Tips from Brad Gray
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Trainer Greg Bennett.

All your tips, form and analysis for Sunday’s Muswellbrook Country Championships Qualifier.

Winner: 6. Sassaby ($15)

Sassaby hasn’t had much luck in his two starts this time in. Rachel Murray never really had the chance to find top gear on him in the Scone Qualifier but he still kept darting through the middle of the pack to run fifth. When you consider All Summer Long, who although made a sustained run from the rear, only finished marginally in front of Sassaby the price discrepancy seems too large. He is $15 while All Summer Long is a firm favourite at $4. The drop back from 1400m to 1280m isn’t ideal for Sassaby but given the track will again be in the heavy range, he’ll still get his chance.

What the trainer says (Greg Bennett):

“I was very impressed with Sassaby’s efforts in the Scone heat. Once he realised he could handle the soft going he was great. He pulled up perfectly after the run.”

Related article

Bennett Pins Hopes On Wildcard

Quinella: 8. All Summer Long ($4)

It’s fair to say that the barrier beat him in the Scone Qualifier. He was jagged back to last from the draw and worked home to be beaten just 0.1L. And that saw him run third! He has drawn slightly better here which should at least ensure he is in front of a couple. The wet track holds no fears and he has won stepping back in trip in the past (1400m back to 1100m off a four week break). He was of course scratched from the Country Championships Final last year when hard in the market behind stablemate and eventual winner Clearly Innocent. Tipping a fairytale Greg Bennett quinella as his training career draws to a close.

What the trainer says (Greg Bennett):

“He was very unlucky to miss out in that photo finish. He can do varied distances so I am not too worried about that.”

Trifecta: 9. Art D’Amour ($6)

Convinced this four-year-old is up to winning a race in town. He was beaten for the first time in his five start career in the Scone Qualifier but hardly disgraced. The form guide reads 10th but he was only beaten 2.4L and the step back to 1280m suits him perhaps the best of any runner in the field. Cody Morgan made no secret of the fact that he was worried about the 1400m at this stage of his career. The heavy track doesn’t look to suit however he is too classy a galloper to completely discount. He has been back to the trials since and went very nicely in winning his heat (albeit on a good track).

What the trainer says (Cody Morgan):

“There’s no doubt he has a touch of class which will carry him a long way.”

Related article

Cody Paints A Picture Of Two Top Prospects

Roughie: 9. Pelerin ($13)

The second of Cody Morgan’s runners brings a completely different form line to the three above who all come out of the strong Scone Qualifier. The Tamworth-based trainer has been extremely patient with this five-year-old throughout his stop-start career but he definitely boasts his fair share of ability. He hammered the line off a near year-long break at Scone over 900m before flattening out a touch over 1200m at Tamworth but he still kept finding the line. He could be looking for 1400m not third-up but the wet track might play into his hands regrading this. He is unknown on anything worse than Good. If he handles the ground, expect him to be charging at them late.

What the trainer says (Cody Morgan):

“He ran third on Tuesday (Tamworth) at just his second start in 12 months and he will improve greatly. Don’t be surprised if he runs a huge race in the Wild Card.”

*All prices courtesy of TAB and are correct as of 9am Friday on 24 March.

All the fields, form and replays for Sunday’s Muswellbrook Championship meeting

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Alex Sean Forth.
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A PROBATIONARY Rural Fire Service member who deliberately lit firesat Lochinvar, Keinbah, Bishops Bridge and Sawyers Gully and made numerous hoax calls to emergency services because he was bored and wanted to be called out to battle the blazes has been jailed for twoyears.

Alex Sean Forth, now 21, of Aberglasslyn, appeared in Newcastle District Court on Friday for sentence after pleading guilty to lighting four fires and making a false call to an emergency service number.

“I’d like to say that I’m sorry for what I did,” Mr Forth said from the witness box.

“My actions were unfair, especially to the RFS, the courts, the police and my family.

“And I’m ashamed of what I’ve done.”

When asked by his barrister, John Booth, why he had lit the fires, Forth replied: “stupidity would be my main answer, but principally it was for the call outs.

“Getting onto the RFS truck and going out on it.”

