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NRL Mitchell Pearce sidelined for four months but Knights players say season far from over

Knights players declare season not dead despite Pearce blow TweetFacebookNewcastle Knights players have vowed to rally behind devastated skipper Mitchell Pearce but have declared their season is not done with despite losing their chief playmakerfor up to four months through injury.
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The club’s worst fears were realised on Sunday when scans revealed Pearcehadruptured his pectoral muscle in the Knights dramatic 22-20 come-from-behind win over Wests Tigers in Tamworth on Saturday night.

With his right arm in a sling as he prepared to board the team bus after the game,Pearcewas not optimisticthe news would befavourable, telling theNewcastle Herald:“I’ve never done one before but it doesn’t look good.”

The four month prognosis means Pearce will miss the majority of the season and it has cruelled his Origin chances.

It is alsodevastating for a team that has structured the majority of its attack around their marquee signing, who has been in great early season form for his new club.

Knights’ head of football Darren Mooney said Pearce is expected to undergo surgery this week.

“It is devastating for Mitchell and a massiveblow for our club,” Mooney said.

Knights coach Nathan Brown said he is shattered for his co-captain.

“Mitchell just loves playing so it is going to be really tough for him and from the town’s point of view, they have a vested interest in him as well because he has helped us get a lot of good results,”Brown said.

“He’s come here as the biggest signing the club has made for a lot of years and he got off to a great start soto miss such a long period is pretty shattering for everyone but particularly Mitchell.

“It’s now up to the other boys to work really hard and give it a good shot so it is worthwhile Mitchell coming back in round 22 or 23.

“I’d like to think with the experience some of our younger halves got over the previous few years, we should be able to try and overcome these things.

“All we need is the group to work hard together and each time you go into a game, you’ve got to believe you are a good chance of winning.”

Pearce’s team-mates, while feeling for their skipper, claimed“the show must go on”.

“Pearcey’s going to be a big loss but it’s a great opportunity for other people and myself to really step up,”fullback Kalyn Ponga said.

“We’ve got the players here that can come in and if they do their jobs, that’s all we can expect.

“I thought Cogs [Jack Cogger] went really well and when Pearcey went off, he took control and said lets play footy.”

Winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall said the win over the Tigers was bitter-sweet for Pearce.

“He was really happy we got the win but you could tell he was very devastated after the game,”he said.

“But the show goes on you know. We can’t be sad about that because we’ve still got a lot of the season and we have taken a lot of steps forward and we should be confident of where we are sitting.”

Backrower Mitch Barnett claimed the squad needs to really step up in the wake of the Pearce injury.

“We have to prepare without him,”he said.

“We’ve got Lamby [Brock Lamb], Connor [Watson] is not too far away, Cogs was good tonight and obviously JB [Jamie Buhrer].

“Depending on who we go with, it could change our style of play but it’s not the end of the world. The boys are really confident and we are going to win games off the back of our defence.”

Backrower Lachlan Fitzgibbon said the coach has some great options to choose from.

“You feel for Pearcey but we have to move forward and we have the boys to get the job done,”he said.

 

Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle plans to expand St Nicholas Early Education centres to 20

Little learners: Payton Coles, Eden Carnell, Harry Cvetanovski and Coen Burnett attend the 80-place Cardiff centre, located on the former Coles site. Picture: Jonathan CarrollTHE Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle plans to expandits network of long day care centres to 20 within five years, which would put it at the helm of a collection larger than any other diocese in the country.
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Diocese chief executive officer Sean Scanlon said the organisation had opened three of its St Nicholas Early Education centres in Chisholm, Cardiff and Lochinvar –which he valued at a combined $12 million –since the start of March this year, to join its existing centres in Newcastle West and Singleton.

The diocese plans to open another six, valued at a cost of more than $15 million, in the next two years.

All will be funded by the Catholic Development Fund and located near four existing and two proposed Catholic schools.

“There’s no oversupply if you provide what the market wants, which is co-location –it’s a pretty attractive proposition,” Mr Scanlon said.

“We’ve hit a magic formula trying to build centres next to Catholic primary and secondary schools.

“This allows parents to make one drop off for their children attending both day care and school.

“We’ve got a long history of more than 100 years in education and we offer CatholicCare Social Services and welfare programs.

“But this is a new direction and expanding what we’re doing –a new venture almost.

“This is a need we’ve identified and we’re trying to respond to what working parents want, which is a long day care centre and support to drop children off early in the morning.”

