THIS WEEK: Wednesday: Lakes v C’town. Saturday: Adamstown v Valentine, Jaffas v Lakes, Jets v Hamilton. Sunday: Maitland v Edgeworth, Magic v C’town.Charlestown are eyeing a late charge at up the ladder when they head to Macquarie Field on Wednesday night to take on the Roosters.
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Fresh from beating the Newcastle Jets Youth 4-0 on Saturday, the Blues play Lake Macquarie in a catch-up game from 7.30pm.

A win will put them ahead of Lakes into seventh, three points behind sixth-placed Broadmeadow, who they play at Magic Park on Sunday.

“Tomorrow night’s the big one,” Charlestown coach Shane Pryce said. “If we do something there, the boys will be ramped up for Broadmeadow, so we’ll see what happens.”

The win over the Jets was the Blues’ first game since the club announced Pryce would be replaced by David Tanchevski at season’s end.

“We hadn’t played for two or three weeks and with everything that’s gone down, for them to come out and do that, it was really, really pleasing,” Pryce said.“I was happy for them.”

Lake Macquarie, who are yet to lock in coach Anthony Richards for next year, lost 3-0 to Magic last Sunday and will be without Justin Broadley but welcome back Matt Toohey (both suspension).

Tim Davies (Kahibah) has joined Lakes, who Richards said were disappointed with the result but not the effort with 10 men for an hour against Magic.

** Edgeworth coach Damian Zane and Broadmeadow skipper Josh Piddington will represent their clubs at the FFA Cup round of 32 draw on Thursday at Fox Sports Studios in Sydney.

Both clubs are on a third trip to the nationwide section of the knockout, where they could meet A-League teams. The draw will be live on Fox Sports from 3pm.

** Maitland will add new recruit Chris Fayers, James Tassell and Lachlan Yates to theirPPS list to replace Ryan Broadley (holidays), Josh Williams (knee) and Andrew Pawiak (overseas deal) this week.

Edgeworth will bring in Keanu Moore, Josh Low, Joe Melmeth onto their list and take off Bailey Maxton (Weston) and Jim Fogarty.

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CLOSING IN: A photograph of the car allegedly involved in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie marble slinging. Picture: NSW PoliceTHREE men in their 30s are believed to be responsible for a spate of vandalism using marbles and slingshots in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie.
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Police revealed on Tuesday theyarrested the men –from Newcastle, Belmont and Windale –after pulling over a Holden Commodore on Scott Street in Newcastle East on Friday night.

Police allegedly found a slingshot and marbles in the car.

It is alleged the car – which police say had a child in it at the time – was seen in the Honeysuckle area, where a restaurant had a window smashed.

Earlier, a woman was hit in the arm with a flying marble after a Charlestown business was targeted.

The marble mischief continued over a fortnight, with businesses in the Islington, Hamilton and Wallsend areas targeted.

Residents say cars parked on Scenic Drive in Merewether were also targeted.

SMASHED: A photograph of vandalism posted to a Merewether community page. Picture: Facebook

Newcastle City Chief Inspector Dean Olsen said police were appalled with the “childish” vandalism.

“Over the two-week period I can certainly say that dozens and dozens of premises have been targeted in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie,” he said.

Police will carry out forensic analysis of the marbles retrieved from the shopfronts and cars before laying charges.

That is expected to take at least two weeks.

The car, which is registered to a Villawood address, has been seized.

Police had closed in on the car after they were able to obtain CCTV footage from one of the targeted businesses.

The description of the car was crucial in Friday’s arrests.

Police investigations continue.

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34th BATTALION MEMBER: Private Thomas Dix, from Hamilton, killed in action in Belgium May 29, 1917. Photo: The Digger’s View by Juan Mahony.
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Newcastle Morning Herald transcriptions and Hunter Valley enlistment and death details for June 25-July 1,1917.

