#1 ting the corners. It was very encouraging.After Edubray Ramos worked the seventh and Hector Neris pitched the eighth, Gomez blew his third save in 28 chances.Tommy Joseph hit Fernandezs first pitch in the seventh out to left for his 12th homer. Odubel Her von dasg234 24.04.2019 01:26

The greatest player in rugby league at the moment will be in action at Headingley on Sunday.Johnathan Thurston is not only the greatest current player, he is going to go down as one of the all-time greats. The 32-year-old is odds-on to be made the ninth Immortal once he retires, and his story is fascinating. From washing cars to winning the Grand FinalHere is a player who was told throughout his formative rugby league years of 17 to 19, youre too small, youre too fragile and youre too much of a liability in defence. Thurston says he is likely to hang up his boots when his Cowboys contract expires This is after his parents had made huge sacrifices, including sending him away so he could focus on rugby league. They held raffles in the local pub and rugby league club in order to raise the $700 that was needed to send JT away on an U17 camp with Queensland.He was taking his rugby league seriously, having been a self-confessed ratbag when he was younger, and two coaches came up to see him. They were Nathan Brown, who is now at Newcastle, and Ricky Stuart, who at the time was Jersey Flegg coach at the Canterbury Bulldogs. Thurston left Canterbury after helping them win the Grand Final in 2004 Stuart was the only one who pursued him. He pleaded with JT to relocate to Sydney, but couldnt offer him any money. Thurston signed a zero-dollars contract; you dont want to be signing too many of them in your life.He had to wash cars from Monday to Friday to fund himself. He trained during the week and played at weekends. He got a run-out under Stuart and made his first-team appearance, but was in and out of the team. When anyone that he replaced came back from injury, JT was dropped.In the 2004 Grand Final, a late injury to Steven Price saw Thurston parachuted in. He came off the bench, Canterbury won, and he gave his ring to Price.Reality check Thurston reached another Grand Final in 2005 but the Cowboys were beaten by Wests Tigers By that stage the Bulldogs had offered him a contract but it was a lot less than the offer being waved by the Cowboys. He wanted to stay at Canterbury and sat in his agents car in tears after he was given the news that they wouldnt retain him, at what he thought was a fair market price.So up to North Queensland he went and they got to the Grand Final the following season, where he was named Dally M player of the year. He went stratospheric in the NRL in 2005 but came short of winning the grand prize.Thurston was also a star performer during Queenslands eight-year dominance in the State of Origin. He was the only player to play in every one of the 24 games as they won eight consecutive series. Johnathan Thurston scores a try in game one of the 2009 State of Origin But then his enjoyment of life probably overtook his commitment to the game. It culminated in an arrest in Brisbane in 2010 for alleged drunk and disorderly behaviour, which was subsequently dropped. However, being pictured coming out of a police station was not a good look for the captain of North Queensland and the Cowboys were unhappy with his approach to the game. A few different people sat him down and one of them was Phil Gould, the most successful New South Wales coach of all time. He was up in Queensland working as a consultant for the Cowboys.Gould asked Thurston how he wants to be remembered. When you finish your career you want to do it on an upward trajectory, not on a downward spiral. Thurston took that on board and turned his life around. He met his partner Samantha, who is now his wife, and everything since then has been phenomenal.Things to look out for Thurston is one of the best place-kickers in the game He does everything with a smile on his face. He gets frustrated when things dont go right, as everybody does, but he is a happy man and plays that way.Watch him with he kicks a goal. He can convert it, he can miss it; either way, the first thing he does is pick up the tee and hand it to the ball boy or girl. In one game he threw it on the ground but immediately snapped out of it, picked up the tee and handed it to them.He gives away his headgear after every game, making somebodys day, and he also does a lot for the indigenous community.International allegiances Thurston kicked 14 points in Australias World Cup final win over New Zealand in 2013 Thurston has starred for Australia but he was approached in 2004 to play for New Zealand. His father is a Kiwi and Daryl Hannigan, the great Kiwi winger, rang Thurston up and asked him if he would consider playing for New Zealand.Although he played in the Grand Final with Canterbury that year, Thurston wasnt the hot property he is now. He took the time to consider it and spoke with his parents, but he still had the dream about playing for Australia so he turned them down.He made his Australia debut in 2006 and the rest is history.2015 Grand Final Thurston reacts after his late conversion attempt came back off the post The hooter had sounded, the Cowboys had scored a try in the corner from the final play against Brisbane to tie it up at 16-16, and Thurston had a kick to win the Grand Final.Thurston is a Brisbane boy and the Broncos rejected him when he was younger.Alan Langer, Brisbanes assistant coach, walked up to him as he was readying himself for the kick and said, Ill give you $500 if you miss it. Thurston told him where to go and lined his kick up, only for it to come back off the post. Thurston kicks the match-winning