Was Don, was good in NRL upset over Storm

Gold Coast winger Anthony Don may soon enjoy more than cult hero status after another star turn in the Titans’ upset 38-36 NRL win over leaders Melbourne prompted calls for his NSW Origin selection.

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Don added another clip to his growing season highlights reel when he capped a stellar display in Brisbane on Saturday night by sparking Konrad Hurrell’s 78th minute match-winning try in the season’s biggest upset.

Titans halfback Ashley Taylor was quick to suggest Don should be considered as a Blues bolter in a post-match TV interview, prompting a social media push for NSW State of Origin coach Laurie Daley to consider the popular winger.

Daley is no closer to finalising his NSW backline after Manly fullback Tom Trbojevic suffered a potentially season-ending knee and ankle injuries in Saturday night’s 24-14 defeat in Brisbane.

Incumbent Blues winger Josh Mansour is sidelined with a knee injury.

The 29-year-old Don did his best to impress, scoring a try and setting up another two.

Don flew over Melbourne’s Josh Addo-Carr to bat back a Kane Elgey kick for centre Hurrell to crash over for the game sealer.

He finished the game with two try assists, a four pointer of his own and a line break.

Titans coach Neil Henry said Don had returned from last week’s NSW Country duty full of confidence.

Don scored a try, had a line break and ran 198m in Country’s 20-10 loss to NSW City.

“He seems to be cool under a bit of pressure and the boys love playing with him,” Henry said of Don.

The buzz over Don gained momentum in round seven against Brisbane when he freakishly volleyed a ball heading toward the touchline into the arms of Chris Grevsmuhl who scored.

There was more to come against Melbourne when Don scored a sensational leaping try down the sideline in the 37th minute before his late heroics.

The audacious plays don’t come as a shock to Don’s teammates.

“He is a competitor, he competes on every play,” prop Jarrod Wallace said.

Besides Trbojevic, Jarryd Hayne also provided Daley some anxious moments after the Titans star limped off late.

Hayne was later diagnosed with knee nerve damage and is expected to be fit for the next round.

Nadal ends Djokovic hoodoo to reach another Madrid final

The Spaniard will be aiming for a fifth Madrid title when he meets Austrian Dominic Thiem in Sunday’s showpiece.

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World number nine Thiem beat Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas 6-4 6-4 in the other semi-final.

Nadal got off to a dream start in the 50th meeting between the two great rivals, winning every point in the first game to break Djokovic, with the home crowd wildly celebrating his first point – a potent return which the Serbian could only hit into the ground.

Djokovic won the last meeting between the pair in the quarter-finals of the Rome Masters a year ago, and Nadal had not beaten the 12-times grand slam winner since the 2014 French Open final.

“The circumstances nowadays are completely different compared to those seven matches that occurred before. The last two years perhaps haven’t been my best two years. They were really good years for Novak,” Nadal told a news conference.

However, the Spaniard added: “It’s one more match. What’s important to me is to make it to another final.

“As years go by, depending on the type of victories, (they) can fulfil you a little bit more or less. The most important thing is the titles, not the opponents that you have beaten.”

Defending champion Djokovic, who cut ties with long-time coach Marian Vajda and his staff the week before the tournament in a bid to reverse his downward trajectory of results, surrendered his serve again in the third game, and Nadal held to go 4-0 up.

Real Madrid greats Raul and Cristiano Ronaldo were among those watching in the stands in the Caja Majica on a scorching day in the Spanish capital as Nadal continued his rampant start to the year.

The Spaniard finished off the first set in 40 minutes and again broke the struggling Djokovic in the opening game of the second. The world number two broke back in the fourth to tie the set at 2-2 and celebrated by punching the air.

It proved to be just a brief respite for the Serbian, however, as Nadal broke him again in the next game and held to restore his two-game lead.

He missed two match points on his serve and then had to save a break point before taking the contest at the third time of asking to reach the Madrid final for the eighth time.

On Sunday, Nadal will look to add to his recent triumphs in the Monte Carlo Masters and the Barcelona Open.

Djokovic said he was encouraged by his performance.

“It was really good to play in the semi-finals of a big event, and to play against one of the top rivals I have in my life. I haven’t had that feeling in months, so it’s great to feel that,” Djokovic said.

“It was a positive week, a positive experience. I take, as I say, more positives than negatives into the next week in Rome.”

(Reporting by Richard Martin,; Editing by Neville Dalton and Pritha Sarkar)

Mental health on the lips of anaesthetists

A healthy anaesthetist means a healthier patient, which is why the topic of mental health among this “high risk” group of doctors is being brought out in the open.

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A life-sized inflatable elephant has been installed inside the Brisbane convention centre – an initiative of the Australian Private Hospitals Association – to encourage physicians to openly discuss mental health and wellbeing with their colleagues while attending the Australian New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) annual scientific meeting.

”The elephant in the room is something we can all identify with and it’s so important that anaesthetists and other medical professionals discuss their mental wellbeing on a regular basis,” said anesthetist and meeting convenor Dr Bridget Effeney.

