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Time to shake on respect for the refs

Written By malwan milad on Sabtu, 11 April 2015 | 23.51

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THE Country Rugby League is introducing some wonderful new procedures and rules — from under-6s to first grade — to ensure referees start getting the respect they deserve.

In every game under the control of the CRL starting from Saturday:

■ Referees enter the field of play before the teams;

■ The teams run on and line up in the middle of the ground to shake hands; and

■ The coin toss will take place and instructions given to the teams and questions answered at the halfway line before play proceeds.

"We are hopeful that these new initiatives will reinforce the respect that players and fans should have for the referees and their opposition," CRL boss Terry Quinn said.

"These changes were made in collaboration with the Country Rugby League Referees Association (CRLRA) and they are fully supportive of what we are trying to achieve.

"It was important to have these new initiatives implemented right across the board from under-6s to first-grade teams throughout country NSW to promote strong values in our game.

"It sends a message of good sportsmanship to people both inside and outside of our game and hopefully inspires our young players to carry this respect right through their careers as footy players."

WHAT'S THE BUZZ II: Saint, Sinner Shoosh

SADNESS: The cap Richie never received

The Thirroul Butchers (blue) and Helensburg Tigers u19s shake hands at Thomas Gibson Park, Thirroul. Source: News Limited

BUZZ: The cap Richie never received

WHAT'S THE BUZZ: Saint, Sinner Shoosh


NO ONE is monitoring Jarryd Hayne's trials at the San Francisco 49ers more closely than the Sydney Roosters.

With money freed up from the departure of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, the Roosters are one of just a few clubs that can afford Hayne with the assistance of NRL boss Dave Smith and his discretionary war chest.

The Roosters have better access to third party sponsors than any other club through the contacts of Nick Politis, David Gyngell, Mark McInnes and other high-profile supporters.

Hayne's signature would give the Roosters the marketing and commercial boost they desperately need. They have dropped to 14,000 members this year, down from 17,000 last season.

POTENTIAL: Burgess next to follow Hayne in NFL switch

James Tamou looks set to swap Townsville for Canberra. Source: News Corp Australia


CANBERRA Raiders are close to signing State of Origin front-rowerJames Tamou from the Cowboys. His wife Brittney, who is expecting their second child, comes from Braidwood, just outside of Canberra where her parents are still living. The signing will complete a huge week for the club following on from signing Aidan Sezerfrom the Titans.


THE Dragons have missed out on getting Russell Packer back to play NRL this year but they are desperately trying to sign another frontrower.

The name we're hearing is Canberra Raiders and former Test prop Dave Shillington who has asked coach Ricky Stuart for a release.


WE had a chuckle about Roosters talent scoutPeter O'Sullivan blowing up over the Warriors quite legitimately pinching Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. This is the same man who has stolen the best players in the game from just about every NRL club. He needs to pull his head in.

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Vintage Ring-A-Ding Cassidy in Cup

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JIM Cassidy spent Easter Monday at home watching Doncaster-Derby Day on television. He did not have a single ride at the meeting. The phone had stopped ringing.

But many times throughout his celebrated riding career, the critics have had Cassidy down for the count.

He gets up every time — and he did so again on racing's biggest stage at Royal Randwick.

Cassidy was at his superlative best as he drove Grand Marshall to a last-stride win in the Group 1 $1.6 million Sydney Cup (3200m).

Jim Cassidy returns on Grand Marshal. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images

Remarkably this was his first ride at The Championships. This is the same Jim Cassidy that is in the Hall of Fame, a Grand Slam winner, and rider of 103 career Group 1 winners.

You could tell this Sydney Cup win meant a lot to the 52-year-old who is still fitter than men half his age — and no one rides better than Cassidy when he has his eye in.

"I've been down and out before but I always keep fighting back,'' Cassidy told The Sunday Telegraph.

"You can't ride winners if you don't get the opportunities. No one was ringing me for rides.

"But my good friend, Malcolm Ayoub, rang me earlier this morning and he said 'Pump' we have been through worse than this.

"So, I wanted to show everyone I've still got it — and I think I did that.''

