first_img11 November 2003So, the outcome I suspect most were expecting happened. The Springboks were beaten in the quarterfinals of the Rugby World Cup by New Zealand, and the All Blacks, England, France and Australia qualified for the semi-finals. Beyond that, though, what does one make of South Africa’s World Cup campaign?There can be no doubt that the better team won when the Springboks and the All Blacks clashed in Melbourne. The New Zealanders were better than South Africa in all aspects of play, barring the lineouts, and produced a very good all-round performance to down Corne Krige’s team 29-9.To put it in a different perspective, former Springbok coach Nick Mallett was scathing in his assessment of South Africa’s performance in the game, calling it a mugging, not a match.In that performance, the Boks were in many ways their own worst enemy: they had to make twice as many tackles as the Kiwis, but missed seven times more tackles than Reuben Thorne’s men missed.The fact that they had to do so much more tackling than the All Blacks is testament to New Zealand’s domination which, surprisingly to some, started up front as the New Zealand pack outmuscled the Bok pack.Many people had felt in the run-up to the quarterfinal showdown that for South Africa to win they would have to control the All Blacks up front. When that didn’t happen, the writing was on the wall.Poor Derick Hougaard, facing a great team, was put under tremendous pressure at flyhalf as Joost van der Westhuizen received poor quality ball behind the scrum. Hougaard was forced to kick often and, because he was under such pressure from the Kiwi forwards, many of his kicks were not well directed.By contrast, his opposite number Carlos Spencer revelled in the space he was given, and directed the All Black game like a master conductor, with imaginative and exciting ideas and skills.Marked differenceThere was a marked difference in the finishing of the two teams. The All Blacks made it count when they had the opportunity to score tries, while South Africa failed to capitalise on the few chances they created. It highlighted the gap between the two teams.Despite the fact that the Springboks had not performed up to their fans’ expectations in the last year, a quarterfinal elimination was nonetheless a disappointment. Looking at South Africa’s results, they were predictable: wins over Georgia, Uruguay and Samoa, all teams ranked below the Springboks, and losses to England and New Zealand, the two top ranked teams in world rugby.However, the predictability of those results is maybe what is so disappointing: a country with South Africa’s rugby pedigree and history should be able to challenge any team, in any competition, anywhere, any time.It wasn’t all doom and gloom, though, so let’s take a look at some of the good and some of the bad.On the positive side, the Springboks, for the most part, played better rugby than they had done throughout most of 2003. Their 60-10 demolition of a Samoan team that had pushed England very hard in a 35-22 loss was a fantastic all-round performance but, when comparing the Boks to teams like the English and New Zealand, I felt they were under-prepared.For the last three years it seems that all South African rugby has focused itself on is the Rugby World Cup: finding the right combinations and identifying the style of play that best suits the Springboks. Yet when RWC 2003 finally rolled around there was a lot about the team that was not yet settled.One cannot lay the blame solely at the feet of coach Rudolf Straeuli, as he wasn’t the man originally chosen to lead South Africa at the World Cup. However, England and New Zealand found a recipe to improve their standards since the 1999 World Cup; why couldn’t South Africa do the same?Experimenting with combinationsOne point I want to make, as a Springbok rugby fan, is that I cannot agree with the idea of trying out combinations in Test matches, where the coach is prepared to sacrifice a win just to experiment for possible later success at the Rugby World Cup.I would guess that I am not alone in wanting to see South Africa’s best team playing at all times. The merits of that are, however, debatable. There are many coaches who would disagree with me, I am sure.On the subject of Straeuli not being the coach originally chosen to lead the Boks to the World Cup, the administrators must be held responsible for the lack of continuity. Harry Viljoen, it is clear in retrospect, was definitely not the man to lead South Africa in rugby’s showcase competition, yet the administrators went after him to do the job, even though he had some reservations.I believe South African rugby’s administrators have a lot to answer for beyond that too, and that much of the blame for South Africa’s poor results in recent years must lie with them.South African rugby fans have all too often seen examples of the way the sport’s administrators manage the game; it’s called crisis management. It has at times been embarrassing, at other times frustrating, and at other times it has caused anger. There doesn’t appear to be a long-term plan in place. If there is one, it is either not working or it is not being properly