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(generated from captions) This Program is Captioned Live Today - the Space Shuttle Atlantis blasts

Atlantis blasts off on its

final space mission. Also on

ABC News 24 - two former

employees of the tabloid 'News

of the World' arrested in

connection with the phone of the World' arrested in

hacking scandal. Millions of

pensioners to receive increases

to their payments beyond any

costs associated with the carbon tax. show unemployment in the show unemployment in the US

grinding to a halt.

Good morning, you're

ABC News 24. I'm Nick Dole.

Checking tomorrow's weather:

The last Space Shuttle

Florida watched by a million flight has blasted off from

people bridges road. It marks the end

of an era for America's space program. Cheers for a of an era for America's manned

moment of history. astronauts about to moment of history. Four

final Space Shuttle. It is the

end of an era. The launchpad

awkward fit, but the launch is Atlantis fuelled and ready. An

on. The Shuttle's have flown

for 30 years. Now the last count down. 2, 1, 0. And lift off. The off. The finalist off of

Atlantis. Even from 3 miles

away it is staggeringly bright

as the Shuttle as the Shuttle accelerate s

towards 17,000 miles an hour.

second now, here it comes, the An incredible sight and any

great wave of sound. You can

actually feel it inside you. Huge crowds were watching, an emotional sight. It meant

everything to me. I wanted to

see a Shuttle launch anything. We came all the way

from Virginia and seeing that,

it just made me have something

to tell my friends when I get home. Nine minutes to reach orbit, a spectacular start to

12 days in space. British

police have arrested two former employees of of the World' in connection employees of the tabloid 'News

with phone hacking and corruption allegations. Andy Coulson was the paper's editor at the time of the at the time of the alleged

hacking and is suspected authorising is secret payments hacking and is suspected of

to police. Clive Goodman, the

former royal editor, jailed in

2007 for phone hacking has arrested over 2007 for phone hacking has been

arrested over alleged payments to police. I'm joined Philip Williams. Good evening

to you. This scandal keeps spreading. How significant is the arrest of Andy Coulson? It

is highly significant. It has

been anticipated for some days

now. He was the communications director for the Prime Minister, David wells Minister, David Cameron, as World' editor from the period wells act the 'News of the

up political and newspaper connections. It is very, very significant. An

for the Prime Minister, but let for the Prime Minister, but let

me just add to this count now, third arrest 63-year-old man two arrests you mentioned, a

arrested in Surrey, we don't

know who it is, but it is

connected to this whole investigation. That's now three today. Added to a couple

more that were added to more that were added to the

list about three or four weeks

ago and it is expanding and it

will only get bigger because

we've now been told Guardian newspaper, if this

turns out to be true, that News

International executives, one

in particular, has deleted

thousands of emails that perhaps might lead to other embarrassing possible

revelations. This scandal just

keeps growing and growing and

no-one knows where it's going

to end. How bad is this for number 10, because of course

Andy Coulson is no longer

involved there? Can David

Cameron distance himself El

entirely from this? He hasn't

entirely distanced himself. He entirely distanced himself.

still is a friend. He said he was

still is a friend. He said I

took the punt on him. I gave

him a second chance after he'd resigned in 2007 over hacking scandal. course at the time that he knew hacking scandal. Claiming of

nothing about it, but

take responsibility for it.

Many people had warned him

along the way, this is a bad

move. This is a guy who is

tapted. This is a guy that

will embarrass you at some time N January, of course, he resigned and Cameron didn't try to stop him resigned and obviously David

and now of course we've come to this point. It is

embarrassment. It does call into question the Prime Minister's judgment. It is not catastrophic for him because we now have six months between the

time that he worked for the

Prime Minister and now and clearly, he's in very deep

trouble now, but I think there's sufficient distance now

between the Prime Minister and

him that the Prime Minister

will probably evade the worst of this judgment about him. Have there been any charges against Andy

yet? No, not yet. It is quite yet? No, not yet. It

a different system here

you can be arrested and not a different system here that

charged immediately. He has

been questioned for probably about six or seven hours today.

