NQ Cowboys thrash Leeds Rhinos in Club challenge

first_imgThe teams were deadlocked at 4-all after 40 minutes as Leeds threw an adventurous brand of football at the NRL champions but the Cowboys got pumped up for the season ahead by showing the type of patience that only comes with a premiership victory.The Cowboys scored 34 unanswered points in the second half which erupted nine minutes from full-time when Leeds prop Mitch Garbutt was sent off for punching James Tamou, Tamou himself sin-binned for a slap to the face of Keith Galloway that sparked the hostilities.The final scoreline was somewhat of an unfair reflection of what was a gripping contest for the first 40 minutes, the Leeds crowd taken out of the equation when North Queensland scored from the opening set of the second half.”It was tit for tat there going set for set and we made a few errors that put us under the pump but they’re a quality side, Leeds,” said Johnathan Thurston, was awarded the Graham Murray Medal as man of the match.”They’ve been at the top of the table for a number of years and we knew they were going to come at us hard which they did and we ended up controlling the ball in the second half and got some points.”It’s a good reward for last year and couldn’t be prouder of the boys. They’ve worked extremely hard the last couple of years and they deserve everything they get.”I see the sacrifices they make week in and week out and how hard they train so they deserve everything they get.”We’re a special bunch of guys now and we’ve achieved something special and we’re the world club champions now so they should be proud.”After the Roosters and Broncos had dished out floggings in the first two matches of the World Club Series, Leeds ensured the World Club Challenge will continue into the future with a spirited display that gave the boisterous home crowd plenty to cheer about.With a strong wind at their backs they kept the Cowboys to 4-all at half-time but a mistake from Ash Handley in trying to take a Johnathan Thurston bomb at the end of the first set handed the NRL champions an easy four-pointer to Kane Linnett and from that point they were never headed.Winger Kyle Feldt – who discarded Jordan Lilley with a brutal let-hand fend moments earlier – brushed aside England Test winger Ryan Hall to score in the 48th minute and Lachlan Coote grabbed his side’s fourth when he juggled a Thurston grubber kick that ricocheted off the legs of a Leeds defender close to the line.Having had the final hand in three of the first four tries Thurston claimed one for himself when he spun out of a tackle and dived over in the 65th minute, Justin O’Neill sliced through four minutes later and grabbed a second four minutes from full-time to close out a 34-point victory.With a vastly different looking team to that which swept all before them in the Super League in 2015 Leeds chanced their hand from the opening set of the game, former Manly forward Adam Cuthbertson with an audacious offload in the very first tackle as they looked to unsettle the Cowboys defence.Having created history by naming the same 17 that won the grand final – the first team in the history of the World Club Challenge to do so – the Cowboys were greeted not only by a willing Leeds team but driving rain and a stiff wind in the first 40 minutes.On the back of their first penalty of the game Thurston laid on the opening try of the game for Michael Morgan, an aggressive decoy run by Ethan Lowe creating space on the outside for Morgan to slice through and score wide out in the 22nd minute.Cuthbertson’s insistence on never dying with the football in his grasp eventually paid dividends in the 32nd minute when he crashed into two Cowboys defenders close to the line and then popped a pass back to Leeds captain Rob Burrow who dived over to level the scores but that would be the only cause for celebration for the home side.James Tamou (127m) and Ben Hannant (152m) were outstanding up front for the Cowboys, Coote was faultless in difficult conditions and Thurston picked up where he left off in 2015 with a classy display that sparked the majority of North Queensland’s points.North Queensland Cowboys 38 (Justin O’Neill 2, Michael Morgan, Kane Linnett, Kyle Feldt, Lachlan Coote, Johnathan Thurston tries; Johnathan Thurston 5 goals) def. Leeds Rhinos 4(Rob Burrow try) at Headingley Stadium. Penalties: 12-5 Leeds. Half-time: 4-all. Graham Murray Medal: Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys). Sent off: Mitchell Garbutt (Leeds Rhinos). Sin bin: James Tamou (Cowboys).last_img read more

UCI President “extremely concerned”

