Tag Archives: weekends

Ryan Jones leaves Wales training camp

Injury worry for Wales as Jones leaves Poland training camp for scans on shoulder

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UPDATED:

11:33 GMT, 31 October 2012

Ryan Jones returned home from the Wales national squad training camp in Spala on Wednesday in order to undergo scans on an irritable shoulder.

The Ospreys back row was part of the 35-man squad preparing for the Dove Men Series against Argentina, Samoa, New Zealand and Australia – to be played out on consecutive weekends at the Millennium Stadium beginning on Saturday 10 November – at the infamous Olympic training village in Poland, but has been managing a shoulder problem which pre-dates his arrival.

The decision to send Jones home at this time is based on a preference for the facilities available in Wales to accommodate the necessary investigations and give the player the most optimal management plan for his injury.

Shouldering the burden: Jones is heading back to Wales for a scan

Shouldering the burden: Jones is heading back to Wales for a scan

Jones remains a full member of the
squad and further details of his problem and any repercussions for
selection, if at all, will become apparent once the proper
investigations have been undertaken.

Meanwhile, Matthew Rees has backed
one of Wales' young props to make an impression this autumn as the RBS 6
Nations champions prepare for life without Adam Jones.

Jones, who is among world rugby's
most destructive scrummagers, will miss forthcoming appointments with
Argentina, Samoa, New Zealand and Australia due to a knee injury.

While interim Wales head coach Rob
Howley could consider switching Bath loosehead Paul James across the
scrum as Jones' replacement, it is probable that either Aaron Jarvis,
Scott Andrews or Samson Lee will start against the Pumas on November 10.

Uncapped Lee, although not yet officially added to Wales' autumn squad, is currently part of preparations at a week-long training camp in Spala, Poland.

And his fellow international rookie Jarvis has impressed with a series of consistent displays for the Ospreys that underpinned his Wales call-up.

'We have props who can play both sides of the scrum, with Paul James and Gethin Jenkins both able to move over, and it will be up to the coaches when it comes to selection,' hooker and former Wales captain Rees said.

Emerging talent: Rees is worried about the absence of prop Jones

Emerging talent: Rees is worried about the absence of prop Jones

'But I can certainly see one of these youngsters coming through and getting to the next level over the next three or four weeks.

'Adam is a loss, but we have got
three pretty good players there waiting in the wings at the moment, and
the challenge for them now is to kick on and impress the coaches and
take their chance when it comes.

'The only thing they may lack is
experience at international level, but there is no better place for them
to get that than in this November series when you look at the fixture
list.'

Wales continued their build-up to the Argentina fixture in snowy Spala today, with Howley and his fellow coaches potentially facing a number of selection issues before naming the starting line-up tomorrow week.

Rees, despite his leadership skills and vast experience, is by no means certain of securing a starting berth, given Ospreys hooker Richard

Hibbard's strong form and also the threat of his Scarlets colleague Ken Owens.

'It's great to have competition for places,' Rees added.

'I've got Ken at the Scarlets, and we both push each other hard, and with Richard playing well for the Ospreys we are all fighting for that jersey.'

Lewis Hamilton remains upbeat over Canada hopes despite McLaren mishaps

Hamilton remains upbeat over Canada hopes despite McLaren mishaps

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UPDATED:

16:27 GMT, 31 May 2012

Upbeat: Lewis Hamilton

Upbeat: Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton is hoping an error-free weekend will finally elevate him on to the top step of the podium in Canada next weekend.

Formula One made history in Monaco on
Sunday as Mark Webber's triumph means we have now had six different
winners of the opening six grands prix.

Remarkably, Hamilton has not been one
of them, but then the 27- year-old concedes to being unsurprised by
that fact given the mistakes that have proliferated his race weekends.

This season, however, they have not
been of his own making and instead it has been McLaren who have let him
down on numerous occasions.

After finishing fifth in Monaco when a
slow pit stop – compared to Ferrari and Red Bull saw him drop behind
Fernando Alonso and reigning champion Sebastian Vettel – Hamilton has no
intention of letting his head drop.

'It's not hard to look forward at all,' said Hamilton.

'I'm excited for every race, and whatever happens in a race, I always lift myself up and get myself pushing again.

'I'll be in the gym working as hard
as I can, I'll get my mind in the same frame it has been in every race,
making sure I'm doing my job – which I am.

'I just hope we get some updates to edge us closer to the others, and then I hope we have a weekend where we have nothing go wrong, because the other guys are doing a fantastic job.'

Asked if he could believe he has yet to win a race yet this year, Hamilton replied: 'I can, yeah.

