Hands up

Essendon’s Patrick Ryder and Dustin Fletcher during a light training session yesterday.ESSENDON defender Dyson Heppell is confident the Bombers will still boast productive key forwards against Port Adelaide on Saturday despite the absence of a suspended Stewart Crameri and an injured Michael Hurley.
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The Bombers were thumped by 71 points by St Kilda on Saturday night – their first heavy defeat of the season – and will look to atone against Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium.

Had the Bombers won, they could have taken top spot. Instead, they have slipped to sixth on the ladder, and also have another injury concern with Hurley hurting his hamstring and set to miss up to a month.

Crameri is the club’s leading goalkicker with 27 while Hurley has supplied 19 and his strong leading has allowed the Bombers to regularly attack through the corridor.

Heppell, who is last year’s Rising Star of the Year and is enjoying another consistent season, said the Bombers would have options, with ruckmen Patrick Ryder and David Hille also strong threats inside attacking 50 metres.

”I guess we have the option of bringing Tom Bellchambers back in. That will leave us with three talls. Patty can be a very explosive as well. He could be a key for us up there,” Heppell said yesterday.

”We could even bring in Scotty Gumbleton as well, who is playing some good footy in the VFL. I reckon it would be awesome if we could see Scotty out there again.”

Gumbleton has been in solid form in the VFL since returning from knee and back injuries. He was taken off at three-quarter-time for precautionary reasons on Sunday, having had 10 disposals, and will be considered for a senior recall.

”He is a pretty strong character. He has kept very positive around the club,” Heppell said. ”He is moving freely in games and his body seems to be holding up all right at this stage. It’s great to see him back out there.”

However, Bellchambers’ hopes of a recall could be derailed after he was cited for tripping while playing for Bendigo against North Ballarat at Eureka Stadium.

The Bombers beat Port Adelaide by 25 points when the teams met in round two at Etihad Stadium but they have not prevailed at AAMI Stadium against the Power since 2000.

However, this season they have won all three interstate matches.

While they should again prevail, hopes of securing a coveted top-four spot will be tested against Geelong (Etihad), Hawthorn (Etihad), Adelaide (AAMI Stadium), North Melbourne (Etihad), Carlton (MCG), Richmond (MCG) and Collingwood (MCG).

”It’s a pretty vital game for us this week,” Heppell said. ”Our interstate record has been pretty good this year, which is pleasing. I guess coming off a pretty big loss we will be keen to make amends on that.

”It was pretty disappointing the way we actually got buried. They [Saints] definitely put the foot down and didn’t let us back in the game.”

Midfielder Brent Stanton is one of several players out of contract at Windy Hill. He said he was close to re-signing – possibly a three-year deal.


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Bombers, Blues angered

ESSENDON and Carlton were last night outraged at suggestions they had mishandled players who had received serious knocks to the head at the weekend as debate over concussion resurfaced.
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The AFL yesterday issued the Bombers with a ”please explain” after Kyle Reimers was hurt in the third quarter of Saturday night’s 71-point loss to the Saints at Etihad Stadium in a clash of heads with Tom Simpkin but returned to the field.

Essendon football manager Paul Hamilton yesterday said Reimers had not been concussed and revealed why he had remained on the ground for several minutes.

The Blues were also angry that questions had been raised about their handling of Kade Simpson after he was concussed against Collingwood on Friday night.

A groggy Simpson walked – with the aid of officials – from the field, rather than being put on a stretcher, as some claim should have been the case.

Hamilton said Reimers had not been concussed and defended club doctors Bruce Reid and Brendan De Morton.

”He didn’t have concussion. At no stage did he lose consciousness, at no stage did he have concussion,” he said. ”Even out there on the ground, as soon as the doc got out there, he asked him questions, [Reimers] had full recognition of everything. They did a series of tests. He was able to do those. All the tests they do, he passed.”

The Reimers incident came as the Bombers were assessing a hamstring injury to Michael Hurley, with speculation at the time being the club was awaiting the verdict on their key forward before determining whether Reimers would return to the field.

Hurley was subbed off and Reimers eventually played out the game.

Hamilton dismissed suggestions the Bombers would have taken any risk with Reimers.

”The only reason we kept him off the ground, if anyone asks why he wasn’t put straight back on there, he did get a knock to the eye and we were a bit concerned about his eye,” he said.

”We wanted to make sure he was 100 per cent in terms of his eye and his pupil was a bit dilated. Once that returned to normal and wasn’t a problem, he was right to go.”

Hamilton said Reimers had remained on the ground for several minutes because that had become his practice since he received a knock to the head in junior football.

”He has had a history – when he was a kid, he got a knock to his neck,” he said.

”When he gets a bad knock, he stays down. That’s more a precaution, because what happened when he was a kid, they got him straight back up to his feet. He had a sore neck for six months or something.

”He knows now when he gets a knock around the face, he stays down and he wants to make sure he is completely right. He remembers absolutely everything.”

Carlton spokesman Ian Coutts said club doctor Ben Barresi had acted in the proper manner after Simpson was crunched by Sharrod

Wellingham in the third term and had his jaw broken. A clearly groggy Simpson was helped from the field.

”Our club doctor’s absolute priority in that situation is his patient, which is the player, and what is best for the player. He did what was considered to be best for the player,” he said.

The AFL’s management of concussion handbook does not mention that concussed players should be taken from the field by stretcher.

Simpson had attempted to persuade officials at three-quarter-time that he was fit to return but he was overruled.

AFL spokesman Patrick Keane confirmed that the Bombers had been asked to explain the Reimers situation.

”How the players leave the field is really a decision we leave in the hands of the club medical staff, as the best judge of a situation at the time,” he said.

”From our point of view, Simpson remained off the field after being diagnosed with the concussion, which is the key point of the concussion guidelines, while we checked back with Essendon on the reasons why Reimers briefly went back on, and they explained them.”

Essendon great Tim Watson and Age columnist Robert Walls yesterday urged the AFL to consider introducing a substitute who could only be used to replace concussed players.