Dr Effeney said the emotional welfare of anaesthetists, while a sensitive subject for some, should be discussed openly in forums such as the annual scientific meeting.

“We know that anaesthetists are a high risk group and yes, this is a novel way of approaching the issue but it also an appropriate opportunity to raise awareness in the profession,” she explained.

A beyondblue report released in 2013 showed doctors reported substantially higher rates of psychological distress and attempted suicide compared to both the Australian population and other Australian professionals.

The most common source of work stress reported by doctors related to the need to balance work and personal responsibilities (26.8 per cent).

The high-pressure work of an anaesthetist combined with busy personal lives and individual performance expectations is the likely reason they are at high risk of mental health issues and suicide, Dr Eeffney told AAP

“You do have the life of your patients in your hands and you have to be at all times prepared for the unexpected.

“When things go badly wrong it really is badly wrong,” she said.

ANZCA President Professor David A Scott said the benefits of openly discussing health and welfare issues in the profession should not be overlooked.

”By looking after the health and welfare of practitioners we will ensure we have healthier patients,” he said.

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Scott out to tackle Cats’ defensive woes

Geelong coach Chris Scott has lambasted his Cats for a “disgraceful” tackling performance in their 17-point loss to Essendon at the MCG.

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The Bombers led the tackle count 52-13 at the long break of Saturday night’s match at the MCG and by the final siren the figure was a lopsided 81-39 in Essendon’s favour.

“It was, for the third week in a row, a really, really poor performance,” Scott said after the 17.8 (110) to 13.15 (93) loss.

“We’ve got to stop talking about it being uncharacteristic because it is what we are right at the moment

“A lot of the numbers that are generally important in a game of footy are really not too bad – such as contested possessions, overall scoring shots.

“But the execution with the ball, and goalkicking is the best example of that, is very poor in our game at the moment.

“Our ball handling, our fumbling, inviting the opposition pressure which helped their tackle count tonight, is a big problem in our game.

“And then on the other side, which is even more important, the way the opposition is able to use the ball and they were cleaner with the ball, which makes it harder to tackle.

“But 15 tackles in a half is just a disgraceful performance.”

After being 40 points adrift at three-quarter time, the Cats got the margin back to 10 with six of the first seven goals of the final quarter and could even have snatched an improbable win if not for some inaccuracy in the dying stages.

“We can focus on the positives and the numbers probably flatter us in a way,” said Scott.

“But late in the game we were on top, 10 points down and it looked like we could have stolen it which to an extent wouldn’t have reflected the way the rest of the game was played.”

With the renovation of Simonds Stadium finally complete, the Cats play their next three matches at their first-choice home ground, although all are against fellow top-four aspirants in the Western Bulldogs, Port Adelaide and Adelaide.

“I hope we don’t try to pretend that playing at home we fix all of our problems,” said Scott.

“We’d like to play 11 games there, we haven’t played there at all until round nine and I’m confident we play it pretty well.

“But once again I probably shouldn’t even say that because we need to concentrate on what we are now, not reflect on what we were four weeks ago and certainly not what we were years ago.”

Cameron comes on in Giant leaps and bounds

Greater Western Sydney’s gun forward Jeremy Cameron has taken his game to another level this year, according to coach Leon Cameron.

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Cameron booted six goals in the Giants’ three-point win over Collingwood on Saturday. The quality was as impressive as the quantity.

The 24-year-old crashed packs with reckless abandon, outmuscled opponent Henry Schade in a superb show of strength during the second term and converted almost all of his chances in the 15.12 (102) to 15.9 (99) win.

Cameron notably stepped up after quarter-time, when the Giants trailed the visitors by 26 points at Spotless Stadium.

He slotted three goals in 10 minutes to curtail the Magpies’ momentum, showing exactly why he was one of the expansion club’s first recruits.

“Jeremy has had an outstanding season,” GWS coach Leon Cameron said.

“His first eight weeks this year, it has probably been the most consistent he’s been in his short AFL career.

“He’s hard to match up on, because he can play in a few different positions now.

“He’s a determined young man who wants to learn the game even more.”

Cameron shot to the front of the Coleman Medal race as a result of his six-goal haul. He now has 28 goals from the opening eight rounds of the season.

“We know people judge Jeremy on the scoreboard but we judge him on so many other things,” Leon Cameron said.

The former Western Bulldogs and Richmond defender noted that assistant Amon Buchanan has helped the young gun add even more strings to his bow.

“He’s done an enormous amount of work with Amon Buchanan. They’ve got a really good relationship,” the fourth-year coach said.

“There’s no doubt he is learning a lot.

“He’s hard as a cat’s head. He cracks in regardless, that’s never been an issue.

“But he now senses moments in games better. He’ll have his quiet games but the quiet games now are the ones when he tries to look for a different way to stay in the match. That’s pleasing from a key forward.”

The coach was also full of praise for Jon Patton and Steve Johnson, who both slotted clutch goals in the final term against Collingwood.

“He (Patton) has had some really big moments in the last three weeks,” Cameron said.

“He’s kicked some really important goals. He wants the ball in his hands when those moments come around, which is great.”