Leinster number eight Heaslip assumed the captaincy after talismanic lock Paul O’Connell was felled by a chest infection on Saturday night. Tries from wing Andrew Trimble and full-back Rob Kearney cemented victory in head coach Joe Schmidt’s first Six Nations clash. Stand-in skipper Jamie Heaslip shrugged off a disallowed try to claim the score that broke Scotland’s resistance in Ireland’s 28-6 RBS 6 Nations victory in Dublin. Unruffled Ireland refused to let Munster lock O’Connell’s absence shake them off their stride, dispatching Scotland in what ultimately became a routine victory. Ireland coped admirably without bullish ball-carriers O’Connell and flanker Sean O’Brien, with Chris Henry and Peter O’Mahony impressing. But Kiwi boss Schmidt will be at pains to warn Ireland just how much of a step up the visit of Wales will prove in round two on Saturday. After the gut-wrenching 24-22 last-gasp loss to New Zealand in November, Ireland were desperate to hit back to winning ways. Objective one complete, Schmidt will demand more when Warren Gatland and Wales roll into town next week. Scotland dominated territory and possession in a gritty first-half, only for Ireland to break that stranglehold in the final exchanges. Scott Johnson has been at pains to build an extra attacking dimension to his Scotland side. The visitors were prepared to whip the ball wide at every turn, but in doing so failed to find sufficient midfield incision. Impressive number eight David Denton powered close after a scrum deep in the Ireland 22, that followed the hosts failing to clear their lines on a number of occasions. After that Scotland were unable to threaten seriously again in the half, with Duncan Weir’s drop-goal fake not leading to any gain. Laidlaw struck the post with a penalty after five minutes, and later he punted to the corner when he should have shot at goal. Scotland lost the ensuing line-out, squandering any points at all in going for the ill-judged jugular of a try. Crucially the hosts kept defensive shape and discipline, admittedly escaping punishment when O’Driscoll was rushed into a blind pass from a set scrum move that gifted Scotland good field position. As time ticked down on the half, Sexton slinked through two Scotland tackles to race from danger zone to the other. The Racing Metro fly-half fired out a pass to captain Heaslip, who cantered down the left wing heading for the corner. The Leinster loose-forward touched down as he rolled the tackle, only for TMO Carlo Damasco to rule him in touch. Ireland sustained the pressure from two driven line-outs in the Scotland 22 though, claiming just reward for persistence when Trimble sneaked home in the right corner. Heaslip capped a water-tight driven line-out as Ireland wrestled control after the break, bundling over to blunt the Scots’ power. Dave Kearney was forced into touch in his own 22 after misreading Weir’s punt into the corner. Toner hit a ruck from the side after the line-out to gift Scotland a penalty, and Laidlaw delivered the points from the tee. Ireland then built tight phases for the first time in the match, Henry blasting in three times, with O’Mahony, Heaslip and Best all burrowing in too. Sexton’s wayward pass handed Scotland a scrum, but Ireland managed to turn it over. Luke Marshall found Dave Kearney with a dangerous wide pass, before Ireland won a penalty with Scotland killing the ball. Ireland punted to the corner, pushing for their second try. And skipper Heaslip delivered after a fine driven line-out, to make up for the score ruled out in the first half. The Leinster loose-forward’s ninth Ireland try in his 61st cap, converted by Sexton, put Ireland in control. Sexton, O’Driscoll and Dave Kearney produced a smart midfield combination that almost unlocked Scotland’s dogged defence. Sean Lamont strayed offside to hand Ireland a kickable penalty, and Sexton slotted his third goal of the day. Weir’s astute chip into the left corner forced Ireland into a pressure line-out five metres from their own line as Scotland battled for a foothold. Replacement Jack McGrath produced a fine turnover to set Ireland back on the front foot, only for Tim Swinson to steal an intercept. Ireland recovered the ascendancy though, with Sexton’s tactical kicking to the fore. And the hosts added their third try when Rob Kearney capped a neat break from Henry, for a score on his 50th cap. Sexton converted to stretch Ireland’s advantage to 22 points, before making way for Ulster’s Paddy Jackson. Schmidt emptied his bench with the match clearly won, with more than one eye on the fast-approaching visit of Wales to Dublin, on Saturday. Scotland’s replacements battled manfully to force some kind of consolation, but in truth the visitors were outclassed. Paddy Jackson’s chip almost put Dave Kearney in for a try at the death, but the TMO ruled it out. Press Association
