Monthly Archives: February 2019

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NRLKnights halfback Jack Cogger hasn’t forgotten his NRL debut against the Sharks that yielded a record 62-0 defeat

Jack Cogger still clearly remembers the carnage.

It was two years ago almost to the day and an 18-year-old Cogger was on debut for the Knights at home against Cronulla.

Around him were sixother team-mates who were no older than 20, confronting a red-hot Sharks side headedtowards a drought-breaking NRL premiership win.

“Looking back on it and thinking about the guys I had inside and outside me, our whole left edge in that game had a combination of 10 NRL games against Cronulla, who were in the middle of the year they won the premiership,” Cogger recalls.

“And they were on a bit of a run as well.”

Big job: Recalled halfback Jack Cogger will be hoping his kicking game comes up to scratch when the Knights take on Cronulla at Beanie for Brain Cancer Stadium on Sunday. Picture: Darren Pateman/AAP

Sharks winger Valentine Holmes scored four tries in an 11-try, 62-0 drubbing, the biggest ever defeat dished out to the Knights at home.

“I remember it quite clearly. It would be nice to get one back on them this weekend,” Cogger said.

“I know the squad has changed a lot since then and I think we are in a way better position going into this game then we were two years ago.”

That “over-whelming” experience hasn’t done the young Knights halfback any long-term harm.

READ MORE: Newcastle KnightsHehas only had fleeting NRL appearances [11 in total]since then but as he puts it, the up-and-down nature of his NRL career is all part of the learning experience.

“I think it is all part of the journey to be honest. Not many people get to debut in first grade and stay there for 10 or 15 years,” he said.

“A lot of people go in and out and I’m one of them. Every time I go back, I’mtakingit in my stride and getting better and hopefully, next time I get the opportunity and I’m up again, I can be better for the run.”

Jack Cogger

Knights coach Nathan Brown is banking on exactly that as the side prepares to take on the Sharks on Sunday at Beanie for Brain Cancer Stadium.

Cogger has had three appearances in the top grade this season.

He played outside Mitchell Pearce at five-eighth in a win over the Wests Tigers in Tamworth, the game Pearce tore his pec.

A week later, he was at halfback alongside Connor Watson in the halves in the side’s win over Manly at Brookvale but lost his place to Brock Lamb after the Knights’ loss to South Sydney the following week.

With Lamb fracturing his cheek-bone against the Titans last weekend, Cogger has been called on once again.

“You go back and work on the things that got you out of first grade I suppose and that’s what I did,”he said.

Not surprisingly, his kicking game has been his focus.

Get that right on Sunday and steer the team around and his job will be done.

Rare Moreton Bay jellyfish found lurking in Lake Macquarie

WARNING: Morbakka fenneri jellyfish has been discovered in Lake Macquarie. Researchers have discovered a rare and dangerous Moreton Bayjellyfish lurking among the mangroves in Lake Macquarie.

The find has promptedLake Macquarie City Council to issue asafety warning. The Morbakka fennerijellyfish can causeIrukandji syndrome.A Morbakka sting can bring on symptoms includingnausea, vomiting, severe lower back pain, breathing difficulties, profuse sweating, severe cramps and spasms. The incidence of stings is rare, and symptoms are typically mild, but some cases have required hospitalisation.

The marine researchers, from the n Museum,were conducting a study on an unrelated jellyfish when they came across the creature.

It was found near the border of the Lake Macquarie and Central Coast Local Government Areas.The Morbakka is a rare species that is more common to the Moreton Bay area, but has been found between Port Douglas and Sydney.

Lake Macquarie City Council manager of leisure services, Brad Sutton, said it was important for the community to be aware of the possible presence of Morbakka in the lake.

RELATED: Monster jellyfish washes ashore“With only one reported sighting across a large body of water, the risk appears to be low but residents should be aware of the possibility of encountering the jellyfish and know how to respond in the event of a sting,” Mr Sutton said.

“The best immediate treatment is liberal application of vinegar, which will neutralise the sting and prevent further envenomation.

