South African captain Siya Kolisi is wary of what new Wallabies No.10 Kurtley Beale will bring to the host’s attack when they meet in Brisbane on Saturday.
Both sides have tweaked their squads for the must-win Rugby Championship clash, with Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx and n five-eighth Bernard Foley relegated to the bench.
But Kolisi says his men are equipped to stifle Beale’s attacking prowess and overcome a poor Brisbane record.
“Putting Kurtley Beale there, obviously they want to attack, he’s a very good attacking fly-half,” Kolisi said of the move to bench Foley for the first time since 2014.
The Wallabies have notched their two biggest victories against the Springboks at Suncorp Stadium, while the South Africans have won just three of their last 14 Tests away from home.
In the visitor’s favour is the late scratching of serial breakdown pest David Pocock (neck), who had kept the Springboks on high alert this week.
“We know they’re very smart and good at the breakdown as well. Two of the best in the world,” Kolisi said of Pocock and Michael Hooper before news of Pocock’s withdrawal surfaced.
“But you can’t really just watch him, because if we just watch him then Michael Hooper will have a go as well.”
They will still need to contend with returning fullback Israel Folau (ankle) successfully completing Friday’s captain’s run.
“Dammit,” coach Rassie Erasmus smirked when told of Folau’s healthy status.
“No i’m joking; he’s world-class we’ve got to counter aerially, he’s the best in the world in the air.
“I want these guys to experience that if we want to have a realistic chance of being a world class team.”
Erasmus’ decision to make six changes from the side that lost 32-19 to Argentina last month raised eyebrows in the n camp, with Wallabies coach Michael Cheika wondering aloud on Thursday if they had become a side opposition teams rested their best against.
The newly installed captain said the side’s long-term focus was on next year’s World Cup in Japan, but has backed Saturday night’s side to deliver knowing that wins remained essential along the way.
“There would be nothing better than executing the coach’s plan while winning,” he said.
“Obviously people will look at it differently because of the loss (to Argentina) but we knew three weeks ago of these changes.”
n Prime Minister Scott Morrison believes in the power of prayer.It was a sermon, no other word for it.
Scott Morrison laid out his vision for the country and his party in a speech at the Robert Menzies Centre forum in Albury.
It was Preacher Morrison, with all the hallmarks of a Protestant Sunday morning service.
The “power of prayer” featured, as did a call for the audience to put their hands up in the air.
There was a joke about struggling to remember Bible verses in Sunday school.
The sermon finished with a call to action.
“We all love . Of course, we do. But do we love all ns? That’s a different question, isn’t it?” Morrison said on Thursday.
“We’ve got to. That’s what brings a country together. You love all ns if you love .”
Morrison returned to Menzies in a bid to remind his fractured party what brought them together in the first place.
Labor does this sort of thing all the time, harking back to Ben Chifley and Gough Whitlam when it feels like the party has lost its way.
The Liberal divide between the conservatives and the moderates is as deep as it has been in years.
One of the reasons the conservatives hated Malcolm Turnbull was because they thought he wasn’t a true Liberal.
Even though he gave ground to them in every policy area, they thought he was still dragging the party to the left.
Morrison, a former party director, has been described as a “creature of the party”. If anyone knows how to bring the Liberals back together, it should be him.
“(Menzies) talked about the importance of freedoms. Of faith. Of religion. Of speech. Of association,” Morrison said.
“That’s a great place to start a party, I reckon. And it’s a great place to continue to run a party from.
“In coming here today, a new generation of Liberal leaders are embracing all of those beliefs.”
Will it work?
At this stage anything is worth trying.
The polls were devastating immediately after the spill.
Damaging leaks about the policies Turnbull was going to roll out are continuing, taking the shine off Morrison’s future agenda.
Some MPs are talking about bullying and intimidation they faced during the leadership drama.
And Morrison doesn’t even have a clear majority, thanks to Turnbull’s decision to leave parliament.
If the prime minister is to avoid an electoral whacking, he has to claw back a heap of ground.
