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Live FFA Cup: Mariners lead, Berisha starts

Written By malwan milad on Rabu, 20 Agustus 2014 | 18.49

Josh Rose of the Mariners clears the ball against South Coast Wolves at WIN Stadium. Source: Mark Nolan / Getty Images

THERE was no giant-killing on the South Coast as the Mariners overcame a spirited Wolves side to claim their first ever FFA Cup win.

Glen Trifiro's first half goal was enough to send the Central Coast team through to the next round, but they were made to fight for the win.

Over 5000 fans braved a chilly evening in Wollongong for the historic FFA Cup clash and created a brilliant atmosphere at WIN Stadium

The night's second match kicks off at 9.30pm (EST), with Melbourne Victory making its Cup debut against Bayswater City at the Western Australia Athletics Stadium in Perth.

The hosts lead the WA NPL and are coached by former Socceroo Chris Coyne, who has former A-League players Jamie Coyne, Todd Howarth, Sam Mitchinson and Devon Spence at his disposal.

Victory coach Kevin Muscat could unleash signings Besart Berisha, Carl Valeri and Matthieu Delpierre on their opponents as the side looks to join fellow A-League sides Sydney FC, Perth Glory, Adelaide United and Brisbane Roar in the last 16.

Follow both matches in our live and interactive blog below.


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Barca blow as FIFA upholds transfer ban

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BARCELONA will appeal to sports' highest court after FIFA refused to overturn a transfer ban, a decision the club described as an "affront" to its famed youth academy.

"FC Barcelona announces that it shall continue defending its interests before the highest sporting authority, in this case the Court of Arbitration for Sport," the club said in a statement.

The club said they disagreed with FIFA's decision to maintain a suspension on transfers as a penalty for breaking the rules on transfers of minors, fiercely defending the ideals of its renowned youth academy, La Masia.

"FC Barcelona may not in any way share a resolution that is an affront to the spirit of our Masia, a world renowned example of academic, human and sporting education," Barcelona said.

Barcelona can continue to sign players until the end of the current summer transfer window, but will not then be able to recruit any new players in the next two windows, in January and next summer.

Because Barca appealed, the punishment was frozen during the current transfer window, which closes on September 1 and allowed them to sign striker Luis Suarez.

FIFA found the signing of 10 unnamed players to be in breach of its rules covering the protection of minors. A fine of $494,000 was also imposed on Barcelona.

The Spanish Football Federation was also found to have violated FIFA rules covering the registration of minors. Its appeal against a fine of A$565,500 was also rejected.


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Stars of the future to rise in NRC

Hard-running Stars winger James Dargaville is ready to take his game to the next level. Source: Supplied

SEVEN years ago the Australian Rugby Championship was launched with a slick TV ad using the catchline: "You don't know me … yet."

It featured unknown kids tipped to become the next generation of rugby stars, and proved to be eerily accurate.

Kurtley Beale, David Pocock, Luke Burgess, Dean Mumm and the Faingaa twins were among the ­actors and within a year or two of the 2007 ARC, most went on to become Wallabies.

The ARC lasted just one season but tonight Australia's third-tier competition will be officially ­­re-incarnated, with the National Rugby Championship kicking off at Ballymore.

Brisbane City will host the Sydney Stars, and three other matches will roll out over the weekend.

The NRC is a financially leaner edifice than its predecessor but there is hope the remarkable player development legacy of the ARC will be equally as prolific.

Approximately 77 players involved in the ARC made their Super Rugby debuts either in 2007 or in years to come.

A whopping 35 went on to win Test debuts for the Wallabies in 2008 and years beyond: including star names like Will Genia, Quade Cooper, Scott Fardy, Ben Alexander, Christian Lealiifano, Pocock and Beale — who was the tournament's MVP.

Kurtley Beale in action for the Western Sydney Rams in 2007. Source: News Limited

One was even let slip and went on to to become a Kiwi rugby league international: former Central Coast Rays flanker Jared Waerea-Hargreaves. It's fair to argue many would have progressed through, anyway, but players sing the ARC's praises for giving them experience and exposure.

