FAVORED PAINTING CORNERS ROMPS BY 1 ½ LENGTHS IN $75,000 MIZDIRECTION STAKES


first_imgFAVORED PAINTING CORNERS ROMPS BY 1 ½ LENGTHS IN $75,000 MIZDIRECTION STAKES AS TALAMO & MILLER COMBINE FOR FIVE FURLONG TURF VICTORY IN 56.30 ARCADIA, Calif. (April 13, 2019)–Breaking sharply from the rail, heavily favored Painting Corners was never out of the strike zone on Saturday at Santa Anita, as she rolled to an impressive gate to wire score in the $75,000 Mizdirection Stakes, which was run at five furlongs on grass.  Ridden for the first time by Joe Talamo and trained by Peter Miller, the 5-year-old Florida-bred mare by Pleasant Strike won by 1 ½ lengths while getting the distance in 56.30.“She broke sharp and took it to ’em,” said Talamo.  “She’s very quick out of the gate and we got a little breather there around the turn.  She could feel Bejarano’s filly (third place finisher Go On Mary) on her outside, but when we straightened up, she switched leads and we were gone.”Most recently fourth, beaten 6 ½ furlongs by her highly accomplished stablemate Belvoir Bay in the five furlong turf Wishing Well Stakes Feb. 16, Painting Corners was off at 4-5 in a field of five older fillies and mares and paid $3.60, $2.20 and $2.10.“Joe rode a very smart race,” said Miller.  “She doesn’t like to be on the rail much, but he broke sharp and he just went on with it…He cut the corner and saved something for the stretch, so great ride by Joe and the whole team did a great job with this filly…She might go to Kentucky and we’re even thinking about the Monrovia (Grade II, 6 ½ furlongs hillside turf on May 26).”Owned by Altamira Racing Stable and Slam Dunk Racing, Painting Corners, in her first stakes victory, picked up $46,500 for her efforts, increasing her earnings to $265,227.  Out of the Gimmeawink mare Adorable Heidi, Painting Corners is now 18-6-2-4 overall.Next to last, about six lengths off the lead heading into the far turn, English-bred Poster Girl leveled nicely late and outran Go On Mary for the place by 1 ¼ lengths.  Ridden by Evin Roman, Poster Girl was off at 9-2 and paid $3.00 and $2.20.Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Go Mary tried to press the winner early and paid the price, as she tired through the drive to finish third by 2 ¾ lengths over Algorhythmic.  Off at 9-5, Go On Mary paid $2.20 to show.Fractions on the race were 21.18 and 44.21.last_img read more

NEPTUNE’S STORM ATTENDS PACE EN ROUTE TO IMPRESSIVE ONE LENGTH WIN IN $150,000 CINEMA STAKES


first_imgNEPTUNE’S STORM ATTENDS PACE EN ROUTE TO IMPRESSIVE ONE LENGTH WIN IN $150,000 CINEMA STAKES UNDER VAN DYKE; TRAINED BY BALTAS, HE GETS 1 1/8 MILES ON TURF IN 1:48.65 ARCADIA, Calif. (June 2, 2019)–Attentive to the pace, Neptune’s Storm took command a quarter mile from home and went on to an impressive one length tally in Sunday’s $150,000 Cinema Stakes at Santa Anita.  Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke and trained by Richard Baltas, Neptune’s Storm, a  3-year-old Stormy Atlantic gelding, got a mile and one eighth on turf in 1:48.65.Breaking from the far outside in a field of five sophomores, Neptune’s Storm was quickly into stride and laid second to King of Speed to the top of the lane where he took command.“On paper, there wasn’t a whole a lot of speed and this horse has natural speed,” said Baltas, who took over the training of Neptune’s Storm prior to his most recent start, a three quarter length win in the one mile turf Singletary Stakes here on April 28.  “He can carry his speed and he’s a good horse.  The thing about him is, he’ll rate.  He doesn’t have to have the lead…I didn’t have to tell Drayden anything…I just told him to have the horse up close.”The second choice in the wagering at 3-2, Neptune’s Storm paid $5.00, $3.00 and $2.40.“I learned from riding him last time and then working him in the mornings that when horses come to him on his outside, he’ll re-engage and fight back,” said Van Dyke.  “On the gallop out today, horses came to him and he took off.  He should like more distance.”Owned by Cybertec International Inc., Saul Gevertz, Lynn Gitomer, Mike Goetz, Michael Nentwig and Daniel Weiner, Neptune’s Storm, who is out of Immortal Life, by Iffraaj, picked up $90,000 for the win, increasing his earnings to $249,585.  In garnering his second stakes win, he improved his overall mark to 9-4-1-2.In a determined effort, Parsimony, who was ridden by Mario Gutierrez, tracked the winner and pacesetting King of Speed to the furlong pole, prevailed by a neck for second money and paid $5.60 and $3.40 while off at 6-1.Ridden by Victor Espinoza, King of Speed was off at 11-1 and paid $3.60 to show while finishing 1 ¼ lengths in front of Gregorian Chant.Fractions on the race were 25.12, 49.53, 1:12.77 and 1:36.59.last_img read more

