European pension funds shrug off risk of asset bubble

first_imgThe risk of an asset bubble bursting and stalling European economic recovery has been shrugged off by pension funds, despite concerns remaining about the impact of quantitative easing (QE) and the lack of structural reforms.Asked in IPE’s latest Focus Group if the European recovery would be sustainable over the medium-term, 20% of pension funds said they were either certain of very confident, while a further half of respondents said they were quite confident.None of the 21 respondents, representing funds with nearly €275bn in assets, felt the recovery was unsustainable, but one did say it remained concerned about the foundation of growth in future.The funds also rejected the idea that a European asset price bubble could derail growth, despite the search for yield driving up prices in markets including real estate and infrastructure. Only 28% said they believed an asset bubble would burst, whereas the remainder of respondents argued it would not occur.According to one Dutch fund, the risk of a bubble was elsewhere. “Such a bubble is more likely in the US, but not in Europe.”However, concerns over Europe remained. One fund representative said growth faced too much uncertainty and cited lack of reform in “key” countries such as France, as well as Greece, as reason for worry.A Spanish fund raised several more potential hurdles facing growth, such as the proceeds of QE not flowing into the real economy and the stimulus programme being launched by the European Central Bank at a time when rates were already low.“Much needed structural reforms have hardly been made in Europe, and now with QE and lower oil prices there is even less pressure to enact them,” the Spanish respondent added.Despite the concerns over lack of reform and the impact of stimulus, two-thirds of respondents said that increased business investment would drive growth over the next 18 months. A similar percentage of respondents felt that monetary stimulus would also drive growth over the same period, while half of pension funds surveyed were neutral on whether growth would be driven by increased labour productivity. Read more results from the Focus Group in the current issue of IPElast_img read more

4 ‘shabu peddlers’ fall in buy-bust

first_imgBACOLOD City – Four suspected drug peddlers were nabbed in a buy-bustoperation in Barangay 10. They were detained in the lockup cell of Police Station 1. Charges for violation of Republic Act 9165, or the ComprehensiveDangerous Drugs Act of 2002 will be filed against them./PN Six sachets of suspected shabu weighing about 1.7 grams valued ataround P11,000 were seized from Arturo Espina III, 27; Arjay Figueroa, 44; JohnRey Almohea, 31; and Brian Jarobilla, 30, a police report showed. The suspects – all residents of the village – were caught after theysold a sachet of suspected illegal drugs to an undercover officer for P300around 11:30 p.m. on March 7, it added.last_img

US 36 Raceway will reschedule Modified Madness

first_imgOSBORN, Mo. – Due to overnight rain and more forecasted thunderstorms, US 36 Raceway officials have made the decision to cancel racing for Friday, May 24. Modified Madness will be rescheduled and the new date will be set in the upcoming week. Due to the many rainouts and rescheduled events the track has seen early in the season, US 36 Raceway officials will be making a few adjustments to the 2019 schedule in order give each class enough opportunity to race at the high banks. Those adjustments will also be made available in the upcoming week.last_img

16 dead in Air India Express plane crash

first_img16 people are dead and hundreds more were left injured after an Air India Express plane slid off the runway while attempting to land.The incident was reported on Friday in New Delhi.Authorities say the Boeing 737 was attempting to land during heavy rain when the flight managed to skid off the runway.The plane was said to have gone about 35 feet down a slope before it split into two.According to a statement from Air India Express, there were 174 passengers on board at the time including 10 infants, two pilots, and four cabin crew members.While not all of the dead have been identified, it was said the pilot was among the deceased. 123 were said to be injured.Authorities reported that flight was a repatriation flight carrying Indian citizens back into the country.All other flights in the country have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.last_img read more

