Schoenmakers, Frawley revel in GF win

16/02/2019 Posted by admin

Inside the euphoric Hawthorn rooms, the two players that had AFL premiership medals around their necks for the first time were among the most deserving winners.


Ryan Schoenmakers and James Frawley produced stand-out performances in the Hawks’ 46-point victory over West Coast.

On a day when Alastair Clarkson’s team had few losers, the pair were two of the biggest winners.

For many years, Schoenmakers was the Hawks’ ugly duckling.

In years gone past, he couldn’t find a way into the Hawks’ star-studded attack, instead thrown down back as an undersized defender, and often taken apart.

But the 24-year-old shone in the Hawks’ stunning success, with as many score assists as anyone else on the ground, relentless pressure all day and the match’s best mark.

By the fourth quarter, every Hawthorn fan at the MCG was a convert, giving him the warmest of cheers with the match won.

“I noticed a bit of a roar … to be honest I was still focused so hard on the game I didn’t want to let anything slip,” he said.

“I was in the zone for the whole time, it wasn’t really until the last ten minutes where I started to enjoy it and take it in.”

For Frawley, who controversially swapped success-starved Melbourne for Hawthorn 12 months ago, the long wait to taste finals success was worth it.

Frawley’s shut-down job on Coleman medallist Josh Kennedy helped keep the lid on West Coast’s famed attacking prowess.

Like Schoenmakers, he said he was struck by the enormity of the occasion in time-on.

“The last ten minutes, I wasn’t really concentrating that much,” he said.

“I was looking around at the crowd, trying to soak it up and the boys pulled me into line saying ‘what are you doing mate?’

“I lost a bit of focus, but it’s unreal, an unreal feeling, I couldn’t be happier.”

The first-time winners celebrated heartily on the final whistle, but Schoenmakers saved his biggest embrace for his coach Alastair Clarkson, the man who had many times omitted him, but always believed in him.

It might not have been for the South Australian, who came within a hair’s breadth of joining Adelaide at the same time as Frawley joined the Hawks.

He suggested the victory was vindication for the decision.

“It was great in the end to get that reward and really celebrate with Clarko,” he said.

“He said if I wanted to be part of success, I’d have to do the hard yards over the season and really prove myself.

“He’s a passionate man, he’s brutally honest at times but that’s what you need.”

Venus Williams wins Wuhan Open title

16/02/2019 Posted by admin

A sympathetic Williams consoled Muguruza, one of the best young players in the game who had a tough semi-final with Germany’s Angelique Kerber, during the victory presentation.


“Congratulations Garbine for making the final,” Williams said. “I know you had a tough match yesterday – it’s not easy when you don’t play your best, and I probably didn’t have a chance if you felt well!”

Muguruza traded blows with Williams through most of the first set but suddenly dropped her level of play after the seventh game. The 21-year-old lost the next five games on the trot before signalling she could not continue.

“This is a sad day today,” said Muguruza.

“I’m very sorry I had to retire today, but I had a really amazing week here in Wuhan.

“I really want to congratulate Venus. She’s always such a tough player and she had an amazing week, as well.

“For sure we’ll play again soon, and it’s going to be a tough match, of course.”

Currently ranked eighth in the world, Muguruza is projected to rise to a career-best fifth when the new rankings are released on Monday.

Williams will climb from 24th to 14th after capturing her first WTA title since Auckland in January and her first Premier-5 level event since Dubai in five years.

Williams chalked up her 700th career match win when she won her second round clash with Germany’s Julia Goerges but had tough run to the final.

She was pushed to three sets by British qualifier Johanna Konta in the quarter-finals 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 then saved a match point in her semi-final victory over Italy’s Roberta Vinci.

“It was a great week,” Williams said. “To win the tournament and have the 700th…so, some great moments this week.”

(Reporting by Julian Linden in Singapore; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

Scintillating Hawks win AFL grand final

16/02/2019 Posted by admin

Alastair Clarkson’s side brought enormous pressure to the grand final, kicking nine of the first 10 goals before easing to a 16.


11 (107) to 8.13 (61) victory.

Jack Gunston kicked four goals, with Cyril Rioli, Sam Michell and Isaac Smith among the best afield.

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To a long list of tactical triumphs, Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson can now add finding a way to unpick the ‘Weagles web’.

