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Genia proves heĆ¢€™s a Wallaby

Written By malwan milad on Sabtu, 18 Oktober 2014 | 23.52

Will Genia of the Wallabies is tackled by team mate Israel Folau during an Australian Wallabies training session in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images Source: Cameron Spencer / Getty Images

WILL Genia has made his case for inclusion in the Wallabies squad that will travel to Europe next week with a strong 40-minute performance in Brisbane City's 37-16 win over the Canberra Vikings in the National Rugby Championship (NRC).

Genia kicked well from the base of the ruck, delivered crisp passes and found himself on the end of a sweeping City movement which sealed victory and third place in the championship.

Brisbane City will travel to face the second-placed NSW Country Eagles on Friday night in the semi-finals, after the Eagles' tight 40-34 win over the Perth Spirit in Dubbo.

The Eagles led 24-8 at half-time and 40-18 inside the final quarter but two late tries had the celebrations on hold.

The Melbourne Rising earned hosting rights with their 47-26 win over Queensland Country at AAMI Park.

The undefeated Melbourne outfit again looked a class above in the 21-point win, as they outpaced, outmuscled and outworked a surprisingly resilient Country side.

The Rising led 34-13 with 30 minutes to play and seemingly cruised through the second term, making it eight wins from eight starts in 2014.

Will Genia and Wallaby team mates arrive at Mendoza Airport on October 1, 2014. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images Source: Getty Images

Melbourne will face Perth at AAMI Park on Saturday night and will be heavy favourites against a Spirit side who will not bring their Western Force representatives on the road — a policy they have adopted all season.

On Thursday night, the Sydney Stars broke their season-long drought with a 49-40 win over the North Harbour Rays.

The nine-point margin was aided by rugby's first "own try" when Rays prop Mitch Lewis grounded the ball over his own line and the Stars were awarded a try in bizarre circumstances.

The Stars' only win of the season means each team finishes the inaugural NRC campaign with at least one victory.


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Detroit Lions offer Hayne trial deal

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THE battle for Jarryd Hayne's signature is on.

What began as a pipe dream for Hayne of playing grid iron is closer to reality than ever with six NFL clubs chasing the NRL star, including the Detroit Lions after a personal recommendation from superstar Reggie Bush.

Bush, one of the NFL's most recognised running backs whose current deal with Detroit is worth $16 million, has paved the way for Hayne to earn a prized contract in the US.

INGLIS WOULD CONSIDER CODE SWITCH

HAYNE'S MISSION: LOSE 10KGS, GET FASTER

EXPERT TELLS HAYNE TO TACKLE NEW ROLE

It's believed the Detroit Lions have offered Jarryd Hayne a train-and-trial deal. Source: AFP

On the back of Bush's glowing appraisal of Hayne, the former Parramatta Eels ace has been offered a train-and-trial deal with NFL heavyweights Detroit.

How much the deal is worth remains a closely guarded secret by Hayne and his management.

Bush, the one-time boyfriend of TV celebrity Kim Kardashian, met Hayne for the first time during a promotional trip to Australia in June, staying in Sydney to watch the NSW fullback help clinch the State of Origin series with the Blues at ANZ Stadium.

Bush said during his visit that Hayne could play in the NFL immediately if he ever chose to switch sports.

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"He actually looks like an NFL running back,'' Bush said. "Looks like he could come play with us tomorrow.

"He's fast, strong and ... wow. Look at that hit. That's an NFL football hit. I like this guy."

The relationship between Hayne and Bush has continued to develop over the past four months, with their bond resulting in an email offer from the Detroit Lions management landing in the inbox of Hayne's long-standing agent Wayne Beavis just 48-hours after the Eels fullback declared he was quitting the NRL on Wednesday.

Such has been the interest in Hayne from US scouts that Beavis has remained awake until 3am to field emails ever since his client dropped rugby league's biggest bombshell of the year.

Jarryd Hayne and Reggie Bush, at Allianz Stadium. Source: Supplied

While the five other clubs interested in giving Hayne his shot of a lifetime remain unconfirmed, Superbowl champions the Seattle Seahawks, whom Hayne met in person three weeks ago when he visited their training facilities as part of a study tour in the US, are also believed to be one of the organisations interested in providing the 26-year-old with a chance to fulfil his dream.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll described Hayne as "an incredible athlete" but remained coy when quizzed by reporters last Thursday about the prospect of the Australian landing a trial opportunity with Seattle.

