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Talkin' Teams, Tuesday March 26, 2013

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All the NRL team news as the sides are named with all eyes on the Bulldogs and Ben Barba.

Ben Barba is set to make his return to the NRL on Friday.

Ben Barba is set to make his return to the NRL on Friday. Photo: Getty Images

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Talkin' Teams: Is anyone going to stop Paul Gallen from winning his third-straight lock of the round award?

Poll: Who was the best performing lock of round three?

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Shaun Fensom (Raiders)

30%

Trent Merrin (Dragons)

23%

Adam Blair (Tigers)

10%

Paul Gallen (Sharks)

37%

Total votes: 60.

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Poll closed 26 Mar, 2013

Disclaimer:

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Talkin' Teams: This is the last team to come in. Ben Pomeroy returns from suspension for his first game of the year. Isaac De Gois has also been included on a five-man bench.

Sharks: 1. Michael Gordon 2. Jonathan Wright 3. Ben Pomeroy 4. Matthew Wright 5. Beau Ryan 6. Todd Carney 7. Jeff Robson 8. Andrew Fifita 9. John Morris 10. Ben Ross 11. Luke Lewis 12. Wade Graham 13. Paul Gallen
Interchange: 14. Chris Heighington 15. Jayson Bukuya 16. Isaac De Gois 17. Anthony Tupou 18. Sam Tagataese

Talkin' Teams: He's back. Ben Barba has been named at fullback for his first game of the season. Frank Pritchard has also been included on a six-man bench. Poor old Drury Low misses out altogether.

Bulldogs: 1. Ben Barba 2. Mitch Brown 3. Josh Morris  4. Krisnan Inu 5. Sam Perrett 6. Josh Reynolds 7. Kris Keating 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Michael Ennis (c) 10. Martin Taupau 11. Tony Williams 12. Josh Jackson 13. Greg Eastwood
Interchange: 14. Dene Halatau 15. Dale Finucane 16. David Klemmer 17. Frank Pritchard 20. Tim Browne 23. Tim Lafai

CONFIRMED: Ben Barba will play for the Bulldogs on Friday night

Talkin' Teams: Get your votes in for second-rower of the round.

Poll: Who was the best performing second-rower of round three?

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Ryan Hoffman (Storm)

8%

Sonny Bill Williams (Roosters)

50%

Wade Graham (Sharks)

13%

Josh Papalii (Raiders)

7%

Chris Houston (Knights)

5%

Greg Bird (Titans)

17%

Total votes: 98.

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Poll closed 26 Mar, 2013

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Talkin' Teams: Best dummy half of the round? Robbie Farah should win this one comfortably.

Poll: Who was the best performing hooker of round three?

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Cameron Smith (Storm)

21%

Robbie Farah (Tigers)

50%

James Segeyaro (Panthers)

19%

Issac Luke (Rabbitohs)

10%

Total votes: 114.

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Talkin’ Teams: Luke Kelly and Ken Sio back for the Eels. Ben Roberts slides back to the bench.


Eels: 1. Jarryd Hayne © 2. Ken Sio  3. Ryan Morgan 4. Jacob Loko 5. Vai Toutai 6. Luke Kelly 7. Chris Sandow  8. Mitchell Allgood 9. Matt Keating 10. Tim Mannah 11. Reni Maitua © 12. Ben Smith 13. Joseph Paulo. Interchange: 14. Ben Roberts 15. Darcy Lussick 16. Fuifui Moimoi 17. Kelepi Tanginoa

Talkin' Teams:

Raiders: 1. Reece Robinson 2. Sandor Earl 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Blake Ferguson 5. Jack Wighton 6. Josh McCrone © 7. Sam Williams 8. David Shillington © 9. Glen Buttriss 10. Brett White 11. Josh Papalii 12. Joel Edwards 13. Shaun Fensom. Interchange: 14. Shaun Berrigan 15. Joe Picker 16. Dane Tilse 17. Tom Learoyd-Lahrs 18. Matt McIlwrick

Talkin' Teams: Matt Utai back for the Tigers. Koroibete out injured.

