South Sydney Rabbitohs make improved Newcastle Knights pay for second-half lapses

NRL Round 3: Knights v Rabbitohs TweetFacebookSouth Sydney racked up their eighth successive win against Newcastle with a 24-18victory at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday.
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The Knights led 12-10 at half-time, despite running into a stiff wind, but paid the price for errors and ill-discipline after the break.

It was nonetheless their best performance against Souths since they last beat the Rabbitohs in 2011, and a vast improvement on some of the hidings they have endured in recent seasons.

Newcastle had Southsprop George Burgess to thank for turning an early 10-0 deficit into a two-pointhalf-time lead.

With his team in possession, Burgess was sin-binned after throwing an elbow and punches during a confrontation with Knights lock Mitch Barnett.

A minute later, Newcastle skipper Trent Hodkinson stepped inside Sam Burgess to score next to the posts, then converted his own try.

Newcastle scored a second try, by centre Peter Mata’utia in the left-hand corner, while George Burgess was serving his penance.

A 38th-minute penalty goal by Hodkinson, after a late hit on Newcastle five-eighth Brock Lamb, put the home side in the lead.

George Burgess capped off a frustrating half when he barged across the line seconds before the siren, only to spill the ball trying to ground it.

Souths drew first blood in the seventh minute when fullback Alex Johnston extended his freakish try-scoring record against Newcastle.

It was Johnston’s 10thtry against the Knights in five games.

When Souths-back-rower John Sutton charged over after a Cody Walker short ball, it was 10-0 to the visitors, who were looking in ominous form.

The Knights, with a howling southerly at their backs, gifted Souths great attacking position at the start of the second half when Lamb inexplicably caught the kick-off, instead of allowing it to go out on the full, and Jacob Saifiti was trapped in-goal.

From the ensuing set of tackles, Walker grubber-kicked and winger Bryson Goodwin was on the spot to score.

Reynolds threw a classy cut-out pass in the 58thminute to gift-wrap a try for winger Braidon Burns, then converted for a 22-12 lead.

Any hopes of a Newcastle fightback were seemingly torpedoed in the 70thminute, when Hodkinson was sin-binned for dissent, apparently after telling referee Dave Munro:”You’ve just cost us the game.”

Hodkinson was reacting after Souths won a scrum against the feed, denying Newcastle a prime attacking opportunity.

But with two minutes left in the game, the Knights gave 15,212 spectators hope when winger Ken Sio scored from a Jamie Buhrer grubber, and Lamb converted from the sideline.

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Regional Express passenger recalls moment propeller disappeared before her eyes

A passenger on a Regional Express plane forced to make an emergency landing after a propeller fell off in mid-air has recalled how she saw what she thought was a bird disappear into the distance after hitting the aircraft.
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“I just happened to be glancing out the window when a large thing hit the plane,” Alyce Fisher said. “At first I thought it was a very large bird which hit the wing and was tumbling off in the distance. But it wasn’t a bird – it was the propeller coming off.”

Ms Fisher, 30, from Albury, said theseparation of the propeller from the engine during flight ZL-768happened in a split second.

It was not until the 34-seat aircraft landed at Sydney Airport and was surrounded by emergency services that the 16 passengers on board began to realise the seriousness of the situation.

“We were quite lucky that it flew off in the direction that it did,” she said.

Earlier, about two-thirds of the way into their journey from Albury to Sydney, passengers felt an intense vibration but, after what Ms Fisher thought at the time was a bird strike, it stopped and the flight was smooth.

Moments after the propeller fell off about 19 kilometres from Sydney Airport, one of the pilots told passengers over the PA system that the plane was down to one engine.

Passenger Alyce Fisher says the events were surreal. Photo: Ben Rushton

“He never said that there would be an emergency landing,” Ms Fisher told Fairfax Media on Saturday. “There was no panic. Coming into Sydney there was a bit of turbulence, which was to be expected.”

After the propeller on the right-hand engine broke away, the pilots declared a PAN, which is one step down from a full-scale mayday. “The prop has just fallen off the aircraft and standby for further instructions,” one of the pilots told air-traffic control.

“We’ve just had uncommanded engine operations and then our propeller has just sheared off. We’ve lost the propeller. We’ve got normal controls; still able to fly; would require one-six right [runway].”

After the Saab 340 landed about 25 minutes later, Ms Fisher said one of the pilots emerged from the cockpit and gazed out a cabin window. “Yeah, it’s really gone,” he said, and moments later passengers responded by cheering and clapping.

“He did an amazing job,” she said, heaping praise on the plane’s crew and Regional Express for the way it handled passengers afterwards.

