IPL 2020 Final: Rohit Sharma, Trent Boult fire Mumbai Indians to 5th title, Delhi Capitals outclassed in Dubai


Dubai, November 10 (India Today) – It looked like Mumbai Indians were definitely not going to lose the IPL 2020 final and it remained that way as Rohit Sharma’s men won a record-extending 5th title by decimating first-time finalists Delhi Capitals by 5 wickets. Barring blips in their first and last league games, MI were always on top gear and they made it all look easy at the end.

The powerhouse of T20 cricket needed just 18.4 overs to gun down a target of 157 in what turned out to be the shortest final in the history of IPL, in terms of the overs played.

Led by captain Rohit Sharma’s 68 and a terrific Trent Boult, Mumbai Indians used all their experience of having featured in 5 previous IPL finals to good effect against Shreyas Iyer’s men.

Rohit Sharma had not been in the best of forms, marred by injury concern, until the final. However, on the big day, it was Rohit’s show all the way as he took the Delhi Capitals’ new ball attack to the cleaners.

Rohit’s masterclass comes a day after he was rested from the ODI and T20I legs of India’s tour of Australia.

Rohit Sharma has become only the 2nd captain after MS Dhoni to successfully lead a title defence. Mumbai Indians broke their even-year jinx by winning their first title in an odd year (2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020).

It was also the first time in the history of the IPL that a leap year hasn’t had a new champion — 2008 Rajasthan Royals, 2012 Kolkata Knight Riders and 2016 Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Mumbai Indians, known for their meticulous pre-season planning and excellent use of data and match-ups, looked a well-oiled machine as they proved yet again why they are the most dominant side of IPL 2020.

From not winning even a single match during their trip to the UAE in 2014 to bossing the tournament in 2020, Rohit’s men have effortlessly turned their fortunes around in the Middle East.





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Canterbury Bulldogs pursue Matt Burton as Trent Barrett begins life at Belmore


Burton, 20, has a year left on his Panthers deal but former Penrith assistant Barrett knows the youngster will struggle to play regular first grade while halves Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai are fit.

Penrith are prepared to play him in the centres or back row in a bid to keep him from signing elsewhere. They are also trying to re-sign Isaah Yeo, Luai and Stephen Crichton.

We’ve got two spots left. There will be a lot of moving parts in regards to recruitment.

Trent Barrett

“We’d love Matt on board here next year,” Barrett told the Herald.

“He’s only a young player but he’s someone with a lot of ability and whose pathway is a bit blocked at Penrith.

“He’d certainly be handy. He needs to decide where he wants to be in 2022 and 2023 first.

“We’ve got two spots left. There will be a lot of moving parts in regards to recruitment.

Trent Barrett is keen to lure Matt Burton to Belmore for 2021.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what we have here. There are some players I don’t know a lot about, and because there was no Canterbury Cup this year there are players who haven’t played a lot of footy.”

Blake Green on Monday announced he would remain at Newcastle next year, which was a mutual decision reached between the five-eighth and Canterbury, and another excuse to up the ante when it comes to Burton.

Bulldogs fans are already impressed Barrett landed Flanagan, and you can only imagine their response should he convince Burton to switch clubs.

Barrett had watched Flanagan for a long time and was clearly pumped to work with the former Roosters half.

Kyle Flanagan is Belmore bound.

Kyle Flanagan is Belmore bound.Credit:Getty Images

“Kyle is very important for us, he’s a very good young player and someone we can build our team around for a long time,” Barrett said.

“I’m very excited to get hold of him. The skill set is there and he ticks a lot of boxes.

“He’s calm, a good kicker of the ball and a good organiser. He walked into a premiership team stuck between two internationals in Luke Keary and James Tedesco. It was never going to be easy for him but he did a great job and we’re lucky to have him.”

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The entire squad will listen to Barrett and his team’s vision before some of the senior players resume the last of their holidays. Recruit Nick Cotric remains in NSW Origin camp while Raymond Faitala-Mariner is quarantining in New Zealand and will join next week’s meet-and-greet remotely.

Meanwhile, Newcastle coach Adam O’Brien was grateful Green would hang around next year.

“Blake was massively influential in the short time he spent with us during 2020 and we could not be happier to welcome him back again for 2021,” he said.

“His experience is invaluable, he is a natural leader with a brilliant rugby league brain, adding key ingredients to complement our existing roster.

“He will continue to play that role with our young halves and his combination with Mitchell Pearce will only continue to grow.”

