Following the victory, the Sugar Bears will advance to the semifinal round to face off against No. 3 seed Sam Houston State Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on the Southland Digital Network. 2018 Southland Conference Volleyball Tournament HomepageBox Score | Photos Set OneNorthwestern State came out of the gates strong on the way to a 25-20 win over UCA in the opening set. The Lady Demons never relinquished their lead over the Sugar Bears and recorded 16 kills on 29 swings for a staggering .483 hitting percentage. Sophomore Libero Hannah Brister recorded seven kills and three digs for NSU and played a crucial role in limiting Central Arkansas to a .114 attack percentage. UCA’s Samantha Anderson and Kellen Dunn accounted for four kills apiece. Set TwoThe Lady Demons continued their rampage on offense, this time combining for a .304 team hitting percentage that overpowered the Sugar Bears 25-19. Alexis Warren and Cayman Sutton showed their range as the pair combined for three aces. UCA seemed to find a groove at the net as they tacked on 14 kills. However, Central Arkansas’ defense also committed five crucial service errors that proved costly and gave life to the Northwestern State attack. Although they were labeled with the No. 7 seed, Northwestern State did not go down without a fight. Alexis Warren, nine kills and 11 digs, was one kill shy of joining Brister with a double-double performance. Reagan Rogers .318 hitting percentage was second only to Brister on the NSU roster. NATCHITOCHES, La. – No. 2 Central Arkansas topped tournament host No. 7 seed Northwestern State Friday evening in a five-set contest that featured one player from each team posting double-double figures. UCA’s Haley Tippett sounded off for 12 digs and 21 kills while Northwestern State’s Hannah Brister put up 14 digs and 19 kills. Set ThreeCentral Arkansas finally found their footing and turned the tables on the Lady Demons taking a 25-19 victory in the third set. Dunn erupted with eight of the Sugar Bear’s 19 kills, while Rayna Jefferis provided five digs for the UCA defense that forced five Northwestern State errors while limiting the Lady Demons to 10 kills on 32 attempts. The Sugar Bears combined for 71 kills and 71 digs with Kellen Dunn accounting for a .326 attack percentage. Samantha Anderson notched 17 kills of her own while Savannah Allen (11) concluded the UCA players in double figures in the kills category. Elizabeth Armstrong (44) and Bailey Waddington (18) combined for 62 of the Sugar Bears 65 assists. Set FourThe Sugar Bears were dominant in the fourth set cruising to a 25-15 victory over the Lady Demons. Although Northwestern State raced out to a 4-1 lead, Central Arkansas righted the ship and came storming back scoring six of the next eight points to take a 7-6 advantage. The teams traded points until a kill from Savannah Allen sparked a 13-4 run for the Sugar Bears that concluded the set. Haley Tippet was a force for UCA accounting for six kills on nine swings and no errors. Set FiveNorthwestern State jumped ahead first and found their way to an 8-6 advantage over Central Arkansas in the final set of the evening. Unfortunately for the Lady Demons, UCA evened the score up at 9-9 following a Northwestern State service error. Although NSU managed to regain a lead, Central Arkansas closed out the set with five of the last six points to garner the match win.
