Ex-Storm ace Vunivalu joins Wallabies camp


NRL premiership-winning star Suliasi Vunivalu will get his first taste of the Wallabies when he joins their training camp in the NSW Hunter Valley on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old called an end to Melbourne’s NRL grand final celebrations to focus on the next stage of his career, which is a return to rugby union.

The winger signed a two-year deal with the Queensland Reds and Rugby Australia.

While he’s highly unlikely to play a role in Australia’s remaining two Tri-Nations Tests against Argentina, the camp will be an initiation for Vunivalu.

His former Melbourne teammate Marika Koroibete trod the same path when he switched codes after the Storm’s NRL grand final loss to Cronulla in 2016.

Koroibete joined the Wallabies in Europe on their Spring tour although didn’t make his Test debut until September the following year and has since established himself as one of the side’s top performers.

Fiji-born Vunivalu played rugby as a teenager and attended Saint Kentigern College in Auckland, which produced All Blacks Joe Rokocoko and Jerome Kaino.

Vunivalu was spotted by the Storm and lured to Melbourne as an 18-year-old, and in his debut season in 2016 was the top try scorer in the NRL.

The Wallabies have already blooded two wingers through the Bledisloe Cup with Tom Wright scoring with his first touch against the All Blacks last Saturday, while Vunivalu’s new Reds teammate Filipo Daugunu has also impressed.

The Australians’ next match is against the Pumas at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle on November 21.





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GWS match Cats’ offer for AFL ace Cameron


Greater Western Sydney are playing hardball with Geelong after deciding to match the Cats’ free agency offer for star AFL forward Jeremy Cameron.

Geelong offered Cameron a mega deal believed to be worth in excess of $900,000 a seaso over five years earlier this week.

That would have netted GWS a compensation pick of No.10 but the Giants are now rolling the dice in the belief they can get something better.

By becoming the first club to match a rival team’s bid for a restricted free agent, GWS will look to net a better deal from Geelong via the trade table.

If a trade that satisfies both parties can’t be done, Cameron could head to the pre-season draft but that outcome is highly unlikely.

GWS reportedly offered Cameron a five-year deal worth about $750,000 per season earlier this year but the 27-year-old is determined to join the Cats.

The Giants have been hit hard by a mass exodus of players after their disappointing 2020 campaign.

Zac Williams joined Carlton on Friday on a lucrative six-year deal, while defender Aidan Corr joined North Melbourne on a five-year contract.

Jye Caldwell is keen to join Essendon, while small forward Zac Langdon wants to join West Coast.





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F1 ace Hamilton delays contract talks


Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton says agreeing to a new contract with Mercedes is “probably” a formality, but sitting down for talks is “not a priority right now.”

“A formality? I don’t know, maybe, probably,” Hamilton said ahead of the Portuguese Grand Prix on Sunday.

“At some stage I guess we have to sit down and have the conversation. But it’s not a priority right now.

“Getting the job done this year, for me personally, is the priority. So that’s what I’m solely focused on right now.”

Hamilton, 35, is on course to retain his world title and equal Michael Schumacher’s record of seven.

He equalled the German’s record 91 wins on October 11 at the Eifel Grand Prix and can take sole possession of that honour himself on Sunday.

Previously the Briton signed three-year contracts with Mercedes, but now said there were a few factors to consider when it comes to settling how long he wants his next deal to be – including the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I do want to stay, and I think when we do sit down, normally (when) we plan, it’s been three-year periods, but of course, we’re in a different time,” he said.

“Do I want to continue for three years is also a question – there are many, many questions still to be answered.

“Time will tell. I can’t really say too much more. Hopefully you’ll hear something in the next couple of months.”





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UFC’s Colby Covington wears ‘F*ck LeBron’ shirt as he mocks NBA ace over ratings (VIDEO) — RT Sport News



Controversial UFC star and ardent Donald Trump supporter Colby Covington has again turned his fury on Los Angeles Lakers talisman LeBron James’ political views, telling the NBA champ that his “woke bullsh*t” has drawn low ratings.

Middleweight number one Covington has repeated the attack he launched on James last month, wearing a t-shirt bearing the slogan “F*ck LeBron” while standing on a beach between two grinning women in bikinis.

