More injury carnage for the Maroons as both centres limp from training

Queensland’s already thin backline stocks are on the verge of further collapse after both centres failed to finish their Captain’s Run session at CBUS Super Stadium on the Gold Coast.

Brenko Lee left the field with a calf injury and was shaking his head in frustration while Kurt Capewell suffered a groin concern and watched on gingerly. Wayne Bennett said he expected both to recover in time but Hymel Hunt would travel to Adelaide as cover.

Brenko Lee at Queensland Origin training.Credit:Getty Images

Given the absence of players like Kalyn Ponga, Michael Morgan, Moses Mbye, Valentine Holmes, Corey Allan and Kyle Feldt, it was hardly the news the Maroons needed as they prepare to attempt an upset win over NSW in Adelaide on Wednesday night.

The disruption saw Queensland chop and change positions during their field session, with Dane Gagai spending time at centre, while winger Phillip Sami was due to drop out of the 21-man squad should Capewell be fit to take the field.

“Nothing serious… they went off for a precaution. I do expect them both to play,” Maroons coach Wayne Bennett said.


There was better news for winger Xavier Coates, with Bennett saying he was certain to make his debut on the wing after overcoming a shoulder injury he suffered at training on the weekend.

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Grand Final carnage as two players suffer early injuries

Both Gary Ablett and Nick Vlastuin came off the field within minutes of the 2020 AFL Grand Final beginning.

In a sickening incident, an accidental elbow from Patrick Dangerfield concussed Vlastuin, who was stretched off the field.

Meanwhile, Ablett’s final career started in most heartbreaking of circumstances, with the Cats great coming from the field clutching his left shoulder after a Trent Cotchin tackle.

“This is a massive start to the match,” Terry Wallace said on AFL Nation.

“Huge consequences for both sides.”

Ablett returned to the ground later in the first term.

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Injury carnage as Reds into Super final

Dave Rennie’s Wallabies stocks have taken a beating as the Queensland Reds beat the Melbourne Rebels 25-13 to book their spot in the Super Rugby AU final.

Queensland lost Jordan Petaia (concussion) and Chris Feauai-Sautia (groin) while Rebels trio and Australian regulars Dane Haylett-Petty (groin), Matt Toomua (groin) and Jordan Uelese (shoulder) all limped off in the second half.

All would be in the mix to feature in Rennie’s first national squad, due to be named on Sunday ahead of Tests later this year.

The Reds’ backline finished in disarray but they somehow emerged victorious and will play the Brumbies in Canberra next Saturday for the title.

In the end it was hulking prop Taniela Tupou who ran a brilliant line to set up winger Filipo Daugunu for the match-sealing try with five minutes to play.

Centre Petaia looked set for a massive night when he intercepted Toomua’s pass to run 65 metres for the game’s first try.

He fumbled close to the line as a second try went begging and was no sooner on the sidelines after a nasty head clash in a tackle.

Roving winger Marika Koroibete caught the Reds napping to score on halftime for a 10-10 game, before Hunter Paisami broke the line to set up Lukhan Salakaia-Loto for the Reds’ go-ahead try early in the second half.

The Rebels had their chances, Billy Meakes’ forward pass bombing one try and Isi Naisarani charging down a kick but watching the ball cruelly bounce dead.

Andrew Kellaway should have scored the game’s first try but stepped on the line after gathering Toomua’s pin-point cross-field chip.

They also kicked the ball away numerous times when rolling forward in attack in the second half.

Daugunu did his Wallabies aspirations no harm with some terrific defensive efforts, showing his versatility to force a crucial breakdown turnover and nailing another Rebel into touch in cover defence with the game in the balance.

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Before Covid inflicted carnage, the Australian economy was struggling | Greg Jericho | Business

This week the June quarter GDP figures will show the economy shrank by about 6% in the three months after the pandemic hit our shores. But while the economic carnage of the present will deservedly get the attention, we should not let it blind us to the reality that even before the virus, the economy was barely limping along.

For my many sins, this week I spent time watching the Republican national convention. It was of course a smorgasbord of turgid hucksters praising their lord Donald Trump with large helping of lies and delusion.

