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Adelaide captain Rory Sloane spoke to Channel Seven after the game…
Q: You are enormous. So was your team. Congratulations. A: Thanks for having me. Yeah. It was a nice win. We got close last week. Disappointing loss and couldn’t quite get it done at the end. Few structural things which we let ourselves down with. Couldn’t be happier. Nailed the structures.
Q: You have had good wins. Clearly, good young players are coming through. And the older guys led. You look to be enjoying bringing the guys along? A: Yeah. It is hard not to enjoy being around these kids. I mean, they bring a whole heap of energy to absolutely every session. And game day as well. Last year was tough. We stuck strong and took a lot of belief out of the backend of last year. That flowed over. Unfortunately, we lost a few games by close margins. Tonight was different. Without the learnings tonight, we may have been different.
Q: You play footy to get back up the ladder, play finals to challenge to win a premiership. Sometimes it seems a long way away, and then you have wins like tonight, see the young talent, it can be closer than you think? A: Yeah. Absolutely. As I said, if we had – I mean, if we win a couple of the closer ones throughout the year, we would probably change the ladder position. We are learning. We are learning so much as the year progresses. Steep learning curves. The positive is we have never been out of the game. We started poorly tonight – especially in the contest – it is a positive sign that we just stuck at it and ground a win out.
Q: Riley Thilthorpe was the hero. But he had a shot 30 seconds earlier. He went the drop punt (from the boundary). Were you going to run over to tell them? A: It was crossing my mind surely. We just need a point. Even a draw. Assumptions, hey? Shouldn’t assume. He made up for it. What a special finish!
Q: From you, the first goal of the last quarter, when you need a captain’s goal, dial in Rory Sloane! A: Yeah, nice to finish off one. And get busy up there … Coming into the (bye) break. We wanted to give it everything in the last quarter. Yeah. A very happy bunch in there at the moment.
Q: What is it like leading such a young crew. It is a completely different set-up for you now? A: Yeah. It is. Few years ago, we were the most experienced and oldest group in the comp. That’s done a full 360. It’s exciting for us. For us older guys, it is exciting to be around the group and seeing the progression they are making throughout the season. It’s outstanding. We will have dives at different times. As I said, we have been in most games and played well against quality sides. We have to stick at it. We will enjoy the break. And use the chance to freshen up. I think the boys need it. We will come back, finish strong. Take momentum to next year.
Q: I have to come back with Riley Thilthorpe. He is kicking goals over his head! Without overhyping him, what sort of player are we looking at? How good can he be? A: Oh, I mean, those conditions tonight are made for him. He is a big bloke. Unbelievable on the ground. He is good in the air. He has a couple of absolute weapons. Going to be about keeping him fresh and make sure he enjoys the footy. Looks like he is.
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You might be able to hear it on the TV but you can definitely feel it here at the SCG: Swans fans are absolutely fuming.
They’ve got reason to be as well – for one, their team is playing average football, but two, the umpires certainly aren’t helping their cause.
The Hawks have had 14 free kicks to four, but it was some of the non-calls that would have been particularly frustrating for the Sydney faithful, especially in the early part of that second quarter when they had a fair bit of territory and possession but struggled to make it count.
John Longmire and his assistants need to get to work at half-time to figure out what’s gone wrong here, because a loss would be a bitter blow to their top-four hopes.
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Richmond’s Jack Graham spoke to Channel Seven after the game…
Q: Congratulations. A huge game. Huge crowd. You guys when you were challenged found a way to kick away and seven goals in 16 minutes. A: It was a four-quarter effort. We stuck to our process we knew we could run over them in the end. Credit to the boys. Bloody huge game.
Q: Jack, how do you compare that atmosphere tonight. Nothing really compares with the grand final, but how close does it come to grand final playing in front of a 55,000 audience in the arena. It’s superb arena to play footy on. A: It’s awesome arena. Especially for the occasion for Dreamtime. Last week there wasn’t many there in GWS. Tonight, the fans turned out. It was an awesome atmosphere. Great deck with the lights. It’s unreal.
