Saracens’ bond sees them become champions again

first_imgIt is sometimes said that team spirit is the privilege of the victor but there seems absolutely no question, even though they are serial winners, that Saracens possess that intangible sporting trait in abundance.In Saturday’s see-saw European Champions Cup final the London club kept believing in themselves, even though battling Clermont Auvergne refused to lie down and were within a point of the holders going into the last quarter of an hour.No panic, no arguing as the referee declined to show a yellow card despite repeated offences by the French club defending their line, just a relentless recycling and launching of the next assault.Despite the noise generated by the Clermont fans dominating Murrayfield and the one-point margin, the feeling around much of the ground was one of inevitability, and it proved correct as after yet another series of probing thrusts, the space finally appeared for fullback Alex Goode to blast through for the killer third try.That gave Saracens a six-point lead with seven minutes remaining but — just as everyone watching knew he would — Owen Farrell nailed the difficult touchline conversion to make it a two-score game as Saracens eventually prevailed 28-17 to retain the title.After the match a procession of their players lined up to be interviewed on the pitch and to a man they referenced the togetherness of the squad as being key to the victory.“We stayed true to ourselves and our character. It’s a huge testament to the Saracens culture today,” said captain Brad Barritt.“We had unbelievable respect for Clermont but it’s about that belief, that trust of the player beside you – it’s just special to be a part of this group.”Farrell is never a man to get carried away with emotion but even he showed a chink in his armour.“We know each other inside out, a lot of us since we were 14 15, and others have been here eight years or so,” said the flyhalf, whose memorable day was capped by being named European player of the year.“That time spent together, not just in rugby things, it counts for a lot.“We felt like we were on top but didn’t quite get the tries we should have got, so to stay as composed as we did and to stick in there and finally win it was really pleasing.”‘SOMETHING VERY SPECIAL’Director of rugby Mark McCall is another who is reluctant to talk up his or his team’s achievements but he, too, could not hide his pride.“After they scored that unbelievable 100-metre try we had to show our experience and resilience, and I’m pleased with the way we went after them for that last 20 minutes,” he said.“We showed a lot of sides of ourselves today – it’s a brilliant feeling.”Dan Carter, who had a close-up view when playing in the Racing Metro team beaten by Saracens in last year’s final, was full of praise as a pitch-side pundit.“Something very special has been brewing there for a long time,” said the World Cup-winning former New Zealand flyhalf.“To see how clinical their game was today … Clermont came back and put them under pressure but you always just knew that Saracens would hold on and their constant pressure just paid off.”Saracens allowed the TV cameras in to their changing rooms after the match and their celebrations were long and loud. The songs and the beer were flowing and there was no talk of ice baths or recovery shakes.It was an unusual and uplifting sight in the modern world of professionalism but one thing is certain. When they line up to face Exeter in English Premiership semi-finals next week, seeking another double, they will be as prepared and ready to go as they were at Murrayfield on Saturday, and as they will be again from the first game of next season to the last.last_img read more

Local golfers aiming to win Severis Cyprus Junior Open

first_imgA strong international field will take part in this year’s Nicos Severis Cyprus Junior Open being held at the Elea Estate Golf Club near Paphos from Friday 14 to Sunday 16 February. However, some young local golfers are aiming to keep the championship in Cyprus and following a most successful year, they have every reason to be hopeful.During 2019 these boys ran up an impressive record. Between them they won the silver medal in the European Team Shield Championship (2 out of the 4 members of the national men’s team were juniors), won the Nations Cup – Hellenic Int’l Jr Championship (team), second place in the Hellenic Int’l Jr Championship (individual), won the Cyprus-Greece Friendship Cup, 1st and 2nd places in the Aegean National Men’s Championship, 1st and 2nd in the National Order of Merit (Men) Division 1 Gross, 1st and 2nd in the National Order of Merit (Men) Net, 2nd in the National Order of Merit (Men) Division 2 Gross, and 1st in the Special Olympics Cyprus OpenHowever, they won’t have it all their own way. The Tournament attracts a very strong field from all over Europe and beyond. Recent winners have come from Ukraine, Germany and Austria.Since its inception eight years ago, the Severis Cyprus Junior Open has gone from strength to strength. It is now a World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) event attracting ever stronger fields and producing golf of the highest quality so we may again expect some stunning performances from the young competitors.For further information, contact: Nick Rossides 99629267 or Phanos Pitiris 99347816last_img read more

