Cricket: John Miller fills void as Cricket ACT chairman Ian McNamee steps down

by admin on November 20th, 2018

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Ian McNamee officially hands over to new Cricket ACT chairman John Miller. Photo: Cameron WalterIan McNamee has pulled up stumps on his tenure as Cricket ACT chairman with deputy John Miller to fill the void.

McNamee made the decision to step down after eight years, allowing an “honoured and privileged” Miller to slip into the role  he has been groomed for for some time.

Miller said if ever anyone needed a reminder of McNamee’s influence on cricket in the region, they need just look up to the “diamonds in the sky”.

The lights at Manuka Oval have been the catalyst for a host of top level cricket to be played in Canberra since they were installed in 2013.

McNamee spent 16 years as a Cricket ACT director before returning as chairman eight years ago, but before that he sat on Manuka Oval boards for more than two decades.

His long association with the ground is the reason for lauding the lights as the highlight of his time.

“The most significant thing that’s happened with ACT cricket and Manuka Oval in particular are those lights,” McNamee said.

“The Big Bash final we wouldn’t have had without lights. Three World Cup games we wouldn’t have had without lights. The Australian team wouldn’t have played here without lights.”

Miller said the lights have changed the dynamic of cricket in the region.

“I think Ian will always be able to drive by that ground and very proudly think about his contribution in making that happen because it was a significant effort on Ian’s behalf,” Miller said.

McNamee admits he is still coming to terms with the decision as in influx of phone calls and messages remind him of the legacy he will leave at Cricket ACT.

A Test match in the 2018/19 season was the final feather in McNamee’s cap after the upgrade of Phillip Oval was announced in 2015.

“My standing down was foreshadowed at the AGM the previous year, and I knew that the Test match was very close,” McNamee said.

“If you read some of the history of ACT cricket they’ve been trying to get Test matches in Canberra for 30 years, [now] the facility is there.”

McNamee, who will stay on as a patron at Cricket ACT, believes the new Phillip Oval facility will ensure Canberra continues its reputation as a strong breeding ground for top-class cricketers.

“That indoor training facility will be enormous for developing young cricketers in this region,” McNamee said.

“It will be an amazing complex, but I can see a lot of young aspiring cricketers coming to Canberra to actually get their tuition with the team that [Cricket ACT CEO] Cameron French has got assembled there at Manuka with your Blizzards, and Butterworths and so forth to coach them.”

Miller echoed his predecessor’s comments in saying the facility will guide Cricket ACT on its path to “becoming that No.1 talent hotspot in Australia”.

Miller is hopeful Cricket ACT will move into the new facility within a year with construction slated to begin in early 2017.​

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Dan Penca gets NRC chance as Canberra Vikings blood son of Wallabies great Tim Horan

by admin on November 20th, 2018

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Queanbeyan Whites captain Dan Penca gets rare chance to start for the Canberra Vikings this weekend. Photo: Matt BedfordDan Penca has waited three years for his National Rugby Championship opportunity and he’s vowed to make the most of his starting chance against an ACT Brumbies recruit.

Queanbeyan skipper Penca will square off against new Brumbies signing Chris Alcock when the Canberra Vikings play the Sydney Rays at Pittwater Park on Saturday.

Penca, a former Australian junior representative, has been forced to bide his time as overseas trips, selection and injuries delayed his opportunity to make a mark on the NRC.

But the 28-year-old is unfazed by the challenge as the Vikings fight to stay in finals contention in the penultimate round of the regular season.

Penca thought some of his teammates were playing a joke when he felt a sharp pain in his calf at Vikings training in August.

“I turned around to see what they’d done but there was nothing. I tore my calf and I’d never done that before,” Penca said.

He sat on the sidelines for a month as the Vikings battled through an up-and-down season that has left them precariously close to missing the play-offs.

Vikings coach Wayne Southwell has turned to Canberra’s best club rugby players for the crucial match against the Rays, making nine changes and drafting in untapped talent while Brumbies players were rotated out.

It means Penca will clash against Super Rugby journeyman Alcock, who will play for the Brumbies next year as David Pocock’s temporary replacement.

