The Playmaker – Quade Cooper

Quade Cooper. The effervescent Wallaby and Reds fly-halfPop quiz. Identify the player Robbie Deans is describing: “He’s an outside-half who reacts. He has an enormous amount of talent and an instinct for the game, which we encourage because we don’t want a machine.”You’re thinking Quade Cooper, aren’t you?The mercurial fly-half whose bag of tricks excites fans and baffles opponents. Has to be Cooper, right? Close, but no cigar. The year is, in fact, 2003 and the player Deans is describing is former All Black Carlos Spencer. Then New Zealand’s assistant coach, Deans was nearing the pointy end of his first World Cup and discussing the upside to having Spencer wearing the black No 10 shirt.The Kiwis had cruised through the preliminaries and giving ‘King Carlos’ free reign above more traditional choices like Andrew Mehrtens was lauded as a canny move. Until it sank the All Blacks’ tournament. A few days after Deans endorsed a player embracing risk, Spencer flung a long cutout pass early in the semi-final against Australia. Stirling Mortlock gratefully intercepted it and raced 80 metres to score. There was less than ten minutes on the clock but it sparked All Black panic and led to another premature RWC exit.Much water has passed under the coaching bridge for Deans since, but eight years on he is back at a World Cup – and yet again he’s thrown his faith in an instinctive, attacking No 10. Now a head coach wearing the enemy’s shade of gold, Deans will enter RWC 2011 armed with a brash youngster who, if possible, plays with even more risk than his boyhood idol Spencer. Cooper is the man Deans has pinned his hopes upon to claim the Webb Ellis Cup for Australia.It’s a calculated gamble. For the past few seasons Deans has slowly shuffled out more conservative Aussie playmakers like Matt Giteau and pushed all his chips in with Cooper and other youthful attacking backs. Kurtley Beale and James O’Connor have become top-shelf Test stars, but in 2011 Cooper emerged as the true game changer.Handed the Reds No 10 shirt aged 18 in 2007, Cooper learned that most schoolboy tricks don’t cut it among men before enjoying a breakout season in 2010. But it was this year, when Cooper allied the bold tricks with a fast-maturing game sense, that the results came. With Cooper calling the shots, the Reds lifted the Super Rugby title.Say What?!It was a season that provided enough evidence for Deans that if anyone could be the point of difference for the Wallabies in a World Cup victory, it was Cooper. Throwing his lot in with Cooper and Co, Deans has unshackled the Wallabies game plan by removing the heavy emphasis on planning. His oft-repeated mantra has been to “play what’s in front of you”. In other words, do whatever you feel will work. Or as they say in Australia, have a crack. It takes a special brand of confidence to weigh risk and reward and pursue the reward by default. Spencer had it with his knee-grubbers and between-the-legs passes, and after growing up in New Zealand imitating them, Cooper has the same heart-in-mouth confidence.“When I’m out on the field, you just look to take opportunities,” he says. “And these opportunities may only come once or twice during a game. You just have to be ready. You’ve run through the scenarios during the week. I keep running these scenarios through my head, over what could happen, including things right out of the box.“It may not even be a simple pass. I might just think of the most extravagant thing that could happen on the field, and it’s most likely not going to happen. But if you’re ready for moments like that, then if something arises you can quickly think back to those moments. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Or perhaps you’d like a digital version of the magazine delivered direct to your PC, MAC or Ipad? If so click here.For Back Issues Contact John Denton Services at 01733-385-170 visit “This opens your mind on things outside the box. When you cage yourself in too much on the field, it gets the better of you. You become one-dimensional. If you leave the options open, but at the same time know what you’re capable of, if moments do arise you’re ready to go.”There is a grudging admiration for Cooper in New Zealand. Trepidation even. It’s no surprise. After earning a reputation often attached to brilliant attackers – he’ll win you one and lose you one – Cooper realised he needed to find middle ground between Spencer and the other ten on the field in that 2003 semi: Stephen Larkham.“I needed to find that balance between having the tricks up your sleeve but at the same time go forward and play the team into the game, which I’ve worked hard on over the last year,” Cooper says. “Flashy doesn’t make it the whole way and Robbie has definitely reinforced that – talent can only get you so far and then hard work will do the rest. If you just do the flashy things and shy away from hard work, then you’ll be there for a week and not the next. Those sorts of players are very replaceable.”They may be replaceable but just as instincts in rugby are nothing without hard work, pure grit is often nothing without a dash of inspiration. Spencer didn’t bring home the World Cup, but Deans has rolled the dice again in Cooper. For some, there’s no reward without risk.This article appeared in the October 2011 issue of Rugby World Magazine.Find a newsagent that sells Rugby World in the UK read more

