Home' Greymouth Star : December 24th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
12 - Wednesday, December 24, 2014
of the New Zealand Herald
Wicketkeeper B J Watling
can remember when the New
Zealand team was very different
to the confident, winning group
who assembled in Christchurch
yesterday for a bumper home
The Northern Districts’ gloveman
is now a 27-test veteran, having
made his debut in Napier five years
ago against Pakistan.
His time in the team has had
peaks and troughs, but right now
New Zealand are in the pink of
It is 17 months since New
Zealand lost a test series, in
Since then they have drawn away
to Bangladesh, beaten the West
Indies and India at home, trumped
the West Indians again in the
Caribbean, and gained a hugely
meritorious draw with Pakistan in
the United Arab Emirates.
That is six wins, five draws and
only two defeats, to the West
Indies away and Pakistan a few
weeks ago in Dubai.
“I guess it comes with winning
games and series, that confidence
grows,” Watling said yesterday.
“Everyone knows their role now.
Even the likes of Mark Craig,
who’s played only six games. He
knows exactly what is expected of
Even though this series is to be
played in conditions distinctly
different from those experienced
in the UAE, Watling says there
is momentum and that will help
spur New Zealand on. This is a
group of players who are enjoying
themselves right now.
“ We’ ll have to play a slightly
different brand of cricket but
I’m pretty sure the boys will be
confident going into the game,” he
The selectors, Mike Hesson and
Bruce Edgar, and captain Brendon
McCullum face only two selection
choices from the 13 who have
assembled in Christchurch.
Dean Brownlie or Jimmy
Neesham will take the No 6
batting spot; Neesham probably
has the inside running.
Also undecided is whether Neil
Wagner or Doug Bracewell gets
the third seamer’s role in support
of Watling’s provincial mates, Tim
Southee and Trent Boult.
Both were in the UAE without
getting a run in conditions which
necessitated the use of two
spinners — and three in the final
match in Sharjah — and only two
Wagner is the incumbent, kind
of, having done the job in the
Caribbean. Bracewell has been
in assertive, demanding form for
Central Districts in the Plunket
Shield and leads the standings
with 23 wickets.
Watling senses a big occasion
coming up — Hagley Oval is
making its debut as a test venue
and day one was confirmed last
night to be a sellout.
“ Everyone’s pretty excited about
the game. Hopefully we get a bit of
bounce and carry so we can really
test the Sri Lankan team.”
The Sri Lankans admit their
main focus on the tour is the seven
ODIs, which will follow the two
They play the opening World
Cup fixture, also in Christchurch,
against New Zealand on February
“ We have to be mentally and
physically fit for the most-
important game on February 14,”
coach Mar van Atapattu said.
Skipper Angelo Mathews said he
expected a tough test, particularly
since Mahela Jayawardene’s
retirement from the long form
of the game to concentrate on a
World Cup swansong.
“ We’re playing without Mahela
for the first time in about 18 years
and that ’s going to be a challenge
for us,” allrounder Mathews said.
“ But there’s pressure on all of
us any way.Thisisgoing to be a
challenging series. They ’ve (New
Zealand) been playing really good
cricket in the recent past. ”
Sri Lanka will be without key left
arm spinner Rangana Herath for
the opening test.
Only Kumar Sangakkara and
Prasanna Jayawardene have
experienced New Zealand’s
seam-friendly wickets before in
“Getting used to the conditions
will be key for us,” Mathews said.
“ We’ve been playing a lot of
cricket in the sub-continent over
the last six months or so, so we
really need to make the most of
our practice sessions.”
B J Watling
look to roll on
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Lost and Found
KELSEY, FAITH, TENEAL, TASH, JENNA
AND SANDRA-LEE WISH YOU
A MERRY CHRISTMAS
Thank you to our clients for your support.
We look forward to seeing new and
existing clients in the New Year.
We will be welcoming Tash Murphy to
the team on February 3, 2015.
Tuesday and Friday, give us a call to
book an appointment.
PHONE 768 0060
180 Tainui Street, Greymouth
Phone: 03 768 9998
Starts: 26 January 2015
Entry Requirements: Aged 16-19 and with-
a Level 2 qualification and fit & well enough
to undertake practical on-farm work.
