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  • admin 13:56 on 15/07/2019  

    The serious injury to Newcastle forward, Alex McKinnon, is an unfortunate consequence of the new rule prohibiting the third man in a tackle attacking the knees of a ball carrier.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Three Storm players tackled McKinnon in the match on Monday night, with one attempting to lift the 22-year-old’s leg and turn him, seeking to force him to the ground, or at least prevent him playing the ball quickly.

    McKinnon dropped his head in the tackle, meaning it was the first point of contact with the ground.

    Had there been no rule preventing the third man attacking the knees, it is likely he would have gone into the tackle around the legs, rather than join his other two partners in an unstable and potentially dangerous dance with McKinnon.

    Put crudely, even cruelly, the NRL must ask what is more crucial: protecting a player’s knees, or his spine?

    McKinnon suffers vertebrae fractures in Knights loss

    Former teammate shocked after Alex McKinnoninjury

    Storm centre backs Cameron Smith over McKinnon comments

    Blanket rules are vulnerable to unfortunate consequences, the better option being to allow the referee to punish low tackles which are dangerous and allow those which are not.

    McKinnon’s coach, Wayne Bennett, was a member of the rules committee which voted in the new rule which has achieved its purpose: faster play-the-balls.

    A distressed Bennett, who would opt for a healthy McKinnon over a thousand quick rucks, may dispute the notion that the new rule had anything to do with the injury.

    But there can be no doubt the basket of new laws has created some spectacular football and ingenious plays.

    The no time-off rule when the ball is out of play in the final five minutes has created some thrilling finishes and innovative acts.

    Storm captain Cameron Smith stab-kicked from the halfway restart after the Panthers levelled the scoreline in round two, forcing a knock-on and a scrum.

    Half Cooper Cronk edged his team ahead with a field goal from the subsequent set but the more difficult and rarely seen kick was Smith’s grass-cutter which bounced wickedly into the fumbling arms of a Penrith forward on the sideline.

    The Panthers responded with a clever short kick-off of their own, drawing a penalty for accidental offside.

    As half Peter Wallace was setting up for a long-range penalty goal, Cronk approached the referee and asked whether there was a rule against a rugby union style line-out lift to prevent the ball going over the cross-bar.

    The referee told Cronk that once the ball is kicked, it is in play.

    The half immediately positioned himself in front of the posts with the tall winger Sisa Waqa and fullback Billy Slater either side, with the object of them propelling him into the air to bat the ball forward.

    A Penrith player read their plan and was poised to race through and scoop the ball up for a try but the kick fell low and wide of the posts.

    Referees are also adjudicating the 10 metres more accurately and with greater consistency. The NRL track their positions on a grid, allowing them a half-metre margin of error.

    Rather than referees standing back 13 metres, or a thin eight metres, almost every ruck in all games played in the first three rounds has seen them stand the 10 metres required in the rule book.

    You will still hear the crowd cry “get ‘em back the 10” but it has less meaning now.

    The pocket referee and his partner also rotate more, meaning the end of the system where the referee standing at the ruck moves at the next set of six to adjudicate the 10 metres, meaning he stays with one team for extended periods.

    Coaches can no longer protest they are stuck with a referee who stands back 13 metres, while his colleague positions himself only eight metres.

    The new rule of a zero tackle on the 20-metre line following a kick going dead has had less impact.

    While teams are less inclined to kick the ball over the goal line to prevent it going to brilliant fullbacks, they are not running it on the last as much as could be expected.

    The Broncos scored all their tries against the Bulldogs from this tactic but their three are one-quarter of the 12 scored in the first three rounds from 127 runs on the last tackle.

    Sportsdata reports there were 11 tries from 126 runs at the same time last year.

    There have only been four tries from 83 zero tackle restarts, with Bennett’s Knights scoring two.

    Continue reading OPINION: Alex McKinnon incident unfortunate consequence of cannonball tackle rule
  • admin 13:56 on 15/07/2019  

    Alex McKinnon’s former St George Illawarra teammate David Gower has expressed his shock at the Newcastle back-rower’s sickening injury but says rugby league is still a safe sport.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The Parramatta prop was in the Dragons side when McKinnon scored two tries on his NRL debut against the Gold Coast in 2011.McKinnon moved to the Knights 12 months later and his career is in the balance after he sustained neck fractures at the C4 and C5 vertebrae in Monday’s loss to Melbourne.

    VIDEO: Alex McKinnon suffers vertebrae fractures in Knights loss

    Storm centre backs Cameron Smith over McKinnon comments

    OPINION: Alex McKinnon incident unfortunate consequence of cannonball tackle rule

    The back-rower was stretchered from the field at AAMI Park in a neck brace and taken to hospital after landing head first in an awkward tackle by Melbourne forwards Jesse Bromwich, his brother Kenny and Jordan McLean.