Tigers: 1. Tim Moltzen 2. Joel Reddy 3. Blake Ayshford 4. Chris Lawrence 5. Matthew Utai 6. Benji Marshall 7. Jacob Miller 8. Aaron Woods 9. Robbie Farah (c) 10. Jack Buchanan 11. Braith Anasta 12. Liam Fulton 13. Adam Blair
Interchange: 14. Ben Murdoch-Masila 15. Ava Seumanufagai 16. Matthew Bell 17. Eddy Pettybourne 18. Masada Iosefa

Talkin' Teams: Time to vote on the big men.

Poll: Who was the best performing front-rower of round three?

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Aaron Woods (Tigers)

34%

Sam Moa (Roosters)

8%

Nate Myles (Titans)

6%

Andrew Fifita (Sharks)

22%

Jesse Bromwich (Storm)

7%

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Roosters)

23%

Total votes: 114.

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Poll closed 26 Mar, 2013

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Talkin' Teams:

Rabbitohs: 1. Greg Inglis 2. Nathan Merritt 3. Dylan Farrell 4. Bryson Goodwin 5. Andrew Everingham 6. John Sutton 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Sam Burgess 9. Issac Luke 10. Jeff Lima 11. Chris McQueen 12. Ben Te'o 13. Michael Crocker (C). Interchange: 14. Nathan Peats 15. Ben Lowe 16. Dave Tyrrell 17. George Burgess 18. Roy Asotasi 19. Justin Hunt 20. Jason Clark

Talkin' Teams: Apparently Luke O'Donnell has been stood down for being late to training. This is what the Roosters statement said: Sydney Roosters player Luke O’Donnell has been stood down for one week following a breach of the club’s standards, including being late to training. “The Sydney Roosters have strong policies in place and any form of breach is taken seriously,” said Sydney Roosters Chief Operating Officer Football, Brian Canavan.

Roosters: 1. Anthony Minichiello 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Michael Jennings 4. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 5. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 6. James Maloney 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Jake Friend 10. Sam Moa 11. Boyd Cordner 12. Sonny Bill Williams 13. Frank-Paul Nuuausala. Interchange: 14. Daniel Mortimer 15. Martin Kennedy 16. Mitchell Aubusson 17. Aidan Guerra 18. Kane Evans

Talkin' Teams: Panthers: 1. Dean Whare, 2. Josh Mansour, 3. Wes Naiqama, 4. Brad Tighe, 5. David Simmons, 6. Tom Humble, 7. Luke Walsh, 8. Sam McKendry, 9. Kevin Kingston (C), 10. Tim Grant, 11. Sika Manu, 12. Lewis Brown, 13. Cameron Ciraldo. Interchange; 14. Adam Docker, 15. Nigel Plum, 16. James Segeyaro, 17. Clint Newton, 18. Nathan Smith, 20. Matt Robinson

Talkin' Teams: I'm going to break the strict rugby league only policy in this blog to update you on the cricket between England and New Zealand. The Kiwis need just one wicket in three overs to win the series. Monty Panesar and Matt Prior out in the middle for the Poms. C'mon New Zealand!

Talkin' Teams: Glen Fisiiahi is back for the Warriors, while Sam Rapira returns from injury for Monday's clash with the Cowboys.

Warriors: 1. Kevin Locke 2. Glen Fisiiahi 3. Dane Nielsen 4. Konrad Hurrell 5. Ngani Laumape 6. Thomas Leuluai 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Sam Rapira 9. Elijah Taylor 10. Ben Matulino 11. Ben Henry 12. Simon Mannering (C) 13. Todd Lowrie. Interchange: 14. Jacob Lillyman 15. Feleti Mateo 16. Sebastine Ikahihifo  17. Pita Godinet 18. Bill Tupou.

Talkin' Teams: Similar looking Storm side. Siosaia Vave returns from suspension and replaces Maurice Blair on the bench.

Storm: 1. Billy Slater 2. Matt Duffie 3. Will Chambers 4. Junior Sa'u 5. Mahe Fonua 6. Gareth Widdop 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cameron Smith 10. Bryan Norrie 11. Tohu Harris 12. Ryan Hoffman 13. Ryan Hinchcliffe. Interchange: 14. Jason Ryles 15. Lagi Setu 16. Slade Griffin 17. Junior Moors 18. Siosaia Vave

Talkin' Teams: Poll time! Share your thoughts on halfback of the round.

Poll: Who was the best performing halfback of round three?

