Flying Fijians fix focus on World Cup

first_imgPhoto: Oceania Rugby Fiji celebrate winning their third straight Pacific Nations Cup title. The Flying Fijians won their third straight Pacific Nations Cup title at the weekend after thrashing Samoa 38-16 in Apia.That result came a week after they secured the Oceania One berth for the 2019 World Cup, putting them in Pool D alongside Australia, Wales, Georgia and a qualifier.John McKee said it was important they maintained their standards and did not drop just because their main goal had been achieved.”Everything was at stake for Samoa, we knew they’d provide us with a big challenge but, for us, we’d had some good performances and we used our past performances through the series in giving us confidence going into the game,” he said.”But we were also aware of coming off that really tough, physical game in Tonga that we absolutely had to be on top of our game – if we weren’t on top of our game it wouldn’t be good enough.”McKee said the Flying Fijians had a genuine shot at reaching the knockout rounds in 2019 and said, with their World Cup place now secure, they had an opportunity to plan thoroughly for the next two years.”We want to qualify for the playoffs. I believe that with the talented players we’ve got if we do everything right and get things right it’s an achievable goal,” he said.”So certainly for me now I can really identify our top group of 24/25/26 players and really try to play them together as much as we can, so that we really develop our combinations, so when we hit the Rugby World Cup our squad is very settled,” revealed McKee.”But at the same time I want to leave the door open for players. I know some players who are outside this group, this test series, who are either really close to selection or perhaps because of injury were not available.”The door is always open for them to come back in and also I know some younger players on the horizon who could certainly put their hand up in the next 18 months, to be worthy of inclusion, because ultimately we will pick the best squad based on form.”McKee said Fiji and its Pacific neighbours do not normally play as many tests as the tier one nations so it was fantastic to pit themselves against Australia, Italy and Scotland last month, to complement their annual Pacific Nations Cup fixtures.”This June/July test series it’s really the most test matches we play in a block outside the Rugby World Cup year so I think that really enabled us to work on some things,” he said.”Sometimes on the three match series you just feel as though on the third match you’re just getting to where you want to be and then the boys go back to their club and yoy’ve got to start again three or four months later.”But I think this time around with the extra two games and the little camp in between the two campaigns we really made some big gains around the way we’re playing the game and our training methods and the way we prepare.”The thing is now to maintain that momentum and make sure that in November we build on the gains we’ve made during this series.”Next up for Fiji is the annual northern tour with test matches against Italy, Ireland and Canada confirmed for November.last_img read more

South Africa visa changes hit Crusaders fans

first_imgBecause a 20-year visa-free travel arrangement between South Africa and New Zealand has ended, Kiwis now require a three-month holiday visa to visit the Republic; and as passionate Crusaders fan Grant Golding has discovered, getting one at short notice is very difficult.After the Crusaders beat the Chiefs in the semifinal at AMI Stadium last weekend, Golding contacted the South African High Commission in Wellington to ask about securing the documentation to travel to the Republic.But by the time he got off the blower he knew there was about as much chance of flying to the moon as there was of getting to Jo’burg before the final.”I asked if there was any chance of getting a visa and a lady at the embassy said ‘no, looking at the backlog, it could take 25 days,” Golding said.There was no rest for the red and blacks as they prepare for their clash with the Lions.He was told that the only hope of getting the documentation fast-tracked was if he a family emergency in South Africa. Golding didn’t apply for the visa earlier because he was uncertain where, or if, the Crusaders would play the final.If the Hurricanes had beaten the Lions in the semi last weekend, the final would have been staged at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.”I was hanging off to try and make sure the team were going to get there,” Golding added.”It’s a shame. It has always been on my bucket list to go to South Africa. As a New Zealand rugby fan, it is one of those places you want to go to see a game. It is just too hard to do it at late notice.”The South African government have introduced the visa changes in a tit-for-tat response to similar measures introduced by New Zealand.Loyal Crusaders supporter Robin Leary, of Christchurch, will attend the final because he had secured his visa several months ago – not that he was planning so far ahead at the time.Leary had originally planned to support the Crusaders’ during their two-match tour of Pretoria and Bloemfontein on April 30 and May 7 but never left New Zealand because the documentation didn’t arrive until after the team had returned.Experience Travel, the official travel company of the Crusaders, acknowledged it was difficult to make arrangements for supporters with such a tight turnaround.”We are trying to work through dispensation at late notice,” spokesman David Redmond said. “But it is unlikely given the time frame.”Travelling fans are not the only ones to suffer. The Crusaders, who required a replacement for Kieran Read after he broke his thumb in Bloemfontein, surprisingly whistled-up Sumner club back rower Dylan Nel.Coach Scott Robertson explained it was because Nel, who holds a South African passport, didn’t have to go through the rigmarole of applying for a visa and could leave Christchurch immediately.An error on the visa for Chiefs midfielder Alex Nankivell resulted in him being turned away from South Africa prior to the quarterfinal against the Stormers in Cape Town. His visa was dated to expire on 31/06/2017, while the rest of the squad’s was stamped 31/08/2017.”It was a clerical error from Wellington and there was absolutely no flexibility from the South African border and they said he had to be sent back to the port that he came back from, which was Sydney,” Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said at the time.Nankivell had to return to Wellington to get his passport amended. The Chiefs called up Chase Tialata as cover. Photo by: FAIRFAX NZ (Rugby fan Grant Golding, pictured with his children Kyan (left) and Anamika at a Canterbury game in 2015, has flagged hopes of supporting the Crusaders in the Super Rugby final).last_img read more

