Home' Greymouth Star : September 19th 2014 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
PHONE 769 7900
Friday, September 19, 2014
Everyone knows the Johnathan Thurston
premiership ring story.
Well, they should.
In what has now gone down in NRL legend,
then-Bulldogs bench player Thurston handed
his 2004 grand final trinket to injured captain
Thurston admitted “it didn’t feel right ”
accepting it on the winner’s podium.
Adding to the tug-at-the-heartstrings
factor, hardened Bulldogs coach Steve Folkes
offered his ring to Thurston in the dressing
room upon hearing of his young playmaker’s
Ten years later Thurston, 31, hopes to again
enter sporting folklore. He is primed to lead
the North Queensland Cowboys to their first
premiership. And it seems, seal his Immortal
Yet not so long ago Thurston almost became
a cautionary tale.
The notion of Thurston leading a title-
winning North Queensland side was almost
as amusing as the dreadlocks the fresh-faced
playmaker sported when he first moved to
Townsville in 2005.
Former whipping boys the Cowboys had
only made the finals once in 2004 — nine
long years after their inception.
While Thurston took confident strides on
the field, relishing a guaranteed starting berth
at North Queensland, off the field there were
In 2008, he was charged with public
drunkenness after being arrested outside his
Townsville apartment semi-naked.
Two years later the Cowboys issued a club
apology after their captain was arrested on a
public nuisance charge in Brisbane. It was not
a good look — and Thurston knew it.
A quick glance around Townsville these days
shows just how far Thurston has come since.
He is on billboards. He is stopped on the
street by strangers. And that is just in the pre-
Ahead of North Queensland’s NRL semi-
final with Sydney Roosters on Friday night,
all eyes are again on Thurston.
Quite simply, he is their hero.
Retired test winger Brent Tate — who
arrived at the Cowboys in 2011 — summed
it up best.
“He is their hope up there,” he said.
“Everywhere he goes he brings joy to
people. He is respected and he respects the
community. I think he has really learned that
over the last few years and grown into a real
“He’s a wonderful man and he means a lot
to the people up there and I know they mean
a lot to him.”
It already has the makings of a feel good story
but Thurston will be looking to add another
chapter with a long-awaited premiership ring.
Yet ex-test international Matt Johns believes
Thurston will achieve so much more if North
Queensland triumph on grand final day.
“If he can guide this Cowboys team to the
title, he will be assured of Immortal status,” he
wrote in his News Corp column.
Tate disagreed. “In my eyes he doesn’t need
any more accolades to become an Immortal
— he is already one in waiting,” he said.
Queensland coach Mal Meninga backed
“I don’t think it (him winning another title)
should be part of the criteria at all ... when it
comes to how good a player he is,” he said.
“One of the (Immortal) criteria is longevity
and he has been at the pinnacle of the game
for such a long period of time and he’s still the
best player in the competition.”
There was a time when veteran Cowboys
team manager Peter Parr might have been
tempted to throttle Thurston. Especially when
tv cameras beamed the infamous 2010 images
of Thurston walking out of the Brisbane
These days, Parr sounds like he just wants
to give him a hug after witnessing Thurston’s
remarkable transformation first hand.
“My view on JT is that I would love him
to win one (title) because he deserves one,
because of what he has done for the club,”
Parr said. “It will be for others to judge but
I don’t think he needs to win a grand final to
become an Immortal.”
Immortal honours may or may not be
bestowed on Thurston. One thing is for sure,
Thurston will earn everything he achieves.
Especially a premiership ring. — AAP
all micro, mini & home theatre systems
30 on products $699* & over. Available in store & online
*From no deposit. Excludes all Apple Products and Gaming Consoles/Bundles.
Credit and lending criteria, $55 establishment fee and $55 annual fee apply.
