McCaw issues All Blacks rallying call

first_img0Shares0000AUCKLAND, New Zealand, October 22- New Zealand captain Richie McCaw said on Saturday he will stress the opportunity awaiting the All Blacks shortly before they go out to play France in Sunday’s World Cup final here at Eden Park.The All Blacks are strong favourites to end their 24 years of World Cup misery and win their second Webb Ellis Trophy in a rematch of their 1987 triumph over Les Bleus at the same Auckland ground. McCaw was asked what he would tell his players before they run out in front of a capacity 60,000 home crowd, expecting victory over a France side who reached the final despite twice losing in the pool phase, including 37-17 to New Zealand.“It’s an opportunity. There’s absolutely nothing for granted. We’ve given ourselves a chance. Two teams on the start line and it’s making the most of that,” McCaw said.“Everyone, regardless of what happens, knowing that they couldn’t have done any more. Putting everything that you’ve done into action. It’s as simple as that really,” the openside flanker added.“The boys are motivated, they’re excited. But we’re up against a team that will be exactly the same and it’s about doing the job for 80 minutes.”McCaw chided the local media for providing underdogs France with additional motivation, courtesy of a none-too-subtle attack on their wild past.The New Zealand Herald devoted Friday’s front page of its sports section to two articles, one entitled ‘A History of Gallic Brutality’ highlighting several examples of French foul play dating back to the 1960s, and the other ‘Beware the filth of the French’, a column by former All Blacks captain Wayne ‘Buck’ Shelford.“I’ve got no doubt the French are going to play their best game and you blokes (media) have loaded the gun for them,” McCaw said.“They’ve got players who’ve been around for a long time and they understand what it takes to win Test matches and play well and we’re expecting them to be out there doing exactly that.”McCaw underlined his team’s hunger to finally break a run of five tournaments without the World Cup.“We’ve got men who’ve been in situations, they’ve been around a long time and there’s a lot of desire there,” he said.“We’ve got guys that are good enough but that guarantees nothing.“People say who deserves what, but at the end of the day in a final it’s not about who deserves what.“It’s about who goes and plays the best rugby on that stage, in this game, that’s what we’ve got to do.” McCaw said he’d refused to touch the Webb Ellis Cup in the past.“I don’t think you should touch it till you’ve earned it,” he explained.The first All Black to play 100 Tests, a milestone he reached in this tournament, McCaw said he wanted to uphold the tradition of New Zealand captains.“Being captain of the All Blacks, it’s a huge honour, but there’s a lot of responsibility that comes with it,” said the 30-year-old McCaw, the only repeat winner of the International Rugby Board’s player of the year award.“The expectation is that you set the standards that have been forged over a long period of time and I guess I’ve got to, along with the coaches, drive that and you’ve still got to go out and be a top player.“I won’t be around forever but hopefully when I leave one day people will say that all the history has gone before, all the legacies that have been set have been upheld if not raised.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Curtain down on Schumi’s colourful career

