Monthly Archives: September 2018
WESTERN Suburbs winger Justin Smith’s dreams of playing in the Newcastle Rugby League grand final on Sunday were crushed yesterday after X-rays revealed a badly broken big toe.
Smith, who is arguably the quickest player in the competition, has been carrying the injury since the Country NSW tour of Samoa.
He played with a pain-killing injection in Sunday’s 36-6 preliminary final victory over Maitland, but failed to finish the game after aggravating the toe injury.
“We’ve bit the bullet and got scans and he’s now on crutches and he will need further whatever, whether it’s surgery, but his season’s finished,” Rosellas coach Craig Miller said.
Wests signed the 21-year-old Aberdeen junior from the Wests Tigers under-20 side at the start of the season.
In his first season of senior football Smith scored 12 tries for the Rosellas and was rewarded with selection in the Newcastle Rebels and Country teams.
“Unfortunately since Country he had to carry an injury and we’ve managed it the best we could. It’s shattering for him to miss the biggest day of his career so far,” Miller said.
“There’s a lot of disappointment for a player to get this far and have such a good year and get so close, but we’ll deal with that.”
Rosellas captain Jermaine Ale will shift from the second row to the wing for the grand final against Cessnock.
Mark Farrar will move into the pack and James Woolford comes onto the bench.
The Rosellas should know today if halfback Zac Walsh will be cleared to play in the decider.
Walsh was heavily concussed after a high tackle from Maitland halfback Jade Porter, but he has been cleared of any long-lasting effects.
The 18-year-old will have CAT scans today.
“He’ll be getting scans tomorrow so we can make a decision whether he can play,” Miller said. “Given it’s a head injury it will decide whether the decision is taken out of my hands or not,” Miller said yesterday.
Cory Paterson and Anthony Mundine shape up.FORMER Knights and Cowboys forward Cory Paterson will make his professional boxing debut at Newcastle Panthers next month before continuing his rugby league career in England.
Paterson will fight Samoan-born Sydney-based heavyweight Anton Tuilotolava on October 5 on the undercard to the rematch between Newcastle’s two-time former World Boxing Foundation welterweight champion Chad “Hollywood” Bennett and two-time former Commonwealth champion James Armah.
Paterson, a three-time Indigenous All Stars representative, insisted boxing was a pastime rather than a new profession, and he wanted to rekindle his league career under former Knights assistant coach Craig Sandercock at Super League club Hull Kingston Rovers next year.
“I spoke with Sandy about it and it’s all good,” Paterson said of his fight plan.
Apart from being coached by Sandercock, Paterson will join former Knights teammates Evarn Tuimavave, Shannon McDonnell and Con Mika at the Robins.
Paterson is training four days a week in Sydney with Anthony Mundine in preparation for his fight with Tuilotolava, who has lost all of his five professional bouts – four by knockout.
“It was mainly just to keep me fit during the off-season and stay active, then a chance came up for me,” Paterson said. “I always wanted to have a crack at it, so I’m going to give it a go.
“Obviously footy’s my heart and soul, so this is more just a hobby, really, and to keep fit.
“I’m not expecting or really wanting too much to come of it, it’s just a bit of fun, but I’ll train hard for it and hopefully I won’t get too bashed.”
Paterson said he felt indebted to his friend Mundine for showing him the ropes.
“He’s helping me out with the technical side, and I’m lucky that I’ve got a bit of a fitness base, because we only finished last week,” he said. “I’m just learning whatever I can off him, and whatever he says, I do, so I’m pretty lucky to have him around.”
Paterson played seven games for the Cowboys last year after being released by the Knights mid-season, but he managed only three NRL matches this season and the Cowboys released him from the final year of his contract so he could join Hull KR.
Unable to secure a regular spot in the Cowboys’ pack this year, he played most of the season for their Queensland Cup feeder team Northern Pride.
ON Sunday morning a Hunter man disclosed for the first time to his wife of 45 years that he had been sexually abused by a Marist Brother as a child.
Last week another Hunter man told workmates he’d been sexually abused by an uncle after they discussed a Herald article about a paedophile priest.
A woman rang me on Saturday night to say she’d been locked in a priest’s room in 1986 and sexually assaulted. She was 43, married and had gone to the priest for help.
The diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has already paid compensation to another woman victim of that priest who is dead. The woman who rang me didn’t know that, because it’s been one of the church’s dark secrets. She had only ever told one other person, a priest, and it must be noted that he has repeatedly encouraged her to seek help.