US TROOPS IN FRANCEA huge company of American troops arrived in France last week and an enthusiastic welcome is being prepared for them.The dark, upstanding hulls of the great transports with their escorting cruisers and destroyers, made an impressive picture as they slowly steamed up to the deserted quays. The French populace had no idea the United States troops were crossing the Atlantic. The news quickly spread, and great crowds immediately gathered. The American soldiers and the populace exchanged heartfelt cheers, and enthusiastic welcomes, which were repeated again and again during the day.The weather throughout was calm, and the journey without events, the German submarines having evidently no inkling of the movement. The troops arrived in splendid condition.

HOLMAN AT SALISBURYMr W.A. Holman, the Premier of NSW, spent the weekend with the troops on Salisbury Plain, England, as the guest of Major-General Mackay.He visited the various training units, and addressed the men, who gave him an enthusiastic welcome.MrHolman was impressed with the excellent arrangements for the men’s feeding and recreation. He visited the hospitals, and was gratified at the health, condition, and physique of the men. The new arrivals appeared to be well up to the standard of the earlier Anzac contingents.He will spend next weekend with the ns on the West Front.

RECRUITING QUESTIONIt is likely that in the new recruiting scheme, ‘s duty in the direction of reinforcing our men at the front will be met by a quota of between 7000 and 8000 per month.During the conscription campaign last year 16,500 men monthly were asked for, but experience has shown since then that this total was above that required to reinforce the units at their present strength. Actual requirements, it is believed, could be met by barely half that figure. Some such task would probably be set to accomplish. ‘s monthly average this year has been about 5000.

DISTRICT FIRE BRIGADESA meeting of the captains, officers-in-charge, and other representatives of the district fire brigades was held at Newcastle Headquarters Fire Station on Saturday, to consider the formation of an organisation in connection with the various patriotic movements in Newcastle and district. Mr T. Gorman, divisional officer, presided. After considerable discussion, it was resolved that the fire brigades form a Patriotic War League, to remain in existence for the period of the war, and that the committee consist of the permanent officers and the whole of the captains in A District, which embraces Wallsend, West Wallsend and Boolaroo. Divisional-officer T. Gorman was elected president, District-officer Hillier secretary, and Captain G. Anderson (New Lambton) treasurer. Suggestions in regard to the creation of a standing fund for the league were approved. The machinery for conducting the business of the league was given attention to.

​ABERMAINMr Jim Garratt’s communication, offering to put on a benefit entertainment monthly to assist the widows and orphans of Abermain, whose bread-winners had fallen at the front was received by citizens’ committee, and secretary was instructed to write him, conveying best thanks of committee for his generous offer.A working bee was formed of Abermain miners, and on Saturday good work was done by lining the house, and erecting tank and building brick chimney for the wife of one of their late comrades, viz., MrsH. Williams, whose husband recently died from wounds received at the front. Some weeks or more ago another comrade’s wife’s house was removed and renovated. In the former case the necessary funds were advanced by the citizens’ committee.Mrand MrsR. Devon have received word from their son, Private Hugh Devon, stating he has received parcels from Abermain Ladies’ Comforts Fund Committee. The parcel contained just what he was in need of, and he expresses heartfelt thanks for same, and wished to be remembered to Abermain people.

DISTRICT CASUALTIESLieutenant Perrau. Mrs W. Perrau, of Turnbull St, Hamilton, has been informed that her son, Second Lieutenant R. D. Perrau, was killed in action on June 11.

Private Penrose. MrThomas Penrose, of Junction St, Merewether, has been informed that his brother; Private J. Penrose, was killed in action in France on June 7. Private Penrose was well known in football circles, and played with South Newcastle.

Private Read. Mr W. Read, of Wickham, has received word that his son, Private T. (Piper) Read, was killed in action on June 9.

Private Wilcox. MrsWilcox, of Teralba, has been informed of the death at the front of her son, Private Thomas John (Nugget) Wilcox. Private Wilcox, who was 29, had since boyhood been in the employ of MrT.C. Frith, storekeeper.

Sergeant-Major Bissett. Mrand MrsT. Bissett, of West Wallsend, have been informed that their son, Sergeant-major T. Bissett, of the Black Watch, has been killed in action in Mesopotamia.

Private M’Curry.MrM’Curry, of Carrington St, West Maitland, has been informed that his son, Private George (Jum) M’Curry, previously reported missing, was killed in action in attack on Bullecourt by a machine gun bullet on April 11.

