Notes on Mike Gundy’s Bowl Press Conference

first_imgCoach spent 11 minutes yesterday talking about the benefits of going to the Sugar Bowl and prepping for Ole Miss. He also touched on injuries, Rudolph, Coach Legos, JW and Ogbah, and overall just had some spectacular Gundy-isms!Opening Statement• “I’m just really happy for our players and our staff. This is the last piece of a great season. We certainly wanted to win the conference, but we came up a little short.”• You may have read what Coach said about hearing about the Texas-Baylor game: “I was at an 11-year old basketball tournament in Ripley, America. I did not see a play of that game.” What you may not have read was his comments about the tournament: “The 11-year old went 3-0. So, we had a lot of fun. Saw a lot of crazy parents in the stands.” Can you imagine – flipping out at your kid’s game knowing “I’m a man, I’m 40!” was in the gym?!On Ole Miss• “They’ve got some guys who are going to be potential 1st round picks. So, we’re going to have to have some good practices and be ready to play in this game.”• On QB Chad Kelly: “We liked him in junior college. We just didn’t need a junior college quarterback at the time. We thought he could be a good player at this level, and obviously we were dead-on on that one.”What About Being in the Sugar Bowl?• Robert Allen mentioned this is another accomplishment in the Gundy era – 4 NY Day bowl games: “It says a lot about Oklahoma State football and the commitment our players have had here.”• Then this, which I thought was very insightful: “There’s so many things that, I guess, go un-talked-about. The number of advertisements on TV from now until these games are played and Oklahoma State’s brand is right there next to the top teams in college football.”• “I don’t think there’s any question bowl games are very important. We’ve been to 10 in a row now.[1. !!!!!] We’ve been very fortunate.”• “We want our players to enjoy three weeks together. We’re going to practice hard; we’re going to take some time off when we get on location. We want it to be a great memory for our players; but, we also want to be very competitive on game day.”So, How’s Mason Rudolph?• “I think he’ll play. I think he’ll catch the end (of practices before the Christmas break) and then he should be practicing at the bowl site.”• Did he have surgery or not? Interesting answer here: “It’s hard to explain. He had a ‘procedure.’ And what somebody would want to call that, I’m not for sure. I guess you could call it that. His injury wasn’t as severe as some others have had with the same type injury. But, I made a ‘C’ in Biology and that’s as close as I get to being a doctor, so don’t quote me on all that.” Sorry, Coach.He sort of reminds me of this guy Martin Short used to play on SNL:Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 3.08.00 PM• Then this: “Until he gets back, JW will get a lot of the work, and Taylor Corneilson will get the other reps.” Corneilson? Again!? Let’s stick with “14”…or “The Oil Baron”!Other Injuries and Miscellaneous• “We’re in good shape. 44 and 47 – Seaton and Jarwin, I call them by their numbers – they’ll be back no more than a week from now.” That’s good to hear. I think we’ve missed them more than we notice.• Awesome on Yurcich being courted as a HC somewhere: “Nobody calls and asks permission anymore. 1-800-HIRE-COACH-GUNDY’S-COACHES is in full effect.” I wish he’d have just dropped his Big Chief tablet and walked away right there!• Will this be Ogbah’s last game for sure? “I think he’s undecided. We put him through Senior Day out of respect for him and his family. I hope he stays here and gets a Master’s degree for two more years, to be honest with you! We certainly want him to do well. I think he’s a great prospect – he’s very squared away as a person. Hardly ever talks, he’s a great leader.” I’d SO love for him to Marcus Smart the draft…but – nah…• On JW’s potential 6th year – this was great! “I’m guessing the paperwork’s going to be filed. But, your guess is as good as mine when you’re dealing with the NCAA.” Editorializing here – truthfully, as much as I just love JW and his complete orange-bloodedness, if I had to pick one, I’d pick Ogbah to return in a heartbeat. No disrespect for General Walshington. I just think another year of No. 38 would be immense!• Finally – regarding Dabo Sweeney (apparently Mike’s bud) and his promise to buy pizza for 20,000 fans: “They must get, like one piece each, right? Dabo probably got in a little deep there.”If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

Quarterback Coleman Key Transferring from Oklahoma State

first_imgFormer Broken Arrow quarterback Coleman Key, who transferred from Colorado State to Oklahoma State earlier this year, is on the move once again.Key reportedly moved on from OSU in mid May. The news of his transfer was first reported by JUCO football scouting account Football Forer, who says he will play for Coffeyville Junior College next season.Key received a full release from Colorado State after his redshirt freshmen year. He was expected to play both baseball and football for the Cowboys, however now he is headed to the junior college route.As a senior at local Broken Arrow High School, Key passed for 2,628 yards and 29 touchdowns.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

