Home' Greymouth Star : October 7th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
Tuesday, October 7, 2014 - 9
The Springboks have suddenly
found an inner, creative self that has
come without compromising their
traditional strengths. It is increasingly
hard to ignore the elephant in the
room — that the All Blacks and
Springboks are on a crash course to
meet in next year’s World Cup semi-
Even 12 months out, it feels as if
the Cup will hinge on that one game.
Neither of these two sides will go
to England with the faintest hint
of complacency, but they can not
pretend they haven’t studied the draw
and matched it against their ambition
and seen they are destined to meet at
Twickenham on October 24.
That thought was nearly impossible
to keep at bay during another epic
encounter between South Africa and
New Zealand at Ellis Park.
It was hard to believe that the next
World Cup winner was not going to
be one of the two.
The Springboks have suddenly
found an inner, creative self that has
come without compromising their
traditional strengths of set-piece
excellence and physical dominance at
the collision point.
Their skill levels have shot up and
their confidence to back themselves
to play high tempo, expansive rugby
has blossomed since Handrie Pollard
came into the No 10 jersey.
They are the first team to beat the
All Blacks in nearly two years and it
is apparent they have ample room for
growth over the next year.
acknowledge is how well the All
Blacks did to put their hand into the
fire and just about pull the test out of
Just as no side other than South
Africa could have put them under
such sustained pressure in the first 40
minutes, no other team but the All
Blacks could have sur vived it.
Ellis Park was a cauldron of rabid
Bok intensity in that first half and
it took huge resilience for the All
Blacks to reach the break still in
touch at 21-13 .
It took even more courage, mental
fortitude and extreme composure to
turn the game on its head and lead by
a point with seven minutes left.
That the game was genuinely in
the balance until the 80th minute
confirmed there is nothing between
these two teams. It is flip of the coin
stuff to separate them.
The other 79 minutes, however,
suggested there might be a significant
gap back to everyone else.
England have aspirations to play
like these two. They would not yet be
able to survive the pace and intensity.
Ireland and Wales fancy they can be
Celtic tigers with bite: they would be
swallowed whole by the All Blacks
and Springboks in a World Cup
France, even allowing for their
propensity to reinvent themselves at
World Cups, would be blown away.
As for Australia, they would be like
the proverbial egg in the microwave
if they encountered rugby of the sort
produced in Johannesburg.
“I think probably they (tests against
South Africa) are the two big games
of the year,” All Black coach Steve
Hansen said. “ But there are plenty
of games that are losable if we
don’t front up and do the preparation.
“ While it might seem like there is a
gap — it’s really not that big.
“England are progressing pretty
well and it will be interesting to see
how they go in the Six Nations.
“I thought Australia were going
okay but they seem to be shooting
themselves in the foot a wee bit.
“For 70 minutes against the Boks (in
Cape Town) ... that was a tremendous
game until they folded. If they sort
that out they become dangerous
again and whenever we play them
they are dangerous. There is not a lot
of love between the two sides.”
As always there is a mountain of
rugby to be played between now and
the World Cup, but it is unlikely there
will be a seismic shift. The elephant in
the room is only going to get bigger.
— New Zealand Herald
Bok-All Black ascendancy the Cup elephant in the room
Netball New Zealand admits it has
dropped the ball by failing to address
the dwindling player depth at the
elite level soon enough, contributing
to the competitive gulf that has
opened up between the Silver Ferns
and Australia over the past 12
While New Zealand ’s depth crisis
has been brought to head over
the past couple of months, with
the Diamonds underlining their
dominance with an 18-goal win in
the Commonwealth Games final and
another big win over the Ferns in last
week’s Constellation Cup opener,
Netball NZ had already undertaken
a review of its player development
pathways this year.
The findings were not pretty.
“ I think we have missed a beat in
terms of developing our system for
sustained development of players and
coaches,” Netball NZ chief executive
Hilary Poole said.
“ We need to have a much clearer
and stronger view on positional
succession with having an integrated
high performance system between
Netball NZ and the zones.”
After the review, which was steered
by a committee that included
High Performance Sport’s talent
development expert Adrian Blincoe,
Silver Ferns coach Waimarama
Taumaunu and former player Tania
Dalton, the national body has, or is
preparing to, put in place a range of
new measures aimed at boosting the
country’s depth, including:
An overhaul of the national
development squad system
Assisting the zones in improving
their development pathways for
players in their region, and
Establishing a new domestic
league to underpin the ANZ
Championship by 2016.
