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Kolisi completes rags-to riches journey Mark Gleeson, Nick Mulvenney

first_imgCAPE TOWN/YOKOHAMA (Reuters) – Siya Kolisi completed his rags-to-riches journey from a dusty, poverty-stricken township on the eastern coast of South Africa to World Cup-winning captain on Saturday when he led the Springboks to victory over England.The first black man to captain the Springboks also became the first black player to raise the Webb Ellis Cup when his team thrashed England 32-12 at Yokohama International Stadium.Increasingly a symbol for South African unity, Kolisi did not even have a television set when the Springboks, cheered on by Nelson Mandela, won their second title in 2007. The captain of that team, John Smit, argued this 2019 triumph was even more significant.“For me, even as a guy who won it, this was a far bigger occasion because of where we’ve come from and where we’re going,” Smit said.“I always thought, was it too much of a fairytale to see Siya lift that trophy? It couldn’t have come at a better time. This will have a significant impact on our country.” Kolisi’s improved situation meant that he was able to celebrate the World Cup triumph in Yokohama with his best friend as well as his rugby-playing father.“We are really proud as South Africans. Not many people gave us a chance,” Kolisi told reporters. “It was special for all of us. I have never seen as much support as we had from the people back at home. I don’t know if we could have done it without them.“It has been awesome to have my Dad here to share this with him. And my best friend. An absolutely amazing day for all of us.“I had a conversation with my Dad. He was just happy. He’s much older than the players but they’re his heroes. I’m grateful I could bring him here.”Kolisi grew up in one of the few black areas of South Africa where rugby is as popular as soccer. Raised by his paternal grandmother, he did not pick up a rugby ball until he was seven.“BEST SHOT” His talent was quickly recognised, however, and gave him an opportunity to get away from life on the township streets as he won a bursary to Port Elizabeth’s top boys school Grey High.“Once I got my opportunity to play, I gave it my best shot,” he said on Saturday.“When I was 16, I thought, okay, maybe I can make something out of this. Coach Rassie (Erasmus) spotted me at 18 and brought me to the Stormers and I have been working hard since then.” It was Erasmus, now the Springboks coach, who handed Kolisi the South Africa captain’s armband and he explained why after Saturday’s triumph.“We had a good chat yesterday when we did the jersey presentation and he had his 50th test match running out in front,” he said. Erasmus said it was easy for people to get used to hearing stories of hardship and lack of opportunity and to therefore stop fully appreciating them.“The moment you hear that a lot, you almost get used to it.” he said. “As a team mate or rugby supporter or anybody. But when you sit down and think about it clearly, there are days when Siya went through that.“He had days when he didn’t have food. He didn’t have shoes to wear. He couldn’t get to school. Here he is as the captain and he has led South Africa to win this Cup. I think that should sum up what Siya is.”last_img read more

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Fruta Conquerors, GDF battle for $2M tonight

