A different take on seven days in rugby league

EURO VISION: Semi Radradra gets in the groove for a potential move to the south of France and a lucrative contract playing rugby. Picture: Getty Images
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THURSDAYOne time Knight-for-life-wannabeTariq Sims leaves theCastle for the Gong. The former Knights co-captain has only just got off the Bulli Pass and footage appears of him putting on a Red V jumper and telling fans how good it is to be a Dragon.“It’s been very long time since I pulled on this jersey and it feels great,” he says. “I’m really looking forward to it”. That’ll do me.On the plus side, it should make the coin toss less problematicat the Knights.

FRIDAYThe Maroons camp is in disarray due to a stomach bug. Jacob Lillyman is put in quarantine andAidan Guerra, Matt Scott and Corey Oates also reportedly fallvictim to a dodgy vindaloo.

Dane Gagia is also apparently struggling with a quad strain.Yeah right. Just like Cooper Cronk had a bung ankle. Next they will be trying to have us believethatCameron Smith is too old, Johnathan Thurston is a liability in defence and Greg Inglis is a Queenslander.

The Bunnies host the $lipperies at ANZ. I’m old school when it comes to footy and hate how the modern game has been bastardised. The way I see it,an “edge runner” is what youuse to keep the front lawn tidy and “above the horizontal” is where youend up after a night on the tiles. I can’t believe what I witness in the second half. The Bunnies have a scrum near the quarter-line. The centre feeds the ball underneath the legs of the second-rower for the hooker topick the ball up at lock and passto the prop standing atfive-eighth. Unfortunately for the BunniesCam McGuinness (the hooker playing at lock)knocks on. Then, from the ensuing Eelsscrum, Ken Edwards (the world’s biggestfive eighth) feeds the ball and theleft winger comes across to sendthe right winger over in the corner. Anyone else confused?The try gives the $lipperies an eight-point lead at 20-12.

Any hope of a Bunnies comeback is squashed thanks to a runawaySemi Radradra. The Fijian flyer takes an intercept near his own tryline and motors past seven defenders in a 90 metre dash to the tryline.

SATURDAYThe Storm, already without Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith, lose Cameron Munster and Blake Green for the battle against the Dragons. I’m surprised they even get out of their own half. It’s hardly a glowing advertisement for rugby league. Filthy that I tipped the Storm, I switch channels to the rugby. The Wobblies are equally uninspiring in what is hardly a glowing advertisement for the game they play in heaven. Referee Craig Joubert adds to the frustration. Deadset, memakes the NRL Bunker look like money well spent. Joubert’s performance is only marginally better than the surface.Monster trucks have left smaller tracksthan the scrums doat AAMI Park.

SUNDAYNew Zealand rugby league fans from Bondi to the Bay of Plentyare torn –Chooks or the Once Weres. For two teams who have treated defence as optional for much of the season, they keep their try-line intact for an hour. Enter Shaun Johnson. TheKiwi magician is on one leg but still proves to tricky for the Chooksas he skips and dances his way across for the match-winner.

MONDAYNews breaks that Semi-trailer forgot to put on the anchors after scoring the match-winner against the Bunniesand kept going all the way to Fiji. Apparently he intends to keep on trucking to Bordeaux and alucrative stint in French rugby. It seems the $250k he is on at the $lipperies –that’s $100kless than the Knights are paying Jack Stockwell to play reggies –doesn’t cut the mustard. Semi’s sistertells the Fiji Times that”Semi had discussed his move with my parents and we are supporting him 100 per cent”. Unfortunately Semi forgets to inform the $lipperies of his plans. There is also the little matter of acontract that binds him to Parramatta until 2017. You got to feel for Eels coach Brad Arthur.

It’s a miracle.Gags gets the green light for Origin IIandthe stomach bug which gave the Maroons theEdgar Britts has been flushed down the toilet.

The Gold Coast Titans host the Sea Eagles for the inaugural DCE Cup. Luke Douglas runs intoa hole to open the home side’saccount. The prop is $151 on the Giddy Goatto be first try-scorer.Incredibly $440 has been plonked on the big fella who hadn’t crossed the stripe since the Titans were the Giants.

The home side lead 16-0 after 24 minutes prompting respected Queensland league writer WayneHemmings to post on twitter what everyone is thinking: “Manly are playing like they have backed the Titans”.

