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Local News - Victoria

Man charged with rape after terrifying attack on woman in state’s north


A man has been charged with aggravated burglary and rape following the alleged sexual assault of a woman while she was in bed.

The woman was asleep in a private residence on Monash Street in Shepparton, in the state’s north, when she woken by a man who was in her bed in the early hours of Saturday.

She was then sexually assaulted about 3.30am.

Detectives from Victoria Police’s sexual crimes squad arrested a man on Monday, several days after the terrifying attack.

The 28-year-old man, of no fixed address, was charged with aggravated burglary, burglary, sexual assault and two counts of rape.

He has been remanded and will face Shepparton Magistrates Court on Tuesday.



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Factory fire in Melbourne’s north sees blasts wake nearby residents


Smoke from the fire has been billowing into the air and is being blown towards nearby homes by winds to the south-west.

An advice warning has been issued for the suburbs of Campbellfield, Coolaroo, Dallas and Somerton, urging residents to avoid the area surrounding the fire.

Up to 60 firefighters are battling a huge factory fire in Somerton in Melbourne's north, which is sending plumes of smoke into surrounding communities.

Up to 60 firefighters are battling a huge factory fire in Somerton in Melbourne’s north, which is sending plumes of smoke into surrounding communities.Credit:Nine News

Residents who are sensitive to smoke are being urged to remain indoors, close windows and doors, and turn off their heating. Anyone having trouble breathing should call triple zero.

Sydney Road has been closed in both directions at National Boulevard in Campbellfield because of the fire, VicRoads has reported.



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Geelong makes light work of North Melbourne as Kangaroos lose Ben Brown to knee injury



A career-best performance from Gryan Miers has helped a wasteful Geelong cruise to a 33-point AFL win over North Melbourne at the Gabba.

The Cats’ first-half yips, coming a day after Brisbane’s sloppy goal-kicking ruined any hope they had of defeating Richmond, could have proven costly.

But Miers’ composure allowed Geelong to ease to a 37-point lead in the third quarter and they never looked back, eventually triumphing 13.12 (90) to 9.3 (57).

Miers excelled in slippery conditions, booting a career-best four goals in his 35th AFL game.

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Geelong registered six behinds between Miers’ third and fourth goals, during which Tom Hawkins, Mitch Duncan and Zach Tuohy uncharacteristically missed opportunities to bust the game open.

Jack Steven, whose recall was one of four changes made by Geelong coach Chris Scott in an effort to keep his side fresh after Saturday night’s loss in Perth, finished with 21 disposals and four tackles.

North’s loss was further soured by recalled forward Ben Brown’s knee injury.

Brown limped off in the first quarter and played no further part in the contest while Majak Daw returned to the field after hurting his ankle in the third term.

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Returning captain Joel Selwood and Patrick Dangerfield, who spent limited time on the ball, had quiet nights but Lachie Fogarty and some of the Cats’ lesser lights stood up.

The Kangaroos trimmed Geelong’s buffer to 15 points when Jared Polec slotted his set shot with a tick under six minutes remaining in the match.

That was as close as they came to causing an upset; Dangerfield won the resultant centre-bounce clearance and set up a goal for Duncan.

The result extended Geelong’s remarkable recent dominance over North, who have not beaten the Cats since round 15 of the 2015 season.

Debutant Lachie Hosie kicked two goals for the Kangaroos while Jy Simpkin and Trent Dumont worked hard in the middle for North.

AAP



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West Coast Eagles beat Geelong by nine points as Majak Daw makes winning AFL return with North Melbourne


Nic Naitanui has played a starring role to help the West Coast Eagles post a nine-point comeback victory against Geelong in Perth.

The home side trailed by 21 points early in the third quarter of Saturday night’s match but booted five of the final six goals to secure the 11.7 (73) to 10.4 (64) win in front of 26,211 spectators.

The Eagles’ win followed an emotional day on the the other side of the country, with North Melbourne’s Majak Daw making a winning return to the AFL on the Gold Coast.

Daw had not played an AFL match since late 2018 and he helped the Kangaroos defeat Adelaide by 69 points.

Also on Saturday, St Kilda recorded a third consecutive win for the first time in more than three years with a thumping 53-point victory over injury-hit Sydney.

In Perth, Eagles spearhead Josh Kennedy booted two vital goals in the pulsating final quarter to finish with four for the match.

Tim Kelly tallied 23 disposals and five clearances in his first match against the Cats since leaving the club at the end of last year.