Q: Jack, how hard is it to actually hear out there tonight. Number of times we could see the umpires yelling at players. They couldn’t hear them. Was it that loud out there tonight? A: It was really loud. Couple of boys couldn’t hear. Jack (Riewoldt) gave away a free kick. That’s probably Jack being Jack. Not too sure. It’s a bit harder from last year where you know there’s no-one at the games. You can hear everyone’s nicknames on the field, now you have to scream for the ball.
Q: It looks like you guys care for each other on and off the football field. We see it at training over the week. The way you go about the training schedules. Looks like you genuinely care for each other on and off the field. A: It’s a brotherhood here at Richmond. Especially this week being Dreamtime at the ’G with so many Indigenous boys. Such an important part to our group and bring so much energy. To get the win for them and everyone else, it’s a great game. What a win.
Q: Jack you are one of the best tacklers in the competition. Best tackler at Richmond. Would you be able to tackle Shai Bolton? A: No. I’ve tried at training many times. He’s one I can’t get. He’s pretty agile. He goes one way and then the other. I’ve given up on him.
Q: Jack, just before we let you go, Dreamtime, Sir Doug Nicholls round, I’ve been learning over the last 15 years so much about the Indigenous heritage and culture in this country. It must be the same for all you players. You come to a club and through weekends like last and this you learn a lot where you come from. A: Definitely. Myself, I don’t know a huge amount about it. Until leading into this week and prior to these weeks learning where Shane Edwards is from, Shai, Marlion and their heritage. It’s a special round. So much more to learn. It’s really improving the game. We talk about that connection. Getting to know your teammates better. That’s one part of it.
Q: Jack, just for the record you play in the west next Sunday against the West Coast Eagles. A: Big game. Big effort. Back here again. Get on the plane. It’s good. Especially if we’ll have crowds like this. Cheers to the WA government for letting us in. Bring on the Eagles next week.
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You must be pretty impressed with that. How happy were you with the way that the guys started tonight?
Yeah, I thought it was a sensational start of the game. I thought the mids got on top of clearance and centre bounce. They gave us great ascendancy in the game. Forward pressure was really strong. We were able to score early in the game which gave us a really good buffer and enabled us to dictate how the rest of the game was played. That was really pleasing to get off to that fast start. It is something we have been working on the last few weeks and it went a long way to winning the game.
Was that your almost complete performance of the year? I know you put it together in quarters and halves. Did you really feel tonight that was just a four-quarter performance?
Yeah, I think just in terms of the opposition, when you’re playing against a quality side, their ability to transition the ball from inside to outside has been really strong. So our ability to defend strongly and win enough contests and be fishing going forward was clearly on show for the majority of the night. I was just really proud of the boys, the way they went about it. It wasn’t the perfect week, but the ability to deal with that, maturity shown and ability to execute what we were trying to do was outstanding. That’s clearly one of the best performances for the year.
It really looked like your pressure and the way you set up defensively around the ground really forced the Bulldogs, regarded as one of the best users of the ball in the comp, into many, many turnovers and skill errors. Was that perhaps the most pleasing aspect of the whole performance?
It’s probably something we’ve been working on and become part of our DNA of how we play, our ability to defend. Last week against Adelaide, we were certainly not the level of where we wanted to be. There was an area of our game where we wanted to bounce back in and we knew the Bulldogs were a team that wanted to move the ball a certain way and our ability to defend the most dangerous areas and put them into spots they didn’t want to be enabled us to defend really strongly behind the ball. So it was a really pleasing effort from that side of things and continues our belief in our ability to play a certain way and our belief and our game style. I’m sure our supporters that are at home watching tonight are starting to really see what the Melbourne DNA is and that was on show on the biggest stage, which is great.
There seemed to be a reluctance on the part of the Bulldogs to kick down the line particularly in the first quarter. Did you anticipate that might be a strategy on their part or just have to adjust accordingly?
