Fijian Drua drop to 4th after heavy loss in Canberra

Fijian Drua drop to 4th after heavy loss in Canberra

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first_imgPhoto: Supplied/Australian Rugby Union The Fijian Drua found the ball hard to hold on to against the Canberra Vikings. The Drua had arrived in the nation’s capital top of the table after four rounds but the only categories they dominated on Friday night were turnovers conceded and missed tackles.Vikings winger Andy Muirhead scored the opening try in the fourth minute of the match and from there the home side never relinquished their lead, running in ten tries to one.Coach Tim Sampson admitted he was surprised at just how well it went.”It’s a dream, you certainly hope so,” he said of the way the game played out.”But there were things that we focused on during the week when coming up against the Drua and thankfully tonight they did come off.”That’s credit to the players stood out there to execute what we practised during the week.”Despite losing their previous two matches, Sampson felt the team’s performances had been positive and hoped Friday’s result will give the squad “that little bit of extra belief” in how they can play.”We’ve been reasonably happy with how we’re going, especially with our defence, so in attack what was a big focus for us this week and that washolding onto the ball and starving Fiji of possession, which we did quite well,” he said.Queensland Country are the new competition leaders, after thumping Melbourne Rising 54-12, while the top four teams, including Canberra, Perth and the Drua, all have 15 points and are only separted by points differential.All nine teams have managed at least one win in the first five rounds and Tim Sampson believed anyone can beat anyone.The Drua are on the road again this weekend, away to the Greater Sydney Rams.last_img

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Warriors’ finals charge personal to Foran

first_imgIn Foran’s absence the Warriors recorded their third win in their past four matches against the Bulldogs last Friday and are now preparing to face the in-form Sea Eagles in Perth sitting just two points outside the Telstra Premiership top eight.A quadriceps injury that he sustained in Round 14 is not expected to stop Foran from lining up against his former team who have moved into fourth position on the back of four straight wins, their latest a convincing victory over defending premiers Cronulla.The Warriors have featured in eight matches in Perth since 1996 and have incredibly never recorded a win despite enjoying a healthy proportion of the local support.Foran’s likely return will help to somewhat offset the loss of hooker Issac Luke who suffered a dislocated shoulder against the Bulldogs with the Kiwi five-eighth determined to continue the progress the team has made in the last month.Having issued Foran a career lifeline when personal issues forced him to stand down from playing with the Eels last year, the Warriors were devastated when it was announced the 26-year-old would be joining the Bulldogs in 2018 but he insists that he wants to leave on a good note.”Every year you want to do well but this year means a lot to me personally,” Foran told NRL.com.”The Warriors reached out to me when I was in a struggling time in my life and it means a lot for me to be able to play some of my best footy and really give back to the fans and the club.”They’ve been great to me over in New Zealand. The people of New Zealand have really supported me.”Besides last year when the Titans squeezed into September football with 27 points, 28 has been the magic number for teams to qualify for the top eight, leaving the Warriors the task of winning at least five of their last nine games to play finals for the first time since 2011 when Foran’s Sea Eagles defeated them in the grand final.Only four of those nine matches are against teams currently in the top eight but sneaking into the top eight with the strength of their roster is not enough according to Foran.In 10 games this season the Warriors have run out with the New Zealand spine from the mid-year Test and been victorious five times and Foran knows they can’t let the opportunity available to them slip through their fingers.”It doesn’t guarantee that you’re going to be successful just because you’ve got a great roster but it certainly helps having the quality of players that we do have,” Foran admitted.”It’s just about as a team putting in those 80-minute performances.”It’s been a little bit frustrating, not being able to find that consistency week in, week out because we know we’re a better football team than what we’ve showed.”If we get it right and we do put together an 80-minute performance we can win games of footy.”We believe that we can achieve something this year and we’re going to leave no stone unturned to try and do that.”We’ve got to keep winning. If we want to make something of this year we’ve got to keep getting the two points. It’s not going to get any easier but the belief is strong.”As a club we want to make sure we can give this thing a really good crack this year.”Obviously that’s something for me personally that would be great to have a successful year but I just think as a team and the big picture, we really want to try and do something this year.”Whilst Warriors teams of the past have been guilty of allowing mistakes to overshadow talent, the 2017 squad under Stephen Kearney boast the best completion rate (78.95 per cent) in the competition through 16 rounds.Yet Friday’s win over the Bulldogs was just the second time this year they have won back-to-back games, Foran admitting their failings have been difficult to pinpoint.”It’s not that we make errors and put ourselves under pressure because our completion rates have been superb all year,” said Foran.”Normally when you’re putting yourself under pressure and you’re letting tries in it’s because you’re making errors and not completing but we’ve been doing that.”That’s been the hard thing for us, pinpointing what causes those lapses. I think at times we just switch off and don’t keep our minds on the job and we leak one try and another try follows and before you know it you’ve let in two or three tries just because one or two of us have switched off.”That’s the key for us moving forward, being stronger in those tough moments but for the full 80 minutes.” Photo by: Dave Lintott/ NRL Photos (Kieran Foran is determined to give back to the Warriors in his only season at the club).last_img

