Monthly Archives: June 2019

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Kings sucked into Game of Thrones

Kings for a …? The Southern Kings will be playing for their very survival in their maiden season in Super Rugby when they take no the Waratahs. Photo: Gallo ImagesPort Elizabeth: Super Rugby’s newest side has more than respect and legitimacy to play for; the Kings are playing for sheer survival.

As the controversial new entrants to the South African conference, having taken the place of the under-performing Lions towards the end of last year, there are no guarantees of a future beyond this season.

Despite toppling the Western Force to become the only Super Rugby debutants to win their first game, the Kings continue to track at the bottom of their conference and will face the Lions in a two-game promotion-relegation fixture if the status quo remains.

And while it is impossible to imagine the Rebels – Australia’s youngest club – having to operate under such uncertainty, it has been a daily reality for Kings staff and players who have no capacity to plan or look ahead.

Kings director of rugby Alan Solomons said early on he decided he could not worry about anything beyond the next game.

“The key thing for us is that we’ve got to do the best we can in every game, and if at the end despite that we have to play promotion-relegation that’s the hand we’ve been dealt and we have to deal with that,” he said.

“But I’m pretty confident we’ve developed as a side, and we are absolutely determined to remain in Super Rugby.”

Solomons and his head coach, the former Canterbury and Crusaders hooker Matt Sexton, made just one change to the side that succumbed to the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein last week, returning prodigal young winger Sergeal Petersen to the starting line up after the 18-year-old was cleared of a groin strain.

Captain Luke Watson, who fractured cartilage in his throat against the Force in round one, will again be on the bench, leaving intact promising back row trio Jacques Engelbrecht, Wimpie van der Walt and Cornell du Preez.

Solomons said there was no formula to the side’s success against Australian sides, and a win against the Waratahs would not come easily.

“It’s just worked that way … we were a determined lot against the Brumbies [28-28 draw] and we played very, very well in that game,” he said.

“Aganst the Rebels we didn’t play as well but I think we deserved the win, while the Force was our opening game, and it was going to take a lot to beat us. There was a lot of emotion running high.”

Solomons gave nothing away about how the Kings would tackle the Waratahs, and was coy when asked if he had pored over footage from last week’s loss to the Bulls. Stand-in captain Andries Strauss signalled he did not want his side drawn into a fight they could not win.

“They do throw the ball around a lot and play from anywhere on the field,” he said.

“Ideally we’d like to stick to our structures and not fall into the trap of throwing the ball around willy-nilly. We’re really just focusing on doing the things we want to do right, and hopefully we can get the right result.”

Kings: George Whitehead, Sergeal Petersen, Ronnie Cooke, Andries Strauss (c), Siyanda Grey, Demetri Catrakilis, Shaun Venter, Jacques Engelbrecht, Wimpie van der Walt, Cornell du Preez, Rynier Bernardo, Steve Sykes, Kevin Buys, Bandise Maku, Schalk Ferreira. Reserves: Virgile Lacombe, Grant Kemp, David Bulbring, Luke Watson, Nocola Vergallo, Waylon Muray, Siviwe Soyizwapi

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Mariners in SOS to Socceroos

Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold will ask Socceroos boss Holger Osieck for a helping hand next week as he hopes to arrange a friendly between the Mariners and the Australian national team.

After successfully qualifying for the knockout stages of the Asian Champions League, Arnold will give his players the next four days off to recover from what has been an arduous campaign, having also claimed the A-League championship last month.

But he hopes he can spike his side’s sharpness after the mini-break with a friendly against the Australian team in Gosford, where the A-League-based Socceroos will be in camp in the lead-up to next month’s decisive World Cup qualifier matches.

“I’ll have to maybe ask a favour off Football Federation Australia,” he said. “The Socceroos are in camp next week and we need a game. It’d be great if we could play the home-based Socceroos in a friendly game next Thursday just to keep us fit.”

The FFA confirmed to Fairfax Media that it would be more than possible – but it requires Osieck’s approval first.

The Socceroos will be staying in the region for a camp that crosses over with one being staged by Young Socceroos, who are beginning their preparations for the under-20 World Cup in Turkey next month.

