The Melonas opened the scoring at the top of the second inning after Sammy Malum was walked to first base.Next batter up, Martin ToAlbert hit out to bring Malum home while he advanced to third base.Gerald Pokanau followed this up with a safe hit that brought ToAlbert home to make it 2-0.The Buluminski batters failed to get on base at their turn of bat as the game progressed to the third inning.The Melonas added another run in the third inning through a hit by pitch ball brought Eddie Simba to first base. Simba sprinted home after a power hit by Raymond Diou.Buliminski narrowed the deficit at the bottom of three when a hit by Bobby Bais scored two runners to trail 3-2.But with the flamboyant Tony Williams on the pitching mound for the Melonas, Buluminski failed to score any more runs.The bottom of the fifth saw Williams being taken off for Danny Tovia to take over the pitching duties.The Melonas gave themselves some breathing space scoring two more runs belted off the pitching of Anslom Bunbun in the sixth inningThe change in pitching paid dividends as the Melonas defended their lead to the last inning with Tovia striking out Collin Mangot in the final play to win the game.In the curtain raiser match, the Canberra Giants beat the Select Side 5-3.
Picture: Courtesy NRL.com Pearce admitted the Roosters were still coming to grips with the Nines version of the game in the first two tournaments but is expecting an improved showing at this year’s event, taking place at Eden Park Auckland on February 6 and 7. “It’s different, and to be honest in the first year nobody knew how to play it,” Pearce toldroosters.com.au.”Last year we had some games go well and others not so much, but I think the teams that went well played tough through the middle.”People are always thinking about the space out wide, but in my opinion the ruck is where the game is won.”Pearce tipped former Bronco Jayden Nikorima to excel for the Tricolours, as well as his halves partner Jackson Hastings and the Roosters’ mobile forwards.”I think Jayden Nikorima would go really well with his speed and footwork, and Jackson Hastings would be great as well after playing last year,” Pearce said.”Mobile forwards would thrive, guys like Sio Siua Taukeiaho and Mitchell Aubusson are the type of guys you want running out there.”
President of the Papua New Guinea Union and General Member of the Oceania Rugby Executive Board, Richard Sapias had succeeded Harry Schuster from the Samoa Rugby Union who served with distinction the Boards of Oceania Rugby, Samoa and World Rugby.The election came about during the Oceania Rugby annual Executive Board Meeting held in Auckland last week.Commenting on his election Sapias stated: “I’m very grateful and humbled being given this opportunity to represent and promote the interests of our stakeholder Unions in the Oceania Region.”“I am also looking forward to working together with all Oceania member unions and World Rugby as we continue to strengthen the code in our region,” Sapias added.Moreover, Papua New Guinea has for the first time made a mark in World Rugby society and will be a spotlight in Oceania to the world.The other Executive Board appointments are Secretary, Brent Anderson (New Zealand Rugby Union), Treasurer, Todd Day (Australian Rugby Union), General Members, Charles Tauziet (Tahiti Rugby Union) and new to the Board, Teremoana Moekaa (Cook Islands Rugby).
The quarter-final match will no doubt be a tough and aggressive game between the two group finalists with Brazil in Group A and Japan in Group B.Brazil’s defender and Player of the Match in the game against Sweden on Sunday, Daiane Silve said they need to play in the same level against Japan and will do their best to win each match.Coach Dorival Bueno said Japan is a very strong team and was one of the teams they met last year in the qualifying cup.He said his team has been watching Japan’s matches and will play their own game against the Japanese on Thursday and hopefully qualify to the semi-finals.“They are a totally different team from Sweden,” the Brazilians coach added when asked for his impression on Japan during the Post-Match Press Conference on Sunday night.(Pictured above is team Japan in white, celebrate after their win on Sunday.)
In a high scoring encounter this morning, United Brothers held off Brown Eagles to win the B grade division preliminary final 12-10 at the Bisini Grounds.Stingerz edged out Bears 10-9 in the elimination final that followed straight after.The win for Stingerz has set up a date with Brown Eagles next weekend.To the A grade division, defending champions Yokomo fought it out with PNG Power in a highly entertaining match, with the defending champions walking away winners 5-4.The main game of the afternoon between Brown Eagles and United Brothers was deferred to next Saturday after officials made the decision due to bad lighting and rain.PNG Power will play the winner of the elimination final between Brown Eagles and United Brothers the next day (Sunday).
