Umaga-Jensen’s solo flight

first_imgThe 19-year-old will wear jersey No 12 on debut for Wellington in Wednesday night’s Mitre 10 Cup match against Hawke’s Bay, a year after Peter made his debut in Napier.The family’s newest Lion won’t be joined in the 23 by his brother who is still recovering from shoulder surgery. But with mother Rachael Umaga and father Tony Jensen – a former hard-running Wainuiomata club stalwart – proudly watching on, it will be a memorable night for all concerned.”It’s a pretty good coincidence. My brother’s first game was against Hawke’s Bay too. For me to do the same is pretty special for my mum and dad who are avid fans of Wellington Lions so I’m honouring them by going out there,” Thomas Umaga-Jensen said.”Also my uncle, Tana, he made a legend of himself for the Lions. Just to make my family proud, I can’t wait to run out there for the first time on Westpac and play some good footy.”Wednesday’s match will mark exactly two years since the Umaga-Jensen twins suffered a narrow defeat in the national schools’ final for Scots College against Rotorua Boys’ High School.Thomas then sought a change of scene in Dunedin to study geography and education at Otago University, and played for the University club. He underwent hip injury late last year, and made the New Zealand Under-20 squad and the Highlanders’ wider group, which will lure him south again to try and crack Super Rugby.”I’m heading back down and I’ll try to build my way up there and see what I can do. It works out well for my studies down there; in Dunedin for the first part of the season and back here to play for Wellington.”And, potentially an on-field reunion with his twin who helped him carve up schoolboy defences for Scots, which saw them share the 2014 national title. They turn 20 on New Year’s Eve.”He’s always pushed me to do my best and I’ve always pushed him to do his best. Hopefully next year, if I’m still in the team, we’ll get to play alongside each other again and create some magic.”Thomas showed his class in a Swindale Shield cameo for Wainuiomata in April, a 42-40 defeat to Marist St Pat’s. He impressed Wellington coach Chris Gibbes with his fitness and work ethic and will slot comfortably into a backline between Jackson Garden-Bachop and Hurricane Wes Goosen.”I’m not looking for superstars; I just want him [Umaga-Jensen] to do his job. If he does that he’s shown he’s got a massive amount of talent. If he creates space for others and takes his little opportunities then I’ll be happy,” Gibbes said.Wellington hadn’t beaten Hawke’s Bay in four years, till their 36-26 victory in Napier last August. But the unbeaten Lions will be pronounced favourites this time, even without All Blacks squad members Vaea Fifita and Jeff To’omaga-Allen, and rested forwards Brad Shields and Sam Lousi, from their clinical 31-10 win over Bay of Plenty last Thursday.The Magpies are amid an injury crisis which worsened after Friday’s 53-10 defeat to Canterbury, and saw captain and hooker Ash Dixon, first five-eighth Ihaia West and No 8 Marino Mikaele-Tu’u all ruled out of the trip to Wellington.Also missing is new Hurricanes recruit Gareth Evans and veteran prop Ben May, although coach Craig Philpott named US Eagle Tony Lamborn at No 8 after a shoulder problem.Tiaan Falcon, a NZ Under-20 team-mate of Umaga-Jensen’s, will steer the ship at first-five.AT A GLANCEWhat: Mitre 10 Cup, week fourWhere and when: Westpac Stadium, Wellington, 7.35pm Wednesday​Wellington: Andrew Wells, Julian Savea, Wes Goosen, Thomas Umaga-Jensen, Ben Lam, Jackson Garden-Bachop, Sheridan Rangihuna, Teariki Ben-Nicholas, Du’Plessis Kirifi, Galu Taufale, James Blackwell (captain), Isaia Walker-Leawere, Alex Fidow, Asafo Aumua, Tolu Fahamokioa. Reserves: Sitiveni Paongo, Vince Sakaria, Joe Apikotoa, Will Mangos, James Tuiatua, Kemara Hauiti-Parapara, Dan Kirkpatrick, Malo Tuitama.​Hawke’s Bay: Richard Buckman, Jonah Lowe, Hayden Hann, Cardiff Vaega, Sam McNicol, Tiaan Falcon, Brad Weber (captain), Tony Lamborn, Hugh Renton, Lucas Goodin, Geoff Cridge, Nick Palmer, Jarvy Aoake, Jacob Devery, Mark Braidwood. Reserves: Jorian Tangaere, Jason Long, Pouri Rakete-Stones, Joshua Eden-Whaitiri, Fa’alemiga Selesele, Ricky Hayes, Chris Eaton, Dan Snee. Photo by: ANDREW CORNAGA/PHOTOSPORT Caption: Exactly two years after playing in Scots College’s national final defeat to Rotorua Boys’ High School, Thomas Umaga-Jensen will make his Wellington NPC debut.last_img read more

