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    Take my money: the NRL’s most selfless act revealed

    2019 - 04.13

    In what has been described as one of rugby league’s most selfless gestures, departing Canterbury captain James Graham secretly offered to take a pay cut in an attempt to keep Josh Reynolds at Belmore.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Graham and Reynolds have long been the Bulldogs’ favourite sons, but both will be leaving due to the club’s well-publicised salary cap issues. St George Illawarra-bound Graham walked away from the final year of his contract to help the club accommodate new recruits Aaron Woods and Kieran Foran, while Reynolds will join Wests Tigers on a $3 million, four-year deal.

    Canterbury’s three-year offer to Reynolds didn’t come close to what the joint-venture outfit was offering the former NSW pivot, but such was his importance to the Bulldogs that Graham offered to sacrifice a part of his own salary so the Bulldogs could bump up their offer to the man affectionately known as “Grub”.

    Graham’s gesture has been such a closely kept secret that it’s believed not even Reynolds was aware of it. However, Canterbury chairman Ray Dib revealed the selfless act at the club’s presentation night while on stage with an emotional Graham. “I have never met anyone like him throughout my 12 to 13 years as a professional.” – James Graham on Josh Reynolds. #proudtobeabulldogpic.twitter南京夜网/TmJdoQ9wc8??? NRL Bulldogs (@NRL_Bulldogs) September 8, 2017This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Gold Coast man receives 3D-printed shinbone in world-first surgery

    2019 - 04.13

    The world’s first patient to receive a 3D-printed tibia transplant, Reuben Lichter, with his son, William. Photo: AAPSurgeons at Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital have performed world-first surgery and transplanted a 3D printed shinbone into the leg of a man who faced losing his leg.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Two weeks ago, the 3D printed tibia was transplanted into the Reuben Lichter’s right leg.

    It was wrapped in leg tissue and blood vessels from both his legs.

    It was the first stage in a nine-month journey, at least, to grow new bone in his right shin and allow Mr Lichter, of Mudgeeraba, to support his weight and walk again.

    Health Minister Cameron Dick said the successful transplant, led by reconstructive surgeon Michael Wagels, opened the door for the successful transplanting of major bones in trauma accidents throughout Queensland and the world.

    Mr Lichter’s right leg had developed a bone infection before Christmas which was slowly destroying his tibia.

    The 27-year-old has since endured five major operations in six months to have the 36-centimetre “scaffold” transplanted his shin to effectively save his leg.

    Surgeon Dr Michael Wagels and Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick discuss the operation with Reuben Lichter and his son, William. Photo: AAP

    Mr Lichter said he instantly grabbed at the chance to be the first to receive the revolutionary surgery.

    “They (the surgical team) came to me and said there are two options,” he said at the PA Hospital on Friday morning.

    “You can be amputated above the knee, or you can try this experimental stuff that may, or may not work and I said: ‘Bam, Do it’.”

    Mr Lichter said he had to take the chance with the 3D surgery.

    “It was not frightening at all,” he said.

    “If there was a chance for me to save my leg and do the things I want to do with my son, then I was going to take it.

    A replica of the 3D-printed tibia that was used in the operation. Photo: AAP

    “I wasn’t going to lose my leg without having a fight.”

    Those things now include taking his eight-month old son, William, skiing when both are older.

    “But in the meantime, it looks like he might walk before me,” he said on Friday.

    Fiance Caity Bell, 23, told how William was born two days before his father was taken to hospital in severe pain.

    Ms Bell had to bring William home from hospital by herself.

    “It was very scary,” she said.

    “I was by myself, I was a first-time mum and I’d just had my baby and it was just me at home.”

    Mr Dick praised the work of the surgical team.

    “This is the first time this surgery has been done anywhere in the world,” he said.

    “For me, as the Minister for Health, it is very inspiring to ensure that this world-first surgery happened in Queensland.”

    The most recent surgery, about two weeks ago, makes sure there is sufficient blood flow to allow the new bone to grow around the outside of the 3D bone scaffold.

    Dr Wagels said the 3D tibia “scaffold” was modelled at Queensland University of Technology, where it was “spun” from a polymer.

    It was then “printed” in Singapore and brought back to the PA Hospital for the series of operations.

    As the new bone grew around the scaffold, Dr Wagels said, the scaffold would slowly dissolve.

    Pus inside Mr Lichter’s infected leg was drained first, then prototypes of the 3D shin scaffold were tested and tweaked in earlier operations before the final version was transplanted, Dr Wagels said.

    “We needed to work out where we could get tissue that had the potential to grow bone,” he said.

    Experimental biomechanical research using live sheep will be used late in 2017 to assess the pace and strength of bone growth around Mr Lichter’s new shinbone.

    “We are not willing to take any chances with Reuben’s leg until that biomechanical testing has been done,” Dr Wagels said.

    Mr Lichters’s two tibia bones together provided about half of the necessary tissue.

