Moses nails golden-point winner for Eels

Mitchell Moses has finally shown why Parramatta fought hard to steal him mid-season, nailing a golden-point field goal in the Eels’ thrilling 13-12 win over Canterbury.

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Moses saved the Eels’ blushes after almost throwing away their top-eight spot with a poor second-half display on Thursday night that allowed the Bulldogs to force the extra period.

But in front of a crowd of 14,061 at ANZ Stadium, Moses piloted a 25m shot to consign the Bulldogs to their sixth defeat in seven games, all but ending their season.

Down 12-2 at half-time, the Bulldogs cut the deficit when Brett Morris took advantage of a defensive brain explosion by Kenny Edwards in the 49th minute.

And although they had a mountain of possession thereafter, that was how the scoreline looked to stay until interchange utility Matt Frawley dummied past Tepai Moeroa to draw level.

But despite losing the golden-point toss, the Eels took advantage of a questionable penalty early in the first set of the third period when Michael Lichaa was penalised for stripping.

“I thought the penalty in the extra time was a pretty tough call, to be honest. I think he got it wrong. But we had other opportunities. It was a tough game,” Bulldogs coach Des Hasler said.

The Eels then needed just three plays before Moses stepped up in the clutch to deliver his best moment in Parramatta colours since moving from the Wests Tigers mid-season.

It was easily Moses’ best performance for the Eels, with him playing a hand in both their tries and coming up with some big defensive plays, including a try-saver on Josh Morris.

Lock Nathan Brown was named man of the match after producing a game-high 228m and 42 tackles in an 82-minute performance.

The signs were ominous early for Canterbury, who were on the backfoot in just the third minute when an errant first-tackle pass from Will Hopoate should have ended in a penalty try.

Instead, winger Marcelo Montoya was sin-binned for preventing a certain four-pointer from Mitchell Moses and Gutherson kicked an early penalty goal.

Down to 12 men, the Bulldogs twice bombed opportunities to take the lead and instead settled for their own two points gifted by Edwards.

However, that was as threatening as the visitors got as the home side took a half-time lead through tries to wing pair Bevan French and Semi Radradra.

Bulldogs captain Aiden Tolman’s matched Brown’s whole-game effort with 147m and a game-high 54 tackles in the defeat.

Eels coach Brad Arthur said there was no excuse for their second-half display.

“Maybe I need to rip into the boys a bit more just before we go out after half-time. They just had some big bodies out there, carried hard and aggressive,” he said.

Bayliss expects tough England decisions

England coach Trevor Bayliss admits he faces the toughest selection meeting of his two-year tenure ahead of next week’s first Test against South Africa.

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Bayliss names his squad on Saturday morning for the series opener at Lord’s while contending with a number of injury concerns in his bowling attack, Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad among them.

And the chief cause of anxiety in the batting line-up is the collapse in form endured by opener Haseeb Hameed, who has failed to reach a half century since returning from a successful winter in India.

Bayliss, however, welcomes the number of options available as England prepare to open hostilities against the Proteas next Thursday.

“In the two years I’ve been here it will be the toughest selection meeting that I’ve had. It’s a good problem to have when you’re struggling to know which guys to put in,” Bayliss said.

“It will depend what happens at the top and where we decide to bat Jonny Bairstow. There are a few possibilities.

“Someone like Mark Stoneman has been doing well at the level below. Does Joe Root go back to three and we put an extra middle order player in?

“Where does Jonny Bairstow bat? This is all up for discussion and we’ll come up with an answer.”

Broad is struggling with a bruised left heel but it is hoped the Nottinghamshire seamer will be able to play in Saturday’s One Day Cup final at Lord’s as a warm-up for the first Test.

“We’ll know more tonight (Thursday) before our selection meeting in the morning,” Bayliss said.

“He’s been training the last couple of days when we’ve been putting him through more of a test and if he comes through that he’ll play in the one-day final as a test for the Test match.”

While Hameed is struggling, England can take comfort in the rampant form of Alastair Cook, who has struck three centuries since relinquishing the captaincy to Joe Root.

“It’s great that after giving away the captaincy he’s still got that hunger for runs and it was great to see him making another hundred yesterday (Wednesday),” Bayliss said.

“I’m sure he’s looking forward to this Test series. I’m sure that as an ex-England captain it will be bit of a juggling act for him in terms of how much he gets involved.

“I know that he and Joe Root get on really well. Cook is very well respected in the team and I’m sure if he feels something needs to be said, he will.”

Attack’s aim to disrupt, not profit: NCSC

The cyber attack that struck businesses around the world earlier this week was designed to disrupt rather than earn money, Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has said.

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The attack, which affected major organisations including advertising firm WPP and European bank BNP Paribas, was originally thought to be a type of ransomware, which blocks access to files and demands a ransom be paid to unlock them.

The virus, which has been referred to by several names including ExPetr, also affected parts of the Ukrainian government’s computer systems.

However, the NCSC said in statement it now believes the motive of the attack may have been solely to cause disruption.

“Earlier this week, we were made aware of a global cyber incident that was reported to be ransomware,” the organisation said.

“While managing the impact to the UK, the NCSC’s experts have found evidence that questions initial judgements that the intention was to collect a ransom.

“We are investigating with the NCA and industry whether the intent was to disrupt rather than for any financial gain.”

