PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $90,668 INTO SUNDAY AT SANTA ANITA; TOTAL PICK SIX POOL SHOULD EXCEED $500,000 AS GREAT RACE PLACE PRESENTS NINE-RACE CARD

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (March 19, 2016)–There is a Pick Six carryover into Sunday at Santa Anita of $90,668, and it’s expected Sunday’s total Pick Six pool will exceed $500,000.Santa Anita will present a nine-race card on Sunday, with race four serving as the first leg in the popular two dollar wager. Approximate post time for Sunday’s fourth race is 2:05 p.m. PDT. The Pick Six will include the $75,000 San Pedro Stakes, which is for 3-year-olds at six furlongs, and will be run as race eight.Although not a part of the Pick Six sequence, Sunday’s program will also include the Grade III, $100,000 Las Flores Stakes for older fillies and mares at six furlongs. The Las Flores has been carded as race three.First post time on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m., and admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. For complete morning line information and late changes, please visit santaanita.com.last_img read more

STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN – SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2019

first_img11 TRAINER LOSES FIRST HORSE, LOOKS FOR ANOTHER $2,190,833 8 56% 14 Joel Rosario183 Win% (Current Through Saturday, Feb. 23) 58% Peter Miller95 25 3rd $2,527,094 ITM% 16% Win% 19 JockeyMts Richard Baltas96 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS ITM% 18 20 $1,225,919 9 12 19% 14% 57% 66% 22 16 Geovanni Franco153 38% 39% 13% Tiago Pereira124 Mike Smith61 $1,060,157 50% Bob Baffert54 Flavien Prat156 VICTOR ESPINOZA BACK IN THE SADDLE ON THURSDAY 31 BE IT NORTH OR SOUTH, IT’S ‘MOREY’ THE MERRIER 1st CASTELLANO FLIES IN TO WORK INSTAGRAND MONDAY 23 $996,423 19 12 1st $935,122 50% 20 2nd 42 TrainerMts 39% 16 3rd 32 22 10 17% 20 11 23 Heriberto Figueroa157 20 $834,913 CARMA ELECTS CANDACE CODER-CHEW AS PRESIDENT $921,060 16 31% 63% 48% Money Won 16% 17 18% 15 16 SINGLE TICKET PICK 6 RAINBOW JACKPOT AT $382,001 40 John Sadler64 20% $1,081,138 2nd 25% 49% 23% Jerry Hollendorfer76 11 26% 31 $1,227,336 23 16 Doug O’Neill144 $797,675 Money Won 9 NEPTUNE’S STORM MAKES STAKES DEBUT IN PASADENABill Morey, a training presence in both northern and southern California, hopes to add to his laurels at Santa Anita when he runs Neptune’s Storm in Saturday’s $100,000 Pasadena Stakes for three-year-olds at a mile on turf.The grass pedigree is evident for the gelded son of Stormy Atlantic, who has run on turf in his last four starts, winning two. The Pasadena will be his first stakes race.The 44-year-old Morey ranks among the top 10 trainers at both Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields. At Santa Anita, he has nine wins from 53 starts, 17 percent, in addition to 12 seconds and nine thirds (an in the money percentage of 57).At Golden Gate, Morey has 12 wins from 54 starts, well above average at 22 percent, and an in the money mark of 43 percent.His career stats are nothing less than gaudy, with 1,658 wins from 7,035 starts, 24 percent, and an in-the-money percentage also of 57.Kent Desormeaux rides Neptune’s Storm in the Pasadena, which also is expected to attract Big Scott Daddy (Mike Smith), Rijeka (no rider) and Shining Through (Flavien Prat).ONE BUT NOT DONE FOR NEW TRAINER CESAR DeALBAFormer top Los Alamitos jockey Cesar DeAlba saddled his first horse as a trainer Saturday but was out of business in just under a minute and 11 seconds and looking for another runner.DeAlba sent out 11-1 shot Pied N True to finish second in the third race, a six furlong sprint for $16,000 claimers, and after Platinum Nights won the race by 3 ¾ lengths in 1:10.25, lost the six-year-old mare via claim to trainer Matt Chew.“She was the first horse I ever ran as a trainer and my only horse,” said the 37-year-old DeAlba, who also owned Pied N True. “Now I’m looking to claim a horse to get back in action, but I have a two-year-old coming in next month,” added the native of Guadalajara who was raised in San Diego.DeAlba rode Thoroughbreds when he started as a jockey in 2001, switched to quarter horses in 2005 and won more than 1,000 races. His father, 64-year-old Salvador, still breaks babies at a layup facility in Valley Center in North San Diego County and also gallops horses for trainers Michelle Dollase and Sam Scolamieri.“I love the challenge and I love racing,” Cesar said of his new vocation. “This is my life.”VICTOR ESPINOZA BACK IN ACTION THURSDAYLife and career are returning to normal for Victor Espinoza, who rode in his first race last Monday after recovering from serious injuries in a training accident last July at Del Mar.The 46-year-old Hall of Fame member and three-time Kentucky Derby winner finished second on favored Gallantlystreaming for trainer John Sadler that day.On Thursday, Espinoza is named on two horses for long-time patron Jim Cassidy, Tiz Wonderfully in the first race and Gold N Grand in the eighth.