“We are very pleased to announce Courtney Archer as associate commissioner for communications, and look forward to her contributions in this important leadership role,” Southland Commissioner Tom Burnett said. “Courtney’s professional background in communications and media services lends itself to strategically promoting the league and its membership, and telling the academic and competitive success stories of Southland student-athletes.” Prior to joining the Southland staff, Archer spent 13 years with Conference USA while also being involved with various local events and organizations, including the National Football Foundation, the Cotton Bowl Classic and the inaugural Fort Worth, Heart of Dallas and Frisco Bowls, and as sports information director at Texas Woman’s University. She also served as director of media relations for the Orange Bowl Committee in Miami and the Atlantic 10 Conference.Archer is a member of the media coordination committee at the NCAA Men’s Final Four, and serves as a television timeout coordinator during earlier rounds of the national tournament. Additionally, she has worked the prestigious Battle 4 Atlantis men’s basketball tournament in Paradise Island, Bahamas, since its inception in 2010.Archer earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Miami (Ohio) University in 1991, and a master’s in sport management from West Virginia University in 1992. FRISCO, Texas – The Southland Conference has named veteran athletics administrator Courtney Morrison Archer as associate commissioner for communications, league commissioner Tom Burnett announced Monday.Archer brings more than 25 years of collegiate administrative experience to the Southland, where she will provide senior oversight of the conference’s communications efforts, including media and public relations, television production, website and social media platforms, and serving as a staff liaison to campus sports information directors. She will also serve as local media coordinator within the Southland’s role as host conference for the annual NCAA Division I Football Championship Game.
2 COMBATANT & CAMPAIGN IN SERIOUS DRILLS FOR NEXT SATURDAY 1 44% 12% Assael Espinoza21 $307,779 Hector O. Palma16 JockeyMts 1st 0 Money Won Brian J. Koriner19 3 Money Won Ruben Fuentes32 21% $145,732 Doug F. O’Neill43 38% 7 1 16% 12 4 ITM% 12% 40% $231,401 1 14% LATEST CONTENT FROM XBTV:FEATURES: John Sadler is Confident Higher Power Will Handle Gulfstream Park’s Surface in the Pegasus World CupBob Baffert Talks About Mucho Gusto Ahead of the Pegasus World CupWORKOUTS:Gingham (Outside) and Golden Principal (Baffert) 1-24-20Sothalis (D’Amato) 1-24-20McKinzie (Outside) and McKale (Baffert) 1-24-20Bolo (Outside) and Blues Rapper (Gaines) 1-23-20Succeedandsurpass (Baltas) 1-23-20Railman (Outside) and Platinum Nights (Eurton) 1-23-20 Craig Anthony Lewis19 4 16 1 48% 8 $176,182 56% 2nd 0 3 3 4 6 Brice Blanc22 (Current Through Friday, January 24, 2020 Inclusive) Abel Cedillo101 $297,321 30% 9 Steve Knapp18 5 $708,954 $127,575 12 30% 6 1 7 $212,481 20% TrainerSts J.C. Diaz, Jr.37 4 42% Jeff Bonde10 $789,040 29% 16 1 Umberto Rispoli42 29% 7 17% 3 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS 14% Win% 24% 6 2 40% 16% 4 6 Richard Baltas48 5 $805,482 John W. Sadler27 1 2 Andrew Lerner13 $337,967 16% 14% 38% 4 36% 3rd SADLER STAYS HOME TO FIGHT FOUR-FRONT WAR 4 8 ITM% 5 Geovanni Franco34 Jorge Velez60 $178,842 6 $392,665 21% 1st Victor Espinoza22 CHATLOS POINTS INSTAGRAND TO NEXT SATURDAY’S SAN PASQUAL 7 5 41% 7 5 Mike Puype17 18% Tiago Pereira41 2 39% 2nd $73,602 32% 38% 38% Philip D’Amato39 50% Michael W. McCarthy14 3 5 Mario Gutierrez37 Richard E. Mandella18 1 Win% 7 $727,149 $275,910 $408,222 3 13% $250,771 6 5 $434,156 1 Flavien Prat65 53% $89,171 $407,408 74% 63% 11% 10 42% 32% Mike Smith25 10 4 5 14% 3 28% EURTON RELISHES LANDSLIDE ECLIPSE WIN WITH STORM THE COURT 16 44% 2 Agapito Delgadillo29 4 $142,060 12 $563,922 19% $1,062,672 10 SADLER ‘LOADED’ TODAY WITH HORSES AT FOUR DIFFERENT VENUESIn what is sure to be a Hall of Fame career, trainer John Sadler has opted to keep the home fires burning as he wages a four-front war on Saturday.