Jean de Villiers on facing the British & Irish Lions

first_img“Playing a home game in South Africa is an unbelievable experience,” he says. “You do take a lot of energy from what is a unique home crowd. That said, I got a shock when I ran out of the tunnel and saw a sea of red in the stands.“There we were, expecting home-ground advantage in one of the biggest games of our lives. The travelling support was so significant, however, that it effectively cancelled out the home support. But we took that as part of the challenge. It motivated us in that we thought, ‘Right, we’re going to show these Lions fans how a Bok team performs at home’.”South Africa went on to win that Test in Durban on the back of a dominant forward performance. Experience, says De Villiers, pulled the hosts through a more challenging second fixture in Pretoria.“Jaque Fourie replaced me in the second half after I left the field with a shoulder injury. He ended up scoring an amazing try in the corner that brought us back into the game.“It’s funny how things work out. I don’t know whether I would have been quick enough to score that try.“We were tested a great deal over those first two games, but we had a core of veterans who had played at the 2007 World Cup and who understood what it took to perform under intense pressure. That was the difference on the day in Pretoria.”Jean de Villiers’s South Africa travel tips for Lions fansThe Lions will play two fixtures at the Cape Town Stadium next year. After tackling the Stormers in the tour opener on 3 July, Warren Gatland’s charges will return to the ‘Mother City’ on 31 July for the second Test against the Springboks.De Villiers says that visiting fans – and perhaps a few former Lions players – won’t want for distractions ahead of those matches.“The Western Cape has something for everyone, from the mountains and beaches of Cape Town to the wine farms in the Boland. It’s a short drive from the Mother City to Gansbaai – where braver tourists can experience a cage-dive with a great white shark – and only a two-hour journey to game farms that have the ‘Big Five’ (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo).FIND OUT ABOUT THE LIONS RUGBY TRAVEL PACKAGES FOR THE 2021 TOUR“I’m an avid golfer and nothing beats a day out on one of the region’s golf courses. Often you’ll play a round with the mountain on one side and the ocean on the other. Pearl Valley at Val de Vie Estate is a favourite of mine, as it’s close to where I stay out in the winelands. The Metropolitan Golf Club is another good option and is right in the shadow of the Cape Town Stadium.“I expect that the series in 2021 may prompt the return of some former Lions tourists. I’d love to catch up with old Munster team-mates like Paul O’Connell (who led the Lions in 2009) and serve as a guide to them in this beautiful country. We’ll be competitive on the golf course – that’s always a given – but there will be time for a pint or two in the aftermath.” Jon Cardinelli talks to the former South Africa captain about the 2009 tour and his travel tips for visiting fans LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Boks v LIons: Jean de Villiers beats Jamie Roberts to the ball during the 2009 series (Getty Images) center_img Jean de Villiers on facing the British & Irish LionsThe second Test between South Africa and the British & Irish Lions in 2009 will be remembered as one of the most dramatic clashes of all time. The Lions had the upper hand for much of the contest until the Springboks fought back to level the scores in the final quarter.When replacement Ronan O’Gara mistimed a challenge for a high ball and clattered into Bok scrum-half Fourie du Preez, the writing was on the wall for the tourists. Fly-half Morne Steyn stepped up to slot a long-range penalty that sealed a series victory for the hosts – not to mention bragging rights for the next 12 years.Jean de Villiers left the field with an injury in the second half and was forced to watch the heart-stopping climax from the South African bench. Several months later, as a new signing at Munster, he used that series-deciding incident to break the ice with O’Gara.Key moment: Ronan O’Gara upends Fourie du Preez late in the 2009 second Test (Getty Images)“Munster used to split their training sessions during the week between the grounds in Cork and Limerick,” the former Bok centre remembers. “You really had to maximise your time and engage with players and coaches when you had the chance.“I decided to stay late and do a bit of extra training with the kickers. ROG eventually put up a high ball and I seized the moment. I raced in and as I collected it, I looked at him and said, ‘Please don’t take me out in the air, ROG’. He immediately cracked a smile and said, ‘You’re a funny guy. You and I are going to get on just fine’.“That’s one of the great things about rugby; you can battle these players on the field and still be mates off it. I was fortunate in that I got to play with some of those great players at Munster a few months after the Lions series. Eleven years later, and I still count them among my good mates.”Most of the players who starred in South Africa’s successful 2007 World Cup campaign were prominent in the series against the Lions two years later. On the back of that success, the Boks won the 2009 Tri-Nations and climbed to the top of the World Rugby rankings.Roll back the calendar 12 months, however, and South African rugby was at a crossroads. The Boks blew hot and cold in the 2008 Tri-Nations, and were under pressure to bounce back when they travelled north to face Wales, Scotland and England.“In that era, very few players who represented overseas clubs were selected for the national side,” says De Villiers, who captained the Boks between 2012 and 2015 and amassed 109 Test caps. “So after the 2007 World Cup, most of us made the decision to stay in South Africa with a view to qualifying for that series against the Lions. Winning that series was our next big goal, and we started to prepare for the challenge in the 2008 season.”Big win: Bryan Habana leads South Africa’s celebrations at Twickenham in 2008 (Getty Images)Of the 42-6 win over England in the preceding year, De Villiers says: “I have a lot of good memories of that win at Twickenham. Everything just seemed to click. It was massively encouraging to know that we could go north and beat one of the top sides by such a convincing margin.“Coming home with three wins gave us an edge ahead of the subsequent Lions series. We knew that a lot of those players from Wales, Scotland and England would be part of the squad travelling to South Africa in 2009.”Six months later, De Villiers and his team-mates were surprised by the reception they received ahead of the first Test at Kings Park. Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.last_img read more

