Connacht forwards crush Dragons

first_img All Connacht’s tries came from forwards with p rop Rodney Ah You and replacement lock Mike Swift adding to Muldoon’s tries while fly-half Dan Parks kicked two conversions. Tom Prydie went over for the Dragons only try with 10 minutes to go, adding to an early Jason Tovey penalty. Press Association John Muldoon scored two tries as Connacht beat Newport Gwent Dragons 24-8 at Rodney Parade in the RaboDirect Pro12. Dragons drew first blood when Tovey landed a penalty and then just missed with another from half-way. Yet that was to be the first and last time the home side were in front as Connacht’s pack hammered the Welshmen. Locks Ally Muldowney and Mick Kearney took everything in the front and centre of the lineouts as did number eight Eion McKeon at the tail. And Connacht’s front row of Dennis Buckley, Jason Harris-Wright and Kiwi Ah You had the home trio in so much trouble that Dragons head coach Lyn Jones switched the entire unit after 28 minutes. Connacht’s first try came in the 18th minute as, on a Dragons put-in, the Connacht pack won the battle which brought Muldoon his first try that Parks converted. It did not help that the Dragons were reduced to 14 men when lock Robert Sidoli was penalised at a ruck and spent 10 minutes in the sin-bin. As such, the troubled pack were depleted again which spelt trouble at a Connacht lineout 10 metres out and saw Ah You driven over by his team-mates with Parks again adding the extras. The Welshmen found some composure during half-time and came out with more focus but they struggled to get past the Connacht defence. Muldoon’s second touchdown, from a driving lineout on the right, put Connacht 16 points clear with 13 minutes left but the home side tried to get something out of the match. Prydie roared over in the corner with 10 minutes left as the Dragons gained momentum. But captain Muldoon kept his troops calm and Connacht had the last laugh when Swift went over for the bonus point score with seconds left. last_img read more

Cricket News Apne hi ghar mein kya inaugurate karna: ‘Humble’ Dhoni declines to inaugurate pavilion named after him

first_imgNew Delhi : Mahendra Singh Dhoni is quintessentially a modest man and no wonder he has politely declined to inaugurate the pavilion named after him at the JSCA Stadium, ahead of India’s third ODI against Australia. Just like the Sunil Gavaskar stand at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai or the Virender Sehwag gate at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi, the swanky Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) stadium will have its very own ‘Mahendra Singh Dhoni Pavilion’.“At the AGM last year, the decision was taken that the North Block stand that comprises media enclosure, as well as VIP boxes, would be named after Dhoni,” Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) secretary Debashis Chakraborty told PTI on Wednesday.However, Dhoni didn’t agree to inaugurate the stand, said Chakraborty. “We requested him but he said ‘Dada apne hi ghar mein kya inaugurate karna.’ (What’s there to inaugurate in my own house). He is still so humble and down to earth,” Chakraborty said.The third ODI against Australia on Friday is expected to be Dhoni’s last game in his home town but the JSCA top official said they do not have any special plans in place. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

Cricket News Ajinkya Rahane and the under-appreciation of scrapping through in tough situations