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Cooper Cronk (Storm)

30%

Adam Reynolds (Rabbitohs)

23%

Tyrone Roberts (Knights)

27%

Jacob Miller (Tigers)

12%

Sam Williams (Raiders)

8%

Total votes: 186.

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Poll closed 26 Mar, 2013

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Talkin' Teams: Manly team is in.

Sea Eagles: 1. Brett Stewart 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Jamie Lyon (c) 4. Steve Matai 5. David Williams 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Brenton Lawrence 9. Matt Ballin 10. Brent Kite 11. Anthony Watmough 12. Justin Horo 13. Jamie Buhrer. Interchange: 14. Jesse Sene-Lefao 15. Joe Galuvao 16. David Gower 17. Tom Symonds

Talkin' Teams: Here are my studs and duds of the opening three rounds. I'm sure it's no surprise that Tony Williams is on top of my dud list. I will try and avoid the superstars in my studs list and focus on the players who’ve been surprisingly impressive to start the year.

Duds: Tony Williams, Jamie Soward, Scott Prince, Feleti Mateo, Thomas Leuluai
Studs: Tohu Harris, Sam Moa, Aaron Woods, Aidan Sezer, Albert Kelly, Jorge Taufua, Justin Horo, Michael Gordon, Sika Manu, James Segeyaro.

Do you agree with those names?

Talkin' Teams: Broncos team is in. Justin Hodges is back from a hamstring injury.

Broncos: 1. Corey Norman 2. Josh Hoffman 3. Jack Reed 4. Justin Hodges 5. Lachlan Maranta 6. Scott Prince 7. Peter Wallace 8. Ben Hannant 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Sam Thaiday (c) 11. Alex Glenn 12. Matt Gillett 13. Corey Parker. Interchange: 14. Ben Hunt 15. Dunamis Lui 16. David Stagg 17. Scott Anderson 18. Nick Slyney

Talkin' Teams: No Kurt Gidley, no Beau Scott. But Timana Tahu has been named to play his first game of the year on the bench. Alex McKinnon holds on to the centre position. Robbie Rochow will start in the back-row with Scott out with a groin injury.

Knights: 1. Darius Boyd 2. James McManus 3. Anthony Quinn 4. Alex McKinnon 5. Akuila Uate 6. Jarrod Mullen 7. Tyrone Roberts 8. Kade Snowden 9. Danny Buderus 10. David Fa’alogo 11. Robbie Rochow 12. Chris Houston (c) 13. Jeremy Smith. Interchange: 14. Timana Tahu 15. Neville Costigan 16. Adam Cuthbertson 17. Korbin Sims

Talkin' Teams: This is the hardest position of the round to vote for. There were some standout performances from the No.6's on the weekend, but I'm giving my vote to big John Sutton. Do you think he's an Origin bolter for the Blues?

Poll: Who was the best performing five-eighth of round three?

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John Sutton (Rabbitohs)

27%

Benji Marshall (Tigers)

18%

Aidan Sezer (Titans)

6%

Jarrod Mullen (Knights)

19%

Todd Carney (Sharks)

11%

James Maloney (Roosters)

19%

Total votes: 249.

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Poll closed 26 Mar, 2013

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Talkin' Teams: Stat: No Dragons forward ran for more than 100 metres against the Raiders. Trent Merrin was the closest with 97 metres from his 13 runs. The Raiders had Brett White (114m), Josh Papalii (117m), Tom Learoyd-Lahrs (124m), Dane Tilse (124m), David Shillington (137m) and Shaun Fensom (160m) all reach triple figures.

Talkin' Teams: Time to vote on centre of the round. This is a tough one to vote on this week.

Poll: Who was the best performing centre of round three?

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Chris Lawrence (Tigers)

35%

Jamal Idris (Titans)

5%

Jarrod Croker (Raiders)

17%

Krisnan Inu (Bulldogs)

19%

Michael Jennings (Roosters)

24%

Total votes: 173.

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Poll closed 26 Mar, 2013

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Talkin' Teams: The Dragons have named the same 17 that took the field against the Raiders last week. Jack Stockwell and Chase Stanley have been added to the bench. It's all well and good saying it's time for change, but the Dragons don't have the cattle at their disposal to make any significant changes. I don't understand why Steve Price has named Michael Weyman and Trent Merrin to start in the first three rounds then moved them back to the bench before kick-off. Merrin is the best forward in the team and needs to play 80 minutes, if he's fit enough.