Perth may have more chance of joining Super League than the NRL

first_imgAfter beating the NRL to the punch by playing a premiership fixture on the other side of the world, English officials have revealed there had been discussions about a Perth team joining the likes of Toronto, New York, London and Toulouse in an expanded Super League.”We’ve got New York and a number of other areas very interested and there are whispers from Perth that they are interested because there is a direct flight now into London,” Wigan owner Ian Lenagan said.The news coincides with a warning from NRL CEO Todd Greenberg last Thursday that the governing body would not bail out financially stricken clubs as the game had no significant cash reserves after lifting their annual grants to $12.4 million each.In other words, any club hitting serious financial trouble would be allowed to fold in a move which could pave the way for the introduction of a new franchise or a relocated team.However, the increase in total funding from $156m to $240m per year means that is the only way expansion is likely to happen as the NRL would be unable to pay new teams the $12.4m each per year the current 16 clubs receive.There are whispers from Perth that they are interested because there is a direct flight now into London…Wigan owner Ian LenaganThe size of the grants also make it unlikely that a club would collapse during the current five-year broadcast deal as they are now guaranteed $3m more than the salary cap, which is $9.4m this season and due to rise to $10m in 2022. In addition, the NRL has introduced a $5.7m ceiling on football department spending to slow the annual 12% increase in costs on coaching and performance.”They’ve now got enough money to sustain themselves so if they run smart, effective and efficient business models we should have 16 strong clubs,” Greenberg told reporters at a briefing ahead of the NRL’s AGM.Expansion will again become a topic of conversation when Perth’s new state-of-the-art stadium hosts a double-header in the opening round of the Telstra Premiership next month.There is no doubt the game is testing the waters in the west.A Test was played in Perth at the end of the 2016 season and the city also hosted a World Cup double-header last year, while a State of Origin match is scheduled to be played at the new 60,000-seat stadium in 2019.With Rugby Australia closing down the Western Force Super Rugby franchise, there is an opportunity for rugby league to fill the void but the NRL is in no hurry after the demise of the Perth Reds in 1997.Recent comments in a Daily Telegraph interview by Peter Beattie, who is expected to be the new ARLC chairman, have generated excitement about expansion but the former Queensland premier indicated future NRL clubs should first enter the NSW or Queensland state competitions.Ipswich Jets and Redcliffe Dolphins are two Queensland Cup clubs with NRL ambitions and broadcasters have indicated they would like a second Brisbane team.However, plans for Perth to enter the NSW Cup are several years away, with officials first hoping to field an under 20s team in the SG Ball Cup next season.In contrast to the NRL’s approach, England’s Rugby Football League is in the biggest expansion drive since the code began in 1895, with the Toronto Wolfpack and Toulouse Olympique playing in this season’s second-tier Championship.A New York franchise is expected to enter the third-tier League One next year, as Toronto did in 2017, and those behind the bid have approached Salford Red Devils and Catalans Dragons about taking a Super League match to the US city on June 24.The move follows the success of last Saturday night’s Super League fixture in Wollongong between Wigan Warriors and Hull FC, which drew a bigger crowd than the attendances for the three regular-season clashes between the clubs last season.The NRL had previously considered opening the 2015 season in London with South Sydney Rabbitohs playing St George Illawarra Dragons as they were in the UK for the World Club Series but the time difference did not suit broadcasters.While that problem remains, it is unlikely the NRL will play a Telstra Premiership fixture in Europe but there is now talk of more Super League games in Australia, with Perth a possible venue.”I speak not just for Wigan and Hull but for St Helens and for Leeds and for many other clubs,” Lenagan said.”World club rugby league could be massive. The Toronto owner David Argyle is a very successful businessman with a passion for rugby league and he is leading the way in many respects.”The 12 Super League clubs met with him a week or so ago and there is no doubt the international dimension for rugby league is superb. He was saying Toronto’s local derby could be against London.”Why NRL coaches now have extra job securityWinning Starts Monday: Thurston’s farewell tourlast_img read more

