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Stoner takes pole after crashing

Written By Unknown on Sabtu, 27 Oktober 2012 | 16.41

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Remarkable ... Casey Stoner on his way to claimin pole position on Saturday after crashing. Source: Jake Nowakowski / News Limited

Casey Stoner proved he was human.

Then, perhaps that he's superhuman.

Stoner claimed pole position at the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix in extraordinary style on Saturday, clocking his best lap after being flipped off his bike at high speed.

Already carrying an ankle injury, the Australian dusted himself off, got on a new bike, then immediately clocked a flying sub-1min 30sec lap time to give himself the best possible shot at a sixth successive win at Phillip Island in Sunday's race.

He backed up that amazing effort with even quicker laps for the rest of the session.

His best of 1:29.623 put him on pole ahead of Yamaha's championship leader Jorge Lorenzo (1:30.140) and Stoner's Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa (1:30.525).

Another record attendance of more than 40,000 watched Stoner on Saturday in his home MotoGP farewell before he retires.

He started the day with more head-shakingly quick laps in morning practice, following on from dominating both practice sessions on Friday.

But after a fast early qualifying lap, all held their breath as Stoner was bucked off a bike which trailed desperately close to his injured leg as both slid off the circuit.

After limping away and visiting the pits to get some new wheels, Stoner then came out and did what no one else has yet been able to do at Phillip Island this weekend - break 1min 30sec.

He has now done it six times this weekend - auguring well for his shots at history and destiny on Sunday.

Stoner said he was thrilled to be on pole for his farewell Australian race, especially after his fall.

"I was on my 'out' lap on a hard tyre, and the thing just decided to flick me,'' Stoner said.

"I was very fortunate it didn't come down on my foot.

"I'm very happy to be on pole considering all that's happened for my home Grand Prix."

Lorenzo leads Pedrosa by 23 points in the championship going into the penultimate race of the season.

They are the only two riders who can win the MotoGP title.

Australian Kris McLaren, making his MotoGP debut as a late replacement rider for the Avintia team, failed to qualify inside the cutoff time for Sunday's race.

McLaren, from Leongatha in Victoria, had a fall just prior to Stoner's.

He improved markedly on his Friday practice times, but was still the slowest of the 20 riders.

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Ocean Park wins Cox Plate

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By a whisker ... Glen Boss rode Ocean Park to victory at Moonee Valley. Source: Wayne Ludbey / News Limited

New Zealand star Ocean Park has produced a sweeping run from the back of the field to give glamour jockey Glen Boss a third Cox Plate triumph.

In a stirring finish, Ocean Park wore down the three-year-old All Too Hard to claim Australia's weight-for-age championship at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

"I feel like this is my finest moment .. this horse is just a winner," Boss said.

"To all those who doubted him, stick that up your shirt.

"He gave me a great ride and always felt like he was going to win throughout the run."

Settling in the second half of the pack, Ocean Park made a long, sustained run to put himself into the race at the 400m.

In search of a fourth successive Group One triumph, Ocean Park levelled up to All Too Hard at 100m before edging ahead.

"It's the epitome of every trainer's career," Ocean Park's trainer Gary Hennessy said.

The Gai Waterhouse-trained Pierro finished third, just ahead of Ethiopia.

Modern-day great Makybe Diva gave Boss his breakthrough Cox Plate win and he partnered So You Think in the first of the horse's two victories in the race.

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Jeronimo fires Reds over Phoenix

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At the double ... Jeronimo continued his impressive start in the A-League. Source: Sarah Reed / News Limited

Adelaide United folk hero Cassio celebrated his 100th A-League game with a goal as the Reds downed Wellington Phoenix 3-1 on Saturday.

Argentine striker Jeronimo Neumann scored twice as Adelaide netted three goals in the final 40 minutes to deliver the Phoenix their first loss of the season.

The Phoenix finished with 10 men after Ben Sigmund was controversially sent off in the 77th minute.

P W D L GD Pts
1 Adelaide 4 3 0 1 4 9
2 Newcastle 4 3 0 1 1 9
3 Perth 3 2 0 1 2 6
4 Wellington 4 1 2 1 0 5
5 Brisbane 3 1 1 1 4 4
6 Central Coast 3 1 1 1 0 4
7 Heart 3 1 1 1 -1 4
8 Sydney 3 1 0 2 -2 3
9 Victory 4 1 0 3 -6 3
10 Western Sydney 3 0 1 2 -2 1

Wellington's Stein Huysegems scored the opening goal in the Hindmarsh Stadium fixture before the visitors were overwhelmed by Adelaide, who return to the top of the ladder with the win.

Jeronimo's brace was punctuated by fan favourite Cassio's 68th minute goal, which gave Adelaide a 2-1 lead.

Cassio, after a 20 metre run that sliced open Wellington's defence, flicked to Jeronimo, who fed the ball back to his teammate and the Brazilian promptly scored with a slick left-footer.

Replays suggested Jeronimo might have been offside when the ball was played to him, but the goal still stood.

Adelaide's comeback triumph came after Phoenix talisman Paul Ifill created Huysegems' strike with a crafty through ball in the 42nd minute.

As a flat-footed Adelaide defence stood hoping for an offside call, Ifill's insightful pass played the Belgian international into ample space.

Relive all the key moments from the game with our A-League Match Centre, featuring stats and video highlights.

Huysegems closed within 10 metres and powered a left-footer with such force it gave Reds goalkeeper Eugene Galevokic no chance.

Adelaide hit back just 10 minutes after halftime when Jeronimo scored.

After a scramble, Wellington's attempt to clear their defensive area rebounded into the path of the Argentine just 10m from goal.

While fortunate to find the ball at his feet, Jeronimo's finish was clinical - a left-footer which equalised against the flow of play.

Jeronimo repeated the dose in the 85th minute after being played into space by Adelaide's creative Dario Vidosic, his left-foot finish sealing the victory for the Reds.

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Live shark found on golf course

Written By Unknown on Jumat, 26 Oktober 2012 | 16.41

Out of water ... The leopard shark is transported back to the sea after his day out on the golf course. Source: AP

Things don't always land where they're supposed to on a fairway, but the shark that mysteriously appeared near the 12th tee of a California golf club seems to have been the result of a birdie.

The 60cm leopard shark is thought to have been picked up by an osprey off the nearby Pacific coast and dropped as the bird flew over the San Juan Hills Golf Club south of Los Angeles.

"One of our on-duty marshals was making his rounds and noticed something wriggling in the grass on our number 12 tee,'' club employee Melissa McCormack said, recounting Monday's incident.

"After going over to investigate, he realised it was a small shark. He promptly placed it in the back of his golf cart and brought it to the clubhouse.''

They decided to rush it back to the ocean, 8km away.

"After placing it in the water, it was still for a moment before flipping around and swimming off.

"We believe it got to the golf course by way of osprey because there were puncture wounds with fresh blood under the dorsal fin,'' she added.

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Burns backs Jamieson for Australia

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Change at the top? ... the regulars won't likely be back until the next World Cup qualifier in March. Source: WILLIAM WEST / News Limited

Debate has been raging for months over whether Holger Osieck has the right balance of youth and experience in his Socceroos squad.