Private Taylor.MrsM. Taylor, of MetcalfeSt, Wallsend, has been notified that her son, Private Robert Taylor was killed in action on June 7. Private Taylor, who was a native of Wallsend, was 30. At the time of his enlistment he was working at Neath Colliery. His only brother, Private Albert Taylor, was killed in action in July of last year.

Private Hincks. Mrs Arthur Straker, of Cardiff, has been notified that her brother, Private Alex. Hincks, was killed in action on June 8.

Private Pyle. MrAppleby, of Cardiff, has been notified that his friend, Private J. Pyle, was killed in action in France on April 15. Private Pyle, when he enlisted, was an employee of Lymington Colliery. He was a native of Northumberland, England.

Private Cantelo. MrsW. Cantelo of Ocean St, Dudley, has been informed that her son, Private Frederick Cantelo, was killed in action on June 9.

Private Hincks. MrR. Hincks, of Regent St, New Lambton, has received word that his son, Private Cecil Hincks, has been killed in France.

Private Elliott. Mrand MrsAbraham Elliott, of Morgan St, Adamstown, received a message last week that their son, Private George Elliott, of Newcastle’s OwnBattalion, died of wounds on June 9. Private Elliott was 28 and was employed at the Sulphide Works when he enlisted.

Private Jenkins. MrsTom Mitten, ElizabethSt, Tighe’s Hill, has been advised that her brother, Private Tom Jenkins, who was reported missing, is now a prisoner of war in Germany.

Driver Toll. Alderman A. F. Toll and MrsToll, of Wickham, received a cable message from London last night, stating that their son, Driver T. Toll, who was officially reported missing, from April 11, is a prisoner of war in Germany.

LATE LES DARCYThe body of the late Les Darcy was brought to his home town, East Maitland, Thursday evening, and was received by a large gathering of his boyhood friends who desired to pay a tribute of respect to his memory. As the coffin was removed from the carriage and conveyed to the hearse prayers were recited by the Very Rev. F. O’Gorman, P.P., The Revs. J. J. Coady and Davoren were also present. The coffin was carried by Messrs. Con Irwin, J. Ferry, G. Knight, M. Stapleton, R. Stapleton, P. Hayes, P. O’Rourke, and M. Tobin.A procession was formed and a large number of men marched, four abreast, behind the hearse and mourning coach, followed by vehicles, via Melbourne and High streets, to St. Joseph’s Church, where the body will remain until Saturday morning, when a Requiem Mass will be celebrated. The body was accompanied from Sydney by Miss Winifred O’Sullivan, Miss Pearl Darcy, Miss O’Rourke, Mr. E. Darcy, (father), Messrs. Cecil and John Darcy (brothers), Mr. and Mrs. John Irwin, Messrs. J. P. Fletcher, H. Cameron, M. Stapleton, and Mick Hawkins, the late champion’s comrade and trainer.Among a large number of beautiful wreaths placed on the coffin was one from “Hunter River Boys at the Front.”

CURRENT NEWS​An order has been issued by the Department of Defence instructing farriers in the military force to work up old and worn shoes into new ones, in view of the increased cost of horseshoe iron.

In connection with the late Les Darcy’s funeral at East Maitland on Sunday, a special fast passenger train will leave Newcastle 1.5 pm, stopping only at Honeysuckle, Hamilton, Waratah, Victoria-street, East Maitland and West Maitland. On the return journey the train will leave East Maitland at 5pm.

ENLISTMENTSErnest Anscombe, Murrurundi; Herbert James Batterham, Moonan Flat; Mary Ellen Briggs, Newcastle; Frank Bristow, Kurri Kurri; John Brogan, Newcastle; Thomas Brown, Newcastle; John Williams Davis, West Maitland; William Dooley, Newcastle; William Fitzgerald, Kurri Kurri; Eric Hodges, Carrington; Andrew Irving, Merewether; William James, Kurri Kurri; Peter Meeking, Newcastle; Francis Anson Mehan, Mayfield; Samuel John Moore, Gloucester; Percy Earl Morris, Mayfield; Douglas Robson, Hamilton; Earle Desmond Robson, Hamilton; James Arthur Milton Ruttley, North Waratah; Charles James Swaddling, Dungog; Reginald Ernest Swan, West Maitland; Arthur Tams, Stockton.

