Geelong clinches AFL top-four spot with win over Sydney Swans ahead of finals

Geelong has survived a massive scare to lock in an AFL top-four spot, as Gary Ablett showed flashes of brilliance on his return to action in a six-point win over lowly Sydney.

The injury-ravaged Swans stunned the Cats early with four of the first five goals and led until the four-minute mark of the final term.

But class eventually told as Patrick Dangerfield, Sam Menegola, Brandon Parfitt and Tom Stewart played key roles in the Cats’ crucial 10.9 (69) to 9.9 (63) victory in Carrara.

It took a desperate late smother from Mark Blicavs on James Rowbottom to secure the result on the final play of the match.

The win gave Geelong fourth place on the ladder and a double chance for the finals, starting with a qualifying showdown with either Brisbane or Port Adelaide.

Dangerfield was moved permanently forward after half-time and kicked three crucial late goals to help drag the Cats over the line.

Menegola, Parfitt and Stewart were busy throughout but Geelong’s midfield struggled to gain ascendancy against a Swans on-ball division led by experienced campaigners Josh Kennedy and Luke Parker.

Sydney got the early jump, registering their highest first-quarter score of the season (5.4), but lost James Bell to concussion after a head clash with Jordan Dawson.

Their nine-point lead at quarter-time would have been greater if not for Tom Papley’s miss from the top of the square running into an open goal.

Ablett’s first two touches were goal assists and he kicked one himself before quarter-time to help stem the tide, but he was one of few the Cats to have much of an impact to that point.

The free-flowing contest became a grind during a goalless second term.

Dangerfield’s move forward helped change the match and he put the Cats in front with the first goal of the final quarter.

He added another moments later and could have had a fourth from a free kick, but advantage was paid when Parfitt kicked a goal off the deck.

The Cats endured nervous moments in the dying stages.

Papley cut the margin back to 11 points and Justin McInerney trimmed it to six with 19 seconds remaining before Blicavs’s late heroics.

Chief goal sneak Papley was an ever-present threat in attack but was wasteful in kicking 2.5.

Parfitt and Coleman Medal leader Tom Hawkins finished with two goals each for Geelong.

Hawks finish on winning note

Retiring Hawthorn stalwart Paul Puopolo has made a stylish three-goal farewell in a 51-point demolition of Gold Coast at Adelaide Oval.

Puopolo booted two of Hawthorn’s seven first-term goals in the 17.6 (108) to 8.9 (57) victory, which meant the Hawks finished with a 5-12 win-loss record for the season.

The Hawks are likely to finish 15th on the ladder, with the Suns expected to be in 14th place. If the Sydney Swans upset Geelong on Sunday afternoon they will leapfrog both the Suns and Hawks.

In what was a dead rubber between two non-finalists, the Hawks exploded from the blocks in the opening quarter to lead 7.1 (43) to 1.1 (7) at the first change.

Hawks retiree Paul Puopolo made sure he went out on a winning note against the Suns.(AAP: David Mariuz)

Aside from Puopolo, fellow veteran Jack Gunston kicked two goals in the opening term before finishing with four for the match.

Another departing Hawk, three-time premiership player Ben Stratton, collected 13 disposals and kicked a last-quarter goal, which was just the second in his 202-match career.

Tom Mitchell (33 disposals), James Cousins (24), Liam Shiels (25) and ex-Sun Jaeger O’Meara (25) were influential for the Hawks throughout the contest.

Gold Coast’s co-captain David Swallow (27 disposals) and Noah Anderson (25) were the team’s leading ball winners.

Suns forward Alex Sexton booted three majors, while debutant Jy Farrar scored a goal with his first kick in the AFL ranks.


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Perth Scorchers vs Sydney Thunder Tips, Odds and Teams – Big Bash League 2020

We take a look at Monday’s (20/1/2020) BBL Big Bash 2020 match between Perth Scorchers and Sydney Thunder and give our tips and value tips for the match.

When: Monday, 20th January at 9:41PM

Where: Optus Stadium, Perth

Bet: Bet On This Match HERE


The Best of the Day preview gets the week underway with the first of two BBL showdowns between the Perth Scorchers and Sydney Thunder in the space of six days.

