CLEOPATRA’S STRIKE OVERHAULS ACCLIMATE LATE TO WIN GRADE II, $200,000 JOHN HENRY TURF CHAMPIONSHIP BY ONE LENGTH

first_imgCLEOPATRA’S STRIKE OVERHAULS ACCLIMATE LATE TO WIN GRADE II, $200,000 JOHN HENRY TURF CHAMPIONSHIP BY ONE LENGTH; TRAINED BY D’AMATO & RIDDEN BY CEDILLO, SMART STRIKE GELDING GET 1 ¼ MILES ON TURF IN 1:58.22      ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 28, 2019)–Ontario Canadian-bred Smart Strike stalked the early pace set by Acclimate and overhauled his well-fancied stablemate late to take Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 John Henry Turf Championship by one length, providing former Northern California kingpin Abel Cedillo with his first-ever Santa Anita stakes win.  One of three Phil D’Amato-trained horses in the John Henry, Cleopatra’s Strike got a mile and one quarter on turf in 1:58.22.Fourth at the rail, about five lengths off the lead as the horses crossed the wire for the first time, Cleopatra’s Strike, who had been based at Woodbine Racecourse in Toronto prior to making his first start for D’Amato two starts back here on Jan. 5, angled off the rail at the quarter pole, headed Acclimation a sixteenth out and in furious final drive, won going away.“Phil told me to ‘make sure to keep him off the pace,’” said Cedillo.  “If he was going to stay with Acclimate (who was ridden by Victor Espinoza), it was going to go bad.  I knew if I could keep him on the bit, he was going to come home. I got a perfect trip. I was just sitting inside and everybody got tired and I just went.  I tried to go with Victor (at that point), because I know that horse is tough on the lead.”Most recently a close second in a second condition turf allowance going 1 1/8 miles at Del Mar Sept. 2, Cleopatra’s Strike, a 6-year-old Smart Strike gelding, was off at 9-1 in a field of eight 3-year-olds and up and paid $20.60, $8.60 and $4.60.“I was confident in his ability, I just didn’t know what his distance limitation may or may not be,” said D’Amato, who in addition to the one-two finishers, saddled longshot Ya Gotta Wanna, who finished seventh. “He trained like a horse that could go a mile and a quarter and Abel rode him to perfection.”Owned by Slam Dunk Racing and Michael Nentwig, Cleopatra’s Strike registered his first stakes win and picked up $120,000 for the victory, boosting his earnings to $376,844 while improving his overall mark to 25-4-9-2.Acclimate, a 5-year-old California-bred gelding by Acclamation, came off a gate to wire score in the Grade II Del Mar Handicap Aug. 17 and ran another huge race on the lead today.  Off as the 5-2 second choice, he paid $5.00 and $3.20 while running second by three quarters of a length.Richard Mandella’s United, the 2-1 favorite, checked in third, 1 ¾ lengths in front of Oscar Dominguez. Off as the 2-1 favorite with Flavien Prat, United paid $2.60 to show.Fractions on the race were 22.79, 46.05, 1:09.75 and 1:34.28.last_img read more

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16 sickening football injuries that left players’ careers hanging by a thread

