Brumbies co-captain Christian Lealiifano needed to be bossier against Western Force

Brumbies co-captain Christian Lealiifano wants to be more bossy. Photo: Jay Cronan Force acting coach Dave Wessels thinks a new club will be good for centre Kyle Godwin. Photo: Paul Kane
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Dave Wessels is disappointed flanker Chris Alcock is leaving the club. Photo: Jay Cronan

Who’s the boss? ACT Brumbies co-captain Christian Lealiifano believes he needs to be more of one as the Super Rugby province prepares for their qualifying final against the Otago Highlanders at Canberra Stadium on Friday.

And Western Force acting coach Dave Wessels believes Kyle Godwin’s expected move to Canberra will be a good one for the centre.

Lealiifano was disappointed with the Brumbies’ scrappy 24-10 victory over the Force on Saturday, which secured him a spot in the first round of the Super Rugby finals.

But he said that everyone would be “buzzing” when they arrive at the club on Monday morning.

The playmaker felt he needed to take the game by the scruff of the neck after they failed to implement their attacking plan against the Force.

He’ll be looking to change that against the Highlanders who they dominated in every way except on the scoreboard when the two teams met in round 10.

They lost 23-10 in Invercargill despite having 73 per cent of possession in the wet conditions.

“We came with a clear focus and a plan with the way we wanted to play [against the Force], Lealiifano said. “I guess that’s what’s probably the most disappointing that we didn’t really execute what we wanted to, but we’ve got another week to prepare now and get it right [for the Highlanders].

“Obviously the pressure that the Western Force put on us [also affected our execution], which is probably good for us heading into next week to be able to handle the defensive pressure that teams are putting on us.

“We’ve just got to adapt better in attack. I think our attack got a bit lost at times there and as a game controller it was disappointing on my end to not boss the boys around enough.”

Godwin has been linked with a move to the Brumbies to help replace departing inside centre Matt Toomua, who will join English club Leicester.

His Force teammate Chris Alcock is moving to Canberra as cover for star flanker David Pocock, who is taking a sabbatical from rugby in 2017.

Wessels said the Brumbies would need to play better against the Highlanders than they did against the Force, but he hoped they went on to win the title.

He felt the Force were embarking on a “journey” and was disappointed Godwin and Alcock wouldn’t be part of that.

From the side that lost to the Brumbies, they will also lose prop Guy Millar and lock Rory Walton.

“The Brumbies are losing much more high-profile players than we are. I think Chris and Guy and Kyle and Rory … have been a massive part of our team,” Wessels said.

“We just spoke in the change room, they will always be a part of our team. I think particularly for Kyle, a move is going to be a good thing for him, not just from a rugby perspective but from a lifestyle perspective.

“He’s excited about being away from Perth, he’s always lived in Perth, so the opportunity for him to experience something a bit different is going to be good for him.

“Having said that, what we feel like, especially in our backs, [who] are a pretty young backline, that is really starting to gel and work together.

“We definitely feel that we’re at a start of a journey and we’re sorry we can’t take some of those guys along on the journey, but it doesn’t change where we feel we want to go.”


Friday: ACT Brumbies v Otago Highlanders at Canberra Stadium, 6pm. Tickets available from Ticketek. Members on sale Sunday, general public Wednesday.

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Newcastle hairdressers say quality at risk if state government scraps lawpoll

DON’T CHOP ME: Melanie Coombes is fighting a proposal to scrap a law requiring hairdressers to be qualified. Picture: Max Mason-HubersNEWCASTLE hairdressers are fighting the state government over plans to trim back industry regulation they sayallows“any Tom, Dick and Harry” to call themselves aprofessional hairdresser.
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The government has put forward a proposal to scrap the Hairdressers’ Act 2003 as part of its “spring clean” of uselesslaws.

The deregulation is supposedto make it easier for small business –but has been met with sharp rebuke from unions and industry bodies, which argue scrapping the law puts quality at risk.

The law requires every professional to have a certificate III in hairdressing.

Senior stylist Melanie Coombes.

Bliss Hair ArtistsNew Lambton senior stylist Melanie Coombes said the industry is furious over the proposal and vowed to protect it from being “stripped down to nothing”.

Ms Coombes, who studied at TAFE and finished an apprenticeship before working full-time, said it was “distressing” to picture amateurs applying chemicals without proper training.

“There’s so much more to hairdressing than just cutting someone’s hair,” she said.

“It’s a science –you’re working with chemicals and you need to know what you’re doing.”

Ms Coombes said a petition, from new employeegroupHair Stylists Australia,was being circulated in Newcastle salons this week opposing the government’s proposal.

“I’ve spent a good part of my life getting the qualifications I need … and for the government to say anyone on the street can pick up a pair of scissors makes me so angry,” she said.

“We already spend enoughtime fixing the mistakes of teenagers who think they are hairdressers, imagine what it’s going to be like when you have every Tom, Dick and Harry cutting hair.”

