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Muller hails ‘outstanding’ Pienaar

first_img Scrum-half Pienaar scored all of Ulster’s points in the 22-19 win over the Tigers at Welford Road and the 1999 champions will now play Saracens in the last eight at Ravenhill in April. Piennaar not only kicked five penalties and a conversion but also scored the crucial try after charging down a clearance from Leicester fly-half Toby Flood in the 58th minute to level the scores at 19-19. His winning penalty, in the 69th minute, was from a metre inside his own half, his second monster kick of the game. Muller said: “It seems like it’s happening every week, when he scores all the points. “I came here with him yesterday to do kicking practice and he did not miss one all day. He was outstanding and kicked them from 60, 62 metres. From a captain’s point of view it gives you a lot of confidence. “A huge amount of credit to him and it doesn’t just happen. He puts a huge amount of work in, he puts hours and hours into his kicking and it’s wonderful when it pays off.” Ulster’s win means they top Pool Five with six wins out of six and in April will have a chance to avenge last season’s quarter-final defeat at Saracens. This time, however, they will have home advantage, and Muller said: “We came here to get a home quarter-final. “Sarries totally outplayed us last season. They are a great side and don’t mind going away to get a result. “It’s two months away and at this stage we will just enjoy the moment. We have not achieved anything yet and there’s a huge amount of work left if we are to achieve something.” Leicester led 19-9 after a 49th-minute try by winger Niall Morris had put them in the driving seat. But Flood, who converted the try and kicked four penalties out of five, cost Leicester dear when his clearance was charged down by Pienaar nine minutes later. Richard Cockerill, Tigers’ director of rugby, said: “We’re disappointed with the result, but it was a good game. “It was very tight margins and we dropped the wrong side of those margins. Ten points up, we needed to control the game better but we did not manage the back field as well as we would have liked and they exposed us. “To lose to a charge-down kick is disappointing but you make your own luck. “I am not going to criticise us. The luck of the draw fell their way tonight and that happens in sport. It wasn’t for a lack of effort. We played some good stuff and you just have to take it on the chin.” Leicester, who suffered their first home defeat in the competition since 2006-2007, face a quarter-final away to a French team, either Toulon or Clermont Auvergne, and should have their England and British Lions pair Manu Tuilagi and Geoff Parling back by then. “At the moment it’s probably Toulon, tomorrow it may be Clermont who have an average home record, what is it, 73 games unbeaten,” said Cockerill. “We are in the quarter-finals and we have suffered a lot of adversity (through injuries), so that’s not a bad effort from us.” Ulster captain Johann Muller hailed Ruan Pienaar after the South African’s efforts clinched his side a famous victory at Leicester Tigers and a home tie in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Luka Doncic vs. Lamar Jackson: Who will own the next decade in sports?

first_imgThe athletes who defined the last decade in the NBA and the NFL, America’s most prominent professional sports leagues, are easy to name. But the stranglehold LeBron James and Tom Brady have held on basketball and football is due to expire in the 2020s.That two players stand out as the most likely to dominate the next 10 years in those sports is telling given the absurd amount of young talent infused (and soon to be infused) in both the NBA and the NFL. Mavericks forward Luka Doncic is already being compared to James on the basis of stats. Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is already tormenting defenses in a way never seen before in pro football. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/5c/7f/lamar-jackson-121719-getty-ftrjpg_hrwvoiccy8re1gi71ce7ursw2.jpg?t=353625207&w=500&quality=80 (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/db/be/lamar-jackson-102019-getty-ftrjpg_11e9yupqse03l1s3cp7jvt5ylo.jpg?t=-328499691&w=500&quality=80 (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/47/7a/luka-doncic-getty-122619-ftrjpg_1x85odc7xtl8t114yazh6unpcn.jpg?t=1136354607&w=500&quality=80 MarketabilityThe case for Luka: The Slovenian wunderkind possesses international appeal, as he was dominating the Euroleague well before entering his name in the 2018 NBA Draft. He has lived up to the hype so far, posting incredible raw numbers and contributing to a winning team. He does it with a flair for the dramatic, whether it’s a deep bomb from beyond the arc or a no-look pass to an open teammate.Doncic sparked a sneaker war early in the 2019-20 season, wearing several shoe brands and styles before ultimately signing an endorsement deal with Jordan. A signature line could widen Doncic’s visibility, though Jordan has struggled a bit with releases outside of its highly coveted retros.Unlike a baseball or a football player, you can see Doncic. He can flash his infectious smile one possession and talk trash to an opponent on the next. Regardless of what he’s doing, the camera is likely to be stuck on No. 77 the entire way.The case for Lamar: Jackson has some fun at press conferences and has been no stranger to big stages since his Heisman Trophy-winning breakout at Louisville. He is a video game-like cheat code when in action on the field, capturing the imagination of those who love fast running quarterbacks. Much like Mahomes, who’s now hard to miss in major advertising campaigns following his MVP 2018 season, Jackson is on his way to being everywhere as one of the key commercial faces of the NFL.In the NFL, no market is too small to turn a captivating player and likable personality into a nationwide household name for even the most casual of NFL fans. Luka is a little ahead because of the more immediate marketing-friendly nature of the NBA and certainly will always have the most international appeal. But Jackson will hold his own with his exponentially increasing popularity in America. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/1/21/luka-doncic-getty-041219-ftrjpg_1ok8c1dfffnww1xgvf3luqx9cq.jpg?t=308640002&w=500&quality=80 (SN/Getty) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/ba/dc/lamar-jackson-12319-getty-ftr_gma1xuhzvwvj1p5qx9knoeehr.jpg?t=-855120794&w=500&quality=80 Competition/challengersThe case for Luka: Doncic is already producing at an MVP level, but there is a long line of players that could stand in his way, both now and in the future.LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, James Harden and Russell Westbrook are all trying to come out of the Western Conference immediately. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Pascal Siakam could potentially lead their teams to the NBA Finals over the next few years depending on the rosters around them. Maybe a youngster like Zion Williamson or Ja Morant progresses quickly and becomes a threat sooner than expected. Oh, and by the way, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving should be back on the floor together in 2020-21.It’s impossible to forecast when the next dynamic duo (or even trio) will emerge. Here’s one thing we do know: Doncic is already a franchise-changing talent capable of running the best offense in the NBA, and he isn’t yet old enough to legally drink in the United States.There will always be challengers, but a single player can be more impactful in basketball than in any other sport. Imagine how good Doncic can be once he actually hits his prime. The case for Lamar: Jackson will need to keep up his elite play to stay ahead of a new wave of young NFL superstars, with fellow quarterbacks standing out as his biggest competition for individual awards and team championships.Right there in this year’s AFC divisional playoffs with him are the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and the Texans’ Deshaun Watson. In the NFC, the Cardinals’ Kyler Murray and the Giants’ Daniel Jones are the two guys to watch for a big rise in 2020. Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey and Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas had amazingly prolific 2019 seasons like Lamar, but their positions limit their luster.Just as Lamar replaced Mahomes as the league’s youthful MVP sensation, there will be newcomers like Joe Burrow and Trevor Lawrence to throw their helmets into the mix. The key for Lamar is getting on the board with a Super Bowl title to beat everyone else to the punch, perhaps starting as early as this season. Injury riskThe case for Luka: This is an easy category in favor of Doncic. He has already suffered minor knee and ankle injuries early in his career, but the nature of his sport makes him more likely to remain healthy for the next decade and beyond.Doncic could face the occasional hard foul. Jackson could be drilled by a blitzing linebacker multiple times in a single series.The case for Lamar: Jackson gets chased and tackled in the NFL. He has never had durability issues in the past, but this is a league where massively athletic men fall on smaller guys. Russell Wilson and Dak Prescott are the durable exceptions, not the rule.Doncic hasn’t been healthy of late, but in the long term, Jackson will be in harm’s way at a much higher level, even when he’s not running and just doing his thing in the pocket. Consistency vs. potential improvement (floor vs. ceiling)The case for Luka: It turns out Doncic’s early-season explosion wasn’t a fluke. This is just what the guy does now.Through more than a third of his sophomore campaign, Doncic finds himself in the top five in both points and assists per game and top 20 in rebounds. Despite shooting more, his efficiency has improved from the field, on 3-pointers and at the free throw line. He isn’t a lockdown defender, but his size (6-7, 218 pounds) and basketball IQ allow him to compete on that end of the floor.Doncic has quickly learned the subtle nuances of the NBA, the tricks of the trade that help all superstars thrive. He should only improve as he adds different pieces along the way and grows with his teammates. Keep in mind his partnership with Porzingis isn’t close to fully formed.At the very least, Doncic can establish the Mavericks as an annual playoff participant. At his peak, he could be holding multiple MVPs and titles.MORE: Jackson dominates voting for SN’s Offensive Player of the Year award Chances to win titles/organizational stabilityThe case for Luka: Rick Carlisle has served as the Mavericks’ coach since the 2008-09 season. General manager and president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson has been with the organization for more than two decades. And owner Mark Cuban? He isn’t going anywhere. That’s about as stable as you can get in the NBA outside of San Antonio.It’s easy to see the