Louis van Gaal hails Wayne Rooney after landmark goal

first_img Rooney moved ahead of Denis Law in the United scoring charts when he flicked Anthony Martial’s cross into the net to seal a much-needed 2-1 win over Swansea on Saturday. Rooney’s 238th goal for the club could not have come at a better time for his manager. Van Gaal’s team looked set to extend their rotten joyless run to nine matches after Gylfi Sigurdsson had equalised Anthony Martial’s opener. “It is amazing and that on the age of 30 years,” said Van Gaal, who was unaware of the feat until Rooney informed him after the final whistle. “Now we are playing much more matches but still it is an achievement. “For me, it is more important he scores today. I hope it is a fantastic starting point for the team and for him.” Van Gaal hopes this win will kick-start United’s season too. Had they failed to beat a struggling Swansea side, more questions would have been asked about the Dutchman’s future, particularly with Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola still on the market. The manager thought his players gave their all for him on Saturday. “All the players have done their utmost best and that is very important for the manager,” he said. There were a few boos at half-time when United failed to score in the first half for the ninth home game in succession, but despite registering only three shots on target and playing slowly, Van Gaal was happy with his team’s performance before the break. “I think the first half was a better half than the second,” he said. “The difference was we scored the goals and then everyone is saying the second half is better. The second half is better because we scored two fantastic goals but as a team our performance in the first half was better. We don’t give any chances away in the first half and we played with three defenders.” There was bad news for Van Gaal regarding Phil Jones, who had to be replaced at half-time with an ankle injury, but Ashley Young only came off because he was stiff, his manager said. Swansea could have nicked an equaliser right at the death when Fabianski came up for a corner and met Sigurdsson’s cross, but the goalkeeper headed inches wide. “It looked close. He reckons it was from the edge of the box when he headed it,” said Swansea caretaker manager Alan Curtis, who was disappointed to see his team leave with nothing. “When you equalise so late in a game you are hoping we could hang on, but it wasn’t to be,” he added. Press Association Louis van Gaal hailed the “amazing” Wayne Rooney after his deft backheel ended Manchester United’s eight-match winless run and made the striker the second-highest goal scorer in the club’s history. Van Gaal must have sensed the boos were coming for him after the final whistle. The 64-year-old thought otherwise, but his team were turgid and poor in the first period and despite an improvement after the break, it did not come as much of a surprise when Sigurdsson stooped and guided Modou Barrow’s cross over De Gea and into the net with 20 minutes left. Thankfully for the under-fire Dutchman, Rooney swivelled and beat Lukasz Fabianski with his left foot to convert Martial’s cross seven minutes later. “He scored a fantastic goal, with his left foot behind his right foot and you cannot imagine what a goal that is,” the United manager said. “It was a great goal.” Rooney passed Law’s landmark in the same week the Scot received a CBE in the Queen’s New Year Honour List for services to football and charity. United fans also revere the Scot, of course. There is a statue of him arm in arm with George Best and Sir Bobby Charlton – the other two members of United’s famed Holy Trinity – outside the East Stand of Old Trafford. Rooney’s form this term may not be fitting of a club hero, but on Saturday he dug his team out of the dirt when it mattered the most. The England captain has played 99 more times than Law so his strike-rate is poorer than the Scot’s, but Van Gaal insists nothing should detract from Rooney’s achievement. last_img read more

