SA premier heads to Whyalla

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill will continue to talk up the state’s fortunes with a visit to Whyalla to mark the successful sale of the Arrium steelworks.

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Mr Weatherill was in Jamestown on Sunday to see the site where billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk will build the world’s largest lithium ion battery.

On Monday he will meet Arrium workers and community leaders in Whyalla, just days after British businessman Sanjeev Gupta signed a deal to take over the steel operations, essentially saving 1500 jobs.

The two announcements at the back end of last week have been hailed by the Labor government as evidence international investors have no problems bringing business to SA despite concerns expressed over the proposed introduction of a new tax on the big banks.

Mr Weatherill says the 100-megawatt battery, to be delivered within 100 days by Mr Musk’s company Tesla or delivered free, will not only help stabilise the state’s energy grid, it will provide jobs for local businesses, especially in the tourist sector.

“At many levels, this represents a massive job creation opportunity for this state,” the premier said.

The battery is just one part of South Australia’s $550 million energy plan which was developed in response to last year’s statewide blackout.

It will be built near Jamestown, in SA’s mid north and paired to a wind farm operated by French utility company Neoen.

Other elements of the energy plan include attracting new gas-fired generation into the market, increased gas exploration and the construction of a new government-owned, gas-fired power station.

After his trip to Whyalla, Mr Weatherill is expected to meet Mr Gupta in Adelaide later this week.

Froome stays in control after action-packed ninth stage

The defending champion, who was attacked by Fabio Aru just as he suffered a mechanical on the last climb, ended up third at the end of a 181-5km trek in the Jura mountains won by Colombian Rigoberto Uran ahead of France’s Warren Barguil.

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Briton Froome had his rivals to thank, however, as none of them took turns in front while he was changing his bike in the lung-busting ascent to the Mont du Chat.

The scene was reminiscent of the 2010 Tour when Alberto Contador attacked Andy Schleck on the ascent to the Port de Bales when his rival’s chain snapped.

“I had a mechanical problem with my gears, I had to change bike,” said three-times champion Froome.

“I want to thank the other riders, who did not attack,” he added, saying he did not see Aru attacking past him as he raised his arm to ask for assistance.

“Richie (Porte) was quite instrumental in slowing that group down, saying this is not the time to attack the leader of the race, so thanks to Richie and I hope he makes a speedy recovery.”

Froome was already without team mate Geraint Thomas, who abandoned after crashing in the slippery descent of the Col de la Biche, one of three out-of-category ascents of the day.

In the final descent to Chambery, Australian Porte, regarded as Froome’s main challenger ahead of the three-week event, went off the road into a wall of rocks.

“He was conscious, it’s reassuring, he is being transferred to the hospital,” race doctor Florence Pommery said.

AGGRESSIVE BARDET

Last year’s runner-up Romain Bardet of France pedalled away in the final descent but was reined in by Froome, Uran, Barguil, Aru and his Astana team mate Jakob Fuglsang two km from the finish line.

“There will be other great battles to fight in the Pyrenees and the Alps,” Bardet said after taking fourth place.

Uran also had a mechanical and was forced to ride the final kilometres on a single gear.

“The difference between Rigo and the other riders I know is that he never loses his cool,” his Cannondale-Drapac team manager Jonathan Vaughters told reporters.

Overall, Froome leads Aru by 18 seconds and Bardet by 51 as two-times winner Contador, who crashed twice, cracked on the last climb and dropped out of contention.

Uran is fourth, 55 seconds off the pace while Astana look set to work as a double act from now on as Dane Fuglsang is fifth, 1:37 behind Froome.

Three-times podium finisher Nairo Quintana of Colombia also struggled, losing 1:15 to Froome and his group. He is now eighth overall, a massive 2:13 off the pace.

Monday is a rest day and the fight for the overall title is set to resume next Thursday with the first big Pyrenean stage.

In-form Porte, however, will not be contesting it after a high-speed crash ruined his chances, with the Australian taking down Ireland’s Dan Martin with him.

Quick-Step Floors’ Martin got back on his bike but crashed again before limiting the damage on the line. He is now sixth overall, 1:44 behind Froome.

French champion Arnaud Demare, who was targeting the green jersey for the points classification, missed the time cut, as well as the three FDJ team mates who were helping him, meaning the four are now out of the race.

Slovakian Juraj Sagan, Italian Matteo Trentin and Australian Mark Renshaw also finished outside the time limit.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

Moeen spins England to first win under captain Root

Set an improbable target of 331 after England had lost their nine remaining second-innings wickets to be dismissed for 233, the touring side never came to terms with a spiteful pitch of uneven bounce and were bowled out for 119.

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The win was England’s first against South Africa at Lord’s since 1960.

Root simply had to rotate his bowlers, although spinner Moeen Ali took the honours with figures of 6-53, giving him 10 wickets in a man-of-the-match performance that included an invaluable first-innings knock of 87.

“It was definitely the best all-round performance of my career,” Moeen said. “The pitch allowed me to attack their batsmen as much as I could.”

