The Northern Territory news Thu 5 Oct 2017
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34 SPORT THURSDAY OCTOBER 5 2017 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 United also possess Boomers duo Chris Goulding and David Andersen in what is arguably the most formidable line-up the NBL has ever seen. Ive been around since 94. I dont think anybodys seen a list as strong as what Melbourne has put on the floor, Wright said. To do that within the salary cap is great. I think its great for the league. More people want to come out and watch. The 36ers will face Melbourne in their season-opener in Adelaide tonight. Wright says his players wont go into their shells against the star-studded outfit. Weve never backed down from anyone, Wright said. We wont back down on Thursday either. Adelaide finished on top of the ladder last season before bombing out to Illawarra in the semi-finals. The 36ers are tipped to finish near the bottom of the ladder this season after losing star imports Jerome Randle and NBA-bound Terrance Ferguson. Experienced guard Shannon Shorter, centre Ronald Roberts and shooting guard Ramone Moore will fill Adelaides three import slots this season. Roberts is set to miss tonights match with a knee Melbourne Uniteds hopes in the National Basketball League this season will hinge on the efforts of Casey Prather, Casper Ware and Josh Boone Picture: MICHAEL KLEIN Strong Melbourne United doesnt faze Adelaide coach ADELAIDE 36ers coach Joey Wright says Melbourne Uniteds star-studded squad is the best hes ever seen in the NBL, but hes adamant his players wont fear them. United will start the season as title favourites after luring two-time Championship winner Casey Prather from the Wildcats to join star imports Casper Ware and Josh Boone. complaint. Wright said the club would assess Roberts injury further before putting a timeline on his return. Randle won last seasons MVP award after averaging 21 points and 5.3 assists per game. Wright is confident his teams new trio of imports can cover for the loss of Randle. We had about 25-30 points out of our imports last year, Wright said. Were looking to better that this year. Cooper has friends in high places R E J E C T E D p l a y m a k e r Quade Cooper will get the chance for revenge against Michael Cheika when he captains the Alan Jones-coached Barbarians against the national team later this month. Jones announced on radio yesterday that Cooper would lead his side, having been left out of the Wallabies squad for the entire Rugby Championship tournament. The Wallabies will play the Barbarians at Sydneys Allianz Stadium on October 28, and Jones is clearly looking for an attack-minded team to pull off an upset against Cheikas men. Jones interviewed Cooper on his show and urged him to bring his creative flair. Thats what I love doing, Im going to be up there doing my best to attack from everywhere and really making it entertaining for the fans, Cooper said. Theres a lot of emphasis these days being put on defence and that in turn slows the whole game down, and having the focus on attack can break down defences and also make it entertaining. Its always fun to do, come up with new ways to be able to break down these defences. Cooper was surprisingly omitted from Australian coach Cheikas squad with Bernard Foley and Kurtley Beale the preferred options. England cricketers hit for six FORMER England captain Michael Vaughan has launched a scathing attack on the teams drinking culture after reports in the UK that Ben Stokes was out partying during a recent Test match. With Bristol police up to two months away from concluding an investigation into a bar fight in which Stokes was allegedly involved, the ECB are under pressure to immediately drop their biggest name for the Ashes to avoid the ugly saga becoming an overwhelming tour distraction. England will announce their central contracting list for the coming year today and while Stokes is expected to be offered a new deal, he could be in for a significant financial hit. The naming of Englands one-day squad has been delayed a week, amid reports Bristol police are in no hurry to make the ECBs decision for them pouring heat on cricket boss Andrew Strauss to stand up and sack Stokes now so teammates can move on. In a strong broadside, Vaughan claimed Englands problems ran far deeper than Stokes and that the ECB was responsible for covering up a culture that has turned a blind eye to drinking and unprofessional behaviour. A story came out this week that Ben Stokes was out until 3am during a Test match in Manchester, Vaughan said. JUSTIN CHADWICK Rebecca heads for US to work on career path IT was just over two years ago that Rebecca Dunbar (pictured) was nursing the most painful injury of her life. The towering 198cm dualcode footballer picked up a grade-three ankle ligament tear in a Territory v Army sevens rugby match on Anzac Day in 2015. She had to sit idle on the sidelines for 15 weeks and battled mental demons while grappling with the thought of whether she would play rugby union again. But the 27-year-old has bounced back in fine fashion. Now also an Aussie rules player, the Buffettes ruck will leave for the US on a footy education trip next Wednesday. The trip, called the USA Australian Football Tour, will see a contingent of football players from across the coun try play three games, including one against the US All Stars at the USA Aussie Rules Nationals. The nominations were from 18 to 27 years old and I thought: whats the worst thing that could happen? Dunbar said. And some weeks later I got an email saying I got selected. Im excited about going to the US but Im keen to develop my football skills and to meet new people. Nicole Graves who is the senior womens coach at Swan Districts in Perth will mentor the Aussie Sparks outfit. The touring team will also take on the San Francisco Iron Maidens, who are the current US champions, and the Sacremento Suns. The learning component of the trip will see the Sparks attend high-performance training sessions at San Jose State University and San Diego State University. I cant wait to be exposed to that kind of knowledge, Dunbar said. Dunbar, also a Palmerston Crocs rugby star, captained the Northern Territory in a twogame series in Singapore playing the 15-person game in May. She has also represented the NT in national rugby sevens championships, but this trip has her super pumped as she chases her AFLW dream. Im so excited, Dunbar said. Ive been overseas with rugby before but this is the first time Ill go to the US. It would be an absolute dream to play in the AFLW. I try to grab every opportunity that comes at me. I want to do anything I can to get my foot in the door. JOSH SPASARO It would be an absolute dream to play in the AFLW R E B E C C A D U N B A R
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