December, 2018

South Sydney Rabbitohs halfback Adam Reynolds sidelined with appendicitis

South Sydney’s seemingly perfect pre-season has had its first hiccup with halfback Adam Reynolds set to miss the first month of the season with appendicitis.
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The Rabbitohs playmaker arrived at training on Wednesday complaining of some discomfort, and was later taken to hospital under the advice of the club doctor.

The 26-year-old spent the night on a drip before undergoing surgery on Thursday to treat the appendicitis that will keep him out for the best part of four weeks.

He required stitches around the abdomen region but was expected to be discharged from hospital on Friday night.

Former Parramatta pivot Luke Kelly firms as his likely replacement, however John Sutton is no stranger to the halves position and could force Cody Walker into the No.7 jersey if Maguire opts to go with his former captain.

At the NRL launch on Thursday Greg Inglis said he and the rest of the Rabbitohs’ spine would encourage Walker to take an ad-lib approach to his football this season.

“We want him to play pretty much off the top of his head,” Inglis said. “He’s an instinctive player and we don’t want to give him too much structure.

“I think it’s just tapping into the skill. He’s obviously got the ability … We keep telling him how much he does have.”

Kelly played in the Auckland Nines and in both trials for the Bunnies, impressing in his maiden season at the club after being used as a stop-gap solution by Parramatta since 2012.

The bad news comes just a week out from South Sydney’s first round match against the Wests Tigers, who have problems of their own in the halves.

Luke Brooks had his wisdom teeth removed a fortnight ago and missed last week’s trial against the Cowboys, while Mitchell Moses has battled bone bruising in his ankle that he picked up playing in the All Stars game earlier this month.

Both Brooks and Moses are expected to be fully fit in time for what will be a mouth-watering Friday night showdown against former Tigers captain Robbie Farah and his new club.

Meanwhile, Billy Slater’s return from a chronic shoulder problem has been put on ice once again.

The Storm fullback hasn’t fully recovered from the season-ending injury he picked up in round one last year, with Storm coach Craig Bellamy in no rush to bring back his superstar No.1.

Melbourne are reluctant to risk Slater by bringing him back prematurely and will miss the opening rounds of their new campaign, which begins against Canterbury at Belmore on Friday night.

“We’re really happy with the way it’s progressing but I’m pretty sure he won’t be playing the first couple of rounds,” Bellamy said at the Storm’s season launch.

“We’ve waited a long time so we’re not going to take any risks with him physically or mentally.”

With Cameron Munster moving from fullback to five-eighth in the off-season to cover for the departure of Blake Green to Manly, Bellamy will have to decide whether to tinker with his new playmaker combination or throw Young Tonumaipea into the No.1 jersey.

“Obviously Cameron has trained mostly in the halves in the pre-season so to put him back there would be a big call but having said that we’ve got to do what we think is best thing for the team,” Bellamy said.

Melbourne’s Kiwi Test backrower Tohu Harris is also sidelined for the opening weeks of the season with a stress fracture in his foot.

with AAP

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Fallen Southern Stars hope to shine in Rose Bowl defence

Ready to return: Ellyse Perry. Photo: Rohan ThomsonThe Southern Stars will seek redemption for their shock Twenty20 series defeat to the White Ferns when the two nations begin a three-match one-day series in New Zealand on Sunday.
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Australia has made a late inclusion for the Rose Bowl series, drafting veteran batter Rachael Haynes, 30, into the squad.

Haynes has played 33 one-day internationals, averaging 31.28 and could boost a batting line-up which struggled in games two and three of the T20 series against the White Ferns. The left-hander from Victoria was also part of the winning squad which claimed the 2013 women’s World Cup.

Haynes’ return comes amid injury worries, with vice-captain Alex Blackwell straining a hamstring in the heavy loss on Wednesday.

Champion allrounder Ellyse​ Perry is due to return to the side, having missed the T20 series because of a hamstring injury she suffered during the Women’s Big Bash League. Perry’s one-day form has been superb in recent times, notching 17 half-centuries in her past 24 innings.

Australian selector Shawn​ Flegler​ said Perry and Blackwell were expected to be fit for the one-day series.

“We expect both Alex and Ellyse to feature throughout the upcoming series against New Zealand. However, we want to ensure both players are 100 per cent fit on their return,” he said.

“Rachael is a proven performer at this level with a wealth of knowledge and experience, so we are looking forward to having her around the group and know she will be ready to go if called upon.”

The Stars were fired out for 66 – their lowest score in T20 cricket – by the White Ferns in Adelaide, having been 5-9 after a superb opening spell from Lea Tahuhu and Holly Huddleston. They had also limped to 9-61 in a rain-marred loss in Geelong on Sunday.

This could prompt a shake-up in the top order, with a call to be made on No.3 Ashleigh Gardner, who had scores of 0, 5 and 0 on her international debut in the T20 series.

Skipper Meg Lanning has demanded more of her team, with the Ferns determined to regain the Rose Bowl for the first time in 17 years.

“We move into one-day cricket now which is a nice shift for us but we’ve got to learn from it and see what we can do better, because we’re going to come up against the same (bowlers),” she said.

