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School’s out when Tuivasa-Sheck faces up to giant idol Vatuvei

Written on September 21, 2019 at 17:18, by

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck first saw the sizeable frame of Manu Vatuvei in the flesh when the New Zealand Warriors’ legend visited his old school in South Auckland.
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He was overwhelmed in the classroom at Mayfield Primary in Otara although Vatuvei’s NRL career was in its infancy, and now the 20-year-old is hoping he doesn’t get taught a lesson when he marks one of his idols for the first time at Allianz Stadium on Sunday night.

The outside back concedes 14 kilograms, 11 centimetres and 143 games’ worth of experience to the Warriors’ record try-scorer but was trying to put on a brave face when quizzed on how to combat a recharged Vatuvei who appears to be running into form – and over any obstacle in his path.

Tuivasa-Sheck had to contend with Bill Tupou when the Sydney Roosters ventured to Eden Park in round two so realises he faces a different assignment defending the left edge alongside Vatuvei’s occasional Kiwis teammate Shaun Kenny-Dowall.

”I’ll have a chat with Robbo [coach Trent Robinson] and strategise. You definitely try and get two on one with him,” he said.

”They call him The Beast for a reason. He’s all muscle and power. He’ll try and use that to run over me and score tries. He’s even really powerful in the air, which is another thing I’ll have to work on.

”Shaun Johnson and [Thomas] Leuluai will be putting it up [kicks] for him. I’ve just got to get up and take them.” Thinking back to that school visit nine or so years ago, Tuivasa-Sheck confessed: ”I was star-struck at the back.”

And although he has only played 18 NRL games, the composed rookie won’t experience the same emotions when Vatuvei charges in his direction. ”I’ve been practising heaps with all our stars here,” he said, before another training session with Sonny Bill Williams, Michael Jennings and the NSW halves pairing of James Maloney and Mitchell Pearce.

”I’ve just got to go out there and do my job. It’ll probably be good to mark Manu, we’ll see. I can’t wait,” he said, with an unconvincing grin.

Tuivasa-Sheck should be smiling considering the strides he has made since former Roosters coach Brian Smith promoted him from the under-20s last year.

He made six appearances – sufficient to be anointed as captain Anthony Minichiello’s successor at fullback; this season he made the Kiwis squad for April’s Anzac Test in Canberra as a non-playing reserve and has experienced every minute of the Roosters’ 12-game campaign.

”Second year syndrome” is a common affliction for professional sportspeople after they caught opponents unaware first time up but so far Tuivasa-Sheck seems immune.

He finally recorded his first tries for the club – a hat-trick against Parramatta in round four – and has six for the season, often as the beneficiary of a Williams cut-out pass.

”He’s helped me with a few techniques, how to run my lines … he’s good at distributing the ball, he throws me those cut-outs,” he said.

Naturally there have been curve balls as well to keep Tuivasa-Sheck from getting complacent.

South Sydney’s Nathan Merritt scored three times down the Kiwi’s flank, for starters.

”I’ve been taught a few lessons. In round one Nathan Merritt … he floats around the park and then he surprises you by being back on the wing.”

Manly’s Jorge Taufua, meanwhile, was more in the Vatuvei mould: ”He’s pretty big and strong. He got over me a few times.”

Tuivasa-Sheck does just not have his game in order – off the field life is also going smoothly, especially as his parents and three siblings relocated to Sydney at Christmas.

As the Arthur Beetson Medal winner – for the Roosters’ under-20s player of the year – Tuivasa-Sheck and his mother travelled to Europe during the off-season. They went to Oxford University and recognised the set locations for the Harry Potter movies, ticked off Big Ben, rode the Millennium Wheel and crossed the Channel to see the Eiffel Tower.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

Roosters centre seeks inner warrior

Written on September 21, 2019 at 17:18, by

Shaun Kenny-Dowall. Photo: Brendan EspositoRoosters centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall picked a tough assignment when he vowed to use Sunday’s match against the Warriors to atone for what he called his most disappointing defensive effort of the year.
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Kenny-Dowall, a Kiwi international in his eighth year at the Roosters, said it was tough to watch footage of the victory over the Eels because it showed the kind of defensive lapses he’d worked hard to eliminate from his game this season.

