Home' Greymouth Star : February 25th 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
PHONE 769 7900
of the New Zealand Herald
Fears are growing that more players, both
current and former, across three football
codes will be implicated in the Queensland
cocaine scandal that has engulfed the NRL.
Representative for wards Greg Bird and
Dave Taylor, and three of their Gold Coast
Titans team-mates, could be hit with a
minimum four-year, worldwide ban from
sport if they are found guilty of cocaine
The Titans were plunged deeper into crisis
on Sunday after the NRL club’s return from
a pre-season trial match in Cairns with
Bird, Taylor, and former Kiwis international
Kalifa Faifai Loa each ser ved with notices
to appear in court from Q ueensland’s
Crime and Corruption Commission
The trio, together with former Titans
squad member Joe Vickery, all face charges
of supplying cocaine as part of the same
QCCC investigation that on Friday saw
Titans hooker Beau Falloon, outside back
Jamie Dowling, and Queensland Reds
backline utility Karmichael Hunt also
Falloon’s girlfriend has been confirmed as
the 22-year-old woman also charged last
Friday, when the story first broke.
All four are due in court on March 5,
the same day the Brisbane Broncos and
reigning premiers the South Sydney
Rabbitohs are set to play their blockbuster
season-opening clash at Suncorp Stadium.
Taylor, Bird, Faifai Loa and Vickery are
all expected to face Southport Magistrates
Court on March 9.
It is understood the QCCC will allege
those charged arranged for the supply of
cocaine for personal use or to supply the
drug to friends and colleagues between
August and December last year.
It is believed players’ activities at the
Titans’ Mad Monday boat cruise and a
player’s stag party attracted the attention
of authorities operating a covert drugs
sting targeting one of Queensland’s largest
Brisbane’s Courier-Mail reports that
several other former Titans as well as
players from rival codes remain of interest
The arrests come after former Australian
and Queensland representative Jason
Smith and ex-North Sydney and Wests
Tigers fullback Matt Seers were charged
with supplying drugs in separate arrests
in January. Former Sydney Roosters
player John Touma also appeared in court
on February 6 on cocaine supply and
All five Titans players have been stood
down indefinitely by the club but could face
a minimum four-year, worldwide ban from
sport if they are found guilty.
A guilty verdict could then see them face
punishments from the anti-doping body
Wada which could potentially end their
playing careers in any major sporting code
around the world.
Sydney’s Daily Telegraph reports that
under section 2.7 of the Wada code,
supplying prohibited substances to a third
party is considered “trafficking” and carries
a minimum four-year ban from all sport.
Meanwhile, the Titans have launched
their own investigation which could see
players being sacked immediately regardless
of the legal result.
Until the Titans reach a decision on the
players’ futures, the club is unable to sign
replacements and will have to rely on the
Bird is the player most likely to have his
contract torn up, as he is already on his last
warning at the Titans after he was stripped
of his captaincy in December for urinating
in public during his wedding celebrations in
It is at the discretion of the NRL and
the Titans whether the five players are
reinstated after they appear in court in two
weeks or are given a provisional ban until
the court hearings are completed.
The Queensland Reds say they will
not select Hunt for their next Super
Rugby game on Friday night against the
Queensland Rugby Union chief executive
Jim Carmichael said yesterday it was in the
best interests of Hunt ’s welfare that he be
excluded from the team ahead of his Gold
Coast court date next week.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
A former West Coast rugby historian
has claimed another All Black from the
Robert Messenger discovered that
instead of having seven All Blacks, the
Coast actually has eight. Up until then,
both the West Coast and Buller rugby
unions claimed they had seven each.
According to Messenger, Sam Bligh
had been incorrectly listed as being from
It had been long accepted that the
neighbouring unions had each produced
seven All Blacks, from Harry Butland to
Bill Mumm (1949).
“However, newspaper clippings from
the period of Harry Atkinson’s selection
in 1913, established the true count
should be West Coast eight, Buller six,”
Samuel Percival (Sammy) Blight, who,
as Sam Bligh, was a hooker in the two-
three-two scrum in the All Black team
that toured Australia in 1910.
