‘Heartbreak’: Sharks horror week continues with late Knights blow


Rugby league can be a brutal game — just ask the Cronulla Sharks.

In a week they’ve been the talk of the rugby league world for all the wrong reasons, the side has suffered a heartbreaking loss in Newcastle.

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After coach John Morris was sacked this week, the Sharks have been defeated by a try with just two minutes remaining to Knights star Kalyn Ponga.

The question of whether the Sharks would put in the effort or would just write off the season appears to have been answered however with Cronulla with the side taking it right down to the wire.

At halftime, the Sharks were down 14-6 with the first half try coming after a controversial collision.

It wasn’t looking great for the Sharks with the Knights scoring three tries in the first half.

But as can happen, the halftime break changed the momentum of the game as the Sharks came screaming back.

The Sharks’ Briton Nikora and Connor Tracey scored tries early in the half, broken up by a try from Knights rookie Brodie Jones.

But it was Cronulla winger Mawene Hiroti’s try that looked to have stolen the result.

He scored in the 66th minute diving for the corner and somehow keeping his legs in the air as the defender Brayden Musgrove tried to drag him into touch.

A sideline conversion from halfback and goalkicker Chad Townsend nailed a kick from the sideline.

It gave the Sharks their first lead of the game at 22-20.

It was always going to go down to the wire.

With three minutes to go and on the last, the Knights’ Blake Green ducked one tackle and kicked across field, but it went backwards, before Jones took the catch, offloading to Tyson Frizell, who found Ponga, with the Knights’ fullback getting over the line.

“Incredible, the Knights retake the lead,” Dan Ginnane screamed on Fox League.

“What a finish. Heartbreak again for the Sharks.

“My goodness, can this week get any worse?”

Greg Alexander added: “They couldn’t have done any more Cronulla, three times tonight they’ve been trailing by eight and they’ve been able to force their way back into the game. They hit the lead with 10 to go and that man (Ponga) looks like he may have stolen it from them.”

The Sharks then kicked short and won the ball but a mistake on the line was enough for the Knights to hang on.

On Fox League, Yvonne Sampson said it was “cruel after the week they’ve had”.

Interim Sharks coach Josh Hannay said the side was “gutted” by the result.

“It’s little comfort when you lose a game like that at the back end,” he said.

“Coming into this game, we would have taken that type performance considering the week we’ve had. But ultimately, we were a lazy kick chase away from winning that game.”

Social media went nuts for Ponga, having come down with a virus and been throwing up throughout the match.

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Record $3.6b fine the latest blow dealt to Jack Ma


“But for Ant and Jack, there’s no line drawn yet,” he said.

Alibaba declined to comment on Ma, and his foundation did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Conspicuous absence

Ma’s absence from public view became conspicuous until he surfaced for the first time in three months in late January, speaking to a group of teachers by video, which sent Alibaba shares surging. He has continued to keep an extremely low profile.

“He’s playing a lot of golf and improving his handicap,” said one person who knows him.

A former English teacher, Ma co-founded Alibaba in 1999 from a shared apartment in the eastern city of Hangzhou, ultimately building a colossus that spans e-commerce, financial services, cloud computing and even supermarkets, making him China’s most famous businessman.

He was also China’s richest, until the clampdown knocked him back to fourth place on the Hurun Global Rich List published in March, although Ma and his family’s wealth still grew last year by 22 per cent to 360 billion yuan, according to the list.

It’s crucial for Chinese entrepreneurs to be low-key. Don’t speak casually. And don’t say anything wrong

Edward Chen, chairman of Shanghai-based fintech consultancy China Rising Group

As of last July, he owned 4.8 per cent of Alibaba.

In 2018, Ma was revealed to be a Communist Party member by its official newspaper, debunking a public assumption that he was politically unattached.

‘Arrogance discount’

Ma has often been described in Chinese media as a source of national pride and even legend. His global prominence made him an almost-diplomatic figure. Countless books have been published on Alibaba’s founding and Ma’s business tactics.

Ma-isms such as “Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine”, are common in Chinese business circles. In Hangzhou, small firms have been known to set up altars adorned with images of Ma to bring good fortune.

China’s regulator launched an official anti-trust probe into Alibaba in December.Credit:Bloomberg

But in a February snub, Ma was left off a list of Chinese entrepreneurial leaders published by state media.

