Brumbies v Cheetahs

Crusaders v Reds

Canberra Stadium, Sunday 4.10pm (AEST)Last meeting: Round 3, 2012 – Brumbies 24 bt Cheetahs 23 at Canberra StadiumHead-to-head: Played 7. Brumbies 5, Cheetahs 2In Canberra: Played 4, Brumbies 4, Cheetahs 0Referee:  Glen Jackson (NZL)TV: Live, FoxSports 2TAB:Sportsbet: Brumbies $1.28, Cheetahs $3.50

Steve Samuelson writes:  The Cheetahs have never beaten the Brumbies in Canberra but came mighty close last year when they lost by a point. The likely return of halfback Nic White is a boost for the Brumbies who will play the Bulls next week should they win.

AAP writes: The Brumbies are looking to bounce back following last week’s stale 21-15 loss to the Western Force. Expect some nerves in this match. It’s the first time the Brumbies have made the finals since they won the competition in 2004, and the Cheetahs’ first ever crack at the play offs. To steady the Brumbies’ ship coach Jake White has returned veteran flanker George Smith to the starting line-up at the expense of Colby Faingaa.

The Cheetahs will be feeling nice and fresh after last week’s bye, yet they may not be the better for it, as the recent June break means both sides have played just two Super Rugby games in the seven weeks leading up to this knock-out qualifier. Both sides are heading into this match with a disappointing loss in their last two starts, yet the Brumbies are great at rebounding after a poor performance. They’ve lost back-to-back games just twice since coach Jake White took hold of the reins in 2012. The Cheetahs meanwhile will be looking to continue their domination of Australian teams. They’ve beaten the four other Australian franchises this year to take their tally to 10 wins from 12 games against Aussie opponents over the last three seasons. Yet they’ve never won in Canberra.

BRUMBIES: Jesse Mogg, Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Lealiifano, Clyde Rathbone, Matt Toomua, Nic White, Ben Mowen (capt), George Smith, Peter Kimlin, Sam Carter, Scott Fardy, Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, Scott Sio Reserves: Siliva Siliva, Ruan Smith, Fotu Auelua, Colby Faingaa, Ian Prior, Andrew Smith, Joe Tomane.

CHEETAHS: Hennie Daniller, Willie le Roux, Johann Sadie, Robert Ebersohn, Raymond Rhule, Riaan Smit, Piet van Zyl, Philip van der Walt, Lappies Labuschagne, Heinrich Brussow, Ligtoring Landman, Lodewyk de Jager, Lourens Adriaanse, Adriaan Strauss (capt), Coenie Oosthuizen. Reserves: Ryno Barnes, Trevor Nyakane, Waltie Vermeulen, Boom Prinsloo, Sarel Pretorius, Elgar Watts, Ryno Benjamin

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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Crusaders v Reds

Brumbies v Cheetahs

AMI Stadium, Christchurch, Saturday 5.35pm (AEST)Last meeting: Round 11 2012 – Crusaders 15 bt Reds 11 in ChristchurchHead-to-head: Played 19. Crusaders 13, Reds 6In Christchurch: Played 8. Crusaders 7, Reds 1Referee:  Jaco Peyper (RSA)TV: Live, FoxSports 2TAB: Crusaders $1.18, Reds $4.50

Steve Samuelson writes: The Queensland Reds have beaten all four New Zealand teams this year and can make it five with victory over the Crusaders. Under Ewen McKenzie’s reign the Reds hold a 3-1 record over the Crusaders. ‘King’ Richie McCaw plays his first game of the season for the Crusaders.

AAP writes: The Reds have rolled back big guns James Horwill and Will Genia as they attempt a first-ever finals success away from home and a rare win in Christchurch. The Wallabies leaders are among five changes to the starting team which scored a scrappy 14-12 win over NSW last weekend. Genia will direct a reshuffled backline with injuries striking down Rod Davies, Mike Harris and Anthony Faingaa, while Luke Morahan has been dumped in favour of the bustling Chris Feauai-Sautia.