But Poole warns it will take some
time to see the impact of the new
initiatives and close the gap on
Australia. In other words, there will
be more pain to endure yet. Asked
what that meant for the Silver Ferns’
chances at next year’s World Cup,
Poole’s answer was less than hopeful.
“They will work as hard as they can,
and give as much as they can.”
Concerns about player depth have
been raised for some time now, with
the trans-Tasman league’s advent
in 2008 revealing a significant gap
between the quality of Australia’s
second tier players and New
Zealand’s. But it was thought the
Kiwis just needed time to adjust to
the semi-professional environment.
Besides, the Silver Ferns were still
performing strongly at international
level and were every bit the match
for the Diamonds. They even had
big wins of their own over Australia,
demolishing them by 16 goals in
their final meeting of 2009 and 19
goals in a Wellington match in 2010.
But it has become clear that rather
than improving New Zealand’s
depth, the ANZ Championship has
instead created positional shortages.
In addition, NZ netball did not have
the systems in place underneath for
sustained player development.
“The feedback we had from the
review was it was awesome that we
won the 2003 World Cup and the
golds in the Melbourne and Delhi
Commonwealth Games. But when
you win it makes you feel good
about yourself and it can sometimes
disguise that you’ve actually got an
underlying issue,” Poole said.
That has come to a head in the past
12 months as the Ferns slipped off
the pace of Australia, and as injuries
and player unavailability in the
midcourt, and this year the shooting
end, brutally exposed New Zealand’s
If you look at the Ferns’ present test
side, four players — Laura Langman,
Leana de Bruin, Casey Kopua and
Joline Henry — have played more
than 80 tests, whereas the most
capped Australian player, midcourter
Kim Green, has played just 61. At the
same time, NZ have four players who
have played fewer than 10 tests —
two of those uncapped.
This suggests two things. Once a
player has established herself in the
Ferns line-up, not a lot of selection
pressure is coming from underneath.
And when holes are left by retirement
or injury, NZ are forced to call on
largely untried players to fill the void.
Options were so limited in the
shooting end this year that Australian-
born shooter Ameliaranne Wells,
with just a handful of appearances at
ANZ Championship level with the
Queensland Firebirds, was rushed
straight into the Ferns as soon as her
NZ eligibility was discovered.
It was a controversial move, but as
Waimarama Taumaunu explained
at the time, with imports taking up
shooting spots at three of the five
New Zealand franchises there was
little other option available.
Poole has made it clear changing
the import rules in the ANZ
Championship is not an option.
What Netball NZ need to do is
improve development pathways
The first step has been to broaden
the national high performance
programme by creating a development
squad with its own coach and more
opportunities for competition.
Netball NZ will organise more
fixtures for an NZA team — the first
of which will be against the touring
English side next month.
But Poole said it was not enough
to have only one high performance
programme operating in the country
— it needs six. Netball NZ is working
with each of the five zones to establish
clear player development pathways to
help the athletes make the transition
to the ANZ Championship.
“ We see that the zones have got
to lead player development and put
those pathways in place,” Poole said.
“Netball NZ, to be frank, need
to provide more leadership and
direction to the content of the player
development plans to the extent of
what we expect players to be capable
of doing at each stage.”
The final piece of the puzzle
will be the establishment of a
new domestic league in 2016.
— New Zealand Herald
New Zealand Netball prepares plan to lift its game
Emirates Team New Zealand have
retained third place in the Extreme
Sailing Series despite finishing middle
of the field at the latest event in Nice,
Alinghi will go into the final event of
the series in Sydney with an eight-point
leading margin over second-placed
team The Wave, after the Swiss team
were victorious once again.
Only four days of racing remain
this year with five teams — Alinghi,
The Wave, Muscat, Emirates Team
New Zealand, Realteam and J P
Morgan BAR — capable of a top-three
The breeze was light at the start of
the final day in Nice but a threatening
thunderstorm caused the breeze to
build big shifts across the course. The
boats were flying hulls for the last
couple of races.
