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Blues set to axe Benji for Tahs clash

Written By malwan milad on Minggu, 20 April 2014 | 16.42

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JUST two months after making his Super Rugby debut, Benji Marshall faces the axe from the Blues side.

Reports in New Zealand suggest Marshall will be dropped to Auckland's development side this week, which means he'd miss their Anzac Day clash against the Waratahs at Eden Park on Friday.

It was supposed to be his defining match in his maiden year of rugby, against the side of his former city which includes fellow convert Israel Folau, but Marshall could instead sink to his lowest ebb since making a code switch from NRL club Wests Tigers.

He has started just once and been used sparingly off the bench by coach Sir John Kirwan.

But after a mediocre performance against the Hurricanes last Friday it's believed reserve five-eighth Marshall will lose his bench spot in favour of playmakers Simon Hickey and Chris Noakes — who was replaced by Marshall after suffering concussion in Wellington.

Kirwan made a point post-match of expressing disappointment with his side's second half display, saying they lost direction and weren't straight enough in attack — key aspects of Marshall's job as the playmaker.

Benji Marshall has struggled for the Blues in Super Rugby. Source: Getty Images

With consistent speculation that league clubs are gauging Marshall's interest in a return to the 13-man game, being dropped by Kirwan would only serve to strengthen that noise.

Kirwan has already stated that Marshall will play club rugby during the June internationals, a far cry from the player's halcyon days as league's most exciting and watchable talent.

The Blues will encounter a Waratahs side keen to back up their gritty 19-12 win over the Bulls in Sydney last Saturday night in front of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

But given their arduous previous three-week tour to South Africa and Perth, NSW coach Michael Cheika has given his side the rest of the Easter weekend off meaning they'll only have two proper days of training before playing the Blues.

The Tahs will return to the training paddock on Tuesday and Wednesday before flying to Auckland on Thursday.

Veteran backrower Stephen Hoiles struggled to recall a shorter build-up to a match.

"I can't remember too many," Hoiles said.

"The good thing about that is being on tour in the last few weeks, you tend to get a lot more time in. Like the lineouts weren't going so well three or four weeks ago, so we spent a lot of time on that on tour.

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"The training we've done in the last few weeks being together 24-7, that's allowed Cheik to give us two days off.

"That's a big indication of where he thinks the group is at, he feels we're responsible enough to look after ourselves in these two days and we've done the work.

"We turn up on Tuesday and it's all about the Blues."

Hoiles said the Tahs, now fifth on the table after five wins in eight games, are tracking as they'd hoped.

"The results, 5-3, is a fair indication of where we're at," Hoiles said.

"It has been shown that in this comp it is really hard to string two wins together especially when you're on the road.

"I think we're in a good place."

Hoiles added that the steely victory against the Bulls, NSW's first in nine years, could make a big difference at the end of the season.

"In the end it's hopefully one of those wins you look back on at the end of your season as an important win, knowing it was tougher to get and you ground it out," he said.

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"The biggest thing from that is we want to play that (attacking) style of footy, but you've got to finish, and to finish you've got to realign in attack and have depth and cover the whole field to spread the defence a little bit more.

"That was the big thing coming out of the Force game, we're not going to sit here and say attacking rugby doesn't work.

"We're still confident that it can work, we've worked really hard to get to this stage so we're not hiding away from the fact that we do want to run the ball, we've just got to be a little bit sharper in how we finish."


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Boz: Troisi is our best Roo right now

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AS we count down until Australia's World Cup squad is announced, is there a more in-form player than James Troisi?

"I think he is the best Australian player at the moment. Anywhere in the world," Fox Sports football expert Mark Bosnich said on Matchday Saturday.

The Socceroo hopeful, lured back to the A-League by now Socceroos boss Ange Postecolgou, has scored 12 times this season, and his sublime ball teed up Archie Thompson for the opening goal against Sydney FC, with his ninth assist of the season.

Bosnich added: "There was a game when he (Muscat) first took over (from Postecoglou), against Adelaide, at Etihad Stadium … when there was a send-off and he had to take Troisi off for tactical reasons.

TIRED TROISI BASKS IN MOMENTOUS WEEK

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SEMI FINALS

Western Sydney Wanderers v Central Coast Mariners

Pirtek Stadium, Saturday 26 April, 6.30pm (EST)

Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory

Suncorp Stadium Sunday 27 April, 5pm (EST)

"There was a bit of a glare – Troisi wasn't too happy – and for a while I thought Troisi's form suffered a little bit. Obviously behind the scenes they've patched it up.

"But for me, he's the best Australian player right now anywhere in the world."

Former Melbourne Heart boss John Aloisi, a panellist on Fox Sports on the weekend, said: "You don't know if he's left or right footed because he's so natural both ways. He's hard to pick up because he can beat you going one way or the other. And his finishing is incredible."

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ARCHIE: VICTORY'S FIRST GOAL SCORER STILL STARRING ALMOST TEN YEARS ON

That majestic piece of play came during a sharp opening from the hosts, who buzzed defensively and looked on song in attack in the game's opening exchanges.

But Sydney FC cannot say it didn't have its chances.

In fact, an excellent spell either side of the break saw Frank Farina's side hit the post via Alessandro Del Piero, while Nathan Coe made two top class saves to keep Kevin Muscat's side in the match.

FINALS HAS FFA CUP IMPLICATIONS

SHATERING LOSS WITH GALVANISE SKY BLUES

Archie Thompson still getting it done for Melbourne Victory. Source: Getty Images

"Nathan Coe made two saves that won Melbourne Victory that match," Bosnich said, while praising his return to form after being dropped earlier in the season.

