NRL 2021: Lachlan Croker hamstring injury, hooker replacement, Manly Sea Eales, casualty ward, injuries, return dates

Manly’s hooking stocks have taken a major hit with utility Lachlan Croker reportedly set to miss the opening three rounds after suffering a hamstring injury.

Wide World of Sports reports the 24-year-old picked up the injury during training this week.

The club has not yet confirmed Croker’s injury, but he was not named to play Sunday’s trial match against the Wests Tigers.

It’s important to note that halves duo Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran were also not named in the squad — suggesting coach Des Hasler is resting his key men. However, understands Croker as well as fellow utility Cade Cust both had hamstring concerns earlier this month.

Round 1

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Mitchell Pearce, Newcastle Knights, Lachlan Fitzgibbon, girlfriend, sexting scandal, player meeting

Mitchell Pearce and Lachlan Fitzgibbon will endure a tense reunion when the under-fire Newcastle Knights skipper returns to preseason training this week.

Pearce’s personal life and his standing at his NRL club is in tatters after he was caught sexting a Knights employee just days out from his wedding to Kristin Scott.

The wedding was cancelled and Pearce is desperately trying to repair his relationship. He’s also preparing to face the music at his footy club.

Teammate Lachlan Fitzgibbon is a close friend of the boyfriend of the club employee and was reportedly furious at Pearce’s actions.

It will all come to a head at training later this week, where Knights general manager of football Danny Buderus is hoping it can be addressed promptly for the sake of the upcoming season.

“There will be an address from Mitchell,” Buderus told reporters on Monday.

“It definitely needs to be addressed (immediately) when he comes back … otherwise it can fester among the group,” he added.

“Mitchell would like it that way. Anyone who walks into that group needs to understand what they’ve all gone through and the pressure the club has been under in the (past) 12 days.

“Something needs to be said and once it’s said we can all move on.”

Buderus praised Fitzgibbon for the way he was dealing with the situation. “He’s shown some really good leadership in and around it, understanding what he needs to move forward so we’re addressing all those areas among the group to ensure all parties are happy to get back out on to the football field.”

Pearce’s days of leading his teammates on to that field appear over though.

Buderus said coach Adam O’Brien was conducting a review of the club’s player leadership model and conceded stripping Pearce of the captaincy was an option.

“He likes to be captain, so if it was to go that way it would hurt,” Buderus said.

Buderus said Pearce’s main focus for now was his relationship with Scott.

“It’s difficult. You can only imagine how he’s going,” he said.

Buderus stressed Pearce was still wanted at the Knights but admitted the scandal could affect contract negotiations with the former NSW Blues representative.

Pearce’s current $1 million-a-season contract ends after the 2021 season. The Daily Telegraph reported that he was offered a two-year extension that halved his salary before this latest scandal.

“We’re still going through that (contract renegotiation) process. There’s (going to be) a lot of personal impact for Mitchell, professionally as well, but that’s a bridge we need to cross when we get to it.”

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Upper Lachlan Shire Council ‘goes full bore’ on water plant | Goulburn Post

news, local-news, Goulburn, Taralga, Upper Lachlan Shire Council, water treatment plant, John Stafford, new dam, Colleen Worthy

