England v New Zealand: The record-setting teams compared

first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Silver service: England beat Scotland to win the Calcutta Cup and the 2017 Six Nations. Photo: Getty Images Power surge: Joe Marler takes on Jonny Gray during the Six Nations. Photo: Getty ImagesMarler won his 50th cap against Scotland and has impressed both at scrum time and in the loose during the championship, keeping Mako Vunipola on the bench. Either of those Englishmen would get into this combined XV ahead of Moody, not only because of their experience but because of their impact with ball in hand.Winner: Joe MarlerDylan Hartley v Dane ColesHartley is revered by his coaches and team-mates for his leadership qualities. His lineout work against the Scots was pinpoint and he contributes a lot in the tight – but he is often withdrawn early in the second half as Jamie George offers more around the park.Full stretch: Dane Coles crosses for a try against the Wallabies. Photo: Getty ImagesColes, in contrast, is an all-action hooker and often finds himself in open spaces for the All Blacks, showing skills and pace more recognisable in a back. He doesn’t neglect his set-piece duties either and must have pushed Beauden Barrett close in the race to be World Rugby Player of the Year in 2016.Winner: Dane ColesDan Cole v Owen FranksCole is a mainstay for England – he’s been in the international set-up since 2010, won 76 caps (73 for England and three for the Lions) and is the only player to have started all 18 of the Tests in this run. Solid in the scrum, he also gets stuck in at the contact area, but he does have a tendency to give away penalties.Thirsty work: Owen Franks drinks from the Bledisloe Cup. Photo: Getty ImagesFranks is the All Blacks’ rock at tighthead and has won back-to-back World Cups. Not as showy as some other All Black front-towers but a reliable workhorse regarded as the best tighthead in the world by many experts.Winner: Owen FranksJoe Launchbury v Brodie RetallickWorld Rugby Player of the Year in 2014, Retallick is something of a benchmark for modern-day locks. The 25-year-old excels at the basics – lineout, scrum, breakdown – but stands out for his work in open play, surging through defences and upfield with strong carries and showing surprisingly deft hands for a big man.Decision time: Brodie Retallick weighs up his options against France. Photo: Getty ImagesLaunchbury has been England’s best forward in this Six Nations – Man of the Match against Wales and Italy, he was also to the fore in the Calcutta Cup game. He gets through a huge amount of work and is particularly adept at winning turnovers, or at least slowing down opposition ball.This is a tight call but Retallick’s importance to the All Blacks was shown by his absence against Ireland in Chicago, when their winning run was brought to an end.Winner: Brodie RetallickCourtney Lawes v Sam WhitelockTwo athletic locks who have been involved in their international set-ups since 2009 and 2010 respectively. Whitelock has been the more consistent of the two, missing only ten of New Zealand’s 94 Tests since his debut against Ireland. He’s seen as a leader in this All Blacks squad and is a great lineout operator.Rising high: Courtney Lawes rules at the lineout. Photo: Getty ImagesLawes has been more up and down, his momentum often stalled by injuries. He was expected to become something of an enforcer in the England engine room but has started less than half their matches since he came onto the scene. However, in this championship he has excelled – dominating the lineout, producing his trademark big hits and switching to the back row at scrum time as needed.Winner: Courtney LawesMaro Itoje v Jerome KainoThis is a case of the new star against the wily veteran. Kaino was one of the All Blacks’ standout performers in their 2011 World Cup win, went to play in Japan for a couple of years, returned to New Zealand and won back his place in the national side, playing a key role in their 2015 triumph too.Hard running: Maro Itoje runs into Scotland’s Finn Russell. Photo: Getty ImagesSuch has been Itoje’s impact at senior level for club and country that it is easy to forget that he made his Test debut only 13 months ago. He seems to rise to every occasion and in this championship has been playing at blindside given England’s injuries in the back row, albeit that he has been packing down in the second row at scrum time.Both are rounded players but Itoje’s continuing upward trajectory puts him in front.Winner: Maro ItojeJames Haskell v Matt ToddIn 2016 Sam Cane was generally chosen to fill the No 7 shirt worn for so long by double World Cup-winning captain Richie McCaw in the No 7 shirt while many Kiwis felt Ardie Savea should be start at openside, but it was Crusader Todd who was picked for the decisive 18th Test win over Australia with Cane ruled out by injury. Todd’s Test opportunities have been limited over the years and they are likely to remain so with Cane and Savea above him in the pecking order.Red alert: James Haskell on a burst against Italy. Photo: Getty ImagesHaskell is England’s longest server having made his debut ten years ago but he’s played his best rugby under Eddie Jones. The combination of Chris Robshaw and Haskell at six and seven in 2016 was key for England, and Haskell has returned from injury in this tournament to become a key force once again. He’s not an openside in the traditional sense but his work-rate and mentality in defence stand out.Winner: James HaskellNathan Hughes v Kieran ReadIt’s fair to say Hughes has not made the same impact at Test level as he has for Wasps, defences closing him down quickly so he is unable to make his half-breaks and offload to those in support – the hallmark of his game.Read is regarded as one of the best players in the world in any position. In fact, former England fly-half Stuart Barnes wrote in Rugby World last year that only All Blacks scrum-half Aaron Smith was better than him.Leading man: Kieran Read with a back-handed offload v South Africa. Photo: Getty ImagesLast year Read had less opportunity to showcase his talents in attack and had Billy Vunipola started against Scotland there would have been more debate over this position for the Saracen invariably gets over the gain-line and is vital to this England team’s game plan. As he was on the bench, Read is in – and captain of our combined XV. We rate the players who set the 18-Test winning runs for England and the All Blackscenter_img