“Applying hot or cold water is not recommended, nor is rubbing or wiping the area, as this can exacerbate the severity of the sting. A cold pack can be applied after the area has been treated with vinegar.”

Experts advise that an ambulance should be called, or medical assistance sought, if a sting victim shows any of the following symptoms:severe lower back pain, nausea or vomiting, breathing difficulties or spasms.

Morbakka fennerihasa transparent box-shaped bell with one tentacle in each corner. The bell can be six to 18 centimetres wide with four ribbon-shaped tentacles up to one metre long. They tend to swim near the waterway bottom, but can be attracted to lights at night.

Council has sought advice from, and will continue to work with, experts from the CSIRO and n Museum, including Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin, who is the foremost authority on the species.

READ MORE: Danger signs erected after Irukandji stings boy

Surfing: Merewether’s Ryan Callinan advances to quarter-final in Japan

CARVE: Merewether surfer Ryan Callinan. Picture: Jonathan CarrollMerewether’sRyan Callinan has set up aquarter-final showdown with Frenchman Charly Martin in Japan following a stronground-of-16 heat victory on Thursday afternoon (AEST).

The goofy footer, who turns 25 years of ageon Sunday, overcame Italian Leonardo Fioravanti by 3.66 points at the 6000-point qualifying series (QS)IchinomiyaChiba Open.

The 2016 Championship Tour competitor produced rides of 7.6 and 6.83 in the second half of a see-sawing 25-minute battle to advance atthe World Surf League (WSL) event.

“I haven’t made this many heats in a long time so it feels really good,” Callinan, who finished fifth at last month’s QS 3000 Pro Santa Cruz in Portugal, told WSL media.

It was a tough startfor Callinan, with a few low scoresin small conditions and trailing Fioravanti minus priority, but using better wave selection in somewhat familiar surroundings he bounced back and finished the stronger of the two.

He ended up with a two-best wave total of 14.33 compared to Fioravanti’s 10.67.

“I think I just kept picking bad waves,” Callinansaid.

“The heat before mine was really action packed and it had a lot of waves. Leo is such a good competitor and I thought he was going to have really big scores so I was trying to put the pressure on early.We’ve been working with the same coach, so it was an interesting heat for both of us.

“The waves here kind of resemble similar waves to what we get during summer at home. I was having a lot of fun out there. It’s peaky and tricky, but really good.”

Callinan said he felt confident with his board.

“He [JS] can’t put a finger wrong,” he said.

“His boards are going amazing. This one is the air 17 and it’s kind of my go-to board for smaller waves. I’m feeling really good and I’m lucky to have some great equipment.”

Callinan also had a message for back home in Newcastle.

“Hello to everyone and thanks for watching and supporting,” he said.

“To my extended family over in Indo, hope you’re all having a good time, and to all my friends and family at home I’m missing you.”

Jason Andre, Seth Moniz, Noe Mar McGonagle, Marco Fernandez, Alejo Muiz and Alex Riberio are the other surfers into the quarters.

PREVIOUS:Callinan prevails in late rush to make last 24 in Japan

Charges against Mason Lee accused dropped

A teenage boarder once accused of unlawfully killing Queensland toddler Mason Lee has walked free from court after a lesser offence against him was sensationally dropped.

Ryan Robert Barry Hodson was charged with the manslaughter of the 21-month-old with Mason’s mother Anne Maree Lee and stepfather William Andrew O’Sullivan.

Last week it was revealed he would plead guilty to a downgraded charge of child cruelty.

But he reversed his decision on Thursday once Brisbane Supreme Court Justice David Jackson questioned its legality.

Hodson walked from court a free man after crown prosecutor Vicki Loury conceded she was unable to substantiate the charge against him.

Hodson was 17 when he moved into O’Sullivan’s home at Caboolture in late May 2016, a few weeks before Mason died.

Justice Jackson said the cruelty charge arose because he was left alone with the toddler on three occasions on June 10 and failed to seek medical attention.