"Our scout Down Under has been on this for some time now," Carroll said. "But he's an incredible athlete and a great competitor, so we'll see where it goes.

"I'm afraid to mention anything because I'm not sure of the rights things and contract issues down there.

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"We'll leave that up to [Seahawks general manager John Schneider] to figure out."

Adding to the intrigue was a move that shocked the NFL yesterday, Seahawks explosive receiver and return man Percy Harvin, a position which Hayne will attempt to make his own, was traded to the New York Jets.

Hayne will fly to the US tonight, jetting into Los Angeles, where he'll spend the next month transforming his body shape and developing his speed while assessing his options.

Hayne has given himself a timeline of 12-months to decide if his bid to make it in the NFL is possible.

Beavis said his advice to Hayne was to be patient and resist rushing into a decision on which club or clubs he should join.

"I've told Jarryd to take a breath and consider his options, with the focus on choosing a club that will allow him to work with the right coaches, who will enable him the best chance to succeed," Beavis said.


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These kids are not Test Bunnies

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KANGAROO rookies Dylan Walker and Alex Johnston have smashed another 40-year hoodoo, becoming the first South Sydney juniors to be selected for Australia out of the club's Redfern headquarters since George Piggins in 1975.

In a wonderful twist to the South Sydney premiership triumph, no South Sydney junior has represented the Kangaroos while contracted to the Bunnies since cardinal and myrtle patriarch Piggins.

FOUR NATIONS 2014: TEAMS AND FIXTURES

Kangaroo Rookies, Alex Johnston and Dylan Walker at Red Hill. Pic Annette Dew Source: News Limited

Sure, Souths juniors like Ian Roberts, Terry Hill, Jim Dymock, Craig Wing and Craig Salvatori all proudly represented Australia, but they all did so while playing for rival NRL clubs.

Next Saturday night, the light-stepping and powerful Walker is expected to make his debut for Australia at right centre against New Zealand in the opening Four Nations Test at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium.

The Mascot Jets junior is expected to be paired alongside fellow international debutant Josh Mansour, with La Perouse Panthers junior Johnston also competing for a place on the Australian wing.

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"It's been a big two weeks but to be honest I'm just happy and stoked to be in the Australian squad and to get a taste of what it's like to be in one of these camps," Walker said.

"From the time you're little, all you ever dream of is representing so to get an opportunity to experience this I feel very lucky."

The Sydney Roosters pairing of Michael Jennings and Daniel Tupou are expected to be selected on Australia's left edge.

Souths star Walker was initially slated to be selected on the right wing for Australia until Jarryd Hayne's shock defection to chase an NFL contract forced Australian coach Tim Sheens to reshape his backline.


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Taylor asked Farah to give up Test jumper

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JASON Taylor's opening fortnight at Wests Tigers has left no one in any doubt about who is calling the shots at the notoriously divided Concord headquarters.

Aside from sacking club legends Steve Roach and Paul Sironen, Taylor asked captain Robbie Farah to consider sacrificing his Australian Test jumper in order to be fresh for the start of pre-season on November 5.

Farah, the Tigers most influential player on and off the field, requires a nose operation to help repair his breathing.

FOUR NATIONS 2014: TEAMS AND FIXTURES

Robbie Farah needs a nose operation to help improve his breathing. Source: News Corp Australia

The procedure means the Australian Kangaroos back-up hooker will be sidelined from contact training for six weeks after the operation, interrupting his pre-season.

Aware Farah is the Tigers most important player, Taylor sounded out his new captain to consider pulling out of the Four Nations with a view to immediately undergoing the knife.

But with only seven Test jerseys in his collection and appearing certain to be selected for the opening Four Nations Test against New Zealand next Saturday, foregoing the green and gold was no small ask for Farah.

"Robbie considered it long and hard and what pleased me the most was he was prepared to put Wests Tigers and my wishes above Robbie Farah and playing for Australia, which is a very big call," Taylor said.

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"When we worked it out he was going to be unavailable for a similar amount of time anyway so in the end we finished in a really good place on it.

"It was a good process for both of us to go through."

Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens will select Farah on the bench for the opening Test, with four of the Kangaroos rookies selected in the squad of 24 set to make international debuts.

South Sydney's Dylan Walker is tipped to be chosen at right centre with fellow Kangaroos rookie Josh Mansour on the right wing, with Sydney Roosters flyer Daniel Tupou and Wests Tigers prop Aaron Woods also set to win maiden Kangaroo jumpers.

