Monthly Archives: June 2019

No time for tears as Newton ends career on big stage

THERE was little opportunity for Clint Newton to be overcome with emotion when the full-time siren sounded on his career as a professional rugby league player.
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After leading Newcastle to a 26-12 defeat to Ipswich in the State Championship final at ANZ Stadium, making a speech at the presentation ceremony and addressing his teammates in the dressing room, the 34-year-old barely had a chance to gather his thoughts when he received a hurry-up from NRL officials, who needed him to take his place in a parade of retiring stars.

The 34-year-old wasted no time changing from playing kit to dress suit, joining Newcastle teammates Kurt Gidley and David Fa’alogo on the podium.

After 15 seasons and 273 top-grade games in the NRL and Super League, the back-row workhorse admitted it had not sunk in that he had laced on the boots for the last time.

‘‘Not really,’’ he said. ‘‘That will come, no doubt.

‘‘I’m trying to get my head around what just happened. It’s been awesome, but that game, that doesn’t define my career and certainly doesn’t define the playing group.

‘‘That’s the biggest thing that these boys have to understand. That’s just life sometimes. You don’t always get what you want.’’

Newton said he did not shed a tear after the game.

‘‘I’m not saying I won’t over the next few days.

‘‘I’m certainly going to have time to reflect on my career and what I’ve been able to achieve, and that’s something I’ll be really proud of.

‘‘When I look over at my family, you realise there’s plenty more to life than footy.’’

A Valentine-Eleebana junior, Newton debuted for his home-town club in 2001 and played 100 games before his mid-season departure to Melbourne, with whom he won the 2007 grand final.

After 100 games over four seasons with Hull KR in England, he returned to the NRL for two years and 46 games at Penrith.

He then resumed at the Knights last season, volunteering to play a mentoring role in NSW Cup and provide back-up depth for the NRL squad.

Despite major injuries, including torn biceps and knee surgery, he managed 12 more games in first grade, including 10 this year, before leading Newcastle to their first reserve-grade title in 20 years, after a 20-10 win against Wyong Roos eight days ago.

That lifted the Knights into the interstate decider, where they were upstaged by Queensland Cup champions Ipswich.

‘‘It was a brave effort,’’ Newton said. ‘‘The boys did incredibly well. We started a bit slowly, but we fought back really hard, and that’s a credit to the playing group. It could have easily been a cricket score there when they kicked away early, but that shows how far this group has come and the future they’ve got.’’

Newton had mixed emotions about his farewell appearance.

‘‘It was certainly good to get a chance on the big stage, and I can’t thank this group enough for giving me an opportunity to do that,’’ he said. ‘‘That’s where I’m incredibly grateful to be able to lead this team and wear the red and blue.’’

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Long weekend is a new start

What is it about the long weekend in October that for so many brings a new sense of renewal?
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It starts with that sense of joie de vivre – and that’s not even for those who can’t call it a three day weekend.

Many, particularly in retail, industrial and service industries like hospitality, don’t get extra time off from the slog of work.

But you can still see it, feel it.

It’s in the air, and perhaps to some extent it’s the practical and physical turn of the season.

Around the north it often comes with the first flush of summer-like conditions. There’s a definite tinge of sunshiny happiness.

The heat ratchets up, the boats go out, the swimmers come on, the fishing lines are thrown in. And the barbie takes on a new seasoned summery smokiness.

The big outdoors welcomes us, like Easter and the festive season, often bringing families back together and friends in reunion.

And we reach for the shorts, theT-shirts and sandals and stash the winter woolies to the back of the wardrobe.

It brings a renewed outlook and a refreshed mental optimism that things will get better and our lives will assume a fillip of enthusiasm.

Or does it also have something to do with the fact it’s the big grand final footy weekend, and we’re all at the end of the season revved up for the opposing sides and happy to be sharing, somehow.

And talking about revved up, the long weekend in October traditionally sees plenty of lead foots on the roads too.

Getting someplace is somehow urgent and necessitates going faster.

Last year at this time, we reported how amazed police still were at the results of the double demerit weekend. People still – intoned one serious sergeant of police – risked fines, demerits, their licences, and therefore their livelihoods, to speed.

