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2007 VAWDON CUP ROUND SEVEN WRAP

first_imgRound Seven of the 32nd Annual Vawdon Cup was played at the Bankstown and Tempe venues on Friday 31 August 2007.The action in the Men’s and Women’s Premier League Divisions was fast and furious with a number of teams flexing their muscles and producing cohesive efforts that will stand them in good stead for the crunch split rounds ahead in the lead-up to the 2007 Vawdon Cup Finals series.Teams in the Men’s and Women’s Premier Division have now been split into two groups for the final three rounds of the ten-week regular season. The groups have been defined by finishing order after seven completed rounds. These groups consist of teams 1, 4, 5, and 8 in one pool, and teams 2, 3, 6, and 7 in the other pool.Teams played with the Pool groupings in the back of their minds, aware of the need to finish as high up on the ladder as possible to position themselves for their tilt at the finals.In Round seven action in the Men’s Premier Division, Wests Magpies put together their most convincing display of the season to dispose of a disappointing Penrith Pathers 7-3 at Bankstown at 7.50pm.Wests dominated proceedings from the outset not allowing Penrith a chance to find any rhythm with Jason “The postman” Stanton delivering on cue for the Magpies to race to a 4-1 lead at half time.Penrith Coach Dave Collins implored his troops to “believe” and the 2006 Vawdon Cup Premiers came out after the break more pumped than “Sony Bill’s” biceps to get back into the contest.The Panthers kept their supporters from heading for the turnstiles early by scoring first in the second stanza to bridge the gap to 4-2.Hopes of a Panthers revival however, were a bit like your grand ma, short and sweet, as the Magpies lifted a notch to post the next three touchdowns without a reply from the shell shocked Panthers who despite their best efforts to lift, found that when it rains it floods, and it was a night that was destined to be black and white.At 7-2 to the Magpies, and with the scoreboard attendant in need of an aspirin and a lie down after his hectic night at the office, Penrith grabbed a late consolation touchdown to finish 7-3 the poorer.West’s Young guns Cameron Nicholls and Ben Nercessian were standout performers and were well supported by the inform Robert Nakhla, Steve Takchi, and king pin Stanton, who ran the show with aplomb.Penrith’s Scott “Jack ”Buckley, veteran Chris ‘Rowdy” Benfield, and the skillful Dean Springfield were Penrith’s best in a defeat that has now plunged the Panthers into a desperate backs to the wall campaign to win two of their last three games to make the semi-final roster.At Tempe in the 7.50pm timeslot The Eastern Suburbs Roosters secured their first victory of the season in style with a 10-2 canning of a depleted Manly Sea Eagles who struggled with limited and wounded troops from the outset.The Roosters clicked into gear with the super consistent Christian Frost and Chris Jonson leading the way, with 2007 Australian World Cup Mixed 30s playmaker Manu Wakely and the ever-present scoring machine Elijah Van Der Kwast chiming in with solid performances that helped framework the confidence boosting victory for the Tri-colours.Manly fielded a 9 man team including coach Brett Gillard 53, who wound back the clock with an inspired performance in a battling effort to be one of his side’s best.At the opposite end of the age spectrum for Manly was Sam Brisby, who at just 15 years of age, performed admirably in the pressure cooker middle of the park exchanges.The Rooster victory is a timely tonic for the Bondi boys as they prepare for Friday night’s battle with West’s at Tempe.Manly will be hitting up Jerry Maguire and Bob Sugar to secure some late season signings for them to bolster numbers for Friday’s Mount Everest challenge against the Dogs.In the pajama party clash at 9.30pm at Bankstown, the Cronulla Sharks defeated Parramatta 5-3 to claim the vital 3 points and a spot in the four coming into the split group stage of the season.Both teams were hunting the win more eagerly than Sam and Frodo chased “The Ring,” and the intensity of the opening exchanges reflected the high stakes mentality of the encounter.The Sharkies got away best, racing to a 1-0 lead courtesy of a Steve Sopher special down the right hand edge.The Eels were fighting to secure a coveted berth in the top four, and showed they would dig in with a strong hit back touchdown to level the contest at 1-1.The rival camps went to the break all locked up at a touchdown apiece in an even money contest that was there for the taking for both teams.Sharkies came out more focused after half time and scored first then went back to back in the scoring stakes for a 3-1 advantage.Parramatta have been a thorn in all team’s sides in 2007, and were never going to go quietly into the cool Sydney night without leaving it all out on the park.Given their quality, it did not surprise anyone to see the Eels pull one back to trail just 3-2 mid way through the second stanza.Just as the contest looked like it was heading towards a ruck and defend slug fest, the game was turned on its head by a couple of inspired plays from one of the competition’s most potent attacking players.In the blink of an eye, 2007 Australian Mixed Open World Cup star Brad “BJ” Holden produced the magic on cue for the Shire boys.Holden weighed in with two slashing pieces of individual brilliance to take his team out to a 5-2 lead with little time left on the clock.Troy Malcolm, who never stopped trying for the Eels, got a late touchdown for Parramatta, but it was to no avail