APOEL out to shock Madrid & BVB

first_imgReal Madrid v APOEL APOEL out to shock Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund Peter McVitie Last updated 2 years ago 16:02 13/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) APOEL Athletic Bilbao UEFA Europa League 23022017 Getty Images Real Madrid v APOEL UEFA Champions League Tottenham Hotspur v Borussia Dortmund Real Madrid Borussia Dortmund APOEL Tottenham Hotspur The Cypriot side have started the season in good form and are not ready to lie down in their tough Champions League group Placed in Group H alongside reigning champions Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham Hotspur, APOEL Nicosia have been dealt the toughest draw in this year’s Champions League.As fourth seed, few outside of Cyprus are expecting much of the domestic champions ahead of their opening game against the current Champions League holders at the Santiago Bernabeu.APOEL 50/1 to beat Madrid Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing But that the capital club are such an unknown quantity could help them spring a surprise, according to winger Tommy Oar.“A lot of people are writing us off from the group, but I think that situation helps APOEL play without fear,” the Australia international told Goal.“The Champions League is such a big thing for this club. For a team from Cyprus, playing in the Champions League with Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham is amazing.APOEL NicosiaAPOEL Nicosia“We knew when we qualified there was never going to be an easy draw, but this one is probably the worst or best we could have been given, depending on which way you look at it. When you play in the Champions League you want to come up against these teams. That’s the beauty of the competition so I think everyone is excited to play these games.”While their most recent group stage appearance did not go well – they picked up one point from a pool consisting of Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Ajax – the Cypriot side have defied expectation before. Six years ago, they topped their group and reached the quarter-finals of the competition, only to suffer an 8-2 aggregate defeat to Madrid. Last season, they eliminated Athletic Club to reach the last 16 of the Europa League.This term, APOEL had to navigate three qualifying rounds to reach the group stage and are dedicating their season to it.After winning the Cypriot league last season, they hired Mario Been in the summer but sacked him after his third game ended in a 1-0 first-leg defeat to Romanian side Viitoril. Georgis Donis, who guided them to a league title in a previous two-year spell in charge, was brought in and they made a 4-0 recovery in Cyprus before getting past Slavia Prague and into the tournament.The new coach has taken a more experienced approach to the Champions League so far than his predecessor did, which 25-year-old Oar believes will help when it comes to frustrating their opponents. However, he insists they are flexible enough to cause a threat too.“[Experience] is a strength of the team,” adds Oar, who was signed during the summer but has been left out of the squad for the group stage. “If you look at our last qualifier against Slavia Prague, the team knows how to win.“Playing at home, it’s often that we’ll be dictating the play and really taking the game to the opposition but we proved in that game that we know how to go physical and do what’s necessary to get a result. Although it was 0-0, we were quite comfortable from the first-leg result (2-0).“Of course, the coach looks at the opposition, but no matter who we’ve played so far my experience of him has been that he wants to win.“Obviously when you’re playing these teams, you need to be aware of the traps and be very organised to stop them, but at the same time we have a lot of good attacking players with big pedigree who can also hurt any opposition.”Zinedine Zidane Real MadridCristiano Ronaldo Real MadridAPOEL played their first league campaign at the weekend, beating Nea Salamis 4-1 and the positive display from some late summer signings could allow Donis to inject some energy and pace against the likes of Madrid, Dortmund and Spurs.Roland Sallai, 20, looked lively on the wing and opened the scoring on his debut while Norwegian winger Ghayas Zahid and right back Praxitelis Vouros, both 22, also featured for the first time.Although they open their campaign with a trip to the Santiago Bernabeu to take on the European champions, it is at home they will look to do most damage.Anderlecht were the only side to beat them in the GSP Stadium in all competitions in 2016-17, and Oar feels their home form will be key, where even against European giants they may feel the weight of expectation from the crowd.“Cyprus is a bit of a fortress,” Oar says. “It’s a difficult place to come. We know the group will be difficult and we’ll have to play extremely well, but in the past teams have found it difficult here.“When I got here, the one thing that surprised me about APOEL was the expectations of the fans. Every year they expect you to reach the Champions League.“I knew a lot about the club, but it’s so ambitious and with that comes a lot of expectation of a player. It’s great to play for a club that has these ambitions.”last_img read more

Report: AC Milan 0 Juventus 2

first_imgAC Milan 0 Juventus 2: Higuain-inspired champions go joint-top as Montella’s men suffer again Ben Spratt Last updated 2 years ago 01:55 10/29/17 HiguainDybala - cropped Getty Images A landmark brace from Gonzalo Higuain secured a deserved victory for Juventus at struggling AC Milan on Saturday. Gonzalo Higuain scored his 100th Serie A goal as Juventus claimed a 2-0 win at San Siro to move joint-top with Napoli and ramp up the pressure on AC Milan boss Vincenzo Montella.The Argentine striker found the back of the net once in each half to take his league tally to 101 and consign Milan to a fourth consecutive home game in all competitions without a victory.If a miserable run at San Siro does not do for head coach Montella, it may be the Rossoneri’s poor record against top-six sides this season that costs him his job – Juve followed Lazio, Roma and Inter in making light work of big-spending Milan. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player While this was not a particularly poor Milan performance, they were listless in attack and their forwards’ failings were only emphasised by the presence of Higuain in the opposing ranks.The 29-year-old thrashed a ruthless effort into the net after 23 minutes and then doubled his tally shortly after the hour-mark with a similarly devastating strike, suggesting he is returning to his prolific best after a difficult start to the campaign.Milan could slip into the bottom half this weekend as a result, while reigning champions Juve moved level at the summit with Napoli, who host Sassuolo on Sunday.FULL-TIME: BIG points are coming home!! #MilanJuve #FinoAllaFine #ForzaJuve pic.twitter.com/5QYSfMpTHZ— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) October 28, 2017Clearly aware of the enormity of the fixture and their desperate need for a result, Milan started at a great pace at a baying San Siro.Gianluigi Buffon punched an early Ricardo Rodriguez free-kick away from his near post and Nikola Kalinic should have turned a shot on target amid a chaotic goalmouth scramble.But as the blood and thunder of the opening 10 minutes faded, Juve gained a foothold and the dangerous Paulo Dybala tested Gianluigi Donnarumma from range before Higuain broke the deadlock.Dybala fed a pass into his strike partner, who controlled instantly and snapped a finish inside the right-hand post for his landmark strike.2 – Higuaín is the 2nd player to reach 100+ goals in 2 of the top-5 European leagues in the last 20 seasons after Ibrahimovic. Olympus. pic.twitter.com/AWE4rpl7WX— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) October 28, 2017The Bianconeri retreated into their shell, but Milan lacked the cutting edge to make the most of a dominant end to the first half and Kalinic passed up their biggest chance as he rattled the crossbar from close range.Milan’s momentum slowed again following a bright spell after the restart and they were grateful to twice see Dybala miscue in positions he has readily scored from in the past.But Higuain would not miss. Dybala dummied Kwadwo Asamoah’s pass to give the former Napoli man time and space to steady himself and fire home via the base of the post.Juve assumed complete control throughout the closing stages, with Higuain and Dybala continuing to combine but sparing Milan the humiliation of a third as Montella’s men crumbled again. Key Opta stats:- Gonzalo Higuain has now scored 101 goals in 153 appearances in Serie A.- Over the last 20 seasons, Higuain is only the second player to score over 100 goals in two of the top-five European leagues – the first was Zlatan Ibrahimovic.- Juventus have won nine of their last 10 Serie A matches against AC Milan (one defeat).- AC Milan have failed to score in their last three home league matches – their longest goal scoring drought at home in Serie A since December 2007. read morelast_img read more

