24 March 2014 Trade between South Africa and Saudi Arabia nearly trebled from R29.7-billion in 2009 to R80.1-billion in 2013, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said at the 5th session of the South Africa-Saudi Arabia Joint Economic Commission in Pretoria on Thursday. At the same, South Africa was keen to achieve more balanced trade between the two countries, Davies said, noting that SA’s trade deficit with Saudi Arabia had grown from R62.2-billion in 2012 to R74.8-billion in 2013. In January this year, Saudi Arabia overtook Germany to become South Africa’s second-biggest source of imports, with China being the largest. “There is no doubt that the level of our bilateral trade, especially South Africa’s value-added exports to Saudi Arabia, is far below potential and is also concentrated in a few sectors like oil and gas, raw materials, fruits and vegetables,” Davies said in a statement issued after the meeting. “This points to a need to diversify our basket of goods traded. More value-added and diversified trade will benefit both our countries as it will lead to job creation, which is one of our biggest challenges at present.” Davies and his Saudi counterpart, Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, co-chaired the Joint Economic Commission meeting, which agreed to harness all means to promote further growth between the two regional powerhouses. “We have expressed our desire to collaborate with the Saudi side in the promotion of investments between the two countries,” Davies said. “This can be done through the exchange of company visits. To this end, the South African side will make available its top 10 investment projects to its Saudi counterparts.” He added that the two countries had agreed to promote cooperation in the fields of oil, gas and minerals by setting up meetings between oil and mining companies in both countries, as well as bilateral meetings to discuss joint investment opportunities and possible areas of cooperation. The commission had also agreed to increase cooperation in the field of mineral resources and mineral beneficiation by setting up exchange programmes for professionals working in the field. The meeting of the commission was preceded by a South Africa-Saudi Arabia Business Forum attended by business people from both countries. The forum mandated the South Africa-Saudi Arabia Business Council to identify complementary projects that businesses could collaborate on. SAinfo reporter
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Anthony GrederDTN Managing EditorOMAHA (DTN) — U.S. winter wheat is starting off the 2019 growing season in the best condition in three years, according to USDA’s first weekly Crop Progress report released Monday.For the week ended March 31, 2019, winter wheat was rated 56% in good-to-excellent condition, well above 32% at the same time last year and the highest initial good-to-excellent rating in three years. Nine percent of the crop was rated poor to very poor, well below 30% last year.Top winter-wheat-producing state Kansas reported 55% of its crop in good-to-excellent condition, far better than 10% at the same time last year. More problems with the crop are being seen in Ohio and Michigan so far.For the other crops USDA included in its report this week, planting was progressing at a near- to above-average pace. Sorghum was 13% planted, compared to 8% last year and a 9% five-year average. Cotton planting was 4% complete, compared to 6% last year and a 3% average. Rice was 12% planted, compared to 15% last year and a 12% average.Oats were 25% planted as of March 31, compared to 22% last year and a 25% average. Emergence was at 25%, compared to 21% last year and a 23% average.Nationwide, soil moisture was considerably higher this year than last year at the same time. Based on reports from 48 states, topsoil moisture nationally was rated 8% very short to short compared to 24% last year and 92% adequate to surplus compared to 76% last year. Subsoil moisture was rated 8% short to very short compared to 28% last year and 92% adequate to surplus compared to 72% last year.National Crop Progress SummaryThisLastLast5-YearWeekWeekYearAvg.Cotton Planted4NA63Sorghum Planted13NA89Oats Planted25NA2225Oats Emerged25NA2123Rice Planted12NA1512Rice Emerged2NA53**National Crop Condition Summary(VP=Very Poor; P=Poor; F=Fair; G=Good; E=Excellent)This WeekLast WeekLast YearVPPFGEVPPFGEVPPFGEWinter Wheat27354511NANANANANA111938284Anthony Greder can be reached at email@example.comFollow him on Twitter @AGrederDTN(AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.
SharePrint RelatedFeatured Geocacher of the Month Award WinnersAugust 25, 2011In “Community”Unleash Your Inner Indiana — Raiders of the Lost Cache (GC2HN2H) — Geocache of the WeekAugust 14, 2013In “Community”Enigma #1 – GC448A – GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK – November 8, 2012November 8, 2012In “Community” 1Delta10Tango cave caching Chris and a group of local geocachers were about to set off on a geocaching adventure that would twist them through cave openings little larger then rabbit holes. The adventure would leave them rain soaked, mud covered and in awe. In typical geocacher fashion Chris calls the experience, “truly one of the most fun and exciting caches that we had ever done.”The search for “In the MIDDLE of nowhere” (GC1XK83) began with a phone call. Chris says, “I called my geocaching buddies Team Mazda and Ladybug97470 and said we have to go for this one there has only been one finder and it has sat for almost a year.”On the way to the cache the rain started. Chris says, “After about a 30 minute drive we arrived at our destination, the rain was falling at a steady pace and was enough to soak through our coats.” He says they did a quick safety check and, “We found a spot to park and after gearing up with flashlights, extra batteries, a few items of SWAG and our GPS we set off down the side of the mountain.”The coordinates took them deep in the brush to a steep hillside. Chris says, “We arrived at the spot where we had to crawl into the opening of an abandoned gold mine. We all looked at each other water dripping from our faces. Chris asked, “Who is going to be Alice first?”Crawling through the rough dirt hole, Chris says the geocachers entered another world lit only by their flashlights. Chris says,“There was no White Rabbit, Mad Hatter or Cheshire Cat in this Wonderland but there was years of preserved history just waiting for people to find it.” The mine looked very much like it did more than a hundred years before. Inside the “rabbit hole” Chris Brown’s (1Delta10Tango) geocaching accomplishments can be measured by the mile. There’s a 20 mile swath of land around his rural Oregon home where, he says, he’s found nearly every geocache. A geocache is published, Chris finds it. It’s a system. But a recent search turned up an extreme cache that he hadn’t found. The cache was hidden in an old gold mine and only one geocacher had logged the find since the difficulty four, terrain five geocache was published in 2009. Share with your Friends:More “We looked around amazed at what we had found. We could still see the marks in the rock from pick axes that had chiseled their way through so many years ago. It was one of the neatest places I have ever been. After looking around for a minute we decide to begin our search without any info on what we were looking for or where we would find it.”The cache wasn’t far. “With a little searching around we managed to come up with the cache. After a few minutes of looking through the SWAG and deciding what each of us would get, we divided it up and left our own SWAG for the next seeker.”But the team left with more than SWAG. They had an experience for a lifetime: “With a smile on all our faces we walked back down the dark corridors, back to where we started this fun and exciting venture.”Chris hopes his story will inspire others to try more challenging caches (while taking necessary safety precautions). Chris says he is “hopeful that one day others will try this quest and get the self satisfaction of a job well done.”
