North bundled out

BRAGGINGrights from the inaugural Northern Inland Premier League All Stars match went to the Southern Conference after a 3-1 victory over their northern opponents at Doody Park on Saturday.
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TUMBLED OVER: Northern Conference’s Heath Milne outmuscles Southern Conference oppenent Ryan Searle on Saturday. Searle and his teammates would have the last laugh however, winning the match 3-1.

That match and the earlier Rising Stars game raised $3000 for Ronald McDonald House.

Southern Conference found themselves up 1-nil after only five minutes after a mistake at the back by the Northern Conference defence.

The match evened out after that early goal and mid-way through the opening half Northern Conference were pushing hard for an equaliser.

But South scored a goal against the run of play to go up 2-nil.

A Josh Quaife penalty just before the break reduced the deficit to one.

Northern Conference coach Andy Lennon thought his side had the upper hand in the second half, but they were unable to find an equaliser and pushed everyone forward in the dying minutes, allowing Southern Conference to nab a late goal for a 3-1 win.

“It was a little diapointing,” Lennon said.

“We didn’t start well, but once we settled in we didn’t look too bad.”

Lennon had nothing but praise for the new concept and believes it will be bigger and better in 2015. “The main thing about the day was to pit the best against the best and we did that,” he said.

“The boys loved the concept.

“To raise $3000 for Ronald McDonald House was great as well.”

Lennon thought 2014 golden boot winner Jake Davies was close to the best on the park and was also impressed with midfielders Rhys Andrews and Willow Grieves as well as back Brendan Hatte.

The Rising Stars match finished at 1-all after Callan Macgregor scored in the dying seconds for Northern Conference. “It was a good game,” Northern Conference coach Mark Gwynne said.

“It was a very entertaining game.”

Southern Conference scored from a free kick deflection in the first half.

Northern Conference had plenty of chances to equalise throughout the match, but were unable to hit the back of the net until Macgregor finished off a beautiful Naran Singh through ball in the final minutes.

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New look for Tamworth in Country Cup

AN ENGLISHMAN, a miner and teenage spinner are the new faces in Tamworth’s Country Cup team to tackle a Newcastle adversary first up in Sunday’s Country Cup clash at Tamworth’s No 1 Oval.
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Adam Jones plays a back foot drive for his Bective-East side against South Tamworth and wicketkeeper Tom Groth. The pair will be united in the Tamworth side on Sunday for a Country Cup clash with Toronto, with Groth to skipper the side. hoto: Geoff O’Neill 191014GOF03

Tamworth selectors named one of North Tamworth’s two English recruits, Adam Mansfield, in their side to play Toronto on Sunday as well as Boggabri-based miner Brad Jenkinson and young Old Boys spinner WillChesterfield.

Mansfield was in sparkling form with the bat and gloves in Sunday’s War Veterans Cup run chase against Namoi at No 1 Oval.

He struck a fine 45, including some spanking off drives against left-arm Gunnedah seamer Troy Sands.

He and Redback teammate Kris Halloran (75) added 105 for the fourth wicket on a dying wicket to snare North Tamworth a six wicket win and a War Veterans Cup semi-final berth.

With Halloran playing for Gwydir in the Country Plate and Connolly Cup, it enables Mansfield to fill his spot in the Tamworth top order.

“He’s been pretty exciting so far,” said Tamworth selector and fellow top order batsman Adam Jones of the English Redback.

“He hasn’t missed out yet with the bat – he’s scored two or three 40s and a half century in the trial we had.

“He’s earned a spot in the top order and will open the batting with Simon (Norvill).

“That’s a pretty exciting pairing too.

“Adam’s got a pretty tight defensive technique too and I think he and Simon will make a very good opening partnership – I think they’ll be the perfect fit.”

Jenkinson, who plays with Jones at Bective-East, has made an immediate impression on his Bulls teammates with both bat and ball.

He took wickets and scored runs for the Bulls in their two WVC wins on the weekend and will form a four-man pace attack with Angus McNeill, Jack McVey and left-armer Col Smyth.

That leaves Chesterfield as the main spin option, with James Psarakis and Michael Rixon also quite capable of bowling tight off-spin.

“Will’s in good form and been doing all the right things,” Jones added.

“Last year he was one reason why Old Boys won the first grade premiership and has shown that talent all the way through the juniors as a 15 and 16-year-old.