Forth said he “thoroughly enjoyed” working with the RFS and he set the fires so he could extinguish them.

Forth joined the NSW Rural Fire Service in September, 2015, and was attached to the Lochinvar Brigade as a probationary member.

But not long after he joined, there was a “significant spike in suspicious, deliberate or undetermined” bushfires in the area patrolled by the Lochinvar brigade.Forth used “molotov cocktails” to start two separate fires in the Werakata National Park at Keinbah on April 15, 2016.

A week later he used the same method to start a scrub fire on Old North Road at Lochinvar.

Typically, after lighting a fire, Forthwould call triple-zero to report it and then drive to the station to prepare to head out with the crew.

But Forth began raising suspicion with his superiors.

On one occasion he called another volunteer and told him about a firebefore it was broadcast to members and another time hewas at the station within two minutes of RFS members being notified of a blaze.

Arson Investigators began physical and electronic surveillance of Forth and watched as he lit a fire in roadside scrub at Lochinvar on April 28. He was arrested when he arrived at the Lochinvar RFS station a short time later.

Judge Roy Ellis sentenced Forth to a maximum of three-and-a-half years jail.

Forth, who has been in custody since his arrest on April 28, 2016, will be eligible for parole in April, 2018.

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Photos of destruction found on vandal’s phone An area of the Grampians National Park was vandalised.
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An area of the Grampians National Park was vandalised.

An area of the Grampians National Park was vandalised.

TweetFacebookA HORSHAM man who spray painted graffiti near a significant Aboriginal cultural heritage sitein the Grampians destroyed the paint cans in a fire, a court has heard.

Caleb Boydcote, 23, faced Horsham Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, charged with criminal damage, as well as drug and weapons charges.

He pleaded guilty to the charges.

MagistrateRonald Saines sentenced Bodycote to a 15-month community corrections order.

The court heard that between September 1 and November 11, Bodycote and two co-accused went to Hollow Mountain in the Grampians.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Belinda Ryan said the area had Aboriginal significance.

She said Bodycote walked about one kilometre to a cave, where he caused extensive damage by spray painting the rock.

Bodycote then lit a fire and stayed the night, destroying the paint cans in the fire, before leaving the next day.

On November 18, police searched Bodycote’s home, where police located a receipt for paint cans and a map of the Grampians National Park, outlining Hollow Mountain.

Police also found about four grams of cannabis, cannabis seeds, shotgun ammunition, two swords, a homemade sword, a double-edged dagger and a butterfly knife.

They also found a torch, that was thought to be missing from the Horsham Police Station.

Police also searched a co-accused’s house in Stawell, where they found paint cans, a phone and a digital camera.

The court heard that photos on the phone depicted Bodycote damaging the rock face and lighting a fire.

A video showed paint cans exploding in the fire.

Senior Constable Ryan said Bodycote took responsibility for all the damage at Hollow Mountain andno-one else was involved.

The court heard that it cost $4267.44 to clean the rock.

Defence solicitor Julia Barling said Bodycote was in a downward spiral, smoking cannabis and making poor decisions.

“He bought the weapons off the internet or at second-hand stores –he didn’t know they were illegal,” he said.

Ms Barling said he had made a stupid decision when he choseto damage the rock.

MagistrateRonald Saines said it was confronting to hear incidents of environmental vandalism.

“It not only affects the Aboriginal community, but the tourist industry and national parks,” he said.

“It is so disappointing that anyone would find this amusing.”

Mr Saines said he would have preferredif Bodycote was made to clean up the site himself.

“There are also elements of dishonesty and criminal damages, as well as various drug charges, which is concerning,” he said.

“You need to decidewho you want to become, rather than being in the revolving door of the justice system.”

Wimmera Mail-Times

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Washington: Stories of women who have had enough, Snapped has been going gangbusters in the US reality TV genre for years. You know the kind of story – cheated woman drives over lover or husband; puts the car into reverse gear and drives over him again.
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But in the era of Donald Trump, Americans get to watch a real, media-political version of this show. “Fake news” luminaries such as The New York Times and The Washington Post cracked months back – driving over the 45th president time and again in angry editorials and strident op-eds.

