Month: May 2020


  • Top five halfbacks in the NRL

    first_imgHere’s a look at which halfbacks the writers at NRL.com rate most highly heading into 2017. 5. Mitchell Pearce (Roosters)2016 stats: 11 try assists; 12 line-break assists; 344 kick metres per gameSomething tells me 2017 is going to be a big year for Mitchell Pearce. After missing the first eight weeks of the 2016 season for disciplinary reasons, the Roosters halfback made an impressive return to rugby league; one that would have been even better had he not been hampered by a niggling calf complaint. The arrival of Luke Keary at Bondi will take some pressure off him in the halves and should allow him to play his natural game. Blessed with plenty of talent – but weighed down by expectation – Pearce is off-contract at the end of 2017 and will be keen to shine with his name already being thrown around for State of Origin. 4. Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles)2016 stats: 16 try assists; 12 line-break assists; 282 kick metres per gameManly’s recruitment of rock-steady five-eighth Blake Green will provide the stability Daly Cherry-Evans needs to play his natural game. The Sea Eagles were never able to settle on their halves combination in 2016, with DCE sharing playmaking duties with Jamie Lyon, Dylan Walker, Apisai Koroisau and Matt Wright at different stages of the year. That’s a lot to ask of any halfback, and the constant chopping and changing took its toll on Cherry-Evans. The 2013 Clive Churchill Medallist will need to rediscover his famed running game if the Sea Eagles want to return to the top eight next year.   3. Shaun Johnson (Warriors)2016 stats: 18 try assists; 24 line-break assists; 254 kick metres per gamePerhaps the most dynamic player the game has ever seen, Shaun Johnson is the sort of guy who keeps opposition edge forwards awake at night as they try to think up ways of how to stop him. Blessed with incredible speed and unparalleled footwork, Johnson has the ability to tear a game apart in the space of five minutes. That’s the Johnson we all love and wish to see every week. However, like the Warriors, the prodigiously talented playmaker can drift in and out of games, and it’s that sort of inconsistency that has seen them miss the finals for the past five seasons. But with Kieran Foran set to join him in the halves next season, is Johnson’s best still to come? 2. Cooper Cronk (Storm)2016 stats: 23 try assists; 19 line-break assists; 282 kick metres per game Just when you thought Cooper Cronk couldn’t get any better, the maestro churns out one of his best seasons to secure his second Dally M award. The Storm are a well-oiled machine with Cronk their conductor, and the 33-year-old shows no signs of slowing down as he enters his 14th season in Melbourne. To make matters worse for opposition defences, Cronk will be reunited with his partner-in-crime, Billy Slater, with the pair set to wreak havoc on the rest of the NRL in 2017. 1. Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys)2016 stats: 25 try assists; 24 line-break assists; 280 kick metres per game In the relentless battle for rugby league supremacy, there are no two ways about it: Johnathan Thurston is the king in the north. The Cowboys halfback has long carried his team on his back, but now has support in key positions that has allowed him to play his own game. There isn’t a player in the NRL who steps up in the key moments like JT does – just ask the Broncos – and as he’s gotten older, Thurston has remoulded his style to keep him two steps ahead of the game.last_img read more