“We’ve got horses in a four different tracks today, Santa Anita, Gulfstream, Oaklawn Park and Golden Gate Fields,” said Sadler this morning from Barn 56 on the Santa Anita backstretch. “I had my bags packed yesterday to go to Gulfstream and be with Higher Power (likely favorite or second choice in today’s Grade I, $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational), but I had some personal stuff come up, so I decided to stay home.“We’ve got a great team at Gulfstream, with Juan Leyva in charge, so we’re in good hands and Higher Power is doing very well. I’m excited to run Flagstaff here in the Palos Verdes and then we’ve got horses running up north and at Oaklawn, so it should be a heck of a day.SADLER’S COMBATANT & CAMPAIGN DRILL FOR SATURDAY STAKESSadler was also busy with important works this morning at Santa Anita, as Combatant, a 5-year-old ridgeling who had been based in Kentucky with Steve Asmussen, will make his Southern California debut in next Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Pasqual Stakes and Campaign, a long fused runner primarily on dirt, is scheduled to go a mile and one quarter on turf in next Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Marcos Stakes.Combatant and Campaign drilled six furlongs in company this morning, with Santa Anita clockers assigning 1:14 flat clockings to both.“Combatant is doing real well,” said Sadler. “He worked in 1:14 last week as well and these were both serious drills. He’s ready to go in the San Pasqual and he’s a very versatile horse. Purchased privately following a one turn mile allowance win at Churchill Downs, Combatant, a son of Scat Daddy, is 22-3-5-3, with earnings of $648,498.Eased as the 3-5 favorite going 1 ¾ miles on dirt in the Grade II Marathon Stakes here Nov. 1, Woodford Racing’s Campaign, a full horse by Curlin, appears ready for his 5-year-old debut on Saturday.“Campaign got a little sick of those long distance races on dirt,” said Sadler. “If you look at his form late in 2018, he ran a couple big races on grass at Kentucky Downs (a 1 ½ mile turf maiden win Sept. 1 and a 1 5/16 mile allowance win on Sept. 8, 2018), so we’re hopeful he’ll run big over this course. He’s a natural stayer, the longer the distance, the better for him.”INSTAGRAND DRILLS OUT OF GATE IN PREP FOR SATURDAY’S SAN PASQUALA 10 ¼ length winner of the Grade II Best Pal Stakes in his second career start, and third in both the Grade III Gotham Stakes and Grade I Santa Anita Derby in starts three and four, OXO Equine’s Instagrand, who was most recently third as the 9-5 favorite in a one mile allowance here Jan. 1, drilled six furlongs out of the gate this morning in 1:16.60 as he preps for next Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Pascual Stakes at 1 1/8 miles.“I know the time is slow, but to be honest, the track was pretty slow this morning,” said Don Chatlos, former assistant to Jerry Hollendorfer, who has been Instagrand’s trainer of record for his last two starts. “When the track is slow like this, my exercise riders know it and there’s no point in trying to make something happen with the time…He galloped out good and he got out of it what he needed to.