At the beginning of the season, Kenny-Dowall said new coach Trent Robinson had demanded more defensive crunch from him. He responded and was pleased with his progress, until the Eels game. ”I’ve had my ups and downs,” Kenny-Dowall said when asked for thoughts on his defence. ”Obviously you saw on the weekend, that was probably the worst I’ve defended. It was a reality check and I have to go back to working hard and defend how I know we can and how we defended at the start of the year. [Defence is] obviously a lot of decision making … It’s not just out on the edge, it can start from out in the middle, the ruck and all sorts of things.

”They’re the sort of things we go through in the video [sessions] and try to rectify throughout the week in time for the next game.”

Kenny-Dowall said this year’s Roosters had benefited from the ”connection” between the squad’s players but he conceded the Warriors would have noted last week’s defensive deficiencies on the tricolours’ edge. While the Auckland-based club’s three-quarters possess plenty of strike power – and muscle – courtesy of Manu Vatuvei, Konrad Hurrell, Glen Fisiiahi and Dane Nielsen, Kenny-Dowall said his mission this week would be harder due to the presence of Feleti Mateo, the skilled ball-player who learnt his craft in the Parramatta juniors. ”Our defence [on the edge] was obviously noted,” he said of last week’s showing. ”We’ve been working hard on that at training and it’s something we’ll need to fix up with Feleti on that side … we’ve been working hard.”

Kenny-Dowall made it clear that apart from shutting down Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson and Mateo, he and his teammates would need to stick to Vatuvei like glue. He offered 20-year-old Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, the man charged with the job of stifling the big winger, a vote of confidence. ”[Tuivasa-Sheck] has a fair idea of what’s coming up, but I think he’s more than capable,” he said.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

Lang confident Gower can do the job for Newcastle

Written on September 21, 2019 at 17:18, by

Old boys: Recruit Craig Gower, right, chats with Willie Mason at Knights training this week. Photo: Max Mason HubersJohn Lang combined with Craig Gower to win the Panthers’ most recent premiership and Gower’s former mentor believes he can still do a job in the NRL.
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The former Australian representative is expected to be rushed into the Newcastle side to play his first NRL game since 2007 after signing a short-term deal. He has represented Italy in rugby union and captained the London Broncos in the English Super League since his last appearance in the NRL.

Now, as part of an 18-man Knights squad, Gower has travelled to Melbourne to play the defending premiers on Sunday afternoon. Lang coached the Gower-captained 2003 Penrith side to grand final success against Sydney Roosters.

Lang said Knights coach Wayne Bennett knew exactly what he was looking for when he recruited Gower at the age of 35.

”Wayne would have been looking for a tough professional who can do the job for him,” Lang said.

”He won’t be looking for someone to star.

”I don’t think Wayne is looking for him to have a big impact but someone who will do the job. I think it’ll be unfair to expect too much of him.”

Gower, who made his NRL debut in 1996, played 238 games for the Panthers. While Lang said he hadn’t spoken with him or seen much of Gower play recently, he said he could see parallels between Gower’s return and Bennett rushing Allan Langer from England to star for Queensland in the 2001 State of Origin decider.

”Craig was a guy who led by example,” Lang said. ”He is a doer and that’s him in a nutshell. He had good skills. He is a guy who loved the game and while your body holds together, well, why not [keep playing].

”He is a tough competitor … He has had a lot of injuries over the years.”

His comeback eventuated following long-term injuries to key Knights players Kurt Gidley and Danny Buderus. Gidley is not expected to return from a foot injury for at least another two weeks and Buderus is a week-to-week proposition with his back. With Gower declaring his time at hooker had passed, it is expected he’ll move to the halves when he comes in with Tyrone Roberts relieving Travis Waddell of the hooking duties.

”I wouldn’t know what his form is like,” Lang said. ”There’s a lot of players that I’ve coached in the past that are still playing and you’re always interested in how they are going.”