England equalled New Zealand’s record for the most consecutive Test wins by a Tier One nation when beating Scotland in the Six Nations. But which team is better?Looking at the stats over the two runs, the All Blacks’ figures are more impressive: 751 points scored, including 104 tries, and 253 conceded, which is around just 14 a game. England have notched 72 tries and 621 points while conceding 300 in their 18 wins.Rugby World decided to do something a little different, however, so we have compared and contrasted the players who started the decisive 18th International victory for each team – the Calcutta Cup win for England and the victory over Australia in October 2016 for the ABs – and picked who would make a composite XV. Will you agree with our choices in this England v New Zealand debate?Mike Brown v Ben SmithThere is no doubting Brown’s passion or commitment and he’s become something of an immovable object at full-back for England since 2013. He’s solid under the high ball and shows a willingness to counter-attack from deep – but the major flaw in his game is his reluctance to pass. He will often choose to take the ball into contact rather than pass to a team-mate, leading to missed opportunities.First 15: Ben Smith breaks clear against Australia. Photo: Getty ImagesIn contrast, Smith is a creator. He may be mocked by team-mates for his pale skin but his attacking play is bright and vivid. He is consistent in his performances – when he knocked on against Wales in a Test last June, one journalist quipped that it was the first mistake he’d made in three years! – but is unpredictable with ball in hand and has the vision to put himself or team-mates into space. Pure class.Winner: Ben SmithJack Nowell v Israel DaggThis is a tough one. Dagg’s poor form meant he wasn’t selected for RWC 2015 and he admitted he wasn’t enjoying his rugby. An injury-enforced break meant he returned last year reinvigorated and playing some of his best rugby – he scored ten tries in 12 Tests in 2016.Chief purpose: Jack Nowell scores his second try against Italy. Photo: Getty ImagesNowell, too, has had his injury woes but his work-rate is what sets him apart. He doesn’t stand on his wing waiting for the ball; his blue scrum cap pops up all over the pitch and he is a brilliant defender. It’s his industry that sees the Exeter Chief edge this particular battle.Winner: Jack NowellJonathan Joseph v Anton Lienert-Brown The Englishman is the more experienced of the pair and showed with his hat-trick against Scotland what a dangerous player he is. He has fabulous footwork and a lot of pace, as well as an intuitive understanding with George Ford, but his form has been a little up and down over the past six months.Centre points: Jonathan Joseph en route to one of his three tries v Scotland. Photo: Getty ImagesLienert-Brown made his All Blacks debut last August and did well, his distribution and support play particularly noteworthy. He was unfazed by the pressure of replacing such a class act as Conrad Smith at outside-centre and slotted into the All Blacks back-line with ease, but does he have the same ability of Joseph to produce a match-winning moment? Perhaps not. At least not yet.Winner: Jonathan JosephOwen Farrell v Ryan CrottyHad Manu Tuilagi been fit when Eddie Jones took charge of England, he may never have looked at the Ford-Farrell 10-12 partnership. Yet it has proved so effective it’s hard to see it changing any time soon.Kicking king: Owen Farrell is England’s second highest point-scorer of all time. Photo: Getty ImagesFarrell is a crucial cog in this England team. His goalkicking (bar the blip against Italy!) is unerring – he’s slotted 259 points for England in their 18 wins, more than 200 ahead of the next highest scorer, Jonathan Joseph (55) – and the team also benefit from his pinpoint distribution and boot in open play.Crotty, like Lienert-Brown, is overshadowed somewhat by his predecessor, Ma’a Nonu. He’s a solid player but is nowhere near as pivotal to the All Blacks’ game as Farrell is to England’s – for that reason the Saracen gets the nod.Winner: Owen FarrellElliot Daly v Julian SaveaDaly’s impact on the Scotland game was limited given that he was replaced early having been on the receiving end of a dangerous tackle by Fraser Brown, but he had been England’s outstanding back in the championship up to that point. There’s the high work-rate, the pace, the vision – and that huge left boot. And the centre has been playing out of position on the wing.All smiles: Julian Savea runs in one of his 45 Test tries for New Zealand. Photo: Getty ImagesCould anyone keep Savea out of a combined team though? He might not have been as prolific as usual in 2016 but his try-scoring rate cannot be ignored. He’s now notched 45 in 52 Tests and is so hard to stop he terrifies any defence.Winner: Julian SaveaGeorge Ford v Beauden Barrett These two are from the same school of fly-halves – visionary, risk-takers, exciting to watch. They both see opportunity where others see none and have the ability to delight crowds with their innovative and bold play. Ford is thriving alongside Farrell while Barrett has grown in confidence since taking the No 10 shirt from Aaron Cruden last June.Skip to it: Beauden Barrett tests Argentina’s defence. Photo: Getty ImagesA tight call but the reigning World Player of the Year, with his consistently high attacking standards and ability to change a game with kicks and flicks, is favoured.Winner: Beauden BarrettBen Youngs v TJ Perenara The Leicester Tiger has fallen short of the levels he hit in the autumn series during this Six Nations, but he still has a balanced skill-set. Good game management, great box-kicker, the eye for a gap – not to mention those dummies he threw last autumn.Passion player: TJ Perenara leads the haka in Chicago. Photo: Getty ImagesPerenara is more of a livewire who looks to snipe around the breakdown, but he can also control a game and is a smart operator. He has the ability to up the tempo of a game when necessary, too, which would suit this combined back-line.Winner: TJ PerenaraJoe Marler v Joe MoodyBoth these men are big characters off the pitch, known for their sense of humour. Moody was called into the 2015 World Cup squad as an injury replacement for Tony Woodcock, ended up starting the final and has retained the No 1 jersey since New Zealand lifted the trophy at that tournament. Winner: Kieran ReadFor the latest Rugby World subscription offers, click here.last_img read more