Emirates Team New Zealand finished
the Nice event in fifth place out of the
11 boats, enough to hold third spot in
“ Today we felt like we sailing well
enough to keep our place on the
podium. We let a few things slip away
from us in the last race — we couldn’t
quite put it together,” Emirates Team
New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling
said. — APNZ
New Zealand third in Nice
Jeremy Clarkson and the crew
of Top Gear were forced to crawl
underneath their hotel beds for safety
after the residence they were staying
in was surrounded by an angry mob in
The cast of the controversial BBC show
are now back in the United Kingdom
following a swift exit from the country.
“There is no question in my mind that
we had walked into a trap,” Clarkson told
the Sunday Times.
“ Make no mistake lives were at risk.
Bonnets were banged, abuse was hurled.
The police arrived and immediately
“ Richard Hammond, James May and I
bravely hid under the bed in a researcher’s
room as protesters went through the
hotel looking for us. The car park was
filling up. This was starting to get ugly.”
The mob’s outrage had apparently
been sparked by the number plate of the
Porsche Clarkson had been given to drive
in the country, which read H982 FKL.
It is thought the locals assumed the
lettering to be a sly reference to the 1982
war between Argentina and the UK over
However, Clarkson tweeted that
the entire incident had been down to
“This was not a jolly jape that went
awry,” he wrote. “For once, we did
nothing wrong. We had planned a good
ending to the show. But thanks to the
government ’s foolishness, it’s now even
“They threw us out for political capital.
Thousands chased crew to border.
Someone could have been killed.
“My profound thanks to all the
people who helped. And to the sensible
Argentinians who have apologised.”
The show ’s producers have since
reiterated their claims that the number
plate was not a deliberate jibe.
They confirmed, however, that it did
spark a number of demonstrations,
including one from supposed war
veterans who protested outside the hotel
the Top Gear crew had been staying in.
—New Zealand Herald
The parents of Formula One driver
Jules Bianchi have arrived at his bedside
in Japan where he is in a critical but
stable condition after one of the sport’s
worst crashes in nearly two decades.
Philippe and Christine Bianchi
entered the hospital today without
speaking to journalists, as a row brewed
in the rarefied world of F1 over why
race organisers had pressed ahead with
their planned start time when such
heavy rain was expected.
The young French driver careened
out of control on a rain-sodden circuit
at Suzuka yesterday, smashing into a
recovery vehicle near the end of the
Japanese Grand Prix.
Formula One’s governing body, the
International Automobile Federation
(FIA), said the 25-year-old Marussia
driver had suffered a “severe head
injury” and was “critical but stable”.
FIA press officer Matteo Bonciani,
who is close to Bianchi, said “it should
be understood that it is very, very
serious”, talking to journalists at the
hospital near the Suzuka circuit.
Bianchi’s parents will meet his
medical team today, Bonciani added.
An AFP reporter at the scene said
Marussia team principal John Booth
and team general manager Graeme
Lowdon had both been at the facility
during the day.
Both men appeared to have slept little
and deflected questions on the driver’s
In a statement, the team thanked
fans for the “huge outpouring of
support and affection for Jules and the
They said information about the
driver’s condition would only be
released with the blessing of his family.
“ Together with Jules’ care, they
will remain our highest priority.
Therefore, we would ask for patience
and understanding with regard to
further medical updates, which will be
communicated in conjunction with the
Mie General Medical in Yokkaichi,
where Jules is being treated, when they
feel it is appropriate.
“Representatives of the Marussia F1
Team and Scuderia Ferrari will remain
at the hospital to support Jules and the
Bianchi family. ”
An unconscious Bianchi had to be
removed from the wreckage of his car
after the horror smash, which happened
as he ploughed into a recovery vehicle
lifting Adrian Sutil’s prone Sauber
away from danger after the German
had skidded into a wall on lap 42.
PICTURE: Getty Images
Jules Bianchi receives urgent medical treatment after the crash.
Bianchi’s parents bedside Milan
Spanish cycling stars Alberto Contador
and Alejandro Valverde have both
withdrawn from the last World Tour
event of the season, the Tour of Beijing.
Contador, who gained rich consolation
for his early exit from this year’s Tour de
France by winning the Tour of Spain,
fell on the final corner of the Tour of
Lombardy and said after training he
would not be able to compete in the
Chinese race that takes place from
Contador will undergo further scans
on his knee. Valverde did not give a
reason for his withdrawal. — AAP
Stars withdraw from tour
tested their skills at Fat
Max’s gym recently in a
that attracted a larger
than expected field.