The German has essentially stayed loyal to a veteran core of players during the current 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, with only a sprinkling of young talent getting a look in.

Who should be first choice young gun to get a Socceroos start?

Less than 12 months ago Osieck was scathing of the junior talent the country was producing, saying, "they have the talent but when you see them at times you don't really see the desire to be there."

Indeed, it was a sentiment echoed by former coach Pim Verbeek, who stoked the fires this week when he said the national team's future looked "grim" in the wake of a number of underwhelming performances at junior level.

But with a busy schedule coming up over the next few months, Osieck may have no choice but to see what Australia's young guns - and A-League talent, for that matter - has to offer.

Most, if not all, of Australia's regulars will not be required for a friendly against South Korea in November and the East Asia Games qualifiers against Hong Kong, Guam and North Korea and Chinese Taipei in December, so who will Osieck turn to?

Players like Mitch Langerak, Adam Sarota, Tommy Oar, Nikita Rukavytsya and Ryan McGowan have been ingrained into the Socceroos squad atmosphere, but for many others it will be a step into the unknown.

The A-League has been represented manfully by Archie Thompson and Mark Milligan in recent times, but players like Erik Paartalu, Aziz Behich and Tomas Rogic are sure to come under consideration.

One man who has been there before, Perth Glory captain Jacob Burns, fancied the chances of Rogic and Aaron Mooy.

"I've been very impressed with Aaron Mooy. For a young lad, he definitely shifts the ball well with both feet (and) seems to have that time on the ball and composure," Burns said on Kick Off.

"Tommy Rogic as well has been fantastic ... He's a big guy who can split the defence apart with his runs."

But it was the nomination of one of his club teammates that might cause a few raised eyebrows.

"I have to say, just throw him in there, Scott Jamieson. He's been in fine form," Burns said.

"Left back's always been one of them positions (under scrutiny) with the national team. He's still a young lad with 100 games under his belt.

Who do you think should be called up to the Socceroos squad? Join the debate and vote in our poll!

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SA draw with Bulls in Shield

Collapse ... Queensland's Peter Forrest was one of several Bulls to fall in quick succession. Source: Sarah Reed / News Limited

South Australia's winless Sheffield Shield streak is extended to 19 matches with a draw against Queensland at Adelaide Oval on Friday.

The Bulls were set 222 runs to win from 47 overs but a mid-order slump caused them to abandon their chase.

Queensland finished 6-129, but collected first innings points.

SA's hopes soared for an unlikely victory when the Bulls lost 4-41 to slip to 5-101 in the 26th over.

Opener Alex Kemp (33), Usman Khawaja (26), Peter Forrest (16) and Ben Cutting (21) all fell in the quest for quick runs.

Joe Burns and Chris Hartley repelled the Redbacks, who haven't won a Shield game since November 2010.

Burns (16 not out) and Hartley (14) batted for 15 overs to ensure the draw.

Earlier, SA were bowled out for 225 in their second innings, Dan Christian top-scoring with 71.

But Christian was one of three needless run outs for the Redbacks.

Callum Ferguson, on 18, prodded to midwicket and foolishly set off for a single before being rightfully sent back by Christian.

Lyon (10) was run out in a mix up with Christian, who in turn was run out in a mishap with No.10 Daniel Worrall.

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Tries not all important: Deans

Written By Unknown on Kamis, 25 Oktober 2012 | 16.41

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Hung up ... Robbie Deans says exciting play is just as important as scoring tries. Source: Juan Mabromata / AFP

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans says people are too hung up about his side's lack of tries, as Australia endures its leanest try-scoring season of the professional era.

Deans maintains last Saturday's tryless 18-18 Bledisloe Cup draw with the All Blacks in Brisbane was a good spectacle and contained plenty of passages of attractive rugby.

The Wallabies have scored just 12 tries in 11 Tests this year, an average of 1.09 a game, compared to the All Blacks' 33 tries in 10 Tests at an average of 3.3 a match.

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Overall, Wallabies teams averaged 3.15 tries a Test since the game went professional in 1996 and the only other year they have scored less than two a match was also under Deans in 2009.

Deans was asked on Thursday if he'd like to see the Wallabies score more tries on the upcoming four-Test tour of Europe which begins against France in Paris on November 10.

"Obviously you like to score tries but ultimately you like to win,'' Deans said.

"I think people get hung up with tries being scored and not scored.

"What you want to see is expansive and ambitious play and there was ample of ... both of those elements last week.''

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen described the Brisbane Test as the ugliest game he'd been involved in but Deans disagrees the match was a shocker to watch.

"I don't think so. That was a great spectacle last week. If you look at it from a written word perspective there were six penalties a side, it was a great contest,'' Deans said.

"There was lots of movement, there was width in both teams' attacks.

"They deny you access to the tryline but the good thing was we were able to deny them access as well and that's the nature of international rugby now.

"The ante has gone up. Normally post World Cup it seems to abate a little bit but I think what you've seen this year is the intensity of games and the resistance in the defensive lines has been retained from the World Cup where you've got the ultimate incentive.

"It hasn't abated at all and teams are very loathe to let tries in ... it's getting harder (to score tries).''

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Webber backs Tendulkar for AM

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Well played, Mark ... Webber looks like a natural with a cricket bat. Source: Punit Paranjpe / AAP

Reeling in Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel will be a challenge.

But Mark Webber faced a much more daunting task on Thursday (AEDT) - appeasing India's press over the fallout from Sachin Tendulkar's Order of Australia nod.

Webber was at his aggressive best when asked about his prospects ahead of this weekend's Indian Grand Prix in New Delhi barely a fortnight after placing second in the last round in Korea, his first podium finish since July.

The Australian driver is fifth in the standings (152 points) behind two-time defending champion Vettel (215) with four rounds left.

But he quickly launched a charm offensive when Indian reporters demanded answers following the luke-warm reaction in Australia to Prime Minister Julia Gillard adding "AM" after Tendulkar's name.

"If we can give it to (West Indies' Brian) Lara then Tendulkar certainly deserves it," Webber said at a press conference attended by Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir.

"Sachin Tendulkar has just been an incredible cricketer and one of the most amazing sportspersons the world has seen.

"Australians have utmost respect for him.

"The government, the people, everyone respects him.

"He has set a very high benchmark for every other Indian cricketer and every young player looks up to him."

Webber won't be so charitable at the Buddh International Circuit this weekend.

Clutch problems all but ensured pole-sitter Webber was relegated to second at the recent Korean Grand Prix at Yeongam - but the Australian vowed to not die wondering at New Delhi.

Driver Team Pts
1 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull 215
2 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari 209
3 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus 167
4 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren 153
5 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull 152
6 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren 131
7 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes 93
8 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus 88
9 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari 81
10 Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber 66
11 Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Sauber 50
12 Nico Hulkenburg (GER) Force India 45
13 Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India 44
14 Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes 43
15 Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams 33
16 Bruno Senna (BRA) Williams 25
17 Jean Eric Vergne (FRA) Toro Rosso 12
18 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Toro Rosso 9
19 Timo Glock (GER) Marussia F1 0
20 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Carterham 0
21 Vitaly Petrov (RUS) Carterham 0
22 Jerome d'Ambrosio (BEL) Lotus 0
23 Charles Pic (FRA) Marussia F1 0
24 Narain Karthikeyan (IND) HRT F1 0
25 Pedro de la Rosa (ESP) HRT F1 0

Especially after Red Bull boss Christian Horner ruled out imposing team orders forcing Webber to support Vettel's championship bid.