OC trustees approve resolution for solar firm tax break

first_img WhatsApp Facebook By admin – May 22, 2018 Steve Goff Photography. Facebook Pinterest Twitter Pinterestcenter_img OC trustees approve resolution for solar firm tax break Twitter WhatsApp Local NewsGovernment Odessa High’s Jesus Montes (12) passes the ball in the first half of the Bronchos’ 2-1 loss to the Del Rio Rams, Tuesday night at Ratliff Stadium. The Odessa College Board of Trustees has approved a resolution formalizing a tax abatement agreement with Oberon Solar LLC.The company plans to build a solar project in west Ector County.Board member Gary Johnson said the agreement was that Oberon would create at least two new jobs and invest at least $50 million. OC agreed to provide a 100 percent tax abatement for the first five years and 50 percent the next five years.Johnson said the idea was to get the company to invest more upfront. He said he heard Tuesday that Oberon could be investing $150 million.On a separate item, as part of the Globe Theater revitalization project, the board approved a $458,643 bid from Basin Electric and Technology of Midland. The bid includes an audio system and installation, acoustic panel installation, theatrical lighting and installation and performance and payment bonds, information from the board meeting said.Estimated completion date is Aug. 31.Odessa College commissioned a sound study by Marsh PMK for the Globe Theater to conceptualize a new sound system design to “optimize sound quality and system functionality,” the information said.The current lighting system needs to be replaced because it is outdated and cannot be fixed, the information said.Along with the bid from Basin Electric and Technology, a $529,675 bid was received from San Antonio Sound & Lighting. The firm estimated its completion date would be October, the information said.Vice President for Business Affairs Virginia Chisum said all the funds for improvements at the Globe were raised privately. The total was more than $750,000 and there is $543,000 left.She said the college wants to save as much money as possible for landscaping outside the theater.On a separate item, the board reorganized. Tommy Clark is now president, replacing Royce Bodiford. Gary Johnson was named board vice president; Larry Johnson as secretary; and Neil Grape as assistant secretary.In other business:Jeff Meyers, executive director for advancement, said $45,878.30 was raised by employees for the student success scholarships. This was with 97 percent participation. Meyers said the goal was $42,000 with 95 percent participation.Johnson, Miller & Co. was appointed as OC’s independent auditor.In a report from President Gregory Williams, he noted that the Options Gallery in Sedate Hall has been named the Phillips Goff Gallery for Barry Phillips the Elder, a retired art instructor, and Steve Goff, chairman of the photography department at OC.Tabled a request for consent from the board of trustees of the Odessa Junior College District to sell property for less than the market value specified in the judgment of foreclosure and less than the amount of judgment.More Information Previous articleCouncil commissions transportation planNext articleWalden wins JP runoff adminlast_img read more

