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Vidal to miss Chile’s crunch game

Written By malwan milad on Senin, 23 Juni 2014 | 23.40

Arturo Vidal will miss Chile's game against the Netherlands. Source: Wong Maye-E / AP

JUVENTUS star Arturo Vidal will miss Chile's group-deciding clash with Netherlands today after finally succumbing to a knee injury.

Vidal had surgery only last month but still managed to play in Chile's World Cup Group B wins over Australia and Spain.

But with the Chileans already having secured a spot in the second round regardless of today's result, La Roja coach Jorge Sampaoli decided to not again risk his key midfielder ahead of the knockout stages.

Vidal has been replaced by Felipe Gutierrez in Chile's starting XI for the clash at Arena de Sao Paulo.

Arturo Vidal of Chile runs out against Australia. Source: News Corp Australia

Gutierrez perhaps brings some inside knowledge with him as he plies his trade in the Dutch first division with FC Twente.

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal has made three changes to the Dutch team that started in the 3-2 win over Australia.

Suspended captain Robin van Persie, injured defender Bruno Martins Indi and midfielder Jonathan de Guzman are out.

Replacing them are Dirk Kuyt, Georginio Wijnaldum and Jeremain Lens.

A draw will be enough for Netherlands to top the group due to their superior goal difference.

Chile must win to finish ahead of the Dutch and avoid a likely round of 16 clash with hosts Brazil.


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What you missed on TV last night

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CATCH up on all the big news after Monday night's review of Round 14 and Jonathan Brown's retirement.

AFL360

MONDAY night kicked off with Herald Sun chief football writer Mark Robinson paying up $100.

Last week, Robbo dared GWS young gun Adam Treloar to give his childhood hero Chris Judd a bum tap after the game and offered the cameraman who caught it the cash.

Treloar followed through on Sunday and Robbo was happy to cough up the dough.

LISTEN TO THE LATEST EPISODE OF THE SUPERFOOTY PODCAST BELOW OR CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE IN ITUNES

■ OBVIOUSLY, the retirement of Brisbane Lions great Jonathan Brown was at the top of the agenda.

Host Gerard Whateley said it was a bitter sweet day.

"Typically, these things are dreaded but for Jonathan Brown is was truly hoped for," he said.

Brisbane Lions coach Justin Leppitsch then joined the boys.

Leppitsch said Brown's departure was a tough day at the club.

"It was a difficult one. At the end of the day I think it was the right decision and we can look back at a great career," he said.

Leppitsch said Brown would be remembered as a great player but an even better bloke off the field.

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"They call him the people's champ. He really engaged the public and was genuinely interested in people," he said.

"No doubt (he was a great player but even better person). It's a real credit to him.

"(We'll miss him) in a lot of areas. His marketability in Brisbane and what he's done for the code. In the changerooms, he going to be missed in a lot of ways, especially his leadership."

Robinson said Brown's Mark of the Year against Hawthorn in 2002 will be forever.

"I think that mark against Hawthorn sums up Browny," he said.

"He played on the border of recklessness, that was how he played his best football and got the best out of himself.

"When players like Jonathan Brown go, it makes you feel a little bit older because you lose a link to the past."

Whateley said he would remember the big goals.

"I will remember Jonathan Brown kicking goals from 50m, wide out at the Gabba," he said.

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■ THE conversation then shifted to the goal review system after two controversial decisions in Round 14.

The review has been a bug bear of Whateleys but he was happy with one but staggered by the second.

AFL football operations manager Mark Evans said he was happy with the Essendon decision but conceded the North Melbourne decision was incorrect.

"I fully understand why the Essendon one was cleared ... there was no definitive evidence to turn it around ... but the same logic should have been applied to the North Melbourne goal and we don't think it was," he said.

Whateley said the system was faulty and instead of erasing incorrect decisions, it was creating them.

"What we learnt today is that every goal is being reviewed before the bounce in the middle," he said.

"We are using a faulty system to review every goal. (Instead of stopping howlers) we are inserting the howler.

"Does it serve the game well? No. It doesn't because it isn't set up properly."

Robinson agreed: "That was a staggering decision. You ask of yourself, I'm a stupid for missing it?".

