DRAGONS BLOG: In tune after a great win

DRAGONS BLOG: In tune after a great win

I passed up the chance to be at Jubilee Oval last night.My Sydney-sider brother had a spare ticket and asked, even though I loathe Monday Night Football with some intensity, if I wanted to go.I did – though not by car. I didn’t want to drive myself up because that makes it hard to have a few beers at the game. And, for me, a few beers at the game is as much a tradition as claiming “they’ve been doing it all” day whenever the ref penalises the opposition – whether they’ve been doing it all day or not.The only other option was a train and State Rail’s schedule was profoundly unhelpful – getting me there 15 minutes after kick-off.So I watched it at home, which isn’t all bad. The beer is cheaper and the toilets are cleaner that at any stadium. And I never have to sit next to a fat guy who takes up all his seat and half of mine.But when I heard the crowd singing “Oh When the Saints Go Marching In” at the end, I so wanted to be there. To be among the Dragons fans celebrating that game would have been fantastic.Because it was a great win. The Sea Eagles were the team that scored the most points against us this season (in fact, one might say they took us apart a little bit that day). And, even if they’re behind on the scoreboard they don’t give up (this season it’s when they’re ahead that they give up).Add to that the fact we were missing the stabilising influence of Ben Hornby and this was a game that could have gone the other way. But, fortunately for the Dragons fans, it didn’t and we racked up a 32-10 win – the most number of points we’ve scored this season.Yes, four of those points shouldn’t have been scored. I refer to the Mark Gasnier try, which I thought would be disallowed after seeing the first replay and was surprised to see video ref Bill Harrigan asking for replay after replay. But things did even up – Manly scored a try under the posts off a clearly forward pass (in fact, they probably got the better dodgy call given their try was under the posts and ours was out wide). So they got six points off the blunder, while we just got four due to a missed conversion.There were, however, better tries that deserve to be talked about. I’ve been waiting all year for Jamie Soward to speed up and do some broken field running. Sure, his try in this game wasn’t the 80m effort I’d been hoping for but I’ll take the 40m run that split the defence and stood up the fullback.I’ll also take Nathan Fien’s effort, scored with the help of the biggest dummy I think I’ve ever seen. At least three defenders bought it and he strolled over. It was Fien’s first try of the season so it saves him from the dreaded end of season nudie run for those who don’t get a four-pointer.Then there was Beau Scott’s long range effort, where he got to run 80m and not need the support of the much faster Soward on his outside.Overall the Dragons showed even more improvement from last week’s win over Easts. The defence was still as solid but that attack was quite a bit better. For mine, the big test for the Dragons will be Sunday’s game against the Raiders. They’ve been a bogey side of ours for years, regardless of how good we’re going, so that may well be sitting in the back of players’ minds. If we can put them away, I reckon it’ll speak volumes about the Dragons in 2010 – especially mentally.
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Dragons step up to crush Manly