She rang me again on Sunday night after the same awful images stopped her from sleeping the night before. It was of a mouse trapped in a cage with a snake. The terrified mouse ran around the cage but the snake took its time, she said.
It didn’t have to rush. It knew the mouse was trapped.
I received many emails on Saturday after the Herald printed a list of clergy and Catholic teachers who have abused children over 60 years.
I received many more after Sunday’s meeting in Newcastle, hosted by the newspaper, supporting victims of child sexual abuse and their families who want a royal commission.
I spoke on Sunday with many people and the message was the same. What we witnessed at Newcastle Panthers was people coming together for a common cause and talking about a difficult issue. Strangers cared enough to spend a few hours on a lovely Sunday to find out for themselves why people are talking about the need for a royal commission.
The phone calls and emails were about how media reports helped people talk to their families and friends about child sexual abuse, which is the whole point.
For too many years, for too many people, these secrets have damaged relationships. A child who has suffered sexual abuse feels isolated and alone, and that shapes the adult they become. Their trust in the world around them is shattered, and they’re often overwhelmed by powerlessness.
Politicians and churches love to talk about families. They love to tell us how families should live and operate, and what constitutes a family.
If politicians other than Greens MP David Shoebridge, and Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper, had been at Sunday’s meeting they would have heard, first hand, the impact of too many secrets on Hunter families. They could have talked with people, as hundreds did.
If clergy representatives other than priest Geoff Mulhearn had been there, they could have done the same, rather than preaching about how “good priests are hurting”.
I’m sure they are, but we’ve got enough victims in this crisis already. Could I suggest good priests should be challenging their own hierarchy from within. Or as good Catholics Lou Pirona and Tom Creigh prefer to say, the good priests should “man up”.
Last week there was publicity about “Are you OK?” day, on which people were encouraged to ask each other how they were going, and talk a little further if the answer wasn’t positive. It comes after years of campaigns about depression and the devastating impact it can have.
What we saw on Sunday was a collective expression of “Are you OK?”, and the church and government were notable absentees, unwilling to communicate.
What is clear is that a lot of people are not OK because of child sexual abuse, and there is no doubt it goes beyond the Catholic church.
What the government is missing here is the perception that it’s singing from the same song sheet as the church – and if you read comments from both, that’s not drawing too long a bow.
In refusing to engage in community discussion the government runs the risk of looking like it’s one powerful institution that won’t tolerate outspoken voices on this subject, lining up with another. And one of those powerful institutions has irrefutably committed crimes against children.
Child abuse is about secrets, silences and darkness. What we’re experiencing in the Hunter is simply a little light.
Help shine the light on this issue. Download and printthis petition, gather as many signatures as you can, and post it back to The Herald. We will help your voice be heard.
The Newcastle Herald’s campaign for a royal commission into church sex abuse.
NSW premier Barry O’Farrell is right about the GST. A strong case exists to raise the rate of the federal goods and services tax from 10 per cent.
Unless the federal system is reformed and the states are abolished, state governments must have more funding certainty.
There is a case to raise the GST.
Ever since they were forced to hand over the power to levy income taxes to the federal government, the states have struggled to balance their budgets. They are subject to demands from their constituents who naturally want ever-improving health and education systems, good roads and public transport, effective policing, dependable water and power and the myriad other services that states provide. But their income-raising powers are notoriously limited.
The states have their good years, of course. Real estate and mining booms, respectively, provide stamp duty and royalty windfalls that give them scope to spend. But when economic conditions contract, the states feel the squeeze in a very immediate and painful way.
The introduction of the GST was a big advance, providing a set pool of money for funding state activities. But the national slump in retail sales and consumption means that pool is smaller than before.
To make things worse, the real estate market is subdued and there are signs that the lucrative mining boom may at last have passed its peak.
Those factors provide the real background that explains most of the state government’s cost-cutting drive.
With revenue down, spending is hard to maintain without risking the state’s treasured AAA credit rating. The alternative to cutting spending is raising revenue but moves to lift the mining royalty rate have caused a political storm that will probably result in reduced federal grants to NSW.
Raising the GST would be politically difficult too, and neither the federal government nor opposition appears to have the courage to consider it. But if people don’t want their services cut, a higher GST makes sense.
Riding a drone wave
DRONES, it seems, are flavour of the month. And not just in the air.
The attraction of unmanned, remote-controlled aircraft and seaborne vessels are obvious, especially in the case of drone boats that are totally powered by renewable energy sources.
