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Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Peter Te Rakau
Versatile Westland United continued
their dominance of the West Coast
senior football competition with a 7-0
rout of Paroa in soggy conditions on
Cass Square, on Sunday.
The game started with Westland
dominating from the kick off,
pressuring Paroa into their own half
and they were unlucky not to score
The first goal came 20 minutes into
the contest when man of the match
Anthony Galland started a slick
passing move from the back to put
Will Pilcher in on goal as he calmly
From the resulting kick off, Westland
forced a corner that captain Rob
Myers whipped in with pinpoint
accuracy. The keeper was left stranded
as the ball sailed over his left shoulder
and went in the back of the net
untouched. Sean Slaven was next to
cause Paroa defence headaches as he
picked the ball up just inside the goal
box and proceeded to lob the Paroa
keeper with the outside of his boot to
see the ball fly in the top corner.
The quick-fire three goals left Paroa
When Pilcher again made a solo
run through Paroa’s lacklustre defence
to score, it was 4-0 at half-time and
Westland were strolling home.
The second half saw more confident
passing from Anthony Galland and
Liam Tailby, which gave Sheldon
Bainbridge room to burn down
the flank. He cut inside to beat his
defender and calmly finished past the
Paroa keeper at a tight angle to make
With the game well and truly
over Westland could be forgiven for
letting their defence slip, however
the defensive pairing of Ethan
Kilkelly and Michael McClure took
great pride in their game and were
determined to keep a clean sheet.
When Michael McClure threaded
a pass to his brother Sean down the
flank he was able to send a low cross
in that was thumped home by Dan
Waldie for his first goal in Westland
Another team goal brought about by
precision passing from the midfield
made it 7-0 .
In the dying stages, Paroa finally
pushed for ward to pressure Westland’s
defence. A Paroa free kick was
acrobatically saved by keeper Jaime
Kearns by tipping the ball on to the
crossbar at full stretch to keep the
The big test for Versatile Westland
United will be at the weekend with
their trip to perennial powerhouses
Westport, where the winner will
probably claim the First Round Cup
in a few weeks’ time.
Versatile Westland Town play at
home against Grey United, at Cass
Square at 2pm on Sunday.
of the New Zealand Herald
The Kiwis are wary of an Australian
backlash on Friday night, after the
New Zealanders’ surprise Four Nations
success last November.
Leading into this match there has been
the predictable talk about the Australian
Anzac test dominance, with 13 victories
on the trot since 1999. It is a remarkable
statistic, though it must be weighed
against the poor preparation and lack of
combinations that usually plague New
Zealand at this time of year.
But what is more relevant is an even
more revealing trend: after every big
Kiwis victory, the Australians reaffirm
their dominance, usually in a crushing
way. No one does rebounds better than
Remember 2005? Brian McClennan’s
team won the Tri Nations in style,
beating Australia 24-0 at Elland Road.
That humiliation weighed heavily on the
Kangaroos, who plotted their revenge
ahead of the next contest, winning 50-
12 in Brisbane.
In 2008 the Kiwis memorably claimed
the World Cup, with a 34-20 victory in
In their next encounter New Zealand
retained most of the tournament-
winning team but Australia were
irresistible in a seven tries to two, 38-10
It was similar in 2011, after the Kiwis
enjoyed a last-gasp victory in the Four
Nations final the year before. Billy Slater
was the difference with two tries as
Australia prevailed 20-10 on the Gold
Indeed, pick a famous Kiwi victory and
the pattern is similar, whether it is Bob
Bailey ’s team in 1991 (a 24-8 victory in
Melbourne was followed by a 44-0 loss
in Sydney) or Daniel Anderson’s squad
in 2003 (after a 30-16 win in Auckland,
the Kiwis lost the next encounter 37-10).
“This is a really important test for us,”
Shaun Johnson said. “ This is not just an
Anzac test that we want to play a part in.
If the Aussies have always bounced back,
it means the Kiwis have never capitalised
(and) gone on with it. Wouldn’t that be
good to do?”
The New Zealand side had gained
confidence from last year, but “there
has never been a Kiwi side that would
underestimate an Australian team”,
added Johnson. “ This time it will be no
Coach Stephen Kearney was also
reluctant to draw too much significance
“ What happened last year was a real
positive experience for us and I am sure
some individuals will take something
from that,” Kearney said. “ The guys are
in good form but we will need to be at
our best and you get a short preparation. ”
The short build-up seems less of a
handicap this time, as most of the squad
spent four weeks together during the
Four Nations. Johnson and Kieran Foran
are a settled halves combination and
Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Manu Vatuvei
and Jason Nightingale offer experience
in the backs. Ben Matulino and Sam
Moa help to fill the void left by Jason
Taumalolo while Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
provides the team’s X-factor.
