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Courtroom moved to tears during sentencing

Courtroom moved to tears during sentencing

David Desper shot and killed a teenage woman as they jockeyed to merge on a highway.A Pennsylvania man who pleaded guilty to fatally shooting a recent high school graduate in a fit of road rage should spend at least 20 years in prison after an emotional sentencing at which he, the victim's family and even the judge cried.
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David Desper was sentenced to 20 to 40 years, and the judge told him she didn't believe he acted out of fear as he contended.

"If you're afraid, you hit the brakes. I believe it was anger," she told him, tearing up. He faced a maximum of 45 years in prison.

Desper, 29, pleaded guilty to shooting 18-year-old Bianca Roberson in the head last year after they jockeyed for space while merging onto a highway.

Before the sentencing, Roberson's mother told the court her 22-year-old son had died and Bianca was her only remaining child. She said she'll never "get to hear that word, 'Mom,' again," then looked at Desper and shouted, "I hate you!" WPVI-TV reported.

In a separate statement, the girl's father said his questions for Desper were simple.

"Why in God's name did you shoot my daughter? Because she was young? Because she was black? Because she was a girl? Because you wanted to go first on the road? Because you had a bad day?" he asked.

Desper, who is white, looked down and cried as the family spoke. He later addressed the court, sobbing.

"I'd do anything to take it back," he told the judge, and then turned to face the Roberson family, saying through tears, "I really would. I'm so sorry."

He repeatedly apologised to them.

The defence said Desper was driving home when a car came up and startled him. He took the gun and fired it in what his lawyer called a mistake.

Desper's mother, Wendy Desper, testified she shared a story about the shooting on Facebook right after it happened, saying she wanted police to find "the jerk who killed that high school graduate," only to later learn it was her son.

"I understand that she's not a mom anymore because of my son and his actions," she said of Roberson's mother, adding she prays for Bianca.



Port Stephens town centre works to pay off in extra millions: report

Port Stephens town centre works to pay off in extra millions: report

PICTURE THIS: A sketch of potential upgrades to William Street at Raymond Terrace under a mooted town centre upgrade if a council push for a rate rise wins approval. A REPORT into a Port Stephens Council plan to spend $43 million on its town centres as part of a proposed rate hike has found the plan would eventually deliver more than $100 million to the area’s economy.
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The council plans improvements at Raymond Terrace, Medowie, Nelson Bay, Anna Bay, Fern Bay, Fingal Bay, Karuah, Lemon Tree Passage and Seaham if the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) approves its bid to lift rates beyond the statewide cap.

A Morrison Low business case report commissioned for the council argues the council’s spend on the nine upgrades will be multiplied in the benefits derived from it, which it estimates at more than $129 million.

The report said it focused on “the costs and benefits directly attributable to the project and project components.”It argues tourism will deliver some of the return at Nelson Bay.“The Hunter is emerging as a very strong and popular short-stay destination for the burgeoning Sydney market,” the report states. “Port Stephens currently enjoys 1,437,000 visitors a year …council data suggests that with enhanced public facilities and infrastructure, a 2 per cent annual growth could be achieved if the revitalisation works go ahead, resulting in annual benefit of around $880,000 to the Port Stephens local government area.”

The biggest estimates are from works at Nelson Bay ($15 million for a $49 million boost), Medowie ($5 million for a $16 million boost) and Raymond Terrace ($15 million for a $38 million boost).

Mayor Ryan Palmer said the report demonstrated the importance of the investment, which is proposed as part of a proposed rate rise to be sought next year.

“In addition to construction, there’s also more than $65 million in associated benefits projected to flow into Port Stephens over the next two decades,” Cr Palmersaid.“Without the additional funds from a special rate variation, we simply won’t be able to undertake the kind of transformational works that we’re proposing.”

The council has proposed four options for rates that vary from present levelsto a 77 per cent increase over the next seven years.

The town centre plans are funded under all options except existingrate levels.

Maintenance is also expressed to rise $11.2 million over 10 years.

JEFF CORBETT: A glimpse at nudity, bikinis and string theory

JEFF CORBETT: A glimpse at nudity, bikinis and string theory

I am not one to perve.
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To ogle and leer is at the very least inelegant for a mature man, and it's a base response that reduces the people ogled, who in my case would be women, to sex objects.