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■ ROUND 14 saw two defeats that may be indicative of where Collingwood and Geelong sit in the scheme of things.

Whateley said the Magpies and Cats losses almost ruled them out of top four contention.

"The question of the top four was all but answered with the illuminating failures of Collingwood and Geelong," he said.

"Possession is nine-tenths of the law and the top four now belongs to Port Adelaide, Sydney, Hawthorn and Fremantle."

Robinson wrote about the Cats and said the club's golden period may have finally come to an end.

"They've had a knack of responding to critic, in their era (Geelong). They were scorched by Gold Coast," he said.

"There were elements in the Geelong game that made me think.

"Things can change - we've got 10 games to go - but at the moment they are below the top four.

"I think realistically, they are looking at a transition.

"You can't just trust in your development and expect these young guys are going to come in and replace the champs that have dominated for eight or nine years."

Whatelely said Geelong had proved critics wrong year after year and didn't rule them out of premiership contention.

"Geelong have had a happy knack of evolving when people have written them off but it just hasn't happened yet," he said.

"They've defied expectations by evolving and making it happen."

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■ AFTER the break senior coaches Mark Thompson and Paul Roos joined the panel.

Bomber and Roosy were asked about Nathan Buckley's dressing down of Jarrod Witts during the loss to Hawthorn.

"I'd like to see more of it," said Thompson.

"I think he was trying to get a response and he did."

Roos said the level of scrutiny during games was so intense coaches were no longer able to fire up without the media making a story of it.

"I think that's just coaching," he said.

"Are we're making too much of it? There's cameras on the field, on the box and now they're in the changerooms at half-time.

"He handled it well afterwards."

Thompson was then asked about Essendon's win over Adelaide and how important it was for the club on and off the field.

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"It was really important," he said.

"We really didn't want to lose that one after being in a good position last week and losing it.

Robinson then asked about the players feelings of isolation and loneliness as the ASADA saga drags on.

"Easily (I can understand) ... because I've got it to," he said.

"I think there's a certain percentage of the community that think they've been harshly treated and others that think they cheated.

"They're amazing in the way they've been able to handle everything during the week and then go out and play. They did it last year and they've done it again this year."

The Bombers play Thompson's former club, Geelong, this week and the coach was feeling the nerves but said Paul Chapman was probably feeling worse.

"A little bit, not much more than other weeks," he said.

"I think he'd (Chapman) be pretty toey. Chappy's a different type of guy, I hope he doesn't do anything silly.

"I still barrack for Geelong, the wife barracks for Geelong."

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ON THE COUCH

JONATHAN Brown once again dominated the conversation after bringing his decorated career to an end on Monday.

"You had to admire the way he played and he was a good bloke," Mike Sheahan said.

"I'll remember his Round 6 game in 2005. It was his first game for the season and Brisbane were last ... he came out and kicked 8.2."

Jason Dunstall said Brown's courageous Mark of the Year in 2002 would be his lasting memory of Brown while Gerard Healy said it would be the clutch goals that won the Lions so many games.

Brisbane will miss his leadership and ability but I think we can all tell it was time," Dunstall said.

Harley Bennell put in a match-winning performance against Geelong. Picture: Richard Gosling Source: News Corp Australia

■ IN contrast to the discussion on AFL360, the boys looked more at the Gold Coast Suns after their big win over Geelong.

Sheahan said he didn't expect Geelong to win the premiership at the beginning of the season and were burned by the Suns leg speed.

"They got torched for speed across the ground," he said.

Healy said it was the Suns biggest win of their short history.

"It's their biggest scalp for mine, bigger than Collingwood last year," he said.

Dunstall believed the win could see the Suns lock up their maiden finals appearance.

"This is a team on the move," he said.

"I know they lost three in a row but they'll have a crack at the Hawks. Imagine if they went back to back against Geelong and Hawthorn."

An incident between Jaeger O'Meara and Alan Christensen was also discussed after the Cats midfielder was left dazed.

"I know it doesn't look great but I don't think Jaeger O'Meara is that type of player in the first place and he is pushing his player under the ball, so he can run onto it," Dunstall said.

However, Healy reminded him it wasn't the first time.

"This isn't the first time he's done it.

"He pushed Dan Hannebery into contact and he's got to cut that out. It's careless and Christensen could have been hurt."

