Mitchell Marsh firming as heir apparent to Shane Watson

Australia crumble in heat

ABU DHABI: Mitchell Marsh reaffirmed his standing as the heir apparent to Shane Watson but Australia’s vulnerability against spin bowling in foreign conditions was again cruelly exploited on Saturday.

Marsh accepts Watson is a walk-up start in the Test side when fully fit but “If you score enough runs they have to pick you”, he said of his chances of remaining in the side for the first Test against India in Brisbane next month.

Watson’s future appears to be at No.6 though Marsh’s promising start to his Test career combined with the moderate form of Alex Doolan at first drop has left the door ajar on both all-rounders featuring in the side.

Watson and Marsh have both been named in Australia’s squad for the first two one-day internationals against South Africa.

Marsh had a maiden Test century within reach but succumbed to the dual curse of 87 and 66.6 overs.

He was the bright light on another bleak day for the Australians in the Middle East.

Australia were dealt another blow with Brad Haddin not taking to the field in the second innings with his shoulder injury though he was able to bat, making 10. His arm was in a sling on Saturday.

Australia’s capitulation for 261 was the 10th time from their past 11 innings in Asia where they have failed to score 400.

Highlighting their woes this series, Australia’s batsmen have made just one century compared to Pakistan’s seven.

Marsh was the only player to pass 50 and clearly the most comfortable of the Australians.

The second-gamer said getting through the first 40 balls of his innings was what allowed him to succeed. Embarrassingly, only four players achieved that feat and two were tailenders – Nathan Lyon and Peter Siddle.

“I just went out there and tried to play my natural game, obviously it was a little bit tough losing a few wickets around me, but I just tried to put it out of my head and bat the way I do and it was good fun to get a few runs but we are behind the eight ball in this match,” Marsh said.

“There’s no doubt that we didn’t make enough runs as a batting group this innings. The wicket is pretty flat, their spinners bowled really well, they got the ball reverse swinging and it was a good all round effort from their bowling attack.”

Marsh entered this match with a first-class average of 28 but if his effort on Saturday was any guide it will not stay that low for long.

“I think over the last 12 months I have matured as a batsman and I have worked out what works for me and all cricketers growing up go through that period,” Marsh said.

“Just learning how I want to play, I probably got a little bit caught up when I came into the first-class scene of trying to play too cute and look like a real batsman, rather than just going out there, backing my own ability and taking the game on.

“Because that is when I play my best cricket and that is when most players play their best cricket and that’s been the best thing for me and hopefully that will continue.”

Marsh said he wanted to be aggressive against Pakistan, though the strategy did not serve many of his teammates well.

“Everyone has individual game plans  but the way we are taught to play cricket is to take the game on so that was certainly what was going through my head,” Marsh said.

Marsh said he was nervous on debut but felt more relaxed in Abu Dhabi.

“I didn’t have 25 of the Marsh clan in the stands watching me so that made me feel a bit better,” Marsh said.

Pakistan chose not to enforce the follow on but are in a near impregnable position with two days remaining. The Australians have all but conceded they will not win this match and level the series.

“We’ve got a huge challenge ahead of us. Whatever total they set us will be a huge one and we’ll fight as hard as we can to hang on to this Test match,” Marsh said.

“If we get some early wickets you never know.”

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Wallabies hang on to beat Barbarians at Twickenham to start Michael Cheika’s tenure with a win

LONDON: The Wallabies finally have something to smile about after beating the Barbarians and new coach Michael Cheika wants Australia to “get on the ride” as his team attempts to restore its badly dented reputation.

The Wallabies started Cheika’s tenure with a 40-36 win at Twickenham on Sunday morning Australian time, holding off a Nick Cummins’ inspired charge to secure a morale-boosting triumph.

The Barbarians’ helter-skelter style and attacking freedom exposed some flaws in the Australian game plan in an 11-try bonanza.

But Cheika believes that can help accelerate his side’s development after a winless month filled with off-field dramas.

The Wallabies also unearthed a potential Test star in Melbourne rookie Sean McMahon, who starred in his Australian debut after getting a shock spring tour call up.

“The win helps, but the issue is about the players and the team taking the initiative and changing people’s [perception], get them enjoying the game again,” Cheika said.

“Forget about all the other stuff, just enjoy footy for what it brings. Sometimes it’s going to be great, other times it won’t be perfect.

“But it’s about getting on the ride and enjoying it, being proud of the team. We can do that by showing our commitment on the field.

“Our defence is probably the part of our game I want to improve the most … it’s a new system so you’ll have that slight hesitation but hopefully we’re a bit more aggressive next week.”

Australian rugby has been bashed and belted from every angle and the Kurtley Beale-Di Patston drama has engulfed the sport.

The Wallabies are intent on rebuilding respect with a four-Test tour of Europe, starting against Wales in Cardiff this weekend.

“[The game plan] of the Waratahs isn’t going to work, we’ve got to build a unique style and embrace the characters in the team that will suit us,” Cheika said.

McMahon stepped up to make his mark on the Wallabies, coming on as a replacement for Scott Higginbotham after just 19 minutes.

Higginbotham is in danger of missing the rest of the Wallabies tour after injuring is hamstring, but will be given two days to recover before a decision is made.

Cheika described McMahon’s debut as “outstanding” and the Australian under-20s captain and Commonwealth Games bronze medal winner didn’t look at out of place in front of almost 54,000 fans.

McMahon is in contention to replace Higginbotham in the backrow next week, with Cheika saying he would not panic into calling a player into the squad.

But the Wallabies had hearts in their mouths when cult hero Cummins, also known as the Honey Badger, led the Barbarians on a late charge.

The crowd roared as Cummins made break after break against his former teammates as the Barbarians closed the gap from 18 points to just four with time running out in a seesaw battle.

“It was a tough game … they kept throwing the ball around and our defence stood strong at the end,” said captain Matt Hodgson.

“We knew they would throw it around at the end to try to catch up. We just had to stick to our system.

“It’s a big step forward for us. We’re on a five-week tour and we needed to start with momentum … not only with a win but with that physical style.”