Leaps Off Stamford Bridge

first_imgEmenalo has been a key in the Chelsea machine under Roman Abramovich but has seen his role increasingly under pressure in an internal power struggle between Marina Granovskaia, a key Abramovich confidante, and Conte.Conte’s future beyond this season is by no means secure but the manager himself is not thought to be a reason for the Nigerian’s departure.Senior Blues sources said it was no surprise to them that Emenalo stood down as the former Notts County defender had made it clear to Chelsea as far back as the summer that he was considering his future and he is understood to want to spend some time with his family before making any decision over his next challenge.“This has been a very difficult decision to make, but one I believe is right for myself, my family and the club. I have had the privilege to work alongside some of the most talented people in the world of sport over the past 10 years, and I will depart incredibly proud of the achievements we have made. I wish Chelsea every success and look forward to following the club’s future triumphs from afar,” Emenalo said upon announcing the move.Conte remarked: “I am very sorry to see Michael leave Chelsea, and I would like to thank him for all his help and support since I arrived at this club. I have enjoyed working with him very much, we celebrated a Premier League title together in May, and I wish him the very best for the future.”Granovskaia said Emenalo would help Chelsea assess their future management structure.Granovskaia added: “We will now be reviewing our management structure, and Michael will be a part of that process as we look ahead.”Some have argued that Emenalo was used as a scapegoat at Chelsea, especially in the transfer dealings, even though the negotiations were left with Marina Granovskaia. Some signings didn’t work out but more often than not they did, and he was only recognised for his errors.Emenalo scouted players like Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois, but also was accused of allowing players like Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku to leave the club. They are now flourishing at Manchester City and Manchester United respectively.Emenalo’s importance to Chelsea hasn’t been noticed by supporters of the club. Many of them just want the Nigerian out of the club but board members and specifically owner, Abramovich, thought very highly of him.It was an exit which will satisfy the ‘Emenalo Out’ brigade but one which will hit Abramovich hard. The Russian was an ally. It can take some doing to earn the trust of Abramovich but Emenalo had done that over the last decade.The two saw eye to eye and he was the only member of Chelsea’s executive team with previous playing experience and it remains to be seen whether a replacement will be brought in. Sources say an internal promotion is more likely, though these are big shoes to fill.With him working behind the scenes, the Blues were crowned Premier League champions three times. They won the FA Cup, the League Cup, the Europa League and the Champions League.He was also known to be frustrated at the sale of Romelu Lukaku to Everton in 2014 and Emenalo wanted to make up for it in the summer by bringing him back. Chelsea lost out on Lukaku to Manchester United, just as they missed out on John Stones to Manchester City.Now, the club has lost their own key player and Ligue 1 Monaco are set to snap him up. The Emenalo era is over.Should Emenalo wish to return to work anytime soon then Monaco are interested in his services as they look to solidify their place among France’s elite and as a perennial Champions League team. The sharp increase in Ligue 1 television revenue has allowed them to further invest in a club that raked in enormous transfer income last summer.Emenalo is one of a number of candidates that the principality club is looking at to strengthen and oversee their sporting infrastructure and that includes scouting and identifying talented youth players and channeling them into the first-team – something Emenalo has had immense success doing in west London.The lack of pathway from academy to first team at Stamford Bridge has been a significant issue for Abramovich, but Monaco are keen on young talent and are looking to create a similar sort of money-spinning model employed by FC Porto and Benfica where they develop and make profits on the continent’s best young players.It would be recalled that in 2013, Emenalo formally requested that his contract be terminated to facilitate the return of Jose Mourinho but his request for termination was denied.Followers of Nigerian football in the 1980’s will always remember Emenalo. He was part of the young Enugu Rangers side that narrowly lost the league in 1985 to the defunct Leventis United, parading players such as Okechukwu Ofeje, Kingsley Onye, Bennedict Ugwu and Amechi Otti, among others.In his quest for greener pastures, Emenalo moved to the United States, and played for Boston University from 1986 to 1989. From there, he played for Molenbeen in Belgium, Eintracht Trier in Germany, and Notts County FC in England before returning to the United States to be part of the original allocated players for Major League Soccer, where he spent two seasons with San Jose Clash. After that, he played with Lleida in Spain and Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel.Nigerian soccer followers also remember Emenalo for his part in the country’s first stint at the FIFA World Cup in US ’94.His sojourn in football management started 10 years ago when former manager, Avram Grant was in charge of Chelsea in 2007 and brought him in as the chief scout. Three years later, he was promoted from chief scout to assistant first team coach and in 2011, Chelsea appointed Emenalo as Technical Director of the club. His responsibilities included heading the scouting and academy programmes.It remains to be seen where Emenalo’s next port of call would be, but with his achievement at Stamford Bridge, he would not be short of suitors.What they Say Chelsea FCEmenalo had “contributed to a period of unprecedented success for the first team and academy”.Chairman Bruce Buck“We are sorry to see him go but understand his desire to move on and explore new challenges,”Antonio Conte“I am very sorry to see Michael leave Chelsea, and I would like to thank him for all his help and support since I arrived at this club. I have enjoyed working with him very much, we celebrated a Premier League title together in May, and I wish him the very best for the future.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Only few have enjoyed the confidence of Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, like Michael Emenalo. He was his ears, and to a large extent, his eyes. Anytime Emenalo and Abramovich visit Chelsea’s training ground, the coach develops cold feet. Last Sunday, however, Emenalo shocked the football world by announcing his resignation as the Blues Technical Director, leaving more questions than answers, Kunle Adewale reportsLast Sunday, after Chelsea1-0 win over arch-rival, Manchester United, Michael Emenalo shocked the football world with his resignation as the team’s technical director, and ever since, analysts have been wondering what might have led to the unceremonious resignation of the former Nigerian international.Before Sunday’s game at Stamford Bridge, only the future of Chelsea’s Brazilian defender, David Luiz, was in doubt after a dismal performance in mid-week UEFA Champions League leading to Chelsea 3-0 drubbing by Roma and Antonio Conte justifiably dropped him from last Sunday’s game. But as it turned out, the focus should have been on the man in the blue Chelsea coat and smart suit (Emenalo) instead.last_img read more