Speaking in the aftermath of James and the Lakers beating Miami Heat to win the NBA title, Covington blamed the Most Valuable Player in the finals for figures that showed audience numbers had been more than 50% down on last year’s deciding series.

“Congratulations are in order for my good buddy, LeBron James,” sneered Covington, in between promoting a gambling partnership.




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UFC’s Covington blasts ‘slime in Hollywood & woke sports’ for ‘wishing harm on a 74-year-old grandfather’ as Trump battles Covid



“Congrats, LeBron, on setting the record for the least-watched NBA finals in history.

“You wish you could blame it on the pandemic but everybody’s just sick of your woke bullsh*t.

“And while the NBA’s ratings are going down, the UFC’s are going up. Just like our bank accounts.”

Covington has posed with the republican candidate for photo opportunities at one of his presidential rallies, met the head of state at the White House and repeatedly worn clothing wearing Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.

James, by contrast, was named as a “hater” by the president this week, who said he would not watch the finals and would pick former great Michael Jordan over the Lakers legend because of James’s outspoken criticism of the presiding government and support for movements including Black Lives Matter.

The forward hit back by telling Trump that his gaze would not be missed during the finals, which the Lakers won 4-2.

After a bad-tempered, politically-stoked build-up to his resounding victory over Tyron Woodley, which the president had pledged to watch, Covington used his post-fight interview to savage James and other sportspeople who oppose his fiercely-held outlook.

“I want to dedicate this fight to all the first responders, all the military out there,” he announced.

“This world would not be safe without you guys. You keep us safe – not these ‘woke’ athletes.

“I’m sick of these ‘woke’ athletes and these spineless cowards, like LeBron James.”




Also on rt.com
‘He’s a woke little b*tch’: Colby Covington shreds beaten foe Tyron Woodley, launches tirade at ‘spineless’ LeBron James and BLM





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Port won’t tag Tiger ace Martin in AFL


Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley reckons it will take his entire team to put the clamps on Richmond megastar Dustin Martin in Friday night’s AFL preliminary final.

The Brownlow medallist looms as the game-breaker in the Adelaide Oval encounter to decide which club secures a grand final spot.

But Hinkley says he won’t deploy a hard tag on Martin, instead asking all his players to be mindful of not only the Tigers great, but his teammates.

“Collectively the job on any of their players will be done by the team, that is what will happen,” Hinkley said.

“Dusty is a great player.

“But it’s a prelim final. There’s great players out there everywhere and that is why it’s exciting.

“It’s Richmond’s great players and Port Adelaide’s great players – there’s some concern for both teams.

“That is why you go into a prelim final and you’re on edge.”

Martin has played starring roles in Richmond’s preliminary finals in their premiership years of 2017 and 2019.

In a 2017 win against Greater Western Sydney he collected 20 disposals and booted three goals; in a 2019 triumph over Geelong he gathered 22 possessions and kicked two majors.

But in 2018, when the Tigers lost a preliminary final, Martin was relatively subdued by his lofty standards – 19 touches and scoreless.

The star Tiger will again by given licence to roam against Port through the midfield and in attack.

“He can make his impact in both areas of the ground,” Richmond assistant coach Adam Kingsley said.

“And pretty much where he’s having his impact, we tend to leave him.

“He’s very, very good around stoppages, very good through the midfield. But he’s also a goalscorer and a difficult match-up (in attack).

“We will just see how the game pans out to see where he’s playing.”

DUSTIN MARTIN’S PRELIMINARY FINALS

* 2017 (Richmond beat Greater Western Sydney by 36 points): 20 disposals, 3 goals 3 behinds, 4 clearances, 2 goal assists, 1 inside 50

*2018 (Richmond lose to Collingwood by 39 points): 19 disposals, no score, 0 clearances, 1 goal assist, 4 inside 50s

* 2019 (Richmond beat Geelong by 19 points): 22 disposals, 2 goals 2 behinds, 2 clearances, 0 goal assists, 4 inside 50s





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My ACE Evolution: Nancy McCarthy


To celebrate ACE’s 35th Anniversary, we interviewed 4 ACE Pros that have been with us since we started to gain some insight into how far the fitness industry has come and how we’ve evolved over the years. They also imparted some incredible career advice to the next generation of fitness pros. 