The 5-6 Scorchers are aiming to snatch fourth spot on the ladder from the 5-6-1 Thunder.

After piecing together a handy three-game winning run, the Scorchers lost to the Stars twice last week.

They went down by eight wickets at home after being bowled out for 86. Josh Inglis (37 off 19) was the lone shining light.

The Scorchers’ batting faltered against the Stars again at the MCG on Saturday. Chasing a modest 142 for victory after a fine bowling display from Matthew Kelly (3/27) and Jhye Richardson (1/23), they fell 10 runs short. Cameron Bancroft’s snail-paced 32 off 44 was their only score over 20.

Daniel Sams (3/14) and Chris Morris (2/12) helped skittled the Sixers for just 76. The Thunder will be counting on runs from top-order stalwarts Usman Khawaja and Callum Ferguson, who have both struggled to reproduce their early-season touch.

Sydney reached 6/142 in home clash with Perth as Jos Buttler (55) and Callum Ferguson (42) carried the can. But the Scorchers fell one run short, despite Turner’s 60* off 36 balls.

A blistering Ferguson century (113* off 53) steered the Thunder to a six-wicket win with four balls left at Optus Stadium after the Scorchers set a target of 182.

Look for skipper Ferguson, who averaged 76.3 in the first five matches of the BBL season, to explode back into form and lead the Thunder to a Best of the Day upset.


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Tip: Perth Scorchers $1.76


Value BET: Man of the Match: Liam Livingstone at $10.00


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Perth Scorchers squad

Mitchell Marsh (c), Ashton Agar, Fawad Ahmed, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Cameron Green, Aaron Hardie, Nick Hobson, Josh Inglis, Chris Jordan (England), Matthew Kelly, Liam Livingstone (England), Joel Paris, Kurtis Patterson, Jhye Richardson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Sam Whiteman

Sydney Thunder squad

Callum Ferguson (c), Jonathan Cook, Oliver Davies, Brendan Doggett, Matthew Gilkes, Chris Green, Alex Hales (England), Usman Khawaja, Jay Lenton, Nathan McAndrew, Chris Morris (South Africa), Arjun Nair, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, Gurinder Sandhu, Jason Sangha, Tanveer Sangha, Chris Tremain


*Odds correct at time of posting. Subject to change


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Sonny Bill Williams, SBW, Toronto Wolfpack, Super League, Sydney Roosters, future, contract, pay

Sonny Bill Williams is set to pocket $1 million for every game he played with Super League side Toronto Wolfpack.

The 35-year-old Williams agreed to a two-year $10 million deal with the Canadian side late last year after spending the last few years in rugby union.

But following their promotion to the Super League the COVID-19 shutdown plunged the future of the club into jeopardy.

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Toronto withdrew from the Super League for 2020 amid concerns over their ability to generate the income to survive due to the lack of games in their home country.

Players, including ex-Manly and Parramatta prop Darcie Lussick, were victims of the uncertainty, took to social media to reveal they had not been paid by owner David Argyle in a number of months.

“Three months with no pay for the players, staff and families of the Toronto Wolfpack,” Lussick tweeted.

“Technically stranded in UK. No visa so I can’t work, no help getting home to Australia as promised. About to be evicted from my house.

“A lot of people have it a lot worse then me but this situation has gone too far now.

“The RFL when are you going to step in and help the welfare of players who are contracted to your competition?”

Now the Wolfpack are set for a change of ownership and that new group has agreed to pay the outstanding liabilities – including players wages – if they are re-admitted to the competition for 2021.

That would mean Williams, who played just five games for the club, would be paid his $5 million.

READ MORE: Why coach gave Cam Smith the finger

Toronto chairman Bob Hunter said: “A primary commitment from the prospective new ownership group has been from day one to ensure that all player payroll liabilities are met in full and we are very grateful that the Wolf Grooming group have stepped up on this issue when those liabilities are legally the responsibility of the current owner David Argyle.