This was arguably the most popular win of The Championships, indeed the Sydney autumn carnival, by either horse, trainer or jockey.

The huge Randwick crowd of 23,791 showed their appreciation with generous applause for Cassidy even though Grand Marshal was a $41 outsider.

In a thrilling finish, the Chris Waller-trained Grand Marshall finished hard to run down stablemate Who Shot Thebarman ($8.50) to win by a half head with Like A Carousel ($151) six lengths away third.

Favourite Hartnell )($1.65) led in a slowly run Sydney Cup but was under pressure on the turn and laboured for fourth. Stewards later reported he was sore behind.

Still the king: Hall of Famer Jim Cassidy still has what it takes. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images

Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist ($5) an ingloriously, being beaten 16 lengths into seventh spot.

But all honours to Cassidy for winning a third Sydney Cup, almost three decades after his first win on Marooned in 1986. He also won the race with County Tyrone in 2006.

"It was unfortunate that I couldn't get a ride last Monday, I love it that much it was a little bit hurtful, but it's nice to be here on the big days,'' Cassidy said.

"I got the call up on Wednesday to ride this horse, I've had a bit of luck on him. He ran good on Monday, I assessed the form and didn't think the three main chances had been going as well as they were going into the Melbourne Cup.

"I thought he was the improver. I rode him at Rosehill and he was unlucky and then Joao (Moreira) rode him here last week and probably was a little bit too close.

"We were going to be close today but I got hammered out of the barriers and so I went to Plan B. When they all got scouting into it at the 700m and I was really trucking into it with no weight, smoking the pipe. I was here to win the Sydney Cup. It's beautiful."

Waller prepared his 11th Group 1 winner of the season and his stable runners have now earned over $18 million prizemoney since August 1 with the Grand Marshall-Who Shot Thebarman quinella.

Chris Waller prepared his 11th Group 1 winner of the season with the Grand Marshall-Who Shot Thebarman quinella. Source: News Corp Australia

"A two-mile race is a different complexion altogether. All we can do is prepare our horses how we thought best,'' Waller said.

"Who Shot Thebarman was getting a dream run following Protectionist and then to see Grand Marshal storm home down the outside, it was pretty good.

"It is a great feeling when you come for a Sydney Cup and it is something special when the two stablemates fight it out.

"It looked like Who Shot Thebarman had the race shot to pieces but to Jimmy's credit he kept grinding away and grinding away.

"It was a lot of fun watching the race when the two stablemates are fighting it out.

"I feel for the other owners of Who Shot Thebarman, I am sure they thought they had the race in the bag. Their turn will come and they will get another shot at the Melbourne Cup."

Craig Williams, rider of Protectionist, said the Melbourne Cup winner was really disappointing.

"In the preliminary he's never moved better,'' Williams said. "Then got into a nice position and I thought this is what he needed a bit more give in the track out to this distance, but at the 1000m I didn't have a horse, I was gone."

The final word to Cassidy: "I don't need the press or any trainer to tell me I'm too old, I will give up riding when I'm ready,'' he said.

"I'm so proud of my wife Vicki because I know she feels for me when I'm not getting rides.

"She knows how much riding means to me. This is why I'm riding at 50kg today because I love it."

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Maths proves Test is at home in Brisbane

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COREY Parker is adamant the trans-Tasman Test in the year of the Anzac centenary can have no better home than Brisbane.

The ARL Commission brought the May 1 Test against New Zealand to Suncorp Stadium knowing that Queenslanders rally to Test football with more devotion than Sydneysiders.

Last October's Four Nations double-header, in which the main event was a trans-Tasman game which New Zealand won 30-12, drew 47,813, while 25,429 went to the May, 2014 Test won 30-18 by Australia.

Corey Parker knows Brisbane will get behind the trans-Tasman Test. Pictures: Jack Tran Source: News Corp Australia

Crowds when New Zealand previously played at Suncorp Stadium were 36,299 (2010), 37,152 (2009) and 50,559 (2008). The Kiwis won in 2010 in the final of a Tri-Nations tournament and in the 2008 World Cup final.

None of the past 17 Australia-New Zealand Tests in Sydney have drawn more than 35,000 people. The last to do was in 1963, when 45,567 rolled up to the Sydney Cricket Ground.

