Victoria is on the cusp of reaching coronavirus ‘elimination day’ — and NSW isn’t far behind

Today is the day that Victoria will hopefully find out the news it’s been waiting for — that the state hasn’t found a new coronavirus case in four weeks.

While it’s difficult to know for certain, it’s widely believed a 28 day period without any cases found is good evidence the virus has been effectively eliminated in Victoria.

It’s a remarkable turnaround, and a result some critics said couldn’t be achieved.

And Victoria, thanks to its tougher rules and loftier goals, got there faster than New South Wales.

Only one state recording local cases

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has repeatedly maintained that eliminating the virus locally was “unrealistic”.

But Australia’s largest state is also on track to get there, even if it wasn’t by design, as long as no local cases are reported in the next nine days.

The only state recording locally acquired cases at the moment is South Australia, and while the state isn’t out of the danger zone, cases remain in very small numbers.

Two states — Victoria and Tasmania — don’t have any active cases, while the ACT has only one. All three jurisdictions don’t receive overseas arrivals at the moment.

Current numbers are the lowest Australia has sustained since March, as the pandemic was taking off.

The nation has now managed a streak of 40 days with a seven day average below 20, and most recent cases are overseas arrivals in hotel quarantine.

Aggressive suppression can slip away at any time

That streak comes after a peak of more than 500 in early August.

Only two countries — Singapore and China — have reached a peak of that magnitude and then improved to keep the average below 20 for longer than Australia.

“When you look at Australia compared to the rest of the world, well frankly there is no comparison,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Thursday.

“Australia is in a handful of countries that stand out not just for how we’ve suppressed the virus, but how we have mitigated the economic impact on Australia.

But that doesn’t mean Australia can rest on its laurels.

Israel got its infection numbers as low as 13 a day, but a damaging second wave saw the country average 1,700 cases a day within two months of that, and the country went on to peak at a 7 day average of 6,222 cases.

Ireland too had great success, but saw another flare-up and is still dealing with the consequences of a sizable wave.

It’s unlikely breaches can be completely eliminated

The biggest threat to Australia maintaining its grip on low or non-existent case numbers is now the hotel quarantine system.

With many Australians trying to come home in time for Christmas, and a worsening global situation, the number of cases being found in returned travellers has been slowly increasing since the end of August.

While stricter controls could be put in place, as is currently happening in South Australia, it’s unlikely the risk of quarantine breaches can be completely eliminated.

That means the more people passing through that system while cases overseas remain high, the higher the risk of the virus escaping quarantine.

While tracing schemes like QR code check-ins are being increasingly rolled out, many of our cities are primed for superspreader events, amid fading compliance with physical distancing guidelines and mask wearing.

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Natasha Stott Despoja elected to UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

Former Democrats leader Natasha Stott Despoja has been elected to a top-level United Nations committee fighting for equality for women.

The former South Australian senator was early this morning voted onto the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

The committee is a body of 23 independent experts who monitor the progress of UN member states’ efforts to eliminate discrimination against women.

Ms Stott Despoja will be the first Australian member for 28 years.

The South Australian was one of 11 people elected to the committee, out of 19 candidates, including nine incumbents.

She said her “passion for gender equality and human rights” and hard work campaigning got her elected.

“It’s been a long night, but I’m very happy that Australia has a spot on the committee,” she said.


The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women was adopted by the UN in 1979 and entered into force in 1981.

Foreign Affairs Minister and Minister for Women Marise Payne congratulated Ms Stott Despoja on her election.

“Ms Stott Despoja’s candidacy was supported by the Australian Government following an open, merit-based selection process,” Senator Payne said.

“Australia has a proud record of advocacy on gender equality with a focus on ending violence against women and girls, promoting women’s economic empowerment and enhancing women’s leadership choices.”

Ms Stott Despoja will be on the committee for four years and will be the only representative from Oceania.

She was a senator for South Australia from 1995 to 2008.

She was Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls from 2013 to 2016 and is the current chair of Our Watch, a group which focuses on the prevention of violence against women and their children.

She became an Officer of the Order of Australia last year.

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Strictly’s Jacqui Smith in ‘agony’ as she battles to avoid elimination

Strictly star and former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has said that she’s in “agony” as she presses on with the show’s demanding training.

