Kangaroos v Kiwis: Five key points

first_imgMatch report: Kangaroos hold off Kiwis in Four NationsKiwis scoring woes continueAt half time, trailing 10-0, New Zealand’s 200 minutes of Test football against Australia in 2016 had netted them just a solitary try – to Kevin Proctor in Perth last month.Their two second-half tries amounted to more four-pointer than in their previous five halves of football against the Kangaroos combined.Despite winning the offloads 15-8 and completing an impressive 81 per cent with 30 of 37 sets completed, the Kiwis couldn’t find the big play in their opponent’s red zone. Some early soft defensive misses ensured they were trying to play catch up from early on and allowed the Kangaroos to dictate terms. In the first half they completed 16 of 18 sets but still trailed the possession stat by 54 per cent to 46 per cent.Five-eighth Thomas Leuluai and fullback Jordan Kahu both aimed up but failed to provide the sort of playmaking support halfback Shaun Johnson requires.Ferguson silences doubtersThe continued selection of Roosters back Blake Ferguson on the Kangaroos right wing has been one of the more debated decisions of Mal Meninga’s tenure as Australia coach. There were whispers this week that specialist right-side flanker Valentine Holmes would return to the 17 to bump him out, with specialist left-edge winger, the in-form Josh Mansour, no chance of being dropped.A knee injury at training that ended Mansour’s tournament ensured Holmes and Ferguson both played and, after a strong outing against Scotland last week, Ferguson backed it up with a powerful man-of-the-match outing against the Kiwis.A surging, tackle-busting long-range run in just the sixth minute set the tone. For the second game running he opened the scoring and had plenty to do when he beat three to score in the right corner in the ninth minute off the back of some good Michael Morgan lead-up work. His exceptional support play helped set up Johnathan Thurston for the team’s second try just five minutes later and he also did the business off the ball, coming up with a big tackle on Gerard Beale to force a line drop-out later in the half. A surging 60th-minute run, when he beat five players to miraculously escape from his own in-goal, was arguably the most important and impressive play he produced on the night in which he finished up with game-highs in run metres (228) and tackle busts (eight). The loss of Mansour is still a shattering one but Ferguson’s form ensures it shouldn’t be too costly in terms of this tournament.Too little too late for hot-and-cold JohnsonIf the Kiwis were to be a chance in this one they were always going to need a big game from mercurial halfback Shaun Johnson, but by the time he reached into his big bag of tricks and pulled out something other than fresh air the match was all but gone.Two early attacking grubber kicks were so heavy they virtually bounced off the advertising hoardings past the dead ball line before any of his teammates had a chance to react and a 63rd-minute clearing kick that sailed out on the full was the last thing his team needed.With the match all but gone he conjured a stunning chip and chase with a regather that led to a Jordan Rapana try and a grandstand finish before his solo run to the in-goal came within inches of potentially nabbing a late draw, but the Kangaroos managed to hold him up.Aussie forward competition heats upWith impressive Test rookie Tyson Frizell rested, first-choice back-row pairing Boyd Cordner and Matt Gillett returned to the starting side. Cordner resumed his familiar left-edge role and was arguably the best forward on the field. He was everywhere in his 80-minute stint, racking up 162 metres from 17 runs with three tackle busts.On the other side, Gillett was quiet in attack but still eked out 100 metres to go with his usual defensive output of 36 tackles. Senior man Sam Thaiday was again quiet off the bench but it would be a massive call for Meninga to drop either of the Maroons stalwarts for the big end-of-tournament games. However it would also seem a mistake not to find a spot for the in-form Frizell. Elsewhere in the pack, bench prop David Klemmer produced arguably his best stint in green and gold with his powerful charges getting in the face of the Kiwis as he ran for 159 metres with four tackle busts, ensuring Meninga has some welcome headaches next time he sits down to choose a 17.Poor penalties cruel KiwisAmong their other shortcomings on the night was a habit by the Kiwis of giving away penalties at the wrong time. It started in the eighth minute when a late-set ruck penalty against Kevin Proctor handed the Kangaroos the first attacking chance of the game for either side. A few plays later Johnson gave the referee no choice but to hand the Aussies another penalty when he clung on way too long in a tackle and Ferguson scored moments later.There was a double whammy 15 minutes into the second half when a silly cheap shot from Martin Taupau on Thaiday piggy-backed the Aussies downfield right after Solomone Kata’s try – on the back of some good possession and field position – had finally got the Kiwis back into the contest.On the fifth tackle of the next set in front of the posts, Tohu Harris laid too long in a tackle to hand the Kangaroos an easy penalty goal to kick out to an eight-point lead.A fifth-tackle penalty in the same spot in the 70th minute for the same offence by Adam Blair gave Johnathan Thurston another easy two points.It’s those moments of ill-discipline, when added up, that can make such a big difference in an otherwise tight contest.last_img read more

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New L.A. airports head gets orders

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The new director of Los Angeles airports met the press Thursday and talked about the “tremendous things” still to be accomplished at LAX and its satellite airports in the suburbs. And then Gina Marie Lindsey, a well-regarded and veteran airport executive, got a long list of goals from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and some of his City Council colleagues. Renovate terminals. Build new gates. Get the Green Line’s tracks into LAX. Get more flights into Ontario and Palmdale. Keep the airports competitive. And, oh yes, keep the neighbors happy. Time and again during her brief introduction Thursday at LAX, Lindsey was reminded that the airports now under her watch are at a historic crossroads. LAX is struggling to maintain its title as a gateway to the world, while the smaller Southland airports are struggling just to get business. Alan Rothenberg, president of the airport commission, told Lindsey it was “a time of great opportunity, and great challenge.” Lindsey comes to the job with a record of transforming airports. She oversaw a $3 billion renovation and reconstruction project as the director of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Before that, she established Anchorage International Airport as an international cargo hub as its director of aviation. She has worked for a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm in recent years, focusing in part on airport-related issues. Villaraigosa chose Lindsey over 70 other candidates for the city’s top airport job, citing her record as an “innovative industry leader.” He called her the perfect candidate to carry out a “big, bold vision” for the city’s airports. Lindsey moves into the executive offices of Los Angeles World Airports next month. She succeeds Lydia Kennard, who stepped down as the city’s director of airports earlier this year but has stayed on as a paid consultant. Several candidates who interviewed for the job questioned how much freedom they would have to run the airport department with Kennard still in the background. Lindsey’s appointment still must pass a review by the City Council, but that’s not expected to present a problem. The airport area council members who turned out for her introduction praised her experience and leadership. doug.irving@dailybreeze.com (310) 543-6649last_img read more

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Convoy Orange Hall re-opens following arson attack

first_imgConvoy Orange Hall, which was destroyed following an arson attack two years ago, officially re-opened this weekend with Grand Chaplain Rev Mervyn Gibson (pictured above) officiating a religious service. Two weeks prior to the attack on Convoy Orange Hall in October 2014, Newtowncunningham Orange Hall was also destroyed in a similar manner.The damage caused by the fire cost almost €250,000 to repair. The new hall is better equipped and is much larger than the old one, with a space of band practice, a meeting room, sporting facilities and broadband now available in the hall.Convoy Orange Hall re-opens following arson attack was last modified: October 9th, 2016 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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