Matador One Day Cup: NSW beat Cricket Australia XIphotos

Cricket: NSW claim victory against Cricket Australia XI | photos Matthew Short of CA XI bowls during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

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William Bosisto of CA XI and Moises Henriques of the Blues meet for the coin toss during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

A general view of the stumps during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

William Bosisto of CA XI and Moises Henriques of the Blues meet for the coin toss during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Ed Cowan of the Blues looks dejected after being dismissed by Xavier Bartlett of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Moises Henriques of the Blues walks out for the toss during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Ed Cowan of the Blues looks dejected after being dismissed by Xavier Bartlett of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Nic Maddinson of the Blues looks dejected after being dismissed by Xavier Bartlett of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Ed Cowan of the Blues looks dejected after being dismissed by Xavier Bartlett of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Nic Maddinson of the Blues looks dejected after being dismissed by Xavier Bartlett of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Josh Lalor of CA XI bowls during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Xavier Bartlett of CA XI celebrates after taking the wicket of Nic Maddinson of the Blues during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Daniel Hughes of the Blues bats during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Xavier Bartlett of CA XI celebrates after taking the wicket of Nic Maddinson of the Blues during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Moises Henriques of the Blues walks out for the toss during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Josh Lalor of CA XI bowls during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Josh Lalor of CA XI bowls during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Xavier Bartlett of CA XI celebrates after taking the wicket of Nic Maddinson of the Blues during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Xavier Bartlett of CA XI celebrates after taking the wicket of Nic Maddinson of the Blues during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Xavier Bartlett of CA XI bowls during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Arjun Nair of CA XI celebrates after taking the wicket of Daniel Hughes of the Blues during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Gurinder Sandhu of the Blues celebrates after the Blues claimed victory after the last ball during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Gurinder Sandhu of the Blues celebrates after the Blues claimed victory after the last ball during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Arjun Nair of CA XI bats during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Arjun Nair of CA XI celebrates after taking the wicket of Daniel Hughes of the Blues during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Moises Henriques of the Blues bats during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Arjun Nair of CA XI celebrates after taking the wicket of Daniel Hughes of the Blues during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Daniel Hughes of the Blues bats during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Pat Cummins and Daniel Hughes of the Blues celebrate after Cummins claimed the wicket of Sam Harper of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Moises Henriques of the Blues bats during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Daniel Hughes of the Blues bats during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Daniel Hughes of the Blues bats during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Matthew Short of CA XI bowls during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Daniel Hughes of the Blues looks dejected after being dismissed by Arjun Nair of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Pat Cummins of the Blues bowls during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)/

Ryan Gibson of CA XI looks dejected after being dismissed by Pat Cummins of the Blues during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon of the Blues celebrate after Cummins claimed the wicket of Jake Carder of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Pat Cummins of the Blues celebrates after caliming the wicket of Jake Carder of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Ryan Gibson of CA XI bats during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Pat Cummins and Peter Nevill of the Blues celebrate after Cummins claimed the wicket of Sam Harper of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Ben Dwarshuis of the Blues leaves the field after suffering an injury while bowling during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Pat Cummins of the Blues celebrates after caliming the wicket of Jake Carder of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Ryan Gibson of CA XI bats during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Pat Cummins of the Blues celebrates after caliming the wicket of Jake Carder of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Ben Dwarshuis of the Blues celebrates after claiming the wicket of Josh Inglis of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon of the Blues celebrate after Cummins claimed the wicket of Jake Carder of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Pat Cummins celebrates after he claimed the wicket of Sam Harper of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Pat Cummins of the Blues celebrates after claiming the wicket of Ryan Gibson of CA XI during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Ryan Gibson of CA XI looks dejected after being dismissed by Pat Cummins of the Blues during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Nathan Lyon of the Blues bowls during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

William Bosisto of CA XI bats during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Ben Dwarshuis of the Blues is consoled by Pat Cummins of the Blues as he leaves the field after suffering an injury while bowling during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)Restrictions.

Pat Cummins of the Blues bowls during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Doug Bollinger of the Blues looks on during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Ryan Gibson of CA XI bats during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

William Bosisto of CA XI bats during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

Pat Cummins of the Blues looks on during the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval on October 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images).

TweetFacebookNSW took on Cricket Australia XI on October 7 at Hurstville Oval in aMatador BBQs One Day Cup match.

NSW,6 for 328, beatCricket Australia XI, 6 for 324, by four runs.

