Don’t get mad, get even says North’s coach

Embarrassed North Melbourne coach Brad Scott won’t get angry but is demanding his players get even after being the biggest losers of the AFL’s opening round.


North were pummelled in a 77-point defeat to a Taylor Walker-inspired Adelaide on Sunday, a result Scott said was an indictment on his players.

The loss came as Greater Western Sydney banked a precious nine-point away win against St Kilda to join Richmond, Melbourne, Western Bulldogs, Collingwood and the Crows as opening-round winners.

While no other margin in the initial seven games exceeded 27 points, Scott’s Kangaroos fell flat against Adelaide as a number of clubs grapple with an early casualty count.

New Crows captain Walker booted 6.5 and took 15 marks to give his new coach Phil Walsh a first-up win, 21.14 (140) to 9.9 (63) at Adelaide Oval.

North’s Scott rated the loss among his side’s worst performances in his six-year reign.

“There’s no point in getting angry,” Scott said.

“I’m boiling inside but we have got to do something about it. Everyone these days talks in cliches – it’s about actions, not words.

“So you can rip paint off walls and do those sorts of things, the players will get what is coming to them.

“But it’s about what we do about it that is going to make the difference.”

New Crows boss Walsh ordered his club take a “cold shower” after the thumping of last year’s preliminary finalists.

“Beware the early Crow,” Walsh said.

“Round one, to perform like that … is very satisfying, but we know there is a long season ahead of us.”

Missing that entire season will be Gold Coast youngster Jaeger O’Meara who ruptured a patella in a Suns reserves match.

Prime movers including Brisbane’s Tom Rockliff (ribs) Carlton’s Dale Thomas (shoulder), Essendon’s David Myers, Collingwood’s Steele Sidebottom (broken thumb) and West Coast’s Mitch Brown (knee) are also set to miss chunks of the seasons.

But St Kilda hope their captain Nick Riewoldt will be available next weekend after suffering whiplash in the loss to the Giants.

The Saint star was felled when Tom Bugg crashed into his back in a marking contest in the last quarter of the Giants’ 12.15 (87) to 11.12 (78) win at Etihad Stadium.

Riewoldt, playing his first game since the death of his sister, lay prone on the turf for several minutes before leaving the ground under his own steam.

The key forward was sent to hospital for scans with St Kilda coach Alan Richardson saying Riewoldt had suffered whiplash.

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England win surprise Tokyo sevens title

England won the final 21-14 but beaten opponents South Africa gained the most from the Tokyo leg of the world sevens series.


The Blitzboks recorded a fourth successive runners-up finish on Sunday but, importantly for them, they finished ahead of arch rivals Fiji and New Zealand to open up their lead atop the standings with two tournaments to play.

South Africa are on 129 points going into the eighth and ninth legs in Glasgow and London in May while Fiji, who they pipped 7-5 in the semi-finals, are on 125.

New Zealand remain rooted in third on 120 after suffering a shock 19-15 loss to 11th-ranked Canada in the quarter-finals.

Australia are among the biggest losers of the round as they are now nine points behind fourth-placed England in the race for the automatic Rio 2016 Olympic Games qualification places.

The All Blacks Sevens suffered their first loss in 29 matches against the Canadians after both teams scored three tries but New Zealand missed all of their conversion attempts.

They bounced back in the Plate competition to beat France 19-12 and then Scotland 21-14 to finish fifth, earning some valuable extra points.

They face a stiff task to win a fifth successive series crown, having won just one event out of seven this season – their home tournament in Wellington in February.

England, whose loss in the final in Wellington had been their best previous result of the series, were deserved winners of a tense final.

It was locked 7-7 at halftime but England broke the game open through tries captain Tom Mitchell and Phil Burgess before veteran playmaker Cecil Afrika gave his team late hope with a try.

England move ahead of Australia into fourth place in the series.

The top four finishing teams qualify automatically for the Rio 2016 Olympics, where sevens will make its Games debut.


South Africa 129pts, Fiji 125, New Zealand 120, England 100, Australia 91, United States 71, Scotland 67, Argentina 66.

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Mystics, Magic in thrilling netball draw

Two long-range goals to Maria Tutaia in the dying seconds have helped the Northern Mystics clinch a remarkable 45-45 draw with Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic in the clash of the two leading New Zealand teams in the trans-Tasman netball league.


The Mystics overcame a nine-goal deficit early in the final quarter, slowly clawing back from 41-32 down to give themselves a chance against the home side in Rotorua.

With 10 seconds remaining, the Mystics swung their centre pass straight down court and Tutaia had enough time to drill her second successive goal from the top of the circle to stun the crowd.

It keeps the Mystics top of the New Zealand standings with three wins, two draws and a loss. They are unbeaten since round two.

The Magic remain second but are vulnerable to being passed by teams below them who have played fewer games.

The result ends the Magic’s six-game winning streak against the Mystics and dents their fine record in Rotorua where they had won 14 of 15 games.

