Sports

Another loss to Collie Eagles

Carey Park clings onto top spot on the 2018 South West Football League ladder after its 17-point win over Collie Eagles on the weekend.

Players, coaching staff, and fans overcame Saturday afternoons blustery conditions at Kelly Park.

Ready for an entertaining showdown, both teams witnessed an address from indigenous citizens.

Round six/indigenous round was significant to both sides. The teams donned signature jumpers in support of the occasion.

On the field, the Panthers were unstoppable within the first few minutes.

Helped by a strong wind throughout the first quarter, the team made the right decision after winning the toss.

Ryan Bennell opened the floodgates for the Panthers, kicking the sides first goal.

Midfielders from both teams tussled for control of the game. The tug-of-war style of play kept the scores low throughout the term.

The Eagles nabbed just two points as Carey Park ran out to an 11-point lead at the first change.

A snap kick from Eli Hill extended the Panthers lead in the second term.

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"We have a game analysis team that meets every Monday afternoon and we analyse the games from the weekend. Good games, the games where things have potentially gone on, we are working through that constantly."

Hocking welcomed the feedback from coaches, with umpiring decisions in general a potential discussion point when the senior coaches have their annual catch-up with Gillon McLachlan at the home of the AFL chief executive next week.

"We take on board what the coaches are having to say, definitely. What we won't do, though, it react to events from week to week. It's more about trends. If there is a trend, we will certainly look into that but we certainly don't respond just (to) that particular weekend," he said.

St Kilda coach Alan Richardson has raised concerns about crowd influence on decisions in Perth.

Photo: AAP

Richardson said the new Perth stadium had exacerbated the crowd issue.

"I coached from the bench on the weekend and there was one stage – and I dont get caught up on the umpires – but my skipper (Jarryn Geary) who was injured (did),” Richardson said.

"I got really frustrated on the weekend and its the non-calls. Thats the point Im trying to make about this noise, the influence it has on the umpires. Its massive, the noise. I think it has potentially gone to a new level at this stadium – it was off the charts.”

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick is another senior figure who has questioned umpiring decisions in Perth. Hardwick did so in 2011 after the Eagles had won the free-kick count 30-14.

Richardson said the Saints had sought clarity from the umpiring department.

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The AFL is open to the idea of having four field umpires in all games next year, having announced that it will trial four umpires during rounds 12 and 13.

The AFL's general manager of football, Steve Hocking, said four umpires would not be introduced full-time this season, but it was on the agenda for consideration in 2019. "In the future, yes,'' said Hocking, when asked if the four umpires could become the norm. "Not in this season, no.''

Will four umpires become standard for AFL games?

Photo: AAP

Hocking said four umpires was a possibility for next year. "It's one of the things on [the agenda]''. During the upcoming trial, two of the four umpires will be stationed in the middle of the ground, between the two arcs, with one umpire placed inside each of the 50-metre arcs at each end. The AFL says the umpires will be positioned to reflect the way the game is played today.

Hocking said one of the reasons for the trial was to see whether four umpires could extend the careers of the better decision-makers, by reducing their physical demands.

Hocking said the umpiring department – which is headed by Grant Williams and ex-umpire Hayden Kennedy – wanted to try four umpires for these 12 matches to see the impact on how the game was umpired. The AFL has trialled four umpires in the past, but this trial is the most extensive and clearly is a trial for its potential introduction full-time.

The 18 clubs have been sent a memo explaining the rationale for the four-umpire experiment, such as positioning the umpires to reflect the way the different way the game is played today.

Another reason for the trial was to allow the better umpires to officiate in multiple games (across the same round) if the physical demands are decreased.

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Many call Lionel Messi the GOAT – the Greatest of All Time – and one magazine has paid homage to that notion by doing a photoshoot with the Argentina star featuring a herd of real goats ahead of the World Cup in Russia.

Argentina captain Messi, who will be his nations talisman this summer in Russia, posed with the animals in a photo session for US-based magazine Paper.

Messi is seen pictured alongside a kid goat and fully-gown adults, in an article in which he discusses his love of animals as well as footballing themes.

"I am a big fan of animals," the 30-year-old told the New York-based magazine. "I grew up with them and they have taught me many things. Now we have our dog Hulk who really is part of the family, we always include him. Our children learn so much from Hulk: The love shown between him and the kids and the kids and him is constant."

Messis GOAT status comes across in his apparent ease with the animals, and he is seen holding a young goat while dressed in the famous white and light blue stripes of his Argentina No. 10 jersey.

