Registries Could Offer Insight Into COVID-19’s Impact on College Athletes’ Hearts


TUESDAY, Jan. 12, 2021 (American Heart Association News)

Researchers are soon expected to release initial findings from a national cardiac registry of NCAA athletes who have tested positive for COVID-19, giving hope to health care professionals trying to better understand the impact of the disease on the heart.

The data could help doctors diagnose and treat athletes recovering from COVID-19 who have developed myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart. While the number of such cases known publicly among athletes is low, the American College of Cardiology’s Sports and Exercise Cardiology Leadership Council has outlined recommendations for when athletes who have tested positive for the coronavirus can resume physical activity. Guidelines include cardiac testing for those who had COVID-19 symptoms.

Sports medicine and cardiology experts at Harvard University and the University of Washington formed the national registry in collaboration with the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association to track cases of COVID-19 and its heart-related aftermath in NCAA athletes. More than 60 schools are currently contributing to the registry.

Before COVID-19, myocarditis accounted for 7% to 20% of deaths attributed to sudden cardiac events in young athletes, according to a recent study in the journal JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging. But data on heart injury in athletes recovering from COVID-19 is limited.

“Registry data of cardiac testing and outcomes in athletes after COVID-19 are needed to guide future screening strategies,” the study authors said.

The research database, called Outcomes Registry for Cardiac Conditions in Athletes, or ORCCA, already has collected data from more than 3,000 athletes. It initially will focus on athletes who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 to identify how the condition impacts the cardiovascular system and injures the heart muscle, the AMSSM statement said. The long-term objective is a registry for athletes diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, regardless of whether it was related to COVID-19.

“You wouldn’t want someone working out intensely in the middle of an inflammation of the heart because it could weaken the heart in the long term,” said Dr. Rachel Lampert, a cardiologist with Yale Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. She is on the steering committee for the registry. “That’s why the question is particularly relevant in athletes.”

According to a small study published in September in JAMA Cardiology, 4 out of 26 athletes (15%) from Ohio State University who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and underwent heart MRIs had results “suggestive of myocarditis.”

Ohio State, which lost to the University of Alabama in Monday’s college football championship, is among the 14 schools in the Big Ten Conference. The conference has its own cardiac registry and is contributing to ORCCA.

Dr. Eugene H. Chung is an electrophysiologist and sports cardiologist at Michigan Medicine and member of the Big Ten Cardiac Registry Steering Committee. “It would be very interesting to get a sense of how often we’re seeing myocarditis in student-athletes infected with COVID-19 – we don’t quite know that yet,” said Chung, who also is chair of ACC’s Sports and Exercise Cardiology Leadership Council.

The Big Ten plans to separately review its registry data and have specialists not involved in the initial data collection report independently on findings from cardiovascular evaluations. The Big Ten registry also will include control groups of athletes not affected by COVID-19 and those suffering from other illnesses such as the flu to compare cardiac risk among all three groups.

“With the cardiac registry, the Big Ten will take the lead to further our understanding of the athletic heart as well as the course of COVID-19 infection in the collegiate student-athlete population,” Chung and fellow conference registry steering committee members wrote in a recent article in the AHA journal Circulation.

“Our findings will be informative for broader public health policy as we fight coronavirus and all strive for safe return to play.”

American Heart Association News covers heart and brain health. Not all views expressed in this story reflect the official position of the American Heart Association. Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved. If you have questions or comments about this story, please email [email protected]




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Miley Cyrus ‘Plastic Hearts’: Catchy Defiance


Rock and roll has been mourned as “dead” or “irrelevant” for decades now, but there’s an unmistakable revival going on lately in popular culture. The quavering vocal inflections of punk and the dissonance of industrial metal are common in the rap and new electronic-pop styles surging on TikTok. To be sure, this does not mean that there’s currently a viable rock band anywhere in the upper reaches of the Billboard Hot 100. Rock now often works as an aesthetic talisman, opening portals to sensibilities and values that are out of fashion. When Harry Styles grabs for ’60s hippy sounds, he’s trying to access a bleary-eyed, openheartedness verging on naïveté. Lana Del Rey’s vintage pastiches pine for a kind of serene, fatalistic surrender that in other contexts might be called toxic.

