Rugby Rant: It’s time to revive the drop-goal

first_imgThe Wilko way: Jonny was renowned for pulling off drop-goals under pressure LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS By Gary WattonIT’S TEN years since Jonny Wilkinson helped net rugby’s greatest prize courtesy of a dramatic drop-goal. And it’s four years since the now retired Ronan O’Gara dropped a goal in the dying minutes in Cardiff to secure Ireland’s first Grand Slam in 61 years.Just two examples of when drop-goals proved critical. So why has there been a sharp decline in the use of such a weapon?Were it not for Dan Biggar’s last-day three-pointer against England, there would have been only one match in this year’s Six Nations which contained a drop-goal: Italy’s defeat of France.The evidence indicates that fly-halves only go for a drop-goal when a penalty has been awarded and a referee is playing advantage, so the drop-goal is the equivalent of cricket’s free hit.Clearly the introduction of the five-point try in the early 1990s has struck a blow to the art of dropping goals. Teams venturing deep into enemy territory have had to decide whether to have a pop at the drop, or chisel away at the defence and run the risk of a turnover, knock-on or ruck infringement.And the stats tell us that sides prefer to gamble on the greater prize of seven points for a converted try.It’s a winner: Bernard Foley’s drop-goal put Australia back in front in Cardiff in 2014Over the past two Six Nations tournaments, only five games out of 30 have yielded drop-goals. This contrasts with the heyday of such ammo in the 1980s, when 56 of the decade’s 100 Five Nations skirmishes saw at least one successful drop-goal. This 56% volume slipped to a mere 31 out of 100 championship Tests in the 1990s. And the infant Six Nations that followed saw drop-goals in only 45 of its first 150 contests, a meagre 30% of the matches.Such a trend is visible too with the Lions: in their 15 Tests dating back to 1993, there have been a paltry three drop-goals – compared to 17 in the previous 23 contests.Yet given that defences are proving tougher to crack and sustained attacks less effective, many teams have cause to question the wisdom of not bagging some reward for their pressure.The drop-goal’s decline is a matter of regret to purists who appreciate the skill and teamwork in an attacking foray that culminates in an accurate drop-goal attempt. Is it time to increase its value to four points, in order to persuade fly-halves that the occasional drop-goal represents good value?I for one believe it is. Check out Ronan O’Gara’s Six Nations Grand Slam-winning drop-goal below This was published in the July 2013 edition of Rugby World. Click here to see what’s in the current issue.last_img read more

Spurs have too much time between games, says Mourinho

first_imgTottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho says he is unhappy with the long break between matches his team have had since the Premier League resumed following the COVID-19 shutdown.Spurs play Sheffield United later on Thursday, nine days after their last match, a 2-0 victory over West Ham United on June 23.”I am not happy to be waiting for this match for so long,” the Portuguese said in a pre-match news conference. “The perfect time in between matches I would always say is three days, especially in this moment when you are chasing your best form, your best intensity.”Mourinho also said record signing Tanguy Ndombele could turn things around. Ndombele was hauled off at halftime and singled out for criticism in Spurs’ last match before the league was suspended in mid-March and has not played since.”I believe Ndombele can turn it around,” Mourinho said.”Football is full of players who have made difficult starts and then ended well. When the talent is there many things can happen with adaptation.”In many other clubs it looks like it’s normal to have great players on the bench: Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich.”At Tottenham I feel is every time a top player is on the bench, it’s a drama. The players and everybody else have to understand it’s not a drama.”Spurs are eighth in the league on 45 points with seven games left to play.Topics :last_img read more