TUESDAYLebron James leads the Cleveland Cavaliers to a historic first NBA title.Sharkies fans hope it is an omen as they chase a first premiership since their inception in 1967. One Sharks fan asks on Twitter: @KingJames can you come to Cronulla and bring us one next?Forget Sonny Bill.Imagine King James playing league. He stands 203cm, weighs 113 kilogram, has silky hands and is pure athlete. He’dmake a hell of a back-rower.

Up north, Queenslanders raise a XXXX toCorey Parker after the Brisbane stock horse announces he will retire at season’s end. Parker made his debut as an 18-year-old and has notched 336 games.”It’s a difficult decision to make because there’s a part of them that still wants to play,” saysBroncs coach Wayne Bennett who recently extended his rule until the end of 2019 and just shy of70thbirthday.”But there is another part of them that doesn’t want their teammates looking sideways at them – or the fans or me.If he goes another year he takes that risk.” Something about the pot calling the kettle black.

WEDNESDAYGame day. Suncorp Stadium is pumping. A dayafter sabotaging the Blues final training session with a highlight’s package on the giant screen of Queensland’s biggest and bestmoments,the Maroons roll out legend after legend in the lead up to kick off.

How do the Blues respond? With a song by the Wigglestitled “NSW Blues Song”. Lord give us strength.

The Essential Ingredient returns to Junction Fair as centre owner vows to return it to its former glory

Kitchen connoisseur: Leonie Young at The Essential Ingredient, which has returned to Junction Fair. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers. GOURMANDmagnet The Essential Ingredient has returned to its original home at The Junction Fair as the centre’s Sydney-based owner vows to return the shopping venueto its former glory.
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Leonie Young founded the franchisedboutique kitchen supply store with a business partnerin 2005 at the centre before moving to a bigger site onDarby Street in 2010.

The move to Cooks Hillallowed the business to build a purpose-built area for its well-regarded cooking school and add a cafe.

However when the opportunity came up for a lease at Junction Fair, Mrs Young said she was attracted by the “high-end” plans of the centre’s owner, Sydney-based Fortius Funds Management.

Fortius bought Junction Fair for $32 million in December, 2014, its asset managerRenaud Herington saying the groupwas attracted by the single-level site with the right demographic in “the best part of Newcastle”.

“We are trying to get Junction Fair back to is former glory,” Mr Herington said of the 25-shop centre.

Fortius has recently signed 12 Rounds gymnasium, is in leaseholdtalks with fresh fruit and cafeoperators and is “actively seeking a seafood operator”, he said.

Newcastle-founded donut business Doughheads has taken on the lease of the former Gloria Jeans site and Mr Herington said Fortius had found its Newcastle dealings “rewarding”.

“The tenancy mix is all Newcastle brands, many which have evolved from a garage or market, so it’s become a real Newcastle centre,” he said.

Though The Essential Ingredient has sacrificed floor space in its newlocation, Mrs Young said it brought welcome benefits. It nolonger has a cafe but has tripled the size of its commercial kitchen for its popular cooking classes,which passersby can observe.

“We’ve had nose marks on the windows from people looking in,” said Mrs Young.

The store will beef up its retail – 40 per cent of its clients are wholesale, in the restaurantsector–and deli, with more cheese andfresh food items including Udder Farm milk and eggs.

Staffed by foodies, chefs or ex-chefs, she saidThe Essential Ingredient was also the preferred Newcastle supplier for brands including MagiMix.

Mrs Young said the store had strong relations with their suppliers and selected products carefully, knowing their knowledge and range of stock will set them apart.

“We have to be meticulous because chefs expect us to know and expect the best at a reasonable price,” she says.

The store will also offer home-style takeaway meals made in house, such as pates, pies and terrines: “It’s also great for cheating at dinner parties, who doesn’t love confit duck,” Mrs Young said.

World League Super Finals: Newcastle’s Richie Campbell strong in narrow quarter-final loss for Aussie Sharks

Richie Campbell in action for Australia in a pre-tournament friendly against Greece. Picture: Getty ImagesUPDATED:Newcastle water polo product Richie Campbell scored three goals then twice in a shoot-out as Australia lost 16-15 to USA in the quarter-finals of the World League Super Finals in China.
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Campbell scored twice late, the second with 88 seconds left, to help Australia come back to tie 8-8 at the end of regulation time on Friday night (AEST).