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■ GREATER Western Sydney won two games in a row for the first time in their history and received plenty of praise.

"GWS have won two in a row ... a month ago people were saying GWS were a basket case," Dunstall said.

"I think the Giants can take a lot of heart from what the Suns are doing with Harley Bennell. Last year, he was homesick he didn't want to be there and look at him now.

"I think GWS will take great heart from that and the young players will see the progress and buy in."

Sheahan said the Giants turnaround was down to the return of one player.

"All of a sudden they are now playing with belief and passion," he said.

"Mummy has a great influence on that group. He is a great onfield leader."

Rhys Palmer's turnaround has also been a big boost to the Giants after a switch to the forward flank he has kicked 12 goals this season and provided a tough edge to the young forward line.

"You have to admire the way he's adapted to the new role," Sheahan said.

"I admire the fightback and I think he has done remarkable well," Dunstall said.

The discussion the turned to the weekend's losers.

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■ RICHMOND and Carlton are 0-4 in past month and sit second and third last on the form ladder with St Kilda in last place with a percentage of just 43.

"Do you coach for the now or coach for the future?" asked Dunstall.

"I think now, once you get to a certain point in the season, you have to err to a certain path. Now is the time to find out if the young players can play."

Healy wondered whether Richmond could go to the draft or needed to continue their Moneyball experiment.

"The draft can't help him," Sheahan said.

"Is there a premiership in this group right now? If there's not he's got some tough decisions to make," Dunstall said.

Tigers captain Trent Cotchin was also criticised after collecting more than 30 touches but seemingly doing little with them.

"Cotchin, he's got a lot of class ... he has the most kicks of all the midfielders in the comp but has the worst kicking efficiency," Dunstall said.

Sheahan said Cotchin may be trying to cover for his teammates defensively.

"It's disappointing he's getting the criticism. He may not be attacking but he has a great work rate," he said.

"There's a lot of talk about Cotchin and Dustin Martin. My feeling is, Martin plays a lot of the game forward of centre and Cotchin is working back to cover for him."

Carlton had been playing some good football without winning until falling to the Giants and the future of Mick Malthouse continues to hang over the Blues.

"I'd be very disappointed in Mick Malthouse if he isn't taking a future view right now," Dunstall said.

New AFL boss Gillon Mclachlan at AFL house. Picture: David Caird. Source: News Corp Australia

■ NEWLY appointed AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan was the special guest. His first time on the couch since taking over the top job.

"I don't think a CEO has come into the job shrouded in so much controversy, controversy perhaps outside of your control," Healy said.

McLachlan said the Essendon supplements saga was a major issue but he had no answers at this stage.

"I don't know (what will happen) because there are so many variables," he said.

"We don't know how this legal case is going to play out. We have no visibility of the discuss between ASADA and the players managements.

"We don't know what the evidence is. There's been a lot of evidence gathered after the interim report and we don't know what that is."

McLachlan said there were plans in place if a doomsday scenario did occur and Essendon players were banned for two years.

"There are contingency plans - there a multitude of scenarios," he said.

"We have workshopped every scenario and I sit here confident we can get through if there is a doomsday scenario."

Essendon players huddle after their win over Adelaide. Source: Getty Images

He cleared up the situation around the use of AOD-964.

"I think (ASADA CE) Ben McDevitt was pretty unequivocal about that because there was confusion in and around the advice given regarding AOD-964," he said.

"There was confusing messaging to the club and there was sufficient confusion to not issue (show cause notices)."

Brownlow Medallist, Healy has been a harsh critic of the "rolling mauls" this season and hammered McLachlan.

"I think there was a general consensus in the industry that Friday night (Richmond v Sydney) wasn't the greatest of games," McLachlan conceded.

"But there were some great games of football on the weekend.

Healy countered, saying "the bad side of football has never been worse".

"The great side has never been better, there will always be bad games of footy," McLachlan said.

"I'm not going to buy into all this doom and gloom. Yes, there are bad games, our supporters know there are bad games.

"The scrutiny is extraordinary. We all want Friday night to be a showcase event."

Ben Howlett celebrates his controversial goal. Picture: Colleen Petch. Source: News Corp Australia

The goal review system is also in the news after the weekend and McLachlan admitted the Jack Ziebell goal decision was incorrect.

