Lions set to ignite their attack against the Highlanders

first_imgThe Lions scored all their points with the boot when they out-muscled the Crusaders 12-3 on Saturday, the impressive display following two lacklustre tour outings in which the visitors combined for just two tries.Seymour, however, is confident that a contest against an expansive Highlanders side combined with the gradual improvement of the touring party will enable the Lions to finally start putting more points on the board ahead of the All Blacks tests.”We would be lying if we said we weren’t a little bit disappointed that we hadn’t crossed the whitewash a few more times,” the 28-year-old Glasgow Warriors wing told reporters in Dunedin.”It is only so long you want to go creating those opportunities and not finishing them off, you can only be pleased for so long about creating them. It is no good having them and not converting,” he added.”But it’s a lot easier to go finishing off those final passes, than it is to go from creating nothing.”Seymour starts in the back three with Jack Nowell and Jared Payne against the 2015 Super Rugby champions after coach Warren Gatland opted for an entirely new starting lineup, and the Scot is looking forward to facing All Blacks winger Waisake Naholo.”That’s the theme for this trip, there is a lot of talent in the back three over here and certainly Naholo fits right into that,” he added.”He is a fantastic player and a very tricky opponent but one we are looking forward to.”These are the challenges both as a team and individually that we knew we were going to face and it’s an exciting opportunity for myself and us as a backline to try to go out and hopefully get the better of them.”Following the Highlanders match, the Lions have two more tour games prior to the first of three tests against the All Blacks in Auckland on June 24.last_img read more

Bloodied brazen and brilliant Calzaghe begins to shape his future after outsmarting

first_imgThis article is more than 10 years old Richard Williams at Madison Square Garden news The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage Reuse this content Sun 9 Nov 2008 19.01 EST First published on Sun 9 Nov 2008 19.01 EST Read more Joe Calzaghe celebrates victory with his family uncle Sergio, son Connor, father Enzo and son Joe Junior after defeating Roy Jones Junior. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images Share on Twitter A purist would complain about the way he dropped his hands, leaned forward and led with his chin, a leering smile on his face as he repeatedly invited his opponent to take a risk, but Joe Calzaghe knew what he was doing as he defended his 15-year unbeaten professional record against the once invulnerable Roy Jones Jr.”In the first round I kept my hands up and I got caught,” the Welshman said after a thrilling points win which extended that record to 46 fights while renewing his hold on Ring magazine’s world light-heavyweight title. “As soon as I dropped my hands, I didn’t get caught. Work it out. I do that in the gym. It’s strange, but sometimes I get caught more with my hands up than with my hands at my side, because of the angles and the way I move.”A first-round knockdown had briefly promised a very different outcome. Calzaghe pressed his 39-year-old opponent from the opening seconds and was crowding Jones on the ropes when, with 50 seconds left, the American’s left glove snaked through his guard. “It was a bit of a shock,” Calzaghe said, “but when I got up I knew exactly where I was. Everybody can get put on the floor but it’s how you recover that matters. I showed again that I come back stronger.”Something similar had happened to him in his previous fight, against Bernard Hopkins in Las Vegas in April. This one made it two fights in America and two first-round knockdowns. “Deja vu,” he said in the bowels of the Garden in yesterday’s early hours. “I came to the States because you guys” – the media – “thought I’d never come over, and I beat two legends. And I got put on my arse both times. That wasn’t in the script, but I think by coming back I showed what a true champion is all about.”I felt that after a few rounds I could read Roy’s combinations, so I was one step ahead in knowing what he was going to throw. It took me a couple of rounds – I couldn’t get out of the way of the first punch – but I adjusted after that.” A cut across the bridge of his nose in the second round did nothing to slow his effort. Jones, who lost his own almost unblemished record (49 wins, one disqualification) to Antonio Tarver in 2004 but came into Saturday’s contest on the back of three straight victories, lacked the speed to make it the sort of contest that would have been produced by both men in their prime. The years have taken their toll, and he was destined to spend much of the evening with his gloves up and his elbows tucked in, warding off a hailstorm of blows. But there was always the possibility that he would find another punch to match the one that had provided his opponent with such an unwelcome early surprise, and in the sixth round, even as the crowd were chanting “Wales! Wales!”, an uppercut got through.”I didn’t want to make silly mistakes,” Calzaghe said. “I was in control after the first round but I still felt he was quite dangerous on the counter so I was using my combinations and my fitness. I knew I’d do the 12 rounds without any problem and I knew he’d tire more as the fight went on. So the longer it went on, the more I didn’t feel there was a need to go for the knockout.”The blow that determined the outcome, however, came in the seventh round, opening a cut over Jones’s left eye. Frantic treatment could not staunch the flow of blood, and by the end of the eighth it had become an ugly wound which would probably have brought a fight of less consequence to an early end.”It was a pretty bad cut but he deserved the opportunity to carry on,” Calzaghe said. “He’s a warrior and he was still in the fight. He wasn’t in any bad danger.”After commencing amid an atmosphere of excitement that grew more feverish as the factions within the crowd competed to urge the fighters on while the outcome still seemed in doubt, the fight wound down in a gradual diminuendo. Calzaghe knew he had done more than enough to win while Jones could do nothing more than protect his eye against further damage and hope for an opening that never came. The trio of judges were unanimous in scoring it 118-109, Jones winning only the first round on all three cards, and there was a sense that the unusual civility of the pre-fight exchanges had been extended into the contest itself, with neither veteran – partners in a promotion that attracted 14,152 spectators – wishing to visit humiliation upon the other.Calzaghe refused to discuss retirement and said only that he would be going away to spend time with his family and think about his future. At 36 his notoriously brittle hands had given him no trouble, he had felt more comfortable in his second fight as a light-heavyweight, he had gone the full distance without getting out of breath, he had outfought a once-great champion and he had again stepped out of the ring virtually unmarked.”I’ve been fighting for world titles for 11 years,” he said. “I’ve beaten six former world champions when I was given the opportunity and I’ve beaten great fighters like Jeff Lacy and Mikkel Kessler. And to come over here and beat two American legends, I’m so proud of that.”You can’t prepare for my style. I have many styles. My style is unorthodox, awkward, fast, I throw combinations, my angles and movement are difficult to train for, and my work rate is always a factor. Everybody seems to have an off-night against me, so it’s obviously for a reason.” Does that sound like a man on the verge of calling it a day?Career in numbers46wins in his professional career0defeats32fights won by knockout 36years old (he turns 37 in March)15years since his first win, against Paul Hanlon at Cardiff Arms Park in 19932½minutes that first fight lasted263rounds boxed in total Shares00 … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. 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Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on WhatsApp This article is more than 10 years old Share on Pinterest Joe Calzaghe Support The Guardian Boxing Bloodied, brazen and brilliant: Calzaghe begins to shape his future after outsmarting Jones Share via Email Topics Share via Email Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Since you’re here… Boxing Share on Messenger Share on Facebooklast_img read more