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August, 2018

NDCA final: Wests captain hopes mother nature pitches in to help tame Lions

WISHFUL THINKING: Wests captain James King.WESTS captain James King is hoping for assistance from mother nature when the Rosellas defend 210 against Merewether at No.1 Sportsground on Good Friday.
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The deluge in the lead up to first day’s play provided enough moisture to convince Merewether captain Simon Moore to send Wests in.

This week has been bathed in sunshine.

“It would be handy if a bit of grass poppedup,” King said with a laugh. “That might be wishful thinking.”

Regardless of the pitch, King knows it is going to take a committed and controlled effort to tame the Lions.

“You have to use the new ball but it is about being disciplined all day,” King said. “You need to be keen and prepared for every ball. It is never easy to start at No.1 regardless of what the deck is doing. The outfield is slow and you never feel like you can get away from a team unless you go over the top. We have to take our chances.”

* Wests thought they had made the perfect start in the field when Merewether opener Ben Egan, with two overs to bat,flashed at the first ball.There was a big noise and theRosellas went up, but the umpire rightly ruled the right-hander had struck the pitch.

* IfSimon Moore was worried about losing a wicket late on Saturday he didn’t show it. There was no sign of a night-watchman as the experienced No.3 sat padded up ready to go.

* The delayed start to the decider because of the rain last week created an anomaly. The GF is normally contested on consecutive days.

“It does feel a bit strange for a grand final,” King said. “But that is what we have done all year.”

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Koroisau poised to sign new Manly NRL deal

Api Koroisau is eager to commit his NRL future to Manly.Manly have shown they’re ready to move on from their NRL salary cap scandal with in-form hooker Api Koroisau on the verge of re-signing with the embattled club.
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The 25-year-old has been widely tipped to break into the NSW State of Origin side this year and his impending contract extension is a massive shot in the arm for the club while they’re at their lowest ebb.

“It’s a great club and hopefully I can spend the next few years here,” Koroisau said.

The Sea Eagles on Monday had $330,000 slashed from their salary cap for this year and next year as part of the NRL’s sanctions for systematic breaches.

The club has also been fined $750,000, with $250,000 suspended, while chief operating officer Neil Bare and former chief executive Joe Kelly were deregistered for 12 months.

The club maintained their innocence and are considering launching an appeal.

Koroisau said his deal was held up by the NRL’s investigation – as Manly waited to learn how much would be docked from their salary cap – but now that it was complete, he hoped it would be rubber stamped soon.

“We were just waiting for the NRL to pass down whatever punishments they needed before my contract could be registered,” Koroisau said.

“I’m just going to wait for that to come around, hopefully that comes around soon.”

Koroisau has developed into one of the game’s premier No.9s since joining the Sea Eagles as a bargain basement buy from Penrith at the start of 2016.

With NSW incumbent rake Nathan Peats struggling to recover his form, Koroisau and St George Illawarra’s Cameron McInnes have their eyes on a place in Brad Fittler’s Blues squad.

Koroisau is among a handful of key Manly players off-contract this year along with Akuila Uate and Brian Kelly.

If there are fears among the playing group that the NRL’s punishment could affect their ability to secure an upgrade, they’re not letting it show.

“If I was worried about it, I would have brought it up with one of the managers,” Koroisau said.

“I’m pretty confident that everything will be fine.”

Australian Associated Press

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From Russia with laughter

A jovial ambassador Grigory Logvinov has denied Russia has spies in Australia.Russia’s ambassador has made jokes throughout an hour-long press conference where he denied having spies in Australia.
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In the ageing Russian embassy in Canberra, Grigory Logvinov told reporters the two diplomats Australia is expelling aren’t intelligence agents.

“They are absolutely legal, career diplomats,” he said on Wednesday morning.

Mr Logvinov rejected any suggestions there were Russian spies working in his embassy. Asked how many would be left in Australia after the two “undeclared intelligence agents” were expelled.

“Zero minus zero is still zero,” he said.

The jovial ambassador continued to crack gags throughout an hour-long grilling, that at times got heated.

