Sliding rule opens ‘grey area’ debate

SYDNEY – The AFL community’s debate over players sliding in legs or knees first has proven divisive, with Sydney coach John Longmire and West Coast counterpart John Worsfold disagreeing on whether there are any grey areas.
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Longmire said yesterday he has no problem with Lindsay Thomas being cleared over the incident that broke young Swan Gary Rohan’s leg – but says the rules concerning the issue are a little confusing and the AFL is still finetuning its approach.

North Melbourne’s Thomas risked a three-game ban when he successfully fought a rough conduct charge at the tribunal on Tuesday night.

The AFL vowed before the season to crack down on players sliding into contests knees or feet first and the Thomas case was the second landmark charge in two weeks.

Swans co-captain Adam Goodes earlier copped a one-week ban for sliding into Port Adelaide’s Jacob Surjan, with the club unsuccessfully challenging that suspension.

“We’ve been in the unenviable position of being on both sides of the debate and discussion over the last week – obviously with Goodesy being suspended and then Gary Rohan having a broken leg,” Longmire said.

“I think there’s still some grey areas when you’re looking at everything. We certainly didn’t have any problem with Lindsay getting off.”

Worsfold later contrasted that view, suggesting the league’s 18 coaches were aware of what’s acceptable.

“I think they were fairly different circumstances (Goodes and Thomas’ incidents) and I still think it’s pretty common sense about what’s correct and what’s not correct. I don’t think there’s too much of a grey area,” Worsfold said.

“I think most people would’ve accepted that. Goodes was found guilty so we’re aware of sliding in like that when somebody has already got the footy, you are going to be at risk.”

Longmire suggested it was difficult to determine how similar the incidents involving Goodes and Thomas were.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.


A game of highlights decided by a dribbler

MELBOURNE – The barest of touches of a boot and the barest of margins separated Collingwood from Essendon yesterday.
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The Magpies won a drama-packed Anzac Day clash 11.14 (80) to 11.13 (79) at the MCG in front of 86,932 fans, thanks mainly to Dane Swan’s magnificent performance.

However, the midfield marvel’s Anzac Medal- winning 42 disposals, 13 clearances and three goals would have been wasted, if not for a dribbled winner from Jarryd Blair, confirmed after a tense wait for a video referral.

It was the last score of a nerve-jangling final term.

Essendon coach James Hird expressed great pride in his team despite the loss.

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley said he would have felt likewise even if a Brent Stanton goal that gave Essendon the lead two minutes from full-time had proved the winner.

“But ultimately, after they’d invested so much through the game, credit to them. They were able to find a little bit more in that last couple of minutes to kick the final score,” Buckley said.

He said his team, still missing premiership stars Luke Ball, Dale Thomas, Heath Shaw, Alan Didak, Ben Reid and Chris Tarrant, had set the bar for its season.

“It’s the closest thing we’ve given to a four- quarter performance this year,” Buckley said.

It was Essendon’s first defeat and gave the Magpies a positive win-loss record (3-2) for the first time.

The Magpies looked superior for much of the day, particularly the first half, when Swan, Scott Pendlebury and Dayne Beams controlled the midfield, Harry O’Brien excelled as a defensive sweeper and Travis Cloke threatened in attack.

Essendon’s Stewart Crameri, who starred with 5.6 against Carlton four days earlier, was superbly held by Nathan Brown, in a brilliant comeback from knee injuries by the Magpies defender, playing his first AFL game since the 2010 grand final.

However, the Bombers stayed in touch, helped by some Collingwood misses.

A sprayed Chris Dawes set shot late in the first half allowed Essendon to race away for an Alwyn Davey goal, keeping the half-time margin to two goals.

It was still within two goals at the last change, despite a heroic 13-touch, two-goal third quarter from Swan.

The buffer stretched to three majors, before a goal to Cory Dell’Olio and two to Davey tied the scores.

