Celje Pivovarna Lasko, SG Flensburg and CAI Aragon will fight for the Cup Winners Cup Final 2011/2012. Fourth team will be known after second clash between VfL Gummersbach and Swiss Bern Muri (first match 32:23 for Germans).S.L. Benfica : RK Celje Pivovarna Laško 31:30 (15:16) (first match 23:29)S.L. Benfica: Ferreirinho, Candeias 15 sav; Tavares 6/4, Lopes, Pais 3, Zaikin 3, Pedroso 4, Roque, Graça, Carneiro 7, Silva 1, Grilo, Areia 3, Costa 4, Carmo, trener: Carlos LisboaRK Celje Pivovarna Laško: Lesjak, Perič 15/1 sav, Skok; Mlakar, Marguč 2, Razgor, Toskič 6, Ranevski, Poklar 2, Poteko, Metličič 6, Zelenovič, Žabič 1, Mačkovšek 4, Žvižej 9/4; trener: Vladan MatičSG Flensburg – Motor Zaporozya 27:32 (first match 39:30)CAI Aragon – Brest Meshkov 29:25 (first match 26:24) ← Previous Story EHF CL: C.O Zagreb and AG Copenhagen in fight for F4! Next Story → Men’s EHF Cup (1/4 Final): Three German teams for the Final! Belarus handballBrest MeshkovCAI AragonCelje Pivovarna LaskoSG Flensburg
bartolomiej jaszkaFuchse Berlinhandballpilka reczna Bartolomiej Jaszka has had problems with his shoulder in the past season, and the things got to the point where an operation was necessary. The Polish national team player Fuchse Berlin player underwent an operation in Poland, and first reports say that the player is likely to miss at least five months. This has prompted the Fuchse Berlin to look for replacement, and they found one in – Petar Nenadic, who has already been presented as Fuchse Berlin player. ← Previous Story ASOBAL schedule released, some teams yet to fulfill requirements Next Story → Wisla Plock signs Tioumentsev
MET ÉIREANN HAS issued a rainfall warning for today for Munster, Leinster and Co Monaghan.Between 25 to 40mm of rain is expected throughout the day in the affected regions, with up to 50mm possible in mountainous areas.The weather service is warning this may lead to flooding in places.Meanwhile, there’s a warning that strong onshore winds along the south coast may lead to flooding at high tide today.It will remain very mild amidst all the rain however, with highest temperatures of 14 to 17 degrees.Further heavy and possibly thundery showers are expected in southern and western counties tomorrow, but there will be good dry periods in the east and north.Read: Minor eclipse of the Moon to last for hours tonight
HOTELS, PUBS AND restaurants around Dublin will know by tomorrow morning how they are coping with the water restrictions in the capital.While many of the larger businesses have water tanks capable of storing enough water to hold them over for a few days, others are not sure how they will be affected by the water shortages, which kicked in at 8pm tonight.Some are adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach to the issue.With the Web Summit bringing thousands of extra people to the capital, the manager of San Lorenzo restaurant on George’s St said it was a bad time to be shutting off the water supply.He said that their main concern was if the water supply to the toilets becomes affected, as if it is then they would have to close their doors due to health and safety concerns.He described DCC’s decision as “incredibly short sighted”, particularly given the Web Summit and the fact the weekend is on its way so restaurants will be busier than normal. “It’s ridiculous,” he said.At Izakaya restaurant on George’s St, the staff said it was ‘business as usual’.At the Central Hotel on Exchequer St, the manager, Indra, said that they “don’t know how much it is going to affect us” and noted that the hotel is currently full. “We will have to wait and see,” he said.At the Maldron Hotel on Cardiff Lane, food and beverage manager Ian Finnan said that they are anticipating “very few issues”. “We have extremely large water holding facilities to allow for this or any other water emergency. We can hold up to five days’ worth of stock,” he said.However, he acknowledged that for other food and beverage-related businesses, such as restaurants, that don’t have the space for large water tanks, “it would be extremely damaging” and could affect their ability to trade.“We are quite lucky,” he said, adding that the water shortage is a “very serious issue” and “very embarrassing” for DCC and the city as a whole.Earlier today, the Irish Restaurant Association was critical about the shortage. Adrian Cummins, its chief executive, said that the restrictions are “going to seriously affect business” in Dublin. He called for the restrictions to be implemented later in the evening, from 9.30pm or later.Read: Council issues water-saving tips ahead of Dublin night restrictions>Read: ‘Ireland is like a third world country when it comes to water supply’>