West Coast’s defensive set-up this year has been a revelation, with the undersized back six brilliant at guarding space and denying their opponents scoring opportunities.

It is a system ideally suited to the long, narrow dimensions of their home ground at Domain Stadium.

But on the wider expanses of the MCG – a venue the Eagles were playing at for only the second time this year – it unravelled.

#ThreePeat pic.twitter杭州桑拿会所,/hu428UGqIu

— Hawthorn FC (@HawthornFC) October 3, 2015Freddie’s first flag #PlayYourRole pic.twitter杭州桑拿会所,/f261cpWUfG

— Hawthorn FC (@HawthornFC) October 3, 2015SIREN: Eagles well beaten by the greatest team of this century Well done @HawthornFC a masterpiece #AFLGF #goeagles pic.twitter杭州桑拿会所,/glREzf68Eh

— West Coast Eagles (@WestCoastEagles) October 3, 2015

No one capitalised better on the defensive breakdown than Cyril Rioli, who ended the 46-point victory with two goals, four score assists and a thoroughly deserved Norm Smith Medal.

“We’ve been performing really well throughout the year at beating forward lines that have really good talent,” said Eagles coach Adam Simpson.

“We tried a couple of things but he’s just a bloody good player.

“He’s a competitor, he can compete with any tall and he’s probably the best in the competition at ground level.

“Hawthorn play in a way where they look for him and there’s a connection with their ball use which I’m sure you all saw today.”

Jack Gunston was another notable beneficiary, his four-goal haul giving him a total of 12 in the past four grand finals – the most of any current AFL player.

The Eagles were also hampered by a poor goalkicking display, with skipper Shannon Hurn and the experienced Sam Butler missing easy shots in the second term.

Midfielder Jack Darling and Luke Shuey also butchered gilt-edged scoring opportunities early in the third term when the match was still up for grabs, only for the Hawks to rush the ball down the other end and kick vital goals.

“It was a combination of their pressure and getting exposed by turnovers,” said Simpson.

“Sometimes you can fumble and you can not quite handle situations, but you don’t get punished like you do when you play Hawthorn.”

Former Demon James Frawley was another key figure for the winners, keeping Coleman medallist Josh Kennedy scoreless.

“I thought our forward line was a bit off today as a whole unit, but the Hawks’ defence was a really solid back seven and our supply wasn’t great,” said Simpson.

“We had 40 inside 50s and we average 55.

To say it was our midfield that was disappointing, I think the collective, the whole way we played today, was one of our poorer games.”

Hawthorn fans could not contain their joy on social media, posting celebratory messages. 

What a team!!! Proud to be calling it early #Hawks2015 #3peat #PlayYourRole #AFLGF YES!!! pic.twitter杭州桑拿会所,/2RcCjhXRB5

— Shane Crawford (@SCrawf9) October 3, 2015What’s that noise? It’s deafening, And it’s coming from Perth. Oh wait it’s ok, it’s just a pin dropping! #PlayYourRole #AFLGF

— Kat Blackburn (@KatBlackburn) October 3, [email protected] i’am a Happy Hawkette #3PEAT #HawthornHawks pic.twitter杭州桑拿会所,/fDb7AKBIFc

— Michelle Hawkette (@hawk_michelle) October 3, 2015

A history of sugar – the food nobody needs, but everyone craves

19/06/2019 Posted by admin

According to the latest data, sugarcane is the world’s third most valuable crop after cereals and rice, and occupies 26,942,686 hectares of land across the globe.


Its main output – apart from commercial profits – is a global public health crisis, which has been centuries in the making.

The obesity epidemic – along with related diseases including cancer, dementia, heart disease and diabetes – has spread across every nation where sugar-based carbohydrates have come to dominate to the food economy.

Related reading

So at this time, it pays to step back and consider the ancient origins of sugar, to understand how it has grown to present an imminent threat to our landscapes, our societies and our health.

Stepping back

Human physiology evolved on a diet containing very little sugar and virtually no refined carbohydrate. In fact, sugar probably entered into our diets by accident. It is likely that sugarcane was primarily a “fodder” crop, used to fatten pigs, though humans may have chewed on the stalks from time to time.