Dominican PM makes passionate plea to UN

first_imgCaribbean Catastrophe FundHe noted the World Bank has established the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility to assist countries that have been impacted by natural disasters. “With physical and emotional difficulty, I have left my bleeding nation to be with you here today, because these are the moments for which the United Nations exists,” said Skerrit in a passionate addressing. But though helpful, Skerrit said the amounts are “usually grossly inadequate to rebuild infrastructure and to maintain the gains and progress made in economic and social development after the likes of Hurricanes Maria and Irma, or even in the case of a Tropical Storm like Erika/ that occurred two years ago. He called for the recapitalization of the World Bank facility for greater coverage by using already committed funds from the Green Climate Fund. The prime minister said 72,000 Dominicans “lie on the front line in a war they did not choose, with extensive casualties from a war that they did not start.” Time for action on Climate Change“Mr. President, my fellow leaders, there is no more time for conversation. There is little time left for action. While the big countries talk, the small island nations suffer. We need action, and we need it NOW!” he demanded. “I call upon those with substantial military capacities to lend us the rescue and rebuilding equipment that may be standing idle waiting for a war,” he urged. “Let Dominica today be that war because, currently, our landscape reflects a zone of war. We need resources NOW, so that we may move with purpose to the task of rebuilding our beautiful island home. He said the time has come for the international community to “make a stand and to decide whether it will be shoulder to shoulder with those suffering the ravages of climate change worldwide; or whether the international community will merely show some pity now and then flee, relieved to know that this time it was not you.”’ “We in the Caribbean do not produce greenhouse gases or sulphate aerosols. We do not pollute or overfish our oceans. We have made no contribution to global warming. But yet, we are among the main victims – on the frontline. “Our hospital is without power, and schools have disappeared beneath the rubble. Our crops are uprooted. Where there was green, there is now only dust and dirt. The desolation is beyond imagination.” International humanitarian emergencyHe said Dominica came to the UN to declare an international humanitarian emergency – “one that is centered in Dominica but also encompasses many of our neighbors, including our sister isle, Antigua, which had to evacuate its citizens from Barbuda.” “It would allow us to rebuild our nation – not as it was, but in a manner that is far more capable to meet the realities of rising sea levels and warmer oceans. “Our homes are flattened, our buildings roofless, our water pipes smashed, and road infrastructure destroyed,” Skerrit said. Shouldering the consequences of others“I repeat, we are shouldering the consequences of the actions of others – actions that endanger our very existence and all for the enrichment of a few elsewhere,” continued the Dominica Prime Minister. Commends help from UAEHe disclosed that the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has risen to the challenge. He commended Sheik Mohamed A1 Maktoom of UAE for his announcement in this year of Zayed to boost the theme of giving by “delivering, even more, goodness to all parts of the world. “Today, we invite nations of similar might to follow the lead of the United Arab Emirates,” Skerrit said. Skerrit said the small nations of the world need to know who their real friends are – who have their backs. “We are in shock, but we are not stooped,” he proclaimed. “We cry, but do not despair. We will rise, because Dominican people are strong, because Caribbean people are resilient. We will rebuild our Garden of Eden again – for our children and for future generations.” He said, however, the Fund has not yet been capitalized, but his island’s capacity to earn has now been significantly compromised “even before we have gotten the Fund off the ground. “We dug graves today in Dominica! We buried loved ones yesterday; and, I am sure when I return tomorrow, we shall discover additional fatalities, as a consequence of this encounter. National Vulnerability Risk fund After Tropical Storm Erika in 2015, Skerrit said Dominica committed to creating a National Vulnerability Risk and Resilience Fund to improve the ability of his government to respond to the impact of natural disasters. “Today, we need all the things required in a natural disaster that has affected an entire nation,” the Dominican leader said. “We need water, food and emergency shelter. We need roads, bridges and new infrastructure. But we also need capabilities for delivery. He cited the success of the C0P21 in Paris is “a demonstration of the collective political will of Member States to take action to combat climate change. One year on, the call for urgent action is even greater if we are to curtail the impact of climate change on us and future generations,” he said. Lauds Green Climate FundSkerrit also lauded the Green Climate Fund that was created to assist in putting mitigation measures in place and to assist the victims of climate change. But he said much more must be done to assist countries that “continue to bear the brunt of the impact of climate change.” A natural disaster that affected an entire nation 72 General Debate – 23rd of September 2017Her Excellency RooseveltSKERRITPrime Minister and Minister for Financeand Public Service of theCOMMONWEALTH OF DOMiNICA Declaring that he has come “straight from the front line of the war on climate change,” Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit on Saturday called for urgent action in addressing the issue at General Assembly of the United Nation. Skerrit’s address was made as Dominica reels from the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. “In the Commonwealth of Dominica, we have long pursued and respected an existence that preserves our Little Eden. The Mome Trois Pitons has been a national park for 40 years and a UNESCO World Heritage Site for 20,” he added. “Our livelihoods are part of our ecosystem. This is how my people and my country earn and survive. But what is our reality at this moment? Pure devastation, as Dominicans bear the brunt of climate change. “Today, we ask you to et these extraordinary events, elicit extraordinary efforts, to rebuild nations sustainably. Let these extraordinary events unleash the innovation and creativity of global citizens to spark a new paradigm of green economic development that stabilizes and reverses the consequences of human-induced global warming. Let it spark a thousand points of light – not shame,” Skerrit continued. “We will need to rebuild homes and villages. We will need to rebuild communities, schools, roads, and bridges. We will need to rebuild a country, and we cannot do it alone,” he added. Above all else, Mr. President and members of this August body, we need you. We need your humanity, and we need you now to act truly as OUR United Nations.”last_img read more