He looked shaken. He looked

quite emotional really as he came out of Lewisham police

station in south London only a

couple of hours ago. He spent

a long day there and we don't a long day there and we don't

know what was said of course inside there, but we do know

had his fingerprints the procedures. He will have

mugshot taken, that's quite

humiliating for him for a start, but we have start, but we have no doubt

that he won't be alone. There will be many more like him probably offer the coming days

the and perhaps weeks. Of course

the final edition of 'News of the World' will be out tomorrow. That that News Limited has tried tomorrow. That was one way

that News Limited has tried to contain the damage. How is

this looking for them as time goes on particularly for their prospects of those important

deals like the one with that's still on the cards? deals like the one with BSkyB

Yes. I mean, really, 'News of

the World' has been a great

money spinner for them, so money spinner for them, so (3)

800-0000 pounds a year revenue

it earns, so to shut that down

of course is a very, of course is a very, very big

financial decision, but they

figured there were bigger fish

to fry here and BSkyB is a 6 billion pound operation. This

is the prize the British broadcaster they want to take

over. Right now, I would say

if you polled the country, they'd have no chance

whatsoever. There's great pressure

through literally tens of

thousands of submissions from

ordinary people saying don't

let Murdoch take over this

company. He's not worthy of it. We don't want him controlling that much of controlling that much of the British television industry or

the media industry in general.

There's now huge opposition grown-up around that particular issue and the government has

responded by saying we've got a

lot of documents to go through.

We need more time. If they were going to very shortly, I think they'll

defer that. I think the effort by the by the Murdochs to take over this operation are going to be very much very much more difficult

because of what's happened, it not impossible. Europe correspondent Philip Williams

in London, thanks for

that. Thank you. Millions of pensioners are set to pensioners are set to receive

increases to their payments

increases to their payments beyond any beyond any costs associated

with the carbon tax. The ABC understands nearly 2

Penger overcompensated for the tax,

leaving them about $2 10 per

year on average better off.

For more I'm joined by Andrew

Greene in Canberra. Just one more sleep to go before the big announcement, but more details

are continuing to leak out. It's almost hard to believe there's anything else

to be leaked out, but yes, we are seeing another skerrick are seeing another skerrick of information emerging a day

before this big announcement is

officially made and the latest instalment is that pensioner

households, as you say, roughly 1.85 million pensioner

households, are expected to

receive upfront increases to their payments. The government

is saying that this will leave

them around $210 better one awe

all the cash costs are all the cash costs are factored

in. This is it in line with

what the government has been saying roughly 70% of the

population will be fully compensated for costs that are

incurred by a carbon tax. incurred by a carbon tax. We

hear much of the good stuff and the nasties will no doubt

revealed as well tomorrow in the official carbon tax

announcement. In any case, one of of the leading climate change

economists here in the nation's capital at the ANU, Dr Frank,

says higher energy prices

around necessarily a bad around necessarily a bad thing

for households. Let's take a

listen. You could almost put

it this way, you can say that with higher energy price because of carbon tax the

opportunity to save money on the energy bills actually greater. Andrew, what are greater. Andrew, what are the political political leaders up to today?

The Minister the day before

she unveils her much awaited

carbon tax package is addressing the NSW conference in Sydney. conference in Sydney. This of course is a party that's

suffered a demoralising defeat at a state level when Christina

Keneally lost the premiership

and her career has taken quite a hit from that. We know that

at a Federal level, though, New

South Welshman nidgeed to hang on to a number of seats which

kept Julia Gillard in power.

