Australia hammered again 5-0, Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson’s big Tokyo Olympics challenge

The fact that the Matildas have not played together in more than a year and had not met their new coach until gathering in camp in Europe before these two games are clearly mitigating factors.

However, this Matildas squad boasts many players who have been in the system for years and have faced tough opponents alongside each other before, so familiarity should not have been a problem for the likes of Emily Van Egmond, Alanna Kennedy, Caitlin Foord, Laura Alleway, Aivi Luik, Hayley Raso and Sam Kerr.

The Netherlands’ Stefanie van der Gragt (right) is hot on the heels of Australia’s Sam Kerr.Credit:Getty Images

It was never going to be easy taking on such high quality teams as Germany and the Netherlands so the outcome, in the circumstances, was predictable enough although few would have expected the Matildas to concede 10 goals in two games.

They will be better with the marauding Carpenter back in the side and Catley will add defensive experience to the rearguard.

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Port Adelaide survives Richmond challenge but it comes at a cost

Port Adelaide and Richmond have played off in yet another thriller, with the Power holding on for a two-point victory on Friday night.

Wayward in front of goal, Port left the door ajar for Richmond despite leading all night and would have let the game slip if not for some Robbie Gray magic.

It came at a cost however with injuries to young duo Zak Butters and Xavier Duursma.

Here’s everything you need to know!

The Moment: Robbie Gray kicks the winner

How many times has Robbie Gray decided a game for Port Adelaide at this point?

The Power looked flat as the Tigers controlled the fourth quarter and took the lead. They needed something special and Gray delivered.

He took a contested mark in a one-on-one contested before going back and slotting the goal.

Gray then found himself at full back, rushing a behind as the pressure collapsed around him.

The Tigers had another shot to take the lead through Jack Riewoldt, but ultimately couldn’t regain the lead.

The Medical Room: Zak Butters and Xavier Duursma

Zak Butters was one of the most important players on the ground early in the game, but finished it in the back row of the bench.

The star young forward suffered a knee injury, one he attempted to play through, but was ultimately subbed out for Sam Mayes.

Xavier Duursma meanwhile was carried from the ground late in the fourth term with what appeared to be a leg injury.

Could the Power lose two thirds of their incredible draft class on one night?


What’s next?

Port Adelaide travels to Victoria to take on Carlton next Saturday night at the MCG, while Richmond takes on St Kilda at Marvel Stadium on Thursday night.


Port Adelaide: 3.3, 6.10, 9.12, 11.13. (79)

Richmond: 4.2, 6.3, 8.7, 11.11. (77)


Port Adelaide: Motlop 2, Rozee 2, Georgiades, Gray, Houston, Butters, Duursma, Fantasia, Hartlett

Richmond: Riewoldt 3, Lambert 2, Aarts, Lynch, Bolton, Castagna, Martin, Short


Port Adelaide: Boak, Amon, Lycett, Houston, Clurey, Duursma

Richmond: Short, Martin, Houli, Riewoldt, Lambert, Bolton


Port Adelaide: Zak Butters (knee), Duursma (leg)

Richmond: Nil

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‘Dream come true’: Jailed Cairns woman’s incredible new challenge

A YOUNG Cairns woman jailed over a serious crash, who bravely shared her story to warn other motorists, is living her “dream come true” after being accepted in to study paramedic science.

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Unified retail: a great challenge, but an even greater opportunity

2020 was the year bricks-and-mortar retailers turned on — or doubled down on — their online capabilities. Where physical shop fronts were closing, digital stores were filling the void. But what happens next?

Many businesses have been using online as just a stopgap. However, retailers should unify their online and offline worlds, creating a stronger business without having to double their effort.

This year, the biggest challenge for the retail industry is also their biggest opportunity: unifying online and offline strategies to create a seamless omnichannel approach that caters to every shopper.

Complementary, not contrasting

Long before the pandemic, eCommerce was forecast to threaten traditional brick-and-mortar business. Selling online is undoubtedly a convenient service for increasingly digital-first consumers, but one that is complementing, rather than replacing, brick-and-mortar retail.

Traditional retailers are the heart and soul of local communities; adding colour and vibrancy to high streets nationwide. Savvy retailers are those that unify both channels; combining a targeted, sophisticated online strategy with meaningful, human-centric in-store experiences to grow their customer base, drive sales, incentivise loyalty, and provide shoppers with the seamless experience they want, where they want it.

Online store

An omnichannel retail strategy may sound like a daunting process, but if approached strategically and sustainably, it needn’t be. The easiest first step is a simple online store that highlights your products with a straightforward checkout, and link it to your physical store.

