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TOMORROW MAY 24 MONDAY
North Taranaki felt the brunt
of a storm after it lashed
Nelson. Several buildings
were flooded, including a
pet motel. (All animals were
rescued). A man just managed
to get off a swing bridge
before raging waters washed
TODAY IN HISTORY
PICTURE: Getty Images
England’s Moeen Ali successfully appeals for the wicket of New Zealand batsman Tom Latham during day two of the
first test at Lord’s in London.
The Chiefs once again showed
they know exactly how to set
aside a setback and keep on
racking up the wins.
In last night ’s case there were
a couple of hurdles to clear en
route to a vital victory over the
Bulls in Rotorua, but the Chiefs
bounded past those obstacles to
find five competition points.
Some impediments were of
their own doing — spotting
the Bulls a two-try head start
through errors close to their line
— while they were well aware of
others leading up to the game —
like their growing injury list.
But the absence of a quartet of
locks and the loss of attacking
weapon James Lowe did little
to dampen the Chiefs’ efforts
as they continue to charge
towards the play-offs, with next
weekend’s showdown against the
Highlanders looming as pivotal.
Whether any of the injured
locks return for that match
remains to be seen but, based
on last night’s efforts, it is also
questionable how desperately the
Chiefs need the reinforcements.
featuring loose for ward Johan
Bardoul and retired All Black
Ross Filipo never looked out of
place against a fearsome Bulls
pack. Filipo, in fact, possesed
a level of energy that belied a
season spent playing only club
rugby, answering Dave Rennie’s
SOS call in emphatic fashion.
The attack, without Lowe, was
far from perfect but that had
been the case throughout the
campaign, regardless of whether
the Tasman flyer was present in
the side. Hosea Gear and Bryce
Heem regressed after impressive
outings against the Hurricanes
but the Chiefs were able to
threaten in other areas.
success around the edges and
up the middle, with Augustine
Pulu making the most of a rare
start in an impressive two-try
performance, while Damian
McKenzie showcased his full
range of skills.
But it was in the for wards
where thr groundwork was laid,
meeting the challenge provided
by the Bulls to help the side
remain in the game after a
wayward attack contributed to
an uneven opening half.
The home side had all the ball
in the beginning stages but, with
their wings making a meal of a
couple of kicks to gift two tries,
the Chiefs were left chasing the
“ We made a couple of errors
in behind, we didn’t deal with
the ball very well and they got
a couple of quick tries,” Rennie
said. “But I was pleased with the
way the boys fought their way
back into it. ”
The fightback was not initially
evident as the Bulls capitalised
on errors to enjoy their best spell
of the match, taking advantage
of an opponent that suddenly
struggled for field position.
But, as they have proved time
and again, Rennie’s men hardly
need territory to be dangerous,
with a pair of first-half tries
to Liam Messam and Heem
coming after successful counter-
Drawing level by half-time
helped the Chiefs regain
composure and play with
increasing fluidity, with that
growing confidence apparent
during their patient play after the
The Chiefs were content to
monopolise possession and break
the Bulls down in increments,
with Pulu soon the benefactor
of a tiring Bulls defence, creating
some comfort for the first time
“The second half was better,”
Rennie said. “ We kicked better,
maintained pill longer and
pressure turned into points
Chiefs 34 (Messam, Heem,
Pulu 2, Nanai-Williams tries;
McKenzie pen, 3 cons) beat
Bulls 20 (Serfontein, Basson,
Labuschagne tries; Pollard con,
pen), Half-time: 15-15.
Williamson frustrates England
Kane Williamson’s unbeaten 92
rounded off a fine day’s work for New
Zealand in the first test against England
at Lord’s overnight.
The Black Caps ended the second day
well-placed at 303 for two, just 86 runs
behind England’s first innings 389.
Williamson and Ross Taylor (47 not
out) shared an unbroken stand of 155
after getting together when the tourists
were 148 for two.
But Williamson was given a reprieve
late in the day when he went down
the pitch to off-spinner Moeen Ali on
92 only for Jos Buttler, still more of a
batsman than a wicketkeeper, to miss
the stumping chance.
Now the stylish No 3 will hope to
avoid the fate of England duo Joe Root
and Ben Stokes, both out in the 90s.
By contrast, with the new ball available
after three overs tonight, England will
aim for an early breakthrough.
“ It’s New Zealand’s day, definitely. They
batted really well and we found it hard
to take wickets,” Ali told Sky Sports.
“ Jimmy (Anderson) bowled quite well
this morning, and (Stuart Broad), but
maybe a little short on that pitch.
“ We’re not too far from the new ball
tomorrow so hopefully we can make
some inroads,” added Ali, who ended
the day with figures of one for 52 in 17
England’s all-time leading test wicket-
taker, conceded 46 runs in 16 wicketless
Earlier, Martin Guptill made 70 in
his first test in two years and was well-
supported by Tom Latham (59) during
what was just New Zealand’s fifth
century opening partnership in a test in
“ We’ve got eight wickets in hand, and
we’re not too far behind now,” Guptill
said. “ Hopefully we can go big, bat just
the once, and our bowlers can rock and
On a sunny day, and without much
movement, England found life tough,
with captain Alastair Cook not often
straying from orthodox field settings.
The 24-year-old Williamson drove
down the ground impressively and his
50 came in good time, off 78 balls with
England earlier resumed on 354 for
seven, having been 30 for four before a
fifth-wicket stand of 161 between Root
(98) and Stokes (92) revived the innings.
