Connacht pile on the points

first_img Press Association The home side were full of early running against a stiff Sportsground wind, a fifth-minute effort from the returning Tiernan O’Halloran helping them on their way to a 13-5 half-time lead. Treviso centre Sam Christie struck for a try before the break, but Pat Lam’s men had the bonus point in the bag by the 54th minute thanks to successive scores from Jake Heenan, Matt Healy and Denis Buckley. Connacht gave their bid to finish in the top half of the Guinness PRO12 a big lift with a 53-5 bonus-point win over Benetton Treviso. center_img Man-of-the-match Craig Ronaldson was near faultless off the kicking tee, pocketing 18 points from nine attempts, with Aly Muldowney, Healy and Danie Poolman completing the seven-try rout. The result moved the Irish province six points clear of the seventh-placed Scarlets, as the battle for European Champions Cup qualification intensifies. The Italian defence crumbled out wide in the opening minutes when Healy’s lovely run and snappy pass out of a tackle sent O’Halloran stepping through to score on his first start of the season. Ronaldson converted and then added a penalty on the quarter-hour mark after a spell of forward pressure. The visitors should have replied via good breakdown work from scrum-half Alberto Lucchese, but Jayden Hayward pushed the resulting penalty wide. Connacht kept the Italians out as they pressed for a try from a close-in penalty and the hosts’ solid scrum platform saw them build for a second successful penalty from excellent out-half Ronaldson. However, Treviso hit back in the 34th minute when Niyi Adeolokun and John Cooney were unable to stop Christie from close range, with Hayward missing the conversion from the left. A foot in touch denied winger Healy a quick try on the resumption, although the Connacht pack were in clinical form when a well-worked maul saw flanker Heenan crash over in the right corner. Ronaldson maintained his 100 per cent kicking return at that stage, brilliantly drawing in the difficult conversion off the left post. Try number three swiftly followed as Healy deservedly got over near the left corner flag, profiting from Poolman’s timely injection of pace in a back-line move. The province’s best maul of the night saw prop Buckley plunge over for the bonus-point score. And although they failed to prosper from hooker Tom McCartney’s eye-catching run, a short Ian Porter pass soon had the hard-working Muldowney reaching over the line. As the penalties stacked up, Treviso replacement prop Salesi Manu was sin-binned for a ruck infringement near his posts and Healy scored again, before Poolman outpaced the cover to get his side past the half-century points mark. last_img read more

Akwa United to Macaibi Haifa: No Deal Yet on Ubong

first_img“This came after we personally advised Ubong to have patience that as a key member of Samson Siasia’s national Under -23 squad to the Rio Olympics in August, he is most likely to attract better offers especially from European clubs,” Bassey was quoted as saying.It is even on record that the chairman told Ubong’s agent that the timing of the visit was wrong as Akwa United is in the fore front of the quest of returning to Africa through the league, but was assured that though the star striker will miss the Lobi Stars match that he will return in time for the Enyimba clash in Uyo in week 13.“Should we decide to let Ubong go to Israel or any other club for that matter, you can bet that it will only be after the current league season,” the release announced.The Akwa United spokesman said that it was a rude shock to later learn that Ubong has signed a deal with the Israeli club.“Is that how a player’s transfer is done? Have we entered into any agreement? Has a contract been formalised, have they paid? This is ridiculous, to say the least.“As a club we will never stay in the way of a player who decides to move on in life by seeking greener pastures elsewhere but we owe it to our youth to advice them properly as the lure of the dollar can sometimes be deceptive,” the statement from the club’s spokesman observed.Meanwhile, Akwa United has taken exception to the unprofessional behaviour of Ubong’s agent and insists that it has no deal with the Israeli club on Ubong Ekpai. “If they want him, they should come to us and negotiate the player’s release.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) side, Akwa United FC of Uyo, has announced that Under- 23 striker, Ubong Ekpai, remains a bona fide player of the team despite speculations that the player may have joined Israeli clubside, Macaibi Haifa.According to a press by the Media Officer of the club, Uwem Ekoh, at no time did Akwa United negotiate the signing or the release of the player to Macaibi Haifa, not talk of the payment of transfer fees and so on.The statement said that after undue pressure from the Macaibi Haifa and the player, Akwa United’s Chairman, Paul Bassey only consented to Ubong visiting Israel to “see things for himself before deciding on whether he wants to play in Israel or not.”last_img read more

