The Northern Territory news Wed 9 Jul 2014
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News Corp Australia
44 SPORT WEDNESDAY JULY 9 2014 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 With Cavendish gone, Renshaw slips easily into sprinting role MARK Renshaw claimed an impressive third place when the Tour de France sped into London after his team backed him in the absence of former world champion Mark Cavendish. The Australian has gone from being Cavendishs leadout man to the man being led out for the sprints after the Brit spectacularly crashed out of the race at the weekend. Renshaw, riding for Omega Pharma-Quick Step, finished third behind Marcel Kittle (Giant-Shimano) and Cannondales Peter Sagan. I didnt come here to sprint, I came here to lead out Mark Cavendish and things had to change after he had that crash, Renshaw said after the third stage. (They were) big shoes to fill but Im pretty happy to be third to those guys. Third to Kittel and Sagan is nothing to be ashamed of. Cavendish dislocated his collarbone when he tangled with Australian champion Simon Gerrans 250m from the finish in Harrogate on Saturday. The star was at fault and later apologised to Gerrans. Renshaw on Monday was proud the OPQS team rallied behind him in his new role. The team came to the front with 5km remaining. Multiple Tour stage winner Alessandro Petacchi and triple world time-trial champion Tony Martin both worked for the Australian. It shows weve pulled together really well, Renshaw said. The 31-year-old rode in support of Cavendish for three years before switching to Rabobank in 2012 to try to make it on his own. He was reunited with the Manxman when he joined OPQS in 2014. Asked if he was now the main man for the Tours flat stages, Renshaw replied: Well see what happens. Theres a lot of racing to come and weve got some great riders in the team that will take chances now, he said. Countryman Richie Porte (Sky) finished safely in the bunch and is now looking forward to a possible podium finish on the general classification. Porte said his form had come along nicely after he missed Mays Giro dItalia due to sickness. Asked if could target the podium while helping teammate Chris Froome defend his title, Porte replied: You can never say never. Maguire not about to change his new half measures SOUTH Sydney coach Michael Maguire will persist with his new-look halves combination of Adam Reynolds and Luke Keary despite a forgettable first outing in the Rabbitohs upset 14-10 NRL loss to Gold Coast on Monday. Maguire had indicated preseason he would alter his successful halves duo of Reynolds and John Sutton this season by playing the Souths captain in the back-row and moving Keary into five-eighth alongside halfback Reynolds. Those plans were upset early in 2014 when Keary suffered a pectoral muscle injury in the pre-season Auckland Nines. Maguire then slotted Dylan Walker into five-eighth for the early rounds but soon returned Sutton to the playmaking role when that partnership didnt bear fruit. Keary was dangerous in patches against the Titans in a very stop-start game marred by a high penalty count and repeated dropped ball, and Reynolds second half participation was hampered by a knee problem. Maguire admitted his frustration at the Rabbitohs performance but stressed he was keen to continue with Reyn olds and Keary in the halves, with Sutton to stay in the back row, for the clash with Parramatta in two weeks after a Round-18 bye. Rugby league Immortal Andrew Johns said during Triple Ms broadcast of the Rabbitohs-Titans clash he didnt believe the combination would deliver long awaited premiership success to Redfern. We will persist with that combination for sure, Ma guire said. I thought Luke at times showed some really good touches and John in the back row. If we hang on to the ball it allows those two to play an easier game. We didnt get back-to-back sets, we didnt build pressure, those are areas of our game we need to look at. Maguire was confident George Burgess (ankle) and Kyle Turner (leg) would both be fit to meet the Eels. By JAMES MacSMITH RUGBY LEAGUE Captain salutes Big Mal A DAY after being accused of not doing enough for State of Origin, Mal Meninga has been hailed as the man who can claim sole responsibility for Queenslands record eightyear run. Maroons captain Cameron Smith also encouraged Meninga to keep the Queensland reins beyond his 2015 contract, saying his influence was still cherished despite being on the verge of the teams first whitewash in 14 years. Meninga