Titanic clashes are set to occur this evening at the National Gymnasium when the round of 16 matches of the inaugural Rio Indoor Streetball Championship commence. “We are now at the business end of the tournament where the rules are simple, win and progress or lose and go home,” a release from the organisers stated yesterday.“The tournament has witnessed quality and entertaining football from the start and the knockout round promises to be even more exciting and competitive as the best teams have progressed and will face-off.“The battle lines have been drawn, the fans have selected their favorite teams and we anticipate a wonderful night of action. It’s D-Day in the National Gymnasium,” the release added. “We would also like to thank the fans for their support during this inaugural venture as well as the lawmen who have carried out their duties with aplomb. The officers have ensured that a safe environment is realized and created every evening, much to the satisfaction and appreciation of the fans and players who have witnessed an incident free championship,” the organisers stated.In the opening game, West Demerara unit Showstoppers battles East Coast Demerara side BV at 19:00hrs while Future Stars will lock horns with Kingston at 19:30hrs.In the third match, Rio All-Stars will oppose Tiger Bay from 20:00hrs, Leopold Street will tackle Alexander Village from 20:39hrs and Broad Street will engage Back Circle at 21:00hrs. In the sixth matchup, Gold is Money faces-off with Albouystown from 21:30hrs while Sparta Boss matches skills with Avocado Ballers from 22:00hrs. In the final match, Bent Street tackles Sophia at 22:30hrs.In the final round of group matches held at the same venue on Thursday, the trio of Bent Street, Showstoppers and BV secured easy wins.BV dismantled Avocado Ballers 4-0. Akin Curry recorded a hat trick in the fourth, sixth and ninth minute while Shemar Fraser scored in the 18th minute. Likewise Showstoppers crushed Stabroek Ballers 4-1. Stephon Jupiter amassed a brace in the fifth and 14th minute while Delon Lanferman and Keanu Lawrence scored in the third and seventh minute each.For Stabroek, Seon Taylor netted in the fourth minute. Also Bent Street bested LA Ballers 4-2. Colin Nelson tallied a double in the sixth and 14th minute while Daniel Wilson and Adrian Aaron scored in the 17th and 19th minute each.For the losers, Simeon Moore registered a double in the 12th and 16th minute. In other results, Leopold Street and Tiger Bay battled to a scoreless draw, while Broad Street and Ol Skool contested an identical result. Also, Future Stars and Albouystown played to a 0-0 scoreline.
The Golden Jaguars will open their campaign in the CONCACAF men’s U20 football championship qualifiers today against Montserrat from 17:30hrs in Nicaragua. It will be the first of four matches for the Guyanese in group-A. With only one team progressing to the knockout section, Guyana’s task of qualifying suffered a setback as five players were denied entry in to the country, thus relegating the playing roster to a mere 15 players.A release from the GFF Wednesday, stated that five players were denied entry by the immigration authorities after the management staff was informed that a quarantine period of 10 days was required for the Yellow Fever vaccine and that several players did not satisfy the requirement.The players that were denied entry were Javier George [overseas], Ronaldo Blair, Joel Isaacs, Kemule Batson and Andre Mayers. No member of the seven team management staff was denied entry. Guyana will now compete with 15 players in event. The Guyana team now comprises Goalkeepers Shawn Adonis, Defenders Nicholai Andrews, Kemule Batson, Joseph DeFreitas, Keanu Lawrence, Eric Moore, Marcus Wilson, Midfielders Ravon Bailey, Jamar Harrigon, Hutson Hazlewood (overseas), Darron Niles, Threvon Pluck, Forwards Omari Glasgow, Dorwin George, Nicolas McArthur and Osafa Simpson.Following the Montserrat encounter, Guyana will battle St Vincent and the Grenadines at 17:30hrs two days onward. They will then oppose US Virgin Islands on the 21st from 20:30hrs before ending their campaign against the host nation on the 23rd.
