Posts Tagged ‘football’

Titans’ Bird, Harrison, Loa Have Charges Dropped

Worst diver in the game, Greg Bird. Image: http://www.news.com.au/sport/nrl/state-of-origin-2015-trevor-gillmeister-fears-fakers-might-decide-match/story-fndv2twz-1227369174577

Gold Coast Titans Players Greg Bird, Beau Falloon, Ashley Harrison, and Kalifa Faifai Loa have had their charges for cocaine possession dismissed in a Southport Magistrates court this week.

The charges were dropped due to lack of evidence.

Magistrate Callaghan said the prosecution had presented no evidence to substantiate intercepted phone conversations between the players and Joseph Touma pertained to cocaine. The prosecution had said the defendants had used a code-word when referring to the substance. McCallum argued that the word used could refer to anything.

But trio Dave Taylor, Joe Vickery, and Jamie Dowling are yet to stand trial for drug charges. Their defence lawyer, Chris McCallum conceded there was a prima facie case against them.

The scandal emerged in March this year, engulfing former and present NRL players.

Bird has a long and tarnished record both on and off the field. But now says he would be ‘honoured’ to captain the Gold Coast Titans (again).

Bird was the co-captain with Manly-bound Nate Myles in 2013-14; but was stripped of his position when he was caught urinating in public, in December of last year.

The dropped charges come as a huge relief to the struggling Gold Coast club. They narrowly avoided the wooden spoon this year and are desperate to organise a successful strategy for the 2016 season.

Whether Bird will play any part in that strategy remains to be seen.

Hodges to Play in Grand Final

Hodges image: commons.wikimedia.org

Despite an obvious attack, on the part of Geoff Bellew, Justin Hodges has beaten a grade one dangerous throw charge and will be taking the field this weekend in the NRL Premiership grand finale.

Despite Aiden Guerra admitting to the judiciary that he jumped into the dangerous position to earn his side a penalty, Bellew did all he could to blame Hodges.

“He (Guerra) came here and spoke to the truth,” said Hodges.

“I didn’t ask him to come here and lie. He came here and told the truth.

“I said (to Guerra) after the charge that this is the way I felt about the tackle and if you feel the same you can come (and testify in my defence).”

Guerra did feel the same way. And he did testify in Hodges defence, claiming he milked the penalty by launching himself past the legal position for a tackle.

Asked how he hoped to win the penalty, Guerra answered, “by going above the horizontal – probably not the smartest decision.

“I thought there was a chance to gain a penalty, nothing was going our way. My aim was clear.”

Guerra admitted he “wasn’t thinking about the repercussions, more about the momentum of the game. I was in control of my actions.”

When he was challenged about the dangerousness of the action Guerra replied: “I am still able-bodied.”

Hodges stuck to his story, denying any role in Guerra’s head going into the ground.

But NRL judiciary chairman Geoff Bellew was like a dog with a bone and interjected several times.

“I grabbed the leg to stop his momentum,” said Hodges.

“He jumped out of my hands. I felt him jump. I knew he was going down, so I let go. I turned to the ref and said ‘he jumped.’”

Bellew went fishing: “Did you apply any force to Guerra’s landing?”

Hodges: “No.”

Guerra, “Was Guerra placed in a dangerous position?”

Hodges: “Not by me.”

Bellew became frustrated at this answer. Despite it being true, it wasn’t the answer he sought. Hodges admitted Guerra did go past the horizontal, but stuck to his story that he had no part in doing it.

Eventually the judiciary panel of Bronson Harrison, Chris McKenna, and Royce Ayliffe took 10 minutes to acquit Hodges.

Upon release of the news the Broncos went from $2 outsiders to $1.85 favourites.

Though anybody who knows the two sides will tell you the game is on a knife-edge.

“I Played for the Penalty,” says Guerra

Hodges image: commons.wikimedia.org

The NRL judiciary looks set to determine another Grand Final.

