Warrenball tag won’t fool O’Connell

first_img The Ireland captain has warned his team-mates to beware Wales’ savvy dummy lines off the ball behind the scrum in Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations showdown in Dublin. The Munster totem will be embroiled in an all-out tussle with Wales’ own talismanic lock Alun-Wyn Jones for the majority of this intriguing round-two contest. Wales boast far more attacking subtlety than their bulldozing ‘Warrenball’ typecasting, according to Paul O’Connell. “And you saw that last weekend with the try that Jamie Roberts created for Scott Williams in their win over Italy. “I think they have incredibly skilful players, incredibly talented players all across the pitch, and I suppose the fact they’re all big men just adds to that. “Warrenball made an interesting headline during the summer, but there’s a lot more to their game than that.” Wales laboured to an opening-weekend 23-15 victory over Italy in Cardiff, while Ireland saw off Scotland 28-6 in Dublin. Skipper O’Connell was forced to withdraw at the last minute with a chest infection last weekend, but has since made a full recovery. Wing Andrew Trimble scored against Scotland in his first Ireland start since last summer, and has retained his place for the visit of Wales. The Ulster flyer knows full well Wales’ monster backline almost dwarfs the Ireland contingent, admitting Joe Schmidt’s men have steeled themselves for a severe physical test. “The likes of Cuthbert and North are the boys being talked about,” said Trimble. “But Jamie Roberts, Scott Williams: apart from Halfpenny all of them are massive. “They are largely, because of their size, used to get over the gainline, to generate quick ball. “They are good athletes but they are good with the ball in hand as well. “So I think there’s a lot of strength there. “The likes of North are producing offloads and neat passes, and these guys can play a bit as well. “So they are certainly not just there because they get over the gainline. “We’ve got to be organised in defence, it’s about backing each other up, work-rate, getting our shape right in the back-field, to make sure we close them off in the corners, and then just really go at them. “If you go in half-cooked against Cuthbert or North you’re going to get bounced. “And that’s similar enough to last week in a lot of respects, with the Scottish wings. “They always play direct, and I think they get quite a good balance as well to be honest.” But the 34-year-old will still have one eye on events behind the set-piece and has challenged Ireland not to fall for any short-sighted views on Warren Gatland’s attacking blueprint. The Australian press coined the term Warrenball to account for Gatland’s bruising, straight-running rugby on the summer’s British and Irish Lions tour. O’Connell laughed it off as Aussie kidology back in June, and said Ireland must do likewise this weekend. “I think it’s a bit of an unfair tag, obviously because they’re big men you just think their game’s all about physicality,” said O’Connell. “But there’s an incredible amount of subtlety to what they do as well. “I remember seeing that in the last two tours. “Everyone just thinks they launch big men into midfield as the first phase for every play. “It is something they do, but they do it with a lot of subtlety, they have a lot of animation out the back, pulling defenders away. Press Associationlast_img read more

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New CAF President Ahmad Ahmad offers hope for African football

first_imgAfrican football federations are banking on newly elected President of Confederation of African Football Ahmad Ahmad to develop the continent’s football infrastructure after he ended Issa Hayatou’s29 year reign with a humiliating victory. Ahmad plans to introduce more ex footballers in the Technical committee of the Confederation as well as propose a new process of deciding the host for CAF Competitions. His other action plan will be to improve the image of CAF as a corruption tainted body. Hayatou was closely associated with former FIFA President Sepp Blatter who was forced out after a series of corruption related cases haunted his administration. New FIFA President Gianni Infantino was reportedly not on good terms with Hayatou. African football observers are optimistic that Ahmad will work closely with Infantino to develop football academies, vouch for better pay for African footballers and improve conditions of stadiums in African countries. ****[email protected] on: WhatsApplast_img read more

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TS Melissa Fading in Atlantic, as South FL Deals with Rough Ocean Conditions

first_imgTropical Storm Melissa, which has been causing rough conditions along our coast during the weekend, is about to fade away.According to the National Hurricane Center, the 45-mph storm is weakening and is now expected to become a post-tropical remnant low by Sunday night or Monday.Melissa formed off New England as a subtropical storm on Friday, as thunderstorms surrounded the nor’easter that has been affecting people from New York to Boston.After becoming a tropical storm on Saturday, Melissa was moving east in the Atlantic Ocean, and away from North America.Northwest swells from the storm have combined with onshore winds to kick up our seas as high as nine feet during Sunday.According to our news partner, CBS12, large breaking waves, strong rip currents and beach erosion remain likely, and a small craft advisory is still in effect for boaters.In related news, the NHC says in its 2 p.m. Sunday advisory that a “vigorous” tropical wave with a 70 percent chance of development is moving off the African coast. The advisory states, “Showers and thunderstorms are beginning to show signs of organization, and environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for the development of a tropical depression during the next few days while the disturbance moves west-northwestward to northwestward over or just east of the Cabo Verde Islands.”Strong winds in the upper atmosphere are expected to prevent any further development of the system.Two other disturbances, one over the southwestern Caribbean Sea and the other in the central Atlantic, have a 20 percent chance of development.Upper-level high pressure will continue to bring South Florida mainly dry weather through the middle of the week. A slow-moving front and higher moisture will begin to increase our shower and storm chances by the end of the week.last_img read more

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