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New Zealand has knocked Australia off as
the No 1 team in world rugby league for the
first time ever.
The Kangaroos have never been lower than
No 1 on the international stage, but that all
changed on the back of New Zealand’s 26-12
win over Australia in Brisbane in the Anzac
test earlier this month. It was New Zealand ’s
third consecutive win over their Tasman
neighbours, following back-to-back victories
in the 2014 Four Nations Series — the first
time that feat had been achieved for 61 years.
accomplishments are recognised in a tangible
way and this ranking is a sign that we are
doing something right in terms of our overall
goal,” Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney said.
“ We’re somewhat fortunate that we’ve been
able to field close to our strongest side over our
last two campaigns — the Four Nations and
this month’s Anzac test.
“Compare that with last year’s Anzac game,
when we had about 16 players unavailable.”
The Kiwis will have a chance to strengthen
their hold on top spot ahead of the 2016 Four
Nations series and the 2017 World Cup when
they go to England at the end of the season for
a three-test series.
International rankings. —
New Zealand 1,
Australia 2, England 3, Samoa 4, France 5,
Fiji 6, Ireland 7, Scotland 8, Wales 9, USA 10.
Friday, May 15, 2015
PICTURE: Getty Images
Kiwis Manu Vatuvei, left, Tohu Harris and Peta Hiku celebrate a try against the
Kangaroos at Suncorp Stadium, in Brisbane.
Kiwis world No 1
The plan to combat North Queensland
dangerman Johnathan Thurston will be simple,
Brisbane say — hope he has an off night.
Cowboys coach Paul Green reckons there
will be little chance of that happening as his
side prepares for one of the biggest nights in
the NRL club’s history.
Broncos coach Wayne Bennett admitted
debates would rage for years over whether
Thurston was the game’s best.
He said Thurston “should be in that
conversation”, but he hoped the Cowboys
playmaker did not show why in their
blockbuster NRL clash in Townsville tonight.
“He’s a wonderful player. He’s a credit to the
game what he brings — and I have coached a
lot of champion players,” he said. Asked how
they would stop him, Bennett simply said:
“Hopefully you get them on a bad day.”
Green said that was not likely considering
Celebrating their 20th anniversary season,
North Queensland will wear their 2015
Heritage strip featuring the names of every
Cowboy to play first grade from 1995 tonight,
and tomorrow night the Cowboys will hold an
anniversary dinner which will reunite former
players, name their 20-year team and launch
their Hall of Fame with inaugural inductees.
The Cowboys are also hoping to avenge
their round three 44-22 loss to Brisbane by
celebrating their 200th overall victory with a
club record seventh straight win.
“I am sure every coach who plays against us
hopes JT has a bad night,” Green said. “(But)
it ’s a big game, big occasion and class players
generally rise to the top in those situations.
Hopefully Friday night is no different.”
Green said he was not interested in records
but admitted the side were well aware of the
hype surrounding their anniversary game.
“ Without overstating it I think the boys
realise it will be a big week for the club,” he
Bennett believed the script could not have
been written better with top of the table
Brisbane meeting fourth placed North
Queensland in the Cowboys anniversary clash,
claiming it was the biggest derby in years.
“It probably is. It will be a pretty special night
I have no doubt about that,” he said. “ The 20
year part for them is important. They were one
of the better decisions made with expansion.
They ’ve had their teething problems but they
are a quality football team now and have been
for the last four or five years.”
North Queensland have won four of their
last five home games against Brisbane.
Meanwhile, Green confirmed Tautau Moga
had suffered a serious knee injury but hoped
the Cowboys centre would play again. “It
(league return) is not out of the question by
any stretch,” Green said of Moga who was
injured playing for Tonga in the recent Pacific
test against Samoa. — AAP
Broncos hope JT has quiet night
PICTURE: Viv Logie
Life Education West Coast chairman Nigel Ogilvie, left, and Downtown Showdown organiser Alan Monk begin preparations for
the boxing fundraiser to be held tomorrow night in the Aratuna Freighters warehouse, near the Greymouth wharf.
After months of training and organisation
the scene is set for the Downtown
Showdown boxing night in Greymouth
Organiser Alan Monk said they had a
sellout crowd of 900 for the showdown,
which punches into action just after 6pm.
Two former West Coasters will step into
the ring before the fighting gets under
way — Brendon Pongia is the master of
ceremonies and 2013 X-Factor winner
Jackie Thomas will get the proceedings
going by singing the national anthem.
“ To date, everything has gone to plan and
we have not hit any big hurdles,” Monk
Ten fights are booked on the night,
culminating in the big fight between
former West Coast boxer, Bowyn Morgan,
now based in Christchurch, and is matched
against another Christchurch boxer, Shaun
Morgan is the four-time New Zealand
elite men’s amateur national boxing
champion and has not lost a bout in
New Zealand in the past four years. His
opponent, Colmore, is predominatly a
Six women will also step into the ring,
including Bree Cumming, Katie Neilson,
Amy Vui and Trudi McGrath, all of
Cumming will fight Megyn McLennan,
from Christchurch. They last met in
December, when Cumming lost on points
but she has been training hard for their
second meeting and hopes to turn the
tables tomorrow night, especially having
the support of the home crowd.
McGrath will box against Hokitika’s
Greymouth’s Regan Stanton has had to
pull out after injuring his ankle in a West
Coast premier rugby league game last
Monk said although the venue was sold
out, tickets for the live feed coverage of the
event were still available.
Money raised from the event will support
the Life Education Trust West Coast, a
charity that provides children with the
knowledge to make informed choices about
their health, respect and support others and
learn to appreciate their uniqueness while
learning with the group mascot, Harold the
900 for boxing showdown
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