Brisbane Broncos captain Justin Hodges will have his fate decided on Tuesday night, as he and the club look set to defend a grade one dangerous throw for his tackle on Roosters backrower Aidan Guerra.

But it doesn’t look good.

Not because of the tackle – Guerra himself admitts he was off-balance and contributed to the fall that saw him topple past the horizontal – but because Brisbane have only a seven per cent success rate with the blatantly partisan NRL judiciary.

Queenslanders have long known and seen the Sydney judiciary protecting their own – consistently rubbing out players from teams north of the border, while expressing leniency for NSW clubs. It is an outrage that has existed for such a long time it has all but been accepted.

In fact, the last time the Brisbane club had a player exonerated by the NRL judiciary was Karmichael Hunt back in the year 2000 (Hunt has swapped codes three times since then).

The Brisbane club have virtually given up contesting charges, realising the futility of expecting fairness from the judiciary. The last time they fought a charge was in 2013. Just once in 14 attempts has a Bronco’s player been acquitted by the board.

Aidan Guerra has offered to support Hodges at the hearing. In an interview with Fox Sports he was asked if he jumped off the ground as Hodges had suggested? Guerra said: “Yep, it’s a bit like that.

“To be honest, I played for the penalty.

“If I tried my hardest (to resist Hodges and fellow Broncos defender Ben Hunt) I wouldn’t have got spear-tackled, but I got the penalty and I really hope it’s left where it is.”

Jonathon Thurston, Cowboys Captain said, “You want to play the best teams at full strength and he needs to be in that team for it to be at full strength. It would be a sad way to end his career (suspended from the grand final).”

NFL Player’s Second Job

JJ Watts image: https://twitter.com/jjwatt

NFL superstar JJ Watt is a big man.

In an interview with ESPN he spoke about what it takes to get and stay that big.

The man from Houstan, Texas says he eats between 6,000 and 9,000 calories each day, depending on his level of activity.

To consume this massive amount Watt targets food high in protein and quality fats (not all fats are bad). But he admits he does have ‘cheat days’ where he just eats what he wants.

As an example: Watts would eat eight chicken breasts in a single sitting. But his trainer suggested wrapping three of them in bacon and adding sweet potatoes, pasta and olive oil (fats) to boost his calorie intake.

While Watts was reluctant to reveal his specific diet he did admit it would take about 20 chicken breasts, 13 avocados, and 50 slices of bacon to reach the target of 9,000 a day.

This makes eating his part-time job!

Watts added, “I love brunch. Brunch is my favourite meal. I had brunch, had a massive potato pancake omelette, which is an omelette inside a potato pancake. Then I had stuffed French toast with berries and stuff. My cheat meals aren’t even that exciting. That was my cheat meal. The omelette is still pretty darn healthy. The stuffed French toast was the cheat meal, but that was delicious.”

But it’s not all fun. Watts admitted, “It’s exhausting. You have to force feed. You have to force yourself to eat food.”

Oh, and Watts has to train like a demon too – let’s not forget that.

Beauty Queen a Nazi Sympathiser

Image: https://twitter.com/toketheilade

Russian beauty queen Olga Kuzkova has been stripped of her Miss Russia Premier League beauty title after pictures of her supporting Nazism surfaced on social media.

The competition consists of each of Russia’s 16 football teams selecting a beauty to represent them. Ms Kizkova took out the title of Miss Charming.

Image: https://twitter.com/toketheilade

Image: https://twitter.com/toketheilade

But controversy erupted soon after when pictures of Kuzkova, dressed in a maid’s outfit with a swastika armband and a message supporting the incineration of Jews, surfaced on Vkontakte, a Russian social media platform.

The Moscow Times reported, “In one picture, Kuzkova gazes into the camera, her right hand extended in a Nazi salute as she stands in front of a wall bearing Nazi graffiti.

“Anbother features two photos spliced together. The first shows a Cadbury bubbly bar (a popular candy bar made up of oddly sized chocolate sphere. The second shows a group of small African children, clad in dirty clothing, posing for a group shot in what appeared to be a remote village. The insinuation is that the children and the chocolate bar looks alike. Kuzkova wrote: ‘I love chocolate, but after this image I developed an … aversion.’

