Broncos defeat Knights 32-6: photos

FORMER Dally M Medallist Ben Barba emerged from an early-season slump to inspire Brisbane to a comprehensive 32-6 victory over a flat and frustrated Newcastle Knights at Hunter Stadium on Friday night.
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The Broncos tackled the Knights out of the game with determined, desperate defence when they were starved of possession early on, and Barba applied the polish once Brisbane established their authority.

The former Bulldogs match-winner held up Willie Mason and Adam Cuthbertson over the line to deny the Newcastle front-rowers tries, typifying Brisbane’s gritty defensive effort, and scored a try of his own and created two others for Matt Gillett and Dale Copley.

Grabbing at his ankle after being tackled in the 78th minute, Barba sent alarm bells ringing in the Brisbane camp but he played the ball and finished the game on his feet.

The six tries-to-one victory extended Brisbane’s unbeaten streak over the Knights in Newcastle to four matches, after an 18-all draw last year and back-to-back wins in 2011 (26-6) and 2012 (24-10).

Newcastle’s frustrating night was epitomised by a five-minute stretch midway through the second half when Beau Scott lost the ball trying to offload, Barba held Cuthbertson up over the line to stop a try, and Joey Leilua knocked on trying to pass on the first tackle in front of Brisbane’s posts.

Former skipper Sam Thaiday was a late withdrawal for the Broncos but they did not miss him, as the likes of Gillett, hooker Andrew McCullough and skipper Corey Parker lifted and led Brisbane’s swarming, spoiling defence.

In one of few bright spots on an otherwise disappointing night for the Knights, 19-year-old rookie Jake Mamo made a successful NRL debut on the right wing, replacing former NSW and Australian winger Aku Uate (knee).

“You know he’s going to have a long career and I’m looking forward to sitting back and watching it,” former Knights captain Andrew Johns said in his role of Channel Nine television commentator.

Mamo was tested several times in the opening minutes but answered each challenge.

He bobbled a bomb with his first touch in the second minute but regathered and earned a penalty.

Mamo returned a kick at full speed five minutes later only to be quickly stopped in his tracks by an Alex Glenn rib-rattler, but the Gosford junior was quick to his feet and a minute later was on the spot to tackle Ben Barba in-goal.

The Knights enjoyed an early possession advantage from a 3-0 penalty count but could not convert that into points.

Having been forced to defend for the opening 15 minutes, Brisbane counter-attacked against the run of play when Matt Gillett intercepted a Chris Houston pass. At the end of the set, Jack Reed batted Ben Hunt’s cross-field kick back for Glenn to score out wide for a 4-0 lead.

It was 10-0 six minutes later after Gillett, running at full speed from close range, took an inside pass from Barba to crash through a helpless Darius Boyd and score next to the posts.

Willie Mason went close for the Knights in the 27th minute only to be held up over the line.

Brisbane extended their lead to 16-0 four minutes later when winger Daniel Vidot heaved a pass in-field as he was being tackled into touch by Mamo, and Jack Reed was on the spot to catch the ball and send Barba over for his first try in Brisbane colours.

Knights bench prop Korbin Sims crashed over from close range from an Adam Clydsdale pass in the 36th minute to cut the deficit to 16-6. Newcastle appeared certain to pull even closer one minute before half-time but Barba held Mason up over the line to deny the 34-year-old prop a try.

Mamo’s zig-zagging in-field run put the Knights on the attack two minutes into the second half, then he was on the spot to catch Jarrod Mullen’s cross-field bomb in the 49th minute only to be tackled short of the line by Vidot.

Mason was reported for a shoulder charge on Parker in the 51st minute, and the tackle will come under the scrutiny of the match review committee on Monday.

Barba, Gillett and Justin Hodges combined to create a try for Dale Copley in the 63rd minute, taking the Broncos all but out of reach with a 20-6 lead, then Parker extended that to 22-6 with a penalty goal six minutes later.