In a discussion paper, the state government said there was an overlap in laws that controlled industry quality. It noted South Australia was the only other state to have a similar law.

“Backyard operators” … Maitland MP and Labor spokeswoman for small business Jenny Aitchison.

Parliamentary secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald said the intention was to encourage growth by removing crippling red tape.

ButMaitland MP Jenny Aitchisonsaid the repeal wasn’t thought through, claiming it would create unfair competition from“untrainedbackyard operators”.

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ANZ Championships: NSW Swifts all stars reaching milestones

Big three: Paige Hadley, Sharni Layton and Kim Green. Photo: Wolter PeetersThe Swifts’ star players are marking the end of an era as the last days of the ANZ Championships approach, and they plan to go out with a bang.
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Captain Kim Green and defender Sharni Layton have been part of the ANZ competition since it started in 2008, and attacker Paige Hadley is hungry for the win after last year’s devastating grand final loss.

“My sole goal this year is to win,” said Hadley.

“Coming off the loss against the Firebirds last year, being within a minute or so of winning the title, you can nearly taste it.”

Hadley said it was back to the drawing board for her game in the 2016 season, but she believed the Swifts’ versatility could dominate in the next few weeks of finals.

“It’s awesome, people play multiple positions where they’re needed, so I think that’s a real asset for us,” she said.

“I’ve never won an ANZ title, so I definitely want to win one before the competition ends.”

Green is the only player on this year’s roster to have experienced the Swifts’ ANZ win back in 2008.

Green plans to farewell the series in the same way she started it, by taking home the trophy, but she admits the Swifts have a challenging few games ahead.

Heading into Monday’s match against the Firebirds, Green said the main focus had been on giving the four quarters their 100 per cent.

“We know that we need to put out a full 60 minutes, and I know that’s very cliche, but that’s exactly what happened to us in last year’s grand final,” she said.

“We learnt that we can’t play 57 minutes of a game then expect to win.”

If the Swifts beat the Firebirds at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, they’ll be crowned Australian Conference champions and will host the semi-final round against New Zealand on their home court.

“In terms of our training sessions, we go hell for leather out on court against each other because everyone’s vying for a position,” she said.

“No one’s sitting on the sideline going ‘I’m just going to be on the bench this week’, everyone’s pushing and that’s the best thing about our team.”

Green, a former Diamond, retired from internationals when she joined the comp in 2016.

After this season, she said she had no plans of slowing down, and her drive to compete professionally was higher than ever.

“I feel like this year I’ve played the best netball that I ever have in my whole career,” she said.

“To think that is on the back of a little bit of a break is really exciting for me. I have no plans of retiring any time soon.”

If the Swifts make it into the grand final, it will be Layton’s 100th ANZ Championship game.

The defender said the Firebird’s attacking end would be the biggest challenge for the Swifts on Monday night.

“Romelda [Aiken] is not as stationary as what she used to be, so that’s a real challenge because no other team is like that with a tall goal attack as well as a tall goal shooter,” she said.

“At the end of the day, they can throw absolutely anything out on us. They’re a phenomenal team, they’ve proven it and played great all year, so we’ll just be concentrating on what we can do to minimise them as much as possible.”

Layton was determined to win, but she said that even a finals loss couldn’t undermine what she’d gained.

“It’s the last year of the ANZ Championship,” she said. “It’s not going to be here next year.

“I just want to soak up every single moment I can with this group of girls because, if you’re not in the moment, you’re not going to win anyway.”

Australian Conference finals: NSW Swifts v QLD Firebirds at Brisbane Entertainment Centre, 7:18pm.

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Phil Hughes coroner inquest: Cricket world prepares for a ‘very tough week’

Inquest: A dynamic batsman, Phil Hughes was struck on the head by a bouncer. Photo: Hamish BlairThe Australian cricket community is bracing for a “very tough week” when the painful memories of the death of former Test cricketer Phil Hughes are re-lived at a week-long coroner’s inquest in Sydney.


State coroner Michael Barnes will examine the death of Hughes, who was struck below the helmet to the left upper side of his neck when batting for South Australia against NSW in a Sheffield Shield match at the SCG in November 2014. The injury to his neck caused a haemorrhage in the brain and he died in hospital two days later.

The inquest, beginning on Monday, will focus on the factors surrounding Hughes’ death, including the number of bouncers delivered at him. Whether protective gear could have prevented his death or minimised injury and the response time of ambulances will also be examined.

Several witnesses are set to take to the stand, with fast bowler Sean Abbott, who was bowling when Hughes was struck, likely to be one.

Cricket Australia, the Hughes family, NSW Ambulance, Sydney Cricket Ground Trust and NSW Police have engaged legal representation. NSW Ambulance had failed to provide the coroner at a directions hearing in June with information as to how it had improved its procedures since Hughes’ death. When contacted by Fairfax Media, NSW Ambulance said it would leave its comments for the inquiry.

