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Football player gets married in the morning, wins NPL Queensland semi-final in the evening


For most people, the last thing that should be on your mind on your wedding day would be playing football.

Yet that’s exactly what Lions FC goalkeeper Luke Borean had to deal with on Saturday, when he suited up in goal for Lions in the second-tier National Premier Leagues (NPL) Queensland semi-final, just hours after tying the knot.

The Boreans arrived at the ground in a Ferrari — with Luke still wearing his wedding suit and his new wife Ellen still in her wedding dress.

The scheduling nightmare arose as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic, which meant the NPL season was pushed into what would normally be the off-season.

Luke Borean looks over to the right of the screen, wearing a purple goalkeeper kit
Luke Borean has played with Lions for the past four seasons.(AQUA [PD]/Lions FC: Ian Judd)

When Lions qualified for the finals, coaching staff initially thought they would be without their star keeper, who had kept nine clean sheets over the course of the 24 matches this season.

However, Borean — and his incredibly understanding new wife — decided they could do both.

Borean even pulled off a spectacular save to keep his side in the ascendancy during the 4-1 victory.

Lions coach Darren Sime said Borean told him the week before that he would be alright to play.

“I had to ask him a couple of times to confirm,” Sime said.

“He turned up, fairly nonchalantly, at training on the Tuesday and I said I’d need him to help prepare [reserve keeper] Ryan Murphy for the match.

“Obviously the club would never, ever stand in the way of a player’s wedding, you have to celebrate those moments.

“But they chose to celebrate that moment with us, which we’re really thankful for.”

Luke Borean stands with his arms wide apart as players run towards him
Luke Borean kept nine clean sheets in the 2020 NPL season.(AQUA [PD]/Lions FC: Ian Judd)

Sime said the rest of the team were “stunned” that he still turned up to play, but were genuinely moved that he had done so.

“There were definitely some open mouths — they were genuinely shocked,” Sime said.

“We had a chat in the dressing room before the game about it, and there was some genuine love there for what Luke and Ellen had done.

Although it was certainly an unconventional way to celebrate your wedding, the 4-1 victory for Lions ensured that the night ended on a high note — and a trip to the grand final next week, where they’ll take on either Olympic or last year’s champions, Gold Coast Knights.

To those saying that the new Ms Borean is a keeper, well, they’d be right.

She also plays in goal, lining up for Souths United in the NPL Queensland Women’s competition.



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State of Origin III: Queensland Maroons vs NSW Blues at Lang Park


HALF-TIME: Queensland leads 12-6!

(AAP)

          

I’ll get you a clip of that Munster magic ASAP. Promise.

           

That was a remarkable half of football from Queensland. They should probably be up by more based on the field position and possession they had, but they’ll settle for 12-6.

         

What we’re seeing here is the value of Cameron Munster and the value of having a player like Ryan Papenhuyzen on the bench. Isaah Yeo is a massive target as a replacement centre, and bringing Paps on for Tedesco would have been such a luxury.

           

They flagged that Yeo was their prospective option as a replacement back, but he is struggling in defence right now. Still, there’s always time for him to flip it and become NSW’s Kurt Capewell.



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Queensland to make four changes for Origin III, with Xavier Coates ruled out but Cameron Munster set to play


Queensland is confident Cameron Munster will be ready to play in the State of Origin decider on Wednesday, but the Maroons will have to do without young gun Xavier Coates at Lang Park.

Munster has passed all of his concussion protocols after his game two head knock and, barring any setbacks, will line up in the number six jersey against New South Wales.

The Melbourne playmaker’s inclusion is a big plus for the Maroons, who felt his absence after he was taken off the field just three minutes into last week’s 34-10 loss to the Blues in Sydney.

“He’s one of the top three players in the team,” Queensland coach Wayne Bennett said.

“There’s no doubt about that.

“We missed him a lot and we’re pleased we’ve got him back.”

Munster’s big-game experience will be welcome, as Queensland potentially go into the match with four debutants.

South Sydney’s Corey Allan and Harry Grant had already been selected to make their Origin bows, with Bennett confirming on Tuesday that Brenko Lee would also make his first Maroons’ appearance.

Lee, who missed games one and two with a calf strain, will play centre, with Kurt Capewell shifting to the back row and Jaydn Su’A dropping to the interchange bench.

