Penrith NRL comeback again, beat Souths

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By , 25/04/2020 19:39

Despite South Sydney’s dominant first half, Penrith have come back to win their NRL clash 18-14.Penrith have cemented their status as the NRL’s early-season comeback kings, after beating South Sydney 18-14 and fighting from 14-0 down for a second-straight week.

A week after overcoming the same deficit to beat Parramatta at the same venue, the Panthers endured a pointless first half against the Rabbitohs on Saturday before piling on three second-half tries.

The last came with just four minutes remaining, a spectacular five-pass final-tackle play as the Panthers spread it right before offloading, allowing Nathan Cleary to provide a short lofted inside ball for Tyrone Peachey to burrow his way over.

Making Peachey’s effort even more remarkable was the fact it came after he spent the first 63 minutes of the game on the bench – the last 10 of those pacing the sideline and looking at the coach’s box desperate to get on.

The hosts survived a last-ditch Rabbitohs effort at Panthers Stadium, after Cleary missed a field goal on the siren and Souths attempted to catch it and go the length of the field.

Penrith had some assistance in the comeback, after Greg Inglis was ruled out of the last 33 minutes of the match and the Rabbitohs struggled to spark anything in attack.

Trent Merrin and Waqa Blake scored second-half tries, Merrin’s effort to open the account coming after he pushed and spun his way over to get the ball down backwards over his head.

Blake’s came with 15 minutes to play, setting up the grandstand finish.

Earlier, the Rabbitohs looked to have control of the match with a dominant opening half.

They had their first in the 15th minute via a length-of-the-field effort through five sets of hands, kick started by a Richard Kennar bust and finished by a jinking Cody Walker run.

Hooker Damien Cook – easily one of the Rabbitohs’ best – scored their other before halftime when he broke through the middle of a seemingly tired defensive line and set up the 14-0 lead.

Vikki Campion travel records Freedom of Information request denied

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By , 25/04/2020 19:39

A Freedom Of Information requestfor the travel expenses of Barnaby Joyce’s former staffer and current partner hasbeen denied on the grounds it would undermined an independent investigation, and the “expectation and risk”of the information being “misinterpreted and misrepresented”.

More than four weeks ago,The Northern Daily Leader lodged aFreedom Of Information(FOI) request seekingVikki Campion’s travel records for the first quarter of 2017, to investigate whether public funds were misused while she worked for Mr Joyce, with whom she is now in a relationship.

In the response from the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority – the body in charge of monitoring parliamentary travel expenses–branch manager Petra Gartmannwrote she was “of the view” that disclosing the documents would be “widely published” and would “generate public discussion, including on social media”.

OUR SAY: Is ‘misinterpretation’a fair reason to deny a FOI request?

Ms Gartmann said the benefit of informing public debatewas outweighed by the documents’ potential to compromise the organisation’s audit.

“[Releasing the documents] could reasonably raise public expectations that this audit will lead to certain findings,” Ms Gartmann wrote.

“This then has the potential to lead to public and political pressure, undermine IPEA’s independence and ultimately render the audit worthless if the findings fail to meet public expectations.

“Also, in order to afford audit subjects procedural fairness, any adverse findings and gaps in available information are required to be put to the audit subject before information is published.”

The Leader also sent an FOI request to Mr Joyce’s office, asking for his diary of event and meeting locations for the first three months of 2017.

However, his office is yet to respond.

The Northern Daily Leader

Heavy clashes mar Freo win in AFLW

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By , 25/04/2020 19:39

Amy Lavell scored two goals for Fremantle in the AFLW win over Carlton.An inspirational third quarter has sparked Fremantle to an 11-point win over Carlton at Fremantle Oval and consigned the Blues to the 2018 AFLW wooden spoon.

It was a battle of two teams out of contention for next week’s grand final, but it was still a physical affair between the Dockers and Blues, with the home side running out 9.5 (59) to 6.12 (48).