DEATHSPte Joseph Dagg, East Gresford; Pte Sidney Edmonds, Telarah; Sgt Arthur Gower, Islington; Pte Archibald Gray, Stroud; Pte Samuel Vincent Heffernan, Murrurundi; Spr Robert Hughes, Hamilton; Pte George Reginald Smith, Cooks Hill; Pte John Cyril Tripp, Muswellbrook.

David Dial OAM is a Hunter Valley-based military historian. Follow David’s research at facebook苏州夜总会招聘/HunterValleyMilitaryHistoryRead More →

Gut reaction: Neurogastroenterologist Laureate Professor Nick Talley said a large group of people believed their tummy troubles stemmed from eating wheat. Some, not all, could be on to something. Picture: Marina NeilABOUT 14 per cent of the n population report a sensitivity to eating wheat.
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But going “gluten-free”is not necessarily healthy for everyone, and could even be harmful, University of Newcastle researchers say.

“We havedone some survey work, and about 14 per cent of ns report being sensitive to wheat – getting stomach troubles that they attribute to wheat ingestion,”neurogastroenterologist,Laureate Professor Nicholas Talley,said.

“That is a lot of people. Way more peoplethan have coeliac disease, which is about 1 per cent in the community.

“So there is this large group of people who at least believe their symptoms are from eating wheat, and often restrict wheat or gluten in their diet.”

Related reading: Too many people are on a gluten-free diet

While there was some new evidence that wheat may be a cause of some people’ssymptoms,gluten restriction was not necessarily “healthy”.

Professor Talley, with fellow researchers from the University of Newcastle –Dr Michael Potter, Professor Marjorie Walker and Associate Professor Simon Keely –have published their findings in the international medical journal Gut.

The leading article says that while alifelong gluten-free diet was central to the management of coeliacdisease, there wasa growing, wide-spreadbelief in the general population that a gluten-free diet was“healthier”, contributingto the gluten-free food industry becoming worth an estimated US$6 billion per year.

“Avoiding glutenmay not be any healthier than any other option. It could even be harmful,” Professor Talley said. “It definitely changes your gut microbiome,your gut bacteria,and not necessarily in the right direction.”

Related reading: Stress is a pain in the gut

Professor Talley said about half of the people who complained of symptoms had irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or a variant of IBSwhere they suffered“upper gut symptoms”.

“It isa little bit more complex, but it is basically bad indigestion,” he said.

“About half the people,approximately,who saidthey were wheat intolerant, had one of those disorders.”

Other lines ofevidence suggested an immune response to wheat proteins could be a cause of somesymptoms in somepeople.

Related reading: A gut feeling about wheat and diet fads

“We think that’s important, because in those people, removing or restricting wheat and/or gluten may be helpful,” he said.“If that is true,then we may be able to cure some of these unexplained gut symptoms with diet.

“Theother half? Wedon’t know what they’ve got.One of the issues is whether they reallyarewheat sensitive, in other words, if you challenge them in a blinded fashion, do they really get symptoms after eating wheat, or is it just misperceived?

“We are doing double blind studies to test thatto answerthosequestions.”

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North Queensland’s Gavin Cooper says the fact his side is running last means he won’t throw fuel on the fire ahead of a potentially spicy NRL rematch with Cronulla on Saturday.
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The teams have made a habit of ending each others’ seasons in recent years and tensions flared following the Cowboys’ round one win when Cooper accused the Sharks of employing “dirty tactics” to fell star prop Matt Scott.

Cooper triggered a back-and-forth in March when he called out the Sharks for twisting Scott’s leg while tackling him, in what was the veteran’s first game back from a serious knee injury.

The criticism angered Sharks coach Shane Flanagan, who shot back a stubborn defence of his side later that week.

The Cowboys have gone on to win just five games since, with Cooper opting to stay humble as they prepare to face the sixth-placed side in Sydney.

“Those comments were a long time ago and we’re sitting last,” he told AAP on Tuesday.