Man who wrote ‘IRA’ in Garda station with own faeces jailed for 8 months

first_imgA man who wrote ‘IRA’ in large letters on a Garda station cell with his own faeces has been jailed for a total of eight months.Joseph Colhoun appeared at Letterkenny District Court charged with a series of offences. The charges included assaulting Gardai, damaging a van, damaging a Garda cell, breaking neighbour’s windows, being intoxicated and assault.The offences all happened between last September and February of this year when Colhoun’s addiction to alcohol spiralled out of control.The court was told by Colhoun’s solicitor Frank Dorrian that his client had lost so many people who had meant so much to him.He initially lost his mother in 2012 to cancer and she had been his guiding light.However, the loss of his brother and then his father Ruby following two separate tragedies when they both drowned in the same stretch of the River Mourne was too much for him to take.Mr Dorrian said “He has been on a collision course and his ideation in recent times has been very dark and unwelcome and he has attempted self-harm.”However, he added that since being in custody he has tried to turn his life around and has been attending bereavement counselling and plans to attend an alcohol rehabilitation centre when he gets out of prison.“He had been utterly and hopelessly out of control but he is a different man today. He is genuinely contrite and is in a better frame of mind,” he added.Garda Sgt Gerard Dalton outlined the litany of offences against the father-of-four of Beechwood Grove, Lifford who already had 43 previous convictions before these charges.The first offence happened on September 1st last year when he was caught swinging a hammer above his head outside his former partner’s house.Gardai arrived and tried to calm him down but he became violent and struck one of them with his head and threatened to bite and headbutt another when arrested.When taken to Letterkenny Gada station he smeared the letters IRA in large writing on the cell wall with his faeces.He was also charged with breaking into a local psychiatric institution where his brother was being treated on March 4th last and then attacking a stranger’s van causing €1,691 worth of damage for no reason.On February 17th he attacked staff at Daly’s Filling Station in Lifford because they would not serve him alcohol at 5.30am.A letter written by Colhoun was handed into Judge Paul Kelly to read.Passing sentence and jailing Colhoun for eight months, Judge Kelly remarked “I hear where you are coming from but the number of offences you have committed, the injury and damage you have caused to a number of people has made it impossible for me to deal with this in any other way than with a custodial sentence.“I will leave you some hope for the future when you do get out.”Man who wrote ‘IRA’ in Garda station with own faeces jailed for 8 months was last modified: April 26th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:courtdonegalfaecesGardajailJoseph Colhounletterkennystationlast_img read more

Zim teen new face of Louis Vuitton

first_imgRay Maota Nyasha Matonhodze, featured here, inthe Louis Vuitton 2011 Fall/WinterCampaign, shot by world renownedfashion photographer, Steven Meisel.(Image: Matonhodze, seen here: in her EliteModels portfolio photo.(Image: Elite Model Management Paris)MEDIA CONTACTS• Elite Model Management Paris+33 1 4044 3222RELATED ARTICLES• Young SA golfer swings to success• Elizabeth Arden’s new SA face• South African actresses make it big in Hollywood• Young writer to publish 18th bookZimbabwean-born Nyasha Matonhodze, 16, is turning heads on high streets across the world after being chosen as one of the faces of Louis Vuitton’s 2011 Autumn/Winter campaign.Matonhodze, who was one of the finalists in the UK Elite Model Look in 2009, had been toying with the idea of modelling since she was 12, but was eventually convinced after watching the TV show America’s Next Top Model.“Since I was 12 I have been tall and thin, so I would always get the whole ‘you should be a model’, but I never really developed a serious interest about it until the TV show America’s Next Top Model,” said the five-foot 11 (180cm) teen.“Seriously, that’s when it all changed for me. Everything I wanted was pretty much based on that show.”The Zimbabwean beauty follows in the footsteps of pop queen Madonna and movie star Scarlett Johansson, who have both previously represented the French fashion label.The 2011 campaign visuals were shot by world-renowned fashion photographer Steven Meisel at a disused aerodrome in Brooklyn, New York, inside a vintage Rolls Royce.“It didn’t actually hit me until I was sitting in a Rolls Royce with Mr Meisel. He is a wonder to work with – he and Marc Jacobs made me feel beautiful,” said Matonhodze.Marc Jacobs is Louis Vuitton’s creative director.“My eyes filled up with tears and I thought ‘Lord you are lucky’,” Matonhodze added.Zimbabwean rootsMatonhodze was born and raised in Zimbabwe by her grandmother until she was eight years old.“I was raised in a very cultural, traditional household. It’s very different to the British culture where my mom lived. I moved to England when I was eight, so I do still have memories of Zimbabwe – like falling asleep in the sand, bathing outside, the warmth of the sun and just the way of living,” she said.Matonhodze’s last visit to Zimbabwe was in 2009.“Moving to England, I saw their perspective on Africa and what they think it’s like, and it’s completely the opposite. I went back to Zimbabwe three years ago and it’s so lovely; they’re happy with who they are and their traditions. I love going back home,” said Matonhodze.She credits her mother as her inspiration, who at the age of 18 went to live and work in London.“She was a single mother at 18 who moved to London without knowing anyone. She’s always worked hard and seeing her overcome so much in life has been an inspiration for me.”Matonhodze also credits her father for instilling a Christian way of life in her.Catwalk and magazine appearancesMatonhodze has walked for various fashion houses and appeared in several glossy magazines since her recruitment into Elite Model Agency in 2009.She was the feature in Wonderland magazine in November 2010 and recently appeared on the covers of LOVE, V, Harper’s Bazaar and Teen Vogue magazines.In 2010 she walked for Louis Gray, Loewe, Jonathan Saunders, Ungaro and Louis Vuitton, and so far in 2011 she has walked for Halston, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Ungaro, Loewe and Louis Vuitton.Not so much of a ‘discovery’ Matonhodze is quick to point out that she wasn’t “discovered” at a shopping centre as gossipmongers say. She says her parents went with her to an agency when she was 14 to enquire about modelling opportunities.“My discovery wasn’t so much of a discovery. At 14 my mum and my stepdad went into Elite Models to see if I could actually model.”In a recent interview in New York magazine Matonhodze said: “If you’re not strong-minded, modelling can knock your confidence quite harshly. Every day you’re judged on your looks, and more so today you’re judged on your personality.last_img read more

