Aussie band Kid Zr0 signs with Loudmouth MusicVIDEO

OFF TO LA: Kid Zr0 features (from left) Kurri’s Bailey Graeber and Central Coast boys Jamie Bailey, Brandon Alexander, Lee Hackney and Jacob Richardson.It has been a whirlwind six months for up-and-coming Aussie band Kid Zr0.
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The band –whichfeatures Bailey Graeber(18)on drums, and Jamie Bailey (18), Brandon Alexander (15), Lee Hackney (18) and Jacob Richardson (17)–will head off to Los Angeles at the end of the month after signing with Loudmouth Music.

After their original drummer left the band, Graeber was brought in to thegroup inJanuary.

“Then it all pretty much exploded,” Graebersaid.

With a pop-punk sound that could be described as Blink 182 meets 5 Seconds of Summer, Kid Zr0 is building a steady fan base of ‘Zr0 Heroes’ from all over the globe.

They have even caught the attention of popsuperstar Pink, who shared their cover of her hitJust Like Firewith her 32 million Facebook followers.

Artist managersMichael Browning andBrent Jeffrey were impressed with their demo and soon took them on board.

“We knew weneeded to take a look at these guys, we liked what they were doing,”Jeffrey said.

Former AC/DC manager Browning, who signed INXS to his label Deluxe Records in the early 1980s, connected Kid Zr0 with Loudmouth Music –the label behind artists includingNatasha Bedingfield (Unwritten) and The Script.

Jeffrey said the boys have continued to live up to their expectations.

“The fact that they have been given an opportunity like this, they are more driven and work-orientated, and have beenputting all their energy into rehearsing and writing,” he said.

“They are starting to connect with a lot of kids internationally, and the response from the fans and the industry has been really positive.”

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Qandeel Baloch knew her critics would ‘keep on hating’ but she didn’t care

Pakistani social media star Qandeel Baloch was allegedly murdered by her brother in an “honour killing”. Photo: Twitter @QandeelQuebeeShe was a social media star known as Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian. But model and singer Qandeel Baloch used her fame for more than just self promotion, aiming to challenge the deeply conservative mindset of her Muslim nation.
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“I believe I am a modern day feminist,” she said, in one of her final Facebook posts. “I believe in equality. As … women we must stand up for ourselves…we must stand up for each other…we must stand up for justice.”

On Friday, Baloch described herself as an “inspiration to those ladies who are treated badly and dominated by the society” and said she knew her critics would “Keep On Hating … DAMN but Who Cares”.

Hours later she was dead, allegedly murdered by her brother in a so-called honour killing.

Baloch, 26, was a polarising figure in Pakistan and beyond. Her bold, often provocative, videos, photographs and comments went viral online, where she had more than 750,000 supporters on Facebook. While Baloch was praised by some for her independence and defiance of social expectations, others subjected her to death threats and frequent misogynistic abuse.I will fight for it. I will not give up. I will reach my goal. & absolutely nothing will stop me…. https://t上海龙凤419/fjDhN6Aa1B— Qandeel Baloch (@QandeelQuebee) July 14, 2016 On July 5, she wrote that she was “trying to change the typical orthodox mindset of people who don’t wanna come out of their shells of false beliefs and old practices… It’s time to bring a change because the world is changing. let’s open our minds and live in present.”

But the old practices – even, apparently, in her own family – were not changing fast enough. Baloch, who was born Fauzia Azeem, was killed in her family home in the city of Multan. Contrary to earlier reports that she was strangled, Nabila Ghazzanfar, a Punjab Police spokeswoman, told Al Jazeera the initial post-mortem showed Baloch’s nose and mouth had been pinned shut, blocking off her airways.

Baloch’s brother, Waseem Azeem, was arrested and confessed to the killing, Pakistani news channel ARY News reported on Sunday. Presented to the media by police, he said he was not ashamed.

“We are respected people of Baloch cast,” he reportedly said. “Qandeel’s videos making rounds on social media could not be tolerated, hence I solely decided to kill her. I am not ashamed of my conduct.”