“Everything is good,” said Espinoza, who worked two horses Sunday morning. “I’m excited and looking forward to winning some more races for my buddy Jim. I always joke with him, saying that the only bad thing about riding for him is it ruins my percentage. Seriously, Jim has always been good to me and a big supporter. I’m happy to be back.”TODAY’S 20 CENT SINGLE TICKET RAINBOW PICK SIX CARRYOVER AT $382,001Santa Anita’s 20 cent Single Ticket Pick Six Jackpot continues to build, as thereis a Rainbow Six carryover of $382,001 heading into today’s nine-race card.With $286,445 in “new” money bet, Saturday’s Rainbow Six Jackpot hit $602,873, helping create a consolation payoff of $2,969.75 on 52 tickets. Today’s Pick Six starts with race four, approximate post time at 2:50 p.m. PT.CARMA ELECTS CANDACE CODER-CHEW AS BOARD PRESIDENTThe California Retirement Management Account (CARMA), a non-profit organization that provides funding for retirement of California-raced Thoroughbred horses, has announced that Candace Coder-Chew has been unanimously chosen board president.Nominated by her predecessor, veteran trainer Howard Zucker, whose term had come to an end in January, Coder-Chew fills the position perfectly with her tenacious personality, involvement in racing and love of Thoroughbreds.“There is no one who deserves this title more than Candace,” said CARMA’s founder Madeline Auerbach. “She dedicates so much time to this organization and our mission. CARMA has seen tremendous growth over the last several years and I am confident Candace will continue that upward trajectory.”In her previous role as vice president, Coder-Chew oversaw the expansion of CARMA’s Placement Program and the Thoroughbred Classic Horse Show (TCHS).During her tenure, participation in both programs grew more than 50 percent. She was also instrumental in creating Aftercare Awareness Days at Santa Anita Park. Recognizing a need to demonstrate the versatility of Thoroughbreds once their racing careers are over, Coder-Chew created an on-track event to showcase their abilities to horsemen and fans during live racing.“I am more than honored to serve as President of CARMA with a team of dedicated and passionate industry professionals that make up CARMA’s board of directors,” said Coder-Chew. “CARMA, and its critical mission of supporting Thoroughbred aftercare and aftercare awareness, has been near and dear to my heart since its inception.”“To begin this month, we have designed a new campaign titled OWN. RACE. RETIRE. This will be the common thread through our existing programs designed to increase awareness and promote inclusiveness with both the horse racing industry and the general public. I am looking forward to working with our talented board and staff to see the organization reach its fullest potential,” she said.Professionally, Coder-Chew is Santa Anita Park’s Director of Print and Graphics – a position she has held for 26 years. She is the wife of Thoroughbred race trainer Matthew Chew and has owned many retired racehorses.“Candace is incredibly hands-on–her passion for Thoroughbreds is evident in the amount of time she gives to this organization,” said Executive Director Lucinda Mandella. “She has brought so much of her knowledge and professional skills to the charity and we are excited to see where she will lead us over the next three years of her term.”LATEST CONTENT FROM XBTV:Kanthaka works 6 furlongs (Hollendorfer)Tatters to Riches works 5 furlongs (Mullins)Shedrow Stroll: Getting to Know  Parsimony and  Pavel (O’Neill)A Day in the Life With Horse Chiropractor  Dr. Nick SophaRoadster works 6 furlongs (Baffert)-2/23/2019Gunmetal Gray works 5 furlongs (Hollendorfer)-2/23/2019Nolo Contesto (Outside) in company with  Encanto work 6 furlongs(Sadler)-2/23/2019Easy shot (Inside) in company with  Speedette work 5 furlongs (Desormeaux)-2/23/2019Gift Box works 7 furlongs (Sadler)-2/23/2019Chocolate Speights works 5 furlongs (Hollendorfer)-2/23/2019FINISH LINES: Undefeated Triple Crown contender Instagrand, a candidate for the Grade II San Felipe Stakes on March 9, is scheduled to work Monday morning under Florida-based four-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Javier Castellano, Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said Sunday . . . Humberto Ascanio, who played Colonel Parker to Bobby Frankel‘s Elvis for 35 years until the legendary trainer’s death in 2009, visited with friends at Clockers’ Corner Sunday. Ascanio’s two sons keep dad in the game, Mike as an integral member of Santa Anita’s clocking team and Mathew, training to become a photo finish operator under the aegis of Jim Anderson . . . Multiple graded stakes-winning millionaire Ashleyluvssugar worked five furlongs on the training track Saturday in 1:01.60. Trainer Peter Eurton has him ticketed for the Grade II San Luis Rey Stakes at a mile and a half on turf March 23 . . . Santa Anita will be dark for live racing Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week but be open for simulcast wagering Wednesday with free Grandstand admission and free parking. Admission gates open at 10 a.m. Live racing resumes Thursday at 1 p.m. 10 $996,786last_img read more