implemented.Take a look at almost any successful team and you will find behind it good administration. Take a look at any poorly run team and you will see that the results, almost always, echo the poor administration.Mallett’s viewsNick Mallett, writing in the Sunday Times, was clear in his thoughts on the matter, and I, as a rugby fan who keeps a pretty close eye on the sport, agree wholeheartedly with his assessment. Mallett said that from being the best team in the world in 1995, South African rugby has gone backward. Well, to put it in his terms, from being the best team “to a rabble”.He said that administrators such as Rian Oberholzer, Silas Nkanunu, Mveleli Ncula and the board of SA Rugby haven’t sold the game to the South African public, but have instead been at the heart of failures, both at a Super 12 and international level. Mallett also criticised provincial union administrators as playing a big part in this administrative failure.A very passionate and outspoken man about rugby, Mallett said South Africa needs a national coach, who would appoint a performance director, assistant coaches and development coaches. Unfortunately, he opined, the SA Rugby executive doesn’t have any idea how to appoint a national coach.Any person that can add two and two together would realise that Mallett’s dismissal as Springbok coach was due to a personality clash; he was sacked after he criticised ticket prices, not because he wasn’t a good coach.So, sure, he doesn’t like the SA Rugby executive and the feeling, no doubt, works the other way around. However, that dismissal is indicative of a lack of professionalism at the top level, and I feel the former Bok coach does make some very good points.The goodTime to draw a breath and bring in some of the positives I spoke about much, much earlier…Despite the less than glowing results, a lot of good young players are beginning to make their mark in the green and gold, and there is optimism for the future.Even without looking at the performances of South Africa at the World Cup, it is worth acknowledging the achievements of the country in winning the under-21 and under-19 World Cups in the past two years. That bodes well. South Africa certainly is producing talented young players.In Australia, at the World Cup, players like Joe van Niekerk, Juan Smith, Bakkies Botha and Ashwin Willemse provided some pretty good reasons to smile, and they could become fixtures in the Springbok team for years to come.Derick Hougaard wasn’t at his best, but he has already shown that he too has all the tools that could turn him into the answer in the Springboks’ number-10 jersey. It’s a critical position that hasn’t been adequately filled since the retirement of the great Henry Honiball – who, let it be noted, was never on the losing side when he started a game at flyhalf against New Zealand.For the most part, the Springbok pack performed well at the World Cup, but there were plenty of questions in the backline, where things failed to click. Considering the number of centre combinations used in recent times – too many for me to even begin adding up – that is not surprising.There was a definite gap between the flow of Springbok backline moves and the moves of teams with greater experience of playing together. Continuity of selection is so important ,and again it showed that constantly fiddling and tinkering with a line-up is a hindrance.South African rugby needs consistency in selection, in development, in coaching, and in leadership, but it doesn’t exist, and I believe this has hurt Springbok rugby. I cannot fault the passion of the players. If it came down to a will to win, I certainly feel South Africa would have produced a better record than it has in recent years, but that hasn’t been the case.Success breeds success, and SA Rugby needs to focus on putting a world class winning team on the field of play. Winning is, after all, the tradition of Springbok rugby. From that success will follow the rewards whereby rugby will be properly sold to the South African public. Right now, that public is disillusioned. Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more


first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We are watching our cold front move off to the east this morning, and watching a big transition over the Eastern Corn Belt. A dramatic change in temperatures is afoot with Mother Nature finally breaking out of her identity crisis and admitting it is autumn after all Temperatures today will be a good 15 degrees cooler (at least) than yesterday and nearly 20-25 degrees cooler than some of our warmest temperature readings over the weekend. We will also soon be done with rain here as the front exits eastern ohio and should see sunshine take control later this afternoon ahead of sunset. Tomorrow will be mostly dry too, at least through the daytime hours.A minor batch of moisture moves across the state tomorrow night into early Saturday morning. We expect no more than .25” of action over 70% of the state. Moisture totals are unchanged from yesterday, but we are expanding our coverage a little bit. Everything is still done by mid morning Saturday, and we have a dry rest of the weekend