Archive for December, 2018

Geelong stars go over the top for Wacky Wednesday

Monday, December 10th, 2018

There was the royal family complete with Joel Selwood holding a baby, Sandy from Grease who struck a remarkable resemblance to Corey Enright and defensive trio Andrew Mackie, Jared Rivers and Tom Lonergan as the Three Amigos. And much more.

A policeman with a sniffer dog, a ruckman in a nappy, and “old fossils” Max Rooke and Joel Corey barely able to make it to the bar with their walking sticks. And still more.

Some of the biggest names in the game also managed to drop in, like a fake Gary Ablett in full Suns gear and a Brownlow around his neck and even Warwick Capper… or was it Steve Johnson in a wig and tight shorts?

The season might have finished a week early for Geelong, but no one puts a full stop on a year better than the Cats.

Cats players, old and young, again raised the bar with their costume choice for Wednesday’s end-of-season celebrations at the Lord of the Isles Hotel in Geelong.

Kindly, the media was allowed in for a brief period to capture the atmosphere and have a chat, although maybe Tom Hawkins wished they weren’t.

“Obviously everyone dresses up really well, so there is a bit of pressure on everyone,” the key forward says in front of the television cameras.

Then asked who he thought was best-on-ground in terms of costume, Hawkins was forced to respond while trying to duck cheese slices being flung at his head by James Podsiadly.

“So far? The day is still pretty young, but I like Capper and also the Lego Man is pretty cool,” he says.

Now for a serious question: how is the injured back, does it need surgery? “I’m really not sure yet, we’ll explore all that, everyone has been away from the footy club…” Hawkins answers before the loud roar of “Capper!” drowns him out and he realises Johnson has climbed on his injured back to take a hanger.

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Rohan Dennis confident of making an impact in Florence

Monday, December 10th, 2018

Rohan Dennis believes he still has plenty in the tank at the end of a first and race filled year as a professional cyclist to leave the imprint he hopes for in the individual time trial of the world road championships in Florence, Italy on Wednesday night (AEST).

The 23 year-old South Australian who now rides for the American Garmin-Sharp team is one of two Australians who will race in the 57.9 km time trial – the other being Tasmanian Richie Porte (Sky).

Both riders face a mighty challenge to crack into the medals against seasoned professionals such as the defending world champion German Tony Martin, former gold medallist Swiss Fabian Cancellara and the reigning Olympic time trial winner Briton Bradley Wiggins.

However, Porte and Dennis are as well prepared as they can be for this race against the clock on a flat route that will suit them, and should any of the top riders fail to deliver an optimal performance, the opportunity may arise for the Australian pair to surprise.

A top five finish by either Australian rider would not be out of the blue though, as impressive as such a result would be.

Dennis, who has ridden strongly in a number of time trials this year – including last Sunday’s 57.20 km team time trial in which Garmin-Sharp placed eighth – is that confident he has what it take to produce his best in the individual time trial.

“I find the team time trial is actually a good way to open the body up and really have a good hit out,” Dennis told Fairfax Media on Wednesday.  “But obviously you need to manage your recovery pretty well afterwards to give yourself a good chance in the time trial.

“My form in the team time trial I thought was pretty good. I have been putting a lot of effort and time into the individual time trial, so to have the high end power in the team time trial still is a good sign.

“The time trial coarse is a good one for me. I say that because most of my results in time trials this year have come from flat time trials. “The heat won’t be much of a factor in the race, it’s only in the 20’s (Celsius).”

Australian men’s road coach and national selector, Brad McGee, is confident that Porte and Dennis will produce their best on Wednesday night (AEST).

“Both have put runs on the board this year. They are very well prepared time triallists,” McGee told Fairfax Media.

“The big order at this time of year is, ‘Can they put it together at this time of the season for a major championship?

“We have studied the course, because with the length of the course it is quite a different tactic than to what they are used to.”

That tactic, says McGee is simple: hold power and pace for the full 57.9 km race distance. “I don’t think many guys [in the race] will have ridden that far in a time trial,” McGee said.  “But they both have that confidence to go the distance which is part of the game.”

After the time trial, Porte and Dennis will rest up and prepare for the 272 men’s elite road race on Sunday for which Australia has a nine-rider team that will be led by Porte and 2011 Tour de France champion Cadel Evans who won the world title in 2009 at Mendrisio, Switzerland.

Meanwhile, in Tuesday’s 22.05km elite women’s time trial, Shara Gillow – Australia’s sole entrant – placed a disappointing 12th from 84 starters.