Questioning the credibility of electronic voting machines, BSP chief Mayawati on Monday asked why the BJP was afraid of holding elections through paper ballots. She said the chief election commissioner must think about it in wake of doubts being raised from several quarters.“If BJP leaders consider themselves honest, why are they afraid of conducting future elections through ballot papers,” she told a press conference on her 62nd birthday, alleging that the BJP came to power in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand because of alleged faults in the functioning of the EVMs. The debate over the authenticity of EVMs has been on for nearly an year now. Other political parties, including the Congress, too, previously raised the possibility of tampering with EVMs. The Election Commission has rejected the charge. Following the Gujarat Assembly polls in December, the EC did a random vote count on EVMs and paper trail slips in 182 polling stations in the state for greater transparency. An official of the election machinery in the state had then said there was a “100 per cent match” in the vote count. Ms. Mayawati, whose birthday is being celebrated as ‘Jan Kalyankari Diwas’ by her party, also expressed the possibility that the Lok Sabha polls, due in 2019, may be held this year along with various state Assembly elections. She released the 13th edition of a book based on her life — A Travelogue of my Struggle-Ridden Life and BSP Movement-13.“The BSP was the first party in the country to raise the issue of EVM anomalies soon after the results of the UP Assembly elections were out, and approached the Supreme Court.Later, whatever improvements were made in the EVMs, it was due to the efforts made by the BSP,” she claimed. The BJP won the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls — held in February-March last year — after a gap of 15 years during which regional parties like the SP and the BSP had held sway. Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Ms. Mayawati said: .“Har-Har Modi, Ghar-Ghar Modi had a narrow escape of being thrown out from Gujarat this time. Had the voteshare of Dalits in Gujarat been 18 to 20 per cent, he would not had been able to escape.” The slogan she referred to was a campaign highlight of the BJP during the general elections in 2014. Levelling allegation at the Centre, she said: “The BJP government wants to change the Constitution and laws. A minister in their government is talking about changing the Constitution, but no action has been taken against him.” The BSP chief alleged that the Congress and the BJP have damaged every section of the society after Independence.“Today there is an atmosphere of communalism and casteism in every state. Capitalistic-minded political parties do not like our party. The BJP is trying to finish our party. Both, the Congress and the BJP are chor-chor mausere bhaai (hand in glove with each other). These parties do not want to see Ambedkar-inspired party (the BSP) to move ahead. First, it was the Congress and company, which tried to finish us, and now it is the BJP and company which is trying to do so,” she said. Ms. Mayawati said as she was not allowed to speak in the Rajya Sabha, she resigned.“In the same manner, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar was also harassed, and subsequently he resigned from the post of the Union Law Minister,” she said. The BSP chief said: “I want to know from the Congress why Babasaheb was not honoured with Bharat Ratna. Why the recommendations of Mandal Commission were not implemented. The BJP government is virtually deactivating the reservation system, thereby rendering people jobless.” She said people who had to face trouble due to demonetisation would be given help by her party.
UP hopeful Ricafort can still play Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City “We were very soft defensively and we conceded easy goals,” said Ceres coach Risto Vidakovic, referring to their performance in the Tajik capital. “But this is football and anything can happen [on Tuesday night].”Spanish central defender Super Herrera returns from suspension, while Martin Steuble looks fit to start at rightback, giving the back line some stability and experience.“My players are ready to give everything,” added Vidakovic.ADVERTISEMENT BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight The Busmen, who ruled the Asean zone at the expense of Singapore’s Home United, are unbeaten at home in this year’s AFC Cup, but the match will be their biggest test yet not only because of the strength of the opposition, but also because of the deficit they are facing.Ceres goalkeeper Roland Muller isn’t ruling out a mighty fightback from the Busmen.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Coming back from 4-0 is not easy but it’s not impossible,” said Muller. “We know what we did right and what we did wrong in the first leg. We’re playing at home so that should be a big boost for us.”The Busmen yielded twice in each half in Dushanbe as Istiklol capitalized on some poor defending from the Filipino side. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president BACOLOD CITY—Southeast Asian zone champion Ceres-Negros tries to pull off the improbable when they host Istiklol of Tajikistan on Tuesday in the second leg of their AFC Cup inter-zone semifinal clash at Panaad Stadium.Beaten 0-4 in Dushanbe three weeks ago by the Tajik champions, the Busmen would need some sort of miracle to stay in the title hunt in the competition.ADVERTISEMENT Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients View comments WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LATEST STORIES LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary
Cool your heels with the hottest buys. Well-timed: Breguet is celebrating the hundredth anniversary of the French Fleet Air Arm this year through a patronage operation, as well as by launching a new Type XX chronograph in a 1,000 piece limited edition. Watch out! Price on request Dandy cool: Party,Cool your heels with the hottest buys.Well-timed: Breguet is celebrating the hundredth anniversary of the French Fleet Air Arm this year through a patronage operation, as well as by launching a new Type XX chronograph in a 1,000 piece limited edition. Watch out! Price on requestDandy cool: Party boys unite, for these velvet bows from Tom Ford are sure to replace any missed mistletoe opportunities. Price: $220 (Rs 9,875)All ear round: Keeping warm is one thing, being the toast of town, quite another. Try these ear muffs from Diane Von Furstenberg to effortlessly ease into the latter category. Price on request.Best case scenario: Form and function reign supreme with this elegant single-gusset briefcase from Montblanc’s Nightflight Cruise collection in silk, cotton and printed calf skin with palladium-plated metal fittings. Price: Rs 50,950Foot