Georgia Enacts Changes to Economic Nexus

first_imgGeorgia Gov. Brian Kemp has signed legislation enacting sales and use tax economic nexus changes for the state. The Georgia Department of Revenue has issued guidance on the changes, Policy Bulletin SUT-2019-02. This bulletin supersedes previously issued Policy Bulletin SUT-2018-07.Sellers Who Currently Collect Tax Under the ThresholdsA remote seller must keep collecting and remitting sales and use tax for calendar year 2019 on taxable Georgia sales if they:elected to collect the tax under the $250,000/200-transaction economic nexus thresholds that took effect under previous legislation on January 1, 2019; andmet one of these thresholds for calendar year 2019.Sellers Who Currently Opt for Notice & ReportingFor remote sellers who met one of the $250,000/200-transaction economic nexus thresholds that took effect under previous legislation on January 1, 2019, but who opted to comply with the notice and reporting requirements for calendar year 2019, the notice and reporting option is repealed effective April 28, 2019. Instead, these remote sellers must start collecting and remitting sales and use tax on their taxable Georgia sales by July 1, 2019.Change in Economic Nexus Thresholds January 1, 2020On January 1, 2020, the economic nexus thresholds change. On that date, a remote seller must collect and remit Georgia state and local sales and use tax on their taxable Georgia sales if they have in the current or previous calendar year:over $100,000 in Georgia retail sales of tangible personal property or property delivered electronically; orat least 200 of such sale transactions.H.B. 182, Laws 2019, effective July 1, 2019, and applicable as noted; Policy Bulletin SUT-2019-02, Georgia Department of Revenue, May 7, 2019Login to read more on CCHAnswerConnect.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img read more

IRS Whistleblowers Have New Remedies for Employer Retaliation

first_imgFile retaliation complaints with theDepartment of Labor, and/orSeek relief in the federal courts. Employees Can’t Waive Whistleblower Remedies An IRS whistleblower has 90 days afteran employer reprisal to file a complaint with the DOL. The DOL then has 60 daysto investigate. If it concludes that there is reasonable cause to believe theemployer retaliated against the whistleblower, the DOL issues a preliminaryorder to grant relief. Administrative Whistleblower Remedy The DOL and the parties canterminate the administrative process at any time by entering into a settlement. Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative. the Treasury Secretary,Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), U.S. ComptrollerGeneral, or Department of Justice;the U.S. Congress; a person with supervisory authorityover the employee; or any other person who works for theemployer and has the authority to investigate, discover or terminatemisconduct. IRS Whistleblower’s Administrative and Judicial Remedies If the DOL does not issue a decision within 180 daysafter the whistleblower files a complaint, the whistleblower may sue theemployer in the U.S. District Court. If the DOL holds a hearing after a party objects toits preliminary findings, the whistleblower or the employer may appeal theDOL’s final order in the U.S. Court of Appeals. The parties have 30 days to objectto the order. If no one objects, the preliminary order becomes final, andcannot be challenged in the courts. An IRS whistleblower may also seekjudicial remedies for employer reprisal in two circumstances: Judicial Whistleblower Remedies Broad Reach for IRS Whistleblower Remedies Kelley Wolf, JD, LLM Inaddition to these judicial remedies for the parties, the DOL can also sue indistrict court to enforce its own orders. Login to read more on CCHAnswerConnect. However, if the DOL concludes thata complaint is frivolous, the whistleblower may have to pay up to $1,000 of theemployer’s legal fees.center_img To challenge employer retaliation,an employeewhistleblower must first file a complaint withthe Department of Labor (DOL). The employee may then seek judicial relief froma contrary DOL decision or the DOL’s failure to act. The whistleblower remedies are notlimited to employees who cooperate with the IRS. They also apply when aninformant provides information or assistance to: Similarly, the employer is notjust the party that employs the whistleblower. Employers include officers,employees, contractors, subcontractors and agents of the informant’s employer. tax underpayments, or conduct that the informantreasonably believes violates internal revenue laws or any federal laws relatedto tax fraud. Any party to the proceeding mayobject to the preliminary order and request a hearing. The DOL has 120 days afterthe hearing to issue a final order that either provides relief to thewhistleblower or denies the complaint. Whistleblower’s Redress After Employer Reprisal These administrative proceduresare based on anti-reprisal remedies for whistleblowers who report violations offederalaviation laws and regulations. Perhaps even more importantly, these new remedies cannot be waived by any agreement, policy form, or condition of employment, including a predispute arbitration agreement. In fact, a predispute arbitration agreement is not valid or enforceable if it requires arbitration of an employee whistleblower dispute that arises under these rules. These employer whistleblowerremedies apply to an informant who provides information or otherwise assists ininvestigations and actions related to: An employee whistleblower whoprevails in an employer reprisal complaint, either with the DOL or in thedistrict court, is entitled to all relief necessary to make the employee whole.This relief includes: Finally, employer retaliationincludes discharge, demotion, suspension, threats, harassment, and any otherdiscrimination against an employee in the terms and conditions of employment,including acts in the ordinary course of the employee’s duties. Thesenew rights and remedies do not diminish or limit any employee’s rights, privilegesor remedies under any federal law, state law, or collective bargainingagreement. Some IRS whistleblowers have significant new administrativeand legal remedies against employer retaliation. Employeewhistleblowers can now: These remedies took effect on July 1, 2019.They are largely based onremedies for employer reprisals against whistleblowersunder the False Claims Act. reinstatement with the samesecurity status; 200% of back pay and 100% of alllost benefits, plus interest; and compensation for special damages,including litigation costs, expert witness fees, and reasonable attorney fees.last_img read more