Dragons: 1. Gerard Beale 2. Brett Morris 3. Daniel Vidot 4. Matt Cooper 5. Jason Nightingale 6. Jamie Soward 7. Nathan Fien 8. Dan Hunt 9. Mitch Rein 10. Michael Weyman 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Ben Creagh (c) 13. Trent Merrin. Interchange: 14. Bronson Harrison 15. Jack Stockwell 16. Matt Prior 17. Cameron King 18. Leeson Ah Mau 20. Chase Stanley

Talkin' Teams: Interesting to see Titans coach John Cartwright has named Ashley Harrison after his sickening head-clash with Richie Fa'aoso last week. I really like what I see from the Titans. I have to admit I backed them to win the wooden spoon this year but they look the goods. I'm really enjoying watching Aidan Sezer, he's a player with a huge future.

Titans: 1 William Zillman, 2 Kevin Gordon, 3 Brad Takairangi, 4 Jamal Idris, 5 David Mead, 6 Aidan Sezer, 7 Albert Kelly, 8 Luke Douglas, 9 Matt Srama, 10 Nate Myles, 11 Greg Bird, 12 Ben Ridge, 13 Ashley Harrison, Interchange: 14 David Taylor, 15 Luke Bailey, 16 Ryan James, 17 Beau Falloon, 18 Luke O’Dwyer, 20 Steve Michaels

Talkin' Teams: What do you reckon Wayne Bennett should do with Kurt Gidley given Tyrone Roberts' standout performance last night? I think the groin injury to Beau Scott has given Bennett the chance to move Jeremy Smith to the back-row and start the match with Gidley at lock. Then after 25 minutes he can move to hooker to give Danny Buderus a breather. What do you think? Am I insane or on to something?

Talkin' Teams: Time to vote on your winger of the round. Hard to go past Nathan Merritt who bagged his second hat-trick in three games this season.

Poll: Who was the best performing winger of round three?

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Nathan Merritt (Rabbitohs)

46%

Matt Duffie (Storm)

3%

Jorge Taufua (Sea Eagles)

10%

Akuila Uate (Knights)

24%

Beau Ryan (Sharks)

17%

Total votes: 232.

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Poll closed 26 Mar, 2013

Disclaimer:

These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.

Talkin' Teams: Here's the latest from the round three judiciary results. Brent Kite has taken the early plea for dangerous contact on Nate Myles and will be free to play this weekend. Matt Gillett and Ben Ross also take the early plea and will line-up for their respective sides in round four. But Richie Fa'aoso has a date with the judiciary on Wednesday night, with Manly set to dispute the grade three grading handed down for his dangerous contact charge on Ashley Harrison.

Talkin' Teams: Was Neil Henry watching last night's game? How can he name an unchanged line-up after such a woeful display from his side against the Knights? Still no Tariq Sims for the Cowboys.

Cowboys: 1. Matthew Bowen 2. Ashley Graham 3. Brent Tate 4. Kane Linnett 5. Antonio Winterstein 6. Johnathan Thurston (c) 7. Michael Morgan 8. Matt Scott (c) 9. Scott Moore 10. James Tamou 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Glenn Hall 13. Dallas Johnson. Interchange: 14. Anthony Mitchell 15. Ashton Sims 16. Scott Bolton 17. Jason Taumalolo 18. Blake Leary

Talkin' Teams: Before we get into the round four teams, let's look back at round three and find out who is up for a berth in the prestigious SMH team of the week voted by our devoted Talkin' Teams readers. We will start with fullback and my vote goes to Reece Robinson from the Raiders. He's a quality player who will ensure the Raiders don't lose a lot following the sacking of Josh Dugan.

Poll: Who was the best performing fullback of round three?

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Greg Inglis (Rabbitohs)

45%

Tim Moltzen (Tigers)

7%

Michael Gordon (Sharks)

15%

Billy Slater (Storm)

8%

Reece Robinson (Raiders)

25%

Total votes: 229.