fetish: Scorch the ramp or the romp with these laminated leather booties from Giorgio Armani. The stiletto heels teeter at 125 mm with an opening at the side from the ankle downwards. Balance your best foot forward. Price on requestBull’s eye: If eyes are the windows to the soul, here’s soul food in a 48-shade colour palette designed by Estee Lauder’s creative makeup director Tom Pecheux. The lasting pigments and fade resistant formulas for the eyeshadows promise drama and attitude. Price: Rs 1,350 per shadeSling fling: You can’t go wrong with classics or so they say. Try this iconic Fendi bag for size. The zucca fabric trimmed with rich leather features a leather ID tag, goldtone hardware and a detachable shoulder strap. Price: Rs 67,760Run along: Who said pink was the only metrosexual hue to sport? Run a mile in these electric blue Moschino scrape Uomo shoes to char the tar. Price: Euro 304 (Rs 18,333)Cuff it up: If you want to bring on the bling, you can’t go wrong with the ‘London Lantern’. These uber luxe bejewelled cufflinks, from Alfred Dunhill, are created in 18 carat pink gold and white diamonds. If you can’t storm the boardroom with brain, try bling instead. Price on requestLight bulb moment: Surprise is the new element in home decor it seems, especially with this pair of multi-coloured leather book lamps with Sienna leather shades from Maitland Smith. The lamps are available at The Gallery, 13 Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road. Price: Rs 1.4 lakh for a pairadvertisement
Branded: SRCC has a special inclination for culture and sportsA commerce college with a triple A-rated blue chip brand name, the Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), Delhi, is basking in the afterglow of its platinum jubilee celebrations-it turned 75 last year amid a shower of bright sparks like former,Branded: SRCC has a special inclination for culture and sportsA commerce college with a triple A-rated blue chip brand name, the Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), Delhi, is basking in the afterglow of its platinum jubilee celebrations-it turned 75 last year amid a shower of bright sparks like former students Arun Jaitley, the Union law and company affairs minister, and television host Rajat Sharma who came to bond with the present batches.The special occasion apart, Professor J.L. Gupta, who has been the principal for the past 17 years, hopes the serious student will “forgive” the “little problems” that make its exteriors less than inspiring. The scrubby, dust-filled space in front was once intended as a lawn; water shortage and, of course, the regular power cuts make the less fortunate label it “SR chee chee”. But it is the stringent admission criteria, not compromised through years of “immense pressure” that, according to the principal, make it the mecca for those who aspire to great things.Second-time lucky: Tight discipline, strict rules about attendance and penalty for latecomers and class-duckers keep the students at St Xavier’s, Kolkata, on their toesSRCC’s vital stats are highly impressive. To begin with, the college has maintained the top slot in Commerce in the India Today-Gallup survey for the sixth consecutive year. It is among the few colleges in India that routinely sends students to the Indian Institutes of Management by the dozen.Management guru Shiv Khera and the late NASSCOM president Dewang Mehta are among its contributions to the business world. Its students make preferred recruits for accountancy and consultancy firms like Price-Waterhouse-Coopers, KPMG and McKinsey. And their contribution to the university toppers’ list is so regular that it is mundane in the SRCC scheme of things.The list of accomplishments does not limit itself to the world of economy and business. SRCC’s students are among the best-known names in spheres like politics, law and the bureaucracy too-apart from Jaitley, BJP MP Vijay Goel and leader of the Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Jagdish Mukhi are among its alumni. And that these SRCCians are allrounders is hardly surprising.advertisementClick here to EnlargeFar from being a purely academic college churning out brilliant chartered accountants and multinational executives, SRCC has a special inclination for culture and sports. Its annual festival Crossroads is an eagerly awaited high point on the university’s culture map. It also won the Chancellor’s Trophy for excellence in sports recently. It has a history and political science society which organises stimulating lectures and even does Goa trips, Dil Chahta Hai-style. And yes, there is an English literary society too. When you’re getting all of this, why complain about the lawns?Click here to EnlargeSRCC’s closest rival St Xavier’s, Kolkata, has also retained its No. 2 position. The Kolkata college, founded in 1860 by Jesuit priests, still does not have a place for girls in the commerce department. It has come under fire on this count but the authorities maintain that they do not want to take a chance with safety and discipline during the early morning sessions. Here, tight discipline, strict rules about attendance and penalty for latecomers and class-duckers keep the students on their toes.Following in the footsteps of Kolkata’s St Xavier’s is its counterpart in Mumbai, which has moved up from the 5th position it obtained last year. The disappointment was Presidency College, Chennai, which slid to the 9th position from the No. 3 slot last year. A new addition to the “Big Ten” is the Hyderabad-based Indian Institute of Management of Commerce, which has made a quick advance to the 10th position from last year’s 28th.Top 10 collegesShri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi, 2001 (1), 2000 (1)ST Xavier’s College, Kolkata, 2001 (2), 2000 (4)ST Xavier’s College, Mumbai, 2001 (5), 2000 (2)Loyola College, Chennai, 2001 (11), 2000 (-)Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi, 2001 (8), 2000 (6)Osmania University, Hyderabad, 2001 (-), 2000 (-)Madras Christian College, Chennai, 2001 (4), 2000 (8)R.A. Poddar College of Commerce, Mumbai, 2001 (5), 2000 (-)Presidency College, Chennai, 2001 (3), 2000 (3)IIMC, Hyderabad, 2001 (28), 2000 (-)