“His first race with me at Del Mar (a fifth place finish as the even money favorite in second condition allowance going 6 ½ furlongs Dec. 1), you can throw it out. He had shipped in from New York and was pulling early, very anxious and he just stopped. His next race here on Jan. 1, Baffert sent a horse and really made him run early, with no breather. He got a little tired and got beat a length and a half, but hopefully he’s rounding into form now.”STORM THE COURT LANDSLIDE ECLIPSE AWARD WINNERA longshot no more, trainer Peter Eurton’s Santa Anita-based Storm the Court was an overwhelming 147-51 selection as the nation’s Eclipse Champion 2-year-old Male, as was announced Thursday night at the 49th annual Eclipse Awards gala held at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida.By Court Vision, out of the Tejano Run mare My Tejana Storm, Storm the Court, who finished 96 votes clear of runner-up Structor, won his Eclipse on the strength of his gutty gate to wire triumph in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile here on Nov. 1, a race in which he prevailed by a head and paid $93.80 to win.“We had no idea on how the vote would go, so we’re obviously elated,” said Eurton, who returned early Friday morning from Gulfstream. “We weren’t about to count our chickens before they hatched, but it is very gratifying and we’re excited about running in the San Vicente.“He’s a late foal (May 5, 2017), so he’s still growing. He’s filled out some since the Breeders’ Cup and he’s training well.”A well beaten third in Santa Anita’s Grade I American Pharoah Stakes on Sept. 27, Storm the Court’s connections were undeterred and the colt responded with his Breeders’ Cup triumph at odds of 45-1. With the winner’s share of $1.1 million, Storm the Court now has total earnings of $1,172,951–not bad for a horse that was purchased for $60,000 at the Ocala Breeders April 2-year-old in Training Sale.“This is definitely a once in a lifetime deal,” said part owner Dan Hudock, who resides in nearby Glendora with his wife Rosalyn. “I told my wife this is a million to one shot, if you think we can do this twice, you’re crazy! I’m really a nobody, but I’ve been doing this for 35 years and for 32 of those, I was dealing with claiming horses.“I’ve done the math and a $20,000 claimer costs just as much to maintain as Storm the Court. We’ve been with Pete for three years now and with this horse, we don’t see a vet bill, he gets shoes, Lasix for workouts and a couple carrots! We had no idea if we’d win. We stayed home and watched the whole thing…My phone was ringing all night.”With two wins from four starts at age two, Storm the Court, who has been ridden in all of his races by Flavien Prat, worked five furlongs this past Sunday and is scheduled to make his 3-year-old debut in Santa Anita’s Grade II, $200,000 San Vicente Stakes at seven furlongs on Feb. 9.“A couple more works will tighten the screws up a little bit,” said Eurton following the work, which was completed in 1:00.30 in tandem with Prat. “I’ve got pictures of Flavien pulling up with a smile on his face. He’s very pleased and that makes me happy.”SIMULCAST WAGERING NOW OFFERED IN SANTA ANITA SPORTS BOOKIn addition to the Grandstand Paddock Room, Santa Anita is now offering free parking and admission on Wednesdays and Thursdays for fans attending its Sports Book, which adjoins the Turf Terrace on the Mezzanine level. State of the art in every respect, the Santa Anita Sports Book features wall-to-wall flat screen television monitors and plenty of betting windows. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com. FINISH LINES: . . . Notable works this morning: Starr of Quality, 50.60, Dr. Dorr, 1:01.00, Encoder, 1:00.60, Justinian, 1:00.60, Restrainedvengence, 1:02.20 and St. Joe Bay, 1:01.80.TGIF: Santa Anita offers $2 beer and $6 specialty cocktails each Friday at designated locations throughout the track. Specialty cocktails include a Baldwin Buck, Margarita and other selected cocktails. There is also free Club House (including Santa Anita’s Sports Book) and General Admission each Friday . . . FIRST POST TIME TODAY IS AT 12 NOON AND WE’LL HAVE AN 11 A.M. FIRST POST ON BIG GAME SUNDAY, FEB. 2. 10% 4 6 40% 1 6 3 2 3 1 Peter Miller31 2 3 4 21% $101,715 4 $310,811 3 $227,651 $731,540 4 27% 3 $97,821 9% Bob Baffert31 17% 22% 2 $211,680 1 18% 26% Joel Rosario66 4 43% 55% 4 3 15 2 46% 3 1 47% 3 1 4 $334,777 3 16 $661,582 31% 9% 4 23% 10 Drayden Van Dyke54 15% 24% Edwin Maldonado25 10 3rd 62% 46%