Jacqui, 57, is partnered with pro Anton du Beke, and despite looking like she was having fun on Saturday, faces the possibility of elimination this weekend.

Bookies have hedged their bets that Jacqui will be given the boot after she came bottom of the leaderboard with just 13 points.

Just ahead of them are Jamie Laing and Karen Hauer, while sitting pretty at the top are HRVY with Janette Manrara, and Maisie Smith and Gorka Marquez in second.

But Jacqui’s not giving up easily, putting in the hours to give it her best shot – and hopefully avoid axing.

Jacqui faces elimination over the weekend

“There has been quite a lot of bouncing,” she told today’s Good Morning Britain, “My knees are suffering and my feet are in agony.

“I’m getting through the plasters like a rate of knots, but I’m really enjoying this dance.

“All I need to do – all I need to do – is give it some welly and hopefully make sure everyone enjoys it as much as I am.”

Their Foxtrot didn’t wow the judges

Despite the projections, Jacqui’s making a fist of it

Saturday saw Jacqui and Anton receive some pretty brutal feedback from the judges, not least from resident hard-nut Craig Revel-Horwood.

“For me, it lacked musicality,” he said bluntly, “which made it end up a little bit lumpy. You need to double your energy, darling.

“It all got very House of Commons when you went over to get your cane and top hat. You can’t just give up and stop dancing while you get the prop – you need to dance your way there.

Craig was his usual sassy self

“Make sure you close your feet there when they’re meant to be closed, you could drive a semi trailer through them throughout that!”

“But I am looking forward to the bright side of things because when you consider Theresa May and her dancing, you’re 10 times better than that! So well done,” he added in a swipe at the former Prime Minister.

*Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One at 7:10pm on Saturday.

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Sydney Roosters vs Canberra Raiders Tips, Teams and Odds – NRL Elimination Finals 2020

Sydney Roosters host
Canberra Raiders
at Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday October 9, 2020. Canberra Raiders are favourites for the game which is scheduled to start at 7:50 pm. We preview the game and give you our tips and information on how you can watch the Sydney Roosters vs.
Canberra Raiders
game live.

When: Friday October 9, 2020 at 7:50 pm

Where: Sydney Cricket Ground

Bet: Bet On This Match HERE

Sydney Roosters vs Canberra Raiders Odds

Sydney Roosters vs Canberra Raiders Preview

The first of the NRL Elimination Finals is against the Sydney Roosters and the Canberra Raiders which is shaping up to be a cracking match.

The Roosters gave away too much of a head start to the Panthers on the weekend and couldn’t quite reel them back in having conceded a worrying amount of points again.

The Raiders were very sharp in their win over Cronulla and head into this game with plenty of confidence and form on their side.

The game really will be decided by which Roosters team decides to show up with the side being very hit and miss of late.

If the best Roosters team shows up they will win however we have only seen that in small patches in recent weeks and they are leaking a lot of points.

This looks to be a pretty high scoring affair which should come down to the wire.

The Raiders are at a better price and this they go on top in what should be a very exciting game.

First Try Scorer

First Try Scorer:

Nick Cotric at $12.

Sydney Roosters vs Canberra Raiders Teams

Roosters team: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Josh Morris 4. Joseph Manu 5. Brett Morris 6. Luke Keary 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Jake Friend 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho 11. Boyd Cordner 12. Angus Crichton 13. Isaac Liu 14. Lindsay Collins 15. Sitili Tupouniua 16. Mitchell Aubusson 17. Sonny Bill Williams 18. Nat Butcher 19. Daniel Fifita 20. Matt Ikuvalu 21. Lachlan Lam

Raiders team: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Semi Valemi 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Jordan Rapana 5. Nick Cotric 6. Jack Wighton 7. George Williams 8. Josh Papalii 9. Tom Starling 10. Iosia Soliola 11. John Bateman 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Joseph Tapine 14. Siliva Havili 15. Dunamis Lui 16. Hudson Young 17. Corey Harawira-Naera 18. Sam Williams 19. Matthew Timoko 20. Kai O’Donnell 21. Michael Oldfield

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Parramatta Eels vs South Sydney Rabbitohs Tips, Teams and Odds – NRL Elimination Finals 2020

Parramatta Eels host
South Sydney Rabbitohs
at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday October 10, 2020. South Sydney Rabbitohs are favourites for the game which is scheduled to start at 7:50 pm. We preview the game and give you our tips and information on how you can watch the Parramatta Eels vs.
South Sydney Rabbitohs
game live.