“He is our main spin option but Jimmie and Ricko are also handy.

“This is the best-balanced Tamworth side I’ve seen for a while.”

Tamworth selectors have also come up with a strong Second XI to play Armidale in their Country Shield clash in Armidale on Sunday.

Matt Everett, Will Howard and English teenager Jack Beaumont drop back from the Tamworth First XI squad to bolster a side to be captained by Ben Middlebrook and containing the likes of Aaron Hazlewood and Adam Lole.

Hazlewood and Lole have been long- term members of the First XI and the pair of left-handers ensure there is a strong batting lineup, with Everett in the top order with Middlebrook.

“It was hard on Matt but we couldn’t fit him in with Grothy to keep and Adam his backup,” Jones said.

“With Ben to captain the side, Matty can concentrate on his keeping and batting.

“Will (Howard) just missed out as well and he and Jack (Beaumont) will be very handy in the bowling.

“It’s a very good side too.”

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‘It was definitely satisfying’: Kate Pulbrook looks back on undefeated national hockey title with NSW

ORANGE BORN AND BRED: Eva Reith-Snare (left) and Kate Pulbrook (right) with Edwina and Meredith Bone in Brisbane two weekends ago.AFTER the Hockey Australia Under 13s Girls’ National Championships in Brisbane earlier this month, Hockey NSW western region coaching coordinator Kate Pulbrook has found herself boasting a forgotten sporting success story.
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It’s become common knowledge Orange guns Bailey Ferguson and Eva Reith-Snare were a part of their respective boys’ and girls’ undefeated national title winning NSW teams.

However, few are aware Pulbrook coached the girls’ side to the championship – in her first crack at the job. Despite having a wealth of coaching experience, Pulbrook acknowledged mentoring a young side at the national level presented a welcome challenge, which turned into a wonderful success story.

“It was definitely satisfying,” Pulbrook said.

“The girls did an incredible job. [Winning] was definitely an aim, but with a group of girls from all over the state you never really know.”

Pulbrook’s side’s title was NSW’s second in as many years, and the sky blues’ mentor said the expectation from outside and within the camp posed a problem for her side, one the players dealt with exceptionally.

“There was a bit of expectation,” she said.

“In fact, the girls who played last year had that expectation on themselves for this year, so we had to try and get them to just focus on our game rather than that, which they did well.”

NSW won nine of its 11 games and drew the other two to secure the title, and had the added advantage of being able to learn from, and mingle with, several Australian Hockey League (AHL) teams.

Pulbrook said she had personally made a huge effort to watch the ACT Strikers’ games, to have the chance to watch and catch up with Orange’s Edwina and Meredith Bone.

“Yeah that was great, the NSW AHL came and worked with our under 13s, and I’m sure they learned plenty,” Pulbrook said.

“We had pool sessions, and some of them answered questions for the girls if they asked. It was great.

“And I’m pretty good friends with Eddie and Mere (Bone) so we caught up with them and always made sure to watch their games. More for me, but Eva knows they’re from Orange and wanted to see them in action.”

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Law and Order: Newcastle candidates have their say

STEVE O’BRIEN, SOCIALISTALLIANCE
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CRIME prevention is always better than cure. As legal and illegal drugs cause significant individual and community harm, Socialist Alliance advocates the implementation of evidence-based stances towards drug use focusing on health promotion, harm minimisation and regulation.

The underlying causes of drug dependency, such as poverty, social isolation, racism and family violence need to be addressed.

Such an approach would be in contrast to a ‘‘tough on crime’’ stance which obscures problems caused by inequality, unemployment and social service cutbacks, and can be used to justify anti-democratic laws.

In the meantime multimillion-dollar shady deals, such as those exposed in the recent corruption hearings, go unnoticed.

Institutions such as policing, corrective services and court recording must not be privatised and must remain under public scrutiny.

Some laws, such as abortion, should be removed from the Crimes Act.

Law and order needs to focus on domestic violence and corporate crime.

TIM CRAKANTHORP, LABOR

NEWCASTLE is known for its friendliness. Residents and visitors alike are entitled to continue to feel safe here.

Young people should be able to get home safely after a night out, and our senior citizens deserve to feel secure.

With population growth come the challenges of crime facing any Australian city and I will ensure our local police stations are properly resourced.