on the way. Moisture returns Monday afternoon and ramps up for the evening and overnight hours. We will put rain totals at .1” to .5” with coverage at 80% of the state. These rains break out statewide, and should be relatively gentle, but steady once they start. Rain will be basically over by sunrise Tuesday, although we may end up dealing with a few lingering showers in far eastern Ohio and southeast parts of the state. Dry weather then settles in for the rest of the 10-day window, and it extends through most of the extended 11-16 day period too. We are tweaking the forecast just a bit this morning and are projecting a 10-day dry stretch starting next Tuesday and going through the following Thursday. Clouds may pop up from time to time, but we do not see any significant frontal boundaries or systems crossing the state. This period should see good evaporation and good drying, meaning we should have an excellent harvest window opening up. Rain is back in the forecast for Friday the 26th. We are expecting .25”-.75” rains with coverage at 75% of the state. Temps are much cooler today as we noted above. However, after the Sunday night-Monday system, we make another leg down in temps, and will see our coldest air in here next Tuesday morning with good hard frost potential. The map at right shows potential morning lows next Tuesday.  There can also be some patchy frost this weekend, particularly in northern parts of the state, although it will not be even close to a killing frost. The rest of next week and the extended period will feature temps normal to slightly below normal across the region, meaning our Indian summer is gone, and fall is here.last_img read more


first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… marshall kirkpatrick Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Hot new RSS reader LazyFeed just announced that it intends to implement support for RSSCloud, the real-time element in RSS that WordPress turned on for millions of blogs today. Perhaps already more hip to the real time web than any other RSS aggregator on the market, LazyFeed is a very logical place to see RSSCloud in action.LazyFeed is a service that tracks blog posts by topic and notifies users in real time when new posts of interest from across the web are available. You don’t subscribe to RSS feeds in LazyFeed; users select topics manually or the service can suggest topics based on the interests you’ve already exhibited in your Twitter, Delicious or other social media account. Now the site will serve up posts from WordPress blogs in real time.LazyFeed is a lot of fun to use to discover new conversations around the web about your favorite topics. Somehow, it does a good job of filtering for spam – at least for the topics I’m interested in. I’ve been using LazyFeed for the past three weeks in a Fluid single-app browser on my Mac. To be frank, it’s been so useful in churning up news items that I’ve been hesitant to discuss it publicly. I know I’m not alone in my excitement about the young service, either. I haven’t heard as much ongoing conversation about a new RSS reading tool since Feedly launched and stuck.Now LazyFeed will churn those news items up all the faster, when they come from WordPress blogs. What about Blogger, Tumblr, Posterous and other blogging services? They wouldn’t want to stay in the dark ages and not offer push subscription through either RSSCloud or Pubsubhubbub, would they?RSSCloud is being led by RSS forefather Dave Winer. So far Winer’s own RSS aggregator, River2, is the only live aggregator with RSSCloud implemented. River2 was released earlier this month, ten years after Winer built his first aggregator.The next question is whether Google Reader or the Newsgator products, FeedDemon and NetNewswire, will implement support for reading RSSCloud and Pubsubhubbub next. Rumors are already rumbling about other publishers and reader technologies implementing support for these technologies.The real time web is valuable and simple enough that blog related technology companies would be foolish to stand by and watch Twitter and Facebook become the only place that synchronous public text conversations occur. When blogging and blog reading become all the more real-time, today will be remembered as an important day in that development.center_img Tags:#NYT#RSS Readers#Visualization#web Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more