    His left knee provided the rest of the tissue, now beginning to grow around the 3D-printed scaffold.

    “So we took that from his opposite knee, which also has a blood supply and that needed to be connected back into the existing blood supply,” Dr Wagels said.

    Dr Wagels said there was a good opportunity for ongoing medical research.

    The design of medical 3D models is well advanced in Queensland, but the printing stage for internal medical applications – completed in Singapore – needs further refinements.

    “We see this operation as an opportunity to make this happen here, locally,” Dr Wagels said.

    Mr Lichter has been unable to work since September last year.

    The couple planned to start a candle-making business as Mr Lichter recovers well enough to begin walking again.

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

    Frizelle steps down as Titans chair after joining bid to buy club

    2019 - 04.13

    Rebecca Frizelle has stepped down as the chairperson of the Gold Coast after joining the Darryl Kelly-led consortium attempting to buy the franchise.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The Titans are now officially up for sale and the NRL is hoping to get the club off its books by November 1. Frizelle and Kelly have stepped down from their roles on the Gold Coast board to ensure there are no conflicts of interest during the sale process, although they will resume their directorships if theirs is the winning bid.

    The Central Coast Bears are one of the main rivals attempting to buy the Titans in a move that would result in the club being rebadged as the ‘Bears’ and the occasional NRL game being taken to either North Sydney or the Central Coast. It’s understood there are other interested parties, although their identities remain a well-hidden secret.

    The Kelly-Frizelle consortium is the favourite to buy the Titans, with the the chair resigning while the sale process unfolds.

    “I took this action to avoid any perception of a conflict of interest once the formal sale process for the club licence commenced this week,” Frizelle said via a statement.

    “My family’s private company is part of a consortium that is being led by long-term fellow director and former major shareholder, Darryl Kelly, that will enter the formal bidding process for the sale of the licence.

    “As a consequence of this bid, it would not have been appropriate for me or Darryl to continue as directors, nor for me to remain as chair of the club during the sale process.

    “It has been an absolute privilege and honour to serve as the chair of this club for the past three-and-a-half years through some very challenging times. The board and management team has worked very hard to stabilise and strengthen the club for the future. We have had to make difficult decisions that were not always popular but were always with the best interests of the club in mind.”

    It has been a tumultuous time for the Titans, who have sacked coach Neil Henry with a year remaining on his contract after a well-publicised fallout with Jarryd Hayne. A replacement is yet to be found as the club attempts to re-sign star halfback Ash Taylor before he becomes a free agent.

    Frizelle said the Titans would remain based on the Gold Coast “in local hands” if their bid was successful.

    “Darryl Kelly and ourselves are prepared to take on the responsibility and financial risk to provide the club and the local community with certainty around a Gold Coast-based franchise that is sustainable for the long term,” she said.

    “It is the ultimate intention of our consortium to transition the ownership of the club into a community model where it will be owned by its members. This can only occur once the club is financially independent and self-funding.”

    Frizelle’s family business, the Frizelle Automotive Group, is one of the most successful businesses on the holiday strip and has sponsored the Titans for over a decade.

    Griffith University’s senior deputy vice-chancellor, Professor Ned Pankhurst, will act as chairman on an interim basis during the sale process.

    “If Darryl and I are successful in our bid, we look forward to resuming our positions on the board as owners, to help deliver on the enormous potential of the Titans,” she said.

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

    Connie Johnson passes away from cancer battle

    2019 - 04.13

    Connie Johnson, the sister of Gold Logie-winning actor Samuel Johnson, has died following her long battle with cancer.
    Nanjing Night Net

    “We lost Connie today”, Samuel, announced via the Love Your Sister Facebook page on Friday night.

    “Or, as she asked me to say, she died of cancer today,” he wrote.

    “It was so beautiful. We laughed, we cried, we sang stupid songs from our childhood to her, which she loved (mostly!).

    “I read her so many village messages, which she relished. She went so richly, and with such grace. Trust me, she was genuinely cushioned by your love, till the end.”

    Her death was announced a day after she received one of the nation’s highest honours.

    Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove dropped by Connie’s bed at a Canberra hospice on Thursday to award the mother-of-two a Medal of the Order of Australia in recognition of her tireless work for others battling breast cancer.

    The 40-year-old made the decision to end all treatment in April this year. While her health was initially dire when she first arrived at the hospice in July, for a time her condition ???stabilised.

    She was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer in 2009, after previously defeating a tumour in her leg as a child.

    She launched the charity organisation Love Your Sister in 2012 in an effort to raise funds for cancer research.

    In February 2016, Samuel announced his retirement from acting in order to help focus on Connie’s fundraising efforts.