Cyrus’s Plastic Hearts also treats rock as a tomb to be raided rather than an ecosystem to inhabit, but it’s to jolt Cyrus, and the listener, into fresh liveliness and clarity. The first way to talk about an album like this is by listing reference points, which Cyrus makes easy by collaborating with Joan Jett, Billy Idol, and Stevie Nicks—and by including covers of songs by Blondie and the Cranberries on the deluxe edition. Throughout the album, there are scuzzy bass lines reminiscent of the Stooges. There are dorky synths like you’d hear in a Don Henley song. The extraordinary “Hate Me” has a melody that recalls the Strokes and several compositional ideas from the Beatles. A few tracks combine buzzsaw guitars with disco beats in the manner of Nine Inch Nails. The music video for “Prisoner” is pure Mötley Crüe, though the song itself is more inspired by Olivia Newton-John’s aerobics anthem “(Let’s Get) Physical.”

Those comparison points may appear scattershot, but what Cyrus wants to conjure is made clear by the CBGB-evoking album cover shot by the legendary photographer Mick Rock. Cyrus is hung up on the late-’70s and early-’80s period during which punk and metal were finding a place on FM radio. She’s gravitating toward the coke-fueled, pissed-off, self-gratifying sounds that accompanied post-Watergate disillusionment, nightlife excess, and record-high divorce rates. It’s not all throwback: Present-day studio gurus such as Mark Ronson, Louis Bell, and Andrew Watt provide muscular, glossy production for ecstatic headphone listening. But Cyrus is definitely presenting herself as a historical caricature who’s slithering through carpeted nightclubs for a fleeting high. “Love you now, but not tomorrow,” she sings on the title track, a rhythmically and harmonically rich takedown of the L.A. social circuit. “Wrong to steal, but not to borrow.”

She’d be working in the realm of pure cliché if her growl and her point of view weren’t distinctive. Plastic Hearts is an angry breakup record, but the anger isn’t quite directed at a bad lover (though the “Prisoner” video does close with a graphic saying, “In Loving Memory of All My Exes. Eat Shit.”). Rather, she’s livid at deeply internalized social expectations. The thrashing opener, “WTF Do I Know,” captures her tussling with the fact that she doesn’t even miss the former beau whom she once thought she’d be with for life, and the confusion in her voice is convincing. There are hints in the lyrics about the flaws of her ex, but really the focus of the song is internal: “I couldn’t be somebody’s hero.” By the time of “Angels Like You,” the mood is much sweeter—it’s one of her most effective ballads—but the gist is the same: She’s not able to reciprocate affection.



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ACT hearts healthier than national average: report | The Canberra Times


news, health, heart foundation, heart health, canberra

The ACT has received a promising report card in the form of the Heart Foundation’s Heart Maps data, yet more than half of Canberrans are inactive. The Heart Maps illustrate heart health data from across Australia, with the aim of identifying areas which need more support. While the ACT is doing better than the national average, a whopping 61 per cent of Canberrans are not meeting physical activity guidelines. The nationwide number is even higher, at 66 percent. In the ACT, 54 people in 100,000 die from heart disease, 18 per cent below the national average. The capital has the lowest rate of hospitalisation from coronary heart disease, with 24.8 per 10,000 – 44.1 per cent lower than the national average. The ACT also has the lowest obesity rate in the country, at 29 per cent The Heart Foundation Group’s chief executive, Adjunct Professor John Kelly, said heart health data illustrates the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged communities. “It’s no coincidence that regions with the highest rates of heart disease are also the ones likely to be the most disadvantaged areas,” Professor Kelly said. “People in regional, rural and remote areas are faring worse than big city-dwellers “We are also seeing alarming rates of risk factors in these hotspots, which has huge implications for residents’ future heart health.”

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Marriage proposal wins hearts, fans react, social media, Australia Vs India


In the heat of battle on the field, things can often get tense and testy for players and spectators alike.

But during the second ODI between Australian and India, a couple in the crowd gave a reminder that love conquers all as an Indian fan proposed to an Aussie fan in a sweet moment.

Even better, she said yes.

