Sky Stadium will play host to Saturday”s
Round 1 Super Rugby game between Hurricanes and
Blues. The game kicks off at 5:05 pm with Blues heading into the game as favourites with the bookmakers. Continue reading for our in-depth preview of the Hurricanes vs.
game and give you our free tips and bets.
When: Saturday February 27, 2021 at 5:05 pm
Where: Sky Stadium
Bet 💰: Bet On This Match HERE
Hurricanes vs Blues Odds
Hurricanes vs Blues Preview
The Blues were the story of the 2020 Super Rugby competition, shaking off years of mediocrity to finish as runners up to the Crusaders.
The Hurricanes on the other hand finished a close run third and this should be an excellent way to start the Saturday double header.
Last season the Blues won two of the three matches between the teams and I’ll back them to start their season off on a winning note.
“He has had a hard few weeks. It’s not a great thing being in hospital and having an infection. We don’t really know when he is going to be back but it is a good thing seeing him out of hospital and back around the boys,” Caracella said.
Hurley was earmarked to play forward in 2021 and although there is a chance he might return within the first half of the season young forward Harrison Jones took his chance in attack alongside veteran Cale Hooker while James Stewart and Jordan Ridley held down key defensive posts.
Caracella was impressed with Jones as well as the performance of recruit Jye Caldwell who was the Bombers’ best inside midfielder as he attempted to scrap against star Blue Sam Walsh with Carlton winning the midfield battle overall.
BOMBER MOUNTS A CASE
Alec Waterman has pushed his case to be added to Essendon’s list via the pre-season supplemental listing period with a four-goal performance for the Bombers against Carlton in a pre-season hit out at Ikon Park on Thursday.
Three of Waterman’s goals came in the last quarter when an impressive Carlton had the match won.
“We will see what happens with contract-wise,” Caracella said.
Defender Aaron Francis suffered a rolled ankle but otherwise the Bombers came through unscathed with Nik Cox pressing his case for a round one debut in an impressive outing as the young Essendon outfit blooded six new players including an energetic Archie Perkins.
Caracella said Jake Stringer remained three or four weeks away as he battles an Achilles injury while Andrew McGrath will be available as he missed with concussion. David Zaharakis is not expected to play in the community series match next week against Geelong.
NEW BLUES CATCH THE EYE
Carlton’s high profile recruits Zac Williams and Adam Saad were among the Blues’ best after a scrappy start from both teams. Williams will add some zip around the packs and has the ability to push forward while Saad is sure to benefit from the new man on the mark rule.
Blues’ defensive coach Dale Amos said the new rule should suit Carlton as they looked to move the ball quickly from defence with Saad and Sam Docherty both rebounding defenders.
“We’re excited. The players, and the umpires as well, are adapting to the fact it is a new rule and there is a new adjudication but it is fast and we like it,” Amos said.
All eyes were on the Carlton forward-line with Charlie Curnow, Mitch McGovern and Eddie Betts all out injured and tall forward Harry McKay sent a scare through the camp when he limped off in the last quarter with what Amos said was a rolled ankle.
The Blues rotated several players through the forward-line with midfield bull Patrick Cripps taking a strong mark in the goalsquare late in the game while Paddy Dow was impressive inside 50 and in the middle while ruckman Marc Pittonet even managed to take a screamer in front of goal in the second half.
The Blues are keen to allow Zac Fisher to settled inside 50 and he was lively kicking three goals and using his lateral step to create space while Marc Murphy is also likely to play as a high half forward.
“Murph has really bought into playing a slightly different role at stages … it doesn’t mean he won’t play in the midfield but he and Zac Fisher are two that have really stood out as guys who have played a bit of midfield time in the past and have really embraced playing a different role for the team,” Amos said.
“They are classy players who add a bit of polish for us up front,” Amos said.
Peter Ryan is a sports reporter with The Age covering AFL, horse racing and other sports.
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LoGiudice would not be drawn at the AGM on whether he would continue as president beyond 2021, saying he had not made a decision.
Under Carlton’s rules, LoGiudice is slated stand down from the presidency – and the board – in 12 months, because of term limits, unless he seeks and receives an endorsement from the members to continue past the 12-year limit (for directors).
Well-connected Carlton sources believe that Luke Sayers, the board member who recently stepped down as Australian chief executive of PricewaterhouseCoopers and has strong business and political connections, is the most likely successor to LoGiudice when he steps down, whether that is in 12 months, or later.
Hollingsworth, a former chairman of Softball Australia who manages a private investment fund, had campaigned on a platform that Carlton’s lack of on-field success and removal of various coaches and key executives under those three directors over the past decade (all three having been there since 2012) – headed by the president – warranted a change.