Lockyer: Walters decision will boost Maroons

first_imgWalters is a selector as well as a coach of the Maroons side and said in a statement that the “perception of my impartiality” was one of the reasons why he decided to remove himself from a club role.Walters attended the launch of the 2018 Holden State of Origin Series in Melbourne on Tuesday where he said: “the level of interest at the media conference reinforced how privileged I am to be the head coach of a Maroons team which means so much to the people of Queensland.””It also reinforced Origin’s immense standing in the game, and the importance of having a clear-minded approach to all aspects of the Queensland team’s preparations,” Walters said.”I felt that my direct link to the Broncos may influence the perception of my impartiality and, as a result, I have made the decision to step away from the club to focus solely on our State of Origin campaign.”Lockyer is in a unique position to assess Walters’ decision as both a Brisbane Broncos board member and Queensland selector.The former Maroons captain told NRL.com that Mal Meninga’s record as a stand-alone coach of Queensland set a template for success that suggested Walters’ move would reap dividends.”It can only be a positive for Queensland,” Lockyer said.”Kevvie can now solely focus, aside from his media commitments, on getting the Origin team ready for not just this series but moving forward as well. “People might see that there are only three games and three camps but there is a lot of work behind the scenes whether it be in the development program, the Emerging Origin squad, planning or getting in touch with all the players.”Mal Meninga’s success as a full-time Origin coach indicates that if you want to be a success at that level then that is the best way to go about it.”That allowed him to plan, create pathways and programs. He obviously did the role of coach well but that extra level of commitment to create and articulate that stuff obviously had a really positive impact.”Lockyer said he was “a little bit surprised, but not shocked” at Walters’ decision.”I think as Origin has got closer he has realised how important it is to everyone, and holding dual roles and doing some media stuff means that at that coaching level it is a juggling act and one that he probably felt was too hard,” Lockyer said.Lockyer said Walters’ statement on the perception of impartiality was understandable but added he had always found him to make selection decisions that were for the best interests of Queensland.”Kevvie has come through the Broncos system under Wayne [Bennett] where every decision made has been the for the benefit of the team,” Lockyer said.”Even in that role as Queensland coach he has made decisions that were best for Queensland.” Walters has held assistant roles under Wayne Bennett on two previous occasions and this is the third time he has moved away from the role, the last two times of his own volition and the first when Bennett famously sacked him. Walters, who won five premierships with the Brisbane Broncos and one with Canberra, said he wished everyone involved with the Broncos “every success for the remainder of the 2018 season”.Lockyer said Walters would be missed at the Broncos but expected that he would be back one day, perhaps as head coach.”When you have won six premierships and had that level of success, you can’t put a value on that,” he said.”There are young halves at the Broncos that need mentoring and no doubt there will be a loss of talent in the coaching ranks, but I don’t think it is the last time Kevvie will be involved at the Broncos.”The door is not closed there. He’s just made a decision to focus on Queensland and down the track who knows what will happen.”Kevvie has always held out a bit of ambition to coach at NRL level but his perspective might change after a couple of Origin series.” Broncos coach Wayne Bennett, who coached the Maroons in 22 matches from 1986 until 2003, said he respected Walters’ decision and his honesty in making the Broncos’ aware of his position as soon as possible.”I know personally the amount of work it takes to be a successful coach at Origin level and I can understand why Kevin has come to this decision,” Bennett said. “It takes a huge commitment to coach Queensland and while we have really valued Kevin’s input this year as an assistant coach, we wish him all the best.”Witness Australia’s greatest sporting rivalry when Origin comes to the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday June 6. Tickets available at NRL.com/ticketslast_img read more

