Same old problems for Scotland

first_imgIf the price of tries is sacrificing some players and making a slightly untested selection decision, then it simply has to be done.Scotland versus Wales at the Millennium Stadium could be a dizzying affair, but perhaps only if Scotland can break out of the shackles and take some risks. Here’s hoping. The most frustrating aspect for the fans was that there were opportunities and the opposition left gaps for the Scots. The coaches will be annoyed that Chris Robshaw slowed ball well at the breakdown, that service was poor and the hefty pack looked under pressure in the scrum, but all of these cannot hide the fact that possession was wasted.The man at No 10: should it be Dan Parks or…Maybe there will be a scapegoat made out of Dan Parks. In truth he was passable. He distributed well when moving and he looked to be happy to supply Sean Lamont, but his kicking was not as effective as one would have expected. He regularly found Ben Foden in open play and the charge down from Charlie Hodgson seemed to sum-up an uncomfortable afternoon.Who knows, he may be ostracised completely and cast aside completely so that Duncan Weir and Greig Laidlaw can fight it out for the No 10 jersey. However, with a change at half-back will there still be the problem of converting possession and commanding field-position into scores. Against Wales there has to be an onus on the backs to make the line breaks and finish off their work, because the chances will not keep coming from the forwards.…Edinburgh’s Greig LaidlawSo what should happen? Well, Scotland have to gamble now.Andy Robinson has said it’s a case of continuing to work hard and captain Ross Ford has said the players, behind closed doors are well aware of the issues but caution has to be throw to the wind or Robinson’s reputation will come under increasing scrutiny. Stunted progress cannot go on unchecked for the rest of this tournament. NOT FOR FEATURED LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Make or break: Ross Rennie on the charge against England – but Scotland didn’t take their chancesBy Alan DymockThe Auld Enemy came and an old problem reared its ugly head. Scotland had a huge amount of possession but could not convert that into points.The official stats tell us Scotland should have won the game. England missed 16 tackles and made only 72 passes. They had a committed defence, yet looked unlikely to build a try through stringing together phases. They did, however, score a try from pressuring slow Scottish ball and charging down a Dan Parks clearance that had to be made on the try-line.It would have been a fantastic moment for England fans but in Scotland, as the dust begins to settle, it is now a case of frustrations turning into seething anger.Officially Frank Hadden won more RBS 6 Nations games in a campaign than Andy Robinson has in all of his campaigns combined, and after several years the problem of turning possession into a ‘dot down’ looms writ large. Scotland have not scored a try since their opening game of the Rugby World Cup, against Romania. Even more damning, they have not scored a try against England at Murrayfield since 2004.On Saturday, there were chances aplenty. Jim Hamilton made a bullocking run and the ball was lost in panic. Then Ross Rennie burst through to create a two-on-one but the ball was eventually slapped down by Ben Foden before a try-scoring offload could be made.There is an uncertainty when Scotland reach the opposition 22 that is stifling their progress. There seems to be no conviction from Scotland about putting a man a pass through to score.last_img read more

Syracuse recruiting overseas through Leonid Yelin’s connections

first_img Published on September 6, 2017 at 10:20 pm Contact David: [email protected] UPDATED: Sept. 7, 2017 at 12:19 a.m.In 2004, an 8-year-old Anastasiya Gorelina first spoke to then-head coach of Louisville Leonid Yelin in their home country of Uzbekistan. Thirteen years later, she plays for him at Syracuse.“I saw a tall kid running around the gym,” Yelin said. “It looked like one day she was going to be a good player.”Yelin’s instincts have proved to be correct. Gorelina, now a junior at Syracuse playing under Yelin, is one of four players on the roster who played high school volleyball outside of the United States. Since 2011, when Yelin took over as head coach at SU, 21 internationally-recruited players have played for him.Gorelina grew up watching and admiring volleyball teams from Europe and the U.S., never imagining she would one day play for one. Even after coming to the U.S., she did not believe she was suited to play Division I.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“When I came here,” Gorelina said, “I was wondering how everyone was playing so well. I was like, ‘I am so bad.’”Teammates and the Syracuse coaching staff assimilated her to SU, Yelin in particular. The connection between the two, both hailing from Uzbekistan, helped Gorelina acclimated with the playing style in the U.S.Mariia Levanova, also a junior, was a two-time Russian professional club champion before coming to the U.S. Yelin, who also speaks Russian, discovered Levanova through coaches he knew in Russia. Levanova came home one day to her mother and there was Yelin, waiting for her. It shows how Yelin’s overseas connections not only help him foster relationships with his recruits, but that coaches help him discover top talent.“It’s all about who you know when finding players,” Syracuse associate head coach Erin Little said. “Coach (Yelin) has a lot of connections over there.”As for where Yelin decides to recruit, Little explained there is no plan. He focuses neither on international recruits over domestic nor which countries he wants to visit.“Coach said he’d take a good player from the moon,” Little said.The story has been updated for appropriate style. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more