ENGLAND Knights coach Kieron Purtill is confident

July 31, 2019

first_imgENGLAND Knights coach Kieron Purtill is confident he can keep his 100 per cent record in charge of the side intact when the Knights travel to Belfast to face Ireland in their opening Alitalia European Cup game on Saturday October 20 (6.00pm).Purtill has led the Knights to consecutive victories over France, Cumbria and Ireland since the team was inaugurated in 2011 and the current Huddersfield Giants assistant coach has been pleased with the squad’s progression ahead of Saturday’s contest.“Things have been going really well so far and we’ve been building up nicely since first coming together,” said Purtill. “Ireland had a great win last weekend and it’s all set up well for the weekend.“We beat Ireland comfortably earlier this season but I don’t think that has a bearing this weekend. Their squad is very different from that match and they’re building towards the World Cup now. They have some very good senior pros in their ranks who will certainly be a threat and we need to be on our game to compete.“We need to be disciplined and make sure we play our game and continue the legacy that the previous players who have played for the Knights have left behind – which is to perform at the highest level and put yourself in Steve McNamara’s shop window.”The opportunity to impress England coach McNamara has already paid off for several of the players who were involved with the Knights last season, with Lee Mossop, Richie Myler, Liam Farrell, Josh Charnley and Stefan Ratchford all making the step-up to the Elite Training Squad and Purtill believes that highlights the success of England’s development pathway.“The introduction of the Knights has helped the progression of players among the teams,” he said. “There’s been a great level of transition from Academy through to senior level and it’s shown that if you play well for the Knights you can earn your place in the senior squad.“Previously, players coming out of the Academy would go for several years without an international game we’ve changed that by creating the Knights and giving the best young English players as many opportunities to compete on the international stage as possible and it has been a success so far.“Playing these types of games is massive for the player’s development but outside of that, coming into the England camp, interacting with players from other clubs and knowing what it takes to be part of the England set-up is an important aspect of the Knights.“We’re educating our young players so that the transition to senior level is easier when that time comes and hopefully this group of players will be ready if Steve McNamara calls on them for the Rugby League World Cup 2013.”England begin their Alitalia European Cup campaign against Ireland in Belfast’s Deramore Park on Saturday October 20 (6.00pm) before taking on Scotland at the Meggetland Stadium, Edinburgh, on Sunday October 28 (2.00pm).last_img read more

