Crunch … Bulldog Josh Jackson is slammed in Friday’s game against Manly.JAMIE LYON believes Manly can still mount a title defence even if a calf injury rules him out of Friday’s elimination final at Allianz Stadium.
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Injuries and probable suspensions are sure to test the Sea Eagles’ depth after a brutal loss to Canterbury at ANZ Stadium on Friday night. The fallout from the opening night of the play-offs include:

❏ A calf injury that forced Lyon off in the first half;

❏ Co-captain Jason King being placed on report for a high shot on Aiden Tolman;

❏ Steve Matai also being placed on report, for clocking Kiwi counterpart Sam Perrett high;

❏ Joe Galuvao in doubt with a calf injury;

❏ An injury cloud over forward Tony Williams following reports he hyperextended a knee.

Lyon limped off after just 25 minutes, forcing NSW utility Jamie Buhrer to cover for him in the centres.

”Not sure – hopefully it settles down well and we’ll see how it is,” Lyon said of his chances of playing this week. ”I was just going to sprint off and felt something go. I would have rather have been out there but these things happen. Hopefully it’s not too bad … Definitely, it’s not the best. We’ve got to grin and bear it, and hopefully the [scan] results are good.”

Asked if the premiers could rebound with so many stars in doubt, the former NSW and Australian representative said: ”It’s going to be tough but we’ll still field a strong team. We’ll come out firing next Friday and hopefully we’ll put in a good performance.”

The Sea Eagles face the prospect of having both their centres ruled out, meaning Buhrer will probably take one of the spots.

”I think he did a good job tonight and if he gets that opportunity next week I’m sure he’ll be able to handle it,” Lyon said. ”We’ll just have to wait and see how many troops we’ve got next week.”

Perrett has no memory of the Matai incident – and large patches of the game – that left him with a sore jaw. ”To be honest, I don’t remember a whole lot,” he said. ”I copped a whack in the head. I just can’t remember patches. I’ve got a sore jaw. I guess he got me somewhere there … I guess I was on autopilot.

”I felt fine, but just memory-wise I just had glimpses of the game, pictures and bits and pieces.”

Asked if Matai deserved to be suspended, he replied: ”He got put on report? I don’t know, I’d have to see it. It’s never nice anyone getting suspended but I guess I’d have to see it.”

Matai has 46 carry-over points and a 70 per cent loading from two previous charges, meaning a grade-one charge will rule him out for two weeks.

”It was a tough, physical game,” he said on the Manly website. ”It didn’t look too bad to me.”

Galuvao hopes for a swift recovery, saying: ”I’m pretty confident I’ll be out there next week. I think I’m just more old than anything. I got a sore calf as well and they took me off for precautionary reasons. I’ve got scans on Monday.

”I’m not ruling myself out. We’re all professional players and need to do what we do, do the rehab.”

Manly came into the match as premiership favourites but the Bulldogs now have that mantle, firming into $3. After defeating Des Hasler’s former team, his side enjoys a two-week break and is one victory away from a grand final appearance.

However, the Sea Eagles, who will need to win three on the trot, are not discounting their chances of becoming the first team since the 1992-93 Brisbane Broncos outfits to go back to back in a unified competition. ”We’ve faced adversity like this all year,” Galuvao said. ”We’ll get in on Monday and prepare as normal. All the boys are mentally tough and it’s what we’re known for.”

Tolman, who was awarded man-of-the-match honours, did not want to be drawn on the hit by King.

”Not too much,” he said of his recollections. I was a little bit dazed but that’s just part of the game. To be honest, it doesn’t really bother me. The judiciary is there to handle that sort of stuff.”

Twitter – @proshenks

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Mulloway answer is obvious

October 10th, 2018 / / categories: 南京桑拿荤场 /

There’s something seriously wrong when our fisheries managers call for public submissions to help save the mulloway (aka jewfish) while letting commercial fishers take big breeding specimens in their nets.
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We’ve campaigned here before, but the beach-haul fishery on the north coast supposedly chasing sea mullet nets an awful lot of mature 20-30 kilogram female jewfish.

Boxes upon boxes of the fish are put through the fish co-operatives every year. The bycatch of beach-haul netters, some 500 kilograms allowed to each fisher annually, seems to be the target instead.

Meanwhile, you can see hundreds more dead juvenile jewfish floating on the surface after their prawn trawlers empty their nets around estuary mouths.

More than once I’ve seen a stream of dead jewfish float past on the Hawkesbury. These fish aren’t counted in the catch rates.