Sam Carter, Benn Robsinson, Tevita Kuridrani, Rob Horne, Bernard Foley and McMahon all scored tries while the Barbarians refused to give up.

Queensland duo Quade Cooper and Will Genia got their chances to start as a five-eighth-halfback combination but were a little rusty after injury-enforced breaks from the game.

Outside centre Tevita Kuridrani was outstanding again and has all but locked up the Wallabies’ No.13 jersey for the tour.

Cheika’s impact on the team was evident right from the opening whistle.

The Wallabies adopted Cheika’s plan to have players start 10 metres behind halfway at kick-off, a ploy used by the NSW Waratahs in their Super Rugby success.

The Barbarians were intent on entertaining and put on an experimental masterclass to try to catch the Wallabies napping

From their first lineout No.8 Steven Luatua launched the ball 35 metres over the set piece to a flying Nick Cummins, who dropped the ball in contact.

From their first attacking penalty they put the ball five metres from the Wallabies’ line and used a 12-man lineout to try and force their way over the line.

When that was illegally stopped, halfback Tomas Cubelli used an audacious no-look kick over his head from close range which resulted in a scramble for possession in the in goal.

Both teams had less than a week together in preparation, but it was the Barbarians – made up of players from all over the world – who steamrolled Cheika’s men early.

At times the Wallabies appeared to lack some cohesion in the helter skelter fixture, with running rugby taking precedence over tactical play.


WALLABIES40 (Sam Carter, Benn Robinson, Tevita Kuridrani, Rob Horne, Bernard Foley, Sean McMahon tries; Quade Cooper 3, Bernard Foley 2 conversions) bt BARBARIANS 36 (Frank Halai, Adam Thomson, Francis Saili, Nick Cummins, Marnitz Bashoff tries; Colin Slade 2, Marnitz Boshoff 2 conversions; Colin Slade penalty) at Twickenham on Sunday morning. Crowd: 53,568. Referee: Jaco Peyper.

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20 reasons to visit Lyon, France

1 Eat at a Bouchon

Once frequented by hungry silk workers in the 17th and 18th centuries, these cosy inns specialise in hearty, no-nonsense French cooking flying in the face of fussy haute cuisine. Tourist imitations are rife but a smattering of traditional establishments remain. While sampling dishes such as blood sausage with stewed apple or rich duck pate, the checked tablecloths and frantic cheek kissing will leave you in no doubt you’ve discovered an authentic French experience. See lesfedeslyon杭州龙凤论坛m. 2 Lumiere Institute Museum

Cinema was essentially invented here after Lyon brothers Auguste and Louis Lumiere came up with the Cinematograph projector in 1895, so a visit to this intriguing museum is a must. Housed inside what was once the Lumiere family home, exhibits throughout 21 rooms include some of the earliest picture reels and prototype cameras and even the Photorama, a reproduction of Louis Lumiere’s incredible invention that ensures visitors can view photos projected 360 degrees to a height of more than six metres. See institut-lumiere杭州龙凤论坛. 3 Walk the Old Town

Lyon’s medieval Old Town (also known as Vieux-Lyon) is one of the best preserved in Europe. Located on the west bank of the Saone River, it’s a charming mix of cobbled alleyways, boutique shops, wine bars and restaurants. In 1954, the area became the first in France to gain protection under a law to preserve the country’s cultural sites resulting in an unparalleled mix of Renaissance, Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Don’t miss the covered Passage Thiaffait in the silk quarter. 4 Museum of Miniatures and Film Sets

Housed inside the famous “Maison des Avocats” building, a 16th century UNESCO protected gem, this five floor exhibition details everything from the use of special effects in cinema to reproductions of daily life through elaborately crafted miniatures. The museum is partnered with numerous LA-based studios who work closely with local artists to ensure exhibits change regularly. Highlights include life-sized sets from the film Perfume in the basement and even a Gremlin. See  5 Basilique Notre Dame de Fouviere

A visit to this elaborate basilica perched on the crest of Fourviere Hill offers the best views across the city and surrounding Rhone Valley. Built between 1872 and 1884, the ornate interior is testament to the sheer opulence and outrageous wealth of the Catholic Church; a heady mix of gilt, marble, stained glass and coloured mosaics perhaps overcompensating for the church’s lack of genuine political clout around the time. Frequent tours are available. See fourviere杭州龙凤论坛. 6 Les Halles de Lyon-Paul Bocuse

Named after Lyon’s celebrated Michelin-starred chef, this covered market originally dates back 1859 and although the original incarnation fell into disrepair, it underwent an extensive renovation in 2006. Now home to 56 specialist food shops and restaurants spread over three floors, it’s the sort of place to bring chefs and foodies to their knees. After perusing the high-end cheeses and gourmand smoked meats, pull up a stool, grab a glass of wine and sample fresh oysters or ham off the bone alongside the locals. See  7 Hotel Le Royal Lyon

With its plumb location on Bellecour Square in the heart of Lyon, this elegant boutique hotel has been artfully furnished in the style of a traditional country “maison”, fusing modern classicism with tradition. From the plush lounge lizard bar to the quiet airy rooms, this is a slick oasis where details matter. See lyonhotel-leroyal杭州龙凤论坛m.  8 Escape to wine country

As well as its gastronomic prowess, Lyon is also on the doorstep to some of Europe’s most eminent wine regions; in particular the Rhone Valley and Beaujolais. The Rhone Valley is perhaps more prestigious, known for outstanding Syrah and Viognier grape varieties while the Beaujolais’ Gamay grapes make for dangerously easy-drinking fruit-driven wines. Both regions are easily reached by car but an organised day tour from the city is the best way to avoid ending up tanked behind the wheel. See kanpai-tourisme杭州龙凤论坛m.  9 Cruise on the Saone River

Gain another perspective of the city from the water on an evening boat cruise along the Rhone or Saone rivers. Running between April and October, cruises are a laidback way to learn more about a town with more than 2000 years of history but, at just over an hour, they avoid descending into tedium territory, making instead for a very civilised pre-dinner sojourn. See lyoncityboat杭州龙凤论坛m.  10 Musee des Confluences 

