Monthly Archives: July 2019

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NRLCronulla skipper Paul Gallen reckons the Newcastle Knights won’t be a consistent top-eight side for “two or three years”. Can they earn his respect on Sunday?

HE has been arguably their harshest critic over the past few seasons, and the Newcastle Knights are running out of opportunities to earn the respect of Cronulla warhorse Paul Gallen.

OUTSPOKEN: Paul Gallen

TheSharks visitBeanies for Brain Cancer Stadium on Sunday and will be intent on racking up their seventh consecutive victory against Newcastle, a streak dating back to 2015.

The two teams also clash at SharkPark on Sunday, August 26, in the penultimate round of the season.

Gallen is yet to make a decision about his playing future, but given that he is the NRL’s oldest player and turns 37 in less than three months, 2018 could well be his last hurrah.

If that is the case, the Knights have only two more chances to impress one of the champions of the modern era.

Gallen has certainly pulled no punches in recent times with brutally honest assessments of Newcastle’s performances and prospects.

In particular, he struck a raw nerve last November when he declared Mitchell Pearce “might live to regret” his decision to sign for the three-time wooden spooners, rather than Cronulla, after he left Sydney Roosters.

In a column on sportingnews老域名出售 website, Gallen declared: “In my opinion, Newcastle are two or three years away from beinga consistent top eight side.

“As for winning competitions, well, I just can’t see that happening for a long, long time … I fear Mitch’s rep career may be a casualty of having to do it all at club level.”

That prompted Knights coach Nathan Brown to respond by suggesting that Gallen was “probably a little disappointed because his window of winning another comp is closing”.

Brown added that in 2014, “Cronulla were last, they haddrugs charges against them, they were going nowhere”.

Gallen hit back at what he labelled a “low blow” and a “cheap shot” from Brown, and reiterated his belief that Pearce was taking “a risk footy-wise” in joining the Knights.

“Talking of clubs going nowhere, maybe three straight wooden spoons indicate that Newcastle are the ones treading water,” he wrote.

Gallen’s dismissive attitude towards the Knights has been something of a recurring theme. Few were arguing with him after the Sharks inflicteda 62-0 slaughter in Newcastle in 2016.

“To be fair, and not to be too critical, the side we played against today were very inexperienced and there wouldn’t be too many players who played for Newcastle today who would make any other first-grade side, really,’’ Gallen said at the time.

“We just did what we had to do. And that’s [we] went well and held them to nil.’’

If that was just a candid, andvalid, observation, there was a touch of arrogance 10 weeks later when Cronulla beat the Knights 36-4 at Shark Park and Gallen was asked about a confrontation with rookie Newcastle forward Mitch Barnett.

After initially claiming he thought Barnett was“a winger”, Gallen said with a laugh:“There you go. I don’t even know his name, that’s how much I care.’’

Asked after training on Thursday if his players would want to prove a point on Sunday, Brown replied:“I think if Gal watched us in the first 10 roundsor so, when we had Mitchell and those guys on board, maybe he’d think:‘Maybe these blokes are a little better than I thought’… but we’ve obviously lost a few troops since then, and we’ve lost our last few games, so he’s probably thinking he was right at theminute.

“But I would think that Cronulla would come here, and every side that is playing us these dayscertainly hasfar greater respect for us today than they did this time last year, that’s for sure.”

Meanwhile, Brown said centre Nathan Ross, who had been in doubt with a groin injury,“trained very, very well” on Thursday and should be fit to tackle the Sharks.

Cautious Labor looking at tax cut plans

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen says Labor will examine the coalition’s long-term tax plan carefully.Labor isn’t “wild” about proposed tax cuts in 2024 but will look at how they affect people before deciding whether to back them, although it still wants them split from the government’s broader plan.

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said Labor has plenty of time to go through details of the government’s seven-year tax plan.

“You don’t make these decisions based on a quick look on figures that we finally dragged out from Scott Morrison,” Mr Bowen told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.