Franklin Chu, president of Sage Capital in Rye, New York, noted that Alibaba shares are trading at a 30 per cent discount to their 52-week high.

“I call this the ‘Jack Ma arrogance discount,’ combined with the recent round of China-bashing coming out of Washington,” he said.

Alibaba, he said, “needs to work hard to re-establish an accommodative relationship with its regulatory handlers.”

Since stepping back from the company, Ma has sought to focus his time on philanthropy and education, including his charitable trust, the Jack Ma Foundation, and two schools in Hangzhou.

Ma was an active conference participant, making at least 12 appearances in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic began. In March 2020, he opened a Twitter account – the platform is blocked in China – which mainly tweeted about his foundation’s COVID-19 prevention efforts. Its last tweet was on October 10.

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“It’s crucial for Chinese entrepreneurs to be low-key. Don’t speak casually. And don’t say anything wrong,” Edward Chen, chairman of Shanghai-based fintech consultancy China Rising Group, said in a social media video post.

“Prudence in words and action is the No. 1 priority so that Chinese entrepreneurs can live longer.”

Reuters

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Port Adelaide confirms double injury blow


Xavier Duursma and Zak Butters are both set to spend a significant time on the sidelines after they sustained serious injuries during Port Adelaide’s thrilling win over Richmond on Friday night.

The club confirmed that Duursma suffered a knee ligament injury in the final quarter of the clash, with the 20-year-old set to undergo surgery in the coming days.

A timeframe on his return will be confirmed after surgery.

The news isn’t much better for exciting forward Zak Butters, who suffered a syndesmosis injury during the match.

Butters will consult a specialist, where a timeframe on his return will also become clearer.





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The Lives of These Russian Christian Military Heroes Will Blow Your Mind


This article originally appeared on: Russian Faith, a new website with news about the Christian renaissance in Russia. See their introductory video at end of article.


“Stand for the Faith and the Russian Land!” so go the words of the song “A Farewell of Slavic Women.” These words have resounded harmoniously throughout the Russian lands like echoes from the bygone years, dancing across the Ukrainian fields. They represent the beautiful symphony that exists between the Russian Church, the military, and state which we have covered extensively.

Whilst there are endless tales of great Heroes, far too many to describe in one article, let’s take a look through Russian history, zooming in on the host of some of the most obscure, and some of the most legendary Russian warriors. Let us take a look at how Russian people see their country as protected by God through the lives of some of her greatest heroes. Below is a portal of Russian Heroes which we have already written about.

Write us in the comment section down below and tell us which Russian Heroes you want to read about, and maybe they’ll get their own article. As we continue to write about them, this page will be updated. Check back in for the latest stories!


Saint Olga of Kiev and all Rus’

Would it shock you to know, that when I think of a great Russian military leader, the first that comes to mind is a woman? Were it not for her, Russia may very well be called Drevlia today. In those days, Russians almost lost their motherland, but by means of Olga, they had it restored, and they called it Russia again.

This Warrior-Princess conquered the tribe that killed her husband, enamored the Roman Emperor so much he wanted to marry her, burned a city to the ground using only birds, established one of the earliest tax systems, and is single-handedly responsible for saving Russia. Her grandson Vladimir the Great, baptized the entire nation in the river Dnipro, beginning the period we call Holy Russia.

Saint Ilya Muromets

Ilya of Murom is Russia’s Christian Hercules. He was born a crippled peasant, wrestled with a Holy Mountain in the form of a Giant, slept in his tomb for three days, and arose the mightiest warrior in the Russian lands, only to finish his life as a quite humble monk.

You can still see the body of this 11th-century hero undecayed with your own eyes! The sleep of Ilya Muromets represents an ancient secret trait dormant in the blood of Russian people, to find out what that is and more, draw your bowstring and let the arrow of your mind fly back into the bygone years, and into the life of this legendary Bogatyr.

Saints Alexander Peresvet and Andrei of Radonezh

What happens when Mongols invade Russia and threaten to destroy her faith? You get the Russian Christian version of Shaolin monks, that’s what. Don’t let the skulls and crossbones on their robes fool you, they are not pirates, in fact, they are far deadlier.

When Saint King Dmitri came looking for a blessing to fight the invaders, he found in Saint Sergius’s monastery his two champions. These monks helped win the battle of Kulikovo Fields. , when Russia went to the fields as multiple warring principalities and returned as a united country. Though perhaps, one could argue she was united long before.