Set to open in December, this science centre and anthropology museum will be the latest edition to Lyon’s cultural landscape. Housing permanent exhibitions detailing anything from the Big Bang Theory to the mechanisms of evolution, the museum’s unusual architectural design is also drawing attention. Referred to as the “Crystal Cloud”, it is an angular mix of glass, concrete and stainless steel set at the top of a steep headland. See 11 Lyon City Card

Available as one-, two- or three-day passes, this handy little card is the key to the city. Pay a one-off fee and gain free admission to dozens of museums, galleries, guided tours, public transport and boat cruises and get discounts at certain shops. See lyoncitycard杭州龙凤论坛m.  12 Lunch at Brasserie Le Silk

Stylishly decked out with a slick, New York loft feel by Parisian interior designer Patrick Norguet, this Sofitel brasserie is a decent option for a more up-market dining experience. Food emphasis is on Mediterranean classics such as beef or salmon tartare with an Asian twist. An outdoor terrace is open during warmer months. See sofitel杭州龙凤论坛m/gb/hotel-0553-sofitel-lyon-bellecour/restaurant. 13 Shopping

The shopping here could placate a Beverly Hills housewife. More luxurious, boutique stores are located in Rue de President Herriot, an elegant stretch of 19th century buildings. For more mainstream offerings, nearby Rue de la Republique and Rue Victor Hugo are a safe bet. If second-hand books and antiques are more your scene, try Rue Auguste Comte or hit the Canal Flea Market on Sunday between 6am and 1pm. See en.lyon-france杭州龙凤论坛m. 14 Museum of Fine Arts

Home to a treasure trove of European painting spanning the Middle Ages to the 20th century, this is one of Europe’s premier art museums. Exhibits showcase anything from Egyptian antiquities to Renaissance sculptures and paintings by European masters, from Claude Monet to Henri Matisse. See 15 Parks and gardens

Escape the city with a stroll through Park de la Tete, a lush, tranquil oasis filled with rose gardens, Mediterranean plants, boules courts and even a sizeable zoo. Also stroll the renovated promenade on the left bank of the Rhone, veering off to nearby Parc des Berges. See loisirs-parcdelatetedor杭州龙凤论坛m/en. 16 Nightlife

Lyon’s nightlife scene is as trendy as it is diverse. The streets around Vieux Lyon are a good place to start, where the Smoking Dog pub is a favourite for a no-nonsense pint. Other traditional hotspots include the streets around Croix Rousse and Place Terreaux, while many former riverboats have since been converted into bars and clubs on the Quai Augagneur along the Rhone.  17 Gallery Hopping

Located at the base of the slopes of La Croix-Rousse, The Rue Burdeau is a bohemian hub of art galleries, workshops and exhibitions incorporating photography, paintings, illustrations, sculpture and more. Be sure to check out the cutting edge photography exhibit, Galerie le Reverbere before rounding off your cultural immersion with a nightcap at the achingly cool Bec de Jazz bar at No.19. 18 Chocolate

In a city with more than 2000 restaurants, there’s always room for dessert. Chocolatiers are ubiquitous in Lyon and among the most famous are Bernachon, known for its iconic Palet d’Or and Bouillet, a chocolatier-cum-patisserie famed for the sort of intricate cakes, tarts and macaroons your waistline won’t thank you for. See chocolatier-bouillet杭州龙凤论坛m/boutique-en-ligne.  19 Festival of Lights

Over four days in December (5-8) Lyon will explode into a kaleidoscopic visual treat as designers from all over the world convene to create the Festival of Lights. Comprising intricate light installations throughout parks buildings and rivers, the festival will see Lyon transformed beyond recognition during dark winter nights. Best of all, it’s free. See 20 Guided tours

Learn more about the silk trading era, traboules (secret passages for which Lyon is famed) Renaissance district or Old Town on a guided walking tour that will help you make sense of the city’s convoluted 2000-year history. Alternatively, rent an MP3 audio guide and meander through the Croix Rousse district at your leisure. The latter is available for rental in various languages from the Lyon Tourist office. See en.lyon-france杭州龙凤论坛m/Guided-Tours-Excursions.

The writer was a guest of Rail Europe and The Lyon Tourism Board.

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Jayden Morrissey, killed by lightning at One Mile Beach, mourned by friends, family

Jayden Morrissey sent his parents this photo from One Mile Beach at Port Stephens on Saturday morning.IT was Saturday morning when Mark Morrissey received a text message with an image of the beaming smile of his second-eldest son, Jayden.
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He was hanging out with mates on the popular Port Stephens strip of sand called One Mile Beach.

By 4.15pm, when he hadn’t heard again from the 15-year-old, Mr Morrissey sent his son a text like so many parents before: ‘‘Are you still alive?’’

Jayden was probably too busy in the surf and on the sand with his mates to get straight back to his dad.

But within an hour, a team of six paramedics and a doctor would start a 70-minute battle to save the popular Thornton teenager’s life.

Jayden was struck by lightning during a storm that had silently rushed over the beach’s southern headland and caught more than 100 beachgoers with nowhere to run.

The medical team lost their battle.

‘‘He could have been five metres up the beach, it could have been any of the other kids that were standing alongside him,’’ Mr Morrissey said on Sunday.

‘‘He did die doing what he loved best – he loved the beach – but he certainly had plenty more journeys in his life.

‘‘He didn’t deserve this.’’

Jayden’s parents Mark and Peta Morrissey at home on Sunday.

Mr Morrissey had dropped his son, the second eldest of four and a year9 student at Francis Greenway High School, up to One Mile Beach on Friday to enjoy a weekend with close friends.

They had had a laugh a minute at the caravan park on Friday night and returned to the beach first thing Saturday morning as the heat started to warm up the sand.

They remained for most of the day before the storm cells drifted in without warning and caught everyone unaware.

Jayden and his friends were well clear of the water when the lightning struck.

‘‘We need people to understand he was not in the water when the storm hit,’’ Mr Morrissey said.

‘‘Police said there was over 100 people on the beach.

‘‘There was no warning of the storm, it came straight over the hill, they didn’t have time to react.