"What they do, every goal is reviewed by the time they get back to the centre," he said.

"I'm happy with (the Essendon) one. I reckon that's the right call.

"The Kangaroos one, that was wrong. I sit there as a fan and I don't like the delay and I don't like the fact it was a wrong decision."

Finally, the boys asked about Good Friday football and whether it would be on the calendar in 2015.

"Everyone has taken that it's a given for next year. I don't think it is a given," he said.

"Given the sensibilities, you want to make it a winner and I don't know if we can make that work given next year will probably be Round 1.

"I'm a believer that you need a good game with top four to six style teams, I don't think it has been be a big powerhouse team.

"If it is Sydney-Port Adelaide in Sydney, then that's a great contest. I don't think we need to be locked into a Bulldogs-Kangaroos or Essendon-whoever."

Jonathan Brown with daughter Olivia, wife Kylie and son Jack. Picture: Jono Searle. Source: News Corp Australia

TALKING FOOTY (7Mate)

JONATHAN Brown's retirement continued to dominance the airwaves on Monday night.

One of the greatest centre half-forwards of the modern era, Wayne Carey, believed Brown was right up there when talking about the best in the position.

"He was a sensation," he said.

"I rate him right up there with the very best I saw at centre half-forward - obviously Kernahan, Loewe, Tredrea, Riewoldt.

"The way I'd sum up Jonathan Brown, he got to ball and contests that others didn't and I think that's what sets him apart from the rest.

"He's a remarkable player ... we talk about courage, he took courage as a key position player to a whole new level.

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■ AFTER Sydney notched up their ninth straight victory, Swans coach John Longmire joined the panel.

Longmire was asked about Lance Franklin's improvement and importance to the Swans.

"We know he's talented, everyone knows that, but what we've been pleased with is his ability to go back and kick clutch goals at important times," he said.

"He started the season off not training too much and as a result his form wasn't up to the standards that he sets but he's been able to train more and more as the season has progressed."

Longmire also provided an update on injured stars Kieren Jack and Rhyce Shaw.

"We expect Keiren Jack to be fine but Rhyce Shaw has a similar injury to Daniel Hannebery but not as bad," he said.

"It's probably only two or three weeks and he was actually concerned after the game that it was worse than that, so to come away with a 2-3 week injury is not too bad."

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FOOTY CLASSIFIED (Channel 9)

AFTER discussing the retirement of Jonathan Brown, it was revealed the AFL is looking into the treatment of Alan Christensen after he copped a head knock.

Damian Barrett reported the AFL was investigating Geelong's testing of Christensen after he returned to the field three minutes after being left dazed.

"We're not second guessing the Geelong medical team because they are the top of tree but we are asking the question - and so is the AFL - how does a player with concussion come back on after just three minutes?" he said.

"If Geelong did do a concussion test, it was done in three minutes."

Caroline Wilson agreed, saying concussion was now a major talking point.

"In fairness, this issue has had massive international attention and the AFL and its doctors are saying its an issue they are completely vigilant of," he said.

"On a day when concussion claimed one of the biggest names in the game with Jonathan Brown retiring," Garry Lyon said.

Barrett was also critical of the part Jaeger O'Meara played in the incident.

"The circumstances around it are also a concern," he said.

"The shove from Jaeger O'Meara has been looked at. He's got form Jaeger O'Meara. It would be something that Guy McKenna would be concerned about that."

Chris Scott talks to Darcy Lang during a recent game. Source: Getty Images

■ AFTER their loss to Gold Coast, Geelong coach Chris Scott was in the hot seat.

Garry Lyon said the Cats now found themselves in slightly unfamiliar territory after a bad month.

Barrett asked Scott about the Christensen incident and his quick return to the field.

"From my perspective it's pretty simple, he came off the ground and the coaches have nothing to do with it. The doctors tell us whether he's right to go or not," he said.

"The doctors have their integrity at stake with these issues.

"It's good that we're talking about this. If there's anything we can learn, then that's great. Given his history, our doctors are even more cautious with him."

The Cats have had some big losses this season, which hasn't happened since the start of their dominance in 2007.

