Home' Greymouth Star : September 15th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
A far from fully wound up
Puccini showed his class at
Awapuni, where last season’s
group 1 New Zealand Derby
hero dealt to a competitive field
of open class handicappers.
The group 3 Merial Ancare
Metric Mile was a stepping
stone to what connections hope
will be a Melbourne path paved
with gold, and they picked up
their first trinket with victory on
Although some way short of
peak fitness, Puccini showed he
was on target for a tilt at the $A3
million group 1 Cox Plate, at
Moonee Valley on October 25,
by grabbing the lion’s share of the
$70,000 Awapuni feature.
“It was fantastic to see him
come back like that and we can
carry on with our plans,” said
co-trainer Jacob McKay, who
prepares the Encosta de Lago
four-year-old with his father,
Puccini sat in second spot
before striding to the front
on straightening and held on
strongly for a comprehensive win.
“Ideally, we wanted to sit four
or five back, but there wasn’t a
lot of pace on,” McKay said. “His
racing manners are much better
than last season and there’s still
plenty of improvement in him.”
The victory capped a good day
at Awapuni for the team, with
Peter and wife Kim McKay
sharing in the ownership of
winning hurdler Prologue with
Puccini’s breeder-owners, Paul
and Cushla Smithies.
The McKay stable was also
successful at Ruakaka, where
their group 3 New Zealand Cup
prospect Canterino won in rating
85 company, while Antonio
Lombardo finished runner-up in
the open sprint.
But it was Puccini who was
the star of their show and he
will now head to the group
1, Livamol Spring Classic at
Hastings on October 4 before a
likely trip to Melbourne.
“He’s just got so much
improvement in him yet,”
winning rider Vinnie Colgan
“They didn’t go all that quickly
and at the point of the turn I
gave him a bit of rein and he
accelerated so quickly.”
Thorn Prince came on well late
for second, ahead of Marotiri
Miss, and Anniesstar roared
home from the tail-end to finish
fourth. — N Z Racing Desk.
Monday, September 15, 2014 - 9
of the Herald on Sunday
Russell Packer may soon get his
first taste of freedom since being
imprisoned and is eyeing a return to
the NRL next year.
The former Kiwis prop has been
ser ving time in Sydney ’s Lithgow jail,
a maximum security facility near the
Blue Mountains, after being convicted
of a violent assault outside a Sydney
hotel late last year.
His original two-year sentence, with
no prospect of parole, was reduced
after a successful appeal in April,
meaning he could be released in early
However, the Herald on Sunday
understands Packer might soon be
approved to commence a day-release
It would mean Packer would be
allowed to leave the prison surrounds
for a specified time during the day —
perhaps once a week — to undertake
It would continue the ongoing
rehabilitation of the former Warrior,
who was signed by the Knights at the
end of last season.
Packer is eligible for parole on
January 5, 2015 and several NRL
clubs have declared their interest in
Senior officials from Penrith,
understood to include Phil Gould,
have visited Packer in jail and
Panthers coach Ivan Cleary knows
Packer well, having brought him to
the Warriors as a 17-year-old. Wayne
Bennett apparently wants to take him
to Brisbane and the Dragons and Eels
are also believed to be targeting the
It seems unlikely Packer will be
able to take the field at the start of
next season. Even if he is paroled in
January, the NRL might be reluctant
to register him immediately.
Even if he is eventually registered,
there is a possibility that a good-
behaviour bond — with sums well
into six figures — will be levied upon
his future club and his agent, so parties
close to Packer have an incentive to
monitor and help him in the long
term. The NRL want to be certain
he is fully rehabilitated and there is
no hint of any kind of repeat offence,
especially of the nature of the awful
incident last year.
Before his conviction, Packer
had a clean criminal record. No
serious off-field incidents were ever
reported during his long spell at the
Warriors, although he was seen as a
“high maintenance” individual and
was heavily fined after urinating on
the field before a match at Suncorp
Stadium last year.
He had a troubled past. D uring
his appeal hearing in April, Judge
Chris Hoy acknowledged his difficult
childhood, with both parents battling
drug, alcohol and mental health issues.
According to Hoy, Packer was
pushed to consume alcohol as a child,
with “18-can sessions” as a 12-year-
old. Hoy said Packer had an “alcohol
use disorder” from his early teenage
years that continued for most of his
time at Mt Smart.
Going to Newcastle this year was
meant to be a fresh start but unravelled
in the worst possible way.
