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Locker Room: Honey Badger likes the taste of fish

Date
Patty Mills with his cousin, Bangarra dancer, Luke Currie-Richardson.

Patty Mills with his cousin, Bangarra dancer, Luke Currie-Richardson. Photo: Rohan Thomson

The Honey Badger's throw-away lines have made him a rugby union cult hero, but he also loves to throw a line in, as ACT Brumbies flaker David Pocock found out in the lead-up to the must-win clash against the Western Force last week. Pocock went for a paddle on Lake Burley Griffin when he saw a ''big mane coming out of a beanie'' on the head of a fisherman at the National Museum. It turned out to be none other than Force winger Nick Cummins. Fishing is the Honey Badger's usual preparation for a game. ''He's pretty legit, he loves his fishing,'' Pocock said. ''He'll just go down to the beach on Tuesday night if he's got Wednesday off, throw in the line and see how he goes.'' Did he catch anything from our famous lake? It seems it wasn't a good trip to Canberra for the Badge, with the Force losing and missing out on the Super Rugby finals, plus the Badger leaving without a bite. Pocock said Cummins would be a big loss to Australian Rugby Union, but he said the reasons behind his departure to Japan ''said a lot about him as a bloke'' – going to support his family, who are struggling with health issues. Pocock backed the ARU's handling of Cummins, saying they did the right thing by letting him out of the final year of his contract. ''I got pretty annoyed seeing some of the stuff that was said about him being a traitor and all the rest, going to Japan for the money, but it couldn't be further from the truth,'' Pocock said. 

STADIUM TO TAKE CENTRE STAGE

As Acting Chief Minister Andrew Barr walked across the footbridge to a redeveloped and packed Adelaide Oval, he knew a new stadium in Civic was the only option. Barr was in the City of Churches on a personal trip to watch his beloved Hawthorn beat the Adelaide Crows, but it also served to prove the value of a stadium within walking distance of the central business district in helping to enliven a city. His plan remains to have the stadium built by the end of the decade – now he just needs to find some commercial partners. ''I had a look at Adelaide Oval while I was there on the weekend in a recreational capacity – very impressive, very impressive facility,'' Barr said. ''The key message out of that is the value of relocation into the CBD, that was one very clear message from the South Australian government ... that it's made a big difference. Walking up to the game through the city on the Friday night and afterwards, a hive of activity. That's absolutely confirmed that bringing the stadium into the CBD is the right thing to do. Adelaide Oval is the pin-up of that.''

Nick Cummins aka The Honey Badger, is a keen fisherman.

Nick Cummins aka The Honey Badger, is a keen fisherman. Photo: Getty Images

FUNDS RAISED FOR CANCER SUFFERER

The ACT basketball community has rallied behind one of its own after 13-year-old Lara Parkes was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. A silent auction and a half-time gold-coin donation shoot was held during the Canberra Gunners and Caps Academy SEABL games on Friday night at the Belconnen Basketball Stadium. The raffle and silent auction raised $1000, with Lara's club, Norths, raising another $1000. Lara is a massive Canberra Capitals fan and was invited to the team's final home last season and their end-of-season dinner, while Capitals players keep in contact with her on Facebook. Lara's dad, David, said the family was blown away with the amount of support. ''It's very special to know the basketball community in Canberra is thinking of us,'' David said. ''Lara's always loved basketball. It blew my socks off when Graffy [Capitals coach Carrie Graf) called. Lara was looking forward to this season because she was going to be in the same team as her sister, Kaitlyn, for the first time.'' Lara was diagnosed in August last year. Acute myeloid leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow. Nine hundred Australians are diagnosed with the disease each year, but only 50 from the ages of 0-14. Lara returned to Canberra in January before she had a relapse and has returned for treatment to Sydney at Ronald McDonald House in Randwick. Lara is due to have a bone marrow transplant on Monday. Because there were no suitable donors on the register, doctors will have to use umbilical cord blood for the transfer. Lara will then be in isolation for 100 days in her one-bedroom apartment at Ronald McDonald House. All the best with your recovery, Lara.

COOL CAUSE

Andrew Barr, Patrick Mills, Aron Baynes, and Shane Rattenbury with the Keys to the City and NBA Trophy.

Andrew Barr, Patrick Mills, Aron Baynes, and Shane Rattenbury with the Keys to the City and NBA Trophy. Photo: Rohan Thomson

It was great to see Raiders forward Joel Edwards do what's been dubbed the ice challenge to raise money for the Alex McKinnon foundation. Edwards, who played alongside McKinnon at the Knights in 2012, donated $100 to the cause. In a video posted on the Raiders' website, the second-rower jumps into a tub of freezing cold water before having more poured on him by teammates Josh Papalii and Anthony Milford. Good stuff.