However, Scott was adamant the team would continue to go for wins even if that meant copping big losses.

"Our philosophy is to lose by a little bit more to win," he said.

"When you do that you risk getting scored against heavily but we're willing to do that to win.

"When we are better around the contest, we tend to play better, and our record in Melbourne is exceptional but our record on the road against good teams is poor.

"With so many interstate teams high on the ladder, chances are you're going to have to travel to play them in a final.

"When you've got a pattern over a couple of years, it's something you've got to look at."

Finally, Scott was asked about his Brisbane Lions premiership teammate Jonathan Brown.

"I suspect he only really played on to help the younger players through," he said.

"He's been an absolutely ornament to the game.

"I heard Wayne Carey - who's arguably the greatest player of the modern era - say he was his favourite player and the accolades don't come much bigger than that."


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Dante Exum stars in new US ads

Dante Exum features in a series of new ads in the US. Source: Supplied

AUSTRALIAN teenager Dante Exum is yet to bounce or shoot a ball in the NBA, but he is the star of a major new ad campaign in the US.

The 18-year-old basketballer appears in four comedic ads by global athletic retailer Foot Locker and shoe giant Adidas.

The ads, titled Life Changes After the Draft, poke fun at Exum's Australian accent and lack of celebrity status in the US.

While Exum will still have his Australian accent, on Thursday (Friday 9am AEST), his celebrity profile in the US will skyrocket when he's expected to be a top three pick in the NBA Draft held in Brooklyn, New York.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have the top selection, but if they pass on the 198cm tall Melbourne-born point guard the Milwaukee Bucks or the Philadelphia 76ers, with the second and third picks respectively, are expected to snap up Exum.

"Hey, what do they call sneakers in England?" an American guy, who bumps into Exum on a residential Los Angeles street asks in one of the ads.

"I'm actually Australian," Exum replies.

"So, what do they call sneakers in Australia?" the guy asks.

"Runners," Exum says.

"So you're a runner. Me too," the guy says before running off, leaving a dejected Exum alone on the street.

"No, I play basketball. I'm a point guard," the Australian Institute of Sport graduate says with a bowed head.

NBA hopeful Dante Exum playing in the National High School championships for Lake Ginninderra College. Source: News Limited

In the other ads: Exum is caught by a friend practising his autograph; is mocked by two mates when he tells them he can't go to a Foot Locker store because he fears the paparazzi will be there; and struggles with his Aussie accent to make a restaurant reservation over the phone.

Exum is expected to sign a two-year contract with his NBA team worth about $A4 million a year, with the team holding options for third and fourth years, but it's off the court with his Adidas and other endorsement deals where he'll hit pay dirt.

"The NBA Draft will certainly be a life-changing moment, and it was fun to be featured in these commercials that are going to help people see my personality," Exum said.


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Tomic sails through to second round

Australia's Bernard Tomic has won his first round match at Wimbledon. Source: CARL COURT / AFP

BERNARD Tomic has delivered on his vow to reproduce quality grass court tennis, surging into a second-round Wimbledon stoush with Tomas Berdych.

Tomic schooled Russian Evgeny Donskoy 6-4 6-3 6-2 in an impressive reminder of undoubted shotmaking talent that will not have escaped the attention of anybody in his section of the draw.

Left uncertain after early round setbacks at Queen's club and Eastbourne, Tomic banished the ghosts of those failures with a runaway performance against outclassed Donskoy.

Tomic's success earned him another shot at sixth seed Berdych, who rallied from an unsteady start to destroy Romanian Victor Hanescu 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 6-4 6-3.

Berdych eliminated Tomic in the fourth round here last year.

Although clearly dominant, Tomic had to wait until the eighth game of the first set to impose his superiority.

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Ironically, he broke serve with a dead-bounce net cord winner — and then, serving for the set at 5-3 unravelled with a string of unforced errors as Donskoy broke back.

That jolt was the prompt Tomic needed to elevate his languid game.

He immediately regathered and lost only five of the next 18 games.

An All England Club quarter-finalist in 2011, Tomic needed to win at least a round this season to prevent a ranking fall to outside the top 100.

Currently sitting at world No 86 — well shy of a career-high No 27 — Tomic is a different player on grass, as evidenced by the contrast from his underwhelming claycourt results.