Researchers say orangutans are declining, despite Indonesian government’s claims

first_imgResearchers say a recent Indonesian government report inaccurately claims that the orangutan population in the country is increasing, which could have significant implications for future conservation plans.The report, issued by Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry, states that the populations of 19 priority species, including orangutans, “increased by more than 10 percent” between 2015 and 2017.But, in a letter published in the journal Current Biology on Monday, researchers say that that assertion “is in strong contrast” to many recently published and peer-reviewed scientific studies on the status of the three orangutan species. Researchers say a recent Indonesian government report inaccurately claims that the orangutan population in the country is increasing, which could have significant implications for future conservation plans.The report, issued by Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry with support from the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization and Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative, states that the populations of 19 priority species, including orangutans, “increased by more than 10 percent” between 2015 and 2017.But, in a letter published in the journal Current Biology on Monday, researchers say that that assertion “is in strong contrast” to many recently published and peer-reviewed scientific studies on the status of the three orangutan species: the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), the Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii), and the Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis), which was just confirmed as a separate species last year. All three species are listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.According to Erik Meijaard, who coordinates the Borneo Futures initiative and is the lead author of the letter, orangutan numbers are in decline, not increasing as the Indonesian government report contends.“The government monitoring data do indeed support such an increase, so that would justify the government’s claim. But, as we point out, the monitoring methods are flawed for a variety of reasons,” Meijaard told Mongabay. “Also, I find it strange that the government authorities and the NGO groups working with the government simply ignore a number of peer reviewed papers that document high rates of population decline, forest loss, and killing.”Meijaard and his co-authors cite a number of flaws in the Indonesian government’s methodology for monitoring impacts on orangutan populations and the conclusions drawn from that monitoring. For instance, the government’s assessment relies on nine monitoring sites, including national parks, where a population of 1,153 orangutans was established in 2015. The government estimated that the populations at these nine sites had more than doubled to 2,451 individual orangutans by 2016. The researchers write in the letter, however, that it is “biologically impossible for an orangutan population to double its size in a year.”“It is obvious from the orangutan’s biology that doubling a population in one year, as reported from the monitoring sites, is impossible, and should have alerted the government that something may be wrong about their data,” Meijaard said. “Orangutans are not rabbits.”Orangutans in the wild in Indonesia. Photo Credit: HUTAN-KOCP.Other issues with the Indonesian government’s methodology, Meijaard and colleagues note, include the fact that some of the sampling sites are used for orangutan introductions or translocations, meaning that any increase in the numbers of orangutans at those sites was likely the result of removing animals from a non-monitored population — thus leading to zero net change in the overall numbers of orangutans.Also, the government’s nine sampling sites represent less than 5 percent of the Bornean and Sumatran orangutans’ ranges, and misses the Tapanuli orangutan’s range altogether, the researchers write. They add: “Furthermore, all monitoring sites are within protected areas, whereas the majority of orangutans occur in non-protected lands. It is thus scientifically unjustified to extrapolate population trends from these sampling sites to the total range of all three species.”Mongabay reached out to Indonesia’s Minister of Environment and Forestry as well as other government officials, but requests for comment were declined.There is a solid research base to bolster the Current Biology letter writers’ assertion that all three orangutan species are in fact on the decline. A 2018 study determined that more than 100,000 Bornean orangutans had been lost in the past 16 years, for instance, while a 2017 study found that the Bornean orangutan population has declined by more than 25 percent over the past decade.Meanwhile, the IUCN reports that forest loss data indicate that habitat for both the Sumatran orangutan and the Tapanuli orangutan was reduced by 60 percent between 1985 and 2007. A 2016 study predicted that continued forest loss could result in the loss of as many as 4,500 Sumatran orangutan individuals by 2030.