Jarryd Hayne trial: Day 7 updates, sexual assault allegations from Newcastle Court | NRL news


Former NRL star Jarryd Hayne’s fame and fortune does not give him a “pass” for allegedly forcing himself on a woman he thought had “promised” him sex, a court has heard.

The former Parramatta fullback is on trial at Newcastle District Court fighting claims he sexually assaulted the woman, then 26, after arranging to go to her house the night of the 2018 NRL grand final.

The court has heard the woman suffered two lacerations to her genitalia when Mr Hayne, 32, allegedly pulled off her pants and began digital and oral sex on her as a taxi waited outside her home on Newcastle’s outskirts.

Mr Hayne claims the sex was consensual and the woman’s injuries were caused by a stray fingernail.

Jarryd Hayne ‘have every reason to believe’ the woman was consenting, his barrister said. Picture NCA NewsWire/Peter LorimerSource: News Corp Australia



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Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Thunder Tips, Odds and Teams – BBL Big Bash 2020


Melbourne Stars host
Sydney Thunder
at Manuka Oval on Saturday December 12, 2020. Melbourne Stars are favourites for the game which is scheduled to start at 4:06 pm. We preview the game and give you our tips and information on how you can watch the Melbourne Stars vs.
Sydney Thunder
game live.

When: Saturday December 12, 2020 at 4:06 pm

Where: Manuka Oval

Bet: Bet On This Match HERE

Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Thunder Odds

Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Thunder Preview

Melbourne Stars will back up Friday nights game against Brisbane with another thrilling contest against the Sydney Thunder.

Whether playing back to back games will help or hinder the Stars is yet to be seen and the odds here could fluctuate quite a bit depending on their opening match performance.

I’m sticking with the Stars here though but it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

Melbourne Stars vs Sydney Thunder Tip





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Wallabies great calls for more adventure


Former backline wizard Lloyd Walker wants more adventure from the Wallabies as they chase an impossible 101-point win over Argentina to steal the Tri Nations trophy on Saturday night.

Walker admits the Wallabies are a million-to-one to pull off the feat, even against a Pumas outfit in disarray following the axing of skipper Pablo Matera, and teammates Guido Petti and Santiago Socino over alleged racist social media posts.

But the former Test five-eighth – who was once lauded as Australia’s best ball player by the legendary Mark Ella – is encouraging the Wallabies to show more attacking flair in their final match of the season in Sydney.

“It’s been difficult this year because of the limited exposure together and playing with one another but hopefully the coach will bring that on in the future,” Walker told AAP on Wednesday.

“I would like to see them be a bit more adventurous in their play.”

The Wallabies were unable to conjure a try in a 15-15 draw against the Pumas last month, a result that has all but cost them the chance of winning the Tri Nations title.

“I must admit Argentina are a much better side than some people give them credit for,” Walker said.

“They’re a very robust side – they like contact – but we’ve got to get ways around that, and that comes with more combination and cohesion.

“So hopefully we’ll see a bit more open style play.”

Walker, a proud Indigenous man who still coaches sevens rugby for La Perouse, was speaking at a First Nations cultural “smoking of the Wallabies jersey” alongside current players including Tate McDermott, Fraser McReight and Jordan Uelese.

He cited the All Blacks as living proof that adventurous rugby still has a place at Test level, where kicking for territory is now king.

“You see the All Blacks play. When they get a sniff and they realise that it’s on, they’re very skilful,” he said.

“That was shown in last week’s game. As soon as they get an opportunity, they want to attack at every stage (in the 38-0 win over Argentina).”

The key for the Wallabies is striking a balance at Bankwest Stadium, Walker says.

“You’ve got to do the hard work early and try to fatigue the opposition. You’ve got to create that little bit of space where you can move the ball around a little bit,” he said.

“(Playing) the bash-barge game, you’ve got to move it around a lot earlier than we did against Argentina the first time.

“I’m not saying going to the wing, but use a second or third pass to run them around a bit so fatigue’s an issue.”

Forward McReight said even if capturing some silverware was not realistic for the Wallabies, it was important to finish the year on a high.

“The last time the Wallabies won their last Test match (of the year) was 2013, so to end on a positive note going into 2021, 2022 and the World Cup cycle, it would mean the world for the Wallabies,” McReight said.

“We want to finish this year on a positive note by winning.”