He then converted both of his shots in the extra-time penalty shoot-out, which the USA secured in the second-round of chances.

EARLIER:On Thursday, Campbell scored two goals as Australia lost 10-5 to Greece.

It continued a strong tournament for two-time OlympianCampbell, who scored twice in the opening-game loss to Italy and three times in the win over Japan on day two. The tournament is the last before Australia’s Olympic team is announced. Fellow Novocastrian Nathan Power, who is aiming for his first Olympics,has scored three goals across the three preliminary games.

Campbell said defensive lapses hurt Australia in the loss to Greece, who scored four goals to one in the last quarter.

“It wasa better start from the Aussie Sharks today,” Campbell said.

“We ended up having a lapse just before half-time and again in the third which cost us a few goals the other way.

“Up next we’ve gotthe USA in the quarter-finals, so it’s a team we’re really familiar with and I’m looking forward to a good game.”

Australian coachElvis Fatovic said it was an improved effort from his side.

“Our first quarter was really good, especially in the defence and extra-man defence were excellent against Greece,” he said.

“But we struggled with our organisation of extra-man goals that we only scored one time which was not enough for the team.

“Generally,I thought we played a lot better than our first two games and hopefully tomorrow we will do better again.”

EARLIER: Richie Campbell scored three goals as Australia bounced back with a 13-7 win over Japan in game two of the WorldLeague Super Finals in Chinaon Thursday night (AEST).

Campbell and Aaron Younger led scorers with three goals, while Newcastle’s Nathan Power scored one.

In game one on Tuesday (AEST), Campbelland Power scoredtwo goals eachbut it wasnot enough to stop Australia going down 14-7 to Italy in their opening match.

Goalkeeper James Stanton-French said it was good to bounce back against Japan.

“We went to the video after game one, analysed what was going wrong and it was great to come out against Japan and make the changes we talked about.

“We hadareally good second half, our counter attack started rolling on which was really pleasing to see especially against a team like Japan who are known for their counter attack.

“Then also getting the defensive stops back the other way which is something we spoke about pre-game and hopefully it is something we can carry on for the rest of the tournament.”

Coach Elvis Fatovic was disappointed with the slow start in attack but pleased with the turnaround.

“We controlled our defence and then we created some opportunities of counter-attack.

“We played side defence much better, but we must play like this from the beginning.”

Matthew Perry pleads guilty to the murder of Sydney teenager Jed Coates

Sydney teenager Jed Coates Photo: Facebook”Shoot me, shoot me,” teenager Jed Coates screamed moments before he was fatally shot with a rifle in Sydney’s west after a fight on a State of Origin night two years ago.
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The man behind the trigger was high school acquaintance Matthew Perry, 23.

On Wednesday, Perry stood before the NSW Supreme Court and pleaded guilty to murder – eerily on the eve of another State of Origin game.

He stood wearing a grey suit and shirt as he was formally convicted by acting Justice Jane Mathews.

Mr Coates’ mother, Julie Lowe, left the court with family after hearing the guilty plea but did not make a comment.

Mr Coates had been at the Colyton Hotel watching the State of Origin game on June 18,  just weeks after celebrating his 18th birthday, when police said he became involved in a dispute with Perry.

A police statement tendered previously to Mount Druitt Local Court said the victim was kicked out of the Colyton Hotel earlier in the night and walked less than two kilometres to Nevada Avenue.

In this street, another fight broke out between the pair. The victim armed himself with a shovel and the accused with a rifle.

Neighbours reported hearing an argument and loud noises in the street just before Mr Coates was gunned down not far from his home.

One neighbour mistook the noise for fireworks let off by fans celebrating the Blues’ Origin win.

Police and paramedics arrived a short time later to find Mr Coates suffering from a single gunshot wound.

He was taken to Westmead Hospital but died just before midnight, less than an hour later.

Mr Coates’ twin brother, Sam, paid tribute to his sibling online shortly after the fatal shooting.

“Rip Jed my brother my twin your a king in my eyes love you bro.”

Other friends paid tribute to Mr Coates on social media.

“Rip Jed … my brother. I love you brother I carnt [sic] even get my head around this,” wrote one friend on Facebook.

“You will always be in my heart … your legacy will always live on, im devastated we couldn’t go out together and drink you were taken way to quick and young.”