Full High Definition 3D SMART LED
Model: TH-60AS700Z 129919 79
Selected stores only. Customer orders available. Price shown reflects discount
LG 50” Full High Definition LED
Model: 50LB5610 129528 31
Price shown reflects discount
LG 49” Ultra High Definition SMART LED
Model: 49UB820T 132324 65
Price shown reflects discount
Home Theatre with HD Audio
Model: HTP072 174775 15
Panasonic 32” High Definition LED
Model: TH-32A400Z 128336 11
Price shown reflects discount
Product, GE Creditline and Gem Visa offers begin Friday 19th September 2014 and end Tuesday 23rd September 2014 or while stocks last. Personal shoppers only, trade not supplied. ++Prices shown reflect discount. ##GE Creditline and Gem Visa 30 Months Interest Free on products $699 and over Terms & Conditions: From no deposit. *Excludes all Apple products, gaming consoles and bundles. Credit and lending criteria, $55 establishment fee and $55 annual fee apply.
Prevailing interest rate applies to any outstanding balance on the expiry of the interest free period. Credit offer is available online and instore and cannot be used in conjunction with any other Noel Leeming promotional offer. ^^Quickflix Free Offer Details: Offer eligible to new customers only. The offer is for a free 6 week trial of Quickflix with unlimited streaming of subscription content and 1 free new release credit. You will not be charged during your trial period unless you choose
to purchase additional new release titles. Your free trial expires 6 weeks after sign up, after which your paid membership begins for $12.99 a month. You can cancel your free trial online at any time. All use of the Quickflix service is subject to the full Quickflix Terms and Conditions which can be found at www.quickflix.co.nz . +Discount terms and conditions: excludes combo/package deals. ^Includes/Bonus/Free item available only with purchase of associated product at advertised
price. Fly Buys consist of 1 standard point for every $25 you spend at Noel Leeming. Fly Buys shown reflect single points. **Our Lowest Price Ever refers to the advertised price.†Price Promise Terms and conditions are available in store or at noelleeming.co .nz. Excludes all Noel Leeming Clearance Centres. For more information contact us on 0800 44 44 88 or visit www.noelleeming.co.nz .
shop the way you want
0800 44 44 88
76 stores nationwide
Delivered to your door
or pick up in store
of the New Zealand Herald
The inclusion of
Wells is the big
talking point of
today ’s Silver Ferns
team naming for next
month’s Constellation Cup series against
Queensland-based Wells, who only
came to the attention of the Silver Ferns
selectors last month after signing with
the Central Pulse for next season, is
eligible to represent New Zealand as her
father was born here. The haste at which
she has been included in the Ferns test
line-up indicates the dire lack of depth
in New Zealand’s shooting ranks. That
depth took a further hit this week with
star shooter Maria Tutaia ruled out for
the rest of the season with a foot injury.
Wells joins young Mystics defender
Temalisi Fakahokotau as the only
uncapped members of the side, while
shooter Bailey Mes and midcourter
Grace Rasmussen have been recalled
to the side, with selectors making four
changes to the Commonwealth Games
The two big casualties from the
Glasgow tournament were shooter Ellen
Halpenny, who had little opportunity to
impress after picking up an ankle injury
in an early pool match, and midcourter
Both players retained their place in
the New Zealand squad, with selectors
opting to name 19 players in wider
squad to ensure they have a big pool to
develop ahead of next year’s World Cup
With the country’s top netballers
facing off for only a select number of
spots in the squad, Silver Ferns coach
Waimarama Taumaunu says selectors
have been pleased with the calibre of
play out on court this week at trials.
“ We were expecting some tight
competition for places in the squad and
we certainly haven’t been disappointed,”
Taumaunu said. “ We have confidence in
the squad of 19 players selected and we’ ll
certainly be developing some new player
combinations as we continue building
towards the Netball World Cup in
August next year.”
The first test match of the season is at
ILT Stadium in Invercargill on October
2, with the Silver Ferns hosting the
Australian Diamonds in the first of four
test matches for the Constellation Cup.
The Silver Ferns team to play England
in late October will be named next
month. The Silver Ferns to contest the
Constellation Cup against the Australian
Diamonds is.— Casey Kopua (c), Laura
Langman (vc), Jodi Brown, Leana de
Bruin, Temalisi Fakahokotau, Katrina
Grant, Joline Henry, Liana L eota,
Cathrine Latu, Bailey Mes, Grace
Rasmussen and Ameliaranne Wells.
Prince Harry is to become the royal
face of England Rugby — the organising
committee delivering Rugby World Cup
2015 — after being appointed honorary
Prince Harry, already vice-patron of
the Rugby Football Union (RF U), will
welcome the 20 qualifying nations to the
tournament, which takes place next year.
