Home' Greymouth Star : June 26th 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
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of the Otago Daily Times
Liam Coltman is not getting ahead of
The Waratahs — and their big,
bristling bunch of for wards — await, but
the Highlanders hooker and his team
are staying calm.
Coltman, 25, knows it is a big match
probably one of the biggest of his
career — but he sees no need to reinvent
the wheel just because it is a semi-final
“ We just need to stick to our game
plan and do what we know we do best,”
Coltman said. “ It is just another game. If
we stick to what we do then things will
Coltman is a key part of that plan,
and after a year to forget last season,
the hooker has rebounded well in 2015.
He is hitting his jumpers — such an
important part of his job — and also
getting round the field, running the ball
up and making the tackles. Coltman
does not make it complicated. After all,
his job in the front row is no-frills stuff.
“ I’m just having fun. That is all it is —
just focusing on what I have to do. I’ve
worked on a few different areas. A bit of
Rightly or wrongly, a hooker’s
performance is judged on his throwing
to the lineout. Every time it goes wrong,
the hooker is in the gun. No matter that
it involves nearly every other member of
the for ward pack.
Coltman said he had spent plenty of
hours on his throwing since last season
and it seemed to be getting results.
Assistant coach Tony Brown had helped
him, getting the right balance when
throwing and getting into a routine.
Coltman’s crooked throws for the
season could be written on the back of a
postage stamp with a crayon.
He also has a weekly throwing
competition at practice with Ash Dixon,
the other hooker in the Highlanders
squad, which helps with accuracy.
“ We’ve got a wee competition going. It
makes it a bit more fun and it’s good for
Coltman said the Highlanders were
excited about the Sydney semi-final
and needed to keep up the momentum
which had been gained over the past few
“ We just have to fine-tune a few things
and we’ ll be right. Last week, with the
crowd, it was unbelievable. It helped the
boys get up and stay there.”
The Waratahs will be just as physical
if not more than the vanquished Chiefs
but the bushy-bearded hooker is ready.
“They ’re a big side, all right, and a good
side as well. I ’m absolutely pumped. We
just need to stick to what we do and play
Coltman, who has signed with the
Highlanders for another couple of years
and will play for Otago this year, was
in the All Black frame last season but
missed out this year.
He said it was not something
which concerned him and he was
just concentrating on playing for the
Highlanders, and then Otago. Coltman
will have to do without his No 1
supporter in the crowd tomorrow night.
His father, Tom Coltman, drives from
his Taranaki farm to all corners of the
country following his son. But he and
his booming voice will not be crossing
“Dad has not got a passport, so he
can’t make it. He’s seen nearly all of
the games so far. He loves it. Just drives
everywhere. I never hear him. Everyone
else does but I never do.”
There has not been a silver bullet.
There rarely is when you try and fix a
sports team and the Hurricanes were a
side that needed to find a remedy.
They spent the past few years mired in
mediocrity — mid-table finishes have
been the norm since 2010 and they
were only ever a win or two away from
the play-offs, which gave you a nagging
feeling that they could put it together
at some point.
One thing they had in their favour
was potential. Young players like Ardie
Savea, Reggie Goodes, T J Perenara
and Beauden Barrett are all talented
individuals who have the ability to
leave their mark on a contest.
When former coach Mark Hammett,
who steered the ship from 2011-14,
left last season all the tools were there,
someone just needed to take the squad
by the scruff of the neck and drag them
to the post-season .
Coach Chris Boyd arrived with
assistant John Plumtree and they have
managed to take this team to the semi-
finals during their first year in charge.
They compiled a 14-2 winning record
and can push through to their first
grand final since 2006 with victory over
the Brumbies in Wellington tomorrow
Quantifying their rise is tricky; there’s
no one reason as to why they have
ascended to the top of the tree.
“ I don’t think there’s a silver bullet
and there’s not one answer,” Boyd said.
One of the goals the team had at the
start of the year was winning the public
back after some turbulent seasons
where people fell out of love with the
Hurricanes. They have voted with their
feet and tomorrow ’s semi-final should
be a sell-out; a rare site at the Cake
Tin for a game of rugby that does not
involve the All Blacks.
“ Respect is a fickle thing,” Boyd said.
“It’s very easy to lose and it’s hard to get
back so it’s a long grind to get respect at
anything and you can lose it overnight
if you get it wrong.”
