Primark says tier 4 extension will knock further £220m off sales


Primark has said it will lose an additional £220m in sales as more stores are forced to close under new restrictions to control the spread of Covid-19 in the UK.

The cut-price fashion chain’s owner, Associated British Foods, said it expected to lose £650m in sales in the year to September, up from the £430m it had announced on 4 December, after the government said major cities including Manchester and Birmingham must join London and the south-east of England in closing non-essential shops.

Primark said 253 of its stores would now be temporarily closed from 1 January, just over two-thirds of its outlets globally.

The update comes as retailers brace for further pain after the government announced that all of the north-east of England, Greater Manchester, large parts of the Midlands and the south-west would fall under the strictest tier 4 restrictions from Thursday morning.

All of mainland Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are already under the tightest restrictions which involve the closure of hospitality and non-essential retail, which includes shops that sell clothing, toys, books and electrical goods.

The restrictions have been widened in response to a new variant of Covid-19 that has contributed to a record rise in infections across the country.

The number of shoppers out and about last week slumped by 46%, compared to the same period in 2019, according to the advisory firm BDO’s high street tracker. Online sales rose by 50% but that was not enough to offset the in-store decline. Total sales for established retailers fell 23%. Fashion sales were down just over a third.

Primark takes a heavier hit from store closures than some rivals because it does not sell goods online.

When the chain reopened in England earlier this month, however, after a month-long high street lockdown, the group said it saw “phenomenal” sales growth.

Eleven stores stayed open overnight, resulting in a 40-hour trading marathon, and shoppers queued to get into the stores in the small hours of the morning.



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English batsman belts record Big Bash knock


Sydney Thunder opener Alex Hales says a renewed emphasis on footwork has paved the way for his stunning return to form with the bat.

The Englishman’s technique was exposed by balls that nipped back when he was bowled in consecutive games for golden ducks against the Heat and Scorchers, but that’s long forgotten following a couple of destructive knocks against the Melbourne franchises.

Hales bounced back with a fluent 35 against the Renegades on Boxing Day, but his record-breaking 71 off just 29 deliveries in his side’s big win over the Stars has put the rest of the competition on notice.

The opener smashed five sixes in the 75-run win, including a towering slog sweep off Adam Zampa that sent the ball flying out of Manuka Oval to bring up his half-century off a Thunder record 21 deliveries.

“It’s been a bit hit and miss so far for myself with a couple of noughts and a couple of starts, so to finally get that real matchwinning contribution – which is what you want from your overseas players – was nice to get that under the belt,” he said.

“As an opening batter you can get the occasional low score, but when you really get going, you know it’s going to be your night. That was one of those days when you really get in the zone and cash in.”

A simple change in mindset and a slight adjustment with his footwork has worked wonders for Hales, who is part of a Thunder top order that can’t stop scoring.

The men in green have set club record scores in their past two games thanks to Hales, Callum Ferguson, Usman Khawaja and Oliver Davies, and that trend will continue if their star import continues to fire.

“It’s just about getting through the first few balls,” he said.

“There’s been a little bit of swing and seam at the top with the brand new ball, particularly under the lights here where there’s definitely a bit of assistance (for the bowlers) in the first few overs.

“I’ve had a couple of nice balls first up and maybe I was a bit lazy with my footwork, so in the nets over the last few days I’ve tried to get my feet moving a bit better and being a bit more switched on for my first few balls.

“Once you get through that, the pitches are pretty good here, so you can look to cash in.”



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Daniel Hughes eyes permanant skipper role amid Henriques absence after stunning captain’s knock


“Moey [Henriques] has been texting me every now and then saying ‘well-done skipper’,” he said. “I’ve been calling him the former skipper.”

Hughes said he felt a responsibility as a leader to be the one to chase down the total.

“I did sort of feel that … I thought if I can be here at the end, you never know what might happen,” he said. “I thought I’ve got to be the one here to stay in and try and get us home.”

