Classy Ireland too strong for Wales

first_imgRampant Ireland will go for the Triple Crown against England at Twickenham in two weeks’ time after leaving Welsh hopes of achieving an unprecedented RBS 6 Nations title hat-trick hanging by a thread. Ireland’s emphatic 26-3 success leaves them with a 100 per cent record after two games, and Wales could have no complaints after being horribly outclassed in every key department. Flanker Chris Henry’s first-half try, plus 14 points from the boot of Jonathan Sexton and a late Paddy Jackson touchdown that he also converted, meant midfield talisman Brian O’Driscoll could enjoy a sweet victory against Warren Gatland-coached Wales. Press Association Williams’ exit meant wing George North was switched into midfield – the centre position he filled to great effect when Northampton stunned Heineken Cup rivals Leinster at the same ground in December – with Liam Williams going on as a replacement. Ireland enjoyed the better of the close-quarter exchanges, with O’Mahony prominent, and wing Andrew Trimble almost broke the try deadlock 12 minutes before half-time through a weaving run that Wales frantically, but successfully, defended. The action was fast and furious, yet Wales’ set-piece struggles had to have an impact at some stage, and Ireland duly punished them through a 32nd-minute try. Lock Devin Toner won a close-range lineout, and an irresistable drive ended with Henry claiming his first Test try. Sexton added the conversion, and Wales found themselves in a considerable state of strife, desperately needing half-time to arrive so they could regroup. There was no sign of Ireland letting up, though, as they continued to win most 50-50 scraps for the ball, leaving Wales facing an uphill second half struggle against a side that were the only team to defeat them in last season’s Six Nations. Sexton got the second half scoreboard moving through an angled penalty, leaving Wales 16 points adrift and in dire need of inspiration as they faced a first Six Nations away defeat since March 2011. Munster forward O’Mahony continued to be the game’s dominant figure, outplaying Wales and Lions captain Sam Warburton at the breakdown, and Ireland’s forwards followed his stirring example. Halfpenny opened Wales’ account with his first shot at goal after 56 minutes, yet that was quickly cancelled out through another Sexton strike which ensured Ireland maintained a comfortable advantage entering the final quarter. Wales, traditionally strong finishers, rallied as the clock ticked down, and substitute prop Rhodri Jones went close to scoring before Ireland gained a penalty and cleared the danger. Ireland then spent closing the stages in Wales’ half, their job done as they confirmed outstanding Six Nations title credentials with Jackson’s converted 79th-minute touchdown. It was seven months ago that 2013 British and Irish Lions boss Gatland controversially dropped O’Driscoll for a Test series decider against Australia in Sydney. The Lions won 41-16, but there was no dream script for Gatland this time. His ineffective team never threatened Irish dominance, with Leigh Halfpenny’s second-half penalty their only scoring contribution on an afternoon when the Irish forwards built an imposing victory platform. Wales, despite fielding several of Gatland’s Test Lions, showed poor technical discipline and they had no answer to Ireland’s workaholic flanker Peter O’Mahony, who emphatically bossed the breakdown. Ireland’s control probably deserved an even bigger margin of victory, and there is no doubt that new coach Joe Schmidt has already made his mark with players who look refreshed and reinvigorated. But while England now stand between Ireland and a Triple Crown, it is back to the drawing board for Wales ahead of hosting France in 13 days’ time, when a win would keep them in the title mix, but a loss leaving them staring at mid-table mediocrity. Wales suffered an immediate injury scare when prop Gethin Jenkins, recalled to the team for his 102nd cap, needed treatment inside two minutes, but the visitors soon settled and shaded early possession. Ireland, though, went ahead through an eighth-minute Sexton penalty as the breakdown area lived up to expectations with both teams contesting it fiercely, but it proved just as physical in midfield, with O’Driscoll laid low by a crunching Scott Williams tackle. A winded O’Driscoll resumed following a short delay, yet Williams was not so fortunate, departing after 17 minutes with shoulder trouble just before Sexton kicked his second penalty for a 6-0 advantage. last_img read more

