Townson Oval, field of screamsphotos, video

Townson Oval, field of screams | photos, video TweetFacebookTownson Oval the day after #[email protected][email protected]@[email protected]南京夜网/1KDw0gQy4E
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— Josh Callinan (@joshuacallinan) June 19, 2017He added that a council representative inspected the field on Saturday“andon Sunday I had discussions with the council officers about the potential of playing.”

He said the weather forecast indicated the rain would clear, but:“It got very wet during the middle of first grade. The half-time break wasa hell of a shower.”

South Newcastle have three more regular-season games at Townson but the next is not until July 2.Merewether-Carlton have seven home games remaining, the next four in a row, starting with the annual blockbuster against Wanderers on Saturday.

“We have been in contact with council tomake sure they understand we have consecutive home games against Wanderers and Hamilton,” Merewether president Steve Reid said.“Our expectation is that council will be able to get the ground up. Wanderers and Hamilton are massive revenue games for us.”

Reid said he was hoping to attract a crowd of more than2500 for the clash with the Two Blues.

“It isthe greatest rivalry in Newcastle sport,” Reid said.“That is borne from the amount of people who turn up and passiondisplayed irrespective of where both clubs are on the ladder.Non-rugby people go there just to see the contest.”

Saturday also doubles as Merewether’s sponsors’ day.

Merewether cricket club president Ken Beckett was in disbelief when he visited the ground on Monday.

“I just can’t believe they played on it,” Beckett said.“It’s out of our control in terms of the cricket club, but it’s a mess.We take a bitof pride in the place and ourcurator does a wonderful job. Helooks after the ground like it’s hisown backyard…it was looking a picture at the end of last season.”

Mitch hopes return proves magic tonic

A-GAME: Former Jets and Glory midfielder Mitch Oxborrow hopes to play his way back to the A-League via a strong season with Broadmeadow Magic. Picture: Max Mason-HubersMITCH Oxborrow was the first at a sodden Magic Park for a recovery session on Monday night.
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The 22-year-old had a smile on his face and a spring in his step. It wascompletecontrast to the midfielder’s final training session atPerth Glory in May.

Oxborrow had been told by coach Kenny Lowe that he wasn’t inhis plans.Itwas a conversation thatOxborrow had not envisaged.Professional football was all he knew.

“When I was released I panickedbig time,” Oxborrow said.“I havebeen relatively lucky andalways landed on my feet.Youwant to stay in the A-League, but sometimes you have to take a step back and re-evaluate.”

He started training with a local team in Perth to ensure he was ready“if something came up”.The break also rekindled the fire in his belly.He needed an opportunity and former teammate, now Magic coachRuben Zadkovichwashappy to assist.The pair played together for the Jets, where Oxborrow debuted aged17,and in Perth.

Mitch hopes return proves magic tonic TweetFacebook Mitch OxborrowPictures: Max Mason-Hubers, Peter Stoop, Getty Images“When I was at Perth he matured a lot,” Zadkovich said.“He will give you his heart and soul if you show him that you do care and do believe in him.”

Oxborrow was man-of-the match on debut for Magic in a 3-1 victory over Valentine at Cahill Oval on Saturday.

“He deserves to be in the A-League,” Zadkovich insisted.“He is willing to come back to NPL to prove how good he is, lay it on the line and be judged on his performances.He started fivegames last year ata star-studded Perth Glory. The guy is a special player.”

Oxborrow met girlfriend, Charlotte Coleman, during his two years at the Jets and they are back staying with her family.

“I just want to play and I want to win,” Oxborrow said.“Wherever that takes me–if it is Magic for the rest of the season or it goes on from there–we will see. Playing for Rubes wasa major part.He is a bit like an older brother to me.I could have stayed in Perth but I wanted a change. Even though I have been here before it is something fresh.”

Oxborrow, a youth international with a sweet left foot, returned from a broken foot and played the final four rounds for Glorybut did not feature in the finals.

“You need a coach who believes in you,” he said.“I have played 30-odd games in the A-League and don’t thinkI have played more than fivein a row.When I was here under Dutchy (Gary van Egmond) he believed in mebut I was 17. When you get to 21-22, you know how to play the game, you know how to grind out a game.I think I have come back a different player.”