    The tackle, which happened 30 seconds before halftime, was put on report by referee Gerard Sutton but the full extent of the injury is not yet known.

    Gower said every player would have been shocked by the sight of McKinnon leaving the field in such a bad way but said there was no question of any malice from the Storm players.

    ‘‘Alex is a good young player: he’s had a good couple of years of first grade and he’s only going to get better,’’ Gower said.

    ‘‘It’s scary. It’s not a nice thing but what do you do? It’s an aspect of the game.

    We understand that when we take the field but no one intentionally goes out there to do it.

    “It’s just one of them really unfortunate awkward tackles that just went wrong.

    “But the boys, they haven’t gone in there intentionally to tip him on his head.’’

    The NRL outlawed the shoulder charge last year and outlawed third-man-in tackles below the knee this season to prevent cannonball tackles, but Gower said it would be wrong to change tackling rules further.

    ‘‘If you lift and it goes wrong, you get cited by the match review committee and, if you they find you guilty, you serve suspension,’’ he said.

    ‘‘It’s just an area in the tackle, just went wrong. You’ve got a split second. It’s just something that’s gone wrong.

    “Fingers crossed Alex is alright.

    ‘‘The danger is, if you get get rid of many tackles, you can’t tackle.

    ‘‘The rules are there. We all understand them … and I think it’s a safe game. It’s just unfortunate incidents happen every now and then.’’

    Veteran centre Willie Tonga said he was stunned at the news of McKinnon’s injury.

    ‘‘I’ve got no words for it. I’ve had my share of injuries but, when you hear something like that, it sends tingles up your spine,’’ he said.

    ‘‘I send my best wishes to him and I can only imagine what he going through at the moment.’’

    Continue reading Former teammate David Gower shocked at McKinnon injury
  • admin 13:56 on 15/07/2019  

    Melbourne centre Will Chambers has defended skipper Cameron Smith for questioning Alex McKinnon’s action in a tackle that left the Newcastle forward with a fractured neck.
    Nanjing Night Net

    McKinnon suffered the injury in Monday night’s NRL match at AAMI Park when he landed on his head in a three-man tackle by Jesse Bromwich, Kenny Bromwich and Jordan McLean.

    VIDEO:McKinnon suffers vertebrae fractures in Knights loss

    Former teammate shocked at Alex McKinnon injury

    OPINION: Alex McKinnon incident unfortaunte consequence of cannonball tackle rule

    He was carried from the field and the tacklers were put on report by referee Gerard Sutton but Smith said the 22-year-old back-rower’s actions in the tackle contributed to the injury.

    ‘‘I don’t want to see that happen to anyone in our game but, if he doesn’t duck his head, it doesn’t happen,’’ Smith told Sutton on the field.

    Asked whether such comments were ‘‘insensitive in light of the injury’’, Chambers said it was part of Smith’s role to talk with the referee during a match.

    ‘‘No … that’s his part. He obviously saw something and had a chat,’’ said Chambers.

    He said he couldn’t watch as McKinnon was put into a neck brace and stretchered from the field, with scans at a Melbourne hospital later confirming a fracture.

    The full extent of injury won’t be known for at least a few days.McKinnon could initially be heard via the referee’s microphone saying he couldn’t feel anything.

    Chambers said it was tough to see any player suffer a serious injury in a tackle.

    ‘‘I walked away last night when it happened because you hate to see people in that situation,’’ he said.

    ‘‘You don’t want to look.

    It’s a scary thought, and I stayed away from it.’’

    Chambers, a member of the Storm’s leadership group, didn’t want to be drawn on any possible penalties from the match video review panel over the tackle.

    ‘‘I haven’t spoken to them (the tacklers),’’ he said.

    ‘‘Obviously you don’t go out to do those sort of things.

    ‘‘It was an accident and we just hope that he recovers now and he’s back on the field soon.’’

    The Storm travel to Perth on Thursday ahead of their Saturday NRL clash with the Bulldogs.

    It’s believed the three players involved in the tackle will speak with the club’s welfare officer, while the club said it would also work with the Knights and the NRL in offering support and assistance to McKinnon and his family.

    Continue reading Storm centre backs Cameron Smith over McKinnon comments
  • admin 13:56 on 15/07/2019  

    Fargo stars Billy Bob Thornton.The Australian television rights to the highly anticipated television adaptation of the film Fargo have been secured by SBS.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The multicultural public broadcaster will launch the series in May, screening it within weeks of the show’s US debut.

    The updated Fargo has been produced by the creative collaboration behind the film, producers Joel and Ethan Coen.