Liverpool dealt early Keita setback by RB Leipzig

first_imgTransfers ‘It would make no sense’ – Keita not leaving RB Leipzig for Liverpool in January Robin Bairner Last updated 2 years ago 17:55 11/8/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(6) HD Naby Keita Getty Transfers Liverpool Naby Keïta Liverpool v Southampton Bayer Leverkusen v RB Leipzig RB Leipzig Premier League Bundesliga There had been a suggestion that the Guinea international could move to Anfield sooner than expected, but the Bundesliga side say that’s not possible RB Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick has poured cold water over the suggestion that star man Naby Keita could leave the club for Liverpool in January.Reds 11/10 for top 4The 22-year-old central midfielder has an agreement to join the Anfield club next summer, but with the Bundesliga side struggling to qualify in the Champions League there had been a suggestion that he could depart sooner. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Rangnick, however, says that completing the €70 million move prematurely is simply not in his side’s interest.“Even if we don’t progress in the Champions League, it would make no sense to let Naby go to Liverpool earlier,” he told Sport Buzzer.“We want to try and qualify for Europe again next season through the Bundesliga, of course. And we need Naby for that.”Keita has been embroiled in a legal controversy in Germany, where he stands accused of having forged a driving licence.“We will, of course, stand by Naby,” Rangnick confirmed.The Guinea international has not enjoyed the impact this season that he did last term. Indeed, he has scored only one goal and has chalked up one assist for Leipzig in the Bundesliga, and he was even left on the bench for their recent 2-1 victory over Hannover, though he did impress after coming on.  Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

Chelsea team news: David Luiz back for Blues

first_imgUEFA Champions League Chelsea team news: David Luiz back for Qarabag test Last updated 1 year ago 23:53 11/22/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) David Luiz Chelsea Getty UEFA Champions League Qarabağ v Chelsea Qarabağ Chelsea The Brazil international centre-back features for the first time in close to a month while Alvaro Morata is among the substitutes in Azerbaijan David Luiz has been confirmed in the starting XI for Chelsea’s Champions League match away against Qarabag.The Brazil international defender missed the 1-0 win over Manchester United before the international break and was only included on the bench as the Blues beat West Brom at the weekend.David Luiz 5/1 to score v Qarabag Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player However, he is back in the heart of the defence in Azerbaijan, where he will be flanked by Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger. Tiemoue Bakayoko and Alvaro Morata drop out of the squad that won 4-0 at the weekend, with head coach Antonio Conte apparently shifting to a 3-4-3 formation that sees the inclusion of attacking midfielders Willian and Pedro. Qarabag starting XI: Sehic; Medvedev, Sadygov, Rzezniczak, Agolli; Almeida, Garayev; Guerrier, Michel, Madatov; NdlovuSubs: Kanibolotskiy, Amirguliyev, Ismayilov, Yunuszada, Sheydaev, Diniyev, QuintanaChelsea starting XI: Courtois; Azpilicueta (c), David Luiz, Rudiger; Zappacosta, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Willian, Hazard, PedroSubs: Caballero, Cahill, Christensen, Sterling, Drinkwater, Bakayoko, Moratalast_img read more

Pep: Mutual trust behind City success

first_imgManchester City Guardiola: Mutual trust at Man City is ‘a dream’ Ben Spratt 07:24 12/17/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(3) PepGuardiola - cropped Getty Images Manchester City Guardiola Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur Tottenham Hotspur Premier League The former Barcelona boss is revelling in the set-up at his current club, where he says trust is king Pep Guardiola says it is “a dream” to have the trust of his Manchester City players after they won a 16th consecutive Premier League game.City ruthlessly cast aside expected title rivals Tottenham in a 4-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, with Raheem Sterling on the scoresheet twice after goals from Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne.And as Guardiola’s side maintain a stunning title push, the manager pinpointed the mutual trust of his staff and his squad as the key to their continuing success. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “We believe that we must trust each other,” Guardiola told a post-match news conference. “When [the players] give their opinion, I trust in them. When I give mine, they follow us.”That is a dream for a manager.”Winning titles is important, but what we believe is the most important thing is that – with what we believe is the best way to play – they don’t have doubts.”That is the best gift: when you believe the players follow you.”Big sign…@ManCity have now played the other 5 teams in the #PL top 6 last season, beating them all with an aggregate score of 15-3 pic.twitter.com/8gkJkUW0AE— Premier League (@premierleague) December 16, 2017Guardiola also spoke of his pride at the hard work behind City’s winning streak as he matched his best tally of consecutive league victories at Barcelona and closed in on the 19-match run he achieved with Bayern Munich.”I am proud; I don’t want to be humble right now,” he said. “I am proud of my staff. With three teams, they have been there.”[The coaches] work a lot and the players know that. We are going to review the game and speak with the players to see how many good things we did and the mistakes we have done. We will work.”[These streaks] have happened because I was with three amazing clubs: Barcelona, Bayern Munich and this one. All three clubs have supported me and provided me with outstanding players.”Without good players and support from the club, it’s impossible to achieve these type of things.”last_img read more

Dybala faces competition for place – Allegri

first_imgJuventus Dybala will face competition for place – Allegri Guy Atkinson Last updated 1 year ago 02:59 12/18/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Paulo Dybala - cropped Getty Images Juventus Paulo Dybala Bologna v Juventus Bologna Serie A The Argentina international was benched for Juventus’ 3-0 win over Bologna, leading his manageri to question the forward’s fitness levels. Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has defended his decision to drop Paulo Dybala for the 3-0 win over Bologna and suggested that the Argentine needs to be mindful of his physical and mental fitness levels.Miralem Pjanic, Mario Mandzukic and Blaise Matuidi were all on target as Juve closed the gap to Serie A leaders Napoli to just one point.Dybala did come on for the final 15 minutes, but Allegri has hinted that until the forward is in better physical condition he might have to get used to a place on the substitutes’ bench. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “Dybala came on today and did well, but there are moments when a player just isn’t at his best and luck isn’t on his side,” he told Mediaset Premium.”I have important players, it’s motivating to have competition for places. Of course, every player is annoyed when he’s on the bench, the important thing is to react. Football is a team sport, you have to take away the ‘I’ and rely only on the ‘we’.”Paulo’s talent is beyond doubt, but he also needs to be in good physical and psychological shape.”Complimenti frate per il bellísimo gol @MATUIDIBlaise Importante victoria hoy! #comeon pic.twitter.com/suVdRI2rua— Paulo Dybala (@PauDybala_JR) December 17, 2017Allegri also criticised the media for comparing Dybala to his compatriot Lionel Messi, believing it has put unnecessary pressure on the 24-year-old.”I don’t think the media helped by making these comparisons that are frankly damaging,” he added.”You do it often to young players, they have a couple of good games and are called world-beaters, it’s not healthy.”When I said it was unlikely Dybala could keep up that early season scoring record, I meant it. The team is in solid form right now, some players are in better shape than others, we could change going forward and use different characteristics.”last_img read more