    The Molly star’s public profile helped pushed the charity’s campaign centre stage, including at April’s Logie Awards, where he praised his sister’s efforts while accepting the awards for Best Actor and the Gold Logie. He did it, he did it, he did it #samgotgold #lys #nowisawesome #bigheartloveA post shared by Love Your Sister (@loveyoursister) on Apr 23, 2017 at 6:33am PDTConnie preparing for her final public speaking engagement to 1400 medical students at Melbourne Uni. Wish her luckA post shared by Love Your Sister (@loveyoursister) on Jun 28, 2017 at 11:16pm PDTThis has to be the photo that sums up yesterday – Connie in a heart full of love and hope for a cancer free future. #bigheartproject #nowisawesome #loveyoursister #bigheartlove #canberralife #wearecbr #canberraA post shared by Love Your Sister (@loveyoursister) on May 10, 2017 at 3:06pm PDTRainbows carry hefty pricetags, turns out.Thanks for showing me that life is what we make it to be. Thanks for teaching me that now can still be awesome, even when you’ve so nearly run out of now and have no more real awesome left. I wish I could soften your pain, or lessen your fear, or give you something tangible, but tangible clearly isn’t in season. I’m proud to walk you to the hardest part of the road. The end. The only part of the road in your life that must sadly be travelled alone. Chin up please, amidst the growing dark my girl. Shoulders back. Stand tall through that savage march, stand big and tall, dear sister, for you have lived a life to be proud of. You’ve loved well, and you’ve been loved well which is all that really matters in the end, I suspect. I won’t finish with I love you, though of course I do. I’ll finish with a simple thanks. Thanks for holding my hand along the way. It’s been a stunning fucking ride. I want another turn, for we’ve spent our lives taking turns, but cancer is greedier and stronger than us. For now. So Little Miss Connie Cottonsocks, I shall now again and proudly declare myself, very truly yours, Your ever grotty and very sad little brother, Sammy Seal. XX @samueljjohnson78A post shared by Love Your Sister (@loveyoursister) on Jun 29, 2017 at 1:38pm PDTThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Fitz Files: It’s a big risk, but bravo to Ange for his spirit of adventure

    2019 - 03.13

    Of course TFF took a bit of flak – like I care – for asking Socceroo coach Ange Postecoglou on Channel Nine last Sunday morning, if he would stand down in the event of his team not qualifying for the World Cup. Some thought it disrespectful. I thought it journalism. In the wake of the Socceroos’ underwhelming performances in recent times, of course it is legitimate to ask the Head Sherang whether he will or won’t fall on his sword in the event of failure. Against that, I fancy I get what Postecoglou is trying to do and admire the spirit with which he does it. He wants, as I understand it, the Socceroos to play in an aggressive, attacking, Australian style, on the reckoning that is both what they are best suited to, and the style that will take them furthest in the World Cup if the they make it. Bravo. Better that, than a tepid qualification for the World Cup, followed by an ignominious thrashing in the first rounds. None of which alters the reality: he is risking mightily in the hope of greater glory, but if he fails the first one to pay the piper will be him.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Syrian success

    And you can call me a soccer nutter who writes way too much about the sport if you like, but my attention was caught on Wednesday by this quote from Fayeq Shmais, a 46-year-old employee of the Syrian government, after the Socceroos’ next opponent, Syria, achieved a good result in their own match.

    “There are two victories today: the army entered Deir el-Zour and we equalised with Iran, which I consider a victory. Syria is witnessing a revival as large rallies roam the streets of Damascus. This is something we have not seen since the start of the crisis.”

    Whatever the result of the Socceroos forthcoming match against Syria, this quote puts Australia’s good fortune in perspective, yes?

    Back to the grassroots

    The President of the Sydney Rugby Union, David Begg, floated the idea this week that, next year, they might invite the Waratahs to play at North Sydney Oval, with a Shute Shield match as the curtain-raiser. Fabulous idea. The star to steer by for all rugby right now is what can break down the barriers between the amateur and professional tiers of the game? If it helps to do that, it is a good idea, and this is a prime example of a move that will help accomplish it, and help both tiers.

    Good sports

    On the subject of kids with disabilities getting a fair go, let’s hear it for the St George Warriors, who field no fewer than three teams filled with kids with special needs across their junior age groups. With two fine women in Penny Hancock and Dianne Fyfe leading the charge, and the committed support of the St George Football Association those kids successfully play every week. The opposing teams, I am advised, are always gracious and understanding, and for the most part adhere to the two key rules:

    1. Warriors always score the first goal

    2. Whatever the final score, the Warriors are the eventual winners

    In return, the opposing team gets treated to a icy-pole and a shared team photo. And all of them feel good and learn something of fine citizenship.

    Gotta love this city!

    Rabbitohs have Robbie rethink

    Back in the day, TFF used to love Get Smart. (Young’uns, ask your parents.) In one scene, Agent 86, Maxwell Smart is confronted by an enormous agent from KAOS who is standing over him. Max doesn’t back off. “Why, you big, ugly lug!” he says, before unleashing a right hook right on his chin. The KAOS agent moves no more than an Easter Island statue, and as a matter of fact has much the same expression. Instantly changing tack, Max puts his arm around him and says: “Listen, I hope I wasn’t out of line, calling you a ‘big, ugly lug’?”