rubbed the Blues faithful the wrong way when he opted not to front the media on Monday, leaving it to NSW coach Laurie Daley to promote tonights Origin III in Brisbane with 6000 tickets still unsold. By late yesterday, about 1000 tickets were available. NSW great Ben Elias baulked at calling Meninga a sore loser but said he had a responsibility to represent your state through good and bad. Meninga missed Mondays media call due to other commitments but unexpectedly fronted the cameras as Queensland trained yesterday. You guys right? Youre not still sooky? Meninga laughed. No offence appeared to be taken by an upbeat Meninga but Smith jumped to his coachs defence when the no show was mentioned. Smith claimed Meninga could claim responsibility for their remarkable eight-year streak snapped this series. I would love Mal to coach for as long as he would like to, Smith said. He is the guy who can really put his hand up and claim those eight series victories. Before he came in, we were struggling a bit for self confidence. But as soon as he joined the squad (in 2006), he instilled in every individual the belief in yourself and each other that we can go out and beat NSW. And he claimed Meninga was as influential as ever. He is by no means past his (due) date of finishing up, Smith said. I think he is a tremendous coach, a tremendous man who we all look up to and respect I would like to see him go on. Smith said Meninga was still trying to spark the side moments after NSW sealed a rare series win with a 6-4 Game II victory in Sydney. Maroons star Cameron Smith at yesterdays training session at Suncorp Stadium Picture: PETER WALLIS By LAINE CLARK in Brisbane BRING IT ON State of Origin - Game 3: Queensland v NSW at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane (7.30pm) THE MAROONS 1 BILLY SLATER (Mel) 2 DARIUS BOYD (New) 3 GREG INGLIS (Sths) 4 JUSTIN HODGES (Bris) 5 WILL CHAMBERS (Mel) 6 JOHNATHAN THURSTON (NQ) 7 COOPER CRONK (Mel) 8 JACOB LILLYMAN (NZW) 9 CAMERON SMITH (Mel) (c) 10 NATE MYLES (Gold) 11 SAM THAIDAY (Bris) 12 AIDAN GUERRA (Syd) 13 COREY PARKER (Bris) Interchange 14 DALY CHERRY-EVANS (Man) 15 DAVID TAYLOR (Gold) 16 BEN TEO (Sths) 17 MATT GILLETT (Bris) Coach: MAL MENINGA THE BLUES 1 JARRYD HAYNE (Parra) 2 JAMES McMANUS (New) 3 JOSH MORRIS (Cant) 4 JOSH DUGAN (SGI) 5 DANIEL TUPOU (Syd) 6 JOSH REYNOLDS (Cant) 7 TRENT HODKINSON (Cant) 8 PAUL GALLEN (Cro) (c) 9 ROBBIE FARAH (WT) 10 AARON WOODS (WT) 11 RYAN HOFFMAN (Mel) 12 BEAU SCOTT (New) 13 GREG BIRD (Gold) Interchange 14 TRENT MERRIN (SGI) 15 BOYD CORDNER (Syd) 16 JAMES TAMOU (NQ) 17 LUKE LEWIS (Cro) Coach: LAURIE DALEY UNDER 18 TITLES Australian U18 Schoolboys Rugby League Championships - Goodline Park, Roseberry (Round 3) Pool 1: NSW Combined High Schools 24 d ACT 6 Pool 2: Queensland 30 d Combined Affiliated States 12 Ladders Pool 1: NSW Combined Catholic Colleges 4, NSW Combined High Schools 2, ACT 0 Pool 2: Queensland 4 (+54), Combined Affiliated States 4 (+12), NSW Combined Independant Schools 0 Semi-Final Draw - Today: ACT v NSW CIS (3.30pm), NSW CCC v CAS (4.50pm), Queensland v NSW CHS (6.05pm) Gallen will lift shield with pride NSW skipper Paul Gallen has been public enemy No.1 in Queensland for as long as he can remember. Around 9.45pm today, that will all be pushed to one side when he raises the State of Origin Shield the first Blues captain to do so since Andrew Johns nine years ago a moment he says will be the highlight of his career. The Blues will toast their series victory in whats expected to be a deserted Suncorp Stadium with Queensland supporters tipped to exit en masse after the final siren. About 1000 tickets are still unsold, an NRL official said yesterday, but most are expected to be snapped up by Blues supporters today. But Gallen said regardless of the size of the audience, lifting the shield for the first time would be a moment to savour. Itll be nice. I played up here a few weeks ago against the Broncos and they certainly let me have it, Gallen said. Hopefully, they wont be too loud when we go up so I can congratulate Queensland for what they have done over the last eight years and thank our boys. Its something I am looking forward to and it will certainly be a career highlight. Gallen said he wouldnt hold any hard feelings towards the home crowd if they chose to snub the presentation ceremony as he dedicated the series win to the 87 players and four coaches who had pitted their wits against the Maroons since 2006. I cant wait to hold it up. I dont care if theres 55,000 here or five, he said.