I’ve also watched a local pro pick boxes of school jewfish out of his gill net while moored at Brooklyn. Anglers, on the other hand, are allowed to keep only two fish over 70 centimetres in length and no more than five over 45 centimetres. To catch a big jewfish is no mean feat. It’s a measure of great skill and a pinnacle of one’s fishing career.

The Department of Primary Industries concedes that mulloway have been overfished and a recovery program is required to help rebuild the population to a sustainable level.

It’s asking anglers to have their say on mulloway. Doubtless we will be restricted some more, but what the DPI needs to do is look at unsustainable commercial fishing practices instead. The mulloway recovery web page links from fisheries.nsw.gov.au.

Our central coast stringer Scott Thorrington has been taking more big kingfish on the deep reefs on jigs and live baits. Line-snipping leatherjackets hunting in packs are proving costly, however.

Colleague Paul Minto was scoring snapper, morwong and flathead out wide before the wind came up. Reef fishing has been pretty good all the way south to the Hump near Stanwell Park. Aussie salmon schools are around the headlands and beaches, while big black drummer are patrolling the washes. Bread berley and bait will be their undoing. We also hear of a good early run of lobsters on the kelp beds.

Hawkesbury reports are rare, but there’s generally more talk of flathead and flounder in most estuaries. That said, it’s the luderick that is omnipresent, with some real thumpers about.

As if to prove as much, Harbour guide Stuart Reid had a cracker week on the luderick around the mouth of Middle Harbour and at Sow and Pigs. Middle Head is a better option for land-based anglers.

Rippling schools of Aussie salmon have been parked between The Heads, especially midweek, while trevally are holding in the deeper holes, including those in Botany Bay.

There have been some big whiting mooching around Manly and doubtless other harbour beaches.

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Religion, according to Law

August 8th, 2018 / / categories: 南京桑拿荤场 /

Benjamin Law: ‘I find humour in discomfort’.A self-confessed Catholic atheist, a politician who once called for a religious monument to be built on Mt Bartle Frere and an author is at home discussing Marcel Proust as he is bodily fluids.
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All debating the Bible and whether reading it, is good for you.

In public.

What on earth could go wrong?

A whole bunch of things, according to Brisbane Proust-discussing, bodily fluid aficionado, author Benjamin Law.

“I find humour in discomfort,” Law said.

“And the fact that Germaine Greer and Bob Katter are on the same side, on the same team, I think is going to be just hilarious.

“I have a feeling that even though they are on the same team, they are going to contradict each other while me and [fellow debaters] Richard Holloway, Jacqui Payne and Rachel Sommerville just smile along smugly with our hands behind our backs.”

Whether the audience watching the Brisbane Writer’s Festival Great Debate tonight shares that smug smile is yet to be seen, but Law said at the very least it opens the topic up for discussion.

“I quite like the Bible; I spent 12 years at a Christian school,” he said.

“I’m not religious myself, but it is an interesting book. I think that people should read it; I just don’t think it is necessarily good for you.

“The debate topic is that reading the Bible is good for you and [my argument] is that it is good for you, but only if you have religious and theological authorities to put the Bible into context for you, to translate it as a guide for good modern living.

“If you just pick up the book and read it, which is how most people read text, it is not going to be necessarily a healthy outcome.”

Which brings Law to a topic close to many writers and readers hearts; context.

“Context is everything. You can’t read Huckleberry Finn, or any of the books by Mark Twain now without coming across the N-word,” he said.

“These are really lovely books, but words which were acceptable then are not acceptable now and as a child, you can’t just read Mark Twain books and come across the N-word and think that is OK.

“You do need someone explaining to you that these were written in a very certain cultural context in a very certain period in time.”

And the same goes for the Bible, he said.

“I think even if God looked down at the Bible now, he’d probably think it was a little bit dated and it was probably worth updating for the 2000th anniversary edition,” he said.

“It is not just about providing context, it is about debating context as well, which is exactly what we are doing on Saturday night.

“I never think it is a great idea to say ‘here is a text’ and say ‘here is how you must digest it, or interpret it, or apply it to your life’. There needs to be a level of free will and critical analysis too.”

As a member of Queensland’s small but passionate author’s club, Law is used to critical analysis, both of his work and his state.

But with the Brisbane Writer’s Festival in its 50th year and the recent show of support for Queensland’s literary scene after the axing of the Premier’s Literary Awards by the new government, Law remains proud of his home state’s “incredibly supportive and really tight” writing scene.

“One of the reasons I have stayed in Brisbane, even though a lot of my friends have moved on to Melbourne to become writers, is that there is a really great scene here,” he said.

“You’ll go to book events or go down the street and there is Nick Earls and there’s [brisbanetimes南京夜网.au columnist] John Birmingham, some of the really great Australian writers out there and they are just so easily accessible.

