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Scott Coleman back to coach Hamilton

TAKING CHARGE: Hamilton officially re-signed Scott Coleman as coach this week.THREE-time premiership-winning Hamilton coach Scott Coleman said the disappointment of losing last year’s Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union grand final to Merewether had fuelled his desire to take the Hawks reins for another season.
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Coleman was officially appointed this week to take charge for his seventh campaign. Last year’s co-coach, Nathan Beckett, did not apply.

Former NSW Country coach Paul Nixon has returned to the Hawks and will help during pre-season when Coleman fulfils his role as the Newcastle representative coach.

The Hawks, who were chasing back-to-back titles, lost 20-16 to the Greens in the decider in September.

‘‘Going so close in the grand final has given me that hunger to have another crack,’’ Coleman said.

‘‘At this stage most of the players have indicated they are coming back.

‘‘Damien Wells is training with the Knights [NSW Cup] side at the moment, but we should know what he is doing at the end of January.

‘‘The only area we probably need to strengthen is the outside backs.

‘‘A bit more speed on the wings wouldn’t hurt.

‘‘Merewether are the team to beat again and hopefully we can make amends.’’

Coleman said Nixon’s return was a ‘‘massive bonus’’.

‘‘He is a very good coach and has the players’ respect.’’

Meanwhile, the front row is looming as a problem for Newcastle in their quest for a fifth straight NSW Country title.

Only five of the 11 Coleman named in a train-on squad have committed to play. Merewether and NSW Country prop Dylan Evans, who has joined Sydney University, is the biggest loss.

Apart from the front row, NSW Country winger Dave Kennedy (overseas), Merewether winger Bill Coffey (overseas), former New Zealand Maori representative Hayden Pedersen (work) and Maitland five-eighth Matt Jarrett (work) and breakaway John Birrell (work) are unavailable.

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Former PM honoured with Order of Merit

Former prime minister John Howard has received an honour as the personal choice of the Queen.MELBOURNE – Former prime minister John Howard has been appointed a member of the Order of Merit by the Queen.
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The honour is bestowed upon individuals who achieve “exceptional distinction in the arts, learning, sciences and other areas such as public service”, the royal family’s website says in the announcement.

The Queen also appointed British painter and photographer David Hockney to the Order of Merit yesterday.

Appointments to the Order are made by the monarch and do not require government input.

The Order is restricted to 24 members and occasional foreign recipients.

Other Australians to have been appointed to the Order of Merit are Samuel Alexander, Gilbert Murray, Sir Macfarlane Burnett, Sir Owen Dixon, Lord Florey, Sir Sidney Nolan, Dame Joan Sutherland and Lord May of Oxford.

Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and former Canadian prime minister Jean Chretien are also members.

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

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Search on for Newcastle’s fastest bowler

PACE: University’s Luke Bird is one of the quickest bowlers in first grade.THE search is on for the region’s fastest bowler.
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University of Newcastle Cricket Club has obtained a state-of-the-art radar gun, a gift from their old boys’ association, and in conjunction with Newcastle District Cricket Association plan on using it to identify the Hunter Valley’s genuine speedsters.

Clubs will be asked to nominate their standout quicks, both seniors and juniors, and entrants will wind up and let it rip on the day of the Newcastle Twenty20 finals at No.1 Sportsground on February 26.

“It’s a great initiative from the Uni cricket club and will add another dimension to our T20 finals day,’’ NDCA secretary Paul Marjoribanks said.

Marjoribanks said the logistics had not been finalised, but it was likely the juniors would bowl off in the nets at No.1 Sportsground and seniors on the centre wicket in between the Denis Broad Cup and first-grade deciders.

‘‘We think it will add a bit of interest to the finals day,’’ he said. ‘‘If we had bowlers representing all 12 district clubs – plus we’ll open it up to City and Suburban players as well – hopefully their mates will turn up to see how they go.’’

The Leading Edge felt there would be nobody better qualified to predict a likely winner than veteran Charlestown skipper Steve Mace, who has battled the district’s swiftest new-ball merchants for more than 25 years.

Mace said it was likely to be a battle between Hamwicks spearheads Sam Webber and Andrew Maher and University left-armer Luke Bird.

‘‘They’re probably the three that come to mind,’’ Mace said. ‘‘They’re all good bowlers and pretty sharp on their day. I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone.’’

Mace has faced more than his share of thunderbolts during a marathon career, a large proportion of which he spent opening the batting.

Asked to reflect on the most rapid opponents of his time, Mace was reluctant to single out any individual.