Hughes, 25, was given medical attention from CA’s chief medical officer Dr John Orchard and Dr Tim Stanley, an intensive care specialist who was at the match as a spectator, before an ambulance arrived 20 minutes after he was hit.

Great loss: Phil Hughes is honoured in his hometown in Macksville, NSW. Photo: Edwina Pickles

Mark Taylor, a Cricket Australia board director and former captain, spoke for the cricketing community when he said “next week is going to be a very tough week”.

“I think what we have learnt is, and what we have always tried to do, is keep players as safe as you possibly can,” he said.

“At the same time, we also realise that no matter what sport you play, there is a certain amount of risk involved in that sport. The whole Phil Hughes tragedy has certainly reinforced those thoughts, no doubt about that.

“It’s going to be a really tough week for the players involved, particularly those who are still playing because obviously their thoughts are on the various sides they are playing in, doing well, maybe getting picked to play for Australia, we don’t know, and, at the same time, a lot of these very tough memories are going to be rekindled, which is going to make it tough for them.”

The hearing will also examine whether there are more appropriate ways for the media to cover such tragedies, better balancing the public interest with the feelings of the family concerned. Major media outlets have provided submissions.

An independent, 62-page review of Hughes’ death by Melbourne barrister David Curtain QC and released in May found that had Hughes even been wearing a more modern helmet and a neck guard, it was unlikely the incident would have been avoided.

Hughes, who had played 26 Tests and 25 one-day internationals for Australia, had been wearing a Masuri brand helmet which was Australian Standard compliant but not compliant with the more recent British Standard.

Curtain also said he did not believe any lack of medical attention contributed to Hughes’ death. A mobile emergency MediCab arrived mid-pitch within three minutes of him being struck.

When the report was released, CA chief executive James Sutherland said he hoped the inquiry would not lead to more restrictions on short-pitched bowling.

“You’ll see in the brief terms of reference we gave David Curtain that we needed to draw a line about the laws of the game and to have some perspective around that,” Sutherland said. “You can make the game of cricket a lot safer by playing with a tennis ball, but that’s not how Test cricket has been played and it would obviously be a very different game.

“We’re not wanting to go there, but we do need to find the right balance in the circumstances to not compromise the way the game’s played and not compromise the way in which the players are best equipped to show their skills.”

CA has since strengthened its protocols around head knocks and concussion, even introducing concussion substitutes in the ongoing Matador one-day domestic series.

“We have tried to do everything we can to at least learn as many lessons as we can but, from a personal point, no matter what you do, there is always a certain amount of risk in everything you do,” Taylor said.

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Momentum for day-night cricket Tests continues to build

Test cricket’s foray into a day-night format will gather pace this week – despite players still having reservations.


The opening Test between Pakistan and the West Indies in Dubai will be played with the Kookaburra pink ball, albeit one that has been upgraded since last summer’s inaugural Test under lights between Australia and New Zealand in Adelaide.

This latest Test comes days after the England and Wales Cricket Board acknowledged the time had come to host a day-night Test, with this to happen against the West Indies at Edgbaston in August.

The English use the Dukes cricket ball, with that manufacturer working to have a pink ball ready for the Test. However, it’s understood Melbourne-based Kookaburra will consider making a pitch for its ball to be used.

Kookaburra has continued to upgrade its pink ball, with the latest version – a new black seam replacing a green and white seam – earning a favourable response from players when trialled in the Sheffield Shield last summer.

“We’ve been developing the pink ball for 10 years and feel we lead the way as evidenced by its use in the Australian day-night Tests, first-class matches in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and this week’s Test in Dubai,” a Kookaburra spokesman said.

“If the opportunity came up to trial our current pink ball for first-class cricket in England we’d love the opportunity. It appears that only the original development pink ball has been trialled there and we’re all aware of how much the ball has developed since then through to its use in first-class and Test cricket.”

Australian players had complained they had trouble sighting the pink ball through twilight and at night but it’s hoped the black seam helps to rectify this.

The Kookaburra ball has also been trialled in India’s Duleep Trophy but fast bowlers there have complained about a lack of reverse swing – typically a key weapon on the sub-continent and something Mitchell Starc exploited magnificently in Sri Lanka this year.

Kookaburra responded by declaring its primary concern was making the ball retain its shine for as long as possible, and to do this required more lacquer on the ball. Reverse swing is generated when one side of the ball becomes scuffed.

Board of Control for Cricket president Anurag Thakur said more work was needed before his board would rubber-stamp a day-night Test.

“As far as trying it in Duleep Trophy under lights is concerned, it was a big success. But you need to look at the overall picture before you take the final call. I think we need to look into many areas before we take the final call. I would like to go into details in a scientific manner to take the final call,” he told Indian reporters.

