European Champions Cup analysis: Four exceptional English full-backs

first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS The top tier of European competition annually offers exiles a shot at the “exceptional circumstances” clause and a chance to prove England should cast aside domestic performers in favour of those residing further away from home.Barrelling openside Steffon Armitage has loomed large for the entirety of Stuart Lancaster’s tenure, his consistent breakdown excellence winning a multitude of backers. However, another Brit abroad shone bright on Saturday.Dismantling Northampton Saints for Clermont, two-cap Nick Abendanon moved to a haul of three tries, 38 beaten defenders and 716 running metres for the Champions Cup campaign and put his name firmly in the frame for World Cup involvement.Now, Lancaster knows the former Bath man well from his time in charge of the Saxons. Hellbent on inspiring the nation this year, the England head honcho will likely assemble a large training squad including foreign-based members before naming 31 to take on the tournament.That plays into Abendanon’s favour. But he was not the only English full-back to excel this weekend. In fact, every quarter-final featured a fine performance from a player in pursuit of Mike Brown’s place. Here is a run-down.Nick AbendanonMightily incisive, Abendanon helped conjure tries with two attacking contributions even before his own opportunistic 80-metre score after half-time.The first came from an excellent piece of anticipation as Lee Dickson‘s box-kick fell into his hands and he fed Wesley Fofana to devastating effect:The old sporting adage ‘you make your own luck’ holds sway here. Though Dickson’s poor connection means the ball was set to bounce well short of Abendanon, he hares off towards the landing area:Fortune favours the brave and the full-back gets a lucky rebound off the hands of his scrum-half Ludovic Radosalvjevic. He bursts through bodies and picks a great pass as Dickson comes in to tackle:Fofana does what he does best before linking with Napolioni Nalaga. The ball is then recycled and Noa Nakaitaci strolls over in the right-hand corner:While rather inconspicuous, Abendanon’s role in the second part of this five-pointer is just as important. Staying on his feet, he sprints through in support and is first to the ruck as Nalaga is tackled:Seven minutes later, Abendanon made a less subtle intervention:This is a masterclass in joining phase-play as a full-back. Watch where Abendanon starts, curving around to receive the third pass of the movement.Between the black arrows is the gap he eventually takes, between forwards Tom Wood and Salesi Ma’afu. This mismatch will already be in Abendanon’s mind:On catching Fofana’s pass, a step off the right foot sees him onto Wood’s inside. His pace easily beats Ma’afu on the outside:Another jink unbalances the covering Dickson and gets him onto the right shoulder of James Wilson, so the scoring pass is straightforward:The reverse angle of Abendanon’s evasion is nice to watch:On the rare occasions Clermont were on the back foot, their number 15 stayed composed and clear-headed.No better was that illustrated than here, as he fielded George Pisi‘s grubber through before beating Luther Burrell and the kicker:The pirouette is worth another look for sure:Many precocious, attack-minded Englishmen over the years have come under fire for their perceived lack of defensive prowess – Charlie Hodgson and Danny Cipriani among them.Abendanon may have been in that chastised contingent, too. Not any more. This try-saver on Christian Day was superb:Just as the hit on Day, approximate 20 kilograms heavier than him, is excellent, Abendanon’s patience and decision-making is very good. Staring down a four-on two, he has no right to stop Saints as Burrell throws a mis-pass:Aided by poor running lines, he drifts across, gets low and makes the tackle. After driving Day back, he gets to his feet and disrupts the ruck: Outstripping Saints: Nick Abendanon breaks away for Clermont against Northampton Nick Abendanon’s performance on Saturday evoked talk of “exceptional circumstances”, but he was not the only English number 15 in form.center_img It is a fine piece of play that demonstrates athleticism and footballing intelligence, something the next candidate possesses