DAY TWO NATIONAL 18’S SUMMARY

first_imgDay two of the National 18 Years Touch Football Championships was another of picture perfect conditions. Queensland Secondary Schools Touch (QSST) and NSW Combined High Schools (NSWCHS) continued their dominance in both the Mens and Womens competition, but there are certainly other teams setting themselves to challenge for a finals berth on Saturday. MENS: In the Mens division NSWCHS, Sydney Mets, QSST, Central Queensland and North Queensland are looking like they will all be fighting for the title, although an upset or two can never be discounted. The Sydney Mets are looking to challenge the school sides, with Youth World Cup 20’s member Jai Ayoub leading the way with seven touchdowns for the tournament. NSWCHS have also had a relatively easy run, scoring double figures in each of the first four matches; Alyd Owen is leading the side with nine touchdowns for the tournament. QSST have not been troubled except for a 5-5 draw against Central Queensland, who look like a side that may just cause an upset in the finals. The local Northern Eagles side has played well and may just scrape into the top eight finals with matches against South Australia and Victoria still to play. South Australia and Victoria have struggled throughout the tournament, beaten severely most matches, and will no doubt be anticipating their match against each other. NT broke through for their first win at the Championships beating the ACT 7-3. WOMENS: In the Womens division a QSST side stacked with Australian representative players looks difficult to beat, scoring a remarkable 43 touchdowns for the tournament in just the first four matches. Gemma Etheridge and Belinda Hammett have each scored six touchdowns after four rounds, but with all of the QSST side able to score and do so multiple times, it seems the QSST side are red hot favourites. South Queensland Border Districts (SQBD) will be one side looking to challenge their Queensland competition, undefeated in pool three so far. The ACT look like they will miss out on a position in the top eight finals, disappointing considering the improvement they have shown in the past two years. TouchWest (WA) appear to be taking up the challenge to the dominance of NSW and Queensland however, after challenging the top ranked NSWCHS side in a tough 6-4 encounter. If TouchWest can beat NSWCCC in their match tomorrow, they will be virtually guranteed a top eight final and the highest finish of any non-Queensland or NSW side. NSWCHS had another tough match against the NSWCCC side before finishing round four with an easy 15-0 win over SA. Ashleigh Dobbins and Jessie Shea are leading the NSWCHS side, with six touchdowns each for the tournament. The afternoon borught some of the tighest competition so far, NSWCIS and SunCoast playing out a 4-4 draw, while the Southern Suns and the Scorpions also recorded a 4-4 draw. SWQ held off NT 5-4, denying the NT their first win of the 2004 Championships. The final round matches will be played on Friday morning, followed by the qualifying finals Friday afternoon. Play-offs, semi finals and grand finals will be played on Saturday from 8:00am. The Womens grand final will begin at 3:00pm Saturday, followed by the Mens grand final at 4:00pm. Entry to the Coffs Harbour International Sports Stadium is free. For all individual statistics and team positions on the ladders please use the links to the Sporting Pulse results page. This is found on the ATA results story. By Rachel Moyle, media@austouch.com.aulast_img read more