A video introducing the Russian Faith website:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQAwrhS15QI

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Blue blow: Fremantle Dockers skipper Nat Fyfe already ruled out of Carlton clash with concussion


Fremantle captain Nat Fyfe has officially been ruled out of Fremantle’s round three clash against Carlton after being subbed out of the Dockers win over Greater Western Sydney with concussion.

Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir confirmed his two-time Brownlow medallist suffered a concussion after an off the ball hit from Giant Sam Reid sent Fyfe tumbling to the turf at Optus Stadium.

Reid is expected to come under scrutiny from the Match Review Officer for the hit.

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With the AFL introducing a new 12-day return to play protocol following a concussion, Fyfe won’t travel with his team to face Carlton at Marvel Stadium on Sunday but will be able to return for Fremantle’s round four clash against Hawthorn.

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But the 29-year-old also has a history of head knocks, suffering two serious instances of concussion throughout his career including a sickening head clash with St Kilda’s Josh Battle in 2019 which left him unconscious.

Longmuir said Fyfe was in better spirts after the game but he would have to pass a series of tests before he is approved to return to play.

“He’s good in the change rooms now,” Longmuir said.

Nat Fyfe after the game.
Camera IconNat Fyfe after the game. Credit: Paul Kane/via AFL Photos

“He’s up and about, getting around his teammates but we subbed him out of the game.

“What that means for the next few weeks I’m not sure.

“We tread carefully with all concussions.

“He won’t be passed fit to play until he ticks every box with our doctors which is the same with every player in every situation.”

Fyfe has previously voiced his concerns for the way concussion is treated.

“We’ve come a long way I think, even in my time, with how we deal with concussion,” Fyfe told Seven News following his 2019 head knock against St Kilda.

“I’ve had a lot of injuries over my career and concussion still sits at the top of the list, so I’ll be taking this extremely seriously.”

After playing forward for large stints of the game, Longmuir said Fremantle’s thinning injury list would be able to cover Fyfe’s absence against the Blues.

Michael Walters is on the verge of returning from a hamstring injury while key forward Josh Treacy is eligible for selection after the Dockers fought for the draftee to serve his two-game WAFL ban during the AFL season.

“We’ll start getting some players back from injury now and that causes selection headaches,” Longmuir said.

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Floods a blow to some NSW farmers, with shortages and higher prices to consumers expected in short-term


As Prime Minister Scott Morrison flew over flooded communities in Northern NSW this week, locals could be forgiven for hoping he had brought some bread and milk with him.

In flooded areas along the Hawkesbury on the edge of Sydney, many people are cut off and relying on boats and helicopters for their supplies.

Local supermarkets have been stripped bare as freight companies struggle with the closure of major routes like the Bells Line of Road and the Pacific Highway on the north coast.

Shelves bare in some supermarkets

About 30,000 people are affected by the floods around Sydney, and John Robertson, CEO Foodbank NSW ACT, said the shelves were bare in the local supermarkets.

But for most of us, life continues as normal and the flooding rains will not cause much more than a blip on our financial radars.

Supermarket shelves have been stripped bare in many flooded areas as road closures have made restocking difficult.(

Supplied: Tiffany Sullivan

)

Some key food sources affected

The rain has damaged vegetable crops in NSW.

Sean McInerney, a wholesaler at the Sydney Markets who buys fruit and vegetables from across the east coast, said individual growers had been hit hard.

He said some things such as bunched vegetables, herbs, zucchinis and locally grown tomatoes would be in short supply for a little while.

Wholesaler Shaun McInerney holds an apple in the Sydney Markets.
Wholesaler Shaun McInerney said some growers will be hit by the floods and some fresh herbs will be short supply in Sydney.(

Supplied: Shaun McInerney

)

“But we could pull those out of Victoria and we might have to pay a bit more for a couple of weeks,” he said.

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And if you like mung beans in your curries, salads and soups, spare a thought for growers like Sam Heagney in the north-west of NSW.

He has been flat out trying to get the water off his crop after 160mm fell on his farm this week.

Milk supply tricky

Dairy farmers have been badly affected on the NSW Mid North Coast.

At the Clarence Valley Dairy operations manager, Barry Pass said his herd of 200 cows was safe but had been struggling to get milk off the farm.

