Brisbane’s Pangai no Taumalolo: McGuire

Brisbane forward Josh McGuire says comparisons with Jason Taumalolo are premature for Broncos enforcer Tevita Pangai Junior.

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However, the Queensland lock tipped him to lift Wayne Bennett’s side against a Jesse Bromwich-inspired Melbourne pack in Friday night’s NRL preliminary final at AAMI Park.

Pangai Junior has this week been championed by teammate Alex Glenn as Brisbane’s answer to Cowboys wrecking ball Taumalolo upon his return from a two week hamstring injury.

However, McGuire isn’t so sure.

Unlike Taumalolo’s 200m-plus games, Pangai Junior has made 86m a match this season, averaging only 26 minutes off the bench.

“It is hard to compare him with Taumalolo at the moment but he is definitely got a lot of aggression to his game and can develop into a very good player at that level,” McGuire said.

“He just has to keep learning. He is a player of the future for this club.”

McGuire still expected Pangai Junior to turn heads upon his return.

“He is still learning his trade but he is still very important for us off the bench,” he said.

“He brings a lot of spark.”

And it seems they will need it against a Storm pack led by Kiwi giant Bromwich.

“They have international players everywhere but it is hard to go past Jesse Bromwich, who has been benchmark of the competition,” McGuire said.

“He’s a big body with great footwork.

“You won’t find a lot of front-rowers who have quite such good hands and feet and he’s a hard guy to get a decent hit on.

“But they are the form team of the year, the best team in the comp.”

Glenn believed last week’s grinding 13-6 semi-final win over Penrith was ideal practice for what was to come from Storm’s pack on Friday night.

“Melbourne have a lot of structure, they are clinical and relentless but I think last week’s game was great preparation for us,” he said.

“We have got to make sure we take that enthusiasm as a pack to Melbourne because us guys in the middle we have a job on our hands.”

Australia fold under pressure in India ODI

Australia captain Steve Smith has lamented his side’s tendency to panic under pressure after another batting collapse put them 2-0 down in their one-day international series against India.

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Set 253 for victory, the visitors lost their last eight wickets for 117 runs with a hat-trick to left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav sealing Thursday’s match at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

After falling 50 runs short in the second of five ODIs, Australia now need to win Sunday’s match in Indore to keep the series alive.

“In regards to our batting, 250, we should be getting that on that wicket,” Smith said.

“It’s now about getting out in the middle and just executing your skills when you’re under pressure and not panicking.

“We’re just making silly errors when we’re under pressure and you can’t afford to do that against a quality line-up like India.”

Smith looked like he could guide Australia home in his 100th ODI, but after a measured half-century he was caught on 59.

Two overs after Smith’s dismissal, Yadav weaved his magic to dismiss Matthew Wade, Ashton Agar and Pat Cummins with consecutive deliveries.

Marcus Stoinis top scored with a gallant innings, but ran out of partners and was left unbeaten on 62.

Yadav (3-54) and Yuzvendra Chahal (2-34) again exposed Australia’s deficiency against wrist spin, combining for five wickets as they did in game one in Chennai.

Paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar was outstanding with 3-9 off 6.1 overs.

Maxwell (14) hit two sixes before he was bamboozled by Chahal and Dhoni pounced on the chance to stump him.

Openers David Warner and Hilton Cartwright both fell to Kumar for one, while Travis Head made a run-a-ball 39.

Earlier, Nathan Coulter-Nile was again Australia’s most damaging bowler, picking up 3-51 off his 10 overs in oppressive conditions.

The West Australian paceman again snared the prized scalp of Virat Kohli, but the Indian skipper had already done the damage with a beautifully compiled 92 off 107 balls.

A huge score loomed when he had combined for a 102-run partnership with Ajinkya Rahane (55 off 64), but the opener was run out by Hilton Cartwright and India went on to lose their last seven wickets for 66.

“We didn’t feel like we had enough at the break,” Kohli said.

“(But) we knew if we had a good start, we had a chance.”

Australia felt the full force of the stifling Kolkata heat while bowling with Wade, Ashton Agar and Kane Richardson all receiving treatment for heat stress or cramps.

Cosmic rays come from far-flung galaxies

Cosmic rays reaching earth come from other galaxies far outside the Milky Way, new research has revealed.

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Ending a 50-year debate over the origin of the rays, a global collaboration of scientists has found there is only a one in million chance they could have come from a single source, within our own galaxy.

