Men’s Basketball Player of the Week – Bryson Robinson – So. – Guard – Mesquite, Texas Robinson averaged 21.5 points this past week for a Privateers squad that improved their Southland record to a league-best 4-0 start. UNO claimed wins against Lamar (10-7, 2-2 SLC) on Wednesday and McNeese (5-9, 2-2) on Saturday. The defending Southland champion will put its undefeated record to the test at Stephen F. Austin (13-3, 2-1) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. CT. A win would make just the fourth time in program history that UNO begins conference play 5-0 and the first time since 1992-93. This is Robinson’s first career weekly award, and the Privateers’ first of the season. His Mesquite High School teammate, Lamar’s Josh Nzeakor, won the honor last week. Week 10 Notes (PDF)FRISCO, Texas – New Orleans’ Bryson Robinson is the Southland Conference Player of the Week, the league announced Monday. Southland Conference Players of the Week are presented by UniversalCoin.com. A career high 31-point outing on 10-of-13 shooting in Saturday’s 82-75 overtime win at McNeese highlighted sophomore guard Bryson Robinson’s week. The product of Mesquite, Texas, went 7-of-8 from three-point range and knocked down clutch free throws in the overtime period to keep the Privateers unbeaten in Southland play. This came after Robinson began the week with 12 points, eight assists, five rebounds and two steals in the 72-62 victory over Lamar. Honorable Mention: Roddy Peters, Nicholls; TJ Holyfield, Stephen F. Austin; Marcus Harris, Sam Houston State; Colton Weisbrod, Lamar; Sean Rhea, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Southland weekly award winners are nominated and voted upon by each school’s sports information director. Voting for one’s own athlete is not permitted. To earn honorable mention, a student-athlete must appear on at least 25 percent of ballots.
DALLAS, Texas — Vanderbilt and McKendree, the nation’s two highest-ranked teams, didn’t let being their relatively modest seeds get in the way of putting on a show in the title game of the Fightin’ Ladyjack Classic on Sunday afternoon.The second-ranked Commodores defeated the top-ranked Bearcats for the second time in this tournament, this one for the tournament championship. The final score was 4-2 in the best-of-seven Baker format.The two powerful programs entered the bracket play as the third and fourth seeds but turned on their firepower in the semifinals and kept the strikes raining throughout their tense match. Vandy had beaten fellow Southland Bowling League member Sam Houston State, 4-3, in one semifinal while McKendree had downed Nebraska by a similar margin.Our team came together at just the right time to capture the 2019 SFA Stormin’ Ladyjack Classic title. Proud of how they dug deep to make some big shots. Special shoutout to sophomore Sam Gainor on the all-tournament team nod! #anchordown #DOmorebemoRE— Vanderbilt Bowling (@VandyBowling) February 17, 2019In a classic match where mistakes were few and therefore magnified, the Commodores started fast, winning the first game 212-201. It may have been in Game 2 where a message was sent; McKendree was holding a small lead when Vanderbilt put together five strikes in succession – starting with Samantha Gainor in the four-hole and followed by Maria Bulanova, Emily Rigney, Jordan Newham and Adel Wahner. That blitz was enough, with help from a 10th frame spare and strike by Bulanova, to snatch a high-end 236-224 win and take a 2-0 lead. However, the talented Bearcats remembered turnabout was fair play and despite Vandy putting six strikes in a row in Game 3, it wasn’t enough as McKendree prevailed 245-235. A score of 235 does not often lose many games.McKendree evened things up in the fourth, setting the stage for Vanderbilt to come storming back in Game 5. Vandy had six strikes in the first seven frames and ended with bullseyes to win, 233-185. The Commodores were beneficiaries of two rare McKendree opens late in Game 6 to win 195-180 and take home their third team championship of the 2018-19 season. They had previously won the Hawk Classic and the Mid-Winter Classic.Vanderbilt head coach John Williamson said he was pleased with the victory but was quickly focused on the details he thinks need improvement in the upcoming weeks.”We need to figure out how to get off to faster starts,” Williamson said referring to the day’s opening traditional game loss to Nebraska in which Vandy could tally just 921 pins. “Errors and splits are part of the game but we need to minimize them. We had a few too many missed-makeable spares, lower first-ball counts and two 10th frame opens – things