Itoje takes nothing for granted

first_imgItoje, 22, secured the No 4 jersey ahead of vastly experienced Alun Wyn Jones for the New Zealand Maori match on Saturday, in a side Warren Gatland has always said would resemble what trots out against for the first tests against the All Blacks at Eden Park, on June 24.But Gatland has always allowed himself wriggle room, saying he’s not showing his full hand, though the side is close to his test line-up.So Itoje is not picturing himself as a test No 4.”In my short career, I’ve learned not to try and read the coach’s mind, cause it’s done me a couple of times,” he said.”I’m just focusing on the weekend, I’m going to put my best foot forward, and play well, and hopefully the team goes well as well, it put us in a good position.”Nor did he see that starting against the Maori in what is promising to be a game that bubbles and bolls like a Rotorua hot pool was all that different to coming off the bench.Again, he based that on his experience.”Last season I played a couple of games off the bench and almost every one I came on within five minutes of the game. That’s taught me that when you’re on the bench prepare as though you’re starting, there’s no difference in preparation,” he said.”It takes a 23 to win a test match, to win a game of rugby, it’s very rarely the starting 15 finish the match entirely so subs always come on.”No man’s an island, and a tree doesn’t make a forest. The focus is always on the team, we’re not here just to get individual honours we’re here to achieve something as a collective. To achieve something as a collective you have to be a team man.”Itoje, the youngest player in the 41-man squad, is a relaxed and smiling character, who cracks jokes in his interviews.So it comes as a surprise when he pinpoints learning to control anxiety as a reason for his growing stature at international level. On tour he’s looked anything but anxious, dancing with joy at turnovers and geeing up the Lions forwards.”When I first started playing senior rugby, I was very anxious, very nervous before games. Now I’m much more controlled, much more calm and relaxed. I have it more balanced in terms of that.”He’s got used to big games, to being around big-game players, he said.”Being in those environments, and playing well at times, and getting the results – sometimes not getting the results – it all helps shape your character.”Itoje will lock with England and Saracens second row team-mate George Kruis.- who is also his room-mate.Who would have thought the British and Irish Lions would one day have a No 4 of Nigerian descent and a No 5 with German roots? Both were born in England, Itoje of Nigerian parents, while Kruis has a German grandfather.Itoje came on in Christchurch to help the Lions pack grind down the Crusaders. No doubt the intention is to grind down the Maori and blunt their flair on SaturdayDo that and the Lions who play on Saturday have a much better chance of being the ones who claim a treasured test jersey a week later.Not that Itoje is looking that far ahead. Photo: Getty Images (Maro Itoje isn’t getting his hopes up of a test jersey after being picked to play NZ Maori).last_img read more

Read More

Credibility another pillar of the Olympic Agenda 2020

first_imgSpeaking at the opening of four day meeting President Bach said that IOC cannot take things for granted anymore following recent events in other sports organisations. “People today demand more transparency and want to see concrete steps and results on how we are living up to our values and our responsibility. We need to demonstrate that we are indeed walking the walk and not just talking the talk. “We know from our own history how long it takes to rebuild credibility and that implementing best practices with regard to good governance and transparency cannot happen overnight.”He said the IOC has already undertaken major efforts 15 years ago to strengthen good governance and transparency. Putting these changes like term limits, age limit and others in place has not been an easy process. “But today we see very clearly just how vital these reforms have been for our organisation. “With Olympic Agenda 2020 we bring the IOC up to even higher standards. Following the advice from independent experts, we introduce a state-of-the-art system of good governance, compliance and transparency, including our strict rules for the candidate city procedures. “In this IOC Session we will publish for the first time an annual report according to the recommendation of Olympic Agenda 2020. With this report everybody interested can see where our revenues are coming from and how we distribute 90 per cent of them for the worldwide development of sport and athletes. “These accounts of global solidarity distribution are audited in application of the benchmark International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) – even if legally we would be compliant when using a much, much lower standard. “We are showing in the same transparent way the indemnity policy for all IOC Members including the President. We will elect here for the first time the members of the Ethics Commission by the IOC Session. We will publish the new IOC Code of Ethics. We have separated the Audit Committee from the Finance Commission. We have appointed a Chief Ethics and Compliance officer. We have a Chief Internal Auditor,” said the IOC President.According to Bach the annual report explains in a very transparent way the governance structure, risk-management, corporate operational excellence program as well as manifold activities to lead the Olympic Movement, to promote Olympism and to strengthen the role of sport in society. “This is what Olympic Agenda 2020 means for all of us.”last_img read more

