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All Blacks wing Waisake Naholo,
on the comeback trail from a broken
leg, is again under an injury cloud and
in doubt for their final pool C match
against Tonga on Friday.
The try-scoring specialist is in need
of game time after being sidelined
for three months and the All Blacks
will wait until the last minute before
naming their team to decide if he will
be fit enough to play.
Naholo missed the All Blacks first
two games as he completed his recovery
from a leg fracture.
He then exploded on to the World
Cup stage with a sensational try with
his first touch of the ball in the third
game against Georgia which the All
Blacks won 43-10 to confirm their
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen had
tipped Naholo to be one of his biggest
attacking weapons in the tournament
but he slipped off the pace early in
the match and appeared to be limping
when he left the pitch at the 50-minute
Hansen immediately dismissed the
walk as a change to Naholo’s gait
after suffering a fractured fibula in his
maiden test against Argentina in July.
He was counted out of World Cup
contention then, before making a
whirlwind recovery following treatment
using a traditional healing method in
his native Fiji.
Assistant coach Ian Foster confirmed
yesterday that Naholo had suffered
bruising to the previously injured
leg and could not take a full part in
“ We were pretty precautionary
today and we’ ll assess him Wednesday
morning and make our decision then,”
Foster said when pressed on whether
Naholo would line up against Tonga.
The 24-year-old Highlanders wing
was the top try scorer in Super rugby
this year but was not his usual sharp
self when he made his first World Cup
appearance against Georgia.
Centre Sonny Bill Williams and prop
Charlie Faumuina did not train with
both suffering from minor injuries and
Foster expected them to be considered
for the Tonga match.
The only All Black not to appear so
far in the tournament, loose for ward
Liam Messam, was said by Foster to
be over his calf strain and would be
available for the Tonga game. — AFP
RUGBY WORLD CUP
Naholo under injury cloud
PICTURE: Getty Images
Waisake Naholo in action against Georgia.
Japan’s dismantling of Samoa at the
World Cup on Saturday was watched
by a record national television audience
of 25 million people, World Rugby said
A second victory for the Brave
Blossoms, who lit up the tournament
with a stunning upset over South Africa
on the opening weekend, kept Eddie
Jones’ side in contention to reach the
quarter-finals for the first time.
They sit third in pool B and will need
to beat the United States in their final
match in Gloucester on Sunday and
hope other results go their way.
Rugby fever has gripped Japan, who
will host the 2019 tournament, and
the 26-5 victory over Samoa in Milton
Keynes underlined their emergence as a
force in the game.
Saturday’s broadcast figure eclipsed the
previous record of 20.7 million held by
France, when national broadcaster TF1
televised the first semi-final of 2007
Rugby World Cup between France and
England in Paris.
World Rugby chief executive Brett
Gosper said: “ This is a significant result
for the game in Japan. It shows that the
general population there appreciate the
sport and the amazing performances of
their national team over the past few
“Their style of play has really caught
the imagination of rugby fans around the
world and, as these broadcast numbers
indicate, in Japan.” — Reuters
Japan victory draws
25 million viewers
The West Coast primary boys’ hockey
side began their Hatch Cup campaign
yesterday with a match against
Auckland, losing 0-14.
It was a big ask of the Coast team,
but they never gave up and hassled
Auckland from the start.
Hamish Tomlinson was in good form
in goal and took out the team’s player
of the day award. The defence Mickey
Wallace, Josh Levien and Mac Williams
Auckland were sharp, but West Coast
gained lots of experience from the
In their second game, against
out firing and went on attack
from the whistle and it was not
until the final 10 minutes that
Counties-Manukau scored, taking the
win 1-0 .
Reuben Lee shone on attack and was
unlucky not to score. His commitment
earned him player of the day. Guy
Wilkins and Cooper Haines passed
well, supplying nice ball to the for wards.
Mitchell Smith and Fionn Gallagher
tackled well, keeping the opposition at
Coast boys lose at Hatch Cup
Up to three Black Caps captains
and several former international
stars could be called to give evidence
as cricketing great Chris Cairns
stands trial on charges of perjury and
per verting the course of justice.
The list of witnesses reads like a
who is who of New Zealand cricket
and includes: Lou Vincent, Shane
Bond, Kyle Mills, Andre Adams,
Daniel Vettori, Brendon McCullum
and Chris Harris.
Former Australian captain Ricky
Ponting is also listed to give evidence,
as was Cairns’ wife Mel Cairns and
Mal Loye, an English county cricket
include former New Zealand
captain Stephen Fleming and
Mark Greatbatch, another former
international who went on to coach,
as well as McCullum’s former mental
skills coach, Kerry Schwalger.