Victory's players weren't at the fluent best that we saw during the famous mid-week win against Guangzhou Evergrande and a lot of credit has to go to Farina's men who were, for the most part, disciplined and tight as they tried to frustrate the home side with organised defensive work. In fact, it looked as though they were just going to do enough – again – as they've done at times this year.

Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Nathan Coe was Mark Bosnich's matchwinner. Source: Getty Images

But Victory's attacking intentions cannot be denied and inevitably, it was rewarded right at the death, with a brilliant ball cut back by Adama Traore to a calm, classy Gui Finkler.

"What I liked about this is they had numbers in the box; that's in the last five minutes of the game. They've got four players in the box. They wanted to win, in normal time," Aloisi said.

Despite Victory's grumblings over Sydney FC's perceived mindset, for the neutral, it was a thoroughly absorbing contest.

"It was a fantastic advert for our game," Bosnich said.

Now, Victory's busy schedule continues with two crunch games – at Joenbuk Motors on Tuesday night before tackling Brisbane Roar on Sunday afternoon for a spot in the grand final.

TIME FOR BIG DECISIONS AT SYDNEY FC

As for Sydney FC, the post-mortems will begin immediately and the club is at a crucial juncture – again – as it shapes the direction of the club.

It was a decent final performance but decisions need to made on a season which, overall, underwhelmed.

Frank Farina and Alessandro Del Piero's futures will be on top of the agenda.

"(If Del Piero plays another season) I think he'll play 10, maybe 12 games next year, but there's a lot he can do here for Australian football – be it as an ambassador, working with the FFA. He can open up doors here that no one else can."

This team just never goes away. Source: Getty Images

WESTERN Sydney Wanderers might have been the fairytale story last A-League season but there's no debating who deserves that tag this time round.

Central Coast Mariners have copped body blow after body blow, yet somehow find themselves in a grand final re-match for a place in this season's A-League decider.

Phil Moss's side are made of something very special, because nothing seems to keep them down for very long, as Adelaide United discovered on Saturday in its 1-0 elimination final loss to the defending champion.

Just two starters from last year's decider – Josh Rose and Bernie Ibini – were still in the first XI against the Reds at Central Coast Stadium.

MARINERS FUME AT 'UNACCEPTABLE' SCHED ULE

KOSSIE: CHANGE OF TACTICS KILLED REDS

RE-LIVE THE MARINERS WIN OVER ADELAIDE

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How about these for departures? Socceroos Mat Ryan and Oliver Bozanic, Trent Sainsbury, Patrick Zwaanswijk, Daniel McBreen and Michael McGlinchey.

Add to those the loss of coach Graham Arnold, Andrew Clark, having a rookie coach, the travel and fatigue from the Asian Champions League and constant financial instability, you'd expect the club should be struggling to keep itshead above water, let alone thrive.

But that's exactly what it has done, leading Bosnich to pay tribute to the team's culture.

"You talk about the personnel they've lost and that everything always seems to be stacked up against them yet they find a way to win," he said after the game.

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"Superlatives … there aren't enough to describe the spirit they have in the side.

"The will to win, the determination. Who would back against them now?

"There wouldn't be a team in the competition who would like to come up against that."

The win over Adelaide was a triumph or tactics rather than an exhibition of free-flowing football, with Moss setting up his side to congest the spaces and nullify the threat of Jose Gombau's deadly set of attackers and Adelaide's preference to dominate possession.

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It worked a treat, and Central Coast was rewarded when Bernie Ibini sucker-punched the Reds, volleying home what would be the winner on 67 minutes.

The match ended in controversial circumstances. First, a scuffle that could be put down to boys being boys, before the real drama came from a decision by referee Ben Williams.

With seconds left on the clock, he awarded Adelaide a free kick when it looked to have been in the Reds' best interests for him to play advantage, with Awer Mabil finding space in behind.

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Adelaide was furious, but Gombau admitted post-match his side was second best on the day.

It's season is over, but there's plenty to build on under the recently re-signed Spaniard.

For Central Coast, the Wanderers on Saturday awaits, but not before a do-or-die Asian Champions League trip to Japan.

More adversity for Mossy's men to deal with, but they'll relish that.


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Vaughan seals miracle as Storm fume

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THE video refs were again in the spotlight for the wrong reasons as Canberra staged a stunning come-from-behind 24-22 victory over Melbourne on Sunday - but not before the Storm had a controversial and crucial late try disallowed.

Backing up from their own contentious win over the Dragons last Monday night, the Storm suffered their own moment of "bad karma" when the Raiders got home on what appeared another bad call.

Sisa Waqa appears to ground the ball over the line, yet it was ruled a no try. Picture: Colleen Petch Source: News Corp Australia

After trailing for the entire match, the Raiders capped off a remarkable fightback when giant prop Paul Vaughan stepped past three defenders and crashed over two more to score the winning try in the 79th minute.

Paul Vaughan celebrates the winning try. Source: Getty Images

Paul Vaughan (L) scores the winning try. Picture: Colleen Petch Source: News Corp Australia

Paul Vaughan celebrates after winning the game for Canberra. Source: Getty Images

But the Storm will be furious after they had a try disallowed in the 71st minute that could have secured the two competition points.

Sisa Waqa looked to crash over but referee Gerard Sutton sent it up to the video referee box as a "no try".

Dejected Billy Slater (R) and Bryan Norrie. Picture: Colleen Petch Source: News Corp Australia

Despite television replays suggesting Waqa had touched down before he was bundled into touch by Jarrod Croker, video refs Luke Phillips and Matthew Rodwell could not find "sufficient" evidence to overturn the on-field ruling.

Rugby League Immortal Wally Lewis said on Channel Nine: "I'm absolutely stunned. How they came up with that decision has got me beat."

Shaun Fensom looks to offload. Source: Getty Images

Cameron Smith tried in vain to get referee Sutton to listen.

"We see it as he's bounced short and he has gone into touch," Sutton told Smith.

