Home' Greymouth Star : December 5th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
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Mal Meninga is intent on
restoring the Kangaroos’
after being ushered in as
Australia’s new national
rugby league coach.
“ unbiased” after ending his
hugely successful 10-year
stint as Q ueensland State
of Origin coach, Meninga
vowed to return the
Kangaroos to their glory
days after being knocked
off their perch by New
Australia won six straight World Cups
between 1975 and 2000, with Meninga
front and centre during the most
dominant reign of any nation in rugby
league history as one of only five players
to feature on the undefeated 1982 and
1986 Kangaroos tours of Britain and
France, famously dubbed The Invincibles
and The Unbeatables.
But after losing the 2008 World Cup
final to New Zealand as well the 2010
and 2014 Four Nations deciders to the
trans-Tasman rival, Australia’s 40-year
run as the king of rugby league officially
came to an end this year following three
successive defeats at the hands of the
Kiwis for first time since 1953.
The only player ever to make four
Kangaroos tours says it is time to set the
“I want to bring the Australian team
back up to the No 1 spot and there’s a lot
of things we need to do,” Meninga said
after his appointment on Thursday.
“ We need to inspire players to put on
the Kangaroos jersey. We need to build
a programme where they want to play in
it as well.
“I ’ll pick the best players whether that ’s
Queensland or NSW players.
“I ’m unbiased. I’m in an Australian
position with a job to do. ”
Meninga takes over from long-
ser ving national coach Tim Sheens on
a four-year deal concluding at the end
The NRL’s head of football Todd
Greenberg said Meninga’s was a
“dedicated role, but certainly not a
fulltime” one despite the 55-year-old not
being allowed to coach any
club or State side during
chairman John Grant
said Meninga, widely
considered a future rugby
league immortal who also
captained Canberra to
three premierships, was
undoubtedly the best
credentialled man for the
“ What we’ve got is one
of the greatest players
of all-time and the most
successful coach at that
sort of top tournament level ever,” Grant
“Nine series wins out of 10 with that
Queensland State of Origin side, he’s
absolutely the right person.”
Meninga’s appointment was also made
with the support of current Queensland
and Australian captain Cameron Smith.
“I couldn’t think of a coach more suited
to this role, given Mal’s achievements
as a former Kangaroos captain and his
understanding of what representing
Australia means,” Smith said.
“He has a proven record at representative
level, as well as a tremendous ability to
help his players perform at the highest
Meninga admitted it was a difficult
decision to leave his Maroons role, but
said the timing was perfect.
“It’s been a fantastic time and highly
successful year for Queensland in
general, but I felt this is the time,” he
“It was a huge decision. It rounded off
my footy career.
“I’ve now played and coached at the
top level. It’s something I’ve always
wanted to do.”
Queensland assistant coach and
Maroons great Kevin Walters is favoured
to succeed Meninga at Origin level.
But QRL chairman Peter Betros said
filling Meninga’s boots would be a “hard
act to follow ”.
“ We owe him a heck of a lot,” Betros
“The next few years isn’t going to be
easy. There’ll be a transition of players.”
World Cup-winning coach
Steve Hansen says England has
made a “mistake” and that it is a
“sad day” for South African rugby.
Hansen, fresh from escorting
the Webb Ellis Cup around New
Zealand, has given his backing to
the two high-profile coaches who
have fallen on the sharp edge of
the results business.
First England’s Stuart Lancaster
and now Hansen’s South African
friend and counterpart Heyneke
Meyer have been removed or
stepped down as national coach
following the World Cup.
Meyer led the Springboks
to a third-placed finish after a
shocking opening-round loss to
Japan, while Lancaster bore the
full brunt of public and media
opprobrium after failing to
negotiate England out of pool
play at its own tournament.
The Rugby Football Union has
since appointed former Wallabies
and Japan coach Eddie Jones. In
South Africa, Allister Coetzee is
the prohibitive favourite to take
the top job.
“ England have made a mistake,”
Hansen said, saying it was not
long ago Lancaster’s bosses had
enough faith in him to sign him
through to 2020.
