Wales v New Zealand – Five things we learnt

first_imgWales yet again came up short against the All Blacks as their 64-year wait for a win continued, here we dissect where the game was won and lost TAGS: Highlight The difference: The All Blacks wings plundered four tries against a powerless Welsh defence LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALScenter_img Defence – a rare lapseEven when Wales have lacked the distributing twelve and line breaking fullback, they have always been able to rely on their defence. When analysing their stats, a defensive completion of over 90% is a given. Often the number is over 92% which is an awesome number at test level. But against the All Blacks, Wales completed just 78% of their tackles – just 86 from 110.Running amok: Waisake Naholo proved too much for Wales’ defenceThe Welsh backline missed 14 tackles between them which is a big number when you consider that the All Blacks backline missed just 8 tackles whilst having to make more than double that of Wales. It was a particularly difficult day for Wales’ wings with both Waisake Naholo and Rieko Ioane pouring through and around Wales like single cream. Between them the pair made ten clean breaks, beat eight defenders and scored four tires. The Kiwi wings were a joy to watch for the neutral; Sean Edwards will not have seen it that way.Reiko Ioane – a man amongst boysAt just 20 years of age, it was the boy who was the man amongst boys. Ioane is a rare player, one who is blessed with both technical efficiency and natural talent. Whilst his hands are doing what they have been coached to do, his feet are doing what you can’t be coached to do. On numerous occasions he ghosted around Welsh defenders and moved through gaps that even quantum physics would struggle to explain.The main man: 20-year-old Rieko Ioane put in a stellar performance in a stellar yearHe was top for metres made (117m) clean breaks (5) and defenders beaten (5), on either team, and most importantly scored two tries. Ioane won the 2017 Breakthrough Player of the Year and he should arguably have won the senior award too. It was a pleasure to watch him play. Well done Reiko. Possession not enoughThere was a time in test rugby, roughly from 2009 – 2014, where goal kicking was enough to win you games. Where a game plan could be built around territory, attritional carrying and contestable up and unders – where the subsequent penalties could be converted into enough points to win the game. That is no longer the case and hasn’t been for at least three seasons and Wales are paying the price for being behind the curve. Saturday’s loss to New Zealand was a prime example – Wales had 63% percent of the ball and 67 % percent of the territory yet were outscored five tries to two. Up until the 38th minute Wales had a staggering 70% of the ball and 83% of the territory yet still trailed by six points to 12.Showing the way: Scott Williams’ try proved Wales can play in an adventurous styleThis isn’t to say that Wales were blown away; they weren’t. Wales were competitive for large periods of the game; periods in which Josh Navidi and Rob Evans excelled. But at no stage did Wales look as though they could outscore the All Blacks – and it must be said this was the worst All Blacks performance of the season, by some distance. It isn’t that Wales don’t have the players, they do. You just to need to look at how comfortable Owen Williams looks as a test 12 to realise that Wales could and should have been playing in this style at the beginning of the World Cup cycle, not over half way through. Whilst New Zealand, Australia, Scotland, England and Ireland have been strolling around in skinny denim for a while now, Wales have only just put down the bootcut Levis and look way behind the trend – just look at Scotland strutting their stuff in their skinny, eight try, Vivienne Westwoods.Josh Navidi a legitimate Welsh sevenJosh Navidi has been one of those desperately unfortunate test players who’s found their career blocked by not one player, but two. Were it not for Sam Warburton and Justin Tipuric, Navidi would have been a 40 cap player and his performance against the All Blacks backs that up. It was a consummate example of modern openside play. Wales’ top tackler (16) and third top ball carrier with (45m), this was Navidi doing the business on the floor and on his feet.Making an impression: Josh Navidi grabbed his opportunity with both handsIt was a performance which equalled one the most revered opensides in the game – Sam Cane. Add to that two clean breaks and four defenders beaten and you have a performance that legitimately places Navidi in the Welsh frame for the Rugby World Cup in 2019. Navidi is just 26 years old and is often omitted from the Welsh openside conversation where names such as Ellis Jenkins, Ollie Griffiths and James Davies tend to dominate the conversation. That may now have changed.Rob Evans – the 3rd distributorRob Evans once again delivered a Gethin Jenkins-type of performance – of which there can be no greater praise. Delivering all the basics and excelling at the extras – a forward coaches dream. Evans was once again the teams third most prolific passer of the ball and has carved out a niche as Wales’ third distributor, a position where he regularly manages to pass the ball outside of the defensive ‘hinge’.Baller: Rob Evans is a fine distributor in the looseA distributing forward is a valuable weapon to have. When the ball reaches Rob Evans many defenders simply rush up believing that he is going to run straight and set up a short hit and ruck, only to be duped by a subtle pass to the outside. Evans has been Wales’ standout performer in this year’s Autumn Series and has ended the debate over who will become Wales’ next long term loose-head.last_img read more

