Home' Greymouth Star : July 9th 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
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Thursday, July 9, 2015
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
Holiday basketball skills
Children dribble during a cat and mouse game in the Fast Break Basketball school holiday programme at the Civic Centre, on Wednesday. Children spent the
day playing a mixture of skill orientated games to help improve their dribbling, defence and teamwork. The programme runs until Friday.
of the New Zealand Herald
Steve Hansen’s visit to Samoa
ended on a high note this morning —
the bestowing of a chief ’s title that he
received on behalf of the All Blacks.
In a ser vice that began before
dawn in the main fale of Vaiala, on
the outskirts of Apia, the All Blacks
coach accepted the high title of
Tupuiovao, or “King of the Forest ”.
Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa
Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi was in
attendance, as were many other elders
from Vaiala — about a kilometre
from Apia Park where the All Blacks
yesterday beat Manu Samoa 25-16
— a nd the surrounding villages.
During the ceremony, Hansen said
of the All Blacks’ historic visit: “It ’s
very special for our Samoan boys who
have wanted to come here for a long
time to play in front of their people. ”
After wards, he said: “It was very
special and very humbling. I’m not
sure if I’m worthy of being a chief but
I’ll certainly accept it on behalf of the
Hansen conceded he
apprehensive before the ceremony.
“ It’s natural isn’t it? You don’t really
know what ’s going to happen. I
don’t like too much palaver in my
life anyway but this was special and
something I’ll remember forever.
“The whole Samoan week has been
pretty special — particularly when
we arrived out of the plane, and it
hasn’t stopped, really.
relationships and got a win and didn’t
get anyone injured so it was perfect.”
As has been the case at several public
events featuring the All Blacks and
the Samoa Prime Minister, Tuilaepa
threatened to steal the show with
his quip during the ceremony. “ From
now on I will have trouble retaining
my Manu Samoa boys,” he said.
“They will all want to ser ve you,
another prominent chief. ”
ceremonial clothes, was seated
between Tuilaepa and Ken Laban,
a New Zealand broadcaster with
significant links to Vaiala who was a
strong advocate of Hansen receiving
the Tupuiovao title.
Laban, who also spoke during
the ceremony, along with his sister
Luamanuvao Winnie Laban, said the
recognition was the right thing to do.
He told the Herald of the events
leading up to the test which he said
was the most-watched television
event in Samoa’s history: “I ’ve been
coming and going to Samoa since the
1960s and I’ve never seen the scenes
we’ve had over the past few days.
All Blacks Coach Steve Hansen
during the ceremony where he was
named honorary chief of the village
“It is just a game of football but for
the people of Samoa it is more than
that and the legacy that Steve Hansen
and this All Black team have left will
be long lasting. There wouldn’t have
been an All Black test in Samoa
without Steve Hansen.
“He told me the defining decision
to approve the game from his
perspective was after he spoke to
his senior Samoan players in the
All Blacks — Jerome Kaino, Keven
Mealamu and Ma’a Nonu. ”
The elders made it clear to Hansen
that his future was assured if things
didn’t work out with the All Blacks.
One said: “ When New Zealand
axe you as a coach, come and coach
A big thumbs up has come the
way of Auckland’s Heineken Open
tournament with it being named
‘best fan experience’ at the ATP
awards this week.
It is the second consecutive year
the tournament has won the award.
“The Heineken Open Auckland is
an outstanding on-site experience
for everyone, whether you are an
avid tennis fan or not,” Alison
Lee, executive vice president ATP
“The tournament provides the
perfect balance of tennis and
entertainment which is why people
pack out the venue, two sessions a
day for the whole week and return
“I tell other promoters around the
world to check out the Auckland
tournament to see how well they
have combined different elements
to appeal to visitors.”
The best fan experience award
from the ATP caps off a great year
for the New Zealand Festival of
Tennis, which also saw the ASB
Classic voted best international
tournament by the WTA players
earlier in the year.