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The young lady covered her face as she accepted the ring from her now fiance.

“Well, here we go,” Adam Gilchrist said in commentary. “Please say yes, please say yes.

“It’s always a risky play isn’t it,” he added. “Who said there’s a fierce rivalry between Australia and India.”

The pair played up to the crowd, waving and fist pumping for the cheering spectators.

Even Glenn Maxwell was clapping from the field.

Shane Warne was a bit more pessimistic about the event.

“I reckon he said ‘look, even if you don’t want to, say yes on camera and then we can walk off and you can throw it back at me if you want but just don’t let me down on live TV’,” he laughed.

Mark Howard added: “Congratulations to the happy couple”.

And the commentators weren’t the only ones with social media falling for the sweet moment.

ABC sports reporter Chloe Hart tweeted: “What a proposal. Maxwells smile was priceless too”.

Journalist Chloe-Amanda Bailey joked: “WHAT? That is my dream. Someone just propose to me in the stands while India plays Australia in an ODI. Is that too much to ask?” before adding “Between you and me, please no one ever propose to me in public”.

Congratulations to the happy couple.

On the field, the match was in the balance with India chasing 390 to win after a stunning performance from Australia, led by Steve Smith’s 100 off 62 balls.



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Maradona broke Aussie hearts but inspired a generation


GROWING up with a Socceroo dream, there was one name unparalleled in the world of football at the time – Diego Armando Maradona.

While Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are on equal pegging as the superstars of the modern era, the larger-than-life little Argentine had no rival in the late 80s to early 90s – not since Pele in the 1960s had a player risen to such a level of awe.

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He was possibly the first global sporting superstar to permeate into the conscience of a kid in the early stages of developing a lifelong love of sport, shortly before the likes of Michael Jordan and Sachin Tendulkar captured the imagination on a similar scale in other arenas I followed.

Who is football’s greatest of all time?

In 1993 in Dubbo, the only football on television was the hour-long English Premier League show on Sunday afternoon on the ABC. The thought of watching SBS – and therefore the Socceroos or any World Cup match for that matter – was a pipedream.

That was until a family friend of English heritage invited us over to watch the World Cup Qualifier between Australia and Argentina on October 31, 1993, via satellite on a projector screen.

 

 

To me this was hi-tech, and it inspired the imagination of an impressionable 12-year-old, who watched on as this mythical legend from another universe used his magic and trickery to stun the 11 gallant but clearly human Australians on the field, ultimately delivering a pinpoint cross to set up Argentina’s first half goal. Then through the charged emotion of Aurelio Vidmar’s 1-1 equaliser, which every bit challenged the euphoria of John Aloisi’s goal to finally saw Australia to football’s royal party 12 long years later, a young boy dared to dream.

Until that point, I’d always really just been a kid who played soccer. But now I was sold. I was a football fan.

After Australia lost 1-0 in the away leg courtesy of an unfortunate deflection, it remained that Maradona had at once assisted in prolonging the dark ages of Australian football, while inspiring a generation who would come of age at the dawn of a new era in 2006.

 

 

The following year, in time for USA ’94, another family friend who was in that room that night – this time of Italian heritage – through a vision, can-do attitude and exceeding generosity otherwise foreign to the monocultural nature of our town, arranged for SBS to be introduced to the region, so that he and his 35,000 fellow residents could watch the World Cup, free-to-air, if they chose to.

That time we saw the villain, with images of Maradona being led from the training paddock by a nurse etched clearly in my mind, on his way to test positive to ephedrine.

And that is the Maradona that will always be remembered – the hero and the villain.

 

Maclean Bobcats coach Dennis Mavridis in the Far North Coast Premier League.

A few years older than myself, Maclean Bobcats Premier League Dennis Mavridis remembers well the imfamous ‘Hand of God’ goal – which was before my time – in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal.

“My first memory of Maradona is watching that World Cup – a little bloke with the weight of Argentina on his shoulders,” Mavridis said.

 

 

 

 

“Everyone talks about that goal labelled the ‘Hand of God’, it’s probably the most talked about in his career, but everyone forgets he scored arguably the best goal ever scored in the very same game. He beat half the English team with that goal.”