Gower won’t be the only change to a Newcastle side which has lost its past three. He is expected to replace Adam Clydsdale on the bench with Adam Cuthbertson to come in for the injured David Fa’alogo. Winger Akuila Uate is an outside chance of making an early return from rib-cartilage damage and is in Melbourne with the team.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

Inglis wary of Titans’ in-form halfback

Written on September 21, 2019 at 17:17, by

Gold Coast five-eighth Aidan Sezer was targeted by Souths superstar Greg Inglis before Sunday’s so-called Rumble at the Reef in Cairns, as the man the premiership leaders needed to zero in on.
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Sezer, a Canterbury junior who played for the East Hills Bulldogs, has formed a strong halves combination with Inglis’ cousin Albert Kelly. While Kelly’s return from NRL purgatory after being cut last season by Cronulla and then Newcastle’s NSW Cup team for disciplinary breaches has been well documented, Inglis took time out to acknowledge the threat Sezer posed.

”It’s good to see ‘Albie’ there, but I want to give a quick mention to you about Sezer,” said Inglis. ”He’s a young kid but he looks like he has a 30-year-old head on him … and I don’t mean by the way he looks. It’s the way he thinks and the way he slows the game down. The Gold Coast has strike power right across [the field] and [Sezer] is playing well and so is Albert Kelly. We have to be on our high alerts and go out there and hopefully get the job done in front of a packed stadium.”

Kelly, who starred for the Australian Schoolboys and Parramatta National Youth Competition side before being recruited – and then cut – by Cronulla after a series of problems, has sparked the Titans back line this year.

Inglis said he was ecstatic to see the little cousin, who lived across the road from him at Bowraville on the NSW north coast, fulfil his potential.

”He’s a great little talent, and he always has been,” said Inglis. ”He’s obviously hit his straps at the right time and we have to go up [to Cairns] with alerts around us. He’s a game-breaker.”

Inglis viewed Albie’s story as one that emphasised why the NRL’s top-graders needed to follow strict demands.

”I think he always knew he had great talent, I think it was just the disciplinary things away from footy,” Inglis said. ”You can see anyone with talent on the field, it’s the way they go about their business off the field. It’s great to see him shining now.”

The Rabbitoh pitted directly against Sezer, Adam Reynolds, said the halves have been scrutinised in the game’s build-up.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

A fine romance that’s keeping it real

Written on September 21, 2019 at 17:17, by

Married glitch … Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke in Before Midnight, directed by Richard Linklater.Before Midnight is the sequel to Before Sunrise and Before Sunset.
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June 16, 1994, on a train travelling from Budapest, 23-year-old Sorbonne student Celine sits near Jesse, a heartbroken backpacker on his way to Vienna to catch a flight home to America. He’s reading Klaus Kinski’s memoir All I Need Is Love, she’s holding a collection of erotic short stories by French intellectual George Bataille. The seemingly innocuous start to Before Sunset has spawned an unlikely movie trilogy. There may be no explosion or superheroes, or even a plot – just a couple talking about love and relationships – yet it’s kept audiences enthralled for two decades.

”We always say they are the lowest grossing films to spawn sequels,” director Richard Linklater says. ”And certainly the lowest grossing films to be a franchise or whatever we are now – a trilogy!”

Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and now Before Midnight have become key works in the careers of director Richard Linklater and actors Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke. On the two sequels, director and actors have received equal screenwriting credit. A collaboration that grows stronger with each film.

”Just like the characters our relationship is deepening,” 42-year-old Hawke says. ”I mean it gets more complex the more we know each other. We’ve now written three films together, that’s an incredibly intimate thing to do.”

”Nineteen years ago when I was casting that first film, I was looking for the two most creative people I could find,” Linklater says. ”I knew this whole film relied on those two people. There wasn’t anything else. That script ended up being an outline with ideas sprinkled throughout that we built on.”

”In the audition he asked me, do you write?” Delpy recalls. ”I was like, ‘Oh, I wrote a screenplay.’ So he wanted that.”

The series that the films are most compared to is Franois Truffaut’s films about Antoine Doinel. ”But those films are all so totally different,” Hawke says. ”Each film is unique … these ones are almost turning into one long film. Which is very different.”

It’s funny to revisit the argument Jesse used to persuade Celine to spend the night with him in Vienna. ”Jump ahead, 10, 20 years, and you’re married. Only your marriage doesn’t have that same energy it used to have. You start to blame your husband. You start to think about all those guys you’ve met in your life and what might’ve happened if you’d picked up with one of them. I’m one of those guys.”