Crushers Women’s Open captain Kate ‘Golden Boots’ McCarthy nudged me in the ribs and pointed to a group of players excitedly gathering on the end of field six as the hum of the floodlights provided a low key soundtrack to the festivities unfolding on a perfect summer’s evening.‘Golden Boots’ and I were on the walk back to the car park after watching the 2011 BCTA Cobras Cup Women’s Open Grand Final between undefeated minor premiers Southern Storm and three time champions and hot favourites Caboolture Colts who had been shooting for a record breaking fourth straight title.It is history now that Southern Storm removed the monkey, no make that, the giant sized Gorilla that was on their backs for over a decade when they triumphed 8-5 over the benchmark team of the prestigious BCTA Cobras Cup, Caboolture Colts, on Saturday night at the Brisbane Metropolitan Touch Association’s Whites Hill complex.I smiled at ‘Boots’ and said, “Our time will come mate, this is one of the hardest competitions to win.” Testimony to this is the fact that it took Caboolture Colts eight semi-final appearances in a row to even make the Grand Final, and that Storm has waited 10 years to win this competition since their last premiership in 2000.Kate and I paused for a moment to watch and admire and definitely envy the Storm girls congregating on field six and even though we were a distance away, the happy faces, the sheer joy, the overwhelming relief, the light-hearted banter, the spot of drunken shenanigans, and the pure bond of friendship that only playing in a team and achieving a special shared goal such as this breeds, was crystal clear.“I want to do that again too,” I said.My mind wandered back to 12 months ago, same team, same scenario, but a very different result.Storm had been the first team through to the Grand Final last year and had been considered favourites for the title as Colts had struggled to overcome a determined and in-form Crushers line up 4-3 the night before in the preliminary final.Inexplicably Storm, top heavy with representative superstars and a very talented coaching staff, failed to produce the level of performance required to win the Grand Final and Colts collected their third title in a row.The Storm girls gathered sadly in their circle on field six last year and no doubt felt the agony of a second successive loss that cut deep. I remember I was hanging around waiting to have a consoling word to Kirsty Quince, a Storm girl for life and a player who I work a lot with and count as one of my best mates on the planet. When we win or we lose on the field or in the game of life we are there for each other the Quince and I, it’s just how we roll. Quince didn’t say much, and that always means she’s hurting. She headed over to her team huddle and the disappointment was etched on each girl’s face I saw. I have known my share of losses, in fact, have made a bit of an art form of it, so I was well qualified to provide an empathetic ear. I felt the Storm girls’ pain but I also knew that it was something they needed to deal with as a team. I don’t know what was said in that huddle, but I do know there was lots of alcohol consumed because I received a 2.00am text saying ‘Karrllsss, come out???’ from Quince so I smiled and went back to sleep secure in the knowledge my little mate was ok and figuring it had been a really galvanising night for the Storm girls and whatever happened in that huddle would be very important to their team going forward in season 2011.I am positive that the happy circle Kate and I spied after Southern Storm’s wonderfully professional and clinical performance to claim the title Saturday night would not have been possible without a searching examination of the past and a commitment to being their best for each other in the future.The catchcry for the Storm girls Saturday night was ‘it’s our time’ and in everyway this team invested in every department to make the dream a reality.As expected this game had more twists and turns than all the waterslides put together at Wet n Wild on the Gold Coast.Caboolture Colts are the toughest team mentally and physically in the competition and they are proud of their sustained period of excellence at the top of the tree in Women’s Touch in South East Queensland. If Storm wanted to be premiers, there was no way it would be gifted to them and they would have to produce a near perfect game and an unwavering commitment to their game plan to make it happen. And that is precisely what happened.The game began at a cracking pace with both teams chancing their arm early. Colts tap off move came to naught, and for first five minutes both sides entered into an expansive arm wrestle, seeking to move each other around like pawns on a chess board, searching for the move that would produce the chink in the armour and checkmate a pathway towards a coveted early lead.There were some early errors on both sides of the half way line, which is only to be expected given the big match occasion and excited jumble of expectation and nerves that accompany a Grand Final appearance. Even though these two battled hardened combatants were facing off against each other for the third successive year, the butterflies were still fluttering fiercely in the stomachs of both line-ups who both had so much at stake in this game.Like two Queen Bees fighting for control of the hive, the thrust and parry of the opening exchanges was intense and neither team gave an inch.Storm came out full of running and after probing the Colts line and some thoughtful composure from 2011 Australian World Cup Mixed Open winner and Storm captain, Sarah ‘Sez’ Spacie, and partner in attacking crime, Australian Women’s Open World Cup champion, Kirsty ‘Mud’ Quince, the Storm girls ran their pet play ‘the special’ for the mercurial Emilee Cherry. ‘Chez’ split hard to the open side, Spacie ran a perfect angle to scythe between defenders, then gave a quick ball to Cherry who on cue, when the Colts defence collapsed, rifled a stunning left to right long ball that the lightning fast Tracy Hill latched onto to dot down in the corner for an early 1-0 lead.Storm have run this play countless times during the season and in particular unsettled Colts with the identical play in the last fixture round of the season proper two weeks earlier, and so no doubt Colts would have been disappointed with the defensive effort on this occasion, given that they knew the play was coming and coach Morrow would have planned strategy to minimize Storm’s pet attacking play.In the next five minutes Colts looked to get back on level terms with Savannah ‘Sweet cheeks’ Pratten and the ever-improving Emma Blanch driving strongly and featuring prominently for the defending champions. Storm were not backing down though, and kept driving directly and seemed to make easy metres through the usually granite-like ruck area of the Colts defence.The ‘human plough’ physicality of the Colts combination is renowned, and dare I say, feared by many teams in this competition, and it is fair to say in previous Grand Final showdowns the Storm girls have become intimidated and dominated in the field position battle of attrition, but Saturday night it was evident early that the Southside girls were not going to surrender meekly and that if Colts wanted to bash and barge then the premiers would have to be prepared to take as good as they gave.Colts were stung into action after Storm’s initial bright start to proceedings and their big guns, wonder twins, Gemma and Nikki Etheridge, did what they do best and drove the