1 aces against the 50th-ranked Vesnina, who w

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1 aces against the 50th-ranked Vesnina, who w

Postby riluowanying123 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:19 am

After 17 regular season rounds and two weeks of playoffs, Super Rugby has arrived at its finale. Fortunately SANZAAR powerbrokers can breathe easy, as the two best teams have won through to the decider despite a horribly inequitable draw. The Hurricanes and Lions have played some outstanding rugby this season and, crucially, looked to have peaked at exactly the right moment.The Hurricanes season began with an embarrassing 52-10 defeat by the Brumbies, a loss that immediately raised doubts over their potential to challenge for the title without Maa Nonu and Conrad Smith. A narrow loss to the Highlanders followed a week later before Chris Boyds side finally hit their straps, winning 11 or their last 13 - including a 50-17 thumping of the Lions in Johannesburg - to claim top spot at the end of the regular season.While the Hurricanes finished with a flourish, it was clear the Lions would be South Africas only genuine title contenders from the outset. The Joburg side began their campaign in Tokyo before a win over the Chiefs, in Hamilton, really got their season rolling. There were slip-ups against both the Hurricanes and Crusaders at home, but victories over the Blues and Highlanders (semifinal) showed theyve got the game that belongs at the tail end of the season.SquadsHurricanes: James Marshall, Cory Jane, Matt Proctor, Willis Halaholo, Jason Woodward, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara (captain), Victor Vito, Ardie Savea, Brad Shields, Michael Fatialofa, Vaea Fifita, Ben May,Dane Coles (captain )/Ricky Riccitelli, Loni Uhila Replacements: Ricky Riccitelli/Leni Apisai, Chris Eves, Reggie Goodes/Mike Kainga, Mark Abbott, Tony Lamborn, Jamison Gibson Park, Vince Aso, Julian Savea.Hurricanes captain Dane Coles has been bracketed for the Super Rugby final at a sold-out Westpac Stadium. If he is fit to play, he will be the only change to the team that started the semifinal win over the Chiefs last weekend. Ricky Riccitelli, who started at hooker against the Chiefs, has once again been bracketed with his skipper for the final, while there are also two late calls to be made in the reserves. Openside Callum Gibbins, who missed the semifinal with an Achilles injury, has once again been bracketed with Tony Lamborn, while prop Reggie Goodes has also been bracketed with Mike Kainga as he continues to work through concussion protocols. Colesy has made good progress each day and clearly hes very keen to play in the final, Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd said. He will do everything he can to be fit for kick-off and if he doesnt make it then we have every confidence Ricky and Leni step up and do a good job if required. Its a similar situation on the bench where were very fortunate to have some quality depth should Callum or Reggie not be able to prove their fitness in time. We will give them all as much time as they need before making the final call.Lions: Andries Coetzee, Ruan Combrinck, Lionel Mapoe, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Courtnal Skosan, Elton Jantjies, Faf De Klerk; Warren Whiteley (c), Warwick Tecklenburg, Jaco Kriel, Franco Mostert, Andries Ferreira, Julian Redelinghuys, Malcolm Marx, Dylon Smith. Replacements: Armand van der Merwe, Corne Fourie, Jacques van Rooyen, Lourens Erasmus, Ruan Ackermann, Ross Cronje, Howard Mnisi, Jaco van der Walt.After missing the Lions semifinal triumph over the Highlanders, Lions skipper Warren Whiteley is back to lead his franchise in its maiden Super Rugby decider. The side is otherwise unchanged from last week, giving the South Africans great familiarity across the paddock.?Weve learnt a lot in the last couple of years and were fortunate enough to have a lot of continuity in the squad, Whiteley said. Weve learnt how to make the best of hard tours and have fun.Key matchup: Beauden Barrett vs. Elton JantjiesThe battle at No.10 is central to every rugby contest, but it takes on greater significance this week given the sensational recent form of both Beauden Barrett and Elton Jantjies.Barrett has long been regarded as a classy pivot, but the Taranaki native has taken his game to new levels this season by a coming up with a series of brilliant individual plays