MUMBAI, (Reuters) – The start of the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament has been postponed until April 15 as a precautionary measure against the spread of the coronavirus, the Indian cricket board (BCCI) said today. It had been scheduled to begin on March 29.The Indian government said late on Wednesday it would cancel almost all visas issued for travel to India until April 15 to try to prevent the spread of the virus, and the country’s sports secretary said on Thursday the national cricket team’s coming matches should be played in empty stadiums.“The Board of Control for Cricket in India has decided to suspend IPL 2020 till 15th April 2020, as a precautionary measure against the ongoing Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) situation,” the board said in a statement. “The BCCI is concerned and sensitive about all its stakeholders, and public health in general, and it is taking all necessary steps to ensure that, all people related to IPL including fans have a safe cricketing experience.”More than 134,500 people have been infected globally and more than 4,900 have died because of the flu-like virus, according to a Reuters tally of government announcements. Sport events have been either cancelled or postponed globally in recent weeks.India’s national cricket team is locked in a three-match one-day international series against South Africa, the first of which was washed out due to rain in the northern Indian city of Dharamsala on Thursday. The BCCI said the remaining two matches – at Lucknow and Kolkata – would be played without the presence of crowd.The 13th season of the eight-team IPL had been scheduled to start with a match between defending champions Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.The cash-rich IPL, featuring celebrity owners and top business houses, draws the world’s top cricketers. As per the previous schedule, the franchise-based competition was set to run for seven weeks with the final on May 17. The IPL’s brand value has soared over the years since its 2008 launch and grew to an estimated $6.8 billion in 2019, according to New York-based corporate finance advisory firm Duff & Phelps.
BARCELONA, (Reuters) – Spain’s Olympic Committee (COE) president Alejandro Blanco said he would prefer this summer’s Tokyo Olympics to be postponed because his country’s athletes are unable to train due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Olympics are scheduled to be held July 24-Aug. 9, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said yesterday that it was fully committed to the games taking place and that there was no need for “any drastic decisions” regarding the event.But Blanco took a different view.“The decision is for the International Olympic Committee (to make) after getting reports from the World Health Organisation and the organising committee,” he said in a COE statement. “The news that we get every day is uncomfortable for all countries in the world, but for us the most important thing is that our sportspeople cannot train and to celebrate the Games (as planned) would result in unequal conditions.“We want the Olympics to take place, but with security. We’re an important country in the world and four months before the games, our athletes can’t arrive in equal conditions.”Sports competitions across the world have come to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic, while Olympic qualifiers across 33 sports have been postponed.
With the CONCACAF Beach World Cup Qualifiers tentatively slated for early 2021, Guyanese International Kenard Simon has said that the current COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on the team’s preparation. This was disclosed during an exclusive interview with Stabroek Sport yesterday. According to Simon, who has been capped six times and has scored nine goals for Guyana in this format, the ongoing contagion is thwarting and affecting the overall quality of the team’s preparation.“It has been and will be a big setback because we are not getting to do anything; we begin preparation and have no socialisation with the team. It will be a further setback because when it’s eventually over and once it’s not cancelled, we will have to work harder to get prepared. We will have to work hard because of the confinement before and put our bodies in shape for the tournament,” he said.Guyana competed in the 2019 CONCACAF Beach Football Championship, which was staged in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico from May 13th-19th. Guyana ended their Group D campaign with a record of one win and two losses. The Guyanese opened their tournament with an 8-4 loss to El Salvador before going down agonisingly to Guadeloupe 2-0 on penalty kicks following a 3-3 gridlock at the end of full time. The Guyanese ended their campaign with a 3-2 win over Belize. Asked how he has been maintaining his fitness levels during the lockdown, Simon, 30, revealed, “I have been keeping fit through long runs and mostly gym work. I am hoping the situation ends so that we can prepare properly.”He declared that it is always an honour to represent Guyana on the international level. “It is very important and it means a lot to wear the flag on your chest. No matter if you do badly or good, at least you let people know there is a place called Guyana. It is the same and I will work hard as I usually do to make the team and represent Guyana once again,” he said.Simon, who plies his trade for the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), has been absent for over a year due to work commitments from the local Elite League circuit. “The intention was to go back but with all of that and how the sport is going, it’s kind of changing your mind to play. It has affected your thinking and doesn’t give you that urge to work,” he said. Simon’s comments echoed similar sentiments expressed by Golden Jaguars International Jeremy Garrett, who opined that the current situation and resulting lockdown will take a toll on the mental health of individuals. He said that the safeguarding of good mental health is essential to the overall wellbeing of everyone.Simon further added, “The COVID-19 situation has changed a lot of things, but I want to get back on the field and play.”
