Hotshots: Meet Scarlets young gun Steffan Hughes

first_img When did you first play?I started when I was about ten. A couple of mates were playing at Llanelli Wanderers and my dad took me down there.Have you played in different positions?  I’ve always been a back, but I’ve moved about a lot. I settled in the centre with Llanelli U15. I’ve played inside- and outside-centre for Wales U20.When did you first play representative rugby?I played for Scarlets U16 and then Wales U16. I played for Scarlets U18and then got offered an academy contract.Are you happy being Wales captain this year?It’s an honour and something you dream of doing as a boy. I captained my school and I was head boy as well, which helped I think. I am quite happy being a leader. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS RW verdict: Hughes has already played for the Scarlets, and we can expect to see more of him in future.This Hotshot was first published in the April 2014 edition of Rugby World. Click here to find out what’s in this month’s mag! Leadership material: Hughes in action for Wales at the Junior World Cup Who are your mentors?At Ysgol y Strade, the teachers Arwyn Thomas and Deiniol Evans really got me started with rugby.What else do you do?I was at Swansea University last year doing sports and exercise science. I have taken a year out to give rugby more time but I hope to go back to it.What are your aims now?The short-term goal is to get to the U20 World Cup and be successful. We lost in the final last year and I learned a lot that day.last_img read more

Preventing Peanut Virus

first_imgSince there is no cure for TSW, prevention is everything — and the only thing — thatcan make a difference. But farmers now have a new tool to assess their crop’s risk for the deadly tomatospotted wilt virus. Now they can learn how to reduce that risk. In fact, about half the peanut butter produced in the U.S. is made from Georgiapeanuts. The average American eats about 3.3 pounds of peanut butter every year. Tomato spotted wilt is a viral disease that can wipe out a peanut crop. Georgia peanut farmers send about half their crop, nearly 700 million pounds, topeanut butter factories. It’s a virus, it’s incurable and it has cost Georgia peanut farmers more than $50 millionin just the past two years. The disease has infected Georgia peanuts only in the past 10 years. But it has becomemore important every year since it was found in 1986. In 1996, the scientists created a simple-to-use index of those risk factors. Farmers nowcan use the index to lower their risk of getting TSW in their peanut fields. Cochran used the risk index in 1996 and decided to change his peanut variety, hisplanting dates and how he treated for insect control. Brown said no single factor effectively controls the disease. But together they canchange how TSW affects peanut yields. “Peanut variety, planting date, plant population, virus history in the field andat-planting insect control all affect how likely the virus is to cause problems,” he said. Brown said the risk index is a unique way to manage a pest. “This is the first risk indexthat I know of,” he said. Albert Culbreath, a plant pathologist with the UGA Coastal Plain Experiment Station,said the virus attacks the plant, interfering with peanut production. Instead of growingleaves and peanuts, the plant begins making more viral cells. “There isn’t anything farmers can do for their crop once it’s infected,” said Steve L.Brown, an entomologist with the University of Georgia Extension Service. “We have toavoid high-risk situations.” In the past they’ve tried to control its spread by controlling the thrips that carry it fromfield to field. Those efforts have proven nearly worthless. By the time farmers spray tocontrol the tiny insects, the plants are already infected. The disease struck later in the season in 1996. The later it infests a field, the lower itsimpact on yields. It also makes the plant more susceptible to other diseases and more sensitive toenvironmental stress, including drought, excess moisture and insects. Research in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences shows thatmany factors affect whether and how severely TSW will infect a field. But they can change some practices that affect the disease’s severity. “We’ve got to approach this problem from several different directions to conquer it,”he said. Tomato spotted wilt virus struck fast and hard in nearly all of Georgia’s 533,000peanut acres in 1996. “We saw a higher incidence of it in 1996 than in 1995,” Brownsaid. “But yield losses were greater in 1995.” Worth County peanut farmer Johnny Cochran said TSW “nearly wiped out my 1995irrigated peanut crop — I had to do something!” Cochran figures he lost about 1,000pounds per acre. TSW cost peanut farmers as much as $33 million in 1995 — about 8 percent of thecrop’s total value. “Losses due to tomato spotted wilt were estimated to be greater than any other diseasein 1995,” Brown said. “You can’t cure it, but farmers can change their managementpractices to reduce the damage TSW can do.” “This isn’t the perfect answer to tomato spotted wilt,” Brown said. “But it’s a goodfirst step at dealing with the problem.”last_img read more