Dom Sheed was also exceptional with two goals and six clearances from his 24 disposals.

But it was Naitanui who had the biggest influence on the match, despite tallying just nine disposals and failing to take a mark.

A significant portion of Naitanui’s 34 hit-outs fell in the lap of his midfield troops, leading to several crucial goals.

His bullocking work at ground level was also vital in helping turn the midfield battle West Coast’s way in the second half.

The result moves West Coast into fourth spot with a 6-3 record, while Geelong (5-4) are sixth.

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West Coast booted the first goal of the match within 12 seconds courtesy of a great ruck tap from Naitanui and a mark from Kennedy in the square.

The Cats won the inside 50 count 11-6 to take a six-point lead into the first break, but they deserved more for their dominance.

The visitors threatened to break away in the second term as the lead grew to 22 points, but a late goal to Sheed ensured the damage was not too great.

Geelong were forced to defend grimly for long periods of the second half as West Coast launched wave after wave of attack.

The Cats were clinging to a two-point lead early in the final quarter when the goal review system took centre stage.

Geelong’s Sam Simpson celebrated a goal despite his kick coming off his knee.

Replays were inconclusive as to whether the ball touched his boot after coming off his knee, meaning the goal umpire’s original decision of a goal stood.

A centimetre-perfect Naitanui ruck tap a short time later helped Kennedy score his third goal, and the Eagles were in front when Jack Darling kicked truly at the 12-minute mark.

The next 10 minutes was full of frenzied excitement as players from both sides threw everything at the contest.

The sealer did not come until the final minute, when Kennedy kicked his fourth.

Daw completes inspiring AFL comeback

Daw, playing in his first AFL match in more than 700 days after suffering serious hip and pelvic injuries in a fall from Melbourne’s Bolte Bridge in December 2018, was the focus in Carrara as the Kangaroos claimed a 19.5 (119) to 7.8 (50) win.

The 29-year-old provided the highlight of the victory when he kicked a goal in the final term, with every one of his teammates coming to jump all over him in celebration.

Daw finished with eight disposals, four marks and his goal.

A North Melbourne AFL player watches the ball in front of him while surrounded by a teammate and an Adelaide opponent.
Majak Daw (centre) kicked a goal in his first AFL match in almost two years.(AAP: Dave Hunt)

North Melbourne’s victory ends a six-match losing run and leaves winless Adelaide stranded at the bottom of the ladder.

The Kangaroos’ tally of 119 is also the highest score by a team in 2020, eclipsing West Coast’s 111 against Collingwood in round eight.

The Crows’ unwanted club-record losing run is now at 12 and it will be more than a year since their last AFL win when they take to Adelaide Oval to play Melbourne on Wednesday.

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Daw did not take long to make an impact on the match, playing a key role in the build-up to the opening goal scored by Luke Davies-Uniacke.

That score sent the Kangaroos on their way as they kicked four goals to none in the opening term.

Adelaide made an attempt at a comeback in the second term but a flurry of three goals at the end of the half ensured North had extended their margin to 34 points by the main break.

Saints hand Swans heavy loss

Tough midfielder Zak Jones starred for the Saints against his old side with 21 disposals and six clearances in the 15.11 (101) to 6.12 (48) triumph at the Gabba.

The Swans had no answer to St Kilda’s superior run and slick ball use after half-time as Jack Steele (24 disposals), Jade Gresham (23) and Jack Billings (19) racked up possessions through the midfield.

Emerging key forward Max King and Nick Hind both kicked three goals as Dan Butler, Josh Battle and Gresham chipped in with two each.

It was the first time the Saints had managed a triple-figure score this season.

A St Kilda AFL player is hugged around his shoulders by a teammate as they celebrate a goal against Sydney.
Zak Jones (right) was impressive for the Saints in their win over the Swans.(AAP: Albert Perez)

Luke Parker (26 disposals and five clearances) and James Rowbottom (16 and seven) worked hard for the Swans and Tom McCartin finished with three goals.

Tom Papley, the Coleman Medal leader heading into round nine, managed just one goal under Ben Paton’s watch.

The only real sour note for St Kilda was a calf injury that led to Seb Ross’s late withdrawal before the bounce.

Ross had missed just one match in five seasons and was replaced by Shane Savage, who had 14 disposals in his first senior appearance of 2020.

AAP/ABC



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Canberra Raiders score 14-12 NRL win over North Queensland as Sydney Roosters beat Gold Coast


Canberra has shown its class to sneak home with a 14-12 win over North Queensland in an NRL arm wrestle in Townsville.

