Newcastle Rugby League: Kurri Kurri Bulldogs tread carefully with return of injured playmaker Jade Porter

SURGERY: Kurri Kurri playmaker Jade Porter. Picture: Maitland MercuryKurri Kurricoach Ron Griffiths said injured playmaker Jade Porter would return when the time is rightfor joint leaders the Bulldogs.

Porter underwent ankle surgery last week to repair damage which has kept him sidelined for most of the Newcastle Rugby League season.

The 35-year-old former Wests and Maitland pivot, who turned in consecutiveman-of-the-match performances to open the 2018 campaign for his new club, is expected back on the run home towards finals but Griffiths won’t be pushing the matter.

“Jade’s had surgery on his ankle and they reckon it’safour-week turnaround to be back running,” Griffiths said.

“We’re hoping [he returns]the back end of the year, but we don’t want to take any risks with him.

“At this stage of his career, we want to make sure he has himself 100 per cent right before playing again.”

Porter could be fit by the time Kurri hosts Western Suburbs on Saturday, August 4, in a matchre-scheduled from this weekend.

The round-seven fixture has been postponedat the request of Wests, who have three players selected in the NSW Rugby League combined representative squad travelling to Queensland from Friday.

“It’s not ideal, but it’s out of our control and we can’t do anything about it,” Griffiths said. “We’ve been in this situation before when games get postponed or transferred for various reasons so we just have to prepare to the best of our ability and get ready for the next challenge.”

The Bulldogs are away to Maitland on June 23, which will be Kurri’sfirst run in three weeks coming off the most recentcompetition-wide bye.

The tri-colours will have Newcastle under-20 representative Reid Alchin fresh from beingnamed players’ player for the Emerging Rebels against Canberra in Sydney on Saturday.

READ MORE:Adu-Dwumma setting the pace at Cessnock Goannas

Federal Government urged to demand church response

Reforms: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull flanked by Attorney-General Christian Porter (left) and Social Services Minister Dan Tehan announce sweeping child sexual abuse reforms. THE Federal Government needs to demand release of theCatholic Church’s response to the child abuse royal commission, say survivors after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Wednesday announced sweeping reforms and an October 22 date for anational apology.

Newcastle MP Sharon Claydon supported Hunter survivorBob O’Toole, survivor advocate Chrissie Foster and Catholics for Renewal president Peter Wilkinson in calling for the church’s Truth, Justice and Healing Council’sroyal commission responseto be immediately released.

Their call came after Mr Turnbull announced the Federal Government had adopted 104 of the royal commission’s 122 recommendations directly related to the government, and was working with state and local governments and other institutions on the remaining 18 recommendations.

The reforms include establishment of a national office for child safety which will operate from July 1. Mr Turnbull announced Western Australia would sign up to the national redress scheme which will also operate from July 1 and offer redress to more than 90 per cent of people sexually abused as children in institutions.

Redress is capped at $150,000, with an expected average payment of more than $75,000.

Mr Turnbull paid tribute to survivors and their families for their bravery, honesty and strength in coming forward and said a national apology will be delivered on October 22 during Children’s Week.

Prime Minister Malcolm TurnbullNewcastle Herald’s Shine the Light campaign in 2012 for a royal commission, said he was pleased by the government’s response but expected the government to demand the Catholic Church release its Truth Justice and Healing Council report in response to the royal commission.

The report was completed by the council and given to the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference three months ago. The bishops conference this week, in response to Herald questions, would not say when it would release the report.

The process of consultation on a response “has begun but it will take some time to complete”, the ACBC said in a statement.

“The response to recommendations from the Royal Commission itself has already started, but the full response will come once we have received advice from the lay-led Implementation Advisory Group and completed our dialogue with the Holy See,” the statement said.

Mr O’Toole said the church’s response was unacceptable.

Hunter abuse survivor Bob O’Toole on the Catholic bishops

“They don’t seem to get that they don’t call the shots anymore,” Mr O’Toole said.

“The Federal Government should be pressuring the church to release the Truth Justice and Healing Council report. The bishopscarry on that we are the church but we’re not the bloody church.

“We don’t have a say in how the church is going to respond to the royal commission. It’s a closed shop.It’s all a secret. They won’t say when they’re going to respond, how they’re going to respond or if they’ll release the Truth Justice and Healing Council report. So what’s changed? How is the church acting any differently to what it always has?

“Of course the Federal Government should be applying pressure to have the Truth Justice and Healing Council report released, as a sign to Australians, if not to the church, that governments will no longer defer to the church. That those days are gone.”

Sharon Claydon, who is a member of the parliamentary committee advising the Federal Government on the national apology and national redress scheme, backed Mr O’Toole.

