Round Three of the New South Wales Touch Association’s (NSWTA) 32nd Annual Vawdon Cup was played at the Tempe and Bankstown venues on Friday 3 August 2007.There were some hard fought victories and some impressive performances across the board as teams clicked into gear and looked to establish some good early season form.In the 7.50pm Men’s Premier League clash at Bankstown the Parramatta Eels recorded their first victory of the season when they held off Manly 6-5 in a tight struggle. Parramatta, in need of a confidence boosting win, got away to a flyer and in the first ten minutes played error free touch to lead the Sea Eagles 3-1, with Adam Lollback dotting down for a double for the Eels in quick time. The Eagles hit back as the half wore, but the Eels still went to the break 4-2 the better.The Manly coaching staff replaced the H2O with magic water at half time and the Eagles came out full of running to dominate for much of the second stanza.The Sea Eagles, with Putatou Berryman and Jamie Chan leading the charge, took the game right up to Parramatta, pressing the scoreline on numerous occasions and getting back on level terms at 5-5.Parramatta composed themselves to regain control of the game and held on to record a narrow 6-5 victory.In the sold out match-up of the round, 2006 Vawdon Cup Grand Finalists Canterbury Bulldogs prevailed 3-2 over 2006 NSWTA State Cup champions Wests Magpies in a high quality encounter at 7.50pm at Tempe.The highly anticipated clash featuring two of the competition’s most passionate clubs didn’t disappoint with both outfits going hammer and tong to secure the premiership points. The game was a replay of last year’s NSWTA State Cup Grand Final, though both teams were vastly altered from the line-ups that met in that epic final, with several big guns forced out of the game through various work/injury reasons.Australia Men’s Open representatives Garry Sonda (Canterbury), and Wests trio Jason Stanton, Scott Mitchell, and Anthony Ziade were all unavailable.Despite the missing super stars, the punters weren’t asking for their money back, with both teams producing a quality game.The game, as expected, was end to end, with both teams keen to get on a roll early and set the platform for a winning night at the office.It was Wests who bounced out of the barriers best, with the calm leadership of Australian Men’s Open playmaker Daniel Rushworth, and the cool hand of West’s veteran Michael “Bear” Farhat, laying on two early touchdowns for the Magpies, allowing Wests some early breathing space.The Dogs were out of sorts for the majority of the first half, finding it difficult to attain field position and looking disorganised. The tide started to turn through powerhouse driving displays by Matt Bird and 2006 New South Wales Mixed Open representative Stuart Brierty, and improved team defence on the score line. This heightened composure in attack and defence frameworked the Dogs first touchdown.Canterbury’s 2006 New South Wales Mixed Open representative Daniel Walsh pulled the trigger on a long ball that was brilliantly picked up centimeters from the turf by the money man Matt Prowse who showed great balance to scoop the ball up and beat a diving Aceya Bishara to score. 2-1 to Wests at the break, with both sides entitled to think that the game was there for the taking.The second half was vastly different from the first, with the Maggies failing to get out of their own half and the Dogs mounting pressure to slowly gain the ascendancy as the half wore on.Stuart Brierty, 2007 Australian Mixed Open star Steve Roberts, and Paul Dwyer drove strongly to bankroll the Dogs second half performance. During the onslaught from the Dogs, The Wests defence held admirably with Michael Jacono and Cameron Nicolls in particular showing their growing maturity in this company.Wests used up a lot of petrol trying to repel the rampant Dogs attack and then when the footy was back in Magpie hands, found the Dogs kill defence overwhelming with the Dogs commitment and drive pressuring Wests into costly turnovers. Eventually the weight of possession told and the Dogs got the equalizer to make it 2-2.Paul Dwyer then worked a set piece close to the scoreline with the Quicksilver Steve Roberts to slide over and exploit a tired Magpies defence to put the Bulldogs into the lead 3-2 for the first time in the game.Despite throwing the kitchen sink and everything in it at the Doggies line to bridge the deficit in the final 5 minutes, time conspired against the Magpies and Canterbury held strong to secure the win 3-2.At Bankstown at 8.40pm Hornsby Lions continued on their winning way with an enterprising 9-5 victory over the Cronulla Sharks.The Hornsby boys had racked up 5 touchdowns in the first 11 minutes of the game to