Wales: Five things we learnt v England

first_img ‘Spreadsheet Rugby’ found outWales’ opening 40 minutes at Twickenham were undoubtedly the worst of Warren Gatland’s tenure. It was a complete meltdown of everything on which Gatland’s style of rugby depends. Wales managed to secure just 39% of the ball and 37% of the territory in the first half. Combine this with a startling tackle completion of just 75%, a lineout that struggled hugely in the opening ten minutes and the concession of five penalties after just 20 minutes – and Wales were totally shut down. Shut down to the point, where at half-time they didn’t have a single point on the board and more worrying still, particularly in modern Test rugby, hadn’t even managed to secure single a kick at goal. Wales had only been in England’s 22 once in the opening 36 minutes.It’s mine! Maro Itoje wins a lineout ahead of Taulupe Faletau. Photo: Getty ImagesWales struggled hugely at the breakdown where the jackaling of Dan Cole and the hugely impressive Maro Itoje wreaked havoc. Wales’ inability to adapt to Craig Joubert’s desire for a very clean and quick breakdown was also hugely costly. England were also effective in targeting Wales’ right wing; bombarding Alex Cuthbert’s channel with carriers and high balls.But as worrying as the key performance indicators were, far more alarming was Wales’ inability to change their game plan in the face of a complete first-half whitewash. It wasn’t until the last 15 minutes where Wales seemingly ditched the spreadsheet rugby, with its predicable running angles and obsession with high balls in between the ten-metre lines, and played the rugby that they are more than capable of. Welsh rugby was taught a lesson at Twickenham; whether it is learnt from is another matter.Coaching staff need to accept some blameThe Welsh camp is a very honest, sometimes brutal, environment, where individual errors and drops in performance are often aired for all to see. Indeed, Warren Gatland was very quick to criticise his players’ performance in the opening 40 minutes in Twickenham. But if the players accept responsibility, then so must the coaching staff.Rethink? Warren Gatland was at a loss to explain Wales’ poor first half. Photo: Getty ImagesThe reality is that Wales are playing a hugely one-dimensional style of rugby, the effectiveness of which is built entirely on fitness and size. It’s not even as if Wales’ style of play has been ‘found out’, there is nothing to find out. You don’t need to dress in camouflage, ascend a tree and ‘long lens’ the Welsh training camp to discover their game plan – it has always been thus. When it works, Gatland’s ethos can be effective, but when it doesn’t there is no other option. This Six Nations is the start of a new four-year World Cup cycle; surely Wales can’t copy and paste this style until 2019?A defensive meltdownWales’ worst 40 minutes with that ball in hand, under Warren Gatland, also coincided with the worst half of defensive rugby under Shaun Edwards. Wales’ tackle completion was spectacularly low – just 75%. Wales completed only 80 out of a 106 tackles – missing a staggering 19 tackles in the first half. It was a weird anomaly, and a huge factor in Wales’ demise. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Under pressure: Alex Cuthbert was continually tested by England in defence. Photo: Getty ImagesWales’ style of play over the past 12 months has been characterised by an inability to score tries, yet has been able to rely on a high goalkicking percentage and military grade defence to close out games. But without a tackle completion of 90% or higher, Wales looked hugely susceptible. The tackle completions were particularly low amongst the Welsh back-line, with the usually reliable Dan Biggar, Jamie Roberts and Jon Davies missing nine tackles between them. Add to that four missed tackles from Alex Cuthbert and two from George North and Wales’ usually watertight defence had turned into a water filter. It will probably be another decade before Wales defend as poorly as that.Standout performance from Liam WilliamsWhilst the bulk of the Welsh squad will need to cling onto the positives that occurred in the last 15 minutes, Liam Williams can be proud of his entire 80 minutes. The full-back’s performance would have stood out even amongst a positive Welsh display; on Saturday its splendour was enhanced further by the ugliness that surrounded it.Bright spark: Liam Williams wins a high ball against England. Photo: InphoOnce again Williams was masterful under the high ball and, as ever, his defence was near immaculate. But it was his tackle bust and ‘cat flap’ for George North’s try which must receive the praise. With Rhys Priestland on the field, standing refreshingly flat, the Welsh back-line finally gave Williams the opportunity to hit the 13 channel at pace, where his aggressive angle and soft hands cut the English defensive line to shreds. It was a rare highlight on a murky day for the Welsh team.Crossing the line is no longer enoughThere was a time in the amateur era where crossing the line with the ball was enough to get the try. Due to the less intensive defensive systems and fitness levels it was more common for players to cross the whitewash unattended. As we saw in Twickenham, that is no longer the case – Ben Youngs’s attempt in the second minute and Dan Cole’s in the 14th being prime examples. Plenty to ponder: Wales’ Dan Biggar looks dejected after their defeat. Photo: Getty Images center_img Defensive disasters, predictable play and coaching conundrums – the key learnings from Wales’ defeat by England No try: Dan Cole is held up as he tries to touch the ball down. Photo: InphoFew players now cross the line alone, most now have at least two defenders clinging onto them like barnacles on a large sea mammal – and it is there where the battle to ground the ball begins. Grounding the ball has almost become a game within a game. The grounding, with the introduction of the TMO, has almost become as identifiable a subsection of rugby as the scrum or lineout. Weirdly, blocking all of the feasible camera angles, with defensive bodies, has almost become as important as the tackle itself.For the latest Rugby World subscription offers, click here.last_img read more

