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Wednesday, September 10, 2014
The Paroa School Rippa Rugby team put
in some good performances at the National
Rippa Rugby Championships, in Auckland
They played four games against Waikato,
Otago, Poverty Bay and North Harbour, and
while they failed to register a win, the side
was competitive throughout.
Results. — Paroa 45, lost to North Harbour
50; lost to Otago 25-50; lost to Waikato 35-
50; lost to Poverty Bay 20-40.
Counties-Manukau beat Canterbury to
win the final.
PICTURES: Dave Lintott
The Paroa School Rippa Rugby team — Alyssa Blacktopp, left, George Gilbertson, Mac Gibson, Jonathan Watts, Ollie Robb, Reed Johnson, Emma Boddy,
Tess Boddy, Cooper Haines and Mya Mahuika — with the All Blacks, who made a surprise visit to the National Rippa Rugby Championships, in Auckland
Reed Johnson, left, Mac Gibson and Jonathan Watts get a helping hand from All Black winger Julian Savea
during the tug-o -war competition.
Dan Carter’s return to rugby
seems likely to be delayed.
The champion first-five had been
looking at the All Blacks’ trip to
Argentina and South Africa later
this month as the time to lace
the boots up again after breaking
his leg during last month’s Super
He certainly will not be
considered for this Saturday ’s
test match against South Africa
in Wellington, and All Blacks
assistant coach Ian Foster said
the 32-year-old may soon make
a rare provincial appearance for
Canterbury to regain his match
“Dan’s tracking really well and I
doubt we’ ll see him in the Rugby
Championship,” Foster said.
“But he’s on track but we’ ll see
what happens in the next week
or two. But he’ ll certainly be
coming back to play some rugby
soon at some stage. So it’s just a
matter of how we integrate him
through. Whether it’s through the
ITM Cup or whether it’s through
“So we’ve got some decisions to
make. So we are probably at least
a week away from making that
decision yet. But he’s certainly
at the running stage; controlled
running. We’ve just started to
introduce a little bit of contact on
a controlled basis.”
The comforting note for the
All Blacks coaching staff is they
are stocked with talent at pivot
including Aaron Cruden, Beauden
Barrett and Colin Slade.
Cruden missed last Saturday ’s
28-9 victory over Argentina in
Napier as Barrett made his first
start in the No 10 jersey for the
All Blacks, while Slade also
enjoyed a decent run from the
bench against the Pumas.
In years gone by Carter may
have been rushed back in to action
but with so many options at their
disposal, All Blacks management
will likely let the 100-test veteran
take his time.
Cruden appears likely to return
to action this weekend after
shaking off the pectoral injury that
kept him out of the game against
“He’s doing a little more testing
as we go on through the week but
he’s certainly on track, which is
good news for us,” Foster said.
Despite South Africa’s wobbles
at first-five and their unconvincing
displays in this year’s Rugby
Championship, Foster said they
would be a tricky opponent on
“ When you’re playing a top
team, the challenges are right
across the field and it ’s a given
when you play South Africa that
they ’ve got a very strong forward
pack, that they ’re very physical.
They carry the ball hard and really
test your commitment to stop
that; so I don’t think that ’s going
“ But they ’ve always showed that
ability to move the ball around a
little bit, to use that turnover ball
and there’s a bit more going on
in their backs than perhaps what
there used to be.”
The Springboks also boast a
strong lineout that will likely be
led by veteran second-rower Victor
New Zealand will enter the game
without key lock Sam Whitelock
(ribs) and flanker Liam Messam
(quad) who is also a target in the
All Blacks’ lineout.
“ We are pretty comfortable
with where we are going in that
particular area,” Foster said.
“ I think we’ve made some great
strides in the last two or three
years and we feel that if we just
keep focusing on our game, we are
going to win more than we lose.”
Samoan assistant coach Alama Ieremia
says the union will know in the next few
weeks whether they will be able to call upon
a collection of new players via the IRB’s
Following confirmation yesterday of an
historic test between Samoa and New Zealand,
which is set down for Apia on Wednesday, July
8 next year, attention has turned to what players
the Pacific Island nation will be able to select.
The loophole was introduced following the
inclusion of sevens at the Olympics, which
allows capped players, who have not represented
their nation for 18 months but hold a passport
for another country, to change their allegiance.
They can then play in the 2014-15 IRB
Sevens World Series, which would make
them eligible to attend next year’s 15s World
Cup and play sevens at the Rio Olympics in
Players such as former All Blacks Isaia Toeava,
Rudi Wulf and Lelia Masaga are some of the
names that have been mentioned and Ieremia
said they had recently applied on behalf of six
to nine players.
