Month: August 2020

Little to choose between Springboks and Wales in second semi

first_imgTOKYO (Reuters) – With South Africa feeling they are close to perfecting their attritional game-plan and Wales having long ago decided that defence can be the best form of attack, tomorrow’s second World Cup semi-final will probably not bring many surprises. While Springbok physicality and pragmatism brought an end to Japan’s effervescent run through the tournament last weekend, Wales made a meal of struggling past a France side reduced to 14 men for half an hour.The South Africans will not find it as easy to beat up a Wales side that prides itself on its suffocating defence tomorrow and Warren Gatland’s side will probably believe they cannot perform so poorly for two weeks in a row.Both sides have lost fine running backs to injury in the shape of South Africa winger Cheslin Kolbe and Welsh fullback Liam Williams — only encouraging the suspicion that this might be a forward-dominated game for the rugby purist. A titanic battle at the set piece between two big and experienced packs, plenty of kicking from hand all over the park and big men from both teams trying smash their way over the gainline can be expected.The band of fleet-footed outside backs might struggle to find room to shine, especially on a Yokohama International Stadium pitch likely to be at the very least damp from the typhoon season rains.  Six Nations Grand Slam champions Wales, disregarding three defeats in warm-up matches, consider themselves unbeaten in “competitive” contests since February 2018 and have won four of their last five games against South Africa.All four wins have come in Cardiff at the close of South Africa’s season, however, and the Springboks will feel they won the one of the five that mattered most, the 2015 World Cup quarter-final. The clashes have mostly been won by one or two scores and the expectation is that it will again be a tight affair with South Africa flyhalf Handre Pollard believing a single kick will probably settle it.Motivation should never be a problem in a World Cup semi-final but both teams have had a sense of mission driving them at this tournament.The 2011 semi-final loss to France after Sam Warburton was sent off has haunted Wales ever since and there will be a determination from a battle-hardened squad to send Gatland off at the end of his 12 years of service with some sort of prize. “You get these opportunities once in a lifetime potentially and you’ve got to grab them with both hands and make the most of it,” the New Zealander said this week.“It’s about having no regrets and that’s the message of this week.”South Africa have won the World Cup twice, of course, but they feel honour-bound to make up for a couple of years since the last tournament where they did not do justice to the famous green shirt. “I think we have been under pressure for the past couple of years to redeem ourselves,” said coach Rassie Erasmus.“We’ve been number five, six, seven in the world over the last three years since 2015, and we’ve got some proper hidings against almost all the teams. Now we are at that stage where we want to become number one in the world again.”A final against New Zealand or England, who play on Saturday, would be another huge mountain to climb for whoever comes out on top but both sets of players will be desperate to give themselves a chance to take on that challenge.last_img read more

West Indian Sports Complex in Halley’s corner

first_imgNineteen-year-old boxer, Shemar Halley, will have the support of West Indian Sports Complex as he looks to advance his career in the sport over in Trinidad and Tobago. Recently, the Robb Street-based sports goods store made a significant contribution to the pugilist from the Forgotten Youth Foundation Gym which is based in the community of Albouystown.The young man rose to prominence early last year when he was adjudged the best elite welterweight fighter in the Guyana Amateur Boxing Association’s Andrew Lewis National Novices Championship and later in the Junior Lightweight division in the Lennox Blackmore Intermediate Championships.Halley explained that the sponsorship meant a lot to him and that he was pleased to have the company in his corner along with coach Sebert Blake and young pugilist, Keevin Allicock. He said that it is moments like this which give him the encouragement to go on and represent well and to show that their investment has not gone to waste and he pledged to make full use of the opportunity. Halley indicated that he is grateful for the opportunity to develop his career and get the exposure of fighting overseas early which will in turn help with his progression in the sport.Meanwhile, Proprietor of West Indies Sports Complex, Javed Khan reflected on what he has seen the young man do in the ring and was pleased with his performance, noting that “he is very gifted and is definitely one for the future.”Khan added that it was on this basis that he believed sponsoring Halley would do well for the young talent as well as symbolise what the company stands for in promoting and aiding athletes in whatever way they can. The proprietor wished Halley well and reminded him that everyone was behind him to do well.last_img read more