"I would love to win races and improve my position on the championship table as much as possible," said Webber, who is only a mathematical chance of claiming a maiden championship.

"Our goal is to challenge for victories and we are capable of doing that.

"We are off the back of a very strong performance as a team but we don't rest at all.

"We are prepared to push ourselves to the limits starting from Friday to get the right result come Sunday."

Vettel is in the box seat to clinch championship No.3 after leapfrogging Ferrari's Fernando Alonso (209pts) to top the drivers' standings following wins in his last three races.

The championship looks like a two-vehicle race with Alonso after McLaren threats Lewis Hamilton (10th) and Jenson Button (DNF) had shockers at Yeongam.

Webber curiously talked up Alonso's title chances on Thursday.

"I think Alonso has a good chance of winning the title," he said.

"With four races to go both Sebastian and Alonso have many points left to bag - it is still very open.

"Anything can happen.

"We could have a wet race in (the season finale in) Brazil. It's not over 'til it is over."

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Bulls snare first innings points

Damage ... Queensland paceman Ben Cutting did his damage with the bat against South Australia. Source: Tim Marsden / News Limited

South Australian opener Phil Hughes failed again after Queenslander Ben Cutting's brutal batting delivered the Bulls first innings points in the Sheffield Shield match in Adelaide.

The Redbacks were 3-90 in their second innings at stumps on Thursday's third day, an 86-run lead over the Bulls.

SHEF - Adelaide Oval

23 October 2012 - Day 3, Session 3

South Australia 2nd Innings

C. Ferguson 9 17 1 0 52.94
T. Head 0 4 0 0 0

Test hopeful Hughes was out for eight - the same score he made in the first innings.

SA were earlier denied their first Shield points in more than a year by Cutting's assault with the bat.

Queensland had slipped to 8-339 in reply to the Redbacks' first innings of 9(dec)-402.

But Cutting then smacked four sixes and four boundaries in a whirlwind 62 from 48 balls which pulled the visitors past SA's first innings total, with Queensland declaring at 9-406.

"That is just my game - if it comes off, it comes off,'' said Cutting, who plundered 109 from only 78 balls against SA in the season-opening Shield game in Brisbane.

"I tend to get out if I play straight and try and be a batsman.''

Cutting's late flurry followed centuries by Bulls opener Wade Townsend (129) and Joe Burns (116).

Townsend and Burns put on 189 runs for the fourth wicket, a partnership broken by Redbacks allrounder Dan Christian, who finished with 4-81.

Test offspinner Nathan Lyon struggled in taking 2-131 from 24 overs while paceman Peter George also claimed two wickets.

SA's second innings began badly when Hughes fell to Bulls captain James Hopes.

Hughes was dismissed in a fashion similar to his problems last summer which led to his Test axing - shuffling back, the lefthander nicked a ball which left him off the seam to first slip.

Bulls spinner Nathan Hauritz (2-13) then claimed two late wickets, Sam Miller (33) and Michael Klinger (40) to give the Queenslander's momentum into Friday's final day.

Cutting said the batting performance gave the team a lot of confidence when they took the field.

"It will be very interesting to see how they set the game up for us, considering how they batted for the first hour or so - they took their time a little bit and weren't as proactive as we were with the bat,'' Cutting said.

"Whether that pays off for them is another thing.

"I think they are going to be pretty nervous going into tomorrow, particularly losing a couple of late wickets to spin.

"It's pretty good signs for us.''

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36 red cards in football brawl

Written By Unknown on Rabu, 24 Oktober 2012 | 16.41

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Send off ... An amazing 36 players were red carded in a game in Paraguay. Source: Graham Stuart / AFP

Referees in a junior Paraguayan game have been forced to red card every player on both teams after a all-in brawl broke out.

The referees fled the field after both benches emptied and became involved in the fight.

The incident began in the final five minutes of the game when players ignored the red carding of two initial players and kept fighting with flying kicks and punches being thrown.

It isn't the first time 36 red cards have been handed out.

Every player was sent out in a match in Argentina between rivals Claypole and Victoriano Arenas, while the previous world record was 20 from another Paraguayan match played in 1993.

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Johnson reveals V8 hopes

NASCAR star ... five-time champ Jimmie Johnson chats to SPEED News Australia. Source: John Harrelson / AFP

Five-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson has revealed a switch to V8 Supercars is high on his radar once he retires from racing full-time in the US.

Jimmie Johnson Source: AFP

The NASCAR star spoke exclusively on his hopes for an eventual move across the Pacific to race a V8 Supercar on SPEED News Australia this week.

Although the 37-year-old, who is second in points in this year's NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup after fighting back from a spin at Kansas last weekend, is guarded on a timeline for getting out of the cockpit he is already formulating a motor-racing bucket list for when he does.

"Supercars would definitely be on the list," he told SPEED News Australia host Jessica Yates. "Whenever I can catch it on SPEED I tune in and watch.

"I love watching them, I love to hear those V8s roar. They're a proper sedan, and very nice race cars. I'd love to get that experience someday."

On SPEED News Australia on Wednesday night, Johnson revealed what else he wants to do - and what he definitely doesn't want to do! - and what he really thinks of Aussie NASCAR racer Marcos Ambrose.

Also on the show this week, Jess chatted to Will Power about his up-and-down IndyCar year, while SPEED's two-wheel expert Kevin Magee dropped by to preview this weekend's AirAsia Australian MotoGP at Phillip Island.

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Trade wrap D17: Stevens, Cripps

Counting down ... the trade period deadline is 2pm (EDT) this Friday. Source:FOX SPORTS

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We keep you up to date with the latest offers, moves and rumours doing the rounds in the AFL trade period.

The AFL trade period runs from 9am October 8 to 2pm, October 26.

Got a whisper? Got a question? E-mail us now and join the conversation.

DAY 16: Rodan, Hille, Hombsch

DAY 15: Tippett, Stevens, Toy

DAY 12: Tippett, Young, Graham

DAY 11: McIntosh, Rivers, Jacobs

DAY 10: Gumbleton, Greenwood, Young

DAY NINE: Jurrah, Brown, Warnock

DAY EIGHT: Ray, Giles, Gillies

DAY FIVE: Rodan, Murphy, Dawes

DAY FOUR: Dawes, Gumbleton, Young

DAY THREE: Moloney, Caddy, Giles

DAY TWO: Fevola, Caddy, Gilham

DAY ONE: Monfries, Lake, Tippett

Well guys, that's it for Wednesday. Of course we'll be back on Thursday bringing you all the latest news from the trade table. Koby Stevens was the only trade on day 17 but there always seems to be some late news. Stay tuned to foxsports.com.au to see who's going where.

1705 Marco says: Who do you think will be delisted at Collingwood and how many players at this stage do they have to delist? What type of players will the pies target in the draft?

Ben Higgins says: An amazing nine players have already been cut by the Magpies, including trades Dawes and Wellingham while Lynch and Young have been brought in. So no-one necessarily needs to be delisted but there is still two more list lodgements for those decisions to be made. In the draft ... expect the Magpies to go after a running defender and probably a ruckman. Outside of those needs they'll pick up the best available with their three first rounders.