first_img0Shares0000SAO PAULO, Brazil, November 26 – Michael Schumacher bade an emotional farewell to Formula One on Sunday after finishing seventh in the Brazilian Grand Prix, bringing down the curtain on his controversial, colourful career.After 21 years, seven drivers’ championship triumphs and 91 victories, the 43-year-old recovered from an early puncture to score points in his final outing with the Mercedes team. In an incident-packed race, Schumacher fell to the back of the field in the opening laps but climbed to sixth before being passed by title-bound fellow-German, and good friend, Sebastian Vettel.“I think it’s a nice ending,” he said. “I’m finishing off and he’s (Vettel) clinching his third title. I’m very proud of him, he’s a good friend of mine.“My emotions are under control at the moment, maybe later having a drink and hugging the mechanics it’ll become more sentimental but I’m looking forward to life after Formula One now.“It’s been a pretty big challenge in this race because obviously I had the puncture and was at the back again… It took some memories back to 2006 when the same thing happened to me.“Luckily I have the nature of not giving up and always trying to find a solution, and it worked out. In a way it does remind me of 2003 when I had a similar struggle and just managed by a point to win the championship.”He smiled as he looked back on his thrilling fight with 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus during the race.“People are here to see a show, so you might as well put one on,” added Schumacher.“Give it a go and give it the maximum. I was having a go, and at certain moments you need to accept that there isn’t the space and admit defeat.”He added that he had enjoyed his “second career” with Mercedes.“It’s been a beautiful time. Lots of exciting moments we shared, and lots of tough moments. The most incredible thing in a way is that I felt a lot of support in these last three years and they have been the most difficult years for me. But the fans have always been behind me.”For Schumacher’s fans, as in 2006 when he first retired, there was an air of disappointment about his exit from the sport because it came not by choice, but circumstance.When he retired after the Brazilian Grand Prix six years ago, it was because Ferrari had made clear they were signing Raikkonen from McLaren.This time around, it was another McLaren driver, Lewis Hamilton, who had to be accommodated by the German’s departure as Mercedes build for the future.“It’s a strange sort of coincidence that I’ve ended my Formula One career now in seventh, which was my first ever qualifying result at Spa-Francorchamps,” said Schumacher.“It also occurs to me that I was driving with the number seven on my car today and that I have seven world championship trophies in my cabinet.“Even under these difficult conditions, my final Formula One race was tremendous fun, and I would once again like to thank the team and all my fans for their support over the past years. I’ve enjoyed the time we’ve spent together very much indeed.”After 307 races, few drivers are without the bruises to show as proof of their scraps with the man Mercedes team chief Ross Brawn this week described as “probably the best Formula One driver of all time”.Brawn was with Schumacher at both Benetton and Ferrari and is widely regarded as the architect of his seven championship triumphs — a haul that is unlikely to be challenged in the near future.“In terms of results, his second spell in Formula One hasn’t been as special but it has been so for all of us who have had the privilege of working with him,” said Brawn after Sunday’s race.“It has been a real honour for all of the boys and girls at our team, and working alongside Michael gives you a real understanding of why he is so special and has achieved seven world championships.”Brawn had paid a glowing tribute to Schumacher on the eve of the race.“Having worked with Michael for the majority of the 21 seasons of his career, I feel that he is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, Formula One driver of all time.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Fergie insists ‘rescue jobs’ must end

first_img0Shares0000READING, United Kingdom, December 2 – Alex Ferguson insists his Manchester United side cannot continue mounting “rescue jobs” if they want to wrestle back their Premier League title.United have fallen behind seven times this season before going on to record wins with their latest comeback victory being a 4-3 win at Reading on Saturday. But the Manchester United manager knows they will not be able to escape for that much longer with their charitable defending that has seen them concede 15 league goals already this season.With the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium looming on Sunday, Ferguson will know his side can ill-afford a repeat defensive performance.“I thought it would be a record score against Reading for the Premier League at half-time,” he said.“It was unbelievable. There was some real bad defending in the first half. The worst we have been this season, absolutely the worst.“We have to sort that out. We got battered and deserved to be but we are getting goals to rescue us all the time.“In the first-half I said to myself it would be a miracle if we win this one the way we were defending. I’m just glad we did win it.“It’s not a question of character. But if you make mistakes like that defending, then it’s going to be rescue jobs every week. Once again this was.”United conceded six goals, albeit on home soil, 14 months ago to next opponents Manchester City.It looked as though history could repeat itself at relegation-threatened Reading before Robin van Persie had the final say in the seven-goal thriller to send them back to the top of the league.The visitors fell behind to Hal Robson-Kanu’s fine opener before normal service was resumed when Anderson and Wayne Rooney’s penalty looked to have put them in control.But two headers from Adam Le Fondre and Sean Morrison, both from corners, would have left Ferguson fuming.It would have also had Roberto Mancini, the Manchester City manager, sit up and take notice.United responded, as they so often do, with Rooney and van Persie wrapping up the win in this see-saw game that saw seven goals in the first 30 minutes.Rooney admits his teammates must heed the lessons.“It was not good enough defending set-pieces and it could have cost us,” he said.“We had to make sure we defended better in the second-half. The message at half time was to defend better, stay with our runners and get against them at set-pieces and we did that.“We always believe in ourselves. Even when we went behind twice.“It was important seeing the results earlier to get three points, regardless of the performance. And we did that. It was like a basketball match at times. I’m sure the fans were delighted watching it, but I’m not so sure you want that every week.”Reading remain rooted in the relegation zone but manager Brian McDermott says his players will take heart from a display which fell narrowly short.“We just have to remember where we a few years ago,” he said.“We lost 4-1 at Plymouth and it could have been 10 that day. We were staring the second division in the face. Where we are now is a phenomenal achievement for the club. It shows how far the club have come.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Kemboi set for final Club Games jig