 

 

Mavridis has no doubt Maradona is worthy of his status as one of the greatest of all time.

“When you talk about the greatest player who ever lived, you could put George Best in there, but always Pele and Maradona come to the surface,” he said.

“Those days at Napioli (1984-1991), when he was at his peak, he transformed that club on his own.

“There’s Messi and Ronaldo in the modern era. You can’t compare the different eras, but how influencial they’ve been in the game, no doubt that they’re up there as well.”

Argentina declared three days of mourning following news of the 60-year-old’s death. Such a reaction for a sporting idol is almost unfathomable in Australia, but demonstrates the passion countries like Argentina exhibit for football.

“He is absolutely adored in Argentina,” Mavridis, who is on Greek descent, said.

“We look at him as the little villain, even after his career ended that stuck with him. But the adulation he got from his home country, he was treated like a god.

“It will be a country in heavy mourning, they’ve lost their golden child.”





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6-year-old girl found dead in Kanpur was gangraped, hearts taken out: Police


The lungs were removed to perform black magic, believing that it will help a woman give birth to a child, police said

Kanpur: A six-year-old girl, who was found dead in a forested area in this Uttar Pradesh district on Sunday, was gangraped, killed and her lungs were then taken out of the corpse by the killers, police said on Monday.

The lungs were removed to perform black magic, believing that it will help a woman give birth to a child, they said.

 

The girl had gone missing on the night of Diwali from the Ghatampur area. The killers — Ankul Kuril (20) and Beeran (31) — who were arrested on Sunday, had removed her lungs and delivered those to key conspirator Parshuram Kuril to perform black magic, ASP (Rural) Brajesh Srivastava said.

Parshuram was arrested on Monday and his wife was also detained due to the apprehension that she knew about the incident, but did not talk about it to anyone, the officer added.

Parshuram initially tried to mislead the police, but facing intensive interrogation, broke down and confessed to his crime, the ASP said.

Parshuram told the police that he got married in 1999 but had not had a child so far, he said.

 

He persuaded his nephew, Ankul, and his friend Beeran, to kidnap the girl and remove her lungs, the ASP said.

Ankul and Beeran, who were heavily drunk, abducted the girl while she had gone out of her home in Bhadras village on Saturday night to buy firecrackers, he added.

They took her to a nearby jungle, where they raped the girl before killing her.

The accused have been charged under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

Kanpur’s Deputy Inspector of General of Police Preetinder Singh had said forensic experts and sniffer dogs were pressed into service to gather scientific evidence to confirm if the girl was killed in an act of black magic.

 

The girl had gone missing on Saturday evening while her family was preparing for Diwali prayers.

The family looked for her in the nearby areas, including the jungle, using flashlights, but failed to locate her during the night, Singh had said, adding that her body was found by some villagers passing through the jungle on Sunday morning, the DIG said.

The girl’s belongings, including her slippers and clothes, were found near a tree.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has taken note of the heinous crime and directed officials to take strict action against the accused.

He has also directed the officials to extend a financial help of Rs five lakh to the victim’s family.

 

The chief minister has said the case would be heard in a fast-track court so that the accused are punished at the earliest.

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As China’s power grows, ‘hearts and minds’ is still a struggle


China has risen to be an economic superpower. But a soft power superpower? Not so fast.

In many liberal democracies, unfavorable opinions toward China are at a high, according to a poll released this week by Pew Research Center. Criticism of China’s handling of the coronavirus is a significant factor, but the souring of public opinion was underway for at least two years before, possibly impacted by developments like mass protests in Hong Kong and internment camps in Xinjiang. 

It’s complicated Beijing’s bid to inspire support for its authoritarian model. But in response, the government appears to be taking a two-track approach: adopting a combative stance toward liberal democracies, while promoting its model among weaker and authoritarian-leaning regimes. Leaders may be purposefully projecting a tougher image toward the West, some experts suggest, symbolized by what has been dubbed “wolf warrior” diplomacy, named for a blockbuster action movie.

“You started to see this more assertive diplomatic stance as the U.S.-China trade war heated up, and with Beijing beginning to realize it needed to set the domestic stage for what was going to be a protracted struggle with the United States,” says Jessica Chen Weiss, an associate professor at Cornell University.