Sue Yoxall: Keeping up to date with technology advancement

first_imgShare Related Articles Submit StumbleUpon Will Whitehead, mkodo: Achieving sportsbook and casino differentiation through UX April 29, 2020 iGB Live postponed due to COVID concerns July 31, 2020 Appealing to a younger generation is often the biggest challenge for technology developers, especially given the pace of change to software and trends, explained Sue Yoxall, co-founder and executive director of mkodo.Yoxall, whose company provides apps and user experiences for mobile, online and retail environments in the betting, gaming and lottery sectors, spoke to SBC at the iGB Live! event about the challenge of keeping technology and ideas remain up to date.When pressed on how mkodo continues to generate fresh ideas, Yoxall explained: “This is something that we always have to do, it’s the core of our DNA. As a company that’s been in the technology business for 18 years, and the only way to stay relevant is to keep up-to-date with what’s happening with technology and new ideas, we have an innovation team who are looking for new ways to bring new ideas from the outside. “So we do things like working alongside the local universities where we have our offices and set innovation challenges where they can come to us with new ideas for new lottery games that might be appealing to millenials. “We are also very involved with a developer programmes for the operating systems that we work with. So we know that we’re ahead of the curve on what’s coming out on those operating systems which means that we can enhance and inform our clients on a product basis.”One of the main changes to the industry at the minute is the changes to Apple’s App store guidelines, which Yoxall explained will be keeping mkodo busy for the remainder of 2019. She added: “We’re continuing to grow the team. In our particular part of the industry with digital products, a key thing that’s happening at the moment is the Apple App store guidelines and Apple’s enforcement of those. “We are helping our operator clients navigate the challenges around that, and will be spending quite a lot of this year helping them through that process and helping them be successful with that. “You can expect to see announcements about broadening our base with lottery client base, you can expect announcements about new partnerships, we will have integrations with new platform providers particularly in the casino space. They will be the main areas that will keep us busy for the rest of 2019.” Share Apple delays igaming ‘Native iOS’ enforcement  March 31, 2020last_img read more

Amewu breaks ground for construction of Hohoe Sports Stadium

first_imgEnergy Minister, John Peter Amewu, has broken ground for the construction of an artificial football pitch in Hohoe, Volta Region.The facility is the 13th to be constructed by the Wembley Sports Construction Limited (WSCCL) www.wembeysportscomplexgh.com, a solely Ghanaian-owned company specialised in the construction and management of artificial football turf (astroturfs).The project estimated to be completed in seven months—has a park size of 105 X 68 metres, and is expected to have floodlights, over 2000-seating capacity, a multi-purpose court, children’s playground and a special volleyball court together with wash and changing rooms intended to improve upon sporting activities in Hohoe.At a brief sod-cutting ceremony in Hohoe on Friday, March 24, 2019, the energy minister – Peter Amewu said that by this demonstrable commitment, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has shown love for the people of Hohoe.According to him, the Akufo-Addo’s administration was ‘very determined’ to develop this country which will trickle down to communities like Hohoe. In that regard, Mr Amewu entreated residents and indigenes of Hohoe to contribute their quotas towards ensuring that Hohoe becomes prosperous.He was confident that WSCCL—contractors for the project—will do a quality job and also complete it within the stipulated time.According to him, the facility when completed will also help unearth talents within Hohoe and its satellite communities as it will also afford the people a world-class event ground for their outdoor activities. The Municipal Chief Executive Officer (MCE) of Hohoe, Andrew Teddy Ofori, commended the energy minister and by extension the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to resuscitate an abandoned project which when completed would inure to the benefits of the people of Hohoe. He bemoaned the fact that Hohoe did not have a representation in the Ghana Premier League (GPL), explaining that this sports facility will help unearth and develop football talents in Hohoe.“It is regrettable that this laudable project came to a standstill when the NPP exited office in 2008, however, “I must add that it is good that a timeline has been given for the completion of the project,” Mr Ofori said.For his part, the General Manager, Wembley Sports Construction Company Limited, Nana Antwi, averred that his company stands for quality, and thus promised to deliver a top class facility as scheduled.He disclosed that his outfit uses FIFA Proffered grass when executing its projects.  WSCCL, he continued that, WSCCL  has almost become a household name in especially Zongo communities and some constituencies across the country following its construction of astroturfs nationwide. “We have constructed artificial football pitches in places like Madina, Walewale, Ablekuma Central, Labadi among others,” Mr Antwi disclosed.He, therefore, thanked the energy minister for his confidence in his company and assured him and the people of Hohoe of quality work.last_img read more