Warrior Games Begin at US Olympics Training Center

first_imgUnited States servicemembers and British armed forces members totaling more than 200, opened the 2012 Warrior Games at the U.S. Olympics Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., April 30.The 2012 Warrior Games opening ceremony began with the presentation of colors by NORAD-USNORTHCOM Joint Color Guard followed by the athlete processional. The warrior athletes walked the Olympic path while family and friends cheered. Following the processional was the symbolic tradition of carrying the Olympic flame.Representing team Navy/Coast Guard as torchbearers were retired Coast Guard Lt. Sancho Johnson and retired Navy Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Nathan DeWalt.Johnson, a three-time competitor in the Warrior Games, understands the honor and commitment it is to himself and his teammates to represent the team and the Coast Guard as torch-bearer.“[The Warrior Games] provides a platform to give your best,” said Johnson. “Because I’m representing the team I’m going to give a bit more.”Having participated in the Warrior Games since the inaugural year, DeWalt has seen the games grow in popularity and has realized the impact being part of the 2012 Team Navy/Coast Guard had on the community and families. “I felt honored and privileged to represent the team,” said DeWalt. “It is a big event for the families with all the media attention.”Each of the military branches and Special Operations Command were given the honor of participating in the torch relay. Culminating the presentation were the honorary torchbearers Melissa Stockwell, U.S. Army Veteran and Paralympian, and Simon Maxwell, Captain, Royal Marines, United Kingdom, who lit the cauldron above the visitor’s center.Among the honored guests was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Army General Martin E. Dempsey, who commended the warrior athletes for their service to country and their ability to inspire each other.“For me, the [Warrior Games] embodies the enduring resilience of our profession,” said Dempsey, during a speech to the contributes. “Your commitment to teamwork and determination to persevere, are the very same qualities that led you to serve your nation, and make our military great. These qualities don’t go away. You have the desire to be part of something larger than yourself and that is now a desire that is fulfilled in these games.”Recognition of the athlete’s dedication and accomplishments was reiterated by special guest speaker, First Lady Michelle Obama, who commended the athletes as a source of inspiration for all Americans.“No matter how seriously you are injured, no matter what obstacles or setbacks you face, you just keep moving forward,” said Obama. “You just keep pushing yourselves to succeed in ways that mystify and leave us in awe.”The 35 warrior athletes are participating as Team Navy/Coast Guard, sponsored by Navy Safe Harbor, the Navy and Coast Guard’s wounded warrior support program, a key component of the Department of the Navy’s 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative. The initiative is meant to maximize Sailor and Marine personal readiness, build resiliency and hone the most combat-effective force in the history of the Department of the Navy.The Warrior Games will continue through May 5, with competitions in cycling, archery, shooting, wheelchair basketball, volleyball, swimming, and track and field events.The U.S. Olympic Committee’s paralympics military program, provides an opportunity for wounded, ill, and injured service members to participate in competitive sports against members of other branches of service.[mappress]Naval Today Staff, May 02, 2012; Image: navy View post tag: Olympics Back to overview,Home naval-today Warrior Games Begin at US Olympics Training Center View post tag: US View post tag: Warrior View post tag: begin View post tag: News by topic Training & Education View post tag: Gamescenter_img View post tag: Training View post tag: center Warrior Games Begin at US Olympics Training Center View post tag: Navy Share this article May 2, 2012 View post tag: Navallast_img read more

