Frawley not rushing his chance at Bulldogs

Canterbury five-eighth Matt Frawley is all too aware the Bulldogs’ current run of games without Josh Reynolds could be the most important of his young NRL career.

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But after two years of waiting in reserve grade, the composed 22-year-old isn’t about to blow his chance by creating a highlights-only reel as he pushes for a future starting spot.

Frawley has been one of the revelations of the 11th-placed Bulldogs’ season in 2017 since making his debut alongside Reynolds against Brisbane in round five.

He has since been a regular part of Canterbury’s 17, coming off the bench when they are at full strength before Reynolds was ruled out for five weeks with a hamstring injury.

How Frawley’s role changes in 2018 is unknown, with Reynolds headed to the Tigers and Kiwi five-eighth Kieran Foran set to arrive.

“Obviously I’m aware of everything that is happening and there is going to be a bit of a reshuffle there,” Frawley said.

“But you can’t look at next year.

“You’ve just got to break it down week to week and not getting too carried away with the big picture.

“I realise it’s an opportunity for me and I want to keep taking my opportunities.”

The secret behind that patient approach is his long run in the NSW Cup, Frawley said.

While most young playmakers are brought out of the attack-first junior system or considered too old to make the cut after graduating, Frawley is an exception.

Unsigned by Canberra, he joined Canterbury at the start of 2015 but was forced to watch on as 18th man a number of times earlier this season before finally getting his chance.

It is that more senior approach he is relying on to push his case to coach Des Hasler.

“Playing against men made me play a more tough grinding style of footy than coming out of 20s, which is all about attack and not building a game,” he said.

“Now I’m playing in first grade you’ve got to rely on that style of play even more.”

Frawley will be in the unusual position of being more experienced in the five-eighth role at NRL level when Canterbury take on Penrith this Sunday.

The Panthers have named regular fullback Matt Moylan at No.6 for the first time in his NRL career, having only played professionally in the halves once in State of Origin.

Frawley said he believed Moylan would be a natural fit there for Penrith.

“It probably doesn’t change too much,” Frawley said.

“He’s a really good ball-player, and he plays as a five-eighth anyway. He runs the show out there, he and (halfback Nathan) Cleary seem to have a good relationship.”

Veteran Myles looms as unlikely Qld hero

A veteran prop who can’t make his NRL club’s starting team has emerged as a depleted Queensland’s potential saviour.

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In what looms as a classic State of Origin comeback, Manly bench forward Nate Myles – 32 next month – has been tipped to fill the void left by Test prop Matt Scott (knee) in Wednesday’s opener in Brisbane.

Myles has only started for the Sea Eagles twice this season but was one of the first picked by a Maroons outfit with more than 100 Origin games’ worth of experience missing.

Besides Scott, the Maroons are without Johnathan Thurston (shoulder), Billy Slater (overlooked), Greg Inglis (knee) and Corey Parker (retired).

Myles will partner debutant Dylan Napa in the front row, moving to Origin game No.32 and sixth overall on the all-time list alongside Mal Meninga.

“He becomes very important particularly at the start of the game,” Queensland coach Kevin Walters said of Myles.

“And he’s got Dylan with him, who is making his debut.

“It’s great for Dylan to know someone is beside you like Nate who has played 31 Origins during a very successful era.

“We still believe he (Myles) still has got a great Origin experience coming from within him.”

Myles will move one game short of Origin’s most capped prop, Petero Civoniceva, despite averaging 32 minutes and 75 running metres a game for Manly this year.

Maroons playmaker Cooper Cronk hoped Myles featured in another backs against the wall response from Queensland.

“There is still a lot talent and self belief in this team,” Cronk said before his 20th Origin.

“And just go back through history. Queensland haven’t had the best list of players on paper but they have had the effort and that is what Origin is about.”

Queensland will also be out to celebrate skipper Cameron Smith’s record 40th Origin and at the other end of the scale, Napa and five-eighth Anthony Milford’s debuts.

“It’s a big occasion for Cameron but we also have two boys on debut and Cooper is playing his 20th game,” Walters said.

“There are some special milestones around the team but I think what is most important is that each player gets in and has a crack on the night.”

Gun AFL mids set to square off at Simonds

The prospect of Patrick Dangerfield going head to head with close friend, former teammate and fellow Brownlow Medal fancy Rory Sloane shapes as the most-intriguing aspect of Friday night’s table-topping AFL clash at Simonds Stadium.

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Third-placed Geelong have won their four most-recent matches against ladder leaders Adelaide, although Cats coach Chris Scott insists that impressive record will count for next to nothing.

“The most relevant thing is they’re the best team in the competition at the moment and, without underselling our upside, to an extent we’re chasing them,” Scott said on Wednesday.

“If we spend too much time patting ourselves on the back at things we’ve done well against them, I think we’ll be in for a rude shock.”