It was highlighted by Fremantle’s Hayley Miller running back with the flight of the ball in the third quarter in the path of charging Blues spearhead Tayla Harris.

Harris’ knee connected squarely in Miller’s ribs leaving the pair sprawled on the floor along with Dockers defender Tayla Bresland.

All three players recovered but inspired by that, Fremantle kicked three goals in the opening eight minutes of the last quarter from Ashley Sharp, Ebony Antonio and best on ground Dana Hooker (25 possessions) to get the win.

Miller put her body on the line and never once thought of doing anything else.

“It didn’t feel very good, I can confirm that,” Miller said.

“But when the ball’s in dispute like that and going into the forward line, you have to do what you have to do. There’s no serious damage there, just a real solid winding and some bruising.”

While disappointed not to reach the grand final, Miller had 13 disposals and kicked a goal.

“It’s a disappointing sort of end to the season,” Miller said.

“We started really well and we hoped that we’d go better than last year but unfortunately we are where we are. But we can build on this for next year now.”

After winning the first two games of the season, Carlton lost their last five to claim the wooden spoon despite Harris and Alison Downie kicking two goals each against the Dockers.

It wasn’t the season that Harris was hoping having crossed from the Brisbane Lions.

“The most obvious thing was that we just didn’t capitalise on the scoreboard, kicking 6.12,” Harris said.

“It’s pretty obvious that’s something that we need to work on for next season but I feel like all the girls went out there giving everything and left it all out on the field.”

Sydney’s Rocks goes green for St Patrick’s

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By , 25/04/2020 19:39

There was no shortage of the Guinness at Sydney’s longest running Irish pub for St Patrick’s Day.With more than a 100 kegs of Guinness ready to pour, ‘s longest-running Irish Pub was “to be sure, to be sure” there’d be no shortage of the famous beer for St Patrick’s day.

The doors of The Mercantile in Sydney’s historic Rocks region swung open at 7am on Saturday for a day of shenanigans.

Green was the colour of choice for most patrons, with plenty of shamrock memorabilia on show.

“We had 400 people here for breakfast to kickstart the day,” Mick Comerford, licensee of The Mercantile told AAP.

“A few breakfast goers had a couple of pints of Guinness but not too many, a few Irish coffees too,” he said.

Irish dancers entertained the breakfast and lunch crowds, while Irish bands The Shindigs, and Shaylee Wilde & The Soniks are set to get folks singing and jigging well into the evening.

In his thick Irish accent, Mr Comerford said St Patrick’s Day always brought out the Irish, including second and third generation.

“Everyone has a bit of Irish in them I think.”

More than 2000 people had passed through the door by 4pm on Saturday, with the night set to swing along finely, with plenty of Irish stew on hand.

And with the Irish known to tell a good tale, the rumour swirling around the pub was that the Galway Girl singer himself, Ed Sheeran, may pop in for a refreshing ale after his Sydney concert on Saturday night.

But the tale could be due to the flowing Guinness.

The Mercantile, one of many pubs in the Rocks honouring the patron saint of Ireland, has had extra Guinness delivered, in addition to the 100 kegs already ready for the weekend.

“We don’t want to run out, that’s for sure,” Mr Comerford said.

According to Professor Ronan McDonald, a professor of Irish studies at the University of NSW and now at the University of Melbourne, up to one third of ns are of Irish heritage.

Hayne needs to find more ball: Arthur

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By , 25/04/2020 19:39

Jarryd Hayne needs to have his hands on the ball more, says Parramatta coach Brad Arthur.Parramatta coach Brad Arthur says he wants Jarryd Hayne to get his hands on the ball more in Sunday’s NRL clash with arch-rivals Manly.

Hayne was solid on his return for the Eels in their loss to Penrith last Sunday, having 11 runs but making just 94 metres.

Arthur tore shreds off his players at training on Monday for being reactive after they blew an early 14-0 lead, and while Hayne wasn’t one of his biggest concerns he said he wanted him to begin seeing more ball.