Update on the latest in sports:

first_imgUNDATED (AP) — Mike Krzyzewski (shuh-SHEHF’-skee) has hit another milestone in his Hall of Fame coaching career.Krzyzewski picked up his 500th ACC victory as Vernon Carey Jr. had 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead seventh-ranked Duke to a 63-55 win at Boston College. Carey made a layup and then hit two free throws with about six minutes left during a 10-0 run that put the Blue Devils ahead to stay.Tre Jones scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half to help Krzyzewski improve to 500-200 in all ACC regular season and tournament games.Duke missed its first 10 shots in allowing the Eagles to race out to a 12-2 lead.In other top-25 men’s basketball action: — Outfielder Jon Jay and pitcher Edwin Jackson are among four players signed by the Diamondbacks to minor league contracts. Arizona also worked out minor league deals with John Hicks and outfielder Trayce Thompson.NBA-SCHEDULEBucks down PelicansUNDATED (AP) — The NBA’s reigning MVP got the better of the league’s No. 1 pick last season.Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-the-toh-KOON’-poh) delivered 34 points on 12 of 17 shooting and had 17 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks topped Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans, 120-108. Williamson finished with 20 points, but he shot just 5-for-19 and had seven rebounds in his first meeting with Antetokounmpo. Two people with knowledge of the deal say the Bosox have agreed to send the 2018 AL MVP to Los Angeles. The Red Sox would also send away left-hander David Price in a salary dump designed to save Boston tens of millions of dollars and help them dip below baseball’s luxury tax threshold.The Dodgers are sending outfielder Alex Verdugo back to the Red Sox in a deal that also involves the Minnesota Twins, who are getting right-hander Kenta Maeda (mah-EH’-dah) from Los Angeles and sending pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol to Boston.In other Major League Baseball news:— An arbitrator has denied the grievance filed by Chicago Cubs infielder Kris Bryant, according to a person who has read the unreleased document of the decision. Mark Irvings ruled the players’ association did not prove the team’s reasons for holding the third baseman in the minors at the start of the 2015 season were a pretext to push back his eligibility for free agency. Bryant hit .425 with nine homers in 40 at-bats during 2015 spring training and was held in the minors until April 17, one day after he would have been eligible for a full year of service time.— Braves reliever Shane Greene has become the first player to go to salary arbitration this year. The 31-year-old right-hander asked a three-man panel for a raise from $4 million to $6.75 million, while the Braves countered with $6.25 million. Greene was a first-time All-Star last year and compiled a 2.30 ERA in 65 appearances with the Braves and Detroit, striking out 64 and walking 17 over 62 2/3 innings. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditMLB-NEWSBetts goes to Dodgers in blockbuster swapUNDATED (AP) — The Boston Red Sox have parted with Mookie Betts by sending him to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a blockbuster deal. In other NBA news:— The New York Knicks have dismissed Steve Mills with the team about to miss the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season. Mills took over the post less than three years ago following Phil Jackson’s three-year run at the helm. The move came two days after the NBA trade deadline, and two months after head coach David Fizdale was dismissed. The Knicks entered Tuesday with the NBA’s fourth-worst record at 15-36. They’ve lost at least 50 games each season since 2013-14. General manager Scott Perry will take control of the basketball operations while the team seeks a permanent replacement for Mills.— The league is changing the format to this season’s 3-point contest at All-Star Saturday Night in Chicago by adding a pair of deep shots that will be worth three points apiece. That change means each round will now be a total of 27 shots instead of 25. Competitors will now get 70 seconds to finish their shots instead of the customary 60.T25 MEN’S BASKETBALL-SCHEDULEMilestone win for Coach K Lynn is 27-24 in three seasons with the Chargers. He guided the team to a 12-4 mark and a berth in the AFC divisional round in 2018, but the Chargers fell to 5-11 this past season.Lynn had one year left on his contract.The Chargers also say Shane Steichen will remain the offensive coordinator after taking over midway through the season.In other NFL news:— Jacksonville announced that it will play consecutive home games in London next season. The Jaguars have played a home game at Wembley Stadium every year since 2013 and expect to extend a contract that runs through 2020. — Anthony Beauvillier (boh-VIH’-lee-ay) capped his two-goal night by scoring 2:52 into overtime to give the Islanders a 4-3 win over the Stars. Dallas led 3-2 until Mathew Barzal (bahr-ZAL’) notched a power-play goal late in the third period. Kieffer Bellows made his NHL debut and registered an assist against the team his father, Brian, spent most of his career.