The team completed a solid session
yesterday at the Brisbane Norths
ground, with an opposed session against
the Junior Kiwis providing some willing
of the New Zealand Herald
Concussion has removed Richie
McCaw from Super Rugby action
this week but opened up an
enthralling comparison between
the next line of players chasing his
All Black No 7 jersey.
Where the back-up for McCaw
was uncertain a few years back,
there is now a growing talent pool
available to the national selectors.
Sam Cane became that All Black
designate after the last World Cup
when the panel decided it would
be prudent to have a specialist
understudy to McCaw as his career
headed towards its later chapters.
It is obviously still going and just
as obviously Cane has cemented
his position as the next best
All Black openside with 22 test
appearances and a game which is
more impressive with each outing.
Others who have hovered around
the All Blacks are Matt Todd with
two tests and Ardie Savea, who was
taken as a special project on the
2013 end-of-year tour to Britain.
With McCaw out of action this
week, Todd and Savea will square
off in what should be an intriguing
part of Saturday ’s match between
the front-running Hurricanes and
the chasing Crusaders.
Todd’s statistics in Super Rugby
this season confirm his prominence
in most facets of the game while
those markers, intriguingly, point
to a fascinating turnaround in some
of McCaw ’s numbers.
McCaw ’s reputation as a tackling
machine has taken a hit with his
percentage of kills the lowest at
82% in nine matches while he is
also the least effective in beating
Cane has made the most tackles
(98) and has a matching 98%
success rate while Todd and Savea
are working around 93% tackle
While some of McCaw ’s numbers
may have sagged, he is the most
used lineout target among this
group of flankers, although that
may also reflect the dual flanker role
he held at times alongside Todd.
Cane has averaged 75 minutes
across his nine games and also
has the best figures for carrying
possession and heaviest tackle
count. Savea is easily the most
penetrative attacker yet also passes
of the New Zealand Herald
It is not every day you get the chance to
play alongside an Olympic medallist, and
in your own backyard, so Oliver Leydon-
Davis intends making the most of the
experience at this week’s New Zealand
Open at North Shore.
Waikato’s Leydon-Davis, one of the
country’s best badminton exponents,
will team up with Korean Lee Jae Jin, a
bronze medallist at the Beijing Olympics
in 2008, at the newly minted gold status
grand prix event.
Now based in Taiwan, Leydon-Davis
has had little practice time with Lee, but
will do as much prep work as he can fit
in before their opening — and, hopefully,
second — round men’s doubles clash at
North Shore Events Centre tomorrow.
“It does mean a lot,” the 24-year-old
said of this week’s event.
“As Kiwi players, we spent a lot of time
overseas and there’s not many chances to
play on home soil.”
Leydon-Davis quipped that while his
partner “knows his way round the court,
I’ve got my work cut out, but it couldn’t
be better so I’m really looking forward to
The event has a US$120,000 ($157,000)
purse, is being televised to a potential 220
million-plus audience and has attracted
30 players ranked inside the world top
50, including former Olympic and world
championship medallists, and present
world junior champions.
This event features a host of players who
are stars in their Asian homelands, so spare
a thought for 14-year-old Tamara Otene,
a Westlake Girls’ High student, who has
received a pass into the first round draw
against Japan’s Natsuki Nidaira today,
because of a late withdrawal.
Organisers are delighted with the
qualify of the field, which directly relates
to the improved prizemoney derived
from the gold status.
“It’s all about world ranking points,”
event organiser and former New Zealand
international Julie Carrel said yesterday.
Everything in badminton is about world
rankings, that ’s how you qualify for world
champs, Olympic and Commonwealth
“Now it makes it worth their while to
come down and play for those points.”
Women’s singles top seed Adrianti
Firdisari of Indonesia was a late
withdrawal because of injury yesterday
but the men’s No1 seed, Taiwan’s Hsu Jen
Hao, started his campaign at lunchtime
today. The finals are this weekend.
PICTURE: Taylor Russell
Westland United captain Rob Myers holds possession in midfield while
team-mate Cameron Day looks on from afar.
NZ players chance to take on the best
to fill hole left
Kiwis wary of
The pain in Billy Slater’s shoulder may
have eased but the thought of letting
down his Kangaroos team-mates has
proven too much to bear.
surprised his Australian
yesterday ’s training session in Brisbane,
only to promptly tell staff he was pulling
out of Friday night’s trans-Tasman test.
