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Lock Brodie Retallick, coach Steve Hansen
and their All Blacks team were the big winners
last night at New Zealand’s glitzy rugby awards
Retallick followed his recognition as world
rugby’s player of the year by being named the
Kelvin R Tremain player of the year at the
function at a Viaduct Events Centre complete
with red carpet.
Hansen was named coach of the year for the
third consecutive time and the All Blacks — who
have lost only twice during his reign — were
honoured as team of the year.
“It was a special year again,” Hansen said.
“There is a lot of pressure that comes from
being an All Black, whether you are part of the
management or a player. It can be daunting and
some people can’t cope with it, but if you make
an environment in which people can express
themselves then you’re halfway there.”
For Retallick, it is the culmination of a year in
which he played crucial parts for the Chiefs and
All Blacks, the rugged tight for ward developing
his hard-charging game into one with finesse.
The 23-year-old and locking partner Sam
Whitelock must be considered the No 1 and No
2-ranked locks in the world.
Retallick, who has played 35 tests, beat All
Black skipper Richie McCaw and halfback
Aaron Smith for the player of the year title.
McCaw, who delighted fans when he arrived
with his hockey player girlfriend Gemma Flynn,
reflected on his team’s year. “ We got ourselves
out of some tight spots. We perhaps didn’t play
perfect rugby all the way through but there was
some good patches and we won games that
perhaps we didn’t deserve to,” he said.
Before the awards kicked off, the 33-year-old
posed with Flynn, 24, on the red carpet and
signed autographs for children.
Malakai Fekitoa’s solo try for the Highlanders
against the Sharks in D urban, which saw him
beat half of the defence on a run that started on
the halfway line, was the most popular try picked
by supporters. “It’s been a great year for me,” he
said. Asked about his All Blacks debut, he said: “I
was scared to make a mistake.”
Buller’s James Lash was named the Pink Batts
Heartland Championship player of the year.
Blues and All Blacks loose forward Jerome
Kaino was named Super Rugby player of the year,
a major achievement following his return from
two years in Japan. Aaron Smith was named the
Tom French Memorial Maori player of the year.
For the All Blacks, scooping the team of
the year award last night marked their fourth
successive year with the title.
However, the team, who retained their No 1
world ranking for the fifth consecutive year, have
had a mixed bag of results in the past 12 months.
Two matches did not go their way — the 12-12
draw with the Wallabies and the 27-25 defeat to
the Springboks in Johannesburg — but the men
in black ended the year on a bright note with the
34-16 victory over Wales in Cardiff.
Under Hansen, the All Blacks equalled the
record of 17 consecutive victories by a major
nation, secured a clean sweep in the June tests
against England, retained the Bledisloe Cup for
the 12th year in a row, won a third successive
Rugby Championship title and beat USA,
England, Scotland and Wales in last month’s
Other award winners were.— N Z Rugby age
grade player of the year: Damian McKenzie
(Waikato); Charles Monro rugby volunteer of
the year: Dean File (Horowhenua Kapiti); NZ
Rugby referee of the year: Glen Jackson; NZ
Rugby women’s sevens player of the year: Sarah
Goss (Manawatu); Richard Crawshaw Memorial
sevens player of the year: D J Forbes (Counties
Manukau); ITM Cup player of the year: Seta
Tamanivalu (Taranaki); NZ Rugby women’s
player of the year: Rawinia Everitt (Auckland);
Steinlager Salver for an outstanding contribution
to NZ Rugby: Dick Littlejohn (Bay of Plenty).
Friday, December 12, 2014
A third teenage Greymouth
basketballer has gained selection
in a New Zealand development
Kate Wilkins, 14, found out
on Wednesday night that she
was heading to Australia in the
under-16 girls development
team, after being nominated by
Canterbury advanced basketball
coach Paul Neilson.
Neilson was in Greymouth earlier
this week training basketballers
and asked if Wilkins was interested
in being nominated for the team
as there were a number of places
still available. She agreed and was
selected. Wilkins joins Chester
Mama (under-16) and Joe Lunn
(under-17) in the January tour,
which is a competition-based
programme designed to accelerate
the development of players and
provide competitive experiences
at the Australian Country Junior
Basketball Cup in Albury, New
South Wales, from January 12-17.
