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成都夜总会招聘 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]成都夜总会招聘.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?

ISSUE: 38,908.

An open letter to NSW Ambulance by Cidney Jenkins

Questions: Daughter Cidney Jenkins was shattered by her father Tony Jenkins’ death. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.Cidney Jenkins was shattered by her father Tony Jenkins’ death.Jenkins took his own lifeabout two hours after he was dropped off, alone, by a senior NSW Ambulance officer after a meeting about his alleged use of the opioid Fentanyl taken from Hunter ambulance stations. Read the full story here.

LET’Stalk about our paramedics–the ordinary men and women called to do extraordinary things, often walking blindly into chaos, desperation, violence and mayhem, ready to offer their skills and compassion.

Let’s talk about my father, Tony Jenkins, who entered the service as a passionate, healthy and resilient man.

As I sat at my laptop, fumbling with words for hiseulogy, I wasleft questioning how amanwho talkedabout his good fortune,loving family andremarkably happy life couldbe driven to take his own life, without warning.

The final hours of my father’s lifewere spent with NSW Ambulance.

Many of us assumethe most traumatic part of a paramedic’s job is the trauma they are exposed to on the road. Violence against paramedics has been a recent media focusbutanother pressing issue is the treatment of paramedics behindthe scenes – whether they’re supported, or whether the attitude when they’re stressed is that they should“toughen up”.

Let’s talk about multipleinquiries over 11 years that clearly identify issues of lack of support, post-traumatic stress disorder,self-medication, increased violence, and suicide within the ambulance service.

I believedNSW Ambulance would set the benchmark for looking afteremployees because they take people to hospital. But in our family’s experience that is not the case.

After all, ambulances takepeople to hospital, don’t they? And yet when it comes to their own employees, we believe the support is lacking.

My father helped so many people during his 28 years of service, but where was the help when he needed and deserved it?

Magpies ponder how to stop Dogs’ AFL star

An in-form Jack Macrae will lead the Western Bulldogs side against Collingwood on Friday night.Nathan Buckley’s coaching philosophy is set for an intriguing test when Collingwood take on a Western Bulldogs side led by in-form midfielder Jack Macrae on Friday night.

The 10th-placed Magpies head into the Etihad Stadium clash well-placed after notching a convincing 28-point win over St Kilda, while the Bulldogs (13th) registered a dire scoreline of 2.14 (26) during their wet-weather loss to Adelaide.

But the Dogs have a trump card in the form of ball magnet Macrae, who is having a breakout season averaging 34 disposals per game.

The likes of North Melbourne’s Ben Jacobs and Carlton’s Ed Curnow have shown that an old-fashioned hard tag still has a place in the modern AFL.

But Buckley has been reluctant to engage such tactics against even the most prolific ball-winners, preferring to back in his midfield as a collective.

“Jackson Macrae’s been a prolific player over the last three or four weeks and we don’t want him getting off the chain,” Buckley said on Wednesday.

“Some of that will be about what we want to do as a team and some of it will be about the individual attention we’re giving.

“The main thing for us if we don’t get our team plans right, it makes it a lot harder to dim the effectiveness of the better players in the opposition.”

The Magpies will be without classy midfielder Daniel Wells (rested) but have one of the competition’s most in-form players in Jordan De Goey, who slotted six goals against St Kilda and five against Brisbane a fortnight earlier.


* Tom Mitchell: The gun onballer had a record 54 touches as the Hawks opened their season with a 34-point victory over the Pies. Mitchell was largely allowed to roam free despite having had a 50-disposal game against Collingwood last season. North Melbourne’s Ben Jacobs proved a few weeks later that Mitchell can be stopped, keeping him to 19 touches as the Kangaroos beat Hawthorn by 28 points.

* Dayne Zorko: Brisbane’s pint-sized star had been tagged out of losses to Greater Western Sydney and Gold Coast. But he was let off the chain against Collingwood and racked up 34 disposals and four goals. The Magpies still managed to scrape through for a seven-point win but many questioned the decision to give Zorko such freedom.