1640 Jake says: How have you rated the Demons trade period? Do you think the players picked up will make that much of a difference from last year's poor form? Also where do you see the future of players such as morton etc? Will they be there for 2013? Cheers

Ben Higgins says: Without knowing how things will turn out I'd give them a B+. Chris Dawes is going to be a good target inside the forward 50m alongside Mitch Clark and Shannon Byrnes provides some outside pace and premiership experience. They also snared young gun Jesse Hogan but he can't play until 2014. Losing Jared Rivers is a massive blow so it will be interesting to see how Mark Neeld sets up his defence next season. Mitch Morton will be there in 2013 but if he wants to play in 2014 he'll have to step up and then step up again to have any chance.

1625 Tyrone says: I'm hearing more and more that the Crows will lose their first round draft pick and Tippett will be deregistered and Crows fined 800k true?

Ben Higgins says: Tyrone have you ever thought of being a journo? That's news to me! I don't think Tippett will be deregistered, that's probably going to far. Fox Sports AFL reporter Julian de Stoop says the Crows are looking at serious penalties, most likely a fine and future draft penalties.

1550 Louis says: Great Blog by the way! With Koby Stevens now off to the kennel, do you think the Eagles will trade Mitch Brown? ...and if it is a possibility, would Cripps and pick 25 be enough....or are the Eagles done?

Ben Higgins says: Thanks Louis, just trying to keep you - the fans - as close to the action as possible. I do think the Eagles are done and they'll probably just pick Cripps up in the draft. There's been a lot of talk about Brown leaving but the Eagles have made it clear he is untouchable. That said, he can leave for nothing next year, so I stand to be corrected.

Hi guys and gals, it's Ben Higgins here again, taking over from John for the rest of the afternoon. Looks like things are starting to heat up at the trade table. If you've got a rumour or a question let me know.

1450: Nick says: Hey John, not sure if you have covered this already but I was wondering if you could give your opinion on the possibility of Gysberts moving to Ess in a swap for their pick 35. This would then be on traded to Kangaroos for Pederson. I think there would have to be a shuffle of draft picks to balance things up but a potential win for all concerned.

John Clark says: I think the Demons will be looking for a bit more if they're going to trade Gysberts. He's a first-round pick who has shown enough in limited games to suggest he'll be a player. Maybe they're trying to shake him up with the trade talk. Pedersen is obviously on their radar and someone like Petterd might appeal to the Kangaroos. Not many multi-club deals are happening this week so can't see that one getting off the ground. Stefan Martin might be the player the Dees send to Brisbane in a bid to get the pick they want.

1430: Kidding says: How does Carlton improve next year, John? Done nothing in trades...lost a few players but got nothing flash in draft picks to work with. Judd isn't getting any younger and Waite is so injury-prone. I really thought they would be "in to" a few players that have been floating about...like Lake or Goddard but all quiet there. What's Mick got up his sleeve?

John Clark says: That's a good question. I think they feel they have a list capable of challenging if they get some luck with injuries and their good players stand up. I think the most important players for the Blues next year are Henderson, Waite and Kreuzer. They can stiffen them right up with 22 games and good form. If Mick has something up his sleeve he is keeping it very quiet.

1410: TRADE MURMUR: The name of Richmond defender Jayden Post keeps cropping up in trade discussions. His contract at the Tigers is done but there's possibly a one-year deal for him at Punt Road if he doesn't find a new home.

1345: Dan of Big Bad Bombers of Canberra says: Hi John, what are your thoughts on the addition of Goddard to the bombers line-up. Lot of people suggesting he is past it and wont get us to our next premiership window. I think he may play a similar role to that of Courtenay Dempsey as he seems to play better off the halfback and considering we lost nothing in getting him (cash not really a huge issue at the dons)it seems like the perfect no-risk move. Secondly, in your opinion, what would be a pass-mark for the Bombers next year?

John Clark says: I think Goddard is the top addition to any side this trade period. He is an elite player who has been going like a bloke who needed a fresh start. The switch to Essendon gives him that and I would be putting him in the middle of the ground and pushing him deep forward at times. I think he gets away with too much across half back, like Bryce Gibbs. Put them in the action and see what happens. I think the premiership window is open for Essendon. They were flying last season before injuries cruelled them. Another year on, with Goddard in, they should be aiming for top four. If they don't make the eight then that's a fail.

1315: Kidding says: So no other movement from Swans apart from Tippett, John? players like Dennis-Lane can't seem to get a regular game there and is Jed Lamb as good as they hoped he might be when a high(ish) draft pick? How does he break into the side anyway?

John Clark says: G'day Kidding. I think Dennis-Lane will be on the move. He was linked with Adelaide in some Tippett talks on Monday. Not sure that will happen but I think he'll make a move for more footy. Mitch Morton isn't a worldbeater but he's ahead of Dennis-Lane for a game, and Gary Rohan is probably going to play forward when he returns. Jed Lamb hasn't featured at all in two years since he was taken at pick No.21. He was asked to work harder over summer last pre-season and the same will be the case this year. I think they'll hold onto him for another season.

1255: Concerned of AFL House says: Hi John, how many brain cells do you think Parko, Fritz and Fruit Tingles have combined? And if any, do you think they can count to potato?

John Clark says: Interesting question, Concerned. I'll leave that alone but I think those chaps, wonderful contributors to foxsports.com.au, keep the forums entertaining. Parko is probably my favourite because he's been coming here for as long as I can remember and taken a swing at most of what we do. Would he attract a first-round draft pick if he were on the trade table? Probably not.

1238: Marty says: John..personally don't think nahas.king.edwards + now knights can all play in the same side. Thoughts?

John Clark says: Edwards is one who slipped my mind. He kicked 29 goals last season. Good effort. King does the defensive job on the opposition runner off half back while Knights can spend time on the ball and play as a high half-forward. It seems there are options if Nahas can land them a player they want or pick in the second round.

1227: Big Ive says: A couple of things. What are your thoughts on Stephen Gilham and pick 66 heading up to the Gold Coast for Josh Toy? And are you surprised that there has not been any movement towards snagging GWS' picks 2 and 3? Would have thought that Brodie Grundy (at pick 2) would be enough to tempt a few sides?

John Clark says: That seems fair. Gilham is on the outer at the Hawks and Toy is more likely to come home than stay at the Suns it seems. The Hawks have two third-round picks and can package one of those up with their full back. I would have thought Gilham had a bit more to offer than Tom Murphy. Brodie Grundy is the best ruckman in the draft according to those who should know. But I wouldn't be taking ruckman in the first round. You can find good ones from other clubs (Maric, Jacobs) or groom a rookie (Cox, Jamar, Jolly).

1225: DEAL COMPLETED: Koby Stevens is officially a Western Bulldog. The Dogs and West Coast have struck a deal that secured Stevenss's path home to Victoria, a week after the 21-year chose the Whitten Oval as his destination. The Dogs gave up pick No.44 to the Eagles for the midfielder in an agreement that comes two days before the trade deadline. The clubs also swapped picks later in the draft. We'll have more on that soon.

