Monthly Archives: February 2019

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Relieved Barrett finds solace in NRL win

Trent Barrett has seen his Manly side end a five-game NRL losing streak.Manly coach Trent Barrett hopes he never has to repeat what he’s endured over the past five weeks.

But if he does, then he’ll be prepared for it.

From the salary cap scandal, to the Gladstone drama, to the Jackson Hastings saga, and even hysteria over his coaching future, it’s been a tumultuous season thus far for the NRL’s youngest coach.

However, Barrett finally received some respite in the form of a 38-24 win over Brisbane on Saturday, ending a harrowing five-game losing streak that began in Gladstone.

“Words can’t describe how relieved we are and how happy I am for the players and for the footy club in general. For our fans, we needed that more than ever,” Barrett said.

Barrett was quick to exalt the leadership of his senior players, with Trbojevic brothers Jake and Tom, hooker Api Koroisau, and skipper Daly Cherry-Evans all featuring heavily in the win.

He even reserved some praise for rising talents Moses Suli and Brian Kelly.

The performance was the perfect tonic for a coach who appeared on tilt with the club after being captured meeting with his manager and lawyer earlier this month.

“I’m hoping I don’t have to go through a lot of them again. But if I ever do, I’ll be well-prepared for it. Only experience can give you that,” Barrett said.

He admitted there were some situations that he would’ve handled differently, but those lessons only came from the issues he’s experienced.

“It’s easy for everyone to sit on the outside and say you should do this or do that, but there was some situations there where you’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t,” he said.

“Everyone wants honesty. (But) sometimes when you give honesty, you get shot down for it.

“I will learn a lot from the last five weeks. It’s taken some resolve. It’s been difficult, but I’m glad we stuck it out and you’ve seen that tonight.”

Cherry-Evans, whose captaincy was questioned after revelations of an incident between him and Hastings in Gladstone that resulted in him being fined, said he had also learnt from their ordeals.

After making the finals last year, he discovered how quickly their fortunes can turn.

“We had a really good season last year and through the first eight rounds we only had two wins and all of a sudden we were in a really poor situation,” he said.

“It’s been really pleasing to see the group stick together despite what’s been written about us.”

Mac exit was not my choice: Buckingham

Lindsey Buckingham has broken his silence on his firing from Fleetwood Mac.Lindsey Buckingham has described his departure from Fleetwood Mac as “not my doing or my choice”.

The band announced in April that they would tour without the musician, who wrote and sang on some of their biggest hits, including Go Your Own Way and Tusk.

Buckingham had been a member since he joined the group in 1974 with his then-girlfriend Stevie Nicks.

During a set at a campaign fundraiser for Democratic congressional candidate Mike Levin in Los Angeles, Buckingham was filmed speaking about his firing.

In the video, which was shared on YouTube and Twitter, he said: “It’s been an interesting time on a lot of levels.

“For me, personally, probably some of you know that for the last three months I have sadly taken leave of my band of 43 years, Fleetwood Mac.

“This was not something that was really my doing or my choice.

“I think what you would say is that there were factions within the band that had lost their perspective.”

He added: ” What that did was to harm – and this is the only thing I’m really sad about, the rest of it becomes an opportunity – it harmed the 43-year legacy that we had worked so hard to build.

“That legacy was really about rising above difficulties in order to fulfil one’s higher truth and one’s higher destiny.”

Buckingham also spoke about a “loss of perspective” in Washington, saying: “The loss of perspective we see now is indeed threatening to harm the legacy that is the United States.

“In the context of that you’ve got to think of what needs to be done.

“It is not going come from the top down, it is going come from the ground up. This is why we are here.

“And so, I am most honoured and most pleased to have been asked in my own small way to help in that pushback which very, very much needs to happen in order to continue the legacy that we all have come to value.”

The group will tour this autumn with Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers’ guitarist Mike Campbell and Crowded House frontman Neil Finn.

Docker Fyfe becomes unstoppable AFL force

Nay Fyfe was unstoppable for Fremantle in their 30-point win over St Kilda in Perth.Has Fremantle skipper Nat Fyfe become impossible to stop?

That’s the question rival coaches are pondering following the star midfielder’s sizzling start to the AFL season.

Fyfe put in another best afield display in Saturday night’s 30-point win over St Kilda, tallying 36 disposals, 25 contested possessions, 13 clearances, and a goal in the 13.11 (89) to 8.11 (59) win.

Earlier this year, Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew said Fyfe had become a player near impossible to stop.

St Kilda coach Alan Richardson was thinking the same thing after watching Fyfe run riot against his team.

“When someone wins their own ball like that, that’s difficult,” Richardson said.

“And there are rules in the game where you can’t absolutely body them off.

“We tried a few blokes. We weren’t really able to curb his influence.”

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon described Fyfe’s performance as “special”.

And he’s looking forward to Fyfe receiving a stern test against Sydney duo Luke Parker and Josh Kennedy next Saturday at the SCG.

