Titans coach calls on Cartwright to lift

Gold Coast coach Garth Brennan hopes a return to the bench will spark something in recruit Bryce Cartwright, admitting that some brutal criticism thrown his way was on the mark.

The Penrith junior has struggled in the No.6 for the past fortnight and will slot back into a more familiar bench forward role after Brennan rang the changes ahead of a date with Melbourne this Saturday.

Retired star Michael Ennis on Monday accused Cartwright of “taking the piss” and playing nowhere near NRL standard at his new club.

Brennan admitted his decision to switch the struggling 23-year-old to the halves probably didn’t help his search for form.

But he also said Ennis made some good points and it was time for the 23-year-old to respond against the defending champions without the burden of extra playmaking responsibilities.

“I don’t think it’s unfair; I’ve got a lot of respect for Michael Ennis, he’s a great judge of the game and players and I don’t think he’s too far wrong,” Brennan said.

Cartwright missed seven tackles in the weekend’s loss to Canberra in a lacklustre performance that drew a stinging critique from Ennis.

“Cartwright, boy oh boy is he struggling,” Ennis told Fox Sports’ Big League Wrap.

“He’s (Brennan) given him a lifeline and he’s taking the piss up there, Bryce. No two ways about it.

“He needs to show that he wants to be an NRL player, he’s nowhere near NRL standard.”

Brennan agreed, although he took some responsibility himself.

“Bryce needs to step up and he’s probably under-performed, but I haven’t helped him by playing him out of position,” Brennan said.

“He was doing that for the team, more so than his own personal goals.

“He’s got to wear that (criticism) and learn from that.”

Teenager Alexander Brimson will make his NRL debut alongside Ashley Taylor in the halves, with dropped five-eighth Kane Elgey’s Queensland Cup banishment to continue and out-of-sorts centre Konrad Hurrell also dropped.

Brimson has excelled at fullback and five-eighth for Tweed Heads this season, but Brennan said he had to try Cartwright in the No.6 first before blooding the 19-year-old.

Elgey, who also plays for Tweed, was among the best on ground in his only appearance since being dropped but Brennan wants to see more before handing the off-contract playmaker a recall.

“It’s not ideal; it’s our third halves combination this year but it’s about trialling and seeing what the best formula is,” he said.

“I’ve held him (Brimson) back, but I just think it’s time for him to have a crack and see what he can do.

“When I asked him if he thought he was ready he said ‘what took you so long’.”

NRL 2018: Rd 9 in 25 photos

The NRL’s round 9 in 25 photos Elijah Taylor of the Tigers (right) is sent to the sin bin during the Round 9 NRL match against the Warriors.

Martin Taupau (centre) of the Sea Eagles tackled by Jared Waerea-Hargreaves of the Roosters.

Daly Cherry-Evans (left) of the Sea Eagles reacts to referee Henry Perenara (centre).

James Tedesco (right) of the Roosters reacts after Victor Radley (centre) tackles Dylan Walker of the Sea Eagles during Round 9 NRL match between the Sydney Roosters.

Cameron Smith of the Storm at full time of the Round 9 NRL match against the St George-Illawarra Dragons.

Nelson Asofa-Solomona of the Storm tackles Gareth Widdop of the Dragons.

Euan Aitken of the Dragons scores during the Round 9 NRL match against the Melbourne Storm.

Corey Norman of the Eels tackles Matthew Prior of the Sharks.

Bevan French of the Eels drops the ball over the line.

David Fusitu’a of the Warriors collects a high ball against the Tigers.

Shaun Johnson of the Warriors.

Iosia Soliola of the Raiders reacts after scoring a try.

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak of the Panthers is thrown to the ground by Antonio Winterstein and Gavin Cooper of the Cowboys.

Johnathan Thurston of the Cowboys celebrates their win over the Panthers with team mate Jason Taumalolo.

Parramatta’s Kenny Edwards in action.

An emotional Cody Walker of the Rabbitohs celebrates with family and friends.

Shaun Kenny-Dowall of the Knights (right) celebrates with teammates after scoring a try against Souths.

Jarrod Croker of the Raiders (right) and Kevin Proctor of the Titans (left) fight for the ball.

Panthers celebrate Peter Wallace’s try during the Round 9 NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the North Queensland Cowboys.

Joe Ofahengaue of the Broncos celebrates scoring a try.

Joe Ofahengaue of the Broncos celebrates scoring a try.

Aaron Woods of the Bulldogs (centre) is tackled by Andrew McCullough of the Broncos (left) and teammate Matt Lodge.

