Extra time bonus for Buderus

Danny Buderus at Newcastle Knights training at Balance Oval Mayfield on Wednesday this week. Picture Simone De Peak. FORMER Test and Origin teammates Jason Ryles and Danny Buderus admit the threat of football oblivion hangs heavily over them going into the second preliminary semi-final at AAMI Park.

One of the pair will walk off late tonight with his NRL career over following the sudden-death clash.

Another retiring star whose career dates back to the Super League War, Storm five-eighth Brett Finch has been declared fit but may not play.

“I was training out there today, thinking it could be my last session,” Buderus, 35, told reporters on match eve.

“But I don’t want to think that way. I’m just very happy to be part of September. It’s a bit of a bonus.”

The hands of time are also moving for Knights veterans Willie Mason and Craig Gower. Utility Gower did not make the trip south after having neck surgery only two weeks ago, while Mason will clock up 250 games. Both plan to play on, however.

“You never know now. It’s sudden death. The Knights are a quality team and if we’re not on our game then it could well be our last game,” said Ryles, 34.

“It’s always in the back of your mind.

“I’ve been thinking of it since my early 20s because you never know when it’s going to end. I’ve been lucky to do something I haven’t called a job, personally.

“It’s something I would have done every week, even if I did have a real job.”

Having missed the 2012 grand final through injury, that spectre is every bit as menacing as retirement for Ryles, who played 12 Tests for Australia.

“That’s footy and part of footy is you get injuries and the timing of the injuries is not always ideal,” he said.

Storm head trainer Tony Ayoub said that Finch, who has battled shoulder and sternum injuries for the past fortnight, had done everything asked of him this week and was available for selection.

But England international Widdop, who last week returned from a dislocated hip, is regarded as favourite to take on the Knights.

“They’ve both trained. They’ve both swapped in and trained with the first team,” Ryles said

“Gaz brings the youth and he’s won a premiership last year. Finchy’s got a lot of experience and he adds another dimension to the team.”

Melbourne are shooting for an eighth consecutive win over Newcastle, who have not made it as far as week three of the finals for 12 years. The Storm have lost only nine of 49 games at AAMI Park.

Buderus, however, spoke glowingly about the input of veteran coach Wayne Bennett to the club’s finals campaign.

“Wayne’s been great in September,” Buderus said. “He’s a completely different coach this time of year. He’s been building towards this. For 18 months he’s been in Newcastle now, instilling a bit of faith and routine into this group. He’s getting the fruits of that now.

“He loves the game, loves the challenge and the competition. We’re feeding off that. He’s our leader and he’s Wayne Bennett – he’s won a lot of premierships. He knows what he’s doing.

“Last year wasn’t a good year for us and it got built up that it probably wasn’t going to be a good year and we fell a bit flat.”

Buderus dismissed suggestions of enmity arising from the last clash between the clubs, after which Bennett accused the Storm of deliberately conceding penalties when under pressure.

“They’re just the ultimate competitors and they just play the game at a level we want to get to,” he said. “I think every team aspires to get as competitive as Melbourne.”

Ryles described his opponents as “battle-hardened footballers”.

Barry O’Farrell inspects coal-loader

Barry O’Farrell tours Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group’s coal terminal on Friday. Picture Peter StoopPREMIER Barry O’Farrell said he was proud of the Hunter coal industry’s achievements after a guided tour of Newcastle’s third and newest coal-loader.

Mr O’Farrell and his Resources and Energy Minister, Chris Hartcher, were in the Hunter to open the $2.5billion Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG) loader on Kooragang Island.

NCIG chief executive Rob Yeates said a sod-turning ceremony on the 136-hectare site took place less than six years ago.

Since then, the loader had been built in three stages, taking its capacity from 30million tonnes a year to 53milllion tonnes and now to 55million tonnes.

Newcastle’s first two loaders, operated by Port Waratah Coal Services, have a combined capacity of 145million tonnes, giving the port an overall capacity of 211million tonnes a year.

Mr O’Farrell said coal contributed greatly to the state and national economy.

‘‘I say to an industry that exported 143million tonnes through Newcastle last year, keep it up,’’ Mr O’Farrell said.

‘‘‘I want to make the point that at a time when mining in general and coalmining in particular is under the gun, we’ve been exporting coal from this port since 1799.

‘‘I can’t see it stopping in my lifetime, my children’s lifetime or their children’s lifetime. Nor should we want it to stop. It has given us one of the great economic competitive advantages anywhere in the world.’’

Interviewed by Hunter media, Mr O’Farrell acknowledged the environmental costs of mining but said a ‘‘strengthened’’ Environment Protection Authority would help maintain the ‘‘balance’’ between costs and benefits of mining.

‘‘Whether people like the mining industry or not, it supports jobs and pays taxes that help provide the critical services that people enjoy,’’ Mr O’Farrell said.