“It has always been a really great supportive scene and even with an institution like the Premier’s Awards being cut, the writing and the publishing community is robust enough to make an award of their own and I think that is a testament to the people’s passion in this town for writing and literature.”

Which leaves Law feeling that writing and its Newtonian result, reading, is in a pretty good place in 2012.

“There has just been this glut of books, fiction and non-fiction, it has just been so good, internationally and Australian,” he said.

“There is nothing like reading a book and to me, it really doesn’t matter if you are reading it is a paper back or reading it on your e-reader, the thirst for good writing hasn’t diminished at all.”

More information on the Brisbane Writer’s Festival can be found at the BWF website.

Benjamin Law’s second book, Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East, is out now.

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There is no way this can end well

March 10th, 2019 / / categories: 南京桑拿荤场 /

Tragicomic touch … Mark Watson embraces serious subjects.Writers invariably look to their personal life for inspiration. Mark Watson has twin sisters, but he is adamant the sibling relationship in his latest novel, The Knot, is entirely the product of his imagination.
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”They are a lot younger than me so there can’t be any accusations that the book is autobiographical,” he says.

That is a relief, given Watson’s protagonists, Dominic, and his elder sister, Victoria, end up sleeping together. ”I wanted to explore a relationship not seen very often in literature,” the 32-year-old English author and comedian says.

Watson admits it was no easy feat portraying with sympathy two characters committing one of life’s greatest taboos. ”It’s one of the few areas of behaviour that can’t be forgiven or explained,” he says. ”It’s a challenge to make a likeable novel out of something people are instinctively put off by.”

Since Sophocles penned Oedipus the King and Antigone, writers have usually taken a dim view of sexual relationships between family members as either non-consensual or leading to disaster.

Yet Watson, who is best known in Australia as a stand-up comedian and is also a regular on British television, takes a different approach in his fifth novel.

The Knot opens in a country church, where the narrator, Dominic, a wedding photographer for 35 years, describes a typical English wedding. He also wearily observes: ”I have seen marriage vows broken on the same day they were made, witnessed a jilting at the altar … I don’t think there is anything that can happen at a wedding which I haven’t seen.”

Speaking with a gravelly voice from Edinburgh, where he has been performing his latest stand-up act, The Information, Watson says he has long toyed with writing about a wedding photographer, a marginal character in someone else’s drama.

Yet the drama in Dominic’s own life far outweighs the drunken grooms and nubile bridesmaids who populate his working days. The youngest of three children, Dominic lives in awe of his sister, Victoria, but is gently despised by brother, Max. His parents are typical of the interwar generation – hard-working and decent, but lacking emotion.

Watson says he deliberately cast Dominic as an underdog, a likeable if feckless person who is buffeted by events. ”I tried to stack things in Dom’s favour so there’d be room to side with him despite everything that goes on,” he says.

There is nothing graphic in Watson’s exploration of Dominic’s relationship with his older sister, which evolves over the novel from hero worship to lover, albeit briefly.

Indeed, Watson is at his most circumspect in describing the consummation of their relationship; like an ostrich with its head in the sand, Dominic shuts his eyes and brain and pretends the woman in his bed could be anybody but his sister: ”I clung on to these thoughts and let myself topple over the precipice.”

Watson says his failure to describe the sex act between brother and sister was not intended as a cop-out.

But, he adds: ”I couldn’t see a scenario where it wouldn’t be cringeworthy and unpleasant to read. I did feel on the whole that if I went into any more detail it would be that little bit too far for readers.”

Watson also deliberately avoids using the word incest. ”The book is about the narrator’s attempts to deal with temptation and then attempt to deal with the actual act,” he says.

But Watson does not allow his characters to avoid the consequences of their actions, although they do not suffer the calamity that befalls Oedipus, Antigone and most other fictional characters who indulge in such a relationship.

Dominic and Victoria are not the only characters hiding secrets in The Knot; no character emerges squeaky-clean by the end of Watson’s novel.

In the past, Watson has described his novels as serious and tragicomic, and The Knot certainly fits that description. Watson’s comedy shows, many of which he has performed in Australia, have touched on serious topics such as religion, climate change and cyber-fraud.

”I suppose with stand-up you have to go for the instant laughs,” he says.

”Even if I’m taking on more complex subjects, it’s still always about the punchlines.”

The Knot might be laden with characters carrying dark secrets but Watson’s life seems to be an open book. He proposed to his wife of six years, Emily Watson Howes, during a 24-hour comedy show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2004.

”I suppose a lot of my more annoying qualities were more obvious when we got married,” Watson says. ”Funnily enough, one thing I get pulled up on is that I don’t communicate very well.”

