Richmond Tigers star’s home set alight day before grand final


Police are investigating after the home of a Richmond Tigers player was set alight the day before the AFL grand final.

The 26-year-old defender was not at home at the time, having moved to Queensland at the start of the AFL season.

Nick Vlastuin was not at home when his balcony caught fire.

“Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding a suspicious fire which occurred in Torquay early Friday morning,” police said in a statement.

“Crews quickly brought the blaze under control and only the front entrance and porch were damaged.”

Torquay is just south of Geelong.

Read more: The AFL grand final: Everything you need to know

“Crews quickly brought the blaze under control and only the front entrance and porch were damaged.”
“Police are yet to make any arrests and the investigation is ongoing.”
Torquay is just south of Geelong.
The
The game starts at 7.30pm AEDT, and an hour earlier Queensland time.

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AFL Grand Final



AFL Grand Final

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Andy Murray couldn’t watch the Melbourne grand slam such was his pain on missing out


Asked for his verdict on Novak Djokovic’s straight-sets win over Daniil Medvedev in Melbourne on Sunday, Murray said: “I didn’t watch it. I was practising and I watched very little of the Australian Open. I didn’t watch any because I wanted to be there myself. It was a struggle. I stopped following all the tennis players I follow on social media because I just didn’t want to see it.”

Absent from nine of the past 13 grand slams, a bullish Murray is itching for the opportunity to prove he can still compete with the best in the world, insisting he was “pain-free” during his recent run to the final in Italy.

“I’ve played and practised with lots of top players and I know how I’m getting on against them,” Murray said. “If I was getting smoked when I was practising and playing with guys I wouldn’t keep going through it. But I know the level that I’m playing at.

“I’ve been playing and practising with guys that are between 20 and 60-70 in the world and doing absolutely fine. Providing I can stay fit for a period of time and get good practice and matches in, I don’t see why I won’t be able to compete with the best players. I wish I was able to show that in Australia because, no question, I was ready to do that.”

Having already spoken of his frustration at believing he contracted coronavirus at the National Tennis Centre in London, Murray also revealed the continued difficulty the illness – from which he has fully recovered – provides as he attempts to travel from country to country for tournaments, at the mercy of different regulations.

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Sri Sitarama Kalyanam to be celebrated in grand manner


The mega religious event was celebrated in a simple manner due to COVID-19 pandemic last year

The district administration has charted out a grand plan to celebrate Sri Sitarama Kalyanam (celestial wedding) in a befitting manner in adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols at the historic Sri Sitaramachandra Swamy shrine in Bhadrachalam on the occasion of Sri Rama Navami on April 21.

The mega religious event was celebrated in a simple manner inside the temple complex, devoid of devotees, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in April last year. This time, the authorities have mooted a grand celebration of the “celestial wedding” as per the temple traditions.

Collector M V Reddy on Monday held a review meeting with the heads of the allied government departments in Kothagudem on the arrangements for the forthcoming Vasantha Paksha Tiru Kalyana Brahmotsavams scheduled to be held in the historic shrine in Bhadrachalam from April 13 to 27.

Addressing the meeting, the Collector said elaborate arrangements should be put in place to create a perfect spiritual ambience during the ensuing Brahmotsavams in the temple town. He wanted the authorities to ensure provision of all amenities to the devotees during the mega religious event. He instructed the health authorities to deploy four ambulances, set up 12 health centres and earmark 10 beds at the Government area hospital in Bhadrachalam during the Sri Rama Navami festivities. He said the facility of booking tickets online for the Sita Rama Kalyanam will be launched soon.

The meeting discussed the safety arrangements to be made at the bathing ghats along the Godavari banks, among other measures to ensure smooth conduct of the annual religious fete.

Additional Collector D Anudeep, the temple executive officer Shivaji and others were present.

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Penrith Panthers star Nathan Cleary watched grand final immediately after leaving COVID bubble


“I watched it a second time a few weeks ago with a few of the boys at the academy. But I probably won’t watch it again now. I’m ready to move on from it. I don’t want to live too much in the past. Hopefully it helps me in the future.

“I’ve put the nail in that coffin and will refuse to dwell on it.”

As Storm players donned ski goggles and drank champagne beneath ANZ Stadium, Cleary was one of two Penrith players to face the press. He was asked repeatedly about a cut-out pass that was intercepted by Suliasi Vunivalu for a try. When he watched the replay on his own, Cleary winced.

“But I’ve said it before, I’d do the same thing again – I’d just execute the pass a bit better,” he says.

To describe Cleary’s 2020 campaign as a roller coaster would be some understatement.

He was handed a $30,000 fine by the NRL and banned for two games after he was captured in a video with a group of women on social media site TikTok. He was meant to be in lockdown. It could not have come at a worse time as the game reeled from it’s COVID-enforced shutdown.