“I’ve always got a humble approach, but we’ll just leave that where it was.”

One side has beaten the other in four of the last five finals series and the slanging match between the clubs earlier this season only confirmed their rivalry.

Cronulla forward Wade Graham on Tuesday insisted Cooper had been off the mark but that there would be plenty of emotion attached to the contest regardless.

“It’s either been us or them,” he said.

“When you’ve faced a similar team over and over again you do build up a bit of a rivalry. It’s not different with the Cowboys.”

The Sharks displayed their premiership credentials in a bruising 17-14 defeat of Melbourne on Sunday while the Cowboys were hot in a 34-30 win against Brisbane.

Just three games remain in Johnathan Thurston’s farewell season and the Cowboys have a fight on their hands to avoid the wooden spoon.

“It’s a strange one at the club, considering our success, to know when our time is up this year,” Cooper said.

“(Against the Broncos we) wound back the clock a bit and the want to win was massive.

“I’m just looking forward to these last few games cause there’s a group here, whether it’s one, two, five (players), who won’t play together after that.”

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Half the people in the room raised their hand when asked if they’d experienced depression and suicidal thoughts after becoming victims of bank misconduct.
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Katter’s n Party senator Fraser Anning had put out the call for farmers and victims to speak at an event in Canberra on Tuesday, where they were able to share their stories.

“It was incredibly frustrating over nine years, and depressing, that there is no redress out there,” said Craig Caulfield from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

The lack of resolution to his drawn-out issues with the Commonwealth Bank led to two points where Mr Caulfield contemplated taking his life.

“I think the mental health consequence is one area to be investigated,” he said.

Senator Anning has called for an extended time frame and greater powers for the banking royal commission.

More than 20 farmers and victims shared their stories at the event, with organisers noting it was many more than those heard at the royal commission.

Senator Anning said people “in dire straits” had spent time and money to make their case in Canberra.

“It just shows the depth of the problem when we see this many people here,” he said.

“They’re scratching the surface – to me and all of us it looks pretty much like a whitewash to appease the masses,” he said of the royal commission.

The Senate agreed to Senator Anning’s motion on Tuesday calling on the government to extend the commission’s time frame and powers.

Liberal frontbencher James McGrath said the government would consider any request from royal commissioner Kenneth Hayne for an extension.

“The royal commission is independent of government. The specific matters that the commission decides to examine will be the commission’s alone,” Senator McGrath told parliament.

Lifeline 13 11 14

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The most deadly spot off the West n coastline for shark attacks has been chosen as the site for a 12-month SMART drumline trial.
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The WA government has previously resisted calls to use the controversial technology, saying it would only employ scientifically-sound methods to prevent shark attacks and would await the results of a NSW trial.

But Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly said the NSW government had not provided enough data, despite repeated requests for more information, so rather than wait any longer, WA would conduct its own small trial.

The independent trial, to be conducted by Chief Scientist Peter Klinken, will catch, tag, relocate and release sharks around the Gracetown area, near Margaret River in the state’s south, where surfers Chris Boyd, 35, and Nick Edwards, 31, died in 2013 and 2010.

Two surfers were bitten on the same day at well-known breaks in the area in April, prompting the Margaret River Pro competition to be called off.

According to local MP Libby Mettam, shark fears have hindered broader tourism in the area.

The trial will take several months to organise and cost several millions dollars, Mr Kelly said.

White sharks will be targeted as they are responsible for all attacks off WA since 2000, but tiger or bull sharks over two metres will also be tagged.

Sea Shepherd managing director Jeff Hansen said the conservation group had seen sharks swimming straight past SMART drumlines so they should not be relied upon for public safety.

“Previous surveys have shown that 80 per cent of Western ns believe that mitigating shark risk should be up to the individual and not the government,” Mr Hansen said.

Humane Society International’s Nicola Beynon said SMART drumlines did not have the same level of bycatch as nets and conventional drumlines, but there were concerns about the long-term survival of wildlife caught and their efficacy at protecting ocean users.

Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg sent Mr Kelly a proposal last month to install 176 SMART drumlines along 260km of popular beaches in the state.