first_imgVIEWERS of a nervous disposition, look away now.Hugo Lloris suffered a gruesome arm injury during Tottenham’s Premier League drubbing at Brighton that will could see him miss months of action.23Credit: AFP or licensorsThe left arm of Hugo Lloris buckles horribly out of shape under his body23 Lloris falls onto his left arm after spilling an early cross to gift Brighton the lead23 The elbow buckles horribly under the body of Lloris to leave the Spurs star screaming in agonyAnd in similar fashion, these 16 unlucky footballers suffered horrific injuries that kept them out of action for months too.Some even had their careers ended.So here are the stomach churning incidents that were far from ‘armless for those involved.Be warned… the pictures are not pretty.16. RYAN SHAWCROSSStraight in at the deep end.Ryan Shawcross was rushed to hospital having suffered a horror leg-break during Stoke’s friendly with Leicester City this summer.The Potters captain slid in to challenge Foxes winger Marc Albrighton and his trailing left leg buckled alarmingly beneath him.He is still out but recent reports suggest he might be back as soon as Christmas.This won’t be the last you see of Shawcross in this article.23 Ryan Shawcross suffered a horrific leg injury during Stoke’s pre-season game against Leicester15. DJIBRIL CISSEThe France striker had remarkable powers of recovery, breaking his leg twice and making it back within six months on both occasions.The one for Les Bleus looks worse…23 Cisse’s leg folds in a World Cup warm-up game for France, meaning he missed the 2006 tournament in GermanyCredit: Presse Sports23 He suffered similar misfortune for Liverpool during a game against Blackburn in 2004Credit: PA:Press Association14. HENRIK LARSSONThe Swede picked up a bad one playing for Celtic in a Uefa Cup tie against Lyon in 1999.The challenge with Serge Blanc left him with a double leg break and out for the rest of the season.But he was back playing eight months later, and it could have been worse for the striker – who went on to join Barcelona.23 Larsson was crocked in a European game against LyonCredit: Sky Sports13. AARON RAMSEYShawcross was on on the other end of a leg-breaker in 2010 when his horror challenge on Ramsey saw the Welshman’s leg nearly split in two.Ramsey had nine months out but thankfully came back and kicked on leading to his recent mega money £400k-a-week move to Juventus.The Gunners midfielder famously blanked Shawcross after the incident and the notorious hard man even claimed the tackle “changed his public persona”.23 Ryan Shawcross has been involved in leg breaking challenges beforeCredit: Action Images – Reuters23 Ramsey writhed with agony as his teammates watched on in horrorCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd12. LUKE SHAWShaw has fought injury and fitness issues since moving to Man Utd in a £33million deal.He was cruelly denied ten months of action after suffering a double leg break in a challenge with PSV’s Hector Moreno.The Mexican defender was in tears when he visited the former Southampton left-back in hospital the following day.23 Luke Shaw needed surgery after this double leg breakCredit: PA:Press Association11. MARCIN WASILEWSKINow a Premier League champion with Leicester, there was a time when the big Polish defender might have thought his career was over.Axel Witsel came in with a studs-up tackle during a heated Anderlecht vs Standard Liege clash that earned him an eight-game ban and left Wasilewski sidelined for ten months.He considered suing and threatened to snub a handshake when they crossed paths again.23 Standard Liege’s Axel Witsel earned an eight-game ban for this leg-breakerCredit: Getty Images10. GARY MABBUTTWhile the leg breakers will turn your stomach, this facial injury was genuinely scary.Former Spurs defender Mabbutt had his face smashed in by a filthy elbow from Wimbledon’s John Fashanu.It left him with a cheekbone fractured in four places and an eye socket cracked in three.Mabbutt needed a metal plate inserted and was out the game for 12 months.23 John Fashanu elbows Gary Mabbutt in a 1993 clash between Spurs and WimbledonCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd23 Mabbutt showing his injury after surgeryCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd9. Bert TrautmannTrautmann – a former German prisoner of war – broke his neck before playing on to help Manchester City beat Birmingham City 3-1 in the 1956 FA Cup final.Heroic or foolish?You can decide…23 Our front page as it could have looked after Trautmann’s injury in May 1956Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd8. Petr CechCech broke his skull diving at the feet of Reading’s Stephen Hunt in 2006 when playing for Chelsea.He needed three months out after an op and wore head protection for the rest of his career.23 Petr Cech is carried off on a stretcher after fracturing his skullCredit: AP:Associated Press7. EDUARDO DA SILVAAn unpleasant tackle with an unpleasant ending.Birmingham defender Martin Taylor saw red after this horrific lunge on the Gunners forward.And Brazilian midfielder Gilberto Silva had to act as translator to medical staff as he spoke Portuguese and English.Eduardo needed a year to recover, but managed to continue his career at Arsenal and then Shakhtar Donetsk.23 Martin Taylor’s tackle leaves Eduardo’s ankle foldingCredit: Empics Sports Photography Ltd.6. KIERON DYERJust ten days after his West Ham debut, following a £6million move from Newcastle, the England midfielder’s career was left in tatters.A tackle by Bristol Rovers’ Joe Jacobsen left his leg broken in two places.Already troubled by injuries, Dyer needed 17 months out and was never the same player again.23 Kieron Dyer’s leg buckles in a League Cup clash in 2007Credit: Rex Features5. JUAN ARANGOMassive elbow in the face for the Mallorca midfielder.Photo speaks for itself.23 Mallorca’s Venezuelan Juan Arango leaves the field after being elbowedCredit: AFP4. FEDERICO MATTIELLOIf it wasn’t for bad luck, the Juventus starlet would have had no luck at all.He’d already broken his leg once in his career before a collision with Roma tough-nut Radja Nainggolan produced this shocker.At just 21, the defender was on loan at Chievo at the time.23 Federico Mattiello’s leg breaks in sickening fashion3. LUC NILISBrazilian legend Ronaldo once described Villa’s Belgian forward as one of his favourite strike partners.He then netted on his debut against Chelsea in 2000.But his career was over two games later after a collision with Ipswich keeper Richard Wright left him fearing his leg would need to be amputated.23 Nilis’ career was ended after this horror injuryCredit: Action Images2. PRESTON BURPONot the most well known on the list among English football fans.But this was a career-ending shocker too.The American keeper snapped his tibia and fibula after crashing into New York Red Bulls striker Dane Richards.23 Preston Burpo lies in agony with the goalkeeper’s career overCredit: Getty ImagesMOST READ IN FOOTBALLTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battleTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’NEXT STEPJonny Hayes set to move to English Championship having been let go by CelticREF RELEASEDChampions League ref Vincic released by cops after arrest in prostitution raidKEANE DEALEx Man United youth ace David Jones says Roy Keane negotiated a contract for him1. DAVE BUSSTIf you’ve got this far, you obviously like this sort of thing.Busst’s horrific collision with Manchester United’s Denis Irwin and Brian McClair left Peter Schmeichel vomiting and in need of counselling.The former Coventry defender later contracted MRSA, causing further muscle and tissue damage.23 The sickening moment when Busst’s leg snappedCredit: Times Newspapers Ltd23 The Coventry defender lies on the floor reaching out in agony and horrorCredit: PA:Press Association Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in agony as he suffers horror elbow injury at Brightonlast_img read more

