Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs halfback Kyle Flanagan admits ‘heat is coming’ as he prepares for life in NRL furnace as chief playmaker


“He found me,” Flanagan said. “I was a bit stunned there. He was looking for me, but he has played State of Origin and he has played for Australia so it is always good going up against him.

“I felt that I am the dominant kicker on the team and I can feel the heat coming, but I will have to work on that in my own game and spread my kicking game and the workload across the whole team.”

Kyle Flanagan cops a big hit during the Bulldogs’ trial match against Cronulla on Saturday. Credit:Getty

Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett still has a call on who will partner Flanagan in the halves for Canterbury’s season opener against Newcastle.

Brandon Wakeham wore the No.6 at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium with Jake Averillo racing the clock to be fit for round one with a minor injury.

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The Bulldogs have tried to prise Matt Burton from Penrith for this season after the five-eighth agreed to join the Bulldogs from 2022.

The Panthers have so far rebuffed all interest in Burton and even proposed a player swap with Dylan Napa, which Canterbury didn’t consider.

“We’ve got a few that will be racing the clock for round one,” Barrett said. “Averillo, [Ray Faitala]-Mariner, [Dylan] Napa so we’ve just got to get through the next week.”

Luke Thompson will miss the opening four matches of the season for an eye gouge in the final round loss to the Panthers last year.

Barrett was buoyed by the efforts of new boys Flanagan, Nick Cotric, Jack Hetherington and Corey Waddell as his side erased a 12-point half-time deficit to beat the Sharks thanks to a winning try from school teacher Brad Deitz.

“I thought Nick Cotric was pretty good, he had some strong backfield carries and I am still working on my combinations with Corey Allan,” Flanagan said. “Hopefully Jake Averillo comes back in the next few weeks for round one but I thought it was a good start.”

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Keith Urban tells Kyle Sandilands about Nicole Kidman’s fight at Sydney Opera House


Keith Urban has finally dished on the altercation that went down at the Sydney Opera House last month, with his wife Nicole Kidman and an older male audience member.

On Friday, the 53-year-old discussed the incident in an interview on KIIS FM’s Kyle and Jackie O Show.

“We were sitting down with Nic’s mum and we were clapping. It was a bloody great performance and everyone was cheering and cheering,” Keith said.

“I looked around and I see a few people standing and a few more and I thought ‘Oh I’m getting up’.

“And then this guy behind me just whacked Nic, like really hit her, with the program.”

Keith said that an extremely shocked Nicole then looked over at him and her mother Janelle and said: “He just hit me!”

I was like, “What?! Violence at the opera!”

RELATED: Keith Urban’s handy 1 hour sleep trick

“It’s a bit of a pickle I was in because I’m a husband and you want to defend your wife but it took a lot of restraint. I was pretty upset,” he said.

Keith also explained how he had never been to the opera before, and was unaware that standing ovations were not allowed.

“We did not know you are not supposed to stand in the opera. Having not been to the opera before ever in my life, I am sensitive to the etiquette,” he said.

Police were reportedly called to the Sydney Opera House last month after the man “swatted” actress Nicole Kidman with a program.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald s Private Sydney section last month, witnesses allege a man in the audience of The Merry Widow grew agitated when Urban jumped to his feet to give the performance a standing ovation.

RELATED: Nicole reveals Keith’s surprise internet search history

When Kidman joined her husband – along with the rest of the audience – in cheering on the cast, the man behind them allegedly began a heated exchange with the pair.

According to onlookers, Urban told the man he was simply appreciating the cast’s talent, but things took a turn when the disgruntled audience member angrily “swatted” Kidman with his program, leading Urban to accuse him of assaulting his wife.

The couple were then escorted out of a side door by Urban’s security guards, with police also called to the venue, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Police media confirmed officers attended the Opera House that night following reports of an argument.

“Police have been told a 53-year-old man and a 67-year-old man were both attending the entertainment centre when an argument broke out. Officers spoke to both men and no further action was taken,” NSW Police said in a statement.

Kidman and Urban reportedly did not press charges against the man.



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Cricket news 2021: Bangladesh vs West Indies first Test, scores, Kyle Mayers double century


An unknown debutant has stunned the cricket world by pummelling a double century to help the West Indies chase down a record target.

Kyle Mayers — remember the name.

The West Indies have pulled off a miraculous run chase against Bangladesh, with unknown debutant Mayers scoring an unbeaten double century in the fourth innings.

Set an unlikely target of 395 for victory in Chattogram, the West Indies run chase started poorly, collapsing to 3/59.

