Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla is out for at least three months after having surgery on a ruptured knee ligament, manager Arsene Wenger has said.The Spaniard injured his knee during Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with Norwich City on Nov. 29 but stayed on the pitch as Wenger had already used up his substitutions, with the Frenchman saying Cazorla had ended the game “on one leg”.After consulting a specialist he went under the knife over the weekend rather than wait for a second opinion, Wenger confirmed.“Santi wanted to have a chance to come back quickly so he didn’t want to last too long for 25 opinions. He decided to go (for surgery) straight away,” Wenger was quoted as saying by British media.“The guy (specialist) said: ‘Look, it’s a clear case. It’s a rupture of the external knee ligament.’ And Santi said: ‘OK, let’s do it straight away.’“It’s not the season. It is at least three months out, maybe four.”Wenger also said Alexis Sanchez, who injured his hamstring against Norwich, had returned to Chile to begin rehabilitation.“He’s used to working there with the national team physio. I think it will have a double benefit,” added Wenger. “He will not be miserable here and he will be well treated there.”
The three players- Justin Olam, Bland Abavu and Adex Wera – have been suspended following a video review after last week’s game against the Townsville Blackhawks.Olam and Abavu have been suspended for one week each. Olam was charged for a shoulder charge while Abavu was cited for a dangerous throw and dangerous contact.Wera has been rubbed out for two weeks after being cited for a dangerous throw. He will miss the next two remaining season proper games.These suspensions and the season ending injury to centre Thompson Teteh has forced coach Michael Marum to rush in Noel Zeming and Stargroth Amean back from injury into the starting line-up for this Sunday’s round 24 against Northern Pride at Barlow Park in Cairns.Both Zeming and Amean have been out for the past six weeks, Zeming with a hand injury while Amean has just recovered from a knee injury.Marum has also included Wartovo Puara Jnr, Adam Korave and Nixon Borana, back after eight weeks in an extended 19 man squad.The 19 man squad is:1. Stargroth AMEAN2. Butler MORRIS3. Noel ZEMING (Co-Capt)4. Edward GOMA5. Philemon KIMISIVE6. Ase BOAS7. Watson BOAS8. Enoch MAKI9. Warren GLARE10. Esau SIUNE11. Timothy LOMAI12. Ishmael BALKAWA13. Brandy PETER14. Sailas GAHUNA15. Adam KORAVE16. Benjamin HETRA17. Nickson BORANA18. Wartovo PUARA Jnr19. Atte Bina WABOCoach Marum will finalise the travelling 18 man team on Thursday afternoon. The team travels to Cairns on Friday morning.
President of the Surfing Association of PNG, Andrew Abel said the two PNG surfers (one male and one female) will be chosen from the 10 affiliated surfing clubs in the country.“The World Surfing League has only granted us two wild card entries. We can’t have any more than that.“The 36 male and 18 female inbound surfers are invited only. These are the world’s elite surfers.“So we’re very fortunate to have the world’s best on our shores and we’ve capitalized on this opportunity to also showcase our best to compete with them.“PNG has only two wild cards- one male and one female, and we’ll have two reserves,” said Abel.“Our contest director, Jason Pini will have the final call on that on who will be representing PNG.Abel said the two PNG surfers will be announced shortly before the Men’s and Women’s Longboard World Championship Tour that will run from March 18-25 in Madang.
