Melbourne Storm win NRL grand final in front of over 37,000 fans

Melbourne Storm players celebrate after winning the NRL grand final. (Reuters)
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Updated 25 October 2020

Melbourne Storm win NRL grand final in front of over 37,000 fans

  • The match could be the last for champion Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith

SYDNEY: The Melbourne Storm led 22-0 at halftime and went on to beat the Penrith Panthers 26-20 in the National Rugby League grand final on Sunday.

The result ended a 17-game winning streak for the Panthers.

The match was played before 37,303 fans, well below the stadium’s capacity of 85,000 and restricted due to coronavirus protocols.

The match could be the last for champion Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith, who has yet to announce if he will play on for his 20th NRL season in 2021.

In a nerve-wracking finish at the Sydney Olympic stadium, Penrith came from 26-0 down with 28 minutes to play to reduce the margin to 6 points with just three seconds remaining.

With the Storm down to 11 men with Jahrome Hughes and Brandon Smith in the sin-bin, Penrith had one final play to level it from the kick-off after a late Nathan Cleary try.

But after they went back-and-forth across the field, the ball landed in Felize Kaufusi’s hands to wrap up Melbourne’s fourth NRL title.

“If there was another couple of minutes on the clock, I don’t know what would’ve happened there,” Smith said.

The Storm players didn’t have it easy on their way to the league title.

They haven’t slept in their own beds since June, having been forced into camp, first in Sydney before settling on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland state, due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Melbourne.

“With the conditions that we’ve been under, I think it’s a remarkable effort to be here tonight and get a victory,” Smith said. “We haven’t been home for about five months. We did it the hard way with 11 men in the end.”

Melbourne fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen won the 2020 Clive Churchill medal as the grand final’s player of the match.

The 22-year-old Papenhuyzen scored a second-half try from inside his own quarter, ran for a game-high 187 meters and made two tackle breaks in the Storm’s victory.


Golf Saudi strikes partnership with the Club Managers Association of Europe

Updated 30 November 2020

Golf Saudi strikes partnership with the Club Managers Association of Europe

  • Educational program will be tailored to support Saudis’ career pathway in and through golf

RIYADH: Golf Saudi and the Club Managers Association of Europe (CMAE) have signed an ambitious new partnership to work together to roll out a certified Arabic language educational program. This is the first of its kind, aimed at encouraging Saudi nationals to pursue a career in golf.

CMAE will set up an education platform in Saudi Arabia, drawing on its industry-renowned approach, to assist Golf Saudi in developing the domestic golf talent pool and ultimately creating new Saudi national certified club managers.

The association is a nonprofit making professional body with members involved in the management of sports clubs, health and fitness clubs and leisure, city and dining clubs in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

Commenting on the partnership, CMAE’s director of education, Torbjörn Johansson, said: “Golf Saudi’s pursuit of creating a progressive domestic golf market is asking some big questions of the industry and leading organizations. The domestic plans to not only train up but also equip aspiring talent are a major step and CMAE is proud to be a partner and on-hand to provide the tools and analytic expertise.” 

The CEO of Golf Saudi, Majed Al-Sorour, said: “Our partnership with CMAE is incredibly important for Golf Saudi, but also for the golf industry at large. This is only possible if we are able to upskill our domestic workforce. Golf is good for business and can provide a direct boost to the Kingdom’s GDP, as well as providing lucrative jobs and creating new enterprise. These are exciting times for the golf industry in Saudi Arabia and this agreement with the CMAE helps us to develop a world-class training program that will support young Saudi adults in unlocking the full potential of their future career paths within the golf industry.”

Golf Saudi, a subsidiary of the Saudi Golf Federation, is committed to delivering a national development program that transforms the golfing landscape and aims to create 3,700 jobs by 2030.

Since its formation in 2018, Golf Saudi has embarked on an ambitious national golf strategy, which has worked to support the Kingdom’s impressive Vision 2030. This agreement recognizes the importance of training the next generation of Saudis to meet expected future demand, particularly from international tourists, enhancing Saudi Arabia as a golfing destination.