Mavs keeping Doncic locked up under long-term contracts and building around him and Kristaps Porzingis. Cuban will spend whatever it takes to be a winner, which shouldn’t be difficult as long as Doncic is on the floor. His presence alone means Dallas can’t be ignored in the championship chase throughout the 2020s.The case for Lamar: Jackson landed in a great spot with the Ravens. Ozzie Newsome has given way to the strong front-office eye of Eric DeCosta. Jackson also plays for a stable, Super Bowl-winning coach in John Harbaugh.Baltimore has a strong tradition of championship makeup. The team already has adjusted offensively to what Jackson does well to explosive results. At the same time, the Ravens didn’t lose sight of maintaining their typical defensive backbone to complement the QB. Jackson is operating on his inexpensive rookie deal and is headed toward being rewarded as the highest-paid QB in the game at some point, much like Joe Flacco before him to set up consistent winning that spiked with a Super Bowl MVP run. Doncic is 20, and Jackson just turned 23. Both are amid their second seasons in their respective leagues, and both are captivating viewers more quickly and convincingly than anybody expected.MORE: Sporting News Athletes of the DecadeThe combination of ridiculous early success and promise for the future is why these two athletes are most likely to be the faces of the 2020s in sports, and they’re relatively easy choices. What’s not as simple is determining which of the two stars is likely to outshine the other.Separated by five categories — competition/challengers, organizational stability, marketability, injury risk and floor vs. ceiling — below is the case for Luka and the case for Lamar as the athlete who will own the next decade in sports. The case for Lamar: Jackson is playing quarterback in a way the NFL has never seen in terms of running, as he smashed the single-season rushing record for the position in only his second year. But what is more impressive is what he has done as a passer. He has played off the best rushing attack in NFL history to be super efficient throwing the ball downfield and finishing drives in the red zone.The scary thing is, Jackson can only get better as the Ravens add and groom playmakers to his supporting cast while he develops as a field-reader and decision-maker. His work ethic has been off the charts, from working hard to dominate at Louisville and carrying that determination and confidence to Baltimore. The more experienced Jackson gets, the better he will harness his immense physical skill set. Jackson is about to win his first NFL MVP award at age 23, beating out Mahomes and Dan Marino for the youngest to do so in NFL history. If what he just did in 2019 is more like his floor, it’s downright crazy to think about how high his ceiling can get.last_img read more

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Fort St. John saves power during Earth Hour

first_imgCommunity             SavingsTumbler Ridge        4.95%Pouce Coupe           3.60%Fort Nelson             2.40%Hudson’s Hope       1.95%Taylor                     1.44%Fort St. John           1.38% On Saturday night hundreds of people and household’s in Fort St. John went dark for Earth Hour.With that, the City was able to save about 1.38 per cent, which is a big change from 2010, when the community saw an increase during Earth Hour.   In 2009 the community saw a decrease of 1.5 per cent.A crowd packed Whole Wheat and Honey Saturday night at an event to celebrate Earth Hour organized by NEAT.  Several other businesses also dimmed their lights on Saturday to show support for the cause.- Advertisement -Overall in the province, B.C. Hydro says they saw an overall decrease of 1.8 per cent saving 117 megawatt hours of electricity, almost twice as much as in 2010.Pitt Meadows saw the biggest decrease of about 6 per cent. Tumbler Ridge wasn’t far behind with the second highest decrease in the province at 4.95 per cent. Below is a list of communities in Northeastern B.C. and their total savings (Hydro was unable to provide for Dawson Creek).Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia to bring awareness to climate change. In 2008, the event blossomed into a worldwide movement, with more than 35 countries participating.Advertisementlast_img read more

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With a new test, citizenship is still a question of answers

first_imgPatrick Henry and Francis Scott Key are out, but Susan B. Anthony and Nancy Pelosi are in. The White House was cut, but New York and Sept. 11 made the list. Federal immigration authorities on Thursday unveiled 100 new questions that immigrants will have to study in order to pass a civics test to become naturalized American citizens. The redesign of the test, the first since it was created in 1986 as a standardized examination, follows years of criticism in which conservative groups said the test was too easy and immigrant advocates said it was too hard. The new questions did little to quell that debate among many immigrant groups, who complained the citizenship test would become even more daunting. Conservatives seemed to be more satisfied. Bush administration officials said the new test was part of their effort to move forward on the hotly disputed issue of immigration by focusing on the assimilation of legal immigrants who have played by the rules, leaving aside the situation of some 12 million illegal immigrants here. Several historians said the new questions