“This is great global recognition
for the experience we are trying to
provide for our fans,” tournament
director Karl Budge said.
“In a time where attendance
at sporting events has declined,
we have been able to continually
increase numbers. The on-site
experience and diversity being
a key driver along with the star
players we have been able to attract.
To have the two most important
groups of people — players and
fans say they love us, is a great sign
for the tournaments. It certainly
makes recruiting top talent a lot
easier which hopefully means the
fans will flock in their numbers,”
The awards were announced at
— New Zealand Herald
Auckland tournament honoured
Just as the top four men’s
seeds seemed set to contest the
Wimbledon semi-finals for the
first time in 20 years, dashing
Frenchman Richard Gasquet fired
a broadside of backhands straight
through the script today.
Defending champion Novak
Djokovic, seven-times title holder
Roger Federer and home hope
Andy Murray all kept to their
side of the bargain with straight
sets wins. But Swiss Stanislas
Wawrinka, the French Open
champion, let the side down.
Then again, there was no shame
in a 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 11-9 defeat
against a daring man playing one
of the matches of his life in a
contest dubbed “the battle of the
Gasquet, a former world junior
champion who has fallen short
of the heights expected of him,
ser ved for the match at 5-3 in the
fifth set but fourth seed Wawrinka
broke back, gesturing with a finger
pointed to his head that he had the
single-hander, like Wawrinka’s
near identical backhand stroke,
has the purists purring, showed
remarkable resolve to withstand a
With Wawrinka a proven warrior
and a bona fide member of the elite
after winning the 2014 Australian
Open and succeeding Rafa Nadal
as French Open champion, you
feared the worst for Gasquet.
As the backhands fizzed
diagonally across the net with ever-
increasing intensity the 21st seed
kept his nose in front. Five times
Wawrinka held serve to stay alive.
At the sixth time of asking,
however, Gasquet forged 0-40
ahead and, although two match
points went begging, Wawrinka
fired a backhand long to end the
“It was very difficult for me to
lose that serve at 5-3,” Gasquet,
who destroyed Andy Roddick at
the same stage in 2007 only to lose
to Federer in the semi-final, told
reporters. “I kept fighting. That
made the difference.”
While Gasquet in full flow
has always been a joy to behold,
his mental fortitude has been
He lost to Australian Nick
Kyrgios here last year despite
having nine match points and
two years ago at Roland Garros
he went down 8-6 in a fifth set to
“It ’s a revenge for me a little bit,”
he said. “It ’s great to win. After
2007, it ’s been a long time.”
“I’m proud because there are big
players in the semis. I’m the worst
when you see Federer, Djokovic
Gasquet will have to scale the
same heights, and some, to have
any hope of reaching his first
grand slam showpiece at the 43rd
attempt as Djokovic awaits in the
A few weeks ago on Paris clay he
managed only six games against
the world No 1 Serb who clinically
took US Open champion Marin
Cilic apart 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 today.
After Djokovic’s scare against
Kevin Anderson in the previous
round, when he extricated himself
from a deep hole, Djokovic cruised
into his 27th grand slam semi-final
after extending his domination of
Croatian Cilic to 13-0.
“I ’m hoping I have that extra gear.
I’m hoping it can come out now in
the semi-finals,” the 28-year-old
Federer was more inconvenienced
by a couple or irritating rain delays
as he swept past Gilles Simon in
the day ’s first Switzerland v France
contest on court one, winning 6-3,
The only blot was finally dropping
a service game after 116 successive
holds stretching back to last
month’s Halle Open.
Third seed Murray, playing in the
quarter-finals for the eighth year
in a row, was kept on his toes by
the only non-European in the last
eight, Canada’s unseeded Vasek
Pospisil, but with a royal audience
in the shape of Prince William and
his wife the Duchess of Cambridge
he delivered a 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 win.