Perry has been in custody since his arrest two years ago.

He is expected to appear in court on Friday for his sentencing hearing.

Former NSW Governor Peter Sinclair “appalled” by HMAS Leeuwin sex abuse: Royal Commission

Former defence force personnel are giving evidence about alleged sex abuse at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Photo: Rob Homer Royal commission: Defence force recruits forced to rape each other, inquiry toldHMAS Leeuwin officers unaware of sex abuse: Royal Commission
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Former NSW governor Peter Sinclair told a royal commission of being stripped and covered in treacle and sawdust as part of an initiation ceremony when he joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1948.

He told the public hearing the experience made him determined that no other naval recruit should endure the same humiliation.

Mr Sinclair, now 81, was executive officer of HMAS Leeuwin, where hundreds of teenage recruits were allegedly abused in the 1960s and 1970s.

He told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse he was “appalled” by what he discovered at Leeuwin when he was stationed there in 1972.

The commission has heard evidence of “rites of initiation” for junior recruits involving horrific sex acts, brutal beatings and bastardisation.

In evidence, Mr Sinclair said initiation ceremonies were not condoned during his period at Leeuwin, in Fremantle, Western Australia.

He told the commission of his own initiation ceremony in which he and other junior recruits were stripped and forced by older sailors to wear what he described as a “male bikini”.

“We were taken into the communal bathroom, stripped . . . covered in treacle and sawdust, the inevitable boot polish number on the chest and back and then we went through a ritual of being sort of hit with towels and gym shoes,” he said.

“It was a very uncomfortable not terribly exciting experience.

“The effect on me was not to go around abusing other people. . . to ensure that this sort of thing never happened again on my watch.”

The hearing into alleged sexual abuse within the Australian Defence Force was told Mr Sinclair was deployed to Leeuwin in 1972 to improve morale following an investigation into bullying and violence at the base.

He left Leeuwin in 1974 but the commission heard evidence physical and sexual abuse continued at the base until the early 1980s.

“I am appalled by that . . . and I am surprised and disappointed that the checks and balances we put in place would allow such incidences to occur,” he said.

Mr Sinclair,told the inquiry that junior recruits “had a duty” to report abuse but a former Leeuwin divisional officer Geoffrey Curran gave evidence that there was a widespread culture of silence.

“Don’t dob a mate in . . . it was part of the culture,” he said. “I accepted it because it was part of the Australian culture at that time.”

Mr Curran, who was in charge of the welfare of junior recruits at Leeuwin in the early 1970s, told the commission he did not receive any direct reports of abuse while stationed there.

The hearing before Justice Peter McClellan is scheduled to run until July 1.

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When a violent crime explodes into your own little world, how would you react

CommentGET out of the car. Get out of the f–king car.The words cracking through the winter night failed toregister at first.
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I found myself swivelling around to look at a black sports car idling only10 metres away and saw two men next to each other with the driver’s door wide open.

It has got me beat, but for some reasonmyinitial thought was that they were arguing about who should be driving.

Maybe I have been in too many of those conversations in the past.

But this was at the intersection of Bull and Union streets at Cooks Hill, a busy area of inner-city Newcastle, even if it was about 6.45pm on a Tuesday night.

What could they possibly be blueing about, I thought?

Then the older guy yelled: “I’ve been carjacked”.

And it hit me –just like it did to the woman attempting to open her unit door only metres away, so much so she dropped her water bottle and let out an audible gasp.

And just like it did to the fireman who open the front door to the adjacent Newcastle fire station to see what was happening.

Holy crap, this is fair dinkum.

By this stage, a bloke was behind the wheel as the older fellow walked behind the car in an apparent daze.

The seconds went slower and the apparent carjacker, armed with a knife which appeareda lot like what John Rambo used to use, started yelling profanities at himself: “what the f—k, what the f—k”.

The imbecile couldn’t re-start the car. The engine had stopped when he reefed the door open and the keys were useless to him –this was one of those fancy sports cars with button ignitions.

Realising he was going nowhere fast, and possibly sensing more and more eyes on him, the imbecile jumped back out of the car, blurted out one final profanity, and galloped from the scene wearing the street thug’s choice of disguise, a black hoodie, over his head and face.

It all happened in 10 seconds, no one was hurt, possibly except for the older guy who appeareda bit shaken.