Mason’s body was handed to paramedics over the fence about 12.45am on June 11.

It is estimated he died between two to four hours earlier.

Evidence given during a committal hearing revealed he died as a result of a rupture to his small intestine, believed to have been caused by blunt force trauma up to five days earlier.

Justice Jackson said in order for Hodson to be charged and convicted of child cruelty, he had to be satisfied Mason was in his “lawful care or charge”.

He said the teen was a boarder at O’Sullivan’s and there was nothing to suggest he agreed to take care of the 21-month-old or did anything like change his nappy.

“It seems to me this is potentially a dangerous precedent,” he said.

Justice Jackson said if Hodson was convicted it could pave the way for siblings in other households where a child is harmed to be charged with cruelty for failing to seek medical assistance.

Crown prosecutor Vicki Loury argued Mason was in Hodson’s legal care because he was “an adult alone with the child”.

“He was not an adult, that’s critical in this,” the judge fired back.

“It is time that people started talking in legal language that is accurate.”

Ms Loury said Hodson was still capable of taking responsibility and had since admitted he had lawful care for Mason.

“You say because he admits it, that’s good enough? It doesn’t matter that in law it’s wrong,” Justice Jackson said.

The court heard Hodson’s girlfriend claimed she observed Mason looking pale in the days before his death and urged O’Sullivan to take him to hospital.

She allegedly told Hodson she was going to ring child safety four hours before paramedics arrived, only for him to say it had “nothing to do” with them.

He claimed he saw Mason “blue on the floor” about 8.45pm on the night he died, but left the house 30 minutes later.

Justice Jackson said while Hodson could be described as uncaring and irresponsible, there was no evidence to suggest he hurt the toddler or was responsible for him.

Lee and O’Sullivan are yet to face trial for manslaughter, and Hodson remains a witness in the case against them.

Melbourne’s new Lord Mayor takes office

As Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Sally Capp put on the official robe and chains, she felt the weight of responsibility fall on her shoulders.

Cr Capp, former Property Council of Victoria chief, was sworn into the City of Melbourne role at town hall on Thursday, three months after Robert Doyle quit amidst sexual harassment allegations.

“I feel the seriousness of the position that I am taking on, and I relish that,” Cr Capp told reporters.

“It is one of the things that absolutely motivated me to run for this role of Lord Mayor was a deep, deep respect for this role and traditions like this … really reinforce the seriousness of this role.”

Cr Capp, flanked by her husband Andrew Sutherland and adult sons, said it was an “honour and privilege” to be the 104th Lord Mayor of Melbourne and looked forward to bringing new leadership.

She said voters had opted for “an independent woman, who can bring new leadership, a new style a new tone, a different set of experiences to add value into the city”.

It had been an “aspiration” of hers lead the city and said serendipity, good planning and her previous roles on committees, in advocacy to the private sector had led her to the $193,000-per-year role.

She was the first councillor to sign the new code of conduct on Thursday and said the smoking ceremony was an opportunity for council to start anew after a turbulent six months.

“(It’s) the opportunity to really cleanse from what has been a somewhat of a troubled and disruptive last six months in particular and an opportunity for all of us to look forward,” she said referring to the scandal which ended Mr Doyle’s time in office.

“I am absolutely committed to that new code of conduct and the standards that are set and are expected.”

Cr Capp nabbed 53.05 per cent of the total votes in the by-election, beating businesswoman Jennifer Yangs’s 46.95 per cent.

Cr Capp is the third woman to take the city’s top job with Lecki Ord holding office in 1987-88 and Winsome McCaughey in 1988-89, and the first woman directly-elected to the role.

The first item on her agenda was a meeting on Thursday to discuss the waste management process in the CBD how it impacts on noise, congestion and any inefficiencies in the system.

Council chief executive Ben Rimmer said he was looking forward to working with the new Lord Mayor and support the “ambitious council vision” for Melbourne.

Mr Doyle has denied the allegations levelled against him.