THE Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic exorcised their biggest demon last night with a thrashing of the NSW Swifts.
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The thumping 18-goal win at Hamilton’s Mystery Creek Events Centre moves the Magic to the top of the table on goal difference over the only other unbeaten team, the Melbourne Vixens.

Magic captain Joline Henry was delighted with her team’s showing. "We knew this was a biggie for us, and we wanted to assert some dominance," she said.

And they did.

The Magic effectively won the game in the first quarter with their best 15 minutes of a season-and-a-quarter of ANZ Championship netball. Casey Williams showed why she is the world’s best netballer, Henry was spectacular and the Magic’s shooting brilliant.

On the back of perfect shooting from both Maria Tutaia and Irene van Dyk, and exceptional full-court defence, the home side led 19-7 at the first break.

Van Dyk had her second consecutive perfect shooting game and it has now been more than 120 minutes of netball since she missed her last shot.

Three stepping calls and dubious passing in the first quarter did not help the defending champions – the Swifts looked woeful compared to a completely dominant Magic side.

The Swifts’ depth was tested when Rebecca Bulley went off injured. Replacement Samantha May appeared out of her depth as Magic wing attack Frances Solia ran rings around her.

The home side had to work hard to keep a fired-up Swifts at bay in the second spell and despite the visitors going on a five-goal run in the middle of the quarter, the Magic extended by another goal to lead 32-19 at half-time.

Yet while the NSW team needed to come out flying in the second half to have any hope of saving the game, the Magic scored the first five goals of the third spell.

Swifts captain Catherine Cox (ankle) and Bulley (gash above eye) left the court late in the second quarter and while the team lost some edge with their departures, the game was well and truly lost by then.

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A ruptured Achilles tendon has cut short Daniel Braid’s stint with the Queensland Reds and will affect his starting date with Welsh club Llanelli Scarlets where he has signed a lucrative and lengthy deal.
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The former All Blacks flanker suffered the injury in the Reds’ shock loss to the Lions in Brisbane at the weekend.

He will be out of rugby for six months.

It’s a blow for Llanelli who confirmed on Monday that they had just signed Braid on a three-year deal.

"We know the value of an out and out openside and they live on the edge," said Scarlets boss Nigel Davies.

"That was a factor in our decision to sign Daniel. He is an out and out seven and that is one of the players we need at the moment. When I look at the side we are trying to put together next season, I am excited."

Braid has been in good form in another disappointing season for Queensland where he signed on as a ground-breaking marquee player as Australian Super 14 franchises opened their doors to overseas stars.

Braid had the option of another year on his Queensland deal but has decided to secure his future with a move north to Europe.

The Reds play the Blues at Albany on Saturday evening.

Braid’s injury means he won’t be lining out against his old New Zealand franchise.

The Reds are now 13th in the Super 14 and were facing a crisis meeting on Monday in the wake of their 20-31 loss to the Lions.

Reds coach Phil Mooney rated it "’the most deflating loss of his two-year reign".

He lashed otu at his side saying they "couldn’t expect to beat a suburban colts team" with the sort of play they produced against the Lions.

"(It was) completely unacceptable," Mooney said.

"If you play like that and expect to get selected then you’re living in a dreamworld."

The changes are expected to start with first five-eighths Quade Cooper who had a shocker.

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Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds used an autographed bat to lock in a seven-figure loan with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia that he then invested with the failed Storm Financial Services, a former Storm executive alleges.
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The Australian Financial Review reports that a Storm adviser offered the autographed cricket bat in 2007 in order to waive the cost of mortgage insurance for Symonds. The cricketer is believed to have lost about $1 million when the company collapsed in January.

The adviser was negotiating the loan with CBA’s Aitkenvale branch in Townsville, Queensland, the former senior executive alleges in a signed affidavit.

A CBA spokesman said a staff member did accept the cricket bat after it was offered by Storm but denied it was used to gain preferential treatment.

Symonds’s manager refused to comment on the allegations about the cricket bat or the star’s finances.

The affidavit will be provided to a federal parliamentary inquiry into financial services that was set up following the collapse of Storm Financial and Opes Prime, the AFR reports.

It reportedly states that CBA branch officials indicated they would give the cricketing star more favourable terms once they learned the loan was for him.

The Storm adviser negotiating the deal then reportedly offered to throw in a signed cricket bat if the bank waived the mortgage insurance payment.

This was agreed and the loan was approved, the unnamed official stated.

Symonds, who appeared in radio advertisements for the company, used a loan against two properties to take out a margin loan that was then invested in Storm-branded products.

CBA’s Aitkenvale branch is the subject of numerous allegations that large numbers of loans from around the country were channelled through its office, as well the Bank of Queensland’s North Ward branch in Townsville.

Storm’s founders Emmanuel and Julie Cassimatis put the company into voluntary administration in January after being unable to meet a repayment demand from CBA.

The company was liquidated in March, on the order of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, after the Cassimatises proposed a deed of company arrangement that would have let them regain control and escape legal action.

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Prep teacher Symone Anstis. 24, of Noble Park. Photo: Joe ArmaoMEET Symone Anstis, 24, a prep teacher and Noble Park local who took on the Tax Office and had a landmark win that could pave the way for hundreds of thousands of students to claim educational expenses as a tax deduction.
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Three years ago, Ms Anstis was studying teaching at Australian Catholic University, working part time at women’s clothing store Katies and receiving income support in the form of Youth Allowance.