Slater said it was frustrating to not
play this year’s sole test, especially after
also missing the 2014 Four Nations
with another shoulder complaint. The
Melbourne Storm veteran admitted
at one stage he even thought he could
take a chance and run out against
heavyweights New Zealand at Suncorp
Stadium. Then he came to his senses.
“ I was very close,” the 31-year-old
veteran of 25 tests said.
“Three quarters through the session I
was playing. But by the end I made the
decision that I didn’t want to go out
there and let the side down. There is still
a bit of pain there, it’s a lot better than
last week but it’s not quite up there for
playing a test match.”
Slater looked comfortable under
countless high balls in one-on -one drills
with Daly Cherry-Evans before training
impressively with the rest of the squad.
So most on-lookers were taken aback
including team-mates — when the
official word arrived that Slater was not
playing after the 90 minute session.
“ Billy Slater is out?” a surprised
Kangaroos for ward Corey Parker
asked reporters as he walked off the
Brisbane training paddock. But Slater
begrudgingly admitted he had not done
enough to prepare for a physical Kiwi
pack on Friday night.
“ I got through a fair bit of contact stuff
and felt vulnerable at times,” Slater said,
who has missed Melbourne’s last three
“ I knew I would be in those positions
in the game and I didn’t want to feel
that way. You can’t hide in a test match.
And I wasn’t going to be selfish with my
On his frustrating run with shoulder
complaints, Slater added: “It’s tough
especially after missing last year to get
my body right and give myself a chance
to play these games.
“ Now it’s the other shoulder. It’s
disappointing but I am comfortable with
my decision. ”
There was speculation Josh Dugan
may move from the wing to fullback but
Slater said Greg Inglis would wear the
No 1 jersey.
That ensures 19th man Michael
Jennings slots into the centre vacancy.
“Greg will slip straight into the
fullback role and Michael Jennings has
been playing some good footy and played
Four Nations last year,” Slater said.
“ In terms of preparation we won’t lose
anything. ” — AAP
of the New Zealand Herald
Demand for the much anticipated
All Blacks test in Samoa has
reached fever pitch — with many
of the stadium’s stands filled up and
all eight corporate boxes sold out.
Work to get Apia Park ready
for the July 8 showdown between
the All Blacks and Manu Samoa
Part of that work includes eight
new corporate suites — big enough
for up to 24 people — which have
already been snapped up for a cool
15,000 tala ($8000) each.
A New Zealand Rugby Union
spokesman confirmed it had not
bought a corporate suite for the test
but had been allocated a number of
tickets, as is usual for test matches.
The spokesman said the NZRU
had “a small number” of tickets up
for grabs to the public, at $170 each.
The Samoa Rugby Union — with
local telecommunications company
Bluesky — are in charge of tickets,
which can only be bought in Apia
and with no option to buy on-line.
A spokeswoman told the Herald
although they could not give an
exact number of tickets sold as of
yesterday, almost all of the 4200
covered seats in the redeveloped
grandstand and new stands to the
east of the field had been filled.
Apia Park has a capacity of 12,000
people and 4000 tickets were
assigned to general admission in a
bid to get as many locals as possible
to the match.
At 40 tala ($20) they, too, are
running out quickly.
The Samoa Rugby Union has
been calling on locals to get to the
historic match ever since tickets
went on sale just over three weeks
Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea’i
said: “ This is an amazing
opportunity for Samoans to see our
beloved Manu take on the world
“ We will be talking about this test
for a very long time — so people
need to make sure they get their
Meanwhile, flights to Samoa
days out from the big match might
prove to be a test in itself, with main
carriers Virgin Samoa and Air New
Zealand having to put on extra
flights to keep up with demand.
As of last night, many of Virgin’s
Saver fares were sold out for all
flights two weeks out from the July
Air New Zealand’s July 6 flight
from Auckland to Apia — the All
Blacks’ flight — has sold out.
Greymouth team wins NZ honours
The Greymouth Kodiaks — Kurt Browning, left, Shane Jacobs, Iona Littlejohn and Matt Cook — display
the winner’s silver ware and the medals they were awarded for their second placing at the New Zealand 540
stockcar teams championships, recently. Simon McQuarters was absent. The second Greymouth team in the
contest, the Warriors, took the New Zealand title. The two Greymouth teams raced against each other in the
Apia test seats filling fast
... Slater rules himself out
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