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Monthly Archives: June 2019

Taylor finds Warriors’ No.13 spot a perfect fit

Written on June 22, 2019 at 11:24, by

Rake’s progress: Elijah Taylor is in top form. Photo: Stuart WalmsleyGive it a couple of weeks, and everything can change in team sport. Criticised losers can turn into confident winners. Title challengers can turn into teams in free fall.
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Just ask the Warriors. A mere month ago, New Zealand’s first-grade side looked orphaned at the toe-end of the NRL table, with just two wins in their first 10 outings.

On Sunday they will take on the Roosters at Allianz Stadium feeling full of confidence with three straight wins in the bag. Talk about regeneration.

A player’s fortunes can change just as easily as that of his team.

Perhaps no one on the Warriors side understands this more than Elijah Taylor.

After an unsuccessful experiment at hooker for the season’s first three games, Taylor found himself cast to the bench as the Warriors’ season careened from disaster to disaster.

Then hard-working lock Todd Lowrie was injured – providing Taylor, who leaves the Warriors for the Panthers at the end of the season, an opportunity to start.

He has not disappointed, and the Warriors have not lost since he began wearing the No.13 guernsey this season.

Taylor has been a rock in defence – his 130 tackles in the past three weeks trail only Nathan Friend’s tally for the club – while providing a slick attacking service in the middle of the park.

His form has been so impressive Fairfax Media understands Taylor was approached by several high-profile members of the Warriors front office, including Elliott, asking him to reconsider his departure. Yet with a three-year Panthers deal already signed, it was too late.

The four-Test back-rower admits he has been feeling far better now he is starting games – but in true Taylor fashion, deflects talk about himself to the team.

”I feel better starting, physically,” he said. ”Coming off the bench, I always feel like I have to chase the game, or catch up to the game … I’m really happy with how the team’s been playing. Our props have been outstanding … the style of footy we have been playing has been effective.”

Last Sunday’s 18-16 victory over the Sea Eagles in Auckland was a test of character for the Warriors – ”a game we would have lost a month ago”, according to Taylor – but the Roosters match on Sunday will be another big test. The Sydney side is now third on the NRL table.

”They’re similar to Manly, in terms of their physicality in that forward pack,” the 23-year-old Taylor said. ”Again, we need to turn up to the ground with the right attitude. A hard-working attitude in defence, and everybody doing their roles.”

Taylor said the lengthy absence of Kiwi enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, who is serving a seven-week ban for a reckless high tackle, was a blow for the Sydney glamour club.

”Whenever Ben Matulino smashes someone in a tackle, it lifts everyone in our team. We all get a energy high out of it. Jared is the same with the Roosters … but whoever they bring in for him, they’ll do just as a good a job.”

As for Taylor, do not expect the pedal to come off the accelerator. Yes, he is to leave the Warriors, but it is not in Taylor’s nature to change his approach.

”Every week, I’m trying to improve my performance – and the team’s performance,” he said.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

Smith hopes to get lucky up north

Written on June 22, 2019 at 11:24, by

The Darren Smith-trained Oakfield Commands will target the $150,000 Ramornie (1200 metres) at Grafton on July 10. Smith will be hoping it is third-time lucky in the feature sprint. In 1998 he saddled up Pimpala Prince, which finished ninth, and Oakfield Duke also finished unplaced in 2002. Oakfield Commands is raced by long-time client Bruce Mackenzie, who also owned Oakfield Duke. ”Bruce and I would love to have another shot at the Ramornie,” Smith said after Oakfield Commands won his second successive Randwick race last Saturday. ”Oakfield Commands is flying and the Ramornie is a race that should be perfect for him. We’ve had it in mind for him for some time.” Oakfield Commands has raced 17 times for six wins and eight placings, with two wins and two placings in Sydney races since resuming in April. With last year’s Ramornie winner Howmuchdoyouloveme a confirmed starter and several high-profile Sydney and Brisbane stables targeting the listed sprint, this year’s Ramornie looks like being a cracker. Howmuchdoyouloveme scored a brilliant first-up win in the Lightning Handicap at Eagle Farm last Saturday.
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Wagga Wagga trainer Gary Colvin has lost his stable star, Baltra. ”He’s been retired this week, deterioration of the near-side front knee,” Colvin said of the gelding, which resumed with a slashing second in the Wagga Town Plate Prelude on April 14. ”His dam [Pixina] had the same problem. It’s very disappointing but that’s racing. He had loads of ability. We’ll just have to think of the good times.” Baltra raced six times, winning his first four runs before seconds at Warwick Farm and Wagga. ”Hopefully there’s another Baltra in some of my young horses coming through,” Colvin added. Meanwhile, the Wagga meeting set down for last Friday was postponed until Monday.