signify what could have been a long night at the office for the Shire lads who had to dig deep to stem the Lions remarkable roll on.The Sharkies worked feverishly to get back into the contest and at one stage got the score back to 7- 4, but with Dave Roberts directing traffic better than Tom Croyden at peak hour in his hey day at Mount Thomas, and the irrepressible Dylan Hennessey’s feet declaring happy hour on the Sharks defence, the Hornsby combination went on with job to record a 9-5 victory that rocketed them to the top of the competition standings.Shaun Street and the Tope brothers, Mitch and Matt, never stopped trying for Cronulla, whilst Rhys “The Claw” Bevan produced a spectacular play for the Sharkies when he plucked a ball at high speed from mid air one handed, whilst on the dive to plant it for an opportunistic touchdown.Danny Hamilton, Jon Palau, Heath Cooper, and the fleet footed Maurice Kennedy all played dominant roles for the winners and the Hornsby team’s impressive early season form has set a high benchmark for other teams to chase. In the late 9.30m timeslot at Tempe, defending Vawdon Cup champions, the Penrith Panthers got home 7-5 over a spirited Easts Roosters combination.Both teams needed a win as much as the Broncos need a backline for the business end of the NRL season, and effort level was not a problem in a very willing contest.Penrith were on top for most of the game, despite the Roosters drawing level in the first half.The experienced Chris Benfield was Penrith’s standout performer with some impressive long balls that were jut too good for the Easts outside defenders. Scott “Jack” Buckley and the Springfield brothers were full of running to give Easts little respite for the entire game. Easts had captain/coach Chris Hill returning and Jarrat Wood back from injury, but the Roosters were far from their best in a performance cruelled by ill-discipline and handling errors. Christian Frost was outstanding for Easts, whilst Jonathon Rooke put in a “workaholic” performance in his last match before surgery, that will rule him out of action for the Roosters for the next four-six weeks.The Roosters will look to improve their cohesion in coming weeks, whilst the Panthers will gear up this Friday for the replay of last year’s Vawdon Cup Grand Final against Canterbury.In the Women’s Premier Division, 2006 Vawdon Cup Grand Finalists Canterbury Bulldogs recorded a 5-3 win over the Wests Magpies in a high quality contest at 7.00pm at Tempe.The Doggies were up 2-0 at half-time with 2007 Australian Women’s Open World Cup stars sisters Louise and Claire Winchester dictating the play and proving to be the most influential players on the paddock.Wests are a dangerous outfit who have the players to give the premiership a real shake in 2007, and it didn’t surprise to see the Magpies bridge the gap to 4-3 mid way through the second half, thanks to some quality attack led by Wests gun Nola Campbell who has started the Vawdon season in outstanding form.The Doggies were controlled and played percentage touch in the clinch exchanges. They have the ability to dig in and pay the price to secure victory, or be more adventurous on cue, and it did not surprise to see them nail a late touchdown to close the game out 5-3.Australian 20 Years Youth squad members Nicole Mc Hugh and Nicky Albury played well for the Magpies, whilst Kate Fitzsimmons was again prominent for a committed Canterbury outfit that is playing well within itself with equal parts skill and tenacity.Cronulla Sharks secured a 5-3 win over the Central Coast Dolphins at Bankstown in the 7.50pm timeslot.Cronulla got off to a good start with winger Susan Smith scoring early off a great long ball from Kath Fitzgerald. Central Coast hit back straight away with 2007 Australian Women’s Open World Cup representative Kylie Hilder setting up a touchdown in the corner. The Dolphins played aggressively and unsettled the Sharkies who struggled to find rhythm in the first half.Cronulla Captain Jo Nelson composed her troops at half time and helped them to deliver a dominant second half performance.Nelson weighed in with some quality driving as well as setting up a touchdown and scoring one herself off a great gap hit.Rebecca Howe was a constant threat to the Dolphins defence and Jenna “Squirt” Cell made a miraculous pick-up to nab a vital touchdown late in the game.Star turn Kylie Hilder was outstanding for the Central Coast who battled hard for the duration, but failed to finish off their opportunities when it mattered most.Young guns, the Woolongong Devils, who have had a tough initiation to Premier League facing the competition’s big guns Easts and Canterbury in the opening two rounds, had an easier night last Friday recording a confidence boosting 4-0 