The Jets have two places to fill on the their 23-man roster, earmarked for visa players.

“At presentwe don’t have any spots available,” Jets bossLawrie McKinna said.“But if anyone is doing well in the local premier league we are keen tobring them in for a look. It might not be for something straight away but there are injury replacements and other opportunities down the track.”

Oxborrow’s desire to return to the professional ranks remains strong.

“Where ever you play you want to go to the step above and keep moving on,” he said. “In some aspects it is my last shot. After the weekend I was buzzing. I wantto win, I want to do something at Magic andI want to make a difference.”

Lloyd breathes new life into amazing song

LUCKY STAR: Alex Lloyd’s soaring vocal and ability to create emotional melodies made him one of Australia’s leading songwriters in the early 2000s.
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ALEX Lloyd describes it as bubblegum. A hit song that becomes so flogged on radio that it loses its flavour.

Ed Sheeran’s monster hit Shape Of You has earned bubblegum status withLloydand his four children in theirCentral Coast home.

Many would argue Lloyd’s own career-defining hit Amazing over time has become overexposed. It was Triple J Hottest’s 100’s winnerin 2001 and claimed the APRA song of the year award a year later. Eventually it became a staple of commercial radio and a karaoke favourite.

Last year Lloyd re-imagined his soaring anthem along with other beloved material like Coming HomeandGreenon the album Acoustica. The fragile folkre-interpretation of Amazing is Acoustica’s highlight and re-invigorated the song.

“It was good fun doing that record,” Lloyd said.“It was fun to pull those songs apart and put them back together again. I do like the new Amazing version, it’s not as grandiose and poppy. It’s still a good song, but ina more laid-back folk environment.”

However, messing with a beloved song can earn the ire of fans as Lloyd learned. At last year’s AFL Brownlow Medal some fans, including cricketer Glenn Maxwell, criticisedLloyd’s re-working of Amazing on Twitter. It led to several news sites hammering the performance.

“I actually thought I did it pretty good,” Lloyd said with a laugh.“My voice has changed since I was 22. When I was 22 my voice was a lot cleaner and now I sound like an older man.

Alex Lloyd – Amazing“I think a lot of people were expecting the pop version of Amazing and they got a different version, andwithin the room at the Brownlow it felt really good. I got nothing but people wanting to buy me drinks at the end of that, lots of famous footballers.

“I don’t know with the Twitter thing. I think there was only five or six really bad comments and the news made a story out of it. I think it happens quite a bit these days.”

Currently Lloydis focused on the future. New material is being written for the follow-up to2013’s Urban Wilderness, but Lloyd admits being a 42-year-old with four children makes songwriting harder than in his halcyon days ofthe early 2000s.

“Ihave thousands of ideas, but turning an idea into a song is a different thing,” he said.“Atthe same time I’m writing, I’m looking for something a bit different to what I’d usually do for my own satisfaction.”

Lloyd plans to continue working on the record inNashville as the musical city left a lasting impression on him last year. While there he worked withother artists, includingAustralian country duo O’Shea, who recently released the single Start Over, co-written by Lloyd.

Co-writing is becoming increasingly attractive.

“Well, I’m not a young good-looking pop star anymore,” Lloydsaid.“If I ever was. I’m not as marketable as I hope I once was, so it’s good to be able to write with other people and help them on their journey and also get a little bit of satisfaction from hearing a song on the radio every now and then that you had something to do with.”

Alex Lloyd performs up close and acoustic at Central Bar on Friday.

Smith looks for better luck in Tiara draw

NEWCASTLE trainer Ben Smith was hoping for a change in luck at the draw and some sunshine to finish off racefavourite In Her Time’s preparations for the group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara this week.
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Trainer Ben Smith

In Her Time and Kris Lees’ Danish Twist are set to carry Hunter hopes in the $500,000 weight-for-age fillies and mares feature at Doomben on Saturday after nominations closed on Monday.

Smith’s four-year-old mare was the $3.50 favouritefor the race, her fourth consecutive group 1 mission, with TAB Fixed Odds.

