Archive for: ‘April 2019’

Head knock rules out Foley for Tahs opener, Hegarty to start

13/04/2019 Posted by admin

The Waratahs’ round one ambitions have taken a hit after Test No.10 Bernard Foley was ruled out with ongoing concussion symptoms.
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Bryce Hegarty will take over at five-eighth against the Western Force on Saturday after Foley failed to pass mandatory head injury assessment protocols this week, with David Horwitz coming onto the bench.

Coach Daryl Gibson said his regular No.10 was still experiencing dizziness and did not pass a computer-based cognitive test after taking a head knock in the Waratahs’ trial match against the Highlanders a week ago, but would still travel to South Africa with the team for their round two and three games.

Gibson backed Foley’s replacement, Hegarty, who joined the Waratahs at the start of last year but suffered a season-ending knee injury.

“The reason we recruited Bryce in the first instance was because of his experience, the number of years he’s played down at the Rebels,” Gibson said.

“We get an excellent replacement, someone who can really step in and run the show, without skipping much of a beat.”

Hegarty played 33 Super Rugby games for the Rebels at fullback and five-eighth before signing with NSW at the end of 2015.

Second rower Ned Hanigan was also scratched from the line up with a knee problem. Dave McDuling comes on to the bench in his place.

Gibson said losing a Wallabies playmaker was “never great” but backed the squad’s depth to get the job done against the Force at Allianz Stadium.

“It’s never great but if you’re going to win this competition you’ve got to have a good squad adn have faith in that squad,” he said.

“We’ve been practising for the last month without him, for these moments, so I think we’re well-prepared.”

Waratahs team (1-15): Tom Robertson, Tolu Latu, Sekope Kepu, Dean Mumm, Will Skelton, Jack Dempsey, Michael Hooper, Michael Wells, Nick Phipps, Bryce Hegarty, Rob Horne, Irae Simone, Israel Folau, Reece Robinson, Andrew Kellaway.

Reserves (one to be omitted): Hugh Roach, Paddy Ryan, David Lolohea, Ned Hanigan, Brad Wilkin, Matt Lucas, Taqele Naiyaravoro, David Horwitz.

Spaghetti legs steps up after Foley blow threatens NSW

13/04/2019 Posted by admin

Time to shine: Bryce Hegarty will start at No.10 in place of Bernard Foley. Photo: Ben HolgateHis coach concedes he has no rights to be playing rugby with legs like that, but that hasn’t stopped Bryce “Fettuccine” Hegarty getting the tick of approval to start in the coveted NSW No.10 jersey on Saturday night.
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With Wallabies No.10 Bernard Foley battling concussion symptoms, Hegarty has been handed the playmaking duties in the Waratahs’ season-opener against the Force at Allianz Stadium.

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson said the “unusual player”, who spent three seasons with the Rebels before moving to Sydney, was hugely popular within the squad, not least because of his unlikely build.

“The reason he’s so popular is because he shouldn’t be playing No.10 – or rugby – in a really nice way,” Gibson said.

“We call him ‘Fettuccine’, which is a reference to his legs, because they’re like spaghetti in that they look like they’re going to fall off at any moment.

“But he can play the game, he’s got wonderful game sense, a good skill-set and an excellent rugby brain. That’s the thing that attracts me to him, he gets the game, he’s a rugby player. While he doesn’t have all the talents in the world he utilises every ounce of them.”

Hegarty signed with the Waratahs ahead of the 2016 season but spent most of the year on the sidelines after suffering a knee injury in March. Foley’s extended absence during the pre-season after a gruelling Test calendar last year allowed the Brisbane-born playmaker some solid playing time.

Gibson said while losing a Test No.10 was a setback on the eve of the new Super Rugby season, he had complete faith in Foley’s understudy.

“It’s never great but if you’re going to win this competition you’ve got to have a good squad and have faith in that squad,” he said.

“We’ve been practising for the last month without him [Foley], for these moments, so I think we’re well-prepared.”