Robbie Deans earmarked Ben Alexander after watching footage of him playing for the Rams, for example, prior to joining the Brumbies in 2008.

The NRC, too, will inevitably be the launching pad for future Super and Test rugby names.

Hard-running Stars winger James Dargaville, 22, was yesterday identified by coach Chris Malone as one such player.

"We have some young guys with phenomenal talent but of all of them, Dargaville is ready to go now. He's ready to play at the next level now," Malone said.

Some names will already have a familiar ring, with several NRC clubs already affiliated with Super Rugby clubs. With professional training backgrounds, the Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and two Brisbane clubs will be tough to beat for the club-based Sydney teams, believes Malone.

"My expectation is those teams should do very well in this comp. In saying that, the Rams and the Eagles have put together good squads, so most teams will be good," he said.

The Stars, a combination of Uni and Balmain, will turn to Wallabies Paddy Ryan and Peter Betham for star power.

"Our depth is going to be tested, but that's exciting too, it's a great challenge," Malone said. "We can't re-invent the wheel for this comp. We will go into it and have a red-hot crack and see how we go."

The Vikings will have Lealiifano, Jesse Mogg and Fotu Auelua on deck against Perth Spirit on Saturday, and the Greater Sydney Rams, who yesterday announced Steve Mafi as a new signing, will travel to Coogee Oval to play the NSW Country Eagles.


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Wanderers grab precious one-goal advantage

Tomi Juric and Antony Golec celebrate the Wanderers goal. Source: Mark Evans / News Corp Australia

WESTERN Sydney Wanderers will take a narrow advantage to China next week after beating Guangzhou Evergrande 1-0 in their Asian Champions League quarter-final first leg

Antony Golec scored the only goal of the game midway through the second half, with his innocuous shot deceiving everyone and creeping into the corner of the net.

The game was soured late on when two Guangzhou players were sent off and visiting coach Marcello Lippi burst onto the field to remonstrate with the referee.

Relive all the action with ourt Live Blog.


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Bulldogs scrape past Storm in thriller

Written By malwan milad on Sabtu, 12 Juli 2014 | 18.48

The Melbourne Storm were unable to break the Bulldogs defence. Source: Scott Barbour / Getty Images

A SUPERB defensive effort by the Canterbury Bulldogs has helped them to a thrilling two point win over the Melbourne Storm.

The Storm had the bulk of the opportunities on their home ground but were unable to crack the Bulldogs brick wall defence in the second half.

In a gripping affair, each side scored only one try each with a Trent Hodkinson conversion proving the difference.
The Storm had a chance to lock the game up at 6-6 when Cameron Smith opted to take a penalty shot from the sideline with only a few minutes remaining but pushed it wide.

Kevin Proctor scored the only try of the first half when he crashed over after some great lead up work by Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk.

James Graham popped a miracle ball to Sam Kasiano who crashed over to level the scores in the second half before Hodkinson added the extras.

Earlier, the Warriors thrashed the Eels 48-0 at Mt Smart Stadium, scoring eight unanswered tries.

CANTERBURY 6 (S Kasiano try T Hodkinson goal) bt MELBOURNE 4 (K Proctor try) at AAMI Park. Referee: Gerard Sutton, Grant Atkins. Crowd: 13,149

Get rolling coverage in our match centres:

WARRIORS V EELS MATCH CENTRE

STORM V BULLDOGS MATCH CENTRE

Follow all the action including exclusive pictures and polls in our blog:


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Live: Super Tahs lead Reds

Kurtley Beale makes a break for the Waratahs against the Reds at Suncorp Stadium. Source: Darren England / News Corp Australia

KURTLEY Beale bagged two tries to help the NSW Waratahs thump the Queensland Reds 34-3 at Suncorp Stadium.