as the Sharkies took a huge bite out of the Eels semi-final aspirations for 2007 with the 5-3 victory.The Sharks will take a lot of confidence from securing back to back victories in the competition and will now set their sights on a season defining clash with 2006 Vawdon Cup premiers Penrith who will be fighting for their life in Friday night’s intriguing battle.The Eels will front up to the Hornsby Lions at Bankstown on Friday night and will throw caution to the wind and go for broke against their more fancied opponents to keep their finals chances flickering in 2007.The Canterbury Bulldogs continued on their winning way with a 6-4 victory over a game Hornsby Lions at Tempe at 9.30pm.The Dogs produced another controlled performance to maintain their undefeated season in 2007. Canterbury’s effort to defeat the classy Lions was an impressive one, considering the absence of Australian Men’s Open World Cup star Joel Willoughby, the inform Matt Prowse, and the whole hearted Stuart Brierty.Canterbury scored first, but the Young Lions responded brilliantly by notching back-to-back touchdowns for a 2-1 lead.On the stroke of half time the Doggies conjured a touchdown to even the ledger at 2-2.The second half was a disjointed one for Hornsby, with three players being given periods of tine for various indiscretions, cruelling their chances of winning the game.The experience and guile of the Dogs made the Lions pay a heavy price for their ill discipline, when on every occasion a Lion was in the bin; the savvy Dogs exploited the extra man advantage for touchdowns.At 5-3 to the Dogs with two minutes to go the teams traded touchdowns to finish the game with a flurry.Hornsby struck first to peg the deficit back to 5-4.Not to be outdone, the Dogs gave their supporters a further reason to cheer when they scored to finish the Lions off with the full time hooter reverberating in the background for a 6-4 decision to the premiership favourites.For Hornsby, season superstar Dylan Hennessey kept the Dogs guessing all night with his superior footwork, and wonder twins John and Maurice Kennedy were at their scheming best. Heath Cooper and Charbel Maroun defended stoutly, and the talented Lions will be keen to get back in the winners circle against the Eels at Bankstown Friday night.2006 Boland Medallist Steve Roberts was again the star turn for Canterbury ably assisted by Daniel Walsh, and “Top Dog” Garry Sonda, who steered the blue and whites around the park admirably.In the 2007 Women’s Premier League division of the Vawdon Cup, Wests completed a 10-4 victory over the Penrith Panthers in the 7.00pm game at Bankstown.The “Pink Panthers” all wore Pink headbands to raise awareness and funds for the National Breast Cancer Initiative.The community conscious Panthers were in need of a little charity themselves when they found themselves down by 3 touchdowns after only 12 minutes of play.The Panthers stopped the rot through their Captain Vicky Wheatley to peg the score back to 3-1.The Wests machine, welcoming back Australian Women’s Open superstar Bo De la Cruz and the experienced Sara Hamilton, clicked into high gear snaffling another 2 touchdowns in smart time to register a 5-1 lead at the interval.The Panthers, inspired by the commitment to their cause that would see them collect more money for their charity with each touchdown they scored, came out full of running.The Pink Panthers were fuelled by the efforts of Katrina Howely and Mel Harrison, who managed to conjure 3second half touchdowns to raise spirits and funds for the battling club and the worthy cause.The Panthers never took a backward step against a tough West’s combination that added five second half touchdowns to their tally, and are starting to look a lot like the real deal in 2007.Newcomer Bojana Mali was a revelation in her first outing on the wing for Wests and looks to have a bright future at the Magpies. The game was played in great spirit and post match the Penrith girls sold headbands, collected donations, and proudly raised $2000 for the National Breast Cancer Initiative.In the 7.00pm game at Tempe, the Easts Roosters bounced back to top form with an emphatic 10-3 walloping of Manly.Easts are looking to build form into the finals and created some momentum Friday with four-touchdown hero Megan “Champo” Campbell leading the way.The exceptional ball playing of Australian World Cup legend Kristy Judd, and fellow Aussie Women’s team fixture and East’s Captain Melissa Pitfield, paved the way for a much more cohesive performance from the defending Vawdon Cup premiers.Manly tried hard and provided a few problems for the Roosters with some short kiwi style 5 metre attack on the scoreline, and drove aggressively for the duration. But the class of the Roosters prevailed, and coach Jason Hunt will now look to his troops to consolidate the momentum in the marquee clash with the white hot Western Suburbs who will provide a sterner test for the defending champions this Friday night.The Wollongong Devils cemented fourth spot on the competition ladder with a comfortable 6-3 defeat of Cronulla in the 8.40pm clash at Bankstown.The “Young Divas” welcomed back a number of injured stars including National Youth squad member Nicole “Captain Serro” Beck who made up for lost playing time in recent weeks to carve through the Cronulla defence to claim the early ascendancy 1-0.Fellow National 20 Years Women’s Youth Squad member Amy Regal gift-wrapped a touchdown with a pinpoint long ball for Rachel Beck to dot down for a 2-0 lead.Cronulla hit back to make the score 2-1 before Kylie Evans scored to take the Divas out to a 3-1 lead at half time.After