Labor will also expand Newcastle’s role as a major justice precinct, building on our funding of the new law courts.

We will introduce specialist courts to deal with domestic violence and sexual assault, aimed at addressing the under-reporting of abuse and reducing the trauma felt by victims.

In fact, this campaign, I have been proud to confirm the Hunter as an initial trial site.

Sadly the Hunter has a high incidence of domestic violence. While the Liberals have cut funding to shelters for women and youth, Labor will not let people fall through the cracks, and we are determined to break the cycle of abuse.

MICHAEL OSBORNE, GREENS

THE Greens support a humane justice system that focuses on genuinely addressing the causes of crime rather than increasingly punitive measures and curtailing civil rights.

In the pursuit of short-term electoral gain, Labor and Liberal exploit community fears and outbid each other with ever more draconian legislation.

The disadvantaged and powerless suffer most from this brutality.

This “law and order” approach has failed to reduce crime but has massively increased the prison population. It is expensive and damaging. It costs as much to hold a person in prison as it does to employ a teacher.

The Greens support early intervention measures such as better educational opportunities, which has been shown to reduce crime.

As a society, we should be looking to reverse the trend towards greater disparity between rich and poor, for example, as part of a broader reform of the tax systems, to promote greater equality and address poverty.

JACQUELINE HAINES, INDEPENDENT

ALTHOUGH I am heartened by the fall in alcohol-related violence since the introduction of the ‘‘Newcastle solution’’, we should also recognise that one size does not fit all when it comes to alcohol restrictions in the CBD.

For our night-time economy and small bar culture to flourish we need more co-operation between police, council and licensees.

On a broader level, the interests of the police do not always equate with the interests of the public and I am concerned by the number of politicians (state and federal) who lack the strength of character to defend our rights to personal liberty.

I respect the need for judicial discretion and I do not believe politicians should create laws that cut across the ability to assess the individual merits of cases.

JENNIFER STEFANAC, PALMER UNITED INDEPENDENT

“Police need to develop practical interagency connections”: Jennifer Stefanac.

NSW Police need to be highly visible in our streets and on our roads with more civilian staff to provide administrative functions to allow more officers in the field.

Police need to develop practical interagency connections to educate and minimise offending behaviours. This will reduce incarceration rates and the costs involved on many levels for the community at large.

The corrective services and juvenile justice systems are unfortunately experiencing growth and more treatment programs need to address living skills, access to training and supports to change anti-social behaviours to stop criminality.

KAREN HOWARD, INDEPENDENT

THE greatest demand on our police resources comes from areas such as domestic violence. These are statewide issues and need universal treatment.

Nonetheless I want to see an increase in police numbers in the city of Newcastle.

The recent closure of the Terrace Bar in Hunter Street put the spotlight on law and order in terms of how our city functions. The owner complained of ‘‘unreasonable’’ liquor licensing conditions in the city.

Small bars should play a vital role in the revitalisation of Newcastle and two liquor accords may be a solution to the dilemma.

A safe, vibrant evening economy means more people of all ages out and about and safety in numbers.

We have shown that improved safety on the streets is a co-operative effort. The government must do its bit through more policing and we must work with it to protect our community.

MILTON CAINE, CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS

THE Summary Offences Act must again be put in place to assist the police in dealing with the disorderly conduct that is on our streets each and every night.

The rehabilitation of offenders must become a significant focus of the legal system. We are currently often returning increasingly angry people to our streets so that the expectation of a new offence is ever increasing.

The role and training of bouncers must face a close examination. Evidence suggests that some bouncers are the cause of the violent nature near our clubs and pubs.

There needs to be an intentional campaign to get rid of drugs from the community. It is common knowledge as to where drugs can be purchased and yet the supply continues.

So much of the aggressive behaviour on our streets is from drug-affected people. Currently little is being done on the streets of Newcastle to shut it down.

BRIAN BUCKLEY CLARE,INDEPENDENT

DRUGS are a growing problem and contribute to attacks on people and house break-ins.

When police breath-test drivers for excess alcohol they should also test for drugs of all sorts.

Anybody found on a public street or place in a drunken condition should be detained and locked up for a night and given a hefty fine.

People going to pubs and or nightclubs should be tested by security when entering the premises and if they are over the .05 alcohol limit they should be refused access to venues and advised to go home.

