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Wednesday, February 1, 2017
The contrast from Eden Park’s short,
straight boundaries to McLean Park’s
short, square perimeter will require the
Chappell-Hadlee Trophy combatants
to recalibrate their bowling plans
in tomorrow ’s second ODI cricket
After absorbing Marcus Stoinis’
unbeaten 146 and triumphing by six
runs on Monday night in Auckland,
New Zealand are on the cusp of wresting
back the trophy from Australia.
Black Caps coach Mike Hesson was
asked if he had concerns about the
strength of his side’s bowling in the
wake of Stoinis’ display.
“ We’ve just beaten the No 1 side in
the world, so we’re going okay,” he
“Eden Park is a difficult ground
to defend. If you want 100 runs off
10 overs anywhere in the world, it’s
probably Eden Park. “ We certainly
got hit to areas we didn’t want to, but
McLean Park is different again.”
Hesson deadpanned that their
strategy should be to repeat what they
did too much at the Auckland venue —
bowling full and straight rather than
full and wide.
“At McLean Park that ’s probably
where we want to get hit (straight).”
Before the first ODI, Stoinis averaged
25.45 with one century and a strike
rate of 70 in 38 List A matches. That
Clark Kent record morphed into one of
the great chasing innings in his second
“I don’t think anyone expected him to
play like Superman,” Hesson said. “ He
hadn’t had any significant innings of
international cricket, and didn’t have a
great Big Bash. We knew what he was
capable of from the IPL and past BBLs,
but perhaps not to that degree.”
Seeking consecutive wins against
Australia was complicated by the
decision to rest Martin Guptill as
a precaution at Napier, after he felt
tightness in his left hamstring while
fielding in Auckland.
“He’ ll remain with the team and we’ ll
continue to monitor him ahead of the
third ODI,” Hesson said.
Guptill’s innings of 61 from 73 balls
proved a key building block at Eden
He has been pivotal to New Zealand ’s
chances in Chappell-Hadlee contests
since last summer, averaging 62 from
seven innings with a strike rate of 101
and never scoring less than 31.
The injury is not believed to be an
aggravation of the strain he suffered
to the same hamstring during the
third one-day international against
Bangladesh on New Year’s Eve.
Northern Districts batsman Dean
Brownlie has been recalled. He has
scored 203 runs from five innings at an
average of 50.75 and strike rate of 70 in
the Ford Trophy.
Brownlie looks set to open with Tom
Latham, unless New Zealand opt for a
radical rejig by pushing an all-rounder
such as Jimmy Neesham or Colin
Munro up the order and bringing Colin
de Grandhomme into the XI.
— New Zealand Herald
on course for
PICTURE: Getty Images
Dean Brownlie batting for the Black Caps.
A sliding Clayton Lewis goal
has handed Auckland City FC
victory in the final of a four-club
invitation tournament in Hong
The team of part-time professionals
beat host club Kitchee SC 1-0 in the
Nike Lunar New Year Cup, adding
another notch to their respected
It was the same scoreline as the
Oceania champion club’s opening
win over Korean club champions FC
Seoul on Saturday.
Lewis slid to meet a firmly struck
shot across goal from Emiliano Tade
in the 22nd minute.
The All Whites midfielder nearly
grabbed his second just before
halftime but his lob over the
goalkeeper bounced just past the
Kitchee SC attacked in waves in
the second spell but could not break
down a resolute defence.
Auckland City FC regularly
hold their own at the Fifa
Club World Cup, with the
highlight being a third-place finish
Coach Ramon Tribulietx says
the latest result is typical of their
resilience and ability against better
“ We’re very little compared to
them,” he said.
“I don’t want to talk about money
but if you saw some of the contracts
their players are on you’d be amazed
while we had (defender) Darren
White and our goalkeeper coach
already back in Auckland because
they had to work today.”
Auckland City FC wins Hong Kong tournament
French rugby giants Toulon
have announced that banned
fullback Ben Barba will switch
codes and play for them for the
rest of the top 14 season.
“ Ben Barba will arrive in Toulon
next week,” read a statement on
Toulon’s website last night.
Only two weeks ago, Cronulla
re-signed Barba two months after
his contract was terminated by
the Sharks following a positive
test to cocaine.