He doesn’t have a lot of policy to work with – the National Energy Guarantee (R.I.P) and the big business tax cuts (also R.I.P) were the only main things left on Turnbull’s agenda.
So Morrison picked a fight with the CFMEU, talked about “gender whisperers” in schools, and dumped the plan to raise the aged pension age from 67 to 70 to fill the policy void.
He also has to connect with the n people.
Turnbull was a relentless optimist, always talking up , the economy, whatever the topic was.
Morrison’s positive approach so far appears grounded in his Christian faith, but in a different way to previous religious prime ministers.
Tony Abbott had his strident Catholicism, Turnbull barely mentioned faith but did talk a lot about love, and Kevin Rudd was famously an Anglican with a sharp tongue.
Morrison spoke like the Pentecostal pastor he would have heard so often.
Encouragement to love everyone. The importance of family. Look after your mates – and that means he believes in the Medicare safety net.
is not the United States; blatant appeals to God and faith are treated differently here.
But Morrison is speaking to a part of middle not specifically represented in recent political history.
Mums and dads across the political divide who pack the kids off to church on a Sunday morning, donate their time, volunteer to help out.
The Liberal party desperately needs volunteers, and it desperately needs votes.
Pastor Scott is trying everything, and if this sticks, expect to see him back at the pulpit before too long.
Bill Potts urges those outraged by Andrew O’Sullivan’s sentence to read the judgment.Queensland legal experts have urged the public to make their views known about the sentence handed to a man who killed toddler Mason Jet Lee.
William Andrew O’Sullivan has been given a nine-year sentence for the death of 22-month-old Mason and will be eligible for parole in less than four years.
O’Sullivan beat Mason so severely he caused internal injuries including a ruptured intestine.
Child protection advocates as well as the state opposition have called the sentence deeply inadequate and are calling for the sentencing system to be overhauled.
The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council is conducting a review of sentencing in child death cases, due to report back to the state government in October.
The council has already found as part of its review that Queensland child killers are more likely to be convicted of manslaughter than murder, and spend less time behind bars than people who kill adults.
Council chairman John Robertson said despite the official deadline for public submissions closing, he would welcome people making relevant submissions about the Mason case.
“The work that we have already done is all on our website and I would encourage anyone interested in the complexity of sentencing and how difficult it is from case to case to read that,” Mr Robertson told ABC radio.
He said judges already took community expectations into account when sentencing, but reviews like the one the council was doing could give a clearer picture about those expectations.
Meanwhile, Bill Potts from the Queensland Law Society has urged those outraged by the sentence to read the judgment from Chief Justice Catherine Holmes.
Mr Potts said in general child death cases were very hard to prosecute because there was often a lack of hard evidence.
He said the chief justice took into account several factors, including that O’Sullivan had no previous violent convictions and his early guilty plea, balanced against the cruelty involved and O’Sullivan’s lack of remorse.
“In these types of matters it’s obviously outrageous and challenging, it’s a failure of humanity, so in those cases we shouldn’t react just emotionally, we should actually react with evidence based views about what community standards are and what penalties should apply,” Mr Potts told ABC Radio.
Mr Potts encouraged people to contact the QSAC or their local MP if they were unhappy about the sentence.
“People are not powerless, people have a voice and that voice should be heard.”
Kurri coach Ron Griffiths does not subscribe to the theory a wounded Central team is running on old legs and are there for the taking in Saturday’sNewcastle RL minor semifinal at Kurri.
The inform Bulldogs are chasing a sixth straight win and are brimming with confidence after dismantling Maitland in last weekend’s elimination semfinal.
In contrast, Central iscoming off a demoralising 46-12 qualifying semi loss to South Newcastle at home and have chief playmaker Brad Murray battling a hamstring tear and in major doubt.
The suggestion around local league circles is Central’s reliance on a number of aging veterans, including the likes of Terence Seu Seu, Steve Gordon and Simon Williams, will bring them undone in the big games against fleetfooted, younger rivals.
But Griffiths was having none of that on Friday.
“As you get older, you work out the short-cuts and they have got us twice this season and both times, that was very evident,”Griffiths said.