Ms Fisher said it was a shock to finally see, when the plane landed, where the propeller had separated from the engine. However, the bigger shock for passengers was the large number of emergency services staff who met the plane after it had landed.

“There was no panic on the plane at all. It was not until the plane stopped that we could see where the propeller fell off,” said Ms Fisher, who recently moved to Albury from London. “It really is surreal.”

The turboprop aircraft is certified to land with one engine. Pilots also spend a considerable amount of their training on honing their skills at flying with a single engine.

An aviation investigator, who declined to be named, said it was lucky that the propeller did not hit the fuselage, wing or tail, while a large object falling from 6000 feet posed a huge risk to people in the populated area below.

“It is a very, very rare occurrence to lose the whole lot. It is not a little event – I almost fell off my chair when I heard the news,” he said.

“It is more than likely going to be a one-off maintenance matter or some oddball fatigue crack. It is a [type of] aircraft that is tried and tested and has been operating for a long time.

Swedish manufacturer Saab and plane engine builder General Electric have advised Regional Express to conduct a visual inspection of its fleet of Saab 340 aircraft.

Investigators are still to determine the exact location of the plane when the propeller sheared off but early indications were that it was likely to have occurred above Camden in south-west Sydney.

Despite the drama, Ms Fisher has no fear of hopping on a plane bound for home in Albury on Monday after a weekend of study at the n Catholic University in Sydney.

“I feel lucky every day to be alive. I will continue to live my life and will jump on a plane on Monday to go home,” she said.

The n Transport Safety Bureau has advised anyone who finds the propeller to leave it where it is, and contact its investigators or the police.

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Hasbro ditches iconic boot and wheelbarrow ‘tokens’ and unveils new Monopoly game

This is not the first time Hasbro has used a public marketing campaign to update the game’s pieces. Photo: BloombergConceived as a piece of shallow marketing, the demise of three of the ubiquitous Monopoly “tokens” may yet be seen as a powerful statement of the time in which we live.
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Three of the game’s eight tokens, used by players to represent their movement around the Monopoly board, have been cut: the thimble, the boot and the wheelbarrow.

The fate of the thimble had already been confirmed by Monopoly-owner, the gaming giant Hasbro, but today the boot and the wheelbarrow also got the axe.

The decision was made as part of a branding campaign in which fans of the fame were invited to vote to keep –or remove –tokens, and to determine which tokens might take their place.

Here are the eight game tokens that will be included in upcoming versions of the Monopoly board game. Photo: AP

The tribe, to quoteSurvivor, has spoken.

More than four million votes were cast, Hasbro says, and fans were given 64 options including the existing tokens.

The three winning tokens, which will replace the thimble, boot and wheelbarrow are a T-Rex, a rubber ducky and a penguin.

They will join the five surviving “classic” tokens: the dog, the racing car, the top hat, the battleship and the cat.

Interestingly, however, some of the proposed tokens which did not make the cut include modern cultural images such as the hashtag and the “crying/laughing” emoji face.

There may be hope for the human race yet?

Others which didn’t make the cut included a monster truck, a computer, a bunny slipper and a roller skate.

It is not the first time Hasbro has used a public marketing campaign to update the game’s pieces.

In 2013, a similar campaign saw another long-serving game piece – an iron – replaced with the cat.

Though the game itself was created some years before, metal player tokens were first used in the game from its 1937 edition.

That edition featured a battleship, a cannon, iron, lantern, purse, race car, rocking horse, shoe, thimble, top hat and wheelbarrow.

Three of those – the rocking horse, purse and lantern – were cut in 1942 and replaced with the dog, wheelbarrow and a horse and rider.

The cannon and horse and rider were retired in 2000 and not replaced.

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Man arrested smuggling thousands of beetles, spiders, scorpions from Perth

Rare and beautiful beetles can trade for high prices. Photo: SuppliedA Czech national has been fined $2000 for attempting to smuggle 4226 n native insect specimens – including 27 spiders and seven scorpions – on a flight out of Perth.
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The news comes after a Chinese national arrested attempting to post bobtail lizards to Hong Kong was sentenced to six months in prison on Friday.

Museum of WA entomologists have spent the past few weeks identifying the insect specimens after n Border Force personnel seized them on February 20.

The offender, about to board a flight to Abu Dhabi, admitted the insects were in his bag.

The search revealed them housed in a series of plastic boxes, bags and bottles. Most were packed in wood shavings infused with ethyl acetate, with the exception of a small sample of moths and butterflies in wax paper envelopes in a plastic box.