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NRL 2020: NSW Blues, Isaah Yeo, Penrith Panthers, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, Trent Barrett approach


Penrith lock Isaah Yeo is humbled that incoming Canterbury coach Trent Barrett wants him to sign at Belmore but believes he owes it to the Panthers to stay.

Yeo was surprised when reports surfaced suggesting Barrett is keen to lure him to the Bulldogs when he comes off-contract at the end of 2021.

The Dubbo-born forward is a free agent from November 1, but he feels like his future belongs at the foot of the mountains.

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Grand Final

“I’m still on contract at Penrith, and I’d like to think my heart is there,” Yeo said.



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Transfer Whispers, Matt Burton, Bulldogs, Panthers, Josh Addo-Carr, Storm, Canterbury, Trent Barrett


The Bulldogs under new coach Trent Barrett have been one of the biggest players in the transfer market and are expected to up the ante this week.

The November 1 deadline arrives on Sunday with clubs free to negotiate with players coming off contract at the end of 2021.

Read on for all the latest player movement in Transfer Whispers.

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STATE OF ORIGIN NEWS

ORIGIN I TEAMS: Tedesco hands Blues big boost; Bennett begins selection mind games

ULTIMATE GUIDE: Everything you need to know ahead of this year’s series

BULLDOGS’ MIND-BLOWING OFFER TO PANTHERS STAR

The Panthers are set to ramp up their pursuit of on-contract Panthers back-up five-eighth Matt Burton when the November 1 deadline hits.

Clubs are free to talk to Burton from Sunday as he is only signed for the 2021 season and James Hooper revealed the Bulldogs are set to offer a mammoth deal.

“What I hope Penrith do is release Matt Burton because I think he deserves to play first grade every day of the week,” Wendell Sailor said on Triple M’s Origin Rumble.

“I know the Panthers have a pretty good young squad there now and I think their halves are going to be there for a long time.

“I think you have got to let him go to another club and play first grade every day of the week.”

“You raise a good point because with the Panthers there was a school of thought a couple of weeks ago that they were really going to dig their heels in,” Hooper said.

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“The thought was they would be adamant that well he has signed a contract. He is here at Penrith and if Nathan Cleary or Jarome Luai gets a long-term injury next year there is an opportunity for Matt Burton to go straight into first grade.

“I think the thinking is starting to shift a little bit now and the Bulldogs are just going to blow them out of the water.

“As of November 1 they are officially allowed to sign him, so that is tomorrow. I think they are talking about offering him a contract upwards of $500,000 per season.

“That is a hell of a lot more than he is on at Penrith. I’m sure the Bulldogs will make it clear to the Panthers that he has a saloon passage straight into first grade than if he remains at the foot of the mountains and is getting held back a little bit.”

THE FOXX FAVOURING BULLDOGS OVER TIGERS RETURN

The Bulldogs are the favourite to land the signature of wantaway Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr for next season and beyond.

The NSW and Kangaroos winger is desperate to return to Sydney for family reasons and wants to play fullback and James Hooper believes the Belmore club has the upper hand in the hunt for his services.

“It is out of Canterbury and the Tigers, but I think he is leaning towards joining Trent Barrett at the Bulldogs,” Hooper said on Triple M’s Origin Rumble.

“I think that Trent is considering him and looking at playing him in the fullback role.

“The Tigers certainly thought they were holding all the aces, but as it has transpired over the course of the last six weeks I think it is more leaning towards Josh going to Belmore.”

Wendell Sailor pointed out it was a cruel twist of irony for the Tigers, who let Addo-Carr go to join the Storm in 2016 where he went on to become a representative star and premiership winner.

“Do you remember when Josh Addo-Carr was at the Tigers and talking to other clubs and I said to then coach Jason Taylor are you disappointed about losing Josh Addo-Carr?” Sailor recalled. “And he said, no not really.”

“The Tigers don’t get me started with their recruitment and retention policy over the course of the last 10 years,” Hooper fumed.

“From James Tedesco to Ryan Papenhuyzen to Josh Addo-Carr. Mitchell Moses is at Parramatta now. Aaron Woods should never have left.

“It has just been one bad decision after another and a big part of that has been the constant revolving door around coaches.

“Ivan Cleary has got to accept some responsibility for that because he was signed on a four-year-deal and it obviously didn’t pan out that way.”



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NRL 2020: Bulldogs sign Steve Hansen, All Blacks, Trent Barrett, rebuild


The Bulldogs have continued their impressive rebuild by securing the services of former All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen as a high performance consultant.

