Adelaide midfielder Scott Thompson tormented his former AFL club Melbourne with a best-afield display in the Crows’ 68-point victory on Saturday.
Thompson gathered a game-high 33 disposals as Adelaide continued Melbourne’s miserable season with a 18.12 (120) to 7.10 (52) win at AAMI Stadium.
Thompson, who left the Demons after the 2004 season to join Adelaide, was a standout, Lewis Johnston kicked six goals, Sam Jacobs ruled the rucks and first-year Crows Mitch Grigg and Brad Crouch were influential.
Melbourne forwards Jeremy Howe, Jack Watts and Colin Sylvia each kicked two goals and Nathan Jones and Jack Grimes battled gamely against the tide.
The Demons had the better of a lacklustre opening term, kicking 2.3 to 1.2, but lost David Rodan, who was substituted at quarter-time with a left ankle injury.
Melbourne then went missing in a costly second-term slumber when the Crows piled on five goals in 10 minutes.
Adelaide’s goal spree went unanswered by the visitors, who didn’t score at all until Howe kicked his second goal more than 26 minutes into the quarter.
The Crows led 7.4 to 4.5 at halftime and were propelled by their dual club champion Thompson, who collected 22 disposals to the main break, and ruckman Jacobs, who logged 23 hit-outs for the half.
Any hope of a Melbourne rally was terminated by two atrocious discipline lapses which book-ended the third term.
Four minutes into the quarter, defender Lynden Dunn inexplicably punched Andy Otten in the chest some 100 metres off the ball – the blow contained little force but was spotted by the umpire and the Crow goaled from 20 metres out.
And the last act of the quarter was another woeful Melbourne moment: Tom McDonald was outmarked by Adelaide forward Johnston but then knocked the ball from the Crow player’s hands.
McDonald was penalised 50m but didn’t even bother to stand the mark, allowing Johnston to stroll to the goalline to score.
Johnston potted four of his six majors in the last quarter of a game which was Adelaide’s last at AAMI Stadium – they move to a redeveloped Adelaide Oval next season.
On the verge of breaking Andrew Johns’ Newcastle appearance record, hooker Danny Buderus has revealed the moment he feared he would never play again.
The former NSW Origin and Test captain will make his 250th appearance against Cronulla at Remondis Stadium on Saturday night – surpassing rugby league Immortal Johns’ mark in the red and blue.
But having undergone two bouts of back surgery at the start of the year, Buderus doubted his potential to ever lace on the boots again, let alone reach 250 games.
The games record was an obvious incentive during his rehabilitation, as was a determination to go out on his own terms.
“I didn’t think I’d play again at times,” Buderus said.
“The back takes a lot of confidence out of you.
“At the start of this year when they asked me to play on again I (thought) that would be a great achievement to play 250.
“Joey was 249, to play 250 let alone break the record, is a good achievement.
“That was a goal of mine, but two serious back ops at the start of the year, I thought I’d never get here.”
Buderus also admitted he’d never considered the possibility of coming back to the Knights when he left the club after the 2008 season to take up what was going to be a two year swansong with Super League club Leeds.
Five years later he is back where it all began, on the brink of becoming the most-capped Knight.
Barring another setback, he will get to exit the game on his terms, with Newcastle still in the running to feature in the finals.
“If I didn’t finish the way I wanted to, I probably would have thought I was a bit of a failure,” Buderus said.
“I wanted to come back and finish on my own terms and I’ve got five games to do that.
“I’m glad I’ve strung a few together the last four or five weeks, it’s not finished yet.
“To come back and say goodbye to the fans again in a few more weeks would be great.”
Port Adelaide are confident their ex-Essendon forward Angus Monfries will play out the AFL season despite his involvement in the Bombers’ drugs investigation.
But the Power have denied being told Monfries will be cleared for any finals campaign, regardless of the outcome of the Essendon drugs scandal.
Monfries played 150 games for Essendon but was traded to Port Adelaide at the end of last season.
Port coach Ken Hinkley said the supplements scandal at Essendon had been harder for Monfries because he had left the club.
“I’m not certainly aware that he has or he hasn’t been cleared,” Hinkley told reporters on Thursday.
“I think we expect, as everyone expects, that the players are the ones that we’re first and foremost worried about and we want to make sure that they’re okay.
“And for Gus to be at a different club, it’s even a little bit more difficult for him to deal with I suppose because he’s not quite as sure about what is going on.