Blake Griffin eyes Clippers return next week

first_imgGriffin had been running on a treadmill and doing some light shooting the past few days. He took things a step further Thursday at the team’s facility.“I did a little bit of stuff on the court for the first time yesterday,” he said. “Not a lot. About 15, 20 minutes or so. But it felt good and I’m not sore today. So that’s how we’ll go from here on out. As long as there’s no soreness, you kind of keep going.”Griffin also said he doesn’t want to do too much: “But I’m also trying to do as much as I can. It’s a fine line, I guess.”Griffin’s injury was revealed Dec. 26, the day after the Clippers (26-13) beat the Lakers. The injury did not occur during that game, however.“No, it had been bothering me for about a month,” said Griffin, whose team has won all nine games without him and 10 in a row overall. “I think ever since we played Indiana (on Dec. 2), and it was hurting a little bit more and more and more, and then the Lakers game is when it just like got me. Like I couldn’t keep going.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Griffin said he had gotten used to playing with the pain, but it got to a point where he couldn’t do what he wanted to do on the court.After Cleveland, the Clippers have games at New York on Friday, at Toronto on Jan. 24, at Indiana on Jan. 26 and at Atlanta on Jan. 27.“Yes, definitely, definitely,” Griffin said of getting back during the trip. “That’s the plan. I really don’t know what game. Safe to say, tomorrow is not an option. but I wouldn’t rule anything else out.”That would suggest Monday at home against the Rockets is a possibility. But Griffin also said he won’t see the doctor again until Tuesday, so that doesn’t jibe.Woodson chimes inGriffin leads the team in scoring with a 23.2 average. He’s also averaging 8.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists. For most players, missing at least 10 games would mean there will be some rust to shake off. Assistant coach Mike Woodson doesn’t think that will be the case with a tireless worker like Griffin.Woodson spoke for coach Doc Rivers, who was attending the YMCA’s 45th Martin Luther King Jr. Brotherhood Breakfast in Los Angeles, where he was honored for his involvement in the development of youth programs for underserved communities throughout L.A.“Well, I like to think he’ll hit the ground running,” Woodson said. “I mean, Blake is a true pro and he’s been great for this franchise and I don’t expect anything different. He’ll be just fine.”AlsoDeAndre Jordan, who missed Wednesday’s game with pneumonia, is feeling better but he remains questionable for Saturday. … Sacramento enters with a 16-23 record. But because the Western Conference is not as terrific top-to-bottom as it has been in recent seasons, the Kings are only a game out of the eighth playoff spot.center_img PLAYA VISTA >> Clippers star Blake Griffin is close to returning from a partially torn left quad tendon, but it won’t be Saturday night when the Clippers host Sacramento.And most likely it won’t be Monday when Houston is in town. It figures to be early on the upcoming five-game road trip that begins Thursday at Cleveland.Griffin, who has missed the past nine games, on Friday at practice talked about the injury, his recovery and what lies ahead.“Pretty good, pretty good,” he said, when asked how he’s coming along. “Just slowly progressing and staying with the plan and making sure it’s 100 percent before we do anything.”last_img read more