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The moment you discover your partner is an online child sex offender

“I did the right thing and I was punished”: Leah Mouatt. Photo: Wolter PeetersIt all unravelled when Leah Mouatt suspected her partner of six years was having an affair.

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Leah Mouatt. Photo: Wolter Peeters

One night in late 2014, he put on a collared shirt and told her he was heading to the pub for a beer with a mate. The signs had been there for a while: late nights, strange excuses, dressing overly nice for supposedly low-key outings.

As he left their Penrith home, he said he wouldn’t be long but Mouatt never saw him again.

She hopped on the computer and, fearing he might be meeting women online, did an online search for a user name that he often used in car and sporting forums.

Hidden far back in the search results was a public profile on a pornography website advertised as a “motherless” and “moral free” space for user-generated content.

He had uploaded photos of clothed pre-pubescent girls, including a family friend, along with graphic and disturbing sexual comments. He listed his favourite porn as “teens” and his sexual preference as “nothing is taboo”.

“All I remember next is a lot of screaming and crying and being on the floor,” says Mouatt, 34.

Barely able to speak, she called a friend who picked her up and told her to pack a bag. Police were called and were at the home within hours, seizing seven devices belonging to her partner Phillip John Vellio, an IT worker at the University of NSW.

In July, Vellio, 33, was convicted of two counts of possessing child abuse material after police examined more than 32,000 images and 854 videos on his laptops, finding many that depicted babies, toddlers and teenagers in various sexual acts with other children and adults.

But the worst was yet to come for Mouatt.

“My world imploded,” she says. “Everything was destroyed. I lost my friends, I was taken to [court] by [some members of his family] who didn’t want me to get a cent. I lost my home, my car. I’ve lost my trust in other people. I’ve had to rebuild a whole life.” Forgotten in the aftermath

Australia is in the midst of what some have described as an explosion in online child sex exploitation. Investigations by the Australian Federal Police jumped by almost 250 per cent in a year to 11,000 in 2015.

Of particular concern has been a growing trend of Australians streaming live videos of child sex abuse made overseas, like those of former Melbourne businessman Peter Scully, whose depraved home-made videos have led the Philippines to consider reviving the death penalty.

Yet not much is known about the wives and partners of those who access child abuse material online.

Their voices are rarely heard. They are not considered “victims” and are often forgotten in the aftermath.

Many are assumed to have known about their partner’s offending but a world-first study by Melbourne’s RMIT University, published last year, found that most of the small number of women surveyed first found out when police knocked on the door.

“The women were just in so much pain,” study author Dr Marg Liddell says. “Most participants reported mental health issues, with many seeming to experience post-traumatic stress disorder. The fact the pain was still extraordinarily raw years later indicated to me that the system didn’t work for them.”

Women reported being stigmatised and ostracised by friends and family. Relatives often tried to minimise the offending and close ranks around the offender.

Shame, guilt, anger, hurt, disbelief and feelings of responsibility often infiltrated every area of their lives. Half of the women interviewed had children, about half stayed with their partner. Others were left without a home, a breadwinner or a social circle.

Analysis of NSW convictions shows offenders are mostly male (99 per cent) with an average age of 42 and three-quarters have no criminal record.

With a knowledge-base slowly emerging, advocates are pushing for non-offending partners to be classified as secondary victims of crime and for support services to be funded.

“Because partners don’t exist in the research, they don’t exist in policy. Because they don’t exist in policy, they don’t exist in funding,” says Natalie Walker, founder of PartnerSPEAK, the country’s only support group for affected partners of online child abuse offenders.

“I think that often confounds the trauma; you’re feeling stigmatised and there’s nowhere to go because no one recognises your trauma.”

She is at the forefront of a global push to understand and recognise the trauma suffered by non-offending partners.

Natalie Walker runs the only support network for partners of online child sex abusers. Photo: Angela Wylie

Walker, from the Dandenong Ranges, discovered child abuse material on her then-husband’s computer 15 years ago and was fobbed off by police in South Australia who she says treated her like a vengeful ex-wife.

Great strides have been made in prosecuting people who access material online – maximum penalties have been increased to 10 years in NSW and Victoria and resources for child abuse squads have been bolstered. But she believes society, particularly the judicial system, still tends to see possession offences as “just looking at pictures”.

Data compiled for Fairfax Media by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics shows that the average prison sentence for offenders last year was 11 months. Vellio received a 12-month good behaviour bond on the condition he see a psychiatrist monthly.

“If everyone’s minimising it, saying ‘what’s the big deal?’, you’re made to look hysterical,” Walker says.