Border Town Looks Like Star On The Rise In Taking Sunday’s $51,000 Santa Anita Allowance Feature

first_imgMANDELLA’S BORDER TOWN LOOKS LIKE STAR ON THE RISE IN TAKING SUNDAY’S $51,000 SANTA ANITA ALLOWANCE FEATURE BY ONE LENGTH, RIDDEN BY PRAT, WAR FRONT COLT GETS MILE ON TURF IN 1:35.45ARCADIA, Calif. (May 24, 2020)–Unhurried early, Richard Mandella’s up and coming Border Town faced winners for the first time today and responded with an impressive one length win in Sunday’s $51,000 Santa Anita allowance feature.  Ridden by Flavien Prat, Border Town, a 4-year-old colt by War Front, got a flat mile on turf in 1:35.45.Next to last and absolutely full of run while about 3 ½ lengths off the lead mid-way around the far turn, Border Town wheeled five-wide turning for home, cut inside longshot Mountain Spirit a sixteenth out and prevailed in an impressive effort.“He keeps getting better and better,” said Mandella, who took over the training of Border Town when he was transferred from Chad Brown’s eastern-based stable late last year.  “He gets away slowly sometimes, but Flavien knows him and he’s never in a hurry with him.  I thought that was a pretty nice finish and we’ll probably look at a week stakes in next month or so.”Fresh off a maiden win going 1 1/8 miles on turf here Feb. 28, Border Town, who was making his fourth start dating back to Jan. 5 for Mandella, was off as the 5-2 second choice in a field of nine 3-year-olds and up and paid $7.00, $4.60 and $3.40.“Down the lane, he kind of lugs in, but…he’s been doing much better,” said Prat, who has ridden him in all four of his Southern California starts.  “He should getting better and better with every race.  I was loaded all around the turn (and) when I asked him to go, he really gave me a great kick.”Owned by Perry R. and Ramona S. Bass, Border Town, who is out of the Sadler’s Wells mare Liscanna, now has two wins from six starts, all of them on turf.  With the winner’s share of $30,600, he increased his earnings to $93,200.Mountain Spirit who was second to pacesetter Dark Hedges to the quarter pole, opened up by nearly two lengths turning for home and had he not drifted out in mid-stretch, would’ve made the race very close as he fought back gamely when passed by the winner.Ridden by Umberto Rispoli, Mountain Spirit was off at 22-1 and paid $15.60 and $7.40 while finishing 1 ¾ lengths in front of Southern King.Ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr., Southern King kept to his task well late and paid $3.80 to show as the fourth choice at 9-2.Fractions on the race were 23.86, 48.16, 1:12.36 and 1:24.08.Racing resumes with an 11-race program on Monday, with first post time at 12:30 p.m.  The Grade I Shoemaker Mile, the Grade I Gamely Stakes and the Grade II Monrovia Stakes will highlight the Memorial Day Holiday proceedings.Although there is no public admittance, fans are encouraged to wager via 1stBet.com or through Xpressbet.com.  For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.last_img read more

