Muslim meeting constructive, insists A-G

Attorney-General George Brandis says he received useful feedback at a meeting with Muslim leaders, who have criticised his tardiness and remain sceptical about proposed changes to anti-terrorism laws.

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Mr Brandis was an hour late to his meeting with key Muslim leaders in Sydney’s west on Friday. A spokesman said he had been held up in traffic.

The leaders said that after the attorney-general arrived, they had only 30 minutes to review draft amendments to the federal government’s anti-terrorism legislation.

Muslim leader Hany Amer said there was not enough time to look over the proposals, which aim to stop young Australians being radicalised and taking part in wars in the Middle East.

As they stand, the laws did not have enough safeguards for the innocent, he said.

The leaders say they left the meeting in Parramatta with the same concerns they had at the start about the Muslim community being unfairly targeted.

But a spokesman for Mr Brandis said the meeting was “friendly and constructive”.

He said the attorney-general delayed his flight to be able to stay longer than scheduled and the proposals were only a few pages.

Further consultations have been agreed, the spokesman says.

“The attorney-general received useful feedback which will assist in the development of legislation,” he told AAP on Saturday.

Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said the government was sincere in its wish to work with community leaders.

“We think it’s important for Muslim leaders to demonstrate leadership and to do what they can also to ensure that all Australians – Muslim and non-Muslims – living in Australia can do so in safety and without risk of there being outbreaks of violence,” Mr Truss told reporters in Canberra on Saturday.

Seven for Hawkins in big AFL win by Cats

Tom Hawkins led the way with a career-high seven goals as Geelong powered to a 62-point win over the Brisbane Lions on Saturday night.

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The result shored up third spot on the AFL ladder for the Cats and set up a qualifying final clash with arch-rivals Hawthorn.

With Fremantle having beaten Port Adelaide earlier in the day, the Cats knew they had to win at Simonds Stadium to avoid slipping to fourth place and a nightmare trip to Sydney in the first week of the playoffs.

They did it with ease, extending their lead at every change to win 21.17 (143) to 12.9 (81) against the under-manned Lions.

Hawkins led the way with seven majors – giving him 62 for the home and away season.

Midfielder Mitch Duncan (35 possessions) and skipper Joel Selwood (29 disposals and two goals) challenged Hawkins for best afield honours.

If the late withdrawals of vice-captain Tom Rockliff (virus) and clever forward Dayne Zorko (personal reasons) were not enough bad omens for Brisbane, it became crystal clear it wasn’t going to be their night when the ball struck Darcy Gardiner flush in the temple in the second minute following an errant kick from teammate Pearce Hanley.

But they continued to battle away, with Irishman Hanley and young guns Lewis Taylor and Zac O’Brien among their best contributors.

Josh Green led the Lions’ goalscorers with three.

Hawkins kicked four of his seven goals in the opening half, but the Cats did most of their damage in the second as they recorded their biggest score of the season.

Geelong and Hawthorn will return to the MCG on Friday night to renew their great modern-day rivalry in the first week of the finals, only two weeks after the Hawks beat them by 23 points in round 21.

With Matthew Leuenberger returning to the Brisbane lineup after recovering from a serious knee injury, Lions coach Justin Leppitsch experimented successfully by also regularly deploying his other ruckman Stefan Martin at the centre bounces.

The Lions ended their first season under Leppitsch in 15th place with a 7-15 win-loss record.

Cats coach Chris Scott was happy with his team’s last hitout ahead of an eighth straight finals campaign.

“It was a pretty good performance, especially the second half,” he said.

“We had a few young players in who performed well and have really pushed their case.

“Obviously this game means slightly different things to different individuals but the young players who came in and who haven’t played consistently for us during the year certainly didn’t do their case any harm.

“On that level it was positive and more broadly the preparation for our finals campaign was rounded off I think.

“We’re in a good place.”

Leppitsch was pleased with the Leuenberger and Martin combination.

“We used them more as a midfield combination tonight rather than as ruckman and forward,” he said.

“I think there’s something to work with there.”

North down Dees, warm up for AFL final

Melbourne brought Saturday night’s dead rubber to life, but North Melbourne brought the nous to win by 30 points at Etihad Stadium.

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The Kangaroos started the game knowing they would face Essendon in a sudden-death final seven days later – regardless of the result or margin against the Demons.

Brad Scott’s men looked every part a side that had nothing to play for in the opening half, but after the major break they moved the ball more intelligently and cranked up the pressure.

North booted five goals to one in the third quarter, laying the platform for the 19.9 (123) to 14.9 (93) victory.

Scott would have mixed feelings about his side’s fourth straight win, but his most pressing concern will be an update on defender Lachie Hansen’s hip niggle.

Hansen, who missed the past three games, returned against the Demons but was substituted at halftime.

Leigh Adams was left dazed after a clash of heads with Daniel Cross, the forward also landing awkwardly on his troublesome shoulder after the collision.

Captain Andrew Swallow was felled by an ungainly hit from Chris Dawes late in the third quarter, but played out the game.