Yeah, that’s how they’ve played. They’ve been the number one team to score through the corridor. They do like to switch the ball. We understood that in terms of how they played and how we wanted to set up defensively. With a team like Western Bulldogs, you have to be ready for everything. They can play in multiple ways. That’s why they’re a good side. They execute the areas that we wanted to, it’s really strong.
How hard was it to plan given the interruptions during the week?
Yeah, it was different. Doing a team meeting on Zoom yesterday was a new experience. Wasn’t getting a lot of feedback from the boys, but must have gone OK. Yeah, look, it was different. One thing that’s been – we’ve been really working towards is just being ready for anything. No-one knows what the situation is you’re going to face and we want to be a team that’s just mature enough to handle anything that comes our way.
For us this week, we had no last training session. The guys were in isolation. They weren’t allowed out of their house for the last, you know, 24 hours. Yeah, it was different, but we do want to make that as an excuse. We wanted to make sure we prepared as best we could and come out and put on a performance that we’re really proud of. I think that just shows the maturity of the group at the moment.
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These are just some of the not-so-creative-but-possibly-very-important approaches that states should take seriously. More than half of American adults have gotten at least one shot, but they were likely the most eager and, perhaps, most at-risk. Vaccinating the second half will be equally important but much more challenging.
There will be places, such as schools and hospitals, where vaccine requirements are simply necessary. Some companies will deem requirements for employees vital to their business. But the solution that’s most likely to trigger minimal backlash is the same one that got almost everyone—even the most die-hard, rugged individualists—to carry a tracking device in their pocket. Ultimately, the free market, lauded by so many who object to vaccine requirements, may persuade holdouts to get a shot. Science has taken us very far, but from here on out, ending the pandemic will be up to what America does best: marketing.
Read: Put Anthony Fauci in a dunk tank
If behavioral economics is to be believed, people can be prompted to do things by way of small reminders known as “nudges.” These are meant to be gentler and more palatable than rules or requirements. There’s something darkly paternalistic about the term nudge, which makes me feel like I’m being manipulated into walking off a cliff. But in the classic example, nudges do things like get people to register as organ donors, by making organ donation the default. In marketing, similar approaches are used to drive sales. For example, restaurants may include certain menu items that are deliberately overpriced in order to nudge people toward an option that’s meant to seem reasonably priced in comparison.
Marketing excels at creating the illusion of autonomy for the purpose of taking people’s money. But in cases of public health, nudges can feel condescending or confusing: They imply that people are stupid, and so they need to be nudged to do basic things that keep them alive. The beep that reminds you to buckle your seatbelt is helpful, but also makes me want to smack the car. The enormous label on cigarettes that says you might die if you smoke them raises questions about whether public-health officials think we don’t already know that.
But even if they become annoying or eerie, nudges can feel justified when they’re used to help us sidestep distractions or misinformation. They can help people decide to do vital, prosocial acts—such as getting vaccinated to help end a pandemic that has brought life to a standstill and killed millions of people—that they wouldn’t have otherwise done. Everyone needs nudges sometimes, and no one more so than doctors themselves. A medical-record system that prompts doctors to ask every patient if they’ve gotten a vaccine—and, if they haven’t, to whip one out and offer it on the spot—can eliminate simple oversights. This sort of prompt pairs well with easy, ubiquitous access to vaccines. People could be offered a vaccine every time they walk into a pharmacy, or in places where they have time to kill, such as an airport. The goal would be to reach everyone who’s ambivalent or feels they’re too busy to get one, by making vaccination so convenient that they don’t have to go out of their way at all to get vaccinated. Instead, they’d essentially have to go out of their way not to.
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Just the effort of the team again. I’m so pleased with Deven Robertson, James Madden, not regulars but coming in and playing their role. That was a stand-out for me. Starcevich doing a great job as a defender again, particularly when he had to play on Martin when he was in the forward line. Zac Bailey bobbing up in a big pressure game with four goals.