In Her Time has jumped from 10, 11 and 12 at her past group 1 efforts for two fifths and an impressive last-start second in the Stradbroke Handicap.

A successful front-runner, In Her Time has been stuck three deep or worseat Doomben in her past two runs and Smith was hoping for a drawcloser to the fence on Wednesday.

“Somewhere around the four to eight mark would be a good barrier for her,” Smith said.

“She hasn’t seen the rail in a long time.”

The Doomben surface was rated a Soft 7 on Monday ahead of In Her Time’s final fast hit-out on the course proper on Tuesday morning.Jockey Josh Parr was flying to Queensland on Monday night to put her through her paces.Smith expected conditions to suit In Her Time on Saturday.

“I’m sure it will be fine, but we will get a better guide there in the morning,” he said.“Sunshine is predicted so hopefully it will dry out abit more. Dead to early soft range, she doesn’t mind it. As long as she’s got a bit of foot in there, she’s fine.

“The work tomorrow willtop her off, then it will be just slow work the rest of the week.Touch wood, everything is going fine, and she loves it up here.She’s really thrived and she’s enjoying herself. She just keeps getting better and stronger.”

Meanwhile, Thursday’s Newcastle meeting on the Beaumont track was moved on Monday to the course proper afterRacing NSW Stewards inspected a water-logged section from the 100m mark to past the winning post.

Scene set for high drama

CELEBRATION: From left at back, Elise Bialek, artistic director Hunter Drama, and Drew Holmes, tutor at Hunter Drama, with year 7 students in a Hunter Drama young actors program. Picture: Simone De PeakIT is an opportunity arguably worth a fair bit of drama.
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Newcastle has been named as only one of three Australian cities eligible for a National Institute of Dramatic Art(NIDA)new scholarship program. The program, also available in Perth and Adelaide, gives young dramatic types the chance to benefit from NIDA’sworld-renowned training methods.

Through complimentary professional training, the scholarship program aims to make the arts accessible to students from all backgrounds to help realise hidden talent and support developing actors in Newcastle.

NIDA chief executive Kate Cherry said NIDAOpen wanted to “inspire young artists to reach their full potential”.

“NIDAis investing in our creative capital and inspiring transformative journeys with our new scholarship program,” she said.

“NIDAOpen creates the future by offering courses that enable additional professional development and tap into unexplored creativity.”

Hunter Drama artistic director Elise Bialek said the scholarships were a great show of confidence in the Newcastle region.

“Having something with NIDA’s name behind it is just a phenomenal opportunity,” she said.

“It’s very cool that Newcastle is chosen as one of those places,it reallymeans we are up and coming and we are being noticed.”

She said it was a rare opportunity for hopeful artists to train with NIDA’s very talented practitioners.

“It is something that we definitely don’t get here,” Ms Bialek said.

“It is so difficult to get in (to NIDA). I know people who have tried out seven or eight times and have never gotten in. They are after something very specific. It’s like cracking a bit of a code in a way.”

Ms Bialek said there was a lot of talent in Newcastle and the drama school was seeing strong demand for its mid-year enrollment.

“I know that Newcastle is very known for its sporting culture, but there’s also this massive underground of performing arts and as soon as you lift the lid on that there’s so much happening,” she said.

A total of fourNIDAOpen scholarships are on offer to Newcastle students in grades 7–12; two for grades 7–10 and two for grades 11–12.

Students have until August 28 to apply and chosen recipients will train withNIDAOpen experts at the Newcastle Grammar School in early October.

To apply, students should visit open.nida.edu.au/2017-scholarships, submit a personal statement about how they would benefit, and provide two short letters of support from community leaders, such as teachers, elders or local artists.

Hosts talk themselves into box seat

THE outcome was a placid draw, but the way we arrived there was anything but peaceful. Australia set the tone for the remainder of the series against top-ranked South Africa with a fiery verbal interlude led by James Pattinson and Peter Siddle, who unloaded on Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla as tensions mounted on the final day of the first Test. It is all square heading to Adelaide next week but, via actions and words, the momentum is with Michael Clarke and co.
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Frustrated at the intransigence of the Proteas’ batsmen and a succession of unsuccessful appeals, and requiring an almighty collapse to effect a famous victory, Australia’s keyed-up quicks unleashed on Tuesday – and two of South Africa’s most accomplished run-scorers were in the firing line.