    It stars Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Colin Hanks and Breaking Bad’s Bob Odenkirk.

    The original film was released in 1996, and was a black comedy thriller about a series of murders in a small town. It starred Frances McDormand, William H. Macy and Steve Buscemi.

    A pilot for television was filmed the following year, with a storyline that more closely mirrored the film. It starred Edie Falco and was directed by Kathy Bates but did not have the involvement of the Coen brothers.

    The US cable network FX announced its reboot in 2012, as a 10-episode “limited series”.

    This new version, produced by FX Productions and MGM Television, has been adapted by novelist/writer Noah Hawley and follows a new “true” crime case.

    SBS has built a suite of high-quality scripted drama, notably the historical drama Vikings, the US drama Masters of Sex, the critically acclaimed UK drama Skins, the Danish political drama Borgen and the Danish/Swedish crime drama The Bridge.

    “The legendary Coen brothers are synonymous with cutting edge drama, and they’ve produced a series full of their trademark black humour and unexpected plot twists,” SBS’s director of television Tony Iffland said.

    “We’ve already cemented our reputation for bringing Australian audiences the best in high quality, bold international drama series with programs like Borgen and The Killing,” Iffland said.

    “Fargo is the next step in building our reputation for offering the world’s best scripted English language dramas.”

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Continue reading SBS secures Coen brothers’ Fargo, starring Billy Bob Thornton
  • admin 13:56 on 15/07/2019  

    Marshall Islands hit by king tides earlier this month as it prepared to host a global climate meeting. Photo: B.D. YamamuraAn upcoming United Nations report on climate change has been altered after the expert review stage, with changes added that downplay the economic impacts of a warming planet, according to one of the reviewers.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Bob Ward, an expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, also said alterations to the economics chapter of the draft report sent to governments included an assessment of a paper by the chapter’s own lead co-ordinating author Richard Tol that contained at least one error.

    An added section also included a line likely to be hotly contested if it survives a final review by IPCC delegates gathered this week in Yokohama, Japan, to approve the Working Group II report: “Estimates agree on the size of the impact (small relative to economic growth) but disagree on the sign.”

    Mr Ward said disagreement over whether the sign of climate change’s economic impact is positive or negative “is patently not supported by the evidence presented”.

    Of the data assessed, only one study out of about 18 suggests there would be a significant positive impact on gross domestic product from global warming, Mr Ward told the IPCC in an email seen by Fairfax Media.

    Earlier analysis of economic costs by one of the assessed papers – by Professor Tol – also “excluded a long list of important impacts, including those relating to recreation, tourism, extreme weather, fisheries, construction, transport, energy supply and morbidity,” said Mr Ward, who is also a policy director at the London School of Economics.

    Professor Tol, who is a professor at University of Sussex in the UK, said Mr Ward’s complaints were reviewed “and found that most of them were unfounded”. One typo was identified and a dropped minus sign was re-instated. “Both errors have been corrected,” Professor Tol said.

    Climate costs

    In a paper published last year, Professor Tol stated that “the impact of a century of climate change is roughly equivalent to a year’s growth in the global economy,” and that “carbon dioxide emissions are probably a negative externality”.

    Professor Tol is a member of the academic advisory council for The Global Warming Policy Foundation, a climate change sceptic think tank founded by the UK’s Lord Lawson. The council also includes prominent Australian sceptics Bob Carter and Ian Plimer, according to its website.

    Unless resolved in the final week, a row over the contents of UN report may cast a cloud over some of its major findings, which include the prospect of widespread social dislocation of climate change and big impacts for eco-systems such as Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

    Mr Ward said the IPCC had been widely criticised after an early report in 2007 was later found to assert more rapid melting of the Himalayan glaciers than supported by the cited peer-reviewed report.

    “The IPCC is supposed to be an assessment,” Mr Ward said. “It’s not supposed to just regurgitate the information but be a critical review of it.”

    Mr Ward has also sought corrections from Professor Tol and the publisher of the original paper, Elsevier.

    Professor Tol on his blog has described Mr Ward as “Nick Stern’s attack dog” in reference to Lord Nicholas Stern who wrote the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change in 2006, and accused him of reaching “a new level of trolling”.

    Delegates in Japan will get to vote on each chapter of the report before approval.

    Stanford’s Professor Chris Field, co-chair of the Working Group II report, said the authors “did carefully review the issues” raised by Mr Ward. He said the additional material had been transferred from another chapter.

    Mr Ward’s comments “arrived outside the normal review process, but everyone in the IPCC is glad for the chance to triple-check all of the contents of the report,” he told Fairfax, adding the authors “agreed that at least one of the items [Mr Ward] identified was a small error”.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Continue reading IPCC report downplays economic impacts of climate change, reviewer says
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