The 26-year-old Stokes, England’s vice captain and one of their most important players, was suspended after he and teammate Alex Hales were arrested following a punch-up outside a Bristol nightclub last month and released under investigation.Pace bowler Steven Finn has been added to the Ashes squad and will travel to Australia with the rest of the team on October 28, the ECB said in a statement on its website.The ECB said no final decision had been made on Stokes’ participation in the Test series in Australia.The five-Test series starts in Brisbane on November 23.The Bristol street brawl was captured on camera and left a man hospitalised with facial injuries, just hours after Stokes played in England’s ODI victory over the West Indies at the Bristol Cricket Ground.The Sun newspaper published footage of what it said was a brawl between Stokes and two other people, one clutching a bottle.Should Stokes definitively be ruled out of the tour, it would be a huge blow for England whose chances of defending the Ashes in Australia have already been called into question.The hosts whitewashed England 5-0 in the last Ashes in Australia in 2013-14, and several pundits have said the tourists have next to no chance without Stokes in their ranks.”They can’t win without him for a number of reasons,” Former Australia captain Ian Chappell told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph.”Obviously his ability is the main thing, but also he’s a match-winning player, and those sort of players drag the rest along with them and make them better.”He’s probably one of those players inspired by playing against the better teams, and again that has a flow-on effect to the fellas that don’t have that sort of confidence. I don’t think they’ve got a hope in hell without him.”While the Australian side may consider the suspension of Stokes a significant boost to their chances, former captain Allan Border believes the series would be spoiled without the firebrand all-rounder.”He is one of those cricketers you would go to watch play,” Border said.”He’s just got something about him, the aggressive nature of his cricket is exciting and it would be a real blow if he doesn’t come.”Reuters
There was an outpouring of grief across Canada at news of the collision between a bus carrying a junior ice hockey team and a semi-trailer.The Humboldt Broncos team, which has members aged between 16 and 21, were en route on Friday to a play-off game.At least 15 people have been confirmed dead in the crash.Details have been slow to trickle out in the wake of the tragedy, and the identities of the deceased have not yet been released by authorities.Tom Straschnitzki said his son Ryan is in hospital in Saskatoon with a serious back injury, and told his father that he can’t feel his legs.The family flew to his bedside on Saturday to be with him.”He keeps asking about his team and coaches. I say: I don’t know son,” he told the BBC from his home in Airdrie, Alberta.Mr Trudeau said in a statement that “our national hockey family is a close one, with roots in almost every town – small and big – across Canada”.He has received calls of condolences from other world leaders, including US President Donald Trump.What is known about the crash?The lorry and bus collided on Friday at around 17:00 local time (23:00 GMT) on Highway 35, north of Tisdale.The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said 29 people including the driver were on the bus at the time, and that15 people were killed.The other 15 passengers have been taken to hospital. Two remain in critical condition.The lorry driver was not injured in the collision.Police said on Saturday they have yet to determine the cause of the crash.Myles Shumlanski, father of one of the Broncos players, described the scene as a “disaster” to the Saskatoon Star Phoenix paper. “We had a crane lifting the bus,” he said.It is not yet known who has died. There were ice hockey coaches on the bus in addition to team members.Photographs on social media showed several of the players comforting each other in hospital.(A photo posted to the team’s Twitter feed on 24 March after a play-off win)