He alleged a grand conspiracy between western nations to discredit Russia, and suggested it started when the country became more independent following the 1990s.

“If the west would follow this line, I’m afraid we will be deeply in a Cold War situation,” he said.

Mr Logvinov demanded to see evidence from Britain that Russia was behind the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury.

But then Mr Logvinov accused Australian spies of bad behaviour in 2016 and 2017 – without providing any evidence.

“We have a bad history of improper behaviour of Australian authorities,” he said.

Would he provide any details?

“Nope.”

On the downing of MH17, the interference in western elections and the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko, Mr Logvinov again demanded to see the evidence of Russia’s involvement.

Photographs of people working at the Russian embassy were published in newspapers, but Mr Logvinov laughed as he said they were technicians, drivers, and in one case, the wife of the embassy cook.

On the Skripal case that reignited the international push back against Russia, the ambassador said there was no reason for Russia to be interested in the double agent.

“He was sentenced, he served his sentence, he was free,” Mr Logvinov said.

“He’s of no interest to Russia any more.”

Australian Associated Press

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Nathan Tinkler pleads guilty to property damage at sister’s house

GUILTY PLEA: Nathan Tinkler outside court in Port Macquarie on Wednesday. Picture: Port Macquarie News
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HE’S lost his business empire and now his family.

The latestmilestone in formerbillionaire Nathan Tinkler’s fall from grace saw him plead guilty in Port Macquarie Local Court on Wednesday to property damage following a protracted and bitter family feud with his sister Donna Dennis.

The court heard Tinkler was trying to patch things upwith Ms Dennis when he went to her Kendall home at 8.15pm on December 28 because their mother, Zelda,was dying of cancer.

According to the police facts, Tinkler went to the house just days after Christmas to “repair the relationship so that his mother wouldn’t die knowing that her two children were still not talking to each other”.

Tinkler, who has a prickly reputationfor spectacularly falling out with people around him,initially spoke to his brother-in-law, Lindsay Dennis, outside the housefor about 10 minutes, until Mr Dennis went inside and locked the door.

Tinkler then yelled out to his sister, but when she did not come outsidehepunched a stained glass window next to the front doorand left.

Solicitor Nick Dore, for Tinkler, said there had been“disharmony” in the family for some time due to“financial situations”.

Ms Dennis, Tinkler’s only sibling, signed on as a director of several companies linked to her brother when his business empire started to collapse in 2014.

It was a move that eventually saw her declared bankrupt in July and banned in May by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission from managing companies.

She was banned as a result of information contained in reports provided by the liquidators of the failed companies associated with her brother.

Mr Dore told the courtTinkler punched the window in “frustration”, not malice, and left the property moments later.

“The exact opposite of what he wanted to occur, actually occurred,” he said.

Tinkler was later arrested at a Ross Glen property, outside of Port Macquarie, and spent six hours in custody.

Mr Dore saidthe court matter meant that Tinklerdid not attend his mother’s funeral when she died a few weeks later.

“Since then there have been attempts by his father and sister to contact him,” hesaid. “He hasn’t returned those calls…There is no need to contact those people anymore.”

Magistrate Price said she accepted punching thewindowwas“borne out of frustration” and there were no threats directed atpeople.

Sheplaced Tinkler on a 12-month good behaviour bond and ordered him to pay $594 to repair the window.

Tinkler also agreed to a 12-month apprehended violence order for Mr Dennis that wasrequested by the police.

The criminal case came just days after Tinkler’screditors refused to accept a settlement offer of $1 million to have his bankruptcy revoked.

InDecember, Tinklerunsuccessfully offeredless than 0.2 cents in the dollar to settle his $553.8 million debt to creditors.

It means he is likely tolose hislast substantial asset, a property at Ross Glen worth about $665,000.

Tinkler debuted on theBRWRich List with $426 million in 2008, at the age of 32, and peaked at $1.1 billion at the age of 35.

He was Australia’syoungest billionaire, andbriefest, declared bankrupt in 2016.