If Fyfe’s current form is anything to go by, it appears only injury or suspension can stop him winning a second Brownlow medal.

The Dockers are 4-4 after eight rounds, but it has been their off-field issues that have dominated headlines in recent weeks.

Lyon has been the person under the most pressure after being named as the Fremantle official at the centre of the sexual harassment storm engulfing the club.

The veteran coach has been backed by the club’s board to continue in his role, and he was in a reflective mood about the situation after the win over St Kilda.

Fremantle’s staff are currently undergoing training in respect to the AFL’s respect and responsibility policy.

Lyon said it was important for everyone at the club to be aware of the values that Fremantle stand for.

“As a football club we are more than the four points, so it has been a challenging week,” Lyon said.

“The president, CEO and myself spoke about what sort of footy club we want to be and how we want to go about it.

“Obviously game day is a part of it, but winning doesn’t wallpaper over everything.

“… Historically we could name a number of premiership teams and clubs that were up and about, (but) that really weren’t the full bottle on and off (the field).

“Therefore the issues being addressed are critical to every club. We are focused on that.”

Lyon said Stephen Hill (quad), Michael Walters (knee), and Nathan Wilson (back) were a chance to return against the Swans.

Rebels back as Aussie conference contender

Adam Coleman’s captaincy has been hailed by Rebels coach Dave Wessels after beating the Brumbies.Melbourne are again a serious contender for Super Rugby’s n conference after Saturday night’s incredible comeback victory.

Staring down the barrel at a sixth straight defeat, the Rebels overcame a 14-point deficit with 20 minutes remaining at GIO Stadium to bury the Brumbies 27-24.

Their fifth win of the season moved them to within a point of the top of the n table following the NSW Waratahs’ record-breaking capitulation to the Crusaders.

Melbourne will round out the season with a more friendly draw, but the automatic finals spot could be decided when they host the Waratahs on June 29.

The Rebels have failed to make the finals in their eight-season history.

Coach Dave Wessels was not getting carried away with beating the ACT team for the second time this season, but knew his side would take belief from the match.

“I think the last 30 minutes when we had our hands on the ball, we’ll take confidence out of that and we’re not too far off (our best),” Wessels said.

“When you win you’re never as good as you think you are and when you lose you’re never as bad, but there’s a lot of stuff to work on from that game.”

Wessels declared skipper Adam Coleman put in his “best week of captaincy”, setting the tone for the famous win.

The 26-year-old knew how important the result was for the Rebels’ season.

“It’s my first win here in Canberra and where I started playing so it’s pretty special to win,” Coleman said.

“Getting the win is positive, but we weren’t perfect so we’re just really pleased with how we defended.”

Vaccine rate drops for fatal infection

Older ns are being urged to get vaccinated against pneumococcal pneumonia.A decline in pneumonia vaccination rates among older ns has sparked an urgent plea for action by health professionals, who say the infection claims 2000 elderly lives each year.

While the pneumococcal pneumonia vaccination rate for children has climbed to 93 per cent, it has fallen below 50 per cent for equally vulnerable seniors, according to an article published in the Medical Journal of on Monday.

The figure should be a “wake up call” for ns aged 65 and over and their doctors, says article co-author Dr Rob Menzies, from UNSW’s Vaccine and Infection Research Lab.

GPs should take further steps to promote the one-off vaccine, with the preventable infection responsible for more than 8000 hospitalisations each year among those aged over 65, says Dr Menzies, who has been backed by Lung Foundation .

The infection causes the small air sacs of the lungs to fill with pus and fluid, making breathing painful, causing coughing and limiting oxygen intake.

It can be caused by a virus, bacteria or fungi.

“There are grandparents out there who would be horrified if they thought their grandchildren were not up to date with the vaccines but they’re not so worried about themselves,” the doctor told AAP.

“But as we age our immune systems wane, deteriorate, and infections that we’ve been resilient against for decades we slowly become vulnerable to. That’s something you don’t feel.”

The sudden nature of the infection came as a surprise to healthy and fit 79-year-old Rosemary, from Perth, who was blacked out and was rushed to hospital in an ambulance in 2014, spending five days in ICU and nine weeks in hospital.

“I was perfectly fine. I had no warning signs…I felt well. Suddenly I was on all sorts of medicine. I had a cannula in my arm and they were taking blood and pumping different medications via drips into me,” said Rosemary, who did not give her surname.

The former dancer said she wanted to speak out because people her age needed to understand the importance of that “little prick to the arm”.

Anyone who smokes, has a chronic disease or condition compromising the immune system should also vaccinate.

In addition to renewed health campaigns, Dr Menzies has called on governments to improve reporting for vaccination rates, with data scarce and often out-dated.

“Governments (need) to put systems in place to get the immunisation register functioning and supporting the pneumococcal vaccination program and produce regular data to see how we’re going,” he said.