Boyd Cordner (right) of the Roosters tackled by Dylan Walker of the Sea Eagles.

Victor Radley (right) of the Rosters during the Round 9 NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles.

Edrick Lee of the Sharks scores during the Round 9 NRL match between the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks and the Parramatta Eels.

TweetFacebook NRL 2018: Rd 8All photos: AAPThe Bulldogs’ Brett Morris probably hit the nail on the head.

“It is hard to bite your tongue sometimes and not speak openly,” Morris said.

That was after the Bulldogs lost a controversial game 22-20 against the Brisbane Broncos.

The game was locked at 20-all whenMoses Mbye was ruled to have committed a professional foul in the 80thminute.

The NRL said Pay overstepped the mark by questioning the integrity and performance of referee Gerard Sutton and video review official Steve Chiddy.

It cost the Bulldogs a five-figure fine –not to mention the two lost competition points.

More NRL:

Dogs coach slugged with $25,000 NRL fineAddo-Carr embracing his NRL high standardsLeota injury adds to Panthers NRL crisisInjured NRL star Graham eyes Origin opener RL players- (back Row) Peter Wallace – Penrith Panthers, Mitchell Pierce – Newcastle Knights, Will Hopoate – Bulldogs, Matiu Love-Henry – Warriors, Daniel Tupou – Sydney Roosters, Josh Kerr – Dragons, Kyle Laybutt – Cowboys, Matt Gillett – Brisbane Broncos, Wade Graham – Cronulla Sharks, (middle Row)-Jarrod Croker – Canberra Raiders, Nathan Brown – Parramatta Eels, Josh Reynolds – Wests Tigers, Martin Tapau – Manly Sea Eagles, Tyrell Fuimoano – Rabbitohs, Ash Taylor – Gold Coast Titans, Front Row, Josh Addo Carr – Melbourne Storm pose for photographs at the launch of the 2018 NRL Indigenous Round.

Newcastle Jets 2018: A-League says Hunter deserves to host more grand finals

NOT A ONE-OFF: Jets fans at Saturday’s grand final. Newcastle will host the grand final again next year if the Jets are the highest-placed qualifiers, but the A-League says it will change the way tickets are allocated.

A-League boss Greg O’Rourke told the Newcastle Herald on Tuesday that the Hunter deserved to host future deciders after selling out McDonald Jones Stadium five days before the game.

The selection of grand final venues is up to the discretion of the league and is based on broadcaster preferences, commercial considerations and other factors.

Saturday’s grand final, marred by a decisive malfunction inthe video-review system, was the first to be held in a regional city, and Mr O’Rourke said he would not hesitate to bring the biggest game of the year back to the Hunter.

“I really feel quite disappointed about how it ended up, the game itself, with the controversy, because it was such a great experience, such a great experience for the game,” he said on Tuesday.

“Forsure, I would. If we didn’t have the controversy over the goal, the whole thing about having a packed stadium, having the whole city behind it, the pre-game entertainment seen pretty overwhelmingly as a hit, it just would have been such a great event.

“I think also the fact that it sold out so quickly enabled people to really focus on the build-up and the game rather than the marketing to buy tickets.

“There was no need for the narrative to be,‘You’ve got to go.You’ve got to get tickets.’That was already taken care of. It left a lot of media space and the marketing dollars just to focus on the game itself and not the commercial side.All those things were really positive for us.”

But Mr O’Rourke said club members would likely be limited to buying just six tickets, instead of 10, after many missed out on seats last week.

“We would change that. We’ve never experienced such a rush. People go, ‘You should have foreseen it.’ I accept the criticism of that, but those policies were written based on fan feedback in the past.”

It is understood a total of 6500 Jets and Melbourne Victory members bought out the 20,000 pre-sale tickets. TheJets have 9201 members and Victory 26,131, although many of these areincluded in family packages and not eligible to buy pre-sale tickets.

“I think six would be a better number than 10,” Mr O’Rourke said.

“I also think we might have capped it at less than 20,000. It didn’t really leave [enough]when you think about 4000 of the tickets go to pre-committed sponsors and clubs.

“Twenty thousand probably consumed too many on day one.”

Despite the sellout, some seats at the ground were empty, especially in front of the northern hill, and both grassed hills appeared to be at less than capacity.

Mr O’Rourke said the stadium’s operators had capped the crowd at about 29,500 and the official crowd figure was 29,410. The stadium’s website says the ground has a capacity of 30,000.

“There was some tickets blocked out for a few reasons. One of them was they didn’t want to sell row A, right on the fence, because they believed those tickets were too much of a restricted view.”

