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Leinster close in on home semi

first_img Press Association It was a huge effort from Ulster, who were forced to play most of the game with 14 men after losing Tom Court to a red card – their second sending-off in three home games after Jared Payne’s dismissal against Saracens last month – early in the first half. Leinster, though, were down to 13 men at one point in the opening period after Rob Kearney and Rhys Ruddock were shown yellow by English referee Luke Pearce. Even though Leinster were back to full strength at the end of the half, Ulster still held out and the half ended with the visitors leading 9-8. Leinster had the first scoring opportunity of the second half but Madigan put another long-range effort wide after 44 minutes and then he was wide again two minutes later with a much more straightforward effort. Ulster again conceded a kickable penalty but this time Madigan went for the corner and the net result was more heroic defending from Ulster as Dave Kearney was tackled into touch when a try looked certain. Still, the visitors did manage to score when Madigan landed his fourth penalty on 52 minutes to take their lead to 12-8. The home side, though, then came back again with Jackson’s second penalty narrowing Leinster’s lead to a single point again after 56 minutes. But after Tommy Bowe knocked on the restart, Leinster attacked down the right channel and Brian O’Driscoll drew two defenders before off-loading inside to Jennings, who scored at the posts, allowing Madigan to convert and put the visitors 19-11 in front. Typically, though, Ulster responded and, after replacement Darren Cave’s clean break, they won a penalty near the sticks and Jackson slotted the kick to take his side back within bonus-point territory. It didn’t last, though, and after conceding another scrum penalty, Leinster replacement Jimmy Gopperth nailed his first penalty to put his side 22-14 ahead with 11 minutes remaining. The see-saw nature of the scoring continued and after Leo Cullen was penalised, Jackson closed the gap to five points which then became two with his fifth successful penalty in the 77th minute. Table-toppers Leinster were made to fight tooth and nail for a 22-20 success which puts them on the verge of securing a home semi-final, while Ulster’s losing bonus point brought them a guaranteed place in the play-offs which could actually see the sides clash again. Shane Jennings scored Leinster’s only try of the night in the second half while Ian Madigan kicked four penalties and a conversion – though he missed three kicks at goal – while replacement Jimmy Gopperth nailed a penalty. Man of the match Paddy Jackson scored all Ulster’s points, on the night the new Ravenhill was officially opened, with five penalties and a try on an emotional occasion as skipper Johann Muller and Court played their last games at the ground. Madigan opened the evening’s scoring with a fifth-minute penalty after Ulster’s scrum was demolished on their own put-in and the Leinster out-half then added a second after 11 minutes. Shortly after Paddy Jackson put the restart out on the full, Madigan had a third shot at goal from long range but hit the attempt wide – then came Court’s red card. But with their backs to the wall, it was Ulster who scored next after Jackson charged down a Madigan chip to score in the corner with Leinster then being reduced to 14 after Rob Kearney’s high tackle on the Ulster out-half as he crossed the line. Jackson failed to land the difficult conversion from his 23rd-minute score, but Ulster, against the odds, were right back in the game and their cause was further helped when Ruddock was shown yellow three minutes later after Jackson was taken out in the air. It was Leinster, now down to 13 men, who found themselves on the back foot and though they survived an attacking five-metre scrum from Ulster, they were pinged just after the half-hour at the breakdown and Jackson kicked the home side into the lead at 8-6. Their lead did not last, though, as Madigan kicked Leinster back into a single-point lead with his 35th-minute penalty just as Rob Kearney arrived back to bring the visitors back to 14 men on the park. last_img read more

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Trump says he’s thinking of attending historic SpaceX launch at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center next week

first_imgVice President Mike Pence also said he plans to attend the historic SpaceX launch at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center next week. President Trump says he’s “thinking” about going to the SpaceX rocket launch next week and tells reporters, “I’d like to put you on the rocket and get rid of you for a while” https://t.co/Nj065CIsxp pic.twitter.com/eNIIS3Jgox— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 21, 2020 President Donald Trump said Thursday that he may attend SpaceX rocket launch next week at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.The test flight is set for May 27th, and it will l be the final test for SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft before it enters regular service.The mission will also mark the first time astronauts launch into orbit aboard a private company’s spacecraft, and would be the first manned space flight launched from the U.S. in almost nine years.“I’m thinking about going, that will be next week, to the rocket launch,” the President told reporters before leaving for a day trip to Michigan.He also playfully told reporters “I hope you’re all going to join me. I’d like to put you on the rocket, get rid of you for a while,” the President said.last_img read more