Read More

Sunam too tough for Uniteds in hockey competition

first_imgSunam started the brighter of the two teams, with their early dominance paying off with a goal just in the first minute.Uniteds could not hold off the Sunams as another goal came straight after the 8th minute. Uniteds were struggling to get out of their own half, and had to fend off constant Sunam attacks.Again, the pressure paid off when the ball was swept in at the back post for a 3-0 lead. The rest of the first half continued in the same fashion, with Sunam predominantly on the front foot, scoring another goal. The Uniteds found a couple of breaks but had no clear-cut chances.The sides went into the break with the score still at 4-0, leaving a mountain for United to climb. Uniteds had the first attack of the second half, resulting in a short corner – their first in the game.However, it came to nothing, and Sunam then had their own short, which was dispatched into the bottom left corner of the goal to go 5-0 up.A few minutes later, it became 6-0, with another finish at the back post after some good skill to get into the D.Uniteds didn’t lie down though, and they had another good spell with another short corner – which was saved and a couple more counter-attacks, but couldn’t count any.It finished off at 7-0, which proved Sunam still tough to maintain second spot on the ladder after BIsmark, leading the women’s division in game 5.last_img read more

Read More

Mirupasi Lawyers win Daffodil Golf Challenge

first_imgThe event, sponsored annually over the last 14 years by Oil Search Limited, attracted a field of 26 teams on Friday including the Mapai Transports Team from Lae.As a charity event aimed at raising funds for the PNG Cancer Foundation to carry out its annual programs throughout the country, a total of K91,720 was raised.The money was raised through team registrations, fines, donations and the auction of a signed Kumul Jersey, donated by Oil Search and a signed PNG SP Hunters training shirt, donated by the SPPNG Hunters.Meanwhile, Oil Search Executive General Manager for Stakeholder Engagement, Gerea Aopi thanked the Port Moresby business community for their continued support over the years and praised Jacob Luke and his Mapai Transports Team, who for every year since the event started have always flown over from Lae to participate.Funds raised from this annual event have enabled the PNG Cancer Foundation to conduct awareness programs and free screening for cancer in various centres in PNG, and will continue to do so.last_img read more

Read More

Braithwaite will wear the number ’19’, which Boateng already wore

first_imgMartin Braithwaite is already a Barcelona player, after paying the club the termination clause. One of the great unknowns of his first day, beyond formalities such as signing the contract or medical examination, is to know what will be the number with which you will face the biggest challenge of your sports career. Well, in social networks the player himself has confirmed that will carry the ’19’ on his back.Curiously, it will be the same number that Kevin-Prince Boateng wore on his short tour of Barcelona. The now Besiktas player arrived to reinforce the Blaugrana forward, in similar conditions to those that have led Braithwaite to wear the Barcelona shirt. Nevertheless, he barely had opportunities and said goodbye to the club with more grief than glory. Boateng played a total of four games and Barcelona did not do well with him on the pitch. In the League, he started the victory by the minimum against the Valladolid, in the zero draw against the Huesca and in defeat against Celta Vigo. There was not a single game as revulsive and it was a usual discard of Ernesto Valverde. In Copa del Rey, he started in the defeat against Sevilla in the quarterfinals. Now, Braithwaite arrives with the intention of winning the position for the injuries of Luis Suárez and Ousmane Dembélé and, for that challenge, he has chosen to wear the dorsal he has left free Carles Aleñá on his way out to Betis. At the moment, it seems that part with more options than he had in his day Boateng Y his scoring figures in the Leganés are remarkable. The Ghana international left without scoring a single goal …Bearers of the ’19’ of Barcelona-1996-98: Pizzi.-1998-99: Kluivert.-1999-2003: Dani García.-2004-05: Fernando Navarro.-2006-08: Messi.-2009-12: Maxwell.-2012-13: Martín Montoya.-2013-14: Afellay.-2015-16: Sandro Ramírez.-2016-18: Lucas Digne.-2018-19: Munir El Haddadi.-2018-19: Boateng.-2019-20: Aleñá.last_img read more