    The more vociferous of Jason Taylor’s critics might like to rethink some of their own remarks, I suggest, when it comes to his part in the Robbie Farah saga at the Tigers. For, as you will recall, a good two-thirds of the heat that Taylor took at the Tigers was over the fact that he maintained that, far from being State of Origin level, Farah was not up to even first grade standard, and so dropped him to reserves. In response, much of the league commentariat went for Taylor’s throat, as the narrative became the great Robbie done down by a stupid bastard of a coach who just doesn’t get his greatness. Which would be fine, except for the fact that Farah’s new club Souths have missed the eight by the proverbial country mile and now the news has broken that the Rabbitohs are shopping the hooker around to other clubs, to take over the last year of his contract.

    “Listen, Jason? I hope they weren’t out of line saying ‘you couldn’t coach a choko vine over a shit-house wall, and the mistreatment of Robbie Farah is just the best example of that’.”

    Oar-some contest

    Incidentally, if yers care, TFF is hoping this arvo, to be installed as the NSW over 55 champion of indoor rowing, when I compete at the Drummoyne Rowing Club, by seeing how many metres I can do on a rowing machine in 60 seconds – I am hoping for above 345 metres and have done 361 at my best. If I win, I go to the Nationals, in early November and you may count on me braying endlessly! If I lose, I’ll never mention it again.

    Language of rugby

    Dear TFF,

    As a man of language I thought you may know the answer to this question. When did the following become a “thing” in rugby:

    “They were very clinical, or “We weren’t clinical enough.” (I still don’t know if this is a genuine compliment or a backhander.)

    “We need to tighten up our D.”

    “We’ve been working on our structures.”

    “We’ll go through our processes during the week “

    No wonder the players look confused. I’m sure it’s a post-millennium affectation.


    Stephen Wilson


    While golfing, I accidentally overturned my golf cart. A very attractive lady golfer, who lived in a villa on the golf course, heard the noise and called out from her porch: “Are you okay?”

    “I’m okay, thanks,” I replied as I pulled myself out of the twisted cart.

    She said: “Come up to my villa, rest a while, and I’ll help you get the cart up later.”

    I noticed she had nice svelte figure.

    “That’s mighty nice of you,” I answered. “But I don’t think my wife would like it.”

    “Oh, come on now,” she insisted.

    She was so pretty, and very, very persuasive. And I was weak.

    “Well okay,” I finally agreed. “But I’m sure my wife won’t like it.”

    After a couple of scotches, I thanked her and said: “I feel a lot better now. But I know my wife is going to be really upset. So I’d better go now.”

    “Don’t be silly!” she said with a smile. “Stay for a while. She won’t know anything ??? By the way, where is she?”

    “Still under the cart!” I replied ???


    Bangladesh man of the match in the First Test, Shakib Al Hasan, on sledging: “Australians are very good at it, we are learning from them. After this Test match they will show a lot more respect.”

    Sam Perry (@sjjperry): “Is it just me or does Shakib’s rapid-breath LBW appeals sound like urban foxes mating in London? Either way, masterful baller. #BANvAUS.” Sam? I think it might be just you.

    Mark Bosnich lets rip, in the wake of the Socceroos underwhelming win over Thailand: “[Postecoglou] apparently told people that were there [to see Australia draw 1-1 with Iraq in March] what he was doing, saying: “We’re looking forward to the World Cup. Qualify for the World Cup before you start thinking about things like that. If you’d qualified before tonight you could have gone out and experimented. Don’t be using the national team as an experimental laboratory. It’s not there for that, it’s too important for that.”

    Bosnich: “[Postecoglou’s] hanging by a thread and if we go through a play-off route there needs to be serious consideration of another voice because those players in my opinion, regardless of what they say publicly, are not responding to him like they used to.”

    Postecoglou returns serve: “I won’t waste my time responding to criticism, I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, my position is my position. I’m coach of the national team, it’s a great honour and I’ll see it through. Beyond that the judgement is on me ??? I have survived worse than this. If anything this motivates me.”

    Socceroo Milos Degenek, on the struggle against Thailand: “God wasn’t on our side.” Well, that explains it then. Like those who point to the sky and blow kisses after scoring a try this sort of stuff is what we call in the trade, weird.

    NRL CEO Todd Greenberg thinks if they build it, you will come: “Sydney deserves to have a purpose-built rectangular stadium that is probably world’s best. That’s the design that I’ve seen and that’s the outcome we are absolutely, desperately hoping for.”

    Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, on plans to mount a rebel competition that includes a resuscitated Force: “I’ve just begun to fight. Let me assure you, this is not a great day for the ARU, this is a great day for Australian rugby. Discussions have commenced across the world and within our own state and country to ensure this competition starts and starts strongly. This is the beginning of the new Force, this is the beginning of the new Indo-Pacific competition and I am delighted to be an instigator of it.” TFF gave my view on Thursday. What rugby needs is unity, not an un-civil war.