first_img0Shares0000NAIROBI, Kenya, July 11 – Two-time Olympics and World 3000m steeple chase champion Ezekiel Kemboi will be eyeing his fourth global title on the bounce as he prepares for his Commonwealth Games swansong in Glasgow.Arguably the best steeplechaser of all time, the Club Games title left his grip in Delhi four years ago as compatriot Richard Mateelong prevailed. The 32-year-old who has competed in two IAAF Diamond Leagues this season in Doha where he won and Rome where he dropped out, announced this will be his last Commonwealth Games.Kemboi who will captain 191 athletes in Glasgow will be seeking to reclaim the title he last won in 2006 Melbourne with titleholder, Mateelong out of the competition. “This will be my fourth Commonwealth Games and third as the overall captain, each time I’m in the team we have always emerged winners so we should keep the fire burning.“This will be my last participation in the event so I’m urging upcoming athletes who are running in the steeple to continue with the winning trend once I hand over to them since we picked well from our mentors like Ben Jipchoo,” Kemboi declared.The three-time World Champion is confident the team is capable on improving the 12 gold, 11 silver and nine bronze the class of 2010 collected in Delhi, India.“The team is well prepared and this is the first time we have assembled a strong team not only in athletics but in all disciplines, Kenyans should expect good results and for me I’m going for gold as always and nothing less since I want to finish on a high,” he added.The former DJ turned champion runner is out to perform a final jig after proving to be the ultimate gold minting machine.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Fort St. John Get Fit Challenge starts Monday

first_img If you have any questions about the City of Fort St. John Get Fit Challenge, email or call 250-787-7100. In order to take part in the Get Fit Challenge, visit and click register, or click here, or sign up at the Pomeroy Sport Centre, the Visitor Information Centre or the North Peace Leisure Pool.Once you register, you’ll receive an email message with details about how to complete the registration process and a direct link to the Get Fit website. After signing up, all you have to do is log on and track any activity you do on starting next Monday. That could mean walking around the block, swimming in the pool or cleaning the house; any type of activity will help you reach the goal of Mexico. When the 12 week program ends, one lucky person will win a trip for two to Mexico courtesy of Uniglobe Guardian Travel. This isn’t meant to be a weight loss challenge; it’s meant to encourage you to live an active lifestyle. You can sign up as an individual or as a team and teams can challenge other teams that participate.   Moose FM has already challenged the City of Fort St. John.- Advertisement – The cost to participate is only $25 per person, with $10 of that going back to two local charities, Kids Sport and Jumpstart.  Both programs help kids in our community participate in local sports.  The other $15, goes back to the company (12 Weeks to Wellness), that has provided the system we will all use to track our activity.   Anyone can participate, but only people over 18 can win the grand prize. Sign up today and start living an active lifestyle; if you’re already living an active lifestyle sign up anyway for great chances to win.Advertisementlast_img read more