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Wimbledon: Djokovic Stunned by Querrey in Third Round

first_imgNovak Djokovic was stunned by Sam Querrey in the third round at Wimbledon as he lost 6-7 4-6 6-3 3-6 to the American. The world No 1 fought back to take the third set having started the day two sets down yesterday.But Querrey, the No 28 seed, battled to a fourth-set tie-break, in a match that was interrupted by rain on Court No 1, and clinched it 7-5. “I’m ecstatic, it’s the biggest tournament in the world,” Querrey said. “I played the break points really well, came up with a big serve, got a couple of losing errors in the tie-break.”On how he felt overnight, he added: “He came out and got the first four games, then we had another rain delay and I was able to regroup. “He is on the way to being the greatest ever, so I knew he would be mentally tough. I am just going to be happy with this and look forward to the next round a bit.”Djokovic, who confirmed afterwards he would not play in the Davis Cup quarter-final against Britain this month, was gracious in defeat, congratulating his opponent and saying: “Congratulations to Sam. He played a terrific match.He serves very well. I think that part of his game was brutal today. He just overpowered me. I had my chances. I just wasn’t feeling the ball as well as I wished.”It leaves Andy Murray, the British No 1 and No 2 seed, the favourite for the trophy with Djokovic failing in his attempt to win the Golden Slam (all four majors and the Olympic title) this year. Querrey will face France’s Nicolas Mahut in the fourth round.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more


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No. 4 men’s golf dominates tournament

first_imgUSC’s men’s golf team destroyed the field at the Jones Invitational at Valencia Country Club Tuesday. The tournament hosted by Pepperdine consisted of three rounds over a two-day span and a fifteen team field.Atop the leaderboard by 16 shots, USC rolled to a victory finishing with a 14-under score. The second-closest team was Kennesaw State at 2-over par, and Northwestern finished behind them with a score of 6-over.Freshman Sean Crocker led not only the Trojans, but also the tournament as he garnered a share of the individual title. Crocker shot a final round score of 66, good enough for 6-under par on the course. Crocker finished the tournament with a score of 8-under, forcing a playoff with Winthrop’s Zach Seabolt. When both golfers made par on the first playoff hole, they advanced and Seabolt sunk a birdie putt to secure the win.“Sean Crocker has had an incredible freshman year so far,” USC coach Chris Zambri said after the tournament. “I expect bigger and better things as we go forward.”Such high praise was well deserved for Crocker whose final round included six birdies, five of which came on the back nine where Crocker scored 5-under. He birdied 15, 17, and 18 to catch Seabolt.Crocker has four top-four finishes this season. In the nine spring rounds Crocker has competed in, six have resulted in rounds in the 60s. Crocker has a team-high 14 rounds in this range over the course of the 24 round season thus far.“We have big goals this year and in order to achieve them we have to win,” Zambri said. “We have to know what it feels like to win and we have to have the skill to win.”The Trojans certainly displayed their talent with three additional players finishing in the top 11 of the tournament. Sophomore Rico Hoey played well over the two-day tournament, ending at 3-under, which was good enough for fourth in the field of 80. Hoey’s round contained four birdies. The top five finish was the fifth of the year for Hoey.The youth movement continued for the Trojans as freshman Jonah Texeira tied for sixth with a score of 1-under and a final round with two birdies. Texeira has three top 10 finishes this season.Junior Bobby Gojuangco also played well for the Trojans. A final round fraught with four birdies landed Gojuangco in a tie for 11th place at even par. Texeira now has four top 11 finishes on the season.The victory was the third of the season for the Trojans. USC will next be in action on March 9, 10 and 11 at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters which will be played in Las Vegas at the Southern Highlands Country Club.last_img read more


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Liverpool in Europa League final this evening

first_imgThe Merseysiders have traveled to Switzerland to face Sevilla in the Europa League Final with the winners also securing a place in next season’s Champions League group stages.Reds boss Jurgen Klopp lost several finals while in charge of Borussia Dortmund – including the 2013 Champions League decider against Bayern Munich – but he says that those failures have driven him on to succeed.Kick-off tonight is at 19:45.last_img