    NSW Supreme Court ruling on the Force and ARU: “They were supposed to be allies, but they were not friends.” WA Premier Mark McGowan: “I hope Andrew Forrest carries out his threat and the ARU suffers as a consequence.”

    Newcastle resident John Hudson one of many unhappy with the Supercars being up there: “My missus always says they could make a beautiful botanical gardens here. More people would come to Newcastle if we had a nice art gallery and a botanical gardens – people don’t go to Italy to see high rises and motor races. But what do we get? The Supercars.” I’m with him.

    Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk sledging Manny Pacquaio after he pulled out of a rematch with Jeff Horn: “Frankly, I think he’s a bit too scared to come and face Jeff Horn.”

    Nick Kyrgios: “There are players out there that are more dedicated, that want to get better, that strive to get better every day, the 1 per centers. I’m not that guy.” I never saw a bloke who more needed a year away, than him. If he wants to come back, great, he will be better for it. If he doesn’t, great, he will be happier for it.

    Team of the Week

    Nathan Lyon. The Australian spinner took 13 wickets to guide Australia to a much-needed win over Bangladesh in the Second Test.

    David Warner. Nailed another century, his second of the Bangladesh series, and his 20th overall.

    Kate McLoughlin. The Australian Paralympic Team’s Chef de Mission has been recognised by the International Paralympic movement as Best Official from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

    Kurt Kara. The beloved Newton Jet, a local legend like mother used to make, is hanging up the boots after more than 150 NSW Cup and Premiership matches for Newtown spread over seven seasons (2011 to 2017).

    Australia FIM Team Speedway Under 21 Team. Won second place in Poland.

    Australian Women’s World Trophy Team. Won fifth successive title in France

    Socceroos. After only narrowly defeating Thailand by a goal, their chances of the World Cup hang by a thread.

    Michael Maguire. After delivering their first title in half a forever, former Souths coach sees the old adage hold true once again – there are only two types of coaches, those who have been sacked, and those who will be sacked.

    Dalby Wheatmen Rugby Club and the Dalby Diehards RLFC. Both sides in their respective Darling Downs’ comps, won their Grand Finals last weekend. “The town,” I’m told, “is expected to sober up shortly before the cricket season starts in mid-October.”

    Marist College North Shore. Seeking photos of any former student who represented Australia in any sport for a Wall of Fame in their Fitness Centre. Join Ken Irvine, Matt Shirvington, Mitchell Pearce and Kieran Foran (both Australian schoolboys), and others! Please email [email protected]论坛

    Jack Gibson. The young student from Wesley College is on the road to recovery from serious illness and, in recognition of his passion and commitment, Sydney Uni Cricket Club has just made him Club Captain. He won’t ever be able to play cricket at the level he was previously but he will be back in the clubhouse where he belongs.

    Lane Cove Fun Run. It’s on again this Sunday morning in beautiful Longueville. With the sun shine continuing and over 1500 online registrations, another fantastic community event, which is 100 per cent volunteer organised to raise money for Lane Cove Public School and two local women’s and children’s shelters as well as donating $1000 in sporting goods to an education centre in the prize draw.

    Twitter: @Peter_Fitz

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

    The Logies and the Gold Coast are a match made in tacky heaven

    2019 - 03.13

    If there was a Tinder for television, the Gold Coast and the Logies would most definitely have swiped right to create the most beautiful and unholy match imaginable.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Never have two things been better suited to a legal union. TV’s “night of nights” on Queensland’s “glitter strip”. You can’t make that stuff up.

    Tom Tate, the Gold Coast’s colourful Mayor probably summed it up most eloquently when he said he would embrace Australia’s “tacky industry” coming to his “tacky city”.

    Yep, TV Week is rolling up the red carpet and bumping the Logies out of Crown Casino and planting them in The Star on the Gold Coast for at least the next four years.

    I should begin with a caveat, I grew up on the superior coast (the Sunshine one north of Brisbane) with Noosa and beaches that remained in the sun unencumbered by ugly skyscrapers casting shadows and without, well, everything gross the Gold Coast has.

    Because, despite its lovely beaches and cute theme parks, the Gold Coast is a bit gross. And so are the Logies.

    The parallels one can draw between the two are endless. The Logies are long and boring, much like the Gold Coast’s famous shopping strip Cavil Avenue and you are likely to find someone such as Gina Liano strutting through both in a hideous Camilla kaftan.

    Most of the people who win a Logie will, at some point in their career, end up performing at Twin Towns.

    I don’t know if anyone outside Queensland has heard of Twin Towns. It’s an institution on the Goldy (OK, it is just over the border but no one cares) where the careers of once-remarkable performers go to die.

    It only seems right that the entire industry goes on a bus trip up the Pacific Motorway and checks out their retirement options.

    The event allows some rather vacuous people to gather in one place at one time to pat themselves, and each other, on the back. This is also a description of everyone on the sand at Surfer’s Paradise.

