The Northern Territory news Wed 22 Aug 2018
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News Corp Australia
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 22 2018 SPORT 45 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA Socceroos tackle Korea THE Socceroos will play host to Korea Republic in an international friendly at Suncorp Stadium on November 17, Football Federation Australia has confirmed. The game will be Australia coach Graham Arnolds first in his new stint in charge of the national team and first since the retirement of Socceroos record goalscorer Tim Cahill. To have the opportunity to play a team of the calibre of Korea Republic at home six weeks before the start of the AFC Asian Cup is perfect for our preparations, Arnold said at the official announcement in Brisbane yesterday. Eels boss denies salary cap rort PARRAMATTA chairman Max Donnelly has hit out at fresh claims the club is again cheating the NRL salary cap by providing free or discounted rental properties to its players. Two years after the Eels were stripped of 12 competition points and fined $1 million for rorting the salary cap, the club is again mired in allegations of financial misconduct. NSW Gaming and Racing Minister Paul Toole confirmed an investigation has begun after allegations made by a former Eels employee to the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA). The allegations are serious and will be comprehensively investigated, including liaison with relevant law enforcement and sports integrity bodies, he said. In a letter to Eels members yesterday, Donnelly said the club moved quickly to meet with the NRL Integrity Unit and salary cap auditors to clear their name. He categorically denied the allegations, saying the NRL, ILGA, Australian Taxation Office and accounting firm Ernst and Young had ticked off on the clubs salary cap between 2017-18. The 2017 salary cap was audited by the NRL salary cap auditors and was proved to be compliant, Donnelly wrote. And in 2018 Parramatta was subject to a recent mid year audit by the NRL salary cap auditors and was proved to be compliant. An NRL spokesman said the governing body is waiting on information from the ILGA before deciding whether to act on the matter. The media report claimed the whistleblower alleged there were cases where players were charged rent below market value, while electricity bills were also partly paid for by the Eels leagues club. The report named former and current Eels players Manu Mau, David Gower, Semi Radradra, Joseph Paulo and Kenny Edwards to have allegedly lived in leagues clubowned properties. It is believed all accommodation provided by the club to players must be declared at market value under NRL salary cap regulations. But there is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by the players and Donnelly promised any living arrangements concerning players have been ratified by the governing body. Donnelly claimed that the whistleblower had no involvement in the Parramatta clubs cap management. I am disappointed claims from a disgruntled former employee of Parra Leagues has been aired without due process or the opportunity for the club to provide its position, Donnelly said. Sharks clear Fifita: Hes no Rhodes scholar CRONULLA star Andrew Fifita has apologised to the club for his post-try outburst on Saturday, captain Paul Gallen has revealed. Fifita, pictured, is believed to have fronted the Sharks coaching staff after gesturing towards assistant coach Jim Dymock following a crucial try in Saturdays win over North Queensland. Gallen believes the ends justified the means. To be fair, if thats the result, if what Jimmy says to him provokes that sort of performance, Im happy to sit back and let Jimmy do it, Gallen said. Because Andrew Fifita in his first stint on the weekend was not the Andrew Fifita we need him to be. Gallen said Fifita was a different player after Dymocks spray. He came back on and ran over the top of four blokes, got the next kickoff, ran over the top of another four blokes, and absolutely killed it and did exactly what we need him to be, he said. So if its going to provoke him to do that, Ive got no problem with it. Gallen admitted Fifita had probably stepped over the line with his reaction, but said the playing group had grown accustomed to his outbursts. We know there comes a bit of baggage with Andrew. We know hes not going to be a Rhodes scholar and do everything, he said. Andrew apologised to the club. Waratah coach Ryan Ayres at the clubs clubhouse at the Gardens Picture: JUSTIN KENNEDY FIRST-YEAR Waratah coach Ryan Ayres is confident the men who wear the red and white jumpers through the 2018-19 NTFL season can bring some joy to their fans. The 102-year-old club has not played a finals match since losing to Wanderers in the 2013-14 preliminary final and Ayres wants to change that. The former Melbourne rookie has taken over the coaching reins from Michael McLean after 12 seasons of assistant roles at Waratah and rivals South ern Districts. I told myself: If I dont do it now I will never do it, he said. And thats the thing in this role, youve got to be in the right mindset and your life has got to be sorted. I think Ive got all that ticked off and with the footy department and subcommittees doing the offfield stuff, I found it very hard to refuse the offer they put to me. Ayres knew first-hand the depth of talent among the playing group and what he would be working with as they aimed to snap a five-year finals drought. Another reason I took the role was after looking at the list I knew what I would be working with, he said. Ive contacted most of those boys and Im confident most of them will be back, with a few added here and there. Ive spoken to (key forward) Michael Newton who has given his word he will definitely play enough games to qualify and Errol McConnell is another. Tahs had a good list last season, beating eventual premier Southern Districts and then losing on the last kick the second time. All going well well be part of the finals series and get to play in a final, its been a long time since we were there, Ayres said. He has been impressed with his players workrate, attitude and commitment in the early weeks of preseason. The players have always been pretty dedicated to their training and really committed, weve had 30-plus players most nights, he said. There has been continuous improvement at the club, coming from the bottom two years in a row to finish one spot out of the top five last year and the previous season. GREY MORRIS New Tahs coach has finals say