“I would like to see him more with the ball, but all his effort areas were good in defence,” Arthur said.

“It’s going to take time to make sure we get some quality ball to him but he’s also going to go and find it.”

The Eels have won their last six against Manly – their longest winning streak over their arch-rivals since both sides came into the competition in 1947.

Not that Arthur believed it gave his side any kind of mental edge heading into Sunday’s clash at Lottoland.

“I’m not big on history,” he said.

“Sometimes history works for you, sometimes it’s against you. The history is we lost last week and we need to win this week.”

Beau Scott is the only player in doubt for the Eels, as he battled illness at their final training session on Saturday.

That could be a cause for concern on Sunday, given temperatures are expected to reach 38 at Brookvale in the afternoon.

It also means handling will be key for both sides, after Manly coach Trent Barrett rued a number of errors and piggy-back penalties which put undue pressure on their defence in last week’s golden-point loss to Newcastle.

“We scored 18 points against Newcastle last Friday night with 44 per cent of the ball and 65 per cent completion,” Barrett said

“If we can get 50/50 of the footy and complete well, we are going to score enough points.

“Given the hot weather expected tomorrow, ball control is going to be paramount.”


* Parramatta have beaten Manly in the last six clashes, including their last three at Brookvale.

* The Eels have averaged 22 points in those matches, with Manly failing to score above 16.

* Manly are looking to avoid losing their first two matches of the season for the third year straight.

*Stats courtesy Fox Sports Stats

Sydney FC deny approach to Merrick

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By , 25/04/2020 19:39

Sydney FC has denied making an approach to Newcastle Jets coach Ernie Merrick.Sydney FC say no approach has been made to Ernie Merrick about replacing Graham Arnold as coach from next season, despite speculation linking the Newcastle boss to the job.

A report on Saturday suggested the defending A-League champions are prepared to offer the highly respected Merrick as much as $800,000 to pry him away from the Jets, where he is contracted until the end of 2018-19.

While it’s understood Merrick has not necessarily been ruled out, Sky Blues chief executive Danny Townsend said the 65-year-old’s unavailability made him an unlikely prospect and clarified there had been no internal discussions about making an offer.

“He’s a contracted coach so at this stage he’s not on our list,” Townsend told AAP.

“We have not spoken to a coach other than our internal candidates at this stage.”

Leading those internal candidates is assistant coach Steve Corica, who has been the heavy favourite since Arnold was confirmed as long-term Socceroos boss last week.

The 44-year-old club legend has spent more than three years deputising under Arnold and remains the best fit given the Sky Blues’ desire for continuity.

It’s understood more than 100 names will be run through the club’s criteria over the next month before a shortlist is compiled and interviews conducted in April.

Other names thrown into the rumour mill are Central Coast coach Paul Okon and Adelaide United coach Marco Kurz.

Speculation has also linked former Western Sydney boss Tony Popovic with a return to the Sky Blues though such a move is believed to be highly unlikely.

Sydney expect the majority of the squad to stay on next season and are confident of keeping marquees Milos Ninkovic and Bobo.

Decisions surrounding the futures of skipper Alex Brosque, Luke Wilkshire, David Carney and Matt Simon will likely wait until the end of the season.

Whittaker pulls out of Games team for UFC

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By , 25/04/2020 19:39

UFC star Rob Whittaker is “gutted” to be pulling out of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.UFC middleweight champion Rob Whittaker says he’s gutted about pulling out of the n Commonwealth Games wrestling team less than three weeks before the event.

Wrestling confirmed Whittaker submitted a letter of resignation to Commonwealth Games on Friday and were awaiting word from chef de mission Steve Moneghetti that his withdrawal had been approved.

Due to time restrictions on entry submissions, Wrestling must now receive special approval from the Commonwealth Games Federation before they are able to replace Whittaker.

The Sydneysider stood to be stripped of his belt if he was injured during the Games and was unable to make his first title defence against Cuban Yoel Romero in Chicago in June.