Zidane: “If I have a flower? These players are the host”

first_imgThe Cup, nailed spine: “When I wear the Madrid shirt, I want to do any match well. Tomorrow is a Cup match and it’s our turn. We want to give everything, just that. The players prepare every day to be well and give everything in the field when we play in the field. “Winter market: “It’s not true that I don’t like the winter market. Until 31, everything can happen in all clubs. I have a squad, I have the best players and I want to do everything with them. And all clubs do the same: if they need, they do it; if not, no. “Cup Format: “I was asked the same thing in the previous one before Unionistas and I said that I am used to it because in France a game was always played. I like this idea, it is dynamic, to a game. But we adapt to what it touches. It is my opinion, but we adapt to what we have to play. This year is a match. “If Bale will go to Zaragoza: “You will see tomorrow, as always. I have all the players because something always happens to someone, but I am not here to talk about this. There is a call later and there we will see. I know that all players want to be well, available, without discomfort, and that is what is happening. “Football style: “I don’t know if the Bernabéu would accept a thousand passes without any occasion. Everyone has his style of play. I played at the Bernabéu and what the fans want is to see their team give everything in the field. It has always been that way. amateur watch your team sweat the shirt, that’s the most important thing in the end because you can’t always win. “Hazard’s defensive strength and situation: “I prefer to have all my players, especially for the player. Hazard, although he has returned to the field with the technicians, is not yet with the team. We will see this week how we manage it. Defensively we are happy because we know that before attacking we have to defend well, be intense in our defensive phase. We know, at the same time, that all the matches are different and we have to prove it. Tomorrow we have another match to show our strength. “ Historic Rival: “Surely it is a complicated game. It is a rival who is doing very well in Second, who wants to climb, we know the players who have … As always, for us it requires the maximum concentration, intensity … We always have to try to give our best version because that’s how we can get something out, when we give everything in the field. “ Criticisms despite the successes: “I always say the same, I will not change. The important thing is that this club has given me the opportunity to train this team, these players, who are the host. It is a great team. I am lucky to be here in the sense that I like this job. I am excited to come every day and work with them, take advantage of the opportunity I have. They are 18 years here, first as a player, and I saw what this house is, a special house. The good thing is that what people want for this team is to see their players and coach give their best in the field. Whatever is said, flower or not flower, that we are good, that no … Two months ago things were not going well and there was a lot of criticism, and that is not going to change. What we want is to continue in this line now. Players are the most important thing for me. “Kagawa, in Zaragoza: “He is an important player of Zaragoza, he is demonstrating it. He plays football very well and I wish him the best, but after the game, as always, because what interests me is what we are going to do tomorrow.”3 glasses in 30 years: “I don’t think it’s because of lack of motivation, but rather a circumstance … Madrid has a very big, very important history, and for us the motivation is high, very high, because we know it’s a trophy. We respect everything that touches us . Madrid has 13 … 13, no? Champions League, which is a very good fact. In the Cup it is a little worse, but we want to change it, let’s try. “Victor, in front: “Zaragoza is a historic club and it will make it difficult difficult. What they want is to happen. We are in the same way, we want to give everything in the field. The experience of his coach, who I think is the one with the most matches he’s in First and he’s sure he’s ready too. The difficulty is not going to surprise us tomorrow, we have to be prepared again. This is going to continue like this until the end. “Casemiro, without rest: “It’s part of this template, like everyone else, and we know how important it is. I like to get the good out of this template, in general. I confirm that you are almost an important player in our squad, who plays a lot. There are players who play more than others, but this is not going to change. “Transfer of the assigned: “I look at all the players we have, of course. What interests me is that they have minutes in the clubs they are in. We always wish, for example, Vallejo in this case with his new team, the best; to Lunin, too ; and Ceballos, let him play again. “Mariano, absent in training: “It is not available, it is a bit annoying and when one has a bit of annoyance, it is better not to risk more. Right now I can not tell you anything else. I do not like it and surely he does not like being out of the team for this reason”.last_img read more