“We would like to thank GMB representatives for their positive approach during these negotiations, in what has been a very challenging period for the club and in particular our players.

“We just hope now that we are able to finish the job and our application for a return to Super League is successful so that the players and their families can receive these much-needed funds.”

Williams, who signed with the Sydney Roosters for the remainder of the 2020 season, is contracted to the Wolfpack until the end of 2021 and is expected to return if they are granted approval to return to the competition.

Rival Super League clubs are expected to vote on whether to allow the Wolfpack to return to the competition later this month.

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Remember Lauren Burns, Tom King and Belinda Stowell? They won gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympics too

You remember where you were when Cathy Freeman won gold in the 400 metres at the Sydney Olympics.

You watched Ian Thorpe win the 400 metres freestyle in world record time on the first night of competition.

Australia won 58 medals at the Sydney Games: 16 gold, 25 silver and 17 bronze — its biggest haul.

The massive build-up and the unprecedented focus on gold medals ensured the team had its rock stars: Freeman, Thorpe, Hackett, Perkins and O’Neill. All won gold.

But, so did many others who were never under that intense spotlight.

Now, 20 years on, those athletes are reflecting on their 15 minutes of fame. Some are sanguine, while others wonder why they didn’t get more recognition.

Lauren Burns: Women’s taekwondo 49kg division gold medal

Burns won the first medal in taekwondo, which was making its Olympic debut.(ABC News)

Lauren Burns seemingly came from nowhere to win gold in taekwondo in her 49kg division. It was the first medal in the sport, which was making its Olympic debut.

Burns’ moment of fame was boosted by the incongruous connections that media love to make. She’s the daughter of the singer and songwriter, Ronnie Burns, who was a household name in Australia in the 60s and 70s.

But aside from starting taekwondo because her father and brother were doing it, Burns was entirely her own woman.

The fact that it was a new Olympic sport meant she had barely any official funding.

“I had a sponsorship with an organic vegetable shop,” Burns said.

“My first tournament was in New York (in 1993). It was actually at Madison Square Garden, which was pretty crazy. But we had to pay our way, we paid part of our flights, we paid for our tracksuit.”

However, the financial hardship was outweighed by the sheer delight that after more than a decade in the sport, taekwondo finally had a place in the Olympics.

“There was never really an expectation like ‘oh I should have that much attention or our sport should have that sort of spotlight,’ because we’d never had it,” she said.

The final itself went off without a hitch as Burns beat her Cuban opponent Urbia Melendez by four points to two.

A coach lifts a woman and they both smile.
Burns and her coach Jin Tae Jeong after winning the gold medal.(Reuters: Kimimasa Mayama)

“I just had this incredible, single-minded, myopic focus on winning gold — so that was what I was really there to do,” she said.

“It wasn’t until I came off and my coach grabbed me, and I was running around the stadium, and it was it like ‘Yes, I did it’.”

The next day was a blur as the media interviews came thick and fast.

“I did so many that I lost my voice,” she said.

“I ended up getting some strapping tape and I just put it over my mouth because I needed people to see that I just couldn’t speak.”

Burns retired straight after the Olympics and threw herself into numerous projects — particularly public speaking.

“I was on such a high and it was like I was on the hamster wheel and I said yes to everything. Write a book? Great. Finish a uni degree? I’ll do that.

“I always had a bag in the hallway because I was travelling interstate all the time and never really knew where I was.”

It took five years for her to slow down.

“I stopped and went ‘woah’, and that’s when I kind of had that reflection of you know, who am I without my sport? Who am I if I’m not Lauren the taekwondo girl?”

Burns finished her degree in naturopathy and nutrition, and continued her public speaking career — which has only now been curtailed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tom King: Sailing 470 class gold medal with Mark Turnbull

A man stands in front of a tree and smiles for the camera.
King and Turnbull’s gold medal was overshadowed by walker Jane Saville’s disqualification from her race.(ABC News: Stephen Cavenagh)

Tom King and his crewmate Mark Turnbull didn’t so much fly under the radar as sail under it.

