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Danny Lee has
become the first New
Zealand golfer in the
more than 10 years to
register a victory on the
The 24-year-old made
par at the par-five 17th,
the second play-off hole,
to edge Canada’s David
Hearn to claim The
Greenbier Classic in
West Virginia today.
The result, aside from
being a lucrative week of
work, will provide Lee
with a host of playing
exemptions for the future
and it guarantees his tour
card for the next two
Lee earns $US1.2
million ($NZ1.8m) and is the ninth
first-time winner on the tour this
Lee finished the event at 13-under,
alongside Kevin Kisner, Robert Streb
and Hearn as they went to a four-way
play-off. Lee and Hearn made birdie at
the par-three 18th, while the other two
The last New Zealander to win on the
PGA Tour was Michael Campbell who
claimed the US Open crown in 2005.
— New Zealand Herald
Monday, July 6, 2015
Ill-discipline on Saturday cost Blaketown a
right royal chance of finishing as top qualifier
for West Coast Rugby’s Taylor ville-Wallsend
The seagulls outscored Marist three tries to
one but, with the referee finding fault with
the black jerseys, Marist halfback Hugo Torres
kicked five penalties and a conversion to guide
his team to a 22-19 victory and take his personal
points tally to 133.
In other games, Kiwi sealed victory in the
Muir Trophy competition and top spot on the
accumulated points ladder with an emphatic
89-26 victory over South Westland, while
Wests scored their third win of the season by
downing Grey Valley 32-20.
The results mean that the semi-finals will
be a repeat of Saturday ’s games, with Kiwi
playing South Westland, and Marist meeting
If Marist took all their many chances on
Saturday, the winning margin would have been
much greater, but Blaketown did enough to
prove that they are capable of turning the tables
next week, the bulked up scrum, in particular
holding its own for once.
Gordon Iafeta, Alan Monk, Adam Torrance
and Brad Houston were busy in the black pack,
while fullback Robert Thompson ran with the
purpose of old and halfback Nik Davy used his
kicking game to good effect to keep the greens
Prop Greg Crampton, followed closely by
hooker Ben Campbell, had a storming game for
Marist and Welsh second-five Brad Lewellen
again pressed his case for a West Coast jersey
with a classy display.
Marist made much of the early running
and squandered several scoring chances, but
Blaketown took all theirs to lead 14-3 at the
At half-time the penalty count was 4-2 in
favour of the greens, but it was 14-4 at the
finish. Two late penalties to Blaketown (Marist
had already received nine more by this point)
allowed the seasiders to draw level on the
scoreboard, but another to the greens gave
Torres a kick right in front, which he gratefully
accepted to put his side in front.
The game began with a minute’s silence for
Liam Richardson, his former Blaketown team-
mates wearing armbands as a mark of respect.
Blaketown mounted a long and passionate
attack from the kick-off, which was nullified
when Nik Davy elected to kick ahead when
Marist ’s defence was on the verge of crumbling.
The kick gifted Marist possession and soon
the greens were hammering at the Blaketwon
line, Melali Mudu and Isei Lewaqai crossing
but having tries ruled out. Torres also missed a
penalty and a field goal before the blacks swung
back on attack and a short pass from Torrance
almost put Nik Cumming over. Robert
Thompson scored soon after from a quick tap.
Phil Thompson converted but Torres closed the
gap to 7-3 with his first successful penalty of
With time almost up, Blaketown only had
enough time for one more play before the break
but they made it count, reclaiming the ball
which Rob Thompson, Houston and Brogan
Watt carried to the line before Torrance barged
over from close quarters. Phil Thompson
converted to give the blacks a 14-3 lead at the
Marist ignored an early penalty chance in the
second half, opting instead for a scrum from
which Josh Costello went close before Mudu
went over and Torres converted — 14-10.
Three Torres penalties took the score to 19-
14 but Blaketown drew level with a late try
to bustling wing Brogan Jackson after Nick
Cumming and Regan Stanton (showing good
hands) had worked him clear.
Phil Thomson missed the difficult conversion,
which would have put his team, in front but
Marist re-gathered the ball from the kick-off
and won another penalty which, despite the
insults and obscenities tossed at him from a
boorish section of the crowd, Torres guided
between the posts — 22 -19.
Marist 22 (M Mudu try, H Torres 5 pens,
con) Blaketown 19 (R Thompson, A Torrance,
B Jackson tries; P Thompson 2 cons).
Wests piled on the points in the first half and
then hung on grimly as Grey Valley wheeled on
the heavy artillery in the second spell to their
Wests coach Dicey Davidson said lock Bazza
Slaven was their man of the match, while fellow
for wards Nick Monk and Lee Davidson toiled
well in the tight.
Centre Elijah Matalomani was the best of the
backs along with Geoff Garland, who added
some oomph when he came on.