But it wasn’t till this week that The Wall Street Journal, the very conservative and very sensible, Murdoch-owned WSJ, snapped – its Wednesday editorial tears into Trump for his false and lying tweets.

Likening the teetotaller commander-in-chief to a desperate alcoholic, it thunders on Trump’s widely-debunked claim that former US president Barack Obama had ordered wire taps on Trump Tower: “The President clings to his assertion like a drunk to an empty gin bottle, rolling out his press spokesman to make more dubious claims.”

The Journal often is accused of covering Trump with kid gloves. But throwing into reverse, the editorial’s author drives over the President again – damning his “seemingly endless stream of exaggerations, evidence-free accusations, implausible denials and other falsehoods”. And then it guns the engine before making another run: “If he doesn’t show more respect for the truth, most Americans may conclude he’s a fake president.”

Theories abound on Trump’s obsessive, reckless tweeting – it’s a fight to defend the legitimacy of his presidency; it’s innate – he was groomed since childhood to wage total war on any threat, real or perceived; or it’s all a distraction – creating a crisis to divert attention from other crises and/or from the dire impact of his legislative and executive decisions.

George Lakoff, a cognitive linguist at the University of California at Berkeley, sees a deliberate strategy at work. Analysing Trump’s March 4 wire-tapping tweets, Lakoff lays out four elements on his blog: Pre-emptive framing: He frames first. He creates a new presidential scandal – Obama’s wire tapping – an accusation without evidence, and with all evidence against it.Deflection: He puts the onus on his squeaky-clean predecessor.Diversion: The press bit and the diversion worked. It generated headlines questioning whether Obama, rather than Trump, had committed wrongdoing. The diversion worked, at least temporarily.Trial balloon: Will the public accept it, or listen to a discussion of it long enough to distract the press and the public from the treason issue?

Bruce Miller, a political science professor at the University of Albany, doesn’t buy this theory of calculated distraction. “That’s rarely the case,” he tells Fairfax Media. “All the tweeting is an unavoidable part of his personality ??? so provocative and unchecked that it has a perverse impact ??? leaving a sense of a frenzied, chaotic start to this presidency.”

But calculated or otherwise, the distraction is profound. Stories that might run for days get bumped from the headlines as an army of political journalists changes gears, going after the latest Twitter feed.

Not getting the attention they would ordinarily deserve are a litany of White House decisions or, as in the case of his proposed budget, Trump’s wish list for federal spending cuts that often target the very people he promised to watch out for, those of whom he said in his inauguration speech in January: “the forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer”.

These include his proposal to undo what is called the Fiduciary Rule, an Obama edict that was to come into force this year, by which small-time retirement investors would be protected from financial advisers who scam them of an estimated $US17 billion ($22.3 billion) a year; tax cuts worth hundreds of billions for the rich that are buried in Trump’s makeover of Obama care; and the upending of programs worth billions that help the poor, especially in remote and rural America, with the likes of legal advice, banking, community infrastructure, job training and shelter – affordable housing, heating and weather-proofing.

Trump has put medical research on the chopping block; along with a series of economic revitalisation programs, like the Appalachian Regional Commission, which covers hard-pressed coal country; and vital long-term environmental efforts, like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the clean up of the sprawling Chesapeake Bay, North America’s biggest estuary.

The new president’s determination to undo a swathe of Obama’s “stupid” climate policies is hugely consequential – but this too gets short shrift in the Twitter wars. Climate change research and prevention programs would be eliminated along with a series of vehicle and power plant pollution control efforts that were deemed necessary to counter planet warming.

They were part of Washington’s commitment to reduce greenhouse pollution by 26 per cent by 2025 under the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change – which Trump says he’ll junk. And Trump wants to weaken rules that protect hundreds of rivers from pollution.

“As to climate change, I think the president was fairly straightforward: we’re not spending money on that anymore,” Trump budget director Mick Mulvaney said while briefing reporters on budget proposals.

Trump is arguing against laws that prohibit US companies paying bribes to get overseas contracts. And having paid $US25 million to settle class actions against his own university, work is underway to relax rules that make it difficult for other private colleges to scam their students.

Among Trump’s 23 executive orders and memoranda, his crackdown on migrants and refugees from first seven and then six predominantly Muslim countries earned continuous headline coverage, but much of the rest has been lost in the weeds.

