Archive for July, 2019

No charge: Owen Franks appears to gouge the eye of Kane Douglas.SANZAAR will not back down on the non-citing of All Blacks forward Owen Franks for an alleged eye-gouge on Kane Douglas despite a major backlash.
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And World Rugby does not have the power under their regulations to appeal the decision because the Rugby Championship is an independent tournament conducted by SANZAAR.

The game’s southern hemisphere governing body confirmed on Sunday morning, in the wake of the All Blacks’ 29-9 victory over the Wallabies, New Zealand tighthead Franks had no case to answer for what appeared to be deliberate contact with Douglas’ eye, which is prohibited under World Rugby laws.

However, after footage emerged of a new angle showing Franks attempting to put his hands near Douglas’ eyes, SANZAAR and World Rugby have copped a tidal wave of criticism on social media with some of the game’s greats questioning why Franks was not charged.

Irish rugby great Brian O’Driscoll led the chorus of criticism for Franks’ non-citing, labelling the decision a “farce”.

“This is an absolute sham @WorldRugby,” O’Driscoll tweeted to his 728,000 followers. “Makes a mockery of citing. If nothing comes of this it’s a farce.” This is an absolute sham @WorldRugby ???! Makes a mockery of citing. If nothing comes of this it’s a farce. https://t.co/sDr92ggzcU— Brian O’Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) August 28, 2016

World Rugby cannot appeal the decision because it is an independent tournament as determined by their council and unions.

SANZAAR, however, will not budge on its initial ruling, determined by a citing commissioner, that the Franks incident did not reach a red card threshold.

That is not to say the alleged eye-gouge did not warrant a yellow card or the bare minimum; a penalty.

Under SANZAAR procedures, it is not possible to appeal against a non-citing, meaning that even if new footage comes to light, the ruling from an independent commission will stand.

The only way that could change however, would be if Douglas was prepared to make a complaint if he felt he was eye-gouged.

This is not something Douglas plans on doing, but it does create a debate as to whether it is the player or the governing body’s responsibility to come forward, given the Wallabies second-rower will more than likely adhere to the “what happens on the field stays on the field” code among players.

While there has been no official word out of the Australian camp regarding the alleged eye-gouge, it is understood they did not refer the Franks incident to the citing commissioner because they felt it would almost certainly be picked up in the match review without their intervention.

Michael Cheika said after the Wellington Test: “They couldn’t miss it, it was pretty in the open. It’d be pretty hard for the match review to miss.”

Former Wallaby Michael Lynagh also expressed his bemusement an the non-citing, saying there was “no surprise” in a response to O’Driscoll’s tweet.

Meanwhile, another incident dominated headlines across the ditch on Monday with footage emerging of Wallabies back-up halfback Nick Phipps throwing outside centre Malakai Fekitoa’s left boot away.

While it is not uncommon for players to lose their boot, Phipps’ wind up and launching of the boot towards the Wallabies tryline was not appreciated by All Blacks fans.

According to World Rugby law 10.4(m): “A player must not do anything that is against the spirit of good sportsmanship in the playing enclosure.”

It was a number of these incidents during the Wellington clash that has left both camps seeing red.

That All Blacks hooker Dane Coles wasn’t sent off, be it for 10 minutes or the rest of the match, for a hit on an unsuspecting Scott Fardy at the bottom of a ruck, was a sore point for Cheika after the match.

“Fardy had been cracked on the skull and there was no yellow card for that,” Cheika said. “I don’t know whether one person’s head is worth more value than the other person’s head. That’s the way it’s rolling at the moment.”

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Calling for level playing field: Michael Cheika. Photo: Anthony Au-YeungThe ARU is still waiting to hear why All Blacks coach Steve Hansen and assistant referee Jaco Peyper met before the weekend’s Bledisloe Test, something it believes was not in keeping with the spirit of World Rugby regulations.
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Hansen has quashed claims he met with game two referee Romain Poite in the lead-up to his side’s Bledisloe Cup clash with the Wallabies but admitted to having a meeting with Peyper, the man in charge for game one in Sydney.

Hansen claims he was asked by Peyper to the meeting, not the other way around, so he and scrum coach Mike Cron went along to discuss a number of things that came up from the All Blacks’ 42-8 thumping in game one.

The Wallabies have since made an official complaint to World Rugby, asking them to investigate whether any meetings were held between a referee and New Zealand coaching staff.