Nom. from 杭州桑拿,shutterstock杭州桑拿会所,

Evidence from plant remnants and DNA suggests that sugarcane evolved in South East Asia. Researchers are currently hunting for early evidence of sugarcane cultivation at the Kuk Swamp in Papua New Guinea, where the domestication of related crops such as taro and banana dates back to approximately 8,000BC. The crop spread around the Eastern Pacific and Indian Oceans around 3,500 years ago, carried by Austronesian and Polynesian seafarers.

The first chemically refined sugar appeared on the scene in India about 2,500 years ago. From there, the technique spread east towards China, and west towards Persia and the early Islamic worlds, eventually reaching the Mediterranean in the 13th century. Cyprus and Sicily became important centres for sugar production. Throughout the Middle Ages, it was considered a rare and expensive spice, rather than an everyday condiment.

The first place to cultivate sugarcane explicitly for large-scale refinement and trade was the Atlantic island of Madeira, during the late 15th century. Then, it was the Portuguese who realised that new and favourable conditions for sugar plantations existed in Brazil, where a slave-based plantation economy was established. When Brazilian sugarcane was introduced in the Caribbean, shortly before 1647, it led to the growth of the industry which came to feed the sugar craze of Western Europe.

Slave trade

This food – which nobody needed, but everyone craved – drove the formation of the modern of the world. There was a huge demand for labour to cultivate the massive sugar plantations in Brazil and the Caribbean. This need was met by a transatlantic slave trade, which resulted in around 12,570,000 human beings being shipped from Africa to the Americas between 1501 and 1867. Mortality rates could reach as high as up to 25% on each voyage, and between 1m and 2m dead must have been thrown overboard.

And of course, goods such as copper and brass, rum, cloth, tobacco and guns were needed to purchase slaves from the African elites. These were secured through the expansion of industrial production, particularly in the English Midlands and South West. Modern-day banking and insurance can trace its origins to the 18th century Atlantic economy.

Slaves driven to work in the cane fields. Mark Horton, Author provided

Meanwhile, the slaves working the plantations suffered miserable lives. When they were finally emancipated in 1834 in the British Empire, it was the slave owners who were fully compensated – not the slaves. Much of this money was used to build Victorian infrastructure, such as railways and factories.

Modern day scourges

In many ways, the story of sugar and tobacco are closely aligned. Both products were initially produced through slave labour, and were originally seen to be beneficial to health. And although both sugar and tobacco have ancient origins, it was their sudden, mass consumption from the mid-17th century onwards that created the health risks we associate with them today.

The idea of “industrial epidemics” of non-communicable diseases, being driven by the profit motives of major corporations, rings true for both. And while tobacco is widely acknowledged to be addictive, sugar can also drive behavioural responses that are indistinguishable from addiction.

But in the 21st century, the grip of sugar is stronger than comparable scourges like tobacco, or even alcohol. Sugar is not only ubiquitous – it is potentially responsible for approximately 20% of the caloric content of modern diets – but also central to the world’s economy and cultural heritage.

Heavy industry. Dirk Kirchner/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA

Perhaps a better comparison is our reliance on fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are not just a vice or bad habit, but central to the way we live, and to the geography and politics of the territories where it is sourced. Likewise, the rise of sugar has been key to global trade and socioeconomic development, slavery and the African Diaspora and modern cultural norms.

The evolutionary and historical origins of sugarcane may hold insights into why sugar dominates modern culture, and what we can do to mitigate its malign influence. Like many great challenges of the 21st century, such as climate change, the science identifying the problem seems clear.

What’s lacking is the public and political will to address it, in ways such as the proposed sugar tax and prominently displayed health warnings. With sugar still deeply part of our food system – in 2013, sugar crops made up 6.2% of world’s agricultural yield and 9.4% of its total monetary value – such bold socio-economic measures are needed to make the necessary changes possible.

The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.

UN urges Australia to step up aid to countries vulnerable to natural disasters

19/06/2019 Posted by admin

The United Nations chief representative for the Asia-Pacific says Australia should play a greater role in assisting vulnerable nations in the region as the costs of natural disasters are forecast to escalate by 2030.


UN Under-Secretary-General for the Asia-Pacific Shamshad Akhtar says Australia is one of the few nations in the region with the economic resilience to withstand natural disasters.

But Australia is also ranked among the top 10 countries with the highest forecast annual losses from disasters, led by Japan, the USA and China.