It’s been a huge week for the club which announced the appointment of Hansen on Wednesday evening, just one day after confirming the signature of young half Kyle Flanagan.

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Grand Final

Hansen has decades of coaching experience in rugby union and under his mentorship from 2012 to 2019 the all Blacks experienced great success.



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Richmond classy acts, Trent Cotchin, Tom Lynch, Dustin Martin, news, Geelong result


Richmond had been telling us all year — now we have to believe them.

The Tigers became the hated in 2020 as accusations of arrogance and thuggery saw the Cinderella Tigers painted as the bad guys.

When it mattered most, with the stakes at their highest and with the team being squeezed to breaking point, the Tigers showed their true class.

As Tigers stars Jack Riewold and Trent Cotchin have said all year, it was staring us in the face the entire time.

Now, after a Grand Final of the highest quality, the Tigers get to say, we told you so.

Not because of their on-field success, but because of how their class of the highest order shone through when they were under siege.

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The Tigers have been rightly praised for taking time out from their victory celebrations following a 12.9 (81) to 7.8 (50) win to stage an honour guard for Cats champion Gary Ablett as he walked off the field for the final time — but it was the way they treated him on the field that best shows what the Tigers are made of.

The Tigers were under the pump in the first half on the back of five straight goals to Geelong.

They were desperate and on the verge of losing the match before the half time siren.

Still their class held firm.

With Ablett returning in the first quarter after he needed help walking off the ground to be treated for a shoulder injury, Richmond players had a wide open target to rub out one of the most damaging players on the opposition team.

One hip and shoulder through Ablett would have almost certainly ended his career, after he went down to the dressing room to receive treatment, speculated to be pain-killing injections by Channel 7 commentators.

However, the Tigers never once intentionally went after the Little Master in his state of weakness.

The Tigers didn’t go out of their way to protect the Cats veteran, but the fact that they allowed Ablett to finish out the game when one proper bump would have ended it shows the sporting class that is at the very core of this Richmond team.

It’s one of the first things Cotchin was happy to talk about after the game.

“We continually got challenged this year,” he said.

“It’s probably the first time that we’ve had a lot of haters more so than lovers.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our players.”

It comes after a scandal-plagued year for the Tigers, headlined by Cotchin’s wife Brooke’s day spa quarantine breach, star forward Tom Lynch’s many cheap acts of on-field bullying and the infamous Surfers Paradise strip club fiasco involving two Richmond players.

Never has the Tigers culture been questioned like it has in 2020.

Despite this, those inside the club knew all along its class would shine through.

Richmond CEO Brendon Gale earlier on Grand Final day hit back at suggestions his club is “arrogant” in an interview on Fox Footy.

“I think our footy club has a really strong and well-developed sense of who we are and what makes us us, and that hasn’t changed,” Gale said.

“And we’ve had some mistakes this year and some own goals and we don’t walk away from that. But the way that’s been presented externally and I guess the popular narrative that’s been propagated in the media about us has, well, it’s been fictional. It’s just laughable. It’s not true.

“This view that we’re a club that’s choking in hubris, that we’re arrogant, that we’re out of control or that we are lacking leadership and et cetera, et cetera. It’s a convenient narrative for a reigning premier that’s had a couple of mistakes and all of a sudden, ‘here we go, we’re on a downward spiral’.

“We’re an extremely humble group, they’re extremely hungry, they’re driven, they’ve got high standards, they’re caring … it hasn’t changed at all.”

Now the entire footy world has to agree.



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AFL Grand Final 2020 | Trent Cotchin’s year of challenges and lessons


Cotchin has had a challenging year, on both a personal and team front, but it is a year that is concluding in another premiership opportunity. His team has had some issues – notably the Sydney Stack and Callum Coleman-Jones drama in Surfers’ Paradise, which Cotchin said offered a learning experience for the club.

‘‘I think when you’re always challenged as a group, and clearly there was a lot of people talking about what had happened with that situation, it was a public challenge that we faced,’’ Cotchin said of the kebab-shop incident that resulted in the pair being suspended and sent home.

‘‘What it does is encourage lots of great conversations that allow people to share how they feel.

‘‘As we’ve always said, our No.1 focus is to ensure that those two players receive the support and help that is required.’’

As captain, Cotchin seeks to balance pushing standards for the players with empathy.

‘‘I think you definitely have to have standards and values but I always try to treat every scenario with empathy,’’ he said.