first_img New Delhi: Ajinkya Rahane was under pressure before he came out to bat in the Antigua Test. The Mumbai right-hander had not scored a Test century since the SSC Test against Sri Lanka in 2017. In the last two years, his averages have been 34.62 and 30.66. Even in the warm-up game, Rahane’s performances raised questions and he was at the crossroads of his career. In Antigua, West Indies had ripped out Cheteshwar Pujara, Mayank Agarwal and Virat Kohli. With the new Dukes Ball and on an Antigua pitch assisting the likes of Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel and Jason Holder, it was tough going.When Rahane had managed just one run off 30 balls, there was a sense that he was getting bogged down and it would only be a matter of time before he was dismissed for another cheap score. At that point in time, Rahane decided to hang in and scrap rather than counterattack and fall cheaply. In the process of consuming 30 balls for one run, Rahane ensured that the early assistance for the bowlers from the wicket would go away. With the new ball losing its shine, it would be a bit easy for stroke-making. The nature of the wicket at North Sound did not allow flmaboyant strokeplay. It is in this broader picture that the 68-run and 82-run stand with KL Rahul and Hanuma Vihari which helped India stage a revival.As Test matches go, there are still four days remaining. However, in the context of the conditions, Rahane’s knock has great value and has once again brought to the fore the art of scrapping through in a tough situation. It is this greatly under-appreciated art which has helped India win Test matches overseas in the recent past. Rewind to Melbourne 2018. On a pitch which had some early assistance, Hanuma Vihari consumed 66 balls for eight runs. The statistics, at first sight, will tell you that it was a struggle for Vihari. What the statistics do not reveal is that Vihari and Mayank Agarwal consumed 18.5 overs and negated the threat of the new ball. In Australia, the blueprint for success for overseas batsmen was to survive the new Kookaburra on a fresh pitch. Vihari’s eight was valuable as it allowed Agarwal to notch up his maiden fifty, Pujara his second ton in Australia and Kohli to score 82. It was this weathering of the new ball which was a significant factor in India winning in Melbourne. One has to go back even further to Johannesburg 2018. Pujara, who was in wretched form heading into the match, took over 50 balls to get off the mark. The right-hander managed 50 runs off 179 balls. In terms of strike-rate, it was a disaster. In terms of batting fluency, it missed the mark. But, Test cricket demands application and scrapping on a tough wicket and the Wanderers was a difficult deck for batsmen on that day. Pujara and Kohli, along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar were the only players to get into double figures as India managed 187. Pujara’s knock allowed Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar to bowl with their tail up and India managed a consolation win in Johannesburg. The wins in Johannesburg and Melbourne highlighted the value of a hard scrap for batsmen in Tests, which is never visually appealing but vital to a team’s fortune. After the end of the day, Rahane’s comment that he was not sad on missing his century adds more weight that a solid, gritty fifty is more valuable when it comes to determining the team’s fortunes. One has to just look at the broader conditions and situation to determine whether the knock is worth it’s weight in gold. highlights Ajinkya Rahane has not scored a Test century since 2017.India last lost a Test series in the West Indies in 2002.Ajinkya Rahane scored his 18th fifty in Tests.center_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

USC to face Arizona schools in weekend doubleheader

first_imgThe men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will host two meets this weekend at USC’s McDonald’s Swim Stadium. USC will face the Arizona today at 4 p.m. and Arizona State on Saturday at noon.Today’s meet will be a rare evening event, with the two Trojan teams swimming underneath stadium lights because of the late start time. The USC swimmers, however, are not worried about swimming in the dark.“I think because of the time change and the weather it’ll be harder, but I think we can still perform to the best of our ability,” said freshman Kasey Carlson. “It’ll be fun because it’s our first real meet with real competition.”The No. 6 Women of Troy and No. 14 men’s squad, with rankings based on the first College Swimming Coaches Association of America/Collegeswimming.com Top 25 poll of the season, are resuming conference action with the Arizona and Arizona State meets after about a two-week break for both teams. The men and women’s diving teams, however, had a successful diving competition last weekend.“We’ve got some of the best divers in the country, and what makes it nice is we are really balanced, men and women, swimming and diving,” USC coach Dave Salo said. “We’re one of the very few teams that when we make it to the NCAA championships we’ve made a commitment to diving.”Throughout the men’s and women’s seasons thus far, USC swimmers have posted high scores and performed well at their meets, and Salo is confident they will not disappoint this weekend.“We’re just really balanced and I don’t think we are getting the respect that we should out of the Pac-10 teams or nationally, but I think after our meet against Arizona [today] we will show them they need to take USC seriously,” Salo said.Going up against highly acclaimed Arizona, which is ranked No. 5 in men’s swimming and No. 7 in women’s, USC hopes to pull out all the stops to defeat the Wildcats.“We always take this dual meet really seriously just because it’s really good competition. I’m really excited for it. I know we are going to post some really great times,” sophomore Haley Anderson said.Despite being ranked below their opponents, the men’s squad is certain that it has enough strength to help it succeed.“We really haven’t had to prepare out of the box [for today] because this year the team is so positive and has so much depth that we really don’t need to change much that we do,” junior captain Jeff Daniels said.The teams’ next meet will be in Tucson, Ariz., next weekend. They will travel together to participate in the Wildcat Invitational, hosted by Arizona. The three-day competition will be their last before the U.S. Nationals in December.“Hopefully [these meets] will awaken all the other teams and coaches across the country that we shouldn’t be underestimated,” senior captain Lyndsay DePaul said.last_img read more