Should Sisa Waqa's potentially match-sealing effort have been awarded a try?

Melbourne went to the break ahead 16-12 with Smith heavily involved in the Storm's opening two tries.

The Storm skipper put through a smart kick that rebounded off the posts and into Ryan Hinchcliffe's hands to open the scoring in the 9th minute.

Canberra responded when Matt Allwood showed exceptional pace to get past Justin O'Neill and carry Billy Slater over for his first NRL try in the 15th minute to lock it up at 6-all.

Jesse Bromwich on the charge. Picture: Colleen Petch Source: News Corp Australia

But Smith then caught the Raiders off-guard with a magnificent 40-20 kick on the third tackle midway through the half.

Soon after, Cooper Cronk spotted space down the right edge and a smart chip opened the way for Sisa Waqa to crash past Anthony Milford for a 12-6 lead.

Sisa Waqa scores for the Storm. Source: Getty Images

Melbourne went further ahead in the 32nd minute when Mahe Fonua ran off Slater to finish off a brilliant set play.

But in the countdown to halftime, the Raiders narrowed the margin to four points when Reece Robinson finished off a spectacular last tackle act of desperation.

Melbourne lost five-eighth Ben Roberts, who suffered a knee injury likely to keep him sidelined for a couple of weeks.

Terry Campese on the attack. Source: Getty Images

The Storm kicked 22-12 clear in the 44th minute when a terrific cutout pass from Cronk put Fonua between defenders for his second try.

But the Raiders put themselves back in the contest when Milford's presence created doubt in the Storm defensive line and just enough space for Robinson to race over for his second try to make it 22-18 and set up a thrilling final quarter.

Josh Papalii pulled off a brilliant try saving tackle to deny Waqa in the 62nd minute, before the late no try kept Canberra in the game once again.

Vaughan then produced the biggest play of his short career to seal victory for the Raiders.

CANBERRA 24 (R Robinson 2 M Allwood P Vaughan tries J Croker 4 goals) bt MELBOURNE 22 (M Fonua 2 R Hinchcliffe S Waqa tries C Smith 3 goals) at GIO Stadium. Referee: Gerard Sutton, David Munro.

See how we covered the game live below.


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Bulldogs are one point wonders

Written By malwan milad on Jumat, 18 April 2014 | 16.42

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TRENT Hodkinson's 78th-minute field goal has sealed a 15-14 victory for Canterbury over a patched-up South Sydney in a stirring Good Friday NRL encounter at ANZ Stadium.

It is the third week in a row the Bulldogs have won a game through a field goal and by a single point, with Hodkinson repeating his heroics from last week's win over the Warriors. The former Manly halfback's kick from 30 metres capped a superb fightback for Des Hasler's side, who trailed 14-6 in the second half.

Trent Hodkinson celebrates with team mates Josh Reynolds and Tony Williams after scoring the winning field goal. Source: Getty Images

Already without the suspended Ben Te'o and George Burgess, at one stage Souths had four players off the field but, led by the outstanding Sam Burgess and John Sutton, they almost pulled off a heroic victory when Sutton crossed for a 64th-minute try, converted by Adam Reynolds.

However, tries from Mitch Brown and Corey Thompson plus the boot of Hodkinson, who was 100 per cent from four kicks, helped the Bulldogs find a way to win in a nailbiting finish.

Greg Inglis looks to pass after breaking through the tackle of Aiden Tolman. Source: Getty Images

The Bulldogs thought they'd scored with less than 10 minutes on the clock when Thompson's try was rubbed out by the officials after Josh Reynolds was adjudged to have run behind Greg Eastwood before throwing the pass to the winger.

The decision looked harsh and, to make matters worse for Hasler's team, Adam Reynolds kicked a penalty from close range just after Tim Browne had dropped the ball on the first tackle.

South Sydney's John Sutton attempts to bust through a tackle. Source: News Corp Australia

In a game dominated by some huge hits from both sides, there was also some poor handling with the ball going to ground far too often in the opening stanza.

Souths lost hooker Api Koroisau with a shoulder injury then had Kyle Turner (concussion), Joe Picker (rib) and Davey Tyrell (head) all forced off the field before halftime.

Canterbury back-rower Dale Finucane was put on report twice, first for a dangerous tackle and for putting Picker in a dangerous position.

South Sydney's Sam Burgess celebrates after scoring a try. Source: News Corp Australia

On the stroke of halftime, Burgess crashed over from close range with Reynolds converting to open up an 8-0 lead.

In the second half, Souths continued to press but, with a depleted bench, they began to tire against the giant Bulldogs' forwards — led by man of the match James Graham.

Brown went over in the right corner 13 minutes after the restart only for Sutton to extend the Rabbitohs' lead.

Bulldogs Josh Reynolds celebrates his side's victory over the Rabbitohs Source: News Corp Australia

But Thompson crossed in the opposite corner to close the gap, with Hodkinson kicking a penalty to level the scores six minutes from time, then bisecting the posts again with the winning kick.

Fulltime BULLDOGS 15 (M Brown C Thompson tries T Hodkinson 3 goals T Hodkinson field goal) bt SOUTH SYDNEY 14 (S Burgess J Sutton tries A Reynolds 3 goals) at ANZ Stadium. Referee: Shayne Hayne, Ben Cummins. Crowd: 43,255


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Live: Rebels v Force

Rugby.Western Force v Melbourne Rebels at NIB Stadium in Perth. pictured - captain Mathew Hodgson scores a try on his 100th game with the Force Source: Justin Benson-Cooper / News Corp Australia

WESTERN Force will be looking to make it six wins on the trot when they face the Rebels in Melbourne tonight.

Michael Foley's side are the talk of Super Rugby at the halfway mark of the season but will need to overcome the loss of some key personnel if they're to win in Melbourne for the first time since 2011.