Penca, who played in the Australian under-19s with Pat McCabe and Dan Palmer, missed the inaugural NRC season after taking an opportunity to link with Southwell in Canada and only got 30 minutes of game time for the Vikings last year.

“It’s been a lot of training over the last couple of years so I’m really excited that I get to test myself at that next level,” Penca said.

“I’m just keen to play some footy. It’s always good to test yourself against someone [like Alcock]. It will be a good challenge for me and I can’t wait.

“The injury before round one put a bit of a hindrance on the NRC plans this year with only eight rounds in the season so I’m just grateful that I’ve managed to get back.”

The Vikings will blood Alex Horan, the son of Wallabies great Tim Horan, from the bench, while the back line is littered with club rugby players.

Wests flyer Eli Sinoti and Tuggeranong hardman Jake Rakic will join Royals scrumhalf Brent Hamlin in the starting side as Southwell turns to youth.

Penca gets his crack at openside flanker, while Ray Dobson will start at tight-head prop and brother Nick Dobson will get his opportunity from the bench.


Saturday: Sydney Rays v Canberra Vikings at Pittwater Park, 3pm.

Vikings team: 15. Robbie Coleman, 14. Eli Sinoti, 13. Jake Rakic, 12. Jordan Jackson-Hope, 11. Lausii Taliaulu, 10. Nick Jooste, 9. Brent Hamlin, 8. OJ Noa, 7. Dan Penca, 6. Jordan Smiler, 5. Tom Staniforth, 4. Blake Enever, 3. Ray Dobson, 2. Robbie Abel, 1. Faalelei Sione. Reserves: 16. Connal McInerney, 17.Sione Taula, 18. Nick Dobson, 19. Darcy Swain, 20. Dean Oakman-Hunt, 21. Joe Powell, 22. Alex Horan, 23. Andrew Robinson.

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AFL grand final 2016: Luke Beveridge – the two sides of a top dog coach

by admin on November 20th, 2018

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Luke Beveridge, Bob Murphy and Easton Wood take the plaudits from Western Bulldogs fans. Photo: Justin McManusFootball’s love affair with Luke Beveridge is neither simple nor monogamous. For to love the Western Bulldogs’ messiah is to love two men – the romantic and the ruthless formalist.

The 2013 Norm Smith medallist Brian Lake – who credits then Hawthorn defensive coach Beveridge with a mid-season intervention that year that realigned his career – believes the Bulldogs coach has managed to combine his two sides to locate the perfect sweet spot between mate and “hard arse”.

Bulldogs captain Robert Murphy has described him as “the most balanced person I’ve met in footy. He’s clinical and methodical and super-focused, and yet he has this other side where his love of the game, the romance and his passion are equally important to him and the way he coaches.”

Murphy described sitting near Beveridge with the Bulldogs’ coaches in the final 10 minutes of last week’s preliminary final against Greater Western Sydney as “almost unnerving. I was with the statisticians turning into a human pretzel and he’s just totally calm.

“His tone and his messaging were just so controlled. That steady hand when things are really tense and there’s a lot happening are quite remarkable when others – well, me – are figuratively and almost literally breathing into a brown paper bag.”

But Beveridge does have his unhinged moments, not unlike many great coaches. Although unlike some he listens and converses with others about subjects outside of his own sphere. And he can laugh later at his “psycho” self.

Generally, Beveridge’s anger is fuelled by fierce club loyalty or perceived wrongs to his players or coaches. No one laughed when Gold Coast poached his head of fitness, Justin Cordy, last year; Beveridge memorably recalled a group of journalists to vent his anger.

As a footballer, Beveridge played 118 games across Melbourne, the Bulldogs and St Kilda, leaving an impression from beginning to end.

Matt Healy, a fellow St Bede’s boy, former teammate and friend, recalls a suntanned, ripped, ringlet-haired but gently spoken surfie arriving in 1987 for his first Melbourne under-19s training session, before hitting the track as if it was grand final week. From that moment, said Healy, he knew what standards were expected.

St Kilda football director Andrew Thompson remembers the stirring farewell speech the unwilling AFL retiree and teammate Beveridge delivered 12 years later, in the bowels of the WACA before his last game, a farewell that inspired the Saints to an upset thrashing of West Coast.