"I think it's rugby league in general, not just the Test. It's the vibe which gets around the whole city when there's a big game of football,'' said Parker, while admitting he is as biased on the subject as any other Queenslander.

"With this Test, there is an extra purpose behind it, being the 100th (year since the Anzac campaign in Gallipoli). I couldn't think of a better place to have it and not just because it's my home town.''

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Seven of the 17 Australians who played in May last year did not play in the Four Nations final in Wellington between two injury-hit sides.

Of the 10 players who were unavailable for the Four Nations, already winger Brett Morris is out of the running for next month's Test with a knee injury which will sideline him for at least two months, while Darius Boyd is recovering from an Achilles injury.

Fullback Billy Slater showed he was a quick healer when a knee injury did not stop him from starring in the 2013 World Cup final, but his current shoulder injury is rated a four-week injury and he is at long odds to play.

"You would think most of the guys who played in the Anzac Test last year, if they are injury-free, would be looking at a run,'' said Parker, who played five of his 11 career Tests last year.

Darius Boyd is recovering from an Achilles injury. Source: News Corp Australia

"There were so many good players who weren't available for the Four Nations. Having those players unavailable gave a host of other guys a start and we fell short at the last hurdle.''

Slater, Johnathan Thurston, Nate Myles and Paul Gallen were among the players who played in the May Test and could not play in the Four Nations.

Having waited until the age of 29 to make his debut, Parker says he values each of his 11 Tests for Australia.

"Origin is what we tend to hang our hat on in rugby league but Test football is something special,'' he said.

"The Kiwis have a talent pool to choose from and their side has some of the stars of our game.

"In the Test team, you are playing alongside guys you tried to bash in that (Origin) game. The best experience I've had with it is on tours where you are a world way from home and been there for weeks and have a good bond with the guys off the field.

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"You're united as an Australian side on those tours. There's no Queensland, no blue jersey, you're in an Australian side and you see that in how the team plays.''

Parker played in the 2013 World Cup final in Manchester in which Australia beat New Zealand 34-2.

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Hodkinson├ó€™s worth soars to $750,000

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TRENT Hodkinson is prepared to sacrifice up to $150,000 a year to remain at Canterbury with the NSW State of Origin No.7 set to ignore offers of up to $750,000 a season to continue being a Bulldog.

Hodkinson's asking price to abandon Des Hasler and the Bulldogs skyrocketed to almost $800,000 a year last week when Aiden Sezer became the latest playmaker to be taken off the open market when he was sold to the Canberra Raiders on a three-year deal.

With star playmakers Kieran Foran (Eels), Daly Cherry-Evans (Titans), Adam Reynolds (Rabbitohs) and now Sezer all committed beyond this year, Hodkinson has become the hottest playmaking talent on the market.

Trent Hodkinson and partner Chantelle Traficante. Source: News Corp Australia

The man who helped NSW break Queensland's Origin stranglehold joins Chris Sandow (Eels) and James Maloney (Roosters) as the last of the free-agent sixes-and-sevens left standing.

The Sunday Telegraph has been told it will take an offer of more than $750,000 a year to tempt the Parramatta junior, 26, to leave Belmore.

Hodkinson is willing to take "unders'' to stay with the team that has made two of the last three NRL grand finals.

Bulldogs CEO Raylene Castle described negotiations to retain Hodkinson as positive.

"Talks are ongoing,'' Castle said.

"And they have been progressing.''

Being hunted by both the Cronulla Sharks and Manly Sea Eagles, Hodkinson will recommit to the Bulldogs on a long term deal if they offer him upwards of $500,000 a year.

"He wants to stay,'' said a source close to Hodkinson.

"That is his home now and he wants to finish what he has started. He is a very loyal person and it is not just about money with him.''

Trent Hodkinson is the hottest halves prospect on the market. Picture: Mark Evans Source: News Corp Australia

Manly and Cronulla have both expressed interest in Hodkinson but will need to meet $750,000 a season to stand a chance of snaring the tattooed trend setter.

Hodkinson's former club the Sea Eagles are desperate for a quality half after losing both Cherry-Evans and Foran on multi-million dollar deals.

