December, 2018

Thorn’s quest to please Queensland fans

Reds coach Brad Thorn is set to ring the changes after their Super Rugby loss to the Chiefs.A bright finish by emerging halfback Moses Sorovi was at least something for Queensland Reds coach Brad Thorn to hold on to after an otherwise forgettable 36-12 Super Rugby loss to the Chiefs.
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A hiding was on the cards when the Chiefs led 31-0 early in the second half before the Reds stemmed the flow with two late tries.

The 22-year-old son of a heavyweight boxing champion grabbed his chance late on Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium to give the fans and Thorn something to get behind after a fourth-straight loss.

Sorovi was speedy at the scrumbase and accurate with his passing in a final quarter cameo that may earn him a start ahead of incumbent Ben Lucas next Saturday against the Lions.

“Possibly yeah … I’m trying to win, but I’m also looking and you’ll see each week a guy gets an opportunity,” Thorn said of the playmaker.

“Moses worked his butt off in the off-season, missed the tour, kept chipping away and he deserves an opportunity.

“It makes a difference when you have that speed and will definitely give us something to think about.”

Former Reds greats were in the stands to celebrate Queensland’s 1000th match but there wasn’t much to cheer as the Chiefs raced to a 24-0 halftime lead.

The first-half exit of Chiefs five-eighth Damian McKenzie, who passed a head injury assessment but was kept on the bench, helped the Reds stop the bleeding.

Two late tries to Samu Kerevi allowed Thorn to stay positive post game, despite the news captain James Slipper could miss Saturday’s clash with the Lions due to collarbone soreness.

“There’s a real want – even the (rugby) league people I know – want the Reds to do well, so it’s tough when it’s not going that well,” former All Black and Brisbane Broncos NRL great Thorn said.

“You want to show them something, but if you asked me 30 minutes in I’d go ooo-eee (there was nothing to be proud of).”

Chiefs captain Charlie Ngatai said he could already feel Thorn’s impact.

“Yeah it did (feel different); they showed a lot more physicality in their carries,” the fullback said.

“They broke a few tackles, they’re only going to get better under Brad Thorn, they’re fairly young and they just need time to grow.”


OPCW inspectors collect samples in Douma

Chemical weapons experts have taken samples for testing from the site of an alleged attack in Douma.Chemical weapons inspectors have collected samples from Syria’s Douma, two weeks after a suspected gas attack there followed by retaliatory strikes by Western powers on the Syrian government’s chemical facilities.
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The site visit on Saturday, confirmed by the Organisation of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, would allow the agency to proceed with an independent investigation to determine what chemicals, if any, were used in the April 7 attack that medical workers said killed more than 40 people.

Douma was the final target of the government’s sweeping campaign to seize back control of the eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus from rebels after seven years of revolt. Militants gave up the town days after the alleged attack.

The US, France, and Britain blamed President Bashar al-Assad’s government for the attack, and struck suspected Syrian chemical weapons facilities one week later.

The Syrian government and its ally Russia denied responsibility for the attack.

OPCW inspectors arrived in Damascus just hours before the April 15 strikes but were delayed from visiting the site until Saturday, leading Western officials and Syrian activists to accuse Russia and the Syrian government of staging a cover-up.

“I won’t find any hope in my heart until the Assad regime is held accountable and eradicated from government in Syria,” said Bilal Abou Salah, a Douma media activist who left the town after the government takeover. He said he feared Russian and Syrian government personnel destroyed potential evidence in the two weeks since the alleged attack.

The OPCW said in a statement that it visited “one of the sites” in Douma to collect samples for analysis at agency-designated laboratories, adding it would “consider future steps including another possible visit to Douma”.

It said the mission will draft a report based on the findings, “as well other information and materials collected by the team”.

A UN security team had scouted Douma on Tuesday to see if it was safe for weapons inspectors to visit. The team came under small arms and explosives fire, leading the agency to delay its mission.

Journalists visiting Douma the previous day, escorted by government minders, experienced no security issues.

Russian ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the delays to the OPCW team were “unacceptable”, in a statement on Saturday.

Douma is just minutes away from Damascus, where the OPCW team is based.

