Decisive tryAs time ran down, the breakthrough came for South Africa when a ball flew out from a scrum and Stick was the fastest to react. Gathering the ball, he knifed through a gap next to the scrum and dived over for a try near the uprights. The crowd, already electric, yelled its approval. Coach Paul Treu told the International Rugby Board’s website: “I’m almost speechless; 10 years is a long time and it really took a massive effort from our players.” Treu, who played his provincial rugby for South Western Districts in George, also paid tribute to the South African team’s supporters: “It was the first time ever that we’ve seen such a big support for the team, and you could feel it in the air, the people, their body language, they really wanted this team to win, and we’ve really drawn a lot of energy from the crowd. Popular victoryZimbabwe secured a popular victory in the Shield competition. They destroyed Tunisia 40-5 in the semi-finals and then ran roughshod over Scotland 26-0 in the final. ‘We couldn’t have done it without you’“I really want to thank the people that came out and supported the team over the past two days, and also the people back at home watching the tournament, we couldn’t have done it without you,” he added. Ebersohn tried to take South Africa more than two scores ahead with a drop goal attempt, after a superb break by Stick, but he was narrowly wide of the mark. In the second half, the home team upped their intensity, putting the well-organised Kiwi defence under pressure. A kick by impressive teenager Robert Ebersohn found Aplon in a scoring position, but he knocked on over the try line. Stick then converted his own try to put South Africa 12-7 ahead. There was still some time left to play, however, and fortunes in sevens can be reversed in an instant. It was far from game over. SA skipper Mzwandile Stick was unable to convert from the sideline, leaving South Africa 5-7 behind at the interval. Player of the TournamentAdding an extra sparkle to South Africa’s victory was the choice of Robert Ebersohn as Player of the Tournament. Despite recently being voted South Africa’s Young Player of the Year, he has opted to throw his lot in with the sevens team instead of the Cheetahs’ Super 14 side. Right now, it looks as if his decision was the right one. Future eventsThe IRB Sevens Series resumes on the weekend of 6-7 February 2009 in Wellington, New Zealand, where the home side will be desperate to win in front of their fellow Kiwis. The following weekend the Series moves to San Diego. England claimed the Plate with a 24-7 win over Portugal, who impressed with their passionate play and surprised a number of more highly regarded teams before bowing out in the Cup quarterfinals. Following the tournament in the USA, there is a return for South Africa to Dubai for the IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009, which doesn’t form part of the IRB Sevens Series, but as a World Cup is hugely prestigious. 8 December 2008 Dazel scoresWith half-time approaching, a piece of fast footwork saw the speedy Gio Aplon break the New Zealand defensive line. He drew the sweeper before passing out to Renfred Dazel on his left. Dazel hit the gas and had just enough to go over in the left-hand corner for a try. The Kiwis, who were also the runaway winners of last season’s IRB Sevens Series, dictated matters early in the final and were rewarded when captain DJ Forbes crashed over for a try. A successful conversion put the New Zealanders 7-0 ahead. The home crowd got what they wanted as South Africa captured the IRB Sevens Series title in George on the weekend, winning the South African Sevens for the first time in 10 tries as they notched up back-to-back sevens titles for the first time. South Africa reached the final with an impressive 21-7 win over Fiji, thanks to an outstanding first half in which they built up a 21-0 cushion. New Zealand, meanwhile, conceded a try to Argentina and then proceeded to dominate the rest of their showdown to run out 26-5 victors. Victory came after a tremendous tussle with sevens giants New Zealand, the two-time defending George champions. France, who like Zimbabwe, improved significantly as the tournament progressed, defeated Australia 21-12 to win the Bowl. With less than a minute to go the Kiwis regained possession, but SA turned possession over at a ruck – one of the most impressive aspects of South Africa’s play all tournament – and when Paul Delport booted the ball into touch, coach Paul Treu’s charges had won the Cup title for the second week in succession. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material South Africa have won the Dubai Sevens on three previous occasions – 2003, 2006, and 2008 – and will hope their success in the UAE continues in the World Cup. After their two wins in Dubai and George, South Africa tops the IRB Sevens Series standings with the maximum possible haul of 40 points. New Zealand is in second place on 28 points, followed by England and Fiji, who both have 24.