Packer is likely to continue a lengthy
rehabilitation programme on release
from jail. He would be assessed by
an NRL-appointed independent
prescribe a programme which could
stretch for weeks or months. There
are also likely to be strict conditions
around his registration — any future
alcohol related misdemeanours or
violent incidents would mean instant
termination of his registration.
Packer seems a major risk for any
club but there are reasons he appeals.
He has a rare skill-set for a prop and
imagine how good he could be if
he’s truly reformed and free of self-
He is also an established NRL
performer (110 games) who would
not severely dent a salary cap, as any
contract would be an incentive-based
deal set at a low level. — APNZ
Canterbury and Penrith have blown the
NRL finals series wide apart this weekend as
Des Hasler demonstrated once again why he
is one of the great coaches of the modern era.
The Bulldogs, who led the competition in
July on the back of seven successive wins, had
sunk like a stone in recent weeks with just
two victories in eight games to finish seventh
on the ladder.
When it really mattered Hasler got his side
primed for the occasion and they romped to
a stunning 28-4 upset over a heavily-fancied
Melbourne at AAMI Park.
It sets up a mouth-watering clash against
Hasler’s former club Manly next Saturday at
Hasler is considered one of Manly’s
favourite sons, having guided the team to two
premierships in his nine years as a coach in
addition to the two he won in a 13-season
playing career with the club.
His side’s performance was a complete
contrast to the Bulldogs loss to the Gold
Coast last week where they spurned an 18-0
lead to go down 19-18 .
“ We played really well in the first half to
set up the victory and held onto the ball,”
Bulldogs centre Josh Morris told Triple M.
“ Whenever we play a top-four team
sometimes we seem to get complacent but
we were up for it today. Whenever we play
Manly it’s really tough and physical contest
and we know each other inside out.
“They have a couple of injuries but you can
never rule out a Manly side.”
The Sea Eagles are expected to struggle
following Friday ’s demoralising 40-24 loss to
That victory saw the Rabbitohs installed
as the new premiership favourites after the
Roosters were stunned 19-18 by a Penrith
side on Saturday that continue to defy the
The Panthers will now enjoy the luxury of
a week off to prepare for a preliminary final
against either the Bulldogs or Manly.
The other side of the draw is shaping up
as the toughest path to the decider with the
Roosters and in-form North Queensland
facing off on Friday at Allianz Stadium in
a do-or-die showdown, with the victors
meeting South Sydney in the preliminary
Brisbane are the last team to win a
premiership by losing their first game of the
finals back in 2006 and Roosters skipper
Anthony Minichiello said Trent Robinson’s
side aren’t pressing the panic button just yet.
“We’ll be right, we’ll get ready. It’s a few
days to recover, everyone is a bit sore and
sorry, but we’re still in with a shout and at
home,” he said.
“ We have to move on pretty quickly. The
good thing here is that we are a pretty
North Queensland comfortably dealt with
Brisbane 32-20 in Townsville on Saturday
and will head to Sydney looking to bury their
Sydney finals hoodoo.
The Cowboys last won a sudden-death game
in the NSW capital in 2005 and their season
has ended at Allianz Stadium the last three
After a superb first-half display, the
Cowboys led 24-0 at half-time but turned off
in the second period allowing the Broncos
back into the game.
In-form prop Ashton Sims warned doing
the same to the Roosters will see them almost
“They will bury us if we toss that up in the
second half,” Sims said.
“ We’ ll cop our medicine in video and move
for ward.” — AAP
Warriors coach Andrew McFadden
has rung the changes in his coaching
staff following the club’s disappointing
end to the NRL season.
McFadden confirmed his assistants
Adam Mogg and Ricky Henry were
leaving, and that he would be looking
to replace them with more experienced
There have been reports that Todd
Payten, the current West Tigers assistant
coach, could be brought in as one of the
Mogg’s spell at Penrose was a short one
the former Canberra Raiders player
only came on board in May this year,
shortly after McFadden assumed the
head coach role after Matthew Elliot ’s
Henry, however, had been with the
Warriors in a number of roles since
2008. The Aucklander had previously
coached the Auckland Vulcans and the
New Zealand under-18 team.
— New Zealand Herald
McFadden dumps assistants
Korea’s Kim Hyo-Joo has seen
off Karrie Webb to win the Evian
Championship and become the third
youngest major champion on the
Webb, a seven-time major winner,
held a narrow one-shot lead going into
the final hole in France.