first_img… Santos, Police play for third placeTHE 2019/2020 champions of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Super 16 Cup would be crowned tonight and would be $2M richer. Set to battle for the historic Brass Aluminum & Cast Iron Foundry (BACIF)-minted trophy are reigning Elite League Champions Fruta Conquerors and the Guyana Defence Force.Tonight’s third-place match features the losing semi-finalists Santos Football Club and the Guyana Police Force.Not taking anything away from the Santos/Police clash, all eyes would be on the grand finale which is anticipated to be a humdinger of a clash between two sides who play a very fast-pace game. Fitness at this final hurdle would be critical in deciding which of the two gladiators would be lifting the first-of-its-kind trophy.Bragging rights for the next 12 months are also at stake and it would be down to the level of fruitful offensive maneouvres created or executed by both teams that would make the difference tonight.Conquerors, like GDF, would have scored a total of ten goals in their three matches to date with the former conceding the least, just a single goal while the soldiers’ goal have been breached on three occasions.Both captains have expressed confidence in winning tonight and while that’s commendable, the reality is that only one team will walk away smiling, with the $2M cheque; the losers would not leave empty-handed as they would be collecting $1M.The huge task of delivering their fourth consecutive win in this knockout tournament for the Tucville-based Conquerors would be resting on the tournament’s leading goalscorer to date, Delon Lanferman, who has distinction of being the only player to have scored in every match. He has five goals including a hat-trick.Ryan ‘Bum Bum’ Hackett, with three to date inclusive of a double, will be another key component of the Conquerors attack as will Nicholas McArthur and Eon Alleyne, the other goalscorers. Captain Vurlon Mills’ role in midfield as the chief engine room operator would be critical to Conquerors’ ambition of winning to seal the double having won the league.Akel Clarke’s role in goal would not be easy tonight as the Army players would surely be firing shots in abundance; Trevor Jones, Quincy Adams, Jahall Greaves and Raphael Edwards would all have to step up and be formidable in the defensive third if they are to keep the GDF at bay.The experience of Gregory ‘Jackie Chan’ Richardson would be called upon to help seal a win for the Fruta boys.At the other end of the pitch, GDF have shown that even if they are put on the back foot, they possess enough firepower to come out all shots firing on the homestretch with lethal implications for their opponents.They’ll be banking heavily on the likes of Benjamin Opara who is just one goal behind Lanferman in the race for the highest goalscorer and possibly the MVP prize which is one Honda 125cc motorcycle compliments of Marics Honda.Opara has also scored a hat-trick. The other registered in the tournament came off the boot of Buxton United’s Dillon Wright. The GDF has shown some depth in terms of the number of players on target, which stands at seven (7) so far.It means that Opara has able support that’ll come from Sherwin Caesar, Delon and Delroy Fraser, Olvis Mitchell, Colin Nelson and Travis Henry. The respective coaches, both with National experience, Sampson Gilbert (Conquerors) and Joseph ‘Bill’ Wilson (GDF) would no doubt be conjuring up the perfect plan that must be executed on the pitch in order to yield victory and the top prize.The third place match is expected to have its fair share of fanfare with the combatants, Santos and the Guyana Police Force eyeing the winning prize of $500 000 apart from ending the tournament on a high having both encountered one blemish, having lost their semi-final matches.Santos would take confidence from the fact that, apart from Conquerors’ one goal conceded, they have conceded just two while the Law Enforcement Officers’ goal has been breached seven times.Orin Yarde, Kester Jacobs and Lavaughn Eniss all have two goals apiece and will hope to increase that in taking their team to victory. Combining with them would be Stephen Reynolds, Marcus Wilson, captain Kevin Dundas, Ryan Dowding and Sheldon Holder.Police will depend on Daniel Wilson, Trayon Bobb, Pernel Schultz and Jamal Harvey all with a pair of goals to date, as well as Colwyn Adams, Darren Benjamin, Jermain Junior, Stephan Ramsey, Travis Jones, Trevon Lythcott, Jamal Harvey and Kavis Fraser. Kick-off time tonight is 19:00hrs.   Sponsors who have contributed to the success of the tournament are MACORP, NAMILCO, Tourism & Hospitality Association of Guyana, EC Vieira Investments, BACIF, Pegasus Hotel, BK International, Bakewell, Marics Honda, Impressions, China Harbour, 94.1 Boom FM, MVP Sports, Xtra Beer, BK International, Radar Security Service and Supplies and Sleepin International Hotel.last_img read more

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Wellington Police Notes: Tuesday, August 2, 2016

first_imgWellington Police Department notes: Tuesday, August 2, 2016:•1:20 a.m. Officers took a report of a missing person in the 400 block S. G, Wellington. The subject was located and returned home.•1:44 a.m. Sharon E. Corter, 54, Wellington was issued a notice to appear for driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol and inattentive driving.•9:29 a.m. Officers investigated a theft of a dog in the 1100 block N. H, Wellington.It was located and returned to the owner.•10:48 a.m. Officers investigated theft of electrical services by known subject(s) in the 800 block N. H, Wellington.•12:35 p.m. Officers took a report of suspicious activity in the 200 block E. Harvey, Wellington.•4 p.m. Officers took a report of lost drivers’ license in Oklahoma.•8:29 p.m. Officers investigated a battery in the 200 block N. Ash, Wellington.•11:45 p.m. Officers investigated domestic battery and criminal damage to property in the 700 block S. H, Wellington by known suspect.last_img read more