Dragons step up to crush Manly

Dragons front-rower Michael Weyman celebrates after scoring in Monday night's 32-10 thrashing of Manly at WIN Jubilee Oval at Kogarah. Picture: DAVE TEASEIf this was a grand final dress rehearsal, and many believe it still could have been, then the officials have failed it dismally.Not one, but two officiating shockers marred St George Illawarra's easy victory over Manly on Monday night.The only positive was that both sides benefited from a decision each; Dragons centre Mark Gasnier was awarded a highly controversial first-half try while Manly were later given some fortune when Brent Kite's clearly forward pass to Kieran Foran was ruled to have travelled backwards. Full coverage of the Dragons Just three rounds out from the finals, the form of the officials, and not just a number of underperforming sides, will be of major concern.The decision to award Gasnier a try on the half hour was made by video referee Bill Harrigan, a perennial target of abuse from the Dragons territory due to his decision which went against the Dragons in the 1999 grand final. From foe to friend; his ruling that Gasnier had successfully grounded the ball to hand the Dragons a 10-0 lead simply looked wrong.Not only did Gasnier appear to lose the ball as he attempted a lunge at the line, but the ball also seemed to fall short. So it could have been disallowed on two counts, yet Harrigan gave the Dragons the benefit of the doubt.Harrigan conceded the ball had initially come down short of the line but said it was then rolled onto it."It was benefit of the doubt," Harrigan said. "There was no separation. The ball was put down before the line and then rolled onto it."But then after 49 minutes, the Sea Eagles were awarded their own benefit; Kite popped a short ball to Foran which was, in the officials' defence, somewhat difficult to see - but replays showed it travelled clearly forward.This has been a home for some stinkers. The Bulldogs were left baffled last year when video referee Steve Clark denied centre Jamal Idris the match-winning try against the Dragons due to obstruction. The call last night might not have been as critical, but it was arguably as bad.It came after Dragons five-eighth Jamie Soward had given his side a 13th minute lead when, from 44m, he sped through Foran and Anthony Watmough and rounded Michael Robertson to score a wonderful try.While this was another typical Dragons display, methodical muscle, there were other magical moments to rival Soward's; winger Jason Nightingale's effort to reach the field of play after seeming to be caught in his in-goal was superb.It's certainly a shame that such efforts will be overshadowed by the push of a button or the shrill of a whistle. The Sea Eagles did score next, with winger Tony Williams picking a Michael Robertson ball off his toenails in the final minute of the first half, but the damage had been done.By the time hooker Luke Priddis had dummied and offloaded to prop Michael Weyman, handing the NSW player his first try of the year, the Dragons were in control. The missed forward pass call gave Manly a glimmer of hope, but when Nathan Fien, called into halfback to replace ill captain Ben Hornby, scored after 55 minutes, and Beau Scott ran 80m seven minutes later following a ricochet, they had successfully strangled the Sea Eagles - and their grip on the minor premiership had firmed, too.The Sea Eagles were left precariously in seventh spot, and their co-captain Jason King was placed on report for a high tackle on Jarrod Saffy. ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA 32 (N Fien, M Gasnier, B Morris, B Scott, J Soward, M Weyman tries; J Soward 4 goals) bt MANLY 10 (K Foran, T Williams tries; J Lyon goal) at WIN Jubilee Oval. Referees: Matt Cecchin, Shayne Hayne. Crowd: 14,740.NSW FOOTYTAB: Pick-the-score: Dragons 32 Sea Eagles 10 (5.5pts). Div: $242.80. Pick-the-winners: Eels, Sharks, Titans, Raiders, Warriors, Rabbitohs, Tigers, Dragons. Div: $164.30. Pick-the-margins: Eels (13+), Sharks (1-12), Titans (13+), Raiders (13+), Warriors (1-12), Storm (1-12), Tigers (13+), Dragons (13+). Div: $33,150.50.
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Dragons step up to crush Manly

Dragons step up to crush Manly

Dragons front-rower Michael Weyman celebrates after scoring in Monday night's 32-10 thrashing of Manly at WIN Jubilee Oval at Kogarah. Picture: DAVE TEASE Dean Young for St George Illawarra breaks and gets a pass away. Picture: DAVE TEASE
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If this was a grand final dress rehearsal, and many believe it still could have been, then the officials have failed it dismally.Not one, but two officiating shockers marred St George Illawarra's easy victory over Manly on Monday night.The only positive was that both sides benefited from a decision each; Dragons centre Mark Gasnier was awarded a highly controversial first-half try while Manly were later given some fortune when Brent Kite's clearly forward pass to Kieran Foran was ruled to have travelled backwards. Full coverage of the Dragons Just three rounds out from the finals, the form of the officials, and not just a number of underperforming sides, will be of major concern.The decision to award Gasnier a try on the half hour was made by video referee Bill Harrigan, a perennial target of abuse from the Dragons territory due to his decision which went against the Dragons in the 1999 grand final. From foe to friend; his ruling that Gasnier had successfully grounded the ball to hand the Dragons a 10-0 lead simply looked wrong.Not only did Gasnier appear to lose the ball as he attempted a lunge at the line, but the ball also seemed to fall short. So it could have been disallowed on two counts, yet Harrigan gave the Dragons the benefit of the doubt.Harrigan conceded the ball had initially come down short of the line but said it was then rolled onto it."It was benefit of the doubt," Harrigan said. "There was no separation. The ball was put down before the line and then rolled onto it."But then after 49 minutes, the Sea Eagles were awarded their own benefit; Kite popped a short ball to Foran which was, in the officials' defence, somewhat difficult to see - but replays showed it travelled clearly forward.This has been a home for some stinkers. The Bulldogs were left baffled last year when video referee Steve Clark denied centre Jamal Idris the match-winning try against the Dragons due to obstruction. The call last night might not have been as critical, but it was arguably as bad.It came after Dragons five-eighth Jamie Soward had given his side a 13th minute lead when, from 44m, he sped through Foran and Anthony Watmough and rounded Michael Robertson to score a wonderful try.While this was another typical Dragons display, methodical muscle, there were other magical moments to rival Soward's; winger Jason Nightingale's effort to reach the field of play after seeming to be caught in his in-goal was superb.It's certainly a shame that such efforts will be overshadowed by the push of a button or the shrill of a whistle. The Sea Eagles did score next, with winger Tony Williams picking a Michael Robertson ball off his toenails in the final minute of the first half, but the damage had been done.By the time hooker Luke Priddis had dummied and offloaded to prop Michael Weyman, handing the NSW player his first try of the year, the Dragons were in control. The missed forward pass call gave Manly a glimmer of hope, but when Nathan Fien, called into halfback to replace ill captain Ben Hornby, scored after 55 minutes, and Beau Scott ran 80m seven minutes later following a ricochet, they had successfully strangled the Sea Eagles - and their grip on the minor premiership had firmed, too.The Sea Eagles were left precariously in seventh spot, and their co-captain Jason King was placed on report for a high tackle on Jarrod Saffy. ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA 32 (N Fien, M Gasnier, B Morris, B Scott, J Soward, M Weyman tries; J Soward 4 goals) bt MANLY 10 (K Foran, T Williams tries; J Lyon goal) at WIN Jubilee Oval. Referees: Matt Cecchin, Shayne Hayne. Crowd: 14,740.NSW FOOTYTAB: Pick-the-score: Dragons 32 Sea Eagles 10 (5.5pts). Div: $242.80. Pick-the-winners: Eels, Sharks, Titans, Raiders, Warriors, Rabbitohs, Tigers, Dragons. Div: $164.30. Pick-the-margins: Eels (13+), Sharks (1-12), Titans (13+), Raiders (13+), Warriors (1-12), Storm (1-12), Tigers (13+), Dragons (13+). Div: $33,150.50.

