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Polish await in last eight clash

HOCKEY: Ireland got back on track and booked a quarter-final showdown with Poland, following a hard-fought 3-1 victory over South Africa in hot and humid Quilmes, Argentina, today.

Ireland coach Andrew Meredith grabbed his first competitive win, having watched his new side lose their first two games in Champions Challenge 1 against Argentina and Japan, despite his team showing promising signs in both games.

Goals from Andy McConnell, John Jermyn and Conor Harte were enough for Ireland, with Miguel Da Garca getting on the score sheet for South Africa.

'McLaren to miss Lewis'

FORMULA ONE: Red Bull boss Christian Horner believes McLaren's 2013 aspirations have been weakened by the loss of Lewis Hamilton to Mercedes.

McLaren have replaced Hamilton with Mexican Sergio Perez, who impressed at Sauber during 2012 but has yet to experience the scrutiny that comes with racing for one of Formula One's top teams.

McLaren have also retained the services of 2009 world champion Jenson Button, who won at Interlagos, and will be looking to again be in the title mix along with Red Bull and Ferrari.

But Horner believes the loss of 2008 champion Hamilton is a sizeable blow.

"I think McLaren is a weaker team without Lewis," said Horner, who has overseen three consecutive Constructors' Championship successes. "I think McLaren would admit that."

Twit Campese slammed

RUGBY: Former Australia international David Campese has been slammed for suggesting a woman should not report on rugby for one of Australia's biggest newspapers.

Campese (50) won 101 caps for his country in one of the sport's most glittering careers.

But he has been almost as controversial a commentator since retirement as he was a great player before it.

His tweet, later deleted, was a comment on the Sydney Morning Herald's appointment of Georgina Robinson to replace their rugby correspondent Greg Growden. "Why does the smh get a girl to write about rugby. Growden who was a great jornio and now we have someone who has no idea about the game!" he wrote.

Ward faces Pavlik test

BOXING: Super middleweight champion Andre Ward will defend his WBC and WBA belts against former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik on January 26 in Los Angeles.

NBA: Philadelphia 100 Dallas 98, Cleveland 78 Phoenix 91, Houston 117 Toronto 101, Sacramento 89 Minnesota 97, LA Lakers 77 Indiana 79.