Fremantle Dockers snatch victory from the Adelaide Crows in Perth; AFL 2021


Mark Ricciuto of the Crows is tackled by Peter Bell of the Dockers.Credit:Getty Images

“I had a lot of things going through my head. I just wanted to kick the goal and I did. It’s a great feeling.”

Under Chris Connolly, Fremantle has now played in five matches decided by less than a goal, the Dockers winning four of them.

After the match, Connolly was quick to sing the praises of Farmer.

“That’s basically what he was recruited to do,” Connolly said of Farmer’s contribution to the Dockers’ 10th win of the year.

“He creates a lot of goals and makes the opposition really reactive.”

The goal brought a huge roar from the crowd of 31,225 and with only one minute 23 seconds to play the Dockers were able to hold on to claim victory, 13.13 (91) to 13.12 (90).

Farmer, whose four goals for the match equalled Brett Burton’s contribution for the Crows, was again a hero.

But it has not always been the case for the talented sharpshooter since the the Dockers brought him home from Melbourne on a big contract at the end of 2001.

He has had to carry a huge weight of expectation among Dockers’ supporters.

Tyson Edwards of the Crows and Jeff Farmer of the Dockers competes for the ball.

Tyson Edwards of the Crows and Jeff Farmer of the Dockers competes for the ball.Credit:Getty Images

After yesterday’s nailbiter, Adelaide coach Gary Ayres said he was disappointed that his team has thrown away a chance to grab second spot on the ladder.

“It is a game of inches,” said Ayres.

“As far as the close ones go we can’t get over the line.”

He was disappointed with his side’s delivery into the forward line and said there were no excuses despite the withdrawal of Wayne Carey (knee), Scott Welsh (back) and Kris Massie (hip).

“We gave ourselves more than ample opportunity to win the game today, but it was just a case of, right across the board in the second quarter . . . you can allow a team eight goals to two,” Ayres said. “Our ineffectiveness in our delivery inside our forward line today was as poor as I have seen for some time.”

Ayres expected the injured trio to be available for next Sunday’s match against St Kilda at AAMI Stadium.

The Dockers have equalled their best season – 10 wins under Gerard Neesham in 1997 – and are now two wins away from a first finals spot.

In the last six rounds they play Sydney, Richmond, Kangaroos, the Western Bulldogs, Essendon and West Coast. “You can’t underestimate any of the six teams we have got ahead,” Connolly said.

“I think the Western Bulldogs had a convincing win today and Richmond will get back on the scoreboard at some stage. And the other teams are in the eight.

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“It is a tough six games and we are going to find out a lot about our playing squad as the weeks unfold.”

TIME-ON

FREMANTLE

2.1 10.4 10.9 13.13 (91)

ADELAIDE

5.5 7.5 11.11 13.12 (90)

GOALS

Fremantle: Farmer 4, J Longmuir 3, Carr 3, Headland, Simmonds, Medhurst.

Adelaide: Burton 4, Burns, Rutten 3, McLeod 2, I Perrie

BEST

Fremantle: Bell, McPharlin, Pavlich, Farmer, Hasleby, Simmonds

Adelaide: Riccuito, McLeod, Burton, Ladhams, Burns, Clarke

INJURIES

Adelaide: Shirley (neck).

UMPIRES

McBurney, Ellis, Jeffery

CROWD

31,225 at Subiaco Oval.

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Wayne Carey a beacon in North Melbourne Kangaroos Roos victory over Geelong Cats; AFL 2021


North defeated Geelong in the Qualifying Final.Credit:Vince Caliguiri

Carey put North 21 points ahead after a goal-square snap, aided by an errant Brad Sholl handball that rebounded off Robert Scott straight to the North skipper. But North couldn’t stretch its lead – Lynch kept the Cats within striking distance after kicking a goal on the run, but the assist belonged to John Barnes, who took a gutsy mark on the wing to set up Geelong‘s forward thrust.