The Brazilian substitute needed just 144 seconds on the field to make the impact boss Antonio Conte was looking for, with his attempted cross sailing over the head of Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and into the far corner on 85 minutes.Salah, who tops the Premier League scoring charts, continued his fine form by coolly slotting his 10th goal of the campaign past Chelsea ‘keeper Thibaut Courtois on 65 minutes. And he was almost the hero with a last-gasp strike from the edge of the box which was brilliantly parried away by Courtois.Player ratingsLiverpool: Mignolet (6), Milner (6), Coutinho (6), Salah (8), Gomez (7), Henderson (7), Sturridge (6), Klavan (6), Moreno (6), Oxlade-Chamberlain (6), Matip (6). Subs: Wijnaldum (6), Mane (6), Lallana (6)Chelsea: Courtois (7), Alonso (6), Drinkwater (6), Kante (7), Morata (6), Hazard (7), Bakayoko (6), Zappacosta (7), Cahill (6), Christensen (6), Azpilicueta (7)Subs: Fabregas (7) , Willian (8), Pedro (6).Man of the match: Salah (Liverpool)But Liverpool will be left to rue a missed opportunity to move level on points with the third-placed Londoners and remain in fifth after being pegged back.The visitors had the best of the first half, with Mignolet sharp to parry powerful drives from Eden Hazard and Davide Zappacosta either side of a brave dive at the feet of Danny Drinkwater, and Liverpool were fortunate to survive a goalmouth scramble on 24 minutes, when Gary Cahill missed his kick from six yards out.Team newsDaniel Sturridge and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain both started with Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino dropping to the bench, while Alberto Moreno maintained his place despite his midweek struggles against Sevilla. For Chelsea, Danny Drinkwater replaced Cesc Fabregas in the starting line-up, while Andreas Christensen and Gary Cahill came in in for David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger.Salah provided Liverpool’s prime threat in the opening 45, twice shooting off target from the edge of the box, but he had his say shortly after the hour mark, when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain deflected Philippe Coutinho’s pass into his path.That looked like it would be the winner, with Alvaro Morata and Alonso spurning good openings, but while Liverpool fans cheered the return of Adam Lallana from injury, it was another substitute, Willian, who made the difference in the closing minutes.Man of the match – Mo SalahMo Salah was Liverpool’s most dangerous player all evening and kept up his superb scoring streak with a neat finish. He came close twice from the edge of the box in the first-half and could have added a second on the break late in the second. With 10 Premier League goals already this season, he’s looking like the signing of the summer – and once again showed Chelsea what they let go.The managersJurgen Klopp: “It was a good game, very intense game. Very difficult for us against a very strong Chelsea team with quite a different approach. Deep defending and then giving the ball to Eden Hazard…Everything was good until Willian crossed the ball, still most parts of the game were good but it doesn’t feel as good.”Antonio Conte: “I think we were unlucky, if you see the dynamic of their goal. But at the same time I’m very happy to see a good reaction of my players. A great desire, a great will to fight, a great desire to not accept the result against Liverpool. We tried to win the game. We must be pleased despite the draw.”Opta statsLiverpool have conceded just two goals in their last nine Premier League games at Anfield, but these goals have cost them a total of four points (1-1 vs Burnley, 1-1 vs Chelsea).Of the 19 sides Antonio Conte has faced in the Premier League as a manager, Liverpool are the only side he has not beaten in the competition.Salah also became the 20th different player to score a Premier League goal against Chelsea having previously appeared for the Blues in the competition.
After a short sermon and prayer by Henry Ottio, the rugby league star’s coffin was lowered into the tomb just before 1pm today in the Arutu clan area of the village.The scorching sun did nothing to stop the hundreds who turned up to say their final goodbyes to a man whose death has moved a whole country and the rugby league world.
Manchester City reached the League Cup final, shattering second-tier Bristol City’s hopes of a remarkable upset, as the Premier League leaders survived a late fightback to win 3-2 on Tuesday and clinch the tie 5-3 on aggregate.City appeared to be cruising when goals from Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero either side of halftime put them three goals up over the two legs, after a 2-1 win in the first leg, before their plucky opponents dragged themselves back into the game.Marlon Pack reduced the arrears for the hosts and Aden Flint grabbed another deep into stoppage time to make it 2-2 on the night, leaving them one goal short of forcing extra time.There was time for one more goal, but sadly for the second-tier side, it was scored by the visitors’ Kevin De Bruyne in the sixth minute of added time, leaving Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side to face Arsenal or Chelsea in the final on Feb. 25.The second semi-final, second leg is on Wednesday.
