7 Nov
2019

Inaugural Beach Touch Event A Success

first_img32 teams took part in the event, which saw 16 Mixed teams and eight Men’s and eight Women’s teams battle it out to be the first Beach Touch champions. Despite overcast weather and occasional rain throughout the day, there was plenty of fun to be had on Maroubra Beach. Beach Touch Football Australia was created by 2011 World Cup Australian Men’s 30’s representative, Chris Jonson, and 2011 World Cup Australian Senior Mixed coach, Justin Creighton, who were thrilled to see the first event take place yesterday and have some big plans for the future. “Beach Touch is alive, the inaugural event, and obviously it’s a learning experience for us, we’ve got a product now and obviously we want to make it better,” Jonson told the crowd at the presentation function. “Our main goal with these four events (in the coming months) is to have a product, fine tune it, so that in October we plan on rolling out the national pro tour,” he said. In the Women’s division, Pink Bits were too good for Not Sure in the final, Manly beat Bankstown in the Men’s final and MBK Soldiers defeated The Guns in the final of the Mixed division. The next Beach Touch event will be the Corporate Championships, which will be held on Saturday, 25 February at Maroubra Beach. For more details please visit www.beachtouch.com.au. Some photos from the event can be found on the Touch Football Australia Facebook page, which can be viewed by clicking on this link:http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150620064278385.444787.384949403384&type=1#!/pages/Touch-Football-Australia/384949403384 Highlights of the day and of the finals have been uploaded to the TFA YouTube channel, and can be found by clicking on this link:www.youtube.com/touchfootballauslast_img read more

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7 Nov
2019

Victorian Women’s Team To Play In Storm Half-Time Exhibition

first_imgThe Victorian Women’s Open team will take to the field at AAMI Park in Melbourne on Monday night to play an exhibition match during the half-time break of the Melbourne Storm versus Cronulla Sharks NRL game.The half-time game is part of the Touch Football Victoria (TFV) Women in Sport program and will be a great way to showcase the talent of the 2012 Victorian National Touch League (NTL) Women’s Open team in front of thousands of Rugby League fans. The top grassroots players from the local Fawkner Park competition will take on the Victorian Women’s Open team in the match, while Victoria’s first Australian Open representative, Leah Percy, will be interviewed and highlights of her performance at the 2012 Trans Tasman Series will also be played on the big screen. Stay tuned to www.austouch.com.au to find out how the game on Monday night went. For more information about Monday’s game, please visit www.victouch.com.au. Related LinksStorm Exhibition Gamelast_img read more

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28 Oct
2019

a month agoArsenal youngster Smith Rowe out for two weeks with concussion

first_imgArsenal youngster Smith Rowe out for two weeks with concussionby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal midfielder Emile Smith Rowe is set to miss two weeks of action after suffering a head injury against Nottingham Forest.Manager Unai Emery said after the 5-0 win that Smith Rowe’s collision with Forest skipper Jack Robinson wasn’t serious.The 19-year-old has suffered concussion and will not return to action for at least six days due to FIFA protocol.The Daily Mail adds that Arsenal will likely extend that break to two weeks given Smith Rowe’s age.It was the youngster’s first appearance this Eason after covering from injury. About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img

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13 Oct
2019

Casino mogul Steve Wynn resigns as top GOP finance chairman

first_imgWASHINGTON – Casino mogul Steve Wynn resigned Saturday as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee amid allegations of sexual harassment and assault.Wynn has been a prolific Republican donor and led the RNC’s fundraising efforts during President Donald Trump’s first year, helping the committee rake in more than $130 million.“Today I accepted Steve Wynn’s resignation as Republican National Committee finance chair,” said RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that a number of women said they were harassed or assaulted by Wynn, the chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts. Wynn has denied the allegations. One case led to a $7.5 million settlement with a manicurist, the newspaper reported.Wynn confirmed his resignation in a statement released Saturday. “The unbelievable success we have achieved must continue. The work we are doing to make America a better place is too important to be impaired by this distraction,” Wynn said.Wynn was chosen by Trump to lead the RNC’s fundraising effort, and he contributed more than $600,000 to GOP causes last year, according to the Federal Election Commission.A person with direct knowledge of the situation said Trump had signed off on the decision for Wynn to resign. The person was not authorized to share private discussions and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.Since 2013, Wynn has contributed nearly $2.4 million to GOP candidates and party organizations around the country, including 2017 special election winners as well as dozens of state Republican Party committees.The allegations against Wynn have come during a wave of sexual misconduct claims against prominent media, entertainment and political figures that gained momentum last fall after the emergence of detailed allegations of rape and harassment involving movie producer Harvey Weinstein.During the fall, RNC officials, including McDaniel, noted that Weinstein had been a top donor for Democrats, including 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.In early October, McDaniel tweeted that if the Democratic National Committee “truly stands up for women like they say they do, then returning Weinstein’s dirty money should be a no-brainer.”The RNC has not yet said whether it will return any money donated by Wynn.Wynn was among the organizers of Trump’s fundraiser last week at the president’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida to celebrate the anniversary of the inauguration. Trump was unable to attend because of the federal government shutdown. Wynn also helped put together high-dollar events in Dallas last October and New York City in December.Trump, addressing Nevada supporters in February 2016, praised Wynn as a “great friend of mine.”“Steve is always calling. He’s always got advice. Right, Steve? ‘Donald, I think you ought to do this and that,’” Trump said at the time. “His advice, I like to listen to, I’ll be honest with you.”Members of the Republican National Committee are gathering in Washington next week and are expected to approve a new finance chair. The next chair will be voted on after the recommendation of Trump and McDaniel.___On Twitter follow Ken Thomas at @KThomasDC and Steve Peoples at @sppeoples.last_img read more