Let’s hope when the policing referees add up the scores from this weekend, more of us are winners, than losers.

It will add more happiness to the hordes out there still enjoying their weekend.

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

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Church performance of note

Evandale Village Singers Sally Fowler, Elizabeth van Winden, Sue Bedford, Alice Richardson and Kathy Petrofsky performing at the Holy Trinity Church in Launceston. Picture: GEOFF ROBSONLAUNCESTON audiences were enthralled with the Evandale Village Singers’ rendition of Joseph Haydn’s Nelson Mass at a special performance on Saturday.
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The singers, with soloists Michaela Young, Leoni Gryta, Christopher Berg and Christopher Nazarian, sung at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church.

It was the second time the group had sung the challenging piece of music.

The piece was written in 1798 when elaborate church music was forbidden in the Josephinian reforms.

It has been described as Haydn’s single greatest composition.

Choir member Sally-Anne Fowler said it was a fantastic opportunity to be able to sing a piece of music that was written to form part of a church service.

‘‘It is a very high standard of soloists, and we are lucky as a community choir to sing with such calibre of musicians,’’ she said.

‘‘It is my intention to enjoy the singing, as we all do. We have all been looking forward to singing this piece again.

‘‘It takes a lot of work to get music to this standard.’’

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

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Thunderbolt courage on the court

TAMWORTH Thunderbolts finished their Australian Under 14 Club Championships with a loss but it didn’t take away from a courageous effort from the Neil Wood-coached side.
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Nathan Clark shoots during the National Under 14 Club Championships in the Bendat Stadium , Perth. Photo courtesy Julia Greaves.

Struck down with three major injuries to key players before the tournament they were only able to start the tournament with eight players and then finish with seven when it took on the North Adelaide Rockets in a bronze medal playoff in the Phil Smyth Shield on Saturday morning.

They lost that game 77-55 after the side had lost its Friday night semi final to Willeton Tigers 62-46.

The Tigers scoreline was deceiving, Wood said.

“Don’t let the score fool you,” he said.

“The boys were great, competed for three quarters of the game. Fatigue got us in the final quarter. We had seven fit players and they had 12 on the bench. It was an amazing result, the boys played their hearts out.

“The boys have come a long way in this week.”

The courage and effort were incredible, said team manager Shane Sheppard.

“The boys were awesome all week,” he said.

“We finished 16th out of 24.”

Neil Wood said the final result was disappointing but couldn’t have been more impressed by his young side.

“It was unbelievable really,” he said.

“We fought it out with what we had left, it was a case of attrition.

“We lost Nathan Clark with a back injury early in the third quarter and then Ben Pearce fouled out in the fourth. We finished the game with five players. But it was typical of our season. We had so much bad luck. Amazing really to finish 16th overall. I’m elated about that and the boys can hold their heads high and be proud of that they have done.

“I do maintain too that if we had our full squad of 10 all fit that we could have won the gold medal in the Phil Smyth Shield.”

WILLETON TIGERS 62 (R Williams 28, Y Oyeniyi 13, B Nielsen 8, J Ibukunolowa 4, T Kohr 4, M Barham 3, A Rahimi 2) THUNDERBOLTS 46

(Nathan Clark 17, Ben Pearce 15, Connor Watt 7, Lachlan Damir 3, Tom Sheppard 2, Will Meyers 2).

NORTH ADELAIDE ROCKETS 77 (J Zussino 21, F Ipassou 18, N Pascale 17, J Hendry 10, C Edwards 4, D McDonald 3, R Real 4)

THUNDERBOLTS 55 (Nathan Clark 20, Connor Watt 15, Lachlan Damir 7, Ben Pearce 6, Will Meyers 5, Rowan Meyers 2).