No. 4 Syracuse’s defense stifles No. 6 Virginia in 16-11 win

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 2, 2019 at 8:30 pm Contact KJ: [email protected] | @KJEdelman Emily Hawryschuk didn’t stop running as Virginia’s Maggie Jackson scooped the ball. After winning the draw, Jackson paused before taking the ball up. But Hawryschuk was waiting. The junior twisted her stick and upended the ball out of Jackson’s pocket.As the ball rolled on the Carrier Dome turf, Hawryschuk sprinted to the 10-yard line, stalled for a couple seconds, swerved to the middle and found the back of the net to extend SU’s lead to six.“We needed the ball then,” Hawryschuk said. “I wanted to follow (Jackson) and anything that I did pop up, I would get.”It didn’t just take No. 4 Syracuse’s (6-1, 1-1 Atlantic Coast) elite group of defenders — Sarah Cooper, Kerry Defliese, Ella Simkins, Alexa Radziewicz — to overpower No. 6 Virginia (5-1, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) but all 11 players on the field. SU’s zone caused errant passes from the middle and its press forced UVA players to turn the ball over in transition. Led by three caused turnovers by each member of SU’s starting backline, and 15 caused turnovers total, the Orange stifled any opportunity for the Cavaliers in Saturday’s 16-11 win. “It’s part of our mentality,” Defliese said. “We just want to cause turnovers.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse’s defense — a collection of upperclassmen and its “rover,” Cooper — has been a stark contrast to last year’s squad, head coach Gary Gait said. Allowing under 10 goals a game has quantified its improvement, but its abundance of fouls and big scoring runs from top-five teams like Boston College and Northwestern have deflated some successes. At its best, Syracuse’s defense is causing turnovers, Defliese said. So when Saturday’s matchup started as an up-and-down affair — SU and UVA traded the first nine goals of the game — the Orange defense collided inside, inching closer to goalkeeper Asa Goldstock. Back-to-back turnovers in the first five minutes turned into scoring trips. The next possession, Simkins tracked freshman Lillie Kloak up the field, knocked down her stick and picked up the ball. “We just had to be aggressive and make clean checks,” Gait said. “Pressing when needed and battling on the ground when we had to.”When Virginia made it within 15 yards of the net, Gait screamed “help, help, help” on several occasions until a second defender came to the ball. After a 5-4 advantage, the Orange ran off three-straight goals and limited the Cavaliers to just one goal in the final nine minutes of the half.A five-goal advantage and 12 early UVA turnovers should’ve distanced Syracuse from the No. 6 team in the country, Gait said, but for the third consecutive game, the Orange didn’t play their “best for a full 60 minutes.” Fouls created two free position goals to start the final 30 minutes. The defensive aggressiveness that led the Orange to a dominate first half started to be its crutch. “We just want to limit fouls in the middle,” Defliese said of Syracuse’s 29 fouls. “The other ones, just keep going.”That’s when Defliese, who hadn’t gotten on the stat sheet yet, got more involved. Defliese caused a forcing-through call at the end of Virginia’s 4-1 scoring run, and set up the Orange to burn 90 seconds of clock. Two possessions later, UVA’s Avery Shoemaker was cornered by Defliese and Cooper. Cooper’s presence as a “backer” allows players, like Defliese, to play out of position, Gait said — sometimes higher up, other times deeper. So when Defliese dipped back, she let Shoemaker pass her. But the SU junior nicked her stick in the process, swiping the ball in the Dome’s end zone. “We had our defense making big plays,” Hawryschuk said. “So we had that drive to put that ball in the back of the net.”When the defense faltered, though, in a 15-minute stretch during the middle of the second half, Goldstock came through. She deflected two-straight free positions on one possession and forced the third to be passed out. A subtle “defense” chant from the Syracuse sideline emerged, and Cooper intercepted a cornered-Cavaliers’ pass seconds later. Any comeback within the final five minutes was halted by the Orange zone, and they pulled away. When Gait thought back to his defensive squad from last year at the podium after SU’s five-goal win, he was floored. His eyes rolled up, and his head shifted back at the reminder of 21 goals against North Carolina in the ACC tournament last April. His defense isn’t that different with similar personnel, but it’s finally playing different, he said. It’s finally backing up Syracuse’s powerhouse offense.“There’s better communication now, they make plays. They’re stepping up,” Gait said. “That’s made us a better defense.” Commentslast_img read more