“You take your time to look at them carefully. We want to have a look at the distributional data.”

Legislation to introduce a new low- and middle-income tax offset, which will provide $530 relief each year and lift the 32.5 per cent tax bracket from $87,000 to $90,000, passed the lower house on Wednesday night.

But Labor refused to support the rest of the tax plan, which has more cuts in 2022 and 2024, until it saw more detail.

Treasurer Scott Morrison released that detail on Wednesday night, revealing parts one and two – which include the July 1 changes and part of the later cuts – will cost $102 billion over the medium term.

The final stage will cost around $40 billion, bringing the total to $143 billion over 10 years.

“We’re not wild about that third stage of the tax cuts plan (in 2024), so we’ll do our best to separate the tax relief for working people,” Labor’s finance spokesman Jim Chalmers told Sky News.

“We’ll try to pass our fairer alternative, if we’re unsuccessful we’ll then have another conversation about it.”

Meanwhile the government’s corporate tax cut plans are also before the Senate, with Pauline Hanson refusing to back them until she talks to her One Nation colleagues.

“(The government has) got to prove to me and the people of that we can start paying down debt,” Senator Hanson told reporters on Thursday.

Liberal backbencher Tim Wilson denied reports the coalition was considering splitting the election of both houses of parliament as a potential fix to the Senate’s crossbench impasse.

“There’s always people in politics who want to suggest ideas about how they think they can brilliantly solve the electoral challenges of any political party or any government,” he said.

Dimi Petratos aims for the World Cup with support from his biggest fan

Support for Dimi’s World Cup dream It’s A Sign: Cruz Holbert shows his support for Dimi Petratos. Cruz has several special Dimi signs. Picture: Fox Sports

Dimi Petratos in Socceroos camp in Turkey.

Cruz Holbert at a Jets game.

Cruz and Dimi.

The signs that Cruz made for Dimi.

Dimi in action.

TweetFacebookA VAR CrySpeaking of the World Cup, it’ll be very interesting to see how the notorious VAR goes at the tournament.

When the VAR failed in the recent A-League grand final, thousands of Jetsfans were furious.Imagine then, what might happen if the VAR fails at a crucial time in the World Cup.

For example, what if it fails during a final and knocks out a team like Brazil or Colombia? Things could get ugly.

Another ValuableCupFrom the World Cup, we move onto another cup.

This cup isn’tquite as big as the world’s most-watchedtournament, but it is particularly important to 90-year-old John Stevenson – who lives in an aged-care hospital at Wallsend.

Topics was having a chat withJohn about the Jets’ recent season when he told us aboutthe Stevenson Cup.

John said this competition was held in the Coalfields. If his memory serves him right, it began sometime around 1925.

It was John’s grandfather, Jock Stevenson,who created the competition.

“He was one of the first footballers in Newcastle in the days of the formation of soccer,” he said, adding he came to the region around1885.

He recalled that his father brought the trophy back from England, specifically to be used for the competition.

“My grandfathermade arrangements for my father to buy it and bring it home.”

John has long wondered what happened to the trophy.

He remembers he last saw it in a glass case at a puboutCessnock-Weston way in the1950s.

“It was a very valuable cup,” John said.

Topics suspects the trophy islong gone bynow.

But John’s story sure does tell us something aboutmemory and the evocative power ofobjects gained and objects lost.

Have you got a story about anobject or heirloom that you treasure?

Let us know at [email protected]老域名出售.au.

BBL clubs keen to sign AB de Villiers

Big Bash League clubs are in a race to sign retired South African cricketer AB de Villiers.The Big Bash League battle to sign South African superstar AB de Villiers is on.

De Villiers revealed on Wednesday, via a video message on Twitter, he’d ended an international cricket career spanning 114 Tests, 228 ODIs, 78 Twenty20s and numerous astonishing boundaries.

Several BBL clubs have since reached out to de Villiers’ management.