Hunt found Ben Hannant for Brisbane’s fifth try in the 74th minute for 26-6, then Josh Hoffman scored in the 79th minute from an Andrew McCullough pass.

* A late penalty goal by winger Bryce Donovan salvaged a 34-34 draw for the Knights against the Broncos, maintaining Newcastle’s unbeaten record in the National Youth Cup.

Newcastle’s NSW Cup team play Wyong at No.2 Sportsground on Sunday.

Scenes from the Knights v Broncos game on Friday night. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the Knights v Broncos game on Friday night. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the Knights v Broncos game on Friday night. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the Knights v Broncos game on Friday night. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the Knights v Broncos game on Friday night. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the Knights v Broncos game on Friday night. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the Knights v Broncos game on Friday night. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the Knights v Broncos game on Friday night. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the Knights v Broncos game on Friday night. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the Knights v Broncos game on Friday night. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the Knights v Broncos game on Friday night. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the Knights v Broncos game on Friday night. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the Knights v Broncos game on Friday night. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the Knights v Broncos game on Friday night. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the Knights v Broncos game on Friday night. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the Knights v Broncos game on Friday night. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the Knights v Broncos game on Friday night. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the Knights v Broncos game on Friday night. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the Knights v Broncos game on Friday night. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the Knights v Broncos game on Friday night. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the Knights v Broncos game on Friday night. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the Knights v Broncos game on Friday night. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the Knights v Broncos game on Friday night. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Climate change proponents using ‘mediaeval’ tactics: George Brandis

Attorney-General Senator George Brandis has stood by his comments that Australians have the right to be bigoted. Photo: Andrew MearesGeorge Brandis has compared himself to Voltaire and derided proponents of climate change action as “believers” who do not listen to opposing views and have reduced debate to a mediaeval and ignorant level.
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In an interview with online magazine Spiked, the Attorney-General also declares he has no regret for saying Australians have the right to be bigots and accuses the left of advocating censorship to enforce a morality code on the nation.

It comes as former Australian of the year Professor Fiona Stanley said climate science had been denigrated through politicisation and denial, and issued a stinging attack on the federal government for the absence of a specific department to tackle global warming.

Senator Brandis, who is driving reforms to Australia’s racial discrimination act, describes the climate change debate as one of the “catalysing moments” in his views on freedom of speech.

While he says he believes in man-made climate change, the Queensland senator tells the magazine he is shocked by the “authoritarianism” with which some proponents of climate change exclude alternative viewpoints, singling out Labor’s Penny Wong as “Australia’s high priestess of political correctness”.

He said it was “deplorable” that “one side [has] the orthodoxy on its side and delegitimises the views of those who disagree, rather than engaging with them intellectually and showing them why they are wrong”.

As examples, he points to Senator Wong and former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who he accuses of arguing “the science is settled” to shut down political debate on climate change.

“In other words, ‘I am not even going to engage in a debate with you.’ It was ignorant, it was mediaeval, the approach of these true believers in climate change,” he said.

Senator Brandis also defended comments he made in the Senate, where he argued for the right of Australians to be bigots as justification for changes to section 18C and 18D of the racial discrimination act.

“I don’t regret saying that because in this debate, sooner or later – and better sooner than later – somebody had to make the Voltaire point; somebody had to make the point [about] defending the right to free speech of people with whom you profoundly disagree.”

Senator Brandis said there had been a shift in Australian politics, claiming it was now the “Tory point of view”, rather than the left, that fell on the side of liberation and free speech.

“Now, the left has adopted a reasonably comprehensive secular morality of its own, which it now seeks to impose upon society,” he said.

“And it’s prepared to impose that secular morality on society at the cost of the freedom of speech which it once espoused.”

Senator Brandis declined to comment when asked about the interview.

