The All Blacks were disappointed not to defeat the British and Irish Lions in their series this year but the experience will benefit the world champions in the Rugby Championship as they build towards the 2019 World Cup, captain Kieran Read has said.
After an impressive win in the first test against the tourists, New Zealand lost the second match in Wellington before a 15-15 draw in the third test saw the series end 1-1.
« We reviewed that series comprehensively, » Read told reporters in Auckland on Sunday before the team headed to Australia for their Aug. 19 clash with the Wallabies.
« It’s part of a massive (lesson) for us as a group, what we took out of that series around how we need play this game and how we need to react to pressure.
« We’ve got to make sure it helps us. We’ve got a good couple of years coming up, and something pretty big after it at the World Cup, where there will be similar pressures from what we had a month ago.
« To get that experience first-hand for a lot of guys is really beneficial. Hopefully it will show in this Championship, in these Bledisloe Cup games, what we’ve learned. »
The All Blacks romped through last year’s Championship playing a fast-paced, high-skilled style of game but said it was unlikely they would be able to do so again this year, with the Lions offering a blueprint on how to challenge them.
The opening match of the southern hemisphere championship will take place against a backdrop of turmoil in Australian rugby, both on and off the field.
None of their Super Rugby teams recorded a victory against New Zealand opposition in the recently completed season, while the Wallabies lost to Scotland and struggled to beat Italy in June.
Read, however, expected Australia to rise above the problems and provide the All Blacks with a tough test.
« I expect a pretty strong team and a pretty strong effort from them, » Read said. « They have a coach (who) … wants to beat up other teams and that’s what he’s probably imprinted.
« He’s had a month to work on things that he thinks he needs to. I’ve experienced a Wallabies team over a number of years who have played above what they’ve done in Super Rugby.
« This year will be no different. They’re always a talented team. »
Jordan Ayew tops English Premier League sprint chart after 16 matches
Ghana forward Jordan Ayew has been rated as the player with most sprints in the English Premier League after 16 round of games.
The Swansea City attacker has always been faced with criticisms for his lack of work ethos when playing for the Ghana’s senior national team.
But the former Olympique Marseille man appears to have had the best statistics in arguably the world’s best championship in terms of a player that has made the most sprints in the league after 16 matches
The 25-year-old heads the list of the 10 players ahead of speedsters including Hector Bellerin of Arsenal, Delle Alli of Tottenham and Richarlison of Watford.
According to the Express.co.uk, with their high intensity and counter-attacking football, Manchester City have wracked up the most sprints so far this season with a whopping 6198.
However, relegation-threatened West Ham have managed a measly 4942.
Surprisingly, Manchester United only have the 15th highest amount of sprints with 5210.
Even though Manchester City have wracked up the most sprints as a team, no individual star of Pep Guardiola’s side makes the top 10.
So which Premier League ace has sprinted the most times?
1. Jordan Ayew (Swansea) – 796 sprints
2. Delle Alli (Tottenham) – 742 sprints
3. Jay Rodriguez (Burnley) – 715 sprints
4. Hector Bellerin (Arsenal)- 695 sprints
5. Tom Cleverley (Watford) – 695 sprints
6. Tom Ince (Huddersfield) – 683 sprints
7. Abdoulaye Doucore (Watford) – 682 sprints
8. Richarlison (Watford) – 677 sprints
9. Erik Pieters (Stoke) – 669 sprints
10. Pascal Gross (Brighton) – 662 sprints
Pots announced for Final Draw
With Peru completing the line-up of 32 teams for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, we now know the seeding pots for the Final Draw on 1 December.
It was confirmed in September, by the Organising Committee for FIFA Competitions, that all teams will be allocated to (eight-team) pots 1 to 4 based on sporting principles. The October 2017 edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be used to allocate all qualified teams to the four pots according to their ranking in descending order, after hosts Russia who take the top seeding spot.
With those factors in mind, here are the final pots for the Final Draw:
POT 1 Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France
POT 2 Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia
POT 3 Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran
POT 4 Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia
It is worth remembering that the principle of drawing the teams into the groups will remain unchanged. This means that no teams from the same confederation, with the exception of UEFA, which could have up to two teams in the same group, will be drawn into the same group.
The Final Draw will take place on Friday 1 December at Moscow’s State Kremlin Palace.
« We do not want him at Real Madrid anymore »
Real Madrid are in a bad situation in the league, the club of Casa Blanca is currently third in Liga behind Valencia and Barça, the Catalans have taken a big lead, and this could definitely make them lose the championship in the winter. And a Madrid club player is highlighted in these poor results.
101 million euros for his transfer, 23 injuries since, 73 matches missed or 55% of the matches of his team. Statistics that would drive any coach and / or leaders crazy. You have it ?
These are the figures of Gareth Bale since his arrival at Real Madrid in the summer of 2013 from Tottenham. Whoever has played only nine games in the year 2017/2018 seems to have seriously undermined the patience of its leaders. Just back from a calf injury, he was summoned by the Welsh side to face France in a friendly last Friday, but made the choice to stay in Madrid to prepare for the derby against Atletico Madrid. But, the blow, the Welsh injured during training last Thursday and will be absent about a month.
What continue to fuel the rumors of transfers but especially what cause irritation of the board leader. The latter, tired of not being able to align their triplet « BBC », have made a decision that should be irrevocable, according to the Madrid newspaper AS: It must leave this summer. And the Spanish media also explains that the president of the Madrilenian club, Florentino Perez, added:
« We do not want him at Real Madrid anymore »
Yet strongly criticized last season, Bale had managed to avoid a departure last summer, claiming to want to win at Real Madrid. This year, his start to the season does not plead in his favor and he seems to have exhausted all his jokers in the Spanish capital. The departure of the Welsh international therefore seems to have been recorded.
The rumor of a return to the Premier League, Manchester United in particular, has been reactivated but the number of contenders could quickly evolve in view of the quality of the player. Be careful though, the Welsh is signed until 2022, and Florentino Perez is determined not to sell his player.
Unless a return to its best level, it is difficult to see how the Welsh international could reverse the situation. Zinedine Zidane even found his replacement for 100 million euros.
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