”I would like to see the AFL consider having somebody that can be activated so you can still have the three and one [bench] and maybe there is another sub that you can that can be activated under a concussion rule,” Watson said on SEN.

”But if that player is taken out of the game, he has a mandatory amount of weeks that he has to spend on the sidelines, be it maybe two weeks, so you can’t manipulate the system.”

AFL Players Association general manager player relations Ian Prendergast said he had full faith in club doctors.

”We support the AFL in relation to taking issues of concussion extremely seriously, and are waiting on further information to determine whether it requires additional follow up,” he said.

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Footy looks to shake the tag

Saints tagger Clint Jones tackles Dockers captain Matthew Pavlich.IN THE Mick Malthouse reign at Collingwood, the Magpies stopped using taggers. Possibly it was by necessity, since they did not have a really good one. More likely it was by choice.
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If you are choosing your starting midfielders and you have Dane Swan, Scott Pendlebury, Luke Ball and more recently Dayne Beams and Steele Sidebottom at your disposal, why put a tagger in there, since he would tend to be, by definition, an inferior player?

Yet taggers still exist and their roles evolve, swinging more toward the offensive mould. The Tony Liberatore-types of the 1990s were replaced by the Brett Kirk-Cameron Ling model of the 2000s, where the defensive player was required to win a share of football. Even now, Geelong uses Taylor Hunt to run with the likes of Gary Ablett.

Carlton employs Andrew Carrazzo, and last Friday Carrazzo did a fine job on Beams. Yet the other side of the equation is this: instead of tagging Dane Swan, Carlton sent Chris Judd to play on him.

Judd is not a defensive player but he did make Swan accountable for a man. When he’s matched by a tagger, Swan knows that man will be coming for him at stoppages or if he pushes forward into space. If he’s matched by someone like Judd, he knows that he has to be wary of what damage Judd can do. Which, as it turned out on Friday, was quite a lot.

St Kilda, arguably the best defensive team of the past five years, is forging a new method under Scott Watters’ coaching.

Watters has been portrayed in the media as having released the shackles at St Kilda, and in a sense it is borne out by bare statistics. St Kilda is second in the competition for scoring, but easier to score against than it was under Ross Lyon. Ten teams have conceded fewer points than the Saints this year.

But it is not as simple as that. Every time a reporter puts up the idea that St Kilda has been released to play the game, Watters chips them and delivers a reminder that he wants to coach a team that has strong defence. He was, after all, Collingwood’s defensive coach.

People seem to want to believe that St Kilda was merely dour under Lyon, and free-flowing under Watters. It is a simplification of the facts.

All good teams play strong defence. What Watters appears to want is a two-sided game, a team that can score when it is on top, and defend when it needs to.

So on Saturday night St Kilda had to deal with Bomber Jobe Watson, among the top handful of extractors in the competition. He also had an issue with Brent Stanton, whose running capacity generally demands a hard tag.

Watters chose the Collingwood method. Hence, St Kilda’s definitive tagger, Clint Jones, started on the bench and then came on without following an opponent. Watters sent Nick Dal Santo to Watson and Leigh Montagna to Stanton. While neither Saint is known for his defensive game, the coach had issued a challenge. It was good player versus good player.

”Dal’s a leader at our club and he accepted that challenge and I thought he handled it very well,” Watters said. ”Watson’s just a great player. Dal’s been OK without being as good as he can be, and I want to push him to really strive for that top echelon of his game.”

Dal Santo’s 27 disposals (12 contested, 74 per cent efficiency, game-high six clearances) stacked up with Watson’s 23 disposals (70 per cent efficiency, five clearances). Montagna also held up (20 disposals, four clearances to Stanton’s 22 and two). Neither Bomber had a big influence.

St Kilda kicked 21 goals but Watters would have noted that Essendon kicked just eight, in what the coach called ”a well-rounded performance”. St Kilda has had some big scores kicked against it, and it seems to have worried Watters. He had lots of numbers back on Saturday night, but he said it is not the way he wants his team to play.

”We’re not a side that wants to flood and play in the back half of the ground. We want balance in our defence. This year because we’ve moved the ball differently, I guess it’s a challenge for us to learn to defend on the back of a different offence. We’ll work on that as the year progresses. We’ve had ups and downs with that.”

Is this philosophy the way forward for St Kilda? Not necessarily, according to Watters. ”It’ll be horses for courses depending who we play. It probably says something about the challenge I wanted to throw to a couple of our senior players. At some points in your career, I think you need to have the responsibility to take on a good player. In no way is that at free-wheeling opportunity of one player going head-to-head and trying to accumulate possessions. That was a job that needed to be done for both of those players, with a defensive intent.”

The departed Ross Lyon used to say that to be a really good footy team, you needed to be around top-four in both the offensive and defensive ranks. St Kilda is a way off that, but it’s a work in progress.

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Laws are failing bullying victims

THE absence of a single, nationally accepted definition of what constitutes workplace bullying makes policing and prosecuting it extremely difficult, a federal inquiry will be told when its Melbourne hearings start tomorrow.
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The federal government launched the inquiry into bullying last month and has received hundreds of submissions from individuals who say they have been victims in workplaces around the nation.

Many groups concerned about the impact of a lack of clear laws in the area have also made submissions.

Among those scheduled to appear at hearings tomorrow in Melbourne is the Law Institute of Victoria.

The deputy chairwoman of the institute’s workplace relations section, Moira Rayner, will appear before the House of Representatives committee, and argue that Victorian laws passed last year – known as ”Brodie’s law” – were ineffective because they were not being used by victims of workplace bullying.

”We have to make employers acutely aware that they will pay heavily if they do not run their workplaces so that bullying is outed and dealt with at the earliest possible stage, without any victim having to make a complaint,” Ms Rayner said on a Law Institute website ahead of the hearing.

She argued that Brodie’s law did not work because it relied on ”humiliated and downtrodden victims to make a complaint, which could result in even further victimisation”.