Cricket Australia’s fondness for the concept – driven by the desire to ensure the game’s traditional format remains relevant, and can generate strong broadcast ratings in prime time, boosting advertising – will see two pink-ball Tests this summer. Adelaide will again play host to the pink ball, in the third Test against South Africa, while a pink ball will also be used in the opening Test against Pakistan at the Gabba.

Players’ concerns about the quality of the ball used in day-night Tests are set to be reaffirmed at this week’s annual meeting of the Federation of International Cricketers Association in Cape Town, South Africa.

In FICA’s 2016 structural review of world cricket, players also argued that “innovation with potential such as day-night Test cricket is individually pursued without collective vision or direction”.

While Test cricket is healthy in England, ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said day-night Tests could attract a wider audience. The ECB also felt it necessary to help their players adjust to the pink ball ahead of the 2017-18 Ashes series, as CA will schedule at least one day-night clash.

“It’s useful to have one before we go to Australia. Giving guys the chance to play with a pink ball under lights, before an Ashes Test in similar conditions,” Harrison said.

“It’s a good opportunity to stick a stake in the ground to say we are keen to innovate.”

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Bernard Foley warming to No.12 role for Wallabies

Relishing new role: Bernard Foley is preparing himself for a long stay at No. 12. Photo: Stuart Walmsley/ARU mediaLondon: When you ask Bernard Foley if deep down he wants to be back at five-eighth for the Wallabies, he pauses for a second.


“No.10 is all I’ve known, so it’s the position I played for many, many years and played with Cheik [coach Michael Cheika] for many years,” he says.

Foley pauses briefly again, thinks, then continues.

“But I’m actually enjoying this challenge at [number] 12 and learning through every game I play,” he says. “Whether it’s 10 or 12, it hasn’t changed too much what I want to do on the field.”

With Quade Cooper putting his name forward as a possible long-term five-eighth for Australia, Foley has revealed he would be prepared to make a permanent switch to inside centre for the Wallabies, and even the NSW Waratahs, if need be.

“Anything’s possible,” Foley says. “If they need someone to crash it up, they can use me. It’s probably a discussion I’ll have with Daryl [Gibson, Waratahs coach] now that Kurtley [Beale] is not there.”

Beale has left NSW for the supposedly greener pastures of English club Wasps leaving the Waratahs with a No.12 hole to fill in their roster.

However, the idea of shifting Foley one position wider in the back line raises another problem: finding a five-eighth of equal quality to fill his usual spot.

The irony in all this is Foley and Beale, despite having immense respect and nothing but praise for one another, could be battling it out for the Wallabies No.12 jersey once Beale returns from a knee injury later in the year.

“Speaking with him and having the odd conversation, he’s very diligent with his rehab,” Foley says. “He’s working hard just to get back on the field, so I don’t think you want to put the pressure on him to come back and play for the Wallabies. He’s just got to get his body right and whenever that is, he’s an asset to any team he plays in.”

Foley says, in some ways, he is developing his craft at No.12 with a focus on what Beale did so well: not being your prototype inside centre.

“Kurtley, I don’t think you could say, was a traditional 12, or a classic 12,” Foley says. “He was a second ball player that when he stood up into first receiver he took the line on and he played his way. For me, I’m not trying to play the traditional 12 or just because there’s a 12 on my back doesn’t mean I can’t move around or I’ve got to be set in a certain channel.

“KB was an optimist who just loved having the ball in his hand. He loved to attack and he loved to take on defensive line, whether it be with his running game or his short passing or his long passing. As a 12 you just want to bring a vision for the game and an ability that you can link the inside backs with the outside backs.”

Dynamic duo: Bernard Foley and Quade Cooper. Photo: Dan Mullan

Foley’s switch from five-eighth was not just a by-product of Australia’s shock series mauling by England in June, but had to do with Cheika’s steadfast belief that two playmakers is the best way to have a well-oiled back line.

“How did we lose that series?” is a common phrase uttered among Wallabies players and coaching staff in reference to the humiliation handed out by Eddie Jones’ men.

The series was a steep learning curve for then five-eighth Foley who, after some months of reflection, believes a shorter preparation is the most logical explanation as to why the Wallabies were off their game.

“Looking back on it there’s still a lot of question marks about it,” Foley says. “As a tournament where we went in with such great optimism. The short preparation told and it probably showed a little bit. In those games it was a sense that we played some really good attacking rugby. In two Test matches you score five tries – you shouldn’t be losing those Test matches.

“That’s probably the question of getting that balance right between Super Rugby and playing Test match rugby, which probably we didn’t adjust quick enough to.”

Modelling himself on Beale: Foley wants to replicate the non-traditional style of Kurtley Beale in the No. 12 jersey. Photo: Dan Mullan

Foley says he’s a better player for that series and the fact Australia has picked the same back line for four Tests in a row now can only help moving forward.

He and Cooper are tight and have regular coffee dates, while the back line brigade are quite into their cards at the moment (those in the know say things can get pretty competitive).