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Lillard, McCollum lead Trail Blazers past Wizards, 122-103

first_img WATCH US LIVE LIVE TV Written By FOLLOW US Damian Lillard scored 35 points and CJ McCollum added 24 in the Portland Trail Blazers’ 122-103 victory Friday night over the Washington Wizards, who were short-handed even before losing Isaiah Thomas to a first-quarter ejection.Hassan Whiteside added 23 points, 21 rebounds and five blocks for Portland, which snapped a five-game losing streak.Thomas was ejected less than 1 1/2 minutes into the game for making contact with an official. Thomas was tied up along the sideline by Portland’s Carmelo Anthony. As he broke away from Anthony he made contact with referee Marat Kogut, who stumbled into the crowd.Jordan McCrae scored a season-high 35 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter, for Washington. Garrison Mathews added 18 points and Ish Smith scored 16 for the Wizards, who have lost four of five.Playing without Bradley Beal, Washingon’s top three scorers were reserves.Beal is day-to-day. He returned Wednesday against Orlando after missing two games with lower leg soreness and collided with the Magic’s Jonathan Isaac early on. Wizards coach Scott Brooks said the collision aggravated Beal’s injury.McCollum started an 11-1 run in the third quarter with a jumper and then added a 3-pointer to make it 73-64. Whiteside scored four straight points on a tip-in and layup and, after a Washington free throw, Lillard hit two foul shots to put Portland up 79-65.McCrae’s 3-pointer pulled Washington within 103-96 with 5:54 left, but Lillard answered with a jumper followed by a 3-pointer to make it 108-96.TIP-INSTrail Blazers: Forward Mario Hezonja returned after missing four games because of lower back pain. … Lillard has scored at least 29 points in the teams’ last six matchups. … Whiteside has 26 double-doublesWizards: Have 20 20-plus point games from bench, second-most in the NBA behind the Clippers (31). … Wizards bench has 17 games of 50 or more combined points. … Have 32 consecutive games of 100 or more points, fifth-longest streak in team history. … Are 1-15 when they score less than 110 points.UP NEXT:Trail Blazers: Continue road trip on Sunday when they visit the Miami Heat.Wizards: Host the Denver Nuggets on Saturday. First Published: 4th January, 2020 11:40 ISTcenter_img SUBSCRIBE TO US Associated Press Television News COMMENT Last Updated: 4th January, 2020 11:40 IST Lillard, McCollum Lead Trail Blazers Past Wizards, 122-103 Damian Lillard scored 35 points and CJ McCollum added 24 in the Portland Trail Blazers’ 122-103 victory Friday night over the Washington Wizards, who were short-handed even before losing Isaiah Thomas to a first-quarter ejection.last_img read more


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Bolt wanted in off the track role at Commonwealth Games

first_imgUsain Bolt Wanted Jamaican sprint King Usain Bolt may yet make an appearance at the Commonwealth Games despite ruling out competing next year in the Gold Coast of Australia.This time he may appear of some sort in a capacity off the track.“He won’t be competing, you all know that, but we are trying to get him to come in some capacity,” Gold Coast organizing committee chairman Peter Beattie told reporters on Wednesday.“(GOLDOC chief executive) Mark (Peters) has met with the (athlete’s) manager on a couple of occasions and we will continue those discussions. We will do everything we can to get Usain Bolt to the Gold Coast for this event,” he added.The 30-year-old world record holder, who completed a “treble treble” of 100m, 200m and 4x100m Olympic titles at the 2016 Rio Games, said in February he had no plans to extend his career beyond this year’s world championships in London.Bolt last raced in Melbourne last month at the first Nitro Series meeting with a team of international “All-Stars”.last_img read more


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ESA Gaming: The ‘lightweight’ weapon in an operator’s cross-sell arsenal