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NDCA final: Merewether quick unlikely to lend hand with bat

BROKEN: Merewether paceman Sam Palmer will have surgery on Thursday to repair a badly broken thumb he suffered attempting a catch on the first day of the District final against Wests. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers MEREWETHER quick Sam Palmer will “pack his whites” butoutside of an emergency the Lions will have only 10 batsman for their 210-run chase against Wests in theDistrict grand final at No.1 Sportsground on Friday.
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Palmer will have surgery on Thursday to repaira badly broken thumb he suffered attempting a catch during the Wests innings.

He suffered multiple fractures and may need to have bone grafted off his hip to rebuild the digit on his left hand. After the operation, the thumb will be in a splint for sixweeks.

“I did a good job of it,” Palmer said of the thumb, explaining that a Cooper Lennox drive “got big on him”.

“We will see how we go on Saturday,” he said.“Ideally,we bat well and I won’t be required, but if we need a couple of runs, I won’t say no.”

– Sam PalmerTweetFacebook Sam PalmerPictures: Fairfax photo library“I’ll bat if needed, but I’m confident the boys willget the runs,” he said.

“We have a strong batting line-up and everyone has stood up all year.”

Merewether captain Simon Moore is certainly not banking on Palmer providingany heroics.

“Sam has opened before and is no mug with the bat,” Moore said.“But if we are counting on our No.10 and No.11 then we are in trouble.We just have to bat well.The last couple of games we have struggled for runs.Our batting hasn’t clicked for a while.We have changed the order around a bit to see if players are better suited to different positions. It just comes down to blokes standing up and scoring runs.”

Merewether resume at 0-2 with Ben Egan (0) and Pat Huolohan (2) at the crease.

Moore is next in, followed by fellow former NSW Country strokemakers Troy Goodwin and Mick Eccelston. Josh Geary completes an experienced top order.

“Losing wickets in clumps when you are chasing is what kills you,” Moore said.“Whoever gets a start on Friday has to go on with it.”

Palmer hadput Merewether in control early, taking the first four wickets as Wests slumped to 4-27.

“It is a bit frustrating,” he said. “I should have taken the catch. If I gloved it, there is no issue.”

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Crows captain Walker to make AFL return

Adelaide’s Taylor Walker has been tipped to return for Thursday night’s AFL match against Richmond.Adelaide captain Taylor Walker returns from injury as his AFL club face their demons against Richmond.
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Walker has overcome a foot injury but Tom Lynch has been ruled out for another match.

The Tigers, seeking some icing on an already sweet cake with another win against the Crows, lost Nick Vlastuin to injury and dropped Callum Moore, summoning premiership hero Bachar Houli and Jack Higgins for the Thursday night clash.

Adelaide’s Walker is one of four changes for the Crows, returning alongside Wayne Milera, Jordan Gallucci and Matthew Signorello.

Suspended Richard Douglas, recruit Sam Gibson (hamstring) and midfielder Curtly Hampton (groin) were unavailable for the Crows, who also dropped utility Andy Otten.

Link-man Lynch has a virus and will miss the Adelaide Oval fixture after being sidelined by a side strain in round one.

“The side strain has settled down now but from a viral viewpoint he’s not quite right,” Crows coach Don Pyke told reporters on Wednesday.

Walker will make his first competitive outing this season after missing the two pre-season games because of a foot injury.

The Crows mentor wasn’t buying into being motivated by any semblance of revenge on the Tigers, who thrashed Pyke’s side by eight goals in last year’s grand final.

“That is part of the learnings from last year,” Pyke said of Adelaide’s grand final flop.

“We have been through (that) and we don’t specifically reference that for tomorrow night’s game.”

Adelaide’s suspended stalwart Douglas was banned for his head-high bump on Essendon’s Zach Merrett last Friday night.

Adelaide challenged the one-match ban but lost at the tribunal.

“We really felt that the evidence we were able to put forward showed in some way that there was doubt whether the contact was to the head versus the body,” Pyke said.

“It was disappointing for Dougy … that was just the way it went.

“The bump is part of the game but they already understand that if you bump and there’s any head contact, you’re in trouble.”

Adelaide’s All Australian half-back Rory Laird has inked a three-year contract extension, though there’s still no word on vice-captain Rory Sloane.