But Mr Kelly said it was a costly plan and he was yet to be convinced there was enough evidence to show the devices reduced the risk of attacks.

Mr Frydenberg said on Tuesday the trial was long overdue and again urged the state government to roll them out “right up and down the west coast”.

The federal government piled on the pressure last week, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull urging the state government to take up Mr Frydenberg’s offer.

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A woman accused of murdering her mother, whose body was found stuffed in a suitcase in Perth’s Swan River, has cried in court while listening to evidence about the victim’s injuries.
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Tiffany Yiting Wan, 25, and her father Ah Ping Ban, 65, are on trial in the West n Supreme Court accused of murdering 58-year-old Annabelle Chen in 2016.

Ms Chen was allegedly bashed to death at her Mosman Park home, in Perth’s affluent western suburbs, then her body was stuffed into a suitcase and dumped in the river in East Fremantle.

Wan wept on Tuesday as the court was shown x-ray images of her mother’s injuries.

Forensic radiologist Dr Chris O’Donnell testified that Ms Chen suffered an “extreme force” that fractured her skull, as well as severe force that injured her ribs and hand.

Wan used tissues to wipe away her years, then kept her head down during most of the proceedings.

Ban did not express any emotion.

One of the fishermen who found Ms Chen’s body floating in the river on July 2, Alex Sambell, testified that he spotted a foot poking out of the suitcase when his friend gave it a shake.

Mr Sambell, 23, said he could also smell a strong odour coming from the suitcase and when they realised there was a body inside, they rushed it to the water police.

“I was going as fast as my little boat could go,” he said.

Ban and Wan both blame each other for the murder and claim they were the accessory.

Prosecutor Justin Whalley previously said there was no motive established in the circumstantial case and it was not exactly known when an intention to murder Ms Chen was formed or who played each role in the crime.

But he said Ban and Wan acted together and then lied in an attempt to cover up their involvement in Ms Chen’s death.

The trial continues.

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HAMILTON coach Scott Coleman reckons the career-ending injury to veteran Pete Maxwell acted as a wake-up call for the Hawks.
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Maxwell, 39, had surgery to reattach the tendon to the bone after he ruptured his left bicep in the 20-18 win over Wanderers 11 days ago.

The three-time premiership-winning hooker held back tears when he told the team he was calling it quits.

”He was only coming back for one year,” Coleman said. “It is our 50thyear and to win three premierships in a row –he was pretty pumped for that. He was pretty emotional when he addressed the players. It showedhow much it meant to him. It gavethem a bit of a wake up call that things don’t come easy and time can be up at any moment.”

The Hawks will be without Gareth Tilse (overseas) for the next three games, but welcome back Seva Rokobaro (shoulder) and possibly Liam Walker (back).

* Unbreakable hooker Matt Staff became just the third Singleton player to notch 400 games when he helped the Bulls to a crushing 71-5 win over Lake Macquarie in second-grade on Saturday. Staff wasn’t the only Bull to celebrate a milestone with centre Dean Cruickshanks reaching 250 in the same game.

TURNING BACK THE CLOCK: Peter Maxwell (left) and brother Steve in the lead-up to Hamilton’s 2008 grand-final victory.

* Strong Oval was rocking on Saturday after Nelson Baybeat University 57-12 to win the Ben Clarke Shield and strengthen their place in the top five. The match was player-coach Adam Edwards’ 100thin first grade.

* Waratahs prop NoaTaufaaowill miss the next two matches after taking an early guilty plea on a striking charge. Talanoa was sent off in the Tahs 29-19 loss to Hamilton.

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Serena Williams after winning the 2017 n Open at Melbourne Park on January 28, 2017 in Melbourne. Photo: Getty Images)LONDON:John McEnroe has refused to apologise for his comments about Serena Williams – and believes men should play against women to settle the argument.
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The former world No.1 stirred up a storm after telling US radio station NPR that Williams, who holds the Open era record of 23 grand slam singles titles, would be ranked around 700 in the men’s game.

McEnroe has been widely criticised for appearing to belittle the achievements of Williams, but defended his remarks.

After describing Williams on NPR as the greatest female player of all time, McEnroe was asked why he had not simply said greatest player.