we must clean up. We need to quit giving opponents additional life when we have the chance to finish them off.” Congrats to @VandyBowling on the big victory at USA Bowl in @CityOfDallas. We’ll be back at the same venue March 22-24 for the #SBL Championship. https://t.co/HM6MQpHi0p ?? https://t.co/wDtUW3dkGM— Southland Bowling (@SouthlandBowl) February 17, 2019Gainor was named to her second career all-tournament team based on her fifth place individual finish. The steady Michigan sophomore averaged 205.17 to trail the winner, Stephen F. Austin’s Carlene Beyer, who averaged 214.83. Bulanova was seventh, Wahner 11th in a balanced and steady Vanderbilt lineup.Rigney was excellent in her lead-off role and Newham provided a big boost in the 2-spot. Rigney struck eight times against McKendree and Newham contributed seven strikes behind her, results not lost on Williamson.”When you start Baker games on the right foot it bodes well,” he said. “I thought they gave us a big spark.”Vanderbilt ended the tournament with a 9-4 win-loss record, equaling the best any team could muster in the 12-team field in which everyone was ranked in the Top 25. Two weeks ago, in Prairie View’s similar format with 11 other talented squads, Vandy had finished second after leading that event wire-to-wire.The Sam Houston semifinal was highly competitive and demonstrated one reason why this year’s Vanderbilt team is perhaps more dangerous than prior Commodore units. This year’s Dores can string strikes – lots of them – and therefore never seem out of any game. On Sunday, with the title match score knotted at 3-3, Vanderbilt struck from the fourth frame through the eighth and ended with Bulanova striking out for an explosive 236-206 win.The championship also snapped a mild Vanderbilt slump at this tournament; in three previous tries the best the Commodores had finished was fifth.
“Well, I wish I wasn’t talking about it because I would have chosen to be coaching but walking across that stage is just the exclamation mark on something I thought I would never do,” remarked Hooks. “I wanted to miss graduation! My mind was locked in on softball and getting this team ready to make a run. This week wasn’t about me and what I accomplished, it was about our team and what we wanted to accomplish.” Lamar University’s head softball coach Amy Hooks accomplished that feat this season. Hired on in June to lead the Cardinals, Hooks was one year away from completing her master’s degree from Northwestern State University. In her first year as the Cardinals head coach, Hooks led LU back to the Southland Conference Tournament for the first time since 2017. The SLC Tournament was set for May 7-10 at, you guessed it, Northwestern State. “It was a special feeling. I spent countless hours on that field coaching, field prepping, winning, losing, and that community is like family,” stated Hooks. “Taking a job in the same conference, I knew I would be back and have to coach against them.” The Cardinals went into the SLC Tournament as the seventh seed in the SLC Tournament and opened SLC play against the sixth seed Northwestern State, the school Coach Hooks came from and was an assistant at for six seasons prior to coming to Lamar. “It was awesome! Getting the opportunity to at least coach this group for one more game was special,” remarked Hooks. “They worked extremely hard to earn a trip to the postseason and I was proud to be their coach.” Playing in the second game of the SLC Tournament, a single-elimination game, the Cardinals came up short as they were defeated by Northwestern State, 4-0, ending the Cardinals season. LU finished the season with a 23-34 record. Graduation for Hooks was set for Friday, May 10. The SLC Tournament Championship was set for Friday, May 10. If Hooks guided the Cardinals to the Championship game, she would have to make a choice, to walk for graduation or coach the Cardinals. “It was not easy by any means. I moved to a new city and I had to learn a new team, university and administration all on top of grad school which I was starting my internship portion,” remarked head coach Amy Hooks. “Our SWA Helene (Thill) was kind enough to be my mentor and allow me to do my internship with her. I wanted to make sure I gave everything I had to learn my team and getting them ready. So, there were a lot of late nights doing school work and early mornings preparing for softball.” Story by Travis Rae, Lamar Assistant Director of Media RelationsBEAUMONT, Texas – Being a first-time head coach is tough. Being a first-year head coach, completing your master’s degree and leading your team to the conference tournament, is even harder.