England Rugby 2015 chief executive
Debbie Jevans said the prince, a keen
rugby fan, was the ultimate choice for
RF U chief executive Ian Ritchie said
hosting the tournament with Prince
Harry would be great promotion for
rugby in England.
“ I cannot think of anyone more
appropriate than Prince Harry, who
loves his rugby, to be honorary president
of England Rugby 2015 and help us
achieve that objective.”
Planning for the tournament will
continue over the next year. Tickets
are on sale using a ballot system until
September 29. — APNZ
opposition, edging nail-biters or
grinding out patchy victories —
Taranaki just keep on winning.
Last night’s triumph over Northland
belonged squarely in the last category,
a 31-20 slog that burst to life only as
the players tired in the final quarter.
A fifth straight win moved Taranaki
above Canterbury — for one night,
at least — to first place in the ITM
Cup Premiership, while Northland
remain locked with Manawatu atop
Despite those high-flying spots on
the ladder, the only true quality on
display at Toll Stadium was found in
a couple of determined defences and a
dominant Taranaki scrum.
The visitors took that advantage in
the set piece and combined it with a
patient attack to finish with a flourish
after Northland pegged the opposition
While the score remained close for
much of the match, Northland rarely
looked like snatching an upset win,
nor did Taranaki appear in danger of
squandering the result.
Winning has become a habit for
Taranaki as the season has progressed.
After taking just a draw from their
opening two fixtures, three big wins
were followed by last week’s one-point
victory over Tasman, keeping pace
with Canterbury at the business end
of the table.
Another four points to their name
sees Taranaki firmly in contention
for a home semi-final with three
rounds remaining in the regular
season, though this success will hardly
be included in any end-of-season
That was never relevant as far as
Taranaki were concerned. With Seta
Tamanivalu, Marty McKenzie, Blade
Thompson and Waisake Naholo each
taking turns to cross in the corner,
Taranaki found the reward their
probing attack deser ved and can now
focus firmly on the playoff push.
Northland 20 (Gilmore, Macilai
tries; Hawkins 2 cons, 2 pens),
Taranaki 31 (Tamanivalu, McKenzie,
Thompson, Naholo tries; McKenzie 2
pens, con Rei pen). HT: 7-11 .
Taranaki takes top spot in premiership
Prince Harry face of England rugby
the charm offensive
injury-hit Manly would
be as dangerous as ever in
tomorrow night’s sudden-
death NRL semi-final at
With rival coaches
and long-time friends
Des Hasler and Geoff
Toovey engaged in pre-
match mind games and
predictably declaring the
Bulldogs fullback Sam
Perrett was happy to play
Perrett said the Sea
Eagles would relish being
in a backs-to-the-wall
position without a raft of
key for wards, including
suspended NSW State
of Origin star Anthony
Watmough, who on
Tuesday accepted a
one-match ban for a
“ He’s obviously one of
their experienced and very
talented players, so that ’s a
bonus for us and a downer
for them,” Perrett said.
“But we’re never going to
underestimate them with
the depth they have with
their playing roster. So
we’ve got to prepare like
it ’s the best side they ’ve
got. It’s do or die — and
Manly, we’ve had some
pretty epic battles over
the last couple of years
and I’m not expecting
anything different. ”
Twice a losing grand
finalist, Perrett is
desperate to finally go
all the way in 2014 and
warned his Bulldogs
team-mates to brace for
an early onslaught from
the Sea Eagles.
“ When everyone’s
against you, you can’t help
but get fired up and just
do your best,” he said.
“ Just from my own
experience with our team
in the past, when people
start writing you off, you
kind of gather closer
together and get that
strength from within each
other. That ’s what I’m
expecting from them.”
Manly winger Peta
Hika said the Sea Eagles
were “real down” after last
week’s hammering at the
hands of South Sydney
and admitted losing
Watmough to injury had
not exactly lifted morale.
He challenged the Sea
Eagles for wards to rise to
the finals occasion against
a Canterbury pack that
“The Bulldogs, coming
off a win, will be tough
for our middles,” Hiku
said. — AP
Thurston primed to enter folklore
Bulldogs wary of
wounded Sea Eagles
Links Archive September 18th 2014 September 20th 2014 Navigation Previous Page