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Chris Smalling ‘in talks with Tottenham and Everton over £16.5m transfer’

first_imgCHRIS SMALLING is in talks about a return to the Premier League as Everton and Tottenham battle for his signature, according to reports.The England centre-back has spent the season on loan at Roma from Manchester United and has reignited his career with a string of impressive performances.1 Centre-back Chris Smalling, on loan at Roma, will be a wanted man in the summerCredit: Getty Images – GettyThe Serie A side will attempt to land Smalling, 30, on a permanent deal at the end of the season but will face fierce competition.According to Italian newspaper Corriere Dello Sport, the Toffees and Jose Mourinho’s side are weighing up moves while Maurizio Sarri’s Juventus could also be in the mix.United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does not eye Smalling as part of his first-team plans and is willing to cash in with the right offer.Chief executive Ed Woodward is demanding £16.5million for the defender whose contract expires in the summer of 2022.Mourinho is in the market for a new central defender as he prepares for life without Jan Vertonghen.LADBROKES 1-2-FREE Simply predict Leicester vs Man City, Man Utd and Arsenal scores this coming weekend and win £100most read in footballTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battleTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’ExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidNEXT STEPJonny Hayes set to move to English Championship having been let go by CelticREF RELEASEDChampions League ref Vincic released by cops after arrest in prostitution raidKEANE DEALEx Man United youth ace David Jones says Roy Keane negotiated a contract for himREF RAIDChampions League ref Vincic ‘arrested in raid into drugs and prostitution ring’NICE RONCristiano Ronaldo goes on family bike ride with partner Georgina Rodriguez & kids The Belgian international is out of contract at the end of the campaign as he continues to delay putting pen-to-paper on extending his stay.He would also be considered a cheaper option that Kalidou Koulibaly who would set Spurs back around £127m.Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti was also be handed a huge budget this summer and will have the financial power to match Smalling’s wage demands.last_img read more