Jamaica to spend billions on border security

first_imgThe Andrew Holness-led administration in Jamaica is taking steps to improve the country’s border security.On Wednesday, National Security Minister Robert Montague announced that the government is spending US$11 billion to among other things obtain six additional helicopters and four aircraft for the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).The helicopters, which come with five year’s supply of spare parts and maintenance service, are being acquired at a cost of US$47.4 million. Current fleet nearly 20-years oldIn a release on Wednesday, Montague said the current JDF helicopter fleet is nearly 20 years old noting that industry standards recommend replacement at between seven and 10 years.He says a surveillance plane has also been purchased at a cost of US$16.9 million and that is now being outfitted with a suite of equipment.The National Security Minister says the surveillance plane will be commissioned into service later this year.Last year, two ships were acquired at a cost of US$26.4 million for the JDF Coast Guard.Several guns and ammunition seizedHe notes that over 850 illegal guns and nearly 22,000 rounds of ammunition were seized by the security forces last year. He also said the country’s 145 illegal points of entry offer a gateway for guns, ammunition as well as un-customed goods to enter the island. Montague says the money being spent on border security is part of the government’s five-pillar crime reduction strategy.last_img read more

Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury: SN staff predictions

first_imgMORE: Join DAZN and watch Canelo plus more than 80 fight nights a yearAndreas HaleDeontay Wilder def. Tyson Fury via eighth-round (T)KOMy primary issue with this fight is that Fury has returned from a 30-month hiatus against subpar competition. Had Fury faced a fighter in the realm of Joseph Parker, Dereck Chisora or even Carlos Takam, I would have felt more comfortable selecting the unbeaten “Gypsy King”; however, neither Francisco Pianeta nor Sefer Seferi was the opponent that would put Fury’s skills to the test. It’s like a pitcher returning from Tommy John surgery and pitching nine strong innings against a Single-A club and immediately taking the mound for a playoff game against the Red Sox. Fury has the boxing IQ but the conditioning will be a huge question mark against an opponent who hits like a diesel truck traveling downhill when the brakes go out. Wilder’s technique has always left something to be desired but I just don’t believe this version of Fury is the right one to take advantage of those flaws. If he had had a few more fights, I’d like Fury a lot, but this may be a case of too much, too soon.  At some point, Wilder should catch Fury, but “The Gypsy King” isn’t going to make it easy. The end will be part conditioning and part Wilder finding Fury’s chin.Mark LelinwallaDeontay Wilder def. Tyson Fury via seventh-round (T)KO)It’s going to take “The Bronze Bomber” a while to figure out Fury’s unorthodox style — and swinging for the fences is going to leave him vulnerable early — but when he does, it’s going to be “Timberrrr!” Fury’s 6-9 frame is going to get dropped courtesy of Wilder’s right hand — a punch Fury will never see coming.Steven MuehlhausenTyson Fury def. Deontay Wilder via unanimous decisionWhen you really sit down and look at it, this should be a walk in the park for Wilder. He’s facing Fury, who has only fought two times since November 2015 because of a litany of personal issues. The bouts he has taken haven’t been against world beaters and were more about getting his feet wet. Instead of continuing to work his way into the deep end, the former unified heavyweight champion decided to plunge right in with the hardest-hitting heavyweight since Mike Tyson. Beyond his most recent fight against Luis Ortiz, which was one of the best fights of 2018, Wilder hasn’t faced a lineup that would get fans too excited. Wilder showed he was more than vulnerable. He got outboxed until the fifth round when he dropped Ortiz with a blistering right hand. Wilder also showed he could be hurt when Ortiz nearly finished him on the feet in the seventh round. The “Bronze Bomber” survived and finished Ortiz in the 10th round. Fury isn’t Ortiz and won’t get himself into a firefight, which proved to be the downfall of Ortiz. Wilder is going to have to show the world