When: Saturday October 10, 2020 at 7:50 pm

Where: Bankwest Stadium

Bet: Bet On This Match HERE

Parramatta Eels vs South Sydney Rabbitohs Odds

Parramatta Eels vs South Sydney Rabbitohs Preview

Winning form is good form and that was proven by the South Sydney Rabbitohs in week 1 of the finals who hit the ground running with a good win after a great end to the season.

They face the Parramatta Eels in an elimination final and have opened up as the short-priced favourites for the game.

The Eels are coming off a loss to Melbourne Storm but I’m surprised to see them open up at the odds they did.

Backing the Eels to win this, the $2.65 available at the time this was written seems like a good price.

First Try Scorer

First Try Scorer:

Blake Ferguson at $12.

Parramatta Eels vs South Sydney Rabbitohs Teams

Eels team: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. George Jennings 3. Michael Jennings 4. Waqa Blake 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Ryan Matterson 13. Nathan Brown 14. Will Smith 15. Andrew Davey 16. Kane Evans 17. Ray Stone 18. Oregon Kaufusi 19. Brad Takairangi 20. Haze Dunster 21. Daniel Alvaro

Rabbitohs team: 1. Corey Allan 2. Alex Johnston 3. Campbell Graham 4. Dane Gagai 5. Jaxson Paulo 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Thomas Burgess 11. Jaydn Su’A 12. Bayley Sironen 13. Cameron Murray 14. Mark Nicholls 15. Liam Knight 16. Jed Cartwright 17. Keaon Koloamatangi 18. Steven Marsters 19. Hame Sele 20. Troy Dargan 21. Patrick Mago

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Collingwood Magpies defeat West Coast Eagles by one point in a classic elimination final

Q: Let’s talk about some of your set-up tonight which was superb. Your use of Darcy Cameron in particular and Brodie Grundy, just talk us through what your processes were there.
A: Well, Nic Naitanui was still an exceptional influence on the game. Five centre-bounce goals, largely through, you know, his efforts and the capacity to get the ball through the front. It’s one of the few parts of the game now that goes into even numbers and you can’t really get support. So we thought that we wanted to tag-team him a little bit. We thought Darcy was really good around the ground and we need to give ‘Brodes’ a chop-out. He’s been a warrior for so long, but I think maybe with a bit of support we can refine that extra 5-10 per cent through this period.

Q: They dominated early, West Coast, the start of the last quarter with Brodie Grundy off. But you held your nerve and obviously in the end it paid off.
A: Yeah, look, I think both the guys, yeah, they shared their role, two of the 22 we felt contributed pretty well.

Q: Let’s talk about some of the heroes at the end. The [Brody] Mihocek snap, that’s about as good a goal as you can kick in a precious moment.
A: Yes, and Jordy’s [De Goey’s] as well. They were low percentage goals, but we were able to finish and took advantage of that. We felt like we moved the ball pretty well for the majority of the night. We felt we got really good contest in front of the ball. That was an important part of getting the game on our terms.

Q: You almost had a score there to make it a two-point ball game. The ball bounced on the line and then came back. I’m not sure if you were thinking this is the 2018 grand final all over again up the wing, but it was a big moment for both teams. Fortunately this time for Collingwood you had players in the road.
A: I know you’re a West Australian, so you can keep bringing that up if you like, but, you know, we’re in 2020 now. You know, we did enough to win the game. Obviously it was a very tight margin in the end. There’s still things there we can do better. That’s the coach coming out of me now. Look, we’ll enjoy this and, you know, I think you’ve got to enjoy your wins. We will do that, but we’ve got our sights set ongoing further.

Q: So how do you enjoy this tonight? You go back to Joondalup where you’ve been based. From all reports, pretty comfortable there. As comfortable as you can be away from home.
A: Comfortable, that’s good. Everyone else was affronted. We enjoyed it, will go back, have a shower, try and get a bit cleaner than we are at the moment, then jump on the plane and head back.