PREMIER LEAGUE officials have confessed to VAR making the WRONG decision over Giovani Lo Celso’s red card escape versus Chelsea.Fans were left enraged when the Argentine dodged a dismissal for appearing to stamp on Cesar Azpilicueta during the second-half of Saturday’s game.2 Lo Celso appeared to stamp on the Chelsea captainCredit: BT Sport2 Azpilicueta was left worse for wear from the challengeCredit: BT SportReferee Michael Oliver decided against a card of any kind in the moment before VAR took a lengthy look from Stockley Park.Having decided against a punishment for serious foul play, it later emerged that the officials in charge realised their error.The video replay referees admitted that Lo Celso SHOULD have been sent off after checking back on it later in the match.That contrasts claims emerging minutes earlier from PGMOL, who oversee the division’s referees, had defended the decision.It was first stated that the Tottenham player had “nowhere else” to plant his foot before reversing their view to one of human error.Premier League referee David Coote was the official in charge at Stockley Park, a man with 23 top-flight matches under his belt.Speaking after the game, Chelsea boss Lampard hit out at the error, stating: “It’s not good enough. It’s too late.”Azpilicueta told BT Sport: “I’m not a player that likes to be on the floor because I’m tough but it was not my fault because it was a clear stamp on my shin, I felt it straight away.CHELSEA NEWS LIVE: Follow for all the latest on the Bluesmost read in footballTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battleTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’ExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidNEXT STEPJonny Hayes set to move to English Championship having been let go by CelticREF RELEASEDChampions League ref Vincic released by cops after arrest in prostitution raidKEANE DEALEx Man United youth ace David Jones says Roy Keane negotiated a contract for him”I was surprised it was not a red card, not even a yellow card. Obviously everybody makes mistakes but when you have a lot of replays it could be easier.”Chelsea came through the controversy to win 2-1 at Stamford Bridge, but not before VAR had to green light Olivier Giroud’s opener for a potential offside.But it was Lo Celso fortunate with the refereeing decisions on a number of occasions having dodged a punishment for appearing to kick out at Mason Mount in the first-half.The Argentine, who cannot be handed a retrospective ban because the incident was officially review at the time, was eventually booked on the 80th minute as Spurs’ pursuit of a top-four finish suffered a hammer blow.
TOTTENHAM supremo Daniel Levy has made it onto The Sunday Times Rich List for the first time owing to his monumental £329million fortune.Spurs owner Joe Lewis – who has a £113m superyacht with a full-size tennis court – remains the ultimate money man at the club with £3.99billion to his name.2 Spurs supremo Levy is worth a massive £329mCredit: Getty Images – GettyBut Levy, who is famed for driving a hard bargain and being a tough negotiator, is a new entry at 398th in the list.The figures reveal that 58-year-old Cambridge graduate Levy was last year’s highest-paid Premier League executive.He earned a salary of £4m and received a £3m bonus for completing the club’s incredible new ground on time.Levy and Lewis were business partners when both previously worked in property development and together they took over Spurs in 2001.The North London side are 85.55 per cent owned by their company ENIC, in which Levy and his family have a 29.4 per cent stake.David Pearl, the club’s vice president, comes in at 269th on the list with a £500m fortune gained through property.Spurs were last year valued at £1.268bn with the Levy family’s interest worth £319m plus a £10m ‘separate wealth’.2 Lewis, left, remains