Criminologists, academics and police have backed changing the commonly-used terminology from “child pornography” to “child abuse material”, reflecting the fact that a child was abused in order to make the pictures.

“Every image of child sexual abuse is a crime scene,” the acting Children’s eSafety Commissioner Andree Wright said recently when releasing the agency’s 2015-16 report showing that 7456 sites containing child abuse were removed in a year.

The terminology was changed in NSW legislation in 2010 and Victoria indicated in July that it would follow suit.

“It may seem like a small thing but that’s how we gradually change the thinking,” Walker says. ‘I felt like I should have known earlier’

There is one thing that saved Mouatt from giving up: a counsellor provided to her for free under Victims Services and Support. NSW is the only state to allow non-offending partners to apply for therapeutic help.

“I wouldn’t be here without it,” she says.

After the police raid, Vellio admitted himself to a psychiatric hospital for two months. In a haze of shock and anger, compounded by chronic fatigue, Mouatt endured financial battles with her in-laws and was eventually forced to go to the Salvation Army for food and petrol vouchers.

She moved in with her parents in a small town near Bathurst and despaired as friends slowly dropped off, either unable or unwilling to provide support. Her partner’s family and friends were not interested in knowing what he’d done, she says.

“Their motivation throughout has been reputation and I got scapegoated,” she says. “I felt like it was my fault. I felt like I had betrayed him. I felt like I should have known earlier.”

Two years on, she finally feels strong enough to speak publicly in order to empower herself and other victims.

Increasingly, the suffering of women like Mouatt is being considered part of the continuum of domestic violence.

Julie Oberin, chair of the Australian Women Against Violence Alliance, said abusive men share the same sense of entitlement as those involved in child abuse material. Coercion, control and manipulation is often at the heart of the behaviour.

“Many women we support in refuge tell us similar things. The betrayal, the shame, the reactions from others, the blame,” she says.

Mouatt is rebuilding her life, studying psychology and volunteering at Lifeline with a view to counselling other victims of crime.

“What hurts the most is that I went through so much and very, very few people thanked me,” she says.

“I did the right thing and I was punished. There was no good that came from it. My life blew apart from that phone call and the only thing that got me through was hanging on to knowing that I’d done the right thing.”

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A-League opening night: Brisbane Roar draw with Melbourne Victoryphotos

Soccer: Brisbane draw against Melbourne on A-League opening night | photos Brett Holman of the Roar gets above the pack during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

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Brandon Borrello of the Roar and Daniel Georgievski of the Victory challenge for the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

James Troisi of the Victory is challenged by Matthew McKay of the Roar during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Matthew McKay of the Roar is seen with his young child in his 200th A-League match before the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

A pitch invader is caught by security during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Mitchell Austin of the Victory in action during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

James Troisi of the Victory kicks the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Corey Brown of the Roar in action during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

A pitch invader is caught by security during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Carl Valeri of the Victory in action during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Roar players embrace before the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

A pitch invader is caught by security during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Luke De Vere of the Roar celebrates with team mates after scoring a goal during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Brandon Borrello of the Roar controls the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Jamie Maclaren of the Roar controls the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Carl Valeri of the Victory with the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Fahid Ben Khalfallah of the Victory and Thomas Kristensen of the Roar compete for the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Jason Geria of the Victory looks on during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Michael Theo of the Roar kicks during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

A pitch invader is caught by security during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Brett Holman of the Roar looks on during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Mitchell Austin of the Victory celebrates with team mates after scoring a goal during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Roar fans show their support during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Tommy Oar of the Roar and Jason Geria of the Victory challenge for the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Thomas Kristensen of the Roar and Fahid Ben Khalfallah of the Victory challenge for the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Luke DeVere of the Roar is congratulated by team mates after scoring a goal during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

James Troisi of the Victory is challenged by Matthew McKay of the Roar during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Luke DeVere of the Roar is congratulated by team mate Corey Brown after scoring a goal during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Victory players celebrate a goal during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Brandon Borrello of the Roar in action during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Matthew McKay of the Roar is sent from the field after receiving a red card during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Luke DeVere of the Roar competes for the ball against Besart Berisha and James Donache of the Victory during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Luke De Vere of the Roar celebrates with team mates after scoring a goal during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Mitchell Austin of the Victory celebrates with team mates after scoring a goal during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Jamie Maclaren of the Roar and James Donachie of the Victory compete for the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Luke De Vere of the Roar celebrates with team mates after scoring a goal during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

