It’s impossible to set the world on fire every single week, but the best teams win even when considerably short of their best. This summed up Melbourne on Sunday, defeating Hawthorn 15.14 (104) to 8.6 (54).
Sans Steven May in defence, and without Bayley Fritsch, Sam Weideman or Ben Brown in attack, the Dees were arguably ripe for the picking, having started the season 4-0 and with one eye on a blockbuster clash against Richmond next Saturday night.
Hawthorn are a long way off the pace in 2021 but have proven to be more than a bit pesky. And for three and a bit quarters they ran with Melbourne, defending resolutely, capitalising on ferocious pressure in attack, and benefiting from general Demon sloppiness in what was not a game replete with displays of skill.
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Carl Veart praised Adelaide United’s spirit as his side fought back with a gutsy second half performance to ruin Sydney FC’s night at Leichhardt Oval.
Bobo’s brace either side of half time wasn’t enough for the Sky Blues as the visitors struck late through Jordan Elsey and Tomi Juric to earn a well deserved 2-2 draw.
At 2-0 with 15 minutes to play, Sydney were edging towards a crucial win before Adelaide made a classy comeback and ensured a nervy finish.
“To come back from 2-0 down against the champions, I thought it showed tremendous spirit and character,” Veart said.
“I thought we had good control of the game. On another night we could have won the game.”
Sydney coach Steve Corica was left frustrated after watching his team concede a late equaliser for the second consecutive match.
“We conceded two sloppy goals and it was costly,” he said.
“At 2-0 I thought we were quite comfortable. Obviously when one goal goes in it causes a few problems and a few people start to panic and I think we did that.
“Once they got the second half they were on top of us.”
The result sees Adelaide join the Central Coast Mariners in second spot on the ladder, while the Sky Blues are three points further back as the race for a finals spot becomes too close to call.
It was as tight a start to the game as the race for the top six is.
Adelaide just dominated possession, but Sydney came within inches of taking the lead in the 10th minute when Milos Ninkovic’s ball across the goal just eluded the on-coming Bobo.
Then, barely five minutes later, Kosta Barbarouses had a glorious chance that he hit straight to the goalkeeper.
But it wouldn’t be much longer before the deadlock was eventually broken, with the Sky Blues providing a goal to relish.
Ninkovic’s exquisite through ball found Alex Baumjohann and the German squared the ball to Bobo, who tucked the ball into the back of the net.
It was the Brazilian’s 47th goal for Sydney, as he continues to prove himself as one of the A-League’s most lethal strikers.
Adelaide dropped off the pace slightly after conceding, but fought back to finish the half strongly.
Juric had a great effort that spun just wide of the post minutes before the break, which ended 1-0 to the champions.
And it took just five minutes after the break for the Sky Blues to double their lead, again through Bobo, when the Brazilian was on hand to poke the ball home after Barbarouses’ initial effort was saved by Joe Gauci.
Adelaide had a couple of good chances and finally got one back through Jordan Elsey in the 75th minute, before Juric equalised with a free kick four minutes later.
The visitors held their own all night and thoroughly deserved to take a point home, with Sydney holding on after Rhyan Grant was sent off with a minute to go for bringing down Craig Goodwin as the last man.
TIGHT AT THE TOP
Sydney FC will rue their missed chance to go further up the table with the race for the top six far too close to call.
Every team down to Western United in 8th spot can qualify for the finals, while Melbourne City, the Central Coast Mariners and Adelaide United are separated by just one point at the top.
Alexander Baumjohann put in one of his best performance in a Sky Blues shirt. He pulled the strings and had a hand in both goals Bobo scored. His efforts were recognised by the Sydney supporters, who gave him a rousing reception when he was substituted in the second half.
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It may well be the fastest sport you’ve never heard of, but speed stacking is serious business.
Jaydyn Coggins first became interested in speed stacking when he was six
He recently won a world championship title in the sport
He will compete in another event next week
Simply put, speed stacking is the art of stacking cups up and down in varying sequences in the fastest time possible.