Press Association Defeat would see the Blues fall into the Europa League and the last manager to preside over such a debacle was European Cup-winning boss Roberto di Matteo, who was promptly replaced by an interim boss, Rafael Benitez. “It’s a knockout game,” Mourinho told Chelsea TV. “It’s a group phase where normally you still play for points. “But the reality is that it’s a knockout. Chelsea or Porto, one will be out. For sure, a big game.” To extend the boxing analogy, Chelsea and Mourinho are on the ropes and landing few punches in retaliation. The Portuguese again bemoaned missed opportunities against Bournemouth, who last season won the Championship, but afterwards repeated his claim he would not seek transfer activity in January to improve his squad. Changes to the playing staff might be imposed from above, though. Mourinho was taken by surprise by a result Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe described as the best in their history. “I have to be honest and say I was not expecting this result,” Mourinho said. “The team was in a good moment, working well, playing well. Of course not scoring enough goals. “We didn’t score against Stoke, we didn’t against Tottenham. We scored one goal to win the game against Norwich. “It’s difficult for us to score goals. “Scoring goals is a lot about individuals. The creation is collective, but the finishing is something very individual and at this moment we’re not having that.” Mourinho had cause for complaint when the ball hit Simon Francis’ hand in the Bournemouth box and Glenn Murray’s decisive goal had a hint of offside about it, with the Blues boss ruing his side’s luck. “We lost the game exactly at the moment where we were the strongest team, in our strongest period,” he added. “We were really unlucky, especially to concede a goal when we don’t deserve. “In the second half we did more than enough to score and to win.” The record since is the same – four wins, five losses in 11 games – and Abramovich watched part of Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Bournemouth with his face in his hands. The holders are three points clear of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone in 14th place, 15 games into the season, with Mourinho doubting whether a top-four finish is possible. After eight defeats, four of them at home, Chelsea are 14 points adrift of that target, four months into the season. The October statement said “results have not been good enough and the team’s performances must improve”, adding the club’s belief they had “the right manager” and “he has the squad with which to do it”. Many suggest if Mourinho was to be axed, he would have gone by now, with the lack of alternatives a saving grace. But only Abramovich knows what he will do and, looking at past behaviour, his patience is being severely tested. Mourinho, who signed a four-year deal until June 2019 in August, thought Chelsea had turned a corner in a goalless draw at Tottenham, but now knows the consequences of a second defeat of the season to Porto in Wednesday’s final Champions League Group G tie could be stark. With Dynamo Kiev expected to beat Maccabi Tel Aviv, a win would see Chelsea advance as group winners and a draw in second. Jose Mourinho’s position as Chelsea manager is back in the spotlight and defeat to his former club Porto on Wednesday could mark the end of his second spell at Stamford Bridge. Mourinho was subject of the first managerial vote of confidence in Roman Abramovich’s 12-year ownership on October 5, but two months later there has been little evidence of improvement on the field. Chelsea’s miserable start to the season prompted the public backing, after four wins and five losses in 11 games in all competitions.