Ex-Pompey star Taylor on facing Invincibles in FA Cup and ‘unplayable’ Henry

first_imgTHE LAST time Portsmouth hosted Arsenal in the FA Cup, Matt Taylor experienced a career first.It was March 2004, and 21,000 fans were on their feet towards the end of the quarter-final at Fratton Park.3 Matt Taylor was a consistent presence at the back for Portsmouth over a six year periodCredit: PA:Press Association3 He met his match when Thierry Henry came to Fratton Park in the FA Cup in 2004Credit: ReutersBut the love and adulation was not for one of their own. Instead, for one away player in particular as he made his way off the pitch – Thierry Henry.Taylor, who had the unfortunate task of marking the Frenchman until his substitution in the 72nd minute, admitted: “He fully deserved it.“Football fans have a great affinity to their own club but sometimes you just need to applaud brilliance and that evening they were well within their rights to give that gesture.“Thierry was unplayable. It was just a shame that I was at left back and he kept drifting over to my side.”The pair almost came to blows after 20 minutes after a small scuffle in the corner, resulting in Taylor waggling his finger in the face of Henry.Taylor laughs: “Being physical was the only way I could stop him, and hope the officials would give me a hand! He would always give some back too.“But it would be incorrect to say he was a ‘nasty’ player – he had an edge as all the best players do, but he was also exceptionally talented.“And that night, we just couldn’t stop him.“I have never been that sort of guy to ask opposition players for their shirts after games, unless I know them. But I do look back now, especially in that game.“Just think of all the names I would have hung up around my house!”’THEY WERE HUGE!’Arsenal would go on to knock five past Pompey that night in a 5-1 victory; Henry and Freddie Ljungberg grabbing two each along with a Kolo Toure header.It was just one of many impressive victories for the Gunners that year as they were annointed the Invincibles at the end of the season for their unbeaten Premier League campaign.Taylor, who is now coach of Tottenham’s U18s, continued: “Standing in the cramped Fratton Park tunnel and just looking at the size and stature of them, I had never seen anything like it. They were huge.“But they weren’t just big lumps, they were exceptional footballers and athletes and were quicker and stronger than we were.“At that time, we had a very good Pompey outfit. The likes of Teddy Sheringham and Yakubu under manager Harry Redknapp.“But we were the underdogs and quite rightly so. We gave it everything and came away with nothing.”3 Pompey will have to overcome a Mikel Arteta Arsenal side that could include Pierre-Emerick AubameyangCredit: EPAPompey have fallen from great heights since that night, dropping as far down as League One, but look to be moving forward under Kenny Jackett.They are currently on a 10-game winning streak in all competitions at Fratton Park.An upset against Mikel Arteta’s struggling Arsenal – a world away from the Invincible heroes – in the fifth round would put them on course for an historic season of their own.And just like that night 16 years ago, the south coast side will have to contain an imposing front line that could include the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe.Taylor, who made almost 180 appearances during a six-year spell with Pompey, said: “These Portsmouth players will need no encouragement.most read in sportTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battle’I ACCEPT’McGregor accepts Silva fight at UFC catchweight of 176lbs in huge super-fightTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramPicturedA CUT ABOVEMike Tyson shows two-inch cut ‘picked up in training’ ahead of boxing returnPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’ExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidNEXT STEPJonny Hayes set to move to English Championship having been let go by CelticIT’S…NOT TOMMY BOWETommy Bowe discovers someone has been impersonating him on TinderMAC DADDYTriple H wants McGregor v McMahon with winner getting rights to billionaire strut“They know how much the Cup means to the club and the fans. Are Arsenal favourites? Yes.“But if you look at Portsmouth and their season so far, they are in the best form they could possibly be in. They will take heart from that.“They need to use Fratton Park – it is not a ground that teams look forward to playing at.“It is a free hit for them and they will definitely be given chances in the game. It truly would be one of the great FA Cup upsets.”Darren Gough argues over whether Arsenal’s Aubameyang can be considered World Classlast_img read more

