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Epifania proud of his squad

WRAPPED UP: Gulgong Terrier Brad James is met by the Italian defence while playing for the Western Rams on Saturday. Photo: PHIL BLATCHFEDERATION of Italia Rugby League Australia (FIRLA) coach Leo Epifania onlyhad a week to put together a team for Saturday’s clash with the Western Rams, but you could have been fooled for thinking otherwise.
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The players Epifania assembled at Carrington Park quickly adapted to new combinations and produced some slick football on their way to a 34-18 victory.

While the big Western forward pack hit hard in defence, FIRLA’s speed around the ruck and support play gave them the edge.

“They got into us, but we expected that, you don’t come out to the country and expect anything less,” Epifania said.

“I thought both sides had a real red hot dig, but I was very happy with things from our side. We have got one side that is going overseas for the [World Cup]qualifiers over in Europe and these boys here are our level one players.

“We had to fill in some numbers here, we had topull a side together in a week and the boys did really well I thought in making that happen.

“Some of these players here are younger fellas and later down the track, they will come into that top team.”

Though having to draw on players unfamiliar to himself and each other, the quality Epifania had in key positions was telling

Fullback Christian Bate (Belrose), hooker Daniel Petralia (Canterbury), plushalves Josh Bergamin (Canterbury) and Blake Cavelarro (Western Suburbs) were standouts.

Cavelarro amassed a personal tally of 22 points from three tries andfive goals.

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Plenty of promise but Rams fail Italian job

IN THE MIDDLE: Dubbo Macquarie hooker Jeremy Smith was in the thick of the action for the Western Rams on Saturday, Photo: PHIL BLATCHWESTERN suffered a 34-18 loss against a classy Federation of Italia Rugby League Australiaoutfit in Bathurst on Saturday, but assistant coach Kip Maranda is confident the Rams are on the right path.
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Both sides used the Carrington Park clash as a means of viewing players with potential headed into, for the Azzurri, the 2017 World Cup and, for Maranda’s Rams, next year’s country championship.

On that note, FIRLA’sChristian Bate and halfback Blake Cavelarro gave Italian selectors plenty to think about in the lead-up to next year’s World Cup, the latter scoring 22 of his side’s points in a stunning display.

While, for the hosts, forwards Luke Thompson, Simon Osborne and Brent Seager poured through a mountain of work and Parkes fullback Sam Dwyer was brilliant, earning the FIRLA’s vote as player of the game.

While disappointed, Maranda said it was important to look at the positives, such as the exciting performances of debutantsMitch Burke of Forbes, Lithgow’s Mitch Case and Orange CYMS pivot Dom Maley.

“There’s plenty of good players around,we’re asking them to put their hand up when we have training and to bring the right attitude,” Maranda said.

“We’re not here for one game, we want to make friendships out of it and build to win country championships and get back into that tier one where we should be.”

Western drew first blood against FIRLA, Forbes’ try-scoring gun Ben Maguire muscling his way over from close range to gift the hosts a 6-0 lead.

Ethan Natoli hit back for FIRLA, but a crafty Jacob Neill grubber for himself after 30 minutes put the Rams up 12-6.

Enter Cavelarro.

Leaning on a game revolving around lightning quick footwork and superb support play, the Western Suburbs Magpies No.7 scored two tries in the lead-up to half-time to make it 18-12.

Josh Bergamin extended the lead after the break before Maley got one back,but Cavelarro and Natoli iced the win with tries in the final 15 minutes for the Azzurri.

Having been part of a winning country championship campaign with Western in 2003,Maranda knows the key to success at a rep footy level is composure, something the Rams slightly lacked on Saturday.

“Our completions probably let us down, that was probably a big thing that hurt us which is probably the same thing that let us down at Narellan,” he said.“It’s something for us to work on, and probably a good opportunity to get a few debutantes in there to have a look at.”

FIRLA 34(Blake Cavelarro 3, Ethan Natoli 2, Josh Bergamin tries; Blake Cavelarro 5 goals)def WESTERN18(Dom Maley, Jacob Neill, Ben Maguire tries; Warren Williams 2, Brad James goals)

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Bathurst double at the annual junior classic

DOUBLE DELIGHT: Ben Mackey, 14, and Casey Thompson, 13, won the Bathurst Junior Classic golf tournament on Sunday. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 101616cgolfjnr2
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Bathurst achieved the double in male and female winners at the Bathurst Junior Classic golftournament on Sunday forthe first time since 2013.