“My appeal to Australia and other countries that have the resources is to work more closely with us to deploy the necessary funds to get this work done to get the capacity building programs out there,” Ms Akhtar told AAP.

Under the government of former prime minister Tony Abbott Australia significantly restructured its foreign aid program.

In a just released report, Disasters without Borders, the UN says the costs are escalating from natural disasters in the Asia-Pacific, with the region reporting some 50 per cent of the world’s disasters.

In the decade to 2014 there were 1625 reported disaster events claiming over 500,000 lives.

Over the same period the damage to property, crops, and livestock increased to over $US523 billion ($A739 billion).

The UN forecasts annual costs from natural disasters to rise by 2030 to an average $US160 billion ($A226 billion) a year.

Fiji’s Minister responsible for national disaster management, Inia Batikoto Seruiratu, said Australia and New Zealand had the capacity to assist vulnerable island nations in distress.

After a cyclone that hit Vanuatu this year “only Australia and New Zealand can afford to give us the assistance so we hope that they will continue to do so,” Mr Seruiratu told AAP at a conference to mark the release of the UN report.

Whitlock steals spotlight on day of records

19/06/2019 Posted by admin

Fan Yilin, Viktoriia Komova, Daria Spiridonova and Madison Kocian shared an unprecedented four gold medals when the judges could not decide between their asymmetric bars routines — leaving them all deadlocked on the same score.


The sudden and unexpected formation of the ‘15.366 gang’ caused shock and amusement in equal measure among the four champions who jostled for space on a crowded top platform of the winner’s podium, while the two lower levels remained empty.

A prolonged medals ceremony featured three national anthems — China, Russia and the United States — being played. Organisers also had to abandon the flag-raising ceremony as there was no room for three flags on the same horizontal pole.

American Kocian described it as “super crazy”, China’s Fan found it “hilarious” while Russia’s Spiridonova said: “Wow! I’ve never seen anything like this. I didn’t think anything like this would even be possible. It’s great that we are in this together and we will share the victory.”

Her compatriot Komova added: “It was hard to deal with the nerves after they started to announce the results. I am personally shocked. It’s the first time the judges had such a hard time deciding who the champion was.” 


There were no such problems in the pommel horse final when the judges declared Whitlock had edged out team mate Louis Smith by the narrowest of margins.

Smith produced a flawless display and sat on top of the standings with 16.033 until Whitlock, the final competitor on the horse, leapfrogged the Olympic silver medallist by 0.1 of a point with a more dynamic programme that sparked jubilant celebrations among the hollering crowd at the Hydro Arena.

The British duo stood shoulder-to-shoulder as they waited for Whitlock’s score and when it flashed up as 16.133 on the giant screen, Smith grabbed a Union Jack to begin the double celebration.

“I had dreamed of this moment but never felt I would get emotional,” said Whitlock, who also earned a silver behind Japan’s floor exercise supremo Kenzo Shirai earlier in the day.

“I can’t believe it. I trained in the gym thousands and thousands of routines building up to this moment, so when you go clean like I did today, you can’t express what you feel. I’m over the moon. It’s been an amazing journey.”


On the floor, Shirai capped his programme full of daring and high-flying acrobatics with a quadruple twisting somersault at the end, securing a second world title in three years.

A slight side step following his third tumbling pass took little away from Shirai’s routine as the Japanese was the only competitor to break the 16-point barrier with a score of 16.233.

“As I experienced defeat last year, I know the importance to keep improving. This time I was able to surprise everyone with my difficulty,” he said.

Russia’s Maria Paseka upstaged favourite Simone Biles and North Korea’s defending champion Hong Un-jong with two soaring leaps to capture the vault gold.

Paseka hit her landing with both her vaults, an Amanar and a Cheng, to earn an average total of 15.666. Hong took silver while three-times all-around champion Biles secured bronze.

Paseka’s victory sparked a gold rush for Russia who entered the penultimate day of the championships with none but ended it with three thanks to Paseka, Komova and Spiridonova.

Greek muscle man Eleftherios Petrounias showed off his bulging biceps to win the rings title ahead of Chinese duo You Hao and 2014 winner Liu Yang.

Petrounias added the title to the European gold he won earlier in the season with a score of 15.800.

