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  1. Morris brothers ready for All Stars

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    April 21, 2019 by admin

    Lone Dragon Brett Morris might be the only St George Illawarra player headed for rugby league’s now traditional pipe-opener, but it will carry extra significance.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The Dragons flyer will make his second NRL All Stars appearance against the Indigenous All Stars, meaning he and twin Josh will play alongside each other in the last representative jumper they haven’t worn at the same time.

    The Kiama juniors have already run on together for Country Origin, NSW and Australia.

    Morris, a one-time All Star in 2011, said he was relishing the opportunity to feature alongside some superstars usually marked as Queensland or New Zealand adversaries.

    ‘‘You play enough footy against those guys, but an opportunity to play with them is always good,’’ he said ahead of the February 9 showdown at Suncorp Stadium.

    ‘‘It’s the first game of the year and everyone is pumped and ready to play. It’s a great game to be a part of and not only that, it’s the activities you do throughout the week in the community which is also very rewarding and very enjoyable.’’

    Premiership-winning five-eighth Jamie Soward, a contender for an Indigenous All Stars spot, was outpolled by Brisbane recruit Scott Prince for a halves spot.

    In the midst of what he described as one of the toughest pre-season regimes in years, Morris suggested the All Stars concept had gathered momentum since its 2010 inception.

    ‘‘I think that’s evidenced by the fact they’ve moved the game to Suncorp [Stadium] so they can get more people to watch it,’’ he said. ‘‘I think it’s become a showcase event and I think everyone really looks forward to the All Stars weekend.’’

    NRL All Stars V Indigenous All Stars

    Saturday, February 9, Suncorp Stadium

    NRL All Stars

    Billy Slater (Storm), Akuila Uate (Knights), Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Roosters), Josh Morris (Bulldogs), Brett Morris (Dragons), Benji Marshall (capt) (automatic selection) (Wests Tigers), Adam Reynolds (Rabbitohs), James Tamou (Cowboys), Cameron Smith (automatic selection) (Storm), Ben Hannant (Broncos), David Taylor (Titans), Anthony Watmough (Sea Eagles), Paul Gallen (Sharks). Interchange: Robbie Farah (Tigers), Tim Grant (Panthers), David Shillington (Raiders), Feleti Mateo (Warriors), Jarryd Hayne (Eels). Coach’s selections: Willie Mason (Knights), Cooper Cronk (Storm).

    Indigenous All Stars

    Ben Barba (Bulldogs), Reece Robinson (Raiders), Justin Hodges (Broncos), Greg Inglis (Rabbitohs), Blake Ferguson (Raiders), Johnathan Thurston (capt) (Cowboys), Scott Prince (Broncos), George Rose (Sea Eagles), Travis Waddell (not contracted), Andrew Fifita (Sharks), Joel Thompson (Raiders), Greg Bird (Titans), Nathan Peats (Rabbitohs). Interchange: Ryan James (Titans), Aidan Sezer (Titans), Joel Romelo (Bulldogs), Jake Foster (Raiders). Coach’s selections: Dane Nielsen (Warriors), Timana Tahu (Knights), Jack Wighton (Raiders)

    Brett Morris, who plays for the Dragons, and his brother Josh, who plays for the Bulldogs. Picture: DAVE TEASE

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

  2. Hungry Rein eyes spot in 2013 Origin

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    April 21, 2019 by admin

    Trent Merrin’s representative rise has fuelled Dragons hooker Mitch Rein’s desire to stake a representative claim ahead of this weekend’s Emerging Blues camp in Sydney.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Rein will be one of 22 players to bunker down in a development camp for NSW’s highly touted prospects this weekend, and has consulted his St George Illawarra teammate on the benefits.

    ‘‘I had a bit of a word to Trent and he said it was a really good camp and they learnt a lot,’’ the 22-year-old rake said.

    ‘‘As you can see now, Trent’s played a couple of games. He must have got a lot out of the camp and hopefully I’ll be able to learn a few things and improve my game.’’

    Merrin has since made four State Of Origin appearances for the Blues, despite his controversial axing for the last two series-deciding matches.

