Raiders expecting Tigers to bring siege mentality

The Canberra Raiders are expecting Wests Tigers to come down the Hume Highway with a siege mentality after the joint venture has been embroiled in controversy.

Both teams are coming off big losses on the weekend – the Raiders going down 42-16 to Cronulla, while Penrith flogged Wests 36-2.

But the Tigers have also had to deal with the ongoing Tim Simona saga, that’s included the NRL deregistering the Wests centre for betting on matches he was involved in.

Wighton expected the saga would have unified the Tigers camp ahead of the round-three clash.

“They’ll be coming down here firing. They’ve got a competitive team and it doesn’t matter what’s going on in camp they’re still going to be strong and that’s the way we’re going to look at it – as we would be if something was going wrong in our camp,” he said.

“You stick together and I’m sure they’ll be doing that and going to come down and be ready for a good battle.”

Green Machine lock Luke Bateman agreed.

“When a lot of criticism comes out and you have your backs up against the wall sometimes it works in your favour and they play a bit better because they really want to prove a point,” he said.

“They’ll definitely be coming down here preparing for a game especially after losing on the weekend.

“No one wants to lose back-to-back. They’ll definitely be prepared to put in a massive effort, we’ll expect no less.”

He felt Wests had shown “a little bit more cohesion” so far this season given they beat South Sydney 34-18 in the opening round.

The Raiders were yet to taste victory this campaign and were licking their wounds following the big loss to the Sharks.

It makes the Wests game even more important, given the Green Machine have to travel to Queensland to face the Brisbane Broncos on a short turnaround the following week and host the top-of-the-table Parramatta Eels after that.

“We’ve got this game this weekend into a five-day turnaround against the Broncos so this is massive for us, getting the win,” Bateman said.

“It’s only early in the season, but still you’ve got to get wins on the board and losing this weekend it would put a massive [dent] not only into the start of our season but come round 26 losing this weekend could end up the difference come the back end of the year. It’s really important for us.”


Sunday: Canberra Raiders v Wests Tigers at Canberra Stadium, 4pm. Tickets available from Ticketek.

Raiders squad: 1. Jack Wighton, 2. Nick Cotric, 3. Jarrod Croker (c), 4. Joey Leilua, 5. Jordan Rapana, 6. Blake Austin, 7. Aidan Sezer, 8. Junior Paulo, 9. Josh Hodgson, 10. Shannon Boyd, 11. Josh Papalii, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. Luke Bateman. Interchange: 14. Adam Clydsdale, 15. Sia Soliola, 16. Clay Priest, 17. Dave Taylor. Reserves: 18. Jordan Turner, 19. Dunamis Lui, 20. Jeff Lima, 21. Scott Sorensen.

Tigers squad: 1. James Tedesco, 2. David Nofoaluma, 3. Kevin Naiqama, 4. Michael Chee-Kam, 5. Moses Suli, 6. Mitchell Moses, 7. Luke Brooks, 8. Aaron Woods (c), 9. Matt McIlwrick, 10. Ava Seumanufagai, 11. Sausao Sue, 12. Chris Lawrence, 13. Elijah Taylor. Interchange: 14. Tim Grant, 15. Josh Aloiai, 16. Joel Edwards, 17. Jack Littlejohn. Reserves: 18. Junior Tatola, 19. Justin Hunt, 20. Kyle Lovett, 21. Matt Ballin.

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Curlew Creek stud wins grand PD award

The grand champion Poll Dorset sash at this year’s Make Smoking History Wagin Woolorama was awarded to Curlew Creek, Gnowangerup. With the grand champion Poll Dorset exhibit were Curlew Creek stud principal Collyn Garnett (left), Gnowangerup, Brenton Addis, Curlew Creek stud, judge Randal Levett, Tipperary Poll Dorset stud, Walkaway and Shelby Garnett, Curlew Creek. The ram also took home t

THE day of judging for the British and Australasian breeds at the 2017 Make Smoking History Wagin Woolorama kicked off when the Suffolks, White Suffolks and Poll Dorsets made their way into the ring in what was an impressively large line-up of entries.

And the quality was certainly there according to judge Randal Levett, Tipperary Poll Dorset stud, Walkaway, who was in charge of crowning the best of the Poll Dorsets.

“There were a lot of hard classes to judge, with well-presented sheep from a range of studs in every category,” Mr Levett said.

As is always the case, there was plenty of choice for Mr Levett in the Poll Dorset judging, but in the end the grand champion title was won by a ram from the Garnett family’s Curlew Creek stud, Gnowangerup.

The grand champion was an April 2016-drop lamb out of a Curlew Creek ewe and sired by Dumbledee 15028.

“The Curlew Creek ram deserved to win,” Mr Levett said.

“He carries a bit more flesh, walks well, stands up nicely and has clean points.

