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  • 22 May
    West Coast midfielder Chris Masten rejects any suggestion the clubs shock finals loss to the Western Bulldogs was linked to this years controversial bye after the regular season ended.The Eagles stormed home to win nine out of their final 10 matches including wins against highly ranked Hawthorn, Greater Western Sydney and Adelaide, the latter two away.The Bulldogs went into Thursday nights elimination final after a loss to lowly Fremantle in Perth and mixed end to the year.I dont buy that momentum thing. All a couple of extra days can do is freshen a few blokes up, Masten told AAP.We got some blokes to play that we wouldnt have (without the bye) - they probably did as well.The 27-year-old, who had 10 kicks and 14 handballs in his 161st game, said he was unhappy with how he played.He felt the players had trained well leading into the match after finding form in the final two months of the home and away season.We were up and down this year but I think the way we finished off the year was pretty good ... we felt like our best could beat anyone, Masten said.We expect to play really deep in finals and push for a grand final but we havent done that.We played below what we know were capable of and its going to be a really tough pill to swallow over a long summer.He said the Eagles were unable to handle the Bulldogs playing a flicking it around, high-paced, high-octane run gun footy that they knew was their style.We just didnt rock up ... and the Bulldogs were very good, he said.They were cleaner, better in the contest, we were beaten in pretty much every area on the ground.You are not going to get close when the game is like that. 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In what the team had called a retirement, Ryan said Thursday that he is resigning as chief executive of the Rangers in a move effective at the end of this month. Nike Roshes Cheap Online . Third-seeded Murray had the easiest path to victory on New Years Eve, barely breaking a sweat during his 6-0, 6-0 win over 2,129th-ranked Qatari wildcard recipient Mousa Shanan Zayed. STILLWATER, Okla. -- Jalen McCleskey is making the most of coverage schemes focused on James Washington. And its paying off in a big way for Oklahoma State.Kansas used double coverage to limit Washington to one reception for 9 yards on Saturday, but McCleskey responded with six catches for a career-high 129 yards to help the Cowboys to a 44-20 victory.The sophomore receiver has turned into a potent target for Mason Rudolph and Oklahoma State (5-2, 3-1 Big 12), totaling 38 receptions -- one more than Washington -- for 536 yards and four touchdowns.Teams lately have been taking away James, said McCleskey, who is listed at 5-foot-10, 170 pounds. Just going into the game knowing that if they take away James, that me and (fellow receivers Chris Lacy and Jhajuan Seales), were going to have to make plays, because were going to most likely be in single coverage. When they call our number, we just have to make the play.McCleskey already has exceeded his numbers from his freshman year, when he had 29 receptions for 253 yards and three touchdowns. He gets another opportunity to step into the spotlight when Oklahoma State hosts No. 10 West Virginia (6-0, 3-0) on Saturday.Hes got really good instincts, hes got tremendous hands, offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said. Hes a well-rounded receiver. Now, hes got to do some things in the blocking game better, but at the same time, hes really not built for blocking too much. But hes got great speed, hes got great change-of-direction, his hands are tremendous. Hell continue to improve, and hes a very heady player.The Cowboys relatively new rushing ability also has been a key part of overcoming the attention being paid to Washington. Freshman Justice Hill gained 162 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries against Kansas and ranks fifth in the Big 12 with 565 yards.Its a simple game, its math -- if theyre going to defend (the pass), then you have to be able to run the ball, Oklahoma State coach Mike Guundy said.dddddddddddd If you cant run the ball, it makes for a long day. Inside receiver and running game is what opens up in most cases, if youre going to get over-the-top coverage on a certain receiver.For his part, McCleskey relishes the challenge of being a go-to receiver.I always want to see James and all the other receivers play well, too, he said. But if they take away one player, then somebody else has to step up and be that next guy up, so being able to do that really helps the team win.Gundy credits some of McCleskeys football intelligence and attention to detail to his upbringing. His father, J.J. McCleskey, played 78 games as a defensive back for the New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals from 1993-2000.Just the gym rat concept environment that hes raised in, Gundy said of the benefits of having an NFL alumnus as his dad. Obviously, hes gifted genetically. Hes worked on his speed and hands throughout his career. Im guessing that his dad had probably shared things with him that helped prepare him to play at a high level like he is right now. And hes a very intelligent young man. He gets it, and all the big picture around him doesnt really affect him too much.McCleskey has learned to use his undersized body as an asset and has never viewed being smaller as a detriment, even though he routinely puts himself in harms way against much bigger defenders.Thats mental toughness, just knowing that youre going to get hit, but you got to go out there, said McCleskey, who also has gained 64 yards on seven punt returns this year. Most definitely (there are benefits to being smaller). My speed, being able to get through the defense, being able to make people miss while running through the middle, things like that. If you just go out there and play fast, most likely youre not going to get hit as much. ' ' '