North Melbourne, Adam Saad, Tony Jones and more


On SEN’s the Captain’s Run, Kane Cornes was posed five over or under scenarios about the upcoming sporting landscape.

Cornes was asked to declare his thoughts on the scenarios and whether they would meet the over/under mark.

See his thoughts below:

OVER/UNDER: North Melbourne will return to the finals in 3.5 years

Kane says: OVER

“It’s tough to be a North Melbourne supporter. They’re going to quickly find out what happens when you give away all of your players.

“It’s similar to what Adelaide did and maybe it’s the right strategy, time will tell, but it’s going to be a brutal year for them.

“I heard David King say he’s tipping Hawthorn to win the wooden spoon. I don’t think the Hawks are going to have a great year, but you would think North Melbourne is the obvious choice for the wooden spoon.

“Ben Buckley said his expectation for new coach David Noble is to be winning finals in two to three year’s time, which is a completely unrealistic timeframe.

“So 3.5 years, I’m going to go the over on that one.”

OVER/UNDER: Adam Saad to have 95 bounces this year

Kane says: OVER

“This is a pretty simple one for me. With the new rule, you’d have to think that is way over 95.

“A handball receive to Adam Saad from any free kick in the back half, bounce, bounce launch it to 10 metres out and that’ll put the opposition under pressure.

“He had 95 in 2018, he’s going to go over that this year.”

OVER/UNDER: Shane Mumford plays 10 games this year

Kane says: OVER

“He played 10 games from 17 last year, so they were forced to wheel him out there for 10 games even though they recruited Sam Jacobs.

“Finally, the Giants go and get a decent ruckman and Braydon Preuss is flying until he gets a pretty nasty shoulder injury that will keep him out most of the year.

“I don’t know who their next rucks are. Phil Davis mentioned some names to me, but nothing there excites me, I reckon they’re going to be forced to play over 10 games of Shane Mumford.

“What’s he doing on the list? He said this week he doesn’t want to play, well mate you’re on a list so clearly the Giants are trying to exploit the soft cap and pay him through the salary cap and use him as a coach rather than a player, but they may be forced to bandage him up and get him out there for 10 games this year.”

OVER/UNDER: Dustin Martin to play 400 games

Kane says: Under

“He’s going to go close, but I don’t think he’ll get to 400, Dusty. There’s four 400 game players in the history of the game.

“He’s 29, he’s got 244 games. If he plays for eight more years until he’s 38 (as his manager Ralph Carr suggested he could), that’s 20 games a year, we’ll give him a couple off for injury, it’s borderline.

“I don’t think Dusty will get there, but perhaps 375 games will be a good number for what is going to be an unbelievable career.”

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OVER/UNDER: Tony Jones’ infamous Bec Judd kiss to be shown on the Sunday Footy Show 15 times this year

Kane says: OVER

“That’s easy. That’s over. The group text has started for the Sunday Footy Show boys, we’ll be back the Sunday of Round 1.

“It is topical because MAFS is back, I haven’t been watching a lot of it but my wife Lucy does, there was a kiss fail between one of the couples, and I think the Daily Mail wrote an article comparing it to Tony Jones’ failed kiss with Bec Judd.

“He hates it. Last year he stormed off set. He gave the producers the word that we are not to play this again, but I can almost guarantee you it’ll be played at least 15 times this year.”





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Brisbane ends Fremantle’s 11-match AFLW winning run, Western Bulldogs too strong for Giants


Fremantle’s record 11-match AFLW winning streak is over following an upset loss to the Brisbane Lions.

The Dockers’ first goal of Saturday’s match did not come until deep in the final quarter, when Roxy Roux’s 45-metre set shot reduced the Lions’ lead to five points with 90 seconds remaining.

But the Lions powered the ball forward from the next centre bounce and Ally Anderson kicked the sealer to silence the 3,423-strong crowd at Fremantle Oval in the Indigenous-Round match.

The 3.7 (25) to 1.8 (14) defeat was the Dockers’ first loss since the 2019 preliminary final when they went down to Carlton.