Watch his #MyACEvolution below and share yours this month for a chance to win a FREE Specialist Program

Nancy McCarthy’s #MyACEvolution

Meet the unstoppable Nancy, an ACE Certified Health Coach, Gold ACE Certified Group Fitness and Personal Trainer, and RRCA Certified Running Coach. With over 35 years of experience in the fitness and health industry, Nancy inspires clients to celebrate their gift of life by adopting lifestyle habits that contribute to better health. 

Her passion led her to found Get Real Fitness and own multiple boutique gyms, where she’s had the opportunity to train hundreds of clients of all ages and fitness levels as well as lead group Boot Camps, Running Camps, Stretching Classes, Classes for Seniors, Spinning Classes and Fitness Vacations. Nancy practices what she preaches, having completed 30 marathons – including 13 qualified Boston Marathons – and even holding the New England 30K title for Masters Women for nearly 10 years. 

Share your #MyACEvolution!

Do you have an inspiring story like Nancy?

Celebrate our 35th anniversary with us by posting your #MyACEvolution on Instagram and inspiring other fitness professionals and enthusiasts! Every week in October, we’ll be giving away a Specialist Program to one amazing ACE Pro who has shared their career story with us. You’ve helped us evolve, now we want to share your evolution with the rest of the world!

Watch Fred Hoffman’s #MyACEvolution, who like Nancy, has been certified by ACE for 35 years.



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Whitey Ford, Hall of Fame ace for mighty Yankees, died at 91


The team said Friday the Hall of Famer died at his Long Island home in Lake Success, New York, while watching the Yankees in a playoff game. His wife of 69 years, Joan, and family members were with him.

On a franchise long defined by power hitters, Ford was considered its greatest starting pitcher. Not big and not overpowering, the wily left-hander played in the majors from 1950-67, all with the Yankees, and teamed with the likes of Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio and Yogi Berra to win six championships.

“If you were a betting man, and if he was out there pitching for you, you’d figure it was your day,” former teammate and World Series MVP Bobby Richardson told The Associated Press on Friday.

Ford won 236 games and lost just 106, a winning percentage of .690. He would help symbolize the almost machinelike efficiency of the Yankees in the mid-20th century, when only twice between Ford’s rookie year and 1964 did they fail to make the World Series.

The blond-haired Ford was nicknamed “Whitey” while still in the minor leagues, and quickly reached the mound at Yankee Stadium.

His death occurred in a month when he for so long soared on baseball’s biggest stage, and hours before his Yankees played Tampa Bay in a decisive Game 5 of the AL Division Series.

“He would have been the starting pitcher in this game for the Yankees in years past,” Richardson said.

The World Series record book is crowded with Ford’s accomplishments. His string of 33 consecutive scoreless innings from 1960-62 broke a record of 29 2-3 innings set by Babe Ruth. Ford still holds records for World Series games and starts (22), innings pitched (146), wins (10) and strikeouts (94).

Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera, the only player unanimously elected to the Hall, let set the postseason record for consecutive innings — a majority of them in the AL playoffs.

“Whitey earned his status as the ace of some of the most memorable teams in our sport’s rich history,” baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “Beyond the Chairman of the Board’s excellence on the mound, he was a distinguished ambassador for our national pastime throughout his life.”

Ford died on the 64th anniversary of the single greatest pitching performance in Yankees history — Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series. Larsen died on New Year’s Day this year.

Ford also made Oct. 8 a special day, surpassing Ruth’s mark for consecutive shutout innings on that date in the 1961 Series. Ford was the MVP of that Fall Classic, twice beating Cincinnati.

“Mickey was hurt and we had a lot of backups in there against the Reds,” teammate Tony Kubek told The Associated Press. “We won that because of Whitey’s pitching.”

Ford was in his mid-20s when he became the go-to guy in manager Casey Stengel’s rotation, the pitcher Stengel said he would always turn to if he absolutely needed to win one game. Ford was Stengel’s choice to pitch World Series openers eight times, another record.