On Tuesday afternoon, Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman stood adjacent to the practice courts at the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center and spoke about how his team plans to replace the production of graduated star center Kayla Alexander.It’s not an easy task, he said, but the team has the pieces to do so.On Sunday, Syracuse opens its regular season with a trip to Pullman, Wash., for a 4 p.m. matchup at Beasley Coliseum against Washington State (1-0, 0-0 Pac-12). It will be the first time in 140 games that SU will take the floor without Alexander, the eighth pick of the 2013 WNBA draft by the San Antonio Silver Stars.“She was the team, you know, mostly,” forward Taylor Ford said. “I just think, as for me, I need to get a lot of rebounds and try to pick up the slack.”One of the main components of the group who will be looked upon to replace Alexander’s production is Shakeya Leary, the 6-foot-3 center who came off the bench as Alexander’s backup in 31 of the team’s 32 games last year.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter watching Alexander start Syracuse’s last 104 games at center and guarding her in practice for four years — starting during Leary’s redshirt freshman season in 2009 — it’s now Leary’s turn to step into the starting center position.Hillsman said that Leary is very skilled and can score the basketball one-on-one in the post. But Leary possesses a different skillset than Alexander. Rather than relying on a back to the basket low-post game, Leary prefers to face the basket and kick the ball out to 3-point shooters.“She’s a great passer out of the double team,” Hillsman said, “so there’s not a huge concern for us to be productive out of that spot.”For Leary, though, it is about a team effort.“We have a lot of talent,” she said. “I just need to be an offensive threat. We plan to play team basketball. I feel if we do, everything will fall into place. We just need play hard and compete.”Ford, who averaged just more than five minutes a game last season, is the only forward on this year’s roster that remains from last season.“Everyone knows their roles,” Ford said. “I think as a team we understand that we all have to rebound.Everyone knows exactly what to do. No one’s trying to do anything extra. We just know what we need to do to win, and we’re going to continue to do that.”Ford said the main thing she learned from Alexander was how to “feel a defender.”“A lot of the time you don’t want to make a fast move,” Ford said. “That may not turn out well. Kayla always said to feel out your defender first and then make your move.”Although Syracuse’s frontcourt is less deep than it was a year ago, SU will gain considerable frontcourt talent with the addition of freshmen twin sisters Briana and Bria Day, both of whom stand 6 feet 4 inches.Hillsman said Tuesday he has yet to determine a starting lineup or rotation, but it’s likely that Briana Day, who was ranked No. 57 on the 2013 ESPN HoopzGurlz recruiting rankings, will start. Both sisters are expected to receive starting minutes.“We still have a few more days to go and a few more things to work out,” Hillsman said. “For us, it’s about seven players starting, it’s not about five. We have seven players that can play double figure minutes, big minutes for us every night.”When asked whether he thinks this season’s group of forwards can fill the void Alexander left, Hillsman expressed confidence.“We’re looking for this group to do the same,” he said. “We have some young players on that back line that are going to really be able to help us out and play hard.” Comments Published on November 8, 2013 at 5:30 am Contact Josh: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+
Dear Editor,Whenever I read a missive appearing in the letters columns under the signature of the Georgetown Municipality’s Public Relations Officer, two questions always emerge in my mind.First, I always wonder whether these letters are indeed authored by her, and truly a reflection of her values, beliefs and perspicacity or whether she is merely disseminating the propaganda her superiors would like her to.Second, I am concerned as to whether this lady has lost touch with reality and living in a dream world in which everything is always magnificent in our capital city.She has dispatched a response to recent concerns expressed by the Movement Against Parking Meters (MAPM) organisation, and her response evidently highlights the high level of intolerance to criticism by the administration of the Council. It is clear that they are very panicky about the prospect of the MAPM looking at the serious concerns that civil society has on issues outside the scandalous parking meter fiasco, and because of their awareness of the militancy and efficacy of the MAPM.There is no need for the MAPM to spin a negative narrative against the purported attempts by the Council to make Georgetown a better place for all as she claims. The Mayor and Town Clerk are doing an amazing job of doing this all by themselves.She speaks of the Town Clerk as if he is some imperial overlord or deity. She speaks reverently about the powers, duties, and responsibilities of the Town Clerk as though he is superior to the Councillors, the Council itself and laws of Guyana.Could she state precisely which and what standing order rules of the Municipal and District Councils Act, chapter 28:01 were breached by receiving and placing the motion by Councillor Sherod Duncan on the Council’s agenda. And could she point to the authority that the Mayor is cloaked with that allows her as chairperson of the meeting to disallow the motion from being examined and determined by the full Council?This march of folly must be stopped and stopped now.Best regards,Sambu Jacobus