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Poll closed 26 Mar, 2013

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Talkin' Teams: So let's go. It's round four and Ben Barba is on the verge of a comeback. Just don't expect him to be named at fullback. You can guarantee Des Hasler will throw a spanner in the works by naming him on the bench or possibly on the wing. For the next four hours I'll take you through all the teams as they are named on the talking points out of the selections. It's time for the Warriors and Dragons to bite the bullet and make some changes. And what will Wayne Bennett do with Kurt Gidley after Tyrone Roberts' breakthrough performance for the Knights on Monday night?

Talkin' teams is ready with Michael Chammas.

A-League: Western Sydney Wanderers have confirmed that they will not appeal the four-match ban handed to Iacopo La Rocca for an elbow to the head of Sydney FC midfielder Terry Antonis.

League: Talkin' teams is ready to roll in five minutes. The Hammer, Michael Chammas, will be in the chair to answer the big question - will Ben Barba be picked for the Bulldogs? We all know the answer to that.

Rugby: Former All Black Jerry Collins says he was running from a gang of Brazilian workers who hated foreign rugby players shortly before his arrest in Japan.

Collins, 32, was arrested for carrying two knives in an upmarket department store in the city of Hamamatsu on March 17, and has been held in jail since.

Collins, who had been playing rugby for the Yamaha Jubilo club in Iwata, 40 minutes from Hamamatsu, apparently entered the store and placed two 17cm knives on top of a fish counter, before security staff called the police.

It is illegal to carry weapons with blades longer than 15cm without police permission in Japan.

Anxious and sweating profusely, he was arrested by more than 20 police officers and taken to jail.

Football: Heads up on our coverage of tonight's World Cup qualifier between Australia and Oman at ANZ Stadium. The SMH sports desk will be treating it as a friendly with Justin Ballis covering the first-half from 7.30pm before we overhaul the formation for the second-half with renowned Juventus and Chelsea fan Paul Zalunardo (huge fan of the Cheetahs and Kenya sevens rugby, too).

League: Manly forward Richie Fa’aoso has pleaded guilty to dangerous contact but will attempt to get the length of his ban reduced at tomorrow night’s judiciary hearing.

Fa’aoso faces a three match ban if he is unsuccesful in having the grade three charge downgraded.

A grade two charge would sideline Fa’aoso for just one match, while a grade one charge would enable him to play against Wests Tigers on Thursday.

Hoops: The Miami Heat edged closer to the Los Angeles Lakers' longest win streak in NBA history, beating Orlando 108-94 Monday behind a 24-point effort from LeBron James.

James also had 11 assists and nine rebounds for the Heat who claimed their 27th consecutive victory as they home in on the 33-game winning streak set by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers, who had Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor and Jerry West on the team.

This year's scorching-hot Heat team features all-stars James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh but they had to do without Wade on Monday, who missed his second-consecutive game with a sore right knee.

First-place Miami are just six victories away from tying the Lakers and haven't tasted defeat since February 1 on the road against the Indiana Pacers. The dominant win over the Magic kicked off a four-game road trip for Miami, who have won 13 in a row as the visitors. The Heat will also travel to Chicago, New Orleans and the mighty San Antonio Spurs on the upcoming road swing. Wade is hoping to return for Wednesday's game against Chicago.

Rugby: The Kurtley Beale homecoming parade is getting underway already, with a number of high profile Waratahs throwing their support behind the five-eighth's returning to NSW.

Drew Mitchell, Israel Folau and Adam Ashley-Cooper told FoxSports this morning they would love to see Beale back in the sky blue next season and felt sure he could overcome his off-field problems.

The rumours of a move back home to NSW have been doing the rounds for a while now, not least since he was spotted seated with his manager Isaac Moses and Folau at the Waratahs' table at the Rugby Union Players' Association end of year shindig at the ivy in December. 

On the record, Beale has made it clear he wants to concentrate on playing for the Rebels this season, but a hand operation and the weekend's controversy in Durban have done little to help matters.

The speculation persists that he wants to leave Melbourne but the Waratahs are not his only option, there are at least two NRL clubs interested as well.

Cricket: Whoa! Hang on a second. Just as we published the previous post, Ian Bell plays at a wide one and is caught in the slips by Tim Southee. That's tea. England are seven down with only Stuart Broad, James Anderson and Monty Panesar in the sheds.

Cricket: England are well on their way to saving the third and deciding Test against New Zealand. With 33 overs remaning, they still have four wickets in hand. Ian Bell is 73 from a marathon 268 balls while Matt Prior is 45.