Top talented golfers from around the Central West took part in the tournament and in the end it was 14-year-old Ben Mackey for the males and 13-year-old Casey Thompson for the females taking top honours.

Scott Matheson and Emma McCarthy were successful the last timethe Bathurst Golf Club achieved a double at the tournament.

Defending champions James Conranof Duntryleague and Emma McCarthy of Bathurstwere unable to defendtheir crown, paving the way for two first-time winners.

Even though the tournament is held in Bathurst, locals have struggled to dominate,with only six local winners since 2000 in the males and eight local winners since 2000 in the females.

Mackey was humble after his victory, saying it was not his best performance, but happy with the win either way.

“I did not play all that well, but in the end I got there,” Mackey said.

“Back nine I played pretty well, but front nine I struggled to keepwhat I had, but I came through in the end.”

Competition was tough on the day, with Mackey’s play partner competing with him neck-and-neck through the day, until his play partner gave away a hole at the 16th hole.

It was notMackey’s best performance in golf –he hashitlower scores in other tournaments than his 77 on Sunday – but there will be no complaints from Mackey after heknocked-off the favourite from Dubbo, Lachlan Jones, who scored 79 and finished second.

Thompson scored 95 to take home the honours in the female sectionin a tough field, edging past second-placedHannah Knight ofBathurst.

After taking home the junior classic, Thompson will be heading to Sydney next week to compete in the Australian Genesis Golf Link Cup.

Performances at the cup willhelp Thompson’s push to qualify for the final at the New South Wales Golf Club at Le Perouse inSydney in November.

Thompson is just hopeful of some good scores and a good performance at the cup.

“I just want to shoot low scores,just try my best and see how I go,” she said.

Bathurst Golf Club head professional MattBarrett said the course made for a great day of golf.

“We had visitors from Cowra, Blayney, Forbes and Dubbo,” Barrett said.

“It was great to see so many Bathurst people enter as well and they won almost all awards on the day.”

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Central prove worth early on in campaign

CONSISTENT: Ross McIntyre, playing for Central Park in the pennant division, won one and lost two games of doubles when his side faced Horsham Lawn Savage. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRIROUND two ofthe tennis this season is done and dusted.
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In the pennant division, Central Park marked its second win in as many games when the sidetravelled to Horsham Lawn.

The match was a close affair with Central Park leading sixsets to Horsham Lawn’s five after the 11thrubber.

However, the final three sets saw Central Park topplethe opposition on its home court, winning nine sets99 games to five sets 80 games.

Kalkee recorded a strong victory at home when the teamfaced off against Horsham Lawn O’Connor.

The fixture was all tied-up after the fourth set, with each team recording two wins.

But itwas a short-lived comfort forHorsham Lawn O’Connor asKalkee broke throughto secure 10 consecutive victories in the doubles fixtures.

Kalkee finished with 12 sets 113 games to Horsham Lawn O’Connor’s two sets 60 games.

The results ofSt Michael’s Horsham Tennis Club match againstDrung South were not provided.

In A Special, Central Park recorded its second victory as the away team,Haven forfeiting the match.

The forfeit sawCentral Park’s percentage skyrocketto 833.33.

Natimuk wasvictorious when ithosted Drung South.

Drung South wasleading after the fifth rubber, threesets to two, but the team wasunable to tally another set until the 11thrubber, which was also the club’sfinal win of the day.

Natimuk won 10 sets 103 gamesto Drung South’s four sets 41 games.

Telangatuk East and Homers battled through a close match, with the final two rubbers the deciding sets.

Telangatuk East started well and took a fivesets to one leadby the sixth rubber.

Homers fought back, winning fourof a possible sixsets by rubber 12.

Homers were a good chance to tie the day up before Telangatuk East won the final two sets.

Telangatuk East won nine sets 105 games to Homers’ five sets81 games.

In A Grade, Noradjuha defeated Haven nine sets 102 gamesto three sets54 games.

Kalkee forfeited its away matchto Brimpaen, while Central Park wasdefeated seven sets 75 games to five sets77 games by Horsham Lawn Tennis Club.

results from the Laharum and Quantong match werenot supplied.

Two teams havetwo wins from two matches inB Grade.Laharum wasgifted a second win by Haven Green, whichforfeited the match-up.