As for his sisters, Watson says one of them has read The Knot and ”she really liked it”. ”When she’s back we’ll have to discuss it in greater detail.”

The Knot by Mark Watson is published by Simon & Schuster, $29.99.

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Snugglepot and Cuddlepie – May Gibbs
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If a gardener can be made and not born, then Snugglepot and Cuddlepie are responsible for my green thumb. May Gibbs’s whimsical stories were the start of my love affair with the Australian bush. The Banksia men may have sent me skittering away from shadows, but they also made me look closely at the natural world.

The Margaret Fulton Cookbook

After a disastrous year in grade 8 home economics, Fulton’s simple recipes were a huge relief. It seemed I could cook after all. Her comfort food still makes my dinner guests close their eyes with delight. Those who tasted my early efforts now appreciate the 21st-century spin – bush-tucker berries are perfect with a decadent pavlova. (Those Banksia men have a lot to answer for!)

Puberty Blues – Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey

While my family thought I was destined to be a wife, mother and good cook, I had other ideas. As a surfboard-riding tomboy of the ’70s, reading Puberty Blues was the slap in the face I needed to break me out of my mould. I was incensed by the book’s inference that all young women in the surfing culture made bad choices and allowed themselves to be used by men.

The Fun of It – Amelia Earhart

Since surfing wasn’t a career option, I sought the advice of the school’s guidance counsellor. ”Nursing would be good,” she told me in response to my request for information on flying lessons. She didn’t know that aviation had fascinated me for years. Looking back over my 25-year career in aviation, I wonder where I’d be if I’d taken her advice instead of stubbornly following my dream.

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

Stubborn or not, at my heart I’m a romantic and Jane Eyre remains the ultimate love story. The wildness of the moors, the threads of mystery, the sense of impending doom, coupled with compelling internal and external conflicts – the heart of any good story – kept me riveted. Jane Eyre’s fortitude and Mr Rochester’s redemption on the road to finding love are examples of beautiful characterisation.

Helene Young is an Australian commercial airline pilot and author of the romantic suspense novels Wings of Fear and Shattered Sky. Her latest book is Burning Lies (Michael Joseph, $29.95). 

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MICK: THE WILD LIFE AND MAD GENIUS OF JAGGERChristopher AndersenNewSouth Books, $34.99
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Forget the hoary question of whether you would let your daughter marry a Rolling Stone, the decision now is whether you’d let your mother read one of their biographies. Tawdry and decidedly lightweight, Christopher Andersen’s book about Mick Jagger, frontman for the group routinely described as the greatest rock’n’roll band of all time, is nearly as irrelevant as its subject’s intermittent solo career.

The Rolling Stones celebrated their 50th anniversary recently, with the band’s first gig taking place on July 12, 1962, at London’s Marquee Club, and this book ties in with that via an extended update of Andersen’s 1993 paperback, Jagger: Unauthorised (a book that is curiously absent from the published list of the author’s previous works). The presentation of this hardcover improves on its predecessor, but they’re both, in essence, lurid and repetitive reads.

Andersen, whose specialty is British and American royalty (the Windsors and Kennedys, respectively), focuses on Jagger’s sex life, identifying the one-time London School of Economics student as bisexual. The musician’s immense back catalogue gets short shrift: the classic 1971 album Sticky Fingers earns a paragraph, while Angelina Jolie, who strutted through a Stones video clip in 1997 and allegedly caught Jagger’s eye, receives five pages.

The book relies on a wealth of previously published material. Andersen hasn’t interviewed Stones talisman Keith Richards, but he’s read the guitarist’s autobiography, Life. The trials of Jagger’s career, such as gaining control of the band’s finances and his creative relationships with Richards, are referenced without insight, making way for a list of male and female conquests that grows astronomical through suggestion.

Andersen’s problem is that, at the age of 69, Jagger has long been well defined. A compelling frontman turned preening showman on the stage, and a ruthless careerist with a social chameleon’s skills off it, Jagger’s played the anti-establishment provocateur and then accepted a knighthood, and apart from when the Rolling Stones are engaged in selling out stadiums, he’s simply a famous face with more lines than you remember.

At a certain point, roughly when Andersen has Jerry Hall seeing off Carla Bruni in the 1990s, the endless listing of Jagger’s assignations and the text’s uninformed, moralistic tone manages to render Jagger a sympathetic figure. Andersen links Jagger with the late Princess Margaret, suggests Princess Diana was intrigued and even shoehorns Pippa Middleton in, and, if nothing else, it makes you appreciate Jagger’s fortitude.

