'Gone far too soon' - Dylan Mika, former All Blacks flanker dies aged 45

Dylan Mika, former flanker for the All Blacks, has died. 

Mika was 45, and died after having a suspected heart attack. 

His family said in a statement: " It is with great sadness that the family of Dylan announce that he passed away suddenly and unexpectedly."

"He was a hugely talented athlete, well-respected in the Samoan community and abroad but just as importantly, to his friends and family a warm, wonderful, and caring man," it said.

The seven Test veteran died of a heart attack last night. Source: 1 NEWS

"Gone far too soon." 

Mika played for New Zealand in 1999, and for Samoa in 1994. 

New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew said the rugby community was stunned by the news and deeply saddened at his passing.

“Dylan is one of the rare talents, that represented both Samoa and New Zealand at a time when rugby had not long turned professional. He continued to have an active involvement in rugby both in Auckland and Samoa, and in particular, in his loyalty to the New Zealand Barbarians,"

"Our thoughts are with Dylan’s family and friends,” he said.

Mika was All Black number 982.

Dylan Mika in action for the All Blacks against the Wallabies


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Mother of Spanish golfer slain in US talks about her daughter's special shine

The parents of slain top amateur Spanish golfer Celia Barquin Arozamena spoke about their daughter on Wednesday, saying she had a "special shine."

Her mother Miriam Arozamena spoke near their family home in the northern Spanish village of Puente San Miguel.

Looking distraught, the mother told reporters that she used to speak with her daughter every day and that she was an intelligent, studious and organised person.

The golfer was finishing her degree at Iowa State University when she was killed.

Collin Daniel Richards, a former inmate from small-town Iowa with a history of violence, was charged with stabbing Barquin Arozamena to death during a random attack while she was golfing by herself in broad daylight on Monday morning.

Celia Barquin Arozamena was playing a round in central Iowa when she was allegedly attacked by Collin Daniel Richards. Source: Associated Press

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Jared Waerea-Hargreaves says Roosters in fine form without enforcer Dylan Napa ahead of NRL finals

The numbers show Jared Waerea-Hargreaves won't rest without front-row starting partner Dylan Napa, but the Sydney Roosters hard man insists it's not a one-man job to uphold a perfect record without the Queenslander this year.

The Roosters will play without Napa for a third straight game in Saturday night's grand-final qualifier against South Sydney, after he was suspended last month for the knock out blow on Brisbane's Andrew McCullough.

Having battled injuries both during and after Queensland's State of Origin campaign before the latest suspension, Napa has missed six games this year - of which the Roosters have won all six.

And he largely has Waerea-Hargreaves to thank for it up front.

The Kiwi prop's top three running games this year have all come while Napa has been missing for either all or the majority of those games, including his herculean 215-metre effort against Penrith in round 15 when his Queensland front row partner had left the field early.

But he maintained it wasn't just he who had stood up this year during any absence in the pack.

"Obviously when you have players like Napa, Sio Siua (Taukeiaho), Zane (Tetevano) in the team with experience, you share the workload," he said.

"When you get these younger boys and they don't play as much time, obviously statistically you are going to do more work because you are out there longer.

"But we have guys in the team like (bench forwards) Lindsay (Collins), (Nat) Butcher and Ryan Matterson that I've really enjoyed their growth this year."

"To see them grow with the confidence they have now 26 rounds in, you build that relationship and trust."

Waerea-Hargreaves and the Roosters' pack have had their help too in terms of the territorial battle.

Cooper Cronk is ranked second in the league for average kick metres, while the 688 metres he booted against Cronulla in week one of the finals was the most by any player in any game this year according to Fox Sports Stats.

Blake Ferguson and James Tedesco are also the NRL's two leading metre-eaters in the competition this year, while Daniel Tupou is ranked sixth to make for the best running and most powerful back three in the NRL to kickstart their sets.

"For myself and Fergo we just love doing it," Tupou said.

"We know it helps the forwards out and puts them on the front foot.

"That helps out not just the forwards but the whole team, especially with Cooper and his kicking game."

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 18: Jared Waerea-Hargreaves runs the ball during a Sydney Roosters NRL training session at Kippax Lake Oval on September 18, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves runs the ball during a Sydney Roosters NRL training session at Kippax Lake Oval in Sydney. Source: Getty


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Australian Diamonds avenge Commonwealth Games loss to England, remain unbeaten in Quad Series

Australia have overcome some shaky first and last quarter periods to avenge their Commonwealth Games netball final loss to England with a 52-47 win over the Roses last night.