Dwellers in as favorites over Welgris in Lae

first_imgDwellers will take on Welgris Morobe United FC on home soil at the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium this Saturday starting at 2pm.It will be a brotherhood clash between the two Morobe teams.Dwellers have all expectations on their captain Raymond Gunemba and Nigel Dabinyaba to score goals for them.While for Welgris, charges needs to be a bit more patient in their attack and let the ball do the talking then they will reap the rewards.Eluid Fugre’s hassling and aggression in the midfield will also be counted to steer is team to victory and put a smile on their supporters face.In Port Moresby, MRDC Hekari United FC will play PKA Rapatona FC at Bisini Soccer Grounds.The top team in this champion’s league will be the minor premier and will claim a place in the TNSL 2015-2016 season grand final and also qualify for the OFC Champions League.The third and fourth placed teams will not be played but the teams will be awarded the prize money as per the point’s ladder.last_img read more

Digicel Play brings NRL excitement to communities

first_imgThe Buka event, which was held at Bel Isi Park featured local band Model Zero who entertained residents and league fans.  Kokopo Primary School oval was also full of activities on the day, with local group Mind Trip performing and a special appearance by the Rabaul Agmark Gurias led by Captain Albert Patak and Boas Ruru, providing some simple ball drills with the children and a game of footy.The Digicel-sponsored NRL in the Park events were part of a 7 City Plan announced in January, which took PNG’s favourite sport to the people every weekend over four weeks from January 30.The events were held in Port Moresby, Lae, Mount Hagen, Goroka, Madang, Buka and Kokopo and featured a variety of live entertainment, games and prizes.League fans were also able to watch their favourite NRL highlights from past seasons on Digicel big-screens showcasing memorable tries, the biggest tackles and major hit-ups.Digicel PNG CEO, Maurice McCarthy, said Digicel was extremely delighted to host a successful community initiative in the lead up to the 2016 NRL season, in which Digicel Play will be the official NRL broadcaster. “The seven NRL in the Park events were all very well attended throughout the country and were a great way to build excitement ahead of the NRL season, which launches this week,” he said.“PNG loves their rugby league and it’s been a pleasure to bring the footy fun to the people at Digicel’s free NRL in the Park events.“Digicel is committed to bringing NRL to the people of PNG through televising every match of the 2016 season live on Digicel Play, when it kicks off on Thursday 3 March at 7:05pm when the Brisbane Broncos play the Parramatta Eels.”Last week, Digicel Play announced a new telecast partnership with PNG’s state broadcaster the National Broadcasting Corporation which will see three weekly NRL matches aired on the NBC’s free-to-air channel as well as Digicel Play’s broadcast in high definition.“This partnership is a great example of Digicel’s commitment to its broadcasting responsibilities and it highlights our commitment to ensure people across PNG can enjoy NRL regardless of where they live,” McCarthy said.As the true home of Rugby League in PNG, Digicel Play offers an unbeatably high service for our viewers. With Digicel Play and NBC we are reaching the whole of PNG.”The announcement is a major boost for rugby league fans and is another step in Digicel’s full program of activity which goes far beyond just televising the matches.Along with televising the NRL Premiership games live, Digicel Play will also broadcast the State of Origin Series, the All Stars Match, the ANZAC test and the under 20’s games. Digicel Play will also continue to support and broadcast the Digicel Cup and the QRL Intrust Super Cup.last_img read more