“We’re hopeful that everything will work out okay.”
Monfries was interviewed by Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), which has delivered their interim report to the AFL and, in turn, the Bombers.
“It’s something that I’m not totally over and Gus has been able to deal with it all the way through. If it hasn’t affected him and the way he has gone about it (football),” Hinkley said.
“I suppose he is like the rest of us: he’s just waiting to see what the outcome of the report is going to be. And then, what will happen from there, we’ll have to deal with.”
Asked if he was confident Monfries would play the rest of the season, Hinkley replied: “Yeah, we are.”
“When I say confident, I’m only reading what I’m reading and seeing what I’m seeing and I would assume that he would be okay,” he said.
“But until you see the report, see what is actually in that, I’m guessing.”
The AFL Commission will discuss the report at a meeting on Monday.
The West Australian government has offered the family of Australia’s first Aboriginal cabinet minister Ernie Bridge a state funeral or memorial service.
Mr Bridge, who died last weekend, and has been remembered as a politician who was respected by both sides of the West Australian Parliament.
He served 21 years in politics as a Labor and then an Independent member and became Australia’s first Aboriginal Minister of any Australian Parliament in 1986.
Aged 76, he died from asbestos-related diseases after launching legal action against those he believed were responsible.
Perth correspondent Ryan Emery takes a look back at his life.
(Sound of country and western singer):
Ernie Bridge performing a country and western song.
But it wasn’t on stage – it was in State Parliament.
Jim McGinty is a former state Labor Party leader and colleague of Mr Bridge.
“I think it’s the only time it’s happened in the history of the Westminister System because he was a great Country and Western singer.”
Ernie Bridge was one for firsts.
He became Western Australia’s first Aboriginal Member of Parliament in 1980 and six years later became the nation’s first Aboriginal cabinet minister.
He was the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Water Resources and the North West.
Jim McGinty says the Kimberley man, born in Halls Creek, was respected by both sides of Parliament.
“Ernie’s life has made him a role model for Indigenous Australians, but it’s also been important for non-Indigenous Australians to have someone as successful as Ernie. Shire president at a very young age, first Indigenous cabinet minister, but it wasn’t just positions that he held, he dreamt big and he thought big and has left a significant legacy of achievements behind him in the various portfolios he held.”
His son Noel Bridge remembers a father who was always there for his children.
“Look just a wonderful, loving and caring father to me and always someone prepared to listen and take interest in what I had to say and what I was doing as I grew up. Dad was always someone I could reliably speak to whatever the circumstances or situation. I was very privileged to have a very strong bond and relationship with dad in that way and that’s something I’ll always cherish and something I’ll miss going into the future.”
Mr Bridge was a big ideas man.
One of his biggest was to pipe water from the mighty Fitzroy River in the Kimberley to the south of the state.
The idea, which never got off the ground, was what he was singing about in State Parliament.
Federal Minister for Resources Gary Gray says Mr Bridge inspired many and began the culture of strong Indigenous leadership in the Kimberley region.
“Firstly the idea that through hard work you could get through the institutional barriers and become a representative of the Kimberley in the Parliament of Western Australia. And while he was there, he didn’t just do that job well, he became a minister and he also made his mark on important and enduring legacy things for Western Australia such as the better use of the land and water in the north and the Kimberley for horticulture and other purposes. Ernie was a great man.”
Jim McGinty says even now, Mr Bridge can continue to be inspirational.
“He was the sort of person who had a strong set of values and convictions, but he went about it in the nicest possible way. I think modern politicians could learn a lesson from Ernie.”
Ernie Bridge was a great advocate for Aboriginal people.
He pushed for Aboriginal aides in the police force and was successful – paving the way for Aboriginal police officers.
He headed a Royal Commission into the unlawful arrests of Aboriginal people at Skull Creek, which began to change the way West Australian police interacted with Aboriginal people.
After he left politics, he championed the health and education of Aboriginal people.
Last year, he was named a Member of the Order of Australia for his parliamentary work and advocacy for Aboriginal people.
Western Australia’s Opposition leader, Mark McGowan, visited Mr Bridge in hospital during the recent state election campaign.
“He was upbeat. He was in good spirits. He was determined to do his best to defeat the illness that afflicted him, but unfortunately he is now passed away. It was great to meet him on that final occasion. Great to have a last conversation with him. I know he’ll be missed by many West Australians.”
Mr Bridge was determined to fight his asbestos-related diseases and also those he believed were responsible.