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A-League finals: Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC

Alessandro Del Piero of Sydney and Adrian Leijer of the Victory contest the ball during the round 25 match at AAMI Park on Saturday. Photo: Getty Images Sydney FC fans are out in numbers. Photo: Getty Images
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sport icons


It’s time for the A-League finals. Glamour clubs Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC clash in an elimination final. It could well be Alessandro Del Piero’s final game in Sky Blue. Sydney fans, for one, will be hoping he’s saved his best for last.

Dominic Bossi has nominated his five players to watch for this sudden-death match: 1. James Troisi (Victory), 2. Alessandro Del Piero (Sydney FC), 3. Mark Milligan (Victory), 4. Richard Garcia (Sydney FC) and 5. Gui Finkler (Victory). Read more key details about the match in his Lowdown column.null

And a little bit of community service ….

We’ve got extra services for the Victory & Sydney fans heading home from Etihad tonight. Full details here: http://t爱上海同城论坛/7RlUB1aOPr— Metro Trains (@metrotrains) April 18, 2014

Must admit it’s a bit of a strange feeling in Melbourne for a Good Friday. Sports fans in the south are so accustomed to a lack of live sport in their fair city … so the existence of a cut-throat A-League final between two of the league’s glamour clubs makes for a new Easter experience.

Tonight’s teamsheets #ALeagueFinalspic.twitter爱上海同城论坛m/FJ783aejsU— Melbourne Victory (@gomvfc) April 18, 2014

Last time: Melbourne Victory‘s push for a top-two spot and the double chance is likely to go to the final kick of the A-League season. Likewise Sydney’s battle to secure a spot in the finals after the teams finished with a goal apiece in an entertaining contest in front of 20,447 fans at AAMI Park on Saturday night. The 1-1 draw means that Victory slips to fourth spot with 37 points, two less than Central Coast Mariners and one behind Western Sydney Wanderers.

Read more of Michael Lynch’s report.

So, Archie Thompson is in Victory’s starting 11. Doesn’t he have a remarkable background in big A-League matches? Melbourne’s substitutes are Connor Pain, Rashi Mahazi, James Jeggo, Scott Galloway and reserve ‘keeper Lawrence Thomas.

On the bench for Sydney FC are Ranko Despotovic, Matthew Thompson, Alex Urosevski, Aaron Calver and reserve goalkeeper Ivan Necevski.

The players tunnel here at @EtihadStadiumAU for @GoMVFC v @SydneyFC#ALeagueFinalspic.twitter爱上海同城论坛m/D1yG09WJRX— Hyundai A-League (@ALeague) April 18, 2014

Of course the Sky Blues boast an unbeaten record against Melbourne this A-League season. What will that mean tonight in a sudden-death final? Diddly squat? Certainly the pressure is riding on Sydney to get the job done.

Kick-off is inching ever closer and the crowd is slowing filling out. Surely we won’t go past 20,000 though. Those fans that are here, however, are full of voice. There’s a pocket of Sydney fans at the northern end with large Sky Blues flags.

The big round-ball issues are discussed ….

Does anyone want to venture what the crowd figure will be tonight? Just 20 minutes or so from kick-off, the stands at Etihad Stadium are sparsely populated. At this point a crowd of 25,000 would be an excellent return.

We’re away …. Victory with the opening kick-off.

2 mins: An early moment for the highlight reel and the replays. Victory in their forward half creates a golden chance through a sublime pass from Thompson but his teammate is off-side … only marginally.

6 mins: The Melbourne outfit is dominating the early minutes. One forward foray after another. Archie Thompson is prominent and his ever-present threat to defenders is clear.

Orright. Cheering for Del Piero. Be nice to see him achieve something in the game before he retires. #MVCvSYD#toiletseat— Richard Hinds (@rdhinds) April 18, 2014

11 mins: Melbourne Victory 0 Sydney FC 0

A somewhat perdictable opening overall. Both squads testing each other out. Victory has looked more threatening and slightly more creative. Archie on the park makes a huge difference.