War of Will, River Boyne & Raging Bull Head Monday’s Grade I, $300,000 Shoemaker Mile


first_imgWAR OF WILL, RIVER BOYNE & RAGING BULL HEAD MONDAY’S   GRADE I, $300,000 SHOEMAKER MILE (TURF)WINNER GETS AUTOMATIC BERTH & FEES PAID INTO TVG BREEDERS’ CUP MILE THIS FALLARCADIA, Calif. (May 22, 2020)–Gary Barber’s War of Will, a winner of last year’s Grade I Preakness Stakes and idle since well beaten in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Classic, squares off with sharp veteran turf miler River Boyne, top French-bred miler Raging Bull and others, as they head an outstanding field of 11 three-year-olds and up in Monday’s Grade I, $300,000 Shoemaker Mile (turf) at Santa Anita.The Shoe Mile is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race, which enables the winner to receive an automatic berth and fees paid into the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile Nov. 7 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, KY.  Named for the legendary Hall of Fame jockey, Bill Shoemaker was Santa Anita’s leading rider for an unprecedented 17 consecutive Winter/Spring Meetings, from 1950-51 through 1966-67.Headquartered with soon-to-be Hall of Famer Mark Casse at Palm Meadows Training Center in South Florida, War of Will ships west and will be trying turf for the first time since late in his 2-year-old campaign, while Red Baron’s Barn, LLC and Rancho Temescal’s Irish-bred River Boyne, a recent winner of Santa Anita’s Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile, seeks his third consecutive win over the course for trainer Jeff Mullins.Most recently a troubled third in the Grade I Woodbine Mile Sept. 14, French-bred Raging Bull ships west from Palm Meadows for Chad Brown and will get the services of Joel Rosario.  A bona fide deep closer, Raging Bull should be on the move late.WAR OF WILLOwner:  Gary BarberTrainer:  Mark CasseA much troubled eighth, beaten 4 ½ lengths in last year’s Kentucky Derby, War of Will took the Preakness Stakes five starts back on May 18, 2019 and was subsequently well beaten in the Grade I Belmont Stakes.  Winless in four starts since his Preakness victory, the 4-year-old colt by War Front made his first four career starts on turf, his most recent a close fifth place finish in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf as a maiden on Nov. 2, 2018.  Winless in four tries on turf and 14-4-1-2 overall, War of Will arrived at Santa Anita on Tuesday and Casse has been bullish about his return to turf at one mile.  Ridden in his last 10 starts by Tyler Gaffalione, he’ll be ridden for the first time by leading man Flavien Prat, who won six races here this past Sunday.  Casse will also be represented by Florida-bred longshot March to the Arch, who comes off a third place finish as the 7-2 favorite in a Grade III one mile turf stakes March 28 at Gulfstream Park.RIVER BOYNEOwner:  Red Baron’s Barn, LLC & Rancho Temescal                      Trainer:  Jeff MullinsA phenom at age three, this 5-year-old Irish-bred was winless in seven starts at age four, but has enjoyed a resurgence this year when paired with an aggressive Abel Cedillo, who pointed him to a 2 ½ length score two starts back in the Grade III, one mile turf Thunder Road Stakes on Feb. 8 at 9-2 and a neck victory at 4-1 in the Grade I Kilroe Mile on March 7.  A winner of eight out of his 13 starts over the Santa Anita turf, River Boyne, who is 24-9-5-4 with earnings of $1,211,918, has never been better as he bids for his sixth graded turf stakes win on Monday.RAGING BULLOwner:  Peter BrantTrainer:  Chad BrownLast seen in Southern California winning the Grade I Hollywood Derby Dec. 1, 2018 at Del Mar, Raging Bull is winless in five subsequent Grade I assignments, but was only beaten 1 ¼ lengths in the Woodbine Mile after getting bothered badly at the break.  All five of his wins (from 12 starts) have come in combination with Rosario and it would appear all systems are “Go” off a lengthy freshening with three-time Eclipse Award winner Brown, who will also send out English-bred Without Parole, who was well beaten as the 3-1 favorite in the Grade I Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Jan. 25 at Gulfstream.THE GRADE I SHOEMAKER MILE WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDERRace 9 of 11 Approximate post time 4:30 p.m. PTWithout Parole–Irad Ortiz, Jr.–122True Valour–Jose Valdivia, Jr.–124Next Shares–John Velazquez–124Voodoo Song–Mike Smith–122War of Will–Flavien Prat–122Blitzkrieg–Drayden Van Dyke–122Majestic Eagle–Jorge Velez–122Raging Bull–Joel Rosario–122March to the Arch–Victor Espinoza–124Neptune’s Storm–Umberto Rispoli–124River Boyne–Abel Cedillo–126First post time for an 11-race card on Monday is at 12:30 p.m.  While there is no public admittance, fans are encouraged to wager via 1stBet.com or Xpressbet.com.  For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.last_img read more