He said he had faith in the Environment Protection Authority to deal with issues such as the unexpectedly large West Wallsend subsidence and the botched clean-up that followed.

Strong westerly winds buffeted Kooragang yesterday as the premier was shown around by NCIG chairman and former Labor state parliamentarian Michael Egan.

NCIG general manager Paul Beale explained how dust was minimised using computerised water sprays controlled by an ‘‘algorithm’’ that took various factors – including weather conditions and readings from dust monitors – into consideration.

GREG RAY: Rabbit has a man-date

DADDY, what’s a man-date?

Man-date? I dunno. Where’d you hear that.

On the radio. They said somebody called Mister Rabbit had a great big man-date and he was going to use it on Australia.

Surely they didn’t say that?

They did, they did, I heard them. They said he had this big, big man-date and that everybody should get out of his way and let him do what he had to do. With his man-date.

Oh, OK. I get it. It’s not about a rabbit, it’s about our new government and our new Prime Minister. He’s called Mister Abbott.

That’s what I said Daddy, I said Mister Rabbit. Is he our new government? Is he like our Mister Flopsy with big ears and red eyes? Where did he get his man-date? Why has he got such a big one?

Hang on a minute, slow down. Too many questions all at once. Mister Abbott is nothing like Mister Flopsy because he’s not a rabbit. He got his mandate from the ballot box, on election day. His party got elected to run the country and the result was pretty clear so they say he has a mandate to do what he wants to do.

On the radio they said Mr Rabbit had put all these men in a cabinet with hardly any ladies and they said that was a bit strange. Is that a bit strange, Daddy? What are they going to do in there? Will those ladies be all right in there with all those men? Will he let them out again?

Look, the cabinet isn’t a cupboard. It’s not even a thing, really it’s just a bunch of ministers who get to make the important decisions about the country. And it’s up to the party that wins the election who they put in the cabinet. They are supposed to choose the best people whether they are men or ladies or whatever. Understand?

I wouldn’t like to be in a cabinet with any ministers. Sarah Jane said she went in to a cupboard with her minister but he’s in jail now.

Oh, please, give me strength. They aren’t those kind of ministers.

That’s lucky for those ladies, because Sarah Jane told me that . . .

Stop, that’s enough. I don’t feel like hearing about what happened to Sarah Jane just now.

That’s what the church said when she tried to tell them about it so her Mummy took her to the police station instead.

All right, all right. Enough about that. Haven’t you got some homework or something you should be doing?

No. All finished. Why is Mister Rabbit getting rid of his servants? If I had servants they could feed Mister Flopsy and I could do Facebook.

He hasn’t got servants. This is making me tired. Has Mister Flopsy had his lettuce today?

On the radio they said Mister Rabbit was getting rid of servants in Canberra. He thought they liked labour too much. Isn’t that silly? If I had servants I’d be glad if they liked labour. They could do their labour and I could do Facebook all the time.

It’s not work they’re talking about, OK? It’s another party. The Labor Party. Now the Liberal Party and the National Party are in charge. So they want their own people in the government. It’s not that big a deal. And they’re not servants. They’re public servants, which is different.

You said they are servants. How is it different?

We haven’t got servants in Australia like the old days. Public servants is just a silly name for people who get paid by the government to tell the rest of us what to do.

Do the servants tell you and Mummy what to do, Daddy?

You bet they do. All the time. It’s what we pay them for.

They have a lot of parties in Canberra, don’t they Daddy?

Yep, lots of parties. All the time. It’s a serious party town.

I wish I could go to their parties. Would you and Mummy take me there one day?

How about you become a politician and you can get elected and go there yourself. You can pick whatever party you want to belong to.

Could I do that? Really? Is a girl allowed to have a man-date? Would I have to go in the cabinet? With all those ministers?

Mr Rabbit gets ready for his man-date.

EDITORIAL: Clearing the air on dust

THE latest study of fine particulate air pollution in the Upper Hunter provides valuable information for residents and for the coal industry.

The long-held perception that coalmining must have been a dominant producer of the most harmful particulates – those of 2.5 microns in diameter or less – appears to have been well and truly scotched.

Wood smoke from domestic heaters has been clearly identified as the largest contributor, during winter months at least.

In warmer months, other pollutants such as power station emissions are dominant.

The study, in which the CSIRO and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation analysed samples collected from Muswellbrook and Singleton during 2012, has revealed wood smoke is responsible for up to 62 per cent of very fine particle pollution in Muswellbrook and 38 per cent in Singleton during winter.

By comparison, industrial activity and vehicle movements contributed 23 per cent in Muswellbrook and 8 per cent in Singleton at the same time of year. Sulphate particles, mainly from power stations, contributed up to 6 per cent in Muswellbrook and 7 per cent in Singleton.