“ We’ ll probably know in the next couple of
weeks because the processes have just gone
through,” Ieremia said.
“O bviously I can’t name any of the players
at this stage because of the process but we are
certainly looking at that and the balance of
making sure we look after our own as well.”
The loophole has created an international
lifeline for some players who thought their
careers on the biggest stage were over.
“I ’m absolutely rapt about it,” Ieremia said.
“ For me, it’s about making sure we get the best
players playing at the highest level and there’s
a lot of Samoans that are playing around (the
world) that have obviously been capped (by
other countries) but still have the potential to
play for our country.”
Ieremia was confident Samoa would also be
able to call upon their existing frontline players,
many of whom are contracted to French and
Next year’s test between the All Blacks and
Samoa will take place at Apia Park, which has
a capacity of around 20,000, at 3pm local time
(2pm NZT). The average temperature at that
time is 29degC.
The match will begin New Zealand’s
preparation for the defence of their World
Cup crown with the Rugby Championship to
There is one catch around the test in Samoa,
though. The game will be played in the week
after next season’s Super Rugby final and any
player who is involved in the tournament ’s
showpiece fixture will not be considered for
selection against Samoa.
That could create the possibility of an
understrength All Black side if two New
Zealand teams were to make the Super Rugby
final but coach Steve Hansen said they would
still select a strong outfit.
“It’s not a B team,” he said. “ There’s no such
thing as an All Black B team.”
Jean de Villiers made his test
debut in late 2002 but did not
make another appearance for the
Springboks for nearly two years.
His first outing was a rough
occasion as it lasted less than
10 minutes after the midfielder
suffered a serious knee injury
against France in Marseille and
spent nine months out of the
A shoulder injury in a warm-up
match ahead of the 2003 World
Cup stuffed his comeback before
it got off the ground and he did
not play his second test until
he ran out against the Pacific
Islanders in Gosford in Australia
in July, 2004.
“It has been a long road,” he said
of his test career.
“And certainly there were
definitely times when I didn’t
think I would get to No 2.”
De Villiers eventually collected
his second cap and began to
forge a lengthy test career and he
will make his 100th appearance
for South Africa when the
Springboks meet the All Blacks
in Wellington on Saturday night.
“Certainly you do test your
character and I went through a
lot of hard times but I believe I
got through it stronger and never
imagined that I would get to
The 33-year-old will captain
the visitors this weekend, while
his wife and father will also be in
attendance to mark the milestone.
He will become only the fifth
South African to join the 100-
club, alongside team-mates Victor
Matfield and Bryan Habana,
while retired warhorses John
Smit and Percy Montgomery also
achieved the feat.
Known for snatching intercept
tries earlier in his career, de
Villiers made his 50th test
appearance against the All Blacks
and said he had developed a
respectful rivalry with long-time
New Zealand midfielders Ma’a
Nonu and Conrad Smith.
“ It is nice to play against them
and for the old battle to continue
and hopefully we can just have a
drink after wards and celebrate my
100th game,” de Villiers said.
Of the many highlights from
his career, de Villiers spoke
highly of the test victories over
the All Blacks, notably South
Africa’s 2005 win that came at
his homeground in Cape Town
and the 2009 victory in Hamilton
that secured South Africa the Tri
“ Being a bit of a purist, when
it comes to rugby, I think that ’s
the ultimate challenge for me
was to always play against the All
South Africa are coming off a
24-23 loss to Australia in Perth
last Saturday and de Villiers said
it would be a tough ask to beat
the Rugby Championship-leading
All Blacks this weekend.
“ You’re up against a team that ’s
been playing consistently really
well so you can’t expect them to
have an off-day and you be lucky
and get a win.
“ You’re going to have to play
well, you’re going to have to
prepare well and you’re going to
have to execute on the day.”
New Zealand Rugby chairman Brent Impey and Samoa Rugby Union
chairman, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi shake hands after signing a tour
agreement at New Zealand Rugby House, in Wellington yesterday.
Carter set to
miss more time
Jean de Villiers
Jean de Villiers to
Samoa eyes fresh talent for ABs game
San Francisco police say
criminal charges will not be
filed in the crash of an America’s
Cup catamaran in May 2013
that killed British Olympic star
Andrew “Bart ” Simpson.
Many people associated with
sailing’s marquee regatta had
speculated that the crash was
caused by a structural failure,
which was confirmed for the
first time today when a copy of
the police report was obtained
and posted by sailinganarchy.
According to the report,
Artemis Racing designer Adam
May told a police officer after
the accident that the catamaran
had just performed a bear-away
manoeuver “when the port side
hull dug into the water and
Simpson, a gold and silver
Olympic medallist, died after
being trapped under water for
about 10 minutes. — AP
Sam Moa’s emergence as
one the NRL’s top props has
coincided with the rise of
the Sydney Roosters and the
unassuming Kiwi admits he
is still pinching himself after
an amazing two years.