Nathan Cleary went straight from Blues camp to watch a grand final replay at home.Credit:Getty Images

The Panthers then won 17 in a row as they stormed through the regular season and into their first grand final in 17 years. But they saved their worst til last as they were humbled by Melbourne.

Cleary then picked himself up to play a key role in Brad Fittler’s Origin team. But, again, it all went wrong as the Blues lost to a Queensland team labelled the worst in history.

Amid all that Cleary was pipped for the Dally M Medal as Blues teammate Jack Wighton swooped down the outside for a surprise victory.

It was quite a ride.

Cleary joined his Panthers teammates in North Sydney this week for a range of promotions ahead of the 2021 season. Jarome Luai, Brian To’o and Stephen Crichton stood around a giant speaker and danced to the likes of Boyz II Men, entertaining the lunch-time crowd.

Nathan was happy to watch a bit of NBA on his phone while his father and coach Ivan Cleary took a trip down memory lane to the nearby North Sydney Oval. Ivan played two seasons and 37 games for the Bears in 1994 and ’95.

When it comes to knowing if the grand final loss – not to mention the Origin I and Origin III defeats – had scarred his son, no one would know better than Ivan.

Let’s face it, if Nathan has any mental baggage, you might as well put a pen through Penrith’s premiership hopes right now.

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Ivan was laid up in the Mater Hospital after hip surgery the night the Blues and Nathan lost the unlosable Origin series at Suncorp Stadium.

“I was a bit worried about him,” Ivan admits. “But he seemed really good when we spoke afterwards. He was disappointed, but he had kept it all in context. He’s come back well and he’s trained well. He’s in a good space.”

At just 23, Nathan has already played 100 NRL games, but is another five years off his best, according to Ivan.

When you ask Cleary snr what areas of his game Nathan can improve, he says: “Everything. He does the basics well and cares about the team stuff and his defence is always good. He’s 100 games in now, but he’s still only 23. He’s still a baby as a playmaker.

“He can get better at everything. That’s the way he thinks. The game will continue to slow down for him. He’s probably five years away [from his best].”

Nathan might be one of the most polite and nice guys in rugby league, but he has also become one of the most polarising.

Maybe it’s his price tag? Maybe the curse of the NSW No.7 jersey? Maybe it’s his surname?

Ivan has always conceded Nathan became fair game after Cleary snr’s messy departure from Wests Tigers. Nathan says his TikTok video did little to win over admirers.

“‘Nat’ has been able to deal with it to this point,” Ivan says. “The last two years have been really good for him. He dealt with things really well last year. Even coming out of the disappointment at the end of the year, which included a really good Origin game in the middle of that, it will make the man and make the player.”

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Nathan continues to weed out the opinions he actually cares about from the white noise. He’s not taking notice of “guys on Twitter with cars as their profile pic”.

Panthers fans will be wondering if Cleary is promoted to captain after the departure of James Tamou and whether it all becomes too much of a burden: face of the club, rep star, coach’s son, playmaker, goalkicker …

“He wouldn’t be the finished product, that’s for sure,” Ivan says of the captaincy. “But who is when they first start? He’ll be critical in our leadership, but captaincy wise, I’m not sure what we’ll do. Isaah Yeo is in a good space with his career and in this team. Even ‘Fish’ [James Fisher-Harris] has really stepped up as well in his own way. He might not do the ‘Churchill speech’, but everyone respects him, and he talks a lot on the field.”

Nathan was meant to escape to Perth before a fresh COVID case forced him to spend his holidays in downtown Penrith. The suburbs are a fair come down from his normal post-season US getaways.

He knows the Panthers have the team to go one better than they did in 2020. They are an even younger squad again this year. Cleary and Luai will improve as a combination. So will Crichton, while Canterbury-bound Matt Burton could loom as a trump card with regular game time.

Penrith won 17 in a row before their defeat in the decider. There is redemption to be had.

If things go to script out in 2021, Nathan will watch this year’s grand final more than twice.

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Sydney Sixers vs Perth Scorchers Tips, Odds and Teams – BBL Big Bash Grand Final 2021


SCG will play host to Saturday”s
BBL Big Bash 2021 game between Sydney Sixers and
Perth Scorchers. The game kicks off at 7:40 pm with Perth Scorchers heading into the game as favourites with the bookmakers. Continue reading for our in-depth preview of the Sydney Sixers vs.
Perth Scorchers
game and give you our free tips and bets.

When: Saturday February 6, 2021 at 7:40 pm

Where: SCG

Bet 💰: Bet On This Match
HERE

Sydney Sixers vs Perth Scorchers Odds

Sydney Sixers vs Perth Scorchers Preview

The Sixers and the Scorchers have been the top two sides all season as they prepare to meet for the fourth time in the Big Bash Final on Saturday night.