Pattinson, Australia’s standout bowler at the Gabba, even risked a fine by giving Smith, the Proteas captain, an old-fashioned send-off after he had the broad left-hander caught in the gully by Rob Quiney for 23.

It was the culmination of an ongoing stand-off between the two that threatened to boil over – and all as a result of the flying trajectory of a bird. The breaking point occurred shortly after lunch on day five when Pattinson, in the midst of a superb spell in which gave South Africa’s top order repeated trouble, was forced to pull up while at full tilt, with Smith veering away from the crease. Spidercam, Channel Nine’s new Test toy, was an initial suspect but in his line of sight, it turned out, was a feathered spectator, not a remote-controlled one.

Pattinson, who clearly did not see the intruder himself, was not amused, delivering South Africa’s captain, built like a bouncer, a mouthful. He returned to his mark, ripped in a bouncer, then another spray. There were glares and grunts to follow before the ultimate outcome for the young Victorian, coaxing Smith to edge into the safe palms of Quiney.

“There was a lot of noise,” Smith said last night. “I didn’t really make out what was being said.” Pattinson was spoken to by umpire Asad Rauf, as was Siddle, who also allowed passions to overflow in a one-way exchange with Amla. The 29-year-old appeared unperturbed as Siddle hurled heated words at the South African run machine, and to Rauf, after having a raucous caught-behind turned down, while Australian fieldsman David Warner also chimed in. Like Pattinson, though, Siddle would get his man, prompting Amla to steer the ball not long after to Mike Hussey on 38.

Clarke, the Australian captain, praised his bowlers’ approach, insisting they did not overstep the mark. That was a crime that was committed in a literal sense, in the form of no-balls, more than 30 times in the match.

“Patto knows the rules. I think the aggression, the intent is the way we play our best cricket, and I certainly don’t want to stop that,” said Clarke, who had earlier declared while unbeaten on 259 and with Australia 5-565. “But we understand there’s a line and you can go to the line but you can’t overstep it.

“I think the boys deserve a lot of credit for their attitude in the second innings. Our intent was the way it needs to be when you’re playing against such a good team. Our attitude was spot-on today with the ball. We were quite aggressive with our approach, and we seemed to get better throughout the Test match. I think it was all friendly banter. I know Smithy was having a good laugh, I know Patto was doing the same. You’ve got two very competitive teams that want to have success and both teams are going to push hard, but both teams understand where the line is, and I’m pretty sure nobody overstepped that mark today or throughout the Test match.

”The game was played in really good spirit. We know we’re up against a tough opposition and I think both teams played in the right way.”

Pattinson, in particular, was outstanding on an afternoon that was only ever likely to eventuate in a draw, completing an eye-catching spell of 1-18 from five overs after lunch that showed all the attributes behind his ambition to be the country’s long-term spearhead.

Pattinson and Siddle will again form the core of the Australian attack in the second Test in Adelaide, starting on Friday week, but Ben Hilfenhaus could make way as the third seamer for left-armer Mitchell Starc.

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

One wayward little bird sends tensions flying

THE outcome was a placid draw, but the contents were anything but peaceful.
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Australia set the tone for the remainder of the series against top-ranked South Africa with a fiery verbal interlude led by pacemen James Pattinson and Peter Siddle, who unloaded on Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla as tensions mounted on the final day of the first Test.

It is all square heading to Adelaide next week, but via actions and words, the momentum is with Michael Clarke and co.

Frustrated at the intransigence of the Proteas batsmen and a succession of unsuccessful appeals, and requiring an almighty collapse to snare a famous victory, Australia’s quicks unleashed on Tuesday – and two of South Africa’s most accomplished runscorers were in the firing line.

Pattinson, Australia’s standout bowler at the Gabba, even risked a fine by giving Smith, the Proteas captain, an old-fashioned send-off after he had the broad left-hander caught in the gully by Rob Quiney for 23.

