Get to know Canada’s DTH van der Merwe

first_imgHe’s experienced three World Cups already but the try-hungry Canadian is back for more in Japan Rewind four years and who can forget that thrilling try by Canada against Italy at Elland Road? Not DTH van der Merwe, that’s for sure, who rates it as his favourite Rugby World Cup moment.Canada had spoken in the week about the narrowness of Italy’s defence and, 14 minutes in, van der Merwe called it: Tyler Ardron caught a restart in his 22, fed his wing on the left flank, and van der Merwe went on a searing run to the distant try-line, exchanging passes with Ciaran Hearn along the way.Van der Merwe scored in every pool game that year, four of the 37 tries in 
56 Tests that bear testimony to his greatness in Canucks red. Canada’s record try-scorer, he’s set to break the country’s RWC appearance record in Japan, overtaking the mark of 14 held 
by Jamie Cudmore and Rod Snow (he will match this record against New Zealand).Gruff Rees, the Canada backs coach on secondment from Cardiff Blues, has got to appreciate the player’s attributes from close up over the past year.“I’d always admired DTH as a player, coached against him many times and saw how he could influence games with his physical ability and game understanding,” he says. “But having worked with him he’s even better than I’d thought. Which is a big statement.Evasive: Against Hong Kong during World Cup qualifying (Getty Images)“He knows where and how to impact a game, and he’s a real student of it as well; he asks good questions, challenges in the right way, and understands the back-line principles we work to. He’s a guiding light in terms of where and why we do things.”Van der Merwe was 21 when he made his RWC debut, against Wales in Nantes, and recalls acting as a speed bump for Lote Tuqiri in that same 2007 event. He played full-back that day in Bordeaux, at centre throughout RWC 2011, and should be in his usual No 11 shirt when he steps out for a fourth World Cup in September.I catch him one Sunday ahead of the Pacific Nations Cup. How does the 2007 you compare to the 33-year-old of today?“I’ve definitely evolved. I’ve gained 
15 kilos!” he says. “In my first World Cup 
I was a naïve firecracker 
and experienced guys like Morgan Williams and Mike James kept a cap on it. Celebrating in style: Scoring against Italy in 2015 (Getty images) “I was always confident about running the ball and didn’t really think about my kicking game; now, I can switch to a territory game and maybe more ball play.“In 2007 I was stuck on the wing quite a bit trying to make my tackles and catch the ball if it came my way. I’m more of a leader now and have more input in the daily grind of training and going into matches. But I’m still just a guy who enjoys his rugby.”Fiery rivalry: After scoring against the USA (Getty Images)He’s not one to toe the line if he sees injustice. In 2015 Canada led Romania 15-0 but tired against their fresher opponents and lost. Van der Merwe complained about the scheduling then and he’s complaining now as Canada prepare to face Italy, New Zealand, South Africa and Namibia in quick succession.“We’ve got four games in 17 days, the second-worst schedule in the whole World Cup. It’s unfair. Tier Two nations should get a better schedule than Tier One. There’s a massive difference in player depth and I hope one day the World Cup will take that into account.”The flip side is Major League Rugby, now providing a precious pro platform in North America. “There’s a change showing in our rugby. With Toronto Arrows, we’ve got 30 or 35 players with Canadian badges on playing at a higher level; the Seawolves have about eight players, we’ve guys at NOLA Gold. We’ve guys all over the MLR, it’s huge for us.”Having reached Japan via the back door of the repêchage, are Canada heading for a fall? “No, the feeling in the squad is really positive. We’ve got a lot of youngsters who bring that bit of edge and confidence, but also older guys with World Cup experience who calm those nerves down when it comes to game time. We’re in a good place.”This first appeared in the October 2019 edition of Rugby World magazine. center_img LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Remember to follow Rugby World on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.last_img read more