Until now, New Zealand Rugby
Football Union histories had always
listed him as a Buller player, and as Sam
Bligh, not Blight.
Messenger said Bligh, while with the
Westport club, did indeed play for Buller
in 1907 and 1908 (as well as for West
Coast-Buller against the Anglo-Welsh
in Greymouth), and again from 1911-
“In 1909 he played for the Greymouth
club and represented the West Coast.
That season he also played for South
The conclusive evidence that Blight
was a West Coast player in 1910 was
because he had been nominated by the
West Coast Rugby Union for the All
Black team in early May 1910, and an
early article in the Grey River Argus
stated that Bligh was the captain of
the newly formed Blackball-Roa club,
For 105 years the New Zealand rugby
history books had been wrong: “Sammy
Bligh was a West Coaster when he
represented his country. ”
Since Messenger’s research both the
NZRU and Wikipedia have amended
their player profiles and Bligh has been
correctly listed as a West Coast player
when he was selected in the All Blacks.
He played five matches for the
All Blacks but did not play in any
of the New Zealand Herald
This time last week things were
looking up for Team New Zealand.
They had just been awarded the
hosting rights for the America’s Cup
qualifiers in early 2017 (although
official confirmation is still at least
a week away as America’s Cup
officials iron out a few details with
the Protocol). With the qualifying
regatta in the bag, so too was
government funding. After nearly 18
months of uncertainty and inactivity,
things appeared to be finally moving
Then came Wednesday. Hump day
became major bump in the road day.
Word that long-ser ving skipper
Dean Barker was set to be replaced at
the helm by young sailing star Peter
Burling was leaked to Newstalk ZB,
and suddenly any talk of America’s
Cup racing returning to Auckland
and the potential economic benefits
the city stood to gain from the
event was swamped by a tidal wave
of debate over the merits of the two
Barker, who has been with Team
NZ nearly 20 years, was left shell-
shocked at the manner in which
the news was leaked. At that point
he was still in negotiations with the
board over what his future role in the
organisation will be.
Barker’s relationship with chief
executive Grant Dalton has steadily
deteriorated since returning from
that painful loss in San Francisco
in 2013. In the wake of Barker’s
treatment last week, it now appears
frayed to the point it is irreparable.
Legal letters have been issued, threats
have been made and Barker is said to
be ready to walk away.
It all gives the impression of
an organisation on the verge of
implosion. Yet the only peep we have
heard from Team NZ since news
broke last Wednesday of a change
at the helm is a two-line statement
describing the reports which
clearly originated from their own
organisation as “ inaccurate”.
No one from the team has fronted
up to clarify reports or explain how
details of confidential contract
negotiations were leaked to media.
It is staggering how a team whose
very existence is reliant on public
funding, a team who pitch themselves
as “New Zealand’s team”, can be so
utterly dismissive of the people they
profess to represent.
The lack of transparency and
accountability displayed over the
last week is typical of how the team
Hiding behind the cloak of
“commercial sensitivities”, Team NZ
have never properly explained to the
taxpayers where their money is spent.
The promised public release of their
findings from a so-called extensive
review into the team’s failings in San
Francisco never eventuated. Best keep
it in-house, they decided, wouldn’t
want our competitors finding out
confidential details of our campaign.
Team NZ are going to find it
difficult to continue to keep what has
been going on behind the walls of
their Auckland compound in-house
if Barker walks away. The popular
yachtie is said to be determined to
air his views on the team’s leadership.
If that happens it will be thoroughly
damaging for the Team NZ brand
and most likely make Dalton’s
You have got to wonder what
Team NZ’s funders, including the
Government, make of all this in-
fighting. The America’s Cup is already
a difficult sell to the New Zealand
taxpayer and the Government will
struggle to justify plunging more
money into a team whose leadership
is shaky at best.
As we have heard the team implore
so many times before, without
government funding Team NZ will
have to close its doors.
Then there will be plenty of people
with a lot to say. But it will be too
Is Team NZ on verge of implosion?
