State of Origin 2018 game 3 preview, plus all the latest footy news on the In the Clear NRL Podcast

Out of reach: Brad Abbey competes for the ball in another tight loss for Canberra at the weekend. Bottom picture: AAP

Out of reach: Brad Abbey competes for the ball in another tight loss for Canberra at the weekend. Bottom picture: AAP

Here are the rundowns for our two community podcasts this week, giving you the highlights and low-downs of the latest NRL and also the joys, and pains, of being on the road as a Champion photographer . . .

IN THE CLEAR AUDIO PODCAST

Hawkesbury Gazette journalist Conor Hickey joined the In the Clear NRL podcastthis week to talk about the Canberra Raiders’ dismal record in close matches. “The Canberra Raiders have a 7-27 [20.5 per cent] record in the Ricky Stuart era when playing against top eight teams in matches decided by eight or fewer points,” he said. “You can’t be a competitive force if you can’t win the close games.”

Also, co-hosts MattLawrence and Chris Boulous (pictured) give their NRL previews and discuss the decline of Johnathan Thurston. “Has he played one year too long? Probably, in hindsight. But the way the Cowboys have been playing hasn’t helped him,” Boulous said. “Michael Morgan was playing injured, Jordan McLean has missed most of the year and the team just look like they are tired from a tough couple of seasons.”

LIFE OF SI VIDEO PODCAST

Champion photographer Simon Bennett returns from a mid-year break with a bang in his latest fascinating weekly video podcast, Life of Si.

In Ep 19, he takes viewers behind the scenes at the opening of the Oran Park library.

In a video sequence he captures all the action as the attendees enjoyed a wide range of family-friendly activities, including mini racing cars, face-painting and crafts.

People also took part in guided tours of the new library and explored the amazing range of books on offer.

He also catches up with rising tennis star Sebastian Lavorato after he won the Picton French Open.

The left-hander, who trains out of Marconi Tennis and Squash, models his game on idol Rafael Nadal.

“I have a few exciting projects coming up,” Simon says. “I really enjoy winter and I look forward to sharing its beauty with you in the podcast.”

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