Earlier in the afternoon, the depleted Sydney Roosters survived an almighty scare from an inspired Gold Coast Titans to escape with a vital 18-12 win at the SCG.

Up north, it was far from the Raiders’ best performance but they did enough to edge a willing Cowboys outfit, with both teams scoring two tries.

The Cowboys threw everything at their opponents but too often let themselves down with their kicking options.

Gunning for their third successive victory, the Raiders looked as if they were suffering jet lag early on after their long match-day flight to Canberra.

They were caught out just two minutes into the match when North Queensland hooker Reece Robson dashed over the line from dummy half.

The Raiders found their groove to level in the 18th minute when half-back George Williams started and finished a 70-metre try, helped by a big charge and fend by winger Nick Cotric.

A 35th-minute penalty strike by captain Jarrod Croker allowed his team to take an 8-6 lead to half-time.

Canberra prop Josh Papalii was both hero and villain within two minutes, stripping the ball but then being placed on report for a forearm to the head of the Cowboys’ teenage full-back Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow.

Cowboys skipper Jason Taumalolo steamed to the try line to put his side up but it was short-lived with the Raiders hitting back four minutes later.

England international John Bateman, playing his first match of the year after two rounds of shoulder surgery, found Curtis Scott, who fended off winger Murray Taulagi to score.

Sharpshooter Croker then showed his value, nailing the conversion from the sideline to put his side ahead again.

The final 12 minutes saw four captains’ challenges, with the Cowboys correct with both but they couldn’t find the points for a win or to take the match into golden point.

Roosters deny gutsy Titans

In an action-packed match laced with drama, the Roosters overcame their crippling injury toll to preserve their place in the top four thanks largely to the heroics of classy centre Joseph Manu.

Already missing eight players from their 2019 grand final-winning outfit and with superstar signing Sonny Bill Williams holed up in quarantine, the Roosters lost try-scoring ace Josh Morris to a calf strain before this afternoon’s kick-off.

Fortunately the back-to-back premiers had Manu, whose leaping 58th-minute try and miracle first-half try saver on Phillip Sami saved the Roosters embarrassment.

The Titans could have bagged four first-half tries but had to settle for only one after blowing two and seeing Manu pull off his incredible rescue act before the break.

Jamal Fogarty was also denied a try in just the second minute, the half-back touching down only for the bunker to rule Titans teammate Brian Kelly had passed him the ball off the ground.

A Sydney Roosters NRL player tackles a Gold Coast Titans opponent holding the ball around the chest area.
Roosters hooker Jake Friend (left) tries to bring down Gold Coast lock Jai Arrow.(AAP: Dean Lewins)

But there was no denying Anthony Don eight minutes later when the prolific winger started and finished his own 75-metre effort.

After scrambling for much of the half, somehow the Roosters went to the break with a 10-6 advantage after half-back Kyle Flanagan added two penalties to his conversion of Mitch Aubusson’s try.

The Titans were reduced to 12 men for a second time in the match when Keegan Hipgrave was sin-binned for taking out Lindsay Collins.

The Roosters’ claims for a penalty try were denied but Flanagan’s two points made it 12-6 before Manu soared high to reel in Luke Keary’s cross-field bomb.

That appeared to seal the deal before Sami crossed with five minutes remaining to give Roosters fans a tense finish.

AAP/ABC



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AFL fines Hawthorn, Carlton, North Melbourne and Richmond for coronavirus quarantine protocol breaches



The AFL has handed out heavy sanctions to four clubs for breaches of the league’s COVID-19 return-to-play protocols during the past week.

Hawthorn was fined $50,000, with half of that amount suspended for the remainder of the season.

Carlton, North Melbourne and Richmond received $45,000 fines, $25,000 of which is suspended.

The Hawks’ breach of the protocols occurred in Sydney last weekend, while Richmond, Carlton and North Melbourne were sanctioned for incidents while based in their Queensland hubs.

AFL General Counsel Andrew Dillion said there was no excuse for clubs committing protocol breaches.

“The protocols are in place to not only protect players, officials, staff, and now their visiting families, but also the wider community in which we have been given the opportunity to train and play,” he said in an AFL statement.

“We all have to modify our behaviours in order for the competition to continue in a safe manner.”

The Hawks were sanctioned for an incident that occurred during last Saturday’s match against Sydney at the SCG where non-selected players entered a public area of the stadium.

“We are incredibly disappointed that we have breached the AFL protocols,” Hawks president Jeff Kennett said.

