A-League: Petratos stars in audition for Socceroos as Jets shoot down Victory |photos, video

Posted on 06/18/2019

HAPPY DAYS: Captain Nigel Boogaard (second from left) is mobbed by teammates after scoring the Jets opening goal in the 2-0 triumph over Melbourne Victory at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday. Picture: Darren Pateman (AAP)ERNIE Merrick is not about to tell new Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk who to the select but the Jets boss doesn’t believetrump card Dimi Petratos can do much more.
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SCOUTING MISSION: New Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk (right) in the stands at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday. Picture: Darren Pateman

Van Marwijk ison whistle-stop tour of and was in the stands at McDonald Jones Stadium for the Jets’hard fought 2-0 win over Melbourne Victory on Saturday. It was the second ofthree A-League games theDutchman will attended as he assesses talent ahead of friendliesnext month against Norway and Colombia.

If it was an audition,Petratos certainly out-shined Victory opposite and Socceroos regular James Troisi.

Eye-catching audition: Dimi states case for Socceroos as Jets soar to new heights TweetFacebook”Dimi has been performing really well all year. It is not just a one-off, he is a consistent performer.”

Ernie MerrickErnie Merrick not about to tell Socceroos coach who he should pick but very happy with the performance of Dimi Petratos and a number of other @[email protected]@newcastleheraldpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/uHsjHkDKNa

— James Gardiner (@JamesGardiner42) February 3, 2018

Merrick was equally impressed with Boogaard and central defensive partner Nikolai Topor-Stanleyat the other end of the pitch.

“I thought the two of them were immense defensively,” the coach said.“Theyare among the best combinations in the league.”

It wasn’t the most fluent performance from the Jets. Indeed, they relied on desperate defending and a series of superb saves by Jack Duncan to bankthree points.

“Anyone onthe ball was closed down very quickly,” Merrick said. “We defended extremely well throughout the game from the back four to our midfield to our front runners. The longer the game went on, especially with us up 2-0, they were going to throw numbers forward and we had to weather that storm.”

The win propelled the Jets to 37 points –the most in a season in their history – and leaves them within touching distance of a home final, despite eight rounds remaining.

“It wasa bit of a rehearsal,” Merrick said. “Next time we play Victory it will be in the finals, the way the cards look like they will fall. We really have to work on keeping the ball in midfield, defending well and getting numbers forward. We did pretty well.”

The Jets have four days off and don’t play again until Friday week away to Western Sydney.

“We have played consistently well all year,” Merrick said.“We have played 19 games and lost four.I don’t want mental fatigue, I want them fresh. The best time to have a breakis when you have just won a match against a quality side.”

Jets add to Victory’s A-League Hunter pain

Posted on 06/18/2019

Nigel Boogaard has scored, ending a long goal drought in Newcastle’s 2-0 win over Melbourne Victory.They weren’t at their exhilarating best, but Newcastle still managed to compound Melbourne Victory’s A-League pain, prevailing 2-0 to hold second place on the ladder.
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Nigel Boogaard scored for the first time in more than 15 months before recruit Riley McGree came off the bench to tap home his maiden club goal on Saturday at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Ernie Merrick’s side move seven points ahead of third-placed Melbourne City – who play on Sunday – and nine behind leaders Sydney FC.

The Jets are on the verge of securing a finals berth for the first time since 2010.

“It was a very tight affair because there wasn’t much given away in midfield and anyone on the ball was closed down very quickly,” Merrick said.

“The longer the game went on, especially when we went up 2-0, they were going to throw numbers forward. So we had to weather that storm.”

Victory have only one win from their past 12 trips to the Hunter.

While they adjusted well to life without Mark Milligan, Besart Berisha missed a host of chances that could have changed the game.

The billed match-of-the-round was rife with turnovers and mis-hits – not the most enthralling for new Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk to watch.

Roy O’Donovan, in his long-awaited injury return, fired a header wide from point-blank range and then lazily drew a strike across the goal face.

Socceroos hopeful Dimi Petratos was lively and provided the free-kick for Boogaard’s 31st-minute opener, a terrific cross that skimmed the skipper’s head and diverted into the far corner.

“We created a number of chances, possibly twice as many strikes on goal as them,” Victory coach Kevin Muscat said.

“We were starting to impose ourselves on the game away from home, and then to concede off that set piece – them moments are huge.”

The Jets perhaps had a slight upper hand but Victory were not short on chances. Jack Duncan made two top-class reflex saves to deny Kosta Barbarouses and Berisha.