— Antti Raanta (AN’-tee RAHN’-tah) stopped 30 shots and the Coyotes ended a five-game losing streak with a 3-0 win versus the Oilers. Conor Garland and Lawson Crouse scored two minutes apart in the second period to support Raanta’s 13th career shutout. Edmonton scored 26 goals in winning its previous five games.— Mikael Granlund scored 71 seconds into overtime to complete the Predators’ 2-1 verdict over the slumping Jets. Nick Bonino also scored and Juuse Saros (YOO’-see SAH’-rohz) turned back 33 shots in Nashville’s third win in four games. Winnipeg is 1-6-1 in its last eight contests.— The Wild got a goal from Matt Dumba at 2:21 of OT to beat the Blackhawks, 3-2. Kevin Fiala (fee-A’-lah) scored twice before Dumba hit the net for the first time in 34 games. Alex Stalock (STAY’-lahk) handled 27 shots as Minnesota handed Chicago just its second loss in eight games.— Joe Thornton reached the 1,500-point plateau by setting up goals by Brent Burns and Kevin Lebanc in the Sharks’ 3-1 victory at Calgary. Evander Kane netted his 20th goal of the season and Aaron Dell made 30 saves for the Sharks. Dell blanked Calgary after Johnny Gaudreau’s power-play goal 57 seconds into the second period. — Nikola Jokic (nee-KOH’-lah YOH’-kihch) finished an assist shy of a triple-double in just three quarters of the Nuggets’ 127-99 blowout over the Trail Blazers. Jokic had 29 points and 13 rebounds as the Nuggets improved to 8-0 against Northwest Division rivals this season. Portland guard Damien Lillard had scored at least 30 points in eight straight games before Gary Harris helped Denver limit him to 21 on 8 of 23 shooting.NBA-NEWSAP Sources: Covington, Capel on the move in 4-team tradeUNDATED (AP) — Robert Covington is going to the Houston Rockets and Clint Capela is going to the Atlanta Hawks as the headline moves in a complicated trade that was struck early Wednesday involving four teams, 12 players and at least three draft picks, according to two people familiar with the situation.Among the key components, according to the people who spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade has not received league approval: Covington and Jordan Bell will join the Rockets from Minnesota, Capela and Nene are leaving the Rockets for the Hawks, the Timberwolves added soon-to-be restricted free agents Malik Beasley and Juancho Hernangomez from Denver and the Nuggets got Shabazz Napier from Minnesota plus a first-round pick from Houston. Khris Middleton had 20 points for the Bucks, who took control by outscoring the Pelicans 42-24 in the third quarter.The outcome leads Milwaukee with an NBA-best 42-7 record.Checking out Tuesday’s other NBA action:— LeBron James poured in 36 points and the Lakers shot a blistering 58.8% in a 129-102 romp over the Spurs. James was 6 of 9 from 3-point range and finished with nine assists and seven rebounds. Kyle Kuzma (KOOZ’-mah) added 18 points and 12 boards as Los Angeles improved to a Western Conference-leading 38-11.— James Harden’s 40 points, 11 assists and nine boards carried the short-handed Rockets past the Hornets, 125-110. The Hornets led early in the fourth before the Rockets used a 15-2 run to take control. Daniel House had 20 points for Houston, which played without Russell Westbrook and Clint Capella due to injuries. — Tuukka (TOO’-kah) Rask picked up his third shutout of the season and 48th of his career by making 25 saves in the Bruins’ 4-0 victory over the Canucks. Charlie Coyle had a goal and an assist as Boston earned its fourth straight win. Brad Marchand, David Krejci (KRAY’-chee) and Karson Kuhlman (KOOL’-muhn) also tallied for the Bruins, who remain one point behind the Capitals for the top total in the Eastern Conference.— The Blues won for just the second time in seven games as Brayden Schenn (shehn) provided two goals and an assist in a 6-3 victory against the Hurricanes. Colton Parayko (pah-RAY’-koh) and Sammy Blais (blay) also scored to back Jordan Binnington’s 25-save performance. Petr Mrazek (mah-RA’-zehk) stopped just 20 of 26 shots in Carolina’s fifth straight road loss.— Steven Stamkos tipped in his 24th goal of the season in the third period to send the Lightning to a 4-2 win over the Golden Knights. Andrei Vasilevskiy (vah-sih-LEHV’-skee) made 28 saves and extended his streak of consecutive games without a regulation loss to 16 games, matching the franchise record set by Nikolai Khabibulin (hah-bee-BOO’-lihn) in 2002-03. Brayden Point and Anthony Cirelli also scored, and Nikita Kucherov (KOO’-cheh-rahv) had two assists for Tampa Bay.