Ford’s best seasons came in 1961 and 1963, in the midst of a stretch of five straight AL pennants for the Yankees, when new manager Ralph Houk began using a four-man rotation instead of five. Ford led the league in victories with 25 in 1961, won the Cy Young Award and starred in the World Series. In 1963, he went 24-7, again leading the league in wins. Eight of his victories that season came in June.

He also led the AL in earned run average in 1956 (2.47) and 1958 (2.01) and was an All-Star in eight seasons.

Ford did have his World Series disappointments. He spoke bitterly of the 1960 championship, when he shut out Pittsburgh twice but was used by Stengel in Game 3 and Game 6 and so was unavailable for the finale, won 10-9 by the Pirates on Bill Mazeroski’s home run in the bottom of the ninth. In 1963, Ford was outmatched twice by Sandy Koufax as the Los Angeles Dodgers swept the Yankees.

Ford was 10-8 with a 2.71 ERA overall in the World Series. His final appearance there came in the 1964 opener when he lost to Gibson and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Unlike Gibson and Koufax, Ford was not a power pitcher. Instead he depended on guile and guts, rarely giving hitters the same look on consecutive pitches. He’d throw overhand sometimes, three-quarters other times, mixing curves and sliders in with his fastball and changeup.

Ford would also acknowledge using some special methods to add movement to his pitches, including saliva, mud and dirt and cutting the ball with a ring.

“If there are some pitchers doing it and getting away with it, that’s fine by me,” Ford told sports writer Phil Pepe, in 1987. “If it were me and I needed to cheat to be able to throw the good stuff that would keep me in the major leagues at a salary of about $800,000 a year, I’d do whatever I had to do”

After his retirement, Ford briefly worked as a broadcaster and opened a restaurant in Garden City, “Whitey Ford’s Cafe,” that closed within a year. In 2001, actor Anthony Michael Hall played Ford in the Billy Crystal-directed HBO movie “61(asterisk),” about the 1961 season and the quest of Mantle and Roger Maris to break Ruth’s single-year home run record.

Ford and Mantle were cultural opposites, an odd couple who became inseparable off the field, Ford the fast-talking city kid, Mantle the shy country boy from Oklahoma. They enjoyed the attraction of New York nightlife along with rowdy, wise-cracking infielder Billy Martin and Stengel called the trio “whiskey slick.”

Mantle shortened that to just “Slick” for Ford, who proudly used the nickname as the title of his 1987 autobiography, co-written by Pepe. (Ford in turn would coin one of baseball’s most famous nicknames, “Charlie Hustle,” for Pete Rose).

Typical of their adventures was an episode during a trip to Japan where they hooked up with a 400-pound sumo wrestler, who was accompanied by a translator. Through the evening, the wrestler never spoke, just smiling and nodding.

Then it occurred to Martin that it might be fun to sling some insults at the wrestler. Their new friend continued to nod and smile. Then, when the evening was over Martin said good night in Japanese and the wrestler nodded and said, “Thank you very much for a nice evening,” in perfect English.

It was a lesson in international diplomacy.

Ford’s son, Eddie, played shortstop when Richardson was the head coach at the University of South Carolina.

“Sometimes if we were in a slump, Whitey would offer to come down and take the boys out and get them nice and relaxed,” Richardson remembered with a chuckle. “I was like, ‘Oh, Whitey, we can’t be having any of that.'”

Kubek recalled in his rookie season in 1957, on the Yankees’ first trip to Chicago, he was invited go out with Ford, Mantle and Martin to a nightspot on rollicking Rush Street. After dinner, the three Yankees veterans all excused themselves from the table for various reasons.

“The maitre d’ comes over and hands me the bill. It was over $100. I was embarrassed, I had to tell him that I didn’t have the money,” Kubek said. “Then Whitey comes back and is laughing, he’d set the whole thing up.”

“He was like a little gremlin. He had a little Irish in him. He had a pixie-ish humor,” he said. “But on the mound, he was all business. And if you ever made an error behind him, he wouldn’t give you that look like some pitchers do. He’d just go out and get the next batter.”