There was plenty of action at day two of the 2009 X-Blades National Touch League, with Opens and 20’s starting their campaigns, while teams in the other divisions fought for finals positions.In the Men’s Opens Division, the three frontrunners, Mets, Sharks and Rebels, got their campaigns off to a great start. Defending champions the Mets were too good for the Cobras, winning 6-3. The Rebels were too good for the Hornets, as were the Suns over North Queensland, with both teams winning by 8 touchdowns. In other results In round 2, 13 wasn’t an unlucky number with the three favourites all scoring 13 tries, each easily defeating their opponents. Other winners in round 2 were Rebels over Cyclones, Rustlers defeated the Eagles and Cobras beat the Suns.In round three, Mets continued their good form, beating Cyclones by 11 touchdowns. Barbarians were too strong for the ACT, winning 11-7. Scorpions defeated Rustlers by four, the Sharks beat the Eagles by seven, the Rebels overcame Suns 9-4, and Cobras defeated Hornets by eight touchdowns. The end of day one sees the three Sydney sides, Mets, Rebels and Scorpions all equal first on the ladder.The Women’s Open Division started in round one with Mets, looking in ominous form, defeating Hornets 13-0. Rustlers had a strong win over Rebels, 7-0. The Suns beat the Eagles by nine touchdowns. Other winners in the first round included Cyclones, Cobras and Sharks.In round two, South Queensland had a big win, defeating Scorpions 11-1., while the Rustlers and the Mets overcame their opponents by nine touchdowns each. Cobras, Suns and Barbarians also had big victories. Round three started with the Mets still undefeated, with a five-touchdown win over Rebels. The Rustlers were too good for Cobras, while the Sharks beat the Suns 5-1. Cyclones were victorious over the Crusaders 7-6. The Hornets and the ACT played out a five-all draw, while the Barabarians easily overcame the Eagles 11-2. By the end of round three, the Mets, Sharks and Rustlers were all undefeated on 12 points each.In the Mixed Opens, Rebels started strongly, beating Cobras 8-0. Cyclones won in a close one, defeating Barbarians 7-6. Sharks were too strong for Eagles, winning by eight touchdowns. The Suns defeated the Sun Coast 8-4, while the Hornets overcame Crusaders by seven. In round two, Sharks defeated the Cyclones 9-4, Cobras did it easy against the Crusaders winning by 6 touchdowns, Suns and Sun Coast both beat their opponents 7-5, while the Mets and the Rebels drew 8 all.In round three, Eagles defeated Sun Coast 6-4, while the Suns defeated the Cyclones 7-5, and the Mets drew again, this time against the Hornets. The Suns undefeated run sees them on top of the ladder after day one.The Men’s and Women’s Opens also started on day two. In the Men’s 20’s, Mets defeated the Scorpions 5-2, Suns just beat the Rebels 2-1, Cyclones started off well defeating Cobras 6-4, while the Sun Coast defeated Sharks 6-0.Round two of the Men’s 20’s saw Mets continue their winning ways, defeating Sun Coast by one touchdown, Sharks posted their first win against the Suns, 7-4, Cyclones thumped the Rebels 10-2 and Scorpions defeated Cobras 9-6.In round three, the Cobras broke their duck, beating Suns 6-2, Cyclones kept on winning, defeating Sun Coast, as did the Mets, beating the Sharks. The Scorpions also beat the Rebels. At the end of the three rounds, Cyclones and Mets are undefeated on top of the ladder.In the Women’s 20’s division, round one saw the Cobras defeated the Sharks 3-1, Rebels posted double figures, winning 10-4, while the Suns kept the Hornets scoreless, winning 4-0. In round two, the Mets posted their first win, narrowly defeating the Hornets 5-4, Cobra beat Sunshine Coast 5-3 and Suns were too good for the Rebels, winning 7-5.In round three, Cobras beat the Mets 3-2, Hornets were kept scoreless again, this time by the Sharks, with the Sharks winning 3-0 and Suns defeated Sunshine Coast 6-2. Day two also signaled the start of the finals at the 2009 NTL. After six rounds of play in the Women’s 27’s, Cyclones sit on top of the ladder on 22 points, with local hopes the Eagles close behind on 20. Semi finals will be played on Day 3 before the Grand Final at 3pm.In the Men’s 30’s, day 3 brings the Semi finals featuring ACT against Canterbury and the Scorpions taking on local rivals Mets, with the Grand Final to be played at 5pm.In the Women’s 35’s, the semi’s will be played between South West Queensland against the Scorpions, while the Sharks will battle the Cobras, with their final to commence at 11am.In the Men’s 40’s, the first semi final will see Sharks versus Sharks, with the NZ team taking on SQBD. In the other semi, the Scorpions will take on the Cyclones. The final will start at 1pm.After the round games, Sharks sit on top of the ladder in the Men’s 45’s, four points clear of Suns. Semi finals will take place on Day three, before the Grand Final at 2pm that afternoon.Cobras are situated on top of the ladder in the Men’s 50’s on 12 points, two points ahead of Suns. Semi finals will see the Suns versus the Scorpions and Cobras against the Mets in their attempts to make the Grand Final, which will be played at 12pm.After six rounds in the Seniors Mixed, Wellington top the ladder on 20 points, followed by the Scorpions in 16. Just below these two teams are the Cobras and Rebels, both on 12 points. Semi finals will be played, before the Grand Final at 4pm.
