By Dru BrownBILLINGS, Mont. (May 2) – Kasey Brown started the second season of IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modified sanctioning at Billings Motorsports Park with his career sixth win in the class.Kasey Brown drew the pole for Saturday’s lidlifter with Jeremy Meirhofer to his outside, taking a commanding lead from the drop of the green.Dennis Hurd showed plenty of speed down low, catching Meirhofer for second and then peeking low.Multiple yellows waved for incidents around the track. Kenny Baumann was into the top three before another yellow waved with four laps to go.Brown stayed fast to the finish, capturing the season opener victory ahead of Tim Sorenson and Baumann.Three of Brown’s five 2014 wins in the division came at BMP.
Press Association Edinburgh produced the best rugby of the game at the end of the first half, capped by a try from number eight Cornell Du Preez that Heathcote converted to help the hosts to a 13-6 interval lead. Leader pulled back three points midway through the second half before in typical Connacht fashion the visitors put in a late burst, and the winning try by Willie Faloon came from a driven line-out five minutes from time. On duty for his second PRO12 game, in the first match on the brand new Murrayfield pitch, referee Gary Conway awarded two penalties in the opening six minutes. The first was struck home by Edinburgh fly-half Heathcote, whereas Leader missed his from tight to the touchline. Heathcote stuck over a second in eight minutes and Leader missed his second kick nine minutes later. In between, Edinburgh had seized a grip on the game but the closest they came to capitalising was when left winger Nick McLennan could not quite reach a side-footed kick from full-back Jack Cuthbert before it rolled dead. Profiting from Connacht’s first notable spell of possession, Leader got his side on the board with a simple penalty in 23 minutes. Connacht were then handed a chance when McLennan and Cuthbert messed up a quickly-taken line-out, but from the scrum-five stand-off Jack Carty’s prodded kick was touched down by the home side. Following their opening success over Newport, this time they slugged it out to win 14-13 in a poor game that rarely came to life due to a large number of injury stoppages. Edinburgh took an early lead with a couple of penalties by number 10 Tom Heathcote, before Connacht full-back Darragh Leader levelled up with a pair of kicks of his own. Connacht left it late against Edinburgh at Murrayfield but Willie Faloon’s try made it two wins from two games in the Guinness PRO12. However the pressure pendulum had swung the Irish way and when a scrum collapsed after 36 minutes Leader struck the equalising penalty home. However there was time for Edinburgh to put in some ferocious pick-and-go before a long pass by Sam Beard found number eight Du Preez on the left wing, and he dived over in the corner. The conversion by Heathcote saw Edinburgh go in leading 13-6. Edinburgh’s scrum problems continued into the second half and 15 minutes after the restart, prop WP Nel, who had replaced John Andress at the break, was shown a yellow card at the set-piece and Leader kicked the penalty. Just as Nel’s time-out was ending, Connacht were reduced themselves, when television evidence saw flanker Faloon sin-binned for stamping. As the game stumbled towards its end, it came alive when Du Preez hoisted a loose ball upfield and isolated Niyi Adeolokun was forced to concede a scrum five. Du Preez was denied a try off the back of it by TV evidence. Connacht got upfield and put a penalty into the corner from where the pack mauled over with Faloon touching down. Stand-off Jack Carty failed to convert but Connacht had taken the lead, and they clung to it.
four-time world champions Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup, and their new-look squad will face Poland on Friday night before travelling to Lisbon to play European champions Portugal on Monday in their three-team Group 3.“I made my debut here as a 16 year old and tomorrow again at the Dall’Ara will be another first: the first competitive game for three points for my Italy,” said Mancini.“It was a good emotion then and tomorrow will be a great emotion.”Mancini said he was expecting tough games against Poland, who are looking to bounce back after the poor World Cup, and Portugal, in a tournament which counts towards qualifying for Euro 2020.“This competition is ruthless, Poland and Portugal are stronger on paper, there is no room for error. But that’s okay because we have to grow up fast.“Italy failed to qualify (for World Cup) because we didn’t score against Sweden over two legs (play-off) and we need to work on being more proactive and clinical.”Former Manchester City and Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli looks set to start for the hosts, with Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne and Juventus’ Federico Bernardeschi either side of him in an expected 4-3-3 formation.To anchor the new younger players, veteran Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini, 34, returns to the squad for the first time since Italy’s World Cup play-off defeat.“I wasn’t sure if I would return, but the enthusiasm that youngsters bring really pushes you on,” said Chiellini.“In this training camp there is the atmosphere of calm, desire to move forward, to do something new and not look back at the past.“There are many young, talented players who I can perhaps help with my experience at playing at a certain level, to teach them what it takes to play with more consistency.“This Italy side has a lot of talent, we are certainly not lacking that.”Forward Arkadiusz Milik will play Poland’s Nations League opener agaisnt Italy after his country’s World Cup disappointment. © AFP / Filippo MONTEFORTEPoland are also in new hands with coach Jerzy Brzczek, 47, appointed after their World Cup group stage elimination.“It makes no sense to look back, we must focus on the present. Poland are a quality team with great potential,” said former Poland international Brzczek of the 2016 European quarter-finalists.Brzczek has also shaken up his squad with 12 new players. Eight of his 27-man squad play club football in the Italian league.The best known Poles in Serie A are Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny, midfielders Piotr Zielinski (Napoli), Karol Linetty (Sampdoria) and Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000“Road to 2022 World Cup” – Italy coach Roberto Mancini starts rebuilding Italy in the Nations League © AFP/File / MARCO BERTORELLOBOLOGNA, Italy, Sep 7 – Roberto Mancini said Thursday he was expecting an “emotional” debut in his first competitive game as Italy coach on the eve of the Nations League opener against Poland in Bologna where his senior football career began.The 53-year-old former Inter Milan and Manchester City manager started his Serie A career in Bologna’s Stadio Dall’Ara in 1981.