Baloch’s death prompted tributes on social media, as well as anger and protests in Pakistan, reigniting the debate about “honour killings”. Almost 1100 women were killed in Pakistan last year by relatives who believed they had dishonoured their families, according to the country’s independent Human Rights Commission. Such figures are widely thought to be “severe underestimates”, the Honour Based Violence Awareness Network says.

The chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, and filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, who won an Oscar this year for her documentary on honour killings, A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, were among many who condemned the killing. #QandeelBaloch killed in an #honorkilling- how many women have to die before we pass the Anti Honor Killing Bill?— Sharmeen Obaid (@sharmeenochinoy) July 16, 2016

​#QandeelBaloch was a Pakistani woman and deserved the right to life. No ifs, no buts. Punjab government must hold murderer accountable.— BilawalBhuttoZardari (@BBhuttoZardari) July 16, 2016Honour killing of artist @QandeelQuebee celebrated by Pakistanis. #QandeelBaloch Via @i_k_bpic.twitter上海龙凤419m/Kp4VewWMhF— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) July 16, 2016   – with Reuters  

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Sydney barrister loses court battle over silk appointments

A Sydney barrister has lost her legal battle against the Bar Association. Photo: James Davies A Sydney barrister has lost her legal battle against the Bar Association. Photo: Jessica Shapiro
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 It is a title coveted by barristers that has triggered court spats and attempted leadership coups.

Appointments to the prestigious rank of Senior Counsel – or silk – are made annually and are a reliable source of controversy among the NSW bar.

Days before applications close on July 29 for the latest round of appointments, the Federal Court has ruled on the latest stoush involving a barrister whose silken aspirations were thwarted.

Sydney barrister Mary Walker, who specialises in mediations, took the NSW Bar Association to court after her application for appointment as silk was knocked back last year.

The title is prized by barristers because it allows them to charge more for work and sets them apart from their peers as experts in their field.

Ms Walker sought a series of orders, including a declaration that, in dealing with her application, the association had acted in an “oppressive, unfairly prejudicial or unfairly discriminatory manner”.

She also sought a declaration that the Bar Association protocol governing silk appointments – which applies to “practising advocates” – does not shut out barristers who work largely or solely as mediators rather than appearing in court as advocates.

Her legal battle followed a high-profile stoush in 2014 involving Sydney barrister David Smallbone.

He submitted his application for silk 12 minutes after the 5pm deadline and took the association to court after it was rejected for lateness. The Supreme Court dismissed his case.

Ms Walker applied for appointment as silk in 2014 but was told her application was not considered because it was “not within the protocol”.

She tried again last year and was told her application had been considered but knocked back.

In a meeting with the then Bar Association president, Jane Needham, SC, and silk selection committee member Michael Fordham, SC, Ms Walker asked if the association had determined the meaning of the term “practising advocate”.

Mr Fordham replied: “We had deferred any consideration of [that question] … until after your application was determined on the merits. Your application was not enough.”

Federal Court judge Anthony Besanko said the silk selection protocol was “in the nature of a policy document” and did not create legal rights and duties that could be ruled on by the court.

He noted silks were able to charge higher fees and the title was “a public identification of an ability to provide outstanding services”.

“No doubt disappointment, even great disappointment, attends the rejection of an application,” Justice Besanko said.

“Even so, it is not any economic interest or potential economic interest which is sufficient to justify the court’s intervention, particularly having regard to the nature of the protocol.”

He rejected Ms Walker’s argument that she had been treated in an oppressive, unfairly prejudicial or unfairly discriminatory manner.

The title of Senior Counsel (SC) has led to a series of ructions among the NSW bar.

Tensions reached boiling point last year when a group of barristers, agitating for the return of the title of Queen’s Counsel (QC) for silks – last used in 1992 – tried to oust the existing Bar Association leadership team to advance their cause with the state government.

The move would require a change in legislation.

The Bar Association is expected to announce this year’s silk appointments on or by October 7.

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Western Suburbs score late try in 16-all draw with South Newcastle

Last-minute draw has ongoing ladder effects TweetFacebook Newcastle RL – Souths v Wests at Townson OvalPictures by Marina NeilA late try in the corner to Simon Williams saw Western Suburbs and South Newcastle split the competition points after a thrilling 16-all drawat Townson Oval on Sunday.
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Williams levelled proceedings with just 75 seconds left on the clock and thenWests halfback Jade Porter had the chance to steal a win with a sideline conversions after full-timebut his normally sweet left-foot strikewas unsuccessful for thefourth timethat afternoon.