She said that recovery will “come from the middle out, not the top down” as she outlined the strategy that Labour will be pursuing in the weeks and months ahead.“It is the earnings of the middle and working classes that have always fuelled economic expansion here – and growth in their wages will be central to real and lasting recovery,” she said.Earlier, Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin pledged to repeal the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act (FEMPI) when “the emergency is over”.This law allows him to unilaterally cut public sector pay in some sectors in the event that unions do not agree to the Haddington Road Agreement.Conference has heard a motion calling for its repeal this morning and Howlin said he was happy to support the motion and repeal the legislation once the economy improves.Read: Labour conference hears call for Gilmore to resign over disability cutsLIVE: The 66th Labour Party national conference in Killarney LABOUR HAS YET to offer a “reliable remedy” to workers and families who face “unprecedented threats to their living standards” the Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton has said.Speaking at the Labour conference in Killarney this morning, Burton admitted that her party needed to do more and rejected what she said is the “the conservative consensus is that low labour costs are the key to growth and job creation”.She was speaking on a motion that called for the gradual introduction of the living wage, a policy that Burton has been strongly advocating in recent weeks.“Workers and their families face unprecedented threats to their living standards and we as social democrats have yet to offer them a reliable remedy,” she told delegates 1,000 days after party members endorsed coalition with Fine Gael.
A YOUNG IRISH man who was killed in a hit-and-run will be remembered at Aston Villa’s next home game.Jody O’Reilly, a 22-year-old Kildare native who moved to the UK to study PE at the University of Wolverhampton, was planning to attend Aston Villa’s meeting with Manchester United on 15 December but died after being hit by a car early that day.Friends of Jody began a campaign in which they asked the club to honour him and Villa have promised to oblige when they host Crystal Palace on St Stephen’s Day.Although they had originally asked for a minute’s silence, the club will make it an applause instead.“The Club extends its sincerest condolences to the O’Reilly family and to Jody’s many friends following this tragic loss of life in the hours leading up to our game against Manchester United,” a statement released by the club reads. Jody had tickets for the game and in the three years since he first came over from Ireland – having selected his university course in 2010 so he could be as close as possible to Villa Park – he had become a regular attender at Villa games.“We will be holding a minute’s applause prior to kick-off against Crystal Palace on Boxing Day in respect of his passing and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.”Once a Saint… Keith Fahey rejoins St Patrick’s AthleticUnited’s Fellaini faces lengthy lay off after surgery – report
Updated at 8.41pmSCOTTISH POLICE SAID today they had found the body of a three-year-old boy who went missing from his bed in Edinburgh, calling off a search involving hundreds of volunteers. His mother is being questioned by police.Mikaeel Kular, who is of South Asian origin, had last been seen on Wednesday evening at his family’s home to the north of the Scottish capital.Police launched a major ground, air and sea search while more than 200 volunteers helped comb through woodland and the nearby coastline in a desperate bid to find the little boy.Early this morning, however, Assistant Chief Constable Malcolm Graham of Police Scotland announced that Mikaeel’s body had been found shortly before midnight on Friday in Fife, to the north of Edinburgh.The BBC reports that Mikaeel’s mother, 33-year-old Rosdeep Kular has been detained for questioning.“As a result of enquiries the body of a young child was recovered in Fife just before midnight. We strongly believe this to be the body of Mikaeel,” Graham said.“A person has been detained in connection with the recovery of the body and members of Mikaeel’s family have been informed of the recovery. Our thoughts and sympathies are with them at this time.“I would like to thank everyone who has responded to these highly unusual events by assisting with searches and other activities in support of this investigation.”First posted at 7.50am.- © AFP, 2014Read: Disappearance of three-year-old Mikaeel Kular ‘may have been criminal act’>
