Rob Penney defends Waratahs’ Wallabies exodus as leadership void laid bare

But those experienced heads have departed over the last few years. The decisions to let those players go can’t all be attributed to Penney, as he’s only been in charge for 15 months, but at a time when the Waratahs needed to keep their last remaining greybeards, the Kiwi and the organisation have not managed to stop the bleeding.

Penney said wouldn’t do anything differently, however. “Don’t regret it. Don’t regret the discussions we had and the decisions we made there,” Penney said. “We have people in the organisation that will do a job (as captain), yeah.”

Jake Gordon (middle) came away from Suncorp Stadium with an injured ankle. Credit:Getty

While Penney didn’t wish to discuss the list management decisions which led to the hole the Waratahs find themselves in, he didn’t shy away from his team’s “ugly” performance against the Reds.

“When you get a red card [to Izaia Perese] and you get a couple of significant injuries to players who have more or less established themselves – any team is going to struggle with that sort of carnage,” Penney said.

“There were some really good bits but there were some really ugly bits. The inconsistency was there for everyone to see. The Reds are a really good side and particularly on the day, the backline they had exposed us.”

The “inconsistency” in the Waratahs’ performance reminded Penney of the rugby his side produced at the start of last year.

“There were certainly some elements of that inconsistency that were evident early on last year,” he said.

“That rose its head. It’s a different group. This group is still feeling its way a little bit and there was only really a bad window of seven or eight minutes where the Reds scored some good seven pointers. They were ugly.”

Penney and the Waratahs did not disclose how long Gordon and Joey Walton, who also injured his ankle, will be sidelined.

They will be buoyed by the return of Lachlan Swinton, who hasn’t played since being shown a red card in his Wallabies debut late last year.


“Swinno back eligible for selection … is good timing.” said Penney. “You know what he’s going to bring.

“He’s a great team man, he loves the Waratahs, wants them to do well and he brings a competitive, combative element.”

Gordon will be replaced by Jack Grant, the son of former Wallaby James Grant.

“Jack is a success story of a young guy who has persevered and stayed in a really good club environment and has now reaped the rewards of that,” Penney said.

“He’s a really mature player. We have no issue with his decision making around the game. But he’s also quick, he has a lovely pass and he has a good kicking game. All the thing you need from your No. 9.

“And it’s a great credit to his perseverance that he will get a good opportunity to get amongst it.”

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New charges laid over Brisbane sexual slavery ring

Police charged Hannah Stead, 23, with conducting a business involving servitude with a victim under 18 and unlawful prostitution. 

The alleged offences occurred in 2019 and relate to a couple who were charged with similar offences last week.

Matthew Markcrow and Crystal Marie Sawyer, 23, were arrested last Thursday during a search of two properties, at South Brisbane and Mount Gravatt East.

Four females, between the ages of 17 and 24, were found at the Mount Gravatt East home, but police believed there were more alleged victims.

Mr Markcrow, 35, was accused of giving women stupefying drugs, controlling their finances, and tattooing them as being his property.

Covert recordings of the sex acts were also found during the search, as well as drugs, and evidence to support sexual servitude and organised prostitution offences.

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Mixed reviews for synthetic turf laid on Auburn Street | Goulburn Post

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Notice anything different on Auburn Street next to Belmore Park? After upgrading the median strips on the main street at the end of last year, Goulburn Mulwaree Council trialled a synthetic turf surface. Turf has been laid in the block from Market Street to Montague Street and Goulburn Mulwaree Council mayor Bob Kirk felt it made the street look better. READ ALSO: History Goulburn is on the hunt for a new home “I think it looks quite good,” Cr Kirk said. “With the trees planted on the strip too, it gives the street more of a garden feel. “I hope the public can see it’s all about the beautification process of Goulburn’s CBD.” Laying out the turf on the median strips will cover up more concrete on the street, which in turn, will soften the street’s aesthetics and cool the main street. READ ALSO: The summer in tunes The public has given both positive and negative thoughts on the project. Some of the positive feedback include the fact that it is low maintenance, adds colour to the town and some say it makes them want to spend more time in the area. Mission Australia’s SE NSW and ACT area manager Daniel Strickland said “Well done council, it looks great”. READ ALSO: Border checkpoints ‘no big deal’ for interstate truckers Another person said they wanted to give “an out of town pat on the back for council” and a third person said they loved what council was doing for our beautiful town”. However, there was plenty of criticism including these: If Goulburn Mulwaree Council decided the trial is a success, more turf will be laid throughout the street in the coming months. Did you know the Goulburn Post is now offering breaking news alerts and a weekly email newsletter? Keep up-to-date with all the local news: sign up below.



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Charges laid over fatal crash – Lake Macquarie – 16 News

A man has been charged following an investigation into a fatal crash at Lake Macquarie last month.