Barnes spent the first half on the wing, with Steven King taking the centre bounces for the Cats. North ran Mark Roberts with Barnes in the first stanza before switching Corey McKernan there in the second quarter. McKernan had started across half-forward alongside Carey, but moved after being soundly beaten by Leigh Colbert.

North led by a goal at quarter-time and had only stretched its lead to nine points at half-time despite dominating the second term. Carey was brilliant with three goals for the term, while Wayne Schwass, David King and Anthony Stevens were providing great drive in the midfield. Stevens was engaged in an enthralling battle with former teammate and good friend Liam Pickering in the centre, and while the Geelong man took the points in the first quarter, Stevens gained several all important touches in the second. But it was Carey, with 12 touches, five marks and four goals to the long break, who was threatening to take control.

The third term was one of the most gruelling quarters seen at the MCG for some time. If not for the lights shining through the teeming rain, it might have been the 1950s. And it was tough, as highlighted by Archer’s report.

This lifted Geelong and the Cats attacked incessantly for the first 15 minutes. But they were able to muster only one goal, that from Hocking after a 50-metre penalty from the free kick against Archer for the report.

There was little joy for the Cats thereafter, despite repeatedly pumping the ball forward. And sure enough, it was Carey who made Geelong pay, dribbling one through from a left-foot snap at the 18-minute mark. That made the difference nine points. By three-quarter-time, it was 15 points after a dreadful kick by Darren Milburn was intercepted by Robert Scott, who passed to Carey, who now had Barry Stoneham as his opponent. While Carey was preparing to kick, Ben Graham interfered with Darren Crocker in the goal square, and Crocker kicked truly from the relayed free kick.

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North went into the final change with the momentum, particularly if the savage blast handed out by Geelong coach Gary Ayres to his players could be taken as a guide. But the Cats failed to respond, and were thrown into the mire just three minutes into the last quarter when Carey loomed again, marking in front of Stoneham and kicking a goal. It was now 22 points North’s way and the Cats were seemingly gone.

But they are a resilient mob at Kardinia Park and no sooner did it appear over than Pickering snapped truly with his left foot to whittle the margin back to three goals. Carey bombed a free kick from outside 50 metres to make it four goals again, but quick goals to Mansfield and King made it two goals again with seven minutes remaining.

An Allison goal from a strong mark proved to be the sealer. Predictably, the pass came from Carey, who finished the night with 23 touches, 10 marks and a lazy seven goals.

Details

NORTH MELB 3.4 6.9 8.10 11.13 (79)

GEELONG 2.4 5.6 6.7 9.7 (61)

Goals – NORTH MELBOURNE: Carey 7, Allison 3, Crocker. GEELONG: Lynch 2, Riccardi, McKinnon, Hocking, Milburn, King, Mansfield, Pickering.

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Best – NORTH MELBOURNE: Carey, Archer, Longmire, Pike, AStevens, King, Bell, Martyn. GEELONG: Pickering, Hocking, Milburn, Colbert, McGrath.

Injuries- GEELONG: Hall (calf) replaced in selected side by Steinfort, Lynch (quad).

Reports: Archer (NM)by field umpire Nash for allegedly intentionally tripping Hocking (Geel) in the third quarter.

Umpires: Nash, Coates, Howlett.

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Blues snatch finals spot with one-point victory


First published in The Age on September 1, 2013

Blues snatch finals spot

CARLTON 1.5 3.7 7.12 15.14 (104) PORT ADELAIDE 4.3 8.9 12.11 15.13 (103)
GOALS Carlton: Murphy 3, Yarran 2, Betts 2, Garlett 2, Gibbs, Curnow, Waite, Simpson, Kreuzer, Bell. Port Adelaide: Brad Ebert 4, Schulz 4, Westhoff 2, Monfries, Young, Wingard, Boak, Logan.
BEST Carlton: Gibbs, Curnow, Walker, Murphy, Garlett, Betts, Yarran. Port Adelaide: Brad Ebert, Cornes, O’Shea, Westhoff, Boak, Schulz.
INJURIES Carlton: Scotland (quad) replaced in selected side by Duigan. Port Adelaide: Gray (quad) replaced in selected side by Renouf.
UMPIRES Pannell, Meredith, Nicholls.
CROWD 45,127 at AAMI Stadium.