victory over the Manly Sea Eagles in the 8.40pm game at Bankstown. Manly, by their own admission failed to control the ball early and gifted the “Young Divas” a mountain of possession, which they gratefully utilized. Bianca Mounsey, Ash “Dobbie” Dobbins, and Jess McCall, with two touchdowns, were the Devils scorers.Dobbin’s Touchdown featured more dummies than the total in a childrens’ crèche, and Jess Mc Call’s double involved some great vision and a turn of speed that left the opposition grasping at thin air. Kobi Ruzzene was also a key figure for Woolongong, producing a strong defensive game and being a driving force in the battle for field position. The “Young Divas”, whilst happy with their first win of the season; have identified room for improvement in coming weeks in the effectiveness of their rucking, and the fluidity of their line attack.Premiers Easts Roosters “schooled up” the young Penrith Panthers combination, delivering a comprehensive 8-2 lesson at 8.40pm at Tempe.The Roosters scored in the fourth minute and continued to pepper the dogged Penrith line until a well-timed long ball put the Roosters 2-0 up.To their credit, Penrith hit back through a touchdown to veteran Vicki Wheatley.The touchdown stung the premiers into action and they notched two quick touchdowns to go 4-1 up before some great lead up work from Penrith’s Lisa Clark and Ally Tairi gift-wrapped a touchdown for Brook Began.At 4-2 up at the break, the Roosters came out on resumption to post four unanswered touchdowns to record a comfortable 8-2 scoreline.Easts Megan Smee produced a dominant performance, whilst the Roosters new recruits in 2007 Pepita Macalister-Knight and Megan Campbell stood up well and are finding their feet in the star studded line-up.Vicki Wheatley and Rachael Foster gave their all for Penrith, and with some defensive adjustments the Panthers will continue to improve as the season unfolds.Round Four of the Vawdon Cup will be played at the Bankstown and Tempe venues on Friday 10 August 2007 and will feature some great clashes in both the Men’s and Women’s Premier divisions.In the Men’s draw, Canterbury Bulldogs and Penrith Panthers meet at 7.50pm at Bankstown in the 2006 Vawdon Cup Grand Final replay that is sure to produce a high quality encounter. Reserve seating has been sold out, but there are a handful of general admission tickets still floating around for the highly anticipated clash.Easts and Cronulla square off at Tempe at 7.50pm, whilst at Bankstown at 8.40pm, the Parramatta Eels will confront a white hot Hornsby Lions side, currently sitting atop the premiership ladder.At Tempe Wests will be looking to consolidate their position on the ladder against Manly in the 8.40pm timeslot.In the Women’s premier division, at 7.00 pm, State Cup champions Canterbury will take on Penrith at Bankstown, whilst defending Vawdon Cup champions Easts Roosters play Cronulla at Tempe.In the late timeslot at 9.30pm, Woolongong Devils will be looking for back-to-back victories when they meet the Central Coast Dolphins at Bankstown, and the Manly Sea Eagles will battle the Wests Magpies at Tempe.Action continues in the 2007 NSWTA Vawdon Cup Division 1 and 2 Men’s, Women’s, and Mixed, as well as Men’s Seniors and Masters grades.This weeks “Blackest Cat” for the Men’s Premier League Player of the Round goes to cool and collected Doggies winger Matty Prowse who has better hands than a Swedish masseuse.This week’s “Go to Girl” for the Women’s Premier League Player of the Round goes to Canterbury’s Claire “Bear” Winchester for her dominant drive in the middle and her superior defence, not even light is allowed through on her watch!Thanks to all coaches and players for their contribution to the wrap.Good luck to all.When in doubt, throw the flick pass.For the full draw, results, and all the latest information about the Vawdon Cup please visit the NSWTA web-site: www.nswtouch.com.au
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say HE’S BACK! Fergie on Man Utd training pitch today with Solskjaerby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson will be on the training pitch with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer today.The Daily Mail says Ferguson is expected at United’s training ground on Saturday after Solskjaer invited his mentor to visit him at the club.Ferguson will be greeted by Solskjaer and his coaching staff at Carrington as United prepare for Sunday’s game at home to Bournemouth.Ferguson is believed to have had a say in the decision to appoint Solskjaer as caretaker boss on loan from Molde until the end of the season alongside his old No 2 Mike Phelan.The former United striker acknowledged Ferguson’s influence over his career as a player and manager when he started the job last week.