Australia hadn’t had a competitor in the 470 class at the Olympics since 1984, so King and Turnbull did well just to make the team for Atlanta in ’96, where they finished 23rd.

But by 2000, King knew they were good enough to win gold.

Unlike some of the other high-profile medal chances, the pair deliberately chose to stay incognito.

“We weren’t doing it for media profile and fame and fortune, we were training to try and win the Olympic gold medal because that’s what we wanted to achieve,” he said.

It was all about executing a plan. During nine races across more than a week, they did that perfectly — achieving victory in the final race of the regatta.

“We had our highlight about halfway through the race when we managed to catch the American team who won silver, right off Bradley’s Head, in front of a very big crowd,” he said.

“For us that was an extraordinary experience because we’d never had a crowd attend any of our events.”

Two men smile while on a sailing boat on Sydney Harbour.
King and Turnbull after taking gold in the men’s 470 fleet race.(AAP: Dean Lewins)

But their moment in the spotlight was short lived, as another event stole the headlines. The Australian walker, Jane Saville, had been disqualified from the 20 kilometre race just as she was about to enter the Olympic Stadium to claim gold.

“It certainly frustrated me a little bit. I think I felt we were deserving of more recognition than we got,” King said.

“There were some experiences in the days that followed in the aftermath of the games that were pretty disappointing in terms of the lack of acknowledgement when the media was being dominated by the swimmers and other athletes.”

It’s a bugbear for King, who says he was conscious of an “us and them” mentality within the Australian Olympic team.

“That’s not to say that many of the swimmers aren’t deserving of that attention … but there are so many other athletes that have achieved similar levels of success in their disciplines whose achievements for some reason haven’t received the same kind of attention. That’s been sad in a way.”

King retired from sailing after the Olympics and was depressed at times as he tried to find his place in the world outside of the rigid confines of elite sport.

“I found it very difficult. It took me really five or six years to get comfortable or confident in a business environment,” he said.

Post-athletic career welfare remains a passionate topic for King, who served for a time as the chairman of the Australian Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission and the AOC board.

Now he’s a successful fund manager and looks back with immense pride at what he achieved, not only in winning gold at the Sydney Olympics, but in paving the way for a generation of sailors who came after him.

“It was an extraordinary event for Australia,” he said.

Belinda Stowell: Sailing 470 class gold medal with Jenny Armstrong

Two women look at each other and smile in front of sailing boats at a marina.
Belinda Stowell (left) says the lack of recognition at the time didn’t phase her.(AAP: Dean Lewins)

Belinda Stowell won her gold medal with crewmate Jenny Armstrong, just hours before Tom King. It was an incredible day for Australian sailing at the Olympics.

Stowell’s journey began in her native Zimbabwe when she was just four.

“You’re out sailing, and hippos are making their noises in the bay,” she said.

“In some ways I guess it probably made me really observant.”

She emigrated to Australia when she was 19 and took up sailing seriously, deciding in 1995 that winning a gold medal would become her sole focus.

“I was probably obsessive about winning gold — probably to prove something to myself to be the best in the world,” she said.

“Being able to have that one driver almost helps you lift yourself off the canvas. There were definitely ups and downs — and significant downs at moments.”

The lack of money was one.

“I slept on people’s floors … from Cronulla to Palm Beach,” she said.

And she battled for years with a chronic injury to her shoulder — arguably the most important joint in the body for a sailor.

“My shoulder was subluxing (partially dislocating) about five or six times a race.

“From 1998 I saw a surgeon and he said, ‘you’ve got to have seven months out to have an operation, your shoulder is like ice on a plate’. And I said, ‘I’m about to go into my Olympic trials so it’s just not an option.’ I remember on the bus home from the surgeon just bawling my eyes out.”

She opted against the operation until after the Games and won gold with the help of a team of physios and the support of her crewmate, Armstrong.

Two women sit on a competitive sailing boat on Sydney Harbour.
Armstrong and Stowell during the race in which they won gold for Australia.(AAP: Dean Lewins)

“We had the glorious moment of winning the last race and winning the regatta at the same time,” Stowell said.

