Good Week/Bad Week: We take a look at the winners and losers from the last seven days
Last Updated: 25/08/14 11:49am
So much can change in a week of sporting action and, sure enough, there have been plenty of highs and lows over the past seven days.
It was a week in which Leeds Rhinos ended their Challenge Cup hoodoo and Birmingham Bears were crowned NatWest T20 Blast champions on their own ground.
But Lewis Hamilton was embroiled in a row with Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosburg following the controversial Belgium Grand Prix, while reigning champion Rafael Nadal pulled out of the US Open due to injury.
Leeds Rhinos were in seventh heaven at Wembley on Saturday as they ended a run of six straight Challenge Cup final defeats with a 23-10 victory over Castleford.
The Rhinos' 17-man squad had previously collected 42 losing Challenge Cup final medals between them.
But Brian McDermott’s side put in a muscular and clinical display to finally lift the trophy, with England winger Ryan Hall picking up the Lance Todd trophy after scoring two tries in the win.
McDermott said afterwards: "It will take a while to come up with the right phrase to sum up the feeling.
"We have been striving for this for so long, the club has, and to eventually get it is a big feeling.
"For the players it's a sense of relief, elation. They're an emotional bunch right now but we feel like we have delivered something. I feel like I have delivered something. We have picked up six silver medals but now we have a gold, and that's a big feeling."
Birmingham Bears collected their maiden T20 title on home soil at Edgbaston following a thrilling final with Lancashire.
The hosts posted a competitive 181-5 after opting to bat first, with Laurie Evans smashing 53 off 30 balls.
Lancashire fell just four runs short in reply, despite the best efforts of Karl Brown (55) and Andrew Flintoff, who smashed two sixes in his 20 not out to see the game come down to the final ball.
With Stephen Parry on strike, Lancashire required six but Chris Woakes (2-34) conceded just a single to seal Birmingham's win, the first part of a potential domestic treble this season.
New Zealand rugby team
The All Blacks bounced back to winning ways with a comprehensive 51-20 thrashing of Australia to retain the Bledisloe Cup.
Skipper Richie McCaw ran in two tries, while Julian Savea, Kieran Read and Steve Luatua also touched down as the hosts ran riot - eventually posting a record win over their neighbours.
It was the perfect response after the reigning world champions had seen their 17-match winning Test run come to a halt with a 12-12 draw in Australia the week before.
The win saw New Zealand keep up with the pace with the Rugby Championship leaders South Africa, who narrowly beat Argentina to maintain their 100 per cent record.
Hunter Mahan landed his first PGA Tour win since April 2012 with a two-shot victory in The Barclays in New Jersey.
The American produced a back nine charge to collect the win in the first event of the PGA Tour's four-tournament FedEx Cup finale.
He came home in 32 to post a winning score of 14-under – and boost his chances of booking a spot in Tom Watson's US Ryder Cup team.
A relieved and delighted Mahan, who sealed his sixth PGA Tour title, said: "This is a FedEx Cup play-off event, this is where all the best players are and this is where you need to peak your game and play some great golf.
"To do it on Sunday like I did and hit so many great shots and so many big putts near the end feels great."
It was a bad week for British racer Lewis Hamilton, who was forced to retire from the Belgian GP after Mercedes team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg clipped his car on the second lap of the race after losing the lead off the line.
The collision cost Mercedes a near-certain victory with Rosberg’s car also damaged in the incident.
The German was, however, able to finish second behind the victorious Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo and thereby extend his championship lead to 29 points over Hamilton.
Although race stewards declined to investigate the clash, Hamilton claimed that, in a post-race hearing convened by the Mercedes management, Rosberg admitted he could have avoided crashing into the sister W05 and didn't back off 'to make a point'.
The incident has led to speculation that Hamilton could leave the team.
The defending champion was forced to pull out of the US Open after suffering an injury to his right wrist at home in Mallorca.
Nadal suffered the injury on July 29 whilst practicing for the US hardcourt season and he was advised by doctors to wear a cast for two to three weeks.
The problem forced him to miss the Rogers Cup in Toronto and the Cincinnati Open and Nadal, who has not played since his shock defeat to Nick Kyrgios at Wimbledon.
A dejected Nadal, who had been to the last three US Open finals, said: “I am sure you understand that it is a very tough moment for me since it is a tournament I love and where I have great memories from fans, the night matches, so many things…
“Not much more I can do right now, other than accept the situation and, as always in my case, work hard in order to be able to compete at the highest level once I am back.”
The former Cardiff manager issued an official apology this week for sending offensive text messages during his time at the Bluebirds.
The 42-year-old Scot was sacked by the Welsh club in December and just when he appeared set to return to football by snaring the Crystal Palace job, news broke earlier this week that the FA were investigating a dossier compiled by Cardiff detailing Mackay's misconduct.
The dossier revealed several text messages of racist, sexist, homophobic and anti-semitic nature exchanged with his former assistant manager Iain Moody, who subsequently stepped down as Palace sporting director on Thursday.
On Friday evening, Mackay offered a full apology during an exclusive interview with Sky Sports News HQ.
"I'm sincerely apologetic for those three texts and for any offence that was taken. It was wrong and it's something that isn't in my character," he said.
St Louis Rams suffered a massive blow with the news quarterback Bradford will miss the entire season with a serious knee injury.
The 26-year-old suffered the setback in Saturday's preseason game against the Cleveland Browns.
Bradford is now due to undergo surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee - the second time he has had a reconstruction operation on the knee with him having missed nine games last season.
"Unfortunately, I can confirm that we have lost Sam for the year," Rams head coach Jeff Fisher told reporters. "For Sam personally, it's devastating."