Mr Scanlon said other dioceses and parishes had established early learning centres and out-of-school-hours care services, but few had ventured extensively into long day care.

He said the Archdiocese of Brisbane had 10 long day care centres tied to its Centacare social services operations, while the dioceses of Parramatta and Broken Bay had four and five early learning centres respectively that operate mostly to mid afternoon.

“But there’s not too many other dioceses that would have the ambition we have to expand to the numbers [20] we’ve suggested,” he said.

“We’ve set this up separately to give it the focus and attention others haven’t.

“We’re also talking to other dioceses to roll out centres in their areas as well. We’ve got expertise and hopefully will build on that.”

Mr Scanlon said families did not need to be Catholic or intend to enrol at the diocese’s schools to attend its long day carecentres.

Each St Nicholas centre hasstrong links to the region’s Catholic schools, but transition programs are also available to state schools.

“We do see a lot of children going on to Catholic schools but we don’t say they must go there,” Mr Scanlon said.

“There’s no hard sell –we allow parents to decide.

“We think it’s a good thing [to attend a Catholic school], but we leave it up to them.

“Kids go to public schools as well, it’s a bit of a blend.

“The philosophy is the same as Bishop Bill Wright’s forschools –they’re Catholic schools, not schools for Catholics.”

Mr Scanlon said while there were some nuns that worked with children, the centres used the commonplace Reggio Emilia Philosophy and there were “no overt religious elements” to teaching.

“We might take them on an excursion to the [Sacred Heart] Cathedral but it’s not overly religious, we feel it’s too early for children.”

Mr Scanlon said the diocese wouldconvert an existing Raymond Terrace centre close to St Brigid’s Primary into its nextSt Nicholas centre,which is expected to open next January with 110 places.

It plans to open a centrein the former Maitland Ex Servicemen’s Citizens Bowling and Sporting Club with 60 places in February 2019.

It will beclose to St John the Baptist Primary and All Saints College St Peter’s Campus and will be joined by a new VET [vocational education and training] centre for early education staff.

“This may be a good opportunity for students at St Peter’s and St Mary’s campuses if they’re looking to develop their career to study there, but it will offer programs to anyone in the sector.”

It plans to open aBranxton centre with 120 places across the road from Rosary Park Catholic School nextMarch.

The diocese is preparing to submit a development application to Maitland City Council with a masterplan for land it owns at Gillieston Heights, which it hopes will accommodate a centre with 120 places to open in November 2019, plus a primary school and community centre.

It plans to open a Muswellbrook centre with 80 places and a Scone centre with 70 places in February 2020.

The diocese is also preparing to submit a development application to Port Stephens Council for the Catherine McAuley Catholic College site, which will open at Medowie in 2020.

Its masterplan includesa long day care centre with an initial104 places and a primary school.

“This site could cater from six months old to year 12 and will draw in students from Raymond Terrace and Nelson Bay who are currently travelling to San Clemente[in Mayfield].”

The diocese’s movementinto the preschool sector coincides with itforging ahead with its schools.

It opened St Bede’s Catholic College at Chisholm at the start of 2018, plus expanded St Mary’s Gateshead and the newly stand-aloneSt Joseph’s College Lochinvarto year 12.

 

NHRU rugby union: Lake Macquarie bounce back from landslide defeat

LAKE Macquarie coach Gareth Polamo believes Saturday’s 44-15 loss to University at No.2 Sportsground is evidence that his side will be competitive for the rest of the Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union season.
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THE GAME THEY PLAY IN HEAVEN: A panoramic view of the clash between Hamilton and Maitland at Passmore Oval. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

The Roos’ viability came under scrutiny after they suffered a 121-12 hammering from Nelson Bay in their previous game, which followed a 61-17 thrashing by Singleton in the season-opener.

But after a week of soul searching, they responded by leading the Students 15-12 at half-time, after tries by prop John Taufaao and flanker Chris Hunt. Uni gained the ascendancy in the second half but Polamo said his players had nonetheless taken a step in the right direction.

“I was really pleased with how we went,” Polamo said.

“To be honest, I was never really worried about the score [against Nelson Bay]. It was more about improving on last week.

“As a group we identified areas that we needed to improve, and obviously defence was a major one, and little things like communication and getting some shape around our attack.

“It’s the small things that go a long way towards improving.”

Polamo had no doubt his team will be competitive this season, boldly declaring: “The way the competition is, I believe we can still make the top five.

“It’s one week at a time for us, but I’m quietly confident. Now we’ve got the bye and a couple of weeks off, which is probably good timing for us, and then we’ll get ready to play Southern Beaches.”