Game two debutant Dumanis Lui misses out after originally being named in Queensland’s 17.

Xavier Coates scores a Queensland try
Xavier Coates has made a spectacular start to his Origin career, but the young Queenslander has been ruled out of game three.(AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

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Bennett had rated winger Xavier Coates as a 50-50 chance to play as he battled a groin issue, but he has now been ruled out.

Another first-gamer — Newcastle’s Edrick Lee — will come in to the side.

Souths coach Bennett confirmed Allan would play at full-back, with Valentine Holmes to move to the wing in a bid to nullify the influence of Blues star Josh Addo-Carr, who has scored back-to-back doubles in this year’s series.

“It’s obviously a big test but he answered all those for the last two years at Souths with how he’s come and played on the wing,” Bennett said of Allan’s debut in the number one jersey.

“He wasn’t a winger. We made him play there and he handled it well.

“He came in at full-back after Latrell (Mitchell) got injured and did a great job for us there.

Queensland will have to defy history to win the series, with no Origin team rebounding from conceding 30 points in a match to claim the shield.

Bennett said his young team had shown in their game one performance they had the ability to beat NSW, it was just a matter of being mentally up to the task.

“That’s the key to it. We got it right in Adelaide in the second half there,” he said.

“We played the way we wanted to play and we went off the pace in Sydney. There’s no doubt about that, and they put us off the pace as well.

“They played a really good game of football, and they maximised their strengths and we found all our weaknesses.

“So tomorrow will be as much mental as it is physical.”

AAP/ABC



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Queensland Maroons beat New South Wales Blues 24-18 to win Women’s State of Origin


Queensland has recorded a historic Women’s State of Origin victory by beating New South Wales 24-18 at Sunshine Coast Stadium.

After the score was deadlocked at 6-6 at half-time, the Maroons got on top in the second term with a three-try passage helping set up the triumph.

The Blues did launch a late fightback but the Maroons had established enough of a buffer on the scoreboard to run out deserved winners.

It is the first time the Maroons have beaten the Blues since the interstate match was branded as the Women’s State of Origin in 2018.

They had last defeated their arch rivals in an interstate clash in 2014.

Maroons fullback Tamika Upton starred for the home side with two tries, while fellow Origin debutant and five-eighth Tarryn Aiken claimed the Nellie Doherty Medal as the player of the match.

The two sides scored four tries apiece, but goal kicking proved crucial with the Maroons’ Lauren Brown having a perfect night with the boot, while the Blues could only land one conversion.

Hosting the Women’s State of Origin for the first time, Queensland had entered the match as favourite, despite the fact New South Wales had won the previous two years.

The Blues enjoyed favourable field position during the early stages and they were perhaps unlucky not to cross out wide when star centre Isabelle Kelly threw a forward pass to her winger Shanice Parker close to the Maroons’ try line.

The visitors were made to pay for the missed opportunity as only minutes later Upton used her blistering pace to touch down for the opening try of the match.

A Queensland player dives while holding the ball to score a try in the Women's State of Origin match against NSW.
Tamika Upton played a starring role for Queensland with two tries.(AAP: Darren England)

Upton took a kick on the full on her 20-metre line and proceeded to slice her way through the Blues’ disorganised defence to find open space down the left edge.

Blues fullback Botille Vette-Welsh valiantly chased in cover defence but Upton stepped inside her opposite number to cross for a brilliant four-pointer.

Brown converted Upton’s try and the Maroons led 6-0 after 15 minutes of play.

The Maroons then blew some chances to build on their lead, while the Blues were able to capitalise on a deep entry into opposition territory when Blues captain Kezie Apps scored a try in the 24th minute.

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Blues halfback Melanie Howard executed a neat grubber kick 20 metres out from the Maroons’ try line, placing Upton under considerable pressure as Apps chased through.

Apps timed her run to perfection and gathered the ball on the bounce, before busting Upton’s attempted tackle to crash over.

Howard then added the extras to level scores at 6-6, with neither side able to add to their total before the half-time break.

Maroons get on top

Upton added to her highlight reel eight minutes into the second term when she scored her second try.

The Maroons had the ball inside their own half when they attacked on the left edge, with Aiken breaking through the Blues’ defensive line via a clever dummy pass.