China is struggling to wield soft power even as it rises as an economic superpower, complicating Beijing’s bid to inspire support for its authoritarian model and vision for reforming global governance, according to recent polls and China experts.

Instead, public attitudes toward Beijing and Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping have dramatically worsened, at least in many wealthy countries, despite their growing consensus that China is now the world’s top economy. 

In response, Beijing appears to be taking a two-track approach, experts say, adopting a combative stance toward liberal democracies while promoting its model among weaker and authoritarian-leaning regimes in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

“You started to see this more assertive diplomatic stance as the U.S.-China trade war heated up, and with Beijing beginning to realize it needed to set the domestic stage for what was going to be a protracted struggle with the United States,” says Jessica Chen Weiss, an associate professor at Cornell University and author of “Powerful Patriots: Nationalist Protest in China’s Foreign Relations.”

On average, three quarters of people surveyed in 14 countries with advanced economies in North America, Western Europe, East Asia, and Australia held negative views toward China and lacked confidence that Mr. Xi will do the right thing in world affairs, according to a Pew Research Center poll released this week. In most of those countries, the unfavorable opinion toward China hit its highest level since the polling began 12 years ago.

“China just doesn’t have much capacity for soft power, and there is not much of a magnanimous element to the way China operates around the world,” says James McGregor, chairman of the greater China region for APCO Worldwide, a consulting firm. “China treats the world the same way it treats its own citizens and how government officials treat each other – it’s all transactional, it’s all about the one with the most power saying what goes,” says Mr. McGregor, who has lived in China for three decades.    

Widespread criticism of China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak is significantly impacting opinion, with almost two-thirds of those surveyed by Pew saying Beijing handled it badly. Concerns have centered on Beijing’s delayed reporting of the virus and suppression of whistleblower doctors.

But the souring of public opinion was underway for at least two years before the pandemic, Pew polling shows. Other possible impacts include major developments such as Hong Kong’s mass protests in 2019 against Beijing’s encroachment on the territory’s promised autonomy; China’s internment of an estimated 1 million Uyghurs and members of other Turkic-speaking, predominantly Muslim ethnic groups in camps in the western region of Xinjiang, starting in 2017; and the growing U.S.-China rift over trade, technology, and other issues.

Imam Talib Shareef waits to speak as he gathers with others near the White House to call on the U.S. government to respond to Beijing’s alleged abuses of the Uyghurs, a Muslim ethnic minority in China, near the White House in Washington, July 3, 2020.

“China can do a much better job at telling its own story,” says Jia Qingguo, professor at Peking University’s School of International Studies. “China has not been very good at explaining … problematic areas, like Xinjiang,” he says.

“Wolf warrior” approach

China’s leaders may also be purposefully projecting a tougher image toward the West, some experts suggest, symbolized by what has been dubbed “wolf warrior” diplomacy, after a blockbuster Chinese action movie. For example, in recent years Chinese diplomats have taken to Twitter – which is banned in China – to advance often stridently nationalistic messages.

“By September 2019, you had Xi Jinping encouraging cadres to ‘dare to struggle’ and ‘be good at fighting,’ and giving Foreign Ministry spokespeople like Zhao Lijian and Hua Chunying a much longer leash to engage in all sorts of brazen social media messaging,” says Professor Weiss.

This combativeness may reflect a view in Beijing that aggressively asserting China’s interests can in some cases yield better results than a more persuasive approach, Professor Weiss and other experts say.

“They may have judged that it is better to be feared than to be loved,” says Professor Weiss. “They are certainly not winning hearts and minds with their current strategy.”

Amid accelerating hard power competition with the United States, Beijing is likely to be less concerned about its image than about getting what it wants, says Robert Ross, a professor at Boston College and an expert on China’s security policy. “If China is going to exercise its power, there will be critics,” he says. “The question is whether the gains are worth it [and] is it worth the criticism on the front pages of newspapers.”

Dual strategy

Meanwhile, experts point out that attitudes toward China are not uniform across the globe. Beijing maintains a favorable image in some countries, such as Nigeria, while its model appeals to like-minded authoritarian states such as Cambodia. “China doesn’t always have to act, there is a degree of noncoerced followership,” says Rosemary Foot, senior research fellow in international relations at the University of Oxford.