Alby Mathewson, Luke Morahan and Jayden Hayward are all missing from the side that defeated the Waratahs by 12 points last weekend.

The Rebels meanwhile are coming off back-to-back losses in New Zealand.

The hosts are hoping for a big crowd at AAMI Park with no AFL played on Good Friday.

Follow all the action in our live blog below or check out Match Centre for stats and video!

For a better viewing experience on a mobile device click here.


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Unfit Reds need more variety: Jones

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HERE'S my theory for why the Reds are struggling. They are not fit enough to play 80 minutes of Super Rugby and are fading out in the final 20 minutes of matches.

They lack running fitness and look like a team conditioned for northern hemisphere rugby.

I also stick by my season preview when I wrote that the Reds attack is too Quade Cooper-Will Genia-centric with an over-reliance on these two gifted players who pass, kick for the team, run and dominate the Reds offence.

To give the attack more variety, inside centre Anthony Faingaa needs to find his short-passing game, which he had two years ago, to give the attack another option.

At the moment, the forwards are playing off Genia and the backs, wide and deep, off Cooper.

The Reds can't beat the Aussie teams who prepare well for this. The Western Force did an excellent job of closing down Genia.

That said, I fancy the Reds can reignite their season when they fly to New Zealand next week to play the Hurricanes and Blues.

The Kiwi teams are not so tactically savvy. That contributed to the Reds' excellent effort in winning all four matches when pitted against Kiwi athleticism last year.

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Cooper is lacking for attacking options around him. He needs backrowers Ed Quirk, Jake Schatz and Beau Robinson to present him with options and have the tight five forwards play off Genia.

The Reds' kicking is predictable with Genia handling duties inside the 22 and Cooper outside the 22.

Richard Graham is very solid coach and will do a good job, eventually, so I don't see his position under threat at all.

Plus, he's a former Red so he will be given time.

His greatest challenge is trying to diversify the team's attack and still keep Cooper and Genia happy. They both like a lot of ball so managing the two is crucial.

The fitness area will not be fixed this season so he will need to have thoughtful discussions with his strength and conditioning staff on what went wrong.

* THE Israel Folau situation of the past 10 days is a massive joke. The Australian Rugby Union's mismanagement is laughable. With modern technology one cannot use the difficulty of communication between continents as an excuse.

The process in place is obviously poorly thought out or poorly executed but the NSW Waratahs will not be getting their four competition points back from the Force.

The ARU is struggling money-wise and it would appear bankrupt in rugby process. A quick Skype on the Monday of match week, to ascertain that the Waratahs had followed correct protocol, by the ARU would have settled the issue one way or another so then the Waratahs could prepare well.

NSW coach Michael Cheika would have due reason to dismantle another coach's box after the ARU's major gaffe.


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DCE succumbs to leg injury

Written By malwan milad on Kamis, 17 April 2014 | 16.42

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DALY Cherry Evans has succumbed to ongoing soreness in his left leg and will miss tomorrow night's clash against North Queensland in Gosford.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal the star halfback has been experiencing pain for the past fortnight, with Manly officials confident that a week's rest will bring him back to full fitness.

Cherry-Evans is also considered a certainty for the utility spot on Australia's bench for the 3 May Anzac Test, given his main rival — Robbie Farah — is now sidelined with an elbow injury.

Daly Cherry-Evans won't play against the Cowboys. Source: Getty Images

Sea Eagles insiders have confirmed Kieran Foran will move to halfback, while co-captain Jamie Lyon will line up against Johnathan Thurston at five eighth.

Former Eel Cheyse Blair has been elevated to the three-quarter line to replace to line, consigning cult figure David 'Wolfman' Williams to his second straight appearance in NSW Cup.

Reports this week suggested Williams could be shopped to rival clubs, despite signing an two-year extension at the end of last season.


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DonĂ¢€™t believe the hype

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"He'll have a good year," they said. "He's completed his first pre-season in five years," they said. "He's going to play in the midfield," they said.

Nothing breeds hope with greater fertility than an AFL pre-season.

The sun in shining, every club has the same amount of premiership points, is having the best pre-season on record and there isn't a coach fighting for his job.

THE BAROMETER: ROUND 5 UPDATE

FOOTY'S MOST REVERED NUMBERS

Every player is tanned, tattooed, muscled-up and embarking on a breakout year.

But, after the first month of the season proper we can see the forest from the trees.

The pre-season flyers have fallen in a heap, Round 1 debutantes have served their purpose and a positional change has done nothing for some.

Four games of football has provided SuperCoaches with sufficient exposed form to pull the trigger on dwindling stock.

While conserving trades is important, it's just as crucial to admit fault and cut your losses as breakeven prices begin to soar.

Let's face it, predicting a player is going to have a good season for their club and a good season for your SuperCoach team is two different things.

SAM LLOYD'S FORM HARD TO IGNORE

MACCA'S WEEK IN SPORT

The pre-season is a like the dance floor in a dinghy nightclub — when the lights come on at 6am, things are not always as they seemed.

So if you were humming "I bet that you look good on the dance floor" in February, Round 5 signifies the time to put spotlight onto your team.

It's best to remember that when the Arctic Monkeys sing those lyrics they issue the following disclaimer — "Don't believe the hype".

Captain courageous Joel Selwood directs his SuperCoaches to the promised land. Picture: Ludbey Wayne Source: News Corp Australia

CAPTAIN'S CORNER

Gary Ablett $716,200 MID

Despite Nathan Jones' superb tagging performance on Marc Murphy last week, Jordie McKenzie is likely to go to Ablett. The last time the two sides met — Round 20 last year — McKenzie kept Ablett to just 19 disposals and a paltry 67 SuperCoach points. However, scrutiny on taggers is likely to be intense after Brent Macaffer's job on Trent Cotchin, so McKenzie's ability to hold and scrag won't be as effective. Status quo.