If they refuse to clear off the police should be called.

Too many persons are boozed up prior to arriving at these venues.

Another major problem is that some people who are over the limit are still being served by bar staff who are not complying with the RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) laws.


One day wonder

CRICKET
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TDCA

THE last of the scheduled one day games before Christmas gets underway this weekend with Glengarry and Ex Students sharing top spot after dominating their first two fixtures.

Toongabbie v CATS

TOONGABBIE will look forward to its first home game of 2014 in what is shaping as a close encounter with CATS.

Skipper Matt Golding is vital to the home side’s chances as he leads a young side into battle.

After a morale boosting win last week, CATS will be eager to continue the trend.

Barney Webber struck form and his time at the crease will be pivotal if CATS are to record a good total.

Ryan Foulkes and Brad Foster will need to bowl well.

– CATS to win

Raiders v Imperials

A big loss to Ex Students last week means Yinnar will be keen to atone in its first home game.

Mick Higgins and Matt Dyke will be needed to score big runs for Alex Lawson and Kurt Holt to bowl at.

Imperials go into round three in an already dire situation.

After recruiting more than any club the Devils would be seething having dropped their opening two games, and a loss here would pile pressure on their finals aspirations.

Luke Henderson must turn his side’s fortunes around and gun recruit Daniel Hamilton needs to produce for Imperials to win.

– Raiders to win.

Centrals v Traralgon West

CENTRALS go into this clash with cross town rival Traralgon West full of confidence after a massive win last week.

Dylan Freitag showed his resilience and along with Dean Rode and Jamie Hall, will be looking for a good total.

Corey Pollard and Marc Fenech are hard to score off and will bowl tight lines.

The West would be disappointed with their performance last week, but they had a task against the reigning premier.

The Eagles should go into this game with a nothing-to-lose attitude.

Jon Bell and Tim Fitch must turn their starts into a big score for them to be a chance.

– Centrals to win.

Churchill v Glengarry

THE Cobras face an in-form Glengarry in a vital clash for Churchill.

Already two-zip the home team will be looking for John Keighran and Nick Duncan to make big scores.

The Pies are on top of the ladder and in great early season form with Jarrod Allan, Ryan Delaney and Tim Spotswood all playing well.

– Glengarry to win

Gormandale v Rovers

THE Tigers at home will be keen to keep last week’s momentum going.

The bowlers were great with Adam Brady, Kent Hammond and Chris Bell all performing.

The batsmen hit out for 30 overs before declaring with Travis Switzer and Al Jenkin both middling their share.

After the bye last week Rovers will return quietly confident of upsetting the home team.

Todd Mann is in good form and holds the key in this clash.

Peter Ingwersen and Nilla Thillekarathna are both immensely talented and along with young guns Stefan Sbaglia and Dougal Williams, Rovers is a new look side on the march.

– Gormandale to win.

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Back to the bush

Melbourne captain Andrew Kent will lead his side into battle against Dandenong at Peter Siddle Oval on Saturday.
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PREMIER CRICKET

By SAMUEL DARROCH

AUSTRALIAN internationals Brad Hodge and James Pattinson are poised to bring their explosive talents to Morwell this weekend when Melbourne and Dandenong collide at the Peter Siddle Oval.

Latrobe Cricket Club will host the Victorian Premier Cricket round five one-day clash, as the state’s leading competition heads to nine regional centres for its annual country round.

Former test player and prolific twenty20 slugger Hodge slapped a quickfire 41 for Melbourne last week, while fast bowler Pattinson has been playing as a specialist batsman for Dandenong this year due to injury.

Both men are possible inclusions for the country round, with the teams yet to be selected at the time of going to print.

Also in the mix is Melbourne captain and premier cricket legend Andrew Kent, with more than 9000 runs to his name, and his counterpart in former Queensland shield player Dan Doran.

Dandenong openers Tim Donnell and Brett Forsyth are class acts – the latter comes into the clash on the back of a sterling 115* against Geelong last weekend – while promising all-rounder William Ryan will likely feature for Melbourne.

There was an outside chance of the oval’s namesake and former Latrobe player Peter Siddle making an appearance for Dandenong, however international commitments prevented him from taking part.

Premier cricket co-ordinator Peter Binns said the country round was all about bringing the game back to the bush.