Being an ex-Victorian copper would probably help him with the adrenaline rush – a rush so intense I have rarely felt before.

As a crime reporter for 20-oddyears, I have heard people speak of this rush, ofhow time slowed, and how instincts kicked in.

I know what they mean now.Although I was a bit upset withmy instincts.

I had always hoped –as have many I presume who have thought about it –that I would be thathero, the man full of bravado who could chase down the knife-wielding grub and crash-tackle him in an effort Trevor “The Axe” Gillmeister would be proud of.

But I hardly moved. I walked briskly towards the car when I realised he was attempting to get away, almost trying to get in front of it. But when he ran, I watched.

To be fair, I was never gifted with those fast-twitch fibres that those athletic commentators seem to talk about.

But maybe I could have tried.

We got onto thepolice were there in significant numbers within a minute.

And big kudos to them. Their calmness was impressive and almost contagious. And considering none of us had much for them to go on –a black hoodie and a bloody big knife –they hunted around for him.

They didn’t have much luck, but they are very hopeful about getting some evidence from the car andthe imbecile is behind bars shortly.

In the meantime, it’shard not to think that it could have so easily been so much worse.

State of Origin 2016, Game II: It’s onphotos

State of Origin II, 2016: How you saw it The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images
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The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

The scenes from Suncorp Stadium during Game II of the 2016 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

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Testing times ahead for South Newcastle Lions in Newcastle Rugby League

WRAPPED UP: South Newcastle fullback Jared Edwards. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.Within the space of four weeksSouth Newcastle hosttitle holders Lakes followed by split matches against jointcompetition leaders Wests.
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For many these three encounterswould be an unwanted challenge, especially over a month mid-season, but the fourth-placed Lions are simply taking it in their stride despite having won just two of their last five outings.

“We need to lift another gear against Lakes this weekend and then we have Wests, Central and Wests again,” Souths captain-coach Todd Hurrell said.“Thingis though,we just have to take every week as it comes. You can look at the next month, or in blocks, but if you look too far ahead you miss this game, which is right in front of you.”

The Lions upcoming fixture is against the Seagulls at Townson Oval as part of a Newcastle Rugby League top-four double header on Sunday with Macquarie tackling Wests at Peacock Field on the same afternoon. Just two competition points separate the quartet of premiership contenders, which could swing around completelydepending on round 10 results. Lakes and Wests (12) are narrowly ahead of Macquarie (11) with Souths (10) less than a win behind.

“The top four play each other this week but it’s no different because it’s a tight competition,” Hurrell said. “You can’t look into your crystal ball and know what Wests are going to be like in three weeks time, or even us for that matter. It’s just got to be one week at a time. No one has really managed to show that consistency week-in and week-out yet. There have been glimpses but that will be the key.”

The Lions escaped unscathed from last week’s 28-12 victory against Kurri Kurri and are hoping their four Newcastle representative players back up from theNSW Country Championships final a day earlier.This includes in-touchfive-eighth William Heta, who has just returned from a knee injury and isamong the frontrunners for both player of the year and top point scorer.

Souths winger Marcus Boyle, described by Hurrell as “raw, quick and a good finisher”, will look to continue his form which leads the competition try scoring list on seven alongside Lakes opponentMatthew Craig.

In Sunday’s other game Wests welcome the return of former NRL backBrad Tighe from a hamstring injury but coach Steve Storrie remains unsure what position he will play. Rosellas winger Willis Alatini is unavailable for the clash with Macquarie.

Meanwhile, scans oninjured Central Newcastle forwardMatt Baker were inconclusive but doctors still suspect a fracture from Sunday’s head high tackle according to Butcher Boys captain-coach Rowan Kelly.

The retiring mentor saidBaker, who also suffered concussion from the incident, will definitely missSaturday’s encounter away against Cessnock.

Also on Saturday, in the final match of the round, Maitland host Kurri at Coronation Oval. The ground is located at Telarah and is the traditional home of the West Maitland Red Dogs. The alternative venueis being used by the Pickers with Maitland Sportsground out of action for the rest of the season becausemulti-million dollar 12-month redevelopments have commenced.

Mobile broadband fraud: 5G ‘perhaps terminally poor’, analysts say

5G will likely on ever serve a ‘supporting role’, analyst says.A respected UK-based investment advisory has thrown cold water on the promise of 5G mobile technology, finding that it is coming up short of the hype it is generating.
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The technology promises gigabit mobile broadband capacity, but New Street research on Tuesday night warned Australian telco operators, investors and regional broadcasting authorities to ignore the breathless excitement coming from vendors and their lobbyists.