“For the Sumatran orangutan, the population decline is mostly estimated on the basis of forest loss — no forest generally means no orangutans, so that is not something the government can deny,” Meijaard said. “For the third species, the Tapanuli orangutan, the population trends are based on habitat loss estimates and reports of killing.”Poaching and retaliatory killing of orangutans is one of the chief threats the species face, Meijaard added: “Killing is an important factor that drives declines in all three species, especially on Borneo where studies show it to be the biggest driver of population decline.” Yet “Currently orangutan conservation groups (government, NGO, private sector) are not focusing sufficiently on the key threat, which is killing — strategies that reduce killing need to be stepped up.”The Indonesian government is currently in the process of developing a new 10-year action plan for orangutan conservation, and Meijaard said that the government’s assessments of orangutan populations could make a crucial difference in how that plan turns out. “If there was a population increase in the previous 10 years, then the plan can stay the same,” he said. “But if there was a major population decrease, as found by our studies, then a radically different approach to conservation is needed, and the government needs to incorporate these new strategies into their plan.”An orangutan in the wild in Indonesia. Photo Credit: HUTAN-KOCP.CITATIONS• Ancrenaz, M., Gumal, M., Marshall, A.J., Meijaard, E., Wich , S.A. & Husson, S. 2016. Pongo pygmaeus (errata version published in 2018). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T17975A123809220. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T17975A17966347.en. Downloaded on 07 November 2018.• Meijaard, E., Sherman, J., Ancrenaz, M., Wich, S. A., Santika, T., & Voigt, M. (2018). Orangutan populations are certainly not increasing in the wild. Current Biology, 28(21). doi:10.1016/j.cub.2018.09.052• Ministry of Environment and Forestry Republic of Indonesia (2018). The State of Indonesia’s Forests 2018. Jakarta: Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Republic of Indonesia.• Nowak, M.G., Rianti, P., Wich , S.A., Meijaard, E. & Fredriksson, G. 2017. Pongo tapanuliensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T120588639A120588662. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T120588639A120588662.en. Downloaded on 07 November 2018.• Santika, T., Ancrenaz, M., Wilson, K. A., Spehar, S., Abram, N., Banes, G. L., … & Erman, A. (2017). First integrative trend analysis for a great ape species in Borneo. Scientific Reports, 7(1), 4839. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-04435-9• Singleton, I., Wich , S.A., Nowak, M., Usher, G. & Utami-Atmoko, S.S. 2017. Pongo abelii (errata version published in 2018). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T121097935A123797627. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T121097935A115575085.en. Downloaded on 07 November 2018.• Voigt, M., Wich, S. A., Ancrenaz, M., Meijaard, E., Abram, N., Banes, G. L., … & Gaveau, D. (2018). Global demand for natural resources eliminated more than 100,000 Bornean orangutans. Current Biology, 28(5). doi:10.1016/j.cub.2018.01.053• Wich, S. A., Singleton, I., Nowak, M. G., Atmoko, S. S. U., Nisam, G., Arif, S. M., … & Gaveau, D. L. (2016). Land-cover changes predict steep declines for the Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii). Science Advances, 2(3), e1500789. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1500789Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Mike Gaworecki Animals, Apes, Borneo Orangutan, Charismatic Animals, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Endangered Species, Environment, Great Apes, Mammals, Orangutans, Rainforest Animals, Research, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Our sister’s or brother’s keepers