LoGiudice, however, argued that the Blues had the strongest playing list they had owned for a long time and were on an upward trajectory on the field, having also wiped off their once-crippling debt and created new businesses that were not reliant on football revenues, while also positioning the club to reduce its reliance on gaming revenue.
The Blues have had healthy growth in membership since the appointment of Cain Liddle as chief executive, Liddle having crossed from Richmond where he played a role in that club’s fan engagement under chief executive Brendon Gale.
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Named Australia’s Queen of Boogie, she is known for her magnetic live performances of astonishing piano playing, original songs, compositions and mastery of boogie-woogie which have captivated audiences at festivals and in concerts around the world. Jan Preston’s outstanding new show “88 Pianos” takes us on a road to piano stardom with an engrossing combination of skillfully performed piano music, images, songs and stories.
There are 88 keys on every piano, the piano often being referred to as the 88’s. But in reality Jan Preston has known many more than that. During a lifetime of composing and songwriting, Jan has recorded and performed on 100’s of instruments. “For me, pianos have individual personalities, quirks, strengths and weaknesses just like people, and I take photos of every single one that I play. They can be extraordinarily beautiful, quirky, majestic, humorous, tender, broken, and so on, and my images, songs and stories have seen audiences move from tears to laughter.” These tales weave around Jan’s boogie, ragtime and improvisatory styles of piano quartet music and songs, performed together with acoustic bass, guitar and drums, along with her thrilling virtuoso style.
From: 7:30 PM to 10:00 PM,
Wednesday, 3 March 2021
HOTA, Home of the Arts
HOTA, Home of the Arts
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“His patella tendon looks really good, which is the injury he had last year, but the back of the kneecap is a bit inflamed at the moment. We’re still deciding what that means and how much training he’s going to miss.
“We need a bit more information to find out how long it will [take to] settle down and he will be playing footy, but it probably won’t be at the start of the season.”
The club had previously stated that De Koning – who impressed in his seven games last year – would miss the early stages of the season, but the big man is set to resume running this week.
“He had very low-grade bone stress in his spine. The next day, he had no pain and hasn’t had any pain in his back whatsoever. He feels completely normal,” he said.
“It settled better than we thought it would.
“How quickly he progresses will depend on how good he feels, but, at this stage, we’ll be seeing him early in the season I would think.”
The Blues will have a hit-out with arch rivals Essendon on Thursday before taking on St Kilda in an official pre-season match next week.
The club said Eddie Betts (calf), Levi Casboult (knee) and Mitch McGovern (hamstring) would all miss Thursday’s practice match against the Bombers, but all remain on track for round one availability.
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Despite Kaitlyn Ashmore’s strong first quarter, the Kangaroos couldn’t capitalise on their entries into the forward 50, leaving their scoreboard bare.
Aggression was high in the second quarter, both sides holding strong defensively. Pie Jordan Membrey slotted the only major of the term, the Kangaroos with just three behinds for the half.
A messy third quarter saw no scoreboard movement at all, and by the final term the writing was on the wall.
Collingwood offered a very physical contest and Molloy booted her second for the day. Her seventh consecutive game having scored, she joins Carlton’s Tayla Harris as record holder for goal scoring in successive weeks.
Collingwood Coach Steve Symonds said his team’s ability to stay on task despite small errors was the difference.
“Whether our group could have done that twelve months ago I don’t know, I think we would have dropped off a bit and played a bit safer but we have progressed as a group and today they stuck to task and went all the way which was great.”
Kangaroos Coach Darren Crocker said his side needed to tidy up some “clunky” play, and said they should be “disappointed but not disheartened, there is still a lot to play out in this season”.
THOU SHARNI NOT PASS All-Australian Magpie Sharni Norder returned after sitting out last match with a quad injury but with 10 hitouts to 15 against North Melbourne’s Emma King, Norder seems back on track.
TACKLING DEBUT Kangaroo Brooke Brown on debut had only three disposals but managed a skilful tackle. The versatile 23-year-old moves between defence, the forward line and ruck.
COACH SHIFT Collingwood’s new senior assistant coach Scott Gowans undoubtedly had some valuable tips for his side, having coached the Kangaroos for two years. In charge of midfield and ball movement, the last game Gowans coached for North Melbourne was, ironically, their 2020 semi-final win over Collingwood, immediately prior to the termination of the season due to Covid-19.
Tigers find fight but are denied again as blues storm to win
Richmond have suffered their 10th straight loss and remain winless in the AFLW following a five-point defeat to Carlton at Ikon Park on Saturday afternoon.
After a 34-point loss to the Blues in last season’s opener, the Tigers, in their second clash against Carlton, needed to show how far they have come since their inaugural AFLW game.
Following a dominant performance against the Saints last week, the Blues, who ran out in orange socks, to signify the club’s commitment to gender equality for the prevention of violence against women, weren’t going to give the visitors their first win.