Son keeps his cool from spot after being brought down by Gunn


first_imgTOTTENHAM and Southampton go head-to-head in North London for a place in the FA Cup fifth round.Already onto their third meeting in 2020, these two sides couldn’t be separated at St Marys where Sofiane Boufal’s late header sent the tie to a replay.Live score: Tottenham 3 Southampton 2 (Stephens OG 12′ Moura 78′ Son (pen) 87′; Long 34′ Ings 73′)TV/Live stream free: BT Sport 1 and Ultimate/BT app with EE customers able to watch freeTottenham XI: Lloris (C), Aurier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Tanganga, Dier, Winks, Ndombele, Sessegnon, Lucas, Son.Southampton XI: Gunn, Ward-Prowse, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand, Hojbjerg (c), Romeu, Boufal, Redmond, Ings, Long.Follow all the latest updates from the capital below…Marc Mayo6 Feb 2020, 9:54 pmTOTTENHAM progress to the fifth round of the FA Cup.A topsy-turvy evening that featured five goals before a winter break well earned by both teams – but only one man taking his side through at all costs.You can’t argue with results, as they say…Marc Mayo6 Feb 2020, 9:50 pmCAN Tottenham now make the most of this edgy win and lift the cup?Dele Alli thinks it wouldn’t be before time.He added: “It’s been a long time coming.“We’ve showed we’re one of the best teams not just in England but in the world while we’ve been together.“We deserve a trophy, but no one is just going to give it to us.”Marc Mayo6 Feb 2020, 9:48 pmCHARACTER is the buzz word for Dele Alli, too.He admits Spurs were sloppy in letting their initial lead slip but is delighted to have played a role in the eventual victory.The midfielder told BT: “It says a lot about the character we have, to go from such a big game at the weekend, it’s very easy to take your foot off the pedal.“At times we were a bit sloppy but sometimes it takes one little switch and I think it was the second goal.”Marc Mayo6 Feb 2020, 9:47 pmSON Heung-min collects the official man of the match gong.He praised the team’s character in coming back from a goal down, having surrendered their own early lead.Speaking to BT Sport, the winger said: “Second-half, we showed our brilliant character.“Dele Alli came on and gave a brilliant performance and it’s an amazing feeling.”Marc Mayo6 Feb 2020, 9:43 pmDELE ALLI really was the star of that comeback.The level of composure and creativity he showed improved those around him as well as the scoreline.Case in point: his pass to win the penalty winner. Magic from Moura 🔥#EmiratesFACup @SpursOfficial pic.twitter.com/7qhLAZdkpK— The Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) February 5, 2020Marc Mayo6 Feb 2020, 9:33 pmTottenham 3-2 Southampton88′ He won the penalty, he finished it off.Son fires it hard and into the bottom corner, Gunn going the right way but unable to get a touch with his right hand.Is that enough for the hosts to reach the last-16?Marc Mayo6 Feb 2020, 9:33 pmTottenham 3-2 Southampton87′ GOOOALLLL!!! Son!Marc Mayo6 Feb 2020, 9:32 pmTottenham 2-2 Southampton87′ A fantastic through ball from Alli sends Son through and he tricks Gunn, going down under very slight contact.Marc Mayo6 Feb 2020, 9:31 pmTottenham 2-2 Southampton86′ PENALTY Spurs!Marc Mayo6 Feb 2020, 9:30 pmTottenham 2-2 Southampton85′ Another booking, this time for sub striker Adams.Those fouls a sign the Tottenham pressure is edging up…Marc Mayo6 Feb 2020, 9:29 pmTottenham 2-2 Southampton83′ Ings had actually only scored once in the four games before that