It was the culmination of an ongoing stand-off between the two that threatened to boil over – and all as a result of the flying trajectory of a bird. The breaking point occurred just after lunch when Pattinson, in the middle of a superb spell in which he repeatedly troubled South Africa’s top order, was steaming into bowl when Smith backed away from the crease, raising his bat. Pattinson did not stop, and his delivery bounced over the stumps.

Channel Nine’s new toy, Spidercam, was an initial suspect, but it turned out a feathered spectator, not a remote-controlled one, had darted across Smith’s line of sight, and right across the pitch.

Pattinson, who clearly did not see the intruder himself, was not amused, giving Smith a mouthful. He returned to his mark, ripped in a bouncer, then another spray. There were glares and grunts to follow before the ultimate outcome for the young Victorian, coaxing Smith to edge into the safe palms of Quiney.

”There was a lot of noise – I didn’t really make out what was being said,” Smith said.

Pattinson was warned by umpire Asad Rauf, as was Siddle, who also allowed passions to overflow in a one-way exchange with Amla.

Amla appeared unperturbed as Siddle had heated words with him, and with Rauf, after having a raucous caught-behind appeal turned down.

Like Pattinson, though, Siddle would get his man, and not long after prompting Amla to steer the ball to Mike Hussey.

Clarke, the Australian captain, praised his bowlers’ approach, insisting they did not overstep the mark, a crime that was committed in a literal sense, in the form of no-balls, more than 30 times in the match.

”Patto knows the rules. I think the aggression, the intent is the way we play our best cricket, and I certainly don’t want to stop that,” said Clarke, who had earlier declared while unbeaten on 259 and with Australia 5-565.

”But we understand there’s a line, and you can go to the line but you can’t overstep it.

”I think the boys deserve a lot of credit for their attitude in the second innings. Our intent was the way it needs to be when you’re playing against such a good team. Our attitude was spot-on today with the ball. We were quite aggressive with our approach and we seemed to get better throughout the Test match.

”I think it was all friendly banter. I know Smithy was having a good laugh, I know Patto was doing the same. You’ve got two very competitive teams that want to have success and both teams are going to push hard, but both teams understand where the line is and I’m pretty sure nobody overstepped that mark today or throughout the Test match.

”The game was played in really good spirit … I think both teams played in the right way.”

Pattinson, in particular, was outstanding on an afternoon where there was only ever going to be one result – a draw. He had one eye-catching spell of 1-18 from five overs after lunch that showed all the attributes behind his ambition to be the country’s long-term spearhead.

Pattinson and Siddle will again form the core of the Australian attack in the second Test in Adelaide, starting on Thursday week, but Ben Hilfenhaus could make way as the third seamer for left-armer Mitchell Starc.

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

Knights’ epic Kokoda trek

KNIGHTS young guns Tyrone Roberts and Korbin Sims had heard the stories about former coach Malcolm Reilly’s mental toughness.
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They have their own tales to tell about Reilly’s iron will after seeing him overcome an infected foot and a stomach virus to guts it out with them and former Knights captain Paul Harragon on the Kokoda Track.

As inaugural recipients of the club’s ‘‘Kokoda Spirit’’ award, Roberts and Sims accompanied Newcastle’s 1997 ARL premiership-winning coach and captain last week on the 96-kilometre trek through the unforgiving jungle terrain of Papua New Guinea’s Owen Stanley Range.

They returned to Newcastle on Monday night, assembled at Bar Beach last night for a debrief over dinner, and Roberts and Sims will clock back on at Knights training today.

Harragon said navigating the mud and slush of the track’s slippery, steep slopes symbolised the ‘‘emotional rollercoaster’’ they rode together.

‘‘That was definitely tougher than the first time I did it. We did it in seven days this time, and it was very wet, very muddy, and we had a thunderstorm on the last day which meant the river swelled and we only just got across it in time,’’ Harragon said. ‘‘But the boys got a lot out of it, I’m sure, and it was a very powerful experience.

‘‘Mal did it very tough, because he had an infected foot and a stomach virus and he didn’t eat there for a few days, but he kept on going and never once held us up.

