The Northern Territory news Wed 8 Mar 2017
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News Corp Australia
WEDNESDAY MARCH 8 2017 SPORT 43 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA JACK HISLOP While Melbourne-based Christchurch bus ine s sman Cox wants to see the five Australian teams retained, he says if one has to be cut it will highly unlikely be the Melbourne franchise which his Imperium Capital Group bought from the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) in 2015. Economically I doubt the ARU could afford to do it, Cox said. Weve got stadium deals, new facilities weve invested a lot in and theres significant issues with that. chairman Brett Robinson (pictured). One of the issues we have with Super Rugby is the mid-season break, Robinson said. We aim to push back the in-bound tours to allow us to have a continuous Super Rugby season. Thats something we have been lobbying hard for and I think we are gaining some real momentum. We met with the French clubs and the English clubs because they have a huge influence on the northern hemispheres position on those things. That is progressing positively. particularly by the rich English and French clubs. But the Europeans are now taking a more flexible approach to the issue and the ARU hopes a decision to shift the Test window will be made this year, although no change could take place until after the 2019 World Cup because the Test schedule has been locked in. It is one of the main issues that will be discussed at the World Rugby meeting in Dublin over the next three days, attended by ARU deputy He couldnt reveal details of the share, sale and purchase agreement between the Rebels and the ARU or whether there was any guarantee of their long-term future. Were a very important market for Fox (pay television) as were the second best advertising market in Australia so theres a whole host of things that make it highly unlikely. Cox wants all player-import restrictions for Australian clubs relaxed to improve the standard and a simpler competition format, with the current convoluted draw a turnoff for fans. Rebels owner rebuffs axe talk MELBOURNE owner Andrew Cox (pictured) is confident the Rebels arent on the Super Rugby chopping block, saying the Australian Rugby Union cant afford to cut them. SANZAAR (South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina Rugby) officials will meet in London on Friday to thrash out the format for the flagging competition in 2018 and beyond. One option is to cut an Australian team and Melbournes woeful start to the Super Rugby season appears to have put them in the firing line, but Cox is not concerned. ARU upbeat on June window plan THE Australian Rugby Union is extremely confident World Rugby will agree to shift the June Test window a move which could fix a major bugbear about Super Rugby. Since the expansion to 18 teams last year Super Rugby has had to break for a month in June while the Wallabies played Tests against international teams, killing the competitions momentum. The ARU has lobbied World Rugby to shift the Test window from June to July to alleviate the problem, but the move has always been resisted in the northern hemisphere, SOUTH Darwin are considering entering two sides into the 2017 NRL NT junior girls competition after converting a number players from Australian rules football. Some members of the Bunnies side last year also played League girls hope to convince Aussie rules mates to join Rabbitohs in the NTFL this wet season. They have convinced at least 10 of their teammates to cross codes. More are keen to be included in the Rabbitohs squad, but have been unable to train yet due to NTFL finals series commitments. Rabbitohs junior girls coach Michaela Nona said it was good to see so many females taking up the 13-a-side game. They had been talking to their teammates about NRL and that has made them want to jump across, she said. It is good to see. Over the years to see rugby league go from two teams to now five and six in the juniors is really good. Nona said it took time to transition from one code to another. A lot of the girls were pretty nervous when they came, because its a lot different to AFL with more contact, she said. They have picked it up well and are enjoying it now. The players were recruited from Wanderers and St Marys NTFL clubs. Souths president Peter Eagle Creedy said the club is considering fielding two teams in the junior girls competition. The womens side of AFL has really taken off amongst the junior girls because of social media as well they have all bonded together and now have moved over to rugby league, he said. They can play AFL during the wet season and play rugby league in the dry. Its great for the game were in two minds whether to nominate two sides. Henrys ire at Hayne questions GOLD Coast coach Neil Henry has refused to comment on claims Jarryd Hayne was fined for missing a pre-season training session, describing the story as old news. Henry insisted the NRL clubs superstar recruit had not been a distraction behind the scenes and walked out of a press conference yesterday after repeated questions surrounding Hayne and his social media use. Im not going to say anything on the Hayne stuff thats the end of that conversation, weve addressed it and thats it, were moving on, Henry told reporters. We talked about it, its old news and if you let it be a distraction, itll distract you. Well move on and get on with this game. Hayne tweeted Loose lips sinks ships! on Sunday night after reports emerged the 29year-old was fined by his teammates over the summer because of his poor training habits. Attempting to clarify the situation, Hayne said he had permission from one of the teams captains to skip a session and fly to Sydney for treatment on an injury but was fined when Henry found out. According to Channel 7, Titans players are unhappy at the suggestion from Hayne that someone at the club leaked the information to the media. Henry who defended Hayne after a patchy performance in the Titans 32-18 defeat to the Sydney Roosters in Saturdays season opener said he still had the faith of the coaching staff to produce his best football. Its up to all players to play to the best of their ability and hes a quality player, he said. I expect him to play good footy. TWELVE months away from rugby league has reignited Eddie Motlops passion for the game. The former Palmerston and MacKillop mentor will return for his second stint as South Darwin coach in 2017. Motlop coached the Bunnies in the late 1990s and finished his tenure in 2000. Seventeen years later, he faces one of his biggest challenges with a clipboard in hand. Souths failed to win an Agrade fixture last year, although Motlop is content with their current predicament. Its always a challenge for me. Ive always taken bottom sides, I like that, he said. I dont like going into the good sides. Its too hard to work with the characters within those sides. When you build it from the ground up, were all on the same page. Motlop took his first training session at Warren Park last night and said his main goal was to build a strong playing group. This club is in a rebuilding Motlop back to build up Bunnies stage. Were lacking in numbers, so with what weve got, we can hopefully play some decent football and attract a few more players to the club, he said. That is my main goal; to try and build the numbers back up and play some stable rugby league. Motlop left MacKillop at the end of 2015. At that stage, he thought his coaching career was finished. I stepped away, I needed a break, he said. I had 45 years involved in rugby league non-stop. I stepped away thinking I was going to retire completely, but the passion is still there. Darren Manaway will assist Motlop. President Peter Eagle Creedy said he was stoked Motlop had agreed to come on board. Im rapt about having him back in the fold. There was a little bit of animosity there before when he left, but thats gone by the way side and weve welcomed him back hes got a wealth of knowledge, Creedy said. JACK HISLOP Gold Coast Titans fullback Jarryd Hayne, who has been dumped from the clubs leadership group by his teammates, during last Saturday nights clash against the Sydney Roosters Picture: DAVE HUNT