John Clark says: That's a fair result in the end. The Dogs were pushing for pick 51 but they should still get the player they want at that stage of the draft. Stevens was pick 22 in 2009 and should be ready to play regularly in 2013.

1220: Troy of SA says: Really don't understand, given Ports need for defenders, why they don't try and get Cam Delaney as part of the Jacobs deal...also, think we should trade for Gilham, pick up Slattery and then nab Jordan Russel in the PSD...also, is there any likelyhood that we could ge Tom Gillies?

John Clark says: Sorry for the delay in getting back to some questions guys, just been held up with some other work. The Power have indicated they want to rebuild through the draft rather than with experienced players. I think Delaney would be OK, Gilham better, and Jordan Russell a very underrated option in the pre-season draft.

JimmyBob says: G'day John, loving your work on here. I think Geelong acquiring Rivers Caddy and Macintosh for spare change are the real winners this week. Any word on new homes for Brown and Gilles?

John Clark says: You are right Jimmy, I forgot the good work of the Cats before. Rivers will be very good, McIntosh just needs to get a run at it, and Caddy will play 150 games for them. And the Hawks have done well to get Brian Lake on the cheap. I haven't heard much on Gillies or Brown. I don't think the Cats can fit them both in, though. Gillies was chased hard 12 months ago. I would have thought both have currency. Ken Hinkley might take one of them with him to the Power.

1130: Froggy says: G'day John love your work so far! Any word on a proposed on the Saints/WCE Brown and Cripps trade? Will saints part with 26 they got from GC as part of Suns? What about the Ray deal with the Dees?

John Clark says: Cheers Frog. The Saints haven't given up on getting Mitch Brown to the club. The key defender has said this week that he wants to move but the Eagles see him as a required player. On Tuesday I thought the Eagles will keep him and try to convince him over the next 12 months to stick with them. Cripps was offered to West Coast in a deal for Brown but they were having none of it. Perhaps if Cripps is bundled up with pick 26 they'll start to listen. As for Ray, he is keen on a move but Melbourne need to get themselves a pick to send St Kilda's way. Maybe a player will be sent that way - Petterd, Bate, Morton - to get the deal done.

1120: Kane says: What is going on with the Koby Stevens trade to the dogs? Will it just be pushed through late before trade deadline?

John Clark says: That, to me, looks a straightforward deal but there's nothing happening yet. One report overnight suggested Stevens could end up in the national draft. West Coast want more than pick 51 and the Dogs don't want to budge. Pick 44 might be used if the Eagles continue to play hard ball. There are a couple of other Melbourne-based clubs who are said to be keen on him. Don't be surprised if St Kilda and the Demons, if they can't get Farren Ray, pounce in the draft.

1110: Stevo of Brisbane says: Hey John, where do you see Lisle fitting in at the Lions next year with the likely arrival of Martin? Do you see him slotting back into defence as cover for Merrett/Maguire considering they only traded for him last year and finished the season as a second forward/ruckman?

John Clark says: Hey Stevo. I think Martin can be a very good ruckman when allowed to roam but, given Hudson and Leunbeurger, they'll look to play recruit him as a key-position player. It's a long way off round one but I would send Martin and Merrett back then partner Lisle and Brown in attack. It's a good problem to have big blokes you can switch between defence and attack.

West Coast forward Mark Nicoski has signed a one-year contract extension as he seeks to rebound from the serious hamstring injury that ruined his 2012 season. Nicoski, who agreed to terms last Friday, never considered leaving the Eagles through free agency and will become a 10-year player next season. The Eagles remain in talks with St Kilda to secure versatile half forward Jamie Cripps via a trade, but there has been no progression in those discussions this week.

1050: Azz says: Any update on Broughton and Roberton?

John Clark says: Morning Azz. Port Adelaide were having a look at Broughton but called off the pursuit on Tuesday because he's got a fairly hefty year to run on a deal at the Dockers. He'll stick with Fremantle unless the Dockers can absorb some of his wage in 2013. Very little happening with Roberton. He will probably find a new home late in the week or try his luck in the draft.

1025: Derek says: Hi John, Regarding the possible Martin move to the Lions yesterday you thought that pick 53 would not be enough to secure the deal. Do you think that pick 33 would be giving too much? Secondly are you surprised that Melbourne seem to have if its not nailed down its for sale policy for a lot of their players? I can understand Neeld wanting to make his mark on this team – I am not complaining though as I think Moloney and Martin Will improve our team and with a favourable draw the 8 is a possibility.

John Clark says: Morning Derek, thanks for joining us again. The Martin move is a tricky one. I think a pick between those two Brisbane currently hold would be fair. Maybe the two clubs will get creative and shuffle some picks to make it fair, although Melbourne have very little to offer at the moment. The Demons have some players without contracts that are on the table and a few with deals who are also being shopped around. They're active and that's all Melbourne fans can ask for. Moloney and Martin will help Brisbane and, after 10 wins this year, a place in the bottom part of the eight should be the aim next year. It's been a good recovery from Vossy after the disaster of a couple of years back.

1020: Side by side says: G'day John , who do you see at the moment to be most beneficial team from this years draft?

John Clark says: It's tough to say at this stage, we probably need to review it in three or four years. I think Collingwood have worked free agency very well, as have Richmond, and are in good shape for now and the future. Melbourne needed to strip their list back and have done so. The loss of Jared Rivers might be underestimated, however, he's a very good player and leader. But adding Jack Viney for a second-round pick is a win and they've added blokes with premiership experience. Brendon Goddard to Essendon is huge, too, and he'll be the best pick-up of this month in my opinion. I would love to know who others think have done well.

1015: Davo says: Heard a rumour that the Suns will now seek Warnock from the Blues for pick 13 to reunite with his brother? Would mean the suns win more ball in the centre clearances this year, to feed their gun midfield. Would this make them potential finalists?

John Clark says: Melbourne tried to get Robbie Warnock from Fremantle a couple of years back when the Demons had Matthew Warnock playing full back for them. He would be the one big fella at Carlton who could be squeezed out. I think the Blues would jump at pick 13, although Warnock could become a player if asked to carry the ruck load. They do have some stars in the midfield but I think finals are some time off. If the Suns won six games next year it would be progress.

Chris says: Hi John. I can't understand why Essendon aren't offering Sam Lonergan a contract. Happy NLM should be signing. Don't mind if Dyson goes around again, came in handy at stages this year. Essendon were interested in Josh Toy. Do you know if anything might be developing there or are the Bombers all done until the PSD?

John Clark says: Morning Chris. I agree with you on Lonergan. He was fantastic in the early rounds this year and brought a real hard edge to the Bombers. His second half of the season was down and perhaps the Bombers think they have enough of his type with Howlett, Hocking, Watson through the middle. If they opt for Dyson then I can only imagine he offers pace that Lonergan doesn't. Josh Toy didn't train with the Suns on Monday and Hawthorn and Essendon were keen. Maybe a deal will be done before Friday.

1010: Paul West says: Hey john any chance hawthorn will take thornton or salopek?

John Clark says: Hey Paul, I would think both will be elsewhere if they get another AFL club. The Hawks went with Brian Lake to shore up their defence. Salopek is a little one-paced, I think, and the Hawks already have the likes of Lewis, Mitchell and Sewell through their midfield.