With home ground advantage and some extra rest, you might expect to find Sydney as the slight favourites in the market, but given how unpredictable this season has been, the bookies seem to be having a tough time separating these two sides.

Fortunately, we don’t have to rewind very far to find the last meeting between these two sides.

The Sixers earned the right to host the final with their nine-wicket win in the Qualifier over Perth, which in turn sent the Scorchers packing to Canberra on Thursday night to face the Heat in the Challenger.

Plenty of people doubted the Scorchers’ chances on the neutral turf, but a classy 77 run knock from Liam Livingstone did the trick as Perth cruised to a comfortable win.

Adam Voges will be hoping his side can carry that momentum into Sydney on short rest, but unfortunately Perth’s track record at the SCG makes them a tough team to trust.

The Scorchers have won only two of their last five games against the Sixers in Sydney, while their record on the road this year is also questionable.

When these two sides last met the Sixers did a fantastic job of limiting Jason Roy and Liam Livingstone to less than 20 runs each atop, while on the other side, James Vince fell just two runs shy of a century. If the Sixers can repeat that effort, they’ll surely be on their way to another trophy.

Overall, there’s no question Perth is capable of winning after putting up over 170 runs in four of their last five games.

The only team to limit the Scorchers to less than 170 twice this season has been the Sixers though, so based on that and their overall track record against Perth of late, Sydney appears to have the slight edge.

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Sydney Sixers vs Perth Scorchers Teams

Sydney Sixers squad
Moises Henriques (c), Sean Abbott, Justin Avendano, Jake Ball (England), Nick Bertus (local replacement player), Jackson Bird, Carlos Brathwaite (West Indies), Dan Christian, Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Mickey Edwards, Jason Holder (West Indies), Daniel Hughes, Hayden Kerr, Nathan Lyon, Ben Manenti, Lawrence Neil-Smith (local replacement player), Stephen O’Keefe, Josh Philippe, Lloyd Pope, Tom Rogers (local replacement player), Gurinder Sandhu (local replacement player), Jordan Silk, Mitchell Starc, James Vince (England)

Perth Scorchers squad
Mitchell Marsh (c), Ashton Agar, Fawad Ahmed, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Joe Clarke (England), Cameron Gannon, Cameron Green, Liam Guthrie (local replacement player), Aaron Hardie, Josh Inglis, Matthew Kelly, Liam Livingstone (England), Colin Munro (New Zealand), Joel Paris, Kurtis Patterson, Jhye Richardson, Corey Rocchiccioli (local replacement player), Jason Roy (England), Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Sam Whiteman



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Victoria COVID restrictions increased, 2021 Australian Open participants to isolate, Club Noble, Melbourne Grand Hyatt listed, WA lockdown continues


“Yes, there will be delays, there is no other way around it, it has got to be done meticulously,” he said.

“We cannot have people stampeding through those bases, it must be done slowly, meticulously. I don’t want a testing site to become a super spreading site. It has to be done very carefully.”

Victoria’s COVID-19 response commander, Jeroen Weimar, apologised for the delays but said the state government was setting up at least four additional testing sites today and was working to increase capacity in Clayton, Brighton and in the CBD.

“We would ask you to check before you go to the site that you want to go to to make sure that the queues there are not excessively long,” he said.

“We will ensure the testing capacity is there today, tomorrow, over the weekend and as long as is necessary to run this particular outbreak to ground.

“We know this virus is wildly infectious. We know it is still now an issue for us to deal with yet again. We will, as the Victorian community, deal with it in the same way we always do – acting swiftly and promptly.”

Daily wastewater testing will now occur in Melbourne’s south-east water catchment.

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F1 news 2021, Monaco Grand Prix, cancelled, Canada, Azerbaijan, reports, race calendar, latest


Monaco Grand Prix organisers have insisted that the iconic Formula One race will go ahead this season, despite whispers that it would suffer a second cancellation in as many years.

Like the Australian Grand Prix last year, the Monaco edition was shelved due to COVID-19 as F1 decided to focus on ready-built circuits to fill the makeshift calendar, rather than temporary street circuits.

And with the Aus GP now being shifted from its traditional home as the season curtain raiser to a new November date, Monaco has now come under the spotlight.

A Dutch newspaper has claimed that Monaco, along with Azerbaijan and Canada, is in danger of being removed from the 2021 calendar as F1 again panics over the street races and the time it takes to build infrastructure for those events given the ongoing COVID pandemic.

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Replay: QLD Water Polo grand finals – 16U Boys – Barracudas vs Kawana Wolves



Watch the replay of the QLD Water Polo grand finals of the 16U Boys teams Barracudas vs Kawana Wolves.

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Watch live: QLD Water Polo grand finals



Watch all the action in the QLD Water Polo grand finals.

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