strike, his worst run since early September!Back in the now, Romeu is shown a yellow for blocking Moura with roughly 99 per cent of his body.Marc Mayo6 Feb 2020, 9:27 pmTottenham 2-2 Southampton82′ It was a mighty fine effort to put Saints in front, but it hasn’t proved to be the winner.Three goals this season versus Spurs for Ings… From one end… to the other ✨#EmiratesFACup @SouthamptonFC pic.twitter.com/4yogHDm1O2— The Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) February 5, 2020Marc Mayo6 Feb 2020, 9:25 pmTottenham 2-2 Southampton80′ That is the quality Spurs have lacked all evening, and not before time.More worry for Southampton too as Long is down, the striker limps off and Che Adams will be introduced.Marc Mayo6 Feb 2020, 9:24 pmTottenham 2-2 Southampton77′ A fine hit from 18 yards by Moura, Alli sending him through at pace and he beats Vestergaard to set up a right-footed effort – which he smashes into the bottom corner.Marc Mayo6 Feb 2020, 9:23 pmTottenham 2-2 Southampton77′ GGGOOAALLL!!! Lucas Moura!Marc Mayo6 Feb 2020, 9:21 pmTottenham 1-2 Southampton75′ Minor penalty shout for Bertrand, who nicks the ball round Lloris and tumbles under his dive.The ball was gone, the contact was minimal, the plays goes on.Now then, what have Spurs got?Marc Mayo6 Feb 2020, 9:19 pmTottenham 1-2 Southampton72′ What a counter-attack!Redmond runs all of 70 yards and beats three men before playing in Ings.Tanganga stands off to help the striker cut onto his right foot and curl it past Lloris.You can’t argue with it.Marc Mayo6 Feb 2020, 9:17 pmTottenham 1-2 Southampton72′ GGGOOOAAALLL!! Ings!Marc Mayo6 Feb 2020, 9:14 pmTottenham 1-1 Southampton69′ One subplot of the evening is Vertonghen’s utterly disparate reaction to being replaced minutes into the second-half.The images of him on the bench could come to mark his anticipated exit from the club in the summer.Meanwhile, Armstrong replaces Boufal for the away team.Load more entries…center_img Super Sonny from the spot.That ball from Dele, though 😍#EmiratesFACup @SpursOfficial pic.twitter.com/CtBZbqAZfl— The Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) February 5, 2020Marc Mayo6 Feb 2020, 9:41 pmTottenham 3-2 Southampton90+’ FULL TIME!It’s a victory for Spurs and Southampton will wonder how they blew a lead and convincing position in the game late on.Moura and Son provided the goals to seal the turnaround but Alli was the star off the bench, setting up both chances.Norwich await in the fifth round.Marc Mayo6 Feb 2020, 9:40 pmTottenham 3-2 Southampton90+’ A foul on Fernandes as he completes a very decent outing off the bench with a neat flick.That should be that.Marc Mayo6 Feb 2020, 9:40 pmTottenham 3-2 Southampton90+’ One minute to go, the ball belligerently remaining in the away side half…Marc Mayo6 Feb 2020, 9:38 pmTottenham 3-2 Southampton90+’ A few balls are thrown into the Tottenham box but no serious connection from an attacking point of view.Vestergaard is then called offside and we are already past halfway in stoppage time.Marc Mayo6 Feb 2020, 9:36 pmTottenham 3-2 Southampton90+’ Any signs of a comeback for Saints?If anything, Tottenham look more dangerous as Moura almost finds space to shoot and Fernandes is teed up before being charged down.Five minutes injury time.Marc Mayo6 Feb 2020, 9:35 pmTottenham 3-2 Southampton89′ Here’s the goal that took us to 2-2.It was the first of two setups from super sub Alli that have created the comeback goals for the hosts.Sanchez on for Sessegnon.last_img read more