Raed Saleh, the head of the Syrian Civil Defence search-and-rescue group, also known as the White Helmets, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that his organisation had shared the co-ordinates of the graves of April 7 victims with the OPCW, so that inspectors could take biological samples.


Wayward Eagles battle past brave Blues

West Coast have overcome Carlton to score a hard-fought 10-point AFL win at the MCG.West Coast coach Adam Simpson will happily bank the premiership points, but he couldn’t find much to get excited about in his side’s 10-point win over Carlton at the MCG.
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Even Saturday’s 10.19 (79) to 10.9 (69) scoreline was a source of some frustration for the coach given the poor conversion in front of goal.

In their first visit to the MCG since round five last season, the Eagles kicked the last four goals of the third quarter to set up their fourth win of the season.

Apart from that pivotal period very little separated the sides despite West Coast entering the clash against the winless, last-placed Blues in second spot on the ladder.

“The four points … it was definitely a ‘grind’ game,” Simpson replied when asked what pleased him most about the indifferent performance.

“We anticipated that … the suggestion it was going to be a walkover was ridiculous considering what Carlton are as a footy club.

“We knew it was going to be a grind but having said that we probably missed a few shots.

“To grind it out and have a victory at the ‘G … we’ll take it, lick our wounds and keep going.”

Elliot Yeo (26 possessions and 11 tackles), Andrew Gaff (31 disposals and two goals) and Chris Masten (27 touches and a goal) were key contributors for the visitors.

Mark LeCras was West Coast’s leading goalkicker and his third and final goal with just less than four minutes remaining in the match snuffed out Carlton’s challenge.

Josh Kennedy needed two goals to pass Peter Sumich and become the club’s all-time leading goalkicker but he was kept to just one by Sam Rowe in his first game back from a knee reconstruction.

There was a lot to like about the play of a Carlton side that was coming off an embarrassing 86-point loss to North Melbourne and missing the likes of Marc Murphy, Matthew Kreuzer and Jacob Weitering.

Patrick Cripps, the skipper in place of the injured Murphy, was outstanding with 34 touches and 11 tackles. Kade Simpson (31 disposals) was also important.

Blues fans had long called for Harry McKay’s inclusion and the young key forward didn’t disappoint, kicking four goals.

“I’m really proud that they worked hard in the defensive side of the game,” coach Brendon Bolton said.

“(But) we gave up some easy goals … and we’ve got to be able to impact more when moving the ball forward.

“It’s a work in progress for us but there was definitely some growth this week.”

The Eagles, who improved to a 4-1 record, will play cross-town rivals Fremantle at Optus Stadium in round six, while Carlton take on the Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.


In-form Roo a key ahead of Hawks AFL clash

In-form Ben Brown looms as a key factor for North Melbourne in their AFL clash with Hawthorn.In-form North Melbourne spearhead Ben Brown would be a deserving leader in the race for the Coleman Medal leader after five AFL rounds.
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Sydney superstar Lance Franklin managed just one major in his side’s shock loss to Adelaide on Friday night to lead with 18 goals, with Brown third on 15.

The big Roo will have the chance to continue a superb run of form in front of goal when his side takes on a resurgent Hawthorn at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Brown, North’s leading goalkicker for the past two seasons, has bags of six, four and five goals to his name during the past three rounds.

His form has been a key reason why the Roos find themselves in the eight with a 2-2 record heading into the clash.

“It’s great for Ben … he works hard on the track and he’s coming up against the opposition’s No.1 defender a lot of the time,” North assistant Leigh Tudor said.

“That probably only started to happen last year but he’s worked through that and he has a more complete game.

“There was a game earlier in the year when he had seven spoils so he brings other forwards into the game as well if he can’t mark it.

“He’s doing a lot of things well at the moment and he works really hard so he deserves everything he gets.”

The 3-1 Hawks will be out to cut off supply to the 200cm forward.

Led by prolific onballer Tom Mitchell, Hawthorn are the leading clearance side after four rounds.

North tagger Ben Jacobs appears the likely match-up for Mitchell but the Roos won’t make the mistake of fixating on the key Hawk.

“Players like that are really hard to tag,” Tudor said of Mitchell.