The NHRU have indicated they are reviewing the Roos’ position in Premier Rugby, citing safety concerns, and the subject is likely to be discussed at a board meeting this week.

“I would have thought if there was going to be some sort of review, it would be at the end of the season,” Polamo said. “I’m confident there are absolutely no issues with regards to safety. And we’re still out there trying to get a few new players.”

In the other game of Saturday’s double-header at No.2, Wanderers downed Singleton in a thriller, 33-27.

At Passmore Oval, premiers Hamilton beat Maitland 44-19, while at Gateshead, Nelson Bay retained the competition lead with a 20-17 win against Southern Beaches.

AAP reports:Early-season good vibes about ‘s Super Rugby teams are diminishing after all four teams lost to overseas opposition in the latest round.

The Waratahs held on to the n conference lead despite a 29-0 home defeat by the Lions.

The Reds lost a fourth-straight game and early-season conference pacesetters the Rebels suffered a third consecutive defeat. Their 28-10 loss to the Bulls in Pretoria was compounded by injuries to captain and lock Adam Coleman, brothers Dane and Ross Haylett-Petty and hooker Jordan Uelese.

Queensland were also blown away early in their 36-12 loss to New Zealand’s Chiefs in Brisbane.

The clean sweep of n defeats was completed on Sunday when the Jaguares beat the Brumbies 25-20 in Canberra.

 

Miners watch Greenland parliamentary vote

Greenland votes on Tuesday amid rising commodity prices which locals hope will lead to investment.With melting ice expanding access to the Arctic, investors from China to Canada are watching Greenland’s election for signs of the political will to get a flagging mining program on the island back on track.
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Greenland is hoping rising commodity prices can help attract foreign investment and get its fragile economy up to speed to realise a long-term goal of independence from Denmark.

Hype about a possible mining boom in Greenland after it achieved self-rule from Denmark in 2009 faded in a morass of red tape and a commodity price slump around five years ago. It left the economy reliant on fishing and grants from Denmark.

But with the country’s sole producing mine starting up last year – a ruby pink sapphire mine operated by Norway’s LNS Group – and Canada’s Hudson Resource’s anorthosite project due to begin operations this year, locals are again hoping more investments will follow.

Improved access to and from the Arctic island as the ice melts, and a more favourable investment climate, would go some way to alleviate the barriers to business of perpetual winter darkness and temperatures reaching as low as minus 50C.

With that in mind, a central theme for the new government elected on Tuesday will be to decide whether it wants to shift focus away from Denmark and strengthen economic and diplomatic ties with other countries, including China.

Chinese interest in Greenland comes after Beijing laid out its ambitions to form a “Polar Silk Road” by developing shipping lanes opened up by global warming and encouraging enterprises to build infrastructure in the Arctic.

The main contenders to lead the next government are Prime Minister Kim Kielsen of the social-democratic Siumut party and Sara Olsvig of the left-wing Inuit Ataqatigiit party (IA).

The most recent poll shows that the two parties are likely to continue working together in a coalition.

 

Reality check for Aussie Super Rugby teams

All four n Super Rugby teams lost their matches during round 10 of the competition.Early-season good vibes about ‘s Super Rugby teams are diminishing after all four teams lost to overseas opposition in the latest round.
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The NSW Waratahs and the Queensland Reds lost heavily at home in round 10 and the Brumbies were also beaten on their own ground.

The rebooted Melbourne Rebels are still searching for a first win in South Africa after suffering a 14th consecutive loss in the Republic.

No n team led at any stage and the Brumbies were the only one to earn a point and that came with a penalty after the final siren.

The Waratahs held on to the n conference lead despite a 29-0 home defeat by the Lions.

NSW, who had won their past four games, against all their n conference rivals recorded an unwanted first, having never previously being held scoreless in a Super Rugby game.

The Reds and Rebels are struggling to deliver on their early-season promise.

The Reds lost a fourth-straight game and early-season conference pacesetters the Rebels suffered a third consecutive defeat and fourth in their past five fixtures.

Their disappointment at a 28-10 loss to the Bulls in Pretoria was compounded by injuries to captain and lock Adam Coleman, brothers Dane and Ross Haylett-Petty and hooker Jordan Uelese.

The Rebels trailed 21-3 at halftime and never got the deficit down below 11 points in the second half.

Queensland were also blown away early in their 36-12 loss to New Zealand’s Chiefs in Brisbane.

Reds captain and Wallabies prop James Slipper played barely 20 minutes because of a collarbone injury as the visitors bolted to a 24-0 lead.