Michael Cheika is allowed to ask for a meeting but the fact Peyper, as it’s alleged by Hansen, called for the meeting, the ARU believe this is not completely within the spirit of World Rugby regulation 15.4.2.

The Australians believe there is little disparity between a head referee and an assistant, particularly if the assistant was in charge for the previous game.

The regulation states: “Any meeting with the referee involving participating Unions before any International Match, may only take place if a representative of both Unions involved in the Match is present, unless one of the Unions, having been offered the opportunity to attend a meeting with the referee elects not to do so, in which case the meeting may proceed with a representative of only one participating Union present.”

Because Peyper was the assistant referee for the upcoming fixture, it is understood that is why Hansen might not have a case to answer.

World Rugby has been contacted about the matter and will discuss before delivering a response to the ARU.

If it is proven Peyper went to the All Blacks, it is interesting why he did not offer the same meeting to the Australians, who suffered a 34-point loss, which was their biggest on home soil.

There is a perception if Cheika and Wallabies scrum coach Mario Ledesma hypothetically met an assistant, without the All Blacks knowing, before a Test they went on to win and the offer was not extended to their opposition, they would face the same scrutiny as Hansen and Peyper.

There is no suggestion from the Wallabies a meeting with match officials would do anything to change the scoreline in Wellington in which the All Blacks clinched their 14th consecutive Bledisloe Cup.

“There’s a clear protocol around the referees liaison in the country where the match is being hosted,” Cheika said on Sunday. “We’re not saying it shouldn’t happen but we just want to go where the rule is. We gave it to them. They [World Rugby] will probably do nothing. Pretty clear they’re not interested in our comments on the issue, so we’ve reported it back there so we’ll see what they do. It’s just a footnote for us.”

Hansen said claims of a meeting with Poite were false and that he could not understand the issue with meeting Peyper.

“It’s quite sad that’s come out, isn’t it, because it’s not true,” Hansen said. “[I said] g’day to Romain in the morning, he stayed here at this hotel. But I did have a meeting with Jaco Peyper this week at his request. I’m a firm believer that we’re here to support the referees and help them. It’s a difficult game to ref so why wouldn’t you have the meeting?”

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Mandurah tiny superheros fight Muscular Dystrophy Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.
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Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

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Member for Canning, Andrew Hastie, (top right) is one of the MPs with the most common name in Parliament. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Government minister Christopher Pyne, the bearer of one of the most popular names in Parliament. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
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New Labor MP Anne Aly – she is one of the five MPs with the name “Anne” in Parliament. Photo: Christopher Pearce

A man called Andrew, David, Steven, Anthony or Christopher is more likely to be sitting on the benches of federal Parliament than a woman despite women making up more than half of the population.

A new analysis of the incoming members of the 45th Parliament paints a stark picture of the gender and ethnic make-up of the lower and upper houses.

The most popular name for MPs is Andrew. There are eight MPs with the name Andrew or five per cent of all male MPs.

There are seven Davids and seven Stevens/Stephens.

Not even the most popular name among women MPs – Ann or Anne – is as popular as the fifth most popular man’s name.

There are six Anthonys and six Christophers but only five Annes.

Such are the low numbers of women in Parliament that there are only three other women’s names which feature more than three times – Susan/Sussan, Catherine/Katherine and Julie.

Researcher Hutch Hussein said looking at MPs’ names was a “useful barometer” of examining the diversity of Parliament.

Ms Hussein, a Labor Party feminist, said the results were “unsurprising” due to the lower numbers of Liberal Party women and showed the easiest “pathway” to politics was to be a white man.

When the new Parliament sits for the first time on Tuesday it will have five more women on its benches than the previous parliament.

The number of women in the House of Representatives has risen to 43 (29 per cent of lower house members) up from 40 (27 per cent) at the end of the 44th Parliament which was dissolved when the July election was called, research from the Parliamentary Library shows. The number of women in the Senate has increased by one to 30 senators (39 per cent of upper house members).

There are now two female Labor MPs for every one Coalition MP. The Labor Party has 42 female MPs while the number of women Liberal Party MPs dropped from 22 to 18. There are three female National Party MPs.

There are now more male MPs with the names Andrew, David, Steven, Christopher or Anthony than conservative women MPs.