Aiken crossed the halfway line with only Vette-Welsh to beat but instead of chancing her arm she wisely found Upton in support on her right, with the Maroons number one streaking away unopposed to ice her double.

A Queensland Maroons player dives to score a try while being tackled by a NSW opponent.
Nellie Doherty medallist Tarryn Aiken was among the Maroons’ try scorers.(AAP: Darren England)

Brown kicked the conversion before the Maroons opened up a commanding 24-6 lead through converted tries to Aiken and Stephanie Hancock.

Not surprisingly, the Blues refused to give up and they gave themselves a chance of snatching victory at the death with tries to Tiana Penitani, Filomina Hanisi and Vette-Welsh.

Vette-Welsh’s effort came in the final minute of play and it closed the gap on the scoreboard to six points but it was too late for the Blues, who registered their first Origin loss.

The Blues had won the first Women’s State of Origin 16-10 in 2018 and backed up the victory last year by triumphing 14-4.



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Queensland rings the changes for State of Origin Game III at unrestricted Lang Park, Blues name unchanged 17


Harry Grant’s breakout 2020 season will end in a State of Origin debut as Queensland take a much-changed team into next week’s series decider against NSW.

Grant, the Dally M and RLPA rookie of the year, is one of three changes to the Maroons’ line-up in the wake of their heavy 34-10 defeat to the Blues in Game II on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old, who starred on loan at Wests Tigers from Melbourne in the NRL season, is one of three changes to Queensland’s team as they aim to win their first series in three years.

Grant will start on the bench in the number 14 jersey, replacing Ben Hunt in the utility role with the St George Illawarra star dropping out of the 17.

South Sydney’s 22-year-old flier Corey Allan will also debut for the Maroons, replacing Phillip Sami on the left wing.

The other change made by Bennett is the return of Christian Welch at prop after he missed Game II to allow him to recover from a head knock.

Dunamis Lui drops to the bench to make way for Welch with Game II debutant Moeaki Fotuaika joining Hunt on the four-man reserves list along with Edrick Lee and Brenko Lee.

Melbourne premiership-winner Lee, who missed out on a debut in Game I after being a late scratching due a calf injury, could yet come into the 17 in place of Allan if he can prove his fitness at the Maroons’ training session on Sunday.

Cameron Munster is hugged by two players
Cameron Munster is still being monitored after his concussion injury picked up in Game II.(AAP: Dave Hunt)

Cameron Munster has been named at five-eighth but can only play if he passes NRL concussion protocols after being taken out of Game II in just the third minute due to a head knock.

Fullback Valentine Holmes said Munster had been his normal “lippy” self since Wednesday’s loss and deserved to be given every chance to prove his fitness for game three.

“He has played in grand finals, Origins, big games. He is someone we definitely need to have,” Holmes said.

“He is an experienced player in our team and in the leadership team.

“We need him on the field.”

The Maroons earlier received a huge boost from the Queensland Government who announced it would allow Lang Park to operate at its full capacity of 52,500 in the decider.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palasczcuk revealed on Friday her Government was easing several COVID-19 restrictions from 4:00pm Tuesday, including the limit on open-air stadiums to operate at 75 per cent capacity.

With the borders closed between NSW and Queensland, Blues’ fans will be in the minority at the venue, where NSW have won just twice since 2010.

“I think Queenslanders are going to be very, very happy with this outcome,” Palaszczuk told reporters.

Queensland has won 37 out of 58 games at Lang Park.

Nathan Cleary and Josh Addo-Carr hug as Tyson Frizell and Clint Gutherson look on after a NSW Blues try in State of Origin II.
The Blues are unchanged 1-17 after their resounding victory in Game II.(AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

Meanwhile, New South Wales coach Brad Fittler has named an unchanged squad through 1-17 from the Blues’ resounding 34-10 victory in Sydney.

Ryan Papenhuyzen, Jarome Luai and Nic Cotric have been named on the extended bench.

Queensland Maroons squad: 1. Valentine Holmes, 2. Xavier Coates, 3. Kurt Capewell, 4. Dane Gagai, 5. Corey Allan, 6. Cameron Munster,7. Daly Cherry-Evans (c), 8. Christian Welch, 9. Jake Friend, 10. Josh Papalii, 11. Felise Kaufusi, 12. Jaydn Su’A, 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, 14. Harry Grant, 15. Lindsay Collins, 16. Jai Arrow, 17. Dunamis Lui, 18. Ben Hunt, 19. Edrick Lee, 20. Moeaki Fotuaika, 21. Brenko Lee.