James Troisi of the Victory and Brett Holman of the Roar compete for the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Jamie Maclaren of the Roar and James Donachie of the Victory compete for the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Jamie Maclaren of the Roar and James Donachie of the Victory compete for the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Besart Berisha of the Victory runs out for the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Brandon Borrello of the Roar and Daniel Georgievski of the Victory challenge for the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Brandon Borrello of the Roar kicks the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Matthew McKay of the Roar kicks the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Besart Berisha of the Victory kicks the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Besart Berisha of the Victory kicks the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Mitchell Austin of the Victory and Jack Hingert of the Roar compete for the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

ames Troisi of the Victory and Thomas Kristensen of the Roar compete for the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Besart Berisha of the Victory kicks the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Mitchell Austin of the Victory and Brandon Borrello of the Roar compete for the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Brandon Borrello of the Roar kicks the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Daniel Georgievski of the Victory reacts during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Jamie Maclaren of the Roar warms up before the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Victory coach Kevin Muscat reacts during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Roar coach John Aloisi looks on during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images).

Jason Geria of the Victory and Thomas Broich of the Roar challenge for the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

James Troisi of the Victory is challenged by Matthew McKay of the Roar during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Thomas Broich of the Roar in action during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Brandon Borrello of the Roar and Daniel Georgievski of the Victory challenge for the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

Jade North of the Roar heads the ball during the round one A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on October 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images).

TweetFacebookA 96th-minute goal made for a1-1 draw between Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory on the A-League’s opening night at Suncorp Stadium,Brisbane.

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Leroy Houston ecstatic to make Test debut 11 years after last Wallabies tour

Can’t stop smiling: Leroy Houston is in line to make his debut, 11 years after he was last in a Wallabies squad. Photo: Dan MullanLondon: The last time Leroy Houston came to Twickenham as part of a Wallabies squad, he stood pitchside and took photos as a spectator more than anything else.

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Eleven years later and no one could wipe the smile off the 29-year-old’s face on Friday after coach Michael Cheika told Houston that his boyhood dream was about to come true.

Houston was named on the Wallabies bench for their clash against Argentina with Sefa Naivalu dropping off, capping a remarkable football journey for the specialist No.8.

“Honestly I just had a huge grin on my face when he [Cheika] announced my name this afternoon,” said Houston, who this time last week was going about his usual business with English club Bath. “I still haven’t absorbed it yet. I feel like I’m on quite a high. I can’t put it into words. Emotions are running high.”

After so long, it is only reasonable that Houston had lost hope of ever donning a gold Wallabies jersey, which is why Saturday will be an even more special moment than for some other debutants that got their chance before him.

“Yeah of course [I gave up hope],” Houston said. “I was just playing rugby, I didn’t think I’d ever get back into the Wallabies. But the chance came around and I was happy to take it.

“I didn’t think I’d be involved at all this year. I gave it a crack back in June, July. We’ve got good flankers. The opportunity came around and [Cheika] asked me if I wanted it and I put my hand up. And I had another crack at it. I’m really wrapped about getting into the team.”

In 2005, Houston came over to the UK under then coach Eddie Jones as an 18-year-old but never played a Test.

He got a start against the French Barbarians in a game Australia won 42-12 in Bordeaux that current Wallabies captain Stephen Moore remembers well.

“Leroy had a really strong game and that’s 10, 12 years ago now – it’s amazing to see now that he gets this opportunity to possibly make his debut for Australia,” Moore said. “He’s been playing over here for a long time and done really well.

“The boys have all been watching his highlights reel from his stint in Bath. It’s clear he’s made a good impression on the people there. It’s great to have him back around the group. I’m really proud for him to get that opportunity tomorrow to play for his country.”

Asked about that trip to the UK, Houston said he had fond memories but revealed he was too scared to speak at times. 

Ready if given the chance: Leroy Houston. Photo: Dan Mullan

“I was just starstruck to be honest,” Houston said. “Growing up looking up to those type of players, like George Smith, Steve Larkham – Squeak was a bit younger back then – but looking up to those guys … it was crazy just to be around those boys.

“To be honest I was really, really shy and I didn’t really speak too much but just the whole time in my head [I was saying] ‘wow, I can’t believe I’m with these guys at the moment. I get to train with them and get to play with them.’

“I just came on the field and took a few photos. I was more of a spectator. That was the first time I’d heard the England anthem – it was unbelievable. I’ll always have that in the back of my mind because it gave me goose bumps. I think one of the stands was down at that stage but it still held 60,000 people singing the anthem – it was unbelievable.”

Should he take the field, Houston will become Wallaby No. 901 and it is a nice reward for those closest to him who may have also lost faith along the way.