Some of the specimens collected. Photo: Supplied

While none were protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, 19 beetles of the family Buprestidae, specially protected under the WA Wildlife Conservation Act, were present.

The man was arrested and charged with offences under the Environment Protection and Bio-diversity Conservation Act 1999 and made an initial appearance at Perth Magistrates Court on March 17.

“An investigation into the man’s background revealed he had a keen interest in insects and indications were that he had collected and exported insects from a variety of countries all over the world,” the Border Force said in a statement.

“Native n insects such as these are highly sought after overseas. They can be sold to museums and collectors for a tidy profit. The ABF has an important role in protecting ‘s native wildlife from falling prey to unscrupulous smugglers.”

Specimens of some beetle species such as those pictured can be used for making jewellery in Asian countries and can fetch hundreds of n dollars on sites such as eBay.

Meanwhile, a Chinese national arrested in December after more than twenty native n lizards were found wrapped in socks and hidden in post bound for Hong Kong on Friday received a six-month jail term, backdated to December 13 when he was first remanded, and a $6000 fine.

He will be deported from on completion of his prison time in June.

People with information about the illegal removal of reptiles or who notice any suspicious activity suggesting that reptiles are being illegally removed should call DPaW’s Wildcare Helpline 9474 9055 or the ABF’s Border Watch on 1800 009 623

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Sydney Harbour Bridge celebrates 85th anniversary​

Police officers rush to seize Captain Francis de Groot. There was no television or social media but for eight years the building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge was the biggest show in town.
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On the 85th anniversary of the bridge opening this Sunday, it is perhaps forgotten that people had been arguing about it for years: Henry Parkes contested the seat of St Leonards in 1885 on the slogan “Now who will stand at my right hand And build the bridge with me” while the author Ruth Park wrote of a “vociferous tunnel party”.

So when construction finally started it was prime viewing.

The people of Sydney watched as they tore down Milsons Point and Dawes Point and thousands slept rough in the ruins as the Depression hit. Meanwhile above them, men seemed to defy gravity crawling over the grey steel as it inexorably linked arms across the harbour.

There were no nets, just rope strung between stanchions and if a southerly buster was expected the Observatory would hang out a warning black ball.

“The construction of the bridge was a major event for Sydneysiders at the time. Everyone watched over the years as each day their city changed before their eyes,” says State Library of NSW curator Anni​ Turnbull.

“About 1400 worked on the bridge. Sixteen died – two of them stonemasons getting granite for the bridge in Moruya.

“The bridge was nicknamed ‘the iron lung’ because it was the lifeblood of Sydney. It gave work to thousands across NSW and literally helped many local families stay alive.”

The State Library of NSW is celebrating 85 years of the Sydney Harbour Bridge with the release of an oral history collection of interviews made in 1982 with about70 surviving men and a woman who had built the bridge.

Here is public works photographer William Brindle’s memory of the bridge’s famous chief engineer John Bradfield​: “He was a very demanding fellow. He knew what he wanted and he wanted everything yesterday.”

The National Film and Sound Archive released an online exhibition featuring archival footage over the eight-year construction and controversial opening on March 19, 1932.

Highlights of the exhibition and collection include:

Major Francis de Groot’​s slashing the ribbon with his sword, before the official opening by premier Jack Lang;a recording of the Queen Mother deeming the bridge “one of the wonders of our time”;a 1984 tourism promotion starring former bridge rigger Paul Hogan;the first BridgeClimb​ in 1998;songs about the bridge in the 1930s;and behind-the-scenes photos of the post-apocalyptic bridge fromMad Max: Beyond Thunderdrome.The State Library also has a bridge anniversary display that features an engraved cigarette case presented to de Groot after he was detained at areception house for the insane following his ribbon-cutting exploit, and subsequent conviction for offensive behaviour twodays later. He was fined £5with £4 costs.

The engraving reads: “He is not insane. 21st March 1932.”

HOW THE EVENT WAS COVERED AT THE TIMEFirst published inThe Sydney Morning Heraldon March 21, 1932

The Sydney Harbour bridge was officially opened by the Premier(Mr. Lang) on Saturday in the presence of a vast concourse and amidscenes of pageantry without parallel in Sydney’s history.

On the land and on the water, in brilliant sunshine and amid thesplendour of the illuminations at night, Sydney added another chapterto its history in a great blaze of colourful scenes of swiftly-changingbrilliance.