But among those he rated as lively were Kevin Bray, Mark Cameron, Neil Budden, Paul Roshier, Paul Wilson and Geoff Cooke.

Marjoribanks said he would not be surprised if C&S produced a ‘‘bolter’’.

‘‘Well, if you remember, [Western Australia paceman] Michael Hogan was playing B-grade not that long ago,’’ Marjoribanks said.

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Byun Sung-hwan sidelined with heart scare

FRUSTRATED: Byun Sung-hwanTHE immediate playing future of Jets defender Byun Sung-hwan is on hold after abnormalities were discovered in the Korean’s heart.
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Byun consulted Cardiff cardiologist Geoff Oldfield yesterday and is awaiting test results, most likely tomorrow.

The 32-year-old has no history of heart problems, has started every game this season and was not experiencing discomfort.

But he was stood down from training on Tuesday after results returned from an electrocardiography (ECG) test, which all players had in the pre-season, revealed Byun had left ventricular hypertrophy, or an enlarged left ventricle.

LVH can be caused by high blood pressure.

For some people, intense, prolonged endurance and strength training can cause the heart to adapt so that it can handle the extra workload.

The enlarged muscle loses elasticity and stiffens, preventing the chamber from filling properly and increasing pressure in the heart.

The enlarged muscle tissue compresses its own blood vessels and can restrict its own supply of blood.

In extreme cases it can lead to heart failure.

‘‘We are taking every precaution to ensure his health is paramount,’’ Jets coach Gary van Egmond said.

‘‘We should know the full extent by tomorrow or Friday.

‘‘If everything is all right, he will be in the team for the Mariners [on Saturday].

‘‘We just don’t know at this stage.

‘‘Once the results from the ECG came back we acted as quick as possible. We have a duty of care.

‘‘His health definitely comes first and we have to get to the bottom of it to make sure it is not a risk.’’

Byun’s wife and son live in Korea.

Jets performance manager Lee Clark accompanied Byun, who has limited English, to the specialist yesterday.

‘‘He was obviously frustrated, because he hadn’t felt sick or anything like that,’’ Clark said.

‘‘When something like that shows up, you have a duty of care to make sure everything is OK.

‘‘As far as Byun is concerned, he is right to play but the correct protocols have been followed to make sure.’’

The uncertainty over Byun has left the Jets’ left-back stocks bare.

Back-up Mario Simic is sidelined with a hamstring problem.

Ruben Zadkovich and Tarek Elrich both spent time at left fullback at training yesterday.

‘‘Ruben has played as fullback with the Olyroos, Ben Kantarovski has played in that position, Jacob Pepper is another we have been looking at and Taylor Regan,’’ van Egmond said.

‘‘We have a number of options there.

‘‘It will be just trying to work out who is the best fit.’’

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Roar run riot over Victory

Harry Kewell, of the Victory, and Matthew Jurman, of the Roar, challenge for the ball during the round 13 A-League match at Suncorp Stadium yesterday.BRISBANE – A-League champions Brisbane Roar emphatically snapped their five-match losing streak and ended Melbourne Victory’s annus horribilis with a painful 3-1 defeat last night.
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Not even a magic third-minute goal by Harry Kewell could put a smile on Victory faces as the Roar rediscovered their mojo in dramatic fashion at Suncorp Stadium.

Brisbane ran rampant over the visitors after they turned the game in an incredible 10-minute blitz which netted three quality goals to the delight of the 14,852-strong crowd.

With wing-back Ivan Franjic starring in a modified formation, the injury-depleted Roar broke the shackles after playmaker Mitch Nichols finally found the back of the net just before halftime.

While Brisbane had continued to dominate possession in their run of defeats, they’d lost the precision finishing that was a hallmark of their national record 36-match unbeaten streak.

Nichols’s brilliant header sparked a burst which included goals to Rocky Visconte and Franjic off the back of some inspired passing by striker Besart Berisha.

Franjic’s 53rd-minute goal prompted an animated celebration by usually reserved coach Ange Postecoglou, who had been under pressure to tweak his possession-at-all-costs game.

Postecoglou’s joy was in marked contrast to Melbourne’s torment as fuming Costa Rican midfielder Carlos Hernandez kicked over his chair and a water bottle after being replaced.

The result couldn’t have been predicted when Kewell struck his first goal from open play after 11 matches in the A-League.

Although the Socceroos star has been well off his best for Melbourne, the spectacular strike was worth the wait.

