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Saturday, September 26, 2015
The Bay of Plenty Steamers
did enough to remain in the
calculations in this dreary encounter
Off the back of a scrum that had
Northland in reverse and a lineout
that pressured the home side, the
Steamers gained the upper hand
early on and never relinquished the
The Taniwha, with their shaky mix
of a few Super Rugby representatives
mixed with the cream of Northland’s
club scene, were again largely
It may not have been what
Northland No 8 and captain Dan
Pryor had in mind for his 50th
match for the union. He coughed
up possession twice when tries were
on, though he will be happy that his
brother Kara has apparently been
signed by the Blues. Three others,
prop Namatahi Waa, reser ve
half-back Kurt Davies, and blindside
flanker Shane Neville, were all
playing their 15th (blazer) games for
Bay of Plenty’s first half showcased
a dominant scrum, some nice
goalkicking by first five Nick Evemy,
and the creation of several chances,
but all too often poor execution
bedevilled their play, and they
led 9-0 at oranges when it could
have been 20 plus. Tino Nemani
looked threatening at centre for the
Steamers, but his error rate was too
The first try came a few minutes
into the second spell when Steamers
wing Elijah Nicholas scored in
the corner after a nice break by
tidy replacement No 10 Dan
The Steamers’ pick and go tactics
almost paid off when Joe Royal
dived over, but the TMO ruled that
a Taniwha hand was underneath the
ball. It mattered not. Seconds later,
they were awarded a penalty try as
the home scrum disintegrated. All
this while replacement halfback Jono
Kitto was in the sinbin for backchat.
Lalakai Foketi scored the third after
some sweet lead-up play, led by
Keepa Mewett the bonus point
Northland No 10 Dan Hawkins
slid over after a surge by Ross
Wright, but he missed three off the
tee, which might have made it closer.
Northland’s next game is at Eden
Park against Auckland on October
3, while Bay of Plenty have a decent
break of eight days before they host
Wellington in Tauranga on October
Bay of Plenty 37 (Elijah Nicholas,
Lalakai Foketi, Keepa Mewett tries,
penalty try; Dan Hollinshead 4 con,
Nick Evemy 3 pen). Northland 5
(Dan Hawkins try). Half-time: 9-0 .
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
Bay of Plenty cruise
The Junior Warriors’ dreams of
another NYC title lay in tatters after
their defence was destroyed by Penrith
in last night’s semi-final at Suncorp
Stadium when they lost 16-50.
The reigning champions were seeking
a fourth grand final appearance in six
seasons but were instead thrashed as
the Panthers ran in eight tries.
A week after thumping the Broncos to
advance to the final four, the Warriors’
attack was largely blunted while their
defence was in disarray.
It looked like Kelvin Wright’s side
were in form for another romp when
Marata Niukore scored the opener after
five minutes, but it was all downhill
Penrith soon hit back through Sonu
Luke and, applying continual pressure
through repeat sets, the Warriors’
defensive workload eventually told as
Fuimanu Enese and Dylan Edwards
put the Panthers in control.
The second spell started in the same
fashion, with Penrith crossing from
their first set. And while the Warriors
hit back through Jazz Tevaga, Kaide
Ellis essentially sealed the win before
a flurry of late tries blew out the score.
Junior Panthers 50 (Luke, Enese,
Edwards 2, Jennings, Ellis, Harawira-
Naera, May, Ennis tries; Izzard con,
Edwards 6 cons).
Junior Warriors 16 (Niukore, Tevaga,
Aoake tries; Hingano con, Abbey con).
Half-time: 14-4 . — N ZM E
Junior Warriors title
dreams in tatters
Tongan chairman Epi Taione has
launched a withering attack on rugby’s
international bosses, describing them
as “ bloody traditionalists” clinging to
Taione attacked the way World Rugby
(the former IRB) was running the World
Cup and even criticised Europe’s Six
Nations for clashing with the power of
football’s English Premier League, citing
it as an example of old-school rugby
He called on WR to evenly distribute
resources instead of denying the likes of
Tonga — whose rugby relies heavily on
government backing — what was due to
Speaking to from London, Taione
who played in two World Cups —
said WR could learn about running
tournaments from Fifa. As an example,
Taione pointed to tournament darlings
Japan playing Scotland just four days
after facing, and beating, the might of
There were too many lay days in the six-
week, 20-team World Cup.