“It was a super-tough call. I’m actually gutted to not get in there and compete for the Commonwealth Games and compete for ,” Whittaker told AAP on Saturday.

“I’m always up for the challenge and the opportunity to represent but one (UFC) pays the bills.

“If I would have got injured during the Games, I would have been stripped of my belt and the implications and consequences of that are quite drastic.

“I can’t risk that for me or my family. I’ve put a lot of hard work in.

“I know my priorities and fighting in the UFC and the mixed martial arts is always my greatest priority.

“UFC have made it clear that they don’t really want me to compete. It is what it is.”

Whittaker said his decision would make it hard to represent at other major international wrestling competitions, including the Olympics.

“It’s definitely difficult for me,” he said.

“To be honest, I’m not sure if that path follows my path in mixed martial arts.

“I wrestle on the side to keep me sharp and to increase my skill set in wrestling for mixed martial arts, not the other way around.”

Waratahs hope to put heat on the Rebels

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By , 25/04/2020 19:39

NSW Waratahs plan to use Sunday’s heat to their advantage against the Melbourne Rebels.The NSW Waratahs plan on running the Melbourne Rebels ragged when the heat is truly on in Sunday’s Super Rugby conference derby at Allianz Stadium.

The competition’s heat rule will likely be in effect, with extra drinks breaks compulsory if the mercury soars above 35C in Sydney, as predicted.

Far from concerned, the Waratahs are embracing the chance to potentially brutal conditions and hope the 4pm kick-off will prove advantageous to the hosts.

“It’s part of the game and both teams are going to have to deal with it,” NSW captain Michael Hooper said.

“We’ve worked hard, we’ve been training in a lot of this heat for the majority of the season and overseas was quite like this.

“The Sharks game (in Durban) was really warm in the afternoon, particularly in the first half.

“It’s crazy hot but it’s not too different from what we had previously.”

Hooper and his Waratahs hope their Victorian-based counterparts wilt in the soaring temperatures, particularly late in both halves, allowing match-winners such as Kurtley Beale and Israel Folau to cash in.

“Hopefully that’s an advantage,” fullback Bryce Hegarty said.

“We won’t do anything too differently. We’ve got a game plan and that changes each week to week but we’ll continue to play our game.

“We’re a smaller more mobile team so we’ll play to that.

“There’s some big ball carriers in their side and we’ve got to nullify them early and get on top of them. Hopefully it’ll open up a bit later.”

With a win, a draw and a loss in three starts, the Waratahs have already slipped nine competition points behind the unbeaten Rebels and can’t afford any more early-season slip-ups.

Melbourne captain Adam Coleman says the Rebels won’t underestimate their struggling rivals, especially with Wallabies enforcers Sekope Kepu and Rob Simmons back to bolster their pack.

“For years the Waratahs have been a class outfit,” said Coleman, himself returning to the Rebels second row after two weeks out with a sternum injury.

“They’ve got threats throughout the field and a very good forward pack. They’ve got Simmo back to shore up their lineout and Keps back to shore up their scrum, so no doubt they will be a different beast come Sunday.”

Robbie learned of Tarantino role online

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By , 25/04/2020 19:39

Margot Robbie is in to premier her first animated movie Peter Rabbit.Margot Robbie discovered she’d landed a major role in the next Tarantino movie from an article online.

Robbie will play the late actress Sharon Tate in the Pulp Fiction director’s upcoming film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, which also stars Robbie’s Wolf of Wall Street co-star Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt.

“I only just got the offer two days ago, well I read about it online in fact,” Robbie told AAP in Sydney.

The Oscar-nominated actress is focused on her first animated role in the Peter Rabbit movie, and came home for the film’s premiere in Sydney on Saturday.

But she had to make a call to her team to find out if the Tarantino role had come through.

“I didn’t even know if it was a true article or not so I called up and I was like ‘is there an offer in?’ and they were like ‘there is’ so now I step aside and let my team do their work,” she said.