The laws – named for teenage waitress Brodie Panlock, who committed suicide in 2006 after relentless bullying at a Hawthorn cafe – introduced 10-year prison terms for bullying. But by last month, a year after the laws were introduced, not one charge had been issued.

The Law Institute argues there needs to be a nationally recognised legislative definition of bullying, which includes clear examples of what constitutes such conduct.

Also appearing at the inquiry in Melbourne will be Ms Panlock’s parents, Damian and Rae.

The inquiry will hold its first hearing today in Sydney, and in Hobart on Thursday. As well as hearing from groups, the inquiry has set aside time to hear from individuals about their experiences of bullying in the workplace.

South Australian Labor MP Amanda Rishworth, who chairs the parliamentary committee that set up the inquiry, said it would ultimately feed into a national code to prevent workplace bullying.

She said some states had specific legislation to deal with bullying, while others had nothing.

”There is a problem with bullying – you can’t say there’s not,” Ms Rishworth said. ”The question is what is the appropriate response. It may be that we have not defined bullying clearly enough, or it may be that the legislation that exists isn’t being enforced.”

And she said bullying no longer stopped at the workplace, as technology intruded into all areas of people’s lives. ”It can continue on with Twitter and Facebook and mobile phones, so it is a very interesting question [as] the difference between home and work are beginning to blur.”

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Wispelaere: the spy who stayed out in the cold

Jean-Philippe Wispelaere used many different identities and reportedly had an infatuation with spying.JEAN-PHILIPPE Wispelaere was falling apart. The East Brunswick boy who had tried to commit suicide as a seven-year-old had grown into an unstable young man and, faced with life in a US prison on espionage charges, began to implode.
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It appeared his only salvation was a plea bargain that would let him return to Australia as soon as possible to serve part of his sentence in the country where he had lived since infancy.

He clung to that hope as he was besieged by the media, the Australian attorney-general, his father, and, worst of all, his capitulating mind. He swallowed razor blades, beat his head against a brick wall, gnawed on his hand and slashed his wrist so badly he needed 15 stitches during the two-year nightmare that started with his arrest on May 15, 1999.

Finally, in June 2001, Wispelaere was sentenced at a US court in Virginia to 15 years’ jail, the last five to be served in Australia. Two years spent behind bars would be taken into account and he could be released earlier depending on behaviour.

Outside court that day, his US lawyer, Nina Ginsberg, said he wanted to serve as much of his sentence as possible in Australia.

His parents were in Australia, as were the few friends he had left from his time at high school and university in Melbourne and from about six years studying and working in Canberra.

So why, when he was released last month, did Wispelaere not come home?

Ivan Himmelhoch, the former barrister who acted as his Australian lawyer, has no idea why Wispelaere instead nominated Canada, his country of birth, as his preferred place of deportation.

During the trial, Mr Himmelhoch had protested that Australia had thrown Wispelaere to the wolves when they let US authorities press charges.

”He felt Australia left him in the lurch because they didn’t charge him,” he said. ”They had the power to charge him but they didn’t. Australia should have been shown more respect by America, but should have stood up for itself too.

”Despite that, I don’t remember him ever discussing living in Canada. Perhaps spending all that time in prison turned him further against Australia, but I can only guess.”

Wispelaere admitted during his trial that he thought of himself as James Bond when he stole 1382 classified US documents, mostly satellite photos, while working at the Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO).

Ms Ginsberg said it was hard to imagine someone doing a worse job of spying.

Wispelaere’s plot involved travelling to Bangkok and selling the documents to a foreign embassy for hundreds of thousands of dollars. When he approached the embassy, it immediately contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Speaking from his home in Melbourne’s outer east, Mr Himmelhoch was surprised to learn Wispelaere, 41, did not return to an Australian jail five years ago, as he could have under his plea bargain.

The move was even given preliminary approval, but it appears an application for an international prisoner transfer lapsed.

As the end of his sentence approached, the French-speaking Wispelaere was expected to spend several weeks in an immigration centre in the state of Georgia, where he was incarcerated at the McRae Correctional Facility, before returning to Australia.

”That was what was arranged, that he’d do the time he had to and then come back. I’d thought he was already here,” Mr Himmelhoch said. ”I think it’s very odd that he hasn’t came back, but I can’t offer a reason.”

Mr Himmelhoch was even more shocked when told that Wispelaere’s father, Claude, had been found dead in the small East Brunswick house Jean-Philippe had grown up in with a self-inflicted nail gun wound to his heart in December 2010.

Danny Egan, who lived next door to the Wispelaeres with his parents and spent time with Jean-Philippe as a boy, thinks he may have never intended to come home and says that realisation may have led Claude, 69, to take his own life.

Mr Egan received letters from Wispelaere after his sentencing, but had not heard from him for some time. He was speaking only metres away from the front door of the Wispelaeres’ former house, which is being renovated by a young couple and has a tricycle and toys scattered in the yard.

”His dad was pushing for him to come back to Australia. He didn’t want to. He said [so] in his letters,” he said.

Claude had criticised his son repeatedly after his arrest. He called him his ”loony son”, a ”fool” and an ”idiot”, and said the ”pathetic” scheme had been motivated by greed.

But Mr Himmelhoch said none of that criticism may have reached Jean-Philippe, apart from during the first conversation the pair had after the arrest when Claude admitted calling his son names in French. Even if it had, it was unlikely to shadow his desire to come home.

”I think that was fatherly chastisement rather than deep-down hostility,” he said.

”I certainly didn’t tell Jean-Philippe about it, but his mother may have. He really wasn’t well at all so it wouldn’t have been good for him to hear.”

Jean-Philippe’s mother, Eleanor Lancaster, lives in North Fitzroy. She wasn’t interested in speaking to The Age. Wispelaere also declined an interview from McRae Correctional Facility.

Speaking from her law practice in Virginia, Wispelaere’s US lawyer Ms Ginsberg said she had not spoken to him in years.

