SMC EXPRESS November 2023

Please enjoy the latest content from our TY journalism team! This edition reflects their keen interest in sport in particular, and, offers material on other topics sure to keep you reading.


  • NFL: opening weeks - A roundup - Kian Williams
  • World Athletics Championship - Liam O'Sullivan
  • Champions League predictions - Callum Broe
  • Saudi League transfer roundup - Billy Dore
  • Ireland's rugby glory days - Donnacha Colgan
  • A beginner's guide to protein - Oisin Doyle
  • Baking basics - Dylan Chapot

NFL: opening weeks - A roundup

By Kian Williams

It has been an interesting opening few games in the world of NFL, as we were lucky enough to enjoy a handful of exciting matchups and a few surprises along the way with the main headline of all being the Detroit Lions picking up a massive win over the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. The game was one of the highlights of the season so far with scorers for Detroit being Amon-Ra St Brown with a touchdown in the 1st quarter and Brian Branch scored a touchdown with a 50-yard interception in the 3rd quarter and finished the game with a David Montgomery 8-yard rushing touchdown. The Chiefs threw 2 touchdown passes in the 2nd quarter to Rashee Rice and Blake Bell respectively via Patrick Mahomes and Harrison Butker kicked a 35-yard field goal in the 3rd quarter and a 39-yard field goal in the 4th to end the game 21-20 to Detroit. This will undoubtably be one of the highlights of this season and could be the Chiefs defining moment of the season.

The Chiefs followed this up by beating the Jaguars 17-9 away from home with scorers being Skyy Moore and Travis Kelce and Harrison Butker also kicked 5 points including a field goal. Jaguars only scorer ended up being Brandon McManus who kicked all 9 points.

Another major highlight of the opening fixtures is the fact the Bengals lost both of their opening games to the Browns and Ravens, respectively. They gave an outright embarrassing performance against the Browns at home, only putting up 3 points as they lost 24-3 to the Browns and 27-24 to the Ravens. Joe Burrow really needs to find out how to steady the ship down in Cincinatti.

The Buccaneers are currently 2 and 0 after beating the Vikings 20-17 and the Bears 27-17 to show they along with their new Quarterback Baker Mayfield that they are a force to be reckoned with this season. The Eagles also are now 2 and 0 after beating the Patriots 25-20 and the Vikings 34-28 and therefore staking their claim that they want revenge for their heartbreaking loss to the Chiefs last Superbowl. The other teams that have started off this season strongly at 2 and 0 consist of The Falcons which are led by a strong Marcus Mariota, the Cowboys led by their star man Dak Prescott, The Dolphins with their star trio of Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and Tua Tagavoiloa. The Saints with a shock start, the 49ers ran by Brock Purdy, the Ravens led by Lamar Jackson and Odell Beckam Jr and the Commanders with another shock start with a shock win over the Broncos.

Speaking of the Patriots they once again have had a dreadful start to their campaign with an opening week loss to the Eagles despite a fightback from 14 down and still ended up losing 25-20. They also suffered a loss at the hands of the Dolphins 24-17. Just like last year Belichick has had a slow start but hopefully will pick up form in the weeks to come.

The Texans, Vikings, Cardinals, Bears, Broncos, Panthers, and the Chargers all have also started their season 0 and 2 with the most surprising of all being the Minnesota Vikings starting 0 and 2 after quite a decent season last year with Kirk Cousins having a standout year which clearly did not translate over to this season which has been disappointing.

