Why NRL strugglers could bounce back fast

first_imgBy the end of 2016, the Sharks were premiers while the Raiders had finished second in the regular season with the best attacking record in the league. Things can change quickly in the NRL, particularly the fortunes of struggling teams.The massive turnarounds for Cronulla and Canberra weren’t even out of the ordinary. While those teams were slumping to the bottom of the ladder in 2014, the Penrith Panthers were playing their way into the NRL top four – two seasons after running 15th. In 2013 the Sydney Roosters were the major and minor premiers, a year after finishing well outside of the finals race in 13th.In 2012, five of the eight teams in the finals had missed the playoffs two years previously. That includes minor premiers Canterbury, grand final winners Melbourne and future premiership winners North Queensland and Cronulla – the teams that had occupied the bottom four places in the league in 2010. And in 2010, the Panthers and Warriors both jumped nine league places in a single season to finish inside the NRL’s top five, while the Roosters jumped 10 spots in a season to finish sixth after taking out the wooden spoon in 2009.The salary cap doesn’t just level out the playing field by making it tough for the top teams to successfully defend a premiership – something that hasn’t happened since the unified NRL competition began in 1998. The cap also makes it possible for struggling teams to climb up the ladder – and fast.So, how do they do it? Let’s look at recent success stories the Sharks and Raiders.Both clubs have had some key youngsters come through the ranks in the past few seasons – in particular rep players Valentine Holmes (who debuted for the Sharks in 2014), Jack Bird (Sharks debutant in 2015) and Shannon Boyd (Canberra debutant in 2014).But the recruiting drives of both clubs has been arguably more vital. Both the Sharks and Raiders have overhauled their playmaking spines in the past few seasons. None of the players who lined up at fullback, five-eighth, halfback and hooker at the start of 2014 were still in those roles in 2016.The Sharks’ premiership-winning spine of Ben Barba, James Maloney, Chad Townsend and Michael Ennis were all recruited within the previous two seasons. The Raiders brought in Blake Austin, Josh Hodgson and Aidan Sezer in the last couple of years, after switching Jack Wighton to fullback in the final rounds of 2014. Of course, they weren’t the only signings – the Raiders in particular strengthened their starting side with the likes of back-rowers Sia Soliola and Elliott Whitehead and lethal edge duo Jordan Rapana and Joey Leilua. The other notable factor for both those teams is that they blooded a lot of rookies in recent years – which meant they didn’t have to bring in untested players in 2016. For the Sharks this was a necessity in 2014, when 10 of their players made their NRL debuts after the peptides scandal hit the club. It’s meant they’ve only had to give debuts to a couple of players since then – Bird in 2015 and Luke Capewell last year.Last season’s results suggest teams who don’t use many debutants tend to win more games. In 2016, six clubs had no more than two players make their NRL debut – and four of those clubs finished in the NRL top four (the other two were Parramatta, who missed the finals after being stripped of competition points due to salary cap breaches, and Manly, who brought in a massive 13 recruits last season). By contrast, the three clubs with the most debutants last year – the Roosters, Knights and Rabbitohs – finished in the bottom four for the league in terms of wins. This isn’t a surprise (losing teams are more likely to drop players and look to the future) but on the positive side it could set them up for success in the future if the Sharks’ rapid rise since 2014 is any guide.The Rabbitohs and Roosters in particular could bounce back quickly considering the Rabbitohs had appeared in the past four finals series before 2016 and the Roosters were coming off three straight minor premierships. Both clubs boast several current rep players, while the Sea Eagles, who finished 13th in 2016, also have a few rep stars in their ranks and have already begun an overhaul of their roster under Trent Barrett.Will all the teams that struggled last year be finals contenders this season? Probably not. But don’t be surprised if at least a few of them aren’t back in the premiership race in a couple of years’ time.last_img read more

