Cowboys meet Dubbo Macquarie

Cowboys captain coach Justin Toomey – White has been in hot form.The Wellington Cowboys are buoyed by the return of Blockbusting centre Chris Jones and Ken Everson will be given a roving commission at half back for Sundays must win group 11 rugby league match against Dubbo Macquarie at Apex Oval.

Regular halfback Richard Peckham is on the verge of coming back into the side after an injury but the club says he is not right just yet.

Wellington go into the crucial match off the back of two tough wins against Narromine and Forbes and now go on the road against Macquarie and Cyms.

Captain coach Justin Toomey White says the side has trained well and are confident of performing in the run to the finals.

‘’We also welcome the return of Ben McGregor plus we have a solid bench so we’re up for it’’ he said.

Sundays side is : 1 Norm West 2 Jake Tolhurst, 3 Robbie Donn, 4 Chris Jones, 5 Scott Thompson, 6 Keiran Brien, 7 Ken Everson, 8 Ben McGregor, 9 Trent Forrest, 10 Chris Thompson, 11 Justin Toomey White (c/c), 12 Shannon Ireland, 13 Ryan Humphries. Reserves : Paul Black, Nathan Smith, Michael Ryan, Nathan Thompson.

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


Miles thriving in second shot

By drafting Anthony Miles last year Richmond, by definition, believed the GWS discard had something to offer. But just how much he has already offered in six weeks has shocked the club.

Since the 22-year-old was elevated from the rookie list for his club debut in round 12, no Tiger matches him for contested possessions (68), while across the league only recognised extractors Tom Liberatore and Andrew Swallow exceed his tally of 41 clearances.

In those six matches the midfielder has averaged 26 disposals, and thrice attracted votes in the AFL Coaches’ Association best-player award.

After his 26-disposal, eight-clearance, six inside-50 display in the Tigers’ past match – the shock home win against Port Adelaide – coach Damien Hardwick admitted he did not expect Miles to be making such a significant contribution.

“You’ve got to love those players that continually surprise you at every level. He’s done it all his career,” he said.

Miles’ potential as an inside-midfielder was reflected in him finishing runner-up in the 2009 Murray Bushrangers’ best-and-fairest, despite being a bottom-age player. That form earned Miles, who hails from the NSW-side Murray River town of Howlong, a contract as a zone player for GWS.

Beyond a six-week stint late in the Giants’ first year in 2012 Miles struggled for opportunities. After only 10 senior matches in two seasons he was culled at the end of last season.

As a player manager, an obvious tenet of Marty Pask’s role is to promote his clients, especially those with an uncertain future. But for a select few, such advocacy becomes impassioned and relentless as a means to “keep ramming home that player’s potential”, such as a few years ago with the then little-known Michael Barlow.

After Miles generated no interest in both the trade period and the national draft, Pask’s haranguing succeeded “at the 11th hour” when it came to the rookie draft, courtesy of the Tigers.

“I annoyed [head recruiter] Blair Hartley at Richmond enough to give him an opportunity,” Pask said.

Once Miles arrived at Richmond, one of the club’s assistant coaches Mark Williams (the Sandringham premiership coach, not the Port Adelaide one also at the club), sought a scouting report from a former teammate of his, Darren Ogier, who had been his under-18 coach at Murray Bushrangers. Ogier was happy to share his observations of the “fierce competitor” he last coached in 2010.

“In an under, with a cheeky grin. He loved it. The harder it got the cheekier the grin. He was the first one in and the last one up,” the Murray coach recalled. “He was very good at extracting the ball from stoppages. His inside work was something that really stood out to me. He just read the ball extremely well in clearances.”

Ogier does not express any gripes towards the Giants for rarely selecting Miles from their “plethora of talented midfielders”. He instead focuses on his satisfaction that the now bigger-bodied Miles, who will play his seventh match of the season on Friday night away to West Coast, is thriving at senior level.

“More than anything, I’m just rapt he’s got a second chance,” he said. “It’s certainly been a great couple of months for him … fingers crossed he continues to build on that.”

While Jake King’s looming return to fitness could force Miles back to the rookie list, there is little doubt the Tigers, in that event, will be ensuring he can replace another injured player or be their nominated mid-season upgrade, so he remains eligible to finish the season.

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


Newcastle Knights will come back stronger after horror NRL season, says chairman Paul Harragon

Club in turmoil: Knights chairman Paul Harragon. Photo: Stuart QuinnA player in jail, one in a wheelchair, another in a mental health clinic, an owner gone broke and a coach who has quit.

Some clubs wouldn’t survive a season like Newcastle have endured this year but Knights chairman Paul Harragon believes they will come out of it stronger than ever.

“One thing I do know is that this club has gone through an evolution to a point now where it is in the best position ever to be a powerhouse club,” Harragon says.

The man who led the Knights to their 1997 grand final win over Manly, which all but ended the Super League war, has always bled red and blue. The way the city rallied behind last weekend’s fund-raising efforts for Alex McKinnon demonstrated many others in Newcastle do too.