No doubt the disastrous state

result and Labor's falling fortunes generally will fortunes generally will be

discussed at this conference,

also the contentious issue of gay marriage. Julia Gillard

will be addressing the NSW

Labor Party conference and Tony Abbott is visiting a mine in Queensland. All ahead of the carbon tax announcement tomorrow. Andrew Greene in

Canberra, thanks very much for

that. Thanks, Nick. The

Gillard Government is Gillard Government is just a day way from disclosing full details of that carbon pricing scheme, as

how has its equivalent faired

overseas? Connie Hedegaard is

the European Union's Climate Change Commissioner in and the former Danish Minister For Climate and Energy. The ABC's Europe correspondent Emma

Alberici spoke with her about the effectiveness of the

emissions trading scheme emissions trading scheme and

other climate measures that have been place in the have been place in the EU member countries since 2005. Australia is introducing

a carbon tax. You can really change people's behaviour by just making something just making something more expensive? expensive? Actually, you can.

It is not like just like that.

It is not coming tomorrow, the day after you're introducing

such a thing. Actually, I

think that very unconscious we are very are very much impacted as consumers, as citizens, as

businesses to the price tag attached to something. It doesn't necessarily follow,

though, that raising the price

of carbon will lead of carbon will lead to

innovation. It is because when something gets more expensive,

when it gets more expensive pollute, then if you're an industry, for instance, then

you start to look for less polluting technologies. Then it might suddenly pay off might suddenly pay off to

invest more in research and

development, find more energy

efficient solutions, less

polluting solutions, so that is

sort of the stimulus you give. You're given an incentive to

look for better look for better solutions and that is our experience in Europe, that that actually works. What concerns Australians

do introduce a carbon tax or an

emissions trading scheme, you

encourage jobs and high

polluting industries to simply go overseas. You know, we hear

that argument time and that argument time and again also in Europe of course having

ambitious targets, being the

first one to go and so so forth, but when we analyse

it, we see no evidence that

industries moved out due to

carbon tax or due to our emissions trading emissions trading scheme. Part of the

meant, has it not, moving some high polluting production to countries like China. That's

true and that is of course why

some of us think it is still

incredibly important to get an

international deal in this

area. I mean, I myself have

been working for this for many

years and so have a lot of

other people. It is not just

because we think it is the most

important thing issue of the

world, it is because we know

that as long as we

the global framework then we

can export the problems to one

another. Everyone ought to

another. Everyone ought to be able to see that able to see that is not a

solution. More and solution. More and more mutually interdependent world we have to try to find international solutions. That's

our Europe correspondent Emma

Alberici speaking with the Alberici speaking with the EU Climate Change Commissioner

Connie Hedegaard there. You

can see an extended version of that interview that interview next hour here

on ABC News 24. Tomorrow, join ABC News 24 from 11 am ABC News 24 from 11 am eastern

for live coverage of Julia Gillard's announcement of the carbon price scheme with full analysis on how it will analysis on how it will affect you. That's Sunday here on ABC

News 24. A 25-year-old

Australian is in a serious condition in hospital after

being gored by a half tonne

bull during the bull run in northern Spain. Organisers say

the bull turned on the tourist

after he taunted the beast, tossing him across the sand of

the bull ring. Six other runners including another

Australian suffered bruising

but weren't serious injured.

The world's newest country has been declared with the new

republic of Southern Sudan

becoming Africa's 54th state. Independence celebrations are

under way in the southern

capital where it is just after midnight local time. Southern Sudan's long waited separation

was forged through a 2005 peace

deal that deal that ended decades of civil war. It will begin life

as one of the world's poorest

countries with a majority of

people living on less than 1 dollar a day. In a recorded

message the Australian Foreign

Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd

says he's delighted to welcome

the world's newest country.

The number of new jobs created

in the US in June was the

lowest in nine months as the

employment recovery stalled.