“ Woodward won one after
losing one, the All Blacks have
won the last two after (showing
faith) in the people that lost one
in 2007. ”
After a promising start at
the helm at Twickenham, the
relatively inexperienced Lancaster
appeared befuddled at the World
Cup, with his selections queried
and his handling of league star
Sam Burgess criticised.
Hansen’s close relationship with
Meyer is well documented. The
two make a point of sharing a
beer after their respective sides
play each other, with the winner
shouting. Meyer has not had to
shell out too often and Hansen
does not envy the South African
coaching environment his mate
has been operating in.
“ Heyneke has decided it ’s right
for him to go and his family. I
can only imagine the pressure he’s
under over there. It’s different
circumstances that he lives in,”
Hansen said, referencing that
the Springbok coach is expected
not only to win the World Cup
but also be at the vanguard of
The South African Rugby
Union is also committed to
non-whites making up half of
all domestic and national squads
by 2019. D uring the World Cup
it was required to include seven
non-white players, including two
black Africans, in the 23-man
match squads. At the same time,
it is expected to maintain their
historic winning record against
every team outside the All Blacks.
“It’s a sad day for South Africa
because they ’ve lost a good coach
and a good man. South African
rugby is poorer for it, but he’s
doing what ’s right for him and I
can only support him for doing
‘Sad day’ for SA rugby: Hansen
PICTURE: Getty Images
South African rugby coach Heyneke Meyer, left, with Steve Hansen earlier this year.
returning to F1
Renault will return to Formula One
as a constructor next year after signing
key contracts yesterday to acquire the
struggling Lotus team.
Announcing the move, a big boost for
the sport after months of uncertainty,
the French car maker’s chief executive,
Carlos Ghosn, said he wanted the team
to be competitive by 2019.
“ Renault had two options: come back
100% or leave completely,” he said in
a statement. “After detailed analysis,
I made my decision: Renault will be
present in Formula One from 2016.”
Renault signed a letter of intent in
September to take a controlling stake
in British-based Lotus, the team it
previously owned but sold in late 2009
after a race-fixing scandal involving the
2008 Singapore Grand Prix.
Lotus, which employs some 480 staff
at its factory near Oxford, has struggled
financially and was facing legal action
and possible administration over unpaid
Ghosn said work was under way to
implement as quickly as possible the
agreement concerning the acquisition,
and key contracts had been signed.
“ Lotus appeared the best team to
partner. We’ve known each other for
15 years and we were world champions
together in 2005 and 2006,” the
The team, which also won world
Schumacher under the Benetton guise
in 1994 and 1995 before becoming
Renault, was renamed Lotus in 2011.
Sponsored mainly by Venezuelan state
oil company PDVSA, with Venezuelan
driver Pastor Maldonado confirmed for
next season alongside British rookie
Jolyon Palmer, Lotus finished fourth
overall in 2013 but slumped to eighth in
2014 with just 10 points.
It ended the 2015 season a respectable
sixth, despite minimal investment and
frequent financial obstacles.
“O ur ambition is to win even if it will
take time,” Ghosn said. He told Le
Figaro newspaper he expected the team
to be competitive within three years.
Getting back into Formula One would
give the group crucial exposure to
emerging markets, notably Brazil, and
Russia, where it was looking to win back
market share, he said.
The grandson of motorsport
legend Jack Brabham will drive an
Australian-backed entry at next
year’s Indy 500.
Matt Brabham is to become just
the third third-generation driver
to qualify for the famous race at
Indianapolis Motor Speedway,
following his father Geoff and
He will spearhead Pirtek Team
Murray, created by sports identity
Brett ‘Crusher’ Murray, to be run
in conjuction with KV Racing
Technology — winner of the 2013
Indy 500 with Tony Kanaan.
The car will make its Indy debut
in the Angie’s List Grand Prix at
Indianapolis on May 14 and the
100th running of the Indy 500 on
“Every bit of my life has been
coming to this point and I believe
I’m ready,” 21-year-old Brabham
said last evening.
