Archive

Maizen made to order in Central’s backline

FORM: Central Newcastle fullback Jake Maizen has scored six tries in the opening three matches of the Newcastle Rugby League season. They were his first games in the top grade. Picture: Jonathan CarrollBarista by morning, Butcher Boy by night.
Nanjing Night Net

Jake Maizen takes orders of flat whites with two sugarsin his day job at a Hamilton cafe, but the calls aren’t quite as sweet on the field when chiming into the Central Newcastle backline.

“That’s a bit more serious than a cappuccino,” Maizen said.

The Cardiff 20-year-old has started his Newcastle Rugby League career on a try-scoring note, with the fullback crossing six times in his first three games in the top grade.

A member of Central’s under-19 grand final side last season, new club coach Craig Miller decided to give the youngster a shot in the No.1 jersey and sofar it has paid dividends.

Maizen opened 2017 with a four-pointer away at Kurri last month, followed up with a double at home against Lakes and nabbed a hat-trick playing Maitland at CoronationOval on Saturday.

“They [my teammates]make everything super easy for me,” Maizen said.

“I really just have to run my lines and it’s pretty much on a platter for me. My role is simplified and they just make me look good.”

And although having the likes of experienced campaigners Brad Murray,Steve Gordon and Shaun Metcalf around him, not all of Maizen’s tries have simply been walk overs.

It includes at least one from a line-break on halfway, slicing and dicing through the defence before sprinting away to claim the points.

But coach Miller hasn’t been all that surprised, he was impressed from the start.

“When I took over at the club I had a few weeks to watch the 19s and I thought they had a couple of really good young players that would hopefully push through into first grade,” Miller said.

“Jake was one of them so I was keen to get to training and see what he was like, but the more time we spent together and the more we got into team specifics he really took my notice.

“It’s his speed, his evasion and his football sense, and he’s a good kid to go with it.”

And to boot the Butcher Boys have a share of the competition lead, undefeated approaching the fourth round against Cessnock at St John Oval on Sunday.

“It’s been a good start, but I’mjust trying to be there week in and week out,” Maizen said.

“I’m not focusing on the tries too much, just happy with the wins.”

It hasn’t always been that successful during his time at the club, with firstsmaking the semis just twice since he kicked off in under 13s.

Prior to that he playedjuniors at Western Suburbs after starting at South Newcastle.

“It’s been unreal at Central and I wouldn’t go anywhere else,” he said.

“I’m happy there. That’s my footy home.”

Read More

Cogger closes on comeback from surgery

Jack CoggerTeenage Knights half Jack Cogger is in line for an earlier than expected return frompelvis-stabilising surgery and a hernia repair.
Nanjing Night Net

Cogger, who played six NRL games last season,has been training with Newcastle’s top squad this week, just two months after having the operation.

The 19-year-old was expected tobe sidelined for about 14 weeks but coach Nathan Brown said he could make his return in the lower grades as early as round 11.

“He’s starting to get close, Jack,” Brown said. “I don’t think he will be right this week, but they are planning on, if everything goes smooth, that he will play the following week.”

** Nathan Ross may reconsider travel arrangements next time he finds himself on a road trip.

The Knights winger made the four-hour trek back from Mudgee on Monday after his representative debut for City, but he did so sitting next to towering forward Pauli Pauli in the back seat.

“I was like a sardine in a can,” Ross joked at training. “It was a little bit tight there.”

Ross wasn’t the only one cracking jokes this week.Asked if the returning representative players might be rested at training this week, Knights prop Josh Starling said: “I’m not sure they did too much during the week. The boys had a few too many buffets so they might need to get in to do some extra training,” he smiled.“I think they will be right. They’re out there for a reason so they are pretty professional and they’ll be right to go.”

AAP reports: Canberra halfback Aidan Sezer expects prop Shannon Boyd and captain Jarrod Croker to overcome injury and face Newcastle.

Boyd (leg injury) didn’t play for Australia against New Zealand on Friday night, while Croker (arm)was unavailable for the NSW City-Country game along with the rest of the Raiders.

“I have no doubt those boys will run out ready to play on Sunday,” Sezer said on Tuesday.

“It’s round 10 and everyone’s getting knocks and bruises and I guess that’s accumulating over the weeks now so hopefully we can stay in good nick and keep a healthy squad.”

