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Tuesday, May 19, 2015
The latticework of who-beat-who at
the men’s London Sevens highlights the
gravity of the task facing New Zealand
in their Olympic medal bid next year.
The first objective, qualification, was
achieved by the All Blacks Sevens the
previous weekend at Glasgow. Their
planning will continue with a high
New Zealand budget of $4.8 million
across the 2013-16 Olympic cycle (their
women counterparts have a $3.7 million
allocation after also qualifying).
A part of this year’s funding will be
dedicated to gaining the intelligence
required to combat the breadth of
competition per vading the World Series,
now it is aligned with the games.
Let uss put this a convoluted way, but
one which should illustrate the point:
New Zealand beat Australia, Australia
beat Fiji, Fiji beat South Africa, South
Africa beat Scotland, Scotland beat
England, England beat New Zealand.
Those six degrees of separation sum up
the extent of sevens’ depth.
Add to that the fact Argentina almost
beat Fiji, Samoa beat Argentina, Kenya
beat Samoa and Canada beat Kenya and
Samoa (in pool play). Oh, and the United
States won the tournament after beating
South Africa in pool play, Canada in the
quarter-finals, England in the semis and
Australia in the final.
Keeping up? That ’s 11 teams
mentioned. Twelve will contest the
Olympics. Not all the aforementioned
will compete. A couple could get ousted
via their continental qualifiers. For
example, the US and Canada will likely
get one spot from the North America-
based conference, just as Australia and
Samoa are expected to challenge for the
Oceania place. However, one general
international spot is also allocated at a
last resort repechage tournament.
Fiji, South Africa, New Zealand
and Britain (courtesy of England’s
fourth place) are the automatic Games
qualifiers from this season’s series. Brazil
qualify automatically as hosts.
New Zealand coach Sir Gordon
Tietjens is fully aware of the changing
face of the game as other countries
keep investing State funding after the
sport ’s anointment with Olympic status.
Tietjens is confident he has the resources
to prevent further disappointment after
missing out on the overall title for the
first time in five years. That includes
controlling the entry and exit of Super
Rugby players and All Blacks who want
to taste Olympic glory.
“Conditioning will be the biggest
factor,” Tietjens says. “ We can only do
that by training and playing regularly
to be superbly sevens-fit. Some players
will play a minimum of four (preview)
tournaments next season; others will
need up to six. It’ll not necessarily be
about winning next year’s series, but
about putting the best side out for Rio.
“A lot of Super Rugby contenders
have expressed an interest. Players will
have plenty of opportunities to impress,
whether it’s the 16 contracted (sevens)
players or the 10 from outside as we
All Blacks Sevens captain D J Forbes
said the ideal solution was probably
getting a mix of sevens and 15s players.
“ We’ ll still need fluency and
continuity in our play across the year.
It’s going to be a fine art to master but
the players coming across are well aware
of the professional demands. The fitness
of sevens is far beyond 15s because we
won’t need big props and locks who can
do a bit of crash and bash. You need
athletes who cover a lot of ground at
At 32, Forbes acknowledged the
Olympics were his core motivation to
“If I make the Olympics it’ll be
10 years playing on the trot but, like
anyone, I won’t be taking a plane ticket
Fiji sealed their second overall World
Series triumph in 16 seasons on Sunday,
nine years after their last. The win
boosts the country’s hopes of attaining
their first Olympic medal next year.
The All Blacks Sevens side have won
12 of the series which began in 1999-
00. — N ZM E -New Zealand Herald
Sir Gordon Tietjens
A junior rugby game was called off
when adults stormed the field after
an altercation between some of the
The game, played by under-eight-
year-olds from Ponsonby Rugby Club
and Waitemata Rugby Club, came to
an end minutes before the end of the
match because of the incident.
It was understood the incident
happened at Coxs Bay in upmarket
Waitemata Club chairman Mark
Mallabar said he had read the report
from his club, but not the report from
the Ponsonby Club.
He understood that an adult from
the Ponsonby team and “manhandled
one of our kids”.
He was stopped by the mother of the
child, and there was an “altercation”
between the two, Mr Mallabar said.
However, he stressed he had only
read one report into the incident.
“ Until you hear both sides, you don’t
Waitemata’s junior club captain
Josh Hyde and the Ponsonby coach
calmed the situation down, Mr
“There was some verbalness between
parties — there was eight minutes to
go or six minutes to go — and that
It was disappointing when these
incidents happened, he said.