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England’s Underhill in doubt for Six Nations

first_imgUnderhill injured his ankle playing for Bath in the English Premiership last weekend and is reportedly likely to be miss at least four weeks.England plays Ireland in the Six nations opener on February 2 in Dublin, putting Underhill under a cloud for that match.The 22-year-old was a breakout star for England in his debut Test year, playing nine Tests and becoming an important player for coach Eddie Jones.Bath released an update on his fitness on Thursday morning (AEDT), saying Underhill would visit a specialist to confirm his prognosis later this week.last_img read more

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Nacho comes to a stop ahead of Carnero

first_img6 22 Once he recovered, Nacho Martínez lived a situation that reminded us of the time when Luis César Sampedro seemed to take her with him and ostracized him, opting to use Javi Moyano on foot changed before him. It was not, far from it, so extensive, because it soon prevailed in battle. After sitting on the bench three times intermittently, against the Athletic Club It started again. Miguel Ángel Gómez Y Sergio González they have not hidden on more than one occasion their predilection for Madrid -the sports director has even ventured that they will work together when he retires-, of vital importance especially in the journey, now interrupted, by the First division. When it resumes, there is no doubt, on the left side of the Real Valladolid a beautiful struggle will continue.center_img For the first time since Sergio González arrived at Real Valladolid, Nacho has found strong and direct competition on the left side. It had to be with the arrival of the past winter market of Raul Carnero, immediate performance signing that took advantage of his competitor’s injury to take a place in the initial team as soon as he arrived. Nacho thus ended the seven league games who had disputed uninterruptedly Raul Carnero, since he landed in Skunk in mid-January and the need made him start playing already in Pamplona versus Osasuna. There were seven games in which he offered a good performance, although perhaps it was from more to less, making some small mistake of bulk that made it easier for his ‘rival’ to win the battle for the first time in the last game.last_img read more

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Lazaro’s hamstring injury forces Vicente to tap Macandili as replacement

first_img2 nabbed in Bicol drug stings READ: Macandili replaces Lazaro in SEA Games lineupLazaro was chosen as the team’s libero a month before they suited up for the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship, but the former Ateneo Lady Eagle suffered a hamstring injury in July that hampered her performance.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’The Atenean was still able to play in the Asian Championship, but Macandili slowly emerged as the team’s first choice as she eventually earned the tournament’s 2nd Best Libero award.Vicente added that their choice to put in Lazaro, who was initially a reserve player, was a hard pill to swallow for Lazaro. MOST READ 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:11SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)08:07Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball05:21Drama in karate: Tsukii ‘very sad’ over coach’s bullying, cold shoulder03:24PH’s James Palicte boxing light welterweight final (HIGHLIGHTS) Denden Lazaro (13) of the Philippines receives the ball as teammate Alyssa Valdez looks on. Photo from asianvolleyball.netKUALA LUMPUR—A day after arriving in Malaysia for the Southeast Asian Games here, national team head coach Francis Vicente and his staff announced that Dawn Macandili has replaced Denden Lazaro as the squad’s libero.“It was hard for us coaches because there was a change in the roster,” said Vicente in Filipino Saturday at Seri Pacific Hotel here in Kuala Lumpur. “And we also need to carefully explain to Denden why she was replaced.”ADVERTISEMENT PH boxers make rousing 2017 SEA Games debuts 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Teen gunned down in Masbate Vilma Santos, Luis Manzano warn public of fake account posing as hercenter_img Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Albay to send off disaster response team to Batangas Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “As a player, that change hurt,” said Vicente. “But it was understandable because she was expecting to play but we can’t force her into the role because of medical reasons.”Vicente added Macandili’s award wasn’t part of their decision and that they can’t put Lazaro in further danger because of the injury.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next National Historical team rescues Amorsolos, artifacts from Taal OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img read more