In an amazing finish to the season, Carlton came from 39 points down to steal a one-point victory over Port Adelaide to grab a finals berth.

Sandwich: Carlton’s Matthew Kreuzer is crunched by Port pair Oliver Wines and Travis Boak at AAMI Park on Saturday.Credit:Getty Images

In almost a mirror finish to the Brisbane Lions’ agonising one-point loss when the ball was touched over the line with seconds remaining, Carlton secured the win when Port hit the post with 27 seconds left, a miss that shut the finals door on Adelaide and North Melbourne.

There were many heroes in Carlton’s epic last quarter – 8.1 to 3.3 – but none bigger than Tom Bell, playing just his 14th AFL game, when he put Carlton in front for the first time with five minutes remaining.

The game then went goal-for-goal, with another crucial moment from Michael Jamison with a tackle on Jay Schulz that saved a goal and ultimately saved the win.

As much as Port will be accused by Crows fans for tossing this game to deny them a finals spot, there was absolutely no doubt the Power wanted this win – expected by many as its last game at AAMI Stadium.

It really got back to what Port coach Ken Hinkley had said all season: in the AFL, ″⁣you get what you deserve″⁣.

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Hideki Matsuyama’s Masters victory sealed with a bow, as an understated celebration sums up his historic triumph


In the moments after Hideki Matsuyama’s historic Masters win, you could have forgiven him a moment of unbridled emotion, both in celebration of his first major win and recognition of the weight of his accomplishment.

But despite becoming Japan’s first winner at the Masters — and of any of men’s golf’s major tournaments — it wasn’t Matsuyama’s reaction that most caught the eye.

Footage soon emerged of the new champion’s caddy Shota Hayafuji alone on the 18th green, well away from the fanfare surrounding Matsuyama.

Without seeking to attract any attention to himself, Hayafuji placed the flagstick back in the hole, removed his cap, and bowed to the course upon which he and Matsuyama had just enjoyed their greatest day.

Hideki Matsuyama and caddy Shota Hayafuji looks down at the Masters trophy, which they are holding
A trophy shared between player and caddy.(

AP: David J Phillip

)

Simple, respectful and understated, it summed up Matsuyama’s reaction to finally achieving what would have been a lifelong dream. While the 18th green at Augusta has become a site of jubilation over the years, here it was one of relief and reflection.

When Adam Scott had his moment in 2013, doing for Australia what Matsuyama did today for Japan, he couldn’t contain himself, at one point bellowing “come on Aussie” to nobody in particular before celebrating wildly with caddy Steve Williams.

But Matsuyama was instead as unflappable in victory as he had been on the course.

“My nerves didn’t start at the second nine, it was right from the start all the way to the last putt,” Matsuyama said in Butler Cabin shortly before receiving his green jacket from 2020 champion Dustin Johnson.

“Hopefully I’ll be a pioneer and many other Japanese will follow. Hopefully I will open the floodgates.”

Hideki Matsuyama and his caddy walk over Hogan Bridge
A late afternoon stroll over the Ben Hogan Bridge at Augusta National.(

AP: David J. Phillip

)

Matsuyama and Hayafuji shared an embrace once the winning putt had fallen, and the 29-year-old received congratulations from American Xander Schauffele, who had briefly threatened to rain on Matsuyama’s parade.

Indeed, the only significant pressure Matsuyama faced during the final round came on the 15th hole, where he flew the green and found water, before scrambling to make a bogey.

But having made a birdie to cut the lead to two, Schauffele immediately hit his tee shot into the water at the par-three 16th, recorded a triple bogey and blew out of contention. From that point on, the day was unequivocally Matsuyama’s.

It may have taken some time, but in the fading light on the Augusta National lawn, Matsuyama finally allowed himself a flicker of emotion.

With the green jacket back around his shoulders again, and dozens of cameras in his face, Matsuyama allowed a wide smile to take over his face as he raised his arms above his head in triumph.