The increased number of MPs from micro parties has seen an injection of new female faces including One Nation’s Pauline Hanson and two members of the Nick Xenophon Team, Rebekah Sharkie and Skye Kakoschke-Moore.

Ms Hussein said her research also demonstrated the “Anglo stranglehold” with the names of MPs indicating that Parliament was still dominated by people from Anglo Saxon backgrounds.

Following the July 2 election the deputy leader of the National Party, Fiona Nash, said the party needed “to do better”.

“We do need to do more, there’s no doubt about that. Not very long ago the NSW Nationals put in place a target of 50–50 male and female representation by 2025, which I pushed very hard for. Personally, I don’t believe in quotas, but I do believe in having a commonsense target,” Senator Nash said.

Defence Minister Marise Payne was also critical.

“If there is a strategy, it’s clearly not working,” she said in July. “So we need to change that. We need to make sure that we are identifying strong female candidates early; we need to make sure we are encouraging them in the positives of political life. I think we can do much better; I am determined to do that.”

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Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is welcomed to the Ecumenical Service to mark the opening of the 45th Parliament at the Church of St Andrew in Canberra. The same-sex marriage confrontation occurred after the ceremony. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Opposition Leader Bill Shorten during the Ecumenical Service to mark the opening of the 45th Parliament. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the Church of St Andrew in Canberra on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has been confronted by an Anglican priest over comments linking opponents of same-sex marriage to bigoted views and homophobia.

Canberra priest Ian Powell approached Mr Shorten after the traditional church service to mark the opening of Parliament on Tuesday, as Labor comes under pressure to support the Turnbull government’s planned plebiscite on same-sex marriage.

The Greens and Nick Xenophon’s party have confirmed they plan to block the required enabling legislation in the Senate, with Labor expected to announce its opposition when the government finalises its plans for a February vote.

Rector Powell took issue with comments Mr Shorten made during the election campaign, linking a fatal shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida with the plebiscite campaign, saying it could “give haters the chance to come out from under the rock”.

In front of a large media contingent, he approached Mr Shorten outside Canberra’s St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.

“You described people who weren’t in favour of changing the definition of marriage as ‘haters who come out from under rocks’. Can I ask you not to speak like that? Because I know lots of people like that,” the Canberra priest told Mr Shorten.

“Please don’t speak like that about other Australians, so we can have a civil and tolerant discussion rather than the hate that’s been coming.”

In the unexpected encounter, the Labor leader responded, saying Rector Powell should quote him accurately.

“Please don’t hector me. Give me the chance to speak,” Mr Shorten said.

“First of all, people of faith can be opposed to marriage equality.

“People of faith can be opposed to marriage equality but some people who object to marriage equality do have homophobic attitudes.”

Mr Powell thanked Mr Shorten and the pair went their separate ways.

Opponents of the plebiscite are concerned campaigning could see hateful and homophobic speech, potentially damaging to gay and lesbian Australians and their families.

Rector Powell has been contacted for comment.

He has previously warned same-sex marriage could lead to polygamy or “plural marriage”, while linking it to adults who are “in love with children” or even those with “longings is to have sex with animals”.

Newly elected Liberal MP and former Human Rights commissioner Tim Wilson used an opinion piece on Tuesday to argue against efforts to block the plebiscite, calling on supporters of same-sex marriage to back a national vote.

Mr Wilson said upon hearing that the Coalition would pursue a plebiscite, rather than a Parliamentary vote, he “crawled into a ball in bed and cried” but was now convinced a plebiscite was the right way to make the case for the change.

Former Greens leader Bob Brown said this week the plebiscite option should be kept open if it is the only way of achieving same-sex marriage in the foreseeable future.

While the Greens have announced they will oppose any plebiscite, in an interview with The Conversation Mr Brown – the first openly gay member of federal parliament – warned against three more years of waiting for marriage equality.

“There’s so many arguments against a plebiscite, for Parliament getting on and doing the job,” the former senator said.

“Malcolm Turnbull – where are you? This is your own inclination. You should insist that there be a vote in the parliament and a free vote of your members and you should put your leadership on the line about it and get this over and done with. And the nation will be grateful to you if you do it,” he said.

“But if that’s not to be the case, we have to think again about leaving it … as the conservatives, the George Christensens of the world and the Christian lobby etc, want it: ‘Oh, let’s put it off in the hope that it’ll never happen’.”

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