Archive for: ‘October 2019’

Irish have energy for one final rugby push

13/10/2019 Posted by admin

No.8 CJ Stander is confident Ireland can hit their Six Nations heights against Australia in Sydney.It has been a massive and sapping 12 months for Ireland’s top rugby players, but finding extra legs of energy won’t be an issue in the Test decider against Australia in Sydney.

A series-clinching win over the Wallabies on Saturday would cap off a spectacular season for Ireland, with the country currently enjoying top dog honours in the northern hemisphere.

Ireland supplied several players for the 2017 Lions tour of New Zealand and then won the 2018 Six Nations unbeaten, while Leinster added the PRO14 and Champions Cup to the nation’s trophy cabinet.

“The boys at Leinster had an unbelievable season, they won everything they touched,” Ireland No.8 CJ Stander said.

“From an international point of view coming from the grand slam, I think this will just top off our season.”

South African-born Stander, who started the first two Tests against the Wallabies, doubts fatigue will be a factor for Ireland.

“I think the energy gets picked up to the end because there’s one more to go, there’s a big opportunity,” he said.

“Playing-wise we’ve been well looked after as a few players had a few weeks off after the Six Nations and during the season with the clubs.

“Weeks like this the energy picks up. Everyone wants to play, everyone’s fit and we’re looking forward to the decider.”

Stander felt Ireland needed to take more of their chances to hit the levels they reached in their all-conquering Six Nations campaign.

“Performance-wise, we’re close to where we were during the Six Nations, but we’re not up there yet,” he said.

“I think there’s a few chances as (head coach) Joe (Schmidt) mentioned we leave on the pitch, lost balls, set pieces that we don’t get the ball we wanted.”

“So I think there’s a fair bit left in us to go out here and play the way we want to play as we did in the Six Nations earlier this year.”

Australian Associated Press

GWS seek to resettle after AFL bye

13/10/2019 Posted by admin

Jacob Hopper (right) would have been happy for GWS not to have had a bye last weekend.Greater Western Sydney coach Leon Cameron admits there’s no way to avoid losing some rhythm because of the AFL bye.

The upside for Cameron is Brisbane, who the Giants tackle at the Gabba on Saturday, are also coming off their mid-season break.

Hawthorn defeated Adelaide last Saturday night, becoming the first team to win this year after a bye.

The week off provides players a chance to switch off mentally and refresh physically, but it arguably came at a particularly poor time for GWS given the expansion club’s momentum.

The Giants had snapped a four-match losing streak with a gutsy away win over Adelaide then thumped Gold Coast by a record 108 points, demonstrating exactly the sort of consistency that Cameron craved in May.

“The challenge is, like for every other club that has a bye, picking yourselves up after having a rest,” Cameron told reporters.

“Because you do lose a little bit of rhythm.

“It’s a huge challenge.

“Brisbane won their first game after the bye last year by 12 goals, so clearly they did it really really well – and we did it well last year.

“We can’t afford to have any mistakes. We sit outside the eight and we’ve got to continue to play some really good, hard footy to catch the frontrunners.”

Midfielder Jacob Hopper is among the GWS players who wish they didn’t have last weekend off.

Hopper’s career-best form has come after two injury-riddled seasons, during which he spent time on the sidelines because of heart surgery plus finger, back and ankle setbacks.

“I was probably keen to keep going. Being injured the last two years, it’s good to be playing some footy,” Hopper said.

“The sort of footy we are playing, we all kind of wanted to keep going.

“But it was our turn for the bye. It was a good opportunity to put the feet up, refresh and really plan for the second half of the season.”

The Giants, floated as premiership favourites by some pundits during the off-season after reaching preliminary finals in 2016 and 2017, are currently 10th on the ladder.

“We can’t just expect to play finals footy. It’s something we’re going to have to work really hard for,” Hopper said.

“We had a pretty disappointing month (in May) … hopefully we can keep getting better and better.”

Australian Associated Press

Blues rake can’t get Cooked by Maroons

13/10/2019 Posted by admin

NSW’s Damien Cook (r) could expect some extra attention in Origin II after his impressive debut.This is one NSW State of Origin player that can’t get cooked by Queensland.

Blues hooker Damien Cook has welcomed any challenge from Queensland to take his speed out of the game by upping his defensive workload.

Cook was one of the NSW heroes in Melbourne after cutting the Maroons forwards to shreds with his blistering work at the ruck, including setting up the opening try for James Tedesco.

It was yet another confidence-booster in a breakout year for the South Sydney rake.

“I’ve been lucky to play 80 minutes a lot for South Sydney week-in, week-out, so I’m building confidence within the team and myself as well, being able to do that,” Cook told AAP.

