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Tuesday, September 8, 2015
of the New Zealand Herald
Netball New Zealand bosses tried
to convince Waimarama Taumaunu
to chase a second term as Silver Ferns
Taumaunu announced yesterday that
she will finish as head coach after next
month’s four-test Constellation Cup
series against Australia, having elected
not to reapply for her position, which
was advertised after the World Cup.
The move has surprised many in the
netball community, with there being
a sense that Taumaunu was only just
beginning to make real gains with her
programme after a tough time for New
After an 18-goal capitulation to
Australia in last year’s Commonwealth
Games final, Taumaunu was forced to
make sweeping changes to her side for
the World Cup last month, bringing
several untested rookies into the group.
The Ferns impressed with their bold
new attacking game plan at the Sydney
tournament, upstaging Australia in
pool play only to once again fall to the
Diamonds when it mattered in the final.
Netball NZ chief executive Hilary
Poole said she had hoped Taumaunu
would apply for another term in charge.
“ We did ask her a number of times and
encourage her to put her hat in the ring
again because we believe she’s still got
more to give. I don’t think she has maxed
out her potential,” Poole said.
“ We really admire what she has done
with this group. She was brave, she took
calculated risks and, to be honest, she
took a lot of flak from the public for a
period of time. But she has always been
resolutely supported by the Netball NZ
board and myself and she has added a
huge amount of value to the sport in
terms of starting to build that depth and
change the culture,” Poole said.
While her bosses would have liked to
see her stick around, the coach herself is
adamant it is time for new leadership in
the Silver Ferns programme.
Taumaunu has been involved since
2008 — first as assistant coach before
taking over from Ruth Aitken in 2011.
“For all intents and purposes I have
been there for eight years, and I feel very
strongly that eight years is enough and a
fresh set of eyes will be a good thing for
the Silver Ferns,” she said.
Taumaunu admits walking away
from the team without a major title to
her name will grate, “ but it’s still not a
good enough reason to not allow a fresh
approach to come in”.
But just who will bring that fresh
approach remains anyone’s guess, with
there being no obvious ready-made
replacement for Taumaunu.
Her assistant coach for the past two
years, Australian shooting legend Vicki
Wilson, officially ended her term with
the Ferns after the World Cup.
Just as Netball NZ has grappled with
player depth, coaching depth has also
been a concern for the national body
Former Magic coach Noeline Taurua
has previously stated her desire for
the position, while Steel coach Janine
Southby is highly regarded as an up-
With local options thin on the ground,
Netball NZ may consider appointing
an overseas applicant for the first time.
Several Australians are expected to
apply, including current Magic coach
Poole was coy when asked the national
body’s stance on whether the Silver Ferns
coach needs to be a New Zealander.
“ We’ ll be appointing very much the
best person for the job,” she said. “ We
need to go through the process and give
everyone the opportunity to demonstrate
their suitability for the role. ”
Applications for the position closed
last night. Netball NZ hopes to name
the new coach by mid-November.
The appointments panel will include
Poole, Netball NZ high performance
director Steve Lancaster, a representative
from High Performance Sport NZ and a
well-known former player.
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The wait goes on for Anthony Hudson. After
the All Whites’ disappointing 1-1 draw with
Myanmar early this morning, the New Zealand
coach is still waiting for his first victory in
It was meant to happen in Yangon — and
the All Whites took the lead just before half-
time — but they never looked truly convincing.
Shane Smeltz’s 43rd minute penalty was
cancelled out by a Myanmar equaliser with
25 minutes to play and the home side finished
Results are not everything in international
football — and Hudson has been focussed on
building depth, with plenty of experimentation
— but this was a disjointed, scrappy performance
against a team that shipped nine goals without
reply versus Kuwait last week.
There were some mitigating factors, including
a pitch clearly affected by the torrential rain
of the past few days while the side looked
unbalanced by the absence of Deklan Wynne
and Storm Roux on the flanks. But New
Zealand failed to take advantage of their
physical superiority, failed to create much
through midfield and failed to finish the
opportunities that did present.
On the positive side, Marco Rojas had good
moments — clearly benefiting from a run
of first team football in Switzerland — and
captain Winston Reid added assurance at the
back. Goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic continued
his good international form and Smeltz made a
Myanmar had conceded three goals within
the first 20 minutes against Kuwait - but there
wasn’t the same early fireworks from New
Zealand. There were a couple of chances, with
a Themi Tzimopoulos header from six yards,
which was cleared off the line by a defender,
the best opportunity. The visitors had plenty of
ball but were loose in possession; they lacked
patience in their build up play and precision
with the final pass. Myanmar gradually gained
in confidence and got a foothold in the match.
