Monthly Archives: January 2019

English Roses loom as Comm Games threat

England netball coach Tracey Neville lays down the law to her Roses team ahead of the Comm Games.Growing up with twin brother and England soccer giant Phil Neville has given English netball coach Tracey Neville a unique insight as she prepares her improved side for a Commonwealth Games raid in April.
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England will arrive on the Gold Coast as arguably ‘s greatest threat for a fourth title in six Games after three wins against world No.2 New Zealand and two four-goal losses to since August.

But Neville, the twin of England and Manchester United defender Phil and sister of fellow international Gary, will not be sidetracked by their expectations.

“Netball is a low-key media sport and you can get dazzled by the lights, but having my family and seeing what I’ve seen, we haven’t noticed those dazzling lights,” said Neville, herself a Commonwealth Games netball bronze medallist in 1998.

“I’m definitely over that (storyline), it’s lost its flavour (being a Neville) but it has kept us realistic and very level,” Neville told AAP.

Helping England’s revival is the fact almost half of the English squad play in ‘s Super League, with Geva Mentor at defending champions Sunshine Coast, Serena Guthrie and Jo Harten at the Giants, Helen Housby a NSW Swift and Chelsea Pitman at Adelaide.

“We work closely with the clubs in and that’s been instrumental in progressing them in the last two years,” Neville said.

“The whole professionalism of English netball has changed. We’ve gone from having seven to 30 full-time netballers in the last two years.”

New Zealand’s national side has dipped since separating from the n league, with national players contractually obliged to play in their native league.

“They believe their league can be the best in the world too and you can understand that,” Neville said.

“Financially we’re not in a position to fund that in England. But our players have benefited from playing in all three comps and I think, generally, players should get a diversity of coaching.

“That exposure has been great for us and South Africa in the Quad Series; we’re not on the back foot anymore.”

England and New Zealand will meet in the separate pool to in April.

“It seems we’ve won, then lost, then won, then lost (to New Zealand),” the coach said.

“We’ve got to beat them then beat them again.

“Everything for us will come down to making that (Commonwealth Games) final. We’ve never made one and you’ve got to be in it to win it.”

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Maternal obesity is rising, research shows, leading to increased risks for mothers

New research shows rates ofobesity in pregnant women have increased considerably in the last two decades, placing mothers and babies at risk.
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In first time mothers, the prevalence of overweight womenincreased from 12.7 per cent in 1994 to 16.4 per cent in 2014, and the prevalence of obesity rose from 4.8 per cent to 7.3 per cent in the same period.

Murrumbidgee Local Health District midwifery manager Sandra Forde saidthere are various risks associated with a pregnant women being overweight, or obese.

“The woman is at a greater risk of developing gestational diabetes during pregnancy, and she is also at increased risk of having issues with hypertension or what we call pre-eclampsia,” she said.

In theMurrumbidgee district between 2007 and 2015, 8.3 per cent of maternal medical conditions were gestational diabetes. In the same period, pre-eclampsia was 2per cent of maternal medical conditions.

Ms Forde said that one of the best ways to counter these issues is to provide education to women. One method is to encourage women in the Riverina to take part in the ‘Get Healthy In Pregnancy Program’.

“It provides women 10 coaching sessions and allows them the opportunity to explore healthy eating, an appropriate way to exercise during the pregnancy,” she said.

The program has an array of benefits, Ms Fordesaid, including reducing back pain and nausea and increasing energy levels.

“It gives the woman the opportunity to return to her pre-pregnancy weight and fitness level,” she said.

Ms Forde also said that the reason education is so crucial in dealing with this issue, is it can have a ripple effect.

“It enables them to provide better role modeling for their children and their families to eat healthy to exercise more,” she said.

“It’s got a lot of long-term effects and it can help decrease childhood obesity whichis what we are really trying to target.”

Associate Professor Kirsten Black, co-author of the research published in theMedical Journal of ,said maternal obesity has a three-fold effect.

“Maternal obesity has an adverse income on the woman herself because it increases risks for herpregnancy and long-term health,” she said.

“It increases risk for the baby in pregnancy and also during its long-term health, and then there are health system impacts as it is much more costly to care for someone who has complications.”

Ms Black said that women need to plan ahead of their pregnancy.

“75 per cent of people plan for retirement but only about 50 per cent plan for a pregnancy.” she said.

“We are too casual about falling pregnant when all womenshould plan for their pregnancies.”

Ms Black said there are a range of things, such as reducing alcohol intake, that women can do to ensure their own health and the health of their future baby before they get pregnant.

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Manly’s Lussick to miss up to month of NRL

Manl’y Darcy Lussick will miss the start of the NRL season through injury.Manly front-rower Darcy Lussick will miss up to four weeks of the NRL season start but feared it would be much worse.
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Lussick heard a worrying crack in his ankle after taking the first hit up in Saturday’s trial loss to Cronulla.

Limping around with a moonboot on his right leg on Monday, the prop said he had been diagnosed with a high ankle sprain and would be out for four to six weeks.

“I was fearing the worst,” Lussick said.

“I’ve never had a problem with my ankle and one of their big fellas came down and fell on it. There was nothing I could do.”

Lussick had sent social media into a spin when he sent a message that he was giving away the boots he used in the trial match, with some interpreting it as him being ruled out for the season.

“I still am looking forward to a big 2018,” Lussick said.

“Hopefully I’ll only miss one game. I’ve had a pretty good pre-season – injury-free until this point.”

Heading into their March 9 season opener against Newcastle, coach Trent Barrett also has injury concerns over centre Dylan Walker.