The 27-year-old was hit with
a 12-match ban in November
as a result of the second positive
sample he returned under the
NRL’s illicit drug policy.
Barba penned a one-year
contract for the 2017 season but
the deal is yet to be ratified by the
The shock signing with Toulon
while Barba is ser ving his
punishment will no doubt be
scrutinised by the NRL Integrity
Unit as they assess his suitability
to return to rugby league in
If indeed he is cleared to come
back, Barba would be available for
the Sharks in mid-May.
He has already been ruled out
of the World Club Series, the
Auckland Nines and the first 10
rounds after failing the illicit
drug test taken during
celebrations of the club’s first
Three-time European Cup
champions Toulon currently sit
fifth on the Top 14 table and last
weekend’s 23-20 home defeat to
La Rochelle reportedly left club
president Mourad Boudjellal
It is believed he cancelled
holiday plans the players had
during the break in their domestic
competition for the start of the
Six Nations and ordered them
back to training.
Toulon said Barba will be
considered for their next match at
home against Lyon on February
18 and they have nine regular-
season games remaining as well
as having already qualified for the
quarter-finals of the European
Their last regular-season clash
is against Pau on May 6, but they
will be well backed to make a
run deep into the finals which
culminate with the Top 14
decider on June 4.
Barba will join fellow
Australians Matt Giteau, Drew
Mitchell, James O’Connor and
Liam Gill at Toulon.
Toulon expect Barba to vie for
the fullback jersey but added that
he can cover across nearly every
other backline position.
Dave Rennie is happy to be talking
on-field rugby issues again after two
separate sagas since the Chiefs last
kicked a ball in anger.
The Chiefs coach will draw a
line, in August, after six seasons
at the helm of this franchise,
whose previously unblemished
“good buggers” image has taken a
battering in recent months. Rennie
will head to Glasgow, but he will be
determined to give super rugby one
last rattle before then.
He addressed media yesterday in
Hamilton on a raft of subjects.
“ We’re pretty resolute as a group
and we’ ll do our talking on the field,”
The Chiefs will be taking a large
squad of probably close to 40 players
to Brisbane next week, where they
will face the Bulls on February 9
at Ballymore, before a group will
stay on to contest the 10s that
He offered his first official views
on the new and much debated high
“In the end, it’s a safety issue. The
reckless tackles will be dealt with,
and the accidental stuff means you
are put yourself at risk of a card. I
would imagine it means more of
an emphasis on chop tackling and
trying to be more dominant in that
area. There will be some common
sense, particularly around how low
guys carry and leading in with the
head, et cetera. So I would think the
first three weeks will be a searching
out period,” he says.
“They have been tough over in the
UK and handed out a few red cards
.. . but you just can’t put yourself in
that situation. It’ll still be a battle
of body heights and you have to be
lower than them.”
The final Chiefs’ pre-season match
will be on February 17 at Auckland’s
Rennie gave a roll call of the injured
or rehabbing list, which includes
Glen Fisi’iahi, Nathan Harris, Sam
Cane, Chase Tiatia (out until May).
Prop Nepo Laulala played today in
a practice game after a long lay-off.
Rennie jokingly hinted that Mils
Muliaina and Carl Hoeft, Chiefs
and All Blacks of yesteryear, might
get a run against the Bulls.
rehabilitation from a bad knee injury
The 21-year-old Jean-Pierre Rives
loose forward lookalike — though
he had to check Google for the
reference — had a run today in a hit
out against the Chiefs Development
XV in Hamilton. At a pinch, he
might have been right back in
October for the climax of the Bay of
Plenty Steamers’ season, but medical
advice put the kybosh on those
“I can’t complain. It’s been a year
out of the game, but I feel like I’m
a 10-year-old again ... it’s been
hours and hours of rehab. I took
the opportunity to do a couple of
(business) papers at uni, so that kept
me busy. It’s niggly to just watch on
the sidelines in a team game when
you are a cripple on the sideline,”
says Karpik, who hurt himself in the
the man to whom he is acting as
apprentice, Sam Cane, or even half
as good as Rives, the great 1975-84
French loosie, who led France in 34
of his 59 tests — and to a famous
Bastille Day 1979 victory over the
All Blacks at Eden Park — not
to mention wowing all with his
commitment and bravery, then it
will be some career for Karpik.