Q: Just on ‘clean’, I wanted to ask about that headline in the West Australian during the week, the ‘Dirty Pies’ headline. It referred to the quarantine situation of the game. Was there any upset from the Magpies’ point of view with that?
A: No. As I said, we focused on the things we can and got most of those – we got them right for the most part. You know, we’re looking forward to next week, mate.

Q: Just on the season, obviously there’s still more of the season to come for the Magpies now, but it’s been an extraordinary effort. Not just from Collingwood, from everyone in the competition and, indeed, the leaders of the competition. It has been quite something, hasn’t it, to get everyone to this point?
A: Yeah, it has. I think it shows a lot of resilience. And everyone’s been doing it tough in some shape or form, right around the world, really, and right through Australia, Victorians in particular with the lockdown they’ve endured over the most part of the last three, four months. We feel like we’ve been very fortunate to continue working. We’ve lost some of our staff already and we’re going to have to make some hard decisions even further going forward. We really feel that. It’s a shout-out to all
our staff, whether you are back in Victoria or the Sunshine Coast at the moment, but we wanted to finish this season whole and we still intend to do that together, whether it’s in body or in spirit.

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AFL finals 2020: Elimination finals and qualifying finals analysis, Talking Points, reaction, top stories, Richmond, Brisbane, stats

Think the Tigers are in trouble? History suggests their week one loss was exactly what they needed.

Plus the epic final being compared to one of the greats and the simple key to success that isn’t so simple.

Catch up on the big storylines out of week one of the finals in’s Talking Points.

Watch the 2020 Toyota AFL Finals Series on Kayo with every game before the Grand Final Live & On-Demand. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

Semi Final


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Raiders set up grand final replay against Roosters, after fighting back for 32-20 elimination final win over Sharks

The final margin says they won by two converted tries, but the Canberra Raiders had to dig deep to overcome a 14-10 deficit at halftime, after Cronulla dominated the first half of the elimination final at Canberra Stadium.

And that deficit would certainly have been more than four points, had Raiders halfback George Williams not swooped on a Wade Graham pass and run almost 70 metres to score at the other end of the field.

It would prove a massive turning point in the game.

Cronulla had dominated possession and field position throughout, and led 14-6 after 28 minutes, after tries from winger Ronaldo Mulitalo and hooker Blayke Brailey.

“I think we made over two-hundred-and-something tackles in the first half and they had 70 per cent of the footy,” Canberra coach Ricky Stuart conceded post-match.

George Williams scored his first NRL try during the round eight match against the Dragons in July.(AAP: Lukas Coch)

Cronulla laments missed opportunities

Cronulla coach John Morris could only lament the opportunity the Williams try gave the Raiders after his side had played superbly for the first 40 minutes, silencing the parochial and increased Canberra Stadium crowd of 9,602 fans in the process.

“We spoke about that period, that’s one of those moments you want to win before and after halftime, and not let them back in. I just felt we had total control of the game,” Morris said.

But with their tail up coming into the break, the Raiders blew the game open with three converted tries in 10 minutes early in the second half.

Raiders fans perform the Viking clap, one wears a viking helmet.
While crowd numbers were much lower than during last year’s preliminary final, the Raiders played in front of their largest Canberra Stadium crowd since the coronavirus shutdown.(AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

Raiders capitalised on errors

Five-eighth Jack Wighton caught the Sharks’ defence napping in the 46th minute, taking a quick tap behind a Graham’s back as the Cronulla skipper was trying to call for a captain’s challenge.

Williams then completed a double in the 56th minute, bursting through two Sharks defenders to score under the posts from a Wighton pass.

Suddenly the Raiders led 28-14 entering the final quarter of the game.

Graham pleaded his case with referee Grant Atkins after Wighton’s first try was allowed, but his coach was more worried about why Canberra were presented with the opportunity in the first place.

“I look at why they got the ball down there, and it was off our errors coming out of our end, which we didn’t do in the first half,” Morris said.

The Sydney Roosters pile on in celebration after scoring a try in the NRL grand final
The Roosters took out the 2019 NRL grand final over the Canberra Raiders in a dramatic game that included the controversial six-again call.(AAP: Joel Carrett)

Grand final replay looms

The 12-point win pitches the Raiders straight into a replay of the 2019 grand final against the Sydney Roosters for the second week of the NRL Finals, the semi-final to be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground next Friday night.