Veteran lock Peter Nicholls was Grey Valley’s
player of the day, while Nick Makea controlled
play well from first-five.
Valley coach Ben Ferguson said his side leaked
too many easy points in the first half but won
the second stanza 15-3.
Wests 32 (M Cook, M Slaven, N Smith, M
Johnson, L Ross tries; Ross 2 cons, pen); Grey
Valley 20 (B Morley, K McCleod, P Nicholls
Kiwi, unbeaten in the five Muir Trophy
matches, raced in 13 tries and Todd Struthers
converted 11 of them to take his personal tally
to 121 points, against South Westland.
Player-coach Troy Tauwhare said it was a
complete team effort but Struthers had made
a big contribution from fullback, his counter-
attacking skills leading to several tries.
“ It was our most complete performance. A full
80-minute effort and all the 50-50 passes stuck
for a change.”
South Westland coach Grant Mathieson was
unavailable for comment.
Kiwi 89 (T Struthers, K Otimi 2, D Tauwhare,
J Ferguson 3, L Winter, M Olson, T Scadden,
D Thompson, S McClure 2 tries; Struthers 11,
McClure 1 cons) South Westland 26.
Marist gets better of ill-disciplined Blaketown
PICTURE: Getty Images
Highlander Marty Banks looks to make a break in Saturday’s Super Rugby final against the Hurricanes at Westpac Stadium, in Wellington.
of the Otago Daily Times
Money Banks. That is his
nickname and it was never truer
than on Saturday night when
former Reefton man Marty Banks
slotted a drop goal with two
minutes to go to seal the deal in the
Super rugby final.
He was the man with the goods
as he calmly knocked over the drop
goal from the left of the posts, about
20m out, to give the Highlanders a
seven point lead with just over two
It was a cool bit of finishing for
Banks but it was third time lucky
after two previous attempts had
been closed down by the Hurricanes
“The first two were planned. The
one I got wasn’t really. The ball
just flew out of the ruck. I was just
trying to run down the time and try
and score a try,’’ he said.
“ We just needed to get that seven
point buffer to make it safe. We have
been having a few competitions
during the week, me and Lima
(Sopoaga), and we have been saying
if we have to hit a droppie, we just
have to be calm and just strike it.
“ We got carried away during the
week, hitting it too hard. All that
was going through my head was,
‘ Tap it and it will go through.’
“ I didn’t think about it too much
and that is what saved me. I had to
think about it in the first two.’’
Banks came on with about 10
minutes to go as Sopoaga had leg
cramps. He did not expect to get
on and any time on the field was a
Banks played for the Hurricanes
last year and said it was surreal to
return to a final in Wellington.
“ We had been written off all
week. The Hurricanes deser ved
favouritism but we just backed
ourselves and that is what got us
across the line.
“ We were stuffed ... they
(for wards) were on their last legs. To
get over that line after 80 minutes
just shows what the Highlanders
are all about.’’
Banks’ drop goal was the icing
on the cake of a tremendously
The visiting side was ahead for
all of the game and showed real
resilience on defence at times as the
Hurricanes pressed in the second
Sopoaga had banged over two
penalties after a tough opening half
hour but Ma’a Nonu replied, going
over in the corner with under five
minutes left as he squeezed under a
Josh Hohneck tackle.
Elliot Dixon then came back with
a tremendous run from 20m out
to score, and Sopoaga’s conversion
put the Highlanders up 13-5 at the
break. Winger Waisake Naholo
scored his 13th try of the season
six minutes into the second half,
getting inside Julian Savea’s tackle.
Savea then dropped the ball with
the line open on the three quarter
mark and it looked as though it was
not going to be the home team’s
A subdued Beauden Barrett
kicked a penalty with 15 minutes
left but Banks’ heroics sealed the
deal for the southern conquerors.
Highlanders 21 (Elliot Dixon,
Waisake Naholo tries; Lima
Sopoaga con, 2 pen, Marty Banks
drop goal), Hurricanes 14 (Ma’a
Nonu try; Beauden Barrett 3 pen),
Half-time: Highlanders 13-5 .
lives up to
A tortured franchise continues to wait.
The Hurricanes are the only New
Zealand side who have never won Super
Rugby and that wait will extend another
It looked as though things had fallen
in to place in 2015 with the right mix of
veteran players and young talent bursting
through but, ultimately, they fell at the
You cannot ask for anything more
than qualifying top and having home
advantage throughout the play-offs but
the Highlanders simply brought more
to the party as they claimed a 21-14
victory in Wellington on Saturday night.
Defence was the cornerstone in the
early phases of the Hurricanes’ season
but in the decider they met a team who
The Highlanders put up a brick wall
and the Hurricanes found few ways
In 20 years of Super Rugby, the
Hurricanes have played in two finals
for no joy. Calling this loss a choke
would seem harsh but after finishing the
campaign with a 14-2 record they were
favourites heading in to the showpiece
The Crusaders and the fog got the
better of them in 2006 and this match
was meant to be the perfect send-off
for some of the Hurricanes’ most iconic
Names like Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu
and Jeremy Thrush are etched in the
fabric of the side and winning a title in
their final match before heading offshore
was the stuff that dreams were made of.