GOAL!!!! 18 mins: Victory get the all-important opener. Archie Thompson does the finishing by scoring the goal but it was Contreras who set up the chance with a terrific steal on the halfway line. The winger took the ball forward and it was a patient Archie who awaited his chance. After a series of passes the ball was dished to Thompson near the top of the box and he expertly curled the ball into the right hand side of the net. Naturally, the crowd erupted.

Royals cause site to crash

In keeping with a long tradition of royal tours to Australia, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the Royal Easter Show on the morning of Good Friday, before they headed to Manly beach to watch nippers and lifesavers in action.
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Catherine’s outfit choice on the day caused a stir when she arrived at Olympic Park –  her cream lace Zimmerman dress caused the Australian designer’s site to crash within moments of her arrival at the Show.

She accessorised with another pair of wedges – beige ones – which she kept strapped on when she stepped on to the sand at Manly, even when she attempted a beach run.

The couple made the first royal visit to the Easter Show’s Olympic Park site and were guided around by show president Glenn Dudley and his wife, Jennifer.

As the Australian Women’s Weekly test kitchen attempted to unpick the mysteries of arborio rice to an audience far more interested in the commotion behind them, the royals made their way into the Fresh Food Dome and to the ever-popular district exhibits.

The winning display, from the northern region, might have been proud of its soft Alpaca wool, but Catherine commented on the fleece for other reasons.

“The princess said [the prince] should put some on his head,” said Lyn Cregan, 67, from Glen Innes. “She pointed at him and said ‘You need it more than me.’ He laughed.”

When Ms Cregan revealed she used hair lacquer on the pumpkins to give them extra shine, the prince said he would try the trick next Halloween.

And while Prince George may be third in line to the throne, the nine-month old baby has the same taste as many an infant.

While admiring piles of root vegetables in the South-East Queensland display, Catherine told preserve maker Diana Lisle that Prince George is particularly fond of sweet potatoes.

Throngs lined the route through the hall as the couple moved through, viewing exhibits from across NSW. The displays are the largest of their kind in the world, with over 10,000 fresh pieces of produce on display.

A model skycrane whirred next to the Western District display, a nod to bushfire devastation in the region.

The couple tasted wild berry and macadamia nougat and chocolates and scores of presents were pressed into their minders’ arms, including half a dozen Easter eggs, baby clothes, fudge and tea. A trolley was brought to cope with the flow as the crowds passed books, Possum Magic and Peppa Pig toys and bouquet after bouquet to the royal visitors. More than 100,000 visitors were expected at the Royal Easter Show on Friday, while police and AFP presence was tight.

Their royal highnesses unveiled a plaque in the new Southee and Badgery Pavilion, home to the Show’s arts and crafts, fashion and style and flower and garden displays.

Introduced and thanked by NSW minister George Souris, the couple officially opened the 10,000 square metre pavilion, completed just last week.

“I thank you for your presence at the southern hemisphere’s greatest and largest event, attracting some 900,000 visitors,” said the state minister.

Catherine, a keen photographer, paid special attention to the pavilion’s photography display, stopping to view the winning photo, a black-and-white image of Florence taken by Chris Carter.

She told Alison Renwick, former chair of the arts and crafts pavilion, that she enjoys taking photos and painting and drawing. “She said she doesn’t get much time for it any more,” said Ms Renwick.

“She said she was brought up looking at crafts by her family, her grandmother in particular.”

But it was Cox Pavilion that seemed to hold special interest for William. Home to the Show’s sheep-shearing displays, the couple met Fred the six-year-old ram, who had been taught to bow for the occasion.

Fred’s owner, Jim Murray, from Wellington, said the couple were “absolutely lovely” and very interested in the wool industry.

“They fed Fred a piece of apple and were very impressed with his size and stature and how soft his muzzle was.” Mr Murray met Prince Charles in Tasmania last year. Wool from Fred’s merino fleece went into a suit that was presented to the prince on the occasion of his wedding.