Blairmont duo looking forward to successful under-19 stint

first_imgDespite the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) threatening the cricket landscape for the 2020 season, teenaged West Berbice cricketers, Seon Glasgow and Nigel Deodat are working hard to excel in this year’s under-19 tournament. Stabroek Sport caught up with the Blairmont Cricket Club duo who gave an insight into life off the field. “Things are different now with the virus, there aren’t any matches so we are just here working on our own and improving our fitness and some other areas,” Glasgow said.Deodat added, “In times like this we are happy to have our family near and spend quality time with them.”Nigel Deodat is considered one of the most dependable batsmen in youth cricketHowever, both of them are focused on moving their career further through exceptional performances in the local Inter-County and Regional under-19 tournaments while staking their claim for selection in the Academy set up. Glasgow is an explosive batsman who had four innings for West Berbice in the CGI 50-over Franchise League and was the only other batsman to score a half-century apart from their leading run-getter, Kevin Sinclair.With his off-spin, the former Bush Lot Secondary School student turned teacher, picked up four for 31 against East Bank while bowling only two overs in the next few matches.His exploits have been spotted from early as he secured places in the Guyana under-15, under-17, and under-19 teams as he progressed. It came as no surprise in 2017, Glasgow was considered a future Guyana Amazon Warrior player by Guyana Telephone and Telegraph, who invested heavily in him after he showed promise as a 15-year-old talent.The talented 18-year-old credits the gentleman’s game to his development, pointing out “Cricket means a lot to me because since I was growing up, I had a passion for it especially since my father used to play…it has helped me to become who I am on-and-off the field.”Glasgow added, “Cricket helps me to be more disciplined and teaches me how to cope with different situations life throws at you.” The off-spinner also credited established coaches, Julian Moore and Andre Percival for their input in his budding career but emphasized that Shabeer Baksh has played the role of a mentor for him in his growth.Glasgow reckoned that he does not shy away from hard work and consistency, contending that these are the hallmarks that will get him closer into the Academy.“This year I am hoping to gain an academy contract, it’s just going and applying myself in the under-19 Inter-County and Regional tournaments where I want to score a lot of runs and be the leading wicket-taker,” Glasgow said. The left-hander posited that he has been working extensively on his all-round game, with the intention of becoming the best all-rounder in the region this season.Deodat, while being a completely different player, shares a similar desire to Glasgow. Also 18, Deodat, is a composed top-order batsman who is able to construct an innings while with the ball, he is a crafty left-arm spinner with a gift for taking wickets.The former No.8 Secondary School student has represented Guyana at the under-15 and under-17 levels where he finished as the leading wicket-taker for the country but was surprisingly not selected in last year’s under-19 side despite being one of the best all-rounders on show.Since last year’s overlooking, Deodat was drafted into the West Berbice Franchise where he picked up seven wickets and bowled with an economy rate of 2.5. The soft-spoken young man centers his life around cricket and is banking on good performances to stake a claim for selection in the Academy.“Cricket means a lot to me it’s my life, it helps me to be a good person and I just want to go into the under-19 tournaments and give it my best shot to get in the Academy,” Deodat stated.The teen, who comes from a single-parent household after his father passed away 13 years ago, shared a desire to one day don the West Indies uniform and make his country proud.Deodat admitted that fitness has been a spoke in his proverbial wheel but has been working diligently with Baksh and using this time to improve on that area of his game.  Baksh spoke highly of the two and reflected on their earlier upbringing to where they are today.“Nigel stated a bit late, at 13 years he came to the club after someone saw him playing softball and encouraged him to join the club, he started as a number 11 batsman and now opens for the first-division side and Seon started at 10 as a wicketkeeper but we saw his talent with the ball and worked on that,” Baksh said.The veteran administrator labelled the pair as “talented and willing boys,” contending that “they both have grown to be good all-round players and manage that well, they catch and field well and work a lot on their fitness.” Baksh posited that both young men have the ability to enhance their career, stated that they are always willing to learn and assist by helping the younger playerslast_img read more