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

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Lantry praises Knights after Jets take crown

Lantry praises Knights after Jets take crown Knights hooker Danny Levi is held up over the line against Ipswich. Picture: Getty Images
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NRL State Championship Grand Final. ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Newcastle Knights, in blue and red, VS Ipswich Jets, in green and white. Knights player George Ndaira, right, scores a try. Is embraced by Jaelen Feeney, left, and Clint Newton. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NRL State Championship Grand Final. ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Newcastle Knights, in blue and red, VS Ipswich Jets, in green and white. Knights player George Ndaira, scores a try. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NRL State Championship Grand Final. ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Newcastle Knights, in blue and red, VS Ipswich Jets, in green and white. Knights player Lachlan Fitzgibbon. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NRL State Championship Grand Final. ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Newcastle Knights, in blue and red, VS Ipswich Jets, in green and white. Knights player Carlos Tuimavave. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NRL State Championship Grand Final. ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Newcastle Knights, in blue and red, VS Ipswich Jets, in green and white. Jets player Richard Pandia. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NRL State Championship Grand Final. ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Newcastle Knights, in blue and red, VS Ipswich Jets, in green and white. Knights player Jake Mamo. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NRL State Championship Grand Final. ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Newcastle Knights, in blue and red, VS Ipswich Jets, in green and white. Knights player Jake Mamo. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NRL State Championship Grand Final. ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Newcastle Knights, in blue and red, VS Ipswich Jets, in green and white. Knights player Honeti Tuha. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NRL State Championship Grand Final. ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Newcastle Knights, in blue and red, VS Ipswich Jets, in green and white. Jets player Keiron Lander. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NRL State Championship Grand Final. ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Newcastle Knights, in blue and red, VS Ipswich Jets, in green and white. Knights players dejected after the Jets score a try. Clint Newton, centre. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NRL State Championship Grand Final. ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Newcastle Knights, in blue and red, VS Ipswich Jets, in green and white. Jets player Matt Parcell, 2nd from right, scores a try. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NRL State Championship Grand Final. ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Newcastle Knights, in blue and red, VS Ipswich Jets, in green and white. Jets player Matt Parcell, scores a try. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NRL State Championship Grand Final. ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Newcastle Knights, in blue and red, VS Ipswich Jets, in green and white. Jets player Matt Parcell, scores a try. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NRL State Championship Grand Final. ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Newcastle Knights, in blue and red, VS Ipswich Jets, in green and white. Knights player Lachlan Fitzgibbon. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NRL State Championship Grand Final. ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Newcastle Knights, in blue and red, VS Ipswich Jets, in green and white. Knights onto the field of play. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NRL State Championship Grand Final. ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Newcastle Knights, in blue and red, VS Ipswich Jets, in green and white. Winners Ipswich Jets. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NRL State Championship Grand Final. ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Newcastle Knights, in blue and red, VS Ipswich Jets, in green and white. Knights captain Clint Newton with his father Jack Newton. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NRL State Championship Grand Final. ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Newcastle Knights, in blue and red, VS Ipswich Jets, in green and white.Knights captain Clint Newton with his daughter. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NRL State Championship Grand Final. ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Newcastle Knights, in blue and red, VS Ipswich Jets, in green and white. Knights coach Matt Lantry. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NRL State Championship Grand Final. ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Newcastle Knights, in blue and red, VS Ipswich Jets, in green and white. Knights players, dejected after the loss. Damien Sironen, left, embraces Clint Newton, right. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NRL State Championship Grand Final. ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Newcastle Knights, in blue and red, VS Ipswich Jets, in green and white. Knights players, dejected after the loss. Jaelen Feeney, centre. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NRL State Championship Grand Final. ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Newcastle Knights, in blue and red, VS Ipswich Jets, in green and white. Knights players, dejected after the loss. Lachlan Fitzgibbon, centre. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NRL State Championship Grand Final. ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Newcastle Knights, in blue and red, VS Ipswich Jets, in green and white. Knights players, dejected after the loss. Josh King, centre. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NRL State Championship Grand Final. ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Newcastle Knights, in blue and red, VS Ipswich Jets, in green and white. Knights captain Clint Newton, dejected after the loss. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NRL State Championship Grand Final. ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Newcastle Knights, in blue and red, VS Ipswich Jets, in green and white. Knights captain Clint Newton, dejected after the loss. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NRL State Championship Grand Final. ANZ Stadium, Homebush. Newcastle Knights, in blue and red, VS Ipswich Jets, in green and white. Knights captain Clint Newton, dejected after the loss. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

TweetFacebook‘‘In those conditions, you make it extremely hard on yourself if you can’t be clinical and complete your sets.’’