“He’s one that we’ll have to watch but they have a deep midfield at the minute with (Jaeger) O’Meara, (Liam) Shiels and (Isaac) Smith playing good footy.

“There’s plenty to worry about.

“(But Jacobs) is a really disciplined player … whatever role he has he just gets it done.”

The wounded Hawks will be without forward dynamos Cyril Rioli (knee) and Paul Puopolo (hamstring) after the pair were injured in the 67-point thumping of Melbourne.

Ryan Burton and James Cousins went in for the duo.

The Roos have made one change to the side that embarrassed Carlton by 86 points – Cameron Zurhaar goes in for Luke Davies-Uniacke, who’s being rested.


Dockers pay tribute to Yarran with big win

A Nat Fyfe masterclass steered Fremantle to a 54-point AFL victory over the Western Bulldogs.Fremantle skipper Nat Fyfe put on a midfield masterclass as the Dockers paid tribute to Shane Yarran with a 54-point demolition of the Western Bulldogs at Optus Stadium.
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Fyfe collected a career-high 43 disposals, tallied 13 clearances and booted a goal in Saturday night’s 16.12 (108) to 8.6.(54) rout in front of 43,056 fans.

Goalsneak Michael Walters was dominant with five majors, while ruckman Aaron Sandilands (53 hitouts) ensured Fremantle easily won the midfield battle.

Fremantle were rocked on the eve of the match by the death of Yarran at the age of 28.

Dockers pay tribute to Yarran with big win Lin Jong of the Bulldogs during the round five game between Fremantle and Western Bulldogs in Perth on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Patrick Lipinski of the Bulldogs is tackled by Hayden Ballantyne of the Dockers during the round five game between Fremantle and Western Bulldogs in Perth on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Brandon Matera of the Dockers dives to tackle Toby McLean of the Bulldogs during the round five game between Fremantle and Western Bulldogs in Perth on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Mitch Wallis of the Bulldogs kicks on goal during the round five game between Fremantle and Western Bulldogs in Perth on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Alex Pearce of the Dockers during the round five game between Fremantle and Western Bulldogs in Perth on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Fremantle Dockers lined up for the ANZAC Round proceeding before the round five game between Fremantle and Western Bulldogs in Perth on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Joel Hamling of the Dockers punches the ball clear of the marking contest during the round five game between Fremantle and Western Bulldogs in Perth on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Nathan Fyfe of the Dockers during the round five game between Fremantle and Western Bulldogs in Perth on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Tim English of the Bulldogs during the round five game between Fremantle and Western Bulldogs in Perth on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Daniel Mundy of the Dockers during the round five game between Fremantle and Western Bulldogs in Perth on Saturday. Picture: AAP

ANZAC round proceedings before the round five game between Fremantle and Western Bulldogs in Perth on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Michael Walters of the Dockers marks during the round five game between Fremantle and Western Bulldogs in Perth on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Dockers debutant Taylin Duman inside the team huddle after their round five win over the Western Bulldogs in Perth on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Dockers leave the field after their round five win over the Western Bulldogs in Perth on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Michael Walters of the Dockers is congratulated by team mate Brandon Matera after a goal during the round five game between Fremantle and Western Bulldogs in Perth on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Hayden Ballantyne of the Dockers during the round five game between Fremantle and Western Bulldogs in Perth on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Brandon Matera of the Dockers during the round five game between Fremantle and Western Bulldogs in Perth on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Hayden Ballantyne of the Dockers and Aaron Naughton of the Bulldogs during the round five game between Fremantle and Western Bulldogs in Perth on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Fremantle Dockers fans during the round five game between Fremantle and Western Bulldogs in Perth on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Nathan Wilson of the Dockers remonstrates to the umpire during the round five game between Fremantle and Western Bulldogs in Perth on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Luke Dahlhaus of the Bulldogs and Connor Blakely of the Dockers during the round five game between Fremantle and Western Bulldogs in Perth on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Lachie Neale of the Dockers during the round five game between Fremantle and Western Bulldogs in Perth on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Jack Macrae of the Bulldogs gets his kick away despite the smother attempt by Hayden Ballantyne of the Dockers during the round five game between Fremantle and Western Bulldogs in Perth on Saturday. Picture: AAP



NRLNewcastle Knights down 22-20 Wests Tigers in a round-seven thriller.

