Territory Stories

The Northern Territory news Fri 22 May 2015



The Northern Territory news Fri 22 May 2015

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NT news


The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT




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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin

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News Corp Australia

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Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

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News Corp Australia



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30 JUST FOOTY FRIDAY MAY 22 2015 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 30 JUST FOOTY FRIDAY MAY 22 2015 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 Slater faces fight to finish BILLY Slater is walking an Origin injury tightrope with the Maroons fullback requiring another shoulder operation his third bout of surgery in less than a year. Slater will go under the knife, ideally at the end of the season after he completes his commitments to Melbourne and the Maroons. But whether Slater can get through the next four months unscathed will hinge on his professionalism, the Storms medical staff and a slice of luck. Slater has another 24 hours to convince Queensland hierarchy he is fit for Origin I, with Knights ace Dane Gagai yesterday called into camp as cover. Maroons coach Mal Meninga remains confident Slater will be on deck on Wednesday night, but eventually he will require corrective surgery for the second consecutive year. Storm football manager Frank Ponissi said Melbourne are managing Slaters shoulder ailment and will do everything possible to prevent a mid-season breakdown. At the end of the season Billy will require surgery, Ponissi said. We know the situation with Billys shoulder and well take it week by week. We have to get him up for every game this season. He will be sorer some weeks than others, but from our point of view we are very comfortable with where he is at the moment. We are going to have to manage him. I have no doubt Billy can get through the season. If it was someone else, you might question him, but not Billy Slater. He is so mentally tough and professional that we and Billy will do everything possible every week to get through the season. Slater, off-contract at seasons end, has had a wretched run with injury in recent times. Last November, he underwent operations on his shoulder and elbow and also had a third procedure, laser surgery, to correct his eyesight. Even if Slater does manage to get through the season, he is unlikely to be fully fit and his damaged shoulder is sure to be tested by a NSW defence led by hitman Beau Scott. The 31-year-old suffered his latest shoulder injury on April 6 after being tackled by Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei. PETER BADEL South Sydney pivot Luke Keary (left) pulls off a remarkable try-saving tackle on Melbourne winger Marika Koroibete during NRL premiership action at AAMI Park last weekend Picture: COLLEEN PETCH SOUTH Sydney playmaker Luke Keary admits his lack of kicking when playing alongside Adam Reynolds has made it difficult to fill the boots of his offsider now the Rabbitohs No.7 is injured. The all too regular absence of Reynolds this season has virtually forced Keary to learn a new skill on the run, and his general play kicking will again come under the microscope against Parramatta at ANZ Stadium tonight. From just six matches this season, Reynolds averages nearly 14 kicks per match, compared to Kearys five per game from 10 appearances. While Reynolds has averaged 380 kick metres per match off the boot, Keary has managed to find just 138 metres of territory. Reynolds also leads Keary on try assists by kick, 40/20s and forced drop outs. Andrew Johns believes Reynolds kicking game has now surpassed Cooper Cronks as the most effective in the competition, but says Souths rely on perfection in this area more than other teams due to the giant size of their forward pack. Keary concedes his kicking responsibilities present a major step up but he denies hes overawed. Obviously he does the bulk of the kicking when hes there, Keary said. Its no secret. When hes not there I probably have to take on most of it. Its obviously a challenge every week and when youve got (fullbacks) like Billy Slater at the back, it makes life difficult for you. 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