It’s the plot to both sequels. The first inkling of a sequel came in 2001 with Linklater’s rotoscoping animation Waking Life. Jesse and Celine are in bed analysing a conversation from Before Sunrise but as with everything in that movie, it turns out this was a dream.

Before Sunset takes place nine years after Celine and Jesse agreed to meet again in Vienna. Despite the lack of plot, Before Sunrise had left us with a cliffhanger ending, do the pair who refused to exchange numbers meet as they promise six months later? Romantics and cynics had something to argue over.

When environmentalist Celine shows up at married author Jesse’s book reading in Paris it’s soon clear they did not meet in Vienna. Roaming the streets, catching up, the walk has another ambiguous ending with Jesse in Celine’s apartment threatening to miss his flight home.

”We have to watch the films every time we do a new one,” the actress says. ”I mean, we haven’t done that many, but on Sunset we had to watch this one, and on this one we had to watch both.” The actors met up and did a double bill in one night.

A further nine years down the line and Before Midnight casts Celine and Jesse as that frustrated married couple. There is an inevitability that they would get together – after all, June 16 is ”Bloomsday”, the date that James Joyce first went on a date with his wife-to-be Nora Barnacle. In fitting with their status, the formula of the films has been remodelled.

Hawke says, ”The two most difficult things about the third one are no ticking clock, and the fact that they’ve now known each other for so long, why would they be telling the other person?”

For the first time we see the couple interact with friends and their focus is on maintaining a relationship. Fans will not be disappointed. Once again, the strength is that the dialogue and events feel like we’re eavesdropping on friends. It feels too real to be fiction.

Hawke jests, ”She says to me in this movie, ‘You have sex the exact same way every time,’ you know, and that’s something that my wife has said to me.”

Linklater is full of praise for the naturalism of his collaborators, ”It’s a tribute to Ethan and Julie how well rehearsed and what good actors they are. It’s the kind of acting they don’t really give awards to because people accept it as real. It’s kind of like the apes at the beginning of 2001 – they didn’t win best costume because they thought they were real.” There’s a rule that there has to be unanimous agreement on the script.

”We write each other’s lines all the time,” Delpy says. Ultimately, in the editing room Linklater has the final say.

”So many directors have this dictatorial attitude,” Hawke says. ”’It’s my film.’ His whole thing is he wants everybody in the movie to feel like it’s our film.”

Linklater is a director who is often credited with putting his home-town of Austin, Texas – where Hawke was also born – on the filmmaking map. So it’s ironic that it’s these films set far from Austin are the works for which he will most fondly be remembered.

”We were thinking about setting this one in the US,” Linklater says. ”Maybe in a town like San Francisco. We have to think, where would she be able to get a job in her field that is fulfilling to her? And where would he maybe, as a writer/teacher, where would he be? So, you think of places that could work. We’d pick up with them on a Thursday – she’s at her job, he’s doing his thing, they’d meet in the evening – what life is for a lot of people, domestic. And then we were like, ‘That’s kind of depressing’ but we thought about it for a while and the final film reflects some of those things but the idea was he’s on this writer’s retreat.”

In the end they chose Messenia, Greece, where Jesse and Celine are holidaying with their family.

One of the great beauties of the series is that practically everyone can relate to the idea of the one that got away. At the end of Before Midnight, there is a dedication to Amy Lehrhaupt. Linklater met her in a toyshop in Philadelphia just after he’d made his directorial debut Slacker. They spent the night walking and talking and this became the inspiration for the series. In reality they swapped numbers, but after a few letters and phone conversations, they lost contact. It was back when Mark Zuckerberg was still in his long shorts. Three years ago, Linklater discovered Lehrhaupt had died in a motorcycle accident on 9 May, 1994. Just one month before Celine and Jesse met.