“The Royal Commission was supposed to put an end to the veil of secrecy, and the failure of the Catholic Church to release the Truth Justice and Healing Councilreport is deeply concerning,” Ms Claydon said.

“The Catholic Church holds a grave responsibility to survivors to be absolutely transparent and accountable, especially given that more than 60 per cent of the child sexual abuse in religious institutions reported to the royal commission occurred in Catholic-run institutions.

“This report must be released. The thousands of people who suffered unthinkable abuse in Catholic institutions deserve answers now.”

Academic, former Catholic priest and author of a groundbreaking report in 2017 into the global Catholic child sexual abuse crisis, Peter Wilkinson, said the bishops conference had to release the report.

Calls: The late Anthony Foster and wife Chrissie in Rome during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

“It is now time for the ACBC to release to the public the full contents of the TJHC’s advice to the bishops on how they should respond to the royal commission and its recommendations,” Dr Wilkinson said.

“This cannot be delayed any longer.”

Chrissie Foster, whose two daughters were sexually abused by a Catholic priest, said it was “wonderful” that the Federal Government had adopted the 104 recommendations and was working with the states on the remaining 18.

“I feel as though we have won this. When it went from the royal commission to politicians I felt it could all slip away, but the government response shows that won’t happen,” Mrs Foster said.

Her late husband Anthony, who died in 2017 after years of advocacy on behalf of abuse survivors,would be pleased with the government response, she said.

The Catholic bishops had to release the TJHC to show the Australian public, and survivors, that it understood what was required of it in future, she said.

“This is the most researched issue in modern times but the church in Australia is still trying to control the situation. They’re trying to flex their muscle, or what’s left of it,” she said.

“There’s public interest in how the TJHC has responded to the royal commission final report and recommendations, but the bishops are being difficult, as they’ve always been difficult. They probably don’t want it public because it’s damning.”

In a statement on Wednesday the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said it had established an implementation advisory group, made up mostly of lay people, which was “helping the bishops decide how to respond to the royal commission”

The royal commission recommendation that confession should not exempt Catholic priests from reporting child sexual abuse allegations to authorities was not accepted by the church.

“Regarding the issue of the seal of confession, the Catholic Church does not view the sacramental seal as incompatible with maintaining child safety,” the bishops conference said.

“The church wants measures that will genuinely make environments safer for children. There has been no compelling evidence to suggest that legal abolition of the seal of confession will help in that regard.”


Newcastle Rugby League: English winger Josh Adu-Dwumaa making tracks at Cessnock Goannas

SPEED: English import Josh Adu-Dwumaa scores a try on debut for the Cessnock Goannas in a 20-6 victory over Western Suburbs at Harker Oval on May 6. Picture: Jonathan Carroll Josh Adu-Dwumaa had no intentions of playing rugby league.

Nor did the young Manchester United fan even know the rules.

But aged 11, Adu-Dwummatook up an invitation with a couple of his school mates in England’s central west and a dozen years on he hasn’t looked back.

“It was quite funny to be fair, I was always just into sprinting and soccer back home,” the Cessnock Goannas wingersaid.

“Two of my best friends in primary school, they were big rugby league fans. I was always quick as a child so they were like you should come down and have a run out. I didn’t even have a pair of boots or anything.

“I went down to the club and they said we’ve got a tournament tomorrow if you want to jump in and play that, even though I didn’t know how to play the game or any of the rules.

“So I just turned up and literally ran around everybody.They were like keep coming and we’ll train you up, teach youto play and see how you go.It all stemmed from there and I’ve played ever since.”

HIT UP: Josh Adu-Dwumaa used to play with Cessnock captain-coach Al Lantry at English club Leigh East. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Hisjourney beyond that unexpected introduction has featured two English Super League clubs –the Warrington Wolves in under 17s followed by a couple of campaigns for the Leigh Centurions under 20s.

More recentlyAdu-Dwumaa has played for hometown Leigh East, located four hours north of London butbetween Liverpool and Manchester,inNational Conference League Division 2.

It wasthere the now 23-year-old met Cessnock captain-coach Al Lantry, who took the reins for 2018 after returningto the Hunter region from Europe,and Goannas prop Kori Barber.

“When Al and Kori came over together they played with us [Leigh East] for a season,” Adu-Dwumaa said.

“Alalways saidif you ever want to come over [to Australia] you shoulddefinitely play with us [Cessnock].

“Once he got the job he asked me to come down and I wasn’t too committed to any work so I thought if I was ever going to do it, the time was now, and I jumped at the opportunity.”

Adu-Dwumaa made the most of his first chance, scoring a try on debut in Cessnock’sseason-opening20-6 victory over more-fancied Western Suburbs at Harker Oval last month.

“I’d only just arrived and they wanted me to play that week,” he said.