NSW Blues squad: 1. James Tedesco (c), 2. Daniel Tupou, 3. Clint Gutherson, 4. Jack Wighton, 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cody Walker, 7. Nathan Cleary, 8. Daniel Saifiti, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Payne Haas, 11. Angus Crichton, 12. Tyson Frizell, 13. Jake Trbojevic, 14. Dale Finucane, 15. Junior Paulo, 16. Nathan Brown, 17. Isaah Yeo, 18. Ryan Papenhuyzen, 19. Jarome Luai, 20. Cameron McInnes, 21. Nic Cotric.

AAP/ABC



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Queensland hospital worker finds dead rat inside burger on lunch break


A hospital worker’s lunch break has become a tale to remember after he was served a rat inside his burger in regional Queensland.

The medic found the cooked rat between the two buns of his meal from the Wellbean Co cafe, run by the Toowoomba Hospital foundation, The Toowoomba Chronicle reported.

He snapped a photo and alerted staff at the cafe, who have apologised.

The picture shows he started eating the burger before making the stomach-churning discovery.

Darling Downs Health Service released the following statement to media about the incident.

“We have taken this incident very seriously, with our highest priority being the health and safety of our community, patients, and staff,” a spokesperson said.

“We have been assured that the Wellbean Co cafe operators, the Toowoomba Hospital Foundation, comply with all food and hygiene standards.

“The Toowoomba Hospital Foundation has been in contact with the supplier and has reviewed their process for washing and inspecting all products brought in to the cafe.

“The foundation has had the Toowoomba Regional Council Food Safety Division and our Public Health Unit inspect the cafe, which has been cleared to continue operating.

“The cafe has apologised to the customer and I would like to thank the Toowoomba Hospital Foundation for their immediate and proactive response to this incident.”

– With Meghan Harris, Toowoomba Chronicle



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NSW Blues defeat Queensland Maroons 34-10 in State of Origin II to set up series decider


New South Wales has kept alive its hopes of winning a third straight State of Origin series with a convincing 34-10 victory over Queensland in Game Two at Sydney’s Olympic stadium.

The Maroons held a 1-0 series lead heading into Wednesday evening’s clash, courtesy of last week’s 18-14 win in Adelaide, but they were dominated by a ruthless Blues outfit, which scored six tries to two.

The Blues conceded the first try of the match, however they then controlled proceedings to set up an enticing State of Origin III at Brisbane’s Lang Park next Wednesday.

“We focused tonight mostly on effort-based teamwork,” Blues halfback Nathan Cleary told ABC Sport.

“We had a pretty simple game plan, but I think we executed it really well.”

The Maroons were dealt a blow in only the second minute of play when Cameron Munster left the field following a head knock.

The talismanic five-eighth failed his head injury assessment and did not return to the field. His departure was felt as the match wore on, with the visitors missing his playmaking ability.

Among the stories of Origin I was how the Maroons lifted themselves off the canvas after trailing 10-0 at half-time.

They were 18-4 behind at the break in Sydney and while Wayne Bennett’s half-time address in Adelaide may have sparked the turnaround in the series opener, the Blues were awake to any threat of a Maroons’ comeback this time around.

It only took three minutes of the second half for the Blues to extend their lead, with NRL Dally M medallist Jack Wighton crashing over.

Only 10 metres from the Maroons’ line, the Blues ran left with five-eighth Cody Walker firing off a cut-out pass to Wighton, who slipped past two tacklers and beat a third defender to find the try line.

A male Queensland State of Origin player looks down at the ground against New South Wales.
Maroons captain Daly Cherry-Evans shows his dejection.(AAP: Brendon Thorne)

The Wighton try was converted by Cleary and the Blues added their fifth four-pointer of the match when winger Daniel Tupou crossed out wide.

Tempers flared as the second half approached its midway point. Following a melee, the Blues’ Payne Haas and his Maroons opponent Tino Fa’asuamaleaui were sent to the sin-bin to cool their heels.

A late Maroons fightback appeared a possibility when Josh Papalii scored in the 63rd minute and Valentine Holmes added the extras, but it was not to be.