Mr Mallabar said he wanted to get
a sign for the field reminding parents
the game was for children and was
not a World Cup match.
The Auckland Rugby Union
‘swamped’ clubs with information
about fair play, he said.
“I’d hate for rugby to be tarnished
over one incident where someone’s
just got carried away and has seen
something where their kid has
got affected and they ’ve run on
without really engaging their brain
and then somebody else has run on
because their little Tommy is being
Ponsonby’s chairman of junior
selection Brent Metson said he was
aware of the incident.
“The respective club delegates are
looking into the matter and I can’t
comment any further until they’ve
had their investigation.”
Auckland Rugby Union confirmed
it had received reports about an
alleged incident at the under-8s game
on Saturday between Ponsonby and
“An incident occurred that started
on the field and then I believe
spectators got involved but I don’t
know the extent of it,” Auckland
Rugby communications manager
Libby Gudmundsson said.
“ We have had reports from both
clubs now. It’s just a matter of going
through this and making sure we
have a clear picture of what
Miss Gudmundsson said it was
important to establish the facts as the
union did not send match officials to
under-eight grade games.
“So it’s going to be what the
opposing clubs say. We need to get a
clear understanding before we know
whether we need to take it further.”
Rugby game called off after parents storm the field
Joseph Parker’s next opponent has
been confirmed as Yakup Saglam,
a 38-year-old from Germany
with 37 professional fights to his
will fight Saglam,
nicknamed ‘The Scorpion’,
Palmerston North on June 13.
Saglam, who was born in Turkey,
will be Parker’s 14th opponent
since he turned professional.
Saglam should represent another
the undefeated New Zealand
The 23-year-old Parker will also
fight in Invercargill in August.
Duco’s match-maker Stu D uncan
said Saglam, has a 34-win (31KO),
Parker is currently ranked eighth
by the World Boxing Organisation
and 10th by the World Boxing
Association. Respected boxing
website Box Rec has him ranked
23rd, behind the fast-rising
English 25-year-old Olympic gold
medallist Anthony Joshua.
Parker lined up against ‘Scorpion’
New Zealand cricket legend
Richard Hadlee has warned England
that the Black Caps are ready to add
to the hosts’ woes in the forthcoming
Although New Zealand have
won just eight of 99 tests against
England, Hadlee expects Brendon
McCullum’s team to put up a strong
showing in the first test at Lord’s
The New Zealanders have won
four of their last five test series to
move up to third in the rankings,
two places above England, and they
earned plenty of admirers in their
run to this year’s World Cup final.
In stark contrast, England are in
turmoil after sacking coach Peter
Moores earlier this month following
a poor run of results across all
The disappointing drawn test series
in the West Indies recently was
another sign of England’s decline
and the decision of new ECB
director of cricket Andrew Strauss
not to recall controversial batsman
Kevin Pietersen last week has added
to the sense that the hosts will be
extremely vulnerable at Lord’s.
Hadlee, who took 431 wickets in
86 tests for his country, told the
Daily Telegraph: “I think England
are there for the picking.
“If we play to our potential we can
win. Self-belief is important because
it has been a long time since we have
won in England so history shows
we are up against it, but we have all
Seamers Trent Boult and Tim
Southee have played a key role
in New Zealand ’s resurgence and
Hadlee has predicted the pair will
be eager to pile the pressure on
England captain Alastair Cook.
The left-hander relieved some of
the scrutiny on his batting in the
Caribbean, scoring his first century
in nearly two years, although there
are still plenty of question marks
over his captaincy.
“There is no question he (Cook)
will be the target of Southee and
Boult putting incredible pressure on
him,” said Hadlee.
“ When you compare Cook and
McCullum it is apples and pears as
captains. McCullum is so attacking
and proactive whereas Cook is more
“That is not a criticism. He is very
thoughtful in the way he goes about
his job as captain but clearly he is
“If that is a chink in the England
armour then New Zealand will look
to exploit it.” — AFP
Hadlee warns England ahead of test series
The Mystics have sewn up the top
spot on the trans-Tasman league’s
New Zealand conference ladder with
two rounds to spare.
But they will need to spend those
two rounds addressing their now
routine lapses in intensity, after
making hard work of the Magic last
night, despite holding a nine-goal
lead at the first break.