Dawes, who booted two goals, then collected Jack Ziebell in the fourth term to earn the wrath of the majority of the 17,174-strong crowd.

North ruckman Ben Brown and debutant Mason Wood nabbed three goals each, while livewire Kayne Turner kicked four majors.

Swallow (22 touches, seven tackles and 11 clearances) was outstanding, while Jamie Macmillan impressed to create more selection headaches for Scott this week.

The fifth-year coach left Michael Firrito (soreness), Lindsay Thomas (knee), Levi Greenwood (calf), Todd Goldstein (soreness) and Luke McDonald (back) out of the side that dismissed the Demons.

All five are expected to tackle the Bombers.

Melbourne slumped to their 10th straight loss, but it was more akin to the respectable sort that long-suffering fans had grown accustomed to in the opening half of the season.

Led by Cross and Bernie Vince, the Demons dug in and played with much dare to enjoy their most productive opening quarter this season: 4.3.

The final score was also the club’s highest under Paul Roos, who will be busy during the off-season frenzy as he seeks to shore up the side’s depth.

Demons ruckman Max Gawn suffered a knee injury in the second term.

“He’s in doubt,” Scott said of Hansen.

“It’s something he’s managed throughout the year. He started the game really well.

“We’ll just see how he pulls up.

“He was a bit sore at halftime, so we decided a no-risk policy was the best one.”

Adams was assessed for concussion, with Scott frustrated when his medical staff wanted to activate a concussion sub – despite Nick Dal Santo having already come on for Hansen.

“Some staff members copped it … he (doctor) didn’t know the rules of the game. I’ll talk to him in private, it’s not really to be aired publicly,” he said.

Gawn will have scans on his knee.

Demons coach Paul Roos was happy with the side’s relative glut of goals, but concerned they conceded so many soft goals.

“It’s just going to be finding the balance between defence and attack over summer,” Roos said.

“When you start to focus on one thing, generally the other starts to struggle.”

Leverkusen twice battle back for 4-2 victory over Hertha

Talented Leverkusen teenager Tin Jedvaj enjoyed a rollercoaster afternoon on Saturday, scoring an own goal in the 24th minute.

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The 18-year-old Croat, on loan from AS Roma, made amends five minutes after the restart, beating the off side trap to round keeper Rune Jarstein for the equaliser.

Hertha, without a real scoring chance until that point, needed another Leverkusen mistake to score with Julian Schieber heading from close range after a bad clearance by keeper Bernd Leno.

Leverkusen, who had no trouble with an erratic Hertha defence, again drew level a minute later with Emir Spahic’s header after a clever free kick from Hakan Calhanoglu. Julian Brandt drilled in their third goal after Leverkusen twice hit the woodwork in a one-sided second half.

With the hosts now pouring forward, Karim Bellarabi, who last week scored the fastest Bundesliga goal ever after nine seconds, superbly volleyed in four minutes from time to seal their second win for a maximum six points.

It was a bitter afternoon for former European champions Hamburg SV, who were crushed 3-0 by newcomers Paderborn and are still looking for their first win of the season.

The minnows from North Rhine-Westphalia, who conceded a stoppage time equaliser against Mainz 05 last week, outclassed the Bundesliga ‘dinosaurs’ for their maiden Bundesliga victory.

Hamburg, who needed a relegation playoff to stay up last season, looked out of sorts and tumbled into an early season crisis.

Promoted Cologne also enjoyed a winning afternoon, snatching a 2-0 win at VfB Stuttgart while VfL Wolfsburg and Eintracht Frankfurt shared the points after a 2-2 draw.

Borussia Dortmund edged past Augsburg 3-2 on Friday. Champions Bayern Munich are in action later on Saturday when they travel to Schalke 04.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Clarke to return for Australia in Harare ODI

Clarke will bat at number three as Steve Smith sits out with Phil Hughes retained as opener.

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Clarke admitted Smith would feel hurt by his omission.

“He hasn’t had much of an opportunity in this series batting at six and seven, but he was picked in the (tournament’s) first squad as well so he’ll obviously be very disappointed,” Clarke told reporters at Saturday’s training session.

“But I got back in the team and someone had to go.”

Mitchell Marsh will drop down the batting order to six but will probably get a chance to bowl with the new ball as Mitchell Johnson is being rested.

All rounder Ben Cutting, who played the last of his three ODIs more than 18 months ago, will play his first match of the series at the expense of Kane Richardson.

Nathan Lyon, who missed Wednesday’s seven-wicket defeat by South Africa, was recalled for the match that will take place on spin-friendly conditions at the Harare Sports Club.

Clarke suffered a left hamstring strain during his first training session in Zimbabwe last week and missed the 198-run victory over the hosts on Monday and the defeat by South Africa in the opening encounters of the triangular series.

The 33-year-old, who is desperate to return to competitive cricket after a four-month break, endured intensive physiotherapy to regain match fitness.

Team: Aaron Finch, Phil Hughes, Michael Clarke (captain), George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Brad Haddin (wicketkeeper), James Faulkner, Ben Cutting, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon.

(Reporting by Mark Gleeson, editing by Pritha Sarkar)