The prince, who in March completed a 10-week course in agricultural management at the University of Cambridge, spoke to sheep shearers as they tackled two of 250 sheep that are sheared over the 14-day fair.

At the Wool for School exhibit, Catherine met last year’s winner, Sophie Aylward, from Kinross Wollaroi School in Orange, whose winning design was a blue woollen dress for the Duchess.

The couple were due to sign the Show’s visitors book upon leaving, but made time to receive posies from a trio of girls and finally and bunch of red and yellow roses from Jessica Badman, 30, and her one-year-old daughter Alivia, on their way out.

Ms Badman, from the Blue Mountains, said the duchess asked her whether Alivia was walking yet and said her outfit was beautiful.

“I can’t believe that just happened,” said an overwhelmed Ms Bradman. “It’s just like talking to a girlfriend, she’s absolutely lovely.”

Mike Baird dazed by elevation: ‘there’s a lot of work to do’

A local swimmer congratulates Mike Baird at Manly beach on his first day as Premier. Photo: Kate GeraghtySome mistook him for a member of the royal entourage, but nothing could tarnish newly-minted Premier Mike Baird’s sunlit stroll through the place he calls “paradise”.
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Mr Baird took to the streets and sands of Manly on Friday, shaking hands with locals and enjoying the buzz of the impending visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

He was still slightly dazed at his surprise elevation to the state’s top office.

“All of us remain in quite a shocked state, it is unbelievable to be standing here today if I’m very honest about it,” he said at Manly wharf after attending church.

“This afternoon I’ll have [the opportunity] to actually meet the royals. It’s something I never thought I’d do.”

His first word to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Mr Baird said, would be: “G’day”.

“I love the young royals, because they represent hope. We love to hear a story about a prince marrying a princess and that’s happened in this case.”

The 46-year-old – who is, incidentally, a committed Republican – has had little time to celebrate his own fairy-tale rise through the Liberal ranks.

“I had the opportunity to spend a bit of time with my family, to thank them for their support. Other than that there’s a lot of work to do,” Mr Baird said.

The state opposition on Friday reiterated its three-pronged attack on the rookie Premier: a potential sale of the state’s electricity poles and wires, the influence of donors and lobbyists and unanswered questions over why Mr Baird appointed controversial Liberal identity Nick Di Girolamo to a government board.

Mr Di Girolamo, who is being investigated by corruption inquiry, gave a $3000 bottle of wine to former premier Barry O’Farrell which triggered his resignation.

Labor leader John Robertson said Mr Baird must “detail how he’s going to deal with the toxic culture within the Liberal party of lobbyists and donors”.

“After the events over the last week which has left the Liberal government and the state in disarray, the community rightly is calling for trust to be restored in government in this state,” he said.

Mr Baird pointed to Labor’s chequered record but conceded “the community has spoken on donations [and] lobbyists”.

“It is critical we retain the trust of the community and we will do everything possible to do that,” he said.

Mr Robertson claimed the Liberal party would be whirling with “factional jockeying” over the weekend as cabinet positions are considered.

“Lobbyists and donors will be making phone calls, putting pressure on to see their mates appointed to key ministerial portfolios,” Mr Robertson said.

Mr Baird insisted he would select a cabinet team that is “based on merit, that is based on experience and is based on the long-term interests of the state”.

He posed for photographs with constituents and tourists, many of whom were milling around for the royal visit.

Tony King of Belrose said Mr Baird had “a bit of ground work” to do.

“He’s very young … [and] no one knows him really. A lot of people looked at him [and wondered] who are you, with the media throng following you? They thought he was attached to His Royal Cuteness [Prince George].”

Vanessa Ballard, of Freshwater, was excited that a local had risen to the premiership.

“I said to him congratulations, but you’ve got your work cut out. It’s a big job and it’s not the greatest circumstances,” Ms Ballard said.