Yulia Berezovskaia, journalist and #SpoilerForFreedom

first_img RSF_en Organisation The repression is now in full swing using both judicial and extra-judicial means. The aim of the authorities is to stigmatize and marginalize dissidents and to contaminate the arena of debate. It is a “hybrid” war, like all the wars waged by the men of the KGB. Roskomnadzor wanted us to remove the Pussy Riot icon, a report about a protest initiative in Siberia, or even the photo of a Charlie Hebdo cover, from our website. Authorities finally blocked the entire site and hundreds of our mirror sites. Help by sharing this information News My name is Yulia Berezovskaia and I am a Russian journalist. I am going to tell you how the end of media freedom came about in my country and why I was forced to exile in France.center_img In my case, the end of media freedom in Russia began with an army of trolls who invaded our website, Then the abuses became less virtual. Our reporters were systematically arrested and harassed by the police during demonstrations. Then it was the turn of our worst enemies, the grotesque but powerful officials of Roskomnadzor, the media control agency. Its work, paid for by our taxes, is to prevent Russians from freely reading what they want. We see our colleagues submitting to censorship and self-censorship. For example, even the boldest no longer dare to post the title of a banned poem in support of Ukraine or mention the “Putin, Butcher of Beslan” slogan used by the mothers of children massacred in 2004. The word “annexation” in reference to Crimea is also banned. Some colleagues even remove our video of an anti-war demonstration from their page along with their links to our site. May 2, 2017 – Updated on May 3, 2017 Yulia Berezovskaia, journalist and #SpoilerForFreedom In Russia, freedoms have been suppressed in the name of combatting terrorism and “extremism”, which has become synonymous with any dissidence. The pillars of the western world are now proving too fragile in the face of this toxic and effective “Putinian” rhetoric. The worldwide offensive against democracy is turning us all into activists, whether we like it or not. Freedom of expression is at the heart of this battle.last_img read more

Donegal one of seven counties in which houses are ‘affordable’ to single people

Google+ By News Highland – May 7, 2021 Donegal one of seven counties in which houses are ‘affordable’ to single people AudioHomepage BannerNews DL Debate – 24/05/21 Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA Previous articleSummer Gaeltacht courses won’t go ahead this yearNext articleTwo men arrested in Derry in connection with New IRA activity News Highland Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Twitter Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme Twitter WhatsApp Pinterest News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th WhatsApp Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Facebook Pinterest Facebook RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Google+ Houses are affordable in just seven counties for a single worker on a typical salary, according to an analysis of date from the CSO, with the North West the region in which most of the counties are based.Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Cavan, Longford, Mayo, and Roscommon are the counties in which a person on a median income and access to a 20% deposit can only buy a homeThe median is the midpoint of a group of numbers and analysts say it often better represents what a typical worker earns than the average wage.Kieran McQuinn, a research professor at the ESRI, says the result illustrates Ireland’s high property prices………………Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. read more