    While it could also be a description of Bondi, the peacocking that occurs at Surfers is a peculiar ritual that really only gets repeated in Melbourne on that one special night of the year at Crown Casino.

    Each are equally fascinating and should be studied by anthropologists.

    The Logies have traditionally been held at Crown Casino. Crown Casino is basically the Gold Coast in winter. It is absolutely appropriate to wear a maroon velour tracksuit at all times in both places and if you were to have wandered the halls of Crown at about 6am on Logies Day +1 you would have seen that I’m right.

    While it is fun and easy to jump aboard the cultural cringe train whenever the Logies or the Gold Coast are mentioned, and that is a very crowded train indeed, in all seriousness this is actually a very suitable pairing.

    The film and television industry in Queensland is going from strength to strength through hard work luring major films from studios such as Marvel and Disney to the Gold Coast and TV companies including Hoodlum and Matchbox creating local television dramas in the suburbs.

    While the Sydney-Melbourne-centric attitude of the television networks is slowly (very slowly) changing, the Queensland government’s ploy of throwing money at the awards they all have to go to is a clever one that helps chug the changing of minds along.

    Even if they only realise that Queensland in July is way nicer than Melbourne in April.

    Nathanael Cooper is Deputy Entertainment Editor

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

    Hooper says McMahon can have ‘massive influence’ against Springboks

    2019 - 03.13

    Wallabies captain Michael Hooper expects South Africa to be extremely potent at the breakdown on Saturday but feels that Australia’s No.8 Sean McMahon can have a “massive influence” on the match if he backs up his form from Dunedin.
    Nanjing Night Net

    McMahon had arguably his best game in a Wallaby jersey during Australia’s 35-29 loss to the All Blacks a fortnight ago.

    After a quiet match by his standards in Sydney, McMahon consciously injected himself into the game, making considerably more carries and getting through a mountain of work at the breakdown alongside Hooper.

    Coach Michael Cheika’s praise for McMahon was profound after the match and Hooper is hoping he brings the same ferocity with ball in hand at nib Stadium.

    “Seany can have a massive influence when he gets that right,” Hooper said. “Sean’s an outstanding player and we’ve seen, here last year, one of the best runs I’ve seen from a Wallaby player. [He] beat like 10 defenders on a charge, coming off the bench. Seany’s strong in the tackle, strong making his tackles and he’s good over the ball as well.”

    The Springboks have picked a back row featuring Siya Kolisi, the equal-leading try scorer of the Rugby Championship thus far, as well as Jaco Kriel at No.7 and three-gamer Uzair Cassiem at the back of the scrum.

    The Wallabies have coughed up their fair share of ball at the breakdown this year and Hooper is wary of the challenge confronting the home side.

    “We expect them to be very strong over the ball,” Hooper said. “Both of those players [Kriel and Kolisi] are really good carriers and defenders there. It’s a different jersey size at the end of the day, from some of the guys that used to be playing to what they are now, but [they are] no less effective in what they do and how they get around the field. For us as a back row, we’ve got our hands full.”

    So much has been made of the Springboks’ resurgence after winning just four matches from 12 attempts last year, their worst year on record since 1992.

    All five of South Africa’s wins in 2017 have been between 18 and 23 points, compared to last year when their biggest victory margin was eight points, against the Wallabies in Pretoria.

    They have employed inventive tactics, including lineouts with both backs and forwards together, as well as upping their skills across the board to create a side very much capable of beating the Wallabies at home.

    The Wallabies have beaten the Springboks seven of the past eight times on Australian soil and Hooper is not quite sure what the visitors will bring this time around.

    “The first 10, 20 minutes of this game, I’m sure we’ll start to learn how they’re going to play,” Hooper said. “Whether they’re going to run more, whether they’re going to put it up into the air and do it that way.

    “Every time we play these guys, it’s a tough outing. Their success throughout Super Rugby’s been solid. We know they’re going to be a hard team.”

    Asked what the Wallabies needed to improve on from Dunedin, Hooper said: “Restarts, obviously. Just being able to put points on a team and then get the pressure off your back is a big one.

    “A lot’s made of momentum within games and I think restarts are a huge factor in momentum. You can dictate the way the game goes with how you control those areas.”

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

    Did everyone forget the Wallabies are playing in Canberra

    2019 - 03.13

    Did you hear that? It was the massive sigh of relief as Australian rugby’s ugly war in the west reached some sort of conclusion earlier this week.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The embers will burn for as long as Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest is backing the Western Force, but the lessons learnt should never be forgotten. Especially in Canberra.

    The Wallabies will play in the capital next week for the first time in seven years when they host Argentina in a Rugby Championship clash.

    Word around town is … well, there’s hardly been a word because most have either forgotten the game was on or had no idea about it in the first place.

    It is hoped ticket sales will pick up in the coming days to avoid the embarrassment of empty stands in a city that would have cried injustice had the ACT Brumbies been jettisoned from Super Rugby.