NSW Blues player Josh Addo-Carr pumps his fists and yells after a try.
Blues winger Josh Addo-Carr revels in the celebrations following his first-half try.(AAP: Brendon Thorne)

Addo-Carr registered his second try when he chased through on a deft left-footed grubber from Walker that left Maroons winger Phillip Sami well beaten.

The try, scored in the right-hand corner, iced a dominant display from the Blues, who are looking to add to their series wins in 2018 and 2019 under coach Brad Fittler.

Blues get on top in first half

Despite losing Munster soon after kick-off, the Maroons were the first to post points on the scoreboard in the eighth minute of play.

As the Maroons attacked the Blues’ left-edge defence deep inside opposition territory, captain Daly Cherry-Evans used a second-man play to find centre Dane Gagai charging towards the line.

Gagai was halted by the Blues defence but he was able to slip away a neat one-handed offload to winger Xavier Coates, who used his superb athleticism to leap high and dive over to establish the Maroons’ 4-0 lead.

Xavier Coates scores a Queensland try
Xavier Coates provided Maroons supporters with a rare highlight in Origin II.

The Coates try seemed to trigger the Blues into action, however, and they replied on the scoreboard 10 minutes later through Walker.

It was the Blues’ turn to put the Maroons’ left-edge defence under pressure and when Cleary found Walker with a well-timed pass, the South Sydney playmaker did the rest.

He spun out of a Kurt Capewell tackle and crossed the stripe. With Cleary’s conversion, the Blues led 6-4.

A male New South Wales State of Origin player pumps both his fists as he embraced by his teammates.
Cody Walker (left) celebrates his try with Blues teammates.(AAP: Brendon Thorne)

Makeshift Blues captain James Tedesco used his brilliant footwork to post a second converted try five minutes later — again down the right edge in attack — before Addo-Carr touched down for his side’s third try in the shadows of half-time.

Cleary’s third conversion of the evening gave the home side their commanding 14-point lead at the break.

Read how State of Origin II unfolded in our blog.

Live updates

By Jon Healy

Key EventPinned

NSW LEVELS THE SERIES!

(AAP)

             

That was about as big a turnaround between games one and two as you can have. The Blues were the complete package tonight.

               

The defence in the first half set up the rout, not letting the Maroons ever get their feet under them. That allowed the Blues’ money men to do their thing on the other side of the ball, and do that they did.

          

Nathan Cleary played one of the best games I’ve ever seen him play, Cody Walker complemented him perfectly, and James Tedesco reminded us why he’s considered the best player in the world.

              

NSW was on fire from the opening seconds, and they’ll give a Blues three-peat a red-hot crack in the decider up in Brisbane.

By Jon Healy

Pinned

STATE OF ORIGIN II: NSW Blues vs Queensland Maroons in Sydney

                 

By Jon Healy

Who doesn’t love a decider?

(AAP)

              

Queensland will be disappointed, but both teams and sets of fans should be excited by the prospect of a Lang Park decider.

               

Tonight’s game had plenty of sugar and spice and all things nice and you’d imagine that will be the same up north.

               

With two young sides, this could really be the start of something special between them.

           

I’ll let you go until then. Thanks for sticking around.

By Jon Healy

Soul searching for the Maroons

(AAP)

           

Look, the loss of Munster in the first minute was massive, but not that big.

                 

They need to figure out how to get on the front foot earlier, because the Blues defence smashed them from the jump. They need to find a way to defend those backline shifts, be they from scrums or in general play.

                  

Jai Arrow, Lindsay Collins, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, Dane Gagai and Kurt Capewell can all hold their heads high tonight.

            

I’d be considering swapping out Jake Friend for Harry Grant, regardless of how he washes up after that head knock. Friend tried hard but was poor tonight. He didn’t offer much explosion and his service from dummy half was pretty poor.

                 

There was something weird going on with the substitutions tonight. Josh Papalii didn’t get back on for his second stint until 18 minutes left. Dunamis Lui barely had a second stint, but I think that’s because of the performance of Arrow and Collins.

            

Felise Kaufusi should also feel the hooves behind him. He looked a step slow tonight, while most of the rest of the forward pack – Jaydn Su’a, Tino, Arrow, Collins – had their moments.