The Country House, Starring Tony Winner Blythe Danner, Opens on Broadway

first_img Broadway.com wishes The Country House a happy opening! Invite us up sometime? We love drama. About the Artist: With a desire to celebrate the magic of live theater and those who create it, and with a deep reverence for such touchstones as the work of Al Hirschfeld and the wall at Sardi’s, Squigs is happy and grateful to be among those carrying on the traditions where theater and caricature meet. He was born and raised in Oregon, lived in Los Angeles for quite a long time and now calls New York City his home. The Country House In honor of the Chekhov-inspired play’s opening night, Broadway.com resident artist Justin “Squigs” Robertson penned this sketch of the cast in action, with Danner front and center as Anna Patterson. Joining her, from left to right, are David Rasche as Walter, Kate Jennings Grant as Nell, Daniel Sunjata as Michael, Sarah Steele as Susie and Eric Lange as Elliott. View Commentscenter_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Nov. 23, 2014 Blythe Danner is headed to the country…and you’re invited! The Tony winner stars in Donald Margulies’ The Country House, which celebrates its opening night on October 2. The Daniel Sullivan-helmed production will bring drama to the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre through November 23. Related Showslast_img read more

Make a Plan: Vote This November to Protect Our Winters

first_imgmakeadamnplan.org  With incredibly close Senate, congressional and even presidential contests in North Carolina and Virginia that will decide the future of outdoor sports and the country’s public lands: outdoor voters have outsized power to make a massive impact. But to do that we must all vote. “As Americans, we all come from different places and have different stories. But we are united by the places we love to play. It’s not left or right, it is literally our common ground. I encourage all of those who love the land to join us and make a plan,” said Jeremy Jones, professional snowboarder and founder/president of Protect Our Winters. As an outdoor enthusiast, you know that having a plan before you head out is the best way to ensure you reach your destination safely. That’s why POW launched Make A Plan To Vote as a way to help voters understand how to get out and cast a ballot this November, even in the midst of a global pandemic. With that collective political power, POW is challenging outdoor enthusiasts to take a stand this November and vote to protect our public lands, rivers, and mountains from the effects of climate change. Defined not by common borders but rather a shared passion for the outdoors, this is the time to make a difference together as the Outdoor State. While climate change can’t be tackled alone, it can be solved by a powerful community of passionate people ready to step up for our outdoor spaces. You can join the Outdoor State today with a pledge to vote by texting OUTDOOR STATE to 65351 or by visiting MakeADamnPlan.org. Make a damn plan and vote this November to Protect Our Winters. center_img Voting Made Easy Whether you plan to vote by mail or in person, this tool is a one-stop shop for all the information you need about election day with step by step instructions to guide you through the process. Check on your registration status, request a mail-in ballot, set reminders for important election deadlines, and find your polling station all in one easy to use location. POW is an alliance of athletes, scientists, creatives, and brands committed to preserving our world for future generations. If the more than 50 million eligible voters who identify with any outdoor sport vote together as the Outdoor State, it would be larger than any state and one of the most influential voting blocks in the country. This community of skiers, snowboarders, hikers, runners, climbers, bikers, and anglers has the power to change the direction of global warming and protect our wild places. But to do that, those who play outdoors together must also vote. Jeremy Jones, photo by Andrew Miller “At 50 million strong, those of us who live to play outdoors are the largest and potentially most influential voting block in the country. But to have that influence, we must vote,” said Mario Molina, Executive Director of POW. “Protect Our Winters’ Make a Plan to Vote tool provides personalized, behavioral science-based nudges and planning actions that are shown to increase voter turnout by 9.1%, which is nearly 5 million people in the Outdoor State, and could be the difference in tight races.” There is a lot at stake this November. And Protect Our Winters (POW) is helping those who play outdoors to make a plan to vote and vote together for climate champions.last_img read more