And that brings us to the bulk of the teams who all finished 1 and 1. These consist of a Buffalo Bills team led by Josh Allen who suffered a disappointing loss to the Jets 22-16 in week 1 but bounced back to beat the Raiders in week 2. The Browns also started 1 and 1 after a shock victory against Joe Burrows Bengals but then were defeated by the Steelers 26-22. The Detroit Lions also made headlines by beating the Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes 21-20 in the opening game at Arrowhead but then lost to the Seahawks 37-31. The Packers started the season strong with a comprehensive win over the Bears and a 1-point loss to the Falcons 25-24. Down in Indianapolis the Colts were defeated by the Jaguars but bounced back to beat the Texans down in Texas 31-20 to finish the opening 2 games 1 and 1, speaking of the Jaguars they suffered a tough loss to the Chiefs in week 2 after beating the Colts which leaves them in a good position for the year. Down in Las Vegas the Raiders have also started off well by scraping a week 1 win against the Broncos 17-16 down in Denver but went on to lose comprehensively to the Bills in week 2. In Los Angeles, the Rams have begun their campaign with an away win to the Seahawks and a narrow loss to the 49ers 30-23. The Giants started off their year with the 2nd strangest result of the season so far by getting annihilated at home by the Cowboys 40-0 but luckily bounced back and earned a narrow win against the Cardinals 31-28. The Jets secured a week 1 victory over the Bills but were beaten 30-10 by the Cowboys in week 2. In Pittsburgh, the Steelers lost convincingly to the 49ers but found their feet in week 2 and beat the Browns 26-22. The Seahawks lost to the Rams in game 1 but beat the Lions 37-31 in game 2 to kickstart their season. And finally, down in Tennesse the Titans lost narrowly to the Saints 16-15 but got their first win under their belt by beating the Chargers 27-24 in Tennesse.

This has been an unbelievable start to the 2023 NFL season with many rivalries and underdog stories being created before our eyes and we will surely be in for a phenomenal season.

World Athletics Championship 2023

By Liam O'Sullivan

This year's W.A.C. took place in Budapest, Hungary. The weather was very hot, often going over 25 degrees Celsius. The biggest faces in the world of track and field were showing up days before and everybody could tell this was going to be an exciting championship.

The W.A.C. opened with the men's 20km racewalk final, won by the Spanish Alvaro Martin. The first days of the championships tested the athletes, the climate was not suiting the middle to long distance runners as the heat was proving exhausting. The star of the show Noah Lyles had won his heat with ease and was nipping at Usain Bolts record for the 200m sprint. With an already very impressive time of 19.31 seconds trying to break Bolts 19.19 second time. There was plenty of controversy during the games. This includes some of the Men's 200m semi-finalists involved in a buggy collision on their way to the stadium. This resulted with glass getting into Jamaican sprinter Andrew Hudson's eye. Although Hudson did not have to pull out of the race, the controversy around the easily avoided crash was not appreciated by the sprinters and fans.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen had a swollen throat and despite not being 100% he ran in the 1500m final and 5000m final. Ingebrigtsen had no interest in gaining revenge on Josh Kerr despite losing to him in the world 1500m final. The Norwegian successfully defended his world 5000m title on Sunday the twenty-first of August after struggling with illness all week and when asked by AW whether he would enjoy the idea of taking on Kerr soon he said “No, I would not”. Certainly, there would be opportunities for a rematch with Josh Kerr in Diamond Leagues in Zurich.

Yumilar Rojas who is one of the most successful female triple jumpers in history was having a poor tournament in this year's W.A.C. and still managed to take home gold on her final attempt. It was a frustrating championship for the Venezuelan athlete as she has been the best in the world and holds the female triple jump world record at 15.74 metres.

The closing days of the W.A.C. had all the finals and heats for the largest and most popular events in track and field. All eyes were on Noah Lyles, as he claimed he was going to come first in his two events. Lyles dominated every heat and comfortably got himself into the 100m and 200m finals. Despite Lyles winning the 200-metre final in 19.52 seconds, this was nowhere near his own record of 19.31 seconds. Lyles showed up and won his 100 meter final with ease and proved to the world that he is currently the best sprinter in the world.

USA came out of the tournament with 29 medals, coming first in 12 events. That is outstanding as the second most medals were Jamacia with 12 medals and only 3 golds.