Such boats could stay at sea indefinitely, would require no crew and cost very little to operate and maintain.
Newcastle shipbuilding and engineering firm Forgacs is keen on the idea of building drone boats and no wonder. The defence-related applications of marine drones are almost as diverse as those of airborne versions. Surveillance is the most obvious job for delegation to drone boats, and the company promoting the vessels has suggested that a fleet of 300 could guard Australia’s northern shores better and more cheaply than conventional navy ships.
Drone proliferation is becoming a topic for wide debate, as defence forces, police services and even criminal networks are starting to find useful applications for these tireless, unsleeping sentinels.
RICHMOND spearhead Jack Riewoldt has become just the second Coleman medallist in 13 seasons to miss out on All-Australian selection.
Selectors decided that Riewoldt’s 65 goals – the lowest tally to win the goalkicking medal for 50 years – was not enough to earn a spot in the 2012 team of the year, with Hawthorn’s Lance Franklin (centre half-forward) and Geelong big man Tom Hawkins (full-forward) named in the two key forward posts.
The Riewoldt snub – the first of its kind since St Kilda’s Fraser Gehrig was overlooked in 2005 despite being that year’s Coleman medallist – was one of several surprise selections in the forward line.
Fremantle superstar Matthew Pavlich was also denied his seventh All-Australian honour, with the selection panel instead choosing to name a resting ruckman, West Coast’s Dean Cox; a resting midfielder, Adelaide’s Brownlow Medal fancy Patrick Dangerfield, and two small forwards, Hawthorn’s Cyril Rioli and St Kilda’s Stephen Milne, instead of three genuine key forwards, as has been the case in previous years.
That Cox was not the first-choice ruckman, and was upstaged by his own tag team partner Nic Naitanui, was another selection that has sparked debate.
Most media commentators had predicted Cox was a lock for the No. 1 ruck spot, believing it would then be a close call between Richmond’s boom recruit Ivan Maric and Adelaide big man Sam Jacobs for the No. 2 position.
Naitanui, who ranked fifth in the AFL for hitouts and averaged below Cox in almost every key category, was barely in the conversation.
Pavlich’s elevation to the group of seven-time stars – such as Wayne Carey, Nathan Buckley, Stephen Silvagni and Terry Daniher – was considered by some to be near automatic after the Dockers captain grabbed the competition by storm for an extended stretch mid-season.
The 30-year-old was the hottest player in the AFL between rounds 10 and 19 when he produced 44 goals in nine games, including match-winning bags of eight, seven and another two of six.
Several senior commentators even predicted Pavlich could be named All-Australian captain after leading the Dockers to the finals with a home-and-away season tally of 62 goals, which put him equal runner-up with Hawkins behind Riewoldt.
The honour of All-Australian captain instead went to West Coast key defender Darren Glass, who was named in the back pocket, while Gold Coast skipper Gary Ablett was voted vice-captain.
News of Pavlich’s non-selection leaked out early today after he revealed to media he had not been invited to the ceremony.
Pavlich, who will fly to Melbourne later in the week for hip surgery that will require 6-8 weeks’ recovery, said he was unconcerned by the eyebrow-raising selection, delivered by a panel made up of Kevin Bartlett, Gerard Healy, Leigh Matthews, Luke Darcy, Glen Jakovich, Mark Ricciuto, Danny Frawley and AFL officials Adrian Anderson and Andrew Demetriou, the non-voting chairman.
”Individual awards aren’t what you play footy for, it’s team success,” he said prior to the ceremony.
”I didn’t have the greatest start to the year but certainly felt like I really contributed towards the end of the year and impacted and influenced the games really strongly.”
However it wasn’t all bad news for Fremantle, with defender Luke McPharlin earning his first All-Australian jumper – one of 15 first-timers – which is the most in history since the then-VFL began picking a team of the year from 1982.
The other debutants included St Kilda defender Sean Dempster, Hawthorn pair Grant Birchall and Rioli, West Coast defender Beau Waters, Sydney duo Ted Richards and Josh Kennedy, Richmond midfield partners Trent Cotchin and Brett Deledio, Essendon captain Jobe Watson, Collingwood’s Dayne Beams, Adelaide tag team Scott Thompson and Dangerfield, as well as Hawkins and Naitanui.
The ruck pairing of Naitanui and Cox ensured the Eagles, which finished the season in fifth, provided the most players from one club with four, while Hawthorn and Collingwood each had three representatives, with the Pies’ star midfielders Dane Swan and Scott Pendlebury named on the bench.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.