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Hendry holds nerve to win NZ Open
Monday, March 13, 2017
The weather was overcast but
the rain stayed away and the
Reefton Trotting Club turned
on a competitive and enjoyable
day’s racing for the small crowd
on course yesterday.
About 500 people put $43,815
through on course, down on the
2016 corresponding meeting of
$49,138. However, off-course
turnover was up with TAB
punters investing $871,750,
against $823,187 a year ago.
On Friday, the Westport
Trotting Club posted $71,624
on-course ($72,540 last year),
while off-course turnover was
up from $673,504 to $682,170.
Reefton Trotting Club
president Tony Thomas said the
weather played its part with the
“ It was a great day ’s racing,
and the track was in terrific
order considering we had rain
in the morning,” Thomas said.
“The racing was good and
there was a reasonable crowd,
but I think Hokitika and
Greymouth people may have
stayed away with the threat of
rain, but still it was a successful
Course specialist Johnny
Eyre took out the Buccleugh’s
on High Inangahua Grey
Valley Cup, feature race on
the 10-race programme, with
a strong staying performance
with in-form and regular driver
Samantha Ottley at the helm.
It was deja vu for Johnny Eyre,
Ottley and Canterbury trainer
Mike Brown racing over the
3200m distance on the Reefton
track as the trio had combined
to win the Reefton Cup at the
Johnny Eyre had an inside
draw for the testing staying race
and was shuffled back
early along the fence and was
soon locked up with nowhere
Ottley showed a cool head
and waited for daylight, and
once in the clear she had the
son of Christian Cullen finding
the line with purpose along the
rails in the final stages to take
the race. Johnny Eyre had a
head advantage over the fast-
finishing Clasina Maria with
The Valiant ,which had set a
strong pace throughout in third
“He had run a very good
second at Westport on Friday
and is very well,” Ottley said.
“ Drawing towards the inside
wasn’t planning on getting that
far back on the rails. I knew he
would sprint once in the clear
and when the gaps opened in
the straight he finished with
a rush. My horse was always
travelling good, it was just a
matter of getting the run, which
Trainer Mike Brown races
the son of Christian Cullen in
partnership with his wife Peta,
and he was full of admiration
for his horse and driver.
“ Johnny Eyre just loves
Reefton. He raced well in
Westport and I’m happy with
the win. It was a pretty tidy
drive by Sam (Samantha
Ottley). I have to give credit
again to our stable hand Nicole
Thomas, too — it’s been a great
team effort all round.”
Idealagain completed a
winning double on the West
Coast March harness circuit
after taking out the Westfleet
Seafoods Mobile Pace at the
Reefton Trotting Club meeting
The five-year-old mare scored
a smart win at the Westport
meeting on Friday in the hands
of Ricky May, but yesterday
Tim Williams held the reins.
Idealagain is trained and
raced by Rodney Dickson
and is a recent addition to his
“I only leased him a month
ago from former Westport
trainer Tommy Fox, who lives
in Nelson. If I said prior to
Westport this horse will win
both days I would say that ’s a
pretty big ask,” Dickson said.
“Ricky (May) said to me
after he drove him to win
on Friday, ‘he will be hard to
beat at Reefton’. I told Tim
(Williams) today to sit quiet
on him and come with one last
run — it was a perfect result.
Idealagain will probably go to
the North Island and race at
The West Coast Chargers made rugby
league history on Saturday when they lifted
the coveted Thacker Shield for the first time
Coast was pitted against a strong Linwood
side from Canterbury, playing in miserable
conditions at Wingham Park and defending a
fightback to win, 28-22.
The hosts started well and Kiel Johnson
had some strong runs getting out of their
half. Both halves, Luke Negri and Nik
Davy, organised the team well with nicely
structured play early. Davy ’s short kicking
game was on target and forced a couple of
The first try was off one of these dropouts,
Phil Thomson had the ball in hand close to
the line and was able to shimmy through to
score, 4-0 .
Both teams were guilty of loose carries and
not protecting the ball in the wet conditions,
however West Coast managed to control
the tempo of the game. Their teamwork
on defence stood out and they were able to
deflect a few attacking plays by Linwood.
When passes and ball to hand stuck, Coast
looked organised and in control. The second
try came off the back of this when Bailey
Stewart gave a great offload to Hamish
Paterson, who took a couple of defenders over
the line with him to score. The conversion
was unsuccessful, and the Chargers were up
West Coast team did a lot of things right
with moving the ball and getting players
into space, but their ball handling and poor
decision making on the third and fourth
tackles made it hard for them to keep control
and build momentum.
After a while the defence started to tire and
a couple of penalties were given to Linwood,
who made the most of the possession they
had, levelling the score before the half-time
whistle. Half-time, 8-8 .
Regan Stanton had a rocks and diamonds
game; he would have topped the error
count for the team but with the two tries he
scored in the second half ,only a player of his
strength and speed could have scored. These
were on the back of some good defensive
efforts from the for wards and quick thinking
from half Davy to get the ball to him with
The Chargers struggled to get out of their
own half in the second stanza. Thomson’s
long kicking game gave them more time
to re-gather and again go on defence. The
for wards were tough in playing this game out.
The track was heavy but they kept turning
up for each other and shutting the quick and
short offloads that Linwood were trying.
Linwood were hard on attack. West Coast
up and end defence helped force the ball to
ground, Harley Vui scooped it up and ran
to the line, tip-toeing along the sideline and
beating defenders with speed.
It put Coast up 24-8 and they had the game
in their hands.
With all the defending they had to do
in this half they tired and made it hard for
themselves, dropping the ball coming out
of their danger zone. Eventually, Linwood
cracked the defence twice to bring the score
within six points, 24-18 .
Linwood looked certain to level the score
again, when Vui snatched the ball for an
intercept and scored an 80m try, converted to
give Coast a 10-point lead, 28-18.
From the kick-off, West Coast ’s outside
backs collided, leaving them two men down
for a bit. Linwood made the most of this
to get in good field position to mount a
comeback. Replacements finally made it on
the field but a bit out of position. Linwood
players attacked that side to score to bring the
game back within six.
With the crowd on their feet willing West
Coast to keep out the Cantabrians for the
last 30 seconds Linwood kicked the ball
deep, their players chasing through, Thomson
picked the ball up to kick it dead and West
Coast won, 28-22.
A big rap goes to captain Hamish Paterson,
who was always there in defence to stop half
breaks and clean up when his players missed
tackles. His tackle count was impressive and
he led from the front.
West Coast coach Brad Tacon was rapt with
the history making result.
They had talked about defence winning
the game, and it did, and he was likewise
impressed with the way they made the most
of their opportunities.
A couple of the key players were injured, but
the substitutes had stood up, Tacon said.
His best were for wards Kiel Johnson, L ewis
Jackman and Bailey Stewart, and he was
happy with Phil Thomson’s kicking game.
West Coast 28 (Stanton 2, Vui 2, Thomson,
Paterson tries, Thomson 2 goals) Linwood 22
(Te Hau 2, Poaching, Hundson, Nugesson
tries, Nichollas-Cane goal).
PICTURES: Paul McBride
Johnny Eyre (2) and Samantha Ottley first past the post in the Reefton Trotting Club’s feature race, the Bucceugh’s On High
Inangahua Grey Valley Cup.
Turnover down at Reefton
Double for Westpor t-trained Idealagain
back in Coast
PICTURE: Bill Phillips
The jubilant West Coast Chargers with the Thacker Shield following their historic win on Saturday over the Linwood Keas, at
Michael Hendry has won a three-way
play-off to end a lengthy drought and
become the first New Zealander to win the
New Zealand Open in 14 years.
Hendry fired a final-round two-under
69 to join Australian Brad Kennedy and
overnight leader Ben Campbell on 19-under
in a three-way sudden-death play-off.
Kennedy and Campbell both found the
water at the tricky par-three 18th, which
had only yielded six birdies throughout the
Hendry, first off the tee in the play-off, hit
the green then held his ner ve to sink the key
putts to secure the win.
Kennedy, who had trailed Campbell by one
stroke going into the final round, struggled
for consistency yesterday in shooting an
even-par 71 which included a double bogey
and two bogeys offset by four birdies.
In contrast, Hendry was a model of
consistency despite going into the final
round two shots astray of Kennedy.
The 37-year-old Japan Tour pro struggled
to contain his emotions after sinking the
final putt which made him the first New
Zealander to win a New Zealand Open
since Mahal Pearce in 2003.
“ It means the world. For me, other
than winning a major, this is the biggest
tournament I could win,” Hendry said
“ Just to finally get that monkey off my
back with a Kiwi winning — it was very,
very special. ”
Hendry said he had taken a simple
approach into the final round.
“ My game plan today was to hit as many
greens as I could and get every putt to the
hole. I think I hit 17 greens, so I achieved
my game plan pretty well. ” Back-to-back
eagles at the 16th and 17th of his four-under
67 third round on Saturday were the key to
his victory, he added.
“That was the winning of the tournament
this week. They gave me the opportunity to
execute the game plan that I wanted today.
Right then and there was when I won the
golf tournament. ”
Behind the top three, Australian Deyen
Lawson enjoyed an excellent tournament in
finishing fourth on 18-under, a shot ahead of
compatriot Jack Wilson. Five players shared
sixth place on 16-under including New
Zealand’s Ryan Fox, who shot 11-under par
on the weekend sparked by his remarkable
63 on Saturday.
Fox, with top caddie Steve Williams on
his bag for the first time, shared the slot
with defending champion Matthew Griffin,
the 2014 winner Dimitrios Papadatos,
and fellow Australians James Nitties and
Andrew Dodt. — NZN
All Blacks boss Steve Hansen
has welcomed England equalling
his side’s unbeaten 18-match
test record, saying it is good for
England’s 61-21 thrashing
of Scotland at Twickenham
yesterday saw them match the
All Blacks’ run between August
2015 and November 2016, which
included their successful World
Victory gave England their
second successive Six Nations
title under Eddie Jones and they
will head to Ireland next weekend
seeking the first back-to-back
clean sweep since 1992-93 .
England have also closed the
gap on New Zealand at the top
of the International Rugby Board
rankings, and Hansen believes it
is down to the work ethic Jones
has instilled in his squad.
“I’d like to congratulate England
on equalling the record,” Hansen
told BBC Radio Five Live’s
“It’s great for rugby because we
want competition and games that
people want to watch and get
excited by. Eddie has come in and
installed a want and a desire that
probably hasn’t been there before.
“ We’ve always felt England
have had plenty of talent but
not always been willing to work
hard. But they seem to be doing
that now under Eddie, and it ’s no
surprise that they ’re putting a run
together that ’s pretty impressive.”
England and New Zealand have
not met since November 2014 and
Hansen admitted he was relishing
the day the two sides meet again.
Asked who would win, Hansen
replied in a predictable manner.
“Being the All Blacks coach, I
would like to think we would,”
he said. “But Eddie being the
England coach, he would like to
think he would. When the time
comes it ’s going to be a cracker.”
New Zealand ’s next challenge is
against the British and Irish Lions
in June and July, and Hansen said
he was expecting a difficult test on
home soil. The Six Nations had
demonstrated the depth of talent
emanating from the British Isles,
with the Lions set to bring one of
the strongest sides in their history.
“People here are very excited
about the fact they ’re coming, as
we don’t get many touring teams
in world rugby any more,” Hansen
said. — NZN
Hansen hails England’s record matching win
Michael Hendry and wife Tara after winning yesterday’s New Zealand Golf Open at
Millbrook in Arrowtown.
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