Instead both sides shared the spoils and remain locked togetherin third position on the Newcastle Rugby League ladder with15 points –two shy of frontrunners Macquarie (17) and two in front of Kurri Kurri (13) with Lakes (16) and Cessnock (14) sitting either side.

This congestion was also created by other round 12 results. Macquarie’s hard-fought 20-14 victory over Central Newcastle at St John Oval on Sundaysaw them reclaim pole positionafter now second-placed Lakes were defeated by the in-form Bulldogs 18-12 at Kurri on Saturday. The Goannasretained fifth spot after accounting for Maitland10-6 at Cessnock on Saturday.

It means just four points, or two wins, separate the top six teams with four rounds remaining, which sets upa grandstand finish to the 2016 season.

EVEN: South Newcastle’s Brendan Simpson tackled by Western Suburbs pair Chris Knight and Peter Mannion on Sunday. Picture: Marina Neil.

Adding to the drama was a tight tussle between the Rosellas and Lionswith a try thegreatest margin at any point throughout the see-sawing encounter.

First-half tries to Joel Brown and Williams has the visitors ahead 8-4 at the break with Jarod Flanagan scoring in between for Souths.

The hosts then crossed and converted courtesy of William Heta for an advantage of two before Willis Alatiniput Wests back in front 12-10.

An effort by Sam Cookhad the Lions in sight of victory for the last 20 minutes but a second to Williams locked it all up.

“We split thepoints in the end but out on the field it felt like we had done enough to win, especially conceding that try right at the end,” Souths captain-coach Todd Hurrell said.

Wests mentor Steve Storrie thoughthis squad were fortunate.“We were lucky to get away with it in the end but at least we got something out of it,” he said.

Macquarie and Central were 10-all at half-time.

Steve Kidd

In other Newcastle Rugby Leaguenews, Steve Kidd will rejoin Cessnock as head coach next year after leading themto a grand final in 2014.

The former Kurri Kurri Bulldogs player was in charge of the Newcastle under-18 representative team this season and will take over from current Goannas mentor Dan Smailes.

LADDER:Macquarie 17; Lakes 16; South Newcastle, Western Suburbs 15; Cessnock 14; Kurri Kurri 13; Central Newcastle, Maitland 3.

In the meantime Kidd will completehis second yearas assistant at Central Newcastle and Butcher Boys captain-coach Rowan Kelly

”Congratulations to him, but we addressed the playing group about it and I don’t think we will hear about it again,” Kelly said. “We are still focussed on this job and finishing off this year.”

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Brumbies v Highlanders: Free pies and parking to help Super Rugby club’s finances

Finals bound: The Brumbies will play in the Super Rugby play-offs next week and early fans will celebrate with free pies and parking. Photo: Jay CronanThe ACT Brumbies are using free pies and parking to lure a big crowd for their Super Rugby quarter-final against the Otago Highlanders at Canberra Stadium on Friday night.
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Brumbies interim chief executive Phil Thomson was unconcerned about recent poor crowds and was confident the magnitude of Friday’s game would help turn that around.

They had just 9830 turn up for their victory over the Queensland Reds on a freezing Canberra night two weeks ago and then 9387 watched their lacklustre win against the Western Force on Saturday.

Former Brumbies boss Michael Jones had predicted the Super Rugby club would make a $1 million profit this financial year, but his payout and lower-than-expected crowds led to chairman Robert Kennedy admitting they would likely record a loss instead.

But a good crowd against the Highlanders would help bolster their depleted coffers.

Thomson said it would also increase their chances of getting a home semi-final the following week.

If the Brumbies beat the Highlanders, they would then need results to go their way to host a semi.

Two of the teams that finished above them on the ladder — the Wellington Hurricanes, the Johannesburg Lions or the Cape Town Stormers — would need to lose for that to happen.

“The last two crowds after the June break have been down a little bit, but weather conditions have probably played into that a little. It’s been a lot colder,” Thomson said.