Paul Suttor: NRL power rankings: The Storm have maintained the No.1 ranking because, well quite frankly, have you seen them play? They weren't at their best but still did enough to again conquer their grand final combatants Canterbury. At the other end of the scale, the Warriors have retained 16th spot because they are simply the worst team in the NRL and if it were possible to relegate them, they would probably occupy bottom spot in the NSW Cup.

Where does your team rank? Read more.

A-League: Perth Glory midfielder Travis Dodd will miss the rest of the A-League season after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Dodd will consider undergoing a LARS procedure to speed up his recovery time, but the 33-year-old won’t appear again this season.

The former Adelaide skipper has been a key figure for the Glory this season, and scored his fifth goal of the campaign in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Melbourne Victory.

Motorsport. Australian Mark Webber is not considering his future in Formula One and will drive in next month's Chinese Grand Prix, his father said on Tuesday.

Webber, 36, was incensed when Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel defied orders to overtake him and snatch victory in last Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix.

He returned to Australia for some reflection and was reported to be contemplating missing the April 14 Chinese Grand Prix but his father, Alan, said his son would be on the Shanghai starting grid.

"We'll be up in China for the next one," Alan Webber told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Webber's father said he believed triple world champion Vettel was sincere in his apology to his son but the damage to the already fractured relationship was unlikely to be repaired.
"I think it will take a while to earn the respect and trust again," he said.

Cricket. Tasmania are marching towards a third Sheffield Shield title and first with champion Ricky Ponting on day five of the final against Queensland at Bellerive.

Set the near impossible task of making 446 in 87 overs on a worn pitch, the Bulls are three for 37 at lunch. Joe Burns will resume unbeaten on four and Nathan Reardon on three.

League. Michael Chammas is in the Sydney Morning Herald gym working on his pecs and oiling up his hammies before he takes over the blog at 2pm for NRL Talkin' Teams.

The big talker will be Ben Barba's selection fo the Bulldogs, with teammate Josh Reynolds saying the Dally M winner is ready to make his NRL comeback against South Sydney on Good Friday.

"I think he is ready,’’ Reynolds said on Tuesday.‘‘Talking to him, he is in a good state but it is up to Des (coach Des Hasler) and it is up to him.’’

‘‘But he has come back with a real positive attitude to training and that has been good for the playing group because everyone was hoping he would be okay. If he does end up playing, it will be a real positive for us.’’

Rugby. Western Force hooker Nathan Charles will miss the rest of the Super Rugby season with a knee injury.

Charles ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during Saturday night’s 19-10 loss to the Cheetahs and is expected to be sidelined for nine months.

The 24-year-old, who is the only known professional rugby player with cystic fibrosis, had been in good form during the early rounds of the season and his absence is a big blow to the Force.

AFL. Jack Frost is in for a hot introduction to the AFL when the Collingwood defender debuts this Sunday against North Melbourne.

Coach Nathan Buckley says Frost is a prime example of the greater depth of talent that Collingwood will take into this season.

The 21-year-old joined the Magpies last December through the rookie draft and his impressive pre-season prompted an elevation last week onto the senior list.

The ’Pies will throw him into the deep end against North Melbourne, which features the three-pronged tall forward set-up of Drew Petrie, Robbie Tarrant and Lachie Hansen. ‘‘One of the most positive aspects of our pre-season was the emergence of a couple of our rookie-list players,’’ Buckley said.

Football. Western Sydney Wanderers have accepted full ownership for an incident involving a group of fans harassing a Sydney FC supporter before last weekend’s A-League derby.

Video emerged on Tuesday showing a man wearing a Sydney FC shirt being hit by an object as a mob of chanting Wanderers fans moved past a Parramatta restaurant on the way to witnessing the Sky Blues’ 1-0 win last Saturday night.

Police made a total of seven arrests for unruly behaviour on the night. ‘‘Our club’s got to take full ownership for this, and we do,’’ executive chairman Lyall Gorman told ABC Radio on Tuesday. ‘‘We don’t stand for this and nor will we stand for it. It’s not a part of a our brand in any shape or form and we’ll do whatever we can with stakeholders to weed it out of the game.’’