‘‘They were where their towels were and [a friend of the group] turned around to call another two kids out of the water and as he turned he saw Jayden drop to the ground holding his chest.’’

Mr Morrissey, wife Peta, and their three other sons, Brodi, 19, Jarryd, 11, and Logan, 8, have been left devastated.

But although they are searching for answers, they need their friends to know that no one was to blame.

‘‘[The adult friend] will never forgive himself and that is what we need people to understand – there is no blame to be levelled here, there is no hard feelings, it was just a freak accident,’’ Mr Morrissey said.

‘‘I know people can never forgive themselves but you can’t wrap your kids up in cotton wool.

‘‘If he wasn’t up there, he would have been at Nobbys. He would have been at the beach somewhere.’’

Mr Morrissey said his son gave up rugby league several years ago to become a referee and was due to play in state touch football titles at Penrith later this week.

Instead, his family will be facing the worst week imaginable.

‘‘He never gave me an ounce of grief,’’ Mr Morrissey said. ‘‘He was the best kid you could ever ask for.

‘‘He had a cheeky grin, he was quick-witted.

‘‘All of the tributes on Facebook all said the same thing.’’

School friend Emmalee O’Brien questioned how ‘‘such a beautiful soul’’ could be taken so early.

‘‘Really hasn’t sunk in that I won’t be sitting next to you at school on Monday in class,’’ she wrote.

Jayden’s football club, the Thornton Beresfield Bears, also paid their respects. ‘‘It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of the sudden death of Jayden Morrissey,’’ the club posted on its Facebook page.

‘‘Our thoughts, prayers and sincerest condolences to family, friends and all who are affected.’’

Jayden is the second teenage player from the club to die in less than a fortnight. Harry Hofman, 19, died suddenly from a ruptured spleen on October 21.

Jayden Morrissey was killed after being struck by lightning. Photo: supplied


FIFTEEN-year-old Jayden Morrissey, who attended Francis Greenway High School,was killed after being struck by lightningat One Mile Beach in Port Stephens while hanging out with two school friends.

Friends and family have paid tribute to the year 9 student, who was an avid footballer and referee who loved the beach. They have remembered him as a polite and cheerful boy.

“I really can’t believe it, to think I was just with him on Friday and texting him a few hours before he passed away breaks my heart,” Emmalee O’Brien, a school friend of Jayden’s, told Fairfax Media.

“When I heard the news I was absolutely shattered, it still feels like a nightmare and I’m going to go to school on Monday and I’ll walk into class and he will be sitting there waiting for me.

“He had such a beautiful soul and always put people before him. Jayden was always the first kid to stick up for me when I was getting picked on and always was cheering me up when I was down.”

One Mile Beach, Port Stephens.

Dozens of people paid their respects on social media to Jayden.

“The Maitland Pickers Rugby League Club would like to send theirdeepest & most heart felt condolences to Mark Morrissey and his family and friends with the tragic loss of there son Jayden Morrissey yesterday,” the MaitlandPickersRugbyLeagueClub posted on their Facebook page. “Our thoughts, prayers and sincerest condolences to family, friends and all who are affected.”

“No one will ever forget you mate such a stand out great guy,” Jack Cunningham wrote on a photo, while Kristy Bashford said: “You will be greatly missed Jayden, you were a great kid xxx,” Kristy Bashford wrote on a friend’s status update.

Jayden Morrissey, from Facebook

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Australia beats England 16-12in rugby league Four Nations nailbiter

HERO: Ben Hunt celebrates a try. Picture: Getty ImagesBEN Hunt cemented himself as one of the NRL’s premier playmakers this season, but it was his years spent as a utility that helped him spark Australia to their 16-12 Four Nations win over England.
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With England still holding their 12-4 half-time lead midway through the second half at AAMI Park on Sunday before 20,585 fans, Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens thrust Hunt into the action for Sam Thaiday in the 53rd minute and the result was almost instantaneous.

Hunt’s move into hooker, shifting captain Cameron Smith to lock, lifted the intensity of the attack and the home side scored two tries in four minutes to surge past England.

‘‘He was good. He has played dummy half before with the Broncos when he started playing first grade so he is not unfamiliar to that role,’’ Smith said.

‘‘He has great speed, he is a darty little thing and asked a few questions of the English defence around the middle so he was there on the spot when we needed him to score those four points to get us back in the match there.

‘‘He is a great young player for such a young guy. He has got such a great temperament he can play well in those situations.’’

Hunt pounced on a Smith grubber to score in the 57th minute, and when Daly Cherry-Evans put Greg Inglis over in the 64th minute Australia moved to 16-12 lead that was never headed.

The Kangaroos celebrate after a try by Greg Inglis during the Four Nations rugby league game against England at Melbourne’s AAMI Park on Sunday. Picture: Getty Images

The win, which keeps their tournament hopes alive, hung on a last-minute touchdown from England’s Ryan Hall that referee Gerard Sutton ruled out before sending to the video referee. Hall’s pinkie finger touched the Steeden from a Liam Farrell kick before it went dead, but Bernard Sutton ruled there was no downward pressure and no try.

‘‘I wasn’t sure, but the referee called no try, and had it been a try, Hall would have been celebrating,’’ Sheens said.

‘‘But he wasn’t. They were ready for the line dropout. The player told you, really. I think we got the right decision.’’

England coach Steve McNamara felt a try should have been given.

‘‘His finger certainly looked like it was applying some pressure on the ball when it was on the ground,’’ he said.

England led 12-4 at half-time after a spiteful opening in which Liam Farrell, Sean O’Loughlin and Greg Bird were put on report.

Australia scored first through Michael Jennings in the 17th minute after a Cherry-Evans bust, but an enterprising England then enjoyed the best of the first half.

Kallum Watkins crossed out wide after the visitors made numbers on the right in the 29th minute and Hall scored from a one-armed offload from Dan Sarginson in the 34th minute.

But after the break England were reluctant to throw the ball around and it cost them.

‘‘They got to a lead and they worked hard to protect it,’’ Sheens said.

