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Flying Fijians challenged to reach new level

first_imgThe Flying Fijians won their third straight Pacific Nations Cup title in July and secured the Oceania One berth for the 2019 World Cup, putting them in Pool D alongside Australia, Wales, Georgia and a qualifier.The ninth-ranked Fijians also chalked up major victories on home soil against Six Nations duo Italy and Scotland but McKee is wanting to see that form replicated on the road.”We set ourselves a good high benchmark across those tests earlier in the year but the important thing now is to step up to another level in November,” he said.”Our medium-term to long-term ambition is our Rugby World Cup campaign and to be successful in 2019 we have to improve on each assembly we have and make the most of all the time we have together.”Fiji open their tour against 14th-ranked Italy in Catania before taking on Ireland in Dublin and closing out their tour against Canada in Montpellier.”For us I think it’s very good for us to start against Italy,” said McKee.”We know they’ll be a big challenge to play them in Italy – they’ll be a tough opposition for us there and they’ll be hurting a little bit, coming off our close win in Suva earlier in the year.”I think for our players they can approach the November tour with some confidence, knowing that we’ve been successful against Italy earlier in the year, that we can really take them on in that first game and I’s hope that with our pre-tour camp and our preparation for the Italian game, with a successful performance there we can carry some momentum towards Ireland.”We want to test ourselves against the best and in the past 12 months Ireland have beaten both the top two teams in New Zealand and England, so Ireland are going to be a true measure of how our progress is going.” Photo: Supplied Flying Fijians rugby coach John McKeelast_img read more

Roman plumbing wrote a record of Mount Vesuviuss eruption

first_imgThe lead pipes of the Roman Empire distributed water from kilometers-long aqueducts (like the one above) all throughout their cities. And they did something else remarkable, too, according to a new study: They created a historical record of the cities they served. As water flowed through pipes and into harbors, it carried traces of lead, which eventually settled into harbor sediments. Researchers can now use cores of these sediments to make out when the ancient Romans switched their water delivery systems, taking advantage of the fact that the proportion of lead atoms with different weights changes depending on where the lead ore was mined. Studying sediments from the harbor of Naples, Italy, scientists found a sudden shift in sediment lead around 79 C.E., coinciding with the famous eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius. Volcanic ash could have clogged the pipes, or ground motion could have damaged them, forcing the Romans to replace them with lead from a different source, according to a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The sediments also revealed that over time, more and more of the pipe network came from sources distant from Naples. That suggests an expansion of the network of lead pipes that brought water to individual buildings—but only until the 5th century C.E., when economic collapse and other troubles put the region’s aqueduct out of commission.last_img read more