But Mayers combined with teammate Nkrumah Bonner for a critical 216-run partnership for the fourth wicket to bring the match back in the balance.

As wickets tumbled at the other end, the 28-year-old Mayers slowly guided his side towards the mammoth target, securing the unlikely victory late on day five.

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Mayers’ 210 not out is the fifth-highest score by a debutant in Test history, and it was the largest ever successful run chase in Asia.

The previous highest score by a Test debutant in the fourth innings was 112, set by Abbas Ali Baig in 1959.

HIGHEST SUCCESSFUL RUN CHASES IN TEST CRICKET

418/7 — West Indies vs Australia, May 2003

414/4 — South Africa vs Australia, Dec 2008

406/4 — India vs West Indies, Apr 1976

404/3 — Australia vs England, Jul 1948

395/7 — West Indies vs Bangladesh, Feb 2021

Mayers was a relatively unknown figure in the sport before Sunday’s victory. The left-hander had previously played 32 first-class matches, averaging 28.93 with the bat and scoring two centuries.

He represented the West Indies in a handful of one-day matches before being given an opportunity at Test level this week.

Remarkably, Mayers had scored a duck in each of his previous two first-class innings before this week’s Test match.

Former West Indies paceman Ian Bishop tweeted: “Consider the inexperience. Consider that it’s tough condition on the final day of a Test in Asia. This has to be one of the most significant achievements in the history of West Indies cricket.”

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“I always believe in my abilities and the team, and I always was positive,” Mayers said after the victory.

“We never gave up. We always said in the dressing room that we need to keep fighting.

“It’s a great feeling to be playing Test cricket … a guy making his debut and making a double should inspire all youngsters to work hard and reach this level.”

The second Test match between Bangladesh and the West Indies commences in Dhaka on Thursday.

HIGHEST SCORE BY TEST DEBUTANT

Tip Foster (ENG) — 287 vs AUS, Dec 1903

Jacques Rudolph (RSA) — 222* vs BAN, Apr 2003

Lawrence Rowe (WI) — 214 vs NZ, Feb 1972

Mathew Sinclair (NZ) — 214 vs WI, Dec 1999

Kyle Mayers (WI) — 210* vs BAN, Feb 2021

Brendon Kuruppu (SL) — 201* vs NZ, Apr 1987

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Kyle Sandilands missing from radio show, sparks panic at KIIS FM


Kyle Sandilands sparked concerns this morning when he failed to show up for work.

The KIIS FM host was nowhere to be seen when his radio show started at 6am.

“We don’t know where Kyle is,” co-host Jackie O said on air. “His phone is off which is very strange.”

Jackie O added that Kyle’s manager, Bruno Bouchet, was also uncharacteristically unavailable.

Producers were so concerned that they sent a Kyle and Jackie O team member to Kyle’s house to check on the radio star.

Once there, the team member knocked on the door which woke Kyle who had simply slept in.

Kyle rushed to the studio in North Ryde where he was greeted in the carpark by show producers including Peter Deppeler.

“Thank god you’re here, we’ve been worried sick,” Pete said to Kyle in an Instagram live as the star walked inside the building to the studio. “There was a lot of panic from management. Everyone’s been freaking out.”

“You all thought I was dead?” Kyle asked. “I’m not dead!”

Kyle jumped straight on air where he apologised to listeners for missing the first hour of the show.

“I’m so sorry everyone. I slept in,” he said.

Kyle and Jackie O returned to the airwaves on Monday after a long holiday.

The pair are the highest paid stars in radio and reportedly get paid more than $35,000 each for every single show.



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Canterbury Bulldogs recruit Kyle Flanagan admits Sydney Roosters axing took him by surprise


“I look back now going, ‘What the hell was going on there?’

“I was pretty proud with how I responded to that and finished off the season.

“I remember [Robinson] saying to me, ‘You’re not playing poorly, we just want you to improve’.

“It was quite confusing. We were winning through that whole period there. I went back, trained hard, got back in the team and played well. I thought it was all part of the development.

Kyle Flanagan shows the pressure of a tough year at the Roosters.Credit:Getty

“That was the most frustrating thing. I signed with the Roosters to grow and develop into the role over the next few years. Then to be told a year later that plan isn’t there any more, that was the hardest pill to swallow.

“That’s the business we’re in, I guess.”

There was always going to be plenty of expectation on Flanagan coming into the glamour club, which had won two premierships with Cooper Cronk calling the shots. Flanagan believes he more than held his own, however, and clearly so did the Bulldogs, who quickly pounced after things turned sour at Bondi Junction.