‘‘He got through on sheer will, which the young blokes took a lot from. Sometimes you don’t have to say anything, it’s what you do that inspires, and that was the case with Mal.

‘‘It was a phenomenal effort, and was so typical of his mental toughness.’’

Reilly never mentioned the specifics of his own ordeal but acknowledged the expedition was ‘‘one of the toughest things I’ve ever done, without question’’.

‘‘It was very demanding, very challenging, but the company was terrific and it was an inspirational experience,’’ said Reilly, whose son, Glen, joined him on the journey.

‘‘To see the battlefields, the burial grounds, the cemeteries; to have walked the same path as those Diggers, was inspirational for all of us. I’m struggling to walk upstairs now but it was definitely worth it, and it was an experience I’ll cherish.’’

Their youth and fitness levels meant the trek was not as physically demanding on Roberts and Sims as it was on their elders, but they soaked up the stories Harragon and Reilly told them about the history of the club, and hung on every word of their Kokoda guides.

Along the way they met Ovuru Ndiki, the last surviving Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel.

‘‘Taking in all the scenery was good, and every time you looked up there was another hill and another target, but emotionally, taking in all the war memorials and everything the Diggers went through along the track, it was something I’ll never forget,’’ Roberts said. ‘‘At Kokoda Airport, we met one of the Diggers who was a part of the 3rd Battalion, and to be able to meet someone who went through all that was a great experience.

‘‘As for Mal, the stories are all true, because he’s such a tough bloke and so mentally fit. The way he carried himself along the track, he did what he had to do just to get through it, so if he can do it, anyone can do it.’’

Sims said he and Roberts felt privileged to be the first players chosen to walk the track with two of the club’s most influential leaders.

‘‘When they talked, you certainly listened to what they had to say,’’ Sims said. ‘‘It was a great experience and I’m glad to say I’ve ticked that box off. You could take a knife to Mal’s leg and he still would have walked the track, I reckon.

‘‘He was pretty crook for a couple of days there, but he pushed through it and he did what he had to do to get through. It showed up on the last day too, because he was exhausted, but he had the biggest smile on his face. You couldn’t wipe it off.’’

● The Knights have signed Queensland under-20s prop Mitchell Frei, who has played for the Broncos’ NYC squad the past two seasons, to a one-year contract with an option for 2014.

Frei, 20, has signed a second-tier deal to continue his development in the club’s NSW Cup team.

TOUGH GOING: Tyrone Roberts, Mal Reilly, Paul Harragon and Korbin Sims reflect yesterday on their Kokoda Track effort.

Paul Harragon, Korbin Sims and Tyrone Roberts on their Kokoda trip.

Glen Reilly,Korbin Sims, Tyrone Roberts, Paul Harragon, Mal Reilly and Wayne Wetherall who runs Kokoda Spirit.

MADE IT: Korbin Sims, Paul Harragon, Tyrone Roberts and Glen Reilly at the end of their trek.

Jets not looking for another brawl

SWISS defender Dominik Ritter had never seen anything like it.
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Ritter was on the bench when the pre-season ‘‘friendly’’ between the Jets and Wellington Phoenix at Weston erupted into an all-in brawl.

The two sides square off at Hunter Stadium on Sunday afternoon in their first meeting since the night of spite in August.

‘‘I have never seen that before in football,’’ the 23-year-old left back said of the ugly incident.

‘‘It was some kind of situation, out of order.

‘‘But I think this week will be a normal game.

‘‘You should forget it and keep going.’’

A challenge midway through the first half involving Jets centre back Tiago and Phoenix’s Manny Muscat sparked wild scenes in the not-so-friendly game, which the Jets won 3-1.

Both benches were cleared, several fracas broke out and it took rookie referee Tim McGilchrist five minutes to restore order.

Tiago and Phoenix pair Muscat and Ben Sigmund, the third man in, were sent off.

Phoenix were later reduced to eight men when captain Andrew Durante lashed out at Scott Neville with his boot and was given his marching orders.

Tiago and Muscat received four-game suspensions, Sigmund was outed for three and Durante two.

The sentences were served in the pre-season.