Seville wants La Cartuja to be the Wembley of Spain

first_imgThe Junta de Andalucía wants to relaunch La Cartuja, a stadium that was built in 1999 with the chimera shared by Betis and Seville and had a cost of 120 million euros. In addition to the undeniable impulse that will give the Cup, the dream of Andalusian politicians is to turn it into the national team’s stadium, at least for the more packed parties that Spain plays that, after the next European Championship, will start the qualification for the World Cup. 2022, in Qatar. In order for La Cartuja to be the fixed headquarters of La Roja, in addition to solving all current problems, especially that of its roof, it would be an indispensable condition that the athletic tracks surrounding the lawn disappear. But the most important thing will be to prove its usefulness in the next four editions of the Copa del Rey. The agreement between the city of Seville and the Federation (RFEF) goes beyond the next four finals of the Copa del Rey. The Junta de Andalucía has the aspiration to convert the La Cartuja stadium into the Wembley of Spain, in the fixed headquarters of the National Team once the ambitious renovation of the Colosseum is completed. This was made known by the Andalusian president, Juanma Moreno, to the RFEF, Luis Rubiales, during the negotiations held to choose Seville, the host city of the Copa del Rey.The RFEF, for the moment, wants to verify that the investments in the coliseum solve the problems of La Cartuja, which has not hosted any show for almost two years. The damage to the stadium’s roof caused it to be closed and it still does not have the technical reports to approve its reopening. But nobody doubts that by April 18, date of the Cup final, the problems will be solved. The works have already begun.last_img read more

“Playing against Athletic was special, but not the most important game of my life”