first_imgDomestic violence has been described as “… behaviour which causes one partner in a relationship to be afraid of the other. Domestic violence can take the form of physical or sexual abuse and forced social isolation away from friends and family members.” However, domestic violence has many victims besides spousal partners.The laws of Guyana prescribe one’s rights regarding this issue, which are laid out in the Domestic Violence Act (1996) as “recognised under the law and law enforcement agencies, such as the courts,” and stipulates that the Guyana Police Force must help to enforce the rights of, and offer protection to, any man, woman, or child who may be experiencing domestic violence.Some signs of domestic violence are described as persistent verbal abuse such as quarelling and cursing (one can add to that derogating one’s character and making unjustifiable insulting remarks about one’s self and one’s loved ones); threatening the person with physical violence (threatening to hit the person with hands or objects) as well as actually hitting the person; damaging the property of a person (such as breaking a person’s cellphone, tearing or burning a person’s clothing, among other things); following a person from place to place, even though that person does not want to be followed; hiding clothing or property used by the person (for example, hiding a person’s cellphone, their clothing, their identification card, their passport, and even their money); making persistent and/or unwelcome contact with the person (such as calling the person on their cellphone or home phone many times per day, watching the person’s house, waiting for the person to leave work or place of study, following the person from home or work, even though that person does not want to be followed or watched); and using abusive language to a person, or behaving towards a person in such a way that could result in that person being ill-treated.  For example, cursing and quarrelling with a person in front of others, and then encouraging others to do the same.An initiative by the former Administration to deal with the scourge of domestic violence suggested actions one should take to protect oneself (and possibly others) from domestic violence, and to provide a descriptive analysis of a Protection Order. One of the suggestions made is to make a report to the nearest Police station, and therein lies a conundrum.Those whom are supposed “To Protect and Serve” most often have provided the catalyst for a tragedy to occur by their attitude, attention – or lack thereof, and plain don’t-give-a-damn behaviour when a complainant drums up the requisite courage (most often with great difficulty) and lodges a complaint.Many victims of continuous abuse are killed because of the complacency of a few members of the Police Force who refuse to investigate complaints and lay charges, or take the actions necessary to protect the victim from further abuse.Guyanese have stopped being our brother’s (and sister’s) keepers because, in many communities, neighbours witnessing a continuum of, and escalating instances of abuse refuse to become involved. They prefer to enjoy the enfolding tragedy, even adding to it with malicious rumour-mongering and strife-making, because the titillation of feuds and wars within families find a corresponding resonance in the dark nuances resident in every soul, and the average person refuses to rise above their more decadent equivalencies to achieve a higher plane of thoughts and actions, enough to maybe intercede – and probably save, a family from ultimate destruction.And one wonders what part religious leaders play in melding communities into units cohesive enough to fashion strategies for interventions within families and the general society in efforts to divert energies into more productive and peaceful approaches to conflict resolution – even to the point of empowerment.The acceleration in violence-prone conflicts within families and societies is spiralling out of control, to the extent where many lives have been lost, with many more dislocated, and there seems to be no end in sight.Unless there is a holistic, proactive approach, where all stakeholders in the nation are made aware that this cause and this fight is a national one, every effort made – valiant and committed as they may be, will prove woefully inadequate, because domestic violence is a national tradition entrenched in the Guyanese psyche.Persons within communities most often do not think it is their business to report instances of abuse, and many women and children have suffered violations, and even been murdered, when a timely intervention could have saved someone’s life.Evil can only perpetuate if good people think it is not their business; so unless we return to the era when each of us was our sister’s or brother’s keepers there will be many more victims who would suffer even more tragic outcomes to their lives.last_img read more