For more I'm joined by our

Washington correspondent Lisa Millar. What did these figures

show? It showed really bad

news, Nick, and it took

everyone by surprise. First of all,

up from 9.1 to 9.2% and that's

the third month in a row the third month in a row that

it started going back up, when for several months it was on

the way down and everyone thought that they'd broken through this terrible

recession. It's on the way

back up again. What has back up again. What has really

surprised everyone is that they thought that business becoming a little more

confident. They were expecting

at least 100,000 new jobs to at least 100,000 new jobs to be

created and instead 18,000 new jobs were created. jobs were created. That might sound a lot for an Australian audience audience but when you audience but when you think

there are 14 million there are 14 million Americans still out of work and they need

to be creating well over

100,000 jobs every month just

to keep up with people who to keep up with people who are end derg terg the workplace, like students leaving like students leaving school,

then this is a long way from

where it needs to be. It

probably why Barack Obama was a

little sombre as he gave a press conference in the rose

garden at the White House. Today's job Today's job report confirms

what most persons already know.

We still have a long way to go

and a lot of work to do to give

people the security and

opportunity that they deserve.

The problems in Greece and in

Europe, along with uncertainty

over whether the debt limit here in the United States will be raised have also made

businesses hesitant to invest more aggressively. US President

Barak Obama there. Barak Obama there. Lisa, President Obama is blaming the problems overseas and the debt

ceiling uncertainty there. Do

we know why these numbers are

just so much worse than just so much worse than anyone

expected? They really had the

marketing reeling. They just

didn't not see this coming.

Oil prices have started to ease

and they thought they'd and they thought they'd also

got through all the crises

involved with the tsunami in Japan and winters they had here as well

which really has an impact on

the job creation market. The fact that they haven't seen what they wanted to see,

everyone is going to be looking at the numbers

out what's gone wrong here, but

certainly that debt ceiling that Barack Obama alluded to

then, the limit, they've got until the start of August to

try to come to some agreement

over that. The Republicans and

Democrats are way apart still

at the moment on that. Of

course, that is not going to

make private enterprise or

government departments feel confident decisions or hiring new people. Has this doused hope

that there will be some sort of a momentum regain in the second

half of the year? I bet it's dousing hope in dousing hope in the White House, because most people consider Barack Obama is going

to have a big uphill battle to regain the White House in 18

months time if the economy does

not start showing better signs

of improvement. I can't begin to tell you, badly the analysis has been

today not only for the economy,

but also for the White House. They've talked previously about

a double-dip recession, people today aren't suggesting that

that is on the horizon, but

they're really scratching their

heads trying to work out why

business in America isn't

starting to put back people

on. Tough months ahead for Barack Obama I imagine. Lisa

Millar in Washington, thanks for that. Thanks, Nick. As we

have heard, jobs growth ground

to a halt in the United States

last month according to latest

unemployment figures. The US

economy generated a paltry

18,000 jobs in June, lower than

expected. The fall in new jobs

pushed the overall unemployment

rate with 9.2% with employers

hiring the fewest number of

workers in nine months. The

data is dampening hopes the

economy was on the cusp economy was on the cusp of regaining momentum. It hasn't been announced yet, but the

Gill's Government carbon tax is

set to pass set to pass through Parliament. Andrew Wilkie has announced

he'll support the tax when the legislation eventually hits

Parliament. Julia Parliament. Julia Gillard will

reveal details of the carbon tax plan tomorrow. The Reserve Bank Assistant Governor Guy Debelle says Australia's

account deficits are no cause

for alarm. Australia's dt

account deficit stood at 10.5

billion at the end of the first quarter, prompting some investors and bankers to raise concern. Guy Debelle says Australia's banks aren't

funding the current account.

To the market numbers, mining stocks led the gains on the local sharemarket.

Ordinaries and the ASX 200 both

ended the week higher. In ended the week higher. In the

US, stocks plummeted in the

wake of that poor jobs data,

but they did managed to recover

most of those losses by the

close. And the Australian

dollar is currently hovering

around 108 US cents. to Parramatta still has a chance

of making the NRL finals. It is

slim. The hope is there there though. They could though. They could make it. The Parramatta Eels have

maintained those slim

after a 16 point win over the

West Tigers overnight. The New

Zealand Warriors moved into Zealand Warriors moved into the top eight over a convincing win

over the Gold Coast Titans.