The theory has been supported by security experts, including Anton Ivanov and Orkhan Mamedov from cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab, who claim that the malicious software has been designed to destroy files, rather than earn money.

“After an analysis of the encryption routine of the malware used in the Petya/ExPetr attacks, we have thought that the threat actor cannot decrypt victims’ disk, even if a payment was made,” the pair wrote on SecureList.

“This supports the theory that this malware campaign was not designed as a ransomware attack for financial gain. Instead, it appears it was designed as a wiper pretending to be ransomware.”

The security experts said this was the “worst-case news for victims” because even paying the ransom would not return data to their control.

“This reinforces the theory that the main goal of the ExPetr attack was not financially motivated, but destructive,” they said.

Merkel avoids backing diesel as hits out at emissions cheats

In an interview with the Wirtschaftswoche magazine published on Thursday, Merkel did not give a clear commitment to the diesel technology that her government has promoted to help cut carbon dioxide emissions and fight climate change.

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“What is important is that the newest and best technology is used,” she was quoted as saying. “We are in a transformation phase away from the combustion engine.”

Merkel’s comments – almost two years after the Volkswagen emissions scandal broke – come as her government faces growing pressure ahead of national elections on Sept. 24 to reduce diesel pollution or see cities impose driving bans.

Sales of diesel cars have been falling since the VW scandal, but have dropped faster since cities, including Stuttgart and Munich, have considered banning some diesel vehicles, blaming emissions for a rise in respiratory disease.

On Tuesday, German ministers announced they would establish a national “diesel forum” to find ways to cut pollution and set up a new organisation to test vehicles.

On Wednesday, German carmakers BMW, Audi and truck manufacturer MAN agreed with the regional government in Bavaria to cut nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from diesel engines, a likely precursor to the national plan.

Foreign carmakers have not yet committed to cutting emissions but will likely do so by the Aug. 2 meeting of the government’s “diesel forum” on Aug. 2, the German auto importers’ association VDIK said on Thursday.

Germany’s ADAC car club, Europe’s largest and most influential, has warned consumers to push back planned purchases of diesel cars until cleaner Euro-6D technology becomes available in new models this autumn.

Merkel said how fast the shift away from combustion engines took place had to be negotiated, with efficient combustion engines likely to still have a long future, perhaps combined with electric motors in hybrid cars.

Last month, she admitted Germany was likely to miss the government’s target of bringing 1 million electric cars onto the roads by the end of the decade, but added the breakthrough could come very abruptly, as with the smartphone.

Merkel, who has been criticised by environmental and consumer groups for defending the diesel industry since the VW scandal, hit out at manufacturers that cheat emissions tests.

“There is nothing that can justify the fraudulent methods used to limit test values in the diesel area of some manufacturers that has damaged the whole diesel business,” she said.

“For many years we have appreciated diesel because it helped save fuel and CO2,” she said, adding some things had to be re-evaluated.

(Reporting by Emma Thomasson and Ilona Wissenbach; Editing by Mark Potter)

Post-Brexit UK must try to influence EU car rules, McLaren Automotive says

McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt also told Reuters he was looking to boost the company’s graduate recruitment schemes in case the free movement of EU citizens is restricted, a sign of how firms are seeking to mitigate the risks of a “hard” Brexit.

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Formula One’s McLaren set up the separate McLaren Automotive in 2010 to rival the likes of Ferrari, with the firm posting record sales and profits on Thursday.

But the UK car industry is increasingly worried about the shape of a Brexit deal with its top export market, warning a loss of access to the EU’s single market and customs union would add tariffs and trade barriers, putting plants at risk.

Flewitt told Reuters Britain needed to maintain its influence on EU emissions rules, and differing vehicle standards between Britain and the bloc would make building vehicles pricier for no good reason.

“Right now all of the EU has one homologation standard and you can use the UK authorities to homologate and it is recognised across the whole of Europe,” he said in an interview at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in southern England.

“It would add cost and it would add complexity if they start diverging slightly,” he said.

McLaren, alongside the likes of Aston Martin, is one of several small British carmakers to benefit from special EU rules that recognise they cannot meet the same emissions standards across their range of cars as larger manufacturers.

Many are worried that without Britain at the table deciding on future standards, those advantages could be taken away, as Prime Minister Theresa May’s government begins two-year talks on how to extricate Britain from its biggest trading partner.

Flewitt said his chief financial officer had already begun preparing for Brexit and was looking at how to mitigate any restrictions on immigration, which drove many Britons to back leaving the EU.

“We are looking at extending our graduate programmes, our apprenticeship programmes to develop more people internally in case there is any restriction on the mobility of skilled labour,” he said, echoing initiatives underway at a variety of British companies.

As the young McLaren Automotive expands, there has been growing speculation about its future ownership.

Last year, Flewitt told Reuters the company’s shareholders – which include Bahraini investment fund Mumtalakat and TAG, a company led by Saudi-born businessman Mansour Ojjeh – had turned down bids from prospective buyers.

On Thursday, he said it made sense for the sports carmaker to float on the stock market, but not until at least 2020.

“I do think we will do something like an IPO,” Flewitt said.

“If I give a time frame, I’d say three to five years.”

(Editing by Mark Potter)