Asked whether he thought Cheika would continue to back he and Cooper as the side’s chief playmakers as they slowly become attuned to their own idiosyncrasies, Foley says: “I think so. Cheika’s a good man manager and a mentor. He has an ability to connect with players and get the best out of them.

“I think for the likes of Quade and I, or for anyone in this team, it’s just being the best player you can be. It’s not that you’re going to make magical leaps and bounds every day but it’s just being consistent in your preparation.”

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Racing: When a filly flowers she blooms – just ask Gai Waterhouse about her glamour girl

Kerrin McEvoy riding Global Glamour wins the Thousand Guineas at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday. Photo: Vince Caligiuri Kerrin McEvoy, aboard Global Glamour, celebrates the win as he crosses the line. Photo: Vince Caligiuri


When fillies hit  form in the spring there is no predicting what heights they can reach – and there is no better authority than Gai Waterhouse for knowing when a three year old filly is poised to bloom and blossom.

She took the road less travelled with her lightly raced filly Global Glamour when she decided to chase two group 1 prizes in seven days, by backing her up in the Thousand Guineas at Caulfield just a week after she had taken out the Flight Stakes at Randwick.

But the bold strategy paid off when the daughter of Star Witness led from the start under Kerrin McEvoy to land the big prize at odds of $4.40, scoring by a length from outsider I Am A Star ($21), with the WA raider Whispering Brook ($8.50) shrugging off her disappointing effort at Caulfield last start to finish a half neck away in third place.

Global Glamour looked to have the world at her feet back in January when she won by more than six lengths in a Kembla Grange maiden at her first start. But she was sidelined for the rest of her two-year-old season and she only made her reappearance in September.

Two runs at group 2 level got her fully tuned up for the Flight Stakes last weekend, when she delivered on her potential, and she went on with the job on Saturday.

“Adrian (co-trainer Adrian Bott) and I would not have brought her down here unless we thought she would be very hard to beat,” Waterhouse said.

“We said to the owners this is what we want to do. I know it is a bit unorthodox but these fillies, when they peak they are a bit like a blooming flower.

“There were no other options for her. She hasn’t missed a beat all week so I thought why not give it a go.

“All I told Kerrin was to replicate what Tim Clark did last week – and she will do the rest.”

And she did in impressive style. McEvoy used the filly’s speed to get away quickly to cross and take the lead, and he measured his pace exactly, saving enough to repel the challengers down the straight.

“She’s classy. The last two runs she’s done it correctly, got out into a nice rhythm. She’s got a good turn of foot, she’s a classy filly for sure. Its a good buzz to be able to win on her today,” her jockey said.

“She was relaxed underneath me. I was pretty happy throughout,” added McEvoy.

Bott, who became Waterhouse’s assistant trainer this season, simply said: “She’s an absolute star. She’s proven herself to be a very special filly today. We thought that from a very young age. She won brilliantly on her debut by six lengths and we thought she was going to be one of our favourites going into the Golden Slipper.

“That didn’t work out, but she’s come back in such good order, having such a long time off the scene she was a little bit fresh in her first couple of races.

“We threw her in the deep end and with those couple of starts under her belt she is really seasoned. We saw her put it all together last start and today she took it to a new level again.”.

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Winx raises tempo after slow start to win Caulfield Stakes in a crescendo

The expectation with Winx is that she should win. She did that again in the Caulfield Stakes, which started as a Saturday stroll and worked to a crescendo, exactly what Hugh Bowman and Chris Waller had wanted.


The victory moved her record to 12 straight wins, eight of them group 1s, but her biggest test waits in two weeks in the Cox Plate and Bowman was mindful of that.

“I had no expectation about the race other than she would win,” he said.

Waller could only hope things were going to go to plan because by raceday, his work is done. When the pressure went on from the 1000m, Winx was in her element.

“I have Mr Cool, Hugh Bowman, out there with her and she actually handles everything better than I do,” Waller said.

“I feel the public expectation more than the pressure and the last 200 was a lot easier than the first 1800 in that race.

“I got everything I wanted to get out of the race. We go on to the Cox Plate now.

“I think everyone will build on it, that’s what we are here for, the sport. If you can’t build something off this … I think it’s going to be a really good spring carnival.”

So Winx is a $1.90 favourite to defend her Cox Plate crown while Hartnell, a $3 chance, awaits. It will be a serious contest for a serious mare.

“Everything she does is serious,” Waller said. “You will give her a couple of couple of pats and then it’s like: ‘enough of that.’

“She is a bit like that – all business. That’s why she is so good.”

The early part of the Caulfield Stakes was like a track gallop but Winx roared home, clocking 56.83 seconds for her final 1000m, which was as good as any sprinter for the afternoon.

Black Heart Bart, which had led until well into the straight, was left two lengths in Winx’s wake at the post. He Or She was another four lengths away. They were the support act for the champion, who drew applause as she crossed the line.

It was a relief for Waller because of the nature of the contest, which reminded him of a barrier trial.