ball deep into Storm territory, earning their team a much needed relieving penalty.So often the saviour for Colts, two time World Cup winner, Peta Rogerson, stamped her undeniable class on the contest soon after by crafting a touchdown off a static play for her good friend and fellow Australian World Cup winner and long serving Colts captain, Mary ‘Pasher’ Steele in the 12th minute. At 1-all it was game on and both teams lifted their intensity again with power rucking and strong defence the order of the day from both sides.So often the game can turn in a twinkling of an eye and Colts will look back on the set of six at the 14th minute mark and wonder just how the next touchdown was conceded.Storm were rucking off their own line and frankly, the set of six was going to hell in a hand basket for them, with Colts bustling defenders controlling the set nicely after working hard to knock off four touches in good field position.Special players have a happy knack of doing the most extraordinary things at precisely the right time. That girl, Emilee Cherry, adjusted the super girl cape on the sideline and swept on left to right from the sub box, seemingly with not much doing. She shaped to run the ball out towards the right link then at the last moment propped inside and used that freakish acceleration she possesses to step inside both middles on an angled sideways run. She then beat her link for speed and drew the winger in down a narrow sideline corridor. The always clever and ever present Kristy ‘Kmart’ Brennan held her wing line brilliantly to skip clear a few steps, then with the inside Colts defenders converging, the Australian 20’s lynchpin delivered the perfect inside ball to a grateful Cherry who finished off the opportunistic play and ensured it was nothing but hi-fives and backslaps all the way back to the Storm sub box for the Storm girls who were chuffed with their 2-1 lead.The happier than a girl spotting a shirtless Sony Bill Williams feeling didn’t last long though for the Stormies who were reminded of the fight and pride and sheer talent that exists in the Colts line-up.Colts worked down to the opposition score line and were unlucky not to score off a well-worked middle/link ‘A’ pop out play featuring their attacking powerhouse Peta Rogerson. ‘Skeet’ gave the link the ball in some space and the link had the winger open but unfortunately didn’t release the ball and a touchdown may have gone begging. Fortuitously, Colts received a repeat set and that was always going to spell trouble for the Storm girls.If the ‘special’ has been the flagship play for Storm over the last two seasons, then ‘Zonda’ must surely be the equivalent play for the Colts girls. The angled hit wrap and step out between the two middles and either give the wrap, hit outside runners, or the ball player having a crack at the line themselves, are all options the Colts girls have perfected over the last few years.Rogerson called the play and ran the ball out unselfishly and engaged the correct middle. Bec Lapraik then got to half and wrapped around the impressive Emma Blanch who had played wing for most of the season but had recently moved into the middle to cover the loss of Colts outstanding middle Emily Reed, who was in England watching her brother Jack star for England overnight in the Four Nations Rugby League final against Australia.Ironically, the ‘Zonda’ with the step and go with a slidey dive yourself option is a well known pet play of Reed’s, so it was fitting that the girl replacing ‘Reedy’ ran a perfect line and did it all herself to score at the feet of the Storm defence to square the ledger at 2-all with 16 minutes gone on the clock.In the aftermath of the touchdown, Storm defender Lizzie Campbell disputed the decision and was sent for a period of time for dissent, leaving her team five on six for an extended period before half time. This situation was potentially a make or break one for both teams.Storm coach Swain Rovelli later revealed that the handling of the period of time by Campbell and the rest of the team was crucial in them maintaining their focus.“Last year we would probably have stewed over the decision and become distracted. The experienced girls like Rach Noble, Sez (Sarah Spacie) and Quincey (Kirsty Quince) refocused the girls and we played the time we had to endure with five players particularly well. We slowed the play up and gave Colts not too many opportunities to get their hands on the ball and that was a real bonus for us. To then get back to the full complement just before half time and put another touchdown on them I think really broke their backs,” Rovelli said.Campbell spent the better part of three minutes and 30 seconds cooling her heels ‘in the bin’ and her teammates dug in for her and each other. The entire Storm camp remained composed and the maturity and discipline shown under pressure was a real sign of the growth this team has made and the lessons learnt over the last few years when inexperience and lack of belief were key stumbling blocks to them achieving their potential.Strangely Colts did not seem to press Storm or bustle them defensively in that period of time when they had the one player advantage, and it was perhaps a hint that the Colts girls were a little off their game that is usually characterised by assertive defence and confident option taking.With 30 seconds left in the half, ‘Lizard’ Campbell was saved the brainwork of masterminding a prison break and granted a thankful release from Alcatraz in time to see her teammates put together a well-worked play to ensure they went to oranges with a precious onetouchdown advantage.The experienced Rach Noble, who is Storm royalty, is the sole survivor from Storm’s last premiership winning team in 2000 and she used all her experience and undeniable guile to move the ball to the right and work a clever switch into phase with Candice Humm and Anna Hicks. Hicks phased the ball for the enigmatic Humm, who happily for Storm fans, was having one of the games of her life. Humm released quickly off the deck to a running Emilee Cherry who sent a pinpoint missile in the direction of reliable finisher Chelsea Brigginshaw, who gleefully dotted down for a crucial 3-2 lead to Storm on the stroke of half-time.With the Foo Fighters committed to a previous engagement in Europe, and just out of the budget capacity of BMTA, the half-time entertainment consisted of the a few of the Coastal Suns Open Women’s team (average age 16) doing their best Justin Bieber, and despite it being a resounding ‘yes from me’, they may have to play second fiddle if Snow Patrol are secured for next year’s half time extravaganza. Just sayin’….Half-time in both camps was a pretty controlled planet to be on. In Storm central, coach Rovelli implored their players to make touches in front and continue to commit to the drive and their ruck defence by