The Crusaders have gained their own boost with All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw to make his return from the bench. Lock Luke Romano (ankle) and centre Tom Taylor (head knock) have overcome their own concerns to start. The Crusaders are the form team in the competition with five straight wins, boast a 15-1 record at the new AMI Stadium in the past two seasons and haven’t lost to Queensland in Christchurch since 1999. But the underdogs are confident they can repeat their 2011 final heroics in what shapes as a Test-like battle. Most heat will be on their scrum to dig in against the home side’s menacing pack.

CRUSADERS: Israel Dagg, Tom Marshall, Ryan Crotty, Tom Taylor, Zac Guildford, Dan Carter, Andy Ellis, Kieran Read (capt), Matt Todd, George Whitelock, Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Corey Flynn, Wyatt Crockett. Reserves: Ben Funnell, Joe Moody, Luke Whitelock, Richie McCaw, Willi Heinz, Tyler Bleyendaal, Adam Whitelock.

REDS: Ben Lucas, Dom Shipperley, Ben Tapuai, Jono Lance, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Quade Cooper, Will Genia, Jake Schatz, Liam Gill, Ed Quirk, James Horwill (capt), Rob Simmons, James Slipper, Saia Faingaa, Greg Holmes. Reserves: Albert Anae, Jono Owen, Ed O’Donoghue, Radike Samo, Beau Robinson, Nick Frisby, Luke Morahan.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

Origin streaker Wati Holmwood eyes World Cup

Chunky Origin streaker Wati Holmwood is now unrepentant about making a spectacle of himself in the State of Origin rugby league decider.

The 33-year-old from Nelson appeared apologetic after being arrested by police following his pitch invasion during the dying stages of the decisive third clash between New South Wales and Queensland at ANZ Stadium last night.

“I’m sorry, I apologise about what happened. Am I in trouble?” he asked as he embarked on a 10km walk home once discharging himself from hospital after reportedly being sedated.

However, Holmwood today saw nothing wrong with an intrusion that denied winners Queensland a try and embarrassed security.

“The game was a bit boring and I wanted to spice things up to be honest with you,” the Kiwi-born Holmwood told New Zealand radio.

“Robbie Farah (NSW captain) wasn’t performing so I said ‘You know what? I’ll go on the field and perform myself.”

Holmwood jumped a perimeter fence, removed his clothing to expose a fake tan, vaseline-smeared body and a unusually deceptive gait that carried him 95-metres before he lost his balance amid the players as NSW defended their line.

It is not the first time Holmwood has shed his inhibitions.

He first got noticed when streaking during the 2011 finals’ series game between the New Zealand Warriors and Wests Tigers — an indiscretion that led to a $5500 fine and exclusion from the Sydney Football Stadium.

Holmwood, presumably pleased last night’s match was reportedly screened in 97 countries, said the fines and bans were not a deterrent.

“I’m thinking about of doing it at the (soccer) World Cup (in Brazil)

“I don’t regret what has been done. No, not at all.”

Despite the exposure he has gained, Holmwood was confident he could circumvent pitch side security for a third time in Sydney.

“I can somehow sneak my way through again.”

Finding money to pay his fines could be problematic although he hoped his escapade would attract donations.

“It was a bit of entertainment for the people around the world and hopefully I can collect a little money back, help from the New Zealand public to help me pay back these fines,” he said.

Family members made light of Holmwood’s antics as they watched the dramatic conclusion to Queensland’s 12-10 victory.

“As soon as I saw the bald head and dark-coloured skin, I knew that it was him. I just laughed,” his cousin Ebony-Rose Holmwood told Fairfax Media.

“I’m not sure why he did it. We just all found it quite hilarious.’

“He’s actually a nice guy, to be honest. He’s quite mellow, the quiet one, someone you can have a nice chat to. I think that’s why it shocked us [after his first streak]. He’s not the type of person you would think to see out there.

“We always had a giggle about it after the first time, and kind of made fun of it.”

However, the NRL, police and judicial system will take a dimmer view.

Holmwood was charged with wilful and obscene exposure, and entering or remaining on a playing field without authorisation.

Police said he also would be banned from all future events at ANZ Stadium, while it is understood the NRL will impose a life-time ban on him for all rugby league matches. He also faces the standard A$5500 fine for the pitch invasion.

Holmwood, who is due to appear on August 6, is the second family member to gain global infamy.

In May his cousin Tyrone Holmwood was ridiculed after his drunken attempt to rob a Sydney takeaway restaurant ended with him suffering facial burns after a female staff member threw chilli sauce at him.

He called the police in agony and consequently faced a count of assault with intent to rob.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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OPINION: Stroke  treatment rates can be improved

THE Australian Institute of Health and Welfare stroke report released this month provides a big-picture view of the burden of stroke and contemporary management of the disease, with predictions from two decades ago now being borne out in statistics.

The impact of stroke remains high, although death rates dropped by 70per cent between 1979 and 2010. In 2009, an estimated record 375,800 Australians had suffered a stroke at some time in their lives. In 2010 there were 8300 stroke-related deaths, representing 6per cent of all deaths and equating to 23 deaths a day.

The burden of stroke in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people remains substantially higher than that seen in the non-indigenous community.

Prevalence rates are around 70per cent higher and the rate of hospitalisation for stroke is twice that of the non-indigenous population.

Death rates from stroke are 50per cent higher in the indigenous population overall and of great concern is the five-fold increase in fatalities among young indigenous sufferers.

No association was noted between living in a remote area and stroke prevalence or hospitalisation rates, however, the trend was evident in death rates comparing major cities and remote location.

There was also a link seen between socio-economic status and prevalence, hospitalisation rate and death rates.

On the positive side, statistics from both the AIHW and the National Stroke Foundation audits included in the report suggested that the care provided for stroke patients had improved over the past five to 10 years, as evidenced by a growing number of stroke care units in public hospitals, prompt and better access to diagnostic testing and the use of protocols and care pathways in acute and rehabilitative care.

The only proven effective acute drug therapy for stroke is intravenous thrombolysis, where prompt treatment can result in a complete cure for one in three people.

For every patient who responds to the drug, there’s a significant cost saving and economic benefit, not to mention lifestyle improvement.

Thrombolysis must be administered within 4½ hours of stroke onset. It is potentially an option for 30-40per cent of patients, yet it continues to be poorly implemented – only 7per cent of stroke victims are offered treatment across our major hospitals.

Where hospital emergency stroke-care systems are well organised, the thrombolysis treatment rate is as high as 25per cent, so major variation in care exists and there is considerable room for improvement.

Stroke is a complex illness to treat but I believe the limited access to thrombolysis is due in part to the lack of public awareness of the signs of acute stroke and the appropriate actions to take when symptoms are recognised.

The National Stroke Foundation has been promoting the FAST campaign since 2006, but survey data indicates that public awareness remains problematic. Most people are surprised by the speed with which stroke can hit, and everyone is shocked by the effect a stroke can have on someone’s physical and mental functioning.

FAST stands for Face, Arms, Speech and Time but we also want people to think and act fast. Has the person’s mouth dropped? Can they use their arms? Is their speech affected? Do they struggle to understand you?

If you see any of these, call 000.

According to the report, stroke mostly impacts people aged over 65, with males more prone than females. The report also confirms that around half of all stroke sufferers are left with a disability that interferes with everyday activities. Reportedly, one-third of these are under the age of 65.

There is evidence of the value of risk-factor screening and management of the modifiable factors of high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, irregular heart rhythm atrial fibrillation, diabetes, obesity and excessive alcohol drinking.

Overall, the report suggests some major improvements – in particular a reducing stroke attack rate that is limiting, at least partially, the overall burden of stroke.