Before you’re ready to fulfil orders through your online store, you’ll need behind-the-scenes systems to look after your inventory, manage packaging and deliveries, and collect and analyse customer data. Inventory management, for example, is particularly important as you unify your approaches – after all, you don’t want to advertise a product online that sold out in-store that day. Or perhaps you’ll see that a certain product is selling better in-store than online, and so you should reserve more product for physical sales.

Deeper capabilities

With those foundations set, you can consider the additional channels you want to leverage. Email marketing, for example, is a cost- and time-effective method for reaching a large number of customers and steering them towards your online store or telling them about exciting new in-store products.

Instagram, meanwhile, is growing in popularity; with 90 per cent of users following a brand, 83 per cent finding new products on the platform and 80 per cent purchasing products through it. Across every channel – email, social media or others – personalisation is important. Leveraging customer data, you can suggest products your customers might like, offer them a discount if they haven’t shopped for a while, or alert them to sales at your local store.

In-store experience

An effective eCommerce approach doesn’t just incentivise online sales but encourages customers to visit your shop floor. Click and collect, a perfect example of unified retail, is not only a convenient way for customers to receive their purchase but provides an opportunity for you to up-sell at the point of sale.

Whether they’ve arrived in your store through online discovery or are spending an afternoon on their local high street, it’s important to provide a memorable and convenient experience. It pays to incentivise loyalty, so consider loyalty schemes that account for in-store and online purchases or discounts for shoppers who sign up for your mailing list.

While restrictions are easing and vaccination programs are underway nationwide, health and safety is still crucial, so accept contactless payments, make sanitiser available and, where mandatory, ensure customers scan a QR code upon entry.

As consumers prioritise connection, convenience, and bespoke products, the need for – and potential of – omnichannel retail increases. No longer accessible to only big-box retailers, local retailers are redefining successful omnichannel experiences and turning challenge into opportunity.

Colin Birney, Head of Business Development, Square Australia

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Tigers withstand strong Blues challenge in action-packed season opener

Richmond has withstood an almightly challenge from a plucky Carlton to run out 25-points winners in Thursday night’s season-opener.

It was Richmond’s biggest and best names that stood up where it counted, with three-time Norm Smith Medal winner Dustin Martin stamping his authority on a highly-entertaining contest in a frenetic final term.

On a night of firsts at the MCG, Oscar McDonald became the first player to be activated using the new medical sub, replacing Jack Silvagni at half time as a result of a shoulder injury.

Richmond made use of the injury sub as well later in the night, with Nick Vlastuin deemed unfit to continue due to a knee injury in the third term and Jack Ross subsequently activated.

Earlier in the night, Sam Petrevski-Seton became the first player to give away a 50-metre penalty as a result of the stand rule, with Josh Caddy the lucky beneficiary in the second term.

So much has changed since the last time a game was played in front of crowds at the MCG but one thing remains a constant – Dustin Martin kicking miraculous goals. His first of two goals on the night saw him fend off a Blues opponent in the second term eerily similar to the first of his four spectacular goals in last October’s Grand Final.

David Astbury also faces a nervous wait after being reported for striking Lachie Plowman, with the Blues taking full advantage of the high elbow to slot home a goal in the third quarter.

“This is the best opener between these sides in recent memory, there’s no doubt,” Dwayne Russell said in commentary on AFL Nation.

There were plenty of positives out of the clash for the Blues even in defeat, with Sam Walsh looking noticeable bulked up and ready to take another step in his third season at AFL level.

Here’s everything you need to know!

The difference: Tale of two forwards

In what turned out to be a crucial third term, Jack Riewoldt stood up and made the most of his opportunities, in stark contract to Carlton’s forwards who weren’t able to finish off their impressive work around the ground.

Riewoldt kicked two important third-quarter goals to ensure Richmond held a slender but important eight-point lead with a quarter to play and that proved to be enough of a buffer in the end.

In stark contrast, Harry McKay let a golden opportunity slip in the same term, playing on and being run down after taking a strong contested grab deep inside forward 50.

It’s those type of opportunities which David Teague will be left rueing on a night where his side weren’t far away.

The big question: Just how does footy look in 2021?

The question on everyone’s lips heading into the opening round of the season was how the game would look, following an off-season dominated by rule changes.

In a frenetic start in front of a buzzing crowd, the Blues look on from the getgo, kicking the opening two goals before both sides traded goals in open and free-flowing opening quarter.

Small forward Jason Castagna kicked two opening goals, but the early running was dominated by Patrick Cripps and Sam Walsh, who combined for 22 touches in the first term.

The footy on Thursday night was fast, furious and fiery. If this is a sign of things to come, we’re in for a treat this year.

