Cooper on track for Dragons’ 2013 campaign

His mind is willing and his body is able – and that’s enough to convince Matt Cooper playing beyond 2013 is not out of the question.
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Having survived what Dragons players have described as the toughest pre-season in years, Cooper yesterday hinted that thoughts of joining fellow Red V stalwarts Ben Hornby and Dean Young in retirement were premature.

‘‘I had some surgery at the end of last year just to fix up minor injuries I had throughout [last] year,’’ 33-year-old Cooper said.

‘‘It’s been great and I’ve had a great pre-season.’’

Pressed on whether his body was capable of carrying him into 2014 and beyond, the veteran of seven Tests said: ‘‘At the moment, yeah it does. Ask me that question in June or July and I might have a different answer.

‘‘At the moment the body feels really good and I feel like I could play a couple more seasons. It’s too early to tell and obviously come mid-year I’m going to have to make that decision.’’

Cooper’s desire to ask for a contract extension if his often injury-plagued body allows would help offset the Dragons’ thinning experience stocks. St George Illawarra watched all-time games leader Hornby (273 games) and Young (209 games) hang up the boots last season, while the hard-nosed Beau Scott fled to Newcastle over summer.

Matt Cooper, centre, back at Dragons training last month. Picture: ORLANDO CHIODO

If he was to embark on a 15th season in the NRL, Cooper, a veteran of 235 appearances, would also have the chance to usurp Hornby’s record.

Cooper said the club had already unearthed several willing leaders in the absence of Hornby and Young.

‘‘There was a couple of years ago when Shaun Timmins, Trent Barrett and Luke Bailey left,’’ Cooper said.

‘‘That was a bit of a change. This year with Dean and Ben going, there’s a new group of leaders stepping up.

‘‘The likes of Brett Morris, Jason Nightingale and Dan Hunt – players like those blokes have really stepped up this year and have turned into great leaders.’’

St George Illawarra will begin their 2013 campaign with a trial against North Queensland in Cairns next Saturday.

Cooper said he would take part in the Cowboys hit-out and the Charity Shield duel with Souths on February 22, matches crucial to a daunting month for the Dragons.

‘‘If you have a look at the draw we have a really tough opening few weeks. Round one against Melbourne in Melbourne is going to be a tough game and we’re looking to start the year with a couple of wins.’’

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

南京夜网 13/06/2018

Clunes horses put on a clinic

THE Clunes Natural Horsemanship Club held a two-day clinic at the weekend, featuring world-renowned trainer Carlos Tabernaberri.
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Club secretary Leslie Scott said it was a successful weekend with 14 riders from around the region taking part in the clinic.

“Carlos is famous in the horsing world for his natural methods when it came to horses,” she said.

“We would like to promote natural horsemanship and use some of his methods, which is why he was a part of the clinic.”

Scott said only 14 riders could take part in the day however many riding enthusiasts also came to observe the clinic.

“The feedback we received was all positive,” she said.

Scott said the natural horsemanship club was a new club in the region.

She said the group was formed after she found there wasn’t a natural horsemanship club in the shire.

“There is three of us, Bettina Kappen, Gillian Gandy and myself, that begun the club,” Scott said.

“We are a different riding club, we are not like the traditional clubs, we do a lot of trail riding.

“Natural horsemanship is about building a foundation with the horse rather than breaking them in.

“It is about having a soft manner with the horse and not using force.”

Scott said if anyone wanted to get involved with the club to visit the Clunes Natural Horsemanship Club Inc Facebook page.

ORGANISERS: CNHC president Bettina Kappen, horse trainer Carlos Tabernaberri, CNHC secretary Leslie Scott and her horse Max and CNHC treasurer Gillian Gandy.

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

南京夜网 13/06/2018

Try this: Customs House 

VENUE FOR EVERYONE: Chef Chris Coolahan on the long verandah at Customs House Newcastle. Picture: Phil HearneIF you are after cool harbour breezes, fantastic foreshore views, relaxing music and beautifully presented food then Customs House Hotel is the place for you.
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Head chef Chris Coolahan dishes up gourmet-style food with all the fanciness and little of the cost. It is the perfect venue to enjoy a light lunch with the girls or a romantic night out .

Customs House Hotel is also popular for weddings and functions.

Snacks: Spicy fried chicken wings with hot sauce $12; fries with aioli $8; wedges with sour cream and sweet chilli sauce $10; nicoise salad with house-cured salmon $15; chargrilled steak sandwich with caramelised onion, rocket, housemade barbecue sauce and fries $16; crumbed chicken burger with aioli, rocket, tomato and fries $16.