THE PUBLIC EXPENDITURE Minister says that the new whistleblowers legislation is not designed to frighten employers, it is designed empower workers.Introducing the Protected Disclosures Bill 2013 into the Dáil tonight, Brendan Howlin called the bill a “catalyst to change”.“I see the introduction of such protections as a catalyst for a change which views openness and transparency as an asset rather than a liability, a change towards a culture that values the contribution of employees and citizens and recognises those contributions as positive, effective tools in working towards the achievement of the common good rather than as something to be limited or destroyed.Good employers have nothing to fear from their employees reporting things that are going wrong. The ideal therefore is to encourage employers to adopt a culture that readily accepts reports of wrongdoing from its workers. The bill was agreed by Seán Fleming of Fianna Fáil and Mary-Lou McDonald of Sinn Féin.McDonald said that while she welcomed the bill, she felt the timing, in light of a Garda whistleblower appearing before the Public Accounts Committee to be ironic.““The irony of the Minister presenting the Protected Disclosures Bill at this time will not be lost on many in light of recent events at the PAC.Last week government Ministers cynically used the media to question the motivation of opposition members of the committee, undermining the work of the PAC and arguably the whistleblower himself.“Brendan Howlin must ensure that the necessary supports, resources and training are provided to maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of the Whistleblower legislation.”Read: Damien Kiberd: Are whistleblowers saints? The ethics can be complicatedRead: Garda whistleblower will speak to PAC today…but you won’t be able to watch
Today, our nation moves closer toward its ideals of equality and fairness for all.The text will “formally instruct all Department employees to give lawful same-sex marriages full and equal recognition, to the greatest extent possible under the law,” according to the excerpts.Holder, the first African American attorney general, also plans to stress that his predecessors played a key role in the civil rights movement half a century ago.“As all-important as the fight against racial discrimination was then, and remains today, know this: my commitment to confronting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity runs just as deep,” Holder will say, according to the excerpts.- © AFP, 2014Read: Panti Bliss for St Patrick’s Day parade? It’s looking unlikely >Read: Scotland becomes latest country to legalise same-sex marriage > US ATTORNEY GENERAL Eric Holder will expand government recognition of same-sex marriages in all federal courtrooms and prisons on Monday, and ensure they receive the same benefits as heterosexual ones.The inaugural move, which Holder announced last night at a gay rights dinner gala in New York, marks a major gain for advocates of same-sex couples in the US after the Supreme Court there issued two rulings expanding gay marriage rights last year.Under the new policy, same-sex couples will enjoy the privileges even in states that do not recognise their marriages, so long as they legally married in another state.Among the key benefits the Justice Department will now ensure are extended to same-sex couples are the compensation fund for the September 11 2001 attacks, as well as death and educational benefits for the surviving spouses of police officers and firefighters injured or killed in the line of duty.“In every courthouse, in every proceeding, and in every place where a member of the Department of Justice stands on behalf of the United States, they will strive to ensure that same-sex marriages receive the same privileges, protections and rights as opposite-sex marriages under federal law,” Holder said in his speech.Same-sex marriage supporters at a courthouse in San Francisco (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) Same-sex couples would also be held to the same legal standard as their heterosexual counterparts on matters such as how debts are handled in federal bankruptcy proceedings and visitation policies at federal prisons, as well as compassionate release or sentence reductions in certain cases of crisis involving their spouse.PraiseAdvocates of gay rights immediately hailed the decision.“This landmark announcement will change the lives of countless committed gay and lesbian couples for the better. While the immediate effect of these policy decisions is that all married gay couples will be treated equally under the law, the long-term effects are more profound,” Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin said in a statement.