You may recall that the fear of being accused of seeing a woman as a sex object a couple of decades ago converted an entire generation of males to sensitive new age guys, and they're still slinking about with eyes down.

Sowhen a fellow camper at Diamond Head on the Mid North Coast a few weeks ago remarked that he'd just seen a woman walk past my car in a bikini even briefer than a thong I made my way casually to the front of my campsite.

The evolution of the bikini has always interested me, in the sociological sense.

But she was gone, out of sight, nowhere to be seen. When she returned an hour later I happened to be polishing my bullbar and what I saw was a piece of black string.

It was about as thick as the twine you might use to tie a tomato bush to a stake or to wrap a gift.

An hour or so later when she came down the track from the other direction it just so happened that I was still polishing the bullbar and I saw that at the front two pieces of string held in place a narrow wedge of cloth.

Back and front, this was a significant step in the evolution of the bikini.

To my amazement I saw these string bikinis everywhere as I made my way up the coast, everywhere I cast my gaze, until at Byron Bay I decided to hightail it home to Newcastle before I started to look even more like Benny Hill.

It may be that this string bikini has been playing hide and seek on Newcastle's beaches unbeknownst to me for a year or two, because I'm not a beachgoer since I came face to face with a shark straight out of a coffee table book 15 years ago, but it was a new source of wonderment for me late last month.

What forces are at work here? I mean, men are covering up more than ever, with ponderous board shorts that are heading towards the knees and with long-sleeved rash shirts, and men in budgie smugglers are deemed to have a few issues that need to be addressed professionally.

My wife and children would have such an outpouring of disgust whenever I presented in budgie smugglers that these days I spare everyone the agony.

So while men are waterlogged with clothing at the beach, women are using string to position three tiny pieces of cloth, not one of the three big enough to wipe a baby's nose, so as to be only technically distinct from nudity.

Wolf whistlers will be arrested!

Not that I wolf whistle, and that may or may not be because I can't whistle, although I do like to people watch.

You know, watching the passing parade, trying to guess his or her occupation, the state of the relationship of the couple walking single file, whether his or her arrogant bearing is justified, the progression of the bikini.

What next for the bikini?

If the string bikini's coverage is merely indicative, and the bikini as clothing has been growing ever more indicative since it made its appearance 70 or so years ago, then the next step must be more indicative, perhaps a stamp of pigment applied to the three points to provide an even more tenuous illusion of modesty.

If ever you've seen a woman with body-paint clothing you'll know that the image tricks the mind to see her as clothed, and if someone is perceived as dressed they are dressed, right?

The illusion does not, err, work for men.

Perhaps next in the evolution of the bikini will be simply a string around the waist, and that's all, as worn by some tribal women in Papua New Guinea and South America. They could hang a few trinkets from the string belt.

Nudity doesn't bother me, not even my own, and for people who want to be nude it must be a wonderful thing. I barely look, and then only selectively.

What does bother me is how to look without perving.

You're only perving when you're seen to be perving, otherwise you're just looking.

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Inter Dominion: Maximan makes his own luck for unlikely final shot

Inter Dominion: Maximan makes his own luck for unlikely final shot

TRAINER Shane Tritton knowsMaximan will need plenty of luck in the Inter Dominion pacing final at Melton on Saturday night but he says it’s no fluke the 10-year-old gelding is in the$500,000 race.
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Maximan will start from gate six, the second widest on the front line, in the 2760-metre eventand was an $80 chance with TAB Fixed Odds.

Shane and Lauren Tritton

Picked up by Tritton and his wife Lauren in a claiming racein July for $25,000, Maximan has already returned almost $40,000 to his syndicate of owners and taken them on the ride of a lifetime to the Inter Dominion decider with a third and two fourths in the heats.

Maximan is the second Inter Dominion finalist, after Mach Beauty in 2014,for the Trittons, who dominated Hunter pacingfor seven years before moving to Menangle Park in 2016.

Shane hoped the leading chances would “go to war” up front and Lauren could find a soft spotfor Maximan in the run from the poor barrier.