“I just can’t wait to go home and announce to my fiancée who has been on the sidelines just waiting for that call,” Houston said. “The thing is now, mentally trying to keep calm and just prepare in the mental space to play against the Pumas. Knock on wood I get to come off the bench and debut.”

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Brekky BlogSaturday, October 8, 2016

News from Tasmania ANIMAL LOVERS: Kelcie-Lee and Annikah Carpenter donated a $200 cash prize to the Devonport RSPCA. Picture: Phillip Biggs.

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North-West weather forecastForecast for Saturday:Mostly sunny. Slight (30%) chance of a shower in the far west early this morning. Near zero chance of rain elsewhere. Winds southwesterly 15 to 25 km/h turning west to northwesterly 15 to 20 km/h in the afternoon then tending northwest to northeasterly in the late evening. Daytime maximum temperatures between 13 and 16

A ridge of high pressure will move over Tasmania today with winds easing briefly before fresh to strong and gusty northwest winds develop early on Sunday ahead of a cold front, which crosses the state Sunday evening. Winds ease slightly and tend westerly in the wake of the front with another cold front crossing the state Monday night, ahead of a weak ridge that crosses on later on Tuesday.

The Advocate’s top stories►Annikah’s generous gift.10-year-old Annikah Carpenter had a generous gift for the Devonport RSPCA on Thursday.

►Pool fundingdelivered.The federal government has delivered funding for a new pool at Circular Head.

►Energy plan agreed upon.An emergency meeting of state energy ministers has wrapped up in Melbourne

►Port Road closes for five days of slip work.Port Road, Boat Harbour will be closed for six hours each day for a week to complete work to repair a second landslip.

►Hidding threatens defamation.Senior state government minister Rene Hidding is considering suing a fellow member of parliament fordefamation following revelations of a heated argument between the two at anofficialevent two weeks ago

Need anational newssnapshot first thing – well, we have you covered.

RegionalFORBES:A report is being prepared for the coroner after search teams recovered the body of a man, believed to be Robert Linnane, in floodwaters south-west of Forbes on Wednesday evening.Full story

WOLLONGONG:A road closureand a spectacular truck crash on one of the region’s busiest stretchescombined on Friday to leave hundreds of motorists stranded. Full story.

Traffic is heavy on the M1 Princes Motorway after a truck rollover at Cataract on Friday morning. Picture: ANGELA THOMPSON

BAROSSA:While many of us were rugged up indoors, thrillseekers took advantage of the novel floodwaters inundating the Barossa Valley region last week.Full story.

BATHURST:Thousands of race fans lined the streets of Bathurst on Wednesday to welcomed the V8 Supercar teams to town for the Bathurst 1000 Race Week. Full story and photos.

Race fans lined the streets to watch the Supercar Transporter Parade as the trucks and drivers made their way up William Street on Wednesday morning. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK

BUNBURY: When Dave Meredith decided to make the most of the scarcesunny weather on Wednesday by taking his greyhound Pia for a walk, he didn’t expect the afternoon to end in a mad rush to save his beloved friend’slife. Full story.

BENDIGO:A council candidate has sparked an online furore after taking to social media to defend his role in a road-ragealtercation which saw him knockoff the side mirror of a vehicle he says swerved at him. Full story.

REDLAND BAY: The Grand View Hotel features a free show with Whole Lotta AC/DC from 2pm to 6pm on Sunday,October 23. Find out more.

NOWRA:A Nowra woman has been awarded $300,000 after a plastic chair she was sitting on collapsed in Kmart Nowra. Full story.

National news

SYDNEY:Much of NSW is considered to have high or very high bush firedanger on Friday. Full story.

BUNGENDORE:Storm-battered residents in Bungendore were told todrive more than an hour away to dispose of trees brought down by thisweek’sferocious winds. Full story.

►Some of Australia’s wealthiest private schools are running multimillion-dollar surpluses with the help of excess taxpayer funding, prompting fresh calls for the Turnbull government to tackle inequalities in the education system. Full story.

►Australia is confronted with a “silver tsunami” of people facing death with little infrastructure in place to cope with such a seismic shift in population, according to a leading American palliative care doctor. Full story.

National weather radarInternational newsCOLUMBIA: Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has won the 2016 Nobel peace prize for his work on the peace accord with FARC rebels that his countrymen last weekend voted to reject. Full story.

THE HAGUE:”Any advice for Prince Charles?” The question drew a smile from King Willem-Alexander (warned in advance, one aide had raised an eyebrow and said “oh, a spicy question”). Full story.