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Alderweireld’s agent tells players to walk out of clubs rather than take pay cut

first_img3TOBY ALDERWEIRELD’S agent has further escalated the row over players’ wages by suggesting stars should walk away if their salaries are cut.Premier League players have come under intense pressure to donate some of their pay packets to the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.⚠️ Read our coronavirus in sport live blog for the latest news & updates3 Toby Alderweireld’s agent has risked a further wage rowCredit: Getty – ContributorAlderweireld’s club Tottenham have already caused an uproar by making their non-playing staff furlough despite chairman Daniel Levy’s mega salary and bonus.And now the Belgian’s agent, Stijn Francis, believes players can take matters into their own hands if clubs don’t pay them in full.Reported in the Guardian, he said: “A ‘regular’ worker is able to leave his or her employer in exchange for limited compensation or a notice period.”Also the employer can terminate the relationship with the worker at any time by respecting a period of notice or paying compensation.”If clubs sign a player they take a risk by paying a transfer or signing-on fee and by paying substantial wages.”In exchange for this risk, players cannot leave the club before the end of the contract except when all involved parties agree otherwise.”Players also know that during the contractual term they can be sure the club will pay their salary.“Clubs now asking to reduce player salaries undermine this principle of contractual stability.”If clubs insist on a wage reduction, players should be put in the same situation as any regular worker.”Clubs reducing their players’ wages should accept that the players can terminate their employment for free and these clubs should no longer be able to ask a transfer fee if the player would like to leave.”Premier League captains have created a Players Together fund to give £4million to the NHS.3most read in footballTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battleTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’ExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidNEXT STEPJonny Hayes set to move to English Championship having been let go by CelticREF RELEASEDChampions League ref Vincic released by cops after arrest in prostitution raidKEANE DEALEx Man United youth ace David Jones says Roy Keane negotiated a contract for himNICE RONCristiano Ronaldo goes on family bike ride with partner Georgina Rodriguez & kidsREF RAIDChampions League ref Vincic ‘arrested in raid into drugs and prostitution ring’The 20 skippers — led by Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson and Manchester United’s Harry Maguire — rubber-stamped the groundbreaking plan after four days of talks.The move was hailed by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who had called for players to “take a pay cut and play their part” in the national fight against the killer disease.Hancock tweeted: “Warmly welcome this big-hearted decision. You are playing your part.”Give now to The Sun’s NHS appealBRITAIN’s four million NHS staff are on the frontline in the battle against coronavirus.But while they are helping save lives, who is there to help them?The Sun has launched an appeal to raise £1MILLION for NHS workers.The Who Cares Wins Appeal aims to get vital support to staff in their hour of need.We have teamed up with NHS Charities Together in their urgent Covid-19 Appeal to ensure the money gets to exactly who needs it.The Sun is donating £50,000 and we would like YOU to help us raise a million pounds, to help THEM.No matter how little you can spare, please donate today herewww.thesun.co.uk/whocareswinsappealWest Ham midfielder Declan Rice reveals West Ham bosses are tracking their players’ fitness levels via an applast_img read more

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Vanuatu Rugby league to select squad soon