A close game was played out in the second match.Horsham Lawn Tennis Club was defeated by 14 games against Drung South.

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The battle to a tribute

It couldn’t have come at any better time, norin any better year.
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Fiona Plummer’s eventual induction into the Australian Eightball Hall of Fame on Saturday night may have just about tested the emotions –and lifted her spirits.

“I didn’t know,” she said, “so I was very shocked, but it was a nice surprise.”

The Launceston veteran’smind had until the past week been elsewhere.

The 48-year-oldhad spent most of the year fightingagainst breast cancer.

Plummerwas only given the all clear to resume playing six weeks out from this month’sAustralian eightball championships.

“It’s been a tough year since I was diagnosed with breast cancer back in March.So generally, I have been battling the radiation and the operation,” she said.

“Tocome out with this at the end of it, after everything I’ve put in and achieved over the years, andthen you sort of get bad, you reflect a little bit different on life.

“It’s nice to have something recognised for what you’ve done over the years.”

Tasmanian 2007 Hall-of-FamerAndrew Saltmarsh said Plummer had been a most deserving recipient.

But the honour was held off a “year or two” until it could be presented to Plummer in front of her home supporters in Launceston.

Plummer is now one of 17 members into the sport’sHall of Fame since2003, whileits sixth female is the first new inducteefor three years.

She said competing this past week against rivals she calls friends has been tough given her health scare.

“It’s been more mental rather than physical, so I was prepared, but obviously not as good as if I didn’t have it,” Plummer said.

“But mentally it has been draining, but I suppose it has given me that extra focus.”

The awards presentation night also included naming the Australian teams, as the men and women attempt to retain their 2016 World championship titles.

Hobart’sJeremy McGuire was the only Tasmanian in the men’s team.

Penguin’s Cale Barrett was selected for the national under-23 team, while Devonport’sWayne Stubbs headlined made the masters’ team after being named its player of the carnival.

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Spriggs plays waiting game with cup chance

PACKED BUNCH: The Caulfield Cup field thunders down the straight for the first time in the $3 million race on Saturday. Picture: Getty Images
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BLAKE Spriggs has the big-race bug but the Newcastle jockey will have to wait until later in the week to find out if his mountSir John Hawkwood will press on to the Melbourne Cup.

The eight-year-old stayer finished a gallant 10thbehind Jameka in the Caulfield Cup –Spriggs’ first major –on Saturday and a decision on the horse’sfuture will be made after he returns to Waratah Thoroughbreds’ headquarters in Moss Vale.

“Heis going back to the farm andwill enjoy a week in the paddock,” Spriggs said.

“I will fly back up there Wednesday and ride him. If he is showing that competitive edge again and he wants to keep going, then we will press on to the cup.

“If he is showing signs that he has had enough, then he will retire.”

Severely squeezed at the first turn, Spriggs got Sir John Hawkwood to settle down the back and followed Jameka in to the straight.

But when Nick Hall pushed the go button on the favourite, Sir John Hawkwood was left behind.

“He had his chance,” Spriggs said.

“Idid get that squeeze up the straight the first time, but once he got around the top of the track, he settled and he had a beautiful run from there.Jameka peeled out from the 700m and coasted into the race.I was able to get on her back and grab hold of her tail. But from the 500m my bloke came off the bridle, which is unlike him.Once we turned into the straight, he was running well but he was a beatenhorse.”

Spriggs said he was lucky that Sir John Hawkwood didn’t fall when crossed by Sir Isaac Newton and had a heated exchange post race with Irish jockey Colm O’Donoghue.

O’Donoghue appeared beforethe stewards who ruled that the jockey wasn’t at fault, and that his horse was over racing and uncontrollable.

“I know he didn’t get the blame for it but he showed total disregard for me and my horse,” Spriggs said. “For other jockeys to come up to me and share their concerns. I was half a length to his inside. I’m entitled to be there.I gave him a yell to let himknow I was there and he didn’t look once.Iwas so fired up, not because he cost me anything in the race. My horse could have fallen and have to be put down and I could have been in a hospital bed.”

Although still furious on Sunday, Spriggs said the exchange with O’Donoghue and attention it received had not detracted from his maiden Caulfield Cup experience.

“I am just looking forward to doing it again,” he said of Caulfield Cup ride. “Now that i have done it I want to do it every year. It is something that will stick with me forever.”