“But I think Canberra just needs to realise it’s an important game, it’s a quarter-final.

“If we win that game and results go our way we could have a home semi-final the following week, so we need to get as much support out there as possible for the team.

“We have to pay [the Highlanders] a set amount, obviously we’ve got our normal stadium costs that we have to pay for and we rely on getting people out to the ground to ensure it’s a financially viable option for us.

“That’s what we’re hoping for, to get as many people as we can … a good crowd will certainly help our financial situation this year.”

SANZAAR’s decision to schedule the game on Friday night, despite the Brumbies asking Super Rugby’s governing body for a Sunday afternoon game, has hurt the ACT club.

Because NRL club Canberra Raiders have a triple header at Canberra Stadium on Saturday, concerns about frost meant a 6pm kick-off was chosen for the Brumbies-Highlanders final, which could make it tough for some fans to get to the game after work.

Stadium officials feared the usual 7.40pm start time, combined with a potential frost, would make it impossible to get line markings and sponsors painted on the field before the Raiders’ under-20s start on Saturday at 10.40am.

Thomson said they would give a free meat pie to the first 2000 fans through the gate and were also offering free parking before 4.30pm. Some ticket prices have also been reduced.

He said they were trying to encourage fans to get their early to avoid getting caught in peak-hour traffic. ACTION is running free buses to the match.

“Even though it is Canberra and we don’t really have a massive peak hour like other major cities, those arterial roads leading into Canberra Stadium can get quite congested,” Thomson said.

“So really try and get out there early … there’ll be free parking out there up until 4.30pm.

“The stadium came up with [the free pies] … trying to make sure we’re working together to get a good crowd there. I’ll be in that first 2000, don’t worry about that.”

Season ticket holders have until Monday 11pm to buy their regular seats through Ticketek, then unsold seats go on sale to the general public on Wednesday at 9am.


Friday: ACT Brumbies v Otago Highlanders at Canberra Stadium, 6pm. Tickets available from Ticketek. Members on sale until Monday 11pm, general public on sale from Wednesday 9am.

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It’s not Pokémon, but Newcastle lads running hot with phone appvideo

IN a world suddenly splitinto those playing Pokémon Go and thebemused onlookers, a team ofNewcastlesoftwaredevelopersbelieve they’ve unleashed a pioneering phone fitnessappin the cutting-edge fieldof augmented reality.
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Fit for Battle–described by Newcastle design team Dream Well aspart workout, part “choose-your-own-adventure” novel –parachutes the user into a fight-or-flight epictold through their earphones and playable outdoors or on a treadmill.

The ideawon$50,000 forDream WellthroughHCF insurance’s Catalyst program, and developer Joel Turner said there were plans to followthe premiere“quest” with five more.

Websites such as the AppleApp Store are already crowded with downloadableaids for running, cycling, swimming and even yoga, but Mr Turner and co-developers Micah King, Chad Turner and Jason Phua said they wereconfident ablend of fitness and fantasy settheir creation apart.

“Most of the people who it resonates with are already trying to run, and the main response is that they love the story and the characters,” Mr Turner said.

“When you get immersed in the story you forget that you’re running.”

BIG IDEA: Newcastle designers Jason Phua, Micah King and Joel Turner won financial backing for their part-fantasy, part-fitness smart phone app, which occupies a similar niche of the app market to Pokemon Go. Fit for Battle parachutes the user into a fight-or-flight epic.

On the surface, the almost simultaneouslaunch ofPokémon Go seemed like terrible news for the Newcastle team.

Would the busyapp user already seeking a Squirtle at Surfhouse, a Diglett on Darby Street anda Bulbasaur at The Brewery have the time or inclination to embark on yet another quest?

“It’s a huge lift actually, because it has really elevated the space for us. We aren’t a game like them but we share the fact that we get people playing outside,” Mr Turner, who plays Pokémon Go every day,said.

“At first I was nervous about Pokémon Go entering the market in such a huge way, but we aren’t competing with them at all. If anything, the are opening up the market wider for us.”

Dream WelllaunchedFit for Battlelast month and picked up 2,200 subscribers or usersin the first week.