“Both times, their experience out-shone what we produced so we know we have to change a few things andtry something different that we think might work for us.
“But at the end of the day, we just have a simple game plan and just make sure every time we take the park, we are willing to do whatever it takes for each other.”
Griffiths described injured fullback Kade Hardy, who suffered a shocking ankle dislocation and break during the win over Maitland, as “irreplaceable” but is hopefula big home ground advantage will play in his side’s favour.
Doubtful: Central playmaker Brad Murray [top] has a hamstring tear and is in extreme doubt for the minor semifinal showdown against Kurri at Kurri. Picture: Jonathan Carroll.
It will be a big day for Mitch Cullen with the Bulldogs lock celebrating his 150thgrade game for the club.
Central coach Craig Miller admits he has few options if Murray is ruled out but believes his side’s experience can be the difference in the pressure-cooker atmosphere at Kurri.
“Brad will try and train tonight but we’ll have to fabricate something if he can’t play,” Miller said on Friday.
“There is no doubt we were off the pace terribly last week but the boys who are being criticised as being too old are the same boys who helped getus to second so they must be doing a fair bit right.”
Lakes United coach Todd Edwards has pinpointed five-eighth Ryan Glanville and fullback Lachlan Walmsley as the major threats when his side hosts South Newcastle in the major semfinal at Cahill Oval on Sunday.
The winner will progress to the grandfinal with the loser taking on the winner of the Central/Kurri game in the preliminary final at Townson Oval next weekend.
Edwards said his side’s win over the Lions in the final round a fortnight ago will have no bearing on the outcome of this one.
“They were hugely impressive against Central with Glanville and their fullback leading the way but their two centres are very good and we’ll need to do a good job on Tori Freeman and Cameron King up front,” he said.
Tongan Tevita Pangai (C) could make the NSW Origin squad if he switches to playing for .Rugby league Test lock Josh McGuire says Tevita Pangai wouldn’t look out of place in green and gold – but he can’t stomach the idea of his Brisbane teammate as a Blue.
Pangai’s allegiances may soon be tested with the Kangaroos set to consider picking the hulking Broncos back-rower for the end of season -Tonga Test in New Zealand.
Pangai has stayed loyal to Tonga following their 2017 World Cup semi-final success, reportedly knocking back NSW Origin interest this year to remain eligible for the Mate Ma’a.
The move appeared to backfire when Pangai was forced to withdraw from Tonga’s Pacific Test win over Samoa in June with a rib complaint then watched NSW clinch their second Origin series triumph in 13 years.
Kangaroos forward McGuire did his best to tempt Pangai to make the switch before running out together for the Broncos’ NRL elimination final against St George Illawarra on Sunday.
However, Queensland No.13 McGuire realised Pangai’s defection may come at a high price – seeing his Sydney-born teammate play for NSW.
“It’s good for the game he has pledged to Tonga but he wouldn’t look out of place in the green and gold jersey,” McGuire said.
“If he plays for NSW, I wouldn’t be a massive fan of that to be honest.
“But we have a wealth of riches with young forwards at the club and he is one who has taken the year by storm.”
It is not just the Kangaroos who have Pangai in their sights.
The off-contract 22-year-old recently flew to Newcastle to meet with the Knights while another four clubs have registered interest after his breakout season.
Some Sydney-based clubs are reportedly offering Pangai $800,000 per season.
The Broncos may struggle to compete with big money offers after re-signing youngsters Jaydn Su’A, Payne Haas and Jamayne Isaako while upgrading Test back-rower Matt Gillett’s contract.
McGuire kept his fingers crossed that Brisbane would retain Pangai along with another breakout star of the 2018 season – prop Matt Lodge.
McGuire said Lodge had shown form worthy of State of Origin selection in his first NRL season in four years after he was involved in a drunken home invasion in New York in 2015.
“I have never seen a player have so much pressure on him and perform at such a high level for a young fella,” McGuire said.
“He is definitely of Origin calibre.
“I am glad he didn’t get chucked in the mix this year because he didn’t need that added pressure but I would be very surprised if I don’t see him there next year.”