The Eels won their first game

of Friday night football this

season at the Parramatta Stadium. Benji Marshall was a

late inclusion for the Tigers

as he returned from a knee injury. The Eels injury. The Eels had all the

early ball and Haynes Haynes

powerful drive to the line let

to Adkins try. A clever Marshall quick unluckily found

the goalpost to deny wade

McKinnon it was 6 nil to

Parramatta at halftime but it looked look a dose of looked look a dose of Benji

Marshall magic would spark the

Tigers. Surely he won't catch

him. Marshall. Smith he after him and he's got him. Nothing was going

up right again conspired against

against them, this time in

defence. And Rennie mat Tua got the second. He's scored for

Parramatta. It was wild and unpredictable footy from the Eels but it was effective and Ryan Morgan made it 20 nil.

Morgan scores. Robert Lui gave the Tigers some hope with 20

minutes left, but the Eels

didn't let it slip. In

Auckland the warriors were

coming off four losses in a row but they were facing the competition'S worst team. The

New Zealanders only led by four at halftime, but at halftime, but they powered

away in the second half to push

back into the top eight. back into the top eight. That is the best. Not even Mat

Rogers's r return from

retirement to help the Gold

Coast Titans. West Coast has

and the AFL ladder leader

Geelong its second consecutive

loss. The once invincible Cats fell to the eeg gels points at Subiaco Oval. The

Cats were looking to a Cats were looking to a phone for their first loss of the

season last week to Essendon.

They opened with the first two

goals of the match. The Eagles reeled off the next four majors and they continued to outoutline and down pace the

Cats in the second term. They led by 35 points at the main

break. They'll get another.

He's got two. The Cats got

momentum back in the third.

to close the gap to 11 and it

was a tense final term with the Eagles just eclipsing the Cats. The Queensland Reds will go in

search of the Super Rugby title

this evening. They face this evening. They face off against the 7 time champions

Canterbury Crusaders. The

capacity crowd of 52,000 is expected at Lang Park as expected at Lang Park as two sides touched by natural disasters look to hand something back to their panels

with a win. It would be nice to do something for them to bring that trophy back to Queensland and hopefully put some smiles on some people's faces. Queensland boss Ewen

McKenzie has named an unchanged 22

22 for the match with the Reds

notching a one point win over

the Crusaders earlier this season. Britain's Mark Cavendish has won Stage Cavendish has won Stage 7 of the Tour de France. It was Cavendish's second stage Cavendish's second stage win

this year and his 17th overall.

While his compatriot Bradley Wiggins crashed out in a multiple file up. Bradley

Wiggins is in that Is a rather sad situation for

Wiggins. Wiggins has gone down and he's involved in that crash somewhere. I can't see him on

the ground there. That's not

too good for him. While Mark Cavendish took the

Cadel Evans came in 22nd and remains second behind remains second behind overall

leader Thor Hushovd of Norway. The Australia is through to the

semifinals of the world netball

championship in Singapore. The

Diamonds beat Malawi by 14 goals in their goals in their quarterfinal last night. Jamaica. After winning their

quarters. Caitlin Bassett was

the star performer for the

Diamonds with 100% record of 21

goals from 21 attempts. Malawi

were put up a tough fight but were overwhelmed by the

defending champions. Motor

sport and Mark Webber has

posted the quickest time in

practice overnight ahead of the

Britain's Formula One Grand

Prix. Webber outshone his Sebastian Vettel and the rest

to post a fastest slap time as

he looks to sealed consecutive

wins at the track. His compatriot Daniel Ricciardo compatriot Daniel Ricciardo was

slowest on his debut for

stragglers HRT. I think the first

first aim is to try and finish and just get the miles under my

belt and the experience I think

at this level of my career

that's the most important thing. Two Australians haven't started the Formula One race

together since Austria

One of them, Alan Jones, One of them, Alan Jones, was the

picture shows cloud pushing over Victoria and SA ahead of a

cold front triggering cold front triggering scattered

showers. Cloud pushing over Tasmania with storm force winds is triggering rain and more

cloud is developing over

central WA in a trough and

that's triggering patchy

showers. It will be mostly

clear in the east. Taking lock around the capital cities

now. There will be isolated showers about the north-east

Queensland coach but it should

be fine and cool for the That is the news for now.