Read More

Atlético begins to intimidate from outside the area

first_imgThe last Sunday João Félix returned to the pitch after overcoming a muscle injury in the thigh (along with a pharyngotonsillitis) and could not do it in the best way. After participate in the goal of Koke that put the 2-1 on the scoreboard with his opening to Trippier, another player returning from injury, the Portuguese made the 3-1 with a left-footed shot from outside the area which slipped between Sergio Asenjo’s legs. Koke recovered the ball almost in the front of the area, in another play of the high pressure that has returned to Atlético in the last two days and João Félix did not think about it to shoot with a light touch on the defender of Villarreal that complicated the auction for the palencia goal. Counting on the rest of competitions, Atlético had previously scored a goal. In the Spanish Super Cup with Correa as the protagonist, by defining in hand to hand before Neto before entering the Blaugrana area. But neither in the eight goals in Champions nor in Correa’s goal in the Cup had the equation been repeated. Comparing with the rest of LaLiga teams, just the Alavés, with a bit, has scored less from outside the area. The table is headed Barcelona (eight goals) and Real Madrid (six), although the team that most focuses its goals on shots from outside is Athletic with five of its 24 goals scored as well (21%). 14 goals from outside the area last seasonThe last course, with Griezmann as a great threat, Atlético was long-distance insurance. Adding the growing success of the French in the launch of foul, something that has been lost with his departure, the ‘7’ ended with a total of four goals from outside the area in the league. But he had a lot of help. The gunman’s Thomas, with three goals in the competition, Koke and Correa with two and Lemar, Costa and Rodrigo with one. Atlético arrived at day 24 as the only First Division team that had failed to score from outside the area. One of the strengths of last season, where he was the best of the entire competition and that He had disappeared in this course where the low scoring figures had concentrated on the final meters.However, the rojiblanco team has begun to exploit that facet in recent days. Two goals in the last two games achieved with distant shots and that have returned to make Atlético a danger beyond the line of the area. The first of them, Thomas to place the momentary 1-2 for the rojiblanco team in Mestalla. The Ghanaian recovered the ball in the center of the field against Parejo (one of his 15 robberies of the encounter), drove the ball to the front of the area where he whipped a whip that hit the stick of Jaume Domenech. One of the great features of Thomas that was so hard to exploit this course. last_img read more

Read More

Berta advocates suppressing the summer transfer market

first_imgThus, it is assumed since the period between this season and the next will be shorter than usual, and you don’t even know when that space will be given. Because, Berta advocates a change: “For me, you could remove the summer window, which could coincide with the final of the championships, and stay with the current teams until January, when the reopening of the market would be more logical, because then the clubs would have clearer the losses and the sense of the investments they can afford. First, however, it will be necessary to understand how to play safely again. “The Italian refers to the economic coup that all entities will suffer, so it is already intuited that the next one will be a strange market, with difficulty executing large investments like those of the last summers in the elite. In addition, deadlines complicate everything, because club football becoming more and more likely in July. With the calendar it will be necessary to wait and on the financial side, the clubs are already moving. Atlético itself has announced an ERTE this Friday that will affect all employees of the entity … The stop forced by the coronavirus crisis It not only affects sports competition itself, but also what moves the most between one season and the next: the signings. The clubs do not know very well what to expect, because they do not yet know when they will play and when they will rest. About, Andrea Berta, Athletic director of Atlético, has granted an interview to Tuttosport where proposes that the summer transfer window be removed directly.last_img read more

Read More

This Monday the approval of the ERTE of Alavés could be official

first_imgEmployment skills in the Basque Country are held by the autonomous government. Delegation of work studied the request of ERTE that Alavés made two Saturdays ago and it is considered that, due to administrative silence, it will go ahead. If five days have passed since that date and you have not expressly backed down, it is a sign that the authorities have accepted it. It is known as administrative silence due to the accumulation of cases that are on the table on these dates. The normal thing is that this resolution officially transcends tomorrow Monday and that a second phase begins in which the workers will have to negotiate with the company the conditions. We are talking about sports and non-sports employees, with very different salaries and realities that have nothing to do with each other. “We try to look after the almost a thousand families that work in this company,” reliable club sources told Diario As.The Baskonia Group brings together the following companies: the basketball club, the Alavés, the 5 + 11 Foundation, the Bakh sports city and ONALAN, which usually employs people to cover the logistics of the previous companies (security, ticket offices, bars and other services during games).From what Edgar Méndez had last week, the positions between the footballers of the first team and the club are quite far apart. According to TUDNMEX told Mexican television, they have been proposed to lose 28% of their annual salary regardless of whether they play again or not. And in case of competition, if it will be with the public or without it.last_img read more