TagsSpanish Football NewsAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your say Historic milestone for Barcelona and TikTokby Ian Ferrisa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona has become the first football club to reach a million followers on TikTok (https://www.tiktok.com/@fcbarcelona), the short-form mobile video platform, reports www.fcbusiness.co.ukLaunched in July this year, in just two months, Barça has overtaken other international teams that were on the channel long before Barça came onto the scene. Barça was officially launched on TikTok on July 19, the same day that the first team returned for preseason training. Since then, its acceptance among TikTok’s community has been nothing short of spectacular, with an average of over 15,000 new followers every day.Apart from this upward tendency, the club also leads the way in terms of content-related interactions: the Barça account has gathered a total of 7.2 million ‘likes’, which apart from video views is another indicator about the engagement generated with the fans. Short-form football video content on TikTok receives a great reception among users, mainly the Z generation and Millennials.More than the symbolic achievement of reaching a million followers, this reflects the leading position of FC Barcelona in the digital ecosystem of social networks, where it has 340 million followers and is the only sports club to get more than 1,000 million interactions in the 2018/19 season.
Twitter/@GaryPinkelNot every member of the Missouri football program is thrilled with the team’s boycott in response to racial issues on campus. An anonymous Mizzou player tells ESPN’s Brett McMurphy that the team and coaching staff is very split on the issue, and that if the Tigers had a better record, they would not be taking this course of action.Mizzou player tells @ESPN, MU players & coaches “are pissed (about halting football practices). If we were 9-0 this wouldn’t be happening.”— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) November 9, 2015McMurphy has more on how the team is handling the week in preparation for BYU, should the game occur.Monday are regular off days for the football team and the coaches told the players to watch film on their own iPads and keep preparing for Saturday’s game against BYU in Kansas City, the player said.The player indicated they had been aware of Butler’s hunger strike for several days. However, some black players didn’t decide to take any action until Butler met with some players Saturday night.“Not everyone agrees with the decision (to stop all football activities),” the player said. “Most people are pissed, including the black guys (on the team).”Earlier today, the athletic department expressed support for the team’s decision, and Mizzou took a team photo to show solidarity. Even so, it shouldn’t come as a major surprise that this nearly-unprecedented decision does not have unanimous support within the team. It will be very interesting to see how the team proceeds as we near game day.[ESPN]
WASHINGTON — Lawmakers have reached an agreement on the farm bill, a mammoth package that will fund key safety net programs for the next five years.The conference report signed Monday by members of the House and Senate is the result of months of negotiations. The bill has a price tag of $867 billion over a decade and is expected to be brought to a vote this week in the House, possibly as soon as Wednesday.The legislation reauthorizes crop insurance and conservation programs and legalizes the cultivation of industrial hemp.It does not make significant changes to the food stamp program that serves nearly 40 million low-income Americans. President Donald Trump and House Republicans had pushed to create new work requirements for food stamps, but negotiators rejected them.Juliet Linderman, The Associated Press
VICTORIA, B.C. – With the expansion of the B.C. Land Matching Program, delivered by Young Agrarians, new and young farmers in Northern British Columbia will have access to support and services to enter the farming sector.According to Minister of Agriculture, Lana Popham, this program will connect farmers looking for land with landowners wanting to lease their land for farming.Popham also says this program will lead to security of land within the farming industry. “Land matchers are making it much easier for young people and aspiring farmers to find affordable, suitable land and enter British Columbia’s vibrant farming sector. Their work to connect farmers and landowners in more remote areas will help ensure farmland is being farmed and secure the industry and land for future generations.”The BCLMP is part of Grow B.C., a mandate commitment of the Ministry of Agriculture that supports young farmers and food producers seeking a career in agriculture and addresses major challenges for new farmers.For more information on the Land Matching Program, you can visit the Province’s website.
