Best of the rest Barbarians out to cause upsets at under-20s championships

Jordan Fulivai scored the match-winning try for the Australian Barbarians on Thursday. Photo: Jay CronanThey’re the group thrown together as “the best of the rest” in a bid to end the dominance of NSW and Queensland, and Australian Barbarians coach Russell Ingram believes his side can cause havoc at the national under-20s championship.
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The Barbarians side is made up of the best players from Canberra, Victoria, Western Australia and country zones, combining their talent to take on the might of traditional powerhouses NSW and Queensland.

They passed their first test against Tonga on Thursday, with Gungahlin Eagles star Jordan Fulivai scoring a try after the siren to lift the Barbarians to a 40-36 triumph at Viking Park.

But their next challenge is against Queensland on Saturday before clashing with NSW on Monday and finishing the titles with a match against Fiji in Canberra on Wednesday.

“The boys are excited to be a part of it … it’s really set up for the Australian selectors so they can pick the best players,” Ingram said.

“By combining all of these guys, picking the eyes out of the best kids, we’ve got a pretty good side. We just lost to NSW and beat Queensland last year.

“Through Schoolboys Queensland and NSW dominate, but we put the best of the rest together and we’ve got a fairly good unit. The challenge is just pulling them together.”

Fulivai, the son of former Canberra Raiders cult hero “Prince” Albert, was called into the Barbarians squad only on Wednesday.

But the 18-year-old arrived at the perfect time to lift the Barbarians to a thrilling win against Tonga, finishing off an almost length-of-the-field build up to score the match winner.

The Barbarians team boasts 11 ACT representatives, including front-row trio Lloyd Harrison, Connal McInerney and Tyrell Lomax, who are rated as future Wallabies.

Wests junior Brode Leber will start at No.7 against Queensland, despite being just 17 years old.

“Jordan only came in when Jonah Placid was called into the Melbourne Rebels squad [to play Super Rugby] … We were a bit scrappy in game one.

“Leber’s come through the Wests juniors since he was seven years old. He’s not even 18 yet, we’ve got a support system around him so that hopefully he can develop through.

“In most of the systems, these boys are getting little opportunities to train with the elite team. It’s fantastic for their development.”

AUSTRALIAN UNDER-20s CHAMPIONSHIPS

Saturday: Australian Barbarians v Queensland at 1pm, NSW v Tonga at 3.15pm.

Monday: Australian Barbarians v NSW at 1pm, Queensland v Fiji at 3.15pm.

Wednesday: Australian Barbarians v Fiji at 1pm, NSW v Queensland at 3.15pm.

All games at Viking Park.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Friends pay tribute to Malcolm Fraser, also dubbed king of the camellias

It is a small and close community on the Mornington Peninsula which Malcolm and Tamie Fraser have called home for close to two decades.
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A community of families and friends.

The local wineries and restaurants are popular meeting places and the golf course a social hub.

Local resident and former managing director of The Age, Ranald Macdonald, often met the Frasers for dinner, a swing of the sticks and to chew over meaty conversation on topics such as foreign policy.

Mr Macdonald is effusive in his respect for Malcolm Fraser, who spent almost three decades in federal parliament, his sharp intellect and his willingness to make a point or open a discussion.

“He encouraged lively debate with really intelligent and thought-provoking opinions,” Mr Macdonald said on Friday.

“He was good company, a challenging man and someone who contributed right to the end, unlike a lot of other people who left politics.”

Mr Macdonald described Mr Fraser as “a very remarkable Australian” who challenged us all.

Malcolm Fraser was the youngest member of federal parliament when elected at the age of 25 after growing up on Nareen Station near Hamilton in the Western District.

The Melbourne Grammar and Oxford-educated Mr Fraser was a brave and sharp conversationalist.

Mr Macdonald said the enthusiasm, fascination and intellect of Mr Fraser’s argument on important national and international policy issues remained to his last days.

“We spent quite a lot of time with him … lively chatter over good food and good wine,” he said.

The flags flew at half mast at the Flinders Golf Club on Friday where the Frasers are members.

Malcolm Fraser came to golf late and enjoyed the sport, Mr Macdonald said.

“But being a tall man perhaps didn’t have the ball under control,” he said.

Mrs Fraser, also a keen golfer, helped organise an annual charity golf day at the club to raise money for the National Stroke Foundation.

It’s rumoured Tamie Fraser is a little more successful with the clubs.