Attacks on media building in Karachi, TV reporter’s home in Waziristan

first_img to go further PakistanAsia – Pacific Photo : JAHANZAIB HAQUE / Express Tribune Pakistani supreme court acquits main suspect in Daniel Pearl murder Pakistani journalist critical of the military wounded by gunfire Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists RSF_en April 21, 2021 Find out more News News News Follow the news on Pakistan PakistanAsia – Pacific Organisation Receive email alerts June 2, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders condemns a shooting attack on a building that houses two daily newspapers and a TV station in the southern business capital of Karachi on 16 August, and a bomb attack on TV reporter Zafar Wazir’s home in South Waziristan, in the northwestern Tribal Areas, on 11 August.“We are shocked by these attacks, which were clearly designed to reduce journalists to silence,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The investigation that the prime minister has ordered into the Karachi attack must be pursued until the end in order to identify those responsible and bring them to justice.“We also call for a full investigation into the bombing of Zafar Wazir’s home. The authorities need to respond appropriately to the climate of violence to which journalists are exposed throughout the country and, in particular, in Waziristan and the other Tribal Areas. Effective measures are needed to combat the spread of such acts of violence.”The English-language daily Express Tribune reported that four unidentified men on two motorcycles fired a total of 22 shots at the building that houses Express Tribune, the Urdu-language daily Express News and the Express News TV station on 16 August, injuring a woman and a security guard. According to reports, the gunmen deliberately fired on the building’s security guards.Express News CEO Ijazul Haq told Reporters Without Borders that for the time being there was “no clue” as to the identity of those responsible. Criminal gangs, political parties and other groups often use violence to intimidate journalists and media owners. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has ordered the Sindh provincial government to investigate this attack.The bomb that exploded outside Zafar Wazir’s home in Wana, in South Waziristan, on 11 August destroyed the front door and badly damaged three rooms but caused no injuries.“Fortunately, no member of my family was hurt by the explosion,” he told Reporters Without Borders. A reporter for Khyber News, a Pashtun-language TV station and a member of the Tribal Union of Journalists, Wazir said he thought the bombing was linked to his journalistic work because he had no personal enemies. “Three or four days before the explosion, I did several stories for Khyber News about alleged corruption and the lack of medical care establishments in Wana and the surrounding areas and these stories may have upset some people,” he said, without accusing either the government or any Taliban group.As a result of the bombing, Wazir has decided to relocate to Peshawar for safety reasons.Wazir previously left South Waziristan along with many other journalists in 2004, when Taliban violence was on the rise in the province, and subsequently based himself in Dera Ismail Khan, a district on the South Waziristan border.Two journalists, Amir Nawab and Allah Noor, were killed in an ambush on a vehicle carrying a group of reporters to Wana on 7 February 2005 to cover a Taliban warlord’s surrender.A total of six journalists have been killed since the start of 2013 in Pakistan. They include Malik Mumtaz Khan, who was gunned down in Miranshah, in North Waziristan, on 27 February.Pakistan’s intelligence agencies, the various armed groups in the southwestern province of Balochistan and the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, are on the 2013 Reporters Without Borders list of Predators of Press Freedom. The country is ranked 159th in the 2013 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. News Help by sharing this information January 28, 2021 Find out more August 19, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Attacks on media building in Karachi, TV reporter’s home in Waziristanlast_img read more

