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of the New Zealand Herald
The 2015 Netball World Cup will
go down as another tale of heartache
for the Silver Ferns at the hands of
the Australian Diamonds.
The Diamonds won the world
title in Sydney last night 58-55 on
the back of a rampant 16-7 start,
which, despite winning the final
three quarters, the Ferns could not
Since finals were introduced to the
World Cup format in 1991, New
Zealand and Australia have met in
six of the seven title deciders. The
prevailing story of those finals has
been that of Australia triumphing
in tight encounters, with the largest
winning margin being just four
goals. And it was no different last
night as the Diamonds, who at one
stage led by 11 goals, overcame a
spirited late charge from the Ferns to
claim a win and an 11th world title.
The Ferns had to deal with the
consequences of “poking the bear”
earlier in the tournament, after
awakening the Australians to the
threat the Ferns posed with a
stunning 52-47 win in pool play.
With a new-look attack line and
bold new game plan, New Zealand
caught the Diamonds off-guard last
Sunday. That element of surprise was
lost last night and so too the Ferns’
composure early on as ner ves and
anxiety took hold on the big stage.
“The first quarter was a killer,”
coach Waimarama Taumaunu said.
“It was probably ner vous tension
I suspect. It was a big occasion and
it took a little while for us to settle
into our work and we didn’t get any
gain ball defensively to make up for
a ner vous front end.”
By the first break Australia led 16-
7. It was effectively game over.
The Silver Ferns won the final
three periods, but as Taumaunu said
“ we couldn’t recover, and against a
team like Australia you tend not to”.
Choking back tears in the
post-match press conference a
heartbroken Casey Kopua, the
team’s inspirational captain, said she
was proud of the fight her side had
“In the first quarter we were down
by quite a bit and to bring that
back and you can see in people’s
eyes that they really wanted it, that
was a little tick for me because if
they had of put their heads down
or given up, that would have been
really disappointing, but that never
happened at any time,” she said.
Kopua now plans to take time out
to consider her international future.
It is likely so too will several of the
team’s long-ser ving stars, including
Laura Langman and Maria Tutaia,
while retirement appears almost
certainly on the cards for veterans
Jodi Brown and Leana de Bruin,
who brought up her 100th test
appearance last night.
The performances of some of the
youngsters in the team over the
past 10 days, including Bailey Mes,
Grace Rasmussen and Kayla Cullen,
who became virtually overnight
frontliners for the Ferns, have given
Taumaunu heart that the team will
still be in good shape.
Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander
was thrilled with the way her
side dealt with the challenge. “It
was much more difficult than
Commonwealth Games, the
spotlight was on us, the expectations
were on us,” she said.
Cue more scenes of Diamonds
jubilation, emotional players leaping
into the crowd to embrace family,
and confetti raining down on the
women in gold.
It was the third straight
tournament where the likes of Casey
Kopua, Laura Langman and Maria
Tutaia have had to watch such
The trio, who have been pillars of
the Silver Ferns’ line-up for a decade,
now face the prospect of ending
their careers without a world title.
After a disastrous 2014 season,
not many people thought the Silver
Ferns would be in last night’s final.
But the new-look side, emboldened
by a new game plan that encouraged
them to play a fearless, attacking
brand of netball, proved their
doubters wrong, storming through
pool play and tipping the World
Cup applecart with a stunning 52-47
win over Australia on day three.
Swept up in the confidence,
enthusiasm and positivity from the
Ferns’ camp, you got the sense that
this year might be different. But
fairytale endings do not happen
often in New Zealand netball.
Monday, August 17, 2015
It might not be too long until we can
call the All Blacks captain Sir Richie
Prime Minister John Key has this
morning confirmed the record-
breaking loose forward will be offered
McCaw previously turned down
the chance after the world cup win of
four years ago but Key told TV3’s Paul
Henry Show he would get another
“ Whether he would take one, I don’t
know. The offer was there before and I
can’t imagine anything has changed.”
Key also noted the “Richie for prime
minister” banner at Eden Park the
other night and said: “I thought, well,
not a bad option really”.