in abundance.Alex GoodeAdept at fly-half, Goode is blessed with razor-sharp rugby instincts. These came to the fore throughout Saracens‘ 12-11 hi-jacking of Racing Metro.This piece of back-field coverage provides a flawless example. Johnny Sexton, many of whom rate among the best tactical kickers in the world, makes a clearance that looks to be sailing towards the touchline.Goode glides back to intercept effortlessly, calling a mark and injecting tempo by tapping and setting off:Distribution is another skill Lancaster looks for in full-backs. Teams with more than one playmaker can impart two-sided attacks, whereby both blindside and openside are attended by runners.Goode lacks for nothing in this area. Watch how he hits the line in this movement before flinging out a pass off his left hand.The Racing defender is sucked onto Marcelo Bosch and the Argentinian match-winner creates the break with a quick transfer to Chris Ashton:Kicking is integral to the Saracens gameplan, and on Sunday the visitors often used the tactic  of wide runners chipping inside to follow-up support.Joining from first phase this time, Goode executes this well:Hooking into space, he follows up alongside Richard Wigglesworth and Chris Wyles. Racing carry over their own line, and a five-metre scrum results.To save the best of Goode’s afternoon until last, this break hauled his side onto the front foot:Sashaying past replacement tighthead Brian Mujati, Goode initially takes advantage of a mismatch.Even after another step bypasses three more would-be tacklers though, the most important thing is how he acts in the open.You learn a lot about a player when they are in space. Here, Goode knows how crucial retaining the ball is. He stays patient, and curves towards his support before staying on his feet for as long as possible.As the below screenshot shows, this has the effect of allowing Kelly Brown to catch up and resource the ruck:From the Parisian suburbs to Dublin, and another assertive display from an English 15.Anthony WatsonOf the 660 minutes Watson has spent on the field in Test rugby – eight full-game shifts and a cameo from the replacements bench against New Zealand – only around 68 have come at full-back.In that time, England scored six tries. Granted, the opponents were Italy, but the Bath youngster is definitely more comfortable in the more open expanses.Despite a mistimed jump that brought a deserved yellow card after Rob Kearney was floored, Watson underlined as much. Twice he lacerated Leinster from a standing start.Jimmy Gopperth planted this probing grubber early on. The chase is good, but Jordi Murphy gets comfortably beaten on the return. With a better offload from Matt Bahanan, Watson would have been the clear:A similarly scything run in the second period punished Eoin Reddan’s rather loose box-kick, sparking a sweeping counter:In terms of producing something from nothing – one of Lancaster’s favourite sayings – Watson’s fast-twitch footwork puts him out on his own.Elliot DalyDaly started Wasps’ eventual 32-18 defeat to European champions Toulon at outside centre, from where he has been causing havoc throughout the Premiership campaign and for the Saxons in Cork a couple of months ago.However, he has worn the 15 jersey both for England and against them in Barbarians colours. Possessing a howitzer left boot as well as power and pace, the gifted 22 year-old would be an effective Test weapon from deep.Two delicious forays into the 15-metre channel at the Stade Mayol reinforced as much, the first setting Rob Miller away thanks to a hitch-kick and step between Guilhem Guirado and Maxine Mermoz, before an explosive surge through contact and deft offload:Then there was this assist for Will Helu. While Josua Tuisova’s trip undoubtedly manufactures the opening, Daly executes the two-on-two superbly. His outside arc burns Mathieu Bastareaud, forcing Delon Armitage to step in:As shown by this screenshot, the scoring pass is timed to perfection – coming just as Armitage loses trust in his teammate and, quite understandably, turns his shoulders: Throw in Brown and Chris Pennell of Worcester Warriors and Lancaster has a plethora of extremely plausible full-back options, even without injured Ben Foden. The selection decisions will be difficult. Exceptional circumstances indeed.last_img read more