West Indies captain, Jason Holder is the latest to signal his satisfaction with the future of the Caribbean’s fast-bowling department. The 28-year-old fast bowling all-rounder gave his seal of approval during a virtual press conference on Tuesday, ahead of the opening day of their first Test against England yesterday.“Our fast bowling core has been and is growing and growing nicely,” he said.“We have quite a few young fast bowlers. Obviously with the circumstances we had to bring a bigger extended touring party and it has given us the luxury of working with some of the young fast bowlers,” he added. The number one ranked all-rounder in Test cricket said he was impressed with all of the bowlers.“I must tell you I have been impressed with all of them.“All of them look very great, they look fit, [and] they look healthy,” said Holder who is the skipper of the Barbados Pride team. “Obviously there is a lot of room for improvement but the beauty of having them here is that they’re open to learning and I think they would have grasped so many things over the last couple of weeks,” he said.He continued:”You’ve seen it in warm-up games we had and then coming back into the nets. I would remark that the practice sessions we had yesterday [Monday] was one of the best practice sessions I’ve seen in my time probably playing cricket. It was very lively the fast bowlers ran in and they really challenged the batters.”He said the future was bright once the bowlers could remain healthy. “I think it says a lot about the future of these young guys, if they could stay on track, stay fit and healthy then we would have a really good core of fast bowlers.”Holder namedropped 23-year-old Antiguan quick, Alzarri Joseph as one of those who have come into his own over the last couple of seasons while the likes of experienced campaigners in Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach have been exemplary role models.Also included in Holder’s approval list were Chemar Holder, who finished in the local First-Class season as the leading seamer and Guyana Jaguars left-arm pacer, Raymon Reifer. Recently, the management unit of West Indies, including head coach, Phil Simmons, batting coach, Floyd Reifer and assistant coaches, Rayon Griffith and Roddy Estwick have all expressed the bowling unit as a strong point of the West Indies side.
Share Submit Related Articles Share StumbleUpon Björn Nilsson: How Triggy is delivering digestible data through pre-set triggers August 28, 2020 Sportradar combats social media abuse with player protection solution August 17, 2020 David Lampitt, Sportradar: F1 presents betting’s most sizeable opportunity August 14, 2020 The industry’s best table football players will have the opportunity to test their mettle against each other at next month’s Betting on Football Conference (BOFCON) at Stamford Bridge Stadium, after SBC Events announced the launch of the inaugural Betting Industry Foosball Tournament.The new #betfoos tournament will be sponsored by Betradar, a brand of Sportradar, and a global leader in understanding and leveraging the power of sports data and digital content for its clients around the world.All delegates at the third annual Betting on Football Conference can enter, and the tournament will run during the evening networking party. Pit yourself against your contemporaries in the industry and take the foosball table triumphantly back to your office (or home – we won’t judge you).Andrew McCarron, SBC Managing Director, confirmed: “We are introducing delegate competitions, including the Official Table Foosball Championship sponsored by Sportradar, where you will compete against other delegates. The top prize is a world-class Table Foosball game; a prize certainly worth winning.”Tobias Brunner, Director of Marketing Operations at Sportradar, added: “We’re very happy to sponsor the industry’s first Foosball Tournament. We spend a lot of time talking about football, so it’s time to see who can back up their expertise with skill on the foosball table. And with the top prize being the Betradar Foosball table itself, it’s a competition well worth entering.”The BetFoos tournament is not the only competitive element to the day, with Metric Gaming sponsoring the BOFCON In-Play Trading Challenge. Attendees will be able to login to their own dedicated game account and make their trading predictions for the Arsenal