Manly's Daly Cherry-Evans will be selected at five-eighth to replace the injured Johnathan Thurston, opening up a position on the bench for Farah.

Kangaroo players during a training session at Red Hill. Pic Annette Dew Source: News Limited

Farah said he respected the way new coach Taylor handled the request to sit out the Four Nations.

"We spoke about it. It was always planned to get my nose fixed up," Farah said.

"When we had a talk JT floated the idea of getting it done straight away and I could understand where he was coming from.

"At the same time it's not every day you get the opportunity to play for your country and realistically this could be my last chance.

"There's no tour at the end of next season so it could be the last opportunity for me to pull on the green and gold.

"You never take for granted representing Australia because you never know when your last chance might come. It's a huge honour and so in the end we found a way to make it work."

Farah will turn 31 in January and will once-again form a key element of NSW Blues coach Laurie Daley's State of Origin campaign against Queensland in the middle of next season.


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All Blacks sink Wallabies in heartbreaker

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COURAGE and heroism replaced turmoil and coach-killing adversity as symbols for the Wallabies on Saturday night but they were still left heartbroken when a stirring upset was stolen from them at the death by the All Blacks.

The devastated faces that dotted Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium when All Black Colin Slade slotted an angle conversion after full-time to crush the Aussies 29-28 said even more than the numbing scoreline.

Gallant leader Michael Hooper was dumbstruck. Israel Folau, another yet to beat the All Blacks, looked to the heavens but there was no prayer to turn back the dream-killing try of All Blacks centre Malaki Fekitoa.

WALLABIES BOMBSHELL: Ewen McKenzie resigns as coach

This was a night where you could not crucify the Wallabies for squandering a 25-15 lead entering the final 20 minutes.

Wallabies winger Adam Ashley-Cooper celebrates scoring a try during his 100th Test. Source: News Corp Australia

Flanker Hooper had demanded character and 100 per cent desperation. He got epic doses of both in a pulsating Bledisloe Cup thriller but the three year drought without a victory over the All Blacks continues.

Centre Tevita Kuridrani, prop James Slipper and centurion Adam Ashley-Cooper were titans in a massive team effort to win back respect on the field after all the upheaval off it with the Kurtley Beale drama.

The golden punchline was ripped from them after the Wallabies had the match in their hands for all but three seconds from the end when Fekitoa crossed.

The Wallabies still had their crucial brain fades when replacement halfback Nic White gave away possession with a late kick and Bernard Foley's earlier kick-pass to gift away possession when he had runners outside.

The All Blacks play beyond 80 minutes and this will add to their legend as similar deeds in Dublin last year to beat Ireland.

Nick Phipps scores for the Wallabies against the All Blacks. Source: Getty Images

Besieged coach Ewen McKenzie had said on match eve: "Moments come along in your life and as a team. It doesn't matter what the adversity is it is how you stand up to it and I know this team has the character to do that."

The Wallabies did with the best showing of the six losses he has now steered against the All Blacks.

The Wallabies forced the All Blacks to miss more tackles than they normally do in two Tests with smarter tactics.

Israel Folau is gutted after the Wallabies lost to the All Blacks. Source: News Corp Australia

Centurion Adam Ashley-Cooper gained all the momentum to his career from his try-scoring feat at the MCG in 2007 when he delivered the Wallabies a rousing 20-15 upset over the Kiwis.

To still be scoring pivotal tries against the All Blacks in his 100th Test is the mark of Ashley-Cooper's consistent class because David Campese (nine) is now the only player in history to have scored more than the eight of last night's milestone man.

It was a beauty too. So often the Wallabies have been sleepwalkers after half-time but they hit the second half as if they'd guzzled cans of Red Bull.

They ruthlessly converted a turnover into a 22-12 lead with prop James Slipper's pop pass to Israel Folau splitting the Kiwi defence. Former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones had expertly pinpointed inside centre Malakai Fekitoa as a poor reader in defence and Wallabies opposite Christian Lealiifano burnt him beautifully with an inside step at the 10-minute mark.

That the Wallabies were so clinical in turning their first real chance into a 7-0 jump was exactly how they had to grab them. Lealiifano, in his first Test in 11 months, linked with Israel Folau and the ball-control, that besieged coach Ewen McKenzie demanded, followed.

That impressive halfback Nick Phipps finished it with cheeky opportunism at the ruckbase one metre out was thoroughly deserved.