“You go back a few years and there used to be the odd game in the country… those days are gone,” he said.

“It’s our way of trying to give a little bit back to country Victoria because it’s been a fantastic source of players over a long period of time.

Players from the bush, and the country areas love showing off their facilities and hospitality is always fantastic.

“The players really enjoy getting out there.”

Latrobe president Nic Brewer said the match was a chance for local talent to be inspired, and hoped to draw a crowd to rival last year’s cracking Central Gippsland grand final.

“Latrobe is extremely proud to be hosting this match. We don’t get a lot of top level cricket played in the region, and hopefully it’s a chance for some of the younger guys playing in the area to get a first-hand look at what it takes to play at the next level,” Brewer said.

“Kids like Blake Mills from Morwell and Matt Hibbs from Newborough are trying their luck down in the city now, following the path forged by Peter Siddle on his way from country cricket to the Victorian and Australian teams, and hopefully this gives the next generation of young cricketers the inspiration to follow that lead.”

Last year Ted Summerton Reserve, Moe and Morwell Recreation Reserve hosted a weekend of premier cricket twenty20 action in the corresponding round.

Central Gippsland Cricket’s round of matches will be played on Sunday to accommodate the VPC clash.

Saturday’s match begins at 11am at Maryvale Reserve, Morwell.

Admission is free.

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Men of the north do battle

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CGCA

THIS weekend’s round of Central Gippsland Cricket will be played on Sunday to accommodate the Victorian Premier Cricket match at Peter Siddle Oval, Morwell on Saturday.

Mirboo North v Yallourn North

THE major clash of this round’s Energy Australia Cup matches sees the Tigers take on the Bombers, two vastly different teams at this point in the season.

Mirboo North is the reigning premier, but after a loss last round to rival Latrobe needs a win to bounce back to the top.

Captain Rob Phoenix has been bowling well but his low scores with the bat will be of concern.

Meanwhile Yallourn North is a team on the rise under new skipper Patrick Spiteri, with wins against Morwell, Trafalgar and Moe lifting them to the top of the ladder.

With both teams hungry for points, this game has the potential to be the big thriller of the weekend.

Moe v Trafalgar

THE young Lions take on the resurgent Ships, with Andrew Philip’s charges hopeful of exploiting Trafalgar’s perceived weakness on turf wickets.

Aaron Walshe had been important with the ball so far for Moe while the spin attack has been key.

For the Ships, captain Rhys Holdsworth is the main threat but a supporting cast of Chris Robinson, Aiden George and James Blaser is hard to overlook.

Morwell v Newborough Bulldogs

NEWBOROUGH continues its return to the top level against a stuttering Morwell which looked the goods with flashy new signings in pre-season but have so far failed to perform.

David Embleton has been dangerous without building sustained pressure, while Gavin Bailey and Davin Charleston have so far flattered to deceive.

For the Bulldogs the only way is up as they continue to demonstrate grit and tenacity, stubbornly refusing to give away their wickets cheaply.

Royce Colgrave had a fantastic all-round game last week and the young left-armer will be hoping to continue his development.

Thorpdale v Latrobe

THE Blues are bursting with confidence after a maiden Energy Australia Cup victory last round, but face a much sterner test this week against the Sharks.

New boy Fraser Smith is in form after a ton and GCL runs, but is in for an examination from Latrobe’s bowling attack of Mitch Cowell, Brendan Evans and new signing Chris Johnson.

Latrobe has yet to work out its best XI and with Kaushik Aphale still to arrive in the country, plenty of bats need to get among the runs or risk the axe.

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Mavrick returns to become top gun

RETURN: Mark Butler’s Mavrick will be put to the test around the Bathurst track as he comes back from a spell. Photo: ZENIO LAPKA 100613zbutlerMAVRICK has been through the wars for Bathurst trainer Mark Butler, but he’ll be hoping that’s all behind his gelding for tonight’s Alabar Bloodstock Pace (1,730 metres).
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The seven-year-old returns from a two-month spell after picking up an injury, but that has nothing on the fracture that kept him out of the game for over 14 months until April this year.

The comeback trail continues for the former listed quality winning runner as he lines up for career start 36 and aims to keep an impressive winning record of one in every three starts.

“He won his last start, which was about two months ago, but he hurt himself. Whatever he does in this race is definitely going to be an improvement,” Butler said.