Hideki Matsuyama holds his arms in the air and smiles widely as he wears the green jacket
Hideki Matsuyama savours the moment in his new green jacket.(

AP: Gregory Bull

)

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Penrith Panthers continue unbeaten surge on nostalgic night with victory against Canberra Raiders


Winger Charlie Staines bagged a double while bench forwards Liam Martin and Spencer Leniu injected plenty of energy when they came on.

Penrith also showed plenty of mongrel and never backed away from the physicality nor push and shove that has now become a regular feature whenever these two heavyweights meet.

At one stage Joe Tapine was standing on the sideline with an interchange card and was inadvertently dragged into a melee with Stephen Crichton after Staines bagged his second.

Tempers flare between Joe Tapine (left) and Stephen Crichton.Credit:NRL Photos

There was also a moment when Hudson Young shoved Kikau, which led to a penalty and allowed the Panthers to march up field and cancel out Jack Wighton’s first four-pointer.

The Panthers will be short odds to make it six straight when they head to Suncorp Stadium next Thursday to face the Broncos.

The only letdown was a few handling errors by the big men early in the game, and a couple of forgettable moments at the back by Crichton.

Canberra coach Ricky Stuart has got used to his players showing plenty of heart when out on their feet, and it was the same again out west.

The Raiders lost Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad to a HIA and Josh Hodgson late to a leg injury.

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Even when everything appeared to be going against them midway through the second half, they had more points via Jarrod Croker who received a lovely ball from Elliott Whitehead after an excellent break down field by Young.

Canberra could come under scrutiny from the NRL for their handling of Nicoll-Klokstad, who remained on the field about seven minutes after being concussed. The Raiders No.1 fell over after being tackled by Isaah Yeo, then stumbled a second time in back play. He was also taken high by Kikau a few minutes later. He failed his HIA.

The Raiders host Parramatta next week and will be there when it counts at the end of the year. They have too many good players not to be there.

The Panthers, however, can do nothing wrong and deserve to be talked up as title favourites this far out from the grand final. Time will tell if they will soon be wheeled out for their own premiership lap of honour.

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‘Monumental win’: Spieth ends drought with victory at Texas Open


Two-time Australian Open champion Jordan Spieth ended a slump that lasted nearly four years after closing with a six-under 66 to win the Valero Texas Open – his first victory since 2017.

The American, who won in Australia in 2014 and 2016, now heads to Augusta National as one of the favourites at the US Masters this weekend.

Jordan Spieth hadn’t tasted PGA Tour success for almost four years until Sunday.Credit:Getty

“This is a monumental win for me,” said Spieth, whose last win was the 2017 British Open at Royal Birkdale. “It’s been a long road. There were a lot of times that I didn’t know I would be here.”

Spieth sealed victory with a five-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole on Sunday, winning by two shots over Charley Hoffman.

Spieth went 82 starts on the PGA Tour without a victory since Royal Birkdale. He missed the Tour Championship the past two years and nearly fell out of the top 100 in the world at the start of this year.

Matt Wallace had been tied for the lead at the start of play in the final round.

Matt Wallace had been tied for the lead at the start of play in the final round.Credit:Getty

But the 27-year-old from Dallas showed signs of turning it around. He was tied for the 54-hole lead in Phoenix and led by two going into the final round at Pebble Beach. He was two behind going into the last day at Bay Hill.

Tied for the lead with Matt Wallace before Sunday at the TPC San Antonio, Spieth moved out in front and didn’t let anyone catch him. He built a three-shot lead with a birdie on the 12th hole, when Hoffman made him sweat.

Hoffman, needing a victory to get back to the Masters, chipped in for birdie on the par-three 13th and holed a 20-foot birdie putt from the fringe on the par-three 16th to get within one shot.

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Cowboys in crisis mode as Titans claim 36-point victory in Townsville


Cowboys hooker Jake Granville could find himself in hot water with the match review committee.Credit:Getty

The Cowboys will also be sweating on the return of Reuben Cotter for next week after failing a HIA in the 26th minute to continue round three’s horrid run of concussions. Cotter’s knock was the eighth across the eight games.