Walker was expected to miss the first four rounds after undergoing five operations over the off-season.

After having his ankle, which he dislocated during the Prime Minister’s XIII game, operated on twice, he underwent a shoulder reconstruction which had previously been booked in.

He also had to have two operations to remove a stone in his salivary glands.

While he is back running with teammates, he said could not put a firm date on his return.

“We’ve spoken to the doctors and medical staff at Manly and it’s just one of those ones where they can’t put a time on it,” Walker said.

“Just because of how I’m running and until my confidence comes back. It’s supposed to be round four but it depends on how I’m feeling because I don’t want to go back into it not feeling confident.

“I’d just let the team down more than anyone else.”

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Smith predicts fireworks in South Africa

Steve Smith is predicting a tough time for batsmen during ‘s Test tour of South Africa.Steve Smith has declared will fight fire with fire during a Test series in South Africa which looms as a showdown between two world-class pace attacks.
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The n squad has arrived in Johannesburg for the first of four Tests with Smith predicting both sides’ batsmen will be pushed to the limit in pace-friendly conditions.

South African spearhead Dale Steyn is battling to recover from a heel injury before the first Test in Durban starting on March 1.

But his absence proved no impediment during the Proteas’ recent series victory over India with Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and newcomer Lungi Ngidi forming a lethal attack.

‘s formidable attack of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins delivered plenty of bouncers during the Ashes, and Smith said they wouldn’t hesitate to maintain that approach.

“I think they’ll go down a similar path,” the n captain told reporters.

“I think there could be some good short-pitched bowling throughout the series, to batters, to the tail, everyone from both sides.

“I don’t think a great deal changes there.”

India turned the tables on their hosts during a savage third Test in Johannesburg in which several batsmen copped nasty blows and the umpires considered calling the match off due to the “dangerous” pitch.

But far from being apprehensive about the conditions, Smith said he would relish facing the Proteas’ quicks.

“I think it’s really exciting and the batters should be looking forward to this series,” he said.

“You love going up against good pace and those sorts of challenges.

“It’s going to be a fantastic series for the viewers to watch.”

The ns will be aiming to maintain a dominant recent record in South Africa, having not lost a Test series there since the Proteas’ readmission to international cricket in 1991.

“I think for us as a whole, we’re coming off the back of a pretty good Ashes campaign at home,” Smith said.

“We’ve played some really good cricket and hopefully we can keep that up here in South Africa.

“The message to the boys is one good series doesn’t make a great team. You need to keep backing it up day-in, day-out in different conditions.”

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Teenager Day in 100m-200m athletics double

Teenager Riley Day has completed the sprint double at the Commonwealth Games track and field trials.Teen sensation Riley Day is following in the footsteps of the legendary Raelene Boyle after claiming a stunning victory in the women’s 200m to complete the sprint double at the Commonwealth Games trials.
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The 17-year-old Day made light of a 1.7m per second headwind on Sunday to win in 22.93 seconds – slashing more than a quarter of a second from her previous best time.

The only n women to have run the 200m faster as teenagers were Boyle and Jenny Lamy – and that was at altitude at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics where they claimed the silver and bronze medals.

Day will also be a key member of the 4x100m relay squad at the April 4-15 Games, but her winning time of 11.56 in the individual 100m earlier in the trials was not a Commonwealth qualifier.

“I have never loved the sport more,” said Day.

“I still half have a love-hate relationship with the 200, but to get the results from it you have to keep doing it.”

Day first burst to prominence at the Nitro Athletics Series last year, where she raced against Usain Bolt in the mixed relay, and also made her major championships debut at the world titles in London.

“If you asked me 12 months ago where I would be today I couldn’t have told you anything of what I have gone on to do and succeeded with,” said Day.

Fellow Queenslander Alex Hartmann was equally impressive in winning the men’s 200m in 20.57 into an even stronger headwind than the one which confronted Day.

Now over the disappointment of a poor Olympic debut in Rio, Hartmann has Peter Norman’s 50-year-old national record of 20.06 in his sights.

“I talk about it with my coach all of the time,” said Hartmann.

“Sometimes I think that he thinks that I’m half joking, but at the warm-up track this morning he said `I’ve seen you training, I’ve seen everything you’ve gone through – you’ve got the potential to do it.

“Go out there and run have fun and do it if you can’.”

The half-lap victories by Day and Hartmann were among a host of fast times recorded on the newly-laid track at Carrara Stadium, which bodes well for the Games.

Brittany McGowan clocked 2:00.24 – the slickest 800m by an n in a decade.

Rio Olympics finalist Ryan Gregson did it the hard way in the men’s 1500m.

Gregson was stuck in seventh spot with half a lap to run, before pulling wide and powering away to win in 3:39.66 ahead of training partner Jordy Williamsz.

“You probably think it ‘s a very stressful situation if I’m back in sixth or seventh but I also knew I had another gear,” said Gregson.

“When I am 100 per cent I am hard to beat.”

Among the other winners to guarantee their Games spots on the final day of the trials were 2017 world championships discus silver medallist Dani Samuels (65.30m), pole vaulter Kurtis Marschall (5.55m) and women’s long jumper Brooke Stratton (6.66m).

Lauren Wells gained an automatic Games berth by winning her favoured event, the 400m hurdles.

The versatile Wells also finished third in the long jump behind Stratton and Naa Anang but the schedule at the Gold Coast Games makes it near-impossible for her to contest both events.

The final Games squad of up to 111 athletes – including 23 para-athletes – will be announced on Thursday.

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