Berg is the Word: Belichick proves his supremacy once again

first_imgThe 21st century New England Patriots, the greatest football dynasty of all time, have always been personified by two people — quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick. Those are the only two people who have been in place from their first Super Bowl win against the then-St. Louis Rams in 2002 straight through to Sunday’s 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams that gave the franchise its sixth championship. Third, Belichick completely out-coached the young and brilliant Sean McVay. McVay’s creative offensive concepts created so much production this year that every NFL team with a job opening started hiring coaches with even a small connection to the Rams coach. Belichick, twice McVay’s age at 66, gave the youngster an education in big-game coaching, thoroughly dominating the matchup to the point that even McVay had to admit so afterward. And yet the sustainability of the Patriots’ dynasty came into serious question in the last calendar year. After losing 41-33 to the Eagles in last year’s Super Bowl, the Patriots said goodbye to many players crucial to recent championships, such as receiver Danny Amendola and left tackle Nate Solder. The Patriots struggled (by their standards) to an 11-5 record this season, losing by double digits to three non-playoff teams. Fans and media alike began to have real doubts about the old infrastructure. The Super Bowl was the jewel of Belichick’s already sterling collection of big game performances. The Rams, the league’s second-ranked scoring offense, were completely flustered all game, getting shut out in the first half and managing just a measly third quarter field goal. Quarterback Jared Goff completed just 19 of 38 passes for 229 yards and a backbreaking fourth-quarter interception when the Rams were driving to tie the game. Rams star running back Todd Gurley carried just 10 times for 35 yards and was a non-factor in the passing game. The Patriots are the Patriots because of Brady and Belichick. Each has been called the greatest of all time at his position because of the incredible accomplishments they’ve achieved together: six Super Bowl wins, 13 AFC title game appearances (including eight straight through this season) and 16 division wins in the last 18 years. Their track record is unassailable. Second, Belichick developed a strategy that simultaneously subverted expectations and used strengths the Patriots have displayed throughout the postseason. After playing more man-to-man coverage than any team during the regular season, Belichick identified Goff’s inability to make complex reads as a weakness to exploit, coming out in zone coverage and maintaining it for most of the game. At the same time, he continued to call for complex stunts and twists to confuse the Rams offensive line, scheming his defensive linemen and linebackers into free runs at Goff to the tune of four sacks and 12 quarterback hits. But if this stretch had caused anyone to revoke Belichick’s status as the greatest coach ever, he reclaimed it with a vengeance in the playoffs. Belichick is best known as a defensive mastermind, and nowhere was that more apparent than on the NFL’s biggest stage. Against the sixth- and first-ranked scoring offenses in the Chargers and Chiefs, respectively, the Patriots allowed a combined 7 first-half points, allowing New England to build large enough leads to ultimately win each game. Somehow, the Patriots shut out a historically good Chiefs offense in the first half on the road, holding quarterback and league MVP Patrick Mahomes to just 65 yards on four completions. Some of the credit has to go to linebackers coach and defensive playcaller Brian Flores, who will become the head coach of the Dolphins, but the preparation and schemes were classic Belichick. The questions persisted after New England allowed over 30 points to three of the bottom six scoring offenses in the league with losses to Jacksonville, Tenn. and Miami this season. Derision crested with Belichick’s questionable decision to put a noticeably slowed Rob Gronkowski in to defend Miami’s desperate bid for a final touchdown from 69 yards out. Miami was never going to throw the ball far enough for Gronkowski’s height to be a major factor and the lumbering tight end slipping and failing to catch Kenyan Drake on the walk-off, game-winning touchdown was the key image of what appeared to be the end of an era. Careful observers saw cracks in Belichick’s decision-making, starting with the strange choice to bench former cornerback and Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler against the Eagles. Despite three touchdowns and 505 passing yards from Brady (a Super Bowl record), the Patriots lost because they allowed more than 40 points — only the sixth time that happened under Belichick’s leadership. Three things made Belichick’s performance so impressive: First, there aren’t many stars on the Patriot defense. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who snagged the crucial interception, was the only Patriot defender to make the All-Pro or Pro Bowl rosters this season. Yet New England filled every gap and defended every pass because Belichick instilled in them the discipline to follow the game plan. Aidan Berg is a sophomore writing about sports. He is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. His column, “Berg is the Word,” runs every other Tuesday. Belichick has never been the type to publicly address the storylines that motivate him and his team, but he definitely hears the noise. He seeks out bulletin board material, like when he pointedly described the Eagles’ pre-planned victory parade to his players before the teams played in the 2005 Super Bowl. Belichick didn’t need the motivation of proving doubters wrong to put on a virtuoso coaching performance in the biggest game, but he certainly addressed the whispers that he had lost his fastball in reaffirming his place as the greatest football coach ever.last_img read more