“She had never won a barrier trial but this was a race,” Waller said. “She is just a superstar and when it comes to things like this – it is very serious. She gets her job done.”

Bowman had to earn his fee, repaying what Winx had done for him on other occasions.

“I wanted her to have a good gallop and that’s why I wanted the pressure to go before the turn,” he said.

“The race actually worked out how I wanted it when Brad [Rawiller on Black Heart Bart] started to build pressure from the 1200m.

“I did get worried for a couple of strides around the turn for about three strides.

“I had to help her there but she has helped me in races before and Chris has helped both of us.

“By the 200m the others were out of carrots and she was just getting going.”

Rawiller believes Black Heart Bart could challenge in the Cox Plate, if he can become the stalker rather than stalked.

“She didn’t trounce us, she was too good on the day but the Cox Plate will be a different race with a different level of pressure,” Rawiller said.

“No doubt my horse is better when he is chasing, so bring it on.

“[Winx] is what she is, the best horse in Australia and she was that today but in two weeks’ time, who knows and my horse is right in it.”

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McKeon wants to take on leadership role after strong Rio showing

The quiet achiever of Australian swimming wants to have a big voice. Emma McKeon, who collected four medals at the Rio Olympics, has set her sights on becoming one of the leaders of the next generation as the Dolphins set off on the long road to Tokyo.


That’s not to say the current senior figures are on the wane. McKeon has emphatically backed Cate Campbell to rebound and says the best is yet to come from the world-record holder after her individual disappointments in Brazil.

But with fresh faces, such as gold medallists Mack Horton and Kyle Chalmers, now at the head of the pack, McKeon says she wants to add her voice to the leadership mix leading into next year’s FINA World Championships in Budapest.

McKeon found some unwanted headlines in Rio when she was banned from the closing ceremony – then given the green light to attend – after a night out where she failed to follow team security protocols.

But in the water, the softly spoken 22-year-old was a bulldog, proving she was up for the fight with a gold and two silvers in relays and a gutsy bronze in the 200-metre freestyle behind superstars Katie Ledecky and Sarah Sjostrom.

Now she wants to add some muscle to her lean frame and take her swimming to the next level, with the immediate goal an individual gold in Hungary.

“I’d love to get some more individual medals on the world stage,” said McKeon, who trains in Brisbane with coach Michael Bohl. “Getting relay medals is just as amazing … I feel just as proud to be a part of that as well. But it’s a different feeling, I think, getting an individual gold.

“I did win four medals [in Rio], but I’m not satisfied. I want to go higher and higher and keep improving.”

Part of that improvement could involve stepping up to the Dolphins leadership group. McKeon’s stocks only rose in Rio and she feels she’s ready to start mentoring some of the newer faces as they make their way through the ranks.

“That would be nice, to become more of a leader in the team,” she said. “I’ve been on the team for four years now, so I feel like I’ve come a long way and learned a lot about myself and dealing with certain things in swimming.

“I feel like it would be nice to share that with everyone else on the team and younger people joining the team in the future.

“Most of the team was pretty young, everyone was around my age, 22. It’s definitely exciting. A lot of us haven’t done a lot of that big international racing, those big meets. That experience is only going to help.”

McKeon was floored by the support she received during the closing ceremony drama and said that would only add to her resilience as a competitor.

“I’ve definitely come out as a stronger athlete and a stronger person,” she said. “There were times that were difficult and times that were awesome. I’ve learned a lot more about myself and I’ve become more resilient, which is a good thing and can only help me in the future.

“You can do as much training, the hardest training, and you might get there and not perform how you wanted, not because of lack of training but maybe the pressure you are putting on yourself. That’s a major part of being a resilient athlete – it’s not just physical, it’s mental.”

Campbell is due to have surgery on a hernia and McKeon has no doubt the freestyle star can overcome her Rio disappointment and surge back to the top.

“Cate is an amazing athlete and an amazing person,” McKeon said. “She’s a very strong woman. She can get through anything. She still performed amazing over there, it was amazing to be part of the relay with here. I’m sure there’s much more to come.”

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Racing: Winx simply the best but Prince Of Penzance may never race again

Prince of Penzance, the horse who sprang to international fame a year ago will not  be able to defend his Melbourne Cup title and may never race again after breaking down at Caulfield on Saturday.


Not quite twelve months ago the Darren Weir-trained stayer gave Michelle Payne the honour of being the first woman to have Melbourne Cup success, however hopes of back-to-back cups are now over with the seven-year-old requiring urgent surgery.

Just minutes after the stayer finished fourth in the Herbert Power Handicap, his trainer and raceday jockey were deeply concerned at the condition of the horse and his restricted action.

Veterinary x-rays revealed a fractured bone in his off foreleg that will require surgery.

Weir at first was hopeful of getting the horse down to his Warrnambool stable to have him bathing the leg in the salt water, but the veterinary advice was too grave for that option.