Footage from the photoshoot, which took place at La Granja Natura, a Barcelona farm and educational centre, shows Messi doing keep-ups and dribbling between a herd of the animals. An adult goat is also seen with the Barcelona strikers signature Adidas boots draped around its neck.

The player himself shrugged off the GOAT theme, however, telling the magazine with characteristic humility: "I don't consider myself the best, I think I am just another player. On the field, we are all the same when the game begins."

Messi also discussed his hopes for this summers World Cup in Russia, where Argentina will be looking to reverse the heartache they suffered four years ago in Brazil, when they lost in the final to Germany in extra-time.

"We still have to make ourselves stronger as a team to be in the running to win and be at the same level as other teams like France, Germany, Brazil or Spain,” the five-time world player of the year said.

“But we have a good group of players and the Argentine team is always going to be a candidate to win, it doesn't matter how we get there. We always aim to win and we will try to go slowly but strongly to advance in the competition."

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After frustrating final season at Manchester City, Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure says Pep Guardiola prefers to pick players from non-African countries.

Toure was restricted to just 10 Premier League appearances in his last season in Manchester, and has suggested that Guardiolas lack of trust in players from African nations was a direct contributor to his limited time on the pitch during Citys title-winning season.

READ MORE: West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini mugged by gunmen in Chile

The former African Player of the Year enjoyed a central role under Manuel Pellegrini at Manchester City but saw his influence lessen when Guardiola took charge of the club in 2016. He joined the Manchester side in 2010 after being deemed surplus to requirements at Camp Nou by then-Barcelona boss Guardiola.

I want to be the one who breaks the Guardiola myth,” Toure said in an interview with France Football.

I tried to understand it and I even asked coaches for my stats. When I realized that they were as good or better, both in training and in matches, as those who played and were younger than me, I understood that it was not question of physicality. I don't know why, but I have the impression that he was jealous, he took me for a rival.”

Toure accused Guardiola of spoiling his final season at Manchester City by restricting his time with the first team – something he says would not have happened in a hypothetical situation with Andres Iniesta, who recently departed Barcelona with much fanfare.

READ MORE: US womens soccer player refused call-up over gay rights shirts

I have the impression that Pep, without acknowledgement or respect, did everything to spoil my last season,” Toure continued.

He was cruel with me. Do you really think he could've been like that with Andres Iniesta? It got to the point [when] I asked myself if it was because of my color. I'm not the first, other Barca players asked the question too.

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Francesco Molinari threw everything and the kitchen sink at Thorbjorn Olesen as they vied for the Italian Open on Sunday.

Despite a bogey at 17, Molinari played the last six holes in four under par and you cant ask for any more than that – yet it still wasnt quite enough.

Olesen was just too good and claimed his first title for 18 months by one shot. His recent form hadnt hinted at a victory but this isnt the first time he has come from nowhere to win. He seems to have matured a lot lately, though, so I think well see the effects of that in more consistent results in future.

Read more: Sam Torrance: Magnificent Molinari too good for McIlroy

The Dane showed balls of steel to beat the home favourite in Italy and that kind of temperament is just what is needed in the Ryder Cup.

Olesens return to form means he is now just outside the automatic places for the European team to face the United States in September.

Molinari, meanwhile, is virtually guaranteed a place on Thomas Bjorns side.

Since the Ryder Cup qualification points increased by 50 per cent at the BMW PGA Championship last month, he has finished first and second. As a result, he tops the European points list, having been a long way short a fortnight ago.

It means Bjorn is more likely to have in-form players to choose from, and his Ryder Cup team is looking stronger and stronger.

Molinari is a veteran of two previous appearances and is an ideal partner in either fourballs or foursomes, so he is a great addition.

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A fit and refreshed Nick Kyrgios says he's ready to bury the hellish injury memory that marred his 2017 Wimbledon campaign.

Concerns about an elbow problem in his serving arm saw the world No.23 withdraw from the French Open on the eve of his scheduled first-round clash with former Australian Davis Cup teammate Bernard Tomic.

Nick Kyrgios.

Photo: AP

The decision to pull out of Roland Garros cast doubts over whether or not he'd be fit enough to play at Wimbledon, which starts on July 2.

However, Kyrgios said he felt good during a doubles match at the Surbiton International Challenger Tour tournament, where he was the surprise star attraction at the low-key event in suburban south-west London.

Playing with American Jordan Withrow against Indian pair Siriam Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan, Kyrgios finished on the losing side, going down 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 10-8 – with the final set being decided on super tiebreak.

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However, he moved freely and served well during the 90-minute encounter.

"It's disappointing to lose, but it's tough on grass, especially in doubles, and anything can happen in super break," Kyrgios said.