For many people, the phrase maritime piracy evokes images of a one-eyed sailor drinking rum and singing obscene songs. For some younger people, piracy may bring to mind the picture of Hollywood actor Johnny Depp, wearing a headband in a scene from the film Pirates of the Caribbean. But maritime piracy is not just an action movie. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea defines piracy as “illegal acts of violence or detention” committed on the high seas against ships or aircrafts. Piracy is a serious problem and it poses a real threat not only to the safety of vessels and their crews, but also to the economies of affected countries.In Africa, while piracy in Somalia’s Gulf of Aden is currently on the decline, it has spread to West Africa. Although most attacks in the region take place in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region, there have also been attacks in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea and Togo, among others, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Reuters news agency reported that one such attack took place in October 2013 off Nigeria’s coast, where pirates attacked an oil supply vessel and kidnapped the captain and chief engineer, both American citizens,. The report says that “pirate attacks off Nigeria’s coast have jumped by a third this year as ships passing through West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, a major commodities route, have increasingly come under threat from gangs wanting to snatch cargoes and crews.”Unlike pirates along Somalia’s coast, who are often only after ransom, pirates in West Africa also steal goods, particularly oil. Many attacks end up with crew members injured or killed. But pirate attacks do not only result in killings and injuries, tragic as those are; they also damage the economy. In some cases, affected countries in West Africa have become less concerned with direct losses from piracy than with the ways in which these losses affect international insurance rates and other trade-related costs.In Benin, for example, taxes on trade account for half of government revenue, and 80% of these are derived from the port of Cotonou, according to UNODC figures published in March 2013. Last year the spike in pirate attacks in West Africa led London-based Lloyd’s Market Association, an umbrella group of maritime insurers, to list Nigeria, neighboring Benin and nearby waters in the same risk category as Somalia, says Claims Journal, a magazine for insurance professionals. The result was a significant decrease in maritime traffic in the region, which meant a 28% loss in Benin’s government revenue. The decrease also affected the livelihoods of the country’s citizens, says UNODC, by increasing the cost of imports and decreasing the competitiveness of exports.According to Reuters, though ships now speed with armed guards on board through the dangerous waters off Somalia and the Horn of Africa on the east coast of the continent, many vessels have to anchor to do business with West African countries, with little protection. This makes them a soft target for criminals, says Reuters, and jacks up insurance costs.Corruption drives piracyAs is often the case, corruption, weak law enforcement and poverty are the main causes of piracy, according to Dr. Christian Bueger, a Cardiff University researcher and editor of Piracy-Studies.org, an online research portal. In an interview with Africa Renewal, Dr. Bueger said, “Piracy tends to be conducted or supported by marginalized communities that have not been participating in economic development.”This appears to be the case for Nigeria, for example, where the majority of the recent African pirate attacks have occurred, driven mainly by corruption in the oil sector. Chatham House, a British research group, reported in September 2013 that “corruption and fraud are rampant in the country’s oil sector,” and “lines between legal and illegal supplies of Nigerian oil can be blurry.” In such a climate pirates have an incentive to steal oil, since they know that they will be able to sell it on the black market.“Illegal bunkering [filling ships with fuel] is enormously profitable” in Nigeria, writes Martin Murphy, a professor at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. and a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council of the United States, a policy think tank, in his article “Petro-Piracy: Oil and Troubled Waters,” published in Orbis for the Foreign Policy Research Institute. “The scale of losses is staggering—more than $100 billion worth of oil has gone missing since 1960,” says Professor Murphy.The damage caused by thieves has forced oil companies to shut down pipelines. Royal Dutch Shell is selling off four of its onshore Nigerian oil blocks because of the constant theft of large volumes of oil from its pipelines, United Press International reported in October 2013. As a result of the shutting down of pipelines, Nigeria is producing about 400,000 barrels a day below its capacity of 2.5 million barrels a day, according to the Economist, a British weekly.The New York Times reported in September 2013 that Nigeria’s former top anti-corruption official, Nuhu Ridabu, had written a report in 2012 charging that over the preceding decade, thieves had stolen between 6% and 30% of the country’s oil production.Countering piracy In