FSHA Senior Ranked Among Top 10 Female Debaters in Country

first_img More Cool Stuff First Heatwave Expected Next Week HerbeautyThis Is What Happens To Your Face After DermaplaningHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyZac Efron Is Dating A New Hottie?HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyWomen Love These Great Tips To Making Your Teeth Look WhiterHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty6 Lies You Should Stop Telling Yourself Right NowHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyStop Eating Read Meat (Before It’s Too Late)HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty9 Of The Best Family Friendly Dog BreedsHerbeautyHerbeauty Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Top of the News Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Community News Community News center column 3 FSHA Senior Ranked Among Top 10 Female Debaters in Country Article and Photo courtesy of FLINTRIDGE SACRED HEART ACADEMY Published on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 | 4:07 pm Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,PCC – EducationVirtual Schools PasadenaDarrell Done EducationHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimescenter_img EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Monica Amestoy, a senior at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy (FSHA), has returned from representing her school at the Tournament of Champions (TOC) at the University of Kentucky, in Lexington, Ky. It was there that Amestoy joined 80 of the best Lincoln/Douglas high school debaters in the country at one of the most prestigious tournaments in the nation.Securing an invitation to this tournament was the culmination of a four-year journey of hard work and dedication for this talented debater. Amestoy got the “debate bug” during her freshman year when she took part in a national contest on climate change that required a public debate in front of fellow students. She’s never looked back: “If you had told me four years ago that I would be one of the top debaters in the nation my senior year, I would have laughed. In fact, I lost all my rounds at my first tournament, but when I heard about the TOC, I knew this was an activity I had to master,” Amestoy says. Not only is Amestoy ranked in the top 50 of Lincoln/Douglas debaters nationwide, she is one of only 10 females on that list.While other all-girls high schools in the San Gabriel Valley have speech and debate teams, FSHA is the only local all-girls school to send a debater to the TOC, and Amestoy is the first student in the school’s history to qualify for the TOC. And making it in the male-dominated world of debate is no easy feat. “Debate at the top level really feels like a boys’ club sometimes, so I had a lot of fun interrupting that trend. Often, girls are either seen as not dominant enough or overly mean and aggressive, while those same traits classify guys as assertive,” says Amestoy. However, Amestoy didn’t let gender disparity and stereotypes weigh her down.To prepare for the TOC, Amestoy attended debate camps during summers to sharpen her skills, spending a total of seven weeks last summer in three different camps. She also went to as many high-level circuit debate tournaments as she could during her senior year at FSHA. Frequently, Amestoy attended these tournaments as the sole representative from FSHA, accompanied only by her coach or by her father. Considering that many of her main competitors would bring much larger teams of 10 to 100 students to tournaments with many years of experience in the world of high-level debate, Amestoy’s small entourage wasoften viewed as a disadvantage. But Amestoy thinks there are benefits to having such a small team. “Being from a small team and doing all my own work meant that I knew everything I used during the tournament—better than anyone else. So when I had to compare evidence, there was no way that a debater who had never actually read the evidence was going to be better than me,” says Amestoy.With the goal of the TOC in front of her, Amestoy, her coaches and her father crisscrossed the country several times during her senior year pursuing tournaments in Connecticut, New York, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Nevada and Utah. All of these tournaments offered TOC bids. Amestoy got her first bid at the Victory Briefs Tournament in UCLA—one of the most challenging tournaments in the country—and continued onto the quarterfinal round. Amestoy later won the Top Speaker Award, beating out 400 other Varsity Lincoln/Douglas debaters at the California Invitational Tournament at UC Berkeley.These achievements required commitment from not only Amestoy, but also from the young debate team at FSHA, the school’s administration, her family and the extended FSHA community.“The cost of all of this travel was significant, but the community effort to cover these costs was tremendous,” says Tom Amestoy, her father. The team sold donuts and hot chocolate during lunchtime and break times at FSHA. However, the team budget, as well as the Amestoy family’s frequent flyer points were not enough to get the young debater to the TOC. This was when outside supporters of the FSHA team chipped in to help Amestoy achieve her goals. Kenneth Gray, CEO of A-Fordable Billing Solutions (and a college debater himself), stepped up to pay for some of Amestoy’s travel, as did Jack Neil Swickard, an attorney in Orange County and former FSHA faculty member who had championed the fledgling team years ago and also coached college debate. “Jack dropped by to visit the school and learned about the resurgence of the team and Monica’s goal of making it to the TOC, and he wanted to show his support,” head coach Leilani McHugh says.It takes most teams many years to qualify a debater to the Tournament of Champions. FSHA has had a speech team for several years, but started the debate team only four years ago when McHugh’s son volunteered to be the school’s debate coach. The small team of three debaters has now grown to a team of 10. “Monica Amestoy will serve as an inspiration to this tiny but mighty team for years to come,” McHugh says. Amestoy will be attending and debating for the University of Utah this fall.Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, 440 Saint Katherine Drive, La Cañada Flintridge, (626) 685-8500 or visit Make a comment Business News 8 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Subscribe Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadenalast_img read more

Tix Now Available to See Patti LuPone & More in Shows for Days

first_img Related Shows Tickets are now on sale to see Patti LuPone, Michael Urie and more in Douglas Carter Beane’s Shows for Days off-Broadway. The Lincoln Center Theater production will begin previews at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater on June 6. Opening night is set for June 29.Shows For Days follows 14-year-old Car (Urie), who becomes involved in community theater in Reading, Pennsylvania at the Prometheus Theatre. The theater is led by Irene (LuPone) a woman who dedicates her life to directing, designing and starring in the group’s shows.The cast will also include Dale Soules, Jordan Dean, Lance Coadie Williams and Zoë Winters. View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 23, 2015 Shows For Dayslast_img read more