NRL: Dugan discipline delivers results

Primed: Dragons fullback Josh Dugan said the game against Penrith was crucial. Picture: Chris LaneDUGAN has never played in a final series for St George Illawarra Dragons.
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He joined in mid-2013 after being sacked by Canberra Raiders, along with Blake Ferguson, now with the Sydney Roosters, for disciplinary problems.

But those days are behind him.

Speak with people at the club and they relate stories of a Dugan who is a changed man, mellowed and now a leader.

He sets the standards at training.

The NSW State of Origin fullback broke into international rugby league this year as a Kangaroos winger in the Anzac Test.

At 25, with 49 career tries and 116 games behind him (70 with Canberra, and 46 at the Dragons), Dugan is a key man in coach Paul McGregor’s armoury.

The Dragons are eighth on 24 points and walking a finals tightrope with three rounds left.

The finals charge starts tonight at 7.45 pm at WIN Stadium, Wollongong against Penrith.

Then it’s the Gold Coast Titans at Robina on Sunday, August 30, followed by the round 26 clash against Wests Tigers on Saturday, September 5, at ANZ Stadium.

“We probably have to win all three games to make the finals,” Dugan said.

“We could probably drop one game but ideally we want to win all three games.

“We are not getting too far ahead of ourselves, we are taking it one game at a time.”

Dugan said the effort was there in the 32-6 loss against Broncos on Friday night in Brisbane.

“It was disappointing losing to Brisbane. But we now have to prepare well to play Penrith.”

Dugan said with halfback Benji Marshall back, he missed Friday’s game with a hamstring tear, is a boost.

“Benji and Gaz [Gareth Widdop] play well together in attack,” he said.

The power running fullback loves to roam around the field and aims his runs down the right hand side off the field swooping on Marshall or Widdop passes.

In attack, Dugan acts like an extra centre.

Dragons second-rower Jack de Belin deputised at halfback for Marshall in Brisbane.

Though he defended well against the Broncos forwards in the midfield, de Belin isn’t a playmaker or ball player for outside supports.

De Belin starts from the interchange bench Thursday night.

WIN SOME, LOSE SOME

2016 gains: Kurt Mann (Melbourne Storm), Siliva Havili (New Zealand Warriors), Mose Masoe (St Helens).

2016 losses: Dan Hunt (retirement), Trent Merrin (Penrith Panthers), Eto Nabuli (rugby union), Charly Runciman (Widnes Vikings).

Dragons winger/centre Nathan Green, 23, has signed with Manly for the 2016 season.

DRAGONS

Josh Dugan, Dylan Farrell, Euan Aitken, Peter Mata’utia, Justin Hunt, Gareth Widdop, Benji Marshall, Leeson Ah Mau, Mitch Rein, Mike Cooper, Tyson Frizell, Joel Thompson, Trent Merrin, Interchange: Craig Garvey, Ben Creagh (c), Jake Marketo, Jack de Belin, Mark Ioane (one to be omitted).

Are you behind the Dragons tonight?

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Pro-am at ‘Royal’ Hurstville

Teeing off: Wayne Riley (front), Hurstville mayor Con Hindi (far right) and representatives from the six Hurstville City clubs sponsoring the Wayne Riley Pro Am Legends tournament. Picture: Chris LaneTHE 2015 Hurstville City Council Legends Pro-Am will be held on Friday, November 27, at Hurstville Golf Course.
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The important fundraiser for St George Cancer Care Centre is sponsored by registered clubs. It was launched yesterday at the Hurstville Council-run course at Peakhurst.

The event is named in honour of Wayne “Radar” Riley, 52, of Peakhurst who cultivated his skills on the 18-hole layout as a junior.

He said he was honoured to have the pro-am named after him.

“I have played at many golf courses all around the world and ‘Royal’ Hurstville is my favourite,” Riley said.

“Hurstville Golf Course is where I learned and honed my golf skills as a youngster.”

Six Hurstville City-based clubs and this year is offering a $15,000 prize purse. Australia’s top senior golf professionals are expected to play.

The clubs supporting the event are Club Central, Club Rivers, Club Grandviews, Mortdale RSL, Penshurst RSL and St George Maso’s, Mortdale.