Genia guides Rebels to huge win

first_imgGenia’s masterclass was a cruel reminder for Reds fans that the star halfback no longer plies his trade at Ballymore but Queensland have far bigger concerns on their plate, with a suspension hanging over new skipper Scott Higginbotham’s head.Higginbotham was shown a red card for a high shoulder charge on Matt Philip in the 10th minute, putting his side on the back foot from the outset.By the letter of the law the decision to send Higginbotham for a particularly early shower may have been the right one as his shoulder did make direct contact with Philip’s head but Higginbotham argued his case that the Rebels lock was falling, with the no. 8 unable to wrap his arms around in the tackle.A suspension would have followed regardless of the colour of the card, but that it was a red ultimately proved game-defining.The Reds hung tough in the  20 minutes that followed and actually crossed for a serendipitous first try through Duncan Paia’aua but it was largely downhill from there.The Rebels, in contrast, took 10 minutes to shake the early nerves but under the guidance of Genia, looked a far more settled side than what was expected, given seven of their starting XV weren’t in Melbourne this time last year.Sefa Naivalu nabbed a first-half double – he collected a suspect Lopeti Timani pass adjudged to be flat before Jack Maddocks threw a crisp cutout to set up the flying Fijian’s second – but it was the playmaking hand of Genia that will have put smiles on Rebels fans’ faces.It was his initiative that created two tries inside six minutes before the half-time siren sounded, sending Tom English over after the forward pack won a penalty against a six-man Reds scrum feed before drawing two men and putting Dane Haylett-Petty over for his first of the night.That sent Melbourne into the sheds up 26-14 and things were well and truly one-way traffic from there.Brad Thorn has preached defence all preseason but there was none of it to be seen when Jack Debreczeni glided over from short range just two minutes into the second term, leaving the Reds staring at a 19-point deficit.The lacklustre defence was followed by a lazy pass from Paia’aua to gift Haylett-Petty a double, the Rebels fullback plucking a flashy no-look pass and racing away to score untouched from 70 out.The 56th minute arrived and Genia’s number was called but not before he set up Debreczeni’s second, Eto Nabuli offering a lazy tackle attempt as the flyhalf trotted over.Feauai-Sautia scored a deserved consolation try with 15 to play but it was too little, too late.The Rebels were mighty impressive in a performance that broke plenty of records, with their highest score ever and the first game in which they have scored more than six tries.Genia and Debreczeni looked as though they had been playing together for years, the forward pack dominated the battle of the gain line and the lineout wreaked havoc with Queensland’s ball.That creates a solid foundation to work with from this point forward but the caveat to all of that is that they only faced 14 men for the majority of the match, making this performance a fair bit harder to gauge.The Reds have an obvious excuse in being a player short for almost 70 minutes but there were some soft tries leaked in the second half and Thorn will have that in his sights come Monday.last_img

Fiji soccer coach: We’re here to take gold

first_imgIn their last two appearances at the Pacific Games in 2007 and 2011, Fiji took out bronze.But coach Charlene Lockington says with the amount of talent and skill her team has, gold is what they will win at the Games.”We had good build up matches playing in Australia, we’re confident but we know not to underestimate any team and that includes PNG.”PNG are a good side but we have beaten them before and we can do it again,’’ said Lockington.last_img