The result saw Brisbane leapfrog Fremantle into top spot on the ladder.

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Emily Bates starred for Brisbane with 26 possessions and three clearances, while Anderson was also important with 15 disposals and a goal.

Standout Fremantle midfielder Kiara Bowers overcame a quiet start to tally 24 disposals, five clearances and seven tackles, but the Dockers’ star-studded forward line failed to fire.

Just one goal was booted in the first half. Brisbane’s Courtney Hodder unleashed a spectacular banana kick from the pocket to send her teammates wild.

The Dockers dominated play during the second quarter, but their wayward kicking let the Lions off the hook time and again.

The home side went to half-time with 0.7 (7) to their name and a one-point deficit despite dominating the inside 50s count 17-10.

The tide turned in the third quarter as the Lions threatened to run away with the contest.

Orla O’Dwyer’s early goal got the ball rolling and the Lions thought they had another midway through the term, only for it to be deemed touched off the boot.

The Lions won the inside 50s count 14-4 for the term, and they entered the final change with a handy 12-point lead.

Roux’s late goal added a curve ball, but the Lions immediately replied to seal the win.

Bulldogs shape as premiership threat

Isabel Huntington kicked three goals for the Bulldogs in their win over the Giants.(AAP: Daniel Pockett, File Photo)

The Western Bulldogs recorded their fourth-straight victory after downing Greater Western Sydney by 25 points in a commanding display.

Led superbly by forwards Bonnie Toogood and Isabel Huntington, the Bulldogs were too classy for the Giants and ran out winners 7.5 (47) to 3.4 (22) at Whitten Oval.

It is the first time the Bulldogs have won four consecutive matches during an AFLW season.

Huntington, who was an All-Australian defender last season, booted three goals to take her to top of the league goal kicking list.

Toogood was just as impressive in snaring three majors, including a stunning goal-of-the-year contender during a match-winning second quarter.

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The Bulldogs entered this season with a disappointing 3-10 win-loss record since their 2018 premiership win but have become one of the league’s in-form teams under coach Nathan Burke.

The day ended on a flat note for the home side, however, with Deanna Berry going down with a suspected anterior cruciate injury in the final quarter.

The Giants were best served by Rebecca Beeson and Alyce Parker, while recruit Katherine Smith played her first match since suffering a serious injury in December 2019 when at training for former club Melbourne.

Kangaroos score crucial win over Blues

North Melbourne injected some life into its finals chances with a 22-point win over Carlton in Launceston.

Staring down the barrel of three straight losses, the Kangaroos started and finished strongly and were good enough to overcome a mid-game fightback from the Blues.

The 9.5 (59) to 6.1 (37) result keeps North Melbourne in touch with the top six, while Carlton faces an uphill battle to make the finals.

Jasmine Garner was heavily involved for the Kangaroos and topped the disposal count with 32, while captain Emma Kearney picked up 28 touches.

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In a typically slow start, the Blues conceded two goals in two minutes and were scoreless in the first quarter but clawed their way back to lead 18-14 at half-time on the back of a pair of goals from Darcy Vescio.

But North Melbourne lifted its game in the all-important third quarter, holding Carlton scoreless and putting on 15 points.

The Kangaroos ran away with the match in the final term, with forward Sophie Abbatangelo nabbing two majors and Daisy Bateman picking up her second of the match.

In her first appearance in two years, former All-Australian Jessica Duffin came through unscathed and registered 11 disposals and five marks on a positive evening for the Kangaroos.

AAP

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Super Rugby news 2021, Queensland Reds vs Melbourne Rebels, result, score,


The Queensland Reds used their get out of jail free card to take down the Melbourne Rebels but it was a try that wasn’t scored by new recruit Suliasi Vunivalu that almost proved the highlight of their Super Rugby AU win over the Melbourne Rebels.

The Reds only hit the lead in the 77th minute and had to sweat on a late penalty kick from Rebels captain Matt To’omua, who pushed his penalty attempt after fulltime to the left of the uprights to watch his side go down 23-21.