“There’s plenty of length and muscling in the right places.”

Mr Levett said at the end of the day it was a hard choice between the champion ram and ewe.

“Really I was splitting hairs,” he said.

“Both the ram and ewe were the standouts on the day, but I had to go with the ram in the end.”

The champion ewe was an upstanding June 2016-drop Stockdale ewe, sired by Gloroy 588 and out of a Stockdale ewe.

Mr Levett gave the champion sash to the Stockdale ewe over a strong contender from Shirlee Downs in the same class.

“The champion ewe had that ideal smoothness of shoulder and good neck extension,” Mr Levett said.

“There’ll be no lambing problems out of her.

“She stands, walks and carries well which put her on top in the end.”

Last year’s grand champion Poll Dorset winner Shirlee Downs won both reserve champion ribbons in the ram and ewe judging.

The reserve champion ram was the winner of the objectively and subjectively scored class with a weight of 98 kilograms and raw scan data of 44 millimetre EMD, 8mm fat and an overall point score of 90.2 from a possible 100, while the reserve champion ewe was from the ewe under one year old showing milk teeth, where it came second to the champion ewe.

In the group classes it was all about Curlew Creek again.

The stud took top honours in the pair of ewes class over Dongadilling and Willow Park, despite Mr Levett saying the pairs were very even across the line-up and hard to split.

Curlew Creek came out on top of Dongadilling and Stockdale in the group of one ram and two ewes, with the evenness of carcase in the trio hard for the judge to go past.

The blue ribbon for the progeny group of three was also awarded to Curlew Creek over Brimfield and Dongadilling.

Mr Levett said the group was a credit to the Garnett family.

“It’s a good sign when you see a sire breeding three very even sheep,” Mr Levett said.

“The progeny groups which placed with ribbons today were all impressive in their evenness – congratulations to all.”

But Curlew couldn’t win them all, with the pair of rams first place sash going to Shirlee Downs over Elspeth and Brimfield, with a duo of stylish rams which the judge believed had enough carcase to do a lot of good things for the Poll Dorset industry.

WA College of Agriculture, Cunderdin, also got a guernsey by winning the ewe over one year old category.

Goldenover wins Ile de France rivalry

Goldenover stud principal Ray Batt, (left), Narrogin, was delighted when judge Braden Lange awarded the Ile de France champion and reserve champion sashes to two of his finest rams, the second of which is held by Western Australian College of Agriculture, Narrogin, student Zoe Dawson.NOTHING ignites a healthy dose of sibling rivalry like a competitive showing, and when it came to the Ile de France section of the judging, it was the ultimate ‘Battle of the Batt Brothers’.

Ray and Colin Batt were the only two breeders representing the Ile de France breed for the third time at the Make Smoking History Wagin Woolorama, but that didn’t diminish the excellent quality of the 19 entrants in this section.

Ray Batt presented a number of Ile de France rams and ewes from his Goldenover stud, Narrogin, while Colin Batt flew the flag for the breed from his Alcostro stud, Wagin.

The judging was once again carried out by Braden Lange, Mirovi Texel stud, Narrogin, who was impressed by the calibre of animals both studs presented.

When it came to the rams, Goldenover dominated and was awarded both champion and reserve champion for two of its burly sires.

The champion initially entered the ring in the ram under one year, showing milk teeth class, while the reserve came from the class of pairs.

Sired by a son of Australian Ile de France 6003, both rams were grandsons of embryos imported from South Africa’s top Ile de France stud, Denvor, a program that has been very successful for Goldenover.

Goldenover also won champion ewe, with Alcostro being awarded the reserve champion ewe sash, which initially won the ewe over one-year-old category.

The Goldenover champion ewe came from the ewe under one year, showing milk teeth section and was also a descendant of Australian Ile de France 6003.

It was so impressive that Mr Lange decided it was the worthy recipient of the grand champion Ile de France ribbon, defeating the champion ram with its tremendous thickness and balance.

“For me it was an easy decision, the ewe was very well-balanced and feminine which made her a worthy winner,” Mr Lange said.

“I think her structure and muscling was spot on, which is hugely important to the breed.

“The champion ram also had all the attributes I think the breed needs, in terms of being structurally correct and well-muscled, but he just lacked the refinement of the ewe.

“In all, there has been a very good showing of sheep today and the breeders should be proud of the animals they have produced and selected.”

Kaya stud awarded the best Dorper title

With the grand champion and champion Dorper ram from Kaya Dorper stud, Narrogin, were judge Kim Batten (left), Douwana Dorper stud, Yuna, Meaghan Veitch, Kaya stud, Narrogin and handler Ebony Swan.

KAYA Dorper stud, Narrogin, won top honours in the Dorper judging at the 2017 Make Smoking History Wagin Woolorama.