For the full Match Centre experience including videos and stats click here

NSW WARATAHS 34 (Kurtley Beale 2, Jono Lance, Nick Phipps tries Bernard Foley 4 cons 2 pens) bt QUEENSLAND REDS 3 (Michael Harris pen) at Suncorp Stadium. Referee: Mike Fraser. Crowd: 36,205.

Relive all the action from Suncorp Stadium in our match blog below


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Exum signs $4m contract with Jazz

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Dante Exum has received an early 19th birthday present with the Utah Jazz signing him to a $US3.6 million ($3.91 million) first-year contract.

The contract came on the eve of his first game for the Jazz in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas and ahead of Sunday's birthday.

"Officially a member of the Jazz," Exum wrote in a tweet accompanied by a photo of him signing the contract.

Exum, who less than a year ago was a high school student in Canberra, has also signed major contracts with adidas and Red Bull.

After skipping US college basketball and months of hype ahead of the NBA Draft where he was selected fifth by the Jazz, the man dubbed the "International Man of Mystery" will don a Jazz singlet against the Philadelphia 76ers in Las Vegas on Saturday (Sunday AEST) for his first professional game.

It was a big day for Australians in the NBA, with Matthew Dellavedova's Cleveland Cavaliers becoming the instant favourites to win the 2014/15 NBA Championship when LeBron James announced he would return to the club that drafted him in 2003.

Dante Exum's post on his Twitter account

But, James returning to the Cavs could mean the exit door for Dellavedova.

Cavs management is also in pursuit of Minnesota power forward Kevin Love and may package Dellavedova and other players to trade for Love or create salary space to secure the All-Star.

Dellavedova will earn a relatively small $US816,000 ($883,000) the coming season, but starred on Friday for the Cavs in their first Summer League game against the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Victorian point guard had 13 points, nine rebounds and six assists from a game high 36 minutes on the court and dropped two high pressure free throws in the final seconds to secure a 70-68 win.

The Cavs would love to keep Dellavedova, but the team's priority is to create salary space to surround James with Love and other veterans who have NBA Championship experience.

Melbourne United sharpshooter Chris Goulding did not have a great debut for the Dallas Mavericks in their 76-64 loss to the New York Knicks in Las Vegas.

Goulding, who is hoping to score a contract with the Mavericks or other NBA teams, started for the Mavericks but was off target, hitting just two of eight shots to finish with six points and two turnovers.

Another Aussie, 217cm centre Jordan Vandenberg, is on the Knicks' Vegas squad but did not leave the bench.

Summer League allows NBA teams to play their recent draftees, reserves and free agents in the off-season before the 2014/15 season tips off in October


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Bucks spray helps Witts graduate

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JARROD Witts wants to be a big man playing "big and tall and tough" football.

He wishes his fierce internal drive was reflected on the football field so he wasn't accused of a laconic, laid-back air.

Above all, he is frustrated it has taken him so long to get fit and strong enough to compete against the AFL's best ruckman.

WE'RE NOWHERE NEAR TOP 4: BUCKS

About the only thing this 209cm Collingwood ruckman doesn't care about is the fallout from his boundary-line interaction with Nathan Buckley.

That incident was raw and public and confronting, as coach Buckley grabbed Witts by the jumper to demand more during Round 14's loss to Hawthorn.

Explaining that episode for the first time, Witts says it was his failure to defend two Hawthorn long bombs into Collingwood's defence that cause Buckley's "overt" reaction.

Nathan Buckley gives Jarrod Witts some direct feedback in the loss to Hawthorn. Picture: Wayne Ludbey Source: News Corp Australia

"It was some of my aerial efforts. It's something I have been working on since I got drafted. I came from a rugby background and wasn't exposed to the high ball as much, but he knew and I knew those efforts weren't up to standard and I was happy to wear it,'' Witts told the Sunday Herald Sun.

"I let one aerial ball go over the top and they scored a goal from it. It is something I am working on really hard with Anthony Rocca.