All the Rebels points came from penalties in a match dominated by the whistle of referee Jordan Way, who blew 32 infringements in a dour match.

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The Rebels didn’t look like scoring a try all night, instead racking up their tally through seven penalty conversions, while the Reds scored two tries through hooker Alex Mafi.



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Collingwood vs Melbourne Tips, Odds and Teams – AFLW 2021


Victoria Park will play host to Sunday”s
Round 5 AFLW game between Collingwood and
Melbourne. The game kicks off at 3:10 pm with Collingwood heading into the game as favourites with the bookmakers. Continue reading for our in-depth preview of the Collingwood vs.
Melbourne
game and give you our free tips and bets.

When: Sunday February 28, 2021 at 3:10 pm

Where: Victoria Park

Bet 💰: Bet On This Match
HERE

Collingwood vs Melbourne Odds

Collingwood vs Melbourne Preview

Sunday’s clash between the Pies and Dees at Vic Park is set to be an absolute beauty.

Collingwood has really come alive this AFLW season.

Currently sitting 4-0 and second on the ladder, the Magpies had arguably their best win when they stunned North, beating them by 20 points.

Chloe Molloy’s work up forward and Stacey Livingstone in defence has proven to be an excellent combination for the Magpies who just keep on keeping on.

Melbourne will be filthy about their performance in their 13 point loss to the Western Bulldogs list.

If you only read the stats sheet, all of the numbers pointed to a Dees win except where it mattered most, on the scoreboard.

Melbourne had double the scoring shots, inside 50s, clearances but just couldn’t kick a goal to save themselves – their final score 2-12 (24)

Collingwood will go into this game the favourite, and rightfully so but Melbourne is excellent value as the $2.55 (at time of publish) underdog.

Expect the Dees to bounce back and deliver Collingwood their first loss for the season.

Content provided by Ladbrokes

Collingwood vs Melbourne Tip

We’re tipping Melbourne to win at $2.17 odds.



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NRL 2021: Alex Glenn, Broncos captaincy, testimonial game, Kevin Walters


Veteran forward Alex Glenn will retain the Broncos captaincy for 2021 with the club confirming the news on Friday morning.

The 32-year-old got the nod over Anthony Milford, Ben Te’o and Payne Haas. Andrew McCullough was also in the mix before making the move to the Dragons.

Glenn seems the most logical option considering Haas has been embroiled in off-field controversy and Milford has struggled with form over the last two seasons.

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Round 1

The announcement comes just in time for Glenn’s testimonial match on Saturday against the Cowboys at Dolphin stadium.

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Michael Hurley injury, infection, reunites with Bombers teammates, Essendon vs Carlton practice match


New Essendon footy boss Josh Mahoney admits Michael Hurley has “a bit of a fight ahead of him” as he continues his recovery from a hip infection that saw him hospitalised twice.

The 30-year-old swingman reunited with many of his Essendon teammates during Thursday’s practice match, after being left virtually bedridden for several weeks since being forced into hospital over an infection, then having to return days later when it flared up again.

He was released on February 17 but is facing a lost season, or at least a sizeable portion of it, given the recovery he still needs to undergo, along with a drop in fitness.

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“It’s been a really frustrating one for Hurls and for the club. He’d done six weeks where he’d trained the whole pre-season and then to have an infection in his leg, which he’s been taking antibiotics and it’s now been three-and-a-half weeks where he’s been taking it and hasn’t been able to do anything,” Mahoney told 3AW Sportsday.

“Being bedridden now for three or four weeks certainly pushes him back … he’s struggling to get around, he’s on crutches and he’s lost quite a bit of weight.

“It was a good spirit lifter for the guys to see him at the game, he was desperate to come because he just wants to be involved, which is part of the character I’ve seen already in Hurls.

“He’s got a bit of a fight ahead of him, the main thing is just getting him back to being healthy and then we can worry about building him up to play games of footy again.”