Another Magpies miss, from Ben Sinclair, allowed Essendon to hit the front through Stanton’s snap, but only for about 40 seconds, before Blair pounced on a ball that slipped over a goalsquare pack.

“You never want to let the ball get out the back on a wet day,” Hird said, adding it was just one moment among many the Bombers could learn from.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.


Demons duo step up against Somerset

UP AND AWAY: Burnie’s Sam Johnstone puts up a shot in the game against Devonport. Picture: Stuart Wilson.LATROBE coach Jordan Muir hopes Chris Smith and Andrew Woodward will continue to stand tall.
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The pair enjoyed breakout games in the Demons’ 12-point win over Somerset on Tuesday night, with Muir saying the sky was the limit for the big men.

“Chris really came out of his shell and Andrew was very useful as well,” Muir said.

“To have our big guys involved is really important for us and hopefully it’s the start of a run on for them.

“They’re both good players when their confidence is up.”

Not for the first time this year, Jordan Gregg led the way for the Demons on the stats sheet with 20 points and 16 rebounds.

However, Muir was pleased to see not all the responsibility falling to the import.

“Jordan was great, but we had lots of good contributions,” he said.

“We ran all 12 players and they all had an impact.

“We concentrated really hard on defence and let the offence take care of itself.”

The win improves Latrobe’s record to three and eight for the year, keeping it in fifth place.

Somerset is languishing in eight place, but will receive a boost with Tall Timbers Thunder import Blagoj Janev set to suit up for the Heat.

Meanwhile, Ulverstone got the better of reigning premier Wynyard for the second time this season, recording an 11-point win at home.

Shawntes Gary led all comers with 33 points and 18 rebounds, while Wildcats coach Sam Armstrong had 21 points.

Burnie justified its place in the top four with a win over third-placed Devonport.

Larry Williams fell agonisingly short of a triple-double for the Tigers with 25 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, while former Somerset coach Michael Nutt had 19 points.

Penguin snapped a five-game losing streak with a 85-76 away win against Smithton.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.


Devon finally secures its first win of season

TACTICAL: Burnie wing attack Kara Briggs looks to pass the ball past Devon’s Josie Emery. Picture: Stuart Wilson.OPTOMEYES Devon has notched up its first win of the season, taking Coastal bragging rights and the Intercity Challenge Cup in last night’s clash against the Mader Burnie Tigers.
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In front of a vocal crowd in Devonport, the home side out- muscled its Coastal counterparts by nine goals – 37 to 26.

Despite an evenly poised first quarter, with both teams locked at seven goals apiece at the first break, Devon upped the ante in the second quarter to take an 18 to 14 lead into the main break.

Defender Ebony Roberts, who claimed the player of the match award, was simply outstanding in defence, intercepting the ball on numerous occasions to feed into Devon’s attack.

Roberts teamed superbly with Lisa Loubser to limit the Tigers’ avenue to goal.

Burnie shooter Alicia Hammond (13) and Claire Maynard (7) both tried to keep their side in the hunt but with both girls shooting at just 46% accuracy, it was always going to be difficult.

It was a different story for Devon’s shooters as Penny Williams, with 21 goals at 64% accuracy, and Rebecca Hyland, with nine goals and 81% accuracy, gave their team the edge despite some solid defensive plays from Kresta Davies.

Extending the lead to 10 at the final break, Devon managed to hold sway for the morale-boosting win.

The loss leaves the Tigers winless after seven rounds.

In the under 19s, it was Burnie who claimed a resounding 19-goal victory – 53 to 34 – with the Tigers’ centre Kirsten Loring named player of the match.

Devon will play host to the northern based Hawks next Saturday night at St Brendan Shaw, while Burnie has the week off after a loss to the Cavaliers on Saturday.

The Cavaliers were far too strong for Burnie, outclassing it in all areas to win 61 to 41.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.