first_imgAustralian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of sports.Amid indications that a nuclear deal could be in the offing, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott arrived here this morning on a two-day India visit during which the two countries would look at ways to deepen strategic ties and strengthen two-way trade and commerce.Prime Minister Abbott landed in the financial capital, his first port of call, on a day-long visit during which he will interact with business leaders and select Indian CEOs.He will also attend the launch of the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan in India and be present for felicitation of young cricketers by Oz cricket greats Adam Gilchrist and Brett Lee at Cricket Club of India. India’s cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar will also attend the ceremony.Abbott is expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of sports but details of the MoU have not been disclosed so far.He will also lay a wreath at the memorial for the victims of 26/11 attacks at Hotel Taj Mahal Palace, one of the scenes of the ghastly terror assault in 2008.A big-ticket item on Abbott’s agenda as he leaves for the national capital in the evening, however, would be a civil nuclear deal with India efforts for which have been underway since 2012 after Labor party reversed its decision to ban the sale of uranium to India because of New Delhi not being a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.advertisement”I am hoping to sign a nuclear co-operation agreement that will enable uranium sales by Australia to India,” he told parliament on the eve of his visit to India.Abbott had said on Tuesday that if Australia was prepared to sell uranium to Russia then “surely we ought to be prepared to provide uranium to India under suitable safeguards”, noting it was a “fully functioning democracy with the rule of law”.India is not a signatory to the NPT, but Abbott has stressed that Australia will ensure adequate bilateral safeguards before any deal is signed.After failure to conclude a civil nuclear deal with Japan during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to that country, if inked, the pact with Australia, which has about a third of the world’s recoverable uranium resources and exports nearly 7,000 tonnes a year, would boost India’s energy sector.Abbott is scheduled to hold talks with top Indian leadership in Delhi including President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tomorrow.A clutch of pacts in areas including mining, finance and education could be signed.After being accorded a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan in the morning, Abbott will lay wreaths at Rajghat annd India Gate before meeting Prime Minister Modi at Hyderabad House.last_img read more


first_imgBournemouth boss Howe admits injury crisis likely to lead to new signingsby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBournemouth boss Eddie Howe admits he could be forced into the January market for a new defensive signing.Bournemouth may need to make transfer window moves if Nathan Ake’s injury is a problem.The Dutch defender suffered a hamstring issue at Old Trafford and was withdrawn during the 4-1 defeat.Out of form Bournemouth are already without Simon Francis, Lewis Cook, Dan Gosling and Adam Smith due to knee problems.“I need to speak to Nathan and the medical team but it looked like a hamstring concern,” said Howe. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img


first_imgMatthijs de Ligt now feeling settled at Juventusby Carlos Volcano23 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveMatthijs de Ligt now feels settled at Juventus.Juve splashed out €75m to sign De Ligt from Ajax over the summer.“I’m getting used to how the lads play. Beating Bayer was good,” he told Veronica after yesterday’s 3-0 win against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League.“Right now, things are going well. I was Ajax’s captain and there I was able to have my say, whereas here I had to find my place. Now I feel like I’ve found it and I’m happy about it.“Italy is known as a country with defensive teams, but the trend is changing: just look at how high they defend.“We have a new Coach and I’m not the only one who has yet to adapt. Unfortunately, I started badly, but it’s about improving every day and every game.“It’s what I’m doing and it’s going well.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more


first_imgESPN College Football Playoff top 2015.ESPNWe’re now less than two months away from the start of the 2016 college football season. Get excited, people. In anticipation of the start of the upcoming season, let’s take a look at what ESPN’s preseason top 25 looks like. Can anyone but the defending national champions be No. 1? Nope. ESPN has the Crimson Tide at No. 1 heading into the season. Do they have it right?Here’s the full top 25.  Will Alabama get some more rings this season?Will Alabama get some more rings this season? 1. Alabama 2. Clemson 3. Michigan 4. Florida State 5. Oklahoma 6. LSU 7. Stanford 8. Notre Dame 9. Ohio State 10. Tennessee 11. USC 12. Georgia 13. Ole Miss 14. Oklahoma State 15. Michigan State 16. Washington  17. Houston 18. North Carolina 19. Oregon 20. TCU 21. Texas A&M 22. UCLA 23. Iowa 24. Miami 25. Louisville[ESPN]last_img read more