Enter team of three: 9553 4288.

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Quiet please: A plea for peace in the library

A quiet spot, no way: Theresa Kot says the council should spend money for a community centre and take “socialising” out of the library. Picture: John VeageLIBRARY regular Theresa Kot used to wonder if she was the only person who felt out of place at Kogarah Library.
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But a number of letters to the Leader in recent weeks (see extracts, below) criticising the library’s operations have confirmed her observations.

As is her lifetime habit, she goes in to do some quiet reading or research but can’t find the “quiet” bit anywhere.

“So, you walk into the library — and you ask yourself, am I in the right place?” she said. “The library space provides many more services and social facilities than could be anticipated of a library.

“None of these services and activities bring in an income for the library but the noise and disruptions created with these social activities do disturb the quiet environment sought by those using the library for educational purposes.”

Services on offer at the library include a child-minding or play centre for infants and toddlers coming with their parents and grandparents; commercial private tutorial services for private students; men and women playing board and card games; and socialising by individuals and schoolchildren groups.

Ms Kot said the 10-year-old library was now too small for the needs of the community — the study rooms are always booked — and Kogarah Council should use some of the money it obtained from developer contributions to build a community centre for those activities that do not involve books. Or at least find a way to separate the different uses.

“The two services do not fit well in the same space at the same time,” she said.

“I have been informed repeatedly that the library is a cultural centre and as such it must fulfil the multiple needs for the community.

‘‘And yet, I see that the library has shelves stacked with books and periodicals, and there are computer facilities for library users.’’

Ms Kot, a semi-retired pharmacist, has a few interim suggestions for improved library management:

– Put up signs in the library bringing attention to unacceptable behaviours.

– Remove commercial tutoring activities, child-minding and play-centre activities, social groups playing cards or board games, and people talking on the phone.

– Remove anyone eating and drinking in the library.

– No public address equipment or loud music playing during library hours.

– Better policing by staff.

– Move ‘‘cultural’’ and ‘‘socialising’’ activities to after-hours.

– The council should reinstate the lost art gallery space planned for the building at 79-87 Princes Highway.

COUNCIL COMMENT

‘‘Kogarah Library aims to provide a customer-focused library service that is responsive to the informational, educational, cultural and recreational needs of the local community.

‘‘The library is a welcoming community space providing resources and programs to support literacy and lifelong learning.

‘‘Kogarah Library has over 30,000 members and received over 317,000 visits last year. The library caters to a broad multicultural community and provides a variety of collections, programs and events for all ages.

‘‘The success of the library is evident in the fact that we have a very busy library with all of the events and activities being well attended.’’

There was no reference to Ms Kot’s concerns.

Do you agree with Ms Kot’s views on Kogarah library, or libraries in general? Click on the comment link below to share your view.

Separate spaces – excerpts from letters to the Leader re Kogarah Library:

Libraries used to be quiet places for reading, study and computer use. Today I walk away irritated by these varied, noisy, activities around me. My request to Kogarah Council: give me a library where I can work without constant noisy distractions. Move child-minding and child-play activities for infants and toddlers out of the library. Remove private commercial tutoring services from the library. Provide children with a suitable skate park. Terri Scott

I fully agree with Terri Scott. Most days I make use of the computer service at Kogarah Library, which I am very grateful for. However, many times there are inconsiderate people talking on mobiles, playing YouTube aloud and not on silent, children crowding a single computer chatting and screeching — all totally impervious and uncaring of others wanting a quiet place to do their work — which was what a library used to be.

Many people either don’t know the rules of a library or just don’t care. It’s time for some stringent enforcement to make Kogarah Library an ambient place in which to do one’s work, reading and study. Mark Schofield

I too have spoken to the staff at Kogarah Library over the constant excessive noise. The staff are too scared to ‘‘chat’’ to anyone who might stand up to them. Whatever happened to signage stating ‘‘Quiet, please!’’ in libraries and staff with the guts to enforce it. Joe Gale

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Lobbyists will ‘stop at nothing’ —Toole

A PUBLIC meeting in Lithgow has beenwarned that environmental lobbyists willstop at nothing to achieve their goals inshutting down the mining industry.
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The extreme lobbyists, it was claimed,would pursue their own ideology with totaldisregard for the community at large or thepain inflicted.

