Sports Shorts

ASA Tel Aviv wins rugby sevens championship

ASA Tel Aviv won the national 7-a-side rugby championship for the first time on Friday, beating Jezreel/Gilboa 19-7 in the final of the season's last round of games. Tel Aviv started Friday's tournament in discouraging form, dropping too many balls and looking confused during the early games against weaker teams. Jezreel/Gilboa, on the other hand, had been playing free-flowing running rugby and made few mistakes as it sailed into the final. But it was the Tel Avivians who came into the season's finale better organized and more aggressive, and, for the first time, Jezreel/Gilboa's defense looked shaky. Ultimately, Tel Aviv's determination proved superior to Jezreel/Gilboa's talent. The regular 15-a-side season will resume after the winter break on January 26. (Lior Zur )

Kobe Bryant, wife Vanessa call off their divorce

Kobe and Vanessa Bryant are staying together. The Los Angeles Lakers superstar and his wife both announced they've called off their divorce Friday on social media. Shortly after Vanessa posted the news on Instagram, Kobe confirmed it on Facebook less than an hour before the Lakers hosted the Oklahoma City Thunder. Vanessa Bryant filed for divorce in December 2011, seeking to end a marriage that began in April 2001. The Bryants have two daughters, Natalia and Gianna. But Kobe and Vanessa haven't acted like a divorcing couple in the past year, with Vanessa and their daughters attending many Lakers home games. (AP )

Du Plessis punishes New Zealand cricketers

Faf du Plessis completed his second test century as South Africa cruised to 505 for seven in its first innings at tea on the second day of the second test against New Zealand at St. George's Park yesterday. Du Plessis, who began the day on 69, eventually scored 137 off 252 balls with 14 fours and two sixes before he became medium-pacer Colin Munro's first test wicket when the batsman was caught in the covers. The 28-year-old right-hander reached three figures in emphatic style by striking the first ball he faced after the lunch break, from off-spinner Jeetan Patel, over long-off for six. Elgar proved the perfect foil for Du Plessis, bringing up his maiden test 50 off 86 balls. (Reuters )