“We would see Malcolm and Tamie play together fairly regularly in the afternoons,” a Flinders Golf Club regular said.

He said the couple were well liked at the club.

Mr Macdonald talks of the remarkable support Tamie provided to Malcolm and the warmth of their relationship.

“A genuine full-time love affair for over 50 years – it was a love affair right to the end,” he said.

Another of their joint loves was gardening on their 1.6-hectare Red Hill South property, Thurulgoona.

In a 2003 article Mrs Fraser described Malcolm as “king of the camellias”.

Mr Fraser even accidentally bred a new variety that was named Camellia japonica.

The former prime minister was also a car enthusiast and a keen fly fisherman, stocking trout on the Red Hill South property.

He discovered the cathartic allure of casting a fly during the pressure-filled days of federal parliament.

Today’s politicians remembered a great Victorian.

“Malcolm Fraser was a Victorian of purpose and principle – an architect of our diversity and a giant of stature, intellect and legacy,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.

“For decades, he served the people of Western Victoria. For a lifetime, he served the contest of Australian ideas. We’re all better for it.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Bookmakers cursing top two as Vancouver, Exosphere well backed in Golden Slipper

Popular pick: Money keeps flooding in for Golden Slipper hopeful Exosphere. Photo: Sylvia Liber Popular pick: Money keeps flooding in for Golden Slipper hopeful Exosphere. Photo: Sylvia Liber
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Popular pick: Money keeps flooding in for Golden Slipper hopeful Exosphere. Photo: Sylvia Liber

Popular pick: Money keeps flooding in for Golden Slipper hopeful Exosphere. Photo: Sylvia Liber

Bookmakers are dreading chart toppers Vancouver and Exosphere dominating the world’s richest two-year-old race as money continues to tumble in for the top two in betting ahead of the $3.5 million Golden Slipper.

Exosphere – the top pick of John O’Shea’s four-strong Golden Slipper hand – firmed into $4 with Ladbrokes on Friday evening as he edged ever closer to laying down the challenge to Gai Waterhouse’s unbeaten colt for favouritism.

But Vancouver has maintained his iron-clad grip as the market leader despite having to launch from the outside barrier in 16.

“The market has solidified at the moment, but Exosphere is still our worst way,” Ladbrokes’ Paul Di Cioccio said. “The favourite Vancouver hasn’t flown the way we thought it would and the Slipper is a funny race, and a few of the winners have come from way back.”

The rest of the Godolphin army – Furnaces ($14), Haptic ($16) and Ottoman ($31) – also met with support on race eve as O’Shea seeks to notch up his second and perhaps career-defining group 1 win for the operation.

Di Cioccio said Ladbrokes was bracing for Furnaces to be one of the best backed runners in the hours before the Slipper. Vancouver was only slightly easy as the $3.10 top pick.

He was a little firmer at $2.80 with the country’s largest bookmaker, Tab上海龙凤419m.au, with Exosphere ($4.20) the only other runner under double figures.

“The most popular runner [on Friday] has been the favourite [Vancouver], then Exosphere,” Tab上海龙凤419m.au’s Glenn Munsie said. “Since Tuesday’s barrier draw the punters still want to back Vancouver and they haven’t been worried about the gate.”

Waterhouse’s task of preserving Vancouver’s impeccable record was made just that tad harder after the scratching of outsider Look To The Stars with a foot abscess. Only one horse has won the Golden Slipper when starting from barrier 16.

But it didn’t matter at the call of the card at Randwick with Vancouver, shopped at $3.30, well supported alongside Waterhouse’s other runners English and Speak Fondly.

Mike Moroney’s Serenade takes her spot in the field after Look To The Stars’ scratching.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Golden Slipper preview

Vancouver: “He’s probably more like Sebring in that he’s a similar type being a very loose horse. From out there he can do what he likes – he can go forward or back. He can do anything.” – trainer Gai Waterhouse
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Headwater: “John [Hawkes] couldn’t understand why he ran like he did the other day [in the Todman Stakes] but he must have really liked what he saw on Tuesday because he rang me straight away to say I’ve got the ride. It was a confident call.” – jockey Glen Boss

Furnaces: “He has run solid placings in two key Slipper lead-ups and we have elected to add winkers to his gear. He gives the impression he is coming to a peak and has an ideal inside draw.” – trainer John O’Shea