Indeed, the home side should have taken the
lead in the 37th minute, after striker Kyaw
Ko Ko sprung the New Zealand offside trap.
Bearing down on goal, he looked certain to
score but was nullified by a superb save by
Stefan Marinovic, the All Whites goalkeeper
stealing the ball from beneath the striker’s feet.
The All Whites finally broke their scoring
drought - when had extended more than 200
minutes — with Smeltz’s spot kick, his 24th
international goal. Rojas won the penalty, after
a mazy run inside the area.
That should have been a platform to launch but
it didn’t really happen. Instead, Myanmar lifted
in the second half and grabbed an equaliser in
the 66th minute through Thiha Zaw. His shot
took a fortuitous deflection off Winston Reid
but it was no less than Myanmar deser ved.
The Asian side created further chances, and
even enjoyed spells of dominance, an unlikely
prospect before the match.
Hudson made a raft of second half substitutions
but the changes made little impact; if anything
the All Whites lost shape when Bill Tuiloma
was replaced early in the second spell.
Debutant Alex Rufer had a late chance —
his goal bound header superbly saved by the
Myanmar keeper — but the home side also
looked dangerous in the closing stages.
— New Zealand Herald
Former West Coast
super athlete Ruth
Croft has reached
new heights in her
long distance running
Last week Croft,
now based in
Taipei, won the
women’s section of
101km race, which
started in Italy and
took 1900 runners
to the finish line in
France. The race had
six major climbs and
descents and about
6096m of total vertical
smashed the previous
record for the event,
finishing in 12hrs 53
minutes. The previous
record was more than
14 hours. She was also
over an hour ahead
of the second placed
athlete, top American
As well as breaking the record
and taking the women’s title,
Croft was also placed eighth
Earlier this year, she was second
in the Tarawera Ultra Marathon,
a 100km race from Rotorua to
Prior to that she continued her
good form, winning the Mount
Kinabalu in Borneo and also took
top honours in the Mount Fuji
Trail Race to the top of Japan’s
Former West Coaster, endurance athlete Ruth Croft, crosses the finish line to
win a 101km race in France.
Croft smashes race record in France
Olympic gold medallist Hamish Carter has
been included in the list of inductees into the
ITU Hall of Fame.
The official induction will occur at the
upcoming ITU World Triathlon grand final in
Carter is one of just seven to be added to the
Hall of Fame and will attend the ceremony in
Chicago where he will be officially welcomed
into a very exclusive club of former athletes.
“ It is pretty cool, I knew a couple of days ago”,
said a typically laid back Carter.
“ It is a funny thing, these things never drive
you to do the sport, but equally when you have
had ten years away from the sport it is nice to be
recognized and although a Hall of Fame sounds
a bit odd — whether it is famous people or not,
it is recognition from the sport I focused on and
“It is a real honour and you think about the
others who will be inducted, I raced against
them week in week out and I have huge respect
for them as well, it is nice to be included
amongst them. It feels like another lifetime
ago when I was an athlete, for me though the
sport was going through huge change, right
through my career. I started in a non-drafting
sport and finished in a drafting mode and
then it became an Olympic sport and also was
at the Commonwealth Games. I think across
that period you had to adapt and change to the
styles and elements of racing so thinking of
my career the success I had came down to my
ability to adapt and change with the sport —
and to consistently perform and respond well
in the tough times — Sydney to Athens was a
defining time in my career.”
Carter was quick to point to others who
should share in his news.
“ I had amazing people to work with, I would
like to dedicate this news today to the late Jack
Ralston who developed me as an athlete for
15 years before the Sydney Olympics, he was
a huge part of my career. It is sad he can’t be
here but he was an amazing guy who shaped
so many athletes, it is nice to remember him at
this time as well.
“There are a ton of other people behind my
success like Chris Pilone, Mark Bone and the
role that my wife Marisa and training partners
all played. Success is never achieved on your
own, I had a huge team behind me, people
like Roger Mortimer who had a massive part
to play. So many people but at times like this I
need to try and remember them all. ”
Hamish Carter named in ITU Hall of Fame
All Whites draw ‘disappointing’
Wests and West Coast colts Jeff
Garland has been named in the New
Zealand under-19 Heartland rugby team.