drop goal The game went to golden point extra-time but following Ben Hunts knock-on, Thurston slotted over the drop goal. Cool, composed and in the midst of the most pressurised kick in the world, he was still able to have a humorous interaction with a member of the opposition.Thurston is a phenomenal athlete and Leeds will be wary of his show-and-go. If you want to see a master at work, with a smile on his face, tune in on Sunday night.He has got a great surrounding cast around him and this is not a one-man team by any means, but the man they have at the helm is the worlds greatest. And as you can see by the video below, he still doesnt take himself too seriously. Can the Super League champions beat the best in the NRL on Sunday? Not if Johnathan Thurston has anything to do with it... Watch Leeds Rhinos v North Queensland Cowboys live on Sky Sports 1 HD on Sunday from 6.30pm. Catch the match for £6.99 on NOW TV. No contract.Also See:Thurston rules out Super League moveNRL: Six players to watchBurrow has faith in RhinosRugby League on SkyCheap Adidas Running Shoes . PETERSBURG, Fla. Cheap Ultra Boost For Sale . The recently retired Stern was elected Friday to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and will be enshrined with the class of 2014 on Aug. http://www.clearanceultraboost.com/ . -- Arizona knocked off some quality opponents, rolled over a few overmatched ones and grinded out victories even when things didnt go so well. Wholesale Adidas Ultra Boost . Meanwhile, there were huge victories for Sunderland and West Ham over fellow relegation rivals, leaving the battle to avoid the drop up for grabs with the bottom 11 teams separated by just six points. Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres scored second-half goals to seal a fourth straight victory for Chelsea, which climbed above Arsenal and Manchester City in the standings ahead of their games on Monday and Sunday respectively. Discount Ultra Boost . Clarke was injured while practicing on the Doha Golf Club range after the pro-am on Tuesday. The Northern Irishman arrived at the course on Wednesday hoping to start, but after hitting a few balls on the practice putting green Clarke advised officials he was not fit to play.PHILADELPHIA -- Martin Prado got a second chance to get a clutch hit and didnt miss.Prado hit a solo homer in the 11th inning to lift the Miami Marlins to a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night.Prado struck out for the second out in the ninth before the Marlins rallied off Jeanmar Gomez, scoring two runs on Christian Yelichs double and Marcell Ozunas single.I had a rough first four at-bats, Prado said. Basically I didnt let those four at-bats affect the future, or the next at-bat.The Marlins had been 0-40 when trailing after eight innings.Im just happy to see everybody not panicking when we dont need to, Prado said. We just played it out, all the way -- like 27 outs, you never know whats going to happen.All-Star Jose Fernandez tied a career-high with 14 strikeouts and hit 100 mph in the first inning. He allowed two runs and four hits in 6 1/3 innings.I wasnt at my best, he said. Trying to throw first-pitch strikes today. Wasnt too good.Prado hit his third homer of the season off Brett Oberholtzer (2-2). Kyle Barraclough (6-2) pitched one inning for the win. A.J. Ramos finished for his 30th save in 31 tries, retiring Maikel Franco on a fly ball to the warning track in left-center to end the game.Even in game that basically we got handcuffed most of the night, our pitching kept us there, Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.Cody Asche prevented the Marlins from taking a lead in the 10th when he made a diving catch to rob J.T. Realmuto of a run-scoring hit with two outs and runners on first and second.Philadelphias Aaron Nola pitched two-hit ball over six innings, striking out five. He got the final two outs in the sixth after Adeiny Hechavarria ripped a line drive off his right shoulder. Nola said hes fine.Good news was Nola, managger Pete Mackanin said.dddddddddddd He pitched really well. He was painting the corners. It was very encouraging.After Edubray Ramos worked the seventh and Hector Neris pitched the eighth, Gomez blew his third save in 28 chances.Tommy Joseph hit Fernandezs first pitch in the seventh out to left for his 12th homer. Odubel Herrera hit a double to start the bottom of the first and later scored on Francos groundout to second.STATSFernandez became the fastest player to reach 500 strikeouts. He did it in 400 innings. Fernandez has fanned 14 four times in his career, including June 5 against the Mets. ... Phillies 2B Cesar Hernandez went 0 for 3, extending his hitless streak to 19 at-bats. ... Phillies were 36-2 when leading after eight innings.STANDINGSThe Marlins (50-42) entered tied with the Mets for the second wild-card spot in the NL. The Phillies (43-51) fell to eight games behind Miami.SAVE MACHINEArmando Benitez was the last Marlins pitcher with 30 more save through 92 games. Benitez had 31 at the same point in 2004. He set the franchise record that season with 47 saves.REST PAID OFFNola was 0-4 with a 13.50 ERA in his last five starts before the All-Star break. The Phillies skipped his last turn so he had 15 days off between starts.TRAINERS ROOMPhillies: OF Aaron Altherr had his rehab assignment transferred to Single-A Clearwater. Altherr tore a tendon in his left wrist in March. He batted .241 in 39 games last season, but 20 of is 33 hits were extra-base hits.UP NEXTRHP Vince Velasquez (8-2, 3.32 ERA) starts for the Phillies on Tuesday night. RHP Jose Urena (1-1, 7.52) will makes his first start this season for Miami. ' ' '

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