The super sub: McDonald presses his claim

Jack Silvagni’s shoulder injury saw McDonald injected into the game at half time as Carlton’s 23rd player and he made an immediate impact, kicking his side’s first goal of the third term and slotting in alongside Harry McKay and Levi Casboult.

The man who only kicked one goal in time at Melbourne doubled his career tally barely a quarter into his time at Carlton and looked more than worthy of a spot in the side moving forward.

He then made it two goals in less than a half, flushing a kick from an acute angle midway through the final term to keep his side in the contest.

A crunching tackle earlier in the third team set the tone for a determined McDonald, who looks hellbent on making the most of his second chance at AFL level.

Crowds return to the MCG

How good is it to see crowds at the footy in Melbourne once again?

After a 2020 season which didn’t see a single fan attend a game at the MCG or Marvel Stadium due to the COVID shutdown, there was an overwhelming sense that football had come home on Thursday night, even if restrictions meant the ground wasn’t able to be more than 50 per cent full.

The overwhelmingly Richmond home crowd saw an unprecedented two flags unveiled less than 20 minutes before the bounce and that was just the entree on a night where the city regained one of its key traditions once more after 18 months in the wilderness.


Richmond: 3.3, 8.5, 10.8, 15.15 (105)

Carlton: 3.2, 6.6, 8.12, 11.14 (80)


Richmond: Riewoldt 4, Castagna 2, Martin 2, Rioli 2, Aarts 2, Bolton, Caddy, Lynch

Carlton: McKay 2, McDonald 2, Gibbons 2, Dow, Casboult, O’Brien, Plowman, Silvagni


Richmond: Martin, Lambert, Riewoldt, Prestia, Graham

Carlton: Walsh, Cripps, Saad, Curnow, McKay

Reports: Astbury (striking)


Richmond: Vlastuin (knee), replaced by Ross

Carlton: Silvagni (shoulder), replaced by McDonald

Crowd: 49,218 at the MCG

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Victorian Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien retains leadership after challenge

Michael O’Brien will remain the leader of the Victorian Liberal Party after a spill motion failed.

Brad Battin – opposition spokesman for road safety, crime prevention, victims support and youth justice – put his hand up for the top job during a Liberal party room meeting before parliament sits.

O’Brien arrived at state parliament on Tuesday morning with his key supporters, senior MPs Georgie Crozier, David Davis, Cindy McLeish and Louise Staley.

Just after 9am he fronted the media and said he would keep it “short and sweet”.

“The party is very strongly resolved to keep the current leadership group in place and that means we get to get our focus on Victorians,” he said.

On being asked how stressful the past day had been, O’Brien said he took his wife to hospital for a surgery on Monday and thought that would be the biggest thing on his mind.

“It’s funny how life throws you curveballs. There are more important things than politics,” he said.

“The great news is she’s going well.”

Battin also spoke to media after the sitting and said he would be having a discussion with O’Brien later on Tuesday.

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Anti-lockdown protester David Weisinger interrupts to challenge Victorian law

An anti-lockdown protester who has launched civil action over Victoria’s lockdown restrictions made a brazen move in his court case.

An anti-lockdown protester interrupted his own lawyer during a court hearing to declare he wanted to challenge the validity of Victoria’s public health act.

David Weisinger is one of three anti-lockdown protesters who launched civil action against the state’s top health bosses chief health officer Brett Sutton and deputy public health commander Finn Romanes.

Police allege Mr Weisinger helped organise a protest outside Queen Victoria Market in September last year when clashes broke out between protesters and officers. He has been charged with incitement and is on bail.

His lawyer Serene Teffaha was about to address the court when the anti-lockdown protester interrupted.

“I understand that you’re representing me … I just want to say one thing to the court,” Mr Weisinger said.

But Justice Richard Niall said since he had a lawyer he normally didn’t get to address the court but allowed him to speak.

The anti-lockdown protester said he wanted to challenge the validity of the “impugned” Public Health and Wellbeing Act.

“If I need to be removed from being represented, I’ll do that,” Mr Weisinger said.

He asked the judge about whether this challenge was in the jurisdiction of the court.

“I don’t propose to answer that question for this reason. You are represented by a solicitor at this moment,” Justice Niall said.

The judge told Mr Weisinger if he wanted to challenge the validity of the legislation he would need to file separate paperwork and it was not appropriate to deal with it at the same time as the current case.

The protester sighed as the judge explained this.

His lawyer Ms Teffaha said she had to speak to her clients about their position following the High Court case involving Clive Palmer against Western Australia.

Mr Weisinger, Tony Pecora and Kerry Cotterill are arguing the state’s stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus lockdown burdened individuals’ freedom of political communication.

All three were charged for breaching restrictions to attend protests, according to court documents.