Trailing 14-9 late in the first quarter of their Quad Series game in Newcastle, Australia outscored England 15-10 in each of the the two middle terms to take control of the match.

They had a seven goal third quarter buffer slashed to two inside the last four minutes, but steadied down the stretch to beat England in the first clash between the nations since the Commonwealth Games.

"Obviously there was a little bit more fire in the belly but we did try and put it behind us and to play our game, Comm Games was a while ago now," Diamonds defender Courtney Bruce said.

"Really happy with what we were able to put out.

"It's just knowing that the game is not going to be won in a half for us and that we have to grind it out and do the hard work to get the outcome."

Australia are the only one of the four teams to win two out of two and will clinch the series with a win over New Zealand in the final round in Melbourne on Sunday.

Diamonds coach coach Lisa Alexander made one change to her starting seven, with Kelsey Brown, who made her debut off the bench in the previous game, starting at wing attack in place of Liz Watson.

Veterans Serena Guthrie and Geva Mentor won England plenty of ball in the first quarter.

The Roses ,who were without injured shooter Jo Harten, bolted to a five-goal advantage, before Australia scored the last two of the quarter.

Alexander made a change in the second quarter, bringing in Watson at centre in place of Kim Ravaillion.

The switch paid off, with Australian captain Caitlin Bassett seeing a lot more ball.

After having just six attempts in the first quarter, Bassett made all 11 of her shots in the second, in which player of the match Watson racked up nine of her 21 assists.

A run of five straight goals pushed the Diamonds into a lead of three and though England got back on level terms, Stephanie Wood notched the last two goals of the quarter to give Australia a 26-24 halftime lead.

Wood, who went into the match under an injury cloud, was replaced at halftime by Gretel Tippett after making ten out of her 12 shots.
England coach Tracy Neville made numerous changes between the second and fourth quarters.

The Roses struggled for fluency as Australia lifted their intensity, but found some rhythm in the last quarter.

Bassett finished with 37 out of 40, while Helen Housby led England's scoring with 29 from 35.


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'The public's only heard one side of the story' - Bunnies coach defends Sam Burgess over ongoing sexting scandal

South Sydney coach Anthony Seibold says people will soon be able to make up their mind on the sexting scandal that has embroiled Sam Burgess, claiming they had only heard one side of the story.

Seibold was also adamant the off-field controversy had only made the Rabbitohs tougher ahead of Saturday night's NRL preliminary final against Sydney Roosters.

The NRL integrity unit's probe into allegations lewd images were sent to a young woman from one of Burgess' social media accounts are expected to conclude by Thursday despite reports of a setback.

An emotional Burgess addressed the scandal on Tuesday, repeatedly saying he would be "happy for the truth to come out" without going into specifics.

Seibold echoed Burgess' thoughts after saluting his team's resilience for overcoming the off-field distraction in their dramatic 13-12 semi-final win over St George Illawarra.

The allegations were made public on the eve of the Rabbitohs' clash with the Dragons although the alleged incident occurred back in May.

"The public has only heard one side of the story," Seibold told Sky Sports Radio.

"The investigation will hopefully conclude today or tomorrow and then people can make up their own mind on the story that has been out there.

"Obviously it wasn't ideal having the club on the front page and being the lead story on most of the news agencies across the country on Friday and Saturday last week but I thought the guys showed a lot of resolve."

The Rabbitohs may be expecting a verdict before the grand final qualifier however reports suggest the NRL's investigation hit a snag.

Fairfax reported the woman at the centre of the allegations had refused to speak with investigators from both the Rabbitohs and the NRL when contacted while on holiday in South Africa.

Either way, Seibold said the ongoing scandal compounded by back to back one point finals finishes had only steeled his side ahead of their clash with the minor premiers.

South Sydney No.7 Adam Reynolds' three field goals helped the Rabbitohs pull off a stunning one point win over the Dragons a week after falling short 29-28 to Melbourne in a qualifying final.

"I think the hard football is making us tougher," Seibold said.

"And we've shown we can handle pressure. I think we have shown a lot of resolve and resilience.

"We are not fatigued by any means. We are really confident heading into the Roosters game."

Sam Burgess of the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Source: Photosport


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