Another court-appointed lawyer, Greg Beckwith, said he had always expected Wispelaere to go back to Australia. ”I remember talking to his mother and he had wanted to go back because his father had some health concerns at the time,” Mr Beckwith said from his office, also in Virginia.

”That was a reason why he wanted to come back.

”It does surprise me that he hasn’t. I don’t know if he had the desire to. People get used to their circumstances, you know?”

The two years between Wispelaere’s arrest and his sentencing were dominated by reports about Australia’s responsibility to a vulnerable man and the mental troubles that significantly delayed his trial.

Details about his infatuation with spying, his expulsion from Wesley College and his multiple teenage identities were reported alongside concerns about the US government standing over its Australian counterpart.

Wispelaere’s lawyers and parents blamed Australia’s lax security for allowing him to steal the secret documents and argued they were culpable for his crimes.

Ms Ginsberg said she thought Australia had been told to stay out of the case by the US because security had been ”embarrassingly” poor at DIO.

A few months after the sentence, the Howard government announced beefed-up security procedures in the public service, particularly in intelligence agencies, and revamped espionage law. The maximum penalty for espionage was increased from seven years to 25 to counter protests that Wispelaere would have faced a much more lenient sentence had he been charged under Australian law.

Despite the criticisms of how the Wispelaere case was handled, the government was unrepentant.

”It’s very difficult to feel sympathy for a person who seeks to get rich by betraying his country,” then attorney-general Daryl Williams said of Wispelaere, shortly before the sentencing. ”That’s what he has done.”

Wispelaere has rarely been spoken of publicly in Canberra since. Then foreign minister Kevin Rudd said in November last year that Wispelaere had been visited by department officials nine times since February 2007 in response to a question on notice, but a spokesman for the Attorney-General refused to comment on Wispelaere’s case.

Canadian authorities also declined to comment, but a US official confirmed he had been removed to Canada.

It is unclear where Wispelaere, who spent time in four prisons in three different US states, has settled. Mr Himmelhoch said Wispelaere, who was born in Montreal, once mentioned a fondness for Quebec.

Wispelaere has no siblings, and his visits from members of the Quakers stopped some time before his release.

Shortly before Wispelaere left McRae, a private prison near Atlanta, Warden Walter Wells notified The Age in no uncertain terms that his prisoner did not want to be interviewed or answer a prepared set of questions.

When his prison case officer was asked what Wispelaere’s plans were upon release, the response was only slightly less blunt. ”I can’t give you that information,” he says in a deep southern drawl. ”But I can say that he’s going OK.”

[email protected]南京夜网.au

For help or information visit beyondblue南京夜网.au, call Suicide Helpline Victoria on 1300 651 251, or Lifeline on 131 114.

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Stairway to Hamer links city with culture

THE quickest way to walk from Southbank up to Princes Bridge used to be a cavernous concrete walkway that curved around the bowels of Hamer Hall.
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It was windy, dark and felt unsafe. The views of the river were terrible and the only ambience came from the odd busker or Sunday market.

But a sweeping redevelopment of Hamer Hall has transformed this once-unloved section of the riverbank. A stairway and lift have replaced the brutalist walkway, large windows have been punched through the concrete facade of the hall and a mix of new restaurants and foyers will front the Yarra.

Much of the focus had been on the interior, which has been upgraded with improved acoustics, new auditorium seating and new concert technology, but the Victorian Arts Centre and architects Ashton Raggatt McDougall (ARM) wanted to give equal attention to the building’s exterior.

Arts Centre chief executive Judith Isherwood says the two-year, $135.8 million redevelopment, which will be completed later this month, would turn an inward-looking building into one that ”engages” with the city.

”Our forecasts show we will be getting a lot more foot traffic coming along the river promenade – pedestrians, bike riders, tourists – and we want to capture those people and give them options that encourage them to come into the hall,” Ms Isherwood said.

Melbourne University architecture expert Peter Raisbeck said the location of Hamer Hall was one of the most significant urban design sites in the city, and called the new-look hall a ”victory” for Melbourne architecture. ”This says that our cultural institutions no longer need to be fortresses that are inwardly looking; they are transparent and permeable,” Dr Raisbeck said.

A new entry hall has been built at river level, as well as a cafe with free wireless access and two restaurants – one a contemporary Japanese eatery called Sake, the other tenant yet to be announced.

At the St Kilda Road level, some of the hall’s concrete walls have been replaced with glass, to allow pedestrians to peer inside the building, and patrons to gaze out on views of the river’s north bank. This floor will also be home to Trocadero, a new Mediterranean-style brasserie operated by the Van Haandel Group, who are behind Melbourne restaurants the Stokehouse, Comme and Cutler & Co and the State Library of Victoria cafe Mr Tulk.

Joe Rollo, architecture critic for The Age, said the redesign would offer good views across the river and give much better access to Southbank via a ”terrific” new stairway.

Hamer Hall was previously open only during performances, but the whole building will now be open seven days a week to encourage visitation, with free performances and exhibitions.

”The public need reasons to come in and dwell, not feel like they have to buy a ticket to see a show,” Ms Isherwood said.

Canadian singer k. d. lang will headline two concerts to celebrate the reopening of Hamer Hall on July 26 and 27, part of a four-day mini-festival designed to reintroduce Melburnians to the hall.

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Noonan’s latest Conquest earns state title

Bathurst fighter Joel Noonan has claimed the MASA junior middleweight NSW amateur title after he beat Penrith’s Jake Rasion at the Conquest 2 competition in Orange recently.
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Noonan, who trains at High Impact Gym in Orange, was coming off his first loss in the sport a month before but avoided two in a row by taking a unanimous points decision.

“The fighter I was against [Rasion] was undefeated as well until I beat him,” Noonan said.

“It went the whole five rounds but I won by unanimous points. It was a good fight and my shins are still feeling it.”

A month earlier in Tamworth, Noonan put in an impressive showing against three-time Australian champion Brendon McLean but ultimately went down in a close decision.