This reflects in part Beijing’s dual strategy when it comes to soft power.

China’s leaders “are still presenting themselves as a model that is superior to Western liberal democracies in the way they managed the pandemic, and that narrative and effort to shape the outside perception is very much targeting the global south,” says Nadège Rolland, senior fellow in political and security affairs at The National Bureau of Asian Research.

“In the Western countries, we have been more the recipient of the wolf warrior diplomacy, but some of that is a way for China to position itself as a country that stands up for itself …. and that is appealing in a way for portions of the global south,” she says.

It’s a pragmatic approach in which China targets developing countries in Eurasia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa – the “soft underbelly of Western influence,” Ms. Rolland says.

“It’s like the Leninist principle: ‘Probe with bayonets. If you encounter mush, proceed. If you encounter steel, withdraw.’ So the steel right now is felt in advanced industrial democracies, in the U.S., in Asia, in Europe,” she says, as they push back on China’s human rights record and military expansion.

“So instead of pushing harder, you use those efforts in other parts of the world more amenable to your views,” she says – countries that “could then become your partners and vote with you at the U.N. and be your friends on the international stage whenever you need voices to back you up on what you are doing in the Xinjiang region or things like that. This is what we are starting to see.”



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Reds break Rebels’ hearts to advance to Super Rugby final


”For 12 weeks the boys have been really resilient and stuck it out. Credit to the Reds. That first half was fast, we had our opportunities and didn’t quite take them and then the momentum swung,” said Haylett-Petty, who was forced to leave the pitch early in the second half after sustaining a groin injury.

The Rebels made most of the running in the opening half but foundered – for the most part – on the rocks of the Reds’ parsimonious defence.

The Victorians seized the initiative, played the ball around nicely in the opening exchanges and thought they might have gone ahead inside eight minutes when Andrew Kellaway caught Matt Toomua’s crossfield kick and then dived over, only for the effort to be ruled out.

Seconds later they were made to pay a hefty price when Jordan Petaia intercepted Toomua’s pass and then sprinted some 60 metres to give the Reds the lead, James O’Connor converting to make it 7-0 rather against the run of play.

A Toomua penalty reduced the deficit in the 16th minute, but the Reds’ seven-point advantage was restored in the 24th minute when O’Connor converted another penalty.

Marika Koroibete charges ahead for the Rebels.

Marika Koroibete charges ahead for the Rebels.Credit:Getty Images

The Rebels were still playing the ball around, looking to make ground in wide areas and stretch the Reds’ defence, with Marika Koroibete roaming in off his wing and across the attacking zone in search of space to make a bullocking forward run.

The Reds’ attacking options were limited by an injury to Petaia, who was forced off after half an hour.

The Victorians got the reward their efforts merited on the stroke of half-time when the marauding Koroibete powered over, Toomua converting to tie the scores up.

The Rebels were dealt a blow shortly after the second period began when Haylett-Petty was forced off and the Reds turned the screw immediately when replacement Hunter Paisami broke through to feed Filipo Daugunu.

The winger’s pass found lock forward Lukhan Salakaia-Loto running in support and the big man went clear to score. When O’Connor sealed the conversion the lead was once again seven points, 17-10.

Things became even harder for the Rebels when key man Toomua was forced to leave the pitch after injuring himself when kicking clear, Andrew Deegan coming off the bench as his replacement.

Rebels back Reece Hodge and O’Connor traded penalties and as the hour-mark approached the Reds still led by seven – 20-13.

The Rebels cranked up the pressure in a bid to get back into the game but their hopes evaporated six minutes from time when Reds front-rower Taniela Tupou broke forward and fed a pass out to Daugunu whose spectacular dive took him over – and put the Rebels out.

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Cottrell leaps into Blues’ fans hearts


Carlton fans have unearthed a new cult hero after Matthew Cottrell’s huge mark and goal capped a memorable come-from-behind win that kept their slim AFL finals hopes alive.

Cottrell, 20, flew high in a pack to take the strong grab with less than two minutes left in the clash with Sydney on Tuesday night.

