Bledisloe Cup: No surprises or weak links in All Blacks selection

first_imgNo points to prove: Hansen will always put out a strong teamCrotty may not have Cruden’s brain or a bag of tricks with the same dimensions, but he should be afforded the leeway that Cruden never got. The business of international rugby is hard enough and at least for the Bledisloe, Crotty has the ability to contend with Wallabies like Adam Ashley-Cooper with an hour of play under his drawstring. If he is used.The fact remains that this is a battle-hardened and purposeful All Blacks side that could be parachuted into any hotspot, on any terrain, and be expected to win. Steven Luatua is a replacement for Liam Messam, but no one is screaming in horror over this. Crotty may not even get his debut if the game is close, but an All Black ‘weakness’ is normally of a better ilk than any other international replacement.The fear must be, then, that the All Blacks do not thump this new-era Australia and maybe we just want easy excuses  lined up in the face of such a predictable All Black selection. Getting to grips: There has been much talk about Ryan Crotty coming in to the All Blacks squad, but he may not playBy Alan DymockTHE SUPER Rugby semi-final in Hamilton. An hour gone. Ryan Crotty fires out a loose pass to one of his Crusaders team-mates but before it can touch a fingertip a sprinting Aaron Cruden snatches the ball and bursts towards an interception try. It was a close game that the Waikato Chiefs won through their ability force their way through for scores and the Crusaders never quite looked strong enough to get to the final.Out of the shadows: No one writes off Aaron Cruden nowWhy is this Crotty-Cruden incident worth noting? Well, as the All Blacks name a team to contend the Bledisloe Cup in Australia – a team with almost no surprises – there has been some reaction to the selection of these two men. Chiefly, people are delighted that Cruden steps in but wary of the potential Crotty debut.The Crusaders centre was a late call-up to the All Black squad after Francis Saili went down and with Dan Carter pulling out and Cruden being promoted to starting fly-half, Crotty was gifted the empty spot on the bench. He is considered a paint-by-numbers guy and his rough-woven beard makes him look like the hipster who started turning up at your gym. In short: he is not the impossibly-skilled ringmaster most All Black fans want in their midfield and some feel that another hard worker is simply not what they need.He is skilled and he is a facilitator. If Steve Hansen deems him good enough, surely he should be given a chance? Of course, with no other headlines and the All Blacks picking an almost predictable, experienced team there has to be something to pick through.We have been through all of this before, of course, with Cruden himself. It took the fly-half time to convince the Kiwi public he had the mental aptitude to succeed once he had stepped out of Dan Carter’s shadow. Bossing games since his shaky time at the 2011 Rugby World Cup, though, he has become a figure of confidence and a game leader. That is not to say that he shouts and screams in the dressing room or grabs the likes of Kieran Read by the collar, but now people would not sound odd if they suggested that the kid is calm enough for international rugby. All Blacks team v Australia: Israel Dagg; Ben Smith, Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Julian Savea; Aaron Cruden, Aaron Smith; Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (c), Steven Luatua; Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano; Owen Franks, Andrew Hore, Tony Woodcock.Subs: Keven Mealamu, Ben Franks, Charlie Faumuina, Brodie Retallick, Sam Cane, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Beauden Barrett, Ryan Crotty. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS during a New Zealand All Blacks training session at Rugby League Park on August 13, 2013 in Wellington, New Zealand. last_img read more

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Pasadena Unified Students Get ‘Fast and Furious’ at the Robo Rally Tuesday

first_img Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday First Heatwave Expected Next Week Make a comment EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Education Pasadena Unified Students Get ‘Fast and Furious’ at the Robo Rally Tuesday From STAFF REPORTS Published on Monday, May 23, 2016 | 5:25 pm Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy HerbeautyHere Is What Scientists Say Will Happen When You Eat AvocadosHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty18 Ways To Get Rid Of HiccupsHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty6 Strong Female TV Characters Who Deserve To Have A SpinoffHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty15 Countries Where Men Have Difficulties Finding A WifeHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty6 Strong Female TV Characters Who Deserve To Have A SpinoffHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty9 Of The Best Family Friendly Dog BreedsHerbeautyHerbeauty More than 100 teams from middle schools across the Pasadena Unified School District will be showcasing their robotics skills at this year’s Robo Rally 2016: Fast and Furious, the 7th Annual Middle School Robotics Competition sponsored by the Pasadena Educational Foundation (PEF).The competition will be held Tuesday, May 24, at the Pasadena High School Gymnasium at 2925 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. in Pasadena.The teams will be building robotics race cars and program them to get to the garage on the other side of town as fast as possible. Adding to the programming complexity, vehicles may be challenged to a “game of chicken” on a narrow road before reaching the garage.Robotics classes in PUSD middle schools are supported by the Pasadena Educational Foundation (PEF).Classes are taught by PUSD math or science teachers that go through special robotics training supported by the PEF.Robo Rally 2016: Fast and Furious is created and produced by PEF STEM.On Tuesday, the program opens at 9:15 a.m. with Welcome, Instructions, and Introductions. The competition officially starts at 9:30 a.m. At 11:30 a.m., an Awards Ceremony will be held. Lunch will be at 11:50 a.m.PEF says the last heat in the competition could start anytime after 10:45 a.m., depending on the competition’s timing.To learn more about the Robo Rally, visit www.pasedfoundation.org/programs/robotics. Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena More Cool Stuffcenter_img Community News Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Subscribe Business News Community News faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,PCC – EducationVirtual Schools PasadenaDarrell Done EducationHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Top of the News 0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website last_img read more