first_imgHappy to give continuity to the victory of the Madrid Cup?Yes, because we continue with the good dynamics and the good feelings, the good run, the people plugged in, the hobby with us, it’s like being very happy.Real people are super excited about what they are doing …We’ve done a lot, it’s true, but I really have to say we haven’t done anything. The experience in the Basque derby will be unforgettable for the support of the people, as they have stayed at the end of the game. That the fans and the players go in the same direction is wonderful. We thank you very much for your support.It seemed that the Basque derby were thinking both teams more in the semifinals of Copa …Nerd. We all like to win, and more a derby. The start of the game we take a little measure both teams and not much has happened. But in the second it was a true derby, with its chances, fights, tickets … For a moment I thought we were going to finish a draw, but we have taken advantage of a great play and it has been expensive. He has already taken the measures to the goal of the Royal …Yes. I am at ease. Having minutes, seeing that the opponent has occasions and they do not score a goal, all that has gone well, I am at ease, in distances and with the ball I look good. Although at certain times I can do something else. I am enjoying day to day and games.What has it been like to face Athletic for the first time?Man, another rival is not. Of course But for me it was not the most important game of my life. Yes it was special, because I come from there, I have been there for ten years and they are players that you have always seen. But you focus on focusing on your own and helping your team win nothing more.Does Thursday consider it the most important game of the season?It is very important for us to play a final, as for the fans. Because it’s been a long time since a semifinal has been reached in the Real. But luckily and with the hard work of the coaching staff and all the players we have come here. With good football we are here, and other factors such as the rivals that touch you. There is a lot, you have to value it and enjoy it. The most important game is the one that plays now, prepare it well. We are focused only on Mirandés and that the stands are like in the Basque derby so that everything goes well.Now, maximum respect for Mirandés, right?Obviously. All teams have to be respected, but when a team achieves these feats in the Cup, perhaps it must be taken into account. They generate, above they are strong and move very well. Sevilla and Villarreal beat us, and Celta made things complicated for us … and the three have eliminated Mirandés. So that says it all. Very cautious, but if we show ourselves as we are, and with the support of the people, surely everything goes great. onecenter_img Alex Remiro played his first Basque derby on Sunday defending the goal of the Royal Society. It was his first confrontation against Athletic after his controversial march last summer. Cascante’s goal detracts from that fact and focuses on how much important lies ahead.last_img read more

Mendy, on yellow alert

first_imgFerland Mendy (24 years old) is being one of the great novelties of the season. The Madrid side accumulates positive reviews for its development in the grass. His irruption in the left wing of the Bernabéu has led to a defensive torrent that has upset the white rear until it becomes a stony wall: only in the League and with him flanking Sergio Ramos, Madrid have conceded just six goals in their 14 league presences . Only Vilarreal managed to punch Courtois goal more than once with him on the field in this league championship. Beyond: Madrid does not know defeat with the French playing. Of 14 league matches in which he has participated, the whites have imposed on 10 and tied the remaining four. Nevertheless, Mendy is on yellow alert: the Classic could be lost next March 1. The French add four yellow cards and is just one to miss the match against Setién. If he played against Celta, he could force a card to not play against Levante on Saturday, February 22 (9:00 p.m.), running the risk of being sanctioned with two games, as happened to Sergio Ramos against Ajax without go further. Till the date, Mendy has seen six yellow cards: against Villarreal, Betis, Getafe and Atlético de Madrid he was booked. Before Espanyol (day 16) he saw two cards in just 20 minutes, being ejected … and losing the game against Valencia.curiously Mendy is in the same position as her partner Casemiro. Like the Brazilian with the duel against Barcelona on December 18. On that occasion, Zidane decided that the Brazilian, who also had four cards, did not play the last game before measuring himself to the Catalans (against Valencia 1-1), so that he arrived without problems to the Classic. Now Zidane must meditate if he lines Mendy against Celta to look for a yellow one or gives him rest against Levante to be a starter against Barcelona …last_img read more

Barça already knows the three shirts of the 2020-2021

first_imgThe third kit will be identical to the second, but changing the black for an intense pink and the gold for the black. The difference is that in this case the shield would retain its traditional design and colors. In this way, they forget bluish green with a light print.It is not yet known how the goalkeepers of the Quique Setién team will dress next season, but Messi, Suarez, Pique and company, as well as any other signing that may arrive, will wear the azulgrana, the black and the pink. LaLiga Santander* Data updated as of February 21, 2020 As for the second uniform, it will have a much more elegant design. They forget yellow with the diagonal stripes to make a black kit with absolutely all the details in gold, Be it the logo, the neck, the lines of the sleeves, the advertising or even the shield.center_img Barcelona already knows the design of its three kits for next season. According Sports world, the people of Nike approached the sports facilities of the club azulgrana to show the players, and in the process of doing a photo shoot, how they will dress during the 2020-2021 campaign. The designs have been filtered by the portal Footy headlines.The first kit will stop showing the pictures of this season and recover the vertical stripes. However, between each of the blue and maroon lines, there will be a rather striking yellow, color that will predominate both in the neck and in the logo or at the end of the sleeves. The publicity of Rakuten Y Beko (on the sleeve) they would wear it in white.Footy Headlines’); return false; “class =” item-multimedia “>The design of the three Nike kits of Barcelona for the 2020-2021 season.Footy headlineslast_img read more