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28 Sep
2019

2015 NBA Playoffs Preview

Derrick Rose is back in time for the playoffs. Unfortunately for the Bulls, he’s not the Derrick Rose of four seasons ago, the one who won the MVP award and led the Bulls to their only conference finals since Michael Jordan’s second retirement. Since then, Rose, slowed by injuries, has played just 100 regular-season games and one playoff game. Now he is the only Bulls starter who rates below league average. That’s not enough to make Milwaukee the favorite in this series. Two Bucks starters are below league average, and Milwaukee will have trouble scoring with an offense that is well below league average. The Bulls should win this series — and enjoy the win, because in half of our simulations of the playoffs, they go out in the next round, most likely to LeBron James and the Cavs. — Carl Bialik Western ConferenceEach team is led by one of the best players in basketball: Stephen Curry on Golden State and Anthony Davis on New Orleans. So why do we think Golden State has a 92 percent chance to advance? Because Curry is better, and has much better teammates. Draymond Green, a top contender for Defensive Player of the Year, rates higher than Davis in the Real Plus-Minus player ratings we’re using from Jeremias Engelmann and Steve Ilardi. Warriors sub Andre Iguodala would be the second-best Pelican. But this might not be a sweep: In their two games against Golden State in New Orleans, the Pelicans won once and forced overtime in the other. But Golden State’s formidable offense should dominate the Pelicans’ subpar D. The Warriors look a lot more like a team for the ages — with an impressive 48 percent chance of winning it all — than like first-round upset fodder. (We were a little stunned by that 48 percent number, but Basketball-Reference.com gives the Warriors about the same odds.) — Carl Bialik You might think the Celtics should just be happy to be here. After all, in late February, they only had a 12 percent probability of making the playoffs, according to the FiveThirtyEight NBA Power Ratings. But rather than merely showing up, getting their souvenir T-shirt and accepting a first-round loss, Boston could give LeBron James and the mighty Cavaliers more trouble than they bargained for. While we can’t derive much meaning from the Celtics’ combined 216-168 margin over Cleveland in their two April matchups — the Cavs were mostly resting their key players — Boston is solid at both ends of the floor, with a great group of guards and a lot of depth. Over the course of the entire season, they were better offensively (relative to the league) than the Cavs’ defense was, and that only includes a few months of Isaiah Thomas. Our model says the Celtics are still unlikely to pull the upset, but they have the ingredients to be much more of a pest than they seemed to be a few months ago. — Neil Paine Portland won fewer games than Memphis (51 to 55) during the regular season, but because the Blazers won the comparatively weak Northwest division, they are the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference and the Grizzlies are the No. 5. But that seed advantage isn’t worth much. Since the Blazers had fewer wins, they will still be on the road for four of their seven potential games against Memphis. Making matters even more complicated, this series is so close that the question of home court could end up making all the difference. Only a tenth of a rating point separates them in our most recent power rankings. Our model gives the Grizzlies a 54 percent probability of winning, but that number would flip around to 53 percent for Portland if the Blazers had home court. Of course, the Grizzlies earned their home-court advantage by winning more games (against a tougher schedule, no less), and this arrangement is good for Portland, too — a 46 percent chance against Memphis is preferable to a 24 percent chance versus the Clippers, which is who they’d face if the conference were seeded purely by record. But this inverted 4-versus-5 matchup is another example of how convoluted and arbitrary the seeding process is in the NBA. And it’s another argument that the league should perhaps just ditch divisions (if not conferences) entirely. — Neil Paine With the latest FiveThirtyEight Power Ratings ranking the Spurs and Clippers as second and fourth, respectively, this matchup is one of the most compelling first-round matchups in recent memory.The defending champion Spurs enter this tournament as the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference — far lower than the No. 2 seed they could have had if they had won their final game against the Pelicans on Wednesday. Despite that loss, they had a 21-4 record over their last 25 games, reasserting that they’re contenders despite a 19-18 stretch in the middle of the season.The story of their year has been the breakout of last year’s surprise finals MVP and zero-time All-Star Kawhi Leonard. The Spurs went 46-18 with him in the lineup, with an average margin of victory of 7.8 points per game — which would be second to Golden State’s 10.0 and matches the 7.8 they put up last year. Leonard’s 2014-15 Real Plus-Minus of 8.35 was second in basketball behind Stephen Curry’s, ahead of well-known small forward LeBron James’s. Oh, and he led the league in steals per game.The Clippers are no slouches, either — their SRS3SRS is a team’s margin of victory, adjusted for its strength of schedule. of 6.8 is second-highest in the league behind Golden State’s 10.0 (San Antonio is third, with 6.34). They’ve now won either 56 or 57 games in every full season of the Chris Paul/Blake