In a slick opening quarter
performance the Mystics looked
a side capable of causing the top
Australian sides real trouble in the
playoffs, finding the right blend of
polish and poise with their trademark
flamboyance to rocket out to a 17-8
lead over the second-placed Magic.
After the rollicking start, the
Mystics did not win another quarter,
as the visitors threatened to pull off a
stunning comeback over the second
half. But each time the Magic closed
to within three goals, the Mystics
seemed to kick back into gear and
eke out some more breathing space,
eventually securing a hard fought
There was much anticipation in the
lead-up to the match over whether
Silver Ferns skipper Casey Kopua
would make her long-awaited return
to the court last night following a
lengthy stint on the sidelines with
a devastating knee injury. But the
inspirational defender, who is bidding
to prove her fitness ahead of the
August World Cup, remained on the
bench last night — although judging
by her intensity in the warm-up, her
return is not far off.
The Magic were seeking to put the
bitter memories of the draw that
played out the last time the two sides
met back in round six.
Of all the draws that have played
out over the first 12 rounds of the
competition, the 45-all stalemate
between the two netballing
neighbours in round six sticks out as
the most bizarre.
The Magic were in control for most
of the game, until the Mystics sprung
to life in the final five minutes,
closing to within two goals with 20
seconds on the clock. From there you
still would have backed the Magic
to take the match, but somehow the
Mystics managed to snatch a draw,
courtesy of two Maria Tutaia long
Having outplayed the Magic right
across the court in the opening spell,
the Mystics had a commanding 17-8
lead at the first break. But the chief
concern for the Auckland side this
season has been their inability to
push on once they work themselves
into a strong position.
Those concerns once again emerged
last night as the Mystics dropped
their intensity in the second period,
allowing the Magic back into the
match. Finding better fluency on
attack, the Waikato-Bay of Plenty
side set about eating their way into
the homeside’s lead, bringing the
deficit back to 29-23 at halftime.
It was to get even more
uncomfortable on the Mystics
bench in the second half, with the
homeside’s lead whittled down to
just three goals five minutes into the
third spell as they began to lose their
way on attack as niggle crept into the
game from both sides.
An attacking error from the Magic
later in the spell helped the Mystics
restore a six-goal lead heading into
the final turn.
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
PICTURE: Getty Images
Maria Tutaia of the Mystics secures posession.
Mystics sew up
top NZ spot
Neil Hateley, of Westport, and
Anna Liddell, of the Grey Valley,
held plenty of honours at the West
Coast-Buller Timber Sports awards
earlier this month.
The group held their annual
general meeting and prizegiving
at the Reefton Auto Lodge on
May 2, followed by an afternoon of
Fourteen members and supporters
attended the meeting.
A minute’s silence was held in
remembrance of former axeman
Gordon Mannering, who died at
end of March.
The 2015 committee is: president
Tom Daly; vice-president Mike
Simpson; secretary-treasurer Barry
Chalmers; assistant Ashleigh
Heath; committee, Robbie Tyler,
Dan Gilsenan senior, Wayne Stuart,
John Birchfield and Shane Molloy.
Team selectors: Denis McLaughlin
and Wayne Stuart. Junior selectors:
Wayne Stuart and Ed Tinomana.
Southern delegates: Barry
Chalmers and Tom Daly.
The new chopping season starts at
Bruce Bay at Labour Weekend.
Tony Condon Memorial Trophy
for the junior with most points at
Bruce Bay, Jackson Simpson. Dee
Voss Trophy for most points at
Karamea, Anna Liddell.
Women: Most points for sawing,
Ashleigh Heath. Monteith’s
women’s most points, Anna Liddell.
Men: Timberlands Cup for most
points, O wen Wratt. Ron Hartnell
Trophy, most points for underhand
and standing, Chris Heath. Noel
Walker most points for season,
Mackay Balderstone. Sawing
throughout the South Island most
points, Neil Hateley. Oscar Trophy
most points overall for season,
Neil Hateley. Monteith’s Log of
Wood Trophy for most points of all
axemen this year, Ivan Smith.
Coast Buller Timber Sports woodchoppers Jackson Simpson with the Tony Condon Memorial Trophy
for the junior with most points at Bruce Bay, and Anna Liddell with the Dee Voss Trophy for most points at
Hateley and Liddell take chopping honours
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