WR Henry released from jail

first_img Gibbs up, Turner next in Dallas: New Orleans defensive coordinator Gary Gibbs interviewed Saturday with the Dallas Cowboys about their head coaching vacancy. Gibbs, a former Cowboys assistant, was the third outside candidate to visit Valley Ranch for an interview since Bill Parcells retired Monday. “It was a very comfortable visit, having been here for four years,” Gibbs said. “I felt at ease. We covered a lot of topics and I thought it went well.” San Francisco offensive coordinator Norv Turner was scheduled to interview today. Turner was the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 1991-93, when they won consecutive Super Bowls, and had a 58-82-1 record as head coach in Washington (1994-00) and Oakland (2004-05). The Fort-Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram reported Turner appears to be the leading candidate. Another report said the 49ers have made a substantial offer to keep Turner. Raiders think of taking Knapp: New Raiders coach Lane Kiffin made his first significant move by offering Greg Knapp the offensive coordinator position, the Contra-Costa Times reported. Knapp, 43, spent the past three seasons in a similar capacity with the Atlanta Falcons. He got fired, along with coach Jim Mora, after the Falcons failed to make the playoffs for the second straight season. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! After watching nine of his players get arrested in the past 13 months, Bengals president Mike Brown said Friday that the team would change its approach on draft day. “There may be some gifted athletes we won’t pick that we might have picked a year ago,” Brown told the Cincinnati Enquirer. Kenton County Judge Douglas Grothaus sentenced Henry to two days in jail for giving alcohol to minors in a Covington hotel room last year. The judge called Henry a “cancer.” Henry’s sentencing came three days after cornerback Johnathan Joseph, the team’s No. 1 draft pick in 2006, was arrested in Boone County for marijuana possession. In all, six of the Bengals’ 16 draft picks in the 2005 and 2006 classes have been arrested since the start of the 2006 calendar year. “I’ve never thought the word `cancer’ was appropriate for a human being,” Brown told the Enquirer. Cincinnati receiver Chris Henry was released from jail Saturday in Covington, Ky., after completing a two-day sentence for letting minors drink alcohol in a hotel room he had rented. Henry’s guilty plea and two-day sentence settled the last of his four court cases. He has been arrested four times in the past 14 months. center_img As part of his two most recent convictions, Henry must avoid using alcohol and drugs. He also is on probation and must perform community service. The NFL is likely to suspend Henry for the start of next season. He was suspended for two games this season after his first twocourt cases were settled. Under league policies, any additional convictions can result in a longer suspension. last_img

Sakho will not contest failed drugs test

first_imgHe had until Tuesday to request a test of his B sample, but opted not to.The France defender and club had agreed he would remain unavailable while a Uefa investigation was completed.Uefa has so far not opened any disciplinary proceedings against Sakho.Liverpool cannot comment because the process is confidential.On Saturday, when the story broke, the club said in a statement that Sakho had not been officially suspended but would “not be available” for selection until the outcome of the investigation.Sakho’s Liverpool team-mate Kolo Toure was banned for six months in 2011 while at Manchester City after testing positive for a weight-loss drug contained within “water tablets” recommended to him by his wife.A similar ban for Sakho would rule him out of Euro 2016 in France, which starts on 10 June.Sakho, an £18m signing from Paris St-Germain in 2013, has played 34 games for Liverpool this season, including 10 in the Europa League.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Liverpool defender Mamadou Skaho reacts in a past match/ PHOTO- AgenciesLIVERPOOL, April 27 – Mamadou Sakho has decided not to challenge the results of his failed drugs test and is not expected to play for Liverpool again this season.Sakho, 26, tested positive for what is thought to be a type of fat burner after the Europa League win against Manchester United 17 March.last_img read more

Ulinzi start U20 title defense with Chemelil loss

first_img0Shares0000Ulinzi Moses Mwangi in action against Chemelil Sugar.PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaNAIROBI, Kenya, August 14- Kenyan Premier League under-20 champions Ulinzi Warriors began their title defense with a 1-0 loss at the hands of Chemelil Sugar in a match played on Sunday at the Camp Toyoyo Ground.Ban Kiprotich scored the winner two minutes into the second half to hand Chemelil a powerful start while the young military side will be forced to work hard in their next match against AFC Leopards’ cubs on Tuesday. In the earlier kick-off, April’s fourth finisher Gor Mahia started off in superb fashion with a 3-1 win over Ushuru.All attention was on the defending champions, who despite the loss, coach Fred Ogot still remains upbeat his side will come good and defend the title.“If you look at last year, we lost one of our group matches and ended up being champions. I’m not worried because we played better today, created more chances than Chemelil but we were not clinical in our finishing,” the tactician told Capital Sport after the match.Ulinzi were the better side in most part of the match but their forward line was thwarted by the impressive Kuol John at the heart of defense.The lanky South Sudanese dealt with all danger aerial and ground threats, contributing to his side clean sheet.“He (John) did his work very well because that is what we brought him four. It was a good team effort and it is great to start with a win. We came here to win this cup and we will work hard to achieve our target,” Chemelil coach Charles Odero said.Chemelil Sugar Kevin Omondi against Ulinzi Stephen Moseti.PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaAfter both sides sizing each other up in the first half, the second began with more intensity especially with Chemelil scoring early.Kiprotich was handed an opportunity for an easy tap in six yards out after Ulinzi keeper Samuel Odhiambo spilled a shot from the right by George Crowler.Ulinzi missed their first choice custodian Francis Odemba who was the hero in April helping them to the title as he was held up with his school Passenga High preparing for the East Africa School Games which will be held in Eldoret.Five minutes after opening the scores, Chemelil came close to doubling their tally with keeper Odhiambo saving a threat as Kuol volleyed the resultant corner wide after landing the ball isolated on the far left.Ulinzi kept their pressure in search of an equalizer with their three-man attack led by Alex Sunga, Stephen Mueno and Moses Mwangi pumping the pressure on the sugar millers.But their attempt at attacking with cross-balls posed no danger as the lanky Chemelil backline easily dealt with the floated balls.From a counter attack in the 81st minute, Ulinzi keeper Samuel Odhiambo pulled a superb double save to keep his side in contention, first punching a shot from substitute Kennedy Onyango before spreading his body well to deny Innocent Oute from the rebound.With the clock ticking, Ulinzi added more pressure and came close with Mwangi’s fierce shot from the right being saved for a corner by the Chemelil custodian after Mueni brought down the ball under pressure from Kuol to spray the pass wide for his team mate.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Hart set to leave Manchester City