Like King, her moment in the sun was partially eclipsed by Jane Saville’s disqualification.

But that lack of recognition compared to the star athletes and swimmers never mattered to Stowell.

“I didn’t really mind, because I looked up to those athletes so much and used them for inspiration,” she said.

“I thought I was the bees’ knees, because I also got a stamp with my head on it and we got $10,000 from Australia Post.”

Unlike Burns and King, Stowell continued in her sport, sailing at the 2004 Olympics in Athens — where she and Armstrong finished 14th. She even made a comeback to compete at the 2012 London Games, finishing 7th.

For the last 16 years she has coached sailing at the Western Australian Institute of Sport.

As for her gold medal?

“It means that I was the best in the world for two weeks,” she reflected.

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NRL 2020: Sonny Bill Williams, SBW, Toronto Wolfpack, Super League, Sydney Roosters, future, contract, pay

Sonny Bill Williams is set to pocket $1million for every game he played with Super League side Toronto Wolfpack.

Williams, 35, agreed to a two-year $10million deal with the Canadian side late last year after spending the last few years in rugby union.

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Round 19

But following their promotion to the Super League the COVID-19 shutdown plunged the future of the club into jeopardy.

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Cathy Freeman’s race rival does a runner at the Sydney Olympics

This West Australian boxer looks promising…

It was a strong start for Daniel Green, the 27-year-old from WA, as he began his Olympic tournament with a first-round light heavyweight victory over Brazil’s Laudelino Barros at Darling Harbour.

He’s a big puncher. But I’ve got a chin of stone.

Daniel Green

It was a cakewalk, as well. Green dominated from the opening exchanges and the scores were 17-2 when the referee put an end to proceedings.

He’s got an aggressive style, does Green, and might be well suited to the pros when he makes the inevitable move. “He’s a big puncher,” Green said. “But I’ve got a chin of stone.”

Tough work for Ferris at the track cycling

Michelle Ferris has missed a medal in her favoured event, the sprint. Ferris lost the chance to ride-off for gold when beaten by arch-rival Felicia Ballanger, before losing the bronze medal race to Iryna Yanovych from the Ukraine.

The 23-year-old from Victoria was disappointed but put on a brave face. She already has a bronze medal in Sydney after the 500m time trial, with Ballanger taking the gold in that event before going on to win the sprint as well.

“I don’t know what it was,” Ferris said. “I had nothing in my legs today.”

In other results, Stuart O’Grady finished out of the placings in the points race.


Silver for Mark in dramatic finish to the shooting

Defending double-trap champion Russell Mark has won silver but it could so easily have been another Olympic gold after the Atlanta champion lost a shoot-off to Richard Faulds from Great Britain.

Mark had a three-shot lead with five braces of targets left in the competition, before missing targets on his 20th and 21st shot, then missing both the next time around, to allow Faulds back into the reckoning. They ended locked on 187 before Faulds had the better of the Australian in the shoot-off.

Mark said he may have been guilty of thinking he was almost over the line, given the size of his lead with just a handful of targets to go. But he tensed up as the wind rose, and the rest was history.

“Missing the pair was like someone winded me. I was just amazed,” Mark said. “And for the first time today, I had some negative thoughts.”

Mark may have not lived up to his own lofty expectations but he showed what a good bloke he was when sections of the crowd started cheering the misses of his rival Faulds. Mark told them to keep it down, something that did not go unnoticed by the Brit.

Simon Fairweather celebrates gold at the archery.Credit:Getty

Fairweather fans! Our archer has won gold!

Ice runs through the veins of South Australia’s Simon Fairweather, our latest Olympic hero who has won gold in the archery. It’s the first medal of any colour for Australia’s Olympic archers.

The 30-year-old was ruthless at Homebush. He won three straight to book a spot in the gold medal clash with Victor Wunderle and it was all over by the time the American had one arrow left to shoot.

“I’m speechless,” Fairweather said as he tried to digest it all in front of 4500 fans, who probably weren’t expecting an Australian gold when they put in their request for tickets. Now they had witnessed a moment they are unlikely to forget in a hurry.