So called sanctuary cities, of which there are more than 100, would be denied all federal funding unless they co-operate in Trump’s efforts to round up undocumented migrants as thousands more immigration and border patrol agents are hired ahead of spending billions of taxpayer dollars on a wall on the Mexican border.

Trump’s “Comprehensive Plan for Reorganising the Executive Branch” could see whole agencies eliminated, with their work being shunted to private contractors or offloaded to the wary state governments.

And just in case Trump doesn’t go the whole hog, Republicans have introduced these bills in congress: HR 861 Terminate the Environmental Protection Agency – Shutters the EPA by the end of next yearHR 610 Vouchers for Public Education – Switches school funding to a states-run voucher systemHR 899 Terminate the Department of Education – Closes it by the end of next yearHR 354 Defund Planned Parenthood – Denies funding for all its work unless it agrees to cease abortionsHR 785 National Right to Work – Further weakens trade unionsHR 147 Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act – Recriminalises abortionHJR 40 Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Social Security Administration relating to Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 – Would reverse the Obama administration’s effort to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill

In several recent polls Trump’s approval rating languishes at 37 per cent and seemingly, that drives his tweeting excesses because, as explained by some in his inner circle, he is frustrated by his inability to control the narrative and to dominate the discourse of his chaotic presidency.

It could be that as a weapon of choice, Twitter is nearing the end of its useful life for Trump. A poll by Fox News last week found that 32 per cent of voters “wish he’d be more careful” in his tweeting – only 16 per cent of voters approved of his social media communications; and even among Trump voters, just 35 per cent approved.

Maybe, just maybe, a space is about to open up for some serious political debate.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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A LOT has changed in and around Throsby Creek over the past two decades. Once a desolate and polluted stormwater drain, the city’s largest urban waterway now supports a thriving ecosystem.
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Times are changing: Throsby Creek bird watcher Tom Clarke. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

The creek’s change in fortunes has also helped drive the property boom in Maryville and Tighes Hill in recent years.

The blueprint for the transformation, the 2001 Total Catchment Management strategy, has recently been reviewed.

Work is now underway onthe 2017 Throsby Creek plan and community input is now sought into its development.

Community members have the opportunity to discuss and have input intothe plan at the Throsby Creek Action Station to be held at Islington Park on Sunday, April 2 between 9am and 3.30pm.

“The new plan will consolidate and focus the efforts of agencies responsible for action within the creek and catchment for the next six years,” event coordinator SusanMorley who works for Hunter Local Land Servicessaid.

Turning the Throsby tide Bleak: A degraded section of the Carrington foreshore in 1992. The area is now thriving with mangroves.

Carrington Mangroves, 1992

Dredging the main channel, 1992

Dredged sediment, 1992

Throsby Creek Regatta, 1960. Picture: Bob Scobie, University of Newcastle

Throsby Creek Regatta, 1960. Picture: Bob Scobie, University of Newcastle.

Throsby Creek Regatta, 1960. Picture: Bob Scobie, University of Newcastle.

Throsby Creek Regatta, 1960 Picture: Bob Scobie, University of Newcastle.

TweetFacebook Time and tide on Throsby Creek Tighes Hill resident and Hunter Bird Observers Club member Tom Clarke will be among those sharing informationon the day.

“It’s amazing to see the changes that have occurred in the birdlife around the creek over the past 28 years,” Mr Clarke said.

“We have seen new bird species move into the area while others have moved on.”

The creek drains stormwater from a 3000 hectare catchment area that extends to Charlestown.

The main channel betweenMaitland Road and Hannell Street was last dredged in 1992.

While much of the sediment has returned, a Hunter Water spokesman there were no immediate plans to re-dredge the channel because studies had shown sedimentation did not impact on flooding.

A new sediment study to determine where the sediment is coming from is underway.

“With sedimentation in the tidal reaches of Throsby Creek forming as part of a natural process, a range of options are being investigated to determine if it is more beneficial to have treatment options throughout the catchment, or if dredging the sediment in the lower reaches is the most suitable management method,” the spokesman said.