TWO tries from Francis Meli saw Saints record thei

July 31, 2019

first_imgTWO tries from Francis Meli saw Saints record their first win of the season.The winger took his ‘Red V’ career tally to 131 in 201 appearances as his side overcame Widnes Vikings 16-4 at a freezing Stobart Stadium.A tight match was deadlocked at 4-4 with just over 20 minutes to go before the home side were sensationally reduced to 11 men.Ben Cross flattened Paul Wellens high and a resultant 26 player melee saw Jon Clarke given ten minutes.Saints struggled to impose themselves with two players more but Lee Gaskell saw a gap and killed off Vikings’ hopes.And Meli then repeated his 18th minute score – which cancelled out Stefan Marsh’s opener – with a real poacher’s effort.Nathan Brown said he wouldn’t make kneejerk changes after last week’s defeat to Huddersfield Giants but was forced to bring in Joe Greenwood after James Roby failed to recover from a foot injury. That saw Lance Hohaia come into the hooker spot.Saints got off to a good start when they won a penalty and gained a drop out in the first minute.And five minutes later they almost scored when the ball went wide through Hohaia and Lomax but Meli was put in touch a foot short.Seconds later Widnes won repeat sets, Saints failed to defend a high ball and Stefan Marsh put the home side ahead.Rhys Hanbury missing the tricky conversion from the touchline.It was a blow but Saints galvanised themselves, Hohaia went close and Wellens then fed Francis Meli for an 18th minute leveller.Saints could have taken the lead on the half hour mark; TP taking four tacklers with him on the way to the line before he was felled just inches short.With five minutes to go Joe Mellor hit an audacious 40:20 that took a ridiculous bounce off the surface. That rocked Saints on their heels but excellent defence stopped the chance.Saints passed up a penalty in front of the sticks late on for a ‘powerplay’ and when that was thwarted Widnes saw a two-point effort of their own drift well wide.The second half got off to an inauspicious start with both sides failing to keep hold of the ball.Joe Greenwood made a spectacular save on his own goal line after the ball was fired to him at pace and Wellens took a superb high ball under pressure.Widnes lost Cameron Phelps to leg injury and then Jonny Lomax took a shot to the head and was out cold.The Vikings had a big chance to forge ahead when Willie Isa broke down the left hand side – but he was caught in two minds and a potential try was lost.But on 59 minutes the match changed on a fiery incident.Ben Cross floored Paul Wellens as he came off his own 10 metre line and was sent off and after a 26-man melee Jon Clarke was sinbinned.That saw a period of ‘13 on 11′ but Saints flustered and couldn’t punch a hole in the defence.Just before Clarke did return though, Gaskell found a gap, threw a dummy and Saints were ahead.And with less than eight minutes left in the game Lomax intercepted a Widnes speculator feeding Meli in for his second.The Vikings pushed for a late score and Hock could’ve counted himself unlucky not to sneak over at the death.Saints clung on though and will head into Friday’s match against Hull FC with renewed vigour.Match Summary:Widnes:Tries: MarshGoals: Hanbury (0 from 2)Saints:Tries: Meli (2), GaskellGoals: Lomax (0 from 1), Gaskell (2 from 2)Penalties:Widnes: 9Saints: 11HT: 4-4FT: 16-4REF: James ChildATT: 8322Teams:Widnes:1. Shaun Briscoe; 20. Paddy Flynn, 4. Stefan Marsh, 3. Cameron Phelps, 2. Willie Isa; 14. Joe Mellor, 7. Rhys Hanbury; 8. Ben Cross, 9. Jon Clarke, 16. Eamon O’Carroll, 12. Dave Allen, 24. Macgraff Leuluai, 13. Hep Cahill.Subs: 18. Lloyd White, 22. Gareth Hock, 23. Phil Joseph, 25. Alex Gerrard.Saints:1. Paul Wellens; 21. Tommy Makinson, 3. Jordan Turner, 19. Josh Jones, 5. Francis Meli; 20. Lee Gaskell, 7. Jonny Lomax; 8. Josh Perry, 6. Lance Hohaia, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 4. Sia Soliola, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Willie Manu.Subs: 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 11. Tony Puletua, 15. Mark Flanagan. 24. Joe Greenwood.last_img read more

July 30, 2019

PN seeking volunteers for party reform strategy

first_imgPartit Nazzjonalista (PN) is looking for volunteers willing to help in the party’s reform process.A press release signed by Louis Galea states that the reform process will be an informed, inspired and guided one that will be led by a multi-disciplinary team.At the beginning of July, the PN’s Executive Committee unanimously approved Adrian Delia’s proposal to appoint Louis Galea as the leader of the party’s political reform. Galea will be leading this initiative on a voluntary basis.Adverts have been posted on the Sunday papers calling on all those interested to contribute in the reform. Louis Galea said that reform team will be made up of individuals with different skills, abilities, work experiences and qualifications.Those interested must be able to commit for at least five hours a week on voluntary basis.Former PN MEP candidate Peter Agius said on Facebook that he will be sending an email.On Saturday, Adrian Delia won the vote of confidence to remain in his role as leader of the PN. On Sunday, he said that this was not a personal win but a win for the party.Saturday’s vote was a victory for the party – DeliaWhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’https://sp2.img.hsyaolu.com.cn/wp-shlf1314/2023/IMG11438.jpg” alt=”last_img” /> read more