Starters: Sydney rock oysters $18-$31; king prawns with avocado, iceberg lettuce and cocktail sauce $19; citrus-cured salmon with fennel, orange, mint and horseradish $18; vine tomato and buffalo mozzarella salad with olives $18; duck and cognac pate with cornichons and baguette $17; fried calamari with aioli $17; orecchiette with broccoli, raisins, pine nuts and parmesan $17.

Mains: Beer-battered fish and chips with tartare sauce and lemon $24; pan-fried snapper fillet with potato puree and burnt butter sauce $32; roasted spatchcock with grilled asparagus, zucchini and salsa verde $28; slow-cooked Black Angus beef cheek with carrot puree, spinach, speck and onion $28; lamb rump with potato gratin, green beans and rosemary jus $32; 200-gram grass fed eye fillet with Diane sauce and chips $33; 200-gram Riverina Angus sirloin with Cafe de Paris butter and chips $33.

Desserts: Chocolate souffle with vanilla ice-cream $14; strawberry Eton mess $14; orange and almond tart with creme fraiche $14; cheese plate with fruit and lavosh $22.

CUSTOMS HOUSE HOTEL

Address: 1 Bond Street, Newcastle

Open: Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner, and Sunday for lunch

Phone: 49252285

Website:customshouse.net.au

Owner: Gabrielle McCabe

Head chef: Chris Coolahan

南京夜网 13/06/2018

Ziggy still plays great bowls

DAYLESFORD man Zygmunt Tratkiewicz, better known as Ziggy around town, has been playing bowls for the past 30 years.
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The 97-year-old is a regular participant at the Daylesford Bowls Club Saturday pennant competition.

Ziggy said he joined the Daylesford Bowling Club in 1983 when he moved from Poland.

“I used to play at the Ballarat Bowling Club in the over 80’s competition,” he said.

“I won two completions.”

Proving he still has the Midas touch, Ziggy said only two weeks ago he scored one of his highest totals in a game of bowls.

“We were playing in a group and we managed to get a couple of eights, which is one of the highest scores you can get,” he said.

Ziggy said the best thing about playing bowls was getting some fresh air and exercise.

“I like the sport,” he said.

“I get satisfaction when I play bowls.

“I like the club and the people.”

Daylesford division 8 bowls team Zyg Tratkiewicz, Bill Hetherington, Gwen Robinson and Joan Field.

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

南京夜网 13/06/2018

A memorable Super Bowl

It’s an event. An occasion. Something for everyone.
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It’s the sports extravaganza that is the Super Bowl. A snapshot of the United States of America.

All there for the world to see inside a superdome in New Orleans.

Alicia Keys, at piano, provided a sophisticated rendition of the Star Spangled Banner national anthem and at half-time Beyonce produced a spectacular mini-concert complete with stunning light show.

Little did we know that ‘‘lights’’ would turn out to be the operative and significant word.

Out on the field the favoured San Francisco 49ers were up against the ravenous Baltimore Ravens, who had swept all before them including the New England Patriots, in what shaped up as a close, tense, nail-biting, heart-stopping affair between two rugged defensive units and a couple of outstanding young quarterbacks in Colin Kaepernick of the 49ers and Baltimore’s Joe Flacco, who became a deserving MVP award recipient.

And then the daddy of them all – the rival coaching siblings John and Jim Harbaugh. Their proud parents Jack and Jackie with grandkids and other family members sat together in the grandstand.

One can only imagine what was going through their minds.

For a 60 minute game it does go on. And on. And on.

When there’s a power outage that shuts down the lights in the stadium for more than half an hour, the game seemingly goes forever.

However, that’s the nature of the beast. Watch and learn. This is America. This is their Big Show. The $4 million for a 30 second ad break says it all. Television rules. Look out the NRL and AFL.

I have to declare an interest. I like the game (as I like all football codes). I find American football or gridiron fascinating (no, not boring). And no, I don’t understand the finer points and tactics of this game. (That said, there are decisions in basketball that leave me bemused and confused too. Friday night at the WEC when the Hawks play the Tigers will have me and many others wondering how that can be a foul against Wollongong but not against Melbourne for something similar).

But I digress. Back to the Super Bowl. I support the 49ers. Have done since I can remember.

So this Super Bowl was going to be something special. A return to those glory days of the 1980s and ‘90s with those super quarterbacks Joe Montana and Steve Young in the driver’s seat.

Well, Super Bowl XLVII did turn out to be something special except the result wasn’t quite what I wanted.

What will separate this Super Bowl from the other 46 played so far – and more than likely those in the future – is that it’s the one when the lights went out.

Even more relevant is that this turned it virtually into two separate games. The pre-lights out and the post-lights out.