Losing King: Shock, sorrow, anger, and a voice time hasn’t silenced

first_imgHer parents’ reaction was likely shared by countless Americans. King had endured repeated physical attacks during his years of nonviolent protests, and death threats against him were common. In his last public address, delivered at Memphis’ Mason Temple the day before his death, King alluded to his own mortality.“Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.”Turning to today, Gordon-Reed said King would have been amazed by the Obama presidency, though unsurprised by the backlash against it.“I would imagine he may also be surprised at how he has been embraced by so many different segments of society, for their own purposes,” she added, and “by the pace of social changes — the women’s movement, the movement for LGBTQ rights. And [that] the issue of race is not just a matter of black and white anymore.”While much has changed for the better, Gordon-Reed said the economic advances King pressed for at the end of this life “have not come to fruition.”“All available evidence indicates that communities of color still lag behind in terms of wealth,” she said. “The legacies of slavery, segregation, and the commitment to white supremacy have not yet been overcome. In fact, the issue of inequality is not just about race. The situation of organized labor — the weakening of unions overall — would have surprised him, I think. He thought that unions, along with working-class people of all colors, could cooperate to strike a blow on behalf of all marginalized people. That does not seem to be on the horizon.”‘Leaders should not seek riches, fame, or even recognition for their efforts’One of Shelby’s most powerful King moments was the first time he read “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”“It has so many important ethical lessons,” said the Caldwell Titcomb Professor of African and African American Studies and of Philosophy. “For instance, King argued that it is wrong to counsel the oppressed not to fight for their rights because this might provoke others to engage in violence or might create social strife. ‘Law and order’ and civil peace are not ends in themselves. They are means for establishing and maintaining just social conditions.”Which of King’s beliefs would most surprise people today? Reparations are high on Shelby’s list.In “Why We Can’t Wait” (1964), King wrote that while the cost made it “impossible to fully pay reparations to blacks for all the wrongs of slavery … compensation was due to the descendants of slaves for the unpaid toil of their ancestors.”And King’s life still contains crucial lessons for those in charge today, said Shelby, co-editor of “To Shape a New World: Essays on the Political Philosophy of Martin Luther King Jr.”“Leaders should not seek riches, fame, or even recognition for their efforts,” Shelby said. “They should see their vocation as one of service and sacrifice and should lead by example. This kind of leadership requires integrity, resilience, a willingness to speak hard truths in public, and most of all hope — the conviction that, through our determined efforts, we can make our world more peaceful and just.”,‘Courage, endurance, moral clarity, and love’With Harvard students on spring break the week of the assassination, King was remembered on Palm Sunday at Memorial Church. The Harvard Crimson’s Monday, April 8, edition ran a picture of the slain icon accompanied by an article headlined “Funeral, Sympathy March Draw Thousands to South.” The following day, President Nathan M. Pusey canceled morning and early afternoon classes to allow students to attend a special service in Memorial Church. The Harvard leader addressed the crowd during the somber ceremony.“I do not know when the death of a private citizen has quickened such a universal response of grief and deprivation — nationwide and worldwide,” said Pusey. “Our grief is for the man and for the many unaccomplished things for which he worked and died.”The impact of King’s death rippled through Commencement events. In March 1968, students had broken from tradition and directly invited the Class Day speaker. They selected King, whose speech, set for June 12, was expected to address the Vietnam War.A year earlier King had registered his opposition to the conflict in a blistering New York speech that connected war, racism, and poverty. Congressman John Lewis of Georgia was in the audience that day. “I heard him speak so many times,” Lewis told The New Yorker in 2017. “I still think this is probably the best.” (In a fitting turn, Lewis will be the principal speaker at the Afternoon Program of Harvard’s 367th Commencement on May 24.)Her husband’s death still raw, Coretta Scott King agreed to speak in his place on Class Day. By then the nation was mourning another loss. Six days earlier Civil Rights advocate and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy had been shot to death in Los Angeles.“These two men addressed themselves to the burning issues of our times: They spoke out against great evils in our society: racism, poverty, and war,” King told seniors at Sanders Theatre. “They were great and effective actors on the stage of history. They played their parts exceedingly well, thus inspiring millions. They are a part of that creative minority which helped to move society forward.