Needing crutches to walk and with a drip still in his upper arm, Hurley was happily greeted by teammates who weren’t allowed to visit him in recent weeks.

“Michael Hurley can hardly walk even with the aid of crutches as the Essendon players come to embrace him as they come off at half time,” the Herald Sun’s Jon Ralph tweeted.

“Great to see him here. Clearly his health a bigger concern than a return to football.”

Rather than running down the race at half-time, Devon Smith ran straight towards where Hurley was sitting near the interchange bench.

Cale Hooker also didn’t head down the race and spoke to the veteran for a number of minutes at the main break.

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Will Tiger Woods play golf again? Orthopaedic surgeons on the long road and hurdles to recovery


Doctors also inserted a rod into Woods’ shin bone, and screws and pins into his foot and ankle. Physicians familiar with these the kinds of injuries described the complications they typically bring.

The injuries are frequently seen among drivers involved in car accidents, said Dr R. Malcolm Smith, chief of orthopaedic trauma at Massachusetts General Hospital in Worcester. Usually they occur when the driver frantically stomps on the brake as a car careens out of control.

When the front end of the car is smashed, immense force is transmitted to the driver’s right leg and foot. “This happens every day with car crashes in this country,” Smith said.

Such lower-leg fractures on occasion bring “massive disability” and other grave consequences, said Smith. “A very rough estimate is that there is a 70 per cent chance of it healing completely,” he added.

The crash caused a cascade of injuries. It smashed Woods’ shin bones, with primary breaks in the top and bottom parts of the bones and a scattering of bone fragments. When the bones in Woods’ shin shattered, they damaged muscles and tendons; pieces poked from his skin.

The trauma caused bleeding and swelling in his leg, threatening his muscles. Surgeons had to quickly cut into the layer of thick tissue covering his leg muscles to relieve the swelling. Had they not, the tissue that covers swelling muscle would have acted like a tourniquet, constricting blood flow. The muscle can die within four to six hours.

Tiger Woods has a long recovery path ahead of him.Credit:AP

It is possible that some muscle died anyway, between the accident and the surgery, Smith said: “Once you lose it, you cannot get it back.”

Patients who have this procedure must remain in the hospital until the muscle swelling goes down. That can take a week or more. Sometimes, even after several weeks the swelling has not receded enough to close the wound, so surgeons have to graft skin over the opening.

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Dr Kyle Eberlin, a reconstructive surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, said that to close the holes where bones poke out of skin, doctors often must transplant skin from the thigh or back, a procedure called a free flap. They cut pieces of skin as large as a football and, using a microscope, carefully reconnect tiny blood vessels — about a millimetre in diameter — from the skin transplant to the blood vessels near the wounds.

Infection is a risk with fractures that break through the skin and following surgery to insert rods and pins into bones, with amputation in the worst cases, Smith said. The likelihood of infection depends on the degree of contamination and the size of the wound.

In car accidents, gravel and sometimes dirt can get into wounds, increasing the odds of infection, Eberlin said.

And opening the covering of muscles can raise the risk of infection, said Dr Reza Firoozabadi, an orthopaedic trauma surgeon at Harborview Medical Centre in Seattle.

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At major trauma centres like Massachusetts General or UCLA, the free flap procedures are performed within 48 hours. But it is more typical to operate within a week of the injury, Eberlin said.

Rehabilitation will be long and onerous. If Woods required a free flap — which, trauma surgeons said, seems likely —“it will be months and months before he can bear weight on his leg again,” Eberlin said.

Woods also risks fractures that do not heal or that grow together only very slowly, Firoozabadi said. “To get things to heal, you need good blood flow,” he said. “With an injury like this, blood flow is disrupted.”

As a result, he said, it may take five to 14 months for Woods’ lower leg bones to grow together, assuming they do so at all.

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The biggest hurdle will be his foot and ankle injuries, Firoozabadi and others said. Regaining range of motion and strength can take three months to a year. Depending on the extent of those injuries, even after rehabilitation Woods may barely be able to walk.