             

They’ll get a boost up at Lang Park, but they’ll need more than some mystic energy from the home of Origin to overcome that 24-point difference.

By Jon Healy

Nathan Cleary is a deserving man of the match

(AAP)

           

Sometimes when the halfback gets the nod in games like this, it can feel like a bit of throwaway award, but he was an absolute puppet master tonight.

            

His running game kept the middle men guessing and his kicking game ask constant questions of the wingers.

           

That’s the best game I’ve seen him play, with all the pressure that had been heaped on him this week he stood 15 feet tall.

By Jon Healy

80th minute: Cleary tries one last superstar play, but Hunt wraps him up.

        

Gutherson kicks it out to end the game. They won’t worry about packing the scrum.

         

NSW wins it 34-10!

By Jon Healy

78th minute: The dropout ends in a penalty for NSW. A pretty dubious one if you ask me. Ben Hunt was trying to get to a miracle short dropout, and he jumped for the ball, but was taken out by Jake Trbojevic and basically tackled into Tedesco, who came down hard.

          

NSW will pot two more points.

               

Cleary adds the penalty goal to make it 34-10 with a bit over a minute left.

By Jon Healy

77th minute: Tedesco grubbers in-goal and earns another set with a dropout. Because why not?

By Jon Healy

76th minute: 40/20 from Cleary! He caught the ball too far out in front, gathered with a short step, and hooked to the left for a surprise 40/20. What a play.

By Jon Healy

75th minute: Capewell puts Lindsay Collins through a gap in the middle. What a play. But no-one saw it coming, so there was no support play.

         

The set actually ends with a booming spiral bomb from Cherry-Evans, but Clint Gutherson was equal to it.

By Jon Healy

73rd minute: Daniel Saifiti wastes the chance with a knock on in a strong tackle from Tino and Collins.

          

Hunt tries the admirable 40/20, and almost pulls it off. But instead, Tupou gets there and finds Tedesco, who makes it back to the 20m line. He’s a freak this bloke. Just untouchable.

By Jon Healy

71st minute: Nathan Cleary flies through the middle and sends Tedesco away.

               

And Cody Walker chips over the top (Holmes made the tackle on Tedesco) and they get a penalty as Cherry-Evans interferes with Walker chasing his own kick. So more defence for Queensland on their line.

By Jon Healy

69th minute: The Blues thought they had Tupou over again, with Cleary sweeping across, linking with Walker, but the tap-on from Wighton went to ground and out. Another 90-metre set required from Queensland.

By Jon Healy

67th minute: Daniel Saifiti slams Jaydn Su’a’s head into the ground and the Queenslander knocks on. That’s a waste of the possession they earned with the short kick-off. 

By Jon Healy

Key Event

Another try for Josh Addo-Carr!!

        

The Blues are scoring every time they get within coo-ee of the tryline.

         

This time the Maroons defence manned up and Cody Walker dinked in a neat grubber. Phillip Sami seemed to have it covered, but the ball scooted under him and Addo-Carr stole his lunch.

By Jon Healy

64th minute: Again the Maroons get outside the Blues from deep inside their own half, and this time it ends in Blues hands, with Cleary knocking the ball out of Capewell’s hands.

By Jon Healy

Queensland gets one back through Josh Papalii!

A very nice ball from Daly Cherry-Evans gets his hulking prop one on one with Damien Cook, and he brushed him off to touch down. Probably a consolation try, but at least it’s a sign of life.

      

Valentine Holmes’s conversion makes it 28-10 to the Blues.

By Jon Healy

62nd minute: Six again earned by Capewell as he flew down the left yet again. He’s somehow still played well in this thoroughly beaten side.

By Jon Healy

60th minute: Cleary kicks in behind Sami again! The Blues claim a try, but the ball bounced on the line. So the Maroons will truck it out again.

             

Great run from the scrum by Cherry-Evans. He’s really trying hard out there.

By Jon Healy

59th minute: Three attempted backline shifts in those two sets and neither of them looked like doing anything but fall apart, which is exactly what happened.



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State of Origin II live: NSW Blues trying to hit back after Queensland Maroons’ series-opening upset


HALF-TIME: NSW leads 18-4 after dominant first 40 minutes

(AAP)

               

That was what we expected to see in Game I, and I guess we did see glimpses in the first half of the opener, but this time they just refused to drop the ball.