REVEALED: Sporting CP made attempt for Everton boss Marco Silvaby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveSporting CP have made an attempt for Everton boss Marco Silva.O Jogo says he’s been approached about a move to Sporting, just like Portugal U21 manager Rui Jorge. But their past links with the Lions didn’t count in the club’s favour, since both of them rejected the chance.The same happened regarding Monaco’s Leonardo Jardim.Despite Silva’s unstable situation at Everton, the attempt by Sporting was always seen as a long shot.Back in January, it had already been reported that he’d rejected a chance to take charge of Benfica. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Arsenal manager Emery on Pepe: We need patienceby Paul Vegasa day agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal manager Unai Emery insists patience is needed with record-signing Nicolas Pepe.The Ivorian continued his underwhelming start to life in North London by missing a sitter in the 1-0 loss to Sheffield United on Monday.But Emery says Pepe needs time to adapt to Premier League football.”We need patience,” he said. “Pepe is improving. On Monday, the key to win was with him. If he scores the first goal, it’s different.”But it’s one process and I believe in him and I know he needs time and patience.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Rufus Warren MSU CheerleaderMississippi State offensive lineman Rufus Warren is listed at 6-foot-7, 299 pounds on the school’s website. He has to handle large, athletic SEC defensive linemen on a regular basis, but when it came time to lift up an SEC cheerleader today, Warren wasn’t sure how to handle it.Here’s the video of Warren lifting up an MSU cheerleader. He does the job, but admittedly wasn’t too steady and seemed quite happy to be put her down as soon as possible.VIDEO: We are on our way to the coliseum, but first Rufus Warren tried out to be a cheerleader. #HailState pic.twitter.com/8dej0QMc7v— MSU Football (@HailStateFB) July 16, 2015Warren will probably take some good-natured ribbing for that, but he seemed pretty comfortable laughing at himself.
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)It seems fairly obvious that Tennessee JUCO signee Jonathan Kongbo has Oct. 15 circled on his calendar. That’s the day the Volunteers host the reigning national champions, Alabama, at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. Kongbo, one of the top defensive recruits in the country, previously posted a video of himself working out with a “Bama We Coming” sign in the background. Now, in an interview with Rocky Top Insider, Kongbo all but guaranteed a victory against the Crimson Tide. His response comes after being asked about the Tennessee-themed trash talk from Florida’s Jalen Tabor. On the trash talk from Florida’s Jalen Tabor:“Well I mean, I just kind of laughed at it because I know we’re going to beat Florida. I know we’re going to beat Alabama. We’re going to beat all those teams. So I’ll say right now, we’re going to beat every team we play next year. I just really laughed at it, especially the comments that Jalen made. It was funny. We’ll see what Jalen Hurd does to him though.”On his final message:“I mean, kind of the main thing is, if you want to be the best you got to beat the best. And we know Alabama won the national championship this year and the message that I’m sending to them is that ain’t no one around here scared of that. We’re coming for them. It’s football so once the pads are on, you’ve got to figure out how to win so we’ll see.”Alabama-Tennessee should be pretty, pretty fun this year.[RTI]