“The outcomes of this study will feed into the future plans for the creek,”

Throsby Creek Action Station:Sunday 2nd April,Islington Park, 9.00am – 3.30pm

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ABOVE PAR: Sugar Valley Golf Club has been in continuous operation for over 50 years and is suitable for beginners and experienced golfers alike. In May 1936, the Macquarie Golf Club was foundedon Notley’s Paddock, the site of the now Sugar Valley Golf Club.
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GOING GREEN: Sugar Valley Golf Club boasts pristine courses that offer great fun for everyone from beginners to the more experienced golfer.

Macquarie was the first golf club foundedwithin the Lake Macquarie local government area with 35members and a nine-hole course.

Fast forward 80 years and the Sugar Valley Golf Club, set in the picturesque valley of Mount Sugarloaf,has undergone an extraordinary transformation under the careful management of course superintendent Dave Johnson.

Gone are the goat tracks, and in their place is a redesigned, boutique, easy walking course, perfect for those looking for a quicker round or who find it difficult to manage larger courses.

Eighteen holes spread over 3100 metres –that’s only three to four hours at even a leisurely pace.

Other courses in the area range from5000m to 6000m.

The result is a family-friendly environment perfect for children and seniors alike.

The layout is great for beginners, due to its size, but at the same time, also a testing short-game challenge for experienced golfers.

Nine dedicated holes with alternate tees deliver a surprisingly diverse front and back nine surrounded by an abundancy of wildlife that call the course and creek that circles it home.

The greens and surrounds have never been in better condition thanks to Dave and his team of volunteers.

Carts are available for hire and barbecue facilities and golf clubs are available for use free of charge.

The course is currently running its autumn super special – an unbeatable $10 social round for unlimited holes and $5 for children under 18.

And as always the 19th hole awaits at the nearby West Wallsend Workers Club for those looking for a relaxing end to their game.

You can play socially or competition. The ladies run their’son Thursday mornings. The men’s comp is on Saturday morning.

Located at Boundary Street, West Wallsend, Sugar Valley offers the beauty of a laid-back, country atmosphere with the convenience of being only 30 minutes from the Newcastle CBD and fiveminutes from the M1 and Hunter Expressway.

For further information or inquiries, check the Facebook page (facebook南京夜网/sugarvalleygolf) or call 4953 2891.

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Pacific Dunes Golf Club … a challenging test for any golferPacific Dunes Golf Club in Port Stephens has partnered with accommodation providers, shuttle services and Fly Pelican to offer new fly-stay-and-play packages out of Sydney.
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An example of the packages involves staying at Ramada Resort at Shoal Bay. This option is priced from $147.50 per person twin-share midweek, including one night’s accommodation, green fees for 18 holes and lunch at the Greenhouse Eatery, with a $20 surcharge per person on weekends.

Flights between Sydney and Newcastle with Fly Pelican are priced from $59 per person one-way, including 20kg of baggage and all taxes.

Phone (02) 4916 0500 梧桐夜网portstephens.org419论坛 Kimo Estate …luxury boutique accommodation near Gundagai

Tourism to regional New South Wales is booming, at least partly due to the opening of new luxury boutique accommodation offerings such as Kimo Estate, near Gundagai.

Set on a 7000-hectare working farm, Kimo Estate has built luxury eco-huts that sit proudly on the hills with 360-degree views over the Murrumbidgee River flats.

The architecturally designed huts provide a quiet spot to refresh, and feature solar power, a beautiful bathroom and gourmet breakfast.

The property’s 100-year-old workers’ cottages have also been stylishly refurbished and feature sweeping verandahs.

梧桐夜网kimoestate南京夜网 Uluru Fork and View … a new dining experience in Central Australia

Central Australian small-group specialist SEIT Outback Australia has partnered with ATG Downunder to launch Uluru Fork and View, a double-decker bus that’s been converted into an open-top restaurant at the base of Uluru.

Groups and private charters can now enjoy a dinner tour or a progressive three-course meal, while individual travellers can hop on for a morning-tea experience which is available daily.

A fully guided four-to-five hour sunset tour is priced at $250 per adult ex Ayers Rock Resort, including a three-course set menu and a premium-beverage package.