that highlight the gulf in skill between New Zealands playmakers and those in other parts of the world. But he has also developed a greater control of the finer points of fly-half play, and the ability to guide his team around paddock - something he did superbly in cyclonic conditions in Wellington two weeks ago. He may just be the best player on the planet right now, though that may not even be enough to see him don the All Blacks No.10 jersey in Bledisloe I.Much of the same can be said for Jantjies. A player of immense ability, the Lions pivot has taken a little longer to fulfil his potential; but buoyed by a Test return against Ireland last month, the 26-year-old fly-half really has the Lions humming. Blessed with a big left boot and a slick passing game, Jantjies has been at the heart of the Lions entertaining and free-running approach - evidenced by the two try-assists he laid on against the Highlanders last week.Key stats (Opta Stats)- The Hurricanes have won nine of their 10 encounters with the Lions in Super Rugby, including each of their last seven. In those last seven wins they have beaten the South African side by an average of 15.3 points per game.- Not since 2012 has a Super Rugby final been decided by more than the value of a converted try (Chiefs 37-6 Sharks).- This final pitches the best attack against the best defence, the Lions have averaged a competition high 36.4 points and 4.8 tries per game whilst the Hurricanes have conceded a league low 19 points per game.- The Lions (25) and Hurricanes (23) have scored the second and third most tries from possessions originating in their own half respectively this season, only the Crusaders (26) have scored more.WeatherKnown for its wind and rain, Wellington is expecting some slippery conditions throughout most of Saturday. The New Zealand capital will only hit a top of nine degrees during the day, but expect that to drop a few notches by the time kick-off rolls around.UBET verdict: Hurricanes $1.33, Lions $3.40 [correct as at 2/8]The Canes lost the home final last year, and UBET customers think they will atone in 2016 as they have been sensationally backed to beat the Lions. This will be the first time since Round 3 in March that any of the Lions first XV have ventured outside of South Africa - given their second-string team went to Argentina - so that is a plus for them. These two played in Joburg back in April, and on that occasion the Lions were slight underdogs and were thumped 50-17 -- the Canes scoring seven tries to three. The Canes have won all eight matches against the Lions on NZ soil, and realistically should be holding the trophy aloft on Saturday night.PredictionDriven by the final defeat of 2015 and the knowledge they remain the only New Zealand franchise still to win a Super Rugby final, this looks like the Hurricanes final to lose. Furthermore, only one team has won a Super Rugby decider in another country - the seven-time champion Crusaders. But it extends beyond sentiment and statistics, the Hurricanes have been nothing short of exemplary since the June Test break - their key men in career-best form. The Lions are loaded with rising talent, but their fairytale story could use another year of development.Hurricanes by seven. Shabazz Muhammad Jersey . Numbers Game looks into the Canadiens securing the services of Thomas Vanek in a trade with the New York Islanders. The Canadiens Get: LW Thomas Vanek and a conditional fifth-round pick. Cheap NBA Jerseys . -- Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Alrdridge were again the go-to duo for the Trail Blazers against the Kings. http://www.cheapbucksjerseys.com/?tag=cheap-jabari-parker-jersey . -- Running backs Darren McFadden and Rashad Jennings were back at practice for the Oakland Raiders on Wednesday despite being hampered by hamstring injuries. Tony Snell Jersey . On Tuesday, Ottawa placed forward Cory Conacher and defenceman Joe Corvo on waivers as trade rumours swirl around the Senators. Sterling Brown Jersey .Y. -- Syracuse has turned up the defence at the right time all season, and when High Point threatened to pull off a monumental upset the second-ranked Orange did what they do best with their quick hands and savvy play. LONDON -- Instead of the ninth all-Williams final at a Grand Slam tournament, there will be a rematch of another sort to determine the title at Wimbledon.And so as Serena Williams again stands one victory from her record-tying 