Jose gears up for transfer revolution as Spurs enter make-or-break week


first_imgJOSE MOURINHO has accepted defeat in his quest to prioritise one competition this season.But Tottenham’s boss is getting ready to revolutionise his squad this summer.2 Jose set for transfer warCredit: EPASpurs’ crippling injury list has hit the club hard and exposed Mourinho to criticism over his methods.Heading into today’s teatime clash at Burnley, embattled Spurs are on a four- match losing run.After the FA Cup KO on penalties against Norwich, Mourinho vowed to talk to the club and decide whether he should prioritise today’s clash  or  Tuesday’s Champions League second leg  with RB Leipzig.No such showdown  has   taken place with chairman Daniel Levy, as Mourinho accepts they have no choice but to go full tilt in both matches despite his threadbare squad showing signs of running on empty.But the Special One has made it clear Spurs must spend big in the summer because they simply cannot be caught short by injuries again.Mourinho said: “I know the priority, I do not need a specific day to have a specific discussion with the boss.MAKE YOUR DEBUT Bet £5 get £20 in free bets for new customers at Ladbrokes“We are together every day. I don’t need to have a discussion, we just need to share our ideas.“We feel the same. We know that the players are tired, the injured players. We know we have to build a squad more balanced for next season.“You have to be ready to cope with these unpredictable things.“We need to have a different shape to the squad to be ready for these unexpected things that happen to us.“But we all know we have to try to win tomorrow and try to win on Tuesday.“If we don’t then we leave, like we did in the last match against Norwich. We leave, we sleep in peace, sad, but we sleep in peace then the next day, we go again.”Mourinho has never suffered a run of four successive defeats, and with Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Moussa Sissoko still absent he has few options to make any changes.It is putting huge pressure on the remaining players, who have all been consulted by the management team to see if they have the energy to go again against the Clarets.To a man, the entire squad have stood up to be counted — but some have admitted they are close to running on empty.They include new signing Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura, who are having to shoulder a huge workload.2 Crocked Spurs star Harry KaneCredit: ReutersMourinho added: “Some people are critical of me because I am repeating the same comments all the time so I don’t want to repeat the same things.“Obviously people are tired to listen to it but the run of injuries this club had this season, starting with Hugo Lloris and ending with Sonny, is something really crazy.“But again we have to prepare ourselves for something similar to happen again and we have to build a squad that protects against this kind of situation.“We are in a situation where I think it is very hard to prioritise. But it is a discussion to have internally. The communication with the players is always the most important thing.“Some players over the last 120 minutes have run more than 15km.TottenhamRACE OFFBoston Marathon CANCELED due to coronavirus pandemicWHO’S THE DADDYCamilla Thurlow holds Jamie Jewitt’s ‘baby bump’ in hilarious pic’hold firm’Stern warning for businesses using loopholes to flout restrictions and reopenPLOT TWISTThe Walking Dead boss tried to kill off Negan in season 8 with Maggie shootingWhy yo-oh-oh-oh-oh-gaaaaa is good for youMAKE A HOUSE A HOMEHabitat announces 25% off EVERYTHING for Bank Holiday weekendHELPING HANDGenerous Northern Ireland YouTuber Adam B buys his parents a houseSpoilerANDREA’S RAGEEmmerdale’s Andrea vows revenge on Jamie after realising he is leaving herSpoilerDAD IN DISGUISEEmmerdale’s Vinny horrified as he discovers Alex is really his dad PaulSpoilerLOVE RATHarriet agrees to marry Will on Emmerdale despite affair with Malone“We know we are going to play against players who have had a week preparing for the match.“We have decisions to make. Of course we want to win tomorrow and the tie on Tuesday but we have to find a way where we give some players a better chance to perform.“I love the player who says ‘I am available for everything you want and everything you need.’“But there comes a ‘but’ and after the but comes: ‘I need a rest’.“We have to analyse the but. But it is fantastic for me.“I am so happy to be here — it is fantastic to work with boys like them.“It’s not like I’m saying our squad is not good. The squad is good. At this moment we are in trouble. It’s so simple as that.”Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho says he was a lazy football player in his youthlast_img read more