Image: https://twitter.com/toketheilade

Image: https://twitter.com/toketheilade

Kzukova’s boyfriend is shown with the numbers “14/88” tattooed on his legs – a code for ‘Heil Hitler’. The photograph of the couple has the words ‘White Love’ written beneath it.

CSKA fans created a Facebook page to pressure the organisers to strip Kuzkova of her title.

The Russian Premier league duly did so. The Executive director of the league, Sergei Cheban, said to the Russian newspaper Sport Express: “We do not tolerate manifestations of fascism, nationalism, and racism.

“It is unfortunate that it happened. However I beg (everyone) to understand the situation.”

He said Kuzkova was willing to give up her title. Doing so, she realised would limit the potential damage to the CSKA.

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Josh Papalii Called Back Into Maroons’ Origin Squad

Image: www.youtube.com

Maroons coach Mal Meninga has opted to fight fire with fire, bringing 110kg hitman Josh Papalii back into the Queensland side.

The Maroons were outgunned by the Blues’ ferocity in game two of Origin.

New South Wales coach, Laurie Daley, modelled the strategy of game two around putting the Queenslanders off their game. To this end he unleashed hulking firebrand David Klemmer on their ranks.

Not even the most ardent Queensland fan could deny the impact Klemmer had on the game. At 2 meters tall (every inch of it mongrel), Klemmer battered the Queenslanders.

Coach Meninga needs an answer for Klemmer’s power and aggression in the deciding game three. And that answer comes in the form of wrecking-machine Josh Papalii.

Papalii was controversially dropped from Origin 12 months ago after a poor showing in game 1 at Suncorp Stadium.

But he was chosen for this year’s decider over rookie Dylan Napa because of this experience; with coach Meninga keen to give him the opportunity to redeem himself.

It is an opportunity Papalii is eager to embrace.

“I don’t want to let this Queensland jersey go,” he told reporters upon his announcement in the state squad. “I’m not coming here to play awful ever again, I’ll be leaving nothing behind.”

When asked about Klemmer, Papalii’s answer was: “I have played against Klemmer before and he wasn’t hard to miss, he’s massive. He is a good, young player, so I can’t wait to go up against him. It’s my job to come on and lift the team, just like he (Klemmer) does.”

Papalii has the ability to hurt the opposition. Last year he crash tackled Blues skipper Paul Gallen from behind. The tackle had Gallen whinging about cheap shots, but it was enough to rattle him.

The Maroons players are hoping Papalii is the antidote needed to take the Klemmer sting out of the New South Wales side. He has the ability, it just remains to be seen whether he has the nerve.

Kody ‘The Power’ House Set to Debut Against NSW

In pads image: twitter.com

Kody ‘The Power’ House is hanging up her lingerie league gear and stepping in to play in the Queensland Women’s Rugby League team.

House played in the Australian version of the Lingerie Football League and believes the change of codes will do her good.

House makes her debut for Queensland against perennial foe New South Wales. The Queenslanders have 17 straight interstate victories, but find themselves going into this game as underdogs.

The side has been decimated by injuries, including the loss of star Ali Briggenshaw, and will field 9 debutants!

House is a qualified diesel mechanic from Central Queensland. She is a big, powerful woman who has earned her nickname and the respect that comes with it.

At 80kg of cut muscle House will line up in the centres. She says she is a direct ball runner, preferring to steamroll through tacklers rather than sidestep them.

And she is an athlete.

House began her sporting career as a star soccer player. She made the top grade in Brisbane before switching to sevens rugby union, where she played for Queensland.

FHouse then code-hopped to AFL; then moved again to American football and the Lingerie Football League.

She has the glam and she has the wham.

The game kicks-off at 1300 Smiles Stadium (home of the NRL Cowboys) at 2:45pm this Saturday.

Fans are promised lots of action, lots of hits, and plenty of skill as this fierce rivalry continues.