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Lewis Hamilton COVID-19 positive, George Russell replacement, Jack Aikten


Lewis Hamilton’s replacement for the weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix has been revealed with Williams driver George Russell getting a shot in the most coveted seat in Formula One.

Believed to be the future of the team, 22-year-old Briton Russell has driven for Williams over the past two seasons but has failed to pick up a point as yet.

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It appeared to be a three-way race for the seat with Russell, Mercedes reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne and Nico Hulkenberg all speculated.

But Russell won the golden opportunity in the world championship winning car when he jumps into Hamilton’s seat.

The 2018 Formula 2 champion, Russell has long been tagged as a future world champion but has been forced to bide his time in a Williams, as the team has scored just one point in the past two years through Robert Kubica in 2019.

Russell was clearly excited by his opportunity.

“Firstly, I want to say a huge thank you to everybody at Williams for giving me this opportunity. I might be wearing a different race suit this weekend, but I’m a Williams driver and I’ll be cheering my team on every step of the way,” Russell said.

“I see this as a great chance to learn from the best outfit on the grid right now and to come back as an improved driver, with even more energy and experience to help push Williams further up the grid. A big thank you also to Mercedes for putting their faith in me.

“Obviously, nobody can replace Lewis, but I’ll give my all for the team in his absence from the moment I step in the car. Most importantly, I wish him a speedy recovery. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity and can’t wait to get out on track this week.”

The move will also see Jack Aitken getting his F1 debut in Russell’s car over the weekend.

It’s been a tumultuous time for Williams, with the team sold to US investment firm Dorilton Capital, ending Frank Williams’ 43 year ownership of the sport.

Having won nine constructors titles and seven drivers championships, Williams has been a shadow of itself in recent years.

But the team is excited for its main man to get a run with the constructors champions.

“Our long-term partnership and George’s affiliation with Mercedes is no secret, and so I’m delighted George has this unique opportunity to join Mercedes, the current constructors champions,” Williams’ Acting Team Principal Simon Roberts said.

“We have been working hard to ensure that an agreement could be made with Mercedes to allow him this fantastic opportunity. George very much remains a Williams driver and we look forward to him returning to us fresh from this experience and wish him a successful race this weekend.”

While he has yet to earn a point, Russell has been impressive in qualifying this season and has finished 11th once and 12th twice in his F1 career.

Hamilton is the third driver to miss a race after contracting COVID-19 after Racing Point’s Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll.

On Tuesday, Hamilton released a statement on his Instagram, saying he was “gutted” to be missing out on the Sakhir Grand Prix.

“I’m devastated that I won’t be racing this weekend. Since we started this season in June, my team and I have been taking all the precautions we possibly can and following the regulations everywhere we’ve been in order to stay safe,” Hamilton posted.

“Unfortunately, even though I returned three negative results this past week, I woke up yesterday morning with mild symptoms and requested another test which came back positive. I’ve immediately gone into self-isolation for 10 days.

“I’m gutted not to be able to race this weekend, but my priority is to follow the protocols and advice to protect others. I’m really lucky that I feel OK with only mild symptoms and will do my best to stay fit and healthy.

“Please look after yourselves out there, you can never be too careful. These are worrying times for everyone and we need to make sure we are looking after ourselves and each other. Stay positive.”



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Key forwards to reign supreme at AFL draft


Tall forwards are all the rage ahead of this year’s AFL draft with talent guru Kevin Sheehan predicting clubs will pounce on prodigious goalkickers.

Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, who has been compared to Sydney superstar Lance Franklin, has firmed to be taken with the No.1 pick.

But the Western Bulldogs academy prospect isn’t the only key position tall who will be snapped up early in Monday night’s virtual draft.

Riley Thilthorpe (West Adelaide), Logan McDonald (Perth), along with medium forward Elijah Hollands (Murray Bushrangers), are also backed to give any AFL club’s inside-50 a boost next year.

Then there is giant defender Zach Reid (Gippsland Power), who has modelled his game on the Brisbane Lions’ two-time All-Australian fullback Harris Andrews.

“I do love the taller players we’ve seen early. It give us confidence that we’ve got some tall forwards and some tall defenders; it’s going to be great for the competition,” Sheehan said.

“Hollands is the best of the medium-sized players. He’s a star who did an ACL at the start of the year but he’s completely recovered from that.”