he has more than just a right hand. As with Tyson, once someone walks through your best shot, what is your Plan B? Fury will do to Wilder what he did to Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015. He will use his unorthodox style and continuous lateral movement and throw the jab ad nauseam to frustrate the WBC titleholder and cruise to victory.Bradley CullenTyson Fury def. Deontay Wilder via unanimous decisionIf you have any thoughts of this being a battle for the ages or having an amazing knockout finish, throw those thoughts out the window; this won’t be a fight to remember. Wilder is wild and isn’t blessed with any technical ability. He may have the big knockout capabilities, but for this fight, he needs his opponent to stand in front of him.”The Gypsy King” is the best technical fighter in the division and is far too clever to go toe to toe in a slugfest. Fury will be constantly moving around the ring landing his jab, and when Wilder looks to try to throw his hands, Fury will move his head or flick his shoulder, forcing Wilder onto the back foot expecting a punch to come. These are the very tactics that Fury used to confuse and frustrate a much superior fighter than Wilder in Wladimir Klitschko.Wilder may catch Fury every now and then, but Fury has the chin and defense to take it. “The Bronze Bomber” will get frustrated as the fight enters the final rounds and will lash out wildly, but Fury will just catch him with a hook and then move out of range. I expect boos to ring out when the scorecards are read, and Fury’s arm will be the one that is raised holding the prestigious green-and-gold WBC belt.Chris WalkerDeontay Wilder def. Tyson Fury via sixth-round (T)KO If someone could guarantee me that Fury was at 100 percent, then this would be one of the easiest picks to make. He’s better than Wilder in every area apart from power when at his best, but his absence from the top level of this sport combined with his poor living will surely catch up with him here. Wilder has proved beyond doubt that he’s dangerous at any stage in a fight, and when he takes that threat into a contest against a man who’s lacking recent experience, that’s a good position to be in. Wilder will be behind on the cards and will likely have lost every round, but he will find the target at some point, and when he does, it’ll be over shortly after.Kenneth BouhairieDeontay Wilder def. Tyson Fury via eighth-round (T)KOMy pick changes every day. Today, it’s Wilder. I see more paths to victory for Fury, who I believe can outbox and/or stop Deontay, but “The Bronze Bomber” keeps surprising me. His technique is all over the place but his ring IQ is underrated. If the moment doesn’t overtake him, I expect him to be at his absolute best and close the show in scintillating fashion.Mark OrtegaDeontay Wilder def. Tyson Fury via unanimous decisionI think I’m probably in the minority picking Wilder by decision. I think Fury probably gets dropped along the way in this one and Wilder wins a close but clear decision. I think Fury will aggravate him with his movement early on, but I expect Wilder to figure things out and his right hands will stand out more than Fury’s low-output effectiveness in the judges’ minds.Franklin McNeilDeontay Wilder def. Tyson Fury via 10th-round (T)KO Wilder’s superior athleticism will prove to be the biggest difference in this bout. His jab, hand speed, defensive movement and power gives him more ways to win. He will begin taking charge of this fight in the later rounds.* * * By a count of 6-2, Deontay Wilder is favored to defeat Tyson Fury. Of those six, only one person sees Wilder winning by decision with the other five picking a stoppage. The two staffers who selected Fury only see this fight going his way if it heads to the judges’ scorecards. Do you agree? It has been well over a decade since the last time an American was involved in a meaningful heavyweight title fight, but that time is now as Deontay Wilder will look to prove that heavyweight boxing is alive and well in the States when he faces lineal champion Tyson Fury in arguably the biggest showdown the division has had on American soil in many years. It will be Wilder’s bombastic power vs. Fury’s incredible ring savvy when the two clash at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Dec. 1.The Sporting News staff has made its final predictions for the clash of the titans:last_img read more