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Bookshop

March 10th, 2019 / / categories: 南京桑拿荤场 /

SHADOW OF THE ROCKThomas Mogford, Bloomsbury, $29.99
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The successful detective novel depends on the interplay between the setting, crime and characters. Here the background is unusual, for Mogford writes of Gibraltar and Tangier. A Sephardic Jew is accused of murdering an heiress in Morocco. He flees to the Rock and an old lawyer friend, Spike. Old forms of corruption meet new technologies, but misogyny still reigns. A new, intriguing voice, but the setting is so intense, it’s overpowering.

SOME REMARKSNeal Stephenson, Atlantic, $32.99

Stephenson the novelist’s forte is technology and its history. Here he sidesteps into shorter form, collecting several stories, essays and interviews. They range typically widely. Arsebestos is about the physical dangers of sitting. Elsewhere, he takes a geek’s tour of the world, following fibre-optic cables. He shines when connecting the techie dots. His novels can be interminable, so these small bites are attractive, quickly consumed.

NORWEGIAN BY NIGHTDerek B. Miller, Scribe, $32.95

Miller’s debut novel takes some unlikely ingredients that, when thrown together, work. Sheldon Horowitz is 82, an ex-marine, proudly Jewish-American. He relocates to Norway for family. An act of violence reawakens his fighting skills and his conscience. Suddenly he is on the run in a foreign land, with a small child in tow. He is also at the stage of early dementia. Add some Kosovar villains and a dogged detective, and the novel becomes utterly compelling.

BOOK THAT CHANGED ME: Helene Young

SNUGGLEPOT AND CUDDLEPIEMay Gibbs

If a gardener can be made and not born, then Snugglepot and Cuddlepie are responsible for my green thumb. May Gibbs’ whimsical stories were the start of my love affair with the Australian bush. The Banksia men may have sent me skittering away from shadows, but they also made me look closely at the natural world.

Helene Young is an Australian commercial airline pilot and award-winning author of the romantic suspense novels Wings of Fear and Shattered Sky. Her latest book is Burning Lies (Michael Joseph, $29.95).

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Say You’re Sorry

March 10th, 2019 / / categories: 南京桑拿荤场 /

Australian author Michael Robotham.SAY YOU’RE SORRYMichael RobothamSphere, $29.99
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Mention Oxford and most of us think of the university’s dreaming spires, the quaint pubs and historic tourist trails, so effectively used on television as Morse and Lewis track a wayward student, a mysterious bluestocking or desperate don.

Yet not so far from all of this picturesque splendour are smaller, lesser known and more typical towns, some with housing estates on their fringes that could just as easily be found in any of England’s big cities. These towns and estates are peopled by a more usual cross-section of English society: the well-to-do, ordinary workers, strugglers, the poorly educated, and, alas, gangs and drug dealers.

It is this latter milieu that Australian Michael Robotham largely mines in his latest novel, Say You’re Sorry, again featuring Joe O’Loughlin, psychologist and criminal profiler. O’Loughlin is a refreshingly unusual crime investigator, not for being separated – pretty usual in this genre – but for suffering the early stages of Parkinson’s disease.

O’Loughlin is travelling by train to Oxford from London in winter, accompanied by his teenage daughter, Charlie, to deliver a lecture. As the train nears Oxford, it passes a group of police removing a young woman’s body from a frozen lake.

Unbeknown to O’Loughlin, he will soon be involved in the unexpectedly resurrected case of the missing ”Bingham Girls”, two teenagers who disappeared from nearby Bingham three years earlier, for the body in the lake turns out to be that of Natasha ”Tash” McBain, one of the pair – and she only died recently.

So where had Tash been during the ensuing time? Given that she survived until recently, could her best friend, Piper Hadley, who disappeared with her, still be alive? And if so, where is she?

As the revived case gets under way, overshadowed by a double murder that may or may not be connected, old ground is revisited and new avenues explored.

Initially, O’Loughlin is employed by the police to profile the perpetrator of the double murder, but he’s then brought in to the Bingham Girls case. This second case will touch him in a personal way through Charlie, who is feisty and difficult at times.

Robotham tells his tale with parallel narratives. One is O’Loughlin’s, in which we accompany him, his former police offsider and the local force in the renewed investigation. The other is the writings of Piper, from which we learn about her, Tash, their families, friends and relationships.

Employing these dual storylines generally works well, as they deliver two aspects of the same case and allow, through Piper’s words, an insight into parts of it that are unknown to O’Loughlin and the police. This also maintains a running tension as you don’t know whether Piper’s story will turn out to have been told by a girl who is still alive or one we will discover to be dead.

As effective as this duality is for the most part, having Piper still telling her story towards the end of the novel tends to upset the book’s overall narrative balance. It may have been more effective for the author to have ended Piper’s tale before the extremely gripping climax begins.