Soil dust, including that liberated into the air by coalmines, contributed 7 per cent and 13 per cent in Muswellbrook and Singleton, respectively.

Some may find the study hard to accept since, on its own reports to the National Pollutant Inventory, the coal industry puts more than 60,000 tonnes of fine dust particles – defined as being 10 microns in diameter (PM10) or smaller – into the Upper Hunter’s air every year.

The most likely explanation is that most of that soil material is larger than the 2.5 micron size (PM2.5) examined in this study.

While it is true that larger particles are more visible, and may well have deleterious effects on public health, international studies are clear that the smaller particles are the most harmful.

This is important information to have in the public sphere. For a start, it removes a cloud of suspicion from the region’s many mines.

It also provides Upper Hunter residents and community leaders with a clear course of action to decisively reduce their exposure to the most harmful form of particulate pollution in their environment.

Reducing reliance on wood-burning heaters, the study suggests, is an obvious step.

The study doesn’t imply that the larger PM10 particles are benign or should be ignored. But it goes a long way to clearing the valley’s mines of blame for the finest and most harmful particulates.

TOPICS: Count on a Taree gal

Premier of NSW Barry O’Farrell tours NCIG Coal terminal at Kooragang Island Newcastle This male kelpie cross cattle dog is up for adoption.

Kurri Kurri Bulldogs supporters’ sign

PREMIER Barry O’Farrell is a diehard Wests Tigers supporter but his wife Rosemary and oldest son Tom, 19, are passionate Newcastle Knights fans, hoping the Hunter’s finest and fittest can knock off the Melbourne Storm this evening.

At a ceremony at the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group’s Kooragang Island coal-loader yesterday, the premier said his wife had “asked me to back the Melbourne Storm, because she thinks I’m pretty good at backing losers”.

“So I’m happy to do whatever it takes to make sure the Knights win the premiership this year,” the premier said.

After a tour of the coal-loader in a bus painted in Knights livery, Barry told a Topics operative that he and son Tom had visited the Knights’ change rooms after last weekend’s win over Canterbury.

He said Rosemary was “a Taree girl”, giving her an added affinity with Danny Buderus and Jarrod Mullen, who both hail from that part of the world.

Topics is also wondering whether Newcastle Liberal MP Tim Owen will receive a visit from the political correctness thought police after his opening remarks at the NCIG function.

Called to the microphone to give a vote of thanks for the premier’s attendance, the former RAAF flyboy began by saying: “I always seem to go last at these things, and I say to people it’s like being Elizabeth Taylor’s seventh husband. You know what to do but you don’t know how you’re going to make it interesting.”

Amid much laughter, he got away with it. Just.

Word according to Ben

THE Real NRL grand final is at Newcastle’s No. 1 Sportsground tomorrow, and what the supporters lack in spelling (see pictured) they make up for in passion.

Topics would like to take a moment to praise the name “Real NRL”. It’s clever, tongue-in-cheek and importantly in this age of Google, avoids confusion with that other NRL.

But do you know the story behind the name? It was coined in 1997 by a 22-year-old Newcastle Herald reporter named Ben Drzyzga. He’s now a senior sports and features sub, and his name is pronounced “Driz-kah”.

“At the time, there was a bit of a kerfuffle,” Drzyzga told Topics.

“The Newcastle Rugby League was blowing up that the newly formed National Rugby League had taken ‘NRL’.”

The solution, like all the best ones, was simple. NRL? This is the Real NRL, he decided. It became part of the Herald’s house style, and has stuck ever since.

For those in the know

“Oh, Topics,” you’re probably saying.

“You forgot all about International Talk Like a Pirate Day.”

That’s where you’re wrong, dear reader.

While your friends were “Yaar”-ing and “Ahoy”-ing on Thursday, we were waiting for International be Talkin’ Like a Pirate Day for Down Undaaaaarrrr. Which is today.

Seriously – all that pirate talk people were doing on Thursday? Illegal. They could’ve been hauled before the courts without a leg to stand on, wooden, legal or otherwise.

According to an organisation called Ye Auld Australian Rum Riddled Rapscallions (YAARRR for short), today’s the day. Savvy?

Celtic dog, perchance?

WHEN was the last time your dog felt special?

This could be just the thing for you and your best friend: the Celtic Dog Dress-up Parade.

The parade is part of today’s Clans on the Coast Celtic Festival at Nelson Bay, and we can say with complete confidence that we’ve never come across anything like it.

The parading pooches, which “must be sociable to other dogs and humans” to enter, will vie for the titles of Best Owner-Dog Lookalike, Cutest and Most Celtic.

We’re not quite sure how a dog can be Celtic, but police should be ready for clashes if a rival parade of Orangemen dogs decides to march as well.

You can find out more about this event at the website clansonthecoast苏州美甲美睫培训.