Report: Milan 0 Atalanta 2

first_imgAC Milan 0 Atalanta 2: Cristante, Ilicic leave Gattuso searching for answers Iain Strachan Last updated 1 year ago 02:56 12/24/17 Atalanta - cropped Getty Images AC Milan suffered a second successive Serie A loss under new coach Gennaro Gattuso, whose side had few answers to Atalanta at San Siro. Gennaro Gattuso is set to be haunted by the ghost of Christmas present in the week ahead after Atalanta defeated AC Milan 2-0 on Saturday, consigning them to a second consecutive Serie A loss under the new head coach.Milan were surprisingly thumped 3-0 by struggling Verona last time out and they were unable to positively respond at the first attempt, former Rossoneri player Bryan Cristante and Josip Ilicic scoring for the visitors to spread fresh ripples of discontent among the long-suffering San Siro crowd.The result leaves Milan 11th in the table and with their Champions League qualification hopes likely to be over already, an off-season of expensive recruitment has evidently failed to produce the desired transformation. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player They must now prepare for Wednesday’s Coppa Italia derby against city rivals Inter, who have also suffered two successive losses to see their title challenge falter in recent weeks.Milan then return to Serie A duty away to Fiorentina next weekend, as Gattuso, who replaced Vincenzo Montella at the helm late last month, searches for a formula that will solve the team’s seemingly perennial inconsistency.Atalanta by contrast are seventh and seeking to mount a repeat of the impressive campaign that saw them finish fourth last season.Full-time #MilanAtalanta 0-2 pic.twitter.com/e3zacYv7Yy— AC Milan (@acmilan) December 23, 2017Milan had the ball in the back of the net in the 14th minute, only for the goal to be ruled out after referee Michael Fabbri consulted a video replay. Franck Kessie swung a good cross into the area against his former side, but Patrick Cutrone handled the ball before Giacomo Bonaventura hooked it into the roof of the net.Atalanta finally broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute, when Cutrone earned a yellow card for a foul on Alejandro Gomez, who swung in the subsequent free-kick.Mattia Caldara’s downward header was saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma, but the goalkeeper could not keep hold of the ball and Cristante stabbed it home.9 – Bryan Cristante has scored nine goals in the current season for Atalanta (all competitions), more than any other player. Surprise. #MilanAtalanta— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) December 23, 2017Milan, perhaps with a fierce Gattuso team talk ringing in their ears, started the second half in determined fashion, going close three times in quick succession through Nikola Kalinic, while Ricardo Rodriguez and Fabio Borini also had chances.Borini threatened again in the 66th minute, his half-volley snap shot flashing just wide of the post with Etrit Berisha beaten.Instead it was Atalanta who struck with 19 minutes to go, Leonardo Spinazzola racing away down the left flank before crossing to the centre of the penalty area, where substitute Ilicic smashed a confident finish past Donnarumma.Milan proved unable to muster a convincing response as full-time approach, leaving Gattuso and his backroom staff with some serious thinking to do over the festive season.Key Opta facts:- Atalanta have scored 28 goals in their first 18 Serie A matches for the first time since the 1955-56 season.- AC Milan have lost three of their last six home league matches in Serie A (W1, D2), as many as they had lost in the previous 11 at Meazza stadium (W8).- Milan have lost eight games in their first 18 Serie A matchdays for the first time since 1981-82 season. read morelast_img read more

First time lucky: why NFL teams should leave coaching retreads on the scrap heap

first_imgThe unusually cold weather hitting parts of the United States has closed theme parks usually stuffed with visitors this time of year. Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, Universal Orlando’s Volcano Bay and Florida’s Sea World are all shuttered indefinitely. But one ride that is popular every January remains in operation: the NFL coaching carousel. Ride at your own peril.Six NFL head coaching jobs are open following the usual end-of-season round of firings and resignations. The Oakland Raiders, Chicago Bears, New York Giants, Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals are all looking to make hires. Not surprisingly, many long-known names are already in the mix. The Raiders reportedly may give $10m a year to Jon Gruden, who hasn’t coached since 2008 and last won more than nine games in 2005. Gruden was fired by the Buccaneers after years of mishandling the quarterback position. Naturally, he’s seen as a quarterback guru. Oh boy. features NFL Facebook Share on Messenger Share via Email Read more Why the future of the NFL may rely on fixing the concussion protocol Support The Guardian … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on LinkedIn Since you’re here… Then there’s an existential threat unrelated to the global danger caused by Kim Jong-un and his dotard nemesis trading insults and arguing button size. A smaller scale, football-specific threat. The “nuclear option” of coaching hires: the assured destruction that is employing Jeff Fisher. Yes, the former Titans and Rams head coach reportedly has interest in several of the NFL jobs that are now open. The six franchises left to ponder Fisher, Gruden and other candidates find themselves in that position because they failed to make the upcoming NFL play-offs. But these play-offs should offer hope to those looking for a new coach. There are better options available than retreading the same old tire and hoping that this time it doesn’t blow out.Of the 12 NFL play-off teams, eight are led by coaches in their first-ever NFL head coaching job: Mike Tomlin, Sean Payton, Ron Rivera, Mike Zimmer, Dan Quinn, Doug Pederson, Sean McDermott and Sean McVay. The lesson here? Well, other than that it seems it may be smart to hire a coach named “Sean”? It’s that taking a supposed risk on an unproven coach is probably the safer, smarter choice. All eight of the first-time coaches listed above have winning records over their careers, and that’s even with Zimmer, Quinn, Pederson, McDermott and McVay taking over losing programs within the last four years. McVay’s story has been the most remarkable and the reason some franchises seek to hire the “new Sean McVay” this offseason instead of the old Jeff Fisher.“I am a huge fan of the Rams players,” Fisher told the Los Angeles Daily News late last month. “They’re basically – I don’t want to say my players – but I had a lot to do with that roster.” OK. While Fisher tries to take credit, let’s give him credit for this: the Rams roster this season is almost exactly what it was last year, only now it’s winning behind a coach with fresh ideas and a new approach. Despite being younger than a couple of his players, the 31-year-old McVay has turned the Rams from 4-12 and dead-last in the NFL in scoring at 14.0 points per game to 11-5 and first in scoring at 29.9 points per game. He already is the youngest head coach in NFL history. Soon he will be the youngest person ever named Coach of the Year. Quarterback Jared Goff, written off by many as a draft bust under Fisher, threw for as many touchdowns in three games under McVay as he did in seven a season ago. Meanwhile, former Fisher quarterbacks Case Keenum and Nick Foles are under center for two other NFC playoff teams. Keenum has been a revelation in Minnesota under Zimmer, as the coach has steadily built a contender since arriving in 2014. Behind a strong defense and a consistent offense built from spare parts, the Vikings are the most balanced team in the NFC. Foles is being coached up by Pederson, whose offense lit up the NFL throughout November and into December before Carson Wentz got hurt. And while not everything McDermott has touched in Buffalo has turned to gold – the Week 11 decision to start Nathan Peterman over Tyrod Taylor won’t soon be forgotten – he did manage to become the first Bills coach since Wade Phillips in 1999 to get Buffalo into the playoffs. Overjoyed Bills fans won’t soon forget his role in that. Topics Pinterest Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Sportblog Reuse this content US sports Share on Pinterest This is all not to say that finding a successful head coach is as easy as plucking some new name from the assistant ranks and then letting the W’s wash over you. If there was a simple solution to finding a winning coach – or a good quarterback – the NFL would have 32 great coaches and 32 star quarterbacks. Bill Belichick of all people is a “recycled” head coach, grabbed by the Patriots after leading the Browns for five years and the Jets for a single day. (By the way, let’s all agree that Belichick managing to win 36 games with the Browns could be even more impressive than winning five Super Bowls with the Patriots.) John Fox, let go by the Bears in his third job, won a Super Bowl in his second with the Broncos. Chuck Pagano, axed in Indianapolis after six years, was a first-time head coach who got off to a promising start only to see it all fall apart. Ben McAdoo didn’t make it through two seasons with the Giants. Pederson’s success in Philadelphia comes on the heels of a much bolder first-time coach hire, that of Chip Kelly, flaming out in spectacular fashion. And then there’s Marvin Lewis, still technically a first-time head coach with the Bengals, who apparently will remain so for all eternity, probably even after world leaders press their buttons and wipe out the rest of civilization. Yet while the Raiders, Bears, Giants, Lions, Colts and Cardinals were not any good this season, a lesson of 2017 is that they could be very quickly with the right coaching hire. The odds are the right coach will be someone who has never led an NFL team before. Finding exactly who that is is where it gets hard. But not nearly as hard as trying to win with Jeff Fisher. Share on WhatsApplast_img read more