Captain Conrad Smith — the longest
tenured Hurricane — has been a part
of the best and worst times at the
franchise and said the building blocks
were laid during the past few years.
Hammett was a key cog in establishing
those foundations but his contribution
may be glossed over by many.
“ We’ve worked really hard as group
for the past two or three years and I just
honestly think it ’s the result of a lot of
hard work and it’s not just this year,”
Key players have come of age. Forwards
Brad Shields, Dane Coles and James
Broadhurst have all accumulated more
than 50 caps and their experience has
been invaluable this season. P lumtree,
who looks after the for wards and
defence, is also a sharp coaching mind.
The Hurricanes conceded the second-
fewest points this season, it is not a
coincidence to see a team like that do
well. Barrett and Perenara are perhaps
the best inside back competition in
Super Rugby, a combination that has
been developing since 2012.
Ma’a Nonu’s return to Wellington
has been crucial too. It is not out of the
question to say he has been the best
New Zealand back in Super Rugby this
The formula has required a number of
ingredients but the Hurricanes finally
have the right mix. — NZME
Friday, June 26, 2015
New Zealand pulled off an
outstanding 2-0 win over tough
rivals Australia this morning at
the women’s world league hockey
tournament in Antwerp.
The win is just the 17th by the
women’s Black Sticks against
Australia in 112 matches.
Captain Anita Punt put New
Zealand ahead with a well struck
penalty corner shot shortly after
halftime. It was the first goal in
the 13th attempt from a penalty
corner during the tournament.
The tireless Punt had a hand in
setting up the crucial second goal
with a clever run and deft pass to
midfielder Ella Gunson, who took
her chance well to double the lead.
The win leaves fourth-ranked
New Zealand top of pool B,
three points ahead of world
No 2 Australia going into the final
round of group games, in which
New Zealand will meet hosts
Belgium on Sunday.
The top three teams at the
tournament are guaranteed places
in next year’s Rio Olympics.
“It was a really tough battle
and to come away with a win is
awesome for the girls,” Punt said.
“It was definitely a pretty fast
game and we’re going to need to
recover well after this.”
Punt, whose goal made her New
Zealand’s leading scorer, going
ahead of striker Katie Glynn
and now-retired attacker Krystal
Forgesson, said it was a case of
keeping on fighting as the game
wore on and she was confident if
they did that “it would fall for us”.
Australian captain Madonna
Blyth, playing her record 304th
international, was disappointed
her team did not put their game
plan into action as effectively as
they had hoped.
“Credit to the New Zealand girls.
They played well and at that pace
we all know they can do.
“ We’ve got a lot to do looking
ahead to the quarter-finals.”
Australia had a fine penalty
corner conversion rate going into
the match but today failed to
find the net with any of their five
attempts. New Zealand managed
one from their four opportunities.
Australia’s chief shooter Jodie
Kenny had her radar on the blink
today but New Zealand defended
the set piece impressively, while
pulled off a string of quality saves,
including one from Jane Claxton
with four minutes remaining,
which would have given Australia
impetus for a final late push.
Thompson, a key figure in a strong
defensive operation, admitted
there were tired legs in the New
Zealand dressing room but “we’re
pretty over the moon to be honest ”.
“O ur game plan is to go forward
and attack a lot and I think
Australia play a pretty similar style
so these games finish up really fast
and full on, so it’s good to finally
come away with a win.”
Thompson reckoned the key was
the team collective effort.
“The work ethic, chasing and
running hard to put Aussie under a
lot of pressure. We also turned over
a lot of ball which helped keep the
game in our favour.”
Australia had something of a habit
of snatching late goals against the
Black Sticks to either secure a
draw or pinch a win.
“It was really good for us to
keep on top of our defence, keep
fighting and grinding to the end.”
Punt and midfielder Stacey
contributors for New Zealand,
who maintained their 100%
winning record at the tournament
In the other pool B game
Belgium beat Poland 2-0 while
in pool A Korea thumped France
11-0 and Japana nd Italy drew 2-2.
— New Zealand Herald
Hurricanes’ Conrad Smith, right,
and Callum Gibbins celebrate
Smith’s tr y.
Hurricanes finally have right mix
Highlanders cool, calm, primed for big win
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