Having made just one change to their line-up, naming defender Jess Edwards in place of skipper Katie Loynes, the Blues were rendered goalless in the first term, Courtney Wakefield booting two of Richmond’s three goals. The Blues’ usual fast play was nowhere to be seen initially, which looked to continue into the second with veteran Katie Brennan booting one straight from the siren.
Reigning league best and fairest winner Madison Prespakis ascended, slotting two for the Blues, fellow Carlton young gun Lucy McEvoy and Tayla Harris added to the tally, leaving the locals one up at half-time.
When the going gets tough, Darcy Vescio gets going and with a spectacular hanger and three goals in the third, Carlton’s two-time leading goal kicker handed them a 14-point lead at the final break.
Richmond’s Tayla Stahl and Wakefield booted their second and third goals, respectively, leading to an arm wrestle in the dying moments, but Nicola Stevens wouldn’t allow it on her home turf and added one for the ladies in blue, leaving the Tigers licking their wounds and dreaming of an elusive victory.
25 FOR CONTI Richmond star Monique Conti marked her 25th AFLW game with a clinical midfield performance and 26 disposals.
The 21-year-old AFLW All-Australian is a premiership player, in which she was named best on ground. The former Bulldog also has a best and fairest award to her name from each of her AFLW clubs.
SIBLING RIVALRY Jess Hosking earned her sibling bragging rights after lining up against identical twin, Sarah for the first time in their AFLW careers. Jess was named at half-forward and tallied 19 disposals while Sarah racked up 15 against her former side.
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Martin was therefore disproportionately affected, losing in the vicinity of $300,000 last year. While the AFL and players’ association initiated a special fund for players like Martin, whose 2020 salary was substantially above their annual salary, Martin confirmed he had still been a significant financial loser from COVID-19.
But the talented forward/midfielder, 26, said he was not overly stressed about money and was comfortable with how the situation ended.
“Been in discussions with my manager and the PA, and the AFL. That’s all been taken care of, we’re pretty happy,” Martin said.
“I’m pretty grateful for what I have, to be honest. I have taken a massive hit but I’m just grateful for what I’ve got.”
What is driving West Australian Martin, instead, is a desire to play an AFL final, something he has never done and something the Blues haven’t done since 2013, the year before he entered the league.
“I’m desperate. And I think everyone is. Obviously Blues haven’t played finals for a long time. Obviously that’s what we play footy for but we know it’s a long season and it’s going to take hard work. We’re willing to do that. We’re just looking forward to the challenge to be honest.
“We were in a lot of games up until the last quarter. I think we’ll get a massive experience out of those games, definitely learn a lot.”
On the personal front, Martin – who finished sixth in Carlton’s 2020 best and fairest – said his form had tailed off towards the back-end of the season, in part because of fitness concerns, which he said he had put behind him.
“Individually I thought I started the year pretty well and sort of dropped away. It’s just about consistency this year for me,” Martin said.
“I think my body last year at times just wasn’t allowing me to train at a high intensity. Just more of a focus about getting out on the track every week, being able to train, back it up. I think that’s the main focus this year.
“I’m 100 per cent at the moment. I’ll be good to go once the games come around.”
Martin is keen to push more into the midfield this year, looking at a 50-50 split along with former Giants defender Williams, who will have a different role at Carlton.
“It’d probably be 50-50, depending on how the game’s going,” he said. “He’ll go forward, I’ll go midfield. We’re just building that little combination I guess.”
Martin said he had actually benefited from Cartlon’s extended stay in a Queensland hub last year, which allowed him to get to know his new teammates better. But he can’t wait to play in front of big crowds at the MCG, a lure to join the Blues and something he was denied last year because of the pandemic.
Martin nominated key forward Harry McKay and emerging midfield star Sam Walsh as two of the big pre-season improvers for the Blues.
“He looks fitter, stronger,” Martin said of McKay, while adding that he expected Walsh to go to another level.
The Indigenous Martin also touched on the fallout of the recent independent report into racism at Collingwood.
“I’m not too political on this one. But it affects me, it affects everyone. We need to move together, forward as one. The day we can do that, is the day we’ll move forward as Australia I think,” he said.
Daniel is an Age sports reporter
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“We have to be patient and we are being patient. We are not going to rush it regardless of results [on the field].
“We will see him play a lot of footy for our football club, if that takes a while to get to that stage then it takes a while.
“But the way he is going about it, his attitude, and just looking at his knee it is the best it has looked.”
Curnow has been managing multiple setbacks from an original dislocated knee cap then a fracture of the knee cap and cartilage problems under the knee. He had difficulty training on hard surfaces.
His latest setback happened when he injured the knee when having a light kick with his brother. He had surgery and has been painstakingly recovering since then, with a fracture specialist reportedly consulted to oversee his recovery.