Soccer hooligan video prompt police probe (Video Thumbnail) Click to play video

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Soccer hooligan video sparks police probe

Ugly scenes from Saturday night in Parramatta before the Sydney FC-Western Sydney Wanderers A-League match leads to police investigation.

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Brett Keeble: League. Knights coach Wayne Bennett and stand-in skipper Chris Houston agreed the confidence gained from defending their line for the opening 15 minutes was the catalyst to Newcastle's remarkable 34-6 victory over North Queensland at Hunter Stadium last night.

Darius Boyd celebrates his try. Click to play video

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Knights shock Cowboys

The Newcastle Knights snapped a three game losing streak against the North Queensland Cowboys despite a host of injuries.

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Rugby. Strike weapon Digby Ioane is one of five Queensland Reds players ruled out Friday’s Super Rugby clash with the Highlanders because of injuries suffered in the weekend win over the Bulls.

The Reds will field a new wing pairing of Luke Morahan and Dom Shipperley in Dunedin in the absence of Ioane (knee) and Chris Feauai-Sautia (thigh strain) who are both expected to be fit after next week’s bye.

They will also be without hooker Saia Faingaa (neck joint inflammation), reserve halfback Nick Frisby (ankle) and utility reserve Mike Harris (hand).

Off-setting those losses is the return of gun openside breakaway Liam Gill, who missed the home clash with the Bulls with a minor knee injury.

Queensland Reds: Jono Lance, Dom Shipperley, Anthony Faingaa, Ben Tapuai, Luke Morahan, Quade Cooper,Will Genia, Jake Schatz, Liam Gill, Eddie Quirk, James Horwill (capt), Rob Simmons, James Slipper, James Hanson, Greg Holmes. Res: Albert Anae, Ben Daley, Ed O’Donoghue, Jarrad Butler, Ben Lucas, Aidan Toua, Rod Davies.

Golf. Tiger's back at No.1 - and with Arnold Palmer - he's not bad going the knuckle either. But Super Mex provides the real knockout.

Motorsport. Bernie Ecclestone has criticised Red Bull for imposing team orders on Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber during Sunday's dramatic Malaysian Grand Prix, arguing that such tactics could not be justified in only the second race of the season.

Greg Baum: Cricket. What that abysmal result in India demonstrates above all else is that Australia has lost control of its own cricket destiny. In a double Ashes year, it is a depressing realisation. Australian cricket has become another's plaything.

League. Life begins at ... Evergreen former NRL star Steve Menzies has not ruled out extending his remarkable rugby league career into his 40s.

At 39, the ex-Manly, Test and State of Origin star is the oldest player in Europe’s Super League but he continues to impress with French side Catalan Dragons.

Menzies helped his fourth-placed team to a 30-10 win over Bradford on Saturday and said while he was still likely to retire at season’s end, there was some chance he could extend his career to a 22nd season.

‘‘There’s a small chance - maybe a 20 per cent chance - I could play on,’’ the Australian told the Daily Express.

‘‘I’m thinking this is probably going to be my last year but I’ll get through this Easter period and then just have a think. ‘‘I just want to make sure that I don’t want to play again.’’ Menzies, who made his debut with Manly in 1993, moved to the UK with Bradford after helping the Sea Eagles to the 2008 title, for what was expected to be a one-season career swan song.

Cricket.  Queensland have been set the near-impossible task of making 446 in 87 overs to win the Sheffield Shield final against Tasmania at Bellerive.

The weary Bulls need to score at 5.1 runs an over on a worn pitch after dismissing the home side for a second-innings 251 on the morning of day five.

Resuming at 7-240, the Tigers lost their last three wickets for just 11 within half an hour of play getting underway on Tuesday morning. Allrounder James Faulkner (89), who with Tim Paine (87) rescued his side from 5-15 on day four, fell short of his maiden first class century when he gloved one to Queensland keeper Chris Hartley off the bowling of Michael Neser (2-43) at 8-249.

Football. The Young Socceroos will face host nation Turkey and South American heavyweights Colombia in the first round of the FIFA under-20 World Cup.

The Australian team have been drawn in Group C, which also includes El Salvador, for the tournament which kicks off on June 21.

The under-20s side will play their first group match against Colombia on day two of competition, followed by El Salvador on June 25 and Turkey three days later.