His rehabilitation may be complicated by back surgery in December. Woods also has gone to rehabilitation for an addiction to painkillers; pain management during his recovery now may be difficult.

Still, a few athletes have come back from grave injuries. Smith, the Washington Football Team quarterback, had a similar injury to his leg and returned to play in October. But it took two years and 17 surgeries, and along the way he developed an infection of the wounds and sepsis, a life-threatening condition. And Smith did not have injuries to his foot and ankle.

Golfer Ben Hogan broke his collarbone, pelvis, left ankle and a rib. The injuries were serious but not comparable to Woods’ injuries.

With his foot and ankle injuries and the serious injuries to his leg, Woods “may never play golf again,” Malcolm Smith said.

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Two defenders ready to go to another level in 2021


Bob Murphy and Andy Maher have selected two defenders who they believe are ready to go to another level in 2021.

Murphy predicts big things from Port Adelaide recruit Aliir Aliir, while Maher is bullish on Gold Coast defender Sam Collins.

“We’re going to pick a player who we think by the end of the year is going to have elevated themselves comfortably into a higher category,” Maher told SEN’s Bob and Andy.

“They’re our players on the runway ready to take their footy to another level.”

Bob Murphy (Aliir Aliir)

“I’ve been an Aliir Aliir fan for quite a while and could never quite work out why it wasn’t working out the way I thought it should have in Sydney.

“Gets a trade to Port Adelaide and I just see it as the absolute perfect fit for him.

“They have an experienced backline already there, they’re a side clearly in their prime about to contend.

“I think this year he could push for the All-Australian squad of 40. That’s the kind of year Aliir Aliir could have.”

Sam Collins (Andy Maher)

“Sam Collins is coming into his fifth year, had a couple of years at Fremantle and two outstanding years at Gold Coast.

“He will be the beneficiary of a side that’s maturing with a deeper and more talented midfield.

“He is an outstanding intercept defender – number two in the AFL last year for defenders. He was elite in key categories last year.

“Now that he’s going to be in a team that’s going to be a bit stronger around the footy, I can see this kid being a bit more aggressive in his starting position.

“By the end of the year, I can see Sam Collins being an elite defender in the competition in the minds of just about all of us – I wouldn’t be shocked at all if he’s in the (All-Australian) 40.”





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Why just kicking a footy can be the best sport of all


I always thought it was an urban myth.

Like sightings of the Tasmanian tiger, rumours of a secret society of guys kicking an Aussie Rules footy around on Sunday mornings were heard, but I never saw the evidence and I never quite believed.

But then a chance casual remark by a mutual acquaintance led to a reunion with an old school friend.

We bonded over Neil Young and a love of Aussie Rules in school 35 years ago.

Recess and lunch were spent kicking a footy backwards and forward on the basketball court — him in his scratchy 30 per cent wool, 70 per cent acrylic Collingwood jumper (with collar), and me in my Hawthorn equivalent.

I hadn’t seen him since.

So, we had a coffee and spent a few minutes catching up on the last 35 years, before talk rapidly turned to more pressing matters — like footy.

“I do this thing on a Sunday morning,” he said.

Strike me down with a feather, it’s real!

This footy club is all about having a kick. Boots and jumpers are optional.(Supplied: Nic Walker)

That Sunday I turned up at a local oval and met a couple of the old hands who introduced me at the weekly pre-game address to the group of 20 or so women and men who’d turned up.

“Dave’s come down for a kick.”

And so, we began: Some kicking and handballing in lines to warm up and then circle work for the next two hours or so.

If you played footy in the 70s or 80s, circle work was the go-to training for coaches before things started getting complicated.

It’s pretty simple really: Spread out in a massive circle around the oval, lead for the ball, mark it and handball to a player running past, who kicks it to the next player on a lead. Repeat.

It’s the closest thing to playing a game without actually playing a game, and it comes without the threat of an unwanted collision or someone jumping into your back to take a screamer.

And that’s it — round and round we go, as the ball zings from hand to foot to handball, all accompanied by the constant supportive talk that you’ll hear at any footy club.