He has faced nobody ranked
higher than 23 so far but things are
about to get considerably trickier
with second seed Federer looming
The last of the Swiss maestro’s 17
grand slam titles reduced Murray
to tears on finals day in 2012,
though a few months after that
Murray beat the Swiss on Centre
Court to win Olympic gold.
“It will bring back those memories
of a great summer for both of us,”
Federer told reporters. — Reuters
Men’s semi-finalists found
Hansen named ‘chief ’ of Samoan village
STATE OF ORIGIN
PICTURES: Getty Images
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen drinks kava during a ceremony making
him an honorary high chief of Vaiala today in Apia. Hansen is now known
by the Samoan people as Tupuivau Steve Hansen.
PICTURE: Getty Images
Queensland’s Greg Inglis, Sam Thaiday, Matthew Scott, Cameron Smith,
Justin Hodges and Johnathan Thurston celebrate with the State of Origin
shield last night at Suncorp Stadium, in Brisbane.
of the Herald on Sunday
An afternoon kick-off, a full house, a dry
ball and two ferocious teams ready to knock
each other’s heads off — hard to see now why
anyone was ever reluctant to take the
All Blacks to Apia. The All Blacks won 25-16 .
Even harder to know is why New Zealand
Rugby seem to be determined to not come
back. Madness ... utter madness if they do not
see the value of a return visit and not in 100
years or whatever silly timeframe they have in
This was test football Pacific-style and, like
Oliver Twist, everyone needs to be asking,
‘please sir, can we have some more?’
Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Manu Samoa,
perhaps a little ner vous in the first half,
suddenly found themselves in the second and
it was game on.
Serious game on because, for most of the last
30 minutes, they owned the All Blacks. They
were better in all the key areas and as their
confidence surged, the passes started to go to
hand, the running lines became natural rather
than contrived and they had belief.
They also had the All Blacks on the ropes.
Few teams have rattled the All Blacks quite
like this in the last four years but Samoa just
would not relent.
Whatever Samoa are striving to be as they
embrace a more professional set-up, they will
not lose the essence of themselves. They are,
still, the greatest warrior team on the planet.
No one tackles quite like they do. No team
has that same thunderous approach. Not even
the All Blacks.
Their tackling was, frankly, terrifying — the
one-on -one hits were off the scale. George
Moala, on debut, made the rather poor choice
of tilting his lance as it were at the over-sized
The big Samoan has the turning circle of a
Honda Odyssey so, typically, the best ploy in
trying to avoid his full 130kg
of particular carnage is to apply
some kind of dodging tactic.
Moala obviously did not get
the memo or, more worryingly,
work out after the first time he
was sent 5m back, not to run the
same line again a few minutes
Tuilagi’s hits were brutal, but
there were plenty of others who
There was no doubt a few All
Blacks became a little edgy after
20 minutes — scanning for the
blue jersey that was going to
It was much the same at the
breakdown where Samoa gave
as good, maybe even better,
than they got. Their discipline
was largely good and their
technique, awareness and
understanding of when to
commit was up there with the
best teams in the world.
The pity was that Samoa
sacrificed accuracy for passion.
While they rattled the All
Blacks with their defensive
punch and presence at the collision, they
couldn’t screw the nut tighter.
Twice Tusi Pisi, with a stiff breeze at his
back, could not find touch from penalties.
Their lineout wobbled and their scrum creaked
and, with that, came penalty opportunities for
the All Blacks and Daniel Carter.
ner ve and temperament and he nailed it. It was
his six penalties that won the All Blacks the
test. New Zealand needed to take the points
when they were offer, they needed a settling
influence — a calm head and measured boot to
nudge the scoreboard into the right place. That
Amid the mayhem of the tackled ball area
and the ferocity that was everywhere, Carter
gave the All Blacks shape and direction and
just enough cohesion to sneak home.
What felt more important, though, was that,
while the scoreboard said the All Blacks had
won, really, everyone had won.