Saunders hooked after reeling in 15kg beauty

NICE HAUL: John Edwards (left), of Burnie, and Luke Saunders, of Stowport, with their championship trophies. Picture: Stuart Wilson.JUST 12 months after taking up the sport, game fisherman Luke Saunders is hooked.
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And the 19-year-old Stowport angler has good reason to be following a successful weekend out at the 2012 Club Marine 24th Australian Bluefin Tuna Championships at Eaglehawk Neck.

Close to 280 anglers and 74 boats took to the waters for the biannual event, run by the Tuna Club of Tasmania.

Under the guidance of veteran Burnie angler John Edwards, Saunders claimed the title of the heaviest southern bluefin tuna for the competition, reeling in the 15kg beauty in the first few hours of the competition last Friday morning.

“The one I caught was just a goldfish compared to some that were down there,” Saunders said.

“It fought a bit when I hooked it and then when it got to the boat, but it probably only took 10 minutes or so to (reel) it in.”

Fellow angler Peter Bailey, of Hobart, who was aboard the same boat, also claimed the title of the heaviest southern bluefin tuna caught by an adult male, with his fish also weighing in at 15kg.

The men, aboard Edwards’ 7.5m aluminium cabin cruiser named The Other Woman also managed to take home the title of the highest points score team.

It was an amazing feat by the anglers, considering just 10 fish were weighed over the two days, with just six making line class.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.


Coasters to eat for just $2 a day

RAISING AWARENESS : The Oaktree Foundation general manager of overseas projects Jess Jacobson holds an example of the restricted diet she’ll be on while she takes part in the Live Below The Line campaign.IMAGINE the trauma you would feel if you had to choose between feeding your family or getting medical help for your sick child.
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These impossible choices have to be made by those who live below the poverty line.

The Oaktree Foundation’s campaign Live Below The Line aims to combat extreme poverty in the Asia-Pacific region through generating awareness and raising funds.

“The campaign is into its third year and I have been inspired by what people can achieve when they put their hands up and step out of their comfort zones,” said Oaktree Foundation general manager of overseas projects Jess Jacobson.

In Live Below The Line, participants live off just $2 a day for five days and raise funds through their sponsorship.

Ms Jacobson has participated in all three campaigns and said the experience was one she will never forget.

“It is eye-opening, you are not going without but your choices are cut off,” she said.

“These people live entirely on this amount every day. It is not just for food, it is for everything.”

Ms Jacobson encouraged people taking part to fully engage with the issue.

“Realise where you fit in to the equation and how you can be the solution,” she said.

While the campaign is confronting, it can be a lot of fun too, especially if you take part with a group of people.

“Get a group of people together and you can cook together and fundraise together and have each other for support, it is fun” she said.

Live Below The Line will run from May 7-11. For further information visit the Oaktree Foundation’s website.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.


Council opts for status quo

DOG DETECTIVE: Simon Crombie on the West Beach boardwalk which is the scene, he alleges, for indiscretions by dog owners. Picture: Tony Cross.A CASE of dogs and their owners behaving badly in Burnie has not gone unnoticed, despite the Burnie City Council voting to let sleeping dogs lie.
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What started out as a simple exercise by Cooee man Simon Crombie turned up 36 breaches of the Dog Control Act and the council’s Dog Management Policy.

Mr Crombie recorded the breaches over one week and presented them to the council last Tuesday night.

One of those breaches were detected within 30 metres of a designated dog exercise area.

In a letter to the council accompanying the submission, Mr Crombie called for the council to act by increasing the funding for animal control seven days a week and noted that the revenue that could have been raised from the breaches he detected would have totalled $6760.

The councillors voted to keep the status quo, agreeing they were satisfied current commitments to municipal dog control provided a reasonable level of comfort, convenience and safety for the community with respect to the purpose and objectives of the Dog Control Act 2000.

Burnie Mayor Steve Kons and aldermen Malcolm Ryan and Jim Altimira thanked Mr Crombie for his considerable effort and time to prepare the submission.

Following the decision, Mr Crombie said he felt patronised by the aldermen’s comments and decision to do nothing.