FRISCO, Texas – Central Arkansas’ Breylin Smith and McNeese’s Darion Dunn and D’Andre Hicks are the Southland Football Players of the Week, the league announced Monday.Smith claimed his second consecutive Offensive Player of the Week honor after leading the Bears (7-2, 5-1 SLC) to an impressive 45-17 road victory over Lamar. The sophomore tipped the efficiency charts, converting 30-of-37 pass attempts for four touchdowns and 434 yards. He also added in a trio of carries and a rushing touchdown in the UCA victory to keep the Bears in first place among Southland standings. Smith and the Central Arkansas squad will look to push their win streak to five games at home this Saturday at 3 p.m. CT against Southeastern Louisiana.Dunn nabbed his first Defensive Player of the Week award this season after boosting the Cowboys (6-4, 4-3 SLC) to a 30-20 win at home over Northwestern State. The junior locked down the McNeese defense with four tackles, two pass breakups and a pair of interceptions. Dunn’s impressive play came in the Cowboys’ home finale and marks their third consecutive victory.Hicks registered his first Special Teams honor after returning a pair of kicks for the Cowboys for 122 yards and one touchdown Saturday against NSU. The sophomore’s score came on a 96-yard kickoff return, pulling McNeese within one point (7-6) just 13 seconds after the Demons first touchdown. Hicks and the Cowboys will return to action this Saturday on the road against Nicholls in a 3 p.m. kickoff.Offensive Player of the Week: Breylin Smith, Central Arkansas – R-So. – Quarterback – Conway, Ark.Smith was nearly flawless, completing 30 of 37 passes (81%) for a career-high 434 yards and 4 touchdowns in three quarters of action. The sophomore completed five passes of 25+ yards to 10 different receivers, while also adding in a rushing touchdown. Smith led the No. 9/10 Bears to a season-high 505 yards of total offense, averaging 7.4 yards per play.Honorable Mention: Julien Gums, Nicholls; Cody Orgeron, McNeese; Devonte Williams, Southeastern La.Defensive Player of the Week: Darion Dunn, McNeese – Jr. – Cornerback – Oakdale, La.Dunn completed a pair of interceptions in McNeese’s 30-20 win over Northwestern State this past Saturday. His two picks led to 10-total points for the Cowboys. Dunn’s first interception sparked a seven-play drive for McNeese that resulted in a field goal to close the NSU lead to 10-9. His final interception of the game came late in the third quarter on the Cowboys’ 46-yard line, igniting a 21-point McNeese run. The junior cornerback now has a pair of two-interception games this season.Honorable Mention: Sully Laiche, Nicholls; Ferlando Jordan, Southeastern La.; Cameron Godfrey; Central Arkansas Special Teams Player of the Week: D’Andre Hicks, McNeese – So. – Kick Returner – Punta Gorda, Fla.Hicks produced McNeese’s first score of the game on a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, marking his first of the season and his first since the Cowboys’ 2018 season finale against Lamar. Hick’s return stands as the fourth-longest in school history. He concluded the contest with a pair of returns for 122 yards and a 61-yard return average for the evening.Honorable Mention: Hayden Ray, Central Arkansas; Austin Dunlap, Southeastern La.; Enrique Carmona, LamarSouthland weekly award winners are nominated and voted upon by each school’s sports information director. Voting for one’s own athlete is not permitted. To earn honorable mention, a student-athlete must appear on 25 percent of ballots.