22nd major title, she will need to beat a woman who already stopped her once this year in that pursuit, Angelique Kerber.After Williams needed all of 48 minutes to overwhelm Elena Vesnina 6-2, 6-0 at the All England Club, older sister Venus failed to join in the family fun, losing to Kerber 6-4, 6-4 in Thursdays second semifinal.Since winning her sixth Wimbledon trophy a year ago to raise her career count at Grand Slam events to 21, Serena has come quite close to pulling even with Steffi Graf at 22 -- the most in the Open era, which began in 1968 (Margaret Courts all-time mark is 24). But the American was surprisingly beaten by Roberta Vinci in the U.S. Open semifinals last September, then by Kerber in the Australian Open final in January, and by Garbine Muguruza in the French Open final last month.Reaching the final at each of a years first three major tournaments might sound good to other players.Not to this one.For anyone else in this whole planet, it would be a wonderful accomplishment, Serena said. For me, its about, obviously, holding the trophy and winning, which would make it a better accomplishment for me. For me, its not enough. But I think thats what makes me different. Thats what makes me Serena.Yes, she is one of a kind.When a reporter asked what she makes of it when others talk about her as one of historys greatest female athletes, this was the reply: I prefer the word, one of the greatest `athletes of all time.Hard to argue.And the case will be even stronger if she can do what she couldnt in Melbourne: solve Kerbers left-handed game.I know, Kerber said, she will go out and try everything to beat me right now.That Australian Open victory gave Kerber her first Grand Slam title in her first Grand Slam final.She insisted Thursday shes more relaxed and more confident on court thanks to that big moment.Didnt necessarily look that way at the outset against Venus, who at 36 was the oldest major semifinalist since Martina Navratilova was 37 at the All England Club in 1994.Venus is a five-time Wimbledon champion but hadnt been to the semifinals since she was the runner-up to Serena seven years ago.Steps awayy from making it to the end, Venus said.dddddddddddd Thats the position I want to be in, is playing in the semifinals, playing for a space in the final.But against Kerber, Venus was broken the first four times she served.She never recovered.A very shaky match from her. She was fighting hard, but she was frustrated. I could tell, said Venus coach, David Witt. Her concentration was up-and-down. The focus was up-and-down. That made her game up-and-down.Perhaps the accumulated court time during this fortnight simply took a toll on Venus, who revealed in 2011 that she had Sjongrens syndrome, which can cause fatigue and joint pain.She was a half-step slow to some balls, was breathing heavily after longer points, and wound up with 21 unforced errors, 10 more than Kerber.I was trying to (move) her, as well, the fourth-seeded Kerber said. That was the plan.After a running cross-court forehand winner capped the 19-stroke exchange that ended her victory, Kerber tossed aside her racket and dropped to her knees at the baseline.That match managed to be more competitive than what transpired earlier, which more closely resembled a training session for the No. 1-ranked Serena -- except she probably gets more of a workout when she practices.I couldnt do anything today, Vesnina said.Serenas serve was in fine form, reaching 123 mph and producing 11 aces against the 50th-ranked Vesnina, who was making her major semifinal debut. Serena won 28 of 31 points she served, including the last 17.An almost perfect match, said Serenas coach, Patrick Mouratoglou.Serena had Vesnina looking defeated after all of 12 points. Thats when, after sprinting for a forehand that landed in the net, the Russian leaned over, sighed and slumped her shoulders.There would be plenty more of that sort of body language from Vesnina, a two-time Wimbledon runner-up in doubles who later Thursday went out in the quarterfinals of that event and lost to Serena a second time.The Williams-Williams pairing beat Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova 7-6 (1), 4-6, 6-2.That means Venus still has a chance to leave Wimbledon with a trophy, just like her sister.---Freelance writer Sandra Harwitt contributed.---Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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