“There’s plenty for us to think about. We need to come up with a few different plans and really think our way through more than we have.”

The Stars were beaten 2-1 in the Twenty20 series by the White Ferns last summer but rebounded to win the one-day campaign in New Zealand.

Rose Bowl series:

26 February: First ODI, Eden Park No.2, Auckland

2 March: Second ODI, Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui

5 March: Third ODI, Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui

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

What do we want? Old footy ground names. When do we want it? Now!

It’s an embarrassing thing to confess. First week of January and Cricket Australia was still days away from giving up the rest of the summer to rugby codes to the power of seven, nine and 10. Six-hole golf and four-game tennis were light bulbs yet to go off. Football was being played around the country, but fans that week were workshopping their next brilliant tifo​. It was Test cricket’s time to shine.
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And yet, entering the Sydney Cricket Ground precinct, Fairfax Media’s legs were drawing it inexorably towards the footy stadium. The Philip Cox-designed roof, the phantom sniff of liniment, the ghosts of Chicka Ferguson and Joey Johns and the Mark Coyne try. Or just a bog-standard Sunday afternoon in winter, sitting in the rain with both of Easts’ fans. The siren song of rugby league! Fairfax Media’s brain was saying one thing, but the legs were doing another.

As an impulse to civil disobedience, the moment passed. Ultimately, the visceral hunger for rugby league is not satisfied by trying to break into an empty stadium. Nor is it quite satisfied by the Auckland Nines, the Indigenous All Stars Game or the Charity Shield. Nor – and this is the curious part – is it really satisfied by the start of the season proper, or the playing of that season.

Taunted and tantalised, league hunger is sometimes only satisfied in that moment after a grand final when the last minute of the season has been the most gut-wrenching minute of anything Fairfax Media has ever seen. And then the hunger starts up again …

But if Fairfax Media had to toe the line and stay with the cricket, there was another act of personal civil disobedience that would have to do. The cricket was at the Sydney Cricket Ground: Sydney’s big ground where cricket is played. Easy to understand. Right next to it is a big ground where football is played, and Fairfax Media refuses to call the sister ground anything other than the footy stadium.

Or SFS in a nod to modernity. Or Sydney Sports Ground when Fairfax Media is feeling ornery. Whatever used-car dealer or major bank’s insurance division has the naming rights to it now, it was not called Whatsie Fluffers Field when Chicka stepped, stepped again, and stepped a third defender to tie the 1989 grand final. It was not called Punters’ Park when Coyne scored that try in the 1994 Origin. It was the SFS, and in Fairfax Media’s heart it remains sacred ground. It’s the Sydney Sports Ground, where Laurie Monaghan kicked that field goal from the sideline to sink mighty Wales.

When names disappear, so does the past. If the past is not another country and not even the past, then nor are the true names of football grounds. It is not just history that is flogged off when a sponsor buys naming rights to a ground; it is the present, too, because in sport, where so many of us live in the past, there is no difference.

More and more, that humble fan is the custodian of that past-in-the-present, because every other interest is ganging up against us. T.G. Millner Field, site of the immortal “Up The Jumper” try by NSW Country in 1975 amongst a zillion blood-soaked Saturday afternoons, is being sold off. It’s bad enough when the actual territory passes into the hands of property developers, but the so-called compromise of flogging naming rights sales is little better.

For round one of this year’s NRL competition, Parramatta will be visiting Manly at a place that sounds like a cross between a theme park, a bingo hall and a 1920s Los Angeles land speculation. For the rest of us, it’s Brookvale Oval, aka Brookie. The jokes that will stem from Brookie’s new name, which Fairfax Media refuses to utter, are predictable. Like Brookie’s most recent nickname – “The Fortress”, in direct contradiction of the Sea Eagles’ porous recent record there – the new name is not a masterpiece of irony (for which rugby league is little known), but an act of soulless expediency (with which rugby league is synonymous).

For fellow conscientious objectors, here is a guide to the real names of other NRL grounds:

Cronulla: Endeavour Field or, if you must, Shark Park.

Penrith: Penrith Park or, if you must, Panthers Stadium.

Parramatta: Parramatta Stadium, funeral pyre of Cumberland Oval.

Canberra: Bruce Stadium.

Brisbane: Lang Park.

South Sydney, Canterbury, St George-Illawarra, Wests-Balmain: Olympic Stadium, or just Homebush, albeit risking confusion about what train station to get off at.

Newcastle: Hunter International Sports Centre.

Eastern Suburbs: Footy Stadium, SFS or Sydney Sports Ground.

Auckland: Mount Smart Stadium.

Melbourne, North Queensland, Gold Coast: Don’t know, let them decide.

Returning to grounds their true, old-school names is not just a matter of giving voice to your inner curmudgeon. Or, in Fairfax Media’s case, their outer curmudgeon. The footy ground is a battleground, in the struggle between communities and corporations, and it needs the fans’ voices. Or, to be precise, their silence.

There is an alternative view: that he who pays the piper calls the tune, and if someone stumps up the money they can call whatever they want whatever they like. It’s not culture, it’s commerce.