Just our young players – I’m really excited to see what they were able to do tonight on the big stage. Madden and Rhys and those boys, it must fill you with confidence as well as those boys to be able to do it against a team like Richmond.
A lot of those guys have been waiting in the wings for a couple of years. The team has been performing consistently well. We haven’t had too many injuries. They haven’t had too many injuries. They have had to bait for their opportunity. When it has come along, they have taken it so far. Credit to them. The driving force in the middle.
Do you feel they were undermanned in the midfield, missing four or five, but Jarryd Lyons, Zorko, McCluggage were outstanding tonight again, weren’t they?
They have been excellent over the last four weeks, and we have got pretty good players missing from our midfield too, like the Brownlow Medallist, and Cam Rayner, who plays in there a fair bit, Jarrod Berry, it was probably a good test of both teams’ depth tonight in some ways. We have quite a few out, they have a few out. Probably five or six guys we would consider that would be in our senior side, maybe, and they were about the same. So, good depth-off test I reckon tonight.
Is there any way you can tell, at this stage of the season, if you have advanced on last season?
I probably wouldn’t have a clue, to be honest. It is hard to tell. Seasons ebb and flow. Right now we are in a pretty nice little purple patch, but the minute you start giving yourself a pat on the back, you run the risk of that stopping. We have – probably for a six-week patch, this is maybe the best we have played in terms of attack v defence, and our contested ball numbers. They probably all look fairly impressive statistically anyway, but it feels that way. We are keeping teams to lowish scores, and scoring well ourselves. So, it is exciting that we are able to do that.
Did you speak to Marcus Adams at quarter-time? It looked like that match-up could have got out of control. Did you say anything to him?
Murray Davis would have spoken to him. We spoke about it on the phone. Murray had a word to him. Some people thought we should have moved Marcus off him but I didn’t want to move Daniel McStay from the forward line to do that.
Sometimes you have just got to show trust in players and back them in to get the job done. You know, Jack was fantastic in the first quarter with three goals and he finished with three goals. Marcus bounced back really well. Great signs.
Any comment on the flexibility of your team. McStay was playing further up the field tonight. Was it him who was getting in amongst it last week?
Jed Adcock does a great job as a forward line coach to work out match-ups and moves them around accordingly. He would have made that decision tonight to play Dan up a little higher and Eric closer to goal. That will be different every week.
That’s the beauty of our forward line. I think we have a few different avenues to goal, and when a team does one particular thing, we might be able to change it to get an advantage in another way.
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What: $5 movie tickets When: Thursday 20 May until Wednesday 26 May Where: Palace Cinemas and Ritz Cinemas
Now, check this adults-only neon wonderland coming to Sydney Harbour.
Image credit: Ritz Cinemas
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Melbourne extended their undefeated start to nine games with a solid win over a wounded Carlton at the MCG on Sunday.
Every other season that the Demons have gone 9-0 has seen them win the premiership although all those seasons came between 1941 and 1964 so it means little in the modern AFL.
But what this win showed what they can fight out a game in tough conditions and against a side like the Blues who were wounded, clearly second best but still fighting for every possession.
Tom McDonald and Bayley Fritsch kicked three goals a piece while Clayton Oliver and Christian Salem had 29 disposals each.
The Blues lost David Cuningham to a knee injury which could be serious while who knows whether Harry McKay’s injured shoulder will end up seeing him miss matches or whether he will just play on through the pain.
He kicked three goals while clearly hurting.
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THERE was always a chance this grand final was going to come down to one moment, one act that would finally separate two magnificent teams. And so it ended up being the case in Geelong’s gripping, dramatic premiership win.
Barry Breen had won St Kilda its first premiership 43 years ago with a wobbly punt kick. Matthew Scarlett might have won Geelong its eighth yesterday with a toe-poke. A split-second of invention on a day when no kick, mark or handball was easy, let alone, as the Saints will painfully testify, shooting at goal.
It happened with the scores level, just one goal having been scored in the final quarter, less than five minutes left on the clock, and only the third grand final tie in history a distinct possibility.
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