But it lost its final three wickets for just
37 runs in 10.5 overs.
Left-arm fast bowler Trent Boult (four
for 79) and debutant quick bowler Matt
Henry (four for 93) led the way.
England might have seen the back of
both New Zealand openers when both
were in the 20s.
Guptill was on 24 when he edged
debutant fast bowler Mark Wood to
Cook at first slip but an umpire review
showed it was a no-ball.
After lunch, Latham was dropped on
21 by Ian Bell at second slip off Stokes.
But England took two wickets for no
runs in three balls shortly before tea.
Ali succeeded where the quicks had
failed by having left-hander Latham lbw.
Next over, 148 for one became 148
for two when Guptill carelessly drove
a Stuart Broad outswinger low to Gary
Ballance at cover.
Guptill, one of the stars of New
Zealand’s run to the World Cup final
faced 115 balls including eight fours and
a swept six off Ali.
Then, with both new batsmen on
nought, Williamson called for a reckless
single that would have seen Taylor run
out had bowler Broad’s underarm throw
hit the stumps at the striker’s end.
NZ well placed
after two days
A horror James O’Connor error
allowed the Sharks to break a six-
match super rugby losing streak
with a 21-14 victory over the
Queensland Reds last night.
A week on from the thumping
win over the Melbourne Rebels,
the horrors returned for the
embattled Reds, who were well in
the hunt until O’Connor’s 69th-
The former Wallabies winger
completely miscued an attempted
kick for touch from deep in
instead picking out the chest of
Sharks scrumhalf Stefan Ungerer,
who was metres from the tryline
and could not believe his luck.
It was Ungerer’s second of the
match and it blew the stuffing
out of a Reds outfit that, while
scrappy and error-prone once
again, looked odds-on to sneak
home in front of 20,899 fans.
Instead, the Durban-based
Sharks have tasted victory for the
first time since March, leaving
Queensland head coach Richard
Graham searching for answers.
Where last week they were
energetic and inventive, the
Reds were sluggish, fumbly and
plagued by turnovers, spending
most of the first half pinned back
in defence as the fast-starting
Sharks dialled up the pressure.
It eventually paid off for the
South Africans after 17 minutes,
when Ungerer attacked the
blindside from the base of a solid
Sharks scrum and flashed over
the line for a converted try and a
10-0 lead to the visitors.
But Queensland struck back
with a stunning try-of-the-year
contender seven minutes later
with a move that went through
nine pairs of hands and almost
the entire length of the field —
the only passage of play last night
when its attack actually stuck.
It started with Samu Kerevi
blasting through the Sharks
line from the Reds’ defensive
22m line, continued as Kerevi
recovered possession after J
P Pietersen elbowed down
an attempted Liam Gill flick
pass, and finished with Chris
Kuridrani scoring his first super
rugby try in the left corner.
Kuridrani was unfortunate to
be denied an earlier five-pointer
by the video referee when he
stepped over the touchline, but
found himself in the right place
at the right time on this occasion
to give the under-pressure Adam
Thomson and Will Genia an
outlet after they nearly fluffed
Two Francois Steyn penalties
before half-time gave the Sharks
some breathing space at 16-7, but
the Reds were in again early in
the second stanza when Kerevi
O’Connor added the extras to
reduce the margin to just two
points — but he looked like he
wanted the Caxton Street end
to swallow him up after his late
disaster, which the Reds could
not recover from. — AAP
Reds beaten at
home by Sharks
It should be a walk in Eden
The Blues barely have enough
troops to pick a match-day 23;
they are down on loose for wards,
experienced players and direction
from their board.
But through all of their turmoil
in 2015, to go along with their
3-10 record, the Blues could
play spoilers for the Hurricanes
Chris Boyd’s Hurricanes are
chasing the top seed for the
Super Rugby play-offs and two
wins from their final four games
would take any mathematics out
of the thinking.
Meeting the Blues on their
home turf in Auckland has this
nagging banana skin feel to it,
considering all three of the Blues’
wins this year have come at the
hallowed Eden Park.
“They ’ve had a pretty good
home season and I know they
place a lot of emphasis on fortress
Eden Park,” Hurricanes coach
Chris Boyd said of the Blues.
“They ’ve got quality players
there and the boys love going
to Eden Park and playing the
Blues, so, business as usual for
Except, it has not been business
as usual in Hurricanes country
Skipper Conrad Smith has
been rested, while an Achilles
injury has taken prop Ben Franks
out and suspension has seen
fellow starting bookend Reggie
The backline stocks have
got thinner by the week for
the Hurricanes with injuries
tearing through their depth
recently. Matt Proctor and Jason
Woodward have both succumbed
to ankle ailments, while pivot
Beauden Barrett (knee) has also
But Boyd was given some joy
this week when he was able to
give a rare start to Rey Lee-Lo
who will pull on the No 13 jersey
tonight in place of Smith.
“The tough gig in a super rugby
team is being at the back end
of the roster and you just do an
awful lot of training,” Boyd said.
“So I don’t have any doubt that
Rey has got the ability to play 80
minutes if he needs to.”
Lee-Lo has had limited chances
this season behind Smith and
Ma’a Nonu but was impressive
in the early stages of the season
during the Hurricanes’ trip to
South Africa with his reliable
defence. — N Z ME
Canes wary of Blues
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