Ireland’s Tommy Bowe ready to bounce back from his pre-World Cup horror show

first_img “Everybody wanted to be playing in that first game up – it is such a big competition – but it shows there is good competition for places around the squad and it is exciting that guys are getting opportunities to put their hands up for the next two games. “It has made me go back and re-assess again which is a good thing. “I have trained really well the last couple of weeks – I have gone back to really enjoying myself and trying to do everything I can to get myself involved and get myself in the game. “That is only going to show tomorrow.” Bowe featured on Ireland’s wing in the 43-12 victory over Romania in Dublin back in November 2005, with Chris Henry relishing the chance to rib his Ulster team-mate for being the old man of the piece. The 31-year-old will win his 64th Ireland cap against Romania, with head coach Schmidt’s men expected to win at a canter. Ireland know that their meetings with Italy and France should decide Pool D, with a potential quarter-final against Argentina in the offing. Bowe is confident he can still mix it with Dave Kearney, Earls and Simon Zebo to secure one of Ireland’s starting wing berths moving forward. “I know that the other guys have all been playing well and of course the England match didn’t really go my way – it wasn’t one of my best performances in an Ireland jersey. “But I have a lot of experience in the green jersey and a lot of experience playing at the top level so I know how to bounce back. “I have wiped that from my memory, the last couple of weeks has got me back training with a smile on my face. “It gives you a little bit of a spur on to know there is competition for places. “Tomorrow is going to be a big opportunity for me to put my hand up – the next two weeks are huge. I am excited about it.” Tommy Bowe insists he can bounce back from his horror-show warm-up match against England and regain his starting Ireland spot at the World Cup. Ulster wing Bowe missed a regulation tackle on Jonny May that gifted the Gloucester flyer the first try in Ireland’s 21-13 warm-up defeat to England at Twickenham on September 5. Ireland boss Joe Schmidt duly dropped Bowe for the World Cup opener; Dave Kearney and Keith Earls on the wings for the 50-7 victory over Canada. Bowe knows exactly what he must offer against Romania at Wembley this weekend, the only Ireland star in action in London who faced The Oaks when the two sides last met, in 2005. “It was tough to be left out,” said Bowe. “It was a huge kick up the a*** for me to take my opportunities whenever I get them and I am looking forward to the game. “It was a bit of a shock. “I had a bit of chat with Joe (Schmidt) – there wasn’t too much to talk about. “I knew myself that I let myself down a little bit. He said to me it is all there to play for. “I want to be part of this Irish team firing on all cylinders. “I think I would be a huge asset to the team and I am looking forward to showing that tomorrow. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Laura Hurff, Lies Lagerweij power Syracuse to NCAA quarterfinals win

first_img Published on November 15, 2015 at 6:13 pm Contact Sam: [email protected] | @Sam4TR Facebook Twitter Google+ A few minutes before Syracuse started its NCAA quarterfinal game, back Lies Lagerweij and midfielder Laura Hurff jogged onto the field and started passing the ball back and forth, bouncing it sometimes to get used to the how the field would play.“It’s a game day ritual,” Lagerweij said. “We try new stuff out and get used to the field … It really helps (both of us) get relaxed.”Before coming together for an elaborate handshake, Hurff rested the ball on her stick and Lagerweij tapped Hurff’s stick from underneath, caught the ball and continued bouncing. It was tone-setting pregame practice in precision and control.Hurff and Lagerweij carried the poise and control into the game later, on defense, without needing to touch the ball much at all.The two spearheaded Syracuse’s defensive domination as the Orange (19-1, 7-1 Atlantic Coast) booked travel plans to the final four in Ann Arbor, Michigan with a 5-0 win over Princeton (11-7) in the second round of the NCAA tournament Sunday.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“A very important part of the defense was aggressiveness,” Lagerweij said. “… The midfield stepped up in interception lines and that was an improvement. That makes it really easy for the defense in the back to step up behind them.”Hurff repeatedly stole the ball in the midfield and distributed to her teammates. At one point Hurff swiped the ball from Princeton’s Debi-Michelle Jantzen, athletically dodged another defender, and left the crowd chuckling.After the second of Liz Sack’s two first-half goals, all the offense Syracuse ultimately would need, Princeton called a timeout and assistant coach Allan Law pulled aside center back Lagerweij and fellow defender Roos Weers for an animated conversation.Law didn’t want the defense to “stretch” too much and give Princeton many chances. The Tigers had begun the game in the same, aggressive style as the two teams’ regular season meeting on Oct. 18 when the Tigers held a 1-0 halftime lead.Off the opening play on Sunday, the Tigers flicked the ball into Syracuse’s defensive zone, letting the ball roll out of bounds. Then the Tigers forced a turnover, took a shot on goal and forced a penalty corner in the first 56 seconds.But just as Syracuse stormed back for a 4-2 win on Oct. 18, Princeton’s plan didn’t fully work Sunday. After Hurff rushed out to block Princeton’s penalty corner attempt, the Tigers managed just five more shots and one more penalty corner in the next 69:04. All afternoon from center back, Lagerweij directed teammates in front of her to jump passing routes, cover aggressive Tigers and poke from behind.“I honestly didn’t realize (Lagerweij played back) … because she’s everywhere,” said Benjamin Peters, who refereed Syracuse’s game Saturday, watching from the stands Sunday.Three times throughout the afternoon with Princeton on the offensive, Lagerweij used her reach to pickpocket the player on offense and pass the ball into the midfield.Lagerweij lacked space when she did that to Princeton’s Ryan McCarthy, so she dribbled into the corner. Her feet inches from endline and sideline, Lagerweij waited for McCarthy to move. When McCarthy shifted her balance by reaching her stick, Lagerweij snuck a pass through McCarthy’s legs to midfielder Hurff. An “Oooh!” went up from the crowd.Minutes later Hurff was warned when the referee felt that the defense had gotten too physical.As minutes ran low and Princeton’s desperation mounted, the Tigers sent forward Maddie Copeland, three times the Ivy League player of the week, to stay in the offensive circle. It was Lagerweij who yelled to her teammates and put herself between the action and Copeland.When Copeland received the ball with a handful of seconds left, Lagerweij forced her baseline, where her teammates stopped Copeland. As the buzzer sounded, the ball rolled harmlessly away.Said Lagerweij: “It was just pretty good defense today.” Commentslast_img read more

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