梧桐夜网seitoutbackaustralia南京夜网419论坛If you prefer cheese and wine to chocolate eggs, then the Sunshine Coast isn’t a bad place to head this Easter.

The region will play host to the Kenilworth Cheese, Wine & Food Fest on Easter Saturday (15 April) — a free event that kicks off with a cheese-rolling competition, features a Cheester Egg Hunt for children aged four-to-seven years, and includes gourmet cooking demonstrations showcasing produce from the Mary Valley.

Other events on the Sunshine Coast this Easter include the Ocean Street World Festival on Sunday, April 16, when Maroochydore will celebrate diversity at a free event featuring artists across four stages, with acts from Japan to Bolivia, and Budapest to Jamaica.

There’s also the Pa and Ma Bendall Memorial Surfing Contest Surfers, one of Australia’s oldest surfing competitions, which will attract plenty of talent to Caloundra’s Moffat Beach over the whole Easter long weekend from 14-16 April.

Mantra Mooloolaba Beach has an Easter deal priced from $255 per night in a one-bedroom apartment (minimum three-night stay).

Phone 131 517 梧桐夜网mantra南京夜网419论坛梧桐夜网visitsunshinecoast南京夜网. The John Morrison SBF All Stars Big Band … Thredbo-bound this April.

Thredbo Jazz turns 30 this year and the 2017 festival will bring some of the country’s best jazz and roots music to the rooftop of Australia from April 28-30.

The festival program will see 17 bands playing in a variety of venues from the village to the top of the mountain, so festival goers can catch performers in different settings across the weekend.

Australian jazz legend Bob Barnard will return with the Barnard Family Jazz Band, and Thredbo crowd favourites, the Kirrawee High Band, will also return to show off their youthful energy and prodigious talent.

All-inclusive festival and accommodation packages are priced from $160 per person per night.

Phone 1300 020 589梧桐夜网thredbojazz南京夜网419论坛

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THEATRE REVIEWLord of the FliesHunter Drama, at Hamilton Public School HallEnded SaturdayDIRECTOR Charlotte De Wit’s decision to use an all-female cast in Nigel Williams’ stage adaptation of William Golding’s story about schoolboys trying to survive after their plane crashes on a desert island showed how universal its characters and situations are.
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And while plans to stage the production outdoors in Blackbutt Reserve were shelved a couple of days before opening because of forecast wet weather, the presentation in a theatrical hall had the opening night audience watching intently through its 95-minute running time, with the actors and production team making good use of different levels and spaces bedecked with trees and plants to create the various island settings.

Onlookers were gripped from the opening moments, as the girls appeared singly and in groups, with the different school uniforms indicating the individuality that came through when they got together. The two girls who became leaders of incompatible teams, Alexandra Jensen’s Ralph and Isabelle Clements’ Jack, showed their natures from the outset, with Ralph putting forward the need to start and maintain a fire that would be visible from a rescue ship, and Jack being more intent on hunting for wild animals such as pigs. Jack’s bullying of Piggy (Evie Lawrence), a nervous girl wearing glasses, foreshadowed her later more vicious behaviour. The other eight actors – Kate Wooden, Matilda Dickinson, Ruby McNamara, Hannah Hickey, Jessica Morgan, Indigo Howland, Lucy Johnson and Bella Sykes – likewise brought out the very different natures of the survivors. Wooden’s Simon, for example, had a secret place in the jungle where she could relax, while Dickinson’s Roger, initially a loner, showed an increasingly violent streak as she became Jack’s second-in-command.

Lighting was used well to create the brightness of the fire and the darkness that descended onto the island. The changing nature of the clothes, with the different school costumes being discarded by most of the students and replaced by more drab and increasingly dirty wear, showed the passing of time. The appearance of blood on skins and clothes likewise made evident the growing desperation and barbarity of the girls, as they killed more animals and fought among themselves.

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The start to any new AFL season will be marked by most clubs unveiling at least a couple of new faces. Occasionally, there’ll be the return of a long-term injury casualty. But never has a club had close to half a team come back to the fold after a year away from the game.
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That’s the extraordinary position in which Essendon find themselves on Saturday night going into the opening of the 2017 season against Hawthorn at the MCG.

