Michael Maguire poised for NRL return as Knights football club Peter Parr addresses recent scandals

Adam O’Brien is said to be on notice at the Newcastle Knights, with the under pressure coach reportedly battling to save his NRL job.

A loss to the Wests Tigers on Sunday at Campbelltown Sports Stadium could be the final straw for the Knights board.

And they aren’t shy in pulling the trigger when it comes to sacking head coaches – just ask the likes of Rick Stone and Nathan Brown.

The club is also desperate to avoid another wooden spoon – it would be their fourth in eight seasons.

With Michael Maguire – sacked by the Tigers in June – keen to return to NRL coaching, O’Brien has every reason to feel a tad nervous.

And it can now be revealed the Knights approached Maguire to take over not long after he won a premiership with the Rabbitohs in 2014 – but he elected to stay at Redfern.

The sliding doors moment will leave Newcastle fans pondering what might have been – and as some club identities pointed out, Maguire, who is also the New Zealand rugby league head coach – is currently a free agent when it comes to the NRL.

Insiders at the Knights want O’Brien to succeed, but their patience is wearing thin.

Sitting in 14th spot is unacceptable in the eyes of many, especially after finishing in the top eight the past two years.

The appointment of Peter Parr as the club’s new football boss is a shrewd move – he has been in elite rugby league circles for decades and knows what is required to be successful.

He showed his leadership this week when addressing racism and David Klemmer scandals which have rocked the club.

Klemmer was hit with a suspended fine and a one game ban after admitting he should have come from the field before abusing trainer Hayden Knowles last Sunday in the 24-10 defeat at the hands of the Bulldogs.

Parr said the club have put the incident behind them.

‘The resolution now is we’ve had a good mediation session with David,’ Parr told News Corp.

‘He has admitted his fault in what happened. We have accepted his contrition, his thought process at the time. We’ve all agreed that we should move on.’

Tellingly, Knowles wasn’t the individual who complained about Klemmer’s on-field conduct – it was a representative from the club’s human resources department.

Parr has pledged to shake up the influence of the Knights’ HR team and also confirmed a complaint was made after an Indigenous player at the club was highly offended when the team was told to ‘stop playing like a blackfella and get back to structure.’

The outcome remains unresolved, with the matter still under investigation.

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  • 1 час, 56 минут назад 19.08.2022Sport
    Ash Barty reveals her big retirement regret about Serena Williams as American prepares to bow out

    Aussie tennis ace Ash Barty has spoken for the first time about her unfinished business with Serena Williams as she admitted she would have loved one last crack against the retiring American superstar.

    Williams, a 40-year-old 23-time grand slam champion, has announced she will be retiring from the sport after the US Open in September.

    Barty, 26, announced her shock retirement from tennis five months ago.

    The pair only faced each other twice over the years, with Serena winning on both occasions.

    Williams beat a teenage Barty at the Australian Open in 2014 in straight sets, 6-2 6-1, before getting another one over the Aussie golden girl at the French Open in 2018.

    Their second meeting was a closer affair, reflecting Barty’s huge improvement, with the Aussie going down in three after winning the first set 6-3.

    Barty told the Sydney Morning Herald that she doesn’t have any regrets from her playing career, but she wouldn’t mind another go at Williams to try and get one back.

    ‘The first [time] I was a very young girl who was intimidated,’ said Barty.

    ‘The second time I thought I had a chance and I did. But the way that she plays and her greatness was too good for me.

    ‘I would have loved to have challenged myself one last time. That’s my competitive spirit, and me learning from the experiences that I had.

    ‘Not many people on this planet get to say that they played Serena and I’m one of those few people that really got to experience her when she was at her best.

    ‘And I think that was really exciting. It’s a memory and an experience that I’ll never forget and learnt a lot from.’

    Earlier in the week Ash Barty announced her new and very unusual job title with one of Australia’s biggest companies. She’s the new Chief of Inspiration for Optus – a role that comes with an unusual title.

    ‘Inspiration for me has always been my north star, helping inspire Aussies and encouraging them to be the best version of themselves – and I cannot wait to do that with Optus,’ said Barty.

    Since her shock retirement in March after a fairytale win at the Australian Open, Barty has been very active.

    The three-time major winner married long-time partner Garry Kissick, did a shoey at Mick Fanning’s charity golf day and released a range of children’s books and spent plenty of time on the links – sparking rumours that Barty may attempt a move into professional golf.

    The Aussie golden girl is also finalising her memoir, which is set to be available for presale in November.

  • 1 час, 56 минут назад 19.08.2022Sport
    Newcastle Knights coach Adam O’Brien admits Kalyn Ponga looks like he doesn’t care about his footy

    Knights coach Adam O’Brien has broken his silence and revealed why he thinks footy fans believe Kalyn Ponga doesn’t care about his career following the pub toilet scandal last weekend.

    O’Brien has also pledged to install a harder edge at the club in the off-season, with their 2022 dismal campaign giving rise to intense speculation about his future with the club.

    Ponga, 24, has been a magnet for criticism, but O’Brien defended his fullback, who is the co-captain and signed a monster five-year contract worth more than $5million in April.