‘Little extra’

first_imgBy Dan RahnUniversity of GeorgiaIf at first you don’t succeed, try more water and fertilizer.That seems to have worked for Melissa Tritt and her brotherCharles, who finished first and third in the 2004 Georgia 4-HPumpkin Growing Contest.The 15-year-old Lumpkin County ninth-grader’s winning pumpkinsagged the scales at 350 pounds while Charles’ third-placepumpkin weighed in at 300. Charlsie Thomas, a White County4-H’er, had the second-place pumpkin at 323 pounds.”We’ve grown pumpkins for the contest for three years now,”Melissa said. “The biggest one we’ve had until now was a92-pounder last year.”Big differenceWhere did they find the 258 extra pounds?”We just learned more about pumpkins every year,” she said. “Weplanted them differently and just did a little extra this year.”The “little extra” included planting at the highest point in thefamily garden, layering an extra-deep planting hole with pottingsoil and fertilizer and providing trickle irrigation.Plenty of water and fertilizer are half the battle in growinggiant pumpkins, said George Boyhan, a horticulturist with theUniversity of Georgia Extension Service.The keys”The main thing is to select a single flower fairly early in theseason and pick off all the others on the vine,” Boyhan said.Combining that, he said, with three other keys — selecting theright variety and providing plenty of water and fertilizer –provides the best chance of growing a truly giant pumpkin.The Tritts, who live on a family farm with their parents Prestonand Linda, must have found the combination.”These are the biggest pumpkins we’ve had in recent history,”said Jeff Buckley, the state 4-H program assistant whocoordinates the contest.Little big pumpkinFor the record, a 350-pound pumpkin is a baby jack-o’-lantern incooler climates. The world record, grown in Oregon, was 1,385pounds. But in Georgia, a 350-pounder is impressive.Weather conditions aren’t kind to pumpkin growers in Georgia,Boyhan said. In south Georgia, the hot, humid summers makedisease pressures almost unbearable. Of the top 25 pumpkins inthis year’s contest, 21 were grown in north Georgia.The 45 pumpkins entered in the 2004 contest averaged 81.8 pounds,Buckley said. The top 10 averaged 190.5 pounds.PrizesMelissa’s giant brought her the first-place prize of $100. Secondplace was worth $50 and third place $25. Everyone who enteredthis year’s contest got T-shirts, provided by the Georgia Fruitand Vegetable Growers Association.The contest is limited to 4-H members. But that includes morethan 180,000 school-age youths in Georgia.Growing giant pumpkins isn’t for impatient people, though. Ittakes a long time to get from a little seed to the great pumpkin– 130 days for Atlantic Giant, which accounted for nine of the10 biggest pumpkins this year.”We didn’t know they would be really big until about a monthbefore we picked them,” Melissa said. “We knew they were going tobe big then, but we didn’t know how big. We were hoping andpraying they would reach 300 pounds.”A proven variety, plenty of fertilizer and water, a singleflower, hope and prayer — evidently, it’s a potent formula.(Dan Rahn is a news editor with the University of GeorgiaCollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

Exterus Welcomes Don MacLellan

first_imgExterus Technology for Business of Shelburne announced that Don MacLellan was hired as a Systems Engineer. Mr. MacLellan has been in the IT industry for over seven years and holds a Computer Information Systems, Networking (CISN) degree from the Nova Scotia Community College.last_img

How Inter Milan lost out in last-minute bid for Ighalo

first_img Inter, it was revealed, were unwilling to go through with the bid for now-Manchester United striker,  due to his salary demands. United found a temporary stop-gap to their crisis up front by adding Shanghai Greenland Shenhua hitman Ighalo to the ranks on a loan deal until the end of the season. The deal was announced hours after the transfer window closed last Friday, with United frantically trying to get the deal over the line to avoid being without cover for Marcus Rashford. Indeed, Ighalo himself has revealed how negotiations leading to the move were “very dramatic”, while confirming that a few other clubs were interested in his signature.Advertisement According to Calciomercato, one such club was Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan. Inter added the likes of Christian Eriksen, Victor Moses and Ashley Young to their squad last month but the Italian source claims that Conte was also keen on Ighalo. It is said that Conte “probed” the possibility of bringing the Nigerian to San Siro, using his solid relations with the player’s agent as a starting point. However, Ighalo’s high salary expectations meant Inter pulled out of the deal, allowing United to swoop in and seal the signing. Read Also:Stop throwing ‘stones’, Man Utd hero raps Scholes for Ighalo dig Ighalo was announced just after midnight last Saturday and was therefore absent for United’s 0-0 Premier League draw with Wolves. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Fresh fact has emerged on how Inter Milan of Italy lost out in their bid for Nigerian striker, Odion Ighalo before a late swoop by Manchester United. Loading… Promoted Content10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For Them10 Of The Dirtiest Seas In The WorldCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Way7 Of The Wealthiest Universities In The WorldBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever Made2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This Year9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A Tattoo10 Of The Best Places Around The World To Go Stargazing9 Iconic Roles Nobody Wanted To PlayTop 7 Best Car Manufacturers Of All TimeBest Car Manufacturers In The Worldlast_img read more