Rare visit results in a win

A trip to Wagga through floodwaters was made worthwhilefor Echuca trainer Rhys Archard on Saturday.
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Archard brought one horse to the races and left with one winner after Solas stormed home late to take out theGroup 9 Men of League Cup (2000m).

The win in the benchmark 55 handicap was the seven-year-old’s second in his last fivestarts.

He broke a nine-month drought at Echucain August and just found enough to chase down Hard Go Joat Murrumbidgee Turf Club.

Apprentice Lily Coombe looked to have stole a winning break aboard Hard Go Jo ($8)before Solas ($5) fired late.

Archard was impressed by his finish after taking his time to adjust to the NSW way of racing.

“It was his first time that way going,” Archard said.

“I wasn’t sure how we would go and it took a while to balance up in the straight.”

Forced to travel through floodwaters on the 3.5 hour trip north and come through some“hairy” moments, itwas a rare trip to Murrumbigdee Turf Club for Archard.

However,there may be more to come.

“The increased prizemoney makes it a worthwhile trip if you have the right horse in the right race,” he said.

Archard also had a presence in the second Southern District meeting on Saturday.

He finished fourth in the Paraway Pastoral Company Deniliquin Cup (1400m) with Make Mine Brandy.

She finished three lengths off Craig Conron’s Lingo and is headed for a spell.

It was a day for doubles at the Men of League raceday.

Wagga trainer Trevor Sutherland started things off by taking out the first two races.

Outanabout broke through for his win at start three after finishing second earlier in the week.

Willy White Socks then scored his first win since April in the Bidgee Region Rugby League Class 2 Handicap (1200m).

Nick Souquet was the next to get in on the double act when hepicked up back-to-back wins.

He held off the challenge of Leica Bita Magic and John Kissickto win aboard Footmark for Andrew Dale before just timing it right with Correggio.

The Steve Cunnighham-trained gelding produced a fast finish to defeat Sir Ottavioby a nose.

It was the seven-year-old’s first win in 2.5 years.

Correggio hadn’t won since defeating Wagga Gold Cup winner Trade Commissioner in a $100,000 race at Sandown in April 2014.

After his earlier win on Willy White Socks, John Kissickbrought up his double on Magic Scene for mother and son combination Barbara Joseph and Paul Jones.

Brock Ryan added to his win with Solas by taking out the last No When To Hold Em with for Neville Layt.

WELL DONE: Steve ‘Blocker’ Roach presents Brock Ryan with the trophy after taking out the Group 9 Men of League Cup on Saturday.

COMING AWAY: Solas storms past his rivals to take out the Group 9 Men of League Cup at Murrumbidgee Turf Club on Saturday. Pictures: Kieren L Tilly

DRIVING FINISH: Corrieggio just gets the better of Sir Ottavio in a close finish to the William Farrer Hotel League Of Their Own Mile on Saturday.

Nick Souquet

SUNNY DAY OUT: Cam Knox and Justine Sutton enjoy a day out during the Men of League raceday at Murrumbidgee Turf Club.

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Road spikes end 90km police chase

A man has been charged after road spikes ended a pursuit lasting 90km between Kundabung and Johns River.
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About 10.45pm on Friday, October 14, police were travelling on the Pacific Highway at Kundabung, about 40km north of Port Macquarie, when they saw a 4WD allegedly exceeding the speed limit and overtaking vehicles in a road works zone.

Officers attempted to stop the vehicle; however, when the driver didn’t pull over, a pursuit was initiated.

Police from Traffic and Highway Patrol followed the 4WD for 90km until road spikes were deployed at Johns River.

The vehicle continued for a further 5km on a deflated tyre before it stopped and the driver got out of the vehicle. A struggle ensued during which police used OC spray to subdue and arrest the 41-year-old man.

The man was taken to Taree Police Station before being taken to Manning Base Hospital for mandatory blood and urine tests.

On returning to Taree Police Station, the man was charged with not stop vehicle when directed; exceeding the speed limit by more than 30km/h; not keeping left of diving line; resisting an officer in the execution of duty, and resident three months and not obtaining NSW licence.

The man was granted conditional bail to appear at Taree Local Court on Tuesday, November 15.

Police will allege the driver reached speeds of up to 140km/h.