Serving brilliantly, Tomic hit 11 aces with only one double fault.

And he was far more assertive off the ground, thumping 35 winners and breaking serve five times.

Defending champion Andy Murray, Russian Mikhail Youzhny and Latvian Ernests Gulbis were among the first seeded winners.

Gilles Simon, Sergiy Stakhovsky and Blaz Rola also advanced.


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Live: Socceroos v Spain

There are plenty of smiles in the Socceroos camp despite their early exit. Source: WILLIAM WEST / AFP

THE Socceroos will be out to end their Brazilian adventure on a high when they take on deposed world champions Spain in Curitiba.

Buoyed by gallant performances against Chile and The Netherlands, Ange Postecoglou's men enter a match they are sure to start massive underdogs in full of confidence.

Spain are shellshocked after being dumped out after just two matches and there sems no better time for an Aussie upset.

Join us live from 2am (EST). Follow the action with Match Centre.


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Are they spraying shaving cream on the pitch?

Written By malwan milad on Senin, 16 Juni 2014 | 23.41

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WORLD Cup viewers around the globe are asking the same question right now: what is that magical vanishing spray the referees are using on the field?

Referees are using a spray similar to shaving foam to stop defenders from edging closer to the ball during free-kicks in Brazil.

Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura sprays a line after calling for a free kick during the World Cup opener between Croatia and Brazil. Source: AFP

The ref sprays the water-based foam in a circle around the ball, walks 10 yards and sprays another line that the defenders need to stand behind.

Then, magically, the spray vanishes.

Well, maybe not magically. The can contains water and butane gas. The butane expands when the pressure changes and quickly evaporates, leaving just the water on the ground.

Ivorian referee Noumandiez Doue sprays a free kick marker on the pitch during a Group B football match between Chile and Australia. Source: AFP

Players, constantly looking for any advantage they can get, would often encroach on the 10-yard area they are supposed to stand behind, but this measure allows referees to police the problem much more easily.

The product has been used in domestic leagues in Brazil and Argentina but is making its first appearance — and disappearance — at international level.

Referee Wilmar Roldan sprays the temporary line for a free kick as Benjamin Moukandjo and Enoh Eyong of Cameroon form a wall. Source: Getty Images

Australian referee Ben Williams joked it was like "pulling a can of Mace", while English official Howard Webb suggested it could lead to more goals being scored from set pieces.

"It will assist us in getting the players back at a free-kick and, in turn, that gives the attacking team a better opportunity of creating something from that set piece," Webb told the BBC.

Unsurprisingly, the spray has become a hit on social media. A Facebook page is dedicated to it and there is no shortage of memes.

... It does now. Source: Twitter


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Coal Train almost quit league for NFL

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THREE years ago Dave Taylor almost quit rugby league to pursue an opportunity to trial for a career in the NFL.

As Taylor prepares for his return to rugby league's biggest arena for Queensland on Wednesday night, it can be revealed that a conversation in Maroons camp in 2011 almost convinced the 122kg backrower to walk away from the NRL forever.

Taylor met former NFL star Colin Scotts during an Origin camp and was told he had the potential to make a career for himself playing American Football.

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Dave Taylor at Queensland State of Origin training. Source: News Corp Australia

At the time Taylor was playing for South Sydney and genuinely considered pursuing the option, to the point that dates and locations were locked in for camps and trials in the US.

Taylor was just weeks away from asking South Sydney for permission to head to the US for trials over Christmas, a move that could potentially have led to a release from the final year of his contract at the Rabbitohs.

The Rockhampton junior had to weigh up the interests of his young family, who desperately wanted to move back to Queensland, and the financial risk of tearing up a $400,000 NRL contract for no guaranteed success in the US.

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Ultimately it was his family's needs, his love of rugby league and the desire to claim higher rep honours for Queensland and Australia that helped convinced Taylor to remain in the game.

"He was genuinely interested in it," Taylor's manager Col Davis confirmed.

"It was an idea Dave had but I never got to the point of asking South Sydney because it was all just too hard.

"It was canned because he would have needed three weeks off training to go do it.

"But really at the end of the day Dave wanted to be a Queensland and Australia player too and I think being back in Origin he would think he has made the right decision."