(Reporting by Pritha Sarkar, editing by Ken Ferris)

Rosberg beats Hamilton to pole in Mexico

19/06/2019 Posted by admin

German Rosberg will hope Sunday’s race breaks a bitter sequence after converting only two of his last 10 poles into victory.


Triple world champion Hamilton has won the last three from second place.

The Briton, who clinched his third championship in Texas last weekend, will again start alongside on the front row with every intention of winning in front of what promises to be a huge and lively crowd.

“It’s a good start for sure, starting on pole,” said Rosberg. “It’s going to be a long run down to turn one so it’s going to be an exciting battle and then I’m sure we have a good race car.”

Asked whether the pole was ‘Angry Nico’ fighting back, he shook his head: “Definitely not. There’s no difference, it’s attack like always.

“It’s three more races to go, great to be here in Mexico, great track, I really enjoy driving here so business as usual.”

The pair banged wheels into the first corner in Austin, with Rosberg losing out, and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was clearly hoping for more fireworks at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

“Can you make sure you take both of you out so I can go through?”, joked Vettel, who qualified third, to a stony silence from the Mercedes duo.

The Ferrari driver is second in the championship, after winning three races this season, but is only four points ahead of Rosberg who now has 20 career poles.

“In the end they were just a sniff too quick but who knows what happens tomorrow?,” said Vettel.


Hamilton, who has failed to qualify fastest in his last five races after previously racking up 11 out of 12, had hoped to take his 50th career pole but some small mistakes when it mattered ruled that out.

“We have quite a bit of a different set-up this weekend so perhaps the avenue I went might not be the perfect one for qualifying but it’ll be good for the race,” said the Briton whose team have already retained their constructors’ title.

Hamilton is also gunning to equal Vettel’s record of 13 wins in a season, having won 10 so far.

The passionate crowd will be reserving their biggest cheers for Mexican Sergio Perez who will start his country’s first grand prix since 1992 in ninth place for Force India with every chance of scoring points.

Russian Daniil Kvyat joined Vettel on the second row for Red Bull, with Australian team mate Daniel Ricciardo fifth and Finland’s Valtteri Bottas sixth in a Williams.

Teenage Dutch rookie Max Verstappen, fourth in Austin, qualified an impressive eighth for Toro Rosso.

At the back, McLaren’s Jenson Button failed to take part in qualifying due to engine problems that are likely to increase his already meaningless 50-place penalty on a grid of just 20 cars.

Team mate Fernando Alonso will join him at the back after qualifying 16th but having a 10-place penalty. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen has a five-place drop from 15th.

(Editing by Tony Jimenez)

Wallabies too slow out of blocks: Foley

19/06/2019 Posted by admin

Five-eighth Bernard Foley admits the Wallabies’ disappointing first half left them with too much to do against the All Blacks in Saturday’s World Cup final defeat at Twickenham.


“I’m absolutely gutted, the team’s efforts for the last five weeks has been tremendous, and we’ve put everything into it,” said Foley, who enjoyed a flawless day with the boot, kicking two conversions and a penalty in the 34-17 loss.

“We probably just missed the jump a little bit. Playing catch up footy on a game like this is always tough.

“We have so much belief in this side, so much desire and everyone had worked so hard for each other, so it’s shattering to be here.”

Thanks to the red-hot boot of Dan Carter and Nehe Milner-Skudder’s try on the stroke of halftime, Australia trailed 16-3 at the break – the biggest deficit in final history.

A Ma’a Nonu five-pointer shortly after the restart blew the score out to 21-3 only for Michael Cheika’s side to stage a brilliant fightback with tries from David Pocock and Tevita Kuridrani to close the gap to 21-17.

However, a Carter field goal and penalty followed by a last-gasp breakaway try from Beauden Barrett broke the Wallabies’ stubborn resistance.

Foley conceded the All Blacks’ strong opening wasn’t a surprise and it was something the team had worked on preventing in training.

“We were expecting that for sure, they are a quality side with a number of quality players … it was going to be a good night for them.

“But we were aware of that .. we came so close and we gave all we’ve got at the end, but it just wasn’t to be.”

Romanian nightclub fire kills 27

19/05/2019 Posted by admin

In one of the capital’s worst disasters in decades, up to 500 people, mostly young adults, stampeded for the only available exit as the club in the basement of a Communist-era sport-shoe factory filled with smoke.