Griffin era, yet their dynamic duo has not made it past the conference semifinals.Although the Clippers have home-court advantage, the FiveThirtyEight simulations give the Spurs the edge, with a 53 percent chance of advancing. In fact, despite being projected to play any Game 7 from here on out on the road, San Antonio has the third-best chance of winning the championship, at 12 percent. The model gives the Clippers the fourth-best chance, at 8 percent. — Benjamin Morris It’s current MVP contender versus aging MVP winner (but the current contender is the one with the beard). James Harden versus Dirk Nowitzki. The Beard led the league in WAR, according to ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus metrics. With Harden, Houston has the edge — a 66 percent chance of prevailing, according to FiveThirtyEight’s projections. Beyond Harden’s consistency, the Rockets have otherwise ridden the injury luck roller coaster. They enter the playoffs having lost two important starters: versatile big man Donatas Motiejunas and the feisty defender Patrick Beverley at the point. On the other hand, Dwight Howard has returned after missing half the season. The Rockets will need him to maintain their solid +3.2 defensive rating.For the Mavs, it’s been a tale of two seasons. After surprising the league with a hot start, Dallas stagnated after the All-Star break, going 14-13. In FiveThirtyEight’s latest NBA Power Ratings, the Mavs rated as the worst of the Western Conference teams to make the playoffs — even behind the No. 8 seed New Orleans Pelicans. — Andrew Flowers The NBA playoffs are finally upon us, and like the 16 teams vying for the Larry O’Brien trophy, we’ve come prepared — not with basketball skills, mind you,1We shudder to think about what the advanced metrics would say about a FiveThirtyEight pickup team. but with graphics and numbers. Using the latest (postseason-optimized) version of FiveThirtyEight’s NBA Power Ratings, we simulated the playoff bracket 10,000 times, counting how often each team won its first-round series (as well as tracking which teams won the NBA title most often). We also put together charts highlighting each team’s key players, along with their multiyear predictive Real Plus-Minus2This is a slightly different statistic than the RPM you can find at ESPN.com because it uses data from seasons prior to 2014-15. We like the multiyear version because, among individual player statistics, it is the best predictor of future team outcomes. ratings, plus a comparison of both teams’ strengths and weaknesses according to the four factors of basketball. (Note that in some of our write-ups below, we use single-season RPM, so those numbers will be slightly different than the multiyear RPM we list in the charts.) So get settled in, maybe throw some chalk in the air, and enjoy the brutal, glorious two-month journey that is the road to the NBA championship. Eastern ConferenceThe Brooklyn Nets will not win the NBA championship. No, really: We ran 10,000 simulations of the playoffs, and the Nets were the only team to never win it all. They have only a 10 percent chance of moving on from their first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks. This is among the most lopsided matchups of the first round. The Nets, ranked No. 22 in FiveThirtyEight’s Power Ratings, are by far the worst team to make the postseason. With their 38-44 record and -2.9 point differential (the only playoff team in red), the Nets are lucky they’re in the Eastern Conference — further momentum for reform to the NBA’s postseason structure.Atlanta is coming off a franchise-record 60-win regular season; this should be a cakewalk for the Hawks (even after losing defensive stalwart Thabo Sefolosha to injury after a run-in with the NYPD). Atlanta is well-balanced: +2.9 points per 100 possessions on offense and +2.0 on defense. The Nets have a pedestrian offense (+1.1) but are a disaster on defense: At -4.7, their defensive rating is the fifth-worst in the league. If the Nets avoid a sweep, it’ll be an achievement. — Andrew Flowers This series features two teams that started out the season looking like they might be the next big thing (at least in the Eastern Conference). The fourth-seeded Toronto Raptors began the season 7-1 and made it all the way to 24-7 before a four-game losing streak started their 25-26 finish — with their final record only a one-win improvement on last year. The Wizards started out 4-1 and made it to 19-6, but have been 27-30 since, ultimately improving on last season’s 44-win campaign by just two wins.Both teams are led by All-Star point guards, Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and Washington’s John Wall, with Lowry making the All-Star team for the first time in the eighth year of his career (his third with the Raptors). ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus for this season ranks them as the fourth- and sixth-best point guards in 2015. Lowry performed a little worse than last year; his RPM dipped slightly from 4.3 to 4.1 and his WAR (wins above replacement) dipped from 11.6 to 9.4. But for Wall, 2014-15 was a big improvement on the year before: His 4.7 RPM and 12.1 WAR were both up from 2.2 and 8.3 last year, respectively.The FiveThirtyEight simulations give the Raptors a 60 percent chance of winning this series but don’t see either team as a championship contender. They give the Raptors a 1 percent chance of winning the title and the Wizards an even smaller chance. In the 10,000 simulations we ran, the Raptors or Wizards won the championship only 108 times, the fewest of any of the eight first-round matchups. — Benjamin Morris read more