Weir was philosophical about the injury to the horse that gave him his first Melbourne Cup.

“He owes us nothing. He gave us a Melbourne Cup. You can’t ask any more. There will be some screws inserted into the area during the operation and we’ll just wait and see what his future will be after he comes through the procedure,” he said.

Prince of Penzance was attempting what only great stayers have achieved by winning back-to-back Melbourne Cups, and sadly those ambitions have finished with the injury from the race on Saturday.

On the same day, one of the world’s finest race mares Winx took a tighter grip on this year’s group 1 Cox Plate after she ambled around Caulfield to win the Caulfield Stakes.

Winx, the unflappable champion mare from Sydney, was the main drawcard at Caulfield when she cruised away from her two rivals to notch another major race win.

“It’s wonderful to be associated with such a great mare, but you don’t win all the time. I read Sunday papers myself and sometimes you don’t like what you read,” Chris Waller said.

“But she’s a total professional, she does what she has to do and, as I’ve said before, she’s been in nine barrier trials and the closest she’s finished is third.”

When Waller was asked about the perceived clash with Hartnell in two weeks’ time, he replied: “It won’t just be Hartnell. It’ll be a very good race with some strong overseas competitors up against us.

“But what it does mean is that we’re going to have a great spring.”

Runner-up Black Heart Bart will still head to the Cox Plate despite being comfortably beaten in the Caulfield Stakes.

“We were just not good enough but we’ll push on to the Cox Plate, the prize money for placegetters is still very strong.” Earlier in the day, the Lloyd Williams-owned Assign took a significant step towards gaining a start in this year’s Melbourne Cup following his win in the Herbert Power Stakes, Weir said.

And the Cox Plate may have another dimension to it with Caulfield Guineas winner Divine Prophet now being considered for the weight-for-age championship of Australia.

After a remarkable ride by Dwayne Dunn, Divine Prophet weaved his way through to win the Guineas and in doing so substantially boosted his breeding profile and price in the future.

Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said they had expected a performance like Saturday’s effort and added the drawing of barrier one was a critical point in the three-year-old’s favour.

“I must’ve said 4000 times that barriers are so important in races. My brother Michael contacted me at 4am this morning and asked how the horse had eaten up and I said he had licked his bin out and he said he’s a great horse,” Hawkes said.

“Michael is a good judge and I’m a bit emotional. The Cox Plate, well there’s Winx and Divine Prophet, we’ll put the horse first, we had the race favourite some years ago in Lonhro and we pulled the pin on him running because we didn’t think he was right. If there’s any problem, he’ll be on a float to the paddock.”

And if Divine Prophet does back up in a fortnight’s time, this year’s Cox Plate could well and truly be a classic with some outstanding local Australians, one very good three-year-old and some unknown internationals.

The Sydney clean sweep of Saturday’s meet at Caulfield continued when leading trainer Gai Waterhouse won her first Thousand Guineas when Global Glamour proved superior in the Fillies Classic.

Assign will now go to the Bendigo Cup to further enhance his chances of being at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.

And Yankee Rose also came into Cox Plate consideration when she was successful in the Champion Stakes at Randwick.

The three-year-old filly was ridden by Melbourne jockey Dean Yendall who achieved the first group 1 success of his career.

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Racing: Dunn lands group 1 double on He’s Our Rokki as Hayes lands four-timer

Dwayne Dunn wins the Toorak Handicap aboard He’s Our Rokki at Caulfield. Photo: Vince Caligiuri Just one race before delivering a group 1 for Hayes aboard He’s Our Rokki, Dwayne Dunn denies him another, winning the Caulfield Guineas aboard Divine Prophet ahead of Hayes’ fast-finishing Seaburge. Photo: Vince Caligiuri


It was a red-letter day at Caulfield for the Hayes family training partnership and top jockey Dwayne Dunn, who landed, respectively, a four-timer and a hat-trick.

Dunn scored his first ever group 1 double and the Hayes yard picked up a group 1 with perhaps Australia’s most improved galloper, He’s Our Rokki, who got through late under Dunn’s urgings to take out the Toorak Handicap.

It was particularly special for the trainer as it was the first group 1 winner that his son Ben, who has joined the Hayes/Tom Dabernig training partnership this season, has been involved in.

Dunn brought a touch of levity to proceedings, when he revealed after the race that the trainer had threatened to flatten him in the mounting yard before he went out to ride the heavily backed $2.50 favourite.

In the previous race, Dunn had denied Hayes the chance of another group 1 winner – and a fifth for the day – when he got home on Divine Prophet in the Caulfield Guineas, just staving off the late challenge of the Hayes-trained outsider Seaburge, who flashed home late for second place.

“It’s the first time I have ever had a group 1 double. It’s pretty enormous, it doesn’t happen every day. You are going on the favourite in that race, there’s a bit of pressure,” the jockey said.

