The Northern Territory news Thu 20 Feb 2020
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
34 SPORT THURSDAY FEBRUARY 20 2020 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 THE toughness required by Supercars drivers to compete in the Superloop Adelaide 500 is why Scott Pye says it is the best event of the year, with practice to start today. The South Australian driver, 30, admits he is biased but it is not just that it is his hometown event nor the festival at-Scott Pye The hotter the better, says Pye, as special Superloop warms up CARA JENKIN mosphere that makes it stand out ahead of the 13 other rounds of the season. The one-time Adelaide 500 pole sitter also says the hotter, the better for the event, in which cabin temperatures regularly surpass 50C. He says the fact that drivers will cop a hot work environment for one of the longest stints of the year at a place where one small mistake can significantly damage the car, after having the past three months off, is what makes this place so special. I think Bathurst is longer (time spent in the car) but its not overly challenging, its not as demanding on the body as Adelaide, he said. I think its the greatest race of the year. Pye has shifted teams for season 2020, becoming the second driver for Team 18 alongside Mark Winterbottom, as it expands from one to two Holden Commodores. Team 18 is the fourth team he has raced with since moving into the main game in 2013, so he has experience with moving into a new environment. Ive seen a lot of positives at Team 18, he said. I think the leadership at this team is a real benchmark. For me, the relationships the team has with the partners, its certainly at a level which has impressed me. Pye said his new boss had under promised and over delivered in terms of getting him the tools that he wants to make 2020 a success. ONE is the son of a champion trying to forge his own path in the NRL, the other is one of the fiercest competitors hoping to get his career back on track and put a summer of off-field scandal behind him. But when Wests Tigers run out for their first pre-season trial against Penrith on Saturday, Billy Walters and Josh Reynolds will be chasing the same opportunity which is to get first crack at the bench utility spot for the upcoming season. While Michael Maguire will not be playing the majority of his biggest names including Luke Brooks and Benji Marshall, as well as the likely first choice dummyhalf Moses Mbye, new buy Adam Doueihi will be playing along with Luciano Leilua, but brother Joey wont play. Walters will start at hooker against the Panthers with Reynolds at five-eighth partnering young Jock Madden, but the veteran will also play part of the game at dummyhalf and Walters will get his go at five-eighth. While hes 26, Walters has made the move up from Melbourne this year to try to advance his career after finally getting his NRL debut last season. And hes putting his best Tigers pair do battle for spot PAUL CRAWLEY foot forward after impressing at the NRL Nines. Reynolds was recently given the green light to continue playing as he fights charges relating to an ugly personal situation and allegations that he has pleaded not guilty to. Given Brooks and Marshall are the first-choice halves pairing, youd imagine there will only be room for either Walters or Reynolds when the season proper gets under way. Madden is also a former Australian schoolboy halfback who will be hoping to impress in his first crack at the top level. Corey Thompson, David Nofoaluma, Robert Jennings along with forwards Josh Aloiai, Luke Garner and Thomas Mikaele also wont play this weekend. Former South Sydney premiership-winning backrower Chris McQueen will play. The Queensland representative will look to resurrect his career after only making six NRL appearances in 2019. McQueen has trained well throughout the pre-season and needs a big year given he is off contract at the end of the season. The Tigers will play the Warriors next weekend with most of the first choice squad expected to play. Taylor pledges to keep the faith with Titans PETER BADEL ASH Taylor has hit out at suggestions he wants to return to the Broncos, the star playmaker revealing he wants to sign a new deal with the Titans as payback for supporting him through the worst ordeal of his career. Taylors energetic display at last weeks Nines was evidence the Titans $1 million man is refreshed in body and mind following his shock de cision to briefly walk away from rugby league last season. The Titans granted Taylor compassionate leave to deal with some mental demons and upon his return, the Queensland Origin hopeful received psychological help which he plans to continue this season. During his darkest days last year, Taylor was linked with a return to the Broncos, the club at which he started his NRL career, in a bid to rediscover his passion for the game. But in the wake of his promising showing at the NRL Nines, helping the Titans to $95,000 in prizemoney for making the semifinals, Taylor declared he wants to extend his tenure at the Gold Coast. Asked if he ever considered quitting the Titans to reunite with the Broncos, Taylor said: I never thought about a change (of club). I went away four days from training and I was back in the next week getting professional help. I love the club. I have loved it ever since I was a young bloke. It had nothing to do with the Titans. I took a bit of time away but the club wasnt the problem it was me. I needed to sort myself out and now I am putting my preparation and everything into the Titans. Ash Taylor with his baby Oscar Picture: JERAD WILLIAMS
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