first_img0Shares0000Hart was benched for City’s opening game of the season at Sunderland.PHOTO/courtesyLONDON, United Kingdom, Aug 17 – England keeper Joe Hart looks set to leave Manchester City this summer, according to  sources.Hart was overlooked by boss Pep Guardiola for the 2-1 Premier League win at Sunderland last Saturday, prompting a fresh wave of speculation that his City future hangs in the balance. City are thought to have all but agreed a deal to sign Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and Sky Sports News HQ reporter Vinny O’Connor says Hart’s days in Manchester look to be numbered.“We understand Joe Hart is going to assess his options that are open to him over the next couple of weeks,” he said ahead of City’s Champions League qualifier against Steaua Bucharest in Romania.“There is reported interest from Sevilla in Spain but I think the preferred option would be to remain in the Premier League, and to that end, Everton could possibly be an option.“Certainly, Everton are looking to bolster their goalkeeping ranks further following the acquisition of Maarten Stekelenburg, who made a decent debut against Spurs at the weekend, but Everton are looking for an established number one and [would be] interested in someone of the calibre of Joe Hart.“But to add to that it is my understanding that there has been no formal contact between the two parties in that respect. It’s a little more than two years since he signed a new contract to keep him at the club until 2019 but it seems his time at City is coming to a premature end.”Hart has spent more than a decade at City after joining the club from hometown side Shrewsbury in 2006. The 29-year-old has made 347 appearances for City, conceding 347 goals.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Mourinho defiant despite third consecutive draw

first_imgThe draw is United’s third in a row in the Premier League, following 1-1 results with West Ham and Arsenal at Old Trafford.Speaking to Sky Sports, Mourinho said: “We were the best team by far, but we didn’t win. We had chances for 2-0, we hit the post, then we conceded a goal in the last minute.“We are playing extremely well, even in difficult matches like this, and not getting the results we deserve.”Manchester United have drawn six league matches this season and remain nine points behind fourth-placed Manchester City.Asked if he was concerned by the amount of draws, Mourinho said: “Concerned because we don’t get the results we deserve. When my teams win matches playing a different style of football then what matters is the style of football, not the results.“You have teams in the Premier League playing defensive and counter attack football and getting results. That is phenomenal in your words. When my teams are playing extremely well the results are more important.“I am happy my team is playing really well even in difficult matches. It is a problem we are not getting what we deserve and we have a position in the table that has no relation to the quality we are showing.”Mourinho declined to comment about the penalty decision or the early incident when Marcos Rojo escaped a red card for a two-footed tackle on Idrissa Gueye.-By Sky Sports-0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Mourinho insisted his side were the better team and praised his players for a good performance. PHOTO/Sky SportsMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Dec 5- Jose Mourinho stressed Manchester United are playing “extremely well” despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Everton on Sunday.Zlatan Ibrahimovic gave United the lead in the 42nd minute, but Everton snatched a point with a late Leighton Baines penalty after Marouane Fellaini fouled Idrissa Gueye.last_img read more