“He has got a massive brand and you
think how successful Colin Meads is
now and Richie is at the starting point
“He’s articulate, he’s an intelligent
guy, there’s a range of things he could
do. I don’t know if politics is one of
those options. He has a lot of business
interests and I’d think he’d pursue one
Later on TV1’s Breakfast, Key said, in
his opinion, McCaw was the greatest
ever All Black.
“As an athlete, you’ve got to say this
guy is a freak.”
McCaw is now the most capped
rugby international, with 142 test
appearances. The upcoming world cup
defence will be his All Blacks farewell.
After four years in the wilderness
the West Coast Chargers finally
grabbed a win on Saturday when
they downed the Southland Rams
23-8 in the opening match of the
South Island premier rugby league
competition, in Invercargill.
West Coast coach Paddy Byrne
said the wet conditions suited the
Chargers, who played a “good wet
“Four years is a long time
between drinks, and on Saturday
the boys got out there and worked
away and dug in for each other —
they did exactly what I asked of
them,” Byrne said.
While he was impressed with
all the players’ efforts he said
second-rower Cole Green was
“His work rate was exceptional.
However, in saying that — there
was just a blade of grass between
Green and the rest of the team.”
Coast never let Southland into
the game, Byrne said.
Phil Thomson and Jordan
Campbell kicked deep and all the
other players backed up well.
“Our good defence was our
winning ticket really,” Byrne said.
The coach was also impressed
with the younger players Logan
Woodham, Ryan Coleman
and Campbell, who all put in
“They came from the 17s to the
premier team and all three stood
Hamish Paterson, in his first
representative outing, also had a
good game, and the bench made
an impact. Corey Grant was
another who contributed to the
win; his defence out wide was a
standout, Byrne said.
“ We got the opportunity to
enjoy the moment for about an
hour when we arrived back in
Christchurch on Saturday, then we
headed back to Greymouth with
our happy faces on. ”
Overall, it was a good effort and
gives him something to build on
this weekend when the Chargers
play Tasman, at Wingham Park.
Coincidentally, the last West
Coast Chargers win was against
the Southland Rams in 2011.
West Coast Chargers 23 (Mike
Bruhn, Jordan Forsyth, Dean
Coghlan, Harrison Mahuika tries;
Phil Thomson 3con, 1 dropped
goal), South Rams 8. Half-time:
West Coast 16, Southland Rams 0.
In the other game, the Otago
Whalers hosted Canterbury.
Reigning champions Canterbury
headed into the game as favourites.
It was a tight battle in the
first half with the score level at
6-apiece. The second half was hard
fought and full of drama. Two
attempts at tries for Otago were
disallowed. Canterbury were also
a man down for 10 minutes after
he was sent to the bin for a high
Canterbury came out on top
PICTURE: Getty Images
Silver Fern Bailey Mes is
challenged by Diamonds Laura
Geitz in yesterday ’s World Cup
gold medal match at Allphones
Arena in Sydney.
of the Herald on Sunday
Beauden Barrett will
not be going to next
year’s Rio Olympics.
The All Blacks utility
has ruled himself out of
next year’s New Zealand
sevens team, placing
more importance on
retaining his All Blacks
jersey than Olympic
The loss of the 24-year-
old is a significant
blow for sevens coach
Gordon Tietjens, who
has made no secret of his
admiration for Barrett ’s
It comes on the back
of Ben Smith recently
Aaron Cruden also
signalled earlier this year
that he was not going to
put himself in the sevens
Barrett conceded it
was a difficult call but
the potential All Blacks
opportunities had to take
“It was a tough
decision — it is tough
for everyone,” Barrett
told Veitch on Sport on
“That carrot of a gold
medal is dangling in
front of our faces —
although it ’s not going
to be easy, it’s going to
be very competitive over
there in Rio.”
“I just want to focus on
my 15s game. I think I
have got enough to work
“I don’t think we
can underestimate the
importance and the great
opportunity of playing
for the All Blacks.”
In many ways, it is a
In 2016, for the first
time in than a decade,
there will not be the
giant shadow of Daniel
Cater looming over all
other contenders for
the All Blacks No 10
It’s a ‘situations vacant ’
Barrett clearly wants to
take advantage of.