— Andre Burakovsky (bur-ah-KAHF’-skee) collected a career-high four points on one goal and three assists as the Avalanche mauled the Sabres, 6-1. Burakovsky tied a career high with his 17th goal and ran his point streak to five games. Valeri Nichushkin (nih-CHOOSH’-kihn) had a goal and two assists for Colorado, which scored six times on its first 14 shots.— The Blue Jackets have a nine-game point streak after beating the Panthers, 1-0 on Zach Werenski’s goal against former Columbus netminder Sergei Bobrovsky (boh-BRAHF’-skee) 1:54 into overtime. Elvis Merzlikins (murz-LIH’-kihnz) had 32 saves in picking up his fourth shutout of the season, helping the Jackets move to 8-0-1 in their last nine games. The Panthers lost for just the second time in their last nine games. — No. 9 Maryland trailed by five before opening the second half on a 14-4 spurt to pull ahead in a 56-51 victory against Rutgers. Jalen Smith had 14 points and 15 rebounds to help the Terrapins move to 13-0 at home. Anthony Cowan Jr. scored 17, including three free throws that put the Terps ahead, 52-49 with 2:12 remaining.— Samir Doughty dropped in 23 points, including hitting two free throws in the final seconds of overtime, to send 11th-ranked Auburn past Arkansas, 79-76. The Tigers closed the second half on a 15-4 run before improving to 16-6. The Razorbacks lost despite Mason Jones’ 40 points for the Razorbacks.— Nick Richards poured in a career-high 27 points and Immanuel Quickley added 21 as No. 15 Kentucky beat Mississippi State, 80-72. The Wildcats never trailed and led by as many as 14 in the second half of their 14th straight win over the Bulldogs. Richards and Quickley closed the victory by combining to make 14 free throws over the final 2 ½ minutes.— Lamar Stevens had 24 points and Myreon Jones made a career-high six 3-pointers while scoring 20 points as No. 22 Penn State earned a 75-70 win over No. 16 Michigan State. Stevens hit five free throws over the final 16 seconds to help the Nittany Lions wrap up their fifth consecutive win. Michigan State’s Cassius Winston scored 25 points but could not convert on chances to pull into a tie twice in the closing seconds.NHL-SCHEDULE — Shootout goals by Ondrej Kase (KAH’-shah) and Rickard Rakell (rah-KEHL’) gave the Ducks a 3-2 victory at Ottawa. Kase also scored in the second period and Rakell assisted on Nick Ritchie’s first-period goal.— The Canadiens erased a 3-0 deficit and knocked off the Devils, 5-4 on Ilya Kovalchuk’s (KOH’-vul-chuhks) shootout goal. Montreal’s Charlie Lindgren had 20 saves filling for an ailing Carey Price. Kyle Palmieri scored two-power-play goals for New Jersey, including the game-tying tally with 20 seconds left in regulation.COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWSMichigan State’s Dantonio announces retirementUNDATED (AP) — Michigan State’s winningest football coach has stepped down. Mark Dantonio has announced his retirement, ending a 13-year run in which his teams won three Big Ten titles and he became the school’s winningest coach. Dantonio went 114-57 as the Spartans’ coach and won Big Ten titles in 2010, 2013 and 2015. He won at least 11 games five times in that six-year span — the first time a Big Ten coach had done that.The 63-year-old Dantonio called his decision a difficult one while noting the nonstop demands of the job.NFL-NEWSChargers’ Lynn gets extensionUNDATED (AP) — The Los Angeles Chargers have announced a contract extension for head coach Anthony Lynn. Ovechkin leads Caps’ comebackUNDATED (AP) — Alex Ovechkin (oh-VEHCH’-kihn) is two away from becoming the eighth player in NHL history to score 700 goals.The Washington Capitals trailed 2-1 with just over six minutes left before the left winger scored three times in leading a 4-2 triumph over the Kings. Ovechkin tallied twice in a 70-second span to put the Caps ahead before completing his 27th career hat trick with an empty-netter.John Carlson scored a goal and set up two others, giving him league-highs for defensemen with 51 assists and 65 points.Elsewhere on NHL ice: Turner fired Bryce Drew as men’s basketball coach last spring and hired Jerry Stackhouse.Candice Storey Lee has been named interim athletic director effectively immediately. Associated Press Update on the latest in sports: — The NFL has suspended Jaguars defensive tackle Carl Davis without pay for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Davis’ contract is set to expire when the new league calendar begins in March.VANDERBILT-ATHLETIC DIRECTORTurner resigns as Vanderbilt ADNASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Malcolm Turner has resigned as Vanderbilt athletic director after one year on the job.Turner was president of the NBA G League when hired in December 2018 by Vanderbilt to replace David Williams. He started Feb. 1, 2019. February 5, 2020last_img read more

