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Solent Modular Work

Work Experience

The content of this publication is work that I have completed during my Sports Writing and Reporting course at Southampton Solent University.

All the work/tasks have been designed for different aspects of what a sports journalist will face in the real world whilst in the work place.

By Ed Gray


A news story after Wales exit at the RWC 2010 Warren Gatland Wales’s head coach considered shamefully cheating in a last ditch effort to make the Rugby World Cup Final. This shocking admission came after Wales narrowly missed out to France in an 8-9 defeat. After captain Sam Warburton was sent off for a dangerous tackle after only 19 minutes the Wales coach was forced to think on his feet. With the Wales scrum coming under increasing pressure from the French pack and with another injury to a prop meaning uncontested scrums, Gatlands honour and winning mentality were called into question. Gatland abstained from the decision to blatantly cheat and the New Zealander said: “We discussed it, but morally I decided it was not right.” He added: “In the spirit of a World Cup semi-finals I didn’t think it was the fairest or right thing to do.” Gatland’s admission will revive memories of the controversial ‘Bloodgate’ scandal of two years ago. Harlequins’ winger Tom Williams famously bit into a fake blood capsule to get kicker Nick Evans back into the game. The Wales head coach went on to criticise Irish referee Alain Rolland about the decision to dismiss Warburton. He said: “I honestly believe Alain Rolland made the wrong decision. I think the right decision was a yellow card.” He furthered his attack: “I just thought on that occasion, the significance of a World Cup semi-final to give a yellow card would have been appropriate because that is why these guys are appointed as the top referees in the world because they make the right decision.” Yet Gatland did back track slightly with his assessments confirming his understanding about how the verdict was reached: “In terms of the rules and the regulations he is perfectly entitled to give a red card but every game is different.”


Re-Write of a Match Report Hamworth United 4-1 Tillington Town Royston Vasey scored a hat trick and was later sent off as Hamworth United thrashed rivals Tillington Town in an impressive display. The influential frontman will now miss the vital clash with Cansdale City as the side chase an illustrious champion’s league spot. Vasey received his first yellow for an overzealous celebration and then after a dangerous late challenge on Juan-Pablo Jones it left referee Tyrant with no choice but to send him off. This all came after eccentric forward had scored three in a hugely devastating display which included one incredible rasping effort. The game started brightly for Hamworth with Johnson splitting the Tillington defence wide open with a wonderful ball through to Vasey, who brought a good stop from Sasha Grcnic. Unfortunately for the home fans Hamworth could not convert their early pressure and were made to pay as Dutch striker Hertz van Rentall slotted home for the visitors with a sweet strike. The hosts responded immediately with a fantastic effort from Vasey. The striker raced past the opposition defence and struck a soaring shot that left the keeper with no chance. This provoked an outlandish reaction from Vasey who ripped his shirt off and dived into the crowd, which led to the attacker receiving his first booking of the game. Hamworth continued building momentum as they looked to take control of the game and take the lead. The continuous pressure paid off when Vasey notched his second with a superb solo goal. The striker gathered the ball on the edge of the box and skilfully beat three defenders before neatly finishing over the by standing Grcnic. The home side continued with their pressure up until the half time whistle and went into the break leading 2-1. With the Borealis cheering their side on it was only a matter of time before Hamworth extended their lead as the Tillington defence came under greater strain. Only seven minutes into the second half and Vasey had his third thanks to a brilliant cross from French winger Le Pouffe. The wide man, excelling down the left flank, delivered a scintillating ball which saw the clinical Vasey head home.


Vasey looked in imperious form and seemed eager to add to his tally. However it was not to be as the frontman lunged in riskily at Tillington defender Juan-Pablo Jones which saw the referee, Ken Tyrant, brandish a second yellow followed by a red. Vasey went off to a standing ovation but the action hadn’t stopped there. His strike partner Hans Anfeet produced a fourth with a delicate chip over the helpless Grcnic. The win left Hamworth still with a mathematical chance of winning the league, something manager Ruud Persson is all too aware about. He said “Although Chigley seem to be uncatchable at the top of the table, we will chase them down until it is not possible.” In contrast, Tillington have just one win in nine and seem destined for a tense relegation battle.


Vox pop England vs. Spain After England’s surprise victory over Spain we took to the streets of Southampton to gauge the opinion of the locals over whether England can continue their success at this summer’s European Championships. Peter, a 50 year old painter from Leicester had damning views on their chances. He said: “Absolutely no chance, they will reach the quarter finals at best.” His views were echoed by 38 year old waitress Paula: “It will be a complete wash out.” The negative view points continued with student Matt from Kent and Sam Turner, 22 from Southampton stating: “They will not play well, the result against Spain was a bit of a fluke in my opinion” and “they will reach the semis and disappoint as usual” respectively. Policeman Dave Howard went as far as saying he “didn’t care” how England faired in the competition. However some members of the general public did have more positive hopes for the national side. Polish office worker Ariek believed they would “reach the semi-finals and play good football along the way.” Desmond, a 34 year old bus driver agreed that England would fare well. He said: “They will play well and I think the quarter finals are a real possibility.” The views of Southampton seem to reflect the views of a nation. Although some have high hopes of England playing quality football, the majority believe that England will fail when it really matters.