Four Nations future remains clouded


first_imgAustralia were victorious in Sunday’s Four Nations final, beating New Zealand 34-8 at Anfield, but the Rugby League International Federation’s chief executive David Collier does not know if or when the tournament will be held again.The 2017 World Cup, which will be held in Australia and New Zealand from next October to December, will bring to an end the RLIF’s current calendar of events.Although the Federation has confirmed the 2021 World Cup will take place in England and the 2025 competition in North America, there is currently nothing set in stone for the intervening years.Collier told Press Association Sport there is a consensus for an eight-team event, which could be good news for Scotland, but that is unlikely to take place until 2023.”I think eventually the eight nations will become the Four Nations on steroids, so it has a growth spurt to it,” Collier said.”We want a second major event and we made a decision on Saturday that we will play that in 2023 and we will go out to tender fairly soon for a destination.”There is a gap in the first four-year cycle, so there is potential still for a Four Nations but that will be up to the three major nations to determine.”We call 2021 and 2025 the bookends – the three major nations in particular needed to know exactly where the major events are going to be played.”Once we got the global events away, they fill in the rest and I think they are going to be making announcements fairly quickly as to what they are going to play in the interim period.”With Australia almost certain to take a sabbatical from the international game in 2018 as part of an agreement with their NRL players, there is scope for another Four Nations Series in 2019 but the potential return of the Kangaroos or British Lions tours is back on the agenda, as well as an international nines competition.”There was discussion over whether we wanted to trial a nines tournament so we might well go out to tender to see what happens,” Collier said.”I think nines is very much more destination based so I think we’d be looking for a warm destination, although there is also interest from one of the major nations to get it up and running so we may want to look at a World Cup of nines.”last_img read more