Week Eight Stats (Men) | Week Eight Stats (Women)FRISCO, Texas – Abilene Christian’s Jonathan Sheehy and Central Arkansas’ Fuka Nonoyama are the Southland Conference Men’s and Women’s Tennis Players of the Week, respectively, the league announced Tuesday. Southland weekly award winners are nominated and voted upon by each school’s sports information director. Voting for one’s own athlete is not permitted. To earn honorable mention, a student-athlete must appear on at least 25 percent of ballots. Honorable Mention: Jasmin Buchta, Lamar; Constandena Nicolaou, Sam Houston State; Patrycja Polanska, Northwestern State; Mariya Shumeika, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Bears (10-5, 4-0 SLC) look to stay perfect when they wrap up a three-match homestand against Northwestern State at 11 a.m. Saturday. Nonoyama won all four of her singles and doubles matches, playing a key role in helping the Bears reach their best start to Southland play in program history (4-0). She owns a team-high 10 wins in singles play and, alongside Chunxi Xin, has won 11-straight matches at No. 1 doubles. UCA edged New Orleans 4-3 on Friday and blanked Nicholls 7-0 on Sunday. Honorable Mention: None. Sheehy was one of two Wildcats to come out of singles play unscathed last week, winning both of his top-line matches as ACU split their contests with a 5-2 loss to Valparaiso and a 5-1 win over Prairie View A&M on Saturday. He and doubles partner Jackson Fine went 1-1 on the week. Women’s Tennis Player of the Week – Fuka Nonoyama, Central Arkansas – Sophomore – Myoshi, JapanNonoyama didn’t drop a single set in either of her four victories over the weekend and, after surrendering four games in the first set against UNO’s Salma Abdelrahim, didn’t allow more than two points in a set the rest of the way. Nonoyama topped Abdelrahim 6-4, 6-1, and defeated Nicholls’ Simona Maksimovic 6-2, 6-0 on Sunday. The Wildcats (8-6) prepare for four matches this week, beginning with a road match at UMKC at 2 p.m. CT Thursday. ACU plays a Saturday doubleheader against Northwestern Missouri State and Wichita State before wrapping up the weekend against Oklahoma State at 1 p.m. Sunday in Stillwater, Okla. Men’s Tennis Player of the Week – Jonathan Sheehy, Abilene Christian – Senior – Arlington, TexasThough Sheehy and Fine dropped their doubles match against Valparaiso, Sheehy won his singles contest in straight sets, edging Brandon Ancona 7-5 in the first frame before putting him away 6-4 in the final set. Sheehy and Fine redeemed themselves with a 6-3 win over their Prairie View A&M counterparts, and Sheehy cruised to a second singles victory, defeating the Panthers’ Xavier Lawrence 6-4, 6-0. He leads the team with nine singles wins this season. In doubles action, Nonoyama and Xin triumphed over their Privateer foes 6-2 and shutout their Colonels’ counterparts 6-0 to claim their Southland-leading 12th doubles victory.
3 A Candid Conversation With Hall of Fame Trainer Richard Mandella: Part 1 of 2Quick Questions With Clocker Gary YoungWORKOUTS:Nolde (Shirreffs) 1-19-20Campaign (Outside) (Sadler) and Charmingslew (French) 1-19-20United (Mandella) 1-19-20Storm the Court (Outside) and Ekklesia (Eurton) 1-19-20 0 50% 28% 40% 1st Win% 2 $642,620 $57,762 $292,231 0 19% 2 15% 1 $210,561 19% $48,140 16 12 3 14% 4 1 $228,391 Jeff Bonde9 $551,122 13% 63% 34% $771,440 Marcelo Polanco2 $625,682 $135,060 2 1 George Papaprodromou17 David Hofmans8 4 Edwin Maldonado19 8% Robert B. Hess, Jr.14 6 49% $101,715 2 Ruben Fuentes29 Mark Glatt23 8 2 Anna Meah6 39% 0 33% 5 2 1st 4 0 0 6 15 50% Win% 4 $333,177 Mike Puype16 5 3 6 Drayden Van Dyke47 42% J.C. Diaz, Jr.33 4 14% 4 $194,351 10 2 2 0 Geovanni Franco28 11 $625,114 25% 31% 47% TrainerSts Dean Pederson4 3 56% 3rd 29% $364,008 5 2 Mike Smith23 3 8 43% $85,175 25% 1 8 Philip D’Amato35 14% 0 $145,232 33% 4 5 40% 6 29% $118,660 Assael Espinoza16 2 2 75% 14% 3 