While he was disappointed to lose his undefeated status, Noonan was very pleased with how competitive he was.

“He’s contested about three times the amount of fights that I have. There was barely anything in it,” the fighter said.

Conquest was the brainchild of Phil Bennett, who has some high profile contacts and wanted to bring quality fights to the Central West.

Noonan said he enjoyed being a part of them and is hopeful that the opportunity arises again.

“The Conquest event manager, Phil Bennett, lived in Thailand for a couple of years but his hometown is Wellington. He moved back there with all these contacts in Thailand and for this one he brought two of the best fighters from Thailand to take on two Aussies,” he said. “It was a big event and I got to be four fights under the main events, which was good.”

Noonan’s High Impact Gym mate Tristan Roach celebrated a win over Penrith’s Ben Kelly in their junior featherweight bout while fellow club mate Charlie Bubb drew his catchweight fight with Jayden Phillips from Parkes. Phil Tyquin went down in his bout.

Bennett is currently trying to organise two more Conquest tournaments, one in Bathurst in October and another in Orange in November. It is hoped that some big names in Muay Thai will be lured to the events.

HOW BOUT THAT: Joel Noonan with the two belts he now holds in kickboxing and Muay Thai after he won a bout at Conquest 2 in Orange recently. Photo: CASEY BAYLISS 060712noonan

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’75 show heart in defeat

THREE-nil defeats aren’t usually cause for a positive reaction, but after seeing what Bathurst ’75 had to deal with against Hakoah on Saturday night at Alec Lamberton Field in their State League Division Two contest, coach Mark Rooke had a pretty good point.
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Against the runaway competition leaders, who dismantled Rooke’s team 8-0 last time they met, ’75 gave a strong account of themselves and managed to compete on level terms with the high-flyers for most of their match.

In the lead up to the contest Rooke had spoken of Hakoah’s attacking potency and the class of some of their players and it took them just 10 minutes to make his words prophetic, with both Justin and Nathan Kosmina finding the back of the net.

The pair are sons of A-League coach John Kosmina, himself a former Socceroo and one-cap Arsenal player, and their class ultimately proved the difference on Saturday night at Alec Lamberton Field.

“I couldn’t be happier with the effort and attitude of the players, especially in the second half,” Rooke said.

“Early on it was as though we were watching Hakoah a little bit in awe of how good they were but in the last 15 minutes of it [first half] we started to get ourselves into the match and compete on even terms.

“In the second we conceded another goal, but in general we gave as good as we got all around the pitch and I can’t fault any of the players. The contrast between this game and the first game against them was chalk and cheese.”

Justin Kosmina scored his team’s first from a well-directed header before his brother fired in their second and another thrashing looked a distinct possibility.

As Rooke correctly pointed out though his players began to find some possession and move the ball around.

The contest was willing and there was no shortage of physicality, but the home team weren’t going to be pushed off the ball and they would have been relatively satisfied to go to the break at 2-0 down.

Early in the second half Ranni Rimmer trapped a pass in Bathurst’s 18-yard box and turned nicely to finish his team’s third goal. Again a blow-out became a distinct possibility, but the scoring was to end there.

In terms of the territorial battle ’75 could even claim bragging rights in the second half as they regularly took the ball forward, but in reality the Hakoah defence were too classy to allow them any scoring chances.

Rooke is under no illusions as to the quality of the victors.

“They’ve conceded eight goals all season, their transition from the back is fantastic and so hard to break down,” he said.

“To be honest, no, I can’t see any team beating them this season. They were actually missing a few guys tonight too, good players. They would give most NSW Premier League sides a run for their money.”

TESTED: While ’75 lost the match 3-0, they still provided some good resistance. Photos: ZENIO LAPKA

TESTED: While ’75 lost the match 3-0, they still provided some good resistance. Photos: ZENIO LAPKA

TESTED: While ’75 lost the match 3-0, they still provided some good resistance. Photos: ZENIO LAPKA

TESTED: While ’75 lost the match 3-0, they still provided some good resistance. Photos: ZENIO LAPKA

TESTED: While ’75 lost the match 3-0, they still provided some good resistance. Photos: ZENIO LAPKA

TESTED: While ’75 lost the match 3-0, they still provided some good resistance. Photos: ZENIO LAPKA

TESTED: While ’75 lost the match 3-0, they still provided some good resistance. Photos: ZENIO LAPKA

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McGarity is plotting her revenge

Bathurst products Esther Hotham and Claire McGarity and their New South Wales team-mates will be out for revenge when they get their Under 21s Women’s Australian Championships campaign underway with a match against defending champions Western Australia this morning.
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The opening game of the tournament in Adelaide will be a rematch of last year’s final, but NSW will be hoping that they avoid a repeat of their 1-0 loss.

The NSW team arrived in Adelaide yesterday for the competition and had two training sessions in the morning to prepare.

It is McGarity’s last year in under 21s, while Hotham has been named in next year’s squad, but both are hoping that can reverse their state’s fortune after going close in the last three years, but ultimately falling short of the title.

“It’s my last year so it would be good to go out with a win,” McGarity said.

“We’ve been pretty unlucky, in the three years that I’ve been playing, we have finished second, third and second, so we are still searching for that win.”

McGarity said NSW had brought together a side that is capable of winning the tournament, but knows that they will face plenty of competition.

She believes they will have a good idea of their chances after their first three games, which are against their traditional rivals.

“We’ve got quite a strong team. Most of the players from last year have come back but there are a few young ones to replace those who are too old,” the former Souths player said.

“Our first three games are against the teams that we expect to be the strongest. Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria are always very strong teams but you really can’t rule anyone out because the other states can improve from year to year.”

Both Bathurst women played in last year’s final, in which neither team was able to score in 70 minutes of regular time. Eight minutes into extra-time, a piece of individual brilliance from WA attacker Kathryn Slattery saw her beat several defenders and put the ball into the net to ruin NSW’s title hopes.

Orange-based assistant coach Pete Shea is looking forward to the competition and said this year’s side had a very youthful make-up.