The Raiders properly launched their run home with a 24-20 win over the Roosters at the SCG back in mid-July, from which they held onto fifth spot for the next 10 weeks.

The elimination final fight-back, along with an eight-and-two record on the road in 2020 has Stuart convinced his team can keep challenging in this season’s finals series.

“I’m very confident in that squad. They’re a tough group,” he said.

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Six again deja vu, Rabbitohs vs Knights, NRL elimination final, Ben Cummins captain’s challenge

The South Sydney Rabbitohs hit back after a fast start from the Newcastle Knights but a captain‘s challenge has revealed a bizarre coincidence.

The 2019 NRL Grand Final between the Sydney Roosters and Canberra Raiders was rocked by a six again controversy when, with less than 10 minutes going, referee Ben Cummins ruled six again, before correcting his call and making it last tackle.

The Raiders‘ Jack Wighton went to ground with the ball thinking he had a new set of six and then all hell broke loose.

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Funnily enough, a year on, on what should have been Grand Final day if not for the coronavirus suspension, with Cummins the referee, the Knights were attacking the line and the stage was set.

Passing across the field, the Rabbitohs‘ Campbell Graham touched the ball into Newcastle’s Kalyn Ponga with the ball going to ground.

Cummins called six again, but when the ball was picked up by the Knights‘ five-eight Kurt Mann from an off-side position, the referee blew a penalty.

The Knights‘ Mitchell Pearce challenged the call immediately.

Fox League‘s Greg Alexander said: “I thought Campbell Graham knocked it on”.

When it was confirmed, he added: “That was the end of the section, didn‘t matter what happened after that.”

“I don‘t want to say it but another six again moment for Ben Cummins,” Warren Smith said.

“The Knights signalling six again and as did Ben Cummins who signalled six again and then surely on the advice of the touch judge second guessed himself and changed his mind.”

Alexander replied: “So he knew Campbell Graham touched it because he signalled six again.”

“Six again, at ANZ Stadium, and it‘s Ben Cummins,” Smith summed up.

But luckily the captain‘s challenge was able to clear it up, with a Knights scrum rather than a Rabbitohs penalty.

“That‘s why the captain’s challenge has been a good thing to come into the game,” Alexander said.

Smith added: “That would have been a travesty there if that had gone against Newcastle.”

The Fox League commentators weren‘t the only ones who saw the parallel.

AAP sports reporter Scott Bailey tweeted: “Ben Cummins called six again at the southern end of ANZ Stadium on the first Sunday in October and then changed his mind. That rings a bell for some reason …”

News Corp reporter Steve Zemek added: “Ben Cummins making a dud six again call at ANZ Stadium on the first Sunday in October. Like clockwork”.

The Knights weren’t able to score off the advantage however, with Souths going to the break leading 20-14 after scoring four unanswered tries in response to Newcastle’s opening onslaught.

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St Kilda Saints vs Western Bulldogs Tips, Teams and Odds – AFL 2020 Elimination Final

St Kilda Saints host
Western Bulldogs
at The Gabba on Saturday October 3, 2020. Western Bulldogs are favourites for the game which is scheduled to start at 4:40 pm. We preview the game and give you our tips and information on how you can watch the St Kilda Saints vs.
Western Bulldogs
game live.

When: Saturday October 3, 2020 at 4:40 pm

Where: The Gabba

Bet: Bet On This Match HERE

St Kilda Saints vs Western Bulldogs Odds

St Kilda Saints vs Western Bulldogs Preview

I’m not sure the AFL could have asked for a better lineup of games for week 1 of the AFL Finals.

This game between St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs is just another one of the incredible tough to tip games in the first week.

The Western Bulldogs have hit some good form recently and snuck into the finals, they’ll have plenty of confidence given they went all the way to win it in 2016 after finishing outside the top 4.

St Kilda played their best footy earlier in the year but have still been playing good footy recently so this game should be a real tight contest.

Kind of surprised the Bulldogs are favourites heading into this game given their lack of consistency this season. Backing the Saints to progress and beat the Dogs.

First Goal Scorer

First Goal Scorer:

Dan Butler at $.

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