Speaker after speaker would have you believe that things are great. Vice-President Mike Pence boasted of how in the past three months the US has “gained back 9.3 million jobs”.

Pity, I guess, that there were 25m jobs lost in the two months before that.

It was in essence an attempt to erase the impact of the virus – to erase the present. This is somewhat ironic because one thing the pandemic has been very effective at doing is erasing the past.

When everything is going downhill at record speed it is easy to pretend that beforehand everything was going well. It provides the government the opportunity to suggest that if it wasn’t for this pesky virus our economy would have been booming along.

What has mostly been forgotten is that before coronavirus the economy was struggling. A good indicator of this is the level of private-sector business investment.

This week the latest investment figures were released (ahead of this week’s June GDP figures) showing that in the second quarter of this year, new private investment fell 5.9% – the worst fall for four years.

But that disguises just how bad things are because it includes mining investment which back in 2016 was plunging after the end of the biggest boom in our history.

If we just look at the non-mining sectors, we see investment fell 8% in the June quarter – the biggest one quarter drop on record, going back to 1987.

And as with plunges in employment, hours worked, overall GDP and any other economic measure, it is easy to think, “Oh well, that’s the pandemic for you.”

Certainly the pandemic has massively hit investment but it bears remembering that non-mining investment has now been falling since the first quarter of last year.

Similarly, this week businesses provided their third estimate for investment throughout 2020-21. Non-mining businesses expect to invest about 20% less than they did last financial year – that is the worst fall in expectations since the 1990s recession.

But again, let us not think that expectations were good before the virus.

So poor was the outlook before the pandemic hit that in January and February when businesses were asked to provide their first estimate for investment in 2020-21, for the first time in four years their estimate was below that given 12 months earlier.

Essentially at the start of this year, non-mining firms were already expecting to reduce their investment. That is not what occurs in a strong economy.

This week will see a horror GDP figure and, yes, we’ll even get silly articles saying that we are now “officially” in a recession. But amid the disastrous set of numbers, the loss of production and output and income, do not let history be erased.

Of course the magnitude of the fall is due to the virus, but do not forget that six months ago there was little reason to think that the government would be boasting about a great set of numbers.

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Roosters and Storm coach slam consequences of ‘horrific’ injury carnage

When the Melbourne Storm and the Sydney Roosters come together, the match is always bound to grab headlines.

While it’s usually for how close the match is with seven of their last eight clashes before their round 14 clash decided by less than 10 points, this game will be more remembered for the carnage than the Storm’s surprise 24-6 win at the SCG.

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Entering the game without the likes of Cameron Smith and Cameron Munster for the Storm and Boyd Cordner, Brett Morris, Daniel Tupou and Jared Waerea-Hargraves for the Roosters, the injury toll drastically rose with five injuries coming out of the game.

The Storm lost two players with Suliasi Vunivalu suffering a broken jaw, while halfback Jahrome Hughes had a groin strain.

For the Roosters, halfback Lachlan Lam suffered an ankle injury, before Mitchell Aubusson had Storm prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona fall on his arm, leading to a potentially broken arm as he left the field in distress.

But it was Sydney five-eighth Luke Keary that had the most concern with a suspected rib injury turning to the 28-year-old being rushed to hospital with worries that he may have internal injuries.

With the three players added from the match, the Roosters now have 11 players out as the injury list continues to mount, although several should return next week.

The injury concerns aren’t just with the Roosters and Storm though with plenty of injuries across the league, including an increase in long term lay-offs.

The NRL Phyio Brien Seeney on Twitter posted major injuries, requiring more than five weeks of recovery time have increased dramatically “to 6.64 per round this season (an increase of over 60% since 2018). COVID situation a major contributor but definitely needs to be looked at”.

One of the issues being blamed is the six again rule, which has increased the speed of the game after the rule that came in during the season suspension.

Originally praised, it has been criticised by fans uncertain about the reason behind six again calls, despite the benefits of speeding up the game and having the ball in play for longer.

Speaking on Fox League’s The Late Show with Matty Johns, Roosters great Luke Ricketson was asked if he’d “seen carnage like this?”