Foley was injured during the Waratahs’ trial match against the Highlanders last week and has been following concussion protocols to determine his return to play. Gibson revealed the 27-year-old was still having dizzy spells and had not passed a computer-based cognitive assessment, but would travel with the team to South Africa for their games in rounds two and three.

It is an undeniable blow for the 2014 Super Rugby champions, who take a young squad into the new season and will be relying on their experienced big names. Young second-rower Ned Hanigan was also scratched from the bench after suffering a hamstring injury, with Dave McDuling filling his spot.

The Waratahs will still pack plenty of firepower into their back line, however. Israel Folau and new recruit Irae Simone are lining up in midfield, with Reece Robinson and veteran utility Rob Horne on the wings and Andrew Kellaway at fullback.

They will come up against a lower-profile but no less exciting back line from the Western Force, with Sydney-raised former Gloucester centre Bill Meakes teaming up with former NRL winger Curtis Rona, and Wallabies outside back Dane Haylett-Petty at fullback.

Kellaway said he expected more creativity from the Force this year under head coach Dave Wessels.

“They’re going to have a crack … you’ve got [Rona] from rugby league, it will be great to see what he does, and he’s up against Izzy [Folau], so hopefully the rain stays away,” he said.

In Foley’s absence, Hegarty and Robinson would potentially share the goal kicking duties, Gibson said. The Waratahs’ territory game will also be put under the microscope after the Highlanders heaped pressure on the hosts with a succession of high balls last week.

Waratahs team (1-15): Tom Robertson, Tolu Latu, Sekope Kepu, Dean Mumm, Will Skelton, Jack Dempsey, Michael Hooper, Michael Wells, Nick Phipps, Bryce Hegarty, Rob Horne, Irae Simone, Israel Folau, Reece Robinson, Andrew Kellaway.

Reserves (one to be omitted): Hugh Roach, Paddy Ryan, David Lolohea, David McDuling, Brad Wilkin, Matt Lucas, Taqele Naiyaravoro, David Horwitz.

Chris Waller and Hugh Bowman’s 10-year association sealed with a Winx

13/04/2019 Posted by admin

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Chris Waller, Hugh Bowman and Winx. It is a combination that is becoming as familiar to n sports fans as Newcombe and Roche, Lillee and Marsh or Lewis and Langer.

As the superstar mare heads to her 15th successive win and her 10th group 1 in Saturday’s Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick, the latest dominant combination of the turf can look back at the milestones she has given them.

Before Winx arrived, Waller and Bowman were outstanding in their fields but lacked a “major” to join the elite. Winx gave them that with her first Cox Plate, and the Apollo Stakes win to start this preparation chalked up 250 wins for trainer and jockey together.

“I didn’t think I would do that with a jockey in ,” Waller said. “It is something pretty special I guess.”

While Winx has taken the pair to another level in the past couple of years, it is an association that started when Waller came to Sydney.

“I always hoped I would be the main rider for a leading stable at some stage,” Bowman said. “I did it for Gai Waterhouse in my 20s and I thought that was going to be my stairway to heaven but that didn’t work out.

“Chris and myself have sort of evolved together. We had a lot of success prior [to Winx]. The relationship is more than 10 years now and we have had our differences at different stages.

“But I think ultimately we have a similar vision and the best interests of the horses at heart. That’s why it works.”

There is admiration between the two and a respect and confidence that comes from being the masters of their trade.

“I can put Hughie on a horse and have the upmost faith in his horsemanship, his will to win and his feedback post-race. And then we are capable of [having a] beer after the races,” Waller said.

“He is the last link in the chain that starts at 4am every morning and to have the upmost confidence in him is something I can’t quantify.”

Bowman and Waller are not yet at the stage of their career where they will look back. “We are still thinking forward, that is just the way it is,” Bowman said, but the Cox Plates have been landmarks in their careers.

“That was very satisfying, I felt I was missing that major win and to get it will be something I will alway remember,” Bowman said.

But to have a champion such as Winx is a completely different experience.