The Independent

■ Before Midnight is in cinemas now.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

What a difference to road cars a day in Le Mans can make

Written on August 22, 2019 at 11:18, by

As well as being the world’s biggest and longest-running sports car race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year stands as a fascinating alternative power showcase as well a shootout for outright honours between the dominant brand of recent times, Audi, and yet-to-win Toyota.
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Audi has won 11 of the past 13 Le Mans classics, only allowing Bentley (2003) and Peugeot (2009) a tidbit apiece. The race should be a fight between two makes next weekend. The 90th anniversary Le Mans pitches three factory Audi R18 e-tron quattro LMP1 prototypes, with V6 turbocharged diesel/hybrid power, against two Toyota TS030 Hybrids using naturally aspirated petrol engines. Endurance sports car racing today is about blue-sky road-car-relevant thinking, especially fuel efficiency. All entrants in the prototype LMP1 class have been subjected to a ”Balance of Performance”, effectively a handicapping system intended to give all makes a chance. It uses air restrictor size and fuel capacity to inhibit speed and efficiency.

This led to accusations from Toyota that Audi ”sandbagged” in a lead-up race at Spa. Toyota’s technical director Pascal Vasselon estimated the Audi R18 e-tron quattro enjoyed a power advantage over his cars of up to 80 horsepower. In a subsequent handicapping review at the end of May, his petrol-engined cars were allowed an additional three litres of fuel capacity. Toyota, in particular, is desperate to crunch a win this year, to break its duck and also to post a score before Porsche, with its stunning Le Mans record of 16 victories, returns next year. ”Leading Le Mans last year and winning three World Endurance Championship races has given us a taste for success,” team chief Yoshiaki Kinoshita said.

Audi and Toyota offer advanced technologies afforded by the regulations. The three Audi prototypes, the most recent species of part-time electric all-wheel drive, have a blown diffuser, which uses exhaust gases for aerodynamic advantage, not dissimilar to those once used in formula one. While there’s some secrecy about the aid, a rival engineer told Autosport Audi uses the exhaust to create ”virtual skirts” to direct airflow under the car and through the diffuser. Toyota experimented with a blown diffuser but decided against running the system partly due to the effect of hot exhaust gases on tyre wear. But like the Audis, the Toyotas do have the F1-like extra power of KERS (kinetic energy recovery system).

Fifty-six cars will likely meet the starter next Saturday. Ten former winners feature, including defending champions Andre Lotterer, Marcel Fassler and Benoit Treluyer.

Eighteen former F1 drivers are on the grid, including manic overtaker Kamui Kobayashi, making his debut, joining Bruno Senna, Nick Heidfeld, Allan McNish, Marc Gene, Alexander Wurz, Anthony Davidson, Stephane Sarrazin, Sebastien Buemi, Jan Magnussen, Olivier Beretta, Giancarlo Fisichella and Pedro Lamy. Three Australians will race – Ryan Briscoe (HPD ARX-03b LMP2), Jason Bright (Ferrari 458 GT) and John Martin (Oreca 03-Nissan LMP2), plus honorary Aussie Allan Simonsen (Aston Martin Vantage).


The grapevine is buzzing with sufficient ferocity to suggest there must be some truth to Volvo entering V8 Supercars in some capacity with Garry Rogers Motorsport next year. Though there doesn’t appear to be a suitable 5.0-litre V8, Volvo can use the US-made Chevrolet or Ford from the Commodores and Falcons in the four-door S60 sedan.


Strange times. Steven Johnson has never raced anything but a Dick Johnson Racing Falcon in the V8 Supercars series. But this year ”Junior”, now out of full-time driving as general manager of his father’s team, will be at the wheel of the rival SP Tools AMG E-Class of Maro Engel in the endurance events, the Sandown 500, Bathurst 1000 and Gold Coast 600. Cash-strapped DJR has been forced to recruit young enduro drivers who bring money – Dale Wood will be teamed with Chaz Mostert in the No.12 Falcon, while Tim Blanchard will share No.17 with Dunlop Series leader Ash Walsh.

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The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

Neill leans on Hiddink for calm ways

Written on August 22, 2019 at 11:18, by

Socceroos captain Lucas Neill has drawn upon the image he’d stored in his memory of former national coach Guus Hiddink during Australia’s historic 2005 victory over Uruguay to ensure Australia enter Tuesday night’s must-win match against Iraq cool, calm and collected.
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Neill, who hopes Australia will secure automatic qualification to a fourth World Cup, said the sight of Hiddink leaning casually against the team’s substitute bench despite the nervous energy that engulfed the Sydney Olympic Park stadium that November night set the tone for how he handled pressure situations.