his interview with Africa Renewal, Dr. Bueger suggested four steps to counter piracy. First, the key is for affected states to share information on what’s happening on their coastlines and their neighbours’. Second, joint training activities are required so countries can develop procedures and learn how to use technology. Training not only educates future generations of maritime security professionals, but also creates confidence and trust between different agencies. Third, states that face maritime and piracy challenges should develop strong legislation to prosecute criminals.And finally, states should set aside enough money to build local capacity. “Even if a state has the information, even if the state has well-trained coast guards, and even if the state has incorporated all the right laws,” Dr. Bueger explains, “without vessels, the state is powerless.” At the moment, of the states most affected by piracy, only South Africa and Nigeria have a professional navy. Most other countries have small and outdated coast guards with no more than three to five skiffs.What has been done?Several international legal instruments are in place to combat threats posed by piracy. The key agreement is the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which prescribes exclusive economic zones over which individual states have the rights for exploration, energy production from water and wind, and the use of marine resources. For this agreement to be operative, states have to adopt and incorporate it into their national laws. All West African countries have signed and ratified the Law of the Sea Convention.However, the UN Security Council has yet to call for concerted international action against piracy along the Gulf of Guinea, as it did in the Somali case when, in June 2008, it authorized other countries to enter Somali territorial waters to stop pirates. In 2011 the council passed two resolutions expressing its concern about piracy in the Gulf of Guinea and urging states to reinforce domestic legislation, develop a comprehensive regional counter-piracy framework, issue appropriate guidance to shipping and cooperate in prosecuting pirates and their backers.Despite the absence of any Security Council action so far, and unlike in the Gulf of Aden, in West Africa there is already an institutional infrastructure to combat piracy. The Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS) has in its treaty of 1993 a maritime component intended to harmonize all maritime issues across the region; the Maritime Organization of West and Central Africa, established in the 1970s, holds member countries to a similar agreement. Last year ECOWAS, the Gulf of Guinea Commission and the Economic Community of Central African States signed a memorandum of understanding between the International Maritime Organization and the Maritime Organization of West and Central Africa, to establish a subregional integrated coast guard network in West and Central Africa, among other things.Records show that despite these regional actions, the number of pirate attacks continues to increase. The International Maritime Bureau, a specialised division of the International Chamber of Commerce, reports that while pirate attacks (actual and attempted) in the Gulf of Guinea fell from 54 in 2008 to 37 in 2010, there has been a steady increase since then: 49 in 2011 and 58 in 2012. As of August 2013, there were 28 attacks in Nigeria alone. These numbers, however, might be deceptive because many attacks go unreported.But piracy is not the only security threat at sea. “Piracy has drawn attention to wider problems of maritime insecurity,” says Dr. Bueger, such as trafficking and smuggling of humans, weapons and narcotics, and illegal and unregulated fishing activities. Hence, he says, the attention currently being given to the fight against piracy could be used as a stepping stone by the international community to create sustainable institutions of maritime security.International institutions are crucial for counter-piracy efforts, but they require long-term commitment. The African Union has already declared that its objective is to implement the African Maritime Security Strategy by 2050. Among the strategy’s goals are to “ensure security and safety of maritime transportation systems,” and to “prevent hostile and criminal acts at sea, and to coordinate/harmonize the prosecution of the offenders.”It’s a long-term strategy, but without a doubt concerted action is needed now to stop piracy in West Africa before it deteriorates and spreads to other African coastal areas.Photo: IRIN/Daniel HaydukAfrica Renewal