Melbourne were cruising to an easy victory after Maxwell and Nicholas Pooran combined to smash 125 runs to push the Stars to 5-193 after their 20 overs. West Indian import Pooran was on his BBL debut and managed 65 runs off just 26 balls.

Daniel Hughes blasted 96 runs off 50 balls to take his side to the brink of an unlikely win.Credit:Getty Images

But a calf strain to paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile saw Maxwell bowl the critical final over. The Stars later argued that the game would have ended differently had Coulter-Nile been fit to bowl.

Hughes begged to differ. “I had absolutely no idea that he [Coulter-Nile] wasn’t on the field,” he said. “I didn’t know what had happened, I had no idea he was injured. I was just trying to do what I did, to be honest.”

Hughes said he also had “no idea” beforehand if he was capable of saving the day.

“It turns out I do,” he said. “It would have to be one of my better innings in the BBL.

“I felt like I was in the zone and hitting the ball really well, so I thought why not just back myself.”

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The Sixers will face the Melbourne Renegades on Tuesday with Hughes describing the match-up as a “danger game”.

On Saturday night, the Renegades were throttled by the Thunder, whose 129-run run was their greatest BBL total.

The last time the Renegades came up against the Sixers, the Sydney side managed to claim the highest-margin win in BBL history.

“They’ve got some seriously good players in their team; they’ve got [Aaron] Finch and Shaun Marsh and I think those two aren’t far away from big scores,” Hughes said. “They’ll be looking to bounce back.”

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Julian Fernandez knock out, video, falling out of ring, taunting, Franch Sanchez, Canelo vs Smith


Franch Sanchez punched Julian Fernandez so hard he was knocked out of the ring – with his eyes rolled back into head.

Cuban Sanchez – who was filmed sparring super-middleweight Canelo Alvarez before the fight – closed the show in style.

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He backed Fernandez to the ropes after landing a big right hand. And Sanchez kept up the pressure exploding with a big combination and the final hook left his opponent out cold.

Fernandez was smashed through the ropes and cameras captured the Mexican looking dazed with his eyes rolled back.

Fans online were quick to troll Fernandez after his prior showboating came back to haunt him.

One said: “That‘s what he gets for taunting.”

Another said: “This is ”when cocky fighters get destroyed” pt. 999999.”

One added: “Foolish.”

RELATED: Terrifying boxing bully beats rival to a pulp

RELATED: Gross aftermath of boxing beat down

Sanchez moved to 16-0 after securing his 12th knockout.

The 28-year-old trains alongside countryman Canelo, who topped the bill facing Britain’s Callum Smith.

Alvarez and Sanchez sparred each other in the lead up to their fights, despite their huge weight discrepancy.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission.



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India takes 53-run first innings lead over Australia despite gritty Tim Paine knock


After Australia’s bowlers did a fine job of limiting India in the first innings, the batsmen failed to match their efforts, with the hosts crumbling to be all out for 191 in less than a day.

In just its second Test with the pink ball, India’s attack did superbly well on day two of the first Test at the Adelaide Oval to help secure a 53-run first-innings lead.

Without a gritty, well-paced knock from captain Tim Paine (74 not out) under intense pressure, the deficit for Australia would have been much worse.

The problem with India’s efficiency was it meant they were left with a very tricky 25 minute spell against the Aussie quicks, and Pat Cummins smashed the stumps of Prithvi Shaw to earn some consolation from the day.

India, at 1-9, takes a 62-run lead into day three with 9 wickets in hand, with Mayank Agarwal and nightwatchman Jasprit Bumrah at the crease.

At the start of the day’s play, Australia made light work of the Indian tail, ripping through the lower order for the addition of just 11 runs to the overnight total.

Ashwin (15) and Wriddhiman Saha (9) did not add to their overnight scores as Pat Cummins (3-48) and Mitchell Starc (4-53) made dismissed Umesh Yadav (7) and Mohammed Shami (0), with Bumrah stranded on 4 not out.

That left nearly a full day for the Australians to build their innings.

