League’s Oceania Cup postponed

first_imgThe series, which was to include a much-anticipated rematch between Tonga and New Zealand and other tests involving Samoa, PNG and the Cook Islands was originally scheduled for June.However the Asia Pacific Rugby League Confederation said it was now looking at delivering fixtures in October and November.Deputy Chair Greg Peters said the unprecedented measures had to be taken for the safety and well-being of players, staff and supporters.”With the recent announcement on mass gatherings and the unpredictability of this pandemic, the safety and well-being of our players, staff and supporters remain a priority,” he said.”We are also very conscious of the current demand on some of our players due to the travel restrictions in place which we will be taking into full consideration going forward.”Peters admitted that even if restrictions were lifted before the event date, it would not be feasible to undertake the work required to deliver the June tests.”The best-case scenario is our calendar is postponed, depending on what the NRL season looks like the back end of the year, but of course, we cannot guarantee anything at this stage.””We are in unfamiliar and unknown territory; collectively, we are all feeling the widespread impact of this pandemic but rest assured, we will be exploring every possible option,” Peters said.Chairman Sandis Tsaka said there were still hopes all nations would be able to play at least once this year.”We’re going with a Plan B where we are putting all the Oceania Cup matches towards the end of the year.”Obviously that would require a lot of discussion between the NRL and the Super League around how they would structure their seasons going forward,” he said.”We will need to see whether we are struggling with the State of Origin, the NRL and Super League matches because the Oceania Cup is mostly made up of players competing in those competitions so we’ll be liaising with them to find an appropriate time within the calendar towards the end of the year around November but obviously everyday the situation is evolving.”last_img read more

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Peacocks need not sacrifice flying skills for sexiness

first_imgA male peacock’s tail may help him attract mates, but does it also make him an easy meal? Scientists have long believed that these birds had to sacrifice some mobility in order to sport such dramatic decorative plumage, which accounts for 60% of their length. Now, a team of researchers has finally put this idea to the test by measuring peacocks’ ability to make a quick escape—with and without their tails. Working with five Indian peacocks (pictured above), the scientists set up a flight arena where they could film the birds taking off with high-speed 3D video cameras. Rattling a stick to prompt the birds to fly to a higher perch, they measured the peacocks’ velocity at takeoff and at the end of their second wingstroke. Flight performance was assessed in terms of the amount of power used to accelerate and increase the body’s height off the ground—the things that matter most when a bird is trying evade a predator. Later, the researchers removed the birds’ tail feathers (simulating the natural molting that occurs after the breeding season) and filmed them again. After analyzing the video, they found that there was no statistically significant difference in flight performance of peacocks with intact tail feathers and those without, they report online today in The Journal of Experimental Biology. This research complicates the common assumption in evolutionary biology that elaborate sexual ornaments must come at a cost to the animal. But although peacocks’ elaborate feather trains don’t impede speedy takeoffs, the researchers note that they may pose other burdens to the birds, such as compromising their flight control, stability, and ground running performance.last_img read more

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