Demons face Kangaroos after big AFL win

Now they’ve shown their backbone, Melbourne need consistency.

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The Demons will host North Melbourne in Sunday’s AFL match at the MCG following a tumultuous week.

After learning their teammate Jesse Hogan has cancer, they rallied at Adelaide Oval last weekend to shock the Crows and post their best win of the season so far.

On Tuesday, Hogan’s surgery to remove a tumour was successful and he could be back playing in as few as four to eight weeks.

Meanwhile, the season rolls on and the Demons, who have a 4-4 record, will start warm favourites against the Kangaroos (2-6).

But Melbourne remain without a recognised ruckman and North’s Todd Goldstein is one of the best in the game.

The Demons also have a 15-game losing streak against the ‘Roos.

And while the Crows win showcased their finals credentials, the Demons also narrowly lost to Hawthorn the week before.

North, who are better than their record suggests, will rightly fancy their chances of an upset.

Melbourne forwards coach Troy Chaplin said a big part of this week’s preparations was making sure the players thought about why they played so well against Adelaide.

“What were the one or two things individually and as a group that the guys can continue to drive this week?” Chaplin said.

“Whether it’s our leader or our second-tier players, they need to understand that it doesn’t matter who you play – you need to bring that week in, week out to get the result.

“Otherwise, you’re going to have an up-and-down season.”

Setting aside the enormity of what Hogan continues to go through, his extended absence is obviously a challenge for Chaplin and the Melbourne forwards.

As Chaplin notes, Hogan is the sort of forward who demands the ball.

But Hogan has only played four games this season and Melbourne are the fifth-best scoring side.

Small forward Jeff Garlett leads Melbourne’s goalkicking with 20.

Chaplin, the former backman in his first season as an AFL assistant coach, does not care who kicks the goals.

“The more guys we get having an impact, the harder we become as a group to defend (against),” he said.

“We’re no doubt a better team when Jesse is in it, that’s certain, but at the same time it’s a great opportunity for the guys to pick up the slack.

“To the guys’ credit, they’ve done that when those opportunities have arisen this year.

“The guys have really taken on the ‘team first’ approach and looking after each other.”

Times Square driver ‘smoked PCP-laced pot’

A US man who was behind the wheel of the car that barrelled through pedestrians in Times Square told police he had been smoking marijuana laced with PCP, according to a criminal complaint.

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Richard Rojas, 26, made his first court appearance on Friday, a day after he was arrested in what New York police call an intentional attack that killed an 18-year-old Michigan woman and injured 22 other people.

“He murdered in cold blood,” Assistant District Attorney Harrison Schweiloch said during the brief proceeding.

Rojas did not enter a plea and was held without bail.

His next court appearance is May 24.

Rojas, who lived with his mother in the Bronx, is accused of driving his car from his home through Times Square on Thursday, then making a U-turn, steering his car onto a footpath and roaring back along it, ploughing through tourists for three blocks before crashing into protective barriers.

Photographers snapped pictures of a wild-eyed Rojas after he climbed from the wrecked car and ran through the street waving his arms.

After he was detained, he said he wanted to “kill them all” and police should have shot him to stop him, a prosecutor told the court.

Officials are awaiting toxicology results, though Rojas “had glassy eyes, slurred speech, and was unsteady”, during his arrest.

The hallucinogenic drug PCP can cause users to become delusional, violent or suicidal, according to the National Drug Intelligence Center.

Three people were still in critical condition with serious head injuries.

Alyssa Elsman, of Portage, Michigan, was killed in the crash and her 13-year-old sister was among the injured.

No Qld camp for reserve Milford: Bennett

Queensland coach Kevin Walters has joked that he will send a box of chocolates in a bid to convince Wayne Bennett to release Anthony Milford for their State of Origin camp.

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But Brisbane coach Bennett was deadly serious about stopping Milford, saying he would only make him available for Maroons duty if the Broncos five-eighth was picked in Queensland’s top 17.

Walters is on Monday expected to name Milford as 19th man in Queensland’s squad for May 31’s series opener as cover for pivot Johnathan Thurston (shoulder).

A tug of war over Milford loomed when Bennett mentioned his stance before the Broncos playmaker shone in their 36-0 NRL win over Wests Tigers on Friday night.

Walters would not bite when told of Bennett’s comments on Friday night as he watched the Broncos romp nome as a Fox Sports TV commentator.

“I have got a box of chocolates for Wayne to drop off to his place,” Walters joked.

“But Milford is one of those players in the firing line just if Thurston doesn’t pass his medical.”

Bennett dug his heels in about Milford when asked about the five-eighth’s Origin availability after the Broncos rout.