I'm Nick Dole. Stay I'm Nick Dole. Stay with us for 'Contact Sport'. You're watching ABC News 24. Closed Captions by CSI # Theme music Hello and welcome to Contact Sport, I'm Amy Bainbridge. On the program today, we'll talk Super Rugby ahead of the showdown between the Reds and the Crusaders in Brisbane. We'll meet Australia's paralympians as they countdown to next year's games in London. And, AFL still popular with the Irish With the national team heading to Australia next month for the International Cup. I was living abroad, actually, over in Sweden about five years ago and I had a fried over there who's Australian I was living abroad, actually, over in Sweden about five years ago and just took it from there. They were short players and they asked me to come out and play and fall in, so once I started playing I just loved it at kept with it. We're just one week into the biggest cycling event on the planet - the Tour de France. Australia's Cadel Evans notched up an early victory, edging out Alberto Contador on a hill-sprint finish This year it seems he finally has the team around him to take him all the way. Riders like Lance Armstrong's former lieutenant, the 16 tour veteran George Hincappie, were singled out by Evans after the stage. I don't know what happened but I had to change bikes about 15km to go and today my hero is Marcus Burghardt, he took me right from the very back right to the front and dropped me off right where I needed to be in the last few kilometres. It was George and all the other guys who won this stage today. Well, speaking of team work, while Cadel Evans has been winning stages - other Aussies such as Stewie O'Grady and Mark Renshaw are quietly working away in a bid to secure victory for their teams. The ABC's James Bennett is following the tour. He caught up with Richie Porte, who hails from from Tasmania, to talk about the job of supporting the defending champion, Alberto Contador. tour in a row for you it's a pretty big ask, how you feeling so far? I mean, I'm second year professional, and it was a hard Giro. but, really, I feel pretty good, actually. I mean we've had a month in between, I've done some good recovery, but, you know, now I think my form is right where it has to be and I mean, I'm certainly coming to some good shape right now. Excellent, and how are you feeling ahead of today? and I mean, I'm certainly coming to going into a team time trial and yesterday was a little bit of a disaster from a team's point of view. But look, we're good and smooth, strong today but I mean, we were pretty good, we're second at the moment so I mean, we're not a specialist team time trial team for this race so, look, maybe we're going to lose a little bit more time but I think what we lose Alberto can make up in the mountains. And that's where you're going to be expected to do a fair bit of work, as well? Yeah, I mean, I've come here with the job - I mean, I'm not riding it myself but you can't really when you've got the best GC rider in the world in your team. So I'm really looking forward to getting into the mountains and I think that's where we're going to show ourselves to be a strong team. It has been a very steep learning curve for you, hasn't it? You've really jumped up very quickly. Yeah, I mean last year I had a really good season as a neo-pro this year hasn't been so good, you know. Got a few results, but it hasn't quite gone how I wanted it to. and I'm just, I'm looking forward to the last part of the season. Is that a way of saying it'll be good when you get through this? Oh, I hope so, you know, I've got some nice races after this, I mean, I'm looking forward to it. Do you pinch yourself looking around at this? Yeah, I mean, it is. The Giro is the second biggest race in the world but you come to this and it's just the next level, it's incredible. I mean, the thing is, it's a job now and you can't really be overwhelmed but, you know, I'm enjoying every second of it. Yeah, just. When the big crash went down with 9km to go, I mean, there's not a hell of a lot we can do. It sort of happened within the first 25 guys which was where you want to be. You know, there's not a lot you can do if a crash goes like that. That was a stressful day, and, you know, a few times where we came close to hitting the deck but we lost time, it was disappointing but we're going to move on and hopefully the mountains are going to suit us more than the other teams. Thanks to James Bennett for that report. To Super Rugby, and the Reds and Crusaders The Reds had a one-point win over the Crusaders at Lang Park in May, but bookmakers and has been part of the Wallabies coaching staff in the past. I spoke to him this week, about his expectations of the Super Rugby final - and what it means for the World Cup later this year. I think the biggest thing is just getting over the jetlag in the weeks - this actual week itself. I think mentally they've managed to stay on top of it all season so I don't think that's an issue. recuperate well and train smart this week and I think they'll be fine. What, thus far, in the Super Rugby season have you been able to read into, I guess what might happen later on this year in terms of Australia's forwards are going to hold out at the World Cup? Um, look, I think Australia is particularly at scrum time - there's probably an evolution. I think Robbie and Puto have done a good job at an international level with the Australian team, and there's some really good boys coming through like James Slipper and Tatafu Polota-Nau, who's a very good hooker, Benny Robinson, so I think Australia will fare better