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28 Sep
2019

Offensive explosion led by Cardale Jones Devin Smith gives Buckeyes 59 point

OSU senior wide receiver Devin Smith celebrates after scoring one of his 3 touchdowns in the 2014 Big Ten Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. OSU won, 59-0.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorINDIANAPOLIS — More than three years ago, a pair of future Ohio State football players connected in a high school all-star game for a seemingly meaningless touchdown.On Saturday night, that connection re-emerged in a big way as redshirt-sophomore quarterback Cardale Jones found senior wide receiver Devin Smith for three scores in a 59-0 blowout victory over the Wisconsin Badgers, giving the Buckeyes their first Big Ten title since 2009.Jones and Smith last connected for a touchdown in the 2011 Big-33 classic, which pits some of the best high school football players from the states of Ohio and Pennsylvania.That connection, which was a 54-yard touchdown pass, was reminiscent of the Buckeye win over the Badgers as Smith hauled in scores of 39, 44 and 42 yards from Jones, who was making his first career start for OSU.Jones took over the starting spot after redshirt-sophomore quarterback J.T. Barrett fractured his ankle during OSU’s win over Michigan to close out the regular season.Smith finished the game with a Big Ten Championship Game record 137 receiving yards to go along with his three scores.Smith said he discussed that game in June of 2011 with Jones prior to the Big Ten title matchup.“I knew when J.T. went down that Cardale was going to be the quarterback,” Smith said. “I just told him, ‘lets get back to the Big 33 all-star game we played in together’ and that right there (his performance) says it all.”Jones completed 12 of 17 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns, all to Smith.The redshirt-sophomore’s performance was of no surprise to Jones’ head coach Urban Meyer.“I knew he had the talent to throw the ball and execute but I figured there would be first game jitters,” Meyer said after the game. “There was none of that.”Barrett, who was on the sideline for the game, said he was happy for Jones and the way the team played as a whole.“Definitely proud of him (Jones) and he’s able to … just take over the moment,” Barrett said after the game. “He seized the moment, seized the opportunity and he did it as a team. It wasn’t just him, that was the great thing about it, he had help around him. And that’s the great thing about this team.”Jones said that he, along with his teammates, prepared with a sense of urgency heading into the matchup with Wisconsin.“We worked all week for this and as a team we had faith in one another,” Jones said. “There was no down time and we treated this like it was our game to take and we were going to leave it all on the field.”It wasn’t just Jones that made a statement for the Buckeyes, as sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott broke the Big Ten Championship Game record for rushing yards in the game as he rushed for 220 yards on 20 carries for two scores.The record that Elliott broke was once held by Wisconsin redshirt-junior Melvin Gordon who was bottled up by the Buckeye defense as the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year rushed for just 76 yards on 26 carries.Elliott said that he wanted to step his game up Saturday, especially with Gordon on the opposite sideline.“Definitely. Just trying come out there and make a name for myself,” Elliott said. “I know it was a big stage, I knew everyone was going to be watching Melvin so I just wanted to come out and compete with him.”Eighty-one of Elliott’s 220 yards came on one single play as the sophomore back exploded up the middle for OSU’s second score of the game.Elliott gave credit to his offensive line for that run after the game.“It was basically wide open, I just had to break one arm tackle reaching off a block, and the line did it all,” he said.Elliott was overwhelmed in the locker room after the game, as he said the Big Ten Championship is the first championship he has ever been apart of at any level of competition.“Man, it feels so good. I can’t even explain it. I have never won a championship in my life,” Elliott said. “Made it to state three times in high school and we lost. Coming back after last year, get some redemption and make up for that loss we got last year.”The 59-0 win came against not only the No. 13 team in the country, but the second ranked defense in the nation as well.After the dominating performance, Elliott said he believes the Buckeyes belong in the first-ever College Football Playoff.“We definitely do. We came out here and we dominated today. I think we should,” Elliott said. “All year we have shown resilience. We had so many obstacles and we haven’t backed down, we never folded and we always come out and get better every week.”Meyer echoed his running back’s comments referencing the the level of play the Buckeyes have reached in recent weeks.“That is a question I know everyone is going to ask me. We just won 59-0 against one of the top teams in America,” Meyer said. “These kids are playing at an extremely high level right now.”Whether it’s in a high school all-star game, or in the Big Ten title game, Jones said it is exciting being able to showcase his abilities.“It was very fun, going out there showing everybody what we can do when we all come together as one,” he said.OSU will find out whether they will come together in the College Football Playoff or elsewhere tomorrow as the final rankings are scheduled to be announced at 12:30 p.m. Sunday. read more