9% $245,091 100% 4 6 43% $178,342 Money Won 1 4 $649,509 $253,710 2 50% Michael McCarthy14 Peter Miller29 5 $84,933 22% Bob Baffert29 6 44% 31% 17% 5 10 19% 21% 72% Richard Mandella16 17% 1 Brice Blanc21 $306,679 Craig Anthony Lewis16 5 Brian Koriner18 63% 1 $61,080 50% Abel Cedillo88 3 4 Tiago Pereira37 31% $1,006,032 4 14% 2 37% 9% 43% 7% 25% 50% Agapito Delgadillo28 2 3 4 Doug O’Neill42 1 6 $782,382 10 33% 39% 2 $427,356 Andrew Lerner12 8 Steve Knapp15 56% 4 Jorge Velez52 BAFFERT MULLS PALOS VERDES FOR SPEED PASSHONOR A.P. HAS ‘GOOD’ WORKOUT FOR SHIRREFFSSTORM THE COURT SET TO RETURN IN SAN VICENTEASHLEYLUVSSUGAR IS LIKELY TO CONTINUE RACINGUNBEATEN SPEED PASS PROBABLE FOR PALOS VERDESSpeed Pass, one of three Bob Baffert nominees of the 10 overall in Saturday’s Grade II Palos Verdes Stakes, is the likeliest of the trio to enter.An impressive winner of his only two races, both at Los Alamitos, the four-year-old gelded son of Bodemeister unleashed an inside rally to defeat five rivals by nearly two lengths in his debut race last Sept. 20, then returned Dec. 7 to draw off by seven against six foes, each time under apprentice J.C. Diaz Jr. and each time at six furlongs.“This is a step up, but he’s a nice horse,” Baffert said. “If he runs well here, I might take him to the Middle East.”The $2.8 million Golden Shaheen at six furlongs will be run in Dubai on March 28.HONOR A.P., HARD NOT TO LOVE WORK FOR SHIRREFFSImpressive maiden winner Honor A.P. had his first work this morning since missing the Jan. 4 Sham Stakes with a minor injury to his right front foot, going three furlongs in 39.20 for John Shirreffs.“It was a very good work and he galloped out strong,” the trainer said of the Triple Crown hopeful, who had former jockey Carlos Lopez in the saddle. As to a race he might be considering, Shirreffs said, “We’ll wait and see.”Shirreffs also sent Grade I American Oaks winner Hard Not to Love five furlongs in 1:01 with Mike Smith aboard. The one-eyed filly is slated to make her next start in the Grade II Santa Monica Stakes at seven furlongs on Feb. 15.Midcourt, third in the San Antonio Stakes on Dec. 28, is ticketed for the Grade II San Pasqual Stakes on Feb. 1, Shirreffs said.Also likely for the steppingstone to the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap on March 7 are Roadster (Joel Rosario) for Bob Baffert and Restrainedvengence (Abel Cedillo) for trainer Val Brinkerhoff. Roadster worked five furlongs this morning in 1:01.40.EURTON EYES ECLIPSE AWARD FOR STORM THE COURTBreeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Storm the Court, a finalist for an Eclipse Award as outstanding two-year-old male of 2019, worked five furlongs Sunday in 1:00.30 under regular rider Flavien Prat as he prepares for his three-year-old debut in the Grade II San Vicente Stakes at seven furlongs on Feb. 9.“A couple more works will tighten the screws up a little bit,” trainer Peter Eurton said this morning. “I’ve got pictures of Flavien pulling up with a smile on his face. He’s very pleased and that makes me happy.”Eurton heads to Florida Wednesday morning to attend the 49th annual Eclipse Awards Dinner at Gulfstream Park in anticipation of Storm the Court being honored.SIMULCAST WAGERING NOW OFFERED IN SANTA ANITA SPORTS BOOKIn addition to the Grandstand Paddock Room, Santa Anita is now offering free parking and admission on Wednesdays and Thursdays for fans attending its Sports Book, which adjoins the Turf Terrace on the Mezzanine level. State of the art in every respect, the Santa Anita Sports Book features wall-to-wall flat screen television monitors and plenty of betting windows. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com. FINISH LINES: Trainer Peter Eurton said nine-year-old Ashleyluvssugar came out well from his fourth-place finish in the Unusual Heat Turf Classic and “there’s a good possibility he’ll run again.” . . . Venetian Harbor, a daughter of Munnings who broke her maiden by 10 ¾ lengths on Dec. 29, is being considered for the Grade II Las Virgenes Stakes at one mile on Feb. 8, trainer Richard Baltas said . . . Brian Koriner won three races Sunday, including the Grade III Astra Stakes with Ms Peintour, deftly ridden by Brice Blanc, but it’s old hat for the 53-year-old trainer. “I’ve won three up north and three at Del Mar, but I’ve never won four in one day,” Koriner said. Something to aim for . . . Santa Anita’s crack stats man Jason Hom has favorites winning at 38.89 percent through 12 days of the Winter Meet (42 of 108), increasing to 42.11 on dirt (24 of 57) and dipping to 35.29 on turf (18 of 51). Odds-on favorites are winning at 43.48 percent (10 of 23), while favorites are finishing in the money 77.78 percent of the time (84 of 108) . . . TGIF: Santa Anita offers $2 beer and $6 specialty cocktails each Friday at designated locations throughout the track. Specialty cocktails include a Baldwin Buck, Margarita and other selected cocktails. There is also free Club House (including Santa Anita’s Sports Book) and General Admission each Friday . . . Santa Anita will be dark for live racing Tuesday, Jan. 21, through Thursday, Jan. 23. Live action resumes at 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24. There will be simulcast wagering Wednesday and Thursday starting at 10 a.m. in the Grandstand Paddock Room and the Sports Book on the Mezzanine level, with free General Admission and parking.LATEST CONTENT FROM XBTV:FEATURES: XBTV Monday: What to Watch for at Santa Anita Park on January 20th, 2020A Candid Conversation With Hall of Fame Trainer Richard Mandella: Part 2 of 2 40% 2 ITM% 3 100% 8 Giftbox (Sadler) 1-19-20Itsinthepost (Mullins) 1-18-20Higher Power (Outside) and Best Chance (Sadler) 1-19-20 5 $88,671 (Current Through Sunday, Jan. 19) 50% $86,920 1 2nd Mario Gutierrez35 0 21% 15 $148,631 2 25% 3 $171,022 Umberto Rispoli34 $391,065 $125,981 13% JockeyMts 3 Money Won 1 36% 6 1 20% $211,180 18% 34% 2 31% 35% 15% John Sadler24 0 60% 2 2 14 12% 42% 3rd 1 Shelbe Ruis4 16% $324,127 10 2 5 $351,282 1 1 3 8 2 4 3 2 4 2 Richard Baltas42 33% J. Eric Kruljac12 3 2 0 2nd 1 52% SANTA ANITA STATISTICS 4 Joel Rosario61 7 22% 62% 5 $51,900 ITM% Flavien Prat55 10% 1 1 50% $56,771
MANCHESTER UNITED could abandon their chase for Tottenham star Harry Kane in order to spend the money on an entire squad overhaul.And the prospect of having to deal with Spurs supremo Daniel Levy is also putting off United bigwigs from making a move.3 While Harry Kane interests Manchester United, a transfer could prove problematicCredit: The Mega AgencyKane is one of the hottest properties in world football and could cost as much as £150million to prise away from Tottenham.That would eclipse the British transfer record fee of £89m United paid Juventus to bring back Paul Pogba in 2016.His £200,000-a-week contract runs until the end of the 2023/24 season.And while United DO have the funds to buy the 26-year-old, The Athletic reports that “the money could be better spent elsewhere and more widely distributed, given the rebuild ongoing”.Kane would undoubtedly improve what manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has in the attacking third.Marcus Rashford is still on his learning curve, Anthony Martial is inconsistent and Odion Ighalo is seemingly a short-term fix.MAN UTD NEWS LIVE: Follow for the latest United newsKane, who has been urged to stay at Spurs by football legend John Barnes, would bring instant goals. In 278 Tottenham games he has scored 181 goals, with 32 in 45 for England.But the prospect of negotiating with Levy to bring the Three Lions captain to Old Trafford is another stumbling block.The Athletic adds that United’s previous dealings with Levy over Dimitar Berbatov’s 2008 transfer “were enough for Ed Woodward and Matt Judge to pass on the opportunity to sign Christian Eriksen