Cricket 2021: David Warner vs Michael Slater fight rumour, IPL news, India COVID updates


Cricketers David Warner and Michael Slater have reportedly denied rumours they had a late night physical exchange inside a Maldives bar.

Slater and Warner have been long-term friends, but rumours have emerged of a disagreement between the pair that ended up getting heated.

The Daily Telegraph first reported the rumour of an incident inside the Taj Coral Resort in the Maldives where the pair are staying.

Slater was commentating in the Indian Premier League (IPL), but fled to the Maldives as India’s COVID-19 situation worsens, awaiting clearance to return to Australia following the end of a travel ban, which was last week put in place until at least May 15.

Warner was among a group of around 40 Australians, made up of players, coaches and cricket staff, to have flown to the Maldives two days ago on a chartered flight organised and paid for by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

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The six things we learned from Round 8


Geelong made a big statement on the big stage to kick off a massive round of footy.

There were plenty of close encounters and we still have a side yet to lose, and a side yet to win.

Here’s what we learned from Round 8:

Geelong’s recruits prove their worth

Geelong sent a statement to the competition with their 63-point win against Richmond.

The Cats kicked 13 goals to the Tigers’ two after half-time and it was their off-season recruits who may have had the biggest impact.

Chris Scott’s side were able to flip the result of last season’s Grand Final with Jeremy Cameron (six goals), Isaac Smith (two goals, 22 disposals) and Shaun Higgins (one goal, 23 disposals) adding class to an already strong Geelong outfit.

Richmond were simply blown off the park as everything clicked for the Cats, and it marks the second time Geelong has thrashed a premiership contender in recent weeks after they belted the Eagles by 97 points in Round 6.

You don’t win premierships in May, but the Cats will be hard to beat if they can reproduce similar efforts come finals time.

There’s a pulse at St Kilda and GWS

St Kilda and GWS are right in the finals hunt after they both stumbled out of the starting blocks.

Neither side has been convincing thus far in 2021, but all that matters in this middle period of the year is banking wins and both sides were able to do so in Round 8 … just.

The Saints continued their stunning run of tight wins over the Suns while the Giants just outlasted the Dons at home.

Neither side are near their best form at the moment, but both would be pleased to hold a 4-4 record after poor starts to their campaigns.

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Buckley goes back to basics

After shifting magnets around the whiteboard in recent weeks Nathan Buckley went back to what he knows works best for Collingwood.

They two key moves for the Magpies’ in their win over North Melbourne was to isolate Jordan De Goey deep inside 50 and let Darcy Moore return to his natural position of centre half back.

Both decisions paid off, with De Goey kicking 6.3 and Darcy Moore earning a career-high 28 disposals and 19 marks down back.

No one could fault Buckley for trying both De Goey and Moore in new positions in 2021 but Collingwood fans would be glad to see them in roles which allowed them to flourish in the first place.

Carlton still not quite ready

The Blues looked set for a season defining win when Harry McKay stretched the lead to 27 late in the third term against the Bulldogs.

Ultimately, it wasn’t to be as the Dogs turned it on in the final quarter to run away 16-point victors.

While many expected the result pre-game, a win would have solidified Carlton’s finals prospects as well as proving they have what it takes to beat a top-four side at their best.

The result is probably a fair one that signifies the gap between where a premiership contender sits and where David Teague’s side sits at this stage.

The Blues now have to recharge before taking on ladder-leading Melbourne next Sunday.

Dees pass maturity test

While it wasn’t overly convincing, Melbourne proved they can earn the four points without firing on all cylinders.

In a sign of a true premiership contender, Melbourne weathered the storm of a hungry Swans outfit and found another way to win.

Despite their highly-vaunted on-ball brigade, the Dees lost the centre clearance tally 17-4 as Sydney controlled the game from the middle.

This discrepancy meant the Demons were forced to start their attacks without field position as they relied on their back six to move the ball up the ground to score.

The Demons may have crumbled under similar pressure in recent seasons, but Saturday’s result proves this Melbourne group has a different mentality in 2021.

It’s a big week for North Melbourne

After failing to beat then 17th placed Collingwood, the Kangaroos remain winless in 2021.

Their current record of 0-8 has them firmly as the league’s worst side, and wins look like they’ll be few and far between this season.