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

Resistance grows on vegetation

Resistance grows on vegetation

At a meeting on Monday councils and farmers passed a resolution to continue lobbying both State and Federal governments to drop the directive.
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The resolution has also called for more information on which communities will be listed and for fair and adequate compensation if a compulsory system is kept.

The councils and farmers are also holding an information session on May 17 to raise further awareness and support of the issue.

The directive could force landowners who do not have a native vegetation management agreement to seek council approval before clearing or converting threatened non-forest vegetation communities.

Councils are worried they will bear the cost of administering the process and farmers believe a voluntary process of conservation is best.

The State Government will consider alternatives to the directive and a discussion paper on the issue is due to be released soon.

But both councils and farmers are worried the directive will still be introduced in December.

Rowallan MLC Greg Hall will put a notice of motion up during the Budget sessions of Parliament to reiterate the resolution.

"We want to flag to both Governments there is a concern out there in the community," Mr Hall said.

"We're putting the pressure on to get a better outcome for the rural communities."

Northern Midlands Council Deputy Mayor Don McShane said that if the directive was not scrapped farmers wanted compensation.

"If it does become mandatory in any form then landowners are resolute and completely united in their claim for compensation," Cr McShane said.

He said that one alternative would be to introduce a scheme similar to the private forest reserve programme.

The information session will be at the Oatlands Council Chambers on Tuesday, May 17, from 7pm.

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

New guard for Hawks

New guard for Hawks

Oscar Forman, who will make his Hawks debut on Friday. Picture: ORLANDO CHIODOThe Wollongong Hawks are poised to add the final piece of the puzzle for their 2010-11 NBL campaign.Nothing has been confirmed, but it is believed the Hawks have come to terms with an American point guard on a one-year deal.The mystery player has been out of college for almost three years and spent time in the NBA-aligned Development League. Full coverage of the Hawks While the Hawks would not reveal the 180cm New Yorker's identity, the club is expected to have its official 10-man team at training next week.The new player will make his Wollongong debut against the Sydney Kings in a September 3 trial at the Snakepit.Meanwhile, Hawks fans will get their first peek at off-season recruit Oscar Forman when Wollongong battles Hartford University on Friday night at the Snakepit.Forman and the incoming import are the club's only new faces on the playing roster for next season."Oscar's been training well and shooting the ball well. He gives us another guy who can stick the perimeter shot and looks like he'll fit in well with what we do," Hawks assistant coach Eric Cooks said.Former Illawarra junior rep and Gold Coast Blaze guard Tyson Demos will line up for the Hawks against the touring Americans.Missing from the home team will be Tim Coenraad and Rhys Martin, who will be playing for the Mackay Meteors in the Queensland semi-finals.Pint-sized point guard Zac Delaney will suit up for the Hawks, but they will be light on backcourt generals."Last year we had a similar situation against Vanderbilt where we started (shooting guard) Mat (Campbell) at the point guard, and there's a good chance Tyson will get some minutes at point guard on Friday," Cooks said.With Hawks coach Gordie McLeod still undergoing treatment in hospital for blood clots, Cooks and fellow assistant coach Matt Flinn will guide the team on Friday.A Hawks Legends game featuring several of the club's all-time greats will follow the main match.
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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.