The Korean teenager held her ner ve
on the 18th green to birdie with Webb
bogeying the hole, handing Joo the title.
New Zealand’s Lydia Ko finished
tied for eighth on four under par, seven
shots off the pace after an even par 71.
— Newstalk ZB
Ko eighth at final major
Clubs looking to sign Packer after jail
Underdone Puccini still too good
PICTURE: Getty Images
Storm’s Marika Koroibete stops Bulldogs’ Corey Thompson from scoring a try in yesterday’s second elimination final match at AAMI Park in
The West Coast Chargers’ woes
continued on Saturday, when they lost
their last game of the South Island
premier league championship, going
down to the Canterbury Development
side 36-6 .
Coach Dean McGrath said it was
turnover ball that killed Coast ’s chances.
“ We lost possession in the tackle
and spent the majority of the game on
defence,” McGrath said.
He was also sceptical of the referee’s
interpretation of the 10m rule when the
Chargers were on attack.
“Canterbury was anywhere between
5-7m back, which made it hard for us to
have any go forwards — it made attack
As well as losing ball in the tackle,
there was too much dropped ball, he
“ We did show plenty of character,
though, as players defended the line
well. We let in two soft tries in the first
half but that was about it.”
The Chargers only had half a dozen
sets at the right end of the field and that
did not help their cause at all.
“ We were lucky the score was not
much higher, but our defence put in a
big effort,” McGrath said.
West Coast were down 22-0 at the
break and managed to run in one try
The coach singled out prop Billy Fisher,
who was solid on defence throughout.
“The season is done and dusted for us
now. It ’s a shame we were not able to
get a win.”
West Coast 6 (Dean Coghlan try,
Luke Negri con) lost to Canterbury
In the other match, the Southland
Rams beat Tasman Titans 30-26.
Canterbury will meet Southland in the
final in Invercargill next weekend.
A host of trophies were presented on
Saturday to the best Greymouth Hockey
Club players for the past season.
In the primary grade, Emma Boddy and
Cooper Haines shared the trophy for best
junior player, while in the collegiate grade
Breegan Griggs and Yasmin Waters were the
most improved players.
In the premier women’s grade Amee
Hancocks claimed the trophy for most
improved player, while the same title in the
premier men’s grade went to John Hughes.
Primary. — Best junior: Emma Boddy and
Cooper Haines. Most improved, Emily Jane
Clucas and Tess Boddy. Most dedicated,
Maria Burrell and Mikayla Stevenson.
Collegiate. — Most improved, Breegan
Griggs, Phoenix; Yasmin Waters, Allstars.
Most dedicated: Brock Robinson, Phoenix;
Sam Wallis, Allstars. Best defender: Alistair
Bromley Memorial Trophy, Ruby Thomas,
Phoenix; Jon Blacktopp, Allstars. Most
valuable player: Anita Bone Memorial
Trophy, Thomas Thwaites, Phoenix; Angus
Winter, Allstars. Junior umpires certificates:
Luke Cambus, Angus Winter, Thomas
Premier women.— Most improved: Amee
Hancocks. Most dedicated: Amanda Curry.
Primo legs; Lashana Maclean.
Premier men. — Most improved: John
Hughes. Most dedicated: Sean Gibson.
Motor: Brad Robertson.
The West Coast Year 7 and 8 basketball
finals will be played on Wednesday at
the ASB Civic Centre.
The draw is. —
Girls, 5.30pm: Grey Main v Paroa
Y8 (Grey Main, Karoro boys, Isaac
Stratford, Robbie Barrow).
Boys, 6.30pm: Grey Main v Karoro
(Paroa, Grey Main girls, Alex Stenhouse,
The prizegiving will follow after each
of the New Zealand Herald
Waikato kept their ITM Cup
Premiership play-off hopes alive with
a ner vy 26-21 win over Counties
Manukau in Hamilton yesterday.
After cruising with a 19 point lead
with 14 minutes to go, Waikato hit the
self-destruct button and very nearly
replicated their last minute loss to
Tasman last weekend.
Hooker Loni Uhila was shown a
yellow card in the 66th minute and
Counties scored two converted tries in
his absence, before going close to scoring
a Hail Mary, length of the field try with
the final play of the game.
Waikato did just enough for the win,
and based on the full 80 minutes, it was
a deser ved one.
Three Waikato tries in the first 15
minutes stunned Counties, and the
visitors were left with too much to do
against a slick, hungry home outfit.