the ultimate money at Tottenham with a £3.99bn fortuneCredit: Action Images – Reuters Former Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov is the richest billionaire with ties to a Premier League club, according to The Sunday Times.Usmanov has amassed a £11.7bn fortune and in January paid £30m for the naming rights at Everton’s new stadium.The mining and investment magnate, 66, already sponsors the Toffees’ training ground, having ended his 11-year association with Arsenal when he sold his 30 per cent stake in the Premier League club to the American Stan Kroenke in 2018, making £300m.The Glazer family at Manchester United, Sheikh Mansour at Manchester City, Stan Kroenke at Arsenal and Liverpool owners John Henry and Tom Werner don’t feature as “they are not resident in the UK and the majority of their business assets are based overseas, rather than registered on the London stock exchange”.But prospective Newcastle owner Mohammed Bin Salman will dwarf all the others if the Saudi Public Investment Fund’s £300m takeover is approved.tottenham newsHARRY ALL FOUR ITKane admits Spurs must win EIGHT games to rise into Champions League spotGossipALL GONE PETE TONGVertonghen wanted by host of Italian clubs as long Spurs spell nears endBELOW PARRSpurs suffer blow with Parrott to miss Prem restart after appendix operationPicturedSHIRT STORMNew Spurs 2020/21 home top leaked but angry fans slam silver design as ‘awful”STEP BY STEP’Jose fears for players’ welfare during restart as stars begin ‘pre-season’KAN’T HAVE THATVictor Osimhen keen on Spurs move but only if they sell Kane this summerThe Saudi prince and his estates are said to be worth £320bn.But the takeover is being delayed due to the state’s alleged piracy of Premier League games.And SunSport revealed how unrest is growing among top-flight clubs about the possible takeover, with at least ten teams believed to have concerns.Daniel Levy says Mauricio Pochettino could return to Tottenham as he admits sacking Argentine was hardest decision he’s ever made
Captain Aaron Woods, together with fullback James Tedesco and halves Mitchell Moses and Luke Brooks are set to become free agents when their deals expire at the end of the 2017 season.With match-winners in hot demand across the league, and Woods now one of the premier props in the game, the club face a difficult task keeping their team core together.However Taylor is confident of retaining all four players.”Absolutely, no doubt about that,” Taylor told Big Sports Breakfast.The club arguably has more money in their salary cap than any other club in the competition, with just six players of their projected top 17 committed next year.Matt Ballin, Tim Grant, Jamal Idris, Kyle Lovett, Kevin Naiqama, David Nofoaluma, Ava Seumanufagai and Tim Simona are all without a club in 2018.Taylor, who himself is without a contract beyond November, said the club would endeavour to limit persistent speculation over the future of his players to prevent it detracting from on-field efforts in 2017.”I’m not going to allow it to be a situation where every time one of our players does media that they’re going to asked those questions,” he said.”We’ll update everybody when there’s updates to be given. But otherwise, it’s just something we don’t need to be continually talking about.”It’s important, we want to get it done. But so is a performance this season.”Everyone’s worked hard to get our squad to the point that it’s at right now.”The Tigers, who finished one spot out of the top eight last year, were one of the least active clubs in the player market this summer, and are at long odds with bookmakers to win the title.Taylor revealed Idris, one of the few players they did sign, had dropped 10 kilograms since arrival and was pencilled in to play in the backline.”We didn’t sign him for any reason than for him to play in the centres at this point in time, but I’m not saying that won’t change,” he said.