South Sydney stalwart George Piggins was laughing all the way to the bank at Gulgong last Saturday after Mr Branahdan landed a successful plunge. Having its second start after finishing unplaced as a $71 chance at Hawkesbury last month, Mr Branahdan was backed from $21 in to $7 before bolting in by 1.8 lengths. Mr Branahdan is trained by Milton Coutts at Hawkesbury and wore green and red silks, the colours of Piggins’ beloved Rabbitohs.


South Australian trainer Tony McEvoy saddled up his first runner at Bathurst on Tuesday. Pocket Rockets won an open handicap to record his fifth win from 25 starts. The five-year-old had done much of his racing in Hong Kong under John Size before returning to Australia with McEvoy earlier this year.

TAB meetings: Sunday – Wellington, Port Macquarie. Monday – Wagga, Coffs Harbour. Tuesday – Quirindi. Thursday – Bathurst. Friday – Taree, Canberra. Saturday – Albury.

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The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

Officials admit sedative used in detention

Written on June 22, 2019 at 11:24, by

Immigration officials pinned down and injected tranquillisers into at least two asylum seekers on Christmas Island – despite public assurances that ”under no circumstances” are chemical sedatives used in detention.
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In one incident, described in a confidential report as a ”major” use of force, four guards held down a man so that two intravenous drips could be inserted in a ”pre-planned attempt to sedate” him.

The actions appear to contradict internal immigration detention guidelines stating ”sedatives must not be used as a method of restraint”.

The Immigration Department also claimed in remarks intended for public release in December 2010, four months after the incident, that sedatives are never used in detention. ”Under no circumstances are chemical agents, including sedatives, tear gas, pepper spray or capsicum spray used in immigration detention,” said the document prepared for what are known as talking points.

The apparent contradiction has been unearthed as part of a new online database of official documents released under freedom-of-information laws and intended to cast new light on conditions inside Australia’s detention facilities. Hundreds of reports were compiled on the Detention Logs website, intended to make searching the reams of declassified material simpler.

The department maintained this week that sedatives are not used as a form of restraint but a spokesman said, ”it is still open to health practitioners to administer them.”

In a second case in May 2011 four guards held a man on his back by his arms and legs while medical staff gave him an injection ”to calm down detainee and help him sleep”, a separate report revealed.

The man had become agitated after he was refused a cigarette. An officer later saw the man having difficulty breathing and being carried into a medical ward by guards and detainees. The report does not make clear what occurred in the interim but said the man had continued to be aggressive and had assaulted a guard. About 20 minutes later he had quietened down and was found to have grazes to his arms and knees.

Paul Farrell, a Sydney journalism student and one of three founders of the database, said the online search would better inform debate about detention policy.

The database draws on copious material the Immigration Department posts online but in a format not readily accessible to electronic searches. ”We thought there was a real need to increase transparency in detention centres,” Mr Farrell said.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

Fire up and create a stir

Written on June 22, 2019 at 11:24, by

Andrew Taylor learns the perfect recipe for spicing up your stay in Chiang Mai.
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The slow burn intensifies with every mouthful of water, inducing tears as it radiates from my tongue and lips.

Each spoonful of the hot and sour soup packs a volcanic amount of heat that lingers in the sweet, tangy broth flavoured with lime leaves, tamarind, lemongrass and fish sauce. This is what showing off tastes like.

My fellow amateur chefs, Anthony and Basil, wisely decline my offer of the soup I’ve revved up with 12 chillies, twice the number recommended by our teacher Benz (“like a car” she tells us).

“Your mouth is on fire,” she says, wincing slightly as she tastes my radioactive soup. It’s the second dish of our six-course introduction to Thai cooking at the Basil Healthy Thai Cookery School in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand.

After a week of guzzling papaya salads, pad see ews and a rainbow of curries, it is time to don an apron and attempt to replicate the culinary masterpieces of countless streetside stalls and restaurants.

Our class begins at the Sompet fresh food market inside the old town of Chiang Mai, close to the Sunday night walking market, where Benz quizzes us on different types of basil and ginger like a game show host. The market is a kaleidoscope of colours, smells and movement. Stalls of fragrant spices and tear-inducing chillies stand cheek-by-jowl with tables laden with tropical fruit, leafy vegetables, baskets of rice and tanks of fish from the nearby Ping River.

The odd insect buzzes around the butchers’ stalls, but small fans blow most of them away from the piles of pork and chicken.