Meanwhile, Treloar will miss the club’s pre-season practice match.
“With Adam’s history of soft tissue injuries, we’re taking a conservative approach with him at this stage of the pre-season,” head of sports medical, Chris Bell, said.
“We have been proactive with managing Adam’s calf tightness over the past fortnight. His recovery is progressing and we anticipate he will return to full training over the next couple of weeks.”
The Bulldogs’ AFL season-opener on March 19 is against his former side, Collingwood, which rancourously traded him out at the end of last year and who will be paying a large amount of his contract at the Bulldogs for several years.
The Dogs are due to play Melbourne in a Community Series match on March 8. It appears doubtful Treloar will play in that practice match.
The explosive midfielder played just 10 games for the Magpies last year after twice suffering hamstring troubles. He didn’t miss a game in 2019 but in 2018 required surgery after tearing the hamstrings in both legs in the one incident that sidelined him for two months.
Michael Gleeson is an award-winning senior sports writer specialising in AFL and athletics.
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Kate Hore benefited from a flawless passage of play early in the second term but celebrations were halted by three straight goals down the other end.
Vice-captain Jasmine Garner slotted one for the Kangaroos but Tegan Cunningham and Jackie Parry booted their second and third for the game respectively, leaving the Demons with a 27-point lead at the main break.
Having conceded only two goals in as many games, Darren Crocker needed his shell-shocked group to tighten their defence heading into the second half.
Quick and free-flowing play allowed for an instant goal from Garner followed by a spectacular two in a row from Daria Bannister, the Kangaroos trailing by just seven points by the final break.
North fought until the end, Bella Eddey slotting her second ever AFLW goal to put them just two points behind, however former Dees co-captain Shelley Scott wouldn’t have it, booting a goal on the siren to seal the win.
CAPTAINS CLASH It was a tight contest as Melbourne vice-captain Karen Paxman went head-to-head with Roos skipper and four-time All-Australian Kearney. With a game average of 31 disposals, Paxman met her match in Kearney but still managed 25 disposals and a goal for the winning side.
Meanwhile, Carlton have locked in their first win of the season against the flailing Saints, running out at Moorabbin for the first time in 32 years, at a crowdless RSEA Park.
The Saints sought to avenge last week’s loss to North Melbourne and wasted no time, with All-Australian Caitlin Greiser opening their account while the Blues’ score remained bare in the first term.
But Carlton came out firing after the first break, with strong defence and a major off the boot of former Dee Elise O’Dea opening the flood gates. Gun midfielder Madison Prespakis’ goal was followed quickly by Lauren Brazzale’s first goal for the season.
A clinical performance by the young Blues in the midfield left them ahead by nine points at the main break despite almost equal forward 50 entries.
Alison Downie continued Carlton’s dominance immediately in the third, booting a goal which was quickly answered by a clean mark and set shot from Saints co-captain Kate Shierlaw against her former team.
Nicola Stevens extended the Blues’ lead to 15 leading into the final term. They managed to hold off the Saints’ attack and with Stevens’ second goal for the day, and 11 inside 50s to none, the Saints were sent packing.
Debutants Jessica Matin and Isabella Shannon joined the red, white and black’s ranks while the Blues welcomed back Rising Star nominee Lucy McEvoy. McEvoy missed the opening two rounds of the AFLW season after sustaining a facial fracture in the Blues’ January practice match with the Saints.
PRESPAKIS SHINES A stand-out as usual, Prespakis dominated for the Blues leaving with 24 disposals and a goal. Leading into round three, Prespakis had polled four votes in the last two games in the AFLW champion-player-of-the-year count, averaging 21 disposals and five clearances so far in 2021.
Saints co-captain Cat Phillips tagged her throughout the third but it was the midfield contest with Georgia Patrikios that showed the young guns are the ones to watch.
POWER OF PATRIKIOS Patrikios had career-best figures of 27 disposals and six tackles in the Saints’ narrow loss to the Kangaroos last week and was showing no sign of slowing down, tallying 20 disposals and three marks. Awarded the AFLPA’s best first-year player award, a podium finish in the 2020 NAB Rising Star Award and selection into the AFLPA’s 22 under-22 team and All-Australian squad, Patrikios looks to be a lock in the Saints’ starting 18 with no questions asked.
AROUND THE GROUNDS Greater Western Sydney slid to a 10-point victory in a wet contest against the still winless Gold Coast at Blacktown Oval.
It was Taylah Davies and skipper Alicia Eva who each slotted a first-quarter goal, which was enough to keep the Giants ahead until the final siren.
It was slow going for the Suns who remained goalless until the dying moments of the final term, where one off the boot of midfielder Jamie Stanton got them on the board.
All-Australian and reigning GWS best and fairest, Alyce Parker, ran off with 24 disposals, including six clearances, and five tackles.
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