Saints and Sinners: The weekend’s talking points

first_imgIn a rip-roaring weeekend of European Rugby several stars justified their sky-high reputations, while others had a weekend to forget LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Nice one, NigelReferee Nigel Owens gave us all a giggle – not for the first time – when he found a humourous and typically Welsh way to stop George Robson and Bradley Davies coming to blows during the Harlequins v Wasps match.The two were grappling with each other, standing up, and after Owens’s repeated requests to “leave it” had fallen on deaf ears, he quipped: “If you two want a cwtch (cuddle), do it off the field not on it!”See the clip for yourself here.Mention also goes to Helen O’Reilly, who became the first female to referee an Ulster Bank league match when she took charge of the Division 2B game between Sundays Well and Kanturk on Friday evening.O’Reilly, a former Ashbourne and St Mary’s player, was appointed to the IRFU’s national panel last December. Huge contribution: the giant Devin Toner was immense for LeinsterSetting the TonerThere was any number of great individual performances for Leinster in their 50-8 victory over Castres, but Devin Toner got the nod as Man of the Match for  his excellent lineout work and his contribution around the field in attack and defence.Eight lineout takes, seven carries and six tackles represents a good day at the office for Toner, but there are plaudits too for Rob Kearney, who made 143m in attack, Ian Madigan, who kicked six conversions and a penalty, plus each of the seven different try-scorers. Leinster looked confident, ambitious and slick, albeit against a Castres side who lost interest in the European competition a long time ago. Dangerous playToby Flood joins the hall of shame this week after clattering into Anthony Watson’s head when the Bath full-back was already on the ground after a tackle. Flood piled in in a totally unnecessary and reckless manner and Watson had to go off injured. Flood is lucky he didn’t cause serious damage.In the same game Matt Banahan incurred the wrath of the French crowd with an ugly high tackle on scrum-half Jean-Marc Doussain, but at least the No 9 was standing up at the time. Happy days: Bath’s players celebrate after clinching their win in Toulouse Record for RhysThe Scarlets may have had the final nail driven into their Champions Cup coffin with a 40-23 defeat at Leicester Tigers, but there was still something to celebrate for Rhys Priestland as his two penalties meant he became the highest points scorer for the Scarlets since the region was set up in 2003, overtaking Stephen Jones on the all-time list. Case for the defenceGeorge Ford often earns praise for his attacking prowess, but it was his try-saving – even match-saving – tackle which really caught the eye in Sunday’s win for Bath in Toulouse.Trailing 25-18 with 53 minutes gone, blindside Yannick Nyanga was charging for the line and if he had scored at that point, the tide might just have turned in Toulouse’s favour. However, Ford hauled the bigger man to the floor and then cleverly rolled him over to prevent him touching the ball down, as players from both teams piled in. Strength, courage and intelligence all combined in an excellent piece of play. Force of nature: Billy Vunipola leaves Dave Foley in his wake during Saracens’ win over MunsterLeading from the frontJames Haskell put in a real captain’s performance in Wasps’ 23-3 Champions Cup win over Harlequins at The Stoop. He made 25 of their 182 tackles, won four turnovers and made ground with six carries. His team-mate Ashley Johnson took to Twitter to call Haskell’s contribution “immense” and even their opponents were full of praise, with Joe Marler saying Man of the Match Haskell was “outstanding”.Another England back row also put in a cracking performance at the right time, with the Six Nations on the horizon. Billy Vunipola galloped 67 metres in 17 carries and made 14 tackles as Saracens beat Munster 33-10, prompting coach Mark McCall to describe him as “a force of nature in attack and defence”. Dragons roaringWales are guaranteed at least one quarter-finalist in the European Rugby Challenge Cup after Newport-Gwent Dragons won 40-29 at Newcastle, thanks partly to a virtuoso performance from wing Hallam Amos.He scored two tries, capitalising on a great break from Tyler Morgan for his first and crossing again in the second half when the Falcons were threatening a comeback. He made 161 metres in 15 carries and put Rynard Landman for his try with a fabulous break from his own half and a deft offload.At the double: Hallam Amos scores the first of his two tries for the Dragons Hat-trick heroesWing Richard Smith grabbed a hat-trick of tries for Cardiff Blues as they beat Rovigo 104-12 in the Challenge Cup. The Blues ran in eight tries in each half to become the eighth team in European cup rugby history to score a century of points.DTH van der Merwe was another hat-trick hero, helping Glasgow beat Montpellier 21-10 at home, while Steffon Armitage crossed the line three times for Toulon in their 60-22 thrashing of Ulster. The SinnersA Huget mistakeToulouse wing Yoann Huget was all over social media on Sunday evening after trying to get Horacio Agulla into trouble during their Champions Cup clash with Bath.Huget fell to the floor clutching his face after Agulla had given him no more than a gentle shove on the shoulder. Unsurprisingly, the match officials could find no evidence of foul play on video and it would be great to see Huget cited for simulation.Tarnished talent: Yoann Huget doesn’t need to resort to diving English clubs had the most to celebrate after a terrific weekend of European Champions Cup rugby, as four of the five Aviva Premiership sides who were playing non-English opponents won. For once the French managed just three wins out of six. Welsh hopes in the Champions Cup have been dashed, Glasgow’s campaign is hanging by a thread and only Leinster are carrying Irish chances with one round of pool matches to go. Who were the stars and the villains as this weekend’s drama unfolded?The SaintsJoseph and the Amazing Technicolor TalentIf Jonathan Joseph does not feature in Stuart Lancaster’s England squad for the Six Nations, which is named on Wednesday, the gentlefolk of Bath might just march on Twickenham in disgust after his utterly brilliant performance in Bath’s astonishing 35-18 European Champions Cup win at Toulouse.He scored one of their four tries, finishing off some great work from George Ford, Kyle Eastmond and Matt Banahan, but there was so much more to his game than that, as his Man of the Match award goes to show.The centre made 90 metres in attack and was Bath’s joint top-tackler with seven. And, with the game in the balance at 25-18 to Bath in the final ten minutes, Joseph made a fantastic break from his own half, beating the defence with a mixture of fancy footwork and pace, and after cutting across to wrong-foot the cover, he passed to Ross Batty, who put Francois Louw over for the decisive and bonus-point-clinching try. Bowing out in styleEngland Women’s star Maggie Alphonsi helped Saracens Women win the English Premiership title on Sunday in her last match before retiring. Having won the World Cup and the Premiership in one season, Alphonsi is now off to make a bid to represent Great Britain at the Rio Olympics as a shot-putter. Who is going to bet against her succeeding? Skipper’s shockerFemi-CZ Rugby Rovigo have been outclassed throughout the pool stages of the Challenge Cup, but they slumped to a new low this weekend, losing 104-12 to Cardiff Blues.Far from leading from the front, their captain Jean-Francois Montauriol missed seven of the 47 tackles Rovigo let slip as a team. Munster miseryMunster went to Saracens needing a win to keep alive their hopes of a place in the Champions Cup quarter-final but put in an awful performance and lost 33-10.“It was disappointing that we didn’t fire a shot in such an important game with the tournament on the line,” said their own head coach, Anthony Foley.It is only the second time in 17 seasons that Munster have not reached the quarter‑finals. They were tactically naïve, came off second best at the breakdown, made one real comedy error at a lineout and even the usually super-solid Paul O’Connell was among the players throwing loose passes and dropping the ball. TAGS: Leinster last_img read more