De Villiers, who has long been among the most in-demand players on the T20 circuit because of his batting talent, would be a blockbuster addition to any of the eight franchises.

Sydney’s two teams are among the BBL clubs to have made a play for the 34-year-old in the past, only for his international commitments to make it impossible, and they’re still keen.

The Melbourne Renegades and Melbourne Stars are also expected to be in the hunt for the former South Africa skipper, should he become arguably the BBL’s biggest signing.

De Villiers noted in his retirement clip he had “no plans to play overseas”, having previously taken a sabbatical from Test cricket in 2016 to spend more time with his young family.

However, some in South Africa have taken those words to be a reference to a Kolpak county deal rather than short T20 stints.

The gifted right-hander, who was pivotal in the Proteas’ Test series win over earlier this year, told the Sixers a month ago he had no plans to join the BBL.

“Last night, we touched base again with his manager,” Sydney Sixers general manager Jodie Hawkins said.

“We hope we’ll be in a pretty good position if he wants to come out.

“From a family point of view, we feel we offer a pretty attractive package in Sydney and he’s previously stated his love for the SCG.

“We’re very keen to have him, should he want to come out, but we also realise he said he’s keen to play domestic cricket in South Africa.”

The Sixers are yet to fill either of their two international spots for 2018-19, although they’re deep in negotiations with one target.

The Thunder, Stars and Renegades are also yet to announce their international signings for this summer.

Brisbane Heat coach Dan Vettori has a connection with de Villiers, having mentored him in the Indian Premier League at Royal Challengers Bangalore.

“Want to bat 3 for the @HeatBBL @ABdeVilliers17 .. I know a bloke,” Heat slugger Chris Lynn tweeted.

The Heat have already locked away former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum and Shadab Khan, although the latter’s BBL participation will hinge on commitments with Pakistan.

Gladys Berejiklian to visit university and John Hunter Hospital

HERE’S THE PLAN: Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Revitalising Newcastle head Michael Cassell at the Wickham interchange in December.PREMIER Gladys Berejiklian is scheduled to visitthe University of Newcastle’s NeW Space building in Hunter Street on Friday morning, with an afternoon stop at John Hunter’sneo-natal intensive care unit.

NeW Space is a striking piece of modern architecture, and a major piece in the university’s long-term intentions of building a major CBD campus away from its main presence at Callaghan. And hopefully, at the hospital, Ms Berejiklian will have some sort of funding announcement to benefit government health services in the Hunter.

But while the Premier is in the CBD, the one thing that most people will want to talk to her about will be the state of things in Hunter Street, and the impact on businesses affected by the light rail construction.

When Ms Berejiklian was in Newcastle in December to open the Wickham interchange, she left the door open to helping those businesses when she said:“If there’s demonstrated loss, we’re always considering rental assistance. That’s what we’ve done for other projects in other parts of NSW, so, of course, we’ll look at those issues.”

Five months later, it will be up to the Premier to demonstrate what the government has done to fulfill this promise. Newcastle’s Labor MP Tim Crakanthorp says two businesses have applied for compensation and been denied. The government saysthe Newcastle traders are in a different position to those in Sydney because the capital city light rail has taken longer than expected.While that is true, the Newcastle Herald believesthe Newcastle project has had a far greater impact, in relative terms, because the Newcastle CBD is much smaller than Sydney’s. While the George Street disruption is inconvenient, it has not shut down the CBD. Indeed, it’s doubtful whether more than a handful of shoppers have cancelled a trip into the city because of it.

In contrast, the central Hunter Street strip of Newcastle is almost deserted, except for construction workers.Yes, some food shopsare doing well, and the government’s Revitalising Newcastle agency seems to be doing everything in its power to ensure the work is done as quickly as possible. But taken as a whole, the impact is substantial, and the case for government help is strong.

If the Premier really wants to see what is happening in Newcastle, she could always take up Mr Crakanthorp’s offer of a stroll down the street with him, to see the situation first-hand. What about it, Gladys?

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