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Dave Taylor and Israel Folau celebrate an Origin win in 2010. Source: News Limited

Taylor and his family returned to Queensland when he signed with the Gold Coast Titans for 2013 and his strong performances this season have helped him finally win his position back in the Origin team.

He might seem nonchalant towards his football, but there is no more passionate Queenslander than Taylor as shown by his emotional one-fingered salute after the 2012 series decider.

Returning to Maroons camp for the first time last week, Taylor was as excited as any rookie and keeping him level-headed has been a major focus for Queensland.

HAGAN CHECKS PLAN OF ATTACK

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He was greeted in camp by the sledgehammer comment from coach Mal Meninga that Taylor had never done the job for Queensland in his past six Origins.

Skipper Cameron Smith on Monday outlined clear and concise guidelines he wants the 25-year-old to follow to be a valuable contributor to the Maroons on Wednesday night.

Crucially, Smith believes Queensland will see a different Dave Taylor to the one that last graced the Origin arena in 2012.

MENINGA FACES CHERRY-EVANS GAMBLE

A dejected Dave Taylor. Source: News Limited

"I think you might see a different Dave Taylor now he has got another opportunity to put himself in a good position as far as playing a fair few games for Queensland now," Smith said.

"I just think Dave needs to just have a simple mindset and think he has to go out and play like he does for the Titans.

"When he gets the ball just run as hard as he can and make it hard for the Blues to stop him.

"We played the Titans early in the year and he was almost unstoppable. "We all know it's a different brand of footy in State of Origin, but that doesn't take away his ability to run hard and be a threat to the Blues."


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Wally’s nephew primed to battle Blues

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HE IS the first Lewis to wear Queensland's No.6 jersey in almost a quarter of a century and Wally's 17-year-old nephew Lachlan has a pass even ''The King'' raves about.

A lanky playmaker who will end up near 190cm in height, Lachlan will play five-eighth for Queensland's under-18 team against the Blues in Wednesday night's State of Origin II curtain-raiser.

Lachlan was starstruck as he tried to defend against Greg Inglis's palm on Sunday morning when the teenagers took on the Maroons in an opposed session. Lachlan is the son of Wally's younger brother Scott, whose Broncos career was cut short by knee injuries.

Lachlan Lewis, nephew of Wally. Picture: Peter Wallis Source: News Corp Australia

A Canberra Raiders prodigy, Lachlan rejected the Broncos' advances two years ago to show loyalty to the club that signed him when he was 12 years old.

Wally said schedules had often meant he was unable to see his nephew's games in recent years but when he saw him play for Canberra's under-20s team on television recently, he was stunned by his vision.

Lachlan Lewis. Picture: Peter Wallis Source: News Corp Australia

"I hadn't seen a lot of him recently but I watched him play for Canberra in the under-20s and he threw a pass that was timed so well and put his player through the line, and I thought 'that's a pass that shows real footy instinct'," Wally said.

"Scott deserves all the credit in building him to where he is.

''He is the one who has taught him. In terms of football I haven't had a lot to do with Lachlan, just through work often not allowing me to see his games.

"He's a really good kid though but there's a lot of hard work from here to make the next level."

Lachlan, who was born four years after Wally's final match in '92, said his uncle's incredible career for Queensland inspired him.

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"It is not just advice, it is him proving to me Queensland's spirit and how much fun it can be to play NSW," Lachlan said with a cheeky grin.

"He's just my uncle. He is just part of the family.

"He played footy and so did everyone else in my family.

''It was all pretty normal."

Lachlan knows how tough an athletic career can be.

His father was very talented until his knee gave out, while he also gains inspiration from his sister, who is carving out a ballet career in America and has performed alongside pop star Lady Gaga.


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Gallen reveals ASADA baby anguish

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ON the eve of perhaps his greatest moment, NSW skipper Paul Gallen has opened up about the mental anguish ASADA's investigation has taken on him and Cronulla.

A candid Gallen has spoken about how he has been forced to deal with 19 months of damaging innuendo as the ASADA supplements drama continues to hover menacingly over the game.

Gallen yesterday revealed:

* How the investigation has prevented he and wife Anne from having another child.

* Young Sharks players have endured "mental health issues".