“We’ve got the basis of a good side. It will be interesting to see how they compete against opposition of this quality at this level,” he said.

“We have two 16-year-olds, a core of 18 and 19-year-olds and then a few older ones. It’s a young group, but that’s the talent in NSW at the moment.”

Shea is also of the belief that a good start will be crucial for NSW’s chances.

“It should be interesting. We had a good training session last week. We worked on a few things which are important like our set plays and our attacking structure,” he said.

“The first three games will be a big challenge for the young kids.”

NSW start their campaign today, taking on Western Australia from 9am (11am AEST).

STATE DUTY: Former Souths player Claire McGarity (left), seen here playing one of her last games for the two blues in 2010, and Bathurst City’s Esther Hotham will start their Australian Championships campaign with NSW this morning. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 071010csths3

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It’s a happy 100th game for Rose

WHEN George Rose first pulled on a Manly Sea Eagles jumper and stepped onto the field for the NRL club in 2006, the barnstorming prop was not able to mark the occasion with a win.
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However, his 100th game for the defending premiers on Sunday was a different story.

With a bus load of his relatives and supporters making the trip from Bathurst to Brookvale Oval cheer him on, Rose helped the Sea Eagles to a 40-24 win over Parramatta.

There were some nervous moments as the Eels launched a second half comeback, but when the final siren sounded the former Bathurst junior was delighted.

“Was so good to have 16000+ screaming fans supporting us today at Brookvale Oval,” Rose tweeted.

“The best feeling. Love playing at our home ground.

“An ugly but effective win today. We had some negatives but some awesome positives too.”

After coming through the ranks at Bathurst and making a foray into higher level rugby league as part of Penrith feeder club St Marys Cougars, Rose got his real break with the Sydney Roosters.

He made his first grade debut with the Bondi club against Newcastle at Hunter Stadium in 2004, but it has been since switching to Manly that Rose has gained a cult following.

Rose’s first NRL game with the Sea Eagles six years ago resulted in a 40-14 loss at the hands of the Bulldogs.

His time since in the maroon and white has seen enjoy arguably the biggest moment of his career thus far and well as one of the biggest setbacks.

In 2007 he broke his leg in a match against Melbourne, the extent of the injury meaning it took Rose until 2009 to force his way back into Manly’s NRL side.

He went on to make his return season a good one – being named the Sea Eagles Player of the Year – but it was being a member of last year’s grand final winning side that stands as his highlight.

On Sunday as Rose prepared to mark his 100th game for the club, his Twitter account was flooded with congratulatory messages and best wishes while he had 58 relatives make the trip to Brookvale.

Sea Eagles head conditioner Donny Singe was one who paid tribute to him on the club’s website, saying the 113 kilogram prop knows how to use his size well.

“Lucky for us George, even though he worked two or three times harder than the next person, has always embraced that [his size],” Singe said.

“Despite the focus that falls on his size, the overriding factor is that he’s a tremendous player and a tremendously skillful footballer.”

Off the bench against the Eels Rose played 41 minutes – his second longest involvement of the season thus far – and during that time he made 12 tackles and 89 metres.

“Manly is a big part of who I am now. I’m doing what I love and I think I’ve learned a lot from the players and people here,” Rose said.


HAPPY 100th: Former Bathurst junior George Rose carts the ball up on Sunday in what was his 100th game for the Manly Sea Eagles. He celebrated the milestone with a win over the Eels. Photo: GETTY IMAGES 070912georgey

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As Group 10 meet to review evidence from Sunday’s brawl, Quinn offers his support to referee Masters

COUNTRY Rugby League chief executive Terry Quinn has said he will support the referee who called off Sunday’s Group 10 premier league match between Mudgee and Lithgow after 37 minutes.
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Eglinton based referee Brett Masters called time on the game after four separate brawls had broken out and three players had been sin-binned.

At the time Lithgow were leading 8-6 in the top-of-the-table clash in Mudgee.

Speaking on The Ray Hadley Morning Show yesterday, Quinn said he would back Masters in his decision to call the game off before half-time had even been reached.

“We’ll support the referee in this,” Quinn told Hadley.

“I’ve got his report, it has just come through now … and what he’s done is absolutely correct. We’ll back him on that because we don’t want to see these brawls happening.”

The first brawl broke out in the seventh minute and Masters spoke to both sides about their actions.

After a second fight, Mudgee’s Jono George and Lithgow’s Corey Willmott were sin-binned.

A third fight broke out in the 22nd minute and resulted in Lithgow halfback Josh Howarth getting 10 minutes in the bin.

The fourth fight erupted with less than eight minutes left in the half and Masters pulled the pin.

After the game Mudgee captain Mat Stott said it was a disappointing way to finish the game.

“I don’t know what to say,” Stott said.

“It’s a shame really. It’s a waste. It did get physical out there but that is what happens.”

Lithgow coach Graeme Osborne had a similar opinion.

“It’s disappointing for the fans and disappointing for the game,” Osborne said.

“It’s probably an easy way out. It was a top-of-the-table clash, two good sides, two good clubs, and unfortunately the crowd probably got a bit too riled up too and perhaps encouraged players on the field.”

Hadley suggested the players and coaches from the two clubs needed to take more responsibility for what happened in Sunday’s game and Quinn agreed.

“They’re in control of their players on the field and they should do a better job,” Quinn said.

“This is one of the areas which concerns us greatly, particularly in Group 10.”

Sunday’s shortened match comes almost a year after the derby between Orange CYMS and Orange Hawks was called off 25 minutes early following an ugly brawl.

The fall-out from that match was massive with the Hawks club suspended from the remainder of the 2011 competition.

Hawks’ first division and under 18s sides were later reinstated following an appeal to the CRL.

Two Hawks players and one CYMS player were also suspended for a combined 32 months.

Meanwhile, Group 10 president Linore Zamparini said the Group executive were meeting last night with two representatives each from the Lithgow and Mudgee clubs along with the referees involved in the match.