“I don’t really tell my drivers what to do, I trust that JT [John O’Shea] will do what’s right. There’s a fair bit of speed on his inside so we could hold him up.”

Mavrick goes out from gate six in the eight-horse field for the night’s top-graded and highest prize money ($7,000) race, for C4 to C7 entrants.

The search continues for the peak form that Butler’s Aces N Sevens out of Shooting Blanks gelding had at the end of 2012, which culminated in a Country Series Final win.

There were signs prior to his latest injury that he was making progress towards that goal with a couple of runner-up finishes interstate and a dominant win in his latest start.

“He won six races in a row at one stage there and he found himself going from a C0 to a C6 in the space of just a couple of months but then he hurt himself. It’s going to take a while to get him back to that level again, but I believe we’ve got him back to a competitive level again,” Butler said.

“He loves the bigger tracks and he’s probably one of a few of mine who goes really well at Menangle. We took him up to Queensland in the winter and he had some cracking runs up there too.”

Ashlee Siejka’s Medal Of Honour, though a little out of form of late, could be a threat from gate three while stable mate Packnplenty on his immediate outside carries some nice form. Both also have starts on the new track under their belt.

Bathurst chances are rife through the field with Nathan Hurst carrying three hopes in the race, Classic Croupier, Tulhurst Candy and Major Gambler.

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Michael Cheika as Wallabies coach: pros and cons

Rupert Guinness takes a look at the prospects of Michael Cheika coaching the Wallabies – from what’s good to what may be a worry.
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The positives

Boasts a winning record in the northern and southern hemispheres with wins in the 2009 Heineken Cup at Leinster and the 2014 Super Rugby competition with the Waratahs. He knows success and how teams in both hemispheres train and play.

Will attract player buy-in, and not just from his Waratahs roster, but from players in the Wallabies squad who come from Australia’s other Super Rugby sides and are excited to experience playing for a coach who turned underachievers into champions.

A straight-talking no-nonsense coach who provides clarity and direction on issues ranging from selection and game strategy to team culture. He doesn’t have to coach the Wallabies because he needs the money or fame. Importantly, he wants to.

Is taking over a team that despite its 29-28 loss on Saturday to the All Blacks has self-belief. They just need more of it to go to play out games. He is a master at bringing the best out of players when even they may doubt they have more.

Will encourage a high-tempo but physical game, such as the Wallabies played on Saturday. Interestingly, the run-on team had six Waratahs – Sekope Kepu, Michael Hooper, Nick Phipps, Bernard Foley, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Israel Folau.

Not afraid to provide opportunity to lower-profile names if they are performing and he feels they have earned it. Similarly, unafraid to drop a player, no matter how big the name. He won’t kowtow to outside pressures to pick players either.

Empowers players with a sense of self-responsibility, on and off the field – to the point that they take it upon themselves to live up to what is expected of them in training, games and after – rather than browbeat them over and over with rules.

He may only have nine games (eight Tests and one Barbarians game) before the World Cup; but there is plenty of time to work on his Wallabies World Cup squad in and around those periods. He won’t waste time on unimportant issues.

Enjoys a laugh. Everyone knows or learns quickly that he is top dog, but when the work is done, treats all staff and players as equals. Can surprise, as he did with his motivational ploys before big games.

Wallabies appointment means Australian rugby is spared his taking the job at Argentina – which courted him – or any other country. Making sure he remains in Australia for three years eliminates fear of a sudden exit after World Cup.

The questions

How will he deal with ARU chief executive Bill Pulver, whose handling of recent affairs has already been questioned? He admits he is not a corporate type and showed that at the Waratahs, where he didn’t take to interference from the top office.

He will want it his way when dealing with the expectation that he will steer the Wallabies to success in a job now likened to a poisoned chalice; and dealing with ARU interference when he feels it should not be there. But after Ewen McKenzie, will the ARU allow that?

His explosive nature. Memories are fresh of him accidentally breaking the coach’s box window after a loss to the Brumbies in Canberra, and his $6000 fine and six-month suspended ban for abusing a cameraman in the Tahs loss to the Sharks in Durban.

Pressure for the Tahs to defend the Super Rugby title will heighten. Robbie Deans coached the Crusaders to the 2008 Super Rugby title before the Wallabies – who won their first five Tests under him – but his tenure was not rated a success.

