Brad Arthur at a crossroad as Parramatta look for change


“They just haven’t got the underbelly, they haven’t got it under the shirt,” Gould said on 100% Footy. “I’ve looked at some of their second halves this year against quality sides – they’ve frittered away big leads.”

The criticism stung, but six weeks later they did as Gould foreshadowed and surrendered an 18-8 half-time lead against the Rabbitohs at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday night to see their season slip away. They “capitulated”, the coach said after the game.

Arthur tried to use the chorus of criticism surrounding his team to light a fire that would inspire a run for the title. Unfortunately, the run never came. Arthur, an old-school players’ coach, has been afforded every opportunity to prove his way is the right way.

The club has backed him. But while his way isn’t necessarily the wrong way, the club will now demand he works with head of football Mark O’Neill in the off-season to find a better way to ensure results improve in 2021.

Arthur has been somewhat reluctant to embrace the power of mindfulness when it comes to impacting results with the coach prioritising football matters over mental ones.

While the players all love playing under Arthur given how staunch he is in their support, there is a concern at the club and an understanding from the coach that mollycoddling the players may have only exacerbated a potential mental weakness.

Arthur has proved himself as a coach who can lead teams through adversity. He’s now transformed into a coach who can produce regular finals appearances. The next step is there to be taken and while the club would love nothing more than to see him make it, the option of someone else doing so could become a reality if the Eels fail to capitalise on a premiership window that Arthur has helped force open.

The club recently handed Arthur a one year contract extension that sees him through until the end of 2022, but with Craig Bellamy, Trent Robinson and Wayne Bennett all off contract at the end of next season, don’t expect the Eels to let an opportunity slip.

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Nathan Brown took St George Illawarra to four finals appearances in five years between 2004 and 2008, failing to turn the opportunities into a grand final. It took Bennett’s arrival for the club to finally shake the chokers’ tag and end a 31-year drought in 2010. Parramatta now stand at 34 years and counting.

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Bus collides with train, killing 18


The collision happened early on Sunday morning, east of Bangkok

A bus has collided with a train in Thailand, killing at least 18 people and injuring dozens more, officials say.

The crash happened on Sunday morning, 50km (31 miles) east of Bangkok.

Thai police said passengers inside the bus were on their way to a temple to mark the end of Buddhist Lent.

Images from the scene show the bus upturned on its side, heavily damaged and objects scattered along the train tracks.

Rescue workers say they need a crane to be able to lift the bus.

There were 60 passengers travelling in the bus at the time of the crash, province governor Maitree Tritilanond said.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha gave his condolences and called for a thorough investigation.

Traffic collisions are common in Thailand, with poor safety standards and busy roads thought to be key factors. A 2018 report from the World Health Organization (WHO) said Thailand had the second-highest traffic fatality rate in the world.

In March 2018, at least 18 people died and dozens wounded when a bus in north eastern Thailand swerved off the road and smashed into a tree.

At least three people were killed in 2016 when a train collided with a double-decker bus carrying tourists at an unguarded railway crossing west of Bangkok.



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NSW records three new locally acquired cases, Liverpool clinic cluster reaches eight infections



NSW health authorities are warning shoppers who have visited major retailers in Sydney’s south-west to monitor for symptoms after positive COVID-19 cases attended the stores earlier this month.

Public health alerts were issued for Big W at Carnes Hill, Aldi at Edmondson Park, and stores at Casula, including Chemist Warehouse, Bunnings and Costco.

It comes as NSW recorded five new COVID-19 cases, including three locally acquired infections.

NSW Health said one of the local transmissions was linked to the Liverpool private clinic cluster, bringing that total to eight cases.

The health authority said it had not named the clinic because everyone at the venue on same day as the COVID-19 source had been contacted.

“There is no risk to the public as all contacts have been advised,” a NSW Health spokesperson said.

“It is therefore not necessary to identify the clinic.”

Another of today’s new infections is a contact of a previously reported case.

The other local case is under investigation.

However, NSW Health said the case was at Lakemba Radiology on October 1 from noon to 2:30pm.

Anyone at the medical centre at that time are being asked to monitor for symptoms and get tested if they develop.

The remaining two new cases were overseas travellers in hotel quarantine.

NSW Health has also upgraded a warning over a bus trip on October 5, heightening the rating from casual to close contact advice.

All passengers are considered close contacts and need to get tested immediately and isolate for 14 days regardless of the result.

The bus was a train replacement service travelling from Central Station to Strathfield from 11:48pm to 12:15am.