The result means the Four Nations finalists will depend on the outcome and scorelines of next weekend’s final round fixtures between New Zealand and England in Dunedin on Saturday and Australia’s match with Samoa in Wollongong, with for and against possibly coming into the equations.

Sheens says Liam Farrell should be charged by the Four Nations match review committee for an ‘‘ugly’’ chicken-wing tackle on Inglis.

O’Loughlin was reported for tripping Smith and Bird found himself in trouble after an awkward tackle.

Australia have kept their Four Nations chances alive with a nailbiting 16-12 win over England at AAMI Park in Melbourne on Sunday.

A loss would have denied the Kangaroos a chance at making the tournament final in two weeks, and it looked possible at halftime with the visitors leading 12-4 after scoring two-tries-to-one.

But the English didn’t trouble the scorers in the second half, an 80th minute touchdown to winger Ryan Hall denied by video referee Bernard Sutton.

Two tries in seven minutes midway through the second half paved the way for the Australian win, with utility Ben Hunt sparking the home side’s attack after coming on in the 53rd minute.

Hunt pounced on a Cameron Smith grubber to score in the 57th minute and Greg Inglis put Australia ahead in the 64th minute, from there they were never headed.

Results and for and against from Australia’s match with Samoa and England’s clash with New Zealand next week will determine the tournament finalists in a fortnight’s time.

‘‘That was a real Test match,’’ Smith said after the game.

‘‘That was what international football is all about.’’

In a somewhat spiteful start to the game before 20,585 fans, three players, Liam Farrell, Sean O’Loughlin and Greg Bird were put on report in the opening 10 minutes, before the game settled down.

By then Australia had lost back-rower Beau Scott to a hamstring injury for the rest of the game.

The hosts opened the scoring in the 17th minute when a Daly Cherry-Evans inside ball put Greg Bird in the clear 50m out and he dished off for Michael Jennings to cross after making his way through some flimsy defence. Cameron Smith missed the easy conversion for a 4-0 scoreline.

England were not afraid to throw the ball around out wide and it paid dividends in the 29th minute when Ryan Hall made a huge bust upfield.

Daryl Clark was pulled into touch after being held at the end of the movement and from the ensuing penalty England threw it wide again, this time on their right, for Kallum Watkins to score out.Gareth Widdop’s conversion put the visitors ahead 6-4.

They added to that when Hall scored in the 34th minute from a lovely Dan Sarginson pass, and Widdop’s conversion edged England further ahead 12-4.

Jennings’ stepping created space out wide and an opportunity late but his pass to winger Josh Mansour flew into touch.

England counter-attacked and Tomkins burst upfield in the shadows of halftime but the promising raid broke down and they took an eight point lead into the break.

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Royal commission statement about Gillard ‘very damning’: Brandis

Attorney-General George Brandis say royal commission findings were “very damning” of Julia Gillard. Photo: Andrew Meares Ex-Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
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Attorney-General George Brandis has described a statement by counsel assisting the royal commission into union corruption about former prime minister Julia Gillard as “very damning”.

In an overview of submissions to the inquiry, Counsel Assisting Jeremy Stoljar said that Ms Gillard’s former boyfriend Bruce Wilson and sidekick Ralph Blewitt should be charged for a “sham” slush fund they ran in the 1990s.

Ms Gillard provided legal advice for setting up the fund when she worked at Slater and Gordon . In the document released on Friday, Mr Stoljar said that while she did not commit any crime and was not aware of the criminality of Mr Wilson and Mr Blewitt, “some aspects of her professional conduct as a solicitor appear questionable”.

Mr Stoljar added that evidence before the inquiry “supports a finding” that Ms Gillard was either a beneficiary or recipient “of certain funds from Mr Wilson”.

The former prime minister has always denied any wrongdoing and maintained that she did not receive money from the fund for her home renovations in the 1990s.

On Sunday, Senator Brandis said that Mr Stoljar’s statement was a serious one.

“I do think that the conclusions that counsel assisting the Royal Commission came to about Julia Gillard were very damning indeed,” he told Channel Ten.

“To describe the conduct of a lawyer, in dealing with money and setting up a series of arrangements through which money is channelled as ‘questionable’, I think, is a very serious thing to say indeed.”

Prime Minister Tony Abbott was less forthcoming, saying, “it would be probably premature for me to comment on matters that are still before the commission”.

On Saturday, Ms Gillard released a statement via Twitter, noting Mr Stoljar’s view that she did not commit any crime and was not aware of the criminality of others.

“In relation to other matters detailed in the submission relevant to Ms Gillard, her counsel will make submissions at the appropriate point.”

The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption was set up by the Abbott government in March. Royal Commissioner Dyson Heydon is due to present his findings by December 31.

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Woman allegedly assaulted Surry Hills restaurant owner after refusing to pay bill

Inside the El Bulli Spanish restaurant in Surry Hills Sandra Nikolic allegedly attacked the owner of El Bulli and police. Photo: Facebook
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El Bulli Spanish restaurant owner Adrian Paita was allegedly attacked by Sandra Nikolic. Photo: Nine Network

A woman allegedly scratched the neck, chest and arms of the owner of an up-market tapas restaurant after her friend refused to pay the $289 bill, and then assaulted the police officer who arrested her, a Sydney court has heard.

Sandra Nikolic was dining with seven friends at the El Bulli Spanish restaurant on Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills, on Saturday night when she and another member of her party, Daniel McGinn, allegedly starting verbally abusing a waitress.

According to a police statement tendered in court, when the owner and manager of the restaurant, Adrian Paita, approached the pair and asked them not to swear at his staff members, Ms Nikolic allegedly replied “You get f—ed you f—ing c—.”

Mr McGinn allegedly said “We’re not welcome here, our money isn’t good enough – we should just leave without paying.”

Approximately one hour later, after the other members of their group had left, Ms Nikolic and Mr McGinn approached the register with the latter allegedly declaring “here’s $200, I want a receipt”.

When Mr McGinn allegedly refused to pay the remainder of the bill, Mr Paita allegedly told two other staff to “call the police” and “lock the door”.

When the owner stood between the pair of diners and the door, Ms Nikolic allegedly began ripping at his clothes and lashing out with her nails.