This year's world athletics championship was as exciting as ever and hosted in one of the musts picturesque cities in the world. We can only hope for the same in 2024. Here's a link to the website incase you're interested

A beginner's guide to protein

By Oisin Doyle

Protein is a naturally occurring complex substance, proteins are present in all living organisms in their nails, hair, teeth, and skin etc., and include many essential biological compounds such as enzymes, hormones, and antibodies. It is one of the most important macronutrients required for all the basic works of growth such as muscle growth and height growth etc. A variety of protein foods, including egg, salmon, beef, chicken, beans, lentils, almonds, quinoa, oats, broccoli, artichokes, yogurt, cheese, and tofu.

How much protein do you need every day: The National Academy of Medicine recommends that adults have an intake of at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight a day, or just 7 grams per around 20 pounds of body weight. For an individual weighing in at 140 pounds that would be around 50 grams of protein. It is important to note that millions of people around the world, including children do not get the recommended amount of protein intake per day due to food insecurity.

What would happen if I did not get the recommended intake per day: The many side effects of protein deficiency range from feeling nauseous to just feeling week and feeble, since protein supplies energy and satisfies the diet, you may also get sick due to protein not being present to improve the immune system. Mood changes may occur naturally and consistently due to the fluctuating blood sugars and proteins affecting the brain's neurotransmitters (they affect the mood of a person).

What type of food can provide this protein best: meals such as steaks and other meats are reliable sources of protein, but they also will contain saturated fats, for the vegetarian side of things foods in the dairy product range such as Greek yogurt contain a nice quantity of protein. Nuts can be a profound way of getting your daily intake of protein as a vegetarian.

What about supplements: protein can be an effective way to receive your daily intake of protein easier than eating meats, nuts, or dairy products. You can mix your protein powder with a variety of other high protein sources such as yogurts or in a high protein milkshake. You can buy protein powder in your local gym or in any or most food retailers although protein powder should not be consumed in extremely excessive amounts beyond safe human consumption.

Baking basics

By Dylan Chapot

It is known that in the culinary world baking is seen as a science, with the amount of precision and rules in baking it may seem overwhelming to some people who are just starting. However, by avoiding a few mistakes and having a little practice you will notice your baking improve drastically by following some of these tips.

Using room temperature ingredients

Many recipes will call for you to use some ingredients at room temperature and it is important that you follow this rule. Many things can't be done when not at room temperature, cold butter cannot be creamed, and yeast will not activate in boiling water. It is best to leave out your ingredients for at least 1 or 2 hours on the kitchen table before you use them in order to achieve the best results.

Understanding how to use a light hand

You might have come across the phrase ‘don’t overmix,’ but what does it mean? Once you add flour to anything it promotes the mixture to become tough or chewy. We knead bread dough so that we can achieve that nice chewy texture we know in bread, however we don’t want that for our cakes and muffins. You should try to mix ingredients as little as possible once you add your flour so that the finished product will be fluffy and light.

Measure everything correctly

One of the key things which separates cooking and baking is how things are measured. In baking it is crucial that you follow the recipe exactly as it is shown to the nearest gram. It often helps to get a digital weighing scale as it is much more precise. If you use cup measurements, be sure to sweep the top with a knife so that the measurement is exactly level. Liquids should always be measured using a clear measuring jug with gradations on the side to get the most exact results.

Use good quality ingredients

Make sure that your ingredients do not pass the best before date when you are baking. This is especially important for chemical leaveners such as yeast, baking powder and baking soda. These substances lose their energy over time which will mean that when you use them it won't have the proper leavening effect that it should have. Many spices such as cinnamon lose their flavor over time as well which is why it is important to make sure that everything you use when baking is fresh.

Champions League predictions 2023/24

By Callum Broe

This year's Champions league consists of great teams with a chance of making the competition exciting and unpredictable.

Group A:

  • Bayern Munich
  • Manchester United
  • Galatasaray
  • Copenhagen

For Group A Bayern Munich and Manchester United are the standout giants for this group. Bayern, having brought in players in the summer to add to their great squad already and having no injuries, they are the favorites to win the group. Manchester united having a lot of first team players out they still have a strong squad that can qualify and finish second in the group stage. United have not had the best start to their premier league campaign but for me they will finish second. Galatasaray coming into the champions league are top of the table having lost none of their league games and are top of their league. The players they have brought in will help them but not against the European giants. Copenhagen will have to push to get anything better than 4th place but a surprise could be on the cards.

