Roberts ready to hit the right note

first_img Wales powerhouse Roberts returns to the Lions midfield following his recovery from a hamstring injury he initially thought might mean an early flight home. Roberts partners his regular Wales centre colleague Jonathan Davies for Saturday’s Test series decider against Australia, with Ireland talisman Brian O’Driscoll a shock absentee. Roberts, who was not fit for the second Test in Melbourne, joined the Manics on stage at Melbourne Festival Hall, playing guitar alongside James Dean Bradfield and company as they performed their hit single “You Love Us”. “That was a good experience,” recalled Roberts. “I adored the Manics growing up.” Jamie Roberts will reclaim centre stage for rugby reasons on Saturday – a week after playing live with his rock star heroes The Manic Street Preachers. Press Associationcenter_img He added: “I am that sort of guy in life who takes every opportunity that comes their way. That was thrown in front of me, and I couldn’t say no.” He is now, though, concentrated on the biggest match of his career as the Lions bid for a first Test series triumph since they toppled South Africa 16 years ago. “Bar maybe a World Cup final, I doubt there is a bigger game in rugby for us boys,” the 53 times-capped Wales star added. “You just have to get completely excited about it, not shy away from it, not get nervous. It’s just pure excitement, go out and express yourself, keep your concentration and deliver under pressure. “I see it as a responsibility. I’ve been picked to do a job and it is important I deliver. I’ve always thought that I thrive under pressure in big games, it’s where I like to play. “The higher the pressure, the more responsibility is put on me, the more I thrive and the more I enjoy it. I am on my second (Lions) tour now, and I think any player who is on their second or third tour who has played quite a bit of international rugby, you have to take responsibility. That is something I enjoy and thrive on. “I see myself as one of those guys who has to lead the way. It will be big mind games on Saturday, a huge mental challenge as well as a physical one. It is about staying completely focussed.” last_img read more

Opponent preview: What to know about North Carolina State

first_img Published on February 11, 2020 at 12:25 am Contact Michael: mmcclear@syr.edu | @MikeJMcCleary Syracuse (14-9, 7-5 Atlantic Coast) looks to create another win-streak in a home matchup with North Carolina State (15-8, 6-6) Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Carrier Dome. The Orange bounced back after two-straight losses with a win over Wake Forest last Saturday that came courtesy of a game-winning Brycen Goodine layup.Here’s what to know about NC State ahead of its game against Syracuse.All-time series: Syracuse leads 7-5Last time they played: North Carolina State dominated the Orange 73-58 on Feb. 13, 2019. Braxton Beverly led NC State in scoring with 21 points, and Frank Howard matched that point total for Syracuse. But the Orange couldn’t overcome an off-night from Tyus Battle, who shot 33% and scored just seven points.The NC State report: The Wolfpack, who started the season strong and firmly placed themselves around the top of the ACC, fell off a little bit recently and now sit behind SU in the conference standings. Though the Wolfpack suffered three-straight losses recently, a balanced scoring approach keeps them a threat in any game.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textC.J. Bryce and Markell Johnson have nearly identical scoring averages to lead NC State, and Johnson is its top distributor as well. This allows NC State to be one of the most efficient offenses in the nation with a 110.2 adjusted efficiency per KenPom. It’ll play clean basketball and score efficiently.How Syracuse beats the Wolfpack: Syracuse needs its offense to reemerge. Though Syracuse has not played poorly lately, it could use a big performance to stave off a North Carolina State team that during its best stretches of the season steadily scored between 65 and 77 points. Syracuse has much more firepower and if its shooters get hot, that could be too much for the Wolfpack to handle.Stat to know: 7.5 — NC State’s non-steal turnover percentage, one of the 15 lowest rates in the country. The Wolfpack are crisp with their passing and communication.KenPom odds: The Orange have a 65% chance of winning the game with a final score of 77-72, per KenPom.Player to watch: Markell Johnson, No. 11, guardJohnson has the ability to score at a high level — evident by a 27-point performance earlier in the year — and also has 11 seven-plus assist performances to his credit this year. He’s a rare player that can damage SU from anywhere, and will have to put on a solid performance for NC State to win. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more