“I ’ve been preparing for the last
couple years and had some success
already moving my way up through
Young Brabham to race at Indy 500
Whincup vows to help
Lowndes to V8 title
Jamie Whincup has vowed to do
everything he can to help Holden team-
mate Craig Lowndes win this year’s
V8 Supercars title — but it will not
involve taking out fierce Ford rival Mark
Just 179 points separate series leader
Winterbottom and Lowndes ahead of
this weekend’s season-ending Sydney
The pair had a slow start to the round,
with both failing to finish inside the top
eight in any of yesterday ’s three practice
Lowndes’s best was eighth, while
Winterbottom’s was 10th after an early
crash into a tyre barrier.
But Whincup, racing at the Sydney
Olympic Park event out of contention
for the first time, still believes the
Prodrive Racing Australia star is firmly
in the box seat to claim his maiden V8
“ He wants to win the championship
he doesn’t care if he wins by three
points or 3000,” the Red Bull Racing
star said after finishing the day third
“ He’s certainly on track to grab that No
Winterbottom will take home the
crown if he finishes 14th or better in
each of the weekend’s three races.
Lowndes, on the other hand, must
win both 37-lap races today and the
74-lap finale tomorrow and needs
Winterbottom to falter if he is to claim
his fourth title but first since 1999.
A super-relaxed Whincup said while it
was out of his hands, he wanted to help
Lowndes get there.
“ I’ll be looking after Lowndsey where
I can,” he said.
“ I won’t be doing anything untoward
to anyone else, including car No 5
“ We’ll go there and race hard. But
certainly, I won’t be holding Craig up in
any way. ”
Shane van Gisbergen, who joins
Whincup and Lowndes at Red Bull next
season, topped the timesheets in every
His final lap of one minute 27.7652secs
was the day ’s quickest.
But unlike Whincup, he has no
intention of helping — or hindering,
for that matter — his future team-mate
“ I’m just racing for myself,” the New
“ If Mark or Craig is leading and I’m
second, I’ll be happy to go to try to win
the race and doing it cleanly. There’s no
silly games on my end.
“ I’ll obviously try not to ruin their
championship. It ’s pretty exciting for
everyone, but I’ve still got my own race
to win. ”
‘ We’ll go there and race hard’
Greymouth branch territory sales
manager Barry Lucas says there
was a good turnout for the day and
everyone is looking to the future with
a positive focus.
“ The day went really well. We started
the day off with a stockman’s breakfast
and from there people were coming
in and out all day. It was good to see
such a good turnout of our customers
and the general public. Opening day
gave people a first-hand look at our
Kaiata Park purpose-built building
Among the prizes and giveaways on
the day, the brand new four wheel
4x4 Honda Foreman motorbike was
won by Westroads Ltd Hokitika.
With the official opening now over Mr
Lucas says it is onwards and upwards
for the Hynds West Coast operation.
“ We are very positive about the
future of the West Coast. We seem to
be ticking along very nicely and it is
certainly good to see new businesses
opening rather than closing.
“ We are now looking at getting our
product lines right and expanding
our customer base firmly throughout
the West Coast.
“ We have good supplies of rural
and concrete products when it
comes to dealing with or pumping
water. Troughs, cattle stops, culverts,
concrete pipes and sumps catering
for the farmers and for contractors
involved with civil work and
contracting on subdivisions. We cater
for the farmer, the contractor and the
general public, and ease of access out
here works very well for everyone. We
are fully up and running, fully stocked
with the right gear for rural and civil
Rain on the day did not interrupt the
celebrations for the official opening of
Hynds Pipe Systems Ltd newly established
premises at Kaiata Park, last Friday.
Andy O’Neil, from Westroads Hokitika, sits on the brand new four wheel
4x4 Honda Foreman motorbike won at the Hynds official opening day
at Kaiata Park last week. Pictured are Phil Pooley, left, Aaron Hynds,
Greg Hawkins, Andy O’Neil, Barry Lucas, Anna Ritchie and Adrian Hynds.
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