Officials and witnesses said fireworks were used inside the club, while Colectiv Club’s Facebook page advertised pyrotechnic effects at the show.

Deputy Interior Minister Raed Arafat said 17 of the 27 dead had yet to be identified and 146 people remained in hospital. He said no fire permit was requested by the club nor granted to them by the Bucharest firefighting department.

“Unfortunately, the death toll may change taking into account the severity of their injuries,” Arafat said after an emergency meeting early on Saturday.

President Klaus Iohannis toured Bucharest hospitals to visit the victims and also lit a candle at the club, while some 600 people queued to donate blood.

“I’ve got strong clues the law was broken in this case. I’m revolted that such a tragedy happens in downtown of the capital and innocent youngsters are perished,” Iohannis said.

A pillar covered with foam panels and the club’s ceiling went up in flames, followed by an explosion and heavy smoke, the witnesses said. Many people admitted to 12 hospitals had suffered burn, smoke inhalation injuries or were trampled.

TV footage showed police officers and paramedics trying to resuscitate young people lying on the pavement while sirens wailed with more ambulances deployed to the scene.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta, just back from an official visit to Mexico, ordered checks on clubs across the country to see whether safety and firefighting norms are being observed.

“There was a stampede of people running out of the (Colectiv) club,” a man who escaped without shoes told Reuters.

A young woman who was released from the hospital after minor injuries described the club bursting into flames.

“In five seconds the whole ceiling was all on fire. In the next three, we rushed to a single door,” she told television station Antena 3.

Deputy Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea said a criminal investigation into the causes of the incident was already under way at the General Prosecutor’s office on suspicion of murder and destruction crimes, but no accusations were yet pressed.

Any open fire displays and fireworks in Romania require special authorization if used in a public indoor place. Such permits may be granted if the venue is assessed to be safe and equipped with extinguishers, and the fire department deploys several firefighters to the place.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker sent a message of condolences: “I am greatly saddened to see so many young lives ending so tragically. My thoughts are with the grieving families and friends as well as with all those working hard in rescuing and in assisting the victims.”

Some of the deadliest nightclub disasters in the world have been caused by fireworks.

In the southern Brazilian college town of Santa Maria in 2013, a musician lit an outdoor flare inside the Kiss nightclub and started a fire that killed at least 241 people.

Fireworks were also blamed for nightclub fires in Russia’s Perm that killed 156 people in 2009 and in Argentina’s Buenos Aires in 2004 that killed 194.

Hansen hails classy All Blacks

19/05/2019 Posted by admin

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has expressed his deep satisfaction at guiding the All Blacks to back-to-back World Cup triumphs but stopped short at calling his side the greatest ever.


Hansen became the third New Zealander to mastermind a successful World Cup campaign after Sir Brian Lochore in 1987 and Graham Henry in 2011 with a 34-17 win over Australia at Twickenham on Saturday.

“Whether they are the greatest team of all time that is for others to decide,” Hansen said.

“But I can say this team is not about one player it’s about 23 guys and they have all been fantastic over the last six weeks.”

Hansen replaced Henry at the helm following the emotion-charged 8-7 win over France at Eden Park four years ago and said the key to winning in 2015 was putting that drought-breaking triumph quickly behind them.

It saw them team raise the bar again from 2012 with a record-equalling 17 straight wins that included victory in every Test match played in 2013.

“It’s massively satisfying, we set out four years to do something special and had to put a full stop on what happened in 2011 in 2012,” Hansen said.

“We had to rebuild the team so we could come here in 2015 with the right experience but also with some young players who had experience.

“The pleasing thing is that we have a massive group of players that have between 20 and 40 Test matches that can take this team forward once the other guys decide to move on.”

Hansen was also full of praise for the Australia’s performance and admitted Michael Cheika’s side had his side concerned as they staged a second half fightback.

“On a night like this it’s extremely tough for the loser but I thought Australia were magnificent in the way they approached the game, they never laid down,” he said.

“At 21-3, you could be fooled into thinking the game was over but at 21-17 they could easily have come back.

“Whilst we are very proud of what we have achieved as a group we would like to say well done to Australia as well.”

Key confident in All Black victory

19/05/2019 Posted by admin

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key is on the hunt for some shorter companions to accompany him into the All Blacks changing room after what he is confident will be a victorious World Cup final for New Zealand.


