Month: July 2019

Mack on the verge of international cricket dream after round-one ton



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ACT Meteors player Katie Mack has been selected to play in the Cricket XI to play against the n women’s team as an Ashes warm up. Photo by Karleen Minney.Katie Mack’s dream start to the WNCL season could launch her international ambitions after the ACT Meteors batter was called into a Cricket XI.
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Mack was named in an invitational side on Tuesday to play in warm-up matches when England arrives to ramp up preparations for the women’s Ashes.

Mack scored an unbeaten 113 off 125 balls on Sunday and it didn’t take long for selectors to reward her effort, calling her later in the night to offer her a stepping stone chance for her career.

The 24-year-old will play against England in two practice matches in Brisbane on October 16 and 18 before the Ashes series begins on October 22.

It will be an opportunity for Mack to show she’s ready to step up to international cricket after smashing the Queensland bowling attack at Manuka Oval.

“It was a good day on Sunday, but it was a bit unexpected because I didn’t even know these [Cricket XI] games were on,” Mack said.

“But now it’s quite exciting and I’m ready to play. I just want to test myself out … it’s always good to get more games.

“For women, there’s a lack of one-day games we get to play so this is going to add to that and will test out what I’ve been working on at a higher level.

“Playing against England, if you perform, it could lead to anywhere. But I think about that every game I play.”

Mack tinkered with her batting technique in the off-season and she got immediate results in the opening WNCL games.

She led the Meteors to an unbeaten weekend to start the season, but the team will have to wait six weeks for the next round of the WNCL competition.

Meteors recruit and South Africa captain Dane Van Niekerk has no doubt Mack will settle into international cricket after getting a front-row seat to her century.

“The potential and work ethic is there [for Mack], that’s the big thing for international cricket,” said Van Niekerk, the No. 3 ranked all-rounder in the world.

“You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t work hard it won’t take you anywhere.

“[Mack’s] fitness stood out. She ran me into the ground when I was down the other end. It’s small things like that make a champion. No doubt she will score a lot more runs.”

Cricket ACT is hoping to sell out two women’s Ashes games at Manuka Oval on November 19 and 21.

Van Niekerk wants to use the extended WNCL break to help her get back to peak fitness after battling injuries after her women’s World Cup campaign.

“We want to get cricket fit at the moment,” Van Niekerk said.

“I tore my quad and had a stress fracture in my foot. I had a six-week break, but now it’s just getting back into it 100 per cent. We came here to learn more about our game.”

REVIEWSThe Vicar of Dibley; Love’s Labour’s Lost



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The Vicar of DibleyTHEATRE REVIEWSThe Vicar of DibleyDAPA, at DAPA Theatre, HamiltonEnds October 21MY wife and I didn’t see The Vicar of Dibley television series, but the laughter and applause of audience members at this stage adaptation showed they had. We found it amusing, and at home I downloaded a couple of episodes we saw onstage. I was impressed by how the British adaptive writers and the DAPA actors and stage team recreated the characters and settings and the nature of the comedy.
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Leanne Mueller is a delight as the title character, Rev Geraldine Grainger, who is here one of the first women to become a vicar in 1990s England, with her appointment initially upsetting a staid rural community. While she is determined not to be pushed to one side by the parish church council because of her sexuality, she is very much a person of modern times, demanding that a planned week of local radio programming must contain songs by rock performers including The Carpenters, and, while initially not being prepared to take part in colourful Easter functions, joining others in wearing a bunny suit.

Mark Spencer (who also directed) is the pompous and intolerant millionaire head of the church parish council, David Horton, who is only willing to do good deals when they benefit him. A divorce that relegated him to caring for his young son has made him very demanding of the now adult Hugo (Michael Nolan), who is attracted to the female verger, Alice Tinker (Claire Thomas), but tries to keep his affection hidden from his father. The interactions between Hugo and Alice, who is a few sandwiches short of a picnic, raise smiles, as does Alice’s incomprehension of Geraldine’s amusing and pointed jokes.

Cathy Maughan, as Letitia Cropley, a caring woman who provides the snacks for the parish council meetings, has a rather eccentric creativity, with the pancakes she makes including ingredients such as liver and her putting pineapple pieces among the flowers in church decorations. Brian Lowe repeatedly raises laughs with his Jim Trott’s stuttering “no, no, no, no . . .”, even when he agrees with what is being said; Colin Campbell’s pedantic and eccentric parish council clerk, Frank Pickle, is amusingly dithering; and David Murray’s farmer, Owen Newitt, makes the man’s lack of hygiene and recurring bowel problems raise broad smiles. Mark Spencer’s direction ensures that the action transfers swiftly between three venues in and around the Dibley church.