— New Zealand Herald
Rennie looking for one last big push with Chiefs
The future of Chiefs midfielder
Charlie Ngatai remains up in the air as
he continues to battle the symptoms of a
The one test All Black suffered a head
knock against the Highlanders in May
and has not played a game since then,
missing the remainder of the Super
Rugby season and the national provincial
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie told
reporters that the 26-year-old was not
back in full training and could miss the
“ It ’s been an incredible slow process
and he’s had a few set backs over the last
period of time.
“There’s a bit of light at the end of the
tunnel but it may get to that stage when
we have to make a call but we’re going to
give Charlie all the time we can.
“Richie McCaw went through this
when he was out for a 12 month period
so his health is the most important here
so we are not going to rush it,” Rennie
Tasman midfielder Alex Nankivelll
has been called into the squad as cover
should Ngatai be ruled out while the
return of Tim Nanai-Williams from
Japan provides another option. — N Z N
Ngatai in doubt for
Super Rugby season
Toulon claims Barba is switching codes
All Blacks halfback Tawera Kerr-
Barlow has confirmed his manager
is in talks with French rugby giants
The 25-cap Chiefs gun is off
contract at the end of the season
and could follow teammate Aaron
Cruden to France after the first-
five signed a lucrative three-year
deal with Montpellier.
“They ’ve been in contact with my
agent and that ’s the nature of the
sport we’re in, you’re always going
to get offers,” Kerr-Barlow said.
“I have a few decisions to make
but we’ ll just see how it goes.”
admitted the money on offer
overseas, particularly in places like
France and Ireland, was difficult
for players to turn down.
A number of current All Blacks
have reportedly fielded big offers,
including star outside backs Ben
Smith and Israel Dagg.
Faumuina has already accepted a
deal to play for Toulouse after this
year’s Super Rugby campaign.
“It’s up to every individual to
make the choice that suits, as we
can only play to a certain age,”
“If someone believes it’s in
their best interests to take an
opportunity, then that ’s up to
The possibility of Kerr-Barlow
heading offshore has also been
magnified by his demotion to
third-choice test No 9 behind
T J Perenara and Aaron Smith.
He admitted the pair were
unlikely to give up their positions
without a fight but hoped to play
a part in the upcoming British
and Irish Lions tour, whether for
the Chiefs, All Blacks or Maori
“It’s a magnificent occasion for
New Zealand to have them coming
here,” Kerr- Barlow said.
“I just want to get through a full
year without any injuries.”
appearances for the All Blacks in
2016, as well as five appearances
in last year’s World Cup triumph.
Kerr-Barlow admits to Toulon contact
Marina Erakovic has suffered
round loss of the 2017 WTA
The New Zealand No 1, who
has drawn a string of difficult
opponents, went down 6-3 6 -2 to
French third seed Caroline Garcia
at the Taiwan Open in Taipei
World 110th-ranked Erakovic
won two qualifying matches in
straight sets but had few answers
to the world No 25.
Erakovic suffered early exits at
the ASB Classic in Auckland and
the Australian Open in Melbourne
in January. On both occasions she
lost to seventh-seeded opponents.
Erakovic loses in Taiwan opener
New Zealand’s Adam Hall has snared
a slalom bronze medal on the final
day of the para alpine skiing world
championships in Tar visio, Italy.
Hall was second following his first
run, just 0.30sec behind eventual
winner Arthur Bauchet of France.
Austrian Thomas Grochar stormed
into second place in the second run,
pushing Hall back to third.
The 29-year-old New Zealander, who
won gold in the same event at the 2010
Winter Paralympics, was still pleased
with the outcome.
New Zealand finish with three
medals. Corey Peters earned silver
medals in the downhill and Super-G
“It was definitely a great way to finish
and I’m really happy to walk away with
a World Championship podium in
slalom,” says Hall.
Hall and Peters will next compete
at events in Japan ahead of the World
Cup finals in March at Pyeong
Chang, Korea, the venue of next year’s
Paralympics. — N Z N
Hall bags bronze at
For four days only, New Zealand’s
world champion track cyclists switch
from friends to foe.
