Fiji beat Georgia to claim first win of Rugby World Cup

first_imgFIJI claimed their first win of this World Cup as six second-half tries saw them ease past Georgia in Higashiosaka.The Pacific Islanders took the lead through Waisea Nayacalevu but Soso Matiashvili’s penalty reduced the deficit to four points at halftime.However, second-half tries from Frank Lomani, Josua Tuisova, Semi Kunatani, Api Ratuniyarawa and two from Semi Radradra gave Fiji a bonus-point win.Mamuka Gorgodze got a consolation for Georgia as Fiji moved second in Pool D.Fiji were humbled by Uruguay in their last outing – albeit after only a four-day turnaround following the loss to Australia – but the backs, who scored five of their seven tries, ruthlessly took Georgia apart after the interval.They could have scored more but Nayacalevu dropped the ball with the line at his mercy as Georgia fell to their first tournament defeat to a Tier 2 nation. Their second biggest win at a World Cup means Fiji are likely to finish at least third in the pool – and with that gain qualification for the 2023 World Cup.The Islanders face Wales in their final pool game on Wednesday, October 9, (10:45hrs BST), while Georgia conclude their campaign against Australia on Friday, October 11 (11:15hrs). (BBC Sport)last_img read more

Vavic looks to continue water polo dynasty

first_imgVictorious Vavic · In his 21 years as head coach, Jovan Vavic has been the recepient of an unprecedented 12 National Coach of the Year awards. – Mariya Dondonyan | Daily TrojanCoach of the Century is a once-in-a-lifetime award, and men’s and women’s water polo coach Jovan Vavic has earned the prestigious Pac-12 honor.“He is the most intense coach I have ever had,” sophomore goalkeeper and All-American McQuin Baron said.Vavic has created a dynasty at USC in the 21 years he has been coaching the men’s team. Vavic currently has a .863 winning percentage for his career. During his 21-season tenure at USC, his teams have lost a mere 75 games while winning 472 and counting.Coaching is not the only thing that garners such strong talent, and Vavic has been able to develop his program into a recruiting powerhouse, consistently bringing in top talent from around the globe. USC’s team this year features players from Australia, Canada, Italy, Montenegro and Serbia.“He is the main reason why USC pulls in so many recruits,” Baron said. “Realistically, it’s a self-recruiting program because when I came in they had won six [championships] in a row, and everyone is like, ‘I want to win championships,’ so obviously this is where you want to go.”Vavic has won nine NCAA championships with the men’s team, including six in a row from 2008-2013. There have been an additional four titles for the women’s team, and Vavic has led both teams to glory in the same year, sweeping the NCAA championships in 2004, 2010 and 2013.Vavic’s experience and success is something no other program in the country can offer. Baron said coaching was an integral reason he decided to attend USC.“[Coaching was] the biggest part,” he said. “Jovan is the most knowledgeable coach in the NCAA, and he’s the most successful coach at USC.”Vavic’s path to success is not for the weak, and the players know that coming in. The coach runs a tight program, but one that consistently garners not only national attention for the team, but also for individual players.Vavic has coached 10 winners of the Cutino Award, often considered the most prestigious individual award in water polo. It is given to the most outstanding player in the country every year.Vavic’s teams generally also have a slate of All-Americans. Last season, in addition to Baron, junior Nick Bell, sophomore Mihajlo Milicevic and sophomore James Walters each earned All-American honors.“He makes sure you are always playing to the top of your ability,” Baron said. “There are no days off.”Vavic himself has been the recipient of many awards, being named Coach of the Year 12 times, and is the 10-time Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Coach of the Year. In 2010, Vavic swept the coaching awards, winning both National and MPSF Coach of the Year.Vavic has high expectations that have been consistently met by the Trojans, who have never had a lower winning percentage than they did in 2002 when their record was 20-8.Vavic has a winning record against every opponent he has ever faced. Since he began in 1995, Vavic has lost only two games to teams outside of the MPSF conference.Last season ended in disappointment for the Trojans, who lost in the NCAA championship game to crosstown rival UCLA after six straight championships. The game marked their record 10th straight appearance in the title game.“We’re probably the youngest team that he’s had in a really long time — we had eight or nine freshmen on the NCAA team,” Baron said of some of the team’s struggles last season. “We didn’t even have a month before we played our first game together, so now, having another year of experience playing together is definitely the biggest improvement we’ve had.”This was supposed to be a time of rebuilding, but the Trojans have continued to build on Vavic’s legacy.Vavic is a native of the former Yugoslavia, and earned his bachelor’s degree in history from UCLA in 1992. Vavic came to USC soon after his graduation in 1992 as an assistant coach, and then joined John Williams in 1995 as co-head coach before taking over full time in 1999 when Williams retired.In 1996, the coaching duo earned MPSF Coach of the Year honors after leading USC to the conference title. In 1998, both he and Williams were named Coach of the Year for guiding USC to its first ever national championship. Vavic was also head of the women’s water polo program when it transitioned from Division II in 1995 to Division I in 1996.Two years later, 1998 marked a record-breaking season for Vavic, who became the first water polo coach in history to win three national championships with three different teams. Vavic captured both the men’s and women’s national title, as well as earning the distinction with his men’s senior national club team.Vavic’s current team has nothing but respect for their head coach and appreciates the dedication he has for them as they strive to win him his 14th national title.“It’s well-deserved,” Baron said. “His accolades definitely prove why he got it.”Vavic and the men’s water polo team will jump back in the pool this Sunday on the road against the University of the Pacific.last_img read more