Ulster racked up a third win from five Guinness PRO12 games as they claimed a bonus point 24-17 victory over the Cardiff Blues. Press Association Ulster continued to use the man advantage with Williams getting a score off the back of a huge driving maul and Humphreys again added the extras to put the home side 19-9 up. Even with Turnbull back, though, the Blues conceded again and McCloskey bagged Ulster’s bonus point with his 49th minute effort. It went unconverted by Humphreys, who was then replaced by returning Ireland World Cup squad member Paddy Jackson. Herbst was then sin-binned in the 55th minute for blocking Tavis Knoyle and Navidi barged over two minutes later from a lineout, though Patchell was unable to convert for the Blues. With less than 10 minutes remaining, another breakdown infringement gave Patchell a chance to bring the Blues within losing bonus point territory. He took it. But the Blues then had Aled Summerhill binned for upending Craig Gilroy in the 73rd minute which scuppered any prospect they had of battling back at the end. The hosts did not have it all their own way, however, as an eager and energetic Blues side came away with a losing bonus point. Josh Navidi scored Cardiff’s only try, with Rhys Patchell chipping in with 12 points from the boot. The Blues were out of the blocks quickly, breaking the deadlock with a penalty from Rhys Patchell in the third minute after Wiehahn Herbst had been penalised at a scrum. Ulster began to click towards the end of the first quarter, with a trademark charge from Nick Williams leading to Trimble crossing over on the right. The try was given after the TMO was consulted over a forward pass from Louis Ludik. Ian Humphreys missed the difficult conversion but the Blues then struck back and, when Lewis Stevenson was pinged at a lineout, Patchell made no mistake with the long range penalty to take it to 6-5 to the visitors. The Blues then ended a rather uneventful half in the ascendance and with skipper Navidi prominent it was little surprise that a penalty came their way when Sean Reidy was penalised after a tackle. Again, Patchell kicked the three points to give the Blues a 9-5 advantage, but Ulster finished the half with a huge surge at the Blues’ line. It led to Josh Turnbull being sin-binned right on the whistle after his boot collided with Marshall’s face. From the resulting penalty McCloskey trucked the ball up and Marshall dived over. This time Humphreys converted and took his league points haul up to 500 as Ulster came off for half-time leading 12-9. Tries from Andrew Trimble, Paul Marshall, Stuart McCloskey and man of the match Nick Williams paved the way for the victory, which takes their unbeaten league record at home to 14 games. It was also their third bonus point win – all have been secured at the Kingspan Stadium – which was much-needed after having lost their only two games away from Belfast.
(CMC) – HEAD coach Stuart Law believes conditions here Wednesday played a key role in his side’s five-wicket loss to New Zealand in the opening One-Day International of the three-match series.Sent in, the Caribbean side mustered just 248 for nine off their 50 overs at Cobham Oval, which the hosts easily chased down with 24 balls remaining.Law said the pitch had not been as easy for the Windies to navigate batting first, following early morning rain in the area.“We would have liked to have bowled first as well,” the Australian told reporters.“Whether or not the wicket got damp through the covers … there was certainly tackiness to the surface when the game started. I looked at halftime and it was bone dry.”He continued: “You would have liked an even contest, not taking anything away from New Zealand at all.“We saw our opening batters – they’re pretty good strikers of a cricket ball – they were having trouble locating it, which means the wicket was doing something. We didn’t see that this afternoon (when New Zealand batted).”Sent in, the Windies had an unusually slow start with top-scorer Evin Lewis and veteran left-hander Chris Gayle adding 40 from 61 balls for the first wicket.The left-handed Lewis stroked an attractive 76 with seven fours and a six but was not at his fluent best, requiring 100 balls for his knock.His dismissal in the 36th over saw the Windies slump to 201 for eight before Rovman Powell, who struck the ball cleanly for 59 off 50 balls, rallied the innings late on.Law said while the left-hander had not been able to explode, the innings had been a crucial one for the side.“He was circumspect with the deliveries he attacked,” Law pointed out.“He’s a wonderful striker of a cricket ball. Today he wasn’t able to be as free as he would’ve liked, but he showed some class. He showed the ability to get through some really tough times, to build an innings, and then unfortunately given out lbw when he was set, ready to continue that partnership with Rovman Powell.“Those two can score very quickly once they get going and 15-20 an over is not out of the question with those two.”After watching West Indies muff difficult chances to break the rollicking 108-run opening stand between top-scorer George Worker (57) and Colin Munro (49), Law said it was imperative for his side to capitalise on those opportunities.“We do tend to miss out on the half-chances and look, a half-chance is a difficult one, but we’ve got to start taking those if we’ve got to compete and beat teams like New Zealand – teams that are above us.”West Indies take on the Black Caps in the second ODI in Christchurch tomorrow.
Esports Insider says: A big name appointment for Echo Fox who have had more FGC success this weekend. It will be interesting to see how Jeffries adapts to life in esports — a very different ballgame to the NBA. Former NBA player Jared Jeffries has been appointed President of Echo Fox, the esports organisation. Jeffries will be responsible for Echo Fox operations, including player recruitment and team development. The appointment has been confirmed by Vision Venture Partners (“VVP”), a private equity firm headed up by Amit Raizada, Rick Fox and Stratton Sclavos. Rick Fox, also of NBA past acquired the League of Legends Championship Series (“LCS”) spot of Gravity Gaming for $1 million before expanding into Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and making big moves in FGC. Echo Fox took position one and two over the weekend at EVO in Tekken 7, where Choi “Saint” Jin Woo finished runner-up to Echo Fox teammate and rival Kim “JDCR” Hyun Jin.Choi “Saint” Jin Woo, finished in second place and rival Bae “Knee” Jae Min came in third.Jeffries recently held the role as “Director of Play Personnel” for the Denver Nuggets NBA team, and thus bring his eye for talent to the esports scene. He will join from August 1st and report to Jace Hall, a member of the VVP operating team committee as well as Chris Nordling and Stratton Sclavos. In addition to his roster selection and team management role, Jeffries will be actively involved in hiring and managing coaching staff, management and overseeing training, health and wellness programs. He will also help build the brand, oversee streaming platforms, social media and sponsor/advertiser relationships. Jeffries’ NBA accolades include “Big Ten Player of the Year” in 2002 and being number 11 in the NBA draft. He competed for 11-years in the NBA as a center or forward for teams including the Washington Wizards, New York Knicks, Houston Rockets and Portland Trailblazers. He took his role at the Nuggets in the summer of 2013. “Jared Jeffries is a proven winner and fierce competitor on and off the court,” said Rick Fox, 3-time NBA champion and VVP partner. “We cannot be more excited to have someone with his pedigree as a professional player and front office executive help lead Echo Fox as it continues its ascension to the number one esports organization in the world.” “I couldn’t be more excited to join the Echo Fox family as it’s clear they’re leading the way in the next great spectator sport,” said Jeffries, President of Echo Fox.“We’re eager to watch Jeffries infuse Echo Fox with his winning ways as he works side by side with Rick and Jace,” said Sclavos. “With this epic hire, we’ve truly strengthened our executive bench with a leadership team dedicated to ensuring Echo Fox leads from the front.”
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