After Martin was traded in the aftermath of a 1957 brawl at the Copacabana night club, Ford and Mantle remained centerpieces in the Yankees dynasty and were elected together to the Hall of Fame in 1974.

Ford often called his election the highlight of his career, made more meaningful because he was inducted with Mantle, who died in 1995.

“It never was anything I imagined was possible or anything I dared dream about when I was a kid growing up on the sidewalks of New York,” he wrote in his autobiography. “I never really thought I would make it as a kid because I always was too small.”

The Yankees retired his No. 16 the month Ford was inducted into the Hall. He worked No. 19 as a rookie, then changed it.

Edward Charles Ford was born on the East Side of Manhattan, about 100 blocks south of Yankee Stadium. H e grew up playing sandlot ball in Astoria, Queens, a section of the city that produced major leaguers Sam Mele and Tony Cuccinello and singer Tony Bennett.

The Yankees signed Ford in 1947 and three years later he was called up in midseason. At just 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds, Ford was viewed as a marginal prospect. But he won nine straight games and nailed down the 1950 World Series sweep of Philadelphia by winning the fourth game, coming within one out of a complete game.

After two years away for military service during the Korean War — he remained stateside in the Army — Ford returned to the Yankees in 1953 and, along with Mantle became the core of a team that won 10 American League pennants and five World Series in the next 12 years. Ford won 18 games in his first season back and never won fewer than 11 for 13 straight seasons.

Mantle summed it up: “He was the best pitcher I ever saw and the greatest competitor. Whitey won seven out of every 10 decisions and nobody in the history of baseball has ever done better than that.”

Ford’s death leaves Bobby Brown, who won four Series titles with the Yankees in the 1940s and ’50s, as the last living link to prominent Yankees who played with both DiMaggio and Ford. Brown is 95.

In addition to his wife and son Eddie, Ford is survived by a daughter, Sally Ann; eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Ford’s other son, Thomas, died in 1999.

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This story was principally written by former AP Sports Writer Hal Bock. AP National Writer Hillel Italie contributed.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports





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NRL improvers Gold Coast Titans defeat Manly as Sea Eagles ace Tom Trbojevic goes down injured



Tom Trbojevic sustained a shoulder injury in his long-awaited NRL return, as Manly went down to Gold Coast in a crushing 42-24 defeat at Brookvale Oval.

Playing his first match since June after being sidelined with a troublesome hamstring injury, Trbojevic was hurt attempting to make a tackle on Titans fullback AJ Brimson during the second half.

Brimson crossed for a try, with Trbojevic left with his right arm dangling by his side before he later departed the field.

Manly officials were initially hopeful the injury was only a stinger, but it comes at the worst possible time for Trbojevic.

Including Saturday’s loss, he had just two matches to impress New South Wales coach Brad Fittler before the end-of-season State of Origin series.

Trbojevic looked particularly rusty at the back on Saturday afternoon in both attack and defence, with two of his four errors coming after the shoulder injury.

His presence in attack helped Manly score one try as he drew in two defenders off the ball, while he also helped chase down Titans flyer Treymain Spry Sprei to deny him a 90-metre intercept try.

But on other occasions his injury lay-off showed, such as his failure to shadow a grubber dead that allowed Kevin Proctor to score and his fumbling of a poor Tevita Funa pass in the lead-up to another Titans try.

Regardless, the Sea Eagles were completely outplayed by the Titans, who posted their equal-highest score in their 14-year history.

The Titans have now won four straight matches for the first time since 2014. They are ninth on the ladder after being tipped by a number of commentators to collect the wooden spoon.

Brimson scored two tries, including an 80-metre effort that left referee Matt Noyen with an injured hamstring after Young Tonumaipea found his teammate from a 20-metre tap.

Tonumaipea also claimed a brace, making the most of a 60-metre intercept from Corey Thompson for his second.

Thompson finished the match off with a hamstring injury after earlier scoring a try, while Sam Stone and Spry scored the Titans’ other tries.

The result means Manly will finish the season with just one win from seven matches at its home ground Brookvale Oval.