“Hayes wanted to punch me up before that race. Then he said, ‘I will leave it until after this one until I see how you go’. Hopefully now he’s copped it on the chin and we have moved on,” the jockey joked.

Dunn – who also won the Thoroughbred Club Stakes aboard $9.50 chance Hear The Chant for the Hayes/Dabernig partnership – praised the way the Hayes stable had brought He’s Our Rokki patiently through his grades to the point where he could become a group 1 winner in one of the most famous races on the Australian calendar.

“He’s come from nowhere but placing him in the B Grade he’s got confidence. He’s done well and now he’s ready for the big league which he handled really well. Maybe this time next year they can look to stretch him towards the Cox Plate.”

Hayes said that it was easy to avoid the temptation of running in the Cox Plate this year given the awesome performance by Winx earlier in the day.

“We will play chicken and run for a million dollars the week after (in the newly named Longines Mile, formerly the Emirates). I saw enough of her today.

“I have got two horses in a normal year – him and Seaburge – who would have a crack at the Cox Plate, but this would be the year to watch it. With the great mare in great form its a mission impossible, its not a normal Cox Plate year, so I will be skirting the packs.”

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Deakin University builds darkroom as students click with film photography

Student April Brown in the recently opened darkroom at Deakin University’s Waterfront campus in Geelong. Photo: Jason South Students working in the recently opened darkroom at Deakin University’s Waterfront campus in Geelong. Photo: Jason South


Student April Brown: ”Going out into the industry, people like to see you using analog or alternative methods.” Photo: Jason South

A Geelong campus has built a darkroom to help it keep up with student demand for black-and-white film photography skills.

Deakin University’s Waterfront campus opened the facility this year and has dozens of fine-arts students learning the value of a single, well-composed shot.

It’s not quite a return to cooperage and quill pens, but it is about learning the building blocks of a digitised art form, according to photography lecturer Daniel Armstrong.

He was around  when digital photography was becoming mainstream and Deakin staff debated whether to knock down the darkroom at its Burwood campus. That darkroom survived and students have always been keen to use it. Deakin wanted to offer the same basic black-and-white film skills at Geelong.

“Finding new equipment was difficult, but there has never been a better time to get hold of second-hand equipment,” Mr Armstrong said. It can be difficult to find replacement parts, but 3D printing may solve that problem, he added.

“Some of our students have set up their own darkrooms at home and have said it isn’t difficult to find equipment,” he said.

Student April Brown, 23, said her father was thrilled when she started learning how to use a Mamiya C330 medium-format camera, the same model he once had.

“He sold his medium format [camera], but had a 35-millimetre camera that I now use,” Ms Brown said.

She is studying creative arts at the university with a major in photography. She hopes analog technology will differentiate her artwork and skills when looking for a job.

“Going out into the industry, people like to see you using analog or alternative methods,” she said. “If you have an analog camera, it has a bit of a novelty factor.”

She said developing her own pictures had improved her skills with digital cameras.

“You have to be considerate of the tone that you are photographing,” she said. “Seeing the process that you need to take to get the perfectly exposed photograph on analog probably makes you more considerate in digital.”

Many tertiary schools that kept their darkrooms have found renewed interest in manual photography.

“RMIT has popular darkroom facilities at two campuses,” an RMIT spokeswoman said. “The number of students using them has been increasing and there are no plans to close them at this time.”

Photography is taught for fine art and scientific photography, she said.

According to Mr Armstrong, one big difference with analog photography this century is the absence of heavy metals.

“Selenium toning was a popular practice in a lot of darkrooms,” he said. “It warms the print. [But] there is no way we would let selenium in now because it is a toxic chemical and can poison you. Some of those things now are lost arts.”

Today’s students use a machine for all the fixing, washing and drying, although they do use trays for enlarging and developing.

Students use a multi-grade plastic-based paper, but supplies of original photography paper occasionally pop up on eBay.

Mr Armstrong believes students will always be interested in analog photography, but the biggest hurdle will be finding supplies of materials that are no longer made.

“I think the interest is indefinite, because as time goes by there’s a different interest in it – from the technical side to the historic aspect,” Mr Armstrong said. “We think the interest in it will be ongoing, at least into the next 10 years, when it may come down to a lack of equipment and resources.”

Students in Geelong go to a local cafe called Analogue Academy to buy second-hand analog cameras, Ms Brown said.

Most cameras come from “grandpas cleaning out their garages”, who sell them on consignment for about $100, Analogue Academy owner Dan Horvat said. The old 1970s metal models such as Minolta SR-T 101, Pentax K1000 and Canon AE-1 don’t stay on the shelf for very long.

“We are not really in it for the big profits; we just want to enable a film community,” Mr Horvat said. “We believe that film teaches people to slow down and think about what they are photographing and consider what their artistic abilities are.”

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Bathurst 1000, 2016: All the colour from the race.

Colour at the Bathurst 1000 | Photos Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES


Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colour and action off track at the 2016 Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES


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