“We’ll have the video. We’ll view all the evidence and decide whether anything needs to go to the judiciary,” Zamparini explained. “We haven’t seen any evidence yet so we don’t know if it’s a problem with the ground management, the players or the referees.”

The president was clearly unhappy with what had happened in Mudgee.

“It’s very, very disappointing,” he said.

“It’s not good for the game and it’s not good for our competition.”

Still, Zamparini was confident this was an isolated incident.

Group 10 Referees Association president Mark Edwards did not wish to comment on the matter prior last night’s meeting.

Last night’s meeting would also decide what the match result was.

Lithgow were leading 8-6 when the game was called off, but an official match result is still to be confirmed.

There is also the question of whether enough time had been played to constitute a match and Zamparini said he didn’t have the answer.

“That’s a technical thing we’ve got to work through,” he explained.

“Everyone has a different opinion. Some people think you have to play atleast three-quarters of a game to make it a game. Hopefully it’s in the constitution.”

UGLY SCENE: Players from Lithgow and Mudgee’s Group 10 premier league sides were involved in four separate brawls on Sunday, their actions leading to referee Brett Masters calling an early end to the match.

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Cop burns rubber for Cold Chisel

Police feared there would be ‘civil disorder’ if Cold Chisel arrived late to a concert in Margaret River in November.There was no time for cheap wine and three day growth when it came to a police escort getting Cold Chisel to a Margaret River concert on time.
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Yesterday, a police officer was found guilty of reckless driving in Bunbury Magistrates Court for escorting the legendary Aussie band along the Bussell Highway 48km/h over the speed limit last November.

According to Senior Constable Shane Clarke, police feared there would be “civil disorder” if Barnesy and co arrived late.

Mr Clarke’s not guilty plea was rejected by Magistrate Paul Heaney, who fined the officer $1250 and suspended his licence. The magistrate said he regretted having to find the veteran policeman guilty.

Mr Clark has been a traffic officer for 22 years and was one of three policemen caught speeding on Bussell Highway while providing an escort for Cold Chisel about 4pm on November 26.

The court heard police were under strain when concert organisers asked for a police escort to get the band to the venue on time.

However, Prosecutor David Leigh said the situation did not constitute a genuine emergency, and therefore police officers were not exempt from the law.

He said the Cold Chisel concert, which attracted 12,000 punters, coincided with the Margaret River bushfires and 7000 schoolies arriving in Dunsborough.

Sergeant Craig Anderson, who headed the police escort “there were concerns if Barnes was late, there could be problems with the crowd, because of liquor consumption”.

He said the police district office had approved the escort but there was confusion as to whether officers were authorised to drive “with speed”, and he had allowed two officers – one Mr Clarke – to drive 20km/h over the 100km/h speed limit.

Mr Clark said he had followed orders and was a trained and safe driver. He said his actions helped avoid a potential riot at the concert.

The officer has been put on non-operational duties for the duration of the licence suspension.

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Deep Voice is bad news for Nine

The Voice U.S.The Olympics can’t come soon enough for the Nine Network after their experiment with The Voice (US) failed badly last night.
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The one-hour debut of the overseas version of the talent show ranked 19th overall last night, capturing none of the audience magic of the Australian edition. It drew in a meagre 669,000 viewers, more than 100,000 fewer than the two repeats of The Big Bang Theory did in the same time slot last week.

Executives at Nine are said to have been divided on whether to run the show, with fears that it would tarnish the brand that so recently gave them hope in the ratings war. Having gone to air with the first episode, the network are committed to the show for three weeks, regardless of results.

Not only did the show, which went to air in the US in February, finish fourth in its time slot, it was also beaten by network stable-mate The Hot Seat – the game show hosted by Eddie McGuire which goes to air at 5.30pm. It was not beaten by Nine’s airing of the movie Spider-Man 3, which did not make the top 20 with 454,000 viewers for the critically-panned film.

The combination saw Nine, with 15.2 per cent of the audience slip behind the ABC (15.4 per cent) to finish in third place for the night, only just ahead of Ten on 14.9 per cent.

The night was topped by Seven with each of its shows from 6pm until 9.30pm rating above a million, including Home & Away, which climbed back above the magic number thanks to The Voice’s poor performance.

MasterChef continued to look healthier in the absence of the Australian version of The Voice, taking second spot in Melbourne and fourth across the country, though it dropped slightly against last week’s 1.396 million viewers.

5-City Metropolitan Ratings – 9th July 20121 Seven News (Seven) 1,379,000 2 Revenge (Seven)  1,328,000 3 Nine News (Nine) 1,305,000 4 Masterchef Australia (Ten)  1,259,000 5 Today Tonight (Seven) 1,167,000 6 A Current Affair (Nine) 1,122,000 7 Australian Story (ABC) 1,079,000 8 ABC News (ABC) 1,065,000 9 The Amazing Race Australia (Seven) 1,023,000 10 Home And Away (Seven) 1,014,000 11 Ten News At Five (Ten) 840,000 12 Four Corners (ABC) 830,000 13 7.30 (ABC) 790,000 14 Last Man Standing (Ten) 787,000 15 Hot Seat (Nine) 768,000 16 Media Watch (ABC) 747,000 17 Body Of Proof (Seven) 697,000 18 The Project 6.30pm (Ten) 672,000 19 The Voice U.S. (Nine) 669,000 20 Q&A (ABC) 662,000SOURCE: OzTam

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Warranty runs out as group sinks into liquidation

An extended warranty firm that has failed to return customer calls or pay staff has reportedly gone into liquidation.
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U-NITED Warranties, which until recently provided extended warranties on electrical goods sold through Myer and Big W, appeared to be on the brink of collapse in recent weeks.

Dozens of customers have complained to consumer affairs watchdogs in Victoria and New South Wales after electrical goods sent in for repair had not been returned, or they had been unable to contact the business. The owner of the company, Vern Rickman, has failed to respond to calls or emails from Fairfax.