“That is ongoing. I’m not really in a spot to comment,” Pyke said of Sloane, a free-agency target of clubs in his native Victoria.

Australian Associated Press

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Calls grow for Logan mayor to resign

Logan mayor Luke Smith has refused to say whether he received a speedboat from a campaign donor.Calls are growing for embattled Logan Mayor Luke Smith to resign after being hit with corruption allegations.
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Smith is due to face court next month, but on Wednesday refused to answer questions about whether he received a luxury boat from a developer who contributed to his campaign.

Asked repeatedly to give a yes and no answer during an ABC Radio interview, Smith declined, saying only that media reports about the allegations were not accurate.

“What the media is reporting is incorrect…I’m waiting to see what the allegations are,” Smith told ABC Radio on Wednesday.

Queensland Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said he doesn’t have the power to stand aside the mayor and left the ball in Smith’s court.

State government minister and MP for the Logan-based seat of Waterford Shannon Fentiman on Wednesday joined calls from the local business community for Smith to stand down.

“I absolutely believe people are innocent until proven guilty and the Mayor has every right to defend these allegations,” Ms Fentiman wrote on her official Facebook page.

“However, for the good of our local community, I think Luke Smith must now stand aside while this matter is before the court.”

Despite the calls, Smith is refusing to stand aside, claiming his innocence in any corruption allegations.

Crime and Corruption Commission boss Alan MacSporran addressed a state government committee hearing into laws banning developer donations, sparked by the 2016 local government election.

While specifically avoiding commenting on the Logan mayor’s case, Mr MacSporran said Mr Hinchliffe should have the power to remove councillors under a corruption cloud.

“If for instance you have a serving councillor who is charged with a criminal offence, there should be measures in place to allow the minister to make a determination that that person should be stood down,” Mr MacSporran told the hearing at state parliament on Wednesday.

“You can’t possibly hope to be a sitting councillor charged with a criminal offence and hope to be able to perform your role as a councillor.”

Media have reported the charges relate to a speedboat given to Smith by a Chinese developer, which he later sold.

The 48-year-old has been charged with official corruption, failing to correct his council register of interests and two counts of perjury.

Smith is the third southeast Queensland mayor to be charged by the CCC after former Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale and sacked Fraser Coast Regional Council Mayor Chris Loft were also slapped with various offences.

Australian Associated Press

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Demons’ Hogan cleared for AFL round two

Jesse Hogan was one of Melbourne’s best performers in the AFL round one loss to Geelong.Melbourne spearhead Jesse Hogan is a certain starter for Saturday’s AFL clash with Brisbane despite having a scan on a swollen elbow.
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Hogan underwent the precautionary examination on Tuesday after copping a knock during Melbourne’s agonising three-point loss to Geelong over the weekend.

The 23-year-old had his left elbow heavily bandaged during a light training run earlier on Tuesday.

But coach Simon Goodwin says Hogan is in no doubt to face the Lions at the Gabba, in welcome news for a team already missing injured duo Jack Viney and Tom McDonald.

“He’ll definitely play,” Goodwin told reporters on Wednesday.

“He was just a little bit swollen in his elbow. Really precautionary scan, went off and he’s 100 per cent, he’s fine, he’ll be ready to play.

“I thought his game (against Geelong) was pretty strong. He kicked three (goals), he competed strongly and he went into the midfield as well so I thought his game was pretty solid.”

Goodwin said tough midfielders Dom Tyson and Angus Brayshaw were in the mix to return against the Lions.

The pair were surprisingly overlooked for the season-opener with Goodwin noting that a recent calf injury hadn’t helped Tyson’s cause.

“They were really unlucky to miss out last week. It was really tight for selection,” he said.

“No doubt their names will be prominent again in match committee.”

The new-look Lions already look to be a much-improved side after last year’s wooden-spoon finish.

Star recruits Luke Hodge and Charlie Cameron and No.1 draft pick Cameron Rayner all impressed during their 25-point opening-round loss to St Kilda at Etihad Stadium.