the break, Wollongong continued on their merry way with Nicole Beck using her “Captain Sero” powers for good and not evil to dismantle the Sharkies defence at will, and in the process snare a hat trick of touchdowns to give her team the decisive edge.The gifted Jess Mc Call pulled the trigger on a humming long ball for Kylie Evans to dot down out wide to wrap up a double to complete a busy night at the office for the Young Divas, whose only real trouble for the night was the “ID” checks on route to the scoreline.Cronulla never stopped running and kept trying to get back into the game, despite lacking their usual cohesiveness.The absence of Brandi Elliot, Jenna Cell, Dom Maher, and Skye Rolley took its toll on a depleted Sharkies line-up, but the consistent Jess Howe and National 18 Years Youth Squad member Laura Chivers gave their all for the Sharks who will be keen to make amends this week against Penrith.National 20 Years squad member Steph Jackson showed her undeniable class, whilst Amy Regal and Nicole Beck were in everything for the Devils, who week by week are proving their mettle in the big time.Competition “Queen Bees” Canterbury produced the goods once more with an emphatic 6-1 triumph to sting an under strength Central Coast Dolphins combination at Tempe at 8.40pm.The Doggies were always in control of the contest and went to oranges 4-1 the better.Louise ‘Squeeze” Winchester was scoring more freely than Matthew Hayden against the Poms on a flat deck at the Gabba, nabbing four touchdowns in dynamic fashion to dominate the contest.Belinda Grech provided the defensive starch as the Dogs went right on with the job in the second stanza to wrap up a comfortable 6-1 victory and secure the number one position for the split rounds.The Dolphins missed Kylie Hilder and Liz Penny, but welcomed back newlywed Karina Haddin who made a great return to the game after an extended absence following a lengthy stint on the sidelines with a debilitating collarbone injury that foiled her World Cup Mixed Open campaign in November of last year.This weeks Round 8 Games will be played at Bankstown and Tempe as teams are split into the two pool playing groups.In the Men’s Premier League, Canterbury (1), Cronulla (4), Penrith (5), and Manly (8) are group 1, whilst Wests (2), Hornsby (3), Parramatta (6), and Easts (7) are in group two. In the Men’s Premier League Sharkies and Penrith clash at Bankstown at 7.00pm in a battle that will be pivotal to both team’s semi-final aspirations.The Hornsby Lions will take on a desperate Parramatta in the 8.40pm battle at Bankstown, whilst top seeds Canterbury will be looking to bring the hurt to a depleted Manly side that will need to dig deep in the 8.40pm clash at Tempe.Wests Magpies are warm favourites, but will face a rejuvenated Easts Roosters line-up in the late game at 9.30pm at Tempe to round out the Round Eight fixtures in the Men’s Premier League division.In the Women’s Premier League, playing group one consists of Canterbury (1), Wollongong (4), Cronulla (5), and Penrith (8), whilst Easts (2), Wests (3), Manly (6), and Central Coast (7) make up playing group two.In Round 8 of the Women’s Premier League, Touch Football fans will be spoilt with a sensational clash at Tempe at 7.00pm featuring 2006 State Cup finalists Wests Magpies and 2006 Vawdon Cup premiers Easts Roosters.The last time these two sides met there was no love lost and the passion and skill from both sides will ensure the high quality touch and spirited banter will framework a classic encounter for the crowd.The Sharks and Penrith will meet at 7.50pm at Bankstown, whilst Canterbury will need to be wary of an improving Wollongong Devils side in the 7.50pm clash at Tempe.In the “sleepy time” game at 9.30pm, Manly Sea Eagles will confront the Central Coast Dolphins in a contest that is an even money danger game for punters to complete Round 8 of the 2007 Vawdon Cup season.This week’s “Blackest Cat” award for the Player of the Round in the Men’s Premier Division goes to Manly Coach Brett “The Guardian” Gillard who strapped on the boots to help out his beloved Sea Eagles in their hour of need.With his team down on playing numbers Gillard 47, donned the red cape, well the Manly jersey, the tube socks, and the Westmont footy shorts to wind back the clock, patrol the wing, and save the day on numerous occasions for his team when he was most needed…The guardian made good on his promise to “not let go” and helped steer his team through a tough night at Tempe…This week’s “Go to Girl” award for the Player of the Round in the Women’s Premier division goes to Wollongong’s Amy “Tank Girl” Regal who was more involved than a season’s worth of “Lost” episodes, and threw several Zoolander style “ridiculously good looking” long balls to set up her team’s crucial victory over the Sharks.This week’s “That’s Mud” award goes to Wollongong’s National 20 Years Youth Squad member Ash Dobbins for her superior face planting skills. The “Dobbie,” throwing out seven different types of smoke with her air snaps against Cronulla on Friday night, managed to trip over her own feet with not a defender in sight and the scoreline beckoning.The associated laughter from her own team mates and the Cronulla defence who were on the ground in stitches created a gap that sadly, she was unable to hit, due to the severity of the face trip. She remains in doubt for Friday’s big clash with the Dog’s nursing a bruised ego.“That’s mud!”And that’s the Vawdon Cup wrap for this week…Many thanks to all players and coaches for their input in compiling this information.Good luck to all teams for Friday night.last_img read more