The market is not just a photo opportunity to be admired by sweaty “farang” before moving to an airconditioned restaurant serving dishes made bland for delicate foreign tongues. Benz shows us different types of noodles – flat and thin, wheat and rice – helpfully adding that Thais eat glass noodles, made of mung bean flour, when they want to lose weight. With its laxative effect, a dollop of tamarind paste provides an even quicker path to slim hips, she says.

She points out different types of chilli, ranging from the mild red spur chilli to the sky point chilli used for curry paste. The smallest, hottest chillies, phrik ki noo, are reserved mainly for soups and salads.

Benz shows us how to test the ripeness of tropical fruit – obvious to some, no doubt, but not if you’ve grown up on Granny Smiths and tinned apricots – and gives us baskets to fill with fresh produce and block scooter riders who threaten to roll over our feet in the narrow alleys.

Students at the cookery school can choose to prepare six dishes from 18 on offer, which means that between the three of us we will attempt every meal offered, starting with noodles.

Handed a plate of ingredients, we are soon slicing up the vegetables, frying garlic and chilli over gas burners, and adding sweet, sour and salty sauces under Benz’s watchful gaze. My chopping needs work but she compliments my wok-handling seconds before I singe a few arm hairs. She attempts to train our taste buds by adding sugar or fish sauce to achieve those complex combinations of flavour that define Thai cuisine.

Minutes later, we’re seated at the dining table sharing pad Thai and drunken noodles that are the equal of any Thai joint in Newtown.

Next up are the fiery soups, spring rolls and salads that we create using the same basic ingredients and flavours. We’re only halfway through the class and the three of us are already stuffed but Benz insists on a workout in the form of pounding together the ingredients to make curry paste.

“Bang, bang, bang,” she says, showing us how to wield a mortar and pestle without painting the kitchen in curry. More energy is spent squeezing coconut flesh to make the liquid for our curries.

The course concludes with desserts – black sticky rice pudding, deep-fried bananas and sweet sticky rice with mango – that are the highlight for this sweet tooth and a certificate and cookbook Benz gives us. The latter includes every recipe as well a handy description of each ingredient and their surprising properties. Cloves relieve flatulence, kaffir limes can rid you of dandruff, while Thai ginger or galangal helps eject air from intestines, cures dysentery and relieves muscle pains.

Three other cooking schools in Chiang Mai

1. Baan Thai Cookery School has a similar course of six dishes to Basil, ranging from stir-fries and soups to curry pastes. Cost: 900 baht ($31). cookinthai上海夜生活m.

2. Thai Farm Cooking School offers one-, two- and three-day courses on an organic farm located 17 kilometres outside Chiang Mai. Dishes are again similar and a visit to a local market is included as well as a tour of the farm’s tropical fruit orchard and vegetable garden. Cost: 1000 baht for the one-day course. thaifarmcooking上海夜生活.

3. Run by chef Sompon Nabnian, the Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School offers courses for beginners as well as more-experienced chefs, and has a homestay program. Cost: From 1450 baht for the one-day beginner cooking course. thaicookeryschool上海夜生活m.

Trip notes

Getting there

Thai Airways International flies from Sydney to Bangkok daily and also offers connections to Chiang Mai. thaiairways上海夜生活

Cooking there

The Basil Healthy Thai Cooking School course runs for four and a half hours and can be taken in the morning or evening. It costs 1000 baht ($35).

More information


The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

Bali beyond the basic

Written on June 22, 2019 at 11:24, by

Seminyak’s shopping is a treasure trove of fabulousness, as Belinda Jackson discovers.
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The girls are clad in a uniform of floaty tunics and kaftans, strappy sandals and big sunglasses, each arm jangling with bangles and glossy paper shopping bags.

I run into them at three boutiques in a row and at each stop, someone’s pulling out a gorgeous gauzy shirt or new belt to show the rest of the gang. They’re on a serious boutique hop, riding the pure, glistening wave of the retail high.

It’s not Rodeo Drive, it’s not Milan: it’s Bali. Seminyak, to be precise. Balinese shopping isn’t all Bintang singlets and dyed sarongs guaranteed to turn your laundry cerise. The chic enclave of Seminyak is a United Nations of designers lured by sun, sand and a culture that breathes beautiful design.

If you’re expecting cheap Billabong surfwear, forget about it. You don’t go to Bali to buy the big international brands: they’re imported, so they’ll be expensive.

Once you’ve jumped that mental hurdle, then you can start to explore the real treasures of Balinese shopping: handmade clothes made with a level of detail and finishing for a price you’d never pay in Australia. Additional tailoring is also fast, cheap and most boutiques can organise it for you overnight.