  • NSW set to rival Queensland for Indigenous representation

    first_imgWhile the Origin teams aren’t named for another three weeks, there are more players of Indigenous heritage under genuine consideration for Blues selection than in any previous series, with the possibility of a three-quarter line-up featuring Blake Ferguson, Latrell Mitchell, James Roberts and Josh Addo-Carr.Wade Graham is expected to be selected if fit, while Tyrone Peachey is in strong contention for a utility role, and Jack Bird and Nathan Peats are incumbent members of a Blues team which last year fielded more Indigenous players than the Maroons for the first time.Graham and Bird have been touted as possible options to partner James Maloney in the halves.Had Andrew Fifita not pledged his allegiance to Tonga over NSW, his form would warrant selection, while Ryan James has been mentioned in discussions.With Johnathan Thurston retiring from representative football and Sam Thaiday being dropped after the opening game of last year’s series, Queensland’s Indigenous representation this season may be limited to Greg Inglis, Will Chambersand Dane Gagai.It is a significant turn-around since Bowraville-born Inglis opted to play for the Maroons, partly because of a perception that NSW was reluctant to select Indigenous players, and Timana Tahu walked out of a 2010 Blues camp in protest at comments about Inglis by assistant coach Andrew Johns.NSW has a history of disillusioned Indigenous players, with Anthony Mundine, Nathan Blacklock and David Peachey having questioned selection decisions in the past but there can be no complaints now after the Blues last year had five players of Aboriginal heritage in all three matches.The increased number of Indigenous players chosen in a NSW jersey in recent years has coincided with the introduction of the NRL All Stars concept in 2010 and many of the players now in contention have been given their first taste of representative football in the annual clash.Laurie Daley’s dual role as coach of the Indigenous All Stars and NSW from 2013 to 2017 also enabled him to develop relationships with many of those who wore the Blues jersey under his charge.  Emerging leaders such as Graham, Gagai and Ash Taylor have become aware of their standing while in camp with the Indigenous All Stars, which was the brainchild of Preston Campbell after witnessing the impact of the Dreamtime team during the 2008 World Cup.Of all the achievements that the NRL has to be proud of, none would surpass the positive influence rugby league has in Aboriginal communities and events such as the All Stars game and this weekend’s Indigenous round have ensured the support of the entire game.All 16 clubs are on track to have their own Reconciliation Action Plan by the end of the season, including the New Zealand Warriors, who are the first international organisation to do so. On the field, 12 per cent of NRL players are Indigenous, while at grassroots level that figure rises to 17 per cent – a far greater representation than the 2.8 per cent of Australians with Aboriginal heritage, according to the last Census in 2016.Indigenous players are also strongly represented in the women’s game, with eight of the 40 contracted players having Aboriginal heritage.In addition, eight members of the NSW Country women’s squad named to play in next month’s National Championships are Indigenous and the City team is expected to boast similar representation.The NRL has not had to deal with an incident of racial abuse against an Indigenous player in a match since 2005 when Parramatta forward Dean Widders made an on-field allegation against Bryan Fletcher, who was stripped of the South Sydney captaincy.The universal condemnation of the spectators who racially abused Inglis at Penrith earlier this season and the swift response of the Panthers and the NRL to identify and ban them was a positive contrast to the way former AFL star Adam Goodes was treated after a similar incident in 2013.last_img read more

  • PNG are the Pacific queens of the 400 metres

    first_imgThree of the eight runners in the finals tonight were Papua New Guinean- Betty Burua, Donna Koniel, and Pacific sprint queen Toea Wisil.The crowd erupted as Wisil led the way from the start and finished first with a time of 54.17s.Next in was Donna Koniel with 54.29s.Betty Burua came flying in third for bronze clocking 55.21s.last_img

  • Hebou PNG Barramundis humbled by Ireland in first T20I

    first_imgAfter Ireland’s Captain, William Porterfield won the toss and sent the HEBOU PNG Barramundis, HEBOU PNG were restricted to only 9/92 off their allotted 20 overs.This was mainly due to some disciplined bowling by Ireland and some indifferent batting from the HEBOU PNG Barramundis.Sese Bau (22) and Charles Amini Jnr (21) were the main contributors with the bat for the HEBOU PNG Barramundis, while Kevin O’Brien (2/10), Craig Young (2/15) and Andy McBrine (2/17) all picked up two wickets each for Ireland.In reply, Barramundis’ bowlers got off to a great start, restricting Ireland to 3/30 inside four overs thanks to a quick spell of fast bowling from Norman Vanua and debutant Nosiana Pokana.Gary Wilson (45) and Kevin O’Brien (11) then guided Ireland out to trouble to eventually pass the score, losing another two wickets with 47 balls remaining.Norman Vanua was once again the stand out bowler for the HEBOU PNG Barramundis, taking 3/26 off his four overs.“It was a very disappointing performance from the boys today. We didn’t execute any of our plans today and against a good opposition like Ireland, we got punished,” said Captain, Jack Vare.“The positive thing is that we have two more matches left in the series and we must execute our plans if we are going to get a result,” said Vare.    The second of the T20I Matches will take place tomorrow at Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville.Match will commence at 2pm local time.last_img read more