Emergency services were called to Wakefield Road, Ryhope, just before 7.30am on Sunday 29 November 2020, after a Toyota Corolla and a Hyundai Getz collided head-on, trapping both drivers.

The Hyundai driver, a 42year-old man, died at the scene

The Toyota driver, a 38-year-old man, was freed and taken to John Hunter Hospital suffering leg injuries. He also underwent mandatory testing.

Officers from Lake Macquarie Police District established a crime scene with the Crash Investigation Unit commencing an investigation.

Following inquiries, the 38-year-old man was arrested at Waratah Police Station today (Monday 14 December 2020).

He was charged with dangerous driving occasioning death – drive manner dangerous, negligent driving (occasioning death), and not keep left of dividing line.

The Jesmond man was granted conditional bail to appear at Newcastle Local Court on Thursday 4 February 2021.

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Australian families of White Island volcano victims hope charges laid over deadly eruption will lead to answers

The sister of a man killed in last year’s White Island volcano eruption says she hopes court action will lead to answers after charges were laid over the disaster.

WorkSafe New Zealand has filed charges against 13 parties over the 2019 tragedy, which claimed the lives of 22 people including 17 Australians.

Meredith Dallow’s brother Gavin and his 15-year-old stepdaughter Zoe Hosking were among those killed.

Lisa Dallow — wife of Gavin and mother of Zoe — was placed in an induced coma with severe burns, and only learned of her loved ones’ deaths weeks after the eruption.

Meredith Dallow, who lives in Adelaide, believes her brother was unnecessarily put at risk.

“They should never have been on the island that day and we should still have Gavin here with us,” she said.

Meredith Dallow says families deserve answers about the disaster.(ABC News: Brant Cumming)

Ms Dallow said jail time should be a possibility for those found guilty of wrongdoing.

“I’d like them to be more accountable because they’ll pay their fines and they’ll get on with their lives and that’ll be the end for them, whereas for us, it’ll never be over,” she said.

“Considering the seriousness of it all, I think jail time should be a possibility.

“I was quite shocked at the number of charges that have been laid. I wasn’t expecting that, that’s for sure.”

A woman and a girl
Lisa Dallow only learned of her loved ones’ deaths weeks later, in February.(Supplied)

Along with this, she said she hopes those involved could apologise to victims and families.

“We haven’t heard anything. I guess I’m not surprised. I’m hoping, coming up to the first anniversary, all the families are acknowledged,” she said.

“It would be nice to have a written apology from the tour operators but whether that happens or not, who knows? I guess we just have to wait until the court proceedings and the coroner’s inquest are completed.

“When we heard the news, we were absolutely shattered and gobsmacked and then as time’s gone on, we’re frustrated and angry they were allowed on the island on that day, considering the volcanos were showing signs, and even the tour guides were reacting to the signs saying it was a level two.”

Anniversary a difficult time for Queensland family

Julie Richards and her daughter Jessica Richards wearing pink fun run t-shirts smile in a selfie.
The family of Queensland mother and daughter Julie and Jessica Richards say they respect the judicial process after the charges were laid by New Zealand authorities.(Supplied: Barbara Whitehead)

The family of Brisbane woman Julie Richards, 47, and her daughter Jessica, 20, are satisfied that charges have been made.

Both women were remembered as lovers of the outdoors.

“It’s a tough time of year for the family,” said family spokesman John Mickel.

“Now the charges have been laid they respect the independence of and impartiality of the judicial system to allow the proper process to flow through.”

He said the anniversary of the tragedy falling so close to Christmas made it especially difficult.

“Obviously, it’s been a tough year for the family with the loss of people who are close to them and the anniversary coming as it does so close to Christmas it’s an especially difficult time for them,” he said.

“We understand there’s going to be a memorial [in New Zealand], we’re thankful for the people remembering loved ones, and all the families involved in what has been a horrible year for everyone.”

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Diego Maradona: Footballer laid to rest as Argentina grieves

Diego Maradona: Argentina legend dies aged 60

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Thousands pay homage as Serbia’s Patriarch is laid to rest after dying of COVID-19

Thousands of mourners paid homage on Sunday to the leader of Serbia”s Orthodox Christian Church who died of COVID-19 last week.

Ninety-year-old Patriarch Irinej tested positive for the virus soon after presiding over the funeral of his number two, who also fell victim to coronavirus, at a ceremony in which basic safety measures were neglected.

This time, the church stuck to strict sanitary precautions.

Mourners were allowed inside the church during the liturgy but were banned from approaching the Patriarch’s coffin. Three days of official mourning were declared after his death on Friday.

The vast majority of the Balkan country’s seven million people are Orthodox Christians.

Two giant screens were installed outside the Church of Saint Sava, the biggest Orthodox temple in the Balkans, so that the faithful could follow the ceremony, after which the Patriarch’s body was due to laid to rest in the crypt.

Serbia is currently facing the biggest health crisis since the epidemic erupted in March, recording record numbers of infections and deaths on an almost daily basis last week.