10 months agoAC Milan defender Calabria: I’ve never seen a striker like Higuain

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say AC Milan defender Calabria: I’ve never seen a striker like Higuainby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAC Milan defender Davide Calabria admits he appreciates working with Gonzalo Higuain.The striker is currently struggling for goals.But Calabria says, “I told my agent that I’d never seen a striker like Higuain. He’s very good and always done well wherever he’s played.“Is there a problem with him? No, there isn’t. He’s having a tough time, which can happen, but he’s our Cristiano Ronaldo, given us prestige and something more to the team in general terms.“He’s won a lot and he has so much experience. Maldini? He’s an idol. I’ve always said and thought that seeing him gives me something more, even in training.” last_img read more

Daehans LNGFuelled Aframax Design Gets DNV GL AiP

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: DNV GL Classification society DNV GL has awarded Korean shipbuilder Daehan Shipbuilding an Approval in Principle for the design of an LNG-fuelled 115,000 dwt Aframax tanker.As the maritime industry continues to build on its efforts to reduce emissions to air, LNG as a ship fuel is attracting a great deal of attention across many ship sizes and types.The new joint development project (JDP) undertaken by DHSC and DNV GL focussed on producing a design that is tailored to these emerging regulatory and market trends.“We believe the completion of this joint development project will allow us to take a competitive position in a challenging market. Eco-friendly designs enabled DHCS to win newbuilding orders. The result of the JDP will be another enabler for us to strengthen our marketing strategy,” said Yong-Duk Park, CEO & President of DHSC.DNV GL reviewed and verified drawing packages related to gas-fuelled systems submitted by DHSC.last_img read more