in the scrum than they probably have done in the past, and as I said i think there's a bit of an evolution there, not so much a revolution. But so the scrum, I think, will fare better but the Kiwi's, as are the Crusaders, have a very, very strong scrum. so that's going to be a test for the reds on Saturday night. Lineout-wise I think, look, Australia have some very good lineout operators in Nathan Sharpe and the possibility of Dan Vickerman coming back in. So again, like the scrum, I think there's a bit of an evolution there and I think in both cases they'll be relatively strong. and it's intercepted by Rod Davies, the fastest man on the paddock tonight! Don't say it! First try of the semi final intercept. ...Cooper, bringing Davies in. Rod Davies! Double to Rocket Rod! Puts on a bit of footwork, quick hands and now Davies - hat trick! Rod Davies! Three tries in a semi final! It was power, not pace on that occasion. Yeah look, I think Dan Carter's been a legend of the game for almost a decade and he's been an outstanding player for New Zealand and the Crusaders and his game is a lot about control off the back of a foundation that the forwards set for the Crusaders - that very strong strong scrum, and they really do concentrate on going forward and putting Carter on the front foot. As against Cooper, he's just a genius in that he can tear any defense apart so he can get the ball anywhere in the park as he showed on that counter-attack last week in setting up that try for Ben Tapuai which was absolutely outstanding. So, they're contrasting styles. controls the game, kicks very well, his decision making's outstanding So, yeah, it's probably an outstanding clash, yeah, really looking forward to it. The Crusaders are very pragmatic in how they do things and they've probably got years and years and years of doing the same thing and I think, you know, that builds confidence in the team their scrum is outstanding, their breakdown is outstanding, they've got the best breakdown play in the world and Richie McCaw. And then, as I said, when you've got someone like Sonny Bill Williams in the centres whose ability to off load and create situations from nothing, that's gonna be exciting as well. the big question for me for Queensland is how much quality ball they can get. If they get quality ball, if you see Genia and Cooper on the front foot, From an Australian point of view, let's tip Queensland. Mark Bakewell there. Well, the Reds might have won their last Super Rugby encounter against the Crusaders, but the Kiwis will go into this weekend's final as the favourites - at least with the bookies. But Reds coach Ewen McKenzie isn't happy about his team's underdog status. I'm not stressed about it, it's just, you know, from out point of view, we just want we don't want to be underdogs. We've never been interested in that all year and unfortunately we still are. So for me its a search for credibility. We've come a long way, we've got a Ewen McKenzie there. Well, this week's State of Origin win for Queensland was a fitting farewell for Darren Lockyer. The captain of the maroons has played his last match for queensland. After the most intense build-up in State of Origin's 31-year history, Darren Lockyer's 36th and final appearance for Queensland will go down as one of his most memorable. Lockyer led Queensland to an unprecedented run of riches in his 13-year origin career. A sixth consecutive series win was completed in the most emphatic fashion and, typically, Lockyer was in the thick of it. At the age of 34, he played a role in three tries including the match-clincher for Billy Slater with 15 minutes remaining. Coach Mal Meninga paid tribute to Lockyer as a player, and a person. his business. And that's a really good lesson to any young rugby league player In our society, the way he's humble about all of his achievements is really a mark of a man. And so I'm lucky to be involved in all this and lucky that Lockie's been the leader of the footy side he's made a huge difference to my input into the series. You know, I think once I take the jersey off and go for a shower and packed the bag and at least walk out of the dressing room, you know, it'll sink in. But you know, I think I've said all along, this particular team. You know, I've been playing for Queensland since '98 so I've had a good run from that State of Origin victory was an injury to Queensland scans have revealed medial ligament damage to his knee Doctors say it's a grade two medial ligament tear and bone bruising, which will put him out for six weeks. But Thurston has set himself the challenge of returning to the field for the Cowboys in just four weeks. Well, the countdown is ticking on until next year's London Olympics and Australia's Paralympians are getting excited as well. Our Paralympians will compete across 20 sports in London next year, including athletics, goalball and wheelchair tennis. Amanda Shalala spoke to some Australian athletes about their preparations. We want to get gold, and I certainly think with the group we have, we can get there and be competitive against the other teams. Something that just started out as a hobby, interested in, and a way that I could participate in sport that was equal, without my disability getting in the way. You know, it's kind of the icing on the cake. If I win one race next year, and it's the marathon in London, then it's a success. we've had some good experiences in the past, like, we came out of Athens with a silver, we came out of Beijing with a bronze, You know, you obviously think about that, and that's what you want to achieve,