“O bviously DC’s
moving on at the end
of this year and it ’s an
someone to stand up,” he
“That ’s a challenge I’m
really looking forward to
(and) I see my future in
the 15s game.”
Barrett also needs
to become a starting
player at international
level, rather than the
bench roles that have
characterised most of his
All Blacks career.
Sonny Bill Williams
and Liam Messam are
believed to be the only
two frontline All Blacks
who have committed to
the 2016 sevens tilt at
Julian Savea, Victor
Vito and Malakai
Fekitoa were believed
Tietjens’ wishlist, along
with Smith and Barrett.
An extended sevens
squad will be named
after the World Cup,
with the 12-man final
Olympic team to be
announced in June.
Players involved in
next year’s sevens
programme are expected
to miss a big part of the
Super Rugby season, as
well as the three June
tests against Wales.
They would also
be unavailable for
part of the Rugby
of the Herald on Sunday
The world can keep spinning on its axis
for another day — another year probably —
because the All Blacks are a long way from
falling off any cliff.
They look awfully like a team on a mission,
a team with everything they need to win the
There is no need to get carried away and
start believing it will happen — but, certainly,
after Saturday night ’s 41-13 performance,
there is not any need to be moping about
wondering whether there are too many old
blokes going round once too often.
No chance. This was a quality performance
from a team who took defeat to heart last
week and recalibrated.
The All Blacks got rid of all that lateral
nonsense from Sydney. They did not shovel
nothing passes and stand back and wait. They
fired Ma’a Nonu at them — straight out of
a cannon. Kieran Read was everywhere and
Sam Whitelock made a huge difference.
Simple rugby, played at speed and with
awareness, was what blew the Wallabies away.
That ’s all it took — shoulders square to the
touchline, lower body positions and greater
speed and urgency at the breakdown and
While the scoreboard ticked along and there
was much to admire about their attacking
game, it was the intensity and accuracy of the
All Blacks defence which was the star of the
The arrival of Wayne Smith has seen them
tinker and adjust and the process has been a
little painful, but obviously worth the pain as
whatever they have done, has worked.
It was the All Blacks tackling that put
Australia under pressure. There was nowhere
for Australia to go and they resorted to
aimless kicking that allowed the All Blacks
to take control of territory and possession.
That defensive onslaught is going to be the
basis of the All Blacks’ game in England. That
is how they are going to hurt teams and where
they are going to get into opposition heads
and make them panic, just as the Wallabies
did last night.
To be fair to the Wallabies, some of them
were probably well on edge, due to Q uade
Cooper. Poor, old Quade — he had another
shocker and it feels like it is just too easy to
set him off at Eden Park.
The All Blacks looked for him — put bombs
up on him, ran at him and, with 30 minutes
to go, they had broken him. A yellow card
for Cooper ended his night and, who knows,
possibly his World Cup dream.
This was in stark contrast to his opposite
number. It is absolutely worth clarifying
that Daniel Carter is neither busted nor
flushed. A few issues were raised in Sydney,
all of which could be filed under the broader
question: does he still have what it takes to
run the All Blacks?
The answer to that is, yes. Quite emphatically
so. That left boot of his was a serious weapon
last night and will be so again throughout the
Carter knocking over goals wasn’t the story
of the night. That box has long been ticked.
It was Carter taking on the defence that
changed the equation.
That was the missing piece. Some had given
up on him, felt it wasn’t there any more while
even the most ardent believers were just
beginning to wonder.
No need. Carter can run and step. He can
see the space and get himself into it and he
set up Dane Coles’ try with a bit of the old
If it is magic the All Blacks want — and
indeed need — then Nehe Milner-Skudder
has to go to the World Cup. One magical run
from him to create the penalty try said it all.
He’s got something that works at this level.
New Zealand 41 (M Nonu 2, D Coles,
penalty, C Smith tries; D Carter 2 pens, 5
cons) Australia 13 (I Folau try; Q Cooper 2
pens; N White con). Half-time 13-6 .