High-end overhaul of Carindale beauty

first_imgThe shower in the ensuite has a window through to the walk-in wardrobe.The shower has two regular shower heads, plus a third rainfall shower head.There is also a spa bath in the corner of the ensuite.“We were going for the top end, the house was a good canvas to work with and it stook out already,” Mr Kallis said.“It’s a beautiful house and it has had no money spared on it.” How incredible is this home theatre? Binge watching coming up.Mr Kallis said all the fittings were top of the range and he said he could see the house suiting a doctor, lawyer or similar.“It’s perfect, it’s even better than we envisaged it.” The house at 19 Woodland St, Carindale, is for sale.PURE luxury is the best way to describe this Carindale house.John Kallis, who is a builder by trade, bought the house at 19 Woodland St three years ago with the intention of updating it into a high-end modern masterpiece. One of the bedrooms.The master suite also has an ensuite, which is the star of the house. “The shower is in the middle of the bathroom now,” Mr Kallis said.“There is a big glass panel and you can see all of your clothes from in the shower, and think about what you want to wear for the day.” Kick back by the pool.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:51Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:51 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD576p576p432p432p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenStarting your hunt for a dream home00:51center_img There is a balcony looking down onto the living areas.Upon entering the home, you are greeted with a grand staircase sweeping upstairs, and each stair is lit with a lighting strip.On the lower level is a lounge, dining, office or bedroom, laundry, bathroom and open plan kitchen and living room. Stairs go up from the dining room to the living room.The grand two-storey house already stood out, but Mr Kallis’ renovation took it to the next level.Outside is now a combination of dark and light grey, with the same theme carrying through the inside of the house. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus13 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market13 hours agoThe kitchen has a breakfast bar.Also on this floor is a gym, which is off the triple car garage, and a home theatre, which is complete with tiered seating.Upstairs are four bedrooms and a bathroom.last_img read more