    Australian rugby – now the subject of a senate inquiry – has done some irreparable damage to itself this year. Bitter wars, legal battles, axing teams and leaving the people who matter most – fans and players – hanging by a thread.

    The challenge now is trying to find out if there’s a way back from the darkest of days, searching for some sign of hope to resurrect the game.

    The Brumbies should rightly feel relieved and vindicated by a 12-page document released by the ARU this week, which detailed why the club was saved from the chopping block and merger talks were squashed.

    But the Brumbies were in serious danger for longer than most would think. And while the ARU eventually came to their sense, those in Perth and Melbourne were gunning for the Canberra side to be axed.

    The one thing the ARU got right in a drawn-out debacle was giving the Brumbies certainty about their future given the club is financially stable, has never asked for a handout and is Australia’s most successful franchise.

    But the entire saga has to be used as a trigger for change or an opportunity to restart rugby love in the capital rather than sitting back to get comfortable.

    The one thing surer than Twiggy’s bank account balance is that rugby lovers in Perth will be ready to pounce on any weak link in the coming years.

    The past two years have been tumultuous for Canberra rugby as off-field dramas – some inside the organisation and some out of its control – overshadowed on-field results.

    So while the Brumbies are safe for now, will they continue to be if crowds don’t bounce back in the coming years?

    Will the Wallabies still play in Canberra if no one turns up to the first Test in almost a decade?

    Sporting threats carry very little weight in the capital these days. The Football Federation Australian burnt those bridges long ago when they told Canberra fans to show up to Socceroos matches with the promise of an A-League club in return.

    The crowd turned up, but the A-League never came to the party. It was scorched into Canberra’s sporting memory.

    The Brumbies – and Canberra – cannot afford to be the rugby weak link and the club has cut ticket prices and membership costs in the hope of winning back fans.

    The ARU will be keeping a close eye on crowd numbers at the Wallabies’ game against Argentina to see if it will be worth coming back in future years.

    More than 15,000 watched the Wallabies play against Fiji on a chilly night in 2010. The game next week will be a perfect chance to look into a seven-year time warp.

    It might just show how far rugby has fallen and the ARU’s disconnect with Brumbies heartland. But it could also be the new beginning rugby desperately needs.

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

    Short Takes

    2019 - 03.13

    A great opportunity exists for the government. Buy out the contaminated land next to the airport, compensating owners. Let AGL set up a massive solar array for electricity on outer perimeters. Use inner area for airport expansion. Three birds, one stone.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Betsy Watson,SwanseaDoes anybody out there know how many coal-firedpower stations were operating when the earth started to warm up? Plenty seem to know what one of the main causes is, so surely these creatures of high intelligence can answer this question.

    Brad Hill,SingletonIn regard to the new screen bound for McDonald Jones Stadium, you reckon this one will have a clock that works?

    Kieren Kuter, FacebookFinally, a bigger screen. Even if it is the Eels’leftovers.

    Brenton Littlewood, FacebookIn view of the High Courtdecision on the postal vote, the Prime Ministercan now go on national TV,look the Australian people in the eye and say, “Yes I wasted $136 million of your money -but I did it legally”.

    Darryl Tuckwell,EleebanaI’m hoping someone can help me. On a pocket knife we have the words … “HAPPY 21st G.B.”. I found the knife on the road at Tuncurry about six or sevenyears ago and have tried many way of putting it out there. Then Iput it back in the drawer until the next time I see it. So I’m hoping that one of youreaders may know its owner.

    John Mercer,Fern BayRegarding Williamtown (“Toxic buyout hope dashed”, Herald7/9): what a disgrace. I’m not surprised though. Maybe the pollies need to be made to live there with their families and see things change. People are dyingfor God’s sake.

    Briony Tony Field, FacebookRegarding the Knights season awards (“Barnett’s boom time at Knights”,Herald8/9): I’m not sure what this team have to celebrate. Maybe getting through the year.

    Ross Sneddon, Facebook“Leaders urge clean debate on marriage”, reports the Herald (8/9). Is this so we get to see what a “clean” debate might look like at last? Seriously, are we up for such decency? As the proposed change does not force anyone to do anything, I suppose for true blue, fair go Australiathe yes voteshould storm home.

    Graeme Tychsen,Rankin ParkReplying to Brad Hill (Short Takes,Herald8/9) about children not playing sport in any parks: apparently he is not aware of our Pit Pony Park. Most afternoons, after school and onweekends itis a hive of activity.Perhaps a robust game of soccer;a well-climbed tree and sometimes on a windy day a family flying kites. I’m sure there are other parks experiencing the same.

    Daphne Hughes,KahibahTHE POLLSWhat snack would you most like to see at polling booths on Saturday?

    Sausage sandwich 71.3%, Rocky road 13.8%, Chocolate fudge 6.4%, Other 8.5%

    ASX slides for a third straight week

    2019 - 02.13

    The ASX ended a week dominated again by worries about North Korea with a loss, while the Australian dollar soared to a two-year high.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.3 per cent on Friday to 5672.6, with the move bringing losses for the week to 0.9 per cent and three-week losses to around 1.3 per cent.