Neil Lennon has been spot on in most of his decision-making in the Champions League this season, with his highly astute tactics integral to Celtic’s shock victory over Barcelona.However, he made one error of judgement ahead of Tuesday’s tie with Juventus that looks like ultimately playing a large part in costing the club their place in the competition.Choosing to start Efe Ambrose, only just after he had completed an exhaustive trip back from African Cup of Nations duty, seemed unwise even prior to the game, and so it proved.The defender was at fault for two of Celtic’s three goals and also missed a glorious opportunity to score a header at a crucial point in the match.Ambrose deserves a degree of sympathy, given that the defender would have found it very difficult to turn down the chance to play in one of the biggest matches of his career, but Lennon surely should have realised the peril he was putting his team in by selecting the Nigerian international. YouTube credit: NewsVideosHD1Given the impressive nature of their performances against Man City among others, many have suggested Dortmund are more than capable of repeating their 1997 feat of winning the Champions League.The German club undoubtedly possess the talent to triumph, with players such as Robert Lewandowski and Mario Goetze among the finest to grace the competition.And indeed, the aforementioned two combined well for Dortmund’s opening goal against Shakhtar Donetsk last night.Moreover, the Germans also demonstrated a significant degree of resolve to complement their technical mastery, with Mats Hummels’ late header earning them a hard-earned point against a strong Shakhtar outfit.Consequently, they are now favourites to progress in the tie, and will undoubtedly be fancied to go even further in the competition thereafter.5. PSG dark horses for Champions League crownGiven the degree of rapid change that’s occurred at PSG in such a short space of time, it’s reasonable to suggest that the side remains a work in progress.And owing to their relative lack of experience with such circumstances, many observers were perhaps expecting a Man City-style flop in this year’s Champions League.However, the impressive manner in which they beat Valencia away from home the other night suggests otherwise.They outclassed the Spanish outfit for the most part, and the 2-1 scoreline barely reflected the level of dominance which the visitors enjoyed.Therefore, suddenly the price of 16/1 on PSG winning the competition seems somewhat tempting.Ian Harte, Tim Flowers and Danny Blind Date: Here’s our footballers’ Valentine’s Day XI>Analysis: It’s David’s night, not Ronaldo’s at Bernabeu> 1. The referees need to up their gameIN TUESDAY’S GAME between Celtic and Juventus, it was obvious to everyone watching that infringements were regularly occurring at corners in the penalty area.Yet instead of applying common sense and awarding a penalty, the referee invariably chose to ignore these incidents and even booked the Celtic players for complaining at times.This tiresome habit of players grabbing each other’s jerseys has been indulged by UEFA and referees for far too long, and unless they act on it, the game will continue to lose credibility as a result.Moreover, the performance of the referee in the PSG-Valencia tie was equally inept, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s extremely harsh sending off among several officiating gaffes evident on the night.2. Lennon gets big decision wrong 3. Phil Jones is an accomplished midfielderAhead of United’s game with Real Madrid last night, some of the English club’s fans were surprised and somewhat concerned at the prospect of Phil Jones being asked to do a job in midfield – an unnatural position for someone who is primarily regarded as a centre back.Indeed, perhaps such reservations were justified to a degree, given the player’s lack of game time this season, coupled with the fact that Fergie’s tendency to deploy makeshift central midfielders – Alan Smith and Rio Ferdinand spring to mind – often end in failure.However, last night Jones was crucial in helping United secure a result that has put them in a very healthy position for the second leg.Aside from one clumsy challenge on Di Maria that could have resulted in a penalty, the ex-Blackburn man gave a performance full of intelligence and commitment, silencing his critics in the process.4. Dortmund back up the hype
IRELAND’S 146 JUDGES claimed travel, subsistence and other expenses worth a total of €1.674 million last year.The figures reflect a 42 per cent fall in judges’ expenses since 2008.Almost all of the amount was incurred by the 64 judges of the District Court and the 38 judges of the Circuit Court, whose roles usually require them to travel between several courthouses in provincial towns.Eight members of the Supreme Court received a total of €9,917 in costs, about half of which related to subsistence for travelling to conferences.36 members of the High Court incurred costs of €107,606.The costs include €57,915 in ‘incidental’ expenses, including the costs of judicial attire, for which new rules were introduced last year.A Courts Service spokesman said this cost was unusually high and reflected the appointment of almost 20 new judges last year, an unusually high number.Read: Out with the old: Supreme Court ditches traditional robes