The potential of a provincial divide created by those who fear a pro-Waratahs push from within the Wallabies – or even from the Sydney-based ARU – come team selections, despite Cheika’s reputation for being his own man.

Improving Wallabies set piece to take on the best scrums and line-outs in the World Cup. Some feel the Waratahs’ scrum was better than the Wallabies’. Too bad Kane Douglas is playing in Ireland and Jacques Potgieter is South African.

Who to select at No. 10? Bernard Foley, a direct runner, whom he helped develop at the Tahs to where he is? Or try for Reds star Quade Cooper, also an attacking pivot but who offers more on-field extravagance and is a better general play kicker.

Embracing Kurtley Beale’s return (if there is one) pending the outcome of his ARU code of conduct tribunal on Friday. Will the progress Beale made off field under Cheika’s watch prove to have been undone? Can he keep him in union? Is it too late?

Michael Hooper led the Waratahs after Dave Dennis was felled by injury, then the Wallabies when Stephen Moore went down in the first Test against France. Will he be better for the experience? Should Moore have it back? Or someone else?

He says he’s not a corporate type. So, how will he fit in to the Wallabies’ suit on game day? Pity the poor tailors who will have to fit him out in a hurry in Sydney before Friday’s departure for the Wallabies’ sprint tour. He doesn’t like to be told what to do.

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Disability advocates blast post

AUSTRALIA POST take note: your refusal to install a drive-through street postal box for the elderly and disabled has drawn the ire of Disability Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan.
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It has also drawn a huge response from ratepayers and readers, many of whom have signed a petition calling for a reversal of the service’s ban on such an installation in Armidale.

The matter was first raised about a year ago, when Armidale Dumaresq councillor Andrew Murat, for the sheer love of it, designed a prototype box allowing the elderly and disabled to post letters and parcels from their vehicles.

But instead of applauding such an idea, Australia Post has ruled out taking up the offer to install the special post box in Armidale.

It claims such an installation could be dangerous to posties clearing mailboxes and also to passing motorists.

It would be difficult to think of sillier reasons for such a refusal.

There is apparently a precedent in Queanbeyan where no such danger is posed to the public or posties.

The fact Australia Post, in its own accessibility action plan of two years ago, espouses a service providing accessible products and services makes its decision over the special postal box even more mysterious.

Maybe Australia Post is hoping the issue will simply fade over time; that people will forget Cr Murat’s prototype and it will be left to gather dust.

No way.

We will be watching and reporting as Ms Ryan takes up the cause of Australia Post’s disabled customers in Armidale.

At the very least we call for a trial of this drive-through street postal box.

What is there to lose?

No more procrastination. Every town in Australia must provide parking for the disabled; why not a postal box, too?

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Central Wagga home broken into while family of five asleep

A family of five has been left shaken after their Central Wagga home was broken into while they slept at the weekend. File photoA FAMILY of five has been left shaken after their Central Wagga home was broken into while they slept at the weekend.
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The Brookong Avenue address was targeted in the early hours of Sunday morning, with two wallets and a handbag taken from the kitchen table when entry was gained via a laundry window.

Although physically unharmed, one of the occupants, Jacinta – whose surname has been withheld – says she was frightened by the ordeal.

Jacinta said her partner, two sons and daughterslept through the break-in, but believe it happened between 12.30am and 1.30am.

“We didn’t hear a thing,” Jacinta said.

“They were sort of in and out.

“We had a light on inside and everything, I’m sure they would have realised someone was home.”

Another bag – which contained cash – was left untouched in the lounge room, as was an expensive watch.

“It sort of looked like they were looking for money,” she said.

The family’s dog was also let out.

Jacinta fears those responsible returned on Monday night, with a mobile phone heard ringing near the house.

Investigations revealed neither Jacinta or her partner’s phone had rung that night.

Wagga police yesterday confirmed another house in the street was also broken into on Saturday night.

Crime manager Detective Inspector Darren Cloake said the incidents followed a number of offences in the Forest Hill area earlier this year, where brazen thieves snuck into the bedrooms and stole keys to vehicles and homes.

Inspector Cloake said four groups of offenders were “running around at the moment”, including one of three 13-year-olds in the Tolland area who were “breaking in day and night”.

Others are active on Pinaroo Drive and Naretha Street in Glenfield Park.