Jaydyn Coggins is one of Australia’s best stackers and holds multiple national and world records.
His love for the sport came from humble beginnings.
“I was around six years old, I saw it in kindergarten and saw some plastic cups lying around and thought, ‘Why not have a stack with them,'” he said.
He put his skills to the test last weekend at the World Speed Stacking Association’s World Championships, which were held virtually.
After months of training and preparation, the 18-year-old’s confidence was sky high leading into the event.
“I was expecting myself to be up there in the top three for sure,” he said.
“I was in amazing form. I thought no-one could stop me except two people.”
But things did not go to plan for the teenager in the opening rounds of two events.
“It was a roller-coaster ride. I had two of my stacks unfortunately get scratched, which means they don’t count, so I couldn’t compete in the finals in those two events,” he said.
“It was really disappointing because I thought all the work I put in over the past three or four months had just gone to waste.”
World champion crown ‘pretty cool’
Those scratchings came in the 3-3-3 and the 3-6-3 events, but it was to his favourite event — the cycle — that he brought his A-game.
Making his way to the cycle final, his fastest time of 5.307 seconds was quick enough to crown him world champion in the 17 to 18-year-old male category.
Coggins’s mother, Rachel Flierl, was watching on during the competition and said she was impressed with her son’s performance.
“I’m super proud of Jaydyn. He just constantly amazes me actually,” she said.
“With this tournament, having the big disappointment of getting scratched for his 3-3-3 and 3-6-3, I was most proud of how he came back from that and focused on his cycle event.
“[Him] recovering from the disappointment is one of my proudest moments.”
Because this year’s event was held virtually, Coggins spent long periods of time waiting while other competitors stacked on the other side of the world.
It was this element that he said came with pros and cons.
“It was better for my nerves, but it was worse because not being able to hang out with friends often is just boring,” he said.
While he was not competing, Coggins was able to keep a close eye on the rest of the field through a live stream of the event.
It was a nervous wait for him, having competed nearly 24 hours before finally being crowned the best in the world.
The cups used for competition appear to be just like any other disposable plastic cup, but the secret to their speed lies within their special design.
“They’re not any ordinary cup, and sorry people, you cannot drink out of them,” Coggins said.
“The newer cups have medium-sized holes in them … which is supposed to allow for quicker times to be possible.”
Coggins starred in the documentary Stackorama! which recently aired on the ABC.
It followed his preparation and competition at the 2018 World Championships in Orlando, Florida, where he was also crowned world champion for his age group for the 3-6-3 stack.
He has been thrust into the spotlight more times since, making a number of appearances on TV and being blown away by the support he has received.
“It’s been amazing,” he said. The feedback that I’ve got from the people watching it was incredible.”
Coggins’s next international competition is in a week’s time.
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Testing results have shown a decrease in the levels of COVID-19 traces in Adelaide’s wastewater.
Levels of coronavirus detected in Adelaide’s wastewater have decreased
SA Health says results are still high
The results are likely from old cases or undetected cases within the community
SA Health authorities first reported on Sunday they had detected coronavirus in sewage from the north-eastern portion of Adelaide’s CBD, where the majority of Adelaide Fringe festival events are held.
On Thursday, SA Health said while results from testing on Wednesday night were still high, there was a decrease in levels.
SA Health said the two most likely explanations were virus shedding in old cases along with the concentration of visitors in the Adelaide CBD or undetected cases within the community.
The northern parts of Adelaide’s CBD have been frequented by tens of thousands of people during the festival season.
For several days, authorities have been urging anyone who has had any coronavirus symptoms and has been in the CBD in the past week to get a COVID-19 test.
It comes as the state recorded three new COVID-19 cases on Thursday.
One case was a woman in her thirties who recently returned from overseas and has been in a medi-hotel since her arrival.
The other two cases are a man in his twenties and a woman in her fifties who are both considered to have old infections.
SA Health said they had included the latter cases in South Australia’s numbers because the man and woman had not been diagnosed and counted overseas.