The match was only 122 seconds old when the 33-year-old Kewell latched on to a backpass missed by Roar skipper Matt Smith and swiftly took it towards the box where he unleashed a booming left-footer that gave a diving Micheal Theoklitos no chance.

Coming at a time when Kewell’s position in the Melbourne forward line is being questioned due to his fading pace, it was the perfect riposte by the marquee man.

But it was the only moment of inspiration for the Victory in the opening half as third-placed Brisbane dominated possession and had nine shots on goal to one before Nichols struck gold.

Man-of-the-match Franjic was outstanding throughout, tormenting a Victory defence missing captain Adrian Leijer (groin).

“A performance like that, after going 1-0 down, just shows the courage and character of the boys,” Franjic said. “It’s just great.”

In other matches yesterday, bottom-placed Gold Coast ruined the Central Coast’s New Year’s Eve party when they halted the Mariners’ six-match winning streak in front of their biggest home crowd of the season.

The A-League’s table-toppers were held to a 0-0 draw in a clash that lacked fireworks in front of a bumper 14,838-strong crowd at Gosford.

In Newcastle, Perth Glory fought for most of the match a man down but held on for a 1-1 draw in the A-League clash with the Jets.

ROUND 13 RESULTS:

MELBOURNE HEART 4 (Eli Babalj 32m, Mate Dugandzic 45+1m, Jason Hoffman 77m, Alex Terra 84m) bt SYDNEY FC 0 at Sydney Football Stadium. Crowd: 16,007. Referee: Peter Green.

ADELAIDE UNITED 2 (Bruce Djite 17m, Anthony Golec 62m) bt WELLINGTON PHOENIX 0 at Hindmarsh Stadium. Crowd: 9739. Referee: Chris Beath.

NEWCASTLE JETS 1 (Francis Jeffers 62m) drew PERTH GLORY 1 (Billy Mehmet 9m) at Ausgrid Stadium. Crowd: 10,439. Referee: Strebre Delovski.

CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 0 drew GOLD COAST UNITED 0 at Bluetongue Stadium. Crowd: 14,838. Referee: Ryan Shepheard.

BRISBANE ROAR 3 (Mitch Nichols 44m, Rocky Visconte 50m, Ivan Franjic 53m) bt MELBOURNE VICTORY 1 (Harry Kewell 3m) at Suncorp Stadium. Crowd: 14,852. Referee: Jarred Gillett.

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

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‘No risk’ after small overflow at Orica

An Orica spokeswoman said there was a small overflow of weak ammonium nitrate solution from a tank bund this afternoon.
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The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has been been informed of the incident.

The EPA contacted Fire and Rescue NSW Hazmat (Hazardous Materials) and crews are on the scene.

FRNSW said they are working with Orica management to contain the spill and there are no reports of injuries.

The EPA said the quantity of solution is believed to be around 20,000 litres with some spilling over a bund surrounding a tank, soaking into the ground.

The Orica spokeswoman said the solution was equivalent to garden fertiliser.

She said there is no risk to the public.

This incident was not part of the re-start of the nitric acid plant or pre-start up pressure testing being undertaken on site.

New South Wales Health has also confirmed there is no public health risk based on current information.

NSW Environment Minister Robyn Parker has been advised of the incident.

“Orica have reported that the incident occurred during pumping operations between tanks and the auto shut-off is believed to have failed,” she said.

She added that the incident is contained on site and there is no environmental risk.

Orica has ceased operations at the plant following the incident.

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Move it or lose it

THE Burnie Carnival may need to move from its traditional New Year’s Day date or risk losing its status as a premier cycling carnival, according to a new review into the future of the Tasmanian Carnivals Series.
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The review also suggests organisers should consider cutting cycling from the Burnie event altogether as it battles falling competitor numbers due to clashes with mainland events.

“We’ve been talking to lots of people and the date at Burnie appears to be the issue that most people have an opinion on,” said Dave Culbert, a former Olympic long jumper who has been commissioned by the Sports Carnivals Association of Tasmania to conduct the review.

While Latrobe took the bold step of abandoning its traditional Boxing Day timeslot this year to combat dwindling numbers of competitors and spectators, organisers of today’s 125th Burnie Carnival remain steadfastly opposed to moving from New Year’s Day despite numerous conflicting priorities for cyclists.

The importance of mainland events, specifically the Bay Crits, mean today’s Burnie Wheel – with its star-studded history highlighted by Danny Clark’s hat-trick of wins off scratch in the ’70s – is likely to feature just a handful of elite riders.