Some medics say they are muzzled in Egypt’s coronavirus response

first_imgAt dusk on April 10, police entered an apartment in Qalyubia province, north of Cairo, and arrested ophthalmologist Hany Bakr.The reason, his lawyer Aisha Nabil said, was an April 4 Facebook post in which he criticized Egypt for sending medical masks to China and Italy when he could not source them for his own practice.Bakr, 36, who is still detained, is one of at least three doctors arrested during the new coronavirus outbreak on accusations of spreading false news, misusing social media, and joining a “terrorist organization” – a charge that refers to the banned Muslim Brotherhood and is often used in political cases – according to their lawyers. When the government, which has boosted health sector spending and offered public health workers bonuses, imposed a curfew and shut down schools, mosques and hotels in March, some doctors praised the response.But as infections accelerated, including among medical staff, some questioned official claims the pandemic was under control. Nine doctors, lawyers and rights activists interviewed by Reuters saw a wider campaign to censor coverage of the outbreak that builds on a far-reaching crackdown on dissent under President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.In response to written questions from Reuters about complaints from doctors and reports of suppression of information, the state press center said Egypt was “one of the most successful countries in dealing with coronavirus”. It did not elaborate.Demands for testingAbout 11% of those infected in Egypt are healthcare workers, according to the World Health Organization, including 124 doctors, according to a May 17 report.By Monday, Egypt’s Doctors Syndicate, a national association of medics, had recorded 350 cases among physicians, including 19 deaths.The Health Ministry said on Monday that protective measures were in place and medical staff nationally had received more than 19,500 tests, including nearly 9,000 Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests to detect those currently infected.It said 291 health workers, including 69 doctors, had been treated in hospitals, and 11 had died.But as the virus has spread some doctors in the public health system have expressed growing concern, saying they haven’t been equipped to combat it.At Cairo’s Al Monira hospital, the Health Ministry said in a statement on Monday it had ordered an investigation into the death of Walid Yehiya, a young doctor who contracted the novel coronavirus, after his colleagues threatened to resign en masse citing reasons including a lack of preparedness and protection measures at the hospital, low pay, and administrative and security threats.At the city’s Manshyet al-Bakry hospital, staff who sought tests when 23 colleagues tested positive after the hospital began to receive suspected COVID-19 cases in mid-May were unable to obtain them, said Mohamed Moqbal, a gastroenterologist at the hospital and Doctors Syndicate board member.When doctors at the hospital decided to halt work to press for PCR tests, protective gear and training, hospital management threatened to report them to national security, he said. Officials at the hospital were not immediately available for comment.The Health Ministry did not respond to requests for comment. Mohamed Tag El-Din, a presidential health adviser, told reporters that official infection figures were accurate, denying there was pressure on doctors. Reprisals were “not allowed” and complaints would be addressed, he said.WarningBut the government has moved to stifle criticism, the sources said. A Health Ministry notice sent to hospitals in Beheira province and shared with Reuters by an activist who declined to be identified, warned health workers that if they leaked information about coronavirus they would be “subjected to legal questioning”.Doctors in three other provinces told Reuters they had seen similar warnings.One doctor from Dakahlia province who asked not to be named said he was questioned by the Health Ministry’s legal committee in the province for accusing the ministry of lacking transparency on Facebook. “The state wants to lower the number of registered deaths,” he said.The Health Ministry did not respond to a request for comment about a Dakahlia doctor who was questioned by the ministry’s legal committee in the province for criticizing it on Facebook.On state media, doctors who have criticized the government’s coronavirus figures or success in combatting the virus, have been accused of Muslim Brotherhood links. At least 500 people including activists and lawyers, and 11 journalists, have been arrested, said Gamal Eid, director of the Arab Network for Human Rights.”They don’t want anyone to report anything other than the official statements,” Eid said.An Interior Ministry spokesman did not respond to a request for comment on the arrests.  All were arrested after speaking out over a lack of protective equipment or calling for better infection control measures, the lawyers said.The Interior Ministry, which is responsible for the police, did not respond to a request for comment on the arrest of Bakr or the other doctors.Authorities deny pressure on medical staff and say the government has managed the pandemic well.Egypt has reported 19,666 cases of the coronavirus, including 816 deaths. Daily increases of confirmed cases have risen, though numbers are still far below Iran and Turkey, the hardest hit countries in the region.center_img Topics :last_img read more