    Rein’s path to rugby league’s fiercest cauldron may be blocked, with incumbent Robbie Farah having seemingly cemented his spot as the Blues No9. But Rein is not completely out of the picture.

    He proved he was at the forefront of the selectors’ thoughts after coming into contention for a Country Origin spot last year.

    The Kiama junior was to be called into the squad to cover for Danny Buderus in the annual trial, but had to withdraw with a pectoral muscle strain.

    He excelled in an otherwise deflating end to the Dragons’ season and shrugged off concerns that opposition defences would clamp down on his dummy-half running as he becomes a key part of the Red V’s attack.

    ‘‘That’s just more motivation for me to work harder and try to bring the things I’ve been working on this whole pre-season and implement them into the game,’’ he said.

    ‘‘If I’m playing my best footy, I’m playing with confidence and everything will be fine.’’

    The workaholic Rein, who topped the Dragons’ tackle count last year with 769, is the first-choice hooking option for coach Steve Price.

    Former Australian Schoolboy Cameron King is jockeying for inclusion in the top 17, and Damien Cook is training full-time with the squad after a standout year with the Illawarra Cutters.

    ‘‘You come in there as a young guy and you’ve got to tell a lot of older and more experienced players what to do,’’ Rein said.

    ‘‘That’s pretty hard to handle and do when you first come in.

    ‘‘I’m sure that Damien will get a lot out of this pre-season and he’ll improve his game.

    ‘‘Everyone’s really been pushing each other for spots, and I’m sure when it comes to trial time everyone will keep working hard. There’s that many spots up for grabs.’’

    St George Illawarra’s campaign begins in a pre-season trial against the Cowboys in Cairns on February16.

    Mitch Rein enjoys the Dragons’ pre-season training. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

  3. Saville feels the pressure ahead of NZ clash

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    April 21, 2019 by admin

    They’re about to embark on a frequent-flying binge but Glen Saville says it’s the ability to cope with New Zealand’s high-octane defensive press and not the travel that will determine the Hawks’ immediate fate.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Jetting out of the country yesterday on a gruelling road double against the Breakers and then Townsville (on Saturday) that will cover more than 7000kilometres, a weary Wollongong have the hardest task in the NBL tonight.

    Spearheaded by MVP-in-waiting Cedric Jackson and a slew of support acts, the Breakers have stormed to the top of the standings in search of a championship three-peat.

    And they have home court advantage against a Hawks side lacking last week’s starting backcourt, Rhys Martin and Lance Hurdle, who both require season-ending knee reconstructions.

    Complete coverage of the Wollongong Hawks

    Saville, who celebrates a 37th birthday today on the occasion when he will be crowned as the Hawks’ all-time games leader (525), said nullifying the Breakers’ up-tempo full court press would be crucial.

    ‘‘What makes things difficult is they press up the floor and disrupt you so well and the fact we’ve lost two guards, it does make things very difficult for us,’’ he said. ‘‘The reason they’ve won three titles in a row is their ability to disrupt teams defensively, and they put pressure on the ring with their shooters as well.

    ‘‘I think the key is being able to beat that pressure for a start.’’

    It’s something Wollongong, like few other teams, have managed to do in the past.

    Only this time the ball-handling responsibility will fall to back-up guards Adris Deleon and Tyson Demos instead of Martin, who has slayed the Breakers in the past.

    Despite being savaged with injuries that have almost ground their season to a standstill, the Hawks need look no further than last season for inspiration on how to beat their rivals in Auckland.

    In what proved to be a 2011-12 season of frustration for the Hawks, their highlight undoubtedly came in a Martin-inspired 18-point drubbing of the Breakers in New Zealand.

    Coach Gordie McLeod knows this task is very different as the Hawks (8-7) threaten to slip to a .500 mark for the first time this campaign.

    ‘‘That’s just the unpredictability of professional sport and the unpredictability of life,’’ the 2009-10 coach of the year said of the side’s crippling injury toll.