first_imgThe Englishman admitted that “time is running out” with track cycling due to begin on August 11 and key work still needing to be done.The official test event at the venue, which had already been pushed back, was cancelled entirely in March, due to delays installing the track.It was initially supposed to be held between March 18 and 20 but was moved to between April 29 and May 1 before being scrapped entirely.The test event, known as the Aquece Rio International Track Cycling Challenge, was supposed to be the first event to be held at the venue, but a scaled down trial between June 25 and 27 was arranged instead in order to give the venue a “quick test”.Rio 2016 director of communications Mario Andrada had claimed he was “120 per cent” confident the velodrome would be ready in time for the Olympics, while insisting it would be “Games ready” by May 31, when the test event was cancelled in March.Organisers also sought to ease concerns over the progress of the Velodrome by staging an “informal test” at the venue last month.Professional Brazilian cyclists were photographed on the track to aid the fixing of the rubber layer covering the wooden surface, which has been imported from Siberia.However, Cookson has expressed the UCI’s ongoing concerns with the readiness of the venue with just 71 days to go until the Rio Opening Ceremony.Track cycling competition is scheduled to take place from August 11 to 16.“The UCI remains extremely concerned about ongoing delays to the construction of the Velodrome and have raised regular concerns with the Rio 2016 Organising Committee and the IOC,” the UCI President said.“It has been a very difficult process and the fact that these delays have pushed back any form of test event is very worrying.“There is still a lot of work to do to ensure that riders have the best competition conditions possible.“Time really is running out.”insidethegames understands that the track has now been fully installed at the venue and is not expected to be a concern ahead of the Games, although work is still required on the suspended ceiling system, as well as the heating and cooling system.The venue is due to have the capability of housing 5,000 spectators, but insidethegames understands the base framework of the seating is currently being constructed, while media tribunes and elevators at the velodrome are also requiring work.last_img read more

Beautiful Madang to host Momase regional qualifiers

first_imgMadang Soccer Association President Ray Romo in a meeting with the Local Organizing Committee and Chairman of Momase Soccer Federation Sigi Beche reiterated that MSA is looking forward to the tournament and will do everything possible to make this tournament a success.“As the President of one of the oldest association in the country, my executives and I are ready to host the tournament, at the same time provide necessary support to the local organising committee.”“We are a team and the love of soccer is our priority, and this tournament is our time to showcase our love for soccer and welcome the visiting teams with open arms,” Romo said.He said MSA will field in one team with its sister associations affiliated to MSA like Sumgilbar, Karkar, Middle Ramu, Bogia will come with a team each to participate in the tournament.Romo said MSA will support the Local Organizing Committee to provide fixtures, referees, prepare grounds and help with security during the duration of the game.“Madang are soccer lovers and so far people of Madang are gearing up to welcome the visiting teams from within Momase and watch them play their style of football against the Madang teams,”“We are challenging the teams from Morobe, East Sepik and Sandaun to prepare well and come to Madang because Team Maang is ready to challenge them on home soil,”Romo said.He added that teams who are yet to pay their registration must do so before the due date on July 29 and email the deposit butt to MSA.Meanwhile, Local Organizing Committee Chairman John Maripal said so far 23 teams have lodge in their interest but are yet to pay their registration fee of K500.He said fees can be deposited into Madang Soccer Association account, Account Number 1000172987 BSP Madang Branch and email the deposit butt to bestacup116@gmail.com. You can also call LOC Chairman John Maripal for further information or confirmation on 72160785.He said due date for registration is on July 29 and the official draw will be released on August 4 once all the teams are finalised. Maripal said Madang is prepared and ready to welcome all the visiting teams next month with its MSA team and other members association teams outside of Madang town who will be taking part for the first time.Picture: MSA President Ray Romo.last_img read more

From soccer to rugby

first_imgThis time around, Martha Karl is all set to live her dream when she dons the red, black and gold colours for the PNG women’s rugby league team at this year’s world cup in Sydney, Australia.The shy Northern zone selected player has had world cup experience in football and now a different ball game in rugby league. Karl played rugby league for the 14 B Pirates in Lae and took up soccer as a way of keeping herself busy.She never thought she would make it into the FIFA Under 20 Women’s World Cup 2016 but she did.After hearing about PNG’s plans to field a women’s rugby league team in the WRLWC 2017, she knew this was her chance.Karl had almost had to drop out of Lae Secondary School during her year 12 but thanks to PNG Football Association, she was able to complete her studies at Goroka Grammar while juggling training at the National Sports Institute.The soft-spoken blond is currently upgrading her maths at the Department of Open and Distance Learning and has a simple message for younger girls who want to take up rugby league.“Taim blo stadi yu stadi, taim blo treining yu treining,” she said. (When it’s study time, you study and when it’s time to train, you train.)last_img read more

Bears too tough for Hunters

first_imgToday the boys lost their fifth away game to the Burleigh Bears at Pizzey Park, who sit comfortably in first place with 14 pointsBears proved too tough for the defending champs, sealing the match with a 34-18 scoreline after Round 8.The Adex Wera and Rhadley Brawa captained side locked horns with their toughest competitors yet, despite scoring their first and second through Junior Rau and Wera.It was 12-10 at halftime.Returning for second half, the Hunters managed another try through Butler Morris to put them ahead of the Bears.However, the Bears managed to keep the Hunters at 18 points by catching up with them, and then piling on several more tries to put them 16 points ahead at the final whistle.Meantime, this was an important match for both clubs; on this ANZAC Weekend as Hunters now hand over the Kokoda Cup to the Bears.This is also the fifth Anzac weekend game between the two clubs, both having won two games each between 20-14 and 20-17.(Standings by SofaScore)last_img read more