Fairweather’s goal before the Games was to make the top eight. Instead, he swept aside all in his path to join the local gold rush in Sydney.

Opals shine despite sickness scare

Australia’s star guard Michelle Timms was out of action with a vomiting bug but that didn’t stop the Opals putting the cleaners through Slovakia at the basketball, with the host nation cruising to a 70-47 win on the back of 15 points from Lauren Jackson.

Timms was quarantined from the rest of the squad but those suiting up showed no ill-effects as they blew away the Slovaks, who quickly became frustrated and ended up shooting a dismal 29 per cent from the field. Gold medal favourites the USA were impressive in their 88-77 victory over a competitive Russian side.

The Hoogenband strikes up once again

Pieter van den Hoogenband’s golden Games continue to glisten even brighter. After victory in the 200m freestyle, the Dutch star has dethroned the great Alex Popov to win the 100m freestyle and end the Russian’s dream of a hat-trick of Olympic titles in the event. ‘Hoogie’ has become the giant-killer in Sydney, taking down Ian Thorpe in the 200m free and now Popov. The Russian took silver with the USA’s Gary Hall jnr in third. Michael Klim, who briefly had the world record for this race after his sizzling relay lead-off, missed the placings.

Madame Butterfly has her wings clipped in major upset!

Misty Hyman of the USA stunned Susie O'Neill to win gold, with Petria Thomas taking bronze.

Misty Hyman of the USA stunned Susie O’Neill to win gold, with Petria Thomas taking bronze.Credit:Nick Wilson/Allsport/Getty

Nobody would have seen this coming. Susie O’Neill, already a gold medal winner in Sydney in the 200m freestyle, looked as good a thing as there could be in her pet 200m butterfly, a race she has owned since before the Atlanta Games of 1996. Instead, it was American Misty Hyman who touched first in a result she could barely comprehend, let alone the pro-Australian crowd who expected a coronation for one of their favourites.

It was a brilliant swim and only O’Neill, who has not lost this race at a major meet for more than six years, has ever gone faster. The American won fair and square and was elated. “This moment is so sweet,” Hyman said. “This is a dream come true.”

O’Neill battled ferociously to take silver ahead of Dolphins teammate Petria Thomas, who walked away with bronze.

How the Herald reported Perec's dramatic exit from the Games.

How the Herald reported Perec’s dramatic exit from the Games.Credit:Sydney Morning Herald

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Sydney Roosters defeat Sharks ahead of NRL finals, Shaun Johnson suffers serious injury

Cronulla is set to be without Shaun Johnson for its NRL finals campaign amid fears the star halfback snapped his Achilles tendon in a tough 34-18 loss to the Sydney Roosters at the SCG.

Johnson went down untouched clutching his lower right leg in the 48th minute and was soon after carted from the field.

He gave the thumbs up to the crowd from the back of the medicab before reports emerged of the season-ending injury.

Adding to the Sharks’ injury woes, prop Royce Hunt dislocated his right knee cap in the second half and Josh Dugan was taken off late with a knee ailment.

With just one match left before the finals, losing Johnson — who leads the NRL with 22 try-assists this season — is a disaster for the Sharks who will not have a second chance in week one.

And while the Sharks’ injury crisis dominated the second half, the opening 40 minutes was all about the Roosters.

The Roosters’ defence had the measure of the Sharks in the 16-point victory.(AAP: Dean Lewins)

It was a magical night for Mitch Aubusson, who scored a brace in his 303rd NRL match for the club to become their most-capped player.

The first was a short ball from Joseph Manu to crash over just five minutes after Aubusson led the team out as captain through a guard of honour.

But the second was more dubious.

Chasing through a grubber from Angus Crichton, Aubusson appeared to knock the ball on but replays showed he trapped it between his leg and hand.

The stroke of luck landed the milestone man his double and put the Roosters ahead 24-6 before they conceded late in the half.

After seven first-half errors the Sharks still managed to score twice with just 42 per cent possession, as they were steered around by Johnson before he went down.