vs West Brom match that is playing that evening. The top trader on the evening will win tickets for a match at this summer’s Euro 2016 tournament.Rasmus Sojmark, SBC founder, commented: “There’s always a competitive element within the betting industry, so we believe the addition of these two competitions with support from Betradar and Metric Gaming will make the event even more fun. I’m also a demon on the foosball table so players are going to have to be on top of their game to get past me.”The agenda for the day has been tailored to cover all of the core factors, trends and market conditions impacting the relationship between football and betting. Strategically taking place two months before the start of Euro 2016, up to 400 industry professionals will be in attendance to make sure they enjoy a successful Championships.BOFCON has earned itself a reputation for attracting a mix of industry experts, with speakers this year covering a range of key industry subjects including Euro 2016 player activation, content marketing, trading places, sponsorship opportunities, in-play advancements, betting integrity, eSports and the rise of daily fantasy sports.The top-notch roster of speakers includes Mark Davies, Head of New Business at Premier League leaders Leicester City FC, Asaf Peled, Founder and CEO of 90min.com, Eric Konings, Sports Betting Integrity Officer for Unibet, Valéry Bollier, Co-Founder and CEO of Oulala.com and Vahe Baloulian, CEO of BetConstruct.McCarron picked out the content marketing session, sponsored by Oddslife, as one to get particularly excited about: “The content marketing panel is full of experts from successful firms such as 90min.com, Ball Street, Sportlobster and Givemesport.com, so they should provide some fascinating perspectives.SBC’s annual Betting on Football Conference (#BOFCON) takes place in London, at the home of Chelsea FC, on Thursday, April 21st. Click here to register today!
FSB selects Glenn Elliott as new COO August 12, 2020 Related Articles Share Russell Colvin joins FSB as retail lead June 9, 2020 Dave McDowell, FSB: Hitting the bullseye during the global sports blackout June 8, 2020 StumbleUpon Share Submit Dave McDowellIndustry platform provider FSB Technology (UK) Ltd has partnered with IT solutions company Rackspace to implement their own private cloud ahead of the new football season. FSB has begun supplying software solutions to larger operators who want to control their own data feeds and trading teams. The technology will now allow the supplier to launch these new clients in their own ring-fenced environment. Typical clients for this service will include those who require a dedicated platform to support a large number of transactions, or those who want to offer bespoke pricing on specialist sports.The private cloud will also enable FSB to add scale at very short notice during flagship events such as the Grand National or Cheltenham Festival, and during regular weekly spikes such as big televised football matches.The new service provides a stronger operational backbone through improved peak-traffic bandwidth, 24/7 hardware monitoring and operating system support, with engineers on site to replace any faulty hardware within minutes.Unlike those using the public cloud, FSB can also identify each piece of equipment used in their service and report the information to the UK Gambling Commission.This allows them to deliver the operational efficiency often associated with cloud-based hosting whilst still maintaining regulatory compliance requirements.FSB co-founder and CEO, Dave McDowell, said: “Our aim has always been to help our clients run the most efficient operations in the industry by using modern technology to reduce the manual labour required to run a sports betting operation.“Another key benefit of moving to our new private cloud is that we can now significantly reduce the initial capital investment required for any company who requires their own dedicated platform solution. Both competition and regulatory costs are on the rise, however, and so it makes sense for our clients to make sure the product they offer is both secure and scalable while also being flexible and cost effective enough to move into new territories. “I’m very confident that creating our own private cloud will be of great benefit to our existing clients and those who we are in the process of launching.”