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Desire to keep Eagles flying over the Hunter

ELUSIVE: NSW Country Eagles inside centre Kyle Godwin during Saturday’s NRC semi-final victory in Newcastle. Picture: Jonathan Carroll.Newcastle Barabarians coach Scott Coleman believes the National Rugby Championship should continue visiting the Hunter region annually following Saturday’ssemi-final clash at No.2 Sportsground.
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An estimated 1900 people turned out to see the NSW Country Eagles advance to this weekend’s decider in Tamworth following a 50-24 victory againstthe Melbourne Rising.

In the competition’s third year it was the first finals match played in Newcastle and only the second overall after last season’s round game between the Eagles and Queensland Country.

Desire to keep Eagles flying over the Hunter TweetFacebook NSW Country Eagles v Melbourne Rising at No.2 SportsgroundPictures by Jonathan CarrollColeman reckons it should be an annual event.

“I think the NHRU should put in a bid to get a game every year,” he said.

“It’s so close for Eagles players to come here [from Sydney] and foreign teams can fly here directly.”

Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union general manager Andy Fairfull said they would bid again next year with Eagles officials pleased with the display only a week after announcing the venue.

“The NSW Country Eagles were impressed with the organisation of the event and the quality of the facility,” Fairfull said. “The condition and pace of the playing surface was also noted.”

Coleman’s side earlier defeated the Country Barbarians 65-35 in a curtain-raiser with Josh McCormack and Chris Logan both scoring multiple tries while Dylan Heins was a standout performer.

The hosts led 28-24 at half-time after Country opened with the first two converted tries.

AAP reports: ThreeNSW Country Eagles players crossed for doubles in Saturday’s 26-pointNational Rugby Championship semi-final win against Melbourne Rising in Newcastle.

Winger Reece Robinson, man-of-the-match Samuel Figg and scrumhalf Jake Gordon each scored two tries as NSW Country secured a home final.

Second-rower Rohan O’Reegan scored Country’s other try in the seven-tries-to-three romp.

But the minor premiers were forced to play catch-up, after Wallabies back Sefanaia Naivalu scored the opening try for Melbourne in the first minute.

Five minutes laterhooker Pat Leafa barged over in the corner to help Rising earn a 16-0 lead.

NSW then scored 42 unanswered points to effectively put the game beyond Melbourne, although Rising flanker Jordy Reid scored a try with 15 minutes to go to trim the margin to 18.

Hunter women’s rugby playerMollie Gray departs for New Zealand on Monday ahead of the Wallaroos’two-Test series against the Black Ferns.​PREVIEW: Barbarians curtain-raiser features 10 grand finalists

WALLABIES: NSW Country Eagles skipper welcome Australia-lined front-row

SILVERWARE: Minor premiership, Horan-Little Shield and Ben Robinson Bell

Mal calls for harder line on Thurston hits

Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga has renewed calls for superstar playmaker Johnathan Thurston to be offered better protection by referees.
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Thurston was collared early in a high tackle by Kiwis enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves in Australia’s 26-6 win in Perth on Saturday night.The Australian five-eighth was smashed soon after in a borderline tackle by Martin Taupau.

RESILIENT: Australian playmaker Johnathan Thurston cops a high shot from New Zealand hooker Issac Luke on Saturday night in Perth against New Zealand. Picture: Getty Images

North Queensland coach Paul Green has been at pains to point out questionable tactics used in targeting his premiership-winning pivot.

And Meninga has brought the issue to a head again ahead of the Four Nations starting this month.

“He is the best player in the game and he is always going to have a target on him,” Meninga said.”Every game he plays he knows he is going to cop it left, right and centre in club footy, Origin or Test footy, but he just gets up.

“That’s why he is such a champion player.More than anything else he is such a tough player.”

Former Queensland coach Meninga did question the legality, or otherwise, of tactics opposition sides employed to shut down Thurston.

“As long as it is within the legitimate rules of the game,” he said.”I think Jared’s tackle should have been put on report.He is OK, JT, but it has to be within the rules.He is as tough and resilient as they come.”

Skipper Cameron Smith said the Kangaroos were moving in the right direction under Meninga.Their victory in Perthfollowed a 16-0 defeat of the Kiwis in Newcastle in March in Meninga’s first match in charge.

“We have set a standard nowwe don’t want to go back on,” Smith said.”We have made two good steps forward.We were better than we were in Newcastle and now we have to continue to build on that.”