In the lead-up to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night, NBC’s television coverage noted on several occasions that the Los Angeles Kings were “overwhelming favorites” to beat the New York Rangers in the series. And if you pay attention to informal straw polls such as this one, it seems like that’s the case. As FiveThirtyEight’s Eric Tulsky pointed out in this preview, the media have been near-unanimous in predicting the Kings will win the Cup. Indeed, the Kings prevailed in Game 1.But they didn’t dominate, and the percentage of respondents who predict a certain outcome is not equivalent to the predicted probability of that outcome — especially when there’s little to no accountability for failed predictions, and the real possibility that herd behavior will produce non-independent picks. The most accurate and unbiased predictor of a given sporting event is usually the Las Vegas betting line, not a pundit. And according to Vegas, the Kings did not enter the series a markedly dominant favorite relative to other pre-series Stanley Cup front-runners.Unfortunately, archived futures odds like these, which gave the Kings a 59.6 percent probability of winning the Cup, are not available for past seasons. But the useful site SportsDataBase.com does offer money lines for individual NHL playoff games going back eight postseasons. Using those for Game 1 of every final since 2007 (combined with the assumption that, in the NHL, a home team will beat an evenly matched road opponent about 55 percent of the time), we can infer the probability of each team winning a game at home and on the road — and thus the probability of winning the series.Prior to the Kings’ Game 1 victory, they had a -146 money line in Vegas, and the Rangers were listed at +135. Converting those numbers to probabilities and accounting for the “juice” that bookmakers add to each line to make a profit, Vegas thought that Los Angeles had a 58.2 percent chance of beating the Rangers on home ice. Armed with that number, we can rearrange Bill James’s log5 formula to extract the implied probability that the Kings would beat New York at a neutral site (53.3 percent), on the road (48.3 percent) and in the series (58.7 percent). (The difference from the 59.6 number listed earlier is due to using data from different sportsbooks.)Using SportsDataBase.com, we have data for eight Stanley Cup Finals played. If we apply the method above to them, the average expected win probability for the favorite in those eight series was 61.3 percent — higher than the Kings’ pre-series odds this year. Here’s the rundown of all eight series:Instead of being “overwhelming favorites,” the Kings were actually less favored than the typical Cup front-runner. I expected them to be favored before the series began, and their odds have certainly improved after winning Game 1. The idea that this is a notably one-sided matchup, though, just isn’t supported by the market.
The team aims for the first win of their season after tying 0-0 against Burnley last Sunday, but their rival is powerful EvertonLast season Southampton Football Club finished eight in the Premier League table.That’s not so bad, but the team missed the opportunity to qualify for the Europa League third qualifying round, by at least 15 points.Now after starting the 2018-2019 season with a 0-0 tie against Burnley FC, the club is aiming for a better objective.“We want to do much better than last year. That was a setback, but more like a lump in the road on the path the club is on,” coach Mark Hughes said on Thursday on the team’s official website.“We want to be back in the top half competing for European places.”But Southampton will have a very difficult rival on Saturday when they visit Everton.Solskjaer praises Harry Maguire after Man United’s 1-0 win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer singled out Harry Maguire for praise after helping Manchester United keep a clean sheet in their 1-0 win over Leicester City.“They’ve made a big investment in the team and in the manager. It could be that now is the best time to play them,” he commented.“I’m pleased to say I’ve had some input into every player brought into this club. Players moving between different clubs, leagues, and countries can react in different ways to the same thing – there’s a period of transition.”“We played well last year under really difficult circumstances. We were unfortunate to concede so late – it could’ve been a fatal blow, but we proved our character,” he explained.“We’ve discussed that, and informed everybody that unless we feel we want to do business, the door is closed. We could potentially explore loan opportunities for people to get game time.”Watch LIVE as #SaintsFC boss Mark Hughes addresses the media ahead of the #PL trip to #EFC: https://t.co/uXMIvFn4OJ— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) August 16, 2018
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits last season’s Champions League final loss to Real Madrid has not dampened the motivation of his team.Liverpool enjoyed a brilliant campaign in Europe last season en route to the final in Kiev before losing to Real Madrid.Klopp’s men will confront French Champions Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday night in their Group C opener.When asked if the defeat to Real Madrid had harmed the club, Klopp said: “No damage. No, absolutely not.Virgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.“I think we got a lot of respect because of the way we played last season and I think everyone who saw the final saw that we could have won it against a side in a completely different moment.“They see the games we played. They saw City, they saw Rome, they saw Porto. They saw so many games which we played in a really good way. There was a lot of respect.“It is a nice experience, it is a nice memory, but pretty sure it will help us in the moment, all that stuff, but at the end, we have to start new – using the experience but not relying on it.“The best way is when you are experienced you use your new knowledge and start again – like a virgin if you want.”