Nunavik government welcomes muchneeded investment to improve Elder care community housing

first_imgLindsay RichardsonAPTN NewsTwo community-based organizations in Nunavik, northern Quebec, will be receiving a million-dollar investment from the provincial government in the hopes of improving quality of life for the region’s elders.“Nunavik has a distinctive character and unique characteristics in Quebec,” Andree Laforest, Minister of municipal affairs and housing, said in a statement Thursday. “Its cultural and linguistic heritage, its art, and the history of its people make it a territory rich in traditions that are essential to preserve.“To achieve this, we must support seniors in order to ensure that they have access to adequate living conditions and that they can pass on their knowledge,” Laforest added.Laforest confirmed that more than $1.8 million provided through the Regional Radiation Support Fund (RARF) would directly fund projects overseen by the Kativik Regional government and the Ayagutaq Inukjuak Seniors House.The boost comes as a part of a province-wide strategy to prioritize senior care and re-distribute resources – news that was well-received by leaders in Nunavik.“For the past four years, our regional councillors and mayors have asked that [these services] be available to seniors,” explained Jennifer Munick, chairperson of the Kativik Regional Government.“It is on their behalf that that Kativik Regional Government expresses its gratitude for the efforts invested in the implementation of this service,” she added.Kativik Regional Government will receive a majority share of the investment – a total of $1.7 million – in order to hire a coordinator in each of Nunavik’s 14 villages on a three-year contract basis.Coordinators will be tasked with “organizing recreational activities for seniors in their community, representing them on various local and regional committees, and facilitating the transmission of traditional knowledge to future generations,” according to a press statement.The funds will also be used in part to implement initiatives prioritizing senior safety, as well as access to traditional food and housing.“The resources we’re investing in will make life easier for these people, thanks to new services such as snow shoveling and sawing,” according to Marguerite Blais, Quebec Minister for Seniors – the province’s first minister appointed specifically to alleviate strain on caregivers and those who support aging loved ones.The 2019-2020 Quebec Budget, tabled by the Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) government, saw a 5.4 per cent overall increase, including $215 million annual investment to hire and retain caregiving staff at long-term care centers and hospitals, $280 million to add home care and support services, as well as $21 million to support “informal” caregivers.A controversial report tabled at the National Assembly in 2018 revealed that senior or long-term care services were “deficient and flawed” under the previous Liberal government – something Premier Francois Legault promised to amend.As part of this most recent announcement, $100,000 will go towards the construction of an eldercare residence for up to 16 people, which will also serve as a day center for all seniors in the community.“This initiative will not only promote the history of the Inuit, but also that of Quebec,” said Sylvie d’Amours, Quebec minister of Indigenous Affairs.lrichardson@aptn.ca@sentimtllast_img read more

Notley denies Keystone XL backing as a subsidy cites need for more

first_imgAlberta Premier Rachel Notley says the decision to back the Keystone XL pipeline shouldn’t be seen as a subsidy and all new pipelines are needed to meet growing oil and gas production.“We are ourselves a shipper at the end of the day,” Notley said Thursday. “It’s not that, and again as I’ve said, we’ve got these three pipelines and we as a government are looking at the best way to work with each proponent to support them as effectively as we can.On Wednesday, TransCanada confirmed it had commercial support for the pipeline, securing 500,000 barrels a day from producers for 20 years.50,000 of those will come from the provincial government’s Crown corporation.In response, competitor Enbridge told the Globe and Mail that TransCanada had previously announced it had enough commercial support months ago, so a taxpayer subsidy isn’t necessary.Notley said they’ve been working closely with Enbridge – whose Line 3 pipeline began construction last summer – along with Kinder Morgan on the Trans Mountain pipeline.But the Keystone support is a change from the NDP’s previous position, as it said during the 2015 election to focus on other projects since it didn’t appear it would get approval at the time by the United States.When asked why she changed her mind, Notley said production is up and capacity is down.“We do have a market in the States and if we can put that product on pipeline as opposed to on rail, that means more returns for Albertans,” she said. “The projected oil and gas production are going to require Kinder, they’re going to require Line 3, they’re going to require Keystone.”As for the overall growth of the economy, Notley responded to Statistics Canada data that cited EI increases in November, specifically by a big jump of in Edmonton.“We know that employment lags behind to some degree business, GDP growth and those kinds of things,” she said. “That being said, what we have seen is the province has created about 70,000 jobs in the last year, we are at the highest employment rate that we have been at since 2014.“The indicators overall is that we are making progress on jobs, we’re about halfway there, we’ve got more to do.”last_img read more