Ben Youngs set to miss Wales match after suffering knee injury

first_imgRugby union Jones also confirmed that with a training session planned for Monday and only two scrum-halves named in England’s initial Six Nations squad, a replacement for Youngs has already been called for. Last month Jones named Richard Wigglesworth, Dan Robson and Ben Vellacott as the next three scrum-halves in line.Asked about Youngs’ injury, Jones said: “He’ll get an examination tomorrow. But he’s unlikely to be available for the Wales game. I’m always optimistic. It’s a knee injury, it looks like a ligament.”England scored four tries in the final half an hour with Sam Simmonds scoring his first just moments after Tommaso Boni had a try disallowed that would have brought Italy to within three points with a conversion. Nonetheless, England sit top of the Six Nations table after the opening weekend and Jones highlighted the set piece as the most pleasing aspect of his side’s performance.“I was really pleased with the effort today,” he said. “It was always going to be a difficult team to play, sun shining, plenty to play for. They’ve got good young players. We had to do the simple things well. Scrum and lineout were absolutely first class. I don’t think we have scrummed that well since I’ve been in charge of England.”Jones refused to be drawn on Saturday’s fixture with Wales, who stunned Scotland with a commanding victory in Cardiff over the weekend. But he did reveal England have taken the unusual step of arranging a training session at Pennyhill Park on Monday.“We’ve got a programme in place that’s slightly unusual. We’ll train tomorrow, have Tuesday as a recovery day and we feel like we’ll be ready by Friday to face Wales,” he said.Italy impressed in patches against England two well-worked tries through Tommaso Benvenuti and Mattia Bellini but they are still without a Six Nations win since 2015. “I’m proud and angry,” said Italy’s head coach, Conor O’Shea. “I’m proud because I think we saw a team that has a lot of potential out there for the future and played some really good rugby against a great side. We were up against the No 2 side in the world and we caused them a lot of problems.” Share on Facebook England up and running in Six Nations with seven-try win in Italy Share via Email Support The Guardian … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Since you’re here… Six Nations 2018 Share on Twitter Topics news Eddie Jones Share on Messenger Share on WhatsApp Read more Italy rugby union team Six Nations Share on LinkedIn Ben Youngs could be ruled out of the rest of the Six Nations after the England head coach Eddie Jones confirmed the scrum-half has suffered what appeared to be a serious knee ligament injury in the victory over Italy. England’s 46-15 triumph was marred by the first-half injury sustained by Youngs which prompted a lengthy stoppage before he was taken off on a stretcher. Danny Care, who had been pushing to start in Rome, came off the bench and is now almost certain to start against Wales. England rugby union team Share on Pinterest Reuse this contentlast_img read more