Unwanted record awaits Warriors


first_imgA loss at Leichhardt Oval will make it nine-straight defeats for the Kiwi franchise, setting a new record for their worst run ever in a single season, and confirming they will finish their 2017 season without a win in three months of football. While some players this week said they weren’t aware of the record, and others brushed it off, playmaker Ata Hingano confronted the issue with refreshing honesty.”It definitely gets to you, especially with the scenario going on with the club. We have got to get a win this week, because if not there’s that nine-game losing streak and history for the club,” Hingano told NRL.com.”It does kick in a lot more when you find out those sorts of things.  “I know for each one of us there is drive too, because we don’t want to be the club that everyone looks down on.”It does motivate you, and so it should, we have got one more week, one last game, to prove ourselves and get on the right foot for next year.”We have got a lot to prove.”The Warriors will head into the final round of the regular season off the back of a heartbreaking defeat to the Manly Sea Eagles, which saw them blow a seven-point lead with five minutes to go and lose 22-21 in golden point. But coach Stephen Kearney said he had no concerns about his side’s attitude or confidence levels ahead of Sunday’s match.”At the time it [the Manly loss] was obviously pretty disappointing, but they have come back in with a high spirit,” Kearney said.”Their attitude and their energy has been wonderful given the circumstances.”They did a lot of things right on Sunday, what they didn’t do right ultimately cost us the game in the end, so it was about making sure that they understood that.”last_img read more

Tonga coach wants NRL to invest more money in to Pacific teams


first_imgTonga sealed their second win in the tournament against Samoa on Saturday night at a packed-out FMG Stadium in Hamilton.The stadium was a sea of colours as fans showed up to sing, cheer and dance for their Pacific teams. Woolf says the experience was one of a kind and it proves that Pacific teams are worth the investment.”The first step I think is putting on more games. We’d love to play Samoa every year and I know they’d love to play us every year and I’m sure the fans would love to see that as well.”Woolf also adds that he’d like both teams to get given more opportunities to play tier one teams as well. “That’s how we improve our world-rankings and start to build an even better footy culture,” he says. “It all comes down to what finances the International Rugby League and the NRL are willing to put into teams like ourselves and Samoa, in particular, to see us improve.”PRN reports more than 18,000 people attended the big Pacific clash. Woolf says the atmosphere the Pacific fans created almost moved them to tears.”When you see however-many-thousand people there, with 20 minutes to go, stand and start singing songs and waving flags, it’s an experience you just don’t get anywhere else.”Tonga’s now preparing to face the Kiwis this weekend in Hamilton.Woolf says it’s going to be a tough one.”No tier two nation has ever beaten a tier one nation,” he says. “It’s a massive ask. It’s one that we’re going to certainly go out there and give our absolute best shot. We’re getting more and more confident so we’re certainly up for a good challenge but I’m not going to make any bold predictions.”Samoa will go up against Scotland as well in Cairns.last_img read more

PNG netball U21 squad to be named next week


first_imgPNG Netball presidentJulienne LekaMaliakitoday said selectors were still finalizing the squad that will be selected from last month’s 2015 Digicel national netball championships.She said the focus of the championships was to select the strongest team for the championships in Auckland, New Zealand.The last championships were held in 2013 in Glasgow, with New Zealand taking the title after beating Australia.The eventfor strictly only national U21 teams is held every four years.Maliaki said a lot of raw talent had been identified at the Alotau Championships which she was very impressed with.last_img read more

PNG boxers to return today from Olympic qualifiers


first_imgThe four – Andrew Aisaga in the 69kg division, Charles Keama 52kg, Thadius Katua 60kg and Jonathan Keama 75kg all lost their fights in their preliminary bouts on points.National boxing coach Joe Aufa said the team will now await the national federation (PNG Boxing Union) and the PNG Olympic Committee to decide what their next assignment is.”Whatever decision they make is up to them but for us, the boxers must continue to train because this part of our elite squad and we must be ready for whatever competition that becomes available,” said Aufa, a Star 2 AIBA accredited coach.He added that it had been a great campaign for the team.“While we did not achieve our goal of qualifying for the Olympics, the boxers gave it their best shot.“Not getting Katua’s bout awarded to us when we thought we had clearly won was quite disappointing but it did not only happen to us, other countries also had such bad luck too,” said Aufa.He said the country could be still be proud that all of PNG’s boxers lost on points unlike other countries that were outclassed with their bouts abandoned early in the 3 min X 3 rounds contest.”We really cannot ponder on that anymore but at least we are confident that our boxers are improving to world standards,” said Aufa.last_img read more