The battle cry went out from the local
fans as the hour-mark approached
with chants of “Jerry, Jerry” delivered
to inspire the troops in memory of the
late Jerry Collins, the former Hurricanes
flanker who passed away in a car accident
in France recently.
The Hurricanes had the initials ‘JC’
embroided on to their sleeves and Collins
has ser ved as a point of motivation for the
side in the back end of the competition.
The Highlanders brought levels of
enthusiasm to the contest that the
Hurricanes could not match and it was
a former Hurricane — Marty Banks
who kicked a late drop goal, which
proved the dagger.
Highlanders flanker Elliot Dixon,
another man who must have been
unlucky not to hear his name called
in the All Blacks squad recently, was
immense for the visitors and the way
he carried the ball like a raging bull was
something to behold.
Nothing seemed on late in the first spell
when he caught a pass near the line but
the big No 6 put his head down, barged
through four defenders and managed to
force the ball for a controversial try.
The TMO needed multiple looks but
eventually the green light was given and
it helped the Highlanders take a crucial
lead to the break.
That try will be debated by Hurricanes
fans for years to come and a fanbase that
has been through so much heartache will
continue to wait for a maiden title.
Chiefs star Tim Nanai-Williams
says most of the pressure is on the
All Blacks in Apia and declared
Samoa can win the match despite
their status as heavy underdogs.
Samoa have never come close to
beating the All Blacks but have
never had the benefit of home
Williams — who switched to
Samoa after playing sevens,
schoolboy and age-group rugby for
New Zealand — told the Samoa
Obser ver the occasion would not
get to the home side.
“ It ’s not that much pressure on
us to be honest,” the 26-year-old
livewire utility back said.
“The pressure is on them because
they are the best in the world. As
a group we believe we can win.
The boys are really up for it. The
challenge...is to stick with them for
the whole game. We’ve got to win
every little battle.”
Nanai-Williams has returned
to Samoa for the first time since
he was five and described the
experience as “awesome”. He hopes
Wednesday ’s match leads to many
more international teams playing in
Apia. “ It just means a whole lot to
us,” he said.
Meanwhile New Zealand High
commissioner Jackie Frizelle told
the newspaper the match was
bringing the two countries together.
“It is clear the community here
absolutely loves rugby and it’s the
same in New Zealand...this match
is bringing those two communities
together around the love of the
game,” she said.
“The feeling of excitement here
this week is fantastic. I see the
bunting coming out, the cars going
past with flags, there’s a real buzz
about the place. People are ready
to really have a great time and are
putting out a warm welcome mat
for the visitors from New Zealand. ”
— New Zealand Herald
of the Herald on Sunday
A season of relentless lows for George
Moala has spiked to an unprecedented
high with the Blues utility back named to
win his first test cap against Samoa.
Moala will take his place on the right
wing, in a starting XV that also sees Andy
Ellis make his first appearance in a black
jersey since he booted the ball into the
crowd to bring the 2011 World Cup final
to a close.
The bench features three uncapped
players in Nepo Laulala, Brad Weber
and Charlie Ngatai and Hika Elliot ’s
miraculous recovery from a near career-
ending injury continues with the abrasive
hooker hoping he will come off the bench
to win his fourth cap.
Elsewhere the team shapes much as
most would have predicted — perhaps
with the surprise of Luke Romano
starting ahead of Brodie Retallick
given the unavailability of the
Highlanders and Hurricanes players.
There is nearly 650 test caps in the pack;
an established inside pairing — at Super
Rugby level at least between Ellis and
Daniel Carter; a unification of Sonny
Bill Williams and Ryan Crotty in the
midfield and opportunities for Charles
Piutau and Israel Dagg to strengthen
their respective cases to be included in
the World Cup squad after suffering
injury-ravaged seasons so far.
In short, it is a team with the skills,
experience and rugby nous to start the
season off with a victory.
“It’s exciting for the group to be playing
this first ever All Blacks test in Samoa
and we know it ’s going to be a special
occasion,” All Black coach Steve Hansen
said. “ The Samoans will be incredibly
physical and keen to put in a huge
performance in front of their fans and we
will have to play with high intensity and
accuracy with plenty of physicality.”
Hurricanes still waiting for Super Rugby success
All the pressure on the ABs, says Nanai-Williams
Moala gets All Blacks test start
Danny Lee ends
NZ golf drought
PICTURE: Getty Images
Danny Lee lines up a putt on the 18th hole during the
final round of the Greenbrier Classic held at The Old
White TPC in West Virginia.
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