The race was won by Ellen Van Dijk of the Netherlands in 27 minutes 48.18 seconds. The silver medal went to New Zealand’s Linda Villumsen who came in at 24.10 secs and the bronze to Carmen Small of the United States who was at 28.74 secs. Gillow’s time was at 1 min 20.39 secs to Van Dijk.

Gillow later praised Van Dijk, but agreed that she was on an off day. The Queenslander said: “I always knew it was going to be tough. Some days are good days and some days are bad days and unfortunately today was just a bad day for me. But congrats to Ellen, she really deserved the win.”

Australian women’s coach Martin Barras said hopes were high that she would have finished far better than 12th.

“We were hoping for fifth or sixth on this course with the form that Shara took in today,” Barras said.

“She rode her heart out as she always does, but there was just a bit of edge lacking out there pretty much from the start of the race.”

Gillow, who helped Orica-AIS win the bronze medal in Sunday’s team time trial, will also race in Saturday’s 140.5 km elite women’s road race.

For live coverage of the men’s elite time trial world championship watch Eurosport tonight from 9.15pm (AEST) or SBS2 from 10.30pm (AEST).

Twitter: @rupertguinness

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Rabbitohs ready to answer the call

Monday, December 10th, 2018

Feeling good: Greg Inglis. Photo: Brendan EspositoAt this time of year it’s better to hear from the bearded man than the fat lady.

‘‘If you can win with Wigan, you can win with Souths’’ he drawled as he shuffled past Michael Maguire, bringing a smile to the coach’s face.

In the background, on Redfern Oval, half a dozen first-team players were kicking around footballs with some local kids, the sun beating down on a perfect spring morning. Ah, the serenity.

There’s a genuine sense of calm at Redfern. That or they’re good bluffers. However heavy the burden of four decades without a premiership and the hopes and dreams of thousands of fans from Hillsdale to Hollywood may be, Maguire indicated on Wednesday that, by the time they run onto ANZ Stadium on

Friday night to play Manly for a place in the grand final, Souths will be ready physically and mentally and, this time, will have experience on their side.

‘‘We’ve spoken a little bit about that,’’ he said of last year’s preliminary final loss to Canterbury. ‘‘But really we are a different team now. We’ve got a lot more experience, particularly in this arena.

‘‘This team’s been together for two years now trying to develop what we’ve got the opportunity for. I believe we’ve improved a hell of a lot right throughout this season from where we were last year. You get to measure yourselves, but the experience and understanding – a number of players have played in rep teams now, played in big games – hopefully we can take that into Friday.

“We learnt lessons throughout the season, different adversities we faced through certain games. It’s been a big marathon to get to this opportunity. Now it’s about taking your opportunities.’’

Maguire, who joined Souths after a successful stint with Wigan Warriors in England, said he had given his players time to get refreshed as well as train during their precious extended break. They’d also spent some quality time together in readiness for the big stage. ‘‘The team has built a great strength amongst themselves,’’ he said. ‘‘They really enjoy playing together. That’s probably the biggest key for us, getting out and enjoying working hard for each other. That comes into the mental side of playing tough games.’’

But the coach has seen enough of the Sea Eagles to know that they, too, have a strong mental game. They’ve been pounded physically, especially recently, but have stayed alive. There is no point assuming exhaustion will finally catch up with them this week, either.

Maguire didn’t say it, but the inference was that the Sea Eagles would probably have gained a lot of belief in themselves from their ability to overcome hurdles. More practically, Maguire outlined, dangers exist everywhere in the Manly line-up. ‘‘Both halves are playing well, their forward pack’s rolling forward and if their forwards are rolling, their halves are feeding their edges,’’ he said. ‘‘Jamie Lyon’s a quality player on the edge as well. We need to make sure we defend very well.’’

And any question about Brett Stewart playing? Forget it. The fullback will be there. ‘‘I’m sure he will. You want your quality players to be playing every game,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s a bit like when Greg Inglis plays for us. I’m sure he’ll be playing.’’

As will Inglis. ‘‘He is good at the moment. He’s trained really well over the last two weeks. A lot of people have talked about his knee but I see Greg, particularly this week, moving really well. He’s enjoying what he’s doing. When Greg’s in that mood, hopefully there’s good things to come. They really just want to focus about their own game and play the way they’re capable of playing.’’