He had launched legal action about two weeks before his death against companies owned by Gina Rineheart and Angela Bennett.
He’d also included the state government, the Shire of Ashburton and the CSR and Midalco companies in his legal challenge.
Mr Bridge believed his exposure to asbestos dust and fibres at the town of Wittenoom led to his terminal illness.
He visited the town as the Minister for the North West, overseeing the withdrawal of government services from the town in the 1980s.
Noel Bridge says the family is yet to decide if it’ll continue the legal action, which they are entitled to do by law.
“We were aware that there is some sort of press running around at the moment in regards to that matter, but we’re certainly not contributing to that press at this point in time. We’re focused pretty much on what’s before us and that is to give dad the right send off and show him the respect and allow the celebration of the contribution to this state to occur in the best way we can possibly do.”
(Ends with Ernie Bridge singing)
Labor’s tougher message on boat arrivals is getting through in Indonesia with people seeking their money back from smugglers, Immigration Minister Tony Burke says.
He says he’s received reports from Indonesia that there are widespread demands from potential asylum seekers wanting their money back from people smugglers.
Mr Burke says they are realising they would be buying a ticket to Papua New Guinea or Nauru not to Australia.
“When I say the demands for money back are widespread, they are absolutely widespread,” Mr Burke told reporters in Sydney.
“They realise that what they have paid for is no longer available to them.”
“There is no doubt that the message is getting through.”
Mr Burke said the only way to stop people smugglers was to take their product and customers away, and that was starting to happen.
He also said a “very significant number” of people who had been transferred to PNG’s Manus Island were now in talks with internationals organisation of migration organising their transfers back home.
He said that could be done fairly quickly if they still had their identity documents with them.
Mr Burke said whatever capacity is needed to house asylum seekers would be built under the federal government’s asylum seeker resettlement deal with PNG.
He said refugees would be looked after and given resettlement opportunities to get on with their lives.
If they have been found not to be refugees it was probably a fair indication that it was safe for them to go home, he said.
Labor’s policy says people who arrive in Australia by boat without a visa will not be settled in Australia.
Cancer experts say the rates of melanoma in men and women are decreasing but the good news end there.
They say there has been a surge in the rate of deaths from the disease among men despite the improving number of cases.
Chair of the National Skin Cancer Committee Dr Terry Slevin says the problem could be rooted in Australian “blokey culture”.
“A bloke starts putting on some sunscreen with some moisturiser and he gets called a “metrosexual”. It makes no sense”.
He says that culture needs to change.
“In the Australian sun, when we’re the skin cancer champions of the world, unfortunately it’s time that blokes got over this macho stuff and started actually looking after their skin properly because it is genuinely a matter of life and death.”
But it’s not just a problem for men in Australia. In Britain, where there’s been an unusually warm and sunny summer, similar results have been seen.
Professor of Dermatology at St James’s University Hospital in Leeds, says early detection is also a problem British men.
“Melanoma in men is most common on the back and it’s just difficult to see.”
But that doesn’t explain it all. Professor Newton-Bishop says there appears to be some bio-chemical reason why the mortality rate is higher in men.
“Men seem to deal with it less well. There seems to be something different about the way their bodies interact with melanoma”.
The Australian Cancer Council doesn’t have any results that support that theory but agrees it’s time men started taking it more seriously.
The push for a greater awareness of the benefits of early diagnosis of melanoma comes as ahead of the Council’s Daffodil Day fundraiser on Friday August 23rd.
The win, in the Rugby Championship and loosehead prop Tony Woodcock’s 100th test, ensured the world champions retained the Bledisloe Cup for an 11th successive season.
It also extended the Wallabies’ winless streak against the All Blacks in New Zealand to 16 games – a run that stretches back to August 11, 2001, when Australia won 23-15 in Dunedin.
“Australia … turned up and threw everything at us,” Hansen told reporters after the clash at Wellington Regional Stadium. “For long periods of the game they won the moments.
“I was very proud of our team with the way they fought back and in the end got on top.
“Probably not our prettiest test match but we will take that, particularly when we win the big prize of the Cup at the end of it.”
The All Blacks had easily won the opening match of the Rugby Championship 47-29 last week in Sydney but entered Saturday’s game with flyhalf Tom Taylor making his test debut after injuries to Daniel Carter, Aaron Cruden and Beauden Barrett.