Maroons Coach Kevin Walters made the announcement on Monday, December 17th.Martin (25), who grew up in Queensland, has been a strong performer for the Kumuls, especially during the 2017 World Cup.This season he achieved his goal of playing in the NRL, with a memorable debut against the Brisbane Broncos in Round Nine, where he scored a try with his very first touch of the ball.Macdonald debuted with the Roosters as a 20-year-old in 2014 and has emerged as one of competition’s top wingers during his stints with the Titans and Dragons.He secured a release from the Dragons to sign a long-term deal with the Cowboys in order to be closer to family.The 24-year-old has also made nine appearances for PNG since debuting at the 2013 World Cup and appeared for the NRL All Stars in 2016.Emerging Queensland Origin squad: Joe Ofahengaue, Christian Welch, David Fifita, Jaydn Su’A, Rhyse Martin, Ash Taylor, Brodie Croft, Jake Clifford, Corey Norman, AJ Brimson, Phillip Sami, Tautau Moga, Nene Macdonald, Kyle Feldt, Brenko Lee.(Nene Macdonal, left, during the two-test series against England Knights last month)
Tottenham Hotspur beat local rivals Arsenal with second-half goals from prolific pair Dele Alli and Harry Kane on Sunday to maintain their Premier league title challenge.A deserved victory kept them four points behind leaders Chelsea, who won 3-0 at Everton earlier.Alli put Spurs ahead in the 56th minute when he followed up after Christian Eriksen’s shot was saved. Two minutes later Kane went down in the penalty area under Gabriel’s challenge and got up to convert the penalty.Tottenham’s victory in Arsene Wenger’s 50th North London derby as Arsenal manager ensured Spurs will finish above their neighbours for the first time in 22 years.It was their ninth successive league win and the margin would have been greater but for some fine saves by Petr Cech.EVERTON 0 CHELSEA 3April 30 (Reuters) – Chelsea took a major step towards the Premier League title with an impressive 3-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday.A brilliant strike from Pedro in the 66th minute broke the deadlock and then goals from skipper Gary Cahill and substitute Willian made sure of the three points for Antonio Conte’s side.With four games to play, Chelsea are now seven points ahead of second-placed Tottenham, who take on Arsenal in their North London derby later on Sunday.The four remaining fixtures look straightforward — Chelsea are at home to Middlesbrough, at West Brom and then at home to Watford and relegated Sunderland and it would take an unlikely series of upsets to stop the West London club from winning their second title in three seasons.“It feels massive, we did what we need to do and it is a great victory, we knew this was like a final,” Cahill told Sky Sports.Everton manager Ronald Koeman had no doubt his team had lost to the team who will win the title.“It is really tough to beat Chelsea. They showed today their belief and their quality. They will be champions,” he said.If Chelsea were going to slip up late in their title bid then surely it was the trip to Goodison Park to face a seventh-placed Everton who had lost just once at home all season which presented the biggest danger.There was no sign of a wobble from the Londoners, however, and they came through this test with barely a hint of nerves.Everton were without their key French international defensive midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, who was ruled out with a thigh injury, and that robbed them of the solidity that has been a feature of their recent performances.Nonetheless, the home side started brightly with Dominic Calvert-Lewin striking the post in the second minute after a sublime pass from Ross Barkley.Koeman’s side struggled to create real openings, however, and Chelsea grew increasingly dominant after the break.Pedro broke the deadlock in spectacular fashion, making some space for himself and then beating Maarten Stekelenburg with a left-foot drive from 25 metres out that flew into the top corner.The visitors doubled their advantage when Stekelenburg could only parry out a low, diagonal free kick from Eden Hazard and captain Cahill pounced to fire home the loose ball.Two Chelsea substitutes combined for the third goal, four minutes from the end, when, after a clever exchange with Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas slipped the ball to Willian for a simple close-range conversion.The visiting fans applauded their team off the field at the end, confident that there will be more celebrations to come in the next few weeks.“This was an important win but now we need to take it game by game and win these games,” said Conte.“This has been an important week for us and we have ended it positively,” he said.