Robbie was in the same spot she’d stood in just over a month ago promoting a very different film, I, Tonya, at its Sydney premiere which happened to be the same day she found out about her Oscar nomination for Best Actress.

She has been busy since then taking meetings for new projects with the intention of paying it forward to up-and-coming filmmakers.

“Things have been really exciting and I’m taking a lot of meetings with the lesser-known talent at the moment, the indie film makers, first and second time filmmakers, mainly women,” she said.

“Actually the meetings I’m doing are very different to the kind of meetings when I first got here ( Hollywood) it was like ‘how can I meet with the most established people’ and now it’s like ‘well I know the established people I really want to start working with the new talent’.

“I’m in a lovely position where I can actually help get things greenlit so I want to work with people who we haven’t seen yet.”

In her first animated role she plays Peter Rabbit’s sister, Flopsy, from the classic Beatrix Potter tale, and drew on her own experience as a sister to three siblings.

“There is a bit of contention about who’s in charge amongst the triplets and Elizabeth’s (Debicki) character Mopsy is known as being the eldest and therefore there’s a constant rivalry there, as there was in my family growing up like who’s getting the front seat and that sort of thing. We kind of brought a bit of that sibling dynamic to this film,” she said.

Robbie’s co-star, and fellow Aussie, Elizabeth Debicki flew in to Sydney from London for the n premiere.

The Guardians of the Galaxy star was particularly pleased to be bringing this beloved story to the big screen.

“I think Beatrix Potter belongs to everyone. Every minute four Beatrix-Potter books are sold all over the world,” Debicki told AAP.

“It’s really fun and joyful and I’d never done animation before so it was a challenge. It’s kind of like an acting laboratory really, it’s just you and a mic in a dark room doing voice over.”

*Peter Rabbit opens in n cinemas on Thursday, March 22

Labor’s Kearney wins Batman by-election

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By , 25/04/2020 19:39

Labor Leader Bill Shorten admits holding the federal seat of Batman will be a tough fight. Labor supporters start to celebrate as the count begins to go their way for the Batman by-election.

Labor has claimed victory in the federal Melbourne seat of Batman after a tightly contested by-election battle with the Greens.

Former ACTU boss Ged Kearney emerged the winner on Saturday with 42 per cent of the primary vote, 52 per cent on a two-party basis, trumping the Greens candidate Alex Bhathal who has now lost the seat six times.

Ms Kearney, who does not live in the inner-metropolitan electorate, is yet to attend the Labor by-election party to make her victory speech, but Greens leader Richard Di Natale has conceded defeat.

The mood was electric at the Labor camp in Thornbury, with supporters wearing red chanting ‘Ged, Ged’ and ‘solidarity forever’ as results poured in, though the count remained neck-in-neck for some time.

Federal Labor MP Maria Vamvakinou was confident the party would retain the long-held seat, left vacant by Labor’s David Feeney after he resigned amidst the citizenship saga.

She said that was largely due to Ms Kearney’s work history, as a nurse and unionist, and warm character.

“I think all that made a big difference in terms of engaging people locally and perhaps getting them to refocus on Labor and a Labor agenda,” the Member for Calwell told AAP.

“I’m feeling confident that Ged has done everything possible to maintain the seat today.”

Mr Feeney was also at the party, but did not wish to comment.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten earlier said Labor had faced a tough fight.

But he said Ms Kearney helped put Labor in a very competitive position.

“She represents real change for the seat and real change for the lives of many of the people in this seat,” Mr Shorten told reporters earlier on Saturday.

Ms Kearney said Labor had run an excellent campaign.

The Liberal Party did not run a candidate in Saturday’s by-election.

Two-party preferred, there has been a swing to Ms Kearney of just over one percent, while Ms Bhathal experienced a swing against her of the same margin.

Ms Bhathal, who has denied allegations against her of bullying and intimidation, claimed 41 per cent of the primary vote, with about 48 per cent on a two-party preferred.

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