“It is like winning a Melbourne Cup, you want it but by working harder you aren’t going to get it. It is luck of the draw,” Bowman said. “I’m very grateful for Winx. It has been very fulfilling for me as a person and rider to be involved with a horse like her.”

Winx is a $1.10 favourite to take a second Chipping Norton Stakes on Saturday and Waller and Bowman can find no chink in her armour.

“I think she has certainly come on from her first-up win [in the Apollo],” Bowman said. “She is certainly stronger in her work. She is a bit more relaxed in her demeanour. That suggests to me she is where she needs to be at this stage of her preparation.

“I was quite vocal in my thoughts that she was quite away from where she was leading into the Cox Plate [ahead of her first-up run] but I feel like she has really progressed since the Apollo Stakes.”

Waller has been happy with the progress in the 10 days since the Apollo Stakes as she steps out to the mile.

“Physically I couldn’t be happier with her. She has maintained her weight and she has the benefit of that race and race pressure,” Waller said. “She has probably muscled up and strengthened up a little bit more.

“I’m talking small quantities but at least she’s gradually heading forward and certainly maintaining her brilliance.”

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‘I rely on weekends to pay my bills’: How taking away Sunday penalty rates will hurt workers

13/04/2019 Posted by admin

Caboolture hospitality worker Selina Young says she depends on weekend penalty rates to pay the bills. Photo: Lisa Maree WilliamsCaboolture hospitality worker Selina Young has been left wondering how she will pay her bills from July, after the Fair Work Commission decided on Thursday to slash her weekend and public holiday penalty rates.
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The FWC announced Sunday penalty rates for full- and part-time workers in the retail, fast food, hospitality and pharmacy industries would be slashed, in some cases, from double time to time-and-a-half.

Ms Young, who worked at the Caboolture RSL, faced a reduction in her Sunday penalty rates from 175 per cent to 150 per cent, with the pay decrease to come into effect from July.

She said while she was not surprised by the FWC’s decision, that did not make it any easier for her to swallow.

“You expect it, but you don’t want it,” Ms Young said.

“This will impact my finances quite a lot, because you don’t get a lot through the week when you’re working in this industry.

“I rely on my weekends to pay my bills, pay my rent and contribute to (buying) food.

“I sacrifice weekends with my husband so that we can afford to live, pretty much.”

Ms Young, 32, said she had been in the hospitality industry since she was 18 and it had always been a tough slog.

It was a hardship, Ms Young said, that would be lost on the Fair Work Commission.

“The ones who are calling the shots here don’t know what it’s like to work nights and weekends,” she said.

“They get to sit down for Sunday lunch with their family every week, while we miss out on all of this and we seem to be the ones who cop everything.”

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she knew how important penalty rates were for people who gave up their family time to work on a Sunday.

“I know that this has been a very vexed issue, people have very firm views on it but we have to accept the umpire’s decision,” she said.

But Queensland unions showed no sign of accepting the umpire’s decision in the immediate aftermath of the commission handing down its decision in Melbourne.

They marched in Brisbane to the commonwealth government offices in Eagle Street to protest the decision on Thursday morning. Marching down to offices of Qld LNP politicians allowing wages cut to #penaltyrates Brandis, Evans pic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/2mPPSyVJap— QCU (@TheQCU) February 23, 2017

Queensland Council of Unions general secretary Ros McLennan said the FWC decision was a “game changer” for industrial relations in .

“The independent umpire makes decisions based on the rules they are given,” she said.

“These rules are contained in our laws. If it is possible that penalty rates can be cut, then it is clear these rules need to change.”

But Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland state advocacy manager Kate Whittle praised the FWC’s “common sense” approach.

“Today’s decision has not seen an abolishment of penalty rates altogether, but a more sensible approach to how penalty rates are applied so small and medium businesses can continue to thrive and employ,” she said.

Ms Whittle said the decision would allow many Queensland small businesses to employ more staff and give existing staff more hours.

“The policy behind penalty rates represented a failure to recognise the requirements of industries operating in the 24/seven economy, such as retail, tourism, accommodation, and hospitality,” she said.

“… Penalty rates are a drain on productivity and Queensland business competitiveness. Reform has been long overdue.