Flanagan said he was lucky to have his father, premiership-winning coach Shane Flanagan, in his corner. He said Shane always made sure “I’m feeling confident in my own game”, but never overstepped the mark in terms of his involvement.

Kyle Flanagan and Roosters coach Trent Robinson chat at training early in the 2020 season before things turned sour.

Kyle Flanagan and Roosters coach Trent Robinson chat at training early in the 2020 season before things turned sour.Credit:Getty

Flanagan’s axing by the Roosters left many scratching their heads, given the club’s halfback options, Lachlan Lam, Drew Hutchison and Sam Walker, are less experienced than Flanagan.

Flanagan is one of several key signings by the Bulldogs and the halfback’s respect for Barrett was impossible to ignore.

“I can’t say a bad word about ‘Baz’,” Flanagan said. “I’m so glad I’ve signed with the Dogs. The confidence he’s given me, I’m sure you’ll see in the first few rounds the style of football we play.

“I’m so grateful for him to be my coach and I can’t wait to form a good combination with him and grow over the next few years.

“I’m a halfback and my job is to lead the footy team around. That’s all I’ve done as a kid, I’ve been that dominant halfback coming through the grades, and it’s time I do that in first grade.”

With Matt Burton to join Flanagan in the halves in 2022 – there is no chance Penrith will grant the five-eighth an early release – the big question for Bulldogs fans is who ends up partnering Flanagan in the halves.

Flanagan said he had trained with Lachlan Lewis, Brandon Wakeham and Jake Averillo, and had a soft spot for the latter.

“Everyone has been having a go there,” Flanagan said. “Jake Averillo has been going really well. He’s a versatile player who can play anywhere in the back line. I like the way he’s been going. He’s an exciting kid and I like his X-factor – you don’t know what you’ll get with him. He’s also a ball runner, which complements me.

“Having said that, Brandon and Lachie are training really well, so I’ll leave that one for the coach.”

Corey Allan arrived at the club this week from Souths and is seen as the front runner for the No.1 jersey. Flanagan and Allan are familiar with each other, having spent time together with the Junior Kangaroos in 2018.

Canterbury have had two of the best goalkickers in the modern era in Daryl Halligan and Hazem El Masri, and Flanagan, one of the NRL’s best sharpshooters, is relishing the chance to work with Halligan again.

“I want to take my game to the next level,” Flanagan said of his individual goals. “I laid a good platform last year and I want to be more dominant and be able to change a game. And as a team we have to climb up that ladder and focus on the eight.”

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New Zealand’s all-rounder Kyle Jamieson takes 11 wickets in second Test vs Pakistan


Australia has not needed too many reminders of the value of a great all-rounder over the years, but the latest is unmissable and right on its doorstep.

Plenty of pundits have charged Cameron Green with spearheading Australia’s cricketing future after the 2-metre-tall 21-year-old made his highly anticipated debut against India last month.

Green has been seen as the answer to Australia’s middle-order woes, while also being capable of bowling through the middle part of an innings to give the strike bowlers a rest.

With an already enviable first-class record, the portents are looking very promising for Western Australia’s latest young talent.

However, on the other side of the Tasman, New Zealand has unearthed its own impressive, six-foot-seven-inch (203cm) blonde talent in Kyle Jamieson who, despite having only played six Test matches, has already made his mark as a bowling all-rounder, taking to Test cricket like a duck to water.

Jamieson takes 11-117 to enter record books

Kyle Jamieson joined some exalted company by taking 11 wickets in a Test match.(Photosport via AP: John Davidson)

On Wednesday, Jamieson tore through the Pakistan batting line-up to lead New Zealand to a four-day, second Test victory over Pakistan at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval.

His match figures of 11-117 are the sixth-best in New Zealand Test history.

Only two players sit ahead of the 26-year-old in the rankings; Daniel Vettori (12-149 vs Australia and 12-170 vs Bangladesh) and Sir Richard Hadlee (15-123 vs Australia, 11-58 vs India and 11-102 vs West Indies).

“I suppose it’s not too bad,” Jamieson said when told of his achievement after the match.

Jamieson took 5-69 in the first innings and 6-48 in the second — his third and fourth five-wicket haul respectively from just 11 innings — while adding an unbeaten 22-ball 30 in New Zealand’s only batting innings.

Kyle Jamieson holds his hand up and bows his head as his teammates clap behind him
Kyle Jamieson has bowled 11 innings in Test cricket. He’s taken five wickets four times.(Photosport via AP: John Davidson)

The innings and 176 run-victory ensured New Zealand claimed both its home Test series this summer 2-0 to move back to number one spot in the Test rankings.