“The injuries are horrific,” he said. “I’m not quite sure what it is. People are stalking about the time off that everyone’s had and coming back and not being conditioned for this style of football but the game’s just got a lot faster and there’s more minutes being played and people are just not adapting to it and the injuries are just going everywhere.”

It comes as both coaches from the match took aim at the new rules.

Asked if this was the worst injury toll he’d seen in the competition, two-time champion coach Trent Robinson said “without a doubt”.

“We knew the risk of it all and we assumed the risk because that’s what we are here to do,” he said.

“But I was a part of it, not having byes and the rule changes have increased the intensity by about 10 to 15 per cent. there are consequences for that, a better game and more injuries at the moment.”

Similarly, Melbourne’s champion coach Craig Bellamy called for the NRL to rethink the changes to take some of the burden off the players.

“I was really proud of our guys tonight, but I know the Roosters have got a lot of injuries and had a few more tonight,” said Bellamy.

“Losing a guy like Luke Keary, he’s one of the elite players in our competition. I thought the last 20 minutes was a bit of an ugly game to be quite honest. We had players playing in positions they’re not used to. The Roosters had that too.

“The fatigue in the game, we decided we wanted that but I’m not sure if there’s too much fatigue with the amount of teams that have got a lot of injuries.

“We’ve got two of our most influential players out and it’s not just about fatigue and soft tissue injuries.

“When people get fatigued they put their bodies in the wrong places when they make tackles or absorb the contact and you get injured from there.

“It’s something we need to have a look at, because it was like a MASH unit tonight. It seems as though there’s a lot of injuries.”

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Andrew Johns savages Broncos carnage in brutal Tigers halftime thrashing

The Brisbane Broncos have delivered a false dawn with last week’s win over the Canterbury Bulldogs with commentators and fans delivering a scathing assessment of the side’s start.

After 35 minutes, the Tigers had scored five tries and were blowing the Broncos off the park at 26-0.

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The start of the second half got even worse with two quick tries to make it 36-0.

Following a six-game losing streak, the Broncos finally tasted victory over the Bulldogs last week but while it was hoped they’d turned a corner, the Tigers have proven to be in a different league to start the game.

David Nofoaluma scored first before Harry Grant strolled over.

But it was the third try for Luciano Leilua that really showed how bad the Broncos were playing at Leichhardt Oval.

Leilua hit a good line and breezed straight past Brisbane halfback Brodie Croft in the 21st minute.

Croft barely lifted his arm to make the tackle with Channel 9’s Andrew Johns delivering a scathing assessment of the Broncos’ start.

“That is hard to describe just how bad that is,“ Johns said. “No communication whatsoever.

Once the half digs right into the line, the outside defenders have to swarm and defend it from the outside in. That was so awful to watch.”

Just three minutes later, it got even worse as Jamayne Isaako dropped a ball in a pressure tackle, leaving Benji Marshall to pick it up and cross untouched.

“It can‘t get any worse,” Johns said.

“This is a nightmare for Brisbane,” Matthew Thompson added.

“They‘re looking for someone else to do it,” Peter Sterling said.

At halftime, Queensland great Johnathan Thurston said the Broncos had been “dismal from the start”.

On Fox League, Kevin Walters said “they can’t do anything right tonight the Broncos”.

Walters, who was famously overlooked for the Broncos’ coaching job when Anthony Seibold was signed, tried to give a positive, suggesting there was still plenty of time left for a big comeback – but that seems very optimistic at this stage.

Club legend Corey Parker also ripped in at his former club.

“Some of the decisions the key Broncos players are coming up with are garbage,” he said.

“I mean at the start of the game they were five from five sets and Anthony Milford puts up a midfield bomb that lands on the 40m line and at the end of that set they [the Tigers] go down get a repeat set and build some pressure.

“And off the back of that, the Broncos can’t get back into the game. The next time they get the ball they come up with a steal, that’s a penalty to the Tigers. They [the Tigers] kick long, they back their defence, they come up with the points.”

The nightmare first half was savaged by pretty much everyone on social media as well.

But while it was the third time the Broncos have been kept to zero in a first half this season, it wasn’t their biggest deficit, which was 29-0 against the Roosters.

The side are also on track for another record hiding with the Tigers scoring twice to open the second half and make it 36-0.

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