But not even the corporations, who use the language of community and people, will own up to that brute fact. They can only feel good by disguising it. They haven’t bought out team names that are off limits in Australia, if not elsewhere. Fairfax Media can remember, as a child, imagining the exotic glamour of the great Zaheer Abbas amassing runs for Pakistan International Airways against the poor bowlers of Habib Bank in domestic cricket.

You could even see Zaheer in a PIA pilot’s uniform. Companies owning and naming cricket teams seemed less of a concern than the possibility that Zaheer, with his bulletproof-thickness glasses, could have passed the seeing test to fly a passenger aircraft. It seemed snazzy and jetset in those days, but eventually, the Indian Premier League having teams named after a whiskey and a newspaper took the gloss off, and made the whole racket as classy as Geelong footballer Garry Hocking renaming himself as cat food.

Grounds have never been offered the same protection as clubs and players, which, after all, instead of selling their names to corporations, turn themselves into corporations. People can look after themselves. Why should the turf, the soil, the sacred earth, have no right of self-defence?

Only because it, unlike the clubs and the individuals, has no voice? It’s up to the fan to take up the cause of that voiceless soil, and call it by its true name. Fairfax Media – oh hell, you see how annoying it is for the piper to take the name of he who pays – I reject the corporate dispossession of our land and refuse to yield.

Someone please plant me a gum tree on T.G. Millner so that I may chain myself to it. And someone please link arms with me and march on Brookvale where we can, in the spirit of Reagan’s plea to Gorbachev, “Tear down that sign”.

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

Alleged armed robbers arrested after wandering near Victoria Police Academy

The robbers were found wandering just blocks from the Victoria Police Academy in Glen Waverley. Photo: Craig AbrahamA trio of alleged armed robbers have been picked up just blocks from the Victoria Police Academy after they were spotted strolling down a suburban road minutes after a string of robberies in the area.
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The Dandenong North men aged 18, 19 and 21 were nabbed on Thursday at 4.45am after allegedly robbing a Narre Warren North service station and a Mount Waverley newsagency.

The men were armed with machetes and a shotgun, which were discovered dumped in a suburban garden bed at a nearby residence. Their getaway vehicle was located a short distance away.

The alleged perpetrators started their spree of robberies at 12.55am on Thursday at a service station on Heatherton Road which they burgled twice, the first time unsuccessfully.

They returned at 3.45am, successfully robbing the service station before turning their attention to a news agency on Centreway, Mount Waverley, more than 17 kilometres away, at about 4.30am.

But the string of robberies ended uneventfully with police nabbing the trio while they were wandering in Glen Waverley at 4.45am, just kilometres from the Victoria Police Academy.

All three men were arrested after being spotted by police on Waverley Road, just east of Blackburn Road. The Victoria Police academy is located a few blocks away, on the corner of Waverley and View Mount roads.

Police have charged the men who are assisting with inquiries. They will face court at a later date.

It is unclear whether the crime spree is gang related. Anyone who witnessed the robberies or has more information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. \n”,colour:”green”, title:”12.55AM & 3.45AM: Men rob service station”, maxWidth:200, open:0},{lat:-37.89108, lon:145.14309, text:”

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Anti-bikie Echo taskforce investigating drive-by shooting at Airport West gym

The man injured in the Airport West shooting. Photo: Courtesy of Nine News The scene of the reported shooting in Airport West. Photo: Courtesy of Seven News
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Anti-bikie police are investigating a drive-by shooting at an Airport West gym, with the car suspected of being used in the shooting found burnt-out in Melbourne’s north.

Police confirmed a black Audi SUV was found burnt-out in a reserve in Pascoe Value shortly before 10pm and is suspected of being the same vehicle two people used in the shooting on Thursday evening.

The Echo taskforce is now investigating the matter and has called for members of the public with further information to come forward.

A 31-year-old Hillside man received a gunshot wound to the stomach in the carpark of the Derrimut 24:7 Gym on Louis Street in Airport West at 5.30pm on Thursday and was taken to hospital in a stable condition.

The black SUV pulled up as the man was entering the gym and the occupant of the vehicle reportedly produced a firearm before they fled the scene.

One person in the gym told Fairfax Media they heard two shots.

The Audi Q7 was later seen driving erratically on the Western Ring Road, including the emergency lane prior to Keilor Park Drive in Keilor East after the shooting. It was later found at Gavan Park on the corner of Arndt and Cornwall roads.

Investigators are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen the Audi or captured vision of the vehicle on their dash cam.

A witness who saw the drive-by shooting told the Herald Sun the men were wearing masks.

“Two guys pulled up in a black Merc and they were both wearing masks,” he said.

“They waited for the guy to come out and as soon as they did the passenger shot him twice in the back.”

The anti-bikie Echo Taskforce division has been responsible for a string of raids across Melbourne in the past 12 months, arresting members of rival bikie gangs the Rebels and Comancheros and seizing cars, military-style firearms and drugs. \n”,colour:”green”, title:”5.30PM: Shooting outside Derrimut 24:7 gym”, maxWidth:200, open:0},{lat:-37.72115, lon:144.93646, text:”

Audi SUV found burnt-out in Pascoe Vale.*/]]>

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