Once downloaded, the appprompts the runnerto pick up the pace by simulatinganaural worldteemingwithorcs, dragons and story-advancingpuzzles.

The smartphone’s in-built pedometer and GPStrack the user’s exertion levels andmimichigh intensity interval training, so thatshort bursts of speed are followed by brief recovery periods.

Mr Turner said the ideagrew from his boredom with running and the passiveness of just listening to music.

“I made this game because I actually hate running, and I used to do anything to distract myself; music, podcasts, audiobooks,” he said.

“Then I thought, ‘imagine if a game could sense how I’m running –how cool would that be?’”

TheDream Well collective, described by Mr Turner as “a massive big circus of cool, creative people”, utilised several voice artistsas well as the talents of Mr King, who composes scores for TV shows.

Fit for Battlecan be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store and is available foriPhone and Android.

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Rio Olympics 2016: Lleyton Hewitt, Simon Gerrans withdraw from Australian team

Out: Lleyton Hewitt. Photo: Jesse Marlow Broken collarbone: SImon Gerrans. Photo: Rupert Guinness
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Australia’s Olympic hopes have received a double blow with cyclist Simon Gerrans officially ruled out of Rio with a broken collarbone and Lleyton Hewitt’s withdrawal as coach of the men’s tennis team for “personal reasons”.

Gerrans, considered a strong medal prospect in the road race event, underwent surgery over the weekend on a broken collarbone suffered in a crash at the Tour de France.

Facing a battle against time, the 36-year-old held out hopes of competing in Rio on the tricky, cobble-stoned course, but Australia Olympic Committee officials were informed on Sunday morning his attempt to ride at a third Olympics was now over.

Gerrans flew from France to Barcelona late last week and was operated on over the weekend.

After he woke up, he posted on Twitter an X-Ray of his collarbone, showing off the new screws in place. He tweeted: “My new hardware… The surgery went as well as we could hope. Now it’s time to put a plan in place.”My new hardware… The surgery went as well as we could hope. Now it’s time to put a plan in place. #tdf2016pic.twitter上海龙凤419m/cxJFy2XPwN— Simon Gerrans (@simongerrans) July 16, 2016

He later released a statement confirming his withdrawal.

“I am a proud Australian and as an athlete there is no greater honour than representing your country at the Olympic Games,” he said. “My goal at the Olympic Games was to get the best result possible for Australia. With my current injury my preparation would be seriously jeopardised, and so to my performance at the Games. For Australia to have the best chance to achieve the best result possible, I feel I should be replaced by one of the riders in the squad.”

The Orica-BikeExchange veteran crashed heavily during Stage 12 of the Tour. He kept on riding but was later forced to leave the race.

There was much hope Gerrans — renowned for being a tough competitor — would fight back and compete in Rio.

Cycling Australia chief executive Nick Green told Fairfax Media on Friday: “Before we have all the information on where Simon is at, he’s a member of the Olympic team. Unfortunately, he’s a member of the team with a broken collarbone.” That’s the end of my #tdf2016 I can’t find words to describe how disappointed I am. pic.twitter上海龙凤419m/DgsyxHRYpT— Simon Gerrans (@simongerrans) July 14, 2016

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Eventful seven months away for HMAS Darwin crew, including surfing in the Seychelles

Leading Seaman Daniel Colbert, of Jervis Bay, enjoyed a few days surfing while deployed on the HMAS Darwin. Photo: Michele Mossop Sailors enjoyed emotional reunions with family and friends after seven months at sea. Photo: Michele Mossop
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Able Seaman Jordan Shephard gets a wild greeting from cousin Claudia Bush,13 after disembarking from the HMAS Darwin. Photo: Michele Mossop

Heroin busts, an intercepted weapons smuggling operation, and some surfing in the Seychelles – the past seven months have been eventful for the crew of the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Darwin.

The guided-missile frigate docked at Sydney’s Garden Island on Sunday following a seven-month deployment to the Middle East and east Africa, welcomed by family, friends and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Leading Seaman Daniel Colbert from Jervis Bay said some of the sailors had brought surfboards from home for their days off when the ship docked in the Seychelles.

“We figured if the opportunity arose, we’d need [our surfboards] … so we took them,” he said.