muscling up and pushing out on the line. Whilst in Coltsville, Craig Morrow reasoned that there was no need to panic and that the game was still there for the taking if his girls got some rhythm and stayed controlled. “The game was still very much in the balance at that point. The touchdown right on half time was a tough one to take. We were guilty of ball watching a little in the first half with a couple of their set plays and we resolved to get back on track with our defensive intensity in the second half and be a bit more patient with the ball in hand. I was always confident we could bridge a deficit of a couple of touchdowns, and it wasn’t through lack of effort, we just weren’t as mentally across everything as we needed to be at that point, but I knew if a few things went our way we could get back into it,” Morrow said.The game resumed at a frenetic pace in the second half with a variation of the ‘special’ play almost hitting the jackpot off the tap off for Storm. Colts, to their credit weathered the storm and went close at the other end of the field, but after some resolute defence and inspired driving from Lizzie Campbell, Tracy Hill and Kirsty Quince, Storm established field position quickly to have the Colts defence in trouble early in the second stanza.On the fifth touch of an industrious set, a fantastic piece of individual brilliance by Candace Humm to come up with a one on one snap of her opposite defender pushed the Storm girls out to a 4-2 lead and a two touchdown buffer that allowed coach Rovelli to breathe a little easier and the Storm girls to start to believe that there 10 year wait for a premiership was finally within sight.You never write off champions and Colts were a long way from dialling 911, and in the next 60 seconds proved why they are such a great team who have been the benchmark of this competition for the last three years.Off the tap, the Colts girls went back to the ‘old faithful’ Zonda play and with Peta Rogerson again running the A line out and engaging the correct middle, the classy Lauren ‘Harry’ Potter, produced a little wizardry of her own that her much vaunted namesake would have been happy to claim. Her angle was inch perfect and her wrap release to Savannah Pratten gave ‘Sweet cheeks’ Pratten the space and opportunity to rip a magnificent long ball to Colts veteran winger Kate Barker who did the rest to help the Colts girls bridge the deficit to 4-3 and stay within striking distance of claiming their fourth straight premiership.The game ebbed and flowed for the next few minutes as each team searched for the crucial break that would give their team the ascendency.The defining moment of this game was upon us when Colts Gemma Etheridge, who has been in stellar form all season, and recently won the Player of the Final playing for runners up South West Queensland in the Women’s Open division at the QTA State Championships, chanced her arm on an open side raid.Etheridge ran a drifting angle out of acting half and was looking to play some phase, but unfortunately for her, good mate and fellow SWQ Swan, the irrepressible Emilee Cherry was lying in wait and like a thief in the night she pounced on the Etheridge pass and intercepted cleanly to race the length of the field and score a game breaking touchdown to take the Stormies out to a 5-3 lead.Colts threw their best attacking shots at Storm in the next set with big names Rogerson and Gem Etheridge challenging Storms’ key middles and Queen Bee middles in Quince and Campbell who both withstood the deadly ‘sting’ and along with veteran Storm champion Rach Noble stood up brilliantly making some inspiring touches to save a couple of certain touchdowns.Storm trucked the ball down the other end of the field with Charlotte ‘Classic’ Caslick featuring prominently. Storm received a penalty late in the touch count in good field position and this next touchdown would have had coach Rovelli beaming from ear to ear and each of the players involved in its successful execution lining up for an end of season $10 bonus for scoring off a set play. The ‘special’ play variation that nearly netted Storm a touchdown off the half-time resumption tap was run again, but this time the line running was perfect with Stevie-Lee Thompson, who was having a wow of a game, splitting off the ball to the open side and young gun Anna Hicks picking up from half and going short side splitting the middle defenders before a slick inside ball found touchdown hungry captain, Sarah ‘Sez’ Spacie, hitting between the middles to score a touchdown that took her team out to an impressive 6-3 lead. Like the true champions they are, Colts were never going to go quietly into the night and off the resumption, long serving captain Mary Steele showed her truly inspirational qualities to work in tandem with Lauren Potter to press the Storm line and work for some phase. ‘Pasher’ picked up out of half and went open side then stepped in and dished to Potter who drove in close to the line. Steele gave a precision passing class 101 on the run to the big crowd on the ‘Hill’ as she hit a diving Gemma Etheridge who spliced the angle as only she can to score between the link and wing to get the Colts girls back in the game at 6-4.Off the restart Storm were building again and once again it was courtesy of their pet play ‘special’ that they made an instantaneous reply to Colts hit back. Fittingly it was master organiser Kirsty Quince, the on-fire Candice Humm, and the amazing Emilee Cherry once again combining to conjure up another variation off the set play that Colts will have nightmares about. Fittingly, it was 12-year Storm veteran Rach Noble who dived over in the corner to grab a ‘meat pie’ in what would be a very satisfying moment for the girl who has given such outstanding service and loyalty to the club she joined as a 16-year-old girl, playing division two then working her way into Division 1, playing for Queensland and Australia along the way and sticking with her team through the good times and the tough times.At 7-4 up Storm were rolling down the field with certainty and as the game reached the 10 minute mark, every passing minute was drawing one team closer towards a memorable victory and the other team towards a disappointing defeat.Disaster struck for Colts soon after when Gemma Etheridge was given a period of time for an over vigorous touch. Whilst Etheridge watched proceedings from the end of the field, her teammates were unable to halt the Storm juggernaut with just five defenders. Good phase play by that girl Cherry and Candice Humm, and great initiative by Stevie-Lee Thompson and the dangerous Charlotte Caslick, allowed Tracy Hill to snare a double for the Grand Final and extend the Storm lead to 8-4.Colts kept trying desperately hard to penetrate the Storm line but resolute defence from middle bookends Kirsty Quince and Lizzie Campbell and