Classy centre Samu Kerevi salvaged some scoreboard respectability for the home team with two tries but it was a 35th straight loss for an n Super side against New Zealand opposition.

The clean sweep of n defeats was completed on Sunday when the Jaguares beat the Brumbies 25-20 in Canberra.

Both teams scored three tries, with fullback Tom Banks crossing twice for the Brumbies, who trailed 13-0 early and crucially failed to post points when the Jaguares had a player sin-binned in the second half.

The Crusaders remain top of the New Zealand conference after a 33-11 bonus-point home victory over the winless Sunwolves in torrential rain in Christchurch.

Flanker Shannon Frizell scored three tries for the Highlanders in their 34-16 win over the hapless Blues, who have lost 15 consecutive Super games to domestic rivals.

The Lions remain 11 points clear of the Bulls in the South African conference, though the latter have now recorded three successive wins.

The Sharks shaded the Stormers 24-17 in Durban but both teams have won just three out of nine matches.

Next round NSW have a bye while the other three n teams again face overseas opposition, with the Reds hosting the Lions, the Brumbies at home to the Crusaders and the Rebels playing the Stormers in Cape Town.

 

Injury-hit Sharks beat Panthers in NRL

Cronulla have beaten Penrith 26-22 in the NRL, with Valentine Holmes scoring the hosts’ first try.A battered and bruised Cronulla have hailed their 26-22 NRL win over Penrith as one of their toughest in a long time.
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With Paul Gallen (knee) and Wade Graham (hamstring) watching from the Southern Cross Group Stadium sidelines on Sunday and after losing fellow veteran forward Luke Lewis to a calf strain in the 12th minute, the Sharks had every excuse.

Even with 828 NRL games worth of experience watching on, they refused to relent.

So bad is their mounting injury toll amongst their senior players that Andrew Fifita – their fourth-string skipper – had to take over captaincy duties.

Fifita was inspirational in the absence of his fellow big-name forwards, playing 73 minutes, running for 130 metres, making 35 tackles and six offloads.

After an injury-interrupted first six weeks, five-eighth Matt Moylan had his best game in Sharks colours, playing against his junior club, but is yet to hit his straps this year.

Penrith playmaker and former Sharks premiership winner James Maloney had an afternoon to forget, missing a simple conversion attempt in the dying moments and almost conceding a penalty try.

Sharks coach Shane Flanagan described the win as one of their bravest efforts in a long time.

“We’re pretty battered,” Flanagan said.

“I’m just proud of the whole group. That’s Cronulla Sharks – we know it’s there and we’ll see that more often than not.”

It was an important two points for Cronulla, who had lost their previous two and looked down on confidence.

The Sharks carried a 10-6 lead into halftime after Scott Sorensen produced a stunning individual effort to beat four defenders when there was nothing on.

The Sharks extended their advantage to 10 after Josh Dugan sliced open the Penrith defence from the back field and Jesse Ramien scored a few plays later.

Panthers replacement hooker Sione Katoa had been on the field for only three minutes when he grubbered for Dylan Edwards to reduce the deficit to six points.

But James Segeyaro returned in kind, dribbling the ball in-goal for Ramien’s second try.

In the lead-up, Maloney took out Dugan and on-field referee Matt Cecchin said Cronulla would have been awarded a penalty try had Ramien not got to it first.

Tries to Isaah Yeo and Viliame Kikau in the final three minutes gave the Sharks a few nervous moments but the Panthers were never truly in the contest in the second half as they had their three-game winning streak snapped.

“We never give up all night,” Panthers coach Anthony Griffin said.

“We just got our defence wrong a few times, kicks and transition and they have some classy outside backs and made us pay.”

Penrith also have a nervous wait after Reagan Campbell-Gillard was put on report for an alleged crusher tackle.

 

Pearce out for four months with pec injury

Newcastle’s Mitchell Pearce will miss up to four months of the NRL with a ruptured pectoral muscle.Newcastle’s season has taken a significant hit and NSW are in search of a new State of Origin halfback after Mitchell Pearce was ruled out for four months with a pectoral injury.
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Scans confirmed on Sunday that Pearce would need surgery on a ruptured pectoral muscle after he left the field in agony in Tamworth on Saturday night following an attempt to make a tackle.

The surgery would leave him sidelined for around 16 weeks, ruling him out of the entire Origin series and making him unavailable for the Knights until approximately round 23.