successfully incorporated more ideas about the workings of American democracy and better touched upon the diversity of the groups – including women, American Indians and African Americans – who have influenced the country’s history. Would-be citizens no longer have to know who said, “Give me liberty or give me death,” or who wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner.” But they do have to know, “What did Susan B. Anthony do?” and who the current speaker of the House of Representatives is. Alfonso Aguilar, a senior official at Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency that designs and administers the test, said it was not intended to be punitive. “We don’t seek to fail anyone,” said Aguilar, an architect of the test. Immigration officials said they sought to move away from civics trivia to emphasize basic concepts about the structure of government and American history and geography. In contrast to the old test, which some immigrants could pass without any study, the officials said the new one is intended to force even highly educated applicants to do some reviewing. “This test genuinely talks about what makes an American citizen,” said Emilio Gonzalez, the director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, speaking at a news conference in Washington. The $6.5-million redesign was crafted over six years of discussions with historians, immigrant organizations and liberal and conservative research groups. The questions were submitted to four months of pilot testing earlier this year with more than 6,000 immigrants who were applying for naturalization. The agency will begin to use the revised test on Oct. 1, 2008, to leave a year for aspiring citizens to prepare and for community groups to adjust their study classes. The overall format has not changed. Legal immigrants who are eligible to become citizens must pass the civics exam as well as a test of English proficiency in reading and writing. In a one-to-one oral examination, an immigration officer asks the applicant 10 questions, of varying degrees of difficulty, selected from the list of 100. To pass, the applicant must answer six of those 10 questions correctly. The questions released on Thursday will remain public along with their answers. Immigrants are eligible to become citizens if they have been legal permanent residents for at least five years (or three years if they are married to a citizen) and have “good moral character” and no criminal record. In the pilot runs of the revised test, Aguilar said, the pass rates improved over the current tests, with 92 percent of participants passing on the first try, as opposed to 84 percent now. At least 15 questions were eliminated as a result of the pilot because they proved too difficult. For example, a question about the minimum wage was dropped because test takers were confused between federal and state rates, Aguilar said. In the new test, the pilgrims have been replaced by “colonists,” and they are the subject of fewer questions, while slavery and the civil rights movement are the subject of more. A question was added asking what “major event” happened on Sept. 11, 2001. The new test drops questions about the 49th and 50th states, but adds one about the political affiliation of the president. There are no questions about the White House. Instead, one question asks where the Statue of Liberty is located. In a statement, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, one of the groups consulted in shaping the new test, denounced it as “the final brick in the second wall.” The group said the test included “more abstract and irrelevant questions” that tended to stump hard-working immigrants who had little time to study. But several historians said the test appeared to be fair. “People who take this seriously will have a good chance of passing,” said Gary Gerstle, a professor of American history at Vanderbilt University. “Indeed, their knowledge of American history may even exceed the knowledge of millions of American-born citizens.” John Fonte, a senior fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute, called the new test “a definite improvement.” But he said it should have included questions about the meaning of the oath of allegiance that new citizens swear. “I would like to see an even more vigorous emphasis on Americanization,” he said. About 55 percent of the applicants who participated in the pilot test were from Latin American countries. Some Latino groups noted on Thursday that no question on the new test refers to Latinos. Aguilar said that the test was not intended to be a comprehensive review, but rather to include “landmark moments of American history that apply to every single citizen.” Naturalizations have surged in recent years, from 537,151 in 2004 to 702,589 last year, according to official figures. In July, the fee to become a citizen increased sharply, from $405 to $675. — Four sample questions from the new citizenship test: 1) Who was president during World War I? – (Woodrow) Wilson 2) What did Susan B. Anthony do? – Fought for women’s rights – Fought for civil rights 3) The Federalist Papers supported the passage of the U.S. Constitution. Name one of the writers. – (James) Madison – (Alexander) Hamilton – (John) Jay – Publius 4) Why does the flag have 13 stripes? – Because there were13 original colonies – Because the stripes represent the original colonies160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! 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