MILLS, BAYNES EXUDE 'LAZZA' PANACHE

Patty Mills and Aron Baynes must be congratulated over the way they have handled themselves during their busy trip Down Under with the NBA trophy. Canberrans turned out in force on Friday to see home-town hero Mills get the keys to the city while showing off the trophy, ''Lazza'', with San Antonio Spurs teammate Baynes. The pair have been churning through the publicity circuit in the past week, doing numerous morning radio and television interviews, and always with smiles. During their brief stop in Canberra, they spoke with Triple J from Parliament House, got whisked across town to Mix 106.3 and 104.7FM, dropped into Brumbies training at Bruce, the Civic reception, and another engagement at the AIS.

Lara Parkes and Carly Wilson.

Lara Parkes and Carly Wilson.

INDIGENOUS INSPIRATION

A huge number of Mills' family were among the crowd to welcome him home, including his cousin, Luke Currie-Richardson, who performs with the acclaimed Bangarra Dance Theatre. Mills' love of traditional indigenous dancing helped spark Currie-Richardson's love for the craft. Currie-Richardson said the exposure Mills' 14-point third-quarter blitz in game five of the NBA finals gave their culture was ''one of my proudest moments''. ''The ESPN announcers brought up the Mabo decision and the Torres Strait; it was mind-blowing for it to be on the international scale,'' he said. ''He's put our culture on the map, and at the start of his [NBA] career, they [Americans] didn't even know there were black people in Australia. Patty and another cousin got me into traditional dancing and I found the love of the spotlight there. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be a professional dancer.''

SEIFFERT SERVE

Patty Mills with his cousin, Bangarra dancer, Luke Currie-Richardson.

Patty Mills with his cousin, Bangarra dancer, Luke Currie-Richardson. Photo: Rohan Thomson

The state of the playing surface at Seiffert Oval has copped plenty of criticism from Canberra Raiders Cup teams this year, with calls for the grand final to be taken elsewhere. The facility is undergoing renovations that are scheduled to be completed before February's NRL trial match between the Canberra Raiders and the Newcastle Knights. Goulburn player-coach Mick Picker is among those who have suggested the decider be shifted to Raiders Belconnen, but that's unlikely as its capacity is far smaller than the Queanbeyan venue. Queanbeyan Blues coach Simon Woolford described the Seiffert surface as ''disgraceful'', but said there weren't many alternatives. ''The surface, it's disgraceful to be honest,'' he said. ''The chunk they've taken out, whether it's dry or wet, is very slippery. They had a Relay for Life there [early in the year] and it hasn't recovered since. The scoreboard has got to go – in last year's grand final, people didn't know what the score was because you couldn't tell with the numbers. The seating and the grandstand is going to be replaced ... they need to get cracking on it. I think Seiffert's the only place you can have it [the grand final], otherwise there would be people who miss out. This year we're going to be playing on a substandard surface, that's the disappointing thing.''

Bangarra dancer. He was, he and another cousin Tim Confoth got me started in traditional dancing and I found the love for the spotlight there. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't be a professional dancer. 

- A six foot American person maksing it in the NBA is very difficult. A six foot Australian person is even harder, but a six foot Indigenous person from Canberra is unheard of. 

It's going to be huge. Not even just in America but Australia as well. One of my proudest moments of Patty representing his culture was in the third quarter of the NBA Finals, the ESPN announcer brought up the Mabo decision, they brought up the Torres Straits and for someone to put it on an international scale like that, it was mind blowing. For an Indigenous man that was one of my proudest moment, he's put our culture on the world map. At the start of his career they didn't even know there was black people in Australia, it's crazy. 26.

Bangarra dancer. He was, he and another cousin Tim Confoth got me started in traditional dancing and I found the love for the spotlight there. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't be a professional dancer. 

- A six foot American person maksing it in the NBA is very difficult. A six foot Australian person is even harder, but a six foot Indigenous person from Canberra is unheard of. 

It's going to be huge. Not even just in America but Australia as well. One of my proudest moments of Patty representing his culture was in the third quarter of the NBA Finals, the ESPN announcer brought up the Mabo decision, they brought up the Torres Straits and for someone to put it on an international scale like that, it was mind blowing. For an Indigenous man that was one of my proudest moment, he's put our culture on the world map. At the start of his career they didn't even know there was black people in Australia, it's crazy. 26.

Bangarra dancer. He was, he and another cousin Tim Confoth got me started in traditional dancing and I found the love for the spotlight there. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't be a professional dancer. 

- A six foot American person maksing it in the NBA is very difficult. A six foot Australian person is even harder, but a six foot Indigenous person from Canberra is unheard of. 

It's going to be huge. Not even just in America but Australia as well. One of my proudest moments of Patty representing his culture was in the third quarter of the NBA Finals, the ESPN announcer brought up the Mabo decision, they brought up the Torres Straits and for someone to put it on an international scale like that, it was mind blowing. For an Indigenous man that was one of my proudest moment, he's put our culture on the world map. At the start of his career they didn't even know there was black people in Australia, it's crazy. 26.

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