first_imgPresident of Vanuatu Rugby League Tom Carlo said at this stage they just completed the Port Villa Rugby League season.He said a high performance squad representing the Port Vila Fire Ants will be selected to play against Santo Boars for the Annual Island of Origin.He said after the Annual Island of Origin, a final selection trial for the squad will then be selected to travel to Solomon Islands for the test match.Carlo said they are expecting a tough game in Solomon Islands considering they were just lucky to defeat Solomon Island with a close game during their previous test match.In their first test match held in Australia, the Vanuatu side came from behind to defeat Solomon Islands 48-30 and last year they also came from behind to win the game 24-15.“Playing in Solomon Islands will be a totally different proposition and an even hard task for our team.“We’ll prepare and play to the best of our ability and our aim is to win the game but regardless we expect a very close and hard fought game played in Great Spirit with our Melanesian neighbours,” he said.Carlo said apart from the test match they are looking forward for big games next year.“We have placed our expression of interest to play in the 2018 Commonwealth Games Championship in February in Australia and that will depend on the confirmation from the Rugby League International Federation early August.“We are also confirmed to play in the Emerging National World Championships in Australia at the end of 2018 that is open to all teams that didn’t qualify for this year Rugby League World Cup.“We are also looking to grow our domestic competitions in both Port Villa and Santo, introduce women to the game and build on our junior development programs,” he said.The third test match is a historical event for Solomon Islands Rugby League to host in their home country.Solomon Island Rugby League (SIRL) has already set up its plan in preparation for the match.President of SIRL League Jerry Tengemoana said as part of their preparation they will organize super four competition to select their national training squad.He said the super four will start early next month after the Rugby Union completed their competition.He said he is confident to take on the Vanuatu side because from their last year game they were very close to win but it was unfortunate for them.last_img read more

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People of Arawa join Games Relay

first_imgArawa town came together to run a relay around the old abandoned parts of town and the resurrected sections of the town that are beginning to look like a residential suburb again.The relay included a slippery climb across a steel swing bridge and in true AROB fashion was carried through town inside a replica canoe, carried by the different groups that took part in the Relay.Students from every school in town and the outskirts took part along with community youth groups dressed in shirts promoting peace through sport.At each school the Relay would be welcomed, including with the traditional washing down and tapioca with coconut pasted across the team’s faces and legs.They created songs welcoming the Baton and feathered friend Tura.The Relay ended at Independence Oval to a raucous crowd and many singsing groups from different ethnic areas.The Games Relay heads through Kieta today.last_img read more

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NRL Grand Final: Brisbane Broncos and North Queensland Cowboys set to play out historic decider