The injury will place a large stress on the Knights who are already waiting on five-eighth Connor Watson to return from a shoulder injury, with youngsters Jack Cogger and Brock Lamb as coach Nathan Brown’s other options.

But their pain will be equalled by that of Blues coach Brad Fittler, who has now lost his incumbent while potential replacement Nathan Cleary is still sidelined with a knee injury for another month.

The probable unavailability of both Pearce and Cleary for the June 6 series-opener significantly whittles down the list of possible options to partner likely five-eighth James Maloney.

Luke Keary has been in strong form for the Sydney Roosters, while Wests Tigers No.7 Luke Brooks has also recently been tossed up as a possibility to make his Origin debut.

Other candidates include South Sydney playmaker Adam Reynolds, Cronulla link-man Matt Moylan and Brisbane five-eighth Jack Bird, each of whom have previously pulled on the Blues jumper.

“It’s not great,” Knights coach Brown said of Pearce after their 22-20 win over Wests Tigers.

“He is disappointed. Mitch loves playing. Game day is his favourite day of the week.

“They are the types of players you want in your club. Whatever the result is he will still contribute while he is not playing.”

 

NPL wrap: Broadmeadow overcome loss of Virgili to cruise past Adamstown

Virgili targets rapid return for Magic TweetFacebookPhotos: Max Mason-HubersNORTHERN NSW NPL leading goalscorer James Virgili hopes to miss only one game despite dislocating his shoulder early in Broadmeadow’s4-0 win over Rosebud on Sunday at Adamstown Oval.
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The former Jets flyer, who has six goals this season,was tackled from behind by Luke Rutledge in the ninth minute of the round six game and landed awkwardly on his right elbow.

Virgili was taken to John Hunter Hospital, where his shoulder was quickly put back into place and scans taken. He dislocatedthe same shoulder in round 15, 2016, buthad to be put under anestheticto get it corrected.

He missed three games that year before returning for the finals but he was confident on Sunday of coming back quicker this time.

“It’s not as bad aslast time,” Virgili said.“We’ve got Valentine next week but then we’ve got the bye, so I should be back after that.”

Magic also lost youngster Jeremy Wilson to a knee injury late in the first half but the visitors overcame the setbacks to overwhelm last-placed Adamstown.

Cody Carroll scored with a powerful free kick in the 15thminute and Kale Bradbery scored from the spot in the 60th after John Majurovski was fouled following Dino Fajkovic’s strike into the crossbar.

Adamstown threatened when Connor Heydon had a one-on-one chance blocked and a deflected shot hit the crossbar, but Magic closed out the win with Bradbery scoring in the 81stand Majurovski in the 85th.

Rosebud lost Gocha Abshilava to a straight red card in the 87thfor an off-the-ball shove into Takebe Soma’s back.

The win followed a 1-0 victory over leaders Charlestown and lifted Broadmeadow to 10 points and third spot ahead of Maitland on goal difference.

Adamstown coach Shane Cansdell-Sherriff said his side were paying the price for regularlygiving away penalties.

”You go from havinga good performance and doing well, to giving away silly goals. letting them back in the game and making it look worse than it really is,”Cansdell-Sherriff said.

“I don’t think 4-0 was a reflection of the game, but we’re doingthe stupid things to give them goals.”

Elsewhere on Sunday, Charlestown surviveda late scare from Weston to win 2-1 at Lisle Carr Oval and stay top of the table, while Lambton Jaffas drew 0-0 with Valentine at CB Complex.

Scott Smith scored off a Rene Ferguson cross in the 16thminute and Cal Lewis capitalised on a failed clearance in the 28th to put the Blues ahead. Charlestown were down a man when Masaya Sakamoto was shown a red card for kicking an opponent after a free kick was blown in the 85th minute.Two minutes late, Jackson Burston scored with a header to give Weston hope.

On Saturday night, Daniel McBreen came off the bench to score twice and give second-placed Edgewortha 3-2 win over Hamilton at Darling Street Oval. Earlier at Maitland, the Magpies beat the Jets Youth 1-0 with a late goal fromAlex Read.

At Darling Street, Leo Bertos and Dom Bizzarri scored in the first half before Simon Mooney put Hamilton up 2-1 just after the break. McBreen, back after two games out with injury and illness, scored off a Jamie Byrnes cutback in the 66thminute before another left-foot strike in the 90th.