Cherry-Evans was signed by the Titans on a contract that averages out to be worth $1 million a year.

Hodkinson's agent gave little away when contacted for comment.

"We are just working through it at the moment,'' said high profile manager and former player Dave Riolo.

"He doesn't want to go anywhere but we are just working through all the bits and pieces right now. He is pretty happy where he is now and very happy to stay.''

The Raiders dropped out of the hunt to sign Hodkinson last week when Ricky Stuart signed Sezer to a three year deal in a move that left just three high profile playmakers unsigned beyond this year.

The Eels are in deep negotiations to re-sign Sandow and have the live-wire join recruit Foran in what could prove the club's best halves combination since Brett Kenny and Peter Sterling.

The future of Maloney remains clouded.

The former Origin five-eighth was rumoured to be on the outer last year with boom rookie Jackson Hastings discussed as Maloney's long term replacement.

The bombshell loss of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has forced the Roosters into a recruitment rethink and Maloney's experience may help his Bondi cause.

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Benji back to his best, says Dugan

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BENJI is back. That is the declaration from Josh Dugan ahead of Sunday's blockbuster against the Bulldogs with the star fullback claiming he and Benji Marshall could combine to pile on the points and end a perceived weakness in attack.

Fresh from helping his team pull off a defensive shut-out by keeping the Knights pointless in a modern miracle, Dugan claimed Marshall was set to recapture the type of form that won him the Golden Boot in 2010 to kick start a point scoring spree.

"He is back,'' Dugan said.

"And it is exciting to see. Going to union knocked him around a bit and for him to come back and get going week-to-week was tough. But now he is back to his best.''

Stepping, scoring and sprinting, Marshall revealed he spent the pre-season working on his attacking game and lost several kilograms in a bid to spark his speed.

He is now looking to combine with NSW State of Origin shoo-in Dugan to help create points for the team that has the worst attacking record in the NRL this year.

"The points aren't far away,'' Marshall said.

"We (Dugan and I) are a big part of it and despite what you have seen it has improved. It is improving all the time and we are just a yard, or maybe a pass off putting it together. We just need the polish. The points aren't far away.''

Josh Dugan is building a combination with Benji Marshall. Picture: Brett Costello Source: News Corp Australia

Dugan admitted he and Marshall were responsible for putting on the points.

"It is our responsibility to (spark the attack),'' Dugan said.

"Benji and I are both in those key attacking positions along with Gareth Widdop and Mitch Rein. We are adding a lot of things to that attack and the points will come. We can create. It is just a matter of tinkering and despite the talk we aren't worried about it at all. The points will come. Our defence has been our focus and we have proved that we can hold sides out.''

Dugan said he and Marshall could form a potent attacking partnership.

"It is awesome playing with Benji,'' Dugan said.

"I got the chance to play with him in an All-Stars match in 2011 and I knew I wanted to play with him again. He can create something from nothing and has a very rare ability to lay something on. We work off each other in this team. I think we are a good combination because we both bring things to the table. His experience... he has been at the highest level. He helps me with that experience at training and in the game.''

Marshall said Dugan was the key to his playmaking revival.

"Back at the Tigers I felt like I had to do a lot of the ball playing and take all the pressure,'' Marshall said.

"Now I can just give the ball early. Dugan relieves the pressure.

"It takes time to put combinations together but we are getting there. I am at a stage where I can throw the ball and I know he will be there to take it. I have that feel with him. He feels the same as me when it comes to attack and he knows what hole I am going to put the ball into.''

Marshall admitted his running game had suffered until he had a "mental shift" this year.

"My weight was also an issue,'' Marshall said.

"I always thought that I needed to be heavy because I had all those issues with my shoulders. I became obsessed with bulking up for defence and to protect it and it was the wrong way to go. This year I am in a good place. I trained pretty hard to get here and 91kg is a good place for me.''

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Time to hit pause on video machine

Gorden Tallis says the NRL should strip the powers of the video referee. Source: Mark Kolbe / Getty Images

NRL REFEREE standards are much better today than they were when I was playing. This might be hard to believe, given some of the propaganda being constantly pushed bagging referees, but they were worse a decade ago.