Health authorities also issued an alert for the following venues, which were visited by positive cases:

  • Big W, Carnes Hill, on October 4, from 3:00pm to 4:30pm
  • Aldi, Edmondson Park, on October 4, from 6:30pm to 7:00pm
  • Chemist Warehouse, Casula, on October 6, from 12:30pm to 1:00pm
  • Bunnings, Crossroads, October 7, from 2:00pm to 3:00pm
  • Costco, Casula, on October 9, from 3:00pm to 3:30pm

Anyone who attended those venues at those times is considered a casual contact. They must monitor for symptoms and get tested immediately if any develop.

There were 12,823 tests carried out in the 24 hours to 8:00pm last night, compared with 15,439 in the previous reporting period.

The NSW Health alert said it was “a concern” that testing numbers had dropped recently.

“This is particularly important for people in the South Western Sydney and Western Sydney areas,” the alert said.

“We continue to encourage all people to come forward for testing if they experience even the mildest of symptoms,” NSW Health’s Dr Christine Selvey said.

The state has conducted a total of 2,811,527 tests since the outbreak began.

The total number of cases to date is 4,088, with 55 people currently being treated.



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While city farm plots and beehives spring up across Canberra, what role does the environment play in the ACT election?


Updated

October 11, 2020 09:17:01

Lil Costello isn’t letting her city-dwelling life stop her from achieving her dream of being a farmer.

Instead, she helps turn residential backyards into urban farm vegetable plots.

“It’s small-scale farming right in your very neighbourhood,” Ms Costello said of her network of market gardens in Canberra’s inner north.

“[It creates] a huge amount of security in terms of food and diet, but also social opportunities and connection.”

Ms Costello said that, after this year’s devastating bushfires and amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, people’s hunger for sustainable food projects and community creativity grew — and interest in her Inner North Urban Farm project surged.

So, last month, as Canberra’s major political parties launched their election campaigns, Ms Costello and co-founder Karina Vennonen took matters into their own hands.

Rather than waiting on environmental policy announcements that may not come to fruition, they launched a crowdfunding campaign to create more urban vegetable plots, attracting strong local support — including from rugby union player and Canberra local David Pocock.

Within two weeks their $11,000 target was reached, paying for enough seeds, compost, mulch, shade cloth and irrigation for five plots — one at Ms Costello and Ms Vennonen’s place, the others in the backyards of enthusiastic supporters who volunteered their patch of grass rent-free.

Investors in the pair’s small-scale farm will receive produce boxes when the crops are harvested and the farmers get the security of knowing all food is sold and initial costs covered.

“We have had way more land offered to us than we can actually use between the couple of us that are working regularly with this project,” Ms Vennonen said.

“With more workers we could take on more land and actually grow a lot more food and it can really provide a lot of great jobs for people.”

The pair would like to see more support to get young people into “climate safe” jobs and believe food security is an important issue for Canberra — though one largely ignored by the major parties this ACT election campaign.

Ms Costello said political parties should be exploring better ways of farming in smaller urban spaces like hers, and researching how to produce affordable and healthy food for everyone.

“Creating a stronger food system isn’t just about having fun at the community garden on the weekend,” Ms Costello said.

“Gardening and nurturing the soil are serious business.”

So if food security and urban farming is not on either major political party’s radar, what are some of the other environmental issues at play in the 2020 election?

‘Tree wars’ become a major battleground

During an ACT election shaped by people’s experiences in the COVID-19 world, environmental policies have indeed taken centre stage.

The enforced isolation earlier this year seems to have prompted people to take more notice of their natural surroundings — something urban forest expert at the Australian National University, associate professor Cris Brack, is not surprised by.

“When we got the lockdown and people couldn’t go anywhere they started really appreciating their local environment,” Dr Brack said.

“I think that’s in the forefront of a lot of people’s minds.”

One of the major environmental battlegrounds in the election has centred around the planting of trees.

While the Canberra Liberals have several grassroots plans, including to “support new and existing community gardens”, the centrepiece of their pitch for the ‘green vote’ is to plant one million trees.

They have pledged to plant these trees over a decade, providing up to 10 trees for new properties, a tree for every kindergarten child, and planting along cycle paths and in the charred Namadgi National Park.

ACT Labor has promised a smaller number of trees, pledging to plant 450,000.

They have also spelled out a target of 30 per cent canopy by 2045 — a goal shared by the Greens, who want that to include fruit and nut trees on nature strips.

When it comes to trees, Dr Brack says size matters, as does where they are planted and how well they are maintained.

“A big mature eucalypt has the canopy dimensions of about 20 or 30 metres across, doesn’t fit in your backyard,” he said.

“If you plant one that only has one metre across, the eucalypt has up to 1,000-times the benefit of that one little tree.”