September: best month ever for Indiana sports gambling

first_img By Network Indiana – October 13, 2020 0 195 Facebook September: best month ever for Indiana sports gambling Previous article$3000 reward offered for information leading to murder suspect’s arrestNext articleSouth Bend Art Wall in need of repair Network Indiana Twitter Google+ Pinterest IndianaLocalNews Pinterest Facebook (“Online-Poker – Chips und Karten auf dem Notebook” by Marco Verch, CC BY 2.0) The state of Indiana saw its best month ever when it comes to sports gambling.The Indiana Gaming Commission says Hoosiers wagered $207 million in sports betting in the month of September, beating the previous one-month high of $187 million set in February — right before the pandemic hit and sports were put on hold.All of those bets turned into more than $10 million of tax revenue for the state.Football was the most popular sport to bet one, followed by the NBA and MLB.Analysts for tell Inside Indiana Business they expect numbers to be even higher at the end of this month. WhatsApp Twitter WhatsApp Google+last_img read more

Downing excited by Mel appointment

first_img Assistant head coach Downing has done a stellar job steadying the ship since Steve Clarke’s sacking last month and will aim to bow out on a high at St Mary’s, before Spanish coach Mel takes over next week after signing an 18-month contract on Thursday. Albion sit 14th in the Barclays Premier League, four points above the relegation zone, after a creditable run of three draws and a win under the likeable Downing. Press Association “My Spanish is worse,” he said. “It’ll be an interesting time. We’re aware he’ll need some help in terms of translations but football is a ‘universal language’ and we look forward to some different ideas.” The caretaker boss admits Mel’s appointment is a gamble – but no more so than any other. “Any appointment is a gamble, you’re never sure,” he said. “I always look at the positives. There will be new ideas, his own slant on it and it’ll be exciting times.” Mel was an early frontrunner following Clarke’s sacking but reportedly fell from favour due to disagreements over his backroom staff, with the Spaniard apparently keen to bring in his own team while the club wanted Downing and goalkeeping coach Dean Kiely to remain in their roles. The matter appears to have been settled and the pair’s future looks secure, although reports in Spain claim Mel still may bring in his own men in some capacity. “I’m not aware of that,” Downing said. “I know there are rumours flying around but I trust the club to do what they have over the last five or six years. I’m here to support the football club.” Downing will be without full-back Billy Jones again for his last game in charge. Jones has had an operation on a recent injury to his eye while fellow defender Goran Popov (neck) is out. Recent absentees Youssouf Mulumbu and Victor Anichebe are back in training but unlikely to feature. Mel’s appointment is an intriguing one, with the 50-year-old having never worked outside of his native Spain. However, the former Real Betis boss fits Albion’s criteria due to his history as a coach, rather than a traditional British manager, and his reputation for playing attractive football. “It’s exciting times and an appointment that’s gone full circle,” Downing said. “I’m pleased it got settled and there’s someone in place on an 18-month contract, which brings the stability that’s needed. “It’s been unsettling, particularly in the last week with a lot of rumours flying around. The players try to get on with things and I wasn’t sure if I was focusing on the Southampton game or whether the appointment was going to be made earlier.” He added: “I haven’t had chance to meet Pepe yet, I’m going to meet him over the weekend. I’m aware he is going to be at the game against Southampton and then we’ll crack on next week. “I’ve heard good things about the job he did at Real Betis, when he got them up into La Liga and stabilised them. The Spanish press like him. It’s a name I wasn’t aware of until a few weeks ago but he plays exciting, attacking football.” Much will be made of Mel’s reported lack of English but Downing foresees no major problems. Keith Downing is relishing “exciting times” for West Brom as he prepares to hand the reins over to new head coach Pepe Mel after Saturday’s trip to Southampton.last_img read more