Joshua warns Wilder, Fury I’m still getting better

first_imgIBF, WBA and WBO champion Joshua has repeatedly failed to secure a fight with the other two leading names in the division, with high-profile negotiations with Wilder, in particular, failing time and again.The Briton will next face Andy Ruiz Jr at Madison Square Garden on June 1, but he believes Wilder and Fury are taking a risk by delaying any clash with him.Joshua claims he has been steadily improving since beating Wladimir Klitschko in April 2017 and expects his hard work to pay off against his next opponent.”After the Klitschko fight two years ago, I was in a really tough fight that could have gone either way,” he told BBC 5 live’s boxing podcast.”So, for those two years, with my team, [it has been] ‘how do we now train smart to become smarter in the ring?’ Less quantity, more quality. It’s about the quality work now.I am the I am pic.twitter.com/16PS1Siabp— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua) May 1, 2019″It didn’t happen overnight. We’re still developing now, I’m a product of what I’m taught. It took me two years to implement [different techniques] and this is the first training camp where we’re actually using it now.”If you look at my fight against [Alexander] Povetkin, I was ill, tired, had a flu, had a headache. Against [Carlos] Takam, I was overweight. I was going through so many changes, wondering how come I wasn’t getting it perfect.”Those last two years, we’ve worked tirelessly. We’ve travelled all around the United States, meeting Navy SEALs experts, team bonding experts, using recovery equipment that Klitschko was using years ago, lights that NASA use.”There are all these things trying to improve our training camp and move to the future instead of staying stuck in the old ways of boxing. It’s going to be interesting because now is the first time I’m going to be able to express these things.”The longer Wilder and Fury leave it, the tougher I think the fight will become for them. I’m not the fighter of two years ago. They’ve been doing it 10, 11 years, I’ve been doing it five, six years.”Give me another year or two, I think I’ll develop that little bit more. I only want to improve and test myself.”Photo Getty Images. Caption: Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshualast_img read more

Netherlands draw Germany in pick of Euro 2020 qualifying groups

first_imgThe Netherlands and Germany were grouped together in qualification for the 2020 European Championship at Sunday’s draw in Dublin, one of 12 host cities for the finals that will be staged across the continent for the first time.Germany, the team everyone wanted to avoid after their poor showing in UEFA’s new Nations League competition pushed them into the second pot of seeds, will also play Northern Ireland, Estonia and Belarus in Group C when the qualification competition begins in March.The Dutch, European champions in 1988, failed to qualify for the last two major tournaments but have been rejuvenated under new coach Ronald Koeman, beating Germany last month on their way to securing a spot in the final stages of the Nations League.“I wasn’t happy because they are strong, they were the strongest team in the second pot, but Germany are also not happy with Holland, I think,” Koeman, the former Ajax and Everton manager, told reporters.“I think the rest of the draw is acceptable but with the Germans, it will be a good fight. We know it will be tough to beat them. The development of the team is really positive and we look forward.”Holders Portugal must face Ukraine and Serbia in a tricky five-team Group B which also includes Lithuania and Luxemburg while world champions France drew Iceland and Turkey in Group H.Elsewhere three-times champions Spain were drawn in Group F with Sweden, Norway and Romania. England, one of the other in-form teams from the Nations League, face the Czech Republic and Bulgaria in Group A.“AVOID GERMANY”The top two teams from each group qualify automatically. Unlike previous tournaments, the playoffs to decide the four other spots will be contested between the most successful teams from the four divisions of the Nations League who have not already qualified.“I would say it’s a group with three candidates for two places, and Portugal are one of them,” said Portugal coach Fernando Santos.“We escaped playing Germany… or Germany escaped playing us. You could say the group is less difficult because Germany are not there but that would not be true. Ukraine and Serbia are difficult.”Hoping to restore his team’s credibility after they failed to qualify for the World Cup, Italy coach Roberto Mancini was also happy to avoid Germany after his side were drawn in Group J along with teams including Bosnia, Finland and Greece.“A good draw, the aim was to avoid Germany,” he said. “We need to improve and get back to being among the top teams.”The new format offers a potential back door for any top side that struggles in qualifying, while also handing the leading minnows from the lowest Nations League division — Kosovo, Georgia, Belarus and Macedonia — a crack at the last qualification place.The finals will take place in 12 different cities stretching from Bilbao in Spain to Baku in Azerbaijan. For the first time in the competition’s history, the tournament will be hosted by more than two countries to mark its 60th anniversary.No team will qualify automatically as hosts, although every host country that qualifies will be guaranteed two home games in the group phase. A maximum of two host teams were permitted to be grouped together in Sunday’s qualifying draw.That meant that Ireland, to sighs of relief in the Dublin auditorium, had to be moved out of the Germany/Netherlands group they were initially drawn in, dumping neighbouring Northern Ireland in Group C with the former winners instead.Yet new Ireland manager Mick McCarthy was not thanking the “person on the computer with a magic finger” for long when he realised his side would still face the relatively daunting task of getting past either Switzerland or Denmark in Group D.“I don’t see why we should be thinking it’s a damn sight easier,” the returning Ireland manager said.last_img read more