Pini to be PNG flag bearer at Rio Olympics

first_imgThe news was announced today by Chef de Mission, Emma Waiwai at the farewell for Team PNG at the Taurama Aquatic and Indoor Centre, Port Moresby.Waiwai described Pini as a great ambassador for sports in PNG saying he is the only PNG athlete to compete in the finals at an Olympic Games.“Ryan is well recognized in PNG and the Pacific. Among many other achievements and awards include Member of the British Empire, Order of the Logohu, Best Male Athlete of the 2015 Pacific Games and winning the SP Sports Awards Male Athlete of the Year five times.“Ryan’s consistent results show his hard work and dedication over the years and he is an inspiration to many Papua New Guineans,” said Waiwai.For Pini, this will be his fourth Olympic Games. His first was back in 2004 in Athens, Greece.“This is a great honour for me to carry the flag of PNG at my fourth Olympics. I will do so with all my heart. It’s pretty special to me and I will do my best with all your support,” said Pini.Team PNG will depart for Brazil next Wednesday.last_img read more

Ramos equaled the record of Gento and Sanchís in the derbies

first_imgSergio Ramos entered the history of the derbies today. Unless setback, Camas will match Gento and Sanchís as players who have played more Madrid duels. It is the 42nd time that the center has defended the white shirt against Atlético. The balance of the 41 derbies previously played for the captain is 19 wins, 14 draws and 8 losses. twoNecklace3. 4 oneGento42 FOR REAL MADRID 4Santillana36 4Lane30 His last memory before the rojiblancos was another ecstasy for Real Madrid. He marked, touched the ankle, the last maximum penalty of the penalty shootout that gave Zidane the Spanish Super Cup in Jeddah just 20 days ago. oneAdelardo35 3Thomas33center_img 3Bouquets41 Ramos has recently become one of the black beasts of Atleti. He has scored six goals (Messi –31–, Cristiano –25– and Suarez –8– are the only active players who have done so many rojiblancos). Simeone’s are also one of his fetishes: only Sevilla (7) has scored more.Their goals are decisive: has marked the Simeone in the three recent European finals. In the 2014 Champions League final, a legendary header in the 93rd minute in Lisbon opened the doors to Madrid for the extension that led to the Tenth. Two years later, in Milan, he scored the first goal of the game and then scored the fourth of the penalty shootout. And in the 2018 Super Cup in Tallinn he scored from the eleven meters the goal of 2-1, although then Atleti would end up taking the title in extra time. FOR THE ATHLETIC Gabi30 Michael36 Players with more Madrid derbies Sanchis42last_img read more

Barcelona came to think of Fernando Llorente

first_imgEl Mono Burgos already paints little. It is known that Germán Burgos wants to leave Atlético and start training alone. In the club they estimate him but he already has little. It was staged at the meeting held in the restaurant The umbrella, appointment in which the red-and-white dome debated the signing of Cavani. They were Miguel Angel Gil Marín, Simeone, the Prof Ortega Y Nelson Live, assistant of Cholo. One piece was missing, the Monkey Burgos.Osasuna case: the accuser can be accused. The birds shooting at the shotguns, says the popular saying Angel Vizcay, former manager of Osasuna, denounced in the Provincial Court that parties were rigged with Betis, Valladolid Y Getafe. Now, some of the defendants are considering filing a complaint against Vizcay for incriminating without giving names and surnames.Political charges in sport. The appointments of José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes as new Minister of Culture and Sports and that of Irene Lozano as president of Higher Sports Council We must understand them in a political key. In Madrid, the PSOE does not have renowned candidates for either the Community or the City Council and these positions, due to their visibility, are a great showcase for future applications. Deranged by a 9. Injury Luis Suarez has misplaced the Barça, to the point that he weighed options like Fernando Llorente’sfront of Naples That this month will turn 35. Llorente was offered to the club, possibility that was on the table well present. In addition to the non-agreement with Rodrigo (Valencia), the option of Willian José (Real society), plus the familiar sainete lived with Bakambu.Female mosquito. The clubs of the First Iberdrola are quite mosqueados with the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and with the Madrid CFF for what happened in this winter transfer market. Madrid CFF, together with Barça, Tacon and Athletic, did not enter into the television contract with Mediapro and took part in the RFEF Elite Program, which gave them 500,000 euros. The other clubs accuse that with that money now the Madrid CFF has reinforced luxury in January, signing eight players of the Brazilian level Valeria Cantuario, Antonia Silva Y Geyse Ferreira, plus Jang Sel-Gi (South Korea), Amanda Frisbie (U.S), lngrid Moe (Norway), Rita Chikwelu (Nigeria) and Marie Aurelle Awona (Cameroon). They study if everything has been legal.Allegri before Setién. Quique Setién is the coach of Barça because before there were five others who said no. It was known that the options were, in this order, Xavi, Koeman, Pochettino and García Pimienta, subsidiary technician. Now it has been known that after Pochettino the position was also offered to Massimiliano Allegri, who in May had ceased to be the coach of the Juventus.last_img read more