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Training, capacity building needed for regional auditors – IIA Chairman

first_img2016 Auditor General ReportWith several accounting officers admitting before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) when it recently met to various financial infractions, concerns are being raised that this points to a systemic lack of standards.In an interview with Guyana Times, financial consultant John Seeram noted that capacity building among the various regional administrations would go a far way to minimising the flagrant abuses identified in the Auditor General’s 2016 report.Seeram, who is also the Chairman of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Guyana chapter, acknowledged that the administrations of the 10 Regions have internal auditors. At the same time, he questioned their efficiency.Institute of Internal Auditors Chairman John Seeram“They need more training. And in so doing, they must be able to know that they must work along with management in order to meet the financial goals of the Region. And that is where the Institute of Internal Auditors come in, because we normally mount at least three to four seminars a year on pertinent topics relating to the practice of accounting and auditing in the public service.“And I believe that once they attend those seminars, that could be a way of professional development for our internal auditors. As it stands right now, I would venture to say that there is need for more training for the internal auditors so as to minimise the comments made by the Auditor General in his report,” Seeram stated.Fiscal abuseRecently, a showdown had ensued at the PAC between Committee Chairman Irfaan Ali and Regional Executive Officer (REO) Rupert Hopkinson over the Region Two administration’s financial indiscretions.Prior to the meeting, Hopkinson had made an official response to the 2016 Audit Report’s findings. Ali had pointed to a number of disturbing trends from the explanations. He cited a section of the foreword of Hopkinson’s response, where he noted the administration was not disputing it used current allocations to fund capital projects.Under fire from Ali, the REO had claimed that these were all projects of an emergency nature. At this point, Ali had slammed Hopkinson for being aware of breaches to the law yet going ahead with the projects out of the belief that they were in the best interest of the Region.The projects included the construction of a bus shed at Dartmouth, construction of the Anna Regina Health Centre, construction of a fence at Unity Park Phase One, construction of a fence at Unity Park Phase Two, and construction of a sitting area at Cotton Field and landing at Liberty, Pomeroon.Hopkinson’s contention is that the works were of an emergency nature, requested from the heads of programmes within the regional administration. In his official response, he has also stressed that the projects would have benefited residents.Notably, Hopkinson, in his explanation, had stated: “We seek pardon for any contravention of policy, on the grounds that the Region saved $500 million from 2016 to date… on this score, the administration of Pomeroon-Supenaam Region is of the opinion that the Region should be commended for its judicious spending of Government budgetary allocations…in the face of a culture of dishonesty.”City Hall was also placed in the limelight earlier this year after complaints from Auditor General Deodat Sharma over his inability to access certain documents during a previous audit. Following threats to seek criminal charges, the Council provided these documents at a subsequent PAC meeting.Under a barrage of questions, City Treasurer Ron McAlmont had resolutely refused to provide an explanation for the delay in the handing over of information auditors have been after since the initial audit in 2017.The Audit Office of Guyana had found that as at December 31, 2016, $396.5 million was expended. From the start, City Hall’s financial status, how it spent almost $175 million and its failure to submit documentation dating from 2005 posed a challenge to the PAC.Then, the PAC had clashed with the Guyana Water Inc (GWI) last month over the fact that a programme that was approved by the National Assembly was revised despite works already commencing.GWI Executive Director for Project Implementation, Ramchand Jailal had faced the brunt of questioning from the PAC. He related that during 2016, the original programme was revised.While GWI and the Communities Ministry had held out that no wrongdoing was done when it revised the terms of the Hinterland Water Supply programme, the Auditor General had informed them of their liability in the matter.“Mr Chair, that’s a breach of the Fiscal Act. The FMA [Fiscal Management and Accountability] Act says unspent balances must be refunded to the Consolidated Fund. But you only got the approval on 29 of December. So you are covering yourself afterwards. So that’s a breach,” Sharma had explained.PAC Chairman Ali has already made calls for harsher penalties for those who commit financial crimes, besides what the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act already provides for.last_img read more

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Senior Flyers change up schedule

first_imgThe Flyers recently announced they will be holding nine separate tryout sessions for this year’s team, which Tuesday, was reduced to seven, eliminating ice times on both October 27 and 29.Another change in the schedule will be the date the Flyers first take to the ice this season. Originally scheduled for November 1, the new schedule reads the Flyers will make their on ice return Saturday, October 27 in Grande Prairie.The November 1 game against Hythe is still on the Senior Flyer’s schedule, who will hit the North Peace Arena ice for the first time November 2 against rivals the Dawson Creek Canucks.- Advertisement -The first tryout session for the team was held this past Saturday, October 6, with the second one booked for tomorrow evening, beginning at 8:15 p.m. at the North Peace Arena.last_img read more