“We’re a bit of an island at our farm at present.”

That is the same for 150 dairy farmers who have been affected across the region.

Many have lost cows in the flood, fences are down, dairies flooded and milk transport cancelled.

Sorghum harvest impacted

The rain comes at a bad time for farmers harvesting sorghum in the state’s north-west.

Sorghum is used in pet food, pharmaceuticals and by farmers as stock feed.

Rebecca Riordan from east of Moree expects her crop to be affected.

“We have about 100 hectares of sorghum that hasn’t been harvested and we haven’t been able to get onto it because of rain delaying the harvest.”

And she is worried about her sheep, which she moved to higher ground but can’t see at the moment.

“We hope they’re reasonably safe and were able to get through it all, but it’ll be a while till we can get out there and see how they fared.”

Meat prices going sky high

Sheep and cattle prices are at record levels right now.

They started going up in the drought and this rain has pushed cattle prices to record levels yet again.

Now they are worth twice as much in the saleyard as they were two years ago, based on the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator.

Globally, food prices are trending up as well.

The price of agricultural commodities traded on the global stage has shot up by 50 per cent since the middle of 2020, according to economists at Rabobank.

Wheat, corn, soy and sugar have all gone up due to rising demand and supply problems, so expect to pay more for staples like cereals, vegetable oils and dairy products for quite a while.

So what is the good news?

The widespread rain has come at the perfect time for farmers who are about to sow their winter crops.

If all goes well, NSW will enjoy another bumper season, and there will be plenty of wheat, rice, canola and chickpeas to supply Australia and export markets.

That is good news for bakers and brewers who rely on them for wheat and barley.

The tricky part for growers right now is just getting their tractors onto their paddocks to sow the seeds, according to the Department of Primary Industry’s technical grains specialist Peter Matthews.

Rice and corn are safe

Sunrice, the Australian company that holds a monopoly licence to export rice, is also celebrating.

It had to import product from Thailand during the drought to supply Australian supermarkets but that will not happen this year as growers look like harvesting a crop a big crop despite the rain late in the growing season.

It is a crucial time, though, and wet conditions can damage the crop and the wet ground can make it difficult to harvest, according to Deniliquin agronomist Adam Dellwo.

“We were a little bit concerned about heavy rainfall causing grains to drop out of the head and shed.”

Mr Dellwo said the maize crop was about to come off as well, but damage should be minimal.

Maize is grown as feed for livestock as well as for human consumption.

“Maize for silage has mostly been chopped and is off, [while] the grain harvest for maize hasn’t started yet either,” he said.

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Thousands of Queenslanders face unemployment as end of JobKeeper wage subsidy program looms, dealing another major blow to tourism sector


More than 8,000 people in Cairns are expected to lose their JobKeeper wage subsidy payments in coming days, in what is expected to be yet another major blow to Far North Queensland’s tourism industry.

The federal government’s welfare program ends on Sunday, despite calls for it to be extended.

The move marks the end of a wage subsidy that has buoyed businesses across the country during the coronavirus pandemic and put an estimated $1,000 in the pockets of about 1.54 million employees each fortnight.

Across Australia, some 500,000 businesses are bracing for the loss of the subsidy.

In Far North Queensland, the move is expected to leave thousands of recipients — many of them tourism workers — jobless.

With the drawcard of the Great Barrier Reef on Cairns’ doorstep, the region has typically attracted interstate and international tourists, contributing to what was once an industry worth $3.5 billion a year.

Cairns-based dive instructor Ty McCormack is a 20-year veteran of the industry and is among the thousands of JobKeeper casualties.

The professional diver has taken thousands of tourists to experience the depths of the Great Barrier Reef, but last week found himself out of a job, despite rave customer reviews on multiple websites.

“I got an initial phone call from one of my managers, and then a letter from the company, advising that redundancies were going to be implemented,” Mr McCormack said.

“A few days after that, some of us got the letters that we were being made redundant.

Mr McCormack worked for one of Cairns’ biggest reef boat operators, which is usually frequented by international tourists.

Up until Saturday, he had been averaging a few days a week at work — his days off subsidised by the JobKeeper payment.

At the age of 59, he is not sure what the future holds for an industry he is deeply passionate about.

“JobKeeper was basically getting the bills paid — it was making sure that we had food on the table, fuel in the car, that sort of thing,” he said.