How dangerous the All Blacks always are for a sudden strike-back cruelled the Aussies from the kick-off when they regained the ball and winger Cory Jane was equalising in a blink.

Malakai Fekitoa of the All Blacks celebrates with team mates after scoring the winning try. Source: News Corp Australia

When hooker Dane Coles scooted through some disorganised defence to give the All Blacks the lead 12-10 six minutes from half-time it challenged the Wallabies to show how much they truly wanted this Test.

After all the effort and all their possession they were still behind. What followed in the 10 minutes to follow was the embodiment of what skipper Michael Hooper had passionately demanded on Test eve...show the crowd, show the All Blacks, show the world how much we care about our jersey no matter what the turmoil.

The desperate scrambling in defence, the runs into the teeth of the tackling by centre Tevita Kuridrani, the Wallabies biggest improver of 2014, and the exocet charges of prop James Slipper were booming evidence of that.

It was Kuridrani bullocking an extra few metres that produced a stirring strikeback 95 seconds from half-time.

Phipps' slick flat pass created a half metre more room for backrowers Scott Higginbotham and Michael Hooper to set up the tryline ruck from which Bernard Foley gleefully used as a shield to plant the ball in the corner. Ashley-Cooper's try ignited the crowd of 45,186 who finally sensed a monumental upset was in the offing.

ALL BLACKS 29 (Dane Coles, Malakai Fekitoa, Cory Jane, Aaron Smith tries Beauden Barrett 2, Colin Slade cons Barrett pen) bt WALLABIES 28 (Adam Ashley-Cooper, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps tries Foley 2 cons Foley 2, Nic White pens) at Suncorp Stadium. Referee: Craig Joubert. Crowd: 45,186.


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Murray closes in on ATP Finals spot

Andy Murray of Britain reacts after winning against Serbia's Viktor Troicki. Source: Ronald Zak / AP

ANDY Murray has moved into eighth place in the race to the ATP season finals as he reached the Austrian Open final with a 6-4 6-3 win over qualifier Viktor Troicki.

Second seed Murray set the winning example for rival and top seed David Ferrer, who trails provisional ninth in the points race for London but with his semi-final still to play,

Spain's Ferrer was playing German fourth seed Philipp Kohlschreiber.

The race tightened earlier as US Open winner Marin Cilic officially qualified into the year-end field, leaving three spots on offer.

Croatia's Marin Cilic has a guaranteed spot in the ATP finals Source: AP

Murray turned in a workmanlike effort in just under 90 minutes against Serbian Troicki, who had worked his way through the qualifying rounds.

The victory boosted Murray to 6-0 in the series.

Murray earned his victory with four breaks from 11 chances, going through to victory as he won his 50th match of the season.

Murray stands 7-6 over Ferrer and 2-1 over Kohlschreiber after defeating the German at the French Open this spring.

"I've been getting a bit better with each match," said Murray, who broke a 15-month dry spell by lifting the Shenzhen trophy last month. "He had opportunities to be sure.

"I need to play well on some key points. Whomever I play in the final, it won't be easy. David will be tough for sure, he's very motivated, like myself, for London."

Andy Murray says David Ferrer will be a tough opponent. Source: Supplied

Murray will be playing in his 44th ATP final as he seeks a 30th title.

In his rush to qualify for London, Murray is competing for a fourth straight week.

He still has two more weeks to go, with a wildcard entry into Valencia next week and the Paris Masters to close out the official ATP season.


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Sturridge out for another month

Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool is rules out for at elast three more weeks. Picture: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images Source: Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

LIVERPOOL manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed England striker Daniel Sturridge is set to be sidelined for another month.

Sturridge has already been out of action for six weeks due to a thigh strain he picked up on international duty.

The 25-year-old had hoped to make his comeback on Sunday when Liverpool travel to Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League.

But, according to the Liverpool Echo, the former Chelsea forward pulled his calf during training on Thursday and could now be absent for up to another month.

He has already been sorely missed by Liverpool, who have struggled to emulate last season's free-scoring form, and is likely to be out of action for the Reds' Champions League double-header against Real Madrid and England's Euro 2016 qualifying match against Slovenia.

Liverpool's striker Daniel Sturridge (L) shoots towards goal during the English Premier League. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

"Daniel has pulled his calf," Rodgers told the newspaper. "He's looking at being out for another two to four weeks.

"It's a big blow as we were looking forward to welcoming Daniel back. He has worked tirelessly.