Related Articles Share Share Bakhshi and Shaddick launch ‘Art of the Possible’ podcast tracking US 2020 developments August 10, 2020 Submit Bookies Corner: Trump Presidency sinks as US 2020 enters its 100 day countdown July 29, 2020 StumbleUpon Betfair US 2020 – Biden takes pole position but punters side with Trump July 6, 2020 Updating its ‘Next US President’ market, Betfair has detailed that Donald Trump has ‘hit his shortest price at 2.98’ of becoming the 45th leader of the United States of America.At present Betfair gives Trump a 34% chance of replacing Barack Obama, having been sworn in as official Republican Presidential Nominee at the RNC Party convention in Cleveland Ohio last week.Betfair has further informed that its market has taken a £50,000 wager on Trump winning the 2016 US Election, following the announcement of Mike Pence as his Vice Presidential running mate.Trump’s charge for the White House has been one of the betting industry’s most intriguing markets, considering when he first announced his Presidential candidacy many bookmakers had placed the brazen New Yorker at +100/1 odds to take the GOP candidacy.Naomi Totten, Spokesperson for Betfair, commented on the market: “Throughout the nominee campaigning stages of the presidential race, Trump’s success has continuously surprised both the US and the world looking in. Hillary Clinton remains the clear favourite, but punters’ confidence is growing in Trump as he has hit his lowest price yet.“Since the shock Brexit result, a majority of the money has come for Trump, which could be a testament to customers more willing to back the less likely outcome.”Betfair Next PresidentHilary Clinton 1.51 (1/2 or 66% likelihood)Donald Trump 3 (2/1 or 34% likelihood)
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — As the Ravens made final preparations to play one of the most important regular-season games in franchise history, they received an encouraging sign with the return of Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda to the practice field on Friday.Yanda sustained rib and thigh contusions in the 20-14 win over Cleveland on Christmas Eve and had been sidelined all week, missing practices on Wednesday and Thursday. The fifth-year lineman did not appear to be taking part in much activity during the open portion of practice, but Friday workouts are typically lighter ones anyway. Safety Bernard Pollard also returned to practice a day after being out of action with an illness, joining defensive lineman Arthur Jones as Ravens players dealing with sickness this week. And though he’s been ruled out for Sunday’s game in Cincinnati, wide receiver Anquan Boldin (knee) was on the field, playing catch and doing some light running only eight days after undergoing surgery to repair a partially-torn meniscus. At the day of the procedure, coach John Harbaugh offered a two-week prognosis for Boldin’s recovery time, so to see him on the field during practice on Friday was very encouraging. A bye week would be even more helpful for the veteran receiver, however. Cornerback Cary Williams (concussion), defensive end Cory Redding (ankle), and kicker Billy Cundiff (left calf) were all practicing for the third straight day. All three worked on a limited basis on Wednesday and Thursday and are considered likely candidates — with Cundiff likely being the biggest question mark — to play on Sunday. Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe was not present during the portion of practice open to the media. He has missed the entire week of practice while still feeling the effects of a concussion suffered last Saturday. Referee Tony Corrente and his crew will officiate Sunday’s game between the Ravens and Bengals in Cincinnati. Corrente has been undergoing cancer treatment, but he called last Saturday’s game between the Redskins and Vikings. Sunday’s forecast in Cincinnati calls for a temperature right around 50 degrees with a 40 percent chance of precipitation at Paul Brown Stadium.
BALTIMORE — It turns out pitcher Jason Berken’s second stint with the club will be shorter than his first one in Baltimore this season.After a terrible inning of work in Monday’s 14-3 loss to the Texas Rangers, Berken has been optioned back to Triple-A Norfolk and replaced by left-handed reliever Zach Phillips. Berken allowed six hits and seven runs (two earned) in the ninth inning, which included a long home run by Josh Hamilton.Manager Buck Showalter planned to only use three pitchers on Monday — starter Brian Matusz, Stu Pomeranz, and Berken — and will now turn to the southpaw relief pitcher he begrudgingly optioned to Triple-A Norfolk at the start of the season because he had a remaining option unlike a few other bullpen arms. Phillips had a brilliant Grapefruit League with the Orioles, posting a 1.35 earned run average in 13 1/3 innings of spring work.Phillips owned a 4.15 ERA in 13 innings for Triple-A Norfolk so far this season.He and Troy Patton give the Orioles two left-handers in the bullpen for the first time this season, but Showalter is not ready to designate one as a situational lefty and cited their backgrounds as starters and the ability for either pitcher to throw multiple innings when needed.