Lakers notes: Kobe Bryant likely will undergo MRI in early February

first_img“It’s my job to get myself in gear and do my job. It’s not my responsibility to think about missing games,” Bryant said. “It’s my job and responsibility to play.”Johnson, a part owner of the Dodgers, argued otherwise about Bryant in a recent meeting with Los Angeles Times staff members. Johnson also criticized vice president of player personnel Jim Buss partly for his role in hiring Mike D’Antoni last season over Phil Jackson. “There’s voices everywhere,” D’Antoni said. “It’s a hard job to do no matter what team you’re with and you do the best you can do.”Fighting causeThe Lakers discussed Nick Young’s assertion he played “one-on-five” when he drew an ejection Wednesday against Phoenix. Young sat out against Boston because of an NBA-imposed one-game suspension for committing “a punching foul” on Suns guard Goran Dragic. BOSTON — The history surrounding the Lakers-Celtics rivalry forever intrigues Kobe Bryant. The interest began during his childhood when he watched Magic Johnson and Larry Bird compete for championships. It continued during his 18-year career that included one of his five NBA titles involving a victory against the Celtics. But Bryant hardly sounded wistful about Johnson’s recent proposal that he sit out the rest of the season to fully heal his fractured left knee and left Achilles tendon amid the Lakers’ bleak playoff fortunes. “The only thing I can afford to consider is getting better and getting strong,” Bryant said before the Lakers played Boston on Friday at TD Garden. “If I think I’m going to sit out, this, that and the other, then the motivation is gone. I refuse to let that happen.”Bryant hasn’t played for a month and his rehab has mostly entailed bike work. He doesn’t expect to receive an MRI on his knee until early February, dashing the Lakers’ initial hopes he could return Jan. 28 against Indiana. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Young lamented afterward that none of his teammates intervened after Suns forward Alex Len committed a flagrant 2 foul on Young, prompting both Young, Len, Suns forward Marcus Morris and Dragic to engage in a scuffle.“We all know what to do now in situations like that,” Young said. “Once we talked and aired everything out, we’re all good.” Lakers point guard Kendall Marshall apologized to Young for his inaction and questioned how Young handled the situation.“He had every right to get upset,” Marshall said. “It’s our job as teammates to be there for each other. I went up to him, squashed it and told him it will never happen again.”A photo circulated on the Internet showing Marshall standing alone at the top of the 3-point line with his hands on his hips, while the altercation happened near the basket. A caption read: “Don’t worry Nick….Kendall got your back.”“It was hilarious,” Marshall said. “But you look at it and it does look pretty bad.”Lakers rookie forward Ryan Kelly also softened his frustration that former Laker Robert Horry criticized him on Time Warner Cable SportsNet for failing to help Young. “My initial reaction was to go help my teammate up and the way everything unfolded, I never experienced it before,” Kelly said. “Maybe I should’ve done it differently.”Bryant offered perspective.“These are really young guys not accustomed toward being in situations where an altercation breaks out,” Bryant said. “You learn from it.”How?“You don’t have to fight; you just have to step in between,” Young said. “Nobody wants to get beat up on national TV.”Bryant also praised Young.“It’s never good to smack a player across the face,” Bryant said. “But for Nick personally, he hadn’t showed that competitive streak since he’s been in the league.”Crash courseBryant attended an international marketing class Thursday evening at Boston College.“To sit in the classroom and hear the terminology properly and some of the things I’ve been doing is pretty cool,” said Bryant, who has a strong presence overseas, particularly in China. “It’s always fun to learn and continue to get better in all facets of life. I may be a nerd, but I really enjoy that.”last_img read more