Badgers land touted Ohio recruit

first_imgThere was once a time when the idea of Wisconsin going into Ohio State’s back yard and signing a hot basketball recruit who had been offered a scholarship by the two-time defending national champion, Florida, would’ve been met with laughter. But Bo Ryan and the Badgers did just that this week, as Garfield, Ohio, prep star Robert Wilson declared at a press conference Wednesday that he will be attending the University of Wisconsin.”Wisconsin has been recruiting me for the past year. They have good coaching there and I know I can fit into their organization, so I felt more comfortable choosing Wisconsin,” Wilson told the Capital Times.Wilson, a junior at Garfield Heights High School, located just outside of Cleveland, had been pursued by Wisconsin for more than a year after being noticed by UW assistant Greg Gard. Wilson is now the third member of the Badgers’ 2008-09 recruiting class, joining forward Jared Berggren and guard Jordan Taylor, both from Minnesota. At 6-foot-4, Wilson averaged 17 points, six rebounds and 3.5 assists during his junior season and has attracted much attention, with more sure to come. Along with Wisconsin and Florida, Wilson reportedly has been offered scholarships from Cincinnati, Virginia Tech, Xavier and Iowa, while also receiving attention from Penn State.The Badgers still have one open scholarship remaining, which could either be used for next season or to add a fourth recruit to the incoming 2007-08 class, which includes Madison native Keaton Nankivil (forward), Oshkosh product Tim Jarmusz (guard), and Jon Leuer, a forward from Orono, Minn.Burke makes tourneyDespite a disappointing season that didn’t include a single conference win for the UW women’s tennis team, senior Caitlin Burke earned an at-large bid for singles competition in the 2007 NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Championships Wednesday.With a 16-7 overall record this season, including a 10-2 mark this spring season, Burke was one of 45 at-large players selected. The competition consists of 64 players, 19 of which earned automatic qualifications. Northwestern’s Georgia Rose earned the automatic bid for the Big Ten Conference.Even with an injury that kept her out of the singles lineup for almost two-months, Burke played well for the Badgers this season. She continually represented the team in the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings and achieved the highest ranking of her career at No. 14 during the Feb. 21 poll. Burke currently sits at No. 31 in the latest poll released April 30.Of the top 16 seeded singles players, Burke has faced five of them, including the No. 1 seeded Audra Cohen from Miami. Burke played Cohen back on Feb. 1 at the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Madison, and put up a fight, but could not knock off the No. 1 ranked player in a 6-4, 6-3 loss. That was the last match Burke played before returning to the singles lineup March 31. It was also just one of two losses this spring season for Burke.– contributed to this report.last_img read more