There were question marks hanging over Australia’s opening pairing of the out-of-form Joe Burns and Matthew Wade, who had never opened the batting before.

They did a reasonable job of taking the shine off the pink ball, lasting 14 overs, but could only contribute eight runs apiece to Australia’s score. Both were trapped in front by Bumrah, with Wade wasting a DRS appeal by sending his decision upstairs when it was plumb LBW.

That brought Australia’s best pairing to the crease, Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith.

Umesh Yadav took a double wicket maiden to remove Marnus Labuschagne and Pat Cummins.(AP: James Elsby)

Labuschagne was comically dropped by Bumrah on the boundary when on 12 just before tea and by Prithvi Shaw when on 21 shortly after the long break.

Then, in the same Bumrah over, Smith was handed a lifeline on 1 when an outside edge fell just short of first and second slip.

Smith (1) could not make the most of his chance, edging Ravichandran Ashwin to Ajinkya Rahane at first slip in his first over after a 29-ball stay in the middle.

Travis Head (7) looked in good touch before offering up a soft dismissal, caught and bowled by an on-fire Ashwin, while debutant Green (11) will always remember his first Test innings due to the spectacular nature of the catch at mid-wicket by Virat Kohli to end it.

Labuschagne’s resistance was ended after the dinner break on 47 after a period in which he saw less of the strike, LBW to Yadav (3-40), as captain Paine produced one of his finest knocks at international level while wickets fell around him.

Cummins only lasted three balls to fall to Yadav in the same over, before Starc offered a big-swinging cameo of 15 runs from 16 balls until he was run out.

Lyon offered 21 balls of support to Paine, who motored past 50, before the off-spinner’s soft dismissal at the hands of Ashwin. Hazlewood (10) was the last man out, spooning a catch into the slips off Yadav.

See how the day’s action unfolded in our live blog.

Live updates

Pinned

By Simon Smale

Key Event

Stumps! India 1-9 (Agarwal 5, Bumrah 0) and 244, Australia 191

              

AP

              

Well, what a day of cricket. India were rolled in their first innings, the four wickets falling  for just 11 additional runs. 

     

Then India bowled superbly to bowl out Australia for 191, with Marnus Labuschagne (47) and Tim Paine (73*) the only resistance for the Aussies.

             

With 15 wickets falling over the course of the day, for just 211 runs, this game is moving along in a hurry.

        

Don’t forget to check out Walkley-winning writer Russell Jackson‘s analysis of the day on the website shortly.

       

How many will India need? How many will they want? More importantly, how many will they get?

         

The answers to at least one of those questions (probably) will come during tomorrow’s live blog, so I hope you’ll join myself, Simon Smale, and Daniel Colasimone from 2:30pm AEDT. Good night.

By Simon Smale

6th over – Bumrah faces Cummins

           

Yorker first up, defended well by Bumrah back down the ground.

              

Now a good solid defensive shot shot into the leg side, again, no run.

         

Full again from Cummins, still none of the exaggerated swing that Starc was getting, and Bumrah defends well.

      

Here’s the short ball, Bumrah ducks away late from it.

           

Yorker again from Cummins, but Bumrah does really well again to dig that one out as it arrowed in to the base of leg stump.

               

Wide of the off stump and Bumrah, the night watchman, survives!

By Simon Smale

Slips too deep, both teams?

-Pat

       

Yes, but that Agarwal edge would have carried to Burns had Paine not dived and deflected it away from him. Low, admittedly, but would have carried. 

By Simon Smale

5th over – Starc to bowl to Agarwal

         

Shortish – Agarwal lifts the hands well above his head and watches as the ball fizzes over his off stump. A good leave.

           

Here’s some of that time management – as Agarwal steps away and removes a moth from the pitch. Probably fair enough, that.

        

Now Starc comes in and Agarwal fends to bat pad on the leg side. No run.

           

Swing for Starc, but mis-directed down the leg side and Paine dives to take.

       

Lyon is at leg slip, there’s three conventional slips, a gully and bat pad.