TRY TIME: Knights skipper Mitchell Pearce sets sail for the line. Picture: AAPKEN Sio scored a hat-rick of tries but fellow winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall proved thehero as the Knights scored a last-ditch 22-20 win over Wests Tigers in Tamworth on Saturday.
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But the win could have come at a considerable cost, amidfears skipper Mitchell Pearce may have suffered a pectoral-muscle injury.

Down 20-18 with less than two minutes left, Kenny-Dowall leapthigh to pull in a Jamie Buhrer cross-kick to dive over in the corner for a memorable victory.

Kenny-Dowall had earlier spilleda Tigers bomb to gift the opposition a try but more than made amends with his heroic effort at the death.

Buhrer, who found himself in the unfamiliar role of playmaker late in the game,provided the pinpoint kick afterPearce was assisted from the field.

The Knights scored five tries to three.Sio grabbedone inthe first half and a second-half double,but fullback Kalyn Ponga could manage only one goal from six attempts.

The Knights led 10-0 at half-time but the scoreline wasn’t a true reflection of their dominance.

Virtually from the start of the game, they had the Tigers on the back foot and could easily have come up with more than just their two first-half tries.

Ponga missed an early penalty-goal attempt, before his side went close whenback-rower was Mitch Barnett held up over the line after six minutes.

The Knights had all the territory and found plenty of metres through the middle of the Tigers’ ruck.

But it was on the right edge they eventually cracked mid-way through the half.

Jack Cogger took the ball left and found Ponga, who caught the Tigers short out wide with a precision cut-out pass for winger Sio to force his way over in the corner.

Ponga missed the conversion but the Knights led 4-0.

Back-rower Lachlan Fitzgibbon went close not long after but could not hold onto a Pearce short ball close to the line.

Pearce made it 10-0 five minutes before the break when he combined with Cogger before angling through some tired Tigers defence to cross next to the posts.

Newcastle’s defensive resolve was eroded in the space of the opening eight minutes of the second half.

Interchange forward Michael Chee Kam got the Tigers on the board when he burst through Cogger and Aidan Guerra to score, before aKenny-Dowall clanger gifted Kevin Naiqama a try when he spilleda towering bomb.

Within the space of six minutes, the Tigers were in front and it was 18-10 whenBenji Marshall chip-kicked for fullback Corey Thompsonto score just three minutes later.

Sio scored his second off a great long ball from Fitzgibbon midway through the half to narrow the gap to 18-14, but the Tigers extended the lead to six when Esan Marsters landed a penalty goal with 15 minutes remaining.

Tries by Sio (69thminute) and Kenny-Dowall (78thminute) enabled Newcastle’s great escape.


Eels anoint Clint Gutherson as NRL captain

Clint Gutherson has been appointed co-captain of NRL club Parramatta.Parramatta have appointed Clinton Gutherson as co-captain for the rest of the season as they desperately attempt to breathe life into their flailing NRL season.
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A week after making a successful return from an ACL injury, Gutherson was on Saturday anointed to lead the team alongside Tim Mannah and Beau Scott – who was this week named on an extra reserve.

“Each player brings different strengths to our team, and Clint has certainly proven his leadership skills and deserves to be rewarded for it,” Eels coach Brad Arthur said.

“Clint will have the opportunity to develop as a leader under the tutelage of two experienced captains in Tim and Beau.”

The captaincy restructure comes as Arthur’s side aims to end their seven-game losing streak to open the season against another embattled club in Manly.

While the Eels have bolstered their leadership, Sea Eagles skipper Daly Cherry-Evans has been accused of literally coming to blows with Jackson Hastings on separate occasions over the past fortnight.

The shock developments have forced coach Trent Barrett to immediately exile his Hastings from the playing group, who themselves have had to defend reports they refused to play with the utility.

They are also on a two-game slide and in danger of losing touch with the top eight, leaving the Sea Eagles alongside the Eels in a precarious position early in the season.

“We’re no strangers to it either,” Arthur said.