The Houston Astros won the World Series on Wednesday on the back of a two-run home run by George Springer that busted the game open and lifted the team to a 5-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Seven.The Astros clinched the best-of-seven series 4-3 for the first franchise title in a 55-year existence, and did so against a Dodgers team that had Major League Baseball’s best regular season record.The Astros jumped on Dodgers starting pitcher Yu Darvish early, scoring all five runs in the first two innings before riding a long string of relief pitchers to the win at Dodger Stadium.“I think this is the happiest moment of my life in baseball,” Astros second baseman Jose Altuve said on the field after the final out.“We did this for them,” he said of the fans in Houston, who are still recovering from the deadly Hurricane Harvey in August.“There has been a lot going on in Houston the last year (and) they are the biggest reason why we are here.”Astros manager A.J. Hinch said the team was proud of the part it played in lifting the spirits of the city.“This team loves playing in Houston and we’re going to love bringing this World Series trophy back to Houston,” he said.The signs for the Dodgers were ominous early as World Series most valuable player Springer got the Astros off to an excellent start when he laced a leadoff double to left field corner and later scored the game’s first run on a throwing error by Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger.Alex Bregman scored on a ground ball hit by Altuve that gave the Astros a 2-0 lead before the Dodgers had even came up to bat.Darvish issued a leadoff walk to Astros catcher Brian McCann to start the second inning and scored on a soft ground ball by pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. to make it 3-0.Springer stepped to the plate with one on and two out in the inning and blasted his fifth home run of the World Series for a 5-0 advantage, chasing Darvish, who ended an ignominious World Series after a similarly disastrous start in Game Three.“My approach was to get something out over the plate, get something I could drive,” Springer said of his two-run shot.“And I just remember swinging and hearing the sound of the bat, and I knew it was a good sound.”Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw took the mound in the third inning and threw four scoreless innings to keep his team in the game but the Los Angeles offense failed to convert hits into runs.The National League champions were unable to capitalise on their many opportunities, stranding 10 baserunners.The Dodgers scored their lone run in the sixth inning when pinch hitter Andre Ethier hit a ground ball that found a hole on the right side to score Joc Pederson.“It hurts, it’s suppose to hurt but there is nothing to regret when you leave all out there,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters.“It was a long season and we stayed together, fought until the end and we came up a little short but there is nothing for us to hang our heads about,” he said.“The Astros are a great team and you have to tip your hat because they earned it.
An own goal and a penalty gave Croatia a comfortable start to their World Cup campaign as they beat a limp Nigeria 2-0 in their Group D clash at the Kaliningrad Stadium on Saturday.A diving header from Mario Mandzukic was deflected into his own net by Nigeria midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo after 32 minutes to hand Croatia the half-time lead, doubled by Luka Modric’s successful penalty kick in the 71st minute.It was awarded after Nigeria defender William Troost-Ekong had wrestled Mandzukic to the ground right in front of the referee, wrapping both arms around the striker as they jostled for space in the Nigeria box.Croatia, who were barely extended by their African opponents, now top Group D after Argentina and Iceland drew 1-1 in Moscow earlier on Saturday.
A plan to use the sails of the World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House to promote Australia’s richest horse race, despite objections from its management, has sparked a firestorm of criticism.Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the Sydney Opera House is a great billboard, but opponents of the racing promotion say it is a sell-out to the country’s gambling industry.The furore erupted after the New South Wales state government over ruled the Opera House management’s objections to projecting the barrier draw of the A$13 million ($9 million) Everest Cup onto the Sydney Opera House sails on Tuesday night.The decision came after one of the nation’s top radio ‘shock jocks’, Alan Jones, called on the Opera House’s boss to resign or be sacked for objecting to the promotion. Jones is regarded by many politicians as having great influence over voters.Nearly 165,000 people had signed an online petition as of Monday against using the Opera House for the promotion, which has dominated social media in Australia. Opponents plan a flashlight protest on Tuesday to try and disrupt the lightshow.Morrison, who supports the promotion for Saturday’s Everest Cup, said he couldn’t understand why people were so upset.“It’s not like they’re painting it on there. I mean it’s some lights flashing up there for a brief moment of time. And that goes all around the world,” Morrison said on radio broadcaster Alan Jones’ show.Anti-gambling advocates deplored using the Opera House to promote gambling in a country that has the world’s highest gambling losses per adult. Nearly A$24 billion ($16.93 billion) was lost last year on sports betting, slot machines and casinos.“Gambling destroys lives and has no place being displayed on the sails of the Opera House,” said Elizabeth Smits, one of the thousands who signed the online petition.The Opera House declined to comment on the controversy, referring all queries to the state government.Opposition Labor leader Bill Shorten said Australians were understandably concerned about turning the Opera House into a billboard.“I would say to Prime Minister Morrison, you’re not a marketing executive. You’re the prime minister of Australia and that involves the obligation to respect our national icons,” Shorten told reporters on Monday.The Opera House sails have been used in art installations and to advertise events such as the Rugby Union World Cup, but not for commercial advertising.