Greg Inglis scored two tries and was manofthematch.Valentine Holmes wasn’t far behind on his Test debut, scoring one try and setting up another.

The five-tries-to-one win before a ground-record crowd of 20,283 in Perth was the first rugby league international to be played in the western capital.

Meninga said the victory would give Australia valuable momentum into the Four Nations in Britain.

“I am very happy with the performance,” Meninga said.

“Our start was excellent and we really dominated field position. They wrestled that back and started to control the ruck better. We responded and I was really happy with that.

“Our defence was really good, but we can play better with the footy.”

Inglis, who celebratedthe birth of his daughter, Quinn Sybella, on Monday, scored a try in each half and ran164 metres.He trained with the team for the first time at Friday’s captain’s run after arriving in Perth on Thursday.

“Greg says he doesn’t need to train now,” Meninga joked.”He said he will just do the captain’s runs before each game.

“It just goes to show what a professional he is.”

PHOTOS: Mildura Show 2016

​All the fun and excitement from this year’s Mildura Show.
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PHOTOS: Mildura Show 2016 Mildura Show – Day 1.Helen Klingner with daughters Melody and Maegen Klingner, from the Barossa Valley. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Mildura Show – Day 1.Siblings Daisy, 16, and Hugh Evans, 14, with family friends Gilbert, 16, and Wilson Kassebaum, 12. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Mildura Show – Day 1.Willy Kuo and Roby Feng enjoy a day at the show. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Mildura Show – Day 1.Sela Ilai with daughter Kelela Ilai, 5, from Robinvale, on the dodgem cars. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Mildura Show – Day 1.Neighbours Chloe Dillon, 11, and Lana Borchard, take a ride on the thunderbolt. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Mildura Show – Day 1.Brothers Xavier, 11, and Izaak Conquest, 7, on the Cha Cha. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Mildura Show – Day 1.Bianca Van Steenis, with daughter Harper Scott, 1. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Mildura Show – Day 1.Des Carrigg with daughter Zoe Carrigg. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Mildura Show – Day 1.Chloe Pettigrew, 16, Angel Harrison, 14, and Brielle Luttrell, 15. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Mildura Show – Day 1.Victoria Peterson and Tegan Quinn shop for showbags. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Mildura Show – Day 1.Scott Wilkinson and Dianna Demarco, with Lilly Wilkinson, 8, Mia, 10, Alina, 7, and Lana Horvat, 12. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Horse events: Rider Izabella McIntyre of Bendigo, winner of two Grandslam Show Hack Arena awards, for the Grandslam winner in the Galloway and Grandslam winner in the Pony, pictured with her horses Izabella competed with. Picture: Louise Donges

Mildura Show – Day 2. From left, Claudia Casale, 15, Will Esposito, 14, and Maya Anderson, 15. Picture: Louise Donges

Mildura Show – Day 2. Siblings from left, Vaida Wilson, 1, Cody Wilson, 5, and Zach Wilson of Irymple. Picture: Louise Donges

Mildura Show – Day 2. Grandslam Show Hack Arena awards, for the Grandslam winner in the Showing Hack, and was also awarded Anne Marie Memorial Award – High Point Grandslam. Picture: Louise Donges

Mildura Show – Day 2. From left, Sue and Geoff Bloomfield of Mount Pleasant with their horse ‘Black and White’, who competed in show jumping. Picture: Louise Donges

Mildura Show – Day 2. Ray Carman of Horsham with his Dalmatian ‘Boofa’ who participatedin the K9 Championships. Picture: Louise Donges

Jan Kelly of Melbourne with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel ‘Phoebe’ who participated in the ‘Toy Group’ section in the K9 Championships.Picture: Louise Donges

Mildura Show – Day 2. From left, Belinda Dodson of Merbein South with her children Ava, 18 months old and Chloe, 4, and the children’s Pop Allan Anderson of Mildura. Picture: Louise Donges

Mildura and District Gem and Mineral Club Inc president Gordon Woithe cutting a gemstone. Picture: Louise Donges

Mildura Show – Day 2. Carol Treadwell of Mildura with her painting that was on display as part of the Magenta Artists group exhibition. Picture: Louise Donges

Mildura Show – Day 2. Head steward in the Preserves, Cake Decorating and Cooking Hellyn Parker with some first place cake decorating winners. (On left first in the Novelty Decorated Cake by Mardi Holland-Monsen, and on right, first for Decorated Wedding Cake by Nakarin). Picture: Louise Donges