* Jack Macrae: The Western Bulldogs prime mover has surged into Brownlow Medal contention, gathering more than 30 disposals in all but one game this season. His ability to win the ball in tight makes him difficult to restrict, as does the constant threat posed by superstar teammate Marcus Bontempelli. A tough strategic call awaits the Magpies on Friday night.

Turnbull living in alternate reality

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has had plenty to think about this week.Listening to Malcolm Turnbull, you’d think everything is fine.

Relationship with China? It’s good.

Live sheep exports? Still going.

Company tax cuts? Working hard to get them through.

But listen to the prime minister’s coalition colleagues and his rosy, calm demeanour looks a bit out of touch with reality.

“We have a good, frank relationship with China. It’s a very strong one,” Turnbull told reporters this week.

Everything is clearly not fine with China.

That’s according to the Chinese foreign ministry, who said “must adopt a correct perspective” on things Beijing doesn’t like.

Proposed foreign interference laws, designed to stop foreign donations from buying influence with political parties, have angered China.

n media reports about Chinese influence have also upset Beijing, which is used to a censored press.

Turnbull insisted relations are strong – even as Liberal MP Andrew Hastie decided to announce under parliamentary privilege Chinese-n billionaire Chau Chak Wing was allegedly involved in bribing a former UN president.

Hastie said Dr Chau had Chinese Community Party links and had donated millions to political parties. Dr Chau’s lawyer says he’s never been charged with anything.

Turnbull was blindsided by the speech.

It wasn’t the only blindside he copped.

Mathias Cormann, the Senate whisperer, had a deal locked up on the corporate tax cuts with Pauline Hanson.

The One Nation senator reportedly shook hands with Senator Cormann – only to publicly break her promise and increase her demands.

“I just feel that they are not addressing the black hole in the budget, and I have got concerns that we are not going to be paying down debt,” Senator Hanson said.

The corporate tax cuts have dogged the government for months now, a policy measure they seemingly can’t sell to the public or the Senate.

Getting Senator Hanson over the line would have been a huge step. Instead she’s hopping between saying no and demanding more.

Her bombshell had some coalition MPs wondering if they should drop the company tax cuts altogether.

It’s not like anyone has managed to come up with a killer line to sell it, while Labor hammers on about an $80 billion “handout” which means less money for schools and hospitals.

But Turnbull and his cabinet are sticking with the corporate tax cuts for now, after spending truckloads of political capital trying to win support.

One idea that does have public support is banning live sheep exports to the Middle East, after shocking footage showed overheated animals dying on ships.

MPs are getting hundreds of emails a day from impassioned farmers and animal lovers, who want the sheep treated humanely.

Turnbull’s response is to lift penalties for exporters who break the rules – but his former health minister Sussan Ley decided to go further.

She brought in her own bill pushing to ban live sheep exports during the northern hemisphere summer, with several other coalition MPs joining her.

Turnbull told a coalition party room meeting backbenchers can bring forward a bill, but there are other ways.

“We have a good system in our parties – issues can be brought up with ministers,” Turnbull told the meeting.

But Ley’s bill makes it tougher for the prime minister to argue his case, when even his own party isn’t fully behind him.

Ley, Hastie and Hanson have given Turnbull headaches he didn’t need – especially before five by-elections – as he insisted everything was under control.

It’s unclear if the sheep export bill will get through, with Labor down a few members thanks to the citizenship by-elections.

The corporate tax cuts are in limbo, and they may have to go to the next election to muster the support to pass them.

And China’s Community Party mouthpiece The Global Times said “arrogant” needs to be taught a lesson, possibly with a trade freeze worth up to $10 billion a year.

Turnbull might insist everything is fine, but the bomb-throwers in parliament beg to differ.

The prime minister may need to find a way to get them to “adopt a correct perspective” before they cause too much more trouble.

Newcastle and Hunter Rugby League disciplinary panel hand down three season-long bans on same night

PASS: Jason Moodie during his playing days for the Parramatta Eels. Picture: Steve ChristoRetired NRL and Origin wingerJason Moodie was one of three people to cop season-long bans from rugby league following a troublesome fortnight for the code acrossthe Hunter.