Like many students, she struggled to make ends meet.

On her tax return that year Ms Anstis claimed $920 for educational expenses, including textbooks, student fees and travel expenses.

She reasoned that, because the Youth Allowance was part of her income, she should be able to claim deductions on relevant costs.

In the past, the Australian Taxation Office made it clear it would not allow educational expenses to be claimed against welfare payments.

Her father, Michael Anstis, who is a qualified solicitor but does not work as a lawyer, helped her with her return and told her the Government was likely to reject her claim. But they decided it seemed fair that students be able to claim educational costs, and pushed on regardless.

The Tax Office rejected the claim, so the pair fought the case all the way to the Federal Court. “It wasn’t a lot of money but it was important — it’s quite a hard life as a student,” Ms Anstis said yesterday.

Asked if she was known for stubbornness, she laughed.

“I thought we were in the right, so I didn’t want to just let it go. Why not take on the big guys?”

In court, Mr Anstis argued that because his daughter had to be enrolled in a full-time course of study to get her assessable income of Youth Allowance, any costs incurred in the course of studying should be deductible.

In a surprise judgement this month, the Federal Court agreed, ruling that in order to meet the requirements for Youth Allowance, a student was forced to make a range of expenses that the student should be entitled to claim as tax deductions.

Tax experts say this could set a precedent for students and other recipients of welfare payments who want to claim expenses against their pensions. About 440,000 students receive Youth Allowance or Austudy, according to Government figures.

KPMG tax partner Andy Hutt believes the decision may have ramifications for students on income support and they should consider which items — such as computers or textbooks — could be most obviously connected to their income.

During his preparations, Mr Anstis studied previous Federal Court tax cases.

He said that in the past two years only a handful had been won, and those had been led by teams of senior lawyers.

Mr Anstis said his daughter had taken on the issue to make a point about social justice, not for the modest financial gain.

“This should mean that students can claim the costs of their studies — it’ll be worth about $300 or $400 to the average student,” he said.

The Tax Office may appeal against the decision.

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"I ONLY needed half a run, he [Orca] would have done the rest," jockey Hugh Bowman told Racing NSW stewards after yesterday’s Frank Packer Plate at Randwick.
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Orca was sent out a $2.90 favourite and was tragically beaten into second place by stablemate Yallingup, with both trained by Guy Walter.

Bowman settled at the rear on Orca and reckons "it just opened up" passing the 600m.

Orca was sent through the field but the run ended on straightening, with the leader Rollins compounding along with All American.

"My horse’s nostril is on their back," Bowman said. He was "coming back". Orca was being anchored. "I’m just pulling up, coming off heels," he said.

"You certainly look unlucky," said Racing NSW chief steward Ray Murrihy, who wanted to know if Rollins had been "roughed up" when Orca shifted in.

Rollins’s jockey, Peter Robl, said: "I grab up for one stride and they were two strides in front after that."

Walter said Yallingup had come a long way in its first preparation and would be spelled.

Of Orca, he said: "Being a colt, we may think about taking him to Brisbane for the carnival." O’SHEA MARE ON SONG

Racing NSW stewards wanted an explanation about a perceived form reversal from Music Review, and trainer John O’Shea was to the fore. The imported mare has well and truly returned her $120,000 purchase price fee, cutting down favourite Joku in yesterday’s opening race for another win Down Under.

"She bogged down on the inside first-up," O’Shea told stewards.

"A drier track today – second-up last time in, she improved dramatically."

Chief steward Ray Murrihy then asked O’Shea about Music Review being fitted with racing plates instead of glue-on shoes.

"We’ve only used them [glue-on] through necessity – she has shocking feet," O’Shea said. "She pulled one off yesterday. I said [to the farrier] ‘put a decent set of shoes on’."

As for racing forward outside the leader, O’Shea said it had been Music Review’s racing style, but when she resumed at Rosehill she had not been able to muster pace on the bog track. O’Shea is aiming Music Review at the Brisbane Cup.

"I think her staying pedigree got her home today," Music Review’s jockey, Tim Clark, told connections.

The Gai Waterhouse-trained Joku battled on for second, with jockey Nash Rawiller saying the favourite, which dictated from the front, was responsible for "another honest effort". CLOSE CALL

International jockey Kerrin McEvoy gave favourite backers heart palpitations on Fravashi in the second race. But supporters of the untapped three-year-old got to cheer right on the post in the South Pacific Classic, with Fravashi collaring Over The Wicket to score by half a head.

Caught three wide early from barrier four in the seven-horse race, Fravashi was eased back and then caught up behind runners when Centennial Park whipped round on the home bend.

Up the straight Fravashi looked in a spot of bother but then roared along the inside.

"Today when he charged through the pack he really concentrated," McEvoy said.

Trainer Peter Snowden reckons Fravashi "is learning his trade now" and that it "was a professional effort".

"He probably wasn’t entitled to win, he found himself in a place where we didn’t want to be," Snowden said. "He had to pick up a couple of lengths over the last 200m and he did it."

Snowden has always had a healthy opinion of Fravashi and plans to give the colt a break and return for some of the big spring races.

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