The All Blacks could play a lifetime of June
tests against the likes of Wales and England
and not one would connect like this. Rugby is
so intent to work its way into new territories
and yet they have what is effectively an
untouched haven in the Pacific.
No one wants less of this type of rugby. How
could they? Who, regardless of whether they
had seen the game played before, wouldn’t
have been memorised by the physicality and
It took the All Blacks a lifetime to come to
Apia. It can’t take a lifetime for them to return.
Manu Samoa 16 (A Faosiliva try; T Pisi con,
3 pens) New Zealand 25 (G Moala try; D
Carter con, 6 pens). Half-time 3-12.
Birthdays do not come much better
than Q ueensland’s record 52-6 State of
Origin series-clinching win, coach Mal
Meninga hopes it means age is not a
discussion topic again when it comes to
his all-conquering maroons.
There were no prizes for guessing
what Meninga wanted on his 55th
birthday in his unprecedented 30th
Origin at the Queensland helm.
He could not hide his delight after
Queensland’s eight tries to one romp
in front of a sold out Suncorp Stadium
sealed their ninth series triumph in 10
It provided a fitting farewell for
33-year-old centre Justin Hodges who
captain Cameron Smith let hold aloft
the trophy as the maroons went into
“From a coaching perspective to have
17 play at the best of their ability for
themselves and each other - that ’s the
best birthday present ever,” Meninga
“It ’s an extraordinary thing to
Eight members of Queensland’s
17 were on the wrong side of 30 —
including seven in the starting 13.
Meninga hoped it was never again an
issue after his side’s stunning response
to having their record eight straight
series streak snapped last year.
“They keep pestering with that age
thing — it ’s not an issue,” Meninga
“ We had to be smart with the football
last night, and that was generated
through the older players like Smithy
(Cameron Smith) and Cozza (player of
the series Corey Parker).
“The leadership group, the ‘older
players’, were fantastic.
“ We had a defensive focus in the
lead-up and I don’t think I have ever
seen a better defensive effort from a
Queensland side. It all came from great
Retirement plans did not appear to be
on anyone else’s radar despite Hodges
drawing the curtain on his 12-year,
24-game Origin career.
“No, we’re not going too bad (for
older players),” 33-year-old Parker said
after claiming the Wally Lewis Medal
for player of the series.
“I suppose from the media’s
perspective you’ve got to write
“That was certainly topical at the time
but I’m not sure what you’re going to
Asked if they had proven a point in
game three, Smith said: “I think we
were proving a point to ourselves to be
honest. I think every time you walk on
the field you have to prove a point to
someone, whether it ’s your coach, your
team-mates, yourself, someone who
“ We’ve had a fair few of those after
the last two years.
“After game two (26-18 loss) it was
a point to prove to ourselves that we
are a great footy side. That belief is
always there but sometimes when you
don’t play well you need to regain that
The final word went to Hodges who
was given the honour of kicking the
final conversion, providing welcome
relief to Johnathan Thurston’s boot.
“ We are going to miss him,” Meninga
“Apart from being an extraordinary
player, he loves putting on the maroon
jersey. He is one of our leaders...and
one of our characters — we will miss
him.” — AAP
Samoa takes it to ABs
The All Blacks and Samoa after yesterday’s test at Apia Stadium.
NSW for wards Trent Merrin, Beau
Scott and James Tamou are all facing
time on the sidelines following the
blues’ massive 52-6 loss to Q ueensland
in the State of Origin decider.
Merrin is facing a four-week stint
out after being charged with a grade
two dangerous throw on Corey Parker
in the first half last night. Even if the
St George Illawarra back-rower takes
the early guilty plea he will be slapped
with a four-game ban due to carry-over
Tamou will miss one game if he takes
the early plea after being charged with
a grade one striking for a clumsy effort
on Jacob Lillyman in the second half.
Scott will also sit out one NRL
match if he pleads early after being
charged with a grade one dangerous
throw on Maroons skipper Cameron
Merrin faces month ban
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