The technology has generated excitement because it has the potential to unlock vast tracts of higher frequency spectrum bands for commercial use bringing down license costs for carrier and thereby increasing mobile broadband capacity.

It also has the potential to do something engineers once thought impossible — give a mobile phone its own dedicated beam of spectrum capacity making dizzying speeds faster than 1Gbps a potential reality regardless of how many others are nearby at the same time. It would only be a factor of the spectrum capacity dedicated to the tower equipment.

However, at an event hosted by Australia’s communications regulator, ACMA, in Sydney last night New Street senior analyst Andrew Entwistle laid down a long list of 5G technical limits threatening its economic viability.

He said that 5G wasn’t a genuine generational step change in mobile technology as 2G, 3G and 4G had been. Furthermore, he said 5G was only likely to share the stage with them in a supporting role, even if it were to meet the most realistic expectations of radio spectrum boffins.

Perhaps 5G’s greatest obstacle of all was that, if it succeeded, New Street expected it to kill off the traditional cellular model bringing a world of pain to carriers that have remained safely insulated from the need to cooperate with rivals.

The problem, Mr Entwistle said, was not the technical strides that wireless engineers were making ­­— even though 5G commercial services were still at least five years away. Rather, he said, it was 5G’s endemic economic resistance to fitting into current carrier business models.

“This was put very nicely just a couple of weeks ago at a conference we ran in the US. A wireless engineer said that he visualises the 4G (spectrum bands) as farmland that we know how to farm, we know how to use productively, we’ve been there for a while and its possible to make a good living with that.

“However, the higher frequency bands are essentially uninhabited desert stretching off into the distance. We don’t know how to grow stuff there … At the moment we don’t have the tools and techniques for bringing that desert into productive use,” Mr Entwistle explained.

At least part of the mystery unsolved is that the high frequency bands are not capable of delivering services over the long distances that lower frequency 3G and 4G bands can. That would increase the amount of investment that carriers would be require to bring their networks up to a level of density capable of accommodating 5G without compromising customer reach.

Possibly worse still, as the “knowns and unknowns” about the technology started to crystallise, he described 5G’s capability for “outdoor-to-indoor service” — which includes anywhere without direct line of sight to a tower such as football stadiums and train stations — as “perhaps terminally poor”. That would mean that carriers would need to invest in a lot of additional customer premise equipment to get across those membranes making sticking with sunk investment in 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi-supported fixed line broadband far more economically attractive.

“We’re not just talking about 5G in the meeting room there. It’s complex environments as well,” Mr Entwistle said.

The technology’s credibility was given one of its strongest boosts in April when Verizon Communications US announced it would deploy a 5G network by 2017 vindicating the wider view that it could act as a super fast successor to current fixed wireless technology and provide an able competitor to fixed line broadband.

However, even here New Street was able to hose down the enthusiasm pointing that Verizon was describing a development path that would initially be 4G and that it had used the 5G terminology without any kind of firm time-frame.

Mr Entwistle said that while it provided a promising alternative the Verizon example highlighted structural resistance to 5G when it came to the balance sheet for wireless-only players.

These companies, he said, were already struggling to compete with rivals operating fixed and wireless infrastructure, particularly when it came to knowing how to absorb backhaul costs associated with short range and Wi-Fi services against revenue from their core mobile services.

The advent of 5G would only increase that disadvantage with the potential for consumers to blow their monthly broadband caps too high.

“At the moment we just about survive mixing paid (mobile) usage and free Wi-Fi usage because we know what we did in the last month and why we’re paying more, because we didn’t turn on the Wi-Fi or whatever. In the 5G era you will have no idea what your phone has been connected to… Inadvertent usage at 1Gbps you can blow your entire bundle in eight seconds,” Mr Entwistle explained.

In the UK Mr Entwistle envisaged a number of forced marriages between fixed infrastructure and wireless-only operators. There, he pointed out, there were enough mating pairs to overcome the challenge.

That was less certain in other markets like the US, he said. Arguably, in Australia, where the federal government has created the NBN to nationalise broadband infrastructure and sell it via single wholesaler the challenge of finding such pairs would be acute.