“Queensland businesses have resoundingly told us that they want a workplace relations framework that meets the needs of their contemporary workplaces and positively impacts on their productivity and competitiveness – and penalty rates were a top priority.

“The current penalty rates regime inhibits economic growth by providing a disincentive to employers from having longer trading hours or offering staff additional hours.”

Ms McLennan said there was “absolutely no evidence” reduced wages created more jobs.

“But we do know that it would be much harder for many families to pay their bills and put food on the table,” she said.

For Ms Young, the commission’s decision meant a potential re-evaluation.

“The problem is, you don’t earn enough money to study to get a different profession either, so you’re sort of trapped because you can’t afford to go anywhere else,” she said.

“I love my job, but I’m going to have to try to do something because you can barely survive now on a minimum wage job.

“It’s just too hard.”

– with Felicity Caldwell

Phillip O’NeillWhat you can do to take the sting out of a very hot summer

13/04/2019 Posted by admin

BEAT THE HEAT: A lot of small changes around the house can make a world of difference in a hot summer. It’s one thing to bid good riddance to a very hot summer. But there are ways to make summer aseason to look forward to, without resorting to long days inside air-conditioned living rooms orexpeditions to air-conditioned shopping malls. Summer should be a time for relaxation andpleasure.
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We can start with making our homes perform better. Twelve months ago we decided to upgrade ourhouse so that it is cooler on hot days. Our belief is that large houses like ours on big blocks of landshould be comfortable all year round without need for air conditioning.

Our approach was to do a hundred things that made a difference. This summer we monitored ourinterventions. Rarely did the inside of the house top 24C. Even during that horror heatwaveearlier this month we stayed under 27C. By early evening we were enjoying – yes, enjoying –outside life on our verandas and in our garden.

Our list of renovations included some heavier hitting: whirlybirds on the roof and thicker ceilinginsulation. Then we added a vertical drop metal shutter on a large western window.

And there were smaller measures. Close fitting interior Holland blinds are cheap and effective. Weswapped two bulky heat-absorbing metal door and window frames for wooden varieties. Someirritating carpeted areas were stripped leaving a cool concrete slab which we covered in slate. Wefilled the verandas with large pots of flowers and herbs. A heat reflecting lawn area near the housewas allowed to grow a little wilder. We refreshed the kitchen and interior walls with lighter colours.

A fridge and a freezer and their ageing hot pump units were sent packing.

Throw in shorts, loose t-shirts, a very good iced-tea recipe from Spain, good books and a large jigsaw puzzle and our summer holidays were well spent.

Obviously not everyone has the house options we have. But everyone can benefit from better neighbourhood-scale adaptions to heat. There are lessonsfrom overseas cities – like Madrid – for coping with hot days, where good urban design meanspeople enjoy local parks and water bodies, outside-eateries, shady plazas and pathways.

There are lessons too from Canberra, of all places. We ventured to the national capital in the heat ofJanuary for a few days at the galleries. Each evening we walked to local high streets in Kingston andManuka. The footpaths are well kept and covered by tree canopies – not pruned to an inch of theirlives by power-line maintenance crews.

The shopping centres are clean with cared-for plant boxesand quality pavements meaning patrons don’t wrestle with unstable café tables and chairs. Sensibleliquor laws enable families to enjoy good food and a civilised drink at reasonable prices.

Fingers ofparkland invite strollers and their ice creams down to the edge of Lake Burley Griffin – an artificialwater body created by damming a small river, it is worth noting. In all, an otherwise hostile hotvalley a long way from the coast has been turned into a pleasant place to be in the middle ofsummer. Heat is sucked out of these Canberra neighbourhoods by the effects of many smallmeasures, most of them inexpensive.

Summer in has long been a time to be on the coast. For generations there has been plenty of beach to go around. Now, in a bigger growing , summer at the beach means expensiverentals or congested day trips. We need to appreciate life beyond the beach.

There are easy gains away from the air-con switch.

Phillip O’Neill is professor of economic geography at Western Sydney University.