"(Buckley) does what is best for the person, and not just the footy player. It is a real strength of his, but footy is a passionate sport, so sometimes those emotions bubble over."

But as Buckley grabbed him, exhorting more from the 21-year-old, what was going through Witts' mind?

"I understood it. Emotions can be raw. I would prefer Bucks to do it than let it go.

"He showed that he cares. I am pretty intrinsically motivated but for Bucks to show that care in me and interest in my game, it was fine. It didn't really phase me. We spoke about it on the phone after the game and in the rooms briefly. We have always been on good terms. He is a really empathetic coach."

Levi Casboult and Jarrod Witts contest. Picture: Colleen Petch. Source: News Corp Australia

If Buckley would apologise for the manner of his feedback, Witts has been working on its actual content for his entire career and 20 senior games at Collingwood.

As Buckley said, of his big men: "We want them to play big and tall and tough and have blokes stand up taller around them".

Former NSW scholarship rookie Witts, who mixed cricket and rugby before the Pies swooped with a stroke of recruiting genius, says he wants to throw his weight around.

"Big men being big is something I am working on. I would say that I don't come across like that overtly, but deep down I go out to play hard.

"I reckon that overtly I don't come across as a huff-and-puff ruckman, but deep down I am trying to play as hard as I can.

"People say big guys take longer, but I want to be that player and it's frustrating to not be there now. I can't let myself off the hook. I took a couple of big marks against Carlton and it gives you belief that all the work you are doing is paying off."

Witts might be a work in progress, but just for the moment he has seen off a dual premiership player in Darren Jolly and another much-hyped ruckman in Brodie Grundy.

Jarrod Witts and Dane Swan clown around at training. Pic Wayne Ludbey. Source: News Corp Australia

Part of it is physical — learning how to carry the extra 15kg of muscle on his frame — but much of it has come through being taught how to mentally cope with the rigours of professional sport.

A handful of VFL games before being elevated to the senior list saw Next Big Thing status attached to Witts: "I played a couple of good VFL games and there was this massive hype".

But when the criticism and uncertainty came, he turned to what he dubs a mental performance coach.

"You come into footy and get told things or told you are not good enough, and sometimes you think, "Maybe I am not".

"I am at the stage where through that training and dealing with outside perceptions, I have got a lot better. I take it in my stride and don't worry so much about what's been written on the outside. Before I probably let that build up inside.

"We talk about different strategies and keeping positive. Sometimes I lose concentration so it's about switching on for longer periods of time.

"Just because I don't have a good first quarter, I don't have to have a bad game."

Buckley and the club have already shown their faith in Witts, signing him until the end of 2016 before he played a game.

His Sydney-based girlfriend has just moved into a house he shares with Paul Seedsman, Dayne Beams and his girlfriend.

He isn't yet 22, but if he takes a moment he will concede he has come so far in the blink of an eye.

"Yeah, it's a pretty special opportunity I have been given. I just have to make the most of it. I guess I have to take a step back and look at how far I have come. I am happy with where I am at, but now I have to go to the next level and put my foot down as a player."


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EddieĆ¢€™s mother of all mysteries

Written By malwan milad on Selasa, 24 Juni 2014 | 18.48

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire at the Westpac Centre. Picture: Picture: Wayne Ludbey Source: Wayne Ludbey / News Corp Australia

IT'S difficult to know what and who to believe in the Essendon saga.

Take "the Essendon mother'', also known as Sarah.

The famously distraught woman remains a mystery almost 12 months after she became a "game-changer'' in this whole debacle.

Triple M host Eddie McGuire, who interviewed the "mother" in August last year, conceded last Saturday he did not know who she was when he put her on air, nor does he know who she is now.

Essendon is none the wiser. Despite their extensive investigations, they have no idea who she is.

The Bombers spoke to every mother and father of a player on their list, and they all denied their involvement.

It seems implausible her identity remains unknown.