A man holds his arms out after hand balling in a game of Aussie Rules.
No matter your skill set, the banter is always supportive at this club.(Supplied: Nic Walker)

Some of these players are exquisite kicks, balanced and poised, capable of delivering bullet passes over 50 metres. Some are still finding their feet. That’s fine.

The bloke from Finland is getting really good and can run everyone off the park.

They say team sport is good for character development, and that’s true. Working together for the greater good is wonderful — when it actually happens.

What they don’t tell you is that team sport is riven with politics and pettiness and when your harshest critic in community sport is a teammate, it can wear pretty thin.

It turns out some grown men in particular, can transform from upstanding citizens to nasty, lippy, violent bastards when they cross that white line and a win is all that counts.

Two years ago, a belated attempt to play masters’ footy ended in the first practice game when I was smashed late from behind resulting in a rotator cuff tendon torn from the bone and a shoulder reconstruction.

My new, secret club strips all that away.

A woman handballs an Aussie Rules ball.
The club is open to anyone who wants to play.(Supplied: Nic Walker)

They’re a mixed bunch: teachers, students, designers, musicians, photographers, printers, brewers, IT technicians, theatre producers, a record company owner, a film director and so many actors they could spontaneously break into experimental improvisational theatre at any moment and demand audience participation.

Everyone is equal. The only common denominator is a love of footy.

Last year, many of the regular players lost jobs, or for those in the performing arts, their work dried up because of COVID.

The Sunday morning kick was a vital touchstone for many people in the club — one thing to look forward to in the week. Even some of the injured players turned up regularly to watch and catch up for a yack.

In between times a WhatsApp superhighway kept everyone connected and on their toes.

A father and son walk together during a match of Aussie Rules.
Age is not an issue here, whether you’re young, on the older side, or something in between.(Supplied: Nic Walker)

More than once I heard someone comment that our club was a saviour in what was a difficult year for everyone’s mental health.

My 17-year-old daughter came down for the first time last week and another woman in the group immediately introduced herself and showed her the ropes, while the group of largely middle-aged men did everything they could to make her feel welcome.

After that first Sunday morning, I knew I’d found my sporting home.

I’ve always been a competitive bugger, but after years of playing team sport, I’ve lost the passion for winning — and losing for that matter. I care so much more about how you play the game.

I just want to kick a footy and kick it well. There’s a purity in the drum sound of a drop punt coming off your boot and spinning slowly backwards into a teammates’ outstretched hands. And if you’re feeling particularly audacious, peeling off a spiralling torpedo punt.

And if that kick instead slews off the side of my boot, it’s comforting to know that no-one’s going to criticise me for making a mistake.

I just want to take a mark and dish off a handball to a mate running past.

My new club distils sport down to its pure essence: The love of the game.

A young boy goes to kick an Aussie Rules ball at a park.
It’s all about the love of the game.(Supplied: Nic Walker)

It’s for the people and the community they’ve created, talking footy, catching up with mates, having a kick. The grassiest of grass roots.

It’s for fun.

And while I may not care about winning or losing, this new club has one statistic of which they’re incredibly proud.

In 18 years, they’ve never lost a game.

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Six Nations Rugby: France await Scotland fixture decision as Covid runs riot, Antoine Dupont


France will find out on Wednesday if this weekend’s Six Nations clash with Scotland will go ahead after captain Charles Ollivon was among five players to be ruled out after testing positive for Covid-19.

The French Rugby Federation (FFR) announced on Monday that Ollivon, Cyril Baille, Peato Mauvaka, Romain Taofifenua and Brice Dulin have been withdrawn from the squad after contracting the virus.

The new cases take the total number in the France camp to 14, including coach Fabien Galthie and scrum-half Antoine Dupont.

Six Nations Testing Oversight Group (TOG) saying it would review the situation on Wednesday although there is no suggestion as yet of postponing the match.

“A decision on whether the France v Scotland fixture can go ahead will be made at that stage,” said the TOG in a statement.

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