Dear Editor,Every human being has some moral compass and decency. Whatever moral authority and decency Khemraj Ramjattan might have possessed, he has totally lost today. His arrogant boasting, taking responsibility for the closure of sugar estates, for putting people out of jobs – the very people who helped him become a Minister and rise to the position of a Vice-President – prove he has totally lost his mind, has no moral authority and any decency left in him. The sad caricature of Ramjattan today – despised by the vast majority of Guyanese, including in his own home region, some of whom once genuinely admired and treated him as a hero – is utterly humiliating. He is now a traitor who betrayed decent people, a liar who “sings for his supper”, a consummate soup-drinker. Ramjattan is a despised puppet, dangling on a string. His parents had higher hopes for him.Last week, Ramjattan boasted he, Moses Nagamootoo and their AFC colleagues did not just “went along” with APNU to close sugar estates, they actually advocated for the closure. He went out of his way to take credit for the closure of the estates, taking credit for terminating the employment of more than 7000 workers, directly jeopardising the livelihood of more than 60,000 persons, including children, women and the elderly, and indirectly jeopardising the livelihood of tens of thousands more. After the closure, the unemployed sugar workers had to fight for their severance and many of them had to approach the courts to force APNU/AFC to pay the legally-required severance. This is the burgeoning insanity, the steaming garbage this arrogant, blithering idiot is taking credit for. It is disgraceful to see him singing for his supper, all because he wants power and salivating at the prospects of being Prime Minister, zero chance it may be.It is baffling, outrageous, unfathomable, just plain bizarre that Ramjattan is owning and boasting of the most potent, painful mistakes APNU/AFC made since May 2015, one that APNU/AFC itself is trying to hide from, one that has led to the most humiliating defeat any Government can experience, more than two-thirds rejection in Two Local Government Elections and the loss of a No-Confidence Motion. Mark my word, APNU (PNC) itself will distant themselves from the closure of the estates and the termination of employment for more than 7000 people, insisting in the upcoming election campaign that they merely “went along” with the AFC.Not only did they close four estates, but APNU/AFC is doing everything, including pushing incompetence and mismanagement of the remaining three sugar estates, everything to demoralise the remaining sugar workers and create the excuse for the entire closure of sugar in Guyana. Ramjattan and none of his colleagues can now assure anyone the rest of sugar will not close under APNU/AFC, should they still be there in 2020. Who will believe the same people who told them during the 2015 elections campaign that no estate will be closed and every worker will receive a 20 per cent wage increase, and, immediately after closing four estates, terminated more than 7000 jobs, and froze all sugar workers’ wages that they will not proceed to close the whole industry? I said before the 2015 elections that one of the major goals of APNU/AFC was to close sugar estates and eventually sugar. They railed that I was fear-mongering. But, sadly, my prediction came through. Now I am again predicting, should APNU/AFC stay in Government, the other estates will also be closed, with Uitvlugt being next, followed by Blairmont and eventually Albion.Ramjattan, as he bloviates nonsense, refuses to talk about the $30 billion loan they took on the books of GuySuCo. He refuses to talk about the more than $1 billion in interest already paid. He refuses to say who has the money, how it was spent. NICIL insists it has given GuySuCo more than $17 billion of the money already and that GuySuCo cannot tell them what they did with the money. GuySuCo denies this assertion, but Ramjattan is boasting he personally, together with his AFC colleagues, including Moses Nagamootoo, are the ones calling the shots.As families sink deeper into poverty, as local small family businesses like the grocery shops struggle for survival, as local seamstress and tailors barely survive, as local vendors find it hard to make ends meet, this blithering, arrogant man feels he needs to boast and take responsibility for the suffering foisted on innocent people. Why? Because he wants to be Prime Minister, he wants to continue to live the “good life” on the backs of poor people, he wants to suck the blood out of the very people he once fooled into voting for him. Now it is election time, he will make more promises to them, he will brazenly lie full-throated, as he sings for his supper. If ever there was a poster child for a soup drinker, Ramjattan has laid claim to being the champion soup-drinker poster child. Meanwhile, since the disgraceful admission that AFC played the pivotal role in estate closing, Nagamootoo has gone silent. Is he also willing to publicly boast he too is responsible, as Ramjattan confessed?Sincerely,Dr Leslie Ramsammy