Southerners back on top at 2018 Chris Kays Memorial Rugby Tournament

first_imgHong Kong had further representation from Hong Kong University Rainbows and they were joined by the Hong Kong Scottish, who were returning for their fifth year.  There was a welcome return to the tournament for the Stray Cats from Darwin and whilst they were not expected to challenge for the top trophies they were guaranteed to be very entertaining.For the first time we also welcomed The Shiny Rahus (AKA Phnom Penh Social Club) from Cambodia while those great tourists the French Asian Barbarians (FABS) were bound to bring plenty of colour and gallic flair.Nigel Westlake, Headmaster of Rugby School (right), presents the Plate to the French Asian Barbarians.The roster was rounded out by host club Pattaya Panthers, whose playing staff had been training hard under the watchful eyes of coach “ Animal “ and welcomed the return of former coach “Stout”, who has recently returned to these shores and was hoping to get a run out as well as add his advice to the team.The teams were divided into 4 groups and after Saturday round robin games to determine the rankings, the various squads reassembled on Sunday for the knockout stages and finals.No way through for Hong Kong Scottish against the Mocking Birds.The now well-known trickle down format was in effect, putting the ‘Big Boys’ on early and giving the others a slightly later start.  The previous night‘s partying had definitely taken its toll and tired limbs were anointed and strapped as the quest for Cup, Plate, Bowl and Shield got under way.The Cup quarterfinals saw some very good and hard games and, as expected, the Royal Thai Police accounted for the Tequila Mocking Birds while Southerners Black eased past the Bangkok Japanese.  The Bangkok Bangers then overcame the Tequila Mocking Birds Fledglings and the host Panthers won a close encounter with Hong Kong University, who then withdrew to catch early flights back to Hong Kong.The Stray Cats try some expansive rugby against the Fledglings.The first time losers then dropped into the quarterfinals of the Plate led by the Bangkok Japanese and the two Tequila Mocking Birds squads.  The Plate quarterfinals were also hotly contested as teams were finding their appropriate level of competition.  Southerners Gold received a walk-over and Bangkok Japanese, Elephant Brutal and the pastis fueled FABS moved into the Plate semifinals.The lineup for the Mike Cobb Bowl was to produce possibly the most entertaining rugby of the weekend and featured an absolute classic comedy performance from the Stray Cats against the Tequila Mocking Birds Fledglings.  The older and heavier Cats decided that running was not in their repertoire and the spectators were treated to “dead ants”, “statues”, “short lineouts”, “20-man mauls” and “piggy back tries”, and at one stage even the referee was taken into the scrum.  As the final whistle approached with scores even the Cats were in a great position to take the winning try, however they contrived to pass to the opposition winger and then wave him through to score against them.A Fledgling runs into the Police defence.The Phuket Vagabonds easily overcame the Shiny Rahus and Hong Kong Scottish accounted for the senior Tequila Mocking Birds, with Bangpoo given a walkover by the early departure of the Hong Kong University.Both semifinals of the Cup were hotly contested and the Royal Thai Police showed just what a potent force they are in Thai rugby as they coasted to a relatively easy victory against the hosts Pattaya Panthers.  The second semifinal was exceptionally hard fought and the Southerners Black team attacked and attacked against the Bangkok Bangers, who defended as if their lives depended on it.  This time the Bangers finally ran out of steam and Southerners Black regained the bragging rights for Bangkok expat teams as well as a place in the final.Damp conditions couldn’t stop the quality rugby on show.The finals round began with the Shield match between the Tequila Mocking Birds Fledglings and the tournament comedians the Stray Cats.  The crowd was entertained to another classic display of coarse rugby as the Cats pulled all of their stunts and could well have won the game, but that is against the ethos of their rugby.  The Fledglings entered into the spirit of the game and for bringing a touring party of 46 they fully deserved a trophy and were rewarded with the Shield.Before the final of the Mike Cobb Bowl competition a minutes silence was held in remembrance of Mike and other absent friends who have gone to the great rugby club in the sky.  Mike’s memory lives on!  This was a very exciting game and the Hong Kong Scottish made hard work of beating the Bangpoo RFC boys, who never gave up and ran themselves into the ground.  It was a trophy at the 5th attempt for the Scottish and they will be back next year hoping to go one better.Scrumdown – the Panthers front up to the Southerners.The Plate final saw another classic display from the FABS, who once again won a difficult encounter against the Brutal Elephants from Surin.  The widely travelled FABS produced some Prosecco rugby and whilst the boys from Surin fought hard, the FABS experience got them onto the dais at long last and they now have a plate for all that French cheese.So the stage was set for a classic Cup final between the youth and fitness of the Royal Thai Police, the reigning champions, and the age, experience and weight of the Southerners Black, whose sister team Gold had last won the Cup in 2015.No quarter on the field as teams gave their all.The match started at a frantic pace and the Police played some scintillating rugby, whilst the Southerners defended resolutely.  There was nothing to choose between the two teams and heading to the final whistle it was all evens.  Then the referee deemed that there had been foul play in the maul and a Police prop was given his marching orders.  As the clock wound down the Southerners were able to seize the initiative and the extra man proved decisive as they scored the winning try with almost the last play of the match.Both teams put on a magnificent display of hard running rugby and both defences stood firm.  So the Southerners Black gained revenge over Royal Thai Police and regained the trophy that their club had last held in 2015.All hands to the pump at the lineout.After the final whistle everybody crashed into the pool and presentations were made to all trophy winners.  The highlight was the presentation of the prestigious Chris Kays Award after a gap of three years.  This award is made to the person who is deemed to have contributed most to the tournament, both on and off the field through their good sportsmanship and conviviality.  The award this year went to Alex Jezard, the tour leader of the Tequila Mocking Birds who did a magnificent job of marshalling a tour party of 46.Nigel Westlake, the Headmaster of Rugby School gave a farewell speech to the departing players and thanked everybody that had taken part in the tournament for playing the game as it should be played.The Southerners perform an impromptu haka.Jim Howard, the Chairman of Pattaya Panthers RFC, commended everybody for the great spirit in which the tournament had been played and the outstanding quality of rugby throughout, despite the weather’s interference.A vote of thanks is due to all the organizers supporters and sponsors without whom a tournament like this could not happen.  Major plaudits go to Rugby School Thailand for the provision of the magnificent facilities and Retox outlets for good food and drinks, Amari Orchid Resort, still with the fabulous Mantra restaurant, WHA Hemaraj Land and Development, The London Pie Shop, Bakri Cono Shipyard, Premier Solar Co. Ltd., Phoenix Pacific Inc., The Baron Devereux, Societe Generale de Surveillance, MAS Ausgroup, DSL Ltd. Paul Music, Garden International School, Chang for the beer, and media partner Pattaya Mail.Players enjoy a break from the sidelines.Also a heavy vote of thanks go to Contract Resources Asia, who provided all of the shade, Drinking 4U all the drinking water and customized bottles, the Sawang Boriboon Foundation for the standby ambulance and first aid and medical team, David Viccars the referees supremo who kept everybody under control (even the referees) and thanks also to Tournament Director, David “Animal” Slater and Ron Keeley, the IT wizard who produced another superb programme.And a final thank you to everybody who supported the tournament this year and made it such a great event.  We hope to see you all again next year! Southerners Black hoist the trophy after winning the Cup final at the 2018 Chris Kays Memorial Rugby Tournament.Finally the day had arrived and despite some last minute problems, particularly with the weather being very uncooperative, the fabulous new facilities of the Rugby School were ready to be christened with the opening games of the Chris Kays Memorial 10’s Rugby Tournament.Held over the weekend May 5-6, this was to be the 18th staging of the tournament but the first at Rugby School.  Given the long history of the game at the mother school in England, the players taking part here had a lot to live up to.  A storm and heavy downpour had rendered the playing surface on the show pitch more like a swimming pool than a rugby field and the ground staff performed near miracles to produce an excellent playing surface and despite several sharp showers during the weekend the tournament ran without a hitch.Jim Howard (left) and Nigel Westlake (right) present the Chris Kays Award to Alex Jezard.These minor problems could not of course deter the teams that had gathered on Friday at The Retox Soi Lengkee, part of the Retox Group and the hottest spot for watching sport in Pattaya, to sign up for the tournament.  The tournament participants arrived from all over Thailand and other parts of the world to contest what has now been established as one of the principal 10 a-side tournaments in the region.The tournament was to be contested by 16 teams with a very strong local bias.  Reigning champions Royal Thai Police were determined to retain their title and had brought a very strong squad containing several Thai national players.  Other former champions, the Phuket Vagabonds and the Southerners and the resurgent Bangkok Bangers were also expected to make a strong challenge.  The quality of the overseas teams was not known but the Tequila Mocking Birds from Hong Kong are a revered touring side throughout Asia and had entered two teams, so they were expected to be among the leaders.last_img read more