         

Agarwal leaves another ball that goes past the off stump, and then digs out a brilliant 146kph, inswinging yorker from Starc.

        

Agarwal pushes into the off side, square of the wicket, takes two runs.

By Simon Smale

4th over – Cummins to continue

           

BOWLED HIM!!!!

          

Inside edge, Prithvi Shaw came forward to a fuller ball that just did enough off the seam to deceive the opener, who feathered an edge onto his stumps and departs for four.

           

Wow – here comes the night watchman – Jasprit Bumrah … Three overs (or nine mimutes – so expect some time wasting) to see out … I am not backing the Indian number 11…

              

Good defence first up – then an unconventional leave – then another solid defence… Bumrah played that well.

      

Now he ducks under an inevitable short ball, but does so well.

     

Angled bat, but that’s a good, solid defence. Five deliveries well negotiated by Bumrah from Cummins there.

By Simon Smale

3rd over – Starc comes in again

         

Agarwal got a single off that last ball – he fends the first away for nothing.

      

Starc comes steaming in again, looking for that late swing, but too short and Agarwal is over the top of it with another solid block.

         

UPISH! Agarwal doesn’t get to the pitch and spoons a ball just short of Wade at mid off!

       

BIG SHOUT! What did that hit? The inside edge… Labuschagne has nearly done a hammy appealing that one – everybody else stifled their appeals as the ball nipped back a little off the scrambled seam – but he was hopping up and down like a frog in a sock.

           

Another dot follows, and the final ball fizzes through to Paine. Maiden.

By Simon Smale

2nd over – Pat Cummins steams in from the Cathedral End

           

There are seven overs remaining today.

        

Shaw defends the first, for no run.

    

Now Cummins goes fuller to see if he can extract some swing, but there’s little if any movement and Shaw strokes it straight back past him for three runs – that slow outfield robbing the 21-year-old of a certain four.

           

Agarwal defends into the leg side. No run.

        

Now clips one off his pads for a couple into that midwicket region. No swing so far from Cummins as he pitches up, striving for it.

              

A touch shorter now, and Agarwal fends that into the off side.

       

Three slips, a bat pad, and a gully wait.

       

EDGED! DROPPED!

           

Paine dived across in front of Burns and gloved it, but then grassed it. Big chance for Australia.

        

By Simon Smale

1st over – Mitchell Starc, with the shiniest pink cherry you’ve ever seen in his palm, up against Prithvi Shaw on a pair…

                

Runs – well, one of them. Starc strays onto the hip and that’s tucked away for a single to square leg.

       

Agarwal fends into the off side for no run. Was there any movement? Hard to tell so far…

                

Starc pushes that one across the bows, well wide of the off stump – he’ll want to pitch it up and make the Indian openers play a bit more than this for me…

          

There was swing there! Starc pitches it up and the ball swung late towards the on side, it hit the pad but was easily going down and there might have been an edge too.

               

There we go – Starc pitches up again and Agarwal fends away the late-swinging ball into the on side. 145kph from Starc in this over…

             

Wow, that’s a brave leave – Agarwal trusted the bounce – not the wisest on this pitch from today’s evidence, but the ball flew over the off stump after tailing in a little once again.

   

One from the over.

By Simon Smale

Tim Paine has just gotten better and better as the years have gone on…

-Tristan

         

He was brilliant today.

             

AP

 

Audience comment by I only like the cream part

I will send Mike a box of mango weis bars if he bets on the Indian openers getting some runs.

By Simon Smale

Key Event

Australia all out for 191, trails India by 53 runs

              

AP

                  

So, the tail wagged, but and now there will be a very tricky 25 minute spell under the lights for India’s top order to withstand.

       

Hats off to Tim Paine, by the way, That was a terrific innings under serious pressure – a real captains knock to finish not out on 73 from just 99 balls.

            

As for India, there was some good bowling throughout the day, but there were lots of chances missed and they could rue those valuable runs that were leaked in that final session.