Moeen produced turn and bounce on a wicket that seldom favours fourth-innings run chases. Only three teams have won a test match by scoring more than 300 at the home of cricket, but the tourists must have felt they were in with a chance after dismissing England so cheaply by mid-afternoon.

The size of their task, however, became clear when Heino Kuhn (9) and captain Dean Elgar (1) both fell with the score on 12 to fine catches from keeper Jonny Bairstow and Moeen off his own bowling.

JP Duminy also departed cheaply and once Hashim Amla was trapped lbw by Liam Dawson, it was only a matter of time.

England had their share of luck when Quinton de Kock chopped the ball on to the stumps off his foot but they thoroughly deserved the win against a side who made too many mistakes in the field.

The final wicket fell when Morne Morkel heaved Dawson to Keaton Jennings on the boundary.

Earlier, England’s total was boosted by combative batting by Bairstow, who was dropped off a simple chance to Vernon Philander on seven before making 51, and tailender Mark Wood.

That pushed the lead past 300 as South Africa’s bowlers struggled to match their morning success when England, who resumed on 119-1, lost seven wickets.

Morkel claimed three victims and Keshav Maharaj four as England failed to force the pace. Alastair Cook top-scored with 69.

Root said he was delighted by his first victory in charge, which he owed much to the runs scored by England’s top three in difficult circumstances on Saturday night.

“It is nice to stand here having made all the right choices,” he said with a smile. “But the whole team played a big part in this win. Moeen made it very difficult for the batsmen to take him on.”

The second test in the four-match series starts on Friday in Nottingham with South Africa captain Faf du Plessis set to return. Fast bowler Kagiso Rabada, however, is suspended.

(Reporting by Neil Robinson, editing by Ed Osmond)

Membrey, Greenwood to face AFL scrutiny

St Kilda’s Tim Membrey and Collingwood’s Levi Greenwood are set to learn their fate from the AFL match review panel.

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Saints forward Membrey is bound to come under scrutiny for his heavy bump on Richmond’s Dylan Grimes in their dominant win over the Tigers on Saturday night.

Grimes sat out the second half after Membrey collected him with an elbow to the head in a second-quarter marking contest.

Richmond captain Trent Cotchin was, meanwhile, reported for striking Jack Lonie to the midriff.

The incident is certain to be looked at when the MRP meet on Monday given the AFL’s crackdown on jumper-punches, although it’s likely Cotchin will escape with a fine.

The MRP will also closely scrutinise Greenwood’s bump on Zach Merrett during Collingwood’s loss to Essendon.

The Magpies midfielder floored Merrett with an elbow to the jaw behind the play in the third quarter.

The star youngster briefly went to the Essendon rooms but returned to finish with 25 disposals and two goals.

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley defended Greenwood after the game, describing him as a hard but fair player.

“I’m not an MRP specialist but it didn’t look like there was any intent to catch him on the chin,” Buckley said.

“Levi was relatively distraught with the fact that he caught him on the chin, or that it slipped up and hit Merrett on the chin.”

Adelaide skipper Taylor Walker could cop a sanction for shoving Western Bulldogs defender Jason Johannisen into the goalposts in Friday night’s clash at Adelaide Oval.

West Coast veteran Drew Petrie could also be in strife for collecting Port Adelaide’s Matt White high in Sunday’s clash in Perth.

Blues have to question Morgan: Maloney

Michael Morgan better have done his homework, because the hard questions are coming.

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NSW five-eighth James Maloney has promised as much when the Blues put the untested Queensland centre through a thorough examination in Wednesday’s State of Origin decider.

Morgan will make the first appearance of his eight-year career in the three-quarter line at Suncorp Stadium after the axing of Justin O’Neill after Origin ! and an injury to Darius Boyd in Origin II.

Morgan will hope to have studied the Blues’ entire playbook after Maloney vowed to quiz the North Queensland star on his defensive aptitude.

“I think you have to ask questions of guys that are in different positions,” Maloney said.

“He’s a good footballer. We’re not going to go out of our way to target one thing, but over the course of the game, I’m sure he’ll have some decisions to make.

“We’ll try and ask questions all across the park and see how they react.”

Maloney admitted Morgan’s previous experience off the bench and the Cowboys’ breakthrough grand final win in 2015 would equip him for the big-match pressure.

The same goes for Maroons rookie Cameron Munster at they key five-eighth spot, however, Blues playmaker Maloney insisted the duo would still be feeling the butterflies ahead of the match.

“Grand final is obviously a massive game as well and very similar – you get one shot every grand final. It’s similar with (an Origin) decider. You’ve only got one crack,” Maloney said.

“They’ve played in those big games so they’ll know what’s coming.

“It is a different arena and no doubt they’ll be nervous but they’ll still play well, I’m sure of that.

“It’s up to us to make sure we all play well and get the job done.”

After going through their second opposed run of their preparation against Gold Coast under-20s on Sunday, the Blues will have the day off before Tuesday’s captain’s run.

Monday still looms as deadline-day for skipper Boyd Cordner, who is still racing the clock to recover from a calf injury in time for the clash.