Broad gets batting inspiration from Warne

first_img(Reuters) – Stuart Broad’s experiment to adopt Australian great Shane Warne’s stance at the crease paid off yesterday as he smashed a quickfire half century for England on the second day of the final test against West Indies. Peter Moores, his former England coach and current mentor at Nottinghamshire, suggested a technical tweak to his game when he was up against fast bowlers and that new approach was in full display at Old Trafford.Broad scored the joint third fastest test 50 for England off just 33 balls as he helped England to fight back after West Indies had gained the early momentum by grabbing four wickets in the first hour.The 34-year-old was eventually dismissed for 62 after helping England to a first innings total of 369. Ian Botham is the only England player to have scored quicker test 50s — having done so off 28 and 31 balls. Broad matched the feats of Allan Lamb and Andrew Flintoff.“They were quite important runs. It was about changing the momentum of the innings. West Indies bowled beautifully this morning and I think if I had gone out there and tried to play regulation I think there was a ball with my name on it,” Broad told a news conference.“I tried to up the momentum, hit the bowlers off a length and try and take Kemar (Roach) and Shannon (Gabriel) away from what they’d done so well in the first 40 minutes. “Tactically it was the right thing to do and something I’ve worked on with Peter Moores at Nottinghamshire. He brought me the example of Shane Warne who didn’t look particularly pretty at times but hit balls in different areas and was really effective, especially in the 2005 Ashes.”Leg spinner Warne was one of cricket’s greatest bowlers, but he was often a major irritant to opponents with the bat as he notched up 12 test 50s.Broad said the idea was to stay leg side to eliminate the possibility of being trapped lbw and then back his ability to hit the straight ball. “There was a little bit of thought process in the madness, but I did enjoy myself out there,” he said.Broad also contributed with the ball on Saturday to put England in a strong position with the tourists 137-6 when bad light stopped play, trailing by 232 runs.“We’ve given ourselves a great opportunity. Our number one aim tomorrow has to be to try and bowl them out so that we have the option of a follow-on,” Broad added.last_img read more

Rich Roberts resigns from Sportech PLC Board

first_imgShare Share Submit SBC Magazine Issue 8: International expansion and picking up the sporting slack April 7, 2020 StumbleUpon Related Articles Playtech eyes US acceleration following NJ approval June 1, 2020 Jordan Levin, Scientific Games: The right time to ramp up Golden Nugget relationship March 10, 2020 Sportech has announced that Rich Roberts, President of Digital and US Corporate Affairs, has stepped down from the PLC Board. He had been a Member of the Board of Directors since December 2013.Roberts’ resignation comes after a reorganisation of responsibilities for Sportech in North America, following the company’s withdrawal from business obligations with Draft Day Daily Fantasy Sports. However, he will continue to work for Sportech until the end of August to ensure a successful transition.Andrew Gaughan will continue to run Sportech Racing and Digital, whilst Ted Taylor, Managing Director of Sportech Venues in Connecticut, will assume responsibility for online business in the state.Ian Penrose, Chief Executive of Sportech, said: “Rich has been an important member of the executive team, most notably during our successful digital activities in New Jersey last year. I would like to personally thank him for his contribution to the Company, and we wish him well for the future.”Rich Roberts added: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Sportech and am proud of the success we have had during that period with some key digital initiatives.”Sportech have been in partnership with DraftDay Gaming Group, a subsidiary for Viggle Inc, since October 2015, providing a white-label daily fantasy sports platform.last_img read more

Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7 Reclamation Projects in Sports

first_imgIn honor of Jimmy Patsos taking the Loyola Greyhounds to the NCAA tournament, Drew Forrester and Luke Jones of “The Morning Reaction” rank their Top 7 reclamation projects they’ve seen in sports.Luke Jones’ Top 7 … (Listen to full explanation HERE)7) Dallas Cowboys of early 1990s6) New Orleans Saints after Hurricane Katrina5) Michael Vick4) Josh Hamilton3) Lance Armstrong2) NFL football in Baltimore1) University of Maryland basketballContinue >>>last_img

D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction Picks and Comment – Divisional Round Weekend

first_imgHere are this weekend’s picks as The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction will pick every NFL game this season.Drew Forrester finished 3-1 last week while Luke Jones was 4-0 in the wild-card round of the NFL playoffs. Forrester is now 164-78 and Jones is 156-86 overall. Official standings are only kept based on the NFL picks.To hear their full explanation, click HERE.Ravens at Broncos: Denver 23-10 (Drew), Denver 27-17 (Luke) Packers at 49ers: Green Bay 31-26 (Drew), Green Bay 26-21 (Luke) Seahawks at Falcons: Atlanta 26-23 (Drew), Atlanta 21-20 (Luke) Texans at Patriots: New England 27-17 (Drew), New England 31-20 (Luke)last_img read more