The fifth-gamer calmly went back and slotted his second career goal to put the Blues in front after they had trailed by 39 points during the second quarter.

Carlton coach David Teague was relieved to see Swans goal sneak Lewis Taylor miss a shot to level the scores at the other end as the Blues held on to win by five points.

Teague never doubted the kick that ultimately proved to be the matchwinner would sail through.

“(Cottrell) is an extrovert and he just played instinctive footy,” Teague said.

“The ball was there and he flew for it.

“He does have confidence and he’s got good skills.

“I actually have to admit I felt pretty comfortable with him taking the shot and I think he struck it pretty well.”

Not everything went to plan for Cottrell, who had just nine disposals and struggled to make an impact before stepping up when it counted most.

“He probably didn’t have his best day for us but what you need to do is stay in the moment,” Teague said.

“He stayed in the moment and it’s a great lesson for all our players.”

A childhood Blues fan whose grandfather Len also played for the club, Cottrell borrowed from NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo with a celebration that caused as much of a stir as his mark.

“There was a bit of ‘Greek Freak’ about that one,” he told Fox Footy.

“It wasn’t going my way the whole game but I saw the opportunity to fly for the mark and luckily put it through.”

It was Carlton’s eighth game of the season decided by a single-figure margin, for five wins and three losses.

The Blues can still play finals for the first time since 2013 if they win remaining games against Adelaide and Brisbane, and other results go their way.





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Rebels break Waratahs’ hearts with last-gasp win against Western Force


Matt Toomua, with a conversion after the siren from in front, twisted the knife into the Waratahs’ broken hearts as the boys in blue were forced to settle with fourth spot – one place outside the finals.

“We weren’t able to be masters of our own destiny and when you put yourself in that situation … it’s frustrating,” Waratahs coach Rob Penney told reporters after full-time. “There’s been lots of little twists and turns along the way. We weren’t up to getting into that top three.

“All in all there’s been a lot of roller-coasters, or we’ve been on the same roller-coaster that happens to be going up and down and over a lot of bumps. Couldn’t be prouder.”

Penney did extremely well to mask the disappointment of a bad dream the Waratahs could see coming a mile off in a thrilling final 10 minutes with the Rebels camped down the Rebels’ end.

There was the forward pass that got picked up in the lead-up to a Marika Koroibete try. Then a no-try to Cabous Eloff with the ball seemingly on the line, or potentially millimetres from it.

As the Waratahs punched the air, with the Force clinging onto a three-point lead, Rebels coach Dave Wessels did well to not punch the glass in the coaches’ box at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Having twice fallen short of playing finals in consecutive seasons, Wessels was a tortured soul watching on as his mendug deep and gave referee Angus Gardner and the TMO plenty of headaches.

When officials ruled there was no evidence to prove Efi Ma’afu had scored with just over a minute left – the Rebels were absolutely certain he had – you could cut the tension with a knife.

But wait. That man again, Eloff, had the smarts to pick the ball up, which went backwards near the posts, and dot it down in a flash.

Try. Conversion. Cue wild celebrations as the Rebels celebrated a four-point victory and a maiden finals appearance, albeit in a truncated competition.

“The Rebels had too much experience in the end and just finished over the top with a couple of critical game management decisions they took and did well,” Penney said.

Although Penney has voiced his frustration at the fact a couple of bonus points went begging throughout the season due to some questionable officiating, the Waratahs only have themselves to blame as the proud franchise comes to grips with the fact they have now failed to qualify for finals in four of the past five years. The post-mortems have only just begun.

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A one-from-six record in Super Rugby earlier this year was compounded by four victories from eight starts in Super Rugby AU. NSW did win three of their last four games but it was too little, too late.

“It’s a season where we made progress and I guess the snapshot is 17 guys made their debuts. It’s unheard of really at this level,” Penney said. “Hopefully there’s still a lot of progress left in the group and I think there is.

“We missed a couple of crucial shots at goal and that was probably early on. They were critical. I think we had a couple of performances where we were soundly beaten. The Brumbies down there and the Rebels up here. We weren’t the team we could be and that consistency factor probably let us down a little bit in a tight race.”

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