In a saga of mistruths, accusations, inducements and deals, it's not misguided to ask: Was she a phony?

If she was a fake, and it would appear increasingly likely she was, what a masterstroke.

It's important to know her identity because the episode dramatically swung public opinion against the Bombers and now exiled coach James Hird.

"It's all right for James and the board of Essendon to say they have not cheated," said Sarah.

"The whole question is not about cheating. The whole question is about morals, it's about ethics and it's about the trust that the parents put on the club.

"For him to be used and to be injected with substances that may not be illegal but could be banned for substances that are labelled not for human consumption or not for human use and for the club to completely disregard it and to inject my son, I find appalling.

One senior AFL figure described it as a "game-changer" in a vicious PR war between the Bombers and the AFL.

In the days leading up to Essendon answering charges at AFL House last August, the relationship between Essendon and the AFL had broken down.

Essendon chairman Paul Little and coach James Hird held a press conference at a hotel in South Yarra on Wednesday, August 21, where Little announced he had lost all faith in the AFL executive.

That same morning, the AFL had sensationally released the ASADA interim report charge sheet.

The night before, sports medicine expert Dr Andrew Garnham said on Fox Footy's AFL360 program he had sought and received information from the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority in February 2013 that AOD-9604 wasn't a banned supplement.

Remember, AOD-9604 was the drug which had everyone hanging Essendon players as drug cheats, namely the skipper Jobe Watson who admitted he believed he was given it.

Remember, too, that now not a single player is being prosecuted by ASADA for using AOD-9604.

So, after 24 hours of tit-for-tat between Essendon and the AFL, up pops "the Essendon mother" on Triple M on Thursday, August 22.

"I spoke to her before she came on air extensively," McGuire told SEN on Saturday.

"And while she would absolutely not give me any information who she was, and I don't know who she is, I was convinced enough to put her on air at a very volatile time.

"If she was an actress, she was the best actress in Australia."

Challenged as to why he put her on air without knowing her identity, McGuire likened her to being a newspaper source, although it was pointed out reporters usually knew the names of their sources.

"You're going my journalistic integrity," McGuire said.

McGuire said he "interviewed'' her for a half-hour, and spoke to her three times, and then stressed it was himself and his producer who spoke to her.

McGuire said he spoke to the woman for 30 minutes, including input from a producer, and he insists he did not know what she was going to say on air.

"I didn't know she was going to go the way she did,'' he said. "It was a good interview."

Asked if it changed the landscape for Essendon, McGuire said: "I think it did."

That is not in dispute. Whether she was a genuine caller is another story.


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Live coverage: Round 16 NRL teams

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CHECK out our live coverage of the round 16 team announcements, including live NRL SuperCoach blog from 3.30pm.

Friday, Jun 27, Sea Eagles v Roosters, Brookvale Oval, NINE, 7:40pm

Sea Eagles: Brett Stewart, Jorge Taufua, Jamie Lyon, Steve Matai, Peta Hiku, Kieran Foran, Daly Cherry-Evans, Josh Starling, Matt Ballin, Brenton Lawrence, Jamie Buhrer, Justin Horo, Dunamis Lui. Interchange: Jesse Sene-Lefao, James Hasson, Tom Symonds, Jason King

No changes, with Anthony Watmough (suspension, round 19) and Glenn Stewart (ankle, indefinite) still sidelined.

Roosters: Anthony Minichiello (c), Daniel Tupou, Mitchell Aubusson, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (vc), Jake Friend, Sam Moa, Aidan Guerra, Sonny Bill Williams, Frank-Paul Nuuausala. Interchange: Dylan Napa, Isaac Liu, Boyd Cordner, Remi Casty, Heath L'Estrange

Origin stars Daniel Tupou and Aidan Guerra return, while Boyd Cordner (ankle) is set to make an early injury comeback from the bench. Michael Jennings (lat, round 21) is replaced at centre by Mitchell Aubusson. Willis Meehan and Nene MacDonald both drop out.