The cost of these duelling tree policies has also been a point of contention.

Liberal Leader Alistair Coe said the price-tag of planting a tree was between $10 and $20 but Labor immediately attacked that as massively underestimated, instead suggesting $380 was more realistic.

But is tree planting a credible climate change policy?

While studies show trees dramatically improve the climate of a city — shading a road can reduce temperatures by up 20 degrees Celsius in some cases — they also help reduce carbon emissions.

Under Labor, the ACT has been out in front with their net zero emissions by 2045 target.

This election, they’re promising policies like a Canberra-wide network of renewable energy batteries, household solar loans and food waste recycling, while the Canberra Liberals head into polling day without a standalone climate change policy.

The Canberra Liberals also support moves to a zero-emissions bus fleet and removing organic waste for landfill, but on reaching zero net emissions by 2045, Leader Alistair Coe points to his tree policy — which Dr Brack says has its limitations.

“It’s not enough by itself, but yes it’s a significant amount,” he said.

“You still need to do other things if Canberra is still looking to be carbon neutral.

“The trees will do it, but they won’t do it themselves.”

From trees to bees: Canberra to become a ‘bee-friendly city’ under Labor

In one of the lesser known environmental policies this election, Labor is pledging to make Canberra a “bee-friendly city” by reducing the use of pesticides.

It is a welcome step for Alan Wade who has been a honey beekeeper in Canberra for over 40 years.

He says the environment and bees are inextricably linked.

“There are about 100 species of native bee in the ACT as well as honey bees,” Mr Wade said, adding that the health of the environment could be determined by how well bees were surviving.

“Because if they’re not doing well, there are too many pesticides around, there’s too much disease around,” he said.

Mr Wade said it had “become the fashion” in Canberra to own a beehive, and the Canberra Region Beekeepers group’s membership base had grown to about 500 people.

He said the group played a big role in educating hobby apiarists.

“How to keep things like disease surveillance going, how to make sure you don’t have cranky bees so neighbours don’t get stung and so you get less swarming,” he said.

While he had often been critical of governments in the past for being poor on the environment, Mr Wade said Labor had a “positive approach” this election, and the Liberals’ tree planting policy was a “good thing”.

“I think the urban tree program’s a valuable program, but I think also the amount of resources they put into places like Namadgi,” he said.

“That’s a treasure and I think that’s underutilised and under-resourced.”

An urban biodiversity haven central to Greens’ vision

Despite the increased focus on environmental issues from the two major parties, the ACT Greens have several bolder, quite detailed policies, alongside a few more obscure ones.

In the Greens’ so-called “better normal world”, driving an electric car would be standard, homes would be gas-free faster, and those less well-off would get subsidies to afford the transition.

Their vision is to make Canberra an “urban biodiversity haven” with a network of “neighbourhood forests”, 5,000 nest boxes dotted across the city, and a street orchard program.

In the legal space, they want to enshrine the “right to a healthy environment” in the ACT’s Human Rights Act, and explore the idea of enshrining the “rights of nature” into the ACT’s legal system.

That could be a bridge too far for Labor, who would likely enter negotiations with the Greens to form a coalition if they came close but did not secure outright victory on October 17.

For Ms Costello and others volunteering or working in the environmental space, the policies are all food for thought.

“The role of environment in policy, it’s just so linked with the economic and social,” she said.

“You can’t think about it in isolation because environmental policies affect social and economic outcomes.”

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Topics:

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First posted

October 11, 2020 08:41:37



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F1 live: Formula 1 at Nurburgring, Eifel Grand Prix, live blog, results, start time, online stream, Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo


Valtteri Bottas will be hoping to continue his mid-season championship charge and further cut teammate Lewis Hamilton’s lead at the top in tonight’s Eifel Grand Prix.

Bottas produced a blistering track record on his final qualifying lap on Saturday to edge Mercedes teammate Hamilton and claim pole position at the Nurburgring.

The Finn clocked a best lap of one minute and 25.269 seconds to beat the championship leader by two-tenths of a second in very cold conditions following only one practice session after Friday’s running was cancelled due to fog.

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It was Bottas’s third pole this year and the 14th of his career, a feat that he hopes can help him keep alive his championship challenge. After winning in Russia two weeks ago he lies 44 points behind Hamilton.



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Cats and Lions set for feline fight at the Gabba


History lesson

The round six match, all the way back in June, was one of the Cats’ best for the season.

Trailing by 22-points some 12 minutes into the second term, the Cats kicked nine goals in a row to blow Brisbane out of the water at the SCG.