"But we have other players training hard and working hard and we will turn to them. It's why we bulked up the squad in the summer."


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What happened to this little piggy?

Written By malwan milad on Sabtu, 11 Oktober 2014 | 23.52

Ash the pig, pictured with new friend Elke, was underweight and wasn't expected to live. He now weighs more than 170kg. Pic: Jamie Hanson Source: Jamie Hanson / News Corp Australia

ONCE upon a time he was a little piggy, but now he's a real porker.

Ash earned national fame when he was smuggled into the Gabba during last summer's Ashes Test, found with his snout taped shut and dressed as a baby last November.

He was rescued by the RSPCA, suffering severe stress and dehydration and weighing barely 10kg — but now almost a year on, he weighs more than 170kg.

An underweight and dehydrated Ash is carried from the Gabba by a police officer last November. Source: Supplied

Despite fears Ash wouldn't survive, he is now thriving in a southeast Queensland backyard of a new-found friend, Geoffrey.

The neighbouring kids, including Elke, 3, regularly visit him.

RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty said it was "heartening" to see the pig flourish.

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Stosur looks for third crown

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FORMER US Open winner Samantha Stosur beat Ukraine's Elina Svitolina on Saturday to reach the Japan Women's Open final as she seeks the first successful title defence of her career.

The top-seeded Australian downed third seed Svitolina 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 in Osaka to set up a final against Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas. Stosur, 30, is attempting to win in Osaka for a third time after her triumphs in 2009 and 2013, which have already made her the tournament's most successful player.

Aussie Samantha Stosur holds the trophy of the Japan Women's Open tennis tournament in Osaka 2013. Source: AFP

Stosur said "my game got better in the second set and hers maybe dropped a bit."

Diyas reached Sunday's final by beating Luksika Kumkhum 6-2 7-5, halting the dream run of the Thai who reached her first WTA semis despite not winning a main draw match since March.

Luksika, 21, also won singles silver and doubles gold at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, which finished last week.


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Beale fiasco tests McKenzie

Australian rugby union coach Ewen McKenzie speaks during a press conference. Source: WILLIAM WEST / AFP

EWEN McKenzie faces the toughest assignment of his coaching career attempting to regroup a divided Wallabies in the wake of the Kurtley Beale fiasco to face the All Blacks next Saturday night.

The public airing of the Wallabies dirty laundry over the course of the last week will see the All Blacks slip into Brisbane tomorrow with zero pressure and the blow torch intensifying on McKenzie.

Last Friday's press conference at the Australian Rugby Union headquarters was undoubtedly the most intense public grilling the Wallabies coach has faced.

Repeatedly, McKenzie was questioned about his relationship with Wallabies business manager Di Patston, the female ARU staffer who is currently on indefinite stress leave over the Beale text message and mid-air confrontation incidents.

Australian rugby is in turmoil amid two investigations into alleged misbehaviour by star player Kurtley Beale towards team business manager Di Patston and the loss of their last two Test matches. Source: AFP

Under the glare of the cameras, McKenzie maintained it was purely "professional".

But now the issue of when McKenzie became aware of the text messages Beale sent in relation to Patston has become another unwanted off-field distraction.

With the focus on the suspended Beale's Code of Conduct hearing, McKenzie's position as head coach and last weekend's embarrassing loss to Argentina, the All Blacks could well capitalise by instigating their usual round of mind games.

The last time the Wallabies played New Zealand at Eden Park in August, the All Blacks racked up a record 51-20 scoreline, posting their highest-ever score against Australia.

Given all the off-field distractions going on for the Wallabies in the lead-up to Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night, another All Black ambush could even surpass that low point.

Australian rugby union coach Ewen McKenzie at a press conference. Source: AFP

In fairness, it could go the other way and galvanise the Wallabies. Plenty of champion teams have shown the value of siege mentality in sport over the years.

The ARU and the Wallabies long-suffering legion of supporters will be hoping it does.

The greatest challenge for McKenzie could be reuniting a team who saw fit to attempt to intervene and attempt to broker a peace deal between Beale and Patston.

Captain Michael Hooper and centre Adam Ashley-Cooper both told McKenzie they wanted to try and get the pair together to resolve their differences, with Patston initially categorically refusing.

Then, in a bizarre twist, the Wallabies business manager on stress leave had a change of heart and emailed Beale with the offer of a sit-down.

Beale refused and the standoff is now headed for a Code of Conduct hearing.

What impact it all has on the Wallabies on the field we will learn on Saturday night.


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