Mildura Show – Day 2. Ladies committee member Jan Ferguson holding a home brew entry by first time entrant Terence Irvine. Picture: Louise Donges

Mildura Show – Day 2. K9 Championships entrant for the baby puppy section ‘Ruby’ with her owner Laetitia Schier, 12 of Horsham. Picture: Louise Donges

Whip industries motorbikes. Brothers Travis and Nathan Whitten.(Travis Whitten jumps over volunteers). Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Whip industries motorbikes. Brothers Travis and Nathan Whitten. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Whip industries motorbikes. Travis Whitten. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Whip industries motorbikes. Nathan Whitten. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Whip industries motorbikes. Nathan Whitten. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Whip industries motorbikes. Nathan Whitten. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Whip industries motorbikes. Brothers Nathan and Travis Whitten. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Mildura Show – Day 2.Friends and family from left, Reg Kelbie, Kristen Korndorfer, Sheena Wuttke, Matt Crawford, 16, Ashley Watkins, 13, and Daniel Crawford, all from Renmark. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Mildura Show – Day 2.From back left, Chloe Costa, Terri Tieman, Isabella Vaughan, Olivia Lemon, Jamieson Howard, Shiloh Lucey, Shaelah Webster and Monique Scullino, all 14.Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Mildura Show – Day 2.Leah Klaassen, Shania Jenkins and Rosie Paver, all 14. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Mildura Show – Day 2.Maeghan and Chris Costantino with children Samuel, 1, and Christian, 2. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Mildura Show – Day 2.Roy Bell, 16, with Callum Marshall and Laine Chant, both 17. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Mildura Show – Day 2.Zavier Hillier-Arbuckle, 6, fishing for numbers to win a prize. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Mildura Show – Day 2.Cigdem Konakci sells some fun toys for the kids. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Mildura Show.Six month old Logan Muller with his mother Stephanie Farrow of Mildura. Picture: Louise Donges

Mildura Show – Day 1. From left, friends Laura Cifra, 4, and Candice Treweek, 5 both from Mildura. Picture: Louise Donges

Mildura Show – Day 1. Sallie and Steven Armitage from Adelaide with their children Sonny, 9, and Max 5. Picture: Louise Donges

Mildura Show – Day 1. Some of the children’s artwork on display. Picture: Louise Donges

Mildura Show – Day 1. From left, Melissa McMillan, with her mother Janice McMillan, of Mildura. Picture: Louise Donges

Mildura Show – Day 1. Dean Connelly of Red Cliffs with his daughter Halle Connelly, age 4. Picture: Louise Donges

Mildura Show – Day 1. From left, John Bailey and Peter Briggs with Mildura Legacy Fleece Show winning entries. The fleeces in order from left, First for Lamb Fleece by Lyn Prior of ‘Ronbrae Station’ Broken Hill, First for Crossbred Fleece by R&M Lang of Jindalee at Millicent SA, and First for Merino Fleece by Brady Bowen of Yatpool Farm, Yatpool. Picture: Louise Donges

Mildura Show – Day 1. From left, sisters Lily Kroek, 5, and Winter Kroek, 3. Picture: Louise Donges

Mildura Show – Day 1. From left, sisters Kyahna Tortora, 11, and Sienna Tortora, 8, from Mildura with their showbags. Picture: Louise Donges

Mildura Show – Day 1. In the animal nusery is Ava Clottesy, 2, with her mother Lou Clottesy of Mildura. Picture: Louise Donges

Mildura Show – Day 1. From left, cousins Jordan Bailetti, 8, and Riley Bailetti, 8, both of Middleton SA, having fun in the animal nursery. Picture: Louise Donges

Mildura Show – Day 1. Reg and Paulette Giles of Irymple awarded a Bronze Medal from The Rose Society of Victoria for the roses entry they are holding. The arrangement was also first for Stems Floribunda section. Picture: Louise Donges

Mildura Show – Brophy Bros Circus. Warren Brophy as Brodie the clown. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