“We expect much more of our players and the club, and we take full responsibility for the breach in question and accept the sanction which has been handed down.

“On behalf of the club, I would like to apologise to the AFL, all clubs, our Hawthorn members and the broader community for stepping outside of the protocols, putting the game at risk and bringing our club into disrepute.”

The Blues also accepted their penalty, which related to a member of their travelling group seeking assistance with childcare duties.

“We fully understand the seriousness of this breach and acknowledge that an opportunity to seek clarification of these rules was missed, which has resulted in this breach,” Blues chief executive Cain Liddle said.

“For context purposes, the period in which this breach occurred was after the quarantine timeframe had concluded. This individual had sought support with childcare, which is approved within the AFL protocols.

“However, the activity undertaken by those caring for children is where we have let ourselves down, given this is where the opportunity to seek clarity should have been taken.

“In saying that, we acknowledge our role in ensuring all parties are fully compliant and aware of the measures that are in place.”

The Tigers and Kangaroos also announced they had accepted their penalties.



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North Melbourne’s Majak Daw to make AFL return after almost two-year absence


North Melbourne’s Majak Daw will cap off a remarkable comeback when he plays his first AFL match after an almost two-year absence this weekend.

The Kangaroos have confirmed the defender will be picked for Saturday’s round-nine match with Adelaide in Carrara.

Daw has had to overcome serious setbacks since his last AFL appearance in round 23, 2018, most notably hip and pelvic injuries suffered in a fall from the Bolte Bridge in December of that year.

He had two 15-centimetre-long metal rods inserted in each of his hips and his rehabilitation involved him learning how to walk and run again.

He made his return to playing duties last July when the Kangaroos’ VFL team faced Sandringham in the second-tier competition.

After North Melbourne captain Jack Ziebell announced Daw’s inclusion at training on Wednesday, the Kangaroos players mobbed the 29-year-old to celebrate.

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“One of our own has been through a pretty substantial period in his life,” Ziebell said.

“This feat that’s he’s going to achieve this weekend is going to be one of the great stories in AFL footy.”

Daw was on track to play in round one against St Kilda, but was ruled out with a minor cold as a precaution because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There were fears Daw’s season might be over when he tore a pectoral muscle in May in a gym accident.

But he was lucky to avoid surgery and has impressed since at training and during scratch matches in Queensland.

Selected by North Melbourne in the 2010 rookie draft, Daw has played 50 AFL matches and kicked 40 goals.

Majak Daw (L) and Nathan Vardy await a throw in in the Kangaroos versus Eagles match in Hobart.
Daw (left) produced solid form for the Kangaroos during the 2018 AFL season.(AAP: Rob Blakers)

He was used as a permanent defender in 2018 and enjoyed a career-best season in which he made 18 senior appearances.

Daw moved with his family to Australia in 2003 and became the first Sudanese-born player to play in the AFL when he made his debut with the Kangaroos in 2013.

The Kangaroos’ encounter with the Crows on Saturday is part of the AFL’s compressed schedule, which will see 33 matches played across 20 consecutive days.

Meanwhile, the AFL confirmed the Kangaroos’ round-11 fixture against Melbourne on August 9 will be moved to Adelaide.

The AFL was forced to shift the match from Hobart after the Tasmanian Government announced an extension of its border restrictions last Friday.

AAP/ABC



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Peter V’landys seeks assurances for NRL teams over Queensland border closures, AFL teams fly north


The NRL wants the Queensland Government to confirm that its New South Wales-based clubs will still be exempted from the latest border closures.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced that the state will close its borders to all residents of Greater Sydney from 1:00am on Saturday.

While the league has previously been exempted from restrictions on previous COVID-19 hotspots, it must re-apply each time Queensland tightens its measures.

Earlier in the season, Melbourne Storm relocated from Victoria to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast due to border restrictions between Victoria and the rest of the country.

Canterbury’s trip to the Sunshine Coast next weekend in round 13 would be the first game under threat.

The NRL previously had to force players back into a tight bubble on both sides of the Tweed River given the threat of a second wave of coronavirus.

ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys insisted that for that reason, the new measures imposed by Queensland should not be an issue.

“The latest advisory from the Queensland Government doesn’t affect us at all – the competition will go ahead as per normal,” V’landys told News Corp.

“We’ve had no further conversations with the Queensland Government, they have already given us a letter asking us to reinstall our strict COVID protocols, which we have done.”

The New Zealand Warriors have been based in New South Wales since the season resumed.