Group B:

  • Arsenal
  • Sevilla
  • PSV
  • Lens

Arsenal coming into this group are the favorites having not lost a single league game and are undoubtably the favourites to top this group, but Group B is in fact a lot more competitive than a lot of people are willing to acknowledge. The first of this group that are very unpredictable are the reigning Europa League winners Sevilla who are no strangers to coming up against European giants such as Arsenal and despite losing some key players such as Bono and Montiel I think they will still sneak a second-place finish. That brings us to PSV who snuck into the competition through qualifying and I feel are going to struggle after losing one of their star players Xavi Simons to RB Leipzig. 3rd place is a decent finish for them. And that brings me to my predicted 4th place finish Lens from France. I think they massively overachieved in the French league last year and I feel they are out of their depth in the champions league.

Group C:

  • Real Madrid
  • Napoli
  • Braga
  • Union Berlin

The Galactico's Real Marid have the most UCLs in the entire competition with 14 titles in total. Real Madrid alongside Napoli are the favourites for the group with Real Madrid having brought in Jude Bellingham and other key players to fit the club's standard. Napoli coming into this year's competition have been very strong and promising winning the Serie A the previous season so they and Real Madrid are the two favourites for the group. For 3rd place Union Berlin have had an incredible past few seasons nearly having won the Bundesliga last season and bringing in a few players across Europe to try and push for silverware. 4th place Braga finished 3rd in the Primeira Portugal league last season but knowing football anything can happen and upsets can happen in the champions league.

Group D:

  • Inter Milan
  • Benfica
  • Real Sociedad
  • RB Salzburg

This group is like group c in a way that there are two favourites to win that have high expectations with Real Sociedad could push for 2nd place. Inter Milan are last year's finalists, so this will give them confidence coming into this year's competition. As for Benfica, they won their league last year and will secure a place in second if they keep their form up. Real Sociedad, having secured a place in this year's competition, will be trying to get something out of it, but they could do good in the Europa league. As for 4th place RB Salzburg they are the underdogs and will have a challenging game every game.

Group E:

  • Athletico Madrid
  • Feyenoord
  • Lazio
  • Celtic

This group has a lot of class in it with each team having a chance to qualify. Athletico de Madrid are clear favourites to win the group having star players like Griezmann and de Paul. Feyenoord are on good form now having not lost a single game in the Eredivisie. Lazio and Celtic are on level with performance and will be tough to decide between the two who comes 3rd and 4th.

Group F:

  • PSG
  • Newcastle United
  • AC Milan
  • Dortmund

This has been dubbed the so-called Group of death as it is easily the most difficult and well matched group in the entire competition with all 4 teams having an equal chance of being eliminated or progressing. PSG are the clear favourites with their star players such as Donnarumma, Dembele, Hakimi and of course Kylian Mbappe. I feel they will breeze through all the teams in their group and finish top unbeaten. I still feel Newcastle will sneak out 2nd as St. James Park is not an easy place to go and get points so I reckon they could sneak a second-place finish. I predict a 3rd place finish for AC Milan as they have decent players such as Theo Hernandez and Rafael Leao, but I just don’t think they have enough to sneak into the round of 16. And that finally brings us to Dortmund, the runners up of the Bundesliga last season are in position to finish last in their group as they have made no real signings to bolster their squad for this year's campaign which will lead to them coming rock bottom of Group F

Group G:

  • Manchester City
  • RB Leipzig
  • Young Boys
  • Crvena Zvesda

This group is very clear to see who should be finishing top of the group and who the underdogs of the group are. Man City coming off a treble winning season are clearly the favourites for the group and even the entire competition. Leipzig are a team who can get consistent results against the underdogs but still put a challenge against the good teams. Dropping down to the Europa League for Young boys and Crvena Zvezda would be great for them.