The estimated $220,000 cost of replacing Taralga’s water treatment plant will be money well spent if it relieves residents of ‘stringent restrictions.’ That’s the view of Upper Lachlan Shire Mayor John Stafford who told a council meeting on Thursday that the community was “beside itself” and “outraged” over the water treatment plant’s recent destruction by fire and implementation of level three restrictions. Councillors voted unanimously to give general manager Colleen Worthy delegated authority to buy a replacement water filtration plant for the facility off Martyn Street. They also want the Department of Planning, Infrastructure and Environment to “confirm” the purchase. READ MORE: Taralga water plant purchase paves way to permanent solution Firefighters contain structure fire at Taralga Ignition point unknown at Taralga blaze, firefighters say Taralga water restrictions tighten after structure fire A near two-week search has identified a plant from South Australia, estimated to cost $220,000. It’s not yet known if the state government will assist but the GM says the council is regularly meeting with departments on this point and financial assistance with water carting from Crookwell in the interim. Thursday’s meeting sparked questions from councillors, including one from Cr James Wheelwright on whether the plant was “cheap,” would provide for the future and if DPIE would help if it didn’t do the job. Mrs Worthy replied that any suggestion it was of low quality was “wrong.” She said the plant had a five to 10-year life and could be sold if the council built a larger dam in future and needed a bigger filtration system. “This is a plant for this time,” she said. The council wants it operating by February to save paying over $100,000/month in water cartage costs. Under questioning from Cr Brian McCormack about the blaze and why it happened, Mrs Worthy said fire authorities, police and the insurance company had all agreed it was an electrical fault. ALSO READ: Man sentenced to prison for connection to alleged Marulan cannabis cultivation Asked by The Post about the maintenance regime, Mrs Worthy said the council employed “a highly experienced and a highly skilled group of plant operators that monitored and maintained all of its water treatment plant assets expertly and diligently.” “The water treatment plant at Taralga was no exception, being cared for by staff with decades of experience in plant operations and maintenance,” she said. After the meeting, Cr Stafford said councillors naturally had questions after only receiving the council report that morning but were largely assured it was the right course of action. “There is no question it will meet our needs,” he told The Post. “…It’s not an extraordinary amount of money and in the event we need something further in the future, we’ll look at that. “The important thing is to get water to the people and get them off level three restrictions.” The mayor said the council was “going full bore” to meet community needs and praised management and staff for identifying the plant so soon after the December 8 fire. He acknowledged “a degree of frustration” by residents about being on tight restrictions amid one of the best agricultural seasons. Taralga was on the same limits last summer amid drought. ALSO READ: Throwback Thursday: Kids of Goulburn, December 1995 | Photos “Some people, unreasonably so, want an instant fix, which is not possible but at the same time we, as a council, have to apply ourselves to do this as quickly as we can,” he said. Mrs Worthy hoped the council would only foot a small portion of the bill once state assistance was known and an insurance claim assessed. Meantime, talks are underway with three landowners about possible acquisition for a new dam, replacing the current one which has leaks. Cr Stafford said the council was exploring a 50 megalitre storage near to the existing 20Ml dam, to cater for the growing village into the future. We care about what you think. Have your say in the form below and if you love local news don’t forget to subscribe.


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AFL 2021 best 22 line ups, Round 1 teams: Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, Lachlan Jones, Braeden Campbell, Will Phillips

The array of trade and free agency moves last month ensured several teams will go through dramatic makeovers when assembling their 2021 best 22s.

But with many recent AFL draftees every chance to push into early senior selection contention, several clubs now have a few more internal headaches. has updated how your club’s best 22 could look like next season.

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Grand Final


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Apprentice Lachlan Neindorf set to extend Victorian stint at stables of Anthony and Sam Freedman

South Australian apprentice Lachlan Neindorf is leaning towards extending his Victorian stint when his six-month loan to the Anthony and Sam Freedman stables expires in two weeks.

Superior opportunities are an enticing lure for Neindorf who initially joined the Freeman camp for a three-month term following the Adelaide autumn carnival.

As well as working out of Pinecliff, Neindorf has been encouraged by his support from leading stables such as Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig.

“I have to make a decision in two weeks and I will probably stay,” Neindorf said.

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“I like it over here, race riding every day.

“I love working at Pinecliff, it is a nice set up and more laid back than track work at normal tracks. Anthony and Sam are really good.

“Anthony is a bit of a hard task master, a bit old school and he tries to get the best out of you. Robbie Scarlett rides trackwork and he has been an enormous help for me.

“He helps me out a lot and is always giving advice. I could not have asked for a better track work rider to help me out.”

Neindorf rode Cataracta from the Ciaron Maher and David Eustice stable, and Harpuna at Moonee Valley when they had their most recent starts and the pair will meet over 1200m at Morphettville on Saturday.

So which horse would the youngster ride in the BenchMark 64 race if he had to choose?

“Harpuna is a progressive horse which hasn’t really come into his own,” Neindorf said.

“He is still doing things wrong.

“At the Valley, and (Morphettville) Parks the start before, he struggled to get around the turn. When he straightens up he does rocket.

“I was lucky I had a horse outside me keeping me in, otherwise I probably would have run off the track. “

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Goulburn Mulwaree and Upper Lachlan Councils win resilience grants | Goulburn Post

news, local-news, Goulburn Mulwaree Council, Upper Lachlan Shire Council, bushfire recovery assistance, Angus Taylor, Wendy Tuckerman, Bob Kirk, Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund

Two councils in the area will receive $100,000 each to help recover from last summer’s bushfires. Federal Hume MP announced the assistance under stream one of the joint federal and state Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund on Thursday. The money will go to Goulburn Mulwaree and Upper Lachlan Shire Councils to help “promote community well-being, social and future disaster resilience.” READ MORE: NSW bushfire community and resilience fund grants “(It) will allow Goulburn Mulwaree Council to develop procedures and acquire equipment to assist with the operation of an emergency evacuation centre and to provide local community grants to facilitate bushfire recovery and resilience activities,” Mr Taylor said in a statement. The Local Emergency Management Committee, comprising police, fire authorities, SES and other agencies, operates from the council chambers during fire, flood and natural disasters. ALSO READ: Moss Vale and Goulburn train station upgrades on track Mayor Bob Kirk said it ensured a coordinated response. “This funding is fantastic, and will be utilised to install technology and equipment that will make life much easier for the LEMC,” he said. Meantime, Upper Lachlan will use its $100,000 to improve communications across the Shire through enhanced transmission towers. Mr Taylor said the council would also be used to manage a local community grants program to facilitate bushfire recovery and resilience activities. ALSO READ: NSW mobile speed camera signs to go Upper Lachlan Shire Mayor John Stafford welcomed the boost. “Affordable access to fast download speeds and unlimited data is still part of the digital divide, and we’ve all become keenly aware of the need for digital connectivity this year,” he said. “Through better digital access, this funding will assist the provision of bushfire resilience and will improve liveability and the ability to conduct business in areas like Taralga.” Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman said the focus was on a locally-led recovery ensured fire-affected community had improved capacity and capability to respond to future disasters. ALSO READ: P-plater charged after allegedly clocking 199km/h “We are committed to supporting communities on the long road to recovery. We understand that locals know what they need best, so that’s why we are empowering local communities to make best use of this funding,” she said. The closing date for community applications for Stream 2 of the BCRRF has been be extended to provide adequate time for applications to be submitted. They will be accepted up until 12pm on December 11, 2020 and can be submitted at We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.


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Essendon, Carlton do deal for Adam Saad, Geelong Cats trade Nakia Cockatoo, Lachlan Fogarty, Aliir joins Port Adelaide

The Bulldogs have shown interest in Collingwood’s Adam Treloar; he did a medical with the yesterday and results were expected today. Those results will determine whether the Dogs pursue talks with Collingwood for the player who is contracted for five more years with the Magpies on about $900,000 a year.

As previously reported by The Age, it is not inconceivable, but it is unlikely, the Bulldogs would trade for Treloar and still hold onto Dunkley.

Collingwood’s Jaidyn Stephenson has met with North Melbourne as he considers his future.

Essendon’s Orazio Fantasia wants a move to Port Adelaide and the clubs are in talks.

“We’ve got until tomorrow night to get things done, I think that we’re a chance to get at least one of those deals done over the next 48 hours,” Power football boss Chris Davies said on Trade Radio earlier today, referencing discussions over Fantasia and Aliir. The Aliir deal has since been completed.

“… If we get to a point with one of those guys where we’re ready to do the deal, we’ll get that done and we’ll have to work with what we’ve got left to do the second one.”

He said they’d made offer to the Bombers that they thought was fair.

“We’re not going to walk away from Orazio … he’s told us he wants to come to Port Adelaide, we’ve got a responsibility to try and get that deal done, that’s the sort of club we are … but at the same time there’s a limit and we’re probably at that limit now, to be honest.”

We’re also waiting for news on deals for Jack Higgins, who wants a move from Richmond to St Kilda. Jake Niall reports that the Saints’ offer of a future second-round pick has not yet been accepted by the Tigers.

And Jackson Hately and Jye Caldwell, who want moves from GWS to Adelaide and Essendon respectively, are still waiting to learn their futures, as is Ben Brown, who wants to get to Melbourne.

With just over 24 hours left of trade period, there’s plenty to still get done.

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Essendon Bombers and Carlton Blues do deal for Adam Saad, Geelong Cats trade Nakia Cockatoo to Brisbane Lions, Lachlan Fogarty to Blues

Essendon now have picks six, seven and eight in the national draft, their strongest hand in years. The Bombers though are still negotiating other deals and will likely trade one or more of those picks.

The deal also means Essendon have been able to hang on to their future second-round draft pick (they do not presently have a second-round pick in this year’s draft).

Essendon had been firm that Saad deserved pick eight alone while Carlton believed that was too much and required something else back in the exchange. Carlton had pushed to hand over pick eight and a future third-round pick to Essendon for Saad and Essendon’s future second-round pick – a pick slide next year for Essendon.

But that future second-round pick was too valuable to Essendon because of the other deals they are trying to negotiate in this year’s trade period.

Read the full story here.

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Bledisloe Cup 2020, Wallabies vs All Blacks, red cards, Lachlan Swinton, analysis

The Wallabies have claimed a 24-22 win over the All Blacks in a face saving victory at Suncorp Stadium.

But while it was an epic comeback from the 43-5 loss in last week’s Test which decided the Bledisloe Cup for an 18th year, a controversial first half delivered the talking points from the game.

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In the 22nd minute the All Blacks’ Ofa Tu’ungafasi become the fifth All Blacks player of all-time shown a red card in a call that has divided the rugby community.