There had been plenty of niggles before the match erupted, but Jets goalkeeper Mark Birighitti was adamant there was no lingering bad blood.

‘‘That is forgotten,’’ Birighitti said of the dust-up.

‘‘We just have to focus on the weekend. We know we have a job to do and the boys are confident we can get three points.

‘‘They are a team who loves to battle. They are a very physical side and will probably try and get into us at the start of the game.

‘‘We just have to focus on our own game, do our own thing and do what [coach] Gary [van Egmond] sets out before the game.’’

Tiago, the man at the centre of the trouble at Weston, is sitting on four yellow cards – if he gets another, he faces automatic suspension.

The Brazilian was one of Newcastle’s best, especially late in the game, in the 2-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers at Parramatta Stadium on Saturday.

Although a clean sheet still eludes the Jets, it was a much improved defensive effort.

‘‘Defensively we are getting better with every game,’’ Birighitti said.

“Wellington are always a tough team to play against.

‘‘We found that out in the pre-season and they’ve got some good players who have been together for a while.

“It’s going to be hard to break them down, but I’m sure we can go out on the weekend and get three points.’’

Ritter returned from a quad strain against Western Sydney and, although still ‘‘a bit sore’’, was certain he would be fine for Sunday.

‘‘I got through the 90 minutes on the weekend,’’ he said. ‘‘I feel confident and am looking forward to the game.’’

Meanwhile, midfielder Ben Kantarovski had surgery in Sydney yesterday to repair a torn meniscus.

The 20-year-old injured his right knee – the same one he had surgically reconstructed in 2010 – at training a fortnight ago and faces at least a month on the sideline.

NOT SO FRIENDLY: Newcastle and Wellington mix it up at Weston in August. Picture: Peter Stoop

Recovery time for golden lifesavers

PROLIFIC: Sam Earp each won six gold medals for Australia Youth. Pictures: Simone De Peak SWANSEA-Belmont’s Sam Earp and Redhead’s Jessica Collins are recovering before the interclub competition at the World Rescue Championships in Adelaide after lifting Australia’s youth team to an inaugural victory.
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Earp was captain of the youth side that defeated main rivals New Zealand 1061-991 in the overall under-20s point score across events in the pool, ocean and simulated emergency response competition.

Earp and Collins each won six gold medals as Australia Youth led each section of the titles over five days of competition.

The youth division was held for the first time.

Australia’s senior side lost to New Zealand in the open competition, ending a 14-year run as champions.

Collins, who also captured a silver and bronze, was part of the girls’ relay teams which finished undefeated.

Earp won three bronze medals to go with his victories.

Their gruelling national-teams schedule included 14-hour days of pool competition and both said they were resting yesterday before the interclub competition, which started with heats late yesterday.

Only a handful of Hunter competitors are taking part in the interclub events.

■ Redhead sprinting great Michael Jones was given nice compensation for losing his record of Australian beach flags titles this year.

Jones, 50, who now lives in Mackay, has been inducted into the Surf Life Saving Australia Hall of Fame for his stellar record, which includes seven Australian and three world beach flags titles in the 1980s.

Gold Coast sprinter Simon Harris broke Jones’s national benchmark in beach flags this year when he claimed an eighth crown.

■ Marilyn Clarence has led the way for Hunter athletes in the masters section of the world rescue titles, winning two gold medals and a bronze.

The Swansea-Belmont competitor won the 55-59 years women’s two-kilometre beach run and single surf ski. She was third in the board event.

Redhead’s Michelle Kent was the other Hunter gold medallist, taking out the 35-39 years oceanwoman.

Kent claimed silver on the board.

The other individual medallist was Lee Howes, from Newcastle, who took out the bronze medal in the 50-54 women’s oceanwoman.

In the teams, Stockton’s Bonnie Danuser, Jo-anne Dryden, Alison Elliott and Kylie Wood were third in the 110 years minimum single ski relay and second in the board relay.

■ Swansea-Belmont’s Greg Tobin finished a creditable 11th in his maiden attempt at a World OceanPaddler Series event on Saturday.

He finished a place behind Michael Booth.