UN: It was meant to be time for an Eastern European woman. But the exact opposite has happened, and the world will instead end up with a man from West Europe as the next United Nations chief. Full story.

MALAYSIA: The final member of the so-called ‘Budgie Nine’ -the Australiansarrested in Malaysia after stripping down to budgie smugglers emblazoned with the Malaysian national flag at the Grand Prix -hasarrived back on home soil. Full story.

On this day2001 – Two Russian cosmonauts made the first spacewalk to be conducted outside of the international space station without a shuttle present.

The faces of Australia: Brian BortolinThe Centre for Volunteering has recognised the efforts of Brian Bortolinby awarding him the Adult Volunteer of the Year.

MrBortolin, a prominent Griffith resident, has been volunteering with various organisations for more than 25years and last week he received the honour for his work withLife Education (Healthy Harold van).

As a volunteer with Life Education, Mr Bortolin drives theHealthy Harold van across the Riverina and ensuresHealthy Harold remains a prominent part ofeducation young people. Read on.

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NSW Government to collaborate with United States on cancer research

US Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Melbourne on Monday. Photo: Darrian Traynor Mr Biden, pictured with Mike Baird, signed a deal for the United States to collaborate with NSW on cancer research. Photo: Wolter Peeters
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Joe Biden talks of US-Australia “possibilities” during visitObama announces cancer “Moonshot”Job insecurity is driving the best and brightest out of medical research

The NSW government has signed a deal worth millions of dollars which will see ongoing collaboration in cancer research with the United States.

Scientists from the US National Cancer Institute will work with two Sydney-based research organisations on the “Cancer Moonshot” initiative, announced by US President Barack Obama in January this year, which aims to accelerate cancer research.

US Vice President Joe Biden signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NSW to allow the collaboration during his visit to Sydney on Monday.

It is hoped the agreement will hasten the discovery of “new anti-cancer agents” and enable faster detection of childhood cancer.

Greater medical collaboration was identified as one of the key aims of Mr Biden’s four-day trip to Australia, as well as highlighting the military alliance between the two countries.

NSW Premier Mike Baird welcomed the partnership, saying his state has much to offer the world in the fight against cancer and will ensure research is translated into patient care.

“This agreement will allow us to share our advances in cancer research, with the aim of preventing, controlling and managing the disease,” Mr Baird said.

Under the agreement, the state government will give $6 million to a joint project run by the Children’s Medical Research Institute at Westmead and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, based at Darlinghurst in inner Sydney.

Both organisations focus on advanced programs which the US has identified as priority areas in cancer research.

The new alliance comes after Mr Biden called for a “team sport” collaboration in the fight against cancer in Victoria on Sunday, where he announced the US will sign a deal to share 60,000 patient records with Australia to study the genetic makeup of different types of cancer.

Mr Biden said the loss of his son Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015, brought home the urgency of sharing as much information as possible in what can quickly become precious time.

A Joint Steering Committee will be formed and will meet at least once a year to oversee the Memorandum of Understanding and the research it produces.

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As the youngest of four brothers, Sione Mata’utia had to be tough beyond his years

I’M guessing it comes fromall those games in the backyard at Raymond Terrace. As the youngest of four brothers, Sione Mata’utia had to be tough beyond his years.
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I gained an appreciation of just how tough he is early in the second half of last week’s 20-16 loss to Melbourne.

Sione flew in for a tackleon Storm bench prop Felise Kaufusiand got up holding his face.

“I think I’ve broken my jaw,’’ he told me.

I immediately replied that he should put his hand up to go off and get it checked by our medical staff.

But he refused to leave the field and not only was there at full-time, but was easily our best player.

On Monday, scans confirmed what Sione expected: afracturedjaw that will sidelinehim for at least four weeks.

It was a reminder, albeit a disappointing one, of what a special player Sione is, and how good he will eventually become.

He’s been around so long now that it seems weird to think that he is only a month out of his teens and could still be playing in Newcastle’s under-20 side.

And unlike most other young players, there was no chance for Sione to quietly make a name for himself as he learned his trade in the top grade.Before he had even made his debut, our then coach Wayne Bennett was predicting great things for the former Australian Schoolboys captain.

Then, after just seven NRL games, he became the youngest-ever player to represent the Kangaroos at the age of 18 years, 129 days.

Playing at that level at such a young age creates hype and expectation.

Most people would have expected Sione to kick on last season, but it was hard for him because he seemed to have a different position each week, and games when we were on the front foot were few and far between.