Ronaldo Mulitalo and Siosifa Talakai scored in the first half but a third try to Braden Hamlin-Uele further punished the disjointed Roosters’ defence.

The premiers had enough class to polish off the win, even while missing some of their biggest stars.

James Tedesco, Jake Friend and Boyd Cordner all watched from the stands as the Roosters ran in six tries, including a double to Luke Keary.

All are set to return to play South Sydney on Friday night.

Storm post half-century

Two Melbourne Storm NRL players embrace after scoring a try against Wests Tigers.
Storm captain Cameron Smith had plenty of reasons to smile during his side’s win.(AAP: Regi Varghese)

Melbourne has sealed a top-two berth ahead of the NRL finals after claiming a comfortable 50-22 win over the Wests Tigers on the Sunshine Coast.

The Storm ran in nine tries against the Wests Tigers, with wingers Suliasi Vunivalu and Josh Addo-Carr each chipping in with doubles.

Captain Cameron Smith, Nicho Hynes, Jahrome Hughes, Justin Olam and Tino Faasuamaleaui also crossed for Storm tries.

The comfortable victory featured a comical moment between Smith and Storm coach Craig Bellamy.

The Storm were leading by 16 points late in the match when Smith kicked ahead for himself to claim the 47th try of his career.

Smith’s tally surpassed the total achieved Bellamy during his 150-match career with Canberra between 1982 and 1992.

Smith instantly directed his celebration towards the coach’s box on the Sunshine Coast, before Bellamy responded by giving Smith the finger in jest.


It was a vintage performance from Smith, who finished the night with a try assist, seven conversions from nine attempts, and 30 tackles.

Rookie Asu Kepaoa scored two of the Wests Tigers’ four tries.

The Storm will finish second on the ladder to Penrith, who wrapped up the minor premiership with a victory over the Cowboys on Friday night.

Trbojevic injured in loss to Gold Coast

A Manly Sea Eagles NRL receives treatment from a trainer during the match against the Gold Coast Titans.
Injury-plagued Tom Trbojevic (left) was forced from the field in the Sea Eagles’ loss.(AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

Tom Trbojevic sustained a shoulder injury in his long-awaited return for Manly, who went down to Gold Coast in a crushing 42-24 defeat at Brookvale Oval.

Playing his first match since June after being sidelined with a troublesome hamstring injury, Trbojevic was hurt attempting to make a tackle on Titans fullback AJ Brimson during the second half.

Brimson crossed for a try, with Trbojevic left with his right arm dangling by his side before he later departed the field.

Manly officials were initially hopeful the injury was only a stinger, but it comes at the worst possible time for Trbojevic.

Including Saturday’s loss, he had just two matches to impress New South Wales coach Brad Fittler before the end-of-season State of Origin series.

Trbojevic looked particularly rusty at the back on Saturday afternoon in both attack and defence, with two of his four errors coming after the shoulder injury.

His presence in attack helped Manly score one try as he drew in two defenders off the ball, while he also helped chase down Titans flyer Treymain Spry Sprei to deny him a 90-metre intercept try.

But on other occasions his injury lay-off showed, such as his failure to shadow a grubber dead that allowed Kevin Proctor to score and his fumbling of a poor Tevita Funa pass in the lead-up to another Titans try.

Regardless, the Sea Eagles were completely outplayed by the Titans, who posted their equal-highest score in their 14-year history.

The Titans have now won four straight matches for the first time since 2014. They are ninth on the ladder after being tipped by a number of commentators to collect the wooden spoon.

Brimson scored two tries, including an 80-metre effort that left referee Matt Noyen with an injured hamstring after Young Tonumaipea found his teammate from a 20-metre tap.

Tonumaipea also claimed a brace, making the most of a 60-metre intercept from Corey Thompson for his second.

Thompson finished the match off with a hamstring injury after earlier scoring a try, while Sam Stone and Spry scored the Titans’ other tries.

The result means Manly will finish the season with just one win from seven matches at its home ground Brookvale Oval.