Nigel Adkins Interview Nigel Adkins revealed that “other sources” were at work in tempting young starlet Alex Oxlade Chamberlin away from St. Marys. The Southampton manager believed that if the midfielder had decided his future himself he would still be applying his trade for the Saints. Adkins said: “Talking to the lad on his own he would be happy to stay at the club but he was put under pressure from other sources. Other people close to him were agitating on his behalf to get a move to a premier league club.” He continued: “At that stage we had to get as much as we could for him and 12 million upfront for a player who has never played consistently at Championship level was a good deal for us.” However, with the January transfer window fast approaching Adkins insisted he would not be forced to sell any of his other high profile names. “We are building something here and are not intending to let people go and we are confident that we can fend off potential bids from Premier League clubs.” Yet he did concede if “silly money” was put on the table the club would sit down and discuss the deal. “Every player has a price of course but every club is a selling club. Just look at Manchester United, when Real Madrid came knocking for Ronaldo even they could not resist. But we have players tied down to long term contracts and rest assured we will be doing our best to keep them.” Adkins also suggested that the club would be looking to strengthen, starting with permanent capture of Dutch centre back Jos Hooiveld. The man, on loan from Celtic, has been impressive in his time with the Saints and Adkins admitted a deal was a priority: “I would like to do the deal and I’m sure that the chairman will sit down with Celtic to see if anything can be done.” When pushed on further deals Adkins would not be drawn: “Team spirit and togetherness is key. We have a close knit team spirit here with plenty of competition for places already. This is by and large the same side that got us up and I believe the squad is good enough to achieve promotion.” Southampton will look to continue their promotion push after the international break when they host Brighton at St Marys.


Match Report of India vs England 2nd One Day International Virat Kohli scored his seventh one-day international hundred with a sensational 121 not out off 89 balls to hand England their second defeat in four days. The devastating innings which included some mighty blows took the game away from England in scintillating fashion. After a 126 run trouncing at Hyderabad in the first ODI England followed it up with a tame and lacklustre performance which contributed to the eight wicket thrashing. The day started with England captain Alastair Cook winning the toss and electing to bat on a flat track. However they started awfully with openers Cook and the expansive Kieswetter both getting ducks leaving the tourists 0-2. England from then on faced an uphill task and struggled to recover, stumbling to 121-5. It would have been worse but for the solid 73 run partnership between Pieterson and Bopara. But when Pieterson was dismissed for 46, edging behind off Umesh Yadav and Bopara was plum lbw for 36 off the bowling of Ashwin, England stuttered. The slump was halted thanks to a late flourish from Samit Patel and the ever impressive Jonny Bairstow who restored some respectability for the visitors leaving India needing 238 to win. India in reply followed Englands lead losing their two openers cheaply inside seven overs. England’s hopes of victory looked more likely but were soon dashed by Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli who found the boundary with alarming consistency. The frustration of the tourists was all too clear to see with Tim Bresnan and Jonathon Trott embroiled in a heated exchange of words with the Indian batsmen. Kohli went on to take centre stage racing to his seventh one-day hundred as India cruised to a second comfortable win. The latest victory gives India a 2-0 lead in the five match series leaving England having to win the next ODI to keep the series alive.


Olympics round up Usain Bolt stormed to another Olympic gold and equalled his own world record as he left his competitors trailing. The Jamaican superstar blitzed the field in a race which saw Christophe Lemaitre run a personal best to clinch silver and Asafa Powell take the bronze medal. In the Women’s 400m final there was success for Britain as Christine Ohuruogu snatched victory from American Sanya Richards in a closely fought encounter. The two matched each other for the entire contest but it was Ohuruogu who edged in front when it mattered winning by just a tenth of a second. Further triumph came for Britain in the Finn class as Ben Ainslie sailed to yet another gold medal, increasing his total to four at Olympic Games. The crowd in Weymouth witnessed a majestic performance as Ainslie secured third in the 11th race which confirmed a top place finish in the final standings. The sailing success looks set to continue with Paul Goodison leading the Men’s Laser after six races. In the Men’s 10m platform final Tom Daley delighted home fans with a superb bronze medal. The youngster from Plymouth totalled an impressive 525.80 points to claim third but finished significantly behind Australian Matthew Mitcham who captured gold. Cycling fans were treated to a dominating display by three time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador in the individual time trial as he comprehensively beat the rest of the field. The Spaniard completed the course in one hour two minutes 11.43 seconds with his nearest challenger, Gustav Larsson, half a minute behind. However the surprise of the day came as Englishman Steven Cummings earned a bronze medal beating Cadel Evans to third place. The success continued for Birtain in the cycling where Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton reached the men’s and women’s sprint final respectively. Hoy knocked out Team Sky team mate Jason Kenny to progress in the competition and Pendleton overcame Chinese athlete Shuang Guo. Conversely there was some disappointment for team GB as Andy Murray was defeated in a five set thriller by Rafael Nadal in the Men’s tennis final.


In a back and forth battle Murray recovered from two sets down to pull it back to a determining fifth set. But it was Nadal who went on to receive the illustrious gold overcoming the Scotsman 6-2 in the crucial decider. Finally, Paula Radcliffe once again failed to obtain an elusive gold medal at Olympic Games. The women’s marathon world record holder finished three minutes behind eventual winner Constantina Tomescu but that was enough for a bronze medal.

Solent Modular Work  

Work experience