Jordan Rapana, Joey Leilua and Junior Paulo were the only Canberra players involved in representative round, giving the majority of the squad a well-timed break after defeats to the Bulldogs and Manly.

“We came off the back of two tight losses and we were thoroughly disappointed with it, but it was good to get off the legs and freshen up mentally and physically and ready to fight back this week,” Sezer said.

“We’ve been assessing out last two games and where we’ve gone wrong.

“It hasn’t been up to the Raiders standard we pride ourselves on.”

Josh Papalii will complete his suspension over a drink-driving conviction against the Knights, with Sezer admitting the star forward’s absence will hurt the side.

“In my opinion Papa is the best back-rower in the competition,” Sezer said.

“It’s big shoes to fill. We probably won’t have someone that can do the job Papa does each week but that’s paying respect to the player he is.”

Struggling Newcastle have won three games in two NRL seasons, but a draw and a four-point win to the Raiders last year will give them hope of an upset.

“Last year they finished wooden spooners and both times we played them they sent us to golden point,” Canberra forward Luke Bateman said.

“We’re definitely not expecting it to be an easy game. They’re always tough especially at home.”

Read More

Federal budget 2017: Five housing changes to know about

Sorry, first-home buyers – this isn’t the budget you were hoping forThe winners and losers of Budget 2017Developers’ attempts to lure first-home buyers ahead of Budget decision on housing affordability
Nanjing Night Net

Housing was a hot button topic for the 2017/2018 federal budget, so it’s no surprise there were a raft of changes for real estate.

The new measures have impacted on a variety of housing rules fromfirst-home buyers’ savings strategies to what investors can claim at tax-time.

Here are the five big announcements to know about. 1) Foreigners can only buy up to 50 per cent of a development

Under the new budget rules, developers will no longer be able to sell every property in their new development to overseas buyers.

Instead, a maximum of half the development can be sold to foreign buyers with the rest to be sold locally. The budget documents note this is to provide a “clear message” that new housing stock is expected to increase supply for Australian buyers.

Before this change developers required pre-approval to sell properties to foreign buyers but there was no limit on the proportion of sales.

Effect on revenue: No impact

In place from: May 9, 20172) First Home Super Saver Scheme

First-home buyers weren’t ignored by the budget with a new First Home Super Saver Scheme announced. The new super saver scheme will allow first-time buyers to put up to $15,000 a year, to a maximum of $30,000 under the scheme, into their superannuation.

These funds can later be withdrawn for a home deposit, including any earnings the deposits made.

This means they will have a tax incentive to save more, and it can be taken advantage of as a couple with each claiming $30,000.

Effect on revenue: Cost of $250 million ($9.4 million funding given to ATO)

In place from: July 1, 2017 (contributions), July 1, 2018 (withdrawals)3) An ’empty home’ tax on foreign investors

Foreign investors who keep properties vacant for more than six months will be faced with a vacancy tax. This is described as a charge on “underutilised residential property”.

The cost of this tax will be the equivalent of their foreign investment application fee – some several thousand dollars – and will be charged annually.

This change is intended to get more vacant homes onto the rental market.

Effect on revenue: Gain of $16.3 million ($3.7 million funding given to ATO)

In place from: May 9, 20174) Stopping investors from claiming travel deductions

Investors who previously had tax deductions for travel expenses related to their investment property will no longer be able to make these claims.

The government has ruled them out, even for those travelling to collect rent, maintain or inspect a premises, saying many have been incorrectly obtaining this deduction. This has included situations for “private travel purposes”.

Effect on revenue: Gain of $540 million

In place from: July 1, 20175) Retirees given incentives to downsize

Australians aged over 65 who sell their home of a decade or more will soon be able to put up to $300,000 in sale proceeds into their superannuation.

This incentive to downsize is expected to help free up larger homes for families to move into.

Effect on revenue: Cost of $30 million

In place from: July 1, 2018

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

Read More

Why Waratahs fans booed players on the weekend

On Saturday evening, I took the rare opportunity to watch a Waratahs game with die-hard fans in the stands at Allianz Stadium.
Nanjing Night Net

A Fairfax strike meant I was not required to file a match report outlining just how bad the Waratahs were against the Blues.