– MATT LANTRY

The unorthodox Jets scored three first-half tries then prop Rod Griffin charged over for a fourth in the 69th minute to ensure a second straight national club title for Queensland after Northern Pride had accounted for Penrith in the inaugural interstate club decider last year.

‘‘That doesn’t define our season at all,’’ Lantry said.

‘‘We approached this game with an enormous amount of respect, but the ultimate thing we were after was the NSW Cup premiership, and we won that last Sunday, so while there’s some disappointment within the room, we can’t let that disappointment cloud the team’s achievements across the last six months.

‘‘It’s been tremendous to be a part of, and it’s been an incredible ride over the last five or six weeks in particular, and something we can look back on fondly.’’

Ipswich capitalised on Newcastle’s early mistakes to establish a 14-0 lead after 20 minutes, allowing them to control the tempo on a hot and humid afternoon.

‘‘When you talk about a 75per cent possession rate to your opposition, it makes it hard, particularly in those conditions,’’ Lantry said.

‘‘In those conditions, the amount of defensive efforts that we had to make consistently, particularly with their style where they come back at you through the middle all the time, it certainly burns some juice, and in those conditions, you make it extremely hard on yourself if you can’t be clinical and complete your sets.’’

The triumph was especially sweet for Ipswich co-coaches Ben and Shane Walker, who applied for the Newcastle NRL coaching vacancy two months ago but were not even granted an interview.

A 90-metre try by Ipswich speedster Marmin Barba two minutes before half-time gave the Queensland Cup premiers a 20-6 lead at the break.

The Jets jumped to a 6-0 lead in the third minute when hooker Matt Parcell was allowed to run from dummy-half and stepped past back-rower Lachlan Fitzgibbon to score next to the posts.

Newcastle had a chance to level the score six minutes later when fullback Jake Mamo found space on the right edge and popped a pass to Ken Tofilau but replays showed the winger dropped the ball over the line.

That missed opportunity proved particularly costly when Billy McConnachie crashed over under the posts for Ipswich’s second try just three minutes later.

Fullback Carlin Anderson converted from in front to extend their lead to 12-0, then added a penalty goal in the 20th minute for 14-0.

Newcastle hit back in the 29th minute when hooker George Ndaira burrowed over from dummy-half to score near the posts, then converted to cut the deficit to 14-6.

The Knights threatened to score again in the 38th minute but back-rower Marvin Filipo spilled a pass 10 metres out from the Ipswich line.

Griffin picked up the loose ball and off-loaded to Barba, who raced 90 metres to score, then Anderson converted from the sideline to give the Jets a 20-6 lead.

Feeney charged on to a Ndaira pass to score under the posts three minutes into the second half to trim the margin to 20-12.

The Knights set up camp in Ipswich territory for the next 20 minutes but could not find a way through the Jets’ defence.

Tuha and hooker Danny Levi were held up over the line in the 52nd and 64th minutes then Tofilau had a try disallowed two minutes later because centre Joseph Tapine’s pass was ruled forward. The Jets put the issue beyond doubt three minutes later when Griffin powered over to score near the posts and Anderson converted for a 26-12 lead.

‘‘I thought we missed some opportunities,’’ Lantry said. ‘‘If Kenny scored that try early in the first half, it would have settled us a little bit and you get into the groove of the game.

‘‘We were held up over the line twice then maybe a marginal forward pass on the right-hand side, but they’re all what-ifs now, so I’m probably a little bit disappointed in how we executed today.’’

Ndaira suffered an arm injury and was replaced in the 50th minute then Mamo followed him up the tunnel 11 minutes later after McConnachie felled him with a blow to the ribs in back play.

After the ensuing melee, referee Matt Noyen called out retiring Knights skipper Clint Newton and asked him to settle his players down.

‘‘They’re young, mate,’’ Newton said.

Noyen said: ‘‘Well, you’re the old one.’’

Newton replied: ‘‘Yeah, very old.’’

IPSWICH JETS 26 (M Parcell, B McConnachie, M Barba, R Griffin tries; C Anderson 5 goals)

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS 12 (G Ndaira, J Feeney tries; G Ndaira 2 goals) at ANZ Stadium. Half-time: Jets 20-6. Referee Matt Noyen.

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