Scott Pendlebury $695,300 MID

Pendlebury shrugged off soreness to score 129 points against the Tigers. Matt Thomas did his best to keep up with the classy on-baller, but he couldn't go with Pendlebury in transition. Pendlebury completed a full week of training and enters Saturday's clash with North Melbourne with history on his side, having scored 157 and 160 against the Kangas last year.

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Aaron Sandilands $443,100 RUC

After two bumper first rounds the big man's suitability for the captain's armband is starting to dive. His Round 1 score of 117 was boosted by 19 disposals and his 158 in Round 2 was complimented by six tackles and a whopping 58 hit-outs. Sandilands scored just 82 in the smashing of Essendon last week against a makeshift ruck setup. Break glass in case of Friday night game only.

Joel Selwood $665,100 MID

Despite playing less than one quarter of football in the pre-season, he is absolutely flying in 2014. Selwood loves playing in the big games and he scored 126 and 150 points in home and away matches against the Hawks last year. Given he is in just 15 per cent of SuperCoach teams, Selwood provides a good point of difference. A calculated risk.

Alex Fasolo had 106 SuperCoach points last Friday night. Picture: Wayne Ludbey. Source: News Corp Australia

CHAMPION DATA FORMGUIDE

Every week the stats gurus at Champion Data crunch the numbers to find the best buys in SuperCoach. CLICK HERE FOR THE ROUND 4 EDITION

JUMP ON

Alex Fasolo $213,600 FWD

The cheap-as-chips forwards have been the biggest disappointment of the season so far. Jay Kennedy-Harris has spent too much time in green and left us feeling blue, Jarman Impey and Gary Rohan don't get enough of the ball and Zach Merrett was dropped after Round 2. Finally we've found a bargain forward who looks the real deal, and he's a backman. After bursting on the scene as a dynamic goalkicker in 2011, Fasolo returned from a foot injury this season as a running defender. He is on the bubble this week after scores of 72 and 106 and with a breakeven of -50, he will go rise by at least $50,000. Nathan Buckley said Fasolo has work to do on his defensive craft, but they will not part with his neat ball use and speed any time soon.

David Swallow $498,900 DEF/MID

After averaging under 20 disposals in his first three season, the former No. 1 draft pick has boosted that number to almost 27 this season and looks to have arrived as an AFL footballer. Swallow's breakeven this week is 90, but against the Demons and with an average of 117, he should swallow that. With injury to Pearce Hanley and Jarrad McVeigh struggling, Swallow is a perfect sideways trade.

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Sam Lloyd $117,300 FWD

It would be best practice to wait another week before trading in Lloyd, but his performance on Friday night was so good, you can afford the risk. He scored 131 in his AFL debut and with a breakeven of -192, Lloyd will pay for himself in two weeks time. Sam Landsberger was very bullish about Lloyd's long-term prospects in today's Herald Sun and he looks to be a cash cow of the highest class.

Brad Crouch $117,300 MID

Crouch was unlucky not to make his debut in Round 1, but has looked very comfortable at AFL level in his two games. Once a ball magnet, always a ball magnet and Crouch averaged 148 points in the TAC Cup last year. He will rise by 60 points after Adelaide's game with GWS on Sunday. If you want to add a classy midfielder into your side and feel like you've missed the boat on Dunstan and Kelly, then Crouch is your man.

Others — Sam Jacobs, Matt Jaensch

Thanks? Tom Mitchell is averaging just 76 — No thanks. Picture by George Salpigtidis Source: News Limited

JUMP OFF

Tom Mitchell $424,200 MID

If you thought this hard nut would get an armchair ride in the Sydney midfield alongside Hannebery, Kennedy, McVeigh and Parker — you weren't alone. If you thought his forward/midfield tag was a no-brainer, you definitely weren't alone. The Sydney midfield is going South at the moment and it's dragged young Mitchell with it. The numbers speak for themselves, he has dropped $40,000, is averaging just 76 and his breakeven is 140. Yikes!

Gary Rohan $161,700 FWD

The classic pre-season hype player. Rohan promised the world in the pre-season and delivered an atlas. He has scored just 120 SuperCoach points in four games and averaging just 30 — in fact, he's managed to drop points. Yep, you read correctly, he is now leaking money — $14,000 to be precise. His breakeven is 60 and he is predicted to drop another $13,000 next week. It's extraordinary to learn he is still in 92,000 SuperCoach teams — the most alarming figure yet. The Swans cut both of these boys for Round 5 and so should you.

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Brodie Grundy $344,100 RUC

Grundy had it all going for him in the pre-season — new contract, first full pre-season, No. 1 ruck position. While it's hard to criticise a second year ruckman shouldering the load for a top 8 side, his SuperCoach performance has been poor. He is averaging 64.50 points and was subbed from the ground with 46 on Friday night. He has dropped almost $20,000 and has a breakeven of 109. If you have the cash, sack Grundy and draft Sam Jacobs ($476,400), who is averaging 103 with a breakeven of 56.

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Shane Savage $265,300 MID

Another who showed good signs during the pre-season and logic suggested that with greater midfield responsibility, he would flourish. However, after four games Savage is averaging just 36.25, with a score of six and has dropped $76,300. Bust.

Others — Dale Thomas, Jarrad McVeigh

INJURY ALERT

If any of these three feature in your team, then trade immediately.

Liam Shiels (3-4 weeks)

Pearce Hanley (3-4)

Matthew Luenberger (10-12)

Josh Caddy (8)

Put Ryan Griffen on your watch list. Picture: Michael Klein. Source: News Corp Australia

JENNY, DON'T BE HASTY

Sam Gray — He's played one game, relax.

