Home from home: the teams playing pre-season friendlies away from their grounds this summer

first_imgSALE – APRIL 18: Bryan Redpath of Sale Sharks takes on the Gloucester defence during the Zurich Premiership match between Sale Sharks and Gloucester held on April 18, 2003 at Heywood Road, in Sale, England. The match ended in a 30-30 draw. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images) Unfamiliar surroundings: Saracens played in the City of London earlier in the year. They will return for pre-seasonBy Alan DymockMOVING AWAY from home is the right of passage for some. Scores of road movies and coming-of-age dramas are based on the subject. However, for rugby teams, home is where they are most likely to grow in power and support.Scenic: Munster often host at Musgrave ParkNevertheless, pre-season is a time to throw convention and result-worry aside; to test combinations and try and find your definitive style for the next season. It is also, it seems, a time to take your team to different parts of your surrounding region or even to take a flight of fancy, challenging yourself in foreign climes like a group of hot-under-the-collar teenagers. At least that is the way it seems, scanning some of the pre-season friendlies scheduled for the coming month in Europe.On August 9 Castres Olympique, champions of France, will face a new-look, Pat Lam-led Connacht side in Lacaune, some 49km east of Castres’ home at the Stade Pierre-Antoine. That same day in Geneva, the largest city in the French-speaking region of Switzerland, there are two attention-grabbing warm-up matches. There is a mid-afternoon fixture between Harlequins and high-rolling Racing Metro before an evening match between Montpellier and Leicester Tigers. All of this will be played at the Stade de la Praille which had previously housed the Heineken Cup pool clash between Bourgoin and Munster in 2007. A more novel move than that, though, is coming from the sometimes-nomadic Saracens, who have opted to land a game in the City of London in August, despite having just settled in their new home at the Allianz Park. They will be at the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC), Moorgate, on August 22, facing Cornish Pirates. Surrounded by glass monstrosities and sky-pestering office blocks (as seen above), Sarries will offer fans a different experience.Will these shifts from home rejuvenate squads and offer them perspective for the long, hard season ahead? Who cares; it’s about trying things out and for the punters it’s a bit of fun before the season proper when no one wants to leave the comfort of home except when it is time for a Final. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS On the 17th, Sale Sharks return to their spiritual home, briefly vacating the silver, hulking Salford City Stadium in order to play Leeds Carnegie at the old Heywood Road ground, where their junior Jets side regularly play. It’s an excuse to drag a traditional side to where it all began for the Greater Manchester club, displaying a bit of Sale’s heritage.Traditional home: Sale used to play all-comers at HeywoodThat is a tactic Munster use sometimes during their regular season too, infrequently flitting between Thomond Park and Musgrave Park during the Pro 12 campaign. They will be at the latter ground in Cork for a friendly this summer, playing London Irish on the 30th of August.last_img read more

Gophers’ four-goal second period dooms Badgers in fourth straight loss

first_imgWithout one minute and 40 seconds, the Wisconsin men’s hockey team would have dispatched Minnesota Friday night at the Kohl Center.Unfortunately for the Badgers (2-16-3, 0-6-1-1 Big Ten), they had to play the entire 60 minutes, and in two separate spans that totaled just over two minutes, the Gophers scored six times to drop UW, 7-5.For the second straight series opener, the Badgers jumped out to a big advantage, but for the second straight series opener, the middle period haunted them, as Minnesota (12-9-2, 3-2-2-0) scored four times in 100 seconds in the midway part of the frame to erase a 3-1 deficit.“Compared to the lead we had last Friday night [against Michigan], I thought we were better,” Eaves said. “It was like somebody turned the light off for a minute and 40 seconds and we had no clue what our brain was doing.”Wisconsin had scored with just seven seconds left in the first period on a nifty breakaway goal from freshman Matt Ustaski to go up 2-1, and added to that with Grant Besse’s fifth goal in his last five games 4:13 into the second period.But a little less than seven minutes later, Minnesota’s Vinni Lettieri found a loose puck in front of UW goaltender Joel Rumpel and stuffed the puck in between Rumpel’s legs to start the Gophers’ onslaught. It took the Gophers another 1:01 to tally their next goal, but Jake Bischoff’s score at the 12:01 mark began a string of three goals in just 39 seconds to put Minnesota up for good.Those four goals in the second period came from four different players, as Minnesota’s had 13 different players tally a point throughout the evening.Another common theme throughout the night came in the form of Wisconsin allowing rebound chances. The final three goals of the second period from Minnesota all came after Rumpel made the initial save.“It’s obviously tough letting in seven, but I was battling as hard as I could. I was inches away from making three of them,” Rumpel said. “It’s unfortunate, but it happens some games I guess.”Wisconsin got another late goal in the second period to bring the lead down to 5-4 heading into the final frame. But, Minnesota had another short burst of offense eight minutes into the third period to put the game away. Taylor Cammarata slammed home a rebound try on the power play after Rumpel stopped Sam Warning’s initial shot from the top of the left circle. Then just 36 seconds later at even strength, Hudson Fasching zipped one past Rumpel from the slot to make it 7-4.Jedd Soleway’s goal a minute and 15 seconds later brought the lead down to two, but Wisconsin couldn’t get any closer the rest of the way. Dating back to Jan. 17 against Minnesota, Wisconsin has been outscored 25-11 in its last four games.And despite a nearly carbon copy of last Friday’s 7-4 loss to Michigan, Wisconsin still couldn’t learn from its mistakes from a week ago in its fourth straight loss.“With this happening before, I think we were a little bit more confident in [keeping the lead], but I think the results showed that we weren’t tonight,” defenseman Chase Drake said.last_img read more