Arnold is keen for his Mariners to have a hit-out against both sides.

“I had a brief discussion with Gary Moretti [Socceroos team manager],” he said. “They need a game, the under-20s need a game, [and] we can accommodate both teams. If they’ll help us, that’ll be fantastic because we need a game.”

The first leg of the Mariners’ round of 16 ACL match is at home on May 15 before the return leg will on May 22.

Central Coast’s opponents won’t be known until Wednesday night, when the two top teams in Group F – China’s Guangzhou Evergrande and South Korea’s Jeonbuk Motors – square off at Guangzhou’s Tianhe stadium.

Despite losing a 3-2 thriller against Urawa Red Diamonds last week, the Chinese side has a one-point advantage over Jeonbuk.

The Mariners will face whoever finishes top of the group, while the second-placed team will play Kashiwa Reysol, who disposed of the Mariners 3-0 at Bluetongue Stadium on Tuesday night.

Arnold said he was holding himself responsible for what happened in the second half, when the visitors scored all three goals.

“I take responsibility from 1-0 on because I thought the first 60 minutes we were really good value,” he said. “When they got the goal against the run of play we went man on man over the whole park. We tried to press high, and that gave them more space.

“When you give quality players more space they hurt you but we had to go for it, and we couldn’t rely on the other result. We had to try and get it back and win the game ourselves. We opened up, we gave too much space and we played into their hands.”

However, in the end, the Mariners had to rely on the other result – and it came up trumps, with Suwon Bluewings holding on for a 2-2 draw away to Guizhou Renhe.

Only last week did the Mariners’ end Suwon’s hopes of qualifying from the group stages with a stunning 1-0 win.

“We’ve got to thank Suwon but the result last week was the result that got us into the last 16,” he said. “It’s a wonderful history-making moment.”

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Slow and steady wins the race

Planting slow maturing wheat varieties earlier in the year could be the answer to maintaining high yields in Southern Australia, despite its changing climate.

Research carried out with support from the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) shows slow maturing varieties planted earlier in the year have a better chance of delivering consistently high yields for growers in the Southern Cropping Region.

Dr James Hunt, a Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) researcher, said planting slow maturing varieties as early as mid April could let crops take advantage of precious stored soil moisture.

“It turned out that those slow maturing varieties planted early could take much better advantage of that stored soil water and had quite a significant advantage over main season varieties sown in May,” he said.

“What having a slow maturing variety in a wheat program allows you to do is open up your sowing window so you can take advantage of small rainfall events when they come.

You can start taking advantage of small events when they come as far back as April, or with winter wheats, back in March.

“In the last 17 years there’s been a marked decline in April and May rainfall.

“What that has meant is that we have less sowing opportunities in that main season period.

“There hasn’t been a decline in February/March rainfall – if anything it’s increased, and you can start to use that to replace our traditional autumn break.”

The research project monitored four wheat varieties planted across trial sites at Lake Bolac and Westmere (Victoria) in the high rainfall zone, Temora and Junee (NSW) in the medium rainfall zone, and Condoblin (NSW) in the low rainfall zone, with each variety planted between mid-April and late May. Results showed slow maturing variety EGA EagleHawk sown in mid-April outstripped the mid-fast variety Lincoln sown in mid-May by 0.8 tonnes/ha at Temora in 2011 and 2.1 tonnes/ha at Junee in 2012.

Although dry conditions late in winter at Condoblin meant all varieties sown mid-April to mid-May had roughly the same yields, low density plantings benefitted the yield of slow maturing varieties Eaglehawk and Bolac, but reduced yield in fast maturing wheats sown later.

Eaglehawk sown in mid-April at 30 plants/m² out-yielded Lincoln sown in mid-May at 90 plants/m² by 0.4 tonnes/ha in 2011 and 0.6 tonnes/ha in 2012.

High density plantings of Bolac at Lake Bolac yielded 7.0 tonnes/ha, compared to a mid maturing variety at 6.6 tonnes/ha and the fast maturing variety at 6.0 tonnes/ha, planted in late April, early May and late May respectively.