He was realistic about the odds of beating the likes of favourite Spankem ($3.10) and Cruz Bromac ($3.80)but said Maximan had earned his chance.

“We obviously need luck and he’s well and truly the underdog, but just to be in the race is a pretty good effort from him,” Tritton said.“He hasn’t got into the race through luck. He had to make his own luck all the way through the series and he hasn’t drawn the best, but at the end of the day, sometimes you can be out of sight, out of mind and anything can happen.

“The owners just wanted to come for the experience and as we go through the series, he sat outside Cruz Bromac the first night and he sat behind Wrappers Delight and Spankem last week, and in the last one he had to race the best ones again.

“He’s earned his spot.He hasn’t got a good barrier the whole series, so he deserves to be there and he won’t disgrace himself by any means.”

Past the Inter Dominion, Tritton waslooking to more features with Maximan.

“The way he’s going, the Miracle Mile wouldn’t be out of his grasp,” he said.“He’s been running 1.49 miles at Menangle with the best of them.It mightn’t be the end of the story. He is a 10-year-old but he’s not racing like one.”

Tritton believed Franco Nelson was the best of his four runners in the series but he scratched him before the final round of heats because of injury concerns. Retirement looked an option but it appears the veteran may race on.

“Since then he’s come through really well and showed signs he’s recovering,” Tritton said.“We were thinking it might be the end but he’s shown us he might be able to make a comeback. We’ll give him a month off and bring him back.”

Meanwhile, Lauren’s younger sister, Grace Panella, will be one of three Hunter drivers in the invitation Inter Dominion mini-trots race at the meeting.

Panella will drive Velvet’s Little Star, Chloe Formosa, the daughter of Ellalong trainer-driver Michael Formosa, will pilotLumber Jack Willie and Mia McMillan has Midnight Express. Todd McMillan owns and works the three ponies, who will compete between races at Melton.Formosa won the Miracle Mile this year for mini-trots with Lumber Jack Willie.

Chloe races in the colours of her father’s stable, which he wore in the 2016 Inter Dominion series while driving Ultimate Art.

At Menangle Park on Saturday night, Keinbah trainer Roy Roots jnr, the brother-in-law of the Trittons, has The Black Prince in the group 3 Christmas Gift Final.

Chloe and Michael Formosa.

Roots jnr will also have group 1-winning trotter Glenferrie Typhoon debuting for his stable in the eighth.

Prosecutors open new Trump investigation

Prosecutors open new Trump investigation

Crowds fill the National Mall in Washington before Donald Trump's inauguration in January 2017.Federal prosecutors are investigating whether US President Donald Trump's inaugural committee misspent some of the record $US107 million it raised from donors, the Wall Street Journal is reporting, citing people it said were familiar with the matter.
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The early-stage investigation by the Manhattan US attorney's office is examining whether some of the committee's donors gave money in exchange for policy concessions, influencing administration positions or access to the incoming administration, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

A spokesman for the Manhattan US attorney's office declined to comment.

Asked about the report, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani told Reuters the president was not involved in his inaugural committee.

"The last thing a president-elect has time for is inaugural fund-raising," he said.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders also said the inauguration had nothing to do with Trump or his wife, Melania.

"The biggest thing the president did in his engagement in the inauguration was to come here and raise his hand and take the oath of office," Sanders told reporters.

The probe into the inaugural committee comes as Trump and his White House are already facing investigations into the Trump campaign's contacts with Russia, hush-money payments to women claiming to have had affairs with Trump and spending by Trump's foundation, among other issues.

According to the Journal, the investigation into the inaugural committee partly stemmed from materials seized in a probe into the dealings of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.

Cohen was sentenced on Wednesday to three years in prison for crimes including orchestrating the hush payments in violation of campaign laws.

Although campaign finance laws restrict the size of campaign contributions, inaugurations can accept unlimited donations, including from corporations.

The amount raised by Trump's inaugural committee, chaired by real estate developer and investor Thomas Barrack, was the largest in history, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

The Journal said there was no sign the probe was targeting Barrack. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment.



