England thrash 14-man US at World Cup

England's Joe Cokanasiga in action with Will Hooley of the US during their match on Thursday. (Reuters)
Updated 26 September 2019

England thrash 14-man US at World Cup

KOBE: England made it two wins from two at the Rugby World Cup as they scored seven tries during a 45-7 rout of the US in Kobe on Thursday that saw the Eagles receive the first red card of the tournament.

First-half tries from stand-in captain George Ford, Billy Vunipola and Luke Cowan-Dickie gave England a 19-0 lead at the break before Joe Cokanasiga secured the bonus point early in the second half.

Ruaridh McConnochie and Lewis Ludlam then scored their maiden Test tries before Eagles flanker John Quill was sent off 10 minutes from time for an illegal shoulder charge on replacement back Owen Farrell.

There was still time for Cokanasiga to grab his second try and England’s seventh before Bryce Campbell ensured the USA avoided the embarrassment of being “nilled” with a try after 80 minutes were up.

England, the 2003 world champions, made 10 changes to the side that beat Tonga 35-3 in their Pool C opener in Sapporo last weekend for what was the USA’s first match of this tournament.

Earlier, Italy ran amok against Scotland to bag their second bonus-point win in as many games with a 48-7 victory in Fukuoka.

It was not a perfect performance as Italy slipped at times from flair and finesse to sloppy, but they did enough to dominate seven tries to one.

With Italy seeking a first World Cup quarterfinal berth, their maximum points from two matches sent a message to heavyweights South Africa not to underestimate them.

The Springboks, who lost their opener against New Zealand, paid a high price when they were guilty of taking Japan lightly at the last World Cup and cannot afford to do the same again when they meet Italy in Shizuoka in eight days.

Under the closed roof of the Kobe Misaki Stadium, the Eagles suffered an early setback when, after the opening scrum, 19-year-old prop David Ainu’u limped off injured in the third minute.

And three minutes later England had their first try.

Number 8 Vunipola, making his 11th consecutive Test start, ran the ball from deep before Ford, leading England in place of the benched Farrell, spotted a gap in the poorly aligned defense and ran in a try between the posts which he converted.

England, however, again conceded several early penalties before the forward provided their second try.

Ford, declining a kickable penalty, booted the ball deep for an attacking lineout.

The ensuing rolling maul saw Vunipola driven over in the 25th minute, with Ford converting.

England’s third try arrived in similar fashion eight minutes later, the Eagles again powerless to resist a rolling maul from a penalty line-out, with hooker Cowan-Dickie scoring his second try in two matches.

Ford’s conversion hit the post but England were still 19-0 in front.

They could have had a bonus point on the stroke of half-time only for center Jonathan Joseph to knock on in sight of the line.


Saudi bowlers off to QubicaAMF World Cup

Updated 18 November 2019

Saudi bowlers off to QubicaAMF World Cup

  • First woman from the Kingdom to compete in the championship in Indonesia

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is sending its first woman to compete in the 55th QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup that begins in Indonesia.

Mashael Alabdulwahid will join her male teammate Abdulrahman Al-Khilaiwi, under the supervision of coach, Mario Joseph, to take part in the contest in Palembang.

Both players underwent training at a camp in Riyadh to prepare for the event. The training program included participating in the Asian Championship in Kuwait for Abdulrahman, and participating in the GCC 6th women’s bowling tournament for Mashael.

The men’s competition started Sunday at 9 p.m.

The women’s competition will begin at 3 p.m. today, where Mashael will take part in six rounds. The competition will run until Nov. 24.

HIGHLIGHT

  • Mashael Alabdulwahid will join her male teammate Abdulrahman Al-Khilaiwi, under the supervision of coach, Mario Joseph, to take part in the contest in Palembang.
  • Both players underwent training at a camp in Riyadh to prepare for the event. The training program included participating at the Asian Championship in Kuwait for Abdulrahman, and participating at the GCC 6th women’s bowling tournament for Mashael.

The competition continues on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and after completing 24 rounds, the top 24 players will be selected to compete for the top eight positions by playing eight runs on Friday. On Saturday, the best four female players and four male players will be chosen to compete in the finals.

Abdulrahman said that he is looking forward to the world cup. “This year there is a new advantage and that is having teammate Mashael joining me for the first time. I’m proud of her! It’s a big thing for Saudi women and for us in the team because this world exposure will help them to learn and give them an incentive to develop their skills,” he said.

The 20-year-old player has been bowling for the past 10 years. Despite his young age, thanks to his perseverance and sense of discipline he managed to win many victories, but the most distinguished were those in 2018. He delivered the bronze medal at the World Cup in Detroit, and two bronzes at the Asian Bowling Championship in the Philippines in the same year, and a gold medal for the trio event at the Arab Bowling Championship in Oman.

Mashael, 32, was only able to play officially last year in February 2018 when the Saudi Bowling Federation (SBF) received the decree to allow women to play in sports. However, she has been playing for fun since early childhood when she used to travel to Egypt with her family and where she managed to learn from the professionals and get hooked on the game. Mashael was chosen to take part in the Egypt Arab Championship and World Bowling Women’s Championship in Las Vegas in August 2018.

Mashael said: “Playing for fun is definitely enjoyable but when you wear your country’s flag that’s a huge responsibility put on your shoulder. You become an ambassador and a role model and when I’m put in that situation, I definitely want to give my all to be fit for that honor, and give the best image worthy of our beloved country.”

The bowlers expressed their gratitude to the Saudi Bowling Federation and its president Bader bin Abdullah Al-Alsheikh for his support and for creating opportunities for them so that they can progress, enrich their experiences and win awards and achievements.