SEA Games: Philippines grabs pair of bronze medals in karate kata

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games: Jeordan Dominguez wins poomsae freestyle gold Lava gushes out of Taal Volcano as villagers flee NFA assures ample rice supply in ashfall, eruption-affected areas LATEST STORIES View comments Thailand reports case of coronavirus from China Microsoft ends free Windows 7 security updates on Tuesday Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:11SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)08:07Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball05:21Drama in karate: Tsukii ‘very sad’ over coach’s bullying, cold shoulder03:24PH’s James Palicte boxing light welterweight final (HIGHLIGHTS) Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Pangilinan (23.74), on the other hand, edged Thazin Aye of Myanmar (22.95) of Myanmar for a share of third place with Thailand.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSAndray Blatche has high praise for teammate Kai SottoSPORTSBig differenceSPORTSAlmazan status stays uncertain ahead of Game 4 No need to wear face masks in Metro Manila, says scientist Sarah Pangilinan during the karate kata event of the 30th Southeast Asian Games. INQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin VardeleonMANILA, Philippines–John Enrico Vasquez and Sarah Pangilinan salvaged bronze medals in their respective individual kata bid in the Southeast Asian Games’ karate tournament Saturday in World Trade Center in Pasay City.Vasquez scored 23.66 to nose out Truong Pham of Vietnam and deliver the first medal for the Philippine karate contingent.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Taal Volcano’s lava fountain weakens, but Phivolcs says it’s not sign of slowing down Leonardo DiCaprio, Taika Waititi, other stars react to Oscar nominations ‘People evacuated on their own’last_img read more

Swami Aksharananda Ji showed poor judgement

first_imgDear Editor,The Saraswati Vidya Niketan (SVN) Principal, Swami Aksharananda Ji showed poor judgement when he invited Mr David Granger into his school. Aksharananda Ji has got to know that Mr Granger has serious moral problems.We all know that Mr Granger has a reputation that includes breaking laws, trampling ethnic/racial diversity and rigging elections. Therefore, Mr Granger is no role model for the students at the SVN or elsewhere. To this end, I am puzzled as to why Aksharananda Ji allowed his students to mingle with such a tarnished character. Aksharananda Ji has acted irresponsibly. He owes an apology to his students and their parents.In no way can Mr Granger’s visit ever benefit the SVN students. The SVN school operates on Hindu values which entail hard work, commitment, respect for elders, honesty and truth. However, such values are blatantly trampled upon by Mr Granger for political goals. Mr Granger has no respect for the people of this country. Mr Granger has even denied Guyanese their rights to vote for almost one year, and he is currently squatting in Government illegally. So, I do not understand why Swami Aksharananda Ji saw the need to entertain such a disgraced figure. How can Swami Aksharananda not know that Mr Granger is bad influence for his students?Mr Granger’s visit was clearly a political stunt. And, of course, the interest and welfare of the students were ignored by the SVN when it allowed a disgraced character into its school.Sincerely,Annie Baliram (PhD)last_img read more

Port Kaituma man gets 11 years for uncle’s killing

first_imgA twenty-one-year-old man who killed his aunt’s husband over a simple query was on Tuesday sentenced to 11 years imprisonment by High Court Judge Navindra Singh. The accused, Herman George, of Port Kaituma, Region One (Barima-Waini) was accused of chopping his uncle, Michael Williams, called “Smokey” to death on March 29, 2012 in the Essequibo county. He pleaded not guilty to the capital offence of murder but guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter when the charge was read to him.According to the facts of the case, George was 16 years old when family circumstances forced him to leave secondary school in Fourth Form and pursue work as a miner in the interior.State Prosecutor Tamica Clarke related that shortly after, his uncle inquired of him why he was working in the interior at such a young age. The query was said to have angered the then teenaged George so much that he chopped his aunt’s husband to the back of the head with a cutlass. Clarke appealed for a commensurate sentence to be issued against the accused. George’s defence counsel, Mark Conway told the court that his client had an unfortunate upbringing.Conway further noted that the accused is still very young and can still contribute to society and his family. George declined to address the court when asked by the Judge if he had anything to say. The accused appeared to be of ill health when he stood from the prisoner’s dock. Guyana Times was informed that George contracted Tuberculosis while incarcerated.last_img read more