THREE MEN WERE arrested over the week as Revenue Custom’s Service carried out operations at Dublin Airport.Quantities of cocaine, cigarettes and tobacco were seized.On Tuesday, a 37-year-old South African man was stopped as he arrived on a flight from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil because officers suspected he had ingested drugs.He was handed over to the Garda Drug unit from Ballymun and was subsequently found to have ingested 77 pellets of cocaine. Each weighted about 80 grams and the total value is thought to be about €56,000. He appeared in court yesterday.On Wednesday, two men were arrested off a flight from Tenerife.A 43-year-old man from Derry was found to have 8.75kgs of Austin-brand roll-your-own tobacco and 1,600 CK brand cigarettes concealed in his luggage. They had a retail value of €4,149 which would cost the Exchequer a possible €3,385.From the same flight, a Lithuanian man was arrested after officers found 4,420 Winston and Respect brand cigarettes and 4kgs of Turner brand roll-your-own tobacco in his baggage. The products have a retail value of €3,597 and a potential loss to the Exchequer of €2,872.They both appeared before Judge Patricia McNamara in the Criminal Courts of Justice yesterday morning, and were remanded in custody to appear again next Tuesday and Wednesday.Read: Plane damaged on Dublin Airport runway was carrying… rats and miceComments on this article have been disabled as legal proceedings have started.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND captain Robbie Keane is the second-highest paid player in Major League Soccer, taking home a pay packet of $4.33 million this year.The latest figures show that at $4 million, Keane earns the league’s highest base salary and is second only to Thierry Henry whose total pay at the New York Red Bulls comes to $4.35 million in 2013.The Dubliner has been a big hit since his move to America, with his goals helping the LA Galaxy to back-to-back MLS Cups in 2011 and 2012.Earlier this year Keane signed an extension which will see him remain in Los Angeles until the end of the 2015 season.Henry’s base salary dropped from $5 million to $3.75 million, according to the annual figures released by the MLS Players Union yesterday, but the former French international’s guaranteed bonuses take his overall salary slightly above Keane.Among the other high earners are former Everton star Tim Cahill who makes over $3.6 million alongside Henry at the Red Bulls while American international Landon Donovan is paid $2.5 million by the Galaxy.Not everybody is bringing in such big bucks though. Irish international Darren O’Dea, who plays with Toronto FC, will earn just over $450,000 in 2013.See the full breakdown of salaries here >Joey Barton gets suspended 2-match ban for ‘overweight ladyboy’ tweet
RYANAIR HAS INCHED closer to a major landmark in passenger numbers after recording a 5 per cent increase in the number of people taking flights in May.The no-frills airline carried 7.86 million passengers last month, an increase of 350,000 on the equivalent period in 2012.The 5 per cent monthly increase means the airline’s total passenger numbers in the last 12 months have grown by 4 per cent – standing at 79.8 million passengers.The airline now stands poised to break the 80 million passengers barrier for the first time, and may past that milestone when its figures for June are reported.Last June the airline carried 4,397,627 passengers – a number which will need to increase by 5.2 per cent next month, to 4,626,463, if the barrier is to be breached.Ryanair also reported a minor increase in its load factor, a way of measuring the quantity of seats filled on each flight.Last month 82 per cent of all seats on Ryanair flights were occupied, matching the rolling 12-month average since the start of last year.The annual passenger figure of 79.8 million consolidates Ryanair’s position as the largest airline in Europe by passenger numbers, and the sixth-busiest in the world.Air France-KLM carried 77.1 million passengers in 2012, ahead of Lufthansa at 74.7 million.Delta Air Lines, the world’s most popular airline, carried 164.6 million passengers last year.Read: Ryanair may be forced to reduce its stake in rival Aer Lingus
AT THE HUMLEGAARDEN park in central Stockholm, Anders Weide keeps an eye on his young daughter Alma sleeping in her pram as he waits for a friend who’s gone to change his son’s diaper.In Sweden, the image surprises no one.“It’s very important to see fathers walking in town with prams, it sets an example,” explains Malmoe University sociologist Lars Plantin, who specialises in parenting issues.Numerous sociological studies have shown that Swedish fathers are more involved in raising their children and domestic chores than fathers in other countries, Plantin noted.They frequently drop off and pick up their children at school and accompany them to after-school activities. They take days off work to care for their sick kids, they put band-aids on scrapes and cook meals: Swedish fathers are now expected to share the tasks that once belonged solely to mothers.Hoovering Prime MinisterIn a sign of the times, a monthly magazine called “Pappa” has been published since 2011, targeting “the man who aims to invest time in his children, his relationships and his career.”Even at the highest levels of business and politics, fathers are involved in family life and the home.Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has often spoken of his passion for hoovering and cleaning. While he and his ex-wife Filippa may now be divorced with three children, when they were married she was able to climb the ladder of her own political career while he ran the country’s affairs.Since 1976, couples who separate or divorce in Sweden are by default awarded joint custody, with many children spending one week with mum and one week with dad.