Barcelona eye shock move for Spurs flop Ndombele with star ‘keen on move’

first_imgBARCELONA are eyeing a shock move for Tottenham flop Tanguy Ndombele, according to reports.The 23-year-old midfielder was linked with the LaLiga side during his time at Lyon. Instead he moved to North London to become Spurs’ £65million club-record signing last summer.3 Tottenham flop Tanguy Ndombele has been linked with a shock move to Barcelona in the Spanish mediaCredit: GettyHowever, Mundo Deportivo claim the Nou Camp giants are plotting another attempt to sign the French international.They add that Ndombele is keen to move due to his poor relationship with Jose Mourinho.Today’s report from the Spanish publication claim Barca chiefs, who have made a new striker their No1 priority this summer, consider the star “a modern midfielder” who would be an ideal replacement for Ivan Rakitic or Arturo Vidal.But he is not the only option on their wishlist, with Napoli’s Fabian Ortiz also interesting Barca.Dembele started his Spurs career with a goal on his Premier League debut but injuries and fitness issues have since affected his form, leading to criticism from his manager.Mourinho has publicly stated Ndombele must do more and questioned how many more chances he can get.He was singled out by the Portuguese after he was hauled off at half-time in Spurs’ recent draw at Burnley after making zero impact.After the introduction of Giovani Lo Celso and Lucas Moura at the interval for Ndombele and 19-year-old Oliver Skipp, Mourinho’s men bounced back to earn a point having trailed.3LATEST WWE NEWSRIDDLE ME THISWWE star Shane McMahon thanked Matt Riddle for not beating up GoldbergCORM OVERCormier held talks with WWE over switch from UFC, Triple H confirmsMAC DADDYTriple H wants McGregor v McMahon with winner getting rights to billionaire strutREY’S PLACEInside Rey Mysterio’s £1m Californian home where he keeps his sword collection’SEPARATE LIVESWWE star Brie Bella admits her and husband Daniel Bryan ‘are growing apart’Video’NOT OVER’Tyson vows AEW return to ‘kick Jericho’s ass’ and looks set for wrestling matchThe Spurs manager said: “In the first half we didn’t have a midfield. “Of course I’m not speaking of Skipp, because he’s a kid of 19 who’s played two hours in the last few days. I don’t criticise him at all.“But I’m not going to run away and I have to say he [Ndombele] has had enough time to come to a different level.“I know the Premier League is difficult and some players take a long time to adapt to a different league.“But a player with his potential has to give us more than he is giving us, especially when you see how Lucas, Lo Celso and those players are playing. I was expecting more in the first half from him.”3last_img read more