Mr Crombie said he was trying to show people were not using the current dog exercise areas following a discussion at a previous council meeting about creating fenced dog exercise areas with CCTV, Astro Turf and electronic swipe card access.

Mr Crombie said he couldn’t see the point in creating designer dog exercise pens when dog owners were not using the facilities currently provided and not enough was being done to enforce the current dog laws.

The Burnie City Council’s land and environmental services officer, Patrick Earle, said animal control was about providing a reasonable, balanced and practical approach.

“It’s unnecessary to reach for a big stick – people don’t respond to that.”

Mr Earle said, in most cases, it was enough for a council officer to politely ask people to put their dog on a lead or move out of a restricted area.

“People aren’t constantly coming to us saying I feel uncomfortable or I’ve been hurt,” Mr Earle said.

“When they do, we respond.”

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.


Digger joins in Wynyard tribute

SHARING HIS PAST: John Bates at the Wynyard Anzac Day service. Picture: Grant Wells.HUNDREDS rallied at the Somerset and Wynyard Anzac Day services to keep the memory alive of those who fought in past and present wars.
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At 90 years “young”, John Bates was one of many returned servicemen to attend the Wynyard service.

An increased number of young people attending the service brought a smile to the former teacher’s face.

“I became a teacher after the war so it’s brilliant to see all these young people here who really take part in the service,” he said.

From 1940-46 he served in the RAF regiment mainly on the India/Burma border for almost three years.

He started in the humblest position as AC2 and moved his way through the ranks to squadron leader.

When asked what Anzac Day meant to him, he said it was difficult to put it into words.

Mr Bates was involved in the ninth most important battle during World War 2, Kohima, defending the aerodrome at Dimapur.

“A lot of the memories are still very sharp,” he said.

Today, Mr Bates counts himself lucky to be alive with the unkind conditions of war leaving him with malaria four times, dengue fever once and dysentery four times.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.


Much to thank Diggers for

LEIGHLAND Christian School student Sam Reeve summed up Anzac Day better than most.
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“If the Anzacs didn’t do what they did, the world would not be the place it is today.

“The Anzacs were truly admirable and honourable in the sacrifice they give to this country.”

Sam was guest speaker at the Ulverstone Anzac Day service yesterday morning.

People embraced the Anzac Day spirit with veterans joining relatives in honouring those fallen, those who served and those who currently serve their country here and overseas.

“When the Anzacs landed at Gallipoli they were very undermanned, but dug in despite tough resistance from the Ottoman army, giving everything for their country,” Sam said.

Ulverstone RSL Sub-Branch president Ken Allen spoke about the contribution Australia made.

North Motton was almost packed out for its Anzac Day commemoration service.

The service also marked the unveiling of a plaque for the 2/40th Battalion.

Former 2/40th member and prisoner of war survivor 91-year-old George Lawson was there to see the plaque unveiled.

Fellow 2/40th member Fred Brett was unable to attend the service after he fell ill at the last minute.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.


Retailers shut up shop for the day

A MAJORITY of North-West retailers kept their doors shut on Anzac Day.
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Many businesses are legally unable to open until 12.30pm on the day.

Recent rule changes led to many questions in retail land.

Central Coast Chamber of Commerce and Industry members asked for information on the new rules, chamber president Leonie Hiscutt said.

She said she had not had much feedback yet on Anzac Day trading, but would look into it at a chamber meet and greet session tonight.

Employers can be fined up to $26,000 for doing the wrong thing under Anzac Day trading restrictions.

In Burnie, about 70% of CBD stores remained closed in the afternoon.

Most locally owned businesses were shut, with a few exceptions.

Kmart, Chickenfeed and the Reject Shop were operating, along with a smattering of clothing stores.

Meanwhile, Devonport resembled a Sunday, with a number of people around.

The Kmart and Coles area was chock-a-block and Fourways was quite busy despite not many stores being open there.

Harvey Norman stayed shut in both cities, saying it was out of respect for the Diggers.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.