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Teams disagree over David Warner’s rampage

Steve Smith and Usman Khawaja restrain David Warner as and South Africa break for tea.A war of words has broken out in the wake of David Warner’s stunning tea-time rampage in Durban, with South Africa claiming were also guilty of personal sledging in the spiteful Test.
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Dramatic footage emerged on Monday of Warner being restrained by teammates in an off-field confrontation with South Africa keeper Quinton de Kock.

The CCTV video shows a fired-up Warner remonstrating with de Kock as the teams walked upstairs to the change rooms during Sunday’s tea break.

Match referee Jeff Crowe and the International Cricket Council continue to probe the ugly episode, but it’s understood it was sparked when de Kock made disparaging comments about Warner’s wife.

South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis, whose contribution to the tea commotion was to emerge from the rooms and tell Warner to move on, argued on Monday “there was a lot of personal stuff being said” by “both parties”.

Proteas team manager Mohammed Moosajee suggested Warner got personal in his sledging and “whatever happens out on the field, you giving something you’ve got to take it”.

Du Plesiss and Moosajee wouldn’t get into nitty-gritty, but the Proteas are privately alleging that Warner referenced de Kock’s sister and mother in some verbals.

captain Steve Smith wouldn’t confirm what triggered the rampage, but repeatedly rejected accusations made personal comments about de Kock.

“We were certainly very chirpy out on the field as well. As far as I’m aware we didn’t get personal towards Quinton,” Smith said after his side’s 118-run win.

“I don’t think it was personal at all, but Faf can say what he likes I guess.

“What he (de Kock) said got a little bit personal towards Davey and as we saw it certainly provoked an emotional response.

“Those things aren’t on and you can’t be getting into somebody’s personal life … that’s crossing the line.”

Warner is physically held back by Usman Khawaja in the footage then shepherded into ‘s rooms by Smith.

“What was said and done during that interval was regrettable on both sides,” Smith said.

“At times we need to pull things back and ensure we are playing within the spirit of the game.”

Du Plesiss, who admitted he’d never seen anything like the incident in his career, called on umpires to take better control during games.

“If you chirp each other it’s always on the field. There needs to be boundaries,” he said.

“Umpires play a big role in that, to make sure that you don’t let it get to that stage.”

Du Plessis had no issues with the tourists’ sledging in the Test.

“If I don’t hear that then I’m disappointed,” he said.

“I’m certainly not sitting here complaining about it. It’s the way we play our cricket against them.

“I don’t decide where that line is.

“Quinny’s fine … when you look at him now, it’s like nothing happened.”

Smith made it clear that ‘s aggressive approach on the field would remain intact.

“We play our best cricket when we’re aggressive, we’re in the fight together, we’re hunting as a pack,” Smith said.

Tas Lib vote not pointing to fed election

Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman was returned on Saturday, offering hope to Malcolm Turnbull.A booming Liberal primary vote in Tasmania might offer hope to Malcolm Turnbull, but experts say the result was almost entirely down to state issues.
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Will Hodgman’s Liberal government was returned on Saturday with a primary vote of just over 50 per cent, but coalition sources don’t believe the result is a pointer to the next federal election.

Instead they expect the strong Liberal performance will help recruit candidates and volunteers for the next poll.

“This is a vote very, very much about state issues and probably less contaminated by federal factors than just about any other state election I’ve seen,” Tasmanian election expert Kevin Bonham told AAP.

Dr Bonham said the Turnbull government’s poor position in the polls would ordinarily be a drag on an incumbent state government.

“Yet there hasn’t been a swing against the state government to speak of at all,” he said.

University of Tasmania politics lecturer Richard Herr said the result could help the Liberals recruit well to win federal seats.

“Success breeds success,” he told AAP.

It might also help the coalition decide to push Labor’s Justine Keay over her citizenship, as the Liberal vote was especially strong in her electorate of Braddon.

The Liberals won Braddon, Bass and Lyons in 2013 but lost them all in 2016, meaning they hold no federal lower house seats in Tasmania.

The Greens could drop from three members to just one, and Dr Bonham says they have problems with candidate choice and no galvanising issues.

“The Greens are suffering from a lack of political oxygen and a lack of novelty factor, a lack of anything that inspires voters to vote for them,” he said.

But party founder Bob Brown said Labor had pinched the Greens’ policy on poker machines, and the Liberals flooded the state with advertising.

“I’ve never seen an election like it,” he told Sky News.

He said there are environmental issues resonating with Tasmanians, including fish farming concerns and the privatisation of national parks.

Dr Herr said the Greens had to refresh their party and agenda if they were to find a second generation of voters.

The Jacqui Lambie Network polled poorly and Dr Bonham said the former senator, who didn’t run herself, will find it difficult to get a quota at the next half-senate election.

Ms Lambie said she could not have properly committed to a state seat, given her federal ambitions.

“I more than likely would have won a seat … but then I would have brought instability to Tasmania because my dream is to get back into the Senate,” Ms Lambie told Sky News.

In Her Time tipped for big return from injury

In Her Time winning the Sydney Stakes last October. Picture: AAPNewcastle trainer Ben Smith said punters can expect to see a bigger and stronger In Her Time when the mare steps out foran exhibition gallop on her home track on Friday.
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The three-time group 2 winner has not raced since a luckless second in the group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 27 last year. She was then scratched on raceday from the Darley Classic two weeks later because of a hoof injury sustained in the Manikato.

Smith has nursed the five-year-old, a winner of seven races from 17 starts and $1.41 million, back to full fitness with the first-up target of the group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) on March 24 at Rosehill. In Her Time, which had eight weeks in the paddock, will gallop between races at the Newmarket meeting then trial at Randwick on Tuesday.

“We just had to do a bit of corrective shoeing and get the heel to grow down a bit,” Smith said.“We gave her a bit of time, just doing the right thing by her, and she’s come back a lot stronger.

Ben Smith. Picture: AAP

“She’s about 35 kilos heavier than when she raced in the Manikato. She’s a much bigger and stronger girl, and she’s going really well.”

He said the $2.5 million TJ Smith Stakes (1200) at Randwick on April 7 wasIn Her Time’s main target before a Brisbane campaign and shot at securing a spot in the $13 million The Everest.

On Monday, Newcastle trainer Kris Lees announced that Prized Icon would not race in the n Cup on Saturday and would go to the Ajax Stakes on March 17.

Smith, meanwhile, saidFloki, a winner at Canterbury last Friday night, would next contest the Gosford heat of the Provincial Championships on March 17.

He also has Anecdote resuming in a 900m race at Newcastle on Friday.