The comments came during a communitymeeting at Club Lithgow on Friday tohear the latest developments in the longdelayed process of approval for theSpringvale Colliery extension project.

Three years of delays — much of thisblamed on environmental activists — hasmeant that around 300 Springvale workerswill be taking indefinite enforced leave fromthis week until the approvals are confirmed.

It was only on Friday after intense lobbying‘by the other side’ in support ofSpringvale that the first stage of the finalthree pronged process was approved.

Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said themining industry is being increasinglyattacked by various environmental groups.

“It is frustrating that the attacks usuallycome from well funded activists who will doall they can to stop this project,” he said.

“They will stop at nothing includingseeking legal injunctions.”

This has to be countered by confirmingthe importance of the mining industry tocommunities like Lithgow.

Lithgow Council is currently campaigningto have submissions on mining applicationsto be restricted to residents of the localgovernment areas affected.

In the Springvale case submission werereceived from Perth and even from overseas.

Mr Toole said he was totally opposed to asecond PAC hearing on the Springvale issue.

He said the Premier has instructed hisdepartments to ‘get moving’.

“There has been too much stuffingaround,” he said — a sentiment that attractedno disagreement.

Centennial’s Katie Brassil said it hadbeen 1030 days (‘and counting’) since theapplication was first submitted.

She said it was frustrating that very timeagreement was reached on some aspect‘they again shift the goal posts’.

Ms Brassil said that Centennial hasobtained legal advice that there could notbe any so called ‘merit appeal’ against thePAC approval.

She said it was now up to the PAC toexpedite its review of the amendments fromthe department of Environment andPlanning and Centennial was looking forwardto the PAC confirming its previous recommendationso the matter could go toCanberra for a final tick.

Ms Brassil said it was a distressing situationthat the prolonged delays meant theSpringvale workforce — with all of its personalfinancial obligations — will be out ofwork until approvals are confirmed.

She urged the community to ‘stay strongand look after each other’.

By Monday the fleeting optimism for abreakthrough had evaporated afterEnvironment Minister Rob Stokes instructedthe PAC to do it all again.

It was a turnaround that has bothstunned and angered the local community.

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Footy tipping heats up

FOOTY TIPS: Footy tippers Joanne Rilstone and John Strycharski are both in the race to win this year’s Port Lincoln Times footy tipping competition, which has three rounds to go.THE Port Lincoln Times footy tipping competition is heating up and tippers are getting nervous as the battle for the $2000 prize money comes close to an end.
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Only one correct tip separates the top four and two tips separate the top seven with three rounds of tipping to go, so it is still anyone’s chance.

The winner of this year’s Times footy tipping competition will walk away with $2000 cash, while second place will take home $750 and third place will win a $500 Drakes Foodland voucher.

Sitting atop the tipping ladder is Joanne Rilstone, who has maintained the lead for a considerable chunk of the season.

Mrs Rilstone said she was a die-hard football fan, which helped her with her tipping, and has always been an avid supporter of the Adelaide Crows.

“I’m a real football fan and watch every game every week,” she said.

“Every night we watch some sort of football program on Foxtel and at the end of the day I pick one.”

Mrs Rilstone is equal with John Nippress and maintains the lead with a better margin difference while Terry Edwards and John Strycharski are only one tip behind, with slightly worse margin differences.

Mr Strycharski said his tipping tactics were a lot different to Mrs Rilstone’s, as he kept his emotion away from the game in order to tip logically.

“I look at the ins and outs, but don’t watch a lot of the football,” he said.

“I hate watching it when it’s close – I might like a certain team to win but I barrack for the team I tipped.”

Mrs Rilstone is currently in the box seat to take out the top prize, however she said she knew tipping consistently from here on was important.

“The last few weeks have been nerve-racking,” she said.

“I can’t afford to drop one or two tips.”

Mrs Rilstone said she had held the lead through consistent tipping and was determined to continue her form to take out the major prize.

However she said she thought Mr Nippress (second place) was her biggest threat and it was definitely going to be close at the end of the season.

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