VAR is penalising goalkeepers unfairly at the Women’s World Cup

first_imgShare via Email Women’s World Cup Scotland women’s football team Scotland crash out of Women’s World Cup after dramatic Argentina comeback Twitter Women’s football Sportblog Video assistant referees (VARs) Pinterest Wendie Renard’s twice-taken penalty pushes France past Nigeria Read more Lee Alexander, Scotland’s goalkeeper, saved a penalty before the referee forced a retake. Photograph: Daniela Porcelli/Getty Images Reuse this content Women’s World Cup 2019 I can only imagine the emotions felt by the Scotland players when their dreams of qualification for the knockout rounds died on Wednesday night as Florencia Bonsegundo’s twice-taken penalty hit the back of the net, deep into stoppage time, and denied them victory over Argentina. For them, it must have been absolutely heartbreaking. Watching the drama unfold from a distance, I was feeling something quite different: fury.I don’t think I have ever been as incensed by a football rule in my life. I was a fan of VAR at last year’s World Cup: coming in at the right time, cleaning up refereeing errors and making the game more objective. But using it to interpret the new changes to the law covering penalties is ridiculous.VAR was intended to overrule clear and obvious mistakes, not to penalise goalkeepers for being inches off their line. Watching what looks like a bad experiment cheapen the Women’s World Cup feels wrong, and speaks to the fact we’re still not there in terms of equality. The last women’s World Cup was played on artificial turf, another first that was incredibly unpopular with players and coaches. I don’t believe a rule such as this would have been introduced so close to the men’s tournament, and to wheel it out in a competition that stands as the pinnacle of the women’s game is unfair. Share on Facebookcenter_img As the rule is being applied, a player could take the worst penalty in history, send it flying into the upper tier or spinning towards the corner flag, and still get another go. If the goalkeeper was three inches off her line in those circumstances, it couldn’t be less relevant.These decisions are an absolute farce. I can understand that officials want to address the issue of goalkeepers coming way off their line before a penalty, but the rule has to be applied with some intelligence. The VAR can see exactly how much a goalkeeper has moved, and could surely give them a few centimetres’ leeway – the technology was brought in to correct obvious mistakes, not to impose perfection. The knockout stage starts on Saturday, bringing the possibility of penalty shootouts. My worry is this may get truly out of hand as the competition is reaching its most important, and most publicly scrutinised phase, and bring the women’s game into serious disrepute. Millions of people are watching these games, people who probably don’t watch a lot of women’s football, and thanks to VAR at times it is looking like a total joke.In total seven minutes passed on Wednesday between the penalty being awarded and it finally going in, and the second half featured five goals and five substitutions. Yet the referee played only five minutes’ stoppage time, leaving both teams incensed at being denied a few more moments in which to find a winner that could have kept their tournament alive. The way the game ended was embarrassing, but as angry as Scotland’s players must have felt, they will know that having led 3-0 as late as the 74th minute against weaker opposition they would still be in the tournament were it not for naivety and poor decision-making.Shelley Kerr has got her tactics wrong: they were too conservative in their first two games and played Kim Little too deep. On Wednesday they pushed her further up, and as a result she got the first goal.England secured a third victory but there is plenty still to work on. Across all three matches they have let teams in the game – Japan were the only team they beat by more than a goal, and even then the second did not come until the 84th minute. In the knockouts they need to be more ruthless and clinical. Defensively they continue to look a bit shaky when pressed.Japan controlled possession impressively, particularly in the second half, but they don’t have much of a cutting edge up front, or from midfield. If they can develop that incision they will go back to being one of the best. They are very strong at youth level, and may come to the fore in the next major women’s tournament, next year’s Olympics in Tokyo. I suspect the penalty law may have been tweaked again by then.• Comments on this piece are premoderated to ensure discussion remains on topics raised by the writer. Please be aware there may be a short delay in comments appearing on the site. Players are being put in a position where they are forced to invent a new technique in the 93rd minute of a vital match at the World Cup finals. The fact the Premier League has already announced VAR will not be used to monitor goalkeepers’ positioning at penalties next season is hugely telling.Who was consulted before the decision to interpret the law so rigidly was taken? Were any football teams involved? Were goalkeepers part of it? It seems to me that people have made up this rule without any idea of how it was actually going to affect a player’s movement.At least Alexander had saved the first penalty. In the game between France and Nigeria on Monday night, Wendie Renard put her penalty wide before being given a second chance because Chiamaka Nnadozie had moved slightly off her line. At the second attempt, she scored the only goal of another important group game and left Nigeria’s hopes hanging by a thread. Laws of football Share on Messenger Read more comment Share on Twitter The Scotland goalkeeper, Lee Alexander, clearly had not been properly prepared. As she faced the second penalty, having been punished the first time for taking the smallest forward step, she couldn’t even dive properly. At that point the law was crippling and the penalty taker may as well have had a free shot.Forward movement is part of a goalkeeper’s technique for pushing themselves off into a save and, suddenly unable to stray even an inch off her line, she had no idea what to do. You may be questioning why, as a striker, I care so much about the goalkeeper when ultimately it makes it easier for my fellow strikers to score. I am aware this is the letter of the law, but I like to see a law that improves the game, brings competitive balance and fairness. Topics Facebook Argentina women’s football team Share on WhatsApp Share on Pinterest Share on LinkedInlast_img read more

Wimbledon diary: Murray media in overdrive and Mourinho’s musings

first_imgShare on Pinterest Share on WhatsApp Share via Email Share on LinkedIn Murray media in overdriveMurray Mania is in full flow at SW19 and the media, naturally, are hungry for any fresh angle. With that in mind there was breaking news from the Falkirk Herald on Thursday, though they may have had some collective tongues in their cheeks. “Former Gairdoch United star teams up with Serena Williams at Wimbledon 2019,” read the headline, above an article recounting the exploits of a young Murray at the “Carronshore‑based amateur side”. Fair play guys, fair play. Wimbledon day four: Nadal outlasts Kyrgios, Kerber goes out and Murray returns – video Read more Since you’re here… features Tennis Share on Facebook Wimbledon 2019 Topics Moving swiftly throughAfter being comprehensively dispatched from the singles by Roger Federer on Thursday, Jay Clarke still has his mixed doubles date with Cori Gauff to come. But the shine has come off that a little after it was revealed he ditched his previous partner, Harriet Dart, by text. Having herself progressed to the third round of the singles, Dart had the chance to share her view of the affair on Thursday. She was curt and to the point. “That’s in the past, I’m going to look forward.” She didn’t look pleased. Evans unlucky to eat wordsThe spirit versus the letter of the law is one of the most fiercely contested rivalries in jurisprudence and it continues here this week. On the spirit side, we see Bernard Tomic, hit with a record fine for an apparent lack of effort in his defeat to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. This despite the fact Tomic won, for example, four games in the third set.On the other side of the ledger, Dan Evans also looks set to lose some prize money after the Briton was caught swearing on court. Grand slam rules prevent any “audible obscenity” on the part of players but that doesn’t stop cursing from being a common part of matches. Yet when Evans swore, under his breath in response to his own double fault, against Nikoloz Basilashvili it was picked up by a line judge, who referred it to the umpire. Evans now admits he is probably facing a fine of his own. Sod’s law, let’s be honest.Mourinho shares thoughtsJosé Mourinho was on siteon Thursday, watching his fellow Jorge Mendes client (and Evans’s next opponent) João Sousa on Court 12. Never reluctant to share his thoughts with the media, Mourinho later told the in-house TV channel that he believed Rafael Nadal could have made it as a footballer. “I am happy he didn’t, but I think he could also have been a fantastic football player,” Mourinho said. “His uncle [Miguel Ángel Nadal] was my player in Barcelona in 1996. I know that Rafa can play football, and well. So he could have played with his physicality, mentality, and his skill, too. He could be. Thank you so much he wasn’t. Because in tennis he is what he is.” Share on Twitter This video has been removed. This could be because it launched early, our rights have expired, there was a legal issue, or for another reason. … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Harriet Dart overcomes doubles snub to join Konta in Wimbledon third round Wimbledon Share on Messenger Support The Guardian Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Suarez scores 100th La Liga goal