Cotchin also had his own difficulties, when his wife Brooke’s sojourn to a beauty parlour resulted in the club copping a $25,000 fine for a COVID breach in Queensland as part of the draconian AFL rules for those in club hubs.

Cotchin, at first reluctant to discuss a situation that involved his wife, observed that it was not part of Brooke’s job to be in the spotlight like a footballer.

‘‘Yeah, it’s a challenge. It’s not her job to be put out in the public spotlight like we are as players.
‘‘So that was challenging but you know again we learned a lot through that with regards to our relationship but also the people who are always there for you.’’

Cotchin had also been among the players who had raised the possibility of leaving the hub, a fact that emerged in a comment from Jane Gale, the wife of Richmond’s chief executive.

‘‘It was more just about my family’s wellbeing, yeah,’’ said Cotchin of the ‘‘hub-aloo’’ that surfaced in August when the club was fined for Brooke’s beauty parlour trip.

‘‘I think every player that’s been in the hub has had times where they’ve been challenged, whether it be missing people from home or some of the restrictions – which is easy to say up here given what everyone’s been going through in Melbourne.’’

Cotchin’s three young children, including his school-aged six-year-old daughter, have been in the hub for 100-plus days, a situation that he found both ‘‘amazing’’ in terms of life lessons, but also challenging.

The AFL provided his daughter with teaching support that helped cover for not being at school, as it did for others within the Royal Pines resort on the Gold Coast.

‘‘The AFL provided a program which made a big difference and the club have been supportive as well.

‘‘There was quite a few families, whether they were from other clubs or AFL that were staying there.

‘‘Yeah, the people that have been looking after them have been fantastic.’’

Trent Cotchin.Credit:Getty Images

Cotchin agreed that the hubs were not a natural environment – ‘‘no, definitely not’’ – but says it was also a treasured experience that he and his family will not forget.

‘‘It’s certainly something that I think we’ll reflect on for years to come … you know, having the kids around and for the boys and Brooke, for that matter, just to get to experience what I get to experience every day back in Melbourne has been special and unique and has given them a total appreciation of, you know, what footy clubs are about, particularly our footy club.

‘‘Just some of the life lessons that they’ve learned just from spending time with guys, whether it’s out on the pitch out here or playing card games and so forth.

‘‘They’re all experiences that they probably wouldn’t have got, certainly not the age of six, four and one.

‘‘Yeah, we’re incredibly grateful for being part of this journey with them.’’

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan spoke with Cotchin a couple of times, just to encourage him, as with other captains, to do all that he could to keep the season going.

Did Cotchin think the season, about to be completed, would actually cross the finish line, as it will on Saturday night at the Gabba.

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‘‘To be honest, I had no idea. Once we got up here it seemed as though things were going pretty well but there was definitely times where I think the AFL was fearful.’’

Richmond’s aggression in games has been another discussion point this season, but Cotchin did not view it as an issue.

‘‘No, I think aggression’s a part of our make-up, just with the way, you know, we like to pressure the ball.’’

He felt his own hard-edged play, which has been evident for some years, was ‘‘just part and parcel’’ of playing footy.

‘‘I think we let ourselves down a little bit in the first final, just with regards to the 50 metres.’’
While the Tigers have been seen as the benchmark and even cast as the overdogs, compared to 2017’s insurgency and romance, Cotchin says they remain a team that hunts.

‘‘I think the way we play footy is very much about the hunting. I think that’s a core part of what we do as a team. ‘‘You know, we try to remain hungry and do our best every week.’’

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NRL 2020: Kyle Flanagan, Sydney Roosters, Shane Flanagan, Mitchell Pearce, Trent Robinson, Sam Walker, Lachlan Lam


Shane Flanagan has opened up on the “unwarranted” criticism and cut-throat contract call that left son Kyle “gutted.”

Flanagan’s mixed form for the Roosters in 2020 has seen his place in the side called into question as the club looks to move on from a disappointing semi-finals exit.

The 22-year old was only suiting up for his first year at the club and still trying to feel his way into a side boasting plenty of strike power.

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Preliminary Final

MJ: Dogs will fit Flanagan

1:08



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Luke Keary, Roosters halves, Kyle Flanagan, Trent Robinson, Lachlan Lam, Sam Walker, Brad Fittler


Blues coach Brad Fittler believes Trent Robinson faces a dilemma with his halves pairing going forward and may need to switch Luke Keary to halfback.