‘Very small’ chance positive results are from local case
Epidemiologist Catherine Bennett said the odds the positive results stemmed from a local case were very low.
“We’ve got a history now of no community transmission across Australia that extends beyond multiple incubation periods,” she said.
While the testing area does not include medi-hotels housing positive cases, it does include hotels where returned travellers carry out their quarantine period.
“Because we don’t test our returned travellers every day, it is possible they are picking up a family who is positive in hotel quarantine but hasn’t yet been detected through the internal testing process,” Ms Bennett said.
Ms Bennett said people who have had the infection can intermittently shed the virus for up to three months
“Holidays, festivals, movement of people, can shift the pattern and then you might start to detect some positives if you’ve got these ‘shedders’ moving through,” she said.
“We hope it’s that, but let’s get the testing numbers up so we detect anything else that might be going on very early and then it won’t be a problem even with the festivals underway.”
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“I had a lot of things going through my head. I just wanted to kick the goal and I did. It’s a great feeling.”
Under Chris Connolly, Fremantle has now played in five matches decided by less than a goal, the Dockers winning four of them.
After the match, Connolly was quick to sing the praises of Farmer.
“That’s basically what he was recruited to do,” Connolly said of Farmer’s contribution to the Dockers’ 10th win of the year.
“He creates a lot of goals and makes the opposition really reactive.”
The goal brought a huge roar from the crowd of 31,225 and with only one minute 23 seconds to play the Dockers were able to hold on to claim victory, 13.13 (91) to 13.12 (90).
Farmer, whose four goals for the match equalled Brett Burton’s contribution for the Crows, was again a hero.
But it has not always been the case for the talented sharpshooter since the the Dockers brought him home from Melbourne on a big contract at the end of 2001.
He has had to carry a huge weight of expectation among Dockers’ supporters.
After yesterday’s nailbiter, Adelaide coach Gary Ayres said he was disappointed that his team has thrown away a chance to grab second spot on the ladder.
“It is a game of inches,” said Ayres.
“As far as the close ones go we can’t get over the line.”
He was disappointed with his side’s delivery into the forward line and said there were no excuses despite the withdrawal of Wayne Carey (knee), Scott Welsh (back) and Kris Massie (hip).
“We gave ourselves more than ample opportunity to win the game today, but it was just a case of, right across the board in the second quarter . . . you can allow a team eight goals to two,” Ayres said. “Our ineffectiveness in our delivery inside our forward line today was as poor as I have seen for some time.”
Ayres expected the injured trio to be available for next Sunday’s match against St Kilda at AAMI Stadium.
The Dockers have equalled their best season – 10 wins under Gerard Neesham in 1997 – and are now two wins away from a first finals spot.
In the last six rounds they play Sydney, Richmond, Kangaroos, the Western Bulldogs, Essendon and West Coast. “You can’t underestimate any of the six teams we have got ahead,” Connolly said.
“I think the Western Bulldogs had a convincing win today and Richmond will get back on the scoreboard at some stage. And the other teams are in the eight.
“It is a tough six games and we are going to find out a lot about our playing squad as the weeks unfold.”
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The final siren sounds and the Brisbane Lions have broken through for their first AFLW premiership!
After falling short at the final hurdle in 2017 and 2018, Brisbane and their coach Craig Starcevich finally taste the ultimate success, beating Adelaide 6.2.38 to 3.2.20.
The result was achieved largely on the back of a brilliant defensive effort which saw them repel almost every attacking foray that the Crows threw at them.
Despite comfortably winning the inside-50 battle 44-23, Adelaide could only manage three goals while the Lions scored six. It was a rope-a-dope performance that the great Muhammad Ali would’ve been proud of!
Anderson (23), Bates (23) and Lutkins (18) were Brisbane’s leading ball winners, and their goals came from Hodder (2), Wuetschner (2), Arnell and Dawes.
Hatchard (20), Thompson (18) and Marinoff (16) led the disposals for Adelaide, and Thompson, Ponter and Jones were their goalkickers.