first_imgLuis Suárez Suarez scores 100th La Liga goal as Messi reaches new milestones Joe Wright 07:48 1/22/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(3) luis suarez - cropped Getty Images Luis Suárez Barcelona Lionel Messi Real Betis v Barcelona Real Betis Primera División Barcelona’s emphatic 5-0 win over Real Betis saw the two South American superstars achieve new personal bests on Sunday Luis Suarez reached 100 goals in La Liga as Barcelona dispatched Real Betis 5-0 at the Benito Villamarin on Sunday.The striker scored twice against Quique Setien’s side to become only the second Uruguayan to manage a century of goals in Spain’s top flight, after former Atletico Madrid man Diego Forlan, who scored 128 in his career.Suarez’s first goal came in the 69th minute, volleying Ivan Rakitic’s cross off the turf and into the bottom-right corner to give his side a three-goal lead. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player And with a minute to play before stoppage time, Suarez reached the milestone as he blasted the ball high into the net from 12 yards out to end the night.Lionel Messi was also on target twice after Rakitic had put the league leaders ahead just before the hour mark to secure a win that stretches their lead at the top to 11 points.The match saw Messi reach two more personal milestones of his own, with the Argentina star having assisted a goal in five La Liga matches in a row for the first time in his career.He is also the first La Liga player to get at least 25 goals in all competitions in each of the last 10 seasons and has scored and assisted in each of his last four league appearances.100 – Luis Suarez is the second Uruguayan player to reach 100+ goals in La Liga history, after Diego Forlan (128). Wild. pic.twitter.com/09WN4elc7K— OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 21, 2018 5 – Lionel Messi has assisted in five La Liga games in a row for the first time in his career (five assists). Unstoppable. pic.twitter.com/gt6LfFKktd— OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 21, 2018last_img read more

‘Alli is replaceable and could be sold’

first_imgTransfers ‘Alli is replaceable and could be sold’ – Jenas expects Spurs exits this summer Chris Burton 17:21 2/15/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(4) Dele Alli Tottenham Getty Images Transfers Real Madrid Tottenham Hotspur Primera División Premier League Harry Kane The former Tottenham midfielder believes one England international could be on his way, but expects Harry Kane to stay for another “season or two” Dele Alli is “replaceable” at Tottenham and could be sold this summer, says Jermaine Jenas, but Harry Kane is likely to stick around for another “season or two”.Having worked hard to assemble a competitive squad, with fresh terms thrashed out with key men at regular intervals, Spurs are facing a fight to keep their side together.Interest is being shown in prized assets, with an inability to turn potential into silverware sparking talk of ambitions being fulfilled elsewhere. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player England star Alli is among those to have been linked with a big-money move, and Jenas believes the 21-year-old could be among those offloaded in order to free up funds.The former Spurs midfielder told GQ: “If I was going to guess, I would say Dele Alli might go.“I don’t think that is something that Spurs fans will want to hear, because he is a very popular player.“But if the new stadium does exert some financial pressures on the club, Dele is the kind of player that Spurs could replace.“Dele is without doubt a brilliant player and I am sure he will go on and play for another top team, but in the area he plays in he is replaceable.”Another of those who could move on is Toby Alderweireld, with the Belgian centre-half yet to commit to a new contract in north London.Jenas added: “He is an absolutely incredible player and I would say he is someone that Spurs should do anything and everything they can to keep hold of him.“But he seems like he wants to move on and there will certainly be no shortage of suitors for him.”Dele Alli Harry Kane Jermaine Jenas transfersWhile Alli and Alderweireld may be heading elsewhere in the summer, Jenas remains confident that the services of talismanic striker Kane can be retained.He said of the prolific 24-year-old: “Although he is being widely acknowledged as the best out-and-out striker in the world right now, and rumours of a move to Spain keep surfacing, I think he will stay at least for a season or two because of the new Spurs stadium.“I think Daniel Levy will have to break the bank to keep him at the club, but I think Harry will be the one player they do that for, simply because he is worth it.”Real Madrid have been linked with Kane, Alderweireld and Alli as they prepare for a summer overhaul of their squad.Fending off interest will be tricky for Spurs, with it yet to be determined what impact developments at the club off the field will have on it.last_img read more