Rach Noble and the determined Kristy Brennan foiled Colts at every turn.With five minutes left in the contest, Colts got a hard earned touchdown with the old firm of Gemma Etheridge and Mary Steele combining again, this time it was Etheridge delivering the pinpoint ball for Steele to dive low and beat the defence to ground the ball to peg the score line back to 8-5.To Colts credit they kept chancing their arm to the final whistle and Storm did not clock off, still searching for a final touchdown to end the game on a high.At full-time the relief and satisfaction for the Storm team was palpable. After 10 year of heartbreaking near misses they finally got their game together in the most perfect of ways to claim a memorable victory.The Storm girls were buzzing after the victory and the feeling in the camp was best summed up by their veteran champion Rachel Noble, a 12 year player for the Southside club, who reflected on the last few years of struggle and disappointment and paid homage to the coaching staff at Storm for the role they played in the memorable victory.“Winning this year after so many losses to Colts in the last couple of finals was so much sweeter. It was a great game to be a part of. Being the oldest in a team of young and talented players I knew what my role was and loved playing this year with the Storm girls and to do it undefeated makes it even better. The hard work, dedication and endless effort our coaches’ put in at Storm year after year has finally paid off. I’m glad we could give them the victory they so deserve. Thank you to Swain and Wayne and also to their families for believing in us and it’s just an awesome feeling to have again,” Noble said.Colts coach Craig Morrow was philosophical about the loss and paid tribute to the Storm girls for the quality of Touch they produced and the clinical nature of their performance.“Full credit to Storm, they played near perfect Touch tonight. They played well and have overcome a lot of adversity over the years to finally get it right. From our perspective the touchdown before half-time killed us and the intercept was hard to take. We had prepared well for their set plays at training but we ball watched too much in the moment and mentally we were not across everything like we should have been. To give them eight touchdowns was a little disappointing, but I always thought we could come back. Losing Gem for a period of time probably sealed our fate, but everyone tried hard and did their best and we probably need to look at training more for next season as well. It was the best I’ve seen Storm play so at least it took their very best to beat us,” Morrow said.For Storm coach, Swain ‘Swingers’ Rovelli, this Grand Final win with this team has been eight years in the construct. Rovelli coached division two for five years before three years ago stepping into the vacant division one coaching position at the club and the dedicated mentor has been building the Storm girls game slowly but surely ever since. Blessed with big name players who have talent to burn, particularly when they are very young, can be a tough gig and Rovelli and the Storm club have done remarkably well to be patient and learn the times to cuddle and the times to criticise their players efforts, but at all times help them grow into better people and better players.Rovelli was awarded the Brisbane Cobras Coach of the Year at the BCTA Grand Final breakfast on Saturday and his efforts in coaching the Storm girls to an undefeated premiership in the wake of the loss of key personnel from his division one team in 2010 such as Australian Women’s Open superstars Emily and Sam Hopkin and Ali Brigginshaw, makes his coaching performance all the more metorious.Rovelli was understandably excited and very relieved when the full time siren sounded and was full of praise for his troops who produced a stellar effort under pressure.“It’s such a great feeling. Very happy and very relieved that we could finally do it. We talked about it in the warm up that we wanted to be remembered as a great side that won – not be remembered for our near misses. We did play very well tonight. We started well and just built into the game. The biggest difference for us this year is our composure. It started last week when we were 2-0 down early to Crushers and we stayed patient. We did that again tonight and kept our heads on for 40 minutes and that was most satisfying. We got exposed in our semi-final and we nearly didn’t get to the Grand Final and knew we could do better so we were committed to being really true to ourselves and our game plan and thankfully everything worked out. The box was really positive and composed which hasn’t always been that way in the past. Full credit to the senior players for making our culture what it is. We are a training club and we work hard for our success and this is our reward for doing all the little things right. We said it was ‘our time” and tonight the girls decided as one and showed it in the way they played that they really wanted to step up to the mark and win this premiership,” Rovelli said.Both teams had numerous standout players who created the standard of a game to remember. For Colts, captain Mary Steele led by example and played courageously and cleverly to keep her team in the hunt. Steele was well supported by the always dangerous Gemma Etheridge who was everywhere for Colts and played her heart out for her team. Young gun Emma Blanch stepped up nicely to the big time and stamped herself as a player of the future. Australian Women’s Open superstar Peta Rogerson had touches of brilliance, but unfortunately for Colts was not in the sort of freakish form she has been in when Colts annexed their hat-trick of grand final triumphs over the last three years. Savannah Pratten and Lauren Potter never stopped trying for Colts and veteran winger Kate Barker, at the tail end of her career, produced a game she can be proud of and if she is finishing up she can be very satisfied with her stellar record of service to the Colts team.For the winners, each player stepped up to the mark and produced an amazing level of cohesion and clinical execution of the game plan and the teamwork and commitment to the goal was outstanding.Senior middles Lizzie Campbell, Sarah Spacie and Kirsty Quince were towers of strength all over the park in attack and defence and their intelligent direction, big match experience, individual contributions and support allowed the likes of Charlotte Caslick and Anna Hicks to play with confidence and produce some inspired and mature touches of class that smacked of a happy marriage of talent and temperament at the right times.Stevie-Lee Thompson, Tracy Hill, Rachel Noble and Kristy Brennan were tireless and produced their own sparks in attack to complement their team’s efforts. These four girls produced terrier like defence and helped set the