“I think it was from Carts [Paul Carter], I got a nice little off load and put the ball under my arm and got the try. Couldn’t have been happier with a try on the debut.”

Adu-Dwumaa is working in Tomago and living at Wallsend, next door to Lantry and with Cessnock teammate Alex Mammone.

The Goannas are away to Macquarie on Saturday.

PREVIOUS:Emerging Rebels here to stay after win over Canberra

STAND OUT:Alchin prepares to representNewcastle under 20s

Newcastle rugby: Greens’ depth receives welcome boost

POWERHOUSE winger Bill Coffey is back where he started –Merewether.

A2011 premiership-winner with the Greens, Coffey has spent the past four seasons running the chalk for arch rival Wanderers.

However, the game-breaker has returned to Townson Oval and played outside centre for Merewether (2) in a 25-10 win over Hamilton in third grade last round.

FULL CIRCLE: Billy Coffey. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

“Billy turned up on the Thursday unannounced and wanted a game,” first grade coach Mick Gill said. “I haven’t sat down and had a chat with him yet. We know what he can do with the footy but hehas turned up in the middle of the year and is at the back of the line.”

Breakaway Sam Dart (overseas) and propWendell Wilhelmus (work commitments) also returned in thirds last round.

“I have not seen this sort of depth since 2010,” Gill said.

* Hunter quintetBeau Merrick (hooker), Jack Allen (prop), Tom McPhee (prop), Jack Hamilton (halfback) and Elias Pettigrew (winger) will vyefor a place in the NSW under-18s side at a trial in Sydney on June 24.

The boys wereselected after Hunter went down 31-21 to Manly in the final of the State championships on Sunday. Hunter were without 10 players, who were in the NSW Country under-18s which went down to Sydney 25-15. The five selected for the trial were injured or unavailable for the country side.

* Wanderers’ halfback stocks have been boosted with the return of Jack Young from Manly.

* Merewether lock Kade Robinson will miss the clash against Southern Beaches after pleading guilty to a dangerous contact charge.

Wanderers duo Blair Rush (lifting tackle) and Noa Taufaao (high tackle) and Southern Beaches No.8 Marlon Solofuti (dangerous contact) are will play this round after the judiciary deemed their red card sufficient.

Newcastle Rugby: Hunter rookies face ultimate test against Fiji

BIG ASSIGNMEMT: The Hunter women’s team will take on Fiji at No.2 Sportsground on Saturday.DANELLE Campbell arrived in Australia from Canadawithout a club and lived in a car when she first joined Merewether.

This time last year, Maya Stewart was playing touch footy.

Nathan twins, Leilani and Nicole, are studying for the HSC and making the transition from sevens to the 15-a-side game.

Emma Bradford and Lupe Ngatuvai are still elligibe for the under-17s.

At the other end of the spectrum, Carla Anderson has spentyears toiling away for her club, waiting for a chance at the next level.

On Saturday night, they will all get to experience international rugby for the first time when Hunter take on Fiji at No.2 Sportsground.

The match is the first women’s international in Newcastle since the Wallaroos took on England in 2001.

The tourists, known as the Fijiana, accounted for the Brumbies 33-7 in Canberra on Monday.

DOUBLE UP: Twins, Leilani and Nicole Nathan.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for our girls to not only be playing a quality international side, but alsoin our home town,”Hunter coachGerry Mason said.

“Fijiana willbe big and physical. They have some hard-running ball-carriers and, as you would expect from Fiji, they have speedy outside backs.”

A new-look Hunter side finished second at the Country Championships in May, bringing an end to their 18-year reign.

Veteran NSW Country prop Tammy Clay comes into the squad and Mason is confident the women will rise to the occasion.

“We area classic mix of youth and experience,” Mason said.

“Eight of our players are under 21. LupeNgatuvai and Emma Bradford are still competing in the under-17s and Leilani and NicoleNathan are in their first year out of juniors.We are looking to compete hard, keep our structure and be strong at the set pieces.”

The match kicks off at 4.45pm after the men’s first-grade grand final rematch between Wanderers and Hamilton.

Hunter: 18 Tammy Clay,2 Carla Andersen, 3 Theresa Wilhelmus, 20 Danelle Campbell,5 Theresa Ngungutau,6 Jessica Church, 7Hayley Amm,8 Annika Jamieson, 9Tahlia Goldsmith,10 Danielle Fruend,11 Maya Stewart, 12Synetta Manns, 13Naomi Medlin, 14 Liz Kennedy, 15Maddison Ingram, 16 Jade Wilson,17 Stephanie Klimovitch, 19Mel Whittingham,4 Leilani Nathan,1 Nicole Nathan,21 Emma Bradford, 22Anika Butler,23 Lupe Ngatuvai