from them in January”.The United hierarchy viewed it as a “thankless task” to try and get Levy to sanction Eriksen moving to Old Trafford.Most Read In FootballTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battleTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’ExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidNEXT STEPJonny Hayes set to move to English Championship having been let go by Celtic3The Danish midfielder, who was out of contract at the end of the season, ended up moving to Inter Milan for £16.9m.That means a move for Kane looks unlikely, with a source telling the Athletic that “United will be waiting for Kane to make noise or for whoever has bandied him about to put a bit more fuel on it”.But the striker is as professional as he is prolific, and any move from the player himself to rock the Spurs boat would raise eyebrows.3 Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has proved to be an astutue negotiatorCredit: PA:Press AssociationMost valuable players in world revealed with Lionel Messi down in EIGHTH as Kylian Mbappe leads list at £189m
Photo: GETTY IMAGES Caption: Former All Black Dan Carter. The two-time World Cup winning first five-eighth, who moved to France to play for Racing 92 at the end of 2015, told the the Devlin Radio Show thinking about the February incident made him “feel sick”. “I felt like I let a lot of people down and still feel pretty sick about it,” he said.”It’s not about the punishment that the judge gives you or the fine or anything like that, it’s actually the potential consequences that really hit home for you. It actually made me feel sick and it makes me feel sick now, thinking and talking about it.” Police, who said Carter was also speeding and not carrying his driver’s licence, stopped him in Paris near the Champs-Elysees.He had excessive blood-alcohol, endured public humiliation and lost a lucrative sponsorship with a car company after the incident.”As much as I’d like to say I’ve moved on from it, it’s something I’ll have to live with for the rest of my life. I’m very fortunate that the consequences weren’t a lot worse than they could have potentially been,” he told the Devlin Radio Show. “It’s something I’ll have to live with and something I’ve learned a very big lesson from and something I’m not proud of.”The 35-year-old lost his license for five months and is now back behind the wheel. Carter, who played 112 tests for the All Blacks and 141 games for the Crusaders, is in the final year of a three-season contract with Racing 92, understood to be worth NZ$2 million a year. The Cantabrian also spoke about his future, admitting he was weighing up whether to keep playing overseas or return home to New Zealand with his family. “I’m kind of going through those thoughts at the moment, whether I stay, whether I look at other opportunities. Home, New Zealand, is where the family is and family is a big part of my life,” he told the Devlin Radio Show.”They are decisions that I’m weighing up at the moment. It doesn’t make it easier. I’m not young and single anymore, when all you’re thinking about is where you’re going to be playing next and when your next pay cheque was.”Carter’s last test for the All Blacks was the 2015 World Cup final against Australia in London, a match he played a key part in winning. He had a fine first season with Racing 92, but battled a couple of injuries last year and wasn’t near his best. It’s still early days in the new northern hemisphere season, but Carter said his body feels good for what could be his final season playing in the French Top 14.”Seriously, every week in this French competition you’re coming up against good friends, ex-teammates, ex All Blacks,” he said.”I’m actually up against Victor Vito (La Rochelle) [this weekend], so a great chance to go combat with him for 80 minutes and then catch up with him and see how he’s enjoying his French lifestyle.”