Ms Cotterill was handed an infringement notice while carrying a sign “displaying a political message”, an amended originating motion shows.

“She was otherwise complying with the public health directions; she was walking on her own in public, within five kilometres of her ordinary place of residence and was wearing a face mask,” according to the court document.

Mr Pecora was charged with incitement from the use of “his social media to organise protest activities”. His home at Middle Park was raided and he was granted bail but was barred from using social media.

The case will return to the Supreme Court in late April.

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Small Town Big Backyard Style: Challenge

Small Town Big Backyard Style: Challenge

Small Town Big Backyard Style: ChallengeSmall Town Big Backyard Style: Challenge

Event by Limitless No Boundaries

The concept is simple. You will have 15 minutes to complete a 1k loop around the complex. If you don’t make it back YOU’RE OUT!

The concept is simple.

At 8am on Saturday morning, December 18 we will start a race around a 1k loop of the sporting complex in Healesville.

The time limit will be 15 minutes for every 1k loop before heading out again.

You can walk or run this loop. The faster you do it the more rest you get before heading out again… but will this tire you out too quickly ?

You’ll have to wait and see!

If you do not make it back in the 15 minute time limit or you cant continue – YOU’RE OUT!

Last one standing wins!

Of course everyone that enters and participates in this challenge will get a little something from me.

The last person standing will take home the prize – A Garmin Vivoactive 3 sports watch and a $150 Herd Bar voucher !

Challenge date is depending on restrictions !

There will be an aid station set up at the start/finish line with food , water and sports drinks.

$25 entry fee

Date And Time

Sat., 18/12/2021, 8:00 am – Sun., 19/12/2021, 8:00 pm AEDT


Healesville Sporting Complex

Don Road

Healesville, VIC 3777

❊ When & Where ❊

Date/s: Saturday 18th December 2021 – Sunday 19th December 2021

Times: 8am – 8pm




❊ Location ❊

Small Town Big Backyard Style: Challenge⊜ Don Road   Healesville |
Google Map

Don Road , Healesville, , 3777

Book Online Here

MyCity Save

❊ Be Social ❊

❊ Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update ❊

As Victoria takes action to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), events may be cancelled at short notice. Please confirm details before making plans | Disclaimer

❊ Web Links ❊

Small Town Big Backyard Style: Challenge

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Fitness challenge

Date & time

Wed 10 Mar 2021
6:00am to 7:00am


16 years and over



Bookings essential. Bootcamp style workout using strength exercises and running .


Bookings essential. To book phone Jen on 0410 010 316.


Yoga mat, dumbbells and resistant band.

Meeting point

Meet under the big tree.


Taringa Playground Park, 29 Moorak Street, Taringa

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Carlton Blues challenge Zac Williams suspension, Bachar Houli set to miss round one for Richmond Tigers

Star midfielder Dion Prestia (hamstring) is also a reasonable chance to return for the blockbuster against the Blues, who will have most of their best 22 available, barring some longer-term absentees. But they face a decision on whether to include three players who have had limited or no match-play over the past few weeks and on the choice of player to replace suspended recruit Zac Williams, if their appeal at the tribunal is unsuccessful.

Eddie Betts played in the VFL practice game on Friday, having overcome a calf that he tweaked in January and will be available, as will Levi Casboult (jarred knee) and Mitch McGovern (minor hamstring).

The Blues, however, may be reluctant to select all three of those players, bearing in mind that Casboult and McGovern have not played in either of the pre-season games against opposition, participating only in intra-club match simulations before their injuries.

Michael Gibbons is one of the main chances to take Williams’ position, having performed well in the VFL practice match in a hybrid midfield, high-forward role that is somewhat similar to that of Williams.

The Blues cannot consider Caleb Marchbank (calf), Tom de Koning (back), Nick Newman (knee) and talented key forward Charlie Curnow, who is in recovery from a long-term knee injury.

Kangaroos defender in doubt for round one

North Melbourne’s best backman Robbie Tarrant has twinged a groin and will be monitored over the next week, casting some doubt on him for round one.


The important key defender has not been ruled out of the opening game but will miss a few sessions in the next week as the club manages his groin flare-up.

While North will unashamedly play a young side this year to blood their talented youngsters like Will Phillips, Phoenix Spicer, Tom Powell and Charlie Lazzaro, they will be looking to experienced players like Tarrant to be the big bodies and mature heads to offer suport to the teenagers.

The Roos are hopeful Ben Cunnington (concussion), Jed Anderson (calf) and Jared Polec (hamstring) will be able to be right for round one, leaving only Trent Dumont with a calf injury as unlikely.

North lost their pre-season match at Arden Street on Saturday by 39 points to Hawthorn, a team that finished with them in the bottom four last year.

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