This season Sione looked set for a settled role as our right-side centre, only for a couple of suspensions and a head knock to disrupt his start to the season.

Game by game, he started growing in confidence, and two weeks ago he jumped at the chance when coach Nathan Brown suggested giving him a run in the second row.

Even though he’s played most of his juniors in the backline, Sione hasall the attributes to make the transition to edge back-rower.

He’s strong, he runs great lines and he loves to put a big shot on his opponents.

I’m sure he’ll continue to improve as his new position becomes second nature.

I certainly enjoy playing alongside him and it’s disappointing he won’t be there on Sunday to tackle Cronulla.

From a personal perspective, I was happy with my comeback performance after hamstring surgery but frustrated we couldn’t come up with a win.

We’ll take the positives out of our past two games. If we keep playing like that, a win isnot far around the corner.

RISING STAR: Sione Mata’utia proved he had toughness to match his talent by playing almost 20 minutes with a broken jaw against Melbourne last Sunday.

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Multiple police officers dead in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, after shooting

Mourners in Baton Rouge raise their fists during a night rally on Monday in honour of Alton Sterling, who was shot and killed by Baton Rouge police while selling CDs outside the convenience store. Photo: Gerald Herbert/AP The shooting of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota sparked ‘Black Lives Matter’ rallies across the US, with the Dallas event ending in in the sniper deaths of five police officers on July 7. Photo: Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News
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Authorities stop a car near the scene of a shooting in Baton Rouge on Sunday. Photo: Mike Kunzelman/AP

Baton Rouge police block Airline Highway after police were shot on Sunday. Photo: Max Becherer/AP

Baton Rouge police officers patrol a road block in Baton Rouge after colleagues were shot on Sunday. Photo: Mike Kunzelman/AP

Baton Rouge police victims: (clockwise from left): Montrell Jackson with his son. Photo: Twitter/@BritniDWrites; Matthew Gerald. Photo: Twitter/@WAFB; East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Deputy Brad Garafola. Photo: Twitter/@TRex21 Photo: Social Media

As it happened: Three police officers shot dead in Baton Rouge

Less than two weeks after police shot a black man in Baton Rouge, sparking outrage across America and leading to the Dallas police shootings, three police officers have been shot dead and three were wounded in the Louisiana capital. #BatonRouge Police: We believe there are “multiple suspects” and “one suspect is deceased” https://t上海龙凤419/LyKgkW1pLihttps://t上海龙凤419/sHy7b71uBy— CNN (@CNN) July 17, 2016

Police have not yet confirmed the identity of the gunman but US media outlets have reported the attack was carried out by Gavin Eugene Long, from Kansas City, Missouri, on his 29th birthday.

An unnamed official told the Los Angeles Times that Long was a “black separatist”.

CBS News reported that Long had served in the Marine Corp and left the Marines in 2010 with an honorable discharge. His final Marine rank was E-5 (sergeant), CBS reported.

Other reports suggest Long had been a dean’s list student at the University of Alabama. He was previously married, but divorced in 2011.

Police said they received a 911 call early on Sunday morning about a “suspicious person walking down the Airline Highway with an assault rifle”.

Investigators reportedly said there was reason to believe the 911 call may have been used to lure police to the shooting scene and that the possibility it had been a conspiracy was being examined.

US Vice-President Joe Biden, in Melbourne on Monday as part of a four-day visit to Australia, condemned the attack. He said the shooting was a “despicable act” and extended sympathy to the families of the officers killed.

He said it was unclear who had made an emergency call.

Officers arrived minutes after the call and were fired upon by a man, who was dressed all in black and had his face concealed.

In footage sent to a Baton Rouge television station by a woman who said she saw the shooting, a woman can heard saying that she saw a man with “a mask on, looking like a ninja”.

The woman says: “He’s about to start popping again. Oh my God!”

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards condemned the “absolutely unspeakable heinous attack” on the police.

“We have to do better. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us and the people who carried out this act … do not represent the people of Baton Rouge or the state of Louisiana,” he said.

“There simply is no place for more violence. That doesn’t help anyone; it doesn’t further the conversation. It doesn’t address any injustice, perceived or real. It is just an injustice in and of itself.”

Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said two Baton Rouge police officers, aged 32 and 41, as well as a 45-year-old sheriff’s deputy, were killed.

US media have identified the three police officers killed in the shootout as Montrell Jackson, 32, Matthew Gerald, 41, and Brad Garafola.

Three officers were also injured. A 41-year-old officer is in critical condition, while two sheriff’s deputies, aged 41 and 51, were less seriously wounded.

Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden said he had spoken to officials from the White House, who offered to assist in any way possible.

“It’s touched, basically, people all across the country,” he told WAFB in a telephone interview. “The phones have not stopped ringing.”

Mr Holden could not confirm reports from various media outlets that as many as seven officers had been wounded.

“In the word ‘community’ is the word ‘unity’,” Mr Holden said. “If this is not a defining moment for us, to bridge the divide and come out with a unified voice, than I don’t know what is.”

President Barack Obama was briefed about the shooting and asked to be updated throughout the day, according to the White House, which said officials there were in touch with authorities in Baton Rouge.

He pleaded for calm and understanding and offered condolences for the three police officers killed and praise for law enforcement officers, expressing his “respect and gratitude” for their work, the Washington Post reported.

But his main message was broadly directed to a country that seems increasingly on edge and specifically to the two candidates trying to replace him.

“We don’t need inflammatory rhetoric,” Mr Obama said. “We don’t need careless accusations thrown around to score political points or to advance an agenda. We need to temper our words and open our hearts. All of us.

“A bullet need happen only once. But for peace to work, we need to be reminded of its existence, again and again and again.”

Jim Pasco, executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police, the country’s largest police union, said: “When police officers have to worry about citizens committing unprovoked acts of violence against them, it makes it more difficult for them to interact with citizens and that is a key factor in law enforcement.”

Sunday’s deaths brought the total number of officers killed in the line of duty to 30 so far this year, up from about 16 at this point last year. The average mid-year total is 25, according to FBI data.

Two bailiffs, both deputised by the sheriff, were killed in a Michigan courthouse last week.

Mobile phone video allegedly taken as Sunday’s shooting unfolded and aired by television station WAFB showed police vehicles descending on a petrol station while gunfire echoed in the background.

Mark Clements, who lives two blocks behind the nearby Hammond Aire shopping plaza, said he heard 10 to 12 gunshots coming from that direction about 8.40am.

He was letting his dogs out in his backyard when he heard the gunfire, followed by sirens and helicopters.

A reporter for the local news channel WFAB who was at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Centre, where the injured officers were taken, said the flag outside the hospital was already flying at half mast.

As events unfolded, the Louisiana Governor issued the following statement via Twitter. #lagov on the shooting of law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge today: pic.twitter上海龙凤419m/BU3B4Iznbe— Gov John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) July 17, 2016

The attack happened in a region still on edge after a white police officer fatally shot Alton Sterling, 37, outside a convenience store on July 5.

Graphic video images showed one officer shooting Mr Sterling five times at close range and the other taking something from his pocket as he was dying.

The shooting of Mr Sterling and Philando Castile, 32, near St Paul, Minnesota, on July 6 sparked “Black Lives Matter” protests over alleged police brutality against African Americans in cities from Ferguson, Missouri, to Baltimore and New York.

The protests stretched for days in Baton Rouge, with at least 15 people outside police headquarters at most times since Mr Sterling’s death.

The largest protest occurred on June 9, when people lined Airport Highway carrying signs, singing and chanting.

During the protests in the city, more than 100 people were arrested, and some in the region have criticised police for their aggressive response to demonstrators.

Baton Rouge said that they responded in that way to protests because they had received a threat to law enforcement officials.

Police said that a teenager accused of stealing guns during a burglary told investigators that he and others involved were seeking bullets to shoot officers. Officials said that they felt this threat was credible enough that it shaped their response to protests.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups have sued the Baton Rouge police and the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office for their response to the protests, accusing law enforcement officials of using excessive force.

C. Denise Marcelle, a Democrat member of the Louisiana House of Representatives, pleaded with residents to stay home and not protest in Baton Rouge following the latest shooting.

She said the timing of the shooting was devastating for Baton Rouge.

A former Baton Rouge city councilwoman, she was in church when the shooting broke out.

“My pastor came up to me and asked me to pray the prayer of peace and unity,” she said. “I got up and led the prayer, and that was right around the same time that this incident happened.

“I’m pretty shaken up that at the same time I was praying for peace someone was killing our officers. It has to stop.”

The Black Lives Matter movement has called for police to end racial profiling, bringing the issue to national attention ahead of the November 8 presidential election.

The wave of violence has heightened security concerns across the country, notably in Cleveland and Philadelphia, hosts to this week’s Republican National Convention and next week’s Democratic National Convention, respectively, which are expected to formally nominate Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton for the November election.

In a Facebook posting on Sunday afternoon Mr Trump said, “We demand law and order.”

Washington Post, Fairfax Media

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