After joining the Roosters
on a minimum wage
contract at the start of last
season, Moa has become
the NRL premiers’ most
consistent front-rower and
usurped team-mate Jared
Waerea-Hargreaves in the
New Zealand test side.
It is a remarkable tale for
a player deemed surplus to
requirements by Cronulla in
2009 and picked up by Super
League side Hull FC.
Moa speaks fondly about
his four years in England
but after spending the final
year without his partner
and young family who had
returned to Australia, he rejected an improved
offer to stay.
A desire to play at the highest level and be
reunited with his loved ones made the decision
an easy one but finding a club willing to sign
him was not so straight-for ward.
A move to Manly fell through and talks
with Melbourne came to nothing before the
Roosters were persuaded to take a punt by his
former Hull team-mate Craig Fitzgibbon.
While Sonny Bill Williams, James Maloney,
Michael Jennings and Luke O’Donnell arrived
amidst much fanfare, Moa walked through the
door at Moore Park almost unnoticed.
“That first week was pretty intimidating,
I didn’t know anyone apart from Fitzy
(Fitzgibbon),” Moa told AAP.
“Looking back I think that helped me as
there was no pressure and I could work my way
in. But looking around at all the big names here
. . . I just expected to start in reser ve grade.”
A strong pre-season saw him named in Trent
Robinson’s side for the round one clash against
South Sydney and he has not looked back
since. For me that game against Souths was up
there with winning the grand final,” Moa said.
“Although we lost the game, I was in the team
. .. it gave me the motivation to make sure I
“I was on the lowest money possible which
reflected my standing and profile. But I knew
if I played well a better contract would come
along. It gave me that extra incentive to push
myself and I couldn’t be happier with how it ’s
In helping the Roosters win the grand final
he earned selection for the Kiwi squad World
Cup squad and all of a sudden there were
no shortage of potential suitors chasing his
When the Roosters came to the table with a
significantly upgraded contract in May he had
no hesitation in re-signing.
“It’s a great club and I am very lucky to be a
part of a very good team,” he said.
“I am a 50-60% better player than I was in
the Super League. That ’s because of the
coaching, the strong culture and the quality of
“It’s been an amazing two years. I couldn’t
have imagined a few years ago I’d be in a team
looking to win back-to-back premierships. ”
No criminal charges in
America’s Cup fatal capsize
Cooper Cronk says Melbourne are
embracing an “all on the line” mentality
as they face the unusual prospect of a
month of do-or-die NRL competition.
Barring the 2010 season when they
picked up no points due to salary cap
infractions, Melbourne had not finished
outside the top four since 2005 — until
So it will be a rare experience for
the sixth-placed Storm when they
meet seventh-placed Canterbury in
an elimination final at AAMI Park on
However, halfback Cronk said the
Storm took a lot of confidence from
their past two months, in which they
won six out of eight games.
The only team to win the NRL
competition from outside the top four
since it switched to a top eight format
were the Bulldogs, who did it from sixth
back in 1995.
“It’s definitely a challenge. I’m not
shying away from it,” Cronk said.
“There’s no doubt that it makes it more
difficult — that ’s the idea of playing
consistent football and finishing in the
top four. For 20 weeks of the season we
were pretty inconsistent. O ur last eight
weeks has been pretty good.
“ We’ve given ourselves an opportunity.
We know our best football is up there
with the best.
“Can we do it for a month? That ’s the
Cronk rated captain Cameron Smith
a 50-50 chance of playing against the
Bulldogs as he races to be fit after the
ankle sprain suffered last week.
He felt the fact the game was not till
Sunday would help.
“ It ’s a concern, there’s no doubt about
that, I’m not sugar-coating it,” Cronk
“ I think he (Smith) is thereabouts.
He’s passionate for the club like no
other player, so he’ ll do everything
possible. We’ve got a super-good
medical department. The plus thing for
us is that he finished the game on Friday
night. The negative is he was on crutches
on Saturday morning.”
The Bulldogs hammered the Storm
40-12 in Perth in the wake of the Alex
McKinnon injury but just shaded them
6-4 in Melbourne and Cronk called
them a “red hot challenge”.
“There’s no doubt they play a very
confrontational game straight up the
middle third of the field, their front
rowers generate a lot of ball plays for
them,” Cronk said.
“ We need to treat them as if they are
a half or a five-eighth. (They also have)
dangerous halves. ”
Storm ready for NRL finals tightrope
Quiet man Moa
leading Roosters pack
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