Victorian draft hopefuls have endured a difficult year with the NAB League unable to go ahead because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

They are seriously disadvantaged compared to players in South Australia and Western Australia, who have been able to display their skills at senior level.

Sheehan believes there will be a plethora of players who miss out being drafted this year but end up becoming valuable AFL players in the future.

“Some will be very unlucky and will have needed this 18th year to show their wares,” he said.

“Over the years Toby Greene, Jackson Macrae, even Marcus Bontempelli didn’t take off until late in his 18th year to be the star that he is. Many boys have missed that chance (in 2020).

“Grand-final day last year when a lot of them played at the MCG will be a vital game (for recruiters).

“The Australian under-17 game from April of last year will be a vital game.”





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AFL draft hopeful Connor Downie wants to use his heritage to help grow football in China


However, at a time when Australian-Chinese relations are strained, Downie said he believes football can be a unifying force, and is hopeful he can use his impending platform to share an olive branch.

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“Over the past year I’ve sort of thought about it a lot and if I get the chance to be drafted I want to sort of make it one of my goals to share the game overseas and be an ambassador for footy in China, and hopefully encourage more Chinese people to play AFL,” Downie said on Wednesday.

Downie said his Chinese heritage was an important part of his life.

“I’ve been there a couple of times. A lot of my uncles live there.”

As for his mum’s interest in football, Downie said it was a work in progress.

“She didn’t really know much about footy before I started playing but she’s got into it recently.”

Downie trained with the Hawks last summer where he was taken under veteran Isaac Smith’s wing. Smith has since departed for Geelong, a reminder of the professional nature of the AFL and the fact that sentiment only goes so far in the league.

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Downie is keen to be taken by the Hawks, but the nature of the AFL’s draft bidding system means Hawthorn can tell him for sure that he will be picked up by them.

“I’ve been in the NGA from the start when they were first created. It’s been really good. They’ve given me a lot of support and development. Nathan Foley who is the head of the NGA has always gone through vision with me, given me feedback on games, sort of helped me work on things that I need to improve on,” Downie said.

“Because I’ve had a few years’ connection with the club, I’ve trained there, met some of the boys, it’d probably be ideal [to join Hawthorn].

“They’re pretty happy with me at the moment but obviously anything can happen on draft night so they’ve just said nothing’s guaranteed so they’ll wait and see what happens.”

Downie was at Craigieburn’s Highgate Recreation Reserve along with around 50 other Victorian draft hopefuls on Wednesday for a contact-free training session in front of AFL club recruiters.

After an under-18s year wrecked by COVID-19, Downie said he had been glad to see some familiar faces again.

“It’s great to see all the boys. I haven’t seen a lot of them in a while.”

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Top AFL draft prospect Jamarra Ugle-Hagan wants to be the next Lance Franklin


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There are clear similarities between Ugle-Hagan and Franklin, a four-time Coleman medallist. Both are Indigenous, athletic freaks and left-footers.

Ugle-Hagan said he tried to model himself on the Sydney champion.

“I just use him as a person that sets goals for me,” Ugle-Hagan said on Wednesday.

“Everyone has that person you want to become, or even do better [than].”

“But it’s just setting yourself a high goal to obviously do what’s best for me. I’d like to think that I can get there.

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“[Comparisons to Franklin are] just words at the end of the day – I’ve got to show my X-factor on the field and off the field but they’re just words. I just use it as a drive and obviously, hopefully [I can] get there one day. It’s good to have other people believing that I can.”

Speaking about the significance of the No.1 selection, Ugle-Hagan said: “At the end of the day it’s just a number.”

The Crows are yet to publicly commit to a bid on Ugle-Hagan but Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks told SEN radio on Wednesday that they would do so if they believed he was the best available player.

“I’m there to pick the best possible players in the draft and with that you use all your expertise and the guys that have watched them for years,” Nicks said.

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“We’ll pick the best player that we believe is in the draft and if that’s Ugle-Hagan – because he’s a super talented footballer, then that’s where I guess a bid will come in because we believe he should be No.1 in the draft.

“We’re not going to go out of our way to pick a young kid who’s not that and risk not getting the best player in the draft.

“I’m not going to give too much away, but [Ugle-Hagan] is extremely good. There are a number of players that sit around that first pick.”

The Crows have said they are “down to four” players in the mix for No.1, widely viewed to be Ugle Hagan, West Australian key forward Logan McDonald, South Australian tall Riley Thillthorpe and Victorian midfielder/forward Elijah Hollands.