After halftime, Andrew Nabbout was shown a yellow card for a bad head clash with Lawrence Thomas.

Nabbout was taken off on a stretcher and replaced by Matt Acton.

Thomas was taken to hospital but the club said he’d been cleared of serious injury.

Duncan came to the fore again to stop a barrelling Barbarouses strike while Berisha, who had not scored at this venue since 2014, fluffed a header, was denied in a scramble and dragged a late shot wide.

It was all to Victory’s detriment when McGree replaced O’Donovan in the 65th minute.

The former Adelaide midfielder had been on only five minutes when Jason Hoffman played in Nabbout and the winger-cum-striker crossed for McGree to tap in at the far post.

Minjee Lee leads by one at Vic Open

Posted on 06/18/2019

Cheyenne Woods (file) is among a group tied for fifth heading into the final round at the Vic Open.Fast-rising talent Karis Davidson will get a second crack at toppling global star Minjee Lee in the final round of the Vic Open at 13th Beach.
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Playing her first four-round tournament as a professional, the 19-year-old Davidson stormed into outright second spot with one round to play after carding a six-under 67 on Saturday.

It left her at six-under 213, a single stroke behind world No.20 Lee, who had to contend with the most difficult of the afternoon conditions and eventually signed for a two-over 75.

n Hannah Green (71) and 2015 Vic Open champ Marianne Skarpnord from Norway (75) were tied for third at 215.

Lee and Davidson will play together in the final group on Sunday, reprising their clash in the 2014 n Amateur final when Lee, then 17, beat a 15-year-old Davidson 6 and 5.

Davidson has made a flying start to life in the professional ranks by successfully negotiating the notoriously tough qualifying school on the Japanese tour to earn full playing rights for 2018.

“I had a really good round today but I really wasn’t expecting to be one shot off the lead,” said the Queenslander.

“My goal coming into this week was top 20.

“This is my first four-day professional event but I’m not feeling any pressure.

“I’m just going to go out tomorrow, and do my best and have fun.”

As a three-time winner on the LPGA Tour, Lee remains the favourite to win a second Vic Open title, having previously saluted as an amateur back in 2014.

Among the group tied for fifth spot at two-under 217 was American Cheyenne Woods.

The niece of Tiger Woods has had a rollercoaster tournament to date with rounds of 68, 80 and 69.

“I would love to get back out tomorrow and shoot another 69, 68,” said the 27-year-old Woods.

“I think there is (a low number out there). I didn’t even birdie the birdieable par-five and the driveable par-four. I did leave maybe two shots out there.

“My goal today was to get inside the top 10.”

NBL leaders United hold off dogged Bullets

Posted on 06/18/2019

Melbourne United have taken another step towards the NBL minor premiership with a win over Brisbane.Melbourne United has taken another step toward the NBL minor premiership after closing out a 69-61 home win over the Brisbane Bullets.
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The ladder leaders ground out a tight final quarter with the Bullets closing the margin to four points in the final minute but held on to move two wins clear of second-placed Perth with four matches left in their regular season.

United imports Casper Ware and Josh Boone combined for 14 third-quarter points to settle the home side and Chris Goulding held his nerve with four late free throws to close out the win.

Ware led United with 17 points and Boone added 15 points and 12 rebounds while Tai Wesley (14 points, eight boards and five assists) provided valuable support.

Melbourne coach Dean Vickerman was pleased with his side’s defensive effort but felt that missed opportunities in attack left them vulnerable to Brisbane’s late fightback.

“Holding the best offensive efficiency team in the league to low 30s (shooting) percentage-wise, you are going to take that every day,” Vickerman said.

“We were just disappointed that getting that many stops, we weren’t able to convert that into points going the other way.”

Brisbane struggled in attack with gun import Travis Trice (elbow) missing, but Daniel Kickert kept the visitors in the contest with 10 second-quarter points and a Reuben Te Rangi triple with 49 seconds kept the Bullets in the game.

Kickert finished with 17 points while former United guard Stephen Holt chipped in with 11 points.

“Certainly we had our struggles putting the ball in the basket,” Brisbane coach Andrej Lemanis said.

He said a combination of poor shot selection and missing open shots contributed to the Bullets’ offensive woes.

The home side found themselves under pressure in the fourth quarter as Perrin Buford hit consecutive baskets for Brisbane, and Adam Gibson cut the gap to four points from the free throw line after being fouled on a three-point attempt.