They likely won’t enter any game as favourites this year, but one of their best chances to claim a win comes on Saturday when they face the now second bottom Hawks.

While many will be tipping Hawthorn, the Roos will be desperate to get the monkey off the back and earn David Noble his first win as head coach.

Expect them to come out firing next weekend knowing it could be their best shot at victory.





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Brisbane Lions rev engines with comfortable win over Fremantle Dockers


The Brisbane Lions were irresistible at times, sloppy at others but completed a victory over the Fremantle Dockers at the Gabba on Sunday night.

A five-goal opening term gave the Lions the advantage and they held control of the contest for the rest of the match as the ball-moving prowess of Daniel Rich (31 disposals), Jarryd Lions (30 disposals) and Zac Bailey and their potent forward line kept the scoreboard ticking over.

Charlie Cameron booted three goals for the Lions in their win over Fremantle.Credit:Getty Images

This wasn’t a sparkling display from the Lions but in a hectic, exhausting season there is value in a win where the team could work at a brisk pace plus have a few laughs while collecting the four points, and to do so without the injured Lachie Neale adds to the value.

Fremantle did cut the lead to 24 points late on but the result was an honest reflection of their current standing. They are a middle-of-the-road team with old stars, young talent and a very thin middle.

Nat Fyfe, David Mundy and Michael Walters are still among their best few players, while Caleb Serong, Sean Darcy, Tobe Watson and Andrew Brayshaw look to have promising futures.

Joe Daniher flies for a mark.

Joe Daniher flies for a mark.Credit:Getty Images

Outside of that group, James Aish, Matt Taberner, Michael Hastings and Nathan Wilson are all performing solidly, while most other positions in the side are up for grabs.

That inconsistency was reflected in this match as the Lions could stream quality players through every line on the field and the Dockers could only move when their old stars moved forward or their young stars could link together.

Lions defender Harris Andrews was too strong at the back, their midfield runners were powerful through the middle corridor or the wings and then Charlie Cameron and Eric Hipwood were causing trouble up forward.

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NRL confident Suncorp Stadium will handle eight games during Magic Round after Super Rugby final between Queensland Reds and ACT Brumbies damages surface


The NRL is confident the Suncorp Stadium surface will handle hosting eight matches in a little more than 48 hours after questions were raised about the ground’s capacity to recover from a bruising Super Rugby AU final.

The Reds’ heart-stopping after-the-siren win over the Brumbies on Saturday night has provided an unintended dilemma for the NRL, which is also closely monitoring the COVID situation in NSW as it tries to safely ensure all 16 teams will be able to get in and out of Brisbane for Magic Round.

The heavyweight packs of both Queensland and the ACT took visible chunks out of the Suncorp Stadium turf, requiring the referee to set scrums on different patches of the ground in the dying minutes.

The NRL scheduled the Broncos to play in Townsville a week before Magic Round to give the ground recovery time, but it was booked for the Super Rugby final after the Reds won hosting rights.

Having been forced to cancel Magic Round last year during the COVID suspension of the competition, the NRL said it planned to talk with stadium management on Monday before the three-day extravaganza starting on Friday.

Scrums were moved several times during the Super Rugby AU final.

“Everything is full-steam ahead next week,” NRL head of football Graham Annesley said. “We’ll continue to liaise with the [Queensland] government and stadium over the next few days.

“They’ve got full-time ground staff and they’ll be working around the clock to get it in tip-top shape. We’ll deal with the stadium in the lead-up to the game as we normally would.”

The NRL will be desperate to avoid a round of injury carnage as club casualty wards continue to bulge nearing the midway point of the season.

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Brisbane Lions v Fremantle Dockers; Carlton Blues v Western Bulldogs; Hawthorn Hawks v West Coast Eagles; round eight; results, new, fixtures, odds, tipping, teams, draw;


For almost three quarters, Carlton Blues showed us the style and substance of a serious AFL finals side but then the Western Bulldogs showed they are already that team with a resounding comeback performance.

The Bulldogs trailed by as much as 27 points in the third term as Blues forward Harry McKay took their defence apart but in the final stages of the third term they cut the lead back a couple of goals then swept over the Blues in the last term to claim a 16-point win.

Marcus Bontempelli.Credit:Getty Images

The Sons of the West have gears that this Blues side simply doesn’t possess and that is why they are second on the ladder and why the Blues are well behind them.