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In a letter addressed to Lions fans before the start of the 2021 AFLW grand final, Emily Bates penned what she called a “true cliche”:
Against the star power of Erin Phillips, Ebony Marinoff, Anne Hatchard and the other usual suspects, Brisbane did indeed prove Bates — who would finish the final as the game’s equal highest possession-getter — and the cliche true in their 18-point victory over Adelaide.
As Bates — a member of the leadership group — would go on to write, it is true that the Lions “do not rely on individual star power”.
In fact, as reported last week, the Lions have had nothing short of an exodus of talent as a consequence of the competition’s expansion — losing eight players in 2019 to the Gold Coast including their former captain and vice-captain Leah Kaslar and Sam Virgo.
As if that wasn’t enough, they lost marquees in Sabrina Frederick and Tayla Harris to Richmond and Carlton respectively, Kate McCarthy and Nat Exon to St Kilda and the quartet of Kaitlyn Ashmore, Tahlia Randall, Jamie Stanton (now at Gold Coast) and Brittany Gibson to North Melbourne in 2018.
The laundry list of body blows makes the underdogs’ victory over the Crows — in front of a typically hostile South Australian crowd of 22,934 — even more impressive.
It also speaks to the culture of a club that withstood every challenge it has faced this season — including last-minute COVID-induced changes that, in just one example, had players confined to their hotel before their final match of the season after a Brisbane-based outbreak.
“We have a pretty special culture at this club,” said captain Emma Zielke at the pre-game press conference, who injured her right hamstring during the game.
“One of the things the girls always talk about is how much they enjoy getting down to the club.
“Whether it’s preseason, whether we’re getting smashed in the hot sun or on game day … it’s the culture, the energy and enjoyment that you have that breeds success because you want to be around each other as much as possible.”
Defence win premierships
While Brisbane might not have the star-studded team the Crows are renowned for, they do rely on a rock-solid backline, proving yet another sporting cliche true: defences win premierships.
Unbelievably, the Crows dominated the Grand Final inside 50s 44-24 (the sixth most in an AFLW game), but scored just three goals. The Lions, meanwhile, recorded an incredible 40 rebound 50s.
All day, Adelaide wasted scoring opportunities with poor inside 50 entries, causing them to — as Chyloe Kurdas commented on ABC Grandstand — “capitulate in a way we haven’t seen” in the competition’s history.
That was credit to the relentless pressure the entire Lions team applied — but also to their brilliant backline.
According to Champion Data, Kate Lutkins — who was deservedly crowned best on ground — had 10 rebound 50s, including seven contested possessions to go with her 18 disposals.
Lutkins also played the match carrying an injury — she tore the plantar fascia in her left foot in round eight — a remarkable achievement given her performance.
But the medal could just have easily gone to the entire Brisbane defence, with Bri Koenen enormous with six rebound 50s of her own and Koenen, Lutkins and Shannon Campbell taking 17 marks between them.
On a day when they lost their skipper Zielke, it was also telling that all of Campbell, Lutkins and Koenen are members of the club’s official leadership team.
Leaders again felled on big stage
In the lead-up to the AFLW’s biggest game of 2021, all talk focused on the outstanding leadership of Adelaide skipper Chelsea Randall, who missed the chance to clinch a third premiership for her club under the AFL’s newly-introduced concussion protocols.
The rules force players to miss a minimum of 12 days if they are affected by concussion, but the Crows skipper was rightly lauded for ruling herself out from the game despite having the option to undergo additional concussion testing on the Monday after the preliminary final where she brutally collided with Melbourne’s Eliza McNamara.
In a video recorded for her club’s website, Randall said she had made the decision because fighting to play would have sent the wrong message to “grassroots footballers”.
“When I was 20, I was watching an E-division grand final and a young man died in front of my eyes. The week prior he’d been concussed; went to seven different doctors, got approval to play, was the captain of his team. [At the game] he received a normal bump at the centre square and never got back up.”