Pantone’s 2019 Colour of the Year

Pantone’s 2019 Colour of the Year

Pantone’s 2019 Colour of the Year is Living Coral, the global leader in colour forecasting describing it as a shade that symbolises our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits.
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Bedarra small bag, $199. A great summer bag in a compact size that’s right on-trend. elkthelabel苏州夜总会招聘

Blushing shoes, $130. Bonus points if you wear something like this, that’s both coral and tactile (adorned with cowhide). palmairasandalsaustralia苏州夜总会招聘

Summer Grevillea cushion cover by 4 Leaf Clover, $60. Coral can workbeautifully with other shades of pink (and orange). thestore苏州夜总会招聘.au

Colette by Colette Hayman tassel hoop earrings, $14.99. Accessories can be an affordable way of trying out a colour trend that you mightn’t normally gravitate towards. amazon苏州夜总会招聘.au

Matte Revolution Sexy Sienna, $49. While those of a certain age might associate coral lipstick with a shade their mother wore in the 1980s, it has come back with a vengeance. charlottetilbury苏州夜总会招聘/au

Banana Jungle Pantsuit, $299. If you’re not convinced you can wear coral, team it with splashes with other colours and a playful design. gormanshop苏州夜总会招聘.au

Sweet Laguna coral bikini, $259.95. This vibrant shade would look beautiful on a bronzed body (using fake tan, naturally). myopera.info

Grace clutch, $29.95. A smart summer bag to carry your holiday essentials. stmgoods苏州夜总会招聘.au

Gilded pleated neck blouse, $329.95. Some shimmer here, a tassel there, and lots of coral everywhere. oncewas苏州夜总会招聘.au

Neck tie, $9.95. A fun accessory, or Kris Kringle gift for someone who loves to sport the latest look. sportsgirl苏州夜总会招聘.au

Frenchy Terry Script Crew, $59. A classic brand, keeping abreast of the most fashionable colours. championusa苏州夜总会招聘.au

Slim basic thongs, $30. This is the only type of coral you’d ever want to stand on. havaianasaustralia苏州夜总会招聘.au

MBRACE by Sebastian Herkner. $5095. For the serious trend aficionado, this wing chair with a seat cushion ticks all the right boxes. dedonliving苏州夜总会招聘.au

Milly Macrame tote bag, $59.95. Given their natural origins, coral colours paired with timber detailing are a natural fit. sportsgirl苏州夜总会招聘.au

Studio Oh! Leatheresque Jotter Journal, $12.95. There’s no denying the popularity of 2019’s Colour of the Year, even used for office and personal stationary. officeworks苏州夜总会招聘.au

Kokkinakis waiting on Aust Open wildcard

Kokkinakis waiting on Aust Open wildcard

Thanasi Kokkinakis is waiting to hear whether he will be granted a wildcard for the n Open.Thanasi Kokkinakis is waiting to hear about an n Open wildcard but is prepared to play qualifying if required as he looks to climb back up the world rankings.
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The 22-year-old dropped from world No. 69 to 152 after suffering serious shoulder and pectoral injuries over the past two years as well as a cracked knee-cap in April.

That came just after Kokkinakis upset then world No.1 Roger Federer in the second round of the Miami Open in the biggest win of his career.

Despite that setback he said 2018 was his most promising since 2015.

"This year was a big step forward," Kokkinakis said.

"I was able to play a lot more matches and had the biggest win of my career.

"My tennis has definitely improved since I was at my career high a few years ago - I just need to stay healthy and stay on the court."

Tennis has three discretionary wildcards for the main draw, as well as one on offer this week for the winner of the n Open wildcard playoff at Melbourne Park.

Kokkinakis decided against the play-off, with the feeling he wasn't quite ready for five-set tennis.

"I haven't heard anything yet and that's their decision," the South n said.

"I'm just trying to do what's best for me - I'm starting off at the Brisbane International so I know I've got some guaranteed matches there and I will go from there.

"I will be in quallies if that's what it needs to be."

After the run of injuries, Kokkinakis says his focus for 2019 is spending more time on court with the belief that will lead to a rankings rise.

"My hope is to feel good consistently and backing up week after week," he said.

"You can't make many ranking gains unless you win a random grand slam if you're not playing every week.

"Top 100 is my immediate goal so I can get directly in the grand slams and then top 50 but it's small steps at the moment."