'For what reason, though, I really don't know. We haven't had a grand prix weekend where something hasn't gone wrong.

'The start of the race in Monaco was the beginning of things, and then I don't know what else happened after that.

'My pit stop didn't feel very quick, but generally we weren't quick throughout the race, which is strange.

'It really wasn't great when we lost positions to Fernando, and then to the Red Bull by such a short period of time, I don't know, half a second or something.

'But we still got points, even though it wasn't the best of weekends.'

Pardew urges Newcastle players to rediscover early season form and end winless run

Pardew urges Newcastle players to rediscover early season form

Manager Alan Pardew has challenged his Newcastle players to keep punching above their weight to maintain contact with the Barclays Premier League”s big boys.

The Magpies head into Wednesday night”s home clash with West Brom without a win in their last five games, but still sitting in seventh place in the table after an impressive start to the campaign.

Injuries, suspensions and a fixture list which pitched them into battle with title-chasing Manchester City and Manchester United as well as fellow aristocrats Chelsea on consecutive weekends have taken their toll.

Keep on going: Alan Pardew has urged his players to maintain their good start to the season

Keep on going: Alan Pardew has urged his players to maintain their good start to the season

And there was disappointment on Tyneside on Saturday when Swansea left with a point after surviving a first-half deluge to claim a 0-0 draw.

However, while Pardew knows his squad cannot hope to compete with English football”s major powers financially, he is confident they can cling to their coat-tails.

He said: “Our best team can compete with any team in this Premier League.

“Whether we have got a strong enough squad to keep us consistently in the top seven all year, we will have to wait and see.

“But certainly, we still have a nice margin over the rest.

Stalemate: Newcastle and Swansea drew 0-0 on Saturday

Stalemate: Newcastle and Swansea drew 0-0 on Saturday

“Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea are way, way above us in terms of budgets and everything else, so we are doing absolutely fabulously, make no mistake about that.”

It is, of course, just Newcastle”s second season back in the top flight following their ignominious relegation at the end of the 2008-09 season, and the financial restructuring which has seen huge wage packets and massive transfer fees consigned to the history books means the club is now operating along very different lines.

However, while safety remains the first and overwhelming priority, Pardew, whose side have amassed 27 points from their first 16 games, continues to look upwards rather than over his shoulder.

He said: “It”s dangerous to look behind, so we will look up and go from there.”

The busy Christmas period will fully test Pardew”s squad as he prepares to enter the transfer market once again with a centre-half high on his wish-list as a result of Steven Taylor”s season-ending Achilles injury.

Wanted man: Cheick Tiote has been watched by a number of top sides

Wanted man: Cheick Tiote has been watched by a number of top sides

He was linked with FC Twente”s Douglas Franco Teixeira, but it was the Brazilian-born defender”s former club-mate Cheick Tiote whose future remained a major topic of debate amid reports that Manchester United – one of several clubs credited with an interest – had him watched at the weekend.

Asked how confident he is of holding on to the midfielder, Pardew said: “I am confident in as much as it is going to take a hell of a lot of money to take him out, and I don”t know how many Premier League clubs could do that.

“We will have to wait and see, won”t we”

Pardew is hoping to have Ivory Coast international Tiote, who made his first appearance for almost two months against Swansea following a knee problem, and Senegal counterpart Demba Ba available until the middle of next month before they head off on African Nations Cup duty.

Off to Africa: Demba Ba will miss the next few weeks while at the Africa Cup of Nations

Off to Africa: Demba Ba will miss the next few weeks while at the Africa Cup of Nations

Meanwhile, Newcastle once again declined to comment on reports that Sochaux striker Modibo Maiga”s proposed move has collapsed because of a knee problem.

However, the player told www.skysports.com: “I wanted that move to Newcastle badly.

However, it did not happen as they said my knee has a problem – but I feel better than anything.

“There is a player at Newcastle now [Ba], he was told at a Premier League medical that he had a knee problem, he then went to another and started scoring goals before his move to Newcastle.

“But I am strong in my head and up for it. I like Sochaux, but I am having a difficult time with the fans, they do not understand me.

“I love the Premier League and I want to play there, hopefully I will have another chance, my health is very good and my knees are strong.”

Newcastle 0 Swansea 0: Swans ride their luck to deny Magpies

Newcastle 0 Swansea 0: Swans ride their luck to deny Magpies

Demba Ba was denied a 12th goal of the season by both the woodwork and Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm as Newcastle”s hopes of a first win in five Barclays Premier League games were dashed.

The Senegal international fired against an upright after skipper Fabricio Coloccini had earlier hit the other post and then saw Vorm react brilliantly to turn away his 42nd-minute volley as the Magpies threatened to run riot before the break.