Love’s Labour’s Lost

Love’s Labour’s LostNewcastle Theatre Company, at NTC Theatre, LambtonEnds October 21THIS adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy by a Sydney theatre company head, Damien Ryan, is certainly a crowd-pleaser in Newcastle director Richard Murray’s production. The large cast is engaging, clad in colourful Victorian garb, as a new young king of Navarre, who has sworn off women for three years while he studies, forces his three offsiders to comply with his decision.

A French princess who arrives to discuss a border issue and her trio of ladies in waiting are understandably unhappy about being banished to a tent in a paddock, so that the men won’t be tempted to break their vows. But the women amusingly show themselves to be more adept than the men at getting what they want, something that wasn’t often seen on stage in Shakespeare’s day.

Adaptor Damien Ryan’s transformation of one of the king’s men into a woman who disguises herself as a man because she is unhappy about the way women are pushed to one side is a relevant change at this time, especially as the disguised girl and one of the princess’s attendants are attracted to each other. Ryan’s changes also include the use of several classic songs to make comments on the characters and their situations.

Derek Fisher’s initially stern King Ferdinand has to put up with the sceptical remarks and mockery of Hadrian Le Goff’s assistant Biron, with Nicholas Watson’s less adept Dumain clearly pleased when he can take Biron down a peg or two. And Gabriella Chamberlain’s Longaville, the woman in disguise, has even more skill in putting Biron in his place. The initially unhappy and largely silent French women – Tegan Gow’s Princess Margot, Madeline Valentinis’ Rosaline, Annalie Hamilton’s Katherine, and Maddy Lardner’s Maria – have a wit the men don’t expect, amusingly besting them when wearing clownish masks, with the king and his helpers dressed as Russians in thick coats, but so inept that their identities are evident.

The other colourful characters include: a laugh-raising Spanish braggart, Don Armado (Michael Blaxland), whose dandy nature is reflected in his elaborate attire; Moth (Millie Chorlton), his quick-witted page; Jaquenetta (Marjorie Butcher), a bluntly worded country wench who is pursued by Don Armado and others; Costard (Stephanie MacDonald), a voracious court attendant; Holofernes (John Franks), a teacher who is snooty about his ability to tellingly use language; Lady Nathalia (Fiona Morrison), the local curate who ignores people when they note that her statements are incorrect; and Constable A. Dull (Renee Thomas), a constable who bluntly tells people he can’t understand them when they use high-faluting language.

Socceroos shock as Ange Postecoglou drops Aaron Mooy



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Tactical shift: Aaron Mooy has been moved to the bench. Photo: AAPSocceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has made the shock decision to drop Aaron Mooy from the starting lineup for ‘s World Cup Qualifier against Syria on Tuesday night.
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The only outfield player playing regularly in the English Premier League will start from the bench as part of a tactical reshuffle from Postecoglou.

It’s understood the Huddersfield Town midfielder had a very brief conversation with Postecoglou immediately after training on Monday where he was told that he was not in the starting team.

He will likely be replaced by Massimo Luongo or Jackson Irvine as one of the holding midfielders alongside captain Mark Milligan.

Tom Rogic is set to come into the starting team to play behind the striker which will likely be Tim Cahill.

Matt Leckie is set to drop from his forward role to right wing.

Postecoglou praised Rogic earlier this week.

“International football is tricky sometimes,” Postecoglou said. “It does come down to moments, and he’s [Rogic] certainly the kind of player who, in a key moment, can produce something special.

“From our perspective that’s a good weapon to have.”

Rogic’s thumping strike for Celtic in the Scottish Premier League against Ross County last month, which he added to in the Old Firm derby, is an encouraging indication the Canberra native could be the X-factor to help save ‘s World Cup fortunes.

“Tom has been pretty significant for us in recent times,” Postecoglou said. “He’s contributed with goals or assists and he’s maturing in the right way.

“From an international standpoint, it’s only really been in the last sort of 12 months that he’s come into more prominence.

“I expect him to become a more and more important player.”

with AAP

‘No excuses’: Capitals brace for road-trip hell to Townsville and back



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UC Capitals Vs Jayco Dandenong at Southern Cross Club stadium Tuggeranong. Capitals coach Paul Goriss. Photo Elesa KurtzThe Canberra Capitals will have to beat two WNBL title favourites and a hectic travel schedule to stamp themselves as genuine championship contenders this weekend.
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The Capitals will spend more time in airports and on planes than they do on the court this week when they travel 5000 kilometres for two games.