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Germany have demonstrated the remarkable strength and depth of their squad by omitting Leroy Sane from the 23 for the World Cup.

The 22-year-old forward had been tipped as one to watch in -Russia after his outstanding season at Manchester City, which saw him voted the PFA Young Player of the Year. However, he was named -yesterday as one of four players cut from Joachim Low's squad.

Left out: Leroy Sane failed to make Germany's final squad.

Photo: AP

Given that a player with Sane's ability would be a first choice for most nations, it is a remarkable decision by Low. But, having won the World Cup in Brazil, and ahead of his sixth tournament, Low has earned the right to make such bold choices.

Sane, it seems, simply does not fit into the style of play the coach wants. There may also be significance in the fact Sane did not go to the Confederations Cup last summer – he had surgery on his nose – and Brandt took his place then.

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Sane's decision did not go down well with Low, given it was a chance to stake his claim. Even so, Sane has started the -majority of Germany's recent friendlies, but is not thought to have impressed.

Meanwhile, -Vincent Kompany, Sane's City team-mate, has been included in Belgium's squad, -despite suffering a groin injury during their friendly against Portugal on Saturday.

Kompany walked off early in the second half, without waiting to be substituted by coach Roberto Martinez and, although the extent of his injury is still being assessed, he has kept his place.

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Lukewarm Serbia have stumbled 1-0 to Chile while Morocco have downed Slovakia 2-1 in World Cup warm-ups.

Meanwhile, Italy and the Netherlands, two of the biggest names to miss out on Russia, have continued their rebuilding work with a 1-1 draw in Turin.

Drawing a blank: Serbia's Aleksandar Kolarov during their friendly loss to Chile.

Photo: PA

Serbia, who face Brazil, Costa Rica and Switzerland in their group, looked vulnerable every time the South American champions – who surprisingly failed to qualify for the World Cup – came forward on Monday.

Guillermo Maripan headed in an 89th-minute winner for Chile, a fair reward for their more adventurous display.

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Morocco, who face Iran, Portugal and Spain in World Cup Group B, produced plenty of slick passing against Slovakia as they extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches.

Although they fell behind to a long-range Jans Gregus effort in the 59th minute, Morocco replied with goals from Ayoub Kaabi and Younes Belhanda in a 10-minute spell.

Fight back: Two second half goals gave Morocco the win.

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Cape Town – Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter has bemoaned the missed chances from his charges which could have altered the result of their quarter-final clash against Madagascar in the 2018 COSAFA Cup in Polokwane.

The Malagasy defeated South Africa 4-3 on penalties on Sunday at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium, after the match ended goalless after 90 minutes.

Bafana Bafana missed four sitters in regulation time missing out on three one-on-ones with one shot hitting the upright.

In the ensuing penalty shootout, South Africa led 3-1 at one stage but missed two, which saw them knocked out of the competition – for the second time in a row.

Speaking to the media after the match, Baxter had this to say:

THOUGHTS ON THE MATCH:

Football is football, Zambia went to penalties and won, we went to penalties and lost. Its a lottery when it comes to penalties, you have to keep your nerve and our players didnt. Congratulations to Madagascar, I thought we were the better team in 90 minutes but it doesnt count for anything if you dont score. And in the second half we werent as dangerous as the first half and the longer the game went on the more the younger players started to stress and thats the experience that they need, but again it doesnt count for anything if you dont score.

ON MISSED CHANCES AND PENALTIES:

It concerns me greatly when we dont score goals, whether its from open play or penalties. I will speak to Luther about the way he took his penalty. We took penalties at training in preparation for the match and he took both his penalties very well, the thing is we cant ask now if Luther was the right one to be given the penalty. He had two chances in the game – maybe his confidence was low, maybe he was nervous, maybe it didnt come out as he looked, he looked like he wanted to be casual. In the beginning Madisha took a very good penalty he also looked casual, but if the keeper saves it theres no explanation, so it concerns me more on the chances we missed than on the penalties, but I will have a little word with Luther. I understand the question about his attitude because he looked very casual, but I am guessing that is his normal way of playing, when it doesnt work it doesnt matter how it doesnt work. So I will speak to him because he will take it hard, he is a young boy, this is his first appearance for me and he really wanted to do well. Again I am more concerned about him missing two very good chances, I think with the penalty I have seen the likes of Baggio miss, I have seen Baresi, I have seen great players miss penalties. I will try to explain to him that I am more concerned about his general play, and then I think the penalties will come up.

POSITIVES AND NEGATIVES FROM THE MATCH: