Archive for the ‘Ball Sports’ Category

Titans’ Woes Continue

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The woes of the Gold Coast Titans just continue.

It has now come to light that Titans management were only  hours away from moving their Friday night game against the Broncos to another stadium. Despite absorbing millions of dollars in sponsorships, donations, and now buy-outs by the NRL, the club continues to haemorrhage money. The threat to move the game from its home at Robina Cbus Super Stadium was yet another attempt at penny-pinching.

Negotiations between the titans and Stadiums Queensland hit a stalemate on the Tuesday before the game. Any agreements need to be finalised by this time as transport, police, catering, and a slew of other support services need to be notified in order to ready their staff.

In frantic last-minute discussions the two parties reached a short-term agreement allowing the game to proceed. But the Titans’ home ground is far from secure.

Prior to the club going into voluntary receivership in February, it was paying $2 million a year toplay 1its 12 home-games at the Robina stadium.

That, Titans management argue, is too much.

The cost of hiring the stadium is the club’s second largest cost behind the salaries of players and staff. According to management it contributed significantly to the financial struggles that saw the club into voluntary administration.

Graham Annesley, head of the Titans and Head of Club Services, Tony Carwford, are expected to thrash out a longer-term agreement with stadiums Queensland in the coming week. Upon this agreement hang the jobs of hundreds of support staff and loyalty of fans.

A spokesperson for Stadiums Queensland told reporters that one method of reducing stadium cost was to limit seating.

This was tried by Clive Palmer when he owned the now defunct Gold Coast United A-League football team. It was meant with a huge supporter backlash as fans were unable to see their team play.

Moving the team to another stadium will likewise present many loyal fans with problems of attending their match.

Considering the sponsorship, donations, and buy-out they have received, one has to wonder: What the Titans are doing with their money?

What Some Women Do to Sleep with Football Stars

Helen McCabe Image: www.theaustralian.com.au

Jesinta Campbell, 23 year-old model and fiancée of Buddy Franklin, recently gave some surprising answers when she was quizzed about domestic violence and sportsmen.

Ms Campbell was taking part in a Let’s Talk discussion with Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick and editor of the Australian Women’s Weekly Helen McCabe when she dropped her bombshell.

“With my experience of Lance,” she said, “obviously he’s such a gentleman, he’s the man that’s going to be my husband. I haven’t seen anything with him.

“But with other men I’ve definitely seen it – and the most shocking thing for me is the way you see some women, or women in general, act around these sports stars.

“I’ve seen things in clubs that would make their mothers’ skin crawl. I’ve seen girls lift skirts up and put men’s hands under their skirts.

“You see a lot,” she said, referring to the Melbourne nightclub seen. “It’s almost like they will do.

anything to have the glory of being with a footballer. How do we change that?” she asked

No one had an answer.

It’s heresy to even consider a woman’s actions (any actions) as provocative. Women’s groups have hitherto focused 100 per cent of their, and the nation’s, attention on changing the attitudes of men.

Campbell’s comments echoed sentiments espoused in the 2006 documentary Footy Chicks. The film followed a small group of women who pursued footballers as sexual conquests. It showed the extraordinary lengths, guile, and cunning used by the women for their own gratification, regardless of the often dire consequences for their prey.

Men, it seems, are the only ones held accountable for their actions.

Titans Post First 2015 Win – But Still a Long Way to Go

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The struggling Gold Coast Titans have posted their first win of the 2015 season. On the weekend they overcame a hapless Cronulla Sharks to move to 1-3 for the season.

Saved from certain extinction by the NRL, plagued by drug charges against five of its senior players, and wracked with systemic failures and a dwindling support base the Titans are playing for their survival this year.

Captain Nate Myles said, “We need to create more of a winning feeling through the team.” This as the Titans admitted their reluctance to renew Myles’ contract for 2016.

Coach Neil Henry is fighting to keep his Captain at the club. But it seems the recruiting department have other ideas.

In-form centre James Roberts has been whispered to be high on the Titans’ re-signing wish list.

The 22 year-old is attracting attention from other clubs, but says he is happy playing for the Coast.

Once considered the fastest man in the NRL, Roberts spent most of last season on the sidelines with a broken ankle. He has now played 16 consecutive matches for the sky blues and has scored a creditable 20 tries in 32 matches. Roberts says he is finding form again and is keen to put more points on the board.

Roberts was sensational against Cronulla on the weekend. He blew past defenders to score two tries – one of which involved a heart-stopping intercept in the last five minutes of the game. He also wrestled the ball away from a Cronulla attacker to put big Dave Taylor over for another.

Roberts was yet another reject picked up by the Titans for a song. Penrith cut him loose early last year and Roberts says he is keen to repay the club.

Randwick Rugby Club Trials Concussion Patch

randwick concussion patch

Randwick Rugby Club is the first Australian team to trial a new concussion patch that monitors data from head impacts and allows medical staff to make better decisions around head injury treatment and prevention.

The first grade team wore the small patches behind their ears at the opening round of the Shute Shield competition last weekend, and will continue to use it in every game from now on.

The X-patch measures G-force and rotational acceleration to monitor the force, length and location of every blow to the head. The small digital device was created in 2007 by Seattle-based X2 Biosystems for American football and was used for research by the Auckland University of Technology. This study involved examining every hit sustained by a single amateur rugby union team in New Zealand throughout the 2013 season, and was published by the American Journal of Medicine.

The research found that across a 19-match season, the premier-level team experienced 20,687 impacts to the head greater than 10g, which is approximately the impact of a light punch. That equates to a massive average of 77 impacts to the head per player-position per match.

4,452 of these impacts were “above the injury-risk limit” – and this was in the amateur rugby union league.

Wearing the X-patch, according to Dr Matt Matava of the NFL Physician Society, “has allowed us to accurately diagnose concussions immediately following an injury [6 minutes after a hit]. The software also allows up to compare the players’ injury date to their baseline in order to asses changes in mental status.”

The X-patch was adopted by London rugby union team, Saracens, in January. It has also already appeared in NFL, NHL, US Lacrosse and in the coming season will be used by all 20 major league soccer teams in the United States.

The technology is currently focused on simply monitoring head impacts and acquiring data. However, Dr Adrian Cohen of NeckSafe, said at the Randwick club season launch on Thursday: “one of the things that interested me was the role of technology and actually getting some objectivity into what is going on.”

“We can see what is going on and get a firm understanding of the things that lead to injury and what we can do,” said Dr Cohen.

Eventually, when adopted more widely, this technology could revolutionise our understanding of and ability to prevent head injuries in contact sports. It will help in particular to monitor the smaller, repetitive hits, which can do even more damage than the obvious knock out hits.


 

ANZ Netball Championship Ad Causes a Stir

Play Like a Girl. Image: www.mews.com.au

Controversy has descended upon the ANZ Netball Championships latest ad campaign.

The ‘Play Like A Girl’ campaign features a picture of netballer Sharni Layton with a shiner and bloodshot left eye. Critics argue that the ad draws eerie comparisons with domestic violence pictures – especially the recent ‘Get Your Game Face On’ by Covergirl. This campaign was run specifically to draw attention to the recent spate of high-profile US sportsmen involved in domestic violence against their partners.

Channel Nine journalist and sportswoman Sam Squiers (operator of the blog Sportette) said the ad ‘instantly’ conjured thoughts of a domestic violence campaign.

She says she understood what the executives were trying to achieve, but that they had failed miserably

“I’m constantly campaigning for women’s sports,” said Ms Squiers, “and am the first to say the athletes are tough and their game far from slow or weak.

“I urge those unfamiliar with women’s sports to watch the rugby union and league. The hits are hard, the girls are tough. Yet straight away I have a problem when I see this image. It doesn’t sell women’s sports a tough at all.

“There are other ways of conveying that message,” she continued, “without this confronting image. The game has demonstrated inspiring scenes of toughness, heroism, strength, guts and glory thought out its years.

“A bloodshot, black eye doesn’t. Do you need a black eye to prove the players are tough?”

But not everyone agrees. Liz Ellis responded saying she ‘loved it’

Writing in The Age Newspaper she said, “To draw a line between this image and domestic violence campaign is unfair to both, and suggest sadly that we live in an age when the assumption can be made that when a woman is bruised she is a victim.”

She went on to say, “I don’t think this conversation would have happened if it were a blokes sport.”

CoverGirl Get Your Game Face On. Photo: www.wjla.com

CoverGirl Get Your Game Face On. Photo: www.wjla.com

Todd Carney Wins Case for Unfair Dismissal

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It seems you get the justice you pay for.

NRL tribunal chairman Ian Callinan QC has found in favour of Todd Carney, ruling his dismissal from the Cronulla sharks was unfair.

It was found Carney was not given adequate legal opportunity to plead his case before the Cronulla Sharks board.

The ruling opens a tiny window of opportunity for Carney’s re-admission to the NRL.

Should Carney wish to pursue a return his next step would be to lodge an unfair dismissal claim with the Industrial Relations commission. This would most likely be as expensive as it will be drawn-out. The kind of case every lawyer loves.

Chairman of the Cronulla Sharks, Damian Keogh, said the club accepted the decision of the NRL appeals committee. But he was quick to add that even despite the team’s recent poor performance they had no intention of reinstating their playmaker.

“The big oversight was that someone needed to check that the process being followed was correct,” he said to The Sunday Telegraph.

“What’s important to remember here is that it’s not a question of the facts. It’s a question of the process. But the reality of the situation is the decision would likely have been the same.

“I wouldn’t’ rule out Todd Carney returning to the NRL one day. But from my point of view there has been a lot of water that has flowed under the bridge since last June.”

Carney now plays for the English Premier League team the Catalan Dragons. He is currently sidelined with broken ribs.

Manly Needs to Stem the Flow

Willie Mason. Image: www.dailytelegraph.com.au

The Parramatta Eels have posted their ultimate revenge on the Manly Sea Eagles. After nearly a decade of the Eagles poaching their best players the Eels have turned the tables.

It started with players like Will Hopoate Darcy Lussick and David Gower. More recently the Eels have been removing the spine of the club with Brad Arthur and Anthony Watmough being poached by the Silvertails’ arch rival. Now, if rumours are to be believed, the coup de grace is about to be administered to a club already on its knees.

Kieran Foran has been linked with a move to the Eels, though his signing is yet to be officially confirmed by either club.

After the recent defection of Daley Cherry-Evans to the Gold Coast Titans this news sounds the death knell to the hopes of the Manly club.

Manly fans are irate at the club for allowing the splitting up the halves pairing Cherry-Evans and Foran. The two cut a swathe through opposition teams in their years playing together.

Bu the consequences of the recent exodus are dire: If losing Cherry-Evans to the virtually imploding Titans set off warning bells, then losing Foran to arch-rivals the Eels must be a clear sign of the apocalypse.

Manly players, it seems, are willing to do anything and go anywhere to leave. Rumours of discontent with coaching staff and salaries have bubbled to the surface on occasion. But it seems the club’s woes are not limited to such personal or financial disagreements.

For all intents and purposes the once proud and strong Manly club is being treated as a sinking ship – and it is each man for himself.

Titans Set to fight Cocaine Charges

Image: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Cocaine#mediaviewer/File:Cocaine3.jpg

Gold Coast Titans’ Greg Bird and Dave Taylor entered pleas of not guilty yesterday in Southport’s Magistrates Court.

They are two of five Titans’ players caught up in the Crime and Corruption Commission’s investigation into cocaine distribution on the Gold Coast.

Karmichael Hunt (Reds rugby player) has already entered a guilty plea and been fined $4000 for possession of a banned substance.

Kalifa Faifai Loa will face charges of supplying cocaine on Tuesday.

Former Titans’ players Ashley Harrison and Joe Vickery will soon face their own charges of possession. While alleged kingpins, and ex-Rooster players, John Touma and John Tobin, are expected to face court on Wednesday.

The CCC is alleging the five Titans players had purchased the cocaine for personal use only.

Both Bird and Taylor were represented by hulking lawyer Campbell MacCallum.

MacCallum represents all five Titans players. He said Hunt’s guilty plea on Thursday would have no bearing on his client’s cases. Rather he suggested there were external factors influencing Hunt’s decision to plead guilty.

MacCallum told reporters he was meeting with the NRL integrity unit in an effort to have his clients readmitted to the player roster.

DCE Signs with Beleaguered Titans

Image: "Daly Cherry-Evans" by paddynapper - http://www.flickr.com/photos/28990363@N05/2815833098/sizes/m/in/photostream/. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Daly_Cherry-Evans.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Daly_Cherry-Evans.jpg

Manly playmaker Daly Cherry-Evans has done the unthinkable and signed with the moribund Gold Coast Titans. Whether or not the Titans will even be in the NRL next year is a pressing question. But for Manly the news has an immediate and dire impact.

But first things first:

Evans announced his departure in the locker room only minutes after Friday’s drubbing by the Eels. He will be joining the troubled Titans on a four-year deal beginning in 2016.

How the Titans – with a rollcall of players in trouble with the law, five players currently suspended pending drug charges, a litany of financial mismanagement, ever dwindling supporter base, and debts so monumental they had to be bailed out by the NRL – ever landed a marquee player like Cherry-Evans will be a mystery up there with the Mary Celeste.

In fact, for a club teetering on the brink of bankruptcy you have to wonder where the money is coming from.

For the Manly fans, players and club this is yet another blow to morale and their hopes of returning from the premiership wilderness.

Anthony Watmough, one of the more recently Manly departures, describes the club’s culture as “toxic”. Watmough, Glenn Stewart, and super-coach Des Hasler have recently left the club after ver public, very bitter disagreements.

Playmaker Kieran Foran was injured in Friday night’s game and is unlikely to return any time soon.

Furthermore, the signing of Willie Mason to the club doesn’t bode well. Mason (long regarded as the laziest man in the NRL) has underwhelmed virtually every club he has belonged to. It’s not that he lacks ability, he just seems to lack drive. Something the Sea Eagles are going to need in spades if they want to dig themselves out of the toxicity and bad news that has dogged them through the off-season.

Now, it seems, Cherry-Evans is likely to play a half-hearted season (and possibly be viewed with suspicion by his team mates – He has already been given the nickname ‘Yoko Ono’). Coach Toovey (who has never quite reached his predecessor’s ability) is going to continue to alienate his players with his abrupt and insensitive manner. And what was once the most envied playing roster in the league will continue to leak superstars.

For many it appears Manly’s season is over before it even began.

Titans Need to Stop Recruiting Other Clubs’ Throw-Aways

Greg Bird does it again. Image: www.samesame.com.au

80 to 1: That’s the odds on the Titans winning this year’s premiership. Anyone with even a passing interest in rugby league wouldn’t even waste the dollar at this rate.

Opinion is divided as to whether the Titans should even be in the competition. Investors have lost all their money, fans (what few poor tortured souls who remain) have lost all hope, and the players themselves have lost whatever pride they may once have had in their light blue jerseys.

The Titans have been preceded by six failed NRL Gold Coast clubs. The Titans themselves haven’t had a year go by when they weren’t part of some scandal – either in the boardroom or on the park. If they haven’t already used up all their lives they must be getting close.

One thing, by now, must be clear – the club’s policy of buying ‘troubled’ players on the cheap and turning them around has failed. The Titans have, since they began, been using a Moneyball selection process which, they hoped, would allow them to compete with the more well-heeled clubs.

And now (with the benefit of hindsight) we can see two conclusions to have emerged from this experiment:

  1. To the last man they have all under-performed; treating their tenure at the Titans more as a working holiday than a real job.
  2. Once a loser, always a loser. No amount of counselling, support, guidance, or incentives can change these losers. They are and will be what they always were.

These are not the type of people or players the Titans, the NRL, or the Gold Coast want.

There is one glaring difference between the Titans and, say, the Broncos: I have never seen the Titans finish a match too exhausted to move. But I can remember half a dozen games (just off the top of my head) where nearly every Bronco’s player was on his knees or back gasping in air. The Broncos take pride in their performance – win, lose, or draw.

If the Titans are serious about coming back from the grave (again) it’s time they looked for quality players, not other clubs’ throw-aways.