first_imgThe all-Queensland angle is a dead horse worth beating as two clubs from rugby league’s heartland returning to the game’s biggest stage after almost a decade absent is vitally important for the sport as a whole, but it is far from the only reason to get excited about today’s clash.Fresh off winning his record fourth Dally M Medal, Johnathan Thurston will be looking to add to his legend by leading a team to a premiership for the first time against good friend and Broncos captain Justin Hodges. Thurston and his Cowboys will be cheered on by the vast majority of the Sydney crowd as the Broncos’ reputation as one of the NRL’s most widely disliked clubs travels south with them.Even fans stinging from their team’s lack of representation at the pointy end of the year should get into this clash. It shapes as one of the best games of the year based on the football alone as the Thurston-led attack of the Cowboys take on Brisbane’s vaunted defence.These teams know each other intimately, having met three times in 2015 with Brisbane winning two games, including this year’s thrilling qualifying final.Grandstand takes a look at what to expect in a game that could go down as one of the greatest NRL grand finals.Not for the first time this season, Brisbane’s forwards will be well and truly out of their weight class when they face North Queensland’s pack in today’s NRL grand final.Almost always outsized throughout the 2015 season, the Broncos’ success has hinged on a rapid-fire pace that leaves other team’s big men huffing and puffing like they are trying to blow down a little pig’s house.Brisbane has all but ditched the wrestle and forced the pace, opting to run past rather than over their opponents to great effect.We saw a similar tactic work for the Maroons in this year’s State of Origin series, but never was a brighter spotlight shone on the genius of the tactic than in the first week of this year’s finals series.The Cowboys hung with the speed of the game until the smallest Bronco, bench utility Kodi Nikorima, found space between the two forwards at marker – John Asiata and Matt Scott – in the 65th minute and put Anthony Milford in the clear for a game-winning try.The tactic should be aided by the forecast steamy conditions in Sydney on grand final day, but playing small means there is less margin for error and Broncos back rower Matt Gillett said earlier in the week he and his fellow front men are looking forward to the challenge they have so regularly met this season.”We obviously don’t have the biggest pack in the game but we’ve got a bit of experience with Blairy (Adam Blair) and Sammy (Sam Thaiday) and Cozza (Corey Parker),” he told Grandstand.”The boys in the middle have done a great job for us all year but it’s going to take another step this Sunday to get that win and hold that trophy. No doubt it’s always won in the forwards so it’s going to be a big game on their hands.”When Brisbane lost Josh McGuire to a torn Achilles mid-season, it would not have been unreasonable to look at it as a telling blow to the team’s premiership bid. Jarrod Wallace has stepped up whether starting or from the bench but the biggest difference has been Adam Blair.Blair went from one of the game’s form props to all but forgotten in three miserable seasons with the Tigers before Wayne Bennett resurrected his career. The off-season acquisition had an underwhelming start, giving Broncos fans flashbacks to 2014’s big signing flop Martin Kennedy, but the final two thirds of his season have been exceptional thanks to a renewed vigour on both sides of the ball.Now he and the Brisbane pack face a bunch of Cowboys that have trampled everyone they have come across in recent weeks.Matt Scott, busted neck be damned, has turned into Shane Webcke with better footwork; James Tamou once again resembles the fleet-footed beast we saw three or four years ago; and Jason Taumalolo, while not looking as devastating as he did to start the season, has the ability to turn a game with one run a la George Burgess in last year’s decider.The Broncos forwards may not love constantly having to overcome a size disadvantage – Thaiday even said he “hates” playing prop – but they will be raring to go for one more big test before next year’s interchange reduction levels the playing field.The Cowboys’ trophy cabinet has been pretty firmly closed since they came into the league in 1995, but five-eighth Michael Morgan is the key to unlocking it.Thurston and Gavin Cooper’s combination attacking down the left flank is famously hard to stop, but Gillett and Ben Hunt have done an excellent job protecting that part of the field for the past two years.As Gillett said, “you know Thurston’s going to bring a 10/10 game”. That means someone has to step up elsewhere on the field and for the first time in a long time the Cowboys finally have the man to do it.No one was tossing and turning on matchday eve, terrified of the prospect of Robert Lui winning a game for North Queensland and the same could be said for the last playmakers to accompany Thurston to the grand final, Justin Smith and Brett Firman.Now though, focusing too much on the four-time Dally M medallist will see a team promptly trounced as Morgan is on fire.After a breakout year at full-back in 2014, Morgan has made the switch to six as adeptly as anyone since Lockyer (though the same could be said for Brisbane’s Anthony Milford).The Cowboys made a mockery of Melbourne’s defence in last week’s preliminary final, particularly the combination of five-eighth Blake Green and left centre Kurt Mann.Morgan’s running game showed them up badly and Thurston’s kicking and passing sent Justin O’Neill through for his double on misreads by Mann, while Cooper’s try to end the half came immediately after a long break through that left-side defence and you can expect the Broncos’ equivalent to come under intense scrutiny today.For as good as Brisbane’s defence has been, the left