“I don’t think there’s enough track record there to [make either a lefty specialist] for sure,” Showalter said, “but both these guys – he and Troy – have the potential to do both, which is unusual.”As for who will make Friday’s start in the series opener against the Tampa Bay Rays, Showalter is remaining tight-lipped but knows who he will call as long as rain doesn’t interfere over the next few days. All signs point to Norfolk starter Dana Eveland, who was pulled after 63 pitches on Monday despite throwing five shutout innings for the Tides.The Orioles would have to put Eveland on the 40-man roster, but second baseman Brian Roberts could be transferred to the 60-day disabled list without any consequence to his efforts to return from concussion-related symptoms. Catcher Taylor Teagarden would also be a candidate for the 60-day DL as he continues to receive treatment for a back injury.When asked about veteran infielder Miguel Tejada, Showalter confirmed the former Orioles shortstop and third baseman passed his physical without any concerns on Monday. However, the Baltimore manager deferred to executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette for more details.“I don’t know what the process or the plan is at this point,” said Showalter, who was under the impression that Tejada served as the designated hitter during an extended spring training game in Sarasota on Tuesday.Showalter admitted to not being familiar with Tejada, but he pointed to the positive reviews from former teammates of Tejada that are still on the roster.Right fielder Nick Markakis is off to a difficult start in 2012, hitting just .230 with three home runs and 11 runs batted in in 113 at-bats. When asked whether he would consider moving the struggling outfielder from the third spot in the order, Showalter brushed it off for now.“It’s too early,” Showalter said. “I think Nick has swung the bat well for us at times.”Showalter went on to discuss the batting order in greater detail, acknowledging sabermetrics and varying philosophies on how to construct a lineup. With Nolan Reimold currently on the 15-day disabled list with a bulging disc in his neck, the Orioles lack any semblance of a prototypical leadoff hitter — if you could even label Reimold that to begin with.Endy Chavez has received the most opportunities in Reimold’s absence, but the veteran outfielder is off to a miserable start with a .127 average. Chavez has a .310 career on-base percentage over his 11 years in the big leagues — not exactly what you’re looking for at the top of the order.Here are tonight’s lineups…Texas2B Ian KinslerSS Elvis AndrusCF Josh HamiltonDH Adrian Beltre3B Michael YoungLF David MurphyRF Nelson CruzC Mike Napoli1B Mitch MorelandSP Neftali Feliz (1-1, 3.81 ERA)BaltimoreLF Endy ChavezSS J.J. HardyRF Nick MarkakisCF Adam JonesC Matt Wieters1B Chris Davis3B Wilson BetemitDH Mark Reynolds2B Robert AndinoSP Jake Arrieta (2-2, 3.52 ERA)
An 8-0 finish?Playoffs?Seriously?The chatter among players began moments after the win over San Diego and has only been amplified with a bye week to rest their bodies and minds. Despite a 2-6 record that has them standing 13th out of 16 teams in the AFC entering Week 10, the Ravens still have their sights set on the playoffs as they trail current No. 6 seed Pittsburgh by 2 1/2 games.Few outside the Baltimore locker room think qualifying for the postseason is anything but crazy talk, but that’s perfectly fine with the Ravens.“That’s why it’s going to feel so much greater when we finally make it,” cornerback Jimmy Smith said. “Coming back from this type of record and this season and the first eight [games], it’s going to feel that much greater when we make the playoffs. Let’s make some history.”Unrealistic? Absolutely. Insane? Perhaps.But I still like it.Recent Ravens teams haven’t exactly oozed swagger like those from yesteryear, and that was even before they lost their two most demonstrative leaders — Terrell Suggs and Steve Smith — to season-ending injuries in the first half. Players know the odds are wildly against them, but believing you’re good enough fits into that winning equation — whether you actually are or not in the end.Doubting talent and coaching is fair, but questioning the effort of these Ravens doesn’t mesh with all six of their losses coming by just one possession and a combined 30 points. A team that’s mailed it in doesn’t compete on a weekly basis, making the post-bye confidence an encouraging sign for better results with a more favorable schedule in the second half.Of course, how much better is the real question, and that can only be answered on the field.