Archer makes England’s final squad for World Cup

first_imgEngland have called up fast bowler Jofra Archer to their final 15-man squad for the World Cup, with the hosts making three changes to the preliminary squad they announced last month.All-rounder Liam Dawson, who bowls left-arm spin, and top order batsman James Vince were also called up by selectors, with Joe Denly and David Willey missing out.Archer made his one-day international (ODI) debut against Ireland earlier this month and impressed selectors with his pace and control in that match as well as in England’s recent 4-0 series victory over Pakistan.Dawson, who last played an ODI in October, picked up 18 wickets for Hampshire in the Royal London One-Day Cup, while Vince takes Alex Hales’ spot after the latter was dropped after being suspended for recreational drug use.England begin their World Cup campaign against South Africa on May 30.Squad: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, Chris Woakes, Mark Woodlast_img read more

Apoel begin European journey in Montenegro

first_imgCyprus champions Apoel begin their European journey for the new season with a trip to Montenegro to face FK Sudjeska in the first leg of the second qualifying round of the Champions League.Sudjeska were surprise winners in the previous round as they knocked out Slovakian champions Slovan Bratislava in a penalty shootout after the two sides were level 2-2 on aggregate after 210 minutes of football. Like Bratislava, Apoel were also victims of a first round exit last year against footballing minnows FK Suduva of Lithiania and they will be looking to avoid a similar embarrassment.Paolo Trammezzani’s Apoel side has gone through yet another major overhaul during the summer transfer period, bringing in eleven new faces and releasing nine players. One star who will not be wearing the yellow and blue of Apoel is former captain Nuno Morais, who after 12 successful years at the club, was deemed surplus to requirements by the club’s management.Alef, formerly of Limassol rivals Apollon, was brought in to fill the void left by the former Apoel captain, while upfront, the Nicosia team brought in two new faces – Andrija Pavlovic and Linus Hallenius – hoping that they can take some of the pressure off Moussa Al Tamaari who last season almost single-handedly won games for Apoel.The most notable addition to the squad this year is Serbian defender Vujadin Savic who captained the Red Star Belgrade team last year in their impressive Champions League group games against the likes of eventual winners Liverpool, French champions PSG and Napoli. In their four pre-season friendlies so far, Apoel did well against a strong Shakhtar Donetsk side, winning by a solitary goal, but in their three other games, they were poor and lacked any incisiveness in the final third despite a lot of possession.Trammezzani knows that it will be considered a disaster if his team fails to get past the Montenegran champions, putting his job at risk. A few groans have already begun coming from Apoel fans (and a former Apoel club president) against the Italian, who they feel forced Morais into retirement and also accuse him of marginalising players who have a lot to offer still, namely Cyprus international Giorgos Efraim and Ghayas Zahid, who is on the verge of a loan deal to Greek side Panathinaikos.Sudjeska, have competed five times in European competitions, twice in the Champions League and three times in the Europa League, recording just one win and losing six of their ten European games.Even in this season’s first round against Slovan Bratislava, Sudjeska rode their luck and managed to stay alive thanks to two goals in added time in both legs.The game will be played at the Stadion Gradski Niksic that has a capacity of just over 5,200. The kick-off is at 9.15pm.The winner of this tie will meet the winner of Dundalk v Qarabag FK in the third qualifying round.last_img read more

Maddison fires Leicester to victory over Spurs amid VAR drama

first_imgJames Maddison scored a brilliant winner to help Leicester City come from behind and beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 in the Premier League on Saturday in a match dominated by VAR drama.The Video Assistant Referee was heavily involved early on after Wilfred Ndidi had bundled the ball into the net, only for the effort to be ruled out for offside.There was no question over the opening goal in the 29th minute as Harry Kane fired a stunning strike past Kasper Schmeichel to give Spurs the lead.Serge Aurier thought he had doubled the visitors’ advantage only for VAR to intervene again, much to the home fans’ delight, with Son Heung-min adjudged offside in the build- up.That proved crucial as Ricardo Pereira levelled things up in the 69th minute from 12 yards, swinging the momentum in the home side’s favour.Maddison completed the turnaround with a superb strike from 25 yards five minutes from time, drilling the ball past the despairing dive of Hugo Lloris to move Leicester up to provisional second in the table.last_img read more