    ‘It might come across that Kalyn might not care because of his relaxed nature and the way he speaks, but behind the scenes I see the way he acts,’ the coach told News Corp.

    ‘We haven’t seen the best of his footy, that is well and truly in front of him and he is developing in a lot of areas that don’t always get shown in 80-minute games.’

    O’Brien said the club need to develop Ponga as a leader – and while he’s disappointed with events last weekend in Newcastle’s CBD, he is reserving judgement until the NRL Integrity Unit complete their investigation into the matter.

    Speaking ahead of Sunday’s home clash versus the Raiders, O’Brien also admitted standards need to lift sooner rather than later.

    Aside from the Ponga fiasco, David Klemmer was stood down for a week after abusing head trainer Hayden Knowles on the field and this weekend outside backs Bradman Best and Enari Tuala will play NSW Cup after missing a team bus last Sunday in Brisbane.

    O’Brien also admitted to making a big error with the side this year.

    ‘I need to drive tougher standards and get the guys to where I need them to get to,’ he said.

    ‘The thing I am disappointed in myself about is that I allowed commentary around my nature to soften me in some areas.

    ‘I need to go back to myself a bit. I need to be who I am and be consistent with it and not chop and change, so the players don’t know what kind of coach they will get each day.’

    He is adamant he has enough talent in his 30-man squad to see the Knights far more competitive in 2023.

    The focus will be ‘nailing’ pre-season come November – before O’Brien added if Wests Tigers halfback Luke Brooks became available, his experience could be invaluable.

    Anthony Milford will depart the club in a few weeks to join Wayne Bennett’s Dolphins, while Jake Clifford and Adam Clune haven’t taken their opportunities in the halves.

    In better news for long-suffering Knights fans, the appointment of Peter Parr as the club’s football boss is a shrewd move.

    Parr won’t accept poor standards and will drive a culture which desperately needs to improve.

    After the Raiders clash at home this Sunday, the Knights take on the Titans and Sharks to see out what has been a testing season on many levels.

  • 1 час, 56 минут назад 19.08.2022Sport
    Manly star Dylan Walker not angry with pride jersey boycotters despite his gay brother, trans sister

    Manly’s Dylan Walker has defended the seven teammates who boycotted their crucial match against the Sydney Roosters over wearing the club’s controversial NRL Pride jersey, even though he has a gay brother and transgender sister.

    Walker has a transgender sister, Jade, and another brother who is gay and the one-time New South Wales State of Origin player happily lined up in the club’s loss to the Roosters wearing the Pride jersey.

    Josh Aloiai, Jason Saab, Christian Tuipulotu, Josh Schuster, Haumole Olakau’atu, Tolutau Koula and Toafofoa Sipley elected not to play in that match.

    Manly has been in freefall ever since, losing 36-20 to the Parramatta Eels and getting flogged 44-24 by the lowly Gold Coast Titans to effectively rule them out of finals contention.

    There have been reported meetings between club leaders and players who boycotted the match and others who are allegedly disgruntled at their actions.

    But Walker said there was no fracture in the playing group.

    ‘In the last few weeks, the playing group has been rock solid,’ He told News Corp.

    ‘I’ve spoken to a lot of the ‘Pride boys’ — I have two gay brothers, including one who is transitioning to become a girl, but it didn’t hurt me.

    ‘It was such an important game in our season, but if you are going to stand for something you believe in, how can you be angry with them for that?

    ‘They [my family] weren’t angry at all. They said, ‘if you’re representing, we’re sweet’. If you’re a good person, which they all are, I can’t be angry with them.’

    Manly chief executive Tony Mestrov, who was appointed in May this year, said there was no correllation between rumours of a divide in the club and recent poor results that have derailed the club’s season.

    ‘From our point of view, there is not a split,’ Mestrov said.

    ‘We are not where we want to be on the field at the moment but the players are saying they have moved on.

    ‘They had dinner [together] last week. We are just not playing well. That other stuff is over.’

    The Sea Eagles currently in 10th place on the NRL ladder, six competition points adrift of the eighth-placed Sydney Roosters.

    To miraculously reach the finals, Manly would need three huge wins and the Roosters and Raiders would have to lose all three of their remaining games by large margins.

  • 1 час, 56 минут назад 19.08.2022Sport
    Matildas coach says Sam Kerr is the ONLY choice to win the Ballon d’Or as best player in the world

    Sam Kerr has been hailed as the ‘complete’ player by Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson, who says his superstar captain fully deserves to claim the Ballon D’Or Feminin.

    Kerr has been nominated for the highest individual prize in women’s football after a stellar season with Chelsea, having won the league and cup double as well as the FA WSL golden boot.

    As well as Kerr, holder Alexia Putellas from Barcelona, three members of England’s Women’s Euro-winning team and five of Lyon’s Champions League-winning side are included among the 20 nominees for the prize.

    Putellas won the Best FIFA Women’s Player of the Year prize ahead of Kerr in January but Gustavsson says he wouldn’t be surprised if Kerr walks away with the gong when it is presented in October.