Matthew of Launceston says: North couldn't cough Jacobs trade up could they? Starting to concern me.

John Clark says: Don't fret, Matthew, this deal will be done. He wants to get to the Kangas, they're keen on him, and a second-round pick will have to do. It's a very good deal for North Melbourne as I rate Jacobs. He'll be in their best 22 next season.

Kidding says: Hello John. I heard yesterday that Brisbane were showing interest in Jesse White. Would that be as a "fall back" if Martin doesn't go through. White is a Queenslander so would fit well there...as good as Martin surely? What's your thoughts now about Tippett saga given the news this morning?

John Clark says: I think the Crows will end up with White and the Lions, if they do take Martin, will get the better player. Martin is more versatile - he can play ruck or in defence. White is more likely to play forward and forward only. The Tippett saga seems to take a new twist everyday but I still think that deal with Sydney will be done before Friday.

Marty says: John, do you think the tigers will do anything with pick 43 & a player- perhaps Post or Nahas. Really think Zac Clarke could add some value? Your thoughts.

John Clark says: G'day Marty. I like Zac Clarke, and so do the Dockers, so I think he'll stay. I have heard Nahas's name thrown around a bit this week but there doesn't seem a logical replacement for him at the Tigers so he'll stay.

1000: Hawk Claw says: John - have you read the reports on Adelaide and Tippett at your opposition publisher? What's your take - could Adelaide and Tippett be sanctioned due to the 'gentleman's agreement'?

Mark says: Regarding the report in the Age about a secondary agreement between Adelaide FC and Kurt Tippett - this sounds like a very strange agreement, but how can it be 'draft tampering' or 'breaching the salary cap' when it is not concerned with the draft, or salary cap?

John Clark says: Morning Hawk Claw and Mark. It's a very good story from a very good journo in Emma Quayle. My understanding is the Crows agreed to trade him back to Queensland - and assumed it would be to the Suns - at the end of his last deal. They, rightfully, assumed he wanted to go back 'home' and didn't consider the Suns to be contenders. The fact that they agreed to accept a second-round pick is extraordinary if it's true. This is a key forward who was coming out of contract in the prime of his career. He would have commanded a first-round pick and currently is. I think the AFL will give a severe warning but Tippett being suspended from footy is 1000-1. The Crows might be handed a fine to go with their talking to.

Stranded Essendon defender Henry Slattery says he can offer Port Adelaide experience and leadership as he seeks an AFL lifeline. Overlooked in this year's free-agent period, Slattery - who has played 96 matches for the Bombers - remains hopeful of being selected in the delisted free agency period next month. And the 26-year-old Croweater is keen to revive his career in South Australia. With Port to be without small defenders Danyle Pearce, Jacob Surjan and Ben Jacobs next season, Slattery could bolster the Power's back six.

Brisbane Lions have met Melbourne ruckman/forward Stefan Martin as they move to recruit much-needed tall timber in the dying stages of the AFL's three-week trade period. Martin, 26, flew to Brisbane on Tuesday to talk with Lions coach Michael Voss and medical staff. With Melbourne recruiting Collingwood forward Chris Dawes and possibly North Melbourne's Cameron Pedersen, Martin's role at the Demons could be limited, despite having a year left on his contract. Several clubs have asked Melbourne about Martin but Brisbane are in the box seat to lure the 57-gamer north as a foil to captain Jonathan Brown.

Essendon have all but locked and loaded for next season with Nathan Lovett-Murray the only veteran yet to sign. The Bombers signed David Hille and Alwyn Davey on one-year deals and Lovett-Murray is expected to sign in the next 48 hours. Henry Slattery, Brent Prismall and Sam Lonergan are likely to be off-loaded. Ricky Dyson is tipped to survive for one more season.

Hello all, John Clark back for the third day of the final week of this trade period that seems to go longer than the AFL season itself. Send your questions in and your rumours.

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Ponting dominates Victoria

Written By Unknown on Selasa, 23 Oktober 2012 | 16.41

Day one ... Ricky Ponting dominates against Victoria in the Sheffield Shield. Source: Stuart Walmsley / News Limited

Ricky Ponting continued his impressive Sheffield Shield form ahead of next month's Test series against South Africa by hitting an unbeaten 89 for Tasmania against Victoria on Tuesday.

Bushrangers captain Cameron White won the toss at the MCG and chose to bowl on a green-tinged pitch, but No.4 Ponting stared down Test quicks James Pattinson and Peter Siddle to strike 10 fours and one six in his 136-ball knock.

Tasmania reached 3-315 at stumps on day one with George Bailey 13 not out.

SHEF - Melbourne Cricket Ground

23 October 2012 - Day 1, Session 3

Tasmania 1st Innings

R. Ponting 89 136 10 1 65.44
G. Bailey 13 32 1 0 40.63

Ponting, 37, has scored 217 Shield runs at 108.5 this season.

Victoria coach Greg Shipperd, a former Tasmania coach, lamented his Test-quality attacks' inability to find of good length against Ponting.

"We overlooked the short-ball process with him. He's a champion at playing that and we probably went there too often,'' Shipperd said.

"We needed to zero in on tougher, tighter areas for longer periods of time. But certainly Ricky looks in terrific form and that's a great and healthy place for Australia if he's in form.''

Alex Doolan fell five runs shy of scoring centuries in two successive Shield matches after he was bowled by Siddle for 95 in the 85th over and fifth with the second new ball.

Doolan, who struck 13 boundaries and faced 163 deliveries, shared a 151-run stand for the third wicket with Ponting.

Earlier, Mark Cosgrove (56) and Test batsman Ed Cowan (42) shared an opening stand of 90.

Cosgrove smashed a long-hop from off-spinner Glenn Maxwell to fine leg where Siddle took a diving catch in the fourth over after lunch.

The 28-year-old Cosgrove, a former Australian one-day representative, has scored 288 Shield runs at an average of 72 this season.

Cowan's 196-minute stay ended with the total on 134 when the Test opener poked a catch to David Hussey at second slip off the bowling of Clint McKay.

With national chairman of selectors John Inverarity looking on, Test pacemen Siddle (1-76 off 18 overs) and Pattinson (0-63 off 17) were unable to get early breakthroughs although they were more threatening with the second new ball.

Victoria are on top of the table with two wins to start the season.

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Ferguson ton puts Redbacks on top

Century ... South Australia's Callum Ferguson gets on the back foot against Queensland. Source: David Mariuz / AAP

A tenacious ton by Callum Ferguson helped South Australia to 5-256 against Queensland on Tuesday's opening day of the Sheffield Shield match in Adelaide.

Ferguson arrived with the Redbacks a perilous 2-29 but was unbeaten on 115 at stumps.

SHEF - Adelaide Oval

23 October 2012 - Day 1, Session 3

South Australia 1st Innings

C. Ferguson 115 249 10 0 46.18
T. Ludeman 33 92 3 0 35.87

Queensland captain James Hopes (2-52) struck early blows, including dismissing Test hopeful Phil Hughes for eight.

Hughes was harshly given out lbw to a ball appearing on a path above stump-high, denying the left-hander a chance to press his claims for Australia's three-Test series against world No.1 South Africa starting November 9.