Horror star t costs Ferns gold
Knighthood awaits captain McCaw
PICTURE: Getty Images
All Blacks Conrad Smith, left, Daniel Carter, Ma’a Nonu, Keven Mealamu, Richie McCaw and Tony Woodcock celebrate with the
Bledisloe Cup after winning The Rugby Championship match against the Wallabies at Eden Park, in Auckland. It was their last game
on New Zealand soil.
Some old black magic spells win
Centurion, South Africa
Martin Guptill has hit an aggressive 60 as
New Zealand made their highest total in a
Twenty20 international against South Africa
at SuperSport Park.
The Black Caps made 7-177 after winning
the toss and batting in the second and final
20-overs contest between the two teams on
New Zealand’s short tour.
The total was four runs better than New
Zealand’s previous highest against South
Africa — 4-173 at Hamilton in 2011-12.
New Zealand lost that match by eight wickets
and the tourists may have felt they again had
not taken full advantage of ideal conditions.
As in the first match in Durban on Sunday,
Guptill and skipper Kane Williamson got
the side off to a fast start, putting on 52 off
5.3 overs before Williamson was caught at
third man off Kagiso Rabada for 25.
The pair put on 68 for the first wicket in
Durban before the side slid to 8-151 and
went on to lose by six wickets.
With Guptill making his 60 off 35 balls,
New Zealand put up a better performance on
Sunday but again there were no further major
Fast bowler Rabada took 3-30, including
two wickets off successive balls in the
penultimate over. — AFP
Guptill leads Black Caps to Twenty20 record
Australia’s Jason Day held his
ner ve to end five years of close calls
at the majors with an emotional
breakthrough victory by three shots
over American Jordan Spieth at the
PGA Championship today.
World No 5 Day, two ahead
relinquished his lead as he closed
with a five-under-par 67 on a
blustery afternoon of hazy sunshine
at Whistling Straits to post a major
record low of 20-under 268.
The previous best at a major
was the 19-under total of 269
recorded by Tiger Woods when
he triumphed by eight shots in the
2000 British Open at St Andrews.
Day fended off the challenge of
Spieth, who had been bidding for a
rare third major victory in the same
year, with four birdies in the first
seven holes, followed by three more
after the turn.
The 27-year-old Australian, who
had previously recorded nine top-
10 finishes in the majors — six of
them in the top four — had to wipe
tears from his eyes before he tapped
in a par putt from just one feet on
the 18th green.
Spieth, the Masters and US Open
champion, had to settle for second
after closing with a 68, a finish that
secures him the No 1 ranking for
the first time at the expense of Rory
Day, who was embraced by his
pregnant wife Ellie as he made
his way off the green, became
the fifth Australian to win the
PGA Championship after Steve
Elkington (1995), Wayne Grady
(1990), David Graham (1979) and
Jim Ferrier (1947).
“It’s an amazing feeling,” a visibly
emotional Day told CBS Sports
after being presented with the
coveted Wanamaker Trophy, which
he hoisted high in celebration.
Championship is very special. ”
South African Branden Grace,
who pulled within a shot of Day ’s
lead after making four birdies in
five holes from the third, signed off
with a 69 to place third at 15 under.
Day made a confident start to the
final round when he stretched his
lead to three after getting up and
down from a bunker to birdie the
par-five second, before picking up
further shots at the fifth and sixth.
Though Spieth also birdied five
and six to remain two behind, Day
drained a monster 15.2m to birdie
the par-three seventh, shouting out
“ Yes” in celebration after his ball
disappeared into the cup.
Though the Australian bogeyed
the eighth, after his tee shot ended
in a poor lie in a bunker, he did well
to salvage par at the ninth when he
chunked a wedge approach from
the middle of the fairway, chipped
to 2.7m and sank the putt.
Two ahead at the turn, Day picked
up further shots at the 11th and
14th to move four strokes clear and
could afford the luxury of a bogey
on 15 before finishing birdie-par-
McIlroy, back in action this week
to defend his PGA Championship
crown after being sidelined with an
ankle injury, signed off with a 69 to
finish at nine under. — Reuters
Day finally seals a major
PICTURE: Getty Images
Jason Day with the Wanamaker trophy after winning the PGA
Championship at Whistling Straits, in Wisconsin.
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