Friday, Jun 27, Broncos v Sharks, Suncorp Stadium, NINE, 7:40pm

Broncos: Ben Barba, Daniel Vidot, Jack Reed, Justin Hodges (c), Dale Copley, Josh Hoffman, Ben Hunt, Josh McGuire, Jake Granville, Ben Hannant, Alex Glenn, Corey Oates, Sam Thaiday. Interchange: Todd Lowrie, David Stagg, Dave Hala, Jarrod Wallace

Justin Hodges (rested) returns after failing to back up from Origin, with Lachlan Maranta dropping out. Corey Oates replaces Matt Gillett (shoulder, Origin III) in the starting side, with Jarrod Wallace added to the bench.

Sharks: Michael Gordon, Sosaia Feki, Jonathan Wright, Ricky Leutele, Jacob Gagan, Todd Carney, Jeff Robson, Sam Tagataese, Michael Lichaa, Bryce Gibbs, Luke Lewis, Wade Graham, Paul Gallen. Interchange: Fa'amanu Brown, Tinirau Arona, Anthony Tupou, Siosaia Vave, Chris Heighington

Michael Gordon reverts to his favoured fullback position, while Jonathan Wright and Jacob Gagan have been added to the backline at the expense of Nathan Gardner and Blake Ayshford. Jeff Robson (hamstring) returns from injury, with Fa'amanu Brown dropping to the bench. Chris Heighington (leg) returns after being a late withdrawal last week, while Tupou Sopoaga and Sam Tagataese drop out.

Saturday, Jun 28, Tigers v Raiders, Campbelltown Stadium, FOX, 5:30pm

Tigers: James Tedesco, David Nofoaluma, Tim Simona, Chris Lawrence, Pat Richards, Braith Anasta, Luke Brooks, Aaron Woods, Robbie Farah (c), Keith Galloway, Curtis Sironen, Bodene Thompson, Adam Blair. Interchange: Sauaso Sue, Martin Taupau, Blake Austin, Ava Seumanufagai

Origin stars Aaron Woods and Robbie Farah return, with Dene Halatau and Joel Luani dropping out of the 17.

Raiders: Anthony Milford, Matt Allwood, Jarrod Croker, Jack Wighton, Brenko Lee, Terry Campese (C), Josh McCrone, David Shillington, Glen Buttriss, Brett White, Joel Edwards, Jarrad Kennedy, Shaun Fensom. Interchange: Kyle O'Donnell, Paul Vaughan, Dane Tilse, Shannon Boyd

Anthony Milford returns to the starting side. Paul Vaughan (suspension) returns on the bench, while Reece Robinson drops out of the 17.

Saturday, Jun 28, Cowboys v Rabbitohs, Townsville Stadium, FOX, 7:30pm

Cowboys: Michael Morgan, Curtis Rona, Matthew Wright, Kane Linnett, Antonio Winterstein, Robert Lui, Johnathan Thurston, Scott Bolton, Rory Kostjasyn, James Tamou, Ethan Lowe, Jason Taumalolo, Tariq Sims. Interchange: Anthony Mitchell, Glenn Hall, Ashton Sims, John Asiata

With Ray Thompson (hamstring, round 19) out, Johnathan Thurston moves to halfback, while Robert Lui has been promoted from the bench to five-eighth. Anthony Mitchell joins the interchange as relief for hooker Rory Kostjasyn (ribs), who is in doubt. Jason Taumalolo starts in place of Scott Bolton.

Rabbitohs: Greg Inglis, Nathan Merritt, Kyle Turner, Kirisome Auva'a, Alex Johnston, John Sutton (c), Adam Reynolds, George Burgess, Issac Luke, Dave Tyrrell, Chris McQueen, Ben Te'o, Sam Burgess. Interchange: Apisai Koroisau, Jason Clark, Ben Lowe, Thomas Burgess

Greg Inglis, Chris McQueen and Ben Te'o return from Origin duty, with Lote Tuqiri, Joe Picker and Luke Burgess dropping out. George Burgess (ankle) has been named despite picking up an injury last match.