Qualifications on offer include:
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This is a very practical ‘hands-on’ course with
very good qualification & job prospects.
(75% of 2014 graduates commenced em-
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AgStart NO FEES
Kevin wishes to advise that this week
is the last week that EzIT will be
trading and would like to thank all of
our clients over the past many years
for your support.
Those clients with items still covered by a
warranty will be contacted in the coming
weeks with details on how these will be
serviced through to their expiry.
The Greymouth office is now closed and
the Moana office will be closed on the
31st December with all phones being
disconnected at or near that date.
EzIT wishes all clients a good
Christmas and safe New Year
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PHONE (03) 768 6949
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COMMUNICATION AND TECHNOLOGY
A position is available for an enthusiastic
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Some weekend work may be required.
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A service of Holy Commu-
nion at St Stehphen's
Anglican Church, Reefton
will be held at 10am.
Brian O’Driscoll, the former
Ireland and British and Irish Lions
midfielder, believes the All Blacks
will win next year’s World Cup
because of their much higher skill
factor relative to other nations.
He also pointed to the fact the
team does not seem obsessed
with the gym culture threatening
to over whelm the game in the
As concern in the United
Kingdom mounts about players
becoming ever bigger — with
becoming the norm — O’Driscoll,
the most capped test player of all
time with 141, has added to the
debate by saying pushing weights
rather than focusing on improving
skills can be counter-productive.
He told the Daily Mail: “I never
loved doing weights the way these
young guys do. Their technique is
phenomenal but it ’s as if they ’re
winning if they have great scores
in the gym. They’re not . . . they’re
“I ’m not privy to the English set-
up but at the academies in Ireland
there is a huge focus on the weights
room, as opposed to whether they
can throw a 10m pass on the run.
They should be rugby players
becoming athletes, not athletes
becoming rugby players. ”
O’Driscoll, 35, who retired from
international rugby this year and
will attend next year’s World Cup
as a media pundit, believes the All
Blacks will deser ve to be favourites.
He said: “I don’t think the gym
monkey thing applies to them as
much as it does over here. They have
farmer strength. The Polynesian
guys are pretty strong without
going to the gym.
“In New Zealand, they focus way
more from an early age on skills.
They do everything with a ball.
They do all their fitness work with a
ball and that ’s why they have better
skill levels. They have the balance;
they have that physicality but they
are able to mix their game up.”
O’Driscoll was described as a
“spindly little kid” when he began
his international career and still has
no love for the gym.
“ In more recent years I got into
it because it was a necessary evil.
You have to adapt. You have to
get a passion for it, but I don’t just
know if that balance is there at the
The Daily Mail stated that last
season’s England under-18 side
were, man for man, heavier than
the senior England side who
reached the 1991 World Cup final.
The potential for youngsters to
suffer worse injuries, particularly to
the head, as a result of the greater
weight and power is obvious.
“There have always been head
injuries in the game,” O’Driscoll,
who suffered several concussions
during his career, said.
bigger, but we are more aware of
concussion these days. It ’s not a
cool thing to play on with a head
knock any more. It is not manly, it
is not heroic; it is just stupid.”
Former Waikato coach
Greg Smith has been
appointed head coach
of the New Zealand
women’s rugby team
through to the next
women’s World Cup in
Smith, a former hooker
who played 46 times
for Fiji, replaces Brian
Evans, who has coached
the Black Ferns since
Smith has been a
resource coach for the
Black Ferns for the past
two years, and recently
was an assistant coach
to Manu Samoa. He
coached in Japan for five
years, and held a number
of provincial coaching
roles including time
as a specialist resource
coach for the Chiefs, a
franchise for which he
played 48 times.
“This is an exciting
challenge — there’s some
work to be done to get
us back to being the best
in the world, but I’m
really looking forward to
champion Black Ferns
finished a disappointing
fifth at last year’s World
Cup in France.
“There are some very
talented athletes out
there — I have been
keeping an eye on
competitions this year,
and I know that as well
as the experience we
have in abundance, there
is plenty of undiscovered
talent, and that ’s always
exciting.” — NZME
Irish legend tips All Blacks
to retain World Cup
Smith appointed Black Ferns coach
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