Payten said he was supportive of calls for an 18th man to be brought in as a concussion sub. 

“The game is a good product but we’ve sped it up to a point it’s really physically taxing,” Payten said.

“Under fatigue, you find yourself in vulnerable positions and that’s why we are getting the injuries we are getting.“

Titans coach Justin Holbrook was also threw his support behind the concept post-match.

“It makes sense,” he said. “From what we saw with Canberra and Cronulla…we don’t want to see sides play with no one on the bench.”

Cotter’s concussion comes as the Cowboys continue to wait on the fate of skipper Michael Morgan, who is facing the possibility of retirement at 29 due to a shoulder injury.

As a result of his absence, Scott Drinkwater was shifted into five-eighth with Valentine Holmes slipping into his preferred position of fullback.

Holmes was originally pushed onto the wing, but vocalised just how unhappy he was about the decision to reporters this week.

With rival clubs watching the situation with much interest, Payten made the call to hand him the No.1 jersey ahead of the Queensland derby.

Brimson ignited the Titans after claiming the first points of the day inside 10 minutes by sending a grubber to himself. He celebrated with a somersault and continued to partner with Phillip Sami and Corey Thompson throughout the day with North Queensland having little reply.

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The Cowboys found two tries through Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow in the 44th minute and Murray Taulagi in the 58th but about 20 minutes was all North Queensland seemed to have.

By the time David Fifita slid over the line in the 68th minute for the Titan’s sixth try of the day, the Cowboys were simply wishing the game was over.

Jamil Fogarty assisted the visitors’ efforts with seven from seven in conversion attempts.

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Clayton Oliver and Max Gawn lift Melbourne to victory in Spud’s Game


Christian Petracca was trying too hard to have an impact, three times kicking the ball over the boundary on the bounce when trying to produce a miracle.

At the other end King was playing smart and Melbourne looked adrift when May, Gawn and Jake Lever all flew for the ball as the young Saint waited to crumb and goal.

In the past two seasons that might have been it for Melbourne but they are made of sterner stuff in 2021 with the May-Lever defensive combination giving them faith to work on their system rather than worry about the margin which had blown out to 16 points in St Kilda’s favour.

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The Demons kicked the next five goals with the second in the sequence a special effort from the exciting Pickett. The small forward crumbed a ball in the middle of a pack then danced his way through the bodies as though his opponents were statues to snap a goal over his head.

Pickett has pace and in a five-minute patch the game was his as he created opportunities but was unable to convert. Unfortunately for Melbourne, he wasn’t alone as they dominated play but could only stretch their lead to 20 points, kicking inaccurately and wasting chances.

So when Lever, then Luke Jackson dropped relatively simple marks and Jack Steele pounced to kick two captain’s goals the contest was alive with the possibility Spud’s Game promised when former Melbourne champion Garry Lyon gave a moving speech about the importance of sharing your feelings before the first bounce.

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But Melbourne steadied, with Petracca becoming more team-oriented, Brayshaw and Langdon winning on their wings and Adam Tomlinson solid in the air.

On the back of that defence and Oliver constantly raking up the ball from a stoppage Melbourne were too good as St Kilda wait for the return of key players.

BEST:
St Kilda
Steele, Howard, Gresham, Ross
Melbourne Oliver, Salem, Gawn, Tomlinson, May, Langdon, Pickett
VOTES:
Clayton Oliver (Melbourne) 8
Christian Salem (Melbourne) 7
Max Gawn (Melbourne) 7
Kysaiah Pickett (Melbourne) 7
Dougal Howard (St Kilda) 6

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Richmond pick up breakthrough AFLW victory at Punt Road over West Coast Eagles



Richmond have celebrated a breakthrough win at their traditional Punt Road Oval home, outlasting West Coast in a stirring AFLW battle.

The Tigers had to withstand an Eagles second-half challenge for the 5.12 (42) to 5.4 (34) victory, played in constant rain.