           

Back to more immediate concerns, how will the Indian batsmen do tonight? I do not like their chances to getting through unscathed, to be honest.

           

This pitch has proven to be really tough to bat on – we know Mitchell Starc is electric under lights with the pink ball and Prithvi Shaw is sitting on a pair – so will be desperately nervous.

         

Strap yourselves in for this last little period – it could be a cracker.

By Simon Smale

73rd over – Umesh Pradav returns

             

OUT! HAZLEWOOD GOES FOR 8!

        

Australia’s number 11 leaned back and looked to guide that over the top of the slip cordon, but it’s too close to Pujara, who timed his jump brilliantly to take the catch and end the innings.

By Simon Smale

PS Sorry if I jinxed it w Starc earlier. Timing huh? I’m not superstitious tho – apparently its bad luck to be superstitious!

-StevoR

            

Audience comment by John in Hong Kong

Great to see Tim Paine playing a captain’s innings, so the deficit won’t be too big.

By Simon Smale

72nd over – Bumrah will continue to Paine

           

Bumrah strays onto the pads of Paine and he tucks that one away for a couple of the mid wicket boundary.

      

Now too wide and Paine, this time, drives into the covers for another couple. Great work from Paine, excellent working of the field from the skipper.

         

He drops back and fends away at the next one, “No, no, no!” is the call.

             

Paine drives to long on – no run. 

      

Another strong call of “NO!” as Paine fends backwards of square on the off side.

       

Paine pulls a short ball that’s going well over Paine’s head, but Paine makes contact and it’s gone down to third man for four!

By Simon Smale

71st over – Ashwin to bowl at Paine

      

REVERSE SWEEP! FOUR! Tim Paine is making every other batsman look silly, really dominating the Indian bowlers and imposing his will on the contest.

             

That next ball has turned a long, long way, and Paine goes back and fends into the off side.

      

Short again and Paine saw that one, but could not connect with the big swing. I think he must have seen a truck, because he said something that sounded like that pretty loudly.

      

Ooooo that’s a beauty – it’s fooled Paine who looked to cut and missed the outside edge and the stumps by a whisker.

         

Paine drives to mid off, no run as the field comes in to save the single.

              

Paine leans back and cuts, hard behind square and he gets his single to retain the strike.

Audience comment by StevoR

Shell-shocked here. Just shell-shocked.<br>

By Simon Smale

70th over – Bumrah to Paine

         

Paine, back, defends as Bumrah awkwardly stutters to the crease in his own, indomitable way.

         

Paine is back defending again.

            

That one came in a long way and Paine took the bottom hand off the bat to fend that into the on side, a little awkwardly, it has to be said.

            

Another, solid, bat-and-all defensive shot from Paine. 

            

Short, and pulled away for a single – Hazlewood will have to face one.

           

Bumrah digs that one in short and Hazlewood backs away to fend that into the off side.

By Simon Smale

How many reviews do a team get , I thought it was three.

-Farmer neil

     

As many as they like, if they get them right.

         

Each side only have three incorrect ones – up from the usual two due to COVID restricting the use of neutral umpires.

           

Although if a decision is not changed but is close enough to be umpires call, then the side that called the review retains it.

     

Clear? 



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Josh Hazlewood says bouncer to say amid ACA call for head knock review


“I think it’s here to stay, to be honest,” Hazlewood said. “Whether it’s top-order players [or lower-order batsmen] … I know when I go out to bat that’s what I’m facing. I think it’s an integral part of the game.

“We’re obviously not intending to hurt anyone, it’s about getting the wickets and cleaning up that tail as quick as we can. If that’s the best option we’ll probably go down that path.”

Will Pucovski was left rattled by a blow to the helmet last week at Drummoyne Oval.Credit:Getty Images

India are certainly preparing for that to be the case and are undertaking all manner of planning. Cheteshwar Pujara, who proved so difficult to dismiss in the Test series here two summers ago that he broke the record of Rahul Dravid for most deliveries faced by an Indian in Australia, was even seen having a tennis ball hurled short at him in the SCG nets over the weekend.