“It was surreal,” said Neill. “The place was electric and after 25 minutes I looked over and Guus had his arms folded and he was leaning with his right shoulder against the bench as if he was waiting for a bus. He was stone-faced and ice veins.

“So, here I am out on the pitch and 80,000 people going crazy. Everyone is tense and nervous and I’m very composed and calm because I look over and see my manager is leaning up against the sub’s bench like the coolest man in the world despite overseeing the most important game in Australia’s history.”

Neill said that image also reinforced his belief that Tuesday night’s match against Iraq – which is expected to be played in front of a full house at ANZ Stadium – needed to be treated as nothing more than a game. “My message to the fans is to express your passion and express your emotions, but to my players it is to play the game and not the occasion,” he said.

“We just need to remember no game is an easy game. We have to keep our feet on the ground and remain relaxed and do the things we’ve done the last two weeks, the things that put us into this position.

“We have to keep things as calm and composed and, then, let’s hope we have a rich, strong, positive start like we’ve had the intention of doing in the last two games [against Japan and Jordan].” While the Socceroos received overwhelming public support at appearances throughout Sydney in the build-up to the match Neill said the “quiet and calm” of the squad pleased him.

“No-one is talking about Brazil, no-one is talking about winning, everybody is just talking about preparing and getting that feeling in training that we’re 100 per cent prepared and ready and going into the game,” he said.

“There’s a good feeling in Sydney – and Australia – but it’s more important the senior players and myself as captain to ensure no-one gets caught up in that wave of excitement. It does go in peaks and troughs. This is coming towards our peak. We just have to concentrate on one win, one game and we’ll ride the crest of a wave for another year, maybe two, because of the Asian Cup. We’re in the moment but we have to make sure we maximise the moment.”

Neill was adamant that despite their having no chance of qualifying for the World Cup, Iraq possessed a brand of pride and passion that commanded respect.

“Iraq is a very passionate nationality and they have experienced very adverse moments in their lives and they always seem to be playing for, I don’t know if you say a better life or a better experience in life,” he said. “Their players are very loyal, very passionate. We know whoever travels and plays for Iraq will be very committed to their team, their flag and trying to win the game.

“And Iraq is a bit of a bogey team for Australia, we have to be very careful. It’s not an easy game.

”They have the mentality that they won’t lie down easily, they won’t be intimidated easily because they’ve had different upbringings and they’re fighters.

“We always respect our opposition but we should respect them more so. I think some of these guys will see a big crowd and see a big opportunity to perform and showcase themselves and we have to counter that.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

Lions face nervous wait over fancied centre

Written on August 22, 2019 at 11:18, by

After notching their best performance yet on Saturday, the fly in the ointment for the British and Irish Lions might yet be a hamstring injury to in-form centre Jamie Roberts.
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The Lions are blessed with depth in their midfield but a possible tear in Roberts’ right hamstring, which occurred in the 68th minute of the tourists’ 47-17 win against the Waratahs, will send a shiver down the spine of head coach Warren Gatland, who has consistently backed the powerful Welsh runner this tour.

After initial examinations pointed to a tear, Gatland backed away from the worst case scenario, saying post-match that nothing definitive would be known until the 26-year-old underwent scans on the leg on Sunday.

“The medics thought it might have been a hamstring but he says he’s never pulled a hamstring before so he’s not quite sure,” Gatland said.

“Fingers crossed that it may not be that, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”

What the game takes away with one hand, it gives back with the other, with Roberts’ midfield partner Jonathan Davies putting in an outstanding performance to storm his way to the front of the line, especially should Roberts be ruled out.

“Given the quality of our midfield and the pressure he was under to respond, I thought it was one of the best games that I’d seen him play,” Gatland said.

“I thought it was an outstanding performance from Jonathan. It’s quite nice to come into the change rooms and see someone like [Ireland centre] Brian O’Driscoll say ‘How good was Jonathan Davies’. It’s almost the endorsement rather than the coaches saying it.”

Gatland indicated he would have no trouble using Davies at inside centre should Roberts be unavailable.

Manu Tuilagi is back training but is still reporting “soreness” in his shoulder, leaving the likely Test combination for next week’s series opener in Brisbane, should Roberts be ruled out, as Davies and O’Driscoll.