“The Burnie Carnival has been decimated as far as A-grade riders go,” track handicapper Lloyd Pilgrim told The Examiner last month.

Burnie Athletic Carnival president Bruce Jackson has categorically ruled out changing the date to the oft-suggested New Year’s Eve, and has demanded the mainland events do so instead.

Culbert, whose media marketing company also services the Bay Crits and road nationals, said the clash of events stemmed from the date of the Tour Down Under, the WorldTour calendar opener, set by the Switzerland-based global body UCI and extremely unlikely to change to accommodate the Burnie Carnival.

“You’re not the big fish any more so have got to cut your cloth accordingly,” he said of the Tasmanian cycling events.

“When you see names like Sid Patterson up on the honour boards you’ve got to remember that was when this was the only thing for cyclists to do at this time of year. The track season used to go from October to March. Now it’s the preparation for the road season because that’s where the money is and that starts on January 1.

“The Tour Down Under governs the whole date situation. Other events are squeezed around it but something like the Bay Crits have done a lot to put Australian cycling where it is now.”

Culbert said he was yet to form an opinion on the prickly subject, but suggested event organisers often had to think outside the square to tackle obstacles.

“If numbers are going down you’ve got to look at why and take measures to arrest the slide and get the graph going in the opposite direction,” he said.

“Our philosophy is that you’ve got to cut your cloth to the circumstances. The Stawell Gift this year was held on the Tuesday for the first time since about 1878 because Monday was Anzac Day and we could not go up against the AFL match or we’d have lost TV coverage.

“So with regard to Burnie, it’s the cycling that’s being affected and maybe they just want to stage a running carnival because it’s not ideal to clash with the Bay Crits.

“Ebb and flow is not necessarily a bad thing. There is no running at Launceston but that did not seem to affect the entertainment.

“The traditional view is that Burnie is a cycling carnival. But if they are hell-bent on staying on that day why not become a running-only carnival?

“Or have the New Year’s Eve criterium as the main cycling event and just running on New Year’s Day. Just because something has happened for 100 years does not mean it has to keep going. If an event is losing its quality then they may have to change it because the Tour Down Under date is not going to change, so work around it.

“For a lot of events it’s about adapting to the circumstances you’ve got and Latrobe have done that brilliantly.”

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

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Devonport man drowns in East Coast

POLICE yesterday afternoon were investigating the drowning of a scuba diver on the East Coast.
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St Helens Marine Police were contacted about 1pm yesterday to assist a diver who was reported to be experiencing difficulties at Skeleton Bay.

The diver, a 56-year-old man from Devonport, was diving with his partner when the incident occurred.

When police arrived at the scene, a member of the public had already removed the man from the water, placing him on a rock shelf where, with assistance from another member of the public, CPR was administered for about 20 minutes before police arrived.

On arrival, police swam out to the rock shelf to offer further assistance to the man.

When paramedics reached him, they continued live saving techniques for some time before declaring the man deceased at the scene.

There were numerous witnesses to the event and police are urging anyone with any information to contact CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000.

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

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READER’S CHOICE: Cool video of the day

Today’s video features a very different type of school photographer to the one you may remember having.
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This short comedy clip, by Michael Berliner, also has a very sweet side as you’ll see below.

Well worth a watch.

School Portrait (2011) from Michael Berliner on Vimeo.

Watch this space

Each day we’ll have a new video to provide you with a little light entertainment and we want your help to find them.

Do you have a favourite video you would like to share with us?

Tell us on Facebook or @newcastleherald on Twitter.

Watch this space

Each day we’ll have a new video to provide you with a little light entertainment and we want your help to find them.

Do you have a favourite video you would like to share with us?

Tell us on Facebook or @newcastleherald on Twitter.

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Gloucester Resources property acquisitions piling up

GLOUCESTER Resources continues to buy properties near the Gloucester township as part of the company’s coal exploration activities.
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The company refused to say how many new acquisitions were made or where they were located.

“Some of the property transactions were as a result of discussions with owners of neighbouring properties, and all purchases have been with willing sellers,” a company spokesman said in a statement.

“It is common practice for companies like [Gloucester Resources] to acquire land for a range of uses, which may include the establishment of environmental buffers or agricultural activities.”

The Gloucester Residents in Partnership group estimates Gloucester Resources has bought 18 properties and believes it has spent about $30 million on these acquisitions.

Gloucester Resources’ exploration lease 6523 surrounds the township on three sides.

The company said it was conducting a feasibility study for a “small” open-cut coal mine.

If it decided to make a formal application, the community would be fully informed, the company said.

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