Patrick Dangerfield — There is hardly a plethora of gun forwards available, so stand by him with three winnable games for the Crows ahead.

David Mundy — Not setting the world on fire, but a barometer for Fremantle and will fire when it counts.

Dom Tyson — Tyson is the third most traded player this week and with a breakeven of 52 it is hard to see why? He was tagged by Carrazzo on the weekend — scoring 50 — but hasn't put a foot wrong otherwise. There's more money to be made.

Shane Mumford — The talk of the SuperCoach world one week, in surgery the next. Mumford will miss at least one and maybe two more games with a knee injury. GWS have the bye in Round 9, so it might be worth waiting until then. Watch this space.

CRYSTAL BALL

Ryan Griffen is looming as the buy of the season as his form chart begins the journey north. His pre-season was interrupted with a back injury, forcing him to miss the first two games of the season and he is averaging just 71 points since returning. Griffen's price has dropped by $71,500 and with a breakeven of 182 this week, he will leak more money in the coming weeks. His form is starting to lift and he broke through for his first ton last weekend. Griffen will be around the $500,000 mark in two weeks time and after averaging 116 last year, an absolute steal.


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Judd rushed back, Swans swing axe

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EMBATTLED Carlton has rushed back dual Brownlow Medallist Chris Judd for Sunday's crunch clash against the Western Bulldogs.

Judd, who still must get through training tomorrow, underwent surgery on his Achilles tendon two months ago and has not played at any level this year.

But the injury pain continued last night with the winless Blues losing full-back Michael Jamison (leg) and goalkicker Troy Menzel (hamstring).

RE-LIVE OUR CHAT BELOW FOR ALL THE SUPERCOACH ADVICE

Coach Mick Malthouse handed Jarrad Waite an instant reprieve along with Jeff Garlett.

SYDNEY has swung the selection axe ahead of their must-win clash against Fremantle at the SCG.

The Swans dropped Tom Mitchell, Ryan O'Keefe and Gary Rohan as they look for a spark against the Dockers.

Swans coach John Lomgire said the veteran's axing signalled a need for change after their 1-3 start.

"Obviously we've lost a few games so we have to make some changes. Craig Bird comes in to play a similar role to what Ryan has been playing," he said.

Craig Bird, Brandon Jack and Jake Lloyd come into the team.

Tom Mitchell battles for the ball with Ben Jacobs last week. Source: Getty Images

FREMANTLE have also made several changes with Nat Fyfe returning from suspension along with key forward Chris Mayne.

GEELONG suffered a big blow on the eve of their Easter Monday clash with Hawthorn after Josh Caddy broke his foot at training.

The Cats expect to lose the tough midfielder for two months.

"Josh changed direction and heard a crack in his foot," Geelong football manager Neil Balme said.

Jackson Sheringham, Jordon Schroder, Josh Walker and Jackson Thurlow come into an extended squad.

HAWTHORN have rushed Norm Smith Medallist Brian Lake back into the squad, but he will have to pass a fitness test to take his place on Monday.

The Hawks will also regain ruckman Ben McEvoy and Ben Stratton for the clash with Mitch Hallahan and Jed Anderson in.

Matt Spangher and Liam Shiels are out.

WEST COAST have swung the changes for a second straight week as captain Darren Glass, Matt Rosa, Chris Masten, Luke Shuey and Mark Hutchings return.

Sam Butler, Will Schofield, Pat McGinnity, Scott Lycett and Brandt Colledge make way.

PORT ADELAIDE regain Chad Wingard for the trip west.

ESSENDON supporters will get some good news and bad news.

Paul Chapman, Paddy Ryder, David Myers and Dustin Fletcher return while Brendon Goddard, Jason Winderlich, Travis Colyer and Dylan Van Unen

ST KILDA have also made mass changes for Saturday night's match with Adam Schneider, Josh Bruce, Seb Ross, Tom Hickey and Jack Billings returning.

Beau Maister, David Armitage, Shane Savage, Billy Longer and Nathan Wright are out.

WESTERN BULLDOGS has regained Luke Dahlhaus.

The Herald Sun's footy writers name their SuperCoach heroes and villains from Round 4

TEAMS

BRISBANE LIONS v RICHMOND

Thursday, April 17 at the Gabba, 7.40pm (EST

LIONS

B: J.Clarke, J.Lisle, D.Gardiner

HB: J.Adcock, J.Patfull, M.Golby

C: J.Aish, T.Rockliff, S.Mayes

HF: D.Zorko, L.McGuane, M.Paparone

F: L.Taylor, J.Brown, J.Paine

Foll: T.West, J.Redden, N.Robertson

I/C: T.Cutler, R.Bewick, R.Lester, B.Moloney

Emer: J.Polkinghorne, A.Raines, R.Harwood

INS: L.McGuane, R.Lester, D.Gardiner

OUTS: M.Leuenberger, P.Hanley, R.Harwood

TIGERS

B: C.Newman, D.Astbury, D.Grimes

HB: B.Houli, T.Chaplin, S.Morris

C: S.Grigg, D.Jackson, R.Conca

HF: D.Martin, R.Petterd, S.Lloyd

F: N.Gordon, J.Riewoldt, B.Griffiths

Foll: S.Hampson, M.Thomas, T.Cotchin

I/C: B.Ellis, S.Edwards, N.Vlastuin, M.Arnot

Emer: B.Lennon, N.Foley, M.McDonough

INS: R.Petterd

OUTS: T.Vickery

COLLINGWOOD v NORTH MELBOURNE

Saturday, April 19 at the MCG, 1.40pm (EST)