Some of those witnesses, to be
called by both the Crown and the
defence, are expected to give evidence
from New Zealand and Australia by
audio-visual link, although Vincent
and McCullum will appear in person
in London next week.
Vincent ’s ex-wife Eleanor Riley
was also listed as a witness, as well
as senior New Zealand police officer
Detective Inspector Neil Hallett and
ICC corruption investigator John
Evidence will not be heard until next
Monday but the Crown case, led by
the Queen’s Counsel who prosecuted
Rolf Harris for historical sex crimes,
will begin with an opening statement
to outline the allegations in the early
hours of Thursday morning, New
Wearing a dark blue suit, Cairns
walked into the Southwark Crown
Court almost unnoticed by waiting
media who were mostly facing the
Later inside the courtroom, he
stood beside his friend, barrister
Andrew Fitch-Holland who is
jointly charged with per verting the
course of justice, and nodded when
asked by the registrar: ‘Are you Chris
The former cricketer is represented
by high-profile barrister Orlando
A jury panel of 16 was quickly
selected but the 12 jurors to actually
hear the evidence and decide verdicts
will be confirmed just before the
Crown open the case against him.
Potential jurors were culled from
the pool if they were professional
cricketers, or close to one, worked in
cricket administration bodies like the
ICC, or were police officers.
The charges relate to Cairns’
successful defamation case against
powerful cricket administrator Lalit
Modi who alleged the former all-
rounder was sacked for match-fixing
in the Indian Cricket League.
The Crown alleges he lied in that
case when he stated he had “never
ever” been involved in match-
fixing or even contemplated it. The
per verting the course of justice
charge relates to Cairns and Fitch-
Holland allegedly approaching Lou
Vincent, a team-mate of Cairns at
the Chandigarh Lions, to give a false
statement in the same libel trial.
Both men deny the charges.
— N ZM E-New Zealand Herald
Cairns trial begins in London
Rio de Janeiro
Organisers of the Rio Olympics
are facing economic and technology
pressure points just 10 months before
the 2016 games, Australia’s Olympic
veteran Kevan Gosper says.
But Gosper, a former International
Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-
president, says Rio can overcome such
troubles and deliver an outstanding
Gosper says he is bullish about
Rio’s ability to host the Olympics,
shrugging off concerns about sluggish
venue construction and transport
“I think the people of Brazil will rise to
the occasion,” Gosper said.
“Despite the fact they have been under
economic pressure, like many countries
in the world, they will deliver.”
Gosper, at a Rio 2016 World press
briefing in his role as chairman of
the IOC’s media committee, said
accommodation and technology issues
“There are some pressure points like
accommodation, there is not unlimited
accommodation,” he said.
“And I think there are certain
operational issues which still require
“There are some elements perhaps with
technology which are very important.
The use of telephones, the internet and
so on, that has got to be spot on.
“And of course that comes under a lot
of pressure at games time and I know
they (organisers) are alert to this — and
it will take money. ”
Gosper believed Olympic venues
and associated transport infrastructure
would be delivered on time.
“The venue preparation and where they
are is outstanding,” he said.
“I believe the city needed, and the
city believed this, a lot of infrastructure
“And people can see it happening
and they are going to be left with an
“It’s an emerging country with a huge
amount of promise.
“But most emerging countries have
taken quite a substantial hit since (the
global financial crisis in) 2008, especially
where their economy relies so heavily on
“But by and large I think they will
come through this and put on a great
games.” — AAP
Rio can overcome
its Olympic woes
As England begin the process
of ripping themselves apart and
debating what to do with coach
Stuart Lancaster, an element of
clarity is necessary to gauge how far
behind his peers he has been.
Good coaches have had a major
impact at this tournament and
their value has been obvious and
significant. Good coaches have
been easy to spot — their respective
teams playing with purpose, focus
and consistency of intention if not
Japan’s victory against South Africa
was masterminded by the astute
rugby brain of Eddie Jones. The
players added bravery and passion
to a tactically smart and nearly
technically perfect performance.
In contrast, Springboks coach
Heyneke Meyer made a mistake
with his selection, opting to run a
host of players who lacked match
fitness. Since the defeat, he is fixed
on one idea which is to revert to
what he calls a traditional South
African game plan of set-piece
excellence, brutal straight running
and a deadly rolling maul.
Keeping it simple works for
them and they look dangerous. The
Wallabies, with the odd exception,
have much the same players as they
did a year ago, but look at them now.