          

The defence has been all over Queensland, and that’s allowed James Tedesco and Daniel Tupou to get NSW’s sets off to rollicking starts, running with pace and power from good field position. And as well as they’re starting the sets, Cody Walker and Nathan Cleary (particularly the latter) are finishing them with equal prowess.

          

The right call seems to be being made every time, whether it’s an early kick, a telegraphed kick or a run option, they’re nailing it.

             

Aside from that opening try, which was stunning, Queensland have looked a step off the pace for most of the game. They would have been trailing by more if not for some stunning defensive plays by Dane Gagai (of course), Ben Hunt, Daly Cherry-Evans and Kurt Capewell, but we’ll see how long they can hang on.



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New South Wales skipper Kezie Apps given all clear for Women’s State of Origin clash against Queensland



New South Wales captain Kezie Apps has been cleared to make her return to the field in Friday night’s Women’s State of Origin clash against Queensland.

The St George Illawarra second rower has overcome a medial cruciate ligament injury in her right knee, which she sustained during the NRLW season last month.

Apps will lead the Blues at Sunshine Coast Stadium, with centre Isabelle Kelly also named after recovering from an ankle injury.

Kelly, a teammate of Apps at the Dragons, won the inaugural Nellie Doherty Medal for player of the match in the first Women’s State of Origin match in 2018.

The pair are welcome inclusions for the Blues, who have claimed the past two Women’s State of Origin victories at North Sydney Oval.

Dally M medallist and Brisbane Broncos captain Ali Brigginshaw has been named at lock for the Maroons, with Tarryn Aiken and Zahara Temara to start in the halves.

They join a new-look Queensland backline, which includes Broncos premiership winners Tamika Upton, Julia Robinson, Shenae Ciesiolka and Lauren Brown.

This year’s clash will be the first Women’s State of Origin match played in Queensland.

Interstate matches were played in Queensland and New South Wales before the fixture was officially branded as the Women’s State of Origin in 2018.

The fixture was to be played in June on the Sunshine Coast, but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Blues won the first Women’s State of Origin 16-10 in 2018 and backed up the victory last year by triumphing 14-4.

AAP/ABC



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Contact tracers were searching for potential infections as Cholera outbreaks across Australia leave 20 people in hospital in Melbourne, Victoria and Queensland.


Victorian health authorities placed a quarantine order on the Qantas Jumbo jet yesterday within hours of the source being traced.

Last night Qantas confirmed water had been taken on in Bahrain, where cholera has broken out. A routine check of the jet led to yesterday’s find. Health officers also discovered that a Qantas maintenance man in Melbourne was suffering cholera symptoms after drinking the water.

Samples of the water have been sent to the Melbourne University microbiology unit for tests.

But airline and health officials have not ruled out the possibility that one of the sources of the disease was food taken on board the aircraft – including salads and dressings.

Big New Hunt

A new hunt started yesterday for passengers from a second Qantas jet. Flight 722 arrived in Melbourne on Tuesday from Singapore after a stopover in Queensland.

Two young men left Saturday’s Qantas flight in Singapore and caught Tuesday’s jet to Melbourne after becoming ill. Both are in Fairfield Infectious Diseases Hospital.

Health authorities in Victoria and Queensland are now trying to contact 46 other passengers from the Tuesday flight. Sixteen of them are being sought in Victoria.

Last night the first jet was under close Commonwealth police guard at Avalon air base near Geelong, where it was being used for training.

There are already 20 confirmed cholera victims in hospital here and in New Zealand.

Last night there were 19 confirmed cholera victims in Australia, including 10 in Victoria. Three other passengers from the Saturday flight now in hospitals throughout the country are “highly suspect” cholera cases.

In Victoria another 10 people are in hospital with suspected cholera symptoms.

The medical superintendent at Fairfield Infectious Diseases Hospital (Dr. John Forbes) said yesterday there were no cases of “secondary” infection in Victoria.

A young Gippsland boy who was thought to have cholera symptoms had been cleared after tests, he said.

“With no secondary infection cases things are looking up,” Dr. Forbes said.

In New Zealand a British woman passenger is in Dunedin Hospital with confirmed cholera. A 65-year-old Dutchman from Saturday’s Qantas flight died of cholera in New Zealand on Wednesday.

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