X BLADES NATIONAL 18 YEARS AND UNDER DAY TWO WRAP

first_imgAnother clear blue sky greeted Australia’s best young Touch Footballers for day two of competition at the 2007 X-Blades National 18 Years and Under Championships.Mets and Cobras look to be the frontrunners in Pool A of the boy’s division, both coming into Day 2 undefeated. Mets, with a star-studded line-up, continued their winning ways with a comprehensive 13-0 victory over New South Wales Combined Independent Schools . Cobras had the best defensive record of the competition, refusing to concede a single touchdown in the first day of the tournament. Mets and Cobras had a highly anticipated twilight clash with Mets in the final timeslot of the day. Mets were dominant early and powered to an 8-4 win over the game Cobras line-up.South Queensland Sharks are also in the top half of Pool A and will be focused on progressing through to the finals. NSWCIS, NSWCCC and South Australia have all dropped out of the dash to the Championship but will be keen to have a crack for the Plate and Shield. Central Queensland (CQ) proved it was the real deal in Pool B. CQ was too strong in its big clash with New South Wales Combined High Schools (NSWCHS), taking the match 9 – 4 in a shock result over the 2006 Finalists. National Youth squad member Justin Otto and the impressive Nathan Broadhurst led the way for the CQ boys in a dominant performance.Central Queensland has won four from four and is in ominous form ahead of the quarterfinals tomorrow. Local hopes Northern Eagles had a confidence-boosting win 11-3 over Sydney Rebels in today’s action. The Eagles will be fighting it out with NSWCHS for the second finals berth in Pool B. Sunshine Coast, Sydney Scorpions and Sydney Rebels round out the bottom half of Pool B. Queensland Secondary Schools Touch (QSST) put a dent in Hunter Hornets’ hopes, downing their southern rivals 9-5. QSST is the only undefeated Pool C team and is sitting atop its division.Southern Suns, Hunter Hornets and ACT still remain in contention for a quarterfinal berth but will have to play well in the remaining pool rounds. TouchWest, Tasmania and Northern Territory are now destined to fight it out for the Plate and Shield crowns. In the Girls division QSST continue to power through the competition in Pool A. They have scored an amazing 35 touchdowns, having only conceded five to remain undefeated.Lizzie Campbell, Kristy Brennan, and Kirsty Beer are leading the way for the defending champions. New South Wales Combined Catholic Colleges (NSWCCC) proved that they will be a tough team to toss by pushing the highly fancied Queenslanders all the way today in an intriguing match-up. The two teams squared off in an Origin style clash and played out an enthralling encounter in the 3.50pm clash on the TV field, QSST eventually running out 5-4 victors. Australian Women’s Open World Cup star Louise “Squeeze” Winchester is doing a fine job with her troops who played with a lot of passion and skill against the tournament favourites.Sunshine Coast still has a shot but will have to rely on other results. Central Queensland, Northern Eagles and TouchWest form the lower half of girls’ Pool A. 2006 grand finalists NSWCHS are the best placed team in Pool B.Brisbane Cobras, NSWCIS and Sydney Mets are all locked in an intense battle for the second qualifying position in Pool B. Sydney Rebels and Northern Territory have fallen off the pace but will look to finish the tournament strongly tomorrow. Southern Suns, led impressively by Jessica Mc Call, continue to dominate play in Pool C. The final girls’ division is shaping to be another hard fought category with Sydney Scorpions, Hunter Hornets and South Queensland all desperate to make the cut. Foreigners ACT and Tasmania are yet to win a game but have proved difficult competition in their matches thus far and continue to improve.Tomorrow the round games conclude and we move into finals as the contenders are sorted from the pretenders in the battle to be crowned 2007 X Blades National 18 Years and Under Champions. FULL RESULTS DAY TWO  – XBLADES NATIONAL 18 YEARS C’CHIPS10.00am Boys’ Pool B R3          NSWCHS (10) def Scorpions (0) Boys’ Pool B R3          CQ (12) def Sunshine Coast (5) Boys’ Pool C R3          QSST (9) def Hornets (5) 10.50am Girls’ Pool A R3           QSST (9) def CQ (0) Boys’ Pool B R3          Eagles (11) def Rebels (3)  Boys’ Pool C R3          TouchWest (7) def NT (5) Boys’ Pool C R3          Suns (7) def ACT (6)  11.40am Girls’ Pool A R3           Eagles (9) def TouchWest (4)Girls’ Pool A R3           NSWCCC (5) def Sunshine Coast (3)Girls’ Pool B R3           NSWCHS (17) def NT (2)Girls’ Pool C R3           Sharks (7) def Tasmania (1)12.30pm Girls’ Pool B R3           Rebels (5 def Mets (3)Girls’ Pool B R3           Cobras (7) def NSWCIS (1)Girls’ Pool C R3           Scorpions (11) def ACT (2)Girls’ Pool C R3           Suns (6) def Hornets (5)1.20pm Boys’ Pool A R3          Sharks (16) def SA (0)Boys’ Pool B R4          CQ (9) def NSWCHS (4)Boys’ Pool C R4          QSST (17) def Tasmania (2)2.10pm Boys’ Pool A R3          Mets (13) def NSWCIS (0)Boys’ Pool B R4          Scorpions (5) drew Rebels (5)Boys’ Pool C R4          ACT (18) def NT (1)3.00pm Boys’ Pool A R3          Cobras (7) def NSWCCC (5)Boys’ Pool B R4          Hornets (9) def TouchWest (8) Boys’ Pool C R4          Eagles (5) def Sunshine Coast (3)3.50pm Girls’ Pool A R4           QSST (5) def NSWCCC (4)Girls’ Pool B R4           Rebels (6) def NT (3)Girls’ Pool C R4           Sharks (5) def Hornets (2)4.40pm Girls’ Pool A R4           Sunshine Coast (4) def Eagles (3)Girls’ Pool B R4           NSWCHS (10) def NSWCIS (0)Girls’ Pool C R4           Suns (8) def Scorpions (3) Boys’ Pool C R5          QSST (12) def Suns (4)5.30pm Boys’ Pool A R4          NSWCIS (18) def SA (2)Girls’ Pool A R4           CQ (6) def TouchWest (3)Girls’ Pool B R4           Mets (8) def Cobras (7)Girls’ Pool C R4           Tasmania (2) drew ACT (2)6.20pm Boys’ Pool A R4          Mets (8) def Cobras (4)Boys’ Pool A R4          NSWCCC (8) def Sharks (4) Boys’ Pool C R5          ACT (12) def TouchWest (3)Boys’ Pool C R5          Tasmania (3) def NT (1)last_img read more

a month agoWilder rips Sheffield Utd after Sunderland loss

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Wilder rips Sheffield Utd after Sunderland lossby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveSheffield United have suffered a shock defeat at the hands of League One club Sunderland to dash their Carabao Cup aspirations.Max Power’s 25-yard stunner after just nine minutes of play proved the difference at Bramall Lane.Blades boss Chris Wilder was scathing over his team’s performance while speaking after the game.He said: “We didn’t do enough and we didn’t deserve to go through, we were second best.”There would have been a time when I’d have had them in the dressing room dissecting that until 11:30pm, but we’ve got the European champions coming here at Saturday lunchtime and I’m not going to waste my time on it.”I made 10 changes and Sunderland made eight changes and their changes were better than mine. Some of my players had an opportunity and they have not taken it, that’s their problem. We move on.” last_img read more

24 days ago​Liverpool look to re-introduce Alisson in training this week

first_img​Liverpool look to re-introduce Alisson in training this weekby Freddie Taylor24 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool are hoping that goalkeeper Alisson Becker will be available in the coming week.The Reds are welcoming back the Brazilian keeper to training.He has been absent since a cal muscle injury during the first game of the Premier League season ruled him out of action.The no.1 shot stopper has taken a big step towards his recovery, per Goal.He may not play in midweek against RB Salzburg, or the Premier League game against Leicester on Saturday.But he could be back for the Manchester United clash on October 20. About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more