“We have to earn our way to have that conversation for sure,” head coach John Harbaugh said. “But I expect our guys to have high expectations. The standard here has been high. We’ve set a high bar here for a long time, and we’re proud of that. We have high expectations, so we’re not going to let those expectations go. We’re not pleased with where we are — just like the fans aren’t pleased, coaches aren’t pleased, players aren’t pleased. Nobody in the organization is pleased with where we are, and we’re very determined to turn it around.”We’ve all heard how the Ravens could be better than their 2-6 record. Given the small margin of defeat in those six losses, it’s fair to acknowledge the possibility, but let’s not forget those two victories could have easily turned into defeats as well. The eternal optimist would be stretching further to say the Ravens could be 6-2 or better than the pessimist would be in pointing to the possibility of a winless record through eight games.Even if you believe that the Ravens were unlucky in the first half of the season, that doesn’t mean a run of good fortune is on the way. With Baltimore having a poor defense and an average offense lacking reliable pass-catchers — even before Smith’s Achilles injury — for Joe Flacco, predicting much better than a .500 record in the second half of the season would be based more on blind optimism than what we watched in the first half of 2015.But players and coaches certainly don’t have to feel that way.“The mindset is 1-0. Take care of what we have to take care of this week,” said running back Justin Forsett, who “definitely” thinks the Ravens can still make the playoffs. “We’ll just do our part and control what we control. Hopefully, at the end, we’ll be where we want to be.”Even if the Ravens were to somehow run the table to finish 10-6, there’s no guarantee of even that being good enough as they needed help in Week 17 a year ago to make the playoffs with that same record. Rebounding from 2-6 is an incredible long shot, but who said the Ravens or their fans need to be grounded in reality, especially with eight games to go?Does Harbaugh think the Ravens can make history as the first team to start 1-6 and make the NFL playoffs under the current format?“Of course we can. We’re planning on it,” Harbaugh said. “We’re very optimistic about what’s in front of us, our future. We love our players, love the way they work, love the enthusiasm that they had today coming back and getting ready for Jacksonville.“We’ll take it one day at a time, one game at a time.”That’s all the Ravens can do, but some extra bravado can only help their near-impossible cause.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Preparing to renew a rivalry long known for its brutal physicality, the Ravens are already dealing with a number of ailments ahead of Sunday’s trip to Pittsburgh.Baltimore did welcome inside linebacker C.J. Mosley (knee), defensive tackle Michael Pierce (foot), and rookie tight end Hayden Hurst (foot) back to the practice field on Wednesday, but six players did not participate in the workout for health-related reasons. The absentees included linebacker Terrell Suggs (knee), cornerbacks Brandon Carr (knee) and Anthony Averett (hamstring), left tackle Ronnie Stanley (foot), quarterback Lamar Jackson (illness), and defensive tackle Willie Henry (hernia surgery). Suggs, Carr, and Stanley finished Sunday’s game against Denver without any noticeable incident while Averett and Henry didn’t play against the Broncos.Mosley’s return to practice was an encouraging sign for the Ravens defense after he sat out in Week 3, marking only the third missed game of his five-year career. Veteran Albert McClellan started in place of Mosley and shared inside linebacker snaps with weak-side starter Patrick Onwuasor and rookie Kenny Young. Mosley, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, described himself as “day by day” before Wednesday’s practice and is trying to avoid a setback with the bone bruise in his left knee.“I was pretty close [to playing], but I didn’t want any uncertainty,” said Mosley about missing Sunday’s game. “That was really the main reason. And I felt comfortable with Kenny, Bert, and ‘Peanut’ out there without me. They practiced all week without me. I prepared like I was going to play if I did play. I was comfortable with that, but as far as my knee, I just didn’t feel comfortable.”Hurst was practicing for the first time since having a screw inserted in his foot for a stress fracture on Aug. 24. It remains unclear how much practice time the first-round pick will need to be ready for live-game action again, but the Ravens are eager to have both Hurst and fellow rookie Mark Andrews on the field at the same time. Andrews, a third-round pick, has been a pleasant surprise with eight catches for 107 yards and a touchdown in the first three games.The Steelers appear to be getting healthier as safety Morgan Burnett (groin), right guard David DeCastro (hand), and right tackle Marcus Gilbert (hamstring) all practiced fully on Wednesday. Those three starters sat out Pittsburgh’s win at Tampa Bay on Monday night.Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster sat out Wednesday’s practice with an abdomen injury.Below is Wednesday’s full injury report:BALTIMOREDID NOT PARTICIPATE: CB Anthony Averett (hamstring), WR John Brown (non-injury), CB Brandon Carr (knee), DT Willie Henry (abdomen), QB Lamar Jackson (illness), OT Ronnie Stanley (foot), LB Terrell Suggs (knee), S Eric Weddle (non-injury)LIMITED PARTICIPATION: TE Hayden Hurst (foot), DB Anthony Levine (hamstring), LB C.J. Mosley (knee), DT Michael Pierce (foot)PITTSBURGHDID NOT PARTICIPATE: OT Ramon Foster (non-injury), CB Mike Hilton (elbow), QB Ben Roethlisberger (non-injury), WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (abdomen)FULL PARTICIPATION: S Morgan Burnett (groin), G David DeCastro (hand), OT Marcus Gilbert (hamstring)
Third-tier league side Les Herbies have booked an unlikely place in the French Cup final after they saw off another third-tier side Chambly in their semifinal clash on Tuesday night.Florian David and Ambrose Gboho scored for Les Herbies either side of the halftime interval to secure a 2-0 win over Chambly.The giantkillers will now face the winner of the other semifinal between Caen and PSG on Wednesday night for a place in the final match scheduled for May 8.Related
23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams has pulled out of the ongoing French Open as a result of a right pectoral muscle injury.Serena Williams, 36, was initially expected to face rival Maria Sharapova of Russia in the fourth round.While speaking about the reason behind her withdrawal, Serena Williams said: “I’ve had issues with the right pectoral muscle to the point where I can’t serve.”“I’ll have a scan. I won’t know about Wimbledon until I get the results.” she added.According to the three-time French Open champion, she noticed the problem during her third-round win over German 11th seed Julia Gorges on Saturday.The mother of one also talked about how she tried to manage the injury during her doubles match with sister Venus on Sunday.She said: “I tried lots of taping and support to see how it felt in match circumstances.”“It is hard to play when I can’t physically serve. I’ve never had this injury before, I’ve never felt it in my life and it was so painful.“I don’t know how to manage it.” she concluded.Her opponent Sharapova was kind enough to send a message of recovery to Serena Williams as she said: “I wish her a speedy recovery and hope she returns to the tour soon.”Two-time winner Sharapova will now play 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza for a place in the last four as the Spaniard was 2-0 up in the opening set of her match against Lesia Tsurenko before the Ukrainian retired hurt.The top two seeds namely Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki posted different results from their last 16 games.World number one Halep defeated Elise Mertens of Belgium 6-2 6-1 to ensure that the Romanian will now face 12th seeded German Angelique Kerber for a place in the semifinal.Kerber saw off home favourite Caroline Garcia 6-2 6-3 in her last 16 clash.Second seed Caroline Wozniacki has, however, crashed out after she was beaten by Daria Kasatkina of Russia.The Dane suffered a 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 defeat to 14th seed Kasatkina who will now face 10th seeded American Sloane Stephens for the right to secure a last four spot.Related
Related The account of how Manchester United star Paul Pogba inspired France to a crucial win over Lionel Messi’s Argentina has been revealed.France defeated Argentina 4-3 in their round of 16 clash at the just concluded FIFA World Cup tournament in Russia with goals from Les Blues players Kylian Mbappe (2), Antoine Griezmann and Benjamin Pavard, while Angel Di Maria, Gabriel Mercado and Sergio Aguero got the goals for the 1978 and 1986 champions in Kazan.In a TF1 documentary entitled “Les Bleus 2018: au cœur de l’épopée russe” (“The Blues 2018, at the heart of their Russian epic”), Pogba was seen giving the team talk ahead of the game after manager Didier Deschamps had spoken.He was quoted as follows: “The details boys. Fellas! We want warriors on the pitch today.”“I don’t want to go home tonight. Me, this evening, I’m not going home. Tomorrow, we’re staying at the hotel. “We’re going to eat that f—ing sauteed pasta again. I don’t give a s—, we’re not going home. We’re going to finish happy. I want us to have a party tonight.“I want everyone. Today, we run ourselves to death out on the pitch. No one lets anyone else down. No one drops off. On the pitch, we’re all together. Good guys and warriors. Soldiers. We’re going to kill them today, these Argentines. Messi or no Messi, we don’t give a s—.“We’re coming to win the f—ing World Cup. We have to get through this to do that. Come on boys!” He concluded.