“Every club goes through it and every club has a backs-to-the-wall mentality and they’ll be no different. Both teams are desperate to perform well for their fans and we’re expecting a real hard game.”

Arthur has continued to tinker with his line-up in a bid to find a winning combination, omitting Bevan French after admitting to bringing him back from a shoulder injury too early last week.

Jarryd Hayne returns early from a quad injury and will play wing, while Brad Takairangi has overcome a fractured eye socket to replace Kirisome Auva’a (ribs).

Kane Evans starts at prop, with Peni Terepo moving to lock for Tepai Moeroa (concussion) against a Sea Eagles side unchanged from their heavy loss to the Wests Tigers.


– The Eels need to score 14 points against Manly to avoid having the fewest points of any team in the NRL era through the opening seven rounds.

– Jarryd Hayne has not started an NRL match on the wing since round 18, 2008 against South Sydney. He has scored 25 tries in 32 games on the wing over his career.

– Akuila Uate has failed to score in his past 10 games – the longest drought of his NRL career. His next try will bring up 500 career points.


Cats down Power in Anzac round AFL clash

A hard-working Patrick Dangerfield has helped Geelong to a 34-point AFL win over Port Adelaide.Geelong have recorded another AFL Anzac round upset with a 34-point victory over Port Adelaide in a feisty AFL encounter.
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The Cats pulled away after a tight encounter to secure a 12.12 (84) to 7.8 (50) win in front of 45,372 at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.

Port had lost 13 of their past 14 meetings with Geelong and entered the clash off the back of a surprise loss to Essendon.

Lindsay Thomas was given a last-minute call-up to play his first game for Port after Todd Marshall failed to recover from a concussion.

Thomas is likely to be sent back to the sidelines, however, after he was reported for high contact on Geelong’s Scott Selwood in the second quarter.

Cats coach Chris Scott said Selwood was a “sick boy” and described the incident as serious.

“It was pretty clear right away that he wouldn’t be able to come back,” he said.

Key Cats forward Tom Hawkins also pulled out just before the bounce due to back spasms during the warm-up.

The home side finished the first quarter trailing by 12 points and without a single mark inside 50, and things went from bad to worse early in the second when Hamish Hartlett was taken from the ground on a stretcher with head injuries after a collision with Patrick Dangerfield.

But momentum turned late in the first half, with Port kicking three unanswered goals finally finding form.

They trailed by nine at the major break and, despite outplaying the Cats in the third term, struggled to convert and started the fourth quarter 11 points down.

Scott said a slower style of attack from Port Adelaide favoured his side.

“I can’t say that I agree with the idea that they were on top in the game,” he said.

“I thought we actually had control over most of it and the game was being played the way we wanted it to be.”

Geelong kicked six of the last seven goals to seal a convincing win as Port’s intensity rapidly dropped off.

Coach Ken Hinkley said that despite the defeat he was satisfied his team had improved on last week’s performance.

“Our pressure was up tonight, I thought we were a bit better in that space but obviously our finish was really poor and their finish was really strong,” he said.

“We had them under real pressure in the third quarter and then they just found a way where we dominated a patch of play and we couldn’t score, and that was pretty much the whole night.”

Joel Selwood (29 disposals), Dangerfield (28) and Sam Menegola (26) were standouts for Geelong.


Burgess powers Souths to romp over Raiders

A Greg Inglis try has helped South Sydney to a 42-22 NRL win over Canberra in Gosford.A rampaging Sam Burgess has returned to his best in South Sydney’s 42-22 NRL rout of Canberra, but he might be set for another stint on the sidelines.
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Burgess appeared to be breathing fire after missing the past two weeks due to suspension and looked determined to make up for lost time with a dominant performance on Saturday in front of 15,134 fans at Central Coast Stadium.

However, Burgess is in danger of missing more football after being put on report for an ugly high shot on Aidan Sezer which had set off a scuffle midway through the second half.

The English enforcer was given a standing ovation by the Rabbitohs’ faithful as he went off in the 61st minute after running 179m and making two line breaks.

“I’m not going to make any comment about that,” coach Anthony Seibold said of Burgess’ lapse in discipline.

“But you’re right – he was brilliant.

“He saw two pretty gritty performances from us and, him being a competitor, he wanted to get back out there.”