But the Bullets could get no closer with Wesley and Ware keeping the home side in front.

Melbourne United now prepare for a vital home clash with New Zealand Breakers on Friday night, while Brisbane host the Illawarra Hawks on Thursday.

Journalist Michael Gordon dies during swim

Posted on 06/18/2019

Award-winning Fairfax journalist Michael Gordon has died.Award-winning journalist Michael Gordon has died after suffering a suspected heart attack during an ocean swim on Victoria’s Phillip Island.
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The 62-year-old Fairfax writer was pulled from the water and brought to shore at Cowes about 10.30am Saturday but died at the scene despite efforts to revive him, The Age reported.

Gordon won a Walkley Award – one of the profession’s highest accolades – for most outstanding contribution to journalism in 2017, the year during which he left his long-term role as political editor.

He worked at the newspaper for 37 years.

The Age described Gordon as “a giant of n journalism” and said he was one of the publication’s most loved, respected and lauded writers.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Gordon was “one of the most wise and calm” journalists and offered love and sympathy to his wife Robyn and family.

“A good friend and great mentor to so many,” Mr Turnbull posted on Twitter.

“He left us far too soon.”

Opposition leader Bill Shorten said Gordon was simply “one of the good guys”.

“A passion for truth-telling, a champion for social justice, his every word was wielded for a cause,” Mr Shorten tweeted.

“I’ll miss reading him and talking to him immensely.”

In addition to his long tenure at Fairfax, Gordon was a former political editor of The n and US correspondent for The Herald.

Gordon wrote about his formative years as a cadet in a column published in June 2017, describing how securing the position at age 17 and when his father Harry was the editor was viewed with suspicion by some.

He spent “long spells” on real estate, police rounds and the Trades Hall – the “perfect prelude to observing national affairs” – before moving to the press gallery in Canberra.

Former Prime Minister John Howard was named by Gordon as the catalyst for a focus on the plight of asylum seekers, one of many subjects he covered with passion.

As he left journalism at the same age his father did, Gordon said his overwhelming emotion was one of “immense gratitude”.

Melbourne make winning start in AFLW

Posted on 05/18/2019

Courtney Gum of GWS and Elise O’Dea of Melbourne in action during the AFLW Round 1 match.Skipper Daisy Pearce and forward Richelle Cranston have stood tall as Melbourne clinched a gripping six-point win over Greater Western Sydney in the opening round of the AFLW competition.
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The lead changed hands three times during the final quarter at Casey Fields on Saturday but it was the Demons who hung tough to win 7.3 (45) to 6.3 (39) against the luckless Giants, who claimed the wooden spoon in the inaugural AFLW season in 2017.

Pearce had 13 of her 19 possessions after halftime and Cranston booted a team-high three goals for the Demons.

“(Pearce) just competes all day and she’s so critical with her leadership onfield,” said Melbourne coach Mick Stinear.

“The last quarter epitomised what we want to be about as a team.

“The way she started that last quarter with real intent and she inspired the rest of the girls to do what they did.”

After racking up eight early disposals, Demons midfielder Karen Paxman went off with a back injury, which was later diagnosed as spasms.

GWS opened the scoring through the impressive Jacinda Barclay.

The visitors led by nine points at halftime and five at three-quarter time as an upset loomed.

But it was Melbourne – and particularly Cranston – who stood tallest in the fourth quarter before a crowd of 5,100.

Cranston kicked her second goal to start the final term and then slotted her third at the 15-minute mark.

Phoebe McWilliams kicked three of the Giants’ six goals.

Barclay, captain Amanda Farrugia and 36-year-old Irish recruit Cora Staunton were also among the better players for GWS.

“I think (Staunton) got lost a couple of times on running patterns, but it’s not surprising when you’re trying to learn the game in eight weeks,” coach Alan McConnell said.

“She hasn’t had a full pre-season, she missed the first two weeks because her team went all the way through to an All-Ireland final.

“But we’re so glad we have her. She brings something to the team.”

Melbourne return to Casey Fields next Saturday to take on reigning premiers Adelaide while the Giants host Carlton at Drummoyne Oval in Sydney on Friday night.

Bryce Cartwright quits Panthers for Titans

Posted on 05/18/2019

Bryce Cartwright has quit the Panthers on the eve of the NRL season to head to the Gold Coast.Gold Coast boss Graham Annesley says he is happy to back the gut instinct of his rookie NRL coach Garth Brennan and offer troubled Penrith star Bryce Cartwright a lifeline at the Titans.
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Cartwright has left Penrith effective immediately and will arrive next week on the Gold Coast on a four-season deal, reported to be close to $3 million.