Thurston County Public Health: Dr. Yu’s COVID-19 Update

first_imgFacebook57Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Thurston County Letter to the community regarding COVID-19This is a time for patience and for compassion. It’s a time for common sense, and it’s a time to rely on trusted and science-based sources of information. Unless you are an essential worker, PLEASE STAY HOME to protect yourself from COVID-19.  If you are a person at high risk for complications due to COVID-19, stay home for your own protection.  If you are not at high risk, and are not an essential worker, stay home anyway, not only to avoid getting infected, but to avoid spreading the disease to others.  This is not being paranoid or alarmist, this is being careful.  Now is not the time to go on a road trip or a vacation to the beach. The more time you spend out of your “environment” the more risk you take of encountering the virus.Measures are in place to restrict visits to public places and to tighten up infection control measures for health care and long-term care facilities. This will decrease the risk of COVID-19. Medical clinics, hospitals and health care providers are preparing to take care of more patients.  Elective surgeries and routine dental and doctor visits are being rescheduled to help conserve needed protective gear for health care workers and to decrease risk of exposure.We have seen the number of confirmed cases in Thurston County rise from 1 to 11 in a week. This rise in cases was expected, but it is important to understand that the number of confirmed cases does not truly represent the burden of disease in our community.  As more testing resources are made available, we will identify more cases. We will reach out to those people, and to their close contacts. We will direct them to stay in self-quarantine, and to watch for signs and symptoms of disease needing medical intervention.There is no medication approved for COVID-19.  There is no vaccine available to prevent it. Patients infected with COVID-19 are all isolated appropriately and asked to monitor for symptoms that signal the need for medical support.  Of the first 11 confirmed cases, 6 had underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk, 4 were hospitalized and have since been discharged home to continue their recovery.  One case is in their 20’s, two cases are in their 30’s, 3 in their 40’s, 3 in their 50’s and 2 in their 60’s.  We can now report that as of 3/22/2020, we have had 521 negative tests and 11 positive tests assigned to Thurston County from the state reporting system.Just because you may not be at HIGH RISK, does not mean you are at NO RISK. Anyone can get COVID-19. While lower risk people may be less likely to have severe symptoms and complications, it is still possible. Protect yourself and your community by staying home if you can. IF YOU THINK YOU MIGHT HAVE COVID-19, please self-quarantine.Testing resources are still limited. These limitations are not just about the tests themselves. There are shortages at many steps in the process.  There are, however, community-based testing locations set up by Providence St Peter Hospital. These locations are available only to any member of the public who is at high risk, AND who has symptoms. Physicians and clinics are also testing in their offices. We are monitoring illness reports from senior living and skilled nursing care facilities, and they continue to report some influenza cases.  They have been testing and have not identified COVID-19, so far (3/23/20).Testing is not a sufficient protection measure. There is no logical way to identify everyone who is infected with COVID-19. A negative COVID-19 test today does not mean someone won’t have a positive COVID-19 test tomorrow. There are many reports of people who experience no symptoms, or mild symptoms. Even people with NO symptoms can still pass the virus to someone else.  This is why social distancing from everyone is so important for everyone. Unless someone needs medical intervention (a hospital), even a positive test means self-isolation at home and all the usual self-care for illness.We’ve heard a lot of concern in the community about Public Health and Social Services (as well as the State Health Department) not releasing enough information about where our confirmed cases live, work or places they have been.  Understand, regardless of where each of these folks have been—they all live in our community—in our neighborhoods. They shop in our stores and work in our community.  Many more people who are not that sick, and who have not been diagnosed have also been out and about in our community.  There is no place where you can be guaranteed to not have any exposure, unless you are at home. Social distancing from everyone is the best protection.  Washing your hands and not touching your face also protects you.  We can help protect others by covering our cough, washing our hands and staying home when we are sick.Next time you are ready to head out the door, ask yourself – do I really need to do this?  When you are not working, it is so tempting to take a road trip or go on vacation somewhere.  Now is not the time.  Movement of people spreads the disease.   Being out of your home environment increases your risk, and the risk for others.  If you want to go outside for fresh air, or exercise, do so with social distancing. There should be at least six feet of space between you and any person near you.We do not want people gathering where it is hard to maintain social distancing.  We do not want you to have friends over for a party. We do not want you to get together for your weekly card game, book club, or choir practice unless you can do it virtually. Some folks need to work to keep our society infrastructure functioning.  Everyone needs groceries from time to time. Please help everyone stay safe by keeping your distance. Please treat your neighbors with compassion. Call and check on people when you can.All of us practicing social distancing and good hand hygiene can interrupt the spread of this disease if we work together.  Spring is here and the flowers are in bloom.  Do try to get some fresh air and exercise but do so in your home or neighborhood, at least 6 feet away from others. Take deep breaths and notice all that we have to be grateful for. We will get through this.  I am asking for your full cooperation.  Stay home and stay healthy!Diana Yu, MD, MSPHActing Health Officer, Thurston Countylast_img read more