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UPDATED: House fire at Lakewood

Monday, December 10th, 2018

House destroyed by fire in Lakewood today. House destroyed by fire in Lakewood today.

House destroyed by fire in Lakewood today.

House destroyed by fire in Lakewood today.

House destroyed by fire in Lakewood today.

House destroyed by fire in Lakewood today.

House destroyed by fire in Lakewood today.

House destroyed by fire in Lakewood today.

House destroyed by fire in Lakewood today.

House destroyed by fire in Lakewood today.

House destroyed by fire in Lakewood today.

House destroyed by fire in Lakewood today.

House destroyed by fire in Lakewood today.

House destroyed by fire in Lakewood today.

FORENSIC police and fire investigators are on the scene, trying to piece together the cause of a house fire in Lakewood earlyWednesdaymorning.

Authorities believe a working smoke alarm saved the lives of the three occupants inside the home. They managed to escape the home relatively unharmed.

An elderly woman, residing next door,collapsed near the sceneand died in hospitalafter seeing the fire.

It is understood the Teal Close house in Lakewood caught fire shortly before5am.

A Fire and Rescue NSW spokesman said the house, south of Port Macquarie, was well alight when they arrived just after five.

A vehicle parked in the carport next to the house also was in flames.

“It took about 30 minutes for our crews to extinguish the blaze,” Fire and Rescue NSW Commander Mark McGuire said.

“They did well to contain the blaze to the house of origin.

“Fortunately the smoke detectors did activate which probably saved the lives of all of them. The three people … have been taken to hospital suffering smoke inhalation.

“We haven’t determined the cause of the fire as yet.”

Investigators are going through the burnt home, taking photographs and surveying the scene. There is no indication as yet of the exact cause of the fire.

A neighbour spoke of his shock and the actions of fellow Teal Close residents to help: click here.

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The hardest thing about raising kids

Monday, December 10th, 2018

familyWe all know that raising kids is challenging at times. No doubt.

We can get frustrated by all the chores associated with raising kids – cooking, feeding, washing, cleaning up muck and mess from every surface of the house, tidying up toys and clothes from every corner of the house, driving our kids here, there and everywhere, and so much more.

We can also be challenged by our child’s behaviour – whinging and whining, not listening, tantrums, fussy eating, leaving a mess everywhere, not sleeping, biting, yelling, not taking responsibility, not going their chores … and the list goes on.

But when we think about these challenges, we often overlook the most important factor.

The absolute hardest thing about raising kids is having to take on/deal with/manage our children’s emotional lives. This is how it manifests:

•Your baby is feeling overwhelmed so she cries and cries• Your toddler is frustrated that he can’t play with that truck so he bites the other child• Your preschooler is annoyed that she can’t have another chocolate biscuit so she whines and complains• Your school age child is angry that he has to do his chores before bed so he tells you that you’re the meanest parent that ever lived• Your teenager is upset that you won’t let her go to a party so she calls you a bitch and slams her bedroom door  

We are dealing with their emotions every moment of every day. Kids don’t have all the skills they need to manage their own feelings and emotions so they cry, lash out, complain, yell at you, blame you, and call you names.

Taking on other people’s emotions can be draining, exhausting, and downright difficult. Whinging and whining and constant crying can wear you down, and being called unpleasant names can be very hurtful.

So what can we do to overcome this most difficult of challenges?

Acknowledge that your child is learning to manage their emotions

That’s why it can be good to name the emotion or feeling for your child. When your baby is crying, you say, “I know you’re tired. Let’s put you to bed.” When your toddler is biting, you say, “I know you are frustrated but biting is not appropriate. Use your words if you would like a turn with the truck.”

The more we name our emotions for our kids, the more they learn to identify them for themselves.

Keep the bigger picture in mind

Your child is having a moment where they are overcome by their emotions. No, their behaviour isn’t appropriate, but if you understand what’s happening you can respond in a more constructive way. Instead of getting caught up in their emotion, you can focus on helping them through it.

Be aware of your own emotions

Do you blame others when you’re feeling angry? Do you lash out when you’re feeling hurt? Do you complain when something doesn’t go your way? Become better aware of your own emotional reactions, and be a good role model for your kids.

And one more idea that can help: don’t forget to take advantage of all the other wonderful emotions you share with your kids – the joy, fun, delight, pride, excitement, sense of achievement, inspiration, contentment, hope and love. They make it all worthwhile.

Jodie Benveniste is a psychologist, parenting author, parenting expert, TEDx speaker and director of Parent Wellbeing.

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