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(Finalists for the 2016 National Pacific Business Awards)

By Loabay Admin1, Dec 12 2017 09:33PM

Raelene Castle is playing down her groundbreaking appointment as Rugby Australia's new CEO as she sets about trying to make the sport the No.1 football code in the country.

The former Canterbury NRL chief executive was announced as Bill Pulver's successor at RA's Sydney headquarters at Moore Park.

Castle will take up her post on January 15, becoming the first female boss of any of the national governing bodies of the four major football codes in Australia.

But dismissing as "media fascination" her watershed leap into Australian rugby's hottest seat, Castle said "the work starts today" in reconnecting with disenchanted fans after one of the toughest years since the code went professional in 1996.

"The reality is sport has gender equity in it. There's people from both who are really delivering, particularly at grassroots level," Castle, also a former Netball New Zealand chief, said.

"So I don't think it's enormous step to have a female chief executive. I'm excited about the opportunity.

"My experience in rugby league was very strong. I don't expect my experience in rugby union to be any different."

Castle spent four years at the Bulldogs, presiding over three NRL finals appearances for the club, including the 2014 grand final loss to South Sydney, before resigning this season.

"(The Bulldogs) really helped me understand the Australian sporting landscape. It's a unique landscape," she said.

"That experience working with the Bulldogs in that landscape and also working with a coach like Des Hasler, who's a strong personality, that will also help me when I have to forge a very strong relationship with (Wallabies coach) Michael Cheika."

The Wagga Wagga-born Kiwi's first priority is to "take a breath".

"It's been a very big year, it's been a challenging year, and this is about some stability moving forward," Castle said.

"But it's about building the relationships, building strong relationships with the states and the franchises and making sure we recognise that rugby is an important game right across the country and getting out and about and meeting some of the rugby people in the community.

"It genuinely is an exciting sport that has an international landscape that no other sport in this country has.

"It offers something that the NRL and AFL can't offer and that is a genuine international and regular international platform for athletes to travel internationally to perform on the world stage."

RA chairman Cameron Clyne said Castle's commercial experience and ability to "make money" for the national body made her the standout applicant among more than 200 candidates including former Wallabies captain Phil Kearns.

"Raelene is an extremely impressive executive who covered every base as far as what the board was looking for in a chief executive officer to lead our game into an important new chapter," Clyne said.

"But also Raelene is bringing a fresh set of eyes, but not new to this market."

(Sourse :1 News NZ https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/sport/rugby/its-been-very-big-year-raelene-castle-ready-get-work-australian-rugby-ceo)

By Loabay Admin1, Dec 12 2017 09:30PM

Wales No. 8 Taulupe Faletau will likely miss the Six Nations after tearing a ligament in his left knee.

Faletau was hurt while playing for Bath in a Champions Cup match on Saturday, when he was cleared out of a ruck by Toulon's Mathieu Bastareaud.

Bath said on Tuesday he tore the medial knee ligament, and will be sidelined for three to four months. He may require surgery.

Faletau hurt the same left knee twice last season, and was out for a total of three months. He recovered to make his second British and Irish Lions tour, and was in good form this season, playing in all four of Wales' recent autumn tests.

A three-month recovery would rule him out of Wales' first three fixtures in the Six Nations in February. Four months, and he won't be back playing until April.

"It's a serious one," Bath rugby director Todd Blackadder said.

"It's a bit of a blow. A guy, sort of off the ball, dives sideways through his knee. These things happen."

Sourse :1 News NZ https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/sport/rugby/wales-no-8-taulupe-faletau-expected-miss-six-nations-serious-knee-injury

By Loabay Admin1, Dec 12 2017 09:28PM

It's not often Brendon McCullum plays second fiddle in a Twenty20 partnership but that was the case as West Indian Chris Gayle shredded the record books in the Bangladesh Premier League final.

The West Indies opener blasted 146 off 69 balls as the Rangpur Riders scored 206/1 before restricting the Dhaka Dynamites to 149/9 in the championship decider in Dhaka.

Gayle whacked 18 sixes, eclipsing the record he set when he smashed 17 sixes in an unbeaten 175 for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Pune Warriors in the Indian Premier League's 2013 final.

The 38-year-old Jamaican's knock also took him past 11,000 runs in the shortest format of the game and made him the first player to score 20 centuries in T20 cricket.

At the other end, former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum contributed 51 runs in a second-wicket stand of 201, striking three sixes in his 43-knock.