MAGPIES

B: A.Toovey, J.Frost, T.Langdon

HB: N.Maxwell, L.Keeffe, A.Fasolo

C: S.Sidebottom, B.Macaffer, H.Lumumba

HF: D.Beams, J.White, L.Ball

F: J.Elliott, T.Cloke, J.Witts

Foll: B.Grundy, D.Swan, S.Pendlebury

I/C: T.Goldsack, J.Blair, C.Young, J.Thomas

Emg: M.Clarke, T.Adams, S.Dwyer

NO CHANGE

KANGAROOS

B: M.Firrito, N.Grima, N.Dal Santo

HB: S.Atley, S.Thompson, L.Greenwood

C: S.Gibson, R.Bastinac, B.McKenzie

HF: L.Thomas, A.Black, B.Cunnington

F: L.Adams, D.Petrie, L.Hansen

Foll: T.Goldstein, D.Wells, B.Harvey

I/C: A.Mullett, L.McDonald, B.Jacobs, D.Currie

Emg: J.Tippett, R.Nahas, S.Wright

IN: D.Currie

OUT: R.Nahas

SYDNEY SWANS v FREMANTLE

Saturday, April 19 at the SCG, 4.40pm (EST)

SWANS

B: D.Rampe, T.Richards, N.Smith

HB: N.Malceski, H.Grundy, R.Shaw

C: K.Jack, JP.Kennedy, J.McVeigh

HF: B.McGlynn, L.Roberts-Thomson, L.Jetta

F: L.Parker, L.Franklin, B.Jack

Foll: M.Pyke, D.Hannebery, H.Cunningham

I/C: T.Derickx, J.Lloyd, J.Laidler, C.Bird

Emg: Z.Jones, R.O'Keefe, A.Aliir

IN: C.Bird, J.Lloyd, B.Jack

OUT: R.O'Keefe, G.Rohan, T.Mitchell

DOCKERS

B: Z.Dawson, L.McPharlin, L.Spurr

HB: N.Suban, M.Johnson, P.Duffield

C: C.Sutcliffe, R.Crowley, D.Mundy

HF: N.Fyfe, M.Pavlich, M.de Boer

F: H.Ballantyne, Z.Clarke, C.Mayne

Foll: A.Sandilands, T.Mzungu, S.Hill

I/C: M.Taberner, C.Pearce, D.Pearce, L.Neale

Emg: T.Sheridan, H.Crozier, M.Apeness

IN: C.Mayne, N.Fyfe

OUT: H.Crozier, J.Simpson

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WEST COAST EAGLES v PORT ADELAIDE

Saturday, April 19 at Patersons Stadium, 5.40pm (WST)

EAGLES

B: M.Brown, D.Glass, J.Bennell

HB: X.Ellis, E.Mackenzie, J.Cripps

C: A.Gaff, S.Selwood, B.Sheppard

HF: L.Shuey, JJ.Kennedy, J.Hill

F: C.Masten, N.Naitanui, J.Darling

Foll: D.Cox, M.Priddis, S.Wellingham

I/C: M.Hutchings, D.Sheed, M.Rosa, E.Yeo

Emg: W.Schofield, S.Lycett, C.Sinclair

IN: D.Glass, M.Rosa, C.Masten, L.Shuey, M.Hutchings

OUT: S.Butler, W.Schofield, P.McGinnity, S.Lycett, B.Colledge

POWER

B: C.O'Shea, A.Carlile, J.Impey

HB: T.Jonas, J.Trengove, M.Broadbent

C: M.White, T.Boak, K.Cornes

HF: A.Young, J.Westhoff, O.Wines

F: R.Gray, J.Schulz, C.Wingard

Foll: M.Lobbe, B.Ebert, H.Hartlett

I/C: D.Cassisi, J.Pittard, J.Polec, S.Gray

Emg: S.Colquhoun, B.Newton, P.Stewart

IN: C.Wingard

OUT: J.Hombsch

ESSENDON v ST KILDA

Saturday, April 19 at Etihad Stadium, 7.40pm (EST)

BOMBERS

B: D.Fletcher, M.Hurley, D.Heppell

HB: B.Stanton, C.Hooker, J.Merrett

C: M.Baguley, J.Watson, M.Hibberd

HF: D.Zaharakis, J.Daniher, D.Myers

F: K.Hardingham, J.Carlisle, B.Howlett

Foll: P.Ryder, P.Chapman, H.Hocking

I/C: J.Ashby, L.Jetta, M.Gleeson, J.Melksham

Emg: D.Van Unen, Z.Merrett, T.Colyer

IN: P.Chapman, P.Ryder, D.Myers, D.Fletcher

OUT: B.Goddard, J.Winderlich, T.Colyer, D.Van Unen

SAINTS

B: J.Bruce, L.Delaney, J.Newnes

HB: J.Webster, J.Gwilt, S.Dempster

C: F.Ray, L.Hayes, L.Montagna

HF: E.Templeton, N.Riewoldt, J.Steven

F: C.Jones, R.Stanley, J.Saunders

Foll: T.Hickey, L.Dunstan, T.Curren

I/C: A.Schneider, S.Ross, J.Billings, J.Geary

Emg: T.Milera, T.Simpkin, S.Savage

IN: A.Schneider, J.Bruce, S.Ross, T.Hickey, J.Billings

OUT: B.Maister, D.Armitage, S.Savage, B.Longer, N.Wright

ADELAIDE CROWS v GWS GIANTS

Sunday, April 20 at Adelaide Oval, 12.40pm (CST)