May barged his way over by the posts with just seven minutes remaining to effectively clinch a spot in the Finals for the Panthers, with Canberra – who eliminated Penrith in the semi-finals last year – now needing to win their last two fixtures and rely on results elsewhere going their way to do the same.Nathan Cleary became the youngest player to score 200 points in an NRL season when he touched down following a burst down the right from Waqa Blake, whose opening score was answered in kind by Nick Cotric.The human wrecking ball that is Dave Taylor supplied a magnificent offload for Josh Papalii to go over and close the gap, but Josh Mansour’s solo effort sent Penrith into the break with a 10-point lead.What about the try assist from big Dave Taylor! #NRLRaidersPanthers #NRL pic.twitter.com/qT8CFgymhh— NRL (@NRL) August 20, 2017Jack Wighton and Joseph Tapine brought Canberra back from behind, but their late push for a Finals spot was brought to a grinding halt by May – Cleary converting to take his personal haul to 14 points – as the Panthers made it seven wins on the spin.Victory for the Raiders would have put them just two points behind Manly Sea Eagles, who were resoundingly beaten 30-16 by Canterbury Bulldogs.Marcelo Montoya notched a pair of first-half tries before scores from Brenko Lee and twin Morris brothers Josh and Brett, the latter with his second, closed out the victory.A double for @bmozzle! #NRLBulldogsManly 30-10 with 9 minutes remaining.#NRL pic.twitter.com/CvzjYcj6xg— NRL (@NRL) August 20, 2017 Photo Getty Images. Caption: Tyrone May scored Penrith Panthers’ late winner against Canberra Raiders
That was the positive spin being put on the latest injury update provided by All Blacks coach Steve Hansen before his team’s departure for their away Rugby Championship match in Buenos Aires against Argentina.Hansen confirmed Dagg was his fourth player to have his season ended prematurely with his ongoing knee problems, but said the overall prognosis was much better than was originally feared.”Izzy has been to see his surgeon and the news is relatively positive in that with a good rest his knee should be OK for him to play on,” said Hansen shortly before a Friday evening flight out for Argentina. “He’ll be taking that rest from now until the beginning of next rugby season.”Dagg joins props Owen Franks (Achilles tendon) and Joe Moody (dislocated shoulder) and utility back Jordie Barrett (shoulder) on the rehab list. All three have had the required surgery and started their recoveries.”Owen and Joe both come through their ops really well and their rehab is under way,” Hansen said.Beauden Barrett confirmed his younger brother was also as active as he could be in his post-operative state.”Jordie is good. He’s in Taranaki whitebaiting, though he’s a bit disappointed they’re not running at the moment,” said Beauden who was a late callup for the Argentina leg to replace expectant dad LIma Sopoaga. “He’s still in his sling, so I don’t think he’s doing much farmwork at the moment. He’s spending most of his time down at the river.”Hansen said the rehab programmes for Franks, Moody and Barrett had all been well mapped out with their franchises to allow for a return to the field in 2018.”Everybody is aware of what we’re doing and what the time-lines are and we’ll have a check point for all three in another four weeks.”For Dagg, the prognosis will be welcomed after the 29-year-old 66-test wing-fullback had undergone somewhat of a late-career rejuvenation following his 2015 World Cup non-selection.He played in 12 tests in 2016, starting them all, and had been a fixture in the run-on XV for the All Blacks’ first four tests for 2017 before the knee problem reared its head again.He had surgery on his right knee in March after a Super Rugby injury against the Reds, and spent six weeks on the sidelines.He missed the first two Bledisloe Cup tests against the Wallabies with the problem, returned for the test against the Pumas in New Plymouth, but had to hobble off.Photo by: PHIL WALTER/GETTY IMAGES Caption:Israel Dagg scores a try against Argentina but won’t play again this year after a knee injury.
Tegan McCarthy took out silver and Savannah Tkatchenko won the bronze. McCarthy clocked in at 2:44:95 sec behind gold medalist from New Caledonia Lara Grangeon who finished in 2:33:20 sec. Lara broke the Games record of 2:36:57 sec.Tkatchenko recorded 2:45:23 sec in front of a sell out crowd.
The PNG’s ball handling errors in the first half of the match allowed the opponents to take full advantage in scoring the two goals.The home side opened the score board when defender Fred Fakarii who picked up a poor clearance by Papua New Guinea.Lurking on the left wing was Moffat Kilifa who picked up a quick pass from Micah Lea’alafa which he directed into the centre for Benjamin Totori to finish from outside the 18 yard box.The second goal for the home team was through Joses Nawo who just ahead of the break slotted home their second goal to lead 2-0 at the halftime break.Papua New Guinea came back strong in the second half as they strung passes together and occasionally threatened the Solomon Islands goals but were not able to score.Though attempts from Papua New Guinea’s Tommy Semmy, who is gaining a Pacific wide reputation as one of the fiercest strikers, attracted a lot of interest from the Solomon Islands defenders whenever he had the ball.However, it was a tough match in the first friendly. The two teams will meet again this Sunday to conclude the series.