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Hosts UAE snatch disputed late draw in Asian Cup opener

first_img0Shares0000Late show: United Arab Emirates’ Ahmed Khalil scores from the penalty spot © AFP / KARIM SAHIBAbu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Jan 5 – Hosts United Arab Emirates survived a scare to salvage a controversial 1-1 draw in their Asian Cup curtain-raiser against Bahrain on Saturday.Substitute Ahmed Khalil smashed home a late penalty harshly awarded for a handball after Mohamed Alromaihi had given Bahrain a shock lead in Abu Dhabi. “The crowd was like a 12th man for us, so I wish we could have given them the victory,” said UAE coach Alberto Zaccheroni.“But we will have to take this lesson and move on. The important thing is to evolve gradually from one game to the next and grow into the tournament.The Emirates scored after just 14 seconds when the two teams met at the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia but there was little danger of that in a scruffy first half.UAE’s Ismail Alhammadi fired tamely at goalkeeper Sayed Alawi after six minutes before Ali Mabkhout blazed wildly over.Bahrain went close just before halftime when Komail Alaswad fizzed a free kick just over the bar.The home side’s profligacy continued as Mabkhout lashed wide from point-blank range.That wastefulness came back to haunt the UAE after 78 minutes when Alromaihi bundled home after his initial header appeared to have crossed the line.Sami Alhusaini almost equalised five minutes from time, only for Alawi to pull off a stunning block.But Jordanian referee Adham Makhadmeh pointed to the spot five minutes from time for what appeared to be an unintentional handball to offer the hosts a lifeline.Khalil, appearing in his 100th international, displayed nerves of steel as he stepped up to rifle the spot kick into the top corner and send a raucous crowd of 33,000 wild.– ‘Hard luck’ –Bahrain coach Miroslav Soukup kept his counsel after the late setback, refusing to criticse the referee.“You could maybe say it was hard luck,” said the Czech. “I didn’t see it and I haven’t seen the video, but the players were in the locker room saying it wasn’t a deliberate handball — so it’s bad luck.”Zaccheroni steered Japan to the continental title in 2011, but his Emirates side have flat-lined in the run-up to this year’s competition, scoring just 10 goals in 18 games under the Italian.Their hopes of going deep into the tournament have not been helped by the loss of mop-top talisman Omar Abdulrahman through injury.They take on India and Thailand in their next two Group A fixtures.However, they will need to improve if they have designs on emulating their run to the last four in 2015 when they stunned holders Japan in the quarter-finals.The Emiratis were beaten finalists the last time the country hosted the Asian Cup in 1996, losing on penalties to Saudi Arabia but appeared to be stifled by the pressure in Saturday’s opening match.“We had our chances but just couldn’t take them,” shrugged Zaccheroni.“We struggled to supply the forwards at times and the players were getting a little frustrated. But we will have to deal with the pressure and be brave.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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Rooney smashes winning goal from inside his own half