Higher learning… BETDAQ launches ‘knowledge portal’

first_img The Premier League is back: How will the betting market react? June 16, 2020 Submit Racing Post B2B appoints Alan Casey as Trading Partnerships lead October 10, 2019 StumbleUpon Share Related Articles BETDAQ adopts 0% commission across majority of sports December 17, 2019 Share GVC Holdings’ online betting exchange property BETDAQ has launched new portal, seeking to better inform betting customers of all levels with a ‘professional trading outlook’.Integrated with the flagship BETDAQ exchange, the portal has been designed to enhance traders’ experience through access to market insights, supported with BETDAQ free trading tools and video tutorials.The ‘knowledge portal’ has been co-developed in partnership with renowned betting professional Peter Webb, founder of wagering insights software BetAngel.Last year, BETDAQ offered customers the chance to win a share of £2,000 if they were able to emulate the achievements of Webb, who returned a ‘profit on all 28 races at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival’ wagering on BETDAQ markets.“It’s great that BETDAQ’s customers are able to use Bet Angel, the same tool I do, for free on BETDAQ. Bet Angel contains superb cutting-edge features and also allows you to automate some or all of your betting and trading.” Webb details on the launch of BETDAQpro.comConor Fitzpatrick – BETDAQUpdating the media, Conor Fitzpatrick, Commercial Manager of BETDAQ, details the launch of the portal as a key product directive for 2019, in which BETDAQ will seek to better expose its betting exchange insights, enhancing customer engagements.“BETDAQPro enables our customers to gain valuable insights into the world of professional trading. The website contains video tutorials to help inform and guide new traders to success, while also providing downloadable links to free trading software which will help sports traders to utilise BETDAQ in a more professional capacity. Through these tools our customers can place faster bets, build their own trading formulae and customise the interface however it suits them; all with a view to improving their trading habits and profitability.”last_img read more