Hopes also soon rid third-gamer Sam Miller (eight) and the Redbacks, winless in 18 Shield games dating back to November 2010, were wobbling again.

But Ferguson tempered his usual dash with a century of substance, batting more than six hours, facing 249 deliveries and hitting 10 fours.

"It makes it a little bit more special, it was probably the hardest that I have had to work for my hundreds,'' Ferguson said.

"That is the sort of mentality that I want.''

The 27-year-old initially combined with Michael Klinger for a 64-run stand which steadied the home side.
But the partnership ended when Klinger, seemingly set on 48, chopped a short Ben Cutting delivery into his stumps.

Ferguson then put on 57 runs with 19-year-old Travis Head, who cruised to 22 before being caught at short cover from the offspin of Nathan Hauritz (1-73 from 20 overs).

The former Australia representative said anytime you score runs the national selectors took notice.

"Whenever you're making runs, you tend to put your name forward,'' he said.

"It's not obviously a conscious thing to just focus on yourself and try and put your name forward.

"By focusing on the team, you tend to get the results you're looking for and you tend to put your name up, so there is no doubt that runs catch the attention.''

Redbacks allrounder Dan Christian contributed 14 but was bowled as Cutting (2-46) claimed his second victim.

But Ferguson and wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Ludeman (33 not out) progressed untroubled until stumps.

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Tigers to unveil Potter this week

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Mick Potter ... pictured (right) will be unveiled as the Tigers' new coach this week. Source: Gregg Porteous / News Limited

Mick Potter has already been in contact with members of the Wests Tigers backroom staff ahead of his expected unveiling as the NRL club's new head coach later this week.

Potter is set to succeed 2005 premiership-winning mentor Tim Sheens, whose 10-year tenure with the joint-venture club came to an abrupt end last month when he was relieved of his coaching duties with two years left on his contract after the side failed to make the 2012 finals.

Sheens has been offered a new senior role at the club, though there has been no confirmation to date as to whether he will accept the position.

After initially being linked to Manly assistant coach Matt Parish, Potter - the former Catalans, St Helens and Bradford head coach - has emerged as the man to lead the Tigers in a new direction.

It is believed he will sign a two-year deal with the club.

Potter, 49, will have a battle ahead of him as he attempts to placate fans and sponsors unhappy with the direction of the financially embattled club.

The Tigers were early premiership favourites for the 2012 season before inconsistent performances ensured they failed to make the top eight.

Sheens's unpopular decision to offload Beau Ryan and Chris Heighington resulted in a backlash from the playing group, while New South Wales hooker Robbie Farah - once considered part of the furniture at the Tigers - has been linked with a move to Parramatta in 2014.

New Zealand captain Benji Marshall is another whose future at the Tigers has also been the subject of increased scrutiny.

Potter comes highly regarded, having served his apprenticeship with four years as St George Illawarra's Premier League coach.

He then had six years as a head coach in the Super League, steering Catalans to the 2007 Challenge Cup final when the former St George captain was named Super League coach of the year.

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Emerton wants Socceroos recall

Written By Unknown on Senin, 22 Oktober 2012 | 16.41

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Ambition ... Midfielder Brett Emerton wants to return to the Socceroos line-up. Source: Darko Vojinovic / AP

Overlooked Socceroos veteran Brett Emerton wants to use next month's international friendly against South Korea as his springboard back into the national setup.

Emerton also said he felt the friendly was an ideal time to experiment with the lineup and test out some new talent with more than five months until Australia's next World Cup qualifying match.

Emerton, who last represented Australia in November last year, said he still harboured ambitions to wear the green and gold - admitting it was one of his main motivations when recovering from an ankle injury.

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"That's been my aim since coming back from surgery five or six months ago,'' Emerton said on Monday.

"I feel I'm back. I've got three games under my belt and I'm feeling stronger with each one.

"I hope to have the opportunity to play for the Socceroos again soon. You put your hand up for any international game.

"It's always an honour and a privilege to represent your country. Time will tell (but) I'd love to wear the green and gold again.''

And while 33-year-old Emerton is eager to get back into the national team, he also admitted this match could serve as the ideal way to give some of Australia's young stars a taste of the international stage.

The likes of Tommy Oar, Mitchell Langerak, James Holland and Adam Sarota could all be considered by coach Holger Osieck - a move which would please Emerton.

"Any opportunity to blood young players in the national team is a good one,'' he said.

"It's Holger's decision entirely. In any team it's about finding the right balance and when it is the right time to do so.''

Osieck said the November 14 friendly against South Korea in Hwaseong would be valuable preparation, with Australia desperate to build on the scrappy 2-1 victory over Iraq.

South Korea are top of their World Cup qualifying group after posting convincing wins against Qatar and Lebanon, a draw against Uzbekistan and a loss to Iran.

"This will be another important game as part of our preparation for the second phase of this round of qualifiers,'' Osieck said.

"We are now at the halfway mark and we need to focus on our remaining qualification matches. The match will serve as a good comparison test for us.''

The match at Hwaseong Stadium will kick off at 7pm local time (9pm AEDT) and will be the Socceroos' final match of the year.

Osieck's team will resume World Cup qualification in March, when they host Oman at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.

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'Del Piero carrying Sydney FC'

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Del Piero ... has carried Sydney FC, according to Steve Pantelidis. Source: Gregg Porteous / News Limited

Perth Glory defender Steve Pantelidis will have a point to prove when he comes up against Sydney FC marquee Alessandro Del Piero in Sunday's A-League clash at ANZ Stadium.

Del Piero has scored two goals in three games this season, with last week's winner against Western Sydney lifting the Sky Blues to their first points of the campaign.

The Italian great will celebrate his 38th birthday next month, but age has not robbed him of his renowned magic.

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Pantelidis isn't foreign to coming up against big-name Sydney FC marquees.

In his first game for Melbourne Victory seven years ago, Pantelidis could only watch on as Trinidad and Tobago superstar Dwight Yorke scored against him.

Pantelidis is desperate to ensure Del Piero doesn't enjoy a similar result.

"I've seen him and he's been brilliant," Pantelidis said of Del Piero on Monday.

"He's probably carried them somewhat and he's deserving of his marquee status.

"Hopefully we can keep him quiet this weekend.

"My first game was against Dwight Yorke in the first year of the A-league and he scored against me.

"So if I'm lucky enough to play and I'm marking Alessandro, hopefully he doesn't score.

"But if we focus too much on him, they'll probably get the better of us."

Perth sit equal top of the table with Adelaide and Newcastle following Sunday's 2-0 win over Melbourne Heart.

Pantelidis played solidly in the heart of defence in that game, and the 29-year-old hopes he can hold his spot even if fellow centre back Bas van den Brink is ready to return from a calf injury.

Japanese midfielder Ryo Nagai and star Glory striker Shane Smeltz will miss Sunday's encounter due to hamstring injuries.

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Tiger eyes McIlroy rivalry

Rivalry ... Tiger Woods wants to keep battling Rory McIlroy for the World No.1 ranking. Source: Marwan Naamani / AFP

Fourteen-time major winner Tiger Woods said on Monday he was looking forward to a decade of battles with US PGA champion Rory McIlroy as the world's top two prepare to go head-to-head in China.