Read More

Ferdinand went from Barça: “Messi, Xavi and Iniesta were not the same”

first_img“We eliminated them and we were European champions, why would I want to go from the European champion to another club in transition? At that time, Xavi, Inieta and Messi were not the players they became at three or four years old. “, sentenced.Rio Ferdinand did not sign, but another central defender arrived from Manchester United, Gerard Piqué, and the transition was faster than the English expected, since in 2009, both clubs faced each other in the Champions League final with a victory for the azulgrana, who won the sextet that season. Rio Ferdinand could have been Carles Puyol’s companion behind Barcelona, ​​but the English central defender preferred to stay at United. All this happened in 2008, as the defender recognized in BT Sports. The central was close to being a Catalan player. Frank Rijkaard took an interest in him and they had a brief talk after the first leg of the 2008 Champions League semi-finals, in which the Dutchman was interested in a possible arrival of Rio, in which the club later worked with his agent. “It was close. They were negotiating with my agent and I spoke to Rijkaard, not directly about going, but he relayed his idea to me. I’ve always said it, I wanted to go abroad and play but the only thing that could hold me back was if I was successful playing here and I was lucky to get to United. It was impossible for me to leave, “said the former player.last_img read more

Read More

Sports Briefs

first_imgGENEVA (AP): Michel Platini will run for FIFA president and plans to announce his intentions this week. Two officials familiar with Platini’s plans have told the Associated Press (AP) that the FIFA vice-president has made a decision to try to succeed Sepp Blatter. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because Platini has not yet announced his candidacy. The officials said that the UEFA president and former France great has been encouraged to run by most leaders of FIFA’s continental confederations. Five of the six continental leaders, including Platini, were in St Petersburg, Russia, last week for FIFA meetings and the 2018 World Cup qualifying draw. Platini declined to discuss his ambitions when asked by the AP in St Petersburg. Mexico sack Herrera MEXICO CITY (AP): Mexican national team coach Miguel Herrera was fired yesterday following a television reporter’s claim that the man known as ‘El Piojo’ punched him. The ouster came just two days after Herrera led Mexico to victory in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. But Decio de Maria, who on Saturday becomes president of the Mexican Soccer Federation, said the incident with the journalist was not in keeping with “the spirit of fair and respectful competition” the organisation espouses. “Our values, our principles, are above any result,” de Maria said at a news conference. “In our profession, our industry, the matches are never over, and as public figures who represent an institution, we must be absolutely clear on that.” There was no comment from the coach on his firing, nor has he said anything publicly on the incident with the reporter. Herrera is the latest to depart from what has become a revolving-door job since Ricardo La Volpe of Argentina was the last to complete a four-year World Cup cycle as head of the team, known as ‘El Tri’. Mexico have burned through 10 head coaches in the nine years since La Volpe departed after the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Bayern sign Chile’s Vidal MUNICH (AP): Bayern Munich completed the long-anticipated transfer of Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal from Italian champions Juventus yesterday. The Bundesliga champions said Vidal signed a four-year deal, with an option foranother season. “I wanted to take another big step in my career,” Vidal said in a brief interview on Bayern’s website. “I want to develop further as a player, and I want to win important titles, such as the Champions League. And I see Bayern as the best opportunity for that.” Bayern did not disclose the financial details of the contract. But Italian media reports suggested Bayern paid US$39.5 million with final cost rising to US$44 million with bonuses, to bring the 28-year-old Vidal back to the Bundesliga. If correct, the figures would make Vidal one of the most expensive Bundesliga transfers. Nadal eases past Verdasco HAMBURG, Germany (AP): Top-seeded Rafael Nadal overcame a sluggish start to beat Fernando Verdasco 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 in the first round of the Hamburg Open yesterday. Nadal was playing his first match since losing to Dustin Brown in the second round of Wimbledon. The former No. 1 in the world has fallen to No. 10. In the all-Spanish match, Nadal appeared to have trouble adjusting to clay and finding his timing. But his game picked up noticeably in the last two sets. Verdasco saved one match point, but then hit the net with a backhand to hand Nadal the win. Nadal’s last match on clay was the quarter-final loss to Novak Djokovic at the French Open.last_img read more

Read More