“I felt the need, however unfortunately, to defend myself and say what I really felt, which is about what I think she would be,” McEnroe said.

Serena Williams on the cover of August’s Vanity Fair. Photo: Vanity Fair

“I’ve got a solution. Solve the problem, and I’m sure the men would be all for this – the men and women play together. And then we don’t have to guess.”

Williams responded to McEnroe’s comments with a pithy response on Twitter.

The 35-year-old, who is away from the tour preparing to give birth to her first child, wrote: “Dear John, I adore and respect you but please please keep me out of your statements that are not factually based.

“I’ve never played anyone ranked “there” nor do I have time. Respect me and my privacy as I’m trying to have a baby. Good day sir.”

When she was much younger Williams and sister Venus did however take part in a ‘battle of the sexes’ against German Karsten Braasch, who was then world No.203.

Braasch played a set against each, beating Serena 6-1 and Venus 6-2.

When McEnroe was asked if he would like to apologise he was emphatic in his response.

“No. I didn’t know it would create controversy. I’ve said this 1000 times,” McEnroe said.

“I don’t want anything to go wrong with Serena because she’s pregnant, I don’t want to upset her.

“I think she’s doing it tongue in cheek as well and I think deep down we’re talking about something… I can’t even believe we’re talking about it.”

Williams has already made it clear she is determined to return to the tour next year, with Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 slam singles titles an obvious goal.


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Child rescued from drug lab: cash, guns, drugs seized TweetFacebook Images of weapons, drugs and paraphernalia from the raidsPOLICE claim to have rescued a five-year-old girl from a clandestine drug lab allegedly hidden at North Wagga’s Eldorado property during a string of raids this week.
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Cash, ice, cannabis, guns and drug paraphernalia were seized by the State Crime Command (SCC) from Condon Avenue and Oura Road properties during back-to-back search warrants on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Three men, aged 30, 34, and 44, have been taken into custody and charged with a raft of offences.

Detective Inspector Darren Cloake believes those implicated are part of a broader criminal enterprise –potentially spanning the state.

“It isthe position of the police that the three members arrested are part of a widercriminal syndicate,” he said.

He revealed the child discovered during Wednesday’sNorth Wagga swoopwillbe taken into government custody.

“Police have made a mandatory notification to Family and Community Services (FACS) to care for the well being of that child in the future,” he said.

“These labspresenta significant risk as they have a tenancy to explode, so it is of huge concern that a small child was present at the location.”

The series of raids was triggered at 10pm on Tuesday night, when Wagga police claim to have intercepted a 34-year-old driving his Holden Commodore negligently in Mount Austin.

Officers seized quantities of ice and cannabis during the search.

It led detectives tothe Mount Austin home ofthe 34-year-old’sassociate.

A search of theCondon Avenue home on Tuesday afternoon uncovered an unregistered rifle, approximately $6000 in cash, an ounce of ice, cannabis, and allegedly stolen goods.

The 30-year-old occupant was charged with a range of drug-relatedoffences.

Police completed the trifecta when they stormed Oura Road’s Eldorado mansion, discovering five guns, a vast amount of ammunition and a quantity of drugs.

A 44-year-old man was subsequently arrested, pending official charges.

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HARD YARDS: Nathan Brennan will pack down in the second-row for NSW Country against Queensland Country at Ernie Calland Field on Saturday. Picture: Max Mason-HubersNATHAN Brennan considered taking a break from rugby this year.
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The lock had come off a difficult season with Singleton and was lacking motivation.Playing representative rugby was not in the frame.

It took a heart-to-heart talk withNSW Country coach Matt Thompson to light the fire in Brennan’s belly.

On Saturday, the 26-year-old will pack down in the second-row of a Cockatoos side out to complete an undefeated campaign against arch rivals Queensland Country at Ernie Calland Oval.

“At the start of the season I wasn’t overly keen to play,” Brennan said.

“I was thinking about having a year off and focusingon other things. I had a chat to Matt. Hecoached me a couple of years ago and is one of the best coaches I have had. He definitely knows how to get the best out of people.”

In his first season with the Cockatoos,Brennan has been key in wins over Sydney Subbies (40-7) and Brumbies Provincial (50-34).