AAP/ABC



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Jack comes up with an ace for the Blues


In the confusion of the moment the umpires got themselves confused and let the wrong player take the kick. It went to Newnes when it should have been the closer player Gibbons taking the shot. So in this case, the wrong player was absolutely the right player for that kick, unless you follow Freo in which case the wrong player was absolutely the wrong player.

Newnes has not, and will not, take a better kick than that. It was in slippery conditions. It was on the boundary. It was a long way out. It was after the siren so not only did the outcome of the match ride on it, he could not run around to open the angle.

Given all of that it feels churlish to have questioned whether he should have had the kick in the first place. But that kerfuffle and animation only created a counterpoint to the calmness of Newnes and the clear-headed surety of his kick.

Newnes was the star and the player to be remembered for the result but the more understated star of the night was Sam Walsh. It’s doubtful there was a Carlton player better on the night.

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The argument over who is the best draftee in a year is relevant only when judging recruiters, not players. Whether you like him as the best player or the fifth best of that draft is a personal choice, but what is beyond argument is that Sam Walsh is an elite player.

He will play 250 or more games and maybe captain the club. He shaped the game as much as anyone on Saturday night, his hands were clean in unclean conditions, his thinking was clear. He had poise, maturity and understanding.

But Newnes made sure they got the four points.

DRIFTING PIES

In mitigation of the Pies loss to the Demons, it is accepted that Collingwood was playing their fourth game in 13 days, and each of those in a different state. There were injuries to key players before the game and more injuries to key players before half-time in the game.

And yet these factors only magnified existing problems, they were not the main issue. Collingwood’s inability to score is not new problem nor a product of a compressed fixture. The cluttered draw did not make them move the ball as badly as they did.

Flaky Pies: Collingwood players react after the loss to Melbourne.

Flaky Pies: Collingwood players react after the loss to Melbourne.Credit:Getty Images

Ben Reid’s injury typified Collingwood. At 31, with legs muscles like tired dishcloth it was not a surprise he would kick two goals then be off before half-time with another soft tissue injury. He is a well-loved club man whose best is still very good, but his body is unwilling and has been for some time.

Ideally Will Kelly would have been their key forward all year. But he has played one game, a premiership hope cannot be brought undone because a first-gamer didn’t get to a second game.

Brodie Grundy looks tired after the workload he has carried, and he may well be sore, but he has been well below par for two months.

For a third match this year the opposition has kicked extraordinarily accurately. Melbourne booted 16.4, Fremantle kicked 10.1 and the Eagles 18.3. In three games the opposition has kicked 44.8.

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At some point you have to accept it’s a trend not a series of uncanny nights. Collingwood’s impotent attack was always saved by the protection afforded by their defence-first philosophy of not being scored against. Now they are being scored against easily and they can’t counteract that by scoring.

They have changed ball movement from early in the year when they controlled possession and have since tried moving it faster and to contests to give their forwards a better chance. But they are turning the ball over which leaves the backline more exposed, and still the forwards are not getting a fair look at the ball.

The crucial missing pieces this year might not just be Jeremy Howe and Jordan De Goey but Justin Longmuir.

It is not only coincidence his arrival as an assistant coach to control their backline and team defence at the end of 2017 heralded the improvement on the field and his departure begat the drop away.

DEMON WEED

He carries a Collingwood name but Sam Weideman carries Melbourne hopes. This was as impressive as the young forward has looked and as punishing as Melbourne’s attack has looked in a long time.

Pick of the bunch: Melbourne's No.9 draft pick Sam Weideman.

Pick of the bunch: Melbourne’s No.9 draft pick Sam Weideman.Credit:Getty Images

Playing closer to goal, he was often opposed by Darcy Moore and held his own in marking contests. His running has been a query but he covered ground and got to smart places. His hands are sure and he kicks well.

You can read too much into a belting win but the look of Melbourne with him forward, even without Luke Jackson alongside him, was a persuasive set up.

FLYING DOG

Easton Wood’s grab against the Crows was as clean, elegant and simplistically pleasing as any grab taken this year.

He got his foot on Fischer McAsey’s shoulder and hung there. It was a day everything started to click for the Dogs.

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