“They’ve got us sitting around for three
days in London, with nothing to do in a
He scoffed at WR’s rankings, saying
they were “worked out in a gypsy caravan
park in Ireland somewhere” and said the
sport was steeped in “colonialist bulls**t ”
which denied countries such as his a share
of the financial pie and voting rights.
“Rugby is so out of touch. It’s run by
colonialists who still think they run the
world like it was 100 years ago. They say
let ’s spread the game but it’s complete
and utter s**t.”
“They want us to compete but we get
$1.58 million a year while Argentina,
New Zealand and the other Sanzar
countries have received $18 million
before the tournament.
“The money should be evenly
distributed. And we still only get one
vote for all of the Pacific Island members
it should be Tonga one vote, Samoa
one vote, Fiji one vote. I cannot see how
our voice will be heard.
“$1.58 million to float a union is an
insult ... Where is the even playing field?
— New Zealand Herald
Tongan boss blasts ‘colonialist ’
hierarchy for unfair treatment
RUGBY WORLD CUP
Argentina picked up their first Pool
C win at the Rugby World Cup by
dispatching Georgia in convincing
fashion overnight as the tournament
prepared to lower the drawbridge for
the Twickenham blockbuster between
England and Wales.
The Pumas had given holders New
Zealand a scare or two in their opener
at Wembley but gave their noisy and
plentiful support in Gloucester even
more to cheer, serving up a seven-try
treat as they cantered to a 54-9 victory.
Georgia’s physicality ensured a tough
first 40 minutes, but the complexion
of the game changed when Mamuka
Gorgodze was sent to the sin bin and
the Pumas pounced with a three-try
Wingers Santiago Cordero and Juan
Imhoff scored two tries apiece while
the boot of flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez
weighed in with 15 points, including
the tournament ’s first drop goal, as the
Pumas moved into second place in
Pool C behind New Zealand.
Away from Kingsholm, much of the
attention focused on the build up to
Saturday ’s 127th clash between bitter
rivals England and Wales. The hype
has been unrelenting, with so much
at stake in a group that, with Australia
also in the mix, contains three of the
top teams in the world.
England have won their past two
meetings, including a 21-16 victory
in Cardiff in this year’s Six Nations
Championship, but Wales are hungry
to bloody their noses in their own
While it is unlikely that Wales coach
Warren Gatland, as a proud New
Zealander, would have any knowledge
of Anglo-Welsh wars long since
forgotten, he will have fired up his
troops to storm the citadel of English
Gatland, his ire ignited earlier in the
week when Wales were warned for
using non-World Cup squad players
in training, is never shy of stoking a
fire and on Friday he promised his side
would “smash” rugby league convert
Sam Burgess along with the rest of the
Hard-hitting Burgess has attracted
more attention than most at this
tournament and the expectation levels
were only increased when England
coach Stuart Lancaster named him to
start at inside centre against Wales.
England duo Burgess and Brad
Barritt ’s midfield battle with the
Welsh centre pairing of Jamie Roberts
and Scott Williams promises to be an
explosive affair, though Lancaster’s
decision to axe first five-eighth George
Ford in favour of O wen Farrell has
also put England on the defensive.
Farrell responded drily when asked
about the media reaction to his
selection, questioning coach’s decision.
“ What reaction? People can say
what they want. It’s the people inside
the camp that count to me,” Farrell
said. “External factors don’t matter to
us. The people who matter are inside
the camp, not outside. All I want to
do is my job.”
Lancaster and Gatland know that
defeat on Saturday would inflict
serious damage on either team’s
chances of progressing beyond the
South Africa, however, would be left
in an even more precarious position
should they follow the shock defeat
against Japan with another against
Samoa at Villa Park on Saturday.
Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer
has rung the changes after the Japan
debacle, but the new-look team will
face a stern test against a Samoa
side brimming with confidence after
opening their Pool B campaign with a
25-16 win over the United States.
Samoa captain Ofisa Treviranus said
his team is prepared for all that South
Africa will throw at them.
“I know they will come in really
hard. It will be a physical game. We
know they are really angry because of
that ( Japan) game,” he said.
“ We are ready for that. We are ready
to dominate them physically as well.”
Italy and Canada kick off today ’s
action at Elland Road in Leeds, both
seeking their first win in Pool D.