“When we were in the Seychelles, we went and got some waves. We got three days straight of really perfect waves with no one else around.

“So it’s tough, but enjoyable at the same time.”

The ship and its crew of 229 returned to Sydney on Sunday morning to crowds of family and friends, as the lengthy deployment forming part of the government’s Operation MANITOU came to a close.

HMAS Darwin’s Commander ​Phillip Henry said the mission was successful, as it seized nearly a tonne of heroin and 2000 small arms weapons from smuggling operations.

“We did everything that was required of the mission,” Cdr Henry said.

“The Middle East by its nature can be a bit uncertain at times,” he said. “But we are well-trained and well-prepared, and the crew and the ship performed admirably.”

Able Seaman Jordan Shephard said she was overjoyed to return home after “by far probably the hardest” deployment she had ever completed, due to the death of a fellow crew member on board in June.

“We do this for a job all the time, so we’re trained for it,” she said. “But nothing beats coming home and seeing your family.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull joined the happy crowds to welcome and thank the crew members for their “professionalism, courage and dedication”.

Mr Turnbull said recent violence in France and Turkey were reminders of the crucial role played by the Australian Defence Force in protecting national security.

“The work that the Australian Navy does is absolutely critical in providing security for the world [and] providing security for Australia,” Mr Turnbull said.

“It is a vital commitment and the professionalism and the courage and the dedication of the men and women of the Australian Defence Forces is critical in ensuring Australia remains safe,” he said.

The crew will have a month off to rest with their families, before returning for ship maintenance and service by October.

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NHRU: Hawks heading in right direction

ON THE BALL: Hamilton forwards Harry Veitch (right) and Tiueti Asi compete for possession during the Hawks’ 40-10 win over Maitland. Picture: Max Mason-HubersHAMILTON coach Scott Coleman stop short of saying the premiers were back but he believes they are headed in the right direction.
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The Hawks overpowered Maitland 40-10 at Marcellin Park on Saturdayto move within five points leaders Wanderers, who were upset 29-10 by Southern Beaches .

The win over the Blacks followed a 45-5 triumph over Southern Beaches, which brought an end to a two game losing streak.

The two losses occurred during the NSW Country program, to which the Hawks supplied five players and Coleman.

“Having the country players back has lifted the intensity in games and training,” Coleman said. “We are certainly playing at a higher tempo and with more composure. We are being patient and not traying to score off every phase.”

The Hawks scored just before halftime to open a 19-10 advantage. From there they took controll.

“Seva Rockoboro and Tiueti Asi were outstanding,” Coleman said. They got us on the front foot and gave the backs time and space to do their thing. Our lineout was also dominant. We won 6 of their throws.”

Southern Beaches coach JohanLourenspraised his forwards they ground out a 29-21 win over leaders Wanderers on Saturday.

Halfback Logan Hemopo scored andconverted a bonus-pointtry after strong build-up from his forwardsin the dyingminutes to put the hosts ahead at Ernie Callan Field.

“The boys dug in today,” Lourens said.

“The forward pack was just incredible today and I couldn’t really single anyone of them out. All eight were brilliant.

“We made a changeto our game for the match and it paid off.

“Wanderers are a very good side and the momentum turned back their way with 15 to go but luckily our boys took control again.”

Two Blues coach Viv Passi said there were no excuses from his side.

“They played really well and deserved the win,” Passi said.

“It was a grinding game, especially from them. They played to their strengths and we just didn’t react to it.”

At Townson Oval, The Waratahs upset Merewether Carlton 25-13.

The Waratahs went ahead 8-3 in the 21stminute with a try in the corner from makeshift fullbackAlistar Ledinghamafter the teams had exchanged penalties.

No.8 James Williams scored off a tight-head scrum win in the 40th minuteto give Merewether a 10-8 halftime lead.The teamstraded penalties early in the second half before the Tahs went ahead with a pick-and-drive try fromAlain Miriallakis.

Elsewhere, Daniel Faafete scored two tries as Lake Macquarie defeated Singleton 46-5,and Nelson Bay downed University 24-15.