Despite this, Robotham has provided a first-rate psychological thriller containing a disturbing and menacing central story flanked by acute observations about people under stress and how they react.

The well-drawn characters on either side of the crime make fine supports for a wounded hero in a wounded world.

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A decade ago, five-time British Open Champion Tom Watson was one of the headline acts on his last visit to this part of the world for the Australian Masters and we questioned, at his then age of 53, if his appearance was purely ceremonial.
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He bristled at the suggestion. “What am I? 44-1. I’d be worth a few dollars,” he said with a smile. Well, actually he was paying $51, but those who took his advice did their money. With rounds of 73-77-70-74 he finished tied 46th behind Peter Lonard, who beat Gavin Coles and Adam Scott in a play-off.

Now, the 63-year-old Watson will surely be asked the same question when he arrives for the Australian Open at The Lakes in early December.

Almost certainly appearance money has changed hands, so is Golf Australia banking on the nostalgia factor or can he genuinely contend for the title he won at Royal Melbourne back in 1984? He would be prohibitive odds to make the cut, and rightfully so.

Three years ago, at Turnberry, Watson nearly won a sixth British Open to equal the legendary Harry Vardon. He missed a three-metre putt on the 72nd hole and was then beaten in a four-hole play-off by Stewart Cink. This year at Royal Lytham and St Anne’s he made his 35th cut in the open but eventually finished tied 77th.

At The Lakes, I would not dismiss him from calculations. His swing is as sweet as ever and the course measures 6264 metres, far shorter than championship layouts these days, so Watson would not be seriously disadvantaged against the younger brigade.

So, call his visit ceremonial at your peril and also marvel at an ageless, gracious champion of the past, maybe even the present.

MAJOR ATTRACTIONS

The drip feed of player announcements for our major tournaments this summer has started with last year’s US Masters winner, South African Charl Schwartzel, and American Jason Dufner announced for the $2 million Perth International at Lake Karrinyup next month, and former US Open champion Graeme McDowell and defending champion Ian Poulter confirmed for the Australian Masters. Adam Scott is playing in Perth plus at the Masters and the Open, while Greg Chalmers is defending both the Open and PGA, events that Geoff Ogilvy will also contest. Greg Norman has played the Open for the past three years as part of his contract with Destination NSW and while his association with the state government’s tourism arm continues, he will not be playing in the Open, but rather the Shark Shootout in the US due to a clash of dates. Norman will, though, be at Coolum for the PGA Championship.

THE $100 MILLION MAN

The first cheque Jack Nicklaus ever won as a professional golfer, $33.33 for tied 50th in the 1962 Los Angeles Open, was never cashed and is mounted in a display case in the Jack Nicklaus Museum in Columbus, Ohio, but apparently Tiger Woods didn’t keep his first pay cheque for posterity. It was for tied 60th in the Greater Milwaukee Open in September 1996 and how his fortune has amassed since then. Last weekend, Woods finished tied third behind Rory McIlroy in the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston and his cheque for $US544,000 ($526,375) took him past the $US100 million mark. The PGA Tour stats department tells us it took Woods 277 tournaments to accumulate that amount, averaging $US362,276 in each event, while Sam Snead who won 82 tournaments, eight more that Woods’s 74, collected a total of $US820,000 in his career that spanned from 1937 until 1979.

PLAYING FAVOURITES

Next week is the final women’s major of the year, the Women’s British Open at Royal Liverpool, and seven Australians are exempt – Karrie Webb, Katherine Hull, Rebecca Artis, Stacey Keating, Karen Lunn, Sarah-Jane Smith and Lindsey Wright. If an Australian doesn’t win, and that is looking at it parochially, may it be two who we’d regard as honorary Aussies – Laura Davies, who seems to regard our country as a second home, or 15-year-old Kiwi Lydia Ko, who just a few weeks ago became the youngest winner of an LPGA event.

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Champion hoop Greg Ryan and owner-trainer Graham Payne are poised for revenge with Kinetics in today’s $25,000 Black Nugget Cup (1600 metres) at Mudgee. The gelding has won nine times and finished a close second to Pesci in last year’s event. Kinetics is coming off a fifth to Poor Judge in the Moree Cup but Payne said forget the run. Previously, the six-year-old scored at Scone and four starts back won the Wauchope Cup. Meanwhile, Moruya hold a seven-race meeting today featuring the $20,000 Club Keno Cup and $17,000 Stayers Cup.
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BOOKIES HIT FOR SIX

A group of first-time owners and members of the Ganmain Cricket Club left bookmakers reeling at Parkes last Saturday following the win of A Little Alert. Ganmain is a small town near Wagga noted for its chaff production. The 13 owners unleashed on the Brad Witt-trained debutante, backing her from $3.20 into $1.50 favouritism. The group hit just about every bagman, one bookmaker’s last bet was $500 at $1.30. Ridden by Joel Maconachie, the daughter of Alert and Aurora Blue strolled home in the 800m maiden by two lengths much to the cricketers’ delight.