Cheers swept the crowded scene at the southern approach to thebridge when the Governor (Sir Philip Game) read the King’s message;when, later, his Excellency unveiled a tablet and named the structureSydney Harbour Bridge; when the Premier declared the bridge opened;and when, amid a reverberating Royal salute of 21 guns and the joyoussiren note of the watercraft, the Premier severed the blue ribbon acrossthe southern approach; a majestic air force dipped in salute, palatialliners moved in stately procession under the bridge, and the pageantitself, with its floral and other floats, was displayed in all its magnificence.

Proceedings took a sensational turn when, during the speech by theMinister for Works (Mr. Davidson), a comparatively young man onhorseback, wearing the uniform of a military officer, his breast aglowwith decorations, approached the ribbon on the southern highway,and cut it with his sword, declaring the bridge open. He was arrested.This incident is described in another column.

Political colouring was given to the scene when boo-hooing among asection followed the car occupied by the Prime Minister (Mr. Lyons),following the official party’s return to the dais after the formal entryinto the northern suburbs.

Ribbon cutMr Lang cut the ribbon with a pair ofjewelled scissors. It was a simple ceremony,fraught with significance because, in openingthe highway across the harbour, it representedthe culmination of years of planning, and yearsof work.

The ribbon stretched across the bridge nearthe toll offices on the southern side. MrLang was accompanied to this last frail barrierby the official party, including the Governor(Sir Phillip Game) and the Prime Minister(Mr Lyons).They halted at the ribbon, andan army of photographers poised their camerason the other side. Mr Roland D Kitsonrepresenting Dorman, Long and Company,handed the golden scissors to the Premier;there was a little pause while the voicesof the radio announcers could be heardtellingmillions of people what wasabout to happen. Then the shining blades closed on the ribbon, the halves fluttered to the ground – and thebridge was open.

Immediately wireless signals were sent to the aeroplanes hovering above, and almost as one they swooped in salute over the arch. More signals went to the harbour craft below, and in a second, almost, the air was filled with the din of sirens and the roar of speed boats. Everyone knew that the great moment was over, but the prime movers in the little drama, the Premier and those with him, had to be patient while the photographers had their way with them. Presently they got into their motor cars and were driven across the bridge, while the aeroplanes chased each other in breathless arcs through the sky.

The scissors Mr Lang used were made of n gold, and were mounted with six flame-coloured opals. Flannel flowers, waratahs and gum leaves were hand-wrought on the handles, and in the midst of all thiscraftmanshipwas the Harbour Bridge. The blades were engraved with the following inscription:Presented to the Hon. J.T. Lang, M.L.A., Premier and Treasurer of New South Wales, by Dorman, Long, and Co, contractors, opening of Sydney Harbour Bridge, March 19, 1932.

The pageant through the cheering cityNature contributed magnificently to thesplendour of the pageantry that heralded theopening of the bridge. The sparkling sunshine of a glorious day lent the final gracioustouch that spelt absolute success for such anoccasion.

In glittering legend and symbolism: inbeautiful living figures, and in all the flowers of Flora’s domain, the gigantic tableautold the story of a State that is the cradleof n development, from the far-offdays of the first settlement at Sydney Cove.Foremost in the great scene was a little armyof the State’s sturdy childhood and youth,aglow with the joyful spirit of the hour – awonderfully impressive picture of a youngdemocracy’s goodly and proud heritage.

From every window, every balcony, everyother vantage point, there came bursts ofechoing and re-echoing cheers, as the youngsters marched past, and there came into view,amid the crash of triumphal music, bridgeworkers, who were accorded a magnificentovation, aborigines, and then, in a riot ofcolour, the historical, rural, floral, and otherparts of the pageant.

Vast human tideA vast, moving, colourful spectacle, symbolical of the life of the State in all its phases,the pageant Itself was splendidly conceivedand faultlessly carried out. Looking forward to this break in the gloomof depression as a hopeful augury of a futureof brightening promise, the people, happilyexcited and stimulated by the carnival spirit,gave themselves over to the glamour of theday. Trams, ferries, motor cars – and evenbuses – brought them teeming into the cityfrom all points of the compass.

And then came the ebb. The return of the sightseers to their homes, tired, jostled, but satisfied with all they had seen, and heard, was one of the great spectacles of the historic day. The temper of the home-going crowds was splendid.

Although tens of thousands lined the tram routes near the Quay, swarming on to the cars long before the latter reached their terminal point; although at one time a crowd of several thousands was wedged in a solid mass at St James Station,srivingto reach the underground; although two seemingly unending queues awaited their turn at Wynyard Station booking offices, there was no disorder, no lack of temper. It was a tribute to theequanimnityof that vast multitude, as much as to the efficiency of the officers responsible for the transport facilities that not a single hitch occurred.

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