“As young people, as students, your lives have been greatly affected by the loss of these champions of freedom, of justice, of human dignity and peace. In a power-drunk world, where means become ends, and violence becomes a favorite pastime, we are swiftly moving toward self-annihilation. Your generation must speak out with righteous indignation against the forces which are seeking to destroy us.”Five decades removed from the grieving widow’s show of courage and resolve, Allen, the James Bryant Conant University Professor, will focus her address at Friday’s symposium on urging the same qualities upon a nation still struggling to live up to Martin Luther King Jr.’s highest hopes.“The Civil Rights movement is far from done; the onward march of freedom still requires courage, endurance, moral clarity, and love,” Allen said. “I think we can best memorialize the men and women who worked with King, and King himself, by finding the courage to insist, over and over again and lovingly, on the ethical demands of full integration.” Related Fifty years ago the murder of a Baptist minister turned Civil Rights giant shook the nation. Just after 6 p.m. on April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down on the second-floor balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn. There to support the city’s striking sanitation workers, King was about to head to dinner when he was struck in the jaw by a single bullet. In a country already roiled by racial violence and civil unrest, the killing set off a wave of deadly riots from coast to coast.We asked a group of Harvard scholars to reflect on King’s life, death, and legacy. Historians Annette Gordon-Reed and Henry Louis Gates Jr. recalled where they were when they heard about the assassination. Philosopher Tommie Shelby remembered his earliest impressions of King’s language and rhetoric. All three shared thoughts on how the Civil Rights leader would view today’s America. Political theorist Danielle Allen, set to deliver the keynote at a King-focused conference on Friday, said that 50 years on, his work remains unfinished.,‘It’s a shock that I’ve never gotten over’A senior in high school, Gates was at home in Piedmont, Va., watching TV when an announcement interrupted the news.“I had three best friends that were black and they came over and we were just shocked — we were stunned,” said Gates, the Alphonse Fletcher Jr. University Professor and director of the Hutchins Center. “There was nothing that we could do.“Basically it’s a shock that I’ve never gotten over, really. I mean, I still can’t believe it when I watch the footage.”The shock lingered in Gates’ voice as he considered King’s relative youth.“He seemed like such an old man but he was 39 years old. He did all of that when he was 39, and I definitely believe — I am one of the black people who thinks there was some kind of conspiracy to kill him. I think he could have been the first black president and I don’t think America was ready for that.”King, Gates added, was “moving toward an amalgamation of race and class and that was threatening to the system.”What would he think of the U.S. today?Gates said King would be surprised by how much the country has moved the dial, and stunned by the numbers of upper- and middle-class African-Americans. “But he would be equally shocked that the percentage of black children living at or beneath the poverty line is roughly the same as it was in 1970, roughly the same as it was when he died.”And while King would be pleased by the progress made since 1968, and “astonished and delighted” that the country was led by an African-American president for eight years, he would also be dismayed “at mass incarceration” and at “deindustrialization which interrupted the cycle of moving from the working class to the middle class and the middle class to the upper-middle class.”‘It was clear that he was making lots of people angry’Gordon-Reed, 9 years old in 1968, was with her mother at the home of one her friends “when her son came into the room and told us that King had been assassinated.”Her Texas community’s reaction was one of “great sadness,” said Gordon-Reed, Harvard Law School’s Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History, a professor of history in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and a Pulitzer Prize winner for “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family.”“But this was a small town with a small black population,” she said. “More open anger was expressed in urban communities.”Gordon-Reed said her mother and father “were not surprised” by King’s murder. “It was clear that he was making lots of people angry. The possibility of violence was always present given all that was at stake.” Essay collection co-edited by Harvard scholars amplifies Martin Luther King’s political and economic philosophy When King came to Harvard Returned often in campaign for civil rights, as guest preacher Beyond ‘I Have a Dream’last_img read more

