Sports Shorts

Maccabi Haifa closes gap at top after easy win

Maccabi Haifa closed the gap at the top of the Premier League table to just five points Saturday night, thanks to a convincing 4-0 victory over Ramat Hasharon at Kiryat Eliezer. Maccabi Tel Aviv, which plays crosstown rival Hapoel Tel Aviv Monday, remains top. The most exciting game of the day was played in Netanya, where the home team was defeated 5-3 by Bnei Yehuda. Argentinean striker P.J. Galvan scored a hat trick for the visitors. In other games, Ashdod and Hapoel Haifa tied 1-1, Kiryat Shmona defeated Ironi Ramat Gan 3-1, and Hapoel Be’er Sheva played out a goalless draw against Hapoel Acre. In what promises to be a highly tense affair, Beitar Jerusalem hosts Bnei Sakhnin this evening. ‏(Haaretz Sports Staff‏)

Wales stuns France, Scotland crushes Italy

Wales ended a run of eight successive defeats with a stunning 16-6 victory over France in Paris yesterday, while Scotland got their first win of the Six Nations with crushing defeat of Italy. Warlier, Italy came crashing back to earth just six days after a historic victory over France going down to a crushing 34-10 loss to Scotland at Murrayfield. Tries by Tim Visser, Matt Scott, Stuart Hogg and Sean Lamont, countered by a late consolation effort by Alessandro Zanni, helped Scotland rebound well from an opening loss to tournament favorite England. ‏(DPA‏)