“The prevailing thinking is that the child does best when he or she has good relationships with both parents, which encourages the idea of joint custody,” says Anna Singer, a professor of civil law at Uppsala University.“The system encourages fathers to take their responsibilities, it has encouraged people,” she adds.Gender equalitySweden’s long tradition of gender equality naturally plays a role.“Gender equality is a prerequisite for Sweden to progress. It’s not a purely ideological issue, it’s an economic one also,” Plantin says.Sweden “can’t afford to have half its population excluded from the job market. It’s not about leaving the men at home, but getting women to work more,” he explains.Official figures from Eurostat show that 77.2 percent of women in Sweden held down a job in 2011, the highest level in the European Union.Children are guaranteed a spot in daycare as of the age of 12 months for a very modest sum, making it possible for women to return to work.Yet Sweden still has a way to go in terms of equality in the workplace. While 82 percent of children have two working parents, only 42 percent of women work full-time compared to 74 percent of men, according to Statistics Sweden.Parental leaveWhen it comes to what is considered the symbol of gender equality, Sweden’s generous 16-month parental leave that can be taken by either mothers or fathers, women still take the majority of it, claiming 75 percent.When it was introduced in 1974, mothers took 99.5 percent of it. When one month was reserved for fathers in 1995 under a “use it or lose it” system, fathers slowly began staying home with their children.In 2002, a second month was reserved for fathers, and they have no excuse not to take it: parental leave can be used anytime up until the child turns eight years old.“We’re heading in the right direction, but it’s going too slowly,” says Ulrika Haggstroem, analyst at the TCO white collar workers’ union.She thinks at least three months should be reserved for dads.Closer familyFor Anders Weide in the park, spending time with his daughter was a “natural” choice. He has been home with her on paternity leave since January.“I would have missed out on the relationship I have with Alma if I hadn’t done it. We’re closer as a family,” he says. Employed in healthcare, he plans to go back to work in September.While employers have to let both mothers and fathers take their parental leave, some workplaces are more understanding than others.“My colleagues, especially the men, weren’t very understanding,” admits Set Moklint, 31, who works as an emergency call centre operator.But he welcomes the extra economic incentive provided by the Social Insurance Agency: parents who share their parental leave both get a bonus throughout their leave.“It gives us 120 euros extra each per month. We would have done it even without the bonus, but it helps,” he says.Fathers’ involvement in the home also plays a part in Sweden’s high birth rate, according to Lotta Persson, an analyst at Statistics Sweden.In 2011, with 1.9 children per woman, the Scandinavian country came in just behind Ireland and France in Eurostat’s statistics.- © AFP 2013.Column: Being a stay-at-home father was challenging until I found my inner strength>Read: Parental leave extended from 14 weeks to 18 weeks>
NOBODY PANIC, BUT a mysterious giant hole has been discovered in a remote part of Siberia.The area’s name, Yamal, translates as the ‘end of the world’ – and it holds some of the country’s largest gas reserves.We said don’t panic. Source: YoutubeThe Siberian Times reports that scientists are investigating the crater, believed to be up to 80 metres wide. It’s not yet known how deep it goes. Shudder.Researchers are as yet unsure what may have caused it but there’s speculation that it could have been made by a meteorite hitting the earth, or an underground explosion.Footage shot from a helicopter shows it to be dark, deep, and uncannily like a gateway to hell: Source: Bulka/YouTubeRussia’s Emergency Ministry has ruled out a meteorite, but say it’s too early to know what caused the crater.Anna Kurchatova from the Sub-Arctic Scientific Research Centre thinks the hole was formed by an underground explosion as a result of global warming.She says gas may have accumulated in ice mixed with sand and salt – when the ice melted, it caused an explosion “like popping a champagne bottle”.As long as they don’t start ‘popping’ up everywhere we’ll be fine. We hope. Source: emimusic/YouTubeThe ‘Hairy Legs Club’ is telling women it’s OK not to shave – and it’s causing uproar>Insane near-miss in a racecar doesn’t even phase driver>
Wilkinson’s kicking routine involved envisioning a can of beer in a fan’s hand behind the posts, and then attempting to hit the vessel with his kick. Leigh Halfpenny closes his eyes and transports himself back to home village Gorseinon before each attempt at goal.Does Briggs share repeated habits such as those? She has read Wilkinson’s book, studying the craft and its component parts, as well as speaking to other place-kickers.“I’ve often had chats with Ian Keatley [Munster’s out-half] about it,” answers Briggs, there are loads of different things. You pick a target usually and, for me, it’s very much a mental thing then, because I feel if I can get my mental side right, more often than not the kick will go over the bar.“You do pick a target. I’m definitely not at the standard of Jonny Wilkinson where I can pick a beer can. It’s usually something behind the goal, a billboard or a tree, or something like that. I focus on that and go through my set routine.”