  • Australian Open | Against this champion Nadal there is no Kyrgios that is worth

    first_imgNot even with a really critical model throughout many of the recreation was Nick Kyrgios in a position to beat Rafa Nadal within the spherical of 16 of the Australian Open. At house, in entrance of an viewers delivered however respectful of the rival, he didn’t arrange an excessive amount of present, past a willy, a damaged racket, some shy slit and a few jumps. He tried with the virtues of his anarchic however gifted recreation, and nonetheless couldn’t with a Nadal in champion mode, with all its mechanisms at full capability, understanding that he couldn’t let the atmosphere or his extravagant adversary disturb him. Superior bodily, the Balearic gritted his tooth, fought the hearth with fireplace (64 profitable strokes in opposition to 50), subtracted effectively, drew higher and beat 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (8) and 7-6 (4 ) in three hours and 38 minutes, a marker equivalent to that of his earlier appointment at Wimbledon final 12 months. Thus he got here for the 41st time to the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam to tie in third place within the historic checklist with the nice Jimmy Connors, behind Federer (57) and Djokovic (46). In that spherical, he’ll face Dominic Thiem on Wednesday, who gained an indolent Gael Monfils in a form of pachanga (6-2, 6-Four and 6-Four in 1h: 50) The primary set was far more placid than anticipated for Nadal. Kyrgios, who got here out to Rod Laver Enviornment with a Lakers shirt with the quantity eight and Bryant’s title, in homage to Kobe, appeared apathetic, with comfortable, lifted blows and no hint of his well-known acceleration. It was straightforward for Rafa to maintain his serves and within the fourth recreation he took benefit of his second break level to take benefit and never let go till he signed the set. Within the second spherical he went all out, however he wasted three breaking balls at first and that value him dearly, as a result of Kyrgios matched the scoreboard for small particulars. He different heights, instructions and energy in his shipments. Thus just a little confused Manacor, who with out enjoying a foul set as soon as misplaced his service. There he gave 4 targets and the remainder of the turns, minus one, gained them in white. The issue is that he didn’t discover a solution to have extra choices to interrupt Nick’s good.He needed to endure, work and never fall into the traps of the aussie. It was clear that in some unspecified time in the future he would put collectively his present. He began it with a bravado to one of many line judges who had sung some dangerous ball. “Why are you laughing”. Then, after elevating a 30-40 within the eighth recreation, already within the tiebreaker he misplaced his nerves for the primary time and was paid by his racket, crushed in opposition to the bottom. There he messed with a double foul and a clamorous failure on the set level that Nadal gained.Over time in opposition toMoreover Spanish, the dangerous factor for Kyrgios was time, his worst enemy. He arrived on the recreation with discomfort in his left leg and as he is not precisely a tough employee, in coaching the passing of the minutes fell like a slab on his inconsistent physique. Nadal quickly broke up within the fourth quarter, for 2-1 and repair. For primary the factor was to not pee anymore and transfer from one aspect to the opposite of Canberra, who started to lament along with his soliloquies. And though Rafa does tangle with 5-Four and serve, and his opponent threatened to beat in a burst of satisfaction, he did not keep away from being defeated for the fifth time in his eight specific duels. “When he performs with ardour, he is one of many biggest skills we have now in our circuit “praised the winner. The very fact is there is no Kyrgios, neither sane nor loopy, that is worth in opposition to this Nadal.Outcomes of the boys’s staff of the Australian Open.last_img read more