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‘That threw me over the edge’: sledge from Kyrgios that hurt Chiller the most

Australian team boss Kitty Chiller wanted Rio authorities to bolster security. Photo: Robert CianfloneKitty Chiller was having breakfast in a cafe in Hobart earlier this year when someone drew her attention to a Twitter post from Nick Kyrgios.
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The 21-year-old tennis star had been jabbing away at her on social media for weeks; the likelihood of the Australian Olympic Committee endorsing his inclusion on the team for the Rio Olympics was diminishing with each insult.

But this latest one, as far as Chiller was concerned, crossed the line.

When one of Kyrgios’ followers pointed out that Chiller had finished 14th in modern pentathlon at the Sydney Olympics, he responded with this: “Haha she came 14th I don’t think that counts as competing in the olypmics [sic]”.

Chiller fired off an email to AOC media boss Mike Tancred.

“I have had it,” she wrote. “Absolutely unacceptable.”

Recalls Chiller: “That threw me over the edge. That cut me to the quick. In retrospect, that was an emotional response with me not being happy with 14th [in Sydney] 16 years ago. I’m sure, if I psychoanalysed it, that’s why it affected me.

“It also brought back – and this really annoys me – the times when people say, ‘Who’s she? What’s she done?’ That’s irrelevant. It’s f—ing irrelevant to what I’ve done in this role. It’s a perception of some people that if you’re not a gold medallist or swimmer or rower or track and field runner, you’re no good. Nobody knows my story.”

Her role is chef de mission – French for “head of mission” – of the Australian team competing in Rio in August but in another life she was an athlete.

Her story from her home country’s Olympics explains why Kyrgios’ flippant tweet wounded her, and also why she’s fixated on every athlete being treated equally in Rio.

Modern pentathlon’s obscurity conceals its brutality; a sport in which athletes compete in fencing, pistol shooting, swimming, show jumping and cross-country running.

Chiller took it on in 1982 hoping to become an Olympian two years later in Los Angeles. Instead, the women’s competition wasn’t admitted until 2000.

She turned 36 on the day of her event and was up against athletes in their mid-20s.

In the 18 months before Sydney, a horse reared back and broke her nose, she had pneumonia, fractured a skull, suffered foot injuries and went through a divorce from a husband who was also her physiotherapist. She was going to walk away from the sport but kept going out of respect for those who had supported her over the past 18 years.

Then, the day before the opening ceremony, she fractured her knee cap in training.

Because she was competing on the final day of competition, she stayed at home in Melbourne and by the time she walked back into the athletes’ village lugging 40 kilograms of gear, the party had well and truly started.

“Everyone was dressed up and suited and going to the closing ceremony,” Chiller recalls. “And I went into my room and just locked myself there … I didn’t feel part of the team. That night, there was a party outside, they took the sofa out [of her accommodation], fridge out, then there was water fight with a fire hydrant. At 2am, I went and slept in the medical personnel room and bunked in there until I had to get up at 4.30am.”

She laboured through the competition with her busted knee and finished 14th.

“Was my Olympic dream to finish 14th?” she asks. “No. I did the best I could. But it showed me that everyone should be treated equally. That the modern pentathlon on the last day is the same as the swimmers in the 4x100m relay on day five. I don’t want it to appear that I am bitter. There is not one ounce of anger in me. It’s just how it was.”

Since her appointment in 2013, she has become the omnipresent face of our Olympic team.

Snap question: who was Australia’s chef de mission at the London Olympics four years ago? If you said the bloke off Masterchef, go to the back of the classroom. If you said champion rower Nick Green, I’d suggest most of you Googled it first.

Chiller has created a new dynamic for a chef de mission. Isn’t it supposed to be about the athletes?

Says Chiller: “In my first pitch to the AOC executive, my mantra has been: ‘You can be chef de mission or you can do chef de mission’. You can be a wheel-in, wheel-out chef de mission. But every job I’ve had, I get involved. I can’t turn up on August 5 and say I’m your leader and do what I say.”

This is why you’ve seen Chiller at media opportunities trying her hand at canoe slalom, playing badminton, fluking three-pointers on the basketball court, and getting two black eyes from boxer Shelley Watts.

She absolutely refutes that she did so seeking attention and profile.