While assistant coach at Hawthorn, before one big game Beveridge showed the team’s defenders the store robbery scene from the Dirty Harry film The Enforcer, in which Clint Eastwood’s famous character responds to armed robbers demanding a car by driving said vehicle into the shop and then shooting the criminals. “Don’t sit back and let them dictate,” was the message, according to the backs’ coach. “Take the fight to them.”

Brian Lake described Beveridge’s quirkiness as a joy for the Hawthorn defensive six to work with: “He’d get online and find photos or videos and characterise us in a certain way and now he’s doing it with a whole team. This week I’m sure there will be the twin towers of Sydney, the Bondi billionaires against the Western suburbs boys who need to fend for themselves.

“He’d tell us defenders at Hawthorn that we’re not the glory hunters, the glamour forwards – we’re the silent assassins who get the job done when you don’t see us coming, the bandit boys.

“I liked his analogies. He was a cut above most assistant coaches who are like the nerds who sit around for hours cutting tape and looking at edits. And you never got a rocket from him the way Rocket [former Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade] would give me because you worked so hard not to disappoint him. You just never wanted to turn up on Monday and see that disappointed look on his face.”

Beveridge replaced now St Kilda coach Alan Richardson as development coach at Collingwood at the end of 2008, after his famed run in the amateurs where he coached his old school St Bede’s to successive premierships from C to B to A grade across three seasons.

Beveridge was at Collingwood for two years, leaving after the Magpies’ 2010 flag. New coach Nathan Buckley wanted him to stay, but for reasons involving superannuation, Beveridge returned to his government post where he had been working in a senior national security role fighting money laundering. After one year, his financial issues resolved, Beveridge realised football was his calling and joined Hawthorn, leaving after the 2014 season. He was set to become director of coaching at St Kilda.

“Even though I barely knew him I thought he was very impressive and forthright,” said Richardson. “I felt we needed a director of coaching and strategy with an eye on where the game was going and Gavin Brown at Collingwood had spoken very highly of him.

“In coming on board he did make the point that the way he wanted our team to play in a certain area was a little bit unique. So we gave him a laptop and loaded him up with some of our games because he was going overseas with his family for a holiday. Obviously he didn’t last as long as we’d hoped.”

Richardson’s description of “a certain area” clearly refers to Beveridge’s focus on accountability and defence. Immediately after winning the Bulldogs job, he told both chairman Peter Gordon and his predecessor, David Smorgon, that Murphy would be playing as a permanent defender along with Matthew Boyd, while Liam Picken, whose career has blossomed under Beveridge, would be freed up.

Andrew Thompson, who had played with Beveridge during his time on the Bulldogs’ supplementary list and later at St Kilda, called Saints club chief Matt Finnis almost immediately after McCartney was removed from the Bulldogs coaching position. “We’re in trouble,” said Thompson. “He [Beveridge] is going to get that job.”

Thompson recalled this week that as soon as Luke Darcy agreed to join the Bulldogs’ coaching selection panel, the appointment became a fait accompli. “I knew if Bevo was interviewed they wouldn’t go past him.”

A guilt-stricken Beveridge, who had signed a contract with St Kilda, called Finnis, Richardson and Thompson once the senior coaching job had become a reality. “If you don’t want me to do it then I won’t do it,” he told Alan Richardson, who responded that, having one year earlier departed his contracted role at Port Adelaide for a senior position, he could hardly deny Beveridge such an opportunity.

Hawthorn, too, did not want to lose Beveridge, but could not offer the highly regarded assistant coach a position commensurate with the St Kilda role he never actually began.

The view from several at Hawthorn is that one of Beveridge’s strengths is his ability to understand the struggle of the average AFL player, because he faced that struggle himself.

Not that it was apparent at the beginning of his career. Healy said “on day one he hit training like there was a grand final the week after. I realised straightaway that I was going to have to raise the level expected of us.”

Like Murphy and Lake, Healy said one of the most attractive things about Beveridge was the double-sided nature of his character. “He has that intensity that comes out in his work ethic, but he’s a sensitive guy also,” he said.