Athletic against their drought

first_imgThe ‘Pichichi’ CupsAfter the conquest of the Copa del Rey in 1910, The time came for Rafael Moreno Aranzadi, better known as ‘Pichichi’. Before playing for the Biscayan club, he played a Cup match in 2011 against them with Bilbao, scoring the only goal of his team. In the 89 games he played with Athletic between 1911 and 1921, the Spanish striker scored 83 goals, becoming the best scorer of the time.AITOR MARTIN & nbsp; (DAILY AS) ‘); return false; “class =” item-multimedia “>Brazil made offerings to the bust of Pichichi.AITOR MARTIN (DAILY AS) Iriondo joined in 1944, where they beat Valencia 2-0, with goals from Escudero and, again, Zarra. The following year, they got the consecutive triplet, the fourth of their history, after defeating Valencia 3-2 in the final, with goals from Zarra and Iriondo. The latter scored two goals, the last one in the discount to give Athletic his seventeenth wound. In 1950, with the complete lead, the Biscaynes achieved a convincing 4-1 in the final against Valladolid. Zarra was raised in this match with four goals, three of them in extra time.Latest titlesWith the third historical front, formed by Arteche, Marcaida, Arieta, Uribe and Gaínza, three other Cup championships arrived between 1955 and 1958, with the only blur of the one played in 1957, where they fell in the first round against Espanyol. Sevilla, Atlético de Madrid and Real Madrid were the rivals they faced in those finals. From there, Bilbao’s idyll with the Cup was declining.In 1969, after 11 years without winning it and after losing two consecutive finals between 1966 and 1967, the Basques again tasted the glory. They did it after winning the minimum to Elche, with a lonely goal from Arieta. He would dial again four years later, when Athletic won Castellón 2-0 in the final, where Zubiaga would also score. The last title would be the 1984 Cup. The second most successful team in the history of the Copa del Rey will be in the final of La Cartuja on April 18. Athletic eliminated Granada thanks to the double value of goals away from home. Five years after Barcelona ended his dream, the Bilbao people will fight for the title again. And they will do it in a game with even more morbidity than a final means, since they will face Real Sociedad, your maximum rival.Garitano’s have played the final of the National Cup up to three times so far this century, but in all of them he was defeated. And in all of them the executioner was the same: FC Barcelona. Iago Herrerín, San José, Beñat, Aduriz, Balenciaga, Williams and Ibai are the survivors of the last final.Now, the situation will be different. They will not have to face the team that has done more times with the title of this competition, which they had in San Mamés in the quarterfinals. But they will have to face a derby that promises strong emotions.Miguel Toña & nbsp; (DIARIO AS) ‘); return false; “class =” item-multimedia “>La Gabarra del Athletic, ready to go out again.Miguel Toña (DIARIO AS) 36 years without CupDespite showing 24 championships, Athletic have not won a Cup final since May 5, 1984, when they won FC Barcelona de Maradona 1-0. A lonely goal of Endika in the 14th minute, at the exit of a cornerHe gave the rojiblancos his last league title in a game in which there was more tension than football.In that season, an Athletic commanded by some of the most mythical players of the Biscay club, like Zubizarreta, Goikoetxea, Patxi Salinas or Captain Dani, would achieve the domestic double. In addition to the Cup, he also won the league by defeating Real Sociedad on the last day, who will be his rival in the final of La Cartuja. It was the second and last time that Athletic took out the barge, that mythical vessel with which they celebrated the titles of 1983 and 1984.First Cup ChampionIn the spring of 1902, Athletic Club and Bilbao Football Club, a team that had been born two years before, they formed a combined team under the name of Bizcaya to play the Coronation Cup, a national tournament created to celebrate the coming of age of King Alfonso XIII. This title, considered precursor of the current Copa del Rey, Bizcaya raised it, after imposing 2-1 on F.C. Barcelona with goals from Astorquia and Cazeaux, for the Basques, and Parsons, for the Catalans.LLUIS GENE & nbsp; (DAILY AS) ‘); return false; “class =” item-multimedia “>Valverde and Aduriz lament after losing the Copa del Rey final.LLUIS GENE (DAILY AS)center_img It was not until 1913 when he could play an official match with Athletic. From that season, Bilbao won three Cups of the King consecutively. In one of them, the one that won RCD Espanyol 5-0, ‘Pichichi’ scored three goals. Among his honors are being the first scorer in the history of San Mamés and being the first Athletic player to collect a salary for playing football. In the season of his retirement, in 1921, he would conquer his fourth Copa del Rey, the ninth in the showcases of lions.Four twisted in a rowBetween 1930 and 1936 Athletic won four League titles, in addition to many other Cup. The latter achieved them consecutively between 1930 and 1933. They were the years of the first historical front of the lions, formed by Lafuente, Iraragorri, Bata, Chirri and Gorostiza. This was one of the best times in the history of Bilbao, but it was cut by the Civil War.His rivals in those four Cup finals were Real Betis, prevailing 3-1 in 1931; F.C. Barcelona, which they defeated 2-1 in 1932; and Real Madrid, that was its rival by double game in 1930 and 1933, in both cases becoming the Basques with the victory. The Real Madrid players would take revenge in 1934, appealing to the Bilbao people in the semifinals.Another triplet with ZarraBetween 1943 and 1945, the lions continued to include trophies in their showcases, reaching 17 championships. It was the stage of the second historical forward, with Telmo Zarra as spearhead, accompanied by Iriondo, Venancio, Panizo and Gaínza. But not all of them participated in these titles. In 1943, only Zarra, Panizo and Gaínza played the final against Real Madrid, where they won 1-0 with a goal in the extension of the first.DAILY AS & nbsp; (DAILY AS) ‘); return false; “class =” item-multimedia “>Zarra heads up in an Athletic match.DAILY AS (DAILY AS) The following year the Copa del Rey was created. In its first edition only three teams participated: Athletic Club, Spanish in Madrid and Madrid F.C. After beating both the Spanish, Athletic and Madrid faced in what is considered the final, where the Basques traced a 2-0 in the second half to establish the final 2-3. This comeback inspired a group of young people from Madrid to create a subsidiary of Athletic in Madrid. Years later, would unlink from Athletic to end up being what is now Atlético de Madrid.In 1904, and after a mismatch in the organization that ended up being impossible to resolve, the Federation he gave the Athletic champion without having to play the final. The Bilbao presented the day and time that was set for the final. The Spanish did not do so, aware that the delays of previous rounds prevented the end, since that same weekend they played a game against Moncloa, which never ended. As the Basques were not notified of such delays, champions proclaimed themselves, and the Federation ended up proving them right.last_img

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