tone against a physically imposing team who needed to be taken on at their own dominating style of game play. The Storm defence proved harder to crack than the Da Vinci code and was one of the foundation blocks that led to this famous breakthrough victory. The strength of this Storm team is their unselfish ability to play their roles and work for each other. Just as they did last week in their desperately close semi-final against Crushers, the team worked hard to give their game-breaking champion, Emilee Cherry, the field position and set-ups so she could impart her considerable influence over the game when it was needed most. Cherry was exceptional again Saturday night and again proved to be the point of difference for her team at crucial stages of proceedings. JK Rowling may have got it very wrong given the quantity and quality of magic this once in a generation player continues to conjure from her bag of tricks almost on cue. We’re pretty sure if you check Chez’s forehead for a scar, it’ll reveal who the real ‘chosen one’ is. 2011 has been a stellar year for the Roma product who was an integral part of Australia’s seventh straight Women’s Open triumph at the FIT World Cup in June and over the last month has been in rare form playing some of the best Touch ever witnessed in this competition for many a day. For the last three years we have been blessed to witness Colts’ Peta Rogerson weigh in consistently with her individual pieces of brilliance that have proved to be key in her team’s domination of the competition and now Cherry is producing a similar rich vein of form that makes her the most valuable player in the Cobras Cup.The modest champion who incredibly, along with teammate Lizzie Campbell, was in camp playing a tournament with the Australian Women’s Rugby 7’s team and had to rush back to play in the Cobras Cup Grand Final, was rewarded for her performances this season with the ‘Player of the Series Trophy’ as well as the prestigious Sally Urquhart ‘Memorial Player of the Final’ Award. The Sally Urquhart Memorial Award commemorates the contribution of Sally Urquhart, a Cobras Cup premiership winner and life member of the Crushers club. Sally represented Brisbane City at Women’s Open and Mixed Open level and Queensland in the Mixed Open division. She was universally adored and revered by teammates and opponents alike for her talent, selflessness, determination, courage, and sportsmanship. Sally, a law graduate and police officer was tragically killed in the Lockhart River air disaster in 2005 and BCTA/BMTA struck the Player of the Final award to commemorate a young life of great strength and integrity that upheld the finest sporting ideals on and off the field of play. Cherry joins an illustrious group of players to win this award that include Kylie Hilder, Jarah Jennings, Teena McIlveen, Peta Rogerson (twice) and Hayley Maddick.Cherry was chuffed to receive both the Player of the Series and Player of the Final awards and as always displayed her trademark humility and modesty when accepting the awards, traits that confirm her as not only a champion player, but more importantly, a champion person.“It’s just been a really good year. There are so many good players, so to be judged the Player of the Series is a very humbling experience. To win Sally’s award is very special, and I’m very honoured to receive it, it means a lot and it will be something I will treasure,” Cherry said.So that’s it, another season in the Cobras Cup dusted. But what a season it’s been!The Cobras Cup competition is undergoing a restructuring with a heavy emphasis on club development, but hopefully the 2012 tournament will bring with it more action, drama, and intrigue than all the ‘Underbelly’ series’ put together. Can Storm go back to back? Can Colts avenge this year’s defeat? Will Crushers finally make the grand final after finishing one touchdown out of the decider for the second year running? Will Uni-Rebels make a charge for the title? Or can the chasing pack that includes Coastal Suns and Eagles make a bold run at the premiership?Should Emilee Cherry, Kate McCarthy and Catherine Sargent be assigned speed limits to give every other player the chance to catch them on the field?Can Kelly Jones simultaneously maintain an excellent standard of Touch and the title of most beautiful hair in the game, or will Charlotte Caslick steal the crown? Will Sarah Spacie lose her headband fetish? Will Coastal Suns young gun Chloe Crotty manage to play even one game without borrowed shoes? Will BMTA rename the common fields at ‘the Hill’ after Eagles stalwart Renee Fraser because she spends so much time training there? Can Sharyn ‘Billy’ Williams produce another show stopping injury moment that brings the ambulances, if not the crowds back to Touch? And can any of the coaches fill out the game cards correctly and sign in all the right places?The answer to this and all the other hard-hitting issues will be revealed in time. Stay tuned for next year’s Cobras Cup, reserve seating on ‘the Hill’ is selling fast so just sayin’, I’d be investing in a season membership to avoid disappointment.Thanks to all the players and coaches for their input into this article.When in doubt throw the flick pass, or if you’re Emilee Cherry snap the whole team…Written by Karley Banks. 21.11.2011Touch Football Australia would like to thank Karley Banks for providing the article content.
Tottenham boss Pochettino expects a hammering from Cardiffby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveTottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has warned his players to expect a battering against Cardiff City.Pochettino admits his men now need to brace themselves for a bruising encounter in South Wales.“It’s a tough place to play,” said the Argentinean. “It’s going to be difficult.“Cardiff’s physicality makes them a very dangerous team and a very difficult one to play against. They have some talented players, too.“Cardiff won against Leicester [on Saturday] — after Leicester had two amazing victories against Chelsea and Manchester City. They lost, at home, to Cardiff. And Cardiff are going to have all the confidence. It’s going to be a tough game.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
La Spezia Container Terminal (LSCT) in Italy welcomed during the weekend Tampa Triumph, an ultra large container vessel (ULCV) operated by Taiwanese carrier Evergreen Line.Owned by Japanese shipping company Shoei Kisen, Tampa Triumph arrived at the Fornelli West berth at LSCT on May 5.The visit of the 13,870 TEU ship marked the first call of the newly formed Ocean Alliance to the terminal.The 150,000 gross-ton vessel is part of one of four weekly Asia-Mediterranean services calling La Spezia.Built at Japanese Imabari shipyard this year, the boxship features a length of 365.9 meters and a width of 51.2 meters.Image Courtesy: LSCT