It was set up by Richmond’s first-half dominance and the lead stretched to 23 points after Christina Bernardi goaled early in the third quarter.

But West Coast booted the next three goals to cut the margin to just six points before Tiger forward Katie Brennan took a strong mark and kicked the goal that saved the day.

“It’s a season of firsts: the first win and then to be able to win interstate and then at home,” Richmond coach Ryan Ferguson said.

“And our journey of just being able to learn to compete and be in games. And learning how to win and grind out games.

The Tigers’ midfield unit of Ellie McKenzie, Monique Conti and Sarah Hosking was instrumental in setting up the seemingly insurmountable lead before the Eagles’ onballers took over in the second half as Irish sisters Grace and Niamh Kelly consistently sent them inside the forward 50.

It was a brave effort by West Coast, the Eagles finishing the bruising game with a bench full of injured players.

Coming off a six-day break, the Eagles lost captain Emma Swanson to suspension for rough conduct. Fellow onballer Aisling McCarthy was out of the game in the opening minutes with a knee injury.

“I was so proud of the players. We had to adjust at half-time and try to get the ball out because Richmond had been too big and strong for us early,” West Coast coach Daniel Pratt said.

Richmond placed an emphasis on applying pressure inside their forward half and that commitment provided a crucial early lead, particularly given the greasy conditions.

Tayla Stahl used her strength deep in the Tigers’ forward line to boot the first two goals of the game.

Such was Richmond’s early dominance that it took until the last minute of the first quarter for West Coast to venture inside the forward 50 for the first time.

But the girls from the West launched a spirited second-half fight back when they were able to get the ball out into space and nearly stole the points.

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Duke fires Wanderers to A-League victory


A brace either side of halftime from Mitchell Duke made sure the VAR system didn’t have the decisive say, with surging Western Sydney Wanderers scoring a 3-0 home A-League win over Perth.

The second-placed Wanderers third straight win and their first in 10 games against Glory since 2017, moved them to within three points of Central Coast Mariners.

Coach Carl Robinson regarded it as probably their best performance of the season and attributed their form to increasing self belief.

Three times in 11 first-half minutes at Bankwest Stadium, the Wanderers had the ball in the net but all were ruled offside.

All three calls appeared correct, though two of them were line ball, with the offside Wanderers player on both occasions just fractionally ahead of the ball

Bernie Ibini had the first two rubbed out and Duke the third, but the latter ensured the Wanderers persistent attacks were rewarded.

In the second minute of added time at the end of the first half, Duke powered an unstoppable header into the net from a James Troisi cross.

Duke doubled the lead in the 47th minute, when he raced onto a pass from Keanu Baccus and blasted a fierce shot past Perth goalkeeper Liam Reddy from just inside the area.

The Wanderers sealed the win with a third goal, courtesy of some love from the VAR.

Troisi tapped in from close range, though it was originally ruled offside before being overturned on review.

Duke almost completed a hat-trick when he was put clear again in the 63rd minute, but he slid the ball wide from a tough angle and was substituted a couple of minutes later.

Even before the goals and the VAR decisions, the Wanderers had plenty of chances with Ibini twice denied from close range by Reddy, who also produced a fine diving save to deny Duke.

“I thought we played exceptional in the first half and could have, should have, maybe, been two or three goals up if it wasn’t for VAR,” Robinson said.

“I asked the boys to respond at halftime because the game was certainly in the balance against a very good team and they did.

“The first ten minutes of the second half obviously put the game out of sight.”

Perth, who looked vulnerable whenever the ball was played in behind them, started the game well.

In the first 10 minutes, Bruno Fornaroli had a shot tipped around the post by Wanderers’ goalkeeper Daniel Margush and had another attempt blocked and Nick D’Agostino fizzed a shot just wide.

They also had number of shots in the final half-hour, but coach Richard Garcia lamented the inconsistency of his younger players and repeated errors when opposing teams counter attack.

“We definitely lacked intensity, but at the moment we are carrying our experience in four or five senior guys,” Garcia said.

“From there we are counting on these young guys to be consistent and at the moment they are not.”

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