Marcus Bontempelli, Jackson Macrae, Caleb Daniel and the rest of the midfield stood up for the Dogs when the game was on the line, Josh Bruce was again stunning with five goals and some crucial marks.

Eddie Betts turned back the clock for Carlton with four of his five goals in the first half while McKay showed he is as good as any forward in this league with five goals and some awesome marks.

The Dogs are the team of today, if the Blues can follow their lead they could be the team of the future.

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Lightning strike to shock Vixens


The composure of Sunshine Coast Lightning shooters Cara Koenen and Steph Wood has helped snuff out the final-quarter comeback of defending Super Netball premiers Melbourne Vixens to maintain their side’s unbeaten start to the season.

The pair contributed a combined 53 points on 52-of-60 shooting in the 56-51 victory and showed great composure in the final quarter as the Vixens mounted an unlikely comeback.

Trailing by 10 going into the last quarter, the Vixens seemed out of the contest but showing the grit that led them to a drought-breaking title last year, they fought back in front of a strong crowd at Melbourne’s John Cain Arena.

Goalshooter Mwai Kumwenda led the revival, with nine of her 25 goals – including two super shots – coming in the final term, with her desperation helping cut the deficit to just six, with more than 12 minutes remaining on the clock.

Kumwenda was everywhere in the final term – sinking goals, picking up rebounds and throwing her body around the court while pumping up her teammates and the vocal Melbourne crowd.

The Lightning had subbed Koenen out of the game briefly to bring Peace Proscovia into the match but coach Kylee Byrne brought the Diamonds ace back in the final minutes, with the change ensuring the Lightning did not concede the turnover ball the Vixens desperately needed to steal the win.

Lightning skipper Karla Pretorius played a captain’s knock, constantly getting her hand to ball to disrupt the efforts of Melbourne’s shooters.

The South African finished with two intercepts, five deflections and three pick-ups as the Vixens struggled to bed down their new attack line.

Maddy McAuliffe, who was also outstanding in defence, conceded her side had tired in the final term but said their experience showed.

“I think our attack end stayed really composed during (their fightback) and defensively we were able to pick up some really important balls and start getting some rebounds,” McAuliffe said.

“We missed a few at the start of the last quarter but we definitely came good at the end.”

The Vixens’ defensive end was reliable as always, even with Kadie-Ann Dehaney winning a start at goalkeeper over Diamonds squad member Emily Mannix, and while the new elements of their attack line struggled early, there were encouraging signs from young guns Ruby Barkmeyer and Hannah Mundy.

Defender Jo Weston said the Vixens were disappointed despite the fightback.

“But the girls showed some really good fight, especially in the second part of that game,” she said.

“We’ve got a lot of fresh faces out there and new combinations, so we’ll be working on that at training but under the immense pressure of a talented team like the Lightning, we’ve got to learn to be more consistent than that.”

SUNSHINE COAST LIGHTNING 56 (Koenen 42, Wood 11, Proscovia 3) def MELBOURNE VIXENS 51 (Kumwenda 27, Barkmeyer 13, Stanton 11).

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Demons champion met with three clubs before re-signing in 2008


Melbourne champion Brad Green came close to leaving the club in 2008.

Green met with Sydney, Carlton and Collingwood after the struggling Demons finished last on the ladder in Dean Bailey’s first season as senior coach.

But after much thought, Green decided to remain loyal to Melbourne, signing a three-year contract extension and going on to captain the club in 2011.

“It must have been after Dean’s first year,” Green told SEN’s This Is Your Sporting Life thanks to Tobin Brothers Funerals.

“I went and had meetings with Sydney, Carlton and Collingwood, and I probably got the closest to leaving to the Pies.

“That’s the closest I ever got to leaving the club.

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“But in the end, loyalty is a big thing with me. I got to halfway through trade week, I walked into Dean Bailey’s office and I said, ‘I can’t do this anymore, I want to sign, I want to stay’.

“It was just eating me up the more I thought about leaving the club when they were at their lowest, and I wanted to help them get success.

“That’s the reason why I stayed. Loyalty was, and still is, a big thing for me. I wanted to stay, I wanted to help the club.”

Green, 40, debuted in 2000 played 254 games for the Demons, kicking 350 goals.