so we're all feeling good What does it mean to you personally to be getting ready to go to your third Games? It's really exciting. I love the idea that working with the team, that we can get this chance to go there and compete. There's nothing like putting on the green and gold and representing Australia and trying to represent us in the best way possible and show how great we are. Like in all sports, we don't necessarily have the massive numbers of USA or Europe or that sort of thing, but I think we compensate for it by having the passion and the drive

to just push ourselves regardless and be the best regardless. and an exciting thing to take into London I think this year, leading into London and with the increase in support, even the uniforms, they've really taken a step ahead. I think that when you look across the team is gonna have to step up and continue to follow this momentum. I think I grew up looking up to the people that mattered to their sport and continually was able to defend their position you grow up hearing stories of Dawn Fraser, I got to see Kieren Perkins try and go three straight gold medals in the on event, and then I got to see Ian Thorpe and Grant Hackett, I get to sit at the start line and look around at the guys and try and defend my title for the third Paralympic Games. and everyone explaining what's coming up, and all the uniforms, and stuff, it's very overwhelming, but at the same time, it's pretty exciting, it's nothing I've ever experienced before. What do you think this means for the sport? Because I know goalball was sort of off the radar in Australia for a little while. Yeah, well, just to get Australia up competing in these competitions is so important - we've been so neglected in the whole world goalball scene that for us to compete in these competitions and actually do respectably well, things for goalball in Australia in the whole world goalball scene and hopefully in the world, and people will learn more about this sport and what it has to offer. To the women's football World Cup and the Matildas have had a good week, beating Norway to progress to the quarter finals against Equatorial Guinea that had the team a little dazed and confused. In one of the most bizarre moments to unfold in international football, four match officials who were wired watched, but failed to take any action when an Equatorial Guinean defender caught the ball as it rebounded off a goalpost. The incident didn't derail the Matildas' efforts. They were able to win 2-1. and all eyes are on Australia and New Zealand to see if they'll reach the final again this weekend But in the meantime, spare a thought for Wales Their match against Botswana went down to the final seconds when Wales score to make it 47-46, their first ever World Championships. win. Now to our final feature on Contact Sport this week. The AFL has farewelled former Demon, Sean Wight, who died from cancer at just 47 years of age. Wight has been remembered as a pioneer of the drive to bring players from Ireland to Australia to play AFL, in the same era of the legendary Jim Stynes. These days AFL is still popular in Ireland, so much so that they're preparing to play in the International Rules tournament that Australia will host next month. where the ABC's Dave Baker caught up with them.