The unstoppable grunt factory led by massive front-row pairing Shannon Boyd (122 kilos) and Junior Paulo (123 kilos) routinely won the battle of the middle of the field that year.Throw Josh Hodgson’s wily dummy half play into the mix and a powerful, athletic backline and Stuart had found an intoxicating recipe for rampaging attacking football that took his side to second on the ladder and a preliminary final with the Storm.They could easily have won it too, if not for a couple of individual errors and 50/50 calls when the game was hanging in the balance in the last 15 minutes.Fast forward 18 months and Canberra’s formula since that game is largely unchanged: they rely on some very big men to get them on the front foot and hope they can beat their opponent into submission.It’s a formula that must start facing fresh questions with a sense of deja vu washing over Raiders fans who became used to losing cliffhangers in 2017 and watched it happen again on Sunday.The game plan was looking slick in the opening 15 minutes when Canberra scored three quick tries on the back of a mountain of possession.But by the end of the contest Stuart’s men were gasping for air after defending for the majority of the second half. The possession swung right around, with the Titans having 59 per cent of the ball over the 80 minutes and the seemingly inevitable dagger blow was delivered by a home side riding a wave of momentum.Any coach will tell you it’s tough to win a game without the ball but regardless the Raiders routinely find themselves within a score of victory in the last 10 minutes. Over the past four years they’ve become the worst team at getting over the line.Including Sunday’s two-point loss to the Titans, the Raiders have lost 24 games by six points or less under Stuart. Over the same period they’ve won just nine by a converted try or less. Throw in one draw over the same period and you get a dismal 26.5 per cent win rate in close matches under the premiership coach.That’s the worst in the competition over that period by a decent margin, with even the Knights boasting a better record in tight ones — a 30 per cent win rate.Of course luck plays a part in the close ones but there comes a time when a statistic like that starts to scream ‘something’s wrong’.And while every other forward pack in the competition is trimming down to combat a game that’s got faster over the last few years, Canberra still have the bulkiest big men in the NRL.The Raiders are the only team with two props tipping the scales at over 120 kilos and are one of the very few who ever field a pack with three men — Paulo, Boyd and the 112 kilo Josh Papalii — weighing more than 110 kilos.It’s difficult if not impossible to find objective evidence that the reason for the Raiders’ tight losses is that they’re too heavy and run out of gas before their opponents but what’s the alternative theory? That they’re mentally weak?Given it’s a very similar roster to the one that marched to within an inch of a grand final in 2016, that’s a tougher theory to stand up but it’s possibly an easier problem to fix.The selection of Stuart’s starting side on Sunday could be interpreted as a concession that the balance of his pack is askew, with the 100 kilo Sia Soliola starting alongside Boyd, while Paulo was relegated to the bench.If it’s true that the NRL has moved on from a brief time of nostalgia when massive packs were king then the Raiders have missed the bus, at least for 2018.They’ve been all-in on the ‘bigger is better’ strategy since Stuart arrived and it’s a roster blueprint that can only be redesigned by going to market and investing in players who offer something different.As fate would have it, Canberra’s three heavyweights are all off contract at the end of this season. That puts the club’s recruitment team in a good spot to change the focus; strip some weight from their scrum and start on the path to a game plan that values mobility over power.Will they take that chance? Only time will tell.In the meantime the Raiders, like every other team, will have their chances to win tight games.Fail to turn around the current trend and any argument against drastic changes will fall by the wayside.
In recent results, PNG’s Winnifred Kehono finished 6th in the women’s 100m finals Division 1. Grace Dindillo also finished 7th in 100m finals of division 18.Over 170 countries are taking part in the World Games with 7000 plus athletes competing in different sports.Special Olympics PNG (SOPNG) President, Takale Tuna said for all of PNG’s athletes to make the finals in their individual events is a phenomenal feat. “They have been placing 4th 5th 6th and 7th in events they entered which means PNG is in the top 10 countries in the World Games,” said Tuna.