Rugby World Cup semifinal: SA v NZ, look out for Savea and Habana

first_imgMatch: South Africa v New ZealandTime: 3pm Ghana timeVenue: TwickenhamHow to watch: SuperSport channel 201/206*Some refer to Julian Savea (above, pictured) as “the Big Bus”.A physicist at the University of Auckland has worked out that the All Black winger was travelling at 7.5 metres per second when he scored his third try against France last Saturday and had the kinetic energy of a 10-tonne bus travelling at three kilometres per hour. It does not require a doctorate to work out he will take some stopping at Twickenham on Saturday.Few opponents have achieved it since the 25-year-old made his Test debut – he announced himself with a hat-trick – against Ireland three years ago. After only 39 Test starts for New Zealand he has plundered 38 tries, a strike rate bettered by no player from a tier one nation in the game’s history.Maintain that spectacular record and an appropriate new nickname may be required. “Quantity” Savea already has a certain ring to it. The beauty of this heavy-duty semi-final, though, is that Savea will be only the second most prolific try-scorer on the field. Wearing the corresponding No11 jersey will be Bryan Habana, who requires one more try to eclipse Jonah Lomu as the highest World Cup try-scorer of all-time.The verb “eclipse” rarely precedes Lomu’s name but Habana (below, pictured) with 64 tries in his 115 Tests for South Africa, long since proved himself to be rather more than an opportunistic poacher with a keen eye for an interception.With Savea leading the 2015 World Cup scoring charts with eight tries – equalling the record jointly held by Lomu and Habana – this high-profile shootout will reveal a fair amount about both men’s temperaments.There are plenty who argue, with some justification, that no one will match Lomu’s impact on the sport in 1995. Australia’s David Campese, with 64 tries in 101 Tests, would win my vote as the greatest finisher of all time; Doug Howlett (49 in 62 Tests) and Christian Cullen (46 in 58) also set a prodigiously high standard. Rarely, though, has the stage been so ideally set for two world-class wings to show why the stats do not lie. It does Savea no harm, admittedly, that he is operating on the end of one of the greatest backlines to wear the silver fern. Geoffrey Boycott’s mother, still wearing her pinny, would score the odd try outside Dan Carter, Conrad Smith, Ben Smith, Ma’a Nonu et al. That said, even his team-mates are beginning to wonder if there has been an All Black winger with a broader range of skills. At 1.92m (6ft 4in) and 106kg (16st 10lb), Savea is not massive – Lomu was 1.96m (6ft 5in) and 120kg (18st 13lb) – but the way he ploughed through three French tacklers to score in Cardiff was all too reminiscent of the irresistible force who rolled over England in Cape Town in 1995.Savea also defends capably, has represented the New Zealand sevens team and possesses the knack of being in the right place at the right time, prompting the All Blacks head coach, Steve Hansen, to suggest last year he was a more rounded player than Lomu was. Given they both played for the Hurricanes and the younger man admits to having copied his idol’s haircuts when he was younger, comparisons are inevitable, even down to Savea’s temporary fitness blip earlier this year. The All Blacks conditioning coach, Nic Gill, was swiftly on his case; any nutritional shortcomings were certainly not apparent at the Millennium Stadium. In short, there should be a lot more to come, assuming he stays fit.Scariest of all is that Savea may not even be the best player in his own family – his younger brother Ardie, 22, narrowly missed out on World Cup selection in the back row but has been compared to a young Michael Jones.That kind of depth keeps New Zealand ahead of the rest; Nehe Milner-Skudder has been a fleet-footed star on the other wing while, with Waisake Naholo, Sonny Bill Williams, Cory Jane, Israel Dagg and Charles Piutau, the All Blacks reserves would walk into most other starting XVs in the world.At 32, Habana is a slightly different athlete to the sprinter of his earlier days who was clocked at 10.2secs over 100 metres. Playing year round for his country and also in the French Top 14 for Toulon has inevitably extracted a physical toll but his team-mates still appreciate the impact he can make in tight situations. “He has got the ability to score that 20% try, the one that comes out of nowhere,” his long-time colleague Schalk Burger says. “I think he is due one … if we do our job hopefully we can get Bryan some space and he will get the record. He had a chance against America and fluffed it … hopefully he doesn’t fluff the one this weekend.” May the best wing win. JP Pietersen, Savea’s direct opponent, has already won one World Cup winner’s medal and may see this as an opportunity to remind people there is more than one quality finisher in South Africa’s lineup. While Burger has a decent line in pre”‘match self-deprecation – “Hopefully Julian never runs at me … that will be mildly terrifying to say the least” – the underdogs are well aware Savea has yet to score against the Springboks in five appearances. Curiously, Lomu also had a lean time against South Africa, drawing a blank in 12 attempts. Often it is not the big men who cause the Boks the most trouble but smart ones with a stealthier modus operandi.The record-books also reveal that Habana has played the All Blacks 22 times, winning only seven of those and scoring a relatively modest seven tries. Even outstanding modern wingers such as Shane Williams, George North and Tommy Bowe – along with this tournament’s stand-outs DTH van der Merwe and Nemani Nadolo – are only as good as the supply line that is feeding them. Savea is quality but those around him are even better. It is a special combination.–– Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySports. All Rugby World Cup games are live on SuperSport, your world of champions.last_img read more