The Northern Territory news Thu 13 May 2010
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Nationwide News Pty. Limited
38 Northern Territory News, Thursday, May 13, 2010 www.ntnews.com.au P U B : N T N E W S D A T E : 1 3 -M A Y -2 0 1 0 P A G E : 3 8 C O L O R : C M Y K SPORT Blues short-circuited But Carlton unfazed by quick turnaround for Power match ByROGERVAUGHAN inMelbourne EVEN before the final siren sounded on Monday night, Carlton had started its preparations for Sundays AFL clash against Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium. The seventh-placed Blues will have to cope with a five-day break and the interstate trip for the clash on Sunday against the Power, which is a game ahead in sixth place. Carlton coach Brett Ratten said the Blues would make minimal changes to cope with the short week, but added they maximised their interchange rotations against St Kilda on Monday night at Etihad Stadium. Theres nothing different, its business as usual but its probably just more of a touch session or a light kicking session that wed take out of the program, Ratten said. Other than that, the recovery is the same, the main training session will be the same and our travel time will be the same nothing changes. The fitness levels of the group and with our rotations as well, we had close to 120, so we tried to look after the players from that point of view, we feel fairly fresh and all the boys have recovered, which is great. Carlton belted the Saints by 61 points, a fortnight after they upset the Geelong Cats, last years other grand finalist. But the game in the middle, the 53-point belting from Collingwood, is the result in the fortnight that sticks in Rattens mind. The reality check has been the performance against Collingwood in between (the two wins), he said. One of the big questions for this season was how the Blues would cope without full-forward Brendan Fevola. After seven rounds, they are actually slightly ahead of last year in their scoring intensity. But it is the improvement in defensive play which is impressing Ratten the most. Its been more about our defence, our team defence what we can do to reduce the oppositions score that has been our biggest (improvement), he said. Stokes at peak fitness for return FromBackPage get on with his football because he is a great young man. Hes going to be a great young footballer and he deserves a good shot at it because he is a special bloke. Mooney said the way Stokes had handled missing out on last years grand final and then the drug scandal had endeared him to many within the inner sanctum. He has gone up a million steps in everyones books around here, the way he has handled himself, he said. The thing is you can work your are off to do this, this and this, but one mistake and you have undone everything. Fortunately for him he hasnt undone it all. He has come out of it a lot better. Mooney cant wait to run out on to the Gabba next to his little mate and has a plan to make him feel at home straight away. I just hope I can give him the first goal, Mooney said. In fact, Ill kick it backwards to make sure he gets it. Demons on win mission FromBackPage definite absentee with his long-term shoulder injury. But Aaron is in good form and Aussie has had a couple of games back so he might come into consideration, he added. The good news for Aussie is hes back on track and looking like he can resume what is a very promising AFL career. Were not greedyWere not greedy BySTEVE JANCETIC in Sydney PETERO Civoniceva has angrily denied the NRLs elite players are driven by greed, claiming he and his Australian teammates are more concerned with getting a better deal for those at the bottom of the food chain than lining their own pockets. Speaking after a four-hour meeting with players association boss David Garnsey yesterday the Penrith veteran prop hit out at critics who labelled the games superstars selfish. The Queensland star, who yesterday agreed to a two-year extension to his contract which will see him play out his career with the Panthers, also claimed comments about methods to stop the games biggest names switching codes had been misconstrued. With speculation increasing that Bris bane Broncos star Israel Folau is poised to team up with new Super 15 franchise Melbourne Rebels, the lead-up to last weeks Australia-New Zealand Test was overshadowed by salary cap talk. However, Civoniceva (pictured) said the players first priority in seeking a greater slice of the financial pie during upcoming EBA negotiations was to boost the pay packets of those on the minimum wage. One thing that probably annoyed me a bit was the fact that it was sort of made out that as senior players and rep players we were more concerned about increasing rep payments, Civoniceva said. We spoke about increasing rep payments as a way of retaining our marquee players and our elite players in the game, but that is not the most important issue to us. The most talked about issue that I had yesterday with David Garnsey and the RLPA was with increasing minimum wage for our fringe players. As a captain I know how difficult it is for our fringe first graders in trying to handle paying off a mortgage and trying to raise a family on that minimum wage. In terms of increasing rep payments, that wasnt the most important factor, but I think it was relevant though in our preparation for that Test game. Civoniceva said he was determined to unite the players as one force, but denied he would assume the role as the players spokesperson.