Clippers see Mfiondu Kabengele and Terance Mann as their type of guys

first_img Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates At Monday’s awards event, the Seminole teammates could see members of their new team honored: Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell are finalists for the Sixth Man of the Year award and Doc Rivers is a finalist for Coach of the Year.The focus is on team success, Frank insisted, but still he’ll be rooting for Clippers on Monday.“I’m really, really optimistic that Lou Williams is gonna be Sixth Man of the Year for the third time,” Frank said. “I’m very biased, but I think Doc did as good a job as he’s ever done in terms of being a Coach of the Year candidate. Hopefully, he gets rewarded for the unbelievable moment, what he did for Dirk (Nowitzki).”With about 10 seconds left in a February game at Staples Center, Rivers grabbed a courtside mic and made an impromptu speech honoring the Dallas star.Related Articles MANHATTAN BEACH — A few years ago, Mfiondu Kabengele was an unknown Canadian high school hooper without the handles to suffice on the wing nor the height then to impress in the post – and zero scholarship offers because of it.On Thursday, he became a first-round pick in the NBA Draft. The Clippers sent a second-round pick and a 2020 first-round pick to the Brooklyn Nets in order to nab the now 6-foot-10 power forward from Florida State at No. 27 overall.Kabengele, 21, proved his value as a player, a worker and a teammate with the Seminoles, who were the first major program to offer him a scholarship after discovering him playing in Chicago against junior college teams for Don Bosco Prep School in Crown Point, Ind.Coming off the bench, Kabengele – the nephew of Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo – led the Seminoles to the most single-season victories in program history and to consecutive Sweet 16 appearances. He was the runaway selection for the ACC’s Sixth Man of the Year as well as a member of the conference’s All-Academic team. Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters And when he heard his name called Thursday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, he opened his sleek blue blazer to reveal all 17 of his FSU teammates’ names stitched inside – including, of course, guard Terance Mann, whom the Clippers would select a little while later at No. 48.Both of them are exactly the Clippers’ kind of guys, President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank said late Thursday night when he addressed reporters at the Westdrift Manhattan Beach hotel.“We just have great comfort and understanding first in who they are as people, because we start there,” Frank said. “I can’t give enough credit to our scouts. They do an unbelievable job in terms of acquiring information to learn what’s inside here (head) and here (heart), and they try to talk to as many people as possible who’ve been involved in their lives, from the beginning until this point.”Turns out the Clippers had some relatively direct lines of inquiry to learn about Kabengele and Mann, Frank said. An FSU assistant coach worked one of the Clippers organization’s mini-camps last year and Mutombo played for the New Jersey Nets when Frank coached there.“So it’s amazing,” Frank said. “Just a small circle, the NBA community.” For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory The Clippers planned to have their draft picks and their families come to L.A. on Sunday, when they’ll have dinner with team officials, before attending the NBA Awards activities the next night, Frank said.Then they’ll get to go home for a short break before reporting for work June 30, when they’ll start “practicing with the group” before participating in Summer League action – where they’ll be joined by another Canadian prospect. Oshae Brissett, a 6-8 small forward from Syracuse who wasn’t drafted Thursday, tweeted Friday morning that he’d accepted an invitation to join the Clippers in Las Vegas. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error On Thursday, Kabengele spoke to those on-site in Brooklyn about his appreciation for Rivers’ reputation and coaching history.“I remember watching him as a kid,” said Kabengele, whose 22 points, along with Mann’s 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists, spurred FSU’s second-round victory over Ja Morant and Murray State in the NCAA Tournament in March.“I remember when the Lakers and Celtics (played in the NBA Finals) back in ’09 and ’10, just the way he carried that team and dealt with all that talent, the way he just managed everybody. And then, as he transitioned to the Clippers, the way he stayed competitive, acquiring great picks and getting great guys like Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell.“He just overall cares about the players. Everyone I’ve talked to talks about what a great coach Doc is.” What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 last_img read more