* Other players have been medicated.

* Sharks staff and officials have been hospitalised.

* How the NRL has done little to help.

Paul Gallen and wife Anne at the 2013 Dally M Awards. Picture: Gregg Porteous Source: News Limited

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Thirty-four Essendon players from their 2012 squad have been given show-cause notices by ASADA over their supplements saga, and speculation continues that Cronulla will be next.

Gallen is trying to push the saga to one side as he prepares to lead NSW in a bid to end Queensland's eight-year series reign on Wednesday night at ANZ Stadium.

Paul Gallen trains with NSW in Coffs Harbour. Picture: Gregg Porteous Source: News Corp Australia

"Put it this way, I would have had another kid by now if this wasn't going on. So it's been horrendous, it's been disgraceful," Gallen said.

"It has impacted lives. I know we have had players medicated, we have had staff and officials who have been hospitalised. It's terrible, it's terrible. I don't think any of the players aren't worried about it. I didn't watch The Footy Show last week but I think a couple of guys got on there and spoke about some mental health issues.

Paul Gallen has opened up on the ASADA scandal. Picture: Gregg Porteous Source: News Corp Australia

Paul Gallen trains with the Blues. Picture: Gregg Porteous Source: News Corp Australia

"It made me shake my head. I think the NRL has had the biggest (mental health) in history right under its nose and basically done nothing about it. That's very, very frustrating for me because what I have seen some young guys go through the past 17 or 18 months has been disgraceful. They're still going through it and, as I say, we still don't know what's going on.

"I will go into it one day. I am not going to go into it now. As I said, some very young guys, what they have had to go through, has been too much. As far as I am concerned there has been very little help."

Gallen said he has personally intervened in an attempt to bring the ongoing dispute to a head. "Last year was so intense with it all and this year it seems to come up every couple of weeks," he said.

Paul Gallen down injured in Origin II. Picture: Darren England Source: News Corp Australia

"This is as honest an answer as I can give. From day one, from the time Cronulla got brought into it, which was a week or so after that press conference, I don't know anything.

"Nothing has changed for me. I have been told to turn up to a meeting. I turned up at that meeting. Other than that I don't know anything."

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Each day passes and the frustration increases for Gallen, who says the investigation "has just become a part of life".

"Every time it comes up, I just wait for the next phone call or the cameras to be in my face," he said. "Because at the end of the day no one is worried about some of the lesser-named players at Cronulla. They're concerned about me, which has been the most frustrating thing from day one."

The NRL on Monday responded to Gallen's claims. "NRL welfare and education officials have met with the Sharks players many times and offered counselling support. As recently as last week the NRL offered assistance to deal with any anxiety among the Sharks players," a spokesman said.


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Tomic beats Golubev, saves ranking

Bernard Tomic has avoided a ranking slide by beating Andrey Golubev. Source: Steve Bardens / Getty Images

BERNARD Tomic has averted a rankings crisis — for now — after charging into a second-round clash with top-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet at the AEGON International in Eastbourne.

Tomic swept to a 6-4 6-4 over talented Kazakhi Andrey Golubev after producing an erratic, angry start.

The Queenslander was warned for ball abuse — after winning the point — in the sixth game of the match.

Seemingly distracted by noise from adjoining court one at the quaint Devonshire setting, Tomic swatted a ball into the car park.

He early swished his racquet in frustration and spoke in Croatian repeatedly towards his courtside support crew, led by his coach and father John.

Umpire Mohamed Layhani issued the warning, prompting Tomic to settle but not before another long exchange with Layhani at the next change of ends.

Needing to at least repeat his 2013 run to the quarter-final to avoid another rankings slide — he currently sits at No 82 in the world — Tomic was too strong for Golubev.

The Australian hit 12 aces and three double faults and undoubtedly should have won by a greater margin.

He converted only two of 10 break point opportunities, albeit in windy, overcast conditions.

Tomic will seek to avenge a listless first-round French Open defeat to Wimbeldon semi-finalist Gasquet as he bids to intensify Wimbledon preparations.

Victorian qualifier Chris Guccione was dispatched 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 by French sixth seed Gilles Simon.

The Victorian lost serve only once in a serve-dominated contest, delivering 13 aces to Simon's 15.


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