Inter Milan captain Mauro Icardi had a goal disallowed by the video replay system (VAR) and missed two open goals in the second half in a 0-0 draw with neighbours AC Milan in Serie A on Wednesday.Sassuolo scored an equaliser in the fifth minute of stoppage time with nine men to hold Chievo 1-1, Andrea Belotti grabbed a hat-trick in Torino’s 4-1 win over Crotone and table-propping Benevento beat Verona 3-0.Icardi thought he had put Inter ahead in the 38th minute when he broke clear of the Milan defence and slotted the ball past Gianluigi Donnarumma.Inter celebrated and the ball was returned to the centre circle before the referee indicated a video review and disallowed the goal for offside.The Argentine, Inter’s leading scorer with 25 league goals this season, also contrived to miss an open goal from six metres early in the second half.Antonio Candreva got behind the Inter defence and passed to Icardi who swept the ball wide with the goal at his mercy.Icardi, battling for inclusion in Argentina’s World Cup squad after being left out of last month’s friendlies, missed another chance in stoppage time from an almost identical position when he slid the ball wide from Joao Cancelo’s pass.Patrick Cutrone had the ball in the net for Milan in the second half with a bicycle kick but it was quickly disallowed for offside without VAR.“These are things that can happen, it’s disappointing because winning would have been important,” Inter coach Luciano Spalletti said.“I feel good because Inter played a game where we showed we know where we want to go. That’s the fundamental thing, the result comes afterwards.”Inter stayed fourth with 59 points and on course for the Champions League next season while Milan are sixth with 51.Wednesday’s games were originally scheduled to be played on March 4 but were postponed following the sudden death of Fiorentina team captain Davide Astori at the team hotel.CHIEVO DRAMAThere was plenty of drama at Chievo where Sassuolo had Claud Adjapong given a red card for a wild challenge on goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino in the 29th minute.The referee initially awarded a yellow card but gave red after consulting VAR.Sassuolo then had a penalty revoked by VAR, Emanuele Giaccherini put Chievo ahead after 72 minutes and the visitors were reduced to nine men with a second yellow card for Francesco Magnanelli.The referee added seven minutes of stoppage time and Sassuolo equalised in the 95th minute when Francesco Cassata’s hopeful free kick evaded everyone in a crowded area and bounced into the goal to stun the Flying Donkeys.Torino striker Belotti opened the scoring against Crotone at the second attempt after 16 minutes and volleyed home from Iago Falque’s free kick to make it 3-0 before halftime, Falque having scored in between.He completed his hat-trick with an angled drive in the 68th minute before Davide Faraone scored a consolation for Crotone who are stuck in the relegation zone with 24 points, two adrift of safety.Serie A debutants Benevento beat Verona in a meeting of the bottom two teams to notch only their fourth win of the season, helped by two second-half goals from Cheick Diabate after Gaetano Letizia opened the scoring.They have 13 points, still nine adrift of Verona.
Manchester City have signed Leicester City’s Algeria forward Riyad Mahrez on a five-year contract, the English champions announced.City did not disclose the transfer fee but British media reported the deal had cost a club record 60 million pounds, more than the 57 million they paid Atletico Madrid for French defender Aymeric Laporte in January.The 27-year-old Mahrez, who won the Premier League title with Leicester in 2016, said he had moved to The Etihad stadium for the chance to win more silverware and improve his own game.“I am so pleased to have joined City, a side playing great football under Pep Guardiola,” said Mahrez, who played 179 times for Leicester, scoring 48 goals.“Pep is committed to playing attacking football, which is a perfect for me, and City’s performances last season were outstanding. They’re redefining the English game and I wanted to be a part of it.“I think we can be successful over the coming years and I believe my own game can develop under Pep’s management.”Mahrez was named PFA Players’ Player of the Year after scoring 17 league goals in 37 matches as unfashionable Leicester shocked the soccer world by winning the Premier League two years ago.He wanted to move in January and handed in a transfer request but ended up staying with Leicester when the club’s valuation ended City’s interest.“Over the past few years, he has established himself as one of the Premier League’s most exciting players,” said City’s Director of Football Txiki Begiristain. “We’re sure he will bring additional attacking quality to our squad.”Mahrez was born in France and began his professional career at Le Havre, where he played 67 times over three years. He signed for Leicester in 2013 and helped the club win promotion to the Premier League by the end of his first season.Mahrez helped them escape relegation the next season before their fairytale run to the title as they finished the campaign 10 points clear of second-placed Arsenal having started the season as 5000-1 outsiders and tipped for relegation.