Apart from a nervous-looking first penalty attempt when Taylor appeared to pull his left shoulder around too soon and dragged the kick past the upright, the 24-year-old hardly put a foot wrong.
His first-up defence when the Wallabies were sending runners down the channels close to the ruck during the first half was sound, while he distributed and kicked well, made several telling runs, and eventually found his goal-kicking range.
One of his missed kicks bounced off two of the posts, while a penalty attempt from inside his own half had the distance but drifted just wide.
Taylor ended with 14 points, and was replaced late in the match after injuring his ribs.
He earned plaudits from his coach as to how well he had settled into the side during the week.
“I thought he coped tremendously well all week. (Assistant coach) Ian (Foster) did a magnificent job with him, nursing him along quietly,” Hansen said.
“He is a confident, mature young player. He kicked well again … he was assured in everything he did and you can’t ask for any more than that for a player making his debut.”
Hansen’s biggest issue now, pending checks on Taylor’s ribs, concerns which of his flyhalves he will play when the All Blacks face Argentina in their next Rugby Championship clash on September 7.
Carter and Barrett, who both had minor calf strains, trained during the week, while Cruden could come into consideration if he recovers from a knee injury.
Hansen, however, said he would not rush anyone back too early and if he has four to choose from it will be a difficult choice as he will “have to drop a couple”.
“Don’t know which ones yet,” he said.
Given what happened on Saturday, it was a headache he could live with.
(Editing by Josh Reich)
Tensions between supporters of Venezuelan President-elect Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Henrique Capriles have surfaced in the Venezuelan community in Australia.
Nicolás Maduro is set to be sworn-in as Venezuela’s President following elections last Sunday.
But the event is being overshadowed by the Opposition’s call for a full vote-by-vote recount, and the deaths of several people in post-election violence.
Biwa Kwan reports.
Protesters chanting: ‘recount, recount’…protesters singing Venezuelan national anthem.
From Venezuela to Australia.
The results of Venezuela’s election continue to be disputed, with calls for a full vote-by-vote recount being echoed at demonstrations in Sydney and Melbourne.
At a protest in Sydney, Carolina Velasquez says there are a number of Venezuelans-Australians who do not recognise Nicolas Maduro as the legitimate President of Venezuela.
“We want people to know that there’s a big community that is against what is going on Venezuela. We do not agree with the violent days that we’ve had in the last few days. And we don’t recognise Maduro as a president. We want 100 percent of the recount of the votes back home.”
Also at the Sydney protest, Samantha Cerna says there is a need for a full manual recount because of concerns over electoral breaches.
“This is important to us because there were several irregularities in the process – human rights violations. There were votes that were not secret. And on top of that, the margin of difference was really close. So we believe we’re entitled to a full recount to a 100 per cent of the votes.”
Venezuela’s National Electoral Council says it will electronically audit machines that were not checked immediately after Sunday’s vote.
But it rejects the opposition’s claim of irregularities.
Alfonz De Gill from the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network says he believes Mr Maduro is the rightful winner of the election and no recount is necessary.
“This (Maduro) government is a democratic government and has been elected by the people. And as such the institutions decide the election has been a good one and a democratic one – it has to be respected. And we would like the Australian government to support that and congratulate Mr Maduro.”
Opposition leader Henrique Capriles has called for a full manual recount.
But the Supreme Court says that’s impossible.
Opposition spokesman Carlos Oscari says a recount is needed to ease rising political tensions.
“What we’re asking for is really simple. We are asking for is for everyone, and we’re confident that more than 80 percent of Venezuelans on either side agree. We will see what happens in the process, we will have a vote-by-vote recount, let’s review it. Whatever the outcome, Venezuelans will be confident over what happened on April 14 and, of course, this eases the political crisis that exists at the moment.”
Meanwhile, President-elect Nicolas Maduro has accused accused Mr Caprilles of planning a coup.
The authorities say they have detained dozens of people and have placed under investigation a group of military officers suspected of plotting with the Opposition supporters.
Mr Maduro says he will be discussing the alleged coup attempt during a visit to Peru for a special session of the Union of South American Nations in Peru.
“We’re going to the presidential summit convened by Union of South American Nations to demonstrate again for the capital for action, their political capacity, when faced with the threat of violence and a coup in Venezuela. We will directly inform them of the events that our country has experienced in recent hours, in recent days, as we defeat this coup.”
Mr Capriles said in a Twitter message that he too was considering attending the Peru meeting, adding that he had been in conversation with several leaders.