“He was talking about giving rugby up,” Thomas said.

“I told himhe couldn’t do that and he needed to have another crack: get fit and get yourself into the Newcastle side.He did that and has been one of the strongest players we have in the Country side.He does all the tight stuff that no-one wants to do.”

Brennan is Singleton captain and although he takes pride in leading his home team, it has been a struggle at times.

“We put in the effort each week but don’t get much reward,” Brennan said. “It is a challenge but wehave such a great club culture at Singleton. That is the reason all the boys turn up each week.Playing with my brother and my best mates is most special to me. It means more than winning.”

Thomas said Brennan hadrelished having less responsibility at the Cockatoos.

“Sometimes in struggling teams, the better players try to do everything and itfails on them,” Thomas said. “At this level each individual has to do their job.”

Singleton take on Southern Beaches at the same venue before NSW Country meet Queensland in colts (4.10pm) andseniors (5.50pm).

“The Singleton boys will be there, which is good,” Brennan said.

“We are two-from-two and looking at being the first Cockatoos team which has been undefeated in a while. It is a good culture, everyone gets along well. It is like a big family.”

Brennan is one of six NHRU players in the Cockatoos. Travis Brooke (Maitland) packs down at No.8, Jono O’Toole (Maitland) is halfback, Dane Sherratt (Waratahs) has been promoted to start at fly-half, Jack Arthur (Nelson Bay) is fullback and Sireli Bainivalu (Hamilton) is on the wing.

Queensland Country have been in camp for a week and have played against Brisbane Premier Rugby President’s XV on Sunday and touring side South Canterbury on Wednesday night.

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Former deputy speaker Don Nardella and former Speaker Telmo Languiller. Photos: Joe Armao, Jason SouthPolice areinvestigating the use of taxpayers’ moneyby the Victorian Parliament’s former speaker and his deputy after they both made questionable expenses claims for their seaside residences.
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Victoria Police have confirmed that matters relating to bothTelmo Languiller and Don Nardella had been assessed and had progressed to the”investigation stage” after they were referred in March.

“As the investigations are ongoing we will not be commenting further,” a police statement said.

In February,The Agerevealed that both men were claiming alucrative second residence allowance designed for country MPs,by moving their registered homes away from the western suburbs electorates they represent to Ocean Grove and Queenscliff.

Itwas revealed that Mr Nardella charged taxpayers $98,000 after claiming he had moved to Ocean Grove, which is more than 80 kilometres from his Melton electorate.

Mr Languiller, who claimed more than $37,800 in his second residence allowance for living in Queenscliff, agreed to repay the money immediately after it was revealed he had made the claims.

A report into the expenses scandal by auditors PwC was tabled in State Parliament in March.

The report confirmedMrLanguillerhad intended to move his home base to Queenscliff but, due to family circumstances, he spent little time there.

The report suggested that when Mr Nardella left his Ballarat home after the breakdown of his relationship in 2014 he should have taken the “simpler option” to live in a St Kilda property he owned or in Melton.

MrNardellachose to claim an Ocean Grove caravan as his primary residence because a St Kilda property he owned “was not spacious enough”, theaudit revealed.

The report showed MrNardellamade an arrangement with a family member to pay $200 a fortnight for the caravan so that he could maintain his second residence allowance.

The PwC report also revealed Mr Nardella failed to provide tax returns, travel records to and from his declared home base, and an address for health insurance or banking correspondence.

Former Speaker Telmo Languiller has repaid $37,800 he received under the second-residence allowance. Photo: Jason South

The only evidence Mr Nardella submittedto prove Ocean Grove was his home base was a driver’s licence, vehicle registration, electoral enrolment and receipts for capital improvements.

MrNardellainitially refused to repay the money, butagreed to repay $98,000 at the end of April, after he had been expelled from the parliamentary Labor Party.

Mr Nardella now sits on the crossbench while Mr Languiller recently returned to parliament after taking extended leave. He now sits on the backbench.

Fairfax Media has sought comment from MrLanguiller and Mr Nardella but both MPs have declined to comment.

The Premier’s office has been contacted for comment.

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