Former staff have also spoken out, telling MySmallBusiness that almost employees had quit in the past three months. Many claim they are owed wages and superannuation entitlements.

The warranty group, plus two connected businesses, are reported to have gone into liquidation yesterday, with company Grant Thornton stepping in. Grant Thornton did not immediately return calls.

More to come…

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‘Confected’ stoush with Greens is helping Coalition, says Labor MP

A federal Western Australian Labor MP has called on her colleagues to stop attacking the Greens, saying the outrage was “a confected non-issue” that was playing into the hands of the Coalition.
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Melissa Parke stepped up her calls this morning after saying yesterday the NSW Right, which has led the attack on the Greens, had more to do with Labor’s current woes than anyone else.

Ms Parke, who belongs to the Left faction, told the National Times today that the “Greens bashing must stop”.

“It’s a confected non-issue. The Greens have, along with the independents, helped Labor pass an enormous amount of legislation through the Parliament,” she said.

“This sniping within the progressive side of politics is a gift to Tony Abbott. It is mutually assured destruction.”

Ms Parke said if she were from NSW, she would not be supporting a motion to be put to this weekend’s NSW state Labor conference, which enables party officials to “no longer provide the Greens party automatic preferential treatment in any future preference negotiations”.

If the threat were carried out and adopted nationally, the Greens could lose their balance of power in the Senate.

But the move has sparked a much wider debate. The floodgates have opened and Labor MPs and ministers are lining up to attack the Greens, making Ms Parke a lone voice among colleagues.

In speech last night, Finance Minister Penny Wong took issue with the Greens for blocking the original emissions trading scheme in the Senate.

Senator Wong, who was the climate change minister at the time, said that if the Greens had passed the scheme, it would now be embedded, rather that at the risk of being repealed by Tony Abbott.

“We would be debating new progressive challenges and causes, rather than continuing to fight on this one,” she said.

“Where the Greens claim to share our values, their inability to compromise, their unwillingness to take on board evidence and their refusal to accept that politics inevitably involves trade-offs, means they cannot deliver policy outcomes to reflect these values.

“The experience with the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme is an example, but it is only one.”

Members of the NSW left are certain to back the motion by the NSW Labor general-secretary, Sam Dastyari, so long as the assault does not mean a policy shift to the right.

“My only concern is someone using this to go further to the right,” said the NSW Senator Doug Cameron. “I don’t support that but I do have real criticism of the Greens. It’s all care and no responsibility for those guys.”

Left convener Stephen Jones concurs.

There is significant anger within Labor that the government has suffered politically because of its alliance with the Greens while the minor party has not helped in return. For example, it refused to help Labor with asylum seeker policy.

The party’s refusal two weeks ago to allow offshore processing, even on an interim basis, while a more lasting solution could be pursued was especially irksome to the ALP Left, which has had to bend its own principles to accommodate a policy change.

Senator Cameron said the Green’s adherence to the “purist approach” prevented an interim solution to the surge in asylum boats.

The ministers Martin Ferguson, Wayne Swan, Stephen Smith, Greg Combet and Bob Carr are among those who have attacked the Greens in recent days.

Ms Parke maintains that the NSW Right – the faction which led the ousting of Kevin Rudd and brought spin-driven politics to Canberra – is the real villain.

“The Mark Arbib/Karl Bitar model of doing business is what caused our problems,” she said.

“Where Labor has suffered in the polls is when it has equivocated on its principles. I’ve got no interest in taking advice from the NSW Right.”

Labor tends to automatically preference the Greens first but the Greens do not always respond in kind, at both a state and federal level.

Labor now reasons that the Greens need Labor’s preferences more than it needs theirs and Mr Dastyari’s motion, if adopted, will give him and other party officials greater power when negotiating preferences.

The Greens have nine senators, three of whom will be up for re-election at the next ballot. At least two will struggle to be returned without Labor support, raising the possibility of the Coalition or independents having the balance of power.

The Greens have warned that Mr Abbott could then easily revoke the carbon and mining taxes and bring back WorkChoices.

Many in Labor see the government’s climate change woes linked to the alliance partner and are angry at intransigence by the Greens on such policies as asylum seekers. They refuse to allow offshore processing, leaving Labor powerless to act.

Some in Labor suspect the assault is to prepare the ground for a return of Kevin Rudd, who would demand support from the Greens to soften the carbon tax by moving quickly to a floating price.

Mr Dastyari said his motion would not lead to a policy shift to the right but was more about Labor taking back ownership of progressive issues.

“Its not about abandoning that space,” Mr Dastyari said of the Left. “You can only do this in conjunction with winning over those voters.”

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Wife of accused Lin family killer refused to sign statements, court told

The wife of the man accused of killing five members of the Lin family in northern Sydney gave inconsistent statements to police and later refused to formally put her name to them, a Sydney court has heard.
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Kathy Lin is considered by police to be a key witness in relation to the crime, in which her husband, Robert Xie, 48, allegedly strangled and beat five members of her family to death in their North Epping home in July 2009.

The victims included Ms Lin’s brother Min “Norman” Lin, sister-in-law Yun Li “Lily” Lin, their two young sons and the boy’s aunt, Yun Bin “Irene” Lin.

Police allege that Mr Xie was motivated by a deep-seated resentment toward his wife’s family. They want to call Ms Lin as a witness in his upcoming committal hearing.

But she continues to support her husband and is opposing the subpoena ordering her to testify.

In a hearing to decide this question in Central Local Court today, Crown prosecutor Kara Shead said that there were inconsistencies between the two interviews Ms Lin had done with police, and a statement she made to the NSW Crime Commission.

“The Crown will make submissions that there are differences in the interviews together with the crime commission transcript,” Ms Shead said.

The court also heard that, having done the interviews with police, Ms Lin later refused to attend the police station to formally sign the transcripts.

This refusal, along with the inconsistencies in the interviews, would be a key element of the prosecution argument as to why she should be ordered to give evidence at the August 20 committal.

The hearing before magistrate John Andrews continues.

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