Countries including Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia and Argentina have recognised Mr Maduro’s victory, but so far, the United States has not.
Bolivian President Evo Morales condemned the US position, saying it had no right to question Mr Maduro’s victory because George W. Bush won the presidency by a similarly narrow margin in 2004.
“President Bush won with 50.7 percent of the vote and did anyone ask for a recount of votes? He won by a minimal margin. And now the U.S. government asks for a recount in Venezuela. It’s flagrant meddling and we are not going to allow it. For this reason, all the Latin American presidents are meeting to reject this.”
Most of the leaders at the regional summit in Peru will head to Venezuela for the swearing-in ceremony after the meeting.
An “exceptional” run of jackpots last financial year significantly boosted the earnings of Tatts Group’s lotteries business.
Tatts, which also operates a wagering business and gaming machine monitoring services, says its lotteries business grew revenue by 14 per cent in the 2012/13 financial year, the highlight of a strong trading performance.
“The jackpot run in FY13 (financial year 2012/13) played in our favour, with 39 jackpots at or above $15 million in the year compared with 22 in FY12,” Tatts said on Thursday.
Powerball and Oz Lotto were the standout games for the year.
Powerball was changed during the year to produce more jackpots and increase the number of winners.
Tatts made a net profit of $247.3 million in 2012/13, down 22.5 per cent on the previous year due to the loss of Tatts’ licence to operate poker machines in Victoria in August 2012.
The group has had a positive start to the new financial year, with the first month of trading comfortably ahead of July in 2012.
Lotteries has had an excellent start, but wagering was a little more subdued due to the weather and a run of wins by favourites in the major football codes.
Managing director Robbie Cooke said Tatts was looking to boost online demand for its products in both lotteries and wagering.
“This is seen as one of the more significant marketing opportunities for the group,” he said.
In the 2012/13 financial year, profit from Tatts’ continuing businesses rose 41 per cent to $227.4 million.
Revenue from the wagering division rose five per cent, due to the first full year contribution from the recently acquired Tote Tasmania, and the increasing popularity of fixed odds betting.
Mr Cooke said 2012/13 had been an outstanding year for Tatts, with its continuing operations performing ahead of expectations.
Tatts shares were up four cents at $3.21 at 1522 AEST.
Rio Ferdinand insists there should be no concerns about Manchester United’s pre-season form even though Sevilla condemned the Premier League champions to a third defeat in seven games.
United manager David Moyes has endured a difficult opening few weeks in charge, with an indifferent set of results adding to the anxiety caused by Wayne Rooney’s desire to leave Old Trafford and the failure to add new signings.
England striker Rooney, 27, trained with the reserves on Thursday and Friday, undergoing more intensive sessions rather than working with the players that were set to feature in Ferdinand’s testimonial against Sevilla on Friday.
Rooney returned from the pre-season tour of the Far East and Australia after one day with a hamstring injury and missed Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Swedish side AIK with a shoulder problem.
He was not even at the ground for Ferdinand’s match, which saw Moyes’ side beaten 3-1 in his first match in charge at Old Trafford, making it 13 goals conceded in his first seven games.
United now have just Sunday’s Community Shield against Wigan at Wembley before starting the defence of their Premier League title at Swansea next weekend.
After that they face a difficult run of matches, with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City providing the opposition in three of the next four games.
But centre-back Ferdinand, 34, maintains there is no reason to worry despite the underwhelming early results under Moyes, who replaced the retired Alex Ferguson at the end of last season.
“There is a frustration. We want to win every game so to lose is disappointing but it’s lucky there weren’t three points at stake,” he said.
“The Community Shield is a big game and it’s a chance to win silverware so we want to win.
“But the most important game coming up is the Swansea game because we want to retain our league title.”
Sevilla were in Europa League action on Thursday, but just 24 hours later they were the sharper side at Old Trafford, with Diego Perotti cutting the United defence open for Vitolo to open the scoring and Vitolo laying on a goal for on-loan Chelsea midfielder Marko Marin.
Antonio Valencia pulled one back when he finished off a cross to the far post from Adnan Januzaj, but Bryan Labello scored a third for the visitors from a Kevin Gameiro pass.
Although issues such as Rooney’s future continue to dominate, Moyes cannot fail to have been impressed with the form of Belgian youngster Januzaj in pre-season, while Jesse Lingard has also staked a claim for permanent involvement in the first-team squad with a string of good performances.