The Roosters halves pairing of Keary and Kyle Flanagan failed to fire as the Roosters bowed out of the finals in straight sets with a 22-18 loss to the Raiders.

The Roosters also have club legend Adrian Lam’s son Lachlan and prodigious talent Sam Walker on their books next season.

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Fittler believes the Roosters may need go consider moving Keary into the main driver’s seat to take control of the side’s attack.

“What they do with Luke Keary is pretty important, whether he stays five-eighth or goes at halfback,” Fittler said on The Sunday Footy Show.

“There’s Kyle Flanagan obviously, there’s Sam Walker, you’ve got Lachie Lam. That’s going to be a huge decision for Robbo going forward.”

Another former Roosters five-eighth Braith Anasta is not sold on the Keary-Flanagan combination.

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“There’s still a concern and there was at the start of the year about the halves combination with Flanagan and Lam,” Anasta said on Fox League.

“They dropped Flanagan for Lam coming into the side. I was even thinking they may put Lam back into the side heading into this week’s game after Flanagan had been a bit quiet.

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“I think there’s still a bit of uncertainty. I know the season’s over but heading into next year. I don’t think they’re sold on their halves pairing. I don’t.

“I think it’s been an issue for the majority of the year and it’s an area where they need different options.”

However regardless of their finish to the year Fittler was quick to praise the Roosters for being the benchmark of the competition for the last three seasons, despite losing their final three games of 2020.

“I just think they’ve been so incredible,” Fittler said.

“The standard they’ve played the last couple of years … we’ve always spoken about Melbourne raising the standard of play, I think the Roosters have really added to that.”

THE MATTY JOHNS PODCAST

The boys rate the Sharks and Knights season, review the games from last weekend and try to predict where the games will be won and lost this weekend.



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AFL news, Richmond, Trent Cotchin, Tom Lynch, tribunal, suspension, high tackle, knee, St Kilda, Zak Jones, Dougal Howard


He’s a nice guy, no doubt. He’ll more often than not be sure to go and check you’re OK after he’s taken you out too.

But make no mistake Trent Cotchin is brutal on the footy field – and on Friday night Zak Jones became the latest victim of the Richmond skipper’s at-times dangerous approach to the opposition.

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In a controversy-filled game that saw regular offender Tom Lynch crack Ben Paton in the head with an elbow and kneel on the neck of Dougal Howard, it was Cotchin that delivered the most dramatic blow.

It came early in the second quarter after Saints player Jack Billings had been awarded a free kick about 45m from goal.

As the whistle was blown Jones picked up the footy and Cotchin caught him around the neck with his left hand.

Call us cynical but it appeared as though Cotchin – with the free kick to Billings already awarded – felt he had nothing to lose.

What followed appeared to be a split-second decision to get his money’s worth by aggressively swinging Jones around and burying him in the turf.

Richmond has made physicality part of its brand during a four-year run of preliminary final finishes or better and this was its captain sending a message.

But at what price?

Some viewers were calling for the AFL match review panel to take action after the peril Jones found himself in.

“This really looked dangerous,” comedian and footy fanatic Dave Hughes tweeted. “The AFL can’t ignore it.”

“Surely that earns an exit from the finals series,” added Australian cricketer Brad Hogg. “His mate at full forward has had enough chances as well.”

Cotchin will like his chances of escaping with a reprimand but what angered footy fans further was St Kilda wasn’t even given a 50m penalty, which would have made the ensuing shot at goal a gimme.

“Trent Cotchin really does have his own set of rules,” tweeted journalist Adam Curley.

Lynch also drew rage from viewers after the incidents involving Paton and Howard.

Actor and diehard Saints fan Eric Bana was filthy – and still upset about Ben Long being rubbed out of the game for a hit on Bulldog Jack Macrae last week – after Lynch’s elbow forced Paton from the ground.

“So Tom Lynch just spilt open Ben Patton with an elbow, Patton had to leave the ground, and not one Ch7 commentator mentions it? Oh wait, his name isn’t Ben Long,” Bana tweeted.

While that incident came in a marking contest, it was Lynch’s behind the play scuffle with Howard which drew the most attention.

Lynch started wrestling with Howard on the turf before appearing to press his left knee into the defender’s neck as he returned to his feet.

While it was another bad look in a match that had plenty provided by Richmond players, the reality is Lynch’s knee, and his elbow, and Cotchin’s tackle will be highly unlikely to earn more than a fine this week.

Expect fans to blow up then, too.



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