CAF Champions League: Kotoko qualify to next stage

first_imgGhana’s CAF Champions League representative Kumasi Asante Kotoko are through to the next stage of the competition after beating Sony El Nguema 1-0 in Equatorial Guinea.The Porcupine Warriors scored the only away goal through Abdul Aziz. Kotoko qualifies on an 8-0 aggregate.The Ghanaian champions will now face Algerian side JSM Bejaia in the first qualifying round later this month.The first leg will be played between the weekend of 15-17 March and return in Kumasi 5–7 April.Kotoko are making a return to the continent’s flagship event after a four year absence.last_img

DANIEL O’DONNELL TO PLAY FUNDRAISING CONCERT FOR DUNGLOE COMMUNITY HOSPITAL

first_imgDungloe Community Hospital, in partnership with lead sponsor Randox Teoranta, is delighted to announce a fundraising extravaganza featuring a one-off performance by Daniel O’Donnell and special guests. Country Music Sunday will take place on 17 May 2015, featuring an exclusive two-hour concert by world-renowned country music star Daniel O’Donnell and his band.In what promises to be a great day out for all the family, Country Music Sunday will include a host of activities, with arts and craft stalls, BBQ, bouncy castles and other events for children. Daniel O’Donnell, whose mother Julia sadly passed away at the Dungloe Community Hospital last year, is taking time out of an 18 month break to perform at the exclusive concert.This will be the country music star’s only concert anywhere in the world in 2015 and tickets are already in big demand from right across the globe.Dungloe Community Hospital provides a vital service to the Dungloe and Rosses community, caring for sick and infirm patients.At the heart of the community hospital is the palliative care suite which provides vital end-of-life care for terminally ill patients, and support for their families throughout the highly emotional time. The purpose of the fundraiser is to refurbish the palliative care centre, to upgrade medical equipment and refurbish bedrooms, bathrooms and common-room areas.Patrick Boyle/Thomas Costello of the organising committee, said, “When terminally ill patients come to the palliative care suite, it’s important to make every moment they have left with their families memorable ones.“We want to make sure that patients receive the best possible medical care, situated in uplifting and peaceful surroundings, to ensure their last days are the best we can possibly make them.”Dr Peter FitzGerald, Managing Director of event sponsor Randox Teoranta, said, “As a company whose raison d’etre is to improve health globally, we are delighted to be part of this important fundraising event and to support the local community.“The Dungloe Community Hospital is a critical community asset and it deserves all our support.” Tickets for Country Music Sunday cost €20 (free for children) and can be obtained from:Ticketmaster U.K. 0333 321 9996 Ticketmaster Ireland 0818 719300Throughout Donegal tickets are available from the following outlets.Eurosaver, Donegal Towm 074 9725728 Mr G Discount Store, Ballybofey 074 9132393 Dry Arch Filling Station, Letterkenny 074 9113335 Bayveiw Bar, Dungloe 074 9561682 Supervalu, Dungloe 074 9521006 Thomas Costello TC Promotions 087 8608776 Jean’s Country Music Store, Omagh 028 82252150The demand for tickets is already hotting up and organisers are urging all Country Music fans to buy their ticket while they still can!DANIEL O’DONNELL TO PLAY FUNDRAISING CONCERT FOR DUNGLOE COMMUNITY HOSPITAL was last modified: March 26th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:EntertainmentFeaturesnewslast_img read more