Moeroa and Eels look ahead to right wrongs

first_img“You can’t change it now, so just worry about what you can do in 2017,” was the simple mantra from Arthur to his players.The club will look to get off to a bright start when the first football of the year is played in Auckland at the Downer NRL Auckland Nines.Among the more serious penalties imposed on the club for major salary cap breaches wrought by a since-dismissed administration was the stripping of the 2016 Auckland Nines trophy – the club’s first serious silverware since the 1986 premiership.That one still smarts a little for the players given all clubs leave the majority of their highest-paid players at home and several retired greats have gone over as part of an NRL Nines squad from outside their club’s salary cap.Moeroa confessed to being somewhat baffled by the logic in that penalty but insisted the club would be looking to reclaim the trophy on the first weekend in February.”Day one [of pre-season] Brad pretty much said that we can’t change what’s happened in the past, that’s out of our control but what we can control is what happens in the 2017 season,” Moeroa told NRL.com.”That’s what we’ll focus on, righting the wrongs.”That all starts as soon as February 4 in Auckland.”‘BA’ will pick the team a couple of weeks before the tournament. It will definitely be a strong team but we’ll be looking to get that trophy back and bring it back home,” Moeroa said.The fact Parramatta won enough NRL games in 2016 to chalk up 30 competition points, which would have seen them play September but for a 12-point salary cap penalty, gives the club confidence those feats can be repeated in 2017 with those distractions gone.”The boys, we just want to get to Round 1 and start playing some footy. If we get there and start playing some good footy, you never know, come September we’re hopefully in the finals,” Moeroa added.”We definitely have the team to make the finals, it just depends how we perform. Rugby league is a tough competition and to compete week in week out is what will get us there to October.”Among all the other, board-level dramas for the Eels in 2016 was the fact that two of their best players – winger Semi Radradra and half Corey Norman – had their input restricted by off-field disciplinary issues.Moeroa said Norman had returned to training and picked up where he left off, as a serious leader of the team, while Radradra – who continues to visit his ill father in Fiji at every opportunity while also readying for a court case to answer domestic violence charges as well as fielding offers from French Rugby – has been training well since his return.”Semi’s good, he’s been training the house down, that’s all we can ask from him,” Moeroa said.”He’s part of the team, whatever other issues he has going on outside football that’s between him and the management. We’re here to support him but there’s nothing that involves us beside football.”The boys are just there for support, whatever he needs the boys will be there to give him a helping hand.”Of Norman, Moeroa added: “he’s leading the forwards around, controlling the halves, he’s stepping up his game and realising that he can push for rep honours and I think he might have some personal goals that he wants to try and achieve.”Corey Norman, he’s built for the big stage. If he gets the call up to play Origin at some stage he’ll grab it with two hands and I’m sure he’ll kill it.”Of his own Origin hopes, which he hasn’t tried to hide in recent years, Moeroa said: “I’ve just got to have a big year this year and hopefully try and push for an Origin spot. We’ll see what happens. I’ve got to focus on the season. We’ve got to have a big year as a team and we’ll see what happens from there.”last_img read more

No more smoking outside

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Despite anticipated backlash from the local Greek Australian community, Monash City Council is hoping to ban smoking in outdoor areas such as cafes and sports grounds. The Greeks will whinge initially, but once they realize that what’s been implemented is actually a good thing for their health, and a good thing for their bottom line of the traders and sporting groups, I have found that the Greeks will actually come on board and it no longer becomes an issue for them.As a result of a council meeting on Tuesday night, the council will now push ahead with community consultation on banning smoking in outdoor areas. Councillor Paul Klisaris, who initiated the proposal, said it was important that local government promote an anti-smoking message, although he anticipated resistance from Greek Australians in the area. “Greeks have a lot of good qualities, but they also have one negative about them, and that is that they are the biggest whingers on the planet,” he said. Monash is the first local council in Victoria to consider the ban, but it has been state law in sporting clubs and cafes in Queensland and New South Wales for years. Cr Klisaris said, since those bans were introduced, data has shown an increase in patronage. “Now what does that mean?” he said. “It means that people who otherwise wouldn’t go to a cafe outside and enjoy the good weather because they didn’t want to inhale their neighbours’ smoke, all of a sudden were able to do that.” Community consultation is now under way in the city of Monash, and a subcommittee has been formed to make a recommendation to council, which Cr Klisaris expects will be in early 2011. “The Greeks will whinge initially, but once they realize that what’s been implemented is actually a good thing for their health, and a good thing for their bottom line of the traders and sporting groups, I have found that the Greeks will actually come on board and it no longer becomes an issue for them,” he said. But local traders are not sold on the idea. Owner of Niko’s Quality Cakes in Oakleigh, Tass Poupouzas, said she objected to Monash residents being the “guinea pigs,” and said the ban would damage her business. “These days, it’s tough enough to bring business in, and they are just closing our doors, they’re making it harder and harder for shopkeepers in Monash to make a living,” she said. And she doubted the ban would contribute to public health. “People who want to stop smoking will do it for other reasons, they’ll stop because they can’t afford it,” she said. Down the road at Vanilla, barista Georgio Lafazanis said having a cigarette with a coffee was part of the “Greek way of life.” “I’m not a fan of smoking, I’m losing my grandparents to smoking, but I don’t have a right to tell someone they’re not allowed to smoke outside,” he said. Chris Karavatsivis, who works in the area, said he thought the local Greek community would make their voice heard during the consultations. “At the end of the day, democracy was founded in Greece, so we have a vested interest in it,” he said. Monash City Mayor Charlotte Baines said the council was keen to hear a variety of views from residents, but said she supported the ban. “For us it’s about responding to wider health implications, and one way councils can respond is by enacting changes,” she said. Mayor Baines said council staff would “absolutely” be engaging with the community on this issue over the coming months. In 2007, Monash City Council passed a ban on smoking in playgrounds, which Cr Klisaris said was “policing itself.” He said the proposed ban was not designed as a revenue-raiser for the council. “This is not an attack on smokers, it’s certainly not an attack on the Greek community in Oakleigh or the Eaton Mall, where they all get together on a Saturday particularly and have a latte and have a cigarette,” he said. “But what we’re saying is look, it’s your right to smoke, but do it in a venue where it doesn’t impede on others.”last_img read more