Seminyak’s boutiques gather in clusters on Jalan Laksmana and in Jalan Raya Seminyak, and you’ll see a number of names crop up on both, including Magali Pascal for beautiful lacework (177X Jl Laksmana), and the Brazilians, Lily Jean (102 X Jl Laksmana) and Lulu Yasmine, for sexy and standout statement pieces (100 Jl Laksmana).

Australian designer Penny Pinkster’s Mist boutique is a favourite for those after soft, yielding kaftans in a subdued palette (42 Jl Raya Seminyak), Namu will kit you out, from totally covetable lunching ensembles to killer cocktail kit (234X Jl Petitenget) and pick up your saucy nix at niconico intimo (12 Jl Raya Seminyak).

Shop fashion with a conscience at Puravida, owned by two Italian sisters, which produces all its bright, easy-wearing cotton and jersey clothes locally, and supports Eco Bali ventures (38b Jl Raya Seminyak). It also pays its staff fair wages with healthcare, as does Buddha Wear, which also locally manufactures gorgeous jerseys. Hot tip: nip upstairs to riffle through Buddha Wear’s bargain racks if you’re on a tight budget (15X Jl Laksmana). Low-key Jamila is a must-stop for the basics (tees, leggings) in black, white and grey, at very reasonable prices, with alterations done in-house (49 Jl Raya Seminyak).

Bargain hunters will love the boutique clearance shops: try Animale for end-of-season flats, sandals and costume jewellery that won’t fall apart after the first hour (31 Jl Raya Seminyak). Steer clear of the overpriced kaftans and tatty fashion in Seminyak market opposite Seminyak square.

Men, all is not forgotten: French designer Jacque Ruc’s Animale does more tailored, pared-back men’s fashion suitable for Australia’s sober streets, while Susanna Perini’s super-chic Biasa is a hot stop for deconstructed layering for both men and women and also has an artspace for contemporary Indonesian artists (36 Jl Raya Seminyak).

You can snap up cheap, emergency sunglasses, big earrings and your shell jewellery in the stalls at the front of Seminyak Square. Hit Aura for handmade, customised leather goods (21X Jl Laksmana) while Tasmaniac has a cult following for its, er, high-quality, less original handbags (501 Jl Raya Seminyak).

Another little pocket of fabulousness is Jalan Kunti, not far from the intersection of Laksmana and Raya Seminyak. Think of it as “the Paris end of Seminyak”.

Here, the beautiful people cool down with cocktails at Word of Mouth’s cafe in between cruising its deeply gorgeous homewares and fashion (9 Jl Kunti). Then, it’s a few short steps down to the beautiful interiors of Sydney designer Natasha Welsh’s Allegra for floaty, girly statement frocks: beware, they’re cut small, so strapping lasses should steer clear to avoid changing-room angst (6 Jl Kunti). Homewares hunters are in paradise in Bali, and not just lovers of the omnipresent Buddha statues. Jalan Kerobokan is the place to buy lighting. Rice paper, woven branches, statement chandeliers: choose your taste point. Jump in a taxi and kerb-crawl, then hit The White Peacock for super-colourful throws and cushions, located obligingly opposite the Grocer & Grind for good coffee or nearby Petitenget for a luxe lunch and cocktail option.

Carga is chockers full of gorgeous homewares and trinkets (886 Jl Petitenget), and an absolute must-visit is Horn Emporium, by Anita Horn, whose unerring eye will steer you into unchartered territory (100X Jl Petitenget). For homewares with an ethical bent, make for indi vie, in the Made’s Warung complex, which stocks the cutest little dolls made by Bali’s street kids, under a not-for-profit charity (Jl Raya Seminyak). They’re also sold at Press Ban cafe, one of the few places you’ll find nuevo-retro and vintage fashion (50 Jl Laksmana). Put Kody Ko on the list for knockout artworks (C002 Jl Kayu Cendana).

Seminyak takes its after-shop care seriously: it knows how to reward and rejuvenate the jaded shopper, with a foot massage at Jari Menari (47 Raya Basangkasa) followed by sunset cocktails at Ku De Ta (dress up), La Plancha (dress down) or Potato Head Beach Club (dress however you want, except Bintang T-shirts) to celebrate a job well done.

Belinda Jackson was a guest of Space Villas.

Trip notes

Staying there

Seminyak is heaving with accommodation, from budget to break-the-bank. Try Space Villas, No. 8 Jl Drupadi, Seminyak. +62 361 731100, spaceatbali上海夜生活m.

Getting there

Virgin Australia (virginaustralia上海夜生活m), Jetstar (jetstar上海夜生活 and Garuda Indonesia (garuda-indonesia上海夜生活m) fly Sydney to Denpasar direct.

More information

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.