Four women took part,
joined by six men who all
tested their skills in the
One organiser, Cocky
Walton, said today that
he was impressed with
the performances by all
the novice lifters.
in taking powerlifting
further can attend the
Canterbury Sports and
Performance centre for
the Canterbury Raw Cip,
a three lift competition,
Walton said that the
would get under way
again next year and
anyone keen should
get in touch with
Sam Coleman or
any other members
of the Greymoouth
Results from the novice
84kg open: Ashlee
Rees, 60kg (squat), 35kg
(bench), 90kg (deadlift),
185kg (total). 84kg plus
open: Emily Ide, 80kg,
47kg, 100kg, 227.5kg
(total). 72kg sub junior:
Phoebe Roberts, 95kg,
55kg, 120kg, 270kg
(total). 72kg open: Stacey
Gibson, 100kg, 62.5kg,
110kg, 272.5kg (total).
105kg M1: Glenn
Balloch, 90kg, 50kg,
160kg, 300kg (total).
83kg sub junior: Moss
Penty, 100kg, 92,5kg,
160kg, 352.5kg (total).
83kg open: Kenny
Hawes: 130kg, 80kg,
155kg, 365kg (total).
93kg open: Tyle
Waghorn: 175kg, 125kg,
210kg, 510kg (total). 120
plouskg open: Brendon
117.5kg, 240kg, 552.5kg
(total). 120kg open:
Mike Gibson, 210kg,
180kg, 270kg, 669kg
test their skills Par is
Former Wallaby star Matt Giteau has been
named the player of the year in French rugby
for the 2013/14 Top 14 season.
And Australia’s 2003 World Cup tormentor
Jonny Wilkinson was yesterday given a special
award for his stellar career, after he finished
it last season with a pivotal role in the Top
14 and European Cup double achieved by
Giteau, who played centre for Toulon while
Wilkinson was at fly-half, scored nine tries
and contributed a total of 84 points during
“I am very happy, last year was extraordinary
and I am very proud,” Giteau said.
“It is perfect, there is nothing I would have
Wilkinson, 35, was humble after he stepped
up to accept the award.
“It is difficult to know how I feel, my
emotions are flowing through me,” he said in
“I was paid to do something I adore, in the
company of incredible players and coaches.
“I was supported by people throughout,
trophies .... I am beginning to realise how
lucky I was.”
Toulon’s coaching staff didn’t miss out
either as head coach Bernard Laporte and
his assistants Pierre Mignoni and Jacques
Delmas won the coaches award.
“I would like to congratulate above all the
players,” said Laporte, who was coach of the
France team that Wilkinson and England
beat in the 2003 World Cup semi-finals en
route to the trophy.
“ When I see what this team achieved last
season I cannot help but be blown away,
“I will never be able to thank them enough.”
24-year-old eight times capped fullback
Brice Dulin won best French player on the
international stage, one where few France
players have shone in another difficult year
for the national side under Philippe Saint-
Andre. — AAP
Giteau French player of the year
All Blacks fans are snapping up package
deals to next year’s Rugby World Cup — with
some paying nearly $40,000 for the privilege.
All Blacks Tours general manager David
Caldwell said a “phenomenal” number of
New Zealanders had bought package deals to
the event next year since they went on sale
on March 1. The most popular package is
an 11-night deal that takes in all the games
from the semi-finals with prices starting at
He said at least 50 people had booked a
47-night tour — that costs up to $37,945 —
in which fans can see every All Blacks game
and all of the play-off and finals matches.
“People obviously want to see the business
end of the tournament with the expectation
that our team will be there, so there’s lots of
interest around the quarters, semis and finals.”
Mr Caldwell said with the ballot for tickets
to RWC matches closing today there was
enormous global interest in the event. All
Blacks Tours was about to request another
allocation of 10,000 tickets as their first
allotment had nearly sold out through their
The BBC reported that 20 of the 48 games
were oversubscribed across all four categories
leading to a ballot for tickets for those
games at all prices.
Flight Centre New Zealand’s general
manager of product, Simon McKearney, said
people planning to travel to the RWC needed
to book their flights now because prices could
go up as the availability of flights decreases.
House of Travel’s Brent Thomas said it had
also fielded “significant interest ” from rugby
fans wanting to book their flights, tickets
and accommodation themselves — but many
others were taking the package deals.
— New Zealand Herald
Huge interest in 2015 Rugby World Cup
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