One of club chief David Stevenson’s final acts before leaving the Bulldogs in some acrimony in June was to extend Beveridge’s contract until 2020. To that end Stevenson can still feel some ownership to the grand final journey. He will attend the game as a guest of the AFL and reportedly never fell out with the coach, who called Stevenson for a lengthy conversation after the chief executive had left the club.

Healy said Beveridge remained handy at any sport he put his mind to, while Lake endorsed the “cut” description. “He’s a little bit vain as well,” said Lake. “He … loved our weights room.”

“After the 2014 flag he was the only coach to rock up to ‘Mad Monday’,” adds Lake. “The boys got around him and tried to make him scull a beer, which he didn’t do. As a coach he wasn’t our mate and yet he wasn’t a hard-arse. He somehow found that sweet spot.”

Andrew Thompson recalls coach Stan Alves putting in place a pre-training ritual in which each St Kilda player had to tell a joke before training. “Most guys would try to get their jokes out of the way as quickly as possible, but Bevo would grab a chair and tell the longest jokes, which were so funny along the way that it didn’t really matter if the punch line wasn’t that funny.”

Beveridge had believed he could play on after 1999 but coach Tim Watson disagreed, so – with the Saints having narrowly missed the finals – the player chose to make that memorable farewell speech at the WACA.

“He spoke for five to ten minutes,” said Thompson, “and I couldn’t tell you what he said, but I remember it was so emotional and so inspirational and we came out and trounced West Coast by about 75 points.”

The story of how the Western Bulldogs turned around their club under leaders from Peter Gordon to Beveridge to Murphy after the horror spring and early summer of 2014 will become football legend should they win only their second flag.

Murphy said that as newly appointed captain he felt he connected with Beveridge very quickly. “But we probably didn’t have much choice,” he said. “We were one-out, the scourge really, in terms of the game and the competition. Everyone was coming at us, so maybe it helped us make that connection. We clung together and there was no time for second guessing.”

If it is true, as Murphy says, that he has been waiting all his playing life for Luke Beveridge, the Western Bulldogs might well have been waiting for 62 years.

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National weather: New front to hit sodden south-east Australia on Sunday

by admin on November 20th, 2018

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The SES outside a home in Downer in South Australia. Photo: Rohan Thomson NSW Premier visiting flood-affected Forbes. Photo: Olivia Grace-Curran

After a week of storms, flooding and tornadoes, the south-east of the country will be hit by another cold front on Sunday night.

An incredible ring-like low-pressure system has been lashing southern and eastern parts of Australia since Wednesday, pushing unprecedented winds up into South Australia and across to NSW, Victoria and Tasmania.

Five people, including two young children, escaped fast-flowing rising floodwaters in Tasmania on Friday after the island state copped widespread torrential rain.

South Australia was pummelled by a once-in-50-year weather event with tornadoes, large hail, flash flooding and a statewide blackout on Wednesday.

By Friday, the complex weather system had moved away, leaving a a big clean-up bill in its wake.

Victorians escaped the worst of the cyclonic weather this week and despite some rain to hit Melbourne on Saturday morning, by the AFL grand final bounce at the MCG, those showers will have cleared.

“All of the game is looking dry at this stage, if there’s any rainfall during the grand final it will be very light and brief and it won’t have any significant impact on play,” Weatherzone meteorologist Ben Domensino said.

The ring-like storm phenomenon that hit South Australia is called a cut-off system, a low-pressure system that breaks away from the main flow of westerly winds that lie south of Australia.

“It’s unusual for it to be this well organised and this well developed in Australia,” Weatherzone meteorologist Rob Sharp said.

“It wraps all the way around with the associated cold front and the trough that continues up into Queensland. We often see cut-off low pressure systems but it’s rare for them to be as slow moving as this one and as powerful as this one.”

Mr Sharp said South Australia had suffered the double-whammy of a summer-like thunderstorm on Wednesday, with more than 100,000 lightning strikes, and then a winter-like storm on Thursday with cold temperatures and huge winds.

“In a sense, South Australia got the worst of the summer [storms] followed by one of the worst of winter storms this year,” he said.