Blog: Is T20 eating away Test cricket?

first_imgIt was hyped beyond comparison – the 2000th Test in the history of cricket had even non-followers stand up and take notice.No wonder there was a lot at stake as the No. 1 Test team was up against the No. 3 Test team. The Test was especially crucial for the statisticians and Sachin Tendulkar’s fans as it was the 100th Test between India and England and Sachin was eyeing his 100 international century, even though he has often said that he does not chase milestones.Zaheer Khan last played during the IPL and was short of the much-needed match practice for the longest version. APHowever, the end result was not what Sachin Tendulkar and India fans would have desired. The Master Blaster failed to score his elusive ton by a huge margin – getting out on 34 and 12 respectively and India ended up losing the match a huge 196-run margin.Call it bizarre, but it was India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who caught all the attention and not Rahul Dravid, who scored his maiden Lord’s Test century, or Sruesh Raina, who scored a dogged 78, or Praveen Kumar, who claimed a fiver.And the reason beats all odds — he shunned his gloves and took to bowling.Of course the move earned a few brickbats too when the captain took off his keeping gloves handed them over to Rahul Dravid and started to bowl.One reasoned that it was the absence of Zaheer Khan, who pulled his hamstring on the first day that prompted him to do so, but the move certainly grabbed eyeballs with purists flashing their knives in the open.advertisementKapil Dev called it a mockery of Test cricket while Sourav Ganguly stood up in support of MSD, saying, “He wanted to give his bowlers the much needed rest.”Meanwhile, the injury-list for India grew.Joining Virender Sehwag, out for first two Tests, was Zaheer Khan (hamstring) and Gautam Gambhir (elbow). Gambhir batted on the final day, but Zaheer, even though he showed up with the bat in second innings, would be iffy for the second Test starting at Nottingham from Friday.Tendulkar, it was later known, batted with a viral infection and missed two sessions during fielding on Day 4.England on the other hand got everything right from Day 1.They lost the toss, so the decision that skippers hate to take was off Andrew Strauss’s head and so was the British media, which loves to tear apart their team much like the Indian media.Then Kevin Pitersen’s maiden double at Lord’s in the first innings followed by Matt Prior’s century in the second innings along with Stuart Broad’s all-round effort was something England would boast about for years to come.No wonder Strauss was seen saying, “The series is up there with the Ashes.”Meanwhile, India or for that matter BCCI needs to think if the shortest form of the game packed to the hilt during the cash-rich IPL is eating away its players.Every season the Indian Premier League ends up with a few bruised players lying by the way side.Let’s not take into account India’s tour of the Caribbean – which certainly wasn’t up to the standards of international cricket. Worst, Chirs Gayle, the man whose all-round blitz made the Bangalore Royal Challengers’ bosses pockets go heavy with advertising money, was seen sitting out.The IPL certainly needs a cut in terms on matches or else it will continue to witness injured players and drop outs like Lasith Malinga, who refused to tour with Sri Lanka, citing an injury while continued to play in the IPL.What’s worse is that other Test playing nations too are planning such fire-packed T20 leagues.God Save Test cricket!last_img read more