Bolac and mid-maturing variety Derrimut also performed well at Westmere when planted in early May.

Dr Hunt said early planting allowed slow maturing varieties to generally use stored soil moisture far better than faster maturing wheats.

“The main reason for the yield difference is that with slow maturing varieties, when you sow them early, they’re in the ground a lot longer, so their roots are able to use stored soil moisture much more efficiently,” he said. “They also lose less water to evaporation because they cover the soil surface faster because they’re developing at a time when the soil surface is warm and the air’s warm.

“They also have a longer stem elongation phase, which is when grain number is determined, so they grow a lot during that time and set a very large grain number, and thus yield.”

o CSIRO researcher, Dr James Hunt.

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Better understanding our schools

INDONESIAN VISIT: Education Secretary of Lutheran World Federation Ridwin Purba, Navigator College principal Kaye Mathwin-Cox and Gereha Kristen Protestan Simalungan (GKPS) school principal Jintan Saraghi at the college this week.TWO Indonesian education representatives visited Port Lincoln this week to better understand how local schools work.

Lutheran World Federation education secretary Ridwin Purba and Gereha Kristen Protestan Simalungan (GKPS) school principal Jintan Saraghi spent the week at Navigator College to see how they could better understand the way students are taught and mirror management systems at the school.

Mr Purba said the visit was to observe and take practises back to Indonesia to use and better schools in the country.

“We will take what is useful back … this might mean a system of management of how to model a school,” he said.

“Things are really different in Indonesia.”

Mr Purba said he would also observe teaching practises and also the lutheran way of the school.

Navigator College principal Kaye Mathwin-Cox said the visit was a great opportunity for the school as well as enhance the partnership between the college and GKPS.

She said there was as much the college could learn from GKPS as their Indonesian counterparts could learn off them.

“When we went to Indonesia last year, it was their way of life to respect and honour their families,” she said.

“Everything is about the family bond.”

Mrs Mathwin-Cox said the 10 students that participated in the school’s trip to Indonesia last year came home with a different perspective that could be carried over to school life.

“With a new understanding, they found in Indonesia, because they have less then we have, they appreciate what they get.”

The school hosted a cultural experience on Tuesday night for students and parents, and an assembly yesterday also highlighted Indonesian culture with Mr Purba and Mr Saraghi conducting the morning chapel.

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No 1 for graphite

NO 1: Lincoln Minerals says the region is the number one graphite region in Australia.THERE is little doubt Eyre Peninsula has become the number one graphite province in Australia, according to Lincoln Minerals.

Addressing the second day of the Paydirt 2013 South Australian Resources and Energy Investment Conference at the Adelaide Convention Centre yesterday, Lincoln’s managing director Dr John Parker said the emerging graphite industry on Eyre Peninsula should have every confidence of going from strength to strength with the potential for numerous projects to move from possibility to probability.

“With the round of fresh results coming this year from the three or four graphite focused explorers on the peninsula, it is now reasonable to expect that there are going to be several world class graphite deposits identified in the region,” Dr Parker said.

Dr Parker said there was an exploration target of between 7 and 20 million tonnes of graphite at Lincoln’s wholly-owned Kookaburra Gully project (near Koppio) alone, and there were other significant electromagnetic anomalies in the nearby vicinity.

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“Many of the emerging targets are high grade graphite, and that positions Eyre Peninsula through deposits such as Kookaburra Gully in the top 10 graphite resources globally.”

Lincoln has defined an indicated and inferred resource of 2.25 million tonnes at Kookaburra Gully, has completed scoping studies across the project, and is pursuing the establishment of a $2 million pilot plant on site by early next year to provide processed graphite samples for sampling and testing by potential international customers.

It will be undertaking further drilling later in 2013 on the Kookaburra Gully Extended project with the aim of delivering a maiden resource, with similar work on the historic Koppio graphite mine near Kookaburra Gully to update by early 2014 the historic resource estimate of 57,000 tonnes of contained graphite.

The scoping study estimated a processing plant could be constructed and commissioned on site at Kookaburra Gully at a capital cost of around $38 million.

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