Sevens heroes return with ‘swag’

first_img0Shares0000NAIROBI, Kenya, February 13- The national rugby sevens team rolled back to town VIP style – with an entourage comprising of three stretch limos ferrying the team from the airport- after their mixed bag tour of Wellington and USA Sevens on Wednesday.With head coach Mike Friday returning home to England, the squad has 12 days to rest before gathering for intense training ahead of the Hong Kong and Japan legs of the HSBC World Sevens Series where the side hopes to bounce back from a disappointing outing in Las Vegas last weekend. The red carpet reception that was crowned by the presentation of Sh3.825m in bonuses from sponsors Kenya Airways was the right tonic the team needed after the high of reaching the Main Cup final in New Zealand was followed by the deflating run in USA with only a point to show.“It was exciting, it was tempting but it was never to be. We didn’t win it and that is what happened at the end of the day. We were not bad in Las Vegas; it was the same team that performed well in New Zealand.“These games come with a little bit of luck and we were just unfortunate that we did not get the results we wanted in Las Vegas. The team was ready, we played well but the results did not come,” captain Andrew Amonde summed the topsy-turvy outing of reaching the Main Cup final in New Zealand where they stunned the hosts at the semis enroute followed by the inability to click in USA a week later.“It’s hurting but we have to take it. Its part of life, there are things you cannot have control over, there are things you lose and you have be ready to go on,” he added on Kenya coming within a second of winning their first Main Cup in the final against England only to lose 24-19 in extra time with two players in the sin bin.Their arrival caused a stir at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and along Nairobi’s busy Mombasa Road as the squad was ushered to a sumptuous breakfast with their limousines coming complete with security detail in addition to a new Mini Cooper escort.The vehicles number plates had been customised to read, Kenya 7s has swag (style) in acknowledgement of their titanic effort that fell just short of making history in their only second ever Main Cup final appearance.“That is a big motivation to the boys. As a player, we are very motivated and look forward to the next tournament,” Amonde stated in hailing the first welcome of such magnitude accorded to the side.While the rank and file that turned up to receive the team hailed their New Zealand exploits, the slump in Las Vegas was duly deemed as a wake up call for the team to establish itself as a consistent side for the remaining half of the World Series.“We must work to ensure we are accurate when it comes to the next tournaments. It is always difficult to maintain performances in second tournaments. We must be accurate in regards to our set plays and defensively, ensuring we are not leaking in easy tries.“We must mix up our play well to ensure we get wins. The players did a fantastic job in New Zealand having arrived there late in Las Vegas, we lost the first game which took us back a bit and we did not recover going forward. At the end of the day, the players have to make good decisions on the pitch,” assistant coach and analyst Felix Ochieng stressed.He added: “We need to be disciplined on the pitch and take our opportunities. Teams are coming hard on us and it is a good learning curve to our young players. The players are mentally capable of handling the situation.”On Hong Kong and Japan, the tactician declared they would seek to go one better and bag the elusive Main Cup.“To get to the finals of any competition and you lose, it is very tough on the players. These players experienced it for the first time; it was very hurting to get so close yet to far. We count our loss and move on,” Ochieng underscored.The overriding feeling among the gathered was a series leg win was inching ever closer.“The performance in New Zealand shows categorically we belong up there with the best. In Las Vegas, there was a lot of fatigue creeping in but we cannot give that as a reason.“It will take time to build that consistency and it is not far off. What we learned in Vegas is that we need to start well. The World Series is ruthless and we need to get in consistency to win the cup,” Kenya Rugby Union chair, Mwangi Muthee opined.“The players were affected by the Vegas performance more than Kenyans think. After their loss to Australia, they all went back to their hotel to reflect but I can put my money on us being a good team very soon,” he added.“Although there is something happening on March 4, people were watching across the country for the team, the number of people who watched the New Zealand game was overwhelming.“I’m sure when you come back here next time, we will be ready to receive you in a bigger way,” Titus Naikuni, the CEO of Kenya Airways told the squad.The Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens on will run from March 22 to 24 with the Japan leg being staged on March 30 and 31 with Kenya lying sixth in the IRB standings on 56 points having rising to a high of second after New Zealand.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Mesut apologises for penalty miss