Congs Sunil declares Rs 153 cr movable assets deposits in Swiss bank

first_imgGurdaspur: Congress’s Lok Sabha candidate from here Sunil Kumar Jakhar has declared movable assets worth Rs 1.53 crore, besides an over Rs 7 crore deposit in a Swiss bank in his wife’s name, according to an affidavit filed with poll authorities. Son of former Madhya Pradesh governor late Balram Jakhar, the Congress nominee has declared Rs 1.23 crore as deposits in different bank accounts. He has declared deposits worth Rs 7.37 crore by his wife Silvia Jakhar in the Zurcher Kantonal Bank, Zurich, Switzerland, according to the affidavit. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghThe Zurcher Kantonal Bank is one of the biggest Swiss banks, as per its website. Sunil Jakhar has Rs 4.49 lakh as cash in hand and his wife Rs 1.38 lakh. He has declared immovable assets worth Rs 2.88 crore, including those which are self acquired and inherited, and that of his wife as Rs 12.06 crore in the affidavit. Sunil Jakhar, the sitting MP from Gurdaspur, is up against actor-politician Ajay Singh Dharmendra Deol, popularly known as Sunny Deol. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadDeol has declared movable assets worth Rs 60.46 crore, including bank deposits, and Rs 5.72 crore assets of his wife Lynda Deol, according to his affidavit. He has declared immovable assets worth Rs 21 crore in the affidavit. Sunny Deol has Rs 26 lakh cash in hand and his wife Rs 16 lakh. The actor has declared liabilities, as loan or dues to financial institutions or individuals of Rs 49.3 crore. His wife’s liabilities, as mentioned in the affidavit, are of Rs 1.66 crore. Sunny Deol has declared Rs 2.49 crore as “government dues”, including Rs 1.07 crore as Goods and Services Tax dues in the affidavit. Voting in all 13 Lok Sabha seats of Punjab, including Gurdaspur, will be held on Sunday.last_img read more

Only A Superteam Could Stop LeBron

FiveThirtyEight On the latest episode (June 13, 2017) of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast, we first talk about the right way for teams to approach the MLB draft. Then FiveThirtyEight’s Kyle Wagner stops by to talk about the Golden State Warriors’ 129-120 Game 5 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Are these Warriors the greatest team of all time, and what makes them so good? We deliberate. Plus, a significant digit on Rafael Nadal.Here are links to stories we discussed this week:FiveThirtyEight’s Neil Paine argues that Moneyball’s draft advice has outlived its usefulness.Neil also writes that although the Warriors are still in the GOAT debate, they blew their chance to end it.Check out Kyle Wagner’s piece on how the Warriors duped the NBA.Kyle and Chris Herring write that the Warriors belong to Kevin Durant now.Sports Illustrated’s Deantae Prince does a category-by-category examination of the Warriors vs. the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls.Significant Digit: 10, the number of French Open titles Rafael Nadal has won. Nadal beat Stan Wawrinka to win his first Grand Slam in three years. More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS read more