Swiss prosecutors have opened a criminal
investigation into Sepp Blatter, the head of
world soccer body Fifa, on suspicion of criminal
mismanagement and misappropriation of
funds, the Swiss attorney general’s office said
It said Blatter was interrogated after a
meeting of Fifa’s executive committee in
Zurich, and authorities carried out a search at
the organisation’s headquarters overnight.
“The office of the Fifa president has been
searched and data seized,” the office of the
attorney general said.
It was the first time that authorities
investigating corruption in the world’s most
popular sport had pointed the finger directly at
Blatter, the 79-year-old Swiss who has run its
powerful governing body for the past 17 years.
He has denied wrongdoing and his United
States attorney said he was co-operating with
the Swiss probe.
A source close to Fifa said that as Blatter
has not been arrested, charged or indicted, it
would probably be for him to decide whether
he stays in his post until February, when he is
due to step down.
However, the source said: “It is over for him
now, it is finished.”
The news of the investigation broke shortly
after Fifa had abruptly cancelled a Blatter
press conference at 15 minutes’ notice, offering
He had been due to speak for the first time
since his number two, Jerome Valcke, was
suspended last week following accusations
regarding ticket sales at the 2014 World Cup
in Brazil. Valcke denied the allegations.
In a sign of concern over the implications of
the deepening investigation, Russia was quick
to say that it would not affect its hosting of the
2018 World Cup, one of the biggest and most
lucrative events in sport.
Fifa’s awarding of the 2018 and 2022
tournaments to Russia and Qatar is one
of the strands under scrutiny from US and
Swiss authorities investigating corruption in
the organisation — a source of concern for
powerful sponsors such as McDonald’s Corp,
Coca-Cola and Visa.
The scandal exploded in May, when 14 soccer
officials and sports marketing executives were
indicted. Seven were arrested by Swiss police
in a dawn raid on a five-star Zurich hotel.
The Swiss OAG said Blatter had been
questioned by its representatives, and that
Michel Platini, the former French midfield
soccer star who runs European soccer
body UEFA, had also been asked to give
Platini is favourite to win the election
to replace Blatter when he steps down
in February. Blatter once described their
relationship as “like father and son”, but it
broke down irretrievably earlier this year when
Platini urged him to quit.
A Swiss law enforcement source said that
Platini had provided Swiss prosecutors with
evidence against Blatter and was not regarded
as a target of investigators at this point. The
source said that Swiss prosecutors were also in
touch with several other witnesses at various
levels of Fifa and its affiliates who have
expressed interest in giving evidence about
corruption in the organisation.
Swiss investigators have been putting
together their case against Blatter for some
time, a law enforcement official said. The
official said Blatter is not in custody and is free
to travel, though he has largely avoided leaving
Switzerland since May.
According to the Swiss criminal code,
Blatter could, if convicted, face a custodial
sentence of up to five years depending on the
circumstances of the offence.
The OAG statement said he was suspected
of a “disloyal payment ” of $2.05 million to
Platini at the expense of Fifa, allegedly made
for work performed between January 1999
and June 2002.
The payment was executed in February 2011,
the OAG said. It did not say why the payment
was “disloyal” or what became of the money.
The OAG said it also suspected Blatter
of signing a contract in 2005 with the
Caribbean Football Union, then headed by
Trinidadian football baron Jack Warner, that
was unfavourable for Fifa and had “violated
his fiduciary duties”, or duties of trust.
“Mr. Blatter is co-operating and we are
confident that when the Swiss authorities
have a chance to review the documents and
the evidence they will see that the contract
was properly prepared and negotiated by
the appropriate staff members of Fifa who
were routinely responsible for such contracts,
and certainly no mismanagement occurred,”
Richard Cullen, a US lawyer for Blatter, said
Blatter has sur vived a series of scandals
during his term in office, including widespread
accusations that Qatar bought the right to
stage the 2022 World Cup. Qatar has always
denied any wrongdoing. — Reuters
Swiss prosecutors target Blatter
Argentina ease past Georgia 54-9
RUGBY WORLD CUP
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TONIGHT overnight min 3
Fine with light winds.
Cloud increasing, a few showers
developing in the afternoon. Light winds.
Cloudy periods and a few showers. Light
Fine spells, and possibly the odd shower.
Mainly fine. Light winds.
Chance shower, then fine spells. NE.
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