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Locker Room: Steaks high in battle of nutrition between Nic White and David Shillington

Canberra sport covered, from grass roots to gossip.

Nic White won the fight but David Shillington won the war. In a man versus beast challenge, Brumbies scrum-half White went head-to-head with Raiders prop Shillington and one massive piece of steak on Monday night.

White and Shillington locked horns in a 1-kilogram steak challenge with FM station 104.7 at Outback Jacks in Belconnen.

The challenge: eat a kilo of steak, 250g of vegies and 250g of potato wedges as fast as you can. In one corner was hulking front-rower Shillington, measuring 194 cm tall and 114kg. In the other was White, the pint-sized Brumbies scrum-half weighing 82kg and standing 175cm tall.

In a win for nagging scrum-halves everywhere, White licked his plate clean after 17 minutes, 14 seconds. Shillington was four minutes adrift in 21 minutes, 58 seconds. But Shillington had his just desserts.

‘‘I couldn't believe it when I saw Shillo with some [frozen] yoghurt afterwards, the bowl was massive,’’ White said.

‘‘He can eat an absolute truckload, it's just the speed. It took me three hours to lay down properly and I didn't eat the next day. I jammed it in. I'm not a big guy, I can't hide it and when I'm full, I'm full – you can see it."


Rumour has it Shillington's a regular at Outback Jacks. Last time he beat the challenge, he also ate a loaf of garlic bread as an entree and stopped on the way home for a couple of Cherry Ripes and a Magnum ice-cream.

Breen now a Bulldog

Canberra sprint star Melissa Breen is the Western Bulldogs' newest AFL recruit.

Breen got the chance to meet with Sue Alberti on Friday when she was in Melbourne on the weekend for a track meeting. Alberti, the Western Bulldogs vice president, had never met Breen but pledged $12,000 to the 23-year-old after it was revealed Breen had lost her Athletics Australia funding.

Alberti presented Breen with a Western Bulldogs jersey when they finally met on Friday. Luckily, Breen didn't grow up supporting an AFL team and is now converted to the Bulldogs. Breen is a long-time Raiders and Brumbies fan.

Breen also got a present from one of her sponsors during the week. Oakley sent her a pair of sunglasses with her Australian record time of 11.11seconds etched into the frame. Breen broke Melinda Gainsford-Taylor's 20-year Australian 100m record at a meeting in Canberra last month.

Barefoot Brumby

We've heard of pre-game rituals of throwing up, wearing the same undies or putting the left shoe on first, but we stumbled across a strange one from Brumbies captain Ben Mowen this week.

At the last training session of the week, Mowen takes off his boots towards the end to feel the grass between his toes at Canberra Stadium. He does it when the Brumbies are on tour and he does it when he's with the Wallabies. Why?

"You know when you're a kid and you look at grass and you want to run on it but you're never allowed? Well I just take off my boots to feel what it would be like to play barefoot."

Crow and Brennan at the double for Rio

Canberra rower and lawyer Kim Crow will race this week at the Sydney World Cup regatta, competing for the first time since winning the world championship last year.

But there's a plan for her boyfriend – Scott Brennan – to also compete in the single scull at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.

Brennan won gold in the double sculls at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. He has been battling a back injury and is waiting until he's 100 per cent fit before returning to racing.

Brennan and Crow are in the same training group on Lake Burley Griffin under the watchful eye of Lyall McCarthy.

"Scott's work ethic is unquestionable," McCarthy said. "We're hoping he'll find his way to Rio in the single sculls ... that's what we're planning for. It's all yet to be confirmed. He's had a big influence on the training group's training ethic. Scott's had a rough trot, but he's worked exceptionally hard to get back in shape and he'll race when he's confident."

Punter the iron-man

Michael Clarke dodged Canberra and the Sheffield Shield final because of a shoulder injury but the capital could be about to roll out a welcome mat for Ricky Ponting.

But it's Ponting the golfer, not the former Australian cricket skipper, who could be in town.

The Federal Golf Club will host the best amateur golfers in Australia in May when the Australian Interstate Series and the Australian men's foursome championships are played at the course.

Former Australian cricketer Greg Blewett represented South Australia two years ago and Ponting's recent golfing exploits have rumours swirling that he'll compete in Canberra.

Ponting fired six birdies at the New Zealand Open pro-am event in Queenstown last month and experts reckon he could turn professional.

The Australian Interstate series is a teams match play event with the best eight amateur golfers from NSW, Queensland, Western Australia, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania competing.

Past players include world No.4 Jason Day, 2006 US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy and Greg Norman. Crowd entry is free to both events.

Bringing in the cavalry for Narrabundah Ballpark

The ACT government is looking to utilise the Australian Baseball League's USA connections in the design of the planned upgrade to Narrabundah Ballpark.

They're looking to tap into the expertise from the minor leagues, which has a network of smaller stadiums throughout the US, to ensure they get as much bang for their $5million as possible.

The design stage of the Fort's upgrade will be funded in the upcoming budget, with construction to begin in the following financial year.

"What will add to that project is the buy-in of the ABL," ACT Sports Minister Andrew Barr said.

"They know what you can get and how best to maximise the asset and sweat the most out of the $5million."

Barr said local businesses could also donate some services to the redevelopment, similar to what happened at Kippax for the Belconnen Magpies, to add further value to the ballpark.

Weather not so great for Swans

AFL NSW-ACT boss Craig Bolton said he managed to get through the massive storm that pummelled the Sydney Showgrounds unscathed, but he couldn't say the same for his former club the Sydney Swans.

A massive thunderstorm delayed Greater Western Sydney's historic win over its cross-town rival by 30 minutes.

While Bolton was a Swans premiership player, the Canberra product still thought the 32-point win was a great result for football.

"One of the cracks of thunder was just so loud, anyway I got through unscathed, the Swans can't say the same," Bolton said. "It's great for the Giants and for footy in general, it was a perfect result to be honest."

Toilet break the perfect time for footy scores

Let’s be honest, Canberra’s NRL season went down the toilet fast last year. But according to a Telstra digital survey, half of Canberra's rugby league fans admit they check the footy scores while they're doing their business on the toilet and 28 per cent sneak a peak at family functions.

The results were released following Telstra’s launch of the NRL Digital Pass – which gives Canberra rugby league fans access to live NRL matches on their smartphone or tablet.

Don’t duck off to the loo during Sunday’s game, though, which marks coach Ricky Stuart’s return to Canberra Stadium.