It’s a big occasion for the Bombers, the impossible weight of the supplements scandal finally lifted after four hellish years. But a lot has changed even in the 18-odd months since the 10 players remaining at the club who were suspended by the Court of Arbitration for Sport last took the field for premiership points. iFrameResize({resizedCallback : function(messageData){}},’#pez_iframe_afl_video’);

The group includes veteran Jobe Watson who, in his last game for Essendon, was captain and a Brownlow medallist, and now in his next is neither, with his successor as skipper another of that group, Dyson Heppell.

There’s ruckman Tom Bellchambers who, in his absence, has been superseded as the No.1 man by former Brisbane Lion Matthew Leuenberger. And All-Australian defender Cale Hooker, whose temporary pinch-hitting as a forward in his last outings seems to have become a permanent shift.

And there’s no fewer than seven midfielders, nearly all a regular part of Essendon’s best 22 in 2015, but who return to find far more competition for a spot in the mix.

As the Bombers not only covered the gaping holes left by the CAS suspensions last year but looked to rebuild for the future under John Worsfold, the wheels of change kept spinning.

Zach Merrett, in 2015 still only a promising youngster, became in 2016 an elite midfielder, a best-and-fairest winner, and in 2017 is also a vice-captain. Draftee Darcy Parish fitted immediately into the midfield mix, and is an integral part of the engine room.

Orazio Fantasia and Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti emerged as excitement machines up forward, an area in which Essendon have long struggled. And two more supposed “top-ups” – James Kelly and Matt Dea – acquitted themselves so well they remain part of the mix.

It’s a world away from the Essendon of which the 10 returnees were last a part. Just how do they fit in to the new Bomber order? Let’s take a look on a case-by-case basis.


Including last year’s suspension, the big ruckman has played just 18 games in three years, also beset by ankle, foot and more recently a knee injury, from which he returned in a VFL practice game only last weekend. Definitely behind Leuenberger in the queue for No.1 ruck spot, though he, too, is injured. Coach John Worsfold isn’t opposed to playing both now the Dons have some nippy little men up forward, but that’s currently a moot point in a position where Essendon now look the thinnest.


Was in career-best form midway through 2015 when a foot injury ended his season. Returns with perhaps even more responsibility. “Trav has had a crack in at the centre bounces on a few occasions in the pre-season and it’s worked pretty well for us,” says Essendon football manager Rob Kerr. Colyer will spend time on a wing and could also have spells up forward. He and small forwards Josh Green and Fantasia are likely to take turns to act as centre-square “shock troopers” when more pace out of the middle is required.


The new Bomber skipper might have less change to his role than any of the other returning players. Heppell, who led the Dons for clearances and contested ball in 2015, is still No.1 midfielder, though with the on-ball division now batting a lot deeper, Worsfold might have more flexibility with his captain than previous coach James Hird did. “He might get asked to play at half-back at different times and could find himself on a wing,” says Kerr. “We’ve got a few players in that category, and he’s one.”


The strongly built midfielder has played just five games since the end of 2014 after his 2015 season was ruined by a serious groin injury requiring surgery. In a deeper midfield, he’s no longer a walk-up start, but his capacity to run with opposition key on-ballers will earn him selection more often than not. “It’s a pretty good string to his bow that not everyone else has,” says Kerr.


The former All-Australian defender was switched forward in the second half of 2015, averaging two goals a game. And with Joe Daniher still needing support up forward, it’s there Hooker will stay. “One will play higher pushing up the ground and one deep, so it will be fairly dynamic,” says Kerr. The Hooker-Daniher combination will involve some “learning as we go”, he says. “We haven’t seen a lot of these two together, and ‘Joey’ has had another good season under his belt since Cale played up forward.”


Of the 10 returning suspended players, it’s Howlett who might have to fight hardest to win a spot in the best 22. Once an automatic midfield pick because of his work ethic, Howlett, a good tackler, has more recently been used as a defensive forward. His problem is that with the emergence of Fantasia and McDonald-Tipungwuti, and recruitment of Green, the Dons have an army of small forwards. That might see Howlett squeezed out of not just one, but two parts of the preferred line-up.