Meanwhile Sydney’s two AFL teams, GWS Giants and Sydney Swans, will accelerate their plans to leave New South Wales.

An AFL player grasps the ball in one hand as he runs forward, while an opponent tries to tackle him.
The Giants and Swans were set to leave Sydney this weekend for three weeks, but may now be forced out for longer.(AAP: Paul Miller)

GWS, who face Gold Coast on Sunday, will now fly out on Thursday afternoon.

The Giants and Sydney were already both playing their next two games in Queensland before heading to a hub in Western Australia, but the border closure means they won’t be able to return home after round nine.

Super Rugby AU will also be impacted, with two teams, Western Force and NSW Waratahs, both based in Sydney.

The Waratahs are set to host the Rebels at Leichhardt Oval on Friday.

The Melbourne Rebels and ACT Brumbies, who take on the Queensland Reds on Saturday, are based in Canberra.

Super Netball already made the decision to base all its teams in Queensland earlier this month. Its season starts this weekend.

ABC/AAP



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Carlton beats North Melbourne in the wet at the Gabba to keep touch with AFL top eight



Carlton has outlasted a battling North Melbourne to claim a narrow seven-point win.

The Blues, beaten by a kick after the siren against Port Adelaide last weekend, did enough to keep their noses in front at a rain-lashed Gabba and claim a 9.10 (64) to 9.3 (57) win.

The loss is injury-hit North’s sixth in a row but was a hugely improved display from last weekend’s heavy loss to Richmond.

Jack Newnes, Matthew Kennedy and David Cuningham each kicked two goals for the Blues, while Bailey Scott had three majors for North in a losing effort.

The Kangaroos were their own worst enemies in the opening quarter as Carlton raced out to an early 23-point lead.

Todd Goldstein and Cameron Zurhaar both missed easy opportunities, and Jamie Macmillan’s under-hit handpass fell straight to Cuningham for Carlton’s fourth goal of the term.

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North responded in the second quarter, kicking four goals to Carlton’s two, including one to Jasper Pittard that took a wicked bounce past Liam Jones.

Scott’s second and third majors in a rain-marred third term got the Kangaroos within a kick of the lead.

They could have even snatched an advantage heading in to the last quarter when Jared Polec took a mark on the siren.

But Jasper Pittard’s decision to come in and push over Marc Murphy led to umpires penalising the North forward for his ill-discipline and reversing the free-kick.

There was more poor discipline on show in the final quarter when Jack Martin was gifted 100m with the Kangaroos conceding back-to-back 50m penalties but the Blues recruit missed his shot.

That slip did not prove costly though, despite a late goal on the run by Aaron Hall setting up a tense finish.

The Blues played out the second half a man down after forward Mitch McGovern did not feature following halftime due to a hamstring injury.

There was also a pre-game omission for the Blues with Harry McKay withdrawn due to a knee injury.

AAP



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Manly Sea Eagles score 24-12 NRL victory over North Queensland Cowboys



North Queensland has started life without former coach Paul Green on a losing note, as Manly moved into the top eight with a 24-12 win over the Cowboys in Townsville.

Green, who coached the Cowboys to their only NRL premiership in 2015, departed the club last Monday after a disappointing start to the season and the home side showed plenty of heart under his interim replacement Josh Hannay.

But they could not do enough to secure their fourth win of the season, with Addin Fonua-Blake making his mark for Manly in his first appearance since he was suspended for two matches and fined $20,000 by the NRL for abusing a referee earlier this month.

Fonua-Blake topped 200 run metres, while Martin Taupau was also dominant up front for Manly, who rose to seventh on the ladder via the win.

Barred from playing in Queensland a week ago due to their vaccination policy, Fonua-Blake only met the State Government’s requirements this week.

He finished the match with four tackle busts, with 93 of his metres coming post-contact and all but six of the Sea Eagles’ points coming while he was on the field.

Cade Cust was also superb for Manly at five-eighth.

He put Manly on the front foot early with a forced drop-out, before Daly Cherry-Evans backed it up with another and put Curtis Sironen over from the ensuing set.

And after both teams traded tries to make it 12-6 at half-time, Cust pulled off the two decisive plays of the second half.

His first came in the 59th minute when he broke downfield and put Cherry-Evans over, despite a desperate effort from winger Kyle Feldt to hold him up between the posts.

Cust sealed the match eight minutes later when he dummied through the line from 10 metres out to cross.

The win did come at a cost for Manly, though, with Joel Thompson leaving the field early with an ankle injury.

AAP/ABC



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