The 23-year-old McIlroy, who has won two majors in as many years, is viewed by many as the heir apparent to 36-year-old Woods, whose last triumph in one of golf's major championships came at the US Open in 2008.

Woods's victory at Torrey Pines came shortly before his career imploded amid a scandal surrounding his private life which saw the American drop out of the top 50.

But three PGA Tour wins this year have propelled him to No.2 in the rankings.

Now Woods says he's ready to challenge top-ranked McIlroy and will aim to put one over on him when they meet on October 29, after his America side came second best to the Northern Irishman's Team Europe at the Ryder Cup last month.

"It's going to be a lot of fun going head-to-head with Rory,'' Woods said of their 18-hole medal-matchplay contest at Jinsha Lake Golf Club in Zhengzhou.

"We're going to go out there and hopefully play well, give it a go and entertain the gallery,'' he added, predicting there will be many more classic contests between them over the next few years.

"We've all seen how talented Rory is. It'll be fun to battle him for the next decade or so and hopefully we'll have many battles to come,'' he added in comments released by the organisers.

McIlroy regained the world No.1 spot from England's Luke Donald following his US PGA Championship victory in August, adding to the US Open title he won in 2011.

The "Duel at Jinsha Lake'' is expected to draw huge galleries as fans in China get a rare chance to see the world's top two in action in a country where golf is becoming increasingly popular.

"I enjoy head-to-head events, so it's great to do this in China,'' Woods said.

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Polished Diamonds thrash NZ

Written By Unknown on Minggu, 21 Oktober 2012 | 16.41

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Goal machine ... Australia's Catherine Cox (C) scored 29 of her 36 attempts. Source: Brett Costello / News Limited

World champions Australia recorded their highest-ever score against New Zealand as they thrashed the Silver Ferns 68-48 in their Quad Series netball clash in Sydney on Sunday.

The Australians' points tally eclipsed their previous best against their arch-rivals of 67 set in 1992.

It was also the Diamonds' biggest winning margin over New Zealand in 12 years.

Susan Pratley made 29 of 32 attempts while fellow Australian shooter Catherine Cox made 29 of 36 in front of 13,640 at Allphones Arena.

The Diamonds surged out to lead 19-9 at quarter-time and increased the margin at every break.

After three rounds, they are now the only unbeaten team at the midway point in the Quad Series which also involves England and South Africa.

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Davison snatches Gold Coast win

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Davison ... celebrates with Mika Salo after his Gold Coast 600 win. Source: Brendan Radke / News Limited

Ford driver Will Davison bounced back to claim his seventh V8 Supercars race win of 2012 at the Gold Coast on Sunday.

But the Ford Performance Racing (FPR) pilot says he's no chance of making a late charge in this year's championship race, which is increasingly looking like a two-way battle between teammate Mark Winterbottom and Holden rival Jamie Whincup.

Davison's win came 24 hours after he made a rudimentary error in his first lap of Saturday's 300km race, hitting a wall within minutes of taking over from Finnish co-driver Mika Salo at the 2.96km Surfers Paradise circuit.

Ex-Formula One driver Salo set up Sunday's win, driving 56 of the 102 laps in the race - 22 more than his minimum requirement - to hand over to Davison with the No.6 Falcon in a position for victory.

While Davison's win ends a barren run stretching back to his last victory in May, Whincup's win on Saturday with French co-driver Sebastien Bourdais and second place on Sunday means the defending champion now holds a commanding 218 point lead with just seven races left in 2012.

Davison said he was delighted to make up for his Saturday error but refused to even contemplate an unlikely title push.

"I was really, really angry with myself to be honest but I used that energy today to come back better and better,'' Davison said.

"It'd (the title) be a miracle wouldn't it? Yesterday put the nail in the coffin, particularly as we were in a position to win yesterday's race.

"We'll just try and battle hard and salvage what we can out of the year.''

Davison's win ended an 11-race winning streak for the TeamVodafone outfit of Whincup and Craig Lowndes but Whincup still heads to the next event in Abu Dhabi within grasp of his fourth V8s crown.

But the four-time Bathurst winner was refusing to get too cocky with a maximum haul of 900 points still up for grabs.

"I say it every year and I'm generally proven right, it always comes down to a handful of points in Sydney,'' he said.

"We'll just keep our head down. In a great position, no more, no less than that.''

FPR's Winterbottom, who partnered with Australian IndyCar star Will Power for the weekend, emerged as Whincup's nearest rival by securing his second third-place finish on Sunday, moving ahead of Lowndes in the standings after the 38-year-old could only manage to come sixth in both races.

Winterbottom said he was looking forward to stepping up the rivalry in the Middle East, where the V8s will compete in three short 12-lap races as part of the undercard to the Formula One race at the Yas Marina circuit from November 2-4.

"I think the format's going to be quite good,'' Winterbottom said.

"It's pure racing, there's no team to help you. You've just got to go out, qualify well and race, it's going to be a good battle.''

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Glory finish over top of Heart

Dylan MacCallister ... was on the losing side as the Heart visited the Glory. Source: AAP

A goal in either half propelled Perth Glory to a 2-0 win over Melbourne Heart and top spot on the A-League ladder.

The Glory had the better of the chances at nib Stadium on Sunday night with both goals coming from corners - Dean Heffernan grabbing the first and Billy Mehmet the second to secure the relatively comfortable victory without stars Shane Smeltz and Bas van den Brink.

Coming off last season's heartbreaking grand final loss to the Brisbane Roar, the Glory have now sandwiched two home wins around a 1-0 loss away to the Central Coast Mariners.

P W D L GD Pts
1 Adelaide 3 2 0 1 2 6
2 Perth 3 2 0 1 2 6
3 Newcastle 3 2 0 1 0 6
4 Wellington 3 1 2 0 2 5
5 Brisbane 3 1 1 1 4 4
6 Central Coast 3 1 1 1 0 4
7 Heart 3 1 1 1 -1 4
8 Sydney 3 1 0 2 -2 3
9 Victory 3 1 0 2 -5 3
10 Western Sydney 3 0 1 2 -2 1

The Glory controlled the majority of the contest and deservedly came away with full points, taking some air out of the Heart's impressive opening to the season which had yielded a win and draw over the opening two weeks under new coach John Aloisi.

The Heart got close to an early goal with a well-taken free kick from David Williams that Fred just put over the crossbar, before the Glory seized control of the match.

Re-live the game as it happened with our A-League Match Centre, featuring video highlights and all the key stats!

Heffernan had two golden chances in the 11th minute, both tremendously saved by the Heart on the goal line, while Mehmet was a constant menace in the box.

The Glory were eventually rewarded for their efforts when Heffernan tapped in a corner from Liam Miller in the 38th minute.

Heart captain Fred was substituted at halftime with his right eye swelling up after a first half clash with Glory defender Michael Thwaite.

The move worked in Melbourne's favour with his replacement Josip Tadic helping to give the visitors some drive in attack.

But the Glory refused to take their foot off the pedal, Mehmet missing with a header before Steve McGarry blew the day's easiest opportunity when he shot high when alone in the box.

Chris Harold missed an outstanding chance to make it 2-0 in the 84th minute when he missed when presented with a one-on-one with Heart keeper Clint Bolton, Mehmet eventually confirming the points when he turned in a corner four minutes from time.

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