She allegedly scratched Mr Paita’s neck, arm, ear, chest, while Mr McGinn allegedly punched him repeatedly to the back and kidney area and kicked him in the knee.

When other restaurant staff intervened to assist Mr Paita by restraining the woman, Mr McGinn allegedly shouted, “This is sexual assault!” and attacked them.

When police arrived at the restaurant, Ms Nikolic allegedly resisted arrest and then kicked one of them as she was being assisted into a police van.

During a search, police allegedly found four tablets of the prescription drug diazepam.

Ms Nikolic was subsequently charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm, resisting arrest and assaulting police.

Mr McGinn was charged with assault.

The pair were granted bail and ordered to return to court on November 14.

Ms Nikolic posted on Facebook that she was going to the restaurant to have her birthday there.

“To all my REAL FRIENDS on here i will be having a birthday party dinner thing if anyone is interested in coming let me know the plan is to go to the best restaurant ever for dinner el bulli spanish tapas and cocktails yum yum then maybe out for some dancing and much much more drinking its this saturday,” she said.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly referred to Mr Paita as Mr Taipa.

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Wanderers to take on world’s best

RIYADH: Western Sydney Wanderers will leap out of the frying pan and into the fire after winning the Asian Champions League to set up a clash against one of Latin America’s biggest sides and potentially an historic encounter with European champions Real Madrid.
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The Wanderers locked in a date with Mexican powerhouse Cruz Azul in the first round of the Club World Cup in Morocco next month after being crowned the champions of Asia. It will be the most difficult match played by an Australian club since 2000 when South Melbourne played Manchester United, Vasco de Gama and Necaxa in the group stage of the Club World Cup.

After conquering Guangzhou Evergrande, FC Seoul and the team of the Saudi kingdom, Al Hilal, It will not get any easier for the Wanderers with the next giant standing in their path measuring their support base in the millions.  According to a Mexican study conducted six years ago, more than 10 million people claimed to support Cruz Azul. That figure would have only grown since. Captained by one of Mexico’s greatest ever players, Gerrardo Torrado, the club was the first Mexican team to reach the final of the prestigious Copa Libertadores tournament. The Wanderers face the North American champions in Rabat, Morocco, on December 13 and should they achieve another seemingly impossible result, they will play Real Madrid three days later. A potential clash against the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, James Rodriguez and Sergio Ramos was talked about by the players in their celebrations but they were still awed to be playing one of the giants of Mexican football.

Wanderers are the fourth Australian club to play in the tournament and the first to qualify as Asian champions. South Melbourne paved the way in 2000 before Sydney FC qualified as the last Australian Oceania champions in 2006, losing to Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica and then beating Egyptian giants Al Ahly in the fifth place play-off. Adelaide United reached the 2008 competition as runners-up of Asia due to champions Gamba Osaka qualifying as hosts. Adelaide were knocked out by Gamba in the first round. The immediate task facing the Wanderers’ new administration will be cashing a cheque worth $1.7 million awarded as prizemoney for winning the ACL which will be the first of many lining the coffers of the club. The Wanderers stand to collect a minimum of $3 million in total as a result of their success in Riyadh, with $1.1 million guaranteed for competing in the Club World Cup and another $200,000 reported to be on offer as a bonus from sponsors.

The Wanderers will keep all prizemoney and the players will get a share of the reward, with a large cut of the ACL prizemoney reported to be on offer as a bonus shared across the squad.

More imminent though is a test against Wellington Phoenix in the A-League on Friday night, which must be difficult to prepare for after achieving the greatest result in Australian club football history.

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History opens up to the public in rare tours of Sydney’s Tank Stream

The Sydney Tank Stream is still an active stormwater drain. Photo: Steven SiewertIt quietly winds its way through Sydney’s heart – underneath offices and crowds, landmarks and traffic – to emerge just handful of times a year as one of the most sought-after tickets in town.
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The Tank Stream was opened up to a lucky few on Sunday – more than 226 years after Captain Arthur Phillip identified it as the lifeblood of the future colony, which, in turn, soon contaminated the fresh water source and eventually drove it underground.

About 160 people from among the thousands who typically try for a spot on a Tank Stream tour were granted access to a small section of the tunnel near Hunter Street, where the pick marks left by convicts during a 1791 drought can still be seen hewn into Sydney’s bedrock.

“It’s one of the least accessible tourist spots in Sydney,” said Sydney Water’s archaeologist Yvonne Kaiser-Glass, who led the tours organised for Sydney Open through what now largely functions as a stormwater channel.

“If, when you leave this space and you can get that image in your mind as to how it would have looked 200 years ago, then I’ll feel: job done.”

Swamp land near Hyde Park originally fed the stream, which coursed down a 30-metre drop towards Circular Quay. The swamp was drained in 1850.

But the water trail that shaped Sydney still flows through the tunnel, even though successive development has often similarly cut off – or at least diverted – some of the stream’s other sources.

“That lines up perfectly with Spring Street,” Ms Kaiser-Glass of water seeping into the tunnel through its sandstone wall.

“And Spring Street was called that because it had such active flows around it.”

Alongside convict maker’s marks, there are also more recent signs of the life that endures in the darkness: paw prints of rodents have been preserved in what was once wet cement.

Ms Kaiser-Glass said many of the cockroaches, which also share the tunnel with “albino grasshoppers”, appeared to have been cleaned out by Saturday’s downpour – along with the typical high-water mark of polystyrene.

“The most ironic thing you’ll see after heavy rain is the little soy fish,” she said. “So fish have come back into the Tank Stream, just not in the way we wanted.”

It was hoped that more tours, or in future even a webcam, could help teach Sydneysiders about the water cycle, she said.

The Tank Stream was one of about 50 venues and spaces usually off-limits to the public made accessible for the Sydney Living Museums’ Sydney Open.

Airdrie Martin travelled from the Blue Mountains to take part in the underground tour after a spare ticket became available on Saturday.

“I think it’s just amazing, the history of it,” she said. “And the fact that it’s still flowing and doing its job.

“I hope it serves Sydney forever.”  