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28 Sep
2019

Football Ohio State releases Week 6 depth chart before Maryland game

Ohio State junior kicker Sean Nuernberger (96) kicks a field goal in the second quarter in the game against Rutgers on Sep. 30. Ohio State won 56-0. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State released its Week 6 depth chart Tuesday prior to its matchup against Maryland at 4 p.m. Saturday in Ohio Stadium.As expected, the major changes to the depth chart all came from the defensive line. Head coach Urban Meyer had announced Monday redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones will not play Saturday after he suffered a “freak” injury last week during practice when he cut his leg on a locker.In his place, redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Jashon Cornell is the first name that appears, but no player is bolded as a starter. Defensive end Jalyn Holmes started at defensive tackle against Rutgers alongside redshirt senior defensive tackle Tracy Sprinkle.At the strong safety position, sophomore Jordan Fuller was listed as the starter alongside senior Damon Webb, the starter at free safety. Fuller had previously been listed as a co-starter with senior Erick Smith, but Meyer said Monday that Smith would not play and that he had “to handle his business.” Redshirt freshman Wayne Davis was listed as the backup at safety behind Fuller.The other change made was redshirt junior kicker Sean Nuernberger is now listed as the starting kickoff specialist. The position had previously been held by freshman Blake Haubeil. Meyer said Monday while kickoff coverage is “getting back to the expectation level we have,” he was still unsatisfied with how Haubeil was performing and said the team was “not good at that position.”The depth chart can be found here. read more

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18 Sep
2019

Media Real Valladolid hope to sign Vinicius Junior

first_imgReal Valladolid are reportedly hopeful that Ronaldo Nazario will bring Vinicius Junior with him, should he complete his €30m takeoverThe Brazil legend is understood to be in talks with the La Liga outfit over a €30m takeover.Ronaldo is expected to acquire over half the shares at Valladolid within the next few days and will allegedly become the club’s new president.AS reports that sources at Valladolid have indicated that they are hopeful that Ronaldo’s takeover will see Real Madrid’s young winger Vinicius arrive at the northern Spanish city alongside him.The 18-year-old had only joined Los Blancos this summer for €45m, but has found opportunities for competitive action hard to come by under manager Julen Lopetegui.Sergio Ramos, Real MadridZidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.Vinicius’ woes continued at the weekend when he was selected to instead play for Real’s B team, Castilla, in the Spanish third division.But Valladolid feels that Vinicius needs regular action in La Liga rather than making appearances for the B team and training alongside the first team.Ronaldo, who was present at Vinicius’ unveiling as a Real player earlier this summer, has close ties to his young compatriot and Valladolid hope that their incoming president uses them to lure him to the club.Apparently, Sergio’s side have already enquired several times.But Real president Florentino Pérez has rebuffed them on each occasion.last_img read more

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