RARE FEAT BY PHILLIPS

South coast jockey Tim Phillips joined the likes of Athol Mulley, Greg Ryan, Len Harris, Graeme Birney, Bill Aspros and Doug Weir when he rode the entire program at Marthaguy picnics held at Quambone last Saturday. Phillips, 39, won the five-race card on She’s A Cutie, Maximum Vision, Spinning Yarns, the Quambone Picnic Cup on Orbit and King Con, all at short odds. The last of the 47 jockeys to achieve the feat was Greg Ryan at Parkes on August 26, 2006.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Reader David Kelley from Cooma makes a valid point in regards to programming and community race clubs. “Old-timers point to paddocks around the Monaro district and talk about race meetings held there years ago, more recently Cooma, Bombala and Adaminaby had multiple meetings, which have now been whittled back to one meeting each a year each. In recent years, field sizes have been an issue but the biggest problem has been attracting enough jockeys, a case in point was at Cooma two meetings ago when horses had to be scratched because there were no jockeys to ride them. And the reason I primarily write to you now – the Gundagai three-day carnival over a Thursday, Friday and Saturday in November each year – has this year been moved and clashes with the once-a-year meeting at Adaminaby. On a geographical issue and logistics in this area, I can assure you Gundagai will take horses, and particularly jockeys, away from Adaminaby. Why do programmers not consider this when setting dates? It has occurred previously here where Cooma and Bombala have a once-a-year meeting scheduled only to have nearby Queanbeyan and Canberra have a meeting the day before or in such proximity. The three small clubs mentioned all have voluntary committees who work hard to give the community racing. If country racing keeps stepping backwards at such a rate as it has in the last 20 years, there will be more paddocks where race meetings used to be held.”

TAB meetings: Today – Moruya, Mudgee. Monday – Albury, Coffs Harbour. Tuesday – Queanbeyan, Tamworth. Friday – Ballina, Canberra. Saturday – Armidale.

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

STUART MACGILL is set to retire from cricket once and for all after being offered a paltry $20,000 contract with the Sydney Sixers.
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While some critics questioned whether MacGill was past it, the former Australian leg-spinner proved the doubters wrong when he returned from retirement to play in the inaugural Big Bash League.

At the age of 41, MacGill was one of the tournament’s best-performing bowlers, snaring seven wickets at an average of 23.7 with an economy rate of just 6.64.

But rather than rewarding him with a better deal, Sixers management is believed to have again tabled the minimum contract permissible. While a $1 million salary cap the amount the squad can earn, MacGill’s offer was a fraction of what some of his teammates were offered. Third-party arrangements are permissible to top up payments, but it is understood the Sixers did not source any for MacGill.

He is juggling several other professional commitments, including a consumer insights position at advertising agency Razor Group and new roles with Google Plus and YouTube. A six-week sabbatical to play cricket, at the minimum wage, could potentially jeopardise those deals.

While the big turner has not provided officials with a definitive decision, sources close to MacGill have told The Sun-Herald he won’t play in the Big Bash League this year. The development also clouds his involvement in the Champions League in South Africa.

”He clearly still has it, he dismissed the best batsman in the competition last year,” a source said. ”I can’t believe they didn’t make him a priority signing.”

Attempts to contact MacGill for comment were unsuccessful.

While many predicted the Twenty20 format would sound the death knell for slow bowlers, MacGill and Melbourne Stars drawcard Shane Warne proved there is room in the game for experienced wrist-spinners. MacGill, who took 208 Test wickets at an average of 29.02, finished with slightly better figures than the ”Sheik of Tweak” last year.

Having already signed stars David Warner, Brad Haddin, Brett Lee, Stephen O’Keefe, Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc, the Sixers roster is almost complete.

Twitter – @proshenks

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AFTER a winter headlined by the defections of Phillip Hughes and Usman Khawaja, NSW are set to give wicketkeeper Peter Nevill a shock promotion to the top of the batting order.
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The bold move will enable the Blues to play glovemen Nevill and Brad Haddin in the same XI while also adding vital experience to a top order decimated by retirements and player movements. Youngsters Nic Maddinson and Scott Henry, who has played two first-class matches, are also in contention for top-order berths for the season-opening Sheffield Shield game against Western Australia starting Tuesday week.