Olympic team sprint silver medallists
Sam Webster, Ethan Mitchell and Eddie
Dawkins will square off as individual
sprinters at the national track cycling
championships in Invercargill starting
As part of the preparation for their
world title defence in Hong Kong in
April, the trio will engage in one-on -one
Cycling NZ sprint coach Anthony
Peden expects fireworks.
“ It always a difficult scenario when
you are with your training partners and
teammates day-in and day-out and then
you have to compete against each other,”
“ But equally, everyone wants to be a
Peden expects the heavyweights to
also be pushed hard by emerging sprint
talent, most notably Zac Williams and
He says bagging the scalp of Webster,
Mitchell or Dawkins would be a prize
scalp for a young rider trying to prove
However, Peden warns toppling any
member of the trio will be difficult given
their output of recent weeks.
“They have never trained as consistently
this good (although) I am not expecting
world record times this week from them.
“The focus is Hong Kong where we
want to continue our dominance in the
Peden is pleased with the growing
depth in women’s sprinting.
Natasha Hansen returns from a
prolonged post-Olympic break while
her Rio teammate Olivia Podmore is
impressing in training. — NZ N
NZ team sprint cyclists
to race each other
Olympic champion Ryan Crouser will
lock horns with premier New Zealand
shot put pair Tom Walsh and Jacko Gill
at two domestic meets in this month.
American Crouser has confirmed he
will compete at the ‘Big Shot ’ meet in
Christchurch on February 19 and the
Auckland Track Challenge seven days
The 24-year-old stormed to victory
at Rio last August, throwing a massive
personal best of 22.52m to break the
Walsh was third with a best of 21.36m
while Gill placed ninth (20.50m).
World indoor champion Walsh went
on to throw substantially further last year
on his way to clinching the Diamond
League overall honours, including a
personal best 22.21m in Zagreb.
He holds a 3-2 career head-to-head
winning record against Crouser.
Former junior world champion Gill
has opened the domestic summer in
style, throwing a personal best 21.01m
at a low-key event in Lower Hutt to
qualify for the world championships.
Athletics NZ events manager Gareth
Archer says the key to luring Crouser
in his off-season was the offer of some
hunting and fishing.
Also in the field is double world indoor
champion Ryan Whiting of the United
States, whose New Zealand all-comers
record of 21.27m is expected to come
under threat. — NZ N
Olympic shot put champion
to compete in NZ
UFC president Dana White believes
UFC fans will never see Ronda Rousey
in the Octagon again.
Speaking on the UFC Unfiltered
podcast White said he felt the former
women’s bantamweight champ will not
return after suffering a second career
loss at UFC 207, on December 30,
“ Her spirits are good and she’s doing
her own thing,” White said.
“ In the conversation I had with her,
if I had to say right here, right now —
and I don’t like saying right here, right
now because it’s up to her, it’s her thing
— but I wouldn’t say she fights again. I
think she’s probably done.
“ I think she’s going to ride off in the
sunset and start living her life outside
Rousey, who had put women’s combat
sports on the map with an undefeated
streak that began in the Strikeforce
promotion in March 2011 and lasted
through to November 2015 with the
UFC was trying to regain her title
in December against current champ
The fight was short-lived as the
Brazilian defeated Rousey
knockout in 48 seconds — a fight in
which the American tried to fight
Nunes standing up rather than take her
to the canvas.
The loss in many ways mirrored her
title loss at UFC 193 in Melbourne, in
November 2015, when former world
champion kickboxer Holly Holm,
knocked her out with a second-round
The two losses tarnished a previously
flawless mixed martial arts record of
12-0, and White believes losing that
unblemished record is what hurt the 29
-year-old former Olympic judoka the
“It’s not even that I think it was
an invincible thing,” White said of
Rousey ’s lacklustre return in December.
“S he’s so competitive that her career
record meant everything to her and
once she lost, she started to say to
herself, ‘ What the f*** am I doing? This
is my whole life? This is it? I want to
experience doing other things.’ That ’s
what she started to do,” White said.
“S he’s got a lot of money. She’s
never going to need money again.”
UFC boss expects Rousey to quit
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