Defense offers glimpse of what Ravens will need down stretch

first_img(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)BALTIMORE — The Ravens defense talked extensively about its need to be more dynamic and to finish stronger late in games after narrow losses to Green Bay, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland over the last month.A Hail Mary touchdown pass from Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton to A.J. Green on the final play of regulation certainly jeopardized that goal, but the Ravens rebounded in overtime for a 20-17 win to not only snap a three-game losing streak but — for the time being, anyway — save their season. The last-second gaffe received much of the attention following the game, but the Baltimore defense’s aggressiveness in forcing three turnovers and sacking Dalton five times was the most encouraging takeaway from Sunday’s game.After a series of solid performances that weren’t quite good enough in recent weeks, the Ravens defense was a game-wrecking unit against the Bengals for most of the afternoon on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Ravens offense looked a lot like, well, the Ravens offense after being held scoreless in the third and fourth quarters and failing to run out the clock after a James Ihedigbo interception with 1:55 remaining in regulation.General manager Ozzie Newsome spent most of the Ravens’ resources this offseason to upgrade the defense, and the results have been solid but unspectacular. While certainly an above-average unit that entered Week 10 ranked 10th overall in yards allowed and points surrendered, the Ravens have lacked the ability to make game-changing plays (entering Week 10 ranked 11th in the AFC with only 10 takeaways) to support an offense that’s struggled mightily all season and have surrendered long second-half drives to eliminate potential comeback attempts.Sunday’s performance against the league’s ninth-ranked offense and seventh-ranked passing attack was exactly what the Ravens needed to not only rebound from a disappointing first half but to give hope of advancing to the postseason for the sixth consecutive year. If the Ravens are to achieve that goal, a game-changing defense would provide a major shot in the arm to an offense that looks lost more often than not.“We have the motto that once you put it on tape, that’s what expected of you,” said Ihedigbo, who had two interceptions but inexplicably batted the ball in the air to Green on the touchdown to force overtime on the final play of regulation. “Defensively, we played lights out today. I made the reference back to the 2000 defense — they didn’t give up anything to anybody. And when you go with that mindset, it shows on the field.”Expecting them to rise to the level of the Super Bowl XXXV defense would be too much to ask, but the Ravens showed a level of aggression not seen all season with defensive coordinator Dean Pees calling an increased number of blitzes that led to Dalton being hit nine times, contributing to his completion percentage falling below 50 percent. However, the most dynamic change to Pees’ defense was the decision to move cornerback Lardarius Webb inside in the nickel package, a position he played with great success prior to the second ACL injury of his career last season.The change led to Webb’s best game of the season as the fifth-year cornerback collected his first interception and made six pass breakups to go along with five tackles. On a day that included strong performances across the board in the secondary, Webb was the best player on the field for the Ravens.It remains to be seen whether the Ravens will make it a permanent move as No. 3 cornerback Corey Graham lacks the ideal size to play on the outside — Webb previously played inside when the Ravens had the bigger Cary Williams available to play outside opposite Jimmy Smith — but the 5-foot-10 Webb played more aggressively than he has all season in blitzing from the nickel spot and getting hands up in passing lanes.“That’s my thing. I always play outside because that’s where they wanted me and that’s where they need me,” said Webb about the position change in the nickel package. “I felt like with me playing safety in college and liking to tackle and eyes roaming sometimes, that’s just my spot. I like that spot; I felt comfortable. With that position, you get to tackle, you get to blitz, you get to cover, you get to do it all. You kind of just get to play football.”The key to beating the Bengals was providing enough harassment on all levels of the defense to entice the bad Dalton to surface as he did in Miami in Week 9. A secondary that included three players listed as questionable on the final injury report of the week rose to the occasion and limited the Bengals’ big plays other than the 51-yard prayer that was tipped into Green’s hands to force the extra period. However, the defense rebounded to make a fourth-down stop of running back Giovani Bernard in overtime to give the Ravens the ball back at their own 44 before the final game-winning drive.Third-year cornerback Jimmy Smith had one of his best days as a pro, making five tackles and breaking up two passes of his own, and Ihedigbo and rookie Matt Elam turned in strong performances at the safety spots as the Ravens broke up 17 passes in all. Of course, they could thank a ferocious pass rush led by Elvis Dumervil’s 2 1/2 sacks for lending a hand up front.“Our secondary played tremendously well,” coach John Harbaugh said. “Everybody is going to talk about the last play [in regulation], which is a shame in some ways. Maybe you will talk about the whole game. I thought the pressure was very good, but our secondary covered a very talented and gifted receiving corps all day.”The Ravens offered a glimpse on Sunday of what they’ll need the rest of the way to give themselves a real shot down the stretch. The offense was again miserable beyond an ability to capitalize on good field position a couple times in the first half and to put together a 28-yard drive in overtime to set up Justin Tucker’s 48-yard field goal to win the game.Baltimore must have the dynamic, game-changing defensive effort it got Sunday on a regular basis because the offense continues to show no signs of real improvement. It’s no secret that the Ravens lack balance and have struggled in all three phases of the game at different times this season, but Sunday’s win represented a successful attempt to augment the team’s biggest strength.The challenge will be repeating it moving forward.“We have to play great as a defense if we want to get back on track,” Webb said. “And today, from the [defensive] line with all the pressure [to] the turnovers, we played great as a defense as a whole. We’ve got to keep getting our hands on the ball. If we keep getting turnovers, then we can keep winning.”last_img read more

Dumervil named AFC Defensive Player of the Week

first_imgRavens linebacker Elvis Dumervil was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his record-setting performance in the 28-13 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.His 3 1/2 sacks pushed his 2014 total to 16, giving him the franchise’s single-season record that had been held by Peter Boulware since 2001. The 30-year-old is currently tied with Kansas City’s Justin Houston for the NFL lead in sacks and is one shy of his career high of 17 set in 2009.“It was one of the reasons I wanted to come here because of the proud defensive [tradition] that has been here – Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Peter Boulware, those guys,” Dumervil said. “To be a part of something like that, it’s humbling. It’s been very special, and I’m truly grateful for that.”Not only is Dumervil turning in one of the finest defensive seasons in the 19-year history of the franchise, but his performance in 2014 has catapulted him into the Defensive Player of the Year discussion. With the Ravens ranked 31st in pass defense, there’s no understating how critical the pass rush has been to Baltimore’s success and Dumervil has been one of the biggest reasons why.Dumervil is the first Raven to take home Defensive Player of the Week honors this season, but running back Justin Forsett (twice) and quarterback Joe Flacco have receive AFC Offensive Player of the Week recognition and kicker Justin Tucker has received AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors. Linebacker C.J. Mosley was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for October while Tucker was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for November.Signed two offseasons ago after being released by the Denver Broncos, Dumervil has collected 25 1/2 sacks in 28 games with Baltimore.last_img read more