Sunday, Jun 29, Warriors v Panthers, Mt Smart Stadium, FOX, 2:00pm (AEST), 4:00pm (local)

Warriors: Sam Tomkins, David Fusitua, Konrad Hurrell, Dane Nielsen, Manu Vatuvei, Chad Townsend, Shaun Johnson, Jacob Lillyman, Nathan Friend, Sam Rapira, Jayson Bukuya, Simon Mannering, Sebastine Ikahihifo. Interchange: Feleti Mateo, Suaia Matagi, Ben Henry, Charlie Gubb

Dane Nielsen returns to the top grade, replacing Ngani Laumape (likely suspension) at centre in the only change.

Panthers: Matt Moylan, Josh Mansour, Dean Whare, Isaah Yeo, Kevin Naiqama, Jamie Soward, Peter Wallace, Sam McKendry, James Segeyaro, Brent Kite, Sika Manu, Elijah Taylor, Adam Docker. Interchange: Tyrone Peachey, Jeremy Latimore, Nigel Plum, Lewis Brown, Bryce Cartwright

Adam Docker (concussion) returns at lock in the only change, pushing Tyrone Peachey to the bench and Bryce Cartwright to 18th man. Jamal Idris (personal leave) has not been named, despite having a run in NSW Cup on the weekend.

Sunday, Jun 29, Eels v Knights, Pirtek Stadium, NINE, 3:00pm

Eels: Jarryd Hayne (c), Semi Radradra, Ryan Morgan, Willie Tonga, Vai Toutai, Corey Norman, Chris Sandow, Tim Mannah (c), Isaac De Gois, Junior Paulo, Kenny Edwards, Pauli Pauli, Joseph Paulo, Interchange: David Gower, Mitch Allgood, Peni Terepo, Darcy Lussick, Kelepi Tanginoa

Mitch Allgood (suspension) and Darcy Lussick (knee) return, although Lee Mossop (shoulder) drops out. Will Hopoate (shoulder) remains sidelined.

Knights: Darius Boyd, James McManus, Dane Gagai, Joseph Leilua, Akuila Uate, Jarrod Mullen, Kurt Gidley, David Fa'alogo, Adam Clydsdale, Willie Mason, Beau Scott, Robbie Rochow, Jeremy Smith. Interchange: Tyrone Roberts, Korbin Sims, Kade Snowden, Chris Houston, Joseph Tapine

Kade Snowden (suspension) and David Fa'alogo (back) return. Fa'alogo and hooker Adam Clydesdale (knee) will have medical assessments later in the week. Joseph Tapine drops to 18th man, while Clint Newton has been relegated to NSW Cup.

Monday, Jun 30, Dragons v Storm, WIN Stadium, FOX, 7:00pm

Dragons: Adam Quinlan, Charly Runciman, Josh Dugan, Gerard Beale, Jason Nightingale, Gareth Widdop, Benji Marshall, Ben Creagh, Mitch Rein, Michael Cooper, Leeson Ah Mau, Joel Thompson, Jack de Belin. Interchange: Dan Hunt, Shane Pumipi, Will Matthews, Bronson Harrison, Jack Stockwell

Trent Merrin (ankle, Origin III) has not been named, with Dan Hunt (groin) and Jack Stockwell (foot) returning.

Storm: Billy Slater, Sisa Waqa, Kurt Mann, Mahe Fonua, Young Tonumaipea, Ben Hampton, Ben Roberts, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith (c), Bryan Norrie, Kevin Proctor, Ryan Hoffman, Ryan Hinchcliffe. Interchange: Kenny Bromwich, Tohu Harris, Junior Moors, Jordan McLean, Tim Glasby, Joel Romelo

Tim Glasby and Joel Romelo have been added to an extended bench in the only changes.

BYES: Bulldogs, Titans


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