A member of one of the Panthers’ great rugby league families, he will link with his former under-20s coach at the Titans, despite having four years left to run on his contract.

Cartwright has endured a difficult 12 months of media scrutiny relating to off-field matters in Sydney, and it’s understood they have taken their toll on the 23-year-old and prompted his departure from the city.

Brennan has built a workmanlike spirit at the club since arriving in October, with the Titans CEO happy to take a punt on Cartwright on the advice of his first-year coach.

“Garth has known him since he was a 17, coached him right through the lower grades and is absolutely confident he’s got the character required to do well here,” Annesley told AAP.

“He’s young and has a chance to be a big part of this club’s future.”

Annesley said the deal was negotiated by new Titans head of football Phil Moss, despite him not officially starting at the club until Monday.

It comes just three months after fellow Panthers star junior Matt Moylan had been released to join Cronulla, also part-way through a contract that would have expired in 2021.

It also casts doubt over the proposed acquisition of fellow Panthers utility Tyrone Peachey, who has been linked to a move to the Titans in 2019.

“It’s obviously disappointing to be releasing a player like Bryce Cartwright, however, we appreciate his desire to seek such a change,” Panthers general manager Phil Gould said.

“We hope that this move proves successful for Bryce, both on and off the field.

“Hopefully, some time in the future, he finds his way back to the Panthers. We wish Bryce and his young family all the very best.”

Cartwright played 69 games for Penrith since making his debut in 2014, scoring 12 tries.

His uncle John, who won a premiership with Penrith in 1991, was the Titans’ inaugural coach but left the club in 2014.

Brennan praised the utility, hoping to mould him into a State of Origin and Test star.

“I’ve seen him develop over the past seven years and I believe he is one of the most-skilful players I’ve seen on a football field,” Brennan said.

“He is a massive signing for the club and I look forward to seeing him in Titans colours.”

Cartwright will join former Panthers teammates Mitch Rein and Leilani Latu this season at the Titans.

Mostert steals pole for Bathurst 12hr race

Posted on 05/18/2019

Supercars driver Chaz Mostert (C) has won pole position for his team for the Bathurst 12 Hour race.Chaz Mostert has ended a golden Audi run by stealing pole position for Sunday’s Bathurst 12 Hour race.
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The Supercars young gun edged out South African Kelvin Van der Linde’s Audi R8 by two tenths of a second in Saturday’s top-10 shootout, becoming the first driver of the weekend to break into 2m:01s barrier.

Mostert has declared his team every chance of claiming the race for BMW Team Schnitzer 26 years since they last visited Mount Panorama.

The German squad’s history spans 50 years, with DTM titles accompanied by world, European, British, Italian, Japanese and Asia-Pacific touring car crowns, and success in a string of major sportscar races.

Charly Lamm’s outfit last visited in 1987 to contest the Bathurst round of the World Touring Car Championship. Mostert is teamed up in the factory team with Brazilian Augusto Farfus and German BMW works driver Marco Wittmann.

“It’s pretty surreal … for me it’s probably one of the best pole positions I’ve ever had,” Mostert said.

“There were some pretty quick Audis so I knew we had to step it up. To do it here amongst all of this amazing talent is unreal. I am just the Aussie bogan having a go.”

Starting on the front row of the grid gives Mostert and his teammates a key advantage with the race set to start in darkness at 5:45am.

“It reduces the risk completely,” Mostert said. “In the dark here with the lights and stuff, the risk is much higher to end up out of the race.”

The Audi of Van der Linde, Garth Tander and Frederic Vervisch had been dominant after the early practice form of Farfus in the BMW.

“I have a theory that when the weekend starts well, you can really keep the momentum going,” Van der Linde said. “We have every chance tomorrow. We have a good car and a good team.”

Reigning Supercars champion Jamie Whincup had a tough day in the Mercedes AMG and will start from 16th on the grid.

Lee Holdsworth became a casualty in qualifying when he spun his Audi R8 on the way up the mountain, causing a lengthy red flag. Despite the heavy crash, the team has declared the car a starter for Sunday, starting from 20th on the grid.