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Family’s third brush with bushfire claims their Blue Mountains home

A bushfire rages out of control. Devastated: The Beattie family’s home. Photo: James Alcock
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Carl Beattie stands on the Katoomba street where his family home stood. Photo: James Alcock

Saturday was the Beattie family’s third brush with a destructive fire in a year.

This time it claimed their Blue Mountains home.

Little more than a year ago, a bushfire at Winmalee also ripped through 17-year-old Frieda’s school, St Columbas. Another fire, thought to be deliberately lit, struck again just last month. The HSC student’s major work was destroyed.

Then on Saturday another bushfire climbed without warning over a Katoomba cliff face and loomed over the Beatties’ street.

They escaped minutes before the street was engulfed, leaving only their home gutted.

The fire that destroyed their home was one of at least 76 blazes which burned across the state at the weekend.

On Sunday, RFS firefighters worked to contain 40 out-of-control fires including a blaze at Kurri Kurri which at one point burned perilously close to properties.

RFS Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said some fires were sparked by natural causes but others were deliberately lit.

One fire, in the Garigal National Park, started from four separate ignition points.

The Beattie family thought they were safe when a fire burning in the Megalong Valley, appeared out of sight by lunchtime on Saturday.

But by four-o-clock Chris Beattie decided to check what was happening outside after hearing a hovering helicopter.

“He got home from work and was going to have a shower,” his brother Carl said.

“He could only see a little bit of smoke across the road. But it jumped over the cliff so  fast. He ran back inside, got the car and drove.”

A trail of smoke turned into flames engulfing gum trees 15 metres high, within five minute, witnesses said.

They were pushed over the cliff face by swirling hot winds strong enough to knock over a neighbour’s fence kilometres away.

Some veteran firefighters described the conditions as the worst they had seen in decades.

By 3.45 pm, the flames were on their verandah and the neighbouring Grabham family had no time to escape with any more than the dog.

“We thought we were going to be burnt to death,” Greg Grabham said.

The Beatties returned to their Brougham Street on Sunday.

Corrugated roof sheeting lay contorted on the ground, next to a burnt Hills Hoist and amongst shattered window glass and a screen door off its hinges.

“We’re sad to lose all our stuff,” Mr Beattie said. “But that can be rebuilt. We’re just happy to be safe”.

Police were investigating the scene of the blaze on Sunday, amid suspicions it was deliberately lit.

“When there’s a lack of lightning it always gives rise to that suspicion,” said Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill.

“Three weeks ago we had snow.”

About a dozen fire truck crews stood watch on the other side of the ridge on Sunday, as the  six hectare blaze remained burning out of control, beyond them at the bottom of the cliff face.

Helicopters dumped water with regular flyovers. But firefighters were unable to do much more than stand watch, in case of another sudden change of wind that might bring the fires back over a thicket of gum trees again toward the centre of Katoomba, about three kilometres away.

Controlled hazard reduction burns were cancelled on Saturday after a total fire ban was put in place for most of NSW.

“Almost everything got postponed. The amount of fire we were dealing with, we weren’t going to introduce any more,” Mr Rogers said..

“Our official fire season comes in on the first of October, so I don’t believe this is an earlier fire season for NSW,” he said.        

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Thieves disappear with thousands of bicycles

This Brunswick family, Daisy Wilson, Nic Kocher, Joanna Wilson, Rollo Wilson Kocher and scar Wilson Kocher have had 8 bikes stolen over the past 4 years. Photo: Paul JeffersBicycle crime has hit a five-year high in Victoria as opportunistic thieves active in inner-city hipster hotspots disappear with hundreds of cycles every year.
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In the past financial year more than 5000 stolen bikes – or almost 100 every week – were reported to Victoria Police, data obtained by The Age show.

In some postcodes the numbers of stolen bicycles now outstrip stolen cars. These areas include the central Melbourne suburbs of Carlton, Fitzroy and Parkville, and the Victorian towns of Wangaratta, Sale and Horsham.

With some high-end bikes now valued at as much as a car, victims can be left significantly out of pocket. A Ballarat Scenic Cyclists Group member recently had his  $5000 racing road bike pinched during a home burglary.

The state’s bicycle groups say cases of bike thievery rarely end happily for the victims.

“It’s very uncommon for people to get their bikes back,” Melbourne Bicycle User Group spokesman Nicholas Dow said. “Because people are [stealing them] for profit, the bike is going to be sold.”

In Melbourne’s CBD, almost 1600 bikes have been pilfered in the past five years, at a rate almost 50 per cent higher than that of car thefts.

In the suburbs, Brunswick is Melbourne’s hub of bike crime, with the number of missing bikes almost doubling in five years, to 143 last year.

Thieves have stolen eight bikes from one Brunswick West family since 2010.

Joanna Wilson said brazen criminals often targeted their home during hard-rubbish collection periods, when they used bolt cutters or other implements to unshackle the bikes locked up at the front of the house.

It is a crime spree that has probably cost the family of five about $5000,  because none of the bikes had been recovered. The family’s three children now store their bicycles in their bedrooms.

Ms Wilson, who owns Brunswick cafe John Gorilla, said she knew people in her neighbourhood who owned bikes valued up to $18,000 and families that used bicycles as their only form of transport. “They’ll even take their bikes on the train to go camping,” she said.

Throughout  the state there have been 22,271 cases of bikes being stolen in the past five years, in comparison with 76,076 reports of stolen cars.

Police and the Bicycle Network stress that riders should use a good-quality lock – and a sturdy fixed object to chain their bike to – when parking in public.

Mr Dow said he was aware of a case in which bikes chained to a no-standing sign in Melbourne’s CBD had routinely disappeared, because thieves would simply pull the loose sign from its foundation.

And even paying for additional security may not be a guaranteed solution, as Lewis Spears, 20, found out when his $600 wheels were stolen from a so-called secure bike facility near Flinders Street Station. After the incident he noticed a laminated sign warning patrons of a bike theft gang operating in the area.

Police say they have difficulty returning stolen bikes to their owners, partly because they struggle to identify the cycles found in recovered loot.

“Bikes can be returned to their owners if engraved with your licence number,” a Victoria Police spokeswoman said.