He also said some of the empty seats could be attributed to “no-shows”, especially in corporate areas.

The grand final proved a winner for the WIN Network’s One channel, which drew its highest ever audience figures during the game.

The game drew an average audience of 61,196in the Newcastle television market, or 49.9 per cent of commercial share,and 89,367 across northern NSW.

OzTukka owners catch consumer trend for Chinan native foods

Natural goodness: OzTukka owners Linda Dipper and Ray Kochel. Picture: Jim KellarWhen Linda Dipper asks people stopping by her market stall if they’ve tasted native n foods before, she knows, that most of the time, their answer will be no.

“I would say about 95 per centof people I ask have never tried n natives,” says Dipper, the co-owner of n bush food company, Oz Tukka.

Linda and her partner Ray Kochel bought the Readhead-based business two years ago, and her existing passion for Indigenous foods has only blossomed since.

“I am so excited to share n natives. I cannot yell it loud enough, what this country has for too long ignored or, more than likely, not known about,” she says. “I feel it’s my job to fix that – in the Newcastle Hunter Valley area at least.”

Linda has always had green thumb. it started with flowers and then developed into a love of permaculture. It was while doing a Land and Conservation course at Tocal College that she first discovered n bush food.

“Until 10 years ago I had very little knowledge of what was in our backyard and what our Indigenous people survived on for thousands of years,” she says.

Whilst on the hunt for n bush foods online, Oz Tukka appeared.

By chance, or as Linda believes fate, a friend happened to taking guitar lessons next door to the Oz Tukka factory in Redhead. The intense aroma of roasting wattleseed piqued his interest. He soon learned it was Oz Tukka where those great smells were coming from and what’s more, the business was for sale. He phoned Dipperright away.

“The next day I had decided I was buying it, before my finance had even been approved,” she laughs.

The pairhave a collection of contacts around the country who help them source native flora:a desert plant sourcein the Northern Territory, a pepperberry sourcein Tasmania, a lemon myrtle and Macadamia contact in Lismore,an artisan salt supplierin Victoria and a Kakadu plum growerin South .

“Everything we use comes from the wild and is harvested by Indigenous communities,” Dipper says.

All the ingredients come in raw and are either roasted, ground, infused or bottled by Kochelon site at Redhead.

Oz Tukka sells spice grinders, spices and spice mixes, native infused oils, savoury and dessert dukkah and gluten free muffin mixes. Some of their most popular products include zesty lemon myrtle, roasted wattleseed with its chocolate and hazlenut notes, dried bush tomatoes, aniseed myrtle and pepperberries.

All products are preservative, gluten and additive free.

Dippersays owning Oz Tukka has opened her eyes to just how precious Indigenous knowledge is. “Not just their diet but their complex relationship with nature and knowledge of natural bush medicine. They really did get the balance right,” she says.


Tasmanian devil Tora celebrates first birthday at Devil Ark

Little devil celebrates big birthday: Tora turns one ARK: Happy Birthday Tora. Picture: Devil Ark

ARK: Happy Birthday Tora. Picture: Devil Ark

TweetFacebookTora is like most other one year olds. She runs amok, has boundless energy and is often the centre of attention. ForTora the Tasmanian devil, turning one was also cause for celebration at her home in Devil Ark.

She is one of150 devils which call the Ark in Barrington Tops home. The national breeding program setup at the Ark aims to save the species from extinction and currently holds 52 per centof the mainland Tasmanian devil insurance population.

Tora was hand raised by Devil Ark supervisor Kelly Davis and her birthday marks her move into adulthood.

“She is growing up and becoming an adult devil,” Ms Davis said.

“I know that sounds strange becoming an adult at one, but Tasmanian devils only live until they’re seven, so every moment counts.”

It is a full-time job raising a devil joey, however Ms Davis said “the sleepless nights were well worth it when you get to do something as rewarding as raising such an iconic and endangered species.”

“Sometimes I have to pinch myself to remind me that it is actually my job to raise joeys.”

Tora also plays an important role in raising awareness as one of the‘ambassador devils’.She attends many of the external events for Devil Ark including local shows, fetes and schools.

Tasmanian Devils are classified as endangered and are under threat from a transmissible called Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD).

In Tasmania, the incurable disease has reduced the wild population to less than 90 per centin some areas. DFTD continues to menace the endangered Tasmanian devil population.


Devil Ark’s bumper crop at Barrington TopsTasmanian Devil extinction threat increases, but Devil Ark offers a solution