Close call: Coloccini

Close call: Coloccini”s header flashes past the post

Winger Jonas Gutierrez also came within inches of a superb opener with the visitors desperately trying to repel tide after tide of attacks.

But on an afternoon when the Magpies paid tribute to former midfielder Gary Speed, they could not mark the occasion with a victory in front of a crowd of 51,767.

Newcastle

Foul play: Newcastle”s Leon Best is pushed in the back by Swansea”s Ashley Williams as they jump for the ball

The Magpies have now taken just two points from the past 15 on offer, although a fixture list which handed them clashes with Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea on consecutive weekends is a major factor in that.

Swansea arrived on Tyneside having collected 15 of their 17 points to date at the Liberty Stadium, and they showed few signs of adding to their paltry return on the road during the opening 45 minutes.

In Cheick: Swansea

In Cheick: Swansea”s Joe Allen is challenged by Tiote

The afternoon had begun with a rousing tribute to former Wales boss GarySpeed with his family and close friends Alan Shearer, Steve Harper and John Carver there to witness it, and it was Newcastle who harnessed the emotion to rip into the visitors.

They dominated throughout and had they left the pitch at half-time four goals to the good, Swans manager Brendan Rodgers, who worked under opposite number Alan Pardew at Reading, could not have had too many complaints.

Coloccini, back to lead the side following injury, came close to openingthe scoring after 19 minutes when he dived to head Yohan Cabaye”s free-kick against the post.

Newcastle striker, Demba Ba tries his luck with an acrobatic effort

Newcastle striker, Demba Ba tries his luck with an acrobatic effort

MATCH FACTS

Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Perch, Coloccini, Santon, Obertan (Sammy Ameobi 82), Cabaye, Tiote (Vuckic 82), Gutierrez, Best (Shola Ameobi 71), Ba. Subs Not Used: Harper, Williamson, Ben Arfa, Abeid.

Booked: Cabaye.

Swansea: Vorm, Richards, Williams, Caulker, Taylor, Routledge, Gower (Agustien 45), Britton, Sinclair (Dyer 77), Allen, Graham.
Subs Not Used: Tremmel, Dobbie, Monk, Lita, Moore.

Booked: Richards.

Att: 51,767

Ref: Lee Mason (Lancashire).

In-form striker Ba was denied by the other post four minutes later afteracrobatically volleying towards goal from a Leon Best knock-down.

Ba was looking the man most likely to break the deadlock, and he saw another effort blocked by Swansea captain Ashley Williams after turning smartly with 26 minutes gone.

As referee Lee Mason grew increasingly impatient with the visitors” rugged response to the deluge, the Welshmen found themselves pinned backdeep inside their own half, and it seemed only a matter of time before Newcastle got their noses in front.

Ba must have thought he had given them a 42nd-minute lead when he connected sweetly with a 42nd-minute volley from Gutierrez”s header backacross goal, only to see Vorm pull off a fine reaction save.

But there would have been little the goalkeeper could have done to keep out Gutierrez”s raking right-foot piledriver had it not swerved just wide of the target at the last moment a minute before half-time.

Emotional: Alan Shearer comforts Gary Speed

Emotional: Alan Shearer comforts Gary Speed”s mum and son during a tribute at St James” Park

The home side left the pitch to warm applause, but knowing they had to make the pressure tell after the break if they were to end their winlessrun.

They almost did just that within two minutes of the restart when full-back Danny Simpson floated a cross to the far post, where Ba volleyed over under pressure from defender Ashley Richards with his appeals for a penalty for a push in the back going unanswered.

Newcastle fans sing

Fittingl: Newcastle fans sing “Bread of Heaven” in tribute to their former player and Wales” manager Gary Speed

Kemy Agustien, a half-time replacement for Mark Gower, hacked Coloccini”s 54th-minute header away as the Magpies” maintained and unrelenting quest for the opening goal.

Former Magpies winger Wayne Routledge briefly gave the visitors breathing space when he drilled a low cross across the face of Tim Krul”s goal, but with little support, the danger was minimal.

Vorm collected Ba”s looping 67th-minute header with little difficulty after full-back Davide Santon had made the most of the space he was gifted down the left to send in a cross.

But with the opening goal remaining elusive, the visitors sensed an opportunity and went close 16 minutes from time when Scott Sinclair fired just wide of the far post after managing to get himself one-on-onewith Simpson.

Having earlier introduced striker Shola Ameobi, Pardew threw on younger brother Sammy and fellow midfielder Haris Vuckic in a last-ditch attemptto snatch the points, but although the home side battered away at theiropponents as time ran down, they could not find the necessary quality to claim the win.