“Alternatively, take a photo of your bicycle.  This will greatly assist police in being able to return it to you.”

Authorities also say bike owners should have their cycles insured.

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Red Cadeaux looking to make it fourth time lucky at Melbourne Cup for Ed Dunlop after two near-misses

Wizard of Odds: Live Odds, Form and Alerts for all RacingFull coverage: Melbourne Cup 2014Melbourne Cup sweep
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Red Cadeaux’s trainer Ed Dunlop jokes that his men on the ground in Melbourne are “like an old married couple” caring for a spoiled only child. But they are the secret to Dunlop’s international success and Red Cadeaux’s two near-misses in the Melbourne Cup.

His constant travelling companions are foreman Robin Trevor-Jones and rider Steve Nicholson, both 52 and genuine horsemen.

“I’m just here for the race,” Dunlop said when he arrived for a fourth shot at the Melbourne Cup with the twice runner-up.

“The trainer is in there [he points to the Werribee track and Trevor-Jones]. He knows the horse and knows what is going on.

“Steve and him are a good team and they do it well.”

For the three years Red Cadeaux has hopped around the world – Australia, Dubai, Hong Kong, Japan – If he had frequent flyers he could upgrade to first class but that wouldn’t be necessary.

“He travels in a box by himself, we pay extra for that,” Nicholson said. “You do this, you do it right.

“Everything right has to be done right.”

Before him there had been Lailani, Ouija Board and Court Masterpiece for Dunlop and his team. Mare Snow Fairy was the latest star from the Dunlop yard, winning in England, Ireland, Japan and  Hong Kong.

“I have been very lucky, now I have travelled 29 group 1 winners in seven countries over 18 years,” Trevor-Jones said in a matter of fact way. It is not boasting but he could be the best traveller of horses in the world.

Red Cadeaux accounts for one of those, the Hong Kong Vase, but his seconds in the Dubai World Cup and in two Melbourne Cups have his prizemoney at more than $6.3 million. He is a favourite of Trevor-Jones.

“When you go aboard with them as much as we do with him they become special. You know them,” he said.

The former National Hunt rider is the benchmark for travelling.

“You learn a massive amount doing this,” Trevor-Jones said.

“You see other trainers that are coming here and they are using 90 per cent of my stuff. They are saying where’s this, where’s that and they haven’t got it.

“It is the experience of me going around the world. I know what you need normally to keep a horse going when they are aboard.

“And you need so much. That’s why I have a truck full of medical gear and a truck full of other gear. You just need so much stuff.”

While having the right horse is the starting point, the right man on the ground is just as important. Timing is imperative.

“The hardest thing is having them right on the day and it is only one day,” Trevor-Jones said.  “You don’t want them getting there the week before or having them there the week after.”

Watching Nicholson and Trevor-Jones work together with their old horse is amazing. Trevor-Jones walks out out with his going stick to test the ground then Nicholson arrives on Red Cadeaux.

“Look,” Trevor-Jones said.

“All right,” Nicholson replies.

“It gets firmer as you go out, so be careful and stay around here,” Trevor Jones says moving to the centre of the track.

Red Cadeaux does his work and the men are pleased as they try to line up their hopes in the Melbourne Cup.

“Things have gone quiet smoothly. You always have your little issues but things have gone well. Things have gone pretty well,” Trevor-Jones said.

“You have to respect the lad that rides him all the time, you got to take his word for how he is going.”

Nicholson thinks about it for a minute and gives a measured response.

“He seems no different to the other times but you have to realise he was five, six in your terms, the first time we came here. He is nine now and it does catch up with us all,” Nicholson said. “He still seems fine but you notice more and more as they get older niggly little problems.”

“The closer the race gets the more problems you see. Your eyes start playing tricks on you,” Trevor-Jones adds. “He has 57kg and is older but gee I would like to get my hands on that Cup. I saw it the other day and it is beautiful.

“He is ready. We are happy.”

The ultimate racing guide with the latest information on fields, form, tips, market fluctuations and odds, available on mobile, tablet and desktop.

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$16m plan to protect Lake Macquarie coast from storms, erosion

A $16 million plan for the Lake Macquarie coast aims to protect it from hazards such as storms, sea level rise and erosion.

The city council wants the coast’s health to be ‘‘central to everyone’s lives’’.

It has called for comment on its draft Lake Macquarie Coastal Zone Management Plan.

The primary goal of the plan was to develop ‘‘resilient coastal landscapes and communities’’.

With sandstone and conglomerate cliffs, sea caves and long beaches, the Lake Macquarie coast is a diverse landscape.

It was considered a ‘‘high-energy coast’’, with the biggest waves emerging in east coast low storms, the plan said.

Beaches were uncrowded compared with those in cities and the coastline was mostly undeveloped, creating a ‘‘more natural recreational experience’’.

However, threats were on the horizon, with the council to ramp up efforts to protect the coast and heighten preparations for sea level rise.

Blacksmiths was a ‘‘key coastal risk area’’ with potential for ‘‘erosion, recession and lake inundation over the next century’’.

Preparation for ‘‘coastal recession’’ would be made with community adaptation plans at Blacksmiths, Redhead and Catherine Hill Bay beaches.

The council promised to work with affected communities on ‘‘changing levels of hazard and risk’’.

Council sustainability manager Alice Howe said the coastal zone was ‘‘central to the lifestyle of Lake Macquarie residents, particularly the lake and beaches’’.

“It is important that council hears from people about their priorities for managing the coastal zone and that we discuss how we can work together to maintain and improve the coastal zone,” Dr Howe said.

Dr Howe said the plan included actions, plans and hazard assessments for the coastline, lake, catchment and Swansea Channel.

Councillor Chad Griffith said most Lake Macquarie residents lived ‘‘within a stone’s throw of the lake or ocean’’.

‘‘It’s vital we maintain the health of beaches and the lake – they’re important assets to the community,’’ said Cr Griffith, chairman of the council’s estuary and coastal management committee.

The council said its commitment under the plan amounted to about $2 million over the next four years, but other money would be sought from state and federal governments.

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