Late tour call-up Billy Twelvetrees is also available.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

Doctor who treated Earl tracked down as peptide row rumbles on

Written on August 22, 2019 at 11:18, by

Dr Ijaz Khan has emerged as the mystery medico who treated Sandor Earl following the winger’s shoulder surgeries. The Canberra flyer was the subject of claims he took peptides to aid his recovery following injuries he suffered while at Penrith in 2011.
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Sin Bin can reveal Earl, who recently signed to play rugby union in France, was referred to Injury Care, a private clinic at Cabramatta. It’s understood he was treated by Khan. It is unclear whether he has treated any other NRL players and attempts to contact the doctor were unsuccessful. There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by Earl or Khan. In a statement released on Friday, Earl said he was ”shocked” by revelations on the Nine Network he had taken peptides at a clinic without the knowledge of the club. News Ltd reported last month that Cronulla was sent a bill for $2764.80 from Injury Care for blood tests allegedly arranged at the clinic.The hunger games

We read, with a mixture of horror and amusement, recent claims that Sam Kasiano is capable of demolishing seven kebabs in a single sitting. We thought the allegations were worthy of  investigation and headed to Diane’s Cafe in Belmore,  home of the ‘‘Barry Ward special’’ and a favourite haunt of the players. ‘‘Sam is actually one of the healthiest in the club,’’ said Steven  Francis, who is a part owner of Diane’s along with  father  Andrew, and Kiwi international Frank Pritchard. ‘‘He’s always looking for the healthy option, so it upsets you when you read he’s overweight when he’s  actually losing weight. His favourite is wholemeal bread with grilled chicken, cheese and avocado, toasted, maybe with some chilli mayo. He might have one after training, otherwise one-and-a-half to two. He’s not as big an eater as everyone makes him out to be.’’ So who is the biggest eater? ‘‘Kris Inu. He puts a few of them in the back pocket.’’Shining example

Here’s your chance to own the blingiest Origin jersey ever … while raising money for a great cause. More than 35,000 Swarovski crystals worth more than $15,000 have been used to embellish this NSW jumper, and a Queensland one, with both being auctioned off for Origin II. A range of mental-health service providers are combining for the ”What’s Your State of Mind” campaign to help breakdown stereotypes and stigmas. Help the cause and shine like a diamond by bidding at nrlauctions上海夜生活m before the auction ends on June 26. Also, check out nrlstateofmind上海夜生活m.auRoad to defeat

When it comes to moving games, there’s a fair chance you could be moving down the ladder as well. South Sydney are the latest team to shift a home game away from home, with Sunday’s clash against the Gold Coast moved to Barlow Park in Cairns. History has shown NRL clubs who have shifted games are less likely to get a win. During the NRL era, which started in 1997, the Rabbitohs have moved 21 games and lost 13 (one draw). During that same period, NRL clubs have shifted 121 games and won only 56 (three draws). There are plenty of compelling reasons to shift matches – the chance to improve the bottom line, sell additional memberships and spread a club’s brand to a new audience. But, as Parramatta will attest when they were walloped by the Titans at Mudgee in round 11, it often goes pear-shaped. The Roosters’ decision to take a game to Darwin last year – the Cowboys put 50 points on them – resulted in a loss from which they took weeks to recover. But there are also plenty of success stories, such as Canterbury’s hugely successful sojourn to Mackay. It will be interesting to see how the Rabbitohs’ ”Rumble in the Reef” plays out.Pioneer

Deborah Healey has made history as the first woman to be appointed to the NSW Rugby League board. The respected solicitor is no stranger to league, first delivering lectures to coaches more than 25 years ago. A specialist in sports law and doping issues, she has acted for individuals and organisations before the Court of Arbitration for Sport. With the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority’s investigations into the NRL in full swing, her appointment is timely.On the mend

Wishing a speedy recovery to Mark Rowan. The respected player manager, who has overseen the career of Roy Asotasi, has undergone triple heart-bypass surgery. After experiencing shortness of breath during his daily walks, he checked himself out – and just in the nick in time. ”The doc said ‘you’re a walking time bomb and at some stage you’re going to drop – and you’re not going to get up.” Thankfully, the operation appears to be a success.Hayne nicks it