  • A more ‘focused’ Guedes

    first_imgThe Portuguese are accustomed to positioning themselves both in the band and in the center. However, in the last calls with his selection he has participated more in the interior and its performance has been superior to what, so far, it has shown in Valencia.Playing with a 4-3-3 with Cristiano Ronaldo as a reference above and he more mobility, the ‘7’ of Valencia was key in the victory of the Nations League scoring the goal of the final. In addition, he has also added 2 goals in the qualifying matches for the European Championship. Gonçalo Guedes He returned to dress the Valencian elastic last Tuesday in Los Cármenes four months later. His return has come again accompanied by the high expectations which always generates Portuguese, among fans and also in the coaching staff.Albert Celades is aware that the best Guedes is one of the most differential players in the squad and not only playing from the band, but also In the center. Not surprisingly, in which he was the player’s redebut this season after his injury, although he entered the field replacing Ferran Torres on the side, acted near the front of the area.“We look forward to Guedes coming back since can act in the same position as Rodrigo. “ Those were the coach’s words a few weeks before his soccer player recovered completely from the injury, something that already predicted what he had in mind. Confirmed your return, the coach verified yesterday that the fact that the Portuguese played more focused on Granada was due to his indications. Catalan intends like this “give the best context” For the soccer player. In addition, Guedes not only moved through the front of the area when he was second-point, even at the beginning when the master placed him on the side, Celades himself acknowledged that he will give “freedom” so that “look for positions inside”.International experiencelast_img read more

  • “It was the most boring weekend in history”

    first_imgDays later, however, more talk about the match began as a Juve player tested positive for the coronavirus. The first case of a footballer in Italy. Minutes after it became official, the players and workers of Inter, having been in contact with a person affected by the virus, already had a message from the team doctor on their mobile phone with instructions to follow. Absolute ban on leaving home and taking your temperature every day. Thus for fifteen days, after which he must, in any case, follow the same confinement rules as the rest of the Italians.Rocío Rodríguez is the wife of the Inter Borja Valero player “It was the most boring weekend in history.” This phrase could have been said by any of us, but the author of such wise words is my 10 year old son. Although we have been in Italy for three weeks now with many games postponed and many others behind closed doors, This has been the first weekend without live soccer on television.Here in Milan, weeks ago soccer has ceased to have the weight it had in society. On March 1, the Italian derby was played, one of the matches for the title fight and perhaps one of the most important matches of the year, Juve-Inter. Under normal conditions, the day after such a game, the fans only talk about the result and the controversies. WhatsApp groups smoke with memes and jokes about the game. This time, the coronavirus has captured our full attention.last_img read more

  • Lazio and Naples postpone the return to training

    first_imgThere were tensions over the matter in the past week as the owners of Lazio and Naples did intend to return to work soon. Andrea Agnelli attacked President Claudio Lotito during the Series A assembly on March 13 (“You think more about the classification than the health of your footballers“He said) and yesterday Massimo Cellino, president of Brescia, did the same in the‘ Corriere dello Sport ’:”If Lotito wants the scudetto, let him have it. I am already thinking about the next course, nothing else“ Lazio and Naples, as expected, will not train again this week. The Roman club yesterday announced that the return to work was postponed ‘sine die’ due to the coronavirus emergency. Southerners, on the other hand, they had communicated during the past week first that the team would have trained this Monday, while on Friday the date was postponed to Wednesday.A formal communication, which caused a lot of controversy on social networks and will soon be replaced by another. The Azzurri players already knew informally that on Wednesday they will not have to go to the sports city of Castel Volturno, an inevitable decision in the face of the coronavirus emergency in the transalpine country, which today it has 63,927 total infected and 6,077 deceased.last_img read more