The 43-year-old, who represented the Blues three times and played 172 club games between theKnights, Eels and Tigers, has been prohibited from attending all junior matches until the end of 2018.

Thispunishment was handed down on what was a busy night forthe Newcastle and Hunter Rugby League (NHRL) disciplinary panel on Wednesday.

Moodie, aWestern Suburbs junior coach,pleaded guilty to multiple NRL code-of-conduct breaches following his part in a physical altercationat New Lambton’s Kentish Oval on May 12.

The second man, a junior parentat the Dudley-Redhead Magpies, also pleaded guilty to allcharges and received the same sanction.

The incident occurred during an age-group fixture, just two days before the start of Country Rugby League (CRL) endorsed “Shoosh For Kids Week” encouraging positive environments for junior participants at grassroots levels.

In the senior ranks, an 18-month banwas given to a spectator with family links to the Raymond Terrace Magpies following a separate incident at Lenaghan Oval on Saturday.

He is barred from all facets of the sport, outside attending the club’s senior home games at Lakeside Oval, after initiating a physical alteration with an opposition playerpost full-time.

Raymond Terrace won the NHRL A-grade encounter 26-24 over hosts Belmont South.

A third matter,also involving a physical altercation between player and spectator, was originally scheduledfor judiciary this week butwas postponed after being investigated by police.

Both people have already been stood down from all facets of rugby league until the hearing is conducted.

Video of Saturday’s ugly incident, which took place at Coronation Oval duringa D-grade match betweenWoodberryand Maitland United, went viral online.

All parties have the right to appeal, but by Thursday afternoon no correspondence had been received by CRL.

The hearings took place at Newcastle Leagues Club.

EARLIER:Player and spectator stood down after wild rugby league brawl

PREVIOUS:Former Origin star Jason Moodie involved in alleged altercation at junior game

CBA delayed refund until after HoR hearing

‘s largest bank delayed refunds for customers charged double interest on business overdrafts to avoid the issue becoming public during a parliamentary hearing.

One Commonwealth Bank customer who tearfully queried the interest draining her business account was abruptly told “a bank is a business and that is the price you pay for borrowing money”.

Senior CBA executive Clive van Horen admitted requesting a 10-day delay in sending refund letters to customers so the issue wouldn’t surface at a House of Representatives hearing last year.

“Can we make this all happen (letters and actual refunds) after the House of Reps hearing on 7 March?,” he said in an email revealed at the banking royal commission on Thursday.

“Eliminates the chance of this being brought up in the hearings and a delay of 10 days is immaterial.”

Mr van Horen accepted he made the wrong decision.

“I think it was a poor judgment on my part,” he said on Thursday.

CBA’s executive general manager of retail products said he appreciated it was a “very material” issue for people waiting for refunds, but said it involved 1500 customers out of 10 million.

Mr van Horen said a recent mailout about paper statement fees had caused distress at the time, and was weighing on his mind.

“Personally I was quite bruised by that,” Mr van Horen said.

“These letters would potentially get picked up and reported in a way which, if the previous experience was anything to go by, was factually 100 per cent wrong.”

Counsel assisting the commission Albert Dinelli suggested CBA was more motivated by media and PR than ensuring it did the right thing by its customers.

Mr van Horen ultimately conceded that was the case.

About 2700 customers were affected, with refunds totalling $2.7 million going to more than 1800 people after an average wait of two-and-a-half years.

The error, which meant people with two types of business overdrafts were being charged 33.9 per cent interest instead of 16 per cent, was first identified in 2013.

Commissioner Kenneth Hayne QC suggested the solution was to check whether every overdraft customer was being charged the right interest.

Mr van Horen said CBA’s initial manual correction missed a substantial part of the problem before a system-based fix in 2015 worked in the majority of cases.

There was then an enhanced fix in 2017.

The inquiry heard a customer complained to the Financial Ombudsman Service in late 2015 after getting the “bank is a business” rebuff from CBA.