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Our Hospice Moving to New Location

first_imgGREENSBURG — Our Hospice in Greensburg is moving to its new location today.The office will move to the former office of Dr. Tom Welage at 946 East Main Street.Our Hospice serves patients in 16 counties.An open house will be held in the future for community members.Our Hospice has been serving South Central Indiana for over 36 years.last_img

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Trojans start season off strong

first_imgDon’t be fooled — it was a great weekend at Dedeaux Field.Baseball was finally back, and despite off-and-on showers, all six scheduled games of the USC baseball tournament were officially completed.Though everything didn’t go as planned, the Trojans (2-1) managed to make the championship game, but fell short to North Carolina 11-7.“They’re a top-20 program almost every year,” said junior third baseman Ricky Oropesa. “But we showed that we can hang with them.”The Tar Heels (4-0) got on the board first with a pair of runs in the second. A perfectly executed hit-and-run put runners at the corners with one down, and right fielder Seth Baldwin delivered a bases-clearing triple off the wall in right-center field.The Trojans left the bases loaded in the third, but again mounted a rally in the fourth. A single by junior center fielder Alex Sherrod, and a double over the head of Tar Heels center fielder Chaz Frank by senior second baseman Joe De Pinto put runners at second and third with no outs.But junior designated hitter Brandon Garcia struck out and junior right fielder Mike Greco flied to center, meaning it was all up to freshman catcher Jake Hernandez, making his Trojan debut.“It’s exciting,” Hernandez said. “It’s hard to keep your composure, but I felt good.”And did he feel good — Hernandez promptly stepped up with a two-run double, and senior left fielder Matt Hart followed with a single through the left side, plating Hernandez and giving the Trojans a 3-2 lead.But North Carolina came back with four runs in the second. A hit batsman, a pair of doubles and a single led to two runs and chased senior starting pitcher Logan Odam from the game.With zero outs and runners at the corners, Cruz handed the ball to freshman lefty Kyle Richter for his Trojan debut.“He has our uniform on,” Cruz said of Richter. “Everybody in our dugout that has our uniform on I’m gonna trust.”Richter allowed the two runners to score, but settled down and got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam with a strikeout and a flyout.The Tar Heels tacked on another in the top of the sixth to make it 7-3, but in the bottom of the inning the Trojans came roaring back.Singles by De Pinto, Garcia and Hernandez loaded the bases with one out. With two outs, freshman shortstop James Roberts was hit by a pitch to plate one, and up stepped the preseason all-American Oropesa.“I’m not trying to hit a [home run] every at-bat,” Oropesa said. “I’m just trying to help the team out, get a double here and get some RBIs.”With the bases juiced and the count full, Oropesa lined a bases clearing double down the right field line to tie the game at seven.Carolina would push one run across in the seventh, but the number could have easily been more. With Tar Heels on second and third with two out, coach Cruz elected to walk switch-hitting shortstop Levi Michael to load the bases, and junior pitcher Chad Smith got Tar Heels catcher Jacob Stallings to ground to third to end the threat.USC’s best chance to tie came in the eight, when they put runners at the corners with one out for Oropesa, who battled before finally striking out on a 3-2 curveball.Junior first basemen Matt Foat momentarily electrified the crowd at Dedeaux Field by lofting a long ball that had all the looks of a go-ahead, three-run homer, but was ultimately caught on the warning track in right.Carolina busted it open in the top of the ninth when second baseman Tommy Cole hit a two-run triple down the right field line and then proceeded to score on a wild pitch to give the Tar Heels their final 11-7 lead.The Trojans went quietly in the bottom half of the inning to take their first loss of the season.“The top of the ninth was a little deflating,” Cruz said. “But we’re not gonna let any situation get us down. We’re gonna keep competing and play the next pitch. And we did that all weekend.”The Trojans certainly started the season on the right track by sweeping an opening day doubleheader against Missouri and Cal Poly Pomona.Facing Missouri bright and early at 10 a.m., the Trojans struck first in the second, when De Pinto led off with a single to left. Sherrod then slapped a grounder that bounced off the glove of Tigers first baseman Dane Opel and over the fence for a ground rule double.  Greco knocked home the Trojans first run of the season with an RBI single to left. After sophomore right fielder Alex Glenn was hit by a pitch, junior leftfielder Garret Houts knocked in a pair with a single to right to give the Trojans a 3-0 lead.USC added some padding with a pair of two-out runs in the fourth. Roberts walked and Houts reached on an infield single.  