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Weekend talking points: Lingard joy, Bubba brilliance and cricket shame

A round-up of all the big stories

Lingard lights up England in Amsterdam

Much talk about England’s World Cup hopes has centred on Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Dele Alli.

But could Jesse Lingard be Gareth Southgate’s secret weapon? The 26-year-old scored the winner in Friday’s 1-0 win over the Netherlands.

It was the 25-year-old’s first international goal. He has been enjoying his best season yet with Manchester United this term, and could be a huge asset for England if he can continue that in Russia.

Uproar over Australia tampering

Cricket rarely steals the main headlines, but Australia’s ball-tampering scandal has done just that.

Images during Saturday’s Test with South Africa in Cape Town appeared to show Cameron Bancroft using tape to tamper with the ball.

The images sparked fury with cricket fans the world over. Aussie skipper Steve Smith and Bancroft confessed to the media about their pre-arranged plan. Both have been stood down from the Test and have also been fined.

But many feel the duo should face tougher sanctions. Even the Australian Prime Minister said the incident ‘shocked and bitterly disappointed’ him.

Vettel steals Aus GP from Hamilton

It’s early days but already Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel look poised to renew their rivalry for the Formula One world championship.

Hamilton took pole position for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, but Vettel took the race win thanks to a slice of luck from the safety car.

Mercedes and Hamilton were unimpressed, and the initial signs are that Ferrari will once again be on their case this year.

Bubba is back in business

With the Masters now less than a fortnight away, two-time Augusta champion Bubba Watson has chosen the opportune time to find form.

The American won the WGC Match Play on Sunday, dominating the final day to defeat Kevin Kisner 7&6.

It’s Watson’s second win of the season, after success at the Genesis Open in February. The 2012 and 2014 Masters champion is now just 12/1 to win the Green Jacket once again next month.

Rocket Ronnie doesn’t mess around

Ronnie O’Sullivan again showcased his immense and unique talent with a scintillating win in the Ladbrokes Players’ Championship.

The Rocket dismantled Shaun Murphy 10-4 in Sunday’s final, to cap a stunning week in Llandudno.

The five-time world champion says he’s playing as well as ever having won his fifth ranking event of the year. O’Sullivan is 15/8 favourite with Coral to win the title again next month at the Crucible.

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