Of course, the projectile that will be careering in his direction in Adelaide will be significantly harder but the Indians are determined to take whatever measures they can to be ready for what Hazlewood and co have in store for them.

Harry Conway is struck by a short ball at the SCG on Friday night.

Harry Conway is struck by a short ball at the SCG on Friday night.Credit:Getty Images

It is a mode of bowling that Australian Cricketers’ Association chairman and former Test wicketkeeper Greg Dyer agrees is fundamental to the sport.

Cricket Australia has been a global leader in dealing with concussion, trialling substitutes in the Sheffield Shield before the concept was introduced to the international arena last year.

But the latest round of concussions this summer has prompted the players’ union boss to suggest a deep dive into an apparent proliferation of head knocks with particular attention on the technique of modern-day batsmen brought up in the era of Twenty20 aggression.

CA medicos John Orchard and Alex Kountouris have researched the incidence of blows to the head, finding in a study of the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons there was a head impact every 2000 balls in men’s domestic cricket and a concussion every 9000 balls. They concluded that “the rate of concussion in cricket is higher than previously appreciated; however, the majority of patients recovered quickly, and players generally did not miss much playing time as a result”.

A lack of data from decades ago makes comparing eras more difficult but in television commentary over the weekend former Test captain Allan Border also indicated he thought there were more batsmen being hit now than in his playing days.

“I think we need to do some analysis because it’s very clear to me that the number of people that are being hit on the head … I reckon it’s 20 times as many as used to be the case,” Dyer said. “Is it a fundamental of the technique or is there some other issue that needs analysis?

Josh Hazlewood, second from left, preparing for the first Test in Adelaide with teammates James Pattinson, Matthew Wade and Pat Cummins.

Josh Hazlewood, second from left, preparing for the first Test in Adelaide with teammates James Pattinson, Matthew Wade and Pat Cummins.Credit:Getty Images

“It was a rarity for a bloke to get sconed back in pre-helmet days.

“There was a genuine need to watch the ball because if you didn’t you knew you were in a lot of trouble.

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“I think the helmet has created a sense of security which is not necessarily correct and there is also the possibility that it’s created a situation where it is harder to avoid the ball because you’ve got that weight on you.”

While player welfare and dealing with concussion is a primary concern of Dyer as ACA chair, he said “we have to find a different way to deal with the issue than banning the bouncer”.

“You might as well have bowling machines if a fast bowler can’t use a short ball to change the way a batsman is playing,” he said.

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Martine McCutcheon feared she would knock out Hugh Grant on Love Actually


Martine McCutcheon has spoken about the moment she feared she would knock Hugh Grant unconscious on her first day filming on the set of Love Actually.

The 44-year-old former EastEnders star plays the Downing Street tea lady who falls in love with Hugh’s prime minister in the 2003 Christmas film.

Her first day on set saw her filming the final scene at Heathrow Airport, requiring her to leap into Hugh’s arms.

Speaking about her nerves, Martine said: “It feels really clear, it’s something that I will never forget and I was so excited, I was so nervous, I was so grateful to be there.

“I was in disbelief that I was there, and it was a real pinch-me moment.”



Hugh Grant and Martine McCutcheon in Love Actually

She added: “Our first day of filming was actually filming the last scene which was the Heathrow scene and that was wonderful, it was one of the only times that everybody was together, if not the only time, and you realise that all these people are actually connected in some way without realising necessarily.

“It was just so special to look around and see everyone around us, Oscar winners, the talent on that set that day was unbelievable.”

It was the moment when she had to fling herself at Hugh that gave Martine her biggest worry, mainly because she thought she might flatten him.



Martine McCutcheon has spoken about her first day of filming on Love Actually

She said: “But I was really nervous because I had to run and jump on Hugh, that was my first scene, and I was thinking ‘Oh my God, I’m going to kill him!'”

Martine said that Hugh encouraged her to put her fears behind her and let herself go for that moment.