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NHRC Issues Notice To Rajasthan Govt. Over Complaints Of ‘Exponential Increase In Incidents Of Crime Against Women’

first_imgNews UpdatesNHRC Issues Notice To Rajasthan Govt. Over Complaints Of ‘Exponential Increase In Incidents Of Crime Against Women’ Sparsh Upadhyay27 March 2021 3:52 AMShare This – xTaking cognizance of complaints alleging that there has been an exponential increase in the incidents of crime against women in Rajasthan, the National Human Rights Commission, (NHRC) has sent notices to the Chief Secretary, and the Director-General of Police, Rajasthan. Underlining that the cardinal duty of the State is to protect the rights of the women and punish the perpetrators without fail, the Commission has noted that allegedly, 80,000 cases were registered in the State pertaining to the crime against women in the last year. “Out of which more than 12,000 are the rape cases. Giving the press clippings in support of the allegations, the Commission has requested for its intervention in the matter”, the press release of the NHRC states. Further, the Commission has observed that the allegations and the incidents appear to be ‘serious in nature indicating violation of human rights. Significantly, the NHRC has stated, “It appears that there has been an unabated crime against women in the State, which raises a question mark on the efficacy of the State Machinery in curbing such crimes.” Accordingly, the Commission has issued the notices directing the concerned parties to enquire into the specific incidents and submit an Action Taken Report mentioning each of the incidents to the Commission within four weeks. NHRC has also directed them to inform the Commission about the steps being taken by the State for inspiring confidence in the women and the girls ensuring their safety and security in the State. In its press release, the Commission has also mentioned about some incidents specifically related to crime against women which happened in during last month and which were highlighted by the Complainant before the Commission. Significantly, the commission has taken note of the following of the following incidents happened in the last one month: – The kidnapping of a minor girl at Jalore, on 22.03.2021 and self-immolation by the mother of the victim because of inaction of the authority.Gang-rape of a minor at Kota by more than 30 persons between 25.02.2021 to 06.03.2021.Gang-rape victim was burnt alive at Hanumangarh on 05.03.2021.Gang-rape of a woman at Kota on 06.03.2021.Rape of a woman by the ASI when she came to lodge a report, on 07.03.2021.Rape of a woman at Ajmer on 08.03.2021.Disrobing and beating of the mother and the daughter on 09.03.2021.Attempt to kidnap and rape of a teacher on 13.03.2021.Attempt to rape of a woman at the DCP Office by the ACP, on 14.03.2021.Rape of a patient in the ICU by the Nursing Person at Jaipur, on 15.03.2021.Rape and making an obscene video of a woman on 15.03.2021.Many incidents like gang-rape of a minor at Jhunjhunu, rape of a 6-year-old child in Sri Ganganagar, sexual harassment of a girl in Bhilwara, kidnapping and rape of a minor at Alwar, rape, and the making of obscene video of a girl, on 18.03.2021.Beating by use of lathi of a pregnant daughter at Village Sirana, Pali, on 19.03.2021. Download the Press Release HereRead Press ReleaseTagsNHRC National Human Rights Commission #National Human Rights Commission NHRC Issues Notice To Rajasthan Government Crime Against Women #Women and Courts Women right Women Safety Women Protection Women and Law Law and Order Police Next Storylast_img read more

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Breakfast series connects South Bend, students

first_imgThe Center for Social Concerns (CSC) is hosting a way for South Bend community partners, students and faculty to collaborate in a much more casual setting: breakfast.The breakfast series, called “Food for Thought Breakfast Series: Healthy Neighborhoods,” occurs four times over the academic year, Danielle Wood, assistant director for community-based research and impact at the CSC, said. The second breakfast of this academic year is Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Near Northwest Neighborhood. Wood said the breakfast series was launched three years ago.“We need more informal time, non-programmed time for networking,” she said. “This came out of me thinking of ‘Well, what would be a way that would be 90 percent the networking and 10 percent more formal?’”Wood said she was awarded a one-year grant to start the breakfast series. After the year was over, the organizations involved in the series wanted to keep the event going. Today, she said, the event is fully funded by the partners.“The primary aim of the event since its inception was to build thicker networks into the community and across the different academic institutions for shared community problem-solving with organizations,” Wood said.Heidi Beidinger-Burnett, a faculty member at the Eck Institute for Global Health, will be one of the discussion leaders this Wednesday. Beidinger-Burnett helps run lead poisoning prevention activities on behalf of a group of Notre Dame faculty.“The most important thing is that people are in the know,” she said. “The reason that this is so critically important to me is because lead poisoning is forever damaging for children. Even at very, very low exposure rates, [for] children’s neurological and physiological systems … there can be lifelong damage.”Beidinger-Burnett said this breakfast is the cross-section of community members, leaders and organizations in South Bend. The event, she said, acts as an opportunity to talk about what is working in the community as well as the challenges it faces. “There is a tremendous amount of value of bringing people together and collaborating that way,” Beidinger-Burnett said. “We’re all networking trying to improve the quality of life of people that live in South Bend and St. Joseph County.”To further emphasize the goal of strengthening the local community, all the food during the breakfast is from local businesses, Wood said.“We try to locally source all the food as much as possible because it’s part of the whole notion of building the local economy,” she said.Students who are thinking about doing a thesis or capstone project are welcome to come to the breakfast, Wood said. The event is not meant to be informative, she said, but rather, provide a platform for people to form partnerships with others interested community-based research.“It creates partnerships for solving complex problems better,” she said. “A community partner is an educator as much as your faculty member is. They can help you frame your topic meaningfully. You don’t think of your topic in a vacuum, you think of it in collaboration with those that might use the information.“The value of community based research is that it’s a partnership and you get better information and better use of your information when you’re done because of it.”Tags: Breakfast series, Center for Social Concerns, community based reasearch, Eck Institute for Global Healthlast_img read more

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