“I usually just try to talk myself into a calm demeanour and then you have key points that you keep reiterating to yourself. They’re the ones I say before every kick and that’s usually in my head.”The 70th-minute penalty against New Zealand yesterday with the game tied at 14-14 , received an enforced version of Briggs’ key points. The result was a game-winning three points for Ireland.Before the last kick yesterday, I actually said them out loud to really focus in on it.”Briggs credits McWilliams with a steadying influence over her place-kicking, pointing out that both she and Ireland’s coaching staff view place-kicks as often being “the winning or losing of the game.”“Greg is all about getting the best out of players,” says Briggs. “You can see that from the way we attack. He comes on the pitch and he’s calm and cool. Before that last kick yesterday, he was almost having the chats with me, to try and calm me down.” The Munster fullback on the counter-attack against the Kiwis. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHOAway from the tee, Briggs has been inspirational for Ireland too. Her kicking from hand has been especially important, gaining Ireland vital territory and frustrating the US and Kiwis as the ball flew beyond their covering defenders.In a game where the end-over-end punt has become the norm, Briggs’ classical spiralling style of kicking is a breath of fresh air.Her intelligent counter-attack and accurate pass sent Miller clear to score in the left-hand corner against the Black Ferns, while Briggs’ cover tackling has been as reliable as ever in covering any busts of Ireland’s formidable front-up defence.Putting it all together, Briggs is contributing in a major way to Irish women’s rugby, which has been consistently improving and impressing in recent years. This group can inspire a new generation of female rugby players, something Briggs would love to see.It’s great to see that the game is evolving all the time and that’s what we want – more girls playing rugby.“We want more girls to be out playing and enjoying it. I’m not sure about inspiration and role models, but in terms of trying to get people playing, it’s brilliant if we can do that.”Close shave for Women’s Rugby S&C coach after All Blacks vowWatch highlights of Ireland’s historic Rugby World Cup win over New Zealand I’ll never forget the very first session in Bohs, I turned up and there were 22 girls at training,” explains Briggs. “Ian Costello [now an assistant coach with Munster] pulled us in afterwards and said, ‘This is not good enough, everybody needs to be training.’“That kind of attitude really helped me to understand what’s needed. You have the likes of Fiona Coghlan, Caroline Mahon, Jeannette Feighery – all these girls who were seasoned internationals. Briggs sinks to her knees at the final whistle in Marcoussis. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO“You could go in and hit a bag in training and they’d rile you out of it in front of everyone because you didn’t hit it hard enough. They had a mantra there that you should train the way you play.”The standards in Annacotty proved a “wake-up call” for Briggs, who had only just returned from playing for Ireland at the 2010 World Cup in England. The sight of Coghlan “absolutely pummelling” into contact sessions on the wettest, coldest nights inspired the same “attitude and enthusiasm for the game” in Briggs.One of the areas the Waterford native looked to address in her training approach was place-kicking, which has proved so important for Ireland in the current World Cup.Briggs stands at an 80% success rate after two games, slotting eight of her 10 efforts at goal. Having taken to place-kicking when she moved to Clonmel in ’08, the evolution has been fascinating.It was a natural progression. It was one of the easiest parts of the game, coming from a GAA background, to be able to kick. In the women’s game, kicking isn’t very big, so it’s hard to get coaching in it.“But after the 2010 World Cup, I really felt like I let myself down in that aspect of the game. I spoke to Ian Costello, and he’s done a lot of work with me. I was always pressing myself via YouTube videos of Jonny Wilkinson, ROG, Jonny Sexton, these guys, trying to emulate them.“I kind of had a natural instinct for it, but sometimes couldn’t get the consistency. That’s where Cossie and Greg McWilliams [Ireland’s attack, backs and skills guru] have really helped me in the last few years, that consistency in return rates. I’m delighted it seems to be going well for me at the moment.”That said, the perfectionist in Briggs is not content.I missed one in the US game, I missed one yesterday, both very kickable. I’m not there just yet, but I’m striving for it.” FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS in Dungarvan, County Waterford, Niamh Briggs has developed into a star of global women’s rugby.Following a superb try-scoring performance in Ireland’s World Cup opener against the US on Friday, the 29-year-old fullback kicked seven points and set up Alison Miller’s crucial try in yesterday’s historic 17-14 victory over New Zealand.Not that Briggs’ and the Irish squad’s ambitions end with that success.“For us, it’s only step two in the five-step process of the ultimate goal,” points out Briggs, who plays her club rugby for UL Bohemians in Limerick. Victory over Kazakhstan on Saturday will send Ireland into a first-ever World Cup semi-final.Briggs began playing rugby with local club Dungarvan in 2007, having been brought up in a GAA family – older brother Shane is the current captain of Waterford’s footballers.After swiftly adapting and excelling in rugby, Briggs made the move to Clonmel RFC a year later in order to play senior rugby. In 2010, the Garda was re-stationed to Limerick and opted to join a highly-professional set-up at UL Bohs.