Loonie surges 34 of a cent against greenback TSX down despite oil

first_imgTORONTO – The loonie jumped nearly three-quarters of a cent Wednesday, punching above the 81-cent mark, following comments by the U.S. Treasury Secretary that a weaker greenback is good because it helps American exporters.The Canadian dollar closed at an average trading price of 81.03 cents US, up 0.73 of a U.S. cent — its highest value since Sept. 25.Speaking this morning at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he’s not concerned with the recent weakening of the U.S. dollar because when the currency goes down, it makes U.S. goods less expensive in other markets.On Wednesday, the greenback was down against most currencies, hitting a three-year low against the euro.Todd Mattina, a chief economist at Mackenzie Investments, said Mnuchin’s comments about the greenback were surprising because he was basically breaking with the long-standing “strong dollar policy” in the U.S.“The markets were certainly struck by that. In a way, the Treasury secretary was just describing what everyone knows,” Mattina said. “But the fact that he broke with the official, long-standing strong U.S. dollar policy really re-enforced concerns that the U.S. was going to be pursuing a weaker dollar, perhaps more protectionist trade policies, all with the goal of strengthening its trade deficit.”James Hughes, chief market analyst at AxiTrader, said Mnuchin’s comments could possibly be seen as White House spin from the Trump administration.He said the temporary U.S. government shut down for three days has not helped the greenback, but also suggested the currency’s slide may have more to do with its global-reserve currency status.“Central banks and governments have been recently diversifying their reserve currency, which means selling U.S. dollars,” Hughes said.“With many diversifying into the Australian and Canadian dollar as well as the all-important (Chinese) Renminbi. Recently Germany, France and the European Central Bank as a whole have moved millions of dollars to the Chinese currency.“The question is whether it is diversification, or a dumping of the dollar as its weakness continues?”In Canadian equity markets, the S&P/TSX composite index was down 73.34 points to 16,284.21 on Wednesday — despite a rally in oil prices, as the March crude contract soared US$1.14 to US$65.61 per barrel.South of the border, U.S. stocks wobbled and finished mostly lower on Wall Street as technology companies including chipmakers dropped.The Dow Jones industrial average was up 41.31 points to 26,252.12, a record high. The S&P 500 index edged back 1.59 points to 2,837.54 and the Nasdaq composite index was down 45.23 points to 7,415.06.Elsewhere in commodities, the February gold contract climbed US$19.60 to US$1,356.30 an ounce. Investors tend to push up prices for precious metals when they’re worried about a weak dollar and the prospect of higher inflation.The March copper contract gained 12 cents to US$3.23 a pound and the March natural gas contract added four cents to US$3.08 per mmBTU.– With files from The Associated Press.Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter.last_img read more

Indigenous leaders welcome chance to invest in Alberta renewable power auction

first_imgCALGARY – Indigenous leaders say they are eager to invest after Alberta unveiled a plan on Monday that demands bidders in one of its next two rounds of renewable power project auctions include partnerships with those communities.The province said it hopes to attract bids to build a total of 700 megawatts of renewable power capacity, enough to power 300,000 homes, with 300 MW reserved for proposals with Indigenous equity ownership and 400 MW without restriction.Winners in both new rounds of bids will be judged on their power price bids, said Environment Minister Shannon Phillips.She added the province hopes to duplicate the success of its first round, held last year, when three companies were chosen to spend about $1 billion to build four wind power projects capable of generating 600 MW of new generation, 50 per cent higher than target. They bid an average price of $37 per MW-hour, which the province touted as a record low price for renewable power in Canada.The Kainai First Nation is planning a 200-MW wind project that’s “shovel-ready” to be built if selected, said Chief Roy Fox of the southern Alberta tribe also known as the Blood Tribe, speaking at the government’s news conference in Calgary.“We want to proceed with the first phase, which is 100 megawatts, and we have everything in place,” said Fox, who also goes by the name Makiinima. “We have the expertise, we’ve built some capacity, we have the financing in place, we’re ready to go and it will be situated on our reserve lands.”He said later the First Nation has an agreement to obtain funding from Indigena Capital, a Utah-based firm that finances Indigenous projects, but wouldn’t give a cost estimate for the project.Aaron Young, chief of the Chiniki First Nation, said his community is already pursuing solar power options.“We are good partners,” he said at the conference. “Just know, for us, success is well-being of our First Nations, of our people, and respect for the land that we all call home.”Successful auction bidders will win a 20-year contract with the province that provides subsidies if power prices fall below the bid price, to be paid from Alberta’s carbon levy on heavy industrial emitters. If the price is higher, the companies are to pay the difference to the province.The province wants to add up to 5,000 MW of renewable energy through private sector investment of about $10 billion by 2030.“Climate change is indeed the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. It is real,” Phillips said. “But it represents trillions in economic opportunity around the world. Albertans want to be part of those new jobs, those new businesses.”Phillips said she expects wind power projects to be most successful at auction because they cost the least but she said the government is considering ways to encourage other options such as solar power in future auctions to improve reliability of the system.Details of the upcoming auctions are to be worked out by the Alberta Electric System Operator over the next several months and a request for proposals is expected in the spring, with winning bids selected by year-end, said AESO chief operating officer Mike Law.He said bidders in the 300-MW round will need at least 15 to 25 per cent Indigenous ownership to qualify.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.last_img read more