Grant Dalton and Dean Barker
of the New Zealand Herald
Jerome Kaino reaches a rare and well
merited milestone when the Blues face
the Cheetahs this weekend, but he would
gladly swap any accolades for a precious
victory to kick-start the embattled
The 31-year-old Blues captain will
become the 35th New Zealander to pick up
a century of Super Rugby games and just
the second Blues centurion — after prop
John Afoa — to have played all his Super
Rugby for the franchise.
Tellingly, Kaino will be the first Blues
loose for ward to hit the 100 mark, after
debuting in 2004.
Justin Collins played 104 Super matches,
though 11 for the Chiefs, while Xavier
Rush (86) and Daniel Braid (99, with 80
for the Blues) are other durable loosies to
have worn the jersey over a long period.
Kaino has been strong in the opening
two games, in which the Blues have
shown commitment on defence and good
goalkicking but have constructed little on
attack, scoring just one try and let down
badly by their discipline in the 27-16 loss
to the Stormers in Cape Town.
The Blues escaped unscathed on the
injury front from the defeat, though there
was concern for Steven Luatua who left the
field with what looked to be a bad shoulder
injury in the first half.
Those fears have since been alleviated
and there is no need for Joe Edwards as a
“The doctor has reported that Steven will
remain in South Africa. His left shoulder
settled a lot overnight. Because he has no
history of any issues with the shoulder
and has good rotator cuff function, he is
likely to be available for selection, although
unlikely to train until tomorrow,” a Blues
spokesman said yesterday.
If Luatua does not come right, there is the
option of promoting Akira Ioane to No 8,
a young tyro yet to play ITM Cup who saw
10 minutes of action against the Chiefs.
Or they could opt for a two-flanker game
with Luke Braid and Brendan O’Connor
starting. However, Luatua’s presence, with
Braid at No 7 and Kaino off the back of the
scrum, appeals as the best balanced trio.
After lock Hayden Triggs was sent off,
Kaino had to fill in at second row, where he
acquitted himself well, though not as prime
a lineout target as Luatua. The Blues had to
pack down with wings Ben Lam and Tevita
Li on the side at times, but held on in the
set-pieces. Kaino acted as peacemaker in
the Hayden Triggs-D uane Vermeulen
fracas, but he has a lot of respect for the
Springbok No 8, and congratulated him
on his 100th Super game, beating him by
His nine tackles against the Stormers
were bettered by only the industrious
O’Connor (12) and Hamish Northcott
(11), and he made a couple of powerful
surges, one when he was still at No 8. His
24m gained may not sound a lot, but if
he can lift those numbers and force more
turnovers, as he has done on the ground
and in lineouts, the Blues can benefit
against a Cheetahs outfit that had the bye
last weekend, but upset the Sharks
35-29 in D urban in round one. Kaino also
put in several of his trademark dominant
tackles. Evergreen hooker Keven Mealamu
should be available for selection against the
Lions at QBE Stadium on March 7, where
he will become the competition’s most
capped player, surpassing Nathan Sharpe’s
The television match
official who officiated
the Blues’ Super Rugby
defeat to the Stormers
on Sunday morning was
stabbed after the match,
according to reports.
Shaun Veldsman, who
is on the South African
Rugby Union’s TMO
panel, is recovering in
hospital after being
assaulted following the
game at Newlands in
Veldsman was stabbed
in the lung while he was
attacked in his car, South
African site Netwerk24
Veldsman had been
scheduled to officiate
at Ireland’s Six Nations
match against England
in D ublin but will
miss the match after
being admitted to the
intensive care unit of
the Stellenbosch Medi
He is was in a stable
— New Zealand Herald
The five Gold Coast Titans players facing
drugs charges are planning on suing the club
if they are banned from playing this season.
Sydney ’s Daily Telegraph reports that
Titans hooker Beau Falloon and rookie
outside back Jamie Dowling are hoping to
play in their round one clash against Wests
Tigers, just two days after their scheduled
court appearance on March 5.