No-one could say that Adelaide would have won with Randall playing, but her absence was even more painful for the Crows on a day when their stand-in skipper Ange Foley was likewise hit with a knee injury.
To the naked eye, the incident eerily appeared to take place on the same patch of grass where then co-captain Erin Phillips was struck down with an ACL in 2019.
In front of 53,034 in 2019, Phillips’ ACL brought a hush to an otherwise boisterous crowd before she went on to win best on ground and a Premiership medallion.
In 2021, however, the game’s best player was as uncharacteristically quiet as her team, while the one-eyed crowd had already fallen silent until eventually — surreally — the crowd broke out into a “Lions” chant with just minutes remaining on the clock.
Once again, the letter Bates penned to fans read almost like a premonition:
The Lions’ spirit not only shielded them. It roared them into contention with Adelaide for the AFLW’s champion team after three grand finals in five seasons and now — finally — a premiership.
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Port Adelaide 15.6 (96) d Carlton 9.14 (68) Best: Power – Gray, Wines, Amon, Boak, Georgiades. Blues: Walsh, Cripps, Doherty, Casboult, Williams. Crowd: 32,893 at the MCG
Port Adelaide backed up from their statement win over Richmond with a business-like victory over Carlton at the MCG on Saturday night.
The Power, now 4-1, aspire to win the grand final at the MCG and this was the first of two visits to the ground during the home-and-away campaign and they looked comfortable on the wide expanses.
Carlton, now 2-3, showed glimpses of being able to run with the Power, especially in the opening term as Sam Walsh (29 disposals, one goal) and Patrick Cripps led the charge, but they couldn’t keep up with the dashing, direct ball movement of the Power; nor could they keep hold of the visitors forwards with Robbie Gray, Mitch Georgiades, Charlie Dixon and Orazio Fantasia combining for 10 goals.
Ollie Wines (32 disposals) and Travis Boak (29 disposals) were exceptional in the middle while the likes of running midfielder Karl Amon and intercept defender Aliir Aliir showed they are right on top of their roles in the Power side.
Adam Saad, Sam Doherty, Zac Williams, Harry McKay, Levi Casboult and Eddie Betts all had good moments for the Blues and in the last term they reduced the margin with some late goals.
One day the Blues might be as good as the Power but right now Port Adelaide are a team with the premiership in their sights and Carlton are well back in the field.
Mitch McGovern returned to the Blues for the first time this season kicking a goal and picking up a few possessions.
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The Blues might have applied some cosmetic surgery to the scoreboard in the end, but make no mistake, this game was well and truly over by three-quarter time.
Port Adelaide emphatically won the disposals 400-334 and marks 110-95 while also getting the edge in contested possessions 141-134.
Amazingly, the Blues had 10 more inside 50s (58-48) and four more clearances (36-32), but as has been the case for most of the year for them, they were way too inefficient.
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Global tech giant Google is poised to announce the establishment of an Adelaide office, InDaily understands.
Premier Steven Marshall set his sights on attracting Google’s head office to Adelaide in 2018, not long after he was elected, but that pitch came to a dead end.
However, Google is now poised to announce it will establish a presence in Adelaide, but not the shift of its head office, according to sources who have knowledge of the announcement.
The Premier’s office would not comment when asked by InDaily about the impending announcement today.
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Google Australia also did not respond to InDaily’s queries this morning.
Google currently has two offices in Australia located in Melbourne and Sydney.
Marshall put a proposal to Google in 2018 to relocate to South Australia, after the NSW Government rejected a proposal to build a mixed-used technology hub in Sydney with Google as the anchor tenant.
“We would bend over backwards to get Google to South Australia because they’re a great international company which inspires young people,” Marshall told reporters in April 2018.
“South Australia and in particular Adelaide has got a huge amount to offer Google.”
The premier at the time said one of the possible locations offered to Google was the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site, now known as the innovation hub Lot Fourteen.
The former Labor government also made a pitch in 2015 for Google to come to South Australia.
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