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Week on the Punt: Flag chances collide in bumper round of NRL

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We kicked things off with a big upset at the MCG, but what else does the week in sport hold for us? Here are the latest headlines, highlights and upcoming events.

Happy Hawks leave AFL’s defending premiers reeling

Richmond needed a win after last week’s dismal draw against Collingwood, but it was Hawthorn who saluted with a dominant display at the MCG on Thursday night.

The Tigers were missing Dustin Martin due to rib soreness, so questions will be asked as to whether the yellow and black are too reliant on their superstar midfielder.

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley revealed in his press conference this week that the 2018 AFL Rising Star, Jaidyn Stephenson, will return to face St Kilda in a bid to liven up a forward line that looked flat in the first week back.

Friday night’s clash between the Western Bulldogs and GWS Giants is shaping as the match of the round, while Saturday night’s fixture between the Brisbane Lions and West Coast Eagles is also sure to attract plenty of attention.

See all of this week’s AFL matchups in our preview of round three.

Kyrie Irving voices opinion against the NBA’s return

As strange as it sounds, one of the most popular players in the NBA is taking a stand against the return of the league.

Kyrie Irving is no stranger to controversy; whether it’s on or off the court, the former no.1 draft pick has always found a way into the newsroom.

This time Irving leads an anonymous band of players against the NBA’s return, claiming it would be a distraction from the ongoing Black Lives Matter protest.

Many rumours have been thrown around social media, the strangest of which claims Irving wants to start his own league.

The NBA is expected to return on July 31 with players staying at the Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

NRL Premiership contenders collide in round six

Two matches in the NRL’s round six draw caught our eye this week.

The Sydney Roosters currently lead the NRL Premiership betting at $3.75 with Sportsbet, but that could change after they face the Parramatta Eels, who sit on the fourth line of the outright market at $5.50.

Although the Manly Sea Eagles are slightly outside the main four, they’re still a dark horse at $9, which could drop dramatically if they knock off the $5 Canberra Raiders.

If rugby league is your go-to, check out our NRL betting guide for the 2020 season.

Cricket Australia loses batting coach through $40m budget cuts

It has been a strange week for Cricket Australia.

The organisation needed to find $40 million in their system due to COVID-19 losses, and the decision was made to let some staff go.

The Australian men’s batting coach, Graeme Hick, was told to move on this week after more than six years with the national setup.

Hick’s role will be filled by Andrew McDonald, who will juggle the new role alongside his current duties as assistant coach.

The news comes shortly after Kevin Roberts resigned as CEO of Cricket Australia amid widespread criticism of his response to the coronavirus crisis.

The Aussies were scheduled to tour Bangladesh this month, but that series has been postponed due to international travel restrictions.

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