GUESS who we spotted at the Queanbeyan Sevens rugby tournament on Saturday? Former Fijian flyer Noa Nadruku, who amazed Canberra Raiders fans with 73 tries in 92 matches during the '90s, was sitting on the sidelines watching son Neori play for Queanbeyan. Neori is a 110-kilogram teen who played prop for the Australian Schoolboys rugby union team last year. Locker Room tried to catch up on what Noa's been doing, but like he did to so many defenders, he fended us off and dashed away.
WITH all the controversy surrounding the DRS system, it's great to see Canberra cricketers returning to a bygone era. One such act was from Weston Creek under-18s batsman Ben Fitzgerald, who walked after he'd nicked a ball to the 'keeper in a recent division-two game. There was only a minimal sound, but Fitzgerald did the right thing despite his team being behind. For his display, he's been nominated for a Cricket ACT Juniors Spirit of Cricket award.
HOCKEYROOS star Anna Flanagan copped more than a bit of friendly banter in the wake of the Canberra Cavalry's Australian Baseball League championship victory. While she's a proud Canberran, Flanagan has developed a soft spot for the Perth Heat through her relationship with former Major Leaguer Luke Hughes. And she's based in Perth with the national squad. ''Don't disown me Canberra … but huge GOODLUCK today to @lukehughes38 and the @PerthHeat against the @CanberraCavalry!!!,'' Flanagan tweeted before the series. When the Cavalry recorded a 2-0 series victory, ACT men's hockey player Chris Hotchkis wasted no time reminding Flanagan of the result. ''Hey Anna how good was the baseball last night ;)''
FOOTBALLERS often miss games for the birth of a child, but rarely do you hear about a mad dash at half-time. That was the case for Canberra City coach Nick Palagyi last weekend when his wife Jaimee went into labour while his club was playing Picton Rangers in a pre-season friendly. Palagyi got there for the birth of daughter Laila. To top off a perfect day, City went on to beat Rangers 2-0. Palagyi understandably didn't attend the club's after-match function.
Dougie in town
AUSTRALIAN cricket royalty will be in Queanbeyan when Doug Walters is the guest of honour at next weekend's 150th anniversary of the Queanbeyan Cricket Club. The former Test batsman and Cricket Australia Hall of Fame member is the brother of former Queanbeyan captain-coach Terry Walters, who passed away two years ago. More than 250 guests will be on hand for the celebrations, which kick-off with drinks at the Kangaroos club on Friday night. For more information, visit the club's website, www.queanbeyancricket.com, or contact Michael Frost on 0449 904 052.
We'll miss you
OUR condolences go to the Taylor family and the tight-knit AFL Canberra community after the death of AFL Canberra football operations manager Russell Taylor. 'Rusty' was farewelled in a moving service at the Norwood Park Crematorium last Wednesday, with the large crowd a reflection of his massive contribution to the game in the region as well as his cheeky character. Taylor was involved with Australian football in the region for more than 40 years as an umpire, coach and administrator. He lost his battle with cancer early this month.
Setting the scene
ACT Brumbies captain Ben Mowen went into the Super Rugby season knowing exactly what it takes to win the championship after watching the Canberra Cavalry charge to the Australian Baseball League title. Mowen set the scene for the second and deciding game when he unleashed a wicked fast ball for the ceremonial first pitch.
Mowen wasn't the only one catching Cavalry fever; Parliament Hill was also buzzing because of its historic first victory in the Claxton Shield. Federal Member for Canberra Gai Brodtmann told the House of Representatives: ''For the first time, the Claxton Shield is now living in the national capital, where it rightly belongs.''
Brumbies pair get into swing
RUNNING out in front of a packed stadium is nerve-racking, but ACT Brumbies forward Peter Kimlin reckons it is nothing compared with teeing-off in front of a bunch of professionals. Kimlin and teammate Ian Prior ventured down to the Royal Canberra driving range to get some tips off Katherine Hull-Kirk and Vicky Hurst before the Australian Open. A golf fanatic, Prior managed to smash his drive down the fairway. However, Kimlin's face was as red as his hair when he topped his first drive, the ball dribbling about 15 metres. It sent Brumbies media man Elliott Woods into hysterics, but after some advice from Hull-Kirk, the big man creamed his second shot. Brumbies coach Jake White has also given his players some advice. ''He's very handy,'' Prior said.