The All-Australian centre half-back of 2015 was arguably the player Essendon was most anxious about re-committing to the club. Will be the undisputed general of the Bomber defence with Hooker playing forward, and fellow keys Michael Hartley, Patrick Ambrose and Mitch Brown very much support staff. Kerr says the Bombers will be looking for Hurley to provide effective rebound as well. “He’s a good kick, so we want him to do that as well as be someone who can quell a good opponent,” he says.


None of the banned 10 have played as little as Myers. Injured in the opening minutes of the first game of 2015, he was injured again in his only other appearance, giving him effectively one half of football since the 2014 elimination final. A finger injury means he’ll miss at least the first month of this season, too. That said, fully fit, Myers is a walk-up start. “He’s an inside mid with a long, penetrating kick. He’s probably the one we’d be looking for to launch the ball into our forward 50,” says Kerr.


After weighing up retirement, the 30-year-old was given a one-year deal by the Dons. Not everyone thinks he’ll be a regular with newer faces rotating through midfield. But the other side of the argument is that, relieved of the pressure of a weekly tag, with which he has sometimes struggled, Stanton can provide Essendon with his trademark endurance running from the luxury of a wing, or rebound off half-back, where he spent most of the pre-season.


Now 32, the former skipper can’t be relied upon to carry the midfield. The good news is Essendon probably won’t need him to, thanks to the emergence of Zach Merrett and Parish. That means Watson looks set to spend more time than ever before up forward. “He can certainly take a grab and he’s got reasonable forward craft in terms of his leading,” says Kerr. Watson has only once kicked more than 16 goals in a season. That may change substantially in 2017. iFrameResize({resizedCallback : function(messageData){}},’#pez_iframe_afl_tiles’);

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BIG TEST: Jets fullback Jason Hoffman will have the job of keeping Phoenix danger man Kosta Barbarouses in check on Sunday. Picture: Getty ImagesNOW or never.That was the blunt message from coach Mark Jones as the Newcastle Jets headed across the Tasman to take on an under-manned Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on Sunday.
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Jones, with eight games remaining and Newcastlesitting on the edge of the six, predicted the Jetswould need to win another three games to make the play-offs.

They have since lost 1-0 to Adelaide, drew 1-all with the Mariners and suffered defeats to Brisbane (3-1) and Melbourne City (4-0).

The upshot is that Wanderers, who smashed City 3-1 on Friday night, are nine points clear of the Jets in sixth place. However the Jets have played one less game.

“We had eight games and we had to win three of those,” Jones said.“Now we are down to four games. The percentages are lower, but we have a great opportunity here to put pressure on Western Sydney.It is certainly not done yet.”

The Jets host Wanderers next before road trips to Central Coast and Sydney FC.

Wanderers, who also have Asian Champions League commitments, play the Jets (away, Melbourne Victory (home) and Adelaide (a).

No surprise that coach Mark Jones says it’s now or never for @NewcastleJetsFC. pic.twitter南京夜网/Tcnlp6KdUV

— James Gardiner (@JamesGardiner42) March 24, 2017

But the run home will be of little importance if the Jets don’t get the job done against Wellington.

Phoenix, who sit a point above the Jets, have lost seven players to international duty.

Andrew Durante, GlenMoss, Shane Smeltz, Michael McGlinchey, Thomas Doyle and Alex Rufer will line up for New Zealand againstFiji in a World Cup qualifier inLautoka on Saturday.Phoenix striker Roy Krishna will lead Fiji’sattack.

“The Mariners played them in similar circumstances and got beat 2-0,” Jones said.“Sometimes people who have been given an opportunityplay better. It is still to our advantage. We have to be confident that we can get a result.”

The Jets paid the price for missing an early opportunity to score against City.

“We had a run away early on and a couple of other opportunities in the first half where we could have gotten something from it,” Jones said. “Again, story of our season, we don’t take our chances.People say we keep saying that, but it’s a fact. You have to take your chances.”

Jones appears set tweak his attack.

“Everyone has had an opportunity and the nine and ten positions haven’t produced enough goals for us,” he said. “I thought Morten came on last weekend and made some excellent runs.We are looking for him or [Aleksandr] Kokko –it doesn’t matter who –to put the ball in the back of the net.”

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