CROWS

B: K.Hartigan, B.Rutten, M.Jaensch

HB: L.Brown, D.Talia, B.Smith

C: R.Sloane, P.Dangerfield, J.Petrenko

HF: S.Kerridge, J.Podsiadly, D.Mackay

F: E.Betts, J.Jenkins, M.Wright

Foll: S.Jacobs, R.Douglas, S.Thompson

I/C (from): T.Lynch, S.Shaw, R.Laird, B.Reilly, M.Crouch, B.Martin, M.Grigg

IN: T.Lynch, S.Shaw, M.Grigg

OUT: Nil

GIANTS

B: C.Hampton, S.Frost, L.Plowman

HB: A.Kennedy, N.Haynes, Z.Williams

C: T.Bugg, A.Treloar, T.Greene

HF: J.Kelly, J.Patton, D.Smith

F: J.Cameron, T.Boyd, T.Scully

Foll: J.Giles, S.Coniglio, C.Ward

I/C (from): J.Lamb, A.Tomlinson, J.Hunt, W.Hoskin-Elliott, J.O'Rourke, A.Phillips, M.Buntine

IN: D.Smith, M.Buntine, A.Phillips, J.O'Rourke, Z.Williams, T.Boyd

OUT: H.Shaw, J.Townsend, L.Sumner

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MELBOURNE v GOLD COAST SUNS

Sunday, April 20 at the MCG, 3.20pm (EST)

DEMONS

B: A.Georgiou, T.McDonald, L.Dunn

HB: D.Terlich, J.Frawley, J.Grimes

C: J.Viney, D.Tyson, B.Vince

HF: J.Watts, C.Pedersen, J.McKenzie

F: J.Howe, C.Dawes, R.Bail

Foll: J.Spencer, N.Jones, D.Cross

I/C (from): D.Kent, N.Jetta, J.Kennedy-Harris, M.Jones, M.Evans, J.Toumpas, J.Fitzpatrick

IN: J.Fitzpatrick, N.Jetta, J.Toumpas

OUT: Nil

SUNS

B: M.Warnock, S.May, G.Broughton

HB: S.Lemmens, R.Thompson, T.McKenzie

C: M.Shaw, G.Ablett, J.Harbrow

HF:A.Hall, TJ.Lynch, D.Stanley

F: L.Russell, S.Day, B.Matera

Foll: T.Nicholls, J.O'Meara, D.Swallow

I/C (from): J.Taylor, D.Prestia, T.Sumner, K.Kolodjashnij, J.Hutchins, M.Rischitelli, T.Murphy

IN: T.Murphy, B.Matera, J.Taylor, T.Sumner

OUT: C.Cameron

WESTERN BULLDOGS v CARLTON

Sunday, April 20 at Etihad Stadium, 4.40pm (EST)

BULLDOGS

B: L.Picken, T.Young, E.Wood

HB: S.Higgins, T.Williams, R.Murphy

C: A.Cooney, R.Griffen, J.Macrae

HF: K.Stevens, S.Crameri, M.Wallis

F: L.Dahlhaus, L.Jones, D.Giansiracusa

Foll: W.Minson, M.Boyd, T.Liberatore

I/C (from): J.Tutt, J.Stringer, M.Bontempelli, L.Hunter, L.Jong, M.Talia, T.Campbell

IN: T.Campbell, L.Dahlhaus, M.Talia, M.Bontempelli

OUT: D.Morris

BLUES

B: A.Everitt, S.Rowe, L.Henderson

HB: Z.Tuohy, B.Gibbs, D.Thomas

C: E.Curnow, A.Carrazzo, C.Judd

HF: K.Simpson, A.Walker, D.Ellard

F: C.Yarran, J.Waite, L.Casboult

Foll: R.Warnock, P.Cripps, M.Murphy

I/C (from): D.Buckley, J.Garlett, K.Lucas, T.Bell, M.Watson, H.Scotland, S.White

IN: C.Judd, J.Waite, S.White, J.Garlett, M.Watson, T.Bell

OUT: M.Jamison, T.Menzel, N.Graham

GEELONG v HAWTHORN

Monday, April 21 at the MCG, 3.20pm (EST)

CATS

B: A.Mackie, T.Lonergan, C.Guthrie

HB: J.Rivers, H.Taylor, T.Hunt

C: J.Kelly, S.Johnson, M.Stokes

HF: M.Duncan, M.Blicavs, J.Murdoch

F: T.Varcoe, T.Hawkins, G.Burbury

Foll: H.McIntosh, J.Bartel, J.Selwood

I/C (from): J.Sheringham, J.Schroder, C.Enright, G.Horlin-Smith, D.Simpson, J.Walker, J.Thurlow

IN: J.Sheringham, J.Schroder, J.Walker, J.Thurlow

OUT: J.Caddy

HAWKS

B: K.Cheney, J.Gibson, B.Stratton

HB: M.Suckling, L.Hodge, G.Birchall

C: B.Hill, S.Mitchell, I.Smith

HF: J.Simpkin, J.Gunston, C.Rioli

F: L.Breust, J.Roughead, P.Puopolo

Foll: D.Hale, J.Lewis, S.Burgoyne

I/C (from): W.Langford, B.McEvoy, M.Hallahan, T.Duryea, J.Ceglar, J.Anderson, B.Lake

IN: B.Lake, B.McEvoy, B.Stratton, M.Hallahan, J.Anderson

OUT: M.Spangher, L.Shiels


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Live: Storm v Dragons

Written By malwan milad on Senin, 14 April 2014 | 16.42

Monday night football: Melbourne Storm v St George Illawarra Dragons. Source: FoxSports

MELBOURNE will be looking to bounce back from their controversial loss to the Titans last week as they host the Dragons at AAMI Park.

St George Illawarra's Gareth Widdop returns to Melbourne looking to outshine the players he was once overshadowed by at the Storm.

For both sides, poor discipline and defence was an issue last week and they will have to improve in these areas if they are to turnaround their fortunes on the field.

FOR THE MATCH CENTRE CLICK ON THE GAME IN THE SCORE PANEL ABOVE

For rolling updates, polls and exclusive pictures follow the action in our blog below:


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