He reiterated that Milford would travel with Brisbane for their next round clash with the Warriors if named on a Maroons extended bench.

Bennett said back-up playmaker Michael Morgan’s expected presence at the Maroons camp would ensure Queensland “don’t lose anything” if Milford was not present.

“My position is extremely firm on that,” he said.

“They have Morgan there.

“If he (Milford) doesn’t go and train with them they don’t lose anything.

“We’ve got a game in Auckland next week, that’s our priority.”

Bennett did expect to lose up to six players to Queensland duty.

Walters is expected to name Melbourne’s comeback king Billy Slater at fullback, shifting incumbent Maroons No.1 and Brisbane skipper Darius Boyd to the left wing.

Bennett said Boyd should be retained at fullback.

“The way the coach is talking they will stick with him at either wing or fullback,” Bennett said of Boyd.

“They have just got to make a decision. Billy is still great, but they play different games.

“Darius is what you are looking for. You just have to go back to last year’s series, the amount of tries he set up in really tight situations.

“He does it better than anyone else…and he’s safe. Look at the stats and see how many mistakes he has made.”

Six siblings heirs to Prince estate: judge

A Minnesota judge has ruled that Prince’s six siblings are the heirs to his estate.

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In a ruling made public Friday, Carver County District Judge Kevin Eide declared that Prince died without a will and that his sister, Tyka Nelson, and five half-siblings are his heirs.

There are people who filed appeals after their claims of heirship were rejected. Eide said that if the appellate courts send those cases back to him, he will still fully consider them.

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Eide also said Prince’s assets won’t be distributed without a formal court order and that nothing will be distributed that might adversely affect the claims of those with pending appeals.

Eide had previously said he wouldn’t declare the siblings as heirs until those appeals had been decided. Attorneys for those who appealed said their interests would be harmed if the district court didn’t wait out the appeals process.

But lawyers for Prince’s siblings didn’t want to wait, saying further delays would have increased costs to the estate and impede its efficient administration.

Prince died April 21 of an accidental drug overdose. Court filings suggest his estate is worth around $200 million. Federal and state estate taxes are expected to consume about half the value.

Meanwhile, Universal Music Group and Comerica Bank, the manager of Prince’s estate, are moving ahead with plans to terminate the $31 million recorded-music deal announced earlier this year.

On Thursday Comerica Bank, the estate’s manager, filed a motion to approve rescission of the the agreement based on “claims of conflicting rights to sound recordings.”

According to an announcement at the time, those recordings comprised most of Prince’s released work after he ended his initial deal with Warner Bros in 1996 as well as unreleased material, but also rights to certain recordings within that initial Warner deal; Warner is disputing those terms. The motion will be presented before Judge Eide on May 31.

Confusion over the February deal began as soon as it was announced.

The announcement said that “beginning [in 2018], UMG will obtain US rights to certain renowned Prince albums released from 1979 to 1995” – his most successful period by far, including the 1999, Purple Rain, Parade, Batman, and Diamonds and Pearls albums.

However, Prince had cut a new deal with Warner in 2014 that sources say garnered him the rights to the majority of his work released on the label.

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Rod Pampling on the move at Byron Nelson

Australia’s Rod Pampling made four birdies in five holes in a mid-round surge during the Byron Nelson Classic in Texas.

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After starting his round with six consecutive pars, Pampling went on an impressive run, starting with a 2m birdie putt on the par-5 seventh.

The 47-year-old backed it up with longer birdie putts at the par-4 eighth and ninth holes.

Pampling also made a birdie at the par-4 11th before dropping a shot at the par-4 14th.

The veteran Queenslander is eight shots behind runaway leader, American Jason Kokrak.

Kokrak’s collection of four birdies on his outward nine was matched on the run home at TPC Four Seasons in a bogey-free round of 62.

He holds a five-shot lead over fellow American Billy Horschel who backed up an opening round 68 with a five-under par 65.

Jason Day had a promising round going until the par-five 16th hole when he lost his ball off the tee and took a double-bogey to finish at three-under, nine shots off the pace after carding a one-under 69.

Marc Leishman and Greg Chalmers will also be in action at the weekend after they both had rounds of 71 to be at one-under.

World No.1 Dustin Johnson is within striking distance after shooting a second consecutive three-under-par 67 to be six-under at the halfway mark of the tournament.

One man who will not be around for the weekend, though, is Jordan Spieth after he missed the cut following a bogey-laden 75.

It was on the par-5 16th where the real damage was done as he had to take three tee shots on his way to a nine after sending his first two attempts out of bounds.

Reigning champion and recent Masters winner Sergio Garcia is 10 shots off the lead despite a superb round of 65, recovering from what was a poor first round.