It is unlikely any other club in the NRL is as closely bound to the area it represents as the Knights, whose players helped fans cope with the 1989 earthquake and mine closures of the late 1990s, while feeding off the support of people who lined the road to Sydney to farewell the team before their 1997 and 2001 grand final triumphs.

Yet since the departure of Michael Hagan – another member of the club’s hall of fame – as coach in 2006, there has been a disconnect between Newcastle and the Knights. Fans reacted to not having one of their own in charge, to not having as many local players in the team, and ultimately, to a club they viewed as a plaything for Nathan Tinkler.

However, the “Newcastle” chant that reverberated around an emotion-charged Hunter Stadium on Sunday as a crowd of 26,401 – the Knights biggest home attendance of the season – turned out to support McKinnon, suggested fans feel it is their club again.

“In the history of the club, we have had some tumultuous years. We have had years where we have been close to administration and folding and carried large debts and all sorts of obstacles, but certainly this year takes the cake,” Harragon said of a season that has also seen Russell Packer jailed, Darius Boyd seek treatment for depression, Zane Tetevano sacked, Willie Mason arrested for drink driving, players go unpaid by Tinkler, and coach Wayne Bennett quit to join Brisbane.

“Right from the very start, it has just been incident after incident, but true to Newcastle and Hunter Valley form, people haven’t shied away. In fact, if anything, they have rallied around and we are gaining strength under fairly bad weather. Right now we are about as low as we can be, but with a huge light at the end of the tunnel.”

That light comes not only from the renewed support of fans but the opportunity to rebuild a club that has struggled financially almost from the time it was founded in 1988. It was only kept afloat by the support of fans and funding grants during the Super League war, when both the Australian Rugby League and News Ltd identified Newcastle as pivotal to the battle for control of the game.

Former ARL chief executive John Quayle, who oversaw the Knights admission and was in charge of the game during the Super League war, believes the club is just as important now.

Quayle, who has been engaged by the ARL Commission to help Newcastle through their transitional ownership period after Tinkler was forced to relinquish control of the club two months ago, said the Knights had been on the verge of bankruptcy before the former billionaire took over, but the NRL “would not have let them go”.

“I think back in our time, we never had any doubts that Newcastle had to be a major player in the long-term success of league and we have seen that,” Quayle said.

“You have got the fifth biggest city in Australia, you have got everything that is going forward, and that is why it is important that league moves with the city and again becomes the heart of the city.

“You can have a lot of sporting clubs around but if they don’t have a heart, they don’t work that long.”

Despite the turmoil caused by Tinkler’s three-year reign, Newcastle now have $5.1 million in the bank and the NRL is planning to establish a seven-person board, which would comprise of four independent directors, two representatives of the club’s new shareholders and a nominee from the Knights Members Club.

“The benefits for the club are that there is a clean sheet of paper and a new board and new ownership and new coach,” Harragon said. “In professional sport, you rarely get the opportunity to start from scratch.”

Quayle said the NRL had not ruled out further private ownership for the Knights, but the club would always retain its ties to the Newcastle community.

“There is nothing wrong with that, as long as the structure is set up so that if a partner comes in and then goes out, the club always remains viable,” he said. “That is what we must get right this time.”

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


Business takes the lead

Business owners have been told the pick up of Industrial Waste will finish in the local government area from September 30 in line with a number of other councils.

A letter has been sent to businesses. Some are not happy with the decision however local business owner Peter Lewsam at the Cow and Calf believes after a meeting with the mayor of Wellington and Technical Services says there is a strong possibility of the decision being a gain for the community.

‘’I and other business owners believe there is an opportunity for a local business to take on the pick up and delivery of industrial waste and at the same time maintain a reasonable cost for business and a return on investment for the new local business that picks it up’’

The mayor agrees with Mr Lewsam and is urging the Business Chamber to chat about the issue at its Monday meeting.

Mr Lewsam says affected business owners can call him on 0400376535.

Cr David Grant asked questions about the service at Council’s Ordinary meeting citing he was pleased that staff and Mr Lewsam were talking about the options going forward.

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


Alan’s a shooting star

ALAN Collins has been selected as the 2014 Northern Mallee Sports Star of the Year for the month of May.

CHAMPION: Alan Collins saw huge success at the Australian National Smallbore Championship in April.Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Collins was nominated by the Mildura Smallbore Rifle Club.

In April, Collins competed at the Australian National Smallbore Championship in Adelaide.

He placed second in the Open and A Grade 50m Class 3 events.

Collins also competed against 30 competitors in the veterans class and was the top shooter in that class.

Collins was selected as a state representative and was the top scorer for the team, which came second in the team competition.

As the May winner, Collins receives a voucher proudly sponsored by Sportspower and is now eligible for the 2014 Merbein and District Community Bank 97.9 Sun FM Northern Mallee Sports Star of the Year.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Friday’s Sunraysia Daily 25/07/2014.

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