Then junior catcher Kevin Roundtree flied to center, but Mizzou center fielder Brannon Champagne dropped it, allowing two runs to score.The Tigers got on the board with three RBI doubles in the fifth, knocking junior Trojan starter Andrew Triggs from the game after 4 2/3 innings pitched.  Senior pitcher Chirs Mezger came in and delivered one-and-one-third scoreless innings to earn the first win of the season for the Trojans.USC added three more in the eighth and the bullpen combined for 4 1/3 scoreless innings to preserve the Trojans first victory of the season.The late game against Cal Poly was far more interesting. As was joked in the press box after the game, you could credit Johnson with the loss, Wood with the win and rain with the save.When the game was officially over, the scoreboard read 8-5 in favor of the Cal Poly Mustangs.  Officially, it will go in the books as a 5-2 USC win.In the second game of a Saturday doubleheader, the Trojans lead 5-2 after five innings when the game was stopped for rain for the first time.  After 45 minutes the game resumed in the top of the sixth, and the Mustangs jumped all over the USC bullpen for six runs.  Before the Trojans could even get out of the inning, the rain started up again, and the tarp was brought back on.  When the game was stopped, Cal Poly led 8-5 with two out in the top of the sixth.  However, if the game could not be resumed, by rule the final score would revert back to the last completed inning — that was the fifth inning, after which the Trojans led 5-2.They tried to play, however. The tarp was brought off, new dirt was poured, but the field was simply too wet to safely continue playing.  After much discussion between the two coaches and the umpires, the decision was made.  The game was called off, and the Trojans walked away with a rather unconventional 5-2 win to start off their season 2-0.“They made the right decision,” Cruz said. “You don’t want somebody to get hurt out there.”Of course, Cruz had a rather vested interest in the game being called, but said he wasn’t pushy about it.“I tried to stay away from the umpires and just let them make their decision,” Cruz said. “I didn’t want to seem imposing, but remember we still had four at-bats left. That game was far from over.”Junior transfer pitcher Austin Wood — a former fourth round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Rays — pitched all five innings that counted, giving up two earned and walking just one alongside eight strikeouts to earn his first win as a Trojan.“It felt great,” Wood said. “My first time pitching out here, I was pretty excited the first few innings, but I settled down.”Equipped with a mid-90’s heater, an 80 mph changeup and a sharp curve, the Mustangs were simply no match.“Woody was great,” Sherrod said.  “He would blow it by people and then drop the velocity 15-20 miles per hour on them with the change.  And that’s not even mentioning the curve.  It was great to watch.”USC struck for four in the first, all with two outs.  Sherrod got the rally started with a single to left, scoring Glenn from third and moving Foat up to second. De Pinto followed with another single scoring Foat, and Roundtree loaded the bases with an infield single. Garcia then came through with the bases loaded knock, plating Sherrod and De Pinto.Cal Poly got back two in the third with a pair of two out RBI singles by J.J. Thompson and Bobby Crocker.  With runners at the corners the Mustangs were threatening a big inning, but Wood induced Mike Miller into a groundout.  After that, Wood settled into a real grove. He allowed just one base runner over the final three innings and struck out the side in the fifth.By contrast, the Trojans threatened every inning, but could only manage to push one more across. With one out in the bottom of the third, Oropesa slammed a ball off the base of the wall in right-center.  He advanced to third on a Foat single and scored on Sherrod’s sacrifice fly to center.However, runners stranded were a problem for the Trojans throughout the weekend.  They left 10 on against Carolina, and two on in each of the first four innings against Cal Poly, as well as one in the fifth.  Against Missouri, they left at least one on in seven of their eight innings, including the bases loaded in the seventh.“It’s a bittersweet stat,” Cruz said. “Because it means you’re getting runners on.  But obviously the goal is to get them in as well. We just gotta trust the guy behind you, because you can’t get them all in at once.”With the Trojans off to a good start, Oropesa believes the team did well, but there is still room for growth.“Overall, a successful weekend, he said. “We competed and we just gotta keep working hard.”The Trojans travel inland to take on UC Riverside on Tuesday, and will spend next weekend in Houston visiting No. 15 Rice.last_img read more

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