Series A postpones the sixth meeting of this day

first_imgSeries A postponed another game, the sixth, of this controversial day 26. The League reported that Sampdoria-Verona, scheduled for Monday, will be held next May 13 together with Sassuolo-Brescia, Parma-SPAL, Udinese-Fiorentina, Milan-Genoa and Juventus-Inter. A necessary solution after announcing the president of the Liguria region, Giovanni Toti, that the match could only have been played behind closed doors due to the cases of coronaviruses in the area (25). Yes, In the next few hours the teams could change their plans again: according to Sky Sport, it is being valued to recover the six postponed games of this day in the next weekend, moving the whole day 27 to May 13. A solution that would allow not to leave the classification halfway through the end of the season and would please everyone, canceling all the controversies of the last hours.There was also talk of using next Wednesday and Thursday, postponing the Italian Cup semifinals back to May (Juventus-Milan and Naples-Inter). This Sunday, a Series A council was held at a conference call, where no solution was found: in the end it was decided to convene an extraordinary assembly, on Wednesday in Rome, to discuss face to face and settle the matter at once.last_img read more

They denounce irregularities in the electoral process of the Extremaduran Federation

first_imgThe candidacies of Sancho Bejarano and Ventura Pozo has demanded this Wednesday the paralysis of the elections to the presidency of the Extremadura Football Federation and the intervention of the autonomous Administration so that the process is clean and democratic.At a press conference held in Mérida, They have justified this request in a series of irregularities that have detected and that have occurred even before the electoral call. In his opinion, the process is “flawed” with the intention of benefiting one of the candidates.Both applicants have ensured that There have been irregularities in the capture of the vote, in the appointment of the members of the Electoral Board and in the electoral roll, among others. Bejarano has said that they have challenged the members of the Electoral Board for their “very direct” relationship with the president of the federation and candidate, Ramón Rocha, and the legal services of this organization.In addition, it has denounced non-compliance with the obligation to publish the census annually and the errors included in the one finally published earlier this month, with included voters who do not have to be and others with the right to it who have been left out. Without checking the number of players, 600 census records have been studied and 200 of them have been used, has pointed. In this sense, it has also criticized the maneuvers to hinder the claims to the census. Bejarano has also warned that, before the elections were even called, Federation employees asked for the vote for Rocha using the official model that had not yet been published. The other candidate has asserted that in “in football democracy does not exist” and he recalled that in the 2008 elections he was “played” and the irregularities that occurred in the 2013 elections, which ended up in court. Now they do not rule out going to court if the Junta de Extremadura does not take action on the matter.Pozo has indicated that in December he requested an interview with the counselor of Culture, Tourism and Sports, Nuria Flores; and the General Director of Sports, Dan de Sande, but they still haven’t answered him, and has asked the regional authorities not to be “complicit” in this situation. They have criticized Rocha for running for re-election when he said he was only going to be eight years.Bejarano has demanded that the process go back to the beginning, that it be democratic and that the “bad image” that occurred in 2013 at the national level not be repeated. “Here we all have the right to present ourselves, not just the one who is there,” he stressed. The civil, criminal and administrative litigation complaints filed for irregularities in the 2013 electoral process finally did not prosper.The elections called now will be held between April 29 and May 6 next, although before there is an important assembly, on April 8, in the middle of Easter, something that they have also criticized. In it, the 50 assembly members are elected – 28 representing clubs, 12 players, 5 referees and as many coaches – who are ultimately the president.last_img read more