“That’s not why I did it. It was to get to know the athletes so they trusted me. That they knew me. You have to get them to buy into it, so I have to earn their respect and their trust. A lot of athletes I’ve met don’t know I’m an Olympian. But I want to earn their respect from them now before we arrived in Rio.”

She’s certainly not doing it for the money. Her full-time honorary role is worth $56,250 per year, according to the AOC’s 2015 annual report.

In her role in London as deputy chef de mission alongside swimmer Chris Fydler and under Green, she admits she struggled with the hierarchy that existed within the team.

“I was scared of the swimmers,” she says. “I went to the psychologist on day three in London and said, ‘What’s my place here? I’m with two blokes, two gold medallists, both from high-profile sports, what do I have to offer?’ So I felt sorry for myself for half an hour then I made a role and a place for myself.”

Chiller’s critics say she’s made too much of a place for herself in recent months. Social media, she says, was brutal throughout the Kyrgios saga.

“The personal abuse I got was just horrific. I know they’re trolls and I know Mike [Tancred] yells at me, ‘We tell the athletes not to listen to it’. But I had to go off social media for two weeks. I know I shouldn’t let it affect me, but it does. You can’t defend yourself, you can’t bite back. There’s hate mail and threats that Mike has protected me from I’ve only just found out about.”

Now, I’d been forewarned that Chiller is a crier, and that’s okay.

“I always cry,” she admits, with a smile.

But it takes one more question about how tough the Kyrgios-Tomic episode was and the emotion comes pouring out.

“It was awful … It’s not nice. It’s just lonely. It’s just really lonely. Everyone wants to be liked, so it wasn’t easy.”

Those in support of Chiller will say she did the right thing. The Australian campaign in London suffered from stories of Stilnox abuse, drunken incidents involving rowers and a “toxic culture” in swimming. More than anything, it was a team lacking equality.

Chiller decided to stand up to two brats – Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic – when nobody in their own entourage let alone from Tennis Australia had the temerity to do it. Finally, someone said “no”.

“I didn’t actually say no to him [Kyrgios],” she says. “I would rather look at it as standing up for the values of the team and what it means to be an Olympian. There were some people on watch who weren’t doing that.”

On the flipside, though, Chiller could’ve handled it better.

Surely, she should’ve risen above a public slanging match with a 21-year-old. She was on one side of the net firing away forehands from a media conference. Kyrgios was on the other side, using social media to fire back.

Could she not have just reached out and said, “Nick, this is silly. Let’s have a coffee and hug it out”?

“Don’t worry, I’ve beaten myself up about it in my own mind,” she says after a long pause. “The one mistake I made, at the very first AGM, where I put Tomic and Kyrgios in the same sentence … That’s what started the whole thing. That was wrong, I probably shouldn’t have done that.

“But do I regret how it played out … You know what? No. The national federation came out in defence of him. That’s what hurt me the most. They said, ‘He’s improved’. And this is where Shooting Australia stood up [to Michael Diamond, who was earlier this month banned from competing in Rio with police charges hanging over him]. They said, ‘No, we can’t say this athlete has a good standing with the sport’.”

So far, Chiller has talked a big game: on athlete behaviour around alcohol consumption, security in Rio and team performance.

When it comes to team behaviour, she says this: “I have a zero tolerance for disruptive behaviour. There’s no alcohol where competing athletes are residing. Am I going to go out and have a few drinks? Absolutely. I don’t want to send three people home because they’re drunk. If someone gets rolling drunk, and tip-toes down the corridor and goes to sleep, there’s a warning but they won’t be sent home.”

When it comes to team security, she offers this: “I would be stupid going over there assuming nothing will happen to one of our team members. I’m worried about the second week when athletes are going, ‘Let’s go to this nightclub’ and they go one block further back and they have a drink and they don’t have their wits about them.”

And when it comes to team performance, she is serious when she ambitiously says Australia can double its gold-medal haul in London from eight to 16 – but medals aren’t the benchmark.

“If we come back and we’re sixth or seventh and we’ve gone about it in the right way, and we can walk away with our head held high, I think Australia is a very forgiving nation. We would rather be the most respected in the team than the one with the most medals.”

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