side is a weak spot, allowing 31 tries this year to be ranked seventh in the league while the right side is ranked second with just 23 tries conceded.Milford and Jack Reed face the daunting prospect of stopping Morgan’s run and Thurston’s regular forays on to that side of the field, something they did not do when they travelled up to Townsville in round 10.Morgan (who had seven tackle busts and three line breaks on the day) muscled through Milford to score his first two tries and found space in between Milford and Reed to finish his hat-trick, while back rower Ethan Lowe’s try off a Thurston short ball came as Milford was busy watching his opposite number out the back on a block play. North Queensland won the game 31-20 and Morgan sealed his State of Origin jersey in a performance that put the league on notice.The Cowboys will also like the look of that edge after the Roosters scored both their tries through Reed’s corridor in their preliminary final at Lang Park.Reed is a very strong defensive centre but he is very slow. Blake Ferguson’s combination of speed and strength allowed him to brush the Broncos centre and coast to the tryline in almost identical circumstances when Reed found himself too far in-field watching James Maloney. In most cases, Reed is good enough to recover and has made a living by cutting opposing centre’s legs out from under them.The good news for Brisbane is Justin O’Neill, as fast as he is, does not pose the same physical challenge as Ferguson, but there is far more bad news.Adding in Morgan’s try in round three, he has scored 16 points through the Reed-Milford corridor in 2015. The other bad news is Milford may need assistance covering Morgan and Alex Glenn could be too pre-occupied with Ethan Lowe, who is all of a sudden a serious threat in attack for North Queensland. That will put more pressure on Reed’s ability to make cover tackles on a man who seriously outpaces him.Morgan has also gone up another level since his disappointing return from injury against Brisbane in their qualifying final and will be even more keen to make a better impression on the Broncos this time.The forward battle is intriguing and that may well be where the title is won, but if the two packs more or less break even, then it is on the halves to take over.Obviously it’s not revolutionary to suggest the halves are important in a grand final (12 of the 29 Clive Churchill Medal winners since the award’s inception have played six or seven) or rugby league in general (23 of the NRL’s 35 Dally M medallists played in the halves), but this year they take on special significance.Neither of Brisbane’s playmakers had any real big-game experience until this year but have played out of their skin in a handful of opportunities.The Broncos have fired on the back of their halves all year and Bennett needs to find a way to stop them from going into their shell on the big stage. Milford, in particular, is a candidate to suffer a dip in form. The Cowboys may target the in-form pivot in an effort to force Hunt, who already shoulders the vast majority of fifth-tackle duties, to take on even more work.Morgan, meanwhile, has experienced the heat of the Origin furnace, the only thing that comes close to the pressure of an NRL decider, and has beside him a man with two grand final appearances and 33 Origin caps to his name.If Morgan has a rocky start to the game, there is no better player to take him aside and get his head right than Thurston.If Milford or Hunt start poorly there is the potential for things to snowball and get out of hand before Bennett has a chance to talk to his playmakers at half-time. They will receive some guidance from older heads like Hodges, Parker, Thaiday and Blair but the backline in particular is lacking loud, experienced voices.It’s almost guaranteed Thurston will be brilliant and just about the best player on the field, but he is at least a little bit hurt. Thurston is probably the game’s foremost exponent of playing through injury seemingly unaffected.On one leg, he sent running mate Cooper through for a late try against the Storm, but a pre-existing groin issue that can flare up at any time as well as a calf cork that has restricted his training this week will be a very real test for him.Brisbane’s on-field leader, Hunt, has risen to every challenge in his short NRL career and is well equipped to take another huge step in his development.Milford will be prowling behind Parker and Blair waiting for offloads and his ability to attack a fractured line could change the game in Brisbane’s favour.Both the Broncos’ halves love to take on the line regularly and the men in the middle need to be on their toes, particularly late in the game.Picking a winner in this year’s grand final is as harder as any decider in recent memory.The Broncos were marginally better in week one of the finals but the Cowboys have looked a different beast with a renewed Morgan back in the line-up.The past two games between these great rivals have gone down to the dying minutes and this game will be the same barring a freak incident in the early exchanges like last week’s epic blunder by Shaun Kenny-Dowall.The Broncos’ defence has won them countless games but they are coming up against a side that has and will test it mightily, particularly through the middle of the field where the big forwards will look to lay a platform.As good as the Cowboys are, Thurston is the only thing stopping the Broncos from being overwhelming favourites in this game, but he is good enough to warrant that respect.If Brisbane watches him too closely, Morgan should flourish on the back of a forward pack that ran over the top of one of the league’s best tackling units last week.But Brisbane’s defence has been a big game winner for them this season and that ability to weather a storm and rebound with points is critical in big games like this. It may just be what gets them over the line.last_img read more