 

Eels turn tables on hapless Manly

The Parramatta Eels have ended their 2018 NRL losing streak with a 44-10 win over Manly.Parramatta produced the NRL’s biggest head-to-head turnaround in 16 years as they snapped their winless start to the season and heaped all their misery onto Manly in a 44-10 flogging.
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Beaten 54-0 by the Sea Eagles just five weeks ago, the Eels’ 88-point reversal was the fourth biggest of the NRL era and the largest since Cronulla turned the tables on Newcastle in 2002.

It also represented the significant changes in fortunes for the two battling clubs, as Manly’s week from hell hit another low just as their arch-rivals breathed a small glimmer of hope into their season.

Embattled amid the Jackson Hastings and Daly Cherry-Evans off-field fiasco, Manly have now lost three in a row and completed just 15 sets and had only 42 per cent of the ball in the loss at ANZ Stadium.

In comparison, Parramatta were the best they have been all season, completing at 92 per cent to almost double their points scored this season, from 46 to 90.

Criticised during the week, Parramatta’s halves pairing of Corey Norman and Mitchell Moses showed signs of the form that got the Eels to last year’s finals as they had a hand in six tries.

The only sour note for Parramatta came when Jarryd Hayne limped from the field midway through the first half with the same hip injury that ruled him out of the past three weeks.

It simply begged the question: Where on earth has this form been in the opening six rounds?

“Good question,” Eels coach Brad Arthur mused.

“The question now is we just need to keep it how we perform and what we did with our performance, our identity. We played tough, controlled and patient.”

Moses had his first major involvement when he and Hayne combined to send Manu Ma’u over on the left edge, before he later lofted a ball for right-side winger George Jennings to cross and help set-up a 20-0 half-time lead.

His kicking was also much improved, evidenced by his chip for Michael Jennings early in the second half, while he later skipped free to put Clinton Gutherson over.

“It worked for him today,” Arthur said.

“He showed a good level of patience. Both halves have been trying hard but it just hasn’t been working.”

Co-captain Tim Mannah was also sensational. Another to be bagged during the week, he led the Eels with 156 metres while Ma’u, David Gower and Daniel Alvaro also reached three figures from Parramatta’s forward pack.

Brad Parker and Akuila Uate each grabbed second-half tries for Manly, but their day went from bad to worse when the former limped off with a knee injury and didn’t return.

“It’s been a very, very ordinary week,” Manly coach Trent Barrett said.

“It’s really difficult. But it’s my job to look after the players. The players have got to take some responsibility for it too and so do I.”

*Stats: Fox Sports Stats

 

Thomas bump a ‘dog act’,says ex-Cats champ

Port Adelaide ‘s Lindsay Thomas faces a ban after his clash with Geelong’s Scott Selwood.Geelong premiership skipper Cameron Ling has launched a blistering attack on Lindsay Thomas, labelling the Port Adelaide forward’s hit on Scott Selwood “a dog act”.
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Thomas faces suspension after he was reported for rough conduct over a heavy and high hit on Selwood during the Power’s 34-point loss to the Cats at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.

Selwood was knocked out of the game with a concussion following the ugly second-quarter incident.

“Lindsay Thomas’ act was nowhere near courageous – it was cheap,” Ling said on 3AW radio on Sunday.

“I know you can bump in a game of football.

“(But) that bump that Lindsay Thomas executed last night is illegal, is outlawed from the game and has been outlawed since Michael Long bumped Troy Simmons in the 2000 grand final.

“When a player is down in the act of picking up the football and the bumper is coming front-on at him and just decides to bump him in the head straight-on … that’s the one that could put a bloke in hospital, could potentially break his neck and cause quadriplegia.

“That one, for me, is as outlawed and as cheap a shot as you can take on a footy field … that was a dog act.”

Under new guidelines this season, Thomas will receive a two-week ban if the incident is classified as careless conduct with high impact to the head.

AFL match review officer Michael Christian saying a properly executed bump, with no head-high contact, is still allowed.

Thomas’ case could be sent straight to the AFL Tribunal if Christian deems it intentional conduct.

Ling said Thomas’ actions had no place on a footy field given the potential to cause severe injury.

“I want to clarify, ‘dog act’ is a big call and might be going a little far but if Scott Selwood had broken his neck last night we would be screaming about this type of bump,” he said.

“The outcome could have been really bad so therefore if we’re talking about judging something on the act and not on the outcome … that’s as bad as you can do on a footy field.”

Power coach Ken Hinkley said the collision was “ferocious” but unintentional.

“No player goes out there deliberately to try and cause things to go wrong but in a contact sport, they do happen that way,” Hinkley said.

“From our point of view, Lindsay was trying to do the right thing.”

 

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