The research, which has involved scientists from the University of Adelaide, was published on Friday in the journal Science.

“This clearly indicates an origin of particles outside of the Milky Way and is a very exciting outcome, the result of years of careful work with a highly tuned giant detector,” Bruce Dawson, from the university’s energy astrophysics group, said.

“This is the first conclusive evidence that real atomic material, not just star-light, arrives at earth from distant galaxies.”

Cosmic rays travel through space at speeds just less than the speed of light, but are extremely rare, arriving at a rate of only one per square kilometre per year.

As one enters the earth’s atmosphere, it collides with an air molecule and creates a giant cascade of subatomic particles which sweeps down through the atmosphere almost at the speed of light, in a disc-like swarm several kilometres in diameter.

It’s this cascade that can be detected by the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina.

The new research has determined that they arrive from multiple directions, although the actual sources are yet to be pinned down.

“The sources of these particles may be extreme cosmic environments associated with supermassive black-holes at the centres of galaxies, or perhaps in massive shocks in colliding galaxies,” senior research associate Jose Bellido said.

The observatory is currently undergoing an upgrade to narrow down the origin of the rays.

Smith hits out at Australian ODI collapses

Australia captain Steve Smith has a blunt message for his batsmen: the collapses must stop now.

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The visitors are in dire trouble in their one-day international series against India after a 50-run loss in Kolkata on Thursday put them 2-0 down.

Smith said batting collapses had become a worrying trend in all forms of Australian cricket after losing their last eight wickets for 112 in game two.

“We’ve had a lot of collapses and we need to stop,” Smith said.

“It’s a hard one to put my finger on but whatever it is, it needs to change.

“We need to make better decisions when we’re under pressure and start playing the game properly.

“It’s not good enough.”

Australia have lost their last 10 ODIs away from home. They need to break that streak in Indore on Sunday to keep the series alive.

Smith played well for 59 at Eden Gardens until he was caught in the deep off the bowling of Hardik Pandya.

Marcus Stoinis worked hard for an unbeaten 62, but Australia lost too many wickets due to poor shot selection as the Indian bowlers kept the pressure on.

“It’s easy just to sit here and say it needs to stop but when you get out in the middle you need to change what you’re doing because it’s not working,” Smith said.

“Watching the ball closer or maybe the guys are trying to watch it too closely and forgetting about just playing the game.”

Smith lamented his side’s inability to build partnerships, with his 76-run stand with Travis Head their best effort in the first two matches.

That partnership ended Head hit a seemingly harmless full toss straight to mid-wicket on 39.

Makeshift opener Hilton Cartwright’s position is under pressure after being bowled for one in his first two ODIs.

Aaron Finch is on the road to recovery from a calf injury and could come into contention for the must-win clash in Indore.

Part-time wicketkeeper Peter Handscomb could also be an option after Matthew Wade made 11 runs across the first two matches.

EU agrees on new sanctions against North Korea: sources

The bloc has agreed a new package of measures, including a ban on investments in North Korea and on European Union exports of oil, the sources said on condition of anonymity.

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EU members also want to blacklist more North Korean individuals and entities, a move that would freeze their assets in the bloc and ban them from entering its territory.

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Ambassadors from the 28 member states on Thursday “agreed on a package of new autonomous measures”, an EU official told AFP, and they will now be prepared in detail to be formally approved by a meeting of European foreign ministers next month.

The EU plans to reduce how much money North Korean workers in Europe can send home — seen as a key source of vital foreign exchange revenue — from its current level of 15,000 euros.

It also intends to expand the list of luxury products — much loved by top officials in Pyongyang — banned from export to the North. A cut in the number of North Korean workers in Poland from 500 to 300 is also on the cards, the sources said.

The North carried out its sixth nuclear test — and most powerful to date — on September 3, sparking international outrage and a fresh round of sanctions.

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International powers hope that economic sanctions will deprive the North of the resources it needs to pursue its nuclear programme and pressure it into negotiating.

The EU’s latest move comes as US President Donald Trump paved the way for sanctions against foreign companies doing business with North Korea.

Trump said he had signed an executive order allowing sanctions against “individuals and companies that finance and facilitate trade with North Korea.”

The measure could force Chinese banks or Russian importers to decide between doing business with North Korea or being blacklisted by the United States.