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“We’re down to four and we won’t make a decision until we’ve got all the information in case there’s something in there, but it’s pretty routine information required,” Adelaide recruiting chief Hamish Ogilvie told the club’s website.

“It’s just a bit later than normal because of the constraints that everyone’s had this year with medical testing, combine testing, location, travel, doctors not having access to put their hands on the players, so that just made it more difficult and took more time.”

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Despite rising standard on the field, NRLW likely to remain four-club competition in 2021


“I have always wanted the women’s competition to move quicker than what it has,” V’landys said. “But we have to get to the grassroots.

“Unfortunately, one of the things we’ve been doing is we’ve been working top down; you should work bottom up.”

Brisbane celebrated another NRLW title, but it’s unlikely they’ll be facing more competition in 2021.Credit:NRL Photos

Data released by the NRL this week showed the standard of the NRLW competition continued to improve with an increase in average run metres, offloads and tries per game, as well as improvements in goalkicking accuracy. Post-contact metres also increased compared to last season by 15.8 per cent.

A number of clubs have shown interest in joining the NRLW, but many have been deterred by the price tag of about $500,000. The Raiders have lodged an expression of interest for 2021, while the Knights have applied for the 2022 season.

Last year, the NRL stepped in to fund the entire competition to elevate financial pressure on NRLW clubs after the Roosters and the Warriors flagged that they would not be able to fund a women’s team during the COVID-19 pandemic.

V’landys said the existing four clubs will be partially subsided in 2021, but the NRL would not be looking to introduce new clubs. He said an announcement on the exact NRLW budget would be made in the “next couple of weeks”.

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During the NRL’s announcement of the 2021 draw for the men’s game, chief executive Andrew Abdo said the game would not be focusing on expanding the number of NRLW clubs.

“It would be unrealistic to expect clubs to prepare for the 2021 season and have an expansion in the number of teams but, of course, the commission have asked us to look at everything and we’ll do the homework,” he said last week.

“We’ll look at business cases, we’ll look at the sustainability, the talent and we’ll make sure we keep investing in the quality of the product and our athletes who at this stage are semi-professional, so we’ll look at all of that and then be able to make a decision.”

Abdo also said the NRL was considering pushing the women’s Origin series from one game to two, with a game in Queensland and NSW.

“That’s a conversation we’re having with state governments and the two state leagues,” Abdo said. “What we’re seeing is high-quality football and the fans want to see more of it.”

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CA confident of full house for Kohli’s Sydney farewell after NSW eases restrictions


It is somewhat apt the venue which on a Friday the 13th in March gave Sydneysiders the first eerie glimpse of sport without fans will be the one welcoming them back in droves.

David Warner and Aaron Finch marched on to an empty SCG to take on New Zealand in early March.Credit:AAP

The sight of an empty SCG was in contrast to the memorable women’s T20 World Cup final when more than 86,000 fans packed the MCG. Amongst the crowd was a spectator who tested positive to coronavirus days later.

Not long after, the AFL, NRL, Super Rugby and the A-League followed in cricket’s footsteps by locking out fans and then suspending their seasons.

The first two games of the one-day international series in Sydney last week drew crowds of 17,573 and 17,821 to an SCG that was operating at 50 per cent capacity.

“A series that has broken records on and off the field deserves a full house and that is exactly what we will have for the final T20 International between the Australian and Indian men’s teams at the SCG on Tuesday, December 8,” CA’s head of fan engagement Anthony Everard said.

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“The Aussie men’s team were the first in the country to play to a locked out stadium when the pandemic struck in March.

“Now, nine months later and at the very same venue, we will be the first sporting team to play to a full stadium in NSW following confirmation today’s announcement by the NSW Government.

“Tickets for Tuesday’s T20 International sold out within hours when capacity was at 50 per cent and we anticipate similarly high levels of interest when the new tickets are released.

“We would like to thank the NSW Government and look forward to playing in front of many more of our brilliant fans than was originally envisaged.”

But Ms Berejiklian warned restrictions would be reimposed if there was an outbreak.

“We will be forced to go backwards if there is an outbreak,” she said. “What we’ve tried to achieve here is a healthy balance of giving people freedom and allowing businesses to flourish, while also maintaining those basic principles of living in a COVID-safe way.”

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