The problem today is we see every mistake because of how much scrutiny is on the game.

There was no video referee in my day. There were no slow-motion replays. Decisions were made and mostly we moved on.

Now there are cameras in corner posts, drones flying overhead and cameras capturing every angle of every play.

There are probably at least six more cameras covering the game now than there was 10 years ago. Of course we will see more mistakes.

It's ridiculous to think the referees will be perfect. Footy is not a perfect game.

By putting pressure and scrutiny on the referee to be completely flawless rugby league is just creating more problems. It hasn't been perfect for over 100 years so why are we trying to make it that way now?

The NRL has to stop this. They need to strip the powers of the video referee.

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The best captains exploit the video referee. If a call is missed they delay the game just enough to get a decision overturned.

It could be a knock on, a strip penalty, the last touch on a ball over the dead-ball line. Some issues are picked up while others are missed. It's very inconsistent.

As a captain, the only reason I approached a referee was to buy time, give my team a rest and let the defence set. It broke the opposition's momentum.

When I was captain it was clear that the referee never changed his mind. His decision was always final. It's not anymore.

Now captains can get decisions changed if they stall the game just enough for the video referee to review a play.

It has to stop. The video referee should only be able to check on the scoring of a try.

They can check if the ball is grounded or if the player is out. Nothing else. No checking the play-the-ball. No looking at offside, which is what touchies are for. No reviewing obstruction.

We have two referees and two touch judges, play what they see and move on.

If they think it's a try, blow it. If they're not sure, blow a try and check the grounding with the video referee.

The goalkicker has 90 seconds to take his kick. The video referee now has 90 seconds to review it.

If it's a try, no time is wasted. If it's not a try, the decision is reversed and we play on.

Remove the dead time where players stand around for minutes at a time waiting for a decision.

And don't show slow-motion replays at the ground. Rugby league is a fast game. Only show live speed replays.

One man's decision can change a game — and one mistake can be blown out of all proportion. Source: Getty Images

Let the man up in the box make his decision by slowing it down, he can go frame-by-frame to get it right if he has too, but the rest of us should only see the game at full speed.

If two referees can't see obstruction live then it's not an obstruction. It's clear if someone has been impeded or not.

We were living with live decisions for 90 years and nobody blew up as much as they do now and it's because of this expectation to be perfect.

I watch referees now send decisions upstairs and some look genuinely frightened they might be wrong. They're worried about what they might have missed? Technology has eroded their confidence.

If a player is down on form you back them and put faith in them. The same applies to referees.

Give them their power back. Let them make decisions and only check truly black and white issues like grounding or out of play.

If coaches want to start running more obstruction plays because they think they can get away with it, that's fine, they will do it to each other.

Coaches have won and lost games for 100 years by bending the rules. What goes around comes around.

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The cap Richie never received

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THIS is the baggy green cap that was to be delivered to cricket legend Richie Benaud just days before he passed away.

The great man's original Test cap — presented in 1952 — went missing or was misplaced more than 30 years ago. In a beautiful gesture, Cricket Australia planned to present Richie with a replacement baggy green, numbered 190, at last month's Australia-India World Cup semi-final at the SCG.

It was on that day he took a turn for the worse and was too ill to attend the game. Cricket Australia had been dealing with Benaud's family through Channel Nine's director of sport Steve Crawley, who was to cover the cap presentation for the network during the game. "Richie didn't know but we told Daphne and it was going to be a surprise," Crawley said.

"Sadly, he couldn't make it to the game.

"Then yesterday (Thursday), this package arrives at Channel Nine and it was his baggy green the day before he died.

"Daphne is quite moved by it and we're going to give it to her at an appropriate time."

In his later years, Benaud could not recall what happened to his original cap or the blazer he wore as Australia's captain.

WORLD VIEW: New York Times' beautiful Richie tribute

WHAT'S THE BUZZ: Time to shake on respect for the refs

WHAT'S THE BUZZ II: Saint, Sinner Shoosh

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Buckley: Pie injury sours gutsy effort

Written By malwan milad on Sabtu, 04 April 2015 | 23.51

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COLLINGWOOD coach Nathan Buckley has lauded his side's ability to handle a fast-finishing Brisbane amid the continuing shock of the drug scandal that has engulfed the club.