Amazon interested in Spurs Stadium naming rights as Levy eyes £250m deal

first_imgTOTTENHAM could sign a whopping £250million stadium naming rights deal with Amazon, according to reports.The tech giants are currently filming an ‘All or Nothing’ behind the scenes documentary at the club and are said to be interested in having their name on Spurs’ shiny new arena.3 Amazon are interested in a £250m stadium naming rights deal with SpursThe North Londoners have still not signed a deal to name their £1billion ground but Amazon – owned by the world’s richest man Jeff Bezos – have expressed substantial interest in the 10-year, £25m-a-season rights, according to the Mail.While the full financial impact of coronavirus remains unclear, the deal is still a way off.And American sportswear giant Nike – who make Tottenham’s current kit – are also said to be keen.3 Stadium naming rights potential in the Premier LeagueSpurs chairman Daniel Levy is currently under fire from his own fans, and many across the country, after his decision to furlough Tottenham’s non-playing staff shortly after announcing £68m profits in the club’s latest set of accounts.The club – similar to Liverpool before them – reversed the decision earlier this week but many refuse ignore the initial intention with Sky pundit and former Spurs midfielder Jamie Redknapp claiming Tottenham deserve better than Levy.But the notoriously frugal chairman will be hoping that is soon forgotten if he can secure the bumper Amazon package.Questions have been asked about Amazon’s worker conditions in the past but supporters may overlook their track-record if the Premier League record agreement leads to big signings in the transfer market.MOST READ IN FOOTBALLTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battleTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’ExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidNEXT STEPJonny Hayes set to move to English Championship having been let go by CelticREF RELEASEDChampions League ref Vincic released by cops after arrest in prostitution raidKEANE DEALEx Man United youth ace David Jones says Roy Keane negotiated a contract for himThe £25m-a-season deal would exceed Manchester City’s Etihad and bitter rivals Arsenal’s Emirates stadiums whose naming rights are worth £21.9m and £16.65m-a-season respectively.However, both City and Arsenal combine stadium rights with their shirt sponsorship packages boosting their combined income to around £40m-a-season.Aside from the furlough debacle, Spurs have also been helping in the battle against coronavirus by letting their stadium be used as a Covid-19 testing centre.3Inside Real Madrid’s £500m Santiago Bernabeu stadium redevelopment which will actually reduce capacity by onelast_img read more

Brisbane Broncos season preview

first_imgA lot has changed since then, but one thing that hasn’t is the lofty standards placed on Brisbane at the start of each season. 2017 will be much the same, albeit without their inspirational captain who retired at the end of the 2016 season. It’s a huge void to fill, but if anyone is able to mastermind a plan to overcome the loss it’s coach Wayne Bennett. Expectations will be high on Bennett after Brisbane failed to recreate their 2015 grand final run last year, with the North Queensland Cowboys once again ending their season. The Broncos will know where they stand early in the year, with Bennett’s men playing each of the top four sides from 2016 in the first four rounds. Some may see it as a nightmare draw to start the year, but if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best, and that’s the way Brisbane are approaching the beginning of the 2017 season.  Gains and lossesGains: Moses Pangai (Townsville Blackhawks), David Mead (Titans), Tautau Moga (Cowboys), Benji Marshall (Dragons), Mitchell Dodds (Warrington), Korbin Sims (Knights).Losses: Greg Eden (Castleford), Brett Greinke (Rabbitohs), Corey Parker (retirement), Jarrod Wallace (Titans), Jack Reed (retirement), Darren Nicholls (Panthers), Lachlan Maranta (rugby union).What we knowThe Broncos have a grand final calibre squad; we know that just by looking at their 2015 season and their perceived failure in 2016.  It’s a sign of how good a team is on paper when they make it to the semi-finals and have underachieved. The big question mark this year will be the loss of Parker and how it impacts Bennett’s side. Josh McGuire is looking to be the club’s long-term replacement at lock, and Darius Boyd will replace Parker as Brisbane’s captain. These two, along with halves Anthony Milford and Ben Hunt, will have a huge bearing on how successful the 2017 season is for the club. Rookie watch Young George Fai is a hugely impressive front-row forward/lock who has been a standout throughout Brisbane’s pre-season. Fai was dominant in the Broncos’ trial win over the Sharks, taking it to the likes of Andrew Fifita and Jason Bukuya. It earned him a spot on the plane to England for Brisbane’s World Club Challenge clash with Warrington, with Bennett rating the 20-year-old very highly. Punters can expect to see Fai make his NRL debut this season, with a bench position over the State of Origin period the most likely scenario. DepthThe Broncos struggled over the Origin period last year, losing seven of nine games. They were stung by injuries at that same time and it cost them dearly as the side gave up any hope of a top four finish. Their backline was decimated and their lack of depth exposed as their season crumbled beneath them. But things may be different this year, with the off-season inclusions of David Mead, Benji Marshall and Tautau Moga adding a huge amount of experience to the backline. If all things go to plan, Jordan Kahu will no longer have to be Brisbane’s Mr Fix-It, with a whole season in the centres set to give the New Zealand international an opportunity to become one of the game’s best. Brisbane’s young forwards will need to stand up, but the return of one of their most consistent front-rowers in 2015, Mitchell Dodds, is set to add much needed reliability to the Broncos’ forward pack. Korbin Sims has been signed to be Brisbane’s enforcer, something the club has been missing since the days of Tonie Carroll. If he and Blair perform well in the front row, the Broncos should cope with the off-season loss of Jarrod Wallace. McGuire has the talent to emulate Parker at lock, but it remains to be seen if he has the fitness to cope with the extra workload in the No.13 jersey. Fantasy bankersBen Hunt (HLF, $468,000) has become one of NRL Fantasy’s best, with two standout seasons in 2015 and 2016 cementing him as a highly sought-after half. He averaged 49.5 points per game in 2016; ranking third in the league for try assists and kicks in play. More of the same can be expected this season as he tries to make one final impact at the Broncos before leaving for the Dragons at the end of the year. Teammate James Roberts (CTR, $390,000) will also find himself in a lot of people’s teams, with the star centre one of only 10 in his position to average over 40 points per game in 2016. Many believe “Jimmy the Jet” was below his usual standard last year, so there is plenty of upside in adding him to your team this season, as he will be looking to increase his work rate and prove his doubters wrong. Crystal ballRealistically, the Broncos are a top-four side. If Brisbane only improve slightly over the Origin period they will be right at the top end of the table come the completion of the regular season. Their side is stacked with footballers that have excelled at an international level and their depth has improved dramatically since 2016. They have arguably the best fullback in the game inspiring them from the back and he will not expect anything less than the best from his side. Predicted finish: 2nd-4th.last_img read more