The 18-year-old is one of 25 players
from around New Zealand announced in
the team late yesterday.
West Coast colts coach Terry McBride
said he had watched Garland grow as a
rugby player since he coached him in the
West Coast under-12s team.
Garland, who plays first-five for the
colts, is from Hari Hari but based in
McBride said Garland was a skilled and
versatile player who could slot anywhere
into the backline.
“O utside selectors were at the game
West Coast played against Buller last
weekend and he obviously caught their
eye,” McBride said.
“From my point of view, Jeff ’s key
ability is his attitude — he has the right
one. He gets right on with it, whether
it be playing the game, training or just
helping out — he is great to coach.”
He said there were a lot of players on
the West Coast who were skilled but
often did not go far with their rugby
because of their attitude.
“Since we have been playing a few
games in Christchurch, players have been
getting more exposure as well. It also
goes to show that it doesn’t matter where
you come from, if a player has all the
right qualities and the skill, they will be
recognised and rewarded.”
No other players from the West Coast
were selected. Luke Barlow from Buller
was also named in the team.
The 25-man team is.—
Charlie Henare (King Country),
Gabriel Hakaraia, Joe Edwards
(Whanganui), Matt Gain (Wairarapa
Bush), Ben Hince (King Country), Meli
Kolinisau (North Otago), Jason Heywood
(Thames Valley), Leslie Hills (Poverty
Bay), Dominic Broadhead (Whanganui),
Hone Haerewa (East Coast), Marcus
Ale (Wairarapa Bush), James Grogan
(Poverty Bay), Chris Raymond
(Wairarapa Bush), Filipo Veamatatau
(North Otago), Taylor Transom
(Whanganui), Jeff Garland (West Coast),
James Hawkey (South Canterbury),
Jordan May (Thames Valley), Alex
Robinson (Thames Valley), Wez Harvey
(Horowhenua-Kapiti), Te Peehi Farlie
(Poverty Bay), Christian Vainiere (Mid
Canterbury), Nick Robertson (Wairarapa
Bush), Jayden Milner (East Coast), Luke
West Coast colt Jeff Garland has been selected in the
New Zealand under-19 Heartland rugby team.
Garland in U19 Heartland team
Simona Halep overcame a thigh injury,
baking heat and finally big-hitting
German Sabine Lisicki, while Donald
Young’s US Open fairytale ended with
a fourth-round loss to Stan Wawrinka
It was Labour Day in the United States
but it was certainly no holiday for Halep
who had to work for her spot in the last
eight, needing two hours and 38 minutes
under a broiling sun to dispatch Lisicki
6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-2 and reach the US Open
quarter-finals for the first time.
Waiting for the second seeded
Romanian in the last eight is two-time
US Open finalist Victoria Azarenka, who
advanced with a comfortable 6-3, 6-4 win
over American Varvara Lepchenko.
The 26-year-old Young, regarded
during his teenage years as the next great
American men’s player, had advanced to
the fourth round with two epic wins from
two sets down but ran out of comeback
magic against the fifth seed Swiss,
surrendering 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.
“I think now he (Young) is more the
player that he is. He’s playing his game,”
Wawrinka said. “He’s trying to play the
way he wants. He’s trying to do things.
He’s coming on the court knowing what
he’s going to try to do. Now we have to
see how he’s going to go from here also
because we all know that in general when
he’s playing at home he’s playing better
than the rest of the tournaments.”
While Wawrinka escaped the heat
unscathed, it was a battle of wills between
Halep and Lisicki to see who would be
last woman standing.
After dropping the opening set Halep
called out the trainer to have treatment
on her left thigh and at the end of the
second the players left the court when the
heat rule came into affect, but through it
all the exhausted Romanian was able to
guts out a victory.
Her left leg heavily strapped, a wounded
Halep sensed her opportunity when
Lisicki began to cramp in the third set
and stretch between every point.
Halep, who converted 10 of 11 break
chances, claimed the most crucial one to
go ahead 4-2 and then held serve to break
her 24th seeded opponent again and
clinch a spot in the last eight at Flushing
Italy’s F lavia Pennetta returned to the
quarter-finals for the fourth consecutive
year easing past 2011 US Open winner
Samantha Stosur of Australia 6-4, 6-4 .
US TENNIS OPEN
Time for fresh start,
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