It’s part of what has been an excellent year for the Kiwis since their disappointing performance in Australia last summer — a series Jamieson was called up for as an injury replacement but did not play.

Since then, New Zealand has won six Test matches in a row — part of an unbeaten home streak of 17 matches that included the visit of both England and India.

It’s put New Zealand well into the mix for making the final of the inaugural World Test Championship, alongside India, England and Australia.

‘Unplayable’ Jamieson bolsters impressive pace quartet

Kyle Jamieson stands with four smaller men walking towards him, away from the camera
Kyle Jamieson, second left, already stands tall in the company of New Zealand Test royalty.(Photosport via AP: John Davidson)

Jamieson said he saw himself as the “fourth prong” of New Zealand’s pace quartet behind Tim Southee, Trent Boult and the injured Neil Wagner — and has clearly benefited from coming into a team firing on all cylinders.

“From my point of view, I get to sit back and watch these guys go to work,” Jamieson said.

“[I] just try to sit back and learn and observe what these world-class guys have done for a number of years.

He might think of himself as a fourth wheel, but former Kiwi skipper Brendan McCullum described Jamieson’s deliveries as “unplayable” as he took charge of the match with some scintillating fast bowling.

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“It’s one thing to just hang in there long enough and bore guys out, but he’s actually bowling unplayable deliveries,” McCullum said.

“That’s a really exciting aspect.”

Jamieson can bat too and even started out his cricketing life as a batsman before being converted during his time with the New Zealand Under 19 side.

In his six Test innings so far, he has scored 226 runs at an average of 56.50, with a high score of 51 against the West Indies.

His first-class average, 21.47 from 44 innings, indicates room for improvement, but as a number seven or eight Test batsman, he could certainly add valuable runs.

Green’s Test introduction a baptism of fire

Cameron Green tosses the ball up as he walks back to his mark while bowling
Cameron Green is yet to take a wicket in Test cricket.(AP: James Elsby)

While Jamieson has come into a team that has been in fine form, Green has come into a batting line-up that has been struggling and a bowling line-up that has, frankly, not needed much help.

Green’s introduction to the Test side was, in part, to assist with a shaky middle order but since he has come in, the usually dependable top order — albeit one missing David Warner — has let the team down.

Instead of being able to come in at number six with a mountain of runs of the board, Green has come out with the score at 4-65, 4-124 and 4-98, putting the 21-year-old under extraordinary pressure before he even faces a ball.

Cameron Green bends down on one knee and plays a cut shot with an angled bat
Cameron Green showed what he is capable of with a well-constructed 45 in Australia’s second innings at the MCG.(AP: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake)

His well-crafted 45 in the second innings in Melbourne and a first-class batting average of 51.44 from 34 innings — with a high score of 158 — shows that with more support, a big score is just around the corner.

Meanwhile, Jamieson is yet to taste defeat in a Test match with New Zealand and, if the cards fall right, could yet line up against Australia in the final of the World Test Championship that is scheduled for later this year.

Australia’s recent history against New Zealand-born all-rounders has not been overly pleasant — but if Jamieson’s trajectory continues, there could be more pain on the way.

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Ian Bishop Heaps Praise On Kyle Jamieson As New Zealand Beat Pakistan To Sweep Series


Kyle Jamieson scalped 11 wickets in the second Test against Pakistan.© AFP




Kyle Jamieson tore through the Pakistan batting line-up to help set up victory for New Zealand in the second Test, and former West Indies cricketer Ian Bishop was impressed with the pacer’s skillset. Jamieson has not even completed a year in international cricket, but the bowler’s meteoric rise continues in the longest format as he picked up a six-wicket haul in the second innings against Pakistan on Wednesday. Bishop praised Jamieson and said the bowler has been a great addition to the game in his first year of international cricket.

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“Kyle Jamieson has been a great addition to the world game in his first year of international cricket. Amazing skillset and a big heart,” Bishop tweeted.

New Zealand declared their first innings after gaining a lead of 362 runs, and then made light work of Pakistan batsmen in the second innings taking 81.4 overs to bundle out the visitors for a comprehensive win.

With this victory, New Zealand have become the number one ranked Test team in the world. New Zealand’s third successive 2-0 win in a home series has helped them stay in contention for a place in the final of the ICC World Test Championship. The championship is interestingly poised with the finalists yet to be decided.

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New Zealand gained the maximum of 120 points from the series against Pakistan after their win, taking their points tally to 420 out of a possible 600 after having also beaten West Indies and India by the same margin in their two previous series.