Parts of sodden north-east Victoria received up to 50mm of rain on Thursday morning, spurring a number of moderate and minor flood warnings.

Mount Hotham recorded 145km/h winds.

Victoria’s alpine areas were even spoilt with white powder, with between 20 and 30cm of snow covering the peaks on Thursday.

Tasmania also suffered from heavy flooding on Friday.

Just after midday on Friday, a rescue helicopter was called to Huonville, south of Hobart, where the group of family and friends was trapped in a boat as they tried to reach higher ground.

Five people, including two young children, were saved from the fast-flowing floodwaters.

In NSW, 181 families have been isolated after the biggest floods in decades hit the central west this week. Communities have faced no road access, limited communications and dwindling supplies.

Bureau of Meteorology senior meteorologist Craig Burke said on Friday afternoon there was still major flooding for several NSW rivers, and a severe weather warning was in place for windy conditions at NSW’s ranges on Friday night.

Another frontal system will move across south-east Australia on Sunday night and into Monday morning. Mr Burke said that would bring more rain.

“The heaviest rain will be across north-east parts of Victoria, central parts of NSW, and western parts of Tasmania,” he said.

“While the system won’t have the same impact in terms of the extreme events we saw on Wednesday, it’s still a concern for flooding in some rivers.”

Weatherzone is owned by Fairfax Media

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Severe weather warning issued for Busselton region

by admin on November 20th, 2018

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AS at 3.21pmon Friday the Bureau of Meteorology advisedadeep low pressure system will move South of Albany and an associated strong cold front will move over South West parts of WA during Saturday.

The front is expected to be windier than a typical front and is likely to produce the kind of weather that is around twice a year.

If you livein an area South West of a line from Mandurah to Hyden to Israelite Bayyoushould take action and stay safe with severe weatherto come.

This includes people in Mandurah, Narrogin, Katanning, Bridgetown, Margaret River, Busselton, Bunbury, Albany, Esperanceand surrounding areas.

This weather system is likely to cause widespread damaging winds to 100 kilometres per hour that could result in damage to homes and property.

In isolated areas dangerous gusts in excess of 125 kilometres per hour could cause significant damage or destruction to homes and property.

Damaging winds are likely to develop South West of a line Busselton to Windy Harbour between 3am and 5am Saturday, and extend to south west of a line Mandurah to Hyden to Israelite Bay after 8am Saturday.

Small hail is possible, with thunderstorms likely south of a line Bunbury to Esperance.

Dangerous surf conditions are likely which could cause significant beach erosion.

Storms may be accompanied by damaging winds and small hail.

This is unusual weatherthat is likely to causedamage to homes and make travel dangerous.

What to do

Ifoutside find safe shelter away from trees, powerlines, storm water drains and streams.

Close your curtains and blinds, and stay inside away from windows.

Unplug electrical appliances and avoid using landline telephones if there is lightning.

If there is flooding, create your own sandbags by using pillow cases filled with sand and place them around doorways to protect your home.

If boating, swimming or surfing leave the water.

If driving

Do not drive into water of unknown depth and current.

Slow down, turn your lights on and keep a safe distance from other drivers.

Be alert and watch for hazards on the road such as fallen powerlines and loose debris.

If it is raining heavily and you cannot see, pull over and park with your hazard lights on until the rain clears.

Take care in areas that have been flooded and be careful driving on gravel roads as surfaces will be slippery and muddy, and vehicles could become bogged.

What emergency services are doing

DFES is monitoring the situation.

If you need assistance

If your home has been badly damaged by a storm, call the SES on 132 500

In a life threatening situation call 000

After a storm State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers make temporary repairs to homes that have been badly damaged, such as roofs that have been ripped off or large fallen trees on homes and cars. Please contact your insurance company to organise permanent repairs.

Keep up to date

Visitdfes.wa.gov419论坛, call 13 DFES (13 3337), follow DFES on Twitter @dfes_wa or listen to news bulletins.

For the latest weather warnings visitbom.gov419论坛/wa/warningsor call 1300 659 213.

The next update will be provided when the situation changes.

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