The same challenges applied to selling what he described as “5G to the rooftop” as an alternative to fixed wireless technology in markets where there was little fixed line broadband competition.

The pain of investing in backhaul to serve 5G nodes would be accentuated by technical challenges — not least the need for customers to be within their line-of-sight and the added cost of sending technicians to install on-premise equipment which would most likely need to be placed on most elevated point on their homes and businesses possible.

“This isn’t a simple technical challenge and certainly involves some sort of engineering visit to install. You don’t want customers going on their own roof to install it from a number of points of view,” Entwistle said.

Rio Olympics: Mayor Eduardo Paes apologises for mugging of Liesl Tesch and Sarah Ross in Rio

Liesl Tesch, from Woy Woy, was riding a bike with a team official when they were confronted by two men. Photo: Rohan ThomsonBrazil should be embarrassed about Rio crime: CommentParalympian Liesl Tesch and official Sarah Ross robbed at gunpoint in RioRio state declares financial emergency, requests funding for Olympics
Shanghai night field

Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes has lamented the mugging of Australian Paralympian Liesl Tesch and team official Sarah Ross in the city, issuing an apology at a press conference.

Fronting the media to present an account of the city’s Olympic budget on Tuesday, Mr Paes said the security incident which reverberated around the world was “unacceptable”.

Tesch, a sailing gold medallist, and Ross were robbed at gunpoint while riding their bikes in Rio’s Flamengo on Sunday morning. Tesch described the incident as “absolutely horrific”.

It was the second robbery involving Olympic sailors. In May, two Spanish sailors and a coach were robbed at gunpoint by children while in Rio for training.

“There were five children with two pistols. To me they have taken all the instrumental work that we had at the time. It was a very unpleasant experience,” Lopez-Vazquez said on the Spanish Sailing Federal website at the time.

The Australian Olympic team’s Chef de Mission, Kitty Chiller, said she had written to organisers asking them to deploy some of their 100,000-strong security force severals weeks early to protect athletes in the lead-up to the event.

But Mr Paes denied receiving such a letter. According to Brazilian newspaper O Globo, the security of the city is the responsibility of the state government, not Mr Paes.

“We know the security challenges of Rio. I am certain they will be better during the Games,” he told reporters.

Asked about the litany of bad news out of the city, Mr Paes acknowledged “the city of Rio is a city with problems”. He said that Rio, with its endemic violence, extreme inequality and woeful public services, mustn’t be compared with former Olympic host cities in developed nations.

Instead pre-Olympic Rio should be compared with the city now, he said highlighting improvements in the seaside metropolis’ chronic gridlock. He said much remained to be done, but suggested that the major problem areas – such as security and the failure to make good on Olympic promises to clean up Rio’s human sewage-filled waterways – were those under the state government’s responsibility.

“The Olympics were never a panacea for the city of Rio,” he said.

Last week, Mr Paes declared a state of financial emergency for the city, hoping to trigger further investment from the state and federal governments for the games.

On Tuesday, he insisted that both governments had contributed relatively little of the 7 billion reais ($2.75 billion) budget for infrastructure projects for the games. The city was responsible for the lion’s share of the infrastructure budget.

“People have the impression that the federal government is giving bucketfuls of money” to Rio for the Olympics, he said, adding that was a “lie”.

The city’s finances are in good health, a city statement issued on its official website said: “The city is responsible for 93 per cent of the new Olympic-related infrastructure with the exception of energy supply costs. With the exception of the velodrome, all building works are 100 per cent finalised and have been delivered.

“Unlike London which hosted the Games in 2012, Rio has always demonstrated a commitment to avoid unnecessary expenses. While the English [sic] capital spent about 50 billion reais  just on the stadiums and the organising committee, Rio spent 13.5 billion reais less on the project overall. The London Olympic Stadium alone cost 12 billion reais. Rio spent the equivalent in all the works required at the Olympic Park, Deodoro Sports Complex, golf course and renovation of the Olympic Stadium Engenhao. ​

“In addition, only 20 per cent of the London Games investments came from the private sector, while in Rio that number is 80 per cent.”

Mr Paes, whose Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB) is caught in a sprawling corruption probe, had been rumoured to harbour presidential ambitions. But local news reports say his party has ruled out a possible Paes presidential run in 2018 after a series of recent scandals tarnished his image.

with AP, Reuters

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