“Obviously Origin is something I’ve never experienced before so it was a whole different mindset going into that game, but that experience will make me better for round two.”

But while he was soundly praised for his contributions in attack, the 26-year-old said he also took plenty of stock out of finishing the night with 53 tackles, missing none.

It was just 10 tackles shy of the record set by former NSW captain and Rabbitohs teammate Robbie Farah during his memorable performance in 2012.

Cook wouldn’t expect anything less than to be more of a target in game two, having been tested on a weekly basis at club level – and passing with flying colours.

“It’s just smart from other teams. If you’re playing South Sydney, are you going to run it at myself, or at Sam, Tom or George (Burgess)?” he said.

“The smarter option’s to run it into the smaller body. We know we get that traffic in the game, it’s just part of the game. We just try do our part in the game in attack, but hold our own in defence.”

He backed his improvement in fitness to withstand any fiery test from the Maroons.

“It’s something I’ve worked hard on in the pre-season and over the last few years, making sure my fitness is up there,” Cook said.

“Game fitness is a whole different thing, but this year I’ve been able to play week-in, week-out, 80 minutes at club level and I feel like I can do the 80 minutes fine.”

Australian Associated Press

Dreamworld staff to face coroner’s inquest

13/10/2019 Posted by admin

Thunder River Rapids ride operator Peter Nemeth will continue giving evidence at the inquest.Dreamworld ride operators will provide their version of events regarding the October 2016 tragedy at the Gold Coast theme park to a Queensland inquest on Wednesday.

Main ride operator Peter Nemeth will continue giving evidence to the inquest into the deaths of Cindy Low, Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett and his partner Roozi Araghi when the inquest resumes at Southport.

On Tuesday, Mr Nemeth told the inquest he’d noticed the raft carrying the guests on a collision course to a stricken raft following a water pump malfunction.

Despite pushing a button to stop the ride’s conveyor “two or three times”, the attraction did not immediately shut down and the two rafts collided.

The four victims were killed instantly after being thrown from the raft into the conveyor mechanism.

Ms Goodchild’s 12-year-old daughter and Ms Low’s 10-year-old son survived the accident.

Mr Nemeth, who said he was among the “top 10” operators in the theme park, was unaware the button he pressed did not bring the conveyor to an immediate halt.

Instead a police investigation revealed it took up to nine seconds for the ride to stop.

“I am surprised to learn that,” Mr Nemeth said.

“I assumed the conveyor stop button would stop the ride instantly.”

The ride’s water pump had failed twice already on the day of the tragedy and Mr Nemeth had been informed to shut down the ride if it happened again.

He said he did not know that was a park policy until that day and had been operating other rides in the past where up to six malfunctions had happened and the ride continued to take guests.

“It was a regular occurrence,” he said, adding he had been working on the Thunder River Rapids ride a week before the tragedy when the pump had failed.

The other ride operator at the time of the tragedy, Courtney Williams, is also expected to give evidence on Wednesday.

The inquest heard on Tuesday Ms Williams had only been trained on her role for the attraction on the morning of the tragedy.

The inquest resumes at 10am.

Australian Associated Press

Woolies bids farewell to thin plastic bags

13/10/2019 Posted by admin

Woolworths has bid farewell to single-use plastic bags under a new ban across the retail giant’s stores

From today, shoppers must bring along re-usable bags or buy them at the retailer’s supermarkets, BWS, Metro and petrol outlets.

“This is a landmark day for us, not just as a business, but for our customers and communities, to help support a greener future for Australia,” chief executive Brad Banducci said on Wednesday.

Single-use plastic bags will no longer be given out at Woolworths stores. Photo: Tamara Voninski

“We are proud to say that from now on, single-use plastic bags are gone from our stores, for good.”

Mr Banducci acknowledged it could take shoppers a while to adjust to the ban.

“Putting ‘reusable bags’ at the top of your shopping list, keeping a couple in the car or leaving a post-it note on the fridge are some simple tricks that could work as a reminder,” he said.

READ MORE: Tips for adjusting to a plastic bag ban

Woolworths and Coles last July joined a push to rid Australia of disposable plastic bags and set a deadline of June 30, 2018 for their stores to stop offering them to shoppers.

Woolies, which has provided more than 3.2 billion plastic bags a year to shoppers, later brought forward that deadline to June 20.

Green groups have welcomed the bans being introduced by Coles and Woolworths.

Similar bans in Britain and Ireland have helped reduce plastic bag usage by up to 85 per cent.

Woolworths and Coles have also recently announced plans to slash the amount of plastic wrapping on fresh fruit and vegetables in response to demand from shoppers.

Australian Associated Press