    ‘‘It’s a reality check, you just don’t know what’s around the corner. It’s obviously very disappointing and disheartening, but the reality is we have to play some games this week,’’ he said.

    Glen Saville will be crowned the Hawks’ all-time games leader today. Picture: ADAM McLEAN

    ‘‘You’ve got to try to regroup and have a plan for that.’’

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

  4. Chid sex abuse inquiry to ignore gag deals

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    April 21, 2019 by admin

    The head of the royal commission into child sex abuse says he will not hesitate to investigate alleged assaults that are the subject of confidentiality agreements.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Speaking alongside his five co-commissioners in Sydney, Justice Peter McClellan said non-disclosure agreements would not stop the commission inquiring into institutional responses to child sex assault.

    ‘‘The commission is aware that there has been considerable public discussion about the powers the commission has to inquire into matters which are the subject of confidential agreements,’’ Justice McClellan said.

    ‘‘We wish to emphasise that under the Royal Commission Act, the commission has powers to compel the production of evidence, including documents.

    ‘‘We will not hesitate in an appropriate case to exercise those powers.’’

    Justice McClellan said the task facing the commission was large and complex.

    He could not put a timeframe on when public hearings would commence.

    ‘‘Our task is complex and it will take significant time.’’

    He said the commission would be based in Sydney but that the six commissioners would sit in different parts of the country.

    He reminded those present that the commission was not a prosecuting body.

    Nor, he said, was it able to award compensation to victims.

    ‘‘Our investigative processes will be utilised to receive and consider what we expect to be accounts by individuals that tell of their experience.’’

    He said that given the sensitivity of the issues involved, there could at times have to be ‘‘constraints’’ on the inquiry.

    ‘‘This may mean that proceedings will take place in private, and real names may not be used.’’

    However, Justice McClellan said, where possible the commission would carry out proceedings in public.

    The commission had set up a phone hotline for victims of sex abuse to call and leave their personal details.

    Even so, Justice McClellan said, the process of gathering evidence would take months.

    ‘‘It may be some months before the progress of the commission is apparent to the public.’’

    Justice Peter McClellan. Picture: NIC GIBSON

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

  5. Boral to cut 700 jobs from Aust operations

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    April 21, 2019 by admin

    Hundreds of workers at Boral face an uncertain future after the building products maker announced it would cut 700 staff from its Australian operations.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The announcement comes on the same day that Vodafone revealed it would shut down its Crazy John’s mobile phone operation, resulting in up to 300 job losses, and two days after steelmaker BlueScope announced it was shedding 170 jobs in Victoria.

    Australian Workers Union (AWU) national secretary Paul Howes said the job cuts at Boral were a ‘‘shocking start’’ to 2013 for the local manufacturing sector.

    Boral said yesterday the 700 redundancies would be made at all levels of its business, with the majority expected to come from managerial and office staff ranks, in a move predicted to save the company $90million a year.

    Chief executive Mike Kane said the cuts were needed because Boral had become burdened with excessive overhead costs.

    ‘‘The review is purposely not focused on sales functions or operational roles and therefore will have no impact on the level or type of services provided to customers.’’

    He said the review identified managerial and functional support areas where inefficiencies and duplication have crept in over time.

    Of the 700 redundancies, Boral said 200 had already occurred, and the remainder were expected to be completed by March. Boral’s head office in Sydney would bear the brunt of the cuts.

    Jobs losses in NSW will make up 40 per cent of the total, with Victoria and Queensland each bearing 20per cent.

    Another 12 per cent will come from South Australia, 8 per cent from Western Australia and the rest from Tasmania.

    The AWU’s Mr Howes said he suspected the decision was an attempt by the company’s new CEO to impress the board and shareholders by getting a short-term bounce in its share price.

    Boral shares surged by more than 10per cent after the announcement.

    Federal opposition industry spokeswoman Sophie Mirabella blamed the federal government for the job losses.

    She said ‘‘red tape, higher taxes and increased business burdens’’ had added to costs on the manufacturing sector.


    Boral has announced plans to cut 700 employees. Picture: PAUL HARRIS

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.