No sooner than Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones returned the kick-off to the second half, a record-equalling 108 yards for a touchdown for the Ravens to lead 28-6, than the stadium’s lights began to dim.

After the 34 minutes interruption, the game then became all San Francisco.

It’s now American football history that the 49ers just fell short 34-31, with the Ravens claiming the Vince Lombardi Trophy for the second time.

Lights failure aside, the big winner was the Big Easy. New Orleans hosted a Super Bowl to remember.

Just seven years after Hurricane Katrina flattened the place.

That really does deserve all the accolades, and then some.

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

南京夜网 13/06/2018

Tramp Steamer Tramp, full steam ahead 

NEWCASTLE musician and writer David Baker was searching last year for a setting for a cabaret-style play. And while watching a 1930s film starring Clark Gable and Jean Harlow, the idea came to him.
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The film, China Seas, was set on a tramp steamer which is attacked by pirates while carrying gold from Hong Kong to Singapore.

The film was a huge hit when released in 1935, restoring blonde bombshell Jean Harlow’s status as a box-office attraction after a series of low-grossing movies. It was also, as Baker notes, full of clichés, stereotypes and things that stretch the imagination.

The dilapidated cargo ship’s few passengers, for example, always went to dinner wearing elegant clothes that would usually be found only in luxury magazines.

That sort of elegance will also be a feature of Baker’s work, Tramp Steamer Tramp, which premieres on February 16 at Newcastle’s The Royal Exchange performing arts venue.

The story, though, will be very different.

Baker has set it on a ship, the Shanghai Princess, trading in south-east Asian waters in 1937. The characters include a German captain, a beautiful French female passenger, an alcoholic musician and a crew member who is an expert at producing false passports.

And there are two spies on board. The Japanese have just invaded Manchuria, increasing tensions in Asia. The German captain likewise lives in the shadow of the Nazi moves against their neighbours.

The 90-minute, two-act show will be staged as a radio play-style cabaret, with the musicians and singers as the various characters. The narrative is interspersed with 20 jazz numbers that range from early 1910 jazz hits to 1930s swing.

This is David Baker’s fifth cabaret-style radio play. The first, Funny Valentine, a biography of 1930s composing team Rodgers and Hart, premiered at The Royal Exchange in 2007, and was followed by 1920s-set The Speakeasy, a tribute to the music of Fats Waller. Then came a 1940s film noir-style tale, The Medusa Kiss, with music from that era, and The Hip Gringos Guide to Rio, a look at the context of the bossa nova music of Brazilian composers in the 1950s and ’60s.

Baker was joined in writing Tramp Steamer Tramp by fellow musician Chris Gill.

The four musicians, who form The Smokin’ Chops Jazz Quartet, certainly have no idle moments during the staging of the show.

Baker (guitar and banjo) plays a passenger whose surname, Marsh, has him nicknamed Swampy. Marsh makes an in-joke reference to the fact that he has spent his life staging shows that have virtually no plot.

Gill (saxophone, clarinet and percussion) has four roles as the German captain, Indian and Japanese businessmen, and a gay man.

Marcus Holdsworth (double bass, sousaphone and trombone) is cast as Buster Brown, a long-time buddy of Swampy, and as an alcoholic musician.

Manny Serrano (trumpet and flute) is an illegal immigrant and a Spanish wireless operator who speaks little English.

The guest performer, singer Anousha Victoire, is a mysterious French woman who happens to be a spy. Baker said Victoire, like all non-English characters, has to use an atrocious accent – an irony, given her father is French and she is fluent in the language.

While Tramp Steamer Tramp is set in a 1930s radio studio, the band members and Victoire will be dressed in clothes appropriate for their characters, and background projections will be used to help set the scenes.

David Baker, as usual, has selected an amazing collection of jazz numbers, ranging from relatively well-known songs such as Dinah, It’s Only a Paper Moon, and Slow Boat to China, to less-familiar titles including Singing in the Bathtub, and Creole Love Call.

While the show is intended to give audiences a good time, Baker says they may see clear parallels to contemporary events, including the aftermath of the global financial crisis and the plight of the dispossessed who attempt to escape in leaky boats.

Audience members are invited to attend the show dressed in 1930s-style clothes.

Tramp Steamer Tramp, which is directed by Dean Winter, can be seen at The Royal Exchange, 32 Bolton Street, Newcastle, on Saturdays, February 16 and 23, and March 2, plus Friday, March 22, at 8pm. Tickets: $20. Bookings: 49294969.