Germany grab 2-1 Cup tie lead over Aussies

Posted on 05/18/2019

Germany have claimed a doubles victory and a 2-1 lead in the Davis Cup tie against .The stage is set for Nick Kyrgios to step up for after Germany grabbed a 2-1 lead in their Davis Cup first round tie in Brisbane, team captain Lleyton Hewitt says.
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World No.14 Kyrgios and rookie Alex de Minaur must win their reverse singles rubbers on Sunday for to qualify for April’s quarterfinals after Matthew Ebden and John Peers lost the crucial doubles clash in five sets on Saturday.

The visitors sprung a late change, replacing Peter Gojowczyk with Jan-Lennard Struff but it was doubles partner Tim Puetz who proved the difference in the 6-4 6-7 (1-7) 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 win at Pat Rafter Arena.

Germany team captain Michael Kohlmann revealed he was convinced Kyrgios would play doubles and admitted to breathing easier when the n No.1 was officially omitted on Saturday.

While Kyrgios didn’t appear in the doubles, Hewitt warned the dual grand slam quarterfinalist was ready to make his presence felt on Sunday.

In what Hewitt predicted would be a five-set clash, the tie will go on the line when Kyrgios takes on world No.5 Alex Zverev in Sunday’s opening reverse singles rubber.

If Kyrgios is triumphant, 18-year-old debutant de Minaur will then need to step up and seal the tie against power-serving world No.58 Struff – ranked 81 spots higher than the plucky n.

“They are two of the young, talented players on the tour – it’s going to be a great match over five sets,” Hewitt said of Kyrgios’ much anticipated clash with German star Zverev.

“I am glad I have got Nick on my side.

“He has played so well for me in the past – hopefully he can go out there and do it again.

“We are a long way from beaten, that’s for sure.”

Former world No.1 Hewitt had hinted that he may play on Saturday but resisted the temptation, pairing Ebden with world No.4 doubles specialist Peers.

Kohlmann revealed he expected Kyrgios to be the man injected into the doubles after the n No.1 needed barely 90 minutes to brush aside Struff in straight sets in Friday’s singles.

“When I heard didn’t make a change I had a very good feeling,” he said.

“I thought Nick was playing for sure. He played one hour 30 minutes yesterday – I don’t even know if he was sweating.”

Ebden and Peers looked to have justified Hewitt’s selection, showing tremendous fight to come back from two sets to one down and force the Germans to scramble.

But it was 30-year-old journeyman Puetz – in just his second Cup tie – who stood tall, thrashing forehand winner after winner as Germany prevailed in a rubber lasting almost four hours.

Ebden admitted they had been “quietly surprised” by Puetz, a lowly No.144 in the doubles rankings who only made his Cup debut last year.

WBBL ready to step out of BBL shadows

Posted on 04/18/2019

Perth Scorchers captain Elyse Villani (L) says the WBBL is ready to step out from the men’s shadows.The captains of the WBBL finalists say the women’s competition is ready to step from the shadows of men and run on its own.
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The Sydney Sixers meet the Perth Scorchers in Sunday’s final at Adelaide Oval in a fixture starting before midday as a prelude to the men’s BBL finale.

Sixers skipper Ellyse Perry and her Scorchers counterpart Elyse Villani believe their tournament is ripe to become its own stand-alone competition.

“I definitely do,” Villani told reporters on Saturday in Adelaide.

“Heading towards the (women’s) T20 World Cup in 2020, that is a stand-alone competition.

“I think that is a move that I think Cricket (CA) make soon.

“We’re definitely ready for it and looking forward to the challenge of continuing to create our own brand.”

Perry said having the WBBL as a stand-alone tournament was on the agenda of CA hierarchy.

“I know they have got plans to potentially make this competition a stand-alone competition,” Perry told reporters.

“But at the same time, we want to make sure that this is built on really strong foundations; that there’s a wonderful support and following of the game; that people are interested and want to turn up and watch it.

“And I think we have shown that a number of times this year – and the same with the (women’s) Ashes series and the amount of people that came out to that.

“The more we keep growing, the more opportunities we have to showcase the game; the more and more it’s going to turn into its own product.”

Sunday’s final is a rematch of last year’s decider won by the Sixers.

But the Scorchers have downed the Sydneysiders this season in their two minor-round meetings.

“We have got a really good history with Perth now,” Perry said.

“They play an outstanding brand of cricket. They have got some exceptional players in their squad … they’re a great challenge.

“The two sides match up pretty well and we have probably struggled against them this year.

“So it’s a great test to come up against them in the final and have another crack.”