    ‘Her performances over the last two years have been fantastic, both for club and country,’ Gustavsson told reporters.

    ‘I’ve said it so many times, sorry to say it again, but she gets so much credit for her goal scoring but I don’t think she gets enough credit for her defensive actions and the way she works for the team.

    ‘Just look at club and country how hard she works and off the ball as well. To have one of the world’s best goalscorers commit to defend the way she does and then her leadership skills as well and her winning mentality makes her complete as a player.

    ‘It doesn’t mean she can’t get better because I know how hard she works every day to get better but in my opinion she’s been ready for that award for a long time.’

    In the week since the Aussie star’s nomination for the Ballon d’Or, Kerr has impressed yet again with a highlight-reel strike on Thursday for her club Chelsea in the Women’s International Champions Cup.

    In an outrageous show of skill, Kerr latched onto a perfectly placed pass and chipped the Lyon keeper to put her team ahead in Portland.

    It is the kind of performance that is almost becoming routine for Australia’s all-time leading goal scorer.

    On Thursday Kerr was named in Gustavsson’s 23-player squad for friendlies against Olympic champions Canada in Brisbane and Sydney next month.

    The 28-year-old is one of several key players back in Australia’s squad after being rested for June’s friendlies against Spain and Portugal along with experienced names such as Steph Catley, Caitlin Foord and Alanna Kennedy.

    Overseas-based Matildas are expected to travel from their clubs in Europe and the United States later this month ahead of the two clashes with Canada on September 3 and 6.

  • 1 час, 56 минут назад 19.08.2022Sport
    US Open champ Raducanu stutters before title defense, losing to world No.7 Jessica Pegula

    Emma Raducanu’s preparation for her US Open title defense has stuttered after a 7-5, 6-4 third round loss to Jessica Pegula at the Cincinnati Masters.

    In the first meeting between Raducanu and Pegula, the latter was far too strong.

    In disposing of the current US Open champ, Pegula proceeds to the quarter finals where she will face France’s Caroline Garcia.

    Critically, the American broke Raducanu’s serve with scores tied at 5-5 in the first set. The Buffalo native went on to close out the first and built on her performance in the second and final set.

    Pegula broke the Briton in her second service game of the final set before holding her serve throughout to cruise to victory.

    Raducanu came into Thursday night with momentum after already accounting for 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams and former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka.

    The 19-year-old defeated Williams 6-4, 6-0 in the round of 64 before disposing of Azarenka 6-0, 6-2 in the following round.

    Notwithstanding the result, Raducanu will arrive at Flushing Meadows with plenty of hype around her as defending champion.

    Undoubtedly, the Brit will look to draw upon her last visit to the US Open as inspiration.

    Raducanu entered the 2021 US Open draw as a qualifier before sensationally failing to drop a set until the semi-finals.

    The Canadian-born teenager went on to advance to the final, before defeating Leyleh Fernandez 6-4, 6-3.

    In doing so, she became the first-ever qualifier to win a Grand Slam in the Open era.

    The latest iteration of the Open will likely be more challenging for Raducanu, who is yet beat a top-10 player in the world.

    To repeat the feat, she’ll likely need to create history one more time.

  • 1 час, 56 минут назад 19.08.2022Sport
    Mystery as 10-year veteran is sacked by Brisbane Roar in bizarre 25-word press release

    Brisbane Roar have sacked veteran defender Corey Brown – and are refusing to say what’s behind the shock decision.

    The Roar released a bizarre 25-word statement on Thursday confirming the 28-year-old has departed the A-League club, effective immediately.

    ‘Brisbane Roar FC wishes to advise of the termination of the contract of defender Corey Brown,’ the statement read.

    ‘The club wishes him well for his future endeavours.’

    The shock development has been slammed by Professional Footballers Australia (PFA), which believes Brown has been treated appallingly.

    The PFA believes the statement from the Roar is ‘misleading and bizarre’, saying Brown’s contract still stands and he has started legal proceedings.

    ‘As the club is aware, Corey has initiated proceedings to dispute Brisbane Roar’s termination of his contract,’ PFA co-chief executive Beau Busch said in a statement.

    ‘As a consequence of this legal action, Corey’s contract remains on foot until a final determination is made. This is something the club, deliberately or otherwise, is failing to understand.

    ‘As the club continues to operate well below the expected standards of a professional football club, the PFA’s primary focus remains on protecting Corey’s well-being – something the club seems to have little regard for.’

    Brown has made over 150 appearances across two stints with the Roar dating back to 2011.

    It is understood the matter is set to go before Football Australia’s national dispute resolution chamber.

    The Roar and legal disputes with former players and coaches seem to go hand in hand.

    Last year, the Roar were ordered to cough up an insurance payout of nearly $370,000 to former Socceroo Brett Holman after a court ruled a payment received following a career-ending knee injury should have gone to the player and not the club.

    In 2020, FIFA’s dispute resolution chamber upheld Robbie Fowler’s claim he was wrongfully dismissed by the club as head coach in June 2020, leading to a reported six-figure payout in favour of the Liverpool great.

    Daily Mail Australia has reached out to Brisbane Roar for comment.

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