The bonus point win means Waikato
keep pace with Auckland in fourth place
and the first half performance will fill
coach Johnny Walter with optimism
heading into the second half of the
Waikato had to overcome the pre-
match withdrawal of backs Jordan Payne
(sick) and Declan O’Donnell (calf ) but
replacements Chauncy Edwardson and
Regan Ware both put in impressive
shifts and were heavily involved in the
first three tries.
Fullback Wharenui Hawera also had
an exceptional game, and his line break
in the first minute where he fended,
wrestled and stepped his way through
five Counties defenders to set up the
first try was one of the best runs of the
Counties finally showed what they are
capable of with a slick backline break
finished by Ashee Tuala in the 56th
minute, but their renaissance begun just
a little too late.
Waikato winger Joe Webber capped
off a man of the match performance by
scoring his hat-trick in the 61st minute,
showcasing his tremendous talent.
Waikato 26 ( Joe Webber 3, Chauncy
Edwardson tries, Damien Mckenzie
3 con), Counties Manukau 21 (Ahsee
Tuala, Augustine Pulu 2 tries, Ahsee
Tuala 3 con). Half-time 19-0.
Bulldogs blow open
finals with Storm win
play-off hopes alive
Primary basketball finals draw
West Coast falls to
in last game
Emirates Team New Zealand has won
the latest event of the Extreme Sailing
series today in Istanbul in the dramatic
final race of the regatta.
After 30 races, Dean Barker and his
crew — Glenn Ashby, James Dagg,
Jeremy Lomas and Edwin De Laat —
waited for the final double points race
to leap frog The Wave, Muscat and take
home the trophy.
Both teams, along with 2014 series
leader Alinghi, dominated throughout
the day, each grabbing valuable points
from race to race.
Going into the final race, the Wave
had a lead of six points. Emirates Team
New Zealand had to beat The Wave
by at least three places to get enough
points to pass them and take the win.
“ We knew that if we put together a
really solid race we would have a good
chance,” skipper Dean Barker said.
In blustery 20-23 knots with reefed
mainsail, Barker and his crew saved
the best for last with a dominant start,
leading the fleet around the first mark
and leaving The Wave battling its way
around the race track in the thick of the
A glance behind after crossing the
finish line in first place and taking
the 20 points from the race, Emirates
Team New Zealand could see The
Wave, embroiled in a private battle
with Alinghi, had dropped into seventh
place and the regatta was theirs.
Relief for Barker and crew: “You
never know what the result is going to
be until the race is over, and it was just
great the way it worked out. It’s nice
for the team to bounce back the way
we did. It was a long, hard week, very
close all the way through the regatta,
I don’t think there was ever more than
10 points separating ourselves and The
Wave. So to come here and win the
regatta showed a lot of character and
the result is really pleasing.”
Greymouth end of season hockey awards
Team NZ wins Extreme Sailing series
medallist Jonelle Price
pulled off a spectacular
win at the Blenheim
horse trials in England
today, winning the three
star 8-9 year old class.
Price won the class on
Faerie Dianimo, finishing
just .2 of a penalty point
ahead of last week’s
Burghley four star winner
Andrew Nicholson on
To complete another
strong day by the New
Zealand riders, Jock
Paget finished fourth
aboard Clifton Signature.
Price had been sixth
after the dressage
and second after the
before taking the lead on
the final cross country
Nicholson jumped from
11th to finish second.
Australian Paul Tapner
and Indian Mill finished
It was Price’s day,
coming after her ninth
placing at Burghley on
‘’I am absolutely
delighted,” Price said.
‘’She is a feisty little
“She hasn’t been the
most straightfor ward,
and won’t be her whole
It had taken Price a few
years to try and work the
mare out and harness the
attitude into a positive.
“ We are starting to see
glimpses of that now, and
we are certainly not at
the finished product yet.
She is as careful as a cat
(while jumping) and has
so much ability.”
There could be an omen
for Price too. The class
she won today can be
a precursor to bigger
Mark Todd (2010),
Britain’s world No 1
William Fox Pitt (2011)
and Nicholson (2012)
won this event and went
on to win Badminton,
Pau and Kentucky four
star titles respectively on
In the three star event,
Price’s husband Tim
was best of the New
seven on Ringwood
Sky Boy. Briton Francis
Whittington on Easy
Target won the title.
— New Zealand Herald
Price wins Blenheim
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