CLASSY ENOLA GRAY TO FACE SHARP DISTAFFERS BERT’S MELODY, ROO’S VALENTINE AND OTHERS IN WIDE OPEN $100,000 IRISH O’BRIEN AT 6 ½ FURLONGS DOWN HILLSIDE TURF ON SATURDAY

first_imgBERT’S MELODY: Owned and bred by Mr. and Mrs. John Barr’s Oakcrest Stable, Bert’s Melody has been idle since winning the one mile turf Fran’s Valentine Stakes versus state-breds here on May 28, a race in which she got a career-best 90 Beyer Speed figure.  Trained by Sean McCarthy, she’s winless in two tries down the hill, but she was a close fourth, beaten one length, in the 2015 Irish O’Brien. ROO’S VALENTINE: Trained by Kristin Mulhall, she comes off a half length win down the hill against open company in a second condition allowance at odds of 24-1 on Feb. 10 and looks to be a solid fit in Saturday’s Irish O’Brien.  Martin Pedroza, who has been aboard for all four of her wins, is set to ride back on Saturday.  Owned and bred by Kretz Racing, LLC, the 4-year-old filly by Vronsky figures to press the pace in her second lifetime start over the course.                 ENOLA GRAY:  A respectable third two starts back in the Grade I La Brea Stakes here on Dec. 26, she returned to state-bred competition in the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf on Jan. 28 and responded with a dominating 3 ¼ length win over the course at 3-5.  Trained by Phil D’Amato, the 4-year-old daughter of Alexander’s Grazen is unbeaten in two starts down the hill and looms the horse to beat on Saturday. ARCADIA, Calif. (March 15, 2017)–Nick Alexander’s classy homebred Enola Gray will face sharp  allowance winners Bert’s Melody, Roo’s Valentine and others in Saturday’s $100,000 Irish O’Brien Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course.  The Irish O’Brien, for older fillies and mares bred or sired in California, attracted a deep and competitive field of 10 and will serve as Saturday’s co-feature, along with the Grade I, $400,000 Santa Margarita Stakes.center_img THE IRISH O’BRIEN STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDERRace 7 of 10                                                                                                        Approximate post time 3:30 p.m. PT Chaulk O Lattey–Rafael Bejarano–120Roo’s Valentine–Martin Pedroza–122Enola Gray–Tyler Baze–124Desert Steel–Flavien Prat–122Lily Kai–Stewart Elliott–122Bert’s Melody–Brice Blanc–120Smoove It–Mario Gutierrez–120Cuddle Alert–Corey Nakatani–124Emmy and I–Joe Talamo–122Late ‘n Left–Edwin Maldonado–120First post time for a 10-race card on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m.  Admission gates will open at 10:30 a.m.  For scratches, changes and complete morning line information, please visit santaanita.com.last_img read more