LeVeon Bell Is Irreplaceable The Steelers Have Yet To Notice

Le’Veon Bell was born in the wrong decade. The Pittsburgh Steelers running back is the best player in the NFL at his position, but he’s playing at a time when that distinction has never been less valued. On Thursday, Bell didn’t report to camp (and was under no obligation to do so), having yet to sign his franchise tender for $12.1 million. Earlier this month, negotiations between the All-Pro and the Steelers broke down without Bell signing a long-term contract after he reportedly sought $15 million per year. Assuming Bell does sign the tender, he’ll still play this season for the Steelers as the game’s highest-paid back. But the Steelers can’t resume negotiations on a long-term deal until 2018, meaning Bell will be a free agent once again.Put another way: This could be Bell’s last season wearing black and gold. In another era, when running backs like Earl Campbell, Franco Harris and Walter Payton were the gods of the gridiron, this would be unfathomable. But in the modern NFL, any running back, regardless of his ability, may be viewed as replaceable simply because he doesn’t throw or primarily catch the football. Despite this new line of thinking, Pittsburgh could still be making a huge mistake.Local papers have noted that Pittsburgh has won at a higher rate without Bell the past two years (11-5 including playoffs) than with him (12-7). But Bell played in five games without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during that span, compared with just one for his backup the past two years, DeAngelo Williams, who is no longer with the team. The Steelers went 10-3, meanwhile, when Bell and Roethlisberger both played.1 This is excluding a 2015 game against the Bengals in which Bell suffered a season-ending injury early in the second quarter and January’s playoff loss against the Patriots when Bell left the game in the first quarter.In addition to durability risk, the knock on running backs is that they are interchangeable –that their success is based more on a team’s offensive scheme and run blocking than any innate ability. But that doesn’t seem to be the case with Bell. WSHR. KelleyC. Thompson4.25.2-1.1 CLEI. CrowellD. Johnson4.84.9-0.1 The 25-year-old averaged 4.86 yards on 261 carries last season — or 1.36 yards more than Williams averaged in 98 attempts while running behind the same offensive line. That differential was the fourth in the NFL when comparing primary ball carriers to their best backup with 50-plus carries, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com. That means Bell gained 355 more yards on his 261 carries than his backup would have, and those extra yards are worth 23 points, based on the league rate of a point every 15.4 yards from scrimmage. That was bested only by the Chicago Bears’ Jordan Howard (1.98 yards better per carry), San Francisco 49ers’ Carlos Hyde (1.90) and Cowboys rookie Ezekiel Elliott (1.55). But in those three cases, the 2016 backups — Jeremy Langford, Shaun Draughn and Alfred Morris, respectively — are nowhere near the caliber of Williams, one of only three backs since 2000 who have matched Bell’s active streak of averaging at least 4.7 yards in three consecutive seasons (minimum 100 carries).2 The other two are Tiki Barber (2004 to 2006) and Jamaal Charles (2012 to 2014). No back this century has ever done it four straight years.If you look at the list across the league, you begin to see why an NFL front office might think twice about giving big money to a first-string running back. There were 11 teams in 2016 in which the difference in efficiency between the starter and the backup was separated by less than half a yard per attempt. What’s more, there were 16 backups who were actually more efficient in less work, perhaps because of fresher legs. And the four backs who averaged at least 1 yard more per rush than the man they were behind on the depth chart are backups again this year. That includes the best backup rusher last year, Oakland’s Jalen Richard (1.88 yards per carry more than the now-departed Latavius Murray, who was replaced by Marshawn Lynch). More mysteriously, the Jets’ Bilal Powell (5.51 per carry) is expected to back up the same starter, Matt Forte (3.73), as is Washington’s Chris Thompson (5.24) behind Rob Kelley (4.19).Bell’s teammates, at least, seem to appreciate his value. “We need him,” star wide receiver Antonio Brown told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on Monday. “He’s a special piece.” But on Wednesday, prior to training camp, Brown expressed dismay on Instagram over Bell’s anticipated absence, saying the “First rule to getting better is showing Up!”Brown was rewarded for his stellar output with a four-year, $68 million deal in February. But Bell’s best offer from the Steelers didn’t approach that, according to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, which is instructive in showing how much more the NFL values passing over the ground game. But Bell is arguably the team’s second-most important receiver behind Brown, too. Last year, he became the first player in NFL history to average more than 50 yards receiving per game in addition to 100 rushing yards. And his total of 157 yards from scrimmage per game was third-most in league history.Yet despite their arguably equal importance to the team, it’s Bell who is skipping camp while he waits on his payday. Brown, meanwhile, arrived at camp on Thursday chauffeured in the backseat of a 1931 Rolls Royce. MINJ. McKinnonM. Asiata3.43.3+0.1 PHIR. MathewsD. Sproles4.34.7-0.4 BALT. WestK. Dixon4.04.3-0.3 NOM. IngramT. Hightower5.14.1+1.0 Not every running back is replaceableDifference between teams’ primary and secondary running options by yards per attempt, 2016 CINJ. HillR. Burkhead3.84.7-0.9 TEAMRB1RB2RB1RB2DIFF. SDM. GordonK. Farrow3.93.2+0.7 CARJ. StewartF. Whittaker3.84.7-0.9 DETT. RiddickZ. Zenner3.93.8+0.1 KCS. WareC. West4.33.3+1.0 TEND. MurrayD. Henry4.44.5-0.1 NYJM. ForteB. Powell3.75.5-1.8 JAXT.J. YeldonC. Ivory3.63.8-0.2 DALE. ElliottA. Morris5.13.5+1.6 NEL. BlountD. Lewis3.94.4-0.5 TBD. MartinJ. Rodgers2.94.3-1.4 HOUL. MillerA. Blue4.04.2-0.2 SFC. HydeS. Draughn4.62.7+1.9 ATLD. FreemanT. Coleman4.84.4+0.3 NYGR. JenningsP. Perkins3.34.1-0.8 CHIJ. HowardJ. Langford5.23.2+2.0 GBT. MontgomeryE. Lacy5.95.1+0.9 PITL. BellD. Williams4.93.5+1.4 BUFL. McCoyM. Gillislee5.45.7-0.3 DEND. BookerC.J. Anderson3.54.0-0.5 OAKL. MurrayJ. Richard4.05.9-1.9 RB2 is the teams’ best backup running back with at least 50 rushing attempts.Source: TruMedia YARDS/ATTEMPT read more