first_img0Shares0000Wayne Rooney scores a breathtaking goal from inside his own half for the DC United © GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP / Patrick McDermottLOS ANGELES, United States, Jun 27 – Wayne Rooney scored a sensational goal with a blast from his own half for his US club DC United that triggered social media storm of applause across the globe on Thursday.His ‘goal of the season’ lifted United to a 1-0 victory over Orlando City on Wednesday and saw the veteran former England striker dance an excited little jig. The ex-Manchester United star hammered a 68-yard strike over the head of Orlando goalkeeper Brian Rowe and into the back of the net in the 10th minute.“I thought it was nice and it was special to score the goal this evening,” Rooney told the DC United web site.Rooney was the most advanced DC United player as his team defended in depth. When the ball was hoofed clear, two City men converged but only deflected it into Rooney’s path.Facing the Orlando goal and with the ball bouncing in front of him, Rooney saw Rowe was out of his 18 yard box and smashed a first-time shot.As the ball swerved and dipped over the despairing goalkeeper, Rooney broke into a brief dance. He spread his arms wide in celebration as the ball curled inside the near post for one of Major League Soccer’s goals of the year.“It’s something that I’ve practised so many times,” Rooney said. “Different managers and teammates are, like, why are you practising this, you won’t score from this position, but for nights like tonight that’s why I do practise it.”The training had paid off in the past. In 2017, Rooney rifled a shot past Joe Hart from his own half for Everton against West Ham. In 2014, Rooney lobbed a goal from just inside the opposition half for Manchester United, also against West Ham.The DC United star’s goal sparked a Tweet-storm of applause across the world and drew attention back in Britain where Rooney’s former Manchester United team mate Rio Ferdinand woke up, saw the video and retweeted it along with the comment “Morning Wazza…” and a string of emoticons.Rooney, along with former Manchester United players Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Nani, is part of the July MLS All-Star exhibition squad to face Atletico Madrid in Orlando on July 31.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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Desperately seeking Paul

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PASADENA – Rosie Campos drives by a certain address once a week. She never stops. She never gets out. She does not want to intrude. She just wants a glimpse of the man she fell in love with 42 years ago. When she was a fourth-grader at Longfellow Elementary, she was going to marry Paul McCartney. There’s nothing to see from the street except a large hedge, so her best chance is to catch him coming or going. Once, she pulled up alongside a jogger. It wasn’t him. “I don’t want to stalk the man,” she said on a recent trip by the house. “I just want to see him.” At slumber parties she and her friends would tell “Beatle stories” – elaborate fantasies about meeting the Beatles and dating their favorite one. There were many variations, but Rosie always ended up with Paul. “Paul was my man,” she said. “He was the cutest.” They have since gone their separate ways. Paul has become the most successful songwriter of all time, married twice (the first time, Rosie’s 14-year-old heart broke) and been knighted. Rosie, too, has married. She’s had three children and three grandchildren, and divorced (happily, she says). She worked briefly as a hair stylist, and for the past decade, has handled paperwork for Team Chevrolet on East Colorado Boulevard. The Beatles’ breakup was a traumatic moment, and she didn’t follow Paul much through his solo years. She stowed away all of her memorabilia – the photos, the John Lennon quilt and the Beatle trading cards. The crush seemed like a dead artifact of adolescence. But in retrospect, it was only dormant. Last year, a friend invited her to the McCartney concert at Staples Center, and Rosie – now 51 years old – fell for him all over again. This time, there was one important difference. He was rumored to have a house in Pasadena. This time, she could meet him. “It’s something that as a child I always wanted, but it was never available,” she said. “Right now, there’s a chance.” Rumors of McCartney’s residency in Pasadena have been circulating for nearly a year. Some people say he had rehearsed for his tour here and liked it. Others say he needed to stay in a warm, dry climate, perhaps for his wife’s health. He’s been seen in Old Pasadena, on South Lake Avenue, and at the Good Earth restaurant in Studio City. It was reported, falsely, that he had bought the Batman house on South San Rafael Avenue. Most of the rumors now have McCartney spending at least part of the year in a mansion near the Ritz Carlton, Huntington Hotel, probably on Hillcrest Avenue. But property records do not confirm this (it’s of course unlikely the house would be listed under McCartney’s name) and some of his supposed neighbors have never even heard the rumor, much less seen the Beatle in the flesh. In her search for McCartney, Campos drew on her contacts in the Pasadena area. A friend in San Marino who “knows everybody” made a call, and came up with an address. It was wrong, but a few more conversations – one with a landscaper who used to have the house’s account – led her to a driveway. It twists behind a bush and out of view. She is certain McCartney is on the other end. She lives in Arcadia now, so the drive to Oak Knoll takes her a little out of her way. It’s worth it, though – a little weekly thrill. “This is the kind of place where if you parked, they would call the police,” she said. “I don’t want to get in trouble. If people are walking up the driveway, that, to me, is crossing the line. I don’t want to cross the line.” gene.maddaus@sgvn.com (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4444last_img read more

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