Gayle's form will create ripples among the Black Caps as he joins the West Indies this week ahead of their one-day international series in New Zealand.

His knock came four days after cracking 126 off 51 balls in an elimination final against the Khulna Titans.

Gayle finished as the leading BPL run-scorer, fashioning his 485 runs at an average of 53.88 and a momentous strike rate of 176.36.

Second on the run-scoring list was fellow-West Indies ODI opener Evin Lewis, who tallied 396 runs with a strike rate of 159.03 for the Dhaka Dynamites.

Sourse : 1 News NZ https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/sport/cricket/watch-chris-gayle-goes-unstoppable-rampage-crease-hits-record-breaking-18-sixes-in-bpl-final-performance

By Loabay Admin1, Dec 12 2017 09:24PM


Two days after the Manchester derby skirmish in the tight Old Trafford tunnel, the managers of United and City went on the defensive this morning.

Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola were separated by 10 miles (16 kilometers), staging near simultaneous news conferences, as they defended the conduct of their teams.

A tentative Mourinho was far less assertive than he was reported to be in the heat of Sunday's incident that further inflamed the rivalry between the English Premier League's top two.

Mourinho, renowned for his spats, histrionics, and animated touchline antics, was incensed by City's raucous celebrations after winning on United territory.

After initially refusing to discuss the 2-1 loss and trying to force reporters to ask about Wednesday's game against Bournemouth, Mourinho couldn't resist speaking out at United's Carrington complex.

"The only thing I can say is that for me it was just a question of diversity," Mourinho said, "diversity in behaviors, diversity in education. Just that and nothing more than that."

Certainly nothing more once a United communications officials blocked further questions on the confrontation that saw milk and water thrown at Mourinho and is now being investigated by the Football Association.

Guardiola was perplexed Mourinho questioned City's right — within their dressing room — to revel in victory that took the team 11 points clear of United at the Premier League summit.

"We won a derby against Manchester United, at that moment the biggest rival," Guardiola said. "So people expect we are not going to celebrate? No. We celebrate. When United win a derby they celebrate, when Arsenal win against United they celebrate. When United or Arsenal win the FA Cup they celebrate. But where? Inside the locker room. That's what we do and we did."

City assistant coach Mikel Arteta sustained a cut on his forehead in the melee that erupted around the doorway to City's dressing room, where loud music was playing.

"I encourage the players to celebrate the victories, but of course inside the locker room," Guardiola said. "We have huge respect for our opponents — not just for Manchester United, all the opponents. When we lose you have to accept the defeat, when we win we try to celebrate."

(Sourse : 1 News NZ https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/sport/football/investigation-into-manchester-derby-post-match-launched-after-city-staff-allegedly-hurt-in-scuffle-between-teams)

By Loabay Admin1, Dec 12 2017 09:20PM

Minister for Children Tracey Martin says the government hasn't decided to cut support to children's charity Kidscan but lays the blame at the feet of the previous government for not allocating ongoing funding.


National's Paula Bennett has accused the new government of axing a programme specifically aimed at helping kids who need it most.

"This is another example of Labour's ideological stance against partnership models. KidsCan is a shining example of how corporate and public funds combined can achieve great outcomes," she said.

Minister for Children Tracey Martin says the government hasn't decided to cut support to children's charity Kidscan but lays the blame at the feet of the previous government for not allocating ongoing funding.

National's Paula Bennett has accused the new government of axing a programme specifically aimed at helping kids who need it most.

"This is another example of Labour's ideological stance against partnership models. KidsCan is a shining example of how corporate and public funds combined can achieve great outcomes," she said.

"I implore the government to rethink this terrible decision."

But Ms Martin said Ms Bennett's previous National government had not allocated any money for Kidscan after June.

"My understanding is that Oranga Tamariki informed them that it would not be seeking new money for them in the budget. That was an operational decision by the ministry," she said in a statement.

"I've only just become aware of this issue and I have asked officials to provide me a briefing on this relationship and the funding issues.

"This government values organisations that provide real help to children and Kidscan has obviously done some great work with a lot of kids."

KidsCan executive Julie Chapman told RNZ she had been told a week ago that the funding, worth $350,000 a year, would end on July 1.

"There's going to be quite a big impact on our ability to get the support to kids in need," she said.

Oranga Tamariki says no final decisions have been made about future funding.

(Sourse : 1 News NZ https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/labour-and-national-argue-over-whos-responsible-kidscan-funding-troubles)

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