Football Redshirt freshman quarterback Matthew Baldwin enters name in transfer portal

Redshirt freshman Matthew Baldwin (12) throws a pass down the field in the first half of the 2019 Spring Game on April 13. Gray beat Scarlet 35-17. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorAfter entering spring camp expecting to battle with sophomore Justin Fields for first-team quarterback reps, redshirt freshman Matthew Baldwin has entered his name into the transfer portal. Ohio State confirmed the report Thursday. Lettermen Row was first to report.In the Spring Game, Baldwin completed 20-of-36 passes for 246 yards, throwing two touchdowns and two interceptions. Fields finished the game completing 4-of-13 pass attempts for 131 yards and a touchdown, adding a rushing touchdown with 38 rushing yards. Baldwin spent his first season with the Buckeyes overcoming an ACL injury he suffered in the 2017 Texas 6A State Championship game when he was at Lake Travis High School.As spring practice continued, Fields and Baldwin split first-team reps, and Baldwin was confident in is chances of playing time. “Now Tate leaves and Justin comes in,” Baldwin said. “I guess he is kind of chasing me.”With the loss of Baldwin, Fields and redshirt senior Chris Chugunov are the only quarterbacks on scholarship for the Buckeyes. Sophomore quarterback Danny Vanatsky is also on the roster as a walk-on. read more

Sami Khedira is happy after signing new Juventus contract

first_imgThe former Real Madrid player talks how well he feels with the Italian Lega Serie A club and what’s next on his careerSami Khedira has been with Juventus since he decided in 2015 to leave Real Madrid.And now the player has signed a new deal keeping him in the team until 2021.In an interview with Juventus TV, he spoke on the challenged he overcame to get to where he is now with his current team.“It’s an important day and I’m very happy to have signed a new contract with Juventus, an extraordinary day, after Madrid I thought it would not be easy to find a club to have new challenges, then I found Juventus,” he said.“It’s my fourth year and I’m going to stay here for a long time, that’s why I renewed my contract, it’s enough to go out on the street or to the stadium to understand what it means to wear this special shirt.”Mario Mandzukic, JuventusJuventus confirm Mario Mandzukic could leave this month Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Sporting director Fabio Paratici confirmed reports that Mario Mandzukic could leave Juventus for a move to an unnamed Qatari team.“You have to fight and take it with pride, so I’m very happy that we managed to find a new deal for the next few years so that I can continue to play for Juventus,” he explained.“Juve is synonymous with history and if you play in Juventus you must be a champion, you must always give your all and be proud to play here.”“Because it is the best club in Italy and I hope it will soon be in Europe too,” he warned.I just extended my contract at @Juventusfc until 2021. Since my first day I’ve had a special feeling and it quickly felt like home here. I’m very proud to be a part of the great history of the club and of the Juventus family. Let’s continue to make black and white history ?? pic.twitter.com/Cz5Fk7oZPn— Sami Khedira (@SamiKhedira) September 12, 2018last_img read more