Wilander: “I think Djokovic will win 25 Grand Slam”

first_imgMats Wilander surrendered to the determine of Novak Djokovic after the Serbian surpassed Dominic Thiem within the Australian Open remaining to get his eighth title in Melbourne and thus add his 17th Grand Slam title, remaining 2 of 19 of Rafa Nadal and three of the file of 20 he holds Roger Federer.Wilander, winner of seven Grand Slam within the 80s (Three Australian Open, Three Roland Garros and a US Open) and three Davis Cups, and present commentator for Eurosport, commented in his gallery within the newspaper L’Équipe that the Serbian will enhance his account of nice titles. “I’d be stunned if I didn’t win no less than two different Grand Slam this 12 months. In truth, I don’t see somebody who can forestall me from profitable no less than 4 Grand Slam, or extra … I think he can win 25 Grand Slam titles till the tip of his profession. “ The Swede additionally applauded the ways utilized by Djokovic to beat Thiem within the remaining and the way the Serbian knew the best way to make the perfect use of his physique. “Novak has the unbelievable skill to play his finest tennis when crucial. Tactically, the lifeless time he requested within the third set with 4-1 allowed him to face up a bit. There was a time and it was not an excuse, however a purpose to not play lengthy factors and end discovering the great rhythm. We’ve seen it quite a bit. When he goes round, his rival is at all times stunned and Novak can impose his sport once more. So, with 3-Three within the fourth, Djokovic received twelve of the final 15 factors of the set. As if he had taken off and Dominic couldn’t observe him, catch him, within the final 45 minutes of the match due to the vitality he spent all through his earlier video games. “Wilander additionally applauded Djokovic’s fidelity in every sport and the depth in his sport. “He is aware of the best way to tire his opponent with out ever enjoying his finest tennis continuously. Novak by no means panics, even when he’s drained or annoyed. It’s wonderful how every sport performs as if it had been a remaining, whatever the rival. “last_img read more

“Bale has worked hard”

first_imgThe director of Institutional Relations of Real Madrid, Emilio Butragueño, analyzed in Movistar + the tie of his team against Celta.Two points: “It was a shame because we made a great effort to win. We deserved to win. They have had two brilliant plays with two magnificent passes and they have achieved the draw.” Celtic’s only occasions: “We have had control of the whole game. The Aspas pass and Smolov’s control has been masterful. And the second one is the same. Those moves are hard to defend when that inspiration appears. The rest of the game has been ours. It has been a Too bad. We’ve fought a lot. “Hazard: “He has played very well because he is a great player. He always chooses well and makes sense of everything he does. He is vertical and gives us a lot. He has offered a great level.”Barça, to a point: “We know that this is going to be very long. We are confident. We must continue and prepare the game well against Levante.”Goals conceded: “The defensive structure has been fine. We recovered the ball very quickly. It has been two flashes.”Bale: “He has worked hard for the team. Everyone, in general, has played a good game. He has been in that line.” LaLiga Santander* Data updated as of February 16, 2020last_img read more