The first is a clash against the Townsville Fire in far-north Queensland on Friday night before backing up against the Melbourne Boomers in Canberra a day later.

It’s part of a hectic 14-hour travel schedule as the Capitals face their first road-trip test of a reformatted WNBL season full of double-header weekends and more travel.

It means while the Capitals are flying back home, the Boomers will already be in Canberra planning their hit-and-run mission at the National Convention Centre on Sunday.

“With the league being so short, it’s what every team has to do,” said Capitals vice-captain Kate Gaze.

“We just have to get used to it, deal with it and get on with it. It’s a great challenge for us.

“If we can beat that challenge on the road and when we travel, it will beneficial at the end of the year. It’s a brand new league this year … we’re all trying to be professional and if this is what we have to do, bring it on.”

The Capitals started their campaign with back to back wins against the Bendigo Spirit and Adelaide Lightning last weekend.

But the Fire and Boomers loom as a massive early-season test given they’re regarded as the championship favourites.

The Fire boast veteran Suzy Batkovic while the Boomers have recruited 203 centimetre star Elizabeth Cambage.

Batkovic and Cambage are set for a showdown with Canberra’s United States import, Mistie Bass.

Capitals coach Paul Goriss has adjusted his side’s training schedule to accommodate for time on the road, with the team to leave Canberra at midday on Thursday and return at 5pm on Saturday.

“We’ve got to take the mindset that there are no excuses,” Goriss said.

“Everyone is going to have to deal with the travel schedule and back to back games. It’s not ideal going up to Townsville for a game and having to come back because it such a long way to go.

“But to me there are no excuses, we march on. Our depth is one of our strengths this season, that will help with recovery time. I’m happy to throw any body out there at any point of the game.

“We’ve outscored both of our opponents so far this season with ‘depth points’ from the bench, which highlights the depth we have.”


Friday: Townsville Fire v Canberra Capitals at Townsville Stadium, 8pm.

Sunday: Canberra Capitals v Melbourne Boomers at National Convention Centre, 3pm.

Ambitious plans to revamp popular Jam Factory



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The popular, but rundown, Jam Factory restaurant and entertainment precinct in Melbourne’s South Yarra will be gutted and rebuilt as a glitzy 15-storey, $1.25 billion retail and office complex under ambitious plans put forward by owner Newmark Capital.
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The landmark site on Chapel Street near the corner of Toorak Road will be transformed into a network of laneways with shops and restaurants on the lower levels, a central public square, and seven individual office buildings housing up to 5000 workers.

The new centre’s open, central public plaza will wrap around the historic factory chimney, now enclosed by the Jam Factory building.

It will cost $450 million to construct and be finished by 2020 if Newmark’s plans get a tick of approval from local Stonnington council and residents.

South Yarra’s Forrest Hill precinct nearby has been the centre of an apartment development boom over the past decade, but other projects along Chapel Street have proved more controversial drawing opposition from local residents.

The Jam Factory became a drawcard for film buffs in the 1990s when it was revamped to include a Village Roadshow multiplex, a feature that will also be key in the new complex.

Despite multiple attempts from different owners to reshape it, the centre languished with some tenants moving out.

The most recent departure was British retail giant Topshop which opened its first n store – covering 1300 square metres – in the Jam Factory in 2011.

Newmark project director Jonathan Bradhurst said the Jam Factory’s latest revamp, the most ambitious to date, was deliberately focused on providing offices rather than more residential towers.

“What is missing here are places for people to work close to where they live,” he said.

The Jam Factory’s current configuration was “compromised”.

“We’re the only ones who have proposed a complete transformation and rebuild. We will be making a place that is suited and focused on the 21st century with knowledge workers, people who live here and shop here,” he said.

About 50,000 square metres of office space spread across seven different sized buildings with floor plates up to 4000 sq m in size are planned for the site.

A similar size space will be devoted to shops and restaurants on the lower levels while the basement will have fresh food outlets and a supermarket connected to a 1300 space carpark.

The new design was attracting potential tenants. “We already have interest from some of the bigger players,” Mr Bradhurst said.

The size of the site, nearly two hectares, will allow development and construction to be contained onsite and not spill over onto Chapel Street.

Newmark Capital, a property fund run by Simon Morris and ex-Hawthorn AFL legend Chris Langford, last year purchased the Como Centre on the corner of Toorak Road and Chapel Street in a $236.5 million deal.

The smaller Como complex includes offices, shops, a hotel and car park.