Saturday’s clash looms as a mouth-watering meeting between star ruckmen Max Gawn and Stefan Martin, who had 42 hitouts and 19 disposals against the Saints.

“I think they’re pretty close mates and they’ve played on each other a few times,” Goodwin said.

“I think it’s going to be a fantastic duel. They’re both really quality ruckmen that have big influences for their team. It’ll go a long way towards deciding the game.

“I thought (Brisbane) were outstanding around the ball last week. They dominated the clearances, they were good in contested ball. They’re a side that certainly are on the improve.”

Australian Associated Press

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Ruby Fields’ first record smells like teenage spirit

EMERGING: Ruby Fields has enjoyed a rapid rise in the past year.TEEN whiz Ruby Fields admits she hates listening to her debut EP Your Dad’s Opinion For Dinner.
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Luckily for the Cronulla 19-year-old herincreasingly-large fan base feels differently. Fields’fuzzy ‘90s-inspiredrock, interspersedwith quirky conversationalist lyrics about HSC pressureand being stuck on your P plates, continues the recent trend of explosive young female songwriters breaking onto the scene.

“It’s good it’s received mostly good attention because sitting on something you wrote years ago for ages and only releasing it now -I hate listening to it -but to everyone else it’s kinda fresher,” Fields writesover email. Amazingly she doesn’t own a mobile phone.

“So that makes me appreciate what I worked towards for a while.”

Ruby Fields – I WantYour Dad’s Opinion For Dinner was releasedthis month, but momentum has been building since Fields’ debut single I Want last year. Triple j launchedthe track into high rotation and its cutting lyrics, “I wanna be the clean-cut virginevery guy seeks at a bar/I wanna be more than my parents’ opinions and myATAR,” struck a chord.

“I just wanted a piece of work that still hinted at emotional things but, like teenagers do, hide it in Aussie slang and false stoicism,” Fields says.“And obviously, something that made people laugh.”

It was only a year ago that Fields played her first propershow andon Sunday she headlines the Cambridge Hotel’s Easter party alongside hip-hop artist Joyride.

Ruby Fields

However, she’s hardly a newcomer. Fields began busking at 12 where she could earn up to $350 a day, which “beatsMaccas.”

“I definitely got more confidence with the whole stage thing by just ripping off the band aid and playing my first fezzy [festival],” she says.“I’m confident playing my guitar and singing things I’ve written, so that’s all you need I reckon. I’ve never been a nervous kid.”

Catch Ruby Fields at the Cambridge Hotel on Sunday.

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Young NSW drivers paid to monitor habits

A state government trial will pay young NSW drivers $100 to have their driving habits monitored.Young drivers in Sydney’s west will be paid $100 for their driving habits to be monitored as part of a state government trial aimed at reducing the road toll.
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NSW Services Minister Victor Dominello and Roads Minister Melinda Pavey announced the “telematics” trial on Wednesday which will involve a device being placed in cars to monitor real-time vehicle speed, braking patterns and GPS positions.

The trial for up to 1000 drivers under the age of 25 will be run through the CTP green slip scheme with the promise of lower insurance premiums if a driver’s data shows they’re safe.

The government is calling for submissions from technology companies to help run the trial which could involve a mobile phone app to alert drivers how well they’ve driven each day.

Mr Dominello says people under the age of 25 are at a higher risk of being injured or dying on the roads with 98 deaths in that age group in 2017.

“We need to think of new ways, creative ways, on how we can reduce the road toll,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

The trial is set to begin in the second half of this year. Ms Pavey says it could later extend to other areas of NSW.

“We’re starting in western Sydney because we’ve got five times the casualty and fatality rate than any part of the state.”

Mr Dominello has spoken with the privacy commissioner about who’d be able to access the data and he insists protecting privacy “is absolutely not negotiable”.

The NRMA on Wednesday welcomed the trial which was proposed in a report released this week by the motoring group.

NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury says young drivers are more likely to be distracted when behind the wheel.

The Come Home Safe report found P-plate drivers comprised 15 per cent of all fatalities on NSW roads.

It recommended incentives such as free licences for young drivers who maintain a clean driving record.

Australian Associated Press

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