NSW and the Warriors have been handed an unusually early start to their season, especially considering the bulk of their squads will be representing Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers in the Champions League Twenty20 tournament next month. Although asking Nevill to open the batting seems on paper an unorthodox strategy, the Melbourne-born player topped NSW’s run-scoring last summer with 570 at an average of 50 and was one of few Blues to emerge from the season with his reputation enhanced. Nevill toured the West Indies as the Test back-up keeper to Matthew Wade earlier this year and is highly rated within the NSW dressing room.

”When he bats in the middle order he’s had to face the second new ball a lot,” said Stephen O’Keefe, who will skipper the side when Michael Clarke is unavailable. ”He was probably our best batter last year. Technically he’s very sound. I’d like to think of him as a bloke that could bat anywhere from one to six and I’d like to think we can fit him into our batting line-up, even with Brad Haddin in the side.”

The Blues begin their domestic campaign next Sunday in Perth – where last season, despite fielding eight players with international experience, they posted one of the worst performances in the state’s history. ”It really ripped the band-aid off last year,” O’Keefe said. ”It exposed a few issues that we had to address as a squad.”

Stalwarts Simon Katich and Phil Jaques called time on their illustrious careers shortly after and there was more upheaval in the winter when Khawaja and Hughes also departed, for Queensland and South Australia respectively. The Blues will be led in Perth by Clarke, who takes over a side that has done much retrospection after their disappointing campaign last summer. Anthony Stuart remains coach despite much speculation he had lost support within the dressing room and would not see out the full term of his two-year deal.

O’Keefe said it was unfair Stuart had taken the brunt of the blame for NSW’s failure. ”Ultimately the players have to point the fingers at themselves,” O’Keefe said. ”If we look back at everything a lot of the responsibility comes back to us as a player and a group. If we’ve got issues there’s nothing wrong with voicing them or getting out and speaking our mind as opposed to having conversations in alleyways and not expressing our thoughts. This year we have the ability to have that tough conversation and bring up areas we feel like we needed to improve on. Credit to Anthony, he’s worked bloody hard with the squad.”

Shane Watson and David Warner are unavailable for the start of the Blues’ season due to international commitments, as are young guns Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc. The Blues will still field a strong pace attack likely to include rising star Josh Hazlewood, Trent Copeland and Doug Bollinger.

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

JUNIOR Warriors coach John Ackland has shaken off the responsibility of being the club’s only representative in play-off football this season.
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The Warriors under-20s finished second to the Bulldogs on this year’s National Youth Competition table, and will play the Raiders, who finished third, in Canberra today.

The side is bidding to claim its third straight under-20s title, but Ackland, who guided the Warriors to their 2010 and 2011 triumphs, said they were not feeling any heat.

The Warriors first-grade side, and the Auckland Vulcans, the club’s NSW Cup feeder team, missed out on their respective top eights after poor seasons.

”I don’t know about pressure,” Ackland said. ”We’re still playing, so perhaps it’s given some people something to watch for a little bit longer. I wouldn’t like to think there’s any pressure on us. The boys have done very, very well, really. We’ve played a lot of games with four or five that are going to be able to play for three years.

”We’ve battled some injuries to some of our key guys, so for them to finish first equal [on points] after 26 weeks is a fantastic effort, really.”

Because of the lack of a Warriors first-grade home semi-final, the under-20s must travel to Canberra despite finishing above their opponents, who they beat 26-12 last weekend, on the table.

Ackland is not complaining, however. ”If you want to win [it], you’ve got to win in Australia, that’s the bottom line.

”We’re looking forward to playing in the semi-final. The boys are all keen. We’d play them in a car park if we had to. If we do what we do well, and we stick to what works for us, we’ll be very hard to beat.”

NRL rookie Carlos Tuimavave will return to the under-20s for their play-off campaign, after making five first-grade appearances at fullback late in the season, because of the absence of the injured Kevin Locke.

Ackland said his presence will be welcomed by the junior Warriors.

”He can take a lot of confidence out of the way he played for first grade,” Ackland said.

”I thought he acquitted himself very well in the games that he played, in a tough situation and playing in a position he hadn’t played in a long time. It’s … good to have him back.”

”I think a lot of teams, at this time of year, are playing guys that have had some first-grade experience. I don’t think there’s such a thing as a secret weapon in the competition because everything’s on film and everything gets watched ad nauseam.”

”[But] he’s a good player and brings a lot of experience to the team. He’s played in two semi-final campaigns, so I’m just hoping he can lift it for us.”

Tuimavave will play at five-eighth for the Junior Warriors today, while Peter Hiku is likely to wear the No.1 jumper.

Twitter – @benstanleyffx

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