She continued: “He was like ‘Come on, go for it’, and I was so nervous because I had never had to jump on anybody in a scene in my life and now as I do it, it’s with the heartthrob that is Hugh Grant, in front of everybody, in front of all these amazing actors, and what if I knock him out? What if I do something wrong?

“And every time I ran up to do it, I stopped.



Hugh Gtant encouraged Martine to throw herself at him

“Hugh called me Teeny, and he was like ‘Come on Teeny, you can do it,’ and I was so scared I was going to hurt him or knock him over or something.”

It turned out that Hugh lived to act another day and Martine breathed a huge sigh of relief.

She concluded: “Luckily everything went great and we did good, he was fine, he can handle it.

“He makes it all look effortless.”

Do you have a story to sell? Get in touch with us at webcelebs@trinitymirror.com or call us direct 0207 29 33033.





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State of Origin 2020: James Tedesco head knock, Jai Arrow, NSW Blues vs QLD Maroons, Game III


Jai Arrow has fronted the media to apologise for a controversial incident involving James Tedesco while defending his actions.

Tedesco’s Origin decider ended early after a nasty head knock as an act from Queensland forward Jai Arrow during the moment had fans firing up.

The Blues’ series hopes copped a huge blow in the 19th minute when star fullback James Tedesco was taken from the field after a nasty head knock.

“I’m not a grubby player”

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The 27-year-old copped a knock as he went down with the ball and looked completely rocked as he attempted to get up.





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Sydney Roosters and NSW Blues captain Boyd Cordner may miss entire 2021 NRL season after State of Origin head knock


This column has spoken to several of Cordner’s closest confidantes, who all believe the back-rower needs some time away from the sport to properly consider his options and priorities without the emotion of the ordeal clouding his judgment.

The tragic death of his cousin Joel Dark earlier in the year following a head knock during a local first-grade game in Newcastle is still weighing heavily on Cordner’s mind.

Boyd Cordner is assisted off Adelaide Oval for a head injury assessment by Roosters and Blues trainer Travis Touma.Credit:Getty

The innocuous collision with Queensland’s Felise Kaufusi at the Adelaide Oval last week, coupled with Cordner’s history of head knocks, appears to have decreased the level of impact required to trigger a concussion. There is a hope that an extended period out of the game without any contact sport may help him build up a resilience to head knocks. The hiatus could also provide him with time to realise that things may never change.

Cordner left the Blues bubble a few nights ago and has returned home, where friends and family have been offering their support. One of the conversations that will no doubt be had will be pointing out all he has achieved throughout a decorated career, achieving more before the age of 28 than most players could ever dream, including three premierships, three State of Origin series victories and a World Cup.

The first priority for the Roosters is Cordner’s welfare, but there will come a time in the not too distant future where they will have to start thinking about the financial implications of having their $750,000-a-season captain sitting at home.

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Like the Bulldogs did after Kieran Foran was injured playing for New Zealand at the end of last year, the Roosters will be entitled to apply to an insurer for partial salary relief. If that was to occur, Cordner would not be able to play in the first three rounds of the 2021 season.

The other element is whether the NRL will provide the Roosters with salary-cap dispensation if Cordner decides to take 12 months out of the game. While no one at the Roosters wants to play next year without their inspirational leader, it could solve the salary-cap conundrum the club currently finds itself in.

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State of Origin 2020: NSW Blues vs QLD Maroons, Boyd Cordner concussion, head knock ruled out, NRL News, Roosters


The NRL will make the findings of its investigation into how Boyd Cordner’s concussion in State of Origin Game I was handled, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

Cordner suffered a head knock in the first half of the Blues’ 18-14 loss in Adelaide on Wednesday and was taken from the field for a HIA.

He passed the assessment and returned to the field — much to the surprise of Channel 9 commentators Andrew Johns and Phil Gould.

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However on Thursday the NRL launched an investigation into the circumstances around NSWRL staff letting the captain back onto the field.



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