Ravens rule out Gillmore, three others for Thursday night

first_img(Updated: 2:30 p.m.)OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Desperate for their first win of the 2015 season as they face a daunting trip to Pittsburgh on Thursday night, the Ravens will be be without their No. 2 option in the passing game.Second-year tight end Crockett Gillmore (calf), left tackle Eugene Monroe (concussion), defensive end Chris Canty (calf), and wide receiver Breshad Perriman all were officially ruled out on Wednesday afternoon. Even before the official designation, the Ravens weren’t exactly giving a strong impression that Gillmore would be ready to return against the Steelers.“With Crockett being out, we have some young tight ends that we really love to coach,” offensive coordinator Marc Trestman said on Tuesday. “We love the development that they’re going through right now. We expect them to step up and play well for us.”After registering three catches for 40 yards in the first two quarters of Sunday’s loss to Cincinnati, Gillmore did not play an offensive snap after halftime as the combination of Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle took his place. The rookies combined to register five receptions for 63 yards on nine targets in the 28-24 loss to the Bengals.A passing game struggling to find reliable answers beyond No. 1 wideout Steve Smith can hardly afford to be without Gillmore, but head coach John Harbaugh expressed much confidence in Williams and Boyle to be able to pick up the slack.“I thought they both played really well. I thought they both did a really good job,” Harbaugh said. “These two guys are not two guys that it’s too big for [them]. They love being out there, and they just want to make plays. They’re tough, competitive. They’re physical. They kind of remind me of Crockett a year ago.”After being listed as a limited participant in light practices on Monday and Tuesday, Monroe was listed as a non-participant on Wednesday as he continues to go through the league’s concussion protocol. James Hurst is expected to make his third straight start.The second-year lineman has struggled mightily this season, ranking as the worst offensive tackle in the NFL in Pro Football Focus’ grading system.“Eugene’s been a starter for us, but James has played a lot of football as well,” Trestman said. “Right now — today — it’s James and we’ll see. Certainly, we need everybody. You always need everybody. Eugene is a big part of what we do here, so we’re looking forward to getting him back as well when that time comes.”Pittsburgh officially ruled out starting inside linebacker Ryan Shazier after he missed practices all week with a shoulder injury. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (knee) already had been declared out on Monday as veteran backup Michael Vick will make the start for Pittsburgh.Steelers center Cody Wallace was listed as probable for Thursday’s game after missing practice on Wednesday due to an illness. Already replacing Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey, Wallace will have his hands full with Ravens nose tackle Brandon Williams, and lingering effects from an illness certainly wouldn’t help in that task.The referee for Thursday night’s game will be Clete Blakeman.The Thursday night forecast in Pittsburgh calls for mostly cloudy skies and temperatures in the high 50s with a very small chance for precipitation and winds up to 10 miles per hour, according to Weather.com.Below is the final injury report for Thursday:BALTIMOREOUT: DE Chris Canty (calf), TE Crockett Gillmore (calf), OT Eugene Monroe (concussion), WR Breshad Perriman (knee)PITTSBURGHOUT: DT Daniel McCullers (knee), QB Ben Roethlisberger (knee), LB Ryan Shazier (shoulder), TE Matt Spaeth (hand)QUESTIONABLE: CB Cortez Allen (knee)PROBABLE: LB James Harrison (thumb), C Cody Wallace (illness)last_img read more