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Gladiators in the Kingdom of León

first_img“Bernardo; Godoy, Maño, Paredes; Piñán, Roldán; Ovalle, Villafañe, Marianín, Larrauri and Zuazaga”. For years, many years, that was the eleven of the Cultural that in Leon was recited As a saint. 43 passed, very cold and the fiercest of fears, bordering the disappearance, so that in the streets of the city another eleven could be heard loud, that of Rubén de la Barrera, another Cultu, that of Aspire, another striker, Gallar. It was three seasons ago. It lasted little. The following year, decline. The past, hit, do not get into the playoff promotion. This one, a less colorful Cultural than Rubén’s but more effective, the second best ever in Second B. Tonight a mirror is waiting for Cholo in the Kingdom. Aira picks it up. And it can be a trap. Its Cultural is a well-armed team, to wait and find the spaces, the second moves. A very Simeone team, well wrapped in defense and that turns the sock around to get on with speed in the attack. Second in group 2, his true Champions is fighting for leadership, the straightest path to Second. Atlético arrives before his two most important matches of the second round, against the third, Bilbao Athletic, and the first, Logroñés, this Sunday and the next. Aira will rotate, as he has been doing in the Cup. Go ahead Sergio Benito, will be saved to your two bullets for later, Dioni and Kawaya. No casualties last night I expected the transfer of Araujo, former athletic quarry. I could play All his men are gladiators.A cold but clear night yesterday received the Atleti in Leon. The Cholo was left to Oblak and Morata, but he traveled with everything else. In your plan, two kids, Manu Sánchez and Camello, goal for Adam, ownership for Beautiful, opportunity for Llorente and a 4-3-3 with João Félix and Vitolo. He arrives injured from Eibar, wanting to Cup but warned by Barça and his suffering against Ibiza. If you want to conquer the Kingdom, only one thing is worth: looking in the mirror of Aira, becoming gladiators again. In the new Cup you play without a net.last_img read more

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A strange farewell to Bruno Fenandes: “Don’t worry, at United you have Chocapic at breakfast”

first_imgBruno Fernandes already has a new destination: Manchester United. After several months of tug-of-war, the English club has made one of the most desired midfielders to give the alternative to Paul Pogba while injured, as well as if he is leaving in the future. The player has left by 55 million euros plus another 25 in variables and may join the discipline of red devils soon. Meanwhile, his ex-companions of Sporting from Portugal they have said goodbye to him, although one of the goodbye messages has been quite peculiar. This is the Portuguese central, Luis Neto, who affectionately wished him luck while joking with him:“Don’t worry, I’ve already provided everything. United has Chocapic for breakfast. The only thing missing is a different type that bothers you. The Premier now has more charm. Go with every lion.”In the 28 official matches he has played this season, He has scored fifteen goals and distributed fourteen assists, proving to be one of the best soccer players in the Portuguese championship.last_img read more

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Arias worked with the group and Simeone insisted with Llorente

first_imgNone of Simeone’s other injured worked on the grass. Nor Herrera, who is doing alternative work this week although, according to the club, his presence against Granada is not ruled out. Neither João Félix, nor Morata, nor Giménez, nor of course Trippier, operated two days ago of a pubalgia but who yesterday morning already walked on the Hill without crutches. Simeone continued to do head tests in the League match that will face him Saturday at 9:00 p.m. in the Wanda Metropolitano with Granada that, on Tuesday, eliminated Valencia in the Copa del Rey.Insists on LlorenteAnd the Argentine coach insisted on the idea of ​​the previous day. That is to say: that the holder is Marcos Llorente and not Saponjic as he had tried on Tuesday. Oblak; Vrsaljko, Savic, Beautiful, Lodi; Koke, Llorente, Thomas, Saul; Correa and Vitolo It would be its eleven holder. Saponjic, who has played only 62 ‘minutes and did not debut until January 24 at the Copa del Rey in León, where Cultural eliminated Atlético, it seems he will have to wait. Santiago Arias worked this afternoon with the group in another step of his recoveryn. The Colombian, who suffers an injury to the adductor of the left thigh, has been exercising on the grass all week and, as Diego Costa yesterday, is doing ‘rehabilitation work’ to the group. What does that mean? In the first place you will not be ready for the match against Granada, it does not arrive. Secondly, in this recovery process, you can do separate work again. But his recovery is closer.last_img read more

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