The Mystics’ comeback was unexpected after they lost Silver Ferns shooter Cathrine Latu to a rolled ankle late in the third quarter. Latu had shot 15 from 15, improving her championship-leading success rate for the season to 93.9 per cent (155 from 165).

Replacement Paula Griffith combined slickly with Tutaia and veteran centre Laura Langman over the final quarter, cutting through the Magic circle defence of Leana de Bruin and Kristiana Manu’a which had been impressive.

After a tight first quarter, a six-goal run midway through the second stanza helped push the Magic 28-21 clear at halftime.

They were led by another impressive display from wing attack Grace Rasmussen while goal shoot Jo Harten shot 23/27 and Ellen Halpenny 21/26.

However, the attack links broke down in the final quarter as pressure forced numerous turnovers.

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NRL record over Eels means nothing: Taylor

Wests Tigers’ winning record over Parramatta will mean nothing in Easter Monday’s NRL showdown at ANZ Stadium, says coach Jason Taylor.


The Tigers have won seven of their past nine matches dating back to the beginning of 2010.

But with Taylor only joining the club at the end of last year, he’s yet to lead them against the Eels – whom he briefly coached in 2006.

“(It means) absolutely nothing,” he said when asked on Sunday about the record.

Both teams are chasing their third win of 2015, but are coming off very different results last Friday.

The Eels stunned defending premiers South Sydney 29-16, while the Tigers suffered a heartbreaking one-point loss to Canterbury.

Taylor was without experienced campaigners Dene Halatau, Pat Richards and Aaron Woods, but all are in line to play on Monday.

“We’ve still got to play well with those guys out of the team – which we did last week – and we learnt a lot out of that game,” he said.

“(But) it is good to have those guys back in the team for this game.”

Taylor said he’d spent the week focusing on his side’s defence, given how fast-moving the Eels are.

“That’s Parramatta’s style – they’re really moving the ball around. It goes from one sideline to another really quickly,” he said.

“They’re playing a really entertaining brand of football; they’ve scored some really great tries this year; they’re really testing the opposition.

“Handling their forward pack and then their halves and ball movement is the biggest thing we’ve worked on.”

Parramatta coach Brad Arthur said he was thankful for the long 10-day turnaround between games, given the toll last Friday’s match took on the team.

“It’s given their bodies a bit of time to freshen up, and also allowed us to get a lot of work into the boys this week,” he said.

“So preparation should be at its peak – now we’ve got to take it onto the field.”



* The Tigers have won seven of their past nine matches against the Eels since the start of 2010

* A field goal has been kicked in five of the past six games between the two sides

* The Eels have struggled at ANZ Stadium the past few seasons, winning just one of their 16 fixtures since the beginning of 2011. Their last win there was round 14 last year

* Parramatta have scored 18 tries this season – only the Sydney Roosters (19) have had more – but struggle to break the line. Almost 80 per cent of their tries have come down the far left or right edge

* The Eels have scored 65 points in the second half this season – the second most in the league. The Tigers, on the other hand, have been poor in the final 20 minutes of their matches, managing a total of just five points

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AFL coach to Crows: take a cold shower

New Adelaide boss Phil Walsh tells his club to take a collective cold shower after Sunday’s dreamy 77-point demolition of North Melbourne.


Walsh’s head coaching career debut was highlighted by a Taylor Walker special in the Crows’ 21.14 (140) to 9.9 (63) victory at Adelaide Oval.

“It’s round one. We all need just to take a little bit of a cold shower,” Walsh said.

“That gives us great confidence, albeit that is a very small sample size – it’s one game.”

Walsh heaped praise on new captain Walker, who potted 6.5 and had two goal assists, 15 marks, 21 disposals and seven inside 50s.

“What did he have, 11 shots at goal or something?,” Walsh said.

“He played team footy. It was a great captain’s game.”

Walker orchestrated an opening-half blitz: nearing halftime, the Crows led by 69 points and the key forward had already slotted three goals and taken 12 marks.

His feats helped the Crows to a defining 12.10 to 3.1 halftime advantage.

The Kangaroos briefly rallied with four consecutive goals in the third term to get within 30 points, but Walker then stirred his troops en route to a resounding triumph.

Walker feasted on offerings from his midfield colleagues Richard Douglas (31 disposals), Rory Sloane (26 possessions), Patrick Dangerfield (25 touches) and Brodie Smith (22 disposals).

And Walsh deployed Eddie Betts with devastating impact: usually anchored in a forward pocket, the livewire spent much time in the midfield and gathered 21 disposals to complement his four goals.

The Crows also stifled North Melbourne’s attack, with the exception of ex-Western Bulldog Shaun Higgins who banked four goals on debut for his new club.

But Roos coach Brad Scott refused to even rate Higgins’ display as a positive – according to the boss, there were none.

“We fumbled like I have never seen us fumble in my time as coach of North Melbourne, kicking efficiency was horrific,” Scott said, describing the performance as an indictment on his players.

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