The Northern Territory news Fri 18 Nov 2016
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News Corp Australia
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 18 2016 SPORT 33 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA BEN Barba has apologised to his Sharks teammates over his second positive drug test which took some of the gloss off Cronullas historic first NRL premiership. Kangaroos winger Valentine Holmes has revealed Barba has told his Cronulla comrades he wants to return to the NRL after undergoing treatment for anxiety-related problems in Thailand at The Cabin rehabilitation centre in Chiang Mai and serving his 12match suspension. While Holmes is in England preparing for the Four Nations final, he has kept in contact with Barba and said he was in a good frame of mind. Weve got a WhatsApp group, Holmes said. Weve all been supporting him. He is doing well. He said he is sorry MICHAEL CARAYANNIS Cronullas Ben Barba in action Carney bites his tongue in regards to future and its unfortunate whats happened and he is going to work on it and come back bigger, stronger and better. All the boys in Sydney have gone to see him before he left. Cronulla forward Wade Graham said Barbas NRL career should not be the main focus. Playing footy, that needs to be secondary for Benny and as mates, we need to show him that the only priority that we care about is him being healthy, in mind and body, he said. You ask me if I want to see him play with us again? Of course I do. But we all need to be mindful that some things in life are bigger than playing football. Lyall (Gorman), the board and the football department will handle whatever the next steps are for Benny, Ill just be here if ever needs an ear. Holmes declared he is ready to wear the No. 1 jersey vacated by Barba and pledged his commitment to be a long-term Shark. Ironically, it was a dinner with Barba which helped convinced the Kangaroos winger to remain at Cronulla. Battling homesickness, TODD Carney has reiterated hes keen to return to the NRL but wont make any call on his playing future until his wrongful dismissal case against Cronulla is resolved. Carney and the premiers were directed to mediation by the Supreme Court in February to negotiate a potential settlement on his claim, reported to be close to $2.4 million. Carney was sacked by the Sharks in 2014 over his infamous bubbler act. A lot of people think I am back here to get back in the NRL, but I am back here on holidays, Carney said. I have been speaking to a few clubs in England. Until that (Cronulla matter) is over, Im not really sure where my future lies or where I will be playing. Due to his off-field indiscretions during his time with the Raiders, Roosters and Sharks, Carney admits his path to playing again in Australia is narrow. Rebeccas wild ride Palmerston Croc player Rebecca Dunbar has overcome injury and will line up for the NT Goannas team at the National Sevens Championship in Adelaide Picture: JUSTIN KENNEDY REBECCA Dunbar will head to the National Sevens Championships in Adelaide this weekend with the NT Goannas as an integral part of their line-up, but it hasnt been an easy road for the Palmerston Croc player. The 196cm utility ended up with a grade three ankle ligament tear in a sevens match on Anzac Day last year, which Dunbar described as the most painful thing that has happened in my life. Having to sit on the sidelines for 15 weeks, Dunbar found it tough to stay idle. Even harder were the demons she faced to regain her confidence once back on the paddock. That was probably the toughest thing Ive had to get through. Ive still got that fear in the back of my mind when I run on the field, Dunbar said. My coaches have told me they have seen me hesitate, so its one of the biggest milestones Im still working on. When I did make a break away and see someone running after me, I would take that slower step because I didnt want to go through that injury again. Coming back from the long-term layoff, Dunbar crossed codes to Australian rules where she turned out in the Womens Premier League for the Darwin Buffaloes. Playing as a ruckman, Dunbar took the opportunity to try a new sport to compliment rugby, which she thoroughly enjoyed. AFL has got that whole 360 degree game about it, so it was tough to get my head around, but enjoyable to play, she said. Dunbar is once again playing for Darwin in 2016/17, but her focus this weekend will be in Adelaide when the Goannas take on the best players from around the country at the Sevens National Championships. We have girls from the four different teams from local rugby, so its the best of the best, Dunbar said. From the few trainings we have had after the Summer of Sevens, as a team we have really gelled together. I think the importance of the tournament has pulled everyone together. The Goannas kick off the Championships with three matches on Saturday against Queensland, Western Australia and the ACT. JACK HISLOP Godwin to debut for Wallabies JAMIE PANDARAM KYLE Godwin will make his Test debut against France on Sunday, with Michael Cheika making a raft of changes to his team for the mid-tour clash. Preserving many of his star players for the Grand Slam Tests against Ireland and England to come, Cheika has opted to name a team full of rookies to face the French on Paris on Sunday (7.30am). Centre Godwin, who recently announced he is joining the Brumbies next year from Western Force, will start at inside centre to form a midfield partnership with Quade Cooper. Luke Morahan will get just his second Test, at fullback, while front rowers Allan Alaalatoa and Tolu Latu, and winger Sefanaia Naivalu will all make their starting debuts for Australia. Cheika will rest frontline stars Israel Folau, Michael Hooper, Sekope Kepu, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge and Rory Arnold from this fixture as it will not affect the outcome of their Grand Slam campaign and allows him to see how the inexperienced members of the squad will handle the step up. Godwin has been around the fringes of Wallabies camps for several years and finally gets his chance in the gold jersey after it appeared at one time that his chance had gone by. Ive been impressed with him from day one, Cheika said of Godwin. From when he came in at Perth, he really looked a promise. I happened to coach him on the 2014 tour, didnt know a lot about him and I thought he was outstanding. He didnt get a game on that tour but just as a young guy coming through is outstanding. The new tight five will face some tough questions against France, who historically have dominated the setpiece against Australia. Barba keen to return, Holmes set to be Cronulla fullback Holmes had booked a plane ticket and packed his bags to return to his Townsville home in 2013 before Barba intervened. We have the same manager (Gavin Orr) so he brought him to dinner with me because of what was happening with my homesickness, Holmes said. He explained how he did it when he left Mackay to play for the Bulldogs. That helped. He is someone I looked up to and would like to inspire to play like. It was good having him at the club and to learn from him. Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan is likely to give Holmes the chance to play fullback on a permanent basis ahead of centre Jack Bird. Holmes spent last off-season training at fullback but made his mark on the wing when Barba was given the custodians role.