The country’s health service is under severe pressure. For the past week, there have been no hospital beds in the capital Belgrade, the worst-hit region of Serbia.

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Charges laid in Nowra strike force drug investigation | Goulburn Post

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Five people have been charged following an investigation into the supply of illicit drugs on the state’s South Coast. In June 2020, Strike Force Splinter was established by South Coast Police District to investigate the supply of prohibited drugs, specifically methylamphetamine, in the Nowra area. Read: The Moss Vale Pony Club and Moss Vale Show Society could possibly be ending their 80 year partnership with one another Read More: Rare Cancers Australia is set to host Teeup4Rare with all funds raised to go towards rare cancer patients Read Further: Southern Highland Storm excited for club’s future after excellent debut season Following an extensive investigation, strike force investigators – with the assistance of the South East Region Enforcement Squad and Dog Unit – executed search warrants at three homes in Nowra, Culburra and Bomaderry earlier today (Friday 23 October 2020). The police operation commenced about 6am, with three men and two women arrested and taken to Nowra Police Station. During the searches, officers seized cash, drugs, a BMW sedan, property believed to be stolen, jewellery and prohibited weapon. All items seized during the operation will undergo forensic examination. All five were refused bail to appear in Nowra Local Court today (Friday 23 October 2020). Investigations are continuing. Did you know the Southern Highland News is now offering breaking news alerts and a weekly email newsletter? Keep up-to-date with all the local news: sign up below.

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Elijah Taylor, arrested and questioned by WA police, Sydney Swans, no charges laid

Sydney Swans rookie Elijah Taylor has reportedly been arrested by WA Police in Perth.

Taylor was reportedly arrested and placed into the back of a police vehicle before being taken to Cannington Police Station, according to The West Australian. No charges are believed to have been laid.

According to 7 News Perth, the 19-year-old was arrested in Langford at approximately 1:25pm on Sunday afternoon.

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Earlier this month, the Sydney Swans confirmed they were aware of “very serious” allegations regarding Taylor.

“The Sydney Swans are aware of allegations made on social media regarding first year player Elijah Taylor,” a statement read.

“The allegations are very serious and are being treated as such.

“The club had notified the AFL and is not in a position to comment further at this time.”

Taylor’s manager, Tom Seccull, issued a statement to in relation to the allegations levelled at the Swans youngster.

“Elijah, the club and AFL are all aware of the allegations,” Seccull’s statement read.

“However, given the seriousness and sensitivity for those involved, we’re not in a position to comment further at this stage.”

The AFL also responded to the “extremely serious” allegations last Sunday.

“The AFL has been informed of allegations made on social media regarding a Sydney Swans player on Saturday night,” a league statement claimed.

“The allegations are extremely serious. The AFL has been in contact with local law enforcement and will continue to provide support and assistance for all.

“Due to the nature of the allegations the AFL will be providing no further comment at this time.”

Taylor made headlines last month when his partner entered the club’s quarantine accommodation in Perth, which was not permitted in the AFL’s return to play protocols.

Taylor’s partner was alleged to have crossed a golf course and jumped multiple fences in order to enter the Swans’ biosecurity bubble. She spoke with Channel 7 soon after, confirming the true events surrounding the meet up, claiming there was no scaling of any fences.

“No security, I didn’t see a security guard,” she said.

“I just walked through, went to his room. That’s how easy it was. I didn’t jump any fences.”

The Swans were given a $50,000 fine, and the 19-year-old was stood down from the club for the remainder of the season.

WA Police have been contacted for a statement.

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In court: Additional charges laid over fatal crash at Binda | Goulburn Post

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Investigators have laid additional charges against the driver of a car involved in a fatal crash in the Southern Highlands last year. READ ALSO: Binda district collision leaves one dead, two injured Officers from the Crash Investigation Unit (CIU) had been investigating a two-vehicle crash on Binda Road at Binda, 22km north of Crookwell, at 11:15am on December 7, 2019. NSW Police said a Toyota Landcruiser towing a trailer was driving north when a collision occurred with a Hyundai Accent, being driven in the same direction. “A passenger in the Toyota, a 62-year-old woman from Flinders, died when the 4WD rolled, the driver, a 63-year-old man, suffered multiple injuries and was taken to Canberra Hospital in a serious condition,” they said. The Hyundai driver, 29-year-old Natasha Elizabeth Naughton, was taken to hospital for mandatory tests. CHECK OUT: Southern Tablelands and Highlands weather: Snow on the way during cold snap Following inquiries, investigators charged Naughton in May 2020 with three offences: Naughton remains before the courts. Following further investigations, she was charged on August 12 with three additional offences: Naughton appeared before Goulburn Local Court on August 19. The case was adjourned to a later date for a brief to be presented to the court. READ MORE: Infected security guard linked to US traveller at Sydney quarantine hotel


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