Fiji and PNG clash in league 9s today

first_imgThe final round robin match will see the two undefeated countries, Fiji and Papau New Guinea play at 12:25pm.And in the other fixtures, Cook Islands meet Samoa (12:00pm) and Solomon Islands go against Tonga (12:50pm).With the finals qualifier and medal play offs scheduled for the afternoon, PNG are tipped as favourites.PNG’s attack and defence have been the keys in their whitewash of their opponents and Fiji’ s coach Maika Vunivere must find a formula to cause an upset.A bumper crowd is expected again at the BSP (Sir John Guise) Stadium and the pressure will be on the PNG players to satisfy the pride of the rugby league mad nation. PNG is the only country in the world where rugby league is the national sport.last_img read more

Seagulls lead Hunters 13-6 at break

first_imgThe Seagulls scored after a minute of play through a kick that Hunters fullback Stargroth Amean failed to catch the ball and this allowed Seagulls to regather the ball and pass it on to Brendon Gibb to cross over.Kicker Mathew Seamark added the extras for Seagulls to take a 6-0 lead.But the Hunters levelled up three minutes later when captain Israel Eliab dummied and dived over the line.The Hunters had several more chances to score, firstly through Kato Ottio who dropped the ball as he barged over trying to score.Eliab did the same not long after to leave the Hunters frustrated.The Seagulls weathered the storm and worked their way up to the Hunters try line for Stephen Coombe to crash over and score off a second man play.The Seagulls slotted a field goal one minute out from half time to extend the lead to 13-6.last_img read more

Strong second half gives Lamana 11-5 win

first_imgBoth sides were neck and neck in the first half of the division 4 game. But Lamana had the edge, taking a 6-5 lead at the break.Lamana came out with all guns blazing after half time, improving in both attack and defence.BAT was held scoreless while Lamana’s goal shooter Anne Lopena kept the scoreboard ticking over.Lopena finished with 8 goals to her name.In other results from the second weekend of round 1, Puma Energy def Digicel (1) 14-10, SP Brewery def Bmobile 5-3, Price Water House Coopers def Hodava 11-8, Moni Plus (1) drew with Marsh 12-12, BNBM def Kenmore 10-8, Finance def Hudson 10-9, Triple S def Moni Plus 19-3, and Kamuna def POM Electrical 2-8.The competition has 70 teams playing in 14 divisions.last_img read more