ON HIGH SEAS: Anousha Victoire and Chris Gill in a scene from Tramp Steamer Tramp. Picture: Simone De Peak

南京夜网 13/06/2018

Chinese New Year on the menu 

GOOD OMENS: A lucky cat stands watch over good forune. COLOURFUL: A dragon dance troupe performs during an annual Chinese New Year parade.
Nanjing Night Net

IF you visit a Chinese restaurant during the next couple of weeks you’ll experience the rich taste of the Orient with an abundance of fire crackers and colourful noisy lion and dragon dances.

Each Chinese year is represented by one of the 12 creatures of the Chinese zodiac and in 2013 the snake will be celebrated.

It’s Chinese New Year this weekend so invite a few friends around, cook these fabulous dishes and welcome in the longest and most important festival of the Chinese calendar.

PEKING DUCK PANCAKES

Ingredients

1 Chinese barbecued duck (available at Chinese barbecue shops)

8 green onions

2-3 Lebanese cucumbers

30 Peking duck pancakes, warmed (available at Asian food stores)

1 jar hoisin sauce

Method

❏ Using a sharp knife, remove meat with skin from duck in large pieces then cut into smaller strips. Cut each green onion into about 5 centimetre lengths, then lengthways into strips. Cut unpeeled cucumbers into matchsticks about 5 centimetres in length.

❏ Spoon a little hoisin sauce on each pancake and place a piece of duck in the centre of each. Top with a few strips of green onion and cucumber and roll up.

❏ Place the pancakes on a platter, join side down and serve with a small bowl of extra hoisin sauce. Makes 25-30.

Peking duck pancakes

SINGAPORE NOODLES

Call in to a Chinese barbecue shop and pick up some barbecue pork and this fresh and luscious noodle dish will only take a few minutes to cook. The noodles are available at supermarkets as are the water chestnuts to add a wonderful crunch.

Ingredients

350g Singapore noodles

2 tbs vegetable oil

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 small onion, sliced

3cm piece ginger, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tbsp green curry paste

200g Chinese barbecue pork , sliced

230g can water chestnuts, rinsed, drained, coarsely chopped

250g green (raw) king prawns, shelled, deveined and halved

2-3 tbs water

3 tbs soy sauce

1 tbs oyster sauce

2 green onions, thinly sliced diagonally

Method

❏ Place noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Rest for 1-2 minutes then separate with chopsticks and drain.

❏ Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a wok or large pan over medium heat, add eggs and cook until set. Remove, roll tightly and slice thinly. Add remaining oil to wok and stir-fry onion for 2-3 minutes, add ginger and garlic and cook a further minute.

❏ Add curry paste and stir-fry for 1-2minutes or until aromatic. Add pork, chestnuts, prawns and water and stir-fry until prawns just change colour.

❏ Add noodles and sauces and toss gently until heated through. Serve topped with green onions. Serves 4.

MUSHROOM FRIED RICE

Entertaining calls for dishes that can be prepared ahead and re-heated and this rice dish is perfect warmed in the microwave. The mushrooms can be varied if fresh shiitakes are not available and you could toss some snow peas or bok choy into the wok if you don’t have any fresh asparagus. Teams well with stir-fried chicken.

Ingredients

1 cup (200g) long-grain rice

3 tbs vegetable oil

2 eggs, lightly beaten

75g fresh shiitake mushrooms, chopped

150g button mushrooms, chopped

1 bunch asparagus, cut into 2-3cm lengths

3-4 tsp soy sauce

4 green onions, thinly sliced

1 tsp sesame oil

Method

❏ Cook rice in two cups of lightly salted boiling water for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool, then refrigerate.

❏ Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok over high heat, add eggs and cook for about 1 minute until just cooked. Remove and chop.

❏ Heat remaining oil in wok over medium heat, add mushrooms and asparagus and stir-fry for about 3 minutes. Add eggs and cold rice with soy sauce and toss to heat through. Serve sprinkled with green onions and sesame oil. Serves 4.

南京夜网 13/06/2018

‘The mainland needs to know about the NW’

DON River Railway site manager Warren Woodberry says the state government needs to invest in greater mainland tourism promotion if Tasmania’s North-West region is to survive.
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The statement comes in the wake of Monday’s announcement that the West Coast’s iconic Wilderness Railway is to close this April.

“We’re in a similar position to the West Coast Wilderness Railway in that we’re struggling to attract visitors,” the long-time railway worker said.

“We’re surviving, but numbers have been really down for the past two or three years and we’ve had to tighten our belts a lot.”

“It’s up to the tourism industry and state bodies to figure out what can be done.

“I think we should have Tasmanian tourism information bureaus dotted all over mainland Australia – that way people will realise what is available in the North-West and will plan their holidays accordingly. They won’t just fly straight to Hobart.”

