first_imgIn his first stint as Penrith coach Ivan Cleary met with Kikau to discuss a possible move to Penrith and along with general manager Phil Gould, convinced the then 19-year-old that Sydney’s west was where his future would lie.But by the time Kikau arrived, Cleary had been given his marching orders by Gould in a move that caught many off guard – including the up-and-coming talent.With Cleary now back at the Panthers, the trio are now set to work together for the first time since the handshake agreement was made four years ago.”It was a nice moment seeing Ivan at pre-season because he was a main reason I’d moved to Penrith originally,” Kikau told”The environment is a bit different from what we had last year. It’s a bit more relaxed. He hasn’t changed much, just some of the tactics in attack and defence. A change in set calls and that sort of thing.”He told me how good of a year I’d had and the only thing he wanted me to do was get better.”Kikau finished 2018 in the RLPA team of the year and established himself as one of the more damaging back-rowers in the game with 105 tackle breaks and 1356.9 post contact metres.Despite admitting he had just walked away from a stint in the infamous “fat club” over the off-season, he’s back to his playing weight already following the Christmas break and has overcome an elbow injury that should have kept him sidelined during last year’s Telstra Premiership finals series.”If I’m fit I wouldn’t question that I can do what I did last year,” Kikau said.”But it’s a big challenge to back it up with my performances from last year. My defence was a weakness, I’m working on that.”The preparation before Christmas was patchy with guys still on break or having surgeries but this week it’s been good to see a bit more of a flow in our plays.”last_img read more

first_imgWorld Joyland, a Chinese theme park known in the West for rather shamelessly ripping off Blizzard properties, has opened to its first visitors, and some English speakers have written a detailed diary of their trip.Located in Jiangsu province, World Joyland claims to be the first game-themed park. With 600,000 square meters of territory to cover, early visitors reporting for English-language site Shanghaiist found plenty homage paid to Chinese clones of World of Warcraft and StarCraft.As it is a theme park, our reporter heroes focused on the ride experience and found ridiculous descriptions for each (in both Chinese and English) and a rating on the Splendor Index, Happiness Index or Thrill Index. A typical log ride was described as a “beast-bloody journey” as it took participants through an uphill tunnel filled with orcs before dropping them into inevitable wetness. Afterwards, other park patrons inserted coins into water gun machines to keep spraying riders.“Massive copyright infringement” abounds. The area themed on the WoW clone shows no distinction between Horde and Alliance as Tauren, Night Elves and humans are found mingling with one another, and with dragons and mermaids as well. Staff, on the other hand, wore “glorified Bam-Bam outfits.”For our experimental patrons, the WoW zone gave way to a StarCraft area by way of a change in color palette, as the Azeroth-esque reds and browns shifted to a more Protoss-ian blue and yellow.Joyland’s alleged dedication to games goes beyond the rides. The park was built for 200 million yuan (approximately $30 million) and includes “anime-and-game” expo pavilions and R&D facilities, a technology training center, and even an eSports Competition Center.The Shanghaiist reporters noted with some concern that after only being open for less than two months, handrails were already rusty and paint cracks were abundant.Read more at Shanghaiistlast_img read more