N.S.T.S.C. (school)Teacher Lisa Calkins with students Indiana Thompson, 8, and Braxton Chambers, 5.Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Mildura Show Society committee member Mark Cavallo. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Mildura Show.Elwin Bell with children Roy Bell, 16, and Charles Bell, 1. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Mildura Show – Uteznvanz Auto Show.Joe and Heather Geue from Strathalbyn with their 1965 “XP” ford falcon utility. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Mildura Show – Uteznvanz Auto Show.Mick Ziemke from Adelaide with ‘The Little Pig”. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Mildura Show – Uteznvanz Auto Show.Joanna Ziemke, 6 months, joins the show with her car ‘piglet’. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Mildura Show – Uteznvanz Auto Show.Katrina Cochrane of SA with her ute ‘Playmate’. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Mildura Show – Uteznvanz Auto Show. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Mildura Show – Day 3. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

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Spirit locks down

THE Bendigo Bank Spirit set an early-season defensive benchmark after strangling the Dandenong Rangers in their WNBL clash on Saturday night.
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Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe had 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Spirit on Saturday night. Picture: CRAIG DILKS

The Spirit gave up just 45 points to the Rangers –the equal-fifth best defensive effort in the 219-game history of the club.

The Spirit won 59-45 at the Bendigo Stadium and have now made a 2-0 start to the season.

Dandenong had no answer to the defensive pressure applied by the Spirit as Bendigo beat the Rangers at home for the 10thtime in a row.

The Rangers shot the ball at just 26 per cent from the field –18-of-68 –and had no player score in double figures.

At half-time when the Spirit led 36-20 the Rangers were a woeful 8-of-40 from the field, with only three of those shots having been from three-point range.

“Everybody knows how tough Dandenong plays and to keep any WNBL team to 45 points…the job the girls did defensively was fantastic,” Spirit coach Simon Pritchard said.

The Spirit were never headed in the contest after Kelsy Griffin nailed the first points of the game with a three.

Griffin’s shot was one of just three three-pointers made for the game as both teams struggled from long-range, combining for only 3-of-19.

Having been slow out of the blocks against Adelaide the previous week, this time it was the Spirit who set the pace, leading by as many as 19 points during the second quarter, while their advantage later grew to23 during the third term.

Canadian import Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe was a bundle of energy at both ends of the court for the Spirit, backing up her debut match double-double last week with another as she had game-highs in both points (18) and rebounds (12).

Griffin (14) was the only other player to score in double figures for the Spirit, who after struggling at the free-throw line last week shot a much-improved 9-of-12, including making their first seven shots, while they dominated the rebound count 41-28.

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Funding in roads works, says MP

Northern Victoria MP Jaclyn Symes
Nanjing Night Net

An upper houseMP’s radical idea to splice VicRoads into separate organisations for city and country areas has been dismissed by Jaclyn Symes as a “burden”.

Western Victoria MP James Purcell rose in State Parliament last week to call on the government to invest more money to fix the “terrible state” of roads in his electorate.

“VicRoads have, in my mind, failed country Victoriaand you can see that that becomes more of an issue the further you get away from Melbourne,” he said.

“The roads are unsafeand therefore tonight I urge the minister to give country Victoria a chance by splitting VicRoads into two distinct operations,being city roads and country roads.”

But Labor’s Northern Victoria MP MsSymes has defended her party’s investment in country roadimprovements.

“While governments of all persuasions are constantly looking at getting the most of their government departments and reducing costs, splitting an organisation and duplicating the roles and responsibilities would be a significant cost burden on Northern Victoria taxpayers,” she told The Border Mail.

“I am working closely withVicRoads, local councils and government ministers to ensure that appropriate funding is secured.

“The AndrewsLabor government ismakingregionalroadssaferand more efficientandthat’s why we’re investing $51.6 million for new overtaking lanesonkey arterial roadsin regionalVictoria and $340mto address known crashblackspotson more than 2500 kilometres of regionalroads.”

Western Victoria MP James Purcell

The state of country roads has become an issue in recent weeks after heavy rainfall and flooding damagedroad surfaces.

VicRoadswas set to startrepairs when the weather cleared up.

Ms Symes said the government had promised to invest$130mto replace road surfaces and pavements on criticalroutes, with 85 per cent to be spent on arterialroadsand freight routes in regional Victoria.

MrPurcell told Fairfax Media last weekhis ideawas borne out of frustration at decades of inaction over the poor state of South West roads.

“By repeating what you do, you don’t improve, so you need to change,” he said.

“It’s time we had a serious look at the way it actually operates …it isn’t necessarily about more money, it’s better value for money and to be spent on roads that it needs to be spent on.”

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

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