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Sydney Sixers vs Melbourne Stars Tips, Odds and Teams – Big Bash League 2020

It’s a top-of-the-table clash kick off the last week of the BBL regular season. But the Melbourne Stars have put a seven-point gap between themselves and the stumbling second-placed Sydney Sixers. We take a look at Monday’s (20/1/2020) BBL Big Bash 2020 match between Sydney Sixers and Melbourne Stars and give our tips and value tips for the match.

When: Monday, 20th January at 6:40PM

Where: SCG

Bet: Bet On This Match HERE


After two one-sided victories over the Sixers last season, the Stars racked up a 44-run at the MCG eight days ago.

Marcus Stoinis shattered all manner of BBL records with 147 not out of just 79 balls as the Stars racked up 1/219. Hilton Cartwright’s solid 59 off 40 was put in the shade by his opening partner. Moises Henriques (41 off 25) was the only Sixers batsman to get going, while Clint Hinchcliffe took 3/20 for the Stars.

That result ended a five-match winning streak for the Sixers. Since then, they shared the points in an SCG washout against the Hurricanes before suffering a dismal derby defeat to the Thunder on Saturday.

The Sixers were 5/15 before eventually scratching their way to 76 all out. The Thunder prevailed by four runs via DLS method in a rain-shorted clash. Previously in-form opener Josh Philippe is on a run of four single-digit scores, while Jordan Silk has struggled to get going all season.

The Stars have advanced to a 10-1 record after a pair of win over the Scorchers in the past five days. Jackson Coleman (3/16) helped dismiss the Scorchers for just 86 in Perth, before Stoinis (39* off 31) steered the Stars to an easy eight-wicket win.

Cartwright (58 off 56) and man-of-the-match Glenn Maxwell (25 off 23 and 1/20) saw the Stars to a tense 10-run win in Melbourne on Saturday afternoon.

The Stars are without Australian ODI squad members Handscomb and Adam Zampa. The Sixers’ only ODI absentee is Steve Smith, who is yet to line up in the BBL this season.

The Stars, $1.65 favourites here, are very tough to back against at present. The look good value to clear the rope more often than the out-of-sorts Sixers with Stoinis, Cartwright and Maxwell in hot form.


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Tip: Melbourne Stars $1.62


Value BET: Man of the Match: Glenn Maxwell at $6.50


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Sydney Sixers squad

Moises Henriques (c), Sean Abbott, Justin Avendano, Jackson Bird, Tom Curran (England), Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Mickey Edwards, Daniel Fallins, Josh Hazlewood, Daniel Hughes, Nathan Lyon, Stephen O’Keefe, Josh Philippe, Lloyd Pope, Jordan Silk, Steve Smith, James Vince (England)

Melbourne Stars squad

Glenn Maxwell (c), Pat Brown (England – international replacement), Hilton Cartwright, Jackson Coleman, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Ben Dunk, Seb Gotch, Peter Handscomb, Clint Hinchliffe, Sandeep Lamichhane (Nepal), Nick Larkin, Nic Maddinson, Jonathan Merlo, Lance Morris, Tom O’Connell, Dale Steyn (South Africa), Marcus Stoinis, Daniel Worrall, Adam Zampa


*Odds correct at time of posting. Subject to change


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Tablet interactive: Private Sydney

It looks like twice-bankrupted disgraced Sydney property developer and competitive bodybuilder James Vertzayias may be hanging up his tiny competition briefs for a while as his sentencing date looms over a $1.18 million fraud.

Vertzayias’ sentencing hearing was adjourned in June until October 30 after his legal team raised concerns for his health and the impact a jail sentence would have on him.

Here’s the latest.

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Cricket news: Moises Henriques, Big Bash League, Sydney Sixers, Behind the Uniform Podcast, Mental Health

Warning: this story contains frank discussion of mental illness and suicide that some readers may find confronting.

From the outside looking in, Moises Henriques appeared to have everything.

We idolise our sporting heroes and cricketers in particular, holding them to high standards and admiring their stoicism out on the pitch.

But away from the accolades – being named captain of the NSW Blues and Sydney Sixers – Henriques was dealing with his own private battle.

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