A photo of the prime minister shaking hands with towering lock Sam Whitelock following New Zealand’s semi-final win over South Africa became an internet sensation, but Mr Key was quick to shout down the accuracy of the picture.

“He is not that tall, and I am not that short, OK?” Mr Key told reporters in London on Friday.

While the prime minister has been criticised by some for his dressing room visit, he looks set to return to the players’ quarters after Saturday’s decider.

“I’m going to have to get a few dwarfs in, get them to come in with me,” he joked.

“Aaron Smith, he’s not that tall either, I’ll have to restrict my photos to shorter people.”

With regards to the outcome of the match, Mr Key remains confident he will come out on top in his wager with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The pair have agreed that the leader of the losing country will wear a tie in the other country’s colours in parliament during question time.

“This All Blacks side has a point to prove, that they can win back-to-back cups. They desperately want to beat Australia, the record shows that they can,” Mr Key said.

“It’s sport and anything can happen, but my money’s on the All Blacks.”

He also noted the contribution of a number of retiring players, including Richie McCaw, saying their contribution to the game and as ambassadors for New Zealand had been enormous.

While McCaw had previously turned down the offer of a knighthood, Mr Key indicated that was something that could be revisited if the long-serving player wanted it.

“For our country, it does matter whether we win the game or not, but, win or lose, we’ll know that the All Blacks will have given 110 per cent,” Mr Key said.

“I have no doubt there’ll be a lot of lights on at three o’clock in the morning New Zealand time watching the game.”

Qld shouldn’t drop cyclone defence: expert

19/05/2019 Posted by admin

Forecasts for a quieter cyclone season shouldn’t stop Queenslanders preparing for the worst, an expert warns.


The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted fewer cyclones this season, running from November to April next year, because of a strong El Nino effect.

But Dr David Henderson says residents should remember a single storm cell could still do significant damage.

The James Cook University’s Cyclone Testing Station director said well-prepared homes – that have been well maintained and regularly checked by a builder or certifier – are less likely to lose a roof in high winds.

Dr Henderson said this was even more important for older homes which can often have just two nails holding the battens to the rafters.

Homeowners need to take responsibility for updating their properties regularly, he said.

“We’re used to our cars, driving and being serviced every couple of years,” he said.

“Our houses are no different. They sit around for thirty, forty years and we expect it to work.”

“But we’ve got to put the maintenance in.”

The bureau’s outlook predicts about four tropical cyclones to form along Australia’s east coast this season, with one likely to make landfall.

It comes after Queenslanders received a battering from Cyclone Nathan and Cyclone Marcia this year.

An average cyclone season sees about 11 tropical systems eventuate, four of which cross the coast.


– Get builder or certifier to inspect home for corrosion, termites

– Follow storm preparation guidelines of emergency services, local council

– Prune trees and take down shadecloths at property

– Clean gutters

– Invest in window protection

(Source: JCU Cyclone Testing Station)

Stopping childcare price hikes: Sinodinos

19/05/2019 Posted by admin

Price gouging by childcare centres will be restrained under planned federal government changes to the childcare rebate.


Senior Liberal Arthur Sinodinos said in the past parents were directly subsidised for childcare, but this coincided with an increase in daily fees.

The new plan, which has not yet been finalised, aims to constrain centres from hiking up daily charges, Senator Sinodinos said.

“We are putting some processes in place to also constrain price increases,” he told Sky News on Sunday.

His comments come after a News Corp report that families earning a combined income of over $230,000 will pay more for childcare.

They will also face cuts to the childcare rebate from 50 per cent to 30 per cent, while increased assistance will be given to help low and middle-income families.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham said he was making no apologies for working out ways to help low and middle income earners so they can work and increase their hours.

But the detail of any changes to the original package had not yet been finalised.

“Average Australian families who work, study or volunteer will be significantly better off under these reforms,” Senator Birmingham said in a statement on Sunday.

Labor’s childcare spokeswoman Kate Ellis said 21 months and three ministers after launching a Productivity Commission review, the Liberals still can’t tell Australian families what is happening with their childcare changes.

“The Liberals promised more affordable and accessible childcare, but so far all they have delivered is confusion,” Ms Ellis said in a statement.