No frills for Ireland in opening victory

David Wallace declared it was job done after Ireland's Six Nations victory over Italy at Croke Park yesterday. The flanker admitted the defending Grand Slam champions would have liked to have recorded a more comprehensive victory over Nick Mallett's side, but was content with the win. "We had a job to do and we went out and did it," he said. "It was a very physical game up front. It's good to get a win under our belts.

"I think in fairness to Italy, they never gave up. Of course you want to score more tries but that would be a disservice to Italy." Jamie Heaslip and Tomas O'Leary crossed to help establish a 23-8 interval lead, but Ireland then lost their way and never crossed the whitewash again. Italy, who scored their try through a Kaine Robertson charge down, staged a damage- limitation exercise after the one-sided first half that was highly effective and killed the match as a spectacle.

Ronan O'Gara kept the scoreboard ticking over and finished with 16 points until his departure with 15 minutes to go, but it was a far from convincing afternoon for Ireland. They failed to maintain their authority up front and suffered as a result, showing only the odd flash of brilliance, and must improve significantly if they are to have any hope of beating France in Paris on Saturday. It was a combative but typically limited display by Italy, who are often at their strongest in the opening match of the championship before falling away as injuries mount and morale deteriorates.

Missing their inspirational captain Sergio Parisse to a knee injury, they toiled throughout and even struggled at the scrum, a department they were expected to dominate. Martin Castrogiovanni, the feared veteran prop, came off worse against rookie Cian Healy, winning his third cap, to ensure a precious area of Azzurri pride was humbled. John Hayes, Ireland's own grizzled front-row forward, played his part at the set piece too as the 36-year-old celebrated his 100th Test cap and 50th successive tournament appearance. It was also a memorable afternoon for O'Gara, who marked his recall to the side at the expense of dead leg victim Jonathan Sexton by becoming the first player to score 500 championship points.

O'Gara reached the milestone in the 10th minute when he slotted a penalty after Castrogiovanni, the Leicester Tigers prop, had collapsed a scrum following pressure from Healy. The Azzurri were expected to control the scrum but instead Ireland were asking all the questions, while their open play was vastly superior too. Scenting the first try-scoring chance of the match in the 15th minute, they struck with clinical efficiency to send Heaslip over.

Andrew Trimble made the initial break with the support work of Paul O'Connell and Rob Kearney, the full-back who had such a fine tour of South Africa with the British & Irish Lions, keeping the move going until slick hands sent Heaslip in. The conversion by O'Gara established a 10-0 lead that would have been extended had Brian O'Driscoll's chip not slipped into touch following a brilliant piece of improvisation from the Ireland captain.

Craig Gower, the Australian dual-code international playing at fly-half for Italy, landed a long-range penalty that trickled over the crossbar but his side's error-strewn display continued, enabling O'Gara to pick off another three points. Compounding Italy's mounting problems was a yellow card for Gonzalo Garcia, brandished by referee Romain Poite for a spear tackle on O'Driscoll. Ireland took advantage of the extra man with Kearney's running causing problems until a disastrous line-out five metres out saw Leonardo Ghiraldini, the hooker, throw the ball straight to Leo Cullen. Italy were in disarray and when the ball was relayed, O'Leary took advantage of the space to dart over with O'Gara converting.

Kearney helped Italy finish the first half on an upbeat note when his clearance was charged down by Robertson, who then grounded the ball. Mirco Bergamasco had taken over the kicking duties and though he missed the conversion, he landed a penalty five minutes after the interval. But Italy's problems continued at the scrum with Castrogiovanni once again conceding to Healy, allowing O'Gara to continue his flawless run with the boot.

Italy were at their attritional best in the third quarter but Ireland also contributed to the lull in proceedings with some poor kicking, O'Gara the main culprit. With one eye on France, Declan Kidney, the head coach, brought off Jerry Flannery, Trimble, O'Connell and O'Gara. Paddy Wallace took over the kicking duties and obliged with a penalty before Gordon D'Arcy made a scintillating break that was bettered by Bergamasco during the last play of the match.

* With agencies


Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5


Liverpool 2 (Van Dijk 18', 24')

Brighton 1 (Dunk 79')

Red card: Alisson (Liverpool)

Another way to earn air miles

In addition to the Emirates and Etihad programmes, there is the Air Miles Middle East card, which offers members the ability to choose any airline, has no black-out dates and no restrictions on seat availability. Air Miles is linked up to HSBC credit cards and can also be earned through retail partners such as Spinneys, Sharaf DG and The Toy Store.

An Emirates Dubai-London round-trip ticket costs 180,000 miles on the Air Miles website. But customers earn these ‘miles’ at a much faster rate than airline miles. Adidas offers two air miles per Dh1 spent. Air Miles has partnerships with websites as well, so and offer three miles per Dh1 spent.

“If you use your HSBC credit card when shopping at our partners, you are able to earn Air Miles twice which will mean you can get that flight reward faster and for less spend,” says Paul Lacey, the managing director for Europe, Middle East and India for Aimia, which owns and operates Air Miles Middle East.

New process leads to panic among jobseekers

As a UAE-based travel agent who processes tourist visas from the Philippines, Jennifer Pacia Gado is fielding a lot of calls from concerned travellers just now. And they are all asking the same question.  

“My clients are mostly Filipinos, and they [all want to know] about good conduct certificates,” says the 34-year-old Filipina, who has lived in the UAE for five years.

Ms Gado contacted the Philippines Embassy to get more information on the certificate so she can share it with her clients. She says many are worried about the process and associated costs – which could be as high as Dh500 to obtain and attest a good conduct certificate from the Philippines for jobseekers already living in the UAE. 

“They are worried about this because when they arrive here without the NBI [National Bureau of Investigation] clearance, it is a hassle because it takes time,” she says.

“They need to go first to the embassy to apply for the application of the NBI clearance. After that they have go to the police station [in the UAE] for the fingerprints. And then they will apply for the special power of attorney so that someone can finish the process in the Philippines. So it is a long process and more expensive if you are doing it from here.”


Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

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Investors: Privately/self-funded

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
How to keep control of your emotions

If your investment decisions are being dictated by emotions such as fear, greed, hope, frustration and boredom, it is time for a rethink, Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at online trading platform IG, says.


Greedy investors trade beyond their means, open more positions than usual or hold on to positions too long to chase an even greater gain. “All too often, they incur a heavy loss and may even wipe out the profit already made.

Tip: Ignore the short-term hype, noise and froth and invest for the long-term plan, based on sound fundamentals.


The risk of making a loss can cloud decision-making. “This can cause you to close out a position too early, or miss out on a profit by being too afraid to open a trade,” he says.

Tip: Start with a plan, and stick to it. For added security, consider placing stops to reduce any losses and limits to lock in profits.


While all traders need hope to start trading, excessive optimism can backfire. Too many traders hold on to a losing trade because they believe that it will reverse its trend and become profitable.

Tip: Set realistic goals. Be happy with what you have earned, rather than frustrated by what you could have earned.


Traders can get annoyed when the markets have behaved in unexpected ways and generates losses or fails to deliver anticipated gains.

Tip: Accept in advance that asset price movements are completely unpredictable and you will suffer losses at some point. These can be managed, say, by attaching stops and limits to your trades.


Too many investors buy and sell because they want something to do. They are trading as entertainment, rather than in the hope of making money. As well as making bad decisions, the extra dealing charges eat into returns.

Tip: Open an online demo account and get your thrills without risking real money.

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Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates


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