Haptic: “An unassuming colt that has done everything asked of him and won well at both starts. He has freshened up well and a lovely soft draw should give him his chance to settle right on speed.” – trainer John O’Shea

Exosphere: “On exposed form looks our most likely candidate, he is a big imposing colt with a great attitude and from an ideal middle barrier he should get his chance to finish the race off strongly.” – trainer John O’Shea

Ready For Victory: “She’s as good a two-year-old as I’ve ridden this season. I wasn’t surprised at all when Mick [Price] wanted to go straight to the Golden Slipper and I was ready for it.” – jockey Nick Hall

Odyssey Moon: “Obviously it’s worth a lot for a colt – even if he doesn’t win, but runs well in a Slipper. We’re not going to let him hit the front too soon as we’d prefer him chasing down other horses.” – trainer Rod Northam

English: “I was very impressed with her Reisling [Stakes] win and she has a sense of timing about her. We have got a good draw and I should get the right run and as we saw at Randwick she has a great sprint.” – jockey Blake Shinn

Reemah: “She is a Blue Diamond runner-up and we are going to ride her the same in the Slipper. From the bad gate we will take our time and the harder and faster they go the better it will be for her. She will be charging late.” – trainer David Hayes

Speak Fondly: “You can’t forget about this filly. She will put herself on the speed and be in this race for a long way and shouldn’t be underestimated.” – trainer Gai Waterhouse

Fireworks: “She is a Widden Stakes winner coming with a late charge and that’s how I’ll be riding her again. I’ll let her find her feet out of the barriers and if they overdo it up front look out.” – jockey Brenton Avdulla

Haybah: “She has drawn perfectly for her in two. She will race on pace and if they go slow she will lead. She is capable of giving a good kick and at some time in the straight she will be front. I think the market has got her wrong at $61.” – trainer David Hayes

Ottoman: “This filly has shown obvious talent at her race starts to date and the team feel she has made nice improvement. She has drawn ideally to get good cover in the early stages.” – trainer John O’Shea

Lake Geneva: “She’s drawn to get a gun run and it’s hard to win a Slipper at your third [start] – I think Forensics did it – but she’s ready to go. She’ll be behind the speed and as long as she gets out cleanly that’s all that matters.” – co-trainer Michael Hawkes

Single Gaze: “She has been so honest and tough this filly and never run a bad race. I rode Chance Bye in a Golden Slipper and I honestly think she is just as good a chance as she was. We just need a bit of luck from the draw.” – jockey Kathy O’Hara

Look to the Stars: 

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Taking out the trash but too clever by half

Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Photo: Dominic LorrimerFull Moss Review reportRapes, sexual assault, drugs for favours: review findsSomeone owes someone an apology
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Is there no limit to the cynical manipulation of public information to minimise political pain?

Sadly, the late Friday release of the Abbott government’s Moss Review into sexual and other abuse issues in Australia’s outsourced immigration detention centre on Nauru suggests such conniving may have been pushed to a new low.

In political circles, the practice of dropping out unpopular or embarrassing announcements is called “taking out the trash”. The orthodoxy is that with early weekend deadlines, such releases are left off the front pages.

Obviously, this was not just any Friday either but one dominated by the death of a former prime minister. Was this a conspiracy or a stuff-up?

The review in this case is embarrassing because it has failed to validate incendiary government claims from last October that Save the Children employees had been involved in coaching detainees to manufacture sexual abuse allegations as part of a wider discrediting of government asylum-seeker policies.

The government had commissioned the report after it ordered 10 Save the Children case-workers off the island, citing intelligence that they had been involved in either fabricating stories of abuse of children and women or had otherwise engendered behaviour to bring government policy into disrepute.

Critically however, the review could not substantiate these claims, finding no conclusive evidence on which to rely.

Coming on the heels of the tawdry character assassination of the president of the Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, the timing of this report reveals Canberra’s extreme sensitivity to any criticism of its questionable human rights treatment of detainees.

It should be noted that the government strenuously denies altering the release timing to take advantage of the focus on Malcolm Fraser’s sudden death, arguing it had always planned the release for mid-afternoon on Friday.

This is hardly the most robust defence, given it would be a cynical time in any week. Besides, why not postpone given it had been sitting on the report for more than a month?

The risk of being seen to hide the review in the media maelstrom of Mr Fraser’s death should have rung alarm bells anyway, given the former Liberal’s well-known contempt for the harsh treatment of asylum seekers.

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The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.