Google may have drawn first blood with free Google Maps Navigation (and more recently Google Maps for Android), but there is no question that Apple is getting serious about mapping as well. Apple Insider just noticed that the company posted four identical job listings, all looking for an iOS Software Engineer with a “Deep knowledge of Computational Geometry or Graph Theory” and “Experience with Linux server-side development of distributed systems”. The most important part though is the final component of the “Valuable Experience” section: applicants need “Experience developing navigation software”.This all seems to indicate that Apple developing its own turn-by-turn navigation service, something that can compete with Google’s free offering. We know that Apple has acquired PlaceBase and Poly9, so something big was in the pipeline, plus we’ve gotten the distinct feeling that Apple isn’t a fan of Google Maps. So all signs are pointing to Apple getting into navigation and mapping much more considerably than they have so far.GIS expert James Fee noted that:Navigation though is a space that I’m sure Apple thinks they can do some really amazing stuff. Navigation devices are clunky and difficult to use. A little of the Apple design magic might lift all boats (and by all boats I mean only Apple and Google). Read more (or apply) at Apple, via Apple Insider
When the 3DS was officially unveiled there was an extra piece of kit that Nintendo made a big deal about shipping with the handheld. It was a charging dock for your 3DS to sit in and recharge when not in use.How nice, we thought at the time, but there was a reason Nintendo decided to make charging your device as easy as possible: the battery doesn’t last anywhere near as long as a DS. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata even admitted as much back in October during a Q&A session where he stated:As for the battery, it is inevitable that Nintendo 3DS will be a device which requires more frequent recharging than Nintendo DS. This is why we are going to include the cradle, which is a dedicated battery charger. Perhaps we may need to dispatch to our consumers a message, something like, “Please place your Nintendo 3DS on the cradle as soon as you return home with it.” Nintendo has now updated its Japanese 3DS website to include a hardware page describing the different components of the system. Here’s the important bits about the battery:3DS charging time: 3 hours 30 minutesBattery life playing 3DS games: 3-5 hoursBattery life playing DS games: 5-8 hoursNintendo also state that those times are only approximate and may be shorter “depending on operating conditions”. The 8 hours upper limit stated for DS games requires the brightness of the displays be turned right down.We expected the battery life to be shorter for 3DS games due to the 3D viewing experience requiring it to dual render, and the always-connected wireless of the device for StreetPass. But for DS games with no 3D we expected a little more play time between charges.For anyone wondering what comes in the box with their 3DS, here’s the contents list also taken from the hardware page:Nintendo 3DSNintendo 3DS charger standAC adapter for Nintendo 3DSNintendo 3DS dedicated stylusSD Memory Card (2 GB)AR cards (6), reflecting the play outside the camera using the compatible softwareQuick Start GuideInstruction ManualGuaranteeRead more at Joystiq
Portal 2 has been available to play for a few weeks now, giving gamers time to complete a playthrough multiple times and, in some cases, award it a very poor zero score on Metacritic.Those same players will have a good idea and opinion about the design of the levels in Valve‘s latest release, and some of those opinions are bound to be negative. So rather than complaining on a forum of your choice, you can instead do something about it.AdChoices广告PC gamers now have the option of downloading the beta of the Portal 2 Authoring Tools. They can be found in Steam under the Tools tab and once installed allow you to start creating single-player and co-op maps for the game. Just to be clear, this is the same set of tools the Portal 2 development team used for the game, so you should have the same freedom as they did to create.You aren’t limited just to the assets that ship with the game, either. The tools allow you to create and add your own character skins, use your own 3D models, and even produce your own sound effects and music. So if you fancy making Portal 2 in your own way, then this is your opportunity.Included in the Authoring Tools download is the latest version of the Source engine level editor, called Hammer. There’s Faceposer for creating facial expressions, lip-syncing, skeletal animations, and map triggering for scenes, as well as mapping examples for you to learn and work from.Valve recommend joing the Portal 2 and General Source mailing lists. The Valve Developer Community pages are also packed full of useful information.via the Portal 2 blog