“It was a little bit of security. Now with JobKeeper being taken away and our jobs going with JobKeeper, no-one knows what the future holds.

“And there’s a lot of people in my situation in Cairns.”

Andrea Cameron used to have a fleet of vehicles that would take busloads of mainly international tourists on day trips around the region.

The owner of Kuranda Day Tours was averaging around 42 tours a week, employed five staff and turned over about $1 million a year.

But with the end of JobKeeper, she now employs just one tour guide and has listed her home at tropical Port Douglas for sale.

“We sold a couple of our buses and we have one still sitting in our yard that’s unregistered and uninsured.”

She said her business had also been hit hard by the reduced hours of other tourism ventures she relied on as part of her tour, including the rainforest cableway Skyrail and the Kuranda Scenic Railway.

“I really would have loved to have seen some targeted support continue for the tourism industry, especially in our region, which is so dependent on international borders and visitors,” she said.

“It is going to be scary.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland CEO Mark Olsen said Easter bookings looked encouraging, with half-price flights due to start next month as part of a federal government tourism boost.

“We are hearing from our operators in Port Douglas that their average occupancy through Easter is 70-80 per cent,” he said.

“Cairns is running at about 60-70 per cent already pre-booked for Easter.”

Cairns Airport head of aviation Garry Porter said domestic arrival numbers had slowly returned to pre-COVID numbers.

“This month we are looking at 45,000 seats a week and in April we are jumping back to 65,000 to nearly 70,000 seats.”

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Tokyo Olympics: Australian rugby’s gold medal defence takes blow, Ellia Green, Emma Tonegato, Chloe Dalton


Australia’s gold-medal sevens defence at Tokyo’s Olympics has taken a blow, with three of John Manenti’s best racing the clock to be fit for July’s Games.

Gold medal winners Emma Tonegato, Chloe Dalton and Ellia Green have all recently gone under the knife, with the former at biggest risk of missing the event.

Tonegato, who scored in Australia’s gold medal success over New Zealand in 2016 at Rio, required surgery on her left-shoulder following an accident at an internal trial.

“She’s going to be racing the clock,” head coach Manenti told foxsports.com.au.

Australia’s gold medal winners Ellia Green (left) and Chloe Dalton (right) are racing the clock to be fit for their Olympic defence. Photo: Getty ImagesSource: AAP

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Penrith Panthers blow away the cobwebs with shutout of the North Queensland Cowboys


They had enjoyed 65 per cent of possession and were tackled inside the Cowboys’ 20m a whopping 38 times, yet only had one Kurt Capewell try and a couple of Nathan Cleary goals to show for it.

But the Cowboys started to run out of puff early in the second half as Cleary, Jarome Luai, Dylan Edwards and the rest of the Penrith gang got to work.

Edwards galloped through a yawning gap for a try, then Brian To’o scored in the corner after the ball was spread left via his Mt Druitt mates Luai and Stephen Crichton.

Isaah Yeo crossed under the posts when Liam Martin leapt highest to come down with a Cleary kick. Braith Anasta quipped on the TV coverage “is it Liam Martin or Dusty Martin”, in reference to the Richmond cult hero.

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Penrith are premiership favourites and have already been given a good chance to go one better this year after their grand final loss to the Storm.

They meet former assistant coach Trent Barrett’s Canterbury side next Saturday before hosting Melbourne on what will be a blockbuster round-three Thursday-night clash at Panthers Stadium.

Cleary has heard all the talk about how his young group may drop off after such an intense 2020 campaign – they won 17 on the bounce – but the coach said after the Cowboys win: “We’d like to think we’ll be tough to beat … we’ll have to find out. Time will tell, it’s a long year.”

James Fisher-Harris ran for nearly 200m and almost had a try, while Cleary came up with a 40/20 courtesy of a torpedo bomb, and his couple of speedy runs early in the second half led to a couple of tries.

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Payten was happy with some of the early defensive efforts, but not their completion rate.

“We played a good team, but if we play the way we did tonight in terms of ball security, we don’t beat anyone – it was ordinary,” Payten said. “We tackled ourselves to a standstill. We were lucky it wasn’t 50-0.”

Payten also defended limiting the minutes of Jason Taumalolo and said: “I’ve said it several times, Jase is contracted here for seven years, and if we cook him 65 to 75 minutes a game, in three to four years, what value will we get out of him?”

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