Kokkinakis said the win over Federer gave him a shot of confidence that he could match it with the best as long as he was injury-free.

"I feel like I've had spurts like that in the past where I've shown when I'm healthy and had a few matches under my belt what I can do so it's about recreating that," he said.



Lingard Private Hospital to perform surgery on rejected $13m development proposal

Lingard Private Hospital to perform surgery on rejected $13m development proposal

UNDER REVIEW: Artwork depicting the Lingard Private Hospital's unsuccessful proposal for day surgery and consulting suites at 6-8 Lingard Street, Merewether. The Joint Regional Planning Panel rejected it earlier this month. A MAJOR upgrade of Lingard Private Hospital at Merewether has been rejected by the Joint Regional Planning Panel over concerns about its height and floor space.
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The hospital on Friday told the Newcastle Herald it will lodge a revised plan for the site after carefully considering December’s verdict fromthe panel’s December 2 meeting.

That verdict noted the panel’s support forthe “use and overall suitability” of the 2613-square-metresite, but said those elementshad to be separated from the specific form of the proposal.

If approved the plan would have become a three-storey facility including four operating theatres, 17 consultation rooms, medical gas storage anda 42-space car park.

It would also have modified an already-approved car park with 129 spaces.

“While we respect council’s decision, our growing population and demand for private health services make this a much needed addition to the medical precinct,” Lingard Private chief executive Warwick Crosby said.

“In just four years alone, the number of Newcastle residents with private health insurance has grown 6per cent.”

“We look forward to ongoing discussions with Council, to refine our proposed plans as needed. Weplan to submit a complying development application next month.”

Mr Crosby confirmed the proposed 129 car spaces would not be reduced in the new plans.

The panel foundground-level -parking would magnify the bulk and scale of the project at 6 and 8 Lingard Street, which would have stood across Merewether Street from the main existing hospital complex.

The panel found the ground-floor parking would have creating a less-than-ideal interface with the street itself.

“Submissions received in response to public notification of the development application have raised issues of a nature and extent that establish the proposed development will have unreasonable impacts in terms of character, height, bulk, scale and parking,” the panel’s reasons for refusal state.

“The development, as proposed, is considered to not be in the public interest.”

The JRPP decision was unanimous.

The panel said any future efforts to expand the hospital “should rationally involve a wider perspective of the area and precinct, so the coordinated growth of medical uses in the area and …could be considered holistically”.

The $13.1 million proposal was lodged in December last year.

Four submissions were made during its public exhibition period.

Newcastle City Council planners had also recommended refusal, contending the proposal was not in the public interest due to its height and floor space.

Newcastle District Cricket Association: City snap 10-game losing streak and claim first win of 2018

Newcastle District Cricket Association: City snap 10-game losing streak and claim first win of 2018

Cricket: Newcastle City’s first win of year delivers in confidence GLANCE: Newcastle City opening batsman Ahmed Badat in action for the Sabres last month. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
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TweetFacebook Newcastle CityNewcastle City captain Jonty Major reckons it was as much about the natureof the performance as it was about the drought-breaking win itself that will provide hisyoung Sabres squad with a much-needed confidence boost for the rest of 2018-19.

City narrowly beat Belmont on Saturday to record their maiden victorythis season and the club’s first in the district’s top grade since leading the competition in December last year.

The 13-run triumph at No.1 Sportsground, successfully defending 163 on day two, snapped a 10-game losing streak across two summers and has provided Major’s team with a bit of hope.

READ MORE:Belmont’s Toby Gray rested after claiming national title double

“It was a really good win and it was good to get the first one of the year,” Major said.

“It came down to the wire and we eventually came out on top. I think that will give the young boys confidence now for the rest of the year.

“Hopefully we can get on a bit of a run.”

Major, 24 of Cameron Park, said he is “enjoying” his first senior leadership position after almost a decade in the grades at City.

He had a season overseas for Kent side Whitstable with former English import Kai Appleby and has taken over from Jack Downing, who top scored with 56 last start but misses this two-day match against defending champions Wests at Harker Oval because of injury.