  • This is the uncertain future of some red players

    first_imgFran Mérida is the oldest of the four. He arrived in Osasuna, from Huesca, in July 2016. He signed for three seasons and last year the club extended his contract until June 2020. Throughout these four campaigns, he has played 104 games with the elastic rojilla and has scored 11 goals. . As for Adrián, he arrived in the summer of 2019, after a bad sports experience in Porto. He has played 20 games and scored in the Cup against Recreativo. With the League suspended and no date for its resumption if it occurs, undoubtedly the most affected players are those who end their contract next June. The current situation is not allowing them to demonstrate their ability, the clubs do not think now about renovations, but about ERTES And players also have no way of showing other clubs that they may be eligible to play there, in case their current club does not offer to continue.In Osasuna there are four players who are in this situation. These are goalkeeper Rubén Martínez, defender Facundo Roncaglia, pivot Fran Mérida and striker Adrián. The ownership of all of them has been intermittent this season. Rubén celebrates his second season at Osasuna. He arrived in the summer of 2018, coming from Dépor and signed for two seasons. He has played 50 games and has conceded 42 goals. Roncaglia arrived last summer, after spending time with Celta and signed for a single season. He has played fifteen games and has scored a goal.last_img read more

  • Paco: “We must ensure 100% of the salary to employees”

    first_img-It will not be the same. Soccer without an audience almost doesn’t make sense. Another thing is that we have to finish the championship by obligation and because it is the best for the clubs, to leave this settled.-There is uncertainty for those who end the contract …It is a rather legal issue and I think that there will be no problem. I finish on June 30 and if I have to stay to finish LaLiga in August, I will. The world of football has a good predisposition to everything: lower wages, help people … It has always been a solidarity group and this will be the same. -And the players?We do not speak daily, but we do videoconference all together every several days. The physios, the readapters, the physical trainer … are in contact with them to change their training, due to the issue of diets …– Does it strike you that other clubs have thought of returning or have called players for controls? Is there some impatience already?-I highly respect what others do. We all want to start, not some more than others, but we understand that now there is something much more important than that. If we have been told that we should stay home, we have to be consistent and in solidarity with the people who are doing it. That we could possibly be training in groups of two … Yes, but this is not a matter of what each one wants but of what the experts tell us. -Do you think LaLiga will end?-One thing is to anticipate possible scenarios and another, to know what will happen. It is a path that we have never explored and we do not know where it will take us. Everyone’s intention is to end the season. I would like LaLiga to talk with technicians and players before making decisions or designing protocols, to find the best possible solutions among all. We have interesting things to say.-What does seem certain is that he would return with games behind closed doors. CONGRATULATIONS RESUMPTION OF COMPETITION “I would like LaLiga to talk to coaches and players before designing protocols” “This year it’s my turn to sing happy birthday on the computer” Paco Jémez, coach of Vallecano Ray, meet today 50 years. He does it in full confinement by the epidemic of coronavirus and with the family distributed between Madrid, A Coruña and Córdoba. Your wish? Let life and football return.-How is the running of the bulls?-Each day more tired and more eager for everything to end. It is especially difficult for me not to be able to go out and breathe fresh air, although I am aware that there is still room. I turn my head to do different things and that the days pass in the most pleasant way possible. -The Ray had the intention of applying an ERTE, how is that issue now?-The club sent us the notification that it was going to apply an ERTE, which it has not yet submitted because it is in negotiations. I want to think that in the end we will reach an agreement and it will not be necessary. An agreement must be reached in which the workers, with the exception of the first team players and the coaching staff, are sure that they will receive 100% of their salary until the end of the season. We all have that disposition to look for a formula in which workers do not lose a single euro, whatever is done. That is what matters most to me. That those employees who need their salary to take home and feed their family, pay water and electricity or rent do not lose a single euro. Not reaching an agreement would be a mistake that none of us would ever forgive ourselves. If we and the club have to make an effort to safeguard those people, we will. Definitely.-This Saturday turns 50. Make a wish!– Right now I am clear: to recover our lives, to stop dying people, to see the family and to hug each other … That this makes us better and does not fall on deaf ears, although I am very skeptical.-Plans for today?-I cook, but I don’t control how to make a cake (laughs). We will invent something. They will sing happy birthday to me on the computer. I know it’s a very sad thing, but it’s what it is (laughs). This year I will spend Father’s Day and birthday locked up and without being surrounded by the people I love. On top of that it was a nice figure, to have celebrated it in a big way with the family and with the players.last_img read more