His experience is also invaluable and that is one area the team will not be found wanting in.The lack of wildcards means they are all well drilled in the short-form of the game and have it running through their DNA.But while they are a group who know Sevens like the back of their respective hands, they will only have had a limited number of tournaments together. Team GB have only played in four competitions as a unit, and then they were split across two teams.Compare that to their competitors, who have had an entire Series as a group and Team GB seem to be at a disadvantage.Amors 12-man squad is the just about the best he could have assembled given his situation. They wont go to Rio as favourites but the pressure of an Olympic Games can do strange things to medal-chasers.While England, Wales and Scotland have just three tournament victories between them out of the past 28 legs of the World Series, together they may offer a different, more potent cocktail and there is no better stage to prove that.It all kicks off on Aug. 9 against Kenya for Team GB. Win gold and they will rightly laugh in the face of the naysayers but fall short and that nasty itch of the what if will be hard to ignore. Matthias Farley Jersey . Walcott is available for Saturdays home match against Southampton as Arsenal looks to extend its two-point lead at the top of the Premier League. The Gunners are currently the second highest scorers in the league but Wenger insists Walcott will add something extra to his team. Jeremy Vujnovich Jersey .05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal. The designation was released Monday after the deadline passed for NFL teams to use franchise or transition tags on players becoming free agents. . -- The boos poured down on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots at the end of a horrible first half. LOS ANGELES -- The Clippers needed more offense and Mo Buckets delivered in the clutch.Maurice Speights scored 11 of his season-high 16 points in the fourth quarter, rallying Los Angeles past Chicago 102-95 on Saturday night to snap the Bulls four-game winning streak.You can take losing in this league, but you dont want to lose that way, Chicagos Dwyane Wade said.Even with all the offense, Speights biggest play came on an assist with 49 seconds left . Jamal Crawford missed a 3-pointer and Speights grabbed the offensive rebound. He fed Crawford for a driving reverse layup that restored the Clippers lead to five points.I was in position to get it and he didnt expect it so I surprised him, said Speights, who was yanked after going scoreless during a brief stint in the first half.Clippers coach Doc Rivers said, It was a great example where you just got to figure it out.Blake Griffin had 26 points and 13 rebounds and Chris Paul added 19 points for the Clippers, whose only two losses have come at home to Oklahoma City and Memphis. Rallying from a 19-point deficit for the victory moved them to an NBA-best 12-2.Wade led Chicago with 28 points, hitting five 3-pointers. Jimmy Butler added 22 points, making 11 of 12 free throws.They had to dig deep into their bag to pull this one out at home, Wade said. Thats what we want to do, make teams walk away scarred up. Feeling like that got away with one, and thats what they should be feeling.The Bulls made just one field goal over the final 6:30, keeping it close on seven consecutive free throws, including five by Butler. Isaiah Canaan hit a 3-pointer to draw them to 97-95 with 44 seconds left.Butler fouled Griffin with 20 seconds to go and he made both for a 99-95 lead. Wade missed a pullup jumper before Taj Gibson and coach Fred Hoiberg were hit with technical fouls in the closing seconds. Hoiberg was ejected.Thats a great team, playing the best basketball in the league, Hoiberg said. We fought them and we gave ourselves a chance.Wade scored 10 of the Bulls first 12 points to start the second quarter, pusshing their lead to 19 points before the Clippers suddenly awakened. Jabaal Sheard Jersey. They outscored Chicago 21-7 to head into halftime trailing 52-47.Griffin scored eight points, highlighted by his dunk over Robin Lopez off a bounce pass in the lane from Paul. Griffin elevated, with his left hand on Lopezs shoulder, and slammed the ball down, drawing a foul. Wades wife, Gabrielle Union, grimaced from her fourth-row seat while the crowd roared.TIP-INSBulls: They shot 68 percent in the first quarter, their best in a quarter this season. ... They are 0-3 in the first game of a back-to-back and 1-1 in the second game.Clippers: Griffin has scored 20-plus points in seven straight games. ... Since their home opener on Oct. 30, they have played 12 games in 20 days, most in the league in that span. They dont have two days off in between games until Dec. 5-6. ... C Diamond Stone was assigned to the Santa Cruz Warriors of the D-League after appearing in three games for the Clippers. Stone was the 40th overall pick in the June draft after playing one season at Maryland. ... F Wesley Johnson missed his fifth straight game with a left heel contusion.HE SAID ITHe proves you can be a gentleman and a killer at the same time. -- Rivers on Butler.RONDO RETURNSRajon Rondo returned to Chicagos starting lineup after missing two games because of a sprained left ankle and bronchitis. He just missed a triple-double, finishing with nine points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.Hoiberg said the team missed Rondos energy.Hes done a nice job of throwing the ball ahead, getting the ball to our wings where we can attack or getting the ball to the post, Hoiberg said.UP NEXTBulls: They stay in LA to play the Lakers on Sunday in the second game of a back-to-back, their third of the season. They swept the Lakers last season for the second time in three years.Clippers: Host Toronto on Monday before departing on a six-game trip, their longest of the season. 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