Coach Paul Okon said all groups in the World Cup would be tough but looked forward to testing his team. ‘‘Playing in a World Cup is a huge challenge but none more so than playing in a group that has the host nation,’’ he said.

Today's back page.

Today's back page.

Welcome to SportsDay Live. Here's today's back page - Michael Chammas spoke to Ben Barba's mum, Kim, as he prepares for his comeback this Friday and Chris Barrett reported on Cricket Australia backing Mickey Arthur despite the 4-0 loss in India.

Sort comments by:
  • Great to see Ben Barba back !!

    not so sure what to expect of him this week though ?

    and Frank Pritchard back too.

    thats gotta give the bulldogs some good go forward.

    Commenter
    danielle
    Location
    sydney
    Date and time
    March 26, 2013, 5:05PM
  • Wests seem to always be one of the last teams to announce!

    Commenter
    MM
    Location
    Date and time
    March 26, 2013, 4:18PM
  • Bye-Bye Price

    Commenter
    BrisVegas Dragon
    Location
    Date and time
    March 26, 2013, 4:14PM
  • Duds - Shaun Johnson, Studs - Andrew Fifita

    Commenter
    Dh
    Location
    Date and time
    March 26, 2013, 3:34PM
    • Agree! I'm a huge Shaun Johnson fan, but he's been disappointing.

      Commenter
      Michael Chammas
      Location
      Date and time
      March 26, 2013, 3:38PM
  • Surely Price has to change things up... move Morris to fullback, even move Soward to fullback and Beale into 5/8th. Maybe Merrin needs to move into 5/8th cos he's about the only one standing out! Having said that, maybe he should leave eveything the same this week and experiemtn next week. Go the Sharkies!

    Commenter
    DH
    Location
    Date and time
    March 26, 2013, 2:52PM
    • One gets the feeling he has to try something soon otherwise it could be too late.

      Commenter
      Michael Chammas
      Location
      Date and time
      March 26, 2013, 3:00PM
    • Shifting their backs will make not a scrap of difference. You hit the nail on the head with the run metres stats. If their forwards aren't going foward, they've got nothing. You've got to have hit up metres and good edge metres from Creagh etc.

      Commenter
      El Gallo
      Location
      Date and time
      March 26, 2013, 3:05PM
    • They are pretty alarming stats if you are a Dragons fan. Maybe it's time to give blokes like Jack de Belin and Jack Stockwell a chance.

      Commenter
      Michael Chammas
      Location
      Date and time
      March 26, 2013, 3:14PM
    • The good news for Price is that he has the chance to shape the team going forward with so many guys coming off contract. Blood some youth and prepare for the future. The bad news is that he might not last that long!

      Commenter
      DH
      Location
      Date and time
      March 26, 2013, 3:17PM
  • Mmm. Player positions are fairly irrelevant these days anyway. Hookers don't hook, props often don't prop up the scrum, backrowers stand in the backline when the scrum packs, half backs and 5/8 stand either side, centres are left and right, wingers hit the ball up like forwards on kick returns and fullbacks sometimes first receive! Their positional names are redundant.

    Commenter
    El Gallo
    Location
    Date and time
    March 26, 2013, 2:50PM
  • What's the point of moving Jeremy Smith to the 2nd row when he plays in the middle? Gidley would have to be 2R as an edge runner.

    Commenter
    El Gallo
    Location
    Date and time
    March 26, 2013, 2:38PM
    • Yeah, that's a fair point. But do you think Gidley will be effective out wide? I think he can cause some havoc lurking around the ruck. I'm sure Jeremy Smith would be able to handle the move to the edge.

      Commenter
      Michael Chammas
      Location
      Date and time
      March 26, 2013, 2:43PM
  • Neil Henry is probably just doing the typical 'we played last night' thing. Names an unchanged line up and then changes it closer to game time!

    Commenter
    DH
    Location
    Date and time
    March 26, 2013, 2:23PM
    • I'm sick of coaches naming teams that mean absolutely nothing come game day. There should be a crackdown on this from the NRL. Maybe they should only be allowed to make two changes, excluding players who are injured mid-week.

      Commenter
      Michael Chammas
      Location
      Date and time
      March 26, 2013, 2:26PM
    • So Gidley a late addition for the Knights this week then?

      Commenter
      DH
      Location
      Date and time
      March 26, 2013, 3:18PM

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