The three other current Titans players
facing drugs charges — for wards Greg Bird,
Dave Taylor and backline utility Kalifa Faifai
Loa — are hoping to take the field in against
Penrith in round two, two days after their
court hearing on March 9.
All five players have been stood down by the
club but are expected to plead not guilty to
charges of supply and possession.
The Titans have launched their own
investigation that could see players being
sacked immediately for breaching the club’s
code of conduct, while the NRL could
suspend them or de-register their contracts
for bringing the game into disrepute.
Four of the group, Bird, Taylor, Dowling,
and Faifai Loa and former Titans squad
member and co-accused Joe Vickery, are
being represented by lawyer Campbell
MacCallum, who said his clients intend on
fighting any suspensions dished out by the
NRL or Titans.
“If players are stood down after their first
court appearance the inference you draw from
that is they are presumed guilty and if that is
the case there may be further ramifications
for the club,” MacCallum said. “ Why should
they be stood down before they have had a
chance to defend themselves?” — NZ Herald
Greg Bird, Karmichael Hunt and David Taylor
Cocaine scandal threatens to spread
Titans accused may sue club if banned from playing
West Coast 8,
Historical All Blacks
after Blues’ defeat
Kaino super ton has tinge of blues
Cnr Boundary & Herbert Sts, GREYMOUTH Ph: 768-4205
BLM=Broadloom metres. Carpet is sold in broadloom metres.
One metre of carpet is 3.66 metres wide i.e. 3.66 square metres.
S APPLY, SEE BEL
EASYPAY® OPTION MEANS ALL YOU PAY IS THE ADVERTISED PRICE PLUS INSURANCE & CREDIT FEES. EASYPAY® IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF SMITHS CITY (SOUTHERN) LIMITED. MINIMUM PRODUCT VALUE FOR EASYPAY® OPTION IS $499 (OTHER PAYMENT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE
LESS THAN $499). ALL FINANCE OFFERS ARE SUBJECT TO NORMAL CREDIT GRANTING PROCEDURES. AN INSURANCE CHARGE AND CREDIT FEES ARE REQUIRED. A DEPOSIT MAY BE REQUIRED ON COMPUTERS, MOBILE PHONES, CAR AUDIO PRODUCTS AND NEW ACCOUNTS. INTEREST IS CHARGED FROM THE DATE OF
PURCHASE, HOWEVER IF YOU COMPLETE THE ACCOUNT IN FULL WITHIN THE EASYPAY® OPTION PERIOD ALL YOU PAY IS THE ADVERTISED PRICE PLUS THE CREDIT FEES AND INSURANCE CHARGE. WEEKLY PAYMENTS IF STATED ARE BASED ON A 36 MONTH TERM AND INCLUDE BOOKING AND CREDIT FEES, INSURANCE
& INTEREST CHARGE. APPLE PRODUCTS, SELECTED COMPUTERS, GAME CONSOLES & SOME PROMOTIONAL ITEMS ARE NOT AVAILABLE IN CONJUNCTION WITH DISCOUNT OR EASYPAY® OPTIONS OFFERS. UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED, DISPLAY ACCESSORIES ARE NOT INCLUDED. DEPENDING ON COLOUR AND
COMBINATION, SOME LOUNGE FURNITURE MAY HAVE TO BE ORDERED TO CUSTOMER REQUIREMENTS. ALL OFFERS AND PRICES IN THIS ADVERTISEMENT ARE VALID FOR A MAXIMUM OF SEVEN DAYS FROM THE DATE OF PUBLICATION OR WHILE STOCKS LAST. SOME PRODUCTS MAY NOT BE AVAILABLE IN SOME STORES.
FREE MEASURE & QUOTE
YOUR ONE STOP
EVERYTHING FOR YOUR HOME
YOUR ONE STOP
AND QUOTE ON ALL
THAT’S $40.95 PER SQM!
THAT’S $32.75 PER SQM!
THAT’S $43.68 PER SQM!
Links Archive February 23rd 2015 February 25th 2015 Navigation Previous Page