Raiders coach Ricky Stuart said Burgess was lucky not to be sin-binned and was likewise upset after skipper Jarrod Croker was sat down for 10 minutes for pulling back Angus Crichton.

Seibold was disappointed his side leaked two late tries after leading 42-12 and their lack of a ruthless edge.

But it was the Rabbitohs’ fourth win from their past five starts and a performance that reinforced them as top-eight contenders.

Burgess carved up the Raiders’ middle all day and burst through a hole in the 44th minute, with fullback Jack Wighton doing well to stop him in his tracks.

Richie Kennar landed the knockout blow for the Rabbitohs in the 52nd minute to make it 32-12.

And it was Burgess who created the opportunity when he sucked in three defenders and still managed to get an offload away.

After leading 24-12 at halftime, the Rabbitohs iced the game with tries to Kennar and Robert Jennings after Croker was sin-binned for a professional foul.

The Rabbitohs had great contributions all over the park – Cody Walker was again dominant, Adam Reynolds’ kicking was superb, Tom Burgess charged for 128m and hooker Damien Cook did his NSW Origin aspirations no harm.

Greg Inglis also showed signs he was getting back to his best.

He had been slow out of the blocks in the first six rounds but hit full flight as he latched on to a wayward Sezer pass to run 80m untouched in the 30th minute.

Earlier, South Sydney’s left side ran riot in the opening exchanges, running in three tries to make it 16-0 after 16 minutes.

“We didn’t start well at all and it transpired from there,” Stuart said.

“The first couple of sets we rolled down the field, they rolled down the field, then possession equals penalties which equals points. We couldn’t get possession in that first 20 minutes and it made it really hard for us.

“They outplayed us.”


Barty levels China’s Fed Cup playoff

Ashleigh Barty has levelled ‘s Fed Cup World Group playoff with the Netherlands at 1-1.Fed Cup captain Alicia Molik hailed Ashleigh Barty’s poise and class after the fearless young spearhead saved from a disastrous opening to their World Group playoff with the Netherlands in Wollongong.
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Barty levelled the best-of-five-match tie at 1-1 with a commanding 6-0 6-2 win over Quirine Lemoine, after world No.210 Lesley Kerkhove had stunned Samantha Stosur 7-5 7-6 (7-1) to give the depleted Dutch a surprise early lead.

At just 21 and despite a three-year hiatus from tennis, Barty has built a formidable 10-2 win-loss record in the competition. She improved her singles record on Saturday to 5-1.

“I am so trusting in Ash’s game. In fact, I sit on the side of the court and I’m more at peace than when I was a player,” Molik said.

“It’s a big occasion, (we’re) one-love down and Ash is able to go about her tennis, still produce unbelievable tennis throughout two sets.

“It’s not just a huge effort, I think it’s a reflection of where she’s at in her career with her tennis right now.

“It’s a big ask and she was able to more than deliver. It’s amazing.”

Barty, the world No.19 after a phenomenal comeback season last year following a stint playing professional cricket, said she relished her new-found role as team leader.

“If I can go out and do my job for my country and my team, that’s the most important thing,” Barty said, crediting her laidback approach for her stunning form.

“I want to play my best tennis and do as best as I can, but it is still only a tennis match and I’m able to go out there and play with freedom and I know that’s when I’m able to play my best.”

Daria Gavrilova will replace Stosur for Sunday’s second reverse singles match, but Molik insists her decision to rest the world No.58 is designed to save the former US Open champion for the potentially decisive doubles rubber.

“That was always our team plan from the start – to share the load,” Molik said.

“She hasn’t let the team down.”

Molik’s decision not to play the higher-ranked Gavrilova on Saturday surprised some, given Stosur’s slide down the rankings since suffering a stress fracture in her playing hand at last year’s French Open.

“I still stand by the call. I think it was the right decision and I think, tomorrow, we will sit back and be able to be thankful for the decision as well,” the skipper said.

“She can stay fresh for the doubles and Dash can really look forward to tomorrow’s match and one thing I can say about Dash is that she really enjoys a do-or-die situation.”

Victory on Sunday would propel back into the eight-nation World Group for the first time since 2015.


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