The Magpies led by 53 points at the 25-minute mark of the third term and survived the Lions booting the last seven goals of the game to claim four competition points.

Revelations that Collingwood duo Lachlan Keeffe and Josh Thomas tested positive for a performance enhancing substance rocked the club this week.

But Collingwood handle drama better than most and dominated Brisbane for three quarters.

"Obviously that issue has travelled through the week but to be honest, we travelled (and) our major focus was on starting our season as well as we possibly could,'' he said.

"We leave here with four points which is the result we are after.

"It takes time for that shock (about Keeffe and Thomas) to settle in. I wouldn't think it would be truly absorbed yet by the players.''

Buckley said he had spoken to both Keeffe and Thomas but had not asked them specifically about their version of events.

The only down side for the Pies was a suspected broken thumb for star midfielder Steele Sidebottom who will be sidelined for a few weeks.

Sidebottom will be assessed in the coming days as to whether or not the thumb requires a pin.

"We basically dominated the game for the best part of three quarters and gave the opposition a sniff because we didn't finish a couple of chances and gave ourselves a bit of a scare,'' Buckley said.

"I thought the leadership, the pluck in that last eight minutes to hold the game and do what we needed to do was pretty good.''

Buckley said former Magpie Dayne Beams — who collected 32 disposals — was not specifically targeted.

"He is obviously a very good player but we didn't want to focus on Beamsy at the expense of Tom Rockliff, Dayne Zorko or Daniel Rich. It wasn't an all-encompassing focus on one player,'' he said.

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NRL threaten to strip points off Bulldogs

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CANTERBURY Bulldogs face the harshest of punishments, including being stripped of competition points, if there is a repeat of Friday's disgraceful crowd behaviour at ANZ Stadium.

The Bulldogs have also vowed to warn their captain James Graham and the players about their lack of ­respect for referees that has been blamed for inciting fans to throw bottles at match ­officials after the game.

It is expected Graham and teammate Dave Klemmer will be charged by the NRL for referee abuse, facing fines and possible suspensions.

The loss of competition points will also be considered if there are more crowd disturbances involving Bulldogs fans this year.

Officials being pelted with bottles after the controversial Bulldogs v Rabbitohs NRL match on Friday. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas Source: AAP

A touch judge falls after being hit by a bottle at the end of the NRL game. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas Source: AAP

And the threat should serve as a warning to other teams if their fans behave in the same manner.

"Under the game's code of conduct, there are a range of sanctions available to consider, which we will do in a thorough and considered way," NRL CEO Dave Smith said.

"These matters were ­serious and extremely disappointing for the entire game and do not reflect the game's values both on and off-the-field. We will be working with the police, ANZ Stadium and the Bulldogs to carefully review all matters regarding fan behaviour."

Meanwhile, Canterbury chief executive Raelene Castle said she and coach Des Hasler would address Graham and the entire team about the importance of respecting refereeing decisions.

"James wants to be captain of the Bulldogs for a long period of time and he needs to build a respectful relationship with the officials," Castle said.

"It's part of the role that he has to be seen as someone they want to work with and have a sensible conversation with on the field.

"That means in the first minute of the game or in the heat of the battle in the 80th minute. Leadership is a learning process. He's just started. None of us get it right all the time. He's got to learn from it and use it in a positive way going forward.

"It's something Des and I will be talking to James and the team about."

Bulldogs fans at the game against the Rabbitohs before it was marred by violence. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas Source: Getty Images

The Bulldogs CEO was assisting police and working alongside NRL and ANZ Stadium staff yesterday in the bitter aftermath to one of the code's most ­controversial days.

Castle ­accepted the blame on the club's behalf.

"It's really frustrating when you have 40,500 people and 40,400 of them are cheering loud with great passion and enthusiasm but they don't cross that line," she said.

Castle said it would be wrong for the NRL to take action against the club.

Overseas soccer clubs have lost competition points for crowd misbehaviour.