They have a tight five who believe
in themselves and with reason: they
scrummaged England off the park
at Twickenham. Michael Cheika
has fixed, in less than one year, what
Robbie Deans and Ewen McKenzie
could not in six between them.
England, in stark contrast, have
looked like a side under-coached
in some areas and massively
over-coached in others. Australia
have earned rave reviews in
beating England and while their
performance was well planned,
clinical when it needed to be and
physical throughout, they were
made to look considerably better
than they really were.
For all of England ’s resources
and preparation time, they could
not set their defensive line in the
build-up to the two first-half tries.
The English press have fallen over
themselves to laud the Wallabies as
out of this world but it does not take
rugby genius to run into giant holes
created by unforced, poor decision-
making by defenders.
The more worrying aspect of
Lancaster’s coaching, though, was
his selection. It made no sense,
reeked of panic and suggested that
after four years, neither he nor
anyone in his coaching team had
worked out the sort of players they
would need to play the game they
had in mind.
There was not a hint of anything
clever or innovative — which brings
up the All Blacks.
They have opened to mixed
reviews, the last of which was down
to them looking to innovate.
Head coach Steve Hansen arrived
in England with a plan and they have
stuck to it. They have gone down a
relatively unconventional path of
highlighting specific areas they want
to road test and even manufactured
scenarios to accentuate the pressure.
The rationale for it said Hansen:
“ We are in this competition to get
something out of it, not to get a pat
on the back for beating Georgia and
the likes by big scores.”
If nothing else, this is bold coaching.
Its foundation is experience of
World Cups and analysis of what
It has made for an element
of tension and ner vousness for
those on the outside looking in.
While Australia, South Africa and
Argentina appear to be showing
their respective full games and
looking the three most impressive
teams, the All Blacks have been
about nailing component parts —
such as their defence — amid overall
It is bold because it requires faith,
patience and discipline to make it
work. The pressure is building a little
on the All Blacks as more people
wonder whether they are good
enough to win again. Others have
impressed — they have not and yet
this troubles the All Blacks not one
In a few weeks, the pool strategy
may be seen as a stroke of coaching
genius and highlight further how far
behind England have been in that
— N ZM E -New Zealand Herald
England’s tactics under fire
RUGBY WORLD CUP
All is forgiven for Holden
superstar Jamie Whincup at the
Bathurst 1000 — well, with bookies
Whincup’s team boss Roland
Dane sensationally blamed the
record six-time championship
winner after running out of fuel
in the 161st and final lap of last
year’s epic enduro, all but gifting
Ford young gun Chaz Mostert a
memorable maiden win.
Whincup’s luck has not changed
in 2015, sitting in eighth spot in the
championship standings on 1586
points behind Ford pace setter and
arch rival Mark Winterbottom
Yet the four-time Bathurst
champion is still favourite with the
bookmakers for this year’s great
race with co-driver Paul D umbrell
ahead of defending champion
Mostert (with Cameron Waters)
and 2013 winner Winterbottom,
who will partner Steve O wen.
Whincup was repeatedly urged by
engineer David Cauchi and team
manager Mark Dutton to ease his
pace in the dying stages of last
year’s Bathurst enduro but like all
champions he kept pushing.
It did not end well.
Whincup enjoyed an overall
Bathurst lead of almost three
seconds before his fuel gaffe,
eventually limping over the line in
There was no love either in this
year’s opening enduro — the
Whincup and Dumbrell started
on pole and led for 86 of the first
100 laps but a puncture turned their
race on its ear.
They finished 15th.
Perhaps in a more worrying sign,
arch rivals Ford’s Pro Driving
team Winterbottom has extended
his overall championship lead to
198 points over Mostert with his
Sandown 500 triumph — his first
Mostert finished second at
Sandown, completing Prodrive’s
first ever V8 enduro quinella.
Prodrive are vying for a third
straight Bathurst win.
Yet bookies are still confident
Whincup can seal Holden’s 30th
Bathurst victory and first since
Holden and Ford are tied for most
pole positions in Bathurst history
with 21 apiece.
Meanwhile, former V8 champion
Marcos Ambrose will start at
Bathurst for the first time in a
He is one of only two drivers to
take pole position on debut (2001)
but has never finished better than
And for the first time since 1998
an all-female driving team has
entered the epic enduro.
International driver Simona De
Silvestro and second tier Dunlop
Series racer Renee Gracie make
their Mount Panorama V8 debuts.
The last time a sole female driver
raced in the event was Leanne
Tander back in 2009. — AAP
All forgiven for Whincup at Bathurst
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