Wilkins has been playing
basketball since she was six-years-
old and this season played for the
Greymouth High School junior
team Tawa, and also represented
West Coast in the under-15 team.
Her mother Michele said
they were all very excited at the
opportunity which had been made
available to Kate.
“ It will be a great opportunity
to get exposure in some top class
Greymouth teen makes
Greymouth teen makes
NZ development team
NZ development team
PICTURE: Viv Logie
Young Greymouth basketballer Kate Wilkins, who has won a spot in
the New Zealand development under-16 team, shows off her ball skills
at home this morning.
Retallick locks up top honour
Lydia Ko is in line for another good
year at the Halberg Awards but she will
face tough competition based on the
initial batch of nominations.
Eighty athletes, coaches and teams
have received nominations across six
different categories, with each field
set to be narrowed down to a group of
finalists before the February awards.
Ko, unsurprisingly, earned nomin-
ation for the sportswoman of the year
category, a prize she won last year
before going on to take out the supreme
award. The teenage golfer will face
competition from the likes of Valerie
Adams, Lauren Boyle, Lisa Carrington
and Emma Twigg.
The sportsman of the year trophy will
also be hotly contested, with Brendon
McCullum, Brodie Retallick, Richie
McCaw and Shaun Johnson standing
out in the team sports. That quartet are
joined by Steven Adams, Tom Walsh,
Mahe Drysdale and seven cyclists in
the 19-strong field.
The team of the year and coach of the
year categories have received sixteen
Teams put through include the All
Blacks, Black Caps, Kiwis, six rowing
crews, two yachting crews and two
Defending champion Steve Hansen
is again up for the coach award, along
with a list which features Mike Hesson,
Stephen Kearney and five-time winner
Ten athletes were nominated for
the disabled sportsperson of the year,
including three time winner Sophie
Pascoe, while the emerging talent
category features seven promising Kiwi
A voting academy of 28 former
representatives will now vote to
determine the finalists, which are
announced on January 3, before the
annual awards night takes place on
Sportsman of the year: Anton
Cooper (mountainbiking), Brendon
McCullum (cricket), Brodie Retallick
(rugby), David Nyika (boxing), Jack
Bauer (cycling), James McDonald
(thoroughbred racing), Jason Wynyard
(chopping), John Holdzkom (baseball),
Mahe Drysdale (rowing), Marc Ryan
(cycling), Richie McCaw (rugby), Sam
Webster (cycling), Shane Archbold
(cycling), Shaun Johnson (league),
Simon Van Velthooven (cycling),
Steven Adams (basketball), Steven
Kent (surf lifesaving), Tom Scully
(cycling), Tomas Walsh (athletics).
Sportswoman of the year: Emma
Twigg (rowing), Jo Edwards (bowls),
Lauren Boyle (swimming), Linda
Villumsen (cycling), Lisa Carrington
(canoeing), Lydia Ko (golf ), Melissa
Timperley (taekwon-do), Sally
Johnston (shooting), Samantha Lee
(surf lifesaving), Suzie Bates (cricket),
Teneale Hatton (canoeing), Valerie
Team of the year: All Blacks (rugby),
Black Caps (cricket), Kiwis (league),
Macrobertson Shield team (croquet),
Men’s lightweight four (rowing),
Men’s pair Hamish Bond, Eric
Murray (rowing), Men’s Team Pursuit
(cycling), Men’s Team Sprint (cycling),
NZ Women’s 470 Team Jo Aleh,
Polly Powrie (yachting), NZ Men’s
49er Class Team Peter Burling, Blair
Tuke (yachting), Surf Life Saving NZ
Team (surf lifesaving), Team Seagate
(adventure racing), Women’s Double
Scull Zoe Stevenson, Fiona Bourke
(rowing), Women’s Four (rowing),
Women’s Lightweight Double Julia
Edward, Sophie Mackenzie (rowing),
Women’s Pair Rebecca Scown, L ouise
Trappitt (rowing). — N ZME
Lydia Ko leads Halberg nominations
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