Group H:

  • Barcelona
  • Porto
  • Shakhtar Donetsk
  • Royal Antwerp

This group is one of the simpler groups in the group as the two giants of the group are Barcelona and FC Porto while Shakhtar Donetsk are good competitors along with Antwerp, but Barcelona are the clear favourites to potentially go unbeaten in this group with Porto coming in 2nd convincingly with Shakhtar in 3rd and Antwerp dead last.

Saudi Pro League: transfer roundup

By Billy Dore

The 2023 summer transfer window saw a lot of changes in the football world. One of the biggest changes was the popularity of the Saudi Pro League. One of the biggest names in the history of football, Cristiano Ronaldo, joined Saudi side Al Nassr in January for a €200 million a year deal. His transfer clearly had a big influence on a lot of players. A total of 27 big names joined the SPL this summer.

Most popular transfers to the Saudi Pro League Summer 2023

  • Karim Benzema to Al Ittihad (free)
  • Ngolo Kante to Al Ittihad (free)
  • Sadio Mane to Al Nassr (€30m)
  • Neymar Jr to Al Hilal (€90m)
  • Fabinho to Al Ittihad (€46.7m)
  • Aymeric Laporte to Al Nassr (€27.5m)
  • Ruben Neves to Al Hilal (€55m)
  • Jordan Henderson to Al Ettifaq (€14m)

There was a lot of controversy about these transfers. Especially because of the salaries each player was offered. A lot of people claimed that it was a league for players soon to be going into retirement. This was because most players that joined were over the age of 30 years old. This changed when 21 year old Gabri Veiga joined Al Ahli on the 26th of August for €40 million. Clubs like Napoli and Liverpool had the young Brazilian on their shortlists throughout the summer, but he decided the move to Saudi Arabia was the best move for him.

With all their expenditure and the money they had to offer, some SPL teams still missed out on some big targets. Al Ittihad offered €150m for Liverpool‘s Mohamed Salah, but it was turned down immediately. Al Hilal made two big offers to both Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe. This was apparently because they wanted a player to compete against Al Nassr‘s Cristiano Ronaldo. However, both players did not fancy a move to the SPL.

Many pundits claimed that the money the Saudi Arabian clubs was too much, and their spending should be investigated. However, some disagreed and said that European teams were spending similar amounts. In my opinion, I think the money that clubs are being offered and the salaries that the players are being offered are way too much money. Certain European clubs have been investigated before for spending much less than SPL clubs and I think that something has to be done to stop it.

Ireland's rugby glory days

By Donnacha Colgan


The Six Nations started as the home nations and stayed as the home nations from 1883 to 1909. It consisted of England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. England won it in the first year in 1883. Wales were the first team to win the Grand 1908 and won it again in 1909. In 1901 France joined the competition becoming the five nations from 1910 to 1931. In 1932 France left the 5 nations where it then went back to the home nations. In 1940 France rejoined the competition becoming the 5 nations again .in the year 2000 Italy joined the 5 nations which it then became the 6 nations which we know of today

England have won the most grand slams at a total of 13 with their last grand slam being back in 2016. England also won the most tipple crowns with 26 and their last in 2020. Wales has won the second most number of grand slams. They have won 12 grand slams, the last being in 2019. Wales has also won the second most number of triple crowns with 22 and their last being in 2021. France have won a total of 10 grand slams, their most recent being in 2022. Ireland have won 4 grand slams and 13 triple crowns both last being in 2023


Irelands road to glory: February 4th, 2023, Ireland faced off against Wales In their first 6 nations game of many. Full time score was Ireland 34 – 10 Wales. This was Irelands first of many 6 nations wins in 2023. Ireland dominated this game the whole way through the game. Ireland then played France in their toughest game of the competition. The final score of the game was Ireland 32, France 19. Ireland faced off against Italy on the 25th of February. Ireland won 34 – 20. March 12th Scotland played Ireland. Ireland won 22-7. This was Ireland lowest scoring game in the 6 nations, but it was also their lowest conceding game in the competition. Irelands last game took place on the 18th of march in the Aviva stadium. This game meant if Ireland won, they won the grand slam and the 6 nations. Ireland won 29 – 16 which put them number 1 in the world leading into the world cup.