The press box at Allianz Stadium can be quiet – a cocoon from the crowd noise.

Compared to outdoor media facilities in Europe – think Cardiff, Murrayfield and Twickenham – journalists don’t get the same atmosphere in Sydney and even less of an understanding of how fans are feeling.

As for the seats, a friend and I positioned ourselves on the try line at the southern end of the field, among hundreds of school kids who had just been involved in a junior club march.

Some of these youngsters might remember the glorious season of 2014 when the Waratahs were Super Rugby champions but most have probably come to accept the losses in the intervening years.

There were, however, dozens of these kids’ fathers wearing their old-school Waratahs apparel, clearly nostalgic about the good old days and optimistic Daryl Gibson’s men could become the first Australian team to knock off a Kiwi franchise this season.

Their dedication to turn up must be commended, keeping in mind the last outing in Sydney saw NSW humiliated by the hapless Southern Kings.

Being in the stands with the punters gives you a terrific insight into how the fans – the ones who help pay the players’ salaries – are really feeling.

The most alarming thing that struck me was that these supporters began booing individual players.

After the Kings defeat, those in the press box could hear sections of the crowd booing their heroes but this was something different.

When inside-centre Dave Horwitz shanked a kicked off his right boot that went out on the full, the low monotone of booing echoed down our end of the field.

It gives an insight into just how little faith some have in the Tahs and how deep their dissatisfaction is.

They have had enough, to the point they will voice their displeasure in the form of booing mistakes rather than a lack of effort – something Horwitz cannot be questioned on.

Fans are upset with the quality of rugby and lack of basic skills they have come to see too often.

And when Reece Robinson kicked a ball back down field, after a period when the Waratahs had been starved of possession, dozens of people near us shook their heads in disbelief.

???The phrase “come on” was also heard far too often.

These are long-suffering supporters and the general groans when Rieko Ioane crossed the line after 22 minutes summed up the apathy Waratahs fans have for their team this year.

Fans have forwarded on emails this year outlining why they won’t ever go to another Waratahs match.

But things got worse. A 26-0 deficit at half-time literally had fathers holding heads in their hands.

By that stage, the hundreds of kids had lost interest – they may not have had it in the first place – as they tried to poke and prod Tah Man down at the fence.

Rugby types vent their frustration in a different way to disgruntled rugby league fans.

There were no beers thrown that I saw and few profanities, but instead there was an all too familiar silence and look of hopelessness as they had to sit through another Australian team being put to the sword.

Even though the Waratahs salvaged some pride to come within seven points of the Blues at full-time, fans want better performances in the first halves of matches.

Ironically, the Waratahs attracted their biggest crowd of the season with 18,381.

.

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

Read More

Dance Moms star Abby Lee Miller jailed after pleading guilty to fraud

The star of hit reality TV series Dance Moms has been sentenced to one year and one day in prison after failing to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars earned in Australia.
Nanjing Night Net

Abby Lee Miller was sentenced by a federal judge in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, local time, after pleading guilty to bankruptcy fraud and concealing money earned abroad.

Chief district judge Joy Flowers Conti slapped the reality TV star with a $54,000 fine and ordered her to undergo two years of probation after serving time behind bars.

Miller was also ordered to give up the hundreds of thousands of dollars she was accused of transporting into the United States from England and Australia.

The feisty dance instructor was facing up to two-and-a-half years in jail, but agreed to enter into a plea deal.

Back in 2014, Miller toured Australia to hold meet-and-greets in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and the Gold Coast. Tickets were on sale for up to $179 each.

When Miller returned to the US, she was accused of smuggling a large chunk of Australian currency in her employees’ luggage. As frequent flyers are aware, those entering the US with $10,000 or more in cash must fill out the appropriate paperwork or risk prosecution.

Miller also earned unwanted attention for the way she restructured her business several years ago. Authorities accused her of concealing approximately $1 million in earnings in 2012 and 2013 after filing for bankruptcy.

Her business, Abby Lee Dance Company, exited bankruptcy in 2013.

Miller recently announced she was leaving Dance Moms – which debuted in 2011 – after seven seasons. In a rant published on Instagram, the business owner claimed she was not given enough “creative credit” for the show’s dance routines, themes and costumes.

Miller’s representatives did not respond to requests for comment.

– with Reuters

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

Read More