“All break and enters are of concern to us, especially when there’s the potential for offenders to be startled and for victims to be confronted,” Inspector Cloake said.

“If there’s any indication a person, or persons, are acting suspiciously … call us, we will respond.”

Inspector Cloake urged people seeking reprieve from the summer heat by opening a window to use extra caution.

“That presents as an opportunity for these people to do that (break in),” he said.

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Great score secures win for Thomson and Magill

Troy Thomson (left), and Peter Magill (right) were congratulated by Life Members Paul Thomas and Wally Norman at the presentation of the Life Members trophy day. subA great field of 86 members contested Saturday’s Life Members sponsored two person Ambrose that saw some red hot scoring.
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Troy Thomson and Peter Magill took home the spoils of victory after recording a great 61.5 nett.

In accepting their trophies from Life Member Wally Norman, both Thomson and Magill congratulated all the club’s dedicated Life Members for their commitment and for helping make the club what it is today.

Runners-up and leading home the ladies section were Anita Medcalf and Leone Stevenson who recorded a solid 65.5 nett.

Wally Norman, in representing the surviving Life Members of Lionel Grady, Cliff Cowell, Trish Wyatt and Paul Thomas, stated it was a pleasure to sponsor the event.

He stated it was the first time in three years since he contested an 18 hole event and he enjoyed the day immensely.

Wally especially enjoyed playing in the same group as Blake Parker and said to watch him hit the ball was inspiring.

Ball winners were 62 Mitch McGlashan and Wayne Powter, 62.5 Blake and George Parker, 62.75 Greg Powter and Mal Westcott, 63 Paul Massurit and Paul Morgan, 63.5 John Davies and Jim Buckley, and Robert Hey and John Pearce, 63.75 Jack Cole and Wayne Tucker, and Ron Klein and Garry Phillips.

In nearest the pin awards, Vince Kelly started in great fashion when he claimed the Idlerite Tyrepower 1st hole at 210cm, narrowly missing out on a percentage of the jackpot.

Steve Edmonds fired a superb 7-iron to just 77cm to win the Griffins Leading Edge 4th hole. Ron Klein added to his ball collection when he fired a well hit 3-wood to within 309cm of the flag on the Dirt Doctor Landscaping 6th hole.

On the back nine, Steve Simpson fired a lovely 7-iron to within birdie range at 178cm on the Harvey Norman 11th hole.

On the final par three, the tough Westlime sponsored 15th hole, Ian Phipps at 351cm gained the accolades.

The day’s final two awards on the best-in-two-shots final holes of each nine saw Robert Hey birdie the Parkes Ready Mixed Concrete 9th hole after his second shot finished 73cm from the pin.

On the Parkes Heavy Mechanical Repairs 18th hole, Brian L Hogan hit the shot of his life to come within 12cm of an eagle as he collected the two golf balls on offer.

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BMX: Bike gift gives Alsop new edge

IN A SPIN: Kimberley Alsop with the new BMX bike this week. Picture: Jamieson MurphyBMX young gun Kimberley Alsop has a new set of wheels thanks to the generosity of local businesses and community groups.
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Southlakes Old Boys, Prestige Smash Repairs, South Lake Macquarie RSL sub-branch, Cheeky Bikes and Advance Traders all pulled together to get Kimberley a top-of-the-line bike.

The Silverwater resident was previously racing on a bike bought second-hand for her older sister five years ago.

Kimberley thanked everyone involved in the collaborative effort and said the support means a great deal.

“Hopefully the new bike will help me get closer to achieving my goals,” she said.

Among those goals is a strong performance in the Lake Macquarie team to contest the Lake Macquarie International Children’s Games in December.

Once Kimberley received the bike, she had a week to get used to it before racing in the NSW BMX State Titles in Elderslie.

Her mum Melissa said adapting to the new bike in under a week was a big effort and compared it to a V8 Supercar driver jumping in a new car for the first time.

The first time Kimberley took the new bike for a spin around the Argenton BMX track she was going so fast she came off over the handle bars.

Despite the tumble she pulled herself together and resumed practising.

At the state titles, Kimberley finished third in the cruisers and fifth in the 20-inch division.

“She’s always had the skill level to be competitive, now she’s got the competitive edge on the bike as well,” Ms Alsop said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.