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Wallabies defeat All Blacks, red cards, Ofa Tu‘ungafasi, Lachlan Swinton, high tackles, reaction, social media

The Wallabies have claimed a 24-22 win over the All Blacks in a face saving victory at Suncorp Stadium.

But while the epic comeback from the 43-5 loss in last week’s Test which decided the Bledisloe Cup for an 18th year, a controversial first half delivered the talking points from the game.

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In the 22nd minute the All Blacks’ Ofa Tu‘ungafasi become the fifth All Blacks player of all-time shown a red card in a call that has divided the rugby community.

Social media was quick to react to the 22nd minute incident where the Wallabies‘ Tom Wright dummied a kick from inside the 22 and began to step around All Blacks players.

That was until he came to Tu‘ungafasi, who flattened the winger in what looked like a strong shot.

But on replay, it became clear his shoulder contract Wright’s jaw.

On Channel 10, the discussion was around whether it would be a yellow or a penalty, but referee Nic Berry saw it much more black and white.

“OK, so based on those factors, direct contact to the chin, there‘s no mitigating factors, so it is going to be a red card against black three. Everyone agree?” he said to the TMO before showing Tu‘ungafasi the red card.

The decision was consistent with the World Cup in Japan but it has been a controversial ruling since the event.

Tu’ungafasi joins Cyril Brownlee in 1925, Colin Meads in 1967, Sonny Bill Williams in 2017 and Scott Barrett in 2019 as the only All Blacks to be red carded.

Social media exploded with comments with many believing it was a tough call but the right one under the rules.

Former Wallaby turned media personality Peter FitzSimons tweeted: “Very tough red card for All Black prop, yes? No evil intent on his part?”

Incredibly, the All Blacks were next to score through a penalty goal to make it 8-all.

But it soon became duelling red cards when Wallabies debutant Lachlan Swinton was given his marching orders for a very similar incident in the 34th minute.

Swinton hit Sam Whitelock with a big hit, flattening the big New Zealander but it was quickly under review.

Swinton was also the fifth Wallaby to be given a red card, joining David Codey in 1987, Drew Mitchell in 2010, Tevita Kuridrani in 2013 and Sekope Kepu in 2017.

Wallabies legend Matthew Burke said he believed both were worthy of red cards.

“It is red, absolutely. I thought it could have been a yellow because of the mitigating circumstances of Wright going down and then at the back end of it there is another one there and look at it, it is a heavy shot and just a missed shot and they spoke about that beforehand, about controlling that aggression and we said it as well at the start there,” he said on Channel 10.

But on Fox Sports, fellow Wallaby greats Justin Harrison and Phil Kearns took aim at the rulings at halftime.

“We talk about the framework of the rule changes that safety is the intent, but both of these players who received direct shots to the chin weren‘t directed to go to the HIA for assessment so lets talk about mitigating factors,” Harrison said.

“We know that players don‘t go out with the intent to take people’s heads off, what they do go out with through is with the intent to hit people as hard as they can. When you are moving as fast as you can as hard as you can and you’ve got 125kg that commits to a target, it’s very difficult to change that framework of decision.

Kearns added: “There‘s got to be a better way. For me, yellow card, put them on report and then go to the judiciary afterwards. Ruining the game, ruining the spectacle.”

Australia were then down to 13 men when Marika Koroibete was yellow carded after the halftime siren for having his hands all over the ball after a warning from the referee.

The All Blacks also went down to 13 men in the second half when Scott Barrett saw a yellow card after reaching out of the ruck to knock the ball out of Nic White‘s hands.

Post-match, Harrison said “you cannot be allowed to get away with foul play because of clumsiness”.

Kearns also reiterated his comments from the first half, admitting that the red cards were correct under current rules.

“But in my view, it takes a lot away from the game to have the red cards,” he said. “Perhaps a better option is yellow card first, put them on report and deal with the judiciary process later so you can maintain the integrity of the game. I think there’s very little doubt in both of them.”

Wallaby great Tim Horan also argued for a red card seeing a player sent off but able to be replaced after 10 minutes.

Nine Test veteran Greg Martin added that while it might be part of the rules, passive fans would are left scratching their heads with some calls.

“That’s a joke,” he said. “If we’re here in Australia competing with rugby league, and that’s what we are, but getting run from someone sitting in an office in Dublin deciding that that’s a red card, that’s nonsense, we can’t win that fight.”

All Blacks coach Ian Foster didn’t want to be drawn into a discussion of the issue.

It is what it is right now,” he said. “I don’t think now is a great time to debate the accuracy of the decisions. We were probably more unhappy with some of the TMO decisions last week than this week. Both teams got dealt with the same cards dare I say it.”

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