Former Crow Dangerfield is the $4.25 favourite with bookmakers William Hill to win a second-straight Brownlow Medal, with Sloane on the second line of betting at $5.

Neither Scott nor his Crows counterpart Don Pyke tend to favour the use of a negating tagger, raising the enticing prospect of the two prime movers spending considerable time squaring off against each other.

“(Sloane) is very, very rarely just an offensive player, although he’s very good in the contest and very good with the ball,” said Scott.

“History would suggest he’s played his best when he’s beaten a quality opposition player and worked off him as well.”

The Cats are almost certain to bring back experienced defender Tom Lonergan on Friday night as they look to blunt the most-potent offensive unit in the AFL.

The Crows have amassed 1241 points in 10 games this season, almost 200 more than Geelong, who boast the second-best attack in the league.

“They are a forward line where, if one doesn’t get you, the other one will,” said Scott.

“I could go on and on about the challenges they present.”

Eddie Betts is in fourth spot in the Coleman Medal race with 31 goals, while Adelaide captain Taylor Walker is tied for ninth with 25.

Scott also noted the threat presented by less-heralded duo Tom Lynch and Andy Otten.

“When their midfield is on top, they give them pretty good delivery so it’s multi-faceted,” said Scott.

“If you stop them marking the ball, they’ve proved they’re really dangerous as well and the wet slippery conditions don’t bother them too much.”

Lonergan, 33, sat out the two-point win over the Power last weekend, but is almost certain to return to take on the Crows.

Pippa and hubby take to air above Sydney

Pippa Middleton is doing Sydney in style on her honeymoon with a run in the shadows of the Harbour Bridge, a seaplane flight to an exclusive restaurant for lunch, and five-star views of the Vivid light festival.

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Middleton and new husband James Matthews landed at Sydney airport on Tuesday night after initially holidaying on the private French Polynesian island of Tetiaro following their May 20 wedding.

They reportedly flew into Australia from New Zealand.

The celebrity couple is rumoured to be staying at the Park Hyatt in the Rocks, which offers panoramic views of the harbour.

The keen runners started Wednesday with a morning jog before later boarding a water taxi which took them past the Opera House to Rose Bay.

There they jumped on a Sydney Seaplanes flight to the secluded Cottage Point Inn for lunch.

The restaurant, frequented by the rich and famous, is nestled in Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park.

The inn’s new owner, Ally Olesen, had no idea they were coming until the press descended on the waterfront restaurant which has previously entertained the likes of Westfield chairman Frank Lowy, Dustin Hoffmann, Jerry Seinfeld and Cameron Diaz.

“It’s chaos,” she told AAP on Wednesday.

“We’re surprised and flattered they chose us – we’re very lucky.”

The couple’s seaplane returned to the Rose Bay wharf about 4pm as a light drizzle fell.

Middleton offered up a friendly wave to waiting photographers and reporters before the group again climbed aboard a water taxi.

Pippa is the younger sister of Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.

After their lavish wedding, the couple initially honeymooned at The Brando, a luxury resort on Tetiaro.

Kate’s brother-in-law, Prince Harry, is due in Sydney next week.

Harry will officially launch the countdown to the 2018 Invictus Games on June 7.

Manchester bomber ‘acted alone’: police

Salman Abedi bought most of the key component parts of the suicide bomb he detonated in the Manchester Arena terror attack, police say.

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Many of his movements and actions in the four days after his return to the UK from Libya leading up to the May 22 atrocity were also carried out alone but detectives have not ruled out that he was part of “a wider network”.

Eleven people remain in custody for questioning following a series of raids across the country as three men – two aged 20 and 24 from the Fallowfield area and a 37-year-old from Blackley – were released without charge on Tuesday.

Updating the “huge progress” made in the inquiry, Detective Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson, head of the North West counter terrorism unit, said: “Much of the investigation has been painstakingly working through Salman Abedi’s last movements. We have done this by examining his movements on CCTV and other interactions he has had, whether it be with people or the phone calls he has made.

“With specialist support we have also have a good understanding of the likely component parts of the bomb and where these came from.

“Our inquiries show Abedi himself made most of the purchases of the core components and what is becoming apparent is that many of his movements and actions have been carried out alone during the four days from him landing in the country and committing this awful attack.

“It is vital that we make sure that he is not part of a wider network and we cannot rule this out yet. There remain a number of things that concern us about his behaviour prior to the attack and those of his associates which we need to get to the bottom of.”

British-born Abedi had a “relatively minor” criminal record as a teenager but was not known to police for holding extremist views.

Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said charges of conspiracy to murder could be brought as a result of the huge investigation into Abedi’s suspected network.

Twenty-two people were killed and dozens of others seriously injured when the bomber struck after a concert by American singer Ariana Grande.

Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Coldplay and a host of other international music stars will join Grande at a benefit concert for victims on Sunday.

On Tuesday night Liam Gallagher played his first solo gig in Manchester, with profits donated to the families of the terror attack victims.