Quaddie EDM@2x





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NRL 2021: Tony Williams apology, Jarryd Hayne sexual assault, rape, jail sentence, Instagram post


Ex-NRL star Tony Williams has apologised for shaming the victim of Jarryd Hayne’s sexual assault case following huge backlash to his Instagram post that included two of his contracts being torn up.

After Hayne was sentenced to five years and nine months for sexual assaulting a young woman in September, 2018, Williams took to Instagram ridiculing the victim and the justice system for sending “an innocent brotherly to jail.” He also called them “Fn dogs” and a “bunch of flops.”

As a result Williams’ current Ron Massey Cup contract with the Windsor Wolves was torn up and his 2022 contract with NARL club New York Freedom was also terminated.

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Now, Williams has apologised for the hurt he has caused and his choice of words, via his Instagram account and also The Sydney Morning Herald.

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Super Rugby AU 2021 final: Queensland Reds beat Brumbies, results, James O’Connor, scores, updates, highlights


It was written in the stars, wasn’t it?

Having won twice throughout the regular season with the last play of the game, the Reds did it again to steal the match at the death and secure their first Super Rugby title in a decade.

The Brumbies, resilient all match, gave it their all and had the chance to bury the game when Folau Fainga’a had a lineout throw with 90 seconds remaining.

But the Wallaby’s throw went long and Fraser McReight, the Junior Wallabies captain and Michael Hooper’s heir apparent, picked up the ball and raced forward.

Moments later the Reds had another penalty advantage, a two-person numerical advantage and one Taniela Tupou.



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Why the Wallabies are now favourites against France


I suspect France will field weaker teams in Tests one and two, then throw in all their best available players off a four-day break for the third match at Suncorp Stadium.

There will inevitably be a lack of cohesion, while the Wallabies could potentially have close to four weeks of preparation going into the first Test if no Australian sides make the final of Super Rugby Trans-Tasman.

Australia should be trying to blast France off the park by playing their best team possible in Sydney and Melbourne, with a six-day break in between, and hope they’ve locked the series up.

While the Europeans’ preparation will be compromised, it would also not surprise to see France produce something special and blow Australia away. They’re that enigmatic.

At the 1999 World Cup, I was in the New Zealand team that lost to France 43-31 in the semi-final. Looking back, it’s all the more remarkable given that four months earlier we thumped them 54-7 in Wellington. At Twickenham, we led 24-10 after 44 minutes, before a 30-minute blitz saw France score 33 unanswered points and send us packing.

In February of 2020, France knocked off England, who’d made a World Cup final three months earlier, with a team of nobodies. They have an innate ability to produce incredible performances.

They can beat the reigning world champions by 30 points, then lose to a tier-two nation a week later.

Fraser McReight of Reds celebrates after  beating the Brumbies earlier this year.

Fraser McReight of Reds celebrates after beating the Brumbies earlier this year.Credit:Getty

However, if it was a Wallabies and France World Cup final tomorrow and all players were available, with adequate preparation, I think Les Bleus would get the job done. Just.

I’ve also been pleasantly surprised by the form of promising Wallabies players in Super Rugby. They’re really benefiting from the derby system and a condensed Super Rugby format before Kiwi games kick-off next week.

Should Australia be blooding players in this France series? Not necessarily.

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While nations all now operate in four-year World Cup cycles, with just over two years to go there is still plenty of time to integrate new players and game plans in a team environment.

Even if some players are close to their expiry date and won’t make it to France in 2023, who cares. Momentum is imperative.

By the same token, three Tests in such quick succession means you’re going to have to change your team.

I’d give Queensland No.7 Fraser McReight his first start. He has the sort of relentless approach needed to be a top-class on-baller. He’s constantly on the go, chasing everything down, being a nuisance and possesses an enthusiastic attitude that is invaluable.

The same goes for playmaker Noah Lolesio, who, after a tough debut against New Zealand in Sydney, has rebounded well this season. His goalkicking is good and he’s been assured. You can’t think of many glaring errors he’s made and that’s reasonably unusual for a No.10.

As for the Wednesday (Sydney) and Tuesday (Melbourne) evening matches, think of it like this: rugby won’t be up against the NRL and AFL. It’s quite possible you can get an even broader audience who are quite keen to watch international sport when they don’t have their usual fix.

I can’t wait.

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