Read more in tomorrow’s Advocate.

Warren Woodberry (left), Geoffrey Stanfield and Jim Unwin, of Don River Railway. Picture: Kelly Slater.

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

南京夜网 13/06/2018

Gallery: Premier Cricket-Camberwell v Geelong

Click on the carousel above for our picture gallery.
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Camberwell hits 219 at home, with Geelong finishing day one on 2/83. Picture: Ari Hatzis

Camberwell hits 219 at home, with Geelong finishing day one on 2/83. Picture: Ari Hatzis

Camberwell hits 219 at home, with Geelong finishing day one on 2/83. Picture: Ari Hatzis

Camberwell hits 219 at home, with Geelong finishing day one on 2/83. Picture: Ari Hatzis

Camberwell hits 219 at home, with Geelong finishing day one on 2/83. Picture: Ari Hatzis

Camberwell hits 219 at home, with Geelong finishing day one on 2/83. Picture: Ari Hatzis

南京夜网 13/06/2018

Creswick bowlers in limbo

CRESWICK Bowls Club president Gerry Flapper is hoping the federal government will be able to financially support the club’s relocation to Doug Lindsay Reserve.
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The bowling club, which is on Creswick’s main street, was damaged by three successive floods between September 2010 and February 2011 and the bowling greens have been unplayable since then.

Mr Flapper said club members were in a state of limbo wondering when or if the bowling club would be rebuilt.

Last Thursday Member for Western Victoria David O’Brien urged local minister Catherine King to join in their fight to get the funding.

“The state government has put significant funding on the table to relocate Creswick Bowling Club, made up of $300,000 from Sports and Recreation Victoria and $600,000 from Rural Development Victoria,” Mr O’Brien said.

“However the shire’s federal application for $886,000 for these major works has apparently been rejected by Emergency Management Australia.”

Mr O’Brien said the Clunes tennis courts were previously approved for funding under the scheme however the bowling club had been deemed a non-essential asset.

Mr Flapper said bowling club members have had to travel to Ballarat to bowl almost every day.

“We have not had a permanent spot to play,” he said.

“The bowling club is not just for members, it is for the whole community. It is a community asset.

“This club has been in Creswick for 150 years and we will not let it just disappear.”

Hepburn Shire flood recovery manager Jenny Browne said there was evidence to suggest that Creswick bowling members were joining other clubs due to the funding delay.

“This has so many social and economic impacts,” she said.

“The club members can no longer practice or hold competitions at its home and the damaged club is a reminder of the flood damage right in the middle of Creswick.

“Unfortunately the funds application has been with the federal body since early last year and we still haven’t got a firm answer one way or the other.”

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

南京夜网 13/06/2018

We can’t just rely on others during the fire season

As we enter the second half of what has been a hot and dry summer I thought it was a good time to remind people of a few things that you can do to be prepared for a bushfire.
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If you haven’t done so already it is not too late to tidy up around the house, check any firefighting equipment you have to ensure it is in good working order, work out a plan of what you intend to do if the worst happens.

I have read that some are upset with Powercor turning their power off, but the first thing to go in a major fire will be the power supply.

It is vital that we all are aware of this and have a back up plan in place.

If the only fire pumps you have run off mains power then you should make arrangements to have a backup generator on site.

I myself live out of town and the first thing I brought after shifting was a generator for when the power does go off.

Also it seems that the message is still not getting through to everyone that you can’t rely on one source of information.

Once again if the power goes off and you are only relying on the internet/radio for information then you could be in trouble.

A battery-powered radio is a good option.

If you are near a fire station and there is someone there then you are more than welcome to ask for information, taking care to realise that if there is something big going on then while willing to help out those at the station will be busy. If something does happen it is vital that the public doesn’t panic.

People panicking will only create more dramas.

The warnings during and after the Blampied fire are a case in point.

There werequeues at service stations and some ordinary driving displays, people cancelling accommodation and leaving town in a blind panic.

While it is better to be safe than sorry we still need to remain calm, obey road rules and be courteous to our fellow man.

At the end of the day we as a public need to start taking more responsibility for our own actions and stop relying on others to do everything for us.

We live in a country area surrounded by bush and every summer we are at risk of fire.

We all make the choice to live here so we need to be aware and prepared for any risks that come with living here.

We are lucky to be looked after by the eight highly trained and efficient fire brigades that make up the Glenlyon Group of Brigades but if you don’t help them to be fire ready then there is only so much that they can do.

Be aware, be alert, be prepared but don’t panic.

David Walker, captain,

Daylesford Fire Brigade

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