New Zealand stands third in the points table with 0.700 percentage points won, the factor that determines the final placings rather than total points won, following a change to the points system owing to the Covid-19 disruption.

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Manchester City: Gabriel Jesus & Kyle Walker test positive for Covid


Gabriel Jesus scored his first goal since 8 November when he put City in front against Arsenal in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday

Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus and defender Kyle Walker have tested positive for Covid-19.

The players, along with two members of staff, will isolate in accordance with Premier League and government protocol.

City will likely be without the duo for Premier League games against Newcastle United on December 26, Everton two days later and Chelsea on January 3.

Jesus’ obvious replacement Sergio Aguero is being eased back after a knee issue and played 16 minutes on Tuesday.

Jesus, 23, has scored four times this season but was missing through injury for a month while 30-year-old Walker has been a virtual ever present for Pep Guardiola’s side.

England right-back Walker apologised in May for breaking coronavirus lockdown guidelines twice.

Manchester City are eight points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool with a game in hand.

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COVID-19: Manchester City stars Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus test positive for coronavirus | UK News



Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus have tested positive for coronavirus, Manchester City have confirmed.

Two members of staff also tested positive, the club said in a statement.

“All four personnel will now observe a period of self-isolation in accordance with Premier League and UK government protocol on quarantine,” said the Premier League side.

“Everyone at the club wishes our colleagues a speedy recovery over the Christmas period ahead of their return to work, training and competition.”

The England and Brazil internationals will now have to self-isolate instead of playing against Newcastle in Manchester City’s Boxing Day game.

They both featured in the side’s 4-1 win against Arsenal on Tuesday. The club did not say if the players or staff were suffering any symptoms.

Walker, 30, was forced to apologise after breaking COVID-19 lockdown rules with a visit to his home city of Sheffield in April.

He and Jesus, 23, are the latest in a string of football stars to contract coronavirus, which has also included Juventus and Liverpool stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Mo Salah.



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Jury dismissed after deadlock in swim coach Kyle Daniels’ sexual abuse trial


The jury in the trial of Sydney swimming coach Kyle Daniels has been discharged after failing to reach a verdict for the majority of his child sexual abuse charges.

Mr Daniels pleaded not guilty to 26 charges related to nine young girls who he taught at the Mosman Swim Centre between 2018 and 2019.

The 22-year-old was last week acquitted of five charges, including sexual intercourse with a child, but the jurors have insisted there is a “deadlock” on the remainder.

Judge Kara Shead discharged the jury after the foreman gave evidence there was no prospect of agreement.

It follows a seven-week trial in the NSW District Court.

“I know that must be, perhaps for some or all of you, a relief,” Judge Shead said.

“I know you have applied your very careful consideration.”

Judge Shead also told the panel there was counselling available, given the “difficult” subject matter of the trial.

A panel of 10 persevered with deliberations after two jurors were discharged — one due to travel plans and another who was stuck in the COVID-affected Northern Beaches region.

The initial not-guilty verdicts were returned after the jury deliberated for less than a day.

Kyle Daniels denies sexually abusing nine young girls.(AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

During the trial, crown prosecutor Carl Prince accused Mr Daniels of opportunistically acting on an interest in the girls for his own “sexual gratification”.

The court heard the complainants were aged between five and 10.

Mr Daniels rejected each specific allegation put to him under cross-examination and said he had “absolutely not” touched any of them inappropriately.

The court watched pre-recorded video evidence from all nine complainants, who were interviewed by police and were cross-examined in pre-trial hearings.

They variously recalled feeling “weird”, “confused” and “creeped out” when their teacher allegedly touched them in the pool.

The initial complaints related to two girls before more came forward.

Mr Daniels’ lawyers highlighted inconsistencies in the complainants’ evidence and questioned whether their accounts had been contaminated, including by hearsay and media reporting.

When he stepped into the witness box, Mr Daniels told the jury he was “in disbelief” and “dumbfounded” about the allegations following his March 2019 arrest.

He also said police officers at Manly Police Station called him a “disgusting paedo” and laughed about what they thought would happen to him in prison.

The court also heard evidence from the girls’ parents, some of whom broke down recounting how their daughters disclosed the alleged abuse.

Defence barrister Les Nicholls strongly criticised the conduct of the officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Senior Constable Emma Lay.

He accused her of altering the wording on a police statement and using leading questions in her interviews with the young girls.

Mr Daniels described his job as a swimming teacher as “incredibly rewarding” because he was able to see students acquire skills he taught.



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