first_imgShare Zorica Smallwood, CEO at ESA Gaming, discusses how the return of sports has offered the iGaming industry a unique opportunity to cross-sell on a vast scale, and how lightweight mobile products can make the acquisition of new customers into a more smooth and streamlined process. The iGaming industry is increasingly facing more and more challenges in unifying its different verticals. While sports betting and online casino have traditionally had little in common, the shutdown of global sports earlier this year emphasised the importance of cross-sell tools. With sports now returning across the globe, from Champions League football to NBA basketball and everything in between, operators have the added challenge of trying to retain former sports bettors who converted to online casino when betting opportunities were limited.  This is where ESA Gaming has found its niche in the market. Armed with a passion for content development and an understanding of industry trends, we wanted to create a product that was different. We were always conscious of not being just another game studio churning out numerous slot titles. This was partly due to market saturation, but also because it would place huge pressure on us to produce titles in large quantities, which might compromise our ability to innovate and stretch our resources.We looked at where casino games were less prevalent as a result, and what sort of content would be best placed to capitalise on the casino vertical, because of the nature of the player or as a cross-marketing tool. That is how the idea of our EasySwipe™, lightweight HTML5 mobile-first game family was born. Zorica Smallwood, ESA GamingThis was an organic process which led us to conclude that our games should be valued at both ends. They need to be entertaining for the player, but they should also add something for the operator, and help tackle a challenge such as reducing the expense of cross-selling casino to sportsbook users. Lightweight games, rather than being strictly defined by a set of rules, relate more to creating a smooth experience for players. Our games are designed to integrate seamlessly into the sportsbook, meaning the game needs to be fast-loading, simple in its gameplay, and offer a swift gaming experience. This ensures that the sports-betting experience is not disrupted, whilst still allowing players to enjoy their favourite casino games, or try something new whilst continuing to bet on sports. So ‘lightweight’ to us means many things, including the technology, the graphics, the file sizes and the fast turnaround in terms of game rounds.The mobile-first, fast-loading characteristics of swipe-in games means they can be a great boon for sportsbooks in countries where mobile internet is prevalent or slower internet speeds require lighter games. By creating titles which can be accessed by as many players as possible, there is an even greater opportunity for cross-sell.For operators, the benefits are marked. In an era where retaining and attracting customers from ‘the other side’ of the casino/sports betting divide can be difficult and expensive, especially in countries with stringent bonusing restrictions, offering games which can sit between the two and offer ample cross-sell opportunity is vital. We have seen that when our EasySwipe™ titles are used, bonusing offers required to convert customers are 40% lower compared with other casino games, helping operators control their spend in a highly competitive marketplace. We have also observed that the games are often used to place smaller bets and in clearing account balances, therefore generating new deposits. This is coupled with the fact that 15% of monthly users of swipe in titles are unique to these games, creating entire new revenue streams for operators.The challenges that face operators in the industry have never been more varied, from the Covid-enforced cancellation of sport to bonusing restrictions and increasing content demands. Conversely, however, there has also never been more opportunity. There are customers who have spent the last four months dabbling in online casino games and now, despite the return of sport, have an interest in being sold new products. By creating titles that offer casino-esque gameplay to sit alongside sports betting, our EasySwipe™ titles add another weapon in an operator’s cross-sell arsenal. As mobile technology is enhanced, our lightweight, mobile-first titles will further allow the creation of more immersive titles and add greater value to operators across the globe. Alessandro Sposito, ESA Gaming: Lightweight games for a heavy impact in Africa July 21, 2020 Related Articles Cross-selling in lockdown: what have we learnt? June 12, 2020 Submit StumbleUpon Pronet Gaming strengthens offering with EasySwipe integration June 3, 2020 Sharelast_img read more


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Nissan becomes official Automotive Partner of Afcon

first_imgNissan has signed a sponsorship agreement with organizers of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations to be hosted in South Africa in 2013 and in Morocco in 2015.The sponsorship package makes Nissan the “Official Automotive Partner” of both events.In a statement, Nissan said the sponsorship arrangement comes at a time when “Africa is a focal destination for investors, and for more than 50 years Nissan Motor Company, one of the world’s leading automotive manufacturers, has developed a growing sales presence across the continent, and manufacturing plants in South Africa and Egypt.”“Nissan plans to expand its network and increase its market share across key markets in Sub Sahara Africa, to become a continental leader.“Nissan’s association with Afcon, which attracts a large following throughout the continent, provides a powerful platform to build our brand,” said Mike Whitfield, Managing Director of Nissan South Africa.“As the automotive partner of the 2013 and 2015 events, we are particularly pleased to be involved in football, a sport that touches the heart of many, and reaches across the continent”, said Whitfield. He added that Nissan’s brand values campaign “Innovation that Excites”, is aimed at inspiring a Nissan following through its diverse vehicle range. This has parallels with soccer, a sport infused with excitement, drawing supporters who are attracted by the skill and performance of its diverse players.last_img read more


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Maria Sharapova hit with two-year ban for failed drugs test

first_imgMaria Sharapova has been handed a two-year ban for failing a drugs test at the Australian Open in January.”An Independent Tribunal appointed under Article 8.1 of the 2016 Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (the “Programme”) has found that Maria Sharapova committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.1 of the Programme and as a consequence has disqualified the affected results and imposed a period of ineligibility of two years, commencing on 26 January 2016,” said the International Tennis Federation in a statement.”Ms. Sharapova, a 29-year-old player from Russia, provided a urine sample on 26 January 2016, after her quarter-final match at the 2016 Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia. That sample was sent to the WADA-accredited laboratory in Montreal, Canada for analysis, and was found to contain meldonium, which is a metabolic modulator that is included under section S4 (Hormone and Metabolic Modulators) of the 2016 WADA Prohibited List, and therefore is also prohibited under the Programme.”–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoySportsGH. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more