Jarryd Hayne has emerged as the man who ”stole” Michael Jennings’s Origin jersey. Jennings sparked Jerseygate when he went public to reveal the keepsake went missing after the opening game. Hayne fessed up as the culprit on Twitter on Saturday: ”found @M_Jennings_03 jersey. Whoops !!! Took the wrong 1 from the game. Sorry roomy.” Hayne was upset about being in the dark regarding the 12 Eels player sackings and it appears he’s still out of the loop at Parramatta. According to the club’s Twitter feed: ”@jarrydhayne_1 will be answering the #blueandgold Q&A at the game tomorrow, so send us your questions for him now!” It was news to the man himself, who responded: ”@TheParraEels is that right. When is jarryd getting told about this ??”SBW twist

There is plenty of gibber on the internet but there is gold in them thar hills as well, if you have a good look. If you’re after the latter, check out Brian Smith’s new website, briansmithspeaks上海夜生活 In one of his columns, the veteran coach predicts we could see Sonny Bill Williams in the No.6 jersey. ”I reckon all footy fans could be in for a treat in round 15,” Smith wrote. ”Not only is it Bulldogs v Roosters homecoming for Sonny Bill but I reckon we might all get to see SBW in a fantastic new role – at five-eighth, with [James] Maloney and [Mitchell] Pearce in Origin. During 2012, when the prospect of SBW joining the Roosters was raised, Peter O’Sullivan [Roosters recruitment manager] and I discussed the possibility of playing SBW at five-eighth … What he can bring to that key position in RL could be ground-breaking … SBW might just get the opportunity to show us what could be – and our brand of footy might change as a result.” Given that Tongan international Samisoni Langi has a shoulder injury, the move is even more likely to come to fruition.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

Waller closes on training record

Written on August 22, 2019 at 11:18, by

Chris Waller is getting better at coping with his record quest, but he is drawing on the experience of rival trainers Peter Snowden and Gai Waterhouse as the mark gets closer.
Shanghai night field

Victories by Relaxed And Happy, Titbit and Said Com at Rosehill on Saturday took Waller to 152½ wins for the season in Sydney, setting him up to break the record of 156 wins jointly held by Tommy Smith (1975-76) and Waterhouse (2002-03).

”I have been talking to Peter Snowden and Gai about it because they have been through it before,” Waller said on Saturday. ”It is hard because you set yourself goals and this one is getting closer all the time.

”They have told me to sit back and enjoy it because you work so hard to get to this place. They also talked to me about quality of life, that sitting back 5 per cent can give you a 50 per cent better life.”

Snowden, who produced Sessions for a devastating first-up success, took time to have a quiet word with Waller after another treble.

”It is a bit about self-belief and not putting extra pressure on yourself,” Snowden said. ”He is under different pressure than me but I have talked to him about it. I said to him well done about today and to enjoy it.”

Relaxed And Happy gave Waller win No.150 early in the day, but winners continued to flow as Clever Boy and Son Of Ross won at Newcastle to make it five for the day. ”It [150] is a big number and just counting down to these last few wins hasn’t been easy,” Waller said. ”It is just one at a time throughout a long season.”

One of Waller’s great strengths has been to improve each year but he realised with the reduction in city meetings next season this might have been his only chance to break the record.

”I was aware of that, but the record doesn’t really drive me,” he said. ”It is there but I wanted to improve as a trainer. For the past three years I thought there was a lot of improvement left. I’m still getting better as a trainer. Our systems are getting better and our horses are getting better. Our strike rate is up this year, which is a great indicator that things are getting better.”

Waller was quick to point out after Titbit’s victory that it was important to place horses in the right races.

”She wins that race and gives the owner some more confidence and there might be another horse that comes into the stable,” Waller said. Waller needs four wins in Sydney next week to break the record. He admits to having a couple of chances at Canterbury on Wednesday, so the moment might come at Randwick next Saturday.

He will also be chasing his ninth group 1 winner for the season in the Tattersall’s Tiara at Eagle Farm next Saturday, with Red Tracer and She’s Clean spearheading his challenge. There is a chance he could win the Sydney premiership, group 1 title and most winners Australia-wide, where he is in battle with Snowden’s powerful Darley operation.

”I don’t think about those things,” Waller said. ”I’ll just try to keep placing my horses well.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.