    The week started on a sour note after North Korea’s successful nuclear test on Sunday raised the risk of the world spiralling into a military conflict with the rogue nation and amid speculation of further aggression from the rogue state this weekend.

    “We need to brace for possibly more instability as there is some thought that North Korea may launch its intercontinental ballistic missile this Saturday on National Foundation Day,” Bell Potter strategist RIchard Coppleson said.

    This weekend is also expected to see Hurricane Irma making landfall in the US, with the storm coming hard on the heels of Hurricane Harvey’s devastation of Texas.

    Investors are starting to fret that this year’s US storm season will take a toll on the US economy, one of the factors that has helped to depress the US dollar this week and conversely pushed the Australian dollar to over US81?? on Friday, its highest level since May 2015.

    The RBA’s reassuring comments on the Australian economy on Tuesday while keeping interest rates on hold at 1.5 per cent, and GDP numbers on Wednesday that were mildly weaker than forecast but still robust, also offered support to the currency this week.

    The US dollar drop went hand-in-hand with a drop in US yields. US banks suffered and Australian banks followed their American counterparts during the week, with the financials sector losing 2.5 per cent over the five sessions.

    Citi bank analysts commented that despite the recent share price falls in the Australian listed banks, that they “see little room for share price improvement from here”.

    CBA lost 3 per cent over the week, NAB lost 1 per cent, ANZ fell 2.5 per cent and Westpac declined 1.7 per cent.

    Miners had a better week, however, with the sector gaining 0.5 per cent as Rio TInto and Newcrest rose 0.3 per cent and South 32 jumped 6.1 per cent.

    “The sector is in the best shape we have seen from a balance sheet perspective, with a large part of our coverage either net cash or close to ungeared,” said JPMorgan analysts who expect the sector to continue to grind higher in the short term.

    AGL also rose over the week, with the power company up 1.4 per cent as analysts speculated it could benefit from possible electricity shortages.

    For the broader market, Citi strategist Tony Brennan for one is optimistic. He said that with earnings growth close to trend at around 5 per cent, plus the market dividend yield of 4-5 per cent, equities could still deliver roughly 10 per cent returns which compares well to low rates and yields on other investments.

    “And returns could be higher near term with resource earnings recovering, reflected in our forecast for the S&P/ASX 200 to reach 6,400 by mid-2018, a gain of 12 per cent,” he added. Stock watchSyrah Resources

    Syrah Resources jumped 18.2 per cent over the week. It gained on Friday after the graphite products supplier said that it has signed a binding sales agreement with BTR New Energy Materials. Under the deal, Syrah will supply 30,000 tonnes of graphite from its Balama operation to BTR New Energy. The supply deal covers the first first year of production from the Balama operation. The shares posted their biggest intra-day percentage gain since December last year on Friday and Syrah Resources topped the list of gainers in the Australian benchmark S&P/200 index at one point during the trading day. Syrah CEO Shaun Verner said: “This contract is a significant and material step forward for Syrah. The relationship will see Syrah’s high quality graphite placed into the lithium-ion battery market.” MoversChina trade data

    China’s imports grew 13.3 percent from a year earlier, official data showed on Friday, handily beating analysts’ forecast of 10 percent, after rising 11.0 percent in July. Exports showed some signs of softening, however, with growth cooling to 5.5 percent from a year earlier, roughly in line with analysts’ forecasts for a 6.0 percent increase but down from 7.2 percent in July. The mixed performance left China with a trade surplus of $41.99 billion for August, the lowest since May. Earnings ‘drift’

    Research by Deutsche Bank shows that among top 100 ASX stocks over the past 10 years, companies which beat consensus earnings expectations during reporting season typically outperform the market by 2.5 percentage points over the week after results, and by an additional 3 percentage points over the subsequent six months. Stocks that stand to benefit from this trend now and have a “buy” rating from the broker are Medibank, Oil Search, Santos, Star, and Tatts. Others are Flight Centre, Fortescue, GPT, Orora, and Perpetual. Gold

    Gold prices have hit a fresh one-year high early after the US dollar sagged overnight as traders bought the euro and amid continuing worries around Hurricane Irma and North Korea. Spot gold has added another 0.5 per cent in today’s trade to $US1357.20 per ounce, its highest since September 2016. US president Donald Trump said overnight he would prefer not to use military action against North Korea to counter its nuclear and missile threat but that if he did it would be a “very sad day” for the leadership in Pyongyang. Home loans

    The number of home loan approvals rose 2.9 per cent in July, beating market expectations for an increase of 1 per cent. But the value of total housing finance fell 0.9 per cent to $33.03 billion in the month, seasonally adjusted data from to the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed. The value of loans approved for owner-occupied housing rose 0.9 per cent in July, while the value of loans for investment housing fell 3.9 per cent, compared to June.

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