Brandon Starcevich and Gary Rohan fly for a mark in round six. Credit:Matt King/AFL Photos

Geelong also did this with only two fit men on the bench – Quinton Narkle and Mitch Duncan were injured in the first quarter.

Chris Scott said in the lead-up to both the Collingwood and Port Adelaide finals that it was hard to take much from prior contests this season due to its unprecedented nature.

Ablett was uncharacteristically wayward at times on that night, but he still kicked two long-range goals. It was the last time he kicked multiple goalsin a match.

X-factor

Patrick Dangerfield. For someone who has played in so many preliminary finals, and won almost everything there is to win in the AFL, it is absurd he has never played in a grand final.

Yes, Collingwood were listless, but the intensity with which he played in the semi-final was Dangerfield at his very best. From the outside looking in, that signalled that his desire to win a flag had never been higher.

Sure, Ablett may be playing his last game and his deft kicking and class can hurt teams, but the sheer momentum Dangerfield seems to hold at this point in the season is pure X-factor.

X-factor: Patrick Dangerfield in action against the Pies.

X-factor: Patrick Dangerfield in action against the Pies.Credit:Getty Images

Charlie Cameron is undoubtedly Brisbane’s X-factor, and his three goals, five score involvements and four tackles against the Tigers was a reminder of that.

Geelong will remember all too painfully the 2017 preliminary final where Cameron, then playing for Adelaide, booted five goals in one of his career-best performances.

Tactics

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Collingwood learnt the hard way that if you let Geelong have the time to set up the field in the structured way they like, it is nearly impossible to move the ball with any fluency.

Brisbane, across the home-and-away season, were more likely to score from turnovers, while Geelong were the most likely of any team to score from stoppages.

The likes of Lachie Neale and Mitch Robinson will be crucial to stopping the Cats in this respect.

Harris Andrews, along with his fellow defenders, will clearly be important for the Lions’ intercept marking and turnover-creating capabilities. Hawkins was one of few forwards to get a hold of Andrews this season.

The biggest difference between the sides is their disposal efficiency differential ranks in the home and away. The Cats were ranked first and the Lions 12th.

This speaks to the Cats’ desire to control the ball more and play with less speed. They prefer to pick off their targets forward of centre, while there is a little more chaos in Brisbane’s method.

For a side that relies on turnovers for their game plan, the Lions will have to really knock the Cats from their usually composed method to get a foothold in the game.

With Andrews, his fellow defenders and the pressure of Brisbane’s smalls and midfielders this is possible.

Jarrod Berry was important against the Tigers in the qualifying final.

He has a knack for getting to good positions just outside of stoppages, to be an option for his teammates to clear immediately contested situations. From there, his ability to pick the right kick that either clears the area or finds a teammate is good too.

Prediction

This is an incredibly tough call. Another preliminary final loss for Geelong, and Dangerfield, would be tough to take, though getting there in a season such as this one is a huge achievement. Even still, it’ll be a Brisbane win, on their home deck and with a home crowd behind them. Don’t expect the Cats to wilt, but also hard to see the Lions passing up this Gabba grand final opportunity. Lions by 8 points.

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Kane doubtful for Belgium clash after suffering muscle injury – reports


England captain Harry Kane could miss Sunday’s Nations League game against Belgium after sustaining a muscle injury in training, British media said.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football – Premier League – Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur – Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain – October 4, 2020 Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane celebrates scoring their third goal Pool via REUTERS/Oli Scarff

REUTERS: England captain Harry Kane could miss Sunday’s Nations League game against Belgium after sustaining a muscle injury in training, British media said.

Kane sat out England’s 3-0 friendly win against Wales on Thursday but was expected to return to the side for the game against top-ranked Belgium.

The 27-year-old has been plagued by injuries, with a hamstring tear last season prompting doubts over his participation in the European Championship before the tournament’s postponement because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho expressed concerns this month over Kane’s workload and called on Southgate to protect the striker by not playing him in all of England’s games during the international break.

If Kane misses out, in-form Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who scored the opener against Wales, should retain his spot in the side.

Winger Jadon Sancho and striker Tammy Abraham are in line to return after missing Thursday’s game due to a breach of virus regulations.

England, second in League A Group 2 in the Nations League, play Denmark on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)



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AFL finals 2020: Semi finals analysis, Talking Points, reaction, top stories, Richmond being hated, Bradley Hill, trade news, Brad Crouch


Another week, another Richmond controversy. But the Tigers’ new-found status seems to be helping them.

Plus the reason behind a finals trade flop and the potential for a historic draft haul.

Catch up on the big storylines out of semi-final weekend in Foxfooty.com.au’s Talking Points.

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