SUB planning Spring Concert

first_imgThis time last year, the annual concert planned by the Student Union Board (SUB) had come and gone, and the student body had enjoyed a fall performance by Cartel and Citizen Cope in the Stepan Center. This year, the performers have not yet been announced to the student body.Sophomore Julie Sutton will become the executive board manager for SUB on April 1, taking over for current board manager Kat Burke.  Sutton said planning the concert involves planning around events happening at Notre Dame and around the schedules of the performers, — a challenging task.“We ran into problems with artists’ schedules matching up with our schedule in that many bands are already booked on the days we had available for the concert, which is why we hit a few speed bumps and had to start back at square one a couple times,” Sutton said. “Whereas last year the concert was in the fall, the dates available in the fall this year were not conducive to the schedules of the artists.”For this reason, she said, SUB moved the concert to the spring, and it is planned for April 10. “We can’t announce the performers to the student body until they have accepted an offer from us and signed a contract,” Sutton said.She did, however, confirm that these processes are underway with two different musical artists. Marie Wicht is the concert co-programmer with Brian Hagerty.  She said encountering pressure and speculation about the concert from the student body has become part of her everyday life. “I get asked almost every day who the concert will be or will we have a concert, etc.  So yes, we’re very conscious of the speculation throughout campus,” Wicht said. Sutton said she is also familiar with this pressure. “I have definitely heard buzz all over campus,” she said. “Every time someone asks who will perform, I wish I could tell them.  I know this is a big event of the year and everyone is excited to find out, and I promise that they will very, very soon.”The pressure is increased for the members of SUB who know what is at stake.“We understand that money for student activities comes out of room and board fees, and for that reason we really owe it to the students to produce a good show,” Sutton said. “We understand why this is so important, and we want to deliver a concert that students would want to go to and we’re glad we spent their money how we did.”Wicht said the process of planning the event has been fun as well as stressful. “There are a ton of things to consider when it comes to the concert and the hardest part is definitely coming to a consensus on who is the best fit for the student body and who people actually want to see,” Wicht said.Wicht worked with a team of SUB members to help plan the concert, and surveyed students for ideas.  “It was really successful. We got over a thousand responses the first night of the survey and have over 2,000 total responses to date,” Wicht said. “From this survey, we could see definite preferences for performers and that narrowed down our options a great deal.”last_img read more

Professor to research personality disorders

first_imgPsychology Professor Lee Anna Clark was recently awarded a $2 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. The funds will go toward a five-year study to change the way personality disorders are diagnosed. Clark said the project is looking to bridge the gap between personality order identification and designation. “The bottom line for the grant is to gather information that might allow us to build a better system,” Clark said. “There is a mismatch between the way personality disorders are diagnosed and the way they are defined and we want to see if we can bring those into better alignment.” The current diagnostic system uses a certain set of criteria for each personality disorder, Clark said. “It’s proven to be a pretty good measure of personality traits in abnormal range,” she said. “But it’s not perfect and we need to figure out what other traits are necessary.” Clark said the core dysfunction of a personality disorder is an impairment in a person’s sense of self and their ability to relate to other people. “Our personalities are designed to help us function in the world,” she said. “When that personality system doesn’t develop or function properly, that’s a personality disorder.” Clark said one of the main goals of the study is to determine a complete, comprehensive set of personality traits to be used in diagnosing personality disorders. “We want to understand more about the notion of personality functioning, which is a relatively new concept,” she said. “We want to see how we can better measure that coherent sense of self.” Clark said the first two phases of the study involve conducting interviews and gathering data from patients at the Oaklawn Psychiatric Center, a local nonprofit mental health agency. The second phase of the study will take three years, Clark said. “We’ll interview a total of 600 participants and also talk to others who know them well,” she said. “The belief about people with personality disorders is that they don’t have good insight into their own personalities, so they need to get another perspective.” The third and final stage of the study will test the system developed based on the information gathered from the previous two phases, Clark said. “We ultimately want to be able to assess and diagnosis personality disorders using the traits that define them,” she said.last_img read more