Despite being down Appleby and key all-rounder Dylan Hunter (Sydney club Randwick-Petersham), Major has been impressed with the efforts of City opening batsman Ahmed Badat, wicketkeeper Liam Whitehead and this week’s returning seamer Sam O’Sullivan.

“A couple of those youngerguys have been together for a couple of years now and their confidence is growing,” Major said.

Fourth-placed Wests, who have already defeated City thisseason with a bonus point in the opening one-dayer, get gloveman Andrew Shakespeare back in the first XI.

Elsewhere in round-nine fixtures from Saturday and Stockton will be out to back up their first victory of the season when they visit winless Waratah.Stockton are bolstered by the return of experienced duo Terry Crittenden and Sam Jenkinson while Waratah are without Newcastle representative Jonty Durrheim.

In-form frontrunners Hamilton-Wickham, who claimed the Tom Locker Cup on Sunday, travel to Kahibah Oval to meet Charlestown, who find themselves in a three-way share of fifth spot on the ladder.

Merewether and Cardiff are also in that mid-table logjam and they are up againstBelmont and University respectively over the next fortnight. The Colbert brothers, Merewether’s Harry and Belmont’s Clayton,will go head-to-head at Townson Oval while Jacob Maher has been recalled for Cardiff’s trip to University Oval.

Toronto, equal second with University on the overall standings, are unchanged at Ron Hill Oval and host aWallsend sidewelcoming the return ofJake Montgomery.

Play starts at 11am.

W-League: Newcastle back themselves to stop Sam Kerr in must-win clash in Perth

W-League: Newcastle back themselves to stop Sam Kerr in must-win clash in Perth

Co-captain Gema Simon knows better than anyone in the Newcastle defence the task ahead against Sam Kerron Saturday night intheir “must-win” clash with Perth.
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RIVALRY: Newcastle defender Gema Simon tries to block a shot from W-League superstar Sam Kerr, playing for Sydney FC, in 2012. Picture: Wolter Peeters

And the message from the experienced defender to teammates is to back themselves and be confident against one of the world’s best strikers.

The Jets travelled to Perth on Friday to prepare for Saturday’s round seven clash at Dorrien Gardens from 10pm (AEDT).

Newcastle are eighth on six points, after back-to-back losses to Brisbane and Melbourne City, and take on a second-placed Glory side who sit on nine points.

Kerr, fifth in the inaugural women’s Ballon D’or, leads the W-League with six goals, including a double in a 2-2 draw last week with Adelaide.She scored a hat-trick against the Jets in a 3-3 draw last season and will again be the one Newcastle need to shut down.

Left-back Simon, 28, has been facing Kerr since the inaugural 2008-09 W-League season and has played with her for .

“I think you just can’t give her time, you can’t let her turn on the ball,” Simon said of stopping Kerr.

“She’s a quality player, so if you giveher time and space, she’s going to do some damage.

“I think our girls just need to back themselves and be confident against her, because at the end of the day everyone is human and she’s bound to hopefully make a few mistakes and hopefully our girls are confident enough and can do thejob on her.

“We’ve definitely got to keep an eye on Sam but they’ve gota few other players in their team who are quite dangerous as well.

“Our focus at the moment is us and to make sure we are doing the right things. We definitely respect them but not fear them.”

The Jetshad 1-0 wins over Western Sydney and Canberra before the defeats and sit just two points outside the top four approaching the halfway mark of the season on Saturday night.

They finished third on 20 points, equal with Melbourne City,last season but coach Craig Deans expects a lesser total will be needed to make the top-four finals this campaign given the closenessof the competition. Seven points separate leaders Melbourne Victory (13) and the second-last Jets, who have yet to find their best form.

“We’re still trying to work some things out so it’s definitely helped us,” Simon said of other results keeping the league close.

“There’s definitely a few things we need to work on, like keeping the ball, keeping possession and once we kind of click, I think we’ll be able to get a few more wins.

“It’s atough trip over there but we’ve done it previously so there’s no reason why we can’t do it againand it’s definitely a must-win for us this weekend.”

Arin Wright was missing last week for Newcastle because of hamstring tightness but the tenacious American looks set to return to the starting side.

Elsewhere, Sydney defeated Adelaide 5-2 on Thursday night and Brisbane host Victory from 4pm on Sunday.