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Oh baby! Why Scott has rivals feeling green

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ADAM Scott kissed the new girl in his life for the first time in six weeks, before flying to a Masters showdown he feels he can win after a meagre 10 rounds in the ring.

The image of Scott changing nappies, while Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth have all grabbed tournaments on the way to Augusta this week, is not entirely true.

Australia's former world No. 1 has something just as powerful going on.

He is serenely happy, on top of having a proven winning formula for Augusta that those top rivals are still sweating on finding.




Adam Scott celebrates after draining a birdie to force a play-off in 2013. Source: Getty Images

Newborn Bo, with mum Marie, flew into her new Bahamas base last Thursday night and dad was off on a plane to Augusta, Georgia the next day.

"Just thinking about Bo makes me happy. I underrated the feeling of parenthood," Scott, 34, said.

"I'm just like every other dad with baby pictures on my phone showing them off.

"It really feels like marriage and being a dad has come along at a really good time in my life.

"I feel ready for it, excited for all those challenges personally and it's a good motivator professionally as well.

"Even though I've barely seen her, like it's 10 days and she's six weeks old, it is a very warm feeling for me.

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"We'll all spend good time together after the Masters."

Scott's hungry mindset for another big showing radiates from everything he knows about his game and a catalogue of shots, escape routes, familiar putts and mental steel from his 13 Masters appearances.

A meagre 10 rounds of tournament play in the first three months of this year would not make him a winning bet for a US Open on an unfamiliar course.

It does for the Masters. He now calls Augusta National "my home track" such has his epic 2013 triumph been embedded in his psyche.

Scott, pictured driving on the third, says Augusta is his "home track". Source: Getty Images

He does not feel at a disadvantage to momentum men like new American hot shot Spieth, who enters the Masters coming off a win, a second and his last nine rounds under par.

"Absolutely not. Over the past five years I've developed such a good feeling of playing Augusta that I feel extremely comfortable around there," Scott said.

"Topped off by winning obviously helps the confidence a lot.

"It somewhat feels like going back to my home track."

There is a reason why Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Bernhard Langer, Jose Maria Olazabal and Nick Faldo have all won multiple Masters titles over the past 30 years.

"Guys have won it a couple of times quite close together because I think you do develop a real knack for playing Augusta. Winning that first time really helps," Scott said.

"You know you can win around there and not everyone goes in with that."

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With everything swirling around Scott last year as defending champion and the guy serving mum Pam's pavlova at the Champions dinner, he still opened with a fine 69.

Lapping it all up rather than putting an emotion-deflecting shield around himself was deliberate.

"I tried to enjoy it all. You only go back to defend your first Masters win once," said Scott, who finished 14th.

Scott is not as underdone as many would think with his extended baby-break. He practised every day on the Gold Coast before his Florida return last month at Doral for a strong fourth at the Cadillac Championship on one of the toughest courses the pros play all year.

His nine top 10s in majors since the start of 2011 is seriously good. But world No. 1 McIlroy's six top 10s over the same period have been converted to four victories in majors.

You have got to love how Aussie Scott is. He wanted a Gold Coast birth for Bo.

A week ago, cricket fan Scott woke in the Bahamas at 2am to watch Australia's blitz of New Zealand in the World Cup final on TV.

He craves a conversion rate in majors like Steve Smith's insatiable hunger for great hundreds over just good 50s.

"Methodical, meticulous ... Australia's batting was impressive when it mattered in the tournament," Scott said.

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Before he became Australian golf's impressive statesman, a young Scott said that winning one major "didn't justify anything" when highlighting the work he put in would justify more.

"I mean, I've not had a clear goal on it my whole life but certainly I've had en expectation of winning multiple majors," Scott said.

"It took me a long time to get one. Realistically, over the next five years I've got to get the rest because beyond 40 it's a bit of a lottery.

"I feel it's my time to win big events. I feel I've put in all the work I need to over the past few years and I just have to go out and do it."

Two-time Masters champion Adam Scott ... he would love that handle.

The nappies can wait, right?

"I did my fair share of nappies in Australia," he said with a laugh.

"Obviously, I've been away a while so I've got some catching up to do ... after the Masters."

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