Judge Kim Batten, Douwana Dorper stud, Yuna, came a long way to participate in the day’s judging and the entries didn’t disappoint.

It was a ram from Kaya Dorper that finished in first place in the ram over one year class that went all the way to the top and won the purple grand champion ribbon after it caught Mr Batten’s eye the minute it entered the ring.

“He’s just a fantastic ram,” Mr Batten said.

“It is going to provide the Dorper breed with a lot of good things.

“This is the sort of sheep the breed needs – with plenty of strength, scale and quality of frame.

“He stands up well and I also liked his smoothness through the shoulders which is hard to breed into Dorpers of this scale.”

The champion ram was pitted against the champion ewe from Lynkm Springs Dorper stud, Cervantes, which came from the ewe under one-year-old class.

“She might be young but I see a lot of potential in her,” Mr Batten said.

“There is a nice depth through the body but she also maintains the length to go with it.

“She is still in the growing phase and I am confident in another 12 months, this young ewe will look fantastic with a lot to give back to the breed.”

Lynkm Springs Dorper stud principal Kim Hammarquist said the champion ewe was a March 2016-drop lamb and sired by last year’s grand champion Dorper.

The reserve champions were also from the winning studs.

Kaya Dorper took home the reserve champion ram ribbon with another quality entry from the ram over one-year-old class.

Mr Batten liked the muscling through the body of the ram in second, particularly the muscling in the legs, but said the ram on top was the clear choice.

The reserve champion ewe was the winner of the ewe over one-year-old class from Lynkm Springs.

Mr Batten said while the older ewe certainly had a good outlook, the potential of the younger ewe was hard to go past.

Have your say on possible new air routes

Rockhampton Regional councillor Neil Fisher and Barcaldine mayor Rob Chandler were among those working to get a business plan up to provide an aerial link between eastern and western parts of Queensland.More than 12,000 potential passengers are moving between eastern and western Queensland locations a year, offering plenty of new markets to air operators.

New air links between regional Queensland centres and beyond have been the subject ofmeetings in recent weeks, andCentral Queensland Airports and Aerodrome Owners Group chairman Neil Fisher hopes a business case being developed will improve the chances of ideas solidifying into new destinations.

The statistic showing the flow of traffic, currently taking placemainly on the state’s roads, by government departments, education and health service users, and private business needs, came out of investigations by the central Queensland group, which had already achieved improvements in flight scheduling and landing fees for its immediate circle of interest.

“This came out of discussions that we were losing opportunities because we didn’t have services,” Cr Fisher said.

“We thought of packaging tourism but our investigations led us into big things like health, the number of people needing check-ups, and the possible passenger numbers were quite staggering.

“To do anything about it, we need hard data for a business case.”

Regional air routes pollRegional air routes poll

Cr Fisher said councils and communities at Winton, Longreach, Barcaldine, Blackall-Tambo, and the Central Highlands had been very supportive of the development of a business case to highlight the economic value of an aerial link between Rockhampton and western Queensland.

“In terms of supply and demand, the numbers of passengers warrant services, and there are a number of airlines that have shown a real interest in providing the flights,” Cr Fisher said.

“We’re not talking jets –40 seaters could be of value.

“There is a market there and airlines are seeing that it could work in their favour, to transport people who might join the greater airline user market.”

The ultimate goal is a non-regulated route with business packages to offer.

He added that there was “enormous” enthusiasm among tourism operators in the west for the idea.

Barcaldine Regional Council Mayor, Rob Chandler said the concept of an east-west link had been on the table for nearly two decades.

“With the emergence of other reliable carriers in the market, this link could just become a reality.”

The journey between Longreach and Rockhampton is 686km and an air service would mean significant detours to Brisbane would be a thing of the past.

It could also mean school long weekends would be possible without impacting on studies.

In another sphere, the Central Highlands Development Corporation is exploring the potential demand for agribusiness and other services between Emerald and Toowoomba.

Agribusiness development coordinator, Liz Alexander said information was being gathered on potential usage statistics.

Longreach mayor Ed Warren was keen to explore all options that would link overseas tourism with western Queensland, including a direct route between Townsville and Longreach on days that would suit weekend traffic.

“If flights were on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays, we could get western people heading east for a weekend of football, while people on the coast could come west to take in our tourism attractions,” he said.

He would like to see the flights as part of a bigger tourism picture between northern Australia and other parts of the country, and said Longreach-Birdsville flights should be on the table as well.

“We need to link overseas tourism with our region, or we miss out on the bonanza,” he said, saying that Cairns, the Gold Coast and Wellcamp could all be linked to Longreach.

At present, REX Airlines operates a service between Townsville, Winton and Longreach on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Cr Warren has called on state and federal tourism bodies to be more proactive in identifying carriers, and facilitating the development of product, and said it was important for Queensland Airports Limited, the operators of the Longreach airport to sit round the table as well.

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