first_imgStory Highlights Mr. Henry informed JIS News following a meeting with Mr. Wang that among the areas being examined is expansion of the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) under the Logistics Hub Initiative. The Government will host the Vice Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, People’s Republic of China (PRC), Wang Jiangping, from June 20 to 22.During his stay, Mr. Wang will meet with a number of Government Ministers.Mr. Wang was met at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) by Minister without Portfolio in the Economic Growth and Job Creation Ministry, Hon. Mike Henry, on June 20.Mr. Henry informed JIS News following a meeting with Mr. Wang that among the areas being examined is expansion of the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) under the Logistics Hub Initiative.SEZs create a specifically delineated location that is governed separately by the customs and tax regimes of the country, and is intended to provide targeted incentives and services to encourage investments in Jamaica’s logistics-based industries.Having a modern SEZ for Jamaica would result in greater investments (both domestic and foreign), increased employment and economic growth for the country.Mr. Henry, whose major responsibility surrounds SEZs, said the visit “is very important as we (prepare) ourselves for the development of the belt and road structure that relates to the creation of a logistics hub”.“The interest of expanding China’s position (is important to them) and they recognise that we are the most positioned country in terms of moving goods and services,” he said.“The development of economic zones is open to all investors from all over the world. I am inviting Jamaican investors to invest in the cluster of businesses,” he said. During his stay, Mr. Wang will meet with a number of Government Ministers. The Government will host the Vice Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, People’s Republic of China (PRC), Wang Jiangping, from June 20 to 22. last_img read more


first_imgCanada is to join more than a dozen countries Wednesday in signing a deal that would block commercial fishing in the High Arctic for 16 years and begin unravelling ecological mysteries at the top of the world.Experts say it’s a rare example of the globe coming together to prevent environmental problems before they start.“There’s an agreement before the problem exists,” said Peter Harrison, a professor of Arctic policy at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., and a former top federal bureaucrat.“It’s a major step in the right direction.”The deal is to be signed in Ilulissat, Greenland, by the five nations with Arctic coastlines. Others signing on will be China, Iceland, Japan, South Korea and the European Union. Inuit from three countries are also involved.The agreement, which was negotiated last year, applies to northern waters at least 200 nautical miles away from the shores of any coastal states. That amounts to 2.8 million square kilometres of ocean — about the size of the Mediterranean Sea.As well as a commercial fishing ban, the agreement commits the countries to major scientific work on the entire ecosystem of a region that climate change is making increasingly accessible. Once frozen year-round, about 40 per cent of those waters are now open during the summer.“This agreement’s just in time,” said Scott Highleyman of the group Ocean Conservancy, who has been following the talks and is a former member of the U.S. delegation. “It’s a good example of precautionary action.”Little is currently known about the ecology of the central Arctic Ocean, Highleyman said.“It’s difficult to get to so there’s very little research on the biology. We need to do this so we have some baseline we can measure change against.“Sixteen years is probably just barely enough time to do that.”No commercial fishing currently takes place in the High Arctic, but fish stocks are shifting and fishers and scientists have wondered what the northernmost seas on the planet hold.The deal commits signatories to developing a science plan within two years to look at the entire ecosystem, not just commercial possibilities.“You can’t just look at fish,” Harrison said. “You can’t just say, ‘How many cod are there?’ and move on.”Michael Byers, a professor of international law at the University of British Columbia, called the agreement remarkable.“Governments usually don’t devote any diplomatic effort to anything other than an immediate crisis. To actually anticipate a problem and bring countries together and come up with a system that is science-based is a model of what international diplomacy should do.”The agreement doesn’t come into force until it’s ratified by all signatories, which could take about a year.Harrison said Canada should be taking the lead in designing and implementing the science program.“We’ve developed significant expertise on this over the years,” he said.“The States are a bit befuddled, for a whole variety of reasons. It’s difficult to put things in Russia, and it goes on and on. The logical leader in this is Canada.”The Department of Fisheries and Oceans declined to lay out Canada’s plans for the agreement until after the signing. A spokesman said in an email that the government recently announced up to $10 million to support satellite technologies to help remotely identify and track suspected illegal fishing vessels.“Fisheries and Oceans Canada is committed to working globally to build strong partnerships to address the issue of unregulated fishing,” wrote Vance Chow.— Follow Bob Weber on Twitter at @row1960Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said the agreement applied to water 200 kilometres from shores of any coastal states.last_img read more