first_imgAfter Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny had been sent off, Bayern went on to prevail through second-half goals from Toni Kroos and Thomas Mueller, leaving the reigning champions in a commanding position ahead of the second leg on March 11.“The next morning doesn’t feel better either,” Ozil wrote on his official Facebook page. “Sorry guys – it wasn’t planned that way. Outnumbered it was really hard to win against this team.”Ozil, a club-record £42.5 million ($70.7 million, 51.6 million euros) signing from Real Madrid last year, was roundly criticised in the British media following a lacklustre display in the game.Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov suggested that the 25-year-old’s poor performance may have been down to fatigue.Speaking to reporters as he left the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday, he said: “Ozil was not (playing) at his capacity, maybe because he is tired.”However, Ozil’s team-mate and international colleague Per Mertesacker believes that the former Werder Bremen schemer is still finding his feet in north London.“We have a lot of games here in England and everyone is tired, but it is not just up to Mesut,” said the centre-back.“It is up to everybody to encourage and come back. During the game we all need to encourage each other. Mesut has played a lot of games and he is a massive player.“We need him at his best. Game by game, he will come back stronger.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000LONDON, February 21- Arsenal star Mesut Ozil has apologised to the club’s supporters after squandering a penalty in Wednesday’s 2-0 loss at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.The German playmaker had an opportunity to put Arsenal ahead in the last 16 first-leg match with an early penalty, but his tame spot-kick was saved by international team-mate Manuel Neuer.last_img read more

Heat blamed for deaths of as many as 25 people in Southern California

first_img“My cleaning lady recently came down to complain that it was too hot in there to work,” she told the Times. The temperature outside at the time was 106 degrees, and firefighters said it was at least 110 degrees inside the apartment. At 12:50 a.m. Sunday, the body of Linda Burkhart, 53, was discovered in a vehicle in the 700 block of West Avenue I in Lancaster, said Capt. Ed Winter of the coroner’s office. Burkhart reportedly had been living in her vehicle, Winter said. Also on Sunday, the body of Dorothy McGlothan, 85, was found in her apartment in the 900 block of North Raymond Avenue in Pasadena around 1:10 p.m., Winter said. The temperature in the unit was 115 degrees, he said. McGlothan lived for almost 40 years in the apartment without air conditioning, relatives told the Times. “She said all she needed was a fan,” one of her grandchildren told the newspaper. Autopsies were pending today for 25 people who may have died as a result of the Southland’s heat wave over the Labor Day weekend, authorities said. The deaths of the 25 victims, who ranged in age from 26 to 87, were being investigated as heat-related, said coroner’s Lt. John Kades. The bodies of Menahen Lugassi, 82, and Dolores Del Valle, 87, were found in their apartment in the 5100 block of Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Valley Village, near Studio City, around 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Lugassi refused to switch on the air-conditioner this weekend because the couple saved around $50 in the summer months by keeping it off, Sheila Friedman, the apartment complex manager, told the Los Angeles Times. Michael J. Visser, 26, of Winnetka, was riding his dirt bike in Texas Canyon on Saturday when he became separated from his friends, Winter said, adding that he was found dead at 5:27 p.m. Three others who may have succumbed to the heat this weekend, according to Winter, included Los Angeles residents Hannah Roslyn Balter, 45, found dead in her residence in the 100 block of North Orlando Avenue; Urel Charles Dujon, 77, found dead in his apartment in the 1700 block of Carmona Avenue; and Cle Esther Peters, 70, found dead in her residence in the 400 block of East Fifth Street. Winter said the others who may have died from the heat in recent days were a man in his 70s who was found dead in a van, another man found in his vehicle, and a person of about 50. Among the 15 believed to have died heat-related deaths, there are some who could not immediately be identified and others whose families have not yet been notified, Kades said. Winter said none of the deaths have been officially declared the result of heat. Before that happens, autopsies will be carried out, along with toxicology tests, which can take weeks. Imperial County Deputy Coroner Henry Proo said seven deaths in that typically not county were considered heat-related. Two heat-related deaths were reported in San Bernardino County, and one was reported in Riverside County.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more