Kody Power image: www.youtube.com

Kody Power image: www.youtube.com

Maroons May Get Boost from Slater Departure

A breeze of optimism has blown through the Queensland Maroons side.

After losing incumbent fullback Billy Slater to a nagging shoulder injury few would have credited Queensland’s chance at victory in the third game of Origin, to be played on July 8 at Suncorp Stadium.

But many believe the Maroons will be better off without the injured Slater.

Their opinion comes through a comparison of stats between Blues’ and Maroons’ fullbacks.

Josh Dugan was consistently better than Billy Slater, in every aspect of the game. Slater’s injured shoulder needed surgery even before game one. The Blues were told to expect Slater to pass in games one and two as his shoulder would not allow him to run into the line of defence.

Slater is still the best communicator on the field, and the Maroons will miss his ability to spot a chink in the Blues armour and capitalise on it.

But what incoming fullback, Greg Inglis, lacks in strategy he more than makes up for in sheer athleticism.

Inglis is expected to outpoint Dugan in game Three every bit as much as Slater was outpointed by him in the first two. Inglis is younger, very experienced in the position, has a wealth of big-game experience, and is arguably the most valuable player in the NRL today.

But the Blues have had their own piece of good news with Josh Jackson having  his charge downgraded, allowing him to play in the Origin decider.

 

Breakdown of stats from the first two Origins

_____________________Dugan                                                Slater

Meters                                306                                                     193

Runs                                    32                                                        23

Errors                                  1                                                          2

Tackle Busts                       10                                                        6

Tackles                                17                                                        8

Line Breaks                        2                                                          1

Tries                                    1                                                          0

Passed-Out Soccer Star’s Photo’s Go Viral

Grealish images: www.101greatgoals.com

19 year-old soccer sensation Jack Grealish has been photographed ‘paralytic’ in the gutter while on holiday in Tenerife, Spain.

The footballer has a history of trouble, with Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood already warning the young tyro of his behaviour in April.

In the previous incident Grealish was pictured inhaling nitrous oxide (Laughing Gas).

“I explained to him his behaviour can’t be tolerated by the football club,” said Sherwood at the time of the first incident. “We can’t condone that behaviour.

“It doesn’t matter how young he is, he is now in a responsible position as a professional footballer.

“He’s got to make sure it won’t happen again, he’s assuured me it won’t.”

Well it has.

Briony King image: Twitter

Briony King image: Twitter

In a statement about the current viral photographs Aston Villa have said, “The club is aware of the photographs of Jack Grealish currently circulating.

“We will be meeting with the player, but any action will remain an internal matter.

“There will be no further comment from the club.”

Daley Tells Blues to Fire-Up

Laurie Daley image: commons.wikimedia.org

New South Wales Blues coach Laurie Daley has said his side intends to be more ‘aggressive’ in Wednesday night’s must-win match against the Maroons.

The Blues side have made no secret of the fact they intend to niggle and intimidate the Queenslanders.

Blues playmaker Robbie Farah believed his side were ‘too clean’ in the first match and were unable to put the other side off their game.

Queensland Coach Mal Meninga shrugged off the talk. “Bring it on,” he said. “That’s good. We have prepared for  it all week – that’s what Origin is all aobut.,

“You need that attitude and character, that aggressive outlook and mindset to play Origin footy – that’s why it is so great. If that’s the case, we have prepared for it.”

When asked about the intended aggressive tactics of the New South Welshmen Meninga said, “I think NSW play with a fairly aggressive mindset … We want to be successful and we will do whatever is needed to win.”

Rain is expected on Wednesday night, which means the game may be dirty in more ways than one.

Laurie Daley said Origin was unpredictable at best, but the rain throws another random element into the mix. He believes his side will be able to rise to the challenge and win in front of what is expected to be a hostile Melbourne crowd

His hopes were buoyed by the injury of Maroons play-maker Cooper Cronk. Last year the Blues won both games where Cronk was absent.

The unpopular Daly Cheery-Evans is set to replace Cronk.