There remains much work to be done with prevention strategies in risk-factor management, improvements in hospital-based acute care and the provision of thrombolysis to all eligible acute stroke patients, particularly when it comes to treatment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Professor Chris Levi is the head of Hunter Medical Research Institute’s brain and mental health research program

Stroke risk can be reduced by screening and management of blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and excessive alcohol drinking.

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LIZ LOVE EATS OUT: Made by Lesley Taylor 

ONE thing is certain; Lesley Taylor doesn’t let the grass grow under her very busy feet.

After a very eventful year which saw the closing of the one hatted Restaurant Deux in order to concentrate on the bistro style Le Petit Deux, followed by its dinner time opening as Le Petit Deux la Nuit, it was time to leave the strictly French focus behind in order to allow for more creativity and experimentation.

You can take the girl out of France but you can’t take France completely out of the girl, and what remains is the trademark impeccable technique, a sure hand when it comes to sauces, and a commitment to locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.

The space has been revamped; it’s amazing how much room has been added by merely removing the ramp at the front and relocating the entrance to the side.

NCH WEEKENDER – Liz Love restaurant review Made By Lesley Taylor 14th July 2013. picture by Ryan Osland

NCH WEEKENDER -Made By Lesley Taylor – Liz Love restaurant review 14th July 2013. picture by Ryan Osland

NCH WEEKENDER – Liz Love restaurant review Made By Lesley Taylor 14th July 2013. picture by Ryan Osland

This allows for better table spacing and greater privacy for diners, so that even with bare tables and wooden floors it’s possible to carry on a conversation even when the place is full.

I love that good bread and butter arrive almost as soon as we sit down. The service is efficient and attentive although there’s only one person on the floor. Water glasses are topped up regularly; wine by the glass is poured at the table.

One particularly French detail that has been retained is the amuse bouche; tonight it’s a tiny slice of perfectly seared tuna complemented by crisp kale, aioli, fine fennel fronds and fried capers.

Even if you are an offal denier you must try the sautéed duck hearts. These meaty little numbers are spiced with cumin and come with perfectly cooked caramelised onions, braised witlof, crunchy snow peas and piquant capers.

Then there are three silky tortellini filled with sweet blue swimmer crab waiting to be bathed in an intensely flavoured seafood bisque.

A few dots of avocado puree and a spoonful of avruga “caviar” complete a well balanced entree.

A decent slab of snapper has been quickly seared then finished in the oven. An uneven thickness meant that this was slightly overcooked one side, but there is nothing wrong with the crunchy skin nor the iodine rich clam veloute, white beans, crumbed razor clams and slivers of locally foraged crisp, green samphire.

Beef short ribs have been braised long and slow to melt in the mouth perfection, then pressed and finished in the oven, the deep, dark jus poured at the table. There’s a surprise on the top – an escargot and mushroom-filled croquette. Caramelised half baby onions, roast carrot and celeriac two ways make this a complex, richly earthy, wintery dish.

There are just three desserts; white chocolate custard with liquorice ice cream, poached pear and deep-fried meringue, dark chocolate marquise with toffee shards, berries and couli, and apple fritters.

It’s winter, so you can’t go past the fritters. A square, white plate is dominated by a bed of spiced crumbs supporting a sparkling ball of bright green toffee which shatters to reveal a tangy apple sorbet providing a suitable foil for the fritters (two battered apple wedges) and tiny cubes of almond cake and apple jelly. A quenelle of whipped cream rounds it all off.

And even better, it’s all made by Lesley Taylor.

What: Made by Lesley Taylor

Where: 27 King Street, Newcastle: 49292323

Chef/owner: Lesley Taylor

Wines: Hunter Valley, French, other Australian; 11 by the glass. BYO, $7 per bottle corkage.

Vegetarian: One entrée.

Bottom line: Entrée, main and dessert, $146 for two without drinks.

Wheelchair access: Reasonable with a couple of steps into side passage.

Do try: Sautéed duck hearts, cumin, snow peas, braised witlof, glazed onions, capers.

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