Rubiales’ “injustices”: pros and cons of alternatives to finish LaLiga

first_imgFinish the season on Matchday 27Also rejected by the president of the RFEF, one of the options that gained more strength was that of end the season on matchday 27 and proclaim champion to the one who occupies the first position. Of course, Barcelona would be the maximum benefit, since it would validate their good work so far. Also teams like Getafe wave Real, who have proven to be up to the best, but who would have signed their position in September. Luis Rubiales appeared to explain the situation of Spanish football, after UEFA definitively announced the postponement of the European Championship until the summer of 2021. So far, a total of five alternatives were put on the table to conclude the championship. However, after the words of the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, only one is contemplated: ending the competition with the remaining eleven days, regardless of the date on which they are played.Furthermore, Rubiales cataloged the other deck possibilities as “unfair”. But, Why do you consider it this way? Who would benefit and who would suffer from each of them? The federative president explained it, although it is worth mentioning, individually, the great winners and also the great losers of what would be unique closings in the history of Spanish football.Leave the championship desertedIf this decision were agreed, already ruled out by Rubiales, Cádiz, Zaragoza and Barcelona would see their efforts ruined. Those of Setién are leaders of LaLiga Santander and would not add a championship that they have won on the pitch. Gaditanos and Aragonese would remain at the gates of promotion, after occupying the first two positions in the table in LaLiga SmartBank in recent weeks.Also, if the competition doesn’t end, European positions could be decided by UEFA Coefficient based on recent years. In that case, revelation teams like Real Sociedad and Getafe could see their dream of traveling the continent fade away. Atlético de Madrid will surely qualify for the Champions League, despite occupying, at the moment, the sixth position in the table.This was explained by Rubiales: “They were talking about nullifying the season and we defend not. How are we going to do that. How are we going to take away prizes from teams that have been winning things throughout the season. We want the season to end.”JOAN MONFORT & nbsp; (DAILY AS) ‘); return false; “class =” item-multimedia “>Barcelona will not be champion if LaLiga could not be played again.JOAN MONFORT (DAILY AS) Atlético de Madrid, Valencia, Athletic or Betis could not turn around some irregular months and they would stay away from goals or, failing that, dreams. Mallorca, Leganés and Espanyol would say goodbye to the category without having the opportunity to save the burn; while Celta or Eibar, who have rubbed elbows in the bottom all year, would stay in First without the need for the final effort. In the Second Division, Cádiz and Zaragoza would return to the elite; Deportivo, Lugo, Extremadura and Racing would say goodbye to professional football; and it would remain to be seen if the third promotion would go to the third classified.Anyway, the possibility is no longer on the table. This was explained by Rubiales: “It was said to end the classification as it is. And I can already say that it would be injustice to end the classification as it is. It would be a tremendous injustice. The classification that there is now will not be the one at the end.” The difference in timing, for example, is one of the factors that does not give this possibility the required justice.Keep the first lapIn order that the calendar did not influence when deciding a champion, it has also been stipulated with the option of only accounting for the results of the first round. Thus, everyone would have faced everyone. If it were that way, Barcelona would also be champion and Atlético would win places in the table until they qualify for the Champions. I would lose the square Real, heading to the Europa League. The Valencia. The Getafe he would stay at the gates, seventh.Yes they would lower the same as in day 27: Mallorca, Leganés and Espanyol. They would leave their place in First to Cadiz Y Almeria. Huesca, Fuenlabrada, Zaragoza and Numancia, in that order, occupied the Playoff positions at that time. However, Rubiales is not convinced to reward and punish for only the first months of the sports year: “And the third scenario was talking about bringing the season back to the first round. And we are not going to do that either. It would be rewarding someone who had a position that is not the one of now. We only have to finish the season.”A Playoff… for next year?The last of the shuffled alternatives was to decide champion and bottom with the celebration of a faster Playoff, which would allow to lighten the competition